Challenge Number/Title: 10 - Rule Me Out

The Fall Factor

Date Posted: March 22nd, 2013

Fandom: Twilight
Rating: M
Genre: AH
Content Descriptors: Fluff.
Character Pairing: E/B


Standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom, I remember why I don't date much—I'm completely clueless.

Dressed in dark wash jeans and a bra, I rummage through my drawers, flinging clothes over my shoulders in an attempt to find something that says, "I kiss on the first date", but also "You could probably take me home if you're lucky enough." At the very bottom, buried beneath a myriad of gym clothes and hoodies, I find a simple black tank top with a few sequins thrown in for a bit of sparkle. I hold it to my chest and stand in front of the mirror, sighing.

This would be so much easier if I had a single clue about all this stuff.

My hair is still kind of lumpy from being in a ponytail, and the best I can do with makeup is a bit of mascara and some tinted moisturizer. I can't even imagine the kind of girls Edward might have dated before. Even though he's shy, based on his looks alone he could be dating someone who looks like Rose—well manicured and perfect. Instead, he gets lumpy-haired, fashion-senseless me.

I sigh again. I've never been one to be self conscious. While I know I'm not a supermodel, I'm happy with the way I look. I work hard, I eat well, and I like the reflection I see in the mirror.

Most days.

Every day except for right now.

My decision is made for me when the front doorbell rings a moment later. I slip the top on and shove a pair of ballet flats on as I stumble to open the door.

Jasper greets me with a smile and two thumbs up as I do a little spin for him. "Are we picking up Edward?"

I shake my head, swiping some lip balm over my bottom lip. "He said he'd meet us there."

"Cool," replies Jasper with a shrug.

The local Mexican restaurant isn't great. The food is expensive, the cheese is greasy, and the beans give me an upset stomach. But, they never skimp on the tequila in the margaritas, and they have free corn chips, so that's where we end up.

Jasper and I are a little early; his anal tendency to be on time thwarted my readiness when he arrived at my apartment.

"I expected you to be immersed in hairspray and fake tan or something," he grouses.

I can't help but snort. "I don't think I own a can of hairspray."

We munch on our complimentary corn chips while he sips a beer and I gulp my margarita, trying to quell the sudden burst of nervousness in my stomach.

"So did Alice say she would make it tonight?" asks Jasper, trying to look nonchalant.

Nodding, I look at him over my glass as I take another drink. Swallowing, I set my drink down. "You know Newton's Rock and Fitness frowns upon inter-office relationships, Jasper."

It's his turn to snort. "Like you can talk. You break at least five of the Fitness and Rock staff conduct rules every day."

"What? I do not."

He chuckles. "Do too."

I frown, smoothing my bangs into place. "Name them."

"Rule number one: Staff members are to dress in an appropriate manner and uniforms are to be neat and tidy at all times. When was the last time you wore the regulation Fitness and Rock shorts?" he asks with his thumb in the air and his brow raised.

I flick a stray chip at him. "I prefer not to flash my ass to the entire gym, thank you."

"Rule number two: Personal phone calls are not to be made from the workplace. Who were you on the phone with when I came in last Thursday, Bella?"

"My mom," I mumble, swallowing a mouthful of margarita. At this rate I'll be drunk before Edward even arrives. "It was her birthday!"

"Whatever," he replies with a smirk. "Rule three: Lunch breaks are strictly thirty minutes for a six hour shift." He doesn't even finish his statement with a smart ass question.

"Fuck you. You take long lunches with me all the time."

He laughs, pushing the lemon wedge down the neck of his beer. "I've come to quite enjoy our little lunch dates."

"That's because I'm excellent company." I lick the salt from the tips of my fingers before wiping them on a napkin.

"That you are. Now, can I continue?"

I roll my hand in the air in a gesture for him to continue with his tirade.

"Rule four," he says, holding four fingers up in front of my face. "Staff are not to use office computers for personal use."

I stay silent, eying Jasper as he taps his fingers against the table top. The waitress comes and goes with a fresh basket of chips and a bowl of salsa while Jasper and I sit locked in a heated staring competition.

"You can't prove anything," I whisper, trying to sound menacing.

Jasper barks out a loud laugh that echoes across the room. "You get emails sent to work all the time. And you leave your Facebook logged in!"

"A-ha!" I reply, pointing a finger at him. "That was you who hacked my profile last week!"

We both laugh. "It's not hacking if your profile is right there open on the screen."

I pout dramatically. "I had to call my mom and assure her that I wasn't pregnant. I still don't think she believes me."

Jasper laughs, slapping a hand on the table. "Okay, okay. Finally, rule number five. The big one. Interaction between staff and gym members is to be kept professional at all times."

As the words leave his lips a streak of dark hair and pale skin enters the restaurant, the door held open for her by none other than Edward himself. Alice smiles and offers a polite thank you, her face lighting up as she spies Jasper and I across the room.

Heat flashes across my skin at the sight of Edward in a button down and soft, worn-looking jeans, his green eyes meeting mine for a moment before that adorable blush touches his cheeks and he looks away.

Sitting up straight in my chair, I turn to Jasper. "Here's to breaking all the rules."

He holds out his fist, which I bump softly.


Thank you to Krystal. And to you for reading.