AN: Hi, everyone! So, this is my entry for the Meet The Mate Contest.
When I wrote this piece, it was meant to be a one-shot. Still, I obviously started thinking of possible outcomes, but nothing is really defined. This means that I am considering expanding, but I'm not really set on the idea.
If I do continue, I have to tell you I'm very busy right now (I'm studying for my Vestibulares, tests to try and enter college.) and I'll only be able to sit down and write sometime in March.
Another thing: For the past months, I've been writing a multi-chapter, in the Twilight Universe, but since it would be my first long-fic, I decided to write a few chapters before posting. That story is my priority, and I'll post it before I continue - if I do - "You've Got Time."
Thanks to everyone who liked it and maybe voted for it at Meet the Mate. I am very thrilled it was so well-received, and all the reviews really made my day! :)
That said, I leave you to the story. Hope you enjoy it!
I stand in front of the mirror, watching carefully how the clothes I picked fit me, a white silk blouse and a bordeaux skirt that hug my curves tight, and a pair of black heels, to add a few inches.
In the corner of my eye, I catch sight of that goddamn case by the wall, that holds Riley's pictures. Riley loved being a photographer, it was all he knew. He used to tell me he'd put them elsewhere, but we both knew he loved his little tradition of bringing back home the photographs that weren't chosen and keeping them inside his father's old guitar case.
God, I miss Riley. His exuberance, his bad jokes, and that smile I loved so much. The way he lit up every time he closed a deal to photograph, and how, when he came back from his trips, all wrecked and tired, the first thing he did was kiss me and tell me how much he missed me.
I tried putting the damn case away, but it came back to my room in two days. That thing was all Riley. What else is there to say?
I check my watch, and noticing I'm running slightly late, I let go of the memories and make a beeline to the door.
By the elevator, I run into Rosalie. She is a hotshot journalist for The Seattle Times, and although her exterior says 'unreachable', inside she is a very sweet and loyal girl. We've been friends for about four years, since she moved in with her fiancée Emmett, and she was very supportive and helpful when it all happened and the mourning was overwhelming.
"Bella, darling, how are you?" she asks as she hugs me, a smile on her face.
"I'm good. Starting that new job today," I say as we enter the elevator and move down.
"That's wonderful, Bella! We're going out to celebrate today. I'll call Alice and Kate, we'll have some dinner, listen to some music, and talk."
"Hmm, Rose, I don't know..." I start, but she cuts in.
"Please, it's been so long since we had a girls' night. You should be going out, living your life. Falling in love again. That's what Riley would want. We're going. Be ready to leave at eight."
I sigh, but I give in. The girls have been giving me that speech for months now, but I never felt ready. Riley is too much of a constant presence. But, I figure, they are right. I'm 29, after all. I'm not so sure about the falling in love part, but it's been almost two years.
"Right. Bye, Rose." I wave her as we leave the building, and go to my car.
After the crash, I was frightened as hell to drive. Actually, I was frightened to enter my car and wonder how Riley felt when his was hit by that massive truck. So, I sold my sedan and bought a huge SUV, one of the safest in the category. A clean slate and everything. Turns out, I fell in love with my new car.
The inside is cozy, the benches are tall and comfortable, and it smells like musk and forest, bringing me back to the evergreen Forks. I drive through the packed streets, and soon, I get to the outskirts of town, go through security and park the SUV in Washington Corrections Facility's parking lot.
The place is enormous. There is a large horizontal building east of the parking lot, with multiple windows lined up, and beside it, a green area with some sparse trees.
I walk up a flight of stairs that lead to the building's door, and find there's a correctional officer checking whoever comes in. This man's tall and sleek, with sand blonde hair that reaches just below the nape of his neck.
"Good morning." I salute, to get his attention.
"Morning, miss. How may I help you?" he drawls in a soft southern accent. He has a badge attached to his uniform, where it reads Major J. Whitlock.
"I'm Isabella Swan, the new psychologist. I was supposed to start practicing today," I answer, searching my purse and handing him my ID, as I know he'll ask for it anyway.
He checks the document quickly. "Yes, Ms. Swan. I was waiting for you. Welcome to Washington Corrections Facility. I will escort you to your office, if you will?" He smiles with pretty white teeth, and I find I like him already. Perhaps we can be friends.
Jasper, as I find out while we're walking, leads me through the halls and stops in front of a door, with a sign that says 'Office of Guidance'.
The inside is very different from what I'm used to. There is a large table under a window, the blinds drawn closed, and near the center, two black upholstered chairs facing each other. There is also a gurney in the corner, and a cabinet with glass doors I assume keeps the medicines.
Right after I graduated, I started working at a center for kids in need of psychological or educational care, and everything there was colorful and playful, to stimulate the senses. When Riley died, I quit my job, for I thought I wasn't in the right frame of mind to lead and shape those kids.
"Here you go, miss. The office is much like Dr. Frey left it, but you're free to change anything you want. In the top drawer, there's a list of the names and numbers you may need. Do call me if you're feeling a little lost. "
"Okay. I have some papers to sort out, but I'd like to evaluate the prisoners this first week. If you could tell me where Dr. Frey left the folders with her thoughts, I'd really appreciate it," I say over my shoulder.
"Oh, those are at the cabinet below your table. You should know these consults with the psychologist are not compulsory, but our officers have already told them of the change in staff, and that there's a possibility they'll all need to come at least once."
"Thank you, Jasper. You are really helpful."
He smiles with the compliment, says his goodbyes and closes the doors behind him, leaving me to it.
There is so much paperwork to sort through I barely notice the morning go by. At midday, Jasper knocks on my door and lets me know it is lunch time, and that he'll show me the way to the staff's kitchen.
I grab a quick bite, and meet a few of the other officers, including Major Caius Hayes, who's my immediate boss. Everyone is very welcoming and nice.
Alice calls when I get back to my office, and lets me know she's very excited to have a girls night out, and that she will be at my apartment at six, to help me get dressed. I shudder internally, as I know my friend, and that little ball of energy is up to something. Since Riley died, I haven't been out much, and I know Al misses turning me into her Barbie doll, like she's done from time to time during our college years.
I hang up and turn my attention towards the patient files Dr. Frey has left. I notice there are at least a few words about all prisoners, but not many have a full file, meaning the consults are few and far in between. There are more female than male patients, too, I see.
The time I have left is short, but after I rummage through most of the files, I decide I can start my evaluations on the patients. I call Jasper and ask him to tell both a Miss Jane Volturi and a Mister Edward Masen that I'll be seeing them that afternoon.
Jasper brings Jane in first. She is a short girl, with neck length blonde hair and a pair of wide blue eyes, almost too big for her doll-like face.
"Hello, Jane," I greet her at the door, and lead her to one of the black chairs, taking the other one for myself. She is very quiet, and just answers with a low mumble. "I'm Isabella, your new psychologist."
It takes a while to get her talking, which is understandable, but when I do, I get to evaluate her very quickly. I notice Jane is really young, and she tells me she is just twenty, and that she's locked up because she had spent almost a year robbing a few stores in Seattle and passing the stolen products over to her twin brother Alec, who's also at the facility, to sell them.
Jane is one of the few patients with a full file for herself. From the moment she and Alec were caught, she started coming in for consults. Dr. Frey, she tells me, used to let her have some sessions along with her brother. She also tells me it's hard to get Alec to come in for those, as he feel he doesn't need them, but that the doctor has managed to convince him from time to time.
Bottom line, Jane is shy, unhappy, and ready to leave this place. She obviously regrets having done what she did, and the sessions are really helpful.
When I finish with Jane, I call Jasper to take her back and bring over Edward.
Unlike Jane, Edward Masen has come only once to a session. His file has a single word describing him - bitter - and I can't wait to see it for myself. When he comes in, though, I am surprised to see how good looking he is.
He holds a mop of hair on the top of his head, a bit too long but in perfect disarray, in a weird color between chestnut and red I can only describe as bronze. He is tall and lean, with some tight muscles that are visible even through the ugly uniform he wears. His lips are full and red, and his eyes, shining with mischief, are of a deep, bright tone of emerald green I have never seen before. Those eyes are invitations for luscious things.
I catch my breath while I watch as he comes in and, walking in purposeful strikes, makes his way towards the chair across me, throwing his sinful body into the seat, showing clearly how much he cares about what we're doing. I notice with a start that, although Riley was very handsome, this is the most gorgeous man I've ever met.
Back to my professional state, I pick up his file and stare him directly in those eyes. "Hello, Edward. I'm Isabella, the new psychologist."
"Isabella," he rolls my name in his tongue, and I marvel at the things that simple act does to me.
I clear my throat and shake my head to get my thoughts straight.
"Hmm, I've noticed you don't come to sessions often."
"That would seem so," Edward says, condescendingly.
"And may I ask why?"
"I don't feel like I need this," he says, shrugging.
" Well, as a professional, I believe firmly that a few sessions every month do wonders to wandering minds."
"Listen up, Isabella. I'm only doing this right now because they made me. I don't care one bit about wandering minds or psychological care. I've had my fair share of people telling me what do to. I just want to do my time quietly, then get out of this place and live my life. Don't come here and tell me what your precious sessions can do to me."
I am thrown back at the harsh words. Bitter indeed.
"Alright then, you don't have to come back. But I have an hour or so with you, and I want to evaluate you. Since you're already here, you'd do well in cooperating." I straighten my eyes, and see him flinch slightly, much to my content. This is my job, and I won't let this boy walk all over me.
"Touché, Isabella. Ask away."
"How old are you, Edward?" I start easy this time.
"Just turned twenty-one."
"And why are you locked up? How long have you been here?"
"Long story short, drug dealing. Some family matters, a few other things. Oh, well." He shrugs. "That was my second birthday spent in this place."
He is very young, too, but has been here for quite a while. Even though he has given me permission to 'ask away', he is very closed up within himself, answering in a few words and not giving me much insight into his head and personality.
"Edward, I know you don't want to come to consults, and I take it you don't want to talk about your issues, but I would really like to see you again. You've had your disappointments, but so have I. And I think I can really help you, if you wish to unleash your feelings," I tell him near the end of our consult.
He blinks slowly, and I see the wheels turning in his head. "Well, Isabella, it turns out I'm living just fine with my disappointments. As you can see, I have a lot of time to think and deal. I just can't grasp how you'll do me any good. Well, I can imagine, but I don't think you would be game..." He says in a lustful tone, and I gasp quietly.
"Mr. Masen," I say, harshly, as I walk up to my table. "I think we should end our session now."
"I'm Mr. Masen now? Okay then, we'll go with that." He scoffs. "You know what, doctor, perhaps I'll come back for other sessions, if only to see you flustered like this. I find your fumbling and your blushing adorable. It does things to me..." he lets out a low chuckle, and right on cue, Jasper knocks to ask if we're done.
I don't look at Edward as Jasper escorts him away.
Picking up my stuff, I head out. I meet Jasper again on his way back to my office, and we wave our goodbyes. On my way to the SUV, though, I can't stop my brain from wandering back to those beautiful green eyes and that killer smile of his.
What the hell is that boy doing to me?
PS: A few reviews back in Meet the Mate told me they found it strange to have men and women in the same facility. I figured you meant that in minor crime facilities, there is only one gender. After they pointed it out, I understood it may seem weird, but just keep in mind that in my Correctional Center, men and women don't ever meet (Except for, perhaps, Jane and Alec), if to follow the story better. :)