Welcome to the 4th chapter in the adventures of BossWard! I put a little of chapter 3 in there as well. This was one of my favourite chapters in ESS. I mean, is there anyone out there who DOESN'T love it when Edward loses his self-control?
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Many thanks to katmom for beta'ing and giving me her much needed opinions on what to include and what not to. You should all go and read her amazing story: Dragon Stones. It's a wonderful read.
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Elevators, Assistants and Attraction
Edward was having a bad time of it and the reason for his distress had just walked out of the photocopy room.
In the privacy of his office, Edward ran his hands through his hair in a frustrated gesture, wondering how in the world this woman had managed to get such a hold over him in such a short time. It was unsettling to say the least.
He should have known that asking her to accompany him to the gala would have been too much for his self-control. He'd nearly come undone when he saw her in the shimmery, dark blue dress that looked as if it had been made especially for her. He had thought Isabella Swan was beautiful before, but it was nothing compared to seeing her in this new light.
She was breath-takingly lovely; anyone with working eyes could see it. Edward was well aware of the attention she was receiving from the men at the function. It made him burn inside to think of Bella with anyone else, even though he had no claim over her himself.
And that damned Jacob Black. He wasn't exactly proud of how he'd childishly cut in on Jacob's dance with Bella. Seeing the woman of his dreams in the arms of another man had prompted an alarming impulse to punch him out – Edward wasn't given to displays of violence, however seeing Black's obvious interest in Bella had made him want to wipe the smile off of his face.
He had been unprepared for how charged their dance had been. Once he had her in his arms, he hadn't been able to get her close enough. It was near torture to be holding her and not know if she felt the same intense desire he had for her.
If it hadn't been for the wildly twirling couple, Edward would have committed a transgression that went against his principles.
Resisting Bella Swan had become a full time job and his discipline was beginning to wear thin.
Edward wasn't entirely sure his advances would be welcome in any case. She had never been anything but professional in the workplace. Other than occasionally catching her eyes on him, she gave no indication that she found him any more interesting than the other men who worked at Empire One.
Now, he'd just asked her to work late. He wasn't a total fool, being alone with her would've been asking for trouble. Luckily, Jasper was needed for the project as well and Edward hoped that his presence would alleviate any strain that might arise.
The evening started out normally enough, with the three of them working in the conference room. Edward was glad that he had been right, Jasper's company kept him from thinking too much about his assistant and he was able to get a fair amount of work done.
That was until Jasper turned out to be too ill to continue and went home leaving him alone with an all-too available brunette. On a dark and empty office floor.
Edward knew he was in trouble.
The air almost immediately became laced with tension. For her part, Bella continued to work, seemingly undisturbed by Jasper's departure.
Meanwhile, Edward felt as though an invisible cord was pulling him towards his assistant. In a vain attempt to relieve some of the pressure, he loosened his tie and opened the collar of his shirt. He had already rolled his sleeves up as was his habit when poring over files.
Taking Bella's lead, he tried to concentrate on the work before him with little success. He was too conscious of her. He noticed every little movement she made, from making notes with her pen to shifting in her seat. It was so quiet in the conference room it seemed he could hear her breathing in and out.
Edward was doggedly keeping his eyes fixed on the presentation. He was afraid if he looked at Bella that he would throw her down on his desk and act out what was becoming his prime fantasy.
It was a lawsuit waiting to happen.
"I'm going to make some coffee, do you want any?" Bella asked, standing quickly.
"No, I'm fine," Edward replied, working to keep his voice light.
"Okay, I'll be right back." She practically ran out of the room, bumping into the table on her way out.
He heaved a sigh of relief at being alone in the room. Rubbing his forehead, Edward wondered if he should just call it a night. He wasn't sure how much more of this he could take.
Deciding that leaving would be the best option, Edward grabbed the thick client file and exited the conference room. Figuring he would tell Bella they were finished for the night, he headed towards the kitchenette.
He was surprised to find it still dark. He was even more surprised to see Bella leaning against the counter, her arms stretched out in front of her, her head resting against the cabinets. The position outlined her slender figure, her skirt riding up slightly in her bent posture.
It was the most erotic thing Edward had ever seen. At that moment all rational thought left him. He didn't even feel or hear the file drop from his hand and land on the floor. All he could think about was touching her.
Walking up behind her, he placed his hands on her shoulders, sliding them down the silky, soft skin of her arms to rest on top of her hands. The scent of her hair only served to heighten his arousal and he bent his head to murmur into her ear.
He could feel her stiffen under his touch. As much as he wanted her, he wasn't about to force himself on her.
"Tell me to stop, Bella, and I will. Tell me how wildly inappropriate this is to bring me back to reality." Half of him hoped she'd slap his face, but the other, stronger, part of him wanted her to touch him in return. "Say it, Bella."
"I...can't," she whimpered. The admission, coupled with the tone of her voice caused Edward to finally give in.
Turning her, Edward looked into her eyes, finding desire and lust clearly written in the chocolate orbs. It was all the permission he needed and he captured her lips in a bruising kiss.
Any lingering doubt he might have had about Bella's feelings toward him were laid to rest. Her mouth moved under his, her arms rising up to link behind his neck, her hands twining in his hair.
The moment their lips met, Edward was engulfed by a barrage of lust. No woman had ever affected him like this. He needed her closer to him and snaked an arm around her waist to bring her hard against him, eliciting a groan from her.
Edward continued to move his mouth hungrily against Bella's. His tongue sought entrance to her mouth which she willingly gave, her arms clutching him more tightly as their tongues stroked one another.
He was gratified to find that she was just as desperate for him as he was for her. Bella was straining to get as close to him as possible, he could feel the curves of her breasts smashed against his chest.
Bella's hands left his hair to travel down his chest to his abdomen where she hastily pulled at his shirt so she could run her hands over the skin underneath it. Edward let out a curse when he felt her fingers go even lower and brush his arousal through his pants.
His need for her reaching a new high, Edward grasped Bella by her waist and lifted her onto the counter top, moving between her legs and pulling her back against him. Somewhere in the back of his mind he considered the fact that he was about to pass the point of no return...with his assistant, on a countertop.
The gentleman in him struggled to surface and break free of the lust-ridden monster that had taken over his body. When Bella pulled back from him, Edward feared he had gone too far. The last thing he wanted to do was scare her away. He was about to try and apologize but Bella spoke first.
"You're beautiful." She said it with a trace of awe. Studying her face Edward saw, not the disgust he had anticipated, but passion and desire – for him.
"Nothing compared to you. I've wanted to do this since I first saw you in that elevator," he returned, his fingers tightening unconsciously around her waist.
His unintentional action garnered an unexpected response from the woman before him. Bella groaned, wrapping her legs around his hips, binding herself to him. Edward felt himself yanked forward as Bella grabbed hold of his tie in an effort to kiss him. Any thought Edward had harboured of remembering his manners, of stopping their impromptu tryst flew out of his head when their lips met once more.
The kiss was hard and demanding. Neither was willing to yield, their mouths moving feverishly together. Edward could feel Bella's heated core where it was pressed up next to his erection. She was slowly grinding herself on it, her moans and mixing with his.
He used his leverage to thrust back against her, ready to take her right there on the countertop. His mouth left hers to explore the supple flesh first at her throat and then down to the juncture of her neck and shoulder, sucking lightly at her skin.
Using one arm to keep her as close as possible, Edward raised his free hand to skim Bella's ribcage, settling on the curve of her breast. He heard her gasp when he cupped her fully, moulding her to his hand.
Edward was so far gone, he didn't hear the persistent knocking on the glass entry doors. It wasn't until his father's voice rang out that he registered they were no longer alone.
"Edward! Are you there? Your mother wanted me to stop by and pick up something from here."
Edward felt Bella freeze next to him.
"Shit!" He fought to regain control of himself which, considering Bella's legs were still wound around his waist, wasn't easy. Resting his forehead on her shoulder, Edward took a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm the raging fire in his body.
With great reluctance, Edward pulled away from Bella, his hands curled into fists to keep from touching her again.
"Who is it?" Bella asked. She came off of the ledge, trying to smooth down her hair.
"My father. I forgot he said he was going to stop by tonight." Edward was tucking his shirt back into place. Looking down as his tie, which was mangled by Bella's manhandling, he decided to take it off, knowing he'd never get the wrinkles out. "I'd better go let him in."
Edward walked to the doors where he saw his father waiting. He saw him take note of his dishevelled appearance, the blue eyes turning wary.
"Hi, Dad. Sorry, I got caught up with work, I forgot you were supposed to come over," Edward said, leading his father into the deserted office floor. He could see Bella had turned the lights on and had disappeared from the kitchenette.
"You're working too hard again, I can tell. Are you getting sick? You're looking rather flushed. No tie today?" Carlisle's voice held a suspicious edge, making Edward uneasy.
"I was wearing one, but I took it off. You know how I hate those things." He could hear the irritation in his tone which caused his father to look at him even more closely.
They were approaching the conference room where Bella was organizing the many documents they had been working with.
He saw Carlisle's eyebrows arch up upon seeing her there, his expression clearly asking, who is this and what were you doing with her? Edward clenched his jaw.
"Bella? This is my father, Carlisle Cullen. Dad, this is my assistant, Isabella Swan."
"Isabella? The one you mentioned the other day? Oh! It's very nice to meet you, Ms. Swan. I hope Edward isn't working you too hard."
Bella smiled, nervously. "Please, call me Bella. It's good to meet you too."
"Are you two alone here?" Carlisle asked, looking directly at his son with a knowing expression.
"Jasper started with us, but he went home sick," Edward answered tersely, not wanting to talk about it in front of Bella.
"I see." Carlisle glanced from Edward to Bella.
Bella broke the brief, but strained silence that followed. "Edward, is it alright if I go home now? I'm getting pretty tired."
He naturally agreed and, after some departing pleasantries, Bella excused herself from their company.
Edward could feel his father's eyes on him. "Just say what you're thinking, Dad."
"What's going on between you and your assistant? And don't say nothing; you two are so wired you seem ready to implode."
"We were working late," Edward said, shortly. "And that's all." He was in no mood for a lecture from his father about proper professional behaviour. After all, he'd practically written the book about it.
"Edward, I wasn't born yesterday. Your shirt is rumpled, you've got no tie and neither of you would look at each other. I know how you feel about your private and professional lives. This isn't like you."
"I've got it under control," Edward retorted, his temper rising. "And as far as I'm concerned, the subject is closed. What did Mom want you to pick up?"
Carlisle gazed at him, his face unreadable. Edward sensed he wanted to say something more and he tensed, ready to argue.
"Your mother wanted to know if you still had the umbrella you borrowed a few weeks back," Carlisle said, dropping the topic. Edward relaxed the tiniest bit.
"Yeah, it's over here." He retrieved the umbrella, giving it to his father.
"Thanks. Why your mother is so attached to this, I'll never know. I'll leave you to it then, shall I?" Carlisle came up to him, and gave him a thump on the back. "We'll see you for dinner on Sunday."
"Okay. I'll see you out." Edward walked his father to the entrance and waited with him until the elevator arrived to take Carlisle down.
Going back into the now completely empty floor, Edward paused at Bella's desk.
It was neatly kept, with a few photographs of her with her family and friends gracing the top. Edward picked one up, staring at Bella's smiling face. She was everything he'd been looking for – and his employee.
His mind went back to the encounter in the kitchenette, recalling how well she'd fit around him, the emotions she invoked in him that he'd never felt before.
The mere thought caused his groin to tighten, indicating what Edward already knew.
He wasn't in control at all.
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