(Short Story Saturdays) Bella Dwyer becomes a secretary for Dr. Carlisle Cullen. One night, after discovering his secret, she becomes his forever.
"I can't believe this. I was totally qualified for that job," I complained to my mother, Rene. I sat down in her office chair and spun myself around.
"I'm sure you were, hon. But, you know, you can't always get what you want," she said between her phone conversation with my stepfather, Phil. I stared at her. "Um, Phil, I'll call you back. Bella needs my full attention."
She hung up the phone. Rene pulled a newspaper out of one of her file cabinets, and handed it over to me. I sighed. "The newspaper. Seriously."
"You're desperate, Bella. Just check it out."
I unfolded the paper and went through the classifieds. "Well, there's a secretary opening," I told Rene.
"That's good. We're making progress," she said with enthusiasm I didn't share. I frowned. "Oh, come on, Bella."
"Secretary. I don't want to be a secretary. I want to be the person that hires a secretary. It's got lonely, desperate female written all over it."
"Bella, you know what you're problem is?" Rene asked. "You always worm your way out of decent jobs by finding something to complain about!"
"That is not true!" I countered.
"It is true. I mean listen to yourself. You are in no position to pick and choose. You need to be grabbing at any job you can get your hands on, sweetie. I'm not trying to be mean or tough. But, honey, Phil and I can't keep paying your rent for you. We're broke enough as is. You're eighteen. You are the one who decided to move out and get your own apartment after we warned you, and told you over and over, that a decision like that is going to cost money- money that you don't have."
" Okay, okay. Stop it, already. I'll check it out," I slumped in the chair.
"You'll do more than check it out. You'll take it, if they offer it to you," Rene said, staring me down.
"Fine," I murmured.
I went out to lunch with Rene. I know it's kind of weird spending so much time with my mother. But, all my close friends had moved out of town after graduation. Angela Webber moved to Hawaii with her boyfriend, Ben. And Jessica Stanley moved to Europe to be closer to Oxford University. I am stuck here in Forks, with my mother, of all things. It's my own fault for not thinking ahead. But, whatever.
I thought moving out would make me feel like I've done something interesting. But, all it has done is add more stress to my life and drain my bank account. I thought about moving back in with Rene and Phil, but then I couldn't live with feeling like a failure and having to face the fact that I was wrong and they were right. Again...
I bought Rene and myself an ice cream cone with the two dollars in coins that I had at the bottom of my fringed purse. It was painful giving up that little change, but I wanted to treat Rene... and I wanted to hold on to the little bit of pride I had left. We walked around in the park and watched the birds.
"How is Mike Newton doing?" Rene asked. I cringed.
"How should I know!"
"Calm down, Bella," she said. "I was just wondering." I sat down on the park bench.
"You can forget it."
"Forget what?" she threw her free hand up.
"I know what you've been trying to do. You've been pushing Mike Newton on me ever since graduation. He's not my type. He's not even hot."
"Bella, how shallow. Looks should be the last thing on your list."
"Mike Newton, Mom? I am not that desperate."
"Okay, I get it. I was just trying to help, that’s all.”
“I don’t need help finding a boyfriend, especially from my mother.”
Rene was quiet. I think I offended her. “I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean that how it sounded.”
“It’s okay, hon. Maybe I try to help too much. Maybe, I should back off a little, but I feel like you need me. You need my help with everything because you’re not doing so well on your own.”
“Oh, thanks for reminding me of what a failure I am.”
“Bella, I didn’t say that you’re a failure. No one is saying that. Where are you getting this from?”
“Forget it. I have a job interview, tomorrow.”
I got up and dumped my cone in the waste basket. Rene followed me to the car.
I slept pretty rough last night. I looked in the mirror and pulled my pink shirt collar out over my dark grey blazer’s collar. Rene crept up on me.
“Big day, today,” she said, folding my cuffs. “Do you want to wear my lucky earrings?”
“No thanks,” I said. “I don’t believe in luck, anymore.”
“Oh, Bella. Things will get better, hon.”
Rene’s eyes watered and she frowned.
“Mom, please don’t start crying,” I begged.
“I know. I can’t help it. It’s just so hard for me to watch you having such a hard time,” she sobbed. “And I wish there was more I could do for you, but I just don’t have the means. I should be doing more for you. If I had done more with my life, then you would have it a lot easier.”
“No. Stop it right there. You’ve done more for me than anyone in this entire world,” I wrapped my arms around her. “I got the best mom on the planet. You’re fun. You’re spontaneous, and you tell me what I need to hear, instead of what I want to hear. You are a great mom. Now, stop this useless crying. You’re getting my blazer wet,” I said.
Rene chuckled. “Seriously, Mom, you’re great.”
“I know, I know,” she said. “Well… come get your breakfast. I don’t want to send you to the outside world on an empty stomach.”
Normally, I would turn down Rene’s breakfast because she can’t cook. But this time, I accepted, to make her feel better. I fell prey to burnt berry toast, and scorched eggs. Atleast the milk was good.
“Mom, maybe next time, you could try to not cook, watch tv, and talk on the phone at the same time?” I said. “You’re not a very good multi- tasker.” I picked up my thin portfolio off the floor.
“Atleast you’re full,” she said. She rushed me out the door. “Go get ‘em, tiger.”
“More like kitten,” I mumbled.
I drove through Cherry Falls, a secluded community overrun with vegetation. The place was in serious need of a weed wacker. I double checked the address in the newspaper, and matched it to the one I was now looking at, engraved into a giant granite stone.
319 Harlow Lane
Cullen & Hale Law Firm
“Sharks,” I muttered. “They belong in the sea.”
I got out of the car and walked straight up to the door. I took a deep breath before entering. I finally went inside and met a woman at the front desk. Her name was Rita Miles. She had fluffly red hair and wore vintage eyeglasses.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“Yes, you can. I'm here to see about a job opening for a secretary position. Dr. Cullen’s ad in the paper.” I took out the newspaper clipping I had made, and showed it to her.
“Put that away, dear. You will have to make an appointment. Dr. Cullen isn’t much of a morning person.” She took out a planner. “His hours are from 6pm until closing.”
I stared, blankly. “Why so late?”
“He does most of his dealings in the evening. I guess he’s an evening person,” she said. She avoided my question, but I didn’t press her.
“Okay, so… when can I come by, again?”
“I’ll put you down for the 8:30 interview. I’ll inform Dr. Cullen that you will be here. And you will be here, on time I hope.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Of course.”
“Dr. Cullen is a very generous man, but he does not tolerate tardiness from his employees.”
“Something I hope to one day be. His employee.”
“Good luck to you, dear,” Rita smiled.
“Thanks,” I said, in a dull voice.
I went out to my car and drove to Bailey’s Breakfast Cabin for a real breakfast. As I was leaving, to my horrid dismay, I bumped into Mike Newton, and spilled my coffee on my favorite blazer.
“Bella, I’m so sorry!” Newton said.
“It’s fine,” I looked up at the sky, annoyed.
“I can fix this, I promise. Take off your shirt,” he said. I glared at him. “I mean, so we can get it dry-cleaned.”
“It’s fine, Mike. All I need is a few napkins,” I said. I went back inside and set my breakfast on a table. Mike followed me. He grabbed as many napkins as he could and started wiping down my blazer.”
“Watch your hands, Mike,” I said.
I took a few napkins from him and started cleaning myself.
“Small world. I haven’t seen you since graduation, last year. My parents think that you’re avoiding me,” Mike said.
“Why would they think that?”
“Well, you don’t return any of my calls. Your mother seems to think we’d be great together.” He laughed, uncomfortably. “I talk to her more than I talk to you.”
“I have to go.”
“Go where? Can we talk for just a little bit?”
“No, Mike. I have somewhere I really need to be.”
“Okay, well. See you around, I mean, hopefully.”
“Yeah, see you around.” I grabbed what was left of my breakfast and got into my car. Later, I had lunch at Keri’s Bar, and ate in my car. I had a few hours to spare, and so I went home to my apartment and took a nap before setting the alarm clock to 7:00pm. I got up and got dressed, and found an unpleasant note under my door from the landlord. It was an eviction notice. I sighed and shoved the note down the waste basket.
I arrived back in Cherry Falls thirty minutes early. I parked right outside the law firm office. The clouds were grey in the sky and the air was a little foggy, as usual. I sat in the car, and watched a tall, suited figure head into the law firm. He was blonde, and had strong, chiseled features.
He had on burgundy twill pants, with a matching blazer, and vest. His button- down was light blue. He went inside. I checked my tinted red lip balm in the mirror, then, I went in after him.
Rita was gone. There was no one at the front desk, which was a little off. Or, maybe that would be my new position; Night shift desk clerk. No offense to Rita, but I‘d rather go with the secretary position.
The hall light was off. I saw him about to go into an office.
“Dr. Cullen?” I called out. He stopped and turned around. His eyes were amber. “We have an appointment at 8:30?”
“Oh yes. You are my 8:30.” He looked at his rolex. “Ms. Dwyer, is it?”
“Right this way, Ms. Dwyer.”
I went into his office with him. It was cold, but the air conditioner wasn’t even on. The vents were dead. I sat down in the chair infront of his desk, and opened my portfolio. My reseme was all lies. Even my reference numbers were fake. What if he actually called those numbers? Maybe, I could flirt my way into that secretary position.
Carlisle pulled out a list of questions from a blue folder. He smiled, vaguely, at me for a second. I bit my lip and looked down at my portfolio.
“So, Ms. Dwyer, have you worked at a Law Firm before?”
“What about school? Did you graduate high school?”
He scanned his list of questions with his eyes. Then, he tucked them back into the blue folder, neatly.
“You’re here for the secretary position, right?”
“Yes, sir. I am.” I smiled as big as I could, but it felt phony.
“How much work experience have you had? Did you prepare a reseme?” He reached out his hand for the portfolio I was nursing in my lap. I laughed, nervously.
“Of course.” I handed over the portfolio. It went limp in Carlisle’s hand, and I felt a little embarrassed. He smiled, though, as if it didn’t matter that I had zero real world work experience.
“Newton’s Sporting Goods,” he read. He smiled, and closed my portfolio. “That’s a nice establishment, and a fine starting point.”
He had to be humoring me.
“Can you type?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Can you file and store papers?”
“Can you take notes?”
“Are you flexible?”
“… Yes,” I giggled.
“You’re hired,” he said with jubilation. I was relieved. We shook hands.
“Thank you, Dr. Cullen. This really means a lot. I won’t let you down,” I went on. “When can I start?”
“Since I like you, you can start immediately. But, first,” he handed me a document, asking for personal information. “I need to get you on the payroll. Welcome to the team.”
“Thank you, Dr. Cullen.”
“Why don’t you fill that out, and bring it back, tomorrow.”
“Yes, sir. I will.”
“Thank you for your time,” he said, graciously.
“No, thank you, sir.”
We were finished. I went outside to my car to fill out the sheet he had given me. It was getting close to closing. It was 10:30 pm. I wanted to surprise him by finishing it up right now and bringing it back, tonight. I forgot my portfolio. I left it in his office. I got out of the car, and went back inside. I rushed down the hall.
“Dr. Cullen,” I called. Without thinking, I opened his office door. “Dr. Cullen, I forgot my---“
I wasn’t sure of what I was looking at. All I knew was that it took my breath away. Dr. Carlisle was leaning on his desk, sipping from a clear pouch, a dark red substance. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was having an asthma attack. He looked up at me. My portfolio was on the cushion of the chair I sat in only minutes earlier. His eyes were a new color. Red.
I screamed. I turned on my heels to leave. Carlisle moved so fast, that my head spun. He slammed the door. I didn’t move a muscle. I was scared frozen.
“You’re back,” he breathed on my neck.
“I forgot… my… portfolio,” I squeaked, inbetween breaths.
His hand slid down my arm. Then, he turned around and returned with my portfolio. I stared at it.
“Take it,” his smooth, calm, whispery voice said. I hesitated. “Take it.”
I grabbed my portfolio. He opened the door and pushed me out. I ran outside and locked myself inside my car. I tried to catch my breath and think at the same time. My new boss was drinking blood. What the hell does that mean? Who the hell drinks blood? That’s not normal. I wanted to tell somebody.
Then, a tall, lanky man was walking into the law firm. I hopped out of my car and got to him before he went inside. I grabbed his sleeve and he glared at me, confused. I was shocked that he had the same amber eyes as Dr. Cullen.
“Please, don’t go in there. It’s dangerous,” I said. He laughed.
“Who are you? And, what are talking about?”
“That man, inside there, He’s… He’s not normal.”
This guy shrugged me off and proceeded into the building.
“No!” I reached for him, but it was useless. I followed him inside. “You don’t understand. Dr. Cullen is---“
I was back in Dr. Cullen’s office; the very last place I wanted to be right now.
“Jasper Hale,” Carlisle smiled. Jasper Hale was standing behind me, and I was between him and Carlisle. “Ms. Dwyer, this is my business associate, Dr. Hale.”
“You can call me Jasper,” he said, in the most casual tone. His voice was deep, and upbeat. Poor thing had no idea what was up with his ‘associate’.
Dr. Cullen’s eyes seemed to be communicating something with Jasper. I heard the door close behind me, and I stood there frozen like an icicle in response. I gasped, when I suddenly felt a pair of hands hugging my waist. It was Jasper, restraining me. I felt his cold cheek pressed against my face, and I almost fainted. My body was going into shock.
“It’s alright,” Jasper whispered in my ear, softly. “Relax.”
I struggled to keep my eyes open. Dr. Cullen became a blur. The fuzzy image was leaning on the desk, with one leg crossed over the other, and his arms folded.
“Turn her,” Dr. Cullen said. I didn’t understand what he meant. Jasper’s teeth softly grazed my neck. At first it felt good and tingly, until he bit down hard. I screamed out in pain. My body felt like it was on fire on the inside, an internal inferno. It was unbearable. My eyes rolled to the back of my head, and I fainted in his tight grip.
I opened my eyes, and my vision was blurry. I could make out two heads standing over me. And then, like magic, my vision sharpened. Everything I looked at became crisp and clear. I was lying on the floor, in Dr. Cullen’s office.
“What do you want to do with her?” Jasper’s voice asked.
Carlisle paused. “I’m not sure. What do you think?” They talked as if I wasn’t even in the room.
“I could finish her off,” Jasper said, his cold hand caressing my cheek. My eyes bulged as the pain returned, and with a vengeance. Jasper held my right hand, and Carlisle held my left hand. A cooling sensation washed over me and seeped through my body. I was calmer, but the pain was still there inside me, just muted.
“Thank you, Jasper,” Carlisle said. “I’ll take it from here. Go and get recuperated.”
Jasper winked at me, and then he left. Carlisle lifted up my wrist. Then, he ripped open his own wrist with his teeth. Blood sprouted everywhere and splashed me in the face.
“Drink,” he told me. My throat was so swollen that I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t refuse. I obeyed. Carlisle bit down on my wrist, and the sharp, immense pain started all over again. I fainted. When I came to, I was laying on the ground. Carlisle and Jasper were standing over me. They were wearing casual clothes, instead of suits.
I looked up at the full, round moon, surrounded by diamond bright stars. I sat up.
“How long have I been out?” I asked. My voice was surprisingly casual. And, I sounded different. My voice was louder, deeper, and sultry. I grabbed my neck. I couldn’t believe the voice that came out of me was mine.
“You’ve been out for a while,” Jasper said.
“Three weeks to be exact,” Carlisle said.
“Three weeks!” I got up. “I need to call my mom.” I walked away from them.
“You can’t call your mom,” Jasper stopped me.
“You can’t call anyone,” Carlisle said.
“Yeah. You’re sort of dangerous, now,” Jasper said. I gave him a blank stare. “You’re a baby vampire.”
Carlisle’s eyes burned into him.
“What? She has to know what she is,” Jasper said, defensively.
“Baby… what?” I said through clenched teeth.
“Bella, I know this is a lot to take in, right now,” Carlisle touched my shoulder. And by some weird new reflex, I grabbed the hand that touched me and flung Carlisle up into the sky. I looked up and he landed in the treetops. Jasper’s voice broke out in deep laughter. Carlisle fell from the tree after hitting every branch on the way down.
“What did you people do to me?” I sobbed. Jasper helped Carlisle to his feet. My body felt empty, and my throat burned. “Oh no. It’s starting, again.”
“Don’t be afraid. You’re just thirsty,” Jasper said. “We’ll take care of you. You don’t have to worry.”
“Of course, there are rules,” Carlisle said.
“What rules,” I moaned. “Do I have to drink blood, like you?... Oh hell. I’m a freaking vampire.”
“Hey. You say it like it’s a bad thing,” Jasper said.
“I am in no mood for jokes,” I griped. “Where are we?”
Carlisle took my hand. I kept my other hand on my burning neck. It felt so uncomfortable. The three of us stood on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a city full of lights.
“This is Port Angeles,” Carlisle said. “This is where we feed.”
“Feed?” I asked.
“We’re like cats,” Jasper said. “We don’t eat where we poop.”
I raised an eyebrow.
“What Jasper is trying to say is that we keep our hunting grounds separate from our home.”
I thought that through. “So, that people won’t suspect you when dead bodies start popping up everywhere.”
Jasper chuckled. “Please… People don’t even believe we exist. We’re the last thing on their minds.”
“I don’t suppose you still want that job,” Carlisle said, looking off at the city.
“Are you kidding? I got to pay my rent,” I said. “Or I’m out on the streets… or worse… moving back in with my mother.”
Jasper laughed. “We can’t have that.”
“Let’s hunt, first. Then, we’ll talk schedules,” Carlisle said. “Just how flexible are you?”
“I am very flexible,” I said.
Jasper snickered. I jabbed him in the chest with my fist. “We’re talking hours,” I said. Jasper bent over, holding his chest.
“She’s pretty strong,” he said, gritting his teeth.
“Welcome to the team,” Carlisle said.
“You already said that,” I said.
“I know,” Carlisle smiled.
i Love it is good post more soon
thanks. u may want to reread it because i've added the rest. it's done. <3 completion!
i never thought that you are a good writer mermaid.......i love the story.
An interesting and dark take on these characters, completely alternate but I like it.
What a beautiful this one shot! Brava! It' been a real pleasure to read! :)
Why not write some more of this? Her adventures and experiences as a new vampire in this scenario.