Disclaimer: No copywright infringement is intended. I do not own Twilight.
It was the middle of May in Seattle. It was also Monday. I hated Mondays. I was slow to start today because my Sunday hadn't worn off yet. I sipped my second latte while I waited outside Judge Black's courtroom in the hall of King County Superior Court. He was a new judge in this district and had filled his Monday docket with all pre-hearing matters and those ready to schedule for trial. I felt a little more than anxious today. I knew it was because I'm meeting a new Judge as well as a new associate, which was just announced on Friday. I probably shouldn't be too worried since this guy is Jasper's cousin, if he were related to Emmett, well that's a different story.Leaning against the wall near the clerk's office I spotted Jessica Stanley and Angela Webber as they walk out of the courtroom. Both were attorneys who work for Crowley and Newton, a law firm that specializes in real estate and probate matters. " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "
"Well it was good to see you Cullen. Since you're in Seattle now, we should play some cards, catch a game," Mike said, smiling.
"Hey, Bella," Jessica chirped. Wow, she is way too cheerful for a Monday.I smiled. "Hey, how did it go in there? What's the new Judge like?" They exchanged a look before Jessica started.
"Oh, Bella, you haven't seen him yet have you?" she asked dramatically. I eyed her skeptically, wondering if she added a little something extra to her coffee.
"O- kay, what am I missing here?"
"He is so dreamy Bella," Angela cooed.
"Geez, Ang, who uses 'dreamy' anymore? Look Bella, that man is movie star hot in a black robe," she stated matter of fact, putting her hand on her hip and jutting it out for emphasis. I think she may have drooled as well. I nodded my head and took another big gulp of my latte.
"Wow. So, did you learn anything about what he likes in his courtroom or how he handles things?" I asked, annoyed that all they seemed concerned with was getting under his robe. "I'm a little more worried about presenting these cases at trial than getting a date." Yeah, I was feeling a little snarky this morning, sue me. It's Monday and she's too damn happy.
"Well, he seems to be pretty easy going. Not uptight at all. He's taking all the cases by firm group rather than by case number or party name so that's a little different. He said it was just his way of trying to get to know all of the attorneys who would be practicing most frequently in his court," Jessica said quickly, recognizing that I was in mood for gossip.
"Hmm. That's good, right? I mean, normally we hang out here waiting half the day," I commented, liking this new judge already.As Jessica began ranting about how Judge Black called out some of the older lawyers on their unwillingness to follow his courtroom procedure and I felt myself zoning out. I nodded along where I should considering the Judge's plan as a good sign. Even though it meant being put on the spot to present all four of my motions at one time, at least I didn't have to wait around all day in between other cases to get this done. After I presented my cases the only thing left on my schedule today was editing my brief work from this weekend. It's not often I get to have an afternoon without clients or meetings, maybe I could meet Alice for a late lunch, or better yet, an afternoon of online shopping. A girl could never have enough summer shoes! Jessica's voice blurred in and out of focus, but all I could hear was Jimmy Choo's calling my name.I was just about to excuse myself to head into the courtroom when I caught a glimpse of Mike Newton in conversation with another guy coming off the elevator. My eyes were suddenly locked on a very new, very lickable face. Yes, I said lickable.Jessica stopped yapping and leaned in closer whispering, "Oh, there's Mike, I guess he made it back from his 'long weekend' with his latest slut. He really just makes me sick," she finished, her face contorting with disgust.I feigned interest as I continued to watch Mike talking to the new guy I'd never seen before. He looked the lawyer type, his suit midnight black, a white shirt and light blue tie peeking out, professional, but not flashy. My eyes scanned his toned body, right down to his shiny leather shoes and briefcase. Nice.I slowly scanned up his lean, muscular frame, immediately noticing his hair. Wait, what the hell happened to his hair? Did he just wake up? It was all short on the side and totally fucked up on top.But, honestly, it kinda made me want to crawl up his body, just to touch it. All of the sudden my affinity for not gossiping had flown out the window. Retracted. Rescinded. Because I was most definitelyin the mood for gossip now. Just when I'm about to demand details from Jessica I overhear Mike's parting words.
"Sounds good. We'll set it up." Ah, he speaks. And such a silky voice at that. Wait. What? Thatis Edward Cullen. I immediately try to down the rest of my latte so I can ditch it and avoid meeting our new associate before my court appearance.
"Jessica, did he just say 'Cullen'?" I asked, trying not to choke.
"Yeah, that's Edward Cullen. I heard he was joining your firm. He was LA's Top Young Lawyer for 2010," Angela whispered before Jessica could respond.Jessica motioned with her thumb to Angela. "Yeah, when we heard the rumor that he was coming to Seattle, Angela here Googled him and got the skinny on Edward Cullen, hotshot LA lawyer. Ow!" Jessica shrieked, glaring at Angela and rubbing her arm where Angela had smacked her.
"Bitch, I wouldn't have Googled him if you hadn't told me you wanted to know all about Mr. Hotshot!" Angela whisper-yelled.
"Well, I couldn't help it," Jessica defended, "being awarded Top Young Lawyer is a big deal, do you know how many attorneys there are in LA?" she asked, her eyes, widened comically. "He must be amazing." She sighed, cutting her eyes toward him.
"Okay," I interrupted before they drew any more attention to themselves, "its been lovely, as usual. I'm gonna toss this and head in there," I added, walking away. I had to get away from the Sweet Valley High twins and their love for Mr. Hotshot. I hadn't even met the guy and he was already on my nerves.
"Okay, then, see you later," Jessica called.
"Good luck today," Angela added. Both gave me a wave as they turned and walked towards the exit. I waved back absently as I continued to try and suck the bottom out of my latte, when I heard a someone clear their throat next to me.
"Yes?" I asked, lowering my cup to get a better look at Mr. Hotshot.
"This is Judge Black's courtroom right?" he asked, pointing to the door up ahead on the right.
"Yes, it is. Bella Swan, nice to meet you," I said, nodding my head.
"Edward Cullen, nice to meet you."
"Yeah, Cullen, you're joining the McCarty Group? That's my firm," I said, maybe putting a little more emphasis on the 'my' part than necessary.I smiled, noticing that he was staring at my lips intently, his eyes narrowing slightly. I back away a little not really comfortable with how closely he's studying my face. His mouth pulled up on one side, a look of amusement on his face before he made some weird choking noise. Wait, was that a giggle? He shook his head, and gave me a smile that made me feel all melty inside, and a little more annoyed if I was being honest. He then proceeded to ask me about Judge Black so I told him what I had learned from the Bobsy Twins.
"I'm anxious to get admitted to the Superior Court Bar today so I can actually begin working on cases this week," he said with a mix of confidence and excitement. I turned and tossed my empty cup, wanting to leave before he can start detailing how wonderful he was, but before I could escape be began talking again.
"You know, I typically handled only the most high profile criminal cases in Los Angeles," he boasted, somehow managing to seem proud and shy at the same time. I'm equal parts annoyed and impressed that he can be so cocky and yet somehow humble all at once. He leaned towards my face, a little too close for my comfort and spoke lowly.
"So, are you gonna present these motions today or do I need to show you how its done?" he whispered, a smirk on his lips. Oh, no he didn't.
"Hmm. Are you worried I'll do it better than you?" I asked with a smirk of my own. If he thought he could intimidate me, he was in for a surprise. He tilted his head back and laughed.
"No, Swan. Trust me, I'm not worried in the least about my abilities," he said, and if I didn't know any better I'd think he might have put a little more emphasis on 'abilities' than necessary.The halls began to fill with lawyers again and I knew I needed to end whatever was going on here. It was making my insides feel weird and at the same time causing steam to flow out my ears like a cartoon character.
"Hmm, well now, Cullen, maybe you should be worried," I simpered, not willing to let him have the last word. We locked eyes briefly his eyes still focused on my lips. I was beginning to think this guy had a serious fucking problem when he smirked and leaned so close that I could feel his warm breath fanning my ear.
"Oh, no, Swan," he breathed, "because you see," he added conspiratorially, "I'm not the one with a latte foam mustache." He pulled away abruptly, a wide smile stretched across his face as another giggle escapes his lips. I stood there gaping at him as he swiftly turned and walked away.
"See you at the office, Swan," he called out over his shoulder, not bothering to look back. I snapped my jaw shut, fuming that I'd made it so easy for him to have a laugh at my expense. Well, I'd show him, Mr. Hotshot really had no idea who he was dealing with. I straightened by shoulders and lifted my chin defiantly.
"Cullen, wait!" I yelled, putting a little extra sway in my step when I noticed him turning to face me.
"What, Swan-" he started with an exasperated look before his jaw slackened a bit. I reached the spot where he had stopped in the hall and moved close enough to invade a little of his personal space for a change.
"I just want to ask you one more thing," I said breathlessly, widening my eyes the way I knew made me look innocent and vulnerable.
"And, uh, what is that?" he stuttered. I leaned in closer still, giving him my best porn star gaze while I slowly extended my tongue and licked all of the incriminating latte foam from my top lip.
"Did I get it all?" I purred. He gulped hard and began to choke and cough.
"Oh...yeah." He nodded, dazed.
"Thank you." I smiled, knowing that I'd won this round.I turned to leave, heading for the door, feeling his eyes one me. I didn't look back.
"See you at the office Cullen," I called over my shoulder the same way he had done earlier. Checkmate, asshole.I entered the courtroom, taking a seat near the back. I let out a long breath and laughed to myself thinking about my interaction with Cullen. He may have been top dog back in LA, but he was going to learn in a hurry that I wasn't afraid of his bark, or his bite.The door creaked open behind me, Cullen releasing the door gently before making his way down the isle towards the front of the courtroom and take a seat next to Mike Newton.I watched him for a few minutes before I noticed him looking over his shoulder, meeting my gaze. He smirked and gave me a nod. A silent confirmation that the second round goes to me. I just smiled and nodded my head in return.
A/N: I have to say a huge thank you to livie79 and megschmegg for inspiring me, pushing me with kind words and basically telling me this really may be worth reading, 'cause you get me like that, yo! Special thank you to Liv's sprinkling of her super word fairy dust that made this kinda sparkle and junk.
If either of you ever need a kidney or anything, it's yours. Js