Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight.
A/N: Here is a little teaser to the sequel titled, Not Without You
I just wanted to give you a little something and show that I am definitely working hard on it. This is half of the first chapter.
This is the short teaser, but the sequel has been posted. Check out my profile to find it. :)
The Path We Chose Sequel teaser
Not Without You
Chapter 1: Rain (1/2 chapter)
It was the last week of July and it was raining. The rain was coming down hard and fast and it was the kind of rain that's loud and gets pelted into your face by the wind, and I was late. I was running late for my six month prenatal appointment. I pulled my hood tighter around my face and splashed through puddles to my truck. Edward was already working at the hospital--the warm, dry, hospital. So he was planning on meeting me there. Before I'd left the house, I'd thought about calling him, but I was only five minutes behind at this point and calling him, would have just made me later. I trucked through the pouring rain, my windshield wipers furiously attacking the splashing water, and still, they weren't quick enough.
I cursed as I hit the first red light. I knew that once you hit one red light in this town, you hit them all. I checked my watch. Even if I drove slowly and was stopped by every light along the way, I would still only be ten minutes late. But life, or God, or fate, had other plans.
I was thinking about Arizona--how in Arizona I would be hot right now, sweating, and wishing for rain. My thoughts were on heat-stroke-inducing Phoenix when my truck started to stall. It putt-putt-putted and then shut itself off. I turned the key in the ignition but all I heard was clicking. I pumped the gas a few times, but still nothing. I sat back in my seat for a minute and stared at the streaks of water ahead of me, now thinking about the fact that I still hadn't replaced my cell phone. I was about two miles from the market where I could use the payphone, but I had no choice. I zipped up my jacket, stepped into the puddled street and walked, pregnant, in the rain, with my head down.
Nearly four minutes into my walk, the rain began to slow enough so I could look ahead and not down at my feet. And once the rain slowed to a sprinkle, there was honking behind me. I tried to ignore it--didn't turn around, but then I heard his voice calling my name.
"Hey, do you need a ride?"
He pulled over, got out of his car and opened the door for me. I frowned at him. "My truck broke down."
"Yeah, I saw it back there. I'll take you to Arnie's." It was actually, Arnold's Auto Works, but since this was Forks, everyone already knew Arnie, the old guy with the freckled bald head, long white beard and dirty hands, so Arnie's was what the place was called.
"You're all wet," Mike said, as he pulled away from the curb.
"It was raining," I said, because apparently when you're in the middle of an uncomfortable silence with someone you barely like, but who's helping you out, pointing out the obvious is the only way to go. "Do you have a phone I can borrow?"
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and I called Edward. He didn't answer with a, "hello," he answered with, "Why are you calling me?"
"Edward," I said.
"Bella? Where are you? What are you doing on Mike's phone?"
I told him about my truck, Mike and Arnie's. "Do you want Mike to take me to the hospital?"
"No, I'll come for you. I just have to finish up something here and then I'll reschedule your appointment."
At Arnie's I waited for his tow-truck driver to pick up my truck and Mike insisted on waiting with me so we sat in the office together next to the old morning coffee and the dusty water cooler.
"So, you're, uh, really having a baby, huh?"
He gave me a nervous laugh. "Just think, if we had gotten together when we had the chance you'd be pregnant with my baby right now."
Okay, that got my attention. I looked over at him. "What do you mean, when we had the chance?"
"You know, last year when I asked you to homecoming. If it weren't for your fear of dances we would have definitely hooked up."
"Mike. Seriously? People really do live in delusions in this world."
"Never mind. Thanks for helping me out, anyway."
"Anytime." He pointed at my stomach. "Do you have a name picked out?"
I shook my head at him wide-eyed. We hadn't picked out a name. I hadn't even thought about it. Edward and I had been calling the baby, "baby". Certainly that wouldn't be the name. Leave it to Mike to be the one to make me realize that my baby actually would need a name. I didn't have much time to think about it, though because Arnie came back, scratching his beard to inform me that my truck needed a new alternator and some brake work and it would cost me $1200.00.
"Whoa," Mike said and I took a deep breath.
"Mike, I appreciate your help, but you don't have to wait. Edward will be here any minute. I know you have other things to do."
"I don't mind, Bella."
I sighed and my neck was sweating. "Well, if you really want to wait, can you wait outside for a minute?"
I was so afraid he would ask me why, and I didn't want to explain to him that I needed privacy to try and beg Arnie to bring the price down for me. Thankfully, Mike obliged and left me there staring at Arnie.
"Does it really need all that work? Because I can't afford that."
"Sugar, if you want to be safe and avoid breakdowns, then yes, the repairs are necessary. And I've discounted the cost of labor for you already."
I wondered just what kind of "breakdown" I would be avoiding if I coughed up $1200.00.
Late for my appointment, truck stalling, walking through the rain only to be picked up by Mike after the rain had stopped--none of that was as difficult as this. Had I been living with my father, he would have paid to fix my truck, but since I no longer lived with him, by choice, I had no right to even ask him to pay. There was no way in hell I was going to ask Carlisle and Esme to break out their credit cards for me. And I didn't have enough money saved up yet to cover the cost. Which way do you go in this situation? Swallow your pride and ask for monetary help, or impose on others for rides and live a truckless life until you can afford to fix it? Staring and staring at Arnie in his office, I couldn't come to a decision. I needed Emmett for this kind of dilemma. But if I went to him, he'd probably think I was hinting for him to help me pay and that would be humiliating.
"Do you accept payment in installments?" I finally asked after the sound of his throat-clearing broke through my silence.
"Here's what I can do for you. It will take eight to ten days to get your parts anyway, so you will have some time before we're finished with the work. Once it's ready to go, you can pay 50% then and 50% after one month."
I did the only thing I could do at that point; I shook his grease-stained hand and gave him the go-ahead to get started on my truck. Then I walked out of the office because it was too hot in there and I wanted rain on my face again. It wasn't raining anything but Mike outside.
"All finished?" he asked.
"Do you want me to drive you to--"
Edward pulled up and parked by the curb. "Hey," he said as he approached, "sorry. Sorry." He kissed me. "Thanks Mike, really." He shook Mike's hand and turned back to me as if Mike would just leave. "It took forever to get the appointment changed. The receptionist kept going on and on about how she knew you were having a girl by the way your face glowed and how she was never wrong about these things. I heard all about her niece, who she also happened to predict would be a girl. Oh man, if our kid is anything like her niece sounds, we are going to need real therapy." He laughed. "Your face does glow. She's right about that." He kissed me again.
"You're having a girl?" Mike said, reminding us he was still there.
"No!" I said. "I mean…we don't know for sure. We don't know the sex. Please don't say anything at all about that, Mike. You know how the people of Forks like to spread news."
He squinted at me like he wasn't quite sure what I meant, so I clarified. "You know, Jessica, Lauren, rumors?"
"Oh. I don't talk to Jessica anymore. Ever since she pushed you, nobody really talks to her. Except for Lauren."
It was my turn to frown in confusion. "Really?" I looked at Edward.
"What? You know I never did talk to her unless I had to."
"But you never told me that nobody talks to her."
"I don't notice that kind of stuff, Bella. I go to school, get my grade, get back to you. That's it."
"Hey, I didn't mean to start an argument," Mike said holding up his hands.
I scoffed. "We're not arguing," I looked directly into his blue eyes. "We never argue." God. If we could get out of this without Mike revving the rumor engine it would be a miracle.
Edward laughed, put his arm around me and kissed the side of my head. "What's up with your truck?"
I told him what the problem was but not how much it would cost. It turns out I didn't have to offer that minor detail because Mike did. This guy was going to be lucky to get out of this without me pushing him. "Mike. I really do appreciate you helping me out. Not many people would have stopped. It was actually really heroic of you, but this part, this is between Edward and me, you know? Maybe we'll see you again, soon."
"Okay, Bella. No problem. It was good seeing you." He started to lean in for a hug but I took a step back and he looked at Edward and must have thought better of it. Then he finally turned around and headed for his car.
I took Edward's hand and guided him toward his car. "It's okay. I worked it out so I could pay part of it now and the rest later."
"Let me pay for some of it."
"It's not your truck, Edward. It's my responsibility and I've taken care of it." I opened his door for him.
"No, it's not my truck, but you're my girl. Let me help."
"Nope." I touched his nose as if that would put an end to the conversation. "You already help enough by being here and looking like that." I put my hand in his hair and messed it up even more. "Perfect." Then I kissed him and when I felt his hands grab my waist and pull me closer, I knew that was the actual end of the conversation.
A/N: Tell me what you think so far. Feel free to ask me questions, I always reply.
This was half of the first chapter. The full chapter will be posted as a separate story: Not Without You. If you want to be notified once it's published, add me to your author alert.
Sequel has been posted! :) Reviews are always appreciated.