Free Press

I felt the heat of the cement as I turned the last corner of my five mile run. The sun had just risen enough to heat up the ground as my apartment building came into sight. My muscles tingled in a tantalizing way as I started my 'cool down' stretches.

What a beautiful morning I thought to myself. My run had taken me along a path around Lake Washington's border allowing me to admire the glittering waves as I set my pace with whatever song was playing on my i-pod.

I lightly jogged up the flight of stairs and into my apartment. Placing my i-pod in its home, music poured from its speakers and followed me into the shower. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica had me dancing slightly as I lathered and rinsed in preparation for the day. Today was my first day at my new job. I was a new journalist at Seattle Sun Times. I felt myself smile as I thought of it.

Jumping from the shower I danced around as I dried off not trying to conceal my glee. This was a chance of a lifetime to make a name for myself. My outfit was already laid out on my bed so once I blew my hair dry and applied sparse make-up I got dressed. I was wearing a light gray skirt to my knees with nude colored panty hose along with a light pink blouse. I stepped into surprisingly comfortable Jimmy Coos and placed a matching gray jacket over my arm while grabbing my brief case.

I passed my car parked at the curb on my way to the bus. I only lived a few blocks from the newspaper so there was no need wasting gas. Public transportation was packed this morning but I didn't mind. Nothing could change my mood.

When the bus reached my stop I was glad to see a friendly green sign promising sweet caffeine. It seemed that the Starbucks one block over had more traffic than this one to my relief. I only had to wait behind five people before I ordered.

The air conditioned lobby was nice but I was glad I grabbed my jacket as the elevator doors closed. Once on my floor I felt a little tremor in my hands. Oh no you don't I thought to myself forcing them to stop. This was no place for fear.

The bull pen was humming with life as I passed. I could see a desk in the corner without any personal effects. That one must be mine. I smiled with satisfaction and continued my way to the editor's door.

"NO! That was not what I asked for! Geez Mel, next time follow assignment right or I'll boot you ass out so fast…" She yelled into the phone. I felt my heart stop and restart painfully when she glanced at me. Not only was she the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, but she was my boss Rosalie Hale. "Yeah, alright. Call me when you have the story." With that she hung up and looked at me. "Can I help you with something?" Her blue eyes pierced me as I stood speechless by her desk. She was wearing a crimson blouse and tan pants. She looked stunning.

"Oh, hello. My name is Isabella Swan. I'm supposed to start work today," I replied with only a slight tremor in my voice. She looked me over and seemed to approve because the tension left her body.

"It's nice to meet you Isabella. I'm Rosalie Hale, but you can call me Rose. I'm sorry you had to hear that but one of my other reporters interview the wrong person and now I have half of page five to fill," She smiled.

"Wow. Um, you can call me Bella if you would rather Ms. Hale. Whichever you prefer." She gave me a looked and laughed lightly.

"My name is Rose. We aren't that formal around here. Let me show you to your desk," She replied as she came around her desk and started briskly out the door. Her strides were long and purposeful so I had to practically run to keep up since mine was so much shorter. "Here we are. Look at that, you even got a view." My desk was on the perimeter of the bull pen with a nice view out the window. A fountain and a nice courtyard were visible. I felt myself smile.

"Thanks!" I slid into my chair and fell in love. My desk was a warm wood and fit me perfectly.

"Well I can't give you work until you get a laptop and other essentials. Why don't you head down to IT and see if yours have arrived." I nodded and stood making my way back to the elevator. It was only two floors down but when the doors slid open it was a much different feel. It was very dark and there were barely any people around. I saw a faint light at the end of a hall and followed it. As I reached to open the door a deep thunderous laugh bellowed on the other side. I continued my motion and opened it.

There stood one of the tallest men I had ever seen. His dark russet skin looked satin smooth and I stopped the urge to touch him. His hair was jet black and pulled into a pony tail at the nape of his neck. He was the one laughing. There was a smile person sitting on the edge of the desk and I assumed that she must have told him a joke. Her hair was black too, but she had a very pale complexion.

When the door closed behind me she turned her head at the noise. She too was oddly beautiful. I smiled and stepped towards them hesitantly.

"Hi there. I'm Isabella Swan. I'm a new reporter and Rose sent me down to pick up the essentials?" To my surprise the large man replied.

"Oh, you're the rookie. It's nice to meet you. I'm Jacob Black and this here is…" his voice was happy and light. I immediately liked it.

"I'm Alice Cullen. I am also a reporter here. I was just harassing Jake waiting for my computer to be fixed." She gave me a friendly smile and I relaxed.

"Well it's nice to meet you two. You can call me Bella." Jacob held out his hand to shake mine. I obliged and my hand was lost in his grip. His hand was warm and calloused.

"I'm sorry but I haven't received your laptop yet. I'll let you know when it gets in," he said letting go of my hand.

"Ok, I guess I'll be going then."

"I'll ride up with you," Alice decided and hopped off the desk. She had on a black knee length skirt and a brown blouse. "So why in your right mind do you want to be a journalist?"

"This might sound trite, but I deeply believe in the right to free press. I know that paparazzi can go overboard sometimes, but the other occasions when justice is found it is worth it. I want to make a difference by telling the world the truth." Alice nodded and smile as the elevator doors opened.

"I think I like you Bella…"

"Bella! I think I found a job for you!" Rose called across the room. I smiled at Alice and we went our separate ways.

"Yes Rose?"

"The Seattle Seahawks just started summer training at the stadium. I have an 'in' with them so they always promise my paper the first interview. Why don't you head over there and interview the players on their hopes for this season."

"Sure!" My first story!

"Alright. So here is your press package; one press badge, one notebook, one pen, one tape recorder, and some helpful hints." She smiled at me. "Oh and try to get all the players. If we don't then we have to go back later." I nodded and went on my way.

Finding the stadium was not difficult since it was in the city itself, but finding my way to the locker seemed frustrating. All the hallways seemed the same. I had been wandering for about ten minutes when I heard footsteps for the first time. Desperately I tried to follow the sound and find other people. But it turned out to be a janitor.

My hopes fell. I couldn't find the locker room by myself, but I could ask for help.

"Excuse me!" I called as I caught up to the retreating figure. He had a navy blue hat and a janitorial body suit. The name 'Ed' was stitched into the chest. He stopped and turned towards me. Wow I thought to myself. I felt my mouth pool with saliva just looking at him. His emerald eyes bore into mine and his perfect face looked impatient.

"What?" He was not very friendly. He kept glancing over his shoulder anxiously.

"C-Could you possible tell me how to reach the locker room? I'm supposed to interview the players," I asked while my hand rummaged looking for my press pass. Where is it?! I can't get in without it!

"What are you looking for?" He asked curiously peering into the depths of my bag.

"My press pass, I know it's here somewhere." He chuckled lightly. I looked into his eyes again to tell him off. What kind of arrogant jerk laughs as I try to do my job? At least I don't have to see him again…

His elegant hand reached towards me. I watched it, to mystified to stop him. His eyes laughed at me but I was frozen. His hand reached my collar bone and slide down. I felt my hands clench and my eyes close slightly. Why are you letting a stranger touch you!! My mind was screaming. Hit him! Scream! Do something!! My mind wanted to flee but my body wouldn't respond to anything but his touch.

"This?" He asked innocently holding my press pass up for me to see. It had been hanging around my neck. I felt blood rush to my face out of embarrassment and horror. I slapped his hand away and took a step back.

"Yes, thank you." I started to walk around him but he turned and kept pace with me still smiling. He was the most beautiful man… "Why are you following me?" I demanded with acid in my voice. I wanted to blend in with the wall so maybe my face would stop burning.

"You need help finding the locker room," He replied giving me a crooked smile.

"I'm fine thank you. You have assisted enough for one day." He shrugged.

"Suit yourself," he chuckled and turned back around. He disappeared around a corner and I stopped to catch my breath. Stupid stupid stupid! Shaking my head I wandered around still failing to find my destination.