Aladdin and the Chocolate Princess

Disclaimer: The guys belong to Guy Ritchie, the girls are mine.

"… And it certainly isn't yours."

Well trained to read people, Bacon had suspected this about her. "If things seem too good to be true… they usually are." Sometimes he just hated to be proven right. He took off coldly, leaving the situation suspended, as if he could just unfreeze it at his convenience.

Behind the closed door, Mandy realised she had become more involved than she had bargained for. The sense of separation made her ache just a little more than she expected. She could tell herself a thousand times that this was a fleeting thing, that all she needed was to blow off some steam, that she had willingly entered the realm of one night stands, but the memory of the past month wouldn't allow her the solace.

In the chilly air of the morning, Bacon shook his head, still shocked by his reaction. He hadn't been jealous in the last hundred years… Why should he be jealous this time? That was quite out of character for him. A woman to make a number on Bacon? The thought was preposterous.

When he saw the van out front, he realised he was going to Soap's place. As usually when he had something serious on his mind, he'd go to the "sensible" Soap. Always playing the devil's advocate, Soap had a way to put things in a different perspective. He rarely followed the reasonable advices, but talking to his peaceful friend helped Bacon see things clear. This time in particular, he needed to get his head straight.

The watch said 5.30 in the morning, so Bacon opened the door with his own key, thinking that the least he could do for Soap was to wake him up with a cup of hot coffee. When he glanced in the living room, he saw his friend asleep on the couch, Addie snuggled next to him, with her head in his lap and the TV still on.

*Ed!* he knew in an instant what had happened.

The smell of coffee invaded the kitchen and Bacon woke Soap up in a whisper.

"Don't go!" Addie whimpered, holding his arm tighter in her sleep when Soap tried to get up.

Soap managed to slide out of her embrace and joined Bacon in the kitchen.

"Wha' happened?" he yawned.

But Bacon didn't want to get into it yet, so he avoided the question.

"What did Ed do this time?"

"Jeez, is it that obvious?"

"Yeah. She came here, wept on your shoulder, you watched some telly together and she crashed here, sobbing in your arms"

"Pretty much so. She'll get over him."

"She'd better!"

"We couldn't fix this in four years, you're not here to talk about Addie and Eddie!"

"You're not a morning person, are you?"

"Five thirty is not morning! Where are you coming from at this hour?" Soap was beginning to wake up. "You're wearing the same clothes as last night! You dog!"

"No kiddin', Soap, I'm in a bit of a snag…"

"We figured as much." he smiled.

"WE?" Bacon hated to be the talk of the town.

"Well, Addie mostly. When she stopped sobbing about Ed."

"And what did you two brains have come up with?"

"She thought you should give this girl a decent chance. You shouldn't keep her at a distance. As you did to all the others."

"I wonder how she got to know about how I treat women…"

"Don't look at me!" Soap defended himself. "She has eyes and ears you know. You've never been discreet about your conquests. You're almost as bad as Ed!"

"Oh, thanks, mate! That's just what I needed to hear this morning!"

"You still didn't tell me what happened."

Bacon coughed and grinned very explicitly.

"Other than that, you pig!"

"So you don't want to hear anything about that, huh!"

"No, I don't! Not at this hour! And not with that kid in the next room! God! She hears enough from us as it is!"

*Soap, you're going to be one awesome dad!* Bacon needed to tell him this, but he didn't want to hurt his friend with this beautiful impossibility.

"Let's hear it! What's wrong with this one?"

"Nothing really…" Bacon took a sip of coffee. "She's just…"

"Oh, yeah, here it comes!"

"…too good for me."

Soap seemed struck by lightening.

"Tell me you didn't just say that! That's the stupidest thing I have ever heard! You don't find her any flaws so you assume she's too good for you? How the hell does that brain of yours work!" "Shhh! You'll wake her!" Bacon tried to cool him down.

"No, really, what's wrong with her?"



"I like her."

"That explains everything!" Soap said ironically, although he knew that did explain everything.

"She just got a marriage proposal! How do I compete with that? I don't even think I want to compete."

"Did she accept it?"

"Well… no. But she could do this right now for what I know."

"And your plan is to stand in my kitchen bitchin' about it? Great plan, Bacon!"

"It's not as simple as that…"

"It never is, my friend, but you should put up a fight. It's the least you could do. Don't go playing the tough guy now, I could see how you looked at her. And don't worry, she was looking at you the same way!"

"I donno…"

"Bacon, please, this time listen to me! Don't give up. What if she's the real thing? Yeah. I mean that elusive thing guys like us spend their lives waiting for."

"You're very poetic this morning!" Bacon tried to push away the suggestion.

"Fuck, mate, maybe she's a lousy lay and not one in a million. What does someone like me know anyhow!"

Soap stormed out of the kitchen, knowing that Bacon was in the habit of doing the exact opposite of what he was told. He couldn't help feeling sorry for his friend, who was about to miss such an extraordinary opportunity. If he had known his future, he would have made his few years of manhood really count, not hop from one woman to the next, not caring, not having anyone to care for him. And now, so many years later, he had no one to wake up next to. He watched Addie sleeping and smiled. *She doesn't really count…* he sighed.

Bacon crept out, avoiding a headache giving conversation with Addie. He didn't need the point of view of a nineteen years old girl. He sunk in his own mind, considering everything he knew or he thought he knew about Amanda Cadbury.

Soap had a point. She was one in a million. Everything about her just cried out perfection. Even her little imperfections. Her awkward driving style… the way her nose twitched at the first sip of hot coffee… the way she blushed when he'd lean over to whisper something… the fact that she hated soccer… her posh accent… So many things he hated before now seemed charming. His system of values had just received a shock. Nothing he thought he liked or disliked about women mattered anymore.

He decided to put her out of his mind for a while and went on with his day. That resolution lasted till lunchtime when he felt he could explode.

*The hell with this!* he thought to himself and drove straight to her office.

This is not how the chapter was supposed to be, but I'm lacking inspiration for the moment. Suggestions are welcome!

I fixed the problem to my site, so you can read the steaming hot scene from the previous chapter now!