A/N: So…I thought I was finished with this story. As it turns out, I wasn't. You have LindaRoo to thank/blame for that. I had the pleasure of Beta Reading her last chapter of "Edward in P.E." (if you haven't read it GO READ IT NOW! Hilariously brilliant) and it was so deliciously funny, that it made me miss writing fanfics. Consequently, this happens to be the longest chapter of Cullenary Education: Forks Sex Ed to date! (and probably my personal favorite)
A quick reminder: (since most of you read the story VERY long time ago) This takes place during Twilight, the day (although we have arrived at evening, now) before the Prom. Bella still doesn't know what Edward has planned, nor does she even realize/remember when Prom IS.
This story contains small shout outs to: ECABS, UG, & LindaRoo. It also contains an enormous homage to my favorite band on the planet: Hanson. Bonus points for you if you spot it.
Lastly I need to thank Ande for reading through this, and for being cool enough to spot the Hanson homage immediately. And thanks by the pound go to the lovely and talented LindaRoo, who did an outstanding (and rapid) beta on this chapter for me! I heart you.
Okay, one more thing, then I will shut up and let you actually read. It didn't occur to me until after I was halfway through the writing of this chapter that in all of the fanfics and chapters I have ever written, I have never written Bella's POV before. I hope I managed to do it justice. :D
Twilight and all of the characters belong to the phenomenal Stephenie Meyer.
Bella, Baskets, and Burning
We managed to make it into the Volvo and down the block before I burst into an uncontrollable fit of giggles. Edward's lips froze in a half formed-smile for a moment before he broke down and began laughing, too. We were halfway to our destination by the time my fit of hysteria subsided, and when we were finally able to breathe again (well, when I was able to breathe again—oxygen is about as necessary to Edward as chocolate cake is to a goldfish). I adjusted my seatbelt under my arm and turned to face him.
"Fix your seatbelt back. That's dangerous. And illegal," he reprimanded softly.
"I doubt the police are going to arrest the chief's daughter. I should be fine. You're a good driver…when you remember you aren't racing in the Indy 500, that is," I countered, raising an eyebrow playfully.
"Tell that to Charlie. He was furious when we pulled up and I slammed on the brakes. I'm an idiot, Bella. I'm so sorry I lost control and put you in danger." All signs of humor disappeared from his glorious face. "And the scene with Charlie was entirely my fault."
I ignored his guilty statement about endangering me, and snapped my seatbelt back across my shoulder in an attempt to distract and appease him. "Relax. It was inevitable, anyway. Alice has been warning me for weeks that this was coming."
"A rain of contraceptives on your front lawn was inevitable?" He stared at me in disbelief.
I felt myself blush, and quickly shook my head no. But Edward wasn't paying attention to me, he was too busy muttering rapidly and quietly to himself.
"Alice saw that coming and she didn't warn me? I didn't pick up on anything in her thoughts that…no, she wouldn't have wanted to embarrass her like that, me maybe, but not Bella. If she wasn't already dead I would kill her. I can't believe… "
"Edward!" I interrupted him. "I don't think she knew about the—" oh crap, why did I feel so embarrassed to say the word, "—condoms. I meant the lecture that we're surely in for from Charlie. 'The Talk' has been looming on the horizon for awhile now, I think." I looked to him for confirmation. His mind-reading ability was often useful when dealing with my parental units.
"Yes, it has." He smirked and turned left into the parking lot of The Thriftway, the same store where I shopped after my first day at school here—the day I met Edward. It was where everyone in Forks bought their groceries because it was, well, the only place in Forks to buy them. I noticed that the parking lot was almost completely full, which surprised me. Even though it was the only establishment in town, it was never very crowded.
"Why the grocerypalooza?" I wondered.
Edward glanced at me and raised one eyebrow. "Why the what?" he said, smirking.
"The crowd here. It reminds me of Phoenix. It never snows there, not really, but once or twice a year it will freeze and the roads will ice over. Whenever the weatherman predicts ice, everyone flocks to the stores and clears the shelves of bottled water and flashlights like the apocalypse is coming. This reminds me of that."
His eyebrows furrowed together in concentration. I could have sworn a look of mild alarm crossed his face, but it was gone so quickly I couldn't be certain it was ever there at all. "They aren't thinking anything particularly apocalyptic," he said. "It seems to only be excitement for the weekend that has everyone out tonight."
He slid smoothly into a parking space moments after the previous occupant vacated it, and quietly killed the ignition.
I let out a huge sigh and relaxed heavily against the back of the soft leather seat.
"What's wrong?" he asked me, his concern obvious on his face.
"I was still thinking about Phoenix. There were more exciting things to do there on a Friday night than grocery shop, but doing anything with you, even shopping for food you can't even eat, is so much more exciting than anything I ever did in Phoenix." Phoenix. I thought. I realized, with a start, that at some point in time—I couldn't pinpoint when—I'd stopped thinking of it as back home, and started thinking of it as in Phoenix. Edward was my home, now.
"Cheer up. We have something much more exciting to do this evening, too. We have a double date with the Police Chief and the lovely Miss Agnes."
I groaned. "I can't believe that gross old lady was hitting on Charlie. He's half her age! Seriously. What was she thinking?"
Edward opened his mouth to speak and I hurried to cut him off.
"No, no! It was only a figure of speech, Edward, I don't really want to know."
"No. You really don't," he assured me. "And do you realize that 'gross old lady' is younger than I am?" I stared at his youthful, inhuman beauty and rolled my eyes. "It's true," he insisted. "You know it is. You're lusting after a man who has been alive for more than one hundred years. And you aren't half my age, Bella. You're less than one fifth of my age." He smirked again. "Emmett."
"Huh?" I managed to say before my door flew open, and I glimpsed the giant grin that dominated the face of Edward's giant brother.
"It is true, Bella. You're totally crushing on an old dude. You're like a… gerontophile or something. No, wait! He's technically dead, too, so you're a necrophiliac and a gerontophile. You weirdo."
I felt the heat rise to my face, but I giggled in spite of myself. Only Emmett could get away with teasing me like this. "Thanks for the vocabulary lesson. But what does that make you, Emmett? Rosalie isn't that much younger than Edward. And she's dead, too."
"Necrophiliac, maybe," he snorted, "but not a gerontophile. Rose and I were born in the same year. That just makes me a young, impressionable boy that was corrupted and deflowered by a beautiful woman."
"Ha!" I heard the lilting voice of Alice Cullen, though I still could not see her. Emmett's giant body blocked everything else from view. "You were deflowered long before you met Rosalie."
Emmett shrugged easily. "Yeah. Well, we don't all have Edward's restraint."
Alice and Emmett laughed. Edward and I did not.
"They aren't here," Edward told Emmett, both surprising and confusing me. I was accustomed to the numerous conversations that went on silently between my boyfriend and his family members, but I wasn't growing any less annoyed by them.
"Where are they?"
"What's not here?"
Emmett and I asked at the same moment.
"They're hidden under the bushes at Bella's house," Alice answered, having finally managed to budge Emmett far enough out the way as to be visible, herself.
"If you already knew that," Emmett huffed at her, "then why are we here?"
"I did know." She winked at me. "But there's going to be some things that happen here tonight that are much more fun than the condom water balloon fight you and Jasper have been planning to stage in the woods."
"What could be more fun than that?" Emmett chuckled and heartily nudged Alice in the ribs with his elbow, a gesture that would have crushed a normal human being like an aluminum can.
"Mike Newton is here shopping. With his grandma."
Emmett's face lit up like Christmas lights, and Edward's hardened in irritation.
"Can't you just leave the poor guy alone?" I groaned.
"No," Emmett and Alice chimed in unison, smiling at each other.
"Well, can we at least go inside then? We've got to pick up some food and then get back to Charlie before I get in any more trouble."
I pushed hard against Emmett's cold unyielding frame. I couldn't have budged him if he didn't want me to, any more than I could push a mountain out of my way, but he acknowledged that I was trying to shove him out of my way, and moved. Edward slid gracefully out of the driver's seat and walked briskly around to the spot Emmett emptied. He reached to help me out of the car—stupid walking cast—and turned to look pointedly at Alice.
"Speaking of the trouble Bella is in…" he raised one eyebrow, "you didn't happen to catch any previews of this afternoon's debacle that played on the stage of Charlie Swan's front lawn, now did you?"
"I did, actually." She beamed at us.
"Alice!" I nearly shouted. "How could you embarrass me like that?" I was hurt that she would intentionally allow me to go through that ordeal.
"Oh, calm down. I didn't see it until right before it happened, when you decided to go all seductress on Edward and made him lose control of the vehicle."
"Gerontophile," Emmett taunted.
"Necrophiliac," I countered.
An old man in a beat up truck pulled up behind us and stopped. "You coming or going?" he shouted over his thunderous engine.
"Sorry. We just got here," Alice answered, as politely as possible for someone who was shouting loudly.
It suddenly struck me that the man was shielding his eyes with his hand…against the sun. We had been loitering in a parking lot on a sunny afternoon. Not the most brilliant thing to do when you sparkle like a priceless gem in direct sunlight. I shielded my own eyes with my hand and inspected the three 'siblings' more closely. I 'd been oblivious to the way they constantly stayed in the shadow cast by the giant Laundromat/ Bingo House next to the Thriftway. I wonder if I'll have much aptitude for that sort of thing if Alice's first vision about me ever comes true…I mean…when Alice's first vision about me comes true. I mentally corrected myself. Or will I be the vampire equivalent of a klutz, standing in the sun on a crowded parking lot sparkling and glittering like a moron?
Emmett's booming voice snapped me from my reverie. "Lets go inside before another old dude comes along and Bella decides she'd rather play seductress to him than to prudish old Sex Edward."
None of us validated his joke with a remark, but we did head in the direction of the glass entryway of the store. Edward somehow managed to not only save me from tripping over two speed bumps—stupid walking cast—but he also managed to avoid putting on a sparkling skin light display by darting between the shadows.
The grocery store wasn't as crowded as I'd expected from the overflow of cars in the parking lot. "Where is everybody?" I asked, to no one in particular.
"Friday night is Bingo Night," Edward answered simply, and gestured to the building beside us.
"Hey! Old people! That's right up your alley, Bella. Sure you don't want to go?"
"Shut up, Emmett." I shoved him again, knocking myself off balance in the process—stupid walking cast—and was saved from falling by Edward. Again.
Edward rolled a shopping cart in front of me, which made it easier to walk. It brought to mind images of an old lady with a walker, but I didn't point that out. I didn't want Emmett to call me a geriatric, too.
We'd barely taken a step when Alice faked a serious look and spoke quietly in a voice that was not her own. "This is Mother Bird calling Baby Bird. Come in Baby Bird."
"This is Baby Bird," Emmett said, just as quietly.
"Target sighted at 3 o'clock and approaching. Do you copy?"
"Of course they copy," I retorted and gestured to the sign on the wall above the cashier we were passing. "Twenty four hours a day, in color."
Emmett rolled his eyes at me and slipped easily back into his Bond, James Bond persona. "Target incoming."
I looked to my right to see a red-faced Mike Newton approaching us. "Uh, hey Bella," he called to me.
"Hi, Mike." Well, isn't this awkward. Surely he isn't shopping for produce after what happened today. "So you're stuck grocery shopping on a Friday night, too?" Of course, after his display today, it was no wonder his social life was a little shot.
"Yeah. I'm hanging with the family tonight. Jess is too busy getting ready for tomorrow to do anything."
"Tomorrow?" I asked.
Mike gave me an incredulous look. "Yeah, tomorrow, you know, the…"
The enormous sound of hundreds of aluminum cans crashing in waves at our feet cut off whatever it was Mike said. I turned around, and nearly tripped—stupid walking cast—over several of the cans, which were, under closer inspection, cans of moist dog food.
"What the..." I started to ask, when I realized that Alice was holding several cans in her hand, and loaded several in our basket.
"Oh, my," she squeaked. "I'm so embarrassed! I was just getting some food for Fido, and I accidentally knocked all these over. I'm such a klutz!"
Mike leaned over to help clean away the debris, and I gave Alice a puzzled look. She shrugged her shoulders noncommittally. I was beyond confused. Alice Cullen was as much of a klutz as I was a sumo wrestler. And Fido? The Cullen's didn't have a dog. In a desperate situation they might have a dog for dinner, but never for a pet. Something was up.
"That's my sister," Edward said, shaking his head in mock disapproval. I gave him the same puzzled look I'd given Alice, and got the same nonchalant shoulder shrug in reply. Something was definitely up.
"Hey, Em, can you help Alice clean this up? Bella and I have to finish shopping, we're already running late."
"Sure." Emmett was already corralling fallen cans and restacking them on the display.
"Later Newton," Edward said coolly.
"See ya," he called at our retreating forms. I gave him a little wave, knowing that I probably looked every bit as confused as he did.
"We'll grab a new basket and finish up here," Edward said brightly.
"Okay. Spill," I said when we were too far away from Mike to be overheard.
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe your klutzy sister knocking over the giant display of dog food for her beloved Fido." I frowned at him.
"You're cute when you're irritated," he whispered, pulling me closer to his body as he helped me waddle over to a new basket.
"No way, Edward Cullen. I won't be so easily distracted." I stopped walking. "I'm not going another step until you tell me what's going on."
He turned to face me, and pressed his forehead against mine, unleashing the full power of his topaz gaze. "What, don't I still dazzle you?" he asked playfully.
Damn him. "You know you do," I admitted. "But that's not the issue."
"What would be the issue, then?" He lips were dangerously close to my ear now, and he ran his finger along the line of my jaw. I couldn't stop the thrill that ran up my spine. It was somehow even more alluring since we were in a very public place. I have to get a hold of myself. If someone calls Charlie and tells him we're making out in the middle of the Thriftway aisle, he'll never let me out of the house again. I pulled away slightly from Edward, but not before his cold lips brushed the skin of my exposed neck. He chuckled in response to my suddenly rapid pulse. "The issue?" he prompted.
What was the issue? Oh, right. Alice's freak out.
"Why did Alice spill dog food all over the store?"
My longing was a palpable ache when he pulled his body away from mine and pushed a new shopping cart in front of me. "Bella, what do you think I am, a mind reader?"
We were halfway down the aisle before I got over my irritation enough to persist with my questioning. "Just tell me."
"You know how Emmett is. He's going to play some kind of prank on Newton. Alice is in on it."
Okay. That didn't really answer my question. "Fine, Edward. Don't tell me." I gave him a stern look and pushed hard against the metal basket. The cart moved forward, but my feet stayed planted. I was falling. Again. Stupid walking cast! They should have just let James eat me! I'm going to break my neck and die because of this stupid cast, anyway. It was all for naught.
It wasn't Edward who saved me this time, but Emmett. He appeared out of nowhere just in time to catch me. "Have a nice trip, Bella?"
"Shut up, Emmett." He set me gently back on my feet behind the shopping cart.
In response to something that I could neither see nor hear, both Emmett and Alice ducked out of sight behind different displays. I was not so irritated that the sight of giant Emmett Cullen hunkered behind a display of maxi pads didn't make me laugh. I don't think that much irritation is even humanly possible.
"What are they doing?" I asked Edward.
"Oh, thank you for that brilliant assessment, Edward. I would have never figured that out without your inhuman skills of deduction."
Emmett snickered, still partially hidden from sight by feminine hygiene products.
A voice that was somehow simultaneously shrill and gravelly pierced silence. "What is the meaning of this, Mike Newton?"
Oh, no. I was pretty sure that odd voice was the voice of Mike's grandmother.
A crimson-faced elderly woman pushed past the aisle we were standing on, followed by an even redder-faced version of Mike. The shopping cart he pushed was overflowing with the same brand of feminine hygiene products that Emmett was currently using as a shield. "What on earth were you thinking young man?"
"I…I…I didn't put these in the cart?" He phrased his denial as a question. "Maybe I grabbed the wrong basket?"
"No. That is my purse in the cart. And liars burn in Hell, Mike. Do you want to go to Hell?"
"No. But I'm not lying Gramma! I really didn't"
"For eternity Mike, They burn for eternity…"
"Yes, Gramma," he answered dejectedly.
"Now go put those back where you got them."
"But I didn't…"
"Now, Mike. Do it now!"
"Yes, Gramma." He turned his tampon laden shopping cart down the aisle where we were standing; the aisle where Emmett and Alice were hiding after their misdeed. I looked up to find both of them gone. I hoped, (without much conviction) that it would come true, that their prank would end here, that they would leave poor Mike alone.
He turned down the aisle, saw Edward and I standing there, and froze.
"Interesting shopping habits, Newton," Edward said casually.
I shot him a quick glare and turned to face a humiliated Mike. "We heard your grandmother." I supplied. His jaw twitched. "Does she do things like that often?"
The confusion on his face deepened. "Tell me I'm going to hell?"
"No. Fill your cart with random items and then blame you. I had a friend back in Phoenix whose Grandpa suffered from Alzheimer's, too, and stuff like that used to happen all the time."
"Alzheimer's?" He asked, his pale blue eyes blank. He suddenly realized this might be a way out for him… "Oh, yeah. I guess…"
"Here, take this." I pushed our still empty basket to him.
"Thanks, Bella." The warmth in his voice was obvious, and obviously genuine. I felt Edward stiffen beside me.
"No problem. Don't forget her purse." He smiled awkwardly at me, and pushed his newly acquired—and tampon free—basket back to find his Gramma.
"You realize that he's scared to death now, right? He assumed it was some sort of prank, but when you mentioned Alzheimer's, he got more upset than he already was. He's going to drive the old woman crazy watching for symptoms now."
"She's not…I mean, she doesn't…does she?"
Edward was still and quiet for a moment, listening, I assumed. "No. She's mentally sound. And she'll stay that way for years to come, telling Mike all about the different ways he is going to burn in Hell." He winked at me, and then with a quick glance to assure no one was watching, emptied Mike's cart of its contents, stacked them with inhuman speed back on the shelf, and pushed the now bare basket in front of me.
I glanced down at my watch. We had been gone for more than half an hour already. "We really better get what we're here to get, and then head back to Charlie's. I don't want to make him any madder."
"I agree. What do you want to get?"
"I had been thinking some sort of pudding, but not banana pudding."
"Chocolate?" He asked.
"I don't know. I hate the packaged kind, and it takes too long to make from scratch. Maybe something besides pudding."
We turned down another aisle, this one filled with cake mixes. "Do you want to bake?"
"I don't think we have…"
"MIKE NEWTON!" the gravelly voice screeched again. "I am going to tell your father about this! What the devil has gotten into you?"
"Stop it Mike. You know about liars."
"Gramma, are you sure you didn't put these here?"
"Sinful! Shameful! How could you even suggest that I would touch those…those things? I should have never let your parents move you to this God-forsaken state. Too dreary. You need some sun, that's all it is. Some sun and some discipline."
I was scared to turn the corner and look. "What did they do this time?" I groaned to Edward.
"Condoms. Lots of condoms." Emmett's voice behind me made me jump. "And a few dozen tubes of KY personal lubricant," he added with a spreading grin.
"That's really not nice guys. Don't you think he's suffered enough?"
"Nope," Emmett answered. Alice just shrugged, a hazy twinkle in her eye letting me know that she wasn't really here with me, but caught up in some distant future that may or may not ever exist.
Mike turned down the aisle where the four of us now stood with his basket of shame in plain view.
"Hey, man," Emmett said, false sympathy in his voice. "I heard about your grandmother. That's too bad. But there are treatments that can help…you should get her into a good doctor. Maybe Carlisle could refer you to someone."
Embarrassment was replaced with panic on Mike's face. "Oh, thanks. I'll…look into that." I pushed my still empty basket towards him. "Are you sure?" he asked, but didn't hesitate to transfer the purse into it. "You're a lifesaver." His tone was distant, and he walked away without waiting for a response.
"Okay, Emmett. That was just cruel." I bypassed irritation in favor of downright anger.
"The condoms? Or the lube?" he asked me, seriously.
"Not that, although that was crude. The bit about treatment and all that. Edward says he's really upset and worried for her now."
"Oh, sorry about that. I didn't mean to upset you Bella, just to give eye of Newt a hard time."
"Just do me a favor, okay?" I sighed.
"What?" he intoned skeptically. I noticed he didn't actually agree to do what I asked, he just questioned what it was.
"If you play any more pranks on the poor boy, make it something that he will realize has nothing to do with his Grandmother."
A devilish grin spread under his curly mop, and Alice giggled quietly. She must have seen the results of his new decision. "I think I can manage that."
"Good. Now, back to dessert." I spun to face Edward. "I don't think I have time to bake a cake and make dinner for all the unexpected guests."
"We could pick one up at the bakery," he suggested.
"Good idea. But I think we need to split up. We're going to be late, and I'm going to end up grounded. You get the cake, I'll get extra noodles and sauce ingredients."
"I'll get the cake," Emmett offered. I couldn't decide if he was doing it to abate my earlier anger at him, or if it symbolized another Emmett Escapade he was planning. It didn't really matter, though. There wasn't time to argue.
I gave him a weary look. "Okay Emmett. Meet us at the register?"
"Deal." He smirked, and my answering smile was automatic. He was impossible to remain angry with for long. "Gerontophile." Well, okay, maybe not that hard to stay angry with.
Another empty basket appeared before me. I'd lost count of the number of carts I'd steered since we first entered the building, but with any luck, we could finish the shopping quickly and get out of there before another basket swap became necessary.
Edward and I were able to collect the additional ingredients we needed fairly quickly. We grabbed more noodles, more tomato sauce—which Edward wrinkled his nose up at—and more ground beef. Satisfied, we headed up to the front counter. It was difficult to maneuver through the suddenly crowded store. Bingo had let out minutes before, and scores of elderly people swarmed into the Thriftway. Maybe they were just bored, or maybe they needed some Tums after their exciting evening out.
By the time we pushed our way to the checkout line, Alice was already there waiting for us. In her tiny hands was a brown paper bakery box. I was just about to question her on the cake she selected when I heard the theft detection system go off, announcing that someone was caught stealing. Probably kids. Other than traffic violations, about the most action that the Forks Police saw was Jr. High kids trying to alleviate their boredom with small bouts of kleptomania. My view of the front door was blocked by the mob of old people who surrounded the perpetrator, so I turned to Edward for confirmation of my suspicion.
"Not quite." He allowed himself a quick, crooked smile, before retreating behind the mask of indifference he so often wore in public. "Newton."
"Emmett," I hissed, making his name a curse.
"Yes, Bella?" he appeared behind me so quietly that I hadn't even realized he was there…which was quite a feat for someone of his size...vampire or no vampire.
"We had a deal."
"We do have a deal. There's no way he can blame this one on the old bag. He won't think she's going crazy." He winked at me.
The security guard escorted a dazed looking Mike over to the copy center I'd pointed out when we first entered. It made me think of poor Hester Prynne being paraded in front of her community. The bingo babes clustered around Mike and his very distraught looking grandmother. He looked directly at me, but I don't think he even registered who I was. Poor Mike. The bald rent-a-cop emptied the pockets of his letter jacket, searching for the stolen item that set of the alarm. At least a dozen condoms and two tubes of KY lubricant came out of the left pocket. Emmett and Alice laughed quietly, and gave each other knowing looks.
"This is not cool guys. He's going to get in a lot of trouble over this. Real trouble," I snapped under my breath.
"Nah. He won't," Alice assured. I thought it was futile to argue the future with Alice, so I shut my mouth and watched.
The security guard fished around in his other pocket and came out with—oh crap—a banana, a copy of Playboy, and a slip of white paper.
Alice leaned in to whisper to me. "That's the receipt for the purchase of everything in his pockets. See, he won't get into trouble."
He inspected the receipt, and then turned to face the crowd. "Nothing to see here, folks. Just a pervert, not a thief."
I heard mutterings from the geriatric mob that sounded remarkably like "pervert," "damned kids", and "way to go, boy!" Just exactly like poor Hester, Mike had been humiliated in public, but instead of a Scarlet Letter, he bore only a scarlet face to display his shame.
His grandmother grabbed his sleeve and pulled him toward the door. "Perverts burn in Hell too, Mike. They burn worse than the liars." He allowed himself to be led outside without a word.
The cashier, whose nametag read "Linda", finally drew her eyes away from the spectacle long enough to ring up our purchases. I gave her exact change—refusing both Edward and Alice's attempts to pay—and finally left the Thriftway. Our shopping trip had taken so long that the sun was already below the horizon.
"See ya later, Bella," Emmett called to me when we stepped outside.
"Actually," Alice all but sang, "I'm coming to get you in the morning! Edward has things to do…official vampire business," she teased. "And a girls day is just the thing!"
"You aren't going to primp and prod me again, are you?" The last time Edward went hunting she made me try on dozens of chic, undoubtedly expensive shirts. There would have been pants and dresses, too, but that was before I graduated to a walking cast. No doubt next time would involve an entire wardrobe.
"Oh, hush. It will be fun!"
I very much doubted that, but I didn't argue. "See you tomorrow, then," I answered, resigned to my fate.
Edward helped me to the Volvo with one arm, and carried the whole of our purchases with the other. I was dying to ask him about Emmett's prank, but I didn't dare while we were still in such a public place. After the groceries were secured in the backseat, and we were on the road, I leaned my head on his shoulder.
"How did Emmett get all of those things in Mike's pocket without him noticing?"
He met my gaze with his gorgeous topaz eyes—which meant his gaze was not on the road—but I was getting used to that. "He didn't, Bella. Although, he undoubtedly could if he'd wanted to. It would be a challenge to get a full size magazine into a pocket without Mike noticing that it was there, but Emmett could have inserted it and been gone before Mike could even blink. But he didn't have to. Mike bought all those things himself at the gas station earlier."
"But then…why…the alarm?" I finished lamely.
"Ah, that was Emmett's doing. He stuck one of the silver sensors for the detector on Mike's back."
"Oh." Well, gee. Guess Emmett wasn't quite as guilty as I'd expected, and I guess Mike wasn't quite as innocent.
Edward turned into Charlie's driveway much more smoothly than his memorable display of parking skill that afternoon. There were several more large shiny cars—cars that announced "I am an old woman, and I will drive on whichever side of the road I see fit, thank you very much"—surrounding the house now. I groaned. I've never cooked for this many people before. Which reminds me…
"Hey, Edward. What kind of cake did they get?"
The half smile that I love came to life before he spoke. "They didn't select a cake."
"They chose a pie. A Banana Cream pie."