Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks to GenealogyGirl and LakeGirl for their major contributions to this story. And special thanks to Be My Escape and Bronzehairedgirl for the oomph. Dedicated to the posters at the infamous Twilight Lexicon Vampire Mating thread.
And thanks to Alphie for all the encouragement and the beta-reading! You rock!
Edward has some shopping that Alice can't help him with. Ever been to Wal-Mart at two a.m.?
Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers
(AKA: Packaging Pastries)
by silly bella
I was wrong. It could get worse. Rosalie had arrived. I glared at Alice as Rosalie shouted above the random store noise, "Emmett? Why did Edward bring you here? I'm going to kill him! I can't believe Alice brought me to Wal-Mart. This isn't what I think of as shopping!"
Emmett's face crumpled. He slammed his head into his palm. Served him right. If he'd just focused instead of turning this into a joke we might be out of here by now.
As much noise as Rosalie made, it was Jasper who reached us first. "Edward, what's wrong?" His voice was filled with concern and he reached out to pat my shoulder reassuringly, easing some of my tension. He turned to Alice, who shifted her eyes sideways towards the condom display. Jasper lowered his head, trying to hide his laughter.
Karyn's mouth had dropped open. Three guys? She has three guys? What's up with that? It's so not fair to the rest of us.
Alice gave Jasper a puzzled look. "I thought you decided to wait in the car."
"I came in to help Edward. He was sending out sheer panic and some other unpleasant emotional states. It was sort of self-defense. I couldn't take it anymore." Jasper caught my eye and shrugged.
"And Rosalie?" Alice asked, eyeing Emmett, who still stood to the side with his head still in his hands.
"I mentioned that Emmett was here and she flew into a tantrum. I never knew how much she hated Wal-Mart. What's up with that, Emmett?" Jasper asked.
Speak of the devil. Rosalie had found us.
"There you are. How on earth did Edward persuade you to come here? Why is he here?" Rosalie was in a fine rage. She diverted her attention from Emmett long enough to give me the once over. "Why are you standing there with your hands in your pockets? You look like a dork."
No, Emmett. Don't say. Please don't say it.
"Edward has a hard-on. He's trying to hide it," Emmett blurted out. All four of them laughed.
"Buying condoms gives him an erection?" She gave me her full attention. "What's wrong with you? We need to find you a girl. The right kind of girl."
This was not happening. As if my family weren't enough, Rosalie's display had attracted the few shoppers who were there in the wee morning hours. The woman with the bunny slippers peered around the corner of a shelf containing mouthwash, her eyes wide. The drunks had followed Rosalie, their thoughts all too clear, now. I wished for their earlier incoherence. Neither Rosalie nor Emmett would be happy to know what they were thinking. Several employees showed up, too. No doubt prepared to escort us out if need be. So much for being inconspicuous.
"Rose, it was my fault," Emmett interjected.
Rosalie frowned. "You gave him an erection?"
How disturbing. It wouldn't be the first time Rosalie made that kind of comment to me, but I don't recall her ever saying anything like that to Emmett.
Of course, Emmett became defensive. "No! That's not what I meant. It was the mint flavored condoms. In case –"
Instinct kicked in. I'd hit him before I even realized I'd done it. But I'd stopped him from saying it. Emmett took the blow graciously. "Sorry, I wasn't thinking," he whispered. I really am sorry. I know that's private. But when Rose gets mad…
"Don't you apologize to him! He should apologize to you. He hit you. I don't care what you were about to say!" Then it struck her what he'd been about to say. She turned full on to me and shouted, "It isn't his fault if thinking about… that girl giving you oral sex gives you an erection!"
Karyn was completely confused for a moment. A brief moment. A very brief moment indeed. She did the math. As she watched Emmett soothe Rosalie's anger by tempting her with some warming gel and Jasper's arm slip around Alice's shoulders, she nailed me as the odd man out. Emmett was taken. Jasper was taken. I was on my own, and therefore, fair game. She smiled and winked at me.
I couldn't take any more of this. I'd be reliving this moment for weeks. Alice would probably even tell Bella about it. At least I could take my hand out of my pocket without worrying about being conspicuous. Not that it mattered any more.
Alice and Jasper dropped a couple of packages of warming gel into Alice's disturbingly orange-filled cart. He poked around the contents, snickering when he found the silly string. Emmett and Rosalie evaluated several brands of the gel, arguing about the finer points of each. She seemed to have forgiven him. I'd probably still catch hell from her later, though. Karyn was still babbling. I had to get out of here. Now. Emmett could ride home with the rest of them. I grabbed a selection of condoms without caring which ones I ended up with. I could contemplate the benefits of each later at home. As I started toward the front of the store, I snagged some of the warming gel as well. I don't think my siblings even noticed when I left.
The only person who really noticed was Karyn. She sighed sorrowfully as she watched me leave. I could have made him so happy.
I made my way to the cashier as quickly as I could without causing suspicion and looked for the one register open. I tossed my selections on the counter and hoped she would work fast. I could hear her mind working furiously as she scanned each box. Wow! That's a lot of condoms. Need or wishful thinking? She picked up a box labeled Titan-sized. She glanced up at me. Need. Definitely need. He's beautiful. Although I wouldn't make him wear a condom. I'd let him ride bareback and hope I got pregnant. I stared at her with terrified eyes, willing her to hurry. I couldn't get out of here fast enough. I felt like everyone in the store had witnessed my humiliation. Of course, anyone who hadn't seen it first hand would, no doubt, hear about it.
The cashier finally finished. I tossed some money on the counter, enough to cover the condoms and more, grabbed my bag and hurried away to the car. I could still hear my siblings inside.
"Where did Edward go?"
"Alice, I think something is melting in your cart."
"I still can't believe you let him bring you here."
"Rose, think what we can do with this!"
And then Emmett's thoughts about what they could do with the warming gel. My head sank onto the steering wheel. I was going to need Clorox to wash out my brain after that image. I sat up, took a deep breath and began to drive away. But I still hadn't escaped Karyn. As I navigated the parking lot, she came running out of the store, desperately searching for me. She saw the car. Oh, man, check out the car. It's as hot as he is! As I pulled away, her voice rang in my ears. "Hey! Hey, you! Want my phone number?"
If the condoms worked, clearly, I'd have to find another place to buy them. Maybe Seattle next time? If not, there was always Las Vegas. Or Montana. Or… Montreal. Or Mexico City… Or London… Or Moscow... Or Hiroshima…