|Roar Like a Lion
Author: counselor PM
1936, Edward and Jasper work as loggers. They work hard and play harder. Bella and Jacob come to the camp to open the school. Problem is the unmarried men have a great time running off the teachers. When Edward sees Bella a roar starts to build inside. She's everything he can't stand. And he's pretty despicable. Trouble.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 37 - Words: 102,857 - Reviews: 2,540 - Favs: 608 - Follows: 567 - Updated: 12-06-12 - Published: 10-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8606103
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thank you all.
Roar Like a Lion 37
The day Edward told Boss he wasn't moving to Five is the day they talked about killing James Whistler. They'd forged an uneasy friendship, one that Edward thought might somehow last even though they would soon part ways.
"This whole camp has breathed easier with him gone. Damn thing…to not be missed by so much as a chipmunk," Boss said. "Can't say the same for you, Cullen. They'll miss you."
"We gonna kiss now?" Edward laughed.
"Shit. Who they gonna rib with you gone?" Boss said and he smiled and looked off.
That was true. He was sick of it…petty much. But they wouldn't miss him at all…just his love life to crow about…and he did set the pace came to splitting.
They talked about how hard it would be on the women to break up their club. But that was the way of it. Man had to do what he thought right, and Bella had come around to the idea of moving on.
"You'll end up doing something better than this," Boss surprised him by saying.
"Yeah well…remains to be seen, I guess. Best thing I ever did was marry Bella. Can't top that no matter what I do."
Boss smiled and lit a smoke and offered one to Edward. He'd been changing oil in the truck and his hands were greasy. So he held the pack and Edward got his own.
"Hell," Boss said, "I come on Rosie…and she was married. That first day…her arm…I decided he was…gone." Boss left off and looked around, making sure no one was around to listen.
"What did you do?" Edward asked.
Boss took a drag and let it out. He shot a quick look at Edward and smiled.
"You do it?"
"That made two. The other…I was fourteen. Same deal…he come in to our house…our new daddy. I was oldest there. Just a no good…. I put him in a well in southern Missouri. But Rosie…she made me promise after her husband…never again. Then she…well I figured me and her had reached our quota."
At first Edward just stared. Then Boss looked at him, letting a stream of smoke pass his lips. He smiled then and it was so outrageous all they could do was laugh.
"Shit Boss," Edward said. "That why you wrangled me to be your pistol…cause of that quota?"
Boss smirked. "You did what you wanted. I just encouraged."
"I made my choice…but you used me and we both know it."
Boss laughed some. "Maybe," he conceded.
"Just to keep that promise?" Edward asked, cause seemed to him Boss would do what he wanted.
"No," Boss said quick. "That son of a bitch saw Rose that night. He was stealing…and stashing there…and he saw her in the window…saw her do it." He took a drag. "He was dead soon as he told me that. He thought he had me…held it over. Was gonna do whatever he wanted and I could stand with my dick in my hand.
"I knew Rosie would talk to Alice Faye. To Bella. I knew it would get to you and Jasper. So…I made sure…it was even. Otherwise….
"Jim wouldn't question what I said. He's wore out coming up here. He resents having to. He don't care shit about up here, just enough to make it look okay for him on the report. Now you take it to town it's a different story. But not up here.
"I wasn't gonna let you swing for what she done. I told you that. I never expected Cookie…I told you that too. But…way I see it…you owed her, that's all, and in case I couldn't trust you…trust Jasper…I needed something back, something strong. You get it now? You see? I don't take chances comes to her."
Edward just stared at Emmett.
"Figure you find something good out there, let me know. After Five, I'm done here. I'm wanting to work in a mill, work with the wood. Maybe carpenter," Emmett said.
"I would let you know," Edward said. They shook hands then and Emmett patted his shoulder.
"Guess I should say you're the best I got."
"'Bout time," Edward said and they laughed again.
Folks took it hard losing the teacher. Bella had a ceremony end of school. Even the Cope twins cried as they thanked Mrs. Cullen, and Mrs. Cope hugged Bella but briefly still shedding tears for that dead asshole couldn't keep his hands off a woman. She couldn't have been more mournful if they'd hired her for such. Jacob Black owed that woman.
Jasper took it hardest of all. He and Alice Faye had married to bring in the New Year, and they were running the kitchen together, but still, Edward and Jasper had been in proximity a long time…and parting was damn hard.
"We won't lose touch," Edward reasoned.
Jasper nodded but the usual joyfulness was gone and when it was, on those one or two rare occasions, like when he sliced his toes, Jasper had the emptiest most pitiful eyes, wells without water or something.
"Hell you know the way home same as me," Edward said, madder now, which seemed more manly than crying.
"We left home, remember?"
"You gonna start this now with Boss in the truck to take us down?" Edward chided.
"No," Jasper said, running the heel of his hand under his nose.
"You're jigging again, you got Alice Faye, good work, hell you're god around here with those flapjacks and all."
Jasper laughed then. "Fuck you."
Edward threw caution to the wind and pulled Jasper in for a hug, and that one hung on to him like some drunk girls he'd danced with before.
They made it brief. Jasper was sniffing when Edward pulled back. He was different, Jasper was, a leader now, in the kitchen that is, when Alice Faye told him what to do, and she did, boy did she. But he'd turn and give it to the cookies and they looked up to him like he was Washington on the Delaware.
Edward put his hand on Jasper's shoulder and squeezed. "Gone soft wielding those pots and pans," he said, like he didn't feel the muscle there cause cooking for these loggers was the hardest work of all.
"I ain't no letter writer," he said, like Edward didn't know. "Alice Faye's got me reading some though so…you be sure and write and I can…I'll call Carlisle."
"That be good. Like I told you,,,I don't know where we'll end up."
"We both know where you'll end up…you just ain't ready to admit it to yourself."
"Well…you be a genie then while I figure it out."
"Best get on. Boss is…staring."
Edward felt the weight of it then, what he'd been trying not to feel, them parting for some time…he didn't know. He punched Jasper on the shoulder and Alice Faye came to Jasper and he had his arm around her, and that's how Edward saw him then…not alone…not alone at all.
He got in beside Bella, their stuff already loaded in back, and his arm around her and some called out, but he did not look at all, he held her and his other arm against the window, against the glass and he felt something break as they pulled away, a tie…a cord to them all. To Jasper mostly…and he rode with her beside, her face by his, her hand on his cheek, her smiling…and his eyes, tears burned cause he hadn't cried…long time…but her and him now…he had something to turn to…their future.
Jasper was right. It had always been there…hard to admit…a speck in his eye and he claimed he hated it…claimed it loud and clear…but it hadn't gone away.
He had no regret about killing James. Maybe someday he would, when he long forgot the feel of the threat that one brought to him and Bella. Maybe then he would see it different and he'd bow the knee. But there was a call in him, he feared, a voice, and it sounded same as Carlisle's. "You would make a fine doctor."
He didn't know where or how, but it was modern times now, 1937, and he was going to look in to what he could do…maybe medical school, then the army. He was thinking that way, had talked to Bella. Ever since that day closed in that jail that brief time…wondering how he could do it…stay caged…and the fear in him of it…being caged…and him not having time to panic before she had him out. But he knew then…I'm running from this…this closed in feeling. That's what it had been in school…not the learning…never that. And here she taught school, she did it every day, and he didn't want this fear to rule him and hold him back…hold them back. He wanted to give her the best life possible…a library didn't come on a horse's back…a bathroom wasn't out back…floors didn't leave splinters in your feet…doors didn't come open easy…law he didn't have to enforce himself…a good life.
He'd figure it out…they would figure it out. She wanted more schooling…she could have that if he made a way. With her…oh there was a roar in him. It was his time. It was their time.
He kissed her hand, and Boss pretended not to see and Edward smiled.