This will be the one and only ranting note for this story, so please read.
Just so there is no confusion going forward, Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.
I have an amazing beta named Brie who I love and adore. Without her my grammar and punctuation would be atrocious. But we are still human and not getting paid for this so kept that in mind as you're reading.
I have never requested reviews and will not do it this time either; I believe the writing should speak for itself and inspire someone to want to share their reading experience with the author. When they are left though, I do my very best to respond to each, as well as provide a preview of the next chapter as a thank you because they are an honor and privilege to receive. So do as you will, I love seeing the favorites and alerts just as much! LOL
~About the Story~
Storm Clouds and Silver Linings was originally written for JadaPattinson's FIC this GIF contest. I had a few comments stating people would love to see the one-shot turned into a full length fic and so the ideas flowed from there once I finished The Lucky Ones. There will be swearing and lemons and one assault! Based on the outline, it will be a total of nineteen chapters and one epilogue. I have a bit of the story already written so I intend on weekly updates. Every Friday to be specific.
The title of each chapter is a movie title (They are owned, by their respective distributors). They're used to give an idea of what the chapter is about, but not based off the movies themselves. For example: Chapter One is called Welcome to L.A.. It's the introduction to the story and set in Los Angeles, it's just a play on words and all in fun, some more than others.
Thanks for reading. I hope you all enjoy the changes and expansion.
Love and Hugs, Dee :o)
Chapter One – Welcome to L.A.
"Hollywood's got its own particular environment."
It was just another sunny yet smoggy Monday in January during La-La Land's rush hour. It should have been called rush hours because it almost always took more than an hour to get most places. It was a city where Botox, spray tanning, and plastic surgery reigned supreme. Los Angeles, or more specifically, Hollywood, was overrun by dreamers, dream-makers, and dream-crushers. Everyone has a story, or one they're trying to sell.
I was on my way to my father's office on the Universal Studios back lot. He was one of those people who had the ability to make or break those dreamers. It was amazing to watch him work; his thought processes inspired me in my own work. While I sat in the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I called my best friend, Jasper, but it went straight to voicemail.
"Call me back, Jizzy," I said into my Bluetooth device before I disconnected and snorted at the use of his pubescent nickname. He hated it, but we'd always be Jizzy and Izzy: the masturbating duo.
I wanted to find out how the date he'd went on last night had gone while trying to avoid the road rage I became consumed with each time I drove into the valley. I turned right off of Lankershim Boulevard and into the Gate Two entrance for passage into the world of lies and make believe. I showed my ID and the automatic barrier was lifted so I could drive through to his bungalow.
Producers, directors, actors, and interns all made their way around on golf carts, while trams carried people along on tours of the old Hollywood sets. I grew up here, thinking my father was the most wonderful man in the world because he turned all of my favorite books into movies, and mother was a goddess because she was the star of them.
Little did I know back then, the price of fame would come at the cost of my trust since I was Isabella Swan: Hollywood's most elusive heiress. I'd been on People's Fifty Most Beautiful list twice without even trying. I avoided the spotlight as much as possible, and when in public, I was harder to find than Miley's panties. My family was the complete opposite; they were everywhere.
I was the only biological child of Renée Swan, nine-time Academy Award winning actress, and Charles Swan, writer-cum-director-cum-producer-cum-studio mogul. Steven Spielberg was my godfather and Meryl Streep was my godmother. You couldn't get more Hollywood royal than that.
I wasn't an actress or a model, even though I could be with my above average, girl-next-door looks and love of perfecting accents. Hell, I was forced into the business as a child, but when I finally put my foot down―in the form of the mother of all temper tantrums―when I was thirteen I was given my reprieve and able to attend school like a semi-normal child. After that, I avoided all the stereotypical Hollywood scenes because when you grew up in the land of pomp and circumstance, honest human beings were hard to find. It was a challenge for most, one I thought I'd mastered, but every now and then a rat would slip through.
When I was in high school, I watched as those who I had once been close to collapsed under the pressure and paparazzi. They were addicted to alcohol, drugs, and the fame that they believed was more important than what they could accomplish in life. It was sad, really, and I was most appreciative that I had Jasper to steer me away from those mindless temptations. I spent my time with him on the beach or studying throughout high school and until I had earned my Master's in Creative Writing. Even though I had siblings, Jasper was my rock.
While I was the only biological child, my parents adopted two other children after I was born. Emmett and Emily Swan were my older twin brother and sister. Both had black hair and bright blue eyes. While Emmett's hair was curly, Emily's was pin-straight. While Emmett was built like a brick shithouse, Emily was borderline anorexic, constantly dieting to keep off the ten pounds the camera added. They were currently starring in some crime drama together. They'd taken right to the business and followed in my mother's footsteps, unlike me. Since I avoided the limelight once I turned twelve, we weren't that close, but I knew they all cared about me. Well, Emmett did; Emily I wasn't so sure about.
Rose was Jasper's older sister, and she had the body of a 1950's pin-up girl. She dressed like one, too. Her naturally chestnut hair had been bleached blonde and hung in glossy waves down her back, and when she cast her coal-lined honeycomb hazel eyes and cherry red lips at you, she could make you do her bidding. Her no nonsense, take no prisoners attitude kept the paparazzi at bay when she visited my brother and her husband, Emmett, on set. Or maybe it was her reputation of being just a little crazy after she stabbed one of them in the neck when they tripped her. Who knew? But she was my idol on that front.
I hated the fact that I was expected to be camera ready for those bottom dwellers. The 'always having to look your best and one-up your so-called friends' attitude made for a monotonous life, especially when I had Renée Swan around to point out my flaws. I was sick of it all. Sick of the drama, sick of the tension, sick of acting like anyone around me actually gave a fuck about me beside my father and best friend. All the posers cared about was the fifteen minutes of fame they garnered in having their name associated with mine; at least, the name they all knew. I had a secret very few knew about.
I cleared my mind of that thought, since it was something I didn't talk about, and I slowly made my way through the maze of twist and turns until I reached the open parking spot in front of the beige hacienda-style buildings that Dad worked in. The terracotta roof and tropical landscaping provided the only hints of color in the sea of black, white, and silver cars, besides my father's obvious midlife crisis fire engine-red Ferrari. My mother must have pissed him off superbly for him to make that kind of purchase. Not that he needed a reason; he had money to spare and then some.
Shaking my head, I climbed out of my 2007 limited edition BMW M6 convertible. It had been a college graduation present from my dad. I made my way into the office where interns were coming and going with stacks of scripts, mail, coffee, and whatever other go-for duties they were given. My dad's PA, Sue, was talking to someone on the phone, but after noticing me, she nodded me through to his office.
As I approached his door, I could overhear his and Jasper's voices. It made me wonder what he was doing there, especially since I didn't see his car when I pulled up. The only way to find out was to go in, so I knocked twice and pushed the door open.
"What's up, asshole? Forget how to answer your phone?" I bitched at Jasper and smacked the back of his head before I made my way over to my father. "Hey, Dad, how are you?" I asked after I kissed his cheek.
"Nice to see you too, Iz," my beach-bum of a friend replied as he rubbed the back of his head where I'd hit him. "My phone's been on silent since I arrived so your dad and I could talk."
"Hi-ya, Pumpkin. I've missed you while I was away on set. Come and sit, we have news for you," Charlie said as he rose from his seat and joined us in the little sitting area of his disarrayed office.
News was an understatement. No one, apart from my father and best friend, knew what I did for a living. I wrote screenplays. Academy Award winning original screenplays. Now at twenty-six, I had already won two Oscars. One was for my screenplay called "The President's Secret," the other was for "D-Day," and I was just informed I'd been nominated for another for "A Child Lost."
The first screenplay I wrote was when I was sixteen still held the deepest place in my heart. I'd had an unhealthy obsession with all things supernatural, and called it "The Scarlet Witch." It was about a young girl coming into her own magical powers during the Salem Witch Trials. She had fallen in love with the preacher's son and she became pregnant before she was exposed for what she truly was. When it was discovered that she was a witch, they tried to set her on fire, but only succeeded in condemning themselves. She compelled the fire away from herself and on to those who tried to hurt her and her unborn child. The spell she used was not without its own complication and she lost her true love in the process before she finally allowed the flames to consume her and the child within her womb.
It still was my favorite, even if it was never turned into a movie. It was my first baby.
I had always been in attendance when I won, but 'Marie Masen' never was, and that was the name I wrote under. It was the best-kept secret in Hollywood; even Google didn't know who she/I was. All of my awards were kept in my secret office closet at home, which only two people knew about: my father and Jasper. It was something I held close to my heart, but I was finally considering exposing myself. I deserved recognition for all my hard work. I'd just have to make the final decision, all the while hoping I didn't hurt those I loved who didn't know.
My father, Jasper, Rose, and Emmett were the closest people to me. Those four I trusted the most, but only Jasper and Charlie knew about my secret life. Not even my boyfriend, Jacob, was aware of what I did. He assumed I just lived off of Daddy's money. It should have been a sign as to who he truly was; even Jasper called him a douche.
Jasper was my very best friend and Marie's manager/publicist. I could tell him anything and I knew he'd take it to his grave. His sun-bleached hair was a spiked mess, and his chocolate brown eyes were always bright but aware of everything going on around him. His lanky, but solid surfer physique was naturally sun-kissed from hours spent surfing the waves in Malibu.
When we finished our conversation about the upcoming awards show and the inevitable party my mother would want to have to celebrate her nomination…again, I drove Jasper over to the dealership to pick up his car that was being serviced. It explained why I hadn't known he was in my father's office.
"So, how was the date with Bambi the beach bunny?" I asked.
"It was fine," he said.
"Just fine? You didn't come home last night. I expect it was better than fine," I replied with a little laugh.
"Iz, drop it," he muttered.
"Come on! I'm just razzing you. Was the sex not good? You know I have to live vicariously through you," I asked.
He didn't say anything, so I continued. I hated silence between us.
"What's going on? You know I'd tell you if anything was up with me. We always share this stuff. Is it more serious than you've let on?"
"Seriously, drop it. It was nothing, just one night. Not even worth mentioning since it was just something to do; besides, if you just gave in and fucked your boyfriend of over a year you'd have your own sex life to worry about," he muttered.
"Wow. Harsh. No wonder you can't keep a girl around when you talk about them like that. You know why I haven't slept with Jake yet. I can't believe you'd rub my choice of waiting in my face. I thought you were better than that." I shook my head and wondered what had happen to my best friend over the past few months.
"I'm sorry, Iz, that wasn't right. I shouldn't take my frustrations out on you and maybe the right girl hasn't come along yet. Or maybe she has and I let her slip through my fingers. It doesn't matter either way, my focus right now is on you, Ms. Oscar Nominee again," Jasper said, changing the topic.
"Oh, please, Jazz, let's not and just say we did. Besides, Marie may be making an appearance at the awards. I think it's time to show the world what I've accomplished without the Swan name," I stated before I turned into the dealership's driveway.
"I have to go, but we will talk about this tonight at home. You can't drop a bomb like that and not expect me to comment. I'll support whatever choice you make, but I want to make sure you're one hundred percent sure. Love ya, girl," Jasper said sincerely before kissing my forehead and was out the door before I could protest.
I drove off to the store. I wanted to make something comforting for dinner tonight. I wandered up and down the aisles, hoping for inspiration. My mind was too preoccupied with thoughts of Jasper.
Jasper Whitlock came into my life on the set of my last movie I was forced to make. He had played my older brother and got to witness my mental breakdown. After that he took me under his wing and made it his mission to protect me, even though he was only three months older than me. Our parents were unable to separate us when the film wrapped, so they let us go to school together.
Oh, the joys of private schools. Girls were still petty and vindictive and the boys were horny bastards. We were lucky that our high school experimentation didn't ruin our friendship. We experienced all of our firsts together, and when we weren't in relationships with other people, we would help each other out with any needed releases. We understood that self-help only went so far sometimes. But since I'd been dating Jacob, I had become celibate. There was something holding me back from having sex with him. I didn't know what it was, but even after more than a year together, I still wasn't ready.
I shook my head, cleared all those thoughts, and focused on what to make for dinner. My mind finally honed in and I was able to decide on Italian; chicken parmesan, to be precise. I quickly scooped up the ingredients I would need, along with a bottle of my favorite wine and a frozen cheesecake. It wasn't my favorite way to prepare a cheesecake, but it would do in a pinch. Besides, the rest of the meal would take time to prepare.
I'd just pulled into the garage when Jake called. "Hey, Jake. What's up?"
"Nothing much. What are you up to?" he questioned.
"Just got home from the store. How's work?" I asked after I climbed from the car and gathered the bags before walking though my backyard and into the house.
"Just seeing how my favorite girl was doing and what her plans were," he said.
"Just getting ready to cook dinner for Jazz and me. Will you stop by later or do you think you'll be held up?" I'd just set the groceries on the counter and headed into my room to change.
"It's gonna be a late night, Bells. That's why I called."
I sat on the edge of my bed. "Okay, no problem. I talk to you tomorrow, then. Have a good night, but don't work too hard."
"You too. Love you," he said.
"Me too," I replied. "Bye."
Me too? I questioned to myself. I fell back onto my bed and closed my eyes. Had I ever even said the words 'I love you' to him? Or was it always, 'me too?' My thoughts drifted back to the first time he'd said those words.
We'd been dating for four months when he'd picked me up from an appointment with my stylist. Vanessa, or Nessie, as she liked to be called, nearly tripped over her feet when he walked in. He had this air about him that alluded to superiority. His looks didn't help, either.
He was by no means ugly. On the contrary, he was quite the striking man, the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. Most women fell under his spell and I just laughed about it. Jealousy wasn't something I felt. He'd never given me a reason not to trust him, so I just blew off her reaction like all the others.
He pulled me into his arms, kissed me hard, then pulled back, and said, 'I love you.' Stunned by such a public declaration, I simply replied back with 'uh huh,' and nodded. He didn't saying anything else, but he had chuckled at my dazed reaction.
Maybe it was a sign that it was time to end it. After a year I should feel something more, but I didn't. I cared for him, I truly did, but I wasn't so sure that I loved him, not to mention even in love with him.
I shook my head. That was enough on those thoughts.
I sat up and removed my knee-high boots, my jeans, and searched for my favorite yoga pants. Once I'd located them, I put them on and changed my white silk blouse out for an old t-shirt of Jazz's, which I knotted in the back, and went to start dinner.
Apparently I wasn't through with those thoughts after all. I plopped back down on my bed and looked around my room. What was wrong with me? I stared at my reflection in the huge mirror that sat opposite my bed. Some people had a TV across from their beds, but nope, not me. I had a mirror.
Was I so self-absorbed that I had to even look at myself in bed? I shook my head again. I wasn't Renée. I was a good person who cared about those she loved. I gave back to the community, I volunteered; hell, I put almost everyone before me. Yeah, it was definitely time for the not-so-new but improved Isabella to make her appearance.
With a smile on my face, I went back into the kitchen to start dinner.
I loved my kitchen. The white oak cabinetry and New Venetian gold granite counter tops accented the pale sage walls beautiful. The room felt light and airy. It was one of my favorites when I toured the house before I actually bought it.
With my 'kiss the cook' apron in place, I got busy on the chicken dish I'd planned to prepare.
I had just set the oven timer after putting the chicken in and started on a salad when Jasper entered the house. "Lucy! I'm home!"
I giggle at his usual antics and continued chopping. "In the kitchen, Ricky!"
"Mmm, smells good in here. I thought I'd be responsible for dinner since we're celebrating you," he said as he placed a kiss on my temple.
"Well, I knew what I wanted, and your cooking skills still leave much to be desired. Although your skill with a take-out menu and a phone are amazing." I set the knife down for the tickle attack and I wasn't disappointed.
Jasper's hand quickly found one of my ticklish spots. I tried to get away, but he was strong.
"Stop. Stop! You're gonna make me pee!" I screamed through my laughter.
He stopped and pulled me into a bear hug. "I'm really proud of you, Iz. You've come so far since you chose this path for your life. Thanks for taking me along for the ride."
"There is no one else I'd rather share this with. I trust you, Jazz. You've been there through it all. Besides, if it wasn't for you, I'd probably be in jail for killing my mother."
"Nah, I would have helped you hide the body."
That was what I loved about Jasper. He knew exactly what I needed to hear to make everything better. He would always be my biggest supporter, besides my father. I would be lost without him.
We laughed and talked while I finished dinner and he set the table for us. I listened as he talked about the calls he received from talk shows wanting to interview Marie, since she was the only woman who had won two Oscars and was considered the front-runner for the award again this time. I asked him to hold off, stating that if I did win, I would be ready for the onslaught of questions.
After the cheesecake, we went our separate ways. I showered and sat in bed with my laptop, sorting out ideas that had been forming in my head. I worked for a few hours until I got sleepy.
Even as I settled down, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was about to spoil the high I was riding on.
Thanks again for reading. Let me know what you think. :o)