Here we go with one of the new stories coming out from us over the next few weeks. This will be a multi-chapter story, and will update once a week.
Huge thanks goes out to all the wonderful girls who have helped us with this story from the start: EdwardsFirstKiss, AWayWithWords, and LaPumuckl.
See you at the bottom.
What Do You Want From Me
At eighteen Edward was sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. It's now six years later, and he has been released four years early. His bail conditions have been set. He has to find somewhere to live and get a full-time job, both things he has found in a small sleepy town. All he wants to do is keep out of everyone's way and move on with his life. Will this sleepy town of Forks, Washington let him, especially when they find out why he was in prison?
I hear the driver state over the intercom that we're arriving at the stop I need. Reaching up, I take my backpack, which contains all my worldly belongings and make my way to the front of the bus. When I get there, the bus has come to a complete stop.
"Thanks," I mutter as I make my way down the bus stairs.
I drop my bag to the ground as the bus drives off and look around at the place that is about to become my home town. The town seems deadly quiet, but then again it is five in the morning.
I fumble through my pockets taking out the piece of paper that tells me where I am to go.
Edward Masen, you are meeting with Chief Swan, at seven a.m., on the fifteenth of August, 2017. Forks Police Station located at 29 Fifth Avenue South. It's located at the center of town, just after the Newton store.
I let out a breath knowing I have two hours to spare. I pick up my bag again and walk along the road.
There isn't much in this city; it almost feels like a ghost town. I have been wandering around, and so far I have seen the Elementary, and Middle school which seem to be joined together and the High School, which is only a few minutes' walk from the other schools.
There are only a few shops and stores, the largest being Newton's, which appears to span three or four storefronts.
Apart for these, there is a doctor's office, dentist, police station, fire station, library, and one diner. It looks as if you don't like the food at the diner, then you are up the creek without a paddle. I walked through several of the streets of houses, seeing that they all look the same—two floors, a white picket fence, and bet they all have two kids and a dog.
I had walked all the way through town, and then back to the police station, in the two hours I had to spare. I have been sitting outside the locked station for a little over twenty minutes before I hear anyone.
"Morning," comes a gruff voice, and I look up to see an older man walking toward me. He has a mustache that reminds me of what I have heard called 'pornstaches' when I was younger. I size him up a little as I stand. It's clear that he is the same height as I am which is six-two, but I have more of a toned build than him. As his eyes flicker to meet mine, I swallow my nerves. Judging by how old he looks, I am taking him to be the person I am meeting this morning … Chief Swan.
"I take it that you are Mr. Edward Masen?"
I nod at him and he sticks out his hand.
"I'm the Chief of Police, Charlie Swan," he says as we shake hands. "Come inside, and we'll get the paperwork done."
I follow him quietly through the doors and into his office.
"I have read your files; it says that on August tenth two-thousand-and-eleven, you were arrested for breaking into Ben Cheney's home and assaulting his wife. You were given ten years, but have been released early after six years for good behavior?"
There is no point in stating again that I found Mrs. Cheney in that physical state when I got to the Cheney residence. No one has ever believed me, I was known as the bad boy and Ben Cheney was the beloved principal and teacher.
"It also says that you pled guilty to the break in, but not to the assault," the Chief says carrying on.
"Why did you break in?"
I tilt my head looking at him and then to the paperwork.
"This is a load of shit. I have been a police officer for more years than you've been alive, if something doesn't ring true then more often than not it isn't."
"Cheney was always on my ass, anything that went wrong or happened he always pointed the finger at me, I was leaving. I just wanted to leave him a gift to remember me by."
"By beating his wife almost to the point of death?"
I glare at the chief but he carries on.
"She had six broken ribs and both wrists. Her face was swollen and she couldn't see for almost three weeks," he says pushing the photos of Mrs. Cheney toward me.
I close my eyes to hold back the bile. I don't need to look at the image, what I saw that night is still embedded in my mind. I have been reminded enough in my dreams without looking at the photos.
"It wasn't me; she was like that … I was just going to spray paint his walls," I am able to say calmly.
The Chief gives me a head nod and looks back down at the paperwork. "You are to have weekly meetings with me, for the next four years. I was thinking as today is Monday, we'll just carry on, same time and day each week."
I nod at him; it's not like I have a choice, and it was a part of my early release conditions that I saw him for the rest of what my sentence would have been.
"Doctor, and Mrs. Cullen are renting out a room, and they are willing to allow you to stay with them. You start work at the school on Wednesday as the caretaker."
I swallow looking at him. "School?"
"But the assault … doesn't that mean I am restricted?"
"In some cases yes, but as it is the high school and we have full CCTV with sound, you shouldn't come into contact with many of the kids, anyway. Come on, I'll run you over to the school and introduce you to Miss Cope."
The Chief stands picking up the paperwork. I jump up picking up my bag and follow him to his patrol car. I hate cop cars, sitting in the back of them always makes me feel closed in. I walk to the back door of the car and wait for him to open it.
"Son, as a rule the only people I have in the back of my car are people I have arrested."
I swallow as he opens the front door for me. I get in and find that my knees are up to my chest, I turn looking at the back seat which looks a lot less claustrophobic now.
A gruff laugh makes me look at the chief, "Sorry son, my daughter was in the seat last, the lever is under the seat. Pull it up and push the seat back."
I follow what he said and let out a breath as I can now move my legs.
It feels like we've only just begun driving when we reach Forks High School. I open the door grabbing my bag as I get out.
"You know that I will be dropping you off at the Cullen's?"
I frown but give a curt nod.
"Then please leave your bag in my car, it's safe."
I look down at my hand. I know it will be safe but my whole life is in this bag; all twenty-fucking-four years of it.
I close my eyes holding back the anger, and fear as I place the bag back down on the seat. I close the door and follow the Chief as he walks in. He leads us to the main office, and I am surprised to see a woman sitting at the desk.
"This is Miss Cope; she's the principal here. Mary, this is Edward Masen."
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Masen," she says standing shaking my hand.
Through talking to her I find out that my hours are from eight until five including an hour lunch break. She notes that my main duties will be performed from eight until ten am and then from three until five pm, Monday through Friday.
She also notes that I am required to do the odd weekend shift when needed. My wage is fourteen dollars an hour and I will be paid on a monthly basis.
"Before we do the paperwork, I want to tell you a little about my school," Miss Cope says smiling. She's clearly pleased and proud about her school. "Forks High School ranges from ninth to twelfth grade. We have an average of one-hundred-and-ten students in each grade." I frown a little knowing that's many students, but it seems like a high number for a town this size.
"This school includes the tribal village about forty-five minutes from here. We have around fifty staff members that include office staff, cleaners, lunch room, teachers, and yourself."
Miss Cope tells me a bit more about the school, and all that my job will entail before signing the contract with me. Once that is completed she and the Chief show me around.
The school is only one floor, with about thirty classrooms; there are four student restrooms as well as one for the staff, and two more off the gym hall.
"Your office is this way," she says walking through one of the doors near the larger gym hall.
She leads me to the boiler room that has a small office where the CCTV TVs are up, along with cleaning products.
"This is your locker, where your uniform is kept." She opens it showing me the dark blue jumpsuit.
I try not to frown when I see the jumpsuit because I had to wear one for six years. The idea of putting one on again is not appealing to say the least.
Miss Cope talks nonstop as she walks the chief and me back to the main door. "I believe that is everything, Mr. Masen. I look forward to working with you, and I'll see you on Wednesday."
I shake her hand again before walking back to the patrol car. I get in and the Chief starts the drive. As the town limit passes by, my chest feels tight as I grip the car door handle.
'Why is he driving me out of town?' a small inner voice asks.
'Because he knows you're not worth the shit you bring.' I know this inner voice too well. It has always been a part of me; it's the one that always seems to tell me that I don't belong.
'I am not the boy I was, and I didn't do anything to deserve going to prison in the first place. I am trying to make something of my life.' I repeat to myself.
'A caretaker in some small ass town, you shouldn't have trusted him, he is the police after all!'
"The Cullens live on the edge of town in the middle of the woods," the Chief says causing me to open my eyes and look at him.
"Hope you like the wide open space," he adds on lightly. He turns off the main road and drives up a long drive.
I take a deep breath trying to calm my inner monologue.
I feel my mouth slightly drop open as we pull up, outside a large house. I just stare out of the car's front window not moving. The house has been designed to show off the inside stairway while the entire side of the house is made of glass.
"This is the Cullen's home, son."
I pull my eyes from the house to the side seeing the Chief standing there holding my door open.
I get out clutching my bag to my chest and follow the Chief to the front door. He knocks as he peeks at me from the corner of his eye.
"Charlie," a woman says as she opens the door and subsequently her arms as well to hug the chief.
"Hey, Esme," the Chief says hugging her. "This is Edward Masen."
"Hi, I am Esme Cullen, but call me Esme." I nod shaking her outstretched hand.
"Come, in. Do you prefer Edward or Mr. Masen?"
"Edward, please, Ma'am," I answer with a shaky voice.
"Charlie." I look around to see a man coming our way who is a little shorter than me, around six-feet. He has a lean build and blond hair. "Good to see, you, and this must be Edward Masen. I am Doctor Carlisle Cullen, but please call me Carlisle," he says stretching out his hand to me.
"Edward," I say stupidly as I shake his hand.
Before anyone can speak, Carlisle's cell rings and he walks away to answer it.
"Edward, would you like something to eat, or would you like me to show you to your room?" Esme asks me sweetly.
I look her over; she is around five-feet-five, and slim with light brown hair that sits at her shoulders. If I were to guess her age, I would say late forties, early fifties. She has a heart-shaped face that makes her look very motherly and loving.
"Charlie, that was about Bella, she had another accident, and is in the ER," Carlisle states.
"What the hell has happened now? I swear I'm thinking of getting her a warning sign," the Chief states, but I can hear the hint of worry that he's trying to hide.
"Well, good luck, son, and I'll see you next week." The Chief pats my arm before walking away with Carlisle.
"Edward, would you like some lunch before I show you around?"
I start to tell her I that am fine, but my stomach rumbles before I can.
"What would you like?" she asks when we enter the kitchen.
I shrug, prison food was not that tasty, and in fact, it was shit, but after eating it for so long my taste buds can put up with anything.
"Have you been to the school to meet Mary yet?" she asks.
"Yes, the Chief took me there first, Ma'am."
Esme stops what she's doing looking at me.
"It's just Esme, dear."
I clear my throat and nod at her.
"Is there any food that you don't like, or are allergic to?" she asks.
"All food is fine," I tell her, not adding that when I was growing up, money was tight, and I had to eat what we could afford or I didn't eat at all. It was the same in prison; you eat what you were given or go without.
It seems to take her no time to make a chicken salad sandwich. "Would like tea, coffee, juice, or water?"
"She comes back with two coffees, and I watch as she puts four sugars into hers."
"I am not sweet enough," she chuckles and I smile at her putting one sugar in my cup.
The rest of lunch passes without Esme or I speaking much. Once the dishes are in the sink, she shows me around the first floor of the house which has a sitting room, kitchen, Carlisle's office, a TV room, dining room, den, and a game room with two partial bathrooms that only have a sink and toilet. She then takes me to the basement where there is a laundry room as well as a large storage area. We then head back up the stairs, to the main floor. She leads me to another staircase that goes upstairs to the second floor, where the guest bedrooms and her and Carlisle's room are located. She directs me to the stairs and we go up to a third level.
"This is your floor," she says when we reach the top of the steps. "You have your own TV room, a bathroom, study, bedroom, and one other room to do with as you please."
I look around. When the Chief said that I was renting a room, I thought he was a talking about a mid-sized bedroom at best. This was an entire area the size of an apartment consisting of five separate rooms.
"I don't think I can afford this," I say gripping my hair. 'I need a place to live or they will send me back, I don't want to go back'.
"The rent is six hundred a month and that includes utilities, food, and the use of our truck."
I look at Esme blinking. "Truck?" I really should be inquiring why the hell they are only taking six hundred from me, for all of this.
"Yes, a truck, so you can get to and from work and around town."
"Why only six hundred a month?"
"Is that too much? We can lower it if it is?" she looks at me and smiles. "Edward, Carlisle has a very well-paying job. This house is ours. We are only asking for a small amount because the court said you had to show that you were paying your own way."
I swallow and nod at her. 'Bull shit' I shake my head trying to stop my inner disbelief. "Thank you," I say and she smiles at me. I return the smile to her as she walks out.
I let out a breath that I seem to having been holding. Right now I don't believe the Cullens are actually this nice, but I need a place. I'll just have to make sure I don't drop my guard around them.
I place my bag on the bed and open it. I take out the one photo I have of my mom and me. My mother passed away while I was inside from Hunters Syndrome. The disease rarely strikes women. The doctor said that less than one in one hundred cases are reported were in women. Women were usually nothing more than a carrier of the disease, but she was the odd one out. She had been ill from it since I was a young boy. My father couldn't cope and left when I was eleven. That's when I started to get into trouble. I tried to cope with my father's abandoning us, and me being her sole caregiver.
I had only been inside six months when I was given the news of her passing; it still hurts me that my stupidity led to her dying alone. She didn't know how sorry I was for breaking into the piece of shit's house. But more so for the trouble and heartache I caused her. I set the photo down next to my bed.
I walk back to my bag and take out the small amount of clothing that I was given upon leaving prison and place them in the top drawer of the dresser in my room. I only have a few books that I set on top of the dresser. I fold my bag and put it under the bed. Looking around, I make sure everything is clean and tidy.
I sit on my bed biting my fingernails as I try to think of what to do. My chest starts to feel tight and I get the feeling of being closed in, so I jump up and walk to the sitting room and flick on the television. Right away, I flick through the channels looking for something to watch that someone else will not bitch and moan about.
I settle on 'Shark Tank.' It is not until ten minutes go by that I frown and then chuckle as I grip my hair. I shake my head not believing that I had forgotten I was out now, and that this was my TV, and my place where no one was going to bitch at me for what I wanted to watch.
I kick off my shoes and lay across the couch as I flip through the channels again, watching whatever I want.
A/N: So just a tad of background, and meeting of a few key players. This will not be a fast burn, by any means. We hope you enjoy this story, and be sure to let us know what you think.
There are a couple other stories coming very soon from us.
Didn't Have To Be - story based off of a program a Texas school did to help boys without good male role models/fathers, to come have breakfast and a short game/reading time.
Swan's Dance - story based off a video that went viral of a father who is holding a younger child and comes on stage during a dance recital to help his slightly older child do her dance routine without melting down.