I was a normal girl, living a normal life. Never did I expect to thrust into a world where the supernatural ruled. Vampires, Demons, Werewolves and Witches? ExB, AU
Chapter 1: Breakup
"James, things are not working out," I said. "We are just too different. I will always care for you, but we've grown apart."
"Bella, be reasonable," James said, staring at me with his cornflower blue eyes. "I love you, baby. I want to be with you for the rest of my life."
"James, we are not the same people we were when we started dating. We were in college, young and idealistic. We both want different things in our lives. I want to be a head chef and I'm on my way. You're unemployed with no prospects. I'm mean, what the hell? I can't support you for the rest of our lives. When I get back from work, you need to be out of my apartment," I said, holding out my hand. "Can I have my key?"
"Bella, baby," he pleaded. His blond hair fell into his eyes, causing him to look frazzled. "Think about this. We've been together for six years. Don't throw this away."
"I'm not throwing anything away. I'm moving on with my life," I replied, rolling my eyes. "Key, James."
His eyes narrowed and he got a murderous look on his face. I could see him lose his control. He pushed the key into my hand quite forcefully and huffed into the bedroom. I gathered my things and headed to my restaurant, VooDoo Lounge, a Creole restaurant in the west side of Chicago. I slipped my key into my pocket and made a mental note to get my locks changed at my apartment with the super.
I was 25 years old and had been with James Hunter since my freshman year of college. We met on the first day of second semester at University of Illinois at Chicago in our Business class. He was cute, in a surfer type of way. He had long, shaggy blond hair with piercing blue eyes. His body was sick and he was brilliant, but lazy. He was finance major and got a job right of college at one of the banks in thecity. However, when the economy tanked, so did his career. He was let go nearly a year ago and was living with my roommate and I after he got thrown out his apartment. Since he lost his job, James had become bereft and a bit overbearing. I tried to look past it but Icouldn't. Not anymore. I didn't want to throw away the past six years of my life, but I couldn't handle his lack of job and laziness.
I pulled out my phone and called my roommate, Angela. "Hey, Ang. I did it. Finally," I said into the phone.
"About time, Bella. He's seriously such a lazy ass. You deserve better. Also, he seems to have changed. Something doesn't seem right in the head with him," Angela said.
"I know. It's always been there, but even more so, now," I said as I walked up the platform of the El. "I got his key, but I think it would be in our best interest to get the locks changed. You know?"
"I agree, Bells. I'll call Sam to ask him to change our locks tonight when I get home from the hospital," Angela said. She was a nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She worked in the emergency room. She loved her job and more power to her. I can't stand the sight of blood. I faint. The smell permeates the room and it makes me so sick. Blech.
"Thanks, Ang," I said with a smile. "I feel so much better now that he's out of my life."
"You should, Bells. You need to find some guy that has some ambition in his life and is not content to stay seated on the couch doing absolutely nothing for an entire year. I mean, seriously, he did nothing while he lived with us. Fucking slacker. Sorry," Angela griped.
"You're right, Ang. I agree with you. He was a slacker. Hopefully, he'll get his slacker ass out of our apartment by the time we get home from our crazy jobs," I laughed. "I got to go. The train is here. Love you, Ang!"
"Love you, too, Bells! See you tonight. Bring home some good food from your awesome restaurant," Angela giggled.
"I'll try, Ang. Ciao!" I said into the phone before I slipped it into my messenger bag. I pulled my long brown hair into a messy bun and walked onto the train. I sat down and pulled out a ratty copy of Wuthering Heights, deciding to get lost in the epic story. I couldn't really pay attention to the story. I was too focused on my own life and how pathetic it really was.
My name is Isabella Swan and I'm a loser, thank you very much. I am 25 years old and live with my best friend from high school, Angela Weber. She's the sweetest girl ever, with a potty mouth, though. Back to me and my depressing little life. I was born in a small town called Forks, Washington. My parents were divorced when I was very young and I lived with my mom, Renee, until she passed away when I was nine. My mom was a bit flighty and she was really into the whole Wicca thing. She believed that she was a witch. I just thought she was crazy with all of her crystals and books of potions and spells. I loved her though and missed her terribly. She had a brain aneurysm and she went very suddenly.
After her death, I lived with my father, Charlie. He was the police chief in Forks. He was a solitary man but he was very loving to his only daughter. He was the complete opposite to Renee. He was very structured and 'by the book.' I was definitely more like my father in my mannerisms and personality. After I graduated high school, I went to University of Illinois at Chicago and decided to stay in Chicago after graduation.
I looked more like Renee though. I was small, petite. I was about 5'4" with deep brown eyes and long brown hair that fell to about the middle of my back. It was naturally wavy but I usually wore it pulled back off my face. Especially in my line of work, it is necessary.
I worked as an associate chef at VooDoo Lounge. I majored in business with a minor in culinary arts. I worked collaboratively with the head chef, Eric Yorkie, who happened to be another friend of mine from high school. He graduated a few years before me and hired me to be his associate chef. We worked well together in creating new and unique creations for the Creole/American restaurant that we worked at. I, personally, couldn't stand Creole food. I would rather be cooking Italian food. It's my heritage and I had a ton of recipes from my grandmother on my mom's side of the family. However, I needed to get my foot in the door somewhere and VooDoo Lounge gave me the opportunity.
At the restaurant, we also had an awesome pastry chef named Mike Newton. He was always trying to flirt with me. He was cute, in an all-American, boy next door, sort of way. However, there was something about him that seemed off. He was very flamboyant. It was like he was gay, but didn't know it. Eric and I had a bet on when he'd come out of the closet. I was determined that it would be before the end of the year. Eric was adamant that he wouldn't ever come out. We have $500 on this bet. I'm needing that money so he better come out, damn it!
I was pulled out my reverie by the disembodied voice of the El train, alerting my stop was next. I gathered my things and stood by the door. When the train stopped, I got out and walked to VooDoo Lounge, entering in the back entrance. I put my bag and coat into my locker and walked into the kitchen. I looked at the board that had the specials listed and I began gathering the necessary ingredients. I was working on the Orzo Jambalaya when Eric tapped me on the shoulder. "Hey, Bella. Is there any way you can work the lunch rush tomorrow?" he asked.
"That should be fine, Eric. What's up?" I responded.
"I need to meet with the owners for a meeting about costs and how we're doing," Eric said with an eye roll. "Good times. I'd rather be cooking."
"Sorry, man," I said with a frown. "Can I get off early tomorrow, then?"
"That should be fine. Get here around ten and you can leave around seven," Eric said.
"Okay," I said as I turned back to my meal I was creating. The evening went by very quickly. VooDoo was packed, as it usually was. Eric and I barely had any time to breathe in the kitchen tonight. It was a very popular night for our restaurant, Mardi Gras. However, most nights it was busy. Mardi Gras made it even more crowded and busy. Eric and I worked very well in tandem, plating up dishes and distributing them to the wait staff. We had worked so well together, we didn't even really need to talk as we worked.
At a slow point in the night, I took a brief smoke break outside the restaurant. I went into my bag and pulled my good friend, the Marlboro Man. I grabbed a cigarette and my lighter and stepped out in the alley behind the restaurant. I took a milk crate and I sat down on it. I lit my cigarette and inhaled the smoke into my lungs, feeling and enjoying the burn. This was one habit I picked up from James that I enjoyed. I never smoked at all until I met him. He was a chain smoker. As soon as one cigarette was out, another one was lit. I resisted for the first two years of our relationship, but finally relented and started to smoke. It was a nasty habit, but it calmed me.
I leaned against the wall in the alley behind the restaurant. I heard some noise and my alerts went up. "Anybody there?" I asked to the darkness. I heard no response and I quickly put out my cigarette and popped in a piece of gum before heading back into the kitchen.
We had a late night slam around 9:30. Eric and I worked at a feverish pace until close at 11:00. By the time we were done, I was beat. Eric was kind enough to let me leave a bit early as I needed to open the restaurant the next morning. I gathered my things and pulled out another cigarette as I walked out of the restaurant. It had gotten colder and I burrowed deeper into my coat. As I was walking back to the El, I heard some scratching sounds. I picked up the pace, trying to get home faster. I hated working so late, but it was a part of the job.
I was nearly to El platform when I felt something near me. I turned and looked into the night. I didn't see anything. It was unsettling. "Who's there?" I asked as I reached into my pocket for my pepper spray. I heard a ghostly chuckle that sounded vaguely familiar. "James? Are you following me?"
James stepped out from the shadows and there was something not right about him. He looked eerily calm. His eyes were vacant and his posture was like a crouch.
"You have no idea what's coming, Bella," he snarled.
"What are you talking about James? It's late and I need to go home," I said as I tried to brush past him. He stepped in front of me and his eyes glowed red. "Dude, you're freaking me out."
"You should be very afraid, Bella," he whispered. He held up his hand and what looked like a ball of fire appeared in his hand. He idly moved the floating ball of fire and his eyes grew more red. "You are the key to our existence."