Hi again! :P I wrote this as soon as I reached home from school. Hope you enjoy it! Please Read and Review! Thanks . (Special thanks to those who review my previous chapter.)
I admit, Bella was much more comfortable to be with than Jasper. Not to mention the fact that she was beautiful, no, breath-taking. I had dressed my best for this meeting for the venue was posh and I felt somehow compelled to remain in Bella's good side and impressing her.
I was led by the maître d' to the private room I had booked specifically for this meeting. The maître d' swung the door open to reveal Bella next to the fireplace. My heart not only raced from the fear I usually felt for the Cullens or one particular Cullen; it wouldn't be fair to condemn the rest of them since I'd never met them in my life. Seeing Bella in the oyster satin cocktail dress unnerved me and made me feel inferior. Of course my best paled in comparison to whatever she was wearing; the Cullens were rich.
The maître d' took my coat and exited the room. As soon as we were alone, I apologized to her in habit, even though she was evidently different from Jasper. "I'm sorry I'm late."
"No, you're exactly on time." Hearing her voice, I realized that I had been looking forward to this meeting. Who wouldn't? I mentally hit myself. She was a married woman for gods' sake! That brought another thought to my mind: she was probably to Edward Cullen. I wasn't sure but I would ask; she wasn't as hostile as Jasper. I had a feeling that Jasper didn't want to answer any questions and he would stop coming to me if I got too inquisitive.
Remembering my manners, I held out my hand. She shook it and I felt that her fingers weren't as cold as the last time we met. She could have been warming her fingers near the fireplace before I came. That made me wonder, as I had for so many times, what were the Cullens? Both Cullens whom I have met had hands cold as ice. I pushed that thought away. No use wondering. Besides, who cares? I have already earned a huge sum of money from them.
"You look stunning, if I may be so bold, Mrs. Cullen." Her husband was such a lucky bastard.
"Thank you, J. Please, call me Bella." Sure. I would jump down the building if you asked me to. Her voice was just so hypnotizing.
"I must say, it's a different experience working with you than it is with Mr. Jasper. Much less... unsettling." I smiled hesitantly. I might be pushing my luck too far. My comment was a huge understatement. Jasper was plain terrifying.
"Really? I've always found Jasper to have a very soothing presence."
"Is that so?" I murmured politely, pulling my eyebrows together unconsciously. How could the scary Jasper have a soothing presence? I decided against pursuing the matter. Or maybe this was another trick. Did she really know Jasper?
"Have you known Jasper long?"
Yes. Twenty years. And he is still so young. Maybe he found the elixir of life and was selling it to billionaires. Perhaps that was why the Cullens were so damned filthy rich. They were so enigmatic, the Cullens. "I've been working with Mr. Jasper for more than twenty years, and my old partner knew him for fifteen years before that… He never changes." I cringed at that. Thirty-five years without changing. He really was a monster.
"Yeah, Jasper's kind of funny that way." What did she mean? Was she funny that way too?
There was a worry that I had pushed to the far edges of my mind: what if I was working against Jasper? Who should I be helping? Should I be helping Bella or give her a refund and apologize? And what if she wasn't lying about Jasper being on 'extended vacation'? I shook my head, as if I could shake these thoughts away. I should ask her subtly later. "Won't you have a seat, Bella?"
"Actually, I'm in a bit of a hurry. I've got a long drive home." She took out a thick white envelope from her bag whilst speaking. It probably contained the 'bonus' she mentioned. I wasn't sure if I wanted the money. Sure I was greedy, but my fear for Jasper was tenfold more than that greed. I wouldn't want to get on his bad side. I still wanted to die peacefully of old age one day. She handed me the envelope. Without checking the amount, which I was sure was more than enough to book this room ten times over, I tucked the white envelope into an inside pocket of my jacket.
"Oh. I was hoping we could speak for just a moment." I was disappointed that she wanted to leave as soon as possible. I wanted to ask her about some of my worries.
"About?" She asked me curiously.
"Well, let me get you your items first. I want to make sure you're satisfied." I was in no hurry to go and craved her company. It was small wonder how she addled Max's brain that day. He wasn't usually that irresponsible.
I turned, placed my briefcase on the table, and popped the latches. I took out a legal-sized manila envelope. She took a quick glance at my work. "Thank you."
My eyes narrowed slightly. I felt disappointed. I had put in more effort than usual, trying to impress her. What a contradicting man I was. Fear and the desire to impress fought for control. Jasper was much more thorough in checking than she was. Just to make sure that she did check properly, I said, "I can assure you every piece is perfect. All will pass the most rigorous scrutiny by experts."
"I'm sure they are. I truly appreciate what you've done for me, J." She was definitely easier to work with than Jasper.
"It's been my pleasure, Bella. In the future, feel free to come to me for anything the Cullen family needs." I spent a lot of time trying to phrase it subtly. I really hoped that she would be the one working as the liaison, instead of Jasper. Jasper stressed me out and Bella was enjoyable to be with.
"There was something you wanted to discuss?" She brushed my 'offer' aside, I was sure that she had caught my hint. I wasn't sure if that was a yes or no. At least I tried.
"Er, yes. It's a bit delicate…" I gestured to the stone hearth with a questioning expression. She sat on the edge of the stone, and I sat beside her. I felt the sweat was dewing up on my forehead again, and pulled a blue silk handkerchief from my pocket and began mopping.
I braced myself and hopefully, I was able to stop myself before stepping over my boundaries. I studied her face carefully.
"You are the sister of Mr. Jasper's wife? Or married to his brother?" I asked. It was better than asking 'Are you married to Edward' and get it all wrong. I tried not to remember that I called her Mrs. Cullen at the beginning of our meeting. It would be embarrassing if she were the sister of Jasper's wife.
"Married to his brother," she clarified. I resisted the urge to heave a sigh of relief; I had not embarrassed myself yet.
I took a deep breath and plunged into what I originally wanted to ask, though reminding myself to take it slow. "You would be Mr. Edward's bride, then?"
"Yes." So Edward had bronze hair. So different from Jasper.
"I've seen all the names many times, you see. My belated congratulations. It's nice that Mr. Edward has found such a lovely partner after all this time." I smiled apologetically, hoping that I had not offended her.
"Thank you very much."
I paused, wiping the sweat from my brow. No need to hurry. Better to take things slow. "Over the years, you might imagine that I've developed a very healthy level of respect for Mr. Jasper and the entire family." I took the long way around, not daring to go directly into what I wanted to ask.
She nodded cautiously. I took a deep breath and exhaled without speaking, calming my nerves. It wouldn't be wise to offend a Cullen. "J, please just say whatever you need to."
Her musical, soothing voice gave me a little courage. I took another deep breath. "If you could just assure me that you are not planning to kidnap the little girl from her father, I would sleep better tonight." I was proud I was able to even say it out loud, albeit in mumbles and slurring the words together.
"Oh," she said, stunned. "Oh no. It's nothing like that at all." She smiled. "I'm simply preparing a safe place for her in case something were to happen to my husband and me."
I narrowed my eyes; I was suspicious. However, who could be suspicious of the beautiful woman in front of me. She just dazzled me with her smile. "Are you expecting something to happen?" My fear of Jasper was clearly forgotten as I was not going to get into trouble with him for this, or I believed. I felt blood rise to my cheeks in a blush. I may be overstepping my boundaries this instant. "Not that it's any of my business." Hopefully, I could take back my words.
"You never know." I sighed.
I frowned, puzzled. What could possibly happen to the Cullens? "May I wish you the best of luck, then. And please don't be put out with me, my dear, but... if Mr. Jasper should come to me and ask what names I put on these documents . . ." I felt the need to ask. I would not want to keep things from Jasper unnecessarily and wanted to be completely honest with him. If he ever found out that I deceived him, I doubt he would be hesitant about killing me.
"Of course you should tell him immediately. I'd like nothing better than to have Mr. Jasper fully aware of our entire transaction." I felt as if heavy weights were lifted off my shoulders as she said that.
"Very good," he said. "And I can't prevail upon you to stay for dinner?" She was suddenly very comfortable to be around. Although she was cold, she seemed to radiate warmth. Edward probably fell in love with her because of that. I was too caught up in my fear for Jasper that I had not seen it before.
"I'm sorry, J. I'm short on time at present." I expected her answer, but couldn't help feeling disappointed.
"Then, again, my best wishes for your health and happiness. Anything at all the Cullen family needs, please don't hesitate to call on me, Bella."
"Thank you, J." I stared after her. Now that she was going off, I started to worry if she was lying to me. Her effect her presence had on me was ebbing away. I found myself wistfully wishing that she could have stayed for dinner.
I hope you have enjoyed it! It's my second fanfic and I really really hope you can review and help me improve! :D