By Ani aka Cherished Dreams
Disclaimer: I don't own Stephenie Meyer's characters. I own the plot though!
Chapter Two - Meetings
"Hold everything!" The mechanic says holding out his arms, as if to stop oncoming traffic. My eyebrows knit together, trying to remember why his booming voice seems so familiar. Out of nowhere, huge arms are wrapped around me tightly and I'm flung around in the air like a rag doll, my feet lifted clean off the floor. I'm surprised to say the least, and admittedly frightened. After a few moments, my lungs are gasping for air and an obvious cough from behind the beast latching on to me; reach my ears (which I don't doubt have turned red).
When my feet are placed safely on the floor and I regain what little balance I had to begin with, I look to find the mechanic who attacked me. "EMMETT!" A grin forms on my face, and he returns it with a grin of his own. "Look at you! This your garage now?" I ask, utterly ashamed for not having recognized him earlier. (Time to see an optometrist again Bellaa)
He answers my question by grinning even wider (if that was possible). "Look at me? Look at you! The last time I saw you Miss Isabella Swan, you were this high," his hand floating in the air near his knees, probably an accurate estimate I think drily to myself, "and," he adds, a sly grin forming on his face "you were still using a training bra." Trust Emmett to bring up something that embarrassing. Mortification steps in and my face overheats, leaving me no choice but to cover my face, as he laughs to himself.
"And, how do you know each other?" My green eyed stranger, thankfully, chooses that moment to deflect the attention off me. His calm voice calms my frayed nerves and at that I drop my hands and explain our being buddies back in high school. Emmett had come all the way from North Carolina in the middle of the school year and being the new kid in our Phys Ed class, he was paired up with me, the person people were forced to pair up with due to my unending clumsiness. I'm sure I knocked out at least two people that year.
I'd loved being paired up with him, and I actually passed P.E. with more than my usual borderline C minus. But more to that, he had a sweet teddy bear side to him helping me with my hand eye coordination and being the overbearingly protective older brother, that I never had.
"Now let's go see what damage you did to poor Eddie's car." Emmett reminds me. Edward scoffs at the nickname and I make a mental note not to call him this in the future. (There'll be a future?) I hear a mumbled "not that its the first time she's damaged something heavier than her" and crinkle my nose dread slithering down my back as we start moving towards the cars. Edward must think I'm a wreak. We all go around the back of his car to see his damage and I grimace slightly seeing the ugly bluish scratch on his paint job and slight dent on the body clearly for the first time.
Emmett grins, and smacks the back of the Volvo with the dirty cloth in his hands. "Nasty looking but it's fixable. I'd quote you about a grand, but only because this is a really bad car to bump into Bell." I can't believe my luck. If this had gone through my insurance, it would cost me more than a grand due to my being under twenty-four. I sneak a peek at Edward, who lifts a gives me a small corner lip lift, letting me know that he was fine with it.
"Deal! You fix it and bill me Em." I say turning to Emmett.
"Bring it back on Saturday and I'll work on it then Eddie. No use keeping it here, 'til I can get to it. I'll be fine 'til then."
The tow trucks arrive and he lets out a low whistle as he eyes zone in on the dented Mini, and the partly crumpled Mitsubishi Lancer. Jacob pays for the tow trucks for getting them both there, refusing to let me pay for the truck pulling mine.
Emmett and another mechanic move around to inspect my Mini and the Lancer before conferencing and giving us the news. He wipes his hand on a clean part of his dirty cloth, which really isn't clean at all and looks at me first. "Back is gone; it may all need to be replaced. We'll have to check if the exhaust is still ok, but I'm not sure just looking. Good thing it's the standard blue colour, coz it'd be hard to find many of the others just floating around."
His eyes wander up, and he says while thinking, "take about three weeks AT least. With shipping of parts etc. Depending... without anymore of this mess," gesturing to the still gray skies.
"The Lancer however, may need some engine repair done, radiator's gone, the front part -- hood, front body and lights, need replacing. Give or take three, maybe four weeks, again depending. I hope you've got good insurance for this bro. That or just buy a new one." He directs to Jacob, who nods miserable, as he espies, a Volkswagen beetle with a scowling lady in front.
"Here she comes" he mumbles putting his hands in his pockets, as the lady parks and heads in our direction.
"I'm so sorry for this. My little brother should've known better." She says to us, as she scowls at Jacob.
I try to smile at her and I shake her hand, as Edward tries to calm her a bit with a look in her direction. She looks at him a tad confused before putting on an award winning smile and shaking his hand warmly. I raise my eyebrow to this, Emmett rolls his eyes chuckling, walking away, and Jacob groans a bit his hand covering his face. Edward takes it in stride and assures her that it's fine.
I put a hand on his bandages and hope him to get better and he promises to clean my scarf and return it to me. They leave but not without her checking to see that her brother has gotten our contact details as well. Edward's most especially, and after they're clear out of hearing distance Emmett returns laughing having watched the whole ordeal and I can't help but join him, both of us causing Edward to flush uncomfortably at our mirth.
Edward offers me a ride home or to where I may need to go, but I refuse, not wanting to inconvenience him, gas being an expensive commodity lately. In the end after a long round of negotiation, he drops me off at the main shopping mall, where I was sure Alice would be headed for some lunch and we hang around a bit waiting for her to arrive.
He's quite comfortable to talk to even though I see that his good looks, attire and gallantry attract attention from the female population. I tease him a bit about Jacob's sister and ask him if he always use these for evil. He laughs wholeheartedly at this, and denies knowing what I mean, though I can practically see the knowing sparkle in his eye. He must keep mothers up late at night worrying about their daughters with this man.
I laugh at him, and he tells me of the various ways girls have tried to get at him. Its funny hearing a guy say these things, but I also can't help but feel disgusted at the lengths some of my gender will through to get a guy.
After twenty minutes of people watching, I see Alice head into the line for Subway. We exchange business cards and part as newly-made frie--acquaintances.
Thinking Alice would have missed Edward, a guy she would dub mouth watering eye-candy, would be like thinking Superman could die from a simple heat stroke and pointing a hair dryer at him. Unfortunately for me, she did see him, but her eyes were so wide when I made my way to stand next to her, I thought her eyes might just have a chance of popping out of their sockets altogether.
"Dear-sweet--bananas woman! Where did you find the eye-candy and why why did you let him out of your sight?" She says, standing on her tippy-toes to grip my shoulders menacingly. I smile wryly, and look at her exasperated face, raising my hands slowly.
"Ok calm down Alice, I know what you're like."
"Damn straight. If you were going to let him go, you could've at least let him leave in my direction, and I would have done the surgaring for you!"
I roll my eyes. Of course. The lady in front of her moves away from the counter and the attendant looks at us expectantly. Alice is still staring at me and I pull her forward. This of course snaps her out of her trance and she orders for both of us. We find a quiet table and she pounds me for information then.
"Why are you not at work? Were you jigging work to be with your secret lover?"
I sigh, she was going to overreact and exaggerate. I knew her. I drop into my seat resigningly and she follows suit eager. I tell her about the accident then, the car ride and Jacob. She nods and widens her eyes but to my surprise doesn't react as badly as I initially thought. She scolds me for not focusing, and reaches over to rub the back of my neck slightly with her warm fingers feeling the tension there and promises to give me a neck rub later tonight. Then she gets down to business.
"Name." I roll my eyes at her, the second time today.
"Student.. I don't know what he works as."
I direct my famous one eyebrow standing ovation in her direction, instead of at the sandwiches situated in front of us and she shrugs.
"I suppose you guess correctly. I'm not entirely sure. Emmett did mention a 'Tanya' to which he got slapped for. Maybe? Why do you say yes?"
She frowns fearing the girly name and I bite my lip to keep myself from giggling at her silliness. "Hot girl like you in an office pencil skirt with hair like that, innocence radiating off her saying 'take me here take me now!' and he stands a feet away from you? Pur-lease, it was either gay or girlfriend. Well… even though he was already taken, he could've at least shown some kind of attraction or something."
Laughter bubbles out of me then. So much so that I had to cluch my chair to keep from falling off. She knew my views on my looks. I wasn't exactly the prettiest girl around. My plain long brown hair, often down or in a skewed ponytail (it never varied much), brown eyes almost always hidden behind glasses, pale slightly filled straight figured body was nothing compared to her vivid short black hair, bright black eyes, beautiful fair somewhat translucent skin and petite hourglass figure. She sighs resigned and uses a piece of lettuce in between her thumb and index fingers to point at me.
"You. Are. Not. Plain, Bella." She accentuates each word, with a prod of the flopping lettuce in her fingers. "Want more proof from the thousands I've already given you? Turn around." I felt partly responsible for the welfare of the piece of lettuce as it became more and more airbourne.
I turn around just to appease her, and can't help but feel my cheeks warm up when I see a passing guy in a tracksuit wink at me. Alice laughs at me knowing of my unfortunate ailment and I turn around quickly. She drops the subject smug, knowing that she'd won that round and we finish off our lunch quickly enough for her to drag me into a few stores and dress me up like a Barbie doll.
When I finally persuade Alice to go home, after begging and reminding her of parking fees (as parking was only free for the first three hours of arriving), I found us speeding down the before mentioned highway and back to our homey little apartment. I was surprised Alice was able to fit all of the shopping bags in the tiny little space her Turbo provided.
I help her bring them up, all the while listening to her plan my entire work wardrobe for the week, inwardly groaning at her and her enthusiasm. As we moved slowly to our apartment, up the elevator and through the long corridor, we pass by an open doored apartment 11, a woman supervising painters near the living room door. She had waving auburn curls, and soft rounded motherly type features, though she didn't look old enough to be mothering children. Alice moved forward bags rustling, to welcome her to our apartment building.
"Hi there! Welcome to the building."
The woman turned to look at us fully to smile at us. Definitely a mother type.
"I'm Alice and this is Bella, we're roomies from apartment 17."
She pushed her hand forward before faltering, realizing that neither of us wouldn't be able to take her hand, and laughing lightly. Her laugh was so infectious that we found ourselves laughing along with her. I watched as the painters took a small break, throwing nervous glances towards the woman. She must be a back breaker, I mused to myself. She tucked her hand back at her side.
"Well, I'm Esme. Thank you for your welcome, but I won't be living here. Actually one of my sons will be living here." She paused. "Well the others may come around every now and then to crash and steal his food." Esme said smiling as she thought fondly of them.
"Sons!" My roommate exclaimed beside me sounding thoroughly shocked, voicing my thoughts. "But you look so young! You couldn't possibly have any sons old enough to live here." I nod agreeing.
She laughed again lightheartedly, obviously not offended. "I supposed I should've specified. One of my adoptive sons. I found out very early on in life, that I wasn't able to have children after my first baby died of sudden infant death syndrome. So my husband and I decided to adopt, and well, I couldn't help but be drawn to my boys."
All of our eyes watered at the voiced memory, and this caused Alice to drop the bags hanging in her arms and hands and pull her into a comforting hug. The hug reminded me of one of the reasons why I was able to get along so well with my best friend. She was able to take any situation into her hands and go along with it comfortably. Strangers or not. That trait of hers, helped greatly when I created my own awkward social situations. They pulled away and she gently patted my friend's shoulder in thanks, Alice looking up at her.
"Thank you dear. I hope that you'll be able to be there for my son when he comes to live here." I didn't miss the slight change of her face. It almost looked sly.
Alice beamed at her. "Of course! When will he be moving in Esme? The whole building has been buzzing with anticipation to when the apartment will be moved into! Oh! Does he have a car?"
I stood there listening to them chat about the moving plans, adding a little every now and then and soon after inviting Esme to come visit us anytime for food or just to talk, we finally made it to our apartment, dropping the bags on the floor and wondered aloud about what kind of person would be moving in a few doors away from us.
Author's Note: It feels a bit rushed at the end, but I only needed to get Esme in there for a short part. This is more like an add on chapter – which introduces info, so it's not very exciting (in my opinion), the next one should be move the plot along a bit.
I'll be focusing a bit more on my other stories – Second Chances and a REEEALLLY long WIP fic (that I haven't put up yet, but am totally loving as it's a really fresh story in my mind.) BUT! Hopefully, I'll have the third chapter of this fic out in two or three weeks? Maybe earlier. ;) I think I need a Beta for my grammar. :ponders: Anddd I very much doubt my other chapters won't be as long as these two -- unless I have the time and patience.