Ficawesome Gift Exchange- TAKE 2
Title: Coffee, Cars, and Copy Rooms
Written for: AcrossTheSkyInStars
Written By: Sunsetwing
Summary/Prompt used: This fic is a gift for AcrossTheSkyInStars. Bella's day goes from bad to worse as she realizes the bane of her morning commute is her newest client. If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps.
A/N I want to thank Breath-of Twilight for being so much more than a beta. If not for her then this story wouldn't have a title or a summary.
"Uh, finally!" I let out of a whoosh of relieved air as traffic slowly began to pull forward. I'd been sitting in traffic for forty-five minutes. Horns were blaring, babies could be heard crying, and angry drivers with snarled up faces had their doors ajar as they screamed and huffed out their irritation. Like that would do them any good. The day had just begun and already my patience was wearing thin. Being that I was already ten minutes late for work and Emmett would have my hide if I was late for our meeting with a possible new client, I almost wanted to call in sick, pull a u-turn, head home, and just crawl back in bed.
My day started out with a total lack of hot water while I was in the shower. Now, this normally wouldn't be such a big deal, but the upscale condo's I lived in, these types of things should never happen for the price I paid to live there. Not to mention that it was a fairly new building and only one other couple lived on my floor.
After my ice cold shower, my coffee machine decided that it had brewed its last cup of coffee. Morning coffee was a staple for me. It was like part of my physical makeup. I hated to break my routine but decided that I would have to suck it up and grab a cup of coffee at the little coffee shop in the lobby of my office building.
After as much primping as I could handle and twenty or so outfits later, I was dressed in a white button up, gray pencil skirt, and finished off with a red belt and black pumps. I was finally dressed to impress and ready for work. Up until that point, I'd maintained a fairly decent outlook on the rest of my day. As soon as I got in my car, that outlook took a complete nosedive.
Pulling out of my parking spot was easy enough. Waiting to pull out of the garage exit was a whole different story, however; the streets were filled with construction workers. As soon as I pulled onto the main road that would take me to the freeway, I was stop by a flagman. Many cat calls, lewd gestures from sweaty men, and traversing an exceptionally bumpy road, and I had finally fought my way to the onramp of the freeway only to find myself in the thick of morning rush-hour traffic. That's where I currently found myself, staring at the back of a red SUV, just a quarter of a mile away from the off ramp that would get me to work.
As cars began to inch forward, car doors slammed shut, and the annoyed bellows that were echoing all around me faded. Traffic was moving again, and I was just getting ready to change lanes, the end of this hell finally within my grasp, and some jack ass in a Bentley cut me off.
"You asshole, now I'll never get into the right lane." I tried and tried to change lanes, but as quickly as my exit came, it went. I finally made the change and was able to take the next exit, but when I looked at the clock, I was now running a half an hour late.
Being late shouldn't have actually mattered since I was partner in our law office, but I had a thing about punctuality. My closest friend in law school, Emmett, and I had decided that we wanted to start our own practice instead of joining an existing firm. Even though we were only several years out of school, we had become pretty successful fairly quickly. Between people we'd met in college and through word of mouth, we learned rather quickly that apparently the need for legal advice in Seattle was at an all-time high. This led us to a nicer set of offices, with more employees, and finally, personal assistants.
Emmett and I got along really well, and we worked phenomenally together. His wife, Rosalie, was also one of my closest friends, which allowed Emmett to work long hours without having a paranoid wife to answer to at home. We were both completely dedicated, and our firm thrived because of it. We were supposed to be meeting a potentially huge client for our firm this morning, and I was starting to feel sick to my stomach at the thought of being so late and how that would look for Emmett and me. We both had tried to uphold a level of professionalism with our employees as well as ourselves, even though we were friends, so that it showed that we were legitimate. We didn't want to cut corners, and punctuality was big on the list of things we held at a high standard.
As I pulled into our parking lot, I noticed the lot looked extremely full. I wasn't too concerned because both Emmett and I had our own designated parking spaces towards the front of the building. I drew closer, and as I turned the corner, there was a car parked in my space. To be more specific, there was a damn Bentley parked in my space. The very same Bentley that cut me off earlier, with the vanity plate on the back that read, Mr C.
Son of a bitch.
I was so pissed off; I was literally seeing red. After circling the lot three more times, someone was finally leaving, and I quickly pulled into the vacated spot. It took me a few minutes to leave the car. While I had been weaving and fighting through traffic, I had slammed on the brakes at one point, effectively chucking my briefcase around the back seat of my car. With my papers and files in total disarray, I started the ten minute walk to get in my building. Thank god I hadn't twisted my ankle.
The little coffee shop in the lobby looked to be almost completely empty, but thankfully, open. Maybe something was destined to go right this morning. I walked straight to the counter, nearly shaking with caffeine withdrawals. The barista walked up to me with a meek smile on her face.
"I'm sorry, Ma'am. Our machine hasn't been working all morning, but we do have some premade coffee in the thermoses over there." Her sickly sweet voice further grating on my nerves, I turned and headed straight for the lukewarm, three hour old coffee. Dumping plenty of creamer and sugar in, I brought the cup to my lips, only realizing a moment too late that the coffee wasn't going to be nearly hot enough. I stomped back to the counter, only to be greeted by the same girl.
"Is there something else that I can do for you?"
"Yes, is there any way that you could heat this up for me?"
"Sure. I'll be right back." She took the cup from my hands and placed it in their microwave and then went through a doorway, back to what I could only assume was a kitchen. The microwave beeped and the barista still had yet to come back. I stood there for a few more minutes before I lost my patience totally. Without waiting for her, I quickly went behind the counter to retrieve my coffee.
"Ma'am, you can't be back here."
I turned and left, completely ignoring the chastising barista before I realized I hadn't even paid for my coffee. I hurried back in, nearly tripping over my own feet, the girl staring at me dumbfounded, and I threw a dollar on the counter.
I made my way back to the elevators, and thankfully, they opened without a single thing going wrong. I rode up to the seventh floor, quickly exiting and bee-lining straight to my office, my heels clacking loudly against the marble floor.
My assistant, Angela, immediately jumped to action when I was within hearing distance.
"Is everything okay, Bella? I was worried, and I tried to call your cell, but it kept going to voicemail. Emmett has been waiting for you for forty-five minutes, and he's been calling every five minutes to check to see if you're in yet…"
"Why's he been calling so much?"
"Did you forget the meeting this morning, Bella?"
I started this morning knowing that I was meeting a client, but somewhere in the mix of my morning madness, it had slipped my mind.
"I completely forgot. Is the client in his office with him?"
"Yes, he checked in about a half an hour ago."
I hated looking unprofessional, especially when it came to client meetings. This was going to definitely reflect poorly on me, but I was determined to at least face Emmett and the client to apologize. At this point, I wasn't above getting down on my knees and pleading for forgiveness.
Quickly, deciding that I couldn't put it off any longer, I strode towards Emmett's office, ready for any repercussions that I would incur from being so late. As I entered his plush office, my eyes immediately went to the large empty desk. I started to panic, thinking that the client had decided to leave because of my tardiness, when I heard the toilet flush in Emmett's office bathroom. My eyes flew to the closed door, and noticed for the first time that a man was leisurely sitting on the large leather couch in the corner of the room. He was quite possibly the best looking man that I had ever seen. He was ruggedly handsome, and his presence was doing something strange to my heart rate. He had an air about him, and the sexiest smirk I had ever laid eyes on plastered on his face. My mind completely blanked as to why I'd even come in the office in the first place; all I could do was stare.
I gaped for a moment before finally finding a few coherent words. "Excuse me, I was looking for Emmett," I managed, finally finding what words I could string together.
"He should be on his way out any second. While we're waiting, is it possible that I could get a cup of coffee?"
I was abruptly brought back to the reality of the situation. If he wanted coffee, I'd gladly fetch it for him.
As I passed Angela, she offered to get the coffee while I gathered my wits before entering Emmett's office again. I sincerely hoped that I would have a clearer head upon entering for the second time.
"Good, good, Bella, you're here. What the hell happened to you? We've been waiting for an hour." Of course Emmett would choose this very moment to finally come out of the bathroom. I quickly walked towards him and tried speaking in a low voice.
"Sorry I'm late, Em. Some asshole cut me off, and I missed my exit, and then the same asshole was parked in my parking spot."
Emmett belted out a huge belly laugh. "And how do you know it was the same guy?"
"Vanity plate, just one of the many reasons not to have them. Plus, he drives a Bentley, and that car sticks out like a sore thumb."
At that, Emmett laughed even harder.
"What are you two whispering about over there? Did I hear someone mention my car?"
His car? The Bentley? No, it couldn't be.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Edward. This is my partner, Isabella Swan. We like to call her Bella around here. Bella, this is Edward Cullen of Cullen Holdings, our new client. Edward here is an old friend of mine; we went to college together. He's in need of someone to look over a contract for him."
I looked at both men questioningly. My brain was bouncing between the parking spot stealer and the fact that this was a close, personal friend of Emmett's. Not to mention the fact that I had just put together the vanity plate with Mr. Cullen's name. Great, this was just what I needed to add to the load of shit that was this day. It was just my luck. Mr. Asshole driver had to be this drool-worthy sex god in front of me, and our newest client to boot. I was so fucked. I gulped back my irritation and a small amount of regret and put on my business face before I looked back over at him.
"Yes, well, we have a legal team that goes over most of our business, but this is something that I'd like to keep separate. At least for awhile, until I figure out whether or not there's something that I should be pursuing."
We spent the next several hours going over every word of a contract Mr. Cullen had with a private contractor. He felt like this particular man was funneling confidential information, to who he wasn't sure, but there were several occurrences that could no longer be overlooked.
I found that I enjoyed the tedious nature of the case, and was determined to do whatever I could to help out. From what I could see Cullen Holdings could prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
Over the next several weeks, Emmett, Edward, and I worked longer, tedious hours. It was nearly impossible for me to ignore the feelings I had when Edward and I were in a room together. When Emmett would leave the room, it was nearly unbearable. A few times Emmett had even left early, leaving Edward and me to finish up. Those were the worst possible nights because I literally had to do everything I could do to keep me from mounting him right there on Emmett's desk.
He still drove me absolutely nuts. He was confident and cocky, and at every turn he was always there. When I went to the copy room, he would already be there with one of our assistants making sure that he got all of the copies he wanted. In the break room, I had come in to get coffee a couple of times only to find Edward drinking from my favorite mug. He even found a way to be in my office when I would enter, and he would never really have a legitimate reason to be in there. I wasn't complaining too much since he was so easy to look at. Although, I was starting to find him in there more frequently and it was getting very taxing on my nerves. Things came to a head when I found him shuffling through some papers on my desk.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I'd had it. The attraction between us a palpable, and was literally driving me crazy. He was absolutely wearing my self control down, and now, he'd finally managed to push me over the line.
"I was looking for the final assessment that for some reason isn't with the rest of the paperwork in Emmett's office. I figured you're the only other person who could possibly have it, so here I am. There's no need for you to be so short with me."
I stormed past him, intent to find the document before he did, if anything, just to prove him wrong. I threw open the door and stomped over to Emmett's desk, shuffling papers around, only to find the final assessment sitting right there underneath the massive file. I quickly snatched it up in my hand and stormed back to my office, only to find the insufferable man sitting in my office chair.
I waved the document over my head trying to keep from totally losing my temper. "Here, it was there on his desk the whole time."
"Oh, well thank you so much for finding it for me." He slowly stood and moved around my desk, only to come toe to toe with me. I didn't want to look into his eyes and see that he was feeling the same way, even though he drove me nuts.
"I… I have things to do."
I turned, without looking back, and went straight to the copy room. I had to get my wits about me and wasn't going to be doing that if he was standing right there in front of me.
I walked in and closed the door behind me, only turning on one set of lights. I moved to the back of the room, and stood there, breathing heavily and staring at the blank wall in front of me. Getting my emotions under control was proving to be a lot hard than I had expected. There was just something about him that got under my skin.
I barely heard the door click open, when the lights suddenly flicked out. I could barely see anything in front of me save for the green glow of the exit sign.
"You have gotten completely under my skin, do you know that? I've tried to be subtle. I've even tried to just stay away from you completely. I have to be this way, Bella. I have to. To protect myself from the people who want to use me for everything I have.
"Emmett's talked about you for years. He's wanted me to meet you, and I put him off as long as I could, but I ran into him a few weeks ago when I was out having lunch. There you sat, completely oblivious to our conversation. He hadn't done you justice. I couldn't take my eyes off of you.
"I didn't want Emmett to introduce me. I wanted to do this on my own. I'm sorry for all of the things that I've done to upset you. Most of them were coincidental, but some of them were just so I could see the fire in you eyes. All I've wanted was to see that fire for me."
I wanted to turn around, confess my own feelings, but found that I was frozen in my spot. I suddenly felt his breath on my hair. He slowly reached up and moved my hair from around my shoulders, then slowly slid his hands down the length of my arms, his warm hands coming to rest at my own shaking hands.
Grabbing my hands in his, he moved us closer to the wall, and my breathing rapidly picked up knowing what was about to happen. What I wanted to happen. He placed both our hands against the back wall and pressed closer to me still.
"Do you have any idea how much I have wanted to touch you? Anything, Bella. I'll give you anything you want. You just have to ask."
"You," is all I could manage to choke out, so overcome with his heady scent so strong and overwhelming in the small, confined area.
Without further hesitation, Edward's hands dropped mine and his hands moved to my hips. Ever so slowly, he ran his fingers down my skirt until his long fingers were grasping at the hem. In that second, something snapped, and he began frantically trying to raise my skirt above my hips, desperately trying to get at what we both wanted.
Only when we are finally joined do things finally start to come back into focus. I was so full with him that I moaned with the sensation of it all. We moved together, working ourselves to a fever pitch, as the world exploded around us and there was nothing left but the sound of our panting.
When he finally stills inside of me, he quickly turned me around and gazed me with an unnamed emotion in his eyes. His lips crashed down onto mine, and I reveled in the way his kiss absolutely consumed me.
Ever so slowly, we pulled apart, and I immediately mourned the loss of his touch. After how primal we had just been with each other, I was surprised to find how gentle Edward's eyes had become. His personality was normally so hard that I was shocked to find the look of adoration and want was reflected in his eyes. I knew that look mirrored my own.
Wordlessly, we put ourselves back together, only to be brought out of our haze abruptly by the jiggle of the door handle.
"Bella, you in there?"
I had totally forgotten that we were still in the office, being so caught up in Edward.
We both stood there, frozen, waiting for Emmett to leave; and when he finally did, we quietly slipped from the closet.
We unconsciously took separate routes towards Emmett's office. Both of us apparently feeling the same need for discretion, and once we were there, we found an irritated looking Emmett tidying up his desk.
"Where have you two been? I've been looking for you everywhere?"
"I was just heading back from making some copies," I said, trying not to acknowledge the confused look on Emmett's face. Edward quickly spoke up before Emmett could put two and two together.
"I was just coming back from the break room and stopped by Bella's office to see if you both were there."
"Alight then, well, I'm gonna take off. I have to meet Rose early tonight. You know, you guys should get dinner or something. I mean, we've been working so hard, it would be nice to take a night off."
I tried to hold back a giggle, realizing that Emmett was still trying to set us up together. He would realize soon enough that things between us were more than friendly, but for now, it was just easier to play along than to explain.
I watched as Edward's lips pulled up into a cocky grin. "Would you like to have dinner with me, Bella?"
I smirked a tiny bit myself. "I would love to, Mr. Cullen."