Bella works for a small publishing company as an agent. She is stunned when her boss sends her to meet Edward Cullen, a new author looking for someone to publish his first novel. She finds him to be crude and unfeeling but can he help her find the love she so desperately longs for. Canon pairings eventually/All human.
This is based on the movie "The Ugly Truth"… It's a really good, funny film. If you haven't seen it, do try to.
Disclaimer: The wonderful Twilight is Stephenie Meyer's… Only Edward is mine… or not. :( Dammit!
Rating: M for sexual content and possibly bad language in future chapters.
The Prince becomes the Beast
I, Bella Swan, didn't need a man in my life. I could look after myself. A man was not needed but the perfect man was desired. I wouldn't put up with anything less than Mr Perfect. I hadn't found him yet, but I knew he existed.
As a woman, I wasn't particularly interesting. I had plain, brown hair and eyes; a normal, not thin, not fat body, I wasn't into fashion nor did I have a taste in modern music. I came from Florida but I wasn't particularly tanned, my skin seemed to burn rather than darken. Whenever I told someone where I came from, they always favoured me with a look of shock.
I walked briskly into the building where I worked, rushing for the elevator while balancing a coffee in one hand and a precious pile of manuscripts in the other. Originals, first copies of artists' work, not given out lightly. I was fantastic at my job, an agent for a small book publishing company; I searched for the newest, best written works before they could be snatched up by larger companies. I had an eye for works that would sell well, or so my boss said. I personally preferred romance novels, where Mr Perfect spent all his time proving his love to his little princess.
My chief editors, James and Victoria, were sat in the office discussing the books I'd just given them. It seemed they agreed with my verdict, the first and third were not bad at all but there was no future in the second. I passed them each a copy of the three books I had, leaving my new favourite on top of the pile, the one I'd stayed up last night to finish.
I supposed that was why I was so good at my job… I loved reading. I'd just finished a three year English degree when the company took me on. I'd been a secretary, arranging meetings between authors and my previous boss. I'd read the openings to texts that were sent in and occasionally I'd been allowed to preview whole novels. He'd started to question my preferences and was surprised when they were the ones that sold best. He'd been picked up by a larger company and his boss had selected me to fill his post.
However, sales had been beginning to drop since before he left. The books I'd found were good but not special. We were looking at new and different types of writing, hoping to find something to catch the public's eye. I believed my boss would try anything to improve our sales and put us into competition with bigger firms.
When I sat down at my desk, there was a new, clean white script placed there. My boss had left a post-it-note in one corner. It said:
Read the sample chapters and arrange a meeting with the author. Be nice, I've already decided to publish the book, make him sign the contract.
There was a phone number at the bottom. I placed the post-it-note on top of my pile of authors' numbers, along with the name of the book. 'The Prince Becomes the Beast by Edward Cullen'.
I looked at the white title page, deciding I could finish reading the sample chapters and phone the author before lunch. I flicked to the opening page.
Jessica released a long sigh as she sat in the spot where Charles had agreed to meet her. She allowed her clammy legs, warm from running to dangle in the cool river water. Charles had been the perfect gentleman, calling her pretty and beautiful. He'd helped her when she needed it most and kissed her softly. She knew Charles would never hurt her.
He was right on time, as always. A gentle kiss from behind, he sat next to her on the rock. She turned to greet him but he was quicker… his lips fiercer on hers than they had any right to be; his hands in her hair, on her back, caressing the curve of her hip and breast. He pulled at the lacings of her dress and pulled the feeble fabric away from her similarly weak frame.
She mistook his lust for her and not for the pleasures her body could offer him. His eyes were dark, encouraging her to play the role for him. Seductive, coy, sexual. He removed her clothing, leaving her body naked and firm in front of him, making his errection-
I paused at the point on the page, wondering if my boss had given me the correct piece of sample work. Sure, I loved romance but nothing sexual and crude. He knew that. I decided it must be an odd opening to the piece and continued reading.
-making his errection strain against his restrictive clothing. It encouraged him to undress and he gazed over her quivering figure as he removed his clothes.
I picked up the phone, intending to ask my boss if the sample was this crude all the way through. He didn't answer, so I resigned myself to finish the sample and to thoroughly hating each moment.
Once I'd finished the work I'd been given, I slowly dialled in Edward Cullen's number, reminding myself to be nice and not to tell him how much I hated his work.
He answered after two rings.
"Edward Cullen," he said in a deep tone.
"Mr Cullen, I'm calling from NLA Publishings, I've previewed your novel and I've been asked to arrange a meeting with you to discuss a contract for publishing your novel." I said, my tone on the impatient side of business-like.
"Oh, great," he said, "Nice for you to reply so quickly. Those big firms take forever to say they don't want you… So, what did you think of the sample I sent?" he asked conversationally.
Why didn't I think before I spoke?
"Personally I hated it…" I said sharply. "It was crude and showed no development for Charles' feelings-"
He cut me off, "that's the whole point. I wrote the novel to show sassy romance readers that all men really want is the sex. It doesn't matter if one girl has higher grades than the other, if the other girl has a nice arse and better tits, he'll go for her."
"Excuse me?" I asked him. "You can't base a novel on that!"
"I think I have already," he reminded me.
"Well no-one will buy it!" I insisted.
"Then why are you offering to publish it?" he asked scathingly.
"As I said, 'I hate it' but for some reason my boss wants to publish it," I told him.
"That's what I thought," he said, slightly coldly in my opinion.
"Tony's, main street, two o'clock, tomorrow, table under the name Swan," I told him, "think you can handle that?"
"No problem," he replied.
"Oh and I know my perfect guy is out there…" I told him. "Smart, kind, giving-"
"Only in the bedroom!"
"No! And when I meet him, I'll prove it to you…" I fumed.
"I look forward to it," he laughed once.
"Good day, Mr Cullen."
I returned home late that night, after a long and equally boring and unsuccessful date. He'd almost been Mr Perfect, but 'Almost-Mr-Perfect' and I hadn't really clicked.
I knew he was almost Mr Perfect as I had a list of criteria for my perfect guy, that I'd thought of after a bad break up in college.
1. He had to be handsome.
2. He had to be taller than me.
3. He had to like literature, particularly the classics.
4. He had to have good school/college results and a good job.
5. He had to have a good taste in dining and suitable dates.
6. He had to be healthy and workout.
7. He couldn't be an alcoholic, smoker or drug addict.
8. He had to be funny.
9. He had to be kind to everyone, not just me.
10. He had to be a dog lover.
With my list, I knew I'd know the minute I met Mr Perfect, just as much as I knew he was out there somewhere.
I shut the door behind me and patted my black Labrador, Hatty, on the head. She wagged her tail and followed me into the kitchen while I placed my purse and work papers down on the table.
I reached out to pick up my slippers just as Hatty reached out to snatch up one of them. It was a typical evening game for us, but tonight I wasn't in the mood.
"Hatty, no!" I snapped, trying to grab it off her.
She ran off to the back door and out of her dog flap, which I'd installed so she could get in and out while I was a work. I quickly followed her out of the back door and chased her around the garden and to the front of the house. I'd forgotten to close the gate and she padded out into the street and waited for me in front of the next door house. I noticed the 'for sale' and 'sold' signs were no longer in the garden. The neighbours had moved out three weeks ago and I was glad my new neighbour or neighbours had arrived.
I glanced up to where there was a light on in the room that I knew to be the master bedroom. I began to make my way towards Hatty, whilst still looking in with the hope of seeing the new occupants. This bedroom had a balcony and that was the moment my neighbour decided to walk onto his balcony… in only a towel, wrapped loosely around his waist.
I stifled a gasp, he was beautiful. Long, wavy, black hair with dark, toned skin and even muscles…
I had forgotten I was still walking towards Hatty and only noticed when I tripped over her and fell on my bum with a scream. My neighbour lifted his head and gazed over the balcony to see me lying on the tarmac. He then disappeared and about twenty seconds later was at my side, still dressed in only his towel, damp from… showering? Hatty choose that moment to give me my slipper, which made my situation look even more absurd.
He reached a hand out to help me up. He grinned at me, until his towel dropped from his waist, due to my clumsy almost stagger up. I ended up on the floor again. My new neighbour was standing in the middle of the street with me staring up at his equally naked and beautiful manhood.
I blushed at him and passed the navy blue towel back to him. Not that I'd have minded if he wanted to continue standing there naked all night but I thought I'd at least give him the chance to regain some of his dignity.
I leant against Hatty as I pushed myself up off the ground, not looking at my neighbour. I limped slightly, realising I'd hurt my ankle when I fell. I could feel his eyes on me and looked up to see his dark eyes looking at me anxiously. His face was as beautiful as the rest of his body, with wide lips that were a pleasure just to look at.
"Um… I'll look at that ankle, if you'd like. I'm a doctor." He fixed me with a mouth-watering smile. "Let me get dressed first though." He chuckled to show he was joking with me.
I laughed back as he led me to the house, offered me a seat on the couch and went to change. I patted Hatty's head as I considered each of the points on my list. He was definitely handsome, taller than me and his muscular body suggested he worked out and was healthy. He was a doctor, a brilliant job and I doubted a doctor would smoke, drink a lot or take drugs. He'd joked with me, showing his sense of humour. He'd been kind to me even though I'd stripped him in the street and his bookshelves were lined with the type of classic novels I liked, I noticed. Along side his novels were a load of expensive cookbooks, suggesting his tastes in food. Now if only he were a dog lover.
He walked back in, now wearing a pair of black slacks and a navy shirt. He picked up a bandage from one of his drawers and sat next to me on his couch. "I'm Jacob, by the way… funny, you've seen me naked and we don't even know each others' names." He held out his hand and I shook it.
"Bella, and I'm really sorry about that," I flushed darker and quickly let go of his large hand.
"Well, Bella, let me see your ankle."
He placed it across his lap and his hands were warm, making the flesh he touched tingle. I watched him wrap a bandage around that portion of my foot.
"It's a minor sprain, should heal up in a few days but I'll give me your number in case you need anything," he told me.
I smiled, "thanks." I noticed my foot was still in his lap as he bent down to stroke Hatty's head.
"A dog lover?" I asked, trying not to sound too hopeful.
"Love them," he told me, "I'd have one, but I'm too busy with work." I watched him fondle her black ear. "What's her name?" he asked.
"Hatty," I responded, reaching across to smooth her head.
"Nice… I suppose you'll wanna get home now, it's late." He smiled again and went to fetch something from another room. He handed me his business card. "Here's my number if you need anything," he reminded me as he showed me to the door. "It was nice meeting you, Bella."
"And you, Jacob."
He slowly closed the door, leaving Hatty and I standing on his porch. I knew I'd just met my perfect guy and I couldn't wait to tell Edward Cullen he was wrong.
Tell me what you think. I promise the couplings will settle out eventually!!! This is NOT a Bella/Jacob fic. I don't have a problem with Jacob but he doesn't belong with Bella. Reviews would be really goreous… I want Hatty so badly, she's what I'd call a black lab if I could have one… My grandma's dog just had her second litter… Awww… I can't wait to see them!!! XD