New fic! Longer chapters then my other WIPs, less angst, more laughs. Enjoy and review!
Bella Swan's truck was still a piece of shit. It groaned and spluttered as she turned it off, right in front of Moe's Diner. She grabbed her bag and climbed out of her truck, apprehensively eyeing the "Now Hiring" sign taped to the front door. Bella had spent the past week looking for a job, and this one had been her last resort.
The diner smelled like fried food and sweat, and Bella grimaced when she spotted three sweaty construction workers hunched over their steaks and beers. Why did she have a feeling that the uniforms here consisted of tight white t-shirts and itty bitty shorts?
The girl rounded on her immediately. "Just you?" she asked as she grabbed a menu and silverware.
Bella shook her head. "No, I was just here to ask about your, um, sign that says you're hiring. I need a job and—"
"Well obviously you need a job or you wouldn't be asking about our sign. This way." She turned on her heel and walked into the back of the diner, and Bella quickly fell in step behind her.
"Have a seat." The girl gestured to a dingy chair sitting in front of an equally dingy work desk. Bella assumed this was the office as it was cluttered with papers, old pictures and articles, and a plaque that said "Washington's Best Cheeseburger As Voted By Reader's of Washington Magazine – 1996". Bella let her bag fall to the floor as she sat down on the chair, nervously twisting her hands.
"What's your name?" the girl asked as she sat on the other side of the desk.
The girl raised an eyebrow before smirking. "Oh yeah, I remember you. You came to Forks High School during my senior year. I remember because you started dating that Cullen guy with the weird as fuck eye color. His brother, Emmett, totally sat next to me in Honors British Lit and he helped me bullshit my way through a Dracula presentation because I had forgotten that it was due that day. That dude was so cool."
Bella blinked. "Um, yeah. That would be me."
The girl cleared her throat before nodding. "Okay moving on. Have you ever worked in the food industry?"
Bella shook her head.
"Have you ever worked in customer service?"
"Well, I used to work at the camping shop that the Newton's owned, but they were slow a lot of the time—"
"Okay yeah, that doesn't count. So you haven't worked in the food industry and you don't have a lot of experience in customer service." She cocked an eyebrow at Bella. "So what jobs have you had?"
"I worked at the Newton's, like I said, and I also worked part time at an independent bookstore while I was at college, but it was mostly just stocking the shelves and pricing things."
The girl narrowed her eyes. "And you want to work as a waitress because…?"
Bella opened her mouth to answer when a loud crash came from the front of the diner. The sound was of glass and plates falling to the floor and shattering, followed by a "Shit shit shit, oh my god!"
"You have got to be kidding me," the girl groaned, covering her face with her hands. She peaked at Bella through her fingers before sighing. "You're hired."
The uniforms were actually just a plain "Moe's Diner" t-shirt and jeans, which was a relief to Bella, since she was already wearing jeans and the girl, also known as Mia, had a cardboard box full of "Moe's Diner" employee t-shirts in the back.
"You keep the shirt if you get fired by the way," she snapped as she shoved the shirt in Bella's direction. Apparently being hired on the spot also meant immediately going to work. As Bella pulled her employee shirt over her tank top Mia rambled off the system.
"The customer will always come first. Even if they're the most annoying piece of shit to ever sit their fatass down in your section, you have to be nice to them no matter what. Tips are everything and don't think for a second that everyone tips just because it's the cultural thing to do, there are some cheap bitches up in here. If the customer claims you messed up their order, even when you know for a fact that you didn't, you smile and lie through your teeth about how sorry you are and about how you'll render the situation, got it?"
"I'm not going to lie to you, this job can suck sometimes, and you'll be on your feet a lot. I want to know I'm not hiring an employee who will whine and bitch when things aren't going their way."
Bella gulped. Turning around and hauling her and her truck out of this dump sounded like a fantastic idea.
Sadly, she really needed this job.
"I promise I'll try my hardest."
Mia grumbled something under her breath before shoving a small notepad and pen into Bella's hands. "Alright then. Get to work. If you have any questions ask me or Lenny, the cook."
Bella glanced at the kitchen and spotted a shaggy looking guy with a lip piercing and neck tattoos. "Lenny?" she echoed. Mia sighed, exasperated. "Yes, that is Lenny the cook. Is that not what I just said?" Then she turned around and marched over to a table in her section where a couple of customers had just sat down.
The front door chimed and a couple of men, obviously just getting off of work, walked in and slumped down into one of the booths in Bella's section. She took a deep breath, clutched her notepad and pen to her chest, and walked over to them with a purpose.
Mia locked the door at 10pm, and Bella practically collapsed into one of the booths. Her hair, which she had hastily pulled back into a ponytail when she realized that diners actually got busy around the dinner hour, was sticking out at all sorts of angles and her bangs were glued to her forehead. Her feet hurt, she would have to get more supportive shoes, and she already had food stains on her employee t-shirt.
Also, Lenny was weird. He knew exactly who she was ("You dated Cullen and broke that Jacob Black guy's heart right?"), before she had even introduced herself. He also gave her the eye. You know, that weird look people give you when they know something about you, something unpleasant? Yeah, he kept giving her that.
A wet rag landed in Bella's lap. "Start wiping down all the tables missy," Mia instructed. She went to bend over a table when she straightened up and eyed the door. She turned around and sent a glare at Lenny. "I told you to tell your girlfriend to stop coming around here after closing. She distracts you and then I end up doing everything by myself.
Lenny rolled his eyes. "Sorry Mia, but you know she does her own thing," he said as he walked over to the front door and opened it.
"Do I look like I give a fuck?" Mia snapped.
But Lenny was already embracing the girl he had let inside, and from what Bella could see, they were very enthusiastic for each other. The girl also looked somewhat familiar…
It wasn't until she whipped her head away from her boyfriend to give her the glare of death that Bella realized who she was.
"What. The. Everloving. Fuck," Leah Clearwater said, her voice cold and furious.
Both Bella and Lenny opened their mouths to say something, but Mia beat them to it. "She's my new employee, what the hell is it to you, Clearwater?"
Leah turned and frowned at Mia. "She was someone a lot of people around here were hoping to never see again, that's what it is." She turned and gave Bella another stony look. "I can't believe you hired her."
Mia rolled her eyes. "Terribly sorry, I forgot to give a shit."
Leah's eyes narrowed, and Bella, who was used to watching people grow intimidated under her stare, was surprised (and admittedly impressed) to see Mia's eyes narrow right back at her.
They stood there, glaring at each other, for a moment before Leah huffed and looked away. She rocked back on her heels and tilted her head up to assess the ceiling tiles. Another moment passed. "Whatever," she finally said. "I guess it doesn't matter. Anyway, I stopped by to see if you guys wanted to come to a party on the rez. There's supposed to be free beer and shit." She turned her head to eye Mia again, and Bella realized there was a level of respect there. It was surprising.
Once again Mia returned the look before shrugging and turning back to her work. "Maybe I'll stop by after I finish up here." She turned back around, her eyes giving both Bella and Leah pointed looks. Leah got the message before Bella did, and she recoiled. "No—"
Mia whipped around. "You come in here, distract my cook, and then insult and belittle mywaitress and then you have the nerve to invite us to a party except for my waitress, and you do this in front of her face? Fuck off."
Leah made some kind of hissing sound before rounding on Bella. "Fine, you can come too okay? But leave him alone. Do you understand me Bella? He's happy now, so leave him alone."
Flashes of warm sodas, a cozy garage, "I'm older then you because I can cook edible food", "Kiss me and come back", a kiss that had melted the ice, and the lie "I love him more", flashed through Bella's mind like a film. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath.
"It's okay, I don't have to go," she breathed. She looked up at Leah. "I'm obviously not wanted there anyway."
Leah gave her a sharp nod, before turning towards Mia and giving her directions to the party. Then she took Lenny's hand and left.
A dirty rag hit her in the face.
"What the fuck!"
Bella yanked the rag off her face and slammed it down onto the table. "What?" she exclaimed, exasperated.
"You let Leah Clearwater win," Mia snarled, picking up her rag only to throw it back at Bella again. "You just let her waltz in here and shove her heel up your ass. Do you have a backbone?"
The answer 'no' was on the tip of Bella's tongue; instead she leaned away from Mia and sighed. "Well, she was right. I'm not wanted there."
Mia opened her mouth to retort before thinking better of it and smacking Bella in the shoulder with her rag instead. "That's too bad. We're going."
Bella could hear the pounding of the bass as they rounded the street corner in Mia's Honda. This house was right on the edge of La Push, and Bella could see that the party goers were a mix of Quileutes and kids from Forks.
"Maybe I should just stay in the car."
Mia blinked at her as she put the car in park. "Um, no?"
And that was how Bella found herself being dragged into a house party. The first thing they did was go to the keg, where Mia helped herself to a cup of beer ("Ew, its flat.") while Bella just shook her head and said she'd stick to water.
When Bella spotted Quil and Paul hovering by the kitchen she wanted to run from the house before anyone spotted her. Her heart was racing as she slowly began easing her way towards the front door, praying, praying that no one saw her, that Mia wouldn't shout her name and make everyone look in her direction, that he wouldn't see her.
Anything but that.
Because apparently he was happy now, and if there was one thing she wanted for him and for herself, it was for him to be happy. He deserved it.
"Oh hey, um, you left your bag by the keg."
Bella turned around, expecting Mia, only to find a lovely girl holding out her bag for her. She had a nice smile and startling blue eyes that contrasted nicely against her dark skin.
"Um, thank you."
The girl gave her a friendly smile. "Well, it would suck to leave your bag anywhere, and you also looked like you really wanted to leave. Figured I'd help out." She paused. "Any reason why you're trying to peace out so quickly?"
"Um," Bella swung her bag over her shoulder and glanced around, hoping she wouldn't see him. "To be honest, I'm actually avoiding someone."
The girl raised her eyebrows. "Oh? That's um, interesting. What's the back story?" She crossed her arms and looked at Bella expectedly.
Bella fumbled around for an easy explanation/escape and took a small step towards the front door in the process.
"I broke this guy's heart." She winced at how casual she sounded.
The girl smirked. "That's just asking for an awkward situation right there."
"Okay, well, you came with Mia, so I'm assuming you work at Moe's. My name is Haley, and you seem cool. Maybe at the next party this guy won't be here."
"Yeah, I do work at Moe's." Bella was now attempting to make her way towards the door again. "Maybe I'll see you around sometime?"
"What's your name?"
Bella froze and squeezed her eyes shut.
She slowly turned back around.
Just maybe it's not him, maybe it's someone who sounds exactly like him…
She opened her eyes.
Who looks exactly like him…
Who had the exact same Jacob grin…
"Oh my god Bells!" he exclaimed gleefully, wrapping her up in a huge hug.
…and the same Jacob hug…
"What the hell have you been up to?" He pulled away from her and appraised her with a cheeky grin. "Lookin' good Bells."
Just maybe, just maybe, just maybe…
Nope, Bella was fucked.
"T-Thanks Jake, you're uh, you're looking good too." She felt the blush creep into her cheeks as she took him in. He looked relatively the same. Still huge with lean muscles, still working his just-to-his-chin hair style, still happy to see her, still sort of beautiful.
Fuck her life.
"God, Bella, I had no idea you were even—When did you move back?" He watched her expectantly, happiness etched across his face.
"Over a week ago."
Some of that happiness slid off his face. "Oh, um, well it's great you're back in town!"
Bella immediately felt bad. If only he knew she hadn't called him for his sake, not hers.
Haley cleared her throat. She had been looking at Bella with an unreadable expression.
"Oh, yeah. Bells, this is Haley."
Bella gave her a little wave. "We've already met."
Jacob put his arm around her. "She's my girlfriend."