A Rough Start Outtake
Tricks –and– Treats
"Anthony, I'm not buying that for you," Edward huffed as he took in the metallic lame' fabric and the lavender hued tights Anthony was eyeballing.
"But it has a sword," Anthony pulled at the plastic weapon that was zip-tied to the costume.
Okay, that was a pretty good reason to want the damn pansy ass garb in the first place, but Edward still shook his head.
"What about this one?" Edward pulled out an Optimus Prime frock.
Anthony crinkled his nose. "I like Bumblebee."
"Well there aren't any Bumblebee costumes left," Edward stole a glance at his watch as he responded. It had been his intention to let Anthony pick out a costume on the day before Halloween, as stores usually slashed the prices then and costumes became much more affordable. However, time had gotten away from Edward, so much so that here it was, Saturday, the morning of Halloween, and he and Anthony were just making it to the store in search of a costume. Thankfully, Anthony was a little on the small side for his age, because smalls and extra large sizes were all that was left. And Edward was fortunate that he had assumed correctly and the costumes were all half price, because he felt so guilty for making Anthony wait until the last minute that he was ready to let him have anything he wanted…except for the sword bearing fairy costume.
"I want to be a cowboy. I was a cowboy last time," Anthony said.
Edward paused and watched as his son rifled through the well picked through rack. He didn't have the heart to tell Anthony that there was no cowboy costume to be found.
And then Edward's mind roamed to all of the items in a storage container in another state that were waiting to be discovered – items that Anthony was used to having, but now had to go without until Edward got his act, and his finances together, and made his way down to Oregon.
Somewhere, there were costumes and toys and, (knowing Jessica), designer clothing and shoes that all belonged to the little boy before him that was eagerly tossing aside costume after costume in search of the perfect one.
"Oooh! Superman!" Anthony pulled a red and blue costume from the bottom of a pile on the floor.
"Do you like that one?" Edward asked as he scoped out the price tag. Fifty percent of twenty bucks was definitely within his range.
"Yeah! I like Superman. It's just like Taylor's. He was Superman yesterday at the parade." Anthony said of his classmate.
"What parade?" Edward asked as he took the costume from Anthony and slung it over his arm as they walked to the register to pay.
"We had a costume parade at school. Miss Swan let me walk in front and hold the kindergarten flag because I didn't have a costume," Anthony said.
"You were supposed to wear a costume to school yesterday? Why didn't you tell me?" But even as the question left his lips, Edward knew that he couldn't place the responsibility on a five-year-old little boy to tell him things he should figure out for himself. After all, Edward had been five years old once, and he remembered that his elementary school had always had a costume parade on or near Halloween. He should have been paying attention.
"I'm sorry you didn't have a costume, Anthony. I…completely forgot," Edward said remorsefully. He handed Anthony the Superman outfit and allowed him to put it on the conveyor belt.
"Would you like a Halloween bag to put all your candy in, young man?" the older woman at the register displayed a jack-o-lantern type grin as she addressed Anthony. While Anthony nodded a solid yes, Edward tried to figure out what the woman's costume represented. Finally he settled on a cross between Pippi Longstocking and a St. Pauli Girl – though he decided against asking her about it.
But her question to Anthony jogged Edward's memory and he realized he was missing the holiday's main staple: candy.
He quickly grabbed a few packages from the end cap behind him and placed them down next to the costume, much to the chagrin of the patron behind him, who had to scoot her items back a few inches to accommodate Edward's addition.
Anthony was a ball of enthusiasm as he exited the store with his costume in hand. He was in such a rush to get home and put it on that Edward had to slightly jog to keep up with him in the parking lot.
"Anthony, slow down!" Edward called over to him.
But Anthony was no longer running towards the car. He had spotted someone he knew and was running towards them with open arms.
Edward walked up just as Bella knelt down and enveloped Anthony in a hug.
"Anthony, what are you doing here?" she asked, her smile mirroring his.
"I got a costume," Anthony held up the evidence.
"Oh, good!" Bella seemed relieved. "See, I told you you'd get a costume today." Her eyes fluttered up to Edward and then back to Anthony, the smile never leaving her face.
"Yeah, uh…I got delayed…I didn't know he was supposed to wear a costume to school yesterday," Edward fidgeted nervously. "Did you…uh…send a note or…"
"The weekly kindergarten letter. It's been in there all month," Bella said, her tone friendly.
Oh not those damn letters again.
Bella must have noticed the look of anguish on Edward's face, because she added, "But it's a busy time of year. People forget," she shrugged.
"I'm gonna be Superman!" Anthony said, garnering for Bella's attention once again.
"Did you know Superman is my favorite superhero of all time?" Bella asked.
Anthony nodded, despite Bella never having stated that fact.
"Are you going over to Tillicum Park for the Heritage Days Festival?" Bella asked. Of course the question was more for Edward than Anthony, but she just wanted to make sure Edward knew of it. "They've planned lots of fun things for the kids this year. And they give out the best candy."
"I wanna go there," Anthony told Bella, then they both looked over at Edward.
"Uh, yeah, we'll head over there. This is your day, champ," Edward said. "When does it start?" Edward had been in Forks his entire life and had yet to go to a Heritage Days Festival, despite the limited number of things to do in the town.
"It starts in just a couple hours. I'd go early with the little guy. When the high-schoolers show up, they kind of take over everything and get in the little kids' way," Bella explained.
"Are you gonna be there, Miss Swan?" Anthony squinted up at her.
"I will," Bella nodded. "Maybe I'll see you there."
Edward was about to ask Bella what her costume was, because he was going to make a point of seeking her out. But someone else walked up at that moment who knew her, and while she made small talk with them, Edward and Anthony quietly slipped away.
As soon as Edward got home, he sent Jasper a text message asking about the Heritage Days Festival. It was his intention to get Jasper to tag along with him, because the last thing Edward wanted to do was show up at some nature-tree-hugging ceremony on his own.
Edward felt relief at Jasper's returning text:
Go every year. Meet me by Shay train at noon.
"Shay train?" Edward mumbled out loud. What the hell is a Shay train?
It seemed as if every Forks resident was on hand to answer that question. The moment Edward and Anthony showed up to the park, they saw many local school exhibits, eighty percent of which talked about the Shay engine, apparently the most widely used steam locomotive in the world – or so says Allison Leonard, Forks Elementary, 5th Grade.
Jasper was right where he said he'd be, and when Alice spotted Anthony in his costume she made a mad dash for him and dumped all of her candy into his bag.
"I thought you were supposed to be handing that out on behalf of the pharmacy," Jasper reminded her.
"I am and I did. Can I help it that Anthony is so cute that I just had to give him everything I had?" Alice fluttered her eyes at Anthony.
Anthony wasn't sure of what Alice was doing with her eyes, but he was very appreciative of how weighted down his bag was with candy.
"C'mon, let's go over to the children's area. They have lots of games and prizes and stuff," Alice invited. She took Anthony's hand and Jasper and Edward followed.
"Hey…isn't that Bella?" Alice pretended to be none the wiser as she led Anthony toward his favorite teacher.
Bella was standing near a ticket-taker, handing out stickers in lieu of candy. When Alice made a face at her loot, Bella explained, "This section is hosted by Dr. Hsu's dental office. He doesn't do candy."
"Whatever," Alice rolled her eyes. "So, how long do you have to hang here?"
"I don't, really. I just wanted to represent the school. I've seen several of my students," Bella said. She looked down at Anthony, "Taylor is here, too. He'll be excited to see you in your Superman costume."
"I like your costume," Alice remarked about Bella's Dorothy-in-the-Wizard-of-Oz costume.
"Thanks. It was all I could think of where I wouldn't have to do something elaborate with my hair," Bella said as she tugged at her braids.
"I think it looks great, don't you, Edward?" Alice questioned.
"Uh…yeah," Edward answered. Bella blushed and he could tell that she thought he was being dishonest and that he didn't really think she looked nice. But if she knew what he was really thinking…those schoolgirl braids and those high-heeled red shoes with bobby socks… "Yeah…you look great."
Her eyes lingered on his for a moment before she looked away. When Edward looked over at Alice, he saw that she was watching him with a smug grin on her face. If Jasper weren't standing right next to him, he would have flipped her off.
Anthony's eyes grew as big as saucers when he saw the plethora of games and prizes displayed before him.
And the food!
Carmel apples, candy apples, cotton candy, rock candy, funnel cakes and candy, candy, candy!
"What do you want to do first, Anthony?" Edward asked, his guilt lessening at the look of enjoyment on Anthony's face.
"I want…hmm," Anthony touched his index finger to his lip as if he were in deep thought. "I want a goldfish."
Edward looked over at the dime toss game that boasted the prize of a goldfish in a glass dish much too small for its size.
"Anthony…you have to toss a dime inside one of those bottles to win a goldfish," Edward told him.
Anthony's face fell just a little. "Oh…but I can't do it."
Edward sighed and motioned for the guy manning the booth to come over to him so that they could have a private conversation.
"You and I both know that I could go down to the pet store and get one of these fish for a buck," Edward whispered. "I'll give you ten bucks if you let him toss three dimes and then you give him a fish."
"Fifteen," the man haggled.
"Ten," Edward insisted. "Have a heart, man."
The man, who looked to be all of twenty years old at the most, put on the act of a major internal struggle before giving in and accepting Edward's ten-dollar bill.
"Okay, Anthony, you're up," Edward handed Anthony three times. "Just try to hit those bottles."
Anthony accepted the coins and handed Edward his treasured bag of candy before stepping up to the tape-drawn line.
The first dime he tossed landed on the ground in front of the table of bottles. The second dime hit the table and bounced off. The third dime managed to come in contact with a bottle before it ricocheted off and onto the ground.
"Oooh, so close!" the booth worker said. "In fact, you basically got it in. I think it went in and then it bounced out. For that, my friend, you get a prize!"
"I get a fish!" Anthony turned to Edward in amazement. "I get a fish!"
Jasper and Alice, who had stepped away to get a funnel cake, returned in time to see Anthony receive his bounty, and they hollered and clapped in celebration of him.
Once Anthony had had his first taste of victory, he forgot about the candy that was being passed out and begged to go to booth after booth to see what entertainment they were offering. After about an hour, Edward was exhausted and was hopeful that Anthony was ready to go home.
"But we haven't done the field games yet," Alice protested.
"Field games?" Edward frowned. "He's only five."
"C'mon!" Alice grabbed Anthony by the hand and Edward had no choice but to trail after her.
And as soon as they arrived at the wide-open area where the field games were taking place, Edward knew that Alice was fully aware of what she was doing.
Bella stood at the edge of a roped off game area and she was no longer wearing her costume. Though she still wore her hair in braided pigtails, she'd traded in the Dorothy dress and pumps for jeans and tennis shoes.
Good Lord…Bella in jeans…
"Hey, Bella. What are you doing over here?" Alice asked innocently as she approached her.
"What do you mean?" Bella asked. "I told you I was—"
"So what happens over here? Can Anthony play?" Alice interrupted. "He's really been enjoying the games."
Bella leaned over so that she was on Anthony's level. "You know what happens over here?" She continued when he shook his head. "Over here is where your par- I mean your dad has to play the game and if he wins YOU get the prize. Isn't that great?"
Anthony looked over at Edward.
"And look," Bella pointed to a large plastic gold cup that represented a trophy. "That's the prize."
"Wow," Anthony was in awe.
Edward looked over at Bella and rolled his eyes. Of all the cheap, non-functional items to give away… But of course Anthony wanted it as soon as he saw it.
"Can you play? Can you win?" Anthony asked Edward.
Of course he had to ask that question in front of Bella.
"Step right up! Parents, win your little ghosts, ghouls and goblins the Pacific Coast Cup! Moms, Dads, run the race, win the race and score for your loved one!" A man way over-dressed for his part, shouted.
"He does know he's in Forks, right?" Jasper asked Edward as he heckled the announcer.
"Seriously. There are like… fifty people over here, max," Edward responded.
"Are we gonna play?" Anthony interrupted the conversation.
"How much?" Edward asked the man in red and white striped trousers.
"No cost, but it's just for adults. The kids benefit, but they can't actually play. Liability purposes," he added.
"What's the game?" Edward inquired.
Alice stepped up and looped her arm through Jasper's at that moment. "Oh, I'm sorry, Anthony. Jasper and I can't do this one. Jasper twisted his ankle and I…I have shin splints so…I'm so sorry. And I could tell you really had your heart on that trophy."
"It's not a trophy," Edward whispered.
"But you can do it, right?" Anthony looked up at Edward.
"I can't. You need a partner to do a three-legged race," Edward explained.
"Bella, you can do it, right? You're not manning this race are you?" Alice asked sweetly.
"Well…no.." Bella glanced over at Edward nervously.
"Great! Anthony, Miss Swan is going to do it with your dad. Isn't that great?" Alice asked Anthony.
"Yeah," Jasper elbowed Edward in the ribs, "Isn't that great? You two are gonna do it, right here on the open field."
"What are you, a fifth-grader?" Edward asked as he stepped away from Jasper and went over to Bella to find out what they needed to do.
"I need to warn you, Bella said as she accepted the scarf ties from one of the judges. "I'm pretty competitive."
"Well then it's a good thing we're on the same team…I think," Edward said.
Bella nodded and leaned down to secure her right leg to Edward's left leg.
"Okay, there are a few secrets to winning this thing," she said.
"And you're serious," Edward looked at her in amusement. "I thought you were joking."
"I never joke about games," Bella said, but she smiled to let him know that she could enjoy herself.
"So, what are the rules?" Edward asked.
"Well, the key is not to leave your interior arms free. It'll throw us off balance. So, you have to put your arm around my waist," Bella demonstrated by wrapping her arm around Edward.
Oh, twist my arm, why don't you! Edward wasted no time in resting his arm around Bella's waist. He contemplated slipping a finger in one of her belt loops but in the end decided that would probably be too forward.
"The right leg is the dominant leg, since we're right-handed, so you take the first step and then me. Got it?" Bella asked.
"Got it," Edward said as they hobbled to the start line.
It seemed like such an easy, harmless game.
But Bella's arm was around his waist, and she was in such close proximity to him that every time he looked at her, he could see down the v-neck shirt she was wearing. That wouldn't have been such an issue, except that she was so close to him that her chest pressed up against his side and caused her breast to ride up just enough to show the perfect amount of cleavage. And as if that wasn't enough to cause Edward's heart rate to accelerate, each time they moved, her breasts bounced ever so slightly. It was almost impossible not to look.
When the whistle blew to start the race, Edward did exactly what Bella had suggested, and they took the lead immediately.
But then they got over-confident and stopped focusing so much on winning and started focusing on how ridiculous they looked hobbling down the field.
Suddenly Bella started laughing so hard that Edward couldn't resist joining in. And when he started laughing, she started laughing harder.
They barely made it to the finish line before Edward toppled over and pulled Bella down with him. Because her arm was still wrapped around his waist, it was pinned underneath him. He tried to roll over to free her, but Bella rolled at the same time and ended up on top of him.
The fact that their legs were still tied together made it difficult for her to right herself, and Bella shimmied and rubbed against Edward's body each time she struggled to get up.
That friction had quite an effect on a certain part of Edward's anatomy.
"Shit," Edward muttered as Bella's pelvis rubbed right up against his erection. He shifted quickly, which only resulted in Bella's hand unintentionally sliding across his groin.
"I'm sorry, I can't…I just…I'm trying to…" Bella apologized.
"Oh, I know what you're trying to do," Edward accused.
Bella looked mortified when she looked up at him, but when she saw the grin on his face, she relaxed and started laughing…and then he did…and once again, they were all tangled up.
Finally Edward was able to free Bella's arm and she had the ability to reach down and untie their legs.
"You won! You won!" Alice came running down the field with Anthony.
"I got a trophy!" Anthony said with a big toothy grin.
Bella looked up at Alice humorously. "Shin splints, huh?"
Alice blushed and then winked at Bella.
"You guys smoked everyone else," Jasper said when he'd managed to catch up to them.
"Had to," Edward said. "Bella threatened me at the start line."
"I did not!" Bella picked up a wad of grass and attempted to throw it at him, but it dissipated in the wind in the space between them.
"Yep. And then she violated me," Edward looked over at Bella.
"W-what? I did not! You know that was an-"
"She pinched me, right here to make me go faster," Edward lifted up his shirt slightly to reveal an imaginary injury on his waist.
"So you play dirty, do ya, Bella?" Jasper played along.
Bella shook her head, but couldn't help smiling at the two jokers before her.
"This is the best Halloween ever!" Anthony shouted as he looked at the shiny cup he'd been given when Edward and Bella passed the finish line.
Edward glanced over at Bella as she resituated her shirt and smoothed down her hair. She looked over at him then and when she caught his eye, she smiled.
He smiled back and wondered if she was having the same exact thought as he was at that moment:
Maybe not the best day…but pretty damn close.