I don't own Twilight or anything related. But the dog is mine...
The title may not make sense right now, but it will eventually.
Also, please keep in mind that plagiarism is theft and be respectful enough not to steal...
This story is rated MA for LEMONS. IF YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO READ MA/NC-17 MATERIAL, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE.
"Argh!" I coughed and sputtered as the dog shook itself, getting soap, water, and slobber in my mouth. "You stupid shit! Stop doing that!"
I hated my life.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being something big and grand; a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, an award winning journalist, a renowned poet. By now, I thought I would be in a serious relationship, ready to settle down somewhere remote and obscure as soon as I graduated college. Then I would gallantly start my life in the real world, getting a great job and spending all of my free time writing my first, best-selling novel.
God, I was way off.
My life was nothing like I'd thought it would be. I was working my way through college as a freaking dog groomer. I attended USC -a far cry from the college in the small suburban town I'd pictured for myself. I didn't even have a man to bring home, much less a serious boyfriend-not that I necessarily wanted a ring; I didn't, just someone I could call mine. The thought of sex was now an illusion. Once I got to college, I studied my ass off to keep the scholarship I'd sacrificed my teenage social life to get.
My vibrator had somehow become my best friend.
And why you ask?
I blame my mother. My crazy, full of life, lovable mother who, shortly after I'd conjured up my future, divorced my father and moved us from the small, quaint-albeit rainy-town of Forks, Washington to where I am now... Sunny, picturesque, huge, star-studded Los Angeles.
Which brought me here. Standing in front of the biggest, most disgusting dog I've ever laid eyes on, just begging for someone to wrap the noose around my neck and kill me now. I had one year left-one fucking year-before I finished my degree in English. Which in itself was a joke. What was I going to do with an English degree? Teach?
Yeah, I see that one happening. Just like I see me going up on stage and singing in front of thousands of people.
"Seriously, Ang. This dog weighs more than I do. Who needs a fucking dog like this?" I tried to rinse him off, but he only managed to shake slobber all over me again. "Ah, hell. Now I need a bath."
She laughed at me. "I think he's cute, Bella. Just look at how his nose wrinkles up and his sweet face."
The dog's nose was upturned, and he looked like he had a slight under bite. And he snorted. This is cute?
"What kind of dog is this anyway?" I asked, finally getting some of the soap out of its thick fur.
"A French Mastiff." She looked at me strangely. "Haven't you seen Turner and Hooch?"
"Nope. Can't say that I have. I don't watch too much TV."
Don't have time.
I finally managed to get the dog rinsed off and toweled him dry. I put his collar back on and attached his leash, then I let him out of the tub. The damn dog took off running towards the door, dragging me with him. I slipped on his wet tracks and effectively landed flat on my ass with a teeth snapping thud. It jarred my entire body, making my head pound.
"That's it!" I screamed at the dog. "You're getting put in a crate right now." I looked back at Angela. "And then I'm quitting." She looked at me in shock. "Seriously, I can't do this anymore."
I got the dog put in one of the crates and went back to the wash room, scrubbing my face with my hands.
"Know anyone hiring?" I asked in defeat.
"Actually, I might." I whipped my head in her direction. "A friend of mine is a PA for some movie star. She's quitting to go to law school, and he's looking for a replacement."
"PA?" I questioned.
"Personal Assistant. You know, water his plants, make his schedule, pick up his dry cleaning. That sort of thing."
I could do that. It sounded much better than this shit job I'd been doing for almost three years now. And the pay had to be better, too.
"Can you have your friend call me?" I asked hopefully.
"Sure. I'll have her call you tonight, and you can set up an interview."
"Great." I smiled gratefully at her. "Thanks."
I got cleaned up and started out towards my car, but instead decided to walk for a little bit to clear my head. I started towards the Walk of Fame, even though I wasn't interested in it, and watched the tourists snapping pictures of themselves and stars that belonged to people like Anthony Hopkins and Britney Spears until I got to the Kodak Theatre and decided to turn around.
I snorted and rolled my eyes. Britney Spears.
I whipped around and bumped into a tall man in a black hooded sweatshirt. My steps faltered and the stranger grabbed a hold of my arms to steady me. I looked up and felt like I was in some cheesy movie. My pulse hammered loudly, roaring behind my ears, and everything felt as if it was in slow motion as soon as my eyes met his shockingly green ones. Our eyes held and no matter how loud my brain seemed to scream at my body, I couldn't move-I was hypnotized.
He released his grip on my arms, slowly brushing his hands across my skin as he dropped them, and I felt an electric jolt go through my system.
I shook myself out of the daze and cleared my throat. "Sorry," I murmured.
He nodded as he turned away. I never even got a chance to see his face; I was too wrapped up in those piercing green eyes of his.
"So, who's PA are you trying to be?" Rosalie, asked, popping a chip into her beautiful mouth.
Everything about Rosalie Hale was beautiful. She was tall-Amazonian princess tall-with long, bleach blond hair that was natural and these wide, violet colored eyes. Her skin and face were flawless, and she had a smokin' hott body to boot.
I felt like an ugly midget next to her.
Well, maybe not ugly-plain would be a better word for it. Every time we went out, Rosalie attracted all of the attention while I consistently was ignored. And with us living in the City of Angels, she was constantly accosted by photographers and slimy agents, telling her how gorgeous she was and that she would have a phenomenal career as a model. While little ol' Bella Swan was overlooked.
I knew I wasn't ugly-I wasn't stupid-but being friends with such an insanely attractive woman sometimes did a number on your self esteem. I was short, a mere five foot-three inches. My hair was long... most of the time. Every now and then I'd get a wild hair up my ass and chop it off. It currently was just past my shoulders and was a deep, dark brown with streaks of red that I never had to pay a dime for and was normally tied back into a ponytail. I had large, brown eyes, a decent nose, and plump, pink lips. My body was all right. Not nearly as curvaceous and well maintained as Rosalie's, but then again, I opted to be somewhat on the soft side instead of spending hours at a gym every day.
I sighed and threw her latest issue of People at her. Angela's friend, Gianna, had called and asked when I'd like to set up an interview two weeks ago with the man who had just been dubbed "The Sexiest Man Alive".
It was scheduled for tomorrow.
"HOLY SHIT!" she screamed. "You're going be interviewed by Edward Masen!"
"Um, yeah?" I wasn't sure what the big deal was. He was just a guy. An extremely attractive guy, but still, just a guy.
"He's the hottest fucking thing I've ever seen." She put the magazine down. "Well, second to Emmett," she corrected. "If I wasn't with Emmett..."
We all knew how "with Emmett" she was. I got to hear it on an almost nightly basis.
I shrugged. "He's okay." I felt a twinge of guilt for saying that. Like it was blasphemous.
She rolled her eyes. "He's more than okay. Bella, have you not seen any of his movies?"
"Nope. Probably won't either."
She looked at me incredulously. "You live in a hole, you know that? How can you live in LA and not know something about the celebrities in this town?"
"I just don't really give a shit. They're just people."
"Whatever. So you know absolutely nothing about this guy?" she asked in concern.
"No. Just got an address from Gianna, his current PA." My brows knit. "Why?"
"Just..." She trailed off and opened the magazine. "Here, he's a womanizer. So they say."
I looked down at the article she'd turned to and read the headline. "The Many Women of Edward Masen. Oh, that's sweet," I said dryly. I looked at the two pages of pictures of him out with various women. "That's not too bad," I commented.
"It's a fold out," she said evenly.
I opened up both sides to reveal even more pictures of him with a different woman in each photo. He was always smiling down at the girl or kissing her forehead. I felt that strange twinge again, but this time it was almost like... jealousy. I looked at a picture of him smiling down at a tall, slender blond and for a fleeting moment, wished it was me.
"Well, that's just disgusting," I said, throwing the magazine aside.
"Just don't become one of those girls," she warned.
I grinned. "Trust me. That won't happen."
We said our goodnights and went to our rooms. I brushed my teeth and changed into my pajamas, then I crawled into the bed. I closed my eyes, trying to sleep, but all I could see was the picture on the magazine-the dark brown, tousled mess of hair on his head that had a coppery hue to it, his copper stubble on his strong, angular jaw, his straight nose, and full lips that curved into a sinful grin, revealing his perfectly straight, white teeth. And the vivid, mossy green eyes that seemed hauntingly familiar. Edward Masen had managed to crawl in my head and insert himself into my brain.
Exasperated, I got up and opened my laptop, opening the browser and going straight to Google. I typed in his name and got millions of results. I opted for the first one and saw the article I'd just been looking at with Rosalie. I quickly backed up and clicked on the next result, leading me to a website with a list of the movies he'd been a part of since the very beginning of his career. In fifteen years, he'd managed to put out twenty movies-each one being a so-called blockbuster-and had two movies currently in post-production as well as another movie that began filming in a few weeks.
I clicked on a video showing a clip of him at some big premiere, giving the crowd a cocky grin and waving. He swaggered-actually fucking swaggered-down the press line.
I slammed the laptop shut and went to bed. He was the stereotypical actor-arrogant and self-serving.
I was totally fucked.
I got up and got ready for my interview, throwing clothes haphazardly on the floor in an attempt to find something that I thought was worthy of an interview with Edward freaking Masen. Once I finally managed to settle on a pair of charcoal pinstripe pants and a silk fuchsia tank top with a flurry of ruffles around the neck, the day progressively got worse. Not only was I wearing something totally uncharacteristic and uncomfortable-even if the pants did make my ass look great-but when I was putting on my makeup, I poked myself in the eye with the mascara wand. Then I burned my forehead with the curling iron, causing me to have a large, red whelp at my hairline. And of course, when I went to find my black ballet flats, I could only find one and didn't have time to search the entire apartment for its mate and had to settle wearing a pair of black peep toe stilettos.
Which meant that sometime between here and there, I would likely fall flat on my face.
I waved a quick goodbye to Rosalie on my way out the door, listening to her cat calls and whistles behind me and blushed furiously. I got into my piece of shit Volvo and started towards the Malibu address Gianna had given me.
I pulled up to the gated entrance and almost turned around. I was completely out of my element. This guy had more money than a fucking Wall Street broker. I just sat at the gate and gawked at the massive cream colored house before me. It was... perfect. There was really no other word for it. Every shrub, every flower, was meticulously maintained. The grass was an unbelievably rich shade of green and the house itself was spotless.
The static noise from the intercom brought me out of my haze, making me jump in my seat.
"Can I help you?" A calm, female voice asked.
"Um, hi. I'm Isabella Swan. I.. I'm supposed to be interviewing with Mr. Masen today?" I said nervously.
My heart was leaping into my throat, and I seriously felt like there was something swimming inside my stomach. My palms went slick and my breathing sped up.
What the hell?
"Could you please show me your ID? Just put it in front of the speaker."
I frowned. "Oh, um, okay."
I fumbled with my wallet and pulled my ID out, holding it up with shaking hands. Whoever it was I was talking to seemed to be satisfied that I was in fact Isabella Swan and the gate clicked and started to rise.
I slowly drove through the gate and parked up by the door. I got out of the car and fixed my pants, made sure my shirt was straight and my bra strap wasn't showing, and went towards the door. I got halfway down the walkway and heard a familiar, raspy bark. I turned in confusion to see the monstrous dog from two weeks ago come running full speed at me, its jowls flapping in the air.
"No!" I shrieked, holding my hands out in front of me, like that would stop it from running into me. "Down, Cujo!"
It jumped up and slammed into me, knocking me off my feet, and then started licking my face as it drooled all over my hair.
"Oh, gross! Get off me you slobbery piece of shit!" I screeched, trying to shove the dog away, only for it to not budge and inch. "God, I hate you! You... you... you fucking beast!" Lame, yes, but I was battling with the dog to keep its tongue from darting in my mouth.
I heard the most beautiful, deep chuckle coming towards me. The footsteps paused, and I heard a whistle, causing the dog to snap its head up and stop licking my face. The dog got off and trotted over to his master, wagging his tail excitedly. I brushed my matted, soaked hair out of my face and stood up, glaring at the dog.
"Such foul language to come out of such a pretty mouth," a smooth, English-accented voice smirked.
My entire body reacted to the sound of his voice. A rush of heat went straight through me, effectively causing me to feel the effects in between my legs.
Just from his voice? Shit.
I looked to the source of the voice and felt my eyes widen. Edward Masen was standing before me, looking me over in amusement. His lips twitched like he was trying to hold back his smile.
I opened my mouth a few times to say something, making myself look like a deranged guppy, but couldn't make the words come out. The pictures in the magazine and online didn't come anywhere close to capturing how incredibly handsome he was. My eyes roamed over his tall, chiseled body, and I wanted nothing more than to rip the black t-shirt and jeans off his body and have my way with him on the lawn.
I even felt drool trying to escape its way from my mouth.
I was no better than the dog.
I finally got my wits back and shook myself out the spell he'd put me under, only to say the most insightful thing ever.
His eyes widened and his head dropped back as he let out a long, genuine laugh. My breath hitched in my throat with the wondrous sound.
"Yes. I'm sure there's quite a few things that you don't know about me," he said cryptically. He flashed me a crooked smile, and I nearly fell over. "I'm Edward. You must be Isabella?" he asked, extending his hand.
Oh, God. I'm going to have to touch him.
I nodded and swallowed convulsively as I went to shake his hand. The closer my hand got to his, the stronger this insane buzzing feeling around me got. I put my hand in his and felt a jolt of electricity spark straight up my arm and through my body, making me whimper.
I looked into his stunned face and immediately pulled back, flushing from head to toe. "Sorry," I muttered, though I wasn't sure what I was exactly sorry for.
"Don't apologize," he said firmly. His green eyes ran over my body, scrutinizing me. He looked unhappy now. "I should be the one apologizing. Samson is usually very well behaved." He looked at the dog strangely, like it was completely out of character for him to jump on unsuspecting girls.
Samson. How fitting.
I snorted. "Cerberus there attacked me two weeks ago, too." I slapped my hand over my mouth. "Shit, I'm sorry." I groaned. "Ah, fuck. I went and said shit! In an interview!" I could feel the heat burning my cheeks again.
And then you said fuck. Even better.
He merely laughed at me. "It's quite all right, Isabella. We all suffer from word vomit occasionally."
The way he said Isabella made my toes want to curl.
"So when you say my dog attacked you two weeks ago... What exactly are you talking about?" He looked at me quizzically.
"Oh, I worked at Groomingdale's in Hollywood until last week. I got the pleasure of bathing him for you. He was extremely well behaved," I said sarcastically.
He grinned and lifted his brows. "Well, you did an excellent job."
"Thanks," I said shyly, ducking my head.
What is the matter with you?
"Come on, I'll show you around. You're going to need to know your way around the house if you're going to be my new PA," he said pleasantly.
"Don't I need to be interviewed first?" I asked in astonishment.
He shook his head and started towards the door. "Isabella, I'd have to be a complete git not to hire you after Samson knocked you down like that." I just stood there. "Are you coming?" he asked, arching his eyebrow.
I nodded and hurried after him.
God help me, I want to screw my new boss' brains out.
I couldn't get the girl out of my head.
Just the seconds-long interaction we had two weeks ago on the sidewalk in Hollywood had left me breathless and craving for more.
She was literally the most gorgeous thing I'd ever laid eyes on.
Her dark hair was shining in the sunlight, shimmering with red and her body... Oh, God her body. It wasn't muscled within an inch of its life or plastic in any way. It was small and petite-completely ethereal yet still managed to have curves. Her skin wasn't orange with the fake tanner that everyone seemed to be using. It was creamy and pale, flushing a delicate pink that almost brought me to my knees.
She was real. God, how I wanted her.
I wanted to stare into those beautiful, expressive brown eyes for the rest of my days. Forget sleeping, eating, or even breathing, I never wanted to look away from her again. From the moment I saw her two weeks ago, she had taken over my entire mind, danced in every thought. I wanted to feel the energy that flowed between us when I held on to her, steadying her so that she didn't fall. I was completely enthralled with her, and I didn't even know her name.
I didn't normally walk around such a touristy area; if I did, I'd never be able to leave. But I had a meeting with the committee of the Emmys at the Kodak Theatre. Apparently, they wanted me to present the award for "Lead Actress in a Drama Series", just because my newest costar happened to star in one of the shows. The meeting hadn't lasted as long as I'd expected, and the groomer's that Gianna had taken Samson to was only a few blocks away, so I decided to walk over and get him.
I was thankful now that I did.
Then Isabella Swan showed up for her interview and my usually lethargic dog plowed her down. All I wanted to do from the moment she stood up was snog her or shag her or something because it was her.
I knew I should have rushed over and apologize profusely for Samson's actions, but it was so unbelievably funny to watch her scream at him and call him Cujo-like he was rabid. I tried to keep my laughter inside, but a small chuckle managed to escape my throat; I just hoped she didn't hear it as it was incredibly rude.
I made the mistake of shaking her hand, in an effort to see if the same energy flowed through my body when our skin made contact, and ended up getting angry at myself because it was so much worse. It was like a thousand volts, painlessly shocking my system and making me almost beg for more.
And in some twisted form of kismet, I couldn't have her.
She was much, much too young for me. Not many people knew my real age, just that I was a "thirty-something" year old man. The truth was that I was thirty-eight, making me old enough to actually be her father if I'd gotten my girlfriend in sixth form, Charlotte, pregnant.
And because I am a fekking masochist, I hired the girl-spot on.
I was literally going to become a wanker just so I could stand in the same room as her and not get a stiffy. Quite a ghastly thought, if I was being honest with myself.
It had been over two years since I'd allowed myself to have a physical relationship with a woman. No matter what the press and various publications said about me, it was all for show-a part of the image that had been created early in my career. Almost every woman I was photographed with I'd never taken to bed. I wasn't interested in casual sex. I was more of a devoted lover-which was quite unfortunate for my poor pecker.
I led Isabella to the house and fought with the gravitational force that seemed to be pulling me to her-like magnetism, two polar opposites irrevocably attracted to one another. I let Samson in first and watched him head straight for the kitchen while I held the door open for her.
She looked around and gasped softly as she took in the house. It had been completely remodeled by Esme, my mother for all intents and purposes, to resemble the manor house in Kent since I so rarely got to visit it anymore. I showed her around, pointing out every individual room and watching her reaction each time, enjoying it immensely. It was like she was seeing everything for the first time-perhaps she was. I knew nothing about the girl except for her age and that she was attending USC.
And that she didn't have a criminal record. Very important in my line of work.
I opened the door in the downstairs hall, leading to the kitchen, and smirked at her. "One of the loos." She giggled. "What?"
"Nothing. It's just that I never thought I'd hear someone call the bathroom 'the loo' in person."
"I have a feeling there will be a lot of things that one of us will say that the other will find amusing or won't understand. I've lived here permanently for a while, but sometimes you Yanks will say something that takes me completely off guard," I grinned crookedly down at her.
"Great. Language barrier, and we both speak English," she said wryly.
"I suppose it is," I mused.
I explained the list of things she would need to do for me, which made me feel irrationally guilty, but I couldn't pinpoint why. After all, I was hiring her to be my personal assistant. She was expected to work for the money I would be paying her.
Although, I'd pay her for nothing at all if it meant I could see her everyday.
We got to the guest room upstairs, and I gestured for her to go in. "This is your room in case you ever work late and need to stay." Her eyes went wide. "Gianna has only had to sleep over once because we went to a party and she was too pissed to drive home," I said comfortingly.
She seemed to relax. "Am I expected to attend parties with you a lot?"
Yes, would you? "No. Only certain occasions require it." I changed the subject. "Do you have a mobile?" She nodded. "We'll need to exchange numbers so I can contact you if necessary. Otherwise, you'll be expected to arrive at my house every morning at eight for the list of things I'll need for you to do that day and then you are free to do whatever you need for the rest of the day. Gianna mentioned something about you completing your last year of university?"
She looked a little lost. "I have class at nine every Monday and Wednesday. There's no way I can get from here to USC in time."
I waved her off. "No matter. I also have a house in Brentwood, which is where I stay most of the time. And on those days you can come by earlier if you prefer. I'm up and in the gym every morning by six. Does this work for you?"
She nodded. "Yeah. It's great, Mr. Masen."
I didn't like that at all. It made me feel old-older than I am, that is.
I clucked my tongue. "Call me Edward, please. We'll be talking to each other much too frequently for you to be so formal."
"Um, okay. Edward." She shifted nervously.
I didn't bother to hide the smile that crossed my face upon hearing my name on her lips. "Excellent. I'll let you talk to Gianna so you can give her your personal information and she can answer any further questions you may have. I have a photo shoot that I'm scheduled to be at in just over an hour." I held out my hand. "Mobile, please?"
She mutely handed me her mobile and watched me program my number into it before sending a quick text message to my own mobile so that I could program her number into it.
I handed it back to her. "Thank you. I'll see you bright and early Monday morning then, yes?" She nodded, so I began to walk down the stairs. "Don't forget to have Gianna give you directions to the Brentwood house." I turned to her and smiled. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Isabella."
"You too, Edward."
I quickly found Gianna and told her Isabella was waiting upstairs for her before going to the garage and getting in my Aston Martin. As soon as I was out of the garage, my mobile rang.
I looked at the ID and rolled my eyes.
"No, Alice," I said immediately.
"Edward! You don't even know what I was going to say!" she chided in her high soprano.
"I can only imagine," I said sarcastically. "What do you want?"
"You met someone," she said knowingly.
"Who? My new personal assistant? I just got through interviewing her," I said with a grin.
"No, you daft prick. She's your someone," she repeated, stressing the last word.
I ran my hand through my hair. "It doesn't matter. Firstly, she's my PA. And secondly, she's too young for me."
I sighed. "Twenty-one."
"Edward, that's not too young! She's legal in every way. In both countries." Her laughter tinkled over the phone.
"I'm old enough to be her father, Alice," I groaned.
Why did she have to be so bloody beautiful?
"In what strange dimension would you ever have been her father? You and Charlotte barely snogged, much less actually got naked and-"
I cut her off. "I get it, Alice. You're telling me I'm too bloody moral to have ever put myself in the position to be her father. It's still not happening. I'm her employer."
"Fine," she huffed. "Mum and Dad want to come and see you," she said, changing the subject.
"When's good for you? You're the hot commodity," she countered.
"Let me get Isabella settled in and then I'll call you. Maybe in a month?" I asked curiously.
"Don't start with me, Alice," I said in annoyance.
"All right, I'll stop. I'll tell Mum next time I talk to her."
"Will my annoying, ridiculously tiny sister and her Texan boyfriend be joining them?" I asked teasingly.
"Of course! I need to meet your new assistant," she giggled.
That was the end of the conversation. "I'll talk to you soon." I hung up before she could say anything else.
I adored Alice, however omniscient she seemed to be. She was adopted by our parents, just after I was.
I was only sixteen when Edward Sr. and Elizabeth Masen were killed in a car accident, thus leaving me in the care of my aunt and uncle, Esme and Carlisle Cullen, until I went to university. Even though I never changed my name, they are my parents. But hardly anyone knew this about me. According to the "Official Edward Masen Biography", I'm an orphan. Which is technically true. I just left out the part about Carlisle and Esme adopting me after my parents died, during my last year of school.
It would do them no good to be known as my parents, Alice as my sister. Not since I was currently being followed by three different photographers as it was.
Okay, if I mess up on any Brit slang, you'll have to let me know. It's been a while since I was in England.
Cerberus is the 3 headed dog in Greek mythology that guarded the underworld with Hades if you're curious. My dog is the sweetest thing (and really messy), but people tend to get the wrong impression of him and are scared of him. Whatevs.