WARNING: The following story contains violence, coarse language and mature subject matter. Readers discretion is advised.
Disclaimer: Roses are red, violets are blue. I don't own Twilight, so please don't sue!
The sound of that new alarm clock on the bedside table had me moaning in protest. It was obnoxiously loud in my ear and my head was ringing with exhaustion as I pushed myself into a sitting position. Slamming my fist on the clock, I sighed when the sound finally ceased and a beautiful silence followed. Collapsing back on to my pillow, I couldn't help but close my eyes and begin to nod off again. Just one more minute...
The ringing started up again, sounding something like the alarm of a fire truck, which made me finally rouse myself enough to actually swing my legs off the bed. The feel of the new carpet under my feet was nice but I longed to stay in the bed. Just to shut my eyes and wander off into the deepest crevices in my head before waking at a shockingly late time where I would feel refreshed and ready to face whatever the nightlife offered me. I was made to prowl in the evening rather than rise with the sun. I was a night kind of guy. There was never a day where I was happy to get myself up at six in the morning.
Yawning, I raised my arms over my head for a stretch before finally getting to my feet and practically stumbling across the room. I couldn't call this apartment home or anything in it mine because this all came with the job. It was mine to use until the mystery was solved and then I moved on to the next case.
This was a field where you couldn't get attached to anything or anyone. Seth was an exception since he was practically my partner but even my parents were exempt from some parts of my life. I rarely spoke to or saw my family nowadays because of how busy I was. Whenever I called my mother she was desperate for me to visit. She wanted to be a part of my life but there was no way I could let her into my life now. What would she think of all the lies I've told and all the people I've deceived?
Shaking my head, I cleared those thoughts and headed for the bathroom for the morning routine. It had to change a little since today was my first day as a nerd. I couldn't help but grin at the thought as I looked at myself in the mirror, trying to flatten my hair with no avail. My eyes were slightly red from lack of sleep since I had stayed a few more hours at Seth's, playing video games and talking, before heading to the shopping centre for my new identity's supplies.
On the marble counter in front of me were a few products I'd picked up to really disguise myself. Extra strength hair gel to keep my fly away hair tamed, black rimmed glasses, a pretty weird patterned tie along with an ugly, mustard shirt and dark trousers. The whole look overall screamed nerd and was sure to keep the ladies at bay. Even though that sounded fucking stupid I knew that I had to focus on my job for this one. The girls would come later, I thought with a chuckle as I smirked at my reflection.
I brushed my teeth before coming back to the supplies I had laid out the night before. Taking the gel, I squeezed a large amount on my hand before running it through my hair and completely flattening it against my head. I already looked like a nerd or one of those kids back in the day where their mother dressed them for school and did the exact same thing I was doing now.
The thought of mother's made me think of mine and the many times she tried to tame my hair when I was young. It was always a lost cause but she still tried everyday. Sighing, I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to keep the memories of my family out of my head. I needed to concentrate and get this case done and over with. Maybe then I could call her and just listen to her normal life. Would that phone call satisfy my need to be with people I could really trust? Probably not.
Growling to myself, I finished with the gel and washed my hands. At the moment my hair was completely flat, not even one piece out of place. I mentally applauded myself for a job well done before beginning to dress myself in my "work clothes" (as I liked to call them). Tucking the ugly coloured shirt into my pants, I made sure my patterned tie was straight and then finally looked in the mirror. Hmm…the whole disguise was missing something. Looking down I noticed what I had forgotten to put on. The black rimmed glasses. Grinning like an idiot, I slipped them on to my face and then looked up at my reflection again.
I was completely different. I was no longer Edward Masen, sex symbol. I was Ted Cullen, extreme computer nerd. But looking at myself I couldn't help but feel refreshed. This was so foreign to me. It was exciting and a new challenge to make people like this character even though he looked like a total geek. It was basically proving the point about not judging a book by its cover.
After checking myself out for another minute I left the bathroom to go to the new high tech kitchen. Mrs. Newton certainly went to great extremes to make me comfortable (or anyone who was going to stay here in the future). The whole place had to have been renovated recently because everything looked polished and untouched. I guess money talked when it came to changing everything in an apartment.
I walked across the marble kitchen floors to start the coffee machine on the granite countertop. The whirring started right away and I watched closely as the liquid dripped into the container under the nozzle. It only took a moment for it to fill up with the steaming coffee giving me the ability to grab the container and pour the liquid into my thermos. I'd take this along with me rather than wait in a long line at a coffee shop. Besides, if I got there early I might make a good impression.
While slipping on my shoes and coat, I grabbed my messenger bag, which contained my most important things, especially my laptop. Everything I needed to know about this case was on it (password protected of course). There was no way I was leaving this behind when I might be meeting my target today.
I'd neither seen nor heard of Isabella as of yet but I knew I would bump into her at some point. I didn't know what she looked like but I was sure I would be able to pick her out in a crowd. I had that kind of intuition. Not that I was bragging…
I was surprised to learn that the building actually had a doorman. The place wasn't exactly like the Newton's building but at least it had some security even if the doorman looked like a seventeen-year-old kid. He didn't even look up as I came out of the elevator. His eyes were trained on the cell phone in his hands as he quickly texted his friends over and over again. I couldn't even see his eyes because of the stupid haircut he had. His black bangs were far too long and covering half face but apparently that was the style.
"Morning," I called, wondering if he even noticed my different appearance.
"Yeah, sure," he said, not even looking up as he continued to text.
Rolling my eyes, I decided to ignore the kid and focus on my interview. That was far more important anyway.
I was able to walk to the Cityspace office building since it was so close. The location of my new home was very convenient for most things including restaurants and shops. I got to wondering how this Isabella could afford to live in such an exclusive area. Unless she had some kind of huge inheritance from her family or something. How she got that apartment was very suspicious. A present from Newton for keeping him entertained? Keeping her close so they can rendezvous easily at her place for a quickie?
I snorted at the thought before realizing I had arrived at the office building. It was a tall skyscraper with a hell of a lot of windows. The building itself wasn't completely owned by Newton but he was slowly taking it all over and shoving out all the other companies who were housed there now. It wouldn't be long until he could call it his own.
I jogged up the last few steps outside the building, dodging a few people who were trying to get to their own destinations, before slipping inside. The lobby was huge and crammed with people. They were running every which way, practically yelling commands at each other and cell phones as I meandered around them. If it was this busy at seven in the morning then I couldn't imagine what it would be like in the afternoon. Nobody took any notice of me as I walked towards the elevators. On the marble wall beside the mirrored elevator doors was a board that listed what each floor was dedicated to. I checked to make sure that the lower floor was where the mailroom was before joining the throng of people on the crowded elevator. We were like sardines in a can but everyone around me didn't seem to mind being squished up against a stranger. They all looked very serious and there was an awkward silence as the elevator went down. As soon as it stopped and the doors slid open, I pushed my way out and breathed a sigh of relief when I was free. That was not something I enjoyed.
Following the other workers I found myself in a huge room that had to be the size of a football field. On every wall was floor to ceiling shelves with stacks of mail in every box. People were working on tables, sorting envelopes and throwing them into carts that would be taken up to the offices above. There were packages being tossed here and there and people running past me with carts full of mail. I felt slightly confused in all the madness but after a moment of concentrating I was able to realize just what everyone was doing. I would be able to get used to this.
Hiking my bag up on my shoulder, I tried to figure out where I was supposed to be for this interview. There was a hallway to my left so I decided to try down there first to find the head of the mailroom.
The corridor seemed to be filled with meeting rooms of some sort, large windows allowing people to peek inside. A few were empty with lights turned off but the last room was open and bright. There were a group of men gathered around a table, arguing about something. Watching these men I recognized one of them right away. Michael Newton was red in the face as he pointed an accusing finger at one of the other men. They all looked angry at him and I wondered what it was all about.
"Look, pal," Newton spat. "I haven't got time for your stupid meetings about pay rises. I have a company to run, if you haven't noticed! So you and your little union can whine all you want but in the end you're still working for me! So shut up and do what I pay you to do."
Suddenly his head turned to see me standing there. "What do you want?" he snapped, making everyone in the room turn to look at me.
I want to kick your ass, dickwad. "I'm…uh…here for an interview?" I said quietly. I continued to tell myself to keep in character inside my head so I wouldn't lash out and break his fucking nose.
He let out a heavy breath, fixing his blonde hair back into place and giving one last scathing look at his workers. "You heard me," he said before walking towards me and grinning widely while holding out his hand. "Michael Newton of Cityspace Software."
I took his hand and shook. His grip was strong as if he was trying to intimidate me. Was he serious? The guy was five eight for God's sake! He was like an elf compared to me. It was difficult not to laugh, especially when he had to look up to keep eye contact with me. Yeah. He was really scary!
"Erm, Ted Cullen, sir," I stuttered.
"Good to meet you, Ted," he said, his bright, white teeth almost blinding me.
"And to you, sir." Asshole."Well I'd stay and chat but I do have a company to run," he chuckled. He nodded to me and glared at the other men before turning on his heel and walking back to the elevators.
Startled, I turned to see the bigger of the men staring at me. He had to be the head of the mailroom because he was the one Newton was arguing with the most. The man pulled out a chair from the table. "Sit down, Cullen."
Slowly, I stepped into the room and sat down in the chair facing the man. The other workers, looking defeated, took their leave after he waved them out. So now I was alone with this seriously muscled man. He stared me down and I suddenly became uncomfortable under his serious gaze. Now this man could kick my ass if he wanted to. He leaned against the table and crossed his arms, just watching me squirm. Should I say something? I was suddenly at a loss for words.
Just as I was about to say something stupid, he let out a loud laugh. "Sorry," he snickered. "I made you uncomfortable, didn't I?"
"Uh…" was all I could come up with. Come on! Where were the suave come backs I always had?
"It's all good!" he went on, slamming his hand on to my shoulder and making me fall forward slightly. The man obviously didn't know his own strength. "Names Emmett McCarty, head of the mailroom at Shityass Software – Oh sorry! I meant to say Cityspace Software." He let out a loud laugh again. I couldn't help but chuckle with him, rubbing my shoulder to get rid of the pain at the same time. "And you're Teddy Cullen, am I right?"
"Well actually it's Ted -" I started but he interrupted me.
"I know, I know!" he said with a grin. "But I got nicknames for all the guys around here. Teddy's not so bad, huh?"
I wanted to say 'no, it is bad' but then that would be out of character so I just smiled and nodded. Emmett rubbed his chin thoughtfully before grinning at me again. "No need to go through the whole interview process, kid," he stated. "You got what it takes to run mail up and down elevators, don't yah?"
"Er, sure," I said, nodding enthusiastically. I was getting out of doing a stupid interview and that was a good thing.
"Good job, Teddy!" he laughed, getting to his feet and holding out his hand on me. "Welcome aboard!"
This was actually really great for me. I didn't have to answer any questions at all. I was basically getting off easy. If I thought about it, I may have been accepted only because Emmett was trying to get back at Newton but then the guy may have actually liked me. That was a major plus.
I shook his hand. "Thank you, sir."
"Nah!" he said. "Call me Emmett, Teddy." He patted me more lightly on the back as I got to my feet again. "So you can start tomorrow at seven sharp?"
"You bet!" I replied cheerfully.
"All right! But first, I'll show you around the building just to get your bearings."
Emmett took me from the bottom floor all the way to the top in just under two hours. He stopped to talk to everyone we passed and they all seemed to know him quite well. I was introduced to probably everyone in the damn building as 'Teddy' but that may be an advantage to me. They'd feel comfortable around me and may even spill a few things about their boss that they see as gossip.
We got to what was supposed to be the most important floor because it housed Newton's personal office. On the elevator I got a little excited about getting to that floor. I'd finally get to have a peek at the elusive Isabella Swan. That meant my investigation could finally begin. But when the elevator doors opened, the front desk was empty.
"Aw damn," Emmett groaned. "Can't introduce you to Bella, Teddy!" He leaned over her desk as if he were checking to see if she was hiding under it. "Huh. We must have just missed her. Too bad, though. She'd have liked you."
Frowning, he left her desk and showed me the rest of the floor. We came back a few minutes later but her desk was still empty. Suspicious?
"So Emmett," I started as we got into the elevator. "How does the boss treat his personal assistant?"
As soon as I asked the question, Emmett frowned and actually looked quite angry. "How does he treat Bella?" he asked (I'd have to take down that everyone called her Bella instead of her full name). "He sniffs around her like a fucking dog. He's always ready to hump her leg or something. I'm surprised she hasn't filed for sexual harassment."
"It's that bad?" I asked. No sexual harassment suit? Suspicious.
"Hell yeah!" he crowed. "I'm always ready to punch his face in whenever he's around her. Bella doesn't deserve this shit, okay? She's sweet and kind to everyone she meets. You'd like her. I guarantee it."
"Do you like her?" I asked, raising my brows.
He chuckled. "Not in that way," he said. "I got my sexy, little Rosie at home. Bella's like my little sister. If anyone ever hurt her, then I'd kick their teeth in."
Well wasn't that an uplifting thought? I'd better call the dentist and make sure he has some teeth on stand by for me.
Fucking alarm clock! Grabbing it from the bedside table, I tossed it across the room and heard the satisfying crunch when it smashed against the wall. Good. Now I could finally get some sleep…
"Stop that racket up there!" came a loud voice from downstairs followed by a tapping on the floor.
"Fucking neighbours," I groaned while pulling a pillow over my head to keep out all the noises around me. I was frustrated; I'd admit that. I hadn't caught one glimpse of Bella Swan yesterday and that was not good. I needed to know exactly what she looked like and how she spent her day if this case was ever going to be closed.
I'd spent time talking with Emmett yesterday in hopes that Bella would magically show up but of course the little minx was incognito. She was probably off humping Newton in some supply closet or something.
Bringing Bella up in the conversation Emmett and I had was impossible. He really was a chatterbox. There was no way I could question him about Bella and Newton while he blabbered on about his wife Rosalie. Not that I wasn't interested. He didn't only give away his whole life story but he also spoke about tons of gossip around the office. It really was like a soap opera. There were big rumours like someone carrying someone else's baby and little rumours like someone stealing all the pens in the office. My personal favourite (and Emmett's) was Newton actually being gay but he wrote that off saying that Mike was too busy chasing female tail to be attracted to men. I couldn't help but hold on to the hope that he really was gay. Wouldn't that be something to let his wife in on?
I snorted with laughter into the pillow before pushing myself out of bed. Running a hand through my bed head, I stalked to the bathroom to tame it again. I wouldn't lie; I hated the hair gel. It took me over twenty minutes to get it out of my hair in the shower last night. Now I'd have to do it all over again. But I couldn't stop now. This was my character and I had to stick to it. "It was your bright idea, moron," I told my reflection.
After dressing in my 'costume' I made myself some coffee, grabbed my bag and left the apartment. The texting kid was in the exact same place as yesterday, his thumbs going nuts over the keypad as I walked past. "You're doing a good job, huh?" I joked, pushing the door open.
"Yeah, sure," he replied without looking up. Rolling my eyes, I ignored him and stepped out into the Seattle morning.
It was going to be a good day I could feel it. The weather was warm and cheerful and I just knew that this would be the day that I would finally meet Bella Swan. I was going to see what she looked like and my job could finally start. Breathing in the warm morning air, I started my walk to the office along with all the other workers. Instead of just watching them from a far, I was one of these people who were walking to their job. I always remembered watching the herds of workers in the morning but I never was apart of them. If my life had changed course I probably would have been one of them.
When I finally reached the building I decided to take the stairs instead of the busy elevators. It was just as crowded as the day before and I didn't really feel the need to become a sardine again. The staircase was empty and I reveled in the silence as I jogged down the last few steps to the lower floor. Checking my watch, I realized I was actually a few minutes early. Emmett would like that.
The mailroom was just as busy as it was yesterday and people were tossing things back and forth again. I was careful not to get smacked in the face with one of the packages flying through the air as I searched for Emmett. He was standing and talking to one of the employees as I neared him. He laughed loudly as his co-worker chuckled with him. Emmett's laugh was kind of contagious and I found myself laughing more at his laugh than the actual joke or comment. He finally turned, noticing me, before patting the other man on the back and walking over to me.
"Teddy!" he cried out. "Good to see yah! Ready for your first day?"
I nodded and he grinned at me before leading me to a room where the mailroom employee's kept their personal belongings. After packing my bag and coat into a small locker, I was ready for my first day. Emmett recruited one of the other men named Ben to help me out. I would probably get lost so it was good to have someone with me. Ben was a nice guy but a little shy at the beginning. We'd get along just fine.
Ben picked a cart that was already full of mail and a check board before we set off for the elevators. I pushed the cart as Ben mumbled about what floors we had to go to. My heart leapt when he mentioned the floor that Bella was supposedly on. This was it. I was fucking going to find her today.
We had to visit a few other floors before we got to the most important stop. Apparently the designers of the Cityspace programs were on the same floor as Newton's office and most of the mail was either going to them or to the boss himself.
The elevator doors opened and I couldn't help but swear under my breath. Bella's desk was empty again. Ben ignored the empty area and passed by her desk to go further into the office. I followed him grudgingly. Where the fuck was she? The bitch was really starting to piss me off.
As we got into the cubicle area, Ben started walking faster and weaving through different paths as if he were excited. I finally realized why he was acting that way.
He stopped beside one of the cubicles and leaned inside. The woman sitting at her desk turned and grinned up at him. "Hi Ben," she said.
He nervously smiled back. "Hi Angela," he stuttered before digging into the cart to bring out small a box. "Er, I made sure to order you those pens you really liked." He held the box out to her, his hand shaking as she took.
"Really?" she asked as she opened the box and held it close to her chest. "Oh thanks, Ben! That's so nice of you!"
He laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck. God, I felt sick. This guy was so whipped I was surprised he didn't show physical marks. I yanked the cart backwards and left them to get through an embarrassing conversation. There was no way I was staying to listen to that romantic shit.
I made a few more deliveries, people barely looking at me as they tapped insistently at their keyboards. This was obviously the serious floor. Nobody was talking with one another. They were all absorbed in their work. I can see why Emmett liked the other floors more but then I couldn't blame these workers. They were right beside the boss's office and that would make me get down to business. Too bad their boss was a complete dick.
Suddenly, I heard Emmett's voice coming from the elevators. Curious, I pushed the cart towards the sound. "Oh come on, Bella!" he said making me stop at the corner. "You'd like him!"
"Look, Emmett," a soft, female voice replied. "You've tried to set me up with every man in this office. I can't like everyone that you do."
Bella Swan was just around the corner. I would finally get my first look at my target and see if she really was as snake like as Mrs. Newton painted her to be. But I had to formulate a plan that would make sure that she would remember me and feel comfortable. I needed something very shy like fumbling with something since the girls usually felt sorry for a guy like that. I stood to think for a moment as Emmett continued talking to her.
"Please?" he whined.
"No," she said.
"No," she laughed.
"At least meet him, Bells," he cried. "You may actually like him!"
"I'm sure I would," she answered sarcastically.
Finally, I came up with a plan. I waited until I could hear her getting up and coming around the corner, before knocking the cart over on purpose. It was just as loud as I thought it would be and a few of the workers actually turned to look at me curiously. Playing my part, I nervously got down on my knees and began to pick up the mail.
"Oh God!" Bella cried and I could hear her getting down on the floor. "Are you all right?"
Looking up, I was about to answer when I stopped. I just…stared. Jesus Fucking Christ.
On her knees was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. She had the sexy librarian look down pat. Her long brown hair was tied back into a conservative ponytail and she even had glasses hanging off her nose. The white blouse she was wearing created an ample view of her cleavage (although she didn't seem to notice) and the black skirt shaped her ass quite nicely. As she picked the mail up off the floor I could even catch glimpses of her gorgeous legs if she moved the right way. Mother fucker. For once in my life, my brain was agreeing with my body when it screamed: Take her! Take her!
"Ugh, I hate these carts," she babbled on, stuffing the mail back in place before looking up at me. She brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear and smiled kindly at me as I continued to stare. Her eyes were a deep chocolate brown and I actually found myself agreeing that the eyes were the window to the soul. She was innocent. She couldn't possibly be the snake that Mrs. Newton thought she was. But with the soft blush on her cheeks and those nervous laughs she could fool even the greatest detective.
"Teddy!" Emmett's loud voice made me snap back to reality. I gathered the rest of the mail and pulled the cart up so that I could put the envelopes back in order. Emmett came over to us, slamming his hand on my back again. "See Bells? I told you you'd like him!"
Bella just smiled while returning the last of the mail to the cart. She looked up and caught my eye again before looking back at Emmett.
"Bella this is Teddy -" Emmett started but I interrupted him by holding out my hand for her to shake.
"Er, Ted Cullen," I said quickly.
She laughed and shook my hand. "I was kind of wondering why Emmett was trying introduce me to someone named Teddy." Bella rolled her eyes at her friend. "You can't just call someone by their actual name?"
Emmett's lower lip jutted out. "But that's no fun Bells!"
"You're such a child," she said, punching him playfully on the shoulder. "I don't know how Rose puts up with you."
He grinned, pushing his chest out. "That's because I'm amazing in the -"
"Okay!" she cried, covering her ears. "I don't want to hear this." She turned and continued walking down the hallway, only turning once to smile and wave at me. "It was nice meeting you, Ted."
I smiled back at her as she stepped into one of the offices and disappeared. Damn, that woman had one nice ass.
Emmett chuckled beside me, elbowing me in the side. "Told you you'd like her," he murmured before leaving me alone with the cart.
Well, I thought as I turned and pushed the cart back to the elevators. At least I had something nice to look at while doing this case. Something very nice to look at, I thought with a smirk.
Sorry for taking so long with this one. I've been doing stuff…in school. But hey! It's March Break! I love having time off and sleeping in until three in the afternoon! Just saw 'Remember Me'. Was it depressing enough for you too? I swear I was this close to tears. Other than watching movies I've also been working on my real story. You know, the one I want to publish someday? Getting all the facts sorted out and such takes some time but I'm taking it all very seriously. I'm kind of hoping it will be popular so I can bring out more books for a series. You'd buy it…right? Speaking of book's, has anyone ever read a book called Shiver? I really want to read it but I'm trying to wait until it comes out in paperback. I hate hardcover and their high prices! Oh and I hope you are all still keeping you fingers crossed for that short story contest I entered. Judging starts at the end of March! I'm excited! And yeah…sorry about the limited amount of Bella in this chapter. She'll be back though. And sorry about any mistakes that are in this chapter about offices or mailrooms. Again, I've never worked in one.