Prompt: disdain

"Carmen, I'm going to take off on Monday. I'll have my laptop and cell, but the Whitlock benefit is under control."

"No problem, Bella. Is everything all right?"

Carmen tucks her dark hair behind her ear. She's sincere, pretty fantastic to work for, but I swear she sees right through me. Or maybe she doesn't. She probably doesn't. I'm being paranoid, like I've been all week.

"Everything's fine. I'm taking Garrett to my parent's place for a few days before it gets crazy around here." And it will, too. That much is not a lie.

For days, I warred with myself whether taking Garrett out of school was solely for selfish reasons or not. It started that way, I admit, but the more I thought about it, the more logical it became.

The two weeks prior to any event is insane: long hours, constant emails, phone calls, you name it. We'll do whatever it takes to ensure things run without the slightest hiccup and the client is happy. Garrett will spend more time with Mrs. Cope, our neighbor aka babysitter extraordinaire, and as accommodating as she is he shouldn't have to spend more hours with his babysitter than his own mother. I miss him.

"Are you sure? You've kind of been on edge for a few days."



Is she asking if the Whitlock job is under control or if I am?

I decide to play dumb, tilt my head, squint a little so I appear only mildly confused by her assessment. Avoid any further personal questions. "Have I? Wow, I hadn't realized. No, no, things are running as smooth as silk. They're great. Perfect. Couldn't be better." I add a confident bob of the head for good measure. "Yep."

But Carmen's expression is full-on confusion. "Um, okay. Well, have fun then."


"Thanks. We will."

I turn to leave, keeping my head down as I head back to my office, and naturally, because the universe is cruel, I run smack into Edward. Cruel universe or just a really small office, he is always there.

And he smells good.

Screw you, universe.

"Whoa." He laughs, righting me with his hands on my arms. I immediately stiffen, he feels it and all traces of his amusement dissolve. "What's going on with you, Bella?"

"Nothing." I step back, and it's not until I do that he drops his hands.

"Really? You've been a million miles away lately, not to mention...tense."

"No, Edward, I'm right here like I always am." I snap. "And I'm not tense."

A moment later, I apologize, dismissively waving my hand between us. The disdain I feel toward him is just half his fault.

Edward crosses his arms in front of his chest, looks around, but he doesn't move nor does he say anything.

So we stand there, unmoving, not speaking, but then he catches my eyes and he's telling me a million things only I have no idea what they are.

Sorry, guys! Time got away from me, so a longer update tomorrow. And then on Saturday, Edward's POV.

Thanks so much for reading. :)