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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.


12. Silence Says So Much

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4405   Review this Chapter

From where I was standing I couldn’t see what Jake wanted me to explain, but whatever it was I was sure it would involve Edward and I.

Jacob’s face stayed rigid as my expression remained untroubled. There was nothing to explain; whatever those images contained I was positive it didn’t show us locking lips or me doing anything to Edward that could be constituted as inappropriate. Yes, we had a working relationship but above all we were friends, meaning I could show affection without having to justify my actions.

For innumerable moments the room was filled with nothing but silence, neither of us budging on the issue. He wanted an answer which I was adamant I would not give. My relationship with Edward was innocent; I had never been intimate with him in any way that would make me feel guilty. I undoubtedly had feelings for him, but I never acted on them except for chaste caresses here and there, small touches to convey, only to him, my feelings.

Jacob leaned back on the sofa and crossed his huge arms over his chest, his chin jutting forward. He was clearly angry, but he also looked self-righteous, as if he had discovered whatever he thought he knew all along.


If it had been about anything else I would have cowered, spilling forth apologies and making sure no bridges had been burned. I was, admittedly, a coward. But there was one thing that would make my claws come out; unfortunately for Jacob the matter at hand was the only exception to my usual behaviour. I was unwilling to allow anyone to desecrate what I had with Edward— what we had together. Jacob would not be hearing how sorry I was for things I had not done, and if he even attempted to insult Edward I could foresee a very ugly argument.

Understanding that the stubbornness between both of us could mean that this would become a drawn out affair I decided to change into something more comfortable. I left the living room not sparing Jacob a second glance, but he followed my movements until I slammed the bedroom door in his face.

I calmly undressed and put on a baggy sweater and comfy pyjama bottoms, and slipped on my furry slipper boots for extra warmth. I took a deep breath before exiting the bedroom. I would give Jacob the complete truth, just like he had given me yesterday.

The open plan layout of the apartment meant I located Jacob within seconds, he was standing in front of the fridge, his fists clenched by his side as he intensely regarded the small picture of Edward stuck under the magnet. He must have felt my presence as his head tipped ever so slightly in my direction, but didn’t remove his eye from the page in front of him.

I took a seat in the dining room and broke the silence; I had better things to do than to listen to emptiness.

“Well, what do you want me to explain?” My voice was controlled, no emotions poured through. To me this had become somewhat of a business negotiation, after all, the relationship was as good as dead after last night’s confrontation.

Jacob’s eyes were instantly on mine. He rapidly made his way into the living room and picked up a handful of magazines, leaving some behind. He came to stand opposite of where I was seated, and threw one magazine at a time in front of me, they made a loud thump sound as they were slammed on the table.

It was then that I comprehended what he wanted me to explain; Edward and I were plastered on every front page. One of the headlines read ‘Cullen’s New Conquest’, and the others contained similar titles. But the thing that struck me most was that to someone who didn’t know who I was my identity would remain elusive. The photographs had been taken in the darkened restaurant, obviously with a camera phone and no flash. Edward’s face was immediately identifiable only because he was recognizable film star and because the light from the small candle that had been on the table lit his profile. My face, on the other hand, was veiled by my curls and in some of the pictures by Edward himself.

“I want you to explain this,” Jacob opened one of the magazines and pointed at a photo. “And this.” He opened another. “And maybe even this.” Jacob opened all the magazines with sharp flicks of his wrist.

In one of the magazines a photo had been blown up to cover an entire page. I couldn’t argue that the picture didn’t look incriminating, because it did. To an outsider it appeared to be an intimate moment. Edward and I were in profile, him on my right, his arm thrown over my chair. He was leaning forward as if to whisper something to me, his lips only seconds away from making contact with my earlobe. His face blocked mine from view but it was obvious I was reciprocating his attentions; my hand was on top of his thigh. I knew that the moment captured wasn’t representative of the entire evening; it must have been taken when the bombshell of his past had been dropped—I had been trying to reassure him that I would not judge him in any way for what he had experienced. But as I looked at the other pictures I noticed that it wasn’t the only very private moment that had taken place and photographed; there were pictures of us laughing, of looking as if we were about to kiss, of holding hands, and of exchanging longing stares. It was odd how I hadn’t realized how much we looked like a couple, a couple very much in love.

I shifted my eyes from the magazine to Jacob. “What about them?” I tried to sound as indifferent as I possibly could—the emotion I saw in Edward’s eyes in those photos had me a bit shaky.

“Are you kidding me?” Jacob thundered. “You are practically fucking him in the photos, they are all over the country, and you don’t see anything wrong with them?!”

I crossed my arms as he had done before. “No, I don’t. It is very clear we are having a conversation, certainly not fucking.”

Jacob barked out a humourless laugh before picking a magazine up. “Oh, really? Well, listen to this... The couple walked in glued at the hip, left holding hands, and went home in the same car. It was clear Edward Cullen is totally enamoured by his date; his eyes didn’t leave her for more than a second, and they even fed each other morsels of food. When two of the guys at their table got up they were talking about Cullen and the mystery woman, it seemed they both agreed that it was only a matter of time before the couple went public.”

I seriously wanted to hunt down whoever had made that statement; I firstly wanted to hurt them for being so accurate in their description of our evening, and then I wanted them to tell me more about what they’d heard.

“Any truth in that or are you going to say it’s all a lie?” Jacob asked through a sneer.

“I would say it’s slightly exaggerated; we weren’t glued at the hip. And I don’t know about the enamoured looks or conversation. But yes, the rest seems correct.”

“What the fuck, Bella? Are you admitting to an affair? Is that it?”
Jacob started pacing, his steps heavy and irritating.

“No, I never said I was having an affair with Edward. We’re just very good friends.”

The humourless laugh returned. “Yeah, I can imagine. You must be real friendly when he fucks your brains out.”

I bit the side of my cheek to try to keep my temper—losing it now wouldn’t help matters.

I got up and went into the living room trying to calm down and not start screaming at Jacob. He didn’t know anything about anything. To him any act of affection was only the prelude to sex; a hug had to lead to a kiss, which had to lead to me being on my back.

“Is that why I can’t even touch you anymore? Why we haven’t had sex in over three months? You’re fucking him so you don’t want to fuck me.”

This business of trying to keep my head on wasn’t going to work if he continued to speak to me in this manner. I was edging closer and closer to telling him to get out and never come back into my life again, but underneath I knew I needed to get this resolved before moving on.

“Jacob, I’ll answer whatever you want, but if you speak to me like that again you can just get your stuff and leave.”

I sank down on the sofa and waited for his questions.

Jacob’s jaw clenched as my words sank in. I was giving him an option, he could either take it or leave it, but this conversation was going to follow my rules or he would never again have a chance to get his answers.

He sat down on the coffee table, visibly calmer but still angry, incredibly so.

Once again we fell into silence, eyes locked— his trying to decipher what I was feeling, mine trying to hide how unwilling I was to have this conversation.

“Fine. Are you having an affair?”

My answer was quick and definite. “No.”

“How do you expect me to believe that when I see photos of him and you looking as intimate as it gets?”

“Pictures may speak a thousand words but they can be the wrong words. I’m telling you I’m not having an affair, therefore, I’m not.”

“Right, right.” Jacob leaned forward, adopting the position he had been in when I walked into the apartment. “I thought you didn’t like him.”


“I didn’t, but things change.”

“Yeah, they do.” Suddenly Jacob went from being angry to looking as if he ran over a puppy, pain written across his face. “What happened to us, Bella? When did things go so wrong?”

I took a deep breath. This was the conversation we should’ve had years ago. “I think things have never been right.”

“No, that’s not true; before we moved to L.A. things were good, we were happy.” Jacob looked into my eyes, trying to show me how he felt. “We were so in love, Bella. Things were as close to perfect as they get.”

I hugged my knees and tried to keep my voice steady as I told him the truth, hoping it wouldn’t shatter him. “Jake, I was never really happy. Our relationship was just... I don’t know. I guess I was too afraid to let go and stayed with you even when I should have ended it. And I should have done it years ago.”

Jacob shook his head decisively. “No, no. Don’t say things that aren’t true. Our relationship was great before you got this job. We are perfect together, everyone says so.”

“No, we aren’t. We are as flawed as they come. This,” I gestured between us. “isn’t real, it’s a friendship that should’ve never gone anywhere. And I’m to blame, completely, for not stopping it before we got too comfortable to break away,” I whispered.

Jake’s head fell and his hands clenched his jeans. “You’re just saying that because you’re mad, you don’t mean it.” His voice was raw and shaky as he continued. “All we need to do is go back to how we were. I’m going to get a promotion soon and you can quit your job, or we can move back to Forks, and then things will be fine. Things will go back to how they were.” Jacob was speaking rapidly, his voice still trembling. “In a few years we can get married and have children, or we can do that now. Charlie and Billy will be ecstatic and so will we.”

It was so sad seeing Jacob clutching at straws that simply weren’t there. Tears fell from my eyes as I tried to stop his delusional ramblings, he was obviously distraught.

“We can get therapy, maybe that’ll help. And anything else, anything at all that you want, I’ll give you. But we have to keep trying, Bella, because this can’t end. I love you too much to let it all go down the drain. I- I, Bella, please, let’s keep fighting for this, it’s worth it.”

Jacob dropped to his knees in front of me and took my hands in his. A man drowning in desperation.

This was it, the end of the line.

“Jake, I don’t-” My voice now watery as big, fat tears ran down my cheeks.

“Do you love me, Bella?”

His sudden question caught me unprepared; unsure of how to answer I gave him honesty. “Yes, b-” The rest of the word was cut as my lips were smothered by his, as was the negation of my feelings.

I tried to push him away, but instead he leaned more heavily into me, his hands leaving mine and framing my face. He became more forceful the more I tried to get away from his harsh lips. But Jake was so much bigger, stronger, and overpowered me completely. His tongue slipped through my lips and I turned my face to the side in attempt to evade his probing kiss. Jake released my mouth but only to move to my neck. Wet, open kisses were planted on me; I cringed every time his skin touched mine.

I didn’t want him to touch me; every sweep of his tongue was making me feel dirty. This wasn’t what I wanted, these were not the kisses I longed for, and he was not the man I yearned to be with.

“Jake!” I’d hoped my voice would come out as strong, commanding, but the racking sobs ripping through my throat didn’t allow for that to happen.

“Bella, Bella. We can do this... I love you.”

He became gentler, his hands now roaming my body. He clutched on to my hips and dragged me forward slightly so that I was on the edge of the sofa—completely facing him.

“We’re meant to be together, just you and me.”

For the briefest of seconds I questioned whether or not this was true, it was only the time it took for me to blink, but in that time Jake had removed my sweater and his shirt. His skin was uncomfortably hot against mine, not the usual warmth I had become accustomed to. His scent was even repulsive, far too strong, nothing like Edward’s enticing smell.

So many things ran through my head, but I couldn’t hold a thought. Things were moving out of my control, if I didn’t end it now I would forever regret it. Every time Jake’s hands touched me intimately a tear fell, a shudder went through me. I was betraying my feelings by allowing this to continue, I was betraying everything I felt for Edward.

I was betraying Edward.

I went limp. That thought was all I needed. I could hurt myself but I could never hurt Edward.

“Take your hands off of me!” I screamed and pushed away with my hands and legs, doing everything to break away from his powerful arms.

It didn’t take much. Jake immediately moved back as if he had been burnt.

With clumsy movements I struggled to get up and grab my sweater. I hurriedly put it on and snatched my key from my handbag. I wasn’t in a state to drive but I wasn’t going to stay in and deal with Jacob any longer. In fact, I wasn’t going to deal with Jacob anymore, never.

I turned around once. Jacob was still kneeling on the floor a dazed look on his face.

“Don’t be here when I come back.”



I don’t know if I closed the door, I don’t remember running down the stairs, I don’t even remember getting in the car. But I knew where I was going the instant I turned away from Jacob.

The electric gates opened as soon as I typed in the code. I stopped the car the moment I entered the property and ran up the drive way, tripping twice on my way.

As much as I searched I couldn’t find the keys for the door so I knocked erratically, trying to keep myself together. My knocks became quieter as I realized that he might not be in, maybe he was out with someone.

The salt trails on my cheeks were now being washed away by fresh tears as I lifted my hand for another knock. Before I could touch the wood the door opened, dimmed light bathing the figure in front of me.

“Bella?”

My lips trembled as I tried to answer, but instead of words only stupid hiccups emerged. But I didn’t need to say anything. He understood.

His arms enveloped me in a gentle hug; I stepped closer to him and threw my arms around his waist. I needed him so much, needed him to comfort me with his presence, and above all I needed his reassurance that he would be there for me.

I sucked in a deep breath, his scent so different from any other making me feel marginally better. I squeezed my arms around him in an attempt to get him to tighten his arms around my shoulders. He did— Edward made sure there wasn’t any space between his body and mine; every part of him was touching me, making me feel safe.

When my teary hiccups died down to quiet sniffles Edward released me from his hug and led me to the living room and sat me down on the sofa, all the while keeping an arm around my faintly shaking shoulders.

I hated being this weak, of showing so much emotion, when there was no real reason for me to be like this. I broke up with Jacob and I had known this was where we would end up sooner or later. If it had continued being a conversation I would have handled the situation a lot better, no breaking down and crying on Edward’s probably very expensive t-shirt. It was those kisses, the touches which I had shied away from for months that had shattered me. In some ways it was incomprehensible how I reacted to his hands being on me. Before moving to L.A. we had sex once, twice a week, nothing exciting or particularly enjoyable but I didn’t feel unclean when he came near. And yet, now it was a different matter completely; I would prefer to gouge my eyes out than be naked with him in the same room.

It really was perplexing. Maybe my body was reacting to what my mind, or even heart, was saying? Every level of my consciousness was telling me that something had not been right in the relationship, which was why I couldn’t stand Jacob and his attempts to get me into bed. My reaction was a warning sign; I had to get away because inside I was unhappy, I was falling into darkness with every passing day, and if I didn’t get out I would eventually never see the light again. The relationship had stopped my life from moving forward, had prevented me from growing.

“Bella, angel, what happened?” Edward whispered as he tucked a throw around me.

I shook my head; I wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Edward’s concerned green eyes searched my face as he wiped away my tears with his long fingers; the pads of his thumbs lightly caressed my jaw as if he feared I would break into a million pieces if he exerted more pressure.

He was so kind, unbelievably wonderful. I was lucky to have him here with me, thankful for whatever miraculous twist of fate made our paths cross.

“Do you want some water?”

“N-no.” I pushed the throw away and hugged him, not caring if I was coming across as desperate or needy.

But Edward didn’t seem to mind, he turned around so he could hug me fully. My head finding its home snuggled into the crook of his neck and his cheek naturally came to rest near my ear. Somehow I ended up in his lap, our limbs intertwined all the way to our feet.

We stayed in the same position until the blackness outside turned to light blue, streaks of yellows and pinks colouring the sky. All that time Edward stroked my back carefully, mumbled soft words into my ear and dropped precious kisses to my brow. Not once did his arms leave me, nor did he press me for details—he was just there, expecting nothing and giving everything.

It must have been five in the morning when his sleepy voice disturbed the peaceful silence of the living room.

“Are you feeling better?”

I felt more than heard his question; his lips were pressed against my ear, his words inaudible.

I drank in his scent before answering in a sigh. “Yes.”

“Let’s go get some sleep, angel.”

Tiredly, Edward stood up and offered me his hand. Securely clasping my hand in his he led the way upstairs, turning around every step to make sure I was still ok, that I hadn’t broken down.

“Um, well, there’s six bedrooms... er, five. One is Ham’s but I’m not sure you want to sleep with a stinky dog.”

Only Edward could make me smile even with all that had happened in the last few hours.

Upon seeing the weak, barely there thing that could only in the best of circumstances pass for a smile, Edward’s eyes became lighter, his posture relaxed fractionally. And, he too, feebly attempted a smile of his own. We were a sad, sad pair but it didn’t matter, we got it...we understood without letters, words or phrases.

“You can choose any room you want.”

He meant it. I could tumble into sleep anywhere, he wouldn’t deny me anything.

I picked what I wanted. I didn’t make a great show of deciding, I didn’t pretend I was embarrassed by the choice I made. Instead I tugged on his hand and went into my favourite room of the house. The navy walls were beautiful, the bed enormous and welcoming.

Lingering on the edge of the bed I leaned down to remove my slipper boots and soon found myself tucked in. Edward’s smell was everywhere, protecting me from unpleasant thoughts and lulling ever closer to the peacefulness that would come with sleep.

I slowly turned to my side as the bed dipped and the covers were partially lifted. Seconds later a warm arm curved around my waist. Edward’s eyes were cloaked by darkness; the lights were turned off, the curtains were drawn and every door was closed. I couldn’t see anything, but I felt him near, felt his breath on my cheek.

His arm slowly unwrapped from around my waist and gradually Edward’s hand made a consoling path up to the side of my face, leaving tingles every time he touched slivers of unexposed skin.

I didn’t like that I could feel emptiness amid his body and mine, the space between us seemed so immense even if it was only a few inches. Without moving too much I shuffled closer to Edward and pressed my lips to his t-shirt covered chest, moving upwards until I found his neck.

Slurring from tiredness I told him all that needed to be said. “It’s over. I ended it.”

Edward cradled my face with both of his hands. And even though I couldn’t see him, I could feel his stare trying to make out my expression in the darkness.

“Edward...”

“I know.”

I hadn’t needed to finish my sentence for my feelings to be made clear. He knew why I ended the relationship, he understood I wanted him, knew what I was trying to tell him even when I didn’t know it myself.

In the stillness of the early morning, in all-encompassing darkness, Edward leaned forward. His forehead rested against mine. His nose touched mine. And ever so slowly his lips brushed mine.

Nothing, no words, can describe the feeling that spread through me as his soft lips touched my mouth for the first time. My body left the mortal realm and was lifted to where cherubs play amongst fluffy clouds. I would do anything to feel this heaven every day.

The tendrils of his untameable hair tickled my temple as I inclined my head to feel more of his silkiness and suck in his breath. Edward pushed my lips apart gently and languidly licked the seam of my mouth. He peppered small kisses before, eventually, taking my bottom lip in between his, sucking on it slowly, and then making sure he gave the same sweet attention to my top one.

The way his mouth moved had me edging closer to him, wanting to taste him more deeply. But Edward kept the kisses unhurried, taking great care to lavish every part of my mouth with delicious brushes of his. My tongue didn’t tangle with his; this was a consoling kiss, not fervent or urgent. We knew more would come later; there was no need to hungrily eat at each other’s mouths. Instead this kiss was a delightful promise, a short insight into the future we could come to have if we gave it chance. I intended to give it more than a chance. Now that I was certain of what I wanted, I would do my upmost to have it, to make sure we both had what we had been craving for months.

Bit by bit, his mouth travelled all over my face, leaving tiny moist spots where the cushy pads of his lips settled. He covered every speck of skin until he returned to where he started, and spent what seemed an eternity making sure the breath we breathed was the same.

Edward fell asleep with his lips kissing me, still moving occasionally as he mumbled something incoherent in slumber. I only stayed awake long enough to make sure I would never in my life forget this moment. When it was safely tucked away in the recesses of my mind I followed Edward into sleep, knowing I would be finding him in my dreams.