HELLO! Okay, you guys. I'm gonna have another go at a multi-chapter again with this one. Did some of you wonder wth was taking so long? (It's only been like 25 or so days since I posted last, lol.) But seriously… I was in writer's-limbo, and jonesin' too, and I beat around the bush a bit—or rather I beat myself up mentally—about 'how to go about' preparing for this one. So, after much consideration, I decided. I'M JUST GONNA FLY BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS(!)... at least some of the time anyway... and try to rock it, too. *snickers quietly*
Disclaimer: Meyer made the mold but we are all here to break it. I own nothing except this here story's events.
Not beta'd (yet).
Chapter 01 Prologue – Worm?
"You goin' on to The Spot now?"
Bella looks up from where she sits on the front porch steps of her home, tying her laces up tight. Shading her eyes from the morning glare off the lake's surface, she smiles at Mr. Marks. He stands in his yard, where he's currently smoking his pipe—of all things to have to smell in the morning—and enjoying his morning coffee. As usual, he's wearing his robe and ratty slippers.
She calls back, "I am, and you know that already, Max. You're treading thin ice, too. You'll be lucky to get any more fish from me if you keep sending Embry Young down to check on me."
He just waives Bella off, tobacco smoke puffin' over his left shoulder as he turns to walk back up to his rickety porch chair.
Bella snorts. She's known Maxim Marks her entire life. He likes to keep an eye on her just like she keeps an eye on him. And don't let his name fool you, either. It might sound like a spy-toon character's name, except he's anything but that. Everything's been really hard on him, too, what with Charlie being gone now. No one had seen it coming. Not even Bella.
One day your father—and only parent—just straight up isn't here anymore.
It's been a struggle, both emotional and physical. Good thing finances aren't one of them.
Her heart tinges painfully in her chest and she gulps back the sudden tight, almost choking, lump clogging her throat. Deep breath in, she hollers, loud, again, "I'll bring 'round some cornbread later."
He waves up at her again from his chair as she grabs her stuff and heads off and along the side of her blue-painted house toward her destination. There're chores to get done later in the day, and if she wants to relax for a bit, then she will need to use her time wisely.
The path leading to The Spot is well-worn and small. Not many had made use of it except Bella, Charlie and a few others that were close to them through the years. The blue house was the last one, off at the end of Toe Road. It sits next to Max's, right on the edge of Mud Cat Lake, way down where the trees are dense and grow in number, and the wind blows stronger, both from lack of obstruction and from the lake's current. There is greenery and dirt paths everywhere she could look from inside and out of her four walls.
Carefully, she maneuvers around a few rocks poking up through the smooth dirt. As she gets closer, she stops at the tree line, staring. Calm.
And, completely rattled.
He's just standing there…in her spot, exactly. Well, their old spot.
Not surprising, really. Her legs want to take her forward, but her mind stops her as she remembers. Deep breath. A gust of wind blows the loose hair from her bun across her neck and face. She shivers.
He looks exactly the same but different, older.
Slow, she steps onto the pebble-filled sand at the water's edge. She tries not to bolt when he doesn't notice her there. She refuses to be a wimp, clearing her throat before she speaks.
"You're s'posed to be fishing, not staring."
Edward's eyes refocus, startling at her abrupt appearance. Rubbing his chest, he shakes his head, saying, "Jesus, Swan, give me a heart attack, why don't you. Damn."
Cut-off blue-jean covered thighs stop a few feet away from him. It feels like miles. It's been a while since he left.
Dropping two old-as-time bamboo rods to the dirt, she toes at the water's edge then glances side-eyed to where he is, standing with his too-long crazy hair in the mucky water, ankle-deep and just as overwhelmingly handsome as ever. He needs a haircut.
She shrugs, answering, "Sorry about that," as she squints up into the morning sun again, then back down.
An awkward silent moment passes, then he clears his throat, asking, "You're runnin' the place now, right? Mom said, so uh…"
Bella snorts, "Esme never was one for keeping secrets. I'll bet she's told you that I still come fishing here every weekend, too."
Guilty green eyes smile as he rubs at the back of his neck, "It didn't even take five minutes for me to be home before she did." His ears turn bright red. He scratches at one.
"Well, it's not exactly a secret. She told me you were home, too, ya' know. Besides, everyone around here knows that Charlie and I were religious about Sunday fishing. Why would I stop now?" Her chest tightens again, sudden and hard. She blinks the sharp sting in her eyes back stubbornly, looking at the flowing water, "I like to think he's here with me."
Edward looks at his eight-years-lost friend. He whispers, "He is absolutely, one-hundred percent here, Bella." Then, trying to lighten the mood, he says, "Esme said the cabins are better kept than ever, now. Reservation book's filling up."
Little smile, "Yeah, well I gotta admit I've got my hands full with the renovations. I'm thinking I'm going to need to hire someone to help out with the grounds work and heavier stuff, though. Grass grows tall as weeds in the blink of an eye."
They fall quiet and watch the reflections on the water.
The frown on Edward's face gives away none of his thoughts.
Bella fidgets on her feet as she breathes deep and steady. Then she holds out the can still clutched in her right hand, "Worm?"
A crooked smile appears as he rubs his eyes in disbelief, shaking his head at her, "Is it really going to be this easy, Bella?"
Hand still offering bait for the spare pole, she's quiet with her response, "Well, yeah." She fidgets.
He blinks. He can't believe she's still so fucking faultless, flawless; a forever-loyal fortress, no matter what, making her even more beautiful…stunning.
Reaching, he swipes the can of worms out of her outstretched hand, smiling, "Okay, let's fish, Swan."
There's a nervous flurry of movement as they each ready their respective poles, and now they are fishing together just like old times with Charlie those summers past. Bella flings her rod and lands the bobber out good. She squints then asks, "How long you staying?"
He doesn't even hesitate as his own line flies out past hers, "I'm stayin' for good."
"Oh." Her heart constricts with an entirely new feeling now. She bites her lips then says with a mock-glare, "Well, don't break Charlie's rod."
a/n …*pink lady strut*…yep…*waves to everyone*...give me some love and let me know what you think…review review review…please please please...love...
01/29/14: the above chapter has now been beta'd by two most awesome ladies, itsange and Jcat5507, over at PTB…yeah!...thank you thank you...