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An Unheard Whisper

Summary:
Sienne is a high-class, high-maintenance girl who lives and fights in the fast paced fashion industry. So what happens when she suddenly finds herself in the relatively calm and unstylish place of Forks, Washington? Read and find out! (Enticing isn't it?) Jacob/OC


Notes:


2. Chapter 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3300   Review this Chapter

It was a gray day; my eyes followed the scenery as it flashed by my window. It was green. Everything was green. There were no houses, no city centers, and no malls. A big contrast to L.A., home to Viridian Clarke. Normally I would’ve been able to appreciate nature’s little corner, where civilization had barely touched it, but today I found it stupid and wasteful. Traveling in a car for a day and a half with arguing idiots would do that to you too.

My head was resting against the cool glass of the window. I had removed my shoes and now my feet were pressed against the dashboard of the rental car. Something, I was pleased to find, bothered Michael very much. He kept eyeing my pedicured toes disdainfully and complained about the smell. I ignored him. My feet never smelled.

The sky showed prominent signs of snowing. The thought was not a comforting one. If it was about the snow here, in Washington, then it, undoubtedly, was already snowing in Alaska.

What had Viridian been thinking doing a photo shoot in Alaska in mid November? Unfortunately both Michael and I had forgotten the snow factor too. It was common sense, I guess, but the pictures that Viridian gave us were clear and snow free.

Snow totally changed out campaign. It was a devastating, but realistic, blow to our designs we had already drawn up while still in L.A. They, the designs, would have to be altered. Colors would need to be changed and fabric reconsidered. Right now, though, we were still in the stage of denial.

“Chambray,” Natalie was saying from the back seat, “Its 100% cotton and-”

I cut her off. “I know what it is.”

“Ok,” she continued, “Well it’s a thicker cotton and would be better for the weather.”

I groaned and messaged my temples with my fingers, my head aching. “Natalie, we’re not going to use cotton. I don’t want to use cotton. Its not sheer enough for my designs.”

Natalie opened her mouth to reply, but Brayden cut in, “Sienne. Those sheer fabrics would get ruined in the snow. Besides we can’t have the model freezing to death.”

“She can freeze all she wants,” I retorted, “She’s getting paid for it.”

Brayden made a disapproving noise, but Michael was nodding, the corners of his mouth turned down in irritation. “I agree with Sienne,” he said from behind the steering wheel, “We shouldn’t change my designs for the model.”

I twisted my mouth in a sneer, “I was talking about my designs.”

He didn’t respond.

“Model aside,” Brayden went on, “Some of both of your designs aren’t appropriate for the landscape or the nature friendly theme we have here.”

“Explain,” I said shortly.

“Well,” Natalie said taking over, “Michael’s space aged Indian, for example. It’s too modern and too revealing. It would be fine if we were doing a plain white or black background with geometric shapes or something but,” she faltered, “not really for Alaskan wilderness.”

All eyes were turned to Michael, awaiting his reaction. His jaw tightened and his eyebrow twitched once. The apprehension and fear (on Natalie’s part) was thick in the air.

Finally he exhaled, trying to hold back his apparent anger. “Ok,” he said, “It was just an idea.”

Natalie sighed in relief, but I only glared, sullenly, at his reaction.

“I don’t think,” Brayden said cautiously, “That this one of Sienne’s designs”- he handed a drawing to my outstretched hand-“will work with the weather factor.”

“I thought we agreed that weather wasn’t an issue right now,” I reminded him as I gazed at the paper in my hand.

It was a familiar drawing of a low cut, spaghetti strapped, dress with an empire waistline and several layers of fabric gathered here and there. It was one of my best designs, in my opinion.

I could practically hear Brayden roll his eyes, “Alright, weather aside, I still don’t think it will work for your woodland sprite design.”

“Or Native American idea,” Michael chirped. We both ignored him.

“Why?” I asked turning around to face him, “There is nothing wrong with it.”

He sighed, “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes,” I replied resolutely, “What could you possibly have to say?”

He raised an eyebrow then exhaled slowly. He seemed to weigh his words carefully.

I had no patience for eloquent words, “Well?”

When he spoke it was quickly. “You have too many layers in the skirt, it would completely overwhelm the model. The asymmetrical lines would clash with the natural beauty of Alaska. The colors are way too dull for Viridian’s company, the spider like sticks in the back are far too Halloweenish, and point downward, where as all lines should be leading toward the model’s face. But then again we don’t want those horrible things pointing anywhere. Also it’s too flowy and the sheer fabrics you want are just impractical for our terrain.”

The shock was apparent on my face and my mouth hung open in silent offense. It was like he had offended my first child, rather than a sheet of paper. I clutched it to my chest protectively. I slowly turned back around to face the front.

No one had ever criticized my work with such ferocity. Not even at design school, though, I had suspected that had something to do with my parents. I suppose his honesty should have been like a fresh of breath air, but when Natalie’s astounded giggle broke the silence I suddenly felt sick.

My head pounded worse than before and tears stung my eyes. I blinked them back furiously. This was ridiculous. There was no reason to feel humiliated. I had asked his opinion and he gave it to me.

I nodded and said with difficulty, “Ok… then this design is out.”

There was no breath of relief from Brayden as I said this. It was as if he thought of me as an equal. Someone who he was not afraid to criticize, someone he could step all over.

At this thought anger filled my chest and I made a silent resolution. No one was going to walked on me like a rug, no. I was going to have my way with this campaign.

*****

The ride continued with more talk about the campaign. When anyone suggested something, that was not my idea of what it should look like, I would disagree. Strongly.

“Stop it Sienne,” Natalie had finally said once, exasperated after one of my many arguments. “Its not like you’re the C.E.O of ViridianClarke.”

My headache had not gone away and was now accompanied with a queasy stomach.

“Now if we were to use animals,” Brayden was saying, “We’d of course have to have handlers—”

He was cut off by a rather loud groan from me, as my stomach gave a particularly violent lurch.

“We’ll have to have trainers Sienne,” he said, misinterpreting my groan.

“Pull over,” I mumbled to Michael. I covered my mouth with my hand as if to keep the contents of my stomach down.

“Ok, we won’t have trainers,” he complied, “Don’t have a cow.”

“No, for real!” I said urgently, “Pull over!”

He looked at me, then back at Brayden. I moaned pitifully.

“She does look pretty green,” Brayden observed.

That’s all Michael needed and he swerved to the side of the nearly deserted highway.

I opened the door quickly and ran into the surrounding forest. I leaned over and finally emptied my stomach with heaves. Disgustedly I spat the bile out and wiped my mouth.

“Brayden,” I said as I came back to the car, “You take my seat in front. I want to try and sleep in back.”

“Good luck,” Brayden said, but he unbuckled and crawled out anyways.

Gathering my pillow and blanket I sat in the seat next to Natalie. I tried to position myself comfortably several ways, but there wasn’t enough room for me to stretch my tall frame.

I gave Natalie an annoyed glance. She sighed like a martyr, “Where do you want me to move?”

I thought a moment. “The front seat is quite spacious. You can double buckle with Brayden.”

With a loud undisguised huff she did as she was told.

“Ready?” Michael asked in annoyance.

“Yes,” I anwered.

He pulled out again, and I slowly drifted to sleep with the hum of low voices in the front seat.

*****

When I awoke I was confused and disoriented. It was dark now. The previous melancholy sky had turned black. Pale, unnatural lighting filtered through the windows, making my eyes link rapidly.

I pushed myself up groggily. My sore, cramped muscles protested, but I was pleased to find I no linger felt sick.

We had stopped at a small gas station. I could see Michael and Natalie at the pump, their backs turned towards me. Brayden was nowhere to be seen.

I yawned and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. It was still warm in the car, and I didn’t want to get out. But. . . well, a person could only go so long with out having to use the restroom.

With a grumble I grabbed my purse, put on my shoes, and climbed out into the frigid air. It was like a splash of cold water and it immediately woke me from my after sleep stupor.

To the right of me stood a shabby old convenience store. In the window hung a sign that read: BATHROOMS.

Fabulous, I thought.

I looked over my shoulder once to see Natalie and Michael still talking. Satisfied I stalked, a little unsteadily (stilettos will do that to you), towards the small establishment.

As I entered a little glass bell announced my presence. The cashier behind the register looked up briefly and nodded. The man talking to him had his back facing me and ignored me. I identified the shaggy blonde as Brayden. Thinking nothing of the lack of greeting I continued to the bathroom.

It was not a short trip to the bathroom, simply because I decided to apply a fresh coat of makeup to my face. The others were probably getting impatient, but I didn’t care. They would wait for me.

Feeling much better I left the store, nodding to the cashier as I exited. When I pushed the glass door open I froze. Where the car had been moments ago was now just an empty space of stained asphalt.

Panic began to rise within my chest. Looking around with wide eyes I searched the darkness for my companions. Again they were nowhere to be seen.

Biting my lip I repressed he horrified emotions I was feeling. They didn’t leave me, I told myself, they only parked around the corner. . .

I turned back into the store and to the counter. “Excuse me,” I said quickly.

He turned around at the sound of my voice. This man was average looking, shorter than me, probably mid-forties, with dark skin, high cheekbones, a prominent nose, and black hair.

“Yes?” he asked with a friendly smile.

“Did you see the car that was out there leaving?”

He nodded, “Yes, left ‘bout five minutes ago.”

Five minute! Perfect! I thought, they must’ve accidentally forgotten me, but they would come back.

“Thanks,” I said relieved.

“No problem,” he said as I turned away from him.

While my hand searched in my purse for my Blackberry I walked out the doors again. I felt around for the familiar outline of my phone, but I could not find it. Sighing I lifted the bag to my face. I shifted around all the contents, but to no avail. My phone was not in my purse.

My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach.

No. I refused to believe it. It had to be in there. Frantically I turned my bag upside down. Makeup, pens, and multiple other things clattered to the cement. I first checked my bag again before moving around my possessions on the ground. There still was no phone.

I stood up and ran my hand through my hair. Taking slow breaths I tried to keep myself from hyperventilating. A sickening feeling ran through my body.

Why did they leave me? How could they have forgotten? Hadn’t they noticed I had gotten out of the car?

A sudden thought came to me. What if the had meant to leave me? What if this was all planned? The bathroom break, the disappearance, my lack of cell phone?

Fear fled and anger took over. I gritted my teeth and balled my fists. It was too convenient. With me gone they wouldn’t have anyone to boss them around. With me gone there would be nothing in Michael’s way, he could use his designs. His horrible wretched designs. . .

They were job sharks. Stupid, selfish job sharks. They abandoned me in the middle of nowhere, stranded with no contacts. Ooh they were going to pay. I would sue them for every last penny they owned.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” a voice said from behind me.

Until then I hadn’t realized I had been shaking with fury I felt. Inhaling deeply I raised my chin in a defiant way, and turned around.

Of course it was the store keeper, we were the only one’s there. “Yes?”

“I noticed you were having a little bit of trouble out here,” he glanced around at all my spilled items, “Can I help you I any way?”

I almost said no, and under normal circumstances I would’ve refused his charitable offer. But, needless to say, circumstances were not normal. As much as my pride hated to admit it I heard myself saying, “Yes, actually.”

I paused and he raised his thick eyebrows.

“Do you have a phone I could barrow?” I finally asked, not knowing what else to do.

“Yeah,” he said pointing over his shoulder, “There’s one in the store.”

“Lovely,” I mumbled and headed for the door.

He coughed. I paused, “What?”

“Are you going to pick up your stuff?”

“I don’t have time right now,” I said waving a dismissive hand.

“Would you please pick it up?” he asked.

I glowered, like a child who had just been told to clean her room, and got down on my hands and knees. “It’s not like anyone’s going to come here anyways.”

He chuckled. The corners of my mouth turned downward. I was not used to having people laugh at my annoyance. Running in terror was more like it.

When my bag was once again full I stood and brushed of my pant legs. “There. Happy?”

“Yes, thank you,” he said before turning and leading me into the store towards the phone.

Walking around the counter he reached for a once white phone on the wall. Handing it to me he continued to gather the access chord and place it on the counter.

I fingered the phone in distaste. It was old and cracked. I hated old things, unless it was fashionable vintage.

“Well?”

“Well what?” I asked sharply.

“Aren’t you going to call anyone?”

“Yes,” I sneered dialing my own phone number. If it was still in the car then perhaps my co-workers might answer it. I got my answering machine. Apparently they weren’t as stupid as I’d supposed.

Dismally I handed the cashier the phone. “Don’t you know anyone else’s phone number?” he asked, surprised.

I shook my head.

“Not even your parent’s?” he prodded.

I glared, “No. I’m not a child.”

“That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t know their phone number,” he pointed out.

“Well I don’t,” I snapped.

He sighed and shook his head.

“Could you call a taxi for me?” I asked on second thought.

“There’s no taxi service ‘round here,” he informed me.

“No taxis?” I exclaimed in outrage, “What kind of godforsaken place is this?”

“Well this here is actually between Forks and Puyallue,” clearly aware that it wasn’t a question that required an answer. “Where’re you from anyways?”

“L.A.,” I said absentmindedly, trying to think of a way to get to Fairbanks, Alaska.

“Oh,” he nodded, “What’s your name?”

“Sienne Parks,” I said, “And yours?”

“Daniel Call,” he stuck out his large, dark hand.

I shook it briefly, “Pleasure.”

Time was ticking by. Michael and the others were getting farther and farther ahead. If only I had a car. . .

Inspiration came once again, “Where is the closest car rental place?”

Daniel thought for a moment, “Nearest one’s up in Port Angeles. ‘Bout two hours away.”

“Two hours?!” I shrieked, finally snapping, “How am I supposed to get there? Walk? Michael’s probably 50 miles away by now! If I don’t catch up with him the whole team’s going to start planning with out me using his designs! I need a car and I need one NOW!”

Shock and offense now registered on his face. It was an expression I was familiar to seeing on so many other people. It calmed me a little to know that I still had that power here.

We stood there for a moment, my eyes narrowed and my chest rising and falling in desperation and frustration. But then he smoothed his face with an indifferent look and simply said, “I’m sorry, but there isn’t anything I can do to help you.”

I pursed my lips and swiftly retreated to a small table and chair that was pushed up against one window. In quick, exaggerated movements I jerked the chair out so I could sit on it, then folded my arms as I proceeded to do so.

This definitely was not L.A., London, or Paris. In those places people would be jumping up to serve me, in anyway possible. And it wouldn’t have matter if I needed to get somewhere two hours away because a jet would be waiting to take me there. Why was I so unimportant here?

It only took one look at Daniel Call to realize the answer. These people had probably never opened a fashion magazine, let alone care about it. They lived in this calm, rural place where they didn’t have to care about designer clothing or the newest car. They were satisfied with what they had.

I groaned. How could anybody happy with this?

Behind me I could hear Daniel talking on the phone quietly.

“Miss Parks?”

I turned around slowly, “Yes?”

“If you need a place to stay tonight,” he began, the phone still in his hand, “My sister and I would be glad to let you sleep on the couch.”

I studied him for a moment, unsure whether or not I should trust him or not. But something in his kindly eyes made me comfortable. Though the idea of sleeping on a couch was not appealing I smiled slightly and said, “Thanks, I really don’t have anywhere else to go.”

He chuckled, “I assumed that.”

He turned back to the phone and a moment later said, “And if you need a car I can sell one to you cheap.”

Hope fluttered into my heart.

“But. . .” he continued hesitantly, “It needs some repair.”

My face fell and he quickly added, “But my nephew, Embrey, says that he’d have his pal take a look at it and see what he could do.”

“How long will it take?” I asked warily.

“Oh,” he said thoughtfully, “Probably only five days.”

Five days. Five days I could do. The team would be staying in Alaska for two weeks. I could still make it there while they were planning. It was ideal, but it would do.

“Five days will do,” I said feeling like something very heavy had been lifted off my shoulders.

He nodded, “Ok. We’ll leave after I close up.”