The Agent and the Esquire
Rated – M for language and citrus
Disclaimer: The brilliant Stephenie Meyer is the creator of the Twilight Saga and the phenomenal characters within. I own nothing and mean no disrespect.
No copyright infringement is intended.
Thank you to my beta Kelli, Breath-of-Twilight
Thanks also to my friend, MK, a badass corporate attorney in her own right, for authenticating the legalese within the story.
Chapter One: The Agent.
"You can't be serious, Edward? How in the hell did you swing that one? You seriously signed Emmett as the 'Trojan Man'?? That's got to be the most fucked up endorsement deal I've ever heard of." Jasper was a mixture of emotions; he was pissed off that Emmett would miss this weekend's event at The Players Club, but he was amused at the fact that his friend would be starring in a condom commercial. He was never going to let him live it down.
Jasper doubled over laughing at the thought of Emmett being The Trojan Man. Even his laugh held his trademark Southern drawl that permeated throughout the Club.
Edward tried in vain to ignore his friend's remarks. He was too engrossed in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, where he was featured in an article on sports agents. He didn't have time to read the piece earlier, because Jessica, his mindless admin assistant, overbooked his afternoon, scheduling back to backs that lasted through dinner. Jess was every shade of red when she handed him the magazine. Edward knew it must be good if it made his more-than-experienced-assistant blush.
"Edward! Did you even hear a word I said? Give me one good reason why you booked that commercial for this weekend." Jasper wadded up a piece of paper and threw it across his desk in Edward's direction, hitting him right in the middle of his forehead.
Edward muttered out a quick, "Fuck!" then he purposefully stretched out his legs, shoes and all, onto Jasper's buttery-soft Italian leather sofa. He laid the magazine down in his lap and contemplated his explanation as to why Emmett, the Mariner's star designated hitter, was not coming to the event that weekend.
This wasn't just any event, though. The 'Maskorade Ball' was the fundraising event of the year and was being held at The Players Club for the second year in a row. Jasper, Edward and Emmett are equal partners in TPC, with Jasper managing the day to day operations.
This year, the 'Ball' was sponsored by Gatorade. Some pencil-pushing marketing genius approached Jasper about the title sponsorship: Five million dollars in exchange for printing up some invitations and calling it the 'Gatorade Maskorade Ball'? Well, it sounded good to him, and Harborview Medical would be all the happier.
The Players Club, or TPC for short, is a members-only club comprised of former and current professional athletes and their agents. No owners or executives are permitted as members, but, they may attend when accompanied by a member.
Six out of seven nights a week the line of beautiful women would wrap around TPC. These women are dressed to the nines and would promise just about anything to get past the bouncers. To be fortunate enough to get your name on the coveted VIP list would be like getting a golden ticket to 'Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory'. Only, instead of the promise of a lifetime of chocolate, the women hope to win a lifetime of luxury, wrapped in the arms of a player as his beautiful trophy wife.
That's better than chocolate any day of the week.
Emmett has a soft spot for the Rat City Roller Girls. Those ladies occupy permanent residence on the VIP list. They rarely come out, but when they do, they always wear their skates. And, the beautiful women hate them because they can never compete with the derby girls, who give all they've got and never ask for a single thing in return.
The 'Ball' is just a few days away, and everybody who is anybody tried to get their hands on one of only five hundred tickets. At five thousand dollars a ticket, the event sold out in two days. Scalpers are getting in bidding wars, selling single tickets for upwards of two times their face value.
This was one of the few events of the year in which non-members could buy tickets. In an act of good faith, Jasper "sold" twenty tickets each to the ownership of The Seahawks and Mariners. It's the only time of the year that the dark side - the ownership and their in-house counsel - step foot in The Players Club.
National and local media have requested and received press passes for this event. Among the most well known include Sports Illustrated, TMZ, ESPN, and the four major networks.
So much is on the line and everything must be perfect. Since they own the Club, there's a lot at stake for each of them. But, Jasper being the operating partner, took it personally that Edward was so caught up in signing Emmett to the Trojan deal that he had forgotten about Emmett's commitment to the event.
Emmett McCarty is affectionately called the "bear of baseball" by his female fans. The fact that he won't be around to emcee the evening will certainly disappoint the ladies. But, more importantly, Emmett wouldn't be around to appear in the publicity surrounding the event.
Instead, Emmett would be in Hawaii shooting a commercial for Trojan Corporation, from whom Edward would get a nice kickback.
Edward smirked and shook his head at his friend, who clearly didn't understand what was at stake. "You want one good reason why Emmett won't be emceeing the charity auction, Jasper? I'll give you two million reasons. Money talks. "
"And Bullshit walks." Jasper smoothed down his cropped blond hair and squinted his baby blues at Edward, who just picked up his magazine and continued right where he left off.
"It's the nature of the beast, Jasper. I'm his agent first, his cousin second, and your business partner third. And, the last time I checked, Emmett and I are supposed to be silent partners in TPC. This baby is all yours, Jazz," Edward ran his fingers through his hair, fed up with the implications. But, hey, he would gladly open up his checkbook and pay a God-awful amount of money just to shut Jasper the hell up.
"The timing sucks. Couldn't you have postponed the shoot? You could'a held Trojan off, at least for a little while. Just sayin'." Jasper shuffled some papers on his desk.
Where was that check book, again?
"First of all, it's a masquerade party, so everyone will be wearing masks. No one will have a goddamned clue who's here and who isn't. And, no, I couldn't postpone the shoot. It all comes down to timing. Trojan's up against a hard deadline and wouldn't budge an inch," Edward countered.
Jasper was more than aggravated. "Whatever. Not that your twenty percent cut didn't have anything to do with it. What are you wearing to this thing anyway?" Jasper changed the subject, not wanting to sound bitter about the four hundred thousand dollars that Edward was bound to pocket from the Trojan deal alone.
"If you must know, since I don't care to have my entire face covered all night with a rubber Halloween mask, it came down to either Phantom of the Opera or Batman. I'd rather not come as a disfigured freak, so I figured I'd be the Superhero instead." Edward smiled for a moment then he glanced back down at his magazine, anxious to finish the article.
But Jasper was relentless. "Seein' as though I've got official duties that night, I'm just wearin' a tux. I'll be the bad guy to your superhero and come as 'The Penguin.'
And I will destroy you, Batman…."
Jasper's mood had lightened. He coughed out a laugh, and then began pouring through some eleventh hour purchase orders for the Club.
Edward acted as though he couldn't be bothered. And, truly, it wasn't worth his time to argue with his best friend. No, to be certain, Edward's time was better spent brokering player contracts and endorsement deals, rather than worrying about who was or wasn't emceeing an insignificant charity event.
Even though it wasn't insignificant at all.
Ticket sales alone already added up to two and a half million dollars. When you add in Gatorade's sponsorship dollars and potential auction sales, this fundraiser would bring in at least ten million dollars for Harborview's hematology department. Edward's father, Carlisle Cullen, was Chief of Staff at Harborview and his mother, Esme, was a hematologist and attending physician at WSU's Medical School – Harborview Campus.
Edward is from a family of over-achievers. His parents save lives everyday. Edward draws as much blood as he possibly can from teams and corporations across the United States and Canada.
Edward's parents dedicate much of their time and money to philanthropy. Edward has more money than God, but believes he can always make more. He is tall, lean and sculpted. He's got emerald green eyes and bronze hair that can't be tamed. He has a personality to match. He's had more women than Wilt and Tiger combined, but fortunately, Edward's never been so foolish as to get tied down or get caught. Make no mistake, Edward Cullen will be keeping his millions, and will make good use of all the Trojan swag that comes his way.
Edward's parents, Carlisle and Esme Cullen would give you the shirts off their backs.
Edward Cullen will make you lose yours. And your panties, too.
He gave the SI article another read:
"March 22, 2010, Seattle, Washington - For the third year in a row, Edward M. Cullen, J.D.,M.B.A., has been named the top grossing sports agent of 2009. His net worth is estimated at one point two billion dollars, earning him a spot on Forbes Top Fifty Wealthiest Men in America. Although Cullen could buy a sports franchise outright, he claims that he "enjoys the thrill of the hunt too much to become the prey."
Cullen is known industry-wide as 'The Agent' because, quite frankly, he's the very best in the business. And, he'll be the first one to tell you so. Cullen has been at the top of his game since he debuted on the scene in 2007, brokering a ten year - two hundred million deal for his cousin Emmett McCarty, a designated hitter with the Seattle Mariners. McCarty's contract remains the highest grossing rookie contract in the history of Major League Baseball. Cullen received his joint law/masters degree from Stanford, where his focus was sports law and sports management. Everything he touches turns to gold, every player wants him as his agent and every team prays they won't bleed to death by the time they sign on the dotted line.
Cullen represents professional athletes and has brokered some of the most lucrative deals in sports history. The Cullen Agency is comprised of fifteen sports agents, all sports attorneys, who represent professional baseball, basketball and football players, but Cullen has yet to add a professional hockey player to the mix. Ironically, Cullen was spotted on March 15, 2010 exiting a Dallas steakhouse with Tim Hicks, owner of the financially strapped NHL franchise, Dallas Stars. Cullen denies rumors he is in a bidding war in his attempt to purchase The Stars thus bringing professional hockey to Seattle."
A founding partner in Seattle's hot spot member's only 'The Players Club," Cullen is rumored to be in talks to open similar clubs in three additional high-end markets. In his spare time, Cullen enjoys entertaining on his houseboat, reportedly valued at $2.3 million dollars.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Edward had counted on a little more discretion when he'd agreed to meet with The Hicks Group. He wanted to keep everything under wraps until the deal went through, or rather, if the deal went through. Edward was letting this one play out on its own. If he succeeded in purchasing The Stars, his cash flow would be seriously depleted. He preferred to make money rather than spend money, anyway, so he would just continue to deny the rumors and let the chips fall where they may. Jasper was angry as it was. No sense adding more fuel to the fire.
Jasper grew up in the Texas oilfields. He was an All-American high school football player and earned a scholarship to Texas A&M where he was a running back. He got a degree in accounting, hoping he'd put it to good use investing all that money he would make if he got signed to the NFL. Jasper was indeed drafted by the Cowboys and got engaged to his cheerleader, high school sweetheart, Chelsey, the very next day.
His happiness was short lived, because although he was drafted, he was unceremoniously cut from the Cowboys during training camp. Chelsey had set her hopes on marrying a football player, so she broke his heart and married the backup quarterback, Afton Dimell, instead.
With his tail between his legs, Jasper left Texas and moved to California where he got his MBA at Stanford. His father, Randall Whitlock, had high hopes that Jasper would follow in his footsteps and take over Whitlock Oil. But of course that never happened.
An overachiever at an early age, Edward attended the best boarding schools in America. He got his bachelors degree from Dartmouth while he set his sights on law school.
While Edward soared in academics, his cousin Emmett excelled in sports. He was a baseball prodigy and was destined for the major leagues. It was actually Emmett who initially put the "sports agent" idea in Edward's head. Emmett said that he would be Edward's first client. Though he wasn't his first, he certainly made the record books as the finest deal ever made.
Edward knew that in order to become one of the most successful in his field, he would have to set himself apart from the rest.
Having made his decision to become a sports agent, Edward choreographed his next steps expertly. He chose to attend Stanford, because they had a joint masters/law degree program. Stanford offered specialized courses in sports marketing and management, domestic and international business and, of course, sports law.
When it comes to successful sports agents, it's best to equate it to the food chain. There are the lions, the lambs and the bottom feeders.
The bottom feeders are the scum of the earth, with little education who prey on low level amateur, Olympic and college athletes. There are others with undergraduate degrees that attempt to play with the big boys, but are out-maneuvered at every turn.
The lambs, for the most part, are well respected by athletes and owners alike, and most of them achieve success in the field. The more reputable ones have a background in law, which enable them to navigate the intricacies of labor laws, contract law, endorsement agreements, negotiation and arbitration, as well as navigating the complexities of professional athletic unions.
At the very top of the food chain are the lions. These are the elite few who offer both legal and business expertise.
Athletes are highly paid individuals and they require an agent who can advise them every step of the way. Many athletes are either foreign born or are contracted to teams in Canada and other parts of the world. Therefore, expertise in domestic and international business and business law is crucial.
In their second year at Stanford, Edward and Jasper met during a "business strategies" class they shared. The two became fast friends and ended up sharing an apartment the remainder of their Stanford days.
Jasper spent his summers back in Texas working for Whitlock Oil. Edward spent his summers in the sports law arena, making contacts and learning the intricacies that quite simply weren't taught at Stanford. He interned with two pro teams, the Giants pro baseball team his first summer; and the San Francisco 49ers pro football team the summer of his second year. After his third year, Edward landed the only paid internship offered with Idell & Seitel, the largest sports and entertainment firm in San Francisco.
Edward strategically planned his career and everything fell into place like clockwork.
In just four short years, he walked away with his "joint" degrees, in Sports Law/Sports Business Administration. His stage was set.
Edward would be the lion in an industry filled with prey.
After Edward rocked Major League Baseball with Emmett's epic deal, players around the MLB jockeyed for position, literally beating down Edward's door.
The cousins were swimming in money. Edward bought a house on the coast as well as two cars, including his trademark black Aston Martin, which looked like the Batmobile, and a silver Volvo convertible. He rarely drives either vehicle, preferring to make use of a car service twenty-four seven instead.
When Emmett deposited his "ginormous" signing bonus, he bought a penthouse condominium near Safeco Field, a Jeep and a Mariner's baseball cap. His penthouse has an ocean view, and he can walk to the field. His Jeep is tricked out to the hilt.
As for his baseball cap? It has been quite the chick magnet. No one turns down a player.
At first, as in 'right when he signed,' women never believed that Emmett was actually a Mariner. He had the Mariner's hat, but so did half of Seattle. Plus, he couldn't seem to wipe the Cheshire cat grin off of his face long enough to appear believable. So, he resorted to showing all the pretty girls his laminated copy of the photo and article in the Seattle Times that wrote about his "record breaking rookie contract".
That was then.
Now, Emmett practically has to beat women away with a baseball bat. Not that he would, hit a girl that is, but he had a hard time figuring out whether women wanted him for his money or his good looks, wit and charm.
That all changed three weeks ago when he met a woman. Not just any woman, but the most beautiful, intelligent and resourceful woman ever to grace God's earth. His Jeep was stopped dead on the four-oh-five when an angel came to his rescue. She pulled over in her candy apple red BMW convertible and asked him if he needed some help.
Emmett mistook her for a fan and told her it wasn't a good time for autographs. She had never watched a baseball game in her life. Blondie slapped his face, popped his hood and set him straight. He's been in love ever since. Emmett was swept off his feet and he swore off his womanizing ways forever. He just flew the mystery woman away with him for a week in Hawaii for the Trojan shoot.
Which reminded Edward, he had to set the record straight with Jasper.
"Only five percent. I only get five percent of what I broker for Emmett. For everybody else, it's higher. Much higher."
Jasper smirked and tapped his mechanical pencil on the desk. "So, only one hundred thousand dollars, then?"
"In cash," Edward deadpanned, turned the page of his magazine and then his eyes about popped out of his head.
Mariner's Back-Office Ball Buster
Isabella "Ice Princess" Swan, Esquire
Relatively new on the scene, Isabella Swan, staff counsel with the Seattle Mariners, is a tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners woman in the male-dominated sports industry. She has already made a name for herself, albeit not very flattering. Known among sports agents as the 'Ice Princess', or even 'Icey-Bella' Swan, one thing is certain: Isabella Swan, Esquire, has hit professional baseball by storm.
When asked about her rumored boardroom encounters with sports agents, Swan replied, "For the most part, they are unethical, unqualified, unscrupulous and borderline criminal. I have yet to find one I can stomach."
Swan offered no comment regarding reports that she had driven an agent to tears earlier in the week.
Edward thought long and hard about the Ice Princess and his meeting with her the following Thursday. I'll give her something to swallow.
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Chapter Two: The Esquire
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