All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, no copyright infringement intended.

Chapter 1

"Alice, leave me alone!" It was 6 a.m., and all I needed was a few more hours curled up in my nice warm bed. Why I ever gave her an emergency key to my apartment, I will never know. Not that she has ever used it for an emergency. No, instead she just waltzes in here at 6 o'clock in the morning to drag my sorry ass out of bed, in order to try and make me look beautiful.

"Come on, Bella!" she cried, in her annoying "Do as I say, or else you're going to suffer" voice. Do you realize how long it's going to take me to make you look good? Jeez, you don't even look human right now."

I could have happily rammed my tightly curled up fist down her delicate little throat... However, being the mature grown up that I am, I let out an exasperated sigh, threw the covers off of my overly tired body and lifted my legs towards the edge of the bed. I sat there for a good 5 minutes, in my sleep induced haze, trying to figure out what day it even was.

"Go and shower NOW!" I swear this girl has serious anger management issues. I climbed down from my warm and welcoming bed and headed into the bathroom, where I started my morning routine.

As the hot water ran down my body, I gradually started to come alive. Washing and conditioning my hair and using my favourite scented body wash on my tired muscles. I shaved all my lady bits and within a short amount of time, I was actually starting to feel human again. I had just finished moisturizing my skin and was about to start brushing my teeth, when I heard her.

"Bella, where are the black heels that go with the black pencil skirt that I brought you?"

"Um, I think they should be somewhere in the closet, Alice," I heard her throwing things around. Only a few weeks ago, Alice had brought me a beautiful pair of Brian Atwood pumps, with black velvet platform soles, and a metal stiletto heel, fit to poke anyone's eye out. I'm not usually one to sing the praises of a pair of shoes, but these are something special. So special, in fact, that I would go as far as to say that I would marry the designer, even if she had been a woman!

To be fair to Alice, I really have no idea how I would manage without her. She had been a godsend to me over the last 18 months, and you could not want for a better friend. I just wish that she wasn't so damn annoying at times. She works as a designer for a major fashion house, right here in Seattle. She has amazing vision and knows everything that there is to know about the latest trends. She always brings me new clothes and shoes from not just hers, but from other designer's collections. To be truthful, her providing me with a whole new closetful of clothes 4 times a year, as well as unique items she had designed herself in between the seasons was beneficial to both of us. I get free clothes and Alice gets her guinea pig.

Alice had been single for over a year now. I knew that she was lonely at times, but her bubbly personality ensured that she was constantly surrounded by people. I knew that she'd had a crush for quite some time on a man that she met whilst on a night out with some friends. I personally had never seen or met the guy, but thanks to Alice, I sure did know everything about him. His name was Jasper. He was 27, with dirty blonde hair, worked for one of his father's companies, apparently, his family owned several businesses. He played guitar in a band, and according to Alice, he probably wouldn't notice if she fell off the face of the earth. Maybe one day, he'll open his eyes and see what he's missing.

After an hour and a half of being poked, prodded, and tortured with curling irons, make-up brushes, and a squirt in the face with a poorly aimed perfume bottle, Alice finally declared me ready.

"How on earth do you do it?" I whispered, barely recognising myself in the mirror.

"You know that it's all in a day's work for me," she said flippantly. "Besides, I only work with what's already there. You really are beautiful, and you should give yourself more credit sometimes."

I turned from the mirror and gave her a huge hug, "You're wonderful, I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Don't get teary," she warned. "You do realize that the mascara you're wearing is not waterproof? Don't you dare ruin my hard work!" she gave me a playful wink, and ushered me out of the bedroom.

I have to say that Alice had done a fantastic job. She had provided me with the perfect outfit. A black silk shirt that was undone to the start of my quite adequate cleavage, with the hint of a red slip underneath. A high-waist, knee-length, black pencil skirt that clung to my curves in all the right places, and to finish it off, a thick red belt to compliment my red slip... and let's not forget the shoes, four inches of black stiletto's. How on earth I was going to be able to walk in those bad boys is anyone's guess. Still, I have to say that the overall look was quite impressive. I looked professional and classy, which, strictly speaking was quite an achievement for me. I was wearing my hair down, with my naturally loose curls tweaked to perfection, and my make up was light and natural. Yes, Alice had done an amazing job. To transform plain, old, dowdy-feeling me into someone who not only looked good, but felt it too.

By now it was 7 a.m., and I had not been this nervous in a long time. This was the first job interview that I'd had since before my vacation in Vegas eighteen months ago. I really needed this job. I have been living on the inheritance that my grandmother left me in her will, but that was dwindling rapidly, and there would probably only be enough left to live on for the next couple of months or so.

"You look amazing," Alice said, with a proud smile on her face. "Now get yourself out there and show them what you are capable of, Bella. Remember, if any of them are snooty, or try to intimidate you, just picture them in their underwear, it always works for me."

I laughed lightly, before being interrupted by a loud cry, followed by several whimpers.

"Hey there, baby," I cooed softly, as I walked into the bedroom. "Mommy's here. Is my little man hungry?" I said as I picked up my son, Joshua, or Josh as I often call him, he's nine months old now and my entire world revolves around him.

His whimpers lessened as I softly soothed him and ran my fingers through his auburn hair. His chubby little fingers grabbed hold of my shirt as he nuzzled his face into the crook of my neck. He really was a beautiful baby. I know that every mother thinks the same thing, but I had been asked numerous times by several of Alice's clients if I would consider having him photographed for part of their baby range promotions. I had refused, believing that if he wants to do that when he's older, then he can do so by his own choice. But for now, he was just my nine month old little man who was hungry. He lifted his head and looked at me with his big beautiful bright green eyes and gave me a toothy grin... Yeah, its official, my little boy was going to be a heartbreaker!

"I'll feed him, Bella, you'd best be going," Alice said as she removed Josh from my grip.

I kissed his head gently and gave his back a rub as I said my goodbye's to them both. It pained me to be away from him for even two minutes, but Josh deserved the best. I needed to do whatever I had to do, to provide for my son. Securing this job would mean that not only could I provide a roof over our heads, but it would also mean that I could give Josh the things that he needs and deserves.

A/N This is my first ever attempt at writing and i could not have done it without the help of my wonderful ladies, TwiMoments and Jamieloveschad, Who kicked my ass and made sure i never gave up, (Love you loads.) Thanks also to xxxLOTxxx1 and Totally_Dazzled for the wonderful banners that they have made.