A/N: Hello lovelies!
This story deals with Tennis...obviously. I played for four years in high school so I'd like to say that I'm pretty versed in the subject, however I am not an expert by any means. Also there is this little thing called creative license, so I just want to put it out there that although I try to be as accurate as possible I may alter things slightly on purpose just so it goes with the story (such as tournament dates ect) so please just know that in advance.
There is a blog for this story. I will use it for teasers, playlists, news, pictures ect. So if you'd like to check it out this is the website. You can also follow it and receive updates when I post new things. www(dot)gamesetmatchfanfiction(dot)blogspot(dot)com
If you aren't following me on twitter, you definitely should. My tweets are locked but I will accept you so just request to follow. I post a lot of fanfic things on there, like when I might be updating and teasers ect.
I also have a facebook page for me as an author. Friend me at MandyLeigh Fanfic.
Huge thank you to my prereaders: secamimom and Other Amanda, I appreciate you guys taking the time to read my stuff
This story is entirely in BPOV. However I have decided to do EPOV outtakes for every 750 reviews it receives and/or for auctions, ect.
Twilight is property of Stephenie Meyer, but this story is mine so please don't steal it. It makes all the kittens and puppies of the world sad, so don't do it. I also am not interested in having it translated into another language. Thanks for the offers, but no thanks. : )
"Jazz have you seen my keys?" I picked up the stack of dirty laundry at the foot of the couch.
"No darlin' I have my own set, why would I take yours?"
Sarcastic as usual. Of course that Southern drawl of his made it hard to be mad at him.
"Great. I'm going to be late," I mumbled to myself as I looked around the apartment. It really was a beautiful place once you took away all the trash, the clutter and all the piles of clothes that always seemed to fester in the area. I couldn't complain though. I was just glad Jasper let me stay here with him until I found a job. Rent in Seattle would have been impossible for me on my own, Jasper's parents were loaded. They set him up with this whole place after we graduated college. I wish I was that lucky. Charlie barely had enough money to send me to college in the first place.
"Unless you want me living with you for the rest of your life you better get your ass out of bed and help me, otherwise I'm never going to make it to this interview!" I hestitantly lifted up the couch cushions, completely unaware of what I'd find under there. Besides about three dollars in change and a few stray French fries there was nothing. "Jasper!" I screamed.
"Would you just relax?" He finally appeared in his doorway still in his pajamas. He ran his fingers through his unruly blonde hair and yawned, completely annoying me to no end. Did he not understand that this interview was important? "Where did you last have them?" He put his hands on his hips and looked around.
"I don't know I guess last night when I came down from the dark room." I shrugged and glanced at the clock. I need to be there in fifteen minutes. And it took me at least ten to walk there so unless a Christmas miracle decides to happen in the middle of August I was royally fucked. This was first interview I'd been able to land the entire two months I'd been here. Job hunting was the spawn of Satan as far as I was concerned and if I didn't make it to this interview who knew how long it would be until I got another one.
"Alright I'll go check the stairway. Do you have your keys to the darkroom?"
"No they're on my key ring genius!" I sighed and pulled at my hair as he disappeared out the door and up the stairs towards the darkroom. Since Jasper's parents refused to let me pay a single dime to stay here, I'd been paying the apartment complex to let me use one of their extra storage closets as a dark room. If I was going to find work as a photographer I needed a portfolio and I couldn't develop pictures properly with week old Bagel Bites right next to me.
I searched the rest of the living room with no luck. Jasper walked back in just as I started to hyperventilate.
"Bells…" He said. "This is not the end of the world."
"Yeah you're allowed to say that. You don't need a job, I do." I sat down on the couch and buried my head in my hands. "Not all of our parents can own a yacht and a vacation home in Aspen."
"Here let me get you some water." He hurried over to the refrigerator and whipped it open as he grabbed one of the only clean glasses in the entire apartment. "Uh Bells?" He said slowly.
"What?" I spun around and saw my keys dangling from his finger.
"Where did you find them?" I jumped up and ran towards him, snatching the keys away from his hand.
"In the fridge." He reached inside and took out the milk.
"How the hell did they get in there," I said as he took a swig right from the carton. "You know what? Nevermind." I spun around and looked for my portfolio.
"Over by the couch." He nodded.
I ran over and grabbed it, trapping it under my arm as I darted for the door. "Thanks Jazz."
"All in a days work…" He gave me a lazy wave as I closed the door behind me.
I smiled at the doorman as I passed and exited into the drizzle of rain that was a staple of living in Seattle. I skipped towards the crosswalk and skitted across, narrowly avoiding a very pissed off taxi driver.
I stepped into the building exactly two minutes before my interview was supposed to start. Here's to hoping they were running late. I stopped briefly at the front desk to check in. I quickly showed them my I.D. and grabbed a visitor pass as I scanned the directory looking for the right office. Seattle Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Modern Dog Magazine. That's the one. Fifth floor. I hurried towards the elevator and stepped inside, already pushing the button.
"Hold that elevator!" Someone yelled.
I closed my eyes tight and waited hoping that whoever they were was too slow. Dear doors, please just close and take me at super speed up to the 5th floor so I can get out of that pig sty that Jasper calls an apartment.
Just as they were about to close tight a very delicate manicured hand stuck between them and forced them back open. I sighed as two girls stepped on. One was very petite with short dark hair, the other was what only could be described as a blonde bombshell. She was tall with perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect boobs. They were probably all fake. Or at least that's what I told myself.
I tapped my toe and anxiously pushed the button, hoping that it would just make the doors close faster. The little one bent in front of me and pressed the button for the seventh floor, smiling sweetly at me as she stood back.
"You look really familiar….do I know you?"
I turned towards them and noticed the blonde was staring at me with a confused look on her face. Now that I really looked at her she did kind of look familiar.
"I don't think so," I tried to shove it off since I was in a hurry. Whoever she was I didn't need a trip down memory lane right now.
I eyed the number above the door as it climbed. 2…3…4… The elevator slammed to an abrupt stop, nearly causing all of us to stumble into one of the walls. The light flickered above us and finally stayed on.
"What the hell?" Blondie said.
"It's probably just a malfunction Rose, relax." The short one said.
I sighed in disgust as I realized where I knew the blonde from. It was Rosalie Hale. Homecoming Queen of Forks High School 2005 and Resident Bitch. It was no wonder she didn't quite recognize me. I was usually the one she was stepping all over. One of the little people. A yearbook geek with braces who couldn't land a date if she walked into school naked.
I glanced down at my watch and slowly saw the seconds clicking by. There goes that job.
"I guess we might as well introduce ourselves." The short girl turned towards me and held out her hand. "My name's Alice Cullen. This is Rosalie Hale."
I looked up at Rose, wondering if she'll even remember my name. "I'm Bella." I cleared my throat. "Bella Swan."
Rose's eyes shot towards me. "Forks High?"
I nodded slightly and leaned back against the elevator wall.
"I knew you looked familiar. I remember you now," she smiled. I expected her to snicker or launch into full detail about how I puked a hot dog all over the principal at the last soccer game, but she didn't. Her smile actually looked genuine, almost unrecognizable. "So what are you up to now?"
"I live here. With Jasper Whitlock."
"Jathsper?" She interrupted with a small laugh. You'd never know it now but Jasper used to have this terrible lisp in high school and everyone used to make fun of him for it. Not that I like him in that way, but he's a full fledged hottie now. I could tell by the way the girls eyes followed him around the room and how they practically fainted everytime he opened his mouth. I bet Rose would be eating her words if she saw him. Maybe he should sign up for that Maury show where the old wounded ones show off their goods to the people that used to make fun of them. We'll have to look into that. "Are you two still together?"
"We…were never together. Just friends. He's letting me stay with him while I look for a job."
"Oh," Rose sighed.
"So what are you doing here?" Alice asked.
"Well I was supposed to be in an interview for a photography job about ten minutes ago…"
"For which magazine?"
"Oh no honey that won't do." Alice shook her head. "Are you any good?"
"I guess so," I shrugged.
"Is that your portfolio?" She eyed the black folder still underneath my arm and reached for it before I could answer. She flipped it open and started thumbing through my pictures.
"Bella these are amazing!"
"Thank you," I said softly.
We all screamed as the elevator shook a little bit and started moving again. It opened at the fifth floor but I didn't even bother stepping out. That was a lost cause. I'd just ride up with them to their floor and make my way back down.
The elevator stopped again at the seventh floor and Rosalie stepped out. Alice quickly closed my portfolio and handed it back to me, her stare lingering for a moment.
"Come with me," she smiled brightly and grabbed my hand, pulling me out of the elevator. We brushed through a large waiting room full of people chatting away on their phones or looking through magazines. I had no idea what was going on but I was too scared to argue with Alice. She was way too nice.
She stepped up to the front desk and I finally realized where we were. Sports Illustrated.
"Can I help you?" The woman at the desk asked.
"Yes we have an eleven o'clock with Mr. Cleary," Alice nodded. Her face was no longer the bright and bubbly one from the elevator. Her voice was stern, strong compared to the light bell-like voice I'd heard before.
"One moment please." The secretary picked up her phone and quickly dialed a few numbers. "Mr. Cleary your eleven o'clock is here."
"Send them in please."
The secretary hung up the phone and gestured to the long hallway beside her. She stood up and led us down, her heels clinking against the marble floor. I looked anxiously from side to side wondering what the hell I was doing going into this meeting with one person I just met and another one who made my high school a living hell. And who the fuck is Mr. Cleary?
The secretary stopped at the last door and knocked.
"Come in," a booming voice yelled.
She opened the door for us and we stepped inside. A man, whom I assumed to be Mr. Cleary, was sitting at a large desk with a floor to ceiling window all along the wall behind him. The secretary discreetly closed the door as Mr. Clearly gestured to the overstuffed chairs in front of his desk.
"Please sit," he said.
Alice and Rosalie confidently strolled over and sat down, both of them crossing their legs at the exact same time. Alice cleared her throat, signaling me to sit down as well. I scurried over and sat down in the last chair, my eyes anxiously wandering around the room.
"May I introduce Rosalie Hale, my assistant and Mr. Cullen's personal stylist." She gestured to Rose before turning her glance towards me. "And this is Bella Swan, our photographer."
I choked a little on some spit and started coughing spastically. Photographer? Rose slapped me on the back as Alice continued her conversation with Mr. Cleary.
"I thought we had agreed on using our photographer Miss Cullen."
"We did. But as Mr. Cullen's agent it's my responsibility to assure that he is represented in the best way possible. Miss Swan will do the feature or we're out. Simple as that."
"Miss Cullen, I understand, but…"
"That's the offer Mr. Cleary, take it or leave it. Let us know when you've reached your decision." Alice stood up and I took that as a cue for me to as well. I cleared my throat and turned around to leave, but my foot caught on the chair and I stumbled a little. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks, but I didn't look back. I just kept my eyes on the door and told myself to breathe.
I only spoke after I heard the office door close behind us.
"Alice what the hell was that?" I whispered.
"Wait for it," she grinned from ear to ear.
"Alice…" I started.
"Wait." She held up a finger just as Mr. Cleary's door flew open again.
"Miss Cullen!" He yelled. "We accept your proposal."
"Fax the papers to my office." She smiled and kept her eyes forward as we continued down the hallway.
"Alice!" I said through my teeth.
"Relax Bella. I just solved both of our problems. You needed a job and we needed a non-shitty photographer. You my dear," she looked at me, "are non-shitty."
I bit down on my lip as we got into the elevator, comteplating everything she'd just said. Did she just get me a job? At Sports Illustrated? I couldn't hide the smile that spread across my face.
I was still in a state of euphoria as we stepped off the elevator and through the main lobby. As soon as we stepped outside Rosalie disappeared into a long black limo waiting outside and I continued on the sidewalk, almost completely oblvious.
"Bella?" Alice nodded to the limo.
"We have some papers to sign honey." She smiled and gestured to the limo again and I got inside.
The driver took off and eventually pulled up in front of another office building. Alice stepped out and Rose pushed me in front of her. I followed them into the building and directly into a smaller office.
"Miss Cullen these papers were just faxed over from Sports Illustrated." A tan, beautiful girl handed her some papers from behind a desk.
"Excellent. Hold my calls please." Alice walked through an office with her name on the front and held it open for me and Rose. "Bella I just need you to sign a few of these papers and you're as good as hired." She laid the papers down on the desk. It looked like a whole lot of legal mumbo jumbo and honestly I had no idea what half of it meant. But I had a job. A real, grown up job.
I signed the papers without another thought and handed them back to Alice.
"Alright." She filed the papers under her arm and pulled out her checkbook. "This is the first half of your payment. You'll get the other half when the spread is turned in." She scribbled furiously and ripped the check out of her book. My eyes widened as I counted the number of zeros at the end. This half alone was more than I'd made the entire last year working at the Campus Diner.
"Alice are you sure that's not too much?" I asked, wondering if she made a mistake.
"Nope. This is a perfectly acceptable amount."
I sighed and looked at the number again. I could buy a brand new camera with this, maybe start actually paying rent to Jasper's parents until I found an actual steady job instead of all this freelancing.
"Um Alice can I ask what I'll be doing?" I laughed out loud when I realized I didn't even know what the job was.
"You'll be photographing my brother for the next few months as he prepares for the tournament. Sports Illustrated is doing a full length feature on him. Everything from practice, to events to actual matches. If he's there, you're there. So if you have any other projects push them aside."
"And who is your brother exactly?"
"I thought the name would have tipped you off. Edward Cullen."
"Should I know him?" I racked my brain, but nothing rang a bell. But he was an athelete afterall and I was Bella Swan, the girl born with the most unathletic genes known to man.
Rosalie snickered behind me and Alice gasped. "You don't know the Edward Cullen. Greatest Tennis player to walk this earth. Been compared to Agassi, Sampras…and unfortunately McEnroe due to his lack of control at some points."
I shrugged and frowned. I had no clue who this guy was. I guess I better do some research.
"When do I start?"
"Edward has practice tomorrow morning at eight. Why don't you come by and introduce yourself, take a few practice shots to get used to him?" Alice said.
"Okay sounds great."
"Write down your phone number here. I'll send you the address." She handed me a piece of paper and I wrote my number down.
"Thank you Alice. For everything. That was very nice of you considering you don't even know me."
"You're good Bella. And besides I get feelings about people. And I've got a good feeling about you." She winked.
"Well thanks again." I grabbed my portfolio and turned to leave.
As soon as I was outside I called my dad. He didn't answer of course so I left a message.
"Hey Dad it's me. Um…Good News. I got a job. It's just a freelance right now but it's kind of big so…yeah. Call me."
I hung up and took a cab home since I realized I had no idea where I was.
"Jasper!" I yelled as I ran into the apartment. "Jazz where are you!"
"In here sweetheart!" He yelled from his bedroom. I dropped my stuff and ran towards his voice.
"What's up?" He asked, not averting his eyes from his video game on the screen.
"I got a job."
"What?" He turned around.
"I. Got. A job!" I screamed, jumping up and down. He got up and engulfed me in a Jasper hug, my favorite kind.
"Congratulations! Modern Dog is lucky to have you."
"Well…it's not at Modern Dog."
"Where is it?"
"A little magazine called Sports Illustrated."
"No fucking way?"
He let go of me and started jumping up and down.
"Dude you have to take me to work with you. I'll be your personal assistant. I can help oil them up and…"
"Wait Jazz. It's not the swimsuit edition. I'm photographing Edward Cullen."
"That's what I said. Apparently he's some big tennis pro."
"Well it doesn't matter who the clown is. You have a job! We need to celebrate."
"But I wanted to…" I pointed to the computer wanting desperately to Google this guy and see what I was working with.
"No. Whatever it is can wait. Go get dressed." He spun me around and slapped me on the ass as he pushed me out of the room. I quickly threw on some jeans and a tank top and we were off. Jasper treated me to dinner and then we headed to the new trendy bar in town. I really didn't think we'd get in, I heard it was pretty exclusive.
We stood in the middle of an extremely long line that had barely moved an inch since we got here.
"Jasper this is pointless. We're not going to get in." I tapped my foot and glanced at my watch. We'd been in line for over an hour.
"It's not pointless. See here comes the bouncer." He leaned out of the line. "Hey man!" He yelled.
I kind of secretly hoped Jasper would piss him off enough for him to punch him so I wouldn't have to for making me stand outside in the cold.
"Everybody has to wait…" The bouncer said flatly.
"I know, I know but look at this girl." He gestured towards me and I could tell he was trying to Southern Charm his way inside. "This beautiful girl is my best friend in the entire world. And she just got a job with Sports Illustrated."
The bouncer looked me up and down and I felt dirty enough that I thought I should take a shower immediately.
"Alright. You two are in."
My mouth fell open as shouts of disgust sounded from everyone else in line. Jasper held up the rope for me and we were escorted to the front of the line and inside.
"Why did he do that?" I asked Jasper as we made our way towards the bar,
"Because he wanted to screw you. That's why." He laughed and ordered us some shots. And then more. And more.
The next thing I knew I couldn't feel my face and distinctly saw this fuzzy light circulating around Jasper's body.
"I need to piss. I'll be back," Jasper smiled and stumbled towards the bathroom. I ordered myself another drink as I waited.
"Hi there," a smooth voice said. This was the first time a guy had hit on me all night. It was one of the good things about hanging around with Jasper. All the creeps just assumed we were together and didn't dare make a move.
"You're going to fail buddy, don't even try." I kept my eyes straight ahead and took a long sip of my drink.
"Oh come on sweetheart you didn't even look at me," he said again. I felt a pair of hands on the sides of my stool, barely brushing against my body as he spun me towards him. The first thing I saw was piercing green eyes staring right into mine. I took another sip of my drink as I examined his mop of reddish-bronze hair, and his chiseled jaw and totally doable body. I instinctively licked my lips, but told myself no. I may be celebrating but that didn't mean I was a Stage 5 whore.
"There," I forced the sarcasm in my voice as I kinked an eyebrow. "I looked." I shrugged my shoulders and set my empty drink on the bar.
"And do you like what you see?" He winked.
"You're…average," I said, trying not to let my lie show. He was fucking gorgeous, it almost hurt to look at him. But the words of my mother kept echoing in my head. No one will buy the cow if you give out free milk Honey B. That was her version of the sex talk anyway.
"Average?" He tilted his head and let a sly grin sneak onto his face.
"Average. And to be completely honest, I'm not interested in a one night stand with someone who probably doesn't even have enough fingers and toes to count the number of people he's slept with. So I'm going to save myself the trouble and the STDs and excuse myself to continue celebrating…on my own." I sighed and barely made it two steps before I stumbled over my own feet and crashed to the floor.
"Fuck me!" I yelled, trying to stand up again.
"Well I tried but you wouldn't let me," the man said as he helped me up onto my feet. "What are you celebrating anyway?"
"I just got a job at Sports Illustrated."
"Oh really?" He cocked an eyebrow.
"And what may I ask is it?"
"It's a Sports Magazine."
He rolled his eyes and leaned in close to me. I could almost taste his breath on my lips. Beer and peppermint. "I know that love, I mean what's the job?" He started to take a sip of his drink.
"I'm doing a full length photo feature on Edward Cullen," I boasted, pretending like I knew how much of a big shot this guy was.
He choked a little on his drink and finally swallowed. "And this Edward Cullen, you've never heard of him?" He smiled and wiped at his chin.
"No. I don't really follow sports."
"I heard he's devastatingly beautiful. And charming. And great in bed." He winked.
"Why? Do you have personal experience?" I said sarcastically.
He stared at me for a long time, his emerald eyes staring straight past mine and down into the very center of my body. It was being shaken to the core. "No," he laughed under his breath and started dragging his finger around the top of his glass. "I guess I just have an inside source." Who the hell does this asshole think he is?
"Humph," I muttered, straightening myself up. I started to walk away as he wished me luck on my job. I shook my head and tried to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
I found Jasper just as he was making his way back to me and toted him out of the bar. He hailed us a cab and I rested my head against his shoulder on the way back, trying to get the world to stop spinning around me. I had to be to work in six hours. I prayed to the Hangover Fairy that she would just grant me this one little wish and hold off her visit until the next time I decided to get this drunk.
Jasper helped me up to the apartment and got me some pajamas. I changed into them quickly and was about to lay down, but had this overwhelming urge to look up my new subject before I met him tomorrow. I sat down at the computer and listened to it humming to life.
I pulled up Google and typed in "Edward Cullen." There were tons of websites about him. Newspaper articles about how he had a problem with arguing with the refs, or how he'd thrown his racket down in the middle of a game. Apparently he'd just done fairly well at the French Open. There were also tons of fan sites, but I skipped over them and clicked the images tab. I didn't really care about what the guy's favorite color was, I just wanted to see what he looked like.
I blinked as the images started popping up on my screen. The bile started to rise up in my throat as I stared at the familiar piercing green eyes, mop of reddish-bronze hair and chiseled jaw. It was him. The guy from the bar was Edward Cullen. Edward Cullen was the guy from the bar. I just called my subject a manwhore. I was going to throw up. No doubt about that.
"Jasper!" I yelled. He rushed into the room as I grabbed the trash can just in time.
"Shit Bella! You were fine on the way home, why all the projectiles now?" He held my hair back as I let it all out.
I was going to get fired. Alice was going to take back that beautiful new check. I wasn't going to be able to get my new camera and probably not another job on the Western half of the country.
"I know him," I muttered.
"He just hit on me at the bar…" I started to feel the warm tears slide down my face. "And I basically told him to go fuck himself." Oh God. He knows I'm his photographer. I must have looked like such an idiot, probably the butt of all his jokes for the rest of the night with his buddies.
Jasper started laughing hysterically and I did my best to punch him before the vomit started again.
He carried me to bed after he was sure I was done puking and tucked me in. He set the trash can beside me just in case and got me an Advil and a cup of water.
"Love you darlin'," he bent down and placed a kiss on my cheek. He pushed a few buttons on my alarm clock and stood up. "And you're fucked. I mean you're hilarious as all Hell, but you're fucked. Good luck tomorrow, you'll need it." He walked out of the room and slowly closed the door behind him.
"Shut up!" I yelled at him before I drifted off into the darkness.
A/N: Reviews are appreciated, but they're also not the reason I do this so I love favorites and alerts as well : )
I will occasionally do fic reccs with my chapters so here is my first one:
If you liked the idea of Tennisward and want some more of a different variety, try Game, Set, Love by His Sparklyness. Gotta support my other Tenniswards out there.