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.
5. Waking The Demon
Rating 5/5 Word Count 4804 Review this Chapter
Come on. Move it, move it.
The traffic was going at a snail’s pace, and the lights had just turned red. I knew I only had another twenty minutes to get to Cullen’s house to wake him up if we were ever going to make it to work on time.
It was 6:55 am and I had already been up for an hour. I had spent the better part of an hour trying to get everything ready for today; I made notes on the sixteen interviewers and ironed out Cullen’s schedule, to make sure everything ran smoothly.
As soon as the lights turned green I took a left and then parked in the Starbucks car park. I got out and power walked to get the coffee; I had exactly five minutes to get Cullen’s espresso as well as my breakfast- Caffé Mocha and a double chocolate chip muffin, yum. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a large queue and I was able to grab everything and be back in the car within the allotted time. I put the cups and muffin on the passenger’s seat and drove off.
I took a deep breath and rubbed my right temple. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I kept replaying everything in my mind; the information I had gotten from Emmett, the odd compulsion I had felt to stare at Cullen, but above all the last few moments before I left his house. The way our eyes had locked into each other’s wasn’t something I had ever experienced before, it was strange and unexpected. I didn’t even like the guy, for crying out loud, and there I was staring at his greeny-bluey eyes like I didn’t have a brain. It was pathetic and it wouldn’t happen again. So, no more staring at him, or giving his long fingers attention, and there definitely wouldn’t be any more little fantasies. Yesterday a line had been crossed, a line that should never have been crossed, and so today I would take a step back and redraw that line. He was my boss and I was his employee. I was the dedicated PA who had a slight hatred for her disgustingly good-looking movie star boss, and nothing more.
I turned my attention back to the familiar road. When I reached number 17 I slowed down so I could open the electric gates, I parked and decided to leave my breakfast in the car; there was no way I would be able to carry two coffees and a muffin up a slight hill without spilling a large amount of the drink on myself, and I wasn’t going to risk that. I loved the outfit I was wearing. I had on a brown jersey wrap dress, with super cute nude patent wedges. The dress emphasised my cleavage in a tasteful manner, and the wedges made my legs look longer, which was always good. But even though my shoes were really pretty they sure were hell to walk in, they were a bit too high, and there was no way I would be able to run in them if I needed to. But for today I would forgo practicality for the sake of keeping my outfit stylish.
I tried to keep Cullen’s coffee stable as I placed it on the floor to fish out the key. As soon as I opened the door I heard his astonishingly loud alarm. From previous experience I knew that this meant he was still in bed, still asleep. I made my way up the stairs and entered his room. Out of all the rooms in the house this one was my favourite, maybe because it wasn’t decorated in neutral colours and therefore didn’t feel cold. The walls were a deep navy blue and the furniture was mahogany instead of the usual glass. There was a beautiful king size four-poster bed right in the middle of the room and a modern burgundy chaise-lounge in front of it. And of course there was art work and music. The wall adjacent to the bed had a large oil painting, and beneath it there was a table with an expensive looking iPod stand.
I put the espresso on his bedside table and turned the alarm off. Cullen didn’t even stir.
I knew he wouldn’t wake up without me doing something drastic, but I would start with the basics first.
I cleared my throat loudly, trying to make as much noise as possible, but as I expected nothing happened; his breathing was even and his body motionless.
“Mr. Cullen, please wake up,” He didn’t so much as shift or even mumble.
“Mr. Cullen!” I raised my voice slightly but the fool just kept on sleeping.
I looked at the clock on the wall, it was already 7:25, and we had to leave at 8:00 so that he would have plenty of time to get wardrobe and makeup done before the interviews began. Jasper would not be happy if we were late, and it would technically be my fault if we ran behind schedule. Damn him.
I got nothing. Not even a teeny-weeny little eye flutter. Fine. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I walked to his iPod and searched for a good song to wake up to.
Mmm, what would he appreciate?
He did have a lot of good music, but I wanted something special, something that showed how much I simply adored having to wake up an unconscious lump every day. I went through his playlists; I couldn’t find the perfect song but I did find something close to it.
I selected ‘Waking the Demon’, no pun intended, by Bullet For My Valentine and turned the volume up as loud as it would go.
I didn’t even care how much it hurt my ears or head; his expression as he bolted straight up from the bed was so worth it. My plan had worked marvellously. His eye nearly popped out of his head and he looked downright scared. I had to bite my lip and look out the French doors not to laugh, it didn’t really work- in my peripheral vision I could still see him gasping and blinking rapidly. I managed to control my expression before facing Cullen again.
He took a deep breath to calm himself down, but when his unfocused eyes readjusted and he saw me standing in front of his bed his expression changed from disorientated to mad as Hell.
I swear I saw the muscle on his jaw twitch.
I had gotten up today dreading the day ahead, but his reaction had just made my morning. Making him miserable seemed to put me in a good mood, so why not continue? Sure, it was mean, but he was constantly horrible to me; it only seemed fair to balance things out.
I turned the music off. “Well, good morning Mr. Cullen.”I said, with a bright smile. “I hope you slept well. Your coffee is on the bedside table, your first interview starts at nine, please be ready and downstairs in half an hour.”
Cullen glared at me. “That was such a lovely way to wake up. Thank you, Ms. Swan.” He said through clenched teeth. “You really are most creative in your methods.”
I gave him an angelic look “I do try Mr. Cullen.”I said, trying to keep my voice polite. “I thought you might like to wake up to some of your favourite music.”
He pushed the covers back as he got up. “You’re absolutely right; there’s nothing better than waking up to loud screams.” Was that sarcasm I detected? The man needed to work on his attitude.
“I’ll keep that in mind for future reference.” This time I couldn’t help but let a little bit of humour seep through. “Is there anything else you require?”
Cullen picked the coffee up and took a sip. I knew he was dying to criticise something, but I also knew that the coffee was boiling hot, he wouldn’t be able to complain about that.
He looked up and narrowed his eyes, clearly disappointed with not being able to say something about it. “No, that will be all.”
I nodded and left, shutting his door quietly behind me. I descended the stairs and made my way to his kitchen. Cullen usually had breakfast at the studio but today, due to the tight schedule and the change in location, he wouldn’t be able to grab a quick bite. So, I decided to make him some toast. I know he isn’t the most pleasant individual but I was still being paid to look after him and under no circumstances would I fail in my duties.
I put my handbag down on the counter and opened the fridge, and had to roll my eyes. The man only had bottled water, ketchup and two lemons. What the Hell was I meant to do with that? I started opening the cupboards searching for something, anything, that was edible but they too were empty.
I was on my tiptoes trying to reach the cupboard above the microwave when I felt something brush across my legs; I let out a high squeal and started praying that it wasn’t a rat. I closed my eyes and tensed but decided to look down.
Buckingham looked at me with his adorable puppy eyes and licked my leg. My heart restarted then.
“Aw, hey there buddy. You scared the bejesus out of me.” I said as I stroke his fat neck.
“Karma is a bitch.”
I looked up to find Cullen leaning against the counter with a pleased grin on his face. Idiot.
I straightened and gave him a nasty look. He just raised an eyebrow and continued to smile. If he wasn’t careful I would slap that stupid looking grin right out of his face.
“Ready to leave Mr. Cullen?” I asked as I put my handbag over my shoulder.
“I need my schedule first.” Cullen extended his hand as I walked by.
“Oh, of course.” I opened by bag and took out my red folder. Cullen didn’t like anything digital, all his schedules, memos, scripts, etc were all on paper.
I flipped through all the papers but couldn’t find the damn thing. Where the hell did I put it? I started thinking back to this morning. The last place I remember having it in my hands was in the bathroom... before I put it down near the sink to pick up my brush. Oh great!
“I’m afraid I left it at home Mr. Cullen...” I explained, with a slight grimace. He definitely did not look happy. “But I- I have it on my PDA, just a moment.” I grabbed it from the front pocket and handed it to him, with the schedule already on the screen.
He took it and scrolled through it. “Ms. Swan, you know very well I prefer everything on paper. I would have thought that after a month in my employment you would have caught on to that.”
I nodded, “Yes, I just had a lapse in memory and forgot to bring it with me. It won’t happen again.”
“I expect it not to.” He handed my PDA back to me. “Ham, Come.”
Cullen left with Buckingham trailing behind.
I took a deep breath. He was right to be mad; it was my fault after all. I messed up and I knew it. This one time I would accept any further mean comments because I knew I deserved them.
I hurried out the door and locked it before turning to face him. He pointed to the empty drive way.
Oh crap. Double crap.
“I’m on it. I’ll call the driver right now.” He leaned against the door and crossed his ankles as I frantically scrolled through the names in my phone and called Mike; Cullen’s usual driver.
The dimwit didn’t pick up. Cullen was right; Karma really was a stupid bitch. But the next time I saw Mike I would make him suffer, painfully, for not being on time when I most needed him to be.
Oh, that boy has no idea what’s coming to him.
“I’m sorry Mr. Cullen, but I can’t get a hold of Mike, so we will just have to leave without him. I know you can’t drive one of your cars to the hotel because of the paparazzi... I think the only solution is for me to drive you there. Does that sound acceptable?”
Cullen pushed himself away from the door. “Does it have tinted windows?”
I frowned. “Well, no.”
He rolled his eyes. “Then I’ll need a hoodie.”
I didn’t even respond, just unlocked the door and half ran, half tripped to his room and made my way straight for the walk in closet to get it. I decided to get a black one as he was already wearing a black t-shirt, and flew downstairs.
I handed Cullen the hoodie and hurried down the drive way to my car, with Cullen and Buckingham behind me.
I got into the driver’s seat and moved my Caffé Mocha and muffin so Cullen could sit down without getting chocolate or coffee on his bum. I looked at my muffin; it was one of the nice ones with a gooey centre and extra chocolate chips on top. The muffin looked so yummy that I just wanted to bury my face in it, but I knew I would be able to fit breakfast in some other time, but Cullen wouldn’t. After he put Ham in the back and buckled his seat belt I handed him my tasty treat.
Cullen looked at me like I had grown a second head. “What’s this?”
Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. “It’s a muffin. People have been known to eat them.”
He was staring with such intensity at the chocolaty goodness that I thought I might have offended him in some way. Did he have some personal vendetta against a muffin man? Is that why he is looking at the muffin with such...umm... Well, I didn’t really know what emotion he was portraying, it looked like loathing but with tenderness... actors are very confusing people.
After a few moments he took it and I was finally able to drive off. I couldn’t see any paparazzi yet, but I knew that as soon as we entered the main streets of LA they would be everywhere; like a pack of vultures they would be circling their pray, waiting for something juicy to happen so they could earn thousands by snapping their cameras and disrupting people’s lives. I hadn’t dealt with them much since my employment began but that was only because Cullen had been shooting his latest film and not doing the media circuit thing. However, for the next month Cullen would be promoting a project he had completed a few months back, so from now on those obnoxious paps would be part of his day to day which meant I better get prepared to have cameras shoved in my face. Oh, the joys of working in La La Land.
We drove in silence with neither of us speaking, but the silence wasn’t uncomfortable, it was actually kind of relaxing. I was sipping my delicious Caffé Mocha until I noticed that Cullen still hadn’t eaten anything.
“You should really eat something; I don’t know if there will be time later. Plus, its chocolate, it’s bound to make you less cranky.” The words stumbled out before I could rein them in. Did I just call him cranky? Oh, I was dead meat.
I could feel his gaze on me.
“Cranky? I’m never cranky.” I couldn’t see his reaction to what I said, but I was sure I heard a smile in his voice, how odd.
He leaned forward to take a bite but hesitated, instead he turned his head towards me. “Don’t tell Jasper about this.”
I started laughing quietly. “Tell Jasper about what?” I feigned ignorance. Did he actually think I would tell on him for eating a muffin?
I didn’t know what was going on today; we were getting along quiet well. Usually it was him being a rude asshole and me just taking in on the chin. But, today he was being reasonable and I was showing some of my backbone- maybe yesterday had changed something, spending time together as a group outside work might have made him relax a bit- whatever it was , it was making me become more and more reluctant to draw that invisible line again, to put a distance between him and I. I guess I preferred him talking to me rather than him giving me the silent treatment every time we where alone. I could still keep my thoughts work related and impersonal, I was sure, but maybe I didn’t need to distance myself. I couldn’t deny that he fascinated me and I didn’t really want to shut myself off and miss the opportunity to understand the elusive Edward Cullen better.
We arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel and were instantly swarmed by hundreds of paparazzi. Cullen put his hood up and leaned his head down; hiding his face. It was clear he knew how to deal with the hungry masses. I, on the other hand, was amazed by just how many of them there were and by how violent they were becoming. I immediately dialled Emmett’s number to inform him of our arrival.
It was difficult getting Cullen inside the building, even taking the back entrance still meant he needed four bodyguards to safely escort him inside. I was glad I didn’t have to make my way alone through the paparazzi. Emmett tucked Ham under his left arm and me under his right; protecting me from shoves and pushes and quickly dealing with anyone who came too close.
Yeah, no one mess with this button or the giant will squash you. Oh, my mind needed to get a grip on itself.
“There you two are.” Jasper checked his watch, “And right on time. Great work, Bella.”
I gave him a smile as he turned away and walked down the long corridor with the bodyguards and Cullen in tow. I hurried behind the tall men with extremely long legs, who didn’t have a clue how hard it was to walk in heels, well, at least Ham understood, and followed them into the suite.
It was larger than my apartment; with two bedrooms and an insanely ginormous living-room and three bathrooms.
Cullen went in for makeup and wardrobe so I looked around to check out where the interviews were going to be held. Cullen would be sat in the same arm chair and then the various interviewers would be coming in and doing their thing; the smaller TV programmes had ten minutes while the more popular one such as E! had double the time. It was going to be a smooth operation and tightly controlled. Emmett had positioned himself by the door, anyone leaving or entering would only do so with his permission. Floyd Gray had prepped all the interviewers; no personal questions were allowed, all the questions had to be centred on the film or past or future projects, and nothing more. Jasper had instructed Cullen on what and what not to say, and was arranging all the minute details, such as the backdrop.
I was sorting through my notes when I heard Jasper call me. “Bella, could you please come in here.”
I made my way to the main bathroom; Cullen was sitting on a chair with a scowl on his face, behind him a woman worked on his hair, and Jasper was sitting on a day bed stroking Ham.
“What is it Jazz?”
“I just wanted your opinion.” I nodded, indicating for him to continue. “You see, Edward’s wardrobe for today is classic chic and to go with the wardrobe we want to pull his hair back with some gel, but he’s being stubborn and refusing. He wants another opinion, so, what do you think? Clean and tamed, or messy and dishevelled?”
Both Jasper and Cullen were looking at me expectantly. Why would Jasper want to destroy such a work of art by doing such a horrendous thing such as applying gel to it was beyond me.
“No, I think you should leave it as it is, I think it will look better.”
“Ha!” Cullen ran his fingers through his hair and got up. “Thank you for your opinion, Ms. Swan.” He then bestowed me with the most enchanting smile I had ever seen, it was crooked and it made me feel a little dizzy.
Like the simpleton I am, I simply nodded and watched him leave.
“Bella, I can’t believe you sided with him on this. I thought we were cool.”
I had to laugh at Jasper, he sounded so gangsta.
“We are cool, but why touch his hair? It looks amazing as it is.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t leave him alone today, we’ll all be present, but the media can be very tenacious in getting what they want, so watch out. One wrong word or action and it can ruin five years of hard work and his career.”
“Stick to him like glue. Got it.”
We made our way to the main room but I swear I heard Jasper mutter something under his breath that sounded like ‘traitor’, I couldn’t hold back a chuckle and neither could he. Emmett, Jazz and Floyd sat themselves down near the door, they seemed relaxed and were joking with each other as the first interviewer and his crew prepared to begin, but I could tell they were all paying attention to what was going on, ready to act if anything didn’t go their way.
I sat down on my chair. It was on the side, behind the cameras and lighting. I could see Cullen perfectly but he couldn’t see me due to how they had lighted the place up. I took out my notes and read through them ready to pass on the information to Cullen.
I walked up and showed him the paper but he shoved it back in my direction, without even reading it.
“Just give me the basics.” Cullen was fidgeting with his cuffs and appeared rather uncomfortable.
“Ok, the first one is easy. His name is Jack Wintrily, he usually asks film related questions, but he tries to be funny, so humour the guy. Anything else you want to know?”
Cullen shook his head.
I sat back down and the interview began.
It was then that I finally understood. Understood why he was a big star, why his name alone drove millions to the see a film. It was his charisma; he had so much of it, bucket loads. The way he answered the questions and acted made you want to know more, he was awkward and distant and yet he showed just enough of an indescribable spark that kept you engaged, and made you smile even when there was no reason for it. It was also his body language; it made you feel like you were in control, it made you want to protect him from others, but at the same time it gave you the impression that he was the one leading not following.
Cullen was a contradiction and a mystery that you couldn’t help but want to solve.
By 12:00 Cullen had finished three interviews, they were short in length but there was so much involved that it took nearly an hour to complete a single one. Every time there was a switch I would inform Cullen of the interviewer’s background. I looked down at my notes to check who would be next. Damn it. It was Victoria Vanderlinden. The woman was probably one of the nastiest characters in showbiz, she was ruthless and seemed to have no morals, she would do anything to get the story she wanted, but her show was one of the most watched world-wide so she always had access to the biggest stars.
I got up and leaned forward to whisper the information in Cullen’s ear but he put his hand up, silencing me.
“Trust me, I know all about Vanderlinden. Tell Jasper to keep a close eye.”
I did as asked and then sat back down, and waited for the interview to begin. I had a feeling this was not going to go well.
I was intently listening to the conversation going on between Cullen and Vanderlinden.
“Shall we begin, Edward?”
“By all means, Victoria.”
Cullen sat deeper into his chair and cracked his knuckles.
Vanderlinden put on the fakest smile I had ever seen and began the interview.
“Edward, it’s nice to see you once again. Tell us about your latest film.”
“Well, it’s called ‘Trust Me’. It’s an intense story about Edison Collin, a soldier who returns from the First World War to discover his fiancée married to another man. He’s lonely and has nothing to live for until he meets Ella Dove, a secretary. At its most basic the film is a romance, but on a deeper level it’s a story about discovery and healing.”
“It sounds as if it has ‘Oscar’ written all over it.”
Cullen smiled, “Scorsese, did a great job as director and the script was truly inspirational. I hope this project gets the recognition it much deserves.”
They continued to discuss the film and the ins and outs of post production; I was quite surprised by how well Vanderlinden was sticking to the rules.
A movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention. Emmett and Floyd left the room and Jasper walked towards me and leaned down.
“We’re just stepping out to deal with something important” he whispered, “We’ll be right outside.” He then left and I turned my attention back to the interview.
“Now, tell me more about what it’s like being an international superstar.”
“Umm...well, it’s surreal. I’ve been doing this for some years now and I still can’t believe how fortunate I am to be working with the best in the industry, and of course, the fans are amazing. They support everything I do. I’m very lucky to have such a great fan base.”
Cullen sounded well rehearsed, but still sincere.
“Did you always want to do this? Was it your dream as a young boy to become a multimillionaire?”
Ok, the questions were becoming a bit too personal, and I could tell Cullen was becoming increasingly uncomfortable; he started the rub the back of his neck.
“No, I stumbled upon acting when I was in my late teens. It... It was never my dream per se, but I’m very happy with how my life has turned out.”
“I’m sure you are. Along with the money you now have millions of girls throwing themselves at you, not to mention celebrities.”
Shit! Where was Jazz? Cullen was sweating bullets out there, and the Vanderlinden woman was like a dog with a bone; she just wouldn’t let it go. And I couldn't really leave to go and warn him.
“It’s never been about the money for me; the acting is what’s important.”
“Yes, but the women. They are everywhere, aren’t they? You are always being linked to a different celebrity every week in the tabloids, but increasingly the number has dwindled down to one; Alyssa Maymore. How is your relationship with her?”
Cullen was looking around, clearly trying to see where Jasper or Floyd were so they could rescue him. But ,of course, he couldn’t see anyone.
“I would prefer not to talk about my personal life.”
“But, it’s what everyone wants to know. Are you or are you not dating Alyssa Maymore?”
Cullen was losing his cool and I was ready to bitch slap that woman.
Come on, Bella. Do something.
My mind was telling me to act but I didn’t know what to do. Was I really going to interrupt an interview? I didn’t even know if it was going out live.
Cullen took a deep breath. He turned his head sideways as he picked up his water bottle, hoping to delay answering the question.
“So, which one is it, Edward?”
As he turned he looked right at me, and yet couldn’t see me. But I could see him and the look in his eyes was one of being close to despair. He knew he couldn’t be rude and tell her to mind her own business, but he couldn’t answer the question either, and no matter how much he avoided it Victoria would just keep going back to it.
Fuck fuck fuckty fuck.
I had to do something... and later on I would kill Jazz for not being in the room when Cullen needed him.
It’s now or never.
- 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