Chapter 1

I turned off the lights and locked the door. With a sigh, I looked up to the hotel. I knew that one day I would be the manager of this hotel, and I hoped that it wouldn't take long before that would happen. But for now I had to be content with working behind the desk. I admit that it could get very boring when you spent the entire day behind the desk, and the only people checking in are business-people or couples that decided to have a 'romantic' weekend. Countless of times I had to listen to the bickering of the couples as they left after only one day. It seemed as though it was hard for the people to spend a weekend away and to just have fun. They always left just as stressed out as they came in, not relaxed in any way.

I wasn't stressed, although I wouldn't mind a vacation. I invested a lot of my time in the hotel, while my colleagues always had something to do on a busy day, so they couldn't help. My boss didn't mind, because I did their work. Not that I wanted to do that, but it had to be done and I kept reminding myself that I would get a raise and they wouldn't. And my best friends supported me, just like I supported them.

Alice and Rosalie were the best friends anyone could wish for. Since I didn't care that much about fashion, they always helped me out when I had a date or a business meeting. Not that I had either of these things that often. There didn't seem to be that many interesting guys in Forks, where I lived. Alice and Rosalie would always find guys they thought I would like, but it never turned out the way they thought it would. I didn't think I had such a specific taste in men, but it was hard to find an appropriate one. And then there always seemed to be a major flaw in that one appropriate man I would find.

So dating wasn't really a big part of my life, but spending time with Alice and Rosalie was. They usually took me shopping, never listening to my complains. They told me to bear with them, because I needed clothes. The first time I believed them, I really thought I needed new clothes. But now my closet was so full of clothes, hardly used, that I usually gave them a stern look when my friends told me that. I didn't see why I needed so many clothes, most of them not even suitable for work. But Alice always knew a way to convince me to go shopping with them. And when I would come home with quite a lot of shopping bags in my hands, I would just sigh and try to put them somewhere – anywhere – in my room.

A soft, but cold breeze shook me out of my reverie. I started shivering and I wrapped my coat a bit tighter around me. The one lamp-post that was on the parking-lot was almost broken. It would flicker on and off a few times and then turn completely off, after a few seconds it would turn on again and then the whole thing would repeat itself again. I squinted my eyes and saw my truck in the shadow, looking as old as it was. I unlocked the car and got in.

The first thing I did after putting the key in the ignition was turning the heater on. It was a cold February evening and I couldn't wait to get home. The ride home was silent, because my radio was broken. I would have to ask Rosalie to fix it, or if she couldn't fix it, I would have to buy a new one. As if I had the money for that. But I trusted Rosalie's skills, she was better than a lot of men in fixing cars.

As I had to stop for a traffic light, I noticed that there was a new bookshop. I knew it had only been there for a short amount of time, because I would have noticed it before if it had been there longer. Before this bookshop came here, the building had stood empty for several years – I don't remember it otherwise.

There was still a light burning inside, so I decided to take a look and maybe get to know the owner a bit. I turned right and parked before the store. After locking the car, I hesitantly rang the old doorbell that hang just above the door. After waiting for a while, I assumed that the light was left on accidentally and started walking away. But then I heard the lock on the door open. I turned around and was met with an older man, who looked very nice. He smiled kindly and invited me in.

"What brings you here, young lady?" he asked me after he pointed to a few chairs that were almost entirely hidden behind a bookcase.

"Well,' I started explaining, 'I noticed this bookstore when I was returning home from work. I work in the hotel, you see. And I was curious, because I'm very fond of reading. So that's why I ended up ringing your doorbell. For which I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you."

He chuckled and shook his head. "It's no trouble at all, I'm glad to meet a nice person in this town. It has been a long day, filled with unpacking all these boxes, " he said whilst pointing to some empty boxes in the corner of the room. "So it's nice to have a little variety." He chuckled. We were now sitting on the chairs and he handed me a cup of coffee. I happily took it from him and started sipping.

After we talked for a while he told me that I could look for some nice books in the bookcase. I had already finished my coffee and immediately started searching for anything nice. An hour later I sat on the floor with books all around me. Just as I started reading the backside of the book, Mr. Brown, as he told me his name was, told me he needed to lock the place up and if I would mind coming back another time.

"Of course not. Can I buy these books now or should I come back when the shop is formally opened?" I asked, as I got up and collected the books in my arms. He looked at the books in my arms and told me that I could buy them now, and that he would give me some discount because I had been so nice to stop by. I thanked him and paid for the books.

After we said goodbye I walked towards my truck and tried to unlock the door whilst holding the enormous amount of books in one hand. Just as the key went in the lock, all the books fell on the floor. I started picking them up when I noticed a hand holding two books. They were a bit wet but other than that undamaged. I grabbed them and quickly put all the books in the passenger-seat.

When I'd done that, I turned to the man that helped me. I was a bit shocked when I looked him in the eyes, because I'd never seen more beautiful eyes in my entire life. They were a brilliant green and they were smouldering. I felt a blush creep up my face as a stammered a thank you. Then I noticed the rest of his face. He had messy bronze hair, a perfectly featured face and a breathtaking smile on his face. I quickly looked him in the eyes again before he would catch me staring.

"You're welcome," he said in a soft, velvet voice. He turned around and I watched him walk away. When I opened the door of my car, I noticed that my hands were a bit shaky. I shook it off and started the car. My blush slowly faded away and the fog in my mind seemed to fade away with it. I could think clearly again and immediately started hoping to encounter him again in the near future.

When I entered the parking-lot that belonged to the building I lived in, I started thinking about what I should tell Alice. I lived together with Alice in an apartment, which we could barely afford. She would probably be worried, since I would be home a few hours after I normally got home, and I hadn't answered the phone because the battery was empty. I hoped she wouldn't be too freaked out by worry, but I know I would have been. Forks wasn't a big city, but there could easily have something happened to me.

The moment I unlocked the door and walked in Alice screamed and ran to me so she could hug me. I let her have her moment and hugged her back. After she was done, she gave me a look that told me that I would have to explain everything. So I pointed to the couch and started telling about the new bookstore and the guy I met. She seemed most interested in the guy, which I couldn't blame her. She probably thought that there was finally someone I could date. But I wasn't so sure, maybe he didn't live here. And if he did, he was way out of my league. Alice knew I was thinking this, so she started to convince me otherwise. I quickly cut her off and told her I was tired. She let it go and I walked to my bedroom. After taking a quick shower and brushing my teeth, I went to bed.

"Goodnight Alice!" I called at no particular direction.

"Goodnight!" I heard her call back.


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