* * * * *IMPORTANT INFO FOR READERS! * * * * *
After struggling with the decision to pull two of my stories, and with quite a few tears, I'm going to remove them both. I will keep them up long enough for the readers who are currently reading to finish them (which won't be long), but I've removed the beginning chapters to deter anyone else from starting them and will continue to pull chapters daily until they're removed.
I'm sure this will anger some, but please take into consideration that this has been an incredibly hard decision for me, and both stories have been complete for a while, so my hope is that anyone who wanted to read them has already done so.
There has been tons of speculation over why I took HOFY and DA down, along with some not-so-nice comments directed toward me because of my decision. Please don't jump to conclusions. I'll give a more indepth reason to why I pulled HOFY in the near future, but for now you should be aware that an improved version will be posted on a new website that I'm trying to get up and running. Just be patient and all will be revealed when everything is in place.
For those that will speculate, I'm not leaving the Twific fandom; I've made too many lifelong friends to ever be gone completely. However, I'm not sure how much Fanfiction I will continue to write. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read the two stories I'm pulling. Each one of your critiques and encouragements has made me a stronger writer, so, thank you.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.
I let out a long sigh as I put aside the second to last file that I had to get through before I could leave for the evening. Glancing up at the clock, I ran my hand over my face to clear my brain of the previous file. Numbers were not my thing, but I had slacked off for too long and Heidi was on my ass to get them back to her before I left for my trip.
I sat back in my chair and took a long pull of the now cold cappuccino my assistant left for me before she went home for the evening. I glanced at the clock and internally groaned. I wanted to be out of here two hours ago. Jasper had been pestering me to meet him for a drink and I had put him off all week while I tried to fulfill my obligation at the firm.
One more file, then I'd be free of the mundane for a week. I stared at the offending object in front of me and let my mind wander to my father sitting at this same desk several years before. He loved the business. He always said that he felt rewarded by helping out those businesses that just needed a leg up to keep their footing in the business world. That was why he and Carlisle started C&M Group twenty-eight years ago.
The business had started out as a small investment firm and since had grown into one of the most regarded firms in southern California. A few years ago, Carlisle had taken the business in a different direction and I wondered if my father would have approved. Instead of helping small, struggling businesses, Carlisle had started dabbling in corporate takeovers with some of the investors that had made the firm into a thriving corporation. Carlisle had grown tired of watching large corporations mismanage their responsibilities and in the end, the employees and stock holders were paying for their mistakes.
When he proposed the first takeover, I was still in college and just went with his recommendation, since he had the experience to know what was best. I usually deferred all major decisions to Carlisle because he had a great business sense and honestly, I didn't care that much, this was my father's dream.
The following years, we had taken over several well-known corporations and within a year had them back on track before handing them back to the employees. Nothing ever came without a price and we always came out financially on top. I'd like to think that my father would have approved of the direction we were currently taking the company. He had always wanted me to take over the "family business," but I had other plans. It was a constant source of contention when I was old enough to start making my own decisions for my future.
I let out a long sigh and pushed thoughts of my father out of my head. Reaching out, I grabbed the last file and opened it. As I ran over the financials of a small restaurant chain we were looking into helping out, I noticed a file that was stuffed in the center and looked slightly out of place. I pulled it out and opened it. Glancing over the numbers, I came to the conclusion that it needed to go in our investors files, but instead had been misfiled and wound up on my desk. I flipped through a few pages, looking for a name, but couldn't find one. There was a small "V" in the upper right hand corner, but other than that everything else seemed to be in order. Except for the missing name.
There was a small knock on my office door and I glanced at the clock again. Eight fifteen. I thought everyone had left for the evening.
"Come in," I called out, closing the file in my hand. My door opened and I grinned when Esme walked in holding a Tupperware container full of something. She was always feeding me.
"Hello, sweetheart," she said. I stood up and made my way over to her, grasping her arms and kissing her forehead in greeting. "How's my favorite nephew?"
"I'm your only nephew," I pointed out. Her laugh tinkled through my office and it reminded me of my mother. She slapped my stomach playful before walking over to my desk and setting my dinner down.
"It's your favorite." She took the lid off and the smell of lasagna made my stomach rumble. I eagerly went to my chair and pulled the lasagna closer to me as she took the seat opposite.
"You are too good to me," I said, as I shoveled in a large forkful of the perfection that was Esme's cooking. She watched me with a small smile on her face and I knew she enjoyed my enthusiasm, so I hammed it up with lots of mmm's and ahhh's as I scarfed down her offering.
"Where did you learn to make such great Italian food?"
"Hmmm. Your mother. She was an excellent cook," Esme stated matter-of-factly. "She dated a guy in college that loved Italian food."
"Really? I didn't know that."
"Yep, before she met your father. I never met him, it was all very secretive. Whenever I tried to get her to introduce us, she always had an excuse." Esme shrugged casually. "Then she met your father and it was love at first sight. I even think she ended things with her mystery man to be with your father," she mused.
I nodded, before we settled into a comfortable silence. It was nice to listen to Esme's version of my mother, even if it was slightly skewed. She always looked for the good in everyone she knew. Even me.
My mother was a decent woman, but it always bothered me that she was the one that ended up being a mother when Esme was the one out of the two of them that longed for children, but couldn't have any. While I was growing up, I spent most of my early childhood being raised by Esme while my mother worked to prove her independence as a shrewd business women. In many ways, Esme was more of a mother to me than Elizabeth.
"Carlisle said you're going on another bike run?" she asked, breaking me out of my musings, disapproval dripping in her voice. I let out a long sigh and geared up for another argument. We had this conversation every time I took my monthly ride up the California coast. She hated that I owned a motorcycle and every chance she had, she pointed out that my mother would have never approved.
"I'm taking the bike up to Morrow Bay to check on one of our newer investments, then I'll probably take my time riding up to San Francisco." Occasionally, when Esme knew my plans she would relax and let things go. Luckily, she didn't start the guilt trip of how she worried the whole time I was gone, but let it go without further complaint.
I snapped the lid back onto the empty container and pushed it towards her on the desk. "Thank you for taking such good care of me, Esme." A little flattery always went a long way with her. She smiled and picked up the container.
"If you'd find a nice girl to look after you, I wouldn't have to," she said with a wink. I chuckled and stood up as she rose from the chair to leave.
"I'm not even twenty-five. I'm still young, and besides, I'm not really the marrying kind."
"Pshaw, you just haven't found the right girl," she said confidently. I rolled my eyes, not hiding my frustration at her prying. I grabbed the files from my desk and nodded towards the door.
"I need to drop these off in Heidi's office, then I can walk you to your car," I suggested, changing the subject quickly. She agreed while I wrote a quick note to Heidi about the unnamed file, then escorted Esme down the hall.
I made sure she was on her way before climbing into my car. The smell of new leather made me smile as I started the ignition. My second love, behind the Harley, was my Aston Martin. It was an impulse buy that I did during one of my many "screw everyone" moods. I spent so much time trying to be invisible that occasionally, I'd get sick of hiding and do something impulsive, like buying a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar car.
As I pulled into the driveway of my beachfront home, my phone rang. Born to be Wild was blaring from my pocket. I grinned as I dug it out and flipped it open.
"I'm on my way. Give me fifteen minutes to change and grab my scoot," I answered, knowing that Jasper was on the other line. Loud music blared in my ear as he shouted into the phone.
"Dude! You were supposed to be here half an hour ago."
"I know, Esme brought me dinner," I explained.
"Well hurry up. There's a blond here that I think you might be interested in meeting." I rolled my eyes.
"You know my rules, Jasper."
"What the hell, Edward! It's been almost eight years. One chick in Malibu isn't going to ruin your life." I snorted at the irony of that statement.
"I don't do locals, Jazz," I reminded him.
"Whatever, just get down here. She's hot and if she doesn't change your mind, I may have to take her and her friend back to my place."
I ignored his goading, not wanting to continue the conversation about a girl that Jasper had deemed worthy of my attention. "I'm running in the house now, so I'll be there in fifteen." I ended my call and ran in, stripping off the business clothes I had been wearing all day and slid into a well-worn pair of jeans and t-shirt.
It was a warm summer evening, so I opted to leave the leathers at home and just grab my jacket. I pulled it out of the closet and slowly ran my hands over the patch on the back. The reaction people had to a motorcycle gang always surprised me, lumping us all in with the one percent that were outlaws. I ran my finger over the demon with wings and sighed. It started out as an adventure when I was rebelling against society and proving the expectations that I was what everyone thought I was. One of the perks to being in a motorcycle gang was that women automatically thought you were the bad boy of their fantasies. I had used my jacket more times than I could count to get laid. I chuckled as I slipped it on and headed to the garage.
There sat my pride and joy. I loved the Harley more than I did the Vanquish. Running my hands over the large chrome headlight, I caressed her as if she were a fragile woman. I pulled off the offending object hanging from the handle bars and slammed it on my head. I despised the helmet law we had in California. There was nothing more exhilarating than the humid, salty air of the ocean running through your hair at sixty miles an hour. I protested as loudly as I could by finding the smallest helmet I could legally get away with. It was the only way I could swallow wearing it.
I climbed on my bike reverently and with one swift kick, it roared in my garage. I hit the throttle, revving the engine loudly. It purred and rumbled, sending a vibration throughout my body. I started to pull out of the driveway when I spotted my neighbor giving me a warning glare. I laughed heartily as I squealed onto the road, getting a small thrill at the irritation I was causing and giving her one more reason to lock up her daughter whenever I was around.
I drove at a leisurely pace, enjoying the vibration and power at my fingertips. Most of the bars in Malibu catered to the wealthy and even though I easily fit in with that crowd, thanks to my large bank account, I preferred the pubs that offered a more low key atmosphere.
I rode into the parking lot and pulled up next to Jasper's bike. I teased him that he had a girly bike with the purple flames licking over a black tank, but he always shot back that it took a real man to wear purple.
The bar was packed as I squeezed through the throngs of people that were looking for a good time. I scanned the bar for a mop of blond hair and found Jasper at the end, between a strawberry blond and a red head. His smile was wide and I could almost hear the thick Texan drawl as he tried to woo one of them into his bed for the evening. Like my bad boy status, his southern gentlemen charm was almost impossible for the ladies to resist.
"Hey, J.J.," I said, clapping him on the back.
"Edward!" he greeted with a huge grin. Turning, he grasped my hand in a firm shake and then turned to the girls he was talking with. "I want you to meet the loveliest ladies in this joint."
He gestured towards the red head as he introduced me to her. Iris, Irina, or something, I didn't pay to much attention because it was obvious that he had made his choice and she was the one he had his eye on to take home. I did a once over on the blond still perched on the barstool and noticed that she was stunning. She had long blond hair with hints of red and striking blue eyes that were looking at me wide eyed. She had a splattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and I smiled.
"Well hello there, Freckles," I drawled, giving her a crooked smile. Her eyes glazed over with lust before she gave me a breathtaking smile.
It was almost too easy.
I took in the rest of her and was rethinking my earlier rule of no locals. She had legs that went on for miles that were only accentuated by the extremely short skirt and sexy red high heels. We moved our little party to a table, where Jasper pulled the red head into his lap. We spent the next hour drinking and flirting.
"So, Freckles," I started. If I was going to break my cardinal rule then I wanted to make sure she was worth breaking it for. "What exactly are your plans for this evening?"
"Well there's this dangerous, bad boy I've had my eye on. I'm kinda hoping he'll take me home."
"Hmmm, dangerous you say? Maybe you don't know what you're getting yourself into," I said as I took a sip of my drink.
"I'm perfectly aware of what I'm getting myself into, Edward Masen." I choked slightly on my drink and stared back at her. She had a small smirk on her pouty pink lips. She knew exactly who I was and how dangerous I could be. I stood up quickly, almost knocking my chair over in the process. Jasper surfaced from sucking the face off the red head and looked up at me. I glanced from him to the blond that had startled me back into reality. The look on her face had turned from smug to panicked.
"I'm outta here," I said quickly, grabbing my coat off the back of the chair.
"What's up, dude?" Jasper asked, picking the red head off his lap and setting her back down in his chair while he stood up.
"I have an early morning so I'm calling it a night," I said quickly. I said a goodbye to the girls and turned towards the door.
As soon as I was out in the evening air, I took a deep breath and tried to remember what I had told myself a million times since I was seventeen. They don't know you. Only three people in this world knew who I really was: Esme, Carlisle and Jasper. Nobody else mattered.
"Wait up, Edward." I glanced over my shoulder as I reached my bike and Jasper was running up behind me. I buckled the helmet onto my head and threw my leg over my bike. "What happened in there?"
"I told you, Jasper. I don't do locals for a reason." Understanding dawned on his face and he pursed his lips together and gave me a small nod. I kick started my bike and it roared to life, drowning out everything around me. I felt myself instantly relax as I nodded to Jasper and let out the clutch before hitting the throttle and peeling out of the parking lot. I had only one question as I felt the ocean air hit my face.
Will people ever forget?
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE ABOVE, PLEASE DO SO BEFORE ASKING ME WHEN I'LL BE UPDATING.
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE ABOVE, PLEASE DO SO BEFORE ASKING ME WHEN I'LL BE UPDATING.
Scoot is a slang term for a motorcycle (my mom used it all the time) www(dot)totalmotorcycle(dot)com/dictionary/S(dot)htm