All normal disclaimers apply, all things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer, our use of her characters names, places etc. is no intended to be an infringement of her copyright. This storyline and plot idea belong to WeeKittyAndTAT.
Special thanks goes out to Savannavansmutsmut, AWayWithWords and SarcasticBimbo, who have helped us make sure this story is readable. You three ladies have helped us a lot, so thanks. All mistakes belong to WeeKittyAndTAT.
Special HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out with this story to our (Nikky and Kasi) beloved friend Jess. Jess2002's 30th birthday is today (July 20th) and this story was written in honor of her birthday and our friendship to her. This story will post about every other day until the final chapter is posted on August 25th, which happens to be Jess2002's wedding anniversary. We love you Jess, xoxo, Nikky and Kasi~
"I can't lose it, Carlisle, there has to be a way, there just has to be," my mom sobs out against my father's shoulder. It's taking everything I have not to go to Eleazar Denali's grave and rip it apart. I can't believe he did this to my mother.
"We'll find a way, Mom, we just will," Alice says. I can see her trying so hard to hide her own breakdown.
"She's right, Mom, we have a year to turn things around. If we all pitch in and have some faith, just maybe we can raise the two million we need to save Grandpa's business."
The whole family just looks at me like I've grown a second head.
"We all just need to cut back. I can move home and give you the money I normally spend on rent. I can also get another job; we have twelve months."
"Edward, honey, you love your townhouse."
I put on a smile on for my mom and bob my head in agreement with what she said. "I do, but I love you more, and Grandpa's business is important to all of us. Besides, twelve months of rent payments will add up to over thirteen thousand dollars."
My mom gives me a weak smile, but I can tell she knows this will help.
"We will do this; we will save Grandpa's business," I say out loud to everyone in the room.
My grandfather was a hardworking man, and he loved working as a furniture designer and carpenter. He worked for a small business from the age of seventeen.
When he was forty, he found out the place was going to be closed down. The owner said that people no longer want handmade furniture, and only went to places like chain stores. At the time, he was a married man with a daughter and it broke his heart, not only to lose his livelihood, but a job that he loved so dearly, too. After talking it through with his wife, Elizabeth, he decided to try and get money from the bank. He, of course, was turned down time after time. The factory shut down, but he didn't lose faith. It was two months after the close, that he found out Eleazar Denali was helping local small businesses out.
My grandfather met with him and after a lengthy meeting, he said that he would help my grandfather. However, instead of loaning him the money, he wanted to instead be a silent partner. With Eleazar's guidance and support, the business blossomed.
The years passed by and his daughter, my mother, joined the company having inherited his talent. My mother loved working alongside her father, and it strengthened their bond. They were able to help each other when my grandmother passed away.
More years passed as my mom married my dad, and they had three kids. We're all grown up now. Emmett, my older brother, also followed in the footsteps of my mother and grandfather. He loves the art of making furniture, and joined the company working along with Mom and our grandfather. It had been thirty-five years from the reopening, when things went to hell in a hand basket.
My grandfather passed away and we found that Eleazar owned forty-nine point five percent of the company. Things got a little strange and were changing in odd ways. Before long, Eleazar was cancelling contracts and started taking his share of profits before we could pay the workforce. We were quickly finding ourselves moving into the red.
Then just six weeks ago, Eleazar died and two weeks later his viper of a daughter demanded we buy her out or close up. She wants to sell the place and collect what she believes is rightfully hers. Thankfully, there was a clause in the contract that Jenks, our attorney found, that gives us a year to buy out their shares. Since the business is in the red, we have no choice but to close temporarily to earn the money to buy her out at fair market value. The viper could not do anything for a year.
So here we are, trying hard to raise the two million dollars to buy the viper out. It may not sound like a lot, but for your average working family, this is a lot!
I sigh as I mop the floor. I hate that I have had to take a freaking janitor job. I graduated three years early from high school. I went to college, where I was the youngest to start a master's program. I finished at the top of my class in business. Now, here I am, three years later, aged twenty-six, mopping the freaking floor. Why, well because when we didn't play ball, the viper, Eleazar Denali's daughter, Tanya Denali, decided to make things hard for us.
She's made things even harder for me, since I called her a fucking, heartless bitch to her face. It wasn't even twenty-four hours after I said those words, that I found I'd been fired from my job for some shit that I didn't do. When I looked for another job, it became clear that she had me blacklisted and no company will now touch me. To say I am just a little bitter over what's happened is an understatement.
The floor I'm mopping is at a library, but this is not a public library, it's only for the rich.
I feel a body collide with mine.
"I'm sorry," a soft voice says.
I look down seeing a young girl picking up the books she just dropped. I bend down and begin helping her. I mean, my mama raised me to be a gentleman. Sadly, most of the time I'm finding that I'm being an asshole, though.
As I pick up one of the books, I see it's a business class text book. I hand it back to the girl who looks way too young to be in college. "Are you in a business class in college?" I ask, unsure why I care.
The girl brings her eyes to mine, and I see that her eyes look red and puffy with dark rings that you get when you haven't slept.
"You're right; I'm too young for college. I only just turned eighteen, but I have to learn all of this fast."
I swallow, realizing that I spoke about her age and looks out loud, before asking about college.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you." I slowly stand back up as she does.
"You didn't," she says sounding weary, before hurrying away.
I sigh and start to get on with my work. Once I'm done, I use the restroom to wash up a little and change my clothes. It's time for me to head off to my next job.
I walk into the bar which is real busy tonight. We usually have a decent crowd, but tonight it's full of college people. I hurry to the office to take my jacket off and get behind the bar quickly to start working.
"What can I get for you," I say to the female who's standing and almost swaying a little in front of the bar.
"You, naked on the bar," she slurs out.
"Sorry, I'm not on the menu. What can I get you to drink?"
"Yeah, I am in the mood for something creamy," she says in what I'm sure she thinks is a sexy tone. Her eyes go up and down my body and as they land on my crotch she licks her lips.
I sigh and pinch the bridge of my nose. "Sorry about your luck, but again, that's not on the menu."
She pouts at me a little. "Sex on the beach will do, until it's closing time that is."
I roll my eyes at her and she grins at me the whole time I make her drink.
"That'll be six-fifty," I say handing her the drink.
She gives me a ten. "Keep the change and maybe later you can give me a screaming orgasm."
I don't even have time to roll my eyes, because the next girl asks for almost the same thing as the one before her.
It's a little past three in the morning when I finally head home. I walk into my parents' house to find the supper my mom left for me. I heat it up and eat before heading off to bed. I know tomorrow will be another day of the same thing as today.
It's not just me that's working more than one job. My dad, Carlisle, has gone back to long-haul truck driving. He is away right now, on the road. He used to run the family business, but now he hauls things for other companies.
Alice, who's twenty-two, wanted to quit college, but we made her stay on. She only has this year left to do, and it's already paid for anyway. She has come home from the dorms, though, and has taken on a part-time job. Then there's Emmett, and his new wife Rose. They were trying for a baby when this all happened. They've now put that on hold, of course. They moved into the small apartment above our parents' garage. They are both working two jobs each now, helping to save the family business.
I wake, hitting the off button on the alarm. It's barely eight in the morning, and I'm getting ready for my shift at the local library. Today I'm not the janitor; today, I'm the librarian. As soon as I arrive, I unlock and open the library to the public. It's not long before I hear the door open and the first customer comes in. It's a girl and she moves straight off like she knows what she wants. I lower my eyes once I notice she doesn't need my assistance. I move to the cart of books and set about my work.
It's about halfway into my shift and I'm putting away some books, when I hear a banging noise. I look around and see a girl banging her head on the table. I move quickly to her, as people start to look around.
"Hey," I say sharply, but quietly and she stops.
She looks at me and her face is covered in tears. The pure sadness and resigned look on her face stops me in my tracks. I'm silent and motionless for a few seconds.
"Don't do that," I finally manage. "If you keep it up, I'll have to ask you to leave," I say, and she wipes her face. It's then that I recognize her as the girl that bumped into me yesterday. I wonder why she's here yet again, and so soon, knowing she's been here since opening.
"I'm sorry, I'm frustrated. I just - I can't seem to get this. It's just - too hard, and I need to know it like yesterday!" she says in a louder than normal level of voice.
I frown at her. "Shush, this is a library. I know that your kind gets away with everything in your fancy library, but here we have a code."
She looks to me in shock and I watch a faint blush appear on her face. "I'm really very sorry, but just this..." she says a little lower as she touches one of the books. "Why can't they write it in plain English that everyone can understand?"
I roll my eyes - just like every other spoiled-rotten girl; she wants everything handed to her. "It is in English," I retort.
She looks up at me and then waves at the books again. "So you understand all of this?"
I chuckle darkly at her. "Yes, just because I'm doing grunt work at a library and a bar doesn't mean I'm stupid. I graduated at the top of my class in business."
Her mouth drops open and she look stunned. "Really?"
"Yeah, really," I say rolling my eyes at her and nodding.
"Would you teach me?"
I scoff at her. "Look kid, I have three jobs and have little time to myself. What very small amount of time I have, I will not spend helping you."
I walk away, but turn when I hear her following me.
"Wait, please; I'll pay you whatever you want—just tell me your price."
I cross my arms over my chest. "You couldn't afford me."
"Fine—two million cold, hard cash," I say with a chuckle, and watch her pale a little.
She looks to be deep in thought before shrugging. "Well, I'm going need a lot of help. I need to know this stuff, and I have less than a year to prove myself in a job. You quit your jobs and help me, and I'll give you the two million. However, if they are happy with me, I'll give you an extra million as a bonus. No matter what, if you show me that you're as good as you are trying to make yourself out to be, I'll give you a job. Anywhere in the stupid ass company you want."
I chuckle, but she looks like she means what she says.
"And how exactly do you have three million dollars?"
"When do you finish your shift?"
I frown, looking at her as she counters my question with one of her own.
"I'll take you to the bank. I'll give you fifty grand right now, just as a goodwill gesture. At that time, I'll have them confirm that I have the three million. Wait … even better, do you have a lawyer? We could have a contract drawn up."
I swallow again as my heart starts to race. Could this little girl hold the answer to my family's problems?
"What's your name?" I say in a little less harsh of a tone.
"Bella Swan," she says holding out her hand.
"Never heard of you," I say keeping my arms crossed at my chest.
"No one has," Bella says lowly, and I'm sure I wasn't supposed to hear her. She drops her hand knowing that I'm not going to take it.
I look back to her face, and she's looking at me as if I can solve all of her problems. "Six, I finish at six."
Bella nods at me. "I'll see you then."
I watch her walk away, shaking my head.
The rest of my shift goes by quickly, and when I walk out, Bella's standing at the door. Without saying anything, she hands me a check for seventy-seven thousand dollars. I frown as I look at it.
"I thought that I could give you check for seventy-seven thousand at the end of each week. On Monday, go straight to the bank. When it clears, give my banker your account information and I'll direct deposit the weekly pay that way. I'll also make sure the taxes are paid on the money, so you get the full amount."
"But that will end up being more than the three million," I say feeling my heart beating faster.
"I know, but I need your help."
I sigh and take a good look at her. She still looks as if all she's done is cry, and then I can see the fatigue on her face. "Okay, if this clears on Monday, you've got a deal. I'll meet you here at ten?"
"It needs to be later than that; I have classes."
"I thought you said you weren't in college?"
"I'm not; I'm in high school."
I tilt my head looking at her, wondering why she's doing this if she's still in high school.
"Which one?" I ask.
"Of course," I mutter out, knowing that is one of the top private schools in the U.S. Only the filthy rich can afford to attend school there. "I'll meet you outside the main entrance at three," I say, before I walk away shaking my head. I have no idea why in the hell I agreed to help her.
A/N: Well there is a lot going on with Edward's family. Doesn't the viper sound like a great person to deal with? See you the day after tomorrow with more.