Edward's silence wasn't helping Bella's flight response, considering it was all she'd known for the last few years. Her leg bounced alongside his, but if he noticed her movement, he gave no indication. She jumped off the tailgate and started to pace, waiting for him to even look at her.
"Say something," she said impatient as ever, whirling around to face him. Her hands settled on her hips and watched his brow tighten.
"How does someone like you get involved with a man associated with organized crime?"
She huffed slightly, having been surprised that he spoke up at all. His voice was so cool, almost disconnected. She didn't like that.
"I was on assignment." She waved her hand out dismissively when his narrowed eyes focused on her. Her relief at a show of emotion felt palpable.
"You said assignment, not that you were working."
Did she say that? She backtracked and winced when she realized he caught the slip. God, how she'd survived for the last six years, she had no idea. She wasn't ready to tell him everything. Only enough to get him off her back. It wouldn't be horrible to have some help if the need arose.
"My father didn't know how to raise me after my mother passed in a car accident. He gave me her old camera shortly after she died to give me something to do. I've been taking pictures since I was ten. I started as an artist, barely making ends meet, but I was having fun doing it. Suddenly, I was in the spotlight when I photographed a rock star while we were dating and he allowed me to use those photos art show exhibit, and even bought some for cover art on his album. He helped me get my foot in the door, so to speak.
"I've been in magazines and featured in galleries across the country. I specialized in people, and apparently, had this gift to show the human side of some of the most influential and ruthless people in the world. One afternoon, I received a call to photograph Senator Rayne's son, James, the black sheep of the family that cleaned up his act just in time for his daddy's campaign. It was very hush-hush, only the campaign head knew. Not even my agent did. She was out of town and he wanted me there fast, so I hadn't called her. I didn't hesitate and agreed to meet him at the house. It was a rare opportunity that I couldn't pass up."
"That radio broadcast earlier," Edward said after a brief moment of silence. She said nothing in return. He looked away from her, but waved his hand for her to continue.
She sat down again, but kept some distance between them. "I arrived with my equipment, surprised that James had sent all the servants home for the day. He was determined to keep the pictures a secret until the last possible moment."
She shifted to pull her legs up, facing Edward, but not quite ready to look at him as she described what happened that night. He surprised her by placing her feet on his lap, his hands running along her legs. She didn't miss the way he kept his eyes averted from hers.
"We spent hours at his home, taking pictures, talking. He was so charismatic, and yeah, I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty sure I would have slept with him." Edward's hand stilled on her calf, an eyebrow rising. "I'm human and he was gorgeous. I went to freshen up, planned to pack up and have dinner with him first. I went back to the game room where I had some of my equipment, and I heard voices. Loud ones, the kind that sends a chill down your spine. I stayed hidden. Riley and his men were after money that James owed his boss. It was something about breaking one of his promises. James begged them to give him time to come up with the money with double the interest, since he didn't want any of his past to touch his family. Unfortunately, James had gotten a little too friendly with Riley's girl, and he refused to negotiate. I don't think he ever had any intention of it, and Riley shot him in the head."
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Something's Gotta GiveFanfiction
Two troubled pasts that took different paths. She takes life by the horns and tries to live it to the fullest. He hides away on the mountaintop, rough all around. What happens when they meet? What happens when their worlds' collide?