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Mr. Cullen

Summary:
Isabella Swan has a good life, ‘good’ being the key word. Her life is just fine and ordinary. But will her world be turned upside down when she gets a job working as a PA for Hollywood’s latest darling? And is he as cold as he seems? First impressions can be very deceiving indeed. Photobucket(Please note its rated adult for a reason. The story contains adult humour, some strong language, and it will have sexual scenes in later chapters.) Chapter 16 is up!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All the wonderful characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.


10. Building Castles: Part 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5684   Review this Chapter

~Edward~

The restaurant wasn’t very big, but it was completely packed, with every round table occupied. It wasn’t one of those usual celebrity hangouts like The Ivy or Mr. Chow, it was rather an upscale restaurant frequented by a few low-key celebrities, and none of those D-listers who went out of their way to be photographed.

As we meandered through the tables and headed to a more secluded spot at the back, I could feel the stares burning into the back of my head. I was used to being looked at, even pointed at, but I didn’t like it right now. Beside me Bella started fidgeting from the attention we were getting. My hand returned to her lower back, reassuring her that everything was fine and that in a few minutes the curious eyes would lose interest.

Bella immediately stopped fidgeting with her hand bag and leaned ever so slightly into my body. No-one would have noticed her subtle move unless they were as conscience of her body as I was. It was such a small thing, nearly imperceptible, but it made me feel something that only Bella ever evoked. I wasn’t going to think about what the hell it was now, but I knew sooner or later I was going to have to sit down and have a serious chat with myself.

At the very back of the room I could already see Jasper and the others, so I thanked the maître d’ and made my own way there. It wasn’t like I was going to get lost.

None of the idiots at the table noticed as we approached; they were laughing at something Emmett said.

Bella and I stood there waiting for them to look up or even turn around, but as I expected they didn’t take their eyes of each other for even a second.

I turned to Bella. “Can you believe it? Everyone in this restaurant notices our arrival except this bunch.” She giggled and nodded.

I decided to not stand around and wait for them to acknowledge our presence— it would a fucking century before that fucking happened—and cleared my throat extremely loudly, more so than it was probably necessary.

Jasper looked up and smiled and then frowned when he saw Bella. He quickly reined in his reaction before anyone could notice.

“Hey, Edward, Bella. Thank you for coming, even if you are twenty minutes late.”

I rolled my eyes and pulled a chair for Bella, and sat down between to her and the imp.

I unfortunately got the worst seat in the house. Now I was going to have to spend hours next to Mental Midget and her crazy puffy dress. Did all girls dress like five year olds for their engagement party? And not that I’m a fashion expert, but I was pretty sure Rosalie forgot one of her sleeves at home, not to mention it hurt to look at her; the dress she was wearing reflected the candle light. I much preferred what Bella was wearing, it was classy and sexy, and... Shit, I better stop. Who knows what kind of monster those thoughts might awaken.

“Sorry, that’s probably my fault.” Bella said shyly.

“No, it wasn’t. I forgot to ask you before today, so it was my fault. Not that it matters.” I glared at Jasper. I was doing him a favour by gracing this fucking dinner with my sour presence, he should be damn thankful.

Jasper nodded and hid a smirk. “Bella, let me introduce you to Alice, my fiancée. And this is Rosalie, Emmett’s girlfriend.”

The usual fucking pleasantries were exchanged between the girls. The usual ‘Nice to meet you’ and ‘I’ve heard so much about you’, blah, blah, blah.

“So, Edward tells me this is an engagement party.” I could see Bella was trying to make conversation; it was really awkward being with people you didn’t know. Hell, even though I knew Rosalie for five years and Alice for one, I was still uncomfortable talking freely near them.

The bundle of freakish energy next to me started bouncing up and down. God, not in a million years would I date something so hyper.

“Yes, Jasper proposed. It was so sweet, the very best day of my life.” She extended her arm and waved her hand in front of Bella’s face to show off the rock on her finger, not even caring that she nearly broke my nose as she did so.

“That’s a beautiful ring. Jasper has some serious taste.”

“Well, I told him where to buy it, and told the store manager exactly which one I wanted.”

Why in the heck was Jazz marrying this girl again?

“Oh, that’s...nice.”

Pfft, nice? I think Bella meant nuts.

Rosalie asked Alice to see the ring once again, and thankfully diverted the Crazy One’s attention away from us.

Bella shuffled closer and whispered in my ear, “Is he really marrying her?”

I couldn’t hold back a laugh as I nodded.

“What’s so funny? You know it’s rude to whisper when in the company of others, stupid.” Emmett said with his outside voice.

“It’s also rude to shout in a restaurant, idiot.”

Before our argument could turn into the usual lame exchange of words the waiter came over to take our orders. We all decided to have the Crème de Petits Pois for starters, different main courses and Soufflé for desert. I very much doubted I would stick around for desert, as soon as I could leave, I was out.

“Bella, tell me, how are you enjoying working in the entertainment business?” Rosalie asked as she ate a bread stick.

“It’s great, never a dull moment.” She smiled that huge melting smile I liked so much.

“I can imagine. I’ve only ever been around Cullen once when he was working, and it definitely wasn’t boring.”

I groaned. Why in God’s name did she have to bring that up every single time?

Jasper and Emmett started laughing at my expense. Fucking shitheads.

“Really, Rosalie? Is it necessary to bring this up every time I see you?”

Bella leaned forward, giving Rosalie her full attention and me a little peek of her delicious cleavage. “What happened?”

“Bella...”

“Oh, don’t be a spoilsport.” She smacked my hand lightly. “I just want to know what’s so funny.”

What the fuck was I meant to say after that? Well, nothing came to mind. So I huffed and crossed my arms knowing that what was about to come was fucking embarrassing.

Bella gave me a victory smile and turned back to Rosalie.

“You know I’m a make-up artist, right?” Bella nodded “Well to make a long story short; I was Cullen’s make-artist for one of his first films, ‘Left Behind’. Within five minutes of meeting me he starts giving me attitude, telling me that what I’m doing is wrong, and getting real snarky with me. Now I don’t take bullshit, whatsoever. And when he starts insinuating I spread my legs indiscriminately,” Rosalie is such a lady. “I lose it. I give him the best black eye ever.” Bella starts laughing hysterically, tears escaping her eyes. “He then goes to shoot the pinnacle scene of the film, nearly in tears, which evidently fit rather well with the tortured character he was meant to be playing. Eight months later he wins his second Golden Globe, and it was all thanks to me and my killer right hook.”

“Dream on, Rosalie. I won that Globe for my, and I quote, ‘Passionate and brilliant performance’. Not just for one scene.”

I can’t help but scowl. I did not appreciate how Rosalie dealt with her aggression, and I wasn’t crying. I just... had a speckle in my eye.

Fuck me she punches like a heavy weight boxer.

And I know they are just trying to keep me grounded with all the embarrassing memories, but fuck... a little support wouldn’t kill them.

“I remember seeing that film; I thought it was phenomenal.” See, Bella gets what I need. “Especially the bit where you discover why he was left behind... Is that the scene?”

“Yep, that’s it.”

Is it wrong that I want to slap Rosalie? Yeah, I think it is. Damn.

Bella starts shaking with silent laughter.

“Oh, not you too, Bella.” Does everyone just like to torture me? Is that it?

She bumps my arm with her shoulder. “Come on, admit it. It’s funny.”

Bella starts giggling again and I can’t restrain myself. I join in.

“No fucking way! Are you laughing Cullen?” I seriously need to wash Rosalie’s mouth with soap.

“No. I was breathing fire.” I role my eyes and rest my left arm on the back of Bella’s chair.

After a few remarks from Rosalie about how shitty my wit is, the soup arrives and we get down to eating some grub.

The conversation is pretty crap. Alice goes on and on and on about what colour scheme she wants, what ballroom she wants to hire, even what ribbon she is going to use to decorate the chairs. I can’t say any of this surprises me; Alice is by far the most materialistic and shallow person I have ever had the misfortune to meet. But Jazz loves her, so I keep my opinions to myself and smile every time she turns her fakeness towards me.

The only thing keeping this night from turning from shit to shittier is Bella. She’s polite and nice, sweet and lovely. She sits next to me listening to all the garbage Alice comes up with, trying to hide her amusement and taping my foot every time the Crazy One says something particularly funny. I try very hard not to laugh, not even smirk, but I guess Jasper’s right; I really do need an acting coach because I can’t keep my face straight.

In a moment of rare peace—Alice is thankfully stuffing her face— the rest of us at the table actually start talking and not just pretending to listen.

“Emmet, what are you doing?” Bella asks laughing. I don’t know why, but she seems to be glowing tonight, and I fucking can’t keep my eyes away.

“Eating soup?”

“Yes, I can see that. But why are you using a fork?”

“I like to live dangerously.”

He always does this: eats soup with forks, cuts steak with spoons. He’s ‘special’ that way.

“Did your mother drop you on your head a lot when you were a baby?”

“I wouldn’t know. I never met the lady to ask her.”

I freeze. Please don’t let this go in the direction I think this is going. Because if it goes down the way I think it will, I think I might hit someone, and it will very likely be Emmett.

I shoot Jasper a meaningful glance; he clears his throat and starts drumming his fingers on the table, clearly as uncomfortable with the conversation as I am.

“Oh... I’m sorry...I didn’t –“

“It’s cool Buttons. Mama loved her drugs and Pa loved his thieving. No wonder I never got to meet them, huh?” Emmett is still attempting to eat his soup, completely unaware of where this is going.

“Did you at least get adopted by a nice family?”

Everyone at the table shifts uncomfortably in their seats; all except Emmett and Bella. For Emmett, the life we had was never hard, he has always accepted the bad with the good, and has never been bitter about the experiences we should have been spared. It’s just how he is. But then again Emmett never met his parents, his memories aren’t the same as Jasper’s and mine. He never could miss something he never had, nor could he hate something he never knew.

“Nope. No one wants a sick baby. I had a lot of health problems thanks to my alcoholic, drug addict, prostitute of a mother. That woman was an overachiever, couldn’t just screw up on one thing...Um...” His eyes find me and then carefully look away. Is that how he sees me? Am I an overachiever too? Dickhead. “So, it was foster homes for me. But it wasn’t all bad. I got to meet these guys there... er, well, look at me know; I’m healthy as a horse.”

The urge to punch Emmett is unbelievably strong. He’s talking about the most painful time in our lives as if he was talking about a football game on TV. There aren’t enough insults to describe his stupidity and insensitivity.

I crack my knuckles and lean back on my chair, shooting daggers with my eyes. We never talk about this, never. And yet, it’s like he has verbal diarrhoea and can’t keep it in. Why not tell the fucking universe the whole damn story, fuckface? Because right now I just want to go all fetal and forget I exist, forget that I had to live through all that and still be reminded of it when a random phone call comes through, or when asswipes bring up what should be left in the past.

“You’re as stupid as one too.”

Jasper tries to salvage the situation but it’s no use. We’re all ignoring the fucking pink elephant in the room, and we know it. Rosalie and Alice have suddenly become best of friends and decide to talk about napkins, trying to stay away from the awkwardness. The guys continue their charade, pretending they hadn’t fucking touched on the one subject that was meant to remain untouchable.

“Horses aren’t stupid, man.”

“How do you know? Have you ever spoken to one?”

“After that comment I can safely say that you’re the idiot, Jazz.”

I try to not go into the deep, dark hole waiting for me. This is how it always is; when the subject comes up, the fury comes up, the pain comes along for the ride, too. I swear the room has just shrunk, the windows have been nailed shut, and some motherfucker has just stabbed me through the heart. All over again.

Just when I’m about to switch off and allow myself to plunge into the dark depths I know I’m capable of entering, a small hand touches my thigh.

“How was your day?”

I turn to my left and as expected, see only loveliness. Bella doesn’t look judgemental or even questioning. She looks worried, as if she sensed my near relapse, but relieved, as if she knows she caught me right on time. I take her hand in mine and start to play with her fingers, and the worry is soon replaced with a smile and the relief is replaced with tenderness. My darkness goes back to its hole and stays there.

“Busy, dull, annoying.” I whisper, still shaken up from the conversation. “I didn’t have you there to protect me from Jazz. He made me exercise for two hours, I very nearly died.” I give her a teasing grin and she giggled.

“How about yours?” I ask as my untouched soup is replaced by Salmon en Croûte.

Bella answers as she lets go of my hand, and cuts into her Coq au Vin. “It was boring. Just scheduled your entire life for the next two months, and spent the morning doing errands for a certain celebrity.” Bella’s dainty shoulder’s lift as she shrugs.

“God, I must make your life miserable.” I take a bite and lean back, throwing my arm over the back of her chair, making sure my arm touches her bare back.

“You make it better... take tonight, for example. I was dreading the night I was going to have, and then you show up.”

That doesn’t sound like something I would do, usually I make things suckier. And by suckier, I mean I completely fuck things up five hundred different ways.

“Really? Are you just sucking up to me?” I can’t help but tease her.“Just because I’m your boss doesn’t mean you have to be nice, Go right ahead tell me how much of a douche I am.”

She laughs and shoves her fork in my direction, offering me a bit of her chicken. I eat it. It’s damn good. “Trust me, if you’re a douche, I’ll let you know.”

I cut a piece of my salmon and offer it to her. “I doubt that very much. You’re too sweet to be mean to me.”

She takes it. “Sweet? I think you’re going mad.”

And that’s how we spent the next hour. Joking, laughing, and completely ignoring the others at our table. Jasper tried to make us join the main conversation but in the end he gave up. There’s no way either Bella or I can keep a straight face when Alice refers to herself as Tinkerbelle. I think we both actually start crying when she suggests that the invitations for the wedding have Tinker on the outside. But obviously not with a green dress, that would totally, like, OMG, completely go against the colour scheme.

As the main courses are replaced by six chocolate soufflés I feel Rosalie’s stare on me and turn, leaving Bella to eat for a minute without me drooling on her.

Rosalie has the biggest fucking grin on her face. I don’t like it one little bit. So I narrow my eyes only to receive a fucking wink in return. A wink, ew. But I have to admit I don’t hate Rosalie, it’s not that I like the girl, but I’m indifferent to her. At least, she’s only fake when it comes to her looks, everything else she keeps natural.

“Bella, would you like to come to the ladies with me?”

I scowl at Rosalie. What the Hell is she playing at?

“Um, sure?”

I stand up and pull Bella’s chair, and she thanks me with a smile.

As I sit down I ponder what girls could possibly do in toilets together, and why all of the sudden I feel far too alone and empty. As soon as Bella got up, I wanted to drag her back to my side and start stroking her skin. I had the urge to caress her neck and cheeks, maybe even start counting the faint freckles on her shoulders. I guess right now was the time to have a serious chit-chat with myself. I’ve turned into a major pussy and I have no idea why.

I ignore Jasper’s probing looks and Emmett’s wiggling eyebrows by looking down at my plate.

The conversation I’m about to have with myself is psych ward worthy, but I need to sort shit out and this is the best way to go about things...

So, Edward...You want to fuck Bella.

Duh.

Do you like Bella?

Yeah.

How much do you like Bella?

A lot.

...

What?

Dude, how can you not see it?

You lost me, subconscious Edward.

You’re a dumb shit. Let’s look at the evidence. You like Bella a lot; you get all pussy on me when she’s around, you are nice to her, which is unheard of, and you hate it when she’s not near you... Make sense yet, numbnuts?

So what you’re saying is; I’m falling for her?

Uh-huh.

Fuck.



~Bella~

This has to be the weirdest dinner I have ever attended. It has nothing on Christmas dinner two years ago when Charlie thought I was pregnant and nearly shot Jake. I wasn’t pregnant; just had eaten far too much. That was weird and uncomfortable, but today’s dinner was... umm, strange on so many levels.

Firstly, I have no idea where Jasper found his fiancé; I’m going to say he found her in a parallel universe where people are really tiny and really annoying. Secondly, I could feel the tension in the group as soon as Edward and I sat down. It wasn’t the awkwardness that comes with meeting people for the first time, this was completely different. I could see Jazz exchanging covert glances with Emmett, I could feel Rosalie’s and Alice’s assessing gazes. There was a big, fat elephant in the room, and I was it. They didn’t know what to make of my presence. Heck, I didn’t know what to make of it. This wasn’t a business dinner, nor was this like the barbecue. This was a private celebration between friends, and I had somehow been included. And finally, I think I have the worst case of Foot in Mouth disease ever encountered. Who in their right mind asks if someone got adopted by a nice family? Well, apparently I do. I think I might have had a brain fart. I have been told those are very common.

As Rosalie and I made our way to the toilet every head turned, watching us intently. Its human nature to be curious, but just because I knew the stares were inquisitive rather than judgemental didn’t make me feel better. They were probably wondering what I was doing with the world’s most beautiful man by my side. I sure was.

Rosalie glared at a woman as we entered the toilet. Making it very clear her presence was not welcomed. When the bathroom was empty Rosalie started cackling.

“Damn Bella.” She hopped on the counter and leaned back against the mirror. “Now that we’ve been introduced we need to go out.”

I sat down on one of the posh little stools. I knew we came to chat not to pee. “Why?”

I liked Rosalie; she had a hard as nails exterior but underneath it all I could tell she was a wonderful person.

“From what I’ve gathered things are a lot more interesting when you’re around.” She opened her handbag and took out her lipgloss. “People stare, we talk about shit that hasn’t been talked about in years, and you make Edward act like a lovey-dovey teenager. It’s hilarious.”

I think Rosalie should stop bleaching her hair; it’s obviously destroying her brain cells.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Edward always acts like that; he’s temperamental and short-tempered, not lovey-dovey, as you put it.”

“Are you saying he’s always been like this around you?”

“Well, no. He was-”

“Get the fuck out of here. Can’t you seen we’re having a private convo? Shoo.” Rosalie screamed at two women as they came in.

“Damn hobags. As if I don’t know they are just trying to listen. You were saying.”

She sure is feisty. And maybe a little bit scary.

“At first he was... not very nice, but then things changed.” I fiddled with my clutch.

I hate when people asked me personal questions and I could tell Rosalie was itching to get to the bottom of things. But I wasn’t sure what was going on lately, I had been worrying about one man and not analyzing what was going with another. When I was with Edward the only thing I could think about is how amazing he is, when I’m with Jake worries and indecisiveness cloud my mind. I can’t get away to just think and sort through things. I’m starting to think that I might need a day off.

“I can see that. He’s never been like this, you know.” She jumped off the counter and turned to face the mirror, retouching her make-up. “I have never seen him laugh. When Jasper forces him to come to dinner he usually smile a bit, scowls a lot, but he never laughs. And then tonight you come along and he’s laughing like there’s no tomorrow. At first it was creepy, Edward laughing doesn’t look right. But I think I’ve figured crap out.”

“He wasn’t laughing because of me; it’s all thanks to Alice.”

“I can guarantee it’s not. She was her usual whacko self last time and he nearly threw a bread roll at her head. This was all your doing, Bella.”

“Rosalie-”


“It’s Rose.”

“Rose, I think you’re reading too much into this. He’s just in a good mood.”

The toilet door opened and a group of women peeked in, but quickly retreated as Rosalie threw one of the disposable soaps at the door.

“No, he’s not. Em starts talking about their time in foster care and he’s in a good mood? I highly doubt it.” Rose leaned her hip against the counter and regarded me seriously. “After I had been dating Em for three months I made the mistake of asking about his childhood in front of the others. Edward flipped out, destroyed all the furniture in his room and couldn’t go back to work for two weeks. And then today the same thing comes up and he looks upset for ten minutes and then shrugs it off?”

“Maybe he’s gotten through it.”

“Not likely. Edward doesn’t let things go.”

“You started dating Emmett nearly five years ago, Edward was nineteen? He isn’t a teenager anymore, Rose.”

“Bella, this is going around in circles. You tell me it has nothing to do with you, and I’m telling you it has everything to do with you.”

She had no idea what she was talking about. There was no way Edward was acting the way he was because of me. I wasn’t even a factor in determining his moods, I was only the assistant.

I shook my head and went to stand next to Rose in front of the mirror. I still looked ok, my lipstick hadn’t bled.

“Are you really that blind?” Rose’s reflection asked mine. “Let me point out to you a few things you clearly aren’t seeing.” She said as she took my clutch and started looking through it.

“I’ve known Edward for longer than you so I know a few things you haven’t had the time to learn yet. For one Edward is a miserable sod, no matter who he’s with or what he’s doing he’s miserable full stop. Tonight he scowled once or twice, and that’s it. Another one of Edward’s endearing qualities is his aloofness; he always separates himself from others, and above all never lets others in. So you can imagine my surprise when he actually talks to you, and not about the industry or business, but rather about common things like books. I don’t think you understand how rare that is in Edward Land.” Rose takes my phone and starts typing in numbers. “Edward also doesn’t date; he’s a closeted manwhore in many ways. He’s rarely seen with anyone, and he never takes any of his skanks to dinner. The only reason I know he does have women at his beck and call is because Em tells me about it. And yet, here you are, with him at his best friend’s engagement party, in public, where the paparazzi can possibly snap pictures.” Rose put my phone back in my clutch and handed it back to me. “Oh, and he was drooling all over you like a love sick puppy.”

“That's...so-”

“True. Yeah, I know. I have a talent for pointing out the obvious. He’s in love with you; he just doesn’t know it yet. Men’s brains are seldomly connected to their hearts so it takes longer for them to understand things. Damn, I good at this. I should have been a psychologist instead of a make-up artist.”

I just stood there staring at nothing in particular. Maybe Alice wasn’t the crazy one; maybe Rose was crazier but knew how to hide it better.

“I also know that you’re denying it, blah, blah. So I’m not going to push it, just promise you’ll tell me when you figure it out so I can do my I Told You So dance.” Rose picked up her handbag and gestured to the door. “I think we should go in. They are probably thinking we either have the runs or are having lesbian sex. ”

And that was that. She was going to believe what she wanted even though it was untrue. There wasn’t any way that Edward Cullen could ever fall in love with me, and not because he was famous or perfect looking, but rather because he was infinitely more interesting and captivating. To me Edward was like Chocolate Chip ice cream; delicious and dark, and not as simple as it first appears. He’s smooth and yet, has all these little bumps, making things all the more exciting and mouth-watering. I’m vanilla; nice and ordinary. Everyone likes vanilla but they would always prefer something more adventurous like Raspberry Ripple or Strawberry Cheesecake. It just doesn’t make sense why he would want something dull when he could get something incredible.

After our little chat in the toilet we went back to our table where the guys and Alice were ready to leave. We tried to get out quickly as possible so Edward wouldn’t get hounded by people asking for his autograph, but alas, there always has to be one. The creepy French man went all fan girl and asked for an autograph and a picture. I really had to restrain my laughter as Edward signed a napkin and dragged me away before Frenchy had the opportunity to turn on his camera.

Outside we said our goodbyes, and I promised Rose I would call and arrange a girly day out. I needed a few dresses for the European tour and she said she knew the best boutiques. After Edward uncomfortably man hugged Jasper and fist bumped Emmett, and threw a few more glares at the valet, we got in the car.

Overall I had had a wonderful night. I’ll agree it hadn’t gotten to the best of starts but it wasn’t a complete disaster, either. And I couldn’t blame Jake for getting mad, I was the one who had been the coward—as always—and decided to run and hide rather than face a mind-numbing few hours with my boyfriend. I should’ve done the right thing and said no to going to dinner with Edward, I shouldn’t have made Jake feel inferior or second best to anyone. I could understand his blow up; he was feeling unloved and neglected. I should have stayed and made sure he knew that I loved him, he was a great friend. But in life you don’t always do what you should, in fact people mostly do what they want, regardless of the consequences. But I knew what the result would be and I was prepared to face it as soon as I got home.

“Bella?”

“Mmm?” I answered as I looked out the window. It was a beautiful night, there was a slight chill in the air but you could see the stars and that more than made up for it.

“Did you have a good time?”

I turned to look at him. He was in profile as he focused on the road, the glow from the outside lights created delicate shadows on his face.

“I had a great night.”

He nodded. “Me too.”

I don’t think I was meant to hear his reply; he was talking more to himself than to me. But those two little words have me with butterflies; it wasn’t just what he said but how he said them. It was barely above a whisper and so gentle. It made me think they meant more than what he intended to say.

The rest of the journey was spent in comfortable silence. I did nothing more than watch Edward for half an hour. And I could have sworn he looked different, he looked like he did when he was asleep; calm and peaceful, not a care in the world. I always thought Edward had a sad aura around him, but it had disappeared as we sat in his expensive car not talking.

I wanted to break the silence and ask questions. I knew he was troubled by his past, but that wasn’t what I wanted to ask. As far as I was concerned his past was his to share as he wished; his memories were his own, and I had no right to them. I wouldn’t ask unless he initiated the conversation. What I wanted to know was if Rosalie was right. It was delusional to think she might have been right, but it’s so hard not to build castles in the sky.

Edward stopped right in front of my building and opened the car door for me. I thanked him as I always do; with a slightly besotted smile.

We stood facing each other for a few minutes, neither of us knowing how to end the night. How do you say goodnight to your boss who you like more than it’s appropriate?

I should just give him a smile and say goodnight and walk away. But as I had already learnt what I should isn’t what I do, at least not when Edward is concerned.

I closed the distance between us and rose on my tip toes, placing a shy kiss on his cheek.

I wasn’t expecting him to return it; just a grin or a smirk would have sufficed. But Edward never could never just meet expectations; he always had to surpass them. And surpass them he did.

He stepped closer as I placed the heels of my feet firmly on the floor, and enveloped me in a hug. I could smell his wonderful scent as he turned his face into my neck and kissed the spot where my jaw met my ear. For the briefest of moments I felt his soft lips on my skin. And even as he pulled away I could still feel the tingles his lips induced.

“Thank you for agreeing to come with me tonight.”

I blinked a few times and nodded. I was meant to thank him for asking me to dinner, but for some unfathomable reason I couldn’t remember the words I needed to use.

I stared at his face for a second longer before deciding I couldn’t stand there without saying anything and looking like an utter imbecile.

I removed my keys from my clutch and made my way up the stairs to my apartment building. As I turned to lock the main door behind me, Edward was still standing by the side of his car, hands now in his pocket and a radiant smile on his face.

Maybe castles weren’t being built on air.