Ooooohh! Thanks for all the great reviews (i was surprised at how many i received for the first chapter) and reads...I know this is different for some but I hope to make it funny with a little angst. I am so already in love with this Edward. I think you will be too if you stick around. Thanks for my wonder twin JDSK for being her. And DT for not making me feel bad when i read disturbing fic and can't stop. And oh yeah, HUGE thanks to Angst Goddess for the help in naming this fic and not sleeping so she can talk to me all hours of the day and night.

And for Starshine cause she helped me beta again cause poor Bethaboo is serverless for a week. Pray for her.


Graduation came and went with the usual caps and gowns, tassels and photos. My mom and dad came up from Arizona for the ceremony which was nice because I imagined it would be a while before I saw them again.

I was sad to see them go but at the same time excited about officially starting my new job. I'd spent the last week training with Kim and felt pretty confident in managing what was expected from me when I was on my own.

I still hadn't encountered Mr. Cullen during my training since he was never home during the times I was there. Kim said he had many meetings at his office and he traveled some during the day to check on the projects supported by PNT.

It was raining, of course, as I drove up to the Cullen house. Unfortunately I could not find a spot out front and had to drive to a side street for a space.

I grumbled under my breath as I took out my umbrella and slung my messenger bag over my shoulder. I managed to make it to the house fairly dry and I trotted up the stairs, letting myself in with the key that I'd been given by Kim. I shook out my umbrella and took of my raincoat, pausing to hang it on the rack in the foyer before I walked towards my desk.

My desk.

Kim had removed all of her personal items and the desk was clean and free of any clutter.

I took a moment to sit in the chair and relish the moment. My first real job and my first real desk. It was kind of daunting to be a grown up.

I picked up the list written by Mr. Cullen, who had the most elaborate, distinct script I'd ever seen. It was very old fashioned looking and had a touch of femininity to it. I was jealous of the smooth lines and curves of his letters. I hoped I never had to write something for him in my own loopy girl handwriting.

I shook my head at the thought and continued to read my instructions that included gathering his laundry, running some basic errands to the home improvement store and drug store. He also needed a certain type of pen from a specialty shop north of town. I was instructed to go to his PO Box where he had his mail and newspapers delivered. Apparently Mr. Cullen subscribed to over 15 newspapers a day which he reviewed each night. I had no idea how he consumed all that information after a full day of work but I guess it was not my business to wonder.

I reviewed the list and the instructions, taking time to call for directions for one of the shops. I also noticed there was a shiny sliver credit card attached to the note pad with Pacific Northwest Trust embossed on the front. A separate note said I was to use this for approved purchases.

I went to the foyer and put my raincoat and bag on again, popping out my umbrella under the small awning over the top step.

I sighed before I dashed to my car, hopping over the puddles.

Six hours, eight stores, one stop for gas, another for lunch, one stumble into a puddle and an argument with the Laundromat later, I was back at the office. I was exhausted and drenched from being out in the rain and all I wanted was to go home and get in bed. But I had two hours to go and need to put up my purchases and do the small list of things I was instructed to do here at the house.

I spent some time changing the light bulbs out in the library and parlor. Apparently Mr. Cullen had decided to switch over to environmentally conserving halogens. I felt wasteful throwing out the old, perfectly fine bulbs but that was not my choice.

In the library I was distracted by the books filling the rows that wrapped around the room. As with many other things in the house it was a mixture of old and new, and there were even a large amount of books in foreign languages including German, French and Italian. I paused to pick up a series of leather bound editions of Shakespeare. They were worn and soft. There were copies of Homer and Steinbeck. I also noticed a tidy row of thick medical journals. I know he was supposed to be a prodigy but I found it hard to believe he could read all of these. I snorted to myself as I imagined the pretention and ego of my boss.

After I finished saving the world one light bulb at a time, I made my way upstairs carrying the laundry and other personal items to his dressing room. After laying the clothing over the back of a chair I placed the newspapers on the dressing counter as instructed, stacking them up with a small gap at the top revealing the title of the particular copy. Then I arranged his mail in the slotted organizer, large envelopes in the back with the smaller in front.

Walking back to the clean laundry I tore the plastic wrappers off and pulled out the hangers I'd picked them up in. I laughed at the extravagance of using special hangers, thick wooden ones, identical, lined up, sterile and uniform. I slid in the appropriate hangers and placed the clothing in the right spot. I knew it was the right spot because I had a chart, a cheat sheet or rather a cheat binder, given to me by Kim. Each item was photographed and documented in its proper location.

I walked around the room, adjusting and making sure everything was in its place. For some reason I liked being up here. I had to admit it was a little lonely being in the house without company and being in this dressing room was the closest to human contact while at work. The rest of the house felt kind of impersonal and up here I was able to learn a little more about the elusive Mr. Cullen.

I noticed for the first time a collection of vintage tees hanging on one of the racks. I flipped though them, reading the names and scanning the logos; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, David Bowie, Queen, and KISS. I stopped at the KISS one and ran my fingers over the slick surface of Gene Simmons painted face and ridiculously long tongue. There were too many to go though but they seemed in chronological order and towards the end I saw one for Cher, Elton John, Nirvana, and the latest one for Madonna's Hard Candy Tour.

It was an impressive collection, very eclectic. He must have found a specialty shop that worked off original designs. I mused whether or not Kim was in charge of finding and purchasing these.

Ah, the life of the rich.

I left the room, switched off the light and closed the door behind me. I wandered down the stairs to my desk and filled out my daily report. I typed it up, not wanting to reveal my hideous handwriting, and left it on the edge of the desk as instructed.

As I gathered my things I noted that it had been a good day but I was happy to head home to order a pizza and go over the day's events with Angela. I wondered if I would see Mr. Cullen anytime soon since my interest was getting more and more piqued as the days went by.

Surely I had to come face to face with him at some point.




The scent still assaulted my nostrils and I could only assume it was the new PA. I was one of those fragrances that at first it smells really good. Then it becomes overwhelming and obnoxious.

I was teetering between the two which was incredibly annoying.

Regardless, I would leave her a note tomorrow asking her to stop wearing the perfume, claiming it was giving me migraines.

This may be a stretch but it was messing with my head one way or the other and migraine sounded as plausible as anything else I could come up with.

I was in my dressing room and removing a shirt from my vintage collection off the hanger. I was going out tonight. I needed to. I had the tendency to shut myself off in the house at night, decompressing from the long days at work. Normally, I didn't go into the office so much but as it was the end of the fiscal year there were many meetings with accountants and committee chairs, reviewing the budgets and organizations we funded. I had no choice but to show up and fulfill my role as CEO.

I pulled the light blue shirt over my head and tugged my jeans up, buttoning them at the top. I selected a pair of brown boots and a jacket before walking over to the desk to peruse the mail from today. I held an envelope under my nose and winced as I felt a sharp pain.

Damn flowers.

Sniffing the envelope one more time before leaving left the room, I tucked several of the papers under my arm and left by the front door instead of the back. It was still slightly misting when heading I set off in the direction of the more populated and trendy section of town by foot. I noted that the fresh air made my head feel better but I still felt a tinge of pain. I reasoned it was the lingering effect of the perfume and shook it off.

Crossing the street I walked towards my destination, taking time to observe passing groups and listen to their chatter. It was a Monday so the crowds were thin and thoughts seemed to be on work or other regular life stressors.


I walked to the corner café, one with a patio out front, and greeted the counter worker with a smile. She knew my face and my order, as I was a regular here. Businesses come and go in this area and this particular shop had been here for about six months, which was perfect for me. Long enough to been seen but not long enough to make a long term impression.

I went back out to the covered patio and placed my papers and drink on the table, pulling out a seat and settled in. I scanned the first paper, tagging the items of interest. There were several small mentions of the type of incident I was looking for surprisingly close to town, which was concerning. I would take the tagged articles and do further research at home.

As I read I was aware of the nagging pain that would not leave me. I wondered if someone else was wearing the cursed fragrance as well. This could be a problem for me if it suddenly became popular.

Irritated I sniffed the air and found nothing of interest and finally realized, with astonishment, the offending odor was coming from me.

I pulled up the front of my shirt to my nose and inhaled.


A burst of fragrance came from Gene Simmons' upside down, makeup-covered face and my head began to spin.

I dropped the shirt for a moment and took a gulp of fresh air.

Okay, better. A master of discipline, I was intrigued by my reaction and reasoned I should attempt to get used to it since it was bothering me so much.

Edward Cullen loved a challenge.

So I sat and read, ignoring the throbbing pain. Occasionally though, I found myself pulling my shirt up quickly and breathing in, under the guise of checking to see if it was any less offensive.

It wasn't.

But I didn't stop either.

Like a junkie craving a hit of heroin, each time I sucked in the odor I felt a rush, followed by pain, and then disgust.

After an hour of repeating this ridiculous pattern, I threw away my untouched coffee and collected my papers. I was more than a little disturbed at my behavior and irritated at the power this was having over me.

I stood on the street corner, torn, unsure as to what to do. I had two choices. Go home as intended or go out and satiate my cravings.

For the second time my cravings won and I turned away from the direction of my home, shoved the papers in the trash and walked with determination towards the only thing that could ease my hunger.

A last thank you to Bittneve for starting a thread for me on the AU forum at . If you have questions or want to chat come see me there. I also will have an article on the Lazy Yet Discerning Ficster on Thursday. The link is on my profile. Reviews are win.