Thanks to Kitty, Mary, & Donna for their incredible help and to you guys for reading and reviewing!
After reading to Mrs. Cope again the following day, I had to go back to the paediatric unit to return Rosalie's elf costume. I had planned to do it the day before… and the day before that, but a certain encounter with my mystery Santa had totally occupied my mind and I'd forgotten. I may also have been too chicken to face him, but we don't need to talk about that.
I looked around hoping and praying I wouldn't see Edward. I knew the doctors worked odd, long hours so there was every chance he was here. I continued to look everywhere as I walked to Rose's office, unfortunately, I looked everywhere but in front of me and because the universe hated me, I walked smack in to someone's chest.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled in embarrassment.
It just had to be him of course.
"Oh my God, Edward, hi." I smiled.
"What are you doing here?" He sounded hopeful.
"I need to return something to Rosalie Hale," I said, making sure the bag was behind my back. "We're friends."
"I see, small world." He looked disappointed.
"Totally small world." I looked down at my feet. "I guess I should…"
"Bella?" Rosalie called out. "Did you bring the co-?"
"It's here," I cut her off quickly and as soon as she was close enough I thrust the bag at her. "I should go."
"Did you come from upstairs?" she asked.
"Yep." I nodded, eager to leave.
"You make me feel like Scrooge with all the good deeds you do." She laughed. "This one's heading for Sainthood, Edward."
"Hey, she works for Tanya, trust me, Rose, she's already there." Edward smirked and when he looked at me I almost forgot Rose was standing with us.
When I caught her eye again, she was looking very deliberately between Edward and me and I knew she'd have a whole lot of questions as soon as she had me alone. I made my excuses and hurried off the ward hearing yelling and giggling coming from behind me.
As I turned around I realised that the hatred the universe had for me ran really fucking deep, and then I was flat on my back.
I was worried about my mental health. For the past four days I'd imagined doing insanely dirty things to a girl with a beard. I took twice as long to do my rounds because I kept getting distracted. The memory of her ass right there in front of me, the white thong, the way she sucked my bottom lip… sucked… shit.
Uncomfortable pant situation again, thank God for the white coat.
Too busy thinking about sucking and kissing I wasn't looking where I was going and walked straight into someone and when I saw who it was I felt weirdly happy.
Tanya's assistant was actually sort of beautiful in a completely different way to Tanya. She was real and warm, drawing me into those big brown eyes. In fact, it was those eyes of hers that struck a chord that I'd met her before, I was convinced of it. But surely I'd have remembered seeing her? She'd made me laugh so much that I'd chosen to sit and talk to her instead of seeing my girlfriend—her employer. I'd listened to her talk, lamely attempted to flirt with her, and then literally hanging on her every word like some weird fool. I'd been insanely disappointed when my girlfriend interrupted us, because I would have quite happily sat there all day and talked to her.
Things were so messed up and in reality they had been since I moved back to Boston. I was avoiding Tanya, shamelessly avoiding her and yet she didn't seem to notice. I knew what I had to do to put it right, but doing at this time of year felt so cruel and surely after all this time I owed her something?
Then I'd bumped into Bella here and for the briefest of moments I thought she was here to see me and that put a goofy grin on my face. However it hadn't been the case and I listened as she chatted to her friend, disappointed that I wasn't the reason behind her appearance. As she walked away, I was going to ask Rose if she'd been to the ward before, thinking that might be why she looked so familiar but Embry came tearing past us with a crutch in his hand and two nurses hot on his heels yelling at him to stop.
Bella heard the commotion and turned around at exactly the wrong moment. Embry was looking back at his pursuers and hit Bella in the face with the crutch. She fell to the floor with a thud and I could see the blood around her mouth straight away.
"Bed, Embry, now!" I shouted at the scared looking kid and ran over to Bella.
"That little brat," she moaned. "He needs to be in restraints. Is he part-rabid dog?"
"He is a handful." I chuckled and sat her up. "Let me clean that up."
"Oh shit, how bad?" she asked, gingerly touching her face and then gasping at the blood.
"I'm sure it looks worse than it is." I held her arm. "Can you stand?"
"You okay, Bella?" Rose asked, keeping her distance. "You know me and blood. I'll be in my office if you need me."
"Thanks for the support, Rose," Bella muttered.
I took Bella to an empty treatment room and sat her on the bed,
"I swear that kid hates me." She winced as I started wiping away the blood.
"Sorry." I tried to be as gentle as I could.
"Is it broken?" she asked.
"No. You've cut it here." I touched it gently. The cut ran from the bottom of her nostril to the top of her lip. "I'll just clean it up, but I promise there's no permanent damage, you're still just as beautiful."
I cringed at how lame that sounded and then noticed her blushing.
Nice work, doctor, you've embarrassed her.
It was totally inappropriate to say that to her, and even more inappropriate to spend as long as I did cleaning her up. The truth was I just wanted to spend more time in her company.
"I was happy to see you survived your punishment for standing up your girlfriend?" she asked with a hint of amusement in her voice. "I take it Tanya didn't castrate you or anything?"
"Definitely no castration." I smirked. "But she does expect me to make it up to her. She needs me to impress her, apparently."
"Good luck with that." She laughed. "Is there anything that impresses her?"
"Just the one thing," I said glumly. "She's waiting for me to propose."
"I know," she said quietly. "She has me working on the celebrations."
"The Christmas party is also being readied as an engagement party." When I didn't say anything she added, "I think that's why she's hyping it up so much."
"I'm sorry… what did you say?" I asked in disbelief. "She's already planning it?"
"Yeah and she has been for about a month now. She had me order a cake and balloons with your initials on and then there's..." She hesitated.
"What?" Did I even want to know?
"The announcement in the herald." She saw my horrified expression and smiled apologetically. "I had to prepare an announcement ready for when you pop the question."
"Tell me you're joking?" I groaned. "She actually asked you to write it?"
"Yep. It goes something like, Tanya Denali and Dr. Edward A. Cullen to be married. The successful model is thrilled to be planning what she says will undoubtedly be the wedding of the decade and was overjoyed when her beloved fiancé popped the question at her most favourite time of the year." She asked me, "What does the A stand for?"
"Anthony," I told her and sat down beside her on the bed. "Is she insane?"
"Focused and determined apparently." She jumped off the bed, quickly putting some distance between us. "Thanks for cleaning me up."
"Anytime," I said to her, still in shock. "Bella?"
"I wasn't going to propose." Why I told her that I didn't know.
"Oh dear," she said dramatically. "Shall I prepare your obituary?"
I couldn't help but laugh, the absurdity of the situation was incredible. Two women were hounding my thoughts and neither was Tanya. There was Bella, beautiful, sassy, and smart and then there was the spunky, cute, bearded elf with the hot mouth and the even hotter ass.
Like I said… I was either insane or screwed, and not in the good way!
More to come tomorrow!
Hope you still trust me :)