AN: Hiya there! Over My Head, and it's sister story, Accidentally in Love, were written as part of the Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness compilation.
My grand plan is write two separate stories, following the same basic story line, and weave them together seamlessly. They're meant to be read together (since there will be very few scenes will actually be repeated), but they can also stand alone.
Leaning back against my desk, I felt Tanya's lips making their way down my bare chest as my my assistant's ringtone chimed for the sixth time in the past hour.
"Damn it, Jane," I muttered under my breath before letting the sensation of a warm tongue against my hipbone sweep my thoughts away.
Tanya's tinkling laugh echoed throughout my office. "I don't know if I should be offended that you're grumbling her name as I'm about to go down on you."
I glared down at her for minute, just long enough for her to get with the program and smirk, swiftly working my belt loose. All I wanted at the moment was to see her pretty, strawberry blonde locks wrapped around my fists as her mouth sucked my cock.
Just as her hands wrapped around my hardness, the phone rang again.
"Motherfucker!" I growled as Tanya sat back on her heels, shaking her head.
"Answer her, Edward. Find out what the little shrew wants, and then tell her to fuck off so we can continue uninterrupted, baby."
I reached over and violently opened my cell phone. "What the fuck is it now, Jane?" I spat venomously.
"Eh-Edward?" she stuttered out, her voice raw and scratchy. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong with how she sounded, but I couldn't bring myself to care.
"Who the fuck else would it be, woman?" I ground out.
"I-I'm so s-s-sorry," she replied, sounding as if she'd been crying.
I sighed and softened my voice, hoping to catch more flies with honey.
"What's wrong, Jane?"
"Edward, there's be-been an accident," she sobbed out.
My brow furrowed in confusion. "What's going on?" I asked, dread settling in my stomach.
"It's your parents. They were in a car accident."
Panic started to well in my chest. This couldn't be happening. I'd just talked to my mother on the phone yesterday. Wait. Wasn't it yesterday? I honestly couldn't remember now that I thought about it. I hadn't been back home in almost seven years, but I still talked to my family on occasion. Deciding that this wasn't the type of conversation that one had with his now-flaccid dick hanging out, I pulled up my pants and sat in my chair.
Tanya gave me a confusion look before slipping her dress back on. I shook my head and tried to focus on Jane's words.
"What happened, Jane? Are they okay? Why didn't anyone call me?"
"No one knows your number. All of your calls go through me, remember?" she responded softly. "I've been trying to reach you all day, but you've been sending my calls to voicemail."
I swallowed painfully and ran my hand through my hair, guilt overtaking my senses. "My parents, Jane. How are my parents?"
"They're...they're gone, Edward."
My breath whooshed out of my body, and I laid my head on the desk, letting out a dry sob.
"No, no, no. This can't be real."
"I'm so sorry, sir," she whisper-sobbed on the line. "The Seattle Police Department called. Ryan was in the car with them and is in critical condition. You're his next of kin."
Pain stabbed my chest upon hearing my younger brother's name. The last time I'd physically seen him, he was a newborn baby.
"Book me on the next flight."
"I already took the liberty, sir. The last flight out of Chicago is in three hours. I purchased you a one-way ticket since I was unsure of your return date."
I sighed and rubbed my face, drying my tears. "Thank you, Jane. I'm sorry for being an ass."
She gasped in what I assumed was surprise. I couldn't blame her, honestly. I was a bastard, and I knew it, but work was more productive that way. Jane was the best assistant that I'd ever had, so I usually tried to reign my asshole-ish side in.
"No worries, Mr. Masen," she murmured. "Shall I let Tyler know to pick you up at the house when you're ready?"
"Yes, Jane, that should be fine. I'll talk to you later."
I snapped my phone shut and tossed it onto the desk.
"I take it we're finished here?" Tanya spoke, seated in the plushy chair on the other side of my desk.
"Yes, we're finished here. I have a flight to catch."
"So I heard," she replied smartly. "Aren't you going to tell me about it?"
I narrowed my eyes, glaring at her from between their slits. "Tell you about it? What's there to tell? My parents died in a car accident. My younger brother is in critical condition. I'm going home. Is that good for you?"
Her eyes widened, and she smiled sadly. The last thing I wanted from her was sympathy. Tanya and I fucked; we weren't a couple by any means.
"Just go, Tanya. I'll call you when I get back in town."
She moved lithely to her feet. "I'm here if you need me, Edward."
I nodded dismissively and picked up the office phone, dialing my partner's number. I glanced at the clock, noticing how late it actually was.
"Masen, there be better be a good excuse for this," she whispered venomously. "I'm in the middle of something."
"I'm sure you meant someone, Rosalie?" I chuckled lightly, never one to miss an opportunity to needle my closest friend.
Rosalie Hale was tough as nails and a shrewd lawyer. We'd met in law school and actually dated for a few months before deciding that we were better off as friends. We both interned at Hale & Hale, the firm run by her father and grandfather. Rose's father passed away shortly after we graduated and old man Hale retired a few years ago, offering me a partnership. At twenty-five, I was the considered a young hot-shot, but my winning record spoke for itself.
"This is not the time to fuck with me, Edward. What. Do. You. Want?" she growled.
I swallowed the lump in my throat, before letting out a small sigh. "I have a family emergency, Rose. I'm leaving on the next flight out to Washington. I don't know when I'll be back."
"Wait! What?" she replied loudly, confusion clear in her voice.
I heard her whisper to someone and then the shuffling of her body as she moved into another room.
"Edward, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"My...my parents," I stuttered before my throat closed, another sob threatening to erupt.
"Shit," she murmured. "How bad is it, babe?" The heartfelt concern in her voice crushed me even further.
"They're gone, Rose," I whispered brokenly. "Ryan's in critical condition, and I need to get out there to make arrangements."
"Fuck, I'm so sorry, Ed. Go do what you need to do." The tell-tale clicking of her fingers on a keyboard filtered through the phone line. "I'll call Randy in the morning and have him work with Jane to take over your caseload indefinitely."
"Thanks, Rose. I'll be back as soon as possible."
"Edward," she half-sighed/half-chastised. "Don't rush through this and not let yourself grieve. You also have your brother to think about."
"I know that," I replied in irritation, "but I also have obligations here, too."
"If it makes you feel better, we can Skype and work over the phone. Your family is the most important thing right now, Ed."
Rubbing my forehead in frustration, I let out a huge sigh. "I haven't been home in six years, Rose. I have no idea what to do or how to act."
"Edward," she replied, comfortingly. "Just follow your heart."
The flight was quiet and uneventful, seeing as how I was only one of six passengers in first class. I'd end up landing in Seattle at almost one in the morning, so Jane booked a hotel room close to the hospital where Ryan was staying, and I'd go straight there in the morning.
I rested my head back against the seat and let myself be submerged in memories. I'd been in all advanced classes and ended up graduating from Forks High at sixteen, with a full scholarship to Northwestern. When I was home for spring break during my sophomore year, my mother lay the bombshell on me that she was miraculously pregnant. My parents had me at eighteen, so at thirty-five, my mom was still within childbearing years. She'd had multiple miscarriages throughout the years after I was born, so this one was a complete surprise and very stressful on her.
I was old enough this time around to realize and understand the risks that she'd be taking by attempting to carry this child. I was adamant that she should get rid of it, thinking instead of her family—my father and myself—and what it would do to us if anything happened to her during the pregnancy. My stance on the issue caused a rift between us that I still regretted to this day. I didn't go home again until Christmas break later that year. By that time, Ryan had been born, and every single person's attention was on the new baby. Admittedly, I'd felt jealous that this bundle of poop and drool was my new replacement. I grabbed my bags and left the next morning, opting to go back to school and spend the holidays at my dorm, in peace and quiet.
According to my father's angry tirade on the phone the next evening, I was considered persona-non-grata until I could figure out how to grow up and act like a man instead of a child. That was the last time I'd gone home. Over the years, our relationship had become less strained, and my mother and I'd been talking more on the phone. Most of our conversations revolved around how much she missed me and how much Ryan reminded her of me when I was his age. He was brilliant, easily doing work two grade levels ahead of his own.
They sent cards and family pictures that made my heart ache because—through my own choices—I was no longer a part of it. My brother and I exchanged emails every few days, and I liked to think that I knew him well, even though I'd technically never met him in person, always using school—and later work—as an excuse.
As the plane touched down onto the tarmac, jostling me from my thoughts, I couldn't help the wave of sorrow and regret that washed over me. I'd never really expressed how sorry I was for the childish way I acted seven years ago, and I'd only really started saying "I love you" again in the past few months. Now, I'd never have the chance to say what needed to be said; I'd never have the chance to make it up to them. But I could be there for my brother. I was resolved to be there for him and take care of him as best I could.
It was a chance to right the wrongs of my past.
Dread and anxiety weighed heavily in my stomach as the elevator slowly rose up through the floors. After finding out what room Ryan was in, I made my way down the hall, my hands shaking with anxiety. I could face down a courtroom of people, but facing one little boy had my nerves frayed. I knew it was because I felt guilty, rightfully so at that.
My hand hesitated on the knob for a fraction of second before slowly turning it and easing the door open. At first, I thought I had the wrong room. A woman with long, brown hair lay napping, her head resting on the bed next to a small body. Moving further into the room, I gazed down at the seemingly sleeping boy. The sight before me made my chest tighten and ache. Ryan's head was bandaged, and his left arm was wrapped in a bright red cast. Tears stung my eyes, and I averted my gaze from his bruised face, only to find myself gazing upon the profile of a slumbering angel.
Her body moved softly, as she breathed evenly in her sleep. Long eyelashes brushed against skin that looked porcelain in the eerie hospital lighting. I could sense my brow furrow at the realization that I felt pulled toward this unknown woman. There were dried tear tracks streaked down her cheeks, so she was obviously someone close to my family. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
A gasp from the doorway grabbed my attention, forcing my gaze away from Sleeping Beauty. My mother's sister, Esme, stood just a few feet away, her hands covering her mouth as tears ran down her face.
"Oh, Edward," she quietly sobbed.
My feet moved of their own volition, as did my arms, wrapping her up in a tight hug. I held her shaking form until she quieted down a few minutes later. She pulled back and reached up to cup my own damp cheeks.
"My boy, I'm so happy to see you," she began, "but I'm sorry it's under these circumstances."
"Ssh, Aunt Ez. It's my fault for being such an ass all these years."
I turned and moved back to Ryan's side, gently brushing a piece of coppery-brown hair out of his face.
"How is he?" I asked, as quietly as I could.
Esme walked over to my side, reaching out to squeeze my hand before answering.
"He's had a rough couple of days. The accident was the other night. There was swelling in his brain, and they feared he'd been in a coma, but last night he woke up and spoke briefly with Bella. She said he was completely coherent and quickly became hysterical enough that the doctor administered a sedative."
"Bella?" I murmured, the name rolling off my tongue. My gaze flickered back down to the sleeping woman, familiarity once again rushing through me.
Esme reached down and mimicked my earlier motion with Ryan, tucking some hair lovingly behind the girl's ear.
"I know you don't speak with everyone often, but surely you must know that Isabella is a third owner of the publishing company that your mom and I bought into. She's such a sweet girl and practically a member of the family."
Once Esme mentioned her connection, I immediately recalled hearing my mom mention the name once or twice. What most stood out to me was that Ryan talked about her often in his emails. Apparently, this Isabella must've hung the moon by how often my brother would rave about her "awesomeness."
As if sensing she was being talked about, Bella shifted and sat up slowly, blinking and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Adorable was the only word that came to mind.
Her deep brown eyes met mine, a look of confusion passing across her face before she glanced at Esme.
"Bella, dear," my aunt whispered before leaning down to kiss her cheek.
"Esme, who's he?" she asked, her voice gravely from sleep. "Is everything okay with Ry?"
Esme smiled kindly. "Ryan is doing fine. This here is his brother, Edward."
If it hadn't disturbed me greatly, I would've laughed at how Bella comically shifted into a cold demeanor. She glared at me, standing swiftly to her feet.
"I'm going to run home and change. Will you call me if anything changes, Esme?"
Esme glanced quickly between Bella and me before nodding. As the girl strode purposefully out of the room, Esme shot me an apologetic smile.
"What was that about?"
Esme half-shrugged. "She's very protective of Ryan. She and Lizzie were very close."
"So, I'm Lizzie's bastard of a son that she hates, right?" I mused, surprised at how disappointed I felt. Normally, I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me, but this girl—this literal stranger to me—made me want to put my best foot forward.
Well, that idea was obviously shot to hell. A shot of annoyance ran through me. Who the hell was she to judge me, especially when she'd never even met me? Right then and there, I resolved not to give Bella Swan another thought.
I should've realized that was something easier said than done.
AN: Over My Head and it's sister story, Accidentally in Love, will start posting on a regular basis starting sometime in January. I'm really excited for these two to start.