Twilight and the characters belong to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer. I'm just grateful that she let's us play with them.
AN: This is my first adventure into Twilight fanfic. It all sprang out of a conversation with Alphie where we were talking about how Edward isn't completely perfect and in control all the time. As Edward says, "I may not be human, but I am a man" and we all know that men have their flaws.
Also there is a tip of the hat to Alphie and her Lion and the Lamb fic, see if you can spot it.
"A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can."
It had all started so well. I arrived at work to find Newton's Olympic Outfitters wetter on the inside than it was outside. A burst pipe in the stockroom had flooded the entire back of the store. Mike was wielding the shopvac, Mrs. Newton was on the phone with what sounded like the insurance company, and Mr. Newton was rubbing his right temple and sighing as the plumber attempted to remove what was left of a very rusty section of pipe. When I asked Mr. Newton what I could do to help, he just said that Mike almost had the cleanup done, but since there would be no running water for awhile the store would be closed for the day.
It took me less than a minute to decide what I was going to do next. I muttered some brief condolences that I hoped sounded sincere to Mr. Newton, waved bye to Mrs. Newton and Mike, and practically skipped out the door. I hopped into my truck and tried not to look too gleeful in case one of the Newton's came out before I was safely out of the parking lot. Once I was on the road, the irony of someone else's back luck getting me what I wanted had me smiling and singing to the radio all the way over to Edward's house. I knew Edward had gone hunting with Jasper last night and was due back this morning. Originally, we had made plans for the evening, but now we could have the whole day together, once he got back that was.
As I drove with the windows down, I breathed in the summer air and a thought occurred to me. I could actually, with a little creativity and cooperation, surprise Edward. Just the other day, Edward had complained how little he was surprised by anything. I hatched a plan. It all depended on who was home. If Rosalie was there, all bets were off, but anyone else ought to be game. All I would have to do was park my truck back behind the garage and have whoever was home think about anything but me. I mean surely after seventy plus years together, Edward's family must have acquired a couple of tricks to keep him from reading their every thought. Thanks to Alice, I knew what Emmett's trick was. I had remarked that it was impossible to embarrass Edward; he was unflappable. Alice giggled and let me in on Emmett's secret. Apparently, on a hunting trip a couple of months ago, Edward nearly strangled Emmett. In order to keep Edward out of his head, Emmett kept thinking about Rosalie---very non-PG-13 thoughts. I wondered what everyone else did.
I couldn't believe my luck! As I pulled up the long driveway, I could see Rosalie's BMW parked in front, a sure fire sign that she was going out! Carefully, I maneuvered my truck passed Rosalie's car. I glanced back in my rearview mirror smiling with the satisfaction that I managed not to do damage to her car or mine as I edged by. Then, I noticed something else in my rearview. It was Alice, waving her arms and screaming.
Alice was so loud I could hear her over the radio. "No! Bella, no! Stop!"
I turned around to throw the truck into park to find out what in the world was going on, when it happened. Without warning, I was blinded by a stream of water that came through the open passenger window of the truck. The icy cold jet shocked my system. I braced my hands on the wheel and slammed on my brakes. Well, I intended it to be the brake---I hit the accelerator.
The sounds that followed I had only ever heard once before. Metal tore metal, screeching, buckling, ripping noises echoed through the air. It was as if someone had amplified Charlie's old electric can opener that mangled everything it touched. I had convinced Charlie to buy a new one after a particularly frustrating episode that resulted in tuna fish all over the walls and metal shards in my hand. As I finally found the brake and brought my truck to a halt, the carnage rivaled what had happened in our kitchen. The only difference was that I was fine. As I stepped, wet and dazed, out of my tank-like truck, I immediately saw it was fine. On the other hand, I couldn't say the same for the crumpled silver Volvo that was now imbedded in the Aston Martin. Moreover, on further inspection, the Aston Martin had been accordioned between the Volvo and the side wall of the garage. Nothing I was looking at could possibly be described as anything close to approaching fine. I giggled nervously at the first words that had come to into my mind. Carnage. CARnage. Oh that described it all right.
What happened next, was a blur.
"Bella I'm so sorry," said Emmett. He held a dripping hose in his right hand. "I had no idea you were coming around the corner."
I felt Esme's gentle but firm hands gripping me by my shoulders. "Bella, honey, are you hurt? Let's bring you inside and get you dried off. Maybe I should call Carlisle to come home. Did you hit your head?"
Somehow I managed to nod no as I allowed myself to be led to the house and seated on the sofa. Only when Alice spoke did I break out of my fog. "Edward is going to be home any minute."
I thought I was going to be ill. Part of my mind, logical as ever, wondered how vampires reacted to vomit on their living room floor.
"I'm not going shopping now. I wouldn't miss what's going to happen next for the world." Rosalie said snidely.
Alice glared at her sister. "Rosalie, if you can't say anything helpful, why don't you just leave the room?"
I looked up at Alice and somehow managed to say, "How am I ever going to explain this to Edward?"
Looking as sheepish as it's possible for a vampire to look sheepish, Emmett replied, "Well, it's not entirely your fault. I lost a bet with Edward so he and Jasper got to take my truck when they went hunting, and I had to wash his cars. They're usually not parked there. Plus, I wasn't looking and I sprayed you with the hose."
"And it's partially my fault too," interrupted Alice, as she towel dried my hair. "I shouldn't have screamed like that and distracted you. Not everything I see comes true after all."
"That's really kind of the both of you," I replied, "but in the end-"
"Bottom-line, you're the one who actually did the damage."
"ROSALIE!" This time it was both Alice and Esme who sharply said her name.
"No, no. Rosalie's right," I agreed. "I'm the one who hit the cars. I have to take the responsibility and tell him. I came here wanting to surprise Edward-"
"Oh," said Emmett quietly, "he'll be plenty surprised."
Esme sat next to me and gently held my hand. "Well, if you really want to tell him alone. We can help with that." She then turned to everyone else. "Rosalie, move your car so it completely blocks the drive, so when Edward and Jasper pull in they don't go around back right away. Once that's done, everyone clear your heads. Bella, you can sit on the porch and wait for them."
I went outside and sat on the front steps waiting for Edward. Rosalie had barely finished moving her car when I heard the engine of Emmett's Jeep Wrangler as it climbed the long drive.
I could see that Edward had a puzzled look on his face when he got out of the Jeep.
I desperately hoped that my voice would sound calm and casual. "Hi Edward. Hi Jasper. We had a plumbing problem at work today so I'm off. I thought I'd come here and surprise you."
"Hey, Bella," said Jasper as he waved and proceeded into the house muttering on how inconsiderate Rosalie was to block the driveway.
Edward looked at me still puzzled before giving me a hug and kiss.
"Is something wrong I asked?" I was wondering if somehow Rosalie had let images of the backyard accidentally slip into her mind.
Edward was now frowning. "Well, not exactly wrong, so much as peculiar."
"Oh? Peculiar? How so?" I questioned nervously.
"Esme's counting the ceramic tiles on the bathroom walls, Alice is singing a tune by the Bay City Rollers, and believe me when I say you don't want me to explain what's going on between Emmett and Rosalie. They only do things like this when they don't want me to know something, which frankly makes me wonder what they're trying to hide."
"Oh, that's my doing. I wanted to surprise you by being here early, and I didn't want them to give it away."
"But Bella, you were sitting on the front steps. The surprise ended rather quickly."
"There's…there's," I had to stop stuttering. "more to it than that. I have to tell you something and they're just trying to help me out."
"Tell me what, Bella?"
How I was ever going to begin, I didn't know. Then, I didn't have to worry about that particular aspect any longer. Esme's plan was perfect save for one thing. Jasper. No one had clued in Jasper. He must have seen the mess I made of the cars. And since Jasper knew, that meant Edward knew. For the second time today I witnessed the car wreck, or rather the aftermath of it, as it played out in detail by excruciating detail on Edward's face.
Edward darted around to the back of the house before I could blink. As I ran to catch up with him, I could hear him screaming Emmett's name and a few foul words I had never heard Edward use before.
"It's not Emmett's fault! I did it!" I yelled as I ran to the back of the house.
Panting loudly, I caught up to Edward, who was pacing and running his hand through his hair. His usual articulation had been reduced to caveman like, strangled grunting noises.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Edward spoke, "I just received the full details from Alice. Please forgive my outburst and tell me that you are all right." It was clear that he was forcing himself to stay clam for my sake.
"I'm fine, but what about your cars?"
Edward took my hands and pulled me to face him. "Don't get me wrong. It's painful to see them in such a mangled condition, but I can replace a car. I can't replace you."
Edward gave a long doleful look at the wreckage before he turned to me and said quietly, "Believe me when I say, Bella, that you're more important to me than the cars. However, if it makes you feel any better, I'm fairly certain that Emmett has talked Rosalie into fixing them, since he feels partly responsible."
"Then you forgive me?"
"There's nothing to forgive. According to Esme, I should actually be thanking you."
Edward shifted his weight and looked down at his feet before meeting my eyes again. "Bella, to anyone but me life is full of surprises. Some are good and some are bad; however, when something happens to take you by surprise that isn't…shall I say ideal, it makes you thankful for the things you have that are really important."
"So, I'm off the hook?"
"Not exactly. We need to get in your truck and go to the hospital."
"Edward, I told you. I'm fine."
"I have no doubt of that. It's just that you're only off the hook for the items that are mine. The garage that was custom built by Carlisle with his own hands isn't mine."
I could feel the color drain from my already pale face.
"Don't worry," Edward grinned, "I'll be right there with you when you tell him."