A/N: I AM SO SORRY! But I'm in love with this idea - its my favorite story so far. :) And it has some "emails" in it from character to character. I've been reading Meg Cabot books like that? And I love it. Hehe. SOO I have a lot of the story already planned out which helps because with the other ones I'm just flying by the seat of my pants, but this one, i really like. SO let me know. And I'm sorry for starting yet another story. Enjoy and review.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. No Twilight characters or anything like the Chicago Tribune...this is for the whole story because I always forget..
For Sale: Millionaire Lawyer Edward Cullen
By Marie Swan
Yes, ladies, you've read correctly. It seems our very own Chicago lawyer and heartthrob, Edward Cullen, partner in law firm Cullen, Whitlock and McCarty, has recently broken up with his fair ballet dancer, Tanya Denali, of the Russia Ballet Company, whose "home office" is located in St. Petersburg.
Rumor has it that he will stay on American soil in his search for the next damsel-in-distress. But who will it be? "I think he wants something more…American, you know? Fresh and full of the good life," an inside source offers.
Well, whatever he's looking for, good luck, Mr. Cullen. Ladies should be knocking on your office door within the hour begging for a dinner date or even a lunch date. Mazel tov.
Just another day at the office. How did she end up being a gossip columnist? Granted, at the city's biggest newspaper, but still. Is this what she slaved away at Chicago U for? But she loved the celebrities. The break ups and marriages and scandals. She thrived on it. A vicarious life that she would never lead.
"So, Bella, do you want to grab dinner tonight?" Mike, the delivery boy was endless in his pursuits of Chicago Tribune's gossip columnist.
"No, Mike," she answered sharply. "Same as yesterday, and the day before, and hey, the day before that. Please stop asking me."
His puppy eyes looked sad for the briefest minute before he flipped his shaggy blonde hair out of his face. What is this, the beach? Seriously, someone in the search for a real job should invest in a haircut…and a pair of shoes that aren't flip flops.
"One day, Bella, I know that you'll say, "Yes, Mike, I've always wanted to have dinner with you. It's just been my intense love for you holding me back."
"Yeah, well, for now and the distant future, my answer is no. So leave me alone."
"Swan," the editor, John Banner, barked. "My office." Mike had fled the premises for an irrational fear of Mr. Banner and was nowhere to be seen. Good riddance. Another day of his advances shirked.
She walked to his office slowly, careful not to trip in her stiletto heels and pencil skirt that her best friend, Alice Brandon, also the fashion editor at the Tribune, forced her into this morning.
She closed the door to Mr. Banner's office and sat stiffly in one of the chairs facing his desk. "I liked that Cullen piece," he said shortly.
"Uh, thanks, Mr. Banner," she stuttered.
"I mean, it's no Nobel Prize but that took guts being as he could come sue you for libel."
Her eyes locked on Mr. Banner's face as her face flushed. "I-uh-what? Sue me? It was all rumors! No one actually believes the gossip columns, Mr. Banner!"
"Woah, cool your jets. I'm just saying. If he calls, you make no decisions without consulting me. Understood?"
"Good." His attention was already focused elsewhere. "You can go." She stood slowly, turning around just as slow. Stupid heels.
"Oh, and Swan? Are you Jewish?" She turned back with a confused look on her face.
"Oh, well, no, but you know…I couldn't think of what to say in English. So why not Hebrew?
He chuckled and she left quickly, moving to the ladies room. Sue her? Really? Now she would be worried about this. Why did they already send it to the printers? He really was gorgeous though. Edward Cullen, not Mr. Banner. That hair and those eyes. Oh, God, she was nearly dripping just thinking of him.
FOCUS! He could sue you, Swan! And then, you would not want that hair or those eyes or those hands, my God, those hands… STOP.
She splashed water on her face and when she looked up, she sighed at the reflection. This was as good as it would ever get for her. Her bland, mud colored, wavy hair hanging past her shoulders. Her large, though not abnormally so, brown eyes that gave away every emotion she ever felt. No secrets for her. Her pale skin that revealed every other emotion that the eyes may have missed in the form of an annoying blush.
She jumped when the bathroom door slammed open. She groaned when she saw it was just Alice. "You scared the shit out of me!"
"Sorry, but sweetie, that article, amazing. What a way to capture the guy's attention. I wish I had thought of it first. Oh, honey, why are you crying?" Alice moved to comfort her best friend.
"Am I plain?" Bella hiccupped through her tears. Alice held Bella away from her by her shoulders.
"No, honey. We've been friends since what? Freshman year in college? I'm telling you, you are beautiful. You never see yourself clearly."
"Then how come only Mike the delivery boy wants to take me out to dinner? Where are my other options?"
Alice laughed. "It's not funny, Alice! I'm twenty-five and running out of time!"
"Before what? Self-destruction?"
"Pretty much! I'll get old and wrinkly and my hair will turn gray."
"Bell, that's at fifty, not thirty."
"I just want someone." Alice looked at me pointedly. "Who's not Mike."
Alice wiped away Bella's tears with her thumbs and looked at her best friend. "He will come, I promise. Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve."
"Easy for you to say. You're beautiful."
It was true. Though she was petite, Alice never looked out of place. Barely grazing five feet, her hair made up for her vertical challenge. It was jet black and chopped short, sticking up in every direction with underlying layers of colors depending on the month – blue, pink, red, etc. She always dressed to kill. Her features were striking, sharp cheekbones and soft eyes, only enhancing her flawless skin and beauty.
Alice pulled mascara out of her pocket and reapplied Bella's makeup, God forbid she look splotchy and show her tears. She pulled her fingers through her dark locks and made her turn around and face the mirror.
"Now, repeat after me. I'm beautiful, successful and thriving, and I will meet a guy who loves me for who I am."
Bella rolled her eyes. "Say it, Bella."
"I'm beautiful, successful and thriving. I will meet a guy who loves me for who I am. Eventually."
Alice sighed, "Good enough. Now, come on, S.F.H. will come kick our asses for using her mirror."
S.F.H. = Secretary from Hell = Lauren Mallory. Bitch to the extreme.
A stall door slammed open. "You call me names behind my face?" Lauren did not look happy. She was standing in the stall in all her fake tanning, silicon, and bleach blonde hair glory.
"Um, honey, it's behind your back. Behind your back, not face," Bella said, while trying to keep a straight face and Alice fought laughter.
"Oh, please, Swan. I eat pathetic little girls like you for breakfast every morning."
"You eat girls? Really? I didn't know you swung that way."
"No, that's not what I meant."
"Hey, no judgment. What would Human Resources say about judgment? It actually explains a lot." Bella and Alice moved to the door, Alice's shoulders shaking from laughter.
"I didn't mean it like that!" They heard from the bathroom as the door closed behind them. Alice let out a huge burst of laughter as Bella smiled.
"I can't believe she actually graduated college," Alice said.
"She probably slept with the whole faculty. The female faculty, that is."
Alice laughed again as the girls walked back to their cubicles.
Bella logged on to check her email as Alice finished her layout for the Sunday edition.
To: Isabella Marie Swan
From: Rosalie Hale
Drinks tonight. Tula's at 6pm.
Bella, I loved the article. And try not to be late this time.
Bella popped her head over the divider of the two cubicles to see Alice looking at the photos from Milan she took at fashion week last month. "Check your email?" Bella asked.
"Yeah, we can go straight from here. Because we know that if you go back to your apartment, you'll never make it over to Tula's. Like last time."
"I said I was sorry!"
"Whatever. We can walk by Burberry, because I saw a coat there that was absolutely to die for. It was simply divine."
"Of course you would love it."
"I meant for you. It just screams "Bella!!""
I sighed. Typical.
To: John Banner
From: Edward Cullen
Subject: For Sale: Millionaire Lawyer Edward Cullen
I would like to extend congratulations at having one of your youngest writers write the most popular article of the day. I Googled her. I can't believe she actually climbed Kilimanjaro and now lives in London.
Anyways, I would also like to extend my desire for an immediate retraction. This article was in now way deserved or provoked, and I think you need to express to your employees their boundaries in other people's personal lives, gossip columnist or no.
I will be stopping by your offices tomorrow to ensure that my request is complied to, and that it is to my liking. If these requests are not met, I can assure you that legal action will be followed shortly.
Cullen, Whitlock and McCarty, Attorneys at Law
To: Edward Cullen
From: John Banner
I assure you that our columnist has never climbed Kilimanjaro. She would trip and fall before she even made it a foot up the mountain. And she doesn't live in London. So while she is one of my youngest writers, I do believe you Googled the wrong woman, as Marie Swan is not her real name.
As for her article, my employees are well aware of their boundaries, and while she may have been tip-toeing the line, the article was pure speculation based off your recent relationship ending. It is the gossip column, you know, Mr. Cullen. I will discuss with her your email, but I'm afraid I cannot force her to write a retraction. You may contact her at 312-544-7655 until 5pm this evening and again at 9am tomorrow morning.
Edward Cullen sat at his desk reading over notes for a disposition later that week. He spun his chair around to face the skyline view he had, sighing. He spun back around just as fast when his partner Emmett McCarty barged through his office door, his dimples working overtime with the force of his smile.
"Stop daydreaming or plotting murder of gossip columnists or whatever it is you do these days! We're going to go get smashed, Eddie!" he all but roared.
"Emmett, I'm right here; you don't have to yell. And I wasn't daydreaming or plotting murder. And don't call me Eddie."
"Anything else, princess? And you were too daydreaming." Emmett, though huge – pushing 6'4 – was really like a child. A petulant, childish two-year old, Edward often thought when Emmett was on his nerves. But more like a teddy bear and a fierce, loyal friend.
And yes, Edward was daydreaming. But sometimes he simply couldn't help it. Some days he felt like something was lacking. Even when he was with Tanya – he loved his job, his family, Chicago, and at the time, his girlfriend, but every now and then he felt a twinge for something more.
And this article? It pushed him over the edge. Emmett had burst through the doors – much like he just did – less than two hours ago, only to throw the Entertainment and Arts section of the Tribune at him.
Edward had pursed his lips in annoyance. "Emmett, what is this crap? I don't have time for this," not even bothering to try and hide his irritation.
"Oh, my friend, you'll want to see this." While Edward could not hide his annoyance, Emmett could barely control his excitement. This was it. This would be Edward's dream girl. Whoever could write this had guts, and it was girl, and she had to be the one for him. Okay, it was a long shot, but someone had to get Edward out of the funk he was in. It was cramping Emmett's reputation with the ladies. And that was nothing to be messed with.
Edward looked down, and it took a minute for the title to register in his head. "For Sale: Millionaire Lawyer Edward Cullen."
What the fuck…?!
Needless to say, after some breathing exercises and Googling, he emailed the editor and demanded retraction. Christ, this week would suck, he could already tell.
"We're going to Tula's, so let's go. We need to find you a bride." Emmett's booming laughter after his own joke tore him from his thoughts.
Edward glared at Emmett, who was having too much fun with this. Even Jasper Whitlock, the third partner in their firm, had laughed, telling him it would be good for him. In the long run. Or did he say near future? Edward didn't remember, but he could hardly see how this could possibly be good for him or his blood pressure.
Tomorrow, he would go to the Chicago Tribune offices and talk to this Marie Swan (or whatever her name really was) himself.
"To great articles!" Alice toasted, holding up her third margarita, motioning for the girls to do this same.
Bella smiled, "To new coats!" She exhibited her new Burberry coat now resting on the back of her chair. "And credit card debts!"
"To awful bosses and crappy advertisements by said bosses," Rosalie finished.
Of the three, Rosalie was definitely the one people noticed first. Of supermodel beauty, she stood tall with wavy long blonde hair, and eyes so blue, they almost seemed violet. She had the graceful curves and poised body and looked great all the time. But she would need someone who didn't take her shit and she could boss around. Pretty much.
"To S.F.H.s!" Alice shouted.
They all laughed, feeling the buzz of a few margaritas.
"You know what we found out today?" Alice said loudly. "Lauren is a lesbian! She said she eats little girls like Bella every day for breakfast."
"Shh," Bella said just as loud. "You can't be that loud."
They were all laughing now, and not even thinking that they all had to report to work the next morning.
"I'm going to get another round of these thingies," Bella said, spinning her glass in her hand clumsily. She stumbled off the chair at the high top table and nearly tumbled to the ground.
She waited for impact as she heard her margarita glass hit the ground and shatter, but the blow didn't come. Instead, she felt two hands wrap around her slender waist and hold her above the ground before tipping her upright.
"Are you okay?" She felt light headed at all the movement, but she nodded before looking in the face of her rescuer. She saw Rose and Alice staring in Awe at the person who saved her. Yes, Awe. With a capital A. Their jaws were practically on the table and Alice was fanning herself with her hand.
"You saved my life," she said stupidly. She was transfixed, yes, transfixed, by his green eyes and copper hair. It couldn't be who she was thinking it was. Her head was a little jumbled, but she could form semi-coherent thoughts. Edward Cullen.
"Well, I wouldn't go that far, and the glass I couldn't quite save, but you would have definitely felt that in the morning." He gave a small smirk and she smiled.
"I'm Edward," he said.
"Bella," she replied, suddenly acutely aware that his hands were still gripping her forearms and burning holes in the skin they touched. Well, the fabric, but she was tipsy, so details weren't really a major priority.
Edward smiled at the woman he just saved from a face plant into some sketchy Mexican restaurant floor. Her hair looked like chocolate, and he was practically waxing poetry about her eyes and lips and don't even get him started on the skin. Good Lord, he needed a shower, and he just fucking looked at this girl.
Why couldn't he meet a girl like this every now and then? Oh, wait. He just did.
"Well, thanks again," she stuttered, backing up and nearly running over the busboy who was cleaning up the glass. "OH, person there. Sorry, I'm sorry. It was nice meeting you. Bye."
He watched her go back to the bar and caught a glimpse of her legs. Good God, he was done for.
Bella went back to the table after ordering more drinks, and saw Alice and Rose scanning the room for prospective men. After her horrific, embarrassing adventure, she felt infinitely more sober. Too bad she couldn't say the same for her friends. They nearly plowed Bella for details about what happened after Prince Charming rescued her from her fall of the year.
"That was Edward."
They looked at her blankly, clearly not connecting the dots.