Thursday, March 5, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 4 & Pics

Chapter 4 – I’m No Hero
I heard from god today, and she sounded just like me.
What have I done, and who have I become.
I saw the devil today, and he looked a lot like me.
I looked away, I turned away!

Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I'm no hero, and I'm not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I'm on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
“Wrong Side of Heaven” – Five Finger Death Punch
“Just coffee…black,” my dad ordered once we’d taken a seat in the booth.
The girl’s eyes lit up with recognition when they landed on my face, but she didn’t say anything.
“Same…cream and sugar, please,” I ordered, and she stuttered a bit before walking toward the barista.
The coffee shop was filled with soft chatter and music, along with louder sounds coming from the machines pumping coffee out by the gallons, it seemed. I could see a few familiar faces from the AA meeting, but this place was about a block from the church, so it made sense people would come here after it was over.
I could feel eyes staring my way, but it wasn’t from any of the patrons. My dad’s dark-blue eyes were on me when I faced him across the table.
“Why are we here?” I asked, trying to keep the anger out of my tone, not to mention the volume down, as well.
He looked nervous, but he smiled as he glanced down at his hands. “I just wanted to talk to you, son,” he said, finally looking back to my face. “I want… I need to apologize again, and then I wanted to know… I mean, was it… Did they treat you okay?”
I snorted, shaking my head. “I didn’t go to jail, Dad,” I muttered back, “at least, not after the initial arrest that night, and really, that lasted only a few hours. I’m now the proud owner of an arrest record – mug shot, fingerprints, and DUI charge included. The actual rehab was…harmless, aside from being away from everyone. I was lucky that my lawyer found some sort of…private clinic, instead of a state-run facility.”
He grimaced. “It should’ve been me.”
“Yes, it should’ve been, but…I couldn’t let it happen, and I couldn’t do that to Mom.” The mention of my mother saddened me, simply because she didn’t know the truth, and she probably never would. He was too chicken-shit to tell her. She blamed me, she believed the police report, and she was pissed that I’d gone to jail. “How is she, by the way?”
“She misses you,” he replied, frowning. “She worried about you endlessly when you went away for a month.”
“Mmm,” I hummed, looking up at the waitress as she dropped off our cups of coffee.
“I don’t mean to… I hate to bother you, Masen, but could I have your autograph?” she whispered, and I appreciated her keeping it down.
“Yeah, sure,” I sighed, pulling a paper napkin closer and taking her pen. I scrawled my name across it, pushing it her way.
“Thanks.” Her grin was excited and happy, and it made the tension at my table a little lighter. “I’ll make sure no one bugs you, I promise.”
Grinning, I shot her a wink out of pure Masen habit and caught her name on her shirt. “Molly? You’re the fucking best!”
She giggled, turning beet red before spinning around and going back to the kitchen.
“I forgot what it was like being out with you,” Dad muttered, rolling his eyes a little as he shook his head.
I shrugged a shoulder. “Can’t bitch now, though, right? It saved your ass, if I’m not mistaken.”
Dad had the wherewithal to look reprimanded. He and my mother had never wanted me to take this path in my life, but I couldn’t stop it. Music called to my soul, as did performing. They hated what they saw of me on TV and the stage, but they couldn’t deny I made a phenomenal living at it. Not only that, but I was respected in the industry, despite Radiant Eclipse’s popularity. My parents knew it was all an act, a part of the image, but they didn’t like it. Not that I blamed them, but it got my band where we were, so I considered it a sacrifice – one I hoped I wouldn’t have to make much longer.
He sighed deeply, rubbing his face. I noted that he looked older, like he’d aged five years since the last time I’d seen him, which was the day I’d left for rehab. He’d asked if he could visit, and I’d told him no. In fact, I didn’t let anyone come see me – not even Emmett.
“You have every right to be angry, Edward.” He met my gaze. “I never asked you… Why? Why’d you do it? You could’ve said no.”
“You were scared shitless, Dad. Don’t you remember?” I asked, but he said nothing as I took a sip of my coffee, setting the cup down. “Had it happened any other way, I don’t think I would have, but…it would’ve gone way beyond a DUI for you, and you know it. You were on-fucking-call! Had you not been paged to the hospital, had you not been so damn close to where I was, and had you not called me at that very moment, it wouldn’t have worked. I told you to wait for me! And you really should thank Rose and Emmett for thinking so fucking quickly on their feet.” I huffed a humorless laugh, shaking my head. “I’m not so egotistical as to think what I do changes lives, though I’ve been told it does by fans. But what you do does. I also know that Mom wouldn’t have handled all that bullshit very well – the wreck, the arrest, the little girl you put in the hospital because you ran a red light. She’s used to explaining my actions to her friends at the country club, not yours.”
Where the whole mess hardly touched my reputation, it would’ve ruined my parents, and I tried not to think about what might’ve happened had little Bree and her mother not survived that accident.
Dad shook his head. “You make more money now than you had growing up, Edward. Yet you speak of it like you hate it.”
“I do hate it.” My agreement came easily, but that wasn’t new to him. “It’s not the money itself but what it does to people, how it makes them act. I’m no better than Molly over there. She busts her ass all day, dealing with foul, belligerent people, and she has to act a part to get through it without punching some asshole in the face who got pissy because his order was fucked up.” Suddenly, my mind swirled with thoughts of Bella, and I couldn’t even imagine the shit she’d seen in that bar. It made me want to chug my coffee just to go talk to her, ask her that very question. “But simply because she makes a fraction of what I do, it doesn’t make her less of a person. And I hated that feeling growing up. I hated that you and Mom looked down at Jasper, at Jacob…even Alec.”
“We didn’t ‘look down’ at them, son,” he countered, tapping the table. “We simply wanted the best for you. We wanted you to use our resources to your advantage. They were advantages we didn’t have when we were young.”
“And I get that, but for a long time, you made me feel like what I wanted in life was wrong. When really, it was what I was born to do. You made me feel like a criminal, like some deviant outcast, when in actuality, it took you to get me arrested,” I ranted in a low tone. “I didn’t come here to fight with you, Dad, and I would fucking do it again. I’d do it for Mom and Emmett, too, because you’re my family, but now…helping you has tarnished my already weak relationship with my mother because she has no idea. You did that. One day, you need to tell her, simply because she thinks I really am the asshole on TV.”
I sighed deeply at that, but my dad’s eyes fell to the table.
“You need to admit your drinking got out of hand. It went from something social, to something needed after work, to something you can’t control. It doesn’t make you bad, but it does make you human, because trust me when I tell you, addiction can happen to anyone, no matter what their bank account has in it. Hell, half of Mom’s country club friends are addicted to pain killers or Xanax or some other shit.”
I tipped back the last of my coffee, set down the cup, and slid out of the booth, dropping a large bill on the table, if only because Molly had truly kept her word about shooing people away from me.
“Edward, wait…”
I sighed but stayed standing by the table, waiting for him to say what he needed to.
“Tell Emmett we miss you both.”
“You call him. He’ll be shocked to hear from you, though don’t be surprised at the language he uses.” I turned to lock gazes with him. “Tell Mom I said hello. And, Dad…thank you…for finally coming tonight. I didn’t think you’d show, but I hope you didn’t do it just because it was part of the bargain – you know, I cover for you, but you seek help. One meeting doesn’t mean much to me, concerning our agreement; I’ve been coming here since I got out of rehab – almost two months.
“I hope you try. Because next time, it might not be a minivan you hit, but a tree or a train or what-the-fuck-ever…or maybe the people you hit aren’t so lucky as the last time, and at that point, it’ll be beyond me to fix it. The one thing I learned in rehab is this shit is bigger than you, and you need to recognize it in order to face it head-on.”
I waited until he at least nodded at me, and I hoped I’d gotten through, but if anything from being in rehab – the fucking rehab I didn’t need – had sunk into my head, it was the knowledge that the addict had to want to change.
Tugging my wool cap back on and pulling up the hood of my sweatshirt, I walked back to the parking lot of the church. The temperature outside was dropping, the night was clear, and I was rather looking forward to not only going back to my new place but seeing Bella, as well. It seemed rather hypocritical to leave an AA meeting and drive straight to a bar, but like most of my life…shit wasn’t always as it looked on the outside.
The drive back to Charlie’s was a blur, and I blared music along the way. When I pulled up to the curb, I noted a few cars I recognized were there. I shook my head, wondering how crazy poor Bella had gotten since my friends and brother had stuck around for a few hours.
The mere thought of Bella caused a calm to settle over me, and I honestly didn’t understand it. I’d just fucking met her. It hadn’t been two whole days, and I craved the sight of her. I craved the feeling of peace that washed over me when I was with her.
“You’re a fucking moron, Edward,” I muttered to myself, shaking my head and getting out of the car. I was an idiot for thinking I could have a conversation with my father that didn’t end up in an argument. I was an idiot for forcing myself and my crazy, fucked-up world on a girl who clearly hated the media and attention – and for good damn reason, too. And I was an idiot for obsessing over Bella when we’d just met.
There was no one on the streets this time, and I wondered for a moment if Rose faked something when she moved my stuff from the hotel. Opening the door to Charlie’s released a shit-ton of noise, laughter, and music.
I sighed, fighting my smile at the people inside. I saw Jasper and Alice at a table close to the stage. Alec, Jacob, and Emmett were at the bar with Rose. I didn’t see Tanya and Kate, nor was James anywhere around, but Tony had the attention of a guy behind the bar I didn’t know.
No one paid me any attention until Emmett shifted a little, revealing the beautiful brunette behind the bar. Brown eyes locked on me, and a smile curled up on her mouth – one that I found myself copying before I could stop it.
I slipped up beside Jacob, and his loud greeting caused everyone to look my way.
“Mase!” he slurred, gripping my shoulder. “’Bout time you got your ass here,” he said with a grunt, pointing around. “This place rocks. And sweet fuck, the bartender’s hot!”
Laughing, I shook my head but caught Alec’s grin. “Some shit never changes,” I told him. “Bastard always thinks he’s whispering when he’s drunk.”
“Well, it is entertaining,” Alec agreed, shaking his head.
Bella walked up to me, her eyes raking all over my face as I pulled off my wool cap and dropped it on the bar. “Beer? Or is it soda again?”
“Beer, Bella…please,” I groaned, rubbing my face before meeting her worried look. “They drove you crazy, right?”
She laughed, and it was just the sight I needed after my fucked-up night. “No, they’re great. They’ve been busy moving stuff up three flights of stairs, so I offered them the first round, though that was…” She glanced up at the clock. “Oh, that was an hour and a half ago. They’ve blown way beyond that first round.”
Grinning, I nodded but turned when Jake, Alec, and Tony started exchanging hundred-dollar bills.
“Fuck, I knew it!” Jake sighed, rolling his eyes as Alec laughed and counted his money. “That’s why she didn’t flirt back. Masen’s already got his voodoo workin’ on her.”
Bella snorted, looking up to me. “Yeah, that’s the reason.”
I laughed, my head falling back. “Ignore them.”
“Mm,” she hummed with a smirk, setting my beer down. “You look…”
My smile fell from my face. “I’m sure,” was all I replied, shrugging a shoulder.
“The meeting didn’t go well?” she asked softly, and I knew for a fact that my brother and Rose were eyeing us from a few stools down.
“The meeting was fine; it was after that was fucked up,” I answered her cryptically, running a hand through my hair.
“Well, we’re neighbors now,” she teased, smiling up at me. “You know where to find me.”
That brought me up short. “That’s true, angel. Thank you again for that.”
She nodded and smiled, walking to the end of the bar, where Tony was asking for another beer.
Rose took the stool next to mine, and Emmett did the same on the other side.
“How’d it go?” she asked, pushing the spare key my way.
I pushed it back to her. “Keep it. You’ll probably need it.” I sighed, looking over to where Bella was keeping the others’ attention. “He was there.”
“Shut the fuck up! Really?” Emmett practically growled. “He seriously showed up? After two fucking months?”
“He did. And he wanted to talk.”
“Hmm, I take it that didn’t go well,” Rose surmised in a wry tone.
Snorting, I looked over at her. “He apologized and thanked me, but…”
“He’s lying to Mom!” Emmett hissed, and I nodded. “She thinks you wrecked his precious Mercedes, put a kid in the hospital, and that you’re this…irresponsible asshole, when really…you came in and saved the fucking day.”
I huffed a light humorless laugh. “I’m not a fucking hero, Emmett. I just… I wanted for one fucking second to do something to prove I wasn’t the ungrateful child they think I am. We didn’t turn our backs on the family just because we wanted something different in life than they thought we should have. The month in rehab was nothing compared to what he’d have gone through, what it would’ve done to Mom, and it was something I could pull off as…Masen. It fits his fucking lifestyle, according to Aro.” I shrugged a shoulder but pointed to Emmett. “I’d have done it for you or Mom or Rose…because I could without any issues in my life. I just…I’m dealing with every bit of it, and he shows up tonight simply because it was part of the deal. I’m not sure he’s really getting help.”
Rose sighed, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. “You did what you thought was best, Edward. Not everyone would’ve done that…parent or no. And while Aro was pretending that it was a big inconvenience, he was eating that shit up because you’ll be recording soon. He’ll play on your ‘wild ways’ soon. I’m sorry about your dad. He needs help, but I’m willing to bet your mother suspects more than she’s saying.”
Emmett and I looked her way.
“Mark my words.” She held up a finger. “Esme Cullen is no fool. She likes to play the rich doctor’s wife, and she fits in with her friends, but I’m betting she’s not stupid about this. Or at the very least, she’s ignoring the signs.”
Emmett grunted, staring darkly at his beer. “Well, that would explain why she’s so pissed. She’s probably fighting it.”
“I don’t know,” I sighed deeply, rubbing my eyes with the heels of my hands. “Anyway, he said for you to call them, Em.”
My brother huffed a derisive laugh, and his smile was humorless. “Anything in particular I can call him?”
Chuckling, I shook my head and chugged half my beer before saying, “Totally your call. I told him to brace himself for foul language.”
The other bartender I’d seen before stepped from the kitchen, carrying a bucket of ice. He eyed me shrewdly but poured the ice in behind the bar before coming to stand in front of me. He was a touch older than me, maybe by a few years…five years max. He had ink on his arms, broad shoulders, and he stared my way as if he were trying to figure me out with dark-blue eyes. It made me chuckle, simply because his glance over to Bella gave him away.
“I know who you are,” he stated, and Rose and Emmett stiffened on either side of me.
Deciding to give into his verbal push, I held out my hand. “Masen.”
He eyed my hand but finally shook it. He tried to be firm, but I made no sign that I knew what he was doing. “Garrett,” he grunted. “You moved in upstairs…”
He stated it like he was accusing me of something, but I merely smiled and nodded, taking another sip of my beer. “Sure did.”
“Fuck her over, and you’ll answer to me, just so we’re clear,” he threatened, and I laughed softly, shaking my head.
If he was threatening that, it meant that Bella had kept our deal to herself. If she wasn’t forthcoming with such information as the entire year’s rent paid up front, then she probably wasn’t as into this guy as he wanted her to be. And that really made me smile, but before I could say anything, Bella stepped up next to him.
“Enough, Garrett,” she stated firmly. He opened his mouth, but she held up a finger. “I think I’m good here tonight. You can go on home.”
My eyebrows shot up at that, but I looked up at the guy. “Nice meeting you, Garrett.”
He sniffed, nodding once. “Masen.”
Bella waited until Garrett walked to the back of the bar through the swinging kitchen door, and when she faced me, her expression was apologetic. “Don’t pay him any attention.”
“Trust me, I wasn’t.”
Her grin was really sexy, but she nodded. “Yeah, well…he’s good for keeping things in line on the rare busy nights, but…”
“Meh, he’s just watching out for you. I get it.” I waved a hand dismissively.
“Yeah, well, it’s not his place anymore.”
Smirking, I nodded in understanding. He was an ex, but instead of pointing that out, I simply repeated what she’d said to me. “Well, we’re neighbors now. You know where to find me.”
Her laugh was soft and sexy. “That sounds familiar.”
I shot her a wink, and I’d completely forgotten my brother and Rose were sitting next to me. Jesus, what was it about this gorgeous bartender that caused my head to fucking swim away from everything around me?
Jasper walked up to the bar, looking excited as a damn schoolgirl. “Miss Bella…”
“Yes, Jasper?”
“Is that…” He pointed to a guitar hanging above the bar. “Is that really your father’s Fender?”
“Oh, yeah,” she said with a nod, dragging a bucket over in order to stand on it to pull the instrument off the hook. “Yeah, this was his favorite,” she told him, handing it gingerly over.
Emmett and I laughed at Jasper’s awe-filled face as he handled that Fender with more care than he would have a newborn baby, I’d have been willing to bet. Bella grinned, giving me a wink.
“Jasper, you can play it. There’s a Marshall on the stage. It’s just behind the curtain. The guitar may need tuning, but…”
“Holy fucking shit…Chainsaw Charlie’s guitar…” he gasped, spinning around to hunt down that amp.
Laughing, I shook my head. “You just made a new best friend.”
Bella giggled. “Well, that was easy.”
“Indeed,” Emmett said with a laugh, but he got up to follow Jasper, as did Jacob and Alec. They all fumbled around the stage, and I heard the familiar pop and hum of an amp kicking on.
My empty mug was gently removed from my hand, and a new full one took its place. And I thanked Bella before she went to check on Tony.
“You like her,” Rose noted, and I spun my head her way. “What? I get it. She’s really pretty, Edward.”
My eyes drifted to the girl in question, my head shaking slowly. “It’s more than that… I can’t explain it.”
“You don’t have to,” she said with a laugh. “She’s not Heidi, but be careful. Okay?”
“She’s my landlord now.” I grimaced, raking a hand through my hair as I turned to watch Jasper tinker with Charlie’s guitar. The thick sound and distortion he was pulling out of it was amazing, but he was truly a talented bastard. He’d been that way since we were kids.
“Umm, sweetie…” Rose chuckled, nudging my shoulder with her own. “I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care.”
“What?!” I gasped, looking at my sister-in-law like she had three heads. “No, no…we just met. She’s super sweet, and she’s saved my ass twice now – once with the paps and now with the apartment. And that’s in the same amount of days, Rose,” I hissed her way. “I’m already too much drama. She no more wants that in her life than a root canal.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“I know.”
“No, you’re an idiot because if she didn’t want that shit, she’d have said no to the apartment. It’s one thing to have you pop into her bar, bringing all this shit with you. It’s another to have you living upstairs from her. If she didn’t want it, she would’ve said no.” She jerked her head Bella’s way. “I asked her specifically when I came to get the key, Edward. I asked her if she was sure, and Emmett asked about security. She told us not to worry about any of it, that you two would figure it out.” She turned my face so I was looking at her. “I read people for a living. I have to in order to do my job, and trust me, she’s not a liar. She seems pretty damn stable. And…” Rose smirked. “She called you Edward.”
Grinning, I shrugged a shoulder.
“Which means you really like her, doofus.” She smacked the side of my face playfully. “You didn’t even let Heidi call you Edward. And you dated that leech for a damn year.”
My brow furrowed, but I nodded. “There’s just… She’s…”
“Shut up, Edward. It doesn’t matter. She makes you smile.” Rose’s eyes softened. “Look, I knew tonight would be touchy with your dad. And I saw it all on your face when you walked in, but the second you set eyes on Bella, it melted all away. Maybe not all of it, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been with you.”
I sighed and nodded. “Yeah, true. I wish I could tell her about rehab… I wish… I hope she doesn’t see me as Masen. I’ve tried to hint that he’s not who I really am, but I feel like I’m lying.”
Rose kissed my temple. “Not yet. I’m still working on who’s leaking shit. Emmett and I are the only ones who were there that night, aside from you and your dad, so it makes no sense that anyone else would even suspect anything other than you wrecking your father’s car in a drunken stupor. The police report even states it.”
“I know. So who, Rose?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure Jasper suspects, but he’d never say a fucking word. Hell, he’d never admit it if you asked him. Jake and Alec don’t give a shit, and James is too damn busy with his libido. I can’t think that Marcus or Tony could know. Since we weren’t touring, he was back home in Los Angeles.”
I nodded, thinking she was right on all counts, especially Marcus. He was our tour manager and was as laidback and easygoing as they got. He was an old rock-n-roll stoner, and he probably wouldn’t have given a shit if he had known the truth.
“My guess?” she asked, wincing a little when I nodded. “Heidi.”
“Fuck! Me, too,” I groaned, my head falling to my hands on the bar top. My fingers gripped my hair. “I never said anything, but I think she knew my dad drank too much. She also knows that I rarely drink anything harder than beer. So if anyone would’ve leaked it, it would’ve been her.”
“Yup,” Rose sighed. “Well, if I have to, I’ll go talk to her, but I don’t think anyone will believe her. Your breakup has stirred up a shit-ton of attention – most of which is in your favor since she broke up with you when you went to rehab.”
“How’d they find that out?!” I yelled, catching everyone’s attention, even over the din of noise coming from the stage and amp.
Rose grinned, and it was evil and mischievous. “I may have let that bit of info out myself.”
My mouth fell open. “You did that shit on purpose.”
“Fuck yes, I did it on purpose, brother-in-law! I had to counter the negative press over the accident with something that would swing the opinions to your favor. Heidi breaking up with you without even speaking to you was shitty and low, and I felt you needed someone to have your back.”
I simply gaped at her, though I could feel Bella’s eyes on me. When I turned to look at her, I heard Rose snicker softly to herself.
“I’m gonna get all these assholes out of your hair, Edward,” Rose said softly. “Oh, and all your stuff is moved in. We got all of it up there – clothes, guitars, treadmill, flatscreen. You need some furniture, but I’ll see what Tanya and Kate can find for you, just give me some time. The only thing we set up was your bed. Emmett insisted that we stop and get you a new mattress, simply because he said that there was no telling what Heidi had done to the one in that apartment.”
Snorting, I nodded. “Ugh, I hadn’t even thought of that!”
Rose grinned, patting my face. “Good luck with the rest of it, though.”
I waved my hand. “I’ll live. It’ll give me something to do until I need to be at the studio next week.”
“Yep…Monday. I’ll remind you,” she said, slipping down from the stool. She shot a sharp whistle to everyone in the bar. “C’mon, you’ve driven poor Bella crazy all damn day. Let’s go.”
Bella laughed as she took Rose’s credit card. “Not really. They’ve been fun. My dad would be happy someone’s playing music in here, especially on his guitar. I certainly can’t.”
Smiling, I sipped my beer as she gave Rose her credit slip and took the guitar back from Jasper.
Jacob, however, stumbled to the bar. “Hey, beautiful…you sure?”
“Yes, Jake, I’m sure,” Bella answered without even turning around as she hung the guitar back in its place. When she stepped back down, she turned to face him. “It’s a sweet offer, but I must decline.”
I laughed at her politically correct decline of whatever Jacob was asking about. “Decline what?”
Alec slapped a hand over Jake’s mouth. “Fuck, he’s too damn loud when he’s drunk. He offered to show Miss Bella here the world,” he replied, his tone filled with sarcasm.
Jake narrowed his eyes at the laughter aimed his way. “Masen uses voodoo, I tell you. And it’s not fair!”
Shaking my head, I rolled my eyes, but my gaze shot to Bella when she chuckled at him, glancing my way. “Do you?”
Winking at her, I nodded. “Oh, yeah. All the time.”
She turned to Jake. “Well, there you go.”
“Oh, I like her,” Alice piped up from the back. “We’re keeping her.”
I smirked at that, especially when everyone cheered in agreement on their way out the door. I placed my money on the bar for my couple of beers, slipping off the stool.
“I can’t imagine touring with them,” Bella teased with a chuckle, taking the money.
I groaned. “You have no idea. C’mon, angel. I’ll wait for you to close up.”
“We’re good.” She locked the doors, shut down the lights, and we both left out the back just like the first night, though this time, we turned the same way to climb the stairs. “Good night, Edward.”
“Night.” I waited until she unlocked her door and opened it. She turned to wave my way, and I started to turn but stopped. “Hey, Bella?”
“Hmm?” she hummed, looking at me from the doorway of her apartment. The light around her truly lit her face up like the angel I saw her as.
“Why’d you let me move here?” I asked her. Her smile was adorable, but I wanted to explain. “I’m… Don’t get me wrong; I’m so very grateful, but I was just curious, ’cause I’ve…I’m probably gonna fuck up and bring bullshit right to your doorstep, but I just…”
“Hey,” she called, stepping closer. “Edward, everyone fucks up, and if you do, we’ll deal with it. I mean…I remember what it was like with my dad – sometimes, the bullshit can’t be stopped. And I don’t know the answer to the question. Maybe it just felt like the right thing to do, you know?” She shrugged a shoulder, smiling my way.
Something about that answer made my cheeks feel hot, but I nodded as I backed up the steps. “Well, thank you again, Bella.”
“Mmhm,” she hummed. “Or maybe it’s the voodoo.”
I barked out a laugh as her giggle could be heard even as she closed her door. “Yeah, that’s it.” I muttered, turning to head to my apartment to see just how much work I had ahead of me.


Irish Charm said...

I love that the gang was all there. Bella is really sweet and I'm so glad that they are keeping her.

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