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. (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!
Disclaimer: All the wonderful characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 5276 Review this Chapter
I snuggled closer to the warm body next to me, relishing the feel of strong arms around my waist and how our legs were tangled together. Slowly, so not to awake Edward, I moved a couple of inches so my mouth could kiss his neck, chin.
The feeling of being enveloped by him was magnificent. We were wrapped around each other, still in complete darkness, his steady breathing adding to the calming silence. And the only thoughts swirling in my head centred on how life had suddenly become so much more beautiful, how with a single kiss a man had been able to turn my gloom to absolute happiness.
I placed one more peck on his scratchy chin before peering into his face. Surprisingly, his eyes were no longer closed; the darkness didn’t let me see, but rather, I felt his stare on my face. I traced his eyelids with my fingertips, his soft eyelashes tickling me ever so slightly. I smiled at how Edward’s eyes fluttered shut and the way he nuzzled my neck.
Edward pulled me impossibly closer and nibbled a row of kisses behind my ear and down my neck. I was enjoying myself immensely, loving the feel of damp lips on my skin and the abrasive texture of his cheek against my jaw. But suddenly, the warmth was gone as Edward got out of bed and made his way to the French windows.
I didn’t really have time to miss his presence; Edward opened the curtains with a sharp tug and basically ran back to bed, getting under the covers within seconds and returning to his original position: arms snaked around my waist, head bent over my neck and his lips returned to their wonderful job of kissing me.
I couldn’t stop a few giggles from escaping; Edward was so silly sometimes.
“What? I couldn’t see your face in the darkness, it was annoying me.” His voice was sleepy and raspy, but above all, so damn sexy.
“I’m sure I’m a sight to behold,” I answered sarcastically. I probably looked a fright; I didn’t even want to think about my haystack hair or my deranged blotchy face.
Edward shook his head, still trailing his lips backwards and forwards.
“You really are. You look like the fall of autumn leaves, like a snowy December morning, a blooming tulip in spring and the warm rays of sunshine in summer.”
I snorted and smacked his arm. “Stop being cheesy and if you are going to compose poetry at least make it good.”
I loved the easy chatter, the way Edward’s mischievous side came out to play, and how comfortable we were with one another— it was far more than I’d expected. Being around Edward nearly every day for almost three months, I was aware of how fickle he could be about the tiniest of things. I anticipated him to go over the littlest of details of our every move last night and then deny that anything was happening. But this was a very, very pleasant surprise.
Edward laughed and moved back to look at me for the first time since early this morning. His eyes roamed by face and his head tilted slightly from right to left and back again.
“Mmm, I see what you mean; your eyes are far too puffy and you really need a hairbrush.” I raised an eyebrow and his lips twitched. “What did Shakespeare say? ‘Your eyes are nothing like the sun and coral is far redder than your lips, but I still think you’re really, really gorgeous.’”
I was very close to slapping him, even if he had just quoted Shakespeare in a messed up sort of way. But then he grinned that crooked grin I like so much and all I could do was roll my eyes and smile at his terrible poetry.
Edward leaned forward, and before I knew what I was doing I self-consciously pulled the sheet up to cover my mouth. Morning breath would undoubtedly kill the mood.
“What?” Edward asked as he moved even further back, worry now evident.
“Umm, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet,” I sheepishly muttered.
“Oh... I don’t care.” He moved forward, intent on giving me a kiss. I moved backwards, intent on avoiding a kiss. “Bella, will you stop moving? I just want one little peck. And anyways, I haven’t brushed my teeth either, we can be smelly together.”
I retreated again and shook my head. “No can do, I know with my luck your breath constantly smells like mint.”
“You’re being absurd, but fine.”
Edward picked up the sheet and covered his mouth; he made a great show of puckering his lips and shuffling towards me. Seconds later we kissed with a bed sheet and mumbles of laughter between our lips.
After giving me a sweet, even if somewhat weird, kiss, Edward stood up and stretched. His t-shirt rose up and his underwear peeked out to say good morning to me. I couldn’t help but look him up and down. Perfection was written everywhere, no flaw visible and every muscle defined. He pushed his arms behind his back and I swear I saw an evident bulge in his pants. He twisted left and then right. Yep, definitely morning wood.
Oh, goodness gracious me.
“I’m going to have a shower and then we can order breakfast?” He looked at the clock and shook his head. “Well, we can order lunch. You can have a shower if you want, pick whatever bathroom.” He smiled and left to wash.
I got up and made my way to one of the guest bathrooms. I spotted Ham in front of his room with his legs up in the air, his fat little belly rising and falling slowly every time he breathed out a snore. I patted the drooling menace before closing the door and getting in the shower.
The hot water was great, the spray was just the right pressure to sooth my muscles, but it didn’t really ease my mind. Last night was still replaying like a bad movie. Nowhere in my mind did I think things would have been easy, every break up is hard. But things didn’t play out like I thought they would; I hadn’t anticipated Jake’s cheap trick to keep us together. It didn’t make sense him wanting something so broken, clearly past any amount of repair. But the past was now the past, Jake was yesterday and Edward was today and hopefully tomorrow, too. I would text, maybe even call, Jake and tell him I was moving out. I wanted a fresh start and that apartment would hold too many ghosts. Plus, I was sure I could find a cute little studio at the same price but closer to Edward’s place.
I washed my hair and quickly got out of the shower. After I stopped thinking of a certain ex I started thinking of a certain hot, gorgeous man with a hard on. I couldn’t take the increasing temptation the showerhead was becoming. So I quickly jumped out and brushed my teeth with my finger, making sure to slather my mouth with Colgate, not even caring how it stung my tongue, I now could never be too careful. Hopefully, Edward would be kissing me a lot and I wanted to be minty fresh for him.
I went back to the master bedroom with a towel tucked under my arms and asked in shouts if I could borrow something to wear. Edward was still in the bathroom but said I could borrow whatever I wanted. In the end chose a long blue sweatshirt and some slouchy pyjama pants that were too long for my short legs.
I was sitting on the bed, propped up by heaps of pillows, watching tv, more specifically the E Channel, when Edward walked out all clean and fresh in an outfit identical to mine and tousled bronze hair sticking out in every direction.
Darn it! I should have used the showerhead.
He threw me a smile before sitting down beside me and ordering pizza. I leaned against his side and turned my attention back to the tv. The ‘journalist’ was going on about something to do with Edward’s upcoming European premieres, what his female co-stars would be wearing and pondering the question of whether Edward would make an appearance at all the countries listed. Then the images that had set everything in motion appeared again; clandestine gazes and caresses and intimate conversations. The pictures I had seen in the magazines last night flashed across the screen.
“Did you know?” I turned my head as I asked Edward.
His eyes were glued to the tv as he answered, “Yes, Gray told me about it the evening before the magazines hit the stands.” Slowly, his eyes met mine, an apology embedded in his eyes. “He said he couldn’t make out your face in any of the photos and none of the people who gave interviews knew your name. I didn’t want you to worry when there was nothing to worry about. I’m sorry for not telling you and the photos.”
I threaded my fingers through his hair. “Occupational hazard, I guess.”
His long fingers traced my small smile.
“You’re not mad?”
I shook my head. “No. I mean, I don’t like you keeping things from me, but I can understand why you did what you did. And the photos don’t bother me, it was going to happen sooner or later if we... Well, did this.” I gestured between us, not really knowing what we were. I was certain I was in love with him and that in return he cared a lot about me, but I had no idea what he wanted. I hoped to God it wasn’t just a phase or fling on his part, not that I thought it was.
He captured the hand stroking his hair and brought it to his lips. “Bella, things are going to get complicated if we do this. There are many, many problems we have to resolve... I don’t even know where to begin.”
Edward dropped my hand and started to tug on his hair, clenching his fists painfully around the coppery strands.
“What’s wrong? What problems are you talking about?”
I had no idea what was going through that mind of his. As far as I knew there weren’t any major problems in his life lately, well, except for the ongoing drama with the film role he wanted so much. And we’d just started out as girlfriend/boyfriend? Wasn’t it too soon to already have ‘many, many problems’?
“I don’t know.” He got up, paced a bit and then sat at the bottom of the bed. “Ok,”—he sucked in a deep breath and exhaled slowly—“Bella, you have to quit.”
I blinked once, twice. What the heck?
“Why?” I was seriously confused.
He frowned and sighed heavily. “Because this won’t work if you are my employee. It just doesn’t make sense. I want you to be able to be yourself and do what you want in our relationship, I don’t want you to feel obligated to do something, like cooking, because I pay your salary.”
“That’s ridiculous, Edward.”
“No, it isn’t. What if you don’t want to go out but you have to, because I have an event and I need my personal assistant there? What happens if I tell you to get my dry-cleaning but you don’t want to? I want to give us a chance but I don’t think I can, not with you as my PA.”
I got up and moved to stand in front of him. “First of all, you would never tell me to do anything, you would ask. Secondly, Emmett and Jasper tell you ‘no’ all the time, and it doesn’t ruin your friendship. And thirdly, I would cook for you because I would want to. I do it all the time now, I’m not your personal chef and yet, I make most of your meals—”
“No, let me finish. What I’m trying to say is; I do things for you because I want to, not because it’s in my contract. If I was your girlfriend...or whatever,”— such juvenile titles didn’t seem to apply, they didn’t seem to fit. We definitely would have to find a better way to define what we had. — “I would still want to bring you coffee in the morning or make sure you had a good breakfast. Being your assistant doesn’t change who I am or who we are; it doesn’t dictate what kind of personal relationship we have.”
Edward’s head lowered and he once again began tugging at his poor hair.
“Bella, I just don’t want you to feel like you have no say. There’s no way around it, the only option is for you to quit.”
Oh, he was having one of those stubborn days. There wasn’t enough logic to make him see reason. But I understood where he was coming from, and it was incredibly sweet how much he cared about my happiness, he was just going about it the wrong way. If I quit I wouldn’t get to see him. To me that was reason enough to put up with everything else. Plus, I was getting real sick of men telling me to quit my job.
I put my hand on my hip and cleared my throat so Edward would look at me.
“I’m not going to give up a job I love. I’m not quitting. If you want me gone you are going to have to fire me.”
His eyes bore into mine and he began clenching his jaw the way he does when he gets angry. But I wasn’t backing down, I wasn’t compromising on this.
After a few more seconds I put my other hand on my other hip and raised an eyebrow.
Edward snorted and got up to place a kiss on the top of my head. “As if I could fire you.” His arms went around my waist and I smiled against his chest— battle won. “No-one else will put up with all my demanding ways except you. Come on, let’s go downstairs; the delivery guy should be here soon.”
After nudging Ham awake we set up camp on the sofa and waited for the pizza to arrive. As I answered the door and grabbed the pizza from an awestruck teenage boy, Edward put some music on and got the ketchup.
We munched on four cheeses and listened to classics. Edward scratched Ham ever so often with his foot and by the end of my third slice I had somehow found myself in between Edward’s legs, with my back against his chest as he leaned backwards on the sofa. It was really very comfortable. And I was really very amazed at how comfortable it was.
I glanced at Edward as the CD changed automatically and started playing something I actually recognized.
“I love Lifehouse.”
“Mmm,” Edward said as he chewed. “They aren’t as depressing as The Fray.”
“I like them, too, but Lifehouse’s songs are more optimistic.”I stroked his leg and shifted. Edward hissed and stilled my movements with his hands. I couldn’t stop a grin from appearing, but tried to not pay attention to a hard object nudging my back. “What kind of music do you like?”
Edward moved a little to grab another slice. “Anything, as long it has strong lyrics and a good beat.”
I saw what he meant about ‘anything’.
“What about books?” I loved knowing random little things about him. I already knew he loved classics but I could never get enough of knowing about his tastes... about him.
“Again, anything. With all the travelling books become a real companion, plus they build a wall between you and others. People know not to interrupt when you have a book in your hands, I guess it’s the same with headphones, but with that your eyes are free to roam, to make eye contact with someone.”
“So...Books and music become a sort of shield? They give you privacy.”
Edward wiped his hands on a napkin and started to play with my fingers. “Yeah, exactly. After my first film came out I was still completely unaware of how fame would affect every aspect of my life. I was naïve. I did stupid things, like deciding to go to New York for a meeting without Jazz or Em— I told them I didn’t need chaperones. I also refused a private jet or first class ticket. Economy was a nightmare. People queued on the plane for autographs.” Edward chuckled and squeezed my thumb. “After half an hour the old lady next to me shoved a book in my face and told me to read. I think it was Much Ado About Nothing? Well, it worked... kind of.”
I laughed, imagining just how annoyed he would have become, but unable to do anything. Edward hated being famous and some of the more ‘enthusiastic’ fans. But he didn’t hate his fans, he was always polite to them, and would always stop for pictures and autographs if he was asked respectfully and there wasn’t any squealing or masses of giggling.
“I-I would hate for that to become your life, Bella. Having to hide behind books and music, pretend you don’t hear people talk about you, ignoring cameras and flashes 24/7. I already have my gilded cage; I don’t want you to have one, too.”
I disentangled myself and turned around to face him.
“Is it worth it?”
“The gilded cage? I think so. Acting is an escape, it’s fun. Every job is different from the last so boredom is never an issue. Plus, there’s a great buzz in making a character come to life. And I love knowing I’m doing something I’m good at. So, yes, it’s worth it. But you don’t have acting. There’s no positive side for you. What do you get out of it?”
Indeed, what would I get? No privacy, a litany of criticisms and rumours. I would be pulled out of normalcy and shoved into a world where having your every move tracked is the standard. But a relationship with Edward was like Seurat’s paintings; it was the entire picture that mattered, not just the little dots. And the whole picture was worth anything.
What would I get?
Edward shook his head. “I’m not reason enough. I’m not worth giving you dreams up for.”
“Edward, I gave up my dreams the moment life happened. Everyone does.”
He rubbed my lower back in slow circles and frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I didn’t study English lit because it would lead to me living on the streets eating beans and not writing critically acclaimed novels. The dreams I had at ten aren’t the dreams I have now... Now, all I want is reality. And that means you.”
I smiled and kissed his cheek, he returned it with a sad, sweet quirk of his lips. “Oh, Bella, you know you’re too good for me, right?”
“Yeah, I know.”
He whacked my bottom lightly and gave me an adoring Eskimo kiss. It didn’t take long for his cool lips to graze mine. I moved closer between his legs and let my hands travel all the way up his arms and chest, admiring the firm rise and fall of his muscles. His hands also made their own patterns on my back, dipping inside my sweatshirt every so often to caress my skin; little tingles were left behind as his hands made their journey.
The kiss was very much like this morning’s; tender and careful. That is until I licked his lower lip, then he didn’t hold back. The kiss went from a spark to a roaring fire. His tongue plunged into my mouth and tangled with mine; and his hands were everywhere, pulling me closer, stroking the backs of my thighs, massaging my butt and running his finger down my sides. The kiss was passionate, hot. The way his mouth was sucking my lips and tongue had me clutching his hair in great handfuls. I wanted to get closer, to deepen the kiss even further. I straddled his legs, breaking the kiss momentarily to breathe, but within seconds my lips were glued to his again. Edward’s hands framed my face as he changed the angle of the kiss. The room filled with our collective moans as Edward clutched my hips more strongly, bringing my pelvis flush against his. I could feel his erection against my belly and I couldn’t help but slide slightly upwards, shamelessly grinding against him.
I knew I shouldn’t dive into anything so physical so early on. But darn it all! It had been five years. Five years of fake oohhs and ahhs. Five years of telling Jake he was so close to the spot, when in reality he couldn’t find the spot with a map and a Satnav. And here and now I was straddling one of the world’s most beautiful men. What I should do was once again what I was going to ignore.
I slid upwards again and Edward put his arms around me so he could change our position, but in the intensity of the moment his movement became frantic. It was as if he couldn’t touch me enough, as if he wanted to know every part of my body. I couldn’t think, only touch. I wanted to feel his weight on me, feel his body on top of mine. I tugged his t-shirt hard, pulling him to me while he cupped my butt to lay me down on the sofa. The combination of closed eyes and the urgency infused into our every move unsurprisingly resulted in me being on my back. On the floor.
I groaned. Not from falling from the low sofa but rather from annoyance. Why couldn’t my clumsiness make itself known later on? Did it have to rear its infuriating head when I was trying to get some sexy time with Edward?
Heck, it’s been so long since sexy time was sexy.
I looked up. Edward had a startled look on his face. His eyes were wide and his lips— wet and red-pink from our kisses— were wrapped around a silent ‘O’.
“Are you ok?”
I huffed in answer and made an attempted to get up, but Edward was on top of me in seconds. The look in his eyes was pure mischief and child-like excitement.
“The floor works just as well as the sofa.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. I loved when he was like this; carefree and infectiously happy.
“Mmm,” I moaned, as he tickled my neck with kisses. “The floor does have a, um, certain charm.”
Edward nodded. “There’s more space on the floor.”
I had no idea why we were having this conversation. I wasn’t really up to the task of thinking. I just wanted him to keep kissing me.
“Uh...floor is nice.”
Edward laughed and slid his hands under my sweater again, making my stomach muscles quiver. He really did have very nice hands. They were warm and big and strong and yeah...
My good times were cut short by Ham. The stupid slobbering lump of fat started humping my leg with enthusiasm unmatched by the horniest of men.
I squealed and shook my leg trying to get him to stop. He was not the one I wanted humping me.
Edward jumped up and pulled Ham away by his collar, slightly embarrassed by his dog’s dirtiness. “Bad, bad, dog. Very bad dog.”
Taking a bulldog’s dry hump as a sign that the good times were not going to happen today, I got up and sat down on the sofa.
Edward took Ham into the kitchen, mumbling expletives under his breath and threatening Ham with murder if he ever humped my leg again.
When he returned I was scowling at the floor, still not content with the knowledge that I wouldn’t be getting to see Edward without his t-shirt again anytime soon.
Edward plopped down beside me, adjusting his pyjama bottoms with a slight grimace. “Sorry. Ham doesn’t have lady friends.” Edward chuckled lightly.
I laughed from the silliness of it all and then sighed when Edward smoothed his hand down my back.
“Want to watch a film, angel?”
My giddy heart missed a beat at the endearment. “Ye-”
I was interrupted by the house phone, Edward’s mobile phone and the intercom, all ringing simultaneously.
“What day is it today?”
“Er, Sunday, I think,” I mumbled against his side.
“Guh. That would be Em, then. I agreed to play Wii all day and let him raid my music collection.”
With a frustrated groan Edward got up again. He pressed the button to open the front gates and then went to open the front door.
I huddled in a corner of the sofa, trying to make my hair look as if I hadn’t been thoroughly kissed and rolling around on the floor. God knows what Em would think when he saw me installed in the ice-blue living room.
But I didn’t hear a male voice as the door opened and then closed.
“How long does it take to press a damn button, Cullen?”
“What the frick, Emmett?”
I heard the exasperation in Edward’s voice... Rose’s presence usually had that effect.
“Rose said she wanted to tell you something, dude. What was I suppose to do?” Emmett was obviously trying to whisper but it came out as more of a shout. I’m pretty sure even the neighbours heard.
“Eduardo, you are a douche. Have you seen the newspapers? Turned on the tv? You—” Rose’s voice came closer and closer, and when she entered the living room it stopped. She cackled and grinned.
“Ha. No fucking way. I should have known.” Rose threw her handbag at Edward and sat down next to me, crossing her model legs.
Emmett shook his head as if to clear it. “What? I don’t get it.”
“It’s as simple as two plus two, Em. Our Shrek has found his Princess Fiona. Pre-Ogrefication, of course.”
Em sank down on the chair opposite and frowned, deeply in thought. “So... Eddie and Buttons are... getting it on.”
“You got it, babe.”
Edward flung the handbag across the room and started pacing behind the sofa. I didn’t hear his swift steps, a tiny draft on the nape of my neck as he walked past me the only indicator to his nervous habit.
“Don’t be crude, Emmett. There’s no ‘getting it on’.” Edward said, changing his route and pacing to the window instead. It was annoyingly endearing.
Rose turned to me, grin still firmly in place. “I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say that for once the media got it right. Cullen has made a new conquest. Oh, how the tweens shall cry, tears will be shed for days, riots shall ensue.” She began to cackle again like a witch... witch also rhymed with another, more appropriate, word.
“Well, I’m not really surprised. Jazz has been saying how there’s this ‘thing’ between both of you. But I just thought he was being his usual romantic bastard self.” Emmett cracked his knuckles and leaned back, totally relaxed, not really caring about the situation.
“I, for one, think this is fucktastic. It will provide me with hours of entertainment. I wonder how many ways Eddie-boy will be able to screw this shit up.”
I crossed my arms, completely unimpressed. “No-one is going to screw anything.” The words were out of my mouth before I made sense of what I was saying.
Rose, Em and Edward laughed. The innuendo was, of course, not lost on them. Their minds must have permanent residences in the gutter.
“Sucks to be you, Edward.”
Emmett’s comment only served to get his arm punched. Overgrown oaf.
“All sucking and screwing aside,” Rose began as she inspected her manicured nails “what are you two going to do? I was sure there was a boyfriend in this picture somewhere and he was not Golden Globes over there.”
Blushed tinged my cheeks, I looked around the room not really wanting to make eye contact as I answered. “That has, er, been taken care of.”
“Ahh, I see. You kicked the dog to the curb. Nice, nice.”
Edward sat down on an arm chair next to Emmett. His lips quirked as Rose referred to Jacob as a dog. No matter how old men became they never lost their innate ability to turn into utter boys when someone insulted their supposed rivals. Not that Edward had a rival.
“But still... what are you going to do? Don’t you live with the ex?”
“Well, there’s only two weeks left before we go to Europe, so I thought I would stay in a hotel till then, and during that time I can look for a new apartment.” It really was the best solution; I wouldn’t have to deal with Jacob and I could get everything organised before we went on the press tour.
“Don’t be silly, Bella. You can stay here with me.” Edward’s voice was silky smooth as he spoke; he clearly had a few plans for pyjama parties.
“Dream on McMoron, Bella is staying with us, not you.”
Edward narrowed his eyes at Rose. “And why would that be?”
“Because I want to spend some time with my homegirl before you whisk her away to Europe. And because I’m telling you she’s staying with us. Got it, Eduardo?”
Rose can be so dictatorial, it’s unbelievable. She was trying to tell a twenty-five year old where to sleep and who to spend time with. A twenty-five year old who she hadn't known for very long.
“No, Rose, I think I’ll go to a hotel.”
Rose got up and stretched with feline elegance.
“Come on, Em, let’s get going. I’m craving sushi like Joan Rivers craves Botox.”
She looked around for her handbag and found it near the window, giving Edward the evil eye as she picked it up.
“I’ll be here at nine to pick you up, Bella. Now, you two crazy kids have fun tonight.”
She was out of the house with Emmett trailing behind before I could even tell her not to bother picking me up, because I wasn’t going to stay at hers for two weeks. I guess, what Rose wants, Rose gets. Dictators all around the world would be so very proud.
“You’re not really going to stay with her, are you?” Edward asked from the cream arm chair.
I shrugged and laughed at Rose’s bossy antics. “I guess I am. She didn’t really give me a choice.”
Edward looked down at the floor and slowly shook his head. When he spoke his voice was quite, whisper like, with such sadness I didn’t know how to react. “You always have a choice, Bella. Always.”
I stared at the top of his coppery head, taking my time to arrange my thoughts. I knew he wasn’t talking about Rose or my sleeping arrangements for the next two weeks.
Slowly, I made my way to where he was sitting, his head lifted as I approached. The way his eyes looked at me was heart wrenching. Inevitability and defeat were hidden in their depths. He really did think that we wouldn’t be able to work things out, that the public pressure would be too much. To some it might be, but not for me, not for us.
I sat down on his lap and held both of his hands in mine, kissing his lips tenderly.
“I’ve made my choice and I’m sticking to it.”
- Remember To Breathe
- Hard To Believe
- To The Barbecue
- What Just Happened?
- Waking The Demon
- Bad To Good
- Shoot Me Now
- Under The Covers
- Building Castles: Part 1
- Building Castles: Part 2
- Doorways into the inconceivable
- Silence Says So Much
- A Worried Mind
- Jigsaw Pieces
- Blur and Clear
- I Heart London
- Silver Silk and Red Leather
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- 16 Jun 09
- 22 Dec 10
- In Progress