Ficawesome Gift Exchange- 3some
Title: The Sweetest Choice
Written for: Claire Violet Thorpe
Written By: Butterfly Betty
Summary/Prompt used: A pampered heiress who is ignored by her family falls in love with an unlucky college professor-but will the handsome newscaster tear them apart?
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A few months ago, I never thought I'd find myself in this position, one where I had to make a decision that would not only define who I am, but who I wasn't anymore. My life wasn't supposed to be so complicated. Though, I suppose that's true to everyone's life. Nobody expects the bumps in the road, but perhaps, they do make us stronger.
Growing up, I'd never wanted for anything. Literally. My parents, for the lack of better term, left me in the hands of caregivers until I rebelled, demanding at the tender age of fourteen that I could take care of myself. Of course, that pleased my father. After all, I'd saved him the measly salary he'd been paying Sue. If I hadn't know how relieved she felt to be getting away from me, I'd have felt sorry for her. Besides, it wasn't anything new to me. People had been abandoning since my first breath. That may sound harsh, but the truth hurts.
I sounded like a spoiled brat, and maybe I am, or was one, but that's just my life. When I was six years old, I told my mother I wanted a pony. The next day, there were three in our stables for me to pick from. After standing there for ten minutes, trying to decide between the chestnut brown one, the sleek black one, or the white one, she waved an aggravated hand around and announced I could have them all. That was always her answer, though. She thought she could buy my love. And you know, she could.
Of course, I suppose it's better than the way my father showed his so called love for his only child. If he bothered to speak to me at all, he chose to criticize me, blasting me for being lazy and undeserving of the lifestyle he and Mother had created for me. I laughed, letting my bitterness show. I was simply the product of one fucked up situation. My father's irritation with my lifestyle was directly responsible for the predicament I found myself in. He insisted that if I expected to keep being supported by him financially, I'd better make an effort to uphold the family name. Like being one of the Swan's was so fucking amazing.
After much searching, I decided the best way for me to make my mark was to venture out into the one thing my father couldn't stand, the ever unpredictable world of art. Choosing to set up a small gallery, I spent months making it perfect, finding just the right people to show their work. Of course, Charlie Swan didn't give a shit, he never did when it came to me.
I found Esme Masen, a spunky red head with an attitude to match, standing on a street corner and a dozen canvases leaning against the building behind her. While most of her work was mediocre, she had a carefree spirit and if anyone was going to piss Daddy off, it'd be her. Getting her to show her work in my gallery had been easy, all she was really looking for was a hand up.
As the night of the big show dawned nearer, I found myself getting more excited about my new venture in life. What had started as a way to piss Daddy off, suddenly became something I could be proud of. Perhaps, I'd finally found something for me, and not for him. The opening started off just as planned. Dozens of my so called friends came out to support me, but in truth, they were there for their chance to get on the society page. I didn't really blame them, it wasn't that long ago that I'd have been right there with them, angling for the same opportunity.
"Oh, my God, Isabella," gushed Esme, looking around the gallery with wide, innocent hazel eyes. "I can't believe this is actually happening. There are so many cameras and reporters."
"You'll get used to it," I laughed, hooking my arm in with hers. "This is only the beginning for you."
"I wish I had your confidence," she replied, breathlessly.
Before I could respond to her, a loud crash startled us. Spinning around, we found five of her paintings laying in the middle of the floor with some guy in the middle of them. "EDWARD!" she screeched, causing him to shifted his deep green eyes up to mine.
With dark auburn hair that looked like someone had been gripping onto it in the throws of ecstasy, his gaze traveled down my body, resting on my long legs. Clearing his throat, he turned back Esme, his cheeks turning beet red. It was adorable. "I'm sorry, Esme," he mumbled, shifting uncomfortably from all the attention him. If it wasn't so damn cute, I'd feel sorry for him. "It was an accident."
"It always is," sighed Esme, walking over to him. "I'm glad you could make it, though."
"Like I'd miss the biggest day in my little sister's life," he scoffed, chancing a glance over at me. Pulling my bottom lip between my teeth, I raised an eyebrow, causing his cheeks to darken even more as he looked back at his sister. "Again, I'm sorry."
"It's fine." Esme waved him off dismissively. "Just try not to knock anything else over."
"I'll try," he mumbled, reaching down for one of her paintings.
"No, I've got it," she blurted, covering his hand with hers. "Why don't you get yourself a drink or something?"
"Here, let me show you to the bar," I offered, looping my arm in with his.
Without giving him much of a chance to argue, I dragged him away from Esme, leaving her to clean up his mess. Stopping in front of the small, oak bar, I gestured for the bartender I'd hired to pass over two glasses of Champagne. Thanking him with a smile, I turned and offered one to Edward, who frowned as he wrapped his long fingers around the stem.
"Who are you?" He slammed his free hand over his mouth, clearly startled by his outburst.
However, I found it endearing, almost cute. Giggling, I reached up, tugging his hand away from his lips, his very supple, sensual lips. "I'm Isabella Swan. You're Edward."
"How'd you know my name?" he asked.
"Esme called you Edward," I murmured. "I assumed you to be him."
"Oh," he muttered, shifting his eyes over to her. "I should help her."
"No, you shouldn't," I laughed, releasing his hand, but slipping my arm in with his. "She's got everything under control. Besides, you and I should get to know each other better."
"We should?" He sounded doubtful, yet intrigued at the same time.
I smiled. "Yes, we should."
Looking around, he nodded, inhaling a deep breath. I could normally read a man, know just want he wanted, within moments of meeting him. Of course, most men weren't terribly difficult, either. They tended to only want one thing and that was finding their way between my legs. However, Edward was an enigma to me, keeping me fascinated with his every breath.
He shifted his eyes back to mine. "This is your gallery."
It wasn't a question.
"Yes," I replied. "Are you an artist like your sister?"
"God no," he scoffed, looking abashed a moment later. "Not that there is anything wrong with being an artist, even if it doesn't pay the bills. It's just not my thing, I suppose."
"And what exactly is your thing?" I wondered.
"Um, I'm a professor," he mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. "I'm sure that sounds dreadfully boring to someone like you."
"Someone like me?" I tried to hide the offended undertone, but I couldn't. "Just how is someone like me?"
"I didn't mean any disrespect," he said in a rush. "Most women, especially beautiful ones, don't find a man like me, a mere educator, to be attractive."
"You think I'm beautiful?" This time, my cheeks were the ones that warmed. People often uttered that simple word to me, but I'd never believed them. They only saw the money my family had, not the real me.
"Yes," he whispered, dropping his eyes from mine. "I'm sure you hear that all the time, though."
"Not really," I murmured, leading him toward a few of the paintings. "At least not by anyone I'd believe."
"I have a hard time believing that, Miss. Swan."
"Call me Isabella, or better yet call me Bella." I stopped us in front of one of Esme's paintings. "This one's my favorite of hers."
"Why?" he asked, angling his body toward me.
Bringing my hand up to my throat, I shifted my gaze back to the painting, trying to find the words to explain why this one spoke to me. A young girl sat in the middle of an empty room with her legs folded in front of her. She held brown teddy bear in her lap, her face tilted upward. The moonlight poured into the room through a single window, the curtain blowing from the breeze outside. In the corner of the room were a pair of blood-red eyes, focused on the little girl. She was alone, trapped with a monster. Only, it wasn't a the kind of monster that hid in your closest, or under your bed. It's the kind that stood in front of you everyday, spatting off about just how much you cost him to love, his idea of love anyway.
"I don't know," I lied. "Maybe it's the look on the little girl's face."
"Hmm," he hummed, turning he headed toward one of the other sections.
"What does that mean?" I scrambled after him.
"Nothing." While his tone came off as just nonchalant, under the surface there was something I didn't understand, almost like pity.
"It wasn't nothing," I scoffed, grabbing his arm and stopping him. "What did you mean by that?"
"Nothing," he repeated, but his eyes left mine.
"Don't lie to me," I snarked, stepping closer to him. I'd just met this man, yet I found myself needing his approval. It was insane. "I could hear it in your voice."
"It's nothing," he retorted. "Why do you care what I think anyway?"
"I-I don't know," I admitted, exhaling. "But tell me."
"The look on your face," he told me, placing his hand under my chin and tilting my head back. "It's like you saw yourself in her painting."
All I could do was stare at him. How could he see right through me? Pulling my face out of his nimble fingers, I stepped away from him. "You don't know what you're talking about."
Leaving him standing there, I rushed through the crowd, ignoring my so-called friends, who wanted to kiss my ass, and the press, who wanted to suck a little more of my soul out for their morning editions. Placing my hand over my mouth, I slammed the door to my office shut, sliding to the floor, and screaming. How in the hell could he see me better than I could see myself?
Big huge thanks to Mina Rivera, Maverick Whit, Nails233, and Busymommy for holding my hand while I spent the last week trying to get this thing written. This one is short and sweet, just six chapter all that will be posted before midnight tonight. Check out the community for more amazing FAGE fics:)