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.
9. Building Castles: Part 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 5045 Review this Chapter
Friday was officially the worst day of the week. Monday I got to see a half-naked Edward wet and greasy. Tuesday I sat all day with a half-naked Edward in bed stroking his wonderful hair. Wednesday morning I accompanied Edward to meetings. Wednesday afternoon I helped Edward go through scripts by the swimming pool. Thursday I spent between five meetings and Edward’s costume fittings. Friday morning I had a never ending list of errands to go through. Friday afternoon I spent arranging Edward’s schedule with Jasper for the European tour. Friday evening was wasted ignoring the fact that I hadn’t seen Edward all day and chewing my nails dreading Friday night.
Today, very possibly, determined my entire future. And I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision.
I wasn’t in love with him but I knew there were boys out there who weren’t even half the man Jacob was. And even though Jacob’s sweetness gave me a toothache, I could never be sure if I would one day miss his sweet ways or his uncomplicated personality. Maybe everything I hated now would be the things I would crave later on, and then I would be reminded I had let it all go and it was my entire fault. So if I was going to make this decision, I would make it knowing I had given it my all and held nothing back. But I wasn’t doing this just for me; Jake deserved every effort on my part. I would try to find a way to continue, but if I found there was no way to resuscitate this relationship I would make sure to let him down easy. I would inflict the minimum amount of pain possible. Well, at least that was the plan.
After getting out of the shower and drying my body, I stepped into my dress. I had bought it yesterday in one of those vintage stores. It was a simple and elegant knee-length dress with a sweetheart neckline. I loved the shape of the dress and how curvy it made me look, but the best part was the colour. The woman at the store had said it was carmine, to me it looked like regular burgundy, but she had insisted it was not. But the name of the colour doesn’t really matter, it was how it made my hair look that had me excited. The colour of the dress made my hair appear redder than usual, it made it look like the colour I had wanted to dye it but was too wuss to ever go through with it.
I zipped the dress and stepped into black peep-toes and sat down to fix my hair and make-up.
It took some time to get my hair completely full of big, loose curls but in the end everything looked acceptable. I then came to the worse part; make-up. I hated it. My skin was too sensitive to wear it regularly, not that I ever wanted to, and I could never find the perfect shade of foundation. So for tonight I decided to keep it simple; mascara and lipstick and nothing else. God knows I don’t need blush. I went with waterproof mascara and a shade of lipstick I knew would make my lips look plumper, plus the name evoked good things. ‘Fire Down Bellow’ was the perfect shade to go with the dress, and it had me laughing at the irony. There hadn’t been any ‘Fire Down Bellow’ in the last five years. Darn, that was a long time to go without getting real satisfaction.
After a spray of perfume and getting my clutch I made my way to the living room to wait for Jake to arrive. To keep myself entertained until he came home I reorganized my boxes by colour. I was up to blue when Jake opened the door.
A feeling of anxiety surged through my body as I heard his heavy steps approach.
“Hey, Bells. I’m home.” I had figured as much considering I was in the same room as he was.
“Hey,” I said as I made my way to where he was standing and kissed his cheek. “How was work?”
“It was great.” Jake gave me a huge grin and walked to the bedroom, taking off his t-shirt on the way. “This guy came in today wanting to have three cars done; he had these great ideas about the designs he wants. Oh, and I think I might get a promotion. Sam told me that one of the senior mechanics is retiring later on this month and the company likes promoting from within. I know I’ve only been there for a short time but Sam said I was the best they had. How cool is that?”
“That sounds amazing, Jake.”
So far so good. I had thought it would be awkward considering we hadn’t spent much time together lately but it wasn’t anything like that; we were relaxed and it seemed like Jake wasn’t going to mention any of the problems between us. I could feel my anxiety dissipate, being replaced by relief. I would be able to go through my promise of trying one last date without much effort.
I sat down on the sofa and flicked through the magazine on the coffee table. I have no idea what a tabloid was doing in my apartment, I didn’t buy it and I have no idea why Jake would want to read something targeted at women. The first few pages were what I expected; some bitching about style and articles on what I was sure was the latest breaking story to shake the world. But page five had me chuckling. It was an entire page on the sexiest celebrity pouts. Edward was number one, and the picture they chose to put in was pure gold. He was standing next to an exasperated Jasper with a frown and his arms crossed. He had the cutest pout in place, his bottom lip stuck out and he looked like he was five and getting a telling off from Jazz. I would have to tease him about this next time I saw him.
“Are you ready to go?”
I placed the magazine back in its place and looked up. “Yes...um, aren’t you going to change?” Jake had changed clothes but was still wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I wasn’t sure what restaurant we were going to but I had thought Jake would have chosen somewhere nice, nothing expensive, but a restaurant where you would be expected to wear something other than jeans.
“I already have. What? Is there a stain?” He asked as he looked down at what he was wearing.
“Well, er, no. Aren’t we...”
“But I think you should change. You look nice, but I don’t think what you’re wearing is very appropriate for where we’re going.” Jake looked me up and down. “Why don’t you put on some Converses and pants? I’ll wait.” He threw himself on the sofa and turned on the TV.
What was he talking about? I would never go out to a restaurant in Converses. I know I’m a klutz and that it would be more sensible to wear flats, but I like how I feel in heels. It’s like Charlie always says; don’t let your flaws rule you. So I didn’t; I wore heels to restaurants. And I knew we were going out to dinner, Jake had said he booked a table.
“Jake, where are we going?”
“Mmm?” I wasn’t surprised he didn’t give me his full attention; Monster Garage was on.
“Please turn off the TV.”
“Huh?” Jake turned his face to me but his eyes were still glued to the screen.
I reached across the sofa and grabbed the remote, turning off the TV myself.
“What restaurant are we going to?” I repeated slowly, making sure he would understand what I was asking.
“I think it’s called ‘Parking Lot’ or ‘Parking Space’... I can’t remember. It’s somewhere inside the Pavilion.”
“Pavilion?” This was getting ridiculous. I wanted to yell ‘Just tell me where we are going’ in the loudest scream I could possibly muster, but decided my inside voice was better for this discussion.
“Yeah, the show is being held there. Their website said the exhibition had over four hundred cars. And I thought you might like to have dinner afterwards. At first I thought about going to one of those Italian restaurants but they were a good forty minutes away and the ‘Parking Something’ was closer. ” Jake shrugged.
I inhaled slowly. Patience, I needed patience. I exhaled.
“Are we going to a car show for our date?” I tried to make my voice neutral; I didn’t want to show disappointment or irritation. I might absolutely hate the idea of basing my future on an evening out looking at automobiles but if it was what he wanted...
“Yep, Sam took his wife and he said she was blown away by it.” I bet she was. “Is there something wrong with that? We can go somewhere else if you don’t want to change.”
The best option would be to change the location of our date. If we went to a quiet restaurant so we could talk and discuss everything that had been going on lately I would feel so much better about coming to some form of conclusion about our relationship. But this was Jake; his passion for cars was a huge part of who he was, and I wanted my choice on whether or not to continue with what we had to be based on something real. The restaurant would be relaxing for me but annoying for him. I guess his testosterone filled date would just have to do.
“No, that's fine. I had just thought... Never mind. I’ll just put on something else.”
I was glad I hadn’t splurged on the sexy black bra and matching thong I had seen yesterday. I had stared at it for a while thinking that maybe I should just buy it, then I would be prepared if the date went well and I wanted to take things to the bedroom. – You know, get things done quickly so I wouldn’t have to dread having his naked body on top of mine for very long.— But after ten minutes considering the pros and cons, I decided not to get it. The absence of sexy underwear would act as a safety net, ensuring I thought long and hard about getting Jacob long and hard. Instead of hot black lace, I settled for a nude strapless bra and pink panties. In my mind the plan was to go on a date and after a few days of carefully questioning all my feelings for Jake, take the next step and have sex with him. I wasn’t looking forward to being pounded into, but it was only after getting intimate that I would come to a final conclusion about how I wanted to deal with this. It was a mechanical way of going about things, but if I didn’t have a well structured plan I knew I would get lost in this decision making thing, and very possibly question my choice in the future.
I patted Jake on the head, noticing how his hair wasn’t very silky and making a quick mental note to buy hair conditioner, when there was a soft knock on the door.
“Jake, can you get that?” I had to find a new outfit to wear. Jeans and a t-shirt would do, and I would definitely put my hair up; there was no point in getting snarls for the sake of a car show.
“You’re closer to the door.”
I rolled my eyes, stepped out of my heels and opened the door.
Shit, fuck and bollocks.
I cannot believe Jazz talked me into this. I already felt awkward and I hadn’t even asked yet.
I should have known when he gave me a cookie that something wasn’t right. Jasper hadn’t given me any form of baked goods in half a decade, for him to have started there had to be a fucking big reason.
The conversation had begun innocently enough, just us talking about Europe while drinking smoothies and eating cookies, and then it descended into an almighty shit fest.
“Do you have any plans for Friday night?” He had asked, before draining half his glass.
“I don’t think so, but you should probably check with Bella. Why?”
“Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go to dinner.”
“Yeah, sure.” I replied absentmindedly.
I hadn’t really thought about it. Jazz and I went out to dinner a lot. We talked about business and life in general. But we had never set a date for when we would meet up, and he sure as hell never actually asked me to join him for dinner. We usually did it when we had time, just randomly. Now he was asking me out, and telling me when to meet him. It was odd. There were only two reasons why he would go about things in that way. One, he was going to confess his undying love for me and had picked the perfect restaurant for it already. Or two, he had planned something and was being sly by not telling me the full details. I was going to go with the last one, even though neither sounded very appealing.
“Wait. First, what’s the occasion? And second, who’s going to be there?”
He had had the decency to look embarrassed. “AliceandIareenagedanditsjustthefiveofusbutyouhavetobringadate.” He inhaled sharply and looked about my kitchen, suddenly interested in my cabinets.
“I’m sorry, what? You lost me after ‘Alice’.”
He had sucked in a breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Please don’t be difficult about this.”
“You tell me what you want and I’ll let you know what level of assholeness I will be getting to.”
“Ok, fine. Last Saturday I took Alice to this little restaurant in Malibu and, er, I proposed.” I was about to congratulate him—He hadn’t been dating Alice for very long, maybe a year or so, but they had always shown a disgusting level of love for each other. It was inevitable they would be getting hitched—but he stopped me. “Yeah, I know. It’s amazing. And yes, I was nearly shitting myself before I dropped to one knee. But that's not important right now. I’ll give you all the gushy crap when we run out of important things to talk about.”
I nodded. That arrangement sounded great.
“What is important is that Alice is happy. She wants us to go for dinner. By us I mean; Alice, Rosalie, Emmett, you, and me...and your date.”
He had lost me again when he had mentioned my date, so I chose to ignore that part. “I’m not going. I refuse to sit through another one of those dinners. Do you know how hard it is to eat when you have two couples sucking face right in front of you? And when you neanderthals couple up its like you lose all your conversational skills. I will be damned if I have to face screaming girls and cameras just to be miserable with terrible conversation and no appetite.”
I guess my little speech didn’t go down well—I think it might have been the neanderthal comment—because Jasper got very adamant that I not only attend but that I bring a date. He specifically told me that if I went to dinner without someone he would have to break both my legs. He had said that every time I went out with them I made the situation uncomfortable due to my permanent scowl. He then told me to get an acting coach so I could hide my emotions better. And reiterated my need to bring a date so I ‘would stop acting like a goddamn toddler’ and stop complaining about not getting enough attention.
I let it be known in a very loud voice that I did not appreciate his dictatorial attitude, but in the end relented. The fucking shit I go through for those cocksuckers is unbelievable.
Obviously, I liked my legs a lot and didn’t want them to get broken. So I had to bring a date, which was fucking difficult considering I don’t date. I thought about taking the last woman I fucked. Lauren? Laura? Laurie? I thought she would be a good choice as she already knew Jasper and Emmett, but then decided against it after remembering how she could only talk about tits, cock, and hair extensions. Yeah, not good company for a civilized dinner. Great for the bedroom, though.
I went through all the contacts on my phone and was actually amazed at how many Brainless Walking Sex Taps I had numbers for. But none of them would do for this; I needed someone who knew that the capital of Australia was not Sydney but Canberra, and that the capital of Canada was Ottawa and not Toronto. I was one hundred percent sure none of them had the amount of advanced geographical knowledge I required for an evening out with my friends and their partners.
The only woman I knew who might have picked up an Atlas in her life, or any book for that matter, was Bella. And that made things very uncomfortable.
I could flirt with her, let her ogle my bare chest, think dirty thoughts about her, and spend an entire day with her in my bed. But I could not escalate our relationship into anything serious. With us it was all about light-hearted fun and friendship with a dash of sexual tension, but there was nothing romantic about it. Yes, I wanted to see her totally naked on my bed, but that doesn’t mean I was going to act out my thoughts. I valued Bella far more than to have her and then discard her like all the others.
Asking Bella on a date, no matter how innocent, would undoubtedly change our relationship. And I really didn’t want that to fucking happen, I wanted to keep things the same because for once I had found someone who I could stand being near to without wanting to punch their face. It was a shitty thing to admit to, but true. Twelve years and Bella was the only person who I had become even close to liking, apart from Emmett and Jasper.
I had sat in my cold ass kitchen flicking through the names on my phone, contemplating who to take, until Ham demanded I feed him. By the time I went to bed I knew there was only one option and that was Bella. If I took anyone else my goddamn scowl would be in place, eventually leading to Jasper breaking my legs and rendering taking a Blow Up doll out completely useless.
And now, here I was, in my stupid Prada suit and whatever brand tie, in front of Bella’s door to ask her out on a non-date date.
My arm rose twice and fell twice before I built up the courage to face this goddamn awkward situation head on. I knocked softly hoping someone wasn’t in, while at the same time hoping Bella would save my ass and agree to be tortured right along with me.
I leaned my arm against the door frame and tilted my head down, waiting for a response.
Shit, this is going to be friggin embarrassing. Not only is Bella going to say no, but she’s also going to tell me to go fuck myself in sixty-four different ways... At least I’ll get the Kama Sutra covered.
As the door opened I heard the sound of a TV and a deep male voice, and because of that I was not expecting the image that greeted me.
Holy Mother of God.
Bella was wearing the tightest, most indecent dress I have ever seen. Shit. It clung to her humps and bumps and yet, covered the majority of her body, even her damn knees were hidden behind material. The way she looked was pure unadulterated sex. It would have been better if she had been showing her tits and legs, that way I would’ve known what I was looking at... But as it was, my imagination took over, filling in what my eyes couldn’t see.
I was suddenly very uncomfortable and not because I was about to do something embarrassing. No, I was uncomfortable because the being in my pants had decided he very much liked the look of Bella, and was straining to get closer to her delectable womanly bits.
Her quiet voice disrupted my thoughts of arranging a play date between Edward Jr. and little Bella, and brought me back to what I was meant to be doing: asking her to join me in a painful evening.
I smiled and shifted, trying to hide the very obvious hard on I was now sporting.
“Er, hey.” Bella looked at me with a clear question in her eyes, obviously surprised by my appearance at her door. “Do you need something?”
How to answer that question? I needed many things right now...
“Yes, well, no. I mean yes.” I rubbed my neck and decided to stop being such a pussy. “Jasper got engaged Saturday and-”
“Oh, that’s great.” Her eyes lit up like it was fucking Christmas morning, and I just had to smile. I never thought brown eyes could be so beautiful, but I had been clearly wrong.
“Yeah, it’s great. The thing is, he’s having a sort of engagement party... nothing big, just him and Alice, and Emmett and Rosalie, and me. And I was wondering if you wanted to go?” God I was such a shit head. I could have just said ‘Bella would you like to attend Jasper’s engagement party with me?’ But no, I was an incoherent baboon. This just shows why I don’t have long term relationships. I don’t do serious well, anything apart from fucking and fun and I’m out of my element.
Bella closed the door slightly and leaned forward. “Do you mean, like, right now?” Her voice was hushed, nearly a whisper.
I looked up and down the corridor trying to understand why she had lowered her voice. I didn’t find anything but decided to follow her lead. “Yes. I know its short notice, but I thought you might like to come with me.” I motioned with my hand at her outfit. “And you’re already dressed... Wait. Am I interrupting something?”
Really, what the fuck is wrong with me today? How could I not have joined up the dots? She was dressed in that mind blowing outfit because she was going out, likely with her boyfriend. Some assholes just have all the luck.
“Um, kind of.” She turned her head towards her apartment and grimaced, but her expression didn’t stay pained for long. After a few seconds she turned back and gave me a toothy smile. “But Jasper only gets engaged once, right?”
I nodded. I don’t think Jazz would ever let go of that little, weird imp he loves so much.
“Ok, then. Give me ten minutes,” she said as she closed the door.
I was left in the corridor for a while, listening to the sounds coming from her apartment, and trying to wipe the stupid grin I now had on my face, as well as taking steps to get rid of my hard on. I thought about Emmett in a speedo and that did the trick.
After a few minutes the faint noises from inside became louder. I couldn’t hear Bella at all, but I could definitely hear the male voice once again. And I didn’t like it one bit.
I didn’t catch a word of what was being said but his tone was grating on my nerves. If he continued to speak to her in the manner he was doing now, I would very likely have to kick his ass... Correction: I would have to have Emmett kick his ass; the studio would rip me a new one if I damaged my face. Urgh.
Just when I couldn’t take anymore, and was going to act like the knight in shining armour and rescue the fair maiden, Bella walks out and slams the door.
“Let’s go.” Her strides were angry and damn sexy.
“Is everything alright? Did he do anything?” I asked as I easily caught up with her.
“Yeah, everything’s ok. He didn’t do anything. That's the problem.”
I had no idea what she was going on about so I decided to keep my gob shut and just escort her to the car.
“Geeze Louise, is that your car?”
Even thought it was dark outside I could still see Bella staring at my Aston Martin Vanquish with an awed look. I thought it was pretty, but it had nothing on my Bugatti Veyron.
“Yeah. I don’t drive it often, mostly at weekends.”
I went around to the passenger side and helped Bella in, low cars can be a real bitch to get in when you’re a girl and wearing a dress... at least, that’s what I heard the bimbos complain about.
I settled in my seat and drove off, and kept my eyes glued on the road rather than on Bella’s sad face. If I looked at her right now, I would undoubtedly turn around and punch her boyfriend’s face into the nearest wall.
“Bella, are you ok?” I turned slightly towards her, not really seeing her in the darkness but still unable to keep my eyes away.
“Yes. Do you want to listen to some music?” She sounded gloomy, and angry, and just plain pissed off.
“Yeah, sure. My iPod is in the glove compartment.”
I didn’t know what to do. In one hand I knew I was partly to blame for their argument, but on the other hand I knew it was all his damn fault. No matter how you looked at it. I still remember when I was ten and made the girl next door cry and my aunt Esme scolded me saying that boys should never make girls cry, no matter what the reason. I thought it was a load of bollocks, but now seeing Bella’s glittering eyes filled with unshed tears made me understand what aunt Esme was on about. It didn’t matter if someone was ten or twenty the principal was still there, and I had to admit it was heartbreaking seeing something so beautiful lose its happiness because of boy, or man, in this case.
Bella put on some upbeat song that went completely against the mood in the car, and made me feel shittier and shittier with each note.
Obviously, Bella was feeling the same; she sighed and turned her face towards the window, trying to hide her expression from me, even though the only light inside the car was the soft glow from the street lights outside.
In a move that was thought about after it was acted, I place my hand on top of Bella’s and gently squeezed it, trying to tell her without words that she had a friend if she needed one. And maybe someone who would pay for her boyfriend to miraculously appear with a black eye and bruised ribs.
I looked at her and her eyes found mine, and at the same time her little hand squeezed back.
“Thanks.” She smiled at me, and I knew then and there that if Bella was mine I would never make her cry.
As we arrived at the French restaurant I helped Bella out of the car and tossed my keys to the valet, all the while glaring at his fugly face for eye fucking Bella. We quickly made our way inside before the paparazzi descended and interrupted our night.
However, it appeared my actions in the parking lot didn’t go unnoticed. Bella chuckled and shook her head.
“What? He was being disrespectful.” He sure as fuck was.
“No he wasn’t. The guy was just ogling your car, and then he was ogling you. It’s to be expected.”
What? The fucktard didn’t take any interest in my ride or my fucking face; he took an interest in my non-date date’s smoking hot body.
“Bella, he wasn’t gawking at me or my car; he was rudely checking you out.”
Bella arched an eyebrow as we passed the bar and made our way straight for the restaurant.
“He was.” I know he was probably thinking about how spectacular her ass looked, or how that little dip on her neckline was such a tease; showing some but not all. But even though I could see it, and he could see it, and every other motherfucker in this place could see it, it seemed Bella couldn’t. And that was fucking messed up.
“Bella, did you see yourself in a mirror before you left? You look...and that dress... You look absolutely stunning, and every man in this restaurant is drooling and panting over you. Trust me when I say that there isn’t one straight man here who doesn’t think you look ravishing.”
I also wanted to tell her that she looked like a beautiful porcelain doll, a sexy porcelain doll, but one nonetheless. The bold contrast between her dark lips, eyes and hair against her alabaster skin was so beautiful. Not to mention how the colour of her dress made her hair look even more striking. I didn’t tell her that because I didn’t want her to think I was creepy, or that I had a thing for porcelain dolls.
“Oh.” Her eyes were huge and surprised as she took in what I said.
I grinned and without thinking put my hand on her lower back, guiding her closer to the where the maître d’ was standing.
“Good evening.” The French man with a moustache said as we arrived in front of his podium. “A table for two, Mr. Cullen?” I have only been to this restaurant once, so there is no reason for the dude to know my name. I guess he must love his tabloids.
“No, thank you. But could you point us in the direction of the Whitlock table?”
“Of course, please follow me.”
- 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