A/N: Introducing a collaboration between myself and Miss CarminMoon (author of the awesome "Three Forks, MT" — if you haven't started it, get to it!). BIG THANKS to all our UU bitches, all of whom we heart dearly and really really hard. Cuz they iz AWSUM. This one's for all y'all.
BTW, we no ownsies the Twilights. We wishes we dids. Especially Edward and Jasper and their tight, tight Levi's.
Now folks, I ain't never been the "cat's got yer tongue" type. Matter a'fact, I reckon I ain't never gone more than five whole minutes without spinnin' a yarn about sumthin. Unless'n you count when I sleep. 'Course I been told I talk in my sleep if I've had a shot o'shine or two. Now 'fore I get too fer off the topic, I'm here a-tell y'all a tale or two about some fellas I know down in Georgia. Hazzard County to be exact.
Today I'ma gonna be rattlin' on about them Cullens. Yessum, I said the Cullens. You might a' heard about 'em, you might not've. But seems to me that someone has to tell their tale, cuz otherwise no one will remember how things started and how they ended.
Now these are some good ol' boys; their hearts always in the right places. It's just that sometimes their heads ain't. They can git themselves into a heap o' trouble faster than you can say hoecake. And that's fast.
The Cullen family used to be a big'un. But now they've dwindled down to just a few. Folks like them live hard, and some of'em have died hard too. First off, we got Carlisle Cullen, also known as "Uncle C." The last remnant of the Glory Days, as we call'em down here. The days when rum- runnin' was king and headin' off to Tennessee or 'Bama with a load of homemade corn whiskey was just another day at the office. He was the best of the best. But all good things must come to an end. I'll get back to that part later.
His six older brothers left 'im to tend the farm after the Ridge Runnin' days were over, years ago, and eventually left 'im with their younguns: Edward, Jasper, and Rosalie. All cousins, all spitfire and axle grease.
Edward and Jasper, his two nephews...Well, them boys was trouble with a capital 'T' the moment they popped outta their mamas. Always a'fightin' or wrasslin'. They left more lumps on each other than a millipede has legs. It's pert near a miracle they made it past eighteen. Their parents both died when they was jus' boys, so they were left in the care of Carlisle. He did his best to raise 'em right though he had no young'uns of his own.
His niece, Rosalie, lost her parents some years after, and she came to live with them, too. Been like peas in a pod e'er since. Them boys sure needed a woman's touch and Rosie deals out hugs and slaps just like she spoons out beans 'n' cornbread. Y'all know that sayin' blood is thicker than water? Well, in this family, it's the God's honest truth. Ain't nuthin' one of'em can do without one o' the others right there alongside 'em.
Now their family's been livin' in Hazzard County since Methusulah was knee high to a grasshopper. They even used to own most o' the land 'round these parts. But thanks to the government and some bad decision makin' that I won't raise up no fuss about, they only own the land around their farmhouse. It's been standing there like a sentinel for the past hunnert 'n' fifty years or so. It had to be rebuilt after the war, but that's another thing I won't be a-tellin' y'all about today.
It was another beautiful Georgia morning, and Carlisle was drivin' back from his fav-o-rite fishin' hole where he'd just caught a string o' channel cat. He was hummin' with a tune on the radio and hopin' that the chickens had laid a mess o' eggs to go with his catfish. Rosie sure could cook up a mean breakfast.
His beat up old white Ford had just turned back onto the main road when he noticed a bright yeller car with two pretty little things sittin' on the back bumper. Being the southern gentleman that he is, he pulled over behind them. A tiny sprite with black hair was wavin' arms in the air and makin' noises you'd hear comin' from a cat with its tail caught under a rockin' chair. The other filly had long, wavy brown hair and looked a bit like someone had burnt her cornbread. They most certainly weren't from 'round these parts. Their clothes were fancy, and that car - well let's just say that car was slicker than a duck's ass in gooseberry season.
Now let me just throw in somethin' here folks. Carlisle might be in his middle years, but all the ladies at the auxiliary still swoon when they look at him. His blond hair has very little grey in it, but he's still fit as a fiddle due to all the fine fresh air he breathes.
"G'mornin' ladies." He put on his best 'meet your momma' smile.
The brown-haired girl smiled shyly. "Umm, hello. We are having a little car trouble."
The black-haired slip of a girl gave her a look that would'a froze the devil himself in his tracks. "I think that's a bit of an understatement Bella! Not only has the car broken down, I can't get a signal on this POS phone, and now I have a broken Manolo from traipsing up and down this back-country road that probably leads to a podunk town that doesn't even have a mall!"
"Alice, don't be so rude!" She gestured at Carlisle standing near his truck, a twinkle in his eye.
"Well now ladies, it seems y'all are havin' quite a difficult day. Y'all gimme a sec, and I'll see if I can wrangle up a tow truck." Alice cocked her head at him like he was speaking a foreign language, but the other girl smiled.
"That would be very kind of you, uh, what's your name?"
"Name's Carlisle Cullen, ma'am. But y'all can call me Carlisle." He turned back to his truck and grabbed the CB. "Hey there, Crazy Coo—uh, Emmett? You got yer ears on? This here's Shepherd." A crackle came over the CB and he heard a small grumble on the other end.
"Yeah, Shepherd I'm here. Ain't it a bit early for my breakfast call?" Emmett was a good friend of the family, and he ate breakfast with them every Saturday morning like clockwork. Of course, it might've had something to do with the fact that he was smitten with Rosalie, too.
"Well no, ya knucklehead. Ain't too early for yer breakfast call, I done figured you'd be halfway there by now. I'm callin' fer a different reason. I need you to bring yer oversized bee-hind out here to Route 229, jus' off the fishin' hole. There's two young fillies sittin' here with a broke down car."
"Well, hell, why didn't you say so, Shepherd? Be there in twenty." Emmett was always a good guy; a little slow on the uptake sometimes, but a good guy nonetheless.
"Alright, I'll tell'em yer on yer way. Shepherd out."
"10-4 Shepherd. Catch ya at the house."
The girls had overheard at least part of the conversation, and took it to mean that they would be back on the road in no time. Little did they know that on a Saturday in Hazzard county, finding car parts for a Lamborghini was like looking for a needle in a hay stack: damn near impossible.
Carlisle walked towards them with a fatherly look on his face. "Ladies, I got a tow truck a'comin', but it's gonna be a little while. Could I possibly interest y'all in some breakfast?"
Alice looked as though he'd asked her to skin a pole cat. Bella smiled. She was quite the little ray of sunshine.
"Really, um, Carlisle, sir, we couldn't impose like that. We'll just wait for the tow truck."
"Well," he pinched the word in his throat. "While Emmett's a good feller, his truck ain't exactly built fer three, least not with his bear of a self in 'ere. When he comes to get yer car, there won't be room fer both o' y'all to ride. After all yer frustrations, please allow me to get you'ns some breakfast. Then my nephews can take y'all into town."
Now before you folks get yourselves all riled up about talkin' to strangers and acceptin' rides from 'em, let me just say that Carlisle is as fine a gentleman as they come. He'd never hurt a fly, and his momma raised him to be polite. Southern hospitality is ingrained in him. And if y'all ain't never been to the South well then let me say, you need to experience it first hand.
"Excuse us for a moment!" Alice grabbed her friend by the hand and dragged her to the opposite end of the car. "Bella! What are you thinking? We can't just go to this man's house, he could be a pervert or a serial killer!"
"Oh, come off it Alice! Does he really look like a serial killer? He's a handsome old man, who has just saved us from a fate possibly far worse. The next guy to pull up could have 3 teeth and smell like a skunked beer factory! Would you prefer that?" Bella countered Alice's harsh whispers with amused sarcasm.
The tiny girl huffed and crossed her arms on her chest. "Okay, you have a point. But let me just state for the record I am not happy about this! And I am not sitting in the middle." Bella rolled her eyes, knowing better than to argue when she crossed her arms. It was a final gesture.
"Fine. I'll sit in the middle, on one condition."
"You need to be more polite. This man seems very nice and I don't think he deserves to be screeched at." Bella crossed her arms, knowing that Alice would see herself mirrored in the pose.
Carlisle watched the little exchange with a small grin on his face. They looked like two angry kittens fixin' to fight. Both of 'em huffin' and flexin' their tiny claws. They turned back to the car and opened the doors to grab bags out from the back. He noticed they kept on pullin' bags out 'til they each had a small mountain of luggage next to'em.
He nodded a smile an' grabbed a couple of bags, walkin' to the bed of his truck. Careful not to get them near his string of catfish or his gear, he set 'em gingerly inside the bed. By the time they loaded everything up, an' started down the road, his stomach was growling some'n' fierce. He was purty durn sure Rosalie was gonna be madder 'n a hornet's nest at having two extra mouths fer breakfast. But it couldn't be helped. These two feisty little things were going to be just what the doctor ordered for his mischief lovin' nephews. Carlisle still had a few tricks left up his sleeve, and he wasn't skeered to use them.
Now, them girls was mighty quiet the entire fifteen minute ride to the Cullen farm, but upon the sight of the old outhouse out back, tiny Alice durn near hit the roof. I dunno if screamin' covers the noise comin' from 'er.
"Alice!" Bella clapped her hand over her mouth. "What on earth has gotten into you?!"
Alice's breath was gasping as she harshly (and not-so-subtly) whispered, "It's an OUT. HOUSE. Bella, they don't even have running water here? Omigod, we're gonna DIE."
Carlisle's laughter erupted from the other side of the cab. "Now, Miss Alice, ther' ain't no reason to be screamin' like a buzzard, now. That there outhouse hasn' been used in a good twinny-five years. My great granpappy built it when he built this here farm from the ground up more 'n a hunnert years ago, I reckon. I like to leave it as a 'minder of ma roots. We Cullens remember where we come from."
Alice visibly relaxed, thought it was obvious to all she was unnerved. Finally, Carlisle pulled up next to the house and threw the truck into park. "Let's get you ladies fed, now!" He jumped out of the truck and ambled around to open the door Alice was fighting against. "It sticks from time to time, ma'am, I apologize."
"PLEASE don't call me ma'am!" The words came out a little abruptly. Bella elbowed her after climbing down with the help of Carlisle's hand. "I'm sorry, I mean, uh, it makes me feel old." She laughed apologetically. "Please call me Alice."
"Miss Alice, I 'pologize," he said with a genuine smile. "Ladies, if you'll follow me, I'm sure my niece Rosie has a pile biscuits 'n' gravy, eggs, grits 'n' more waitin' fer us."
Gripping Bella's arm, Alice trailed behind like being led to slaughter. Once inside, she was transported to the Country Home magazine showpiece. "Oh God, Bella," she whispered. "It's the Grand Ole Opry in here."
"Oh for chrissakes, Alice!" Bella chided softly, steps behind Carlisle. "It's quaint, and...and charming. Focus on the amazing antiques in here. Surely you can appreciate that."
Slowing her brain momentarily to zero in on the massive oak desk in the corner, and the other several hand-carved (no doubt) pieces of furniture speckling the great room, Alice relaxed just a little bit more. Okay, not that much. "Too many doilies, for my taste."
Bella shook off Alice's deathgrip and entered the kitchen to a massive spread of glorious southern home-cooking.
Rosalie flitted from stove to counter to table with dizzying grace and precision, before stopping like she ran into an iceberg, with the cold glare to match. "What in THE hell, Uncle C?"
Carlisle chuckled as he rolled his eyes. "Rosie, we have some guests for breakfast, today. This is Bella," he began, gesturing to her, and then Alice. "And Alice. Their car broke down not far from the fishin' hole when I came across 'em. Coo—uh, damn— Emmett's towin' it here right quick."
Rosalie nodded sharply before turning back to the food, perhaps slamming a plate or dish as she went. Alice and Bella certainly did not feel the chill had left.
"Where're the boys?" Carlisle asked, craning his neck to check down the hall.
"How the hell should I know?" Rosalie snapped, keeping her eyes focused on the task at hand. "Them idgits done scurred the rooster this mornin' when they high-tailed it outta here."
As if on cue, a bright orange Dodge Charger came speeding up the driveway, kicking up dirt in every direction. A loud "Yeeeeeeehawwww!" hollered from one of the open windows as the car slid sideways to stop within feet of the barn. Two strapping young men clad in skintight Levi's hopped deftly out through the windows and came barreling through the door, only to stop dead in their tracks once they hit the kitchen.
Now, before we git all uppity into introductions, can I just tell y'all how many times Carlisle has hollered at them boys 'bout their manners? Flyin' in like their britches is on fire ain't gonna make him none too happy, seein' as how they got company an' all.
Oh, and did I mention before how many wimmin' folk those Cullen boys have to beat off with a stick? To say they was handsome would be like sayin' moonshine's just a little too strong for Sunday service.
Folks if'n I was you, I'd stayed tuned in cause I do believe the air in the kitchen just got heavier than Aunt Lulamay's fruitcake, and Rosie is wieldin' a knife!
A/N: REVIEWS MAKE US REV OUR ENGINES. :D