Chapter One

"This looks incredible, Alice," I say as I spin in the mirror. The dark blue cocktail dress falls to just above my knees and hugs my every curve. It's sleeveless with a healthy plunge in the neckline showing just the right amount of cleavage. Sexy, but not slutty.

Granted, I fill it out more than my friend with a bit of spillage over the neckline and it's tighter around the hips, it's not like I have any better options out of my closet made up of clearance rack items.

"I just knew it would," Alice replies with an appreciative nod. "And may I also say that I have taught you well in my ways. Your hair and makeup look perfect."

"Well, I was bound to learn something after the million times you've played dress up with me over the years." I run my hands over my long brown hair, my fingers dipping in the curves of the soft curls. It stops just below my shoulder blades. "I'm just so glad that it's finally grown out. The next time I think I can pull off one of those short trendy hairstyles that you do, slap me."

Alice smiles with a little chuckle at my statement. "Duly noted."

I turn and look at the clock on the nightstand and notice the time. "Jacob should be home soon." I'm excited but not excited at the same time. Jacob is taking me somewhere 'fancy' tonight as he described it.

Jacob got word yesterday that the bank approved the loan that we applied for to open his own auto shop. It's not as much money as he had hoped for but it's still enough to get the ball rolling. Tonight, we are driving all the way to Seattle to celebrate.

"I just wish he would tell me where we are going," I say with an exasperated heave. "He's being so damn cryptic, and he knows I hate surprises."

"I bet he is taking you to that fancy restaurant downtown. You know, the one that George Clooney was seen at last week." Alice's eyes turn all dreamy as a goofy smile spreads her lips wide. "I've been in love with him since I was fifteen."

All I can do is roll my eyes and throw a pillow at her. "There is no way that we'd ever get in there."

"But Jacob heard you talking it about it with your mom over the phone and he was asking me about it and a bunch of other places this morning…." Alice stops mid-sentence as she realizes that she's said too much.

I can't help it. My eyes widen. "What?! He's really taking me there?! Are we staying at the hotel that's above it too?"

"I'm not a hundred percent sure but you know I'm never wrong about these things and my gut is telling me that is where you are going. I'm psychic, remember?"

"Yeah. Sure, you are." I can't help but laugh. "And I'm the Queen of England."

"Why does no one take me seriously about that?" Alice grumps under her breath as I stand and start to head out of my and Jacobs tiny rental home. It's a yellow two-bedroom, one bath, cinder block house built in the 1940s. It's isn't much, but I don't care. I never have. It's where I am living with the man I have loved since I was seventeen and I just know that I couldn't be happier.

We have been together since I was 17 and he was 16. He pursued me relentlessly until I finally gave into him. In my mind, it was the best decision I've ever made.

I follow behind Alice to the front door and smile as my best friend spins around to look at me with a stern glare. "Remember the rules."

I can't help but roll my eyes again. It's the thing I seem to do most around Alice. "Don't spill anything on it because it costs more than my soul. If it rains, I'd better have an umbrella handy. And finally, you nasty perv, don't get any cum on it."

"And why do we have the last rule?" Alice asks when she notices the exasperation on my face.

"Because of senior prom…..SEVEN YEARS AGO! You are just never going to let that go, are you?"

"Nope. When I went to hang it back up in my closet…." Alice shudders at the memory, "…I touched Jacob's love spot!" we both finish in unison. I've heard that line so many times over the past 7 years, I have dreams about her saying it.

"I was eighteen and it was our first time. Accidents were bound to happen." I shrug nonchalantly.

Alice narrows her eyes at me for a moment before we both break out with a smile and laugh. "Thanks again for letting me borrow this dress."

"Anytime," Alice calls over her shoulder before hopping in her Jaguar.

I smile as I think about how we've been best friends since I moved here despite our very different upbringings. Myself, the daughter of our small town's police chief, was not the most fortunate on the financial side of things. Alice, on the other hand, was the only daughter of a family that came from old money. She's never had to want for a single thing in her life unlike me. My single father had to scrimp and save every month to survive.

It's only a few minutes before I hear Jacob pull up in the driveway. I hurry to ready myself, standing and smiling a sultry smile with my hip poked out sexily and wait for him to come in the house to get me.

When he opens the door, he's holding some grocery store flowers and is wearing the only suit he has. He told me he was going to take a shower and get dressed at the shop and I'm glad that he did because the sight before me is to die for. The black of the suit contrasts wonderfully with his dark skin and hair while the white button-up shirt, sans a tie, matches his radiant smile.

His brows raise to his hairline when his eyes land on me. After his eyes rake down and then up my body very slowly, he sighs. "Wow." He says breathily. "You look…incredible."

"You don't look too bad yourself," I tell him, a coy smile on my painted red lips. "Those are beautiful. Are they for me?" I nod to the flowers in his hand.

"Of course." He moves to me in a millisecond and claims my mouth in a bruising kiss. "But they don't hold a candle to you."

I smile and reach for them in his hand. "Thanks so much, love. They're beautiful. I don't know how I got so lucky to have a fiancée that still brings me flowers after eight years of being together."

"You know I am never going to stop wooing you. I gotta keep you somehow with all the men in town constantly waiting for me to blow it with you somehow. I have to make sure you don't wise up and leave my ass."

"Never," I whisper as I lean in and kiss him slowly. He groans and pulls back just as the kiss turns more desperate. "As much as I would love to peel this dress off of you right now, we need to go if we are going to make it."

"And where would that be exactly?" I ask him.

"Nope." He replies, popping the p sound. "Not gonna tell you."

I act like a two-year-old and groan, throwing my head back. "You're killing me, Jake."

"No, I'm wooing you." He says. "Now, let's go so I can show you off in that dress." He grabs the overnight bag I packed for us and leads me out of the house.

Three hours later, we are driving through downtown Seattle as I look around at all the sights. It looks like the fancy part of town and I can't help but begin to get nervous. Jacob always tells me that I deserve the best in life and swears that he will give it to me one day.

But looking around at all of the fancy apartment lobbies and the Mercedes and Bentley's passing by, I'm worried. We aren't rich by any stretch of the imagination, the old Toyota Corolla we are in is proof enough of that, and I'm sure that whatever he has planned is going to cost upwards of a paycheck or two.

"Jacob, where are we going?" I ask as another Bentley rolls by.

His smile is huge as he glances at me, the car slowing to a stop. "Right here."

I whip my head around and look up seeing nothing but a tall skyscraper and my brows furrow in confusion. "Huh?"

He chuckles at me and nods across the street. "There. We are going there."

My brows raise high with my surprise. "There? We're going there?!" Once again, Alice is right. It's the restaurant we have been talking about since it opened. It's supposed to be one of the best along the west coast and it's definitely out of our budget.

"Nothing but the best for my girl," Jacob says with a smile as he makes a U-turn and pulls up to the valet.

"Jacob. We can't afford this." I hiss at him as we wait in line for the valet to get to our old car.

"Don't worry about it." He says with a comforting smile. "Let me worry about the money. We are here to celebrate the start of the Black Automotive empire." I can't help but smile at him and the surety in his voice. "Every rags to riches millionaire starts out with one store and then builds from there. Now that we have the financing to start, I wanted to give you a taste of your future life."

As much as I want to tell him I am perfectly happy with eating at the local diner and how worried I am about the money, I just can't bring myself to tell him that and dampen his mood. He's clearly excited about taking me here and I'm not going to ruin it by telling him I have never cared about eating at fancy restaurants and having expensive things. All I've ever cared about is him and that we have a roof over our heads and making his dreams come true.

I reach across the car and give him a lingering kiss. "Okay then. Let's go eat snails and other fancy shit like that."

He barks out a loud laugh. "God, I love your potty mouth."

"I can't help it. I've worked in an automotive repair shop since I was sixteen." I tell him.

The valet reaches us then and my door is opened for me. He helps me out of the car as his nose scrunches at the Corolla. Looking around, I notice that he's not the only one with their noses upturned at the car. One lady even looks at me and the car as if it were a disgusting bug and she was in search of a can of bug spray. She looks up and down the front of the restaurant as if she is expecting someone to come out and tell us poor people to leave.

Feeling extremely self-conscious, I let my hair fall around my face.

"Hey," Jacob whispers as he threads his fingers with mine. "Ignore them. Our money spends just like theirs does."

I take a deep breath and look over to him. Looking into his eyes, I completely forget about everyone else. The confidence he is radiating is reassuring and I borrow some of it from him.

Giving him a subtle nod, we walk into the restaurant and it's beautiful.

The walls are a dark blue, almost black, while rows of modern glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Fractured prisms of dull light break from the chandeliers and create the most beautiful and mesmerizing patterns on the walls and on the people sitting below them. Wine glasses clink together over at the bar while the sound of forks clanging lightly against the fine white china fills the dining area.

Oh, and the smell. It's absolutely mouthwatering. Hints of basil and tomatoes mixed with seared meat assault my nose. "Wow." I breathe out and a brief giggle escapes my lips.

"Tell me about it," Jacob says as he surveys his surroundings. When he looks back to me, there is a happiness there that I rarely see. It's the look he gives when he knows he is about to have a good meal.

The man is obsessed with food.

He tugs on my hand and pulls me to stand behind another couple who are waiting to speak with the hostess. "Do you have a reservation?" I ask him nervously, although deep down, I already know the answer. He's never understood how these sorts of things work; a nice restaurant that requires a reservation to get in. He's just a small-town guy with big dreams and has never even left the state of Washington and has no desire to.

"No. But it's a Wednesday night. I'm sure they have a table somewhere." He answers.

I knew it.

A knot forms in my stomach. This place is booked months in advance. There is no way that we will be able to get a table and there is a chance that Jacob will make a scene because of that. His temper is something that will occasionally get the better of him when things don't go his way. Looking over at him and his excited smile as his eyes scan the room, I just can't bring myself to tell him that we won't get in.

Why does he have to be so clueless sometimes?

When I look back to the couple in front of us is when I feel a heavy set of eyes on me. A warm feeling spreads through me as I look to the back of the restaurant where the sensation is coming from. It's like a magnet forces my eyes there. It doesn't take me long to lock eyes with the person who is staring at me.

Goosebumps raise over every part of my body as my brown eyes meet his and I'm trapped. My mouth parts just a little as he scoots forward in his seat and leans like he is about to stand; like he is about to run towards me. My heart jumps into my throat when I see from my peripheral vision his lips form the word, "Wow." His bronze hair catches a stream of light then and causes me to look over the rest of him. With a sharp intake of breath, I realize that he is breathtakingly gorgeous.

His high cheekbones look like they were sculpted by Michelangelo himself and his jawline is something I've only ever seen on the pages of a magazine. The modern blue suit that looks like it costs at least ten thousand dollars clings flawlessly to his perfect form. I can see that whoever he is sitting with is talking but he clearly isn't listening.

By the time my eyes make it back up to his, they are smoldering at me and my breathing has become irregular. His green eyes seem to pin me to the spot and the feeling of being mentally undressed causes me to shiver. Saliva builds in my mouth as I tuck my bottom lip under the top row of my teeth in an effort not to moan.

I almost jump out of my skin when Jacob tugs me forward. I break away from his stare and look to my fiancée, glad and upset at the same time to be free from him.

The hostess looks up from her tablet and gives Jacob and me a tight smile. "Name?" she asks.

"Black," Jacob says with a smile.

The hostess looks back down to her tablet and swipes her finger across the screen. "I don't see any reservation under that name."

"That's because we don't have one," Jacob says.

The hostess arches one of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows at him before looking him up and down. "I'm sorry sir but we don't have anything available for this evening."

"It's a Wednesday night," Jake says with a hint of exasperation. "Surely you have something available. A table by the kitchen, maybe?"

"This restaurant is booked solid for the next three months. Maybe you could come back and try your luck then?" she responds with another raised brow and finality in her voice.

Not wanting his temper to get the best of him, I grab his arm and lean in to whisper in his ear. "Jacob, let's just go somewhere else." I offer as I turn to him. I bring the hand that isn't holding his arm and place it on his chest. "It's fine."

"No, it's not." He replies with a tight, yet quiet voice. "I want this night to be special."

"It already is," I tell him honestly with a smile. "I got to put on this nice dress and we get to spend the night in the city. Let's just eat somewhere else. There are plenty of nice restaurants in Seattle."

A light pink color flushes in his cheeks. Whether it is from anger or embarrassment, I'm not sure. "It's fine. Really, it is." I assure him with a soft smile and a pleading look in my eyes.

He releases a long sigh and then finally nods his head as we turn around and head back towards the door.

"I'm so sorry, Bella," Jake says as he opens the door for me.

"Don't apologize." I squeeze his hand in reassurance as he digs the valet ticket out of his pocket. He doesn't respond as he looks out at the street. I can tell he is upset and I hate that. Silence stretches between us and it's so uncomfortable. I can feel the anger starting to radiate off him. He's always been quick to anger but I am able to calm him down most of the time.

"Screw these snooty bitches. Why don't we just drive around the city for a while? Maybe find a place to park?" I suggest as I lean into him, my teeth grazing his neck as I try to distract him.

"Excuse me." A female voice says a little loudly from behind us. We both turn to see the hostess looking a little frazzled before relief floods her features as she sees us. "It seems we just had a table open up."

We both look to each other and smile. "I told you they'd have a table open." He tells me and spins me back around.

We're both smiling as we are ushered back into the restaurant. We follow the hostess past the front of the restaurant and all the way to the back. The area we are pulled to is much quieter and secluded and we are quickly brought to a small table set for two.

Jacob and I sit as the hostess says, "I'm sorry about the confusion."

"Don't worry about it, doll," Jacob says as he takes the two proffered menus.

As he flips one of the menus open, I watch as the hostess walks over to the man that was staring at me earlier. He holds out a folded-up wad of cash between his middle and forefinger and the hostess takes it with eager hands. He mouths a "Thank you." to the hostess before his eyes move to me suddenly.

And once again, I'm pinned to the spot. Now that he's so much closer, only a few tables away, I can see just how green his eyes are. Almost like emeralds.

The hair on the back of my neck stands up as the weight of his gaze slides slowly over the length of my body. I drop my eyes to the table. Thankfully the waiter shows up before his eyes are able to pull mine back. "What could I get you two started with this evening?" he asks.

"Just a glass of merlot for me." He takes Jacob's order for a beer while I pick up the menu, still feeling the mystery man's eyes on searing into my side. "Where are the prices?" My eyes scan over the menu one more time to search for any numbers, but I don't find any.

"I said not to worry about the money." He says as he reaches across the table and takes one of my hands in his. "Tonight is about celebrating."

I take a deep breath and decide to try and do what he says and not worry about the money. If I have to put in a few extra shifts at the sporting goods store that is my second job, then I will, just to make him happy.

As expected, everything I put in my mouth was incredible. The meal practically melted on my tongue. The savory flavor of the filet mignon I ordered paired deliciously with the amazing merlot caused me to clean my plate. "That. Was. Incredible." I moan as I swallow the last bite.

"You don't have to tell me," Jacob says as he reclines into the chair back and pats his belly. I smile at my fiancée as the waiter shows back up.

"Are we ready for dessert?" he asks.

"Um, no thank you. I couldn't eat another bite. Just the check please." I say quickly, anxiety filling my mind once again as I worry about the prices.

As the waiter turns to leave, I feel him again, for the millionth time tonight. I sneak a peak to my right and sure enough, he is staring at me. It's been happening all night. I've barely had a moment where I didn't feel his eyes boring into me. The man he was with left a long time ago and since then, he's just been sitting there, drinking water and looking between me and his phone.

And if I were honest with myself, I'd have to admit that I didn't mind all that much. It's almost turned into a game where he would look at me, I would somehow sense it, and then I would look at him with a shy smile. His attention is intoxicating.

Blush paints my cheeks as I look away and back to Jacob. The waiter reappears and hands him their check. "Have I told you how incredible you look tonight?" Jacob says to me as he opens the check.

"Only a thousand times," I answer him just as a look of dread washes over his face. I lean forward towards him. "What is it, Jake?"

"It's as much as one month's rent." He says in a shocked voice.

"What!" I whisper-yell at him.

"This can't be right." He murmurs to himself. He pulls his chair out and stands. "I'm going to go make sure they didn't give us the wrong check."

I watch as he walks away and he runs a hand through his hair nervously.

I should have insisted that we go somewhere else., Runs on repeat through my head.

"Excuse me, miss." A deep, smooth voice says from my side where I can feel heat radiating from and warming my body. I look up to see him smiling the most panty-dropping smile I've ever seen. "I couldn't help but come over here and say hello since we've been exchanging looks all evening."

"That's because you won't stop staring at me," I say back to him. I meant it to be snarky but instead, it comes out breathy and light, betraying my true feelings of attraction toward him. My fingers move to spin the small diamond solitaire engagement ring I've been wearing for four years now. That's what I've been doing all night when my mind would start to get carried away with itself as I looked at him.

"That's because you are truly the most beautiful woman I've ever laid my eyes on." He replies smoothly, catching me off guard with the sincerity of his voice.

I have to pinch the back of my hand to bring myself back to reality before the blush on my cheeks can spread further. "Thank you. I'm sure my fiancée thinks that too." I glance over at Jacob whose brows are furrowed as he speaks with the manager.

He doesn't miss a beat as he grins and holds out his hand. "I'm Edward Cullen."

"Bella," I reply and take his hand. I have to stifle a gasp as tingles run up from my fingertips when our skin connects. "Isabella Swan."

"Nice to meet you, Isabella."

The way my name sounds as it rolls out of his lips is sinful, almost like he is making love to my name with his voice.

You're engaged! , I scream at myself.

Thankfully, he releases my hand. "I hope you enjoyed your meal." He says as his eyes travel over me.

"It was great."

"What is it you do for a living, Bella?"

Ugh. He said my name again like that. I'm about ready to drag my nails up my thighs to stop the sensation from building in my core.

Suddenly, Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On starts on a loop in my mind for some crazy reason.

You love your fiancée! Direct the conversation back to him.

"I work in retail and am three weeks from graduating with a law degree. My fiancée just got approved to open his own auto mechanic's shop from the bank. That's why we are here tonight. We're celebrating."

"Then I believe a congratulation is in order." He replies with a bright smile.

There's….nothing wrong….with me….loving you! Shut up, Marvin Gaye.

"What is it that you do?" I ask him just as he looks as if he is about to turn away. I'm not sure why but I don't want him to leave quite yet.

"I'm a business investor." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a business card and hands it to me. I look back up to him and nod. "Well, I wouldn't be lying if I were to say that I wish we were meeting under different circumstances."

"And what circumstances would those be?" I ask him.

By the look on his face, this is exactly what he wanted me to say. "Ones where you weren't engaged."

My heart leaps into my throat and tingles run up my spine. I look away as blush blossoms across my face again and a smile pulls at one side of my lips.

"It was very nice speaking with you Bella, Isabella Swan. I hope the rest of your evening is a beautiful as you are." He gives me one last wistful look-over before turning and walking towards the front. I watch him the whole way, even when he stops the hostess and whispers something in her ear as he points to someone.

I follow his line of sight and realize that he is pointing at Jacob whose face is starting to redden with anger while he argues with the manager.

Just as I begin to stand up, planning to run interference for my hot-headed fiancée, the hostess walks over and takes the bill from Jacob's hands. There is a confused look on his face for a moment followed by a few questions and then relief floods his face.

My eyes cut back to him, Edward Cullen, to see him walking out of the door, glancing back to smile at me one more time before letting the door fall shut.

Jacob appears seconds later and grabs his coat off the back of his chair. "What's going on?" I ask him.

"We just hit the jackpot, that's what." He tells me as he motions for me to get up.


"The hostess lady walked up to the manager and said that some guy paid for our meal."

"Really?!" I exclaim as he grabs my hand and starts to pull me along.

"Yep. Let's get the hell out of here before they charge us for breathing their rich people air." He says with a chuckle as we pass through the doors.

Once out in front of the restaurant, I see him slip into the driver's seat of a very expensive foreign car. Jacob lets out a low whistle as the car buff he is notices it. "Baby, would you get a look at that." He says to me. "That's an Aston Marten One-77. It's worth over a million dollars."

My eyes go wide with surprise just as the engine revs a few times and then he is speeding off. It takes me a good 15 seconds before I am able to take a deep breath again, finally feeling free of his heavy gaze for the first time tonight.

Except now, I suddenly feel cold and a shiver rips through my whole body.

"Whoa. Are you cold?" Jacob asks, removing his jacket and draping it over my shoulders.

"Yeah. Something like that." I answer him as he hands the valet his ticket. Meanwhile, Edward Cullen's business card with his personal number written on the back of it in pen burns a hole in my clutch.

Hello! This is my first Twilight fanfiction story and I am really excited about it! I have been writing for the Mortal Instruments series for a couple of years now but I have decided to try my hand at Twilight to see how I do. So, please review and tell me what you think. Thanks!- ReadingIsForNerds

Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyers owns the characters I use. No copyright infringement is intended as I play with them.

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