A/N Hi everyone! This is my first official fic so please be gentle! I can't being to express how much I love this site and the wonderful authors who have inspired me. So thank you to them, and enjoy!
As of now, I also do not have a beta and would love one, another pair of eyes definitely helps!
BE WARNED: this is rated M for language, some angst, and eventual lemons galore. Also, if you have a particular aversion to fluff, these first couple of chapters might not be for you, but they are to set up the scene, and what can I say, I like to paint a picture!
Just nine more minutes… holy crow the little hand moved ridiculously slow tonight. As I checked my ancient Timex for about the millionth time that, I weaved through the pool tables on my way to the bathroom with the goal of killing some time to make the last few minutes of my shift pass with the speed of a turtle instead of a snail.
I had been working at Wolfe's Sports Bar since my freshman year of college and three years later, I never failed to appreciate the cleanliness of the girls bathroom. For some reason it stayed miraculously hygienic save for the fantastic "so-and-so has a small dick" graffiti. I remembered my first week here, where nepotism had clearly won out over my lack of my skills. Dropping three trays of drinks, not to mention a plate of chili fries, on my first shift didn't sway anyone in my favor.
My partial scholarship was definitely a godsend but knew I would have to work my ass off to keep my head above water. Retail wouldn't cut it. Coffee shops required actually waking before the sun, definitely not. Administrative whatever required daytime hours that I couldn't manage with classes, so no. Ergo, I ended up groveling at my best friend's feet for a job at the bar he helped manage. I knew Jake wouldn't turn me away, but he's also privy to the knowledge that I have no balance, grace, or ability to function without tripping – so he stuck me behind the bar after that abysmal first day. Minimal walking or dishes to hold.
It wasn't a bad deal. I made decent tips, though I quickly found out if I dressed slutty enough the tips would increase. But if the sluttiness increased, the amount of creepers who hit on me exponentially shot up as well. Jake got too protective, fights ensued, patrons got pissed, and I covered up. Eventually I found a balance between push up bras and low-rise jeans, thanks to my wise roommates, and learned it's not how much skin you show, but how you show it.
Alice and Rose were full of useful, albeit girly, information.
I checked the mirror, adjusted the girls, and fluffed the hair - anything to make the tip jar a little less glass-half-empty looking. Might as well make the last few minutes count.
Eight and half more minutes… eight minutes and 20 seconds until this dreaded shift was over and I could get the FUCK out of here. Not that I didn't enjoy my job. Being a bartender at one of the more lucrative sports bars near campus definitely had its perks. Eye candy galore usually being my personal favorite.
But THIS? This TORTURE? I never worked a Thursday night shift. Thursdays are, after all, the new Fridays, especially when it's the first week of classes and my earliest class on Fridays happens to be 11 am. Not only were Thursday nights the best to go out, but there was a huge blowout party to ring in the new school year. And I had a new outfit to wear after scouring the vintage shops. And I was having a rockin' hair day. AND on top of all that, Alice needed a girls' night out like nobody's business, full of shots and boy trashing and grinding on said boys like playthings. Being in control was the key.
Letting herself fall for a guy while abroad this summer in Paris, knowing full and well she would be leaving, was just dumb. A classic mistake, yet very understandable.
Listening to Alice describe warm Parisian nights under the Eiffel Tower wrapped around some guy with delicious bottles of wine and desserts while he purred French into her ear… it was enough to even make cynics like me and Rose wish for a piece of that action. But as it turned out, Jean, or Pierre, or whatever Snooty Van-Frenchman's name is, was a douche bag to the fullest.
On her last night in town, my bestie discovered the little French fuck diddling one of the students in her program. In her dorm room no less! Son of a lying-bitch-ho bag-whore.
So now, it was up to me and Rosalie to cheer our little pixie up. Hit the parties, pick up men, make them squirm and leave them wanting more. That was usually the plan unless one of them happened to weasel their way home with Alice or Rose.
As a personal rule, I never partook in that course of action. Oh I knew what guys said: "Bella Swan, what a tease. Totally frigid." But you only get burned like I did once. And I made a decisive "Never Again" policy after that.
But that doesn't mean I don't have fun. There was the occasional hook up, a girl has needs. However, sex was usually off the table. We would round the third base and I would normally be so fed up and bored that they got the boot. The one exception to that scenario I would forever regret. Poor guy, he just didn't see it coming… and neither did I. I thought I was past my shit. Oh well, he had graduated so at least I didn't have to worry about an awkward run-in. Now, thanks to one of friend's naughtily themed birthday party, battery powered devices became my new best friend.
The flirting stuff came easily enough to me, with the help of my dynamic duo. They taught me a few things that come in handy, especially at work.
And usually when the three of us went out, it was an affective combination.
Rose, with her I-could-be-on-the-cover-of-Maxim good looks, Alice with her tiny don't-you-want-to-protect-me-frame-but-I'm-secretly-super-tough, and me with, well, I wasn't quite sure.
But no. Here I was on a non-game night which equaled to a minimal crowd of after work guys still in their suits avoiding going home to their wives. Gah, Jake so owed me for this one.
As I walked through the tables on my way back to the bar, making sure the few customers still there weren't in need of any refills, I spotted the three of them in the back corner booth. Easily the most attractive men in the place. I gave them a quick scan. Tall, huge and burly with a smile that stretched to his eyes, hot for sure but he definitely knew it. Lanky, lean with a bit of rock-star in the mix, oh my my… The third one had his back to me, but he was hunched over his glass shaking with laughter at something tall and burly said. Cute hair…
Well at least there was something nice to look at while I closed out.
Cute hair suddenly got up and started walking over to the bar. I got the full 360 view this time and HOLY SHIT. Taller than I thought, cut but not bulging, and ridiculously out of my league, even for a good hair night. As he got closer before hanging a right to the bar, I saw his five o'clock shadow trailing a stunning jaw line, mmm lickable… but then I noticed his eyes. A piercing moss green. What we liked to refer to as panty dropper eyes. One good staring contest with this man and any girl would need some fresh underwear. But then I saw what was under the eyes, huge purple-ish blue bags… and with that, as any good bartender should be able to tell, comes a moody customer. Well shit.
He made it to the bar and began looking around for something, and I realized he was looking for me, my relief person hasn't shown up yet and I left the bar unmanned. Oops. Well maybe he was ordering for the rest of his group and I could wriggle a decent tip out of him.
I strolled up to dark and handsome, getting ready to shake my thing, but I can literally feel the waves of emotion rolling off of him. His hands were yanking at his hair and I could hear him sighing. Hmm, he seemed fine at his table. Quick wit don't fail me now…
"Hey, you look like you could use a drink, or a good fuck. And I can get you halfway there," I said while leaning on the bar just enough to push the girls together in a slightly sluttish way and looking up through my eyelashes. I called that one "The Rosalie."
I know I have a bad mouth on me, but for some reason most guys at this place somehow found it endearing. I would never understand. But this one seemed a little taken aback, squeamish even.
"Hmm, ahhhh, no offense," he looked down awkwardly, "but I'm not exactly into underage girls. Getting me drinks or otherwise."
Oooh, a gentleman. He almost choked on the last word, but his gaze traveled up to the area just below my neck. Good, he's not totally immune. And damn my baby face! It always seemed to bite me in the ass.
I let out a genuine laugh as I pushed my ass up on the bar, spun around and hopped down on the other side, a skill that took me at least a year to master.
"Well, lucky for you I'm not underage. And I happen to be the reigning bartender for the next five minutes. So, like I said, I can get you halfway there," I said with one of my best smiles.
"Oh, ha, well, then uhh, Macallan, two fingers, neat. Thanks."
Sure thing green eyes. Man he was flustered… it's like he had never been hit on. Phft, yeah right. I'm sure he's gotten way worse, and from non-bartenders not looking for a big tip… but from whores looking for a big di…
"So, if you're not underage, then how old are you exactly?" he asked, almost rudely, while interrupting my dirty train of thought.
I suppose my height and build don't exactly correlate with my age, but damn. I at least thought I looked 21…
"I'm actually 23," I told him as I glance at my watch. I don't want to be rude to cute hair, and with a closer view I upgraded him to sexy, tousled, copper colored, JBF hair, but if I was going to make it back to my apartment in ten minutes, get ready, and manage to pre-game before 10:30 pm, I needed to keep the conversation short.
I poured his drink and offered to keep his tab open. He declined and just slid some bills my way.
"That's all you," he managed to say with a smirk. "It looks like you have somewhere to be, I wouldn't want to keep you."
Shit, damn my unstealthiness. "Oh, erm, sorry about that, thank you. I didn't mean to be rude, I just, and there's this party, my roommates…" I was starting to babble. "It's over at Warehouse, supposed to be a big thing."
"Warehouse huh? The rave-type place that's too small with horrendous music and lights that would give anyone a migraine?"
"The very one. The lights aren't so bad with the right amount of social lubrication, just FYI. And it will be the best option for my roommate to find someone to pull her out of her post breakup slump." I started feeling defensive, wondering why his comment annoyed me so much. "And my friend is spinning tonight, so hopefully the music won't be so 'horrendous'." I air quoted, I can't believe I air quoted.
I started wiping down the counter with a little too much force.
"Whoa sorry, I just remember that place from when I went to school, and it sounds like it hasn't changed. But I'm sure your friend will play something better than that annoying techno-house fuckery they usually do."
Feisty, I liked it, and another laugh bubbled out. "I'm sure he'll appreciate the commendation."
He smirked back. Hmmm I rather liked that too.
"I'm Edward," he said while extending his hand.
"BELLLLLLAAA, what are you still doing here?" Jake swaggered through the back door behind the bar in his muscle t-shirt and perfectly ripped jeans. "Don't you have some huge party to get to? I know I was pain asking you to cover Kate's shift tonight, so I'm here to give you…" he checked his watch, "an extra 3 minutes."
"Hey Jake! Yeah, I was just getting ready to head out, so thanks, awesome timing," I said dripping with sarcasm.
"Any time, babe."
I turned in Edward's direction, "Well it was nice meeting you. You and your friends should stop by more…" He was already walking back to his table. Ouch. Oh well, sweet tip sexy hair, thanks. As I grab my things from under the bar, Jake touched my arm.
"Hey, so my dad is coming down this weekend and he's staying through Sunday," he whispered. "But we're going fishing that day so everything should be fine. I'll just text you when we leave and leave the key under the mat? Unless you wanted stop by and say hi before we go, but I thought that might be - "
"No no, texting me is fine, thanks Jake. But definitely tell your dad I say hi." My mind started to wonder to Sunday and my stream of consciousness takes an emotional turn. But before I got dark and twisty I immediately thought of Alice and the night ahead. My tried and true method of camouflage: always think of something else.
I waved bye to Jake and dug around my purse for my keys, while mentally preparing myself for the glorious night of debauchery about to ensue. As I climbed into Stella, my wonderful truck who I could never give up even though she's ancient, Edward's face flashed to the forefront of my mind and I couldn't help but wish Jake hadn't given me those extra three minutes.
Reviews pretty please? Much love, thanks for reading!