Disclaimer: I own nothing but instead borrow what isn't mine.
Summary: Fierce. Strong. Self-reliant. Self-proclaimed leader of the modern day women's lib movement. But it's all built on a lie. A lie I'm not sure I can keep up any more. E/B. All-Human. Rated M for language and sexuality.
The lights strobed around me and the thumping baseline of the music flooded through my veins. All around me people were half dressed or less. The smell of overpriced liquor and sweaty bodies clung to every corner of this place, seeping into the very fabric of the building's existence. Long after the people went away, this place would still be exactly what it was.
The most popular dance club in all of Chicago.
There were a handful of really good ones. The elite clubs. The ones that didn't have to advertise because their reputation was enough to get people to stand outside in all kinds of weather for hours just waiting to get in. Hot or cold, they stood and waited. Some showed up night after night just for a chance of a lifetime to be inside the hallowed walls of my kingdoms.
After all, I was the princess of the scene.
I never had to wait behind any tacky velvet rope. I didn't even have to walk in the front entrance most of the time, but I chose to anyway. One glimpse of me by some lone paparazzo and it was enough for a club's notoriety to sky rocket. Overnight a club could go from obscurity to the hottest ticket in the city. All with a flick of my wrist and a few photographs of me walking in or in some cases, stumbling out when the sun was starting to shimmer on the horizon.
The car service I inevitably hired would have to tell me the time. I couldn't be bothered to wear a watch. And the clubs certainly didn't have clocks hanging around reminding their patrons of the odd hours they were keeping.
One endless party. That's what my life was.
Club to club.
Boyfriend to boyfriend.
I went through them like the bottle service in the VIP areas I frequented. Keep 'em coming. That was my motto.
I never let anybody see beneath the veneer I had built. My walls were carefully constructed to never let anybody in. I lived in perpetual darkness and I liked it that way.
Well, that's what I told myself.
My reputation preceded me everywhere I went. Crowds parted. Lines cleared. Tables previously full suddenly became empty and available. Fully booked restaurants, hair salons and stylists suddenly had openings for me.
In my time in the scene I'd earned a nickname the hard way. I'd worked for it.
That's what they called me.
Tough as nails and fiercely autonomous.
I thought my veneer was perfect.
I thought the walls would last forever.
There was a crack though.
A tiny fissure unseen by the naked eye and only visible to those who knew where to look. And I was the only one who knew.
Sure, I had people around me.
But they believed the lie.
I was Bella Swan, party princess extraordinaire.
Miss Independent and damn proud of it.