Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Stephenie Meyer created it all.
I was just informed that Henry (from Harvest Moon) was nominated for an Emerging Swan award for an Original Character. Voting goes on until September 5th, 2011.
In order to thank the person(s) that nominated him for that award, I pulled this outtake that I never posted from Harvest Moon out of my one-shot bin, dusted it off, and had the betas polish it off as a thank you. This takes place just after the Cullens moved to Seattle from Forks, when the Romanians came to visit for Nessie's birthday. (after chapter 46) Just a quick little funny...
Jake, Edward, and I laughed as Nessie teased of Vladimir and Stefan. It was the day after her birthday party, and the men were all about to leave to run to Magnuson Park. Carlisle wanted to show our visitors the rich history of the park, including where artisans had used several of the old naval airplanes to create the Fin Project. Nessie was attempting to convince them to change out of their formal clothing for more casual attire, alluding to the fact that they would stand out in the dark clothing they preferred. Vladimir took one look at Emmett's tacky shorts and grimaced. Nessie continued to pout until they disappeared into the guest house, finally emerging in casual linen shirts and pants. I held my tongue about the change the light colors made in their appearance, figuring they didn't want to hear my opinion.
When Edward turned to shake his head at our daughter's antics, I rose up on my toes and locked lips with him, making sure that my shield lifted briefly so that he could see what I planned to do with him later. He stumbled a few steps away from me, his pupils slightly enlarged at the visions. I grinned, secure in my power to dazzle him as well. He cleared his throat.
"Hm… I'll just stay," he murmured, starting to grab at me.
With an exasperated huff, Jacob latched onto Edward's arm dragging him into the tree line. I heard him tell Edward, "It's not like you don't have all night to do that. Trust me, I know; should've taken Esme up on that other empty cabin across the way."
Edward just laughed at him as the men disappeared into the woods heading north. We all counted the minutes it would take for them to get out of earshot. Finally, Esme raised her eyebrows at us, and we dashed for our respective assignments. It was girl time by the pool. We didn't have to put up with Emmett attempting to soak us, or Seth's wisecracks about the reflections … just us, the sun, and the water. While Anna skimmed the top of the water to remove the debris, I grabbed the portable radio from my and Edward's house and the let Fang out to join us. He was as big of a sun lizard as me. I'd had to move him over the last time as he sprawled out beside me on his back. He was a smart dog; he ran straight for the pool and jumped into the best chair with Nessie. Esme along with Carmen, Tanya, and Kate brought more chairs, Alice brought the towels, and Rose was carrying Nessie's soccer ball.
She saw me looking and responded to my unspoken question. "I thought maybe we could practice, if we became too bored. I'd like to really beat the socks off of them next time."
Esme giggled. "I truly enjoyed the look on Carlisle's face when he realized that the game was over. It's always good to bring that ego down a little."
We all laughed about Esme even implying that Carlisle had an ego.
"It's true. He's still just a man under all that polished façade," she insisted emphatically, while looking into our disbelieving faces.
"Esme, speak to me after spending a weekend with Emmett. I swear the man has no shame," Rose mock complained.
"Whine, whine, whine. You could be single like Anna and I. It has it benefits and drawbacks," Tanya said, causing us all to start laughing.
"Okay, everyone. No more talk about the men. They occupy enough of our time," I said.
Alice burst out laughing at me.
"Coming from the newlywed that can't see past her husband's …"
Rose knocked the wind out of Alice, pointing over toward Nessie.
"Ooops," the pixie giggled.
"Mama and Daddy are just infatuated with each other; they can't help themselves," Nessie said, continuing Alice's line of thought.
"Okay, really, enough," I threatened, determined to put the men behind us.
I tuned the radio to a local music station and settled in my lounge to bake in the sun. I had to admit that along with being able to be "infatuated" with Edward, this was one of my favorite things about being a vampire. I didn't have to worry one minute about burning. Before, I had to layer myself in sun protection, and I still turned beet red. Now, I could lie for hours basking in the heat and never worry. A soft moan escaped me when I took my shirt and shorts off and felt the sunlight on my skin.
"Addictive isn't it," Tanya said softly from beside me.
"Mmm … Hmm…" was my only response.
"We'd send Tanya down here to live with you, Bella, if we didn't think she would get in trouble with Seth. She'd love to have the pool to lie by. We don't get enough sunny days in Alaska to make it work," Carmen teased.
"Ah … young Seth. I keep attempting to convince Edward I mean him no harm," Tanya murmured, and the smile was evident in the tone of her voice.
I was too lazy to open my eyes to see her face, but I knew she would look pleased at the thought of getting her hands on him. "You might actually be convincing if he couldn't read exactly just what you have in mind," I reminded her.
"Ah … but I would be a much better choice for him than that human he's playing around with. Such a waste. But Bella's right, no more talk about men. They're such silly creatures really, controlled by their …"
She'd stopped realizing where she was going and that Nessie was present.
"… stomachs?" Nessie finished for her, and when I opened my eyes at her tone, I found her grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"Precisely, Nessie, precisely," Kate finished as we all laughed.
"So on to more important things," Rose started. "Where was our weakest point in the game?"
"Bella!" both Alice and Kate chimed.
"What?" I huffed out, sitting up to glare at them while my own daughter laughed at me.
"You kept lagging behind," Anna, the traitor, added.
"Because I was protecting all of you from Seńor Mind Reader," I responded, making sure they understood the difficulty of my task.
"Ok, we have to give it to her there," Esme defended me.
"Nessie is dead on at goalie, but even with that they were able to approach too often," I heard Rose mumble.
The sun lulled us for a few moments. I wasn't the only one letting out unlady like noises from the experience.
"I think the problem is that we were playing too nice," Kate suggested, breaking the short contemplative silence.
"Hm…I think you're right. The boys were playing dirty. Even Mr. Ego," Alice said, earning Esme's delighted chuckle.
"I'm not tearing my shirt off to distract them like Rose did at the last football game," Anna stated emphatically, earning a round of chuckles.
"I'm not sure any of the other of us has the 'equipment' to make it as effective, that's Aunt Rose's job," Nessie added in earning a growl from me and snickers from the others.
Referring to her use of said equipment, Rose went off on a totally different track. "I think I'm going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year as well. I want to see if I can earn double the necklaces I did the last time."
Alice must have seen something funny in Rose's future because she started laughing. "Just make sure that you take enough money to bail Emmett out of jail."
Even Rose laughed at that.
"So back to the game, what are you suggesting Rose?" Esme's suspicious voice carried across the sun drenched pool area.
"I think we need to practice being a little more aggressive. They've come to expect us to play fair. It'll knock them off their feet. It isn't enough for us to win, I want us to win big time next time," she suggested.
"But if we practice with them, they'll know what we're planning," Kate mentioned.
Anna suggested, "So then we'll practice against each other."
Alice giggled, and leapt to her feet. "Every time they make us watch football, there is always appropriate sports music. I think I have just the right stuff in Jasper's collection. Hold on…"
She began running toward her and Jasper's house, and Esme whistled and then shouted out at her. "Looking good in that bikini, Alice."
"Don't encourage her, she's been learning too much from Emmett. She may come back with one of his tattoos and moon us all," I said. Alice's tinkling laughter floated over to us as she disappeared into the doorway across the 'quad.'
Emmett had liberally used the fake tattoos Carlisle had bought him as his gift the Valentine's Day before last. I believed that everyone had been a victim of his 'full moons" at one time or the other. The daisy with the vampire teeth and blood was still my favorite.
"Perhaps like the Oreo team, we should have uniforms," Nessie suggested.
"NO wolves. I draw the line on that," Rose mumbled.
While the others began throwing out possibilities for a team mascot, the pixie appeared at my side and put down an assortment of CDs by the radio. The one on top was AC/DC. I looked up at her in surprise.
"Definitely gotta play Back in Black, if I'm going to take out Carmen," she challenged.
"Bella's mine," Tanya chimed in. "I'm thinking there may be some underlying aggression for my pursuit of her husband when he was considering the priesthood, which she needs to release." She ended waggling her eyebrows at me.
I retorted, "More like in defense of my poor younger brother."
She grinned at me in friendship. Tanya had pursued Edward, but after our wedding she'd been nothing but respectful toward me. I couldn't hold her attraction against her. He'd been unmated then, and she'd never crossed the line after our relationship had been established. And, well, he was hot, so who could blame her. I'd done everything I could to corrupt Father Edward, as Emmett had been calling him lately myself before finally caving into his demand to get married first.
"I'll spar with Kate as long as she can't bring her little talent into play," Rose smacked her hands together in glee, in a move reminiscent of her mate. The look on her face at that moment made me wonder just who originated the mannerism.
"So that leaves me with Esme," Anna murmured. "I'm not sure I want to move from this spot, just to get beat up."
Esme challenged her by saying, "I know it's difficult when the old woman of the group disgraces you, but we promise not to tease you too much, Anna."
"Pfft…" was Anna's only response.
"I'll be the goalie, but that means you'll have to work toward only the one," Nessie squealed, excited about the prospect.
Fang barely perked his ears at the high pitch noise. Instead, he turned over putting his belly up toward the sun, his paws dangling slightly to the side. Nessie pushed him a little over earning a slight growl from him. Nessie responded back similarly when he moved back over crowding her out. Fang wasn't obviously too impressed because he just growled louder, twisting his body too and fro to wallow out a spot.
"That dog amazes me. One day he's going to run across something meaner than him and that no fear attitude is going to get him in trouble," Kate observed.
"Jake thinks he just doesn't understand fear because he's grown up around the biggest predators in the world. Everything else probably seems miniscule to him," Nessie mused, leaning up to scratch Fang's belly, causing his back leg to jerk back and forth.
"So, lets get to it, so we can come back to lay out before the boys get back," Rose encouraged us.
I wasn't the only one to groan, having to force my sun warmed body into action.
A coin held up in the air for Alice to see resulted in her waving toward Rose. We'd divided into the teams. Rosalie, Anna, Carmen, and I formed one. Esme, Alice, Kate, and Tanya constituted the other. On the high of the simple victory, Rose kicked the ball half way across the field almost hitting Alice. The pixie flipped up into the air and sent if flying back at her, before running over to start the music she'd selected and thrown into the multi-disc changer.
"Okay, play like you mean it," Nessie called out from the goal as the hard guitar strings of AC/DC song Alice had selected started.
What followed was more rugby than soccer.
Esme flipped Carmen's legs out from under her, stealing the ball. I joined Rose in pursuit of her, but turned to find Tanya directly behind me. Laughing in anticipation, I tackled her, sending up a cloud of dust as we slammed into the ground. In retribution, she smeared my face in the grass, earning a growl from me. After spitting the grass out, I shoved her laughing body several feet backward, jumping up to catch up with Rose. Esme had a lead heading toward Nessie who was protecting the goal.
I heard Alice shout for Kate to get me, but a vision of Henry raced through my mind. I ran toward Rose motioning up into the air with my hands. I saw that she understood, and Rose grabbed my hands using the inertia to shoot me into the air. I made my body as lean as possible and shot toward Esme. No wonder Henry liked playing HenryBall so much. The feeling of streaking through the air was incredible. When I tackled her, it sounded like thunder and we carved out a long ditch as we dug into the ground. Esme laughed, having twisted around so that I was the one currently getting dirt and grass shoved down my bikini.
I managed to grab a good hand full and shove it into her top, before jumping up. I shook my hair and saw stuff flying in all direction. The soccer ball had shot the other direction from our impact, and Anna intercepted it, heading back down the field toward us. Alice waited, serving as the defense between Anna and the goal.
"Anna, watch out, she's fast, she'll pick you off," Carmen shouted out.
Sure enough Alice blurred at her, but Anna caught her by surprise. She ran right toward Alice, expertly maneuvering the ball with her feet. At just the moment they would have collided, Anna went down on her knees and used the momentum to flip Alice over her. Being funny she grabbed Alice's bikini top strings as she flew over and pulled them loose causing Alice to shriek as she hurriedly retied them. The ball continued down the field and Kate grabbed it, turning toward Tanya and Esme, earning an unladylike swear from Anna. They moved in front of Kate making a defensive line, moving as a team toward Nessie. Their goal attempt was stymied by Nessie's quick reactions, and rapid redirection of the ball down field.
We continued to slam into each other for at least an hour. Although we'd jokingly called opponents, it really just amounted to grabbing which ever body you could and doing whatever it took to get the ball in your or your teammate's control. I claimed foul when Kate stunned Rosalie, temporarily taking control of the ball.
She made it close to the goal before I grabbed her from behind. Their momentum carried us forward, however, and we tumbled into the pool just behind the goal. Alice, picking up for her fallen comrade, snatched the ball and continued the advance as Kate and I laughed, pulling ourselves from the water. Carmen faced off against Alice, attempting to protect the goal.
"Carmen, please don't make me hurt you," Alice laughed.
"Pequeño duendecillo, I'm not the one you should be worried about," Carmen smiled elegantly at her.
Alice danced side to side and shot around Carmen, but Carmen leaped at her feet attempting to bring Alice to the ground. The 'little pixie' as Carmen had called her knew it was coming and leaped up in the air causing Carmen to sprawl to the ground. Alice then leapt onto her back pressing Carmen's face into the mud that had been generated from the water dripping off Kate and me.
"Perhaps I should have called you 'Perra del duendecillo'," Carmen mumbled, spitting muck from her mouth.
Alice was too close, however, to even react to her next move in time. In a spur of the moment decision, Carmen wrapped her hands around Alice and flipped them putting her body on top. Carmen proceeded to rub Alice's hair in the same mud, laughing at the look of disgust that flashed across Alice's face.
I stole the ball during Alice and Carmen's wrestling and made my way to the goal. Nessie narrowed her eyes at me as we faced off. Was I supposed to taunt her? This was my baby standing in front of me. She grinned at me with Edward's smile. She was clearly enjoying the game and was so genuinely vivacious that it was hard to imagine making her sad. Leaning down into a protective crouch she tucked several long curls behind her ear in an artless manner emphasizing the delicate structure of her face, and the twinkle in her eyes. That's when I knew she'd been conning me, using her appearance to detract me from my purpose. I saw the moment she realized her game was up, as her smile broadened from the familiar smirk into a much more characteristically face splitting one.
"A ;ittle distracted, mama?" she said, chuckling.
I answered her with a moment splitting growl.
But she'd worked her magic. The moments I'd contemplated what to do against my baby had given the rest of the girls the chance to catch up to me. I felt the first person hit me, and within a second I was covered in bikini clad bodies. From somewhere within the pile, we heard a suspicious "pop" and I knew that the game was over. The poor ball had "given up the ghost" as Jasper would say.
When we finally untangled ourselves, I looked over at the rest of the group. Other than Nessie, Anna was probably in the best shape, but even she looked like her hair had been styled by a wood chipper, with twigs and grass blades sticking out of her silky black hair. I looked across Esme's immaculately manicured yard and saw deep gashes and mud spots. She must have seen where I was looking and began laughing.
"I'll fix it, but that was too much fun to miss out on," she murmured in a delighted tone as she picked the grass from her hair. She had slashes of mud across her face, chin, and body. "But I refuse for us to have to clean the pool again, so I guess we have to take shower before we can go back in the water.
At the exact moment she ended her statement, a stream of water hit us. Shrieking, I turned to the culprit to find Nessie standing with the water hose in her hands.
"No time like the present to get cleaned up," she announced soaking us all.
But her impromptu plan worked, washing us at least clean enough to go back to enjoying the pool.
"We're ready," Rosalie declared, as she fluffed her hair like a beauty queen. "If we play like that next time, we'll annihilate them."
We snickered, knowing that we'd found our "game plan."
It was only a half hour later when the boys came back into the area. The astonished look on Carlisle's face was priceless. Even the look on Stefan's and Vladimir's faces was humorous. We sat pristinely by the pool, while the yard looked as if an immortal war had occurred on it.
"Esme?" Carlisle asked with great interest, his gaze scanning the ruined area.
"Fang was trying to find a bone he buried," she deadpanned. Fang barely opened one of his eyes to acknowledge her use of his name.
"Did he find it?" our leader asked, attempting to remain serious even as the boys broke rank and began chortling around him.
She raised her eyebrow daintily. "Ah…yes, I believe he found exactly what he needed."
Many, Many thanks to Crmcneill for betaing this for me. He is an amazing man…regardless of what he writes about himself. : )