I do not own Twilight or Made of Honor. All publicly recognizable entities belong to their respective owners. No copyright infringement intended. Thanks to my PTB betas JulieToo, Jcat5507 and mcc101180.
Summary: Best friends Bella and Edward have a deal—if they're not married by the time they're 30, they'll marry each other. While she's been searching for Mr. Right, he's been busy with Miss. Right Now. Would you be happy seeing your long-time love say 'I do' to someone else? BxE, M
Mate of Honor
The night city air is cold. It's telling me that fall has definitely arrived and that winter's on its way. I pull the collar of my coat higher and stuff my hands deeper into my pockets. I'm only now seriously regretting the decision not to wear gloves. Smart, right? It's been a long day—the same as any other this week. Get up, run, work, lunch, work, work more, go home. Then come home, eat, watch TV, sleep. Lather, rinse, and do it all again tomorrow.
I stop at the crosswalk and wait for the lights to change. I could have driven to work, but when I left this morning, I had no idea how late I'd stay at the office. I thought, being a Friday, I'd finish earlier than this. I brave the cold briefly as I take my left hand out of my pocket to check my watch—7:30PM. On a Friday.
The city streets are gradually filling with happy couples and groups of younger girls, dressed in way too little for such a chilled evening. I'd sound old if I said that girls didn't dress like that "back in my day." But I'm twenty-nine. Twenty-nine isn't old. Really—it's not.
I turn onto the street that houses my apartment building. I've lived there for three years but find that I still can't call it "home." "Home" is a small town half a continent away. The tallest things are not buildings, but trees that reach as high as the eye can see. Well, as high as the eye can see when the eye belongs to a seven year old. When you're seven, everything is pretty damn high. And, if you can't see the top of it, seven-year-old logic tells you that it obviously reaches the sky.
The bar across the street from my building beckons, promising me drinks to warm my insides and maybe a body to warm my bed. It'd be an easy way to squash the lonely that knocks at my window each night, but strangely for me, it's fairly unappealing right now.
I just need to wait ten more months. In ten more months, I'll be on a plane to Nevada, where promises made in the desert mean the end to cold lonely nights forever.
It's an extension of a promise made beneath the trees long ago.
I wave at the doorman on my way to the elevator. He nods his gray head in return before turning his attention back to the tiny screen that sits behind the high desk. There must be a game on—when there's a game on, Harry has a tiny TV that garners much of his attention.
Occasionally we make small talk. Having both come from small towns, albeit at opposite ends of the continent, we have something to bond over. We share short stories of high school football games that the whole town shuts down to watch, and bake sales in which the resident Church group unleashes their best home bakers on the town. We discuss bake-sale specialties—in Harry's case, his favorite is apple pie. In my world, it's pumpkin. And then we return to our evening activities—he to his job, me to my apartment, where pumpkin pies are substituted with reheated leftovers.
I play with my keys as I ride the elevator to my floor. When I moved into this building, I took an apartment on the fifteenth floor so I'd have the best view I could afford. My apartment is comfortable enough for a single person. My living room boasts a flat-screen, a huge, wall-sized shelf dedicated to my books and a big, comfy arm chair. The kitchen is clean and uncluttered and has the perfect arrangement for cooking. It's only a little sad that most of my meals are for one, although I prefer to do most of my entertainingelsewhere. I have a guest room that is infrequently used and a small home office that is used even less. Long hours at work give little reason to use the desk I have these days.
My bedroom is also uncluttered and simply decorated. There's no plethora of cushions to adorn my bed, and the hardwood floors easy to maintain. The adjoining bathroom contains the essentials and serves its purpose well.
Yep—it's the perfect apartment for a single person.
I unlock my door and drop the keys into the bowl on the hall table. After shrugging out of my bulky coat and hanging it in the closet behind the front door, I rub my hands together in an attempt to warm them. A quick glance at the answering machine shows no glowing light—no messages. I open the fridge, grab a beer, and mentally remind myself to do some grocery shopping over the weekend.
After dialing for a pizza, I toe off my shoes and sink into the couch. I prop my feet on the coffee table and grin—I do it every time because I know I'd never get away with that at my parents' place. My head rests back, and I stare at the ceiling, breathing out a deep puff of air and causing the hair that's falling in my eyes to lift. Despite knowing there's nothing on, I flick on the TV and channel surf until my dinner arrives.
I collect my phone and scroll through my contacts. I could call someone and go out. Maybe Angela for drinks? Or Jessica—she's always good for a laugh. There's always Leah…
I toss my cell back onto the coffee table and sink further into the couch. Staying in sounds like a good idea, too. It really has been a long week.
Sipping my beer and going back to flicking through channels, I ask myself again why—why do I work myself to the bone? I mean, it's not like I need the money. My grandfather left me a decent inheritance that I got control of when I turned twenty-one, and I made some smart investment choices. Add that to the chair I patented once I started working as an industrial designer, I'm pretty much set for life. Who'd have known that when I started studying fine arts, I'd end up in furniture design? The chair in question started off as a gimmick—a miniature sized, ergonomic prototype that caught the attention of the head of the Chicago school board, who told an acquaintance who just ended up being the former senator of Illinois. Next thing I knew, they were in every new elementary school in America, with me as the patent owner.
Not bad for a kid from a small town.
My work as a designer downtown is now simply for fun. I tend to come up with unique pieces for the Midwest's elite, although I do have some clients in New York that are partial to my more experimental stuff.
My phone rings, buzzing about in its place on the glass molded coffee table. I reach for it, smiling as the familiar song rings throughout the room. My best friend, and fifteen-year-ago promise, programmed it into my phone on our last vacation together.
"Hey, whore. What are you up to?"
I snicker at my best friend's nickname for me. It's not unjustified, however. "Just at home."
"On a Friday night? God, what's happened to you? Getting old?"
I snicker. "Twenty-nine is not old. And it's only three months older than you anyway."
"Which means you're always going to be three months older than me."
"Well, that's how things work. So yes. I will be." I smile into the empty room. "What are you doing?"
I can hear cutlery clinking against plates. "Eating lunch. In the sunshine."
"Shut up. It's freezing here."
I shiver involuntarily. "No."
"How is it there, anyway?"
"Fucking beautiful, to be honest. I'm sitting in a cafe, eating lunch overlooking the river." I can hear swallowing.
I look over at the fridge, picking out the postcard that has been held there by one of the ugliest magnets you've ever seen. Koalas aren't meant to have red eyes, are they? "I wish you wouldn't call me when you're eating."
"You don't want me to call?" More swallowing. "'Cause I'm always eating."
I chuckle. "Don't I know it. I can order a large pizza now and actually get leftovers."
"Hell no. Mushrooms are disgusting."
"Pfft." The universal sound of disagreement hisses through the phone.
I stretch my legs further, pointing and flexing my toes. "So why are you calling? Nobody else to torment?"
"What? Can't I call my best friend?"
"Of course you can." I can hear my own voice softening. "I just don't think you called to tell me you were eating lunch."
Again, that laugh—I'll never get sick of the sound. "Okay, I'll cut to the chase." A gulp, that sounds more like drinking than eating. "I'm letting you off the hook."
"The one that ties you to me forever."
My heart falters. "What do you mean?"
"I'm doing it! I'm really doing it!"
"Edward, I'm getting married!" Bella laughs again, that husky chuckle that I've loved all my life, and the world falls away from my feet. "And I want you to be my mate of honor!"
A/N: No defined posting schedule for this one, I'll fit it in around Yosemite Decimal.
Should I post more? Let me know what you think :)