Thank you so much for your patience with this chapter. My health issues have taken a toll and unfortunately put Cupcake back farther than I would have liked. But it's here now, so enjoy!
Thanks to MC and MrsRachaelM for their love and care with my words. Their support means the world to me.
And hello to all of you lurkers and new reviewers! Who knew bringing Jake in would bring you out of lurkerdom?! I love it! Welcome.
I can't believe I agreed to this. What in the hell was I thinking?
Sitting in my car across the street from the coffee shop, I contemplate my choices. I really don't have a choice. I already agreed to meet him, and I'm not one to go back on my word.
However much I would like to.
I am scared to go in there and see what Jake has to say. Not that he can hurt me anymore than he already has. But I was surprised at all of the emotions that came to the surface when I saw him again.
It's been six years since I last saw Jacob Black. One would think that six years would be too long to still drudge up any feelings. But the problem is I don't have any other "real" boyfriend experience to compare it to.
Unless you count the one that started just a few days ago. But one physically charged night, one date and now one surprise visit isn't nearly enough to count as experience.
Or necessarily a boyfriend. We still haven't discussed that technicality.
Jacob and I met in college; I'm still not sure what he saw in me that first day. I was the one with my nose buried in a book at all times and he was the life of the party.
For me it was a no brainer. If a guy like that was interested in me I'd be an idiot not to take him up on the offer.
Jake was one of those "all around" guys. You know the kind that seems to belong in every group and everyone likes them? Especially the girls. He was funny and personable and had the looks to match. His tanned skin, broad shoulders, bright smile and twinkling eyes drew me in.
He was the sweetest boyfriend, always being chivalrous and taking me places. But that wasn't enough for me and got old fast. I would much rather have stayed home reading and studying, and eventually I used my job as an excuse not to go out.
I worked in a bookstore and loved the extra time it allowed me to read and study. I was much happier curled up on the couch, reading a book with Jake by my side studying than going out to party after party. I told him that they needed me to work longer hours there and it was taking away from my studying time.
I hated lying to him but he would not accept my excuses when I tried to bow out of his plans night after night. I loved him but I would much rather have had him alone than share him with others.
He was my first, not my first boyfriend. I had dated one other guy before but it wasn't for long and it wasn't intense. Not like it was with Jake. We had a passion when it came to each other, or at least Jake did. I thought I did, but looking back now I know that I was just excited to be involved with a man for the first time.
So Jake was the one I lost my virginity to. I gave it up willingly, caught up in the sweetness and passion that Jacob Black emitted with everything he did in his life.
It was going onto our second year together when Jake started working at a club that put me over the edge. Six months of him hanging out there even on his days off. It wasn't the lifestyle for me and I knew it.
I was just too afraid to let him go. Your first can have a very powerful hold on you. Besides, we had become best friends during our time together and loved the easy companionship that followed. But in the end, we were more like roommates than lovers.
Eventually, it was too much for Jake, as well. He wanted a girl that would be on his arm, gladly participating in the club life. I don't think he ever 'cheated' on me, all out with another woman, but I know he came close; that the temptation was there. He denied it, I trusted him, but I'd heard the stories and knew he was a flirt and reveled in female attention. I might not have been the party gal, but people talked. And I knew the ones that would tell me the truth.
It should have been an amicable breakup. Both of us knowing that it would never work out. That we wanted different things in life.
But Jacob Black hurt me with his words when he left me crying in my dorm room. He brought up all my insecurities that I'd battled for years and presented them on a platter with disdain and shining a harsh light on them, breaking my heart and my will.
I reverted even further into books and my studies, immersing my life into the fantasy of the characters that lived in them. I hardly ever went out, unless it was for school or work.
At first, reading was like manna from Heaven. Every book called to me and I was engrossed, but in the end it wasn't books that got me through one of the hardest times in my life.
At least, it wasn't only books. But one book in particular that changed my life.
I stumbled upon a cookbook that was primarily for baking and began making every recipe that caught my eye.
It was a lot of baking. So much so that I couldn't eat everything that I had in the dorm. Nor would I have wanted to.
My roommate, Lucy, encouraged me to give some away and it was then that both my culinary and outgoing personality grew.
The joy on my classmates' faces when I brought in a new treat, not only brightened my day, but spurred me on to bake more. I made new friends and found a passion I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.
I guess I owe Jacob Black more than I thought.
Looking across the street once again, I take a deep breath and open the car door. Let's get this over with.
The coffee shop is crowded with couples sharing quiet moments in hidden corners. Other tables filled with rambunctious friends chatting and catching up on times missed. The hustle and bustle of workers filling orders and putting money in the till. All of it floods my senses.
And then I see him.
Jake is sitting at a small table in the corner with two cups of coffee, one he is sipping on and the other can only be mine.
It irritates me that he ordered me a drink, even when I find out he remembered my favorite, after work drink.
Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and caramel drizzled on top. It's delicious but especially good on a hot evening like tonight.
I sit down mutely, trying to express to Jake the annoyance that I feel with only my body language.
Partially, I'm afraid of what my mouth may say if I do speak. The mixed feelings come rushing back as I see him sitting there, looking slightly smug, but also pretty gorgeous.
His tight, black V-neck tee accentuates his broad shoulders and his sun-kissed skin. My mind goes back to the days when he wasn't quite as toned but still looked like a GQ model.
"Bells, I'm really sorry for intruding like this," he begins and brings me back to the present. "I can see I haven't started out on the right foot. I'm sorry. I ordered your favorite drink as a peace offering."
He pushes the cold beverage closer to me and I place my hand around it but do not take a drink. I'm not quite ready for peace offerings yet. He has a whole lot more explaining to do.
I sigh heavily. "Jake, just spit it out. What do you want and why are you here now?"
"Bella, I've missed you. I've missed the way we were together. We really did make a great couple."
"Jake, you dumped me. Or did you forget? We weren't compatible enough to make it work. There were things in your life more important than me."
"I know Bells, and I am so sorry. Can we blame it on me being young and stupid?" he asks with a pleading look in his warm, brown eyes.
"We could Jake, but here's the thing. We are different, and I am not the same girl anymore."
He interrupts me before I get the chance to finish. "I can see that. You look amazing; the years away from school have been good to you. When I saw you this weekend I couldn't believe it was really you. But there was no way I could forget you."
"What?" I sputter out, thankful that I hadn't taken a drink yet. "What do you mean, 'When you saw me'?"
My mind is on overdrive trying to remember running into Jake this weekend. But there is no way. I was either working or with Edward, and I'm pretty sure I'd remember running into my ex in any of those scenarios.
"At the club, on Saturday. You looked so carefree and sensual at the same time. It was everything I ever hoped we could have together. I couldn't believe that you were in my club."
The world is quickly spinning around me as I try to process all this new information. My brain is a whirl and my mouth is opened in a small gasp; my brows furrow in confusion.
"Wait a minute!" I cry out in disbelief. "Your club? You own a club?"
"Well, actually I own more than just one club. But yes, Club Blaque is mine now. I bought it last year, renovated and renamed it. It's causing quite the stir in the club industry and I may just have my very own franchise coming soon."
I knew it was Jacob's dream to own his own business. I guess it shouldn't come as such a surprise to me that it ended up being a club. Or several clubs, as the case may be. He must really have enjoyed his work in college.
But back to the point. How the hell did Jake see me Saturday night? I sure as hell didn't see him!
"Okay, but how did you see me? I didn't see you there?" I am so confused with all of this. It's not helping me be very articulate.
"Well, um…" For the first time Jake seems a bit unsure of himself. Almost wary. "I saw you from my office on the second floor behind the VIP section. We have a one-way mirror up there so that we can keep an eye on our patrons."
Jake looks sheepish, as he should. I am in complete and utter shock.
"You were spying on me?" I practically yell at him and then remember our surroundings. Now I know why Jake wanted to meet in a public place. And it wasn't only to make me feel better about being with him.
What a jerk.
"I can explain, Bella, please. Just give me a chance." Jake reaches out his hand toward mine and I instantly pull away, clasping my hands in a fist on my lap. "I wasn't spying on you. Fuck, I didn't even know you were still living around here."
Jake takes his hand that's lying awkwardly on the table and pinches the bridge of his nose. I unclench my own hand and decide to hear him out. How could he have known I was going to be there? It wasn't like it was somewhere I hang out all the time.
Not that much has changed after all. I've traded books for cupcakes now and my social life is practically the same as it was when I was in college.
I nod in defeat and wave my hand slightly for him to continue. Words have escaped me.
"I was in my office working late, as usual," Jake continues but still looks cautious of my reaction. "I wasn't really paying any attention to the VIP section. I have a ton of paperwork to do if I'm serious about expanding into a franchise and was solely focused on that."
Jake takes a sip of his coffee and looks down at the table. The hurt puppy dog look would be endearing if I wasn't so pissed at him.
"Just tell me, Jake. And tell me the truth. I can take it," I say quietly, hoping that I will be able to handle it.
"Okay, I got a call that Rosalie Hale had shown up unexpectedly, and I was going to introduce myself and make sure that she had a good time and that she wasn't bothered. I like to take good care of my more "well-known" clients."
While Jacob is talking, I finally start in on my drink that has been oozing condensation since the moment I arrived. I take long pulls from the straw trying to keep my mouth and hands occupied so I don't interrupt more than I should.
"I heard she was in the VIP area, so I went to the window to take a look. Keep an eye out for her and all. I couldn't believe it when I saw you out there with her. I couldn't tear my eyes off you. The way you looked in that red dress, you were gorgeous."
Finally Jake looks intently into my eyes and I see the love he used to give me in them, mixed with a hint of lust.
I look away and take another drink, steeling myself for what is to come.
"So you saw me uninhibited and having fun. So what? That's not reason enough for you to come stalking me. I mean, how did you even find me today, Jake?"
"Look, Bella. It wasn't just that. You did look absolutely fabulous and you seemed so at ease in the club environment. It did make me think. But then when I saw you with him? The way he had his hands on you, the way your bodies moved with one another? I couldn't take it. I was jealous."
I stare at him, incredulous. Anger fuming from my bones.
But it seems that Jake wasn't finished yet.
"That's when I knew I still loved you. How could I feel jealous of some man I didn't even know, for touching you, if it wasn't love? I've been missing something these past few years and now I know it's you. You are the piece of my puzzle."
I just stare at him dumbfounded. If this is what he thinks love is, he has another thing coming.
"Are you kidding me right now, Jacob?" I ask him with a tone of menace. I can tell he's serious and I can't believe it. "Just because you got jealous, you think it's love? You're a guy. It's called lust."
I shake my head at him and push my chair from the table, ready to leave. I've heard enough. But Jake reaches out and grabs me by the wrist, forcing me to stay there.
The pointed look I give him is enough for him to let go. "Bella, please sit down. I'm sorry. This is coming out all wrong."
He's back to the puppy dog eyes again and he gestures to the chair I have partially vacated.
"Please sit down, Bells. I really just want to talk to you. Can we at least be friends?"
"Jake, I'm not so sure we can be friends anymore. I'm seeing someone."
Yeah, I know. I finally got my head and my mouth to work properly. Something I should have done before this conversation got way out of control.
"Is it that guy from the club? I get that, I do." When I don't answer him right away he continues anyway.
"But we had a great friendship and I really want that back. I miss you. I promise I won't ask for more but friends."
Before I can even answer him, Jake sets a business card on the table next to me and gets up to leave.
"Just promise me you'll think about it, okay? As friends, that's all I'm asking."
And with that he's gone. Leaving me sitting there mad, frustrated and completely confused. There is no way I'm starting a friendship with Jake again after all this time.
But there is a part of me, a deep hidden part that is creeping in remembering the good times. I shake my head of them and go home.
A hot shower is just what I need to clear away, not only the grime of the day but the thoughts swirling around in my head. I never imagined running into Jacob, let alone have him confess his undying love to me.
Los Angeles is a huge city and one that you can easily blend in to. Having ex-boyfriends you haven't seen for years turn up is possible, just not likely.
All thoughts of Jacob are pushed to the back of my mind as I slip on some comfy, black yoga pants and a bright pink wife beater and pull my hair up into a messy bun. I heat up some leftovers and settle in to watch the Food Network.
I may be a pretty decent baker but my cooking skills still leave a bit to be desired. And cooking for one hardly seems worth it. Most nights I microwave a dinner for one and call it a night. But watching the cooking shows on the Food Network inspire me that one day when I have someone to make a meal for, I might have some ideas to fall back on.
A few shows later I am at the sink rinsing my dishes and loading them into the dishwasher when my cell phone rings. I smile when I see the name.
Mr. Pouty Lips.
"Hello," I answer, my smile reaching from ear to ear. I wasn't sure if I would hear from him tonight, unsure of how long his meetings usually take.
"Hey, Cupcake Girl. I finished with my meeting and was wondering if I could stop by and see you tonight?"
My heart does a little pitter patter thinking how sweet he is. "Um, sure. When?"
I look down at my clothes and around my kitchen, trying to see everything that should be tidied before he comes.
"How about right now?" he asks, and I hear a knock at my door.
Shit. So much for tidying anything up. I hastily pull my hair out of its bun and try to make it look somewhat presentable.
But once I open the door and see him standing there, looking just as gorgeous as he did in his studio, all my insecurities fall away. I smile, taking in his disarrayed hair. The meeting must have been a bit stressful for him.
"Sorry, I should have given you more notice but I really wanted to see you," he tells me as he steps inside, his eyes sweeping over my body. "You look great."
Before I have the chance to dispute that fact, his lips are on mine in a warm and sensual welcome. My mind loses all thought as my lips meld with his and my arms wrap around his neck pulling him closer.
Edward pulls away after a moment, leaving me breathless and he plants a small, chaste kiss on my nose.
We stand there smiling at each other before I realize that we are still standing in my entryway and I invite him to the couch.
After grabbing Edward a beer from my fridge and pouring myself my second glass of wine for the evening, I settle in on the couch across from him. My feet are tucked up comfortably underneath me and it reminds me of our earlier time in his office today.
It seems like this afternoon was a lifetime away. Bringing Edward and his staff cupcakes, making out like teenagers in his office, and then singing with Rose in Edward's studio.
"Hey," comes the quiet and seductive voice of Edward breaking through my thoughts. "You're too far away."
I look up at his soft, mossy eyes and sidle my way up to him, placing my glass within arm's reach on the coffee table. I lean my back on to his chest and start to relax into him as his arms circle around me.
Edward takes a deep breath and rubs his calloused fingers up and down my arms. "Bella," he begins and I can feel something tighten in his body. "I wanted to come over here to tonight to talk to you in person."
My entire body tenses at his words and my heart rate spikes. All my insecurities heightened since my encounter with Jacob and my brain goes into overdrive.
I make a small nod of my head, telling myself to be brave. I haven't known Edward long enough for this to hurt.
I know it's a lie. And I don't know how much my heart can take.
My immediate reaction brings a groan from Edward and he pulls my body around so that I am facing him.
"Shit. That didn't come out right," he rushes through the words before my brain can catch up. "I just meant that I wanted to see you before I leave."
The tears start to well up despite my battle to hold them back.
"No, Bella. Fuck. I'm really messing this up. I have to go to New York on business for a couple days and wanted to tell you face to face. To see you before I leave in the morning."
He takes the pad of his thumb and brushes away the tear that has made its way down my cheek. His hands once again caress my arms. As clarity dawns on me, a sheepish grin graces my face and I feel like a fool.
I blame it on the alcohol and the emotional roller coaster of a day.
"I'm sorry," I whisper without looking at him. "It's been a long day."
Edward pulls me against his hardened chest and holds me close. He lays a kiss on top of my head and runs his hands soothingly down my hair.
"There's no need for you to apologize, Bella. I should have thought out my words beforehand. But this is all new to me, as well."
We sit there holding onto each other for a few minutes, relishing the closeness and I am thankful that I jumped to the wrong conclusion.
After a few moments, I pull away and look into Edward's eyes. They are filled with contentment but also with a twinge of sadness. "How long will you be gone?"
He brings his hand up to cup my face and quietly answers, "I should be back on Thursday, if all goes well. The Executive Producer wants me to go to New York and see the set. Get an overall feel for the movie before we start on the soundtrack."
I nod my head sagely, listening intently to this new world that he is sharing with me. "Sounds exciting. Have you done this many times?"
"Nope, this is my first foray into the soundtrack realm. So I really want to make sure it gets done right. I also have to meet Collin Brady and help him with the finishing touches on his composition for the soundtrack."
"Collin Brady, the actor?" I ask him, my eyes widen in surprise.
"Yes, he's going to be featured on the album for the very first time. He's actually a great musician but hasn't had much time to hone that skill yet. Being on set has made it a bit more difficult for him, and I hope to help him tie up the loose ends."
"I had no idea he was a musician, too. How multi-talented he is!"
Edward's eyes squint at me with a bit of scrutiny, making me blush. "Do you have a little crush on him, huh, Cupcake Girl?" Edward asks me and the intensity in his eyes is too much for me.
I look away for a second, and Edward grips my shoulders; my eyes snap up at him in concern, but all I see now is a twinkle in his eye.
"Come on, Cupcake Girl. Tell me what it is about Collin Brady that's making you blush."
I shake my head in disbelief, but Edward takes it as a denial. His arms push my shoulders down toward the couch and his fingers slide down to where my tank top has ridden up. The bare skin that is exposed is like a beacon to him and he places his fingers there in a threatening manner.
"Oh, you're going to tell me even if I have to tickle it out of you." I giggle at his playful jealousy and try to push him away.
"Edward, he's just an actor," I start, and his hands creep closer, almost touching but not quite, and I can feel the electricity singe between us.
He quirks his eyebrow at me in disbelief. "Just an actor?" he questions me. "He's pretty good looking."
I accept his taunt and decide to play back. "Well, I'd say he's a little more than "pretty good looking," I tell him with a smile. "He's pretty gorgeous."
The look on Edward's face is priceless and for a moment I lay there in triumph. That is, until he mercilessly starts attacking my sides with his long fingers.
"Oh, you're going to pay for that," he growls and attacks both of my sides until I can't see, tears of laughter streaming down my face.
"Okay, okay. I give." I try to raise my hands in a gesture of surrender, but Edward is still tickling anything within reach. "He's definitely not as good looking as you."
The hands stop their unrelenting fight as Edward's lips crash into mine. His hands become softer but still not very tender as they roughly slide up under my shirt. Both his hands and mouth claiming mine in an act of possessiveness.
I give in easily and as my own hands are now free I bring them up to his back, caressing him as he attacks my breast. I moan into his mouth and can feel my body letting go.
All of the tension from the day is waiting for its release and my body can't help but to start rubbing up against him, creating the friction that it craves.
Edward groans at my movements and tears his mouth away from mine. He kisses relentlessly across my jaw and under my ear, taking my lobe into his mouth and sucking it in.
He's hit the sweet spot and my body arches up into his. But before I can truly appreciate it, he moves lower. Nipping and kissing my neck until his mouth is on my breast. My tank top is now up to my neck and his hands are moving lower to the place that is practically aching for him.
His long fingers slide under the waistband of my pants and my whole body tingles in anticipation. Our mouths are back to kissing and there is nothing gentle about it. Teeth clash, tongues collide. It's almost like both of us are staking a claim on each other before he leaves.
My hands move of their own volition, as do my hips. I raise my hips slightly in hopes that Edward will get the hint and my fingers move to the waistband of his jeans.
I am not sure what makes me so brazen when I'm with Edward, but I need him inside me now and am giving him all the unspoken signals.
Edward lets out a hiss as my fingers reach the top button of his jeans and graze his clothed-covered erection. I'm surprised when he grabs my hand and holds it tightly over my head. But it's hot as hell, so I don't mind waiting.
My breath hitches, though, and my heart rate spikes. Suddenly Edward stills, he lets out an agonizing sound and looks me in the eyes.
For a split second I see what looks like pain but then just as fast it's gone and his mouth is laying gentle kisses on my swollen lips. The look of pain, all but forgotten.
Edward pulls away slightly and he looks down lovingly into my eyes, his forehead resting on mine. "I'm so sorry, Bella. I have to go. My flight is really early in the morning and I still have to pack."
I try to mask the confusion and sadness that I'm sure is pouring out on my face. Obviously, I fail as I hear Edward's next words.
"I hate to leave you like this, I really do. But I want to do this right, Bella, and me leaving straight after is not what I want to happen."
He smiles a sad smile, and I return a shy one of my own. "It's okay, I understand."
I slowly start to sit up and straighten my clothes and hair back into a more modest appearance. Edward leans in and kisses me one more time on the lips. It's strong and hard, but also quick, as well.
"I'm gonna miss you," he tells me quietly, and I murmur in agreement.
My mind and body is still pulsing from the previous adrenalin rush and I can't quite think clear enough to respond.
I finally get enough of my wits together to walk him to the door and we kiss goodbye. This time much sweeter as his lips linger on mine. I revel in the touch and as I watch him walk down the path I place my fingers to my lips.
I'm going to cherish that kiss the entire time he is gone.
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