Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. The original characters and plot are property of me, Dobber17. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
This chapter has been edited by CherryBerry12.
**This serves as both a stand-alone story and a part of my story "Fighting Temptation". It's still complete on its own, but head over and read "Fighting Temptation" for some more fun times with Bella, Edward, Mike, and Tyler! **
1. Follow someone until they notice
2. Drape a blanket around you and run around saying "I'm Batman. Come Robin, to the Bat Cave."
3. When two or three people are walking in front of you, run between them yelling "Red Rover".
4. Throw things into neighboring aisles.
5. Put lingerie in the men's department and in old men's carts when they aren't looking.
6. Walk up to a complete stranger and say "Hi! I haven't seen you in so long,", etc. See if they play along
7. Grab condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they aren't looking.
8. Run up to a male employee while squeezing your legs together and yell, "I need a tampon!"
I stood frozen outside of Wal-Mart; the December chill finding its way through my shoes and unrelenting fear gluing my feet to the ground. I was about to make the biggest idiot out of myself. The urge to turn around and run away was tempting … but a dare was a dare.
The only thing allowing my feet to follow Mike, Tyler, and Edward through the doors was the beauty of being in Seattle. No one would who I was, and I could forget all about this as soon as we retreated to our little town of Forks.
Edward's hand found mine as we made our way through the automatic doors. Christmas music was playing inside of Wal-Mart but it did nothing to relieve my stress. Edward squeezed my hand tight, giving my arm a gentle shake to loosen me up.
Standing near the entrance was a guy around our age. I noticed his thick, black-rimmed glasses first, followed by dark hair that couldn't have been washed within the past week, and unfortunate splotches of deep acne on his chin and cheeks.
"Hi, welcome to Wal-Mart," he began in a bored, nasally tone that drifting off as his eyes saw me. He swallowed hard, reaching up to adjust his glasses as a nervous laugh bubbled from his chest. "I'm … I'm … I'm …" he never finished, opting instead to point to his name tag. Winston. After clearing his throat, he continued. "Do you need help finding anything?"
"I think we're fine, thanks," Edward voice was firm, but by no means rude as he answered the question clearly directed my way.
"Right. Yes. Sir. Um, of course, sir," he stammered, waving the four of us into the store with a flourish.
If it was any indication of how the night was going to go, we were in for a disaster.
"Alright," I grumbled. "Which one am I doing first?"
"You can honestly do them in any order. I'm pretty sure the first one was follow someone until they notice,"Tyler said.
"I say Bella should follow that old man right there," Mike suggested. He gestured to an elderly man hunched over his shopping cart, his grey hair severely thinning on the back. Tyler was quick to agree, and I refused to release Edward's hand as I dragged him down an aisle with me. Edward was apparently to serve as my witness since Mike and Tyler started walking away, claiming they were going to check out the electronics section. I shot them a thumbs-up over my shoulder, unsure if they even saw as I kept my eyes trained on my target
"Which are you most scared about doing?" Edward asked as we turned the corner into the next aisle, staying a semi-discrete distance from the elderly man looking at shampoo.
"I'm not exactly scared of any. I'm more embarrassed about the ones that actually involve me talking or yelling at people," I admitted.
"You know who to thank for those ones." Edward squeezed my hand tight. "You know you don't have to do any of them if you don't want to, right?"
"I know. Thank you. I should be okay, but I'll let you know if that changes," I assured him.
"Oh yes, your stubbornness. As much as I hate to admit it, it comes in handy sometimes," Edward teased while I stuck my tongue out at him.
"You know you love me," I teased back.
"That, I do," Edward assured me as he lifted our twined hand to his mouth and placed a soft kiss on my knuckles. He didn't let go of my hand. Instead, he spun me before I realized what was happening, positioning our clasped hands over his heart and his free hand on my waist.
"Dance with me," Edward whispered in my ear. I looked up and his calm green eyes met my terrified brown ones.
"Edward, I seriously cannot dance."
He eyes never wavered from mine as he responded. "I dare you to dance with me."
That's all it took for my undoing. I relaxed in his touch, allowing him to lead me in a short, unhurried dance in a deserted aisle. It only lasted a few moments, a few steps, but when we pulled apart the old man was no longer in our sights.
"As the supervisor of this one, we'll count it as complete," Edward said, turning us toward the electronic area.
We met up with Mike and Tyler, the latter didn't hesitate to pull the list from his pocket. "Drape a blanket around you and run around saying 'I'm Batman. Come Robin, to the bat cave.'"
We made it over to the shelf full of blankets where Edward silently passed me a stark black one. I unfurled it quickly, tying two corners around my neck.
"Where do I have to go?" I asked.
"Just do a loop around this section then meet us back here." I nodded at Tyler, heading away at a brisk pace. I knew I wouldn't be able to yell the words, couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead, I weaved through the mercifully empty aisles, saying the words only a few levels above my normal volume. As I reached the guys again, Mike tried to call me out on half-assing the task, tried to make me re-do it properly, only for Edward to quickly overrule him.
I slipped my hand in Edward's giving a quick squeeze in thanks.
Tyler halted midway through grabbing the list from his pocket, his gaze catching on two abandoned carts. The guys met each other's eyes and nodded. "Cart races," they all said at the same time.
After a quick debate, Mike volunteered to judge, leaving Edward and Tyler to take the two carts. They took their positions as Mike explained his rules.
"You lose points if you knock over anything. You are disqualified if you knock over anyone or get caught." He explained the route he came up with, making sure they understood. "The first one to reach Bella wins … go!" Tyler and Edward sprinted away with their carts, Mike running close behind.
It was only a few quick minutes before I heard rapidly approaching carts and footsteps. I moved to the middle, bracing myself as the carts rounded the corner without slowing. I didn't have time to see who was leading, opting to shut my eyes at their rapid approach. I braced for the impact from both of them trying to touch me first … but wasn't expecting the impact of a cart to my hip. I staggered a few steps, my breath leaving my body as I hunched over. The strong of apologies from Tyler was enough to know who hit me. I cracked my eyes as footsteps approached.
Edward rushed toward me, helping me steady myself. It took a few moments to compose myself.
"I'm surprised you didn't win," I teased, trying to distract myself from the pain in my hip.
"I actually tried to slow down approaching you… technically I did win since this disqualifies Tyler."
"I'm sorry," Tyler exclaimed for the countless time, visibly distressed as he eyes kept tracking to Edward.
Edward's attention never wavered from me. "You good?" He was asking more than just physical injuries. His eyes scanning my body, but his eyes held a heaviness as we locked gazes.
I nodded. "I'm good. I'm still good," I promised.
We left the abandoned carts, as Tyler pulled the list out. "When two or three people are walking in front of you, run between them yelling 'Red rover.' Just run through the first group of two or three that you see," Tyler called over his shoulder, wincing as he tracked my slight limp.
Easy enough. Without hesitating, I broke into a jog, pushing Mike and Tyler's arms as I ran between them. "Red rover!"
"No. That's unfair. You know us. You have to run through people you don't know," Mike complained as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"All I was told was the first group I saw." I raised my hands in defense. "You never specified that it couldn't be you."
Mike was fuming but didn't fight it. Instead, he tore the paper out of Tyler's hand. "Alright Bella, start throwing things into neighboring aisles."I glanced around and noticed that pots and pans surrounded us.
"Let's get to another aisle," I hedged.
Mike threw his hands in the air. "You do things right away when Edward and Tyler ask, but I can't make suggestions or be involved or –".
"Dude, she's not throwing pots," Tyler chimed in.
Mike took a moment to survey around us. "Oh, right."
We opted to head to the toy section, stopping when we reached an aisle packed with stuffed animals. I grabbed a small stuffed animal off the shelf and threw it into the neighboring aisle. It didn't sound like it hit anyone so I threw another. Mike and Tyler joined me and I had to admit I was having a little fun. Edward strolled to the end of the aisle, acting as our surveillance man as the three of us threw as many of the stuffed animals that we could.
"Look mommy! It's raining cats and dogs," a small, elated voice chimed from the next aisle over. I beamed, finally stopping my barrage as I knew they were now people the next aisle over.
"Alright, better than pots," Mike grumbled as we strode away.
We made it a few mere steps before I turned back around. We made the mess, I wasn't going to make someone else clean it up. The guys were only a few steps behind me. I grabbed as many stuffed animals that I could and returned then to their original aisle. As soon as they realized what I was doing, they joined in.
It took countless trips. We threw much, much more than I realized. Eventually, Tyler decided to just stay in the one aisle and thrown all the stuffed animals back over while Mike and I put them all back on the shelves.
We had just finished putting the final animals away when Edward appeared. I was ashamed to admit I didn't realize he had disappeared as we were cleaning up our mess.
He had the most childish grin on his face, and I lowered my gaze to the four long cylinders tucked under his arm. A moment later I realized was they were. "Who wants to have a duel?" Edward asked with a very excited English accent as he held up the rolls of wrapping paper.
Tyler immediately grabbed a roll, utter joy across his face as he took a mighty swing at Mike, who managed to duck just in time.
Mike quickly flickered his gaze between the two. "What?" Edward threw one of the rolls of wrapping paper at Mike, giving him a tap before he realized what was happening.
"You know… a duel," Edward said, still using that wonderful accent.
Realization finally crossed Mike's face as it all clicked together. "Hell yeah, dude. It's on.'" Mike joined in, both with the duel and using accents, choosing a strong and awful rendition of a French accent.
"Would the lady like to join?" Edward asked in the sexy, smooth English accent. I immediately shook my head and took a step back to give the guys some extra, much needed room. Edward nodded my way before placing the extra roll on the shelf next to him.
I pulled out my phone, silently recording the scene before me. I would never post it anywhere, just wanted to record it for the pure entertainment it was. The initial duel with the wrapping paper was hysterical enough, but the fact they were speaking with accents made it even more enjoyable, even though Tyler opted for an Italian accent that was even worse than Mike's French accent.
I let them battle it out for a while, before asking what the next item on the list was. As entertaining as their duel was, I wanted to get the list done as quick as possible.
"Is the lady not entertained?" It was obvious that Edward was joking, but there was a hint of uncertainty under the surface.
"The lady is plenty entertained," I assured him.
As Tyler pulled the list from his pocket, Mike viewed it as an opportunity to hit Tyler as much as he could. "Put lingerie in the men's department and in old men's carts when they aren't looking," Tyler read quickly then started hitting Mike repeatedly in retaliation.
"I'll meet you guys back here," I told Edward. He nodded then planted a brief but tender kiss on my forehead before he returned to the duel, promising they would only be a few minutes behind and meet me by the men's clothing.
Before I made it to the men's department, I made my stop in the lingerie department, quickly grabbing a few pieces. I added the last piece of lingerie – a surprisingly cute, lacy, blue number – to my pile when Winston appeared beside me.
He started to speak, but stopped quickly as his eyes drifted to the pile of silk and lace in my arms. His eye shot up, desperately trying to maintain eye contact, but his eyes focused on the abundant pile of lingerie in my arms again. His eyes got wide once again and he visibly gulped. "Do you… um… need... um… me to ah… ring them up for you?" With his flushed face and labored breathing, he looked ready to pass out.
I quickly tried to think of an excuse. "Um, no thanks. I was just going to try them on." It came out more as a question, but Winston didn't seem to notice.
"I'll show you to the dressing room!" Winston squeaked out. I fought the urge to shake my head. The dressing room was less than twenty feet away and impossible to miss. Regardless, I followed him, thanking him as he nearly tripped on his feet as he hurried away.
I waited in the dressing room until I was sure Winston would be far gone. It was a quick journey to the men's department, and I started making quick work of tucking some of the lingerie deep in the clothing racks and into unattended carts. I didn't realize how tense I was until I heard hearty laugher from a middle-aged man as he returned to his cart, the sound of his laugh easing some of the tension from me.
I finished placing the piece of lingerie in an elderly man's cart when I felt an arm wrap around my waist. I squeaked in surprise before Edward's hand could cover the noise, earning us a few looks from nearby shoppers. He moved in front of me wrapping both arms around me.
"How did the duel go?" I asked.
"Interesting. We were wrapping up when some other shoppers joined in. Mike and Tyler are having one final match before meeting up with us. How did your dare go?" Edward asked, nodding toward the cart I placed the final piece in.
"Good." I told Edward everything that happened, smacking his arm at his growing amusement over Winston. He grabbed my hand in his, pulling us back toward the toy section. We ran into Mike and Tyler mid-way, the latter pulling out the list at the sight of us.
"Walk up to a complete stranger and say 'Hi! I haven't seen you in so long.', etc, and see if they play along."
"Who's the target?" I asked as I looked around, trying to figure out who they were going to pick.
"Him." Mike pointed to a guy only a few years older than us. He had blond hair that slightly curled around his ears. His eyes looked deep brown from this distance and seemed to have a nice build. He was easy on the eyes, but he didn't hold a flicker of flame compared to Edward.
"We'll be right around the corner, staying at the end of the aisle." Mike disappeared with Tyler close on his heels. Edward waited a few beats longer, giving my hand a gentle squeeze before he followed.
I took a ragged breath in. We were almost done. Just a few more left.
As Edward turned the corner, I made my way down to the chosen target. He turned as he heard my footsteps approaching, his eyes widened a fraction before a cocky grin formed.
"Hi," I said quietly. "I don't know if, um, this might sound stupid… but do you remember me? I know it's been so long, but…" I trailed off, my mind going blank on what else to say.
His smile froze. "What?" Confusion marred his feature. "Oh, oh yeah, I definitely remember you," he amended, his face now masking his confusion well.
"I just… you never called me after I moved. We were such good friends. I tried to keep in touch. I really, really did … but you never tried. You never call first, I always had to be the one trying to get ahold of you. You never called, not once." A piece of phlegm caught in my throat, choking me up at the perfect time. Disgusting and unplanned, but effective.
"I'm so sorry. I was going to call, really. I would pick up the phone but couldn't bring myself to dial. I was just so sad when you left that I couldn't bring myself to call you and hear your voice while knowing that I wouldn't be able to see you." To his credit he was a smooth liar, a trait that wasn't necessarily a good thing. "I could take you out to dinner to make it up to you? We could go to my house afterwards and go through old photo albums?" Definitely not a positive trait as his tone easily shifted from apologetic to suggestive. I tried to think up a good excuse but was drawing a blank. I hadn't planned to deal with the turn of this conversation. Luckily, two guys approached, drawing both of our attention to them.
"Dude, there you are," one of the guys bellowed before he turned his attention to me. "And who is this?"
"Guys, this is my old friend…" he trailed off, realizing too late he didn't actually have any idea what my name was. I tried to contain my laughter as he eyes grew wide and a look of horror appeared on his face.
"You don't remember me at all, do you?" I kept my voice soft as I shook my head, turning on my heel to finally escape.
"Wait," he called. I stopped walking, angling my head toward him. "Can you at least tell me your name?" he pleaded.
"Why don't you look through those photo albums you have at home and see if they trigger any memories such as my name," I told him in the angriest voice I could manage while fighting the laughter threatening to emerge. I rounded the corner, nearly running into Mike. I glanced behind him, surprised how far away Edward and Tyler were.
"Tyler had to take Edward for a quick walk as soon as your buddy asked you to go look at photo albums," Mike explained.
"So… what next," I asked as I approached, the relief on Edward's face nearly palpable. I knew I only had two things left and I was excited to get them done and over with. Based on the tension on Edward's face, he seemed eager to get this list finished.
"Get condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they aren't looking."
Good heavens. I forgot about this particular one. I refused to let anyone see my discomfort, opting to lead the charge to the aisle to hide my face. Edward matched my stride, grabbing a few boxes of condoms. He waved my hand away when I reached for them.
"I'll carry them. Still good?" he asked before Tyler and Mike caught up to us.
"Yupp. Just ready to be done," I admitted.
It made me careless though. Most boxes I placed in unattended carts or waited patiently enough for someone to turn to look at something. I got caught as I placed my last box in a cart. He looked to be in is early to mid-twenties, his eyes drinking in the three guys behind me.
"Honey, unless one of these three scrumptious men plan on coming over, I'm not going to get much use out of these." He tapped the box, sending a wink over my shoulder.
"It's always good to be prepared," I told him, awkwardly scurrying away so I was out of sight. When I was far enough, I sank to a squat, lifting my hands to hid my face. Edward crouched in front of me, pulling hands from my face.
"Only one more," he whispered encouragingly in my ear. "But just say the word if you want to be done now."
I sighed. "Let's finish this. The final one is the tampon one, correct?" I asked as Tyler took out the list and passed it to Edward.
Edward did the honors of reading the final one aloud. "Run up to a male employee while squeezing your legs together and yell, 'I need some tampons!'"
Edward barely finished reading before Mike chose Winston as their employee of choice. I hurried over, eager to finish the final task. His face glowed as I approached, a smile starting to form.
"I need a tampon," I blurted out far louder than intended. Poor Winston stood frozen, his eyes widening by the second.
"Just point me in the direction," I pleaded.
He lifted a shaking hand but he couldn't get his fingers to pointing in any direction. "I'll be right back," he finally squeaked. As he took off in a near sprint, I returned to where the guys were.
Tyler quietly applauded. "Well done. You've completed the list."
I would never admit it to the guys, but beside moderate amounts of mortification, I actually had a fun night at Wal-Mart. Granted, if it was someone else who had to complete the list, it would have been far more enjoyable. Edward took my hand in his and the four of us slowly made our way to the door.
"Wait," a voice stopped up in our tracks. Winston ran toward us, a Wal-Mart bag clutched in his hand. By the time he reached us, he was struggling for air.
"Tampons," he gasped, extracting my hand from Edward's and pressing the bag into it instead of the free hand dangling uselessly at my side.
I managed to thank him in my stunned state. I peaked in the bag, amazed how fast he was able to grab and purchase the box of tampons. A wrapper at the bottom caught my eye.
"I grabbed a chocolate bar for you too." With a wide smile and dramatic bow, Winston turned on his heel and disappeared back into Wal-Mart.
I wanted to laugh. I wanted to cry. I wanted to disappear under a rock and never come out.
Edward fought his laughter as he pulled me close. "Congratulations, love. You survived Wal-Mart."
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