Hey y'all! I know you guys are looking for an update on 1-800-I'm-About- to-get-Fired, but I've hit a wall and ran out of steam. I couldn't get this other idea out of my head, so I just had to start another fic. Don't worry I'm still working on 1800. I'm going to update it soon. In the meantime let me know what you think of this storyline…

Chapter 1: Table Six

I let my head fall back into my locker. Today is hard like any other day. School starts at 8:00am, work starts at 4:00pm. I pull a double shift when Peggy's feeling generous. I'm home by 1:00am. I bulldoze through my homework and then do it all over again.

"Why are you always looking at her?!" Lauren hisses from across the hall. The devil always appears at the worst times. Does all evil come in deceptively pretty packages?

I quickly turn my back to avoid confrontation. I want an uneventful, invisible existence for my last year in this shithole.

"I'm not staring. It's just Bella. Calm down, jeez." If Mike's voice could be any more irritating, I would've stabbed my ears with my ink pen.

"Don't fucking say her name. I can smell her from here." Her and the three stooges who grapple for popularity all laugh at my expense.

I sniff strands of my hair in between my fingers. No residue between my fingers tips. Why am I even checking? I wash my hair every morning. Jesus, I'm not even safe at my locker. If it's not Lauren and her friends shooting daggers through my back, it's Mike shamelessly watching me in this tight ass hallway.

"yeah I heard she smells like fish, just like her drunk fisherman dad." Her clique of giggling airheads never miss a beat.

"I heard she's so broke the whole football team paid her for blow jobs. Can you believe it, a whole football team, just so she could buy a prom dress." The sea of giggles bounces off of jocs passing through and snags my throat like a chokehold from a mangler casting his jig. This is how the rumors start. Lauren and her friends mindlessly cast lies about me, and it spreads like wildfire.

My hands desperately grab and grip at my locker. Being held together by a steel door has never been a real lifeline. Who am I kidding, I'm coming apart at the seams like chewed up bait on a rusty hook.

"I heard she cleans people's houses before school."

"I swear if I had to bear through that, I'd kill my dad at sea myself." I roll my eyes, and fight back a short laugh. That was kinda funny.

"She's wearing the same sweater from Tuesday. Is she homeless or what. She looks like a filthy hobo 3 days out of the week."

"Mike for the last time, leave the stray dogs alone." Laurens words always cut the deepest.

Peace, I just want peace and quiet as I die this slow death people call life. Tossing my bag over my shoulder, I scurry off to the parking lot. Screw last period, I'm heading straight to the diner.

I rush out the doors for fresh air.

"Bella, are you going to stop. I'm not going to chase you around this parking lot." Even his exasperated breathing and heavy feet make me sick to my stomach.

I quicken my pace to a stiff jog. "We used to be friends, Mike. Now, you're just like them." I raise my voice, speaking over my shoulder.

"Just stop, ok. I want to talk to you." He catches up to me at the bed of my rusty, red pick-up.

"Talk to lil ol me? You, the biggest Lunker on campus?" My bitter sarcasm flows from abandonment and betrayal.

"Look, it wouldn't be this way if you just gave me a chance."

"You wanna know something, Mike, you could be the last man on earth, and I still wouldn't let your cowardly hands touch me. You stood there and let them say those awful lies about me. You know me Mike. Your family knows me. We were childhood friends. Why don't you ever take my side. Take up for me!"

"Maybe I would, if you were my girl. It's weird yah know, almost infuriating. Every time you turn me down you have that look on your face. It's like you pity me. I think that's what makes it so bad. Yah know, that's the part of the rejection that sticks with me. That look, that stupid look. I can't get it out of my head."

"Ever since you joined the football team, you've become a complete asshole. You forgot about me and Eric. And now every chance you get to torture me, you do. Like it's some sick game. I'm the only one who tells you no, and you can't take it."

"Bella I know you don't like me and don't see me in a romantic way but maybe if you tried, or at least faked it like everybody else does, you could get what you want out of life. There's no robbery in fair trade. I'm a star football player and it's time you start acting like it. I'm not the grumpy geek from middle school anymore. I'm a star now. When are you going to figure it out Bella? You want to win, you have to play the game. That's the difference between me and you, between my family and yours. I never take the first 'no'. I keep going until I get what I want."

"Mike I'm not interested in playing a 'game'. I just want to live my life quietly."

"You're just like your father Bella. You know, he told my dad the same thing when he asked him to go into business together. Look at y'all now, your father's still fishing on contract boats and my father owns a fishing vessel. We're well off. You still smell like fish, and me, well I smell like new money. Wake up Bella. I'm giving you the chance of a lifetime and you're shitting on it. Cause we all what's going to happen when your father finally drinks himself to death."

My mouth is stuck together like glue. My teeth won't budge. Everything in my mind is blank. Is it anger, resentment, disgust? It's nothing, I feel nothing for him. Like something is dead in me? Not a single spark, not a flutter of a butterfly, not even the ash of an old flame. I feel no attraction. I have never felt any attraction or desire for what Mike can offer me. Something inside me is dead.


"Hurry up and clock in. Rose quit." Peggy pushes my smock and pad into my weathered hands.

"Rose quit?" Wow, Rose really is Cinderella. I inwardly laugh. She said she was going to get out one way or the other. I guess she spoke it into existence.

"Yeah, she married some guy from Seattle and made it out of this shitty town."

"Seriously? She didn't even say a word. I just saw her last shift." I nervously bite my lip. Rose has a few repeat tables that come in like clockwork. What's gonna happen when they find out she doesn't work here anymore? I'm a ghost waitress and Rose is the bright bubbly type that always finesses a fat tip.

"Yeah well quit your yapping. She asked me to give her tables to you, since you're always begging for more hours." Great this must be some joke. Yeah I need the money, but I don't have Rose's skill.

"Hey Peggy?" My voice barely above a whisper.

"Yeah?" She stalls at the counter waiting for the next batch of decaf to finish brewing.

"Who's that?" I nod my head toward table six in the far corner. I always see him, but he always sits in Rose's section.

"That's one of those Nine Wolf Kings guys. Don't worry about them. They don't make trouble. Just take the order and serve him like anybody else."

"Yeah I mean for sure, but I never cover Rose's tables. And they normally only sit in Rose's section and—" I nervously tap the heel of my blue clogs into the floor.

"Relax, Bella. They're human. They bleed like everybody else. You'll see. Now get on with it, tips don't make themselves."

I forced a deep breath through my teeth and dragged my clogs across the linoleum floor.

"H-Hello I'm Bella. Can I start you off with something to drink?"

"Hi I'm ready to order." His voice smooth like creamed silk. There was something beastly about his aura. "Can I get the chicken strips and grilled cheese."

An incredulous giggle mistakenly escapes my lips. He said chicken tenders and grilled cheese! What is he 7 years old? I tip my head sideways and bashfully scribble his order onto my pad.

"What?" He looks up from the menu and a cute toothy smile spreads across his plump lips. So unexpected coming from a guy with tattoos all over his body.

"Sorry nothing! It's nothing. Uhm and for the drink?" Gosh, Bella you're so stupid. I bet Rose would never laugh.

"Chocolate milkshake with extra whipped cream and maraschino cherries."

"Sounds good. Can I get you anything else?" I want to kick myself in the ass. I can't get the laugh out of my voice.

"What is so funny?" He's transformed into looking so boyish and gentle. Upon closer look he's quite beautiful. Terribly beautiful. Ruin your life beautiful: Jet black hair in a messy shoulder cut, and up to his neck in what looks like tribal ink.

A crime boss ordering a kids meal that's what. "Nothing I just took you for a steak and potatoes kind of guy." Or a venison steak fit for a tribal god.

"Is it the tattoos?" Oh so he knows what he looks like. My eyebrows raise in surprise, unconcealed and unexpected mirth escaping from my parted lips.

"Well that's part of it." I loosely nod my head.

"Part of it? Is it the hair? Or the clothes?" Nah business casual is inconspicuous enough. It's you, something about you that will never late you blend into a booth in the corner of a small town diner.

"No you look nice. I-I mean you look like a nice guy. Let me go get your order started." I scurry away and quietly pass his ticket to the kitchen.

Hmmm, he did seem pretty nice for a guy that looks like a Yakuza boss. Have I misjudged him? I peer over the stacked saucers and take another look. No this man is not to be toyed with.

Ok so I thought this would be something fun. Bella, getting involved with dangerous Jacob… It's only the first chapter… I always feel a little lame starting a story… Should Bella be afraid to talk to Jacob? What do you think of Mike?