If you don't like foul language, or kids using foul language, this story is not for you, buddy.
A massive thank you to Tiffany for everything she did to help me.
I don't. They do.
I live by plans; so I know what is going to happen and when. So by the tender age of thirteen, I had already planned out my life. I would study at some prestigious school in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere. I would get my degree in Literature, then continue to hide in my '50s bubble and write about the fictional world inside my head. However, of course, life never turns out quite the way you imagined it.
On my list, I didn't include becoming a parent at 17, or a wife at 18. I never saw myself having another child at 19 and owning my own business at 23. I never went to college and I never got my degree, but que sera sera, right? What will be, will be.
"Mini, trust me, I will whoop that ass of yours if you don't do what I say."
"But, you, like, said to listen to both my parents, and Papa E said I could do this!"
My son, Maddox, had his skateboard balanced over the top stair and wanted to perform some fucking Bam Margera move and skateboard down the handrail. I left Edward alone with them for one hour and that is what I came home too; Maddox trying to kill himself on a skateboard and his older sister (my sweetheart), India, pleating the cats' hair and tying the ends with pink bows. The poor things is barely alive as it is. And where was my loving husband as all this went on? In bed. Asshole.
"But remember what I said about your father?" I went back to scolding my 6-year-old.
"That he's a no good son-of-a-bitch?"
"Exactly. Now, get down here and save the cat from your sisters' grasp."
Maddox hung his head in defeat, picked up his skateboard and plodded down the stairs. "Okay, Mama B…"
"Love you, Baby."
Maddox stopped in a halt, slowly twisted his head 'round and stared at me in disgust. "Who the hell are you? 'Love' crap? Eurgh, no thank you!"
See? He's not that bad.
"Just go save that cat, Mini. I'll be upstairs with your father; if you hear him scream, don't be alarmed."
"You'll just be tearing off his balls?"
I have trained them well.
Edward was found in his usual position - flat out on our bed, fast asleep; wearing nothing but his boxers, with one hand down them. Same boxers, I might add, that I watched him put on four days ago.
"Edward…" I purred, and with one finger, followed the outline of his anchor tattoo emblazoned on his rib cage. "Edward…" His eye lids fluttered, but it wasn't the reaction I was after, so my hand continued and stroked down his stomach, over the light hair that sat there, until I reached the elastic of his boxers. Without any hesitance, my hand slipped under the fabric and settled around his semi-hard dick. I jerked it once, twice, three times until my husband finally succumbed to my teasing.
"Mmm… B, baby…"
"Is this what you want?" I must admit, I was very impressed with my acting skills.
A sigh blew from his lips. "…Yes."
I paused for a split second then tore my hand from his boxers and sat up suddenly. "Too bad."
Edward opened his eyes and looked at me with a glare, "are you fucking kidding me?"
"Does it look like I'm kidding you?"
In usual Edward form, his hand clutched the front of his hair and gripped it tight. "Why would you do that?"
"Why were you sleeping?! I left you in charge of the kids for one fucking hour and came home to find carnage! Maddox was about to skate down the stairs, because you said he could!"
A proud smile crossed his stupid fucking face. "That's my boy… And you can't blame me for falling asleep if you leave to open that bloody diner at seven in the morning." Edward grabbed his packet of smokes from the side table and the ash tray that partnered with it. He lit a stick before continuing to talk. "You think you're the bee's fuckin' knees and mother of the year and all that bullshit. Nothing ever goes wrong when Bella's around! Oh no, everything is fucking gold when Queen Bee is in charge," he used the base of his thumb to flick the ash into the tray.
"I've never said that; I know I… Oh, forget it. I have to get going." I clambered from the bed. "Remember you said you'd take Maddox to school today."
Edward's sarcastic two-fingered salute earned him a flip of the bird.
If I didn't love my kids as much as I do, I would have divorced his ass years ago.
"I don't want to get any phone calls today to say that you punched someone, Mini; got it?"
At six years old, Maddox had mastered the eye roll, and he used it whenever he could.
"But, Mama, these kids are low-lives! They think Deep Purple is a colour! and that Def Leppard is an animal with hearing problems!"
"That just means they are not as well educated in music as you are - we never hit people."
He gave me the stink eye - another mastered trait. "So… what about when Papa hit Uncle Jake that one time?"
"Again, we don't copy Daddy's moves."
Maddox looked so adorable wearing his cut-off denim shorts, white sneakers and a black tee that said 'let's start a riot!' written in capitals. A pair of black Ray Bans were pushed on his crown to keep back the bronze hair that reached his shoulders. He's the spitting image of his father - hence the nickname, Mini. And not just in looks - he lives for '80s rock 'n' roll, skateboarding and wants to be covered in tattoos when he's older, too.
Then, at 8 years of age, little India is my doppelgänger - long brown hair, heart shaped face and sweet brown eyes. Her iPod is full of '50s music, but she prefers the denim shorts and band tees like Dad. She may look and act like butter wouldn't melt, but this girl has a mouth on her.
Finally, after much waiting, Edward plodded down the stairs.
"Ah, nice shirt, Papa E!" Maddox had spotted the Pink Floyd shirt straight away.
"Cheers, Bud." The guys grabbed their skateboards and headed for the door. Edward flipped his head 'round to find India, "you comin', Indie?"
"Uh-huh. Daddy, will you help me with my drawing after school?"
"Will do, Pumpkin."
The rays from the Arizona sun beamed down on my truck when I drove to Rockabella's Diner. It was nearing ninety degrees and had me a with serious case of the pits.
I'mma need to put some deodorant on those bad boys.
The usual cars were parked outside, including the black Lincoln Continental which told me Alice and Jasper had already arrived. Or maybe just Alice; her husband is not a morning person. Along side that was the deep blue coloured rust bucket which belonged to the dear old Mr. Wayland. He lost his wife to cancer a couple years back, (shortly before I opened Rockabella's) and as he grieved, Alice and I welcomed him in with open arms. It's now become a daily procedure - he'll start off his day with a large plate of Seth's speciality pancakes. Sometimes he'd join us on Saturday evenings for Jasper's open mic night, but not often.
The last car was a white, vintage VW Beetle that belonged to my darling husband's boss, Rosalie. She was leaving the restaurant with two milkshake to-go cups when I entered.
"Mornin', B." Her dark glasses covered a large portion of her slender face, and the black strap top and denim daisy dukes she wore displayed the colourful tattoos that covered practically her whole body.
We both paused at the doors. "You coming to the charity event on Friday?" Rosalie opened her own tattoo parlour six months ago. She hired Edward straight away. The charity event she spoke of was a 24 hour tattooing marathon - she had enlisted the help of other artists around the area and her husband, Emmett, will do his first ink from being Edward's apprentice.
"I'm working here, Ro. But the kids will want to see their dad, so I'll bring them down for a bit."
A broad smile flittered over her face, "excellent!" the smile then melted into a grin, "y'know… I could fill that space on your forearm…" She pointed to my exposed skin, and the one patch on my left arm that didn't have some ink on it.
I barked out a loud laugh. "Edward's bagsied that spot, and he's planned out what's going to go there, so I wouldn't dare."
"Aw, I'm not scared of him! Anyway, think about it, okay?"
"Will do. See you later, Ro."
My partner in crime, Alice, was standing at the bar. Overhead I heard the distinct voice of Buddy Holly singing about a handsome man with brown eyes. I loved walking into this place; it was like you had left twenty-fourteen outside and entered nineteen-fifty inside. Everything from the decor to the food and to the clothes we wore, screamed vintage.
From a young age, I have loved vintage rock and roll. When all the 'friends' at school wore the recent fashion trends, I looked like I had just stepped off the set of Grease. My dad said I was lost in a past decade, but I wasn't changing anything. Kids teased me for the bandanas tied in my hair, and the victory rolls I practised with my bangs. Yeah, well they're all fuckers anyway. I've never known any different.
So when I bought this place, there was no way it was going to be your usual, bog-standard diner. No; Rockabella's is all about the 50's and always will be.
"Alright there, Sugar Tits!"
"Hey, Al'. Everything going okay?"
"Yeah, all is fine." Alice passed over the mug of coffee she had waiting. Aaah, my good friend caffeine. I took a large sip. I have to live of that instant crap at home, 'cause Edward doesn't 'want to spend money on some fucking coffee machine', so that mug of filtered greatness was panty wettingly good.
Alice took her tin of tobacco from it's hiding place behind the cash register which included some filters and skins. She proceeded to roll up her cigarette. "Did Rose mention the charity event to you?" She asked, skilfully rolling the tobacco filled paper with fingertips.
"Yeah - I said I would go 'cause India and Maddox will want to. You going?"
She shrugged, "maybe; I want the outline of these done," she tapped the cherries that sat above each breast, "so I'll see if they can fit me in when I finish here."
With that, Alice left out the back door for her break. I cleared up the empty plate Mr. Wayland had left, spoke to Seth briefly and started on the paper work.
Alice returned a lot sooner than usual. She never said a word, just headed straight to a front facing window. She acted like a dog on alert, and that didn't sit well with me.
"What's wrong, Al'?"
Without a response, Alice continued to stare.
After a couple minutes, she turned 'round. "I saw this guy earlier - he was lurking outside for ages, then came in for a coffee. Something smelt off to me -."
" - Did he miss a shower this morning?"
"No!" Alice swatted me for interrupting. "I mean something smelt fishy… he was a bit fishy."
"Maybe he's a fish monger?" I sniggered.
"Oh, fuck off Bella! Anyway, I saw him again when I was out back. I don't know what he was doing - or is doing - but I think we need to keep an eye out."
Half-past-three saw the lunchtime rush settle and calm before the busy dinner period. Throughout the day, Alice had been on look-out for the strange man she saw earlier, but he never appeared. Personally, I thought she was making something out of nothing, but I kept that to myself.
"Thanks, Bella!" Big old Mike Newton waddled past me and patted his large gut with satisfaction. A dribble of ketchup sat to the side of his mouth and some had spattered down his grease-stained vest. I wanted to gag. But I put on my perfected, fake smile and acted like everything was sunshine and rainbows.
"I hope you enjoyed that, Mike."
"As always." He winked. I think it was his attempt at flirting, but it didn't work. "Save me a table, same time tomorrow?"
If I have to… "Absolutely."
It looked as if Mike had turned to leave, but he paused, then looked back in my direction. His face had flushed a bright red. I knew it was not because of the outside heat. His grubby hands rubbed his neck with nerves.
"Um, Bella… I was going to ask -."
" - This punk bothering you, Mama?"
Mike and I both were startled to see Maddox and India standing to the side of us. Maddox had his arms folded and stern eyes stared at Mike. India copied her little brother. She spoke up before I managed to reply; "you bothering our mom, punk?"
I wanted to cover their adorable faces in kisses, then laugh hysterically. But I was acting polite and professional, remember? "India, Maddox, what have I told you both about manners?"
My kids swapped a confused expression, "nothing," they both replied at the same time.
By this point, Mike looked as it he was about to shit himself… or already had done. "Heh… cute kids… Well, I'll get going now… Um, yeah, c'ya tomorrow, Bella."
"Hey Mr. Man!" Maddox shouted on Mike when he waddled to the exit. Mike turned to face my son. "I'll be watching you, 'kay?"
"Fucker." India added.
Christ, these kids.
Thankfully Alice's husband, Jasper (or 'Uncle J' as they called him), had stayed around after collecting them from school and distracted my terrible twosome with his guitar so they couldn't cause me any more grief. I motioned to Alice to let her know I was going for a smoke.
Sitting on that step, I took my cell from the pocket of my daisy playsuit and found Edward's number as I lit the cigarette in my mouth.
"Yeah?" He grumbled.
I exhaled some smoke. "What time do you finish tonight?"
"Last appointment is at six, so hopefully before eight, why?"
"Just wondering. Indie is expecting you to help her, remember."
"Fuck… I told Emmett I'd go to the bar with him."
I shook my head and sighed silently. "Then cancel."
"I can't cancel - I've been holding him off all week!"
I put all my anger in the stubbing out of the cigarette butt. "But you promised India!"
"I'll do it tomorrow! Fucks sake, B."
"Don't 'fucks sake' me." I growled.
"Jesus. Who are you? My mother?"
"No, but I'm her mother and I won't stand to see you let her down like that."
And that was it; he hung up without muttering another word.
"But Mommy, Jovi wants to sleep with me tonight…" India held our ancient cat to her chest and kissed him between his fluffy ears. I had told her a thousand times to put him in his bed and get to her own, but she wasn't listening to me, as per usual. "Yes you do, yes you do." She spoke to him like some fucking baby.
"I'm only telling you once…"
Her tiny shoulders slumped in defeat. She kissed Jovi's head once more and allowed him to jump from her arms.
"Thank you. Now, up to bed." I directed her up the stairs, to make sure she got there.
"When is Dad coming home?" She asked when climbing into bed.
Anger filled me like a burst of hot air. I had never been more disappointed in him. I
I couldn't lie to my children. "I don't know, baby. Hopefully soon." 'Cause the sooner I have my hands around his neck, the better.
Her large brown eyes were downcast, and it fucking killed me to see her so sad.
I said some last parting words then mentioned I had to check on Mini.
It was as I left Maddox's room and headed downstairs, that I overheard India talking. At first, I thought she was talking to me, but then I heard the word 'Jovi' and the chiming of his bell collar.
That damn cat.
I crept quietly to her door, in hope that she didn't hear me.
"Oh, Jovi." She whispered. "Daddy might not love me, but at least you do."
That bastard won't know what hit him…
So… what we thinking?
I need to stress that there WILL be a HEA! We just have to get there first… you with me?
For a collage of both Maddox and India, you can find them on my Facebook group: RosieRathbone FanFiction.