This is for my beta keepingupwiththekids for her birthday. And also because she could use a little humor in her life these days. Love you =)
A/N: All characters and elements are property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended. This little bit is mine.
As Charlie and I pulled into the driveway of Billy Black's little red house, he filled me in on all the need-to-know information.
Billy's daughters, whom I had played with as a child, were both gone, one in college and the other married. Due to his diabetes, Billy was now restricted to a wheelchair. This limited his driving abilities, which was why my dad and I were visiting to provide dinner and company.
"There's one more thing you should know, Bells," he said, looking at me seriously before we stepped out of his police cruiser. "Billy has a dog."
"Really?" I asked excitedly. I was sure I looked more like a kindergartener than a junior in high school, but I didn't care.
I loved dogs.
My mom is allergic, so we were never able to have one. Since moving in with my father three weeks ago, I had begged and pleaded for him to get me a dog of my own. I protested each denial with a reminder that, at seventeen, I had never owned a pet that didn't live in a fish tank. Every time I was around dogs, it made me incredibly happy. From their silky ears to their sloppy kisses and doggy smiles, they were so much fun.
I wanted my own, and Charlie knew it.
"Now listen, this is a specially trained helper dog. He does stuff for Billy around the house to make life a little easier, so you can't play with him like a regular pet."
"What kind is it? Can I at least pet him? He has to at least be allowed some affection!" I said excitedly. I could handle limited play with the dog.
Charlie got out of the car and I followed suit. He continued speaking as we approached the house. "He's a golden retriever, and he's still a bit of a puppy, so his training is fresh. Just…keep that in mind. He can get a little excited when he meets new people."
Finally up on the porch, Charlie rapped on the door three times before opening it himself. "Hi honey, we're home!" he called into the house.
I could hear Billy's hearty chuckle nearby, and as we entered the house, I saw him sitting in the small living room with the television already on the sports channel. "Enough of you, old man. Let me see this girl of yours. Oh, Bella! You're so grown up!"
Bending down to give him a warm hug, I was surprised how comfortable I was with Billy, even though I hadn't seen him since I was a little girl. He had a warm and friendly air about him that made me feel at ease.
Charlie returned from setting the food we brought in the kitchen, and we all exchanged a few more greetings.
Out of nowhere Billy's dog came barreling at me, practically knocking me off my feet. "Jake! Heel!" Billy yelled, but it was too late. The dog would not relent. After licking my arms and jumping up in my face, he finally went back down on four legs again. Unfortunately, he wasn't done with his exploration de Bella. Before I could fight him off, then golden retriever's snout was shoved roughly between my legs.
"Get out of my crotch, dog!" I shrieked, trying to back away, but the damn dog just kept moving with me. I tried to shove his head away, but he was too strong. No matter how many times I smacked his doggy head, he continued nuzzling between my legs. I really did not want my first sexual experience to be on account of an over-eager dog. Eww.
Thankfully, my dad saved me by ripping Jake off me by the scruff of his neck and dragging him through the house.
"Toss him in the mudroom," Billy called, looking mortified and guilty. "Bella, I'm so sorry about Jake. He's never behaved that way before. He's a little excitable, but that was uncalled for. Are you all right?"
"Umm, yeah," I said, attempting to calm my breathing as I smoothed my clothes and wiped dog hair off my pants. "He's just a kid, right?" I laughed nervously.
Charlie returned, giving me a side hug and checking up on me as well. I assured them both that I would be fine, and I moved to the kitchen to warm up dinner while the guys socialized.
Dinner was pleasant, and Billy attempted to let Jake back into the house before we left. Unfortunately, it was an exact repeat of the first time, so our departure was a bit awkward. Billy apologized profusely for his dog, promising that he would speak to Jake's trainer soon.
The following weekend, Charlie and I went to Billy's house again. This time, Jake was allowed to be in the house, but his leash was connected to his collar. When he dove to get a sniff of my cooch, Billy roughly yanked him back. The dog whimpered, continuing to pull toward me, but he was not allowed to get any closer. I silently wondered if I needed to ask my gynecologist about this.
That night at dinner, Jake stayed under the table, inching his way closer to me until he was lying on my feet. He stayed there through our entire meal and yipped happily when I bent down to pat his head.
I liked Jake. He was a little over-friendly, but he was cute and obviously very loving.
I came home from school on a Tuesday to find Charlie waiting for me on the front porch with an uncharacteristic dopey grin on his face.
"Dad?" I asked, getting out of my truck. "What's going on? Shouldn't you be at work?"
"Not today, Bells. I have a surprise for you."
"What kind of surprise?" I asked warily. I hate surprises.
His smile grew impossibly wider, and I inwardly laughed at the way he had his hands in his pockets and was bouncing his knees liked an excited little boy. "Today's adoption day at the pet store in Port Angeles. How would you like to go get that dog you've been begging for?"
"What?" I shrieked happily. "Are you serious? Can I really get a dog?"
"Yeah, I'm serious," he chuckled. "Since you didn't get here until after your birthday, I thought this could be a sort of late present. You wanna go?"
I eagerly raced to the passenger side of his cruiser in reply, and we were off to Port Angeles.
An hour later, we were at the pet store, and I went straight to the back of the store where adoptions were taking place. A few people stood around playing with puppies and full grown dogs as the animals yelped and barked for attention.
There was an adorable miniature pinscher I noticed, but I knew they were very active dogs. I wasn't sure I wanted to train such a high strung dog.
"What about a full grown dog?" my dad asked. "That way they'll already be trained."
"Yeah, that's a good idea."
I wandered to an open pen with three adult pugs inside. The black one was literally doing back flips and dancing around a light colored one happily. I laughed at its antics and bent down to let it sniff me.
"That one's Alice," the attendant told me. "She's a lovable one, but the previous owner said he'd prefer to see her and Jasper go together. Apparently, they're a little doggy couple."
I laughed, still watching energetic Alice play. "The third one doesn't go with them?"
The woman sighed and shrugged lightly. "They used to belong to old Doctor Cullen. Apparently, his wife passed away, and he couldn't handle all five of their dogs himself. It's so sad. He kept one pair, but had to put the other three up for adoption."
I frowned, feeling incredibly sad for this doctor I didn't know and his orphaned pets. Gazing into the pen again, I noticed the third was lying in the corner, head resting on his paws. His pug face was scrunched into a deep pout, even greater than normal for the breed. His coloring caught my attention. I had never seen it on any dog, let alone a pug. It was a sort of light brown color, but it had a hint of red to it. He was gorgeous, but looked so sad.
"What's his name?" I asked, pointing to the lonely guy.
"Oh, that's Edward. He's been like this since Doctor Cullen brought them into the shelter."
"May I go in the pen?"
She granted me permission, and I carefully approached the dog. His head immediately perked up when I sat down beside him. He let out the briefest growl, but as soon as I offered the back of my hand for him to smell, he relaxed and allowed me to pet him. We played and got to know each other for a few minutes before I looked up to Charlie and smiled. He nodded to me, and we began making arrangements for the adoption.
As Charlie handled the paperwork, I procured a new collar and leash for Edward, and he walked around the store with me, gathering everything we would need. Loaded down with a new bed, crate, food, dog bowls, shampoo, treats, toys, and bones, we headed home.
Edward was a good dog from the start, but he was definitely attached to me. When I would leave for school, he would whimper and sigh, giving me the saddest looks as I crated him for the day. When I arrived home, he ran circles around me, barking and jumping into my arms. He liked Charlie, but there was no doubt this was my dog.
A few weeks later, Charlie and I headed down to La Push to celebrate Billy's birthday. When we walked inside, Jake ran over to me, presumably to get a whiff of my lady business, but he stopped short. His nose trailed up and down my pant legs with loud sniffing sounds until he was actually growling…at my pants. I instinctively stepped back, worried that he might bite.
"Jake, what's your problem?" Billy asked, wheeling closer to the dog. Jake continued to give my legs the stink eye.
"Ahh, Bella has a new dog," Charlie piped in, patting Billy on the shoulder. "He must smell ol' Edward on Bella's clothes. Billy nodded in understanding and put Jake in the mudroom until after dinner.
When Jake came back out, he was acting really strange. He didn't try to dive for the Promised Land again, but he was rubbing himself all over me. I laughed at his affection, petting and scratching him until his tongue lolled out and his tail wagged.
Before leaving, I knelt down and gave Jake a few last ear scratches and kissed his head. "See you next time, Jakey. Be a good boy!"
Upon returning home, Edward greeted me as happily as ever, but when he leapt into my arms, his demeanor changed. He was sniffing me all over, eliciting those loud grunts characteristic of pugs as he investigated my body with his squished snout. Then he did the strangest thing. He looked at me as if betrayed and then latched onto my shirt sleeve. His teeth did not touch my arm, but his head whipped back, tearing a large hole in my shirt.
"Edward!" I yelled, smacking the top of his head and placing him on the floor. "Bad boy! You go outside!" With that, I escorted him the kennel Charlie had installed in the backyard. He whined and yelped for the rest of the evening.
Once I was showered and ready for bed, I let Edward inside, and he followed me up the stairs to my bedroom.
"I'm very upset with you, mister," I said, shaking my finger at him. "I hope you learned your lesson for ripping my nice shirt."
He gave me his best puppy dog pout, and I couldn't resist it. I allowed him to hop up onto my bed, where he settled in while I did my homework. Even though it seemed completely silly to me, the only explanation I could think of was that he was jealous of Jake's scent on my clothes. Crazy dogs.
"You have Edward's leash, Bells?"
"Yep!" I replied. "Leash, balls, and a dish for water."
"Let's head out, then."
Once we arrived in La Push, Charlie helped Billy into my truck, and Edward and I moved to the truck bed. We had brought my truck today because there was more hauling space, and it would only be a short drive from Billy's house to First Beach. They had recently installed a nice, small boardwalk that Billy could have access to, so we decided to take advantage of the uncharacteristically bright spring day and allow the dogs to run around on the beach.
Once Billy was in the cab and his chair was loaded in the back, Charlie went back inside to get Jake. I propped myself against the wheel well, holding Edward in my lap.
As soon as Jake hopped into the truck bed, Edward stiffened his plump little doggy body. Jake growled in response, and Charlie had to tie his leash to the bungee cable hooks on the opposite side to keep him from getting close.
Down at the beach, the dogs were growling furiously at one another.
"Oh stop it, you two," I chastised, pulling Edward by his leash to follow me onto the pebbled beach. "Come on, let's have some fun."
We thought it would simmer down once the two got used to one another, but it did not. I tugged Edward off to one side of the beach while Charlie played with Jake down a ways. We let them off their leashes, and everything seemed fine once they were separated.
That did not last, though.
Charlie sent the Frisbee flying a little too far, and it ended up falling near my feet. I paused my game of ball with Edward to throw it back down to my dad, but Jake ran up before I could. He skipped to my side, jumping up on his hind legs and consequently knocking me on my butt in the process. Edward was at my side in an instant, grunting and snarling at Jake venomously. Little bits of dog spittle flew from his mouth as he barked at Jake. The larger dog growled right back at him, straddling my legs and leaning toward Edward.
I yelled at them both, trying to get them to back off, but it was useless. Even when Charlie ran down to help, it was to no avail. Jake launched himself at Edward, and I shrieked in fear for my little dog. They scrapped for a few minutes as Charlie tried to kick them apart and I poked at them with a piece of driftwood I found on the beach.
Suddenly, Jake howled and scrambled backwards. Lying on the ground, he pawed at his ear, which I noticed was bleeding. Upon closer inspection, I saw that Edward had torn right through it. Edward stood his ground, barking and snorting at his injured rival. I wouldn't say he was exactly crouching because I didn't think that was possible on his stubby legs, but he was still in a stance of dominance. He circled Jake at a safe distance, and Jake whimpered, bowing his head.
I looked to my dad in utter disbelief. This big dog has just submitted to my funny little pug.
Later that month, Charlie and I went to visit Billy, leaving Edward at home this time. To my surprise, Jake did not offer me an exuberated greeting this time. He gave me a doggy grin and allowed me to pat his head, but then he ran out the backdoor to some unknown location.
"That was unexpected," I said to Billy.
"Ahh yes," he smiled. "I guess you haven't heard the latest development. Jake's got a girlfriend. The neighbors recently got a new chocolate lab puppy named Nessie, and Jake has taken it upon himself to be her guardian."
We laughed and joked about the change in Jake's behavior and all enjoyed dinner together.
Back at home, I settled in for bed with Edward curled up by my feet.
"Guess what, buddy," I said, pulling the covers over my lap. He opened one eye and peered at me. "Jake's got a new girlfriend. You don't have to worry about him bugging me anymore," I chuckled. I felt a little ridiculous conversing with my dog, but the way his ears perked at the mention of Jake's name made me believe he understood.
He carefully stood, inching his way up the bed as I settled in for the night.
"What do you think you're doing?" I teased as he came up near my face. Without regard for my question, he ducked under the blanket and turned himself around until his scrunched up head poked out. He snorted once and snuggled into my neck.
"All right," I snickered, leaning over him to turn off my lamp before resting my head on my pillow. I wrapped my arm around Edward and kissed the top of his furry bronze head. "Good night, you silly pooch. I love you."
He snorted his reply, licking my chin before falling into a peaceful sleep, doggy snores and all.
E/N: Special thanks to the RavUU girls who gave me many hilarious ideas for this o/s, most importantly, Pugward *hearts*