Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight
I would like to thank for giving me this story
My prologue was in EPOV but for the remainder of this story it will be in BPOV
Thank you to everyone who reviewed alerted and favorited.
This chapter has come in quicker because the prologue was very short. The chapters will not be posting everyday but I'll try to get them in fast for your enjoyment.
I do not want to get up today. Even under my thick comforter I can feel how cold it is. I know that at any moment the alarm clock will start signalling that it is time to get ready for work. It takes me nearly an hour to get ready because the winter temperature slows me down. Some mornings I lay in bed for a few minutes after I have turned the alarm off. And then I have to really race to make it in on time. It reminds me of when I was a teenager and my father would come in to wake me for school. "Just five more minutes" I'd plead. Now that I'm a responsible adult with a job I need to be better organised. Well maybe in five more minutes it will be warmer.
I work at Seattle Books. It's a small bookstore tucked between a bakery and a camera shop. I enjoy working there but it doesn't exactly make me want to get up and eagerly get ready for a fun day at work.
After college I started seeking out work in schools around the city but found it was a lot harder than I had originally anticipated. After months of no luck I began applying at publishing firms and local papers which I also never heard back from. When I needed money to pay the bills I applied at the bookstore. This time I was met with a reply and found myself suddenly employed.
It gets boring there sometimes but I enjoy the peace and quiet it offers.
BEEP BEEP BEEP
Unlike the quiet here.
My hand shoots out to my alarm clock to cease the annoying noise.
I guess I should get up now so I can take my time getting ready. Rather than have to run around like a headless chicken.
I sweep the comforter off me and instantly I am met with the freezing cold air that washes over me. Fighting the urge to snuggle back under the covers I get up and head to the bathroom for a hot shower. The thought of the warm water running over my skin has me running toward the bathroom.
I start adjusting the temperature and then let my hand drift under the spray. It's a little warmer than I usually have it but perfect for a morning as cold as this one. I start to strip dropping my clothes in the hamper by the door. I step under the spout and welcome the warmth as it cascades down my body instantly warming me.
As I lather my hair with my strawberry scented shampoo my mind wanders to my plans this weekend. I'm making a trip down to Forks to see my father. It's been almost a month since I've seen him and I'm sure he's surviving off eggs and diner food. Maybe I should cook him something special for dinner when I arrive.
My mother and father divorced when I was a small child. Renee got custody and we moved to Arizona leaving me with Charlie for one month a year. After the divorce they were never really on speaking terms. Though I always thought that they still loved each other, since I never saw them dating anyone. At least until I was 16 and my mother met a baseball player eight years her junior. My always impulsive mother married him six months later in Mexico. After that I went to live with my dad in Forks. I attended school there with my best friend until we both got accepted into Washington State University where I studied English. I graduated highly ranked amongst my classmates. But that has done little for me to find a worthy job. Oh well. I'm sure something will come up eventually. At least that's what I keep hearing from everyone.
BANG BANG BANG
A tiny fist connects with the bathroom door three times making me jump and let out a tiny squeal.
"Bella, if you're not out of that shower in 10 seconds then I'm turning on the taps and am going to scald your ass."
My roommate. Alice. Every morning is the same with her. So I know she's serious about the water. Sometimes she makes it colder to mix things up a bit. I turn the shower off and grab a towel to wrap around myself. I am in the process of drying me hair in front of the mirror when the door suddenly swings open and Alice dances in and starts to strip, without even waiting for me to finish. This is also the norm for her.
She fires the shower up and steps inside. I can't stand for anyone to be in the room while I'm showering but Alice certainly isn't shy.
"Me and Jaz are going to a movie tonight," she shouts over the shower curtain. She is referring to her boyfriend Jasper. Every Thursday is date night. He's a sweet guy who treats Alice like a princess. I'm not sure exactly what he does but he makes a good living doing something with computer security. He has a really nice apartment in the city. It's been a known fact around here that he wants Alice to move in with him. I'm pretty sure that she's sticking around to help me with the rent.
Alice works at a small fashion boutique downtown. She designs clothes which is why she's always adorning the most stylish getups. And why she's always pestering me about "changing my look".
"So anyway you should come. And Jasper can invite his friend Felix." It was hard to hear over the shower and the hair dryer but I knew what she was saying. She wants to set me up with one of Jasper's co-workers. Her and Jasper have been talking him up for weeks now. They'd tried to get me to meet with him at least a dozen times but I keep putting it off.
I'm just not ready to start dating. I broke up with my boyfriend more than a year ago but it still doesn't feel right. Jacob wants to get back together with me. Every now and then I get a call at two in the morning where he is telling me that he still loves me and that he's grown up so much since we broke up.
"Thanks but I'm fine," I replied while putting toothpaste on my toothbrush.
"Felix is such a sweet guy. He's really smart and funny. You two would really hit it off."
"I don't want to go. It's too soon."
"Come on Bella," she whined. "Just give him a chance. You might really like him and then I can be the maid of honour at your wedding and we'll have babies together and they'll be best friends and we'll live happily ever..."
"Alice," I interrupted her gushing schoolgirl moment with a mouthful of toothpaste. "It's too soon. Right now I'm going to enjoy being single."
The shower curtain is swept back. "One date Bella. And I will never pester you about any of this again. I swear."
Maybe I should go to get her off my back. One date and then I never have to hear about it again.
"Ok. Set it up."
I was met with a high pitched squeal of delight before she tackled me down still naked.
"This is so great. Meet us at Tango after you get off work. This is so exciting. I'm going to pick your outfit."
With that she raced off dripping wet yammering about little black dresses and strappy heels leaving me filled with regret.
I arrive at work at 8:30 in my decrepit rusty truck. The street is still quite isolated probably due to the chill. I keep getting the strangest feeling as I walk from the silent empty parking lot towards the book store. Like someone is behind me. Watching me. My eyes are scanning the space but I chalk it up to paranoia.
I unlocked the doors flipping the closed sign to open as I walk in. I switch the lights on and the shelves and books are immediately enveloped in fluorescence. I go about turning on the heat and then stripping off my layers to hang in my locker.
A new box is sitting in the back room. I open it to find some books that we had recently ordered. I carry them through the aisles stocking them in their rightful places as I go when I'm suddenly startled by a man's deep voice.
"Excuse me. I'm looking for a book for my niece's birthday."
I turn from the murder shelf I'm currently stocking to the green eyes of the customer. I immediately notice his bronze hair shooting off in different directions as though he has been pulling it in a nervous state. He is pale as is the norm in this cold city. Even with the messy hair and white complexion he is very good looking. I'd say he is around late twenties and probably doesn't enter bookstores very often. He is dressed sharply in an expensive suit that looks out of place with his dishevelled hair. I'm assuming he's stopped off here before he has to go to work.
"I'm sorry I didn't hear you come in. How old is she turning?" I ask him, placing a copy of Murder on the Orient Express on the shelf. When someone comes in looking to buy a gift the age and gender of the person are the main information I need to find them something special.
There is a long pause. I look up at him and he suddenly appears very nervous. Like I'm interrogating him.
"Um...six" he blurts out suddenly.
"Ok well we have a wide arrange of children's books over here," I say leading him towards the picture story books section.
"Is there anything in particular you were looking for?" I ask scanning the shelves.
Another long pause. I turn around towards him and jump in surprise. He is a mere few inches from me and looks like he is concentrating very hard. He inhales deeply and lets it out slowly. I watch this for a moment mesmerised before his eyes focus on me again and he smiles weakly.
"I'm sorry, what were you saying?" he asks.
"Um...Are you looking for something in particular?" The man is now creeping me out a little. He is still standing very close to me and breathing deeply through his nose while staring intensely into my eyes.
"I guess anything that would suit a five year old girl"
Five? "I thought you said six."
His smile disappears and he breaks eye contact and takes a step back which makes me a little more comfortable. "Right. Five going on six."
"Oh...Ok then. Well I bought this for my cousin's daughter who is five. It's about a unicorn who is lost and meets some new friends. Well she loves it anyway." Why am I rambling. I bend down and fish out the book from the low shelves built for children to reach. The man lets out a loud groan. When I stand upright again with the book in hand he has an almost pained expression on his face.
"Are you alright sir?" I take a small step toward him.
"Yes. Yes, I'm fine" he says quickly. "I'll just take the book thank you."
He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet handing me a black amex card. I walk to the checkout counter with him hot on my heels. It may just be my paranoia but I swear I can still hear him inhaling deeply. I feel grateful for the distance when I am behind the counter. I scan the book, Little Lost Unicorn and swipe his credit card. As I'm placing his purchase in a bag I notice that avoiding eye contact with him. I look up at him and notice that he is once again staring intensely at me. Like I'm a puzzle. I start to feel self conscious that there may be something on my face. I thrust the bag toward him and wish him a nice day.
"You too Bella" He says smiling. I hadn't noticed him look at my name tag.
He leaves but stops at the exit to throw me one last smile then disappears into the cold. I feel a lot more comfortable around him when he smiles. Though he is very handsome and his megawatt smile would make woman grow weak at the knees, so it isn't surprising.
Still he does make me feel very uncomfortable. I hope he doesn't come back for more books.
I have stocked the last of the books and served the last customer for the day. It's now 5:30 so I flip the closed sign and head back to change into the dress Alice prepared for me this morning. It's small and black and made of some kind of slinky material. It feels comfortable and looks very nice on. I have to hand it to Alice. She really does know what she's doing in the fashion department. Except for these damn shoes. Their so high. She knows me well enough to know that I can barely walk in sneakers let alone these death traps. I put them on anyway for Alice would not let me hear the end of it if I put my work shoes on with this dress.
Once I'm fully changed I head out turning the lights off as I go. I lock up and turn onto the street. I am immediately faced with that same moment that I experienced this morning. Like someone is watching me. I speed walk through the now empty and poorly lit parking lot toward my truck. I fumble through my bag searching for the keys as my breathing grows more rapid. I find them at last and breathing a sigh of relief push the car into the door lock.
Before I have a chance to turn it and unlock the door a hand grabs me around my mouth. I scream but it is muffled by a cloth. I'm getting light. I feel darkness creeping over. I grab a hold of the arm which is holding the fumed cloth over my mouth and desperately try to pull it away. I struggle but I am getting weak. I feel myself slipping. My eyes closing. My arms giving up their fight.