Okay, first I want to thank everyone who has supported me through all the months of craziness. This story was taken down and edited from this site after fear that some of my BNA friends pimpage of my stories would bring it to the eyes of those who set out to remove these types of stories from this site. But as it has calmed down, I felt the need to stop hiding...if a day comes when they are removed, or I receive an email telling me to edit them, I will, but I do not believe I'm going to see that happen in the near future and I am tired of punishing myself and you, my faithful readers. If you ever have the need or desire to check out the other site i post to, the link is below.
My profile on the site is: http:/www(dot)twcslibrary(dot)com/viewuser(dot)php?uid=8336
This story is rated M due to language and lemons. SM owns.
Without further ado, the first chapter of Dance with Me.
I've never been nervous walking into a pitch meeting before, but this one had me wary. I was Edward Cullen, author of several gritty thriller novels, the type where femme fatales with fast cars led foolish men into the seedy Seattle underground to be swallowed alive. Like I said, I'm a writer; even the descriptions of my novels are stylized. But this time I was pitching a novel with a female heroine. I had never tried to wrap my head around the female psyche and make a believable three-dimensional character before, but this story idea was just too good not to run with. Hopefully, my publisher would see it that way; Victoria was always a hard woman to figure out.
"Edward, what are you talking about? I love this idea. And hell, maybe now the feminists will stop sending you hate mail." Victoria laughed as she walked me out of her office.
"I doubt it, and besides if they stop writing then I can open my own mail without a screener having to check it first, where's the fun in that?"
"I guess so. Have you found the bar you're going to use for research yet? Because if so let me know and we'll make out the check for your advance directly to them to cover your tab." As we reached the reception area I noticed Jessica, the perky little receptionist perched on the edge of her desk trying way too hard to look sexy.
"Nope, but you know me, I'm nothing if not thorough, there has to be a bar in Seattle that will put up with my annoying ass constantly hanging out there."
"Work that famous 'Cullen charm' that kept me from throwing you out of my office 6 years ago, and I doubt there's a woman bartender in the city that would kick your cute little ass to the curb." Victoria winked at me and then followed my eyes to Jessica. "Stanley, you can't file for workman's comp if you fall trying to flirt!"
Jessica quickly got up and handed Victoria her messages before going back to her desk. I don't know what I was thinking in that moment, but I decided that this college cheerleader may hold the key to my dilemma. "Jessica, right?"
She quickly looked up completely dumbfounded. "Yes Mr. Cullen?"
"Please call me Edward. I was wondering, I'm writing a story that takes place in a bar and I need to find a place that's not a sausage-fest, where do you go out with your friends?"
"Well, umm…there is this one place, Ballet Studio. It's great! It serves bar type food during the day and at night it turns into this really fun hangout with dancing, live music once a week, and karaoke once a month. Hold on, I'll give you the address." Jessica grabbed a post-it and wrote down the information in her insanely bubbly handwriting. "Here, I wrote down the owner's name, they're really cool."
"Thanks Jessica, if this works out, you'll get a mention in the special thanks." I smiled at her as I got into the elevator, feeling generous, after all a place named Ballet Studio could definitely be a place where my heroine would work.
When I got to my car I looked at the post-it and decided to check it out and see just how cool Bill actually was. The bar wasn't far from my apartment, which surprised me, but I probably would never have dreamed of going in on my own. As it was, my brother Emmett would ride me about this until the end of time if he found out.
I pulled up still trying to decide if I would dare to go in and then I saw 15 cent wings from 2 to 7 on Wednesdays and thanked God that I didn't have a 9 to 5 job.
As soon as I walked in I realized why Jessica loved Bill so much, he was obviously gay. The place was nice enough. The bar area was a decent size and there was a small stage in the back and an area that could be cleared to create a dance floor. The long wall on the opposite side of the bar was all mirrors with a ballet bar running along it. There were posters and photos and paintings of dancers on the walls and the shapes these women were contorting their bodies into were enough to put any guy into the dog house if his girlfriend brought him here.
There were a few people at a table in the back and two barflies at the end near the front door. At the moment I was about to turn to go, a young girl in jeans and a cut up Ballet Studio t-shirt came up behind me. "Hi. My name is Emily; would you like to sit at a table or the bar?"
Shit. There went my easy exit. "I'm actually looking for the owner, is he here?"
"Sure I'll go get 'em for you, why don't you take a seat at the bar."
Emily went into the back and a few minutes later the kitchen doors swung open and a Goddess came dancing in to the late 90's pop music coming out of the jukebox, carrying a case of beer. She moved so gracefully I had to catch my gawking before she noticed. She was obviously a dancer of some sort and had the body to prove it! As she came up behind the bar she stopped dancing and took all of two steps before tripping and almost dropping the case of beer, sitting it on the floor and turning to look at me.
"You should stick to dancing sweetheart." I smiled, but she didn't seem too amused.
"Can I help you with something?" Her voice was smooth and she had a little bit of an attitude, which made her even hotter.
"Yeah, I'm looking for Bill."
She looked at me like I had just spoken Japanese. "Who?"
I reached into my pocket to double check the post-it. "Bill, the owner."
"Oh, you mean Bell, well you got her."
I looked at the post-it and sure as shit it said "Bell." Damn Jessica and her bubbly fucking handwriting. "Sorry, the person who told me about this place didn't tell me the owner was a girl."
"Well honey, I stopped being a girl when I turned 18. What can I do for you?"
She blushed and all I could think was there were plenty of things I wanted her to do to me, but I'm pretty sure that's not what she meant. And God it was sexy when she called me honey. "I'm a writer and I'm doing research for a novel that takes place in a bar similar to this and I was looking for a place to hang out, maybe talk to you and some of your staff."
She looked at me with that same confused look on her face and then there was a spark in her deep chocolate eyes and she reached back to put her hair, which went half way down to her cute little ass, into a ponytail. "Do you know how to bartend?"
"Yeah." Not quite sure what that has to do with anything.
"All right, you start tomorrow; I'll go get you a few shirts." She was halfway back to the kitchen before I realized what she had said.
"Wait? What? I'm not looking for a job."
She walked back over, biting down on her lower lip. God she was a flirt. "Look, if you want to experience this place, I mean really get a feel for it you have to be behind the bar. And one of my bartenders just quit so I'm short staffed. You want to hang around and ask questions, fine, do it before your shift. So you interested?"
I had to admit that hanging out here and getting the chance to banter with someone who wasn't a moron was really appealing, didn't hurt that I couldn't stop thinking of all the dirty things we could do after we closed up at night. "Absolutely."
The beer delivery was two days late and I was not pleased. Quil, my bartender, had just quit on me because his girlfriend didn't like that he was working all night with girls hanging all over him. Which, I would totally understand if it was anyone other than Quil, but he's a nice guy and he loves Claire. When you work in a bar like this you have to flirt, it's how you make tips, but my big rule is you don't shit where you eat, don't date the patrons and don't date your co-workers because when all hell breaks loose, I'm the one replacing part of the mirror wall because someone's beer muscles had to be flexed.
When the delivery finally came in and I had finished tearing into the driver, Emily barreled through the kitchen door. "Bella, Edward Cullen is asking for you."
"Edward Cullen, he writes those thrillers that you always yell at me for reading when we're slow. And let me tell you the picture on the inside cover does not do that boy justice."
Jake Black, our cook came up from the basement just then with a case of Corona and shot Emily a look. "Oh my God! Really, Edward Cullen is here! I heard he's gay."
"Shut up, Jake!"
"All right. Emily, take over the beer delivery and make sure he goes over it with you so we know he isn't shorting us. I'll go see what Mr. Cullen wants." Those two bicker like an old married couple sometimes and I have no patience today.
As I pushed the kitchen doors open with the case of Corona Jake had brought up for me swaying and swinging my hips to Genie in a Bottle, I saw him…HO-LY SHIT! He was leaning his long and lean body up against the bar, running his hand through his messy bronze hair and I could have sworn I thought I saw his green eyes bug when he saw me…nice. I continued dancing, mainly for his benefit and then just as I got behind the bar I stopped only to trip and almost drop the case of beer. Great job ass! I set it down quickly and looked up.
"You should stick to dancing sweetheart." Damn it, well at least he's flirting.
"Can I help you with something?" Like taking off those pants.
"Yeah, I'm looking for Bill." What? Who the fuck is Bill?
He started digging through his pocket. "Bill, the owner."
"Oh, you mean Bell, well you got her."
He looked at the post-it and shook his head. "Sorry, the person who told me about this place didn't tell me the owner was a girl."
"Well honey, I stopped being a girl when I turned 18. What can I do for you?" Oh crap, stupid blushing…I can't even flirt with him without it being written all over my face.
"I'm a writer and I'm doing research for a novel that takes place in a bar similar to this and I was looking for a place to hang out, maybe talk to you and some of your staff."
Ugh, he wants to use us for his research. He's flirting with me so I'll let him hang around here…wait this could be the answer to my problem. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail to get it out of my face. "Do you know how to bartend?"
"Yeah." His perfect lips hung open and it was finally his turn to be baffled.
"All right, you start tomorrow; I'll go get you a few shirts." I turned to run and get a few of our shirts out of the kitchen before he could refuse.
"Wait? What? I'm not looking for a job." Damn, well if he wants to be here then he better believe I'm going to make him work for it, if only to watch him bend over when he carries up the booze. Jeez Bella, what has gotten into you? It's got to be those gorgeous green eyes of his. I better keep it under control.
"Look, if you want to experience this place, I mean really get a feel for it you have to be behind the bar. And one of my bartenders just quit so I'm short staffed. You want to hang around and ask questions, fine, do it before your shift. So you interested?" Please say yes…
YES! "Great I'll go get you a couple of shirts and then we can go over your schedule."
Thanks once again for all the support!