Actions

Work Header

A Love Like Yours

Chapter Text

Summary

Summary

 

“After her parents died in a car accident, Bella is left alone. She’s heading to Seattle with the only thing she has—her truck, but an unexpected turn of events means she may never arrive.”

 

Summary

 

“After her parents died in a car accident, Bella is left alone. She’s heading to Seattle with the only thing she has—her truck, but an unexpected turn of events means she may never arrive.”

 

Chapter 1: A New Beginning

 

I'm Bella Swan and I'm not running away. Well, at least not yet. You see, I'm heading to Seattle, the nearest big city to Forks, Washington. It's not really what I was expecting. Who am I kidding? It never crossed my mind that I would be going to Seattle today after losing everything.

 

Two weeks ago, my parents were killed in a car accident. The driver of the other car was drunk.

 

Was it destiny? No, I don't think so.

 

Anyway, long story short, my parents had debts that I never bother to know about; of course, no one expected for them to die anytime soon. How many teenagers really take this information into account into their everyday lives? Yes, not many I do know, I was one who didn't.

 

So, here I am in my piece-of-crap old truck, heading to a big city where I don’t know anyone because the banks took the house and everything they could, leaving me with my truck because—let’s face it—nobody wants it and it has no value. Thinking about it, maybe I do like the truck. At least, I think I should start loving it, since from now on it’s officially my home.

 

It's twilight now—the only time of the day where I always doubt if it's really day or night. I’ve been driving for over two hours now; it's raining, as it usually does in this part of the continental U.S. But, I'm trying to enjoy the world and not think about the life I had.

 

Maybe it’s just my inner self trying to not think about how much I miss my parents and my life. It wasn't a great one; however, at least I had someone that care about me that loved me for being me. Now, I have nobody but myself to keep going through this journey called life.

 

As much as I like driving around, this is not easy route; therefore, I keep my eyes on the road as I try to eat my sandwich. I could've have stopped to eat it; in fact, nobody was expecting me to arrive. Nevertheless, I do not like driving my truck in the dark and rain, so instead I continue driving; while still eating a sandwich I bought at the last gas station. This truck wouldn't go all the way to Seattle, not even half-way with one tank of gas, so I have to stop twice.

 

I turn the radio on and try to tune it to any station that I can get; I can’t even afford to listen to the one station that I like, not in this old truck. The drive is nice in this part — total straight line where I can appreciate the mountains and the pine trees that are on both sides of the road. I even spotted a bear eating on the side of this part of the road once while I was traveling with Renée to Seattle. We went there to buy some clothes for my last birthday. I'm always curious if I will get to see something like that ever again.

 

I keep driving. There are so few cars passing on either side that I can spot them a mile before they pass me.

 

I can now see one, white lights, xenon probably, which means an expensive sport car of sorts. The rain is not heavy but its enough for me to not know if its black, blue or dark grey.

 

As the car approaches the back of my truck it seems to continue. Certainly, it is easy to pass me here, as a result that, you can see straight ahead for a couple of miles and nobody is heading our way. In other words, it probably wasn't going to slow down.

 

Yeah, it didn't slow down and now it passes me, like the rest.

 

I continue at the same speed; in fact, I'm almost to the next gas station but my truck can keep up until I get to Seattle. There is really no need for me to stop.

 

I keep trying to entertain myself, so as I approach the gas station I notice a few cars parked, and well, like five of the cars that passed me a while back. I laugh; they probably passed me, stopped to eat, and will for sure pass me again after they take to the road. If that happens, I know I will for sure stop on the side of the road because I will be laughing so hard that I will not be able to drive. I try to check the license plates; it will be easier for me to remember them than the make and model of the cars. Well, that one is easy: "EAC-007" I say, as I spot one of the cars.

 

I keep driving; this is really boring, so I start singing along with the radio. It’s that or listen to half of it; the reception here is terrible. I open a can of iced tea, drink some, and stick it between my bags.

 

Another car approaches, I get excited; will that be one of the cars at the gas station? I keep my speed and keep my eyes on the road; meanwhile, I use the mirrors to see how it approaches at a fast speed. Well fast for my truck anyway, this truck doesn't go above 40 mph. This is another straight part of the road, so I know it will not slow down. It keeps approaching and I try to read the license plates.

 

"Bingo!" I scream, jumping up and down on my seat.

 

It's the same car, and I start to laugh at my stupid joke. It passes by my side; there is a puddle on the other side of the road and the fast car splashes all my truck; leaving me with absolutely no visibility. I panic and hit the brakes, but my truck just keeps going and starts to spin. I must have hit the side of the road because now I am starting to see everything going upside down. As I keep turning, I lose all track of what is up or down and left or right. It seems to be taking such a long time to stop. Suddenly, my head hurts like the worst nightmare. Furthermore, I cannot get enough air into my lungs; I try to breathe but nothing goes in.

 

My world is now very dark and I forget where I am.

 

A/N:

Thanks to PTB for helping me write this story.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2:

Chapter 2:

 

I hear a noise; it sounds like someone is speaking and a siren, but I drift into blackness again.

 

It's some time later and I hear a sound like someone is writing on a piece of paper and folding it. However, I'm too tired to open my eyes, and I fall into a deep sleep.

 

After a dreamless sleep, I finally open my eyes and look into a white room. Well, a very big, bright and wonderful room.

 

Am I dreaming? No, I really don´t think so, otherwise my head wouldn't hurt this much.

 

It seems to be a hospital room.

 

No wait, this is different.

 

It's a huge room and I'm on the biggest and most comfortable hospital bed I have ever slept on. Something is wrong here. I've never seen this kind of hospital room; it's more like a huge luxury hotel suite.

 

My right arm has an IV in it, and there are some monitors on my left side.

 

I start to realize that I must find a way to get out of here. I don't have any medical insurance, so I will have a lot of trouble trying to pay for this. It's definitely something I can't afford. I must try to get out as soon as possible.

 

I try to get up, but my whole body aches. The room spins around, but I think it is better if I try to walk slowly.

 

I search for my clothes, I spot them on the recliner; it doesn't look too far away.

 

How am I going to remove the IV? I hate needles!

 

There's a knock on the door.

 

"Damn!" I return hastily to my position on the bed and try to look as though I'm sleeping. I hear someone coming in; it might be a nurse, I think, as I hear the sound of buttons being pushed on the machine near my bed. After a while, I hear the door being opened and closed again. I'm now alone, so I'd better try to get out of here.

 

I get up from the bed slowly, as I still feel quite dizzy. I clamped the tube and then very carefully removed the needle, trying not to inhale until I had the bandage in place so I wouldn't smell the blood, I start to unhook all the cables from the IV and finally turn it off. Well, all the trips to the ER at least showed me how it's done. My clumsiness has led to something good.

 

I'm finally free from everything. Now it's time to get dressed. I walk slowly toward my clothes on the recliner, and as I approach, I spot a piece of paper perched on top of them. I pick it up and start reading.

 

"Your truck was taken to the nearest mechanic; you'll find the address on the back of this letter.

 

It should be ready in a couple of days. I asked for a rushed service."

 

That's it? I ask myself.

 

There's no signature, nothing to explain what happened. I'm now pissed with the situation. I get dressed and head outside the room. Nobody seems to be paying any attention to me, so I start walking towards the nearest exit I can find.

 

Once I am finally outside, my head still hurts from hitting it, but I can manage. As I start walking, I look for any sign of what road I am on. I arrive at the intersection and see that I am on a familiar street. I spot a lady with black spiky hair walking my way, and I realize I need to ask for directions.

 

"Excuse me, Miss."

 

"Yes?"

 

"Could you please give me the directions to this address?" I ask, showing her the piece of paper.

 

"Sure, it's just a few blocks ahead and turn left. It's just two blocks before the Luxury Hotel 1000, which is quite a big building that you can spot from the intersection."

 

"Thank you."

 

I start walking the way the lady pointed out.

 

After a couple of blocks I arrive at the address on the sheet of paper. It's an auto repair shop specializing in antique cars.

 

"Figures," I mutter to myself and chuckle.

 

I see a little office and head that way; I turn the knob and step inside. There's a blond lady; she looks more like a model to be behind the counter.

 

"Hi there, I'm here to pick up my truck." I explain to her.

 

"Sure, Miss, which truck are you referring to?"

 

"It's a red '69 Chevy truck that was brought here after an accident. I was told that it was on a rushed service," I reply.

 

"Oh, yes. Let me ask the manager; wait here, please," she says while walking through the back door.

 

I start looking around while I wait, noticing posters of cars on the walls. The images range from sports to vintage cars. It doesn't take long for the lady to return.

 

"Miss, your truck is ready. It's parked a block away in the alley beside the Luxury Hotel 1000's rear entrance. It has been paid for in advance, so you don't need to worry. We were able to get it running like before the accident, but as you know, it's a really old truck. Also, the belongings that were stored in the truck are still there, so that's been covered. Here are the keys," she explains as I take the keys from her.

 

"Thank you, and good bye," I reply.

 

I turn around and start walking in the direction the lady indicated. I spot the hotel, and as I arrive in the alley, I see my truck.

 

I open the door, and the rest of my belongings are there. I decide to change my clothes for some clean ones, and I realize that I really should get something to eat. I haven't eaten since I was on the road. I need to find a cheap place, so I start to walk around the hotel.

 

It's not unusual to find coffee shops near hotels; I'm hoping to get an apple juice and some bagels, as they're my favorites.

 

As I pass the rear entrance, an advertisement catches my eye; the hotel manager is looking to hire someone to attend to special requests for hotel guests. I'm sure I would be able to cover that, and I truly need the job. Without a second thought, I open the door and head inside.

 

I start to look around for someone to help me, but everyone seems to be working. They either don't notice me at all or don't care. I keep walking towards what looks like an office and knock on the door.

 

"Come in," a woman says through the door. I open it and head inside.

 

"Hi, I saw the advertisement outside. I'm looking for a job?" I say a little uncertainly.

 

"Oh, yes. That's wonderful!" she exclaims excitedly. "Please, have a seat. My name is Angela Webber."

 

"Thank you, Mrs. Webber. I'm Isabella Swan but I prefer Bella."

 

"It's nice to meet you Bella, call me Angela. Please tell me if you have any experience related to the job opening."

 

"I have to be honest with you; I haven't worked before. I just arrived in town and truly need a job. I'm a fast learner, and I'm sure I can manage whatever you need me to do."

 

"Okay, can you please fill out this form while I explain what the job entails?"

 

"Sure, that will be fine. Can I borrow a pen, please?"

 

I'm uncertain how to fill out the form; I hope it doesn't matter if I leave my current address and phone number blank. I should get a cell phone as soon as possible, but for the address, I certainly couldn't put "the truck outside parked by the alley". I'd better say that I just moved here and don't remember the complete address… and hope it's a good enough explanation for it.

 

"Certainly. We are looking for someone to handle special requests made by the guests staying at the hotel. For example, if someone requests to have a certain brand of water or a custom-made flower arrangement, you'll need to handle these requests. Also, if someone asks for a special event to be held in their suite, you would be the one responsible for organizing it and looking for anything that's needed while it is taking place, just to be sure we get anything the guests need. Do you have any questions?"

 

"No, I think I can handle it."

 

"Okay, let me check everything on your application and I'll call you by the end of the day. Is that all right?"

 

"I just moved here and I don't have a phone; could I just come back here at five o'clock?"

 

"Yes, that will be all right."

 

"Thank you, Angela. I'll see you later then."

 

I stand up and exit her office. Once outside, I try to remember where the first store to buy a very cheap cell phone is. I definitely need to get something to eat as soon as possible, as I'm starting to feel a little dizzy and weak.

 

I finally find what seems to be a good and inexpensive coffee shop; I think it is my best chance to get something. I open the door and look inside.

 

The coffee shop feels like the one I used to go to near my home in Forks, it's not big, it has some nice wooden tables and chairs, some beautiful paintings hang on the walls, and a little counter sits at the back.

 

People in here seem so relaxed. I spot a table by the front window on my right where two girls are talking and a group of two girls and two boys at my left laughing. What really catches my eye is a couple at the back, at a very secluded table.

 

They make a beautiful couple, a truly handsome guy with strange bronze-colored, messy hair which somehow suits him and a beautiful brunette by his side. They're talking, and I can see by the look in their eyes that they are in love with each other.

 

Their hands are intertwined; she's talking, and as he pays attention to her, he also pulls a strand of hair that has fallen out of place back behind her ear, caressing her cheek in the process with so much delicacy that I feel shivers traveling all the way down my spine.

 

I keep looking— I can't tear my eyes away from them, away from him — their love intrigues me. I now wish I could find love like that.

 

He stands and says something to the beautiful woman, and she says something in return. Then he turns and walks to the counter. His actions shake me from the spell, and I realize I still need to buy something to eat.

 

I walk to the counter and stand beside the handsome man. He turns and looks at me, "Hi," and then turns back to ask for his order. I stand there, mesmerized by his beautiful green eyes; he only looked at me for a second, but for me it seemed much longer.

 

He takes his food and walks back to his table without a second glance at me. I was never expecting for him to look back, but a girl can wish, right?

 

"Next please," the lady with caramel hair at the counter says.

 

I'm still captivated by the couple; I stand there just watching them interact.

 

"Miss, are you ready to order?" the lady asks.

 

Oops, it's my turn, but I'm dreaming of having a man like him by my side.

 

"Yes, sorry. I'd like an apple juice and a peanut and jelly bagel please," I say to the lady.

 

"Okay, that will be a total of $4.99."

 

I pay and wait for my order..

 

While I wait, I keep dreaming of what could have been my life if my parents hadn't died. I'd already graduated high school, so I probably would be working for the summer at the diner or at Mike's parents' sport supplies store as I wait for an acceptance letter. I had sent my resume to Seattle's most prestigious Corporation to see if I could get a summer internship before I start college in Seattle.

 

"Here is your order," the lady says.

 

I take it and move to a free table. I eat my bagel and drink my apple juice. It isn't much, but I can't really afford to spend what I have left on more expensive food— I've already put myself on a daily limit and I still need to buy a cell phone.

 

I finish my food and stand up to take my garbage to the trash can. I head for the door to go outside, but not without a last look toward the couple in love that has already enthralled me so deeply. Trying to be inconspicuous, I glanced toward the back and was stunned at what I saw.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3:

 

I arrange myself before they notice I've been looking and get out of the coffee shop.

 

I head down the road. I try to look for a carrier service shop to get the cell phone. Finally, I spot a big shopping mall a couple of blocks ahead. I speed up my pace, focusing on my target while I try not to think on what I saw, but it just haunts me.

 

It's not that I haven't seen anything like it before, but it was the most romantic kiss ever. In addition, what really stunned me was the way it made me feel. It was as if I had been plugged, electricity flowing through my veins. It was like I'd been the one who was kissed. It certainly was my wake-up call.

 

I now have this urge to know who they are, more specifically who he is?

 

I arrive at the shopping mall. I open the doors and look for the map to figure out where I can buy the cell phone. It doesn't take me long to figure out my surroundings and head the right way.

 

While I pass one of the stores, I spot the same lady with black spiky hair that helped me on the street; she looks concentrated on what she is looking at in the store. I keep walking until I arrive at the store.

 

I start looking around for the cheapest one and get the slip for me to pay at the cashier. I pay and get my pre-paid phone out, set it on and walk out the store.

 

I sit down on the nearest bench. There is a plug there for me to charge it and have fun configuring it. I set my new wallpaper and figure out some of the functions.

 

"Hi again," a female voice speaks to me. I turn my head up and find the lady from the street.

 

"Hi," I respond.

 

"Did you find the place you were looking for before?" she ask.

 

"Yes, thank you."

 

"My name is Alice, by the way," she says while extending her hand to me.

 

"Bella," I say while I shake her hand.

 

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Bella. I see you've got a new cell phone. That is a nice model, simple but quite elegant."

 

"Um, well yes, thanks?" I don't know how to respond to that.

 

"Bella, are you new to this area? I haven't seen you around here, and I kind of know a lot of people that come regularly into the shopping mall."

 

"Yes, I've just moved here."

 

"That's nice. Well, Bella, here is my phone number." She hands me a business card.

 

I read it.

 

"Alice Brandon-Hale

 

Personal Image Consultant"

 

"Alice, sorry to ask, but what is a Personal Image Consultant?"

 

I think I hear her squeal, but I might have imagined it.

 

"A Personal Image Consultant is a person that provides you with personal style advice; I'm an expert in the fashion and beauty industry. I tell people what to or not to wear, how they do their hair and makeup. The way they have to behave themselves and act in a certain meeting or occasion. I find them the perfect outfit depending on what they need for everyday too," she explains quite enthusiastically.

 

"That sounds interesting," I respond.

 

"It is!" she exclaims.

 

"Bella, I've got to get going, but call me whenever you need it. Your first consultation is free."

 

"Thanks, Alice."

 

She turns and walks away. I'm not sure why I would need an image design, but she seems like a nice person, so I keep her card.

 

My cell phone is now completely charged, so I disconnect it and throw the box in the trash. It's time to get back to the hotel to see Angela.

 

When I return to the hotel, I finally get to enter it from the front entrance, which has a revolving glass door in the middle, a valet parking stand to the left and there even is a Restaurant & Bar on the far left, with an open terrace in front.

 

The hotel lobby takes my breath away. It is so luxurious and nothing quite like I expected. There is a small but very stylish reception area, with the elevators in front, and there's a glass stairway at the back. There is an entrance to the bar to the right, and there is a sign to a gift shop, a library and a business center. To the left the fitness center that seems to be downstairs and a spa entrance past the reception area on the right.

 

I head to the reception desk and ask the tall guy with dark skin how to get to Angela's office is from here as because last time I had used the rear entrance.

 

"Hello, how may I help you today?" the concierge says.

 

"Hi, could you please tell me how to get to Mrs. Angela Webber's office?"

 

"Yes, down the staircase, all the way through the corridor and through the last door on the right. There you'll see the office on the left."

 

"Thank you," I say and start heading for the staircase. I spot the spa entrance on my right; it's quite elegant. I've never been to a spa before, but if it's something like a hot bath with a massage after, then I'll ask if there is an employee discount. I could start saving and maybe get one for my next birthday.

 

I go down the stairs, through the corridor, seeing the fitness center there. I keep walking until I get to the door and head for Angela's office and knock.

 

"Come in," Angela answers.

 

"Hi Angela."

 

"Hi Bella, welcome back. Have a seat."

 

"Thank you," I say as I sit.

 

"Bella, I revised the application, and I think you can do the job. However, the address is missing."

 

"Um, yes, I just moved and don't know the complete address. But I got a new cell phone and you can reach me there anytime," I answer as I give Angela a paper with the phone number the guy at the store wrote down as I paid for it.

 

"Okay, that will do as we do need to get in contact with you. Some guests make last minute requests, and we should be able to call you to do it."

 

"Yes, thanks for the opportunity."

 

"No problem, just sign the contract right here," she says while pointing to the line.

 

I sign it and hand it back.

 

"Perfect, now here you have a lot of brochures and some guides we give our personnel. Make sure you read them and understand them all tonight. That will be it for today. Please be here tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. so I can give you the tour and answer any questions you might have from the guides." She hands me a little book and some papers.

 

"I will. Goodbye and see you tomorrow, Angela." I stand up and leave the office.

 

I head back to the coffee shop I went in earlier to grab something for dinner.

 

I enter the coffee shop and see the couple is now gone. So I go straight to the counter to order.

 

"Hi, can I get a bagel with ham and cheese and an apple juice please?" I ask to the same lady that attended to me before.

 

"Yes, that will be a total of $6.99," she says while typing on the cash register.

 

"Weren't you here earlier today?" she asks, looking at me now.

 

She somehow reminds me of my mother; she has this beautiful smile and seems to be a very warm person.

 

"Yes, my name is Bella," I answer.

 

"Well, I'm Esme. Nice to meet you, Bella."

 

"Nice to meet you too, Esme."

 

"I haven't seen you before today. Is this the first time you've come here?"

 

"Yes, I'm new in town."

 

"Bella, feel free to come here as often as you'll like."

 

"Thank you, I will. I just got a job in the hotel across the street," I answer.

 

Somehow, I wanted to tell her I really was going to come here often. I was really hoping to find the couple again.

 

"That's wonderful, dear. Here is your food," she says and hands me the bag and the can.

 

"Thank you, and see you again soon. Bye," I say and go sit down a table besides the one formerly occupied by the most handsome guy I'd ever seen and that. It is now occupied by a blond man reading some medical journal.

 

As I sit down, he turns and sees me, and then returns to reading his books without acknowledging me.

 

I sit, and while I eat, I start reading the brochures and guides Angela gave me.

 

"Excuse me, miss, are you a new employee at the Hotel 1000?" the blond man asks.

 

"Yes, how do you know?" I ask, quite intrigued.

 

"Well, all new employees get those papers, and they only read them the first day, so it wasn't hard to assume it," he says and chuckles.

 

I blush and drop my head down. An old habit of me to try to hide; I'm way too shy with people.

 

"No need to get embarrassed. It's good to see people take their new job seriously. Most employees forget about what they read eventually, but it seems you are going to be an exception."

 

I just smile.

 

"I'm Carlisle, by the way. Nice to meet you."

 

"Thank you, and I'm Bella."

 

"I'll leave you to studying, Bella. I hope to see you around here," he says, and then he grabs his book and returns to his reading.

 

When I'm done studying, I see Carlisle is no longer there, so I grab my things and head to back to my truck to try to catch some sleep. It's been a very long day for me.

 

I get to the truck and try to get as comfortable. I fall asleep soon, and my dreams begin.

 

"I'm looking for the beautiful man inside the coffee shop, but he isn't at the table. He's exiting the coffee shop and walking down the street to the hotel. I follow him, trying to not to be spotted. As he nears the door, the bell boy greets him and opens the door for him. I wait a couple of seconds and follow him using the revolving doors, but when I get inside nobody is there. I look around and he seems to have disappeared. I walk down the lobby heading to the stairs. As the elevator doors open; some hands grab me by the waist and pulls. I turn and see the man."

 

I scream, "No!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 4:

 

I wake up sweating and breathing heavily. I still don't understand my dream, but I guess one thing wasn't supposed to happen, the man who grabbed me by the waist wasn't the one I expected or wanted. He was the concierge who told me the way to Angela's office the day before.

 

I check my cell phone and see it's almost six in the morning; I still have an hour to get ready and meet Angela. I grab some clean clothes and head inside the hotel through the rear entrance. I saw the fitness center, when I walked through some of the corridors, and I'm sure there is a bathroom I can use there. I just hope to get in and out of there inconspicuously.

 

There aren't any guests working out at this time, after all, if I were a guest on vacation I certainly wouldn't want to wake up at this ungodly hour, no matter how much I love to exercise.

 

I head for the showers, and take a little time to think about the past couple of days. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would have been in an accident, escaped the hospital, and gotten a job at one of the most luxurious hotels on the West Coast.

 

However, this is my life now.

 

It happened, and there is nothing I can do about any of it at the moment. I just need to concentrate on building a future for myself.

 

I still have a little money left from my savings. My parents used to give me the little they could to spend on books and any school supplies I might've needed. Since I always take good care of my things and borrowed books from the library instead of buying them, I saved money for more important things. Now, I needed the money to survive.

 

My body is still a little stiff. Some bruises are now a little yellowish in color but they don't hurt much. I can't say the same about my head. It is quite tender on the spot where I hit it and I still have a headache, but I feel quite confident that I can work out the situation I've been left to deal with. Who knows, maybe I will be able to get a place to live. I love the truck, but that isn't a place to live at all.

 

I have some idea of what I need to be able to rent a place. I need to give a deposit in advance. I don't think I would have a problem covering that in a couple of months, if I save as much as I can. Since I don't have any close friends or relatives to use as a reference, I am worried that it will be impossible to get one.

 

Why did my parents have to die? Why? I don't like being alone. I need someone to love me, to hug me. I feel so helpless. I know it's not something I can change now, but why did it happen to me? I sob.

 

After my break down, I'm finally able to get myself together to finish my shower and get ready for the day. I put my clothes in the school backpack and walk back thru the corridor to Angela's office.

 

"Morning, Bella!" Angela yells, just as I knock on the already open door.

 

"Hi, Angela," I say.

 

"Did you read the material I gave to you yesterday?" she asks.

 

"Yes, I was able to read it all last night," while thinking, "like I had anything else to do."

 

"That's great, do you have any questions?"

 

"I think it was all very detailed and clearly explained, but I'll probably have some while I get things done," I answer, knowing I will have a tone of them if an emergency arises.

 

"Don't worry about it; if you do just call me, my number is on the back of the booklet as well as everyone else's that work here. Are you ready to start your guide?"

 

"As ready as I'll ever be," I retort.

 

We begin the tour in the basement. As we walk through the fitness center she tells me there are full bathrooms, which I already found out, and a sauna. We keep walking towards the stairs, and she points out the door that connects the fitness center with the spa. We climb to the first floor, which is the lobby area.

 

We walk to the reception desk and introduces me to a man named Ben, who happens to be Angela's husband, and one of the hotel's Concierges. She explains that his job consists of everything from checking-in and out the guests, to enquiries, booking services, taking reservations, information and even general advice any of the guests might have.

 

She also tells me it's important for me to get to know all the people that work here, but especially all the Concierges, as they are my main channel of communication with the guests, and also they can assist me in the future any special requests I need, and not only within the hotel but with establishments around the city as well.

 

After getting to know my surroundings in the Lobby, we head towards a restaurant & bar, adjacent to the lobby, called Studio 1000. Then we go to the Kitchen + Bar called BOKA, just beside the hotel main entrance. She tells me that the restaurant is not really part of the hotel, but is owned by the same company. Because of this, they can handle requests at items if Studio 1000 is not able to.

 

We head directly to the bar at the far back of the restaurant where a man is working. We are introduced. His name is Paul, and he is the person in charge of handling anything restaurant related for the hotel guests. We have a small conversation about the types of things they have handled before. They often take care of food and beverages during meetings or serve guests at small gatherings in the hotel's suites. I get a good idea of what they are capable of. Angela takes me back through the hotel lobby and directly to the spa.

 

As we enter, I can see the surroundings are quite unique, and even though they don't match the rest of the hotel's decoration it still fits. I'm introduced to a woman named Carmen. She is quite a lovely woman, always smiling and very polite while she explains all the different services they do. I guess that's why she got the job. I'm just visiting and I already want her to give me advice on which service will suit me best and book one.

 

Angela explains that even though the spa has its own private rooms, some guests request their services to be handled in their rooms. If something like that is requested to the concierge, he'll arrange everything with the spa personnel. Also, if there are times when a guest requests something in particular, they will call me for me to handle any special request that might be needed in the room, such as towels, getting the massage table ready, and even heating up the room.

 

It's almost time for lunch, so Angela shows me the general hotel and points out where I can find the suites, the library, the meeting rooms, the terrace, parlor, boardroom and even the virtual golf simulators.

 

"Virtual Golf Simulators?" I question.

 

"Yes, the hotel even has virtual golf simulators. Some people can be so addicted to playing golf that they need one within reach in Seattle and being able to play anytime, even in bad weather." Angela explains, and we both laugh.

 

"Well, Bella, its lunch time, do you have any plans or would you like to join me in the kitchen for a job included lunch?" she asks.

 

I'm starving by now and as soon as she said included job lunch I made up my mind.

 

"That will be great, Angela. Thank you. How can anyone pass up a free meal, right?" I reply.

 

"It's not free per se, but is one of the job benefits; you can always eat whatever is being served in the kitchen headquarters at your break times," she explains.

 

We walk back downstairs through the corridors and into the kitchen. There we find a long table with what looks like a buffet. We gather our plates and serve what we choose to eat, and then we find two empty seats at a smaller table to sit.

 

I begin gulping down my food, as it's been a few days since I last had a full meal. As we are eating, I am introduced to some of the kitchen staff and they are all very nice. I'm starting to feel like I've belonged here for a longer time.

 

Just as we we're finishing our chocolate cake, I spot the man of my dreams the other Concierge. I stare at him. He turns in that moment and meets my gaze, and then he smirks and walks toward us. I start fidgeting with my napkin trying to seem distracted so that he doesn't sit by my side. Maybe someone else will talk to him and he will choose to sit with them instead. But I have no such luck; he reaches my chair and introduces himself.

 

"Hi, I'm Jacob Black and you are?" he asks, I have no escape, so I raise my gaze to meet him and extend my hand to shake his.

 

"I'm Bella," I answer.

 

"It's nice to finally know your name, Bella," he says, giving me a huge smile while he pulls out the chair to sit down.

 

Angela just stares at us, and asks, "Where did you meet?"

 

"We met yesterday when she asked me how to get to your office," Jacob explains.

 

"Okay, that's good," Angela says and then explains, "Bella, Jacob is the other hotel's other concierge. He works mostly on the night shift, while Ben works in the day." I just nod.

 

We finish our cake and stand up to leave.

 

"It was nice meeting you, Jacob. I guess will be seeing each other around," I hint, trying to be polite. After all, that's what my parents taught me.

 

"I guess we will, Bella," he agrees.

 

We gather our trays, and take them to the sinks to be washed.

 

"All right, Bella, I think you have the information you need for your first assignment. I would like you to help put together the 'Masquerade Waltz', and guess what?" she asks.

 

"Even if we don't belong to one of Seattle's most prominent societies, we are able to enjoy it, too. After all, we are the ones who make it possible." She says, quite excited by the idea.

 

My stomach drops, my mind start spinning as all blood drains from my head. I have no idea how am I going to be able to get all of this done. I know from my parents that this event is one of the most prestigious ones and everyone wants to get an invitation. I have no idea how am I going to pull through to plan everything for this kind of event. It just can't go wrong. I start to panic.

 

She watches my expression and quickly adds, "I know you are new. I'm not expecting you to do all of it by yourself this time, so I will be in charge, but I need you to work with me and I want you to be there the night of the event so if anything else a rises and I will have an extra hand to cover it," she explains.

 

I breathe a sigh of relief. Angela is going to be the one in charge, but how am I going to get a costume, and more than that, one proper for the occasion.

 

"Sure," I sigh, while wondering how I'm supposed to dress for the occasion. I only started working, I have no money and the event is just a week away. I might be able to pull together a costume for a school dance, but having to dress for this event will be impossible for me. Then, I remember the woman at the shopping mall. I still have her card, and she might be able to help me since she said "First consultation is free". I just hope she can tell me about a costume I can pull off out of my own clothes.

 

My shift ends, and after I say goodbye to Angela the reality of my life settles in again. I start to really miss my mother. She would've been able to help me with my costume. I bet even my dad could've given me some advice as they attended one a few years back, invited by the City's Mayor.

 

These past two weeks have been my worst nightmare. I wish I could just wake up on my bed, and hear my mother calling me for breakfast.

 

I walk back, and start searching for the card. After I find it, I try to read the numbers, but my eyes are filling up with tears. After a moment, I just close them, and the tears start falling freely down my cheeks. I take a deep breath, and open my eyes again. I start dialing with my trembling fingers, trying to keep myself together. I need to keep my voice strong, otherwise I will sound desperate, which I know I am, but that is the last thing I want people to know about.

 

"Alice Brandon? It's Bella… Bella Swan, we met yesterday at the shopping mall. I would like to get that consultation you offered me. When can I see you?"

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight, SM does. I just borrow the characters to play in my story.

Chapter 5:

 

I arrive at Angela's office the next morning, feeling absolutely lost after talking to Alice. She couldn't help me, as she had already booked the week with very important clients. What am I supposed to do now?

 

There is no time to waste; I need to get to work. I will think of something during lunch.

 

"Morning, Angela," I say as I see her in her office.

 

"Morning, Bella. I'm glad you arrived a little early today as it's time to show you The Fourth Floor."

 

"What is The Fourth Floor?" I ask, totally taken aback. "Haven't we already covered all the floors in the hotel?

 

"Sorry, the The Fourth Floor is how we refer to the different gathering areas we have in the hotel. It's where the events take place. We select them depending on the number of guest that are going to attend or the preferred choice of the person in charge of the event," she says and chuckles at my expression.

 

"Oh, right. That we didn't cover yesterday," I mutter.

 

She takes out a floor plan, showing me the different rooms that are on The Fourth Floor, and then we get in the elevator so I can really see them.

 

When we arrive I can see all the different places where the events can be held.

 

The largest room is the Great Room. Angela explains that there are actually two Great Rooms, but for big parties they open the sliding door that divides them to make one big room for two-hundred guests.

 

The library is on this floor, and there are some boardrooms, a parlor, even a small gathering area. But what takes my breath away is the beautiful terrace. It has windows all around and a crystal ceiling.

 

Angela tells me it can also be used in conjunction with the entire fourth floor for an event catering up to two hundred and fifty people and that this is the place where the "Masquerade Waltz" is going to be held.

 

I'm in love with the set; it's absolutely amazing. I can just picture people dressed in tuxedos and beautiful, expensive dresses, dancing around the floor. It will be like a masquerade ball taken out of one of my favorite books. I can imagine Romeo meeting Juliet in here.

 

"This room takes my breath away," I say.

 

"I know what you mean. The first time I attended one of the events in this place it was like a fairytale," Angela says.

 

"That's just what I've been thinking since we entered the terrace," I add.

 

"Are you up for the challenge then?" Angela asks.

 

"I can't imagine doing anything else," I say, and as the words leave my mouth, I know they're true.

 

"Here is the list of things we need to start planning; we only have a week left to get everything ready. We can split the list; I'll take care of all the invitations or anything the hotel can't supply, and you can help me with everything we need from the hotel," Angela explains, while handling me a list.

 

"Okay, I think I can handle that," I reply.

 

"Perfect. I'll go work on it, and then I'm having lunch with Ben. When I return I'll be in my office in case you need anything. This is going to be so much fun!" Angela says, quite excited.

 

"Sure, I'll see you later!" I reply, excited to start working on all of it.

 

I start reading the list; it's not as long as I expected it to be. I have to check with the restaurant to see what food is going to be served that night, as well as the drinks that the guests will be having, make sure the tables and chairs are installed, check for the decorative elements to be ready, among some other small details. I start working on it until lunch time arrives, and when it's finally time to go get something to eat, I head directly to the coffee shop across the street.

 

As soon as I arrive I spot a girl at the back of the coffee shop talking to Esme, so I walk toward them.

 

"Hi Bella, it's so good to see you again," Esme says as soon as she spots me.

 

"Thank you, Esme," I reply.

 

"Emily, this is Bella," Esme says, introducing me to the girl beside her.

 

"Oh, nice to meet you, Bella," Emily says and extends her hand for me to shake.

 

"So Bella, are you having the usual?" Esme asks.

 

"Yes, please," I say a little shyly.

 

"So Bella, what do you do?" Emily asks.

 

"I just started working at the hotel across the street. I'm supposed to handle all special requests for the guests, and now I'm also involved in planning the 'Masquerade Waltz' for next weekend."

 

Esme hands me my order, I pay, and we sit at the table closest to the counter so I can eat while still being able to talk with Esme.

 

"I love that event! It's one of the best in Seattle; everyone important is always invited. There are a lot of people that still want to get a ticket to attend. Have you already picked your costume?"

 

I start to understand how big and important this event really is. I knew it was important to my parents, but I never thought everyone in town felt the same, or better yet, wants to attend in any way they can.

 

"No, not yet. I was told about it yesterday," I say, worried that I haven't had time to think about what to wear.

 

"There are some great dresses at a shop not far from here; we could go there now if you want. I can leave Lauren in charge of the coffee shop while we're out. I actually need to pick one myself," Esme says. I relax a bit, as I now see that not everyone has their costume for the event, even if is only a week away.

 

"Perfect!" Emily exclaims.

 

Esme turns and goes to the back of the kitchen, probably to talk to Lauren as she said.

 

How am I going to get out of this? I can't afford to buy anything. I don't want to be rude, and I appreciate their help, but really, I don't want them to know about my situation.

 

I'm starting to think this wasn't a great idea after all.

 

"Um... Emily—," I start to say, but I'm cut short when Esme returns from the kitchen.

 

On the other hand, maybe I can take a look at what they sell in the store and get an idea about a costume I can pull together with the clothes I have in the truck.

 

"Okay, let's go!" Esme yells.

 

We arrive at the store, and Emily immediately starts looking at all the dresses they have while Esme is trying some of the accessories. I start search around for ideas. This store seems to be very expensive. Even if my parents were helping me pay for a dress, we couldn't afford something from here.

 

No, this was definitely a very bad idea. They are probably going to buy theirs and expect me to do the same. I need to get out of here as soon as possible.

 

I look around and see them already taking some dresses into the fitting room. This is my chance.

 

"Hi, sorry to bother you, but could you tell my friends I had to leave to get back to work so they don't look for me?" I ask one of the girls that works at the store.

 

"Sure. Have a nice day," she replies. I feel awful leaving them like this, but I have no other choice if I want my current situation to remain unknown.

 

I get out of the store and back to the hotel. I gathered some ideas at the store; I just need to figure out if I can pull it together out of the clothes I've got in my truck. As for a mask? I'm just lucky. One came with the invitation so as to ensure that everyone looks the same, making it harder to guess who is who. Also, part of my list is to choose those masks with the supplier who designs them specifically for this event.

 

I sort through the list for the rest of the week. I'm able to get the masks ordered, and hand the invoice to Angela so when they arrive she can send them with the invitations.

 

After a long day, I go back to my truck, and start searching in my bags for something that might work as a costume. After a couple of minutes, and a great mess later, I find a beautiful dress my mom had and the few I packed with some of her other belongings I couldn't part with.

 

-ALLY-

 

The rest of the week passes uneventfully. I work hard until I'm able to get everything that was needed from the list.

 

We're all ready for tonight's great Masquerade Waltz.

 

"Bella, are you done?" Angela asks.

 

"Yes, I'm ready for tonight. Everything is all set; I even checked the room to make sure everything was in order," I explain. I'm quite nervous even if everything is set. I still need to get myself ready.

 

"Perfect! I'm heading home to get ready; I'll be back an hour before the first guests arrive. Could you please check on Paul and Jacob to see if they're ready? If everything is set, then you can go home to get ready."

 

"Sure," I reply and head to the lobby to find them. Just as the elevator door opens I spot Jacob.

 

"Hi, Jacob. Angela wanted me to ask if you're ready for tonight."

 

"Yes, Bella. I'm all set here. Do you need help with anything?"

 

"No, thank you. I'm ready too. I'm just going to ask Paul if he needs anything."

 

"Did someone mention me?" Paul asks behind my back, startling me, while Jacob laughs.

 

"Are you trying to give me a heart attack Paul? Because you almost succeeded."

 

"Silly Bella," he chuckles. "What did you need me for?"

 

"Angela sent me to see if everything was ready for tonight."

 

"Yes, everything is ready. I'm heading home to change my clothes, and I'll be right back."

 

"I guess we're all done here, so let's go get ready. Do you need a ride?" Jacob asks.

 

"No..." I need something that sounds convincing and doesn't give me away. "I've got everything in my locker; I'll get ready here," I explain, hoping they don't ask how I managed to get my dress in there without ruining it.

 

Is not like I'm totally lying. I do have my things here, just in my truck outside instead of my locker.

 

"Oh, that's good. Saves time I guess," Jacob says, and I'm relieved that Jacob is a guy, which means he doesn't think much about how a dress fits in there.

 

"By the way, are you bringing a date tonight Bella?" Jacob asks.

 

Damn, finding excuses or explanations is just going to get harder with each question.

 

"No, I'm working Jacob. It's not like I will have time to party," I try to explain.

 

"Everyone is allowed to have fun Bella," he says cheerfully.

 

"Okay." That's all I manage to say.

 

"We'll see you tonight," Paul says and we all walk our way.

 

I grab the things I need from my truck and head to the gym's bathroom, hoping the steam from the shower helps with the wrinkles in my dress while I get ready.

 

-ALLY-

 

I'm standing beside the bar, waiting for anything that might arise during the event. There are more than two hundred guests, everyone in their best tuxedo or dress, wearing the masks. It's hard to know who is behind them, but even without the masks, I wouldn't know them personally. I just know that everyone important in this town is here tonight.

 

As soon as I turn my gaze toward the entrance door I spot them - the same couple I saw at the coffee shop, the one that intrigued me to no end. I think my mind is set to find him anywhere; it's like my body knows he is here.

 

I find myself watching them. I probably look like a stalker after following their every movement for the past forty-five minutes, but I can't find it in myself to stop.

 

I see the way they talk and interact with other guests. His hands intertwined with hers and always synchronized with one another's movements, they are like the earth and the moon, always together.

 

His hand leaves hers to shake someone else's hand as they are being introduced, but then it returns to her, this time to her lower back. He turns his gaze to her and bends while whispering something in her ear; their gaze meets again. He raises his hand and caresses her cheek before taking a strand of hair, pulling it back behind her ear - the same movement I saw him make at the coffee shop.

 

She leans closer, resting her head on his shoulder as he reaches for her waist and pulls her closer, his other hand rubbing her from shoulder to her elbow slowly, gently, like she is made of porcelain. The love between them is palpable; I have never witnessed anything like it, not even in the movies or in books. It's like a fairytale.

 

It's too much. I can't handle it. The feelings they show one another are so strong that if it where electromagnetic, I'm sure no compass would work for over a hundred feet around them.

 

I can't stop the feeling that comes with all of this. I wish I could have something like that - to find someone to love me like that. Not even my parents showed that much sentiment, and they were happily married for over two decades.

 

After a while, I make myself turn and watch the rest of the guests. I try to focus on my task and try to determine if anyone needs anything. I see Jacob approaching me, and then he says to me that the great waltz dance is supposed to start at midnight, and everyone in attendance is requested to dance. I had no idea about this until now. How am I supposed to dance if I don't know the steps? And that's not the worst part. I have never in my life danced with someone, and certainly not this kind of formal dance.

 

So as soon as I spot Angela, I ask her about it. She says I have to dance; it's mandatory. But, to ease my mind, she tells me that Paul can teach me some of the movements before it's time. I spot Paul across the room, but as I'm heading his way I watch as the couple cross the room hand in hand and go through the exit door.

 

-ALLY-

 

I'm totally uncoordinated, and I've never danced the kind of dance we are doing tonight. Paul has been teaching me for fifteen minutes now, and I'm just mastering the first movements.

 

"Bella, just follow what the rest of us will be doing. It's not that complicated. Just count one, two, three in your head, and you'll be all right," he explains while I miss a step by just trying to make the turn.

 

"Ouch!" Paul yells while jumping up and down grabbing his toe.

 

"Sorry, sorry, I told you I don't know how to dance."

 

"It's okay, it hurt, but it'll pass. Bella, just forget about your surroundings; go with the music, feel it, count in your head — not aloud, and see what the women next to you are doing, and follow their pace."

 

After another five minutes I give up, promising that I will do my best. We head back to the party; it's time for the dance.

 

We all take our places, women on one side of the room, the men across from us. The men bow, and that's our queue. The music begins to play.

 

I start counting and twirling the way Paul explained we have to do in the first couple of steps. Then men from come across to find a partner and start with the next steps; after a couple of movements, we exchange partners.

 

I'm now dancing with a tall blond guy. I can only see his hair, but when we turn to face one another, I see his deep blue eyes. He smiles and I smile back, our hands rise up but we don't touch, we only simulate like there is a glass between us. He keeps smiling and mouths "Hi". I blush and turn my gaze away. We keep dancing a few more steps, and then turn, twirl again, and I find myself dancing with someone new.

 

As soon as my gaze meets his, I find myself drowning in his green eyes. I thought they'd gone home, but I guess they just went to get some fresh air and returned while I was with Paul.

 

My heart speeds up its pace, and I feel a strange pull. I can't turn my gaze away. I'm totally awestruck. My right hand comes up to meet his as we turn together, his gaze never leaving mine. We turn and make another twirl counter-clockwise. Now my left hand meets his. He stares directly into my eyes, never blinking; my breathing is more labored due to the fact that my heart is going at full speed. He doesn't say anything, and I can't articulate anything either, so we just keep dancing. I twirl again, the music ends, and I turn to face him, but he is gone.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, SM does. I just borrow them to play in my story.

Chapter 6:

 

I stay standing in the same spot while the rest of the guests disperse around the room. I turn around to try to find him, but it’s impossible because of the crowd of people heading the same way.

 

"Hey, Bella!" Paul yells.

 

"It wasn’t that bad. I told you could do it," he says excitedly as he approaches.

 

"Um... I guess I did all right. At least I didn't step on anyone's foot." I sigh, still looking around but not spotting them, or at least him.

 

He laughs, and I'm brought back to reality. As everyone leaves the room, I resign myself to the fact that I won’t see him again tonight.

 

"Well Bella, would you like to get something to drink while everyone leaves, and then we can go home?" Jacob asks.

 

Home, yes I wish I could go home. But no, I should not dwell on it. My home is gone; I'm left with just an old truck.

 

After a drink, everyone says their goodbyes and heads home. I just go outside to the dark alley. As I lie in my truck trying to catch some much needed sleep, I start to think about tonight's events.

 

I can imagine my parents when they attended the Masquerade Waltz a few years ago. I can put a picture to their words, and even though I miss them, I feel a little happy knowing that for once, I got to experience something that they enjoyed together. I wish they were here with me, seeing me attend my first dance. It almost feels like prom night.

 

I couldn’t attend mine. When I was at school I would see some of the decorations being placed in the gym. I was planning to attend but only because I was going to write the article for the high school newspaper. Nobody asked me to go, so I guess I was a little relieved that I didn't stand someone up since the prom took place the day after my parents' death.

 

I've always been selfless to a fault. Even little things like while riding on the school bus, if someone was left without a seat, I would stand up and let them sit down, even if I never got the same courtesy in return.

 

Maybe it's because I always think someone will notice me, or maybe it's my way of trying to blend in, by doing something for others.

 

I never get anything in return and never ask for it, but I have always been there for anyone who needed help.

 

After all those years in college nobody seemed to notice me; nobody asked me out or even tried to invite me to a group gathering. People just talked to me if they needed help with homework or studying. I never said no, and I would never regret it.

 

When special days were celebrated in school, like Valentine's Day or Halloween, I never attended, and nobody ever missed me or even asked me why I didn't go. I was like a ghost, unless someone lost their notes, needed help studying, or if they were teamed with me for an assignment. Which, by the way, I normally did alone and put my partner's name on it. That was the only time anyone would fight to be my teammate.

 

Tonight was no different; nobody asked me to dance before we had the obligatory waltz. Not that I wanted to dance per se, but it would've been nice if someone had asked me.

 

I guess this is my life, and it’s not going to change, not even when I'm in another city with people I don’t know. I thought maybe it would make a difference.

 

I thought wrong.

 

It's like I have bad luck with any kind of socializing. I work hard and do everything I’m supposed to, but it's the same as in school. I always did what I had to.

 

I didn't have straight A’s, but I was above average. It's not that I couldn’t. I simply chose not to get the perfect grades. I’d rather do other things besides school work. I love to read, write, watch TV, even go outside. I hate routine; I’m always looking for something different to do every day.

 

Tonight's events showed me that if I want my life to change, I need to work on it. I can't hide forever and avoid reality. I have to face it, learn from my past mistakes, and move forward.

 

If I want love to find me, I need to search and open my heart for it, so when I finally find it, I can be ready to catch the train and not miss it like everything I've been missing because of my insecurities.

 

There is nobody else that can do that for me. It’s time to take the reins and find the road that will lead me to the happiness I’ve been looking for.

 

But why does it have to be so difficult?

 

I just need to find a person who loves me for who I am. I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not like I've seen so many people do before. Even if they seem happy on the outside, I know that if it was me I wouldn't feel the same inside. Tonight I saw what true love can be like. How someone can care so much for someone else. I want to feel it, no, I need to feel it. I can't always be afraid of getting my heart broken. If it’s meant to happen I will deal with it if and when the time arrives. But I shouldn't be afraid to open my heart and give all I have.

 

Losing everything has marked my life and already changed who I am today and the person that I will become tomorrow. But I hope to find a way to take all the sadness I feel and turn it to a positive outcome.

 

The road ahead of me is now dark, that I know. Damn! I'm still trying to figure out what road I really want to take. But it’s time to stop living in the past and start living in the present.

 

I will always love my parents, and I will always miss them, but I can't have them back. I need to meditate about everything they taught me and bring it into my life today. I'm also sure that I will find myself in another situation where I'll feel sad again, but I need to be strong enough to raise myself again.

 

Arg! It’s so easy to think about it, but doing it is something different all together. It’s kind of frustrating when you always try your best, and it doesn't work the way you thought it would.

 

Tonight is the night I will mark the end of a stage in my life and the beginning of another. With that, my mind finally finds a little peace and drifts into a deep sleep.

 

-ALLY-

 

Weeks pass. I get up, go to work, and then I find myself planning what to do with my life. It’s not an easy task, but I manage to get a list of things I would like to do, like saving money to go to college as I wanted, or perhaps apply to an internship in one of Seattle’s publishing companies or newspapers.

 

I haven't spotted the couple since the Masquerade Waltz; maybe I will never see them again. Who knows?

 

At lunch I find myself going to the coffee shop across the street to meet Esme. I owe her an apology for leaving them like that, but what else could I have done?

 

"Hi Bella!" Esme says excitedly as soon as she spots me walking toward the counter.

 

"Esme, I'm sorry I left you at the store. I needed to get back to work, and you were in the fitting room, I hope the girl in the store passed on the message I left."

 

"Don't worry about it. Yes she told us, and we understood as we both tend to get carried away while shopping. Emily was a little disappointed that she couldn't see you try on a couple of dresses, but you outdid yourself at the party. We loved your dress."

 

"Thank you. I had lot of work that night, and I didn't see you there. But then I guess I wouldn't have been able to recognize you." I chuckle.

 

"That is quite true," Esme says and laughs with me. "Are you getting the same order today?"

 

"Yes, please," I say and blush with embarrassment. I hope she doesn't think more into it as it’s the only option I can afford now.

 

I pay for my order and sit down to eat while Esme works. As soon as I finish I say that I'll see her tomorrow, and go back to the hotel.

 

-ALLY-

 

Weeks Pass

"Bella, could you please go to the bookstore that’s a couple of blocks away and bring a book for the guest in the master suite?" Ben asks me as he hands me some cash and a paper. I take it and read it.

 

"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

 

"Certainly, I'll go now," I say and start walking to the bookstore.

 

When I arrive I go straight to the lady that is behind the counter.

 

"Excuse me? " I ask, hoping I can find the book as soon as possible. I know I can get lost in any bookstore, but I don’t think the guest would appreciate getting his book hours later.

 

"Yes, how may I help you?"

 

"I'm looking for A Tale of Two Cities. Can you tell me where to find it?"

 

"Yes, it's upstairs on the third row, all the way at the back."

 

"Thank you," I say and walk upstairs.

 

I freeze in place as I see him standing there reading a book.

 

I gasp and this alerts him, his gaze turning towards me. Our eyes meet, and he smiles.

 

"Hi," he says.

 

I don't know what to say; no words come out. It’s like I'm trapped in my body. This is the last place I thought I’d ever see him.

 

He turns his head still smiling, waiting for my response. His gesture makes my brain reconnect with my body, and finally I'm able to articulate something.

 

"Hi," I say and smile, embarrassed for not saying anything else.

 

He clears his throat. "Do you need help searching for a book?"

 

"No... I mean yes, I'm looking for A Tale of Two Cities," I say while looking at the signs above the rows of books.

 

Of course I'm in the wrong section. Yes that's me, looking for a book by Charles Dickens in the Sci-Fi section. He might think I'm quite stupid, so before he says anything I manage to ask, "Do you know where the historical novel section is?"

 

His smile grows wider.

 

"Yes, its two rows to your left," he says while pointing me in the right direction.

 

"Thank you."

 

"Miss?" he asks just when I'm about to start walking. I turn my attention to him again.

 

"Yes," I respond.

 

"I was just wondering, is that the kind of book you like to read? Because I normally guess the type of reading someone likes, and you just don't fit that profile." His question makes me blush.

 

"No, I was asked if I could buy this for someone else. But if you must know, I have read Charles Dickens, and I like his stories."

 

"So, what kind of reading do you prefer then?"

 

"I enjoy reading almost anything, but my favorite books are Romantic, Fantasy and Science Fiction."

 

I surprise myself with my reply.

 

Since when are Sci-Fi books my favorites?

 

"Science Fiction? Really?" he asks.

 

"Well, I've read just a few, but I have enjoyed them immensely."

 

"All right, well if you need any help let me know. I don't work here, but I've figured out where each section is while searching for this one."

 

I try to catch the title but I can't. His hands and his fingers draw my complete attention. I think the cover is black or dark blue and says something about codes, but still I can't be sure. I shake my head out of my trail of thoughts, and I bring myself to carry a normal conversation again.

 

"Thanks, I will," I say and make myself leave to get the book. I find it quite easily, and I decide to say goodbye before I leave, but he is nowhere to be found.