A/N: Thanks so much for the positive feedback! I'm glad you liked chapter 6, even though it's sad! I wanted to take the time to let you all know that there are some Solstice Extras on my author profile! They're interesting… take a look! You know you wanna! Anyway enjoy chapter 7!
A/N2: If you are reading this story for the first time, this does not apply to you. If you are a RETURNING READER the following is important:
Chapter four has been redone! I made a few personality changes to Aidan, as well as added a few more descriptions. If you do not re read chapter FOUR then this chapter will make Aidan seem bipolar. I don't want this. You don't want this. So please, for Aidan's sake, please reread chapter four.
Chapter 7: Of Course
Of course this had to happen now. Of course it had to happen to me. My truck won't start.
The engine that Jacob built for my truck won't start. It's symbolic really. Our friendship started with the truck, and now the truck ends with our friendship. Of course it did.
My tears had stopped falling, but I was still frazzled over what had just happened. This definitely wasn't helping.
After about the twentieth try, I gave up turning the key and slumped forward, closing my eyes. In my frustration I began banging my head against the steering wheel, mumbling incoherently.
A sharp tap on the window scared the hell out of me, making me jump so much that I smacked my head on the top of the cab. I winced and looked out the window to discover Aidan Sparks smirking down at me, trying not to laugh at my klutziness… again.
I glared and rolled down the window.
"Holy Crow! You scared the hell out of me!" I scolded. Aidan gave a slight smile and flipped his bangs away from his eyes. The shocking electric blue astonished me even more.
"Yeah, I can see that. I'm sorry, though, I didn't mean to startle you. Your reaction was more of an added benefit to my coming over." I noticed him glance at the empty hole in the dashboard where a radio had once been, but he didn't comment. Which was good, because then I'd have had to explain.
I sighed. "What are you doing here?"
"I gathered you were having a few problems—with your truck I mean. I thought I'd give you some help." He said quietly, not meeting my eyes.
I gazed at him for a moment, considering this. Deciding it was in my better interests to leave the reservation as soon as possible, I nodded and opened the door.
I stumbled, stepping out of the truck. Aidan's hand caught my arm reflexively, and he helped me down.
"Thanks." I said blandly. Aidan didn't respond. He just stared blankly at me again and headed to the front of my truck.
I followed and gazed down at my trucks innards while Aidan's white hands moved swiftly in, out, and around the different parts I would probably never know the names of. (A/N: cause I sure as hell don't!)
After about two minutes of checking things. He sighs, steps back and closes the hood, narrowly missing my fingers.
"So… what's the diagnosis doc?" I asked, in a weak attempt to lighten the mood.
"Congratulations. You blew the transmission." He responded sarcastically. "Everything else is okay, but you'll need a new transmission if you ever want to get her started again." He said more seriously now, straightening and letting his bangs fall back into his eyes.
I stared at him in disbelief. "Do I want to know how much that's gonna cost?" My college fund has dwindled down quite a bit ever since… September. I suppose you could have called it retail therapy, only instead of clothes and a bunch of pointless stuff, I gave in to conformity and bought myself an iPod and a lot of books. The combination of headphones and literature made it easier to avoid the meaningless conversations and small talk with my 'friends' at school.
[A/N: I know it says in the book that Bella wouldn't even listen to music anymore when Edward left, but in the world of me, (which if you're reading this, you're in), the idea of not having music is like not having oxygen… it's a necessity for existence so DEAL WITH IT!!!]
Aidan sighed, and bit his lip lightly as if he was deciding an internal argument with himself, wincing a bit when he bit down too hard (Which was also a little strange seeing as he's a vampire, but I guessed it was just a learned habit he'd picked up to "look human").
"Honestly… under normal circumstances… No; definitely not." Aidan forced out, looking as though he regretted the words he just said.
"What do you mean 'under normal circumstances'?" I asked, confused by his cryptic behavior.
"Well, normally getting parts for a classic car is an expensive pain in the ass, but a transmission is a whole other level of hell because you have to take a bunch of stuff out in order to put a new transmission in." Aidan explained grimly.
I didn't say anything; I just gave him an exasperated look, hoping to see a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.
Aidan stared back, his shocking eyes boring holes into my own for a brief moment before he looked away then down at the ground again. "Of course, that's under normal circumstances." He added quietly.
I glanced up at him, unsure where he was taking this. "You keep saying that, but do you mean it in a good way or a bad way? Because the way my day's been so far I don't know if I can take much more bad news." I said dejectedly.
Aidan met my gaze for a moment, smiling slightly for a second before reverting back to his poker face. "It's good actually. I can fix your truck for you. I have the transmission in our--Skyler's and my—garage."
My head snapped up at his words, and I'm certain I gave myself whiplash from looking up so fast. "You would do that? For me, I mean?" I asked, skeptical.
"Yeah." He said simply, shrugging it off as if it were nothing.
"Not to push my luck, but do you mind telling me why? Not that I'm not grateful, because I really am, but… why?" I babbled, cringing and hoping he wouldn't suddenly change his mind.
Aidan raised his eyebrows, clearly not expecting to need to explain himself. "I…don't know. Seems like the right thing to do I guess, given the day you're having. Besides, you…interest me. I've never met someone like you before. I can't quite figure you out." He mumbled quietly, looking away again.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked faintly, the familiar memories coming back to me.
Aidan cleared his throat, and decided not to answer me. "Look, can we play twenty questions later? If you want your truck back, we might want to get moving soon." He said, gesturing to his car. (A/N: I am in absolute LOVE with his car!!!!! Sorry…just had to add that in there again!)
"Oh. Yeah. Right. Thank you, again." I muttered, walking, over to the passenger's side. Aidan beat me there, predictably, and held the door for me. What is it with vampires and chivalry? I wondered as I got in.
By the time I closed the door, Aidan was already in his seat, putting on his seatbelt. I shook my head lightly. It was disorienting, yet so painfully familiar to be in the presence of someone who moved so fluidly and fast.
Aidan's car was… nice, to say the least. He had red leather seats with a white trim, and the mustang imprint in each of the headrests. His stereo was the exact same one that I had recently ripped out of my truck. I quickly looked away, trying to think of anything else. I glanced into the back, and saw Aidan's guitar case lying neatly on the seat.
Aidan put the car in gear and pulled out with one quick turn of the wheel; barely looking in his mirrors, as I've learned vampires rarely do.
We sat in silence for a few moments while Aidan drove out to the main road, the only one leading out of La Push.
"So… Did you want to hang around and wait for me to change your transmission out, or would you rather I just take you home? Your truck will be waiting for you tomorrow morning if you have…stuff to do…" he trailed off, waiting for me to respond.
I considered this for a moment. There were bound to be a lot of awkward moments if I stayed, but then again I was still curious to learn more about Aidan. He wasn't what I was expecting. At all. He practically changes personalities every twenty seconds. Sometimes he'll stare at me and say nothing, then the next second he's smirking and talkative. I thought vampires were supposed to be fairly consistent personality wise. I guess I was wrong.
Aidan stole quizzical a glance at me, probably making sure I was mentally competent.
"Um… I don't really have anything else going on today. Would it bother you if I stuck around? I mean, I don't want to get in the way or anything…" I babbled.
"No. It's fine. Whatever you want to do is okay with me." He said, going back to his blank expression.
"Okay. Then I guess I'll stick around" I said, struggling to keep my voice neutral, throwing a one shouldered shrug in to seem more indifferent than I was. Part of me was intrigued and curious about Aidan. The other part of me, the side that promised to stay safe, was nagging at me in protest.
"Alright then" He said simply before he made an abrupt U-turn, which scared the hell out of me.
"Holy crow! What are you doing?" I yelled, thoroughly freaked out by his driving.
"Turning around… My house is back this way. If we went through town it would take ages." Aidan explained, looking at me as though I should have surmised that.
"Can you at least warn me next time you decide to endanger my life? I kinda sorta didn't want to die today." I said, sounding braver than I felt.
Aidan laughed, (actually laughed), at me. The sound threw me for a second, and I realized that it was the first time I'd heard him do so all afternoon.
"Trust me Bella. Your life was never in any danger. I built this car for speed and performance. It's made for turns like that." He said, still laughing at my expression.
"Wait. You BUILT this car?" I asked incredulously.
"Yeah. My little hobby, I guess. Skyler's too for that matter. We like to work on classic cars, and we race them occasionally." He told me matter-of-factly.
"That explains a lot." I muttered more to myself than to him.
"Well, your driving habits for one," this earned another slight smile, but he kept from laughing, "and also why you happen to have a transmission for a classic Chevy just laying around."
"Oh. Well, as it were, I actually used to have the exact same truck as you. It was great truck, but then I became more intrigued by Ford's Mustang, and that was the end of that. It was an awesome truck when I had it though. I remember getting mine straight off the line when they came out—…" He broke off from his reminiscing suddenly. He knew he had said too much.
"Wait. You got it right when it came out?" I probed.
Aidan slowed the car down. He wouldn't look at me. He stared straight ahead, his hands tensed around the steering wheel, apparently incredibly interested in the open road in front of us.
Here goes nothing. I thought. It's now or never.
I took a deep breath. I knew this was going to be a tough conversation.
"Look, Aidan; you don't have to lie to me. I…I know. I mean I know what you are. You don't have to pretend with me." I stammered.
Aidan still wouldn't look at me, but if at all possible his body tensed up even more. Oddly though, from what I could see of his expression, he didn't look…angry. He looked more freaked out than anything else. I saw him take a deep breath, and then another.
"You don't know the half of it." He said, almost condescendingly.
"You're a vampire!" I blurted.
The car came to a screeching halt; the smell of burnt rubber invaded the air. I probably would have gotten whiplash if Aidan's arm didn't fly out and secured me against the seat.
As soon as I was steady his arm was gone, but in its place was a piercing look, keeping me perfectly still… for a human. Aidan's unnaturally blue eyes were staring me down, a mixture of shock, anger, fear, and amusement in his gaze.
Neither of us spoke for a moment. I was in shock over the surprising stop. He was in shock over my revelation. Eyes still wide, the corner of Aidan's mouth twitched into a nervous half-smile for a moment before breaking the tense silence.
"Okay." He started, "So maybe you do know the half of it." He swallowed. "But I doubt you can figure out the other half." He challenged lightly.
A/N: So what'd ya think? Loved it? Hated it? Confused by it? Drop me a comment and let me know…