This was my contribution to Fandom for Ovarian Cancer from a while back... I just never posted it anywhere besides submitting it for the compilation... so I hope you all enjoy it!
Beta'd by: texasbella & Midnight Cougar
Summary: Years of longing... overturned by a simple bet and discovering that the heart... and other parts of their anatomy... truly want what they want.
Peter Johnson is pure sex on a pair of gorgeous legs.
Bella knows this; she's known it since the first time she ever laid eyes on the guy. Shooting male models who are too snobby to date her is bad enough, so working with an impossibly hot art director is a constant struggle. It takes her four months—four months, three weeks and six days to be exact—to get up the courage to start talking to him, but Alice is the only one counting. Rosalie thinks it's fucking pathetic—her words—how somebody as bubbly and confident as Bella can't gather the nerves to just ask the fuck-hot man out. Bella thinks that's just because Rose hasn't figured out that Bella may be 'bubbly' and 'confident', but she's also sixty percent goofy and forty percent brain-to-mouth-filter impaired.
Which is why the first sentence that comes out of her mouth right, after Lauren's suggestion, consists of nothing more than the most inventive curse word in the history of all curse words.
"I'm serious, Bella," says Lauren, her head lolling back against the plush couch. Lauren might be way more drunk then she realizes, or maybe even high on something, Bella isn't sure. "It's a genius plan."
"It's a stupid plan, and I'll be completely humiliated and get laughed at by Peter Johnson," Bella says dryly.
Jessica shrugs, blowing on her freshly painted fingernails. "At least you'll get him to notice you."
"Oh, please. I'm not that desperate," Bella huffs.
Lauren snorts, "Of course you are."
Bella sighs and throws herself down into the armchair. "Okay, maybe I am. But that doesn't mean your plan isn't stupid."
"I don't know, B. It could work," Alice pipes up, patting Bella's thigh sympathetically.
Bella narrows her eyes at her. "You just want to see me try and hit on a random, unsuspecting guy and be all awkward and embarrassing, verbal diarrhea and all. Just admit it."
"Well, I admit that it will be entertaining to watch," she grins.
Bella groans. "I hate all of you."
"This is a plot. You guys are plotting against me," Bella groans, shaking her head, "unbelievable."
Rose crosses her legs elegantly, sipping on her wine. "Are you kidding? It's a dare, B. By definition it means you have the right not to accept it."
"Yeah, and you of all people know that I can never back down from a dare," Bella mutters, pinning her with a death glare.
Rose leans across the sticky table and cocks an eyebrow at Bella challengingly. "Tough."
Alice decides to abandon her attempt to blow a smoke ring and scoffs around the cigarette between her lips. "Face it, B. You're charming and all, but you can't flirt to save your life."
"Me dating some random guy isn't going to make Peter jealous," Bella scowls.
Rose puts up a finger, a wicked gleam in her eyes. "Not just any random guy. A guy just as pretty as, if not prettier than, Peter Johnson."
"And we," Alice adds with more glee than Bella thinks is really necessary, "get to choose the dude. From this bar. Tonight. All you gotta do is date him for a couple of weeks, get Peter jealous, and bam! He'll be yours in no time. Everybody wins."
"That sounds a little too cruel," Bella points out. "And I don't trust any of you guys to pick the guy for me. Lauren dated that gross stoner guy last year, the one she claimed to be 'sizzling sexy', and Jessica wouldn't know a hot guy if one bit her on the ass. Remember, Jake? He looked like his face had been smacked with a brick. Total dog."
"Fine," says Alice, shrugging. "I have great taste in men. I'll pick."
Bella allows herself a minute to think about it. It sounds just as ridiculous as the first time Lauren suggested it, but she doesn't really have anything to lose. It'll either work and Peter will become jealous and realize what a fantastic catch Bella is, or the plan fails, she wins the bet and her friends owe her a whole lot of money. Plus, she really does have a thing about backing down from a dare.
"Bring it on," she says, trying to ignore the almost-manic grin Alice is directing at her. She's ogling someone at the bar, over Bella's shoulder, and Bella's almost too afraid to look.
She makes a satisfied noise that Bella never wants to hear from her again and leans back in her seat like her work is done. "He will do nicely, don't you think?"
Rose follows her line of gaze and her jaw drops slightly. "Jesus fuck, that guy is pretty."
Lauren looks like she's swallowed her tongue and she starts to chant 'I have a boyfriend' under her breath over and over, so Bella decides to turn around and face the music, so to speak.
In her line of work, Bella's used to seeing a dozen or so pretty people in the run of a day. She's not supposed to be stunned by any level of attractiveness, save for Peter Johnson's. But this guy totally has the everything-in-the-place-appears-to-be-frozen-except-for-the-hot-guy-at-the-bar effect on her. He has broad shoulders and carelessly tousled hair and crinkles around his eyes when he throws his head back to laugh, and Bella can't stop staring.
"What are you waiting for, tiger?" Alice's voice shakes her out of her reverie. "Go get him."
Bella clears her throat and adjusts her top, running one hand through her hair to tame it a little. "Prepare to be dazzled," she announces as she stands up.
It probably would've sounded less lame if she hadn't tripped over Alice's chair as she walked away.
One of two things will happen if Bella tries to talk to an attractive man. One is she'll end up grinning until they approach her first, or two, she'll start talking non-stop until they take pity and ask her out just to shut her up. When 'Hot Bar Guy' notices Bella standing at his elbow and sends her a smile, Bella completely freezes up and a combination of both happens. She can only imagine how creepy she looks, mumbling nonsense through grinning teeth.
Hot Bar Guy—whose eyes are very, very green—blinks and tilts his head adorably. "I'm sorry," he says, voice like roughened honey dripping with sex. "Could you repeat that?"
Bella takes a sharp, deep breath and exhales, leaning against the bar as her knees buckle. "God, I'm so fucking sorry. I'm not always this huge of a moron. Okay, I probably am, but I'm usually much more articulate than this. I mean—"
Green Eyes is smiling at her, the healthy tint of pink on his cheekbones highlighting the light spray of freckles across his nose. "Hi, I'm Edward," he says, letting her off the hook.
Bella feels like she could kiss the guy silly, but she sags in relief instead. "Oh, thank fuck. I'm Bella. I'm so sorry to ambush you like this."
"It's okay," Green Eyes says, the amused lilt still in his tone, thankfully. "I didn't really feel threatened or anything."
Bella laughs nervously and catches the smug look on her friends' faces out of the corner of her eye. Edward's still smiling at her and Bella can feel the dollar bills slipping through her fingers already so she decides to woman up. "I don't normally do this, but do you think you can pretend to be my boyfriend?"
Edward looks like he's been asked the same question over and over, and he probably has, 'cause he is really fucking pretty, but he still gets a furrow between his eyebrows as he asks, "Excuse me?"
He doesn't sound mad, just curious and Bella hurries to explain, "I'm sorry, again, that sounded so wrong. It's just that my friends dared me to come up here and hit on you so that I could date you for a couple of weeks, and I couldn't really say no to a dare, it's like a disease or something, but I'm really very terrible at talking to fuck-hot guys like you, so you'd really be helping me out if you agree to be my pretend boyfriend for two weeks and go on pretend dates with me."
"Oh-kay," Edward says slowly, like he's giving Bella time to catch a breath after her long tirade, but maybe also like he's talking to someone with a mental disability. "I get where you're coming from, but I'm not sure if my girlfriend would be too thrilled with that."
The gorgeous strawberry blonde who's sitting next to Edward raises her hand in a tiny wave and Bella thinks she could die. "Oh, fuck," she groans and smacks her forehead. "Oh, sweet baby Jesus. I'm so, so very sorry."
She shrugs, her lips tilting in a smirk. "Hey, it happens," she says, as if she didn't just hear some weirdo propositioning her boyfriend in a darkened bar.
"I'll tell you what," Edward says, reaching for a napkin to scribble something on. "Here's my number. If you can't find somebody else, just give me a call and I'll see what I can do."
Bella's about to explain that anybody else wouldn't do, but she's stuck staring at the neat, loopy handwriting until she realizes that Edward's leaving, his equally attractive girlfriend hanging onto his well-toned arm. And then she does the only thing she can do.
"Start saving up, bitches," she crows, waving the napkin at her friends' table as she struts shamelessly back towards them. "I've got his fucking phone number."
And yeah, that was totally a peanut on the floor that she slipped on as she fell into her seat.
Bella has to convince herself that dumping Edward after two weeks of 'pretend dating' won't make her a complete bitch, since he knows it up front, but by the time she finally does that, it's been three days. The good news is that her friends completely buy into her bullshit, the bad being that she somehow needs to convince Edward that fake-dating her for a measly fee is harmless.
All the pep talks she's been giving herself falls like lead into the pit of her stomach when she discovers where Edward is living. It pretty much looks like the fifteen hundred dollar bet she's ready to split with him would be chump change for the guy. The doorman points Bella in the direction of the elevator and she counts her own heartbeat as it ascends to the sixteenth floor.
Edward opens the door on the second knock and it's fucking unfair how sexy he looks in his washed grey tee shirt and stupid messy hair and thick-framed glasses. "Hi, Bella," he says cheerily, holding the door open while being all barefooted and hot.
"Uh, hey," Bella manages, stepping inside before the neighbors can see her practically drooling all over the hallway carpet. "Nice place."
"Thanks. Sorry about the mess. I'm working on something."
Bella tries to figure out what Edward does for a living from the array of papers over his coffee table but before she can, a girly voice interrupts her thought. "Hey, sweetie, have you seen my-oh! Hi, Bella. We didn't really get to meet the other night. I'm Tanya."
Edward's girlfriend obviously is dressed to kill. If Bella wasn't so very straight, she'd probably be trying to put her eyeballs back in their sockets. Tanya doesn't seem fazed at all, just breezes on past to grab her purse, kisses Edward on the cheek real quick and sashays to the front door.
"Meeting with those agency people from work, E. Don't wait up," she singsongs. "Oh, and nice to see you again, Bella."
"So you guys live together, huh?" Bella asks lamely when Tanya's gone and Edward's motioned for her to take a seat.
Edward nods, moving to gather his work into a neater pile. "Since after college. She's a neat freak and I'm kind of messy so we—uh," he pauses for some reason, seemingly reluctant to continue.
"Fit just right?" Bella attempts, laughing through the awkward silence. "You two met in college, then?"
Edward's sort of frozen in place, blinking huge green eyes at Bella from across the coffee table. "High school, actually," he manages after clearing his throat.
Bella feels like she should have a kind comment about that, something like 'that's so sweet' or 'good for you' or something, but she's still antsy about Edward agreeing to help her out so she figures it'll be better to get that out of the way first. "Thank you for saying yes, by the way."
Edward waves her off casually. "Not a problem. I have friends like that. I know how it is."
"Are you sure?" Bella wants to take it back once she hears it out loud. "I didn't mean to sound suspicious. It's just that, well, I didn't think you would."
"It'll just be a couple of weeks of hanging out and getting dinners together and stuff, right?" Edward shrugs. "It's no big deal. I can handle it."
"You're surprisingly cool about this."
"I'm a chef. I'm used to going with my gut feeling," Edward says, beaming.
You're hot and you cook, Bella thinks of saying but Edward bends down to fetch a stray paper off the floor and her brain short-circuits a little bit. "Great. So you'll be good at improv, right?"
"Definitely," Edward says. "I hope you don't mind me asking, but why did your friends choose me?"
Bella twists a lock of her hair around her fingers nervously in preparation for the oncoming embarrassment. "They bet that I couldn't snag someone as pretty as you."
Edward snorts, and still manages to look adorable. "Someone as hot as you? No way."
"Nah. I'm attractive. You're gorgeous."
Edward's face flushes pink. "Um. You want to lay down some ground rules?"
Bella shifts in her seat and nods. "Yeah, sure."
Bella's a lucky bitch. She might just be the luckiest bitch on the planet. Any other guy with a girlfriend would've turned tail and ran in the other direction when he heard the phrase 'PDA might be involved but may not be limited to kissing'.
Edward simply accepts the whole thing and even suggests they have their 'first date' to discuss more details. Bella panics momentarily and then picks some fancy restaurant, but tells Edward just to meet her there so she can panic some more on the ride over. Edward's early and he's already talking to the staff, grinning at something the hostess said. He sees Bella and waves, looking heartbreakingly fuckable in his suit.
"Wow, you look good," Bella manages and chokes on her spit a little when Edward bites his lower lip playfully. "Um. Do you want to start right away?"
Edward doesn't seem put off by Bella's tactlessness, still smiling as he nods. "Sure, if you want to start. I think we've only got the small details to figure out, yeah?"
"Think so. How do you want to do this? I mean, my friends are fucking vultures so they'll probably grill you for intimate information whenever they have the chance."
"So we better cover all of our bases, then," Edward grins. "Maybe I could ask you a whole lot of questions, personal stuff, you know, so they won't be able to catch me off guard?"
"You just want to ask embarrassing questions about me," Bella teases.
"If you want to believe that," Edward teases back, sipping his water.
They order their food and dive right in, inane things that a boyfriend should know—favorite food, favorite drink, favorite band. Edward asks Bella about her exes with a sly smile on his face and Bella lists them out in one breath without providing much detail.
"What?" Bella makes a face. "You've been with one person since high school, right? That's, like, what, two, three tops?"
"Right," Edward murmurs, wiping the corner of his mouth with his napkin. "So. Let's get on with the juicy details."
"Shoot," Bella shrugs, taking a sip from her glass of iced tea.
"Favorite position," Edward says, all straight-faced and serious.
Bella spends a little over fifteen seconds choking and coughing on her iced tea before her throat clears, eyes watering. "What?"
"You know," Edward waves his fork around nonchalantly. "Sexual positions. Preferences."
"Um," Bella purses her lips, trying to figure out if the couple next to their table had totally heard what they're discussing. "I guess…uh... reverse cowgirl?"
Edward spears a piece of potato with his fork, smirking. "What a coincidence. I like a woman on top."
It's a decent joke, but Bella's too rattled to even laugh, something caught in her throat—her breath or her heart or her tongue—she doesn't even know. "Of course," she says in a weird combination of a snicker and a scoff. "That'll go over well with my friends," she adds nervously, raising her eyebrows.
"Well," Edward smiles, arranging his cutlery on the plate neatly, "that's good."
Things rarely fall into place for Bella. So when she expects to spend Monday at work, yet again mooning over Peter Johnson giving directives to scantily clad models and greasy biker studs in wife-beaters and gets something else, it somewhat throws things off kilter.
She's all lined up for the shoot, the weight of her trusty camera in her hands comforting. It'll be a straightforward shoot today, something for an up and coming clothing line. Bella swears, though, that if she sees one more generic pouty-faced pose again, she'll start to throw things around.
"How's my favorite photographer this morning?"
Bella lets the warmth from Peter's palm seep through her cotton t-shirt before she reacts, cradling her camera like a child. "Inspired," she says, not even caring if it's cheesy as hell. Peter beams at her, patting her shoulder like the good boss he is and turns to introduce someone standing behind him.
"Excellent. I think she'll be glad to know that," says Peter, poking a thumb in the client's direction. "Bella, this is the line's creator and designer, Tanya Denali. Tanya, this is our best photographer, Bella Swan. I think you'll be in good hands."
Bella grins, a half way 'oh shit' kind of grin, and speaks, "Tanya! Imagine meeting you here," as she silently pleads for Tanya not to say anything about Edward, and then changes her plea to hoping she does, if it's the right thing. Edward is supposed to be making Peter jealous after all.
Peter looks from Tanya to Bella and back, "Wait, you two know each other?"
Tanya almost smirks, an amused tilt to her lips. "Yes, we've already gotten to know each other on an interesting level, actually."
"Oh, well, isn't that nice. Tanya and I met in college," Peter explains, and Bella feels like all the air has exited her body, leaving her crumpled at the bottom of her own lie. "How do you guys know one another?" Peter asks and Bella shoots a deer in the headlights look at Tanya.
"You remember Edward?" Tanya chirps, changing the subject Bella realizes, as Edward emerges from behind her back with still-damp hair and a leather jacket, giving Peter a friendly wave. "He had to drop me off. My car's still in the shop." The words are garbled because Bella's still fixating on the still damp hair and the fact that it means he was naked recently... but she has Peter right here too... and it's confusing at best.
"Dude, of course!" Peter exclaims excitedly, shaking Edward's hand with fervor. "I'm still beating myself over the head for not snatching you up for a modeling gig the first time we met."
Edward blushes and rubs the back of his neck. "You gotta stop that," he says and then turns to smile—wider—at Bella. "Hey," he murmurs softly and much to Bella's, and she's pretty sure everyone-in-viewing-distances', surprise leans in to kiss her briefly on the lips.
"Hi," Bella manages once she gets her breath back, aware that Peter's staring at them like they've just grown two heads each. "I didn't know you were coming," she mumbles out.
Edward shrugs, hands shoved into his jeans pockets. "Tanya needed a ride, and I remember you telling me about this shoot, so... Just wanted to surprise you, that's all."
"Let me tell you something," Peter jumps in after a few beats of intense silence. "Nobody's more surprised than I am. I mean, Jesus, Swan. I didn't know you even ever dated anyone."
"What? I do!" Bella protests with what she thinks is a little too much passion.
Peter grins sheepishly, like he's trying to say something in the least insulting way. "Well, I mean, you've always been so… awkward around me that I thought you were uncomfortable."
Even though she knows Edward won't even care, Bella feels like her head could burst any second from the embarrassment. "No," she manages. "Guess I'm just a stupid spaz."
Peter laughs and ducks his head in apology, having the decency to blush down to his neck. "Sorry, I didn't mean to—" he coughs uncomfortably before placing one hand against the flat of Edward's chest and patting, his fingers lingering for a heartbeat. "Well, Swan, you've snagged a real hottie right here. Perhaps you could lure him to the dark side and get him to take some test shots with us?"
Bella's tracking the movement of Peter's hand like a hawk so she missed her cue by a couple of seconds. "Sure, I'll try," she says, pasting on a ridiculous grin.
Peter's hand has moved away from Edward's front, but Bella can't help but notice that it isn't moving far away from Edward. Peter's always been a touchy-feely kind of guy, but Bella's never seen him so handsy before, especially not when the other person is clearly taken. Even if Tanya is really Edward's girlfriend and Bella is just pretending to be, Peter shouldn't be hitting on him regardless. Why would Peter be hitting on Edward in the first place? Peter's not gay. Peter Johnson cannot be gay, there's just no fucking way that is possible.
As the shoot progresses through the day, Bella can't really concentrate on her work, finding herself stealing glances off to the side where Edward is standing with Tanya and by extension, Peter. They seem to be hitting it off, laughing at each other's jokes and moving into each other's spaces. Tanya doesn't seem to mind being sandwiched between the two—who in their right mind would, Bella supposes—but Tanya's not totally against Peter being all over her boyfriend either, which Bella doesn't understand... the fact that Tanya doesn't mind, and the fact that Peter is looking more like he bats for the other team with every passing minute.
Tanya looks up when one of the interns informs her that it's going to be the last frame and she drags Edward along with her. As she's saying nice things to Bella about her artistic angles and choices, Bella remembers that she's currently allowing her boyfriend to be Bella's pretend boyfriend. So maybe she just feels way more secure in her relationship with Edward than Bella thinks is possible. As for Peter, well, Bella is trying to convince herself he's just being extra friendly because they have a history.
The shit hits the fan when Peter invites everyone on the set for drinks after work. It's a nice, semi-quiet place with dance numbers that don't actually make Bella want to poke her own eardrums out. The only thing about it is everybody is always expected to dance. Bella's been successful in escaping it by pretending to be in deep conversations with near strangers or offering to get everyone's drinks at the bar, but tonight, with Edward at her side, it's a little too hard to make excuses.
Peter's actually talking to Tanya and not pawing at Edward for once and it gives Bella some time to enjoy the way Edward's thigh is pressing against her own, time to realize that the ever growing apparent attraction Peter seems to have for Edward doesn't even bother her. He can be gay for all she cares, especially when she's sitting so close to Edward. It's only when Edward speaks first, that she realizes how quiet she's being.
"Do you want to dance?" Edward's invitation sounds more polite than anything so Bella shakes her head, takes another sip from her bottle.
"No thanks. I don't want to get your feet all swollen."
Edward's about to say something to that when Peter cuts in excitedly. "This song is awesome. Tanya, come and dance with me!"
"My feet will murder me in the morning if I try to dance in these heels," Tanya says, lifting one foot as a point.
"I'll dance with you."
Both Bella and Peter are staring at Edward as he finishes what's left of his drink and hops out of his seat with a genuine smile on his face. He doesn't wait for either Bella or Peter to respond before heading to the dance floor, head already bobbing to the music. Peter cocks an eyebrow at Bella in place of asking for her permission and Bella gives him a faint nod only to find herself staring at the two grinding away at the beat of Justin Timberlake through narrowed eyes.
She's pretty sure she's had too much to drink or something, because she's beyond confused. Tanya doesn't seem to mind her boyfriend pretending to be other people's boyfriends, and said boyfriend is currently on the dance floor with another man. Not to mention, the other man is Peter Johnson, and up until this morning Bella had absolutely no indication whatsoever that he might be gay… but if Peter's gay, or at least somewhat interested in men, does that mean that Edward is… she lets the jumbled thought trail off, refusing to believe it could be true.
"Yeah, Edward's idea of dancing is rubbing against someone's legs," Tanya says innocently, sipping her drink. "Maybe you should join them."
Again, Bella doesn't think about how Tanya's giving her permission to rub up against her boyfriend in public, just sucks down the last of her beer and trudges up to Peter and Edward. Peter goes away without protest when Bella asks to cut in and Edward steps up to her without saying a word, smelling fucking incredible and warm. Bella catches Peter's eyes from across the room, grabs hold of Edward's shoulders and grazes her lips against Edward's stubble-rough jaw. Edward looks up at her with his moist lips parted, and doesn't say a thing.
When Bella asks Edward to the launch party for Tanya's company, she doesn't expect a yes. When Edward smiles and nods and says, "sure," Bella can barely contain the glee on her face. But then she remembers that it's Edward's girlfriend's party and he's promised to pretend to be Bella's boyfriend and in reality, Bella's still a loser who can't ever get a guy as hot as Edward to date her for real and it's all mighty depressing.
So depressing, in fact, that when Tanya says she can, Bella invites her friends—the ones she's betting against—just so she won't kill herself. They immediately crowd around Edward once he arrives next to Bella, and Edward answers all their asinine questions like a pro, but Bella can't even fake a smile to join him. Just when she thinks the night is a massive failure, Peter walks into the room, alone and gorgeous and grinning like he owns the whole place. Alice catches Bella looking and tilts her chin in question. Bella assures her with a tiny smile and a shake of her head and goes back to pathetically wishing that the entire thing wasn't a farce.
By the time Bella's downed six drinks and slumped onto the stool next to Alice at the bar, she's forgotten the real reason she's feeling miserable. Until she sees Peter and Edward in the corner, hips pressed together like they have a right to be, Edward throwing his head back to laugh at something Peter's telling him.
"Fuck," Bella groans, head almost lolling against the sticky bar top. "I must have the suckiest sense of gay ever. How the fuck can he be gay?"
Alice doesn't even turn to look at them. "Which one?"
"Peter," Bella spits the name out like it's not the same one she moaned out when she was working herself off a week ago. "First, he didn't even realize that I 'date' when I've been throwing myself at him for forever," she pauses to burp, classy woman that she is, and Alice looks like she wants to say something but doesn't, so Bella continues, "and Edward's not interested, he has a girlfriend and he's flirting his dick off over there."
"And you're mad because he still isn't noticing you even when you parade around with a total hunk on your arm?" Alice takes a guess, eyes narrowed on her.
"Fucking Peter Johnson," Bella growls, watching as Edward's fingers trip up Peter's chest to toy with his opened collar. "Nothing's working."
Alice nods like she understands everything but then asks, "I'm sorry, but who are you jealous of now, Edward or Peter?"
Bella wants to answer her, because it should be simple, but then Edward's nose is tucked against the crook of Peter's neck and Bella's off her seat before she can even think twice about it. Edward sways back a little when Bella roughly pulls on his arm but Peter's eyes are wide with genuine surprise. Or maybe even fear.
"I think he might be drunk," Peter says.
Bella glares at him even as Edward jerks himself out of Bella's grip. "You think?"
Peter holds his hands up and steps away. "I'll just get out of here."
Bella whirls around to look at Edward next and feels like she's been punched in the gut when she realizes that Edward's completely sober. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"You blind or something?" Edward snaps, laughing humorlessly. "I was trying to get laid. I'm surprised you don't recognize the move."
Bella looks around before tugging Edward out of the room and into the empty hallway. "What are you doing? You have a girlfriend, you can't be gay if you have a girlfriend," she hisses.
Edward snorts, pushing himself away from Bella to lean against the wall, bow legs astride something invisible. Bella wants to be that something, but she pushes the thought away when Edward says, "Tanya's not my girlfriend."
Edward's lied to her and she wants to know why. Instead she's pushing up against Edward and crushing their mouths together without even thinking about it. She steps back before Edward can react, before the inevitable rejection, but she has a feeling the trepidation is clear on her face. Edward looks more resigned than furious and Bella's about to apologize when she's being dragged away, shoved into the bathroom and mauled right there against the unlocked door.
Edward's tongue is hot and slick inside her mouth, he's making these satisfied noises and Bella can even feel his dick twitch, and it's a torture for her to pull away. "Wait—this isn't."
Edward's green, green eyes are blown wide, dark. "Not what you want?"
It's such a ridiculous idea that Bella almost laughs. "No, no. But you're... I mean, I just thought… aren't you gay?"
Edward doesn't respond to that, doesn't even blink, just takes Bella's hand and slides it downward, tight between their bodies. Edward's incredibly, undeniably hard, and Bella can feel her own arousal seeping into her thin panties. They're kissing again instantly, Edward tugging on Bella's hair and Bella's retaliating by pulling harshly on Edward's until he can't help but groan and tilt his head back for Bella, neck bared for her to feast on. Their fingers are restless, tearing buttons and zippers to get straight to the main prize. Edward bucks and moans so desperately when Bella wraps one hand around him, ass hitching up the marble sink in his attempt to get closer. There's nothing gentle about it, Bella's fist is almost punishing, pre-come sticky and not nearly enough to lessen the friction. Edward's breathless gasps are the only indication that he's enjoying this, face all screwed up as Bella kisses and nips his collarbone. And then his eyes burst open and faster than Bella can react, their positions are switched and Edward's on his knees, yanking her pants and underwear out of the way.
"Jesus, fuck," Bella stutters, automatically cradling the back of Edward's head as he slurps and tongues and sucks Bella's pussy like it's the only thing he wants to do for the rest of his life. It's an incredible thought to get lost in and Bella's too distracted to notice when Edward starts to lick and nip at her clit. It's too easy to tumble off the edge after that and she whines when Edward stops licking her pussy and nibbles on her bottom lip instead. Edward doesn't stop until she's writhing and jerking like a teenager, trying to catch her breath against the side of Edward's neck. Bella realizes that Edward still hasn't come when he starts to rut against the cut of Bella's hip, but when she tries to use her hand, Edward slams her wrist against the wall and fucks through Bella's still slick folds and presses his dick up against her stomach before shooting all over them both.
It's messy and Edward's lips are red and swollen and Bella wants to kiss him again, let him know that yes, she'd like more please, but Edward pulls away, cleans himself up at the sink swiftly and walks out without turning back once, leaving Bella half-naked and more confused than ever.
"You look like shit," Rose says plainly, noisily crunching down on her cereal as she takes the seat opposite from Bella.
"Thank God you're here," Alice groans next to Bella. "I'm too polite to point that out."
Bella's voice sounds muffled with her face pressed against the breakfast bar. "You people are horrible friends."
"And just for that you're not going to get your money until next week."
Bella blinks and picks her head up. "What money?"
Rose doesn't roll her eyes but her tone says it all. "The bet money, you dork."
Bella's completely forgotten. It's been a week since the launch party, since she last spoke to—since she last touched—Edward. It's been almost two weeks since they met at the bar, since Edward agreed to help Bella with this ridiculous bet, even though there was absolutely no need for him to. "I can't do this."
Her friends exchange looks around the bar and Alice pats the back of her hand. "Why not, Bella?"
Alice only ever breaks out the motherly tone when she's delivering bad news or when she finds out she's screwed. It makes Bella nervous as hell, but she doesn't really see any other choice, she has to come clean. "Edward just agreed to pretend to be my boyfriend. We're not really going out."
She expects some yelling, or at the very least some angry looks, but Rose is sort of smirking and Alice just looks sort of confused. "Wait," Alice says, frowning. "You aren't?"
"No," Bella admits, sighing heavily. "Although that's what I was hoping it looked like to you guys. I guess it worked."
Alice scoffs, shaking her head. "No way. That was pure, indisputable jealousy I saw that night. You're not that good of an actor, Bella."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"When I saw you watching Edward and Peter flirt, I expected you to be jealous of Edward, but it was barely a week and you were jealous of Peter instead."
"I don't get it," Bella scowls. "So, what? Why do you think I've been miserable for a whole week?"
"We figured that you broke up with Edward, for real, but we didn't think it was because you were stupid enough to believe that this bet was actually happening. I thought you realized you and Edward actually have feelings for each other," Rose says plainly.
Bella must still look confused because Rose leans in close and starts explaining in her best psychologist voice, "You've been moaning about wanting to tap Peter for the better part of three years, Bella. We made up the bet so you would go out with someone else and get over the guy. He's in love with his work and he's gay. So I talked to my cousin Tanya, and she suggested I hook you up with Edward, that the two of you would hit it off. I thought once you started dating Edward you'd be really happy and realize there is someone better out there for you. So when we saw you and Edward at the party, we were very happy for you. But obviously you screwed it up."
"So you lied to me, you guys both lied to me?" Bella mutters flatly. "And why the hell, if you knew he was gay, did you let me pant after him all this time?!"
"I didn't know Peter was gay until I talked to Tanya, she knew because they all went to college together. Would you have gone up to someone like Edward and asked him out if we hadn't made this fake bet with you and dared you?" Rose asks her and Bella is speechless as she thinks about it. "Do you want to know one reason I agreed on Edward after Alice picked him out, Bella?" Rose raises one eyebrow. When Bella still doesn't reply, she smiles. "I was watching him since he walked into the bar with Tanya. I told her I wouldn't set you up with 'just anyone', but Bella, Edward was checking you out the whole time, you knucklehead. He's obviously very much into you. Did you not even think about why he'd even agree to pretend to be your boyfriend?"
"I thought he was just being a good guy," Bella says faintly, tugging at the hair flopping over her forehead. "And I promised to split the money with him, so."
Alice nearly chokes on her OJ. "Dude has a five-star restaurant in his name, Bella. You ever heard of Eclipse on Fifth? Fifty percent of fifteen hundred dollars won't even buy him a new trash compactor for that place."
"Fuck, that's the restaurant I did those promo shots for last fall," Bella mumbles, raking a hand through her hair again and again. "Fuck, shit, damn."
Rose leans back on her seat and sips at her coffee calmly. "I'd say."
"But... but, was he in on this? Why the hell would he pretend Tanya was his girlfriend just so that he could pretend to be my boyfriend?"
"Bella, we've said enough, time for you to go talk to the culprit himself, I think you might like what he has to say."
"You lied to me."
It's not the first thing she imagined she would say to Edward once he opens the door, but Edward doesn't slam the door in her face so she just goes with it.
"No," Bella says, shifting her weight onto the other foot. "You said Tanya was your girlfriend and you made me think you were gay. You lied to me."
Edward's lips twitch. "The first one, yes. You just assumed I was gay. I could've been bi."
Bella tries not to get too distracted. Considering that she's standing barely two feet from Edward, who's wearing a pair of very thin sweatpants and a soft-looking concert t-shirt, it's a feat. "Why?"
Edward's eyebrow pops up. "Are you kidding? You came up to me asking me to be your pretend boyfriend so you could win a bet and make your boss jealous. I think I had the right to torture you a little bit."
Bella looks down at their feet, trying not to laugh. Edward's feet are bare and it's so painfully sexy that Bella's breath catches. "We're both morons."
"I'll only agree to half of that statement."
"Shit, Edward. When I saw you with Peter at the photoshoot and then later at the party, I wanted to smash his face in just for looking at you, like, multiple times. I'm sorry."
Edward stops sprawling against his front door, blinking. "Wait. What?"
"I know, I know. You're not my property or whatever. We're not even officially dating, but I've been known to be super protective with people I really like, so. I didn't mean to take it out on you."
"I thought you were pissed because you couldn't get Peter to be jealous of you and me."
Bella snorts, ducking her head sheepishly. "Like I said. WE are a couple of morons."
Edward's smiling when Bella lifts her head and it feels like her heart's too big for her ribcage all of a sudden. "You were the one thinking I was gay just because I flirted a little bit to get you riled up."
"You claimed to have a girlfriend," Bella points out. "Besides, you were being very subtle about your attraction to me."
"Guess you missed the way I was staring at your ass when you came here last time," Edward shrugs, a mischievous smirk on his lips. "And the way I practically drooled over your tits in that shirt at the restaurant."
Bella is a bit shocked to say the least, but then when Edward continues, she just about shits her pants. "Bella, I'm sure you remember the shoot you did for Forks magazine," and I nod because yeah I remember I got paid a fucking huge dime for those shots, "well, that's my restaurant, and we never met, but I saw you that day, and you have been on my mind ever since. So, when Tanya told me her cousin was looking to set up a friend I agreed to go to the bar with her because, believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty shy guy and don't go out much. When you walked into that bar, I couldn't believe that after all this time it was you they wanted to set up. I just about fell off my stool because," Edward pauses and takes a deep breath, "I think you are the most beautiful, intriguing woman I have ever laid eyes on."
Bella wants to tackle Edward, to have him fuck her mouth until he comes, to watch those eyes roll back as Edward stuffs her full of cock, but she decides to do it right this time.
"Hi, I'm Bella. Would you like to go out with me sometime?"
Edward's smile is the nicest thing Bella's seen all week. "I have some time right now. Why don't you come in?" Edward steps aside and Bella walks in, his hands already cupping Bella's face as the door shuts behind them.
Neither one of them came out for the rest of the night.
So there you have it... Let me know what you think.