New story. I know! I should be working on my other stories, but this one just came to me and I couldn't resist. Please just give it a try and I promise I'm working on my other stuff, but writer's block is a cold-hearted bitch sometimes.
"Bells, can you just go check the Big Pit before you head over to the bar?" my dad, Charlie asked.
"Sure dad. I'll see you later" I said, kissing his cheek on my way out the door.
My name is Isabella Swan, but I prefer Bella. I'm nineteen and I live in a small town in northeast Texas, just about a hundred miles from the Oklahoma border. I've lived here my entire life with my dad and my little brother Emmett. We own the campground in town, as well as a bar that was a mere three-minute walk from the grounds. We did ok for ourselves, especially since our campgrounds had spots not only for tents, but for RVs as well, so we managed to draw in a good amount of road-trippers. I helped my dad in the office during the day before heading over for the night shift at the bar. Dad and Emmett usually came in for dinner at some point every night, especially now since it was the summer and we were all usually too busy to cook our own dinner with the onslaught of vacationers.
I enjoyed my life. It was simple and I had everything I needed. I had my family, a steady job I loved, and a group of fantastic friends. Sure, I sometimes wished there was a better choice of men around my age, but the few that resided in Pennyton had some very good qualities. There was also the fear that if I ever did start a family, I'd turn out like my mother, though the desire to get married and have kids was always there. Besides, my mother had hated it here, whereas I loved growing up here and I planned on raising my kids the same way. I always knew I was meant to be a mom; hell I'd pretty much raised Emmett.
The closest thing I had to a potential boyfriend around here was my best friend Jasper, but he went to school at LSU and had big dreams that didn't include staying in Pennyton after he graduated. We had different plans for our lives, and neither of us was going to hold the other back. Besides, the thought of dating Jasper kinda grossed me out. I know dad would love it if I could get together with one of his friends' kids, too bad they all had sons around Emmett's age. That pretty much left Mike Newton, Ben Cheney, Tyler Crowley, and Riley Biers as potential suitors, and to be honest, Riley was the only one I'd ever really considered for going the distance with. Mike and I had dated on and off through high school, but there was just nothing there.
I quickly checked the main fire pit, dubbed the "Big Pit" on my way off the campgrounds and picked up a few pieces of trash, making sure there was fresh wood for any guests who may want to use it tonight. Most nights people just used the smaller pits by their own sites and the Big Pit remained for our family to use with friends.
I saw Emmett, bucket in hand, on his way to clean the bathrooms and gave him a quick wave before turning towards the bar. I praised myself on the decision to wear shorts considering the humidity was on the brink of becoming disgusting. My boots kicked up dirt as I scuffed them against the ground. I know, I know, how typical of a Texas girl to wear cowboy boots, but they were my Aunt Sarah's and they were worn in and comfortable, so sue me. I saw Wayland Barns sitting at the bar as soon as I walked in and wordlessly grabbed him a glass of Jack Daniels on the rocks.
"How's my most dependable bar patron today?" I asked the sixty year old, throwing my hair into a bun. I asked him the same question everyday and his answer was always the same.
"It's always a good day when I get to see your pretty face darlin'." He was also, without fail, a shameless old flirt. I gave him a wink and went to help a couple at the end of the bar that I recognized as guests at the grounds.
"So how are you folks likin' Pennyton?" I asked as I poured them a couple of beers.
"Oh this town is just adorable. And those stars! You sure don't see those in the city" the woman gushed. It was always the same with these city folk. They came out here for the quiet and the open spaces and most of the time they acted like they'd never been around nature before in their life.
"Well if ya'll have time, while you're here you should go for a swim over in Saddle Lake. It's only about a mile up the road and it's always good for a refreshing swim." They smiled and thanked me for the suggestion.
"Evenin' Bells!" Harry Clearwater called from the door. He was dad's business partner and helped run the bar. His daughter Leah was a good friend of mine, but she moved to Dallas with her boyfriend Sam right after we graduated high school.
"Hey Harry, hey Seth." Harry's son was thirteen and thought his father was the greatest thing in the world. It was sweet how much he looked up to Harry. It was even funnier that Emmett his best friend Jake looked up to Seth like he was a god, just because he was an 8th grader.
The night went on as it usually did, with me serving the locals their usual drinks while they mingled with each other and guests of the grounds. At around 8ish, dad came strolling in with Emmett and Jake hot on his heels. Jake's dad Billy was dad's best friend. He was also chief of police, so Jake spent a lot of time with us considering his older sisters had both moved away and his mother, my Aunt Sarah, had passed away when he was a baby. I'd raised Jake almost as much as I'd raised my own brother.
"Bella! Bella! Bella!" I heard their voices before their heads popped over the bar as they took their seats.
"What? What? What?" I mimicked their excitement.
"You'll never guess what Jake found today!" Emmett yelled.
"What did Jake find today?"
"I found three, not one, but three daddy long legs in a row! In a row!" Jake said, almost leaping over the bar in his excitement.
"No way!" I gasped.
"Yes way!" they yelled in unison.
"And now the boys want a feast deserving of the greatest ten year old bug hunters the world has ever seen" dad said, joining them at the bar.
"I'll put in your usual," I said, writing down their order of burgers and fries and sending it to the kitchen.
"Oh Bella!" I heard the contradictory mellow, yet loud voice of my best friend and turned to see the whole pack smiling back at me, with Jasper and his cousin Rosalie heading the group.
"Well hello there beautiful lady" Emmett's prepubescent voice sounded from his barstool, directed as always, towards Rose. The poor kid had had a crush on her since he was five, and it had only gotten worse after he'd first heard Joey Tribbiani utter the phrase 'how you doin'?' on a rerun of Friends.
"Whoa, watch the smooth talk dude. Can't have you swoopin' in and stealing my girl" Rose's long time boyfriend, Paul said. I always appreciated that Paul was so cool with my baby brother's crush on his girlfriend.
"So Bells, we were all gonna go for some night swimmin' up at the lake tonight after your shift. You in?" Angela asked. Both her and Rose shot me a pointed glance before shifting their eyes subtly over to Riley. We'd been dancing around each other for months and I guess the girls were getting tired of me stalling. I really don't know why I was taking so long. Riley was a really great guy. He was smart, funny, and unbelievably sweet, not to mention drop dead gorgeous. He was one of the oldest of our group at 21, so all trace of 'boy' was gone from his features. He had dirty blonde hair that was just the right length and heart-stopping dark blue eyes. His skin was tan and his muscles were defined from working on his father's stud farm. All in all, he was everything a girl like me could want. Especially considering he had no plans to leave Pennyton.
"Of course I'm in." I said with a smile.
"Oooh can we come too?" Emmett asked.
"No, you boys are comin' home with me. Let Bells have a night to herself where she doesn't need to be lookin' after you." Dad said before I had time to think of a response. The boys pouted, but followed him out of the bar once they were finished eating.
At around ten, Harry let me go home and I quickly put on a bathing suit before hopping into Jasper's pick-up.
"So. You finally gonna do something about you and Ri?" he asked casually.
"Maybe." I said, smirking back at him.
"Oh come on. You two have been itchin' for each other for months now. Get on that."
"As my best friend, especially my guy best friend, aren't you supposed to be all protective of me? You know, save my virtue and all that?"
"Nah. Charlie, Billy, and Harry are protection enough. I'd like to at least give Riley a fighting chance." He laughed.
"Oh you're so kind" I said, shoving him as we made our way over to everyone else.
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