Author's Notes: The first two outtakes originated in Harvest Moon, my first story, and are the basis for requests for further chapters. I have left them as original as possible reordering a few things to flow logically and changing some of the wording to make it T appropriate.
I was too lazy to rewrite the rules into another chapter so I am posting the Edward/Bella sections first. The first outtake should actually be the last in the series as it happens after the Cullen celebration in Forks. The second chapter will start on Valentine's Day, and the rest of the chapters will flow logically.
However for those that have not read Harvest Moon, please find the below points of reference for this story.
The scene in chapter one takes place in Esme's new home in Chicago, located directly next to Edward's childhood home. It occurs several days after Valentine's Day. The Cullen siblings have joined them there.
Anna is a vampire who the Cullens meet in Chicago.
The reference to the football game may be confusing. Suffice it to say the Cullens engaged in a football knockdown in which Edward, Jacob, and Seth are dubbed "Team Oreo" by Emmett based upon the difference in skin coloring. Rosalie joins the group for the game.
In my other story, another hybrid vampire baby is found by the wolf pack. Jacob delivers the baby, whom they name Henry, to Rosalie and Emmett to raise.
Alice had been rapidly unpacking the suitcases and patted the area on the floor beside her and Bella for me to sit down. Esme had ungraciously allowed Emmett to drag the Avocado Green sofa back over until a replacement could be found. Anna looked to the stacks of awkwardly wrapped gifts sitting in the floor in front of Bella and I. Alice realized her confusion and began to explain.
"The Cullens have a special tradition. We buy each other gag gifts for Valentine's Day. Bella brought Edward to Chicago this year so they weren't there to experience the shame along with the rest of us. Since we were all going to be here together, I figured what better place for them to un-wrap their presents."
"She probably paid more for the extra baggage to carry these, than the presents are worth total," Emmett teased.
Nessie leaned over to Anna saying, "The idea is to find the cheapest gift you can, the winners are voted on by the group. Jacob and I took the prize this year. We purchased ours at a yard sale. Jacob got everything for under ten dollars."
Alice looked to Bella. "Why don't you go first? This is your first time of experiencing our little tradition."
Bella looked a little uncertain. She had never been one to enjoy being in the limelight. She reached for the first package, it was long and thin. It was wrapped in what appeared to be a paper gown from the hospital. I saw Carlisle grin from the corner of my eye and realized that she had chosen his gift first. As she turned it over a loud buzzing sound emanated from the gift and Bella froze for a moment. Carlisle began to snicker and Bella looked to him.
"Yours?" she asked.
He nodded his head affirmatively. She carefully peeled back the tape and revealed an Operation Game. It was well worn and I noticed a sandwich bag taped to the front with the appropriate bones inside. The operating tweezers were loose, and had obviously hit some of the metal causing the buzzing sound.
"For all those times I had to stitch you up," Carlisle announced. Emmett hooted, earning a glare from Bella and a triumphant look from Alice.
"You're out," Alice announced pointing to both Carlisle and Emmett.
Bella and Anna looked to her confused.
"Nessie forgot to tell you that the game also includes a winning spot for the person that can contain their laughter until the end of each person's presents. He or she gets to either pick a prize or enforce someone's usage of their gift."
Bella shook her head side to side but continued to the next present. It was tied into a brown plastic grocery bag. I felt Alice tense slightly and heard the National Anthem in her head. Obviously the next package was from her.
Bella stuck her finger through the plastic ripping it open. A pile of brown polyester landed in her lap. She held the first item up and it was a jacket to a leisure suit. Bella's lips quirked slightly. Rose's eyes had went wide, and Henry began laughing hysterically having picked up on the atmosphere in the room.
Carlisle having already been eliminated began to roll in the floor in front of Esme. "Brown…..polyester…Ha!...goes along with the house…." Esme nudged him none to gently with her foot. Emmett joined in with the laughter feeling free to enjoy himself without the parameters of the game.
"Bella is seriously fashion challenged," Alice explained, looking over to Anna
"Alice does not understand comfort. By the way Alice did the purple SAS shoes I got you fit? Were they comfortable?" Bella retaliated.
As Alice glared, Jacob mumbled something that sounded like, "Wondered where those things came from. The neighbor's dogs were using them as chew toys."
Emmett picked up the ratty gym bag at the end of the stack and tossed it to Bella. "This is from me. I'm not sure if it is more for you or Edward."
Knowing Emmett's propensity for the risqué, the statement obviously produced anxiety in Bella but she took a deep breath not wanting to back down from him. She slowly unzipped the bag, reaching in to pull out a pom pom. What followed was a Forks High cheerleading uniform. I didn't want to know exactly how he acquired the items as I was sure it involved something illegal.
The men in the room quickly recognized the connotation behind Emmett's gift, Bella quirked her eyebrow at me. Possibly Emmett's gift just might get utilized. Bella however would have never been caught alive in the thing during our years at the school. It took her being dead to acquire the nerve to carry it off.
Emmett grinned devilishly at Bella. "All I ask is that I get a picture."
Over my dead body…- I was going to pound him as soon after the last gift was opened.
The image of Bella as a cheerleader, as clutzy as she had been in life, was about to overwhelm the group. Jasper's body started twitching and I was amazed that he had held it together for so long. He was about to double over from the laughter being contained in the room, mixed in with the sexual energy pouring out from the males in my family.
A small-box looking package came next. It was wrapped in fabric so my guess was that this was Esme's gift. Contained within the wrapping was a small kid's nursing kit. One that a young child would use to practice on baby dolls. It was stuffed full of bandages, arms braces, and aspirin.
"I am sorry dear I couldn't think of anything other than to tag along with Carlisle's story line."
Bella grinned at Esme. Amid the hilarity of the moment Esme had still been able to get a gift that also relayed her love of Bella. She was regretful that she had also had a hard time being around Bella the day of Jasper's attack, and the subsequent aftermath. It was a perfectly wonderful gift.
Two items remained. One was an envelope, and the other was a small rectangular box.
Bella picked up the envelope. Ripping it apart she held up an air freshener package. It was in the shape of a particularly voluptuous female vampire. Long dark hair flowed past the image's black satin encased butt, and the breasts of the picture threatened to fall out of the tightly cinched scarlet corset top. The female's eyes were chocolate brown and red lips surrounded a particularly gleeful smile displaying two very pointy incisors. The package read Strawberry Fragrance.
The image, for me, was more interesting than the cheerleader outfit but I wasn't dumb enough to say anything. Jasper, however, quickly quirked his eyebrow at me silently stating, Pervert
Rose struggled to control her voice as she stated, "For the Ferrari. It just plain stinks."
Jacob grabbed a lock of Rose's hair and tugged it. She responded by shoving him off the arm of the couch where he had been sitting beside her, Emmett, and Henry. Bella had done so well throughout the opening of the presents, but I could see she was struggling not to burst out laughing at the sentiments behind Rose's gift. I wondered if she would actually hang it in the car.
That left the last gift which was, using the process of elimination, from Jasper. Jasper and Bella's relationship was one of the more unique ones in our family. Jasper had carried remorse around about his role in Bella's ill-fated birthday party. Bella had forgiven him before she even pulled herself off the floor. It wasn't until after Bella had been turned that she convinced Jasper to let go of his guilt. Bella and Jasper both were book worms, so it wasn't uncommon to see Bella and Jasper sitting on the opposite sides of the sofa reading with their legs intertwining in the middle. If Alice and I hadn't been stronger individuals jealousy could have easily followed.
Bella picked up the package and slowly turned it over to tear open the tape. Her eyes slanted upwards and I quickly caught on to what she was planning to do.
"Don't even think about it Bella, I wouldn't find it funny," Jasper interrupted her plan.
"What?" She replied, attempting to seem innocent.
"Venom doesn't have the same effect on me, and the paper wouldn't even come close to harming your skin."
"Party-pooper," she snorted.
Bella opened the package without any further delay to find a bottle of "Monsters Be Gone Spray." The box indicated "For Getting Rid of those Pesky Monsters."
Bella lost it at that point grabbing her stomach and bending forward with her laughter. Emmett looked to me realizing that the game was up for Bella's part, and jumped into the air flying toward the door. I leapt after him in hot pursuit.
We heard Esme call out, "Boys remember we aren't in Forks. You have to stay in the back yard."
I leaped at his body causing us to fall into the yard rolling end over end. We couldn't pound each other like I would have liked because the sound would have attracted attention. We jumped to our feet facing each other.
Oh come on Edward. You know Bella is going to look hot in that outfit.
"That is my wife you are fantasizing about!" I laughed, grabbing his neck throwing him to the ground as gently as possible.
I landed on top, but I heard him think about flipping me over less than a second before he did it.
"I really could use a good fight right now," Emmett said just under his breath, grinning. "I have too much energy now that we have to devote some of our time to Henry. Not that I mind in the least, but we have to have a good wrestling session when we all get back home."
I was itching for a good 'throw down' as Jasper called it – just not for the same reasons.
"Too bad we have to be quiet," I stated, agreeing with Emmett's declaration.
Emmett stood up and gave me a hand up. He threw his arm around my shoulders as we began walking back toward the house.
"Anna seems okay. She and girls already seem as tight as a pack of thieves. They were over whispering in the corner the whole time you and Jasper unloaded. Is she by herself?"
"She lives with her parents just down the road, but in regards to our kind – yes she is alone."
"Huh, guess we will find out more about her over the week. Alice couldn't be contained, and Rose didn't want to be left out of the fun. Alice has already seen visions of her being around the family, but she is having problems seeing them all clearly. I teased her that someone should have bought her a new crystal ball for Valentine's Day."
When we walked back into the house we heard Esme laughing hysterically. Turning in a slow pirouette in the middle of the floor was Bella wearing the leisure suit. Alice had quite amazingly turned a slight shade of green, almost as if she was going to be sick.
"This is actually quite comfortable," Bella said, obviously in an attempt to get a rise out of Alice.
Alice narrowed her eyes at Bella.
Henry stood holding on to the side of the couch beside Rose, and he glanced up as Emmett approached. He held his one free hand in the air grasping towards Emmett indicating that he wanted up.
"Okay Edward, your turn," Alice, ever the task mistress, indicated again patting the floor beside her. Bella sat to the other side of Alice leaning against the chair Jasper was sitting in. This gave her the perfect opportunity to place her brown polyester clad legs directly beside Alice. Alice scooted closer to my side almost like the fabric would contaminate her.
Knowing that Alice would be pleased if her gift was the first one opened, I reached over for the grocery bag similar to the one Bella's had been wrapped in. As I picked up the bag the sounds of two plastic objects smacking against each other could be heard. I tore into the bag in the same manner as Bella and found two walkie talkies, fashioned in the kid cartoon characters Dora and Diego. A handmade sign hung from one of the antennaes and it said: For better communication between us. Alice quickly reached over, turning the Diego on and snatched the Dora one out of my hands. I quirked my eyebrow at her knowing full well she was about to explain.
"You keep dragging us into rescue missions so I felt it would only be fair if you were Diego.
She flipped the switch on the Dora walkie and spoke loudly into it, "Hurry Alice, I need your help. I might bite this one, it just smells too good. You must help me save it."
"You know Alice, if those glasses I got you help clear up your visions, we might not have the need for so many search and rescue trips." I countered.
Jasper's control broke and he snorted at this statement. Alice, clearly enjoying herself, brightly smiled at him using her finger to cross him off the list in the air. Free to enjoy the moment he reached over and grabbed the walkie from Alice for a prop. He and Emmett began trading comments mimicking my and Bella's voice.
"But I want to be like you." "I will not take your life away." "But Edward I love you." "I love you too Bella which is more reason that I will leave you human." "But I will grow old and you will not want me anymore." "I will always love you."
Seeing my face, Alice and Rosalie quickly jumped up putting their hands over their mates mouths in an attempt to circumvent all out war. Carlisle was however not being kind. His laughter roared through the house.
Alice sat bad down beside me as I chose Jasper's gift next figuring to get the "emotional" reference over with. Jasper was prone to find gifts in which he could refer to my "angst" in one way or the other. Emmett might give the overtly sexual gifts, but Jasper was more cunning. In the past I had received things such as "A guide to coming out of the closet" book, a DVD of Woody Allen's "Everything you wanted to know about sex (but never dared to ask)", and a single track copy of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing.
I unwrapped the present, actually dreading this gift more than the others. Under the paper was a box with a large dog on it. It read "Big Dog Deluxe Remote Training Collar: For Big or Stubborn Dogs."
Turning it to the side I read to the group the further instructions: "The remote dog training collar is one of the most effective, simplest and most humane training aids. The remote dog training collar, when placed on a dog's neck, allows a trainer to deliver small static shocks of varying strength by remote control. The correction the dog gets from the remote dog training collar is no different than walking on the carpet and touching your friend. The benefits of working with a remote dog training collar are the trainer can immediately correct a dog's mistakes at a distance far greater than leash training allows."
I looked to his face attempting to control mine and said, "Jasper, I thought the idea was to get me a gift I couldn't or wouldn't use."
Renesmee lost the battle at that point, joining the others laughing. Jacob remained stoic obviously looking to be the winner of the competition. He silently threw me his thoughts.
Hey Edward, I think that would actually fit better around your scrawny neck. Can I try it out? Hey are you listening?...Have you heard the joke about the vampire's dog? What is a vampire's favorite dog? …a bloodhound. Is what they say about why vampires have no friends true? Because they are pains in the neck.
I studiously ignored him as he continued to rattle through vampire jokes. His blond ones had been better.
I picked up the box wrapped in a hospital gown knowing it would be from Carlisle. As I sat the box in front of me I heard a slight sloshing sound, and was intrigued against my better judgment. I undid the tape and opened the box to find what looked to be a bag of blood in the bottom. I took it out and for a moment was momentarily shocked with the audacity of the gift.
Carlisle had obviously taken a blood donation bag from the hospital and filled it with theatrical blood. However the label was an official label from the hospital filled in with Bella's maiden name and accurate biographical data. Attached to the bag with tape was one of those straws that kids used to puncture bagged drinks.
I continued to hold it before me in stunned silence. My face must have been humorous because Esme breaths came out in pants before she succumbed to the shaking of her body.
"Perhaps you should hand that over to Jasper, Edward," she politely said through her laughter. A pillow flew past my head at lightning speed, but she caught it before it so much as ruffled her hair.
Bella looked quite mischievously to Jake.
"Huh, never thought of that one. I wonder if Dr. Gerandy still has all that blood stored up?"
This caught the attention of the whole family and Anna.
"What do you mean, Bella?" Carlisle asked.
Bella couldn't blush but it was clear she was embarrassed.
"After you left, well you all know I got a little reckless. After the second visit to the emergency room in a week Charlie insisted I donate blood so that they would have some of mine in storage. I was amazed really that the doctor did it because I was so thin then; Jake had to carry me out of there several times from passing out."
She and Jake both giggled under their breaths and I could see the memories of Bella's strained face pass through Jake's head. I was not as amused as they.
The thought of the scent and taste of Bella's blood made me shudder. I might have mastered control for awhile, but I had let my guard down with her immortality. I could only imagine my reaction to having such an offering placed in my hand. The smell of her at Charlie's house had almost undone me.
"Bella I am not sure that would have been such a funny gift. I wouldn't have wanted to embarrass myself in front of Anna. Carlisle's gift on the other hand is probably the most unique he has given to me. I think this one will go home to sit on my bookshelf."
Emmett's gift came next. He again had placed his gift in a ratty looking gym bag. I momentarily wondered were he had acquired the bags, and wondered if he had stolen some sort of uniform for me as well. His fixation on sports was amazing.
I unzipped it and pulled out a Chicago White Sox baseball shirt. It had thin vertical black stripes running up and down the white shirt and long sleeves. Within a second I realized that the traditional White Sox logo had been covered. Crudely sown over the logo was a large patch of an Oreo cookie. I knew before turning it over what I would see on the back, but did so with reluctance. In big bold letters was the wording: TEAM OREO.
Anna asked, "Okay, so far I have been able to follow along with most of the gifts. But I am a little confused on this one."
Alice began to explain about our previous football game. To bug Emmett I took off the button down shirt I had on over my jeans and pulled on the jersey. I knew the best way to get under his skin was to act like I really liked the gift.
"Hey Jacob, we need to order these for the team for the next time. Esme, do you think you could sew the patch on a little better. I would hate for it to fall off as we kick their butts again."
"Actually I think I might be able to manage that for you," Esme replied, managing a poker face.
Rosalie picked up on my banter. "Maybe if we all wear white they will have a better chance of seeing us as we run down the field in front of them."
She picked up a small package tossing it to me. I was uncertain about the look on her face. It was a curious mixture between excitement and anticipation. Seeing those two emotions on Rosalie's face made me extremely nervous. I slowly unwrapped the box and found inside a key attached to a toy pickup truck. I was a little confused and noticed that something was still inside the box. I pushed my finger into the cavity and pulled out a folded over picture. Smoothing it out I was astonished. Rose and Jacob stood in front of a perfectly restored 1953 truck, in front of the Forks house. My stomach sunk. The Thing - please don't tell me they resurrected The Thing.
I looked to her attempting to keep my face smooth. She grinned evilly at me. I could read her thoughts.
Ha! Ha! I don't care if I lost the bet or not, it was worth every penny I spent on it. Your face is priceless. How many seconds do you think it will take before she gets in that thing and takes off leaving the Ferrari behind? You will not even be able to make an excuse. It has been totally restored.
Bella, clearly intrigued by what I was holding, snatched the picture out of my hand before the shock wore off and I thought clearly enough to hide it. Her eyes widened and she looked to Rosalie in amazement.
"Is that my truck?" her voice squealed out.
Rose turned her head away from me and began her dissertation on the restoration.
"Bella, Jake and I have been working on your truck since just after the Volturi left. It has been totally restored down to the finest details sans an update in engine and transmission."
Jacob broke in to the discussion clearly excited to discuss the particulars. "Rose and I put in a 350 with a 400 Turbo transmission. Then we replaced the rear end with Posi traction. It drives and handles better than new."
I could hear Emmett's thoughts. No wonder he just walked in and handed Henry to her. Now I know what changed the tide. I wondered what all those parts were, but I thought it was for her car. Damn she got Edward good.
Similar thoughts filtered through the minds of everyone in my family.
They were right … she had me. I was never going to get it away from Bella now, and Rose knew it. She began laughing laying her head against Emmett's shoulder. My family looked stunned.. Bella continued to squeal in astonishment and joy about the present. Even Anna had to smile at the enthusiasm in her voice, and she had no understanding of the context. I had to get through this now - so I could ponder my fate in regards to the truck
The last package was bigger than the others. I untied the ribbon that secured the fabric around the item and found underneath a Little Einstein's Play and Learn Rocket Piano. Attached to the piano was sheet music with the bright colorful notes for Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The note attached read:
"Edward, I know that I am supposed to buy a gag gift, but I thought you and Bella might need a piano for your cottage."
Evil filled my body and I did what I never thought I would do. I designed a plan to make my mother and sister suffer. I reached over to Henry, and when he saw me motioning for him to come to me he all but jumped off his father's lap.
"Henry, here is the C." I placed his tiny finger on the appropriate key. "And here is the D key," came my next instruction. Within just a few seconds I had shown Henry all the keys on the toy. The women in my family looked on in joyful ignorance marveling at my nurturing capacity, but I could see by the horrified look on Carlisle's face that he was quickly aware of my plans.
"Okay Henry, let's try Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
What occurred was priceless. Henry slammed both hands down on the keys in a maneuver worthy of Jerry Lewis performing Great Balls of Fire. The noise was horrendous. Henry was ecstatic. For a full minute I relished the fitting payback supplied by Henry the Great… as he would now be called in my head.
"I sure am glad that I am spending the night with the two of you, versus staying here," Jacob said leaning over to Bella during the performance.
Emmett attempted to cajole Henry out of the piano toy, but he wasn't buying it. He held on to the thing with all the vampire strength he could muster. Emmett could have easily torn the thing from his son's arms, but he didn't have the heart. My mother and sister glared at me. I grinned unashamed and lost my place in the winner's circle when Esme bared her teeth. Her discomfort broke through my control, and I grabbed up Henry as I chuckled loudly placing a kiss to his cheek. Alice and Jacob had won. I wondered how they would declare a winner.
I looked to Rosalie and said as softly as possible, "Check mate."