Author's Note: This story was originally the creation of the mind of , but a few weeks ago she posted a note stating that she didn't have the heart to continue and was looking for someone to take over her stories. I had been curious about this story from the first chapter and offered to take over for her. At first we discussed coauthoring, but in the end she chose to just pass on this story because her real life was too busy between work and university to get chapters out quickly. So now I'm moving this story over to my account and posting her chapters first. Chapters 1-3 were all from the mind of , Chapter 4 came about through discussion between the two of us, while all following chapters are all A Cullen Wannabe.
This story will probably only update every couple of weeks unless I hit a streak of major inspiration. I have another story that I'm getting closer to the end of but still have a long way to go. It's called Femme Docs and Kevlar Knights and is rated M, so if you're too young then please keep your distance. As for this story, it was begun as T rated and I intend to continue it as such. Thanks for reading and now on to Behind the Images.
1. Zoom In (Niketeche)
I really, really didn't want to be here. So why was I? Because I had a devious pixie for a best friend, that's why. While I enjoyed looking at art, I did not enjoy social functions, and I really didn't know why people felt the need to combine the two.
"Bella come on!" Alice whined. "They're about to open up my painting for bidding!" She was absolutely bursting with pride and joy. After meeting with the directors of this function, they had contacted Alice and agreed to have one of her paintings sold here. She had somehow managed to keep the identity of which painting she was selling secret from me, a tidbit of information that made me very nervous.
"I'm coming," I said, dragging my feet slightly. I made my way slowly to the front of the hall where there were hundreds of people standing in a group, raising their hands as the auctioneer called out bids. Alice tugged me through the crowd so I was standing next to the stage with her.
"Sold! Now here's a lovely portrait done by Miss Alice Brandon." Someone brought the painting onto the stage and removed the white sheet. I gasped and griped Alice's tiny arm tightly.
"What the hell?" I asked, my voice a squeak.
"Relax Bella," Alice laughed.
"I will not relax, not until someone pops out and yells 'Punk'd'," I whisper yelled. The painting she was selling was of me. More descriptively, me when I had ran home after a cocktail party so I could finish writing a book. I was still in the black dress, sitting on our white couch with my legs curled underneath me. It was riding up slightly, and wisps of my hair were falling out of the French twist it had been in, curling around my face. I had my notebook against my knees, and had been furiously writing down the last chapter
"Do I hear five hundred?"
I whipped around and was horrified to see people eagerly raising their hands, each wanting to take the painting home. I was not going to let that happen.
"Five thousand!" I shouted, receiving a gasp from both Alice and a few people in the crowd.
"Six thousand," another voice called out calmly. I spun on my heel to see who was bidding against me.
"Seven thousand," I said, my voice more composed than I felt. This money could be used in much more efficient ways but I wasn't about to let some stranger take home a portrait of me.
"Eight thousand," the same voice called back. I still couldn't find the owner of the voice, and I assumed that he was somewhere in the crowd.
"Nine thousand." The auctioneer stood up there, amused, as we forgot about him. "Give up because I don't care how much money I spend I'm leaving with that painting."
"One hundred thousand dollars."
Fuck, I swore internally. I definitely didn't have that much money, even with the book I published. I turned to Alice for help only to see she was bouncing up and down excitedly. Of course she would be happy; she was now a hundred thousand dollars richer.
"Sold!" The auctioneer said when I was silent. I started pushing my way through the crowed, frustrated. Why did Alice have to sell a painting of me? It was an invasion of my privacy.
People backed out of my as I stormed towards the back of the room. I checked out my jacket as fast as I could, and pulled on the black trench-like coat as I walked out into the night.
"Wait up!" A familiar voice called, spurring me to walk even faster. I turned a corner, suddenly very anxious to make it to my car.
"Why did you want that painting so much?" I demanded. My heels were making an impatient click-clack against the pavement, and I found the sound quite annoying to my ears.
"The artist has great talent, and I found it a very lovely subject." I snorted obnoxiously loud. "Why, might I ask, did you want it so much?" It irritated me to no end that I was walking as fast as I possibly could yet his voice seemed to be directly behind my ear.
"It was an invasion of my privacy and I didn't want it to be anywhere near the public's eye. Thanks to you and your money I feel violated."
"Excuse me?" A hand grabbed my arm and spun me around. I lost my balance and went flying into a blur of on black. I clutched at the man in attempt to stable myself, but only succeeded in sending us both tumbling to the ground.
"Sorry," I muttered, scrambling to stand up again. The man stood beside me, clocking my way so I couldn't disperse again.
"No problem," came his reply in his velvety smooth voice. I bit my lip and attempted to dust off his suit, which I had probably ruined it wit my clumsiness. "Really," he locked his hands around my wrists to stop me, "it's ok." I looked up and had to stifle my gasp. This man was an absolute Adonis. He was well over six feet tall; it was no wonder how he had been able to keep pace with my short 5'5 frame. He had bronze colored hair like no other I'd ever seen before, matched with a pair of vibrant green eyes. The planes of his face were well defined, seeming to be chiseled of stone, and he had very pale alabaster skin.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled pathetically, apologizing for three things. For being rude, ruining his outfit, and for gaping excessively. He laughed, so I assumed he thought my apology was for only the second.
"Now, will you please explain why you feel violated because of me?" I blushed and averted my gaze.
"Well you see, Alice, she painted that picture of me."
"Yes," I scowled. "I know she tends to exaggerate details in her paintings."
"No, I didn't mean it that way. I meant it as in, wow, that portrait doesn't do you justice." I snorted and rolled my eyes before continuing to walk towards my car.
"You better go back before Alice assumes she's out a hundred thousand dollars," I said, a tad bitter. Not everyone can throw away a tenth of a million dollars in one day.
"I've already written her a check," he answered smoothly. I focused my attention on my car, which was less than twenty feet away.
"Oh," I said, probably sounding as stupid as I felt.
"May I ask your name?" The man asked.
"Bella," I said curtly. "And you are?"
"Edward Masen." I stopped dead in my tracks for a couple seconds before continuing. That explained why he had so much money, he just happened to be a famous photographer whose work Alice just adored.
"Something wrong with my name?" Edward asked, if not a little smugly, when he noticed my abrupt stop.
"No, just recognized it is all," I said, quickening my footsteps again. A minute spent with Edward Masen was a minute wasted.
"Oh? You know me?"
"No, not me. Alice knows your work." There was no way I was going to mention that I was also in complete awe of some of the brilliant photographs he had taken. "And don't act modest because I know you're ego is eating this up," I sniped. Four more steps and I had reached my car. I got in without hesitation and started it up. I looked up and saw Edward still standing on the sidewalk.
"Bye," I called as I rolled down the opposite window. I gave a little half wave before I left him standing out there, staring at my retreating vehicle.
"Bella, I would personally like to thank you for making me a hundred thousand dollars richer!" Alice exclaimed as she came into our shared apartment.
"At my expense," I mumbled, knowing she couldn't hear me.
"Can you believe that Edward Masen bought my painting?" She continued, plopping down on the couch next to me. "Look." Alice pulled the check out of her purse where Edward had elegantly wrote the sum one hundred thousand dollars and his name beneath it.
"I have great incentive to take that and rip it up and then storm off to wherever Edward lives and smash that painting," I growled as I flung myself off the overstuffed couch.
"Oh relax Bella, it was just a painting."
"No, I will not relax. You couldn't tell me you were selling that painting! I could take this to court and sue you for an invasion of privacy!" I was steaming mad now, and I knew nothing she said would be able to calm me down.
"Bella, it's ahundred thousand dollars," Alice said, emphasizing the amount.
"Is that all you care about? Money?" I snarled. "Great, you and Jasper do belong together. He has money and then there's you." I spun on my heel and stormed away from the apartment. I was nearly to my car when I heard him again.
"Going somewhere Isabella Swan?"
"How do you know my full name?" I snarled. "Better yet, how the hell do you know where I live?"
"I had a talk with Alice after I went back to the auction," Edward replied calmly. I scowled, and seeing that he was in between my car and me, I spun the other way and stomped off down the street.
"Bella! Wait!" He called and, once again, he was rushing after me as I walked away from him.
"Go away Edward Masen," I said coolly when he caught up. "I am in no mood to be surrounded by money today."
"That's unfair you know," he said. "I happen to know you're a very successful author."
"Successful my ass," I snorted. I turned into the first Starbuck's we came upon. Maybe I would be less moody if I had some coffee in me.
"Have you not looked at the Top Seller's list recently? Or for the last few months for that matter." He said. I retained my annoyance at him following me into the coffee shop.
"No, actually. I haven't. I try to stay away from nasty reviews on something I've worked hard on," I answered. Edward looked at me with a thoughtful expression.
"Can I have a grande White Chocolate please?" I said when it was my turn to order.
"I'll have a French Vanilla," Edward said from beside me. I glared at him but he didn't seem to notice. Before I could dig out money to pay, Edward through a twenty on the counter and told her to keep the change. I gritted my teeth together in annoyance. I know I had clearly stated I didn't want to be around money today, and that included people needlessly paying for me.
I took my coffee and sat down at a table that only had one chair. I smiled angelically at Edward when he narrowed his eyes at me. I sighed in defeat when he grabbed an empty chair and sat across from me.
"Would it kill you to be a little more polite?" He asked.
"I'll be nicer when you smash the painting you bought."
"Never," Edward grinned. "I'm keeping that forever."
"Why?" I groaned. He leaned in until his lips were less than an inch away from my ear.
"Because now I can gloat that I have a painting of the sexiest, more gorgeous girl in existence."
"Do you always use your money or so called 'charm' to worm your unwanted presence into people's lives?" I questioned. He sat back in his chair and studied me.
"You're the first girl who's tried to push me away," he finally said. I could tell by the twinkle in his eye that I would be seeing a lot more of Edward Masen.