The bar was somewhat different to how I remembered Felix described, but it still held that home feel that he brought with him where-ever he would go. It was funny really considering he was the eldest and yet he was the one who until a few years ago had roamed the country only working when he needed the money; yet now he found his calling running this bar in the quiet town we grew up in. He always said that he'd never stay here and that the only time he'd come back were for a family emergency or some big event. And true to his words it was that one thing that brought him back, well what brought us both back to this town. But when he stayed after meeting his high school crush once more, I left to find myself. Going to college halfway across the country did wonders to my life, and my self confidence. I may have left the shy and slightly awkward little sister of the two most notorious players both on and off the field; but now I had grown up and was ready to show everyone that little Bella Swan had some back bone along with other more feminine appendages.
I had to laugh at the ridiculous swinging doors that reminded me so much of the old western movies that dad used to sit and watch almost religiously, if it wasn't a sporting event of some sort on the TV it was the old western movies that he loved. But the homage to the old man definitely suited the place, really gave the sense of home town living. As I made my way towards those ominous doors the distinct clicking of my heeled boots was somewhat poetic, the fact that I could once upon a time trip over air was never forgotten nor had it ever been something that I lived down while at school. It was either a quiet night here or it hadn't picked up yet as the soft rumble of voices inside gave the impression of easy drinking or talking without the hustle and bustle of sleazy men with god awful pick up lines. My smile grew as I made it to those swinging doors and just stood there observing what was clearly not a slow day, but the beginnings of a very busy night. The band were setting up their instruments, the waitresses had started to clean up the booths before things really started to get heavy; and lastly there was Felix, standing at the bar clearly restocking the shelves for another busy night. "Excuse me miss, but could I see some identification please?" the gruff voice of my brothers best friend that clearly hadn't changed in the 5 years since I left. Demetri stood there at the door, all 6'3 of him wearing a very tight black short sleeved shirt over his muscular arms and chest, and those fucking legs that would run the length of the field within seconds to catch that ball encased in black denim jeans that made his ass look positively sinful. I was sure it was something that he would never choose unless it was to gain the attention of some particular woman tonight.
I looked up into those steel grey eyes that had once been the star of my fantasies for nearly two years while I was at junior high, only to come to see them as another brother once I made it to senior high. Those eyes matched with the mess of dark brown hair and dimpled left cheek hadn't changed at all. Even if I hadn't seen him in fifty years I'd recognise that man anywhere. "It's okay, I know the owner." I responded once I finished drinking the tall dark and brooding man that served as one of the reasons why I was dateless during my final years of schooling here in Forks. I watched as his brows knitted together almost looking like a caterpillar had climbed up on his face and made its home there. "Be that as it may miss; it's my job to ensure that no-one gets in underage." His gruff voice once more brought back memories of how growing up he'd been my idol for every man to fall down against. Nobody stood up to the way I had pictured him and what he could have done to me back then. Watching him play football in the backyard with my two brothers and listening to him bitch when Jane had cheated on him the night before his senior prom with the most despised boy in the school. It was his words that made everything fine when Felix left to start his journey to self discovery only to have Emmett follow in his steps a year later, leaving me with dad and Demetri as the only people I could talk to and understand why I was so uncomfortable with everyone around me.
"Smile De, it won't hurt you. But if it'll keep you employed I'll play nice." I couldn't help myself with toying with the man in front of me, nothing had ever pissed him off more than when people called him De; he'd always holler about how it was a disgrace to his family since they had been passing that name down for generations. As I handed him my identification I watched as it dawned on him exactly who it was standing here playing games with him. He never disappointed with showing what he was thinking about, it would practically tattoo itself across his forehead giving away everything he'd ever wanted to keep quiet. "Bella, when did you get in? We weren't expecting you for another week for Emmett's wedding." He whispered into my ear as he pulled me into one of those back breaking and possibly rib cracking hugs he'd torture me with growing up. I think I counted to 20 before I felt the ground back under my heels and the air once more enter my lungs as he held me tighter than ever. "Someone had to make sure you three didn't get into too much trouble on this bachelor party that's being thrown for him, and who better than the little sister to keep your asses in line?" I asked as I patted his cheek before side stepping his arms and making my way towards the bar. Felix still had his back turned towards me as he filled the glass trays, while the perky little waitress that looked somewhat familiar bounced over to me with a gleam in her eyes. "Hey hon, what can I get ya?" she asked as she discreetly fixed herself up in her bra, and brushing her hair back. I just pointed to my big brother's back while I winked at the waitress.
"Sorry hon, he's taken, and I don't think his misses would take kindly to some woman trying to get her man." She spoke and I couldn't help but wonder if she had tried to do just that, or had Heidi came in and given the word that he was out of bounds. "It's okay I can share him. I'm sure his wife wouldn't mind." I winked causing her to balk at my forwardness or the innuendo's that ran through her mind. Either way she looked a little ruffled at what I had said. "I think you better leave before I get the big man over here to escort you out ma'am." I couldn't help but piss myself laughing. She huffed and puffed like some weird big bad wolf at my blatant disregard of her words. "It's your funeral lady." It didn't go un-noticed that she was in serious need of an attitude adjustment as she once more threw her hair over her shoulder before turning away to get Felix and possibly ring Heidi to get her ass down here. "Jessica if you can't handle the woman by yourself what the hell am I gonna do with ya tonight. I don't have time for this crap." Felix's voice carried across the bar, as he rounded on this Jessica woman. I don't know what she had said in return to him, but the next minute she threw her apron down and stormed out towards the back of the bar. I watched as Felix ran his hands through his hair before pulling it near the nape of his neck. "Alright woman you've just cost me a waitress for the night, what the hell do you want?" he was practically vibrating with fury as he turned towards me, and I saw Demetri begin to move towards us in the mirror behind the bar.
"Well a hello for a start would be nice. And then maybe a what the fuck next might go down good." I smiled as his green eyes formed slits and his nostrils flared as his anger grew. I sat there on the bar stool waiting for him to breath, it was a given with Felix growing up; that the only way to get him calmed down when he'd lose it was to make sure he blew up right. His jaw twitched as he clenched and released his fists while he was staring me down. I'd gotten so used to that stare that I hadn't flinched or worried about it since I was 10 when it was one of the ways he used to get me to do his chores so he could go out with his friends. We stood the locked in the staring competition; neither of us speaking or caring that we were drawing a crowd. Slowly his eyes started to search the rest of my face, taking in the hair, and lips that I had inherited from our father, and the unmistakeable heart shaped face that always annoyed the hell out of me growing up. I caught sight of Demetri in the mirror once more and I couldn't help but wonder what was going through his mind as Felix kept throwing glances at him behind my back.
Rather than just sit there and watch as things finally fell into place I climbed my way over the bar and threw myself at him much to the amusement of Demetri and a few of the patrons. "Fucking hell big brother can't even recognise your own kin when they come home?" I whispered in his ear as his arms caught me reflexively. "What the fuck?" he all but cried looking down at my small frame still encased in his arms. Well that was one of the two responses I had asked for; I thought sardonically as slowly the bar filled with people, some who I recognised and others that were complete strangers to me. "Bella, what the hell are you doing here, Emm said you won't be here until next week." His voice slightly higher than normal; though that could be due in some small part that I did just jump the poor man. I couldn't help the giggle that fell from my mouth, what is it with men from this town, thinking the same thing. Must be in the water or something. "Where is that guy anyway? I thought ya'll were thick as thieves or has that changed too?" I glanced around the bar still filling with people glancing over at the unusual situation that had been happening behind the bar. I really didn't care what others thought, I'd learnt that lesson while away, and it was time to put it into practice. The cocky smile playing across his face was something I knew I would soon regret seeing, as he finally let his hold on me break.
"You know you still owe me a waitress for the night." He threw out as I bent over to pick up the apron that had been thrown away by the bouncy woman not 10 minutes earlier. Understanding hit me like a freight train, I knew what was next but I wasn't going to make it easy for him. "Huh, and what are you proposing dear brother of mine?" I asked while still bent over knowing that I was giving a good viewing of my ass to all those sitting at the bar. The hollers and whistles were not unknown to me; rather they made it easier for me to spot those I should stay away from. "Work the night and I'll call it even. But change that shirt; no-one is going to get a free show of those." I smirked, it had been a very long time since someone had tried to take over my wardrobe; my room-mate had worked way too hard to bring out the vixen in me to have it hidden in the corner. "Chest hidden, anything else?" I called as I made my way towards the door to my car, knowing full well what I was going to pick, and would cause a stir in many a man's pants tonight. I watched as he shook his head and tossed me some keys for the back door and change rooms. "Oh lord help us, here comes trouble." I heard Demetri groan as I made the door. He had no clue how right he truly was.
As I made it to my car, I searched through my bags looking for my patent leather pants and blood red mid drift top that hung off one shoulder as it hugged my every curve before jumping into the front seat and moving my car towards the back entrance of the bar; finding a parking spot right beside the door and setting the alarm as I made my way towards the door. I found the women's change room easily enough; I just had to follow the scent of cheap perfume that hung in the air. I quickly changed from my jeans and corset top into what I had brought in, while letting my hair fall down my back in lose curls that reached mid length. Throwing on my boots once more I made my way towards the staff entrance of the bar grabbing the apron that hung on the hook just inside the change room door and tying it around my waist. "Well fuck me sideways and call me stiff. Bella Swan you have some serious explaining to do." Heidi's voice called over the crowd as she made her way to stand in front of me. "I think Felix already did that don't you?" I couldn't help it, her pregnant stomach was a sight to see, and I had to feel sorry for her carrying my brother's child in her petite frame. With the strength of a line backer she pulled me into her arms crushing me to her chest and amazingly avoiding any contact with her protruding baby bump. I had to wonder how it was that this woman who had only been in my life for the past few years could remember who I was but the men that had known me since the day I was born needed to be reminded. "I think college did you good sweetheart. But you know your brothers aren't gonna let you get away with this right?" she mumbled as I pulled back from her to examine her face closer and eying my outfit. I couldn't help but throw the classic Swan smirk we all had developed.
She was gorgeous before but now she was absolutely breath taking, her hair flowing like the red river of Babylon; and her piercing blue eyes that could make any man do as she wished. But it was the glow from her that set everything as it should be, the aura of pending motherhood suited her so well. Yet I was still a little miffed at the fact that I was wearing 4 inch heels and she still towered over my mere 5'5 frame. "Heidi, they can try, but they won't succeed. Trust me on this one." I smiled as I reached for the tray and note pad to start the whole process of what was going to be a very interesting night. The weaving through tables and slapping of my hand across some heads started practically seconds after I stepped onto the floor. I listened as the band sang covers of yesterday's hits as well as today's. The Pack as they called themselves weren't that bad really; as people began to grind on the dance floor or sing along while they sat at their tables. I felt the eyes of Felix and Demetri follow my movements throughout the night, and I was pretty sure that a few men would have been tossed out if I hadn't been able to handle their overly friendly advances or hands. I had stopped to talk to some of my class mates who had found their way in the bar, and listened to their stories of what they had been doing while leaving my life very vague. Danced with the girls who had been my closest friends during my breaks, and generally enjoying reminiscing about how easy and laid back it was 5 years ago.
I cried inside my head as last call had been announced. Not because I was tired or sore, but because I would be able to catch up with my family once more. And the removal of Mike Newton meant that I'd have my ass to myself for some time. Emmett and his lovely fiancé made their presence known three hours into the night; while our friends drifted through the door and back out like a never ending conga line. Felix had just about kicked out all staff early while Demetri rang cabs for those less fortunate souls passed out over their tables or too inebriated to drive for themselves as I started the round up of all those dirty glasses that were scattered throughout the bar. "Baby Bells get over here already. I've had to watch you prance around the bar the whole night and not get to introduce you to my soon to be wife." Emmett's voice boomed through the now nearly empty building, startling poor Heidi who had been fighting sleep for the last few hours. I was far too amped to not be bouncing through the tables and wanting more music to dance to or something. I smiled at the woman who'd I had actually met before but he seemed to have drank too much to realise this, or the fact that Rosalie was in my year at school, but I thought it might be better to indulge his sorry ass a little. "Bella this is the love of my life, the one whose got me staying in town for the rest of my life, Rosalie, this is my little sister who until today I had no clue had a body like that. And let me tell you now, you ain't prancing around town like that little lady." He practically hyperventilated during his little speech; guess Emmett still hadn't learnt when enough was enough. "Hey Rose, you keeping his sorry ass in line?" I asked as Emmett's eyes all but fell out of their sockets at out casual talk. She nodded her head while trying not to laugh at the big oath that we both seem to love. "Good it means you'll fit in just fine as a Swan." That was it, neither she nor Heidi could keep it in. "You know that's the same thing you said to me when we met. What's up with that?" Heidi asked from her perch on Felix's lap. Shrugging my shoulders I turned to collect more glasses and clean the tables. "Probably because it takes a strong back hand to keep the Swan men in line. That plus the two big asses are way overly protective and I might get a life soon." I called from the other side of the room.
Eventually Demetri joined the rest sitting around the bar while I continued cleaning and dancing around the now empty dance floor with a bucket under one arm and a dish rag in my other hand. "How is it you can still do all this while you've been working the floor all night, its freaking 6 am and you look like you could go another 24 hours before falling down?" Felix was shocked at my energy, and if he thought I was bad he'd have a coronary if he ever met my roommate, she was like the energizer bunny on crack or something. Girl couldn't stay still even if her life depended on it. "Only one way I know how to whine down and that's to crash and burn after a night like tonight. So I'm killing whatever buzz I'm on now or it's gonna be another 48 hours before I finally crash. Worked that out at a frat party..." the looks from my family seemed to be from stunned that I can last that long to extremely pissed that I had been to some frat parties. I heard the mutterings from them but honestly I didn't care, it's not like I drank or did anything to worry about, I was the one that kept others from becoming notches on bed posts. "Bella you better be... you know... fuck is there anyone we need to find and kill?" Felix had come up from behind me grabbing my arms to stop me from moving. Damn over protective ass, this is why I hate having brother's I swear they don't know how to take things. "Nope"- I said popping the 'P'- "Still pure as the white driven snow that we get here in winter. Not that it has anything to do with you right Felix? I look like sin wrapped in a tight little package, doesn't mean I am sin in the package." I watched as his face dropped knowing that he had over stepped something right then and there. "You know I love you right, all of you; including you Rose." I called as I began once more dancing around the floor looking for any glasses or bottles I had missed. "Big brother rights and all that." Emmett rambled as he held Rose close to his chest.
"Take your girls home guys, get some rest. I'll probably go running after this to burn out the last of my energy." I called as I fished out one of the bottles that had fallen behind one of the speakers on stage from the band. Damn asses left it in a tight ass place where I had to bend over the damned thing to collect it. "I'll make sure everything's locked up. Take the girls back home guys." Demetri called somewhere behind me, not close enough to worry me, but close enough in case I got stuck and he had to fish me out of the hole I found. Hey I might have great balance and all but you never know with the high I'm on. I waved my arm as I heard them all call out their goodbyes to me and that my room was waiting for me when I got home. As the back door closed I finally got hold of that damned bottle and started to wiggle my way out of that tight spot. Gaining my balance as my feet once more found the floor I backed up and started to turn around to find my face met with the very large chest of the big man himself. "You know you almost had me fooled then, gotta admit I don't think they'd like to know that you weren't as pure as you let them believe." He smirked as my eyes moved up to meet his, nor unmistakable feeling of soaked panties that I hadn't felt in nearly 5 years. "Yeah well a lot has changed since then hasn't it?" I replied removing my eyes from his gaze. Shit this was part of the reason I left, falling for someone that was better to be thought of as a brother and losing your V card too hurt like a son of a bitch. And when fantasies become reality only to be ripped out from underneath you was worse.
"Not everything changes Bella, I haven't." His voice was soft and gentle just as it was that night. I closed my eyes lost in the memories of that night, where everything that shouldn't have happened did, and when I realised that everything that I had wanted was never going to happen no matter how much I wanted it. "De, I think you should go home to your woman, I'm sure she's probably waiting for you. I can close up. I work in a bar back at school."I whispered as I began to move away from the man who could break me like no other had done before. Fucking emotions and feelings can creep up on you when you least expect it, and hide themselves for years. Lying dormant for years only to surface when you are faced with that one who could stir them up with a few words. I felt his hand hold onto my arm stopping my exit as he pulled me towards him, crashing his lips against mine. Searing his claim to my every fibre with that one touch. Ruining me for any man that may have stood the slightest chance of breaking his hold on me. I was dizzy as I literally saw stars and fireworks go off behind my eyelids. "There is no other Bella, not since you left." He whispered as he lent his forehead against mine as we both caught our breath. "I can't stay De, I haven't finished school..." the words fell from my mouth as freely as the tears from my eyes. I couldn't look at him, knowing if he felt even a quarter of what I did he would be in pain. I couldn't be what he wanted, what he needed. I could only be me and that meant another year at school finishing my internship at Texas General Hospital before I was able to think about anything that lay beyond then.
He cupped my face, wiping the tears away as they fell. "Bella... Look at me... Please look at me; my brown eyed angel. I can wait. For you I will wait forever if I have to. As long as I know it's me you come home to." He held so much promise and conviction in his words that I gasped at the meaning behind the words. I felt like everything had just been promised to me and yet I couldn't stand there and watch as both our hearts seemingly broke from his words or my fears. "I can't ask you to do that Demetri. It's not fair to you; you need someone who is here, not half way across the country chasing their dreams while you sit here and wait." I met his eyes once more, only to fall forever and unconditionally for the man, but not willing to hand everything that I was, am, and will ever be when I still truly didn't know what that was. "Please Bella... I can wait. I have for 5 damned years, another year won't hurt. Just don't throw what we could be away without giving it a chance. I can do long distance if that's what it has to be... I... I love you Isabella. Always have always will." His declaration brought me to my knees, no man had ever promised me anything close to this, and no man has ever shown me this part of him. And as much as I was scared at the intensity that he spoke with, I couldn't turn away from it. "Okay." I whispered barely loud enough for him to hear it, but he did. Oh god did he hear that one word that both filled me with hope and promise; and at the same time terrified me to the very centre of my being.
"Okay?" he mumbled as he brought me once more into his strong arms, as he held me to him. "Okay you want me to wait, or okay we can do this long distance?" he seemed so unsure of himself now, something that I thought I'd never see in my life. It was my turn to smile, to be happy and looking at his face, into those eyes that spoke to my very soul. Slowly I raised my hand to cup his face while the other twisted into his hair. "Okay we can give this a go. But it's gonna have to be long distance, and you have to promise me something." My voice holding more strength than I had ever thought capable if I was ever presented with this situation. "Anything... anything you want." He sounded like a little kid at Christmas, getting the one thing he had ever asked fro from Santa. "We tell the boys together." I smiled as he bent down to meet my lips in another searing kiss that would have brought me to my knees once more if he hadn't held onto me. Maybe fantasies do come true.