A/N I don't own the Characters, that honour belongs to Stephenie Meyer. I just like to play with them.
"This year, the calibre of new recruits has been high. Every officer in this room, should be proud of their achievements." The commissioner stated.
The room filled with applause. Bella Swan looked over to her friends Edward Cullen, Rosalie Hale , Alice Brandon and Jacob Black. All of them had huge smiles plastered over their faces. The five of them started at the academy together, they had been through so much. All five of them excelled in all that they had done. They were hailed as the new breed of officer.
"... and now it's my great pleasure to announce the officers chosen for our fast-track program." the commissioner continued.
This is the moment they had all been waiting for, this is what they had all worked so hard for. Each year the six top officers were chosen for the fast-track program.
"... Now as you may all know, the economy is currently in a state of flux, as such finances for such ventures are tight. It's with great sadness this year that I report that we will only be able to finance two candidates for this years fast-track program. Now with the standards being so high, you can be sure that the decision this year has been tough. Several candidates have excelled throughout the year, but we have based our decision on many key factors..."
Bella felt Edward squeeze her hand and she smiled back at him. She watched as Rosalie and Jacob held on every word the commissioner had said. Out of the five of them, they were the most openly hungry for fast-track.
"Good luck everyone" whispered Alice.
"... It is important for everyone to know that this decision was not made lightly. This year I have the pleasure of announcing that the two chosen for our fast-track program are..."
The room fell into a hushed silence.
"... Officer Bella Swan and Officer Edward Cullen. Congratulations to you both."
"Well done guys." Alice cheered.
The room erupted into applause. Bella and Edward made their way to the stage, several of the other new offices patted their shoulders as they passed. As they reached the stage and shook hands with the commissioner, Bella looked out into the sea of faces. Alice was almost bouncing in her seat and everyone appeared pleased for them. Almost everyone. As Bella's eyes cast over Rosalie and Jacobs, she could see that they weren't pleased for them. They were livid.
Bella tore her eyes away from them and refocused on the commissioner. He was announcing the details of this years fast-track program.
"... The tight budget has surely been a disadvantage this year. Given that we have only been able to fast-track two officers, but it does come with its blessings. The two officers stood beside me, will be joining Detective Chief Inspector Mike Newton and his team at the serious crimes squad. This is a prestigious department and I am sure that these two officers will be a credit to the department."
Bella couldn't help, but smile, as she looked across to Edward she could see that his face was grinning inanely too. As his eyes met hers, he couldn't help but wink. Bella rolled her eyes at him and turned to concentrate on the commissioner, Edward quickly got a hold of himself and did the same.
The commissioner called Detective Chief Inspector Mike Newton to the stage. In his 40's Mike Newton was in peak physical condition. As he took to the stage, he had a demeanour that demanded respect. The commissioner introduced him to Detectives Cullen and Swan, his newest recruits.
He shook hands with Edward first, then Bella. As he shook her hands she felt the weight of his gaze on her. His piercing blue eyes were intense, she could feel her cheeks blush crimson. She glanced over to Edward to see an odd expression from him, but as quick as she'd seen it, his face returned to neutral.
DCI Mike Newton took to the stage to address the rest of the new officers.
"It's my great pleasure to take on these two fine officers as part of the fast-track program. It's the belief of myself, the commissioner and the rest of the force that we need to recognise potential in new recruits. Gone are the days of the long road to the top. The world is changing around us and we find the best way to keep up is to change with it."
The ceremony concluded with Edward and Bella receiving their official confirmation of promotion to detectives. As the commissioner ended the ceremony, the room started to file out, with everyone eager to go out and celebrate.
Bella and Edward prepare to leave the stage, eager to join their friends.
"Cullen and Swan" DCI Mike Newton called out. They spin round to greet their new boss.
"Sir!" they say in unison.
"Relax. I just wanted to tell you to enjoy yourselves this evening, but bear in mind I expect you both to report to me first thing in the morning, no excuses."
As they file out to catch up with their friends Bella can't help, but feel the gaze of DCI Mike Newton on her. She fights against her instincts to meet his gaze and hurries to catch up with Edward.
After a quick change of clothes Bella and Edward are greeted by Alice. She's the first to congratulate them both on their achievement. It's clear to them both that she is genuinely pleased for them. They eventually find Jacob and Rosalie in Forks, the local bar. From the looks of the glasses along the bar in front of them, they've gotten a good head start.
"Hey" Bella called out to them.
"Hi!" Jacob grunts.
Rosalie doesn't respond.
Edward slides into the stool beside Rosalie and tries to get her eye contact, Bella watches as he works. This has always been one of Edward's strengths. The ability to get under people's skin, to work out what's wrong and reach a conclusion.
At first Rosalie is frosty, but eventually she meets Edwards gaze. Once she's met his eyes, it's only a matter of time before she starts to talk.
"It's so unfair!" she moans.
"Rose. If it had been you and Jacob, I would have been disappointed, but I would have been pleased for you too. We all worked hard this past year, we all deserve fast-track. I don't know what they saw in me and Bella above the rest of you, but it was their decision, not ours. If you want to be pissed, be pissed with them. Please."
Rosalie didn't respond at first, but Bella watched as her shoulders softened and she nodded her head lightly.
Bella made her move against Jacob next.
"So I take it you are pissed too." She teased.
Jacob started to look a little shame faced, refusing to meet her gaze.
"Look. You are Rose are brilliant at what we do. There are areas that you beat me and Edward at hands down, but we aren't the ones that made the decision. I've no doubt that even without fast-track, you two will move up through the ranks fast. At least be pleased for us."
Silence descended. It was Alice who broke through the tension.
"Look, quit being bitches about all of this. Edward and Bella are still our friends, even if they have become big shot detectives. Take your frustration out on the job. Impress your peers and who knows, with the attitude you two have you might end up overtaking them again. Seriously though. Just get over it."
For someone so petite, she had quite the venom to her voice. The vision of Alice, with her hands on her hips united the friends and they shared an uneasy truce. For that evening, they were still friends; equals.
As they enjoyed each others company, Bella looked around at her friends around the table. Inside she was a mixture of emotions. She was on a high for having been chosen for fast-track; Excited to have been placed in such a prestigious department, with her friend Edward and sad, because she thought that the friends around her, were people she could depend on. Having lost her mother at an early age and having not had much of a father figure, she had been so used to fending for herself.
When she joined the academy, she hadn't set out to make friends, but she had found them. From day one she'd forged a strong friendship with Edward, Jacob, Rosalie and Alice. She thought that nothing would break that friendship and now, it seems like something as simple as jealousy was threatening to break the tight group of friends apart.