Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and Abetting

They were sitting beside a roaring campfire in the middle of nowhere, taking a break from the hunt when Alice had the vision. She let one giggle escape her before clapping a hand over her mouth at Edward's shocked expression. Edward growled angrily and reached for his phone.


Bella's small, silver phone vibrated on the coffee table. She wobbled over to it and squinted at the caller ID. Edward. "Uh-oh," she giggled drunkenly. "We've been found out, boys."

Emmett shrugged. "Bound to happen, I suppose."

She flipped open the phone. "Hello, Edward," Bella said, her words dripping with mock sweetness.

"What are you up to this evening?" Edward asked, though from his tone he was obviously already aware of Bella's recent activities.

Bella let out an exaggerated sigh. "What did Alice see?" she asked with resignation.

"Oh, not much," Edward replied in a petulant tone. "Just you chugging wine straight from the bottle. The wine for our wedding, I might add. Nice touch."

"Really? I haven't even done that yet! I've been drinking it out of a glass all night. But that would be much faster and harder for me to spill." She paused for a moment, pondering. "Carlisle!" she yelled, "Could you bring the bottle of wine in here? The white, not the red."

"Carlisle is there?" Edward exclaimed, shock colouring his voice.

"Indeed!" Bella agreed happily. "He's making sure I don't drink enough to die of alcohol poisoning, don't worry."

"He's what? He's helping out with this scheme? He's aiding and abetting you?" The volume of Edward's voice rose with each question.

"Aiding and abetting – you make it sound like we're committing a felony," Bella snorted into the phone.

"Well, it is illegal. You aren't twenty-one," Edward answered testily.

"And I never plan on being, Sweet Cheeks."

"What did you – did you just call me Sweet Cheeks?" He sounded as if he didn't know whether to laugh, cry or yell. "May I please speak to Carlisle?"

"No can do, Peter Pan. Carlisle is finding new and exciting ways to aid and abet me. He's currently seeking out a nice, shiny axe with which I can begin my axe murdering career. I've decided I want to be an axe murderer when I grow up."

Both Emmett and Carlisle burst out laughing.

"Very amusing, Bella. I can hear him laughing. Put him on."

Once he'd calmed down and could speak normally, Carlisle came onto the line.

"She's fine, Edward," he reassured. " Besides dancing around with Emmett to MTV, she hasn't really done much besides make us laugh –"

"You mean besides all the drugs and thieving and axe murdering!" Bella exclaimed in the background as Emmett laughed uproariously.

Carlisle was very obviously straining to keep the smile out of his voice. "Yes, besides that of course, Bella."

"Oh, and the prostitution! We mustn't forget about all the prostitution!" she exclaimed again between fits of giggles.

Carlisle snickered into the phone.

"That isn't funny," Edward spat. "Tell her that isn't funny."

"You can tell her yourself. I'll put her back on," Carlisle replied. "And Edward, she'll be fine, as I said. I won't let her drink too much. She's just having a bit of fun."

Before Edward could snap angrily at his father, Bella's chipper voice was back.

"Don't get all snooty with Carlisle, I was already like this by the time he got home. He had no idea."

"So if not Carlisle's, than it's Emmett's fault," Edward grumbled. "May I please speak with him?"

There was a muffled sound like a hand placed over the receiver, then a loud bang which could only be caused by the phone hitting the hard, wooden floor, followed by Bella's drunken giggles -- then Emmett finally came on the line.

"Hey, Ed! Having a good time?" Emmett greeted his brother heartily. Edward's answering growl did nothing to dissuade him. "So – which do you like better… Sweet Cheeks or Peter Pan? I'm determined to make at least one of them stick."

"What did you do to her?" Edward growled menacingly, ignoring his brother's question.

Emmett snorted. "I didn't do anything to her. If you're having mad visions of me forcing liquor down her throat you can forget it – it was completely her idea."

"And you couldn't stop her?" Edward asked incredulously.

"Why would I stop her? She's not a two year old, Edward. If she wants to get drunk once before getting married and becoming a vampire, then let her have her fun. Where's the harm?"

"The harm? It's going to make her sick! And she's behaving ridiculously, which I'm sure she won't remember fondly in the morning," Edward retorted.

"I'll make sure she drinks a gallon of water before she goes to sleep, all right? As for the ridiculous – she's hilarious! If you're talking about the names, don't feel singled out or anything. Apparently Bella gives everyone nicknames when she's drunk. I've been Dimples and Charles Dickens so far. And she keeps calling Carlisle Doctor Feel Good." Emmett's booming laughter erupted through the phone. "I haven't had this much fun in years. If she doesn't feel sick tomorrow you can probably convince her to do this again. I think you'd enjoy it if you'd take the stick out of your ass."

Edward growled in response, but his curiosity was piqued. "Why did she call you Charles Dickens?"

Emmett laughed loudly again. "I was telling her a story – about the time I was too stupid to listen to Alice and got caught in that hurricane – when her stomach started growling. So I got up to make her some food and told her I'd finish the story after she ate. She says: 'What, you're going to stop right in the middle of the story and make me wait to find out what happened? Who do you think you are, doling out stories in bits and pieces? Charles Dickens?'" Emmett snickered fondly. "She's been calling me that off and on all night. You did good, Edward. I love that girl."

Edward sighed. "So do I. Make sure nothing happens to her, or I will rip you to shreds," he muttered resignedly.

"Will do. Do you want to talk to her again?"

"Yes, please."

There were muffled thuds and Bella's voice whispering "Oops" -- she'd dropped the phone again. Emmett snickered.

"Hello again, my love," she said, a smile in her voice.

"Bella, Bella," Edward sighed. "I'm sorry I got so angry. Just try not to drink too much, all right? You know how I worry."

"Nothing to worry about. I've got Charles and the good Doctor here to make sure I don't fall on my face. I'm having so much fun – I love them. They're my favourites, besides you. I miss you. You smell so good, and you taste even better." She sighed.

"Bella-" Edward warned. "Be a good girl."

"I'll try," she giggled.

"I miss you, too," he admitted. "I'll see you tomorrow evening. Go sleep it off, okay?"

"Will do!" she chirped. "As soon as we're finished playing strip poker. Night, Edward!"

"You had better be joking!" he retorted, but Bella had already hung up on her end.

Edward growled in frustration. "Alice!" he yelled. "What are they going to do now?"

Alice's laughter trailed behind her as she took off into the woods away from his prying, steadily reciting the Greek alphabet in her head.