**Disclaimer-I do not own Twilight or the characters, only the story line.**
Chapter one- Family Emergency
"Fuck," I muttered under my breath. I have been working relentlessly on this project for weeks. Still feeling as though I was missing something, I packed up my things and headed for the board room. I took a deep breath, "I can do this," I told myself. "It will go perfectly, just like Alice said."
I stepped into the corporate board room and forced a smile onto my face. My boss was already in her seat at the head of the table. It was a beautiful, long, mahogany table that seated twelve. The room was done up with a contemporary décor and it showed off Mrs. Whitlock's impeccable taste.
"That's why she's the CEO I guess," I thought to myself as I set up my presentation opposite her.
She had built this corporation from nothing and now, it was the biggest design firm in the western half of the country. Her new lingerie line was amazing and the fact that she was only thirty was even more amazing. Alice Whitlock had gone directly into college after high school. After two semesters though, Alice took a chance, took out a loan, left school, and started Cullen Design Firm. She did have a bit of help with that though. Her father helped fund the newborn business. Dr. Carlisle Cullen was the lead surgeon in a big hospital here in Seattle. Her mother, Esme, worked independently through Cullen Design. Esme's specialty was interior design, while Alice focused on clothing and fashion. Actually, most of Mrs. Whitlock's family is involved in her business in some way. Her oldest brother, Emmett, works in the accounting department. He keeps all of her books and bank accounts in order. Emmett had met the love of his life through Cullen Design four years ago. His wife, Rosalie Hale, is our top catalogue model. Rosalie is an exquisite beauty. She is just under six feet tall, with legs that go on forever. She has long, flowing, platinum blonde hair, and a face which rivals that of a Botticelli angel. Her body has the perfect dimensions to fit her height and Emmett was not bad looking himself either. He and Rosalie fit each other perfectly. Emmett is six foot, four inches, and built like a brick wall. The man doesn't have an ounce of fat on hit body though. He is perfectly chiseled and extremely muscular. He has very short, dark brown hair, a very strong jaw line, and gorgeous honey colored eyes. Mrs. Whitlock resembles her brother aside from her petite size. Alice is almost like a pixie, she's so small and fragile looking. She stands at five foot, two inches, with a small, hourglass frame. She has short, spiky, black, hair that is always styled to perfection. Not a single hair out of place. Alice met her husband in her first year of college. He was a photography major, and as the story goes, he liked to take pictures of her on her way to and from her classes. He fell in love with her style first and then with Alice herself. The always impeccable Jasper Whitlock, now the lead photographer for Cullen Design, works magic with a camera.
"I'm ready to begin whenever you are Mrs. Whitlock," I said as I finished setting up.
"Thank you Bella, and as I have told you before, call me Alice, please," she smiled sweetly at me. "The clients should be here shortly."
"Yes, ma'am, I mean, Alice," I blushed.
She was always so nice. Her whole family is that way. Alice had taken a big chance in setting up this presentation. Usually, she would only work this hard to promote her own designs, but Alice thought I showed potential. "You remind me of myself when I was starting out," she had once told me. My design was simple, a summer dress. It was a knee-length, light cotton, sun dress with one strap crossing from the left front to the right back side. There was a wide elastic band that ran under the chest line and the skirt flowed out loosely. Alice said it was daring and bold. Old Navy, the company we were presenting to, had bought a few designs from Alice in the past, and seemed very interested. Alice was convinced that they would love it and want it to go directly into production. I, on the other hand, was more nervous than I'd ever been before.
"you may begin any time, Bella," Alice told me once our clients were settled at the table and we had all been introduced.
My presentation went off without a hitch, and Alice had been right. The execs from Old Navy loved my dress design and they want to put it in their summer catalogues. They promised to send over all the paperwork to seal the deal the next day. After our guests left, Alice and I stayed in the board room, reveling in our success. She grabbed two glasses and a bottle of chardonnay from the bar in the corner. Just as she went to pour our drinks, we were interrupted by the shrill ringing of the phone in the center of the table.
"I'm sorry to interrupt Mrs. Whitlock, but there's a call for you," Lauren, the secretary said after Alice hit the speaker button.
"Who is it, Lauren?" she answered.
"Mr. Cullen, ma'am," Lauren said.
Alice snickered a little as she asked "Which Mr. Cullen?"
"Oh! Yes, Lauren. Transfer my baby brother here please." Alice was suddenly excited. It had been months since she'd spoken to her long, lost brother.
Edward Cullen was my age, twenty four, and the youngest of the Cullen family. I had never met him before, but had seen him in pictures. He was about six foot two, and lean, but muscular at the same time. He had sandy colored, disheveled hair. All the pictures I had seen showed his hair looking as if he had just woken up. He also had the most gorgeous, piercing, green eyes I had ever seen. Edward was god-like and beautiful, and even though I hadn't met him, I couldn't help wanting him. The only downfall to Mr. Edward Cullen, was that he was happily married and devoted to his wife and infant son. When Alice had first started Cullen Design Firm, Edward worked for her as an intern. He was in college and working toward a teaching degree. From what I've been told, he met his wife, Angela in his intermediate geometry course and it was love at first sight. The dated for a few months, and somehow knew in that little time that they were meant to be with each other forever. They wed after only nine months of dating and lived in a small apartment off campus. Edward continued working for Alice until he and Angela both earned their bachelor's degrees in elementary education. Angela was offered a job at the elementary school in Forks, Washington, where she had grown up and of course Edward followed her, taking a job there the next year. Alice was very upset to have him go, but Edward was always a hopeless romantic. While his family was devoted to their work, Edward was determined to follow his heart. He and Angela had added a new baby to their little family seven months ago, and were living their "happily ever after life" in Forks. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit jealous of Angela Weber-Cullen.
"Hello, Eddie," Alice's voice was tinkling, "I've missed you so. When are you bringing little Jay to meet his Auntie Alice?" she still had the phone on speaker.
"Alice, I don't know. Look, do you know where mom or dad are? Something has happened and I cant get a hold of either of them," his velvet smooth voice sounded very troubled. I had never heard him speak before now.
"Edward," Alice gasped, "What is it? Are you okay? What's wrong?" she was starting to get worked up, throwing worried glances up at me.
I quietly stood up, and walked to the extra phone in the corner of the room. I dialed Esme's extension, not really expecting her to be there.
"This is Mrs. Cullen, how may I help you?" Esme replied sweetly.
"Mrs. Cullen, this is Bella. I think you should come to the board room. Mrs. Whitlock has her brother Edward on the line and he sounds very upset. I think something is wrong and he may need his mother." I explained to her. She agreed without any questions and promised to be right here.
I walked back to the table and Alice looked at me, gratefully. She was just explaining to Edward that their mother would be right there and then he could tell them what was wrong. I sat back down without a sound at the other end of the table and took out my personal calendar. I could tell Alice would be needing a few days off and I needed to rearrange a few things for her to do so. Less than five minutes had passed when Esme hurried into the door and to the table.
"Edward, honey? Are you okay, dear? What's wrong?" she sounded even more worried than Alice.
"Mom," he gasped. Could he be crying?
I stood to leave, not wanting to intrude, but Alice shot me a pleading look and I knew it meant she wanted me to stay. We had a very friendly working relationship and Alice never held back anything from me. Honestly, she probably was the closest thing to a friend I had at work.
"Mom," he paused again, "there's been an accident," he seemed to be choking on the words. "Angela-" he started to say something about his wife, but choked on the words again.
"Honey, is she okay? What happened. Is Jay alright?" Esme, was starting to get frantic.
"Jay is fine, mom. He was with me at home," Edward answered. "And Ang, well, she was coming back from Port Angelos, and it was raining. There was a log truck on the highway behind her," he was gasping a little bit again now. "Mom, it was bad. He was too close and she must have been nervous, she veered a little, thinking he may pass her, but she over corrected, and the car rolled-"
Esme cut him off then. "Oh Edward, is she going to be okay? We can be there as soon as possible if you want us." I was already arranging a car to drive the family from Seattle to Forks if he said yes. All I needed was a pick up time.
"Well, she's in the I.C.U. But they actually want to transport her to Seattle, so you don't need to come down," he paused again. "Is dad working, mom? I need him to be there. I need him to help her mom. I cant do this without her." and then I knew he was crying. I felt so intrusive on this family emergency, but I would do whatever I could to help them. Even if it was just to arrange cars and reschedule meetings.
"We will get him there bro. I promise. Dad will do everything he can for her," Alice finally spoke.
"Alice," he choked on her name, "I don't think she's going to make it. I don't know how to go on-" he couldn't finish the sentence.
"Try not to worry, pack some things for the baby and get up here. Rose will take care of him, I'll call her right now. We'll get through this Eddie," Alice tried to soothe him.
"Thank you," he was sobbing lightly now. "They're arranging the transfer now. I need to call Mrs. Weber back, mom. I'll call you as soon as we get into Seattle. Or-" he sobbed again and then cleared his throat. "Or, if anything changes before then. I love you guys." he said. Without waiting for an answer from his mother or sister, he hung up.
Esme and Alice were both in tears at this point, I wasn't sure either of them could get through a phone call to Emmett or Rosalie. They embraced each other tightly. I picked up the phone and dialed Emmett's number.
"Mr. Cullen, it's Bella," I started. Emmett cut me off.
"Bella Swan, how are you today?" he said cheerfully.
"Oh, um fine, Mr. Cullen, I was calling on behalf of your mother and sister. There is a family emergency, sir. Could you please come to the board room, they are very upset." I didn't want to give him the details. It really wasn't my place.
"Sure, Bella. I'll be right there. Thanks," he answered and abruptly ended the call.
"Thank you, Bella. You have no idea how much it means to my mother and I to have such a loyal assistant," Alice tried to smile at me.
"Of course. That's why I'm here Alice. If there is anything else I can do to help, please, just let me know." I answered back. "I already have the next three days cleared for you, Alice. Just let me know if you'll need longer. Also, the limo is ready and waiting to take you, Emmett, and your mother to the hospital as soon as I give the word."
Emmett walked in just then. "Mom, Alice? What's going on? Bella said there was an emergency."
"Oh Emmett," Esme cried as she embraced her son. He lovingly put his arms around his mother, trying to calm her. "Emmett, Angela was in a terrible accident. Your brother is so worried, honey. They are moving her to dad's hospital to get her better care." Esme, was sobbing now. Emmett still held her tight, rubbing her back lightly.
"I told him Rose would watch the baby, Emmett. Can you call her and warn her please?" Alice said. "I need to try to call dad."
Just then, the phone on the table rang again. I hit the speaker button. "Yes, Lauren? What is it?"
"It's Mr. Edward Cullen again ma'am," Lauren replied.
Esme ran for the phone, tears streaming as she picked it up. "Edward?"
With the phone no longer on speaker, we could only hear one side of the conversation. Esme's face was full of concern as she spoke to her youngest son. It was heartbreaking to watch, and even without hearing his side of the call, Emmett, Alice, and I knew what he was saying to his mother.
"Edward," Esme gasped again, we all listened to her side of the conversation. Alice was already crying on Emmett's shoulder. "Oh baby, I'm so sorry…….yes……of course….yes…..I'll call him right away…..yes, honey. We'll leave as soon as we can get a hold of dad…..ok honey…..I love you too…….bye."
"I'll go rework the arrangements with the limo driver, Mrs. Whitlock." I said. I wanted to give her family a moment to themselves.
"Thank you so much, Bella," Alice sobbed as I left the room. I went to my office and made some calls. It was going to be a long week, and I wanted to do everything I could to help the Cullen's get through it. When they emerged from the board room, I let Alice know there was a car waiting for them in the garage. She thanked me again, and they walked to the elevator without another word.