So, this short story is dedicated to Carey Anne and the ladies who were in on my Zoom call, Clo, Aileen, Emma, Consuelo, Alyscia, Trina, Brier Lynn and Krida. It will be a drabblish story, with shorter chapters. Shorter chapters mean quicker updates! :-)
This is not mine. I don’t own Twilight, but I wish I did. Sigh …
February 19th, 2020
Bella was working in her bohemian, chic one-bedroom apartment, editing the latest book she was assigned. It was awful. So many mistakes and it was the third revision. The run-on sentences and comma splices were pointed out in the first version that she’d received. The author hadn’t even attempted to fix them.
And the story? How was this even being published?
It was moments like this Bella hated her job.
Yes, her position as a senior book editor for Eclipse Publishing gave her freedom to travel the world, working remotely from anywhere. Manuscripts were emailed to her, and she used the corporate card to print them off. She was old school where she edited using her red pen. Then, she’d transfer those edits to the computer before sending the manuscripts back to Eclipse.
Her travels gave her more options for her career. She was a travel blogger/vlogger. Vlogging was a recent addition to her repertoire. One that challenged her, for certain. She posted stories, photos, and videos of her trips. Her blog had grown tremendously over the past year, earning decent revenue from sponsorships and partnerships with other travel social media channels. That growth had encouraged her to delve into the world of YouTube, leading to more revenue.
Soon, she might not need her book editing job, allowing her to travel full time.
Talk about a dream job …
“Knock, knock,” sang the voice of her elderly neighbor, Alice.
“Hello, Miss Alice,” Bella smiled, putting the manuscript aside. “How are you doing this rainy day?”
“I’m good,” she answered, shuffling into Bella’s apartment. Her neighbor was alone in the world. Her children and grandchildren lived on the other side of the country, not visiting often. Alice was ignored by her family, sadly. She was lonely and she acted like an adoptive grandmother to the younger residents in their older, boho apartment complex. “I wanted to see how things went with your new beau.”
Bella snorted. “No one calls their dates that, Miss Alice.”
“Humor me, young one,” Alice chuckled, sitting down, and grinning softly. “My beau, my beloved Jasper, was the love of my life and he adored me until he took his last breath. So, I’m living vicariously through you. I’m pushing eighty, Bella. Let me relive my youth through you and your beau.”
“Okay, okay. Would you like something to drink? Some coffee? A snack? I have those cookies you like,” Bella offered, giggling at her neighbor’s proclamation.
“My doctor would say no, but he’s not here. I’d love a cup of coffee and cookies,” Alice winked.
Bella shook her head and readied a snack for her elderly neighbor. Balancing two mugs of coffee and a plate of black and white cookies she’d picked up from a nearby bakery. “Here you go, Miss Alice. Have you heard from your kids?”
“My twin granddaughters called me for Grandparent’s day,” Alice said, sipping her black coffee with a deep sigh. “But, my ungrateful brats? Nope. You know they’ll come around when I croak to get their grubby hands on my money.”
“Do you have a will or trust?” Bella asked. “Give your money to your cats.”
“Hmmmm, tempting,” Alice quipped, smirking. “I do have a trust and since I’m closest to you, even more so than my own children, I’ve named you executor, Bella. With that role, you get a healthy stipend, my dear.”
“Alice … that’s too much,” Bella frowned. “We’re just neighbors.”
“You and I both know that we’re more than neighbors,” Alice said. “You’re close with your dad, but your mom? She really raked you over the coals.”
Bella scowled at Alice, hating her non-existent relationship with her mother. Alice was more of a mother to her than her biological mom.
Bella’s mother, Renee, was the source of Bella’s wanderlust, but also the main reason why she was so closed off to relationships, friendships. Bella was responsible, acting like an adult even when she was a child. Bella, however, didn’t like to stay in one spot for too long. That was due in part to her mother’s immature and negligent choices. Due to that, Bella had many acquaintances, but very few friends. She trusted two people … Alice and her father, Charlie.
Renee was quite flighty and irresponsible. She never held a job, flitting from one boyfriend to the next and relying on their finances while she was those relationships. One of Renee’s boyfriends had really creeped Bella out as a teenager when they lived in Phoenix. She called up her estranged father and asked to move in with him in rainy, dreary Forks, Washington. Renee didn’t care that Bella asked to live with her dad, nor did she care that Bella didn’t feel comfortable around Phil.
Phil, however, was livid that Bella asked to leave. His stares made Bella feel naked and she didn’t feel comfortable in her own home. She put a lock on her bedroom door when she heard him come inside a few days after her seventeenth birthday.
That was the final nail in the coffin.
Bella called up Charlie, telling him about the creepy, pervy vibes she’d gotten from Phil. Charlie paid for her ticket and she left, using her babysitting money to take a cab to the airport. Bella hated the weather of Forks, but found a true home for the first time in her life. It also caused a huge rift with Bella and her mother.
Renee denied that Phil had a problem, and that Bella was being far too sensitive. When Phil was arrested for his poor choices, Renee blamed Bella; she said that Bella taunted Phil, teasing him. That phone call, on the evening of Bella’s college graduation, was the last time that Bella had a conversation with her mother. Each subsequent contact was to ask for more money or to berate Bella for tempting Phil with her body.
“Bella, you’ll get worry wrinkles. Your mom is a bitch and you’re better off without her,” Alice said. “Now, tell me about your date. What was his name? Edwin?”
“No, Miss Alice. His name was Edward,” Bella giggled.
“So, how did you meet your Edward? What does he look like? Is he good in bed?”
“Oh my God! Miss Alice,” Bella laughed. “It was our first date!”
“I slept with Jasper on our first date. Scandalous, I know,” Alice sang, taking a delicate nibble of her cookie. “But, I knew he was my forever, my only.”
“I’m glad it worked for you,” Bella said.
“Spill the deets, Bella. Give an old woman some juicy bits,” Alice commanded. “First, how did you meet? On the Twitter? InstaFaceChat?”
“Not Twitter. InstaFaceChat?” Bella giggled.
“I’m old … the fact that I know what the interweb is a miracle,” Alice snickered.
Bella rolled her eyes. “We did meet on an online app. My coworker, Angela, signed up for Tinder at the New Year’s Eve party hosted by the publishing house and she begged me to do it with her. I did. I met a few duds, not really going past the initial email conversation stage after swiping right. But, Edward seemed like the real deal.”
“Older? Younger? Well-hung?” Alice asked.
“He’s slightly older than me. He’s twenty-eight. He owns a set of gyms, Twilight Fitness,” Bella explained. “Now, before you go thinking he’s this ginormous beefcake, he’s not. He’s tall with brown hair, but it looks almost bronze in certain light. His eyes are a sparkling emerald green and he’s got a jaw that could cut glass.”
“If he’s not a beefcake, what does he look like?”
“Edward has more of a swimmer’s body, lean with some muscles,” Bella sighed, remembering how his muscles felt underneath her hands while they kissed on her couch. “On top of a sexy body and gorgeous face, he’s smart, funny, ambitious and very down-to-earth. We have a lot in common, spending most of our first date talking and laughing.”
“Did you at least kiss at the end of the date?” Alice chided. “Give me some sort of hope.”
“Oh, we kissed,” Bella sang. After they closed out the coffee shop, they spent a couple of hours making out in her apartment. There had been some heavy petting and an intense dry-humping session. Bella had the best orgasm from Edward’s thrusts, gliding against her jeans. “A lot.”
“Why do I think there’s more?” Alice quipped.
“There is, but I don’t kiss and tell,” Bella retorted. Alice harrumphed, scowling at her young friend. “Miss Alice, there are some things that are just for you. This growing relationship is one of them.”
“Is this a relationship with your Edward?” Alice asked. “You’re too alone, Bella. I worry for you. I know that your mother caused this inherent distrust in people, but there is goodness in the world.”
“I know, Miss Alice. It’s tough. When the one person you’re supposed to trust implicitly destroys that, it’s hard to open up,” Bella shrugged. “With Edward, however, I do really like him, and we have plans to get together again on Friday. Go out on a proper date, dinner, and something romantic. He’s planning it.”
“I want to meet him,” Alice demanded.
“Let me get through the first few dates and then you can meet Edward,” Bella compromised. “How about you help me pick out what to wear? You always say I have no fashion sense.”
“I can live with that,” Alice smirked. “I suggest a dress.”
“I don’t own many of those,” Bella giggled. “I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt type of girl.”
“Then, we’ll have to go shopping,” Alice smiled. “We can go on Thursday. We need something short, flirty, but leaves him wanting more.”
“But, why a dress?” Bella pressed.
“Easy access,” Alice retorted, sipping her coffee demurely.
A/N: Pictures of Bella, her neighbor, Alice, and her apartment are on my blog. I decided to make Alice a quirky, elderly neighbor and not the young, pixie-like fashionista. My older Alice will still be a fashionista, but not an obnoxious pixie.
Anyhow, you can access my blog through a link on my profile. FB is not allowing me to post blogger links for some idiotic reason. Fucking Zuckerberg. Speaking of FB, I do have a group: Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation. I’m also on twitter: tufano79.
Up next will be their second date … where should they go?
Leave me your thoughts!