AN: This little fic was inspired by a tiny line from chapter 31 of Eowyn77's Fifty-Eight Nights (updated on ramblingsandthoughts). If you haven't read that, go read it now!!! Since she provided the plot bunny, Eowyn was kind enough to provide a beta as well. I cannot thank this fabulous author enough.
It kills me to say it, but Stephenie Meyer owns Edward, Bella, and everything else. I'm only playing around.
The burgers were in the oven with the buns, keeping warm. I had set the table with ketchup, lettuce, cheese, onions; everything a man might want on his hamburger.
I was still working on buttering up Charlie. It felt like that was all I had done for the past month. He seemed to be relenting in his gruffness towards me, at least, but Edward was still banned except during my designated visiting hours. Thank goodness Edward didn't feel the need to follow Charlie's rules for bedtime. My father didn't know, but sleeping in Edward's arms was the only thing that let me sleep through the night without nightmares.
Even so, making his favorite dinners seemed like a good way to make Charlie let up and allow Edward back into the house. Or maybe even me out of it. I rolled my eyes at the likelihood of that. I didn't expect to see anything other than school and work until graduation. Well, it was worth a shot.
I glanced over at the table, thinking I would settle in for fifteen minutes of reading before Charlie got home, when I realized what was missing. Pickles! Of course. Can't have a burger without pickles, and I knew we had a fresh jar.
The pickles were in the back of the fridge, but after moving eggs, leftover pasta, and a bowl of grapes, I pulled them out. I wrapped a hand around the lid and twisted.
I twisted harder, resulting in the equivalent of road burn on my hand. It was now bright red. Dang new jars. I switched to the other hand, but got the same treatment.
"Ow!" Stupid pickles!
I ran to put my hand under a stream of cool water, which quickly gave me another idea. I switched the faucet to hot and waited a minute while the water warmed up. Then I shoved the lid under the stream, watching with satisfaction as the air inside the jar started to look steamy.
After I was sure the metal was sufficiently warmer than room temperature, I grabbed a towel (not wanting to burn my already red hands), wrapped it around the lid, and twisted.
Two sweaty, grunting minutes later, I still had no pickles.
What was wrong with this thing? Was it a new requirement that pickle jars be unopenable?
For the next ten minutes, I tried every easy open method I could think of: pry it with a knife, hit it on the counter, pop it with a spoon, twist with a rubber glove; and I still had no pickles.
"Argh!!!" This was just plain ridiculous. I screamed and all but threw the jar onto the counter, the stupid angry tears starting to run down my cheeks, when a soft breeze announced the presence of a non-human.
Edward's eyes were concerned as he called my name. "Bella? What's wrong?"
He must have been very worried to risk getting caught by Charlie before his visiting hours. Even through my worry over that and my frustration of the last ten minutes, seeing him made my heart flutter.
I lost my train of thought while looking into his eyes, but he brought me back with an "are you alright?"
I shook my head briefly to dispel his hold over me. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just really mad at these pickles."
He raised an eyebrow, no doubt confused by my statement. "You're crying...over pickles?"
I huffed, my former irritation coming back. "Yes, Charlie and I both love pickles on our hamburgers, but I can't get the stupid jar open!"
His laughter filled the kitchen, but it only served to aggravate me further. "Stop that! Look what it did to me!" I showed my red hands as evidence of the evil jar.
The sight quieted him, and he took my hands gently in his, then kissed each palm. A tingly feeling crept up my arms and down my spine as he did. Wow. I'd wrestle with impossible jars every day if it meant he'd kiss me like that.
"I'm sorry you're hurt," he said. "It was just so unexpected."
"That's okay," I sighed, melting into his chest. "I guess we'll have to do without tonight."
He chuckled. "Silly Bella. Would you like me to take care of the mean pickles for you?"
Oh! How could I be such an idiot? I couldn't believe I forgot the most failsafe way to get something open: call a local vampire. "Please!"
Edward reached around me, keeping me in the circle of his arms, and grabbed the jar of pickles from where I'd left it on the counter. With one sure twist, I heard the pop announcing the opening of the jar.
"There. At least supernatural strength is good for something."
"It's good for lots of thing," I argued. I could think of several instances off the top of my head where human muscles wouldn't have been enough to get me out of a sticky situation.
He squeezed me tightly for one brief second and then pulled back. "I hear Charlie. I'll be back at 7:30."
I sighed. "Hopefully I won't have to open any more jars before then."
"Don't worry, I won't be far. And besides," he whispered as he backed out of the kitchen, "I think you loosened that one for me."