DISCLAIMER: I do not own Twilight. But I do own the intellectual property of the story, Bella? Marie?
Thanks to Project Team Beta for their fab skills and advice. You rock! A huge thank you also goes to my sister, Belindella for co-authoring this first chapter to help me get this delightful tale out there. You're my inspiration, girl!
This is a unique nanny story. For those of you that don't like nanny stories because of the children, please be assured that all scenes where there is child interaction is there to enhance the plot and to define/develop the characters. They will never be filler (for no purpose.)
This is first and foremost an Edward and Bella love story. It is also rated M for very good reasons.
I hope you read on and give it a go!
CHAPTER ONE - Edward Meets Marie
I gasped in fright, my pulse quickening with panic. I could have sworn it was him through the crowd. My mind went rampant with worry at the thought of him finding me there. What would he think? What would he say? I had to get out of there.
"Angela!" I called to my best friend over the loud music of the night club. Her brows quirked, letting me know she'd heard me as she continued to dance. "I think my boss is here!"
"Oh! Where?" She stopped dancing. "I've wanted to meet Rosalie for ages."
I shook my head. "No! Not her, the other one!"
Angela's face stayed blank. "What?"
"I think I just saw Mr. Cullen!"
Her jaw dropped a little, and she mouthed 'Oh.' She knew about the crush I had had on him since I'd started working for him and Rosalie three months ago.
Mr. Cullen was everything I wanted in a man. He exuded confidence and control. His raw masculinity and smooth voice had my girly parts tingling with pleasure every time I saw him. Just watching him lick his lips could make me turn into a pile of mush. His pride was considered by others to be a bad trait, but to me, it showed how strong and sure he was of himself. Something I wasn't.
Mr. Cullen was Rose's, my actual boss's, ex-husband. He was also the father of the cutest little boy I'd ever known. For the past three months, I'd lived with Rosalie in her swanky, three bedroom apartment in Downtown Seattle, having the pleasure of being nanny to her four-year old son as my full-time job.
Rose and Mr. Cullen had divorced three years earlier, so I rarely saw him, except for the brief moments every week where we shared a quick conversation that was little more than common courtesy. I preferred to watch him rather than flirt with him anyway.
Angela watched me looking around, trying to find him in the crowd again. The new club we were in was jammed with writhing bodies, dancing and moving with the loud music. Angela had insisted we go to 'Club Veto' as it was her twenty-second birthday. She'd also insisted that I ditch my black framed glasses for my special blue contacts and that I wore her sexy red dress. I couldn't deny that the mini make-over made me feel bolder, sexier and more confident. I liked it.
"Even if it is him, Bella, so what?" Angela asked, seeing my worried look.
"What if he fires me, Ange?"
Maybe he wouldn't want me being Henry's nanny anymore if he knew I went out partying. Granted, I didn't go out a lot for someone my age, but the last nanny had been fired after a load of liquor bottles had been found under her bed. He couldn't find out I was drinking! I'd assured Rose that I wasn't a drinker when she hired me.
"God, Bella. He'd be an asshole if he fired you." Angela looked around the club. "What are the chances it's him anyway?" she reminded me, shouting over the terrible techno song that had started belting out. "And if it is him, you look hot!" She winked at me. Two Cosmopolitans made her so enthusiastic. I chuckled. We were both light weights with alcohol.
But she was right. I did look very different than my usual self. Instead of my long, wavy brown hair being messily piled on top of my head in a bun, Angela had taken a straightening iron to it so it was a lot more sleek, shiny and dark. Angela had even made me over with dark, smoky eye make up. Even I had hardly recognized myself.
Perhaps if it was Mr. Cullen, he'd see me as a woman, not just a plain, young nanny. But who was I kidding? His ex-wife was one of the most stunning women I'd ever seen, with shapely legs that went on for miles and perfectly styled platinum blond hair, not to mention flawless skin and beautiful features. I was not like Rose at all, so I knew he'd never see me in a sexual way. But I could dream.
And dream I did.
Dreams were safe, secret.
Though, none of those fantasies consisted of him catching me in a night club after clearly having had a few drinks when I'd sworn I didn't touch the stuff. In my interview, Rosalie had stressed how important it was that her next nanny didn't drink, so I'd told her that I didn't. And I got the job.
So, what if Mr. Cullen now found out I had lied?
"Can we go?" I asked Angela, bitting my lower lip. "I don't want him to see me drinking. Just being here he'll be suspicious."
She pulled a complaining face, scrunching up her pretty features. "Do we have to? You're overreacting, Bella. They know you're not like that last nanny."
"How could they know that?" My biggest fear was being fired from my job. I'd grown so attached to Henry over the past few months that to leave him would be like abandoning my own little brother. I considered him family, and Rose was like a sister to me.
"Okay," Angela huffed. I nodded once, pleased we could leave. "But just one more drink before we go? For me?"
I frowned and gazed around the nightclub again. The man who had looked like Mr. Cullen had been going in the opposite direction of the bar, so I supposed that it would be okay if we headed over there quick.
"Yeah, alright," I agreed. Angela beamed. Poor thing, it was her birthday.
We made our way through the well dressed crowd and stood behind people at the bar, waiting our turn to be served. It seemed to be a popular place with different shaped, blue lit chandeliers dripping from the ceiling. I was pleased I had listened to Angela and worn her red, sleeveless, knee length dress as everyone around us was dressed formally; the men in suits.
We chatted together about nonsense, but my eyes continued to scan the crowd. Angela and I stood with our elbows on the grey marble bar, huddled together as people pressed into us on both sides, squished by people coming and going from the bar. Finally, a barmaid looked at me for our order.
I'd not seen the tall man with reddish brown hair and square jaw again, and hoped that it had been my imagination. So I decided to risk having another drink. I didn't feel good about ruining Angela's birthday night based on a suspicion.
"Two Cosmopolitans?" I called to the barmaid over all the noise around us. She nodded in understanding and went about making our yummy drinks.
Angela beamed at me. "Aww. Thank you! You won't regret it."
"I hope so!"
I felt someone press against my side. "You know, that drink's very cliché," a male voice spoke into my ear.
I frowned and turned my head to look at the man who spoke. My eyes widened when I looked straight into the handsome face of Mr. Cullen.
I tried to breathe and not panic.
He was so close. And… smiling at me? The intensity in his eyes heated my skin, making me blush.
Mr. Cullen had never smiled at me like that before!
I nodded at him, my mouth dry as desert sand. Was he going to call me a liar? How was he to know that I only drank on special occasions? That I rarely went partying anymore and just enjoyed a few beers with Angela every other weekend.
I looked at him and waited. But he just kept gazing at me. Smirking. Why on earth would he smile? Maybe he'd told Rose that he had a feeling I would be no good as their child's nanny when I first started, and I'd just proven him right. Was he happy about being one up on Rosalie?
He finally leaned closer to speak, and I braced myself for his words of disappointment.
"Since that show, Sex and the City, girls everywhere are drinking Cosmo's." It was the strangest thing he could have said, and nothing like I expected to hear.
I frowned, confused. He bent closer to my face again, his beautiful green eyes twinkling, his smile dazzling me, making my stomach grab.
"I'm Edward," he told me, his voice smooth and caressing. I felt my stomach grab in shock.
He didn't recognize me!
I blinked, looking up into his expectant face. I couldn't let him know who I was just so that I could get in trouble, so I nodded, giving him a timid smile. I knew that I could use his ignorance to keep my secret so decided to play along.
"Hello," I said, before turning away from him to pay for our drinks that had just been placed on the bar. I wanted to get as far away from him as fast as possible before the penny dropped and he realized who I actually was, so I picked up my cocktail, as Angela grabbed hers, and I walked away from the bar. And him. With my free hand, I pulled Angela's elbow as encouragement for her to follow me.
I chanced a glance back at Mr. Cullen and saw him staring at me, his mouth agape. Was he recognizing me? Shit. I put my head down and focused on my feet. We managed to meander our way through the bodies until I finally stopped at the other side of the club, feeling safe that he was nowhere nearby.
"Freakin' hell, Bella! Why'd you want to come all the way over here?"
"Sorry, Ange. That was Mr. Cullen!"
"The man next to me at the bar!"
"Oh no! Did he talk to you?"
"Yeah. He said hello." Angela waited for more. "He didn't recognize me."
"How do you know that?"
"He introduced himself to me." Angela looked mystified, so I went on. "As Edward."
"Oh! Holy shit!" Her hand flew to cover her mouth, realizing that he wouldn't have introduced himself by his first name if he knew who I was. He had always insisted that his son's nannies called him 'Mr. Cullen.' It reinforced respect in front of his child or something, so it confirmed to me that he hadn't recognized me.
Angela saw this as a good thing. "So we can stay?"
"I dunno. What if he sees me again and works it out?"
She giggled. "Tell him your middle name. Introduce yourself as Marie."
"Well, let's forget him. Can we just have a good time tonight? This place is huge. We probably won't see him again anyway."
I hoped I wasn't bringing her down on her birthday, so I nodded. "Okay, how 'bout we finish our drinks and go for another dance?" Then I'd see if I could get her to leave.
"You're on... Marie!" Angela clinked my glass with her own.
Another Cosmopolitan and three dances later, we were laughing with wild amusement about the man who had attached himself to Angela and I during the last song. We had had to tell him that we needed to use the bathroom for him to let us go.
I hadn't even thought of Mr. Cullen since I started dancing, feeling too relaxed from the alcohol I'd consumed. I wondered why Angela and I didn't do this more often.
Making our way back from the Ladies room, a short muscular guy in his mid-twenties approached us. His dark hair and sharp features caught Angela's attention. She smirked at him, and he couldn't take his pretty blue eyes off her.
"Hey, I'm Ben."
We both nodded and smiled at him.
"Um, I was just wondering... Do you ladies want a drink?"
We gazed at each other, shrugging, as if asking 'do we?'
"Sure!" Angela answered, smiling back at him.
"Okay." He grinned. "Two Cosmopolitans?"
Angela and I looked at each other with questions in our eyes. We'd finished our drinks about half an hour ago. How could he have guessed? Was it that much of such a cliché drink for girls that he could just take a stab in the dark like that and get it right? Or had he been watching us for a while?
"Oh..." He looked worried. "Do you want something else? My friend said that's what you'd ordered before."
I got a sick feeling in my gut, and it wasn't from the alcohol.
Was he talking about Mr. Cullen?
Ben turned and pointed to a table nearby, and sure enough, there was Mr. Cullen, lounging in the aqua blue upholstered booth, smirking at us, his gaze locked on mine. I'd never seem him look so sexy in all my life, and my heart started bashing against my ribs.
What was I going to do?
"Cosmo's would be great. Thanks," Angela said, smiling and batting her eyes.
"You wanna come sit with us?" Ben asked.
I shook my head no, not letting Angela have a chance to reply. "No, no, we're okay over here. Standing. But thanks anyway."
Angela gripped my hand between us, and I didn't know if it was to support my decision or if it was because she did want to sit with them.
Ben frowned. "Er... okay. I'll be back in a bit with your drinks."
Normally I wouldn't have trusted a strange guy to be alone with our drinks, for fear of him spiking it, but I trusted that Mr. Cullen didn't have a friend that would do that.
As soon as Ben was gone, I avoided all eye contact with Mr. Cullen, turning my back to him. Angela told me how cute she thought Ben was, and that she would love to sit with them to get to know him better.
We had a very animated debate about how I didn't think I could handle sitting with my boss and lying to him by not setting him straight about who I was, and how I was worried he'd figure me out. Angela argued that he was probably half wasted and that if his brain hadn't clicked by now, it never would. She just wanted to sit with them for a little bit, and she assured me that if anything went wrong or she could see that Mr. Cullen was acting suspicious of me, that we could leave.
Ben came back with two, pretty pink drinks for us, and Angela told him that we'd love to sit with him and his friend. He snapped his head to me to see if I agreed, and I gave him a tight, fake smile. Ben nodded, very happy with this latest development and led the way. As soon as he turned his back on us, I rolled my eyes at Angela, and she mouthed 'thank you' to me. I did love the girl; she'd been my best friend since junior high and had saved my ass on many occasions.
Ben insisted I slid into the horse-shoe shaped booth first, so I took a deep breath and sat down, scooting over for Angela. I could feel Mr. Cullen's eyes on me, but I refused to meet them. I looked everywhere else but at him as I shuffled along closer to him to let the others in. There were empty shot glasses on the table, and his long fingers stroked a glass of what I guessed was scotch on the rocks. I'd seen him pour himself glasses of blue-label Johnny Walker at his house a couple of times so I knew he liked scotch.
Watching his fingers… they made my imagination go wild and my nether regions tingle with anticipation.
I blushed, focusing my attention on my now fascinating drink, trying not to imagine how good it would feel to have him touch me... anywhere... everywhere with those long, strong fingers.
"So... I'm Ben, and this is Edward," Ben announced again, prompting us to give our names. My heart was beating so hard, so fast, I was worried he could hear it.
"I'm Angela and this is Marie."
I breathed a sigh of relief that she'd remembered.
I looked up. Mr. Cullen was gazing at me with more concentration than before. He nodded once in greeting, but I looked away, too nervous to hold his gaze.
Ben and Angela were sitting close to each other and fell into easy conversation, talking into each other's ears, thus leaving me out of the loop to cope with Mr. Cullen by myself. Angela would look at us every now and then, smiling at me with reassurance.
Mr. Cullen and I sat together, not saying a word.
Because of my anxiety and my ultra dry mouth, I couldn't stop myself from sipping the refreshing contraband liquid. It was a relief that he didn't seem bothered by me staying quiet, so I watched him out of the corner of my eye as often as I could. He caught me a few times, which made me blush in embarrassment, and I wondered what he was thinking.
After a while, when I had just a trickle of my drink left, he shifted in his seat so that he was sitting a little closer to me. My breathing increased when there was only a small space between us. When he leaned closer, wanting to say something, my whole body froze in anticipation of what he was going to say.
"So what do you do, Marie?"
I blinked fast.
He still hadn't recognised me!
Relief flooded my entire being.
I shook my head a little. "I'm a... a personal assistant." I tried to smile but it felt forced.
Mr. Cullen's expression stayed impassive and he narrowed his eyes as if analyzing me. I couldn't handle being under his gaze. Seeing an excuse I could use, I drank the last drop from my glass and turned to tell Angela that I was going to the bar again.
She was making out with Ben.
I smirked but quickly looked away, wishing her a happy birthday.
"Um, I think I'll go to the bar," I told Mr. Cullen, amazed I was so close to him in a social situation. "Can you tell my friend I'm getting her another Cosmo if she asks?"
"I can order one for you. You don't have to leave."
"Thanks, but… It's all right. I'll go."
His brows knitted together as he moved from the booth and stood up, allowing me to shimmy along and out. The moment my back was to him, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. As much as I was thrilled to be near him, deceiving him was so much pressure, even if I was feeling pretty buzzed from my drinks.
On my way back to Angela, carrying two more pink drinks, I was stopped by a cute looking guy wearing a wild zebra shirt. He stood in front of me and smiled.
"Hey, is that one for me?" he asked, pointing to one of the drinks in my hand.
I pretended to chuckle, just glad to have a distraction on my way back to Tense Town. "Not a very manly drink," I teased.
"Huh! I'm man enough," he boomed, puffing out his chest, grinning.
I laughed at him. He was funny. Then again, everything was funny after a few drinks. "Have you tried one of these before?"
"What is it?" he asked, leaning closer to inspect it.
"No. Is it good?"
"Yeah, it's delicious. Here, try it." I passed him Angela's glass. She was too busy with her tongue down Ben's throat to want it anyway.
He sipped it. "Wow! Now that's a party in my mouth!"
I giggled, sipping my own drink, and listened to him talk about how often he came to the club as we finished our cocktails rather fast. I was feeling really good and carefree again.
"You wanna go dance?" he asked.
That sounded like fun, and he was a friendly guy. "Sure!"
"I'm Mike." He held out his right hand for me to shake.
I leaned over and placed my glass on the table nearest to us then shook his hand. "Marie." I kind of liked the excitement of being mysterious.
He'd never know, so what did it matter?
He took my hand to lead me to the dance floor through all the bodies in the club. Even though I appreciated him guiding me, the intimacy of him holding my hand made me feel nervous. Thankfully, he let me go when we got on the dance floor. I had a great time dancing to the first couple of songs with him. We kept smiling at one another, and it didn't seem odd that I was having so much fun with a stranger.
But things took a turn when Mike started touching me. Just a hand on my hip, then his other.
Straight away, I felt uncomfortable. I gave him a small smile and backed away, making him loose contact with me. But he stepped closer, all humor gone from his face as he pulled me closer by my waist, his eyes heavy lidded and dark with desire. Shit. He thought I really liked him. There was no easy way out of this. I grabbed his wrists as his hands slid lower to my hips again. He let me move them away, but he brought his hands up to caress the tops of my arms, making me start to panic. I took another step back to put more space between us, but he followed.
"You're so beautiful," he told me. "Can I get your number?"
"I think I'd better go check on my friend."
Mike cocked his head to the side. "Aww, come on. One more dance?"
"Mind if I cut in?" A velvet voice asked into my ear from beside me. My stomach tightened and fluttered, knowing that voice. I looked up with my big, wide blue eyes to see Mr. Cullen. He looked serious. His eyes held mine, questioning. I noticed his jaw was tight and that he was clenching his teeth together – something I'd seen him do when he was agitated.
Though I was relieved to see him, I was also anxious to know what was upsetting him. The chance to get away from Mike won, and I nodded to Mr. Cullen.
Mike's hands immediately dropped.
"Thanks, Mike," Mr. Cullen said, as if dismissing him. His expression softened while he gave Mike a cocky grin.
I glanced back at Mike, who pursed his lips and looked at me as if expecting me to refute my rescuer. There was no way I was doing that. So, he turned on his heel and stormed off through the jiving mass of bodies.
I realized that Mr. Cullen had called Mike by his name.
"You know him?" I asked, looking up into his stunning green eyes.
He nodded. "He works for me."
Struck with the reality that I worked for him too, I was frozen with anxiety.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"He's harmless. Cocky, but he wouldn't have hurt you."
I nodded, knowing he was talking of Mike.
"Since this is a dance floor, we should be dancing," he joked, shocking me with a gorgeous, crooked smile, making my stomach flip and my heart start bashing inside my chest. He still didn't know who I was, and though I should have felt upset about it, deep down, I felt safe with the anonymity it gave me. Marie could be anyone, do anything… the thought was liberating.
I concentrated on the music thumping around us and began to dance with him. With all the drinks flooding my veins and the music pulsing through me, my body relaxed and started moving of its own accord, just like everyone around us. We kept our eyes on each other, and a respectable space between us, but I was amazed that I wasn't as afraid of his reaction anymore. I tried to just enjoy the moment, however fleeting, that we could have together.
Tomorrow I'd go back to being the nanny, but right then... I was free to be Marie.
Mr. Cullen looked at me with more intensity than I had ever been able to imagine in my fantasies. It felt as if there was an electric charge between us. My skin sizzled as if on fire, aware of his proximity, and I wanted to get closer to him, to feel him touch me. Tentatively, I reached my hand forward to lay it on his arm, but I pulled back, biting my lip, still desperate for some kind of contact.
He must have noticed, because all at once, Mr. Cullen's hand was on my waist, the heat from his hand burned through my dress as my hips moved in time with the music.
My whole body ignited under his touch, my skin hummed while my brain turned to mush. Without thinking, I moved forward so that I could feel him more and was pleased when his large hands wrapped around my back, pulling my chest against his. I let out a huge sigh as I relaxed against him, raising my arms to hold his back, feeling so secure, so turned on while held in his arms.
I never knew his touch could make me feel this way, make me desire him so desperately.
I wanted him. Right there on the dance floor.
I was a mass of sexual need. I'd never longed for anyone more in my entire life like I desired him. I needed him to touch me like I needed my next breath.
As we moved together, my forehead fell to his chest and my hands slipped under his suit jacket and roamed the hard contours of his muscular back, over his white shirt. I revelled in the fact that I was touching his shoulder blades, his tight waist, and down his spine to the rise of his toned ass.
Oh, God. I wanted him so badly.
I moaned with absolute need, the ache now becoming painful between my legs.
He moved, pulling me too him in response, and I felt what could only be Mr. Cullen's hard arousal against my hip.
Mr. Cullen wanted me, too! He wanted Marie.
My heartbeat took off, and I squeezed his ass, pulling him forward. I loved the feel of him against me, my breasts hard against his chest, and his hands roaming my back and sides.
The thought that I could take this further, while still keeping my identity a secret, excited me beyond belief. The safety I felt in my anonymity wasn't something I'd expected. For the first time in four years, I was eager to have sex again. I'd dreamt about Mr. Cullen, fantasised about being with him, but never thought it could happen.
If this was real, I intended on making the most of it.
END CHAPTER NOTES:
Thank you for reading my first fan-fic story. At the time I'm writing this, I'm up to chapter 12 and currently going through and re-editing my work, trying to improve my earlier chapters. So if you come across a chapter than stands out as different in writing style from the others; that is why. I haven't gotten to it yet. :) Hopefully, you'll see an improvement in my writing style as you progress through the story. I am only starting, and learning new things all the time, so my style is changing as well. My main mission is reducing the amount of italic thoughts.
Thank you for reading this first chapter, and I hope you'll continue reading with interest! I'd love to know your thoughts each chapter, so please review and let me know!