A Getty Romance
Disclaimer: All Twilight related characters belong to S. Meyer.
On days like today I had to wonder who could possibly have a better job than I did? I dropped my shoulder so I could roll the window down in my truck.
Manual window. I live it up here in Los Angeles.
The warm summer breeze whistling in from the ocean hit me smack in the face and I smiled as it circled in the cab of my truck and scattered the papers and receipts everywhere.
So what if my hair got a little wind-whipped? I had an extra can of hair spray.
I pushed my truck as fast as it would go on the 405 and sped along the well-worn freeway. Eventually, the tree-covered hills loomed on both sides of the road and I took the familiar exit towards my favorite place.
The employee lot was full, as usual, but I managed to find a space wide enough for my monster-truck. I gathered my purse, extra shoes and my bag in my arms and hurried out of the garage.
The J. Paul Getty museum was built on the rolling Los Angeles hills. It had an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the city below. Inside, the walls were filled with timeless works of art, sculptures and photographs that I'd spent most of my life learning about. Now that I was grown, I got to teach others about the works that were so dear to me.
Like any proper magic place, the museum was practically stranded on its own and guests had to take a tram through the hills and trees before stepping foot inside.
The tram terminal was somewhat empty this early in the day as I walked into the wide, open space. The white travertine floor, ceiling and pillars gave the area a warm glow and I hugged my book to my chest as I waited for the next train. Mike Newton was on tram control today. He was chewing on the end of his pen at the control booth, watching a seagull float lazily on the updrafts from the hills.
I walked over to him, the soft soles of my non-work approved ballet flats sliding gently on the smooth ground. "Hey Mike," I said with a smile.
He turned to smile back at me. He pulled the pen from his mouth and set it down. "Hey Bells. Nice day, right?"
I nodded and squinted through the pillars so I could see the ocean spread out before us. "Beautiful day."
He was still looking at me when I turned back. I could feel a slow blush creep over my cheeks. "That was fun the other night," he said with what he probably thought was a seductive smile.
I snorted. Mike was good looking, sweet and a great date. Sexy, he was not. "I had a great time. We should do it again some time."
Mike was beaming now. "Yeah?"
"Yeah. This weekend?"
"I'm off my other job on Saturday night," he offered happily and a little too fast. "Want to grab drinks or dinner or something?"
I placed my hand on his arm and squeezed. "Sounds great. Give me a call later and we'll set it up."
The tram glided into the station beside us and I gestured towards it with a tilt of my head. "I have to jet. Talk to you later!"
I stepped into the last, empty car on the train as the rest of the guests filed into the cars toward the front. I was relieved when the doors slid closed a few minutes later. I loved it when I had a car all to myself. As the tram pulled out from the station, I opened my book and read in peace.
A few hours later I was already settled nicely into my daily routine at the museum. I'd given two walking tours already and was blessed with two, relatively agreeable groups of patrons, aside from one screaming child.
I crossed from the glass-walled lobby through the courtyard and took the opportunity to soak up a little sun before I was nestled in the dark, air-conditioned exhibit hall. The wide-open area was littered with small groupings of people. Children hopped from tile to tile and dipped their hand in the fountain. I smiled to myself and took the stairs with a jaunty gait. I couldn't help it. Sunny days were magic up here. My heels echoed on the stone as I reached the top floor and it made me feel important. Before I walked through the door I leaned over the glass banister and took a long look at the gardens down below.
From up here everything looked perfectly pruned. The grass was a continuous quilt of green, the flowers were flawless little mounds in the earth and the bougainvillea waved in the breeze.
"Bella?" I heard from behind me.
My head whirled around and I smiled guiltily at Angela. She was poking her head out of the door. "Sorry, I'm coming," I said quickly.
"It's like you want me to starve to death."
I laughed and hurried inside through the open door. "You know that's not true. Enjoy your lunch!"
Angela twiddled her fingers in an impatient wave and let the door close behind her. Compared to the warm air from outside, the stale, cold air inside the gallery was unwelcome. I let out a small sigh and wandered over to the reception desk to tidy up the brochures and spare pens.
The dull white noise of people milling throughout the exhibit lulled me into a comfortable trance and I tapped at the keyboard on the computer to check the time. The door opened and closed and I lifted my head to greet the new round of visitors.
I sucked in a quick breath.
Just one visitor. One finely dressed male visitor.
I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out.
The man walked briskly from the door, through the lobby and into the exhibit without a word. I did my best to take in everything I could before he was out of sight.
Gray, pinstripe suit. Dark purple tie. Crisp white shirt. Shiny black shoes. An unruly mop of bronze-colored hair that seemed to dress down his severely over-dressed ensemble.
And his lips…
For some reason I couldn't stop staring at his lips.
Pursed, serious and a lovely shade of pink.
"Enjoy the exhibit," I called out lamely as he rounded the corner out of sight.
I sucked in a deep breath through my nose and shook my head to clear my thoughts. Just then, the door opened once more and a family of four stepped into the room. I smiled warmly and gestured towards the start of the exhibit.
"Good afternoon, welcome to the J. Paul Getty Museum."
A/N: *waves* Hi guys! Once upon a time, I went on vacation this summer and spent a magic day at the J Paul Getty museum. I don't know if it was the sun, the company or the museum itself but I fell in LOVE. It was truly one of the most magical places I've ever been (and we were there to go to Disneyland!). As you've seen with my other two fics…I like to write love stories that take place in my favorite places. This will be no exception. I don't yet know how long this will be or how often I'll update but I couldn't hold back. I had to share it with you.
I'm a little more than frustrated that is currently disabling links in our profiles. If you don't yet know about the Getty museum, I encourage you to take a peek on Google images so you can see what I fell in love with. :) I made a banner for the story. You can see it here: twitpic(dot)com(slash)8hv6nb
A special thank you to my friend and beta, Aussiegirl101 for her attention to detail and witty comments. ILY for REAL. Always. If I can hold out…I'm gonna go with weekly posting on this. STICK WITH ME! Maybe I'll break. I'm weak sometimes. THANK YOU FOR READING! I missed you guys!