Hi again! This chapter took a little longer than I had intended, so forgive me. It's a bit shorter than the last chapter, and it's not my favorite, but I hope you enjoy.
I've been trying to respond to every review, but I've fallen behind. I read every one of them and I thank you for all of the support and recs at Edwardville and from people on twitter. :) I am humbled that so many people like my little story!
And again, thank you to my beautiful beta vanilladoubleshot, who puts up with me.
Bella woke the next morning to an empty bed. She shifted in the cool sheets and found the spot where Edward had slept was still warm. She could hear the water running from the shower, so she rolled over and snuggled into the blankets once more.
When she awoke again a little while later, Edward was standing in front of the closet, tying his tie in the mirror.
She shifted and he turned, smiling at her when he saw she was awake. Still struggling with his tie, he came and sat down on the edge of the bed next to her.
Bella had to admit that the morning after was bringing more nerves than were present the night before. The enormity of the last night was suddenly dawning on her, and she felt embarrassed in his presence. She tugged the comforter up a bit higher.
"Good morning. Did you sleep well?" He stopped fussing with his tie for a moment to reach out and brush her cheek. She tucked her chin to her chest and smiled.
"I did. The bed is very comfy."
"It is. I'm going to miss it when we leave." He looked down and resumed his attempts to fix his stubborn tie. Taking pity on him, Bella sat up, tucking the blanket around her chest.
"Here, let me fix it."
He frowned before dropping his hands and scooting closer to her. She reached out, tugging a little to loosen it before beginning to fix it.
"You were sleeping so soundly this morning, I didn't have the heart to wake you," he said softly.
Her eyes flickered to his face, her brow creasing.
He shrugged, smiling a bit apologetically. "I thought about it, but you needed to sleep. I could tell you were tired yesterday."
Bella simply nodded, unsure of what to say. She stared at his tie, hardly helping because she was a bit flustered. Finally, with one final tug, the tie was straight.
He reached his hand up and smoothed it down, smiling graciously at her. "Thank you. I've never had such a stubborn tie before."
Bella drew her knees up, making sure she was covered by the blanket. She felt a little exposed with her bare shoulders and back. This morning conversation felt a bit awkward.
"I have to get to the office; I have a conference call with New York in about a half an hour. I want you to come in around ten, so I can show you around and introduce you to the rest of the staff."
Bella stiffened. She had forgotten that she was actually supposed to be his assistant to explain her presence. She was a little frightened for what this job would entail. She hoped that her performance in the office wouldn't affect the way he treated her at home.
"Ok." Bella was sure her uneasiness about this was palpable.
"Wonderful. There is breakfast out in the dining room, or you can go back to sleep; it is a bit early."
Opting to stay in the soft bed, Bella shifted and snuggled back down under the covers. Edward laughed a little before moving to lean over her.
"Good choice. I wish I could stay here with you." He ran his tongue over his bottom lip, his eyes scanning her face. "I've missed having a beautiful woman to warm my bed," he whispered before standing up.
Bella felt a shiver run through her at his words.
"Ten o'clock, Bella. Alistair will drive you."
She nodded and he smiled again. "I will see you later."
After a few minutes, Bella heard Alistair and Edward leave the suite, and she drifted off to sleep once more.
Bella was sitting in front of the closet looking at all of her clothing options. This was the problem with having so many clothes – you never had anything to wear.
There was a knock on the door.
"Miss Swan, we need to leave in a few minutes in order to reach the office by ten. Are you nearly ready?"
"Yes," she lied. Well, she was nearly ready, her hair was dry and her makeup was on, she just had nothing to wear.
She sighed and grabbed a skirt and white blouse from her shopping trip with Alice. Opting for a garter belt and thigh highs as well, the outfit was simple and professional. She pulled out her favorite heels, choosing not to wear a new pair that would hurt her feet.
She looked into the mirror and shrugged.
"This will have to do." She mumbled to herself and stepped out of the bedroom.
Alistair was leaning against the back of one of the couches with his coat on and holding hers in his hand. When she exited the bedroom, he smiled.
"There she is. And my, do you look stunning Miss Swan."
Bella flushed. "Does this look ok? Do I look the part?"
Alistair walked over and held open her coat.
"Oh, yes my dear. You look absolutely lovely."
After helping her into her coat, they set off toward the elevator.
"Now, don't be nervous. You will do fine and he will make sure that you are well taken care of."
She turned and smiled at him. He always knew what to see to calm her nerves.
The drive to the office took about ten minutes, which put them there at quarter of ten. Edward would be very pleased by her punctuality.
"Would you like me to show you up?" Alistair asked as he held open the car door for her. Remembering yesterday's fiasco with Lauren, Bella nodded vigorously.
He took her hand and tucked it into the crook of his elbow.
The lobby was enormous, with Masen Real Estate Firms written in gold script behind the main reception desk. But they didn't stop in front of it; they continued past it right into an elevator.
"When you come in by yourself the next time, you need to go to floor twenty. That is the main floor where Mr. Cullen does his business. It is also the top floor owned by Masen Real Estate Firms."
The elevator was quick, and in no time they reached the 20th floor. They stepped out into a beige room.
"What is it with Edward and beige?" She mumbled more to herself as Alistair steered her to the reception desk on this floor. He laughed.
"Mr. Cullen likes status quo. Beige is peaceful and calming."
"Yeah, and boring," Bella responded, wrinkling her nose at the oatmeal colored walls.
"I heard about the red bedroom," Alistair whispered. Bella's cheeks flushed but she smiled secretly at him.
They arrived at the desk and were greeted by an attractive older woman who only had eyes for Alistair.
"Well, hello Alistair! What brings you all the way up here?" She leaned forward and batted her eyelashes.
Alistair dropped Bella's arm and rested his elbows on the desk.
"Well, Margaret, I was just accompanying Mr. Cullen's new assistant to the proper floor. I wanted to make sure she got here on time to meet with him."
"Quite right," Margaret beamed before turning to smile at Bella. "Hello, dear. What is your name?"
Bella stepped forward and cleared her throat. "Um, Bella Swan."
"Oh, yes. He did mention you would be joining us. He should he out at any moment. And my, Alistair, she is a pretty one, isn't she? Wherever does he find these beautiful women to be his assistants?"
"Well, where did he find you?"
Alistair winked and Bella's eyes almost fell out of her head. She brought her hand to her mouth to prevent herself from laughing. Alistair was quite the charmer.
She turned to see Edward striding toward her, a soft smile on his face. She noticed that his tie was gone.
"Mr. Cullen," she greeted, finally tearing her eyes away from Alistair and the receptionist.
"I'm glad you are early. I wanted to go over a few things with you in my office." He motioned with his hand and turned toward his office.
She shot one last amused glance at Alistair and Margaret before show followed him. She entered the large office and spun in wonder.
While the main part of the floor was beige and oatmeal, this room was not. It was dark woods and lacquer finishes. Rich and masculine, it suited the powerful man in front of her.
"Let me take your coat for you."
"Oh, thank you." She unbuttoned it distractedly as she looked around the vast room. He slipped it from her shoulders and hung it on the rack near the door.
"If you are wondering," he said, snapping her out of her wonderment, "Alistair is always like that with Margaret. I'm going to hit him one of these days."
She looked at his face and laughed. Edward looked exasperated at his friend and butler.
He smiled at her laughter. "They have been like that for about 5 years. I'm going to lock them in a storage room very soon."
Bella laughed again and started to wander around the office.
"Come here." He called from his desk. She walked over and saw a manila folder with a BlackBerry sitting on top of it. It was a different one that the one he had.
"This is a list of all my upcoming travel and business endeavors for the next month, along with a BlackBerry of your own to keep track of them. I would like to be the only one who has the number, if you don't mind."
She looked up at him and saw that he was all business now. No joking about Alistair pining for the receptionist. He was the CEO now.
Bella nodded. "Of course, thank you."
"I am going to call most of the senior staff in here in a little while to introduce you. You will essentially be my liaison. If they have questions for me, they will ask you if I am available. Margaret will make most of my meetings, and then put them in the calendar that is linked to your phone.
"I don't need you here every day, but I would like for you to be here at least 3 days a week, just to check that things are going smoothly. I do want you to try to follow up with clients after meetings, et cetera, and I will go over that with you when the time comes. With me so far?"
Bella nodded but she was a bit dazed. This was going to be a lot of actual work. She was overwhelmed, but happy. Sitting around in a large apartment with only the butler would really make her feel like his live-in whore. Now she had something real to do.
"Good. We are to remain professional in this office. You are to call me 'Mr. Cullen' when the other associates are around. You may call me Edward when we are in this office together."
He paused. "However, if proper discretion is taken…"
He leaned forward, sliding his hand over her hip and raising an eyebrow.
Bella bit her lip and leaned into him slightly. She raised a single finger and stroked lightly on the dip of his throat, now visible without his tie.
"What happened to your tie?" She asked softly, her eyes rising to meet his. He sighed.
"The conference call this morning did not go well, and that tie had been pissing me off already. So, it got tossed somewhere."
She smiled at him and withdrew, putting distance between the once more.
"I will page Margaret, and have her take you to your office. Again, if you want anything changed, let me know."
She simply nodded, and picked up her shiny new phone, fiddling with it.
"Margaret." Edward spoke into the intercom. There was no answer. "Godammit, Alistair."
After a few seconds, Margaret's crackly and flustered voice filled the room. "I am sorry, Mr. Cullen! What can I do for you, sir?"
Edward's eyes met mine and he shook his head. Bella giggled.
"I would like you to show Ms. Swan to her new office, and then around the rest of the office so she can familiarize herself."
"Of course, sir. I will be right there."
Edward shook his head again and smiled at Bella. Margaret appeared at the door a moment later, beckoning Bella toward her.
"Come dear, let's go look at your office."
"Bring her back in fifteen minutes, please."
Margaret flashed him a motherly smile and nodded.
Bella followed her out of Edward's office and down the hall to another office that was furnished similarly to Edward's.
"Here we are! It's smaller than Mr. Cullen's, but that's just because he is the boss. His friend's wife furnished most of the office, and I thank God for that. It's so sleek and stylish in here. It is a shame that the poor man doesn't have a wife of his own." She clicked her tongue and shook her head.
Bella just nodded distractedly and looked around her new office. This room was warmer than Edward's, less dark colors and more light, neutral tones. The furniture was the same, but this room did not have a couch the way Edward's office did.
"All righty, Miss Swan. Let me show you around the rest of the floor. There will be time for a full tour of the building later, and I suspect Mr. Cullen will want to take you on that himself.
Margaret showed Bella the rest of the offices where the senior staff worked. The tour was very boring, and Bella wondered why Edward had forced her wander around when there was nothing of consequence out here to look at.
She realized belatedly that none of the employees were actually in their offices, and she wondered where everyone could be. It was not until Margaret dropped her back off at Edward's office did she realize he had probably called a meeting.
Most of the employees were standing around talking to each other, meaning the meeting had already happened, or was about to. She caught snippets of conversations as she walked toward Edward's desk.
"I hear he has a new assistant," one woman said to another, clearly acting as if she had the juiciest gossip known to man.
"I think I saw her a little while ago, brunette, nothing special."
Another person joined the conversation as Bella passed.
"I wonder if he's sleeping with this one too. I think he only hires them to take the edge off of his cold bitter existence."
Bella almost stopped short, shocked at the way they were speaking about Edward. Didn't they know him at all?
"Well, as long as this one is less obnoxious than that blonde, I don't care if he bends her over on my desk."
Bella all but ran away from the conversation as she approached Edward's desk. He was sitting, on his computer and looked deep in thought.
"Hi," she offered timidly, hoping she wasn't disturbing him.
"Ah, there you are. Good." He stood and called loudly for quiet. The people gathered complied immediately.
"Yes, good morning everyone. As many of you heard last night, the Radcliffe estate has collapsed. Apparently the will is being contested by Old Man Radcliffe's eldest son, and the complaint was filed after the will was executed, but before the contract was completed by us. This is sloppy on our part. We should have crossed all our t's and dotted all of our i's. We are going to need to put a lot of work into this to get out of it unscathed. There are going to be lawyers showing up tomorrow to speak with the people who were on that account. That means Newton and Crowley, I'm going to need to speak with you privately after lunch in order to make sure this runs smoothly. Do you understand?"
Two men in the front of the group nodded, and looked grim. The thought of having a private meeting with a seemingly annoyed Edward did not please them.
"This also means that all of our other estates need to be double checked. I won't have this happen again. It makes the company look bad when things bounce back like this. It's sloppy."
Bella glanced at Edward's face, and he looked livid. She didn't know this man.
"On a lighter note," He glanced at her and his face softened. "I would like to introduce you to my new assistant, Bella Swan. Please make her feel welcome, and treat her as you would treat me. That's all for this morning, so back to work."
The crowd dispersed quickly, a low grumble following them, and soon Bella and Edward were alone again. He sat back down at his desk with a huff.
"Bella, please take this file back to your office and start on it. You don't need to kill yourself over it, just start to familiarize yourself with it. You have a lunch at noon."
He turned away from her and opened a folder, emerging himself once more in his work. She grabbed the file from the corner of his desk and left the office quietly.
She walked down the hall to her own office and flopped down in her chair. This was going to be more work than she thought it would. She lowered her head to her hands and sighed.
It was almost noon, and Bella was hungry. She wondered if he would notice if she left early, but she didn't want to take her chances. He was very stern here.
She decided she would ask him if he wanted to come with her. He seemed so stressed out over this estate, she thought he might need some time away from the paperwork and phone calls.
Bella walked into Edward's office and found him with his elbows on the desk and his head in his hands. She cleared her throat.
"Edward, I'm going for lunch, would you like to join me?"
He looked up at her and smiled, but shook his head.
"I'm kind of swamped with this Radcliffe account blowing up. I don't think I should leave right now. I'll order something in."
Bella frowned before and idea came to her head. It's what she was here for after all.
Turning, she closed the door and spun the lock. She closed the single set of blinds in the office and turned back to him.
"Bella..." His voice was almost a warning, but it didn't quite manage the threat it was supposed to hold.
She ignored him and walked around his desk. He spun in his chair to face her.
"You said discretion. I think you need to enjoy a little discretion right now."
Bella was unsure where this sudden boldness had come from. Maybe it was seeing him as such a powerful man that was getting her very hot and bothered, but she didn't know. All she knew is that he looked stressed out, and she wanted to help him.
She placed her hands on his thighs, and leaned forward to kiss him softly on the mouth.
When she dropped to her knees in front of him, he didn't protest.
She unbuckled his belt and undid the button on his dress pants. She pulled his dress shirt free, unbuttoning the bottom of the shirt and pushing it open. She bunched up his undershirt to reveal is stomach, toned and smooth. Looking into his eyes, she leaned forward and began to press open mouthed kisses against his skin. He inhaled sharply through his nose and closed his eyes; an attempt to keep calm.
"Please relax," Bella whispered against his skin. He was so tense, it almost worried her. Is this how he always is? It couldn't be good for him.
His body loosened a fraction and she dipped her tongue into his belly button. His body jerked.
Just below her head, pressed against her breasts, she could feel him begin to harden. She added her tongue to her kisses, dragging and tasting his skin as she worked her way closer to the waistband of his pants. She reached a hand up and lowered his zipper, and then tugged his pants open. She dragged her teeth down the line of auburn hair above the elastic of his boxer shorts. He jerked again.
"Bella," His voice was a whisper and when she looked up at him again, his face was calmer, more relaxed. His brow was still creased, and his teeth worrying his bottom lip.
She curled her fingers over the waistband of his pants and tugged down. His hands gripped the arm rests of his chair, so he could gain leverage to lift his hips. She slid them over his hips and down his legs until they pooled at his feet. He was harder now, the bulge prominent against his underwear. Her eyes flickered to his.
Before she could lean in, his hands came to her face, and he bowed his body to bring his face to hers. He kissed her softly, letting his tongue gently probe into her mouth before he pulled back.
He reached behind himself and tugged his suit jacket off the back of his chair. "Here, for your knees."
He reached out his hand to help her stand before he dropped his jacket in front of himself. He took her other hand and helped her kneel once more.
She ran her hands along his thighs as she looked at him. He was so handsome, and so gentle with her. Nothing like the man she had seen today. That man was forceful, powerful and somewhat ruthless, but he'd been that way because he had to be. He was a shrewd businessman who was successful – knew how to stay that way.
But Bella knew him underneath all of that. She may have only seen glimpses, never the whole man, but she knew he was kind and had a sense of humor. He was funny and passionate, tender and sincere. She wondered how often he got to show that side of himself to anyone.
She reached up again toward him, and he complied easily, leaning in to kiss her softly once more. He leaned back, running his finger across her cheek as she slipped her hand into his boxers and freed him.
He wasn't quite fully erect yet, but she wasted no time bringing him into her mouth. She sucked gently on the head for a moment before sliding her tongue from base to tip. His length was just above average, and more than she could take in her mouth right away. She was a bit out of practice and willed herself not to gag. She brought her hand to the base and gripped him firmly as she moved her head up and down.
She felt his hand come to her head, slipping his fingers into her hair pulling it away from her face.
She could feel him now, completely hard in her mouth and started to slide her tongue along the underside of him. She looked up and met his intense green eyes. His fingers tightened in her hair and she lowered her mouth over him, trying to take all of him into her mouth. She bobbed a few times, taking more of him each time. Finally, she lowered her head and took all of him into her throat.
He groaned above her, his hands opening and his palms pressing against her scalp. She brought her mouth back to the head, sucking and flicking her tongue underneath the ridge as she squeezed him at the base. His hips lifted and he groaned louder.
She locked eyes with him as she started to work him faster. His fingers clenched once more.
"Bella." He panted lifting his hips more urgently.
She lifted, sliding her tongue along the tip before she dropped down a final time. He swelled in her mouth and she felt him spill down her throat as he pulled and tugged on her hair. She swallowed quickly, moving her mouth over him gently, bringing him down.
His body went slack, his hands falling out of her hair and she gave him a final lick before she tucked him back into his boxers and hoisted herself up.
His head was thrown back over the top of his chair, his breath was short and his cheeks flushed. Bella stepped back between his legs and leaned over him.
Edward grabbed her face and kissed her. Hard. He stood suddenly, stumbling because his pants were still around his feet and Bella reached out to steady him. He groaned against her mouth, tugging the hair near her face.
"Jesus," he groaned when he finally pulled away. He looked in her eyes for a long moment before he stepped back to pull his pants back up. She moved back while he pulled himself together, and she felt her cheeks heating up.
In the moment she had felt like a goddess, but now she suddenly felt shy. She had just essentially attacked her boss, a very powerful man, in his office. Granted, that is what she was ...hired for, but she was fairly sure that he hadn't intended her to give him a blow job on her first day IN the office.
What if he was mad at her?
She began to bite her nails as she paced.
"Hey," Edward called, walking over to her and putting his arms around her. "Are you ok? What's the matter?"
She looked up at him, biting her lip, before darting her eyes away.
"Was... was that ok? I mean, I probably shouldn't have done that here..."
"Hey, hey." He kissed her quickly, silencing her fears. "It's fine. It was wonderful, thank you. Don't worry so much, that... that right there, what you just did. That was phenomenal. Phenomenal."
She took a breath and nodded, stepping out of his embrace.
"Um, I'm going to get lunch. Do you want me to bring you back something?"
He stepped in front of her again, bringing his finger to her chin. He held her there until she looked at him.
"Go and enjoy lunch, and then you can head back to the hotel. Just go home and," he smiled, "Please relax."
Bella laughed lightly and nodded. He kissed her again before she turned and headed to the door, unlocking it and pulling it open.
"I won't be late," he called as she stepped into the hall.
Hope you enjoyed and I will see you next time!
PS: I accidentally uploaded the wrong version of the story. Thanks for everyone who messaged me about the accidental BETA note :)