Bella Swan checked quickly in the mirrored surface of the walls of the elevator and checked everything was in place. No hair escaping from the neat bun she had labored to get just right.
Efficient, attractive, ready to take on her new role was the impression she wanted to put across to her new boss.
Edward Cullen CEO of Midnight Son Enterprises.
She had not met him but she had stalked, no, not stalked, checked him out on the internet.
He was the wonderchild of big business, building this company from the ashes of Newton And Son Ltd that had crashed and burned big time in the economic downturn, now the newly renamed phoenix was flourishing and possibly saving the small town of Forks from becoming a ghost town.
People here needed jobs, and the tiny Mom and Pop shops really could not afford to hire outside help.
Parents were extremely lucky if they had stopped a one single child and now could employ that child themselves. A second child had meant he or she had to move away to find a job.
Now MSE were opening their doors and offering jobs for all who applied so long as the applicants were past students of Forks High School, and Bella was about to become assistant to Jessica Stanley, an overweight but outgoing girl she had befriended in that very school. She hadn't seen Jess for over a year,Bella having moved to Arizona to live with her mother Renee once she graduated.
Mike Newton had offered her a job with his parents company when she graduated but everyone knew it was ailing fast and the job would soon be non- existent so she had moved away and worked for her stepfather Phil Dwyer in Phoenix instead.
The job had been as boring as any job could possibly be, Bella had zero interest in sports of any kind and running around after a baseball team had been somewhat less than exciting, but as her parents Charlie and Renee said, it was a job and those were hard to come by.
The elevator stopped at a floor three floors below where Bella was going and two gorgeous creatures walked in and she moved further back.
"So, I guess I am being moved to Emmett Cullen's staff, I have no idea why, I love working for Edward," the leggy blond sighed to her companion, an equally attractive platinum blond woman, tall and slim as the first.
"He certainly goes through a rapid turnover of staff," the white haired woman agreed.
Bella frowned, they both sounded familiar but there was no way this was Rosalie Hale and Lauren Mallory, those two had been the...how do you say it politely? The chubbiest girls in High School. These women were so slim and neither had a spare inch of fat anywhere. They looked like models.
The doors opened and all three alighted.
"Hi Bella, welcome," a slim brunette smiled and stood in the small foyer, her hands clasped in front of her.
"Um, hi? I am working with Jessica Stanley, could you tell me where she is?" Bella asked, confused this girl knew her name.
"Oh that's right, you always were the jokester," the girl replied, giggling.
Bell blushed. Who was this chick and where was Jess? She had talked to her on the phone several times and told her how nervous she would be on the first day and Jess had promised to meet her right here, before she had to embarrass herself walking from office to office to find her.
"Could you just tell Jess I am here, please?" Bella asked tensely.
"Bella, this is me, Jessica Ann Stanley, former pupil of Forks High, the nerdy girl you allowed to befriend you and become cool by association. Look at me, same hair, same teeth only I had them straightened on the company health plan, same nose unfortunately, but the plan does not cover plastic surgery."
Bella stared and her jaw threatened to drop.
This WAS Jess but wow, what an improvement!
"You look amazing, you have lost like half your..."
Bella blushed and stopped, how rude she was being, but she just had no warning.
"Half my bodyweight exactly. You can say it," Jess giggled.
"How ?" Bella asked, incredulous.
"You will not believe it, my boss told me to give up cream and sugar in my coffee and in one year I have slimmed down to this! In fact, now he insists I have pure cream and three spoons of sugar, thank God, I really missed them so much. Black coffee just sucks."
Really? Stopping the sugar and cream from her coffee had made that much weight disappear? How come every fat woman didn't just do that then, if it was so easy ?
"Aren't you afraid of putting the weight back on?" Bella asked.
"I was at first but Edward assured me my metabolism has changed forever now, finally I can eat all I want and never gain an ounce. Wait until you see The Tubby Trio, remember Rose Hale and Lauren Mallory and Angela 'the Blob' Webber ? They all work here and they are all so slim you will squeal when you see them.
Talk about a make over. They should have entered us all in The Biggest Loser when we first started here because we would have won, hands down. Wait, Rose and Lauren were in the elevator with you, didn't you recognise them ?"
Bella stared at Jess. She had been right, that was Rose and Lauren after all ? They looked like the skinny 'after' versions of the girls she had known most of her life.
It was a national epidemic, we were just all so over wieight this generation, all those ridiculously fat filled school dinners she personally held responsible.
Bella had never been even slightly chubby but she had always brown bagged it from home, lean chicken breast, salad, no dressings and plain water to drink all through High School.
Everyone else had stuffed themselves with the free school dinners, paid for by the very generous Cullen family.
Bella had tried to form a committee to change the menu's, all they were given were hamburgers and french fries, pizza's with so much topping you could not taste the crust, macaroni and cheese with the richest sauce ever, she had tasted a mouthful once and felt her arteries shrink, and the beverages were no better. Coffee made with pure cream and coffee flavor, milkshakes so full of cream and ice cream it was a wonder every student hadn't had a coronary by Senior Year, fruit juices with no pulp, just a dozen pieces of squeezed fruit so the sugar content was maximised.
Nobody had wanted to put a stop to the fatty delights and Bella had alone fought and lost. The Headmaster had ridiculed her claims and told her the students need the extra calories because Forks was such a cold place to live.
Yeah, but surely it was better to buy a warm padded parka rather than grow your own six inch layer of fat?
At least the Cullens' were now helping those girls they had caused to be so overweight, Bella thought.
As they should.
"So, this is my desk, you can share with me, the new typing pool girls from last years Senior class are through there. Don't feel awkward being the new girl, Bella, they are all new as well."
Bella raised an eyebrow at the room full of overweight ex-students. Oh , they really must be new, they were still carrying their excess covering of fat layers. It would be fascinating to see if this lot slimmed down like the last years intake evidently had.
"Come and meet the Boss. Hold on to your cherry, he is utterly gorgeous. It has been known for girl's to spontaneously ovulate in his mere presence," Jess sighed dreamily.
The door opened and the most beautiful creature Bella had ever laid eyes on raised his eyes and smiled at her. The smile quickly faded as his eyes raked over her.
"Who is this, Jessica? I told you to only employ ex students of Forks High School. This skinny girl could never have attended there. She is not out of last years intake, what is going on?"
"Mr Cullen, Edward, this is Isabella Swan. She did attend Forks High the same time I did, she has been away for a year."
Mr Cullen stood and walked around, inspecting her from every angle and not liking what he saw.
"Have you been in a concentration camp or a detention center? Did someone lock you up and forget to feed you? Have you flirted with bulimia or anorexia, nobody with those problems will pass the medical. Leave, go away, you are too skinny to work here."
"Excuse me?" Bella bristled. "Are you saying employment here is based on a person's size and weight, because I believe there are laws against that type of prejudice, usually because people deny larger girl's the same opportunities as slimmer ones, but I am sure the reverse applies as well. My mother is a lawyer who specializes in human rights, think before you deny me the chance to take up the job I was offered before you laid eyes on my disappointingly skinny body, please, Mr Cullen. I can call her and have her fly here to represent me in a single day."
"Fine, work here, but go tell Emmett or Jasper to fatten you up."
"Mr Cullen, the way you are speaking to me is insulting and borders on harassment. I have a witness here, do you wish to take back those cruel jibes and start over?" she offered, very much against her nature. She half hoped he would refuse, and would keep up the litany of insults so she could sue his ass.
He straightened and put his hands behind his back.
Bella turned at the slight sound at the door behind her and saw Dr Carlisle Cullen, her own doctor for her entire childhood standing there, looking quite angry.
"I apologise, of course you may proceed to claim the position you were hired to fill, please excuse my reaction, I simply am used to more well padded new staff members, your...perfectly acceptable slim figure threw me off balance for a moment."
The words were right but his strange yellow eyes were cold and blank and his voice had lost the all emotion.
"What my son means is, welcome to the company, Miss Swan, and we hope you enjoy working for us," Dr Cullen said, smiling and holding out a hand.
Bella grinned victoriously at the ignorant clod behind the desk and took Dr Cullen's hand and shook it.
She shivered a little, she had forgotten he had that circulation problem. His hand was as cold as ice, almost.
"Thank you, Dr Cullen, I am sure I will enjoy working here."
Jess grabbed her arm and pulled her from the office and Bella saw the doctor growl as he shut the door and no doubt told his son what a complete ass he was, and a douche into the bargain.
"Get her out of my staff pool and into one of my brother's, or you will be sorry, you know what will happen," she heard Edward Cullen bark in reply at whatever his father had said far too quietly for them to overhear.
What a complete pig. She had never been considered too skinny to be employed, that was just ridiculous. She was small, granted, but she came at just under the average BMI recommended. There was no way she was fattening up to keep her dick of a boss satisfied.
"Edward, be reasonable, Isabella Swan is the daughter of the local Chief of Police don't forget and her mother Renee is quite famous, we cannot afford any attention being drawn our way. The Volturi have never bothered to monitor you because you have never actually killed any of your staff but you must simply treat Miss Swan as an employee and not a source of your...addiction. No feeding from her. You don't feed from Jess any more, just pretend Bella is a year long employee as well."
"Fine, but I want her transferred to Jasper or Emmett as soon as is legally possible. I don't like having new blood making the air reek of temptation."
"Of course, just let her do her job and I will have Jasper come and dazzle her so she requests the transfer herself then there will be no repercussions."
Carlisle left the office and closed the door carefully behind him.
Edward was right about one thing, she did smell good.