Made for You
"Are you sure you don't mind closing by yourself tonight?" my dad, Charlie, asked me for what seemed like the hundredth time that night. By the way he was asking, one would think that I had never closed the bar by myself before.
I rolled my eyes playfully, a hint of a smirk on my face, and slammed the cash register shut. Leave it to Charlie to still treat me like a child despite the fact that I'd be turning twenty-two in a few months. I knew he was just protective of me, his only daughter, since my mom died three and half years ago. "Dad, I'm sure. Go out with Sue and have fun. I've done this before, a million times. Besides, it's a Tuesday night - we close at midnight, and I haven't seen anyone since around nine."
I watched Charlie's face drop at my mention of our lack of customers and immediately felt terrible, but he brushed his lips against my temple and I instantly relaxed. Business hadn't exactly been booming during the winter and spring, but we expected it to soon pick up since summer was just around the corner.
"I'll make Rose pick up one of your shifts next week," he promised me. "Your brother said they might stop by on the way home from the movie to make sure everything is on lockdown."
I shook my head as I grabbed a wet rag and started to wipe down the sticky bar top. "Rose and Emmett deserve a night off, too. I'll be fine. Now, go."
Charlie grabbed the stack of promotional flyers from behind the bar. "Fine. Just let me help you put these flyers around first - "
I cut him off. "I can do it, Dad. You've been here all day. Go, you don't want to keep Sue waiting."
Charlie narrowed his eyes at me but obliged when I took the flyers from him and practically pushed him towards the back exit.
Charlie had bought the bar and adjacent apartment after my mom unexpectedly passed away in a car accident a week after my eighteenth birthday. It was always a dream of hers to leave dreary Forks and start her own bar business in the city, but Charlie's stable job as the Police Chief of the small town had kept us grounded there. After my mom's death, I think the guilt of following his dreams instead of hers got the better of him, and he took an early retirement. We moved to Seattle and he opened Rebel using his severance money and what little savings they'd had. Charlie had come up with the name, combining mine and my mom's name together. Her name was Renee, and Charlie thought the name Rebel would appeal to the younger generations who were looking for a place to have a good time.
For the first few years that Rebel was open, I only used to help my dad behind the scenes because I wasn't yet twenty-one. My older brother, Emmett, would service the bar while I focused on the paperwork and money counting. Once I was old enough to legally serve the drinks, that became my duty and my brother Emmett was promoted to bouncer. The job fit him well - Emmett was built like a brick house and would immediately be intimidating to those who didn't realize he was actually a big teddy-bear.
Once Charlie was gone and it was just me in the bar, I began the nightly routine of stocking the beer cooler and wiping down all the tables. I was almost done with the last booth, relishing in the quiet and routine of it all, when the bell above the door chimed, signalling we had customers.
I turned, expecting a group of people or at least a couple, but stopped abruptly when a tall, lanky guy stepped into the bar with his hood up.
I automatically expected the worst and began to use the training Charlie had ingrained in our brains for if we ever thought there was a threat. I scanned him up and down before he noticed me, taking in the dark skinny jeans, black hoodie, and red Converse he was wearing. The sleeves of his hoodie were pushed up to his elbows, and I could tell he had two full sleeves of tattoos. I couldn't make them out from my spot at the back of the bar, but I could tell they were vibrantly colourful.
"Can I help you?" I snapped, surprising myself by the authority in my voice. I wasn't going to let on that not being able to see his face was frightening me a little.
He turned abruptly so he was facing me and lowered his hood immediately, as if he realized his mistake. He was wearing a black beanie on the back of his head, with unkempt bronze hair sticking out. He seemed to be only one, maybe two years old than me. I was instantly taken back by how good-looking he was and felt silly for feeling threatened.
He took a quick glance around and adjusted his hat before his eyes landed back on me. "Uh... are you guys open?"
I looked over his shoulder at the clock on the wall, which read eleven-fifteen. "For another forty-five minutes," I answered. I grabbed the rag and bottle of cleaner I was using to disinfect the tables and headed behind the bar. "What can I get you?"
He stuck his hands in his jeans pocket and rocked back and forth on his heels. He seemed uneasy and I wondered why. "Uh, I'm actually just waiting for a friend."
"You order or you get out - house rules." I shrugged, but kept a smirk on my face so he knew that I was only joking. Well, mostly joking. Truthfully, we needed the business, no matter how small. It was the end of May, so our usual university students were busy with exams and tourist season hadn't started yet. We were definitely feeling the effects. Thankfully the university exams were finished on Friday, so we expected good business this weekend, especially with this new house band slated to start.
He grinned, seeming amused by my command to order something, and reached into his back pocket to retrieve his wallet. He took out a twenty-dollar bill and slid it across the bar as he took a seat on the stool. "Three shots of tequila."
"Three?" I asked incredulously as I took his money. "The floors are mopped, and I'm not cleaning up your vomit."
He chuckled, revealing his perfectly straight white teeth. Now that we were closer, I could see that his doleful-looking eyes were vibrantly green, and I wondered if he was wearing coloured contacts. "Actually, I was hoping two for me and one for you, Sunshine," he said to me, his eyebrow raised.
"Tequila is my favourite," I told him honestly.
I couldn't help but notice him as he scanned me up and down while I put his money into the register and gave him his change, taking me in wearing my yellow cotton dress with the cowboy boots I got last year when Rose and I took an impromptu trip to Nashville. No doubt the colour of my dress was the inspiration behind his nickname for me.
He smiled mischievously, and I couldn't help but bite my lip as my cheeks blushed crimson.
He was incredibly handsome, but not the usual type that I would go for. Rebel was located on the same side of town as the University, so many of the guys who came into the bar were clean-cut students looking to blow off steam during the weekends. This guy was... mysterious, and I was instantly drawn in by his charm. Once he removed his beanie and shoved it into his pocket, I noticed his earring as it glimmered in the lights above the bar and I could make out another tattoo behind his left ear - a treble clef.
Yeah, definitely not like most guys. And definitely not like Jacob.
I turned quickly, hoping he didn't see me bite my lip, and retrieved three shot glasses from the rack. I filled them up to the top with Patron and then pushed two towards him. "Lemon and salt?" I asked him.
He scrunched his face in distaste. "Hello no. What about you? Think you can manage a straight tequila shot?"
"Hell yeah," I told him as I confidently picked up my shot and swallowed it back in one gulp. It burned, but I loved it. I slammed my glass back down on the bar and looked at him with my eyebrow raised. "Your turn."
He took his shots one after another without even making a face, and I was impressed. He downed his shots confidently, not cocky like most other guys.
"So," I said, leaning back and folding my arms over my chest. I didn't know this guy, but I was intrigued by his rugged, bad-boy vibe, and flirting was practically a part of my job as a bartender anyway, much to Charlie's dismay. "Are you new around here? I don't think I've seen you before."
"I just recently relocated here from North Carolina," he told me, shrugging. "Before that I was kind of... everywhere, but now me and a few of my friends have an apartment a couple blocks away."
"Oh, so... you'll be around?" I asked, trying to keep my tone casual. I hoped I didn't sound desperate, but there was a part of me that wanted to get to know this mysterious stranger because he was so different. I reached down and grabbed one of the promotional flyers for our new band, Midnight Sun. Charlie had hired them to play at the bar three nights a week. The flyer consisted of a picture of the band, comprised of four twenty-something year old boys, stood back on as they looked out at an ocean sunset, with the band name and dates they'd be playing. I slid it across the bar to him, and he picked it up and looked at it. "We have a new band playing here this summer, Thursday to Saturday nights. Their first gig is this Saturday. Perhaps you and your friends would like check them out?"
"Are they any good?" he asked. I didn't miss the amused look on his face, but figured it was because he was aware that I was blatantly trying to get him to come back to the bar.
I shrugged, trying to seem indifferent. "I don't know, honestly. I'd never heard of them before my dad booked them to play, but apparently, they're really good. My friend Maggie, she's a bartender here, and she's a huge fan of them."
It was the truth. I'd never heard of Midnight Sun before, but Charlie was old high school friends with the band manager, Carlisle. Charlie had said that he and Carlisle had ran into each other a couple weeks ago while grocery shopping and had got to talking. Charlie was in need of a new house band for the summer since our old band moved to California, and Carlisle was looking for a venue for the band to play at during the summer. When Maggie caught word that Charlie was talking to the band manager, she helped to convince him that it would be a smart move to hire them despite their high price tag. It was a done deal, and things moved quickly. The band was slated to have their first performance this weekend, and Charlie was confident that the band would attract more people to the bar. He said they had a small but loyal fanbase, and was sure their presence would help us to do better business than we had during the winter and spring.
He folded the flyer in half and stuffed it in his pocket. He stuck his hand out, his eyes warm. "I'm E-"
I'd been so wrapped up in the new stranger that I hadn't even noticed that someone had walked in the front door until James was standing at the bar, looking suspiciously between me and that guy.
"Hey, James," I greeted casually. "The regular?" I was already reaching back for a glass and the Jack Daniels.
James pulled out a stool to sit on, and the mystery guy pushed away from the bar to sit at a booth near the back. I tried to keep the disappointed look off my face, but clearly failed. He probably thought James was my boyfriend.
James was clearly drunk, swaying from side to side. "Who's that? Your boyfriend or something?" he asked as he glanced back at the guy, who was now typing out a message on his phone. He had said he was waiting for a friend, but they didn't seem in a rush to meet him since they weren't here yet and we closed soon.
I filled up a small glass with ice and poured in the Jack. That had been James' drink of choice since he started to frequent the bar last year during his first year of U Dub after taking a few years off after high school. We'd innocently flirted back and forth for a little while at the bar, but that was as far as things ever went, despite that fact that James was, in Rose's words, "one of the hottest guys on the planet". I'd long ago decided to keep my personal life and work life separate- and besides, my dad and brother were constantly at the bar, so it wouldn't exactly be easy to sneak away with someone while they were watching, even if I wanted to.
I shook my head, and James let out a breath of relief. "No, he's not my boyfriend, James. I don't have one. He's a paying customer."
"You know that's what I like to hear, beautiful," he said to me as he leaned forward on his elbows, drink in hand. He downed the whole thing while maintaining eye contact, then gestured for me to fill it up again. I did, and put his money plus my tip into the register.
"We close soon, James," I reminded him. I wasn't in the mood for James tonight, mostly because I was still intrigued by the guy sitting at the booth and felt bad that he hadn't finished introducing himself. James had a habit of showing up late and staying past closing time, even after he's been asked to leave. At least I knew Emmett and Rose would probably be stopping by - Emmett never had a problem getting anyone to leave.
The next twenty-five minutes went by relatively quickly. I busied myself with loading the dishwasher and sticking a few of the flyers around while making small-talk with James, but I still couldn't stop my eyes from wandering to the back booth and the stranger sitting there.
At ten minutes to twelve, I told James we were closing.
"One more for the road, then," James slurred. I rolled my eyes playfully before pouring his drink. Again, he downed it quickly, licking his lips when he was finished.
"Let me help you get a cab."
I walked around the bar and linked my arm with James', trying to help him up off the stool so I could get him out of the bar. He grinned wickedly at me before grabbing my arm and pulling me into him so I was nestled in-between his legs. I crashed into his chest with a huff, and suddenly his voice was in my ear.
"You know, with all the money and time I've spent here this year, one would think I deserve a little reward." He moved his hands to my hips, locking me in place, as he put his face in the crook of my neck. I put my hands on his chest and tried to push him away, but his grip on me was tight.
"James," I said sweetly, trying to diffuse the situation without causing a scene. "Come on now, knock it off. I'm working, and you're drunk." It seemed like James was so wrapped up in whatever little fantasy he was envisioning going on between us that he forgot about the other guy sitting in the back.
He lifted his head to look at me. "Come on, Bella, we've been flirting for months. I'm sure I've spent thousands of dollars in this place."
"No one asked you to do that. And just because I flirted with you doesn't mean I want to fuck you."
"Oh, stop being a fucking cock tease," he growled, dropping a hand from my hip so he could grab my arm. I'd known James to have a bit of a temper, especially drunk, but he'd never gotten physical like this before.
I glanced over at the stranger in the booth, wondering how much of this interaction he had witnessed. He kept looking up at me from his phone with those piercing green eyes, almost as if he were silently asking me if I was alright. I ducked my head and used my hair as a shield from his gaze, not wanting him to see the tears gathering in my eyes as I continued to try and push myself away from James. I wasn't physically hurt, just mostly embarrassed. I could usually hold my own, but at that moment it was proving to be very difficult.
Finally, I'd had enough of being gentle. "James, fucking let me go!" I pushed him off me with all my might, not holding back this time, and his grip on me was disconnected instantly.
James suddenly fell back when a fist collided with his face. I took a giant step back, surprised to see the mystery guy from earlier shaking out his fist as James got to his feet.
"Fuck!" James' hand flew to his nose, and when he lowered it I could see it was full of bright red blood. "Man, what the fuck is your prob-"
I cut him off, my words sharp. "Just go, James."
"Bella…" He tried to take a step towards me, but the other guy put his arm up, blocking him.
"Don't make her tell you again. Get the fuck out of this bar." He spoke through clenched teeth, and had his other fist balled up at his side. The sadness I'd noticed earlier in his eyes had been replaced by fury.
James stumbled out of the bar, holding his nose and cursing under his breath. When it was just the mystery guy and I left, an awkward silence fell among us.
"He won't be coming back here," the stranger said matter-of-factly.
"You didn't have to do that. I can take care of myself," I told him.
"Oh yeah? Didn't look like it from where I was sitting."
I think he might have meant it as a joke, but I was instantly furious. I narrowed my brows at him and pointed to the door. "I'm closing now. You're going to have to tell your friend to meet you elsewhere. There's a twenty-four-hour cafe just down the block."
I stalked behind the bar and picked up my rag, angrily wiping down the Jack that James had spilled on the bar. The other guy just stood where I'd left him, staring at me.
"Well," I said incredulously. "Go."
He nodded once, clearly now taking me seriously, and walked out the front door.
It had taken me another thirty-five minutes to count the cash in the register, lock it in the safe, and finish the cleaning. It was nearing twelve-thirty by the time I was headed out to lock the front door and set the alarm, and I was exhausted.
We had a staircase to the apartment in our supply room, but I usually used our side door when I was closing and had to set the alarm and lock the front door anyway. I typed in our security code and pushed open the door, stepping out into the warm Seattle breeze.
I turned and nearly screamed when I saw the stranger from earlier leaning on the door of a sleek-looking black Audi RS5, smoking a cigarette. He chuckled when I jumped.
"Jesus," I muttered, putting my hand on my chest. "What the hell are you doing out here? I thought you were meeting up with a friend. Have you been out here this entire time?"
He nodded, and flicked the nub of his cigarette on the ground, stomping it out with his foot. "Plans fell through. I...um, I thought maybe I could walk you to your car to make sure you got there okay. You know, with that guy and everything. I thought maybe he might wait around for you."
"I thought I told you I could take care of myself." Despite the fact that I was being headstrong and stubborn, I couldn't deny that it was sweet that this stranger would wait around so long just to make sure I was safe.
He laughed boisterously this time, and I couldn't deny that it was a beautiful sound. He had a gorgeous smile, too, especially when it reached all the way up to his ears.
"Besides," I continued, "I don't have a car. My dad owns the bar, and we live in the apartment upstairs. You're out of luck."
"Or maybe I'm in it?" he said with a smirk. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of Marlboro Reds. For a moment I thought he was going to offer me a cigarette, but instead he pulled out a perfectly rolled joint and held it in front of me. "What do you say, Bella? Peace offering?"
I plucked the joint from his hand using two fingers and then crossed my arms over my chest. "Under one condition," I told him, and he nodded eagerly. "I don't think it's very fair that you know my name and I don't know yours."
He smirked before handing me his lighter. I lit the joint and inhaled, letting the sweet smoke fill my lungs.
"My name's E-"
I jumped at the sound of my brothers bellowing voice and turned to see Emmett and Rosalie walking down the sidewalk towards us, hand in hand.
When I turned back to the stranger, he had the door to his Audi open, one leg already inside.
"Hey, what about your peace offering?" I called out, holding up the lit joint.
He shot me a dazzling smile. "I guess I'll have to make it up to you then," he said smoothly, shrugging his shoulders. He tapped the hood of his car once. "I'll see you around, Bella."
He got in the car and it roared to life. I watched as he drove away, his taillights disappearing up the street and around a corner and wished that I'd said something, anything, to make him stay and talk.
I just stared at the spot where his car was just parked, dazed, until Emmett and Rose finally made it to where I was standing.
"Who was that guy?" Emmett asked as he let go of Rose's hand to sling his arm around my shoulders. "Was he giving you a hard time? Do I have to hunt him down and kick his ass?"
I shook my head and put the joint to my mouth for another haul before Rose snatched it from my lips and stuck it between hers. "I don't know who he is..." I told him after I blew out the smoke.
But I want to.
A/N: Here is the first chapter of my new story, Made for You. I've been planning this story for a long time, and I hope you guys enjoy the wild ride this Bella and Edward are about to embark on. I have to thank my friend jansails for all her help, and for always be willing to pre-read and give me feedback. This story wouldn't be possible without her!
This story is rated MA for mature audiences (18+) due to the mature adult content. I want this to be different from anything I've written before. That being said, I want to give a disclaimer to anyone reading that this story may include sensitive topics such as: sex, sexual assault, the use of drugs and drug paraphernalia, abuse, etcetera. Although I have a general outline planned, sometimes my imagination takes over and I fly by the seat of pants, so I just want to make sure the disclaimer is out there so I don't offend anybody. I don't like to offer warnings at the beginning of each individual chapter as I feel it ruins the story.
I hope you enjoy! Please let me know what you think in the reviews!