Rock 'n Roll Boots & White Collar Roots @bitterharpy
Chapter 13

Thank you for the reviews during this sacred time in the fandom. *Midnight Sun forever and all that*

Hope all who are reading MS are enjoying it as I hope you are all enjoying Liarward and Loudella.

Thanks as always to Team Harpy and to my readers.

*E*

I tug at my hair nervously, cursing when my hands come away sticky with pomade.

I'm sitting here looking at my music. My newly released music on iTunes. And coming soon to Spotify. And Apple Music. And Amazon Music. And everywhere else music is released.

She lives frugally; old car, cheap studio apartment, dinosaur phone, second hand clothing.

But for this she spared no expense. And now my face… well, not my face but everything below the neck is plastered all over my iTunes app on my phone. And everyone else's iPhone.

Number 1 under the New Music category.

My phone has been going crazy under the band's group message, going off every few minutes with exclamations of how cool this is and wondering if the gigs will pick up now.

They are hoping it will and I…I don't know what I hope will happen.

Like Natalie Imbruglia, I'm torn.

And the thing is, if it weren't for Bella, I would've already walked away free to continue my wheeling and dealing with no backward glances. She complicates my formally easy lifestyle but I can't walk away from her.

"Your hair is a dreadful mess and when is the last time you shaved?" Alice criticizes as she comes in with my morning paper and coffee. "You have a nine-fifteen with Rhoden from Legal, a ten-thirty with Lauren Mallory, lunch with Emmett to check on the status of the hotel, a two-thirty with Liam and a four-fifteen with Angela." Her sneer says it all. "Oh, what music are you checking out?" She asks when she sees my phone screen.

I abruptly close out of the app and put my phone in my desk.

"Nothing. I must have pushed the wrong app."

"You're very odd these days. While I prefer this version of yourself versus the old Edward, you're still acting weird."

"What was wrong with old Edward? Old Edward was great. Old Edward was interesting. Old Edward was fun." I object.

She raises her eyebrow.

"Okay, so Old Edward wasn't fun but he was rich and a great lay."

"Oh, eww. Please don't talk about yourself in the third person while describing your bedroom prowess. Or ever. Don't talk about sex around me ever."

"Yeah, sorry about that."

"You know what says sorry like nothing else? Details about your PA chick."

"No." I shoo her away and she laughs as she exits my office.

I smile once my door is closed.

My intercom buzzes.

"Old Edward didn't smile or look happy. I like New Edward for that reason alone. My gratitude goes out to PA chick."

Mine too, Alice, mine too.

I smile again but get up to go shave and fix my hair.

"So, how are things? Booked any more rock bands I need to know about?" I can't resist mocking Emmett when he sits down with me for our lunch meeting.

"You've got jokes, Eddie. Who would've thought?"

"I'm just full of surprises. And don't call me Eddie."

"Speaking of surprises, guess what…"

The waitress interrupts him just then to ask if we need menus which we don't and if we know what we want, which we do. Missing Bella, I order the scallop and prawn fettuccine and Emmett, ever the meat eater, orders the grilled ribeye.

"Guess what?" I ask.

"What?"

"No, that's where you left off…"

"Oh, yeah. Guess who called me this morning?"

"I'm on the edge of my seat." I deadpan.

"Bella Swan."

"I'm sorry, who?" I hope like hell that sounded disinterested.

"The hot manager of that band you forbid me to book."

"Oh yeah. What did she want?" I carefully take a drink of my water. I don't need yet another choking episode especially here. Emmett loathes me enough to let me die.

"Basically she just wanted to let me know that the band has released their music on iTunes and to feel free to listen in case I wanted to change my mind about booking them. I think she thinks I changed my mind because I had no reference on their sound and not my asshole cousin cock blocking me."

Like you ever had a chance with Bella.

"Poor Emmett." I mock. "So did you listen to them?"

"Yeah. They're good. The lead singer has a great set of pipes."

I mentally preen at his inadvertent praise.

"Well I wish them all the luck." Though far away from Tacoma would be nice.

Our food arrives and we go over projections and plans for the summer months being sure to buck heads over every little detail as we tend to do. But we come to an agreement and our meeting is done.

I notice he's looking over my head and I turn around to see who has his interest. I scoff as I turn back to my own table.

"She's not for you." I tell him bluntly.

"And she's for you?"

"Rosalie King?" I laugh. "No, she's not for me. I want no part of that."

"So, you think the rumors are true?"

"That she's a former mob boss's wife and he ended up dead and she took off with all his money but is still engulfed in that life? In a word, yes."

"But she's drop dead gorgeous."

"Oh well, then that makes it all perfectly fine. Grandfather would be thrilled for you to pursue her. By all means…"

"Has anyone ever told you that you are an ass?"

"Everyday." I grin. I throw my napkin on the table and grab my briefcase as I stand. "As always, it's been thrilling. If I can leave you with a word of advice? Stay away from the mob widow and find someone in your own social circles."

"I'll take that under advisement because your marriage sure lasted a long time."

I shrug. "It's your concrete shoes, shark bait funeral."

He waves me off with a roll of his eyes and I'm still laughing as I get on the elevator back to my office. I'm going through my call message stack in front of Alice when I notice her looking at me.

"What?"

"You sing now?"

"What?" Where my former 'what' was curious this 'what' is borderline anxious.

"You were singing. I don't recognize the song but you're pretty good. You should do it more, along with the smiling and the laughing."

"I have no aspirations to be a singer. I mean can you imagine me in leather pants up on stage?"

"Let's add you in leather pants as an off limit topic as well."

"Duly noted. Send Liam in when he gets here."

I finalize the story boards for our upcoming project and before I know it, Angela is at my door. Alice is MIA.

"Is it okay for me to come in? I see Alice is shirking her duties again."

"I had to pee, Angie." Alice comes in behind her and snarks, before taking a seat behind her desk.

"It's Angela."

"I don't care."

"Aren't you going to announce me? That is your job, isn't it?"

Alice looks at me from her desk then deliberately pushes her intercom. "Angela Weber is here for your money. I mean to see you."

"Come in, Angela."

"Aren't you going to say something to her?" She's fuming as she sits across from me, slamming her folder down on my desk.

"Alice does what she wants." I shrug. "Now, what can I do for you?"

"I had an idea for the hotel that I ran by Ed and he was on board."

"You ran it by Grandfather first? You do know he is married, right?"

"I am not a golddigger, Edward. And I resent the implication that I am."

"I'm not saying you're a gold digger but you ain't messing with no broke…" I rap and then start laughing at her expression.

"I'm sorry, that was inappropriate and I'm… lacking in sleep these days. My apologies."

Dear God, I think I'm losing it.

She sniffs but nods her head in acceptance of my apology much like I imagine a queen would do.

"What's your idea?"

"Well, we live near water so why not arrange for boat rides for the guests, maybe a picnic lunch packed by Bite. Of course, this will be a package they can purchase but a percentage of proceeds will go to The Tacoma Rescue Mission."

Huh. I like it.

She must see some approval on my face because she surges forward.

"Then i thought, what about a charity golf tournament? We could arrange it through Meadow Park with the stipulation that they have to pick a local charity. It gives Cullen, Inc great publicity while helping others. Now would a gold digger worry about that?"

"I apologized once, I won't do it again."

"If you're really sorry, you could take me to dinner."

"I'm sorry but not that sorry. But I like these ideas. So go ahead and run with it and keep me informed as to your progress."

"I will get you to go out with me."

"I hope you enjoy disappointment, Ms. Weber."

She gracefully flounces for the door and turns back. "I like a challenge, Mr. Cullen and you are definitely that."

Then she's gone always wanting to have the last word.

"Sir, should I call for the exterminator now that she's gone?"

Well, the last word with me anyway...

Playlist:

Torn- performed by Natalie Imbruglia. Written by Scott Culter, Anne Preven and Phil Thornalley (1997).

Gold Digger - performed by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx. Written by Kanye West, Ray Charles and Renald Richard (2005).

I think Edward is starting to go a little loco.

Next two chapters will confirm one or two theories out there. Still with me?

See you Sunday night or Monday morning. Have a great weekend, y'all.

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