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The Beauty and the Geek

Summary:
Edward Cullen is a painfully shy intellectual desperately in love with his quiet, beautiful classmate Bella Swan. Slight Twilight Parody. Originally written for The Sexy Edward Contest. Expanded from one-shot to novella. RATED M. AU/AH/OOC. EPOV/BPOV. Chapters 1-8 are available at www.fanfiction.net/~vixen1836


Notes:


2. Her Obsession and Pushy Friends

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4645   Review this Chapter

“Bella!” Alice cried adamantly from across my dorm room. I grumbled unintelligibly, fisting my eyes to remove the haze of another restless night. I lifted the sheet from my head with one finger to get a peek at her. Even through one eye, I could see she was dancing around my room, grabbing items from my closet, and throwing them on the bed with unnecessary enthusiasm. She was way too excited for me.

“Get uuuuup!” She sang.

I grumbled. I didn’t want to get up. I was avoiding her, and the inevitability of this day like the plague.

Five more minutes, I told myself. I closed my eyes tighter and focused diligently on the remnants of my dream. A grin formed on my face as I recalled the careful details. In this particular dream, magnificent in its own right, Dream Bella and Dream Edward were perfectly in love…

Although Dream Edward was still withdrawn, Dream Bella was brave

His green eyes were watching me with that amazing, quiet intensity…

Oh, that’s it…

Yes, and we were sitting on my couch…

I was facing him; seated comfortably on his lap…his strong hands were wrapped around my hips...and I was pinning him against the back of the sofa…and we were kissing one another so very slowly…

My hands were tangled in that bronze hair…

Each deliberate kiss was achingly tender and passionately lazy…the skin of our lips parted reluctantly as we moved our mouths together…we were breathing heavily in unison, our noses were almost touching…and then, we went for one another’s lips again…but being the ever confident siren, I pulled away…

He looked at me with those eyes…I sighed as he raised his hand slowly, bringing his fingertips to my mouth. In calculated movement, he placed his primary fingertip against my lips and began tracing the indistinct rivets of their texture…my mouth quivered with desire as I breathed in shallow rasps…

His expression was still blank and unreadable, but even in my dream, I found the challenge of breaking his mask enticing…

And…I was doing my best to provoke Dream Edward into changing that indifferent expression…

Quickly, I edged forward and grasped his fingertip softly with my teeth, nibbling slightly, effectively stopping its movement…he watched me carefully as I leaned in, sucking the finger deeper in my mouth... I held it there for a moment, teasing it with my tongue as his stoic eyes grew wider. I opened my mouth loosely, slowly tilting my head back enough to let it slide between my teeth... his fingertip traced the inside of my slippery bottom lip before sliding to my chin… in a daze, his hand remained, his eyes were lusty and lidded now...and I grinned at my victory…

“Get! Up!” Alice shouted from my closet. No! It was just getting so good!

“Leave me alone, Alice! Five more minutes…” I whined, tightening the hold on both my covers and my Dream Edward.

“No, Bella! Move! Ugh! This is huge. You are wasting so much time!”

I buried my face into my pillow knowing the end was near. I would have to get up and face ‘The Day’ eventually. It wasn’t a name I’d chosen. No, that was a whole lot of Alice and a little bit of Rosalie. They were intent on continuing their mission of ‘breaking me completely from my shell’, which now included the potentially disastrous adventure of attempting to talk, and maybe even date my classmate and obsession, Edward Cullen. Despite their encouragement, my plan of attack, and my desperate fascination with him, the task of approaching him would by no means be easy. In fact, it would take all the resolve I could muster. The last thing I needed was a little pixie bouncing around with all of her hopeful cheer.

“You aren’t making this any easier, Alice,” I mumbled into my pillow.

“Nonsense!” She ripped the sheet from me and cold air invaded. I gasped and turned quickly to prop myself on my elbows in annoyance. I narrowed my eyes at her. But she was unfazed as she continued to dance, prance and annoy.

“You’ve procrastinated for too long. You aren’t ruining my plans,” She stated.

“Your plans?”

“Yes, my plans! Now rise, woman, rise!” She shouted, heading for my bathroom, undoubtedly to cause her own brand of chaos with my cosmetics.

“Fine. I'm up you little sprite,” I grumbled as I sat up and yawned. I looked at her in sleepy confusion as she flitted around my room, pulling clothing from my dresser.

She was making a mess.

“What are you doing now, Alice?” I was whining again and she ignored me, as usual. She hated it when I whined. It was clear that she was completely absorbed in her mission, which appeared to include earrings and the color blue. I scowled at her, wondering how in the hell one person could be so dedicated to color. She was holding out two pairs of earrings speculatively in each hand, mumbling about "deceitful texture", and cocking her head to the side like she was trying to solve a mystery. She sighed, unable to make up her mind.

“I can’t decide. These are sort of cool because they are long and dainty with these pretty little stones, but these are also nice because they’re more this season...plus, the silver is a nice touch with your color...”

I rolled my eyes in disbelief.

“This is what you woke me for?”

“No, you know what I woke you for – get up already,” She said distractedly. She marched off to the bathroom once more to grab one more pair of earrings.

I had to give it to her; her dedication to fashion was truly relentless. Alice always insisted on dressing me in the latest trends and styles. Apparently, becoming her roommate automatically resigned me to dangerous footwear, chunky jewelry, and uncomfortably tight couture. Between her and Rosalie, I was a reluctant fashionista. It was so much fun for them both, I rarely protested. They were good friends, maybe my first best friends, actually. They meant well, even if they were a bit pushy. I thought about throwing myself back into my covers to just catch one more snippet of Dream Edward when she reemerged with resolve on her face, carrying another set of earrings.

“I’ve changed my mind. You are wearing this color of blue,” she held out a pair of earrings that looked no different than the ones she’d had before. “It goes perfectly with your skin. And these,” she said, picking up a pair of velvet dark blue flats that had been lying on the bed. “are going to go perfectly with your new skinny jeans. Of course, it helps that they are ‘Bella-friendly’.”

“Bella friendly as in I won’t fall on my face in them? Just like I told you I would?” I frowned at the memory of my sore feet, my repeated stumbles and one all out crash to the ground from her whole ‘your-legs-look-amazing-in-stiletto’s-so-that’s-all-you-should-wear’ phase.

“I can’t guarantee that, dear. I have a feeling you would trip if you were barefoot and walking on a cloud…but…they might be safer than some of the other shoes I’ve put you in.” She admitted.

“Ha…I told you you're fighting a losing battle here,” I grinned, smelling her defeat.

“Whatever. These flats are Dolce, thank you very much…they are just as fashionable and just as sexy. In fact,” she sighed. “they’re absolutely perfect.”

She smirked to herself and set the shoes back down carefully on the end of the bed like she’d just placed the missing piece to a very important puzzle, she clapped her hands, squealed in delight, and bounced in little, exuberant hops. I half-grinned, half-grimaced at her enthusiasm and she looked at me with a sinfully devious expression.

“You are going to be irr-esis-tible, Bella Swan. This poor boy doesn’t stand a chance.”

I rolled my eyes at the reminder of the mission I had ahead of me. She made it sound so simple. “Thanks, Alice. No pressure or anything.”

She giggled, still fingering the dark blue shirt she had laid out. Her expression grew nonchalant.

“You know...you are making this much more of an issue than it needs to be. You are in love with this boy, Bella. Personally, I have a feeling that he’s just shy. Maybe all he needs is a little push. And, frankly, your attitude is ruining all of the glory of first true love.”

“First 'true' love is usually reciprocated, isn’t it?” I mumbled sourly.

She darted her eyes to mine and narrowed them. She never had patience for reluctance.

“Don’t you start - you get up right now and get in the shower so we can get you ready because Rose will be here soon and if you’re still in your pajamas, she seriously might slap you. We’ve been planning this for weeks! Besides, you can moan all you want, but I'm telling you now, there's no possible way that Edward,” she wiggled her brows, smirking at her use of his name so casually. “could resist being completely in love with you by the end of the week with you dressed like this…trust me. I can feel it.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” I murmured, as I looked down at my toes to avoid her eyes, which were surely frustrated. I was fishing for encouragement…just a little. “I don’t know for sure that he doesn’t have a girlfriend…or that he even likes me. He probably just thinks I'm some clumsy scatterbrain. I mean come on…I know he’s kind of quiet, but I’ve thrown it all out there already. I’ve smiled at him, I’ve looked back at him, I’ve even waved once but he’s never approached me, Alice. I mean…“ I didn’t know how to finish because I wasn’t even sure what to think.

She eyed me skeptically, “You’ve thrown it all out there? You haven’t even really talked to him yet!” She shook her head in awe. “which is whytoday everything is going to change, isn’t it? Today, you are going to talk to him, like the beautiful, confident woman you are. You will not be shy. You will not feel uncertain. You have nothing to lose. And, today, because of all of those things, you are going to make the move…or to quote Rose, you are going to ‘take the initiative’ – so, get your ass out of bed so that we can get you ready.”

I frowned again and then sighed at her enthusiasm. It was easy for her to be encouraging. She didn’t have to face the potential for rejection from those piercing green eyes…even though I was sure that he must sort of like me…still, I couldn’t move past his all-too-frequent avoidance of me. He ignored me at least eighty percent of the time. Should I really cling to those few moments that we shared eye contact, despite the intensity of the connection?

“This is ridiculous. Are you frowning?” she asked sincerely, plopping on the bed. “I mean…seriously? Look, I know this is your first attempt at dating since Jacob...” I grimaced at her reference to my heartbreak with such nonchalance. She continued, “and, I know he sort of left you high and dry…and maybe you haven’t fully recovered. But, this is different. You are in college now...guys are just different. And, remember...high school relationships just aren’t the same. And, frankly…your pool of experience is... er…limited. And…” She stopped as a slow smirk formed on her little features.

“There’s more?” I asked, completely shocked that she could say so much with such little breath.

She ignored me, again. “If he looks at you the way you say he does, it can only mean that he likes you, too. And, if that is the case…you have nothing to lose.”

“Maybe he just can’t figure out how someone so clumsy can still be alive. I’ve fallen in front of him twice!” I pointed out, huffing in disgust with myself at the memory. I must have looked like such an idiot.

“Yeah, and maybe you are just a blind coward. Hmmph. You know what Rose thinks…” She teased, wiggling those stupid, perfect, tiny eyebrows again.

“Don’t start!” I snapped back. The last thing I wanted to hear was Rose’s opinion again, which began with my need to “utilize the timeless art of seduction” and ended with her tirade on my need to “initiate things” with poor, serious, unsuspecting, and confusingly indifferent Edward.

“Fine, but she’ll be here soon and if you keep whining, she’s going to yell at you. Plus, you should cheer up... she has a surprise for you,” she smiled wickedly as she launched herself of the bed, heading for the hallway.

“Great!” I shouted down the corridor, waving my hands in the air at no one but myself. “She'll probably bring condoms and a negligee.”

She shouted back from the kitchen, “Well, God knows you could use both…and I'm sure that would break the ice for poor Edward…ha ha ha!”

“Shut up, Alice! It was a joke!”

“That was really funny, Bella…ha ha ha!” Alice was still laughing from the kitchen. Her giggling was more annoying than her bouncing.

It was a joke, but Rosalie was persistent and Alice knew it. She’d already convinced me to take birth control when I hadn’t had sex since…well, Jacob. Basically, in over a year. Her reasoning was…”you never know.” But, I did know. I was lonely, but I wasn’t like that. I only thought about Edward that way because…well, I had already acknowledged that I was both in love with him, and obsessed with him. Simultaneously.

I listened closely to Alice as she rummaged around in the kitchen. She would return soon, but I didn’t want to get up just yet. I had a lot to think about. What was I going to do? Today was the day. The culmination of eight weeks of pining, dreaming, and obsessing. I had a plan, sort of. First, I was going to ask Edward Cullen to be my partner for our mid-term project. Secondly, at all costs I was going to avoid that beef head Mike Newton and his advances. Lastly, I was simply going to conjure all of my new courage, hope he said 'yes' to my proposition…er…suggestion, and do my best to break that careful indifference he seemed to always have despite our seemingly wonderful connection. Yes, that connection…those eyes…

I sighed happily and plopped down on my pillows at the reminder of my cherished proof, my bit of evidence that this whole thing wasn’t just in my head. I had five minutes at least.

There was something chemical between us. From that first day and onward, despite the strange, serious look he always held on his face, there was an intensity in his eyes that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It had been automatic from the moment our eyes had met at the start of that first class, and every day since then. Yes, it was there and it was powerful. The memory of how his look made me feel sent flitters of butterflies through me, even now. It was like I was the only girl in that classroom. The vision of his eyes, watching me, looking at me, assessing my every movement pervaded my daydreams, permeated my nights, and left me breathless each time I posed to enter our classroom. Because of that damn look…as soon as I came anywhere near him my face got hot, butterflies tortured my stomach, and my heart stammered uncontrollably in anticipation. It seemed like, when it came to Edward, despite all of my progress towards conquering my shyness,he left me stuttering and breathless.

It didn’t help that not only did he stare at me like I was the only person in the world, but he was also so nice looking. He was the opposite of my high school sweetheart, Jacob. He wasn’t a jock, or a pushy macho type; he had this classically conservative look about him. He didn't have bulky muscles or overgrown biceps; he had a lean, fit build and…this sexy reddish brown hair and…these kissable, full lips…and his eyes. Those green piercing eyes…and he always dressed nice and looked nice. He probably smelled nice, too. Hopefully, unlike Jacob, he would actually get to know me. Maybe he would think spending time with me was worth the effort…

I shook my head. Don’t be bitter, Bella! What else? Back to Edward…Oh, and, like me, he was obviously a serious student. He was smart and always had the right answers in class. Yes, those were great things indeed. But, there was a cloud hanging over those positive attributes. A thick, stormy, relentlessly frustrating cloud.

The cloud of Edward’s indifference.

Yes, that indifference was just as obvious as our connection. Despite the looks and the chemistry, Edward didn’t seem to really be interestedin me, or at least not interested beyond simple instances of eye contact. Eight weeks into our class, it was a routine by now: I would walk the stairs, we’d look at each other for a few, intense and priceless seconds, I’d be so consumed by his eyes that I would forget my resolve to smile at him, or wave at him, or make some gesture to show him I was interested…and then, he would look away. And wouldn’t look back again. For the rest of the class.

It seemed like he did his best to ignore me. I had tried to give him all of the clues I could think of. I’d smiled at him when I caught him staring at me, but he looked away every time. He’d never once approached me. Although… one day… he’d opened the door for me in class and with my heart stammering, and those butterflies soaring, I had thanked him, but he’d said nothing more than a generically quiet…’you’re welcome’, even though I lingered too long to try and talk to him afterwards.

A few times, during class discussions, we’d been the only students that had laughed about something the instructor had said. Immediately, we’d made eye contact. I smiled, our eyes had met, and…he’d just looked away. Of course, then there were the mortifying accidents to consider…not once, but twice I’d fallen in front of him like an idiot…

A loud knock on my door woke me from my daze, I straightened up a little. Was it Rose? Oh, Lord help me…

“Coming!” Alice called from the main room.

“Great.” I murmured to myself as I swung my legs from the bed. I at least needed to pretend I was making an effort to move. She would surely be pissed if, despite all of their pep talks and my firm commitment to pursuing Edward, I was still hesitant…and still in bed…at two in the afternoon, no less…

I heard Alice and Rose laugh and that was all the confirmation I needed. I braced myself.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want Rose’s advice; it was just that we had two very different ways of thinking about things. Admittedly, I was a little shy, although I’d come out of my shell tremendously since high school, but Rose was different. Rose was…well, Rose was a vixen. Men, and the world, seemed to crumble underneath her spell. Her advice to me was the reason why ‘The Day’ had become a point of focus for us all. “Take the initiative, Bella…” she would say. So, today was the day they were practically preparing me, dressing me, and forcing me to initiate a date with Edward. One part of me was grateful, while the other half was even more terrified. If all of it came to nothing, could I handle the disappointment of all three of us?

“Be-llaaaaa!” Rose called in a sing song voice from the hallway, “I know you’re here! I bet you’re just dying of anticipation!”

“Go away, Rose…” I half-laughed, half-whined…again. I was pouting, but it did no good. She was just as unaffected as Alice. I watched her round the corner, looking radiant in a bright red dress. She smirked at me and sauntered dramatically towards my bed…in her four inch heels.

“Bella, I have a surprise for you.” She teased saucily, holding something behind her back. She shook her hips a little unnecessarily and I had to giggle at her ridiculous move. Alice bounded in with a gleeful chirp and pounced on my bed.

“Are you ready?” Rose asked, tempting me with her brows.

“Lay it on me,” I sighed, like I had a choice. Rosalie swung her arms from behind her back and smiled. She was holding a beautiful dark purple blouse with pretty embellished jewels all over the front. They formed an elegant V down the front from the neckline to the hem. I couldn’t help but finger the pretty stones. It was beautiful.

“Do you like it?” She ventured.

“Of course I do, it’s lovely. Thank you, Rose…”

“Good, because it’s the shirt for him. Bebe…and totally this season.” She nodded her head at her last comment like it were the most important consideration.

“Her brown skirt and heels are going to be perfect!” Alice cried, bouncing and clapping. I looked at the shirt again. It looked expensive. I wasn't sure that I wanted to commit to wearing an expensive shirt for a study date. Wouldn't I be a bit overdressed? I opened my mouth to speak, but before I could say anything, they both moved around my room swiftly. Rose laid the shirt down reverently at the edge of my bed while Alice retrieved my skirt and shoes from my closet. Alice laid out the outfit and they both tilted their heads in silence, thinking.

“You are going to be unstoppable.” Rose whispered in awe. “Although…if you do what I told you – you won’t be wearing it for too long anyway.”

I gaped, “Rose!”

Rose’s suggestion was simply that I should approach Edward, kiss him, throw myself at him, and see where it would lead. “There is only one way to break a serious man’s veneer…” she’d said. "And that is a kiss and a straddle..."

Every since she'd said that, I'd been fascinated by the very idea. I'd never even considered such a brazen move. It would take courage to do something like that. I wasn't sure I was ready for that...ever.

She laughed at my admonishment, “Oh shush, Bella! It’s going to be great. Poor Mr. Edward won’t know what hit him. Now…we are going to get you up and into the shower so we can dress you. You will feel great –“

“Rose, I’ve got the perfect outfit for class, look…” Alice waved at her creation, the other masterpiece of fashion.

Rose gasped, “It’s perfect! Alice…you are a genius.” She mock bowed at Alice and Alice let out a tinkle of laughter. They were so ridiculous. Carefully, as they were absorbed in their conversation about accessories, I snuck to the shower, desperate for some solitude. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I crawled into the shower…they really were great friends. They were cheering for me, and pushing me forward, desperate to break me out of the last remnants of my 'shell'. It was working. Admittedly, I had been shy once upon a time…but it was strange how being around two confident women had changed me.

I showered quickly, taking frequent deep breaths to not only calm my flitter of nerves, but also my raging mind, which kept conjuring up reasons to retreat and reasons to proceed…simultaneously.

I would ask him to be my partner, that was certain. I wanted to be alone with him. I had to solve the mystery that was Edward. If he wasn’t interested, at least I would try to understand why and move on. At my current state, the uncertainty was only fueling my obsession. If he wasinterested…well, that was a different story. I liked him…okay, maybe loved…sort of. But, still. Regardless, I would have a lot of time, alone with him, maybe two to three hours a week! It would be a priceless opportunity.

I leaned my head into the shower, thinking about that prospect. I grinned a little at the possibilities; what would it be like to be alone with him? I was definitely going to show off. I had tons of notes on every topic, so no matter what the Professor assigned, I was sure to impress him. But, what if I couldn't concentrate once we sat down to study? It was bad enough without sitting next to him. Those eyes…would he think I was making an advance on him if I stared? Well, I sort of was – but it was true that the way he looked at me was...magnetic. There was something there. Admittedly, I wanted this…and I wanted him.

Yes, I could do this.

Feeling lighter, giddy, and a little more optimistic, I finished my shower and bounded out of the bathroom with a new spring in my step. I wanted to share my exuberance, for once, with Alice and Rose, but as soon as I opened the door I immediately froze at the sight before me. My bathroom was a chaotic mess. Rose and Alice had my entire countertop littered with strange cosmetics and contraptions. Everything looked either foreign, pink, or expensive…and in some cases all three. My two outfits were laid out like a display on my dresser; my dark blue top and jeans for class, and the beautiful purple shirt and brown linen skirt for our study date – our study date that hadn’t even been confirmed yet! What if he rejected me? Again, my fears rushed forward. If he said 'no'...I would not only be disappointed, but so would Alice and Rose! This was getting out of hand.

“Girls! This is really too much!” I cried. “I don’t even know if the guy likes me or if he’s going to say 'yes' –“

"Hey!" Rose interrupted, snapping her finger at me. I frowned, and Alice smirked. Rose spoke slowly, “You still don’t get it. I’ve already explained this to you, but let me be clearer. You don’t know what you are talking about and I do. Even if this guy is gay, he’s bound to think you’re hot and appreciate your style.” She narrowed her eyes to mine as she continued, “But, we all have a firm belief that he’s not gay, don’t we?” I nodded my head. He did look at me like he wanted me, sort of…twenty percent of the time…

“So that means that he does have interest in you. Alice says she has a feeling about this, and she’s never been wrong, Bella. So, I'm telling you this now. One, if you don’t act on this, you will regret it. Two, you have absolutely nothing to lose, so you might as well put it all out there and just kiss the boy. I've said it once and I'll say it again...it's going to be on you to make this happen, Bells.”

I sighed at her. She was right…mostly. But, she really was so dramatic. I didn’t say anything to disagree, though and she sensed my hesitant agreement.

“So, you'll let us work our magic?” She asked, sensing my defeat.

“Fine.” I sighed, “What am I wearing, again?” Rose smiled and Alice squealed.

“You won’t regret this, Bella!” Alice trilled.

I wasn’t sure about that, but truly what could I do? In the face of such enthusiasm, encouragement, and confidence…it was like I really did have nothing to lose. I did like him, maybe too much for my own good. But, the truth of the matter was…Edward Cullen was going to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If I got a ‘no’ I could deal with it. But the prospect of a ‘yes’ was so much more promising. Besides, as much as I hated to admit it, Rose was right, if I didn't act on my feelings, I would regret it. So, I sat down with a resigned plop onto the chair in front of the mirror.

“Okay, girls. Do your best.” With that, I watched my two devilish best friends transform me into the temptress I was sure I could never be.