strongOriginal or Derivative (fanfiction)/strong: Derivative
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She knew it was going to happen half a second before it did. One moment, she was smiling at an elderly gentleman who asked her for a glass of soda, the next, the balance of the tray in her hands got only slightly upset, but it was enough. Enough to upset the two remaining glasses of Cabernet. She could do nothing but watch helplessly as the red fluid poured over the starched white of her blouse before the glasses landed with an excruciating crash on the marble floor.
All eyes were immediately upon her, or rather, on the cause of the noise of shattering glass. Bella felt her cheeks get hot. She squatted down to scramble up the biggest of the glass shards.
"Oh dear," some woman said. "Hopefully she didn't cause a stain on that lovely floor."
A second later, Jasper knelt down next to her with a dustpan and hand brush.
"Don't," he said softly. "You'll give yourself a cut."
He swept up the remains of her accident and swiftly wiped the floor with a bunch of paper towels.
"I'm so sorry, Jasper," she whispered. "What… what do I do now?"
They both eyed her shirt. Red wine had soaked the front and almost all of the right sleeve. There was no way she was going to be able to work like this – and the evening had only begun.
Bella felt tears spring to her eyes, not just for her mortification, but for another, much more practical reason. She needed the money that would come from this evening. She had promised Jasper to work the whole shift. They had been setting up since the early afternoon, stocking bars with glasses and wine, decorating tables, shining silverware, carrying boxes with plates to the long buffet. Bella was going to stay until the end, which would be long, long after midnight.
"Come," Jasper said. "Maybe one of the other girls has a second shirt." He pulled her to the kitchen.
In there, everyone was hustling and bustling, refilling glasses, stacking dirty plates, throwing away half-eaten pieces of finger food.
"Oh my God, Bella!" Angela was the first to notice her co-worker's outfit. Her brown eyes were filled with sympathy.
"Hey guys," Jasper called into the room. "Does anyone have a shirt that Bella can wear?"
Blank faces, shrugs. Felix turned from his spot at the back door where he was smoking. He shook his head. The air coming in from his spot was chilly and Bella shivered slightly.
"Shit," Bella whispered. She looked up into Jasper's calm grey eyes. "What do I do? I can't go home and fetch a fresh one, it would take me one hour at least, one and a half more likely." She bit her lip in despair, willing the threatening tears away.
"Don't cry, sweetie." Jasper rubbed her clean arm. "Here's what I'll do. I'm going to ask Rosalie if she can borrow you something."
"But that's… this is her party! You can't go and ask the hostess for a shirt because one of the dumb servers…"
"No big deal." Jasper shrugged one shoulder. "I know her husband and her."
Bella's big round eyes grew even bigger.
"Emmett, her husband, and I met in college. It's really no problem, Bella. Okay?"
"Okay," Bella whispered, and Jasper left the kitchen.
She could do nothing but wait, and hope that his quest was successful. She couldn't afford to do without the remaining seven or eight hours.