Outtake for Stand Up 4 Katalina

Banner by: SoapyMayhem

The Road of Stardom: A Me and Mr. Cullen Outtake by Catastrophia

Rated: M
Warnings:
Mature Language
Beta:
Midnight Cougar
Summary: The road of life is long and hard, filled with obstacles. The road of stardom is worse. There were many stops along that winding, challenging road, for the one and only, Mr. Edward Cullen.

Dedication: For all those fighting cancer, and most of all Katalina.


Me and Mr. Cullen outtake - EPOV

Reel Life…

"And, cut!" the director called, halting production.

My whole body relaxed from the tense position I'd been stuck in on and off for the past hour as the different angles were filmed. I returned to my trailer, taking a break until I was needed next.

It was my sanctuary away from the prying eyes. I picked up my backpack after climbing in, and fell onto the couch, not caring if the makeup got all over it. In the following weeks I had two final exams and a paper to write, not to mention the movie I was currently filming. At times like that I began to wonder why I didn't do what many of my other peers had done and taken a break while going to college, acting during the summer only.

Maybe I was out to prove something to myself. That I could do it all without him and the venom he poured into me?

The vein in my forehead twitched as the voices of the crew filtered in. I needed to be mentally away, so I picked up the remote and started up The Wizard of Oz. Happy noises, sounds of my youth, filled the space, calming me. Weird, I know, but my happy place was thinking back to when I was twelve. Before the madness that was stardom, when I was just a normal kid. When I could walk down the street without being harassed by paps and people screaming my name. Do anything normal. A time when everything I did, every indiscretion, wasn't on the front page of some trash magazine the next day.

My attention moved down to the textbook in my hands and I opened it up, bringing my note pad up onto my lap, I started to read and make notes. Before I knew it though, my eyes were closed, visions of munchkins and yellow brick roads filling my dreams.

The blaring of the intercom calling for "Dorian" followed by a knock on my door woke me, the book and notepad falling from my lap.

Back to work. Time to portray a betrayed angel that fell from the heavens to fight the coming apocalypse. The storyline sounded too much like my life.

My Young Reality…

At eighteen I'd moved out of my parents, renting a house from a co-star. My attempt to get away from my overbearing, controlling father. I loved it…until I started getting sick. It took almost two years to find out why I had bouts of sickness. Though my father always knew why; he'd been feeding me Speed since I was sixteen so I could keep up with everything. What hurt the most was my mother taking his side. She didn't condone what he did, but she stayed with him regardless. We talked occasionally, and only at the urging of my brother, but her betrayal hurt me deeply. Carlisle tried to keep us together, as a family. He was our glue, but eventually it was not enough and I left to get the distance I needed for my own well-being.

I could feel my hands shaking with my craving, and I balled them into fists, pushing it back down. It'd been over a year since I was clean, but some of the side effects of withdrawal remained; depression, fatigue, and a need for a drug I never knew I was taking. It wasn't that bad now, but the first few months were the worst. I didn't even work in that time. Carlisle staying with me, taking care of me as my body craved and called out for more.

The doctors said my issues could be permanent. Great, that was all I needed. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning and do what I needed to do in my everyday life. The thought that it might not go away only enabled my depression.

The whole situation had been great for the character I was playing. It was a suspense thriller, and you never knew if my character was the good guy or the bad guy. He was haunted by a past, abused drugs, giving him near psychotic breakdowns.

So much of my life had changed since I fired my father. I didn't trust anyone, so I cleared everyone and started anew. I relied on friends and colleagues to help find new, trustful PR people, a manager, and assistants. Jasper stood in for a few weeks as all of the above to help out. I met Stephanie, my most trusted employee, my assistant, and things began to fall into place. It wasn't easy, especially in the beginning with the withdrawal.

Alice and Emmett were the ones to watch over me the first week, while Jasper and Carlisle were left to field everything, rearranging my schedule. Hiding what had happened. I slept through most of it, unable to get out of bed, unable to eat, the world dark.

You hide everything when you're in the public eye, being hounded non-stop by paparazzi. I think it was by dumb luck that no one snapped photos of that time. The cravings were constant and intense, almost debilitating at times. Taking Speed wasn't my choice, I didn't even know it was happening for several years, so it was easy to quit mentally. My father called them energy drinks, and they sure did give me a boost.

I never trusted him again after that. It was the beginning of the end for us.

The Red Carpet…

"Edward, are you ready?" Stephanie, my assistant, asked.

I looked up at her and sighed.

She laughed at my expression. "Smile, Edward, it's the Oscar's and you have three nominations." The car moved forward and I groaned, not in the mood to deal with what was on the other side of the glass and steel that surrounded me. "You're next."

"Steph, you'll still love me if I run around like a crazy person screaming my head off, won't you?" I asked, turning to face her.

She smiled at me and patted my leg. "Edward, I'll always love you, no matter what, but this is part of the gig. You're the star!"

"Do I get the day off tomorrow?"

Her lips formed a thin line and she pulled out her PDA, staring at it for a moment. "Edward, you put on a stellar performance tonight, and I will make sure no one bothers you tomorrow."

I sighed, thankful for the promise of a day off, it'd been weeks, and plastered on my award winning smile.

"Go get 'em, tiger!" Stephanie said as the door opened and I stepped out.

Camera's flashed, blinding me, my name being shouted and screamed. I waved, with my hand high in the air and a smile for the waiting crowds of fans and reporters. I felt Stephanie's hand on my back, urging me forward, but keeping her usual satellite position. Always nearby, but never close.

"Are you sure you won't divorce your husband and marry me?" I whispered to her as we began walking.

She laughed and slapped my arm while shaking her head and rolling her eyes. It was a joke that we'd had for forever, probably since she came to work for me three years prior. Though jokes were often half-truths, and that's how it really was with us. She was engaged when we met, otherwise, I probably would have pursued her. I liked her, had a crush on her for years. She was pretty, but not overdone. Steph was real, grounded, something I desperately needed in my life.

"Edward, how are you doing this evening?" a reporter from MTV asked.

"Doing great!" I exclaimed, plastering another huge smile on my face.

"Tell me, you just wrapped up filming Midnight Horizon, what was it like working with Charlize? Sources say the two of you were quite close on set."

"Charlize is great, fantastic woman, and I'd love to work with her again. She has such a fun personality, beautiful, and, well, a great body too," I said with a wink, avoiding what "sources" had said.

It was true; she was a fantastic woman, and a great actress. She was so down to earth and real, having a sexy ass accent she let slip once in a while didn't hurt either. We both enjoyed practicing any scenes that involved kissing and sex. Especially alone in one of our trailers. I asked her out when production was over, but she'd turned me down as she'd begun dating someone else. We still flirted shamelessly in all of the interviews. It was a close relationship and I knew we'd always be friends.

I made my way down the red carpet, cameras flashing at a continuous rate, answering every question with a smile on my face and charming personality. People asking who I was wearing and trying to remember which designer Alice had put me in this time.

Finally we made it in, and I found my seat next to, oddly enough, Charlize Theron.

"Oh, thank God," I said as I plopped down in the seat next to her. "I was afraid they were going to sit me next to Woody again. He can talk your ear off."

She let out a little laugh. "Well, we can just sit here and talk about how fabulous I look in this dress."

I chuckled at her as she struck a pose, pursed her lips, and gave me her best "Magnum" look.

"You do look fabulous. That dress makes your tits look great."

She smacked my arm and settled back down just as the lights dimmed, noting that the show was about to begin.

"You need to find yourself a woman."

"Do I need to remind you that you said no?" I teased.

"Sorry, but I don't think it would have worked."

"Yeah, I know," I conceded.

"But what I think you need is a non-actress in your life. Especially after all you've been through."

"Thanks, Charlie." I gave her a smile and we turned our attention to the stage.

An hour later came my first category: Best Film. We didn't win, beaten out by another. Next up was Best Male Lead, where I was up again. They read out the names and the films, showing clips of each performance.

I'd been surprised and honored when I found out I'd been nominated, but I really didn't think I had a chance of winning. Still, my hands gripped the arm rest as the anticipation of the winner grew.

"And the winner for Best Male in a lead role goes to… Edward Cullen for his portrayal of Dr. Brighton in Thorntown!"

I was shocked, the winning completely unexpected. Charlize gave me a hug and urged me to stand. It was surreal as I walked down the aisle to the side steps and up on stage. I hugged Drew and Sean, taking the award from them and standing at the podium to give a speech, and not the one I'd prepared. Because when I thought about it, there was really only one person I needed to thank the most.

"There are so many people I want to thank, all the cast, crew, producers and directors, it was an honor to work with you, thank you. But most of all I need to thank my brother, Carlisle." My eyes scanned the crowd for him, finding him off to the side near the back, up for his own award for Best Score. "Without his support I might not have taken on this project. He's always been there for me, through thick and thin, my rock. Without him, I wouldn't have been able to make it through these past few years and come out half as sane as I am. He's held me up and encouraged me to keep going, keep fighting. Thank you, Carlisle; this is for you," I held the award high in the air, "for being the best big brother a guy could ask for. I love you!"

The crowd erupted in cheers, many of my peers standing, knowing how bad the past few years had been for me personally. I headed off stage, down the steps, despite where they were trying to lead me, and went straight for Carlisle. He met me half way, throwing his arms around me into a tight hug.

"Love you too," he whispered, choked up, tears welling in his eyes.

I'd remember that night forever as one of the best nights of my life.

A New Road…

It came to me one day, about a year later, a sudden need to make a change in my life. My heart just wasn't in acting anymore, I needed a break. After all that I'd been through, I needed to step back and do something different. I loved making movies; acting had been my passion from a young age. But after over ten years in front of the camera, I found myself wanting to be behind it, behind the scenes.

I wanted to create my own company, make the major decisions, and see my visions come to life on the screen for people to enjoy.

"You want to stop acting?" Jasper asked in disbelief before taking a long drag of water. We'd been working out for over an hour and I'd been pretty quiet until springing the news on him.

"I don't know if it will be forever, I just want a break," I replied with a sigh, bending over as I tried to regain my breath. "I have a business degree I worked my ass off for and I want to use it. I want to try something different."

"You can join my crew," Emmett chimed in, not winded at all by our workout.

"Thanks, Em, but I'm not cut out to be a stunt double. Plus, my degree is in Project Management, not Kung Fu."

He laughed and slapped some more weight on the bar.

Jasper regarded me thoughtfully before asking, "What exactly are you thinking, Edward, because I know you must have some idea or you wouldn't have brought it up?"

"I want to produce, Jazz. I want to be there making my visions come alive on the screen. I want to be actively involved throughout all major phases of the filmmaking process, from inception and development, to completion and delivery of the whole project. I want to finance and work the numbers…I want it all within my own production company."

Jasper's mouth dropped open and Emmett stopped his free-weight mid-curl. "Holy fuck, Edward, you're fucking serious about this, aren't you?"

"Yes, Em, dead serious."

I looked between them and held my breath, after a few minutes Jasper said, "Hell yes, let's do this!"

All three of us ended up in my living room that night, eating, drinking, talking, and hashing out the details. Em didn't say too much, as he already had his stunt business, but we did make a pact that I would use him as my main stunt contractor.

After he left, Jasper and I continued to talk well into the night, putting my new life plan in place. Even though Jasper was a talent scout, he knew the business, and he was my best friend, I trusted him implicitly. So after a little negotiation and a phone call to Alice, I offered him a position as my right-hand-man.

With my first employee in place, and after lots of planning and organizing, by morning, Cullen Entertainment was born.

How I Met Esme…

"Why did you apply for the job as my assistant?" I asked the twelfth interviewee in recent weeks.

My need for a new assistant arose with the new direction of my career, and I'd had many duds. I'd dwindled down the candidates with the help of my assistant, Stephanie, and my friends Jasper and Alice. Stephanie would be leaving me soon as she was due to have a baby in a few months, after being with me for five years.

"Well, Mr. Cullen, if I may be honest, I was intrigued by your desire for a change. You're going to need a lot of help in this new path, and I believe I am that help," she replied with a confident, conservative smile.

I had to admit, I was a bit impressed by her answer. It was direct, and she didn't giggle, unlike the last applicant.

"You have no previous work history as an assistant," I noted, my eyes scanning her resume. She couldn't be more than twenty two or twenty three. "In fact, you have very little work history, except some retail sales while in college, which you just recently graduated."

"I know I may have no experience in the field, sir, but that doesn't mean I don't have the basic skills necessary. Plus, I am a fast learner. I am a multitasker, a list maker, and I use Outlook to its full advantage. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Business Administration, concentrating on Public Relations, so I know how to get things done, and get them done right."

I couldn't help the twitch in my lips. I liked her. Her expression was disinterested professional, and her answer, while knowing she was not qualified with regards to work experience, was a good argument.

I sat back in my chair and stared at her, formulating my next question, one derived to confuse her just to see her response.

"If you were to happen upon a white mouse, what would you think?"

She quirked her brow, her expression melting and a genuine smile lit her face. "That the answer to the ultimate question was nigh. I might also wonder where I'd put my towel."

Years of acting let me portray a stoic, unimpressed façade, while inside I was laughing.

I leaned back, my hands together and at my lips. I lowered my hand and, in a most serious tone, asked, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

She was trying not to laugh, but the mirth was dancing in her eyes and her lips were pressed together. "As much wood as he could until he became tired or bored, sir."

"If you were to find yourself on a yellow brick road, what would you do?"

"Scream and run in the other direction. Those monkeys are creepy as fuck."

I resisted the urge to laugh. "You wouldn't follow it? Skip around while singing?"

"Would you?"

I smirked at her before I began doing just that; skipping and singing. Her eyes followed me around and I wondered if she thought I was a complete lunatic. Instead, her eyes were wide and possibly a little bit frightened for my sanity.

I stopped in front of her and leaned down until we were face to face. Her eyes met mine and we locked into a battle, neither blinking. I won, of course, her eyes watering after a short time.

I held out my hand and smiled. "Welcome to Cullen Entertainment, Esme Platt. I think we're going to have a lot of fun."

Her eyes were wide, stunned. "I-I got the job?" she questioned in disbelief.

"It's a demanding, busy job, and I'm not always the easiest to work with, especially with this new direction. It's all new for me and will be for you as well. Are you up for it?"

"Y-yes!" she stammered; a brilliant smile lighting up her face. "Thank you!"

"Good," I smiled in return. "See you on Monday at eight."

A Home to Call My Own…

I stared up at the large house in front of me with its Italianate details and stucco exterior.

"Six bedrooms and eight baths, gated entrance, full security," the realtor, Carmen, said, rattling off the details of the tenth home she'd shown me in recent weeks. "It needs some updating, and a little TLC as you can see."

My eyes scanned the worn and overgrown lawn. Curb appeal the house did not have, but it was all fixable. I was tired of renting some other celebs extra house, practically living out of suitcases, ever since I was eighteen. Cullen Entertainment was just starting up and I wanted a place to call my own. I wanted a home.

Carmen led me into the house and as soon as I walked in I knew it was mine. Despite its grandeur and large floor plan, it was open and inviting. Warm woods surrounded us as we wandered around. It was outdated, in need of some major renovations, but the foundation was perfect. I loved the layout and flow. Tall ceilings and more dark rich woods. The kitchen was a disaster, the pool needed work, but it felt like what I'd been missing for years; home.

I put in an offer before we left, convinced I'd found the house to eventually raise a family in. I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone, forwarding it to Alice.

I think I'm going to need some help decorating. ;) – Edward

Squeeeeeeeee! - Alice

Romantic Relationships…

It took over a year for all of the renovations and updates to be completed, and by then I was dating Maggie O'Connell, a new up and coming actress I'd met at the pre-production of my latest project.

Maggie was twenty one, spunky, and loved sex. She was seductive and adventurous; letting me explore every dark sexual fantasy I'd ever had, including some I didn't.

It only took about a year for me to know that I would never marry Maggie. She was fun, but she wasn't wife and mother material. She was a self-centered rising star who had me proudly on her arm. I had feelings for her, cared for her, but it wasn't love.

My brother, on the other hand, couldn't stop staring at a certain woman in my life, and it wasn't Maggie; it was Esme.

I rolled my eyes as I caught him completely ignoring the task at hand, his gaze locked on Esme across the room.

"Just ask her out," I said, nudging his shoulder.

His head whipped in my direction. "What?"

"Carlisle, you haven't been able to take your eyes off of her since you met her two years ago." I raised my eyebrows to challenge, but he said nothing. "Come on, big bro, you know you want her," I continued to tease.

He ran his hand through his hair, his eyes finding her again. She turned toward us then, her eyes locking on Carlisle, her bottom lip finding its way between her teeth. Oh yeah, she had it bad too. She was trying to hide it, but she couldn't hide the blush that was blossoming on her cheeks when she realized he was staring at her.

It took some more probing, but he did ask her out, and I was delighted when she said yes. And the rest, as they say in Hollywood, was history.

The Last Stand…

Things had become even more strained over the past few years with my parents, despite Carlisle's best efforts. Holidays even more so. We tried to act like a family, but that's all it was; acting. After years I could barely stand the sight of my father, so I stayed away as much as I could; only visiting with them once or twice a year outside of Christmas.

This Christmas we drove together, Esme even coming along. It was their first meeting of Carlisle's girlfriend and my assistant. I knew he thought having her come might help diffuse any situations that came up, but I didn't have such high hopes.

I was unpacking a case of bottled water and a twelve pack of Coke when I heard my father walk up behind me.

"Is that really necessary?" he questioned, bitterness coming through his tone.

I turned to stare up at him. "With you around? Yes."

"Come on, Edward, get over it," my father grumbled. "It's been years; do you really think I would do that to you again?"

"Is the Pope Catholic?" I retorted with a sarcastic snap.

"It's been over five years now, shouldn't you let it go?"

I stood, my jaw clenched, trying to hold it back. Trying not to deck my father. "Five years I've been clean from a drug you were pumping into me. If you honestly think I will ever accept a drink from you again, you're dreaming. You fucked with my body and fucked with my life, I don't trust you in the least."

"What is going on out here?" my mother questioned from the doorway.

It was only for my mother that I visited with them at all. Despite still being disappointed and angry with her at the position she took when it all came out, taking his side, inside I was still a little boy, and she was my mommy.

I was trying not to shake in anger, and I could see Esme's surprised expression from the room inside.

"Our son doesn't trust me," my father said, a bit of anger in his tone.

"And why should he?" Carlisle asked, slipping past our mother and out onto the porch. "What have you done to earn back his trust?"

"I'm his father."

"And you think, what? That it absolves you from everything?" I spat.

"I was doing what I thought was best for you."

"Fucking feeding me Speed was what was best for me?" I yelled, my hands balling into fists.

"You were tired all of the time and needed a pick me up. I gave that to you," he growled.

"You fucking son of a bitch!" I grabbed hold of his shirt, pushing him against the wall. I could hear my mother crying in the background, Carlisle grabbing at my arm, trying to dislodge me. "You could have killed me!"

"Edward!" Carlisle called out, pulling me back.

My father stood, looking at me with disgust. "I never gave you enough to hurt you."

I didn't even get the chance to respond, or to lash out like I wanted to, because Carlisle did it for me. His arm swung back and connected with our father's face, sending him to the ground. It felt good to look at him lying on the ground, bleeding. I hoped he felt one iota of the pain I felt.

Withdraw was painful. Craving was painful.

"Come on, Edward, I'll take you home," Carlisle said, heading back inside the house.

"Carlisle…" my mother called after him.

He stopped in his tracks and I walked past him, halting in the doorway, waiting.

"I'm sorry, Mom, I tried. I've tried for years to keep this family together, but even I know when it's time to throw in the towel. I don't know any more if things can be fixed between them, but I'm tired of trying to put a round peg in a square hole," he explained, and I loved my brother even more just because he cared so much for our family that was falling apart. "Until the day Dad admits that he did something wrong and apologizes, I don't think you'll ever see Edward again. You don't even fully understand what he did to your son, his own son. I know, Mom, because I was there looking after him. Edward was sick for years after, battling side effects he never should have had in the first place. Dad never had Edward's best interest at heart as a parent should, but rather how well he could pad his pocketbook." He looked over to Esme and summoned her to come with us.

"Edward," my mother whimpered, tears in her eyes.

It tore at my heart, but I just couldn't take it anymore. Together, Carlisle, Esme, and I packed up our things and headed back to L.A.

That was the last time I saw either of them.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place…

"Edward, you can't possibly think about wearing that," Maggie complained. "What about that outfit I bought for you last week?"

I didn't want to tell her Alice had thrown it out. There was enough animosity between the two of them; I didn't want to fuel it further.

"What's wrong with this? Alice has never steered me wrong."

"It's because Alice picked it out for you," she sneered.

"It's what she does, Maggie," I argued with a sigh.

"Yeah, well, I think you need to get a new fashion consultant."

"When hell freezes over," I snapped. "Alice is not only always dead on in fashion, but is one of my best friends. Stop trying to fucking dictate my life."

"You are so fucking stuck in your ways," she said with a roll of her eyes.

"Alice is my friend and has been for a long time, so just fucking deal with it and stop being such a fucking bitch."

Our constant ongoing battles were starting to wear on my nerves. Maggie hated my friends, and I was pretty certain they hated her. We'd broken up more times than I could remember; only to get back together within days to months later depending on what was going on. Often it was due to a movie. She wanted to be free to do what she wanted while on set.

"Oh, baby, I don't want to fight," she purred, always knowing when she was pushing me too hard. She licked her lips and sauntered over to me. "You know what I was thinking?"

"What?" I inquired, putting my hands on her waist.

She placed her hands on my chest and moved them around and down toward my belt, making my cock take notice of how close she was to it. "I was thinking about the other night," she began, her hand pulling at the belt I'd just done up. She then moved to the button and zipper, slowly sliding it down. "How you tied me up and fucked the shit out of me." Her hands slid in the fabric, grabbing hold of my growing erection. "That was fuck hot and I was thinking you could do it again. Just let go and fuck the shit out of me until I pass out."

I grabbed her hands and walked her back, pushing her against the wall. She smiled wickedly at me, licking her lips.

"You shouldn't test me, baby," I whispered into her ear, grinding against her.

"But I like testing you. Fucking hot when you get all dominating."

My lips crashed to hers, the need to be inside her growing. She pissed me off a lot, knowing just what buttons to push, but she also knew how to get me going. We'd been together for three years, stagnant, on and off. Maybe it was because I was comfortable, I understood our relationship and how we worked together. It was sex, mixed with business and some fun on the side. I was too busy, with no time to devote to a real, meaningful relationship. Cullen Entertainment took up more time than acting did because all the heavy responsibility and decisions fell on my shoulders.

As she was, Maggie was a bit too bitchy for my tastes. She was fun to be with, sexy, but over time she became another Hollywood snob. I was just a prize that helped her career rise from unknown to stardom.

She moaned against my mouth and I was seconds from ripping her sexy dress from her when my phone went off. It was Esme, letting me know the limo had almost arrived.

"Duty calls."

"Poo," she said with a pout, her plump lower lip calling to me.

"Sorry, babe."

Her hand slid down and grabbed hold of my very hard cock. "Don't worry, baby, I'll take care of you on the way over."

I groaned, my eyes glazing at the thought of her lips wrapped around me, racing against time to get off before we arrived.

We loaded into the limo and she got started right away, twenty minutes before we arrived at the red carpet for another movie premier.

And while I'd admit I did enjoy our time together that evening, the social and passionate connection we shared, I knew it wasn't enough. It was while watching her work her position beside me that I finally began to realize I needed more than what Maggie could offer me…then or in the future.

A Life Changing Addition…

I couldn't believe the day had come. Alice and Jasper, two of my best friends in the world, were going to become parents. I had Esme change my schedule around to be there for them, after getting the call at five in the morning that Alice was in labor.

Little tiny Alice looked like a beach ball the last few weeks, her stomach so large she was round with a little head and skinny little arms and legs sticking out.

When I arrived she smiled at me, giving me a hug and a kiss.

"What about your schedule?" she asked, rubbing her huge belly with one hand.

I shook my head and placed my hand on top of hers. "You think I'd miss this for work?"

Tears sprung to her eyes and she gripped me harder. "I love you, Edward!"

"Love you too, squirt."

After a few hours Emmett and I were shooed from the room, leaving Jasper and Alice's mom to help her out. We were bored, playing poker in the waiting room, when Jasper came out beaming to take us back.

Wrapped up in a pink blanket, nestled in Alice's arms, was Arianna Michaela Whitlock, the smallest person I'd ever seen in my life. Big blue eyes stared up at me and I was done, hooked. I was going to spoil that little girl rotten.

Alice let me hold her, and I picked her up, gently supporting the back of her head. She continued to stare at me, and I fell in love with the little bundle in my arms.

"Hi, little princess, I'm Edward, one of your mommy's best friends and personal dress up doll," I said to her, rocking her lightly.

She squirmed in my arms and smiled, I swear it was, at me. My heart melted, and an urge to have one of my own took hold. If I felt this powerful toward a child that wasn't even mine, how strong would I feel about my own?

"She's beautiful, Alice," I whispered and looked up to smile at her then back to the dozing baby snuggled into my chest. "You are absolutely perfect, Princess Ari." I kissed her soft forehead.

Alice had tears streaming down her face as she stared at me holding her newborn.

Arianna's addition to our group, our family, made me realize what my life was missing. A loving heart, a loving family, and the dreams I once had of an ordinary life.

The Bright Lights…

Maggie once again dumped me so she could screw around on her latest out of country filming location. She'd been gone for a month, and I'd emptied my house of any of her belongings, sending them to her assistant. I vowed it was the last time; I'd had enough of her…for me, it was over, for good. Our on again, off again relationship didn't provide me with what I needed any longer. Physical attraction was one thing, but past that she had become a vapid Hollywood star, a trait I couldn't stand. I wanted a family, my dream, and it was never going to be Maggie. Ever.

It was time to find my dream, and I vowed that soon I'd start looking for the future Mrs. Cullen, mother of my children.

Someday my life would be easier. Someday I'd find a beautiful woman and settle down with her. An average girl who wasn't into the Hollywood life. Girl next door type. Natural beauty inside and out. A heart filled with nothing but love for me.

I zipped up my suitcase and set it on the floor, wheeling it out the door. There was a meeting for a new script being held in Las Vegas. Maybe there my luck would change under the bright lights of the strip.

Maybe I'd have a little fun as well.

After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… Right?