TNMC

Chapter 30

No copyright Infringement meant.

EPOV

I was up, dressed and working in my office at the club as the first light fingers of dawn crept across the dark sky. My body ached, I needed some sleep, but if the choice was Isabella's body or my sleep it was no contest I couldn't get enough of her. So as I sat at my desk drinking my third cup of coffee I was already questioning why I had left Isabella sleeping in my bed. I know I should have woken her, she would probably be when be annoyed waking up alone, however she looked so calm and peaceful I couldn't bear it. I had left her a note to call me when she woke so although I was trying to deal with some important business one eye kept straying to the screen of my phone, irrationally terrified that I would miss her call.

I was having trouble concentrating this morning. The office felt tainted. What was usually my sanctuary had been invaded by both Isabella and Tanya lately, my past and future almost colliding in this very room. I pushed my hair back from my forehead with two hands, trying to get my mind back on the job in hand. The first major item on the agenda was viewing the pictures the team had lifted from the mall cameras. Second, I had to speak to my mother. The thought put me on edge already. I might leave that until later, maybe she would be mellow after yet another wine fuelled lunch at the country club. Last but far from least, I had to deal with Mr Whitlock's transgressions. Luckily for him my sister would never forgive me for shooting him, so I had to come up with a more suitable punishment for letting not only himself, but Tanya and Alice too into my office.

"Emmett!" I bellowed into the corridor. He should know I was here by now.

"Morning Boss," he replied, equally loudly. I heard his steps, heavy on the stairs as he ascended.

"Before we get started I presume that the office was swept after the late night visit ?"

"Yes, I had the entrance area, the stairwell and your office checked, all clean"

I nodded and he started to sit down.

"Photos from the mall," I snapped, "what do you have?"

He waved a brown envelope in one hand, indicating that he had them then spread the different stills on the desk. The pictures were black and white and slightly grainy. My stomach flipped a little, maybe they weren't going to be good enough quality for us to get anything? There were multiple different angles of the same man but never quite a complete picture. He seemed remarkably ordinary. Medium height, medium build, chain store clothes, face always somehow a little turned away from the CCTV cameras as if he was aware of where each one was. He was good. I sincerely hoped we were better. Emmett laid the final image down and whilst you could tell it was not a true photograph, the imagery was 3D and we had what appeared to be a complete facial image of the elusive Mr Jarvis.

"Do you know the face?" I asked staring at the image. There were no distinctive features, no tattoos, nothing to distinguish this man from an average joe.

"No," he shook his head, his mouth set into a grim line. "Alex is trying to hack into the FBI database at the moment, although it seems they have updated one or two things since he lasted visited. Once in though he's going to run that image through the facial recognition database to see if it gets any hits."

"Okay," I nodded, "keep me posted. Make sure every fucker who works for me is on the lookout for this shit. I do not want him near Isabella again."

"Already done. We have pictures out there so even the girls and the guys in the clubs are looking for him. I offered a little incentive so if he is known or shows up believe me someone will shout." I could see from Emmett's demeanour he was as annoyed as I was that we didn't know who this guy was.

"What have you offered?" I narrowed my eyes at him. It wasn't like Emmett to do something that involved family money without checking with me first.

"I wasn't too specific," he said, "depending on who comes forward it could be anything from a few grand to a gram or two. Let's wait and see what happens." I understood what he was saying and moved the topic on.

"I'm going to call mother and warn her off Isabella." I don't know why I told him that. However if he was helping me protect her from Mr Jarvis he could surely know about my effort to protect him from our family.

"Too late bro," he laughed, so loud I almost jumped, "she already called and quizzed me about her.".

"What the fuck did you tell her?" I was trying to keep calm, this could go either way.

"I told her to mind her own business for once, that when you were ready you would talk to her." His face turned more serious. "I did tell her to back off though, but you know mother," I raised my eyebrows to indicate that I did, "I doubt she took any notice."

I stood looking at the huge figure in front of me and for once I saw my brother and not the fuckwit that drove me insane on a daily basis. I must be getting soft in my old age or Isabella has fucked the toughness out of me temporarily because I had some stupid urge to actually hug him. Before I did something I would probably regret later, I went and sat down behind my desk.

"Thanks for that Emmett," I dismissed him, turning my attention back to my laptop, "I'm going to speak to her regardless, but I appreciate what you said."

"Okay," he accepted the praise a little warily, moving slowly toward the door, "I'm going to go and see how Alex is getting on. Paul and I have a bet going on how long it takes it him to get into the database."

"Good morning Isabella," I snatched up my phone before it barely rang out loud. I couldn't keep the pleasure out of my voice. "How are you feeling this morning?" My pants tightened at the mere sound of her voice and a sudden mental replay of what we had inflicted upon each other's bodies last night.

"I just wanted to say thank you for this weekend," she said, a little shyly, "despite how it started I had a wonderful time. I just wanted to talk to you and tell you that."

"You are most welcome. I had an incredible weekend too," suddenly I couldn't bear the thought of being apart from her for even one night. "Are you free for dinner tonight?"

"Yes," she giggled, "but this time I'm either cooking or I'm going to choose where we eat. "I don't think my system could cope with anymore rich food."

"You can't call what you had to eat yesterday rich food," I was genuinely aghast, "it was just a burger and fries." I could hear her laughing at me and the sound travelled from my ear all down my right side until it settled in my groin. Everything about her affected my poor abused cock.

"It may have been just burger and fries but believe me it was a posh burger and fries," her tone was firm, "so tonight I'm cooking. What time will you be able to get away?"

"I have no idea," I told her, honestly. "I have a few things that need to be sorted today and then it depends on what happens. If it's a quiet day then I should be able to get to you around seven."

"I can work with that," she paused a second, seemingly distracted by something. I could envisage her checking her diary. "I have to go and show the penthouse to a client. Then I have a couple of viewings across town. I guess I can pick up some fresh veggies while I'm out."

"Isabella promise me you won't go anywhere without Quil? I will be so angry with you if you ever do anything like that again". I used my boss voice, but I knew by now it really didn't have any effect on her.

"Well seeing as you asked nicely and you used that voice," she giggled a little again, "I think I can be persuaded to behave. But, what happens if you get angry with me?" She was playing with me but the difference this time was that I could actually spot it.

"Well last time I really wanted to put you over my knee and spank you," even as I said it out loud I cringed. Why the fuck did I actually say that out loud? She will think I'm some kind of pervert. I waited to hear the dial tone as she hung up on me disgusted.

"My my Edward Cullen there is hope for you yet," her voice was low, private, definitely flirtatious. "With that prospect I might actually risk ditching Quil and taking my chances." With that she hung up and I sat staring at the phone, what the fuck did she mean?

I quickly dialled Quil.

"It's okay boss," he said, without even a greeting, "I see her, she is walking towards me now."

Before I could say anything else I heard her speak to Quil,

"If that's Edward tell him I'm going to be a good girl. At least for today." This woman is going to make me combust, I really can't see another ending.

"I'll look after Boss. Don't worry, I won't let her out of my sight." He hung up.

An hour later I sat still for a moment and surveyed the chaos in my office. I had drunk two more cups of coffee and both empty cups lay discarded on the desk. I had re-examined all of the photographs of Jarvis and they too lay discarded on the desk. Finally, unable to concentrate on anything else I had rearranged my whisky collection. It was only then that I admitted to myself my hard on wasn't going to go away. The image of Bella bent over my desk with her skirt hitched up round her waist and her panties round her ankles just kept playing like a video on repeat. In the end I just had to go and relieve myself in my private bathroom.

"Fuck Cullen," I said to myself, as I closed the bathroom door behind you. "Jacking off at 7.30 in the morning, what the fuck is happening to you?"

"You are becoming a man my son," My father's voice startled me, I hadn't seen him sat in the chair. It was a high wing back and he was completely hidden from me.

"How the hell did you get in here?" I snapped. I was getting sick of people invading my personal space.

"Well the fact I'm your father and the former Boss gives me some clout you know." I moved around the office so that I could see him. He smiled a greeting and saluted me with a small whisky he had poured himself.

"Isn't it a bit early for that?" I couldn't help but smile, hadn't he said the exact same thing to me the last time he'd been in this office.

"It's five o'clock somewhere," he swallowed the measure and put the glass down.

"I came to warn you," he said, seriously, "your mother is on a mission. Your antics at the restaurant this weekend have put her on full alert. She wants to know who, what, where and why. She has already asked Emmett and Alice." I stiffened a little. He took the top off the bottle and poured himself another whisky. "Luckily for you they have both basically told her to mind her own business so she is busy amending her will yet again to disinherit them."

I had to laugh, mother kept the lawyers on constant alert because every time one of us did something she didn't approve of she changed her will to punish us. What she didn't realise was we really didn't care. We had more than enough 'family money' that I controlled for all of us and the next few generations, so mother could give hers to the local homeless shelter for all we cared.

"Emmett has already warned me, in fact I was just going to ring her but I got distracted." If any other person had caught me coming out of the bathroom I would have probably been a little embarrassed but my father was different. He was the one who has always been there for me. He would understand my feelings for Isabella.

"Are you going to tell me how you met her?" he asked, hovering the bottle over an empty glass. I shook my head, I needed to be thinking clearly.

"For now it's very new and I'm newly divorced, so..." I tried to play it down but deep down I knew it was a waste of time.

"Bullshit son," he slammed the glass onto the desk. "Your mother, Tanya and I all saw the look on your face, that girl is no rebound fling."

"Shit, I was hoping to keep it under wraps for a while yet at least."

"Well, Edward Senior didn't notice, he was too busy ogling the server," he snorted, "although I'm sure Tanya will fill him in pretty quickly."

My phone rang. We both turned toward the shrill noise.

"It's your mother," he said, darkly.

"How the fuck can you know that," I spluttered, "you can't even see my phone from there."

"I just felt a chill down my spine. I'm telling you that is your mother calling."

I looked over at the screen and sure enough it was.

"She won't go away either," he cautioned, as we both watched it flick back to a blank screen again as she hung up. "If you don't answer her she will just keep calling, be warned." He nodded and quietly left the office just as my phone started to blow up again.

"Mother good morning," I said stiffly, "how are you today?"

"Don't you good morning me you ungrateful boy," she began, in sharp clipped tones. "I've spent weeks hosting dinner parties and cocktail soirees so you could have a proper wife this time, and what do you do? You hook up with some tramp and then parade her round my territory, in one of my restaurants."

I let her finish, it was pointless trying to interrupt her while she was in full flow. I'd learnt early on as a boy that she didn't stop until she was finished, no matter how loud I shouted to try and talk over her.

"Have you quite finished mother?" I asked when it seemed that she was running out of steam. The response was silence. "Good," I continued, "because I am only going to say this just once. If I ever hear you bad mouth Isabella, or hear from a third party you have bad mouthed her, I will ruin you, do you understand me?" I could almost hear her mouth opening and closing in indignation. "I have put up with your interference and meddling my whole life but it stops now. I am a grown man, quite capable of making my own decisions and choices. I promise you if you mess this up for me I will make sure you can't show your face in the state again. I will make you wish I'd never been born. Am I making myself clear enough for you?"

There was silence on the other side of the phone. She must have forgotten that it was her that taught me her strategy. She was obviously hoping that I would feel the need to fill the silence with words and finally start watering down my statement and apologising. Instead of doing so I slid open my desk drawer, put the phone in it with the call still connected then closed it. I picked up one of my replacement phones, quickly programmed it to have my calls forwarded to it and walked out of the office. Mother would realise soon enough I wasn't going to capitulate this time.