Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

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.


6. Bad To Good

Rating 5/5   Word Count 6225   Review this Chapter

Come on, Jazz. Do something.

Where the Hell is he, anyway? Can’t he see that Vanderlinden is entering a no-go zone? Shit. I was going to have to give her some form of answer.

I blurted the first thing that came to mind. “I would prefer not to talk about my personal life.”

I knew she would just keep asking. Vanderlinden wasn’t one to let things go easily and politician style answers didn’t work with her, the ruthless bitch wouldn’t give me a chance to manoeuvre my way out of the questions with my dignity or privacy intact. And all because I didn't find her attractive...women!

“But, it’s what everyone wants to know. Are you or are you not dating Alyssa Maymore?”

My eyes scanned the room trying to find Jazz or even Emmett, anyone, to get me out of this awkward situation.

I took a deep breath as I tried to calm myself down. But I was failing miserably, it wasn’t just that Vanderlinden was making me squirm; it was also the fact that no one was doing anything to stop her. The questions she was asking were out of line and everyone in this room knew it, and yet, none of the imbeciles who work for me took action to prevent what could possibly turn into a disaster. I was mad. No. I was fuming.

VanderBitch’s smirk and the malicious glint in her eyes told me she saw an easy victory; she would get an answer, and whatever it was, it would make me look bad and make her look like the best at her job. She always prided herself in having the balls to do what others shied away from, and this interview would just prove that once again. No wonder I refused to touch her even with a barge pole months ago.

I reached down to grab my water bottle, while trying to communicate how utterly uncomfortable I was to those in the room, but the stupid lighting was pointed right in my face and I couldn’t see if my message was getting across.

With every second I could feel myself losing control over my temper. For the last five years I had worked extremely hard to remain cool, calm and collected and not return to my old ways. But VanderBitch was getting under my skin, like she always did. And that is why Jasper should have interfered by now and have put an end to all this crap, he knew how she was. But, no. The dumbass was nowhere to be seen. There would be Hell to pay later.

“So, which one is it, Edward?”

Keep it generic. Use the ‘We’re just friends’ shit.

I cleared my throat and rubbed my neck. “Er, well. We- ”

“I- I apologize for the interruption, but I- I’m afraid Mr. Cullen has an urgent call that cannot be delayed and he is required to answer it immediately.”

I looked up and saw Swan standing just beside the light fixture, her eyes were downcast and her voice lacked any real authority, but I could have sworn that in that exact moment she was Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, Mrs. Incredible and Buffy rolled into one. She came to save the day, but more importantly she came to save me from VanderBitch, and that was even more of an accomplishment than stopping an apocalypse.

I stared at her, my eyes locking with hers. I was telling her to not leave me alone, not take any shit from VanderBitch and to get me the Hell out of here.

Vanderlinden gave a disbelieving snort. “Well, this important phone call will just have to wait. We still have six minutes left on the clock and there is no way I’m cutting this interview short.” Her voice was pure poison, her jaw was clenched, and she was giving Swan the I’m-about-to-fuck-you-up-if-you-mess-with-me look. There was no way that my little, fragile assistant was going to go head-to-head against Satan Himself.

I turned my attention back to Swan and I knew I was right, she was chewing on her bottom lip and her eyes shifted nervously from Vanderlinden to me. I didn’t blame her; she was obviously scared of the Devil incarnated, and anyway, her job wasn’t to deal with this sort of thing. No, this was most certainly Jasper’s or Floyd’s job.

VanderBitch shooed her away with her hand and turned her venomous eye back to me. She was going to lay into me even more than before. Those remaining six minutes were going to be the longest six minutes in the history of the world.

Swan took an unsteady step back, still biting her lip.

I leaned back against the chair, closed my eyes and let out a defeated sigh as I prepared to be bombarded with intruding personal questions. Great.

All I wanted was to be somewhere playing the piano, letting my emotions pour through my fingers and pretend that everything was good in my world. I knew I wasn't very good at playing -- I only really had five years of training -- but I was told I was a natural; that I had a nack for it. Damn it, I wanted to be doing that, not this.


Jasper was going to pay.

VanderBitch began to impatiently tap her sharp nails on her armrest to get my attention. “Let’s continue. You were seen in Eclipse nightclub with Alyssa Maymore last Friday. Insiders reported that there was a lot of groping going on, and that you spent the better part of an hour with your tongue down her throat. Tell me more.”

I lost it. I was about to tell her to go eat shit, or something equally as eloquent, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“This interview is over. Mr. Cullen if you could please follow me.”

Vanderlinder stood up and aggressively pointed her scrawny finger at Swan. “I think I’ve already told you that I’m not cutting this interview short. Is there something wrong with your hearing?!” She practically shouted. If Swan didn't have hearing problems before she definitely did now.


“No, I heard you perfectly the first time, Ms. Vanderlinden. And you aren’t cutting the interview short... I am.”

My jaw dropped to the floor. VanderBitch looked like she was ready to explode or beat Swan into a pulp, or both. But my little assistant didn’t look at all perturbed. She was glaring straight back at Vanderlinden, and giving her -- what my aunt would’ve referred to as -- the evil eye. Who would have thought Swan had it in her?

Swan’s hand moved lower to between my shoulder blades as she signalled for me to stand up, without once breaking eye contact with the Devil.

I was immediately out of my seat. Swan stepped back to give me space to move and then ushered me into one of the bedrooms, away from Vanderlinden and the shocked stares of those in the room.

She chose the room furthest from the living room and quietly shut the door. As soon as she turned around her hand flew to her mouth, and her eyes became wide as saucers as she stared at me silently.

I was still in a state of mild shock. I would never have thought that Swan would do something so ballsy. She always looked like the type of person who was well balanced and not crazy enough to mess with the Queen Bee of trashy entertainment news. I just hope this didn't backfire in anyway.


Swan opened and closed her mouth several times before finally speaking. “I- I ...I’m sorry. I can’t... Oh my God... that was...” She wasn’t making any sense. Swan took a deep breath and started again. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Cullen. I have no idea what came over me. I will completely understand if you want to fire me, and I’ll be sure to write Ms. Vanderlinden an apology letter.”

Swan was now wringing her hands as well as biting her bottom lip. She was going to injure herself if she didn’t stop soon.

I sat down on the bed and ran a hand through my hair. “I’m not going to fire you.” I couldn’t stop a small chuckle from escaping my lips. “I’m giving you a raise.”

I was shocked, amused and darn right happy Jasper had hired Swan as my PA. The girl had cojones.

Swan stared at me for a second “Oh.” A small smile graced her face before she sat down on a chair near the door. “I really hope the interview wasn’t live, or I’ll be getting some interesting phone calls when it airs.”

I leaned back against the headboard and closed my eyes. “The interview was recorded. Victoria’s team will heavily edit it.” Even with Swan providing a moment of amusement today still proved to be one of those bad days, those never ending bad days.

“That’s good. Well, I better go find Jasper as I’m sure he will be expecting an explanation.”

That got my attention. “Where is he?” Cabron had left me alone.

Swan got up and smoothed her dress down. “I think he’s outside with the others.”

“What! He’s outside?”

Swan flinched. I knew my voice had become harsh.

“Umm, yes. Something, er, came up and he...” I pushed myself off the bed and stormed out the room. Oh, he was gonna have it now.


“Mr. Cullen, wait.”

That asshole was outside? Outside? How dare he leave me alone in an interview with Vanderlinden. Jasper knew how hostile she had become after I refused to tap that. And not only was he slacking on the job but he had in turn broken the one promise he had made to me twelve years ago. Fucker.

I walked quickly through the room, ignoring the camera crew and all the other random people scattered around. More times than not I hated fame; I especially hated it when I couldn't get angry when I wanted.

“Mr. Cullen you can’t leave the room. Think about the security risks.”

Swan sounded out of breath as she half-walked, half-ran after me.

I slammed the main suite door against the wall in my hurry to find Jasper. I looked down the wide corridor, first to the left and then to the right. I couldn’t believe what the fuck I saw.

There was Jasper and Emmett leaning against the wall chatting and laughing as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Gray was talking on the phone with a cocky smile. Those cocksuckers had to be fucking kidding me.

“Mr.Cullen?”

I was trying to once again not lose my temper.

Emmett and Jasper looked around and saw me standing there, my fists clenched so tightly my knuckles had turned white and I was practically growling. I was so mad, so damn furious, that I couldn’t even think straight.

“What the Hell are you doing out here?” I spat out.

Jasper made his way towards me. “We had to negotiate some matters, everything is fine.”

What could possibly have been more important than protecting my career? I had told him so many times how it was the only thing I had, the only thing that mattered to me in life apart from him and Emmett. How easily he forgot.


Jasper was being cautious, after knowing me for so long he could detect when something was wrong.

“Everything is fine?” I snorted. “Then explain to me why Vanderlinden just asked me if I had my tongue down Maymore’s throat?” My voice was rising in volume, but I didn’t care who heard our conversation.

“She what?”

“You bloody well heard me!” Jasper exchanged a worried look with Emmett before returning his attention back to me. “Why were you out here and not in there? Why was it that Swan had to interrupt when it was your job to do so?”

“I- I didn’t know, Edward. Everything was going on alright before I left; she was sticking to the rules.”

“Yes, because she is always so well behaved when she interviews me, isn’t she?” I sneered.

“Edward, I’m -” He looked apologetic, but I simply didn’t care.

For the first time since I had met Jasper my trust wavered. I had idolised him, but then again who wouldn't? He was everything I had wanted to become. A real man, unlike so many others in my life. I had outgrown my boyish views but still, in someway, held the belief that Jasper was infallible. Until now.

“No. I don’t want to hear it.” I threw my hands in the air, sick of all this shit. “I’m leaving.” I turned to walk away but another hand grabbed my shoulder; I immediately jerked away.

“You can’t just leave, you have other interviews scheduled. I know you’re pissed off but your duty to the film comes first.”

“Do my duty? My duty? What was your duty Jasper? What did you tell me when I was twelve, brother dearest?” I was no longer shouting, instead my voice had dropped to a menacing whisper that I only found myself using when I felt like the hinges were coming undone.

I was done. I needed to get some fresh air and leave the feeling of betrayal behind. I could hear Emmett calling me but I just ignored it and kept walking towards the lift. I knew he would be upset-- beneath the hulking exterior Emmett was as soft as a marshmallow, and he hated when we fought-- but today I couldn't even find the patience to care.


“Mr. Cullen!” Swan was hurrying after me, but I didn’t stop. I was in a bad temper, more so than usual, and didn’t want to deal with anyone.

I loosed my tie and unbuttoned my cuff links, I was about to press the button for the lift when I felt two delicate hands grab my forearm. I looked down and then up at Swan with an arched eyebrow. She instantly let go but moved to stand between me and the lift.

“I’m sorry Mr. Cullen but you can’t just walk out, there are hundreds of paps out there and I don’t want you be assaulted.” She had to tilt her head back to see my face. I wasn’t about to make her comfortable by stepping back. “If you just wait a minute I’ll get my things and drive you home, ok?”

I considered what she said for a second before giving her my assent. I wanted to get the heck out of here and just chill out. Swan quickly left, but she didn’t take a minute to grab whatever the fuck she needed, it was more like twenty minutes.

What in God's name could be taking her so long?

By the time she came back I was pissed off and irritated. I looked at my watch and then at her, needing nothing further to communicate my displeasure.

“I know, I know. I had to... sort some stuff out.”

I was going to ask, but found that I actually really didn't care. We took the lift to the underground garage and I made my way to Swan’s Mini Cooper before she told me we were taking Emmett’s humongous Hummer. “It has tinted windows and it will throw off the paparazzi.” It was quite comical watching Swan attempting to climb in.

We had been on the road for about ten minutes before I switched radio stations. Swan gave me a questioning glance but thankfully refrained from enquiring as to why we were now listening to Bach. I was in no mood to explain why I liked Classical music.

Swan’s expression changed from slightly amused to slightly worried. “I noticed this morning that you have no food in your house. Do you want to stop somewhere to get lunch or groceries? I’m sure you must be hungry.”

“No. I’ll just order in.” The last thing I needed was screaming girls and flashing cameras while trying to eat or shop. But her concern was... touching?


“Then do you mind if I stop to grab something? You don’t have to get out of the car.”

“Whatever.”

She parked the car outside a small convenience store, grabbed her purse, and told me to stay put and ‘try to not look famous’. Smartass. If I knew how to do that I wouldn’t be living in this gilded cage.

Swan returned with some shopping bags and placed them in the boot before climbing her way into the driver’s seat again.

The rest of the drive home was spent in companionable silence. No-one was better at silence than Swan. She didn’t feel the need to fill every second with meaningless chatter and ramble on about inconsequential things, I appreciated that; people usually talked at me non-stop so silence was a treasured rarity. None of my other PAs understood the word ‘quiet’, but Swan did. There were actually a lot of things I appreciated about Swan as my personal assistant. Firstly, I was aware that my behaviour could be frequently described as difficult but she dealt with it and didn’t whine about it- definitely appreciated. Secondly, she was always on time, kept all my things neat, very rarely fucked up, got on with Emmett and Jasper, and didn’t really get on my nerves- all very much appreciated. Thirdly, and most importantly, Swan was loyal. Her actions back at hotel proved that, and I was glad she hadn’t decided to quit over my moody behaviour. Maybe I could try to control by asshole tendencies and then she wouldn’t leave. I didn’t know many things, and I was oblivious to many others, but I knew when I had someone who was good at their job working for me, and I would try hard to not mess this up with Swan. I would have to come up with a Be-Nice-To-Swan plan.

As soon as I got home I made my way upstairs to my room. I immediately selected a playlist; I needed something to work out to so I decided to go for some dance music. I changed into my work out clothes and started doing some crunches. Damned stupid film. After half an hour I switched playlists, opting for Haydn as I stripped down to get in the shower.

Today had definitely not been enjoyable in any way, shape or form. Vanderlinden was a stupid nuisance; the hag didn’t understand the damage she could inflict on my career by asking the wrong questions, or maybe she understood perfectly well. Whatever. I was sick and tired of reporters who think they know it all. Please. They are cowards who were so afraid of failure that they prefer to report on something rather than actually do it. But it wasn’t Vanderlinden that had me mad, no, it was Jasper and in some ways Emmett, too. They had both made a promise to me: they said they would look out for me, have my back no matter what, but today they had broken that promise. In a way I knew I had over reacted, but I was so sick of being left alone without anyone in my corner. Everyone else had someone to fight their battles with them, it wasn’t that I couldn’t do things by myself, but it would’ve been nice to have a person to lean against once in a while, or someone to offer a bit of comfort here and there. For twelve years that's what Jasper and Emmett did for me; they helped in every way imaginable. If not for them I wouldn’t know what I would have done with myself, I would probably be homeless and dying from an overdose in a back alley. But today they had left me, even if it was for only a few minutes... to me it felt like I was twelve again and completely alone. Yes, it was only a stupid interview but it reminded me too much of the past; of being left behind.

Damn it all to Hell! I hated self pity. I was not going to wallow in things I could not change, and there was no way I was going to start to sound needy and desperate. I’m a twenty-four year old man fully capable of living his own life without the help of others. If I needed to be an island, then and island I would be. I couldn’t expect Em’s or Jazz’s lives to be centred on me; they both had girlfriends, different friends, and that was fine. I had my career and I knew they would be there for me, maybe not completely but in some way. My problem was that I expected too much from others. Yeah, that was definitely my problem. Tomorrow I would apologize to Jazz but still remind him of how much of an asshole he was for leaving me alone with Vanderlinden.

I turned off the shower and got out, changed into baggy grey sweat pants and my old ratty Rolling Stones t-shirt and made my way downstairs. I was sure there were some take away menus somewhere in the house and if there wasn’t I could always just eat the lemons in the fridge.

I jogged down the stairs and made my way to the kitchen, as I opened the door a wonderful smell hit me before an equally great image made it all clear. Standing by my stove, barefooted, was Swan stirring something and quietly humming to herself.

I had assumed she had left, like she always did, but here she was in my kitchen cooking.

I slowly walked in and leaned against the counter, just as I had done this morning, and cleared my throat to get her attention.

Swan immediately turned around, a hand going to her heart. “Geeze Louise, you nearly gave me a heart attack.”

I tried very hard not to laugh. This morning I had allowed myself a smirk and I was sure she wanted to slap me or stab me with a butter knife. I continued to look at her, not speaking. I usually found that if you didn’t talk people were quick to respond to unspoken questions.

“I didn’t want you to have to order in, so I thought I would cook you something.” She gave me a tight smile before turning around to turn the stove off.

That was pretty nice of her. I was never at home so there was never anything in the fridge, and even if there was, I couldn’t cook to save my life. Had I attempted to do so I would’ve probably ended up giving myself food poisoning.

“Do you like Italian? I only ever see you eat sandwiches so I didn’t really know...”

I could tell my silence was making her uncomfortable and perhaps insecure? She was blushing a lot. Did she always do that? It was kind of adorable.

I decided to stop being a dickhead and answer her. “Love Italian. What did you cook?” I moved to stand near her. “Wow, that’s a lot of pans.”

She giggled. Aw, that was cute too. “Um, yeah. I got a bit carried away. I made some dishes you can just reheat whenever you want.” She picked up a wooden spoon and started pointing to the different pans in front. “I made some Mac and Cheese. You like that, right?” I nodded “and Pasta Carbonara and a Veggie Lasagna, and Chicken Parmesan. I was going to make cupcakes and maybe even some chocolate chip cookies but I didn’t have time or the proper ingredients.”

I stared at her incredulously. “That's a lot of food. Were you planning on feeding all of L.A.?” See. I can be nice.

She laughed and ducked to get something from the oven. “Nope, just you.” She placed the Chicken Parmesan on the side and started cutting it. “Do you mind setting the table?”

I looked around the kitchen having no idea where anything was. After opening and closing a few cupboards I found what I needed and set the table for two. I was assuming Swan would be eating, and if she wasn’t I would tell her, as her employer, that I required her company; I still needed to say thanks and apologize for stuff, and there was no way I could eat all that food by myself.

Swan placed the Chicken Parmesan on the table and served me a huge portion, as well as a mountain of salad.

We sat facing each other in my enormous and bare dining room—God, I hated this house—and began eating. I was instantly in Heaven.

She looked expectantly at me. “Oh. My. God. This is amazing. Where did you learn to cook like this?”

Swan blushed again and looked down at her plate. “My Mum doesn’t cook and my Dad would have eaten fish everyday if I didn’t step in and my...um... boyfriend is allergic to the kitchen. So, the cooking was always left to me.”

I nodded and took another bite—it really was delicious – and watched Swan as she reached for her glass. She looked very beautiful today. The first time I had met Swan I had thought she was stunning, not in the conventional way, instead her beauty was quiet and delicate. It was unusual to see someone who didn’t look fake in Tinsel Town, but I could tell Swan was completely natural. Her hair was actually brown with reddish highlights and her breasts were her own, her nails weren’t acrylic, her eyelashes weren’t glued on and she didn’t have an orange tan. In some ways she looked like a porcelain doll. And for the life of me I couldn’t understand why I thought she was so breathtaking; I was usually attracted to leggy blondes with more hair than brains. But Swan had something about her that captivated me, maybe it was her gorgeous brown eyes.

I usually didn’t let myself think about her in this way; she was my assistant and there was no way I would become romantically involved with someone who worked for me, especially with someone who I greatly valued as an employee. Even if I did have little fantasies about her underwear.


I sipped my water as we sat in silence. I was about to thank Swan for what she did today when she interrupted my yet unspoken words.

“I love your house. It’s very beautiful.”

I leaned back against the chair and smirked. “Really?”

She laughed a little and looked me in the eye. “No, not really. I just thought it was the appropriate thing to say. I actually think the house is very cold.” I could now add honest to the list.

I chuckled and put my glass down. “I agree. I hate this house; there’s too much glass.”

“Then why do you live here?”

I shrugged. “It was the first place I saw, well the only one I saw. Jasper said it was the perfect location, so I took it. I’m never home anyway so it doesn’t make that much difference.”

Swan pushed her plate back and leaned her elbows on the table. “I think you should paint the walls in a bright colour and put some rugs here and there. It would liven things up. Plus, it would make your art work look even better. I love the pieces in the living room. ”

“Thanks. They are my favourite too, I was surprised by how well they turned out, usually when I paint at night things don’t come out so good.”

You painted them?” She looked surprised. I won’t deny it; I was mildly insulted by her reaction.

“Yeah, painting is very relaxing.” I looked down and rubbed my neck. I hated when people thought of me as only an actor, not seeing anyone behind the job, and that's exactly what she was doing.

“They're very beautiful.” She said, quietly. “I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised; you seem like a very creative person. The acting, the singing, playing the piano – it makes sense you paint too.”

My head snapped up. “How do you know I sing?” I kept that very private. If anyone caught a whiff of this it would be all over the news and singing was something I did for me. The only thing apart from playing the piano and sleeping that allowed me to truly escape.


And there was the blush again. God, I love when she blushes. “I, er, sometimes hear you in the morning when I wait for you downstairs. Sorry.”

“No need to apologize... Actually, I’ve been meaning to thank you for today, you didn’t have to do any of that, and yet, you did.” She started to protest but I lifted my hand up to stop her. “I just wanted to let you know that I ... appreciate it.”

Swan nodded and started to chew on her lip. “I’m sorry I didn’t do anything earlier.”

“It wasn’t your job to do anything.”

She started to fiddle with the sleeve of her dress. “I didn’t do it because it was my job.”

What? What does she mean by that?

“I did it because it was the right thing to do.” She had principles... another admirable trait.

We spent the next hour or so talking about random subjects, mainly about my career, past films I did and how I liked being a celebrity, or rather how I hated it. It was the first time I had ever really talked to Swan and the first time in a very very long time that a woman had had a real conversation with me; as a rule the women I 'dated' had small vocabularies and their most in-depth question was ‘Is you hair naturally like that, or do you use product?’. Stupid bimbos. I guess it was really my fault; I didn’t want anything long term and those willing to be sex on a tap were usually air heads. I admit I use them, but then again they use me too. It was a give and take situation, convenient for both parties, especially when I only ever went on ‘dates’ with them in my down time. The casual sex gave me more time to concentrate on my career; I could choose when to have it and when to tell them to leave me the Hell alone – it worked.

Swan started to clean up the dishes and I helped her, noticing how tiny she was without her high heels on. Adorable.

She washed the dishes and I dried them. We had been talking a lot about my life but I didn’t really know anything about her. Did she say she had a boyfriend? I wonder what the guy is like; he must be pretty amazing to get someone like her.

As she passed me a plate I just had to ask. I am a Gemini after all, and we are curious people. “So, what’s your boyfriend like?”

Look at that blush. I was starting to get worried; did she have a medical condition? “Umm, he’s nice... sweet.”

Sweet? That was it? He sounded lacklustre to me. In my opinion she deserved someone who was extraordinary; there were few people like her and she was entitled to the best. I remember titbits of information from the barbecue about him- the boyfriend, I think he was called Jacob?... Oh, that barbecue had definitely been interesting. It was the only time I had slipped and stared at her for more than it was socially acceptable, I’m sure she thought I was a nutter with more money than sense, but she had looked so gorgeous I just couldn’t help myself.

We slipped into silence once again; maybe this was a touchy subject for her.

“I’m sorry I asked. I didn’t mean to intrude, I’m sure you want to keep things private.” I said as I place the plate in a random cupboard.

Swan shook her head. “You weren’t intruding; I just... don’t do well with personal questions. It makes me feel awkward, you know?”

I gave her a quick grin. “I most definitely know what you mean; you saved me from that today, remember?”

She did this tiny little giggle. I think she hadn’t meant to laugh but just couldn’t help herself. All her reactions were so vivacious and honest; she was so different from all the other women who had stumbled into my life. Not only because she was sweet and had a list full of other great qualities but also because she maybe cared a little tiny bit about me, even if it was because I was her boss. To me it still counted as something.


After everything was done she went into the living room to pick up her bag. It was only four but I had told her that she was free to go whenever, she probably had better things to do than spend her entire day with her boss.

Swan re-entered the kitchen and put on her heels that had been tucked underneath a little bench and walked to the door, managing to trip twice over air. Cute. I followed behind. I’m sure that was the proper thing to do with guests when they were about to leave, right?

She stepped outside and turned back. “Ok, then. Umm, I’m sorry once again for not acting faster at the hotel and thank you for lunch. ”

Was she for real?

“No, thank you for lunch and sorry for my behaviour earlier on today.”

She smiled and nodded. “Have a good evening Mr. Cullen.” She started descending the drive way.

The Mr. Cullen thing was getting old. “Edward, not Mr. Cullen.” It seemed far too rigid and I hope that in the future we could get on better. The formality of using titles would impede that from happening.

Swan looked back and gave me the loveliest smile I had ever seen from her and shouted back “Bella, not Ms. Swan.”

I laughed and closed the door. Bella was great, no two ways about it.

I stared at the entrance door for a while, somewhat clueless as to what I should do now. I rarely had days off and now I found myself with an entire afternoon of free time.

Mmm, what to do?

I cracked my knuckles and rolled my shoulders. I could go and practice on the piano, or I could go into the kitchen and eat something else... definitely the latter. I had to get in as much of Swan’s cooking as possible before Jazz came into the house and took all the carbs away.

Bella had said she had placed all the dishes she made into the fridge in small containers, each holding enough for one meal. I looked around the kitchen and noticed that Swan had been right; I needed to do something with this place, it really was fucking depressing.

I opened the fridge and just had to laugh. There were ten little containers, one on top of the other, as well as juice, milk, bread, jam, cheese, eggs and bacon. Not only was I going to give Bella a raise but she was going to get a bonus too.

I was about to grab one of the containers, when there was a ring on the intercom. I went into the living room and pushed the button. In the little screen in front of me were Emmett and Ham. I pushed the button that opened the electric gates to let them in. Soon after there was a loud pound on the door.

“Hey hombre, I brought Ham the Man.” He said as he shoved Ham towards me.

I manoeuvred my arms and hands to hold Ham, but he was so heavy that I instantly had to put him down. That dog is going on a diet. “Oh, thanks Em. Wanna come in? ”

“No thanks, dude. Rose is waiting for me. Just came to give the dog, get the Hummer and see how you’re doing.”

I leaned against the door frame. “I’m good. Sorry I over reacted, you know how I am.”

Em nodded and slapped my shoulder. I had to flinch. “Sure do matey; you are a little Drama Queen, after all.” Cheeky bastard. “Hey, did Buttons give you shit as well?”

Huh? “No, why would she?”

“Well, she had a huge fat go at us. I thought she was going to punch Jasper in the throat and chop Floyd’s balls off. I tried to keep well away; she was not in a mood to be messed with. She went on and on about how horrible we were, I just thought she might have said something to you about what you said to Jazz. ”

“Nope, not a thing.”

“Well, whatever. Remind me never to get on her bad side. I better get going man, otherwise Rose is gonna throw a fit.”

I said goodbye and closed the door.

My shoulders started to shake with laughter. Oh, what I would’ve done to have seen that. I can’t believe Bella had told them off like they were little children and basically defended me. Ha! I bet she had them nearly in tears. If she was half as angry as she had been with Vanderlinden she must have been something fierce. Damn she was good.