Master of the Universe by Snowqueens Icedragon.pdf

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Master of the Universe by Snowqueens Icedragon
Chapter 1
I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair, it just won’t behave, and damn Rose for
being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal. I have tried to brush my hair into submission but it’s not toeing
the line. I must learn not to sleep with it wet. I recite this five times as a mantra whilst I try, once more,
with the brush. I give up. The only thing I can do is restrain it, tightly, in a pony tail and hope that I look
reasonably presentable.
Rose is my roommate and she has chosen, okay, that’s a bit unfair, because choice has had nothing to
do with it, but she has the flu and as such cannot do the interview she’s arranged with some mega
industrialist for the student newspaper. So I have been volunteered. I have final exams to cram for, one
essay to finish and I am supposed to be working this afternoon, but no - today - I have to head into
downtown Seattle and meet the enigmatic CEO of Cullen Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Allegedly he’s some
exceptional tycoon who is a major benefactor of our University and his time is extraordinarily precious…
much more precious than mine - and he’s granted Rose an interview… a real coup she tells me… Damn
her extra-curricular activities.
“Bella I’m sorry. It took me nine months to get this interview and it will take another six to reschedule,
and you and I will both have graduated by then. As the editor I can’t blow this out… Please.” Rose begs
me in her rasping, really sore throat voice…
I stare at her red-rimmed runny eyes, her bright pink nose…
“Of course, I’ll go Rose. You should go back to bed. Would you like some paracetamol?”
“Yes please. Here are the questions and my minidisk recorder. Just press record here. Make notes, I’ll
transcribe it all.”
“I know nothing about him.” My voice is anxious.
“The questions will see you through… go… I don’t want you to be late.”
“Okay… I’m going… I have a long drive. Go back to bed, but please make sure you eat - I made you some
soup to heat up later.” I stare at her fondly…. only for you Rose would I do this.
“I will. Good luck… and thanks Bella, you’re a life saver as usual.”
I smiled wryly at her and head out the door to our room.
I cannot believe I have let Rose talk me into this. But then Rose can talk anyone into anything. She’ll
make an exceptional journalist. She’s articulate, strong, persuasive, argumentative… beautiful, and she’s
my dearest, dearest friend. The roads are clear as I set off from Portland; it’s early and I don’t have to be
in Seattle until two this afternoon. Fortunately she’s lent me her car. I’m not sure my old truck would be
up for the journey. Well, it is the least she can do - I frown into the rearview mirror - but I have to say
her sporty BMW Z4 is so much more fun to drive than my truck and the miles slip away as I put my foot
It’s cloudy, but at least it’s not raining as I make my way into the city. The Seattle traffic is heavy, but I
have an hour to go and I’m feeling fairly confident that I should be able to find somewhere to park…
Thank heavens for the Sat Nav on the Z4 otherwise I’d be royally screwed.
My destination is the headquarters of Mr Cullen’s global enterprise. It’s a huge thirty-storey office
building, all curved glass and steel, an architect’s utilitarian fantasy with Cullen House written discreetly
in steel over the glass front doors. It’s a quarter to two and I feel an immense sense of relief that I’m not
late as I walk into the enormous, frankly intimidating, glass, steel and white sandstone, first floor foyer.
Behind the solid sandstone desk a very attractive blonde haired young woman smiles pleasantly at me.
She’s wearing the sharpest charcoal suit jacket and white shirt I have ever seen… she looks immaculate.
“I’m here to see Mr Cullen. Isabella Swan for Rosalie Hale.”
“Excuse me one moment Miss Swan.” She arches her eyebrow slightly as I stand self-consciously in front
of her. I am beginning to wish I had borrowed one of Rose’s jackets rather than wear my navy blue
peacoat. I have made an effort and worn my one and only skirt. It’s brown, and I have sensible brown
knee-length boots and a blue sweater. For me… this is smart. I tuck one of the escaped tendrils of my
hair behind my ear as I pretend she doesn’t intimidate me.
“Miss Hale is expected, please sign in here Miss Swan. You’ll want the end lift on the right, press for the
30th floor.” She smiles kindly at me, amused no doubt as I sign in. She hands me a security pass that has
VISITOR very firmly stamped on the front… personally I think it’s obvious that I’m just visiting, I don’t fit
in here at all… nothing changes, I inwardly sigh… I thank her and walk over to the lifts, past the two
security men who are both far more smartly dressed than me in their well-cut black suits.
The lift whisks me with unseemly haste to the thirtieth floor. The doors silently fly open and I’m in
another large foyer, again all glass, steel and white sandstone. In front of me there’s another desk of
sandstone and another young blond woman dressed impeccably in black and white, who rises to greet
“Miss Swan, could you wait here, please?” She points to a seated area of white leather chairs. Behind
the leather chairs is a large glass-walled meeting room with an enormous dark wood table and twenty
dark wood chairs around it, beyond that a floor-to-ceiling window with a view of the Seattle skyline,
looking out through the city towards the Pacific Ocean. It’s a stunning vista. I stand and admire it,
momentarily distracted before I sit.
I fish the questions out of my satchel and go through them, inwardly cursing Rose for not providing me
with a brief biography. I know nothing about this man I am about to interview. He could be 90, he could
be in his 30s… My nerves are beginning to kick in - I am uncomfortable with this one-to-one stuff. I am
much better in a group scenario… preferably not asking any questions… sitting somewhere in the back.
Well, judging by the building - all clinical and modern - he’s probably in his thirties… fit, tanned, blond, to
match the rest of the personnel.
Another elegant, flawlessly dressed blond comes out of a large door to the right. What is it with all the
immaculate blonds? It’s like Stepford here… I take a deep breath and stand up.
“Miss Swan,” the latest blond asks.
“Mr Cullen will see you in a moment. May I take your jacket?”
“Oh please.” I struggle out of my pea coat.
“Have you been offered any refreshment?”
“Err – no…” Oh dear, am I going to get Blond Number One into trouble?
She frowns and eyes the young woman at the desk.
“Would you like tea, coffee, water?”
“Glass of water would be lovely, thank you.”
“Jessica, please fetch Miss Swan a glass of water.” She says sternly to the young woman at the desk.
Jessica scoots up immediately and walks to a door on the other side of the foyer.
“My apologies Miss Swan, Jessica is our new intern. Please be seated. Mr Cullen will probably be
another five minutes.”
Jessica returns with a large glass of iced water.
“Here you go Miss Swan.”
“Thank you.”
Blonde Number Two goes and sits at the sandstone desk at her station and they both continue their
Perhaps Mr Cullen insists on all his employees being blonde… is that legal? I’m wondering idly, when the
office door opens and a tall, elegantly dressed, rather beautiful black man exits. I have definitely worn
the wrong clothes. He turns and says through the door,
“Golf, definitely, Cullen.”
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