The heiress of Lord Henry More 1st outtake
I arrived at the after party with Tanya clinging to my arm. I avoided looking directly at the cameras, knowing that my eyes always revealed too much. Alice didn't approve of my escort for the night, even though Tanya was one of the most coveted models in the world. She had worked before for all the great designers in London, New York, Milan and Paris, but what secured her the job as a model for a.m. was her connection to me. Alice fought against me mercilessly on this, quarrelling that Tanya's kind of beauty was not what she wanted for the a.m. campaign. She even argued that if I was going for the Barbie doll kind of beauty I should just invite the Hilton sisters and be done with it. I couldn't help but chuckle remembering this as I looked at the woman that was now posing beside me, pulling me tighter against her, claiming me publicly as if there could ever be a claim for her to make. At least, I thought, she's not wearing her mother's engagement ring as she did before to start rumors around us. My PRs were still trying to find a way to help me get away from "the engagement" without ruining my image. I couldn't afford to let such a thing happen, at least not before the old man´s death.
I was told that Henry had been spotted in and out of a private hospital in London for the last six weeks. His health was visibly deteriorating before everyone's eyes. The investors and administrators of all the major companies worldwide were alarmed by his imminent death. Without a direct heir, his empire would have to be divided by several cousins, myself included, which would definitely endanger the solidity of More Enterprises.
When it became public knowledge that Henry might pass away soon, the finance market grew restless - until the rumors started. Apparently there was a leak of information from his office. Allegedly, he had changed his testament a couple of weeks ago and named one single heir to his entire fortune. That seemed to pacify everyone, except for all the More distant relatives, who started to fear being excluded from the second testament.
So who was supposed to inherit everything?
That question plagued my mind. I knew Henry didn't make any attempt to designate a new heir for his title, for the Queen hadn't received a request in that regard as far as my sources were able to tell, and I knew I could trust them - I had never been misinformed before.
Did that mean that I was the one who would inherit everything?
Henry taught me everything I knew when it came to business, guided my studies and insisted that I intern at the More company, under his personal supervision. Because of that, everyone had been speculating that I was probably the chosen one. His known closeness to my family, namely to Alice, increased even more over the last few months, which reinforced their certainty. There were a lot of people terribly disappointed. I just had to play my part right, and a twelve billion dollar fortune would be mine.
With caution, I tried to disentangle myself from Tanya's constricting arms while I was ushered into the club. There was enough public proof of our so-called relationship for now. Henry admonished me several times over the years because of what he called my predisposition to invest time in the wrong women. Although I knew he didn't approve of Tanya, having him think that I continued to invest my time in vapid relationships was worse, in his opinion. I had to personify the perfect image of responsibility and a sense of duty. After the little show Tanya put on for the press, I had to go along with it to minimize my losses. That was to be expected from the future Duke of Vidal.
I only recently found out about the scandal that surrounded the younger years of Henry's life, one that apparently was known in all the higher circles. In his twenties, he impregnated a commoner, a lowly house maid, when he was already engaged to be married to the duchess, Elizabeth. It was not unheard of in our social circles for a man to keep a mistress, but because he was caught, it caused quite a stir because of the lack of propriety. Given the respect and dedication I always thought he had for his wife, I was shocked by the news. Even so, what surprised me the most - and what caused the real polemic - was the burial of the dead bastard child in the private cemetery of the Mores.
I believed Henry was afraid that the same thing would happen to me, but every time he admonished me about my behavior when it came to women, I always thought that he was worrying too much. Had the man never heard of condoms before? Well, I certainly wasn't going to be the one to enlighten him about contraception. Maybe I should have asked Bella to do it. I chuckled at the thought and Tanya misinterpreted it, giving me a toothy smile of her own as we moved up to the top floor of the club.
Tanya wanted to dance, to hit the dance floor, but I preferred the quietness, the privacy and the exclusivity of the top floor. I wasn't there to flaunt myself around or to enjoy myself. I was there on business and she always tended to disregard that. Thinking about business, my deal with her finished at the front door, but she always failed to notice that as well and her grip around my arm seemed to tighten even further. What I didn't fail to notice, though, was the dirty look Rosalie gave me when we came into the club. I looked back at her, daring her to say something, but she didn't. She had one of the best poker faces I'd ever seen, and just smiled politely as she led us to our table. She sat with us for a few minutes to give me some details about who I should speak to over the course of the evening and which journalist worked for which magazine.
Most of the people I met were of no great consequence. But I knew I had work to be done. Tanya did most of the talking and I disconnected myself from everything surrounding me, engaging my thoughts with a vivid memory of a pair of bright brown eyes that were sparkling after a very disturbingly intimate kiss, and ignored the words that were being said until I heard something that disturbed my pleasant thoughts.
"It's my pleasure to help Alice with the publicity of a.m.," Tanya was saying smugly.
"I believe she means that she is greatly honored by my sister's invitation to be a part of her project," I told the journalist in a soft voice, and eyed Tanya meaningfully; I was not to be trifled with. I was pleased to see that she seemed to shrink in her place, because she only smiled in response and avoided any further comment on the subject.
If Alice read anything of the sort, she would want my head served on a silver platter. She was really opposed to having Tanya do any pictures for her. But, because I promised Tanya the spotlight after a rather inventive night filled with MA-rated entertainment and there wasn't really anyone else who stood out from the crowd when we auditioned for models (mostly because of the latter), I came to an agreement with Alice – she could choose the models for the next campaign, and she could veto any proposition I might make in the matter. The theme to her winter collection was going to be Serenity. She was designing clothes in lighter colors so she wanted models with an angelic complexion. When I saw Bella's photograph hanging in Rosalie's office for the first time, I knew she was perfect to replace Tanya, and not only as Alice's model.
I was disappointed when I learned that Bella was a doctor, while I still tried to convince her to model for me - I mean, for the company. I used all the tricks that I had learned over the years to persuade her. I had always known that I was attractive and was not ashamed to say that I used it several times to my advantage. Even though I sensed a response from Bella's body, her mind always seemed to be in control, and I was frustrated with how much response she was able to get from me without having to put much effort into it. She was too intelligent to be played with, I knew.
All of a sudden I had a huge challenge before me. And I never walked away from a good challenge.
I met with His Grace earlier that day to discuss some last minute issues about the campaign for the next collection. Honestly, I thought I had everything under control and had no idea what he was doing in Australia, especially considering his health status at the time. He didn't usually attend any events of the sort, he had so many other businesses around the globe that were more important and in which he had more money invested than he did in a.m. What was truly puzzling for me was that although he had come all the way here, he had told me that he had no intention of attending the opening party.
It was a little after midnight and I was ready to go back to the hotel. I was still undecided if I should take Tanya back to my hotel room. I looked over at her and she gave me one of her flirtatious looks.
"Baby," she whispered in my ear, "there's an empty VIP room in the back. I asked Rosalie to reserve it just for us. You never came to my room last night," she added, pouting a little.
I refrained from telling her that the previous night I had decided against settling for second best after taking Bella to dinner. That wouldn't do any good. Besides, I was feeling some tension building up. I was never a man to remain abstinent for long. It made me unbearably irritable to have high levels of testosterone running through me without proper release, and because I already had a tendency to be overly aggressive at times, I didn't need an extra nail in my coffin, so to speak.
"Let's go then, Tanya. Give me a couple of minutes and I'll be right behind you," I whispered back.
"I'll be waiting for you…" she said, leaning toward me in a way that left little to imagination. She got up and walked to the back door, exaggeratedly swaying her hips on her way there. She was so lucky that someone invented the Wonder Bra because honestly without it you would have to use a microscope to find her breasts. The first time I had seen her naked I had been a little disappointed; but then again I wasn't surprised, since it wasn't like she had the right Body Mass Index to have an appropriate amount of fat in her tits. Last year, and because she knew I was particularly fond of that part of the female anatomy, she had had them done. But you know what I hated more than little tits? Fake tits! Maybe I shouldn't be so blunt, but I was a bloke who knew what he wanted. Bella's 34C on the other hand, would be soft and fit perfectly in my palms.
I had to adjust myself at the thought and decided to go after Tanya.
"If you'll excuse me, gentlemen," I said politely as I stood up.
The room was mirrored, and it had a strip club feeling to it. I was still taking in the surroundings when Tanya literally jumped me. She was all over me, kissing, nibbling and licking frenetically. She opened my zipper without any sort of delay.
"You're already hard for me, baby. You have the same effect on me, I'm so wet," she said breathlessly between kisses along my jaw.
I'm not hard because of you…
She pushed me to a sitting position on the couch and took off her panties. She made an attempt to straddle me, but I held her hips with both my hands. That's when it occurred to me that I had taken the condoms out of my wallet before my date with Bella; I hadn't needed the extra incentive to try to have her on our first date. I knew I might have to rethink that when I took her out for the second time.
"On your knees, Tanya."
"Baby, I'm on the pill…" she moaned while trying to bite my ear.
Right, because I'm a sucker and I'm going to give you the chance to get pregnant with my child. Well, you're the sucker. I chuckled at my own bad joke and she eyed me curiously.
"Get down on your knees," I said, probably in a sterner tone than necessary.
She began sucking me; I had always thought she was a little too enthusiastic with the sucking part, but I wasn't about to complain. I wasn't the one who was going to be left unsatisfied. I grabbed a fistful of her hair, urging her to go faster. I just needed my stress release. I had my head back and my eyes thoroughly closed when I thought I heard some sort of noise. I froze. I literally panicked as to who it might be and quickly forced Tanya away from my cock.
"Someone's here." I could hear my voice faltering.
"I didn't hear anything, baby. You must have imagined it!" She reached for my semi-flaccid member and tried to resume stroking.
"I think we should go back. I suggest you use the ladies room, your lipstick is smudged," I said nonchalantly.
I zipped my pants and straightened my shirt in the mirror.
I didn't stay long enough to hear Tanya's pleas. I closed the door behind me and went back to my table.
"Lord Cullen, have you noticed who's here?" Joseph or Johan asked me. I didn't remember his name, he was one of many people to whom I had been introduced that night.
"Who?" I asked to be polite, not in the least bit interested in what he had to say, until I saw his eyes flash somewhere across the room. I followed his gaze instinctively but failed to recognize who was sitting across the room from us, at a table that had previously been empty.
"His Grace, the Duke of Vidal, arrived about fifteen minutes ago, with a very young brunette bombshell on his arm. They made quite an entrance. One of our reporters sent a picture of their entrance to my cell phone. Everyone is wondering who she is and are trying to find out her identity first."
I was still frozen by that very unexpected turn of events when he showed me a picture on the screen of his iPhone.
"Do you know who she is?" he asked me bluntly.
I was shocked and swallowed hard when I saw Bella, in one of my sister's designs, clinging to that old man's arm. He was wearing a very conceited smile, with his right hand lingering too close to her lower back. Dirty old man couldn't keep his hands to himself. And she was smiling coyly.
Where else did you let him touch you?
She told me she was going out with an old family friend, but all I could wonder was how friendly they were to one another? I felt a wave of repulsion deep to my very bones and barely noticed that I had stood up and started to walk in their direction.
Is it money that you want? I can give you that! You're just another w…
In my anger-blurred vision I saw Bella leaving in a hurry. Was she avoiding me? She had to know I was there!
"She's lovely, Your Grace. I bet she'll do just fine," someone was saying as I approached them. But I had no intention of acknowledging them, at least not just yet. I was going after her, to demand an explanation, when I was interrupted by Henry's stern voice calling my name.
"Edward, I'm right here. Come, sit." His voice was commanding and I hated that all conventions forced me to sit.
"Your Grace," I bowed my head slightly in his direction while trying to compose my face.
I sat next to him and so did Tanya, who had ridiculously insisted upon following me.
"You don't need to stand up, Your Grace," she said in a sickly sweet voice. "What a surprise to see you here," she continued, taking my limp hand from my lap.
Henry's eyes were fierce and I soon realized that he was silently admonishing me because I sat down before a lady.
"Well, since I was in the neighborhood with very lovely company, I decided that it would be in my best interest to attend the party," he said, looking at me maliciously.
In that moment I hated him with all my strength and all I could think about was that I was certain she wouldn't even remember his name when she was screaming mine…
"Tanya, dear, have you met Mr. Greene and Mr. Miller? They are the More legal representatives here in Australia."
"It's very nice to meet you," she said, shaking their hands.
"How are you tonight, Lord Cullen?" Mr. Greene, the bald lawyer, asked me.
"Fairly well." I paused for a few seconds before I continued. "I'm surprised as well to see you here, Your Grace. If I had known, I would have made sure to give you a proper reception."
"Don't worry, Edward. Miss Swan's reception was very welcoming."
My face fell at his mention of Bella, but then I heard Rosalie's voice thanking Henry and realized that Bella was not the only 'Swan' at the party. His tone was purposefully provocative; he was playing with me, the way I had seen him play with many before me.
"Actually, Your Grace, it's Mrs. Swan. I'm married."
"And I'm sure, my dear, you made someone a very lucky man," he said with a flirtatious and light tone.
What's wrong with him tonight? He's too… happy. It was unsettling to see that sort of change in the always somber man.
"Eddie, let's go dance for a while," Tanya said after a few minutes of awkward silence.
"I'm too tired for that, you should go and have fun," I told her dismissively.
"It's no fun without you," she pouted like the spoiled brat I knew she was.
"Why don't you go ahead, Tanya, and have some fun. I believe Rosalie will be kind enough to escort you to the dance floor I saw on the way up."
"Of course," Rosalie agreed.
"But…" Tanya was beginning to protest, but Henry addressed her with the kind of assertive tone that he knew she couldn't refuse.
"Edward and I have a few business matters to discuss. I don't want you to find yourself bored. Go entertain that pretty head of yours. I'll see you later. Rosalie, it is always a pleasure to see you."
"Mr. Greene , Mr. Miller I'll see you tomorrow at ten," he added.
"Of course, we'll be expecting you."
They made their farewells and left Henry and me sitting alone, across from each other.
"I'll get straight to point, Edward. There's no need for me to go around in circles. Why did you invite Isabella Swan out?"
There was no point in denying that I went out for dinner with her the day before. His interest in her made no sense to me. This wasn't just about the fact that I allegedly had a relationship with Tanya.
"Edward, although I don't believe you deserve a warning I'm going to give you one, out of respect for your father. You will stay away from Isabella Swan. She is beautiful, kind and intelligent. You're nowhere near being good enough for her. Misleading someone like that when you're practically engaged?" he almost shouted.
He was losing his calm façade, and to be honest so was I.
"It's nothing you've never done before…" That sick, hypocritical father of all bastards!
"Leave her out of this," his eyes were beginning to moisten but his voice was cold and deadly. "You'll regret your words."
Was he threatening me to cut me out of his testament?
"Are you threatening me?" I asked him, struggling not to raise my voice. There nothing I wanted more than to break every bone in his face.
"I know you're smart, and that you might already have realized the significance of Bella in my life. I know all about your little spies that you have in court. Rest assured, you'll be the 11th Duke of Vidal. You worked hard to deserve it."
But I felt no reassurance in his words; instead, all I could focus on was "the significance of Bella in my life."
"What exactly is the significance of Bella in your life, Your Grace?"
"That isn't relevant for this discussion. Listen to me, Lord Edward Cullen. You have mocked my name, trashed it, you have tainted your life with deception, envy and suffering, and you're not even thirty yet. When you were finished with my name you switched to Cullen. But the only thing that changed with you was your last name. I happen to know that you have some sort of understanding going on with Tanya, and it's none of my business, but Bella is precious. Had I been younger I would do right by her." He paused to regain his breath. "And I still will," he continued, "by making sure you stay away from her. So let's drop the scheme right now, you have a lot to lose… just stay away from her."
"And if I don't?" I asked him defiantly. I was tired of being scolded like a child, of being ordered around. I wasn't going to endure being told what to do by him.
"There will be consequences. All actions have consequences, Edward, you should have learned that by now."
What's my honor's price? Apparently, 12 billion dollars.
So what do you think of Edward? I guess you get to know Edward a little better with this... His character is going to go through major life changes… but this how he stands in his life at this point. I'm inclined to write more outtakes as the story progresses, just let me know if you think it's worth it. Also, if you want different aspects from the story in EPOV feel free to give me your suggestions!
Thank you Scooterstale for editing this really quickly! It never ceases to amaze me how much you're willing to help me!
If you liked this EPOV, please send your love to TLammy, she was the one who suggested it.
See you soon,