Set Fire to the Rain

Okay this is being reposted after ff swiped it for having a suggestive term in the original summary. Thanks FF for the notice, I could have changed it ye know. Sorry it's not a new story, I just wanted people who were half way through to have the whole thing.

(I'm a big Adele fan and love this song)

As usual, I give grateful thanks to Stephenie Meyer, without whom I would not know these characters.

This little story has been running around in my head for a while, seeing as I have lost my mojo for my other ongoing story, Life is So Unfair, so I thought I'd try to get it back by writing something else for a bit. Let me know if I should bother to continue.

I would really appreciate some feedback.

Chapter 1 – In the Door

Isabella Marie Swan.

I glanced at the nameplate on my office door and smiled. At twenty-four, I was doing very well for myself. I had managed to land a successful job as a news editor for the Cullen Group, a large conglomerate that owned a series of newspapers and glossy magazines based in New York. I wrote and edited pieces about current affairs, and my work was becoming well recognized in the industry. When I said current affairs, I meant of the news type, not the celebrity type. I had worked here since graduating with a degree in Journalism two years ago. I would suppose that some might say I got the job because I knew the family. As hard as I worked for it, I liked to think I earned it.

I had grown up in Forks, Washington. The Cullen's had a home there and Alice Cullen was my best friend. We went on to share an apartment together at NYU, and I stayed in New York and we continued to do so after we had graduated. Her brothers, Emmett, who was four years older, and Edward, who was two years older, now ran the Group for their semi-retired father, Carlisle Cullen. He and their mother, Esme, now spent their time travelling and seeing the world.

Emmett was always like an older brother to me. He was huge and bear-like, but I knew he was just a big softy. Edward was, well, where the fuck did I start describing Edward. He was beautiful; handsome was not a strong enough adjective. He stood probably about six foot two, had crazy sex hair the color of a new penny, and intense green eyes that drew you in. He was stunning and had a brilliant mind. He was quick-witted and funny when he wanted to be. When we were younger, he was a little shy around strangers and I loved the very bones of him. Even now, after four years in the Edward wilderness, I still did.

On my eighteenth birthday after my party, Edward seduced me. I didn't take much persuading. God, I had ached for his touch since I knew what those feelings were all about. Thereafter, Edward and I were regular fuck buddies for the next two years. I think that was the phrase young people used today, or was it friends with benefits?

Most weekends we would find or make the time to spend together, screwing each other's brains out. We also talked about anything and everything, we laughed and cried at stories we told each other, and we shared everything. We were so close and it came so easy with us. We were just good with each other and to each other, at least on the weekends. The rest of the week, however, we pretty much ignored each other when we met. Why, I didn't really know. Somewhere along the line, though, I fell in love.

Edward didn't.

In New York, Edward seemed to sense I was getting attached and started to distance himself. Our weekends became more and more sporadic until they finally just stopped altogether, and he was gone. I was heartbroken, even though I had never told him how I actually felt. Alice sensed something was wrong, but I refused to open up to her. He was her brother after all.

I did not see Edward for two years, other than at Cullen family gatherings, and then we were only polite, the atmosphere a little strained. No one seemed to notice my awkwardness around him, thank god. When Alice and I graduated, she got her degree in fashion journalism. She begged me to stay in New York and apply to work at the Cullen Group. I knew Emmett had recently taken over as CEO and she never mentioned Edward, so I assumed he wasn't involved on a day-to-day basis.

Yeah, like that assumption was right.

On the day of my assessment test, I took a written exam like all the other candidates and waited to see if I had been short-listed for a formal interview. I knew Emmett, along with Jane Volturi and their current affairs head honcho, James Miller, were going to conduct the formal interview process. I had insisted to Carlisle that I wanted no special treatment. I would have preferred no Cullen be present at my interview at all, but I couldn't really insist.

As the names of the successful candidates were read out by Jane, I breathed a sigh of relief when my name was called. My interview was the next day at 2:00 p.m. I really wanted this job and to stay in New York. I needed this. I left the office with a smile on my face, naïve and looking forward to tomorrow.

Alice and I still shared an apartment, although she wasn't around much anymore. She had met and fallen in love with a really great guy named Jasper Hale. Turned out he was the brother of Rosalie Hale, Emmett's fiancée. As I expected, Alice was thrilled with the possibility that we would be working together. She gave me the rundown on Jane and warned me about James, who sounded like a bit of a slime ball.

The interview was tough, no less than I would have expected for such a high profile news group. I knew my degree stood me in good stead and the piece I had written for my exam was quality work. Of that I had no doubt.

Emmett kept quiet, letting the other two ask the questions. James gave me the creeps, his eyes undressing me the whole time, and I felt physically sick looking at him to reply. I think Emmett picked up on my discomfort because he came to my rescue and wound things up.

Jane Volturi rang me the next day and offered me a junior editor position working under James. I wished she had thought to rephrase that. I would start the following Monday and report to her office at 8:30 a.m. sharp.

I was there in plenty of time and sat outside Jane's office on the executive floor. Further along the plush corridor, a door was open and I could hear raised voices. At first, I was not sure who it was talking, but then I heard my name uttered in a voice I would never forget.

"For fucks' sake, Emmett, Bella Swan? Could you possibly make me any more miserable? You know damn well I don't want her here. What on earth possessed you? Why wouldn't you at least speak to me about it first?"

"Edward, she was the best person for the job. As I've told you many times before, not everything is about you. Now, you won't have to see her much; she's working under James, not in your area, so if and when you do see her, please be polite. Christ, you've known the girl for over ten years. You owe her that at least."

The voices lowered then, but I caught something about working under James and keeping an eye on him. Edward sounded even angrier than he had before.

As I looked up, my cheeks blazing red with embarrassment. Edward came out of the office and stomped off. I knew he had seen me because he blushed, too, and looked away without so much as acknowledging me. Emmett followed him and saw me; he looked suitably embarrassed, but he covered it up well.

"Bella, good to see you. Glad to see you're nice and early. Jane will look after you when she arrives. Now just a word of caution about James, he does think he's a bit of a catch and likes to play up to all the girls. If he gives you any trouble, please let me know, okay?"

I nodded to him embarrassed.

"And Bella, ignore Edward, you know what he's like after all these years. He'll be fine once he gets used to the idea. He just hates not being included in all the hiring decisions."

And that was that. I worked hard and earned a reputation as a decent journalist and a grafter. I put in long days during the week and worked most weekends. I more than earned my promotion to editor eighteen months later. James, like Emmett had warned, made his play several times over, and on each occasion, I had politely refused him. After a close call in the photocopying room, he finally got the message when I threatened to tear off his balls and feed them to him if he touched me again. After that, I seemed to have earned his respect. He still flirted outrageously, but never ever was he inappropriate again.

Edward ignored me for the most part. At family parties, he paraded glamorous girls in front of me time and time again, seeming to watch my face for a reaction. On each occasion, it was a different girl; models, actresses, even pop stars. He was polite to a fault, but never friendly. Even Alice asked me what was wrong with him. I had shrugged and pretended to not know.

Sometimes, I caught him watching me at work. He would come to the current affairs floor and hover around James' office, but I saw him looking, glaring at me. It was my turn to ignore him. He shouldn't have been there anyway. He was the head of the entertainment section, covering everything from literature, movies, celebrities, and music. His music degree and his contacts in the industry made it perfect for him. As a teenager, I remembered him telling me how he loved to write and play music; that was back in the day when he actually spoke to me of course.

When I eventually got my own office, I felt protected a little, no more eyes watching. I made sure my blinds were always closed so once I was inside, no one could see in. It was my home away from home sanctuary. I spent more time in my office than anywhere. I went home only to sleep and shower. There was nothing there for me anymore anyway. Alice had moved out to live with Jasper, so now I was truly alone.

I immersed myself in my work. I thrived on deadlines and finding a story that would excite and capture the reader's imagination. I looked forward to our monthly team meetings where we discussed and even argued over the coming months' subjects. I had some interesting suggestions to bring to the table next time and I could not wait to see if James and Jane would be interested enough for me to take them further.

Loved it?

Hated it?

Should I continue?

Any idea what suggestions Bella may come up with?

What about Edward, do you love or hate him so far? Me thinks he's going to be even more of a pain in chapters to come.

Press the little button and let me know what you think.