Happy New Year, everyone! It's 2010!
So it seems I couldn't completely let these characters go. Instead, I give you Edward's point of view! I don't think I will redo every single chapter but the ones that I thought were key. I meant to give it the other title I mentioned before but FFN won't let me write a title so long! Hence, it's now Elevators, Assistants and Attraction.
If you haven't read Elevators, Strangers and Surprises, I would suggest it, but it's not essential to follow this.
Thanks to katmom for putting up with my neediness and beta'ing this chapter for me. Your support means the world to me!
I received amazing reviews for ESS. Many many thanks to those of you who read, reviewed/alerted/favourited. I know I wasn't the greatest at replying but I read and treasured every single review I got.
I must say, I love being in Edward's head, whether it's Stephenie's creation or my version of her creation. The chapters listed in this story will be the same as from ESS, but obviously from Edward's eyes.
I hope you enjoy this. There is more to come.
Elevators, Assistants and Attraction
Edward Cullen entered the lobby doors of his building, prepared, as usual, for another day on the job. He considered himself quite lucky, he enjoyed his job and he was good at what he did.
Empire One, the PR firm he had built up from scratch, was faring remarkably well. Already he had been featured in a few business magazines which gave the company more publicity.
As he walked towards the elevators, he remembered that today he would be meeting his new assistant. He could only hope that Human Resources had hired a more competent person this time around. His last assistant, Jessica, had not only been woefully inadequate, she'd also been incredibly inappropriate. All he knew of the new assistant was her name, Isabella Swan.
Edward recalled how Jessica had attempted to seduce him in his own office one evening after the rest of the office had gone home. Thoroughly disgusted, he'd wasted no time in disillusioning her. Unfortunately, she'd taken that as a cue to try harder and he'd had no choice but to fire her.
If there was anything he prided himself on, it was his ability to separate work from play. It was a strict rule of his not to mix business and pleasure. Edward knew of too many instances where office romances had gone awry and he was determined not to become one of those statistics. He wasn't blind to the fact that women found him attractive, but there was a time and place for things like that and work wasn't one of them.
Not that he had had much time for play anyway. For one, work kept him busy and, maybe more importantly, no one seemed to really interest him.
Edward made his way into an empty elevator, thinking about how he was going to present an idea to a new client.
The doors were about to close when he heard a feminine voice call out,
"Wait! Please, hold the doors!"
He obligingly held the doors back and a young woman stepped in. She shook her hair back from her face, a little out of breath from running.
"What floor do you need?" Edward asked as the doors slid shut.
"33, thanks..." The woman looked up at him, giving him a clear view of her face.
He felt as if the breath had been knocked out of him. Before him stood a veritable goddess. Long, wavy dark hair fell to below her shoulders, framing a pale face with large, chocolate brown eyes. She was slender, her dress clinging to her frame perfectly.
This woman was beautiful. Edward couldn't help staring at her, feeling as if he would get lost in the deep brown of her eyes.
He didn't remember pressing any buttons, but the elevator began its upward journey while he continued to gaze at the woman as if he were seeing one for the first time.
It seemed she was just as entranced as he was, until she suddenly blushed pink, ducking her head to look at the floor. Edward mentally berated himself for staring so unabashedly, assuming it had made her uncomfortable. He had better manners than that. Still, he kept stealing glances at her, though she kept her gaze fixed on the floor.
Abruptly, the elevator stopped, jerking them from where they stood. The woman, in an attempt to regain her footing, grabbed at his upper arm and tie. She seemed to temporarily find her footing but slipped and started to fall again, yanking on him as she went down.
"Damn it!" Edward muttered, as he felt himself jarred off balance. With the woman still clutching at him, he did his best to keep from falling right on top of her, slapping his hands down on either side of her face. "Are you all right?" he asked, worriedly.
Initially dazed, the woman's eyes grew wider and her cheeks turned even redder than before. This served to make Edward aware of the position they were in. He was on top of her, supporting his weight on his arms, with their lower halves touching. The awareness brought on a sudden urge to ravish the lovely creature under him.
The thought went as quickly as it came when the woman made to sit up, knocking her head against his face.
"Ouch!" she cried out, bringing a hand to her forehead.
Edward sat up, ignoring a mild throbbing on his cheek where her head had hit him, keeping a hand on her shoulder. "Just lie back down; it might be safer for both of us." He smiled at her, hoping she hadn't seen the prior flash of desire that he was sure had shown on his face.
"I'm so sorry," the brunette apologized. "I'm...a bit of a klutz. Usually I have a bigger space to work with."
Her self-derisive tone made Edward laugh. Beautiful and funny, he could feel his attraction to her growing stronger by the second. "No apologies needed. It's not everyday I'm literally bowled over by a beautiful woman." His gaze dropped to her lips. They looked entirely too kissable.
The woman had started her second attempt at sitting up when the elevator jolted again. She stiffened, drawing in a breath. Edward's arms automatically went around her, seeking to keep her safe. The motion brought the brunette flat against his chest. Her breathing had quickened, though Edward wasn't sure whether that was due to the elevator or his embrace.
He also wasn't sure why he had thought it a good idea to bring her any closer to him. He could feel the heat emanating from her body and a heady scent tickled his nose. She seemed to fit against him like a glove.
It was distracting, to say the least.
The woman lifted her head and met his steady gaze. The moment their eyes locked a sort of current immediately started flowing between them. Edward had never wanted to kiss a woman more than he had then.
The brown eyes seemed to become darker, as the woman's mouth opened slightly. Giving up fighting the urge, Edward started angling his head towards her, his whole being anticipating feeling her lips under his own.
A crackling noise came from the intercom, interrupting the moment, and making Edward wish that maintenance hadn't been quite so prompt.
"Hey there, hope you folks are all right. We'll be fixing the situation for you in a jiffy. Sit tight."
The woman broke away from him, quickly standing up and pulling unnecessarily at her skirt. Edward followed her lead, noting that she came up to his chin.
Unwilling to let the encounter be a one-time thing, Edward decided to speak up.
"I'm Edward Cullen. Could I get your name?"
The woman looked surprised to hear his name. Evidently she had heard of him before.
"I'm Bella Swan," she replied, her cheeks staining pink again.
This time it was Edward's turn to be shocked. His heart both leapt and fell at the same time. If this was the Isabella assigned to him, it would mean she was an employee and therefore off limits.
It seemed a rather cruel joke that this lovely woman, who he was undeniably drawn to, would be untouchable.
It was a situation Edward wasn't at all pleased with.
"Isabella Swan? It's your first day at Empire One, isn't it?" he stated more than asked.
"How did you know?"
"You've been assigned as my assistant." He tried to keep the disappointment from his voice, not wanting her to confuse the reason for it.
Bella blinked, digesting this news. Edward wondered what she was thinking.
The elevator came back to life, resuming its ascent to the 33rd floor. Once it reached its destination the doors slid back to reveal the glass entry of Empire One.
He gestured towards the doors. "Welcome to Empire One, Ms. Swan, I hope you'll enjoy working here."
Edward waited for her to step off the elevator first. As he watched her delicate frame disembark, he knew that his self-imposed rules were in for quite the challenge.
Cheers, guys! Please leave me some love if you like it! I have another chapter ready to go for next week - likely to post on Tuesday. Reviews keep me happy (and writing). :) Follow me on twitter, the link is on my profile.