Disclaimer: SM owns Bella and Edward. I suffered through a boring gas station job, so the story is mine. Please don't take it!
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Windshield Water Woes
I stood behind the counter daydreaming, my eyes unfocused as my gaze fell unseeingly through the glass windows of the storefront. All of the shelves had been stocked, the drink fridges full to bursting, and every surface of the store was gleaming from the multiple unnecessary cleaning fits I'd had that morning.
I was on summer vacation from college in Seattle, where I studied English Literature, and had decided to try and earn a little extra money before I returned in the fall. The only job that had been available was this one at the only gas station in my hometown, Forks; the reason why I was now spending every day of my vacation bored out of my skull due to the lack of customers. I was at a complete loss as to why I'd taken the job. There was an endless list of things I'd rather be doing, rain or no rain.
The people of Forks really needed to get out more. The only regular customer I had was my dad, Charlie, and that was only because he was the Chief of Police and actually used his cruiser for patrolling. That, and driving to and from La Push, the Indian reservation, to visit an old family friend, Billy Black. Oh, and his fishing trips.
How depressing. My dad had more of a social life than me, and he lived in Forks all year round.
I think I might actually go insane.
Pulling my iPod out of my backpack, I hooked it up to the old set of speakers that sat on a very unstable-looking shelf on the wall behind me, and turned it on to a playlist of my favorite classical music in an attempt to drive away the waves of insanity that threatened to crash over me.
I began to sway slightly to the music and returned to staring into nothingness, my thoughts drifting to what I was going to do on my days off later in the week. Maybe Angela, my best friend, would be free to come to Port Angeles with me.
My mind had drifted to the books I'd need to read for my next semester of college, and I began to wonder if I'd be able to find them in Port Angeles when a short honk of a car horn interrupted my musings.
Looking up, I found old Kevin sitting in his battered old car, smiling over at me with that endearing toothless grin of his as he waited for me to bring his daily newspaper out to him. I grabbed it off the side counter and carried it out with me.
"Good morning, Kevin!" I smiled warmly at him.
"Hello, darlin'. How are you?" he asked in his southern drawl.
He was one of those old men that made you just want to squeal in excitement over and hug the life out of. There was something just so grandfatherly about Kevin that made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
"I'm very well, thank you. And you?" I asked in reply as I handed him his newspaper.
"Oh, can't complain. How was your weekend, darlin'? Did your boyfriend take you out anywhere special?"
I blushed and rolled my eyes at him.
"I don't have a boyfriend, Kevin."
He looked shocked. He had obviously forgotten that I had told him the same thing last week.
"You don't? How can a beautiful young girl like you not have a boyfriend?"
I shrugged, feeling my face grow even hotter. I hated any mention of my non-existent love life. It's not that I chose to be single; I just hadn't met anyone in Seattle. I was quite content with my single status, to be honest.
"It's hard to find someone when you work in a place like this," I joked, laughing nervously.
"The young men will be tripping over themselves to line up before you as soon as they find out you're working here."
This was embarrassing. Kevin had already gone around telling all of Forks that young Bella Swan was still single, and now he was going to insist that all the strapping young men in town come down to the gas station and line up for a date.
"I'm still young, Kevin. I've got all the time in the world to find a boyfriend. Now, are you going to pay me for that newspaper or am I going to have to fork out for it myself?" I teased.
"You can take care of it today," he grinned as he handed me a few coins.
I laughed and reached through the window to lightly squeeze his shoulder.
"Thanks, Kevin. You have a lovely day now, okay?"
"Thank you, Darlin'. See you tomorrow."
He raised his left hand off the steering wheel in a wave as he drove off. Shaking my head, I walked back inside with a smile on my face. It was customers like Kevin that made my day bearable.
Upon returning to my spot behind the counter, I resumed my daydreaming. All the images my mind was now conjuring were based around Kevin's words. I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I pictured the young male population of Forks lining up outside the store to ask me out to dinner. That was definitely not going to happen, and even if it did, I would make myself disappear as fast as humanly possible. I just wasn't cut out for dealing with that kind of attention. I preferred to blend into the background.
My daydreaming was once again interrupted when I was momentarily blinded by a flash of light that reflected off a car pulling into the driveway.
I automatically walked out across the driveway to the windshield water bucket and picked up the squeegee. Turning my attention to the car, I froze. Sitting before me was a brand new, shiny, silver Volvo.
I just stood there, staring at it, while the dripping squeegee hung by my side creating a puddle of soapy water by my feet.
"Are you okay?" a magical voice asked me.
I turned my head slightly to my left to look at the owner of said voice and almost passed out right there. He was absolutely the most stunning creature I had ever laid eyes on: tall and lean, with just enough muscle mass to avoid appearing lanky, messy bronze hair that made him look as though he'd just rolled out of bed after a tussle in the sheets, and brilliant emerald green eyes that sparkled in the rays of sunlight that had somehow managed to escape the cover of clouds.
Forget Greek Gods. This man was … I couldn't even find the words in my head to describe his beauty, his magnificence. If Volvo Guy (as I had so aptly named him) and Adonis went up against each other in a Battle of the Beauties, there would be no competition; Volvo Guy would win hands down.
Realizing that I was gaping at him, I quickly closed my mouth and turned my gaze back to the car. I lifted the squeegee up in front of me and proceeded to drop it straight back by my side again.
"Miss?" Volvo Guy asked, "Is there something wrong?"
"I'm just trying to work out how I'm going to clean your windshield without touching your car," I replied. Noticing his confused expression, I elaborated, "I don't want to break it."
"I'm sure a simple windshield cleaning won't hurt it. She's a pretty tough car, this one."
"You underestimate my clumsiness," I said, instantly regretting the confession of my greatest fault. "There are many ways I could accidentally damage your car. For example, I could -"
And before I could even finish my sentence, I tripped over nothing, my stumbling causing me to kick the bucket of dirty windshield water at Volvo Guy, sending the dirty water all over him and his shiny car.
I was horrified. I had done exactly what I had been in the middle of telling him I was capable of doing. Damn my clumsiness. I often wondered if it made me eligible for a disabled parking permit.
"Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!" I cried, rushing over to the paper towel dispenser. I pulled out a large handful and ran back over to a now sopping wet Volvo Guy, trying to mop the water off him. I was trying to brush it off his trousers when he reached down and grabbed my wrists, stilling my hands.
I looked up at him, noticing the proximity of my hands to his crotch, blushing furiously.
"I'm such a klutz! I'm really, really sorry, sir! I told you …" I mumbled angrily, more to myself than to him. I still could not believe I had just done that.
He gently pulled my hands away from his trouser-clad thighs and took the paper towel from me as he helped me to my feet, all the while smiling down at me.
I stood back from him, holding my arms behind my back; I did not want to risk doing anything else to or near him and his fancy car. One embarrassing act was enough for the hour; I didn't want to make it two in less than ten minutes.
"Hey, no blood no foul," he laughed.
I groaned, "Yes, but your clothes, and your car …"
"All easily washed. Please, don't worry about it. It was an accident," he insisted.
"I still feel terrible," I said.
"Please don't," he replied. "I promise you, everything is fine! The Volvo needed a wash anyway."
He shot a dazzling smile at me, making my heart stop and my knees go weak. If I didn't remove myself from his presence soon, I was not going to be able to finish my shift. As it was, my face was permanently flushed. I felt like such a fool.
"You're just saying that," I mumbled, heading towards the entrance of the store. A few customers had entered since my rather large mishap, for which I was most grateful. They gave me an excuse to escape the current situation with Volvo Guy.
I could hear him chuckle as I left the driveway.
By the time I had finished serving the customers, I had calmed down somewhat and did not feel as flustered as I had in his presence. That was, until I realized he was standing just inside the door watching me. I felt my face heat up instantly as he walked towards the counter, towards me.
He reached the counter and paused, a bemused smile on his face.
"Clair de Lune …" he said quietly to himself. "You listen to Debussy?" the question directed at me.
I shrugged, feeling the dreaded flush in my cheeks intensify.
"It helps calm me down. Clair de Lune is my favorite."
"Mine too," he replied softly, smiling to himself as though lost in a memory.
He then directed the full power of his dazzling smile at me, citing, "Pump number three, thank you," as he handed me a few twenty dollar bills.
I took them from his hand, carefully trying to avoid any form of contact, and processed the transaction on the computer with fumbling hands. Handing him his change and receipt, I risked making eye contact with him and instantly regretted it. I definitely would not be able to get those eyes out of my thoughts now.
We stood there in silence for a moment, staring deep into each other's eyes. The pull I felt toward him in that moment was so strong it was all I could do not to launch myself over the counter at him and kiss him senseless, maybe even drag him into the deserted office and have my way with him. However, the service buzzer sounded, jerking me out of my highly inappropriate fantasies and breaking the connection between my eyes and those dazzling pools of green.
I glanced out the window to find a little old woman waiting by her car for me to go out and serve her.
"I'd better get back to work," I mumbled, stepping out from behind the counter with a sigh. Volvo Guy nodded and began to walk towards the door beside me.
"Thanks for the wonderful service. I had fun," he grinned, before leaving me at the door.
I watched as he strode over to his now not-so-shiny Volvo, got in, and drove away.
I allowed myself ten seconds to regain my composure, putting on a big smile as I walked over to fill the little old woman's car.
"Good morning! How are you today?" I asked politely, silently willing the image of Volvo Guy to disappear from my mind. After this afternoon's events, I highly doubted I would ever see him again, and as perfectly gorgeous as he was, I did not want the image of him to haunt my dreams for the remainder of my stay in Forks.
I knew it was pointless though. I knew that every time I came anywhere near the gas station again, the thought of him would instantly appear in my mind.
It was going to be a long summer.