Fame and Fate
Chapter One – Isabella Swan

Isabella Swan

There I was, twenty-eight years old, a best-selling author, actress, and millionaire. Not that I cared about the money, I just loved to write. To say my life was busy was an understatement. I had so many current projects. It was a miracle my head hadn't exploded. Not one, but two of my novels were going to the big screen.

The good thing was that I also had some creative control over production and the script. There was no way I'd allow them to butcher my characters as I had seen done in other book-to-movie adaptations. My life had dramatically changed in the last three years, and it was a lot to be accustomed to.

Due to my new found fame, which I still had trouble coming to terms with, I had to get bodyguards. Me, who loved privacy, had to have people follow me around. However, it had gotten to the point that I hadn't been able to leave my New York apartment without being mobbed. Jasper and Emmett were perfect gentlemen in making sure I am happy, but when someone attempted to shove a camera in my face, they were downright frightening.

My assistant Alice, my life-saver, a pixie-powered little ball of energy had my schedule down to an art. Because of her, I always had some time for myself every day.

My agent Rosalie Hale-McCarty was a godsend. She always made sure I was taken care of, and ensured that I got what I wanted in every deal made.

They might be people I worked with, but they were also my best friends. In Hollywood, trust was an issue. Besides them, I didn't know who I could trust, who was a real friend, or who was using me to get ahead. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

The day had been exhausting, and I longed to return to my hotel room and soak in the tub. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a meeting with Alice, Rosalie, and the director for She Knows, one of the adaptations of my book, Michael Wise.

Things hadn't been going well.

"I can't believe after six casting calls," I started, waving my hands around, "About four hundred women and you still can't find the lead for Vanessa. We're supposed to start filming in three months. What's the matter?"

"No one feels right," Michael explained, shaking of his head. "You know we can't settle for just anyone. This woman is going to play a very big role. Not a lot of women can pull off sexy, innocent, and powerful all at the same time. Vanessa is not an easy role to play. No one was able to read the lines right while displaying Vanessa's personality."

I nodded, once again, wondering how to help. "All right, what about the roles of Malcolm and Eli? We have those down to just a few to choose from, right?"

"Well, Malcolm is being played by David Warner."

"What? He agreed?" I asked, surprised.

"Yes, he was eager actually. Does that matter?" Michael asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Maybe," Rosalie stated, tapping her pen the table. "Isabella and David had a relationship a year ago that lasted a few weeks, if that." She looked almost a little smug, as if she knew I wouldn't like the new development.

However, I was always up for a challenge.

"No, it doesn't matter," I said as casually as possible. "I was the one that recommended him. When I was writing the book, he was the one I pictured for the part. He's one of my favorite actors. I have to admit, I didn't think he would agree to work on this film when I'm working closely on the project."

If we were going to work together on this, it would probably be a good idea to call him. Though we ended things easily, mutually, I didn't want him to be uncomfortable.

"What about the role of Eli?" Alice asked as she continued to write notes for me. She sat beside me, one finger playing with a tiny curl of her hair.

"Well, that's one of the reasons we're here actually," Michael indicated, rubbing the back of his neck. It was one of his nervous tells. "I think I have someone in mind that is perfect, but I wanted him to read a few lines with our Vanessa." He sighed, rubbing his neck again. My eyes narrowed. "Since I don't have anyone for that part, I think I'm just going to call his agent and postpone. I'm just worried that we don't snatch him up now, he'll find another project to work on."

That wasn't good. Without the leading actress, there was no way to know if the leading actor would have the right chemistry with whoever won the role. That was vital for the film. There had to be something we could do.

"Isabella, why don't you just read a few lines with him?" Rosalie asked with a small smile. "That way we don't lose our chance to find our Eli?"

From the moment we started the meeting, I knew something was up. So far everyone involved hadn't stopped insisting that I would be perfect for the role of Vanessa. Especially after my Oscar buzz performance in an independent film that created a stir at the Cannes Film Festival.

They were wrong though. I wasn't right for the part. I couldn't play a strong, sexy, and powerful immortal that falls for the younger man next door with dark secrets of his own. I had a feeling all that would come up again, but we needed to get our male lead.

"Fine, I'll read a few lines with our potential Eli. Who are we talking about anyway?" I asked in a huff. I had been trying to keep the anger from my voice, but Rosalie could see right through me.

She offered me a small smile. "He is an up and coming actor, very good looking and sexy. His name is Edward Cullen," she replied.

"Sorry, the name doesn't ring a bell." I shrugged. I didn't follow the "who's-who" in Hollywood very much anymore.

"Don't worry. Once you meet him you won't forget him," Alice said dreamily.

"I'll take your word for it. When will he be here?" I asked, looking over to Michael.

Michael looked at the clock over the exit door, answering, "He should be here in about –"

Before he could finish there was a knock on the door.