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Chapter 20

It wasn't until Isabella hastily canceled the company meeting and sat down in her office chair that she verbally assaulted herself.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

She was the one who agreed to pay Edward for sex. It was her own fault she had hired Alice against her better judgement, and now he was probably insulting her all the way to the bank. And to make matters worse, the copier room now reeked of bodily fluids from their impromptu romp.

In the depths of her mind, she could hear her father's voice now- What were you thinking?

Isabella would stand tall, shoulders upright, and answer confidently, Well, Papa. Its simple. Not only do I run an illegal prostitution ring, I seem to have fallen in love with one of my employees. Then, I hired a close friend of his without telling him. Surely, that wasn't idiotic enough, so I bribed him for a week of banging between the sheets, and that is where I met his poor mother. Half-nude and mumbling like a moron.

Is that all? he would say sarcastically.

Not quite, she would reply. His father is the one who testified against you in the embezzlement trial and tried to get you life in prison. Daughter of the Year, am I not?

Yes, that endearing conversation would go over well.

Edward Cyllen was complicating her life in ways she never imagined. On the outside, she was a strong, confident, no-holds-bar kind of woman. Inside, she was fighting emotional demons that were threatening to break through her delicate facade.

A timid knock on the door caused Isabella to push her feelings aside as Emmett walked in apologetically.

"BB?" he asked cautiously as he noticed her grim expression. "You okay?"

Her best friend walked over and kneeled in front of her, rubbing her knee in a gentle manner.

"I'm fine," she lied. The last thing she needed was to pour her heart out like some sort of pathetic loser. She quickly changed the subject. "What do you need?"

"Oh...uh, well Rosalie wasn't at her desk and the phone kept ringing so I took a message. You have a phone call from a Mr. Charlie Swan. He says its urgent and that you need to call him back immediately."

Em rose to his feet and laid a decorative Post-It note with the information on her desk.

Isabella looked at the paper confusingly, the name ringing an unfamiliar bell. "Did he say what he needed?"

Shaking his head, Em shrugged. "No, but he didn't sound like a customer if that's what you mean."

Already dealing with enough stress and regretting for even coming in this morning, Isabella sighed heavily. "Ok, got it. Thanks."

Hesitant to leave, Em laid a kiss on Isabella's forehead before turning away. He knew whatever was going on, she would straighten it out for herself. If she ever needed him, she knew he would be there without fail.

Besides sulking her life away, Isabella had nothing more to do than return to matters at hand. She tucked her emotional baggage away and vowed to deal with it later. After all, she had a business to run. A day wasted was money wasted.

Picking up the phone on her desk, she tentatively dialed the number on the small sheet of paper as it rang three times without an answer. She was about to hang up when a deep male voice responded.

"Internal Revenue Services. Charlie Swan speaking, how may I help you?"

Oh hell.

Isabella almost dropped the phone when a thunderous crash followed by a shrieking woman's scream came from the lobby area.


WOW! It's been awhile, huh? I was very ill, but I am doing better and glad to be back! Review and show XP some love (if you can remember any of this story, that is!) I don't blame you. Damn writers, they think they can just update once a year... :)