Story Title: Little Fish, Big Fish
Story Summary: Little Fish, Big Fish follows the life of Bella and Edward as they meet in high school, eventually parting painfully, only to reunite as adults – in very different circumstances.
Chapter One : Blow jobs and Hearses
Note: Bella POV is written by Paige Parkker and Edward POV is written by Michelle M Marie
Michelle M Marie author note: Hey all!! So this is a new collab project done between myself and Paige Parkker (who is a phenomenal woman. You will all learn what I mean when you read her BPOV. I mean...I adore her. Plain and simple...she rocks my socks off).
HUGE THANKS to Project Team Beta...for not only beta-ing this work of art, but also for existing. Cause without you, I wouldn't have been able to bother Ms. Parkker enough to make her submit to collaborating with me. Heh!
I feel compelled to say that neither Paige nor I own Twilight or any related characters. But Robert Pattinson owns both of us (hells YES I am speaking for you, PP)
The side curtain had been snagged by a bag exposing the outside view. It was sometime between night and dawn, just before the sky turned pink and Big Blue predominated. The stars would be fading and the moon would be getting its jammies on for some serious daytime slumber. I could hear birds waking up and various critters scurrying across the ground and among the trees.
Jazz and I had decided to camp out in the back of my 1960 Cadillac Landau Hearse. Best vehicle ever. Better than those stupid new SUVs. It could carry all your shit and it still ran like a charm. Plus the paint job was perfect - Jazz and I had painted our interpretation of van Gogh's Starry Night on the sides and hood a month ago. Admittedly we had probably smoked too much pot when we did it, but I thought it was fucking perfect. Jazz thought it needed sparkles. "It can't be a starry night without stars Bells-a-bub!" Maybe. I needed to contemplate this some more. Sparkles? Maybe sequins? Rhinestones? Not an easy decision to make.
This whole journey seemed surreal. Another crazy trip in the LSD soup that was my life. Toronto to Forks. Back to my roots, yo. It was only a month ago that she died, and here we were outside of Spokane on our way to see a man about a horse. A man who was never much more than a baby gravy chef. And we were on our way to shack up with him. In her letter she said it was important to get to know the man. The fuzz. Chief Swan. Charlie. "Give your dad a chance Bella. Despite all my bullshit, he really is a good guy." We would see.
There had already been some friction between me and the Fuzz over Jazz. He wasn't so impressed that my right-hand man would be coming with me to Forks, and was equally not impressed that Jazz would be living with us. It was fair to say that he nearly blew his wad when I told him that we would be sharing a room, too. The Fuzz had refused. I refused to come if my demands were not met. The United States may not negotiate with terrorists, but Charlie Swan did, and in the end my demands were met.
Charlie didn't understand my Jazz. Not many did. She did though. She got it when she saw us together for the first time at the ripe old age of seven. We were living in LA at the time and I had just started in a new school. I'd been playing on the monkey bars and some older grunts came over to pick on me. Guess they had never seen a girl hang upside down in a skirt before. "We can see your panties! I see London, I see France, I see Bella's underpants!" Jazz came over and punched the ringleader right in the chops. When the ruffians had run, he turned to me and smiled. "I'm Jasper. I like your Wonder Woman undies. I wear Spiderman." He dropped trou right in the playground, showed me his undies, and from that moment on we were inseparable.
Jazz hadn't had it very easy growing up. His dad was splitsville and his mom, Charlotte - Char for short - was a drunk and an addict. She hooked to bring home the bacon, but most of that dough went to booze and smack. The few times she and I went to pick Jazz up for a play date, Char was passed out on the floor or had a customer calling. She was not impressed the first time I walked in to see Char licking stick in the kitchen. There was never any food in the apartment, no clean clothes, and Jazz would always be sporting a new bruise. This went on for a few years. Child services didn't seem to care, so one day we picked Jazz up to go to the movies and never brought him back. There were no police reports, no face on a milk carton, no Amber Alert, no nothing. Jazz was ours. She eventually took care of all the legal mumbo-jumbo to make Jazz legally ours.
'Cause our place wasn't very big, and we didn't have much moolah, Jazz and I always shared a room. I'd sleep on the bed and he'd sleep in his sleeping-bag-pillow fort on the floor. Eventually he would find his way into the bed and we would spoon. His arms would wrap tight around me like I might slip away. She always thought it was so cute, called us her twin souls, peas in a pod. It got to the point where we just couldn't sleep without each other. As we got older, though, She thought that maybe it wasn't such a good idea for us crazy kids to share a room, let alone a bed.
"Mom, s'not like we fuck like bunnies all night. We sleep."
"Be cool Ma-Renee. You won't be a young Grannie."
When She married Phil, the same objection was raised. I went on the pill to ease her concerns, and then banged one of Jazz's friends. A girl has to try that shit out.
It wasn't like Jazz and I had never explored. Shit, who else but your best friend could experiment with you? Besides, we slept together and morning wood was hard to hide. We never followed in the experimental steps of most horny hormone-driven kids, though. We skipped first base 'cause it was just way too weird; mouths are dirty places. Second base was smokin' at first, but turned into comfort food; Jazz liked to rub my boobs and play with my nipples when he was thinking, or when we were watching a movie. I loved flicking his pierced nipples to annoy him. Third base was soul food, too. It started as some hot doctor and nurse action when we were 13 years old, but now was a way to relieve stress when there was no pot or convenient smoking location. I mean seriously, the way we handled it might as well be some sort of clinical sex therapy:
"Yo, Bells-a-bub where's those math notes? I'm gunna be in the shitter if I don't pass this exam."
"Don't stress, Jazz. Want me to rub one out for ya? Will help with the studying."
"If you would be so kind."
"If you cum on my shirt, I'll bag ya."
A little mutual masturbation never killed anyone. Home base was not an option, not that we hadn't tried. It just wasn't our thing. We loved each other and it just seemed too impersonal.
Jazz was my anchor, my vibrator, my dealer, my sounding board, my shoulder, my punching bag, my Siamese twin, my motherfuckin' homie. And now, other than the Fuzz, my only family. Jazz and the Fuzz were it. She was the one that bailed from family.
She, Renee, mom, Ma-Renee, whatever name you wanted to call her, had always been dope. Some might have called her a hippie, but I always thought of her as a woman who marched to her own beat. She never liked to stay put; LA was probably the longest we'd stayed anywhere. Once we had Jazz we'd kept on moving. I think she liked to imagine that we were gypsies. We'd throw a dart on a map and off we'd go. Most of the time she flouted convention. She encouraged our interests; she bought me my first camera and Jazz his first guitar. She encouraged our individuality and never judged our style of dress or undress. She encouraged us to experiment with life, as long as we were safe about shit. She liked when we smoked up or got drunk at home so she'd know where we were. Kids liked hanging out at our place, which often caused her some grief with other parents, but she turned on the charm and all was fine. Compared to most of the parents I had met, she had been the shit!
Two years ago she met Phil while we were living at a trailer park just outside of Phoenix. His parents kept a house in the city to escape the cold winters of Toronto. Gotta love the rich. The two met at a cougar bar and it was love at first blow job. Within a week, Phil invited us to live with him at his place in Toronto. She had fallen head over heels for him, despite the age difference. But fuck, sometimes that shit can't be helped. Sometimes that cradle has to be robbed. The guy did have a great ass, and knowing my mom, he was hung like a horse, and had the stamina of the energizer bunny. My mom liked to fornicate, what could I say.
Toronto was a different scene. Whacked out. Shit was tolerated. Chicks could go topless and not get busted. Lesbians and gays could get married. Free fucking health care. That shit blew my mind. The music scene was hot. The art scene was hotter. Easy access to dope. Jazz and I seriously thought we had died and gone to heaven. Most of all, Renee seemed content to stay put.
Phil and Renee got married a few months after we settled in. One big happy family. For awhile.
Then the fighting started. Minor arguments about commitments, us kids, money, and all the other shit that people argue about. Minor turned into major. Jazz and I stayed away from the house a lot to let them sort out their frowns, but nothing seemed to get much better. Marriage counselling. Phil worked late. Renee cried. Phil didn't come home. Renee slept on the couch for days. Phil fucked his secretary. Renee shut down. Phil asked for a divorce. Renee turned into a brain-eating zombie. Jazz and I busted out all the sure fire moves that made her happy before, but all we got were phantom smiles and limp hugs. I guess we weren't a good substitute for a giant cock and a fantastic ass.
I don't really remember all the details from 'that day'. Jazz and I drove the hearse home from school. It reeked of pot, stale Indian food and age. It smelled like fucking awesome; bottle that up and sell it. The school art show was coming up and I had several photographs being displayed. Jazz's band had some gigs at the Horseshoe within the next few weeks. Life was looking good, we just had to get Renee sorted. I remember thinking that maybe after this string we could move somewhere new, start over, be carefree. I parked my baby and hopped out, doing my pee-pee dance. I ran into the house and stopped dead in my tracks. No more pee-pee.
Renee hung gracefully from the upper floor railing, her body motionless in the openness of the foyer, the rope suspending her lifeless body. I don't remember how I felt, or if I felt anything at all. I walked out to the hearse like some sort of robot, grabbed my camera and went back into the house. I took pictures. Jazz walked into the house and froze. "Jesus Christ! What the fuck are you doing Bells, call the cops!" I took pictures. I walked upstairs, untied the rope and watched as her body fell into the foyer. I took pictures. Jazz cried. I couldn't feel. Death had happened and I just couldn't deal.
The Doughnut Connoisseurs showed and conducted their business. Suicide. A letter had been left. I didn't read it, but Jazz did. He was mad. "Bitch couldn't even stick it out. After all the shit times, all the good times, couldn't stick it out." I understood, though, even if he didn't. She was a flame extinguished, and she'd had no other choice than to snuff out the embers. Whatever I felt, it wasn't anger. I took pictures. Later I could look at them and decide how I felt.
Death had weird rituals and forced decisions. Phil had wanted no part in anything; his new broodmare forbade him from participating. As her only relative, I'd had to make decisions about funeral arrangements, burial, and what to do with her stuff. Jazz had been my constant throughout, the peanut butter to my toast. The final ritual was the reading of the will. Since I wasn't 18 years old, custody of the minor, Isabella Swan, went to one Charlie Swan. Turns out Renee had a small stash of dough, which was to be split between Jazz and myself. The rest of her belongings were mine.
It didn't take long to get the fuck outta Dodge. Jazz and I packed up what we wanted, tossed it into the hearse, and plotted our course to Forks. Google Maps said it would take a couple of days non-stop driving, but we weren't in any rush to get to Washington. There was pot to be smoked, people to meet, pictures to take, video to shoot and miles of open road. And we did smoke a lot of pot, I shot rolls of film and video, and Jazz jammed with musicians along the way. It almost made me forget the dangling she.
Two weeks later we were here, just outside of Spokane at a rest stop camping in the back of a hearse.
Jazz's warm body pressed closer against my back under the piles of sleeping bags, one of his hands sliding under my sweatshirt to cup my breast and the other wrapping around my body and sliding under the waistband of my pants to draw me nearer. His breath tickled the back of my neck, and a few of his dreads fell across my cheek. He rocked us gently.
"Go back to sleep, Bells-a-bub. It's going to be a long day."
"Fuck," I said, killing my cigarette on the concrete as stealthily as I could. I looked up and watched as the school secretary, Ms. Cope, approached from the side entrance of Forks High.
Forks High School. The fucking bane of my existence.
"Mr. Cullen, surely you know the policy about smoking on school grounds," Ms. Cope said, frowning.
Or at least I thought that she was frowning. I had never really studied her long enough to tell one facial twitch from another.
I straightened my shirt and jacket, making sure that both items weren't wrinkled from the less-than-savory activities I had just engaged in with Lauren Mallory. So-the-fuck-what if the cigarette that I was inhaling was one of a "semi-post-coital" nature?
Rearranging my face into what I could only hope was the sweetest smile that has ever graced a Cullen's face, I swallowed hard before formulating a quick lie.
"I'm so sorry, Ms..."
"Cope, Ms. Cope," the older woman said, blushing for some unknown reason. Of course I knew her name, but by playing stupid, it gave me another approach to my current circumstances.
Because, fuck me, I had to get myself out of the position I currently found myself in. If Emmett found out that I got caught smoking a cigarette at school-after I received a blow job no less-I would never hear the end of it. Thank fucking GOD I didn't get caught during THAT...there was no way a little bit of sweet talking would get me out of being caught receiving fellatio.
"Ms. Cope, huh? Now how could I forget the name of such a pretty woman?" I said as sweetly as possible, trying not to vomit up the little bit of bile that had crept up my throat. Honestly, the blatant lie that I was telling was wreaking havoc on my system.
The woman in front of me blushed again and shook her head, smiling to herself. Her reaction to my compliment seemed to stall her just long enough for the lunch period to wind down to its final moments.
I carefully pulled my phone out of my pocket and checked the time. Looked like the bell was set to ring in five…four…three…two…
I took a deep breath in relief, saved by the fact that lunch was over. Who the fuck knew that the creators of the television show "Saved By the Bell" were actually onto something when they had named it?
Ms. Cope took a deep breath, the sound of the bell breaking her from her thoughts. She looked at me with a confused expression, and I smiled sweetly at her once more.
"I've got to get to class. I'll see you around, Ms. Cope?" I said, emphasizing the "Ms." I wasn't in the clear quite yet, and I figured it didn't hurt to flirt just a little more for good measure. I swallowed thickly again, making sure that the bile hadn't risen any further up my throat.
"Huh?" she said, turning to me. I noticed that she was still blushing. "Oh, yes," she said, turning and walking back in to the building. "See you around." She didn't even send a last look my way.
I quickly ran my hands though my hair as I concentrated on my surroundings. I looked forlornly down at the cigarette that I didn't get to finish, and watched as my breaths came out as short, white puffs of air. I wished that my breaths were accented by the white smoke that accompanied one while they were smoking a cigarette.
A noise to my right caught my attention, and I squinted, looking into the woods right next to the sidewalk. I watched as Lauren's straggling form ambled out of the bushes and brushed off the small amount of snow that had built up on her jacket.
She caught sight of me and walked over, looping her arm through mine. I quickly shrugged it off and looked at her with distaste.
"What the hell, Edward?" Lauren asked in her godforsaken nasally voice.
"Don't. Touch. Me," I said, trying to control the sudden surge of anger that I felt due to my lack of nicotine. The anger was irrational, and I knew it. I tried to dispel it as soon as I felt it flare up.
She twirled a piece of hair around her finger. "You didn't seem to mind me touching you fifteen minutes ago. What's your problem now?"
My anger was not ceasing, and I fought the urge to grit my teeth. Instead, I pinched the bridge of my nose and frowned again. "What's different now? The fact that I didn't get to finish my fucking cigarette. I really needed that smoke. You know, the reason I came outside in the first place?"
Lauren looked at me stupidly as she reached up to put her hair in a ponytail. The bulky jacket that she wore made it difficult for her to do so, and she ended up pulling her hair into an unintelligent, sloppy mess. The bitch LOOKED like she just given head to someone.
A big thank you goes out to Lauren, for being a stupid whore. Why not just have her walk around with a sign on her back, telling everyone that she was easy and didn't mind giving blow jobs outside in the dead of January?
Her hair successfully up in an unsuccessful ponytail, Lauren shrugged to me, unable to come up with any words to defend herself. I rolled my eyes, not wanting to continue the conversation, and turned to walk back into school to my next class. I turned around when I realized that Lauren wasn't following me, and saw that she was standing in her original spot with her arms crossed over her chest.
Internally brooding, I shook my head and stared at the woman who was pouting in front of me.
I swear to God, if Lauren wasn't one of the people in my "group" of friends, I wouldn't have anything to do with her. I mean, sure, she knew how to help me get my rocks off, but beyond that, she was insufferable to deal with.
I felt like an actor in that vintage "Nada Surf" video when I think about the group of people that I associate with around the great fucking town of Forks, Washington. Am I "popular"? I guess you could call it that. Are there any students around Forks who are in better social standing than my friends and I? Actually, no, there aren't.
My friends and I made up the best athletes and fucking cheerleaders in the area; student council members, letter jacket wearers, pep rally organizers, ass-kisser-closet-alcoholics extraordinaire.
Emmett, my older brother by one year, is the fucking glue that holds the group of us together. He is Mr. Pep Rally himself; loud and boisterous, he is considered a "high school God" by most people. The guy knows just about everyone, from freshman to seniors to the faculty and staff of FHS. If it wasn't for Emmett, there is no way in hell I would be who I am today.
Would I be next in line for star quarterback? Student council Vice President? Person who fools around with Lauren Mallory during school hours? Hell no. But do I have to put on a show, now that Carlisle and Esme are used to the way Emmett behaves? You bet your ass I do.
Sometimes I felt as though I had dug myself into a hole that there was no way out of. Regardless of the fact that Emmett is graduating this year, leaving his "legacy" to yours truly, I'll never be able to lower the façade I've made for myself.
I will always be "that guy": popular without trying, captain of whatever flipping team I try out for, big fish in a small pond. The friends that I have now are the ones that will always look back at our days in high school and refer to them as our "glory days".
Glory days my ass. I would rather forget these days than dwell on them.
I shrugged my shoulder in Lauren's direction as I motioned for her to follow me into the building. For reasons unknown to me, she let out an annoyingly high-pitched giggle, rushed up, and grabbed my arm. Again.
I looked down at her pointedly, and I resisted the urge to slap her hand away from me. Esme taught me better than to hit girls, I calmly reminded myself.
Lauren and I walked into the school and I cast a glance over my shoulder to make sure that she walked to her own locker instead of following me to my own. Satisfied that she was successfully intercepted by Jessica, her equally idiotic best friend, I walked full speed to my locker to gather materials for my next class.
As if I cared about my next class. Ha, the idea was almost laughable. I truthfully did not care about any of my classes, and only attended because Carlisle threatened to take away my Audi TTS Coupe. It's not my fault that I learn more by glancing at a textbook than listening to the crap the teachers of FHS considered "lecture" worthy.
Grabbing my notebook so I could pretend to take notes in my next class, I barely pulled myself out of the way as Mike Newton and Tyler Crowley came barrelling towards my locker.
"Damnit, Newton, watch where you're going," I said, staring at the Neanderthals in front of me.
"Sorry E, just wanted to see what you were doing after school today," Tyler apologized, as he ran a hand through his short hair.
I groaned as I shrugged out of my jacket. "Carlisle is home tonight for the first time in what seems like a month. Esme is cooking his favorite dinner to celebrate the fact that he is actually going to be home with his adoring family," I replied sarcastically. "Sorry guys,"
I shouldn't treat Mike and Tyler like they were bad people, because they weren't. Unlike Lauren or her best friend, Jessica, neither Mike nor Tyler were overly stupid or vapid. It seemed that their worst fault was that they coveted being like Emmett or me so much that it was beyond annoying.
I get it, Emmett is "cool". Doesn't mean that you have to dress like him and wear your hear like he does and use the same cologne and deodorant that he does and listen to the same music as he does. Grow a personality, guy; preferably one of your own.
The almost stalker-ish tendencies of Newton and Crowley were disturbing, especially since their primary "target" was Emmett. What the hell were they going to do when he is away at college next year? Surely they can't gain personalities of their own before the end of the school year...
I shuddered at the thought.
Tyler held his fist up for a "fist bump" and I lifted my fist to his. I felt more and more like a pussy every time I participated in his idiotic exit strategy. And of course, it was something that he had "taken" from Emmett. Four years ago, when that shit was considered "cool".
Giving a quick wave over my shoulder to Mike, I walked the last few steps to class.
As I sat in my chair, Jessica turned to me from her seat located across the room and blew me a kiss. Apparently she had the kind of "best friends forever" relationship with Lauren in which they can "share" guys. As if I would be a willing participant in that.
Over my dead body.
Fuck. I fucking hate high school.
I took one last puff from my cigarette before I flicked it into the perfectly trimmed bushes that were right outside "Casa de Cullens" front door. Jorge, the groundskeeper, would be able to take care of that for me in the morning. Might as well give him something to do tomorrow. What's the point in having a groundskeeper in the winter, anyway?
I tossed my book bag in the front foyer closet and headed into the kitchen, where a fantastic aroma was permeating the air.
"Esme, you wonderful woman you," I said to my mother as I leaned in to give her a hug. She squeezed my shoulders tightly before looking me in the eyes. She smiled from ear to ear before letting me go.
"Edward, darling. Thank you so much for being on time tonight, it means a lot that we are able to squeeze in some family time before Em goes to college next year. Emmett and Rosalie are waiting for your father in the great room. Care to join them? I can finish things up here by myself," Esme said, wiping her clean hands on her apron.
"Nah, I'm fine right here with my dear old mum," I said in a fake British accent, as I walked over to the kitchen island and sat down at one of the stools.
Esme smiled again and turned back to her cooking. "So," she called over her shoulder, "how was school today?"
I flippantly shrugged my shoulders. "Would you be surprised if I said that 'school was school'?"
My mother smirked before she walked over to me and ruffled up my already messy hair. I shrugged away from her touch and jokingly glared at her, before grabbing her hands and placing them at her sides. "Woman," I teased playfully, "you know I don't like people messing with my hair."
"Oh, how you have grown," Esme replied, as she walked over to the stove and stirred whatever was in the pot. "Dinner is almost done. Want to set the table, dear?"
I quickly got up from the kitchen island and headed over to where the dishes were located. I didn't complain about helping Esme around the house, considering I was required to help her about once every...six months.
Esme, no matter how domesticated she would like to be, is simply too busy to do anything domestic. My mother was a world-renowned author who writes under the penname Tanya Denali. Don't know who she is? Fuck that, I call your bluff. "Tanya Denali" has not only been on the NY Times best seller list since I can remember, but she was also a household name.
Esme was a phenomenal writer, and regardless of how masculine Carlisle may or may not act, she was also the breadwinner of the household. I bet my inheritance that fact chaps Carlisle's ass. Most likely the reason for him needing to micromanage my and Em's lives is due to the fact that he doesn't have control of much else around the house.
Oh Esme, how I adore you. Not only because you are my mother, but also because you torture my father in ways that you don't even know about. Cause Carlisle's not the type of guy who enjoys having his wife wearing the pants in the family, if you know what I mean.
Not long after I set the table, Carlisle arrived home and made his grand entrance into the kitchen. He called Emmett and his girlfriend Rosalie into the dining room and didn't even pause before he took a seat at the head of the table. Esme followed behind him with the food, and she set it on the table before taking a seat across from my father at the other end of the table.
Eat that, Carlisle.
"Did you make dinner tonight, Esme?" my father asked as he unfolded his napkin and placed it on his lap like the perfect little gentleman that he tried to pretend to be around Rosalie.
"Yes," Esme said, brushing her hair behind her ears. "I gave Maria the night off tonight so I could make my family a nice, home-cooked meal."
"I see," Carlisle replied, dishing himself out a portion of food before he passed it to Rosalie. It's amazing just how much Carlisle adored Rosalie. Makes me puke a little in my mouth just thinking about it. Poor Emmett. Maybe he should have found someone that his father didn't look at like a Christmas ham. That's my fucking plan.
"How'd your day go, Dr. Cullen? Anything new and exciting to report?" Rosalie said in the sweetest voice that I had ever heard her conjure up. Rosalie was anything but sweet-unless she was around my family, of course. Or her teachers. She had a "reputation" to hold up as student council president and head cheerleader. Outside of those social interactions, she was the nastiest bitch I have ever met in my entire existence.
"Same old, same old, Rosalie," Carlisle answered, smiling. "However, I did hear a bit of gossip around the water cooler this morning," my father said, taking a drink of the brandy that he had poured himself. Rich people and brandy go hand in hand in our "neck of the woods".
I looked over at my mother to see her silently laughing to herself. Something about Carlisle "gossiping like a little girl with the nurses" gets to her every time. Not that I blame her, 'cause that shit is funny.
"Whaddya hear, dad?" Emmett asked after he took a big gulp from the milk he had in front of him. Bastard was 100% stereotypical, right down to drinking his milk and taking his vitamins.
"Seems that Chief Swan's daughter is moving back to town. Area's all abuzz about the situation," Carlisle answered, taking another bite of his food.
Esme swirled her wine, watching the liquid crawl down the sides of her glass before she lifted it to her lips and took a sip. "That's what happens in a small town, children. Nothing better to do than gossip."
I scoffed at her comment, but thought about poor Chief Swan Jr. that was moving into the most godforsaken town on the Olympic Peninsula.
I bet that girl has no idea what the fuck she is even getting into.