Checking my features just one last time in the mirror, I headed out the door on my way to my own personal hell, or heaven, depending on how you look at it.
My heels clicked down the hallway as I went, helping me count down the seconds until I would finally be in his presence once again. The shoes are uncomfortable. If it were my choice I would wear nothing but sneakers and ballet flats for the rest of my life. But you see, I have a problem. I don't just dress for my comfort these days. I dress in the hopeless and desperately optimistic outlook that he might notice something about me, something he might like.
I head downstairs in the elevator to the parking lot, tapping my foot and fidgeting as I wait to reach my floor, climb in my car and head off to work. My name is Bella Swan, and I am late. I hate being late. I pride myself on always being on time, no not just on time, I am perpetually early. By at least 20 minutes. I hate rushing places, and I especially hate being late for work, despite all the extra hours I put in to make sure my work is always complete to the very best of my ability. However, on this particular morning I am late because although I was dressed and ready to go, I suddenly remembered that his favourite colour is green and all of a sudden I just had to change to match with this. It suddenly felt imperative to please him in this small way. Weird, but I have grown used to these weird whims of mine. They are all part of being helplessly smitten with my own personal superhero, so unobtainable and perfect he must have super powers.
I keep checking the clock on my car, at all times counting down how long before I see him and get to speak with him again. You would think after the first three months of work my eagerness would have waned. That my doe-eyed, hero worship desperation to see him would have died away. But it hasn't. It has only got stronger, a sure sign that he is just too easy to love. I try not to use that word too often when I think of him. It gives me a pang in my chest and a terrible feeling that I will never think that word of anyone else again. I should not fixate so much on him, not when he is so very very out of my league.
I pull into my space at work right on time. I may have put my foot down to speed through some lights just as they had turned red a few times on my way here. Hey, if no cops are about to see it, it didn't happen right? At least that was what I always told myself when I did something slightly rebellious. It must be something to do with being a cop's daughter. Still, the extra time it has afforded me has taken the pressure off my pounding heart. I look to my left as I remove my seatbelt and see my friend/colleague/counsellor/lifesaver Angela getting out of her car. I wave and she sees me.
We walk into the building together.
"So, what did you get up to last night," she asks me.
"Not much," I reply. "Chilled out with the television, wrote a little bit more of the novel. Got to keep the dream alive, you know."
"I don't know why you don't take a little time out to give it a serious try Bella. You are an incredible writer. Your talents are wasted drafting press releases for a corporation."
"Ah, but if I didn't, who would you have to gossip with all day long?" I replied with a smile.
"Good point," She laughed.
"Besides," I added. "I'm fine carrying on with it as a sideline. You have to be serious in life, you know. Its great to pursue your dreams but you have to be realistic too. Think of all the amazing and talented writers out there who spend hours each day pouring their soul into writing and getting nowhere. I'm lucky I get a few hours each week to just enjoy it, with no expectations of it ever going beyond a bit of fun."
Angela rolled her eyes. "Well, I still think you sell yourself short. Just like your attitude towards…"
At that moment the elevator reached my floor and the doors slid open to reveal a gaggle of office workers eager to get upstairs to their early morning meetings.
"I'm going to pretend you weren't about to mention what we both know you were," I said to her in a low voice as I moved out of the elevator. "I thought I asked you to drop that completely."
"Honey I'm your best friend. I'm here to big you up at all times, in all areas of your life. If I keep saying it, maybe one day you will grow some balls, or whatever us women would grow as an equivalent, and realise he would be lucky to have you!" She said with so much conviction I expected her to add a "girlfriend" at the end of the last sentence.
I chose to ignore the sentiment, turning and walking away, then saying farewell over my shoulder: "See you later buddy."
I reached my office, picking up several post-it notes with messages that were littering my desk. All just from the previous evening when I left at 7pm. It was now 8am. That's how it is when you work in communications for an organisation the size of the Cullen Group. I had worked with the company for just three months. I had been in love with my boss, billionaire, humanitarian, sex god (well in my dreams anyway, I only have my imagination to go on with this area) and all around man of my dreams Edward Cullen for, gosh, pretty much three months. Did I mention he is the most gorgeous man I have ever laid my eyes on? He is almost beautiful, but he isn't because no one that masculine could really be described beautiful. From his wild copper hair and expressive green eyes that seem to zero straight in on my soul and make me lose my breath to his large, sensual hands and hot body. He is perfect. I was gone from day one. Me and every other female that has ever met him.
When I first met Edward Cullen, I had already known what he looked like. I had seen him in newspapers and magazines. I was going for an interview with one of the biggest companies in Seattle, of course I knew what he looked like. But pictures do not do him justice. They showed he was gorgeous. They did not warn me the second I saw him I would forget my own name. Luckily, his impeccable manners meant he glossed over my open mouthed, near drooling stare and proceeded with the interview. I must have pulled it together, as the next day I got a call saying I had the job. Exciting times for me, I upped sticks from little old Forks and moved to Seattle. A move that was the best, and worst, decision of my life. The job is amazing, the people are great and the pay is more than I could have hoped to earn as a trained journalist trying to earn her keep in the PR world. The only problem being, every day I see what I can't have. Edward Cullen. So perfect he's like a superhero, which is why I like to call him bossman while fantasizing about him climbing through my window one night and saving me from another restless night of being frustrated and horny and sleeping through ultimately unsatisfying dreams.
Don't get me wrong, he is a guy and I'm not saying he is literally like a god or anything. He still puts his pants on one leg at a time like all the others, but there's something more to Edward. A spark and a genuine goodness. He is kind, intelligent and respected. Plus he can bring me closer to orgasm than most of my actual boyfriends ever have just by saying my name. I know that might sound weird for a woman of 27, but it's true. None of the guys I have slept with, and there has not been many, have managed to make me come. Most of them not even close. I had come to accept that maybe I just wasn't so into sex as other people, that I just couldn't get to orgasm without doing it myself. However, this all went out the window when I met Edward Cullen. The guy makes me wet and swollen just by speaking, though saying my name seems to have a particular effect on me. It's the way he says it that makes me feel like he's thinking dirty thoughts about me, like he wants to take me in his arms and throw me in his desk and fuck me hard until I come so hard I scream so the whole office can hear. So strong is my attraction, that my masturbation sessions have increased in frequency and are now over far quicker. With so much inspiration it just doesn't take me so long to get myself off anymore. I think about his expressive eyes and his full lips, which look particularly good when his tongue darts out to wet them. I spend hours dreaming about his tongue running gently over my whole body before reaching my clit and lapping at it slowly and teasingly, making me beg him to let me come. He makes me feel things no one ever has, and the most we have ever touched is a hand shake. Even that made my knees weak. I am so far gone at this point it isn't even funny.
Now I know I might sound like a total obsessive loony. But actually I have managed to disguise my tiny little crush, that is all this is after all, in a very effective manner. Only Angela, who got me so drunk one night before she began interrogating me on my love life that I spilled the beans about my Edward fantasies of sex, marriage, babies and white picket fences, knows my secret. And maybe Edward, who must know every female in Seattle has a crush on him.
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I checked my email once my computer had booted up then glanced at the clock. Shoot, 9.25am. Got to head up to the 40th floor quick.
I need to get to my daily meeting with Mr Cullen, as I now call him when addressing him in person. I once called him Edward but soon realised I needed the formality to remind me he is my boss, not my future husband, and that he is way out of my league. As the elevator moved up the floors, I flashed back to the last time I called him Edward.
Two months ago
I had been working with the Cullen company for four weeks. All was great. Edward was an amazing boss, as were the rest of the team. I was working in the head office of the company, overseeing Edward's personal communications. From head office, he took care of all the businesses. And his empire is vast. From telecommunications, to publishing and real estate to investment, you name it the Cullen Group has some kind of involvement. That bossman had a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. Despite his young age, Edward had not let success go to his head. His brother helped him run the company and they had a great relationship and he always halted meetings to take calls from his mother. He was the perfect guy, successful, confident and good to his mom.
We had daily meetings where I would brief him on press reports on the company, statements we needed to work on and charity campaigns. Part of my job was promoting his many, many charity endeavours. He was a generous guy and he had projects all over the world.
These were my favourite times of the day. As before, during and after our discussions we would chat about our day-to-day lives. Just boring stuff. What we had done the night before, at the weekend, what we had planned. He would listen carefully as I told him about what film I had seen the night before and what I thought of it. He would laugh when I told him about phone conversations with my family from the night before and nod seriously as I told him my views on everything and anything, from politics to education and his charity work. He often took suggestions I gave him on board and altered plans to accommodate my ideas.
I felt valued. I loved my job and I was crazy about him.
On this particular day, the last day I called him Edward, I was in a great mood. I had arrived for our morning meeting with a spring in my step.
I knocked on the door to signal my arrival before opening it. "Good morning Edward," I said with a smile in my voice. "Did you enjoy the game?" He had told me the previous day he was spending the night with his brother Emmett and best friend Jasper having a sports night
"Isabella," saying my name like a caress, rolling his tongue around the 'ls' in a soft voice. I wandered if he would say it like that if I held him and kissed him. Worked my hands over his body and took his cock in my hand, rubbing it seductively until he couldn't think straight about anything except my name. Mmmm, it is way too easy to drift off into a personal day dream when he's around.
Edward stood up and continued. "Good to see you, yes thoroughly thank you. Emmett and Jazz were good company as always."
"Boys night, huh?" I asked, seating myself on the chair in front of his desk.
"Something like that," he laughed. "Those two are so under the thumb, any chance they get to break out and just be guys is like a revelation to them. I think I'm maxed out on guy chat right now."
"No way, I'm sure you were throwing back beers and belching just all the rest of the repressed men last night," I chuckled.
He had walked around the desk and perched on the edge of it while I was talking. I had to consciously stop myself from ogling him, he looked so very handsome in his Armani suit. He was only 29 and running his own company. He looked his age but there was a confidence to him that was beyond his years. The way he held himself and the way his eyes sparkled as he spoke to me.
"Well now I guess if I didn't have such stressful meetings every day I wouldn't have to let off steam so much," he shot back.
"Hey," I said, pretending to be offended as I lightly whacked his arm, stretching to reach him from my position on the chair in front of his desk.
He was about to say something else when there was a cough from the door to his office. We both turned and there she stood. Tanya Denali. Supermodel and the luckiest woman alive. Edward's girlfriend was simply stunning, there was no other way to describe her. The men in the office couldn't help but turn to watch as she walked to Edward's office on her regular visits. He had been seeing her since before I started work here, so things must be going well. I could not for the life of me see why, aside the obvious thing with her looks. She was just mean. There was no other way to describe it. Actually that's not true. There were a ton of other words to describe her but I tried not to as I knew I was not objective. I wanted what she had. It made me sick that someone like her had Edward, for surely she was so selfish that she couldn't be treating him right. Edward needed to be taken care of, to have someone who loved him more than anything and who wanted nothing more than to just be with him, not his money or power. I suspected Tanya's biggest turn on when it came to Edward was his bank balance and high profile. Though I bet the fact he has an ass to die for doesn't hurt.
"Tanya, what a surprise. I told you I was in meetings all day." Edward said, sounding weary all of a sudden. "Is everything okay?"
I perked up. He's not so happy to see her, this is good. Maybe they had a huge fight last night because he decided he couldn't be with someone so cold and selfish in bed anymore and she was desperately trying to cling on to the relationship. Hopefully he would tell her where to go and soon. Man, I have an overactive imagination. It must be all the writing I have been doing lately!
"Oh yes Edward, everything is just fine," she purred. Though she made it sound pleasant enough, she was sending me daggers with her eyes. "But, I do need to speak to you darling, it's very important. I forgot to mention it last night. I just so enjoyed our date that I got quite swept away with the dinner and drinks and then at your apartment… well I needn't say more," she laughed seductively and all the air whooshed out of my lungs. It didn't sound like they had a big falling out to me. I felt sick at the thought of them together. I couldn't understand why she felt the need to prove anything in front of me, I was already insanely jealous she got to date the guy, the bossman, my own personal superhero. Why rub it in my face?
"Did you want me to come back later," I asked Edward.
"If you wouldn't mind Isabella." He mumbled apologetically with a guilty look on his face. I felt sorry for him. He's such a professional at all times, he must feel awkward having his personal life turn up at the office.
I got up without another word and headed to the door, Tanya glaring at me again as I left. I sighed as I walked down the corridor to the elevator. That woman was taking up my precious time with Edward. The time I enjoyed chatting and laughing with him. I could almost pretend he liked me, that we were on a date, getting to know each other. I often day dreamed about what having the bossman sweep me off my feet and take me out on a real date would be like. I imagined us chatting away and getting on much like we do in his office. But the date did not end in us agreeing an action plan for the communications strategy. No, it ended in a hot make out session at my front door before I dragged him inside my apartment for dessert. It was a foolish fantasy, one I allowed myself to indulge too often.
As I waited for the elevator to arrive, I heard someone call my name.
"Oh Isabella," called Tanya. Saying it in such a horrible tone compared to the way Edward wrapped his tongue around my name. Oh how I would like him to put his tongue to use in other areas. I turned and saw she had snuck up on me. How did she do that in heels? She must be the devil in disguise, or at least some kind of evil witch. And yet she had the superhero, how could this be? Surely she was his nemesis as well as mine and we should be uniting to defeat her together, which could be best done by the two of us having hot primal sex non-stop for 24 hours. That would surely slay the beast?
"Isabella," Tanya repeated.
"Yes, Tanya how can I help you?"
"I was just wanting to give you a friendly bit of advice. Woman to woman, you know, as I hate for a fellow sister to be making a fool of herself." She said with barely masked disgust for me, putting on her best fake sympathy face.
"What do you mean?" I asked, stunned.
"Edward of course. He is far too polite to say anything, but really he can't handle the way you throw yourself at him every day."
"Excuse me," I exclaimed. Aghast at how direct she was being, and embarrassed at how right she was.
"You're his employee Isabella, and Edward is far too nice a guy to tell you to your face how uncomfortable you make him."
My heart pounded and I felt sick.
Tanya went on: "You must know your little flirtations are ridiculous. He has a girlfriend for goodness sake. He would be appalled if he knew I was saying anything," she said smiling evily. "But I think you need to be a little more professional."
Tears pricked my eyes and I willed myself to keep them at bay. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I thought to myself. I am a complete idiot. She's right, Edward Cullen is totally out of my league. What am I doing indulging a silly crush by throwing myself at him every day, talking to him about my personal life and quizzing him on his. What must he think of me, I thought in dismay.
"I'm sorry Tanya," I said shakily. "It won't happen again."
Her eyes narrowed. "Well, that's good. Don't you go forgetting your place. The thought that you could ever even hope to get your paws on my Eddie is just ridiculous."
The elevator had been and gone during our little chat. She walked away, leaving me staring at her retreating, perfect behind in stunned silence.
"I'm such an idiot," I said to myself.
I pushed the button for the elevator, went straight down to the parking lot and drove home. I called personnel from my apartment, telling them I had a migraine and needed to go home. They bought it. I hadn't had any sick days since I started.
After that, I never called him Edward again. It was always Mr Cullen, and I never asked personal questions about what he had been up to, his likes, dislikes. I was polite for sure. If he asked a question, I answered. I smiled when he smiled. But I kept things restrained and professional at all times, always mindful not to stray into the dangerous and embarrassing flirtatious territory. A week after I started doing this, Mr Cullen asked if everything was okay.
"Why?" I asked in a worried tone. Oh no, did he put Tanya up to speaking to me? Did he want to check I understood what she said?
"You just seem a little distant this week," he said. "Like something is on your mind." Was he a little sad? He was looking at me from beneath his eyelashes, god he looked adorable. I just wanted to run my hands through his hair, pull him to me and comfort him, and me. Maybe I would start my pressing a light kiss to his forehead. He might gasp and tilt his head upwards so he could reach my lips. It would be gentle at first, as we would both be nervous. But the kiss would soon turn heated, our tongues would battle and slide wetly against each other. I was wearing my skirt, which he could hike up when he lifted me onto his desk, running his hands up my thighs until he reached the tops of my stockings and touched bare skin. I shivered at the thought, then turned my attention back to the conversation.
"Everything is fine Mr Cullen," I replied, willing my flushed skin to return to its usual, pale shade.
I was sure he winced when I said his name, but he nodded his head and told me to have a nice day. I was sure I could feel his eyes resting on me as I retreated out the door hastily.