You're invited to the Graduation Party in Eclipse from Mike Newton's POV. Bella said she was too distracted to keep track of everything that went on that night, but Mike didn't miss a thing (except that he was in the company of Vampires and Wolves).
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns the rights to all things Twilight. I own nothing. My only intention is to play around with my favorite human. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rated T for teen drinking and sexually suggestive humor.
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"Look how Edward Cullen sparkles in the sunlight!" Jessica exclaimed.
Bella's head snapped up from her history book lying open on the picnic table. Her face turned as pale as death as her eyes scanned the other students taking advantage of the rare break in the clouds between our final exams, before landing on Jessica. She looked flustered, like a kid caught stealing his father's Playboy …not that I knew what that's like. Jessica didn't notice as she flipped over the glittery invitation in her hand, holding it up to the sun to study its superficial glow.
"Oh, your name sparkles too in this light, Bella," she added in a mumble.
Bella changed from white to as red as my briefs when I accidently washed them with my Los Angeles Angels hoodie. She exhaled loudly, lowering her head to the table.
Jessica glanced over at Bella and then me, giving a what's with her shrug before just blurting it out loud.
"What's with you, Bella? You seem all worked up over your own graduation party. I told my parents to throw me a big party, but they said something about taking a family vacation instead or whatever. I don't know. I stopped listening after they said no."
Bella muttered something that sounded like "Wish I could say no" before lifting her eyes to meet ours. "…I mean, you know, it's not a big deal. Mike, Jessica, you guys don't even have to go if you've got anything better to do."
Her pretty brown eyes looked almost pleading, but I'd been looking forward to this since Alice passed out the invites.
"Sorry Swan. I'm not missing it for the world!" I nearly leaped out of my seat as I slammed my hands down on the picnic table, barely containing the anticipation. "A chance to see inside the mysterious Cullen Mansion sounds like more fun than a ride in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland!" That's where my family would be vacationing this summer.
Bella's uneasy expression shifted into a scowl. Whoops.
"I didn't mean it like that," I said, waving my hands in the air like a white flag. "Sorry Bella. It sounds like it'll be a lot of fun, really."
"What should I wear?" Jessica asked, ignoring Bella's glare.
"Oh, um, I don't know. What you have on seems fine," Bella responded, looking back to Jessica and twisting a strand of hair nervously around her fingers.
Jessica was trying to force a friendly half-smile, which just came out disfigured, making her look more like Two-Face from Batman; especially as she flipped over the party invitation in her hand again, weighing her options. She'd confided in me some of what happened the last time she and Bella hung out and I knew she didn't want to let it go. She never really let anything go.
"I'll come up with something to wear, I guess. …Yeah, it'll be fun," Jessica conceded. But I knew she was as amped up as anyone to check out that monstrosity on the river. Contempt gave way to curiosity as usual.
"Sure," Bella replied, closing her book and picking up her backpack from the grass. "See you guys at Graduation."
"Yeah, later." I made one last attempt to get in her good graces, throwing her a dazzling smile. She smirked slightly but seemed distracted by some amusing thought as she turned away.
"Hey Mike." Tyler trotted up with Lauren clicking at his heels.
Tyler and I grasped right hands, initiating what we labeled the 'homie handshake'. It was the newest, coolest thing in Forks, so of course we'd be on the forefront of the trend. Rotating our hands out of the typical shake, we grasped thumbs. Sliding our palms away from each other, we then wiggled our fingers against each others hands. Tyler calls it the 'tough guy tickle'. Gripping each others finger tips, we ended by pulling the other person forward into the very 'not-gay' right shoulder bump. That step was my idea.
"So Lauren and I were thinking," Tyler said as he stepped back, "How about we all carpool in your Suburban to Bella and the Cullen's graduation party? That way it'll be tougher for the doctor to get us alone and turn all Mr. Hyde, luring us into the basement to perform the weird plastic surgery he does on his family."
"Jealous much?" Lauren scoffed, not looking up from admiring the nail polish she had spent the free period applying.
"How about you get there first then …alone?" Tyler shot back.
Lauren looked authentically anxious for a second before wrapping her blood red manicure around Tyler's arm and batting her eyelashes at him. She cooed with the high-pitched squeal of a startled chipmunk. "Oh baby, you wouldn't do that to me now would you?"
Tyler turned into Lauren's grip, looking her in the eyes and simpered as he said, "Course not babe. I'll protect you from the reclusive Cullens and their mystery mansion."
Tyler rubbed his body against Lauren while leaning his head back to me. "So you down with driving the gang there?"
"Yeah definitely. I don't like the way Cullen looks at me. I don't wanna set foot in that place alone either. We can all pile into Frankenstein's Monster. (I was inspired by Frankenstein when I first laid eyes on the beautiful monster known as my Suburban.) If we can't all fit, other people can just follow us. We'll meet outside my parents store 20 minutes before the party. Spread the word like a hummingbird."
"Sounds good, bro."
"Yeah. Now let's go make this final history. Whoop!"
With the classic 'fists of fireworks', we celebrated the end of school hanging just over the horizon. Tyler and I punched our fists together, and then spread open our hands, making the sound of an explosion.
I felt like William Wallace giving his 'Freedom' war cry, though our enemy was not the English …Well, maybe English class.
"Ew guys! I meant it when I said 'get a room'. If your making out causes Mike to throw up when he looks in the rearview mirror, lose control of the wheel and crash, it'll be all your fault!" Samantha cried.
"Why don't you just mind your own business, drama queen?!" Lauren clucked.
"Ugh, I can't. You're practically smuckering his peanut butter and I'm sandwiched in the middle!" Samantha shot back.
I cautiously lifted my eyes to the rearview mirror. The back row was occupied by Samantha, cringing against a window, a mess of blonde hair that could only be Lauren, and congruent to her was a disheveled Tyler underneath the chaos of hair and claws. They rubbed against each other like two sticks trying unsuccessfully to start a fire.
I wouldn't be doing that if I were her, I thought to myself. Going to the creepy Cullen's house, who knows what could happen. If scary movies taught us anything, if the Cullens do turn out to be psychos, the sluttiest girl is always the first to go. Maybe I could be the guy that rescues the girl, I mused. I bet Bella will look pretty hot tonight and she had that damsel in distress look about her on Thursday. Just like in the movies, I'd pull her into my arms and plant a kiss on her at the same time as I'd plant a roundhouse kick to Cullen's perfect face. I could feel the triumphant smirk raising the corners of my mouth as my mind played out the fantasy.
My daydream was crushed by the steamroller of words tumbling out of Jessica's mouth from the passenger seat. "The directions say that when the road curves to the east to look for the driveway on the right. You would think this place could be easier to find, but I guess it just ties into the whole reclusive vibe they give off. But I'm dying to see the place anyway.
"I heard from Lauren, who heard from Austin, who heard from Ben, who heard from Angela, who said Alice told her there'd be 65 people coming tonight. That's like more than our whole senior class! I hope they have good music to dan…"
I wasn't sure if Jessica was still on her role or if she was as leveled as I was by the road ahead. A driveway illuminated by two tall trees bit into the darkness, lit up brighter than the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I turned carefully into the drive and felt my body relax a little. The rest of the drive was like a wonderland, three miles of stringed up lights every few yards. From the air I imagined a 747 could easily mistake it for an emergency landing strip. Everyone inside of Frankenstein's Monster became noticeably silent (since they hadn't shut up the whole drive) as they stared out the windows at the festive decorations. With a glance in the mirror, I even saw Lauren release her grip on Tyler to gaze out the window. Maybe she would survive the night after all.
The forest ended abruptly, taking with it the last of the gleaming evergreens. Our eyes focused on a large white house just ahead, which would have felt very inviting if the sheer size of the house didn't make it feel like it was eerily looming over us, watching us.
I probably shouldn't have watched The Burbs yesterday, I reflected, comparing myself to the lead character. A classic for sure, but I was getting as paranoid as Tom Hanks, a jaded suburbanite with his suspicious theory that the new family in town was a front for a cannibalistic cult. The Cullens were total recluses before Bella came to town and definitely weird …but cannibals, no way. Plus, our town was smaller than Tom Hanks'. If there really was anything to fear, someone would have figured it out by now and told everyone, right? ...What am I thinking? Small town life was just getting to me too. I needed to get out of town and soon, before I started accusing people of my crazy theories. My thoughts drifted into the anticipation of moving to California this fall for college as I parked the Monster beside the Cullen's oversized garage.
Everyone unloaded the Suburban quickly. There were too many of us to all fit in one car, so Ben, Angela, Eric, and a few other students met us at my store to caravan. Once we turned into the driveway, Ben had slowed down. Likely to draw out his time alone with Angela and admire the lighted trees together. Since everyone was too nervous to be the first one in the house, they scattered along the driveway and began quietly gossiping.
I made my way around to the passenger side, but was stopped by Tyler and Lauren as they jumped out and pushed me back in front of my car, into the dark and out of ear shot of our other friends. Lauren reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a flask as her grin turned up to resemble the Cheshire Cat.
"Check this out dude," Tyler said, stifling a laugh. "Lauren thought it'd be cool to spike the punch."
Lauren was giggling too and as both of them leaned in close to share their plan; a harsh scent reached my nose. Clearly they had been sampling their co-conspirator. I leaned back, trying to appear casual, until my legs bumped the front of my SUV and the rest of my body fell back against the vehicle, my elbow coming down on the hood. Both Lauren and Tyler giggled harder at my clumsiness and their sickly sweet scent dizzied my senses.
Lauren caught her breath (not the stench of it unfortunately) and released a deep exhale straight at me before telling me her self-proclaimed genius plan. My head spun slowly as she went on. "It'll look too obvious if me or Tyler try to spike the punch, so we want you to do it. Take this."
Lauren thrust her hand gripping the flask out to me. I was transported back to fifth grade. Chief Swan spoke to our class about alcohol and peer pressure my first day of school in Forks. As Lauren and Tyler's close proximity antagonized and the bump I was sure to have on my elbow throbbed, I couldn't keep the facts straight. Did DARE stand for "Drugs are really expensive" or was I confusing that with something else? No, that couldn't be right. But even if this was technically my last day of high school, I still needed to come off as cool. I reluctantly grabbed the flask and stuck it in my coat pocket, silently praying I wouldn't see Chief Swan again tonight.
We stepped out of the darkness as Tyler whispered to me to pour it in the punch bowl as soon as we get inside.
Headlights beamed on our mish-mash standing awkwardly in the driveway, like a spotlight illuminating a criminal caught in the act. It was just Ben and Angela, but the flask in my pocket felt hot for a moment. I was bound to psych myself out if I thought about it, so instead I glanced at the house, then everyone else standing around outside. We all looked to share the same thought. I'm not going in first.
Jessica bounced over to Ben's car and grabbed Angela's hand once Ben had opened the door for her. I couldn't hear Jessica's words, but she was quickly pulling Angela with her toward the peculiar mansion. Sometimes people talk fast when they're nervous, but with Jessica it was impossible to tell. Her mouth moved quickly in the dim lighting of the cloudy sky and encasing forest. She gripped tightly to Angela, but her face was practically glowing as she continued toward the house, nearly dancing with anticipation.
The whispers around me grew louder as everyone watched Jessica on her mission. Something in me clicked as I took one last glance at the looming house and then back to Jessica. Her long curls bobbed against her shoulders and down her back with each step. This was the first time I noticed she wore a silk fuchsia top under a black trench coat, along with a dark grey skirt that ended just above her knees. Her skirt rode up slightly with each step to reveal more of her slender legs. She looked …sort of beautiful. A well of courage bubbled up and I found myself walking toward Jessica and a stunned Angela.
Just as I was about to reach them, Angela glanced back at Ben, who was starring at her but trapped still beside his car in conversation with Austin and Lee.
"I forgot my purse!" Angela exclaimed and gracefully released herself from Jessica's hold.
Jessica paused for a second looking unsure about continuing her trek alone, but when she caught my eye her face lit up. I felt truly brave for a moment, even though the situation really was just about going to a party at a house that made me uncomfortable for some inexplicable reason. My plans to rescue a damsel in distress tonight didn't have to be limited to Bella, I considered. As I linked one arm in Jessica's and reached out to ring the doorbell with the other, I felt genuinely excited. …Like anything could happen tonight.
A/N: I named Mike's Suburban after Frankenstein's Monster because of how adorable Michael Welch was when he said "You're alive" (a Frankenstein reference) in the movie.