A/N - This story has been running around my brain for over a month now and seeing as I am laid up with a bad foot and a case of pneumonia, I decided it was time to get it out. I have the story finished in it's entirety and will post it every Monday until it's done. It is not betaed by my amazing beta ACEMCKEAN as my hubby decided that he wanted to get more involved in my writing. My next chapter of SEARCHING will be posted later this week as I am working out the bugs on the computer that holds it. INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE is in the works. As well, I am turning THE PERFECT DOCTOR'S WIFE into a serial story, but it may be a while as I have decided that I will not post another serial until SEARCHING is done.
ONCE UPON A STORMY NIGHT
I stared up at the departures board. Shit!!
All flights read cancelled.
I was stuck in Hell! Well I guessed this is what hell would look like, if it was frozen over.
It was enough that I had to fly to Seattle for a job interview over Thanksgiving, from my cozy Jacksonville home, but the two transfers were unbearable, now snow.
I looked at the lines at the ticket counter and decided to forgo my chance to yell at the poor ticket agents for a few minutes in hopes of finding a room in this frozen wasteland until I could catch another flight.
I looked out into the blizzard-like conditions and wrapped my light winter coat around me tighter. I dashed out the door to the line of taxis waiting at the door. The taxi driver looked at me, waiting for me to direct him to my destination.
"Just a hotel. Any one will do, as long as I get a warm bed and some food, I don't care," I said. I had been stuck in the airport for sixteen hours already as a few planes left, delayed by the weather by hours. Mine boarded, twice in fact, before being cancelled.
"All the hotels close to the airport are already full, Sweetheart. Why don't we try something closer to downtown," he said.
"Sure," I agreed, looking at him. He looked a lot like I would imagine my grandfather looking. Both of mine had died before I was even born.
"You aren't really dressed for this weather. I'm guessing you aren't from the midwest," the driver said, making conversation.
"Jacksonville," I replied with a smile.
"So what is a young girl like you doing in a place like this dressed like that?" he asked, causing me to laugh.
"I was on my way to Seattle for a job interview," I said.
"Opposite side of the country. Hmmmm. Boy trouble?" he asked.
I laughed again.
"Just looking for a change," I responded.
"How so?" he asked.
"My parents are just a little overprotective. If I stay somewhere warm, they'll follow me. Heck they relocated when I went to college, again when I went to medical school and again for the last two years for my residency. I just want to go somewhere that I can strike out on my own," I said, suddenly unsure as to why I was spilling my guts to a strange cab driver in a very white midwestern town.
"Medical school? You're a smart little thing then," he said, smiling at me in the rearview mirror.
"So I've been told," I responded, my cheeks flushing.
"You don't look old enough to be a doctor. I hope that doesn't offend you," he said.
"No, not offended. I'm 26. Young I guess, but I knew what I wanted and I worked hard for it," I responded.
"Valedictorian?" he asked.
"Yes," I responded with a laugh. He seemed to have me pegged.
"Pretty and smart. If my sons weren't married I'd bring you home and introduce you," he said with a laugh.
"That's nice to hear. Most people are put off by me. Apparently I'm intimidating," I said with a small frown.
"How can a little thing like you be intimidating? You can't be more than 5 foot 3," he said, laughing in shock.
"5'3 and a half, thank you very much," I said, pretending to be offended. He laughed and I continued, "If a man is educated he seems to want a wife who will stay home, clean his house, cook his meals and have his babies. If he isn't, he doesn't like the fact that I have more education and make more money. All in all, I just can't win."
"You're just meeting the wrong ones," he said. "Maybe Seattle will change that for you."
"I hope so," I said.
Just seconds later we pulled into a hotel. It was a nice place and still had the vacancy sign showing in the window.
"Thanks," I said, handing him the money for the fare. "Keep the change." As I trudged towards the door, I watched him pull out into the snow again. Just as I yanked the door open, a man breezed through the door in front of me, not even acknowledging my presence. His long dark hair was covered in snow flakes.
He marched up to the desk and in a commanding voice said, "I need your best room."
"Jerk," I muttered under my breath.
The desk clerk seemed thrilled to help him, batting her eyelashes furiously and giggling like a school girl. BARF! I heard bits and pieces of their conversation. His name was Jacob Black He played baseball for some team from New York. He was on his way to California to film a commercial.
After five minutes of shameless flirting on both their parts, she handed him a key and looked at me, acknowledging my presence for the first time.
"Sorry, we're all booked up," she said with a grin.
My jaw dropped, and the dark haired stranger looked over at me. I assumed he would be apologetic at the least, maybe he was unaware that I was there first. But you know what happens when you assume.
"Tough luck," he said. "I guess you should have been faster."
"And you could have been a gentleman," I snarled.
"Look where that would have gotten me. Stuck in the North Pole with no bed to sleep in. Sucks to be you," he said.
"Can you call me a taxi?" I asked the blonde desk clerk.
"Sorry. We don't help people who aren't registered guests," she said, snottily.
"Do you have a restaurant, where I could at least catch a bite to eat?" I asked her, as snooty Mr Baseball Player laughed.
"Guests only," she said.
"Can you point me in the right direction?" Mr. Baseball asked.
"Sure," she said, pointing him towards the far side of the lobby.
"Okay, whatever," I responded, knowing I couldn't argue with the fake bottle blonde without losing my cool. I turned for the exit and looked out into the blizzard, which seemed to have gotten worse. I bundled my coat around me and stepped out, looking for a taxi, a restaurant or another hotel. Down at the end of the street, I saw a sign for a bar. The streets were completely empty, no car traffic, and definitely no pedestrians.
I started walking through the snow, even though it was higher than my boots, thankful that my small suitcase was somewhere at the airport, rather than on my shoulder. It was a long walk over a short distance but I finally made it to the tiny bar. I stepped through the door and shook the snow from my jacket and hair and stomped my boots on the mat. My teeth chattered violently and I dropped into the first seat at the bar.
The female bartender didn't even ask, she just poured me a hot cup of coffee and put it in front of me. I smiled my thanks and wrapped both my hands around the steaming hot cup of coffee, warming them, while I lifted the liquid to my trembling lips.
After a minute she asked, "What were you doing out there in this weather?"
"Honestly... I have no clue," I answered.
"You don't even have a proper coat, Honey," she said.
"I wasn't planning a midwest layover," I responded. "Honestly I should be on the west coast by now or even home in Jacksonville, not in three feet of snow in a town where you can't get a hotel to save your life and the bitchy desk clerk won't help even though the stupid major league ball player butted in front of you for the last room because you aren't a guest."
"Oh, Honey," the older woman said. "You have had one hell of a day. Let me get you some warm food and then we'll get to work on a phone book to help find you a place to stay."
My eyes teared up immediately and I said, "Thank you."
I ate in silence, noting that the only other patron in the bar sat a few seats away from me. He was bent over a copy of the latest edition of the American Medical Journal. I couldn't see his face, but I noticed the tousled bronze colored hair.
"Did you read the article on the advancements they have made in the treatment of Alzheimer's?" I asked him, still sipping the coffee.
"Yes, actually," he said, looking up at me. I almost forgot to breath as I looked at his gorgeous face and striking green eyes, partially hidden behind a pair of steel framed glasses. He was HOT!
"Do you believe they will have the cure in five years as they predict?" I asked him.
"Call me jaded," he responded. "But every disease is five years from a cure. I think I read the same article in med school, more than five years ago."
"True. But it looks good on paper and at least it offers hope for those affected," I said.
"Ahhh, hope. You must be just out of med school if you still have hope," he said, laughing a little.
"Just finished my residency actually," I answered.
"So you've been in the trenches," he said, with a nod.
"Yup," I said popping the p.
"Enough work talk," he said. "I am on my first holiday in five years."
"And yet, here you sit in a bar in the middle of a blizzard reading the American Medical Journal," I countered.
"You got me," he laughed. Then he slid the journal into his briefcase and turned to me. "What are you doing in this winter wonderland?"
"Stranded," I answered. "I was supposed to fly through here to catch my connector from Jacksonville to L.A. here and then the snow hit."
"Oh, where are you staying?" he asked.
"No clue," I answered honestly. "I was dropped off at the hotel down the street that still had rooms, but some dumb jerk of a baseball player pushed his way past me and got the last room. Then the stupid blonde desk clerk wouldn't call me a cab or let me eat at the restaurant there. So I walked over here, hoping for a warm place to grab a bite to eat before calling a cab and finding a room."
"It took me forever to find a place to stay. I don't think there are any more rooms available. There are literally hundreds of people stranded here and from what the news reports say, it may be a couple of days before we can get out of here," he filled in.
"Oh God! I guess I should catch a cab back to the airport and hope I can find a chair," I said as the bartender brought me a bowl of clam chowder.
"Look, I don't even know your name or your story but you seem like a nice enough person, Doctor Girl. My room has two beds and I don't need both. Why don't you stay with me and see if you can catch a flight in the morning," he said, smiling.
"Well, Doctor Boy, since I don't have a whole lot of options, I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Let me eat and we'll blow this pop stand," I said smiling.
"I'm going to have another drink too. Add a little warmth before we trudge down to the hotel again," he said to me before ordering a double scotch on the rocks from the bartender.
I added a rum and coke to my order and we drank our drinks in relative silence. I don't quite know how it happened, but we each ended up with a few more drinks before we decided to make our way back to the hotel. Doctor Boy helped make sure that I remained on my feet in the slippery conditions and we managed to make it to the hotel in one piece. The feel of his hands on my back sent shock waves through my body.
The desk and lobby were completely vacant when we got there, thankfully. He guided me to the elevator and we made nervous small talk on our way up to the twelfth floor. Weather, airport experiences... Just small stuff.
We exited the elevator and he guided me to the room by placing his hand on the small of my back. When we got into the room he offered me first chance at the bathroom to change for bed.
"Umm, my suitcase is still checked. What you see is what you get," I said, motioning to the pant suit I was wearing, that was now soaking wet from our walk through the snow.
"You can't possibly sleep in that. I can offer you a shirt or something," he said.
"Again with the gift horses," I responded. He walked to his suitcase and pulled out a white T-shirt, that probably acted as an undershirt for him.
He handed it to me with a shrug saying, "That's about as good as it gets."
"Anything is better than wet clothes or no clothes," I said with a blush, before ducking into the bathroom. "Do you mind if I grab a quick shower?"
"Go for it," he responded and I heard the TV turn on. I slipped out of my clothes and hung them on the back of the door before turning on the hot water. The feel of the hot water running over my body made me realize just how sore and tired I was. I had been awake for over twenty four hours and was really feeling the effects of the alcohol. I decided to get out quickly. I dried off and I put my white lacy boy shorts on with the shirt Doctor Boy gave me, which came down to mid thigh. I grabbed my brush from my purse and brushed my hair out. It had been up in a pony tail all day so I decided to let it hang loose for the night.
I walked back into the room, the light was on and the TV was playing some old western. Doctor Boy, however, was lying on his bed, snoring softly. I stared at him for a few moments noticing exactly how beautiful he was. The guy looked better than any Calvin Klein model, his jaw was now covered in slight stubble and I noticed his sculpted chest and abs through the light fabric of his shirt. I debated with myself if I should take his glasses and shoes off for him. I decided against the shoes, but tiptoed to the side of the bed and removed his glasses, and put them on the nightstand. I turned the TV off and turned off the lights before climbing into my own bed. Sleep claimed me moments after my head hit the pillow.
My dreams were very vivid and all starred the sexy doctor in the bed next to mine. It was early morning when the most explicit dream started.
In my dream Doctor Boy climbed into my bed and wrapped his arms around me, spooning me to his chest. The shock waves I had felt from his touch as we walked down the street, intensified a million times. It felt so right. His hands started rubbing up and down my sides and I let out a moan of pleasure. He seemed to take that as the go ahead to go further and his hands started caressing my breasts through my shirt. My moans only intensified. I could feel his arousal behind me, pushing against my backside. I moved my hips to gyrate against it and was rewarded with a moan from him.
Fuck is he sexy!
His hands pulled at the bottom of his shirt and started pulling it up my body. I didn't complain. When his hands grazed the flesh at my waist, they left a trail of fire in their wake and my gasp seemed to spur him on even more. Before I knew it his shirt was up over my head and I was laying in his arms in just my white lacy panties.
"Too many clothes," I murmured.
Doctor Boy was quick, he stood up for a moment and before my body had a chance to miss the contact he was back, wearing only his boxers. His arousal was more prominent and I wanted nothing more than to feel it skin to skin.
Woah, Bella! Quite the dream for a 26 year old virgin!
Hell, I was enjoying this dream!
This was a dream I didn't want to wake up from, ever.
Doctor Boy's hands returned to my skin, leaving a trail of fire as they caressed me. I moaned again causing a serious groan to escape his lips. I rolled in his arms so we were face to face. I was going to take full advantage of this dream. I turned my face to his and planted a passionate kiss on his lips. He responded with a vengeance, kissing me harder and deeper, until our tongues met, dueling for position. My hands found their way into his glorious mess of hair and I held him to this kiss. His arms wrapped around my body and pulled me tighter so the naked flesh of my breasts was pulled tight against the rock hard surface of his chest.
"Mmmm," I groaned into his mouth. I removed my hands from his hair and I brought them down to explore the rest of him. I ran my hands over the naked flesh of his back and chest and down to his abs. His hands roamed my body too, finally stopping at my breasts. The whole time our mouths were joined in a passionate kiss.
My hands found their way down to the waist band of his boxers and I allowed them to continue on their journey south. His breathing got even more erratic as my hand found his most intimate area.
"Oh God, Baby, you're driving me crazy and I don't even know your name," he moaned.
"Bella," I whispered as his fingers made their way down to my panties, rubbing against the area I wanted him to touch the most.
"Mmmm Bella, sounds so good. You feel heavenly, Bella. Can I touch you?" he asked.
"You are touching me," I reminded him.
"Here?" he asked, ghosting his fingers over my moist wet center.
"Oh yes, please, yes," I responded.
"I'm going to make you scream, Bella. I promise you," he said.
His fingers hooked into the sides of my panties and he tugged them down. As soon as they reached my knees I kicked the the rest of the way off.
Thank God this was a dream because I've never been naked in front of a man before, let alone a God like Doctor Boy. If this were real I'd probably be as red as a tomato.
Doctor Boy returned his hands to my chest momentarily, greedily pinching my taut nipples. He finally pulled his lips away from mine and moved them down to my breast, taking one of my nipples into his mouth. The hand that had been there moved in a steady trail to my center.
"Oh God! Oh God!" I moaned as his fingers dipped into my wetness.
"No, Bella. You won't be calling for God. You call my name. You will be screaming my name," he promised.
"I don't... even... know... your name," I managed to get out while his fingers massaged my sensitive bundle of nerves.
"Edward," he said as his tongue danced over my nipples.
"Oh!" I moaned as his fingers dipped into my moist wet heat.
"So good," he said, lifting his head from my breast. "So perfect."
One of his fingers slid deep inside me and began to pump.
"Edward," I managed to squeak out before all cognizant thought left me.
His talented fingers quickly brought me to the edge of the promised land and, as if he knew exactly, he took my clit between his thumb and pointer finger and rubbed it slightly, sending me rocketing into space, screaming his name with as much force as I could muster.
"So good, Bella," he said. "You feel so damn good."
I couldn't say anything. My breath was coming in labored pants and my heart was racing a mile a minute. This dream was incredible!!
Doctor Boy, I mean Edward, took the opportunity to lower his boxers. Now we were both naked and I felt his erection pressed to my side as his lips found mine. I turned in his arms, pressing myself to him, chest to chest. The kiss deepened more as he rolled me back onto my back, coming to rest on top of me. My legs were spread and I could feel the tip of him at my entrance and I thought momentarily about the fact that I was a virgin.
Hell, losing your virginity in a dream wouldn't hurt.
"Are you ready for me, Bella?" Edward asked.
I nodded my head, not trusting the words to come out of my mouth.
Edward entered me quickly, tearing my membrane away in one quick thrust. I screamed in shock and pain, my mind suddenly cleared of the alcoholic and dream induced haze and I realized in an instant that I had just lost my virginity to a stranger in a hotel room in some unknown white city, a million miles from where I am supposed to be. And then I realized that I just didn't care.
"Oh shit, Bella! I didn't...." he started.
"Shhh," I told him, finally coming to grips with the pain. "I want this. I want you."
"Are you sure?" he asked, still frozen and buried deep inside me.
"Yes," I told him, bringing my legs up and wrapping them around his waist. I started to move my hips, grinding myself against him, when he joined in the movement, meeting each thrust of my hips with one of his own.
"Bella... so tight... so good," he groaned.
"Mmmm... Edward... yes," I moaned in return.
Our noises and groans lost all sense moments later and the nice rhythm we had created was lost as we both neared our climaxes.
"Oh God!! Edward!!!" I screamed, as I reached my climax. My muscles all tensed and my legs pulled him in even deeper. Three thrusts later Edward screamed my name as he reached his climax.
"Bella! Shit! Yes!!" he roared.
We fell into a sweaty pile of limbs, both struggling to catch our breaths. I tried to regain some sense of sanity, realizing what had just happened. I lost my virginity. Edward didn't seem to notice my internal struggle as he was soon snoring, with his body intertwined with mine.
What the hell do I do now?
I lay there for a while, considering my options. If I left, this could all be a dream. No awkward moments, just a wonderful memory. If I stayed, there would be the awkward morning silence. Would he ask me to leave? Would he try to be polite until I had to get on the plane? I couldn't face that, I couldn't face him, so I snuck out from his arms and rolled off the bed. I grabbed his shirt quickly threw it on, dashing for the bathroom. I quickly cleaned myself up, and noticed the blood.
Virginity lost? Check!
I didn't know where my panties had ended up, and at this moment I didn't care. I just needed to leave before he woke and asked me to. I threw my hair up into a pony tail and slipped my dress pants on commando. I slid his shirt off and my bra and blouse on before I grabbed all my stuff and threw it haphazardly into my carry-on bag that was thankfully next to my purse on the bathroom counter.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror and noticed how swollen my lips were. Shit! Everyone was going to know. I was going to have to make the walk of shame. Damn it, damn it, damn it! As soon as I was sure I had everything, well everything but my panties, I turned off the bathroom light and made my way out the door of the hotel room, thanking my lucky stars that Doctor Edward was still sleeping soundly on the bed.
I dashed down the hall to the elevator and nearly launched myself in when the door opened. I may have taken the stairs had I taken the time to notice the other occupant.
"Damn if I had known you were going to put out, I'd have invited you up to my room," Mr Baseball said, leering at me.
I didn't give him the satisfaction of a response. As we reached the ground floor he stopped to talk to the blonde from last night, allowing me to slip by her. There was a taxi waiting out front and I hurried to jump in.
As the taxi was pulling away, I heard the jackass yell, "Hey! You stole my taxi!"
I sat back and laughed, muttering to myself, "Sucks to be you."
The road to the airport was fairly clear and I made my way to the closest ticket counter.
"Hello," said the overly cheerful red-head behind the counter.
"Hi," I replied. "So what are my chances of getting out of here today?"
"Heading east or west?" she asked.
"West," I replied.
"Well the storm has moved east so you're heading in the right direction. I have a flight to Portland, one to LA and a direct flight to Seattle," she replied cheerily.
"Direct to Seattle, if I can. That would be perfect," I replied.
"Got it," she said again. "Flight leaves in seventy five minutes. Do you have any luggage to check?"
"No. All my luggage is still on my cancelled flight from yesterday," I told her.
"Well then, I guess you will just have to meet up with it in Seattle," she said cheerily.
I thanked her profusely and made for the security check point. I passed security quickly, seeing as it was before 7:00am and most of the stranded passengers were still sleeping. I got to my gate and handed my ticket to the attendant.
"We will be boarding soon," he told me, smiling widely. Damn perky morning people.
"Thanks," I replied and sat in one of the seats, close to the gate. The enormity of my situation was beginning to dawn on me.
I had sex.
Me. Bella Swan. Had sex.
With a God no less.
Now I have to say, it was pretty damn incredible. I mean, from everything I had heard your first time was supposedly dominated by the pain. Not that there wasn't pain, it's just that everything else was, well, incredible.
I was still in dreamland when the male attendant came up and tapped me on the shoulder, making me jump.
"Sorry," he said. "We're boarding now Dr. Swan. Last call."
"Sorry," I said to him, blushing. "I'm not much of a morning person before I've had my coffee."
"Me neither," he replied as he followed me down the ramp and onto the plane.
The door closed soon after I entered and by the time I was in my seat the flight attendants were doing their pre-flight checks and demonstrations. I closed my eyes, exhausted by the previous 36 hours and the next thing I knew the attendant who had roused me from my stupor in the airport was waking me and telling me we were in Seattle and I needed to get off the plane.
I looked around and blushed as I noticed that the plane was completely empty except for me.
"Sorry," I said, blushing again, and I made my way off the plane.
I stopped by the desk to let them know about my luggage and to give them the name and number of the hotel where I would be staying for the next few days, hoping my luggage would arrive in time for my interview the next morning. I made my way out of the airport and found a taxi quickly.
In the back of the taxi, I finally took a deep breath. I decided that I was going to need to go shopping as soon as I was settled in my room, because at the current time, I didn't even have a pair of underwear to my name.
The cab ride was silent as I watched the scenery of Seattle fly by. It was chilly here, but not the bone numbing cold of yesterday. The rain was falling, as usual for this city, but I didn't mind. It was one of the reasons I chose Seattle. My parents wouldn't follow me here. My mother's arthritis would never allow it.
In no time at all we arrived in front of the hotel. I had purposely chosen a hotel in walking distance to the hospital and after I got my things into my room and had a quick shower, I decided to walk around the area. I asked the desk clerk if there was a mall or shops nearby and she pointed me in the right direction before handing me a large umbrella.
"You'll need it," she said with a smile.
"Thanks," I responded as I headed out into the rain. I took my time looking around the area. An apartment building right across from the hospital had a vacancy sign, and I quickly wrote down the number. It looked like an upscale building, and I knew I couldn't beat the proximity to the hospital and shops. In fact I would probably be able to live without a car for a while, an idea that pleased me greatly.
As I turned the corner I came across a small boutique that had a beautiful window display, AW Designs. I stepped in, hoping I could find myself something to wear for tomorrow's interview.
"Hello," came a friendly voice, sounding an awful lot like wind chimes.
"Hello," I responded as I saw the small pixie-like woman behind the voice. She was tiny, and coming from me in all my 5 foot 3 inches of glory, that was saying something. She had short spiky hair and the friendliest face I had ever seen.
"Can I help you find anything?" she asked.
"Actually yes," I responded. "I am in town for an interview at the hospital tomorrow and my luggage didn't make it yet. So I need something for an interview and I am in desperate need of new undergarments." I blushed furiously as I thought the last statement through. My panties were still somewhere in the midwest in very sexy Doctor Edward's hotel room.
"Well I am Alice Whitlock, owner of AW Designs. I'm sure I can help you. You look like you're a size two. I have some great new bra and panty sets that I would love to show you, 32 C?" she asked, all in one breath.
"Hi, Alice. I'm Bella Swan. You hit the nail on the head, both times," I smiled at her.
She rushed through the store like a tornado and grabbed items left and right before pushing me towards a fitting room.
"Here get started," she said.
"Alice, I'll need the under garments first. After a little hotel room crisis on my layover, I am going forced commando right now," I said, blushing furiously.
"You lost your panties in your hotel?" she asked incredulously.
I am sure I was tomato red and I could only nod in response.
"Pardon me for saying this, but you don't look like the kind of woman that it would happen to," she said.
I guess I could have been offended but I wasn't and I felt like I could tell this friendly little pixie more.
"Oh I wasn't. I'm not sure what that was. I was left stranded and this gorgeous man, whose name I didn't even know, offered to let me have one of the beds in his room. I was stuck and stranded in the snow with nowhere else to go so I accepted. It was all well and good until he ended up in my bed. I thought I was dreaming at first, but then...." I explained.
"Did he force you?" she asked.
"No, not at all. I don't think there was any intent on either of our parts. It just sorta happened," I said.
"Alcohol involved?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said with a laugh.
"Was he good at least?" she asked.
Here goes the blush again.
"Not that I have anything to compare it to, but it was incredible," I said, my cheeks burning up.
"It was your first time?" she asked, astounded.
"Yeah. I didn't say anything to him before. He didn't know until... well it was obvious at that point, and too late to do anything about," I said. I think I was going to be red for a month.
"How old are you?" she asked, astounded.
"26," I replied.
"How the hell did you keep your V card so long? I mean you have a smoking hot body and a gorgeous face. You must have men swarming around you like flies on a dung heap," she said.
"For a while, but I always had my nose pressed to a book. I don't think I looked up from them long enough to notice, until it was too late," I said.
"What do you mean 'too late'?" she asked.
"I am a doctor. Here to interview for a spot in the ER here in Seattle. In college I was too busy studying to notice anyone, same in med school. Then by the time I hit residency men seemed intimidated by me. Other doctors and professionals wanted stay at home wives and the others were intimidated by me. I'd go on one date then they'd run in the opposite direction," I explained.
"You have been meeting the wrong men," she stated. "Not all men are intimidated by strong career women."
"Maybe moving to Seattle will help," I smiled at her, as she handed me some lacy underwear sets and guided me towards the fitting rooms again.
"Who are you interviewing with at the hospital?" she asked.
"I don't have a name. I guess it must be a board," I replied.
"What department?" she asked again.
"Emergency Room," I replied.
She laughed a bit at my response before saying, "You'll probably get to meet my dad."
"Your dad?" I asked.
"Dr. Carlisle Cullen, is head of the emergency department here. Most of my family is in the medical field. All except mom and me," she said, through the curtain.
"Do you have a big family?" I asked her.
"Mom, Dad, two brothers, a sister in law and a husband," she replied. "One brother is a doctor, one brother is a physiotherapist, my husband is a doctor, my sister in law is a mid-wife and my mother is an interior decorator. How about you?"
"Just my mom and dad. They are both teachers. My mom teaches kindergarten and my dad teaches phys-ed in the high school and coaches the baseball team. And I'm an only child," I said.
"Where are you from?" she asked as I came out in the first outfit.
"Arizona originally. Then I moved to California for college and university at Sanford. The parents relocated for me. Then I moved to Jacksonville for my residency and they followed again. So now I am trying to get out on my own, somewhere they won't follow," I said, admiring the cut of the skirt and the way the emerald green blouse looked with it.
"Why won't they follow here?" she asked as she reached into a box and pulled out a pair of size 6 black heels.
I slipped them on, not even realizing she hadn't asked my size, as I answered. "My mother has arthritis. She really needs to be somewhere hot and dry. Florida causes her enough problems. I hope they return to Arizona honestly. My mom does better with the dry heat."
"I like this," she said. "Too casual for an interview. Try the suit."
I walked back into the change room and tried on the skirt and suit jacket with a royal blue silk camisole.
"So your dad is head of the ER. Is he easy to work with? Strict? What am I in for?" I asked as I changed.
"He's super easy going. If you do your job right you'll have no problems," she said.
"And your husband and brother? What do they do?" I asked.
"They are in practice together with my sister in law, the mid-wife. Basically they start with the maternity patients and follow through with the kids until age 6," she said. "They call it The Seattle Mother and Baby Clinic. It's actually just around the corner from here, so very close to the hospital."
"Sounds nice," I said, stepping out in the new skirt suit.
"Wow!" she said, clapping her hands and jumping up and down. "It's perfect."
"I love it. Alice, I think you are a genius!" I said.
"Well let me wrap it up for you so it doesn't get crushed before tomorrow," she said.
"Sure," I said. "Now I need something for right now."
She led me, still wearing the suit, to a rack of jeans. I didn't even get to look before she pulled out a pair for me to try and dashed to another display for a baby blue button up blouse. She pushed me back into the change room with them and before I even had the suit jacket off, a pair of black leather boots were on the floor next to me. I slipped into the clothes, that fit me like a glove and stepped out of the change room. Alice handed me a bag for my old clothes and told me she had already removed the tags.
I smiled at her and laughed slightly before handing her the suit to wrap up.
"Here take this," she said handing me a warm winter coat. "You'll need it when you get the job. It's perfect for the chilly wet Seattle winters."
"Alice, I don't even know if I'll get the job," I said to the over-confident pixie.
"But I do," she said. "Have I been wrong about anything yet?"
"No but," I started.
"Tell you what," she said. "You take the coat, free of charge, and when you get the job you can come pay me. If you don't get the job, consider it a freebee."
"Alice, that isn't necessary. I just don't need the coat in Jacksonville," I told her.
"But you'll be in Seattle soon, and I know you and I are going to be great friends. Please just take the coat," she said.
"Why do I get the feeling I won't win any arguments with you?" I asked as she started bouncing and clapping her hands again.
"Most people know that by now," she said, smiling. "Only my brothers still fight me on it."
She rang up my other purchases and told me more about the area. I mentioned the apartment building around the corner that I had looked at, and she gave me the name of her realtor, apparently a friend of the family named Eleazar Denali. She also gave me all her contact information, telling me to call her the second I was hired so she could take me out to celebrate.
"I would take you out tonight but we've got a family thing. My brother is just coming back into town and it will probably be our last chance to get together before Christmas," she explained.
"No worries. I'm planning on playing tourist tonight and getting out to see the city," I told her. "I'll call the minute I hear about the job."
I walked slowly back to the hotel and put my bag in my room. I had told Alice that I was going to sightsee, but after seeing my bed, it was the only sight I wanted to see. I stripped off my new clothes and fell onto the bed, with every intention of turning on the TV after I closed my eyes for a few minutes.
When I opened my eyes, I looked around in a daze. Finally my eyes settled on the alarm clock in the room.
Wow I must have really been tired. I got up quickly and tossed my body into the shower. I was suddenly aware of the aches and pains from my previous activities and I allowed the hot water to pull out the knots. I turned off the water and grabbed a towel to dry off before I opened my carry on to grab my hair stuff. I poured some of the travel sized hair serum on my hand and put it in my hair, to control the frizz. Then I used my hairbrush and the hair dryer provided by the hotel to dry and style my hair. I pulled it up so it was completely away from my face but still fell in long waves down my back.
If my record stood this would likely be the only time people I worked with would see my hair down. When I worked I always had my hair up in in a french braid, bun or at the very least a pony tail. I applied a tiny amount of make-up, still more than I wore when I was on shift, seriously, most make-up didn't last as long as my shifts, so I saw no point.
I dressed in the new suit that I bought from Alice the day before and checked my appearance in the mirror.
"This is as good as it gets," I whispered to myself, grabbing my purse and checking my watch.
I was ready to go an hour early.
I decided I would try to find a coffee shop before my 9:00 interview. It's Seattle so I knew there wouldn't be an issue there. I got my grande nonfat caramel macchiato and slowly made my way to the hospital.
The hospital itself was an impressive building and part of my desire to work here stemmed from the fact that everything was state of the art. I wandered the halls for a bit before finding my way to the conference room where the interview was to be held. I was still twenty minutes early.
I sat back in the chairs outside the room and waited. It wasn't long before three doctors in lab coats made their way down the hall. The three doctors couldn't have been more different, one from the other. The first was a white haired man with very hawk-like features, his features were hard and cold. The next was a dark haired man, mid fifties probably, who was quite portly and his facial features were hard to read. The third was blonde and very striking. My guess would put him in his early forties, maybe even late thirties. They didn't look up as they walked down the long corridor and I found myself wondering if any of the three men were Alice's father.
I was guessing it would be the dark haired man in the middle.
As they approached, the blonde man looked up at me and smiled.
"Are you Dr. Swan?" he asked.
"Yes, Sir," I said, standing to shake his hand and the hands of the two doctors next to him.
"I'm Dr. Carlisle Cullen," the blonde introduced himself. "And these are my colleagues, Dr. Caius and Dr. Aro."
"A pleasure," I said.
The blonde is Alice's father!! Damn she comes from a good gene pool!
"Please follow us," Dr. Aro stated leading me into the conference room.
The interview was brief and before long the questions were not being asked as 'if', but 'when'. I smiled at the thought of working here.
"So when would you be willing to start?" Dr. Caius asked.
"Ideally six weeks," I answered. "Giving my current hospital enough time to find a replacement and for me to pack to move to the opposite side of the country."
"That is ideal for us," Dr. Aro added, passing me a folder across the table. "I hope that the salary, benefits and hours are to your liking."
I opened the folder and read the offer. They were actually expecting far fewer hours than I expected.
"It all looks very good. I am surprised by the number of hours though," I said.
Dr. Cullen chuckled, "I don't like my doctors working more than fifty hours a week. Fresher doctors give better care and have better bedside manner. How many hours a week are you working now?"
"Sixty to eighty, barring any emergencies," I said, reading the rest of the contract that they put in front of me.
"And how do you have a life outside the hospital?" Dr. Cullen asked.
"I don't. I just finished my residency," I laughed in response.
"Well I hope this will be a good change for you," he said.
"I'm sure it will be," I said.
"You sound so certain," he said, as I signed all the necessary spots on the contract.
"I am. Alice told me it would all work out and I am fairly certain I should never bet against Alice," I said.
"My Alice?" he asked, surprised.
"Yes," I replied. "I had a luggage snafu on the way here so I had to do a little shopping yesterday."
"You must be special if you didn't run in the opposite direction. Alice tends to be... direct," he said.
"She seems sweet and has a great heart," I told him. "Speaking of which, I need to go pay Alice for the coat." I motioned to the coat which was on the edge of the chair next to me.
"Do I want to ask?" he laughed.
"She told me I needed a Seattle weather coat, when I protested..." I started to explain.
"I doubt she'll let you pay for the coat," he laughed.
"Somehow that doesn't surprise me. I'll have to be sneaky about it," I said.
Dr. Aro and Dr. Caius shook my hand and made their way out of the conference room.
"Would you like a tour?" Dr Cullen asked.
"I would love it," I replied.
Dr. Cullen, who insisted I call him Carlisle, took me around the hospital, not only giving me a tour of the facility, but introducing me to everyone and anyone. It was 1:00 pm before we made our way to the exit.
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen," I said.
"What did I tell you, Bella?" he asked.
"Sorry," I replied. "Thank you, Carlisle."
"Better," he said.
"Well now I have a day and a half to find somewhere to live and to start making arrangements," I told him. "And I still need to stop by and see Alice."
"Well, Dr. Swan," he said, with mock formality. "I look forward to working with you, and we'll see you shortly after the New Year."
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen," I said with a curtsey, causing us both to laugh.
My first stop after I left the hospital was the cell phone store. I was going to need a method of communication for Seattle and I figured I might as well start now. I chose the new iPhone with a plan so that I could use it in Jacksonville without exorbitant fees for the next six weeks.
The first call I made was to Alice Whitlock. What shocked me is that she answered and knew it was me.
"Congratulations, Bella," she sang into the phone.
"How did you know it was me, Alice?" I asked her, laughing.
"Because I'm Alice," she replied. I didn't argue.
"So how is Seattle's newest doctor doing?" she asked.
"Actually Alice, I was going to come by and pay you for the coat and then make a call to your realtor friend about seeing some places in the area," I said.
"Great. I know Eleazar is free this afternoon. And you know I am not going to let you pay me for the coat," she said.
"I'm not surprised, Alice," I said, laughing again. "So can I take you to dinner in thanks and celebration?"
"We can go out to dinner tonight. In fact I made reservations for the Space Needle at 7:00pm, but I won't let you treat," she said.
"Okay, Alice," I said, once again realizing that it was pointless to argue with Alice. "I'll call Eleazar now."
"Great! You'll love him. He's a great guy and knows everything there is to know," she said. "If you get his assistant Carmen, try to get her to come to the viewings as well. She has a great eye too and I think you would really like her."
I hung up with Alice and called Eleazar. Surprise, surprise! He already knew I'd be calling and had set up three viewings for apartments in the area. He and Carmen would be able to meet me within the hour so we could get started.
I could see why people could get scared away. Stinking all knowing pixie.
I met Eleazar in front of my hotel forty minutes later. Of course, Alice was right, and I absolutely adored both Eleazar and Carmen. We went to see the three apartments they had lined up. The first two were nothing spectacular, but the third was great. It was a little bigger than I needed, but the price was right and the view was spectacular.
"I could see myself cooking in here. The kitchen is amazing," I said, looking in awe at the large kitchen.
"It was just updated when the couple that owned it were relocated to LA," Eleazar said. "You enjoy cooking?"
"I love to cook and bake," I said. "It's what I do to relax when I'm not working."
The three bedroom plus den loft was perfect and the fact that the owners had already relocated was even better. Possession dates would not be a problem. Alice called while we were still at the loft and decided to meet us there, as it was just around the corner.
"Oh Bella. This place is amazing. But what are you going to do with the third bedroom?" she asked.
"I'm not sure, Alice," I told her honestly. "One for me and one guest room is all I really need. I suppose I will find a use for it."
"I'm sure of it," Alice said, with a small smile. I didn't question her, after all, she was Alice.
Eleazar hurried back to the office to put my offer in on the loft and Alice invited Carmen to join us for dinner. She accepted and soon I found myself in a taxi, sandwiched between the two women. My phone rang just as we pulled up to the Space Needle. The couple had jumped at the offer on the loft. I was a home owner.
"So now you just have to arrange for your mortgage and everything will get going," Carmen said with a smile.
"Actually I don't. I'm a trust fund baby. The only child of two only children," I said, wincing slightly.
"So no struggling with student loans and a crippling mortgage?" Carmen said. "That's great. We should drink to that."
"I'll just have water," I said, blushing. "I had an interesting experience with alcohol of late and am in no hurry to lose my inhibitions at all."
Carmen looked at me but there was no way I was going to be able to explain it again... so Alice did.
Why did it sound even worse coming from someone else's lips?
After the embarrassing details were done with, I enjoyed my dinner with Carmen and Alice immensely. We got along like three peas in a pod and I found myself looking forward to this move.
We took separate cabs from the Space Needle. Carmen and Alice lived in opposite directions from where I was staying and I left with the promise that I would see them both before I left the next day.
The next morning I woke up and met Eleazar and Carmen at the local Starbucks, as promised. I signed all the paperwork necessary and told them that I would deal with the financial aspects of it as soon as I was back in Jacksonville.
After breakfast I wandered over to Alice's shop and walked inside. There was a lovely woman with caramel colored hair there with Alice and I stepped in quietly to not disrupt her customer. To my surprise Alice bounded over to me in one swoop and introduced me to the woman, her mother.
"Bella, I would like you to meet my mother, Esme. Mom, this is Bella, the friend I was telling you about," she said enthusiastically.
"Bella Swan," I said, reaching my hand out to shake hers.
"Yes," she said, ignoring my hand and pulling me into a hug. "The now famous Dr. Swan."
"Carlisle and Alice have both spoken very highly of you," she said.
"Thank you," I said.
"So, Bella, I was just telling my mother about your new place, and Carmen is on her way over here in a bit so you can go see it and take some pictures before you leave," Alice said, smiling extra sweetly.
"Alice, sometimes you are too much," I laughed. "You seem to know exactly what I need, before even I do."
Alice smiled, and I think she may even have blushed.
"Esme, would you like to be my interior decorator for my new place?" I asked.
"Are you sure, Dear?" she asked. "You haven't even seen my portfolio."
"I've come to trust, Alice. So if she dragged you in here just to meet me, which I'm sure she did, then I'm sure you'll be exactly what I need," I said laughing again.
Esme and I talked styles and price for a little bit while Alice busied herself around the store. It wasn't long before we were joined by Carmen, who had the apartment keys and a camera. I said my goodbyes to Alice before the rest of us walked over to the apartment. Esme took out her own camera, a measuring tape, and a note book and we spent the next hour going over the plans. Alice was right, as usual, and I was certain that Esme's vision and my vision, of the finished space were bang on.
"So, once you arrange payment, it should be about ten days before you get the keys. So that gives Esme about four weeks for the decorating," Carmen said.
"That's perfect for me," Esme said, smiling.
"Even with Christmas in the middle?" I asked.
"No problem," she said. "And I'll email you the pictures of the furniture choices. Is there nothing you will be bringing with you?"
"Photos, photo albums, my book collection and the rocking chair from my nursery, but that can just go into the third bedroom. Honestly I have been living on my parents furniture for twenty six years, I am ready for my own," I said.
"So that last bedroom will just be storage then?" she asked.
"For the foreseeable future," I said.
I hugged both ladies goodbye and hurried back to the hotel to check out. As I sat in the taxi on the way to the airport, I couldn't believe how much my life had changed since I left Jacksonville a few days ago. I had a new job, a new home, new friends and a one night stand.
The first three things were in the plans, the last was something I never thought would be on my life's resume.
One steamy night in the middle of a blizzard. I sat back remembering all the details of that night on my trip back to Jacksonville. The flight and connections were long but I was relieved to get back. Now the only worry, was how to tell my parents.