Author: FictionFreak95 PM
In the small town of Madisonville, LA, Bella Swan has spent her entire life seeing things before they happen. Until Him. How do you stay out of someone's life when it keeps flashing before your eyes on a daily basis? AH,BxE, slightly supernatural.Rated: Fiction M - English - Mystery/Drama - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 28 - Words: 172,265 - Reviews: 4,929 - Favs: 2,962 - Follows: 2,280 - Updated: 03-05-13 - Published: 01-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7705638
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: outtake numero uno. I know I said Tuesday, but Sue gotterdone and honestly... why wait? Right?
Thank you mama for giving it a good read-over and thank you Sue for beta'ing me again.
I held a finger up over my shoulder at my oldest friend, Christian Denning, insinuating he needed to leave me the fuck alone as my makeshift date for the night, Kate, rubbed a hand over my jeans in just the right spot.
We were in the darkest corner of my favorite bar, O'Briens. I had about five beers in me. Not the most or the least I'd ever consumed there.
In other words, I was still pretty straight and knew what I was doing... knew what I wanted to do... while I pressed her up against the furthest wall in that darkest corner. My knee was between her legs and my mouth was against her lips, and I was wishing I'd taken her up on leaving about fifteen minutes before 'cause she was making it really fucking difficult to take the teasing and groping and dirty words she was whispering into my ear.
Kate was an airline stewardess. We weren't exactly exclusive, but we did have an understanding between us. I didn't fuck other women while she was in town, and she didn't ride my ass about taking whatever it was we had to the next level.
I wasn't ready for it and she got that. I really liked that about her.
She was leaving in a couple of hours for another flight to somewhere over in England, so I wasn't gonna see her for a while. I was definitely starting to wonder why I hadn't taken her up on leaving the bar.
My nickname was followed up by a tap on the shoulder this time. So I knew something was up before Chris even continued.
"Eddie's about five sheets past the wind and we gotta early shift tomorrow. Come on, man."
I reluctantly stopped kissing Kate's perfect mouth and let my head hang down while my hands continued to keep her trapped there against that wall.
"Promise?" she teased, arching her back just a little to show me her chest as a motivator... and then I looked up at her, knowing what I had to do.
"I gotta go, Katie."
She grabbed my hips, tugging me into her to try and convince me otherwise with the only weapon she had against me. "Oh come on, Garrett, they're big boys. They know how to get home all by themselves, don't they?"
She glared at Christian. "Don't you?"
And he snorted as he shook his head and rolled his eyes.
Then I looked over to the crowded bar area where most of the other patrons were singing and laughing while sloshing their drinks around. My brother, Edward Anthony Cullen, may as well have been passed out as he leaned up against a pole at the end of the counter.
His arms were crossed and he tried to look alert but it really just came off fucking hilarious looking. Girls were eying him, probably debating whether they could fuck him without him even noticing, and he'd wink at one every once in a while if he found her attractive enough through his beer goggles.
My silent laughter forced my shoulders to bob up and down ferociously, but I knew I couldn't just make his drunken ass sit there like that the rest of the night.
So I gave Kate one last, long kiss before telling her I'd see her next time she was in town. Then I threw a hand over Christian's shoulder, pulling him along with me to get my brother home and into some sort of sleep mode.
I left our bartender a hefty tip before practically carrying Eddie to the car and then the three of us headed back to my place.
At home, I mighta been feeling a tad resentful toward him for making me miss out on one fantastic fuck as I dropped him onto the couch a little harsher than I should have. But it wasn't like he'd remember me doing it anyway.
I teased him as I smirked down at his drunken ass, sprawled across and passed out on my couch for the third time within a week.
He always was the first to go, but I could hardly give the guy too much shit about it. He was a good kid and worked hard. He deserved to play hard and rest deep.
Besides, waking his sorry ass up at the crack of dawn the next morning would be far too much fun to pass up. It was the highlight of my day when that happened, and I was just beginning to think up the perfect way to do just that as I grabbed a blanket from the closet and spread it over him so he didn't catch his death of fucking cold during the night.
Then I grabbed a couple of Stellas from the fridge, one for me and one for Chris, who was waiting for me out back.
The fucking handle on the fridge broke off for the umpteenth time that month and I tried to shake off the anxiety of yet another major purchase I'd have to make soon.
That attempt just brought on the onslaught of other anxieties though.
I was still paying Eddie's fucking college tuition off from Chicago State. That was probably never gonna go away. And even though I supposed he woulda offered to pay it himself, it had been my responsibility to make sure he went… my debt to our dad to ensure his education… so I just never told him about the bills. He didn't need that kinda stress that early in his career.
In life, for that matter.
Then there was our mom's mortgage. Almost paid, but still a fucking pain in the ass on top of my own… and don't even get me started on the car issues.
Goddamn old-as-dirt-piece-of-shit that Dad had left us was becoming one of those things that just sucked me dry.
But I couldn't get rid of her. I couldn't possibly have afforded a car payment, and besides… that was my and Eddie's thing. Our baby. She's what glued us together some days and kept us sane from all the bullshit at work.
I couldn't get rid of her.
I cracked my neck then cracked the beers open and left the caps on the floor somewhere behind me as I went to go join Chris… then cursed Eddie for taking up most of my sitting space in the place again.
It wasn't one of Chicago's most notoriously cold nights by far, but it was cold enough.
I handed my best friend his drink, noting the stress that was showing on his forehead. Then I pulled my jacket collar around my neck, taking a seat across from him… wondering what the hell was wrong with him.
"You were pretty tame tonight," I told him in a baiting attempt, before taking a swig of the alcoholic goodness I held before me.
He finished about half his beer and then shrugged. "I've got a lot on my mind."
"Wanna talk about it?"
Another drink and his was gone. He let the bottle dangle from his grip as he bent forward, resting an arm over his knee. His jaw tightened and loosened so many times I thought he was gonna crack a tooth and his brow dipped deep between his eyes. His mouth was tight and his foot tapped nervously against the weathered wood of my deck.
I'd seen this type of body language before from people who were desperate, at the end of their ropes. Usually they were suspects I'd been interrogating for a case, though.
The fact that Chris had the same sort of look about him as most of my perps did not bode well for this conversation.
He took a deep breath in, held it, and let it out, like he was defeated somehow. Then he looked up at me.
"I'm in big trouble, G."
I set my beer down with a scowl, almost wishing I hadn't noticed and hadn't asked. But then again... he was my best friend.
Christian sat up but fiddled with the label on his beer bottle so he didn't have to look me in the eyes, telling me I probably wasn't gonna wanna hear what he had to say. But hell, we'd known each other since Kindergarten, and I'd be goddamned if I wasn't gonna hear him out.
"Chris, man… just tell me."
He licked his lips a little, then finally set the bottle down and met my eyes with worry lurking behind his.
"I owe Aro a lotta fucking money."
I stared at him blankly.
'Cause, shit. I hadn't exactly expected him to mention money and Aro in the same fucking sentence. At least not without referring to arresting the guy.
He stood up then, abandoning his empty beer bottle, and walked away to the banister of the deck. He grabbed onto the railing so tight I thought he was gonna break the damn thing.
"How did you…?"
"I don't know, G… I was fucking desperate... I needed money. The force pays us shit, you know that, and one night, I was questioning one of his douchebags… he was there… showed up outta nowhere… made me an offer."
And now I was up.
And fucking pissed.
How did this shit happen without me knowing it?
"That, what… you couldn't refuse? Chris, what the fuck were you thinking, man?"
"I have no idea." He laughed and turned to me then stopped laughing when he saw my face. "I wasn't… I guess… I mean, I thought, you know… one time, some extra cash, what could it hurt to lose some fucking evidence, right? Those guns get back on the street without our help anyway."
"Jesus Christ, Chris… are you fucking kidding me?" I dragged both my hands through my hair and grabbed at it in frustration, then waved them at my oldest friend exaggeratedly. "Do you not understand the idiocy of that fucking statement? You sound like fucking Johnson and Roth, the way you just... how could you…."
I was about to ask how could he let himself get dicked into a situation like that, but if I was being honest, I could understand. He wasn't much better off than I was when it came to debts.
He rubbed at his eye like it was a nervous tic… something I hadn't ever noticed him do before. "I don't fucking know, G. All I know is I had a plan for these guys to help me lug a bunch of merchandise to him tomorrow and they bailed on me. And now I'm fucking screwed because if I don't deliver the shit, Aro's sending his men after me... and they're gonna find me... and then they're gonna kill me."
I stared at him for a minute. My mind wasn't exactly on its "A" game with all the alcohol in my system, but I was coming out of it thanks to the news my good friend had just given me.
I needed to think. Needed to find a way to help Chris out of the bullshit he'd somehow gotten himself into and…
"Garrett… listen, I know it's a lot to ask, considering the situation, but maybe... I don't know, maybe you and Eddie could…"
Outta the question.
I jabbed a finger at him in anger. "Fuck… and no, Chris, Eddie's not gonna touch this. Not with a ten thousand foot fucking pole, ya hear me?"
I was still thinking as I answered him. I was almost goddamn near shaking, for Christ's sake. I wasn't sure what the hell to do, but I couldn't just let him deal with Aro alone. I couldn't not do something knowing that if I didn't... he'd fucking die.
My jaw was tight and my eyes focused on nothing while I tried to figure it all out.
"I wouldn't ask if I wasn't... I mean, I can't... shit."
When I looked over at him, I saw a man with no answers… no hope left in his eyes. I saw the kid I'd grown up with... had bonded with since Kindergarten... he was different... pitiful... desperate.
I walked over to him and put a hand on his arm, then squeezed. "We'll work it out, Chris. You and me... we'll get ya outta this."
Famous last words.
"Then what?" my cohort in crime asked and I stared off at nothing, really, trying not to let the regret drag me down.
"We delivered the goods and a couple of days later, an envelope was waiting for me on my desk at the precinct. It had five thousand dollars in it and I knew it was from Chris as soon as I saw it. He was giving me my share of the payout."
She was quiet, patient, waiting for me to finish my story. And when I looked down into her innocent, brown eyes, I felt ashamed. I felt the unnerving need to explain myself.
"That money paid a few bills I thought I was gonna have to pass on in order to cover the essentials. We ended up with heat, after all, for the rest of that winter."
I huffed out to hide the embarrassment I was feeling. Looking back, well... hell, hindsight's twenty-twenty, right?
"What did you do then?" she asked me, and the way she said it... it was like she was waiting for the end of a fairytale her parents might have told her once when she was smaller.
"Then…" I shrugged at her. "One favor turned into two… five thousand dollars turned into twenty, and before I knew it, I was just as much to blame for being corrupt as Christian."
"But you wanted to leave, right? In the end?"
"Yeah. I wanted to."
I hopped down from my tombstone, knocking the old photo Eddie had just left for me off of it. I didn't bother picking it up… that picture held too many bad memories anyway.
"So, there ya have it… everything you ever wanted to know about the biggest fuck up of my life."
"That's a very sad story."
"The true ones usually are, Bree."
"Aren't you upset?" she asked, taking my hand as we walked back toward her grave. Her long black hair was swaying back and forth behind her and her face was reflective of the curiosity and innocence she'd carried long before her abduction.
It was like she had no idea what happened to her.
"That all your friends and family know what you did… what you got yourself into?"
I smiled and let out a huff of air through my nose. "I'm dead, Bree. I don't really care about any of that anymore. What's important is Eddie."
What was important had always been Eddie. I just wish I'd realized that when I was alive, but… as they say… better late than never.
Bree looked over at my brother as we walked. He was standing with Bella now, away from my grave and away from the pain.
They looked happy, I thought. As happy as he could be, anyway, for the time being. But time would heal the rest. He'd be okay.
Bree looked back up at me, catching my attention, and my brow dipped in reaction to the look on her face.
"You're a good brother… I always wished I'd had a big brother."
"Yeah, well, we're not all we're cracked up to be," I told her with a nudge.
"Some of that story was a little inappropriate for me, you know."
I had to laugh at her. She was damn cute. "Like I said... not all we're cracked up to be."
She smiled and then curled her index finger at me. I bent down to hear what she had to say, but instead of telling me something right away, she kissed me on the cheek. Then she whispered into my ear.
"I think you're the best big brother anyone could ever ask for."
I didn't know if I agreed with her, but I had to at least try to.
Ya know how people were always saying things like, "if I only knew then what I fucking know now," and all that shit? How maybe they'd go back, change something, do something different?
I mean, Jesus, over the past few months, if not the entire fucking year, I'd heard Eddie sayin' it… thinkin' it… acting on it. But me? Lookin' back? And knowing right now, at this moment, how his life has turned out, what he'd found…
Who he'd found…
I'd die a million times over in a thousand different ways if it meant Eddie'd find his Little Bird and the contentment I saw in his eyes.
Well, maybe not... maybe I'd try and find some way to give him both a brother to look up to again and his Little Bird.
I'm sentimental like that.
Anyway, once the two lovebirds got into their rental and began to drive off, I started feeling that ache of loss I felt every time I was away from my little bro.
Bree felt it too. "Aren't you going to follow them?"
"I've got something I need to do."
She giggled. "You're a busy ghost, aren't you, Garrett?"
"The fun never stops, Bree," I told her, then she skipped off into nothing and I headed off to see a mother I needed to go straighten out.
A/N: Thank you lovely folks for reading. Hope you liked it.