It was Monday morning, and as usual I was running late for class. I hurried through the classroom door, breathing a sigh of relief when I saw Mr Baldwin wasn't here yet.
There was nothing I hated more than a class full of people staring at me as I walked in late, which was exactly what was happening to me right now.
I slide into my seat beside Angela. "Please, tell me you don't hate me," she whispered to me as I took my books out my bag.
"Nah." I said shaking my head. "I don't hate you... Saturday night wasn't actually that bad."
Angela sighed. "I'm glad. I thought you were going to hate me for sure, but with things the way they are with Ben, I couldn't stay. The last thing I needed him to hear about was me sitting with a bunch of guys, getting drunk. He already hates most of my friends as it is."
"Hey!" I objected.
"No! You, he likes." Angela said holding her hands up to stop me. "He hates Kate and Carmen. He thinks they're a bad influence on me… I don't think he likes Jessica much either."
I sighed. I could see where he was coming from, but still, he had no right to tell her what to do. "You let him boss you around too much." I muttered. It annoyed me how controlling he could be with her.
"It's not like that." Angela frowned. She didn't like it when I pointed out the faults in her relationship.
Ben was a control freak, it was that simple.
He had caught her studying with Eric in the library and had been punishing her ever since. Angela had done nothing wrong, and I had told her that till I was blue in the face, but she always made excuses for Ben. I don't think I would ever understand what she saw in him.
"So how did things go with Edward?" Angela said, trying not so subtlety to change the subject.
"Things went well." I said beaming from ear to ear. "He was a complete gentleman to me. He even helped me get Kate and Carmen home safely."
"Good, I'm glad you didn't have to deal with them all on your own. So did you go to his, or did he go to yours?" Meaning, did you sleep with him?
"He walked me home, we shared a kiss at my door, and that was it. No pressure to come in, nothing." I said, answering her hidden question. "I'm thinking maybe I was wrong about him. He just seemed so full on at first, you know?" Angela nodded. "I agreed to go on a date with him on Friday night."
"That's great news-" Angela said, getting cut off.
"-If I could have everyone's attention, we'll start today's lecture." Mr Baldwin called from the front of the class. I signalled to Angela that we'd talk about it later at lunch.
After my creative writing lecture I said goodbye to Angela and headed towards English Literature.
I was hurrying because there wasn't much time between the classes, and they were on different sides of the campus.
As I walked past the main building, I heard the all too familiar voice of Mike Newton. I cringed. I had been successfully avoiding him for the past two weeks, and I didn't want to break that record now.
"Hey, Bella!" I heard Mike yell after me. Of course, it would have been asking too much for him not to spot me.
I continued walking and pretended I hadn't heard him. Maybe he would give up and leave me alone.
When I heard someone running behind me, I knew it would be him.
Mike grabbed my arm and spun me around to face him. "Hey, I called you, didn't you hear me?"
"Oh, hey, Mike. No, I never heard you." I shook my head and tried to keep the smile from my face. God, I was a terrible liar. "I'm just hurrying to class." I said pointing in the direction I was going.
"I won't keep you. I was just wondering if you had any plans for Friday night. One of the guys is having a party and I'd kinda like to take you as my plus one."
"Actually Mike, I already have a date Friday night." I watched his face fall. It actually felt kinda good to be able to knock him back with a real excuse for a change.
"Oh, you have?" He said sounding rather deflated. "Is it anyone I know?"
I shook my head. "No, I don't think you know him." I realised that didn't sound very convincing, I could easily be making the date up. So I choose to give him more information. Maybe he would back off now that he knew I was dating. "His names Edward, he's a business man."
"Ah, I see." He said running his hands through his hair, he looked rather agitated. "Maybe another night then?"
"Yeah, maybe." I mumbled. Damn! I should have said no when I had the chance. What the hell is wrong with me? I had no idea why, but some part of me felt sorry for his ass.
I said goodbye to Mike and turned to head towards class when a figure on the lawn caught my attention. Hey wasn't that the man from the café? The one with the muscles that had been in on New Year 's Day. He was standing against a tree, in the middle of the lawn, looking in my direction. Was he watching me? A shiver ran down my spine.
I felt extremely freaked out. I looked away him and hurried towards class.
I couldn't help, but look over my shoulder every few steps to make sure he wasn't following me.
After class, I headed to the little bistro just outside campus where I usually met Angela when we were meeting for lunch. I sat at one of the tables outside waiting on her because I didn't like to go in on my own.
I looked at the café across the street, and there was a man sitting outside at one of the tables. Was that him? The man was wearing shades, which made it hard to tell if it was him from this far away. I shook my head. I was just being paranoid.
"Something wrong?" Angela said as she walked up to me. She was looking across the street wondering what I was staring at.
"No, nothing." I said standing up. "Just my over active imagination."
"So, tell me about this date." Angela said, pulling me inside the bistro.
I let her lead us inside to our usual spot. The waitress came up as we took her coats off, and we gave her our order. Angela sat staring at me, patiently waiting for me to begin.
"Well technically he didn't ask me out on a date." I started. "He said he was going to start buying me more expensive gifts as I obviously didn't care for the ones he had gotten me since I hadn't bothered to call him. I told him that wasn't it; I had just been busy with work. I'm not sure he bought that. He said he'd promise to stop sending me gifts if I let him take me out on a date, so I agreed."
Angela laughed. "I think it's sweet that he is showering you in gifts. God, I wish Ben would shower me in gifts. If I wanted him to get me flowers, then I'd have to buy them and hand them straight to him to give to me."
I forced out a laugh. I knew she was trying to make a joke of it, but it annoyed me that Ben didn't treat her better.
"So, did he say where he was taking you?"
"He told me he'd let me know before Friday, but I'm not sure how he plans to do that since he never asked for my phone number."
After lunch, I headed straight home. I collected my mail from my postbox and headed straight up the stairs. I was only in the door two seconds when there was a knock at the door.
Who was it? I hardly had anyone over, not that many people knew where I lived.
I peered through the peephole, but no one was there. "Hello?" I said as I slowly pulled the door open, but I got no response. I looked around the corner, but the stairs were empty. Strange.
Just as I was closing the door I noticed a small black box on the front door mat. I picked it up, the label read: To, The Curious Bella Swan.
"I thought we agreed no presents, Edward." I muttered, knowing who it was from.
I closed the door with my foot, giving all my attention to the box in my hand. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see what was inside.
I opened the lid and was left breathless as I stared down at the white gold Armani watch that lay inside. It must have cost him a fortune.
I bought you this so you don't miss our date.
See you at six,
I had a feeling this wouldn't be the last of his gifts before out date. I wished I had kept the card with his number on it now. So I could call him and tell him to stop.
I was relieved when I was asked to cover the till for Kate's lunch break. I had been packing shelves all morning, and I was starting to get pretty bored.
As I packed some books in a bag for the customer in front of me, I looked up and spotted Muscles. It was my new name pet name for the man I was sure was following me.
It was now Wednesday, and I had been seeing him all over town for the past two days. This couldn't be a coincidence. I wasn't being paranoid. He was definitely following me, and I had no idea why.
"Have a nice day." I said, handing the bag over to the customer.
I watched them leave before I turned behind me to Angela in the café. "Cover me for two, please."
I walked away before she had the chance to answer. I had to find out what was going on this guy. Why the fuck was he following me around?
When I turned back towards his table, Muscles was gone. I looked for him in the café, but he was nowhere to be seen.
I ran towards the front door and out into the street searching for him as I went. I caught sight of the back of his head, in the middle of the crowded street.
"Hey!" I yelled at him as I ran out onto the street. I pushed my way through the crowd. "Hey, you, wait!" I roared as loud as I could.
I managed to push my way through the bodies to where I had last spotted him, but he was gone. Fuck! I turned around, standing on my tip toes to gain a better view, but I couldn't see any sign of him. It was as if he had just disappeared.
I sighed and made my way back towards the shop. This wasn't over. I was going to find out who he was and why the hell he was following me.
"What was all that about?" Angela asked me as I walked back in.
I shook my head. "Nothing, it doesn't matter."
Just as it was nearing the end of my shift, I heard the stockroom door bang open.
"Bella!" Kate screamed.
I stepped out from behind the cage to see Kate running towards me with a large cream boutique gift box, which was tied with a black satin ribbon. "It's for you!" She said bouncing up and down.
I sighed; I knew it was from Edward. His gifts were starting to border on ridiculous now.
On Monday, he had sent me an Armani watch. I wasn't stupid; I knew how expensive it would be.
Yesterday, he had sent me a white gold necklace, with matching earrings, that was encrusted with diamonds, with a note that said:
These match the sparkle in your eye,
Wear them Friday
I did not even want to begin guessing how much they cost, the thought made me sick.
If I could I would have sent them back, but the thing was I didn't even know where to send them. I didn't know much about him.
"Open it!" Kate shouted.
I stared at the box, terrified of what expensive item I might find inside.
"Bella! Will you just open it already?"
I slowly pulled the ribbon loose and lifted the lid of the box off, relieving a stunning black dress underneath.
"Oh, my god! Its Vivienne Westwood!" Kate screamed.
"Who?" I asked confused.
"He is so wasted on you!" Kate said shaking her head.
I reached in and pulled out the gift note.
I can't wait to see how hot you look in this dress.
Wear it Friday
His words sent an exciting shiver through my body I could not explain.
I didn't want the dress, I didn't want to accept his gifts, but at the same time I couldn't wait to wear them for him.