Edward Masen’s life intersects with Bella’s at the restaurant he dines at for lunch every Friday. He’s handsome, arrogant, and is used to avoiding love. She isn’t impressed by the things that usually have women falling at his feet. AH/AU.
Word Count: 254,403
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty absent-minded. I start stuff and then forget to finish, like reading fics. I’m horrible about quitting fics that have angst with the best of intentions to come back to them when they’re complete. That’s what took me so long to read Fridays at Noon. I stopped when times got tough and didn’t go back–for far too long.
Let me start by saying that troublefollows1017 is an amazing writer, and since catching up to this story, I have read (and loved) everything else on her profile. I love the way she writes!
Now, about Fridays at Noon. Edward is security software developer and a billionaire. He’s not used to many people talking back to him or having opinions of their own. He’s used to women wanting him for his looks or money. Of course, he meets his match when he meets Bella. She’s a waitress at the restaurant he has a standing lunch reservation at on Fridays. When she has to fill in for his regular server, things don’t go well.
Everything was going so well, I guess I should have expected something to go wrong. It was just my luck that when I brought up their desserts and went to refill their water glasses, Mr. Masen was barking orders at someone on his Blackberry. He took a sip of his wine and then set the glass precariously near the edge of the table.
Just as I reached for his water glass he shouted loudly, “No!”
I was startled, unsure if he was talking to me or the person on the phone. I jerked my hand away and in the process hit his wine glass over and the very expensive, very red wine spilled onto his very light grey and, most likely, very expensive pant leg.
“Oh God! I am so sorry!” I grabbed a napkin as he leapt back in his seat.
“What the fuck!” he exclaimed.
So much for things going so well.
“I’m sorry. You startled me. I wasn’t sure if you were talking to me. I’m sorry.”
“I have to let you go, Peter. The incompetent staff here at Eclipse has now stained my eight thousand dollar Caraceni suit with a glass of wine from a forty-five hundred dollar bottle of wine. Have what I need when I get back to the office or else.”
He set his phone down and snatched the napkin out of my hand.
“I’m so sorry,” I said with a trembling voice. Either he was going to kill me or Rosalie was, my death was a given. “I can get you some club soda.”
“Don’t!” he bellowed. “Don’t get me anything except the check. We’re done!”
I nodded and headed downstairs to get him his bill. It took every ounce of self control I possessed not to cry. He was so angry. Angry people made me nervous. I did not like to ruffle feathers. I liked to fly under the radar as much as possible in most situations.
Mr. Masen was sitting in another seat when I returned, dabbing at the stain on his pants with our white cloth napkins. It almost looked like he was nursing a wound. I was not a fan of blood so I was thankful I knew it was only wine.
“Sorry again. I’d be happy to pay for the dry cleaning,” I offered to be polite. It seemed like the right thing to do, so he could see I was serious about feeling bad.
“Damn right you’ll pay!” he spat.
This sets off a series of events involving one-upping each other that I don’t want to give away here because it’s so freaking awesome and well-orchestrated, I want you to read it for yourself. Suffice it to say, they end up on a date…where things don’t go as well as Edward anticipated:
“Come on, Isabella. Let’s be honest here,” he said, leaning forward with his elbows on the table. “No one ever gets past my money and my looks. This isn’t about being my soulmate or falling in love with someone I’m not. Why don’t you stop playing hard to get and acting like you aren’t just like everyone else that wants in my bed or in my wallet. You don’t have to work so hard to get me interested. The sex is all I’ve been thinking about since the moment I met you. The game playing has been entertaining, but come on, I’ve got women who require much less effort on my part.”
I felt sick. He was who I thought he was all along – an arrogant, self-absorbed asshole. He was all about what pleased him or displeased him. This was all about getting me in bed. I was so naïve, so stupid. I actually felt sorry for him. He was shallow and heartless. What a sad and sorry way to go through life. I lost my appetite completely. This date was officially over. There was not going to be any attempt on my part to please him tonight or ever.
“You’re right. This game playing, as you call it, is getting old, right?” I asked, pushing my plate away. “I’m going to go to the ladies’ room and then we might as well go. No reason to prolong dinner when we both know what we want.”
He’s pretty much shocked at what happens after that. I’m not going to say it’s sunshine and roses, but they learn to respect each other and what their relationship means to them. I feel kind of bad that the two quotes I’ve given you so far really paint Edward in such a doucheward light. He’s really a great person–it’s just that no one ever wants to get to notice him.
I love the way these characters keep their canon characteristics, even the ones that we might not love. I like the way the eventually learned to compromise, and even though there were a lot of moments of angst, I really like the way this story played out. I’m so happy that I read it. You will be, too.
Here’s what we had to say back in the day:
I wish I could claim that I discovered this gem all on my own, but I followed the breadcrumbs left by ltlerthqak’s author’s note in her latest chapter of Giofógach. At the time, it only had three chapters; it is now up to four. I found myself after the end of that then third chapter pounding on the next chapter button that just wasn’t there.
At first, you think…rich, handsome Edward. I’ve read that before, but this one is an absolute egotistical bastard. You may think you’ve read that before too, but I loathed him from the start. Wrapped up in his own universe and self-importance, he is a self-made billionaire in the world of software. He is demeaning and berating of all that are around him, and I was ready to push our waitress/unemployed school teacher Bella behind me and hand the man his ass. But she needs no help from my mama bear, and is the sparkling diamond in this story.
While this Bella is unsure of herself at times working as a waitress after getting laid off from her teaching position, this girl does not lack backbone. While it may take her a minute or two to steal herself at times, when she does, it produces some of the funniest scenes I have read in a very long time. I actually clapped. Bella knows who she is in this story, and knows first and foremost that she is not another plaything for one Edward Cullen.
This is a Bella I happily get behind and cheer on as she stands toe-to-toe with this man who is starting to show that inside is a man plagued with trepidations. I hope that you find this story a breath of fresh air that I have, and find yourself giggling every time you see a nickle or penny as well.
I have to say I fail at life, since I did not see LE’s little note in her chapter about this fic, lol. Thank goodness for Bethie seeking me out on Twitter to recommend it, because though it’s only four chapters, I’m already liking it.
Like Beth said, this Bella is strong and she doesn’t take shit from anyone. Not even rich Mr. Masen, who on their first meeting, treats her pretty much like the scum under his shoe. Every Friday at noon, Edward rents the private dining room at the restaurant where Bella’s waitressing. After his usual waitress calls in sick, Bella is the only replacement option.
After she makes a pretty big booboo by spilling wine on his very expensive suit, he has the balls to send her the bill. But she doesn’t take his shit, she throws it right back in his face. In the form of nickels. *gigglesnort*
After their disastrous first encounter, Bella’s determined not to get stuck in the private room again… but she’s not so lucky.
Every Friday at Noon, something new – and even more exciting – happens. And then these two start to discover that maybe there’s more to this connection of theirs than nickels or pennies.
I’m looking forward to the woo’ing, and to these two learning more about each other than what’s on the surface. You should definitely check out this story!
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