"Touch me,

Take me to that other place,

Reach me,

I know I'm not a hopeless case"

Bella, a.k.a Karamel picked up her phone with a sigh. She had just gotten out of a job, and not a particularly pleasant one either. She needed a break. But, business was business and she couldn't quit now, she had too much to lose. So she put on her 'work voice" and decided, no matter how bad this one was, she would just grin and bear it.

"Karamel, speaking, what can I do for you?" she purred seductively, imagining honey coating her vocal cords to make them as smooth as possible. She also winced because, honestly, she did sound ridiculous. She was an intelligent, well-raised girl! But, the customers seemed to like it so she couldn't stop.

"Hello?" a voice on the other end squeaked. It sounded like someone with an extraordinarily low voice was attempting to mimic a higher-pitched one. "This is… um, this is Edward Cullen. I was wondering if you could come on over to my place and… do your stuff?"

"Of course Mr. Cullen, any special, erm, outfits that you would like to request?" Bella asked, already not liking the sound of this Edward Cullen.

"Yes, there is in fact. I happen to have a fetish for pizza delivery girls-" He was cut off and there was sound of an intake of breath and an "ouch!" as if someone had elbowed him as Bella looked at the phone in concern, "what I mean to say is, I find them very attractive. So I need you to dress up like a delivery girl from Papa John's. And details are very important, even down to the nametag and the pizza box. And you need to act like you are a delivery girl. I'm going to pretend that I'm confused when you get down to it but it's very important that you keep up the act, you got it?" Bella hesitated, then murmured assent. She had had stranger requests. One man had asked that she come in dressed as a giant gorilla. She shuddered at the memory. Comparatively, pizza delivery girl was a … relatively normal fetish.

"So what time would you like me to arrive, Mr. Cullen?'

"Wait, before that, there's payment. I will have a dark car meet you in a parking lot and—" there was sounds of struggle and then a much more normal sounding voice came on the phone, "I'm sorry about that, I meant that I will leave the money in the bushes right next to the front door. Wouldn't want to ruin the charade, y'know." He gave a nervous sounding laugh.

"Ah, of course." Bella agreed, although internally she wondered if she should just hang up the phone. He sounded pretty sketchy. They discussed the timing and price and address and Bella hung up the phone, feeling slightly confused about the person she had just been talking to.

On the other end of the line, Jasper put the phone in the receiver and turned to glare at Emmett. "A dark car in a parking lot? Really?" Emmett looked slightly bashful. Jasper sighed and ran his hand through his hair, a habit that all the Cullen boys had picked up. "I'm still not so sure that this is a good idea. I mean how are we going to convince the actual pizza girl not to go?" He muttered.

"Man, this is a great idea! Eddie needs to get out of his shell!" Emmett boomed.

"And so hiring him a stripper to pretend to be a pizza girl is going to help him?" Jasper asked doubtfully. Emmett nodded vigorously. "God only knows why I listen to any of your ideas…. This had better work."

The next day….

Edward tapped his pen against the table, waiting for the sound of the doorbell. Every Friday night he ordered pizza, just for himself, and every night, at precisely 9:00, Tanya, the pizza delivery girl would knock at his door. It was routine. He never ate all the pizza, but he kept getting it, more to get in a few minutes with Tanya than anything. She was so beautiful and wonderful and perfect. Every Friday Edward would think to himself, "Today's the day, I'm going to ask her out." But her never did. And so he continued getting pizza, every Friday, at 9:00. But tonight, she was late.

When the harsh buzzing finally came, he nearly leapt out of his seat and sprang for the door. He took a second to try to appear composed before swinging the door open, a smile ready to appear on his lips. Then he frowned. The girl at the door wasn't Tanya, although she did have his pizza. She was small and brunette and well, rather attractive, he had to admit. But she still wasn't Tanya. He resisted the urge to pout and glanced at her nametag. It read, "Karamel". What an odd name Edward thought, then shrugged it off. He took the pizza and handed her the money sitting on the counter. There was an awkward pause after he handed her the money but she didn't seem to be going away.

"Well aren't you going to invite me in?" Karamel asked, laughing a bit. Edward frowned in confusion, not really sure what to do. So he hesitantly let the strange lady into his house.

Bella looked at Edward as she walked in. He didn't look too threatening. He was handsome, in a rather rugged way, with a bit of a scruff growing on him that looked more the product of neglect than purpose. His hair was the color of a new penny and she found herself watching the way it caught the light. "So, do you do this often?" She asked, more to distract herself from his looks than anyone else. He was a client, this was strictly business. She looked around and was surprised to see no one else in the apartment. The majority of situations she was in, it was a party. But this wasn't unheard of.

Edward gave her a strange look at her question. "Yeah, it's my Friday night routine." Bella reassessed him. He definitely didn't look like the type to order a stripper for just himself every week. Well…. Whatever rocked his boat.

"Let me just put the music on." Bella swept over the pizza boxes and opened them up, exposing the radio she had hidden inside. When she pressed play the song "Tainted Love." came on. Bella walked back to Edward, noting his shocked expression in confusion. "So you ordered some pizzas, huh?" Her voice came out light and smooth. She walked around Edward, trailing his fingers across his chest. Edward stood stock-still but Bella couldn't get a glance at his face. "And you ordered a little bit of me on the side. " She purred. She pulled away a twirled around. Twelve years of ballet classes for this. She thought wryly as she grasped the hem of her shirt and started to pull it over her head.

All Edward could think was, What. The. Fuck. He had just been looking forward to enjoying some pizza on Friday night, and watching some movies, like he always did, when this strange girl had come in, put on some music and started dancing? He came to his sense just in time to stop Karamel from taking off her shirt, though he couldn't stop my eyes from lingering where he had seen the flash of skin. "What…." Edward was almost speechless with shock. "What the fuck are you doing?" Karamel looked up at him through her eyelashes and Edward shifted uncomfortably under her gaze.

"Exactly what you ordered." She cooed. Edward almost couldn't believe what was happening. It felt surreal. Just let this happen, man. A gorgeous girl is in front of you trying to take her clothes off. A million guys would kill to have this happen to them. The hornier part of him whispered. But the part of Edward that was actually sane was much, much larger.

"Lady, look, you seem…." He struggled to find a word, "nice but I seriously have no idea what you're talking about. " Frustration flashed through Karamel's eyes.

"Fine, y'know what? When you called you said to pretend like a pizza girl but this is over the top!" She huffed and started gathering up her pizza box. Edward just stared at her in confusion.

"Wait… what did you say?" Karamel whipped around, ready to retort, but then she saw the genuine confusion on his face and paused.

"An Edward Cullen called me yesterday and asked me if I could come strip for him and pretend to be a pizza girl. Are… you… not Edward Cullen?" Worry crossed her face. Wait… she was a stripper?

"I'm Edward Cullen alright but I never called for a stripper. Who would…" Edward's confusion turned to rage as he realized who was behind this. Emmett and Jasper. He let out a sound of frustration and sank down into the chair, letting his head fall forward into his hands. "My brothers." He peered through his fingers at Karamel who was looking him in bewilderment and suddenly the whole situation made sense.

"Why would your brothers hire you a stripper without you knowing about it?" The girl frowned and sat down in the chair across from him. Edward answered without looking at her.

"Because they think I'm too introverted." He sighed and placed him hands on the table and looked down at them. Karamel's' next question surprised him.

"Are you?" He looked up sharply at her, a "no" about to bubble to his lips. Then he stopped.

"On Friday nights I order pizza and watch old re-runs of Friends." He admitted. Karamel winced.

"Are Saturday nights any different?"

"Yes." Edward paused. "I order Chinese food." Karamel laughed in delighted surprise, then quieted down.

"I'm sorry, I really shouldn't be laughing at that. Have you always been like that?"

"No." Edward planned to leave it at that but then the rest of the answer came spilling out of his mouth. He just really needed someone to talk to. "I… I've been like this ever since I broke up with my girlfriend, Lauren, six months ago. I was planning to propose you know." He couldn't believe he was blurting this all out to a total stranger. " But on the night that I planned to pop the question, I found her with my best friend…pressed up against the refrigerator of all places. So I moved apartments and haven't really felt in a partying mood since. " Edward's mouth twisted into a grimace. He was surprised when he felt a soft, feminine hand cover his. He looked up at Karamel and felt awkward for having revealed so much of himself. He was about to apologize when she cut him off.

"My name's not actually Karamel." She looked ruefully down at her nametag and tore it off, as if it disgusted her. "It's Bella." Edward said the word, Bella in his head, trying to attach it with the girl in front of him. It fit. "And I honestly hate my job. I can't stand it. All these old men trying to hit on you, and you have to constantly worry about what you look like naked. It's… it's so…. Demeaning!" She spat the word. Then she sighed. " But my senior year of college, my mum got into a car accident. She's had to have a lot of reparative surgery and the medical bills keep piling up and I have to keep paying for my classes because I'm getting my master's in journalism. So I had to take whatever jobs I could get. So here I am. " She looked so sad, Edward's heart ached to help her. And he understood why she was telling him her story. It was prid quo pro, a story for a story. He flipped his hand over and squeezed hers. Then he had an idea.

"My uncle is the head of a major publishing company…" Edward started. Bella looked up, looking shocked, scared to hope. " It's no newspaper but at least it's in the same general area. I could talk to him about getting a job there." He didn't regret it, Bella's face was radiant and she looked like she wanted to hug him.

"Oh would you?" Bella nearly squealed and Edward had to laugh at her enthusiasm. He had no doubt that she would get a job if he asked, he and his uncle had a very close bond and Bella, from what he's seen, seemed intelligent. "Thank you thank you thank you!" Bella was shaking with pure delight. Edward ducked his head and smiled.

"Of course."

And so they talked, all night long, not seeming to notice that their hands stayed clasped together. They talked about the world, about school, about everything, until the sun started to peer in through the windows. Bella let out a yawn. "I should probably get going. I need to go take a shower and change before my morning class." She said regretfully. Edward nodded sadly. He too had a morning class but he so didn't want to see her go.

As Edward helped Bella gather up her things she idly wondered, "I wonder what ever happened to the actual pizza delivery girl." Edward started. Since Bella had walked through his door he hadn't really thought about Tanya. Now, in comparison to the girl in front of him, Tanya didn't seem all that beautiful and wonderful. He found himself making a reminder to thank Emmett and jasper, though this was probably far from what they had intended. Bella turned to go.

"Wait! Bella!" She looked up at him uncertainly. "I was wondering if you would like to go out sometime. On… on a date. " Edward said shyly. A smile slid onto Bella's face.

"I would love that." Bella replied and Edward looked up, beaming as he registered her words. Bella grabbed the pen that had part of her costume and scribbled her number down on his hand. Then she stood up on her tippy toes and kissed Edward's cheek. With a grin, she flounced off.

Edward watched her go, touching his cheek softly with his fingertips, smiling to himself. It was time to let go of the past and embrace the future.