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.
Disclaimer: As much as I adore Twilight it's still Stephenie Meyer's.
Rating: M for sexual content and bad language.
The Prince Becomes the Beast
I was at Tony's one minute early, perfect timing as always. Cullen was ten minutes late. I can't say I was surprised. I brought out the contract sheets and placed them on the table as the waiter brought my order of sparkling water to the table. I took a sip and fiddled with my expensive gold nibbed pen that my parents had bought me when I was accepted into college.
My parents had married when they were very young, just out of high school. Mom had gone to a small, local college to train as a kindergarten teacher whilst dad had started working with the police. They'd bought a small house together and nine months later Emmett, my older brother was born. I arrived three years after and they'd been surprised when nine months after my birth, they were blessed with my little sister, Alice.
Alice and I were extremely close, best friends as well as siblings. I'd been her shoulder to cry on when she'd grazed her knees in school and she'd been my shoulder to cry on after my breakup with my high school sweetheart, Mike Newton. Alice was now dating a handsome doctor by the name of Jasper Whitlock and Emmett was married with one daughter. His wife's name was Rosalie and she was stunning. Their daughter, just as gorgeous as her mother, was called Emily.
I casually turned my gaze to where a guy about my age had just entered the restaurant. He had messy, bronze coloured hair that looked like he'd just rolled out of bed. His muscular chest was clearly visible through his short-sleeved white shirt and his tight grey trousers showed off the strong build of the rest of his body.
I gasped slightly to myself as I watched the guy talk to the waiter, asking for a table or his reservation, I imagined. As the waiter said something back to him, he turned and unleashed the full force of his eyes on me. I was struck with beautiful, emerald green. Probing, strong beacons of emotion. The emotion right now was annoyance. I watched him play with a black leather file, held between his large hands. The waiter turned and led him into the centre of the room, pausing to grab a menu.
I watched as the waiter came towards me, gesturing at the table to the gorgeous guy. "Miss Swan, a Mr Edward Cullen for you," he said.
"Oh… yes… thank you," I said gulping and sure that my face showed extreme surprise.
Edward Cullen sat down in the seat opposite me. Suddenly the table felt too small. He ordered a beer and fixed me with an amused expression, obviously wondering at the shock in my face. "What?" he asked.
I shook my head, trying to hide the slight blush. This man was an absolute bastard; he was rude, crude and I couldn't stare at him blushing like he was some sort of greek god. He was just like the man in his book.
"Nothing," I said, recovering my voice.
"Umm… I spoke to you on the phone yesterday, right?" he asked unsurely.
"Then are we waiting for your boss?" he asked.
"Not that I'm aware of," I replied, confused.
"Don't I get to discuss the contract with my manager?" he said, frowning. "I-"
"Oh, Mr Cullen, you seem to be mistaken. You see, I am your manager," I told him, placing one hand on top of the other on the table.
He looked at me blankly for a second. "But yesterday you said your boss wanted to publish my book-"
"Well, yes, as in the head of the whole publishing company," I cleared up for him. "But yes, I'm your manager, so hello, I suppose."
"Nice to meet you, Miss Swan." He held out a hand, though I could hear traces of mockery in his voice.
I shook it briefly, not taking any notice at all of the fact that his hand was warm and soft. "So, we'll need a full copy of your manuscript and we need to discuss the percentage of profits the company will receive… The sooner I have the manuscript, the sooner I can give it to my editors and then we can publish it." I gave him a half smile, "okay?"
"Yeah, fine," Edward nodded. "I'll email it to you tonight. How much of the profit do you want?"
"Usually we take twenty percent of the profits," I told him.
"Yeah, that's fine because you'll publish it?" Edward's eyes were evenly unleashed on me once again, leaving my brain feeling numb.
"Yes, we'll make all the arrangements," I agreed, not allowing my client's stunning physique to make me falter from my job.
I scribbled some further notes on the draft copy of the contract. "I'll just need you to sign this, you'll have to come into the office at some point next week once we've received the manuscript," I explained.
The waiter arrived with his drink while I was writing. He took a deep drink and looked at my glass of sparkling water. "You should have had a glass of wine or something," he suggested.
"Yes, Mr Cullen, but I don't mix drinking and work, perhaps you should try the same approach," I said softly, with the smallest slither of reproach in my tone. "Also, I'm driving home."
"Me too, one beer won't hurt though," he argued, grinning widely.
"I've always thought it better not to take the risk," I said disapprovingly.
"What? Are your parents monks or something?" his tone was discourteous once again and I thought his comment was an inappropriate thing to say to his new boss.
"My dad is the chief of the police back at home," I explained.
"Oh, I see."
"See what?" I asked, annoyed by his tone.
"Oh, nothing," he said, taking another swig of drink. "So, how's your search for Prince Charming going?"
I gave a triumphant smile, I knew I wasn't really supposed to discuss personal business with clients but there was something so satisfying about the idea of beating Edward Cullen at his own game. "Fantastically," I revealed. "I met him last night… he's hot, kind, funny, smart- a doctor, he loves classic literature-"
"Hey, I love classical works but I just had a point I needed to make," he said, staring at me with wide green eyes.
"Yes, you've made it quite clear," I said dryly.
"Thank you," his smile widened again and he leant in towards me. "Have you told Mr Wonderful how you feel?"
"Well I only met him last night, but I was going to phone him when I got home and ask him if he wanted to go out one night," I defended.
"No," he opposed. "Ring him now and do everything I say."
I quickly dialled in the number and pressed the call button, wondering why I was trusting Edward Cullen, who knew nothing about love, with my love-life.
The phone was answered by a girl's voice, telling me I was phoning the hospital reception. I gulped. "Is Dr Black there?" I asked.
"Yes," she answered, "he's right here." I could hear her say "it's for you, sir" and the next thing I knew Jacob's voice was in my ear.
"Hello, Dr Black. Who's speaking please?" he asked, his voice was rough completely different to the velvet voice that I heard from Edward Cullen.
"It's Bella Swan, your neighbour," I said slowly.
"Ah, yes, Bella. How's your ankle holding up?" he asked sweetly.
He was so caring.
"A little sore," I exaggerated, "but other than that alright."
He paused. "Did you need something?" he sounded slightly confused.
He asked if I need something, what do I say? I quickly scribbled on the edge of a napkin to Edward.
The bastard grinned, his eyes amused. I didn't trust him but for some reason I still did what he said.
Tell him to wait for a second.
"Um, Jacob, can you give me a second?" I asked, sounding apologetic.
"Yeah, sure," he said, I could imagine the confusion on his face.
Now hang up. Edward wrote a few seconds later.
No. I replied.
Bella, do it. His eyes were earnest. Trust me, if you want this guy, trust me. I know how their minds work.
He reached forward and took the phone from my limp grasp. He shut the lid down, disconnecting the call.
"He'll call back within five minutes," he promised.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"I just told you, I know guys like this," he repeated his point.
"And why will this help me to get him?" I asked, cocking an eyebrow at him.
"Because men like that love a chase, if you fall at his feet he'll loose interest, but if you do what I say and make it hard for him he'll be hot on your heels," Edward attempted to explain his theory.
"You'd better be right," I told him. "Because if you've ruined things with this guy I'll-"
"I'll withdraw my book from the company," he told me. "But if I'm right, you have to agree it's a good book- publically."
"Fine, I don't think this is something you'll be able to win though," I said, placing some money down to pay for our drinks and grabbing my belongings off the table.
We stood and started to walk out to our cars.
"You do everything I say and he'll be completely yours in no time," Edward repeated.
"So you keep saying," I said bitterly, "but why should I trust you, really?"
"Because you're my boss and you're about to do something brilliant for me, it only seems fair that I do something great for you," he said coolly.
"If you say so," I said quietly. "See you some point this week, I'll phone you as soon as I receive the manuscript. Don't forget!"
"As if I'd forget something so important," he said as I got in my car. He stood there, gazing in amusement at me. While he was staring at me, my cell rang. The caller id told me it was the same number as the hospital number that I'd rung to talk to Jacob. Edward winked at me, his amusement obviously increased.
He bent down to my ear. "Let him do the talking," he breathed. Then he quickly straightened up and closed the car door behind him.
I'm sorry for the lateness of the chapter. I've been so busy getting my college applications out on time and I've been looking at other stories too. Tell me how you thought this went, I'm quite pleased with it. I could see the two hour free I have on Fridays becoming writing time. Please, please review guys.
Until next time,
James Lily Flower xoxo