This will be the last update until Monday. As has been the case lately, my weekend is going to be jampacked, and I will not have access to a computer.
I had difficulty deciding between the two prompts for this particular day, so I decided to use them both in a way. Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!
Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative
Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
Prompt: Word Prompt: Advice
Scenario: Your boss opted for an open bar at your office's annual holiday party. Describe the shenanigans that ensue.
Edward spent hours after Bella left that night at his computer, browsing through job listings and thinking about how he was going to approach his boss about his plans. Charlie had presented him with opportunities that he never could have dreamed of anywhere else, believed in him, and he was just going to walk away. All because he had fallen in love with his daughter and that would have been an even more difficult task to explain as a reason for leaving.
The following day, he stepped into the office and conversation was abuzz, even at the early hour. It was Friday and everyone was also excited about the holiday party that would be taking place that evening. Yet, Edward could not bring himself to partake in the enthusiasm.
He'd found a potential prospect online the night before and he would be making the call at lunch. It was an even smaller publication than the one he presently worked at, less pay, but it held the opportunity for investigative reporting, which was something that had always intrigued him.
Edward caught Bella's gaze several times throughout the morning, and each time he did, it only strengthened his resolve. Her eyes still held that sadness within them, and it tore at his heart to see it there.
The call was relatively successful. They'd read his work and were impressed, requesting that he come in the following Thursday for an interview with a letter of recommendation from his present employer. That caused Edward's stomach to tighten; he had less than a week to acquire that from Charlie, which meant he'd have to talk to him much sooner than he'd hoped.
Edward's mind was whirling throughout the remainder of the day, even when he attempted to focus on the typed words on his screen. Monday. He would talk to him on Monday. That would give him time to ponder what he'd say to Charlie and not ruin the festivities that night.
He'd actually considered staying home after work, but then he received a text from Bella as he was walking out to his car.
Are you going tonight?
Edward started the engine to allow it to warm up for a moment before leaving, staring at the screen of his phone. The prospect of seeing her outside of work, even if they couldn't really touch or talk, was suddenly too much for him to resist.
Bella's reply was almost immediate. Yeah, kinda have to, being the boss' daughter and all. See you there if you decide to come.
"Oh god, this was a mistake," Edward muttered to himself under his breath behind the tumbler of whiskey he held, gazing across the dimly lit room, though there might as well have been floodlights illuminating the space around him.
Bella had finally arrived, wearing a short, strapless red velvet dress, doing nothing to hide the soft, pale skin of her neck, shoulders and chest. And her legs—damn, her legs looked incredible. Her hair was pulled away from her face, allowing all those long dark curls to cascade down her back.
She'd always been beautiful to him, but that night, even breathtaking wasn't a strong enough word to describe her. Perfect, radiant, ravishing; no, those weren't quite accurate, either.
"Something caught in your eye, kid?" Charlie's voice sounded from beside him and Edward's head spun quickly. His eyes gestured over to his daughter before returning to the man beside him.
Edward's nervousness rose to new heights, as Charlie's face remained vacant of expression. "No, sir."
"Edward, I think you and I need to have a little talk, don't you?" Charlie replied with a lifted brow, not waiting for a reply and making his way toward the doors.
Edward set the tumbler down on the table and swallowed hard, following the man to the exit. His voice was lost on him, trying to think of anything that he could possibly say to excuse the obvious gawking he'd been doing at Bella inside, but nothing came to him.
"I got an interesting phone call today," Charlie began, sipping at the beer he still held in his hand and Edward's brow furrowed—that certainly wasn't what he'd been expecting at all. "It seems that one of my best guys is seeking employment elsewhere. And I guess I'm a little more than curious as to why."
Edward's hand rose to run back and forth over his forehead, his heart rising into his throat. "I was going to talk to you about it after the weekend, sir. I'm not unhappy with working here, and I'm certainly not ungrateful for the opportunities you've given me. It's for personal reasons."
"Yeah, I heard about that," Charlie said with a nod. "Normally, I would say that personal issues have no place in the work environment. But quite honestly, I have to ask what took you so long to smarten up?"
Edward's eyes widened at the man as they followed him to one of the seats in the corner. "Pardon?"
"Edward, sit down," Charlie replied, motioning to the chair beside him and waiting until Edward was seated before he continued. "I've been in this business a long time, going on thirty years. As I'm sure you can understand, I didn't get to where I am and not be good at reading people. It's all part and parcel to being good at what we do. There was nothing about that engagement that appeared even remotely real. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't take a whole lot of intuition for it to be blatantly clear that you are not Kate's type in any sense of the word. Add that to the fact that you haven't been able to keep your eyes off my daughter from the first day I hired you, it never made sense."
Edward shifted nervously in his seat, once again attempting to conjure any response he could, and coming up short. "Sir, I uh… I really don't…"
"Quit with the 'sir' bullshit, first of all," he interrupted the stammering response and took Edward by surprise. Charlie Swan was hardly ever known to curse beyond an occasional "damn", especially in front of his employees. "And second, I ask again, why the hell would you go through with an engagement to a woman who clearly prefers other women, when it's obvious that you're in love with Bella?"
Edward cleared his throat loudly and averted his eyes from the man. "I don't know how to answer that, si—Charlie. But why would you announce the engagement to the whole office if you believed it to be fake?"
Charlie shrugged non-chalantly. "Something needed to get your head out of your ass, and hers, as well. And it seems to have worked, too, with the way you two have been looking at one another anytime you're within eye range of the other. I know I seem like a hardass when it comes to Bella, but I only want the best for my baby. She's all I've got and she means everything to me. I want her to be happy. And not one of these clowns around here even come close to fitting the bill. But you—you're a good man, even if your brain is wired a bit screwy at times, your heart is in the right place. So you want my advice?"
Edward slowly brought his gaze back to Charlie, curious as to what the man would actually have to say.
Charlie leaned forward with his elbows on his knees, holding his drink between his hands as he looked at Edward intently. "I really hate to lose good people, and if I thought it would change your mind, I would offer you anything you wanted in order to have you stay. As it is, I will definitely write you a glowing recommendation letter, because you've earned it. But don't let anything stop you from doing the only thing that makes sense here. Sweep that daughter of mine off her feet and take good care of my baby."
"I will. Thank you, Charlie," Edward replied, the tension gradually releasing from his shoulders with Charlie's words.
"Now, my lovely daughter has agreed to be my designated driver, so I am going to take full advantage of that open bar tonight," Charlie started, clapping one hand on the arm of the chair before rising and looking back to Edward one more time. "And Edward? Don't screw this up. You hurt her again, and you will not like who you see the next time we speak."