Just a Kiss Contest
Story Title: The Diner
Penname: ThatPanicGirlE

Summary: Bella sucks at being a waitress, but that doesn't stop the short order cook, Jacob, from taking notice of her beauty. Can he finally man-up and tell her how he feels?

Word Count: 2,068

To view other entries, please visit: http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/u/2922402/Just_a_Kiss_Contest

Disclaimer: I sure as hell don't own anything Twilight.
I do however own a bunch of vigilante coyotes.
Just ask me about them.

"Seriously, Bella?" I asked as she dropped yet another tray of food at the window. It was only her first day at the Forks Diner; it was quickly becoming her last.

"Jacob, I'm sorry," she replied through the window. Her eyes looked close to filling with tears as she lowered herself to pick up the fallen burgers and fries. There was Cola all over the floor and ketchup on the walls. It was a total disaster down there.

"It's okay," I shouted over my shoulder, "I'll make another real quick. Have you had a break yet?"

She shook her head no.

"Go take a break. I'll take this out to the customer."

She nodded as she tried to push back the tears. I sighed as she walked out the back door. Quickly finishing the burgers, I trotted over to the table where two very aggravated customers sat, waiting.

I knew Bella wouldn't get a tip out of them, so I pulled a five dollar bill out of my own pocket, ready for her when she got back in. Twenty minutes flew by quickly, and as the two disgruntled customers walked out the door, I slipped the money on the table.

I watched as Bella slid back into the building and donned her apron. I could tell that she'd been crying. Eyeliner and mascara surrounded her eyes like a raccoon. I stopped her just short of the counter and handed her a napkin. She carefully focused her attention to each eye as she tried her hardest to remove all the signs of her pain from around them.

"Jacob, if I lose this job, I don't know what I'll do," she said, near tears again.

"Well, we'll try to make sure that doesn't happen, now won't we?"

She nodded.

The rest of the night went by without another incident. Jane, the owner of the diner, came up to Bella, and I just knew she was about to get the boot. Instead, she just told Bella to mind her feet and watch what she was doing. I watched as relief fell across that beautiful face, and I smiled.

Good for her.

Bella didn't need anything else happening to her. Her father, and former police chief, Charlie, had been shot on the job. The bullet just barely missed his heart but hit a spot near his spine. They told him he'd never walk again. Pensions only pay so much and as Bella soon found out, it was either college or a job.

She had to pick the latter.

I'd known Bella my entire life, and that family has seen more heartache, unhappy moments and utter let down than any family should have to face. Her mother died when she was just a little girl, and two years ago, her brother Sam was killed in a head on collision with a drunk driver. I've watched her pull out of one tragedy after another, all the while trying to push back my true feelings for her.

It all started in junior high school. Bella was always there for me. After my mother passed away, Bella held my hand when we buried her, she was my date to the prom when Leah Clearwater laughed in my face after asking her.

Everything I did involved Bella.

I've always wanted to tell her what I thought but the idea that she could turn me down and everything could go awkward scared me to death. I'd rather have Bella as a friend than nothing at all. As hard as I tried to push my feelings back, they were slowly beginning to spill out.

The doors to the diner were locked, and I was cleaning up the grill area. Bella came back to help me once her tables had been restocked and cleaned.

"You know, you didn't have to help me today," she said, taking a sip from her cup. I watched as her lips wrapped around the straw, and I had to divert my attention away from it. If I didn't, my mind would wander to places I'd refused to let it go.

"I wanted to," I replied, not looking at her.

"Well either way, I appreciate it all. Thank you, not only for getting me this job, but for saving my ass out there."

"You're very welcome," I said as she turned to walk out of the kitchen. I watched her hand hit the door.

Call her back, tell her how you feel.

"Bella," I blurted.

"Yeah?" she said, turning around.

I stopped for a moment, again captivated by her beauty.

"Never mind," I responded, my nerve leaving me all at once.


She shrugged and walked out the door into the dining area.

"You know, one of these days you'll get the balls to tell her how you feel," Quil said as we sat on the hood of my VW Rabbit.

I shook my head and took a sip of my beer.

"And one day, pigs will fly."

Quil snorted. "Jacob, man, I'm serious. Bella is hot stuff. You've always had this huge crush on her. If you don't tell her, she'll never know. It's kind of like playing the lottery; you can't win if you don't gamble."

"And knowing my luck, she'll tell me that it's sweet that I'm crushing on her and that she just thinks of me as a friend."

"Suit yourself, nimrod, but if I were you, I'd say something."

As the sun started rising over the horizon, I realized I needed to get in bed. The next shift would be a killer. Fridays are always tough here in Forks. There are three places to eat out: The Forks Diner, The Lodge and Mama Clearwater's Chicken Shack. The rest is fast food and stuff that makes your arteries clog faster than the drains in a bathhouse at an all girl's college.

I closed my eyes as my head hit the pillow. I spent the better part of three hours tossing and turning. My attention was focused on Bella's eyes and how beautiful they were, even full of tears and mascara. I tried so hard to get sleep but found it wasn't coming easily to me.

Finally, I must have drifted off to sleep, because the next thing I remember was my alarm clock waking me. I hated the thought of getting up until I realized that Bella would be working the shift with me.

I threw on my sleeveless shirt and work jeans that had holes just at the knee. As I shaved the little bit of stubble away from my face, I finally convinced myself that tonight would be the night that I would finally say something to Bella.

However when I got to the Diner, it looked as though a bomb had gone off. Tables were unbussed, people were waiting for available seats, and as I brushed past Bella, she mouthed the words "help." I reached for a bucket and started bussing as many tables as I could even though my shift wasn't supposed to begin for another thirty minutes.

I got at least six tables cleared and was working on the seventh when my shift officially started. I pushed the dishes to the kitchen and put on my apron. The night was filled with mixed-up orders, drinks dropped, plates clattering to the floor, and as the clock started winding down to the midnight hour, I looked out to an empty diner to see Bella sitting with her face in her hands. Jane was all but yelling at her.

"Bella, the only reason I hired you is because your father needs your help. You are a horrible waitress. I have no idea what to do with you. It's on my conscience if I fire you and let you and your father starve. But I can't have customers leaving because you can't control your area. I just don't know what to do. Go home, relax and let me think about what happened in here tonight."

Bella nodded, and as she stood to leave, I called her into the kitchen.

"Jacob, really, I'm not in any mood to talk right now," she said, walking through the swinging door.

I reached for two boxes of food that I'd made her to take home to her dad.

"Here, this is for Charlie. He's always loved my grilled steak and the berry cobbler."

She smiled as she accepted the boxes. "Thanks Jake. You guys have been so good to us. I feel horrible that I've let Jane down. She's done so much for my father and I, but I just can't seem to keep control of my tables."

Tears started falling again. My heart and arms were pushing me to pull her closer.

Instead, she walked out the door.

I let her go again.

I slapped the grease soaked rag down onto the counter as I got frustrated with myself for not saying anything to her. I stood staring at the tables again and noticed a small black object in a chair. It was Bella's purse. A light went off in my head.

I could carry her purse back to her and tell her how I feel.

As I snatched the keys to my Rabbit off the ring by the door, I heard Jane call out for me.

Crap, what does she want? I thought as I tried to brush off my frustration.

Jane smiled and said, "Don't give her a chance to say no."

I smiled back and headed towards Bella's house. As I pulled into the drive, I noticed that the only light on was the one in her room. I chunked a small pebble at her window and waited patiently.

Nothing happened.

So I chunked another, and this time I watched as her window lifted.

"Jake, what on earth are you doing here?" she whispered down.

"You left your purse. I wanted to make sure that you got it back."

She shut the window, and I waited patiently by the front door. As she opened the screen door, I could hear Charlie say, "Everything okay Bells?"

"Dad it's okay; it's just Jacob."

"Oh okay, tell him I said hello."

"Hello Charlie," I yelled into the house.

Bella shut the door behind her as she stood on the front porch.

"Thanks for bringing that to me. You know you didn't have to."

"I wanted to. Besides, I never get to see Charlie anymore."

She sighed, "He's having one of his bad days. The doctors are worried that he's losing some of the circulation in his legs. I just don't know how to do this anymore."

Once again, her eyes filled with tears. I wasn't about to let them fall this time.

I reached for her hand and held it in my own.

"Bella, you have got to be one of the strongest women I've ever met, and the mere fact that you are taking care of all of this on your own astounds me. I've watched you grow into this beautiful, strong individual, and I have to say… Bella, I'm in love with you."

Her eyes got as big as saucers, and a smile lifted the corners of her lips. As she reached down to pat my hand, I pushed my other hand behind her hair, pulling her softly to my face. I could feel the breath on her lips as my nose grazed hers. She closed her eyes, waiting patiently for me to make the first move. I wanted to revel in it.

As my lips brushed hers, I felt her breath hitch. The grip on my hand loosened as she lifted her arms around my neck. She pushed her lips harder into mine, and I felt her tongue graze against mine. My breath hitched, and I felt a stirring in my soul that I'd never felt before. I wanted more, but I wouldn't push the issue. The mere fact that I could tell her how I felt was enough to make me happy.

As she pulled away, she smiled. It felt so good to see her smile since I'd hardly seen her do it in months.

"Jake, I have a confession," she said, grinning.

"What's that?" I asked.

"I've been wanting to do that for a long time. Oh and, I love you too."

She grabbed me by the hand and walked me into the house to see Charlie.

A/N: I wanted to thank my beta CB for the excellent job in editing. She's also my editor on my novel "Shadows: The Story of the Kayouta." Also, huge thanks to the hostesses of this contest: wordslinger and BellaBBblack. I think this may be my last contest entry. I'm glad it ended where I started… in the world of Bella and Jacob. 3