DISCLAIMER: Twilight and its inclusive material is copyright to Stephenie Meyer. Original creation, including but not limited to plot and characters, is copyright to the respective authors of each story. No copyright infringement is intended. Additionally, "Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines" belongs to Dylan Thomas. No copyright infringement is intended.
The sound of the clock ticking from the wall echoed in my head. Sophia, my VP hadn't looked up from her binder in the last thirty minutes, and Kenzi, my CFO, was furiously crunching numbers on the opposite side of the table. Both looked exhausted though. This meeting was dragging on much longer than I'd anticipated. The marketing and graphics departments were proposing three new media campaigns to launch when the acquisition of the new talent mangement company was complete. Sandy Hennessey, my assistant, had allotted the team members three hours in my schedule to be on the safe side, but as I checked my watch, I saw that we were quickly approaching the four-hour mark. The teams were not wasting any time. Their proposals were thorough and extensively planned. I appreciated their dedication and commitment to the work, but I just hadn't realized how long this would actually take.
Normally I wouldn't be bothered by the late night. My company was everything to me, and this had been the norm for me from the beginning. With the help of my aunt and uncle, I'd started the business out of their guest house. I worked tirelessly, by myself, for months and months without taking much of a break. Aunt Esme worried over me, but Uncle Carlisle told her to leave me be. I'd been a rather private person since my parent's deaths which led to much of my time being spent alone. Combine than with a rather active and curious mind, I'd spent long periods of time working on one project or another. Carlisle had often checked in on me, so he knew I could handle the solitude. He had a feeling this new venture was going to work out.
He was right. Within two years of beginning to pursue my dream, my company employed a little over 50 people, and I was comfortable enough to purchase a condo near the office. Within five years after that, the company had tripled in size and I had purchased a home on Bainbridge Island. That took dedication though, so it wasn't unusual for me to be at the office until 9:00pm most nights. If I wanted the business to be successful, I needed to put in the work.
However, things were different now. It was 7:00pm and I'd made plans to have dinner with Alice, Jasper, and Bella at 7:30pm at the Mercer Island Country Club. If I left now, I wouldn't have to worry about being late. The club was a ten-minute drive from the office, but I wanted to be there early. Bella was always early to things, and she was walking to the club alone tonight. I didn't want her to have to be there by herself after that milestone.
It'd been nearly six months since we'd returned to the states and she didn't go anywhere without someone in tow. I'd found Bella in Germany dancing in a strip club. When I first laid eyes on her, I thought she was just a dancer, a beautiful dancer, but just some girl dancing for money. I couldn't have been more wrong. Eventually, I discovered that Bella had been taken captive in Portland, Oregon, three years prior. I'd quickly involved my aunt and uncle since they worked on a Human Trafficking Task Force for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It took seven months of planning and honestly, prayer, but finally, we were able to bring her home.
Bella had a lingering fear that the organization that took her would find her and steal her back. Therefore, she tended to stick with a familiar person at all times. Earlier today, she told me she was planning to walk to the restaurant tonight. It was a 20-minute walk from where she was staying. Mercer Island was a safe community with little traffic. It wasn't a tourist attraction like Seattle so it'd be safe for her to walk, but I knew this was more about her state of mind. She craved to feel comfortable out in the world.
"I'm sorry to cut you short, sir, but Mr. Masen has another appointment that he can't be late for," Sandy said kindly but with authority as she stood and walked toward the front of the conference room. "We'll reschedule a time next week for you to complete your presentation, and Mr. Masen will have follow-up questions for these two campaigns you presented. Contact me tomorrow to schedule a time." I stood and moved to thank the men and women for their hard work. They had done a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time, and it was impressive. I liked both campaigns they presented but would need additional information before making a decision. "Mr. Masen, please come with me."
"Thank you again, guys," I said as I followed her out of the room and toward my office.
"There's a clean jacket on the back of your door. You should change before you leave. I've called for the car, and Phillip will be downstairs when you get there. There should be a bouquet of pink alstroemerias and a bouquet of yellow roses in the backseat."
"Two? Roses for Bella and alstro-"
"Absolutely not." I opened the door to my office, and she followed me inside. I shed the jacket I was wearing and pulled the other from the hanger. "The roses are for Alice and alstroemerias for Bella. Now, I called ahead and reserved the Wyndom Room for dinner. I figured you would want as much privacy as possible.
"Micro-presentations from this meeting have been loaded onto your computer and printed samples are in your briefcase." When I stopped to listen, she rushed me out the door but was hot on my heels. "Keep it moving. Keep it moving. Now, Mark mentioned that they're having some issues with color saturation, so we'll have corrected samples to you as soon as they're back from the printers.
"You have a 9:00am meeting with Budget on Monday morning to review the projected impact of the acquisition and a lunch with John Madden at noon." She hadn't looked up from her tablet since we left the conference room. "Your Tuesday currently looks clear then you'll be in meetings most of the rest of the week. I'll most likely schedule the remaining campaign pitch and follow-up for Thursday, so you have just under a week to review and prepare." The elevator arrived and I stepped in. Before the door closed, I leaned forward to catch Sandy's attention.
"Go home," I said. She smiled and rolled her eyes. "I don't deserve you, Sandy." A small blush rose on her cheeks. "Go home. It's Friday night; I'm sure Kevin would love to see you. It's been a week of late nights." She nodded.
"I just have a few things to-"
"Go. Home." She let out a breath and eventually nodded laying her things down on her desk. I held the elevator until she gathered her belongings and stepped inside with me. "Any plans for the weekend?"
"Kevin wants to take the kids to see his parents. We're going to fly out tomorrow morning. He took next week off so he could stay a few extra days. I'll head back late Sunday, and they'll be back on Tuesday."
"Why don't you take Monday and Tuesday off and make it a long weekend? You're been working so much lately, and you hardly take any time off."
"Oh, I couldn't. Someone's got to keep you in line and on schedule." I laughed.
"I think I can handle myself for a few days. You even said Monday was light and Tuesday was open. Take the time and enjoy yourself." I opened the car door and looked back at her. "I mean it. You work too hard. I'm going to pay the difference for changing your flight plans. Give me a copy of the bill when you get back." She smiled at me knowing better than to argue.
"Thank you, Mr. Masen. I'll see you on Wednesday."
I waited until I saw her get in her car before sliding into mine. Once the door was closed, the driver pulled away from the curb. The flowers sat beside me enfolded in plastic wrap and tissue paper. They were beautiful. I had a feeling Bella would like them seeing as pink was one of her favorite colors. I just shook my head as I smiled. I don't know how, but Sandy knew everything.
The drive to the club was short. It was 7:25pm when the car came to a stop. I had hoped to be here earlier, but it just hadn't worked out. Someone opened my door, and I thanked him before hurrying up the stairs to the entrance. When I stepped inside, I quickly found her on the far side of the lobby. She stood with her back to the wall scanning her surroundings.
She looked so beautiful. The royal blue dress was stunning against her pale skin, and the heels she wore made her legs look a mile long. I thought she was beautiful the first moment I laid eyes on her, but over the last five months she'd changed. She'd been working out, taking self-defense lessons, and the weight she'd gained from finally being fed properly had toned her arms and legs and given her curves in just the right places. As I was enjoying the sight of her, she looked up, her eyes meeting mine. A wide smile spread across her face causing my own to stretch my cheeks.
AN 03/30/2019: It's finally here! Sorry it took so long. This turned out to be harder for me to write than I expected. Then when I was more than halfway done, I had it take a turn I didn't expect and had to go REWRITE about 8 chapters. Man has this been a process.
For the first installment of this journey, you saw events from Bella's point of view. This time around, you're going to hear from Edward. That means, if I did my job right, you're going to be seeing things from a more upbeat and hopeful perspective. As always, I absolutely love hearing from you. Tell me your thoughts. Ask me your questions. Give me your theories. (And join me on Facebook - Lena Kay - to see inspiration pictures. I don't have them for every chapter, but I'll add them when I have them.)
This story is named after the Dylan Thomas poem, "Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines". It's about hope and faith, something I think you'll see in the continuation of Bella's story.
I'm actually not done with this story. I have 3-4 chapters left, so I figured I'm close enough to feel comfortable posting. I'm not sure what my posting schedule will be yet. I'll get back to you as soon as I know. It will be at least once a week, but I anticipate more. Things are kind of crazy/rough at work right now, so I've got to see how things go.