Summary: Edward Cullen just wants to join the masses at an annual event, but he needs a disguise. Will the young artist help him walk around incognito or expose him before the day even starts? A birthday fic for MyHeroin1
For the first time in over ten years, Edward Cullen had some time off—almost a year's worth. It was a shame he didn't have the luxury to go out as he pleased to enjoy it. Stopping to fill up his gas tank at local station was a pain in the ass, and the last time had been dangerous. Stupid fucking paparazzi and a few obsessed fans had chased his car for several miles. For what? A picture of him in sweats and a t-shirt, typical attire for a lazy Sunday. A trendsetter he wasn't, nor did he want to be.
He had a few loyal friends who had been there before he'd become the highest paid actor in Hollywood. They kept his ego from over-inflating and helped him with the tasks of grocery shopping and other such simple things that most people took for granted. How he wished things were a little different. Fame had its perks, but also a lot of cons; lack of privacy was only one of them. He hated having to ask his friends to pick up food for midnight cravings, so he usually ignored those—something his trainer always appreciated.
An event, a rather popular one, was coming up soon and he wanted to attend. How did someone famous go to something so highly publicized, full of hundreds of fans, and enjoy the experience? Unless the individual was a part of a panel, it wasn't in the best interest of anyone highly recognizable. The first time he'd attended a panel for his television series over seven years prior had been insane. Even before making an appearance on the panel, he had made the mistake of walking around alone. No more than ten minutes later, he was recognized and ambushed, even groped in private places. It was a lesson learned, and since then, he feared overzealous, obsessed fans. Nobody blamed him, they'd seen the bruises.
So how the fuck was he supposed to attend this once a year event? His cousin, Emmett, had given him a wild, crazy idea. One he'd be stupid to consider and his own agent told him not to even think about it.
But he did think about it.
He thought about it for several weeks, and when the tickets went on sale, he grabbed a pass for Comic Con, San Diego. Emmett never thought he'd go through with it, but had made it clear that in order for it to work, Edward would have to go incognito. The event was usually filled with cosplay loving fans, and he could spend the whole time in costume and no one would ever know it was him. His hair, eyes and jaw were too easily recognized; fans had social media accounts dedicated to them. It meant he had to choose which character to portray carefully. He still didn't know who he wanted to be for the event, but he had to find the perfect one.
Edward also had to attend on his own, Emmett pointed out days after he bought the pass. His usual bodyguard, lovingly named by his fans as Jerk Off Jake for his tendency to refuse to bend the rules for fans, was just as recognizable. The only friends in the area would cause the same mayhem. Emmett was reaching A-list status on his own with his iconic roles and indie dramas. Jasper Hale, a dear friend from back home, was the lead guitarist in a popular band, and wouldn't be able to walk into the event. His blue eyes, long undercut hairstyle, and heavily tattooed body was unmistakable, no matter what he wore.
He was on his own.
Bella twisted her lips to blow an annoying curl from the front of her face. She was tempted to cut the fucker off, but she was elbow deep in plaster and in no position to do anything about the itch on her cheek or her stupid hair. It was a bad day for her assistant to call in sick, hence the reason her phone hadn't stopped ringing for several minutes. It wasn't her home phone, either; it was her personal business cell phone. It was the most direct line to reach her and the only people who had it were high end clients, or in most cases, their assistants or agents.
She cursed several times, bumped the counter with her hip until the phone rotated enough for her to see the screen—an unknown number. Not unusual, but annoying as fuck. She had to answer it, even though she was busy. She needed a big project to get her juices flowing.
Figuratively speaking, of course.
She had no other choice but to answer, so she did with her nose. Thankfully, she stopped locking the damn thing when she was working. She usually forgot her passwords anyway. Once the call connected, she tried to put it on speaker, cheering when she did it successfully. "Yay!"
"Uh, hello," the voice on the other end said. It was deep, smooth, and rich. Didn't help her pinpoint who the hell was on the phone.
"Sorry about that," she said, laughing a bit. "I had to find a way to answer my phone without my hands and I did, so yay."
"Okay." The simple word was drawn out as if he thought she was crazy or stupid. "I'm looking for Ms. Swan."
"Speaking, how can I help you?" She used her business voice, hoping to change his opinion of her fast. First impressions were important, even if sometimes, they were made over the phone.
For a moment, she thought the caller had hung up on her, but he cleared his throat. "How did you answer your phone without your hands?"
Now, it wasn't her fault her big mouth decided to rear its ugly head, sometimes things passed through her lips unfiltered. "Since my phone was in my bra, my nipple, what else?" It was said with so much conviction, a touch of sarcasm, but she almost believed herself. However, the mysterious caller started to cough, rather hard, on the other end of the line. Oops.
"Sorry, I'm usually not this much of a spazz, I apologize. I answered it with my nose."
"Something tells me you have these, crazy moments often." She looked her phone and imagined herself flipping the asshole off, but her brain decided to say the words, too. "Excuse me?"
"Hey, you called me. Let's get to the point, I'm in the middle of a casting and I don't want to ruin it."
Again, after several seconds, she wondered if he hung up. She wouldn't blame him, but he was wasting her time. She was frazzled with her never-ending to-do list and it wasn't even eight in the morning.
"All right," he said finally, not offering an apology. She hadn't expected one anyway. "I need a movie quality costume, custom fit and in time for Comic Con."
The fucker was delusional, but she managed to keep those words to herself. A few choice curse words slipped through. Not only was she swamped with orders for the same event and photography for three weddings, she still needed time to start her own cosplay costume. On top of that, it was three weeks away. Not even a month, which was what she usually took for such work and he called her crazy.
"Are you mad?" she hissed, looking for a hidden camera. She wouldn't put it past her assistant, Seth, to play a prank on her while he was out sick. It wouldn't be the first time.
"No." The word sounded more like a question than a fact. "Can you do it or not? You were highly recommended and you've worked with some friends who wanted to stay under the radar."
Ah, now she understood why the rush and the fact he hadn't said who he was yet.
"I'm rather busy with other orders," she replied, silently thankful that she wasn't on a panel that year. It was fun, but stressful as fuck.
"I'll pay you thirty thousand dollars, half up front and the rest if my identity isn't compromised by the day of the event."
"Are you serious?"
"Will you be willing to sign an NDA?"
It wasn't the first time she was asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and it wouldn't be her last. She realized she had already made up her mind about the opportunity. The money was as enticing as the voice on the line, lending a raspy purr to her own words. "Yes, I'm willing."
There were a few seconds of silence, followed by the caller clearing his throat again. "I'll have my people send over the form."
"Fine, I do need measurements and an idea of what you want so I can work on some sketches."
"Can you work with measurements from my tailor?"
"You want movie quality, custom fit, right?" He replied with a soft yes. "Then no, I'll need to see you myself, and it all depends on which character you want to cosplay as."
"I have a few ideas, but I can run them past you tomorrow." She would have to clear her schedule, and call in Sam and Leah if she wanted to get anything else done. They made arrangements to meet the following morning at her house and only if the NDA was signed and returned beforehand. There was no need to give him her address, because he already had it.
Hollywood was creepy as fuck sometimes, or all the time, just in varying degrees. Less than thirty minutes later, the NDA arrived at her studio, and the messenger waited as she read it over and signed it. The mysterious client had yet to disclose who he was, but she expected it. What she hadn't expected was the various spring flowers, ranging from yellow sunflowers to bright pink tulips, delivered to her studio with an apology for calling her crazy and a thank you. She had to give him some credit for the gesture, and it had been too long since she received any flowers. She found herself looking forward to the meeting the following day.
AN: This was written for the lovely MyHeroin1 who has a birthday today. Betaed by kyla713, any mistakes found are my own since I always add things, lol. Its ten chapters and if all goes well (crosses fingers) I'll post two chapters a day for the next five. Now who do you think Edward is going to Comic Con as?