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.
3. To The Barbecue
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3341 Review this Chapter
It was Sunday morning and I was still in bed. It felt so good just laying still- not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to go across the city to make sure a pig headed celebrity was up and ready for work, to not have to spend the best part of an hour trying to find ways to get him out of bed, not to have to deal with all his diva requests, not have to put up with constant criticism, and not having to hear any of his petty complaints. Sunday felt good because I didn’t have to be anywhere near Edward Cullen.
The last month had been hellish. I had tried everything to make Mr Cullen happy and nothing had worked, I was beginning to get the impression that even if everything was just super in his life and he had no concerns whatsoever he would still be a miserable sod. It was just how he was, and nothing I could ever do would change that, so now I was stuck in a job I loved but with an employer I detested. But when Mr Cullen was taken out of the picture things were actually pretty good. When he was shooting or otherwise occupied I spent most of my time with Jasper and Emmett, and it was so easy to like them both. By the end of the month it was as if we had been friends for years; they were always pleasant, always fun and great to be around. They could be serious and both acted very professional around others, however, when it was just us things were completely different; they acted like children, and when Cullen was thrown into the equation they were even more immature. Insults and jokes were continuously hurled at one another, Cullen was usually the main target but he gave as good as he got. I guess they had been friends for many years because none of the other staff ever talked to Cullen like that, many of them didn’t even approach him unless it was completely necessary.
I didn’t even have the option of keeping away. With Emmett and Jasper he was good natured and teasing but with me he was always sharp and downright mean. Oh, well. At least I don’t have to see him today.
I rolled over to my side and opened my eyes slowly, and found Jacob watching me with a sleepy smile on his face.
“Good morning, beautiful.” He shuffled closer and placed a soft kiss on my lips.
Jake moved positions so that I was stretched on top of him, my head resting on his chest.
“Do you have to go to work?” I shook my head. “Great, what do you want to do today, then?”
I looked up so I could see his eyes. “I don’t know, but I want to do something very relaxing.”
Jake leaned forward and kissed me again. “We could stay in bed all day and watch DVDs.”
“Sounds great.” That's exactly what I needed: a lazy day in bed with nothing important to do.
“It sure does.” Jake put a finger under my chin and lifted my face to his.
He began to kiss me slowly, tracing my bottom lip with his tongue. Gradually the kiss began to deepen, becoming more intense as he grabbed my hips and flipped us over so he could be on top. I didn’t want to it to go any further but we hadn’t made love in over two months and I felt bad. So I tried to show enthusiasm; I put my arms around his neck and moulded my lips to his as he caressed my arms. His movements were at first languid and relaxed but when I started to participate with more eagerness his actions became more hurried, his hands became more insistent- they traced the contours of my waist and moved upwards, taking my t-shirt with them. I could feel the back of his hands on by bare stomach and on the underside of my breasts... he took my t-shirt off and kissed his way down, slowly, leaving wet kisses along the way...
Ring. Ring. Ring.
Was that my mobile? I craned my neck to the side to try to listen more carefully. Jake took the opportunity to kiss his way back up; he was kissing and tracing my collarbone with his tongue when I heard it again.
Yep, definitely my mobile.
I grimace. Jake still had his eyes closed and was now nibbling on my earlobe. I didn’t want to be mean and interrupt him when he was clearly enjoying himself, but the call could be important.
“Jake, I need to answer the phone.” I started to move sideways but he followed me, not letting his lips be separated from my skin.
His only response to what I said was a soft ‘mmm’ and to start to try to undo the knot on my pyjama bottoms.
“Jacob, please get off, I need to get to the phone.” He didn’t budge an inch. I decided to take some decisive action- I planted both my hands on his chest and used all my strength to push him away.
Finally he seemed to get the hint, his eyes snapped opened- totally confused.
I kept trying to move him. “The phone Jake. Move.”
He rolled away with a frustrated sigh. “You gotta to be kidding me.”
I leapt up, put on my t-shirt and ran into the living room to get the phone.
Jake just glared at me and ran his hands through his hair.
I frantically rummaged through my bag until I found the phone.
Thankfully, it was still ringing. “Hello?”
“Hey Bella, its Jasper.”
“Oh, hey. What’s up?” Please don’t say work. Please don’t say work.
“Well, Edward is having a barbecue at his home today and-” Great its work.
“Does he need me to work today? I mean, sure. I’ll be there in half an hour. ” There was no point in saying no. This was my job and I loved it, and I knew being a PA in showbiz didn’t really mean a nine to five.
“No. No working today. We were just wondering if you wanted to come, it should be really fun.”
Fantastic. Now I had to spend my days off with him as well? I knew I had to go; things were already bad enough with Mr Cullen and denying an invitation would make it even worse, not to mention it would be rude.
“Oh, ok. Yeah, sounds good. What time does it start?”
“Em and I are already here, so come around whenever.” I could hear voices and laughter in the background; maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. I’m sure there would be a lot of people present- talking to Cullen would be optional.
“Will do. I’ll see you in an hour or so. Bye.”
I flipped my mobile shut, and rolled my neck trying to ease the tension. I had expected today to be easy and relaxing, but no, he just had to have a barbecue on my day off. Some people were just so inconsiderate.
I went to have a shower and get ready. I didn’t really know what to wear, on one hand I would still be near my boss so I should dress smart but on the other hand the occasion called for something more casual. I settled on my favourite skinny jeans, black flip-flops and tank top, and a light wine-red cardigan. It was sunny and pleasant outside but there were a few clouds forming, it was better to be cautious and take a cardi.
I walked into the living room and found Jacob sitting on the sofa with his head buried in his hands. I tried to walk silently to the door, I didn’t want to have a talk with Jake right now, and I knew that's what he would want. How could I explain to him that I preferred to be at a barbecue with my work colleagues rather than make love to my lovely boyfriend? Well, I couldn’t. So I decided not to, I would just slip out quietly and explain when I came up with a plausible answer. I bit my lip and began to make my quiet getaway.
Please don’t look up. Let me be a coward. For the love of God don’t look up.
I looked at Jake. “Hey, I need to get going. Something came up at work and I’m wanted there. I’ll see you later.” I tried to make a quick escape but it didn’t work. Jake was in front of me in seconds.
“Bella, we really need to talk.” His voice was quiet but I could tell he was both upset and annoyed. I looked down, not wanting to meet his sad eyes. But it backfired; I didn’t see his eyes but I did see a very clear bulge in his boxers. Nice going Bella. You just love to make him miserable.
I sighed. “I’m sorry but it’s going to have to wait. I said I would be there within the hour. But I promise we will talk.” I rose up on my tippy toes and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, not making any eye contact.
I got to the Cullen residence without a problem. I had already gone through the route countless times during the week, so I knew where the house was located.
I parked my cute Mini Copper and found the key to the house in the glove compartment; I had been given the spare to wake Cullen up. He usually slept like the dead so it wouldn’t matter if I knocked or called or brought an elephant into his room, he would have slept through it all. During the week I had spent hours finding all different ways of waking him up without having to touch him. I was sure if I had to shake him awake I would have ended up slapping him too, but I was more afraid I would have pulled the covers back to check if he slept au naturel. And perving on my boss was something I preferred to do in my mind and not act out.
I got out of the car and made my way up the long drive way to the house.
Mr Cullen lived in a gorgeous mansion in Bel Air. It was very traditional on the outside, with a red brick exterior and a big wooden door with enormous medieval looking hinges and knocker, but the inside was completely different to what you would have expected; it wasn’t warm or vintage. It was totally minimalistic and modern; with few pieces of furniture- the few pieces he had were all white or cream and there was a lot of glass in nearly every corner of the house. The walls were painted in varying shades of blue and there was art work everywhere- the majority being watercolours similar to the ones Cullen had in his dressing room. Other things were similar to his dressing room, too, like the ridiculous amount of CDs the man had- he was obsessive about it. Overall the house looked and felt cold; there wasn’t any vibrancy or any distinct personal stamp. It was as if no one lived there.
Something else I had noticed was the lack of personal things. Things like stupid nick-nacks acquired over the years or fridge magnets from when he went on family holidays. But the weirdest thing of all was the lack of photographs; the stand in the living room where he kept them only had a few of him, Jasper and Emmett, there weren’t any of him with his family, or of him and a girlfriend, not even one of him with other celebrities. For some reason this really stuck with me and for the rest of the week I had tried to find photos of Mr Cullen with people other than Emmett and Jasper, but it seemed Cullen had very specific tastes when it came to photos.
As I reached the front door I noticed it was opened so I knocked and entered.
“Hello? Anyone there?”
“In the garden.” Emmett very loudly called out.
I walked into the scarcely decorated living room. It had ice blue walls, a long white sofa scattered with cream cushions, a glass TV stand and matching coffee table. There were also a few potted plants near the back wall and three watercolours above them. I had to admit Cullen had taste when it came to his art; the three paintings were exquisite. They depicted a changing sky- the first was calm and peaceful and the third was stormy and turbulent- they were clearly painted by a very talented artist.
I admired them once again as I placed my bag on the coffee table and walked towards the garden.
The garden was simply enormous. It was a huge stretch of lawn with a rectangular swimming pool in the middle. On the left of the swimming pool there was a Jacuzzi and on the right there was a Spanish style patio with a table and eight chairs, a little further back Emmett was standing near the barbecue.
What the... Where was everyone?
There was no one in the garden, just Emmett and I. I had foolishly expected a lot of other people to be present- for goodness sake, the man was a celebrity, I was sure he had many friends, so why not invite them? Did he like to torture me with his presence? Wasn’t it already enough that I had to stand his gorgeousness and pigheadedness on a daily basis while working; now he had to do it on Sundays too?
“Button! I’m glad you could make it.” Emmett had taken to calling me button, at first I thought it was annoying but now it was kinda endearing. I walked towards him and gave him a big hug.
“Hey Em, where is everyone?” I asked as I looked around. Maybe they were hiding? Yeah, right. You won’t be so lucky.
He gave me a big smile. “Eddie and Jazz went to run some errands, they’ll be back soon.”
I leaned against one of the chairs. “No one else coming?”
Emmett flipped a burger over. “Nope. It’s just the four of us. Edward doesn’t like many people so there would be no point in inviting anyone else.”
I wasn’t surprised.
“Help yourself to anything. I went a little bit overboard with the food so eat as much as you can.”
It was true, Em certainly had gone overboard; there was enough food on the table behind me to feed a small African country. Everything looked really delicious but I decided to wait for the others to come back before I ate anything.
Emmett started talking about some new gossip he had heard on set, but I wasn’t paying much attention. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about the photos and I was sure Em would know the reason why Cullen had so few, and why they were all of his friends. I guess now was a good time as any to snoop into my boss’s personal life.
Emmett was still talking about a scandalous star secret when I interrupted him. “Emmett, how long have you known Cullen for?”
He looked up from putting some more sausages on the grill. “Umm, twelve years, I think. Why?”
I crossed my ankles as I tried to appear uninterested. “No reason really. I just noticed all his photos are of you guys together.”
I made my answer a statement not a question, this was still my boss’s life after all, and I didn’t want to appear to be invading his privacy too much.
“Yeah, I know. Edward has trust issues, the poor kid is as screwed up as they get. I met him when I was fifteen, he was only twelve, that's when everything started, it was all their fault, what they did was unforgivable...” Emmett stopped grilling and shook his head “Of course it made him act out, how could it not? You should have seen how he was back then, the things he did. I still can’t believe he managed to turn himself around and become the person he is today...” Emmett stopped talking and starred into space, his eyes had clouded over as if he was remembering a painful memory. The sound of my mobile ringing from inside the house jarred him back to reality
He frowned, “What was my point?”
“Photos.” I didn’t even care about the damn mobile; I wanted to know the reason.
“Oh, right. Edward only has photos of the people he trusts, he’s made a point about it, something about not wanting to be reminded of backstabbers and liars.”
I had not expected that answer. What could have gone wrong in his childhood? I had Googled him and typed his name into Wikipedia and nothing terrible came up, everything was normal and scandal free. But apparently the websites had missed something crucial, something integral to who he was. I was dying to ask more about his past but Emmett had other ideas.
He began to move the sausages on the grill to one side. “Buttons, pass me the bacon, will ya?”
I turned around and searched the table for the bacon. I actually had to search for it- there was just sooo much food. I was reaching for the bacon when Emmett’s sudden shout made me jump.
I shot him an annoyed glance before returning my attention back to the table and trying to find the ham. “Geeze Emmett, calm down. There’s no need to get so passionate over meat.”
Em didn’t pay me any notice, he left the barbecue and started running towards the house; I turned around to see what had made him go crazy.
Jasper and Cullen were standing by the garden door grinning like simpletons. Mr Cullen looked amazing, I know every day he looks good but for some reason today he looks even better. He seemed more relaxed, and the smile on his face was one of true happiness instead of politeness. I started to take everything in: the green flip flops, the khaki baggy shorts, the army print t-shirt, the luscious lips, the mesmerizing eyes.
I started to blush intensely and instantly looked down at my hands. Cullen had caught me checking him out, and I knew he had caught me because there was a smirk on his face and I could feel his eyes on me. It wasn’t even my fault - it was his fault. He was the one who looked like a God, what did he expect? For me to behave differently to other women? I wasn’t blind or immune to his looks, but I was never going to let him know how attracted I was to him, or how sometimes I would make up little fantasies in my head about him. Mmm, remove the shirt, then the shorts...
I managed to somehow snap myself out of my little day dream and make my way to the group, where Jasper and Cullen were talking and Emmett was jumping up and down.
I still couldn’t look Cullen in the eye, something I could tell he found absolutely hilarious by the smug look on his movie star face. His reaction to my embarrassment made me so angry I wanted to cry but I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of knowing he could reduce me to tears if he pushed the right buttons. So I straightened my shoulders, lifted my chin and ignored him- something I was becoming increasingly good at.
“Hey guys,” I gave Jazz a big smile and Mr Cullen a cool nod.
Jasper put an arm around my shoulders and brought me closer to where Emmett was standing with his back to us.
“Bella, I’m delighted to introduce you to Buckingham Winston Cullen.”
- 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
1 2 3 4 5
- 16 Jun 09
- 22 Dec 10
- In Progress