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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.


11. Doorways into the inconceivable

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5099   Review this Chapter

My corridor was dark, only lit by a single light by the stairs. There was no noise seeping through the cracks at the bottom of the doors, nor was there any faint glimmer coming from inside the apartments. This didn’t really surprise me. It was after all, nearly one in the morning. But even so, I had thought the light in my apartment would still be on. I had imagined that Jake would have waited for me to return home. I was sure he would want to point out once again my failings, continue to describe in detail my flaws. But no, he obviously had had enough for tonight.


As I opened my door everything was quiet and still, dark– the opposite of when I had left. I turned on the light and locked the door.

There were reminders of the argument floating around – Jake’s shoes were no longer by the entrance, the TV was off, and the magazine was where it had been left; laying on the floor near the dining room table, now ripped in two.

I threw my clutch on the sofa, slipped off my shoes, and unzipped my dress. I left my clothes were they fell and paced to the dining room in my miss-matched underwear. I picked up the magazine and flicked through the damaged pages, stopping at page five where Edward’s picture had somehow managed to remain untouched.

It was amazing how anger could act as a truth serum. In those ten minutes between telling Jake I was choosing an evening with my boss over him and his car obsession, and leaving, Jake had gotten a lot off his chest. He didn’t hold anything back; every disappointment he could remember was shoved in my face and so was every betrayal. In some ways he had been wrong; all of the mistakes made were not my fault, or at least, not completely mine. And the so called betrayals, were only so in his eyes. I didn’t see having my own independent life and wanting to succeed as acts of disloyalty. But Jake had been right too; I was, and still am, a lousy girlfriend. This I have always known. But above all, he had been right about one thing: I didn’t care enough. I never had. I never had a reason to.

It was easy to see that the way we were wasn’t what we were meant to be. From the outside we looked like a happy couple, starting our life together, with nothing but love and adoration for one another. I knew this because throughout our relationship friends and family had always commented on how good we looked next to each other, how our personalities mashed together perfectly. And yes, we did look good on paper, from the outside – same socio-economic background, both from divorced families, same education. We were so similar, and we should have gone together like peanut butter and jam. The shell of our relationship was as close to ideal as you could get, but the inside... Well, the inside was bare and hollow. But we did have a lot of fun together, and Jake had many exceptional qualities that made him a wonderful person. However, when it comes down to it, having fun and him being sweet or affectionate, having charm or good people skills, just isn’t enough. Our conversations were never deep, they simply skimmed the surface. I never allowed Jake to get to know who I really was, and he in turn, only showed me what he thought I wanted to see. Maybe that explains why we rarely fought; at some level we both must have been conscience of how little we were emotionally invested.

In some ways it was even laughable to see a five year relationship crumble because of one argument. I should have known better than to believe a relationship built upon sand could last anything, much less my flood of emotions towards Edward. But for this I did take full responsibility. I was the one who didn’t give up even when I could see that there was nothing concrete about Jake and me together. But, just maybe, I could have something with someone built upon rock; strong and solid, forever lasting.

I looked down at the tattered magazine in my hands and decided to chuck it in the bin, only keeping page five and putting it under a magnet on the fridge. Not only did I want to see Edward’s gorgeous pout every time I went into the kitchen but I also wanted to be reminded of what had happened yesterday. I wanted to keep the memory of Jake’s anger filled eyes every time I got milk. I needed to remember how it was the first time I had seen him show real passion... even if it was laced with rage.

His words hadn’t upset me; it wasn’t as if he had told me anything I didn’t already know. Instead what had me fuming was the fact that I had never, not once, evoked such strong emotions from him. Not even during sex. And even though I had anger swimming within me, there was also relief. He had ended things. He made the decision. The very dominant coward in me rejoiced.

I turned off the light in the living room and went straight to the shower. The warm water helped ease my mind and diverted my thoughts into a much more pleasant path. It let me appreciate for the first time the fact that I had kissed—no matter how chastely— and been kissed by a man who truly left me breathless and wanting more. Now his smile would occupy my thoughts more so than it already did.

I shut off the water and jumped into bed, too exhausted to dry myself or bother with pyjamas. I only wanted to go to sleep and maybe dream of melting smiles and adoring green eyes.


My morning didn’t start well. Somehow my alarm didn’t go off and I had twelve minutes to get my butt out of bed and be out of the door. I didn’t have to be anywhere before noon, but I wanted to see Edward. And that was more than enough to have me tripping and falling to get ready.

The first thing my hand touched I put on, noticing only afterwards that the dress was grey. My jacket and shoes were chosen with equal care, as was my handbag. In less than twenty minutes I was running down the stairs, tying a ponytail, and in the car.

In no time I was standing in front of Edward’s door. I couldn’t wait to see what would greet me today; sleepy and sweet, or groggy and grumpy. I usually encountered the latter but I liked them both—grumpy was adorable.

As I put the key in the lock I tried to hold back the colossal smile that threatened to take up half my face. I hadn’t realized I had been smiling until I stopped at a red light. While waiting for the light to turn green I liked looked around, see how other people’s mornings were going. The man in the car to my left was already on his hands free device, not having a good day. The woman in the car to my right was staring at me. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but then her eyes were glued to the side of my face. Becoming self conscious I checked the mirror to see if I had anything on my face, but there was only an enormous smile. It was so natural to be happy about seeing Edward that it had gone unregistered.

I opened the door and stepped inside, but I wasn’t welcomed by Edward’s smiling face or adorable droopy eyes. Rather I was face to face with a well put together model, in short shorts and ankle boots.

“It’s about fucking time. How long do you think I can stand his company for?”

“Rose, what are you doing here?”

“What does it look like? I’ve been waiting for you— not in some weird soul mate way.”

She grabbed my elbow and dragged me into the kitchen. Not the start to the day I had been hoping for.

The kitchen was its usual bare, sterile place, but that didn’t matter. My eyes were held by the piercing green emeralds on the other side of the room; they were just as captivating today as they had been yesterday night, and still held that same smile that had me grinning uncontrollably. I loved that smile.

“Bella...” My name coming from his lips as a breathy sound.

I couldn’t hold back my own dreamy whisper. “Edward.”

“And I’m Rosalie. Glad to know we can all still remember our names; the kindergarten teachers would have been so proud.”

It was hard to smile and glare at the same time, I unfortunately did not possess that talent but Edward did. He thankfully glared enough for the both of us.

I took a seat next to Edward and was immediately hit with his distinct sent. The urge to shuffle closer to him, to bury my face in the crook of his neck, to caress his hair was so strong that I had to sit on my hands.

“Bella, why are you sitting down? I have places to be, people to bitch about, and shop assistants to scare. Get your ass up and let’s go shopping.”

“I don’t think so, Rose. I have work.”

“Oh, please. I checked with Em and he said the only thing Edward has going on today is the Vanity Fair interview. And even though I doubt Edward’s ability to take care of himself or survive without having others babying him, I’m sure he will be able to deal with one dude asking basic questions and scribbling crap down.”

“It’s not even nine and you’re already insulting me, Rosalie. And on top of that you’re insulting me in my own house.”

Edward yawned and stretched, and for the first time I got a peek at his happy trail. Whoever named it that had been on to something; just one little glimpse and I was as happy as a sunshine and rainbows. Imagine what would happen if I followed it with my finger... or tongue...

“What’s your point?” Rosalie asked in a bored tone.

“My point is... Actually, no, I’m not doing this. Just get out.” Edward replied in a monotone voice, clearly not caring what Rose said. He just wanted her out, maybe to get some alone time with me?

Not getting ahead of yourself there at all.


“No can do, Eduardo. Bella and I have a date with some killer dresses. So why don’t you go take a hike and let us get on with our day?”

“Give it up, Rose,” I said as I got up to make Edward breakfast. “I’m not going. I can’t just take days off randomly, and regardless, I want to go to the interview.”

I spread jam on toast, and placed it on a plate.

“Aren’t they bringing the pictures from the photo shoot?” I asked as I put the plate on the table and resumed my seat.

Edward grabbed a toast. “Yes, I think they are.”

“Well, that’s just too bad, princess. You’re coming with me. End of story.”

“Rosalie, you know about that hike? Go take it.”

Edward’s flippant reply had me silently laughing. I didn’t want to laugh out loud; I was still slightly scared of Rosalie.

“Listen here, McGrouchy. You better convince Cinderella there to go with me or I’ll tell her what I saw this morning.”

Edward’s crooked eyebrow made an appearance right then. “Emmett is a very lucky man; not only does his girlfriend have impeccable manners but she’s also a blackmailer. Nice.”

Rose placed her hands, palm down, on the table and leaned forward.
“Bella, this morning Edward walked out-”

I was suddenly hurled up from my seat, Edward’s warm hand covering my elbow.

“That’s a good boy, Cullen.”

Rosalie grabbed her handbag and grinned, walking out of the kitchen.

Edward’s thumb caressed the crook of my elbow. “After you,” he indicated for me to walk in front.

I picked up my jacket and bag, and stood in front of the door where Rose was waiting.

“I swear Hale; if Bella wasn’t here you wouldn’t have gotten away with that little display.” Edward’s hand travelled to my lower back, and involuntary, I leaned in to his warmth.

“I’m disappointed Cullen, where’s your bite? I expected for you to tell me to go eat shit at least once.” Her grin told me she loved winding him up.

“Stick around for much longer and you might just get your wish.”

I think that’s where I should step in. Rose obviously didn’t understand how annoyed Edward was getting, he wasn’t used to people disagreeing with him on anything. Apart from Emmett and Jasper, Edward always heard ‘Yes’ from those he encountered, and no-one would dare to be as confrontational as Rose was being. His reputation didn’t allow for that to happen.

“Rose, go and wait in the car. I’ll be there in a bit.”

“It was nice doing business with you, Cullen.” She left after giving a scouts’ salute.

I turned around and faced Edward. “Sorry about her, I didn’t know Rose was going to come here.”

“It’s fine Bella; you can’t be blamed for how annoying she is.” He rubbed the rug with his foot, not looking at me.

“If you don’t want me to go, I won’t.”

Edward looked up and gifted me with a small, tentative smile. “No, you should go. You need to get dresses and whatever other things girls have to get to go to premieres. And I’ve already had Jasper arrange for your Christmas bonus to be deposited in your account—you should go and spend it.”

Sometimes Edward could be such a peculiar, handsome thing. “Christmas? Edward, you are aware it’s the beginning of September?”

He rested his shoulder against the door frame, just like he had done yesterday. The result was the same; butterflies immediately began flapping their wings. “It’s for last Christmas.”

“I began working for you at the end of June,” I responded, with laughter in my voice.

Edward shrugged and grinned.

“Ok, I better get going or Rose might stab me with one of her nails.”

Straight away his head fell a bit, disappointment written all over his face.

I couldn’t stop my feet from walking closer to him. “What’s wrong?”

He shook his head. “Nothing, I’m being silly. I just... I just thought I would get to spend the day with—” He shook his head again and straightened up.

I hope he doesn’t expect me to be able to function after telling me something like that. I knew what the last word he intended to finish the sentence with was. I sucked in a breath, because right then he had me breathless. There was nowhere else I wanted to be, no-one else I wanted to be with. I wanted this moment to stretch for eternity, just him and I and this indescribable thing sparking to life between us.

“You should get going.” His hand rose up and brushed a strand of hair that had come loose from my ponytail behind my ear. “Have a nice day.”

And then he kissed me. It was only on my cheek but it was still a kiss. It was just like mine had been yesterday; shy and careful.

I nodded and said goodbye with a hug. I wanted to be close to him if I was going to have to be away from him for an entire day.

I walked to Rose’s Mercedes and plopped down on the passenger’s side; I was still somewhat annoyed at her for interrupting what could have been a lovely day.

“Buckle up and let’s get this show on the road.”

I answered in the most juvenile way I knew how; I turned away and faced the window. I didn’t want to be in a confined space with her, but rather with him. I had the urge to return to my petulant teenager years and tell her that she was major sucksville.

“Come on Beauty, don’t be like that. You’ll be back to your Beast soon enough.”

“Rose, don’t be horrible, he’s a wonderful person,” I answered crossing my arms and huffing. I could see insults like bumface and pooie in the horizon if she kept insulting Edward.

“No, Bella, he really isn’t. You just have your rose coloured glasses on.”

“That’s not true. You just don’t know him, you don’t get him.”

Rose laughed and shouted something abusive at another driver. “What’s there to get? Edward’s a moody over grown teenager with too much power and money.”

“I think you’re the one who doesn’t perceive him in the right light; he’s not moody, I would say he’s intense.”

“Right, right.” The laughing began once again. “And would you say he’s rude?”

“Not at all, he is very polite. I can only assume you interpret his quietness as rudeness.”

“Uh-huh. Quietness... I think you mean he’s closed off to the world. Aloof,arrogant, thinks he’s on a class of his own— Above all others.”


I could feel my face burning red, not from embarrassment of any kind, but rather from anger. “That is not true! Edward’s closed off because he has to be, he can’t trust anyone in this business. When it’s just us he is open and caring, incredibly sweet. The arrogance is only there as a defence mechanism, and why shouldn’t he be arrogant about his abilities? He is one of the best actors in Hollywood, and he will most likely go down in history as one of the best of all time. And he is right to think he’s in a class of his own—because he is!”

I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down. Damn it all and everything.

“You sure are a fiery, little thing and as easy to wind up as Cullen.” She turned and smirked.

“Rose, this is not funny.”

“I know, but damn, it feels like I’m pulling teeth here. How long is it going to take for you to realize you have feelings for him?”

“Thanks for the help, but I can figure things out on my own.”

“I know you can. But sometimes in life we just need a little push to get things rolling faster... I decided I want to be that tiny shove. Emmett wants Edward happy, so I want him happy. I think you can help him with that.”

And just like that I felt Rose become a friend rather than an acquaintance. Her earlier antagonistic behaviour had only been to show me how deep my feelings ran for Edward, even if it was very unnecessary. She wanted him happy—no matter what her reason was— it was enough for me to consider her a friend of mine.


For the remainder of the journey we listened to music and talked about the boutiques Rose would be taking me to. We discussed what dresses I would be looking for, accessories and jewellery. It was enjoyable and I was happy to once again have a female friend close to me. I had missed the girlie chats and the camaraderie that came with knowing that we had experienced many of the same things in life.

Rose parked in one of those multiplex car parks and we descended into an impressive street, with posh boutiques lining both sides of the road. Women with Chihuahuas were walking around with their designer shoes and handbags worth as much as houses. I felt out of place; I wasn’t a part of this world but at the same time I was—an insider but still an outsider. It was a confusing place to be.

After stopping to grab coffee we got ready for the battle that would be finding five outfits. I needed a different dress for each of the premieres. I had spoken to Jasper on Friday and knew what kind of things I should buy; Rome, Paris and L.A. would be formal so floor length gowns would be required. London would be more chilled out but I still needed to look well-dressed, but the premiere in Berlin would be during the day so it was casual all the way.

I told Rose about this and she jumped on the idea of picking out my outfit for the Berlin premiere. I was hesitant to agree; she did after all have a liking for loud colours and crazy prints. And even thought I knew it was probably a terrible idea, inevitably I gave in. Rose was exceedingly persuasive, something that didn’t surprise me at all.

We walked into the first boutique, and were offered champagne and strawberries. Not what I was used to—you just don’t get that sort of treatment in H&M.

“Ok, let’s do Berlin first.” Rose clapped her hands and began looking through the extremely well-organized racks.

“Remember: nothing too bright, not too much cleavage, if it goes above mid-thigh then it’s a no, if I can see my bellybutton—I’m not wearing it. And if it looks like something Paris Hilton would wear then don’t bring it near me.”

“Got it, you want to keep it within the naughty secretary look.”

I ate one of the strawberries and snorted. Yes, I know its attractive behaviour. “Naughty secretary? No, I don’t want to dress like that either.”

Rose held up a stripy yellow dress with hideous bows, it was an instant ‘Hell no’.

“So, you want to stray from your usual look?”

I picked up a frilly silk dress, only to have my hand slapped away.

“My usual look is not that of a naughty secretary.”

“Sure it is.” Rose put down a revolting skirt and looked me up and down. “Yes, most definitely. You look like a serious secretary who likes to be spanked in her free time and bent over her boss’s desk and be fucked from behind.”

I was too stunned to do anything but blink, repeatedly. I could hear the shop assistants giggling by the fitting rooms.

Dear God I hope I don’t look like what Rose described.

“Oh, don’t give me that shocked crap. I didn’t say it was a bad thing. No wonder Edward walked out of the bathroom with a cat that got the cream smile... I can only imagine what he was doing in there—Ew, scratch that, I don’t want to imagine it.”

I wanted to ask her what exactly she thought he was doing in the bathroom, but I wasn’t as naive as to start that conversation. I had a good idea of what she was insinuating. I quickly gulped down half of my champagne and took a deep breath; I didn’t want to have dirty fantasies in the middle of a store.

And that was how the next six hours were spent; Rose teasing me mercilessly about all things Edward, me telling Rose to keep her voice down, and choosing outfits.

We did well, getting everything I could possibly need and more. I was glad Rose took me shopping—she was more daring when it came to fashion and encouraged me to be the same. I ended up with bolder colours, lower necklines, and edgier shapes. But I was apprehensive about the outfit Rose chose for me; it was too... well, not me. It was nice and feminine, but the corset top was a bit overtly sexy. But in the end Rose convinced me it looked great, she said Edward would approve—that was enough for me. Not only that, but she also threatened to hurt me if I didn’t buy it.

After so much shopping we decided to grab lunch.

I took a seat and started reading the menu; it consisted of mainly salads—As if I was going to want to eat leaves after all that exercise.

“I was speaking to Alice this morning and she suggested we do something together, maybe a spa day?”

Er, how do you say no? Because I really didn’t want to go anywhere with the little, crazy thing.

“I don’t know, Rose... Edward’s schedule is pretty packed.” It wasn’t a lie.

“Don’t give me bullshit. Alice isn’t that bad. You just have to get to know her, underneath all the pinkness and lunatic exterior there is a very sweet girl.”

“Uh-huh. Edward doesn’t seem to think so.”

“If Mother Teresa was marrying Jasper Edward would think she was a golddigger.”

I laugh because it’s true. “Fine, but you do not get to ambush me. You will wait for me to call you and arrange it. Deal?”

“I’m going to have to wait till cows start flying, but it’s a deal.”

We eat quickly; Rose has an appointment with some celebrity at three and I’m eager to go back to Edward’s house. His interview should be finished by then and I have to ask him stuff... Ok, blatant lie. I just want to spend time with him again.

Somewhere in my mind a little voice warns that I’m becoming incredibly attached to a man who I’ve known for less than three months. And on top of that his past history does not bode well. As far as I know he never had a serious relationship, probably has a dozen women on the go, and doesn’t feel for me what I feel for him –Even though I have no definite idea of what to call those feelings— But nonetheless, the random gentle caresses he gifts me with say otherwise.

Rose dropped me off at the beginning of Edward’s drive way and I made my way up. I’m three steps away from the front door when it opens, Edward waiting on the other side with a grin.

“Hey.” Just like this morning his voice is silky soft, barely audible, but able to awake emotions within me that I have never felt for another person.

I wanted to tell him I missed him, or that I thought about him all day, that every conversation included his name. In the end I settled for a simple “Hi.”

“How was your day with Brainless Barbie?”

Geeze, how can two people dislike each other so much when they’re rarely in contact?

“Be nice,” I admonished as I sit down on the sofa. “It was good, I bought everything I needed.”

Edward joined me, sitting close to my left. He looks gorgeous in baggy sweat pants and white t-shirt.

“How was the interview?”

“Boring. He asked random questions, but at least he was original. He even asked me what my favourite film was.”

“And that is?”

The Princess Bride,” Edward answers with a smirk.

I curled my leg under me and faced him fully.

The Princess Bride? Really? I would have thought you would choose something like Citizen Kane or The Godfather, maybe an Alfred Hitchcock film.”

“I’m a comedy kind of guy.”

“Edward, all your films have been dramas.”

He shuffles closer and turns on the plasma TV. “Just because I make dramas doesn’t mean I have to like the genre. Films are meant to be an escape, why would I want to escape into a depressing world? Comedy is by far the best option.”

“I completely agree. I myself am a great fan of Airplane, Caddyshack and The Life of Brian. But The Princess Bride is also hilarious... I haven’t seen it in years.”

He laughs at my options and gets up to put in a DVD. Five minutes later we are watching The Princess Bride. The curtains have been drawn, I’m now snuggling under a fluffly throw and Edward is closer than before—I can feel the warmth radiating from his body. Wonderful doesn’t begin to cover it.

We both start laughing at the first ‘Inconceivable’ uttered. No matter how many times you watch it it’s always funny.

Throughout the film we get closer and closer, shifting and shuffling to get nearer to each other. By the time the end credits are rolling, I’m flush against Edward’s right side, and his arm is around me. If anyone walked in right then we would appear like a couple instead of employer and employee.

I inwardly groan when he pulls away to turn on the lights and remove the DVD. But I decide I still don’t want to leave. Getting up I go into the kitchen and feel him silently follow me.

Together we make a ham and cheese omelette, talking about mundane things, random topics, and weird subjects. But somehow Edward manages to make a discussion on cheese exciting. I could see myself having days of nothingness with him, just cooking or watching films. I can picture myself next to him in the kitchen, bedroom and film sets. And all of that scares me so much— the man who was once a detested boss had become someone who I could come to love beyond all reason.

I guess nothing is inconceivable.

After dinner I left, not because I wanted to but rather because it was appropriate to do so. By the door we both starred at each other—clearly disappointed our evening had come to an end—but neither able to express or touch upon what was happening.

We said goodbye in our new way; a hug and a kiss. But tonight the hug was tighter and his lips lingered for longer on my skin.

I cringed as I entered my car; I cringed when I entered my building. They were cold and empty, nothing in comparison to the wholeness I felt as I hugged Edward. I was well aware that I was starting to become more and more dependent upon his presence; my happiness only making an appearance when he was near.

As I walked up the stairs I expected for a few lights to be on, for sounds to leak through the doors. It was only eleven. What I didn’t expect was for sound, light to come from my apartment.

I carefully twisted the key in the lock. I wasn’t met with an empty room or with no shoes by the door, but rather by a six-foot five man on my sofa, elbows resting on knees, and a grim face. What surprised me most was not his presence but rather the sea of glossy magazines that surrounded him.

I closed the door, shrugged off my jacket and waited.

Jacob picked up one of the magazines and threw it on the coffee table. “Explain.”