Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

I sat alone in the cafeteria with my microwave dinner, focusing on anything except the four hours left of work before me when Jasper sat down across from me.

"So, I heard from Carl in accounting that Alex got Alice a job in contracting," Jasper said with a conspiring grin as he sat down across from me.

I had heard about her new job from the bitch secretary, so there was no massive reaction to give Jasper since I had already lost my shit over it with Kate.

"Good for her," I mumbled as he shook his head at me as if he was disappointed in me.

"What?" I snapped at him as he watched me with a knowing look. I hated that fucking look.

"You're losing," he sighed as I rolled my eyes trying to down play his comment even though I knew he was right.

"You're losing this break up, man," he continued on with a sad shake of his head. I knew I was losing the break up since I was no closer to proving her wrong about anything than I was the day she told me to fuck off.

"You need to get her back just to fucking dump her," he said with an irritated sigh as if I didn't know what needed to be done.

"I know, but…" I trailed off as my mind wandered back to the brunette that I had been avoiding for over a week now.

"But what?" he rushed on as he looked at me as if his reputation or pride was on the line and not mine.

"But it's complicated," I finished with a sigh as the image of brown eyes flittered through my mind.

"What's so fucking complicated?" he asked with a growl as he eyed me for a moment.

"I thought you had it figured out with Emmett's kid sister," he commented as I shook my head no. I had nothing figured out with Bella. Nothing at all, except that she was complication. She was difficult and funny. She hated James and loved French toast. She laughed like a hyena and had lips that tasted like coffee and raspberry syrup. She was dangerous, and did not need danger. I needed a sure thing, which was something that she wasn't.

"Bella is not easy," I replied in a stilted voice just as Emmett sat down.

"What about Bella?" he asked as he eyed Jasper for a moment before looking at me with a hard glare.

"Nothing," Jasper replied with a grin before looking at me with a devious look that I knew would lead to nothing good.

"Nothing except, Edward here told me he had breakfast with her recently," Jasper offered up causing Emmett to turn and look at me with a hard look.

"It was a couple of weeks ago, and it was nothing. She was at the diner and so was I, so we sat together," I half lied to him as I waved him off with a flick of my wrists before watching his shoulders relax with my explanation.

"She never mentioned it to me, but that's cool. I mean, I know you two used to be friendly," he chuckled before looking towards Jasper with a grin.

"Man, Edward was a better big brother than me when it came to Bella," he laughed as I rolled my eyes at him and his lame explanation of my nonexistent relationship with his sister while trying to hide the guilt that was threatening to swallow me whole.

"He scared all the boys away from her, so I never needed to," he continued to laugh as I looked down at the shitty excuse I had for food since I could not look him in eye.

"He was always the one guy I could trust with her, unlike you, fucker, who always drooled over her," he teased Jasper menacingly as I looked away while Jasper explained his sick obsession with Bella's shapely ass.

"Sick fucker, right, Edward?" Emmett spat at him while turning towards me for reassurance. It was that damn reassurance that would be the death of me since Emmett had no idea about the twisted thoughts involving his sister that I had ever since she kissed me: wicked thoughts that involved her coffee flavored lips and the softness of her skin against mine. It was horrifying and fucking amazing all at once. It was also the main reason I had not called the girl like I had promised since there could not anything but trouble coming from being around her as tempting as being around her had become.

"Sick," I breathed out with a shaky laugh that Emmett had missed before I stood up, grabbed my food and left them to argue out Bella while I threw my lunch away. I had lost my appetite the moment Emmett had mentioned her name.

I was barely out the door when Jasper caught up with me.

"You know, if Bella is a no go, you should ask Lauren out," he offered to me as we walked back towards the elevator alone.

"Lauren?" I questioned, unsure of whom he was talking about.

"Lauren Mallory from customer accounts," he explained as I stared at him blankly since the name meant nothing to me.

"Blonde, flat-chested, tried to blow you at the Christmas party but barfed on you instead," he explained with a laugh as the memory of the last Christmas party filled my mind.

I had gone alone since Alice and I were fighting like always. Lauren was a blonde girl that had mixed flirting with me while drinking vodka and Red Bull all night. It was this bad combination that lead to us alone in the banquet hall with Lauren on her knees begging to suck my cock before projectile vomiting all over the crotch of my pants. It was fucking ridiculous and something that I had not lived down no matter how much time had passed between the party and now, but I wasn't the only one who suffered from embarrassment. Lauren was reduced a blubbering mess of apologies every time I saw her. It was horrible and so was the idea of approaching this girl.

"Why the fuck would I do that?" I countered back while fighting off the urge to gag as he laughed at me.

"Because she'd do anything for you, and she's James's type," he explained with an exaggerated sigh as if I was the moron here and not him.

"Yeah," I mumbled as I rolled my eyes over his words even though I knew it was true. Lauren would do anything for me. She had proven it with her misguided blow job.

"Just do it man," he said as we approached our desk to finish out our work day.

"And if nothing else, at least you'll get laid," he called out with a parting shot as I turned to give him one last glare before sitting down at my desk to finish the last part of my day.

The day passed slowly, and as it did, I listened to the chattering around me. The gossip was all about Alex and Alice. The job that Alex created for her, the trips they were planning, and everything else that was just another fucking reminder of how I was failing here. It was that failure that pushed me into picking up the phone to make the one phone call I told myself I would never make.

I listened it ring for a second before I was greeted with a nervous hello that made my stomach ache.

"Hey Lauren," I began with a forced smile that hurt as the girl on the other end squealed excitedly for me.

"Oh my god," I heard Lauren whisper in a rush to whomever was sitting by her.

"Hey, Edward," she breathed out as I closed my eyes in response to her excitedness over one damn phone call. It made me nervous about going any further with this girl if this was how she was going to act since the last thing I needed was some fatal attraction bullshit.

"If you're busy then I can call back," I offered with a cringe as I tried to end the call before it even started.

"No!" she screamed into the phone, deafening me with her shrill voice before attempting to calm down once more.

"I mean, no. It's cool. What did you need?" she asked me, trying to play it cool, but she failed miserably. I could hear the tremor in her voice as she spoke, and it only added to my intense regret of contacting her.

What did I need? I needed a willing victim, a sacrifice to offer up on the alter to James to get the money I needed to win the war, but I wasn't sure if this girl was the one to get the job done. Sure, she was pretty and easy, but she wasn't Bella and that's who James wanted.

"Hey, I heard about Alice," Lauren said in a fake sad tone that made my skin crawl a little.

"Yeah, "I mumbled awkwardly as she giggled softly while I shook my head.

"For the record, I don't think that you're an asshole like she's telling everyone." She went on to tell me as if I would find comfort in her word and not the fucking rage that was burning through my veins. Lauren may not be who I needed, but there was no doubt that she would do in a pinch.

"Lauren, what are you doing on Friday night?" I asked her with a slight chuckle as the girl stuttered a nervous giggle in response.

AN:

Thanks for reading! Special thanks to Tracy for her kind words and red pen for this fic. She's the greatest.

I will be posting teasers on facebook later for ch 14 &15 later.

Xoxo

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