So here it is, my first go at fan fiction. I've read so many inspiring pieces of work on here from some incredibly talented writers, but I suppose it all started when I read a little story by SnowQueensIceDragon called 50 Shades, which I'm sure you're all aware of. Her ability to capture emotion and depth of character just blew me away. It's taken me about 14 months of reading before I've even felt brave enough to have a stab at doing this for myself, and while I'm nowhere near her league in terms of writing, hopefully I've produced something that doesn't turn you guys off completely. This is a one shot (a bit longer than I originally planned), but I think could be turned into a multi chapter story with a few twists and turns (maybe 15-20 chapters max, but we'll see) if there's enough interest in what I've posted here. If you're looking for lemons, I'm afraid you'll not find it here - I'm just not brave enough to attempt one of those yet, but give me time and I'll see what I can do!
All publicly recognised characters are the property of Stephanie Meyer, I've just fiddled about with them a little bit. All songs referenced are the property of the original songwriters. I own none of it, however I do own a rather extensive DVD collection and a half-finished packet of Cadbury Chocolate Fingers.
See you guys at the bottom!
I'm not quite sure how I managed to get roped into this night out with Angela, Jessica & Lauren, it's not as if I'm overly friendly with many of my colleagues, there's only really Angela that I have anything in common with or consider myself to be that close to. I've been working at Hunter Publishing for the last 6 months as an editor's assistant and I love it, but then I've always been a bit of a bookworm and to be surrounded by the written word is my idea of heaven (well apart from a carton of Baskin & Robbins Hokey Pokey after a particularly stressful day at work – but hey, I'm a girl…..sue me!).
I was due to meet them at 8pm at a bar called Eclipse and looking at my watch I was late (thanks to a deadline that my boss was trying to meet which meant I'd had to stay back at the office – but seeing as I enjoy my job it wasn't really a chore). I texted Angela to let her know I would be there soon, and stopped to check myself in the mirror before I left my apartment. Tonight was likely to be a major fashion-fest for Jessica & Lauren who were both secretaries at work and dressed to impress at the office, so I couldn't imagine tonight being any different. Looking at my reflection, I didn't look too bad for a night in a bar given that I'm not one for doing the whole glam thing. I'm nowhere near sexy enough to pull it off, but the outfit I'd pulled together didn't look too bad – black skinny jeans, a midnight blue fine knit off the shoulder sweater with a thin strapped tank top underneath and my favourite shoes, a pair of patent black Mary Janes. I'd finished the outfit off with a chunky silver necklace and some simple hoop earrings, leaving hair down as it was far less effort. For me this was a good look, I just hoped that I didn't break my neck in these shoes….my last name might be Swan, graceful is one of the last words people would use to describe me.
Satisfied that I wouldn't be too much of a visual embarrassment, I grabbed my keys, lip gloss and purse and headed out of the door ready to face whatever the night would throw at me. I was pretty sure that we would spend the evening listening to Jessica & Lauren critiquing everyone woman in the bar, ogling every attractive man there was and making sure that Angela & I were fully up to date on current office gossip – joy!
To say I got roped into going out tonight didn't actually mean I wasn't glad I was going out. In actual fact, tonight might be just what I needed to blot out the latest round of harassment from the owner's lazy ass son James. Honestly, he walks round the office like he's the one in charge, but doesn't appear to actually do any work. It's become a daily occurrence recently where he will find some lame excuse to talk to me and each time he'll make suggestive comments about my appearance or push me to go on a date with him. I always politely decline, not least because I don't find him attractive, but more importantly he just creeps me out. The problem is, I can't exactly complain to Human Resources about it, after all, he is the owner's son and I doubt they would believe my word against his, and I don't want to resign because it took me too long after graduating to secure this job, and I would struggle to find another role like this with my lack of experience.
I'm snapped out of my musings on "James the Sleaze" as I've affectionately nicknamed him, by my cell phone alerting me to a text. It's from Angela letting me know that Jessica had gotten us priority entry to the bar as there was a band playing tonight. That's a bit of a result, it means I don't have to queue to get in which will save my poor feet in these shoes, so I head for the security guy at the front of the line and give him my name to check off on his clipboard, it's time to bring on the alcohol!
This wasn't exactly how I planned to spend my Friday night, especially since I'd been in the office since 6am this morning and was totally wiped, but what can you do when your older brother calls you up and begs you to work his bar because one of his staff decided to run off to Vegas and marry his girlfriend? So being the good sibling that I am, I agreed and told him I'd be there as soon as I had cleaned myself up and grabbed a bite to eat. Things at work were pretty full on, and my case load just seemed to be growing by the day which was leaving me exhausted, but I guess that serves me right for going into corporate law, the never ending pile of contracts. It felt good to wash the grime of the office away and the hot water helped to ease the tension in my shoulders that I was feeling and by the time I stepped out of the shower I felt energised enough to survive helping Emmett out at Eclipse tonight. After towelling myself dry I walked over to my closet, pulled out a pair of dark blue jeans and a tight black t-shirt, it was a simple look but it meant that I could showcase the ink on my arms.
You see I'm a bit of a walking contradiction, by day I'm a lawyer in starched shirts and designer suits, but the moment I'm out of that office door, the real me comes to the surface via my tattoos and my music. Personally I blame my love of body art on my other brother Jasper seeing as he has created each of the 5 masterpieces on my body, and my control freak nature wouldn't have it any other way. Jasper studied fine art at college, but after a drunken night out with his roomies he had our family crest on his shoulder and he was hooked. Upon graduation he decided that a career in a gallery was not for him, so he trained to be a tattoo artist with the guy who inked him then used part of his trust fund to open Cullen Ink in our home town of Seattle (a nice little nod to the business world he was so keen to avoid). That's the other thing about us Cullen boys, we're trust fund babies, but you'd never know it if you compared us to the children of other people in our social circle, in fact if we'd had any other parents I suspect we'd have been disinherited! Luckily for us Carlisle & Esme Cullen were firm believers in letting their children forge their own path, and would not place any expectations on us in terms of what we wanted to do with our lives. As long as we were happy, healthy, behaved like gentlemen (Mom's stipulation) and didn't break the law (that one was all Dad) then they considered their parental duties fulfilled. However, I appear to have gotten off topic.
Since Jasper had opened up shop I'd gotten our family crest on my right bicep, a Celtic cross on my left bicep to acknowledge my Irish heritage, I had some of the music score for Hallelujah running down the right side of my ribcage because of my love of music (Jeff Buckley's version always resonated with me as a teenager so it seemed fitting), over my heart I had "Dum Spiro Spero" which was Latin for "while I breathe, I hope" and the fifth one…well, that's really personal and was only finished a week ago and hurt like a motherfucker due to the size of it.
I looked at the clock and realised that the bar would be open already so I needed to get a move on otherwise Emmett would chew my ass out for being late. Grabbing a slice of cold pizza from the fridge (did you really think that I had the time or the inclination to cook?) I snatched my keys and wallet up from the countertop and stuffed them in my pockets. I figured my combat boots would do for spending a night behind the bar, so I pulled them on and picked up my favourite hoody from the coat rack and bolted out of the door thinking that it was really fortunate that Emm's bar was only a couple of blocks away from my apartment so I'd be there before things got too crazy.
This wasn't the first time I'd helped out at Eclipse, and I doubted it would be the last, especially if Emm's plans for expansion were anything to go by – he'd be the Donald Trump of the bar world in the next decade and I didn't doubt one bit that he'd achieve it. The only drawback to doing this kind of favour for him was that I had to deal with the women that came into the bar looking for a hook up with one of the eligible guys who tended to frequent the place. I just prayed that Tanya wouldn't be there tonight, cos that girl didn't seem to understand the meaning of the word "no", and with that thought pushed firmly to the side I arrived at Eclipse. I gave Jake, who was working the door tonight a quick nod and bolted inside, ready for whatever the night or the customers would throw at me.
Walking through the door of the bar, I scanned the room for the girls and spotted they had grabbed a booth, and judging by the number of empty glasses on the table, I had some catching up to do. Rather than make extra work for myself, I gave them a quick wave hello and pointed to the bar where I was heading to get myself a drink. Things were starting to get busy and the waiting staff were yelling orders at the bartenders so I stood at the bar patiently, not really making eye contact with anyone, because all I really wanted to do was get my drink and join my party, instead I just scanned around taking in the sight of the bar filling up.
From behind the dark wooden counter in front of me a throat cleared loudly, so I looked up and opened my mouth to order my drink but found myself speechless. In front of me was quite possibly the most beautiful specimen of man I had ever seen. I kid you not, this guy was stunning from his perfectly sculpted cheekbones, well defined jaw with a hint of stubble, sparkling green eyes framed by thick long lashes and the most pouty lips that quirked up in a half smile, half smirk. His hair was….don't even get me started on the hair, it was all sorts of crazy brown with hints of copper and red, sticking out at crazy angles that looked made him look like he'd been freshly fucked, but had probably been styled that way by design. As my mouth continued to flap while I tried to recover the power of speech, my eyes trailed over what else of him I could see and believe me it did not disappoint, he had a wonderfully broad chest & shoulders wrapped in a tight black t-shirt and then I spotted his arms…oh God he had tattoos – YUM!
I think I might have just drooled a little.
"Can I get you anything sweetheart" he asked with a voice that was a wonderful combination of smooth silk and just a hint of gruffness.
"I, ummmm, ummmmmm….." I spluttered out, and I swear he smirked at me.
"Bbbbb….Bottle of Corona please" I finally managed to spit out with a weak smile, while thinking how pathetic it was that I couldn't even order a drink from this guy.
He placed the bottle on the bar with a wink as I handed over the money to pay and I blushed furiously as his hand touched mine to give me my change, he just winked at me and went on to serve the next customer. Walking over to join the girls at our table, I smiled to myself because what girl wouldn't be happy that a hot guy winked at them, even if they were just being polite to a paying customer (oh god that sounded seven shades of wrong Bella!).
"Hi Bella, you made it" greeted Angela with a warm smile.
"We thought we'd order pitchers of cocktails for the night so we don't have to go to the bar as much while the band plays, but I see you're too good for joining in with the rest of us" snarked Lauren as she gave my beer the stink eye.
I don't understand why she has to be such a bitch about the littlest of things, or make assumptions about people she doesn't really know, because I was more than down for sharing some cocktails with them to wash away the aches of today.
"Cocktails sound good Lauren, I just had a killer of a day and wanted something cool to quench my thirst and get me started. Sorry I'm late by the way, but you know what deadlines can be like" I replied, knowing full well that Lauren wouldn't know what a deadline was if it jumped up and bit her in the ass. If I'm brutally honest, I don't have anything in common with her she's lazy at work, and she can be a grade A bitch, but she's friends with Jess, and while Jess can be a gossip and a bit of an elitist snob in the office, she can also be quite sweet and is really helpful in the office.
I squeezed into the booth next to Angela and said a quick hi to Jess who smiled at me awkwardly, obviously uncomfortable due to Lauren's unnecessary comments.
"So what time does the band start playing?" I asked our group.
"They're due on stage in about half an hour" replied Jess with a wide grin and a slight giggle.
"Any particular reason you're so keen to see this band Jess?" asked Angela with a raised eyebrow. There was something going on that I obviously didn't know about.
"Yeah, the bass player in the band is that geek from accounts….Mark?" snipped Lauren with a look of disgust.
Jess just blushed furiously and mumbled "His name is Mike…..and he's not a geek" before looking down at the table intently.
I turned to look at Angela with wide eyes but she just gave me a knowing smile and leaned in to whisper "Jess kind of has the hots for Mike but he's either totally oblivious or not interested. From what I can tell, it's the first one, the guy is totally clueless so she may just need to drape herself naked across his desk and play with his calculator to get his attention!" Why couldn't she have said that after I'd finished taking a drink from my bottle, cos I just about sprayed beer out of my nose I was laughing so hard.
"Besides…" Lauren chipped in, "who would want a hamburger, when there's a prime piece of rump steak at the bar looking our way?"
We all turned our heads in the direction of the bar at the same time to see the fuck-hot barman who served me staring at our table intently with what can only be described as the sexiest smirk I have ever seen. Instantly my cheeks started to flush, while Angela let out a low whistle, Jess just gawped at him but Lauren was the first to break the spell by speaking.
"Well obviously he's checking me out, he's been staring at me for the last half hour, and why wouldn't he?" she asked around the table as if she was queen bee and we were just her drones. Actually, come to think about it, that's probably exactly how she viewed herself given that she dressed like she was on the cover of a magazine all the time, her make-up was always immaculate, and I swear she's had a boob job because nobody has tits that big and perky when you're a size 4 without a little assistance.
By the time she'd finished her little put down, Mr Fuck-Hot as I had mentally christened him had moved to serve another customer, and we resumed our chatting while we waited for the band to get on stage.
She was absolutely gorgeous, no two ways about it. Stunning mahogany brown hair that hung past her shoulders in waves, eyes like pools of molten chocolate, plump lips with a hint of gloss, although if she carried on chewing her bottom lip like that they'd be blood red from her piercing the skin. Oh her skin was the most glorious creamy shade of ivory that made you want to just reach out and stroke it just to see if it felt as soft and silky as it looked. It was so damned cute when she stumbled over her words when I asked her what she wanted to drink, and when I handed back her change my fingertips brushed her hand and I swear I felt this tingle that went right through me like the buzz of electricity. It was really weird and I couldn't explain it, but I kind of liked it.
I've somehow over the years earned the reputation of being a bit of a player because I don't do girlfriends much to Jazz & Emm's amusement. It was never my intention, nor was it a label that I enjoyed. It's just that after I got my heart trampled on in college by she who shall not be named, I was reluctant to give my feelings away to another woman, and it kind of snowballed from there. Don't get me wrong, I didn't avoid women altogether, I'm a lawyer, not a monk after all, so on occasion I would charm my way into a lady's bed to scratch the itch for some much needed release, but it was those intermittent dalliances that meant I got a lot of attention from women who didn't like taking no for an answer. Honestly, some of their reactions were bordering on the absurd, and I couldn't figure out for the life of me why they all thought I was so special….was it the challenge of trying to hook me for more than a roll in the sheets, or was it that word had gotten around from the women I had been with that I was nothing less than a force to be reckoned with in the bedroom department? Sounds conceited I know, but I am damn good and I take pride in my skills, sue me! Just because I know what I'm doing, didn't mean that I slept with every woman that propositioned me, far from it, I still had standards and preferred to be selective which was why I hadn't slept with Tanya, she was a needy, trust fund baby looking for a husband who would keep her in the manner to which she felt she should be accustomed (read that as the manner that Daddy had spent 20 something years providing but was not going to continue till she was a spinster!). She'd hit on all 3 of us over the years, and was getting mighty frustrated that her options were running out now that Emm had married Rose and Jazz was getting ready to propose to Alice. That left me, and she obviously thought I was ripe for the picking, well sorry lady, but this apple is staying firmly on the tree as far as you're concerned!
Anyway I digress once again. The brunette beauty walked over to join her party, so I took the opportunity to check her out from the back, and sweet Jesus, it did not disappoint. Shapely legs encased in tight black denim leading up to a pert ass that I would give my right arm to squeeze…errr make that my left arm, I'm right handed! On her feet she had what could only be described as "fuck me shoes", they were shiny black high heels that would look amazing wrapped around my…..whoah, hold the front page Cullen, you don't even know this chick and already you've got her naked apart from the shoes. Get a grip! She doesn't look like one night stand material so it would be a waste of time.
"Hey Fuckhead, are you gonna stare at women all night, or are you actually planning on doing some work for me?" Emm whisper-yelled from beside me.
"Alright you ass, just remember I'm doing you the favour. There are other things I could be doing on a Friday night after putting in a 12 hour day you know? And besides, it was just one woman dude" I shot back at him with a scowl.
"Fair enough bro, no need to get your panties in a bunch. Which little beauty are we talking about then?"
"The cute little brunette at the table by the juke box my man, she's the sweetest thing I've seen in my life, and she's wearing a killer pair of shoes too" I replied knowing that Emm understood my nuance for female footwear, not a fetish as such, but a kick ass pair on the right legs could bring me to my knees like a starving man begging for his next meal.
Emm let out a low whistle "whheeeew man, that girl is smoking! You gonna go for it?"
"Nah man, you know my stand on things. She doesn't look like a one-time deal kind of chick"
"Not in the slightest bro, but who says it only has to be a one night? Maybe she's woman enough to finally make your stone cold heart beat once again" he chuckled, so I threw a bar cloth at him and went back to serving customers.
I spent the next 30 minutes mulling over what my brother had said to me about the beautiful bar girl, which I'd shortened to BBG in my head, and stealing glances across the room at her. At one point the group of girls she was with all turned and looked at me so I made eye contact with BBG and smirked, to which she blushed furiously and turned away. One of the other girls in the group was still staring at me like I was something to eat and licking her lips suggestively, trust me lady, never gonna happen…I prefer my women au natural if you get my drift.
Looking at the clock it was nearly 9pm so the band should be on stage shortly. This should be interesting as a guy we went to high school with plays bass for them. He works for Hunter Publishing these days, and while he's still as much of a geek as he was back in the day, he's also a pretty decent guy so I was looking forward to hearing them play.
"Any chance of some service around here" a voice from my left sneered. I looked up to see half a dozen perfectly manicured guys wearing starched button down shirts immaculately ironed chinos and Timberland loafers…..hell, could these trust fund boys be any more stereotypical? He looked me up and down with a look of sever disdain for how I was dressed
"Sure buddy, what can I get ya?" I answered with a smile.
"A round of Buds for me and my friends" he announced with an air of superiority. I just laughed to myself while I got their beers, because not only was their taste in beer nearly as bad as their wardrobe choices, but I also knew exactly who this ass was. Not only had I been forced to socialise with this idiot as a young child because his parents had been members of the same country club as ours, but my law firm had cleaned up his mess on a number of occasions when he'd screwed up writer's contracts at his daddy's publishing company. Ladies and gentlemen, James Hunter was in the building, so run for your lives cos he thinks he's something special and the world owes his lazy ass something! The funny thing was he obviously had no idea who I was as he continued to talk to his pals.
"The standards in this place seem to have already gone to shit" he announced loudly glancing back at me.
"I mean, look at the state of the bar staff" he jerked his thumb in my direction while his friends guffawed (yeah, I said "guffawed", bunch of jumped up snobs!).
"Cullen is obviously struggling with this place if he has to employ social rejects" he spat out.
Emm looked up at me from his end of the bar, opening his mouth to put James right, but I just gave him a look and shook my head at him. I'd have the last laugh before the night was over.
"Why are we here again James" another guy in the group asked.
"Entertainment of sorts and a little game of cat and mouse" he answered cryptically, while the rest of his gang just looked at him confused.
He turned and handed over his credit card, instructing me to open a tab, then turned back to his friends to explain that he wanted to see Newton perform in his band so he could rip him to pieces on Monday morning in the office, and that he'd heard from one of the secretaries at work that "the hot piece of skirt" that he's had his eye on at work was coming here tonight, and if he gets his way he'd be leaving here with her and "tapping that" before the night was out. Gee what a charmer folks!
The band had just come on stage and things in the bar were starting to get a bit noisy as they started on their first number, and for a covers group they didn't sound too bad at all in my book. As I handed James' card back to him, he spotted something across the room that made his mouth turn up at the corners into a creepy ass smile, "send the next round of drinks for the booth by the juke box with my compliments" he ordered.
I nodded in ascent, muttered a quick "yes sir" and moved to the waitress station to prepare the drinks. If frat boy was paying then the girls were getting a decent cocktail out of him. I prepared a pitcher of whatever girly shit they were drinking last time, making sure I used double measures of top shelf spirits and threw in a round of tequila slammers for good measure, while chuckling quietly to myself.
"What's got you in such a good mood Eddie?" grinned Rosalie who was waitressing tonight with the bar being so busy.
"Douchebag at the end of the bar wants to send these drinks to table 8 with his compliments" I smirked as I slid the tray over to her. She took one look at James and his band of brothers who were jeering at the band and hurling insults, raised one of her perfectly plucked eyebrows at me as if to say "WTF?" and took the laden tray from me and moved gracefully through the crowd towards its intended recipients. I went back to serving people while thinking that I would love to be a fly on the wall when the girls received their drink to see their reaction, my money was on Little Miss Plastic being his intended prey for the evening.
The band had just started to play, I had a nice little beer buzz going on and was actually beginning to think that I was having a good time, when Angela leaned in to the table and announced in a loud whisper, "don't look now, but James Hunter just walked in".
Fuck my life! It's bad enough that I have to share the same office space with the creep, why does he have to invade my night out too. "Looks like I'm going to need a shit load more alcohol" I groaned out, while Angela looked at me with sympathetic eyes.
Angela was the only person in our group who knew of the issues I had with James pestering me in the office, so I wasn't surprised when the blonde glamour-puss waitress arrived at our table with a tray full of drinks, courtesy of Creeptastic Hunter and his cronies at the bar. Oh goody! We all expressed our thanks to the waitress who gave us a brilliant smile and told us that the bartender had made sure the cocktail jug was loaded with the good stuff. Jess still had her eyes firmly glued on the stage watching Mike and his band perform a pretty good rendition of Learn To Fly by Foo Fighters, Angela and I just exchanged a quick grimace at the thought of what James might want in return for his "kind gesture" while Lauren rambled on and on about how generous it was of James, and perhaps he was interested in her, because he always makes time to talk to her in the office, and is always kind and flirty with her. I groaned internally as I knew full well what James was after, but it wasn't something that Lauren had to offer, oh no, it was something he wanted from me that there was no way in hell I was going to give.
I wasn't about to turn down free alcohol though, not a chance. In fact, I think it was the least Mr Hunter owed me after he'd cornered me up against the fridge in the break room this morning, with his face so close to mine I could almost taste his hot, stale coffee breath. "You know Bella, I don't know why you're resisting fate so much. We could be so good together, if only you'd admit what you really feel for me" he murmured while stroking one of his sweaty fingers down the side of my face. I did feel something if I was totally honest, but it was nothing short of revulsion at his sweaty touch and I think I might have thrown up a little bit in my mouth. Thankfully the sound of footsteps in the corridor made him step away from him and I was able to beat a hasty retreat back to my desk. Yes, strong alcohol was definitely the answer to today's problems and those tequila shots were looking mighty fine at this minute.
I was drawn out of my flashback by Lauren loudly rambling on about whether she should go over and personally thank Mr Hunter for his generosity. Her tone was laced with innuendo and she was licking her lips once again. Honestly, this girl has neither shame, nor taste if she thought that James was a prize catch…prize idiot is more like it, but who was I to burst her bubble?
"Ladies, what shall we drink to?" I decided to change the conversation so that we could get back to enjoying the band.
"To hot men!" squealed Lauren as she looked in the direction of the bar, cue eye rolls from the rest of us, because honestly she was like a dog in heat.
"To hot men" we all said before licking salt off our hands, chugging back the shots and then furiously sucking down the lemon juice to quell the after burn. I don't normally drink tequila because it does ugly, ugly things to me, not to mention it gives me selective amnesia, only it's Mr Patron that selects what I'm allowed to remember.
The band were starting to wind their set down, and announced that they would be doing one last number, and I'd bet ten bucks that it would be a slow rock ballad if the rest of their set had been anything to go by. The music had been really enjoyable and the crowd had really gotten into singing along, Right on cue, the opening bars of Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls which brought a wry smile to me lips, this song was one of my all-time favourites. I started to get the feeling that I was being watched, but couldn't figure out whether it was a good kind of being watched, or the creepy kind, so I slowly turned my head to scan around the bar. From the corner of my eye, I could see The Sleaze looking my way with a glint in his eye, and a sinister smirk on his lips. God this guy was really starting to make me feel really uncomfortable. I started to look away, and he lifted his hand up and gave a slow creepy wave which sent a chill down my spine. As I was turning back towards the table I also spotted the hot barman looking in my direction with a scowl, but when he noticed I was looking at him his perfect lips morphed into a beautiful smile. He winked once again and my breath hitched before I whipped my head back to the table.
The final chords of the song played out and the bar erupted in rounds of applause for the guys on stage. Jess was on her feet cheering and whooping as loud as she could. Boy has she got it bad.
As the noise died down she turned and asked "Does anyone want to go talk to the guys from the band? I'd like to congratulate Mike on how well they did."
Lauren scoffed at her "Sorry hun, I'm not going to stand there while you make puppy dog eyes at boy from Accounts. I need another drink and I think I should go thank Mr Hunter personally for our drinks. It doesn't hurt to be friendly with the man who will run the empire one day"
I stifled a giggle at that thought, cos truthfully the only thing he'd run would be the company straight into the ground once Daddy handed it over to him! Angela politely declined and agreed to head off with Jessica to find the band, so that just left me and I was almost ready to call it a night so neither option was that appealing to me at this point.
"Sorry Lauren, I'm going to head out in a minute, it's been a long day and all. "I'll head to the bar with you though so I can grab a bottle of water for my walk home." I said. I was being truthful, but I also wanted to put some distance between me and James. There's only so far that he would go in the confines of the office, but in a public place it was fair game, and I didn't want to be in the middle of his game of cat and mouse.
I said my goodbyes to Angela and Jessica, telling them that I'd really enjoyed my evening and then headed towards the bar with Lauren.
The band was on stage and sounding pretty good. Fair enough they were just a covers band, but they knew what got the crowd going, and that was ultimately good for business as far as Emm was concerned. The place was now packed, people were standing 3 deep at the bar, so Rose had come off the floor in the hopes that we'd keep the crowd happy and nicely topped up on the drinks front, and for the most the atmosphere was really good.
Now that Rose was working the middle section of the bar, I was stuck at the end where James and his obnoxious posse of friends were hanging out. To say that the conversation I was able to overhear was intellectually stimulating and challenging would be a pretty gross exaggeration. So far I'd listened to them discuss whose yacht cost the most, what cars they were bought by their parents for the 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays and which exclusive resorts they would be holidaying at over the summer season. Jesus, I was tempted to suggest that they all whip their dicks out, slap them on the bar and check who had the biggest!
It had given me great joy that they'd been unable to pull the band's performance apart, unfortunately that meant that they had eventually moved on to appraising the women in the bar.
"Have you seen the blonde with the awesome rack behind the bar? I'd love it if she'd take my order(s)." one of them sniggered.
Did they really think that kind of innuendo impressed ladies enough to get them to jump into bed with them. I know that girls find humour a turn on, but purrrleeeeease, there needs to be some finesse in the delivery, and some actual charm to back it up. Thankfully, my prayers were answered with this one because Rose had overheard him. She narrowed her eyes at him, then plastered a smile on her face, leaned over the bar and tapped the cheese ball who'd delivered the killer line on the shoulder.
"Honey, trust me, you might think my rack looks awesome, but you'll never get to feel just how truly awesome it is. I'm sure my husband would be more than happy to provide verification for you though." she said sweetly while pointing down the bar towards Emmett who was standing there with a shit eating grin on his face, nodding enthusiastically. She blew the guy a kiss and then walked away shaking her head, while Emm just cracked up laughing. My brother may not come across as the smartest guy around (even if he has a Business Administration degree from UDub), but he was smart enough to know that his wife loved him, and that those idiots didn't stand a chance. Secretly I think he liked it because he could get all smug about the fact he was married to a "real fine, smoking hot piece of ass" as he so eloquently puts it Geeee, Mom & Dad must be so proud that their boy grew up to be such a gentleman!
As the group erupted into howls of laughter at this guy getting served by Rose, James spoke up;
"No, she's too obvious, besides, blondes don't do it for me…..I'm much more attracted to petite brunettes with long legs, a tight ass, perky tits and a plump set of lips that will look spectacular when they're wrapped around my cock."
"Any brunette in particular?" asked one of the group, I think he was called Laurent.
"Yeah, there's this chick at work who is just begging for it." He pointed towards the table where BBG and her friends were sitting. "She's been resisting so far, but I reckon before the night is out, she'll be unable to resist my charms. I mean what's not to like, I'm good looking and heir to a publishing empire, which should be more than enough to make her putty in my hands".
So I'd been wrong in my original suspicion of who he had his eye on. That left BBG or the girl she was sitting next to, who was pretty in a librarian kind of way with those wicked horn rimmed style glasses, but nowhere near how Hunter had described his prey. Nope, he was after BBG, there was no mistaking it. I just prayed she had more taste and common sense than to leave with him tonight.
The band wrapped up their set with a great rendition of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, a personal favourite of mine, and I moved on to serve another customer. Out of the corner of my eye I saw BBG and her group of friends get up from their table. The librarian look-a-like and their 4th companion headed towards the stage, while the blonde and BBG started walking towards the bar and blondie's eyes were firmly fixed on James and his crew. I didn't hear what was said when she reached them, but my head snapped up when James yelled out "Hey Bella, are you gonna come join us too? ".
He wasn't wrong, BBG was beautiful, but did he really think that slipping a bit of Italian in there would put him onto a winner? Blondie's eyes narrowed at James' words and snapped to where BBG was standing at the bar being served a bottle of water by Rose.
"No thanks James, I'm heading home I'm afraid" she replied, as he started sauntering over to where she was standing.
"Awwww, come on beautiful, you need to come and thank me properly for the drinks I bought you and your girlfriends earlier" he bounced back with a filthy smirk while catching hold of her wrist as she tried to walk away. Yeah buddy, we all know what kind of thanking you are expecting and trust me, this chick has more class in her little finger than you will ever have.
"Sorry but no, I really am tired and I want to go home" she said quietly while trying to pull herself free from his grip.
He really didn't seem to want to take "no" for an answer, which didn't surprise me knowing his reputation and what I'd heard.
"Well sweetheart, how about we head back to your place and continue with a little 'party a deux' if you know what I mean" he drawled. BBG looked like she was going to be sick as she squirmed to get away, so deciding enough was enough, I walked up to where they were standing and slammed my hand down on the bar.
Both of them looked up at me in surprise, then a look of relief washed over her beautiful face as I turned to James and snarled, "Sir, I think you need to listen to the lady. If she said no, then accept it and walk away". James glared at me while BBG gave me a small smile of thanks as he released her arm. I smiled back at her before she turned and walked away towards the bathrooms. Once she'd gone he headed back towards his group of friends, but stopped halfway and turned to me, his tone laced with venom "I wouldn't try wasting your time on that one, she's nothing but a tease. Besides, the bitch will be mine before the night is over."
Something about what he said bothered me, like the poor woman didn't have a choice and he would just take what he wanted. If one thing Esme Cullen drilled into her boys was that you were nothing if not a perfect gentleman to a lady, whether you were spending one night, or offering to spend your whole life with them. Anything less was just unacceptable, and despite my preference for the one night option, I couldn't agree with her more. If a chick said no, she meant no, and you just had to accept it, just like they should accept it if a guy said no to them.
I was due a break, so I decided I would try to catch her before she left the bar to make sure she was OK, and perhaps suggest taking a taxi home after what James had shared with me. I just hoped she hadn't already left the building yet.
After James finally released my arm, I was keen to get away from him, but I needed the bathroom before I headed back to my apartment. To be honest, when I got home, I fully intended on taking a shower before I went to bed, just having his hand on my wrist had made me feel all kinds of dirty (and not in a good way). I had been so relieved when the guy from the bar stepped in and made James let go of me, when my eyes met his I offered him a smile of thanks, hoping that he would be able to tell from my face that I was truly grateful for his intervention. Trying hard not to blush when he gave me a devastating smile back, I scurried off in the direction of the bathroom, determined to do my business and get the hell out of dodge before James had the chance to grab me again. Hopefully I'd be able to catch Mr Hot as Fuck and offer him a few words of thanks on my way out, it was the least I could do. Fingers crossed I'd be able to string a coherent sentence together and not make myself look like a total fool in front of him, but then again it's not like I stood a chance of having anything more than a conversation with the guy, he was way out of my league.
Stepping out of the bathroom stall, I quickly washed my hands in the basin and dried them on a paper towel then re-applied my lip gloss in the mirror. Looking forward to getting home and getting some well-deserved sleep, I wasn't particularly paying attention to the corridor outside the ladies bathroom and walked straight into something solid and unmoving.
"So sorry" I exclaimed looking up to see who I was apologising to. Oh shit, it had to be him didn't it!
"No need to apologise beautiful" he said with a sly grin. The hairs on the back of my neck went up and I let out an involuntary shiver or revulsion when he called me beautiful.
"James, would you please mind stepping out of my way, I'm heading home" I gritted out. This shit with him was starting to really get on my nerves, why won't he just leave me alone?
He started walking forwards, forcing me to keep stepping backwards along the hallway beyond the bathrooms and before I knew it I was caged against the wall by his arms on either side of my head. He leaned down to my ear and whispered darkly "I'm afraid that isn't gonna happen sweetheart, you've been teasing me in the office for far too long and it's about time I got a taste of what I want." He brought his head back to look me in the eye, and what I saw terrified me. There was nothing but cold terror lurking in his expression, this was a man who was just going to take what he wanted, and there would be no choice on my part.
He slowly dragged his sweaty finger down my cheek and started to trace my jawline in what I think was supposed to be an sexy gesture on his part, but it just made me break out in a cold sweat as I tried desperately to think of a way to get away from him. His breath on my face was hot and laced with alcohol, which did nothing to calm my worry, because I suspected a drunken James, was a very dangerous James.
"You might as well just give in and admit your feelings for me Bella, things will be a lot easier for all concerned if you do" he whispered raggedly. I shuddered under his touch as a single tear slipped traitorously from my eye. Silently I prayed for someone to walk down the corridor so I could try to get away from him.
His hand moved down from my jaw, trailing along my collarbone before descending swiftly to grab at my breast painfully. I whimpered at his touch and the tears fell from my eyes freely as I finally found my voice once again and pleaded with him;
"James, please let me go. You don't want to do this, please don't hurt me…..I…I…I'll not mention this to anyone if you'll let me walk away."
I wasn't even sure I was making any sense, but I had to try something because I was nowhere near strong enough to fight him off, I couldn't run from him and there was no sign of anyone coming to my rescue. I was desperate, alone and petrified of what he was going to do next.
"Silly little girl, you think that you can just walk away from me? You work for my father, so if you don't give me what I want then I can make things very difficult for you. Do you think people will want anything to do with you if they believe you're sleeping with the boss's son to advance your career? " he spat out.
"W…w….why would you do that?" I sputtered out.
"Because I can!" he snarled at me. "Because you're beautiful and you should want to be with me. I see how you parade around the office in your tight skirts, and those pretty blouses…..and don't get me started on those fucking high heeled shoes you wear. Everything you do is a silent call to me, like you're just begging for me to show some interest, so here I am!"
He released my breast from his grip and brought it back up to hold my jaw tightly, while his other hand snaked down my side to the hem of my sweater. His cold hard eyes were staring down at me as if anticipating me reacting to his words and touch. All my years of studying the written and spoken word and nothing was coming out of my mouth, right when I needed the power of speech the most, I had nothing. My sound response to all that was going on was to cower away from him and whimper desperately.
"We could be so good together, fucking electric. You know you want it" he continued, as his hand reached down to grab me at the apex of my thighs
Squeezing my eyes shut tightly, I prayed that this would end sooner rather than later and tried desperately to shut out the words he was spewing at me as he pawed at my clothes. I could feel myself slipping further and further into a dark fog, the sound of James vile words becoming more and more muffled by the second.
I don't know how long I was pinned against the wall in that corridor with him pawing at my body, but out of the blackness that surrounded me, I heard a voice…a very angry voice, that to me sounded like an angel.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing asshole?"
Staring up at the sky behind the bar it's a crystal clear night, not a cloud to be seen and I've had a moment of clarity of my own. I think maybe I will ask BBG for her number, see if I can buy her coffee some time. Jesus, I must be turning into a pussy, but God damn, if she isn't about the most perfect woman I've ever seen, and perhaps Emm is right, I should give it a go. If I don't have a leap of faith then I'm going to end up a bitter old man living in a crusty old apartment surrounded by a dozen cats like Uncle Aro. No way in hell am I going to let myself end up like that crazy old fool. Nope, perhaps it's time for a change. , I take a long drag on what's left of my cigarette before stubbing it out on the wall. Taking a deep breath, I open the fire exit and head back into the bar, hoping that I'll catch her before she leaves the building.
As I round the corner near the ladies bathroom, I see two dark figures up against the wall….clearly getting it on while nobody's looking. Emm will shit a brick if he finds those two humping in public view, his bar has a good reputation – don't get me wrong, the big oaf is about the furthest you can get from being a prude, but he's a firm believer of "not in my back yard" when it comes to his business! As I get closer, I notice that the girl doesn't look to be a very willing participant in what's going on, she's firmly trapped in this guy's grasp, but she's shaking violently and I can hear spluttered gasps coming from her as she fights for breath. Then it's like a light bulb has gone off in my head….that's James and he's doing God knows what to BBG. I am beyond pissed, and I can feel the rage bubbling up inside me like a caged tiger trying to escape. I have to do something, she looks terrified as she tries to shrink away from him against the wall.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing asshole?" I bellow at the top of my lungs.
James whips his head round towards the sound of my voice and glares at me as BBG slumps to the floor. I start striding towards him, closing the gap quickly, I'm ready to get heavy if I have to.
"It's none of your damned business what's going on between me and my girl here" he grits out.
"Funny thing about that buddy" I chuckle before snarling, "your girl there doesn't really look that into you, in fact I'd bet my ass she wants nothing to do with you fucker, so why don't you just leave her the fuck alone and get out of this bar before I throw you out".
"I'd like to see you try man, you have no idea what kind of clout I carry in this town, I could have you sacked from here just for talking to me the wrong way" he sneered at me with what was supposed to be a menacing look, but in all honesty, they couldn't scare me for shit. There was no way I was backing down on this, BBG was on the floor shaking like a leaf and I just wanted James gone so I could make sure she was OK.
I quirked my eyebrow at him and smirked. Silly fucker still had no idea who I was, so this could work to my advantage.
"Is that so? Let's see about that shall we sir!" I said with as much sarcasm as I could muster, and started to make my way past him to go get Emm to help throw his punk ass out of the bar. Before I could get very far he'd pulled me back by my t-shirt and was swinging his fist in the direction of my face. I tried to dodge the punch, but it connected with my cheekbone. No damage done, but it was probably going to leave a bruise which would be fun to explain at work on Monday. I'd had enough of this asshole thinking he could do and say what he wanted, it was time to teach him a lesson and pray that my mother wouldn't think ill of me for brawling in my brother's place of business. I growled at him, pulling my right arm back and swinging it back to plant my fist firmly into his jaw. It was like watching something from a movie as he flew backwards onto the floor with an almighty wail and a loud thud. I stood there looking down at him and shook my head before sidestepping him to drag him out of the corridor and eject him from the premises, but he made a grab for my legs, pulling me to the floor.
"This isn't over, I call the shots and your ass will be mine by the time I've done with you" he yelled. He honestly had no clue.
The punches from him came fast but not really that hard as he laid into me with all that he had, and I could tell he was running out of steam from the way he was breathing. Spotting a gap in his attack, I brought my arm back once again and smacked him straight in the eye laying him out cold on the floor.
"Yeah, is that so buddy?" I spat at him as I got back to my feet.
I looked over at BBG who was sat there wide eyed and shaking like a leaf. Stepping over James I carefully bent down next to Bella and looked her over, noting that she didn't appear to be hurt physically, but there were some nasty looking scratches across her chest where her sweater was hanging off her shoulder, and her face was red with black tear streaks running down her cheeks where her mascara had run from her crying. Reaching for her hand slowly, I couldn't help but notice what felt like a tingle or spark shoot through me as we touched, but pushed the thought away as I focussed on getting her out of there.
Gently I spoke to her, "Are you ok, do you think you can walk back to the bar?".
She nodded her ascent, so I pulled her up to a standing position before putting my arm around her protectively. "I've got you now. He can't hurt you" I bent down and murmured in her ear softly as we walked back towards the bar. I wished I could have taken her to Emmet's office, but I needed Rose to look after her while Emm & I were busy "taking out the trash", and there weren't really enough staff on tonight for us all to abandon our posts.
I rounded the corner and spotted Rose pulling her to one side. I quickly whispered what had gone down and asked her to look after BBG till we could get James out of the joint. The last thing she needed was to be on her own when she was virtually catatonic. Signalling to Emm for him to join me in the corridor, I headed back to where Mr Douche-bag extraordinaire was just coming around on the floor.
"What the fuck man!" Emmet roared from behind me as he took in the sight before him.
James looked at Emm, then started to get up off the floor. He turned to me and smirked then barked "Your bar staff don't seem to have any manners Cullen. This punk here interrupted an intimate moment between me and my lovely lady and saw fit to attack me when I told him to leave us alone".
I couldn't believe the audacity of this guy, never mind the fact that Emm had CCTV cameras all over this place, he still really had no clue about me. There was no way my brother would take James' word over mine, and on top of that, he knows that despite appearances I'm not a fighter without good reason.
"Is that so James?" my brother grinned at him.
"Yes it is, so what are you going to do about it?" James snipped back.
"Well, I could fire him I suppose…." He mused, tapping his chin in quiet contemplation, before continuing "but then he'd actually have to be on my payroll for me to do that".
"Well you have to do something about it, his behaviour's not acceptable" Hunter bitched, and I could see in my brother's eyes that he was done listening to this prick ranting.
"OK Jimbo, this is what we're going to do about this little situation" Emm grinned.
"I'm thinking that there's a pretty good chance that if I was to go to my office and check the security tapes, I'd find that your story about my "bartender" here is a load of horse shit that you made up to save your pretty boy ass. My guess is you tried it on with a lovely lady in my fine establishment and she wasn't interested, but you being the cocky, privileged douche that you are thought you'd just take what you wanted anyway."
I stood with my arms folded over my chest with a raised eyebrow giving James the biggest fucking stink eye ever.
James paled a little and swallowed as my brother continued his speech.
"That kind of behaviour is not acceptable with a lady, especially in my bar. So you see, I could kick him out, but in all honesty, I think it would be much more appropriate if we were to eject you from the premises!"
He took hold of James' right arm while I grabbed the left one, and we marched him back out into the bar towards the door. Stupid fucker still didn't give up and accept his fate though, oh no, he squirmed and wriggled like a stuck pig, yelling at Emm that he'd be sorry for kicking out of his "trashy little joint" and that the place would suffer if the staff from Hunter Publishing decided to boycott the place. Like this would ever bother my brother, he had a solid client base and business was booming. We got him to the out the door and I gave him a swift shove just for shits & giggles, and couldn't help but laugh as he stumbled on the sidewalk trying to keep his balance.
He turned to us, ready to start running his mouth once again when I thought it was time to play the ace in our hand, I stepped in front of him holding my hand out as if to shake his, but as he went to reciprocate I pulled my hand back, narrowed my eyes and spoke to him with ; "By the way you probably don't recognise me after all these years. Edward Cullen, and while I'd like to say it's a pleasure to make your re-acquaintance, it honestly isn't. By the way, you might want to remember what profession I'm in….I'd hate for you to end up in court on a charge of sexual assault. What would Mommy & Daddy think?"
I smiled smugly at him shaking my head. Jackass didn't know what kind of lawyer I was, but watching the colour drain from his face at the mention of Mommy & Daddy while his mouth flapped wildly, unable to utter a response was so worthwhile.
Giving him a small wave, I turned and headed back inside the bar, I needed to make sure my BBG was OK, and then make sure she got home safely. Woah, "my BBG", where the fuck did that one come from? I let that thought slide, but gave myself a little grin, cos shit me if it didn't feel good thinking that (just a teeny tiny bit). Maybe I was ready to take a risk and let my cold, hardened heart thaw out a bit and see what might happen. It was a BIG if, and tonight was definitely not the night to be asking BBG for her number or on a date, not after the stunt Hunter pulled on her tonight.
I shook my head and continued back towards where I'd left her with Rose, but she wasn't there. Looking a little confused, I started scanning the bar to see if I could spot them when Emm tapped me on the shoulder.
"Rosie took her back to my office to get her calmed down and cleaned up" he said before heading back to behind the bar where they were getting ready to call last orders.
"Cheers man" I threw over my shoulder as I started to make my way to the back of the building, past the "scene of the crime". I reached the door to Emm's office and suddenly thought twice about just barging in there. I didn't want to scare BBG any more than she already was, so I gingerly knocked on the door and waited for a response.
I'm not quite sure how I ended up sitting on a couch in what I think was the bar owner's office, but I could quite honestly say that I was glad I was there. I remember James stopping me in the hall, and him pawing at me, his vile words making me feel dirty and scared. I also remember hearing the golden voice of the hot bartender along with a scuffle, but in all honesty things were pretty foggy apart from that. The blonde waitress from the bar had brought me back to this room and had gently pressed tumbler of amber liquid into my hand whilst quietly urging me to drink it.
I slowly sipped at the fiery drink, my hands shaking traitorously while I brought the glass to my lips.
"Thank you" I murmured to her as tears started to roll down my cheeks once again.
"That's OK honey, you've had a nasty shock" she smiled at me before continuing with a sneer, " James Hunter is a total creep who thinks he's king in this town and can do what he pleases. My guess is that Emm & Edward are reminding him that he's not round about now". She threw her head back giggling at the thought of this.
"Oh" was the only thing I could think of to say in reply, stunningly articulate use of the English language Bella!
"I'm Rosalie by the way" she informed me with another smile, "and if I remember correctly from earlier, you're Bella?"
I took another gulp of my drink, relishing the burn as it slid down my throat. It wasn't going to erase what had happened tonight, but it was doing a great job of numbing the senses.
"Yes I am" I mumbled.
Looking down at the floor I wondered about asking if I could leave via the fire exit so that I didn't have to walk through the bar and face any questions from Angela, Jess or Lauren if they were still here. It was going to be hard enough going into work again on Monday and facing James without any bitchy remarks from Lauren who would no doubt claim that I should be flattered that James was "in to me", or worse yet get the hump because he'd not shown any interest in her when she so blatantly wanted him and his trust fund. I also didn't want to be any more trouble to these people than I already had been, they'd helped me out so much and I'm sure that the last thing that they wanted was for the cops to come knocking, that would just be bad for business.
Nope, the best thing to do would be to go home, get myself cleaned up and sleep till the weekend was over, then hope for the best when I got into the office on Monday.
I was about to get up from my seat when there was a soft knock at the door. Despite the gentle nature of the knock, I gasped and sank into the corner of the couch, unsure of who was on the other side.
"You can come in" Rosalie called to whoever was on the other side, as I sank further into the couch, hiding behind my hair and praying that nothing else was going to happen tonight.
"How is she doing?" I heard a male voice whisper.
"Not sure to be honest. She's stopped shaking, but she's very quiet. I know you didn't have time to give me any details of what happened to her, but I'm guessing that douche really frightened the shit out of her. I figured it was best not to leave her on her own" Rose told him quietly.
"Yeah, when I found him there it wasn't really fun to witness Rose. The asshole was all over her and you could tell she didn't want anything to do with him, but he just wouldn't leave her alone. I had to do something to help her, she didn't have a chance to fight him off on her own." the voice muttered.
The man in the room was my golden voiced angel, the one who rescued me from James. He continued to talk with Rose in hushed tones and I couldn't quite make out what they were saying anymore, but it didn't matter anymore. Just hearing him talk about what he'd witnessed brought it all crashing back down upon me. I let out a huge shuddering breath that I wasn't aware I'd been holding in, and a loud choking sob followed behind it. My face started to feel the moisture of more traitorous tears that had begun to fall.
To the side of me there was movement and the sound of the door opening and closing. Then I felt the couch dip down next to me and a strong hand reached into my line of vision and carefully squeezed my right hand. Another loud sob came, followed by another and another and before I knew it I was bawling my eyes out in front of this gorgeous man who probably didn't know what the hell to do next.
"I'm so sorry" I choked out amidst my uncontrollable sobs.
Suddenly I felt myself enveloped in strong arms, his embrace warm and comforting as he whispered into my hair "don't worry BBG, you're safe, he can't hurt you now. I'll look after you". He must have whispered the same things to me at least a dozen times as he held me tight while I tried to calm myself down.
Eventually the tears slowed down, and my breathing evened out. He brought his hands up to cup my face and let his thumbs rub over my cheeks, carefully wiping away the tears that were still there. His touch was so gentle, and the complete polar opposite of how James had handled me. Slowly I brought my eyes up to meet his and was shocked to see such a burning intensity in those wonderful emerald green orbs. They shone with nothing but compassion and concern for me in this moment, and I revelled in the feeling of safety that this gave me. It was weird, because the only other man who'd made me feel this safe was my father, I had always been wary of men and their motives after an old boyfriend had pushed tried to get me to have sex in the back of his car on prom night and I wasn't anywhere near ready. Somehow though, despite me not having spoken more than a few words to this man, he'd managed to make me feel more secure than I had since I was a teenager, and it was a feeling I liked. His touch left little tingles on my skin he moved his hands to my shoulders and back, slowly rubbing comforting circles as he went.
I glanced at the clock on the wall and noticed that it was now gone midnight, and the bar would now be closed. I really should head home and get myself to bed.
"Thank you for helping me tonight" I said with a small smile, my cheeks warming up as I spoke.
"No need to thank me beautiful, there was no way I could leave you there to suffer at his hands, I had to protect you" he stated with such conviction, he might as well have been swearing on the Bible in court. His eyes continued to bore into me with an intensity that I somehow craved, but tonight was not the night for acting upon it. Maybe another time I pondered.
Slowly I pulled myself away from him and stood up. As much as I could have stayed in his embrace all night long, I had to leave before I got too comfortable. "I…I should get going, I've caused enough trouble for you all this evening" I said as I turned towards the door.
I felt his hand touch my shoulder lightly as he said to me "I understand, let me walk you out and make sure you get into a cab safely".
I nodded and let him guide me out towards the main bar area once again with his hand touching the small of my back. My skin was still tingling at his touch and I smiled a little at how such a simple gesture could make me feel so protected. As we passed the spot where James had cornered me, Edward moved his arm to wrap firmly around my shoulder and I turned my head in towards his chest. God he smelled amazing. Like a subtle combination of musk, sandalwood, and fresh linen, it was an interesting mix, but it suited him beautifully.
In the bar Rose and the other big guy from behind the bar were wiping down the tables near the front door, they looked up when we reached them.
"You feeling better little one" the big guy smiled, flashing me the most wonderful dimples as his eyes twinkled.
"Yeah, I'll be ok. Just want to forget it ever happened" I sighed.
Rose and Edward exchanged a look that I couldn't quite identify, but they appeared to be having a silent conversation with their eyes.
"Emm, I'm just gonna make sure she gets into a cab safely then I'll be back to help you guys close up" Edward stated.
"No worries man, we've got this. You make sure little one is OK" he grinned before addressing me, "you gonna come back and visit us again sweetness? Drinks will be on me for the night!"
I chuckled at his child like enthusiasm; a night out with him must be such a laugh. "We'll see" I said with a wink, smiling at him. Thanking them once again for their help and kindness, I wished them goodnight and stepped out onto the sidewalk with Edward close by my side. I glanced up and down the street, hoping that James wouldn't be lingering around outside the bar.
"Don't worry beautiful, he's long gone. Emm & I made sure he got the message that he wasn't welcome around here." Edward assured me as he waved his arm in the air to flag down a passing cab. A driver spots us standing on the sidewalk and slows down next to us, waiting for me to climb in.
"Thank you, you really have been amazing." I smile at him sincerely, before adding "I'm just not looking forward to facing him in the office on Monday"
"Oh shit you work in his office don't you?" Edward exclaims whilst smacking his hand off his forehead.
"Yes, sadly I do" I sigh and shake my head a little. "It will be fine though, he'll not try anything anywhere near as bad in case I say anything to his father or Personnel." In fact I think to myself, this might well be a blessing in disguise, because I can produce witnesses from tonight to back up my claims if he does start any more shit with me. Yep, this could mean he now leaves me alone at work too, and this thought makes me smile brightly at Edward.
"Well I'll get Emm to hang on to the CCTV footage just in case you need to pull out the big guns against him"
"I appreciate it, but I really do think things will be ok" I reassure him. His eyes are boring into me, blazing that beautiful green, and he gives me a million mega-watt smile that could light up the whole of Seattle. If only things hadn't happened with James tonight, then I wouldn't be thinking twice about asking for his number, but I'm just not that comfortable. At least I know where to find him, so I could always arrange another night out and take up Emmett's offer of drinks, maybe get to know him a bit better then.
"Hey lady, are you getting in or what?" the cab driver yells, startling me out of my thoughts. Edward cocks his head to one side as if he's either studying me or contemplating saying something.
"So, I guess I'll be going then. Maybe I'll see you around?" I tell him with a deflated look, and reach my hand out to shake his. Is it me, or have things just become really awkward between us for no reason?
He reaches out to take my hand, but brings it slowly up towards his mouth, drawing it slowly towards his perfect pouty lips and gently grazes the back of my knuckles with the most subtle of kisses. I think my panties might just have melted with that one action alone, but as he lets my hand drop back to my side he leans to my ear and whispers. "I most certainly hope so BBG."
He pulls back and gives me a crooked grin that could be perceived as a cocky smirk, if it wasn't for the sincerity in his eyes. I think I might well be blushing from the tips of my ears to the ends of my toes right now so I climb into the cab as quickly as I can, giving the driver my address. Just before the taxi pulls away the door is yanked open and Edward bends down to thrust a business card into my hand.
"Take this, just in case you need it" he rasps out before quickly retreating back on the sidewalk and slamming the door shut.
I smile from inside the car and wave to him as we pull away, then slowly look down at the card he gave me. Slowly I run my fingers over the heavily embossed text as I read it. Edward A. Cullen - Corporate & Employment Law, MASEN & PLATT ATTORNEYS along with his cell number and email. He'd taken the first step and given me his number, perhaps when the dust has settled from tonight; I might just give him a call.
So there you are, my first offering! Hope it wasn't all bad.
Would love to receive some constructive reviews, and let me know if you'd like me to continue!