Me and Russ bought a puppy! Yup, this yellow ball of fluff that keeps chewing my hair. And also, at work they're talking about letting me pick a horse, raise it and then sell it when the times right. Yeah, horses are used for more than meat, surprising, I know.
"What are you talking about, Liam?" Bobby looked ready to jump over the desks and kick Liam, British, old Chinese master moustache guy, in the balls. Listening to these two fight for four days over every subject is starting to get a bit boring. "Holden Caulfield should not be sympathised for his actions. He acts like a child, which explains his naïvety, and calls everybody a phony even though he does things that would make him a phony by his definition."
"He's the normal 17 year old because he feels he's against the whole world. He suffers depression from his brother dying and his only friend committing suicide, he's confused about his sexuality and all the while, trying to find his place in the world."
"He was kicked out of three different private schools because he was failing academically, and when he was talking to his sister he said schools were phony places that prepared students to become phonies for the adult life. He's excusing himself for his failings. He took no responsibilities as a teenager and for his family. He was also a poor role model for his little sister; smoking, drinking. Caulfield wasn't the only one who lost a family member. His sister lost a brother and I would've thought Caulfield wouldn't become lost in his own depression but stay strong for his sister and family."
"We ain't talking about-"
"Oh my god, you guys," I stopped doodling a smiley face in my unused notebook and dropped my pen. "Will you two fuck and get it over with?" Everyone stared at me.
"What do you mean, girl?" Lawrence leaned forward in his chair.
"These two are obviously attracted to each other but they're just channelling it into hostility."
"This is not a psychology class even if the evidence is strong. What are your thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye, girl?" He stood up, cleaned the board and walked in front of his desk. "Do you think Holden is a social outcast only looking for a place to call his own, or a self absorbed, self destructing man?"
"I don't have any opinion on him or the book. I never read it, which is why I've been quiet since we talked about Animal Farm at the beginning of class." I glanced at the clock above the door and closed my notebook when I saw class was almost over. Lawrence grinned and nodded.
"Perhaps you should have picked it for your assignment." He looked at the clock and clapped his hands together. "Class is over. The people who have not given in their assignments, you have until tomorrow to finish. I will see you all tomorrow!"
As everyone left the room, I pulled out my phone and called Alice.
"Hello!" She sounded so happy, and I could hear something in the background.
"Hey? Have you made brownies with a little something... extra?" I grabbed my bag and headed outside to the park behind the sports centre.
"Can't I be happy when my lovely girlfriend calls?"
"Lovely? Okay, if you say so. Do you want to meet up somewhere? You're not working today, right?"
"Not on Thursdays. Where will you be?"
"By the park, next to the basketball court." I narrowly missed getting hit by a car when I crossed the road.
"Okay, I'll see you soon." I hung up and walked down an alley to the park, sitting on the stone wall and watched a game of three on three. My ass was numb and my back was getting jabbed to fuck by ridges in the lamp I was sitting against when Alice came walking up. "Hi," She gave me a kiss and pulled me off the wall.
"Hey, want to get some coffee? I know a place."
"How's college coming along? I haven't seen you pick up a single book or write anything." We sat outside since it was actually sunny.
"The assignment is to write a 3000 word essay about a controversial and or banned book. I did Lolita in high school so I'm going to hand that in tomorrow." I took Alice's biscotti and ate it in two bites.
"That's cheating. And that's stealing." She slapped my thigh.
"You don't like them. You and Jasper already told me that was apparently cheating but I'm ignoring both of you. You know I'm not going for honours in this place."
"But at least try to make an effort." She leaned her head on my shoulder. I smiled and kissed her head.
"Okay, I'll try. When we're finished I want to show you something in the college." We drank our coffee's, Alice hitting my thigh again when I fingered the chocolate off the top, and walked back to the college. I had to stop and waited for her to take off her heels and give her a piggy back the rest of the way. "Why do you wear those spikes if they cause you so much pain? So, you're a short ass, you have to get used to it at some point." She dug her feet in my stomach.
"I can cause you a lot of harm in this position." She whispered in my ear.
"Fair enough. Oh, hey, Lois!" I jogged to the front of the bookstore as Lois was coming out. She looked quite surprised.
"Hi, Bella, and uhh..."
"Alice." She held out her hand, probably intentionally hitting me in the back of the head on the way. You say one short comment...
"Hi." They shook hands. "What can I do for you, Bella?" She put the new book in her bag, something about the Black Plague.
"Can I borrow your key locker?" I nodded to the sports place next door.
"Okay. I'll be in French class until 12:50." She reached into her bag again and handed me the key.
"Thanks, I'll bring it back."
"What are you planning?" Alice asked as I lowered her back on the ground when we entered the centre.
"Something." I asked for some towels at the front desk and headed for the locker room. "82... 84... 86... 89, here we are." We got changed, wrapped up in the towels and I lead us to the sauna, which was empty.
"You wanted to show me a sauna? Did you want to get me naked and sweaty?" I sat in the corner and grinned.
"No, not completely. I can get you in that state at home. Come on," I pulled her on top of me and squeezed her hip under the towel. "Where's your wild side? Remember the time we had sex in the forest and those hikers almost caught us?"
"Remember? I still have marks from the bark." She pushed my hair back, which was already getting damp, and kissed my fucked up shoulder. "Though, I'm far better off than you."
"I don't have the best luck." I pulled off her towel and hugged her, resting my chin on her shoulder. "Maybe I should get a rabbit foot or... beat up a leprechaun."
"Beat up a leprechaun?"
"Yeah, cause they're hiding the four leaf clovers." I pressed my mouth against her jaw and felt the muscles move.
"Why do I love you?"
"Fuck knows." She turned her head and kissed me, tugging at the knot in my towel. I was actually able to make a toga out of it since it was big enough. "But I'm glad you do."
Luckily no one came in during our time... talking, and the steam gave us a good cover.
"See? I told you it would be fun." I just found out that in humidity Alice's hair grows twice the normal size.
"No you didn't." She was running a hand through her hair. "Don't say a word."
"I don't know what you're talking about..." I grinned and grabbed her waist. "Bozo." I got a shot to the ribs for that one. We went back home, leaving the key with Lois, and didn't leave the apartment for the rest of the day.
"Whose Lois?" Alice kept her eyes on the TV.
"She's a girl that's in my class." She nodded. "Don't worry about it."
"You've always had a liking for blondes." She commented, changing the channel.
"Leah wasn't blonde." She glared at me. "Yeah, that ain't helping." I got out of my chair and lifted Alice off the couch, taking her place and putting her on my lap. "Listen, Lois' just stopped being a high schooler, she can't even drink legally, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't even like chicks. She does nothing for me; no woman does nothing for me. Well, actually, that's not true since I'm not a robot." I leaned my forehead on the back of her head. "Please don't be insecure, please don't suddenly stop trusting me. I love you, even though you're on the short side." I smiled and kissed her cheek.
"Are you forever going to make fun of my height?"
"Forever." I moved about and laid down 'til Alice sat on my stomach. "Please?" Hopefully I wouldn't have to elaborate since... you know, I'm shit with the talking.
She nodded and got off me. "For future reference, I won't have sex in a sauna ever again."
"Oh, come on." I followed her in the bedroom. It was really looking like a scene from the Brady Bunch. The right side was clearly my side, filled with all my crap; towers of DVDs, CDs on the floor, one bookshelf holding my books, a pile of clothes in the corner – Alice kept bitching about putting them in the wardrobe – and my desk that was filled with my laptop and loads of mugs. Then there was Alice's: wardrobe open showing off her clothes and shoes, the other bookshelf filled with DVDs ranging from chick flicks to classic black and whites, a small vanity mirror at the end of the bed with cut outs from magazines of clothes she wanted and photos from high school and some parties that I can't remember well. "You have to admit that was fun."
"It was stupid. What if someone came in?"
"But no one did. Calm down, Alicat." I sat at my desk while she went for her mirror. I looked through my old high school English files, yeah, it's the same computer and it's old as fuck, and found Lolita. I looked through it once, agreed with my first thoughts, and printed it out. "Hey, do you want to-" I turned around and saw Alice had straightened her hair and was putting in earrings. "Seems you already thought of it."
"Someone at work suggested an Irish pub near the market."
"A pub?" I got up and rested my chin on her head. "An Irish pub?" I grinned at the mirror. "You want to go to an Irish pub?"
"I spent most of my drinking with you, I can handle myself."
"No, no, I know you can, I'm just surprised. Tell me when you're finished." I went back to the living room and finished my coffee. We left half an hour later and was hit by fiddles and banjos playing when we walked in. It wasn't crowded, probably cause it was a Thursday night, and sat at the bar.
"'Ello, ladies, what can I get ye?" A grey haired Irishman smiled at us, and I saw he had a tooth missing.
"Hey, I know she'll want a Rum and Coke." I nodded towards Alice. "I want..." I looked at the taps lining the bar. "I'll have a Guinness."
"I'll be right back."
"A Guinness? You've never drank a Guinness in your life." Alice turned towards me.
"We're in an Irish pub, it seems only right." Irishman came back and put our drinks down, some of mine spilling down the side. "Thanks. You don't do cocktails do you?"
"Naw, you want that fancy stuff you need ta go somewhere else."
"You know a place?"
"I know few but... 'ere's a good place." He grabbed a receipt and wrote a location on the back. "Bloke's name's Alexander." He put the note next to my beer.
"Thanks." I put it in my pocket and grabbed my drink.
"Why do you want to know where a cocktail bar is?"
"'Cause I need to get a job and a cocktail place might pay more than a run of the mill bar." I took a sip and felt my face twist. "Oh, Jesus Christ."
"Don't worry, it takes time for the drink ta warm up ta ye." Irishman sat on a stool in the corner and was reading a newspaper. "Took years for it ta like me."
It took Irish years for the drink to like him but me only hours. I was easily into my fifth Guinness when Alice took the glass away from me.
"Slow down. The drink won't run off if you leave it for ten minutes." She set it on the other side of her drink and out of my reach.
"Ah, come on, love. You'd tink I couldn't hold me drink."
"Don't do accents, you're not as good as you think you are."
"Oh, you hit me where it hurts most. How could you say such a cruel thing?" I grabbed her waist and put her on my lap. I smiled and bit her lip before kissing her properly. Then lots of morons started hooting. "I sometimes wonder why I don't go for men but then they do something like that."
"Like you're any better."
"I'm better than them." I slipped my hands under her shirt and stroked her ribs. "Wanna go back home? I'm suddenly feeling tired."
She snorted. "Better than them my small ass." She climbed down off me and tugged me after her. "Hurry up." I grinned and followed her out of the bar to the car. Alice drove while I kept my hand on her thigh, getting it slapped away when it moved to the inside. Three times.
When we got back home, grinning, I grabbed her around the waist and fell back on the bed making her giggle. I pressed my cheek against hers. "Jasper was right." I kissed the side of her head, brushing my nose along the top hairline.
"I shouldn't be insecure either." I pulled her shirt up her back and over her head then pressed my forehead against hers, my nose rubbing the side of hers when I nodded.
"There's no reason you should. I won't act jealous and in turn, you stop doubting yourself. How does that sound?" She ran her thumbs over my cheeks, up to my eyebrows and then down over my temples, hitting the long scar. "I hate this scar."
"Why? I have more that are much worse."
"Because Kate gave it to you. Every time I see it I think how she did it." She turned my head and kissed my temple, staying there. "And I see so much blood."
"Your imagination's making it worse than it really was." I rolled us over and trapped her underneath me. "I told you what happened and I didn't lie or downplay it. Yes, there was blood and yes, it hurt like a fucking bitch but I got a few good shots in. Don't worry about me." I squeezed her hip.
The next day class was cancelled. I glanced at my watch as I sat in Anderson park.
"Bella, hi." I looked up and smiled at Lois. "What are your plans for the rest of the day?" She sat next to me, folding a leg under her. I shrugged.
"Might see a friend if he's free."
She nodded and played with a bracelet. "I was wondering if you-"
"Oi!" Someone shouted. We looked up and saw Liam walking towards us, glaring at me. "Since you made that gay joke, everybody's been taking the mick." I had to stand up when he got close enough to easily kick me in the face.
"You need to calm down there. It was only partly meant to be a joke, the other half being a theory." I saw his fist clench at his side. Oh fuck. "Lois, move." I grabbed her wrist and pulled her up and pushed her away, barely ducking out from the punch in time. I quickly stepped over the bench and stayed a couple steps away from him. "Now, you really do need to calm the fuck down." He just stepped over the bench and headed for me. Shitting Christ. I threw a punch but missed him completely as he easily sidestepped me, and my hand ended up hitting the tree next to the bench. I didn't hear any cracks or pops but fuck me, it fucking hurt.
Liam threw a punch that I was able to duck out of the way of, only getting clipped on my bad shoulder. I gritted my teeth. He seemed to have picked up on the weakness and body checked my left side.
I shouted out a fuck as I hit the ground. I was picked up by my shirt and had my shoulder rammed into that fucking tree. I couldn't even make a word this time, I just shouted. He let me drop to the ground again, and I hoped he was finished when I got to my knees. I was wrong. I felt pain in the back of my head and my vision went white for a couple seconds. When I blinked, I was on the ground and saw someone had Liam pinned over the bench.
"Bella?! Bella, can you hear me?" I felt a hand on my poor, poor shoulder.
"Do not touch her." I know that voice... "Bella? Are you conscious?" I think I mumbled something but I'm not too sure. "Can you sit up?" I rolled over, having to give myself a little pep talk to find the strength, and found Lois and Lawrence crouching over me.
"Hey, Lawrence." I spat some grass out and tried to smile.
"The paramedics will be here soon. Can you sit?" I slowly pushed myself up and supported myself on the tree. I gave the roots a respectful pat. Good opponent it was. I touched the back of my head and blood stained my entire palm.
"Ooh, fuck, that ain't good." I wiped my hand on my leg and looked at my other hand. It was starting to swell, I could see the beginning of a big fuck off bruise, the skin around the knuckles were gone and a piece of bark was between two knuckles.
"I will not let Liam go unpunished for this. He will be forced to leave my class."
"No, it's alright." I pulled myself up by the trunk and leaned heavily on it. "It was just a scrap."
"Bella, you're bleeding. You may have a concussion."
"I'm fine. I've been hit in the head enough times to know if it's a concussion or not." I pulled out the splinter and loads of blood came after it. I was dragged to the closest hospital, even though I refused at least seven times, had a doc look at my head, shoulder, and hand; it wasn't broken but the bones were bruised... whatever the fuck that means. My head didn't need stitches and my shoulder was fine, if not a little battered and bruised.
"Do you have anyone to drive you home? Do you need to call someone?" Doctor Grasse asked as I got off the table chair thing. I could call Alice but she'd be at work... maybe Jasper's free. Oh fuck, my car.
"No, no, I'll walk back. The college is around here somewhere, right?"
"Yes, you take a left when you leave and you'll come across Broadway. Go up Broadway until you reach the college."
"Thanks, doc." I was grabbed around the arm when I walked passed the waiting room. "Lois. What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to make sure you were okay." Her eyes darted to my hand and the bandage on my head. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Nothing but a bit of blood lost and missing skin from the hand." I headed to Broadway with Lois at my side. "You should go back to class. I'd hate for you to fail something because of me."
"I'll walk with you."
"Nope, you'll be late if you walk." I shouted for a taxi that was going passed. It actually stopped instead of driving on. "Go." I pushed her in the back. "Seattle community college?" The driver nodded and left. I stumbled to the college and my car and drove home, changing my mind halfway there and turning around to head to Alexander's cocktail bar. 88 keys looked closed. I knocked on the glass door and a couple minutes later a guy, Alexander I guessed, unlocked and opened the door. And fuck me, Alexander was beautiful. He was tall, easily over a foot taller than me, had full, very full, lips and a wide nose.
"I'm sorry, I'm not open yet."
"Uhh," Can I lick you like you're made out of chocolate? "Uhh, yeah I guessed. You make cocktails, right?"
"Yes, and we don't serve them for another half an hour."
"No, I don't want a drink. I want a job."
"Job?" He scratched his chin then opened the other door. "You best come in then."
"Wow, you really like your Blues." It was one giant room; the bar covering almost the entire left side, a small curved stage in the far right corner holding a piano, a dozen round tables in front of it, and a small room in the other right corner. There was a neon guitar sign on one of the two pillars in the middle of the room, a blackboard on the other. Photos, sketches and caricatures were spread out over the walls, and from what I could tell they were of musicians.
"Blues and Jazz." He walked around the bar and pointed to a stool. "Take a seat. You want a job bartending? Do you have experience?"
I couldn't stop the laughed. "I've spent most of my life in bars."
"Drinking isn't the kind of experience I'm talking about."
"All my jobs have been bartending; a few in New York, one in New Mexico, one in Washington. But I don't want the normal bartending, I want to be a cocktail maker. Here's the thing though, I don't really know how to make proper cocktails, so I was wondering if you could teach me."
Alexander laughed and ruffled his hair, even though the gel he had in it stopped it from changing. "You want a job making cocktails but you don't know how to make them? I can't hire someone for a job they don't know how to do."
"I know that, but I was thinking I could work here as a normal bartender and you teach me on the side." He scoffed and scratched his forehead.
"You... you want me to teach you? Use my own alcohol, my stock, to teach you? That's wasting my alcohol, my money to buy new stock, my time and my effort if it doesn't work out. Why should I bother?"
"Take the drinks I waste out of my wages. Look, I need this job. I can't keep living off my girlfriend and eating into my savings. I'm sick and fucking tired of working in dives and shitholes and places that are one step away from turning into brothels. Look, I know my alcohol, maybe not the spirits, but I can make and serve the basics." He scratched his chin then turned around.
"Okay," He took the bottle of gin off the wall, grabbed a glass and a bottle of tonic from under the bar. "Make a gin and tonic."
"I'll need ice, a lime and a lemon to make it a proper one." Alexander looked impressed. He opened a fridge, grabbing a bucket of ice, a lime and half a lemon. I took the knife off him and cut two thin slices, threw them in the glass along with some ice and poured the gin and tonic in. He turned the glass in his hands and took a sip.
"Nice, very nice. You could put in less gin."
"Less gin... that's something I don't hear a lot." I leaned back. "What else do you want me to make?"
"A Rum and Coke." He started taking the bottle of Jack off the wall but I stopped him.
"Oh, come on, Alexander, a child could make that."
He sighed and attached the bottle back. "Can you make a Fuzzy Navel?"
"Uhh... Peach Shnapps, orange juice and... lemonade, right?" He nodded and handed me the bottles and a Martini glass. He took a sip when I was finished.
"This is better than your G&T. You're right, you do know your alcohol. Okay, I'll see what you can do with real customers. You'll start Monday and I'll teach you everyday before I open the bar."
"Yeah, that sounds grea- wait. What time and how much money will you take from me?"
"I get in at eleven which should be a good time for you, and I think thirty a week should cover my loses."
"I can't see myself wasting $30 worth of booze but whatever you say. Oh, and I might be a bit late each day 'cause I finish class at eleven."
"How late?" He started cleaning the drinks away.
"Depends on traffic, but hopefully at least ten minutes."
"Hmm." He closed the fridge door and walked back around the bar. "I'm sure working with you will be a pleasure, Miss..."
"Bella. And I'm Alexander but you seem to know already. Who did you get my name and location from?"
"Some Irish guy. He works or owns a bar near Pike."
"Hmm. I'll see you on Monday, Bella."
"Yeah, great meeting you." I left the bar and called Jasper. "Homo, are you free?"
"Hello Bella, how are you? I'm fine."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. So, are you?"
"My last class finished an hour ago. I'll meet you at the same café as last time?"
"Yup, I'm on my way." I quickly drove down to the University District and found Jasper already sitting out front with two mugs in front of him. "Guess who got a job?"
"Did the strip club finally have an openin'?"
"Har de fucking har." I sat down and kicked his shin under the table. "I got a job at a piano bar, I'm gonna be making cocktails soon."
"Where and when is your first shift?"
"You're not coming. There's no way you're coming."
"Oh, I'm comin'. If I have to visit every piano bar in the city, I'm comin' and watchin' you make drinks in a tux."
"If it's a proper piano bar, you can't turn up like... this." He pointed at me. I looked down and saw I had grass and dirt stains on my shirt and jeans, and had a dried blood hand print on my thigh. "What happened?"
"A guy in my class got pissed off and... I kinda lost the fight. Look," I turned around in my chair and I heard Jasper hiss.
"What did you say to him? Did he hit you with a chair?" I heard a scrape then Jasper touched the back of my head.
"Ow, you dick!" I flinched back and turned around, punching him in the stomach. "Why, why do you poke all my injuries? There's a bandage, there's probably blood showing, isn't that enough to tell you it hurts?"
"I'm sorry." He sat back down "Tell me about this bar, who'll be workin' with?"
"Oh god, Jasper, he's so beautiful."
"The guy I'm working with, the guy who owns the place. I shit you not Jasper, he is so beautiful I wanted to weep."
"Have you converted back to straight?"
"For him, I'm straight, no boyfriend and no children."
"You don't have children."
"Describe to me this fallen angel." He drank his coffee then took a bite from a muffin that had some weird thing on it. Kinda looks like a dried up banana slice.
"He's tall, really tall. He kinda has a square head but it doesn't look like he got hit in the face with a shovel, it's not that kind of square head. He has a really strong jaw and full Angelina Jolie lips, a wide nose and I assume he has a lovely body beneath the clothes."
"I've never heard you describe a man that way." He reached across and grabbed both my hands, looking very serious. "Bella, please don't cheat on Alice with a man."
"I don't cheat." Jasper opened his mouth. "No, fucking no, Jasper. I didn't cheat, Tanya cheated." I rubbed my hand and peeled off some torn skin. "How are you, homo? How's Embry?"
"We're perfect. I meant to show you the last time we were together," He pulled out his phone and tapped the screen a couple times then showed me a picture of Lola holding a child. I frowned. "That's Elizabeth." I frowned deeper. He sighed. "Rose and Emmett's daughter."
"Oh, okay." I took the phone off him. She was cute; Lola's blonde hair and brown eyes and one of Ryan's dimple. "She's going to grow up to be a beautiful chick, just like her momma."
"I know. I need to go, I promised Embry I'd meet him at work. When are you workin'?"
"I don't know but I'll tell you when I do." I gave him his phone and a pat and watched him leave. I touched the back of my head and sighed. I had to piss someone off while living here at some point. I finished my coffee, took Jasper's cupcake and drove home, to find Alice sitting on the couch. "Alice, what the hell? I thought you worked today."
"Jasper called me. Show me your head." She didn't wait for me and grabbed the front of my shirt and bent me forward. She peeled the bandage away and I heard her gasp. "Oh, god. There's so much blood."
"I'm fine." I straightened up and squeezed her hip. "Not even a concussion. Apparently I have a thick skull. No broken bones, no internal bleeding, no long lasting damage. I'm completely fine." I grabbed her around the back of the thighs and lifted her up, quickly dropping her on the floor when pain shot through my shoulder. "Fuck! Okay, not completely fine." I clutched my shoulder and sat on the couch. Alice recovered and pulled up my sleeve, wincing when she saw the bruises.
"Bella, what did he do to you?"
"He's a good fighter and knows how to use his environment."
"You're praising him? He put you in a hospital."
"A&E. They'll heal and I'll be back to normal. It's sweet you're worried even though you've seen me in hospital with broken arms, broken bones, after a mugging incident, and god knows what else." I took her hand off my shoulder and kissed her palm. "You don't have to go back to work, right?" I got off the couch, pulling her along, and headed for the bedroom.
"I'll play through the pain."
Some fluff, yes? Or should I put in some more, 'cause I've got some half written, snippets of fluff.