Poker Face

Title: Poker Face
Author: ExcentrykeMuse

Fandom(s): Twilight Saga / Charlie Countryman
Pairing(s): Bella Swan/Nigel, (past) Bella/Edward

Word Count: 1.1k
Written: 4 March 2023
Rating: R (for language)

Warning(s): language, mentions of suicide, mentions of drug use, we don’t like Edward
Prompt: for insomniareid who wanted Nigel (Countryman) x Bella

Poker Face

Oregon was not exactly where Nigel thought he’d end up after he’d survived death at the hands of Charlie Countryman.  That cock sucker had fucked his Gabi, snorted his coke, and gotten away with it.  Nigel had tried to suicide by cop, and only ended up with a scar on his forehead for his trouble.  Now, two years later, he owned a rather lucrative bar that had a backroom where this rather fine piece of ass came every Friday to play poker.

“Stop looking at her,” his bartender and spiritual guru—Sammy—told him. 

Sammy was rather a fine piece of ass herself with long blonde hair dyed black at the ends, bright green eyes, and a slim figure.  She wasn’t much Nigel’s type anymore even though he had fucked her regularly before Bella Swan had joined the weekly poker games. 

All he could think of was Bella Swan, all dark hair shoved under a beanie and doe eyes gazing up at him when she ordered a “coke—no alcohol.”  He wouldn’t care if her ID was fake (only it wasn’t, you couldn’t fake work like that), he’d have let her in anywhere, but Isabella M Swan hailed from Forks, Washington, which was a long way to travel for a little action.  Only the action wasn’t little.  Bella usually walked out with over ten gees in winnings every Friday, tipping him several hundred as he was the owner, before climbing into her monster red pick up truck and presumably driving the two hundred miles back to Forks.

“What are you saving up for, darling?” he asked her one rather snowy Friday in December.

“College,” she answered him simply and he blinked at her.

He then laughed.  “You’re playing these guys at poker for college?”

Her doe eyes looked up at him.  “How else am I going to pay for it?” she asked.

The next week he asked her, “Where do you want to go, little lady?”

She looked at him with her beautiful doe eyes. 

“To college,” he elaborated.

Bella gazed at the tattoo of the dancer on his neck for a long moment before answering, “D.C.”

“Why D.C.?”  He leaned over the table as the game hadn’t quite started and she shrugged.

“The sun shines there.”

At this, he laughed.  Trust his little Bella to want to go somewhere where the sun shines.

In February, he gave back her tip to him.  She hadn’t won as big, and he had another type of tip in mind.  “Let me take you out to breakfast, sweetheart,” he offered.

Sammy looked over from where she was locking up the bar, eyebrow raised, but said nothing as he kept his attention fully on Bella.  The usual beanie, a bright red, was pulled over her ears, and it made her look so young and vulnerable—and Nigel wanted nothing more than to pull it off her head and run his fingers through her lush hair. 

“Come on,” he tried.  “It’s a long drive back.  It’s what?  Three?  Four hours on the highway?”

“Three and a half,” she admitted, putting her backpack up on the bar.

“You must want a little coffee,” Nigel cajoled.  “There’s this great 24-hour diner just round the block.  I can give you directions, we can go separately, and I can buy you a real breakfast for the road.”

Bella looked at him suspiciously but then nodded.  “Sure, Nige.”

He smiled widely at her.  “Great.  I’ll get my keys.”

They drove separately, but Bella didn’t back out.  She ended up following him to the diner, and Nigel was sure to be a gentleman and open the door for her.  Gabi always liked that shit.  Bella didn’t seem to much notice, but she had been playing poker for hours and was dead on her feet.  He didn’t even light up his usual cigarette.

Bella half slumped into the booth and didn’t much look at the menu, so Nigel ordered her chocolate chip pancakes with a side of bacon along with the promised coffee.  When it came, she seemed a little surprised, but immediately dug in.

“I’m surprised you don’t have a boyfriend to take care of you,” he offered when she finished her second cup of coffee.

Bella looked up at him sharply and then turned back to her pancakes.

“You dumped his ass?” Nigel suggested.  When she didn’t answer, he realized, “He broke up with you.”  She put down her fork.  “Oh, Bella, he was an idiot.”

“Was he?” she asked him, as if she didn’t realize what she was saying exactly.  “Maybe I was too clingy?”

“You’re one of the smartest chicks I know,” Nigel told her firmly, reaching out and taking her hand.  It was a bit of a gamble, but he wanted Bella and he wanted her in his bed more than just every Friday after her poker games.  “You have street smarts, which is more than most girls have.  And you have book smarts if you’re going to college.”

She glanced at him, tears in her eyes. 

“Bella,” he sighed, getting up and coming over to her.

“He just left me—in the woods,” she explained, “three days after my birthday.”

She must live in the rural part of Washington, then, Nigel thought.  “That was a shitty thing to do,” he asserted, lifting her chin up with his finger.  “You’re beautiful, Bella.  You’re smart.  You’re sexy as hell without even trying.”

Before he realized it, she had reached up and she had kissed him.  Bella was undoubtedly feeling sorry for herself and he was there, but Nigel was willing to take what he could get.  He pulled her closer to him and opened up her mouth with his tongue, careful to move gently as he recognized how fragile she was.

Bella tasted like coffee and maple syrup. 

He groaned into her mouth, feeling himself harden, and realized she was crawling into his lap.

Reaching up, he pulled off her beanie and he flung it into the opposite side of the booth, immediately rooting his hand into her hair, which was long and soft.  She sighed against his lips before pulling away and opening her eyes to look at him.

“I’ve got to get back,” she murmured, “my dad’s a cop and if I’m not in bed when he wakes up—”

“What do you do?” Nigel teased, smoothing her hair away from her teary face, “climb in through the window?”

“Um,” she murmured, looking guilty.  “Yeah?”

Nigel laughed and kissed her fully again, not quite willing to let her go yet.

The End.

Published by excentrykemuse

Fanfiction artist and self critic.

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