My new fic! Right . . . So I guesstimate it's gonna be about 80% fluff, 15% drama/Suspense and 5% angst but nothing heavy. It's just that some things gotta happen a certain way ya know! And please don't quote me on those percentages *snort*
Posting schedule? I suck at them but do like Sundays! ;-) However if I miss a Sunday don't hold it against me? :-p
Big thanks to my beta AJasperForMe and Twiddler83 and Vancouver-Canuck-Girl for pre-reading!
BPOV unless noted otherwise and the first EPOV doesn't come 'til much much later in the fic… Might not even be 'til the end as an outtake so yeah!
And Banner on my FB (Lolo Eighty-Four) made by the Fabulous 'LOT' Thanks, bb!
Okay... On with it!
"Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way.
When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it
injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck."
"Fucking come on!" I shout, slamming my hands against my steering wheel as I feel my car barely puttering along beneath me.
"You piece of shit! Move, fucker!" It splutters then trembles, and I'm pretty sure it laughs a little before doing a little shake and stalling out.
"Fuck!" I stomp on the gas, trying to pump it with my foot - Nothing.
Then I try turning the key in the ignition—Nothing.
I sweet talk it for a little bit, hoping my soothing words will coax it into submission, but when that doesn't work, I resort back to telling the piece of shit how I really feel about it.
"Gah! I hate you!" I really do. My only wish is that it didn't hate me back. Granted, my car—a barely hanging on 2000 Ford Taurus—has been on its last leg for a while anyway, but it's the only one I have and could afford to put gas in.
"Damn you!" I scream again, and for good measure, start kicking at the floor and hitting the steering wheel a few more times. Once my tantrum is done and my palms are sufficiently tingling, and of course my throat sore, I do the only thing I can think to do—I start crying.
I wish I could tell you it's the cute 'silent sniffling' kind, but it isn't. Nope . . . It's the 'face scrunched up as if I've smelled something bad with my mouth gaping open and making ugly noises' cry. My car breaking down is really just the tip of the iceberg of my very shitty day and very shitty week I've been having. Actually, if I really want to get technical, it's been more like months, so it was no surprise to me I was in the middle of a meltdown.
Times had been a little rough you could say.
It all started about six months ago when I realized I wasn't finding a job. Yeah, I know finding work is hard in general, but as a brand spanking new college graduate, I was duped into thinking the world was my oyster and I was the wave of the future and all that shit. Please. What I was, was one of thousands of graduates all vying for the same damn job. Oh, sure, I got called in for interviews left and right—further fueling my delusion that finding work would be easy—but once they took a look at my lack of 'experience' it was 'don't call us, we'll call you'.
For a while I did my best to take all the rejection in stride, but my last interview didn't go as smoothly. It had been a long day, and I had already felt beaten down and defeated so when the lady told me she'd be in touch, I knew what that meant. However, I really needed to hear her say it. I didn't want hope, I needed brutal honesty and to know not to bother waiting for her call.
"Are you really going to call?" I had hedged. Again, I knew the answer but I needed to hear it.
"We're interviewing quite a few candidates, Miss Swan. I can't make any promises, but I will do my best to narrow down the most qualified and be in touch."
"Could you please just tell me I didn't get it," I begged.
"I'm not at liberty to make such a decision at the moment."
I was getting impatient with her evading my question. "Yeah, you are, and you've already made it. Just tell me." I all but demanded.
She sighed. "Okay. You're a very nice girl, Miss Swan." I scoffed; she could save me the patronizing. "And while your academic achievements are very impressive, we just need someone with more experience."
I was pissed. That was the third time I had heard the same excuse that week and my sanity started wavering. "More experience? More experience? Well, how the hell am I supposed to get 'more experience' if no one will hire me? Isn't that how people normally get experience? By people actually giving them a chance? I know I can do this job. Just give me the chance. Please."
I was a shining example of someone on the edge as my voice raised in anger, lowered in disbelief, then softened to an almost pleading tone. I even went on to list off all the things I had done at school, awards I had won, clubs I was a part of, and about my work-study job— none of it meant shit.
She asked me, not so politely, to leave before she asked security to escort me out. I huffed and grabbed the mug the secretary had given me coffee in, declaring it was the least they could give me for wasting my time. After all, my resume hadn't changed from the time I submitted it to the time I sat down for the interview. They must have known they weren't going to hire me from the beginning.
The interviews continued, but my hope slowly died. I wasn't getting a job—in my field— and my bills didn't care. Like a baby who needs food no matter what, the electric company didn't care that I was out of work. They wanted their money one way or another.
I started doing temp jobs here and there but they were few and far between. It didn't take long before I was getting final notices on my bills and letters from Sallie Mae letting me know I was in danger of my school loans going into default. The coup de grace though, was when I got evicted from my apartment. That was a fun day, let me tell ya.
Finally, I climb out of my car, realizing I don't have enough time to continue the pity party that was underway. I'm already late for work; my first day of work, mind you, with no idea how I'm getting there now. Not a good look.
Well, it's actually my third day, the first two being training days, but today would be my first day out on the floor alone.
What floor you wonder? Well, the floors of 'Big Bang Cavier' strip club, of course—BIG C, for short, because the name is just ridiculous.
I grab my purse, phone, and my keys while locking the car door behind me. I also scream and kick at it one more time in anger and frustration.
When I finally take in my surroundings, I panic a little. It's already getting dark out and no cars seem to be coming or going in my direction. My 'fight or flight response' can't decide if that's a good thing or not.
I look at my phone and notice I only have one bar of signal and just about 10% life left in my battery. Fuck! I'm basically a sitting duck and a psycho killer's wet dream right now. You couldn't write a better scene from a scary movie if you tried.
I quickly scroll through my contacts list, dialing the only useful number I have and cringe at what I know is coming.
"Bella, where the fuck are you?" she shouts over the music I hear in the background.
"Rose, my car died, but I'm on my way."
"Shit! How long 'til you get here? You're already late."
"I know, I know, and I'm so sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can. Can you please tell E- hello? Hello?" The silence on the other end and the black screen of my phone shows me the phone died and that 10% of juice I had left was bullshit. "Dammit!"
I start to get upset all over again because the last person I ever wanted to disappoint is Rosalie.
Just like when most things get fucked up in my life— like when I got evicted—she was the first person I called.
So when she offered me a place to stay, it was a no-brainer. I packed my things and moved in with her. Finding a job in my field quickly took the back burner. I needed to find anything and anyone who was willing to give me a paycheck. So I started working at a local grocery store. It was minimum wage but it gave me enough to help Rosalie out. But if my car is any indication to how my life works— last month the grocery store got tarnished in a fire. The first thing I thought of was 'fuck, now I'm unemployed, again'.
Don't worry, the store was closed at the time, so I immediately knew no one was hurt. Otherwise my unemployed status would have been the second thing to come to my mind. Sorry, but how the fire actually happened was never of consequence to me.
Anyway, after not knowing what to do, Rosalie made me an offer I couldn't refuse by promising me she could get me a job as a waitress at the topless club she dances at. Well, that may be a little bit of a fib 'cause its not a topless club. It's a good old-fashioned strip club but Rose only goes topless. If you're calling bullshit, you're not alone. I used to think she was full of shit when she would tell me that as well, but on my first day of training, Maggie—the waitress who trained me— told me Rose and another girl who went by 'Twiddler' were the only ones who got away with it.
Don't ask me why they call her that, 'cause I'm not sure. It was only briefly explained to me that it has something to do with a trick she does on stage. I'm a little excited to see it, to be honest.
I continue my hike to the club, wishing I was in an area where I could just hail a cab. Though it would be pretty irrelevant as I'm on some back road shortcut Rose told me to take. Only she would find the most deserted street in Miami as a shortcut. In the same token, I guess only I would be the dumbass to actually take her advice.
What ends up being almost an hour or so later, I slip into work. Unfortunately, I don't go unnoticed.
"Trying to get fired on your first real day?" I jump at the sound of Jacob's voice—one of the bouncers.
I sigh. "No, I had car trouble and ..." I stop myself at the look on his face.
"Do yourself a favor, sweetheart, save the excuses for someone else." I scowl at his tone, but his face softens and he winks. "I just mean that I couldn't care less that you're late is all. But unlucky for you, seems like a few other girls haven't shown yet either ... so Esme's out for blood."
My face pales a little. Esme Platt—my boss—is ... well, there aren't many varying words to describe a beautiful tyrant. The day of my mini-interview, which consisted of her looking me up and down, and telling me I was 'cute enough' to work for her, she made a girl cry with just a single look. Yeah, I don't want to be on her bad side. Ever.
When I look around and don't see Rosalie anywhere in sight, I sneak off to the back room. I find her getting dressed—well undressed and into another costume of sorts. I see her visibly breathe a sigh of relief then grimace a little when she notices me. I walk over to where she's standing by her locker-cubby thing.
"You okay?" she asks. I exhale at the concern in her voice, realizing she's worried and not too mad.
"Yeah, I'll be fine. Just gonna need a ride home now." She nods with a small smile but continues looking me over. "What?"
"You look like shit," she states, bluntly. The only way she knows how to talk. "Go wash your face and fix your hair. Then get on the floor before Esme comes looking for you. Again."
"Shit. She was looking for me?"
"Yup. Now get." She nods her head toward the bathroom. "And next time—" she waves her hands in the direction of my outfit, making me look down at my jeans and low cut top "— less is more."
I walk to the mirror, ignoring the reflection of naked bodies around me. I cringe when I catch sight of myself. Now I see what Rose meant. My hair—which was curled in nice, wavy brown locks when I left the house— has doubled in size from the humidity and sweat from my trek here. Said sweat has also affected my make-up to where my very cheap foundation is running in streaks down my cheeks.
Knowing I won't have time to do anything else, I borrow some of Rose's soap and quickly wash my face bare. Then, after running some water through my hair, I put it in a high ponytail. I frown at my reflection. With no make-up on and my hair up like this, it makes me look even younger than I already do. I'm 23 and still get carded for cigarettes.
Whatever. I don't have time to care. I walk back out to the floor and flirt, smile, and shake my hips for the right people. I'm getting tipped a lot but I'm not sure what that correlates to. I try not to count as I get them.
A couple hours have passed and I think I'm in the clear. It's a little past midnight and I'm taking a quick smoke break outside when Maggie pokes her head out. "Hey, Bella? Ms. Esme's looking for you."
I square my shoulders as I walk to Esme's office, but inside I'm trembling. I knock and then let myself in when I hear the gruff 'come in' from the other side of the door.
I stand there like an idiot for a few minutes, but her head is facing down and she doesn't acknowledge me.
"Maggie said you wanted to see me?"
Esme still doesn't look up but nods her head and tells me to have a seat.
After a few minutes she sets her pen down, and placing her hand on top of her desk, levels me with a blank stare.
"You can thank Rose's tits that you still have a job," she says flatly. "I need her around and I know firing her best friend isn't the best way to do that. However, I don't offer second chances. If you're ever as late as you were today, without even calling—"
"My phone—" She raises her hand to stop me.
"It makes no difference. You were late then tried to dodge me."
I can't deny that. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. Just don't give me another reason to call you in here."
She dismisses me, and though I'm thankful for that, I feel her eyes on me for the rest of the night. I know I'm on thin ice, so I make sure to work my ass off, knowing she's watching and not wanting her to see me mess up in any way.
It's funny though, 'cause I find out the next day Esme left right after we talked.
Interesting … that must mean someone else was watching her… *taps chin and smirks*
So what did you think?
You know the drill—I gotta know: Who's in?
*Big Bang Cavier'' is an expensive watch that apparently cost around 1 million bucks. So the club is loosely modeled after a club I bartended at that was also named after a famous watch.** I'll have to think of something special for anyone who guesses the right one! *snort*