B E L L A M Y
“Shit.” I jumped up, stumbling back and almost falling onto the pavement behind me.
Noah rubbed his hands over his face, standing up too. “I...”
“I’m just going to...” I trailed off, pointing behind me to the house, taking a few steps back.
He nodded, avoiding my eyes and picking up the wine glass, emptying it in one go.
I didn’t linger but quickly walked back to the house.
“Are you ok?” Isaac asked when I made it into the living room, my cheeks undoubtedly purple from the amount of blood that flooded them earlier.
No, I wasn’t ok.
“Yeah, great,” I forced out, plastering a smile on my face.
He obviously didn’t believe me but let it go, handing me a glass of water. I stared down at the drink, before frowning back up to my brother.
He gave me an understanding nod, turning to leave.
“Isaac?” I stopped him, the absence of a certain brunette bringing up questions. “Where’s Katy?”
He shrugged. “She already had something planned with friends.”
With raised brows, I watched him walk away. This bitch was up to something.
I let it go, for now, chucking the entire glass of water before I went to the kitchen to get another. I needed to sober up ASAP, and never drink again when I was near a certain someone.
The adrenaline that had been pumping through me slowly ebbed away after a while, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening.
Until my grandad started asking questions.
“How are they treating you at work, Bella?”
I smiled painfully at him, watching him as he brought his cup of tea to his lips.
“Good...” I replied softly, sitting back on the couch. He watched me with his permanently narrowed eyes, the wrinkles around them becoming more prominent as he gave me a suspicious look.
“Hmm.” He tapped me on my knee, giving me an understanding nod. How did he do that?
“Now tell me what you’re really doing,” he said, lowering his voice. I scanned the room, noticing that we were the only ones sitting and my parents were nowhere to be seen.
Might as well.
“I just got hired at a coffee shop, live with Isaac, and recently got arrested,” I blurted out, cringing over my own words. Especially put in a sentence like that, it sounded horrible.
My grandfather blinked a few times, one of the corners of his mouth curling up a small smile.
“But are you ok?”
I nodded, turning to give him a hug.
“You got arrested?” I heard behind me as I let my grandpa go, and I sighed at the familiar high-pitched voice.
I was just enjoying a nice evening without Katy, assuming she wouldn’t be here at all, but of course, the woman herself had to go and ruin it.
“What’s it to you?” I said softly, giving Granpa a kiss on the cheek and walking past the perfectly put-together brunette.
I avoided looking at her altogether because I knew it wasn’t going to make me any happier.
It’s not right to just hate people, but those like Katy, are difficult to like.
“Where’s Isaac?” she sneered, almost like she was a kid who I just refused to give candy.
“Find him yourself.”
There were only so many places I could go in my childhood home, so I decided to turn back to the kitchen.
“Bellamy,” Katy whined behind me, and I stopped in my tracks.
"Don’t call me that.”
There was only one person who was allowed to call me that.
She cocked a brow and smirked, having me right where she wanted me.
I had managed to help Maria with her decision to break up with Robert, so maybe I could try and do the same for Isaac, because, Jesus, my brother deserved better.
“Isaac’s there,” I said, pointing in the direction of the hallway where I just saw my brother slip by.
She strutted out of the kitchen, but when she walked past me, I got a whiff of a strong cologne.
It almost knocked me over, and I wondered why I hadn’t smelled it before. Did Katy already go to see Isaac today?
My eyes widened at a realization. Something I subconsciously knew for a while but never got confirmed.
That cologne wasn’t Katy’s, and it wasn’t Isaac’s either.
That little piece of—
My mother appeared in front of me, and I took my gaze off the direction Katy had disappeared in.
“Hi, Mom. Having fun?” I asked, filling a glass with some soda.
“You look really pretty, my beautiful baby girl,” she cooed, and I pressed my lips together to prevent me from laughing.
I loved my mother drunk.
“How are you feeling?” I questioned, supporting her as she quickly turned and swayed.
Finally, I let out a little chuckle, but my mom was too drunk to notice anyway, so I just lead her up the stairs and to her bedroom.
That was enough for tonight.
The shop was empty, and it was near closing time, so I took the opportunity to study Kelly for a minute.
We had been working together for about a week now, and she was still a mystery to me.
“What?” She turned and popped her hip, placing a hand on her waist as she looked at me.
“You don’t say much, do you?” I asked, crossing my arms and leaning back against the counter.
She cocked her head to the side, looking me up and down. I knew I didn’t look fabulous in my stained jeans and apron, but at least my hair was washed.
“Hmm,” she hummed, narrowing her eyes. “You don’t either.”
Ok, true. It was a classic case of you don’t talk to me so I don’t talk to you.
“Do you even want to work here?” I asked. She always seemed bored and putting on the mask in front of customers seemed draining, yet here she was.
She didn’t seem fazed by my question, just busy with the balloon she was blowing out of her gum.
After it popped, she replied. “No.”
I didn’t expect such an honest answer. To be quite honest, I didn’t expect an answer at all.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, and Kelly walked past me to the break room.
I looked around the cafe, which was still deserted, and took out the device. A text from Reed appeared on my screen, asking me to dinner on Friday.
I shot him a quick reply before putting my phone back in my pocket, looking up as the front door opened.
“Good evening, what—”
I stopped when I saw a man stumble into the shop, swaying from side to side as he walked further in.
“Sir?” I rested my palms on the counter in front of me. “Do you need a glass of water?”
Kelly appeared next to me, and we exchanged a look of confusion.
“Hello, l...ladies,” he slurred, bumping into the counter and leaning over it.
The smell of beer filled my nostrils and I had to fight the urge to throw up, but I tried to stay professional.
“I think you should leave, sir,” Kelly said, her voice a little harsher than I was used to.
“Why?” he replied, and I rolled my eyes.
Ok, bad move.
“You just roll your eyes at me, missy?” he exclaimed, grabbing me by my apron.
“Hey!” I yelled, pulling myself from his grasp.
Kelly and I walked around the counter, grabbing the man by his upper arms and working him out of the shop.
He struggled, but he was probably too drunk to really fight us, so we were able to walk him out somewhat decently.
With my heart thumping in my throat, I watched Kelly lock the door and roll the shutter down.
“But we still have half an hour to go,” I protested, though I loved to get home a little earlier.
Kelly shrugged, her straight black ponytail swaying against her back as she walked back behind the counter, and untied her apron. “I’ll tell my dad tomorrow.”
She nodded, getting ready to close up. “Yeah, David’s my dad. I’m Kelly Harvey.”
“Oh.” I followed her lead, untying my apron and hanging it up in its designated spot.
“You’re not too bad, Powell,” she said over her shoulder, pulling on her coat and sliding the band out of her hair.
She was beautiful, and she knew it.
“You too,” I replied, thinking I might just make another friend out of icy Kelly.