A/N: This is my second story. It was actually started first, but it's not quite as fluffy so it's taking longer to progress.
Summary: Emmett owns a large furniture manufacturing company. He wants to buy the company that Rosalie has inherited from her father. Alice has foreseen their future together but will stubbornness and deception prove to be the undoing of her vision? Hopefully, you'll laugh a little, say "Aww" every now and then, enjoy the Emmett/Rose lovin', and like it in the end...
As always: Thanks to my bestie, ghartling, for all the insight, proofreading, re-reading, cheering, and late night texts to find Emmett's voice. :)
SM owns, sadly....we're just playing dress up! :)
Here's The Story...
Emmett McCarty is not a man you want to fuck with. A man you'd want to fuck, perhaps, but not fuck with. But, well, eww, and I digress.
So, as I was saying- Emmett is ruthless- in business and in life. He would just as soon sell out his own mother as a stranger. You have something he wants? He'll take it. No questions asked, and usually with less than fair compensation; but you'll still walk away feeling like he did you a favor.
That's why his company is the largest and most successful of its kind in North America. That's why Emmett is one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. That is also why he has no one to share that wealth, and all the benefits that go along with it, unless you count his dog, and I won't let him.
Bottom line- Emmett McCarty is an ass. A wealthy, successful ass. But an ass just the same. No one dare call him on it to his face, though, or his other identity will show up. I call him Mr. Personality. Mr. World's Most Eligible Dickhead would really be more fitting.
Of course, I can call him whatever I want. I hold Mr. Personality's life in my hands. Literally. His entire existence is on my BlackBerry. I make sure he gets up in the morning, is never late for anything, has scotch in his coffee cup and food in his fridge, not to mention gas in his car and someone to walk his lone companion, a golden retriever named LJ.
However, none of that is the reason I can get away with that about which others can only dream. No, that he tolerates for one reason alone- I am his baby sister.
Of course, for the past ten years that's been our little secret. First on a long list of secrets, but, again, I digress. It makes business run a little smoother, not using our real last name. No one outside of the family knows the truth. Through the years, we've found it easier to get away with than we thought. How we've managed to keep our real identity a secret for almost a decade is a miracle really.
But as I sat in my big brother's big, comfy, leather chair that night, looking out at the Seattle sky, I felt like something somewhere was shifting. And perhaps our little bubble was about to burst. And once the first secret was out, our whole house of cards would likely flutter to the ground.
Again, I digress. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Alice. Alice Whitlock.
So, I'm driven. So what. I'm also determined, logical, pragmatic, straight-forward. That doesn't mean I'm an ass. It also doesn't make me Mr. World's Most Eligible Dickhead who also happens to have multiple personalities.
I want what I want. If you have what I need, I will find a way to get it. If you have what I want, nothing can stop me until I have it. That's not ruthless, it's persistent. Right?
I mean, come on, in ten years, I've taken a tiny, almost bankrupt furniture factory and turned it into the largest manufacturer of household furniture in North America. And we're based in Seattle, not in the Carolinas where furniture reigns supreme. That's saying something. McCarty Furniture has factories in five countries, and distribution centers in six more. We have outlets in all fifty states and Puerto Rico, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro. I could keep going, but since Alice says that listing off my accomplishments is "unbecoming" I'll stop there.
You see my point, though. I have a multi-national corporation that runs because I say it does, and she wants to get all pissy just because I'm not "nice"? Seriously, Alice is an unbelievable assistant. She takes care of me in ways I don't even know about. I would literally be lost without her. I know that. It's part of the reason I put up with her bullshit. But I wish she would stop being so worried about the fact that I'm single.
I have LJ after all. There's a reason they call dogs "man's best friend". LJ comes when I call him. He leaves me alone when I tell him to. He doesn't argue with me about what to watch on television. He never uses my razor and doesn't care if I leave the toilet seat up.
I also happen to have a contact list full of women. Women who will be at my beck and call anytime I ask them. Women who go with me to dinners and charity events. Women who will give me what I need, or want, who will go home with me at the end of the night, leave in the morning and not ask for anything else in return. Of course, I suppose it bears mentioning that I don't know how to access that contact list without Alice there to show me how, but I'm getting off track here. The point is, I may be alone, but I am far from lonely.
I am willing to admit that I'm not pleasant to be around when it comes to business. I am not Mr. Nice Guy, by any means. I do take advantage of every opportunity to get ahead. I would not, despite what my assistant might say, sell out my own mother. My father, maybe. My brother, certainly given the chance. But not my mother. And Alice should know that. She is usually a little more perceptive than that. She is my damn sister after all.
Her perceptiveness is one of the reasons I brought her along on my little adventure ten years ago. I needed someone to help me anticipate what my next move should be. And Alice was always so good at knowing what someone would do next. She was a force to be reckoned with herself in that respect. Of course, no one actually knows that so many of my decisions are based on one of Alice's "feelings". Most people think I'm just that smart or lucky or that I have information no one else has. In reality, though, it's my sister's freakish ability to practically see the future that has landed me accounts, too many clients to mention, and even a woman or two.
So, when I walked into my office that evening to find her curled up in my desk chair, looking out over the city, I knew something was up. She had a feeling something was coming. Only, this time, I didn't think that whatever she was anticipating was positive.
She must have heard the small click of the door closing behind me because she turned around and looked me square in the eyes.
She shrugged her tiny shoulders and said, "I don't know what it is yet. But it's coming soon."
Ok, so maybe the whole secret identity thing isn't number one on the list of secrets that Emmett and I keep from the outside world. The first should really be the fact that I have...well...an ability. I can sort of see the future. Not in an all-out, vision kind of way, though sometimes I do actually see things. It's more of a feeling most of the time. A sudden awareness of what is going to happen. And it's doesn't always work. I can't force them or even know when they'll come. There's usually some reason behind it, some method to the madness, even if I don't know what that is.
The first time it happened, I was four. It was summer, and we were on vacation at the beach. My brothers- Emmett was eight and Edward was six- were playing at the edge of the water. My parents had walked up the beach a little ways to visit with some friends who were also vacationing at the same beach that summer. I was building a sand castle.
That's when the feeling hit. I had this overwhelming sense of panic and loss and fear, way more intense than a four year old should have. I just started screaming. My mother came running back to where I was and scooped me up.
"Alice, baby," she tried to soothe me. "What?! What is wrong? Did you get hurt?" She began looking over my body, searching for signs of an injury.
I remember almost falling out of her arms as I reached toward the ocean. I was only four, and had no idea what was really going on. I said the only thing I could at that moment.
"Eddie," I sobbed.
My mother looked out to where Emmett and our other brother, Edward, had been moments before. Emmett was standing in waist deep water turning from one side to the other, obviously looking for something- or someone.
"Emmett!" My father called as loud as he could. He started running toward the water waving his arms above his head in the hopes of getting Emmett's attention. "Emmett!" he called again.
Emmett turned back around and saw our father running into the surf toward him.
"Edward?" My father called again, this time with his arms outstretched, in a question to Emmett.
Emmett shrugged his shoulders and looked frantically around one more time.
"He was right next to me," Emmett yelled, the panic taking over his voice. "I dove down to pick up a shell for Alice and when I came back up he was gone."
My father had reached Emmett, and they both began diving beneath the surface, trying to find my brother.
Moments later, though it felt like hours even to me, a man several yards away came out of the water with Edward in his arms. Edward was alert, still spitting water out and breathing really hard.
"Carlisle!" The man, one of our neighbors, shouted. "Esme! I've got him!"
My father grabbed Emmett up in his arms and made his way into shore. Once on the beach, my parents and the neighbor gave Edward a good once-over and were satisfied that he was okay. Having a doctor for a father made situations like that a little less stressful, if that were possible.
"Alice," mother turned to where she had sat me on the sand, "did you see Edward go under the water?"
I hadn't. I shook my head and said, "No, Mama."
"Then, how-" she looked between me and the water. "Emmett," she changed her line of questioning, "What happened?"
He stared blankly at her while he processed the events himself. He was only eight, after all.
My father chimed in seeing my mother's concern for me.
"Emmett, could you see Alice from where you were?" He asked.
"Yes, sir," Emmett said, "I looked to make sure where she was before I dove down for the shells. I checked on Edward, too, Mom, I promise I-"
My mother put her hand on Emmett's shoulder and assured him, "No one is blaming you, son. Your brother just got pulled under. He's fine. I'm just wondering how Alice knew what was happening if she wasn't looking."
She turned away from me then, and started talking to my father. I knew they were talking about me, but I could no longer hear what they were saying.
After that, it seemed to happen every now and again. I would know when it was going to rain, even if the weatherman said different. I could always tell Mom if one of the boys was going to come home from school in a bad mood. I could sense simple things like what Mother would make for dinner or what movie my friends would want to go see.
As I got older, I could sense bigger things, too. What colleges my brothers would get accepted to before they even applied. I even knew Jasper was coming into my life before he even moved to Seattle. I knew where and how we would meet, though I didn't force it to happen. I saw Bella in a dream once and knew she was meant for Edward. That was at least six months before they met after she moved to Forks in high school.
When I was twelve, I finally convinced my parents to talk to me about my "freakish ability to practically see the future" as my brothers so affectionately named it.
My mother nodded to my father in some sort of show of solidarity, I think. Of course, I'd only come to them because I knew I would get the answers I was seeking. If I hadn't seen that outcome, I would never have approached them.
"Well, Alice," my mother began, "your father is the best person to explain this to you, I think." She patted his hands. They were sitting on the table top, fingers laced tightly together, knuckles almost white. Then she stood up and walked over to the stove and started making dinner, close enough to offer support, but giving my father and I some privacy at the same time.
My father sat in silence for what felt like a long time. When he finally spoke, his voice was barely above a whisper.
"You see, Alice," he began, "my grandmother, too, could...well, see things. Like you do." He chanced a look at my face to gauge my reaction. When I wasn't visibly upset, he continued, "She didn't share her secret with anyone but my grandfather, for fear of being thought crazy."
I understand that, I thought to myself.
"But she also knew that the ability she had was a gift. She could comfort those around her and offer help when it was appropriate to do so. My mother also shared your ability."
With this admission, my father's expression changed drastically. When he spoke of his grandmother, he did so with a reverence that was palpable. When he turned the discussion to my grandmother, his own mother, whom I loved very much even though she'd been dead since I was six, his tone changed. Instead of reverent and loving, he was sad and disappointed.
"What?" I asked. "What aren't you telling me, Dad?"
"My mother," he stammered, "she used her ability for personal gain. Do you recall anything of how your grandfather's company went under?"
I nodded. I was only six, but being "perceptive" as I was, I knew something was up when my grandfather's business started having problems. I didn't understand the financial aspects of it, of course, but I knew the basics. My grandfather had a windfall of good luck on the stock market. He used his Wall Street earnings to support his business, Cullen Enterprises. Some people thought he had more than luck on his side with the trades he was making, and the federal government got involved. Insider trading, is that what they'd called it?
Suddenly, the pieces began to fall into place. My grandfather didn't have insider knowledge. At least not the kind the government was talking about. My grandmother had told him which stocks to buy. She would have known which ones were going to go up in value. Only, when they got "caught" they couldn't tell the truth. My grandfather almost went to jail, and his business was lost. My grandmother died not long after.
I think my father saw the realization dawn on my face because he reached out and took my hands in his.
"Alice," he said tenderly, "what you have is a gift, truly. Just remember that with this gift comes responsibility. You can not change what is to be, only see it before its time. Do you understand?"
There's a fine line to walk with an ability like mine. I sense what is going to happen, but I just know the outcome. I can't change what I see. It is what it is, I just get a preview. I know this because, despite my father's warning, I tried several times to change what I knew. I tried with small, everyday occurrences. I tried to change my mother's mind when she wanted to have asparagus for dinner. Didn't work. I tried to change my father's mind when he wanted to wear his hideous orange shirt. Didn't work. I tried to tell Emmett if he studied for that test he could change the D I saw into an B, but he wouldn't listen and he still got a D.
So, I've always known that I don't see the things I see because I'm supposed to change them. I see them because I'm supposed to know what's coming.
Of course, that knowledge gave me little comfort when I felt the full weight of our current situation. All I knew for certain was that there was a new company in our future and this company would somehow lead to whatever change it was that I could feel mounting.
I couldn't see the ending, yet. Some parts were yet to be decided. And that always made me nervous.
End Notes: Soooo??? Whatcha think? This story is going to take some time and I would love to hear what you're thinking along the way. I have several chapters finished, and they're mostly set up stuff, but the good stuff shall come soon enough I promise! I'm going to get writer's block a time or two-it's already happened once. So, help a sister out and throw me some ideas to keep the brain going, 'kay?! ;)