Disclaimer: SM owns all... I just play in her sandbox.
Ah! Jasper/Bella stories are hot. That's all I can say and I hope I can pull off a good story for them. I feel J/B stories are a lot better when their hot, raw and passionate which is what I'll be attempting. Read on.. I hope you like it.
Summary: Bella needs money and she'll do anything for a job. What seems like a normal café by day is something entirely different at night and Jasper is more than willing to show her the ropes.
I swirled the dark liquid in my glass. The rich smell filled my nose. I must have been onto my third glass by this point but I didn't mind. As long as the wine kept flowing my night was set. I took another gulp before setting the almost empty wine glass on the coffee table. I only just held in my chuckle as Alice let out a groan before lifting it back up and placing a coaster beneath it while glaring at me.
"Do you know how much this table cost?" she stressed but relaxed back into her couch.
"Yes, Alice, you remind me every time."
"And one day you'll remember."
I laughed gently. Most of Alice's furniture was expensive. A lot had been deported from Europe and she went through extra effort to ensure it was kept in pristine condition. That meant no glasses on her tables without a coaster. I guess I pushed my luck a lot but it was fun to watch her get so protective over a piece of furniture. She was too eccentric for her own good. I was beginning to think maybe she had an OCD but I let her have her fun.
"Maybe, but until then, you'll have to stay on your toes," I joked. Alice glared at me again.
"You should be nicer," she insisted. "If it wasn't for me, you'd be sitting at home with your lover boy." She raised an eyebrow at me waiting to see if I'd take the bait. I did. Of course I did, I was three drinks into the night and I despised her terminology more than anything. Whenever she talked of him I got riled up. The last thing Jacob was, was my lover boy. I liked to remind her of that as much as she liked to place coasters under everyone's drink.
"He is not my lover boy," I all but hissed.
Alice chuckled. "If you don't love him then why do you still live with him?"
"You know why." It was my turn to glare. I didn't want to talk about this or him. Alice was rich, she had money coming out of her ass so the last thing I wanted to bring up was the fact I was having money problems. She knew about them of course but it still didn't make it easier to talk about them.
"Well I've offered for you to come live with me," she reminded. I shook my head.
"Alice, you live in a one bedroom apartment and even if you had the spare room I couldn't share rent with you in a place like this. Without a job I'm lucky if I can afford my basic essentials. I've borrowed way too much money for a life time." I had pulled a pillow onto my lap now and was absently picking at a loose thread. Alice would probably die if she seen it but I'm sure she wasn't paying too much attention to her pillows.
She looked at me sympathetically. "I guess your last interview didn't go over so well?"
I shook my head and grimaced. "Without qualifications I have no chance. There just isn't enough jobs, Alice and I haven't set myself up very well for life."
Alice moved to sit next to me on the couch. She wrapped an arm around my shoulder and squeezed me gently. "Hey," she whispered. "Your mom was ill, nobody blames you for dropping out of college."
"I know," I sighed, "but I can't even afford to go back. I really don't know what to do. I can't stand living with Jake anymore, he's driving me crazy, but it's not like I have options and there's no way I'm going back to Forks."
Forks was my hometown. Where I grew up. My parents lived there all their lives and I'm sure they expected the same of me but when I expressed my wishes to go to university in Chicago they supported me fully. They bid me goodbye like every other parents. Renee cried and Charlie patted my back awkwardly and wished me luck before giving into his emotions and hugging me tightly. That was when they were happy and had no problems. Before Renee fell ill and everything began to fall apart.
I was failing in school, I was too worried about her so eventually I decided to drop out and go home to help. I lived with Jacob at the time, he was my boyfriend, and he promised me I'd always have a place to live in Chicago with him. I couldn't me more grateful but I didn't know when I'd return. Eventually the inevitable came when my mom passed away. It was heartbreaking. Forks was a small town, everyone knew everyone, so everyone who lived their was hit hard. Especially my father. Charlie began to slip off the rails. Ever since, he's been succumbed by alcohol. I tried to help but it was futile. He lost his job as Chief of Police and his life from then on was a down spiral.
It soon became intolerable to live with him. He was once a man that I looked up to but now he was nothing better than a drunk who couldn't control his emotions. I tried to get him to see a therapist but he laughed in my face. I tried to hide the alcohol, pour it down the sink but he told me he wanted me gone in the morning. That's when I knew alcohol had taken over my dads life. I did as I was told and returned to Chicago. If he wouldn't accept my help, their was nothing I could do.
As promised, Jacob welcomed me back with open arms. But it had been months and it didn't feel the same anymore. I had savings at the time but not enough to return to college or even to pay rent for my own place. I broke things off with Jacob but he never really accepted it and as long as I was living there, the more false hope I was giving him. He never backed down and always tried to win me back but I no longer harbored feelings for him like I used to. So I decided I'd move out as soon as I found myself a job but so far my luck was cut short. I was finding it exceedingly difficult to land myself one.
"Look, Bella," Alice paused for a second. "I think I know a place you could try."
I pulled away and looked at her expectantly. Why had she kept this for me? She knew how desperate I was for a job. I would literally do anything.
"It's a café. I know the owner but tell them I sent you. That's the only way you'll even be considered."
I nodded slowly. "Why haven't you told me about this?"
"It's complicated. Just go. Remember, Alice sent you, because trust me they'll kick you to the curb without that." She seemed wary. I wasn't sure why, what could be so harmless about a café? I mean surely it couldn't be that bad. "Oh, and Bella? Promise me you'll go into it with an open mind? It may seem… weird at first but trust me, it's not as bad as it seems."
I just nodded. I guess I'd have to wait and see. Alice smiled at me but her eyes were still cautious and unsure. I smiled back before reaching for my wine and draining the rest. Alice took the glass from my hand and grabbed her own. "More wine?" And suddenly the atmosphere was lighter again and we returned to our joking selves. I relaxed back into the couch, the wine I had been drinking was catching up to me and Alice was relentless. It wasn't long before I was too drunk to go home and ended up crashing on her couch. She was my saviour.
By the time I finally woke my head was pounding. The day after having a drink never agreed with me but after drinking wine it seemed to be a lot worse. Starting the day with a hangover probably wasn't ideal all things considering. I'd have to first go home and shower and then proceed to explain why I didn't go home last night or call Jacob. I didn't have to elucidate myself to him but often found if I gave him an excuse I'd get him out of my hair quicker. And then of course, once I was presentable I'd have to take a trip to this café Alice had told me about. Hopefully I'd find myself a job their but I didn't get my hopes up. I'd be rejected from too many jobs to do that.
As usual, Alice was already up and raring to go. I, however, was absolutely useless without coffee. Of course, Alice and I had been friends for too long for her to forget such a thing so sitting on her overly expensive coffee table was a mug with two Aspirin's laying beside it. I could have kissed her. After filling myself with the sweet nectar Alice offered to drive me home and then to the café since I didn't know where it was. I was hopeless with directions. I had a car, a truck to be exact, but I didn't have the money to fill it and nobody wanted to buy it because if I was honest… it was a piece of junk. But I loved my baby nevertheless and one day, she'd be driven again.
We found Jacob sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, phone in hand. He looked like he'd had a restless sleep but decided I didn't care. It was his own fault for not moving on. I had and one day he would too. I just needed to get out and give him some space.
"Honey," Jacob cried in relief as I walked in. I cringed, he was in one of those moods. The moods where he liked to act extra attentive because he felt if he was in my face then I'd be more likely to fall for his 'charm'. Not gonna happen. "Where were you last night?"
He walked towards me and almost wrapped his arms around my waist but I quickly dodged made a pretence of getting a glass of water. Anything to keep him away from me. "I was with Alice," I said slowly as if I was talking to a child. Considering Alice was standing right there in the kitchen with us, the chances were, I had been with her.
"I was worried. You could've called."
"I know and I'm sorry but I'm fine. I had a little too much wine and Alice kindly offered her couch. Now I need to go shower."
I left the room just as I heard Alice pipe up. "No, I didn't offer. She more or less just passed out on my couch so I left her be. The good friend I am, I was gonna call you to come get her Jake but I didn't know if you would be sleeping and I didn't want to wake you."
Oh, I was gonna kill her one day. I heard Jacob say something back but I didn't want to hear it so I headed for the bathroom instead. The apartment was small, no where near as extensive as Alice's and she only had one bedroom. But ours was quaint and had one bathroom which I despised sharing. I didn't mind so much when Jacob and I were dating but now if I even saw one thing of his I got annoyed.
I was as quick as possible and before I knew it Alice and I were sitting in her car which was parked right in front of the café. It was eleven and I knew my timing was probably wrong. I was here right before the lunch time rush. However, I could not build up the courage to go in. I needed this job, I truly was running out of options and I didn't want to mess up. Alice and I had been bickering for the past ten minutes.
"You'll be fine, Bella, now get your ass out of my car," she said.
"I don't see why you won't come in with me. If they see me with you then I'll have more of a chance. You said yourself I had to mention you to even be considered," I moaned back.
Alice glared her little pixie face at me. "Because I have places to be and I'll tell you the other reason at a later date. When you get the job you'll understand why."
"If. If I get the job, you mean. Don't jinx it."
We continued like this for I don't know how long until Alice took matters into her own hands a literally dragged me out of the car. She drove away before I could even comprehend what was going on. I let out a sigh/groan thing and turned towards the café. It had a typical cheesy name. Truly Scrumptious. There was too large windows on either side of the door. You could see patrons sitting at tables drinking coffee and eating pastries. It looked like a normal everyday café. I don't know why I'd need Alice to be contemplated. I noticed that in one window that their was a large sign.
They were advertising the job… it obviously wasn't as secretive as Alice made it out to be. With a smile I pushed back my shoulders and strolled confidently into the café. A small bell chimed as I opened it and the woman behind the counter looked up. She didn't smile or even make any note that she'd acknowledged my presence besides the fact her eyes followed me as I walked towards her.
"Hi, what can I get you?" Her voice was short and clipped but it fit with her appearance. She was tall and statuesque. Her figure was to die for, the kind of figure a woman would pay thousands of dollars to achieve but then look to fake to pull off. But not on this girl, she looked natural. Even her perfect wavy hair looked natural. She was blond but not bleached. She beautiful and she knew it. She probably had a bit too much self confidence and that alone gave a few knocks to my own.
"I saw the sign?" My voice was a mere squeak. The woman intimidated me.
She raised an eyebrow. "You want a job?"
I nodded cautiously. Working in a café couldn't be that hard and she was being awfully prejudice. She let out a patronizing chuckle. "Honey, you don't have a chance in hell. I wouldn't bother if I were you."
I was taken back by her words. How the hell did she know if I was worthy? I didn't see why everyone seemed to be making a big deal about working in a café. I had experience, while I was in high school. There was a diner in Forks, a friend of Renee's owned it. "What makes you so sure?" My voice was more confident than before. She annoyed me.
"I just know," she started before a voice cut her off.
"Rosalie, I thought I told you to send any applicants back for me to deal with?" His voice was sharp. Something had obviously pissed him off. Maybe it was this Rosalie's attitude to potential employees.
Rosalie blushed slightly. Something I'd never have considered at woman like her to do. She smiled at me, it was friendly but politer than before. Probably a show for this man. "I'm sorry, Mr Whitlock, I'll send her back right away." He said no more and disappeared before I could get a look at him. "Name?" Rosalie hissed.
"Isabella Swan," I supplied.
Rosalie nodded while writing something down. She then motioned for me to follow her. She stopped in front of a wooden door and knocked once before opening it and gesturing for me to go in. She didn't say anything to me but I couldn't help noticing her smirk. She really did believe I had no chance and I was beginning to think neither did I. Their were several other doors in the hallway and I got the impression that the building was a lot bigger than just the café.
The office I walked into was very extravagant. Maybe a bit too ornate for a café but I couldn't judge someone's personal preference. I then began to wonder why a café even had an office. Was it really necessary? My eyes were quickly drawn to the man sitting behind the large desk.
I wouldn't have been surprised if my mouth slipped open. I don't think I'd seen anyone so handsome in my life. My eyes didn't know what to take in first. His hair was golden and curly. It was at a length where he could tuck it behind his ears but didn't look feminine. His face was perfectly sculpted, his bone structure was strong. I wanted nothing more than to run my fingers over it. To touch his plump lips and feel his breath over my face. I then wanted to run my hand down and touch the toned chest that was emphasized by his tight t-shirt. That was all I could see from behind the desk but my mind was immediately in the gutter. As was he… and the desk.
Apparently I had stood in the doorway longer than I realized. When I finally met his eyes, his enticing blue eyes, I noticed he had been sitting waiting for me to actually introduce myself. He was smirking cockily, as if he knew every thought that had just went through my head. I eventually walked over to him and held my hand out across the desk. "Hi, I'm Isabella Swan," I offered.
He stood from his chair and took my head. I expected him to shake it but instead did an incredibly cheesy/gentlemanly move and broke my hand to his lips and softy kissed the back. I knew I was blushing and fought desperately to rid myself of it. He let go of my hand and gestured to a seat and so I sat. "Nice to meet you, ma'am," he drawled. "Jasper Whitlock."
His voice was laced with a hidden southern accent. The kind of accent that really made one soak their panties. Great way to start an interview. Or whatever this was.
"So, I hear you want a job?"
I stared at him dumbly before finally finding my voice. "Yes. I saw your sign in the window."
He nodded. "Look, honey, you seem like a great girl, but I don't think you'd be right for the position. A certain amount of… confidence," he thought about his words, "is needed and I'm not sure if you have that."
I wanted to cry. I really wasn't catching any breaks with this job. "And how would you know if you don't even give me a shot?" I could at least try to appear confident, even if I wasn't. Quite frankly, I would do anything for this job.
Jasper smirked. "Taking you on would be a huge risk on my part. I have to be one hundred percent sure, and right now, I am not."
I resisted the urge to glare at him like a petulant child. "So you wouldn't even consider me just because I'm not confident?"
Jasper shook his head. "I'm sorry, darlin', but as I said, certain traits are needed and I don't think it'd be worth the risk." He stood up from his seat and I knew that this was quickly slipping out of my hands. I stood up to and watched as he walked towards the door and held it open for me. I stayed where I was.
"That's it?" I asked. Jasper nodded and waited patiently for me to leave. It was then I quickly remembered something. "So what if I was to say Alice sent me?" I prayed with all my heart that this would work. Jasper perked up then. He let the door slip from his fingers and it closed slowly.
I nodded. "Alice Brandon. She told me about the job."
Jasper walked back to his seat and sat down. He sat back with his arms crossed. "Well I haven't seen that little lady in almost a year. What did she say about my fine establishment?" He seemed a lot more interested now that Alice had been brought into the situation. For the second time, I could have kissed that woman.
"She told me that I should enter it with an open mind and that I wouldn't even be considered if I didn't mention her. I realize that's true now."
"Forgive me, darlin'. I didn't meant to come across rude. Any friend of Alice is a friend of mine." I nodded. He smirked deliciously at me. "I assume Alice told you everything? That's one of the main reasons I have to be cautious. I can only let in people I trust."
I didn't answer for a moment. I debated quickly whether I should lie or tell the truth. It was obvious that if I didn't know everything then the job wouldn't be mine but how was I to know what I was getting into. What if something bad went on here? But then again Alice wouldn't have even told me about it if she thought I'd be putting myself into trouble. I knew my only chance was to lie. "Yes," I smiled. I'd force it out of Alice later.
"Excellent. I'll give you a trial, see if you're up to it. Come by tomorrow at eight." I couldn't help the joyful smile that graced my face. I finally got a job, albeit it was only a trial, but if I played my cards right then I'd hopefully have it in the bag. I'd finally be able to get enough money to find a small apartment of my own.
"I'll see you then," I said. Of course, as I spoke those words I really had no idea what exactly I was getting into and if I had known, I wasn't so sure if I'd have agreed so heartily.
Okay, so what do you think? I know it may seem a little confusing now but don't worry everything will cleared up as to what actually goes on the cafe in the next chapter. As for the lovin' between Bella and Jasper? Well that you'll have to wait and see.
Hit me with a review, I'd love to your opinion. I'll bake you all Jasper cookies!