Disclaimer: I'm not Stephenie Meyer, however, I am a school bus driver.
A/N: I'm glad there's some of you out there that are enjoying this little fic. I'm trying very hard not to get too technical with the terms or too into the kids. If you ever have a question about something, feel free to drop me a line. I've never had a problem chatting with my readers.
Some of you have mentioned that you think Edward is very caring because he knows things about the kids and cares about them. Um, that's what a good bus driver does. Basically, this is how me and my monitor have dealt with our kids (as in the kids on our bus, I've never given birth and never want to) since we've been together. All the kids in the fic are a combination of several kids I've driven in the past.
Chapter 3: Restrain
Things had gone better than I had expected this afternoon. Considering it was her first day, I thought Bella handled the kids really well. It seemed like Brandon, David, and Xavier liked her, but Tyson continued to give her a hard time like he had with Jessica. I had a sneaking suspicion that Tyson was difficult with many people. At the time that we got back, no one was around—that I liked anyway—so I went to my car and headed home. Down the street from the bus company I could've sworn that I saw Bella walking along the side of the road. She didn't have a car? I was tempted to stop and ask her if she needed a ride, but I didn't know her that well. Would she accept my offer? Maybe I'd try to talk to her more tomorrow, test the waters with her, and see what was going on.
It was still fairly early, four-thirty to be exact, and I was restless for some reason. I vacuumed because I had two cats and one of them was a pain in the ass long hair. I preferred cats to dogs since you didn't have to walk them and they didn't bark. My cats were strictly indoors only because the apartment complex where I lived was off of a busy main road. I would not freely admit to anyone that I was a sap about one of my feline companions. That just wasn't the manly thing to do and I wanted to keep my "Man Card." If Sabrina ever managed to escape outside and got hit by a car, I know I'd lose it. I never thought I'd get so attached to the little black and white tuxedo cat. As I was sitting in my computer chair questioning what I should make for dinner, Sabrina walked up to me and rubbed her furry body against my legs.
"Hey, girl, what's going on?" I needed better pick up lines or something because she looked up at me and then sauntered off. Mmm, you know what? I needed to clean the litter box. Sifting through shit wasn't my favorite thing to do, but I'd rather do that than have my girls full of fleas and dodging speeding cars outside. Instead of keeping the bag of cat shit inside until tomorrow morning, I walked out to the nearby garbage bins to throw it out. On my way back, I heard a car horn and turned to see Emmett and Rose pulling into a spot near my car.
"What do I owe the pleasure of seeing you two out of work and not on a Friday night?" I asked as they walked toward me.
"We're bored," Emmett admitted. "We thought we'd come and bug ya. What are you up to?"
"I was cleaning up after my girls," I said. "How's that for fun?"
"Oooh, cat shit, fun, fun." Rose laughed. "What's for dinner?"
"Direct and to the point! I knew you two had an ulterior motive." I started toward my door, when I reached it, I stopped. "After you, you moochers."
"You cook better than both of us." Rose whispered before heading inside.
"She ain't kidding," Emmett said. "Rose can barely boil water."
"But she makes those kick ass brownies and cookies."
Emmett shrugged. "I don't get it either. The woman can bake something fierce, but don't ask her to make a meal. I'd go into a diabetic coma if I had to rely on her so-called cooking all the time."
He stuck his head inside of my doorway and looked up the stairs. "Coming, dear!"
I shook my head at him. "You're exaggerating, Emmett!"
"Seriously man, you're like my savior." He patted me on the back before continuing up the stairs.
I shut the door behind me and headed upstairs. I didn't mind being on the second floor, and I loved the fact that I didn't have a lobby to go through. Once I walked through my door, I was in my apartment. I went to the kitchen and started browsing through the cabinets. "Guys, I don't have much. You know unemployment and all." I had worked during the summer, but the summer session only lasted until the middle of August and now it was the beginning of September. A few weeks without your normal income could really mess with your finances. "I know something I can make, but I don't have any hamburger."
"Oooh, your Mexican Hamburger Helper wanna-be thingie Bake?" I had once made a box of Hamburger Helper and tweaked the recipe, adding to it and figuring out how to make it without buying the actual boxed product. For some reason, both Emmett and Rose loved the shit. It had become my "signature recipe." I nodded, and Rose opened her purse and sifted through it. "Emmett, how much do you have?"
Opening his wallet, Emmett searched for his money. "Yeah, I got some to add to that."
Rose passed her money over to Emmett. "Go next door to the supermarket and get a pound of hamburger."
"Okay!" he said enthusiastically. "I'll be back in a few!"
When he was halfway down the stairs, I ran over to the top of the landing. "If you have enough money, get one of those bagged salads."
"Yes, mother hen, hamburger and a bag of salad!" He opened the door and left without another word.
"Thanks for feeding us," Rose said. "We both appreciate it."
"Thanks for the company," I said with a wink. "Now, get your pretty ass in the kitchen and work on dessert. I went to the pantry last week and I think they gave me a box of brownie mix with your name on it. I'm going to search for some movies for Friday night."
Rose was well acquainted with my two butt kitchen and quickly went to work. Alice had started calling it a two butt kitchen after we crashed a party at another apartment complex. The kitchen was so tiny compared to mine you couldn't fit two people back to back in it without touching butts; hence, it was a one butt kitchen. In my apartment two people could stand back to back at each counter and not bump butts; thus, it was a two butt kitchen. I sat down at my computer desk and started searching through torrents for some entertainment. "Oooh, I found a copy of The Hangover. I hope it's a good, working copy."
"That movie was funny as hell!" Rose said from the kitchen. "Emmett and I went to see it when it was in the discount theater."
"Aw, well, that leaves it out for Friday night then." I decided to download it anyway for myself.
"No, no! Don't worry. That shit was so funny, I'm pretty sure Emmett wouldn't mind watching it again."
The download started, and I was on the lookout for some more movies. "What about Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno?"
"Haven't seen them as far as I know," she said. "Brownies are in the oven." Rose came up and stood behind my chair as I searched. My door opened downstairs, and Emmett's telltale footsteps loudly proceeded up them.
"Dude, I have an elderly lady as a neighbor below me," I reminded him. "I do not need any problems with her. You know how some old people can be."
"I have an elderly lady as a neighbor, I don't want problems, old people are a pain in the ass." Emmett mocked me. "You are too, by the way."
"Do you want dinner or not?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" He went and put the hamburger and salad in the kitchen. "I smell brownies! Now, get to work Bobby Flay! Feed me!"
Emmett flopped down on my couch and turned on the TV while Rose followed me back into the kitchen, which was unusual. "What? You want to learn how to cook now?"
"No! Hell, I wish!" Emmett said from the living room. "She's being nosey!"
"You seriously need an apartment with the kitchen set farther away from the living room," she moaned. "You don't even have a real dining area to sit at."
"It's what I can afford right now, thank you." I grabbed some ingredients out of the pantry. It was kind of annoying how the one end of the living room closest to the kitchen was supposed to serve as a dining area. My computer was against that wall and a small, round kitchen table that barely fit the three of us was next to it. "If I didn't live here in HUD housing, I'd be living with you two. God help us all."
"You couldn't handle the screams of passion!" Emmett yelled. "No, you could not!"
"Shut up and watch something!" I yelled back at him.
"Yeah, I know, money is tight," Rose said. "How'd this afternoon go?"
"You mean with my new monitor?" I asked. "You're being real slick, Rose."
"Alice called and was bugging me to find out!" she explained. "She's been dying to add a sixth member to our little cult, but everyone at the Hell Hole sucks. Alice wants to know if your new chick is worthy or not."
I started to laugh at Emmett's voice from the living room. "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
"Shut up already!" Rose yelled. "Do you want two weeks with no sex?"
At her question, the only sound we heard was the noise from the television. "Listen, her name is Bella and I don't know much about her. She seems nice, but it was her first day. I don't even know if she spoke to anyone else at work. You know how most of the other people at the Hell Hole are. They can't stand us because we're tight and we don't fall for their bullshit and games. Bella was good with the kids, but at the same time it seemed like she's never done this kind of work before. She didn't talk about herself except to say she missed work this morning because she was at the hospital all night with her sick roommate."
"She was at the hospital all night with a sick friend? Mmm, she could be good people," Rose thought aloud. "Alice was thinking that when you guys are here Friday night, that we'd have a girls night of our own."
"Wait, I just had a purely Emmett comment pop into my head." I heard Emmett trying, but not succeeding, at stifling more laughter. "Does that mean you want to invite Bella and have a hot, all girl threesome?" Emmett's snickering grew louder. "Or did you want to invite her here and then we could have a sixsome… or whatever that's called."
"Orgy!" Emmett yelled. "Orgy! Shit, get it right, man."
"Oh yeah, Edward, I've always secretly wanted you to fuck me while I sucked Emmett off," she said sarcastically and leaned against the counter. "I've never been brave enough to tell you that I wanted you."
I heard Emmett growl. "Stop talking dirty to Edward! It's making me horny!"
I shook my head at Emmett's comment. "You are dating one very strange man. You know that right?"
"It's just not dating anymore. I'm living with him and you, my dear Edward, have known him for longer than I have," she said with a smile. "You know what a sick fuck he is."
"Heeeeey, I resemble that remark!" Emmett grumbled. "Ooooh, Sponge Bob!"
"That is the stupidest cartoon ever!" I yelled to him before redirecting my attention to Rose. "I don't know if Bella will want to hang out with you. I'll see how tomorrow goes and if she talks more at all."
"Okay, let me or Alice know how it goes, 'kay?" She almost sounded like a Valley Girl, so I knew she was excited at the prospect of adding a sixth member to our little cult. Rose and Alice both liked even numbers, and we had been an odd numbered cult for a while. It disturbed them for some reason. I didn't get it.
"'kay!" I said, mocking her. "Go join Mr. Tugs-A-Lot."
The rest of the evening went by at a faster pace. We had dinner and dessert, watched some TV, and then Rose and Emmett left to go back to their place. Tired, I decided to climb into bed and try to fall asleep.
The next morning I woke up to my alarm clock blaring loudly. It was far too early in the morning for this shit… and by shit, I meant just being awake. I shit, showered, shaved, and headed to work. I had to wake up almost an hour earlier than I was used to because we were going to Tyson's school. My body didn't like it one bit, and it was rebelling every chance it could get. Arriving twenty minutes before we left, I went and filled my travel mug up with coffee for the long ride. I was surprised to see Bella sitting at a table with Angela in the break room. "Morning, girls." I greeted them as cheerily as I could muster at the early hour and sat down.
"Good morning, Edward." Angela said and quickly took a sip of her tea. She seemed like a nice but shy girl to me. Alice once told me she thought that Angela had an unrequited crush on me. I had talked to Angela on numerous occasions, and she had even filled in as a monitor for me, but I didn't have any kind of spark with her. If she hadn't hung out with Jessica and Lauren, I could've seen her as a sixth member of our group.
Bella rubbed her bloodshot eyes and yawned. "Morning, Edward."
"You're not a morning person either, I presume?"
"The devil created mornings and morning people," she mumbled as she raised a cup of coffee to her lips. "I want to kill morning people."
"I hear ya," I said. "They are way too bright and cheerful."
"Good morning everyone!" Because the three of us felt half asleep we didn't notice when Jessica and her big ass rack started hovering next to our table.
I wanted to take a picture of the look on Bella's face when she saw Jessica. It was classic "bitchface" as Alice called it. "Mornin'," she said unenthusiastically.
"And annoying, don't forget annoying." I said, completing our conversation about morning people before Jessica had walked in.
"Wait, what we were we walking about?" Angela asked.
She was daring me. I knew it. She had a cute little smirk on her face. From my unfortunate time spent with Jessica, I knew that she was a morning person. "How morning people infuriate us because they are too bright, cheerful, and annoying at much too early of a time."
Angela giggled and sipped at her tea. "Oooh, right."
My comment either went over her head or she decided to totally ignore it. "So how'd it go yesterday with Bella?" Jessica asked.
"Why don't you ask her?" I said. "She's sitting right here." I pointed to Bella and refrained from adding "you dumb fuck" onto the end of my sentence.
"I thought it went well," Bella supplied before Jessica could repeat her question. "Right, Edward?"
"Yup." I quickly sipped on my coffee to shut myself up. "It's about time we head down to the bus."
Bella threw away her Styrofoam coffee cup, and Angela followed us out the back door. It was still dark out and should've been brighter at the current time. "Crap, it looks like it's going to rain today. Hey, where are you going already, Ang?" I asked curiously. "I know you're here early because you come in with Jessica, but you don't need to go anywhere yet."
"I know you don't have to leave for another ten minutes, Masen," Angela said with a devilish smile. "I needed to get away from the bitch, too."
Bella and I started laughing. "Oh, all is not perfect in paradise with Jessica Stanley?"
"Ha!" Angela looked around for anyone that might be in the vicinity. "Can I tell you something?" We both silently nodded our heads. "I only put up with Jessica because she's my cousin. I can't stand the bitch ass whore."
Surprised at my new found knowledge, not to mention Angela's vulgarity, I started laughing hysterically. I put an arm around Angela. "You're cousins, huh? Poor girl! I totally sympathize with your hatred. We should be President and Vice President of the 'I hate Jessica' anti-fan club."
"I'm her cousin and I'm currently living with her, so like, I totally get to be President," she said. "It's only fair."
"Duly noted," I said as we stopped in front of my bus. "Bella, do you want in?"
"Hell yeah, I want a piece of this action," she said slyly. "I'll be the Secretary if you'll take me."
"You're sworn in as far as I'm concerned." Angela stepped out from under my arm. "Don't you have to actually leave soon?"
"I have to pull the bus out to pre-trip it." I explained. "Come on, gals."
Both Angela and Bella boarded the bus, and I moved it while they talked for another few minutes during my inspection. "Okay, Ang, sorry, but I have to kick your ass out, honey. We've got to get going."
"Okay, I'm going to go bunker down on my bus and wait for my driver," Angela said. "Otherwise, Jessica will talk to me in the break room and I'll have homicidal thoughts involving bludgeoning her to death."
I laughed again. All this time I had another alley in hate against Jessica and I never knew it. "I think a fire extinguisher would work wonders against her head. See ya later!"
Angela walked toward the yard with the big buses. I took note of Jasper standing by an open bay of the garage. He was looking at me, shaking his head in confusion. Pulling my bus up next to the garage near where he was standing, I rolled down my window. "What the hell was that about?" he asked.
"She's cool," I explained. "I think she's sixth member material."
"You sure? That would make Alice and Rose happy." I knew he was skeptical of my words by the expression on his face.
"Pretty damn sure after what we learned this morning," I said. "I'll fill ya in more later. We've gotta go."
Jasper threw out his normal "Bye, bitch!" while I rolled up my window. We picked up the kids and were off toward their schools. Tyson continued to give Bella a hard time, removing his seat belt at least three times that I knew of. David started making some of his telltale noises and I thought he was going to go off, but he never did. I warned Bella, and she hopped into the seat with Brandon for a few minutes. Xavier continued to be in his own little world in the back and if I didn't know better, he enjoyed the oldies music more than I did. I was thankful that we were able to drop Tyson off first because I didn't know how we would sit with him for thirty minutes. The ten or fifteen minutes in the afternoon while in line up were going to be hard enough.
I pulled into the first spot at the school, turned off the bus, and stood up to stretch my legs. "We're here about a half an hour early," I told Bella. "Their school starts at eight forty-five."
"Wow," she said. "That's a long wait for them, isn't it?"
"This is the first year I've had to do it this way, so we'll see how well they handle it. Tyson went to another school somewhere a little more south so he was in a car by himself." Brandon unclicked his seatbelt and Bella looked at me as he started to get up. "It's okay, he comes up here and hangs out with me."
"Okay, I wasn't sure of his routine," she said. "I know some autistic kids are very into their routines."
"I don't miss work all that often, so I'm not sure how another driver would handle this."
"If that ever happens I guess I'll have to tell the other driver what normally happens," she said. "Maybe he won't go to them like he goes to you."
Brandon came over to me and held up his hand so I held mine up as well. As usual, he clapped his palm against mine and then started playing with my fingers. With my right hand, I removed the broken tape from the garbage. "Hey, Xavier!" He turned and looked in my direction. "Remember "Wheels on the Bus"? This is what happened to the tape!"
Xavier started laughing, almost squealing, and then clapped his hands together. "Dumb song! I don't like it. Good morning, Edward. Good morning, Bella."
Bella turned in her seat to face Xavier. "Good morning, Xavier. What are you going to do in school today?"
"Social Studies and lunch," he said. "And Art."
"Oooh, sounds fun, can I come?"
"Sure! Bella can come to school with me!" Xavier did his nervous squealing thing, flicking his ears with both his hands, and laughed again. "Can we have music, Edward?"
"The music goes off when the bus is turned off," I explained. "I'll put the music on this afternoon, okay?"
"Eeeeeee!" The noise came from David and then he kicked the back of the seat in front of him. "Eeee!"
"It's okay, David, we have to wait a little while before your teacher comes out for you." Bella looked up at me from her spot next to David. "I'm wondering how well he's going to handle this wait."
"I know we're close to Tyson's school, but he should have his own vehicle." David started making more noises and was rocking himself back and forth more quickly. "Bella, I think it'd be a good idea if you moved right now."
She backed out of the seat and toward Xavier's location. I moved past Brandon and he hid behind me. "Stay there, bud."
David's voice got louder until he started to scream. Xavier and Brandon covered their ears with their hands, and I turned to check on Brandon and saw that he was very upset. David's screaming calmed down, but he soon shifted in his seat and lay down on it. When his feet made contact with the window, I moved forward and did what his mother not only gave me permission to do, but also showed me. I carefully walked down the aisle toward him and edged my way down into the seat, facing him. Watching for flying body parts (because I had gotten hit plenty of times in the past), I hoisted David's back up against me, pinned his arms against his body, effectively blocking him from being able to hit me. I actually shifted him closer to the window so he couldn't extend his legs and kick out at me. "Calm down, David, it's okay," I said as I rocked him back and forth. "Calm down."
After a few minutes, David calmed down and I was able to release him. I looked up to see that Bella was still watching us closely from her position next to Xavier. "I have to get a letter from his mother again stating that we can do that. That's what she wants us to do when that happens. We don't want him to break the window or hurt himself. Restraining doesn't work for all kids like that, but she said it works with him and we're not actually supposed to touch the kids. So, that's what you'll need to do if he does that again."
"Okay." She appeared a little surprised her eyes big with wonder and turned her attention to Xavier. "You okay, big guy?"
"David done?" His head peeked out from around Bella and he was still holding his hands over his ears. "David done?"
I glanced down at David who was sniffing and realized I had his snot on my arm from where he was crying. Crap, I had forgotten to bring the hand sanitizer back on the bus. "Are you all done, David? Tell me, say yes or no."
David opened his eyes and stared at the window. "Yes."
Letting go of David, he sat up and wiped the snot from his face with the sleeve of his shirt. I rubbed my arm against my jeans and looked up at Brandon. He was anxious, on the tips of his sneakered toes, dancing in place, and making lots of noises. He didn't like it when David went off. I noticed he also didn't like really bright sun, thunderstorms, or other loud noises in general. As soon as he saw me he crossed his arms across his chest, silently asking for a hug. I went over and let him hug me, but then he didn't want to let go—he continued to cling to me for dear life. David's teacher came first and we told her what happened while we were waiting. She told us to document how often his outbursts happened while we were waiting in the morning since it was a new routine and extra long wait. A teacher's assistant came to get Brandon—one that he was not as familiar with—and he didn't want to leave with him.
"Bella, can you give me Brandon's back pack?" Bella passed it to me and I carefully made my way down the steps with Brandon practically attached at my hip. "I'll be right back, stay here with Xavier."
I walked Brandon to his classroom with the aide and thankfully he had calmed down so I was able to leave. Before I went back out to the bus I stopped at a bathroom and washed my hands and arm free of David's snot.
"Okay, everyone okay in here?" I asked as I boarded the bus again. Bella was in the back sitting across from Xavier.
"Where are we going, Xavier?" she asked him.
"We'll see." It was his standard response for a lot of questions.
"I think we're going to your school now," she said.
After we dropped off Xavier, Bella came back up front and sat in the first seat opposite me. "You were fucking amazing with David."
I shrugged. "You'll get the hang of it. I hope we don't have to go through that every morning."
"You should get hazard pay. Ever get hit by the kids, even by accident?" she asked.
"Oh yeah, plenty of times," I replied. "David started on this run at the same time as I started driving it. They had just started him on a new medication and he was wild as hell. We got beat up so much, you would've thought me and my monitor were in abusive relationships at the time."
"They never mentioned needing body armor for this job!"
"It's in the fine print." I tried not to laugh. "It's waaaaay down on the bottom of the application and you need a magnifying glass to see it."
"Yes, they are!"
"Aro and Demetri?"
I checked my mirrors for traffic before merging onto the highway. "Yes, Aro and Demetri are bastards. They may seem nice, but it's all a game. You need to watch what you say at work and to who you say it. It's worse than… well, the cliques in high school. You say something and then it goes into the Gossip Mill. Everything gets twisted and passed around and when the story gets back to you, it never resembles what you said in the first place."
"Oh, what a lovely work environment I've found myself in," Bella said sarcastically. If I could've seen her face, I'm sure she would've rolled her eyes with her words. "You know, yesterday afternoon when I came in, Demetri referred to you and your friends as 'Edward and his merry band of misfits,' mentioned you were always early, and that it was the best thing that he could say about you."
"He kind of gave me the creeps," she admitted. "He was looking at me really weird."
"Oh, you don't have to worry about Demetri, at least in that way. He's gay." I glanced quickly in my overhead mirror to catch the look of surprise on Bella's face at my words. "Damn, does this make me Robin Hood now or some shit? Can I rob from the rich and give to myself and my fellow misfits? Want to be my Maid Marian?"
"Sure, why the hell not?" she said. "I'm already deep into the Jessica Stanley anti-fan club. Why does Demetri dislike you so much?"
"It's just not Demetri, it's all of them in the office. I think it's because we don't kiss their asses and we won't take their attitude," I explained. "If they talk to me all bitchy-like, I throw it right back at 'em."
"Sounds reasonable to me." I heard Bella yawn.
"You sound tired."
"I am, I really didn't sleep well last night," she said, stifling another yawn. "Do you mind if I take a nap for the rest of the way? Or at least try. I'm not sure how comfortable I'm going to be able to get in this seat."
"Go ahead and rest."
Bella must've found a comfortable position because I didn't hear from her again. I didn't hear snoring or anything, but I didn't hear her speak up again either. It started pouring rain at one point, but it let up some by the time I reached town. I wasn't supposed to, but when I reached the base I went ahead and fueled the bus up with her still in it. Parking the bus, I turned in my seat to see Bella still slumped against the window. "Bella?" I climbed out and sat down in the seat opposite of her sleeping form. "Bella? Sweetie, wake up." I gently shook her knee and she didn't respond. Damn, she was either a deep sleeper or she wasn't kidding about not sleeping well last night. "Bella?" I touched her arm and shook her a little harder. Concerned that she wasn't waking up, my fingers made contact with the pulse point at her neck. Christ, all I needed was to be driving around a dead person. I wasn't a freakin' mortician! Bella's eyes flew open, and I retracted my hands from her.
"What?" she asked her voice full of surprise and confusion. "Why are we stopped?"
"We're back and you weren't waking up," I explained. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
"Oh, sorry." Bella rubbed her eyes and yawned. Pushing herself into a sitting position, she looked around and noticed we were parked in our spot. "You startled me. I told you I didn't get much sleep last night."
"You okay then?"
"Yeah." Bella raised her hands above her head and stretched. "Some company I am. Hey, because of the seat blocking my view, I really couldn't tell what you did with David before. Can you show me or something?"
"Sure, turn around and face the window." She did as I instructed. "Now, the best way to do this is with their back or side to you. You don't want them to be facing you because Jessica tried that once and she was bit in the tit and had to go for a tetanus shot."
Bella turned and faced me. "You're shitting me, right?"
"Nuh uh, I don't kid about what may be some long last damage to a female's body part, even if it is Jessica's. Now, turn around again." Bella turned, and I moved closer to her and over her shoulder I was almost able to see down her loose fitting shirt. "Um, yeah, so do this from the back or their side so you don't damage your girls. Try to get your arms around them and secure 'em against their body and your arms like this." I wrapped my arms around Bella, trapping her arms between mine and her body. "You should put your arms in two positions, one lower and one higher." I slid my left arm down her body, near her waist, while my right arm unintentionally stopped over her chest and I prayed I wasn't going to get slapped with a sexual harassment suit. "What works best with David is to make sure his legs are up against the wall so he can't kick out. Hold him real close to you with a firm grasp and rock him back and forth until he calms down." I moved closer and tightened my arms around Bella and demonstrated the rocking motion I had always used with him. My face was buried in her hair, and I couldn't help but notice how nice it smelled. "Okay?"
"Okay, I got it," Bella said. "You can stop copping a feel and let go of me now."
"Sorry!" I immediately let go over and jumped out of the seat and to the one opposite her.
"I'm kidding, Edward, I'm kidding!"
I started laughing as she turned around to face me. Was I copping a feel? It felt really good to have her in my arms. "You never know with people nowadays."
"I'm not like that." Bella glanced back out the window. "Oh, man, it rained?"
"It's still raining," I said. "In fact, I think it's picking up again. I thought I saw you walking yesterday after work. Do you need a ride somewhere?"
"I don't want to put you out like that."
"Depending on where you're going, you might not be." I found that I traveled to and from work using a certain route, but I could go a few different ways. "Where's home at?"
"I was going to go to the library, actually."
Bella seemed a little put off by my questioning. "I can drop you off there. I don't usually go downtown to go home, but it's not out of my way."
"Are you sure?" We stepped off the bus through the passenger door, and I pushed it closed behind me.
"Yes, I'm sure," I said. "Go punch out and I'll pull up to the front."
"Okay, see ya in a minute!"
She hurried up the side of the building and I noticed Jasper standing by the old tires, which just so happened to be across from where I parked my bus and we met halfway in the lot. "What?"
"Just what in the hell were you two doing on your bus?" he asked with a raised brow.
"I was showing Bella how I restrain David so she knows how to do it." He stood there silently, staring suspiciously at me. "What? He went off this morning and I dealt with him."
"Uh huh." Jasper nodded. "So that's your new pick up line, huh? 'Let me show you how I restrain an autistic kid on my bus,' huh? Sorry, I don't know if I can see that working at the bars."
"I am not amused, Jasper."
"Did she feel good in your arms?"
Did he read my mind? "Totally makes me want to rethink my self-imposed dating embargo."
"I don't know why the hell you did that to yourself, seriously man," he said, shaking his head. "Go find a fine woman to fuck or something."
I groaned at his remark, sometimes wishing I had the balls to do what Jasper said. "You know I'm not like that."
"I know, I know! You're a nice guy who's tired of women wanting you to be their sugar daddy…blah, blah, and you decided to take a break from dating."
The rain was coming down harder, and I could feel my skin getting wet through my shirt. "I'm getting soaked, so I'm gonna go now, pal." My words came out in a more sarcastic tone than I had intended. "Bella's probably wondering where I am. Because of the weather, I told her I'd drop her off at the library."
"Ever the chivalrous gentleman, Edward. Okay, I'll see you later," Jasper said. "Don't try to restrain Bella in your car or anything." There was a smile on his lips as he said the word 'restrain.'
"Shudda up!" I ran to my car, unintentionally stepping in a huge ass puddle and soaking the bottom of my jeans. Bella was still up front, waiting for me under the awning when I pulled up and threw my car—an '89 Toyota Camry—into park. Leaning over, I unlocked the passenger door, cursing the day the automatic locks broke. Bella stepped out from the cover of the awning, opened the door, and slid inside. "Sorry, Jasper caught me and he was chewing on my ear."
"Oh, okay, that's not a problem." She reached back for the seat belt and clicked it into place. "I didn't see notice you pulling out of the lot, so I thought you had a problem with your car."
"Naw, she's old, but she runs pretty well." I shifted into drive and put my foot on the gas.
"Yeah, she runs pretty well." Bella laughed, and I knew it was at my car. "What is that?"
"The buzzing noise?" I asked and she nodded her head. "It's the muffler. Jasper said it's fine to drive." Pulling out of the lot, I snuck a sideways glance at Bella and saw a smile on her lips.
"It sounds like a huge horde of bees are trailing behind you." Then she had to imitate the horde of bees like Emmett had done once.
"Hey, hey now, she gets me to where I need to go," I said defensively before turning to a more joking tone. "If you don't like traveling with some bees, you can walk in the rain ya know."
"You are too much of a gentleman to make me walk in the rain." At her words, it started to pour. "Oh, wow, please don't throw me out now!"
"Nah, 'cause if you get sick and have to call out of work, then I might just be stuck with Jessica again." I had just gotten rid of Jessica as my monitor and I didn't want her back any time soon.
I went into the parking lot of the library and dropped Bella at the curb so she wouldn't get soaked. "If you need a ride back, I can come back this way."
"I don't want to inconvenience you." Her voice sounded low and sad.
"You're not," I insisted. "Go over to the hardware store across the street and stand in the doorway. I'll swing by around twelve-fifty."
"Okay, thanks, Edward." She unbuckled her seat belt and opened the door. "I'll see you later." Once her door was open, she hurried and ran toward the front doors of the library. I pulled away, questioning the sudden dull ache in my chest. It had appeared ever since I had held Bella in my arms.
A/N: Yes, Edward is once again a cat guy. He'll always be a cat guy in my stories. I'm a cat person and don't know a thing about dogs.