This outtake was written for the lovely nise7465, who bid on me in the January Support Stacie Auction. Though it's taken me FOREVER to finally finish, she has informed me that it was worth the wait. I hope the rest of you think so too.
This outtake is written in Volvo Guy's POV, and has actually prompted me to start thinking about the direction this story is going to go. I now have a fairly clear idea of its outcome in my mind, so you can all thank nise7465 for that. If she hadn't requested this outtake, who knows where this story may have ended up?
So without further ado, I give you Volvo Guy's take on the Gas Station mishap. Enjoy. =)
The drive from New York to Washington State was a long one. A long, tiring, this-is-going-to-be-awesome summer road trip that fast turned into an oh-good-god-when-will-it-end drive of torture. It wouldn't have been so bad if I'd been doing the trip on my own, or if I'd just had Emmett with me, however Alice and Rosalie had insisted on joining us on our trip home to Forks. Alice had wanted to go back to her childhood home, even though her parents had since moved away, and Rosalie was desperate to finally meet her boyfriend - my brother - Emmett's parents.
I had just finished my final year of study at Juilliard and was now free to do whatever I pleased, while Emmett worked as a personal trainer at a gym in the city and had saved up his holiday hours all year in order to be able to come home for a few weeks this Summer. It was our dad's fiftieth birthday and when it came to celebrations, our parents really knew how to throw a party!
With our iPods freshly synced, a hoard of snacks in varying degrees of nutritional value stashed in every available place, and our bags loaded into the trunk of my Volvo, we set off on the forty-nine hour drive.
The first few hours were exactly how we had imagined the trip to be. Emmett sat in the front passenger seat while I drove, and Rosalie and Alice took over the back seat. We sang along to all of our favourite songs. We played car and trivia games. We had heated discussions on things such as the economic crisis, the use of appropriate music in film, and whether tomatoes were considered a fruit or a vegetable.
Then everything had started to go downhill. Rose had become offended by something Emmett had said and refused to speak to him for an entire day. Alice had begun listing all the flaws in Rosalie's wardrobe choice for the trip, making Rosalie's mood even darker and causing her to start snapping at all of us.
In short, it was hell.
Never in my life had I been more glad to see the 'Welcome to Forks' sign than I was the second it came into view. Even the sun had come out to celebrate our return to my hometown, and the smile that had been absent from my face for the previous God-knows-how-many hours returned in full force.
I was home.
As I turned off the main road into the drive that lead up to my parents' house, my heart began to flutter excitedly. It had been quite some months since my last visit, and the fact that I was going to be sticking around for a while excited me in ways I never thought possible. I really had missed my parents while living in New York and couldn't wait to come home to my mother's home cooked meals every night. She had sent me off with a notebook filled with all my favourite recipes of hers, but I never could make anything as good as she did. She even made buttered toast taste better, if that were possible!
The tension in the car seemed to dissipate as the house came into view, and I could sense the change in mood of my companions as they too grew excited.
I pulled up in front of the house and the three passenger doors were open before the car even came to a complete stop. Emmett, Rose, and Alice all leapt from the car and ran up the porch steps into the waiting arms of my parents, Carlisle and Esme, while I switched off the ignition and pocketed my keys as I climbed out of the driver's seat. I stretched my arms above my head and tilted my head from side to side to stretch out the kink in my neck. Leaning back into my Volvo to pop the trunk, I proceeded to close my door and walk around to the trunk to begin unloading the bags. I left the rest of the bags on the gravel driveway and closed the trunk before making my way up to the porch with my own bags grasped firmly in my hands.
My mother pulled me into a tight hug the moment my feet hit the top step. My bags hit the wooden deck unceremoniously a second later.
"Edward!" my mother cried, squeezing all the air from my lungs. "How are you, baby boy? I've missed you so much!"
"I'm … fine … Mom, you're … I … can't breathe …" I gasped.
Mom quickly loosened her hold on me, but didn't break contact completely. Still keeping her hands gently resting on my shoulders, she leaned in and pecked me on the cheek before drawing back again with a huge smile on her face.
"Oh, Edward, I'm so glad you're home! I've got a canvas downstairs with your name all over it!"
Looking into the excited face of my artist slash flower child mother, I couldn't help the huge grin that spread across my own features. The excitement of being home was infectious and hung around us all like a highly contagious disease. I really was a Momma's boy and had missed the ritual Mom and I had developed for whenever either of us had a success in our lives – going crazy with paint on a blank canvas.
Esme was first and foremost a devoted mother and wife. Her dedication to my father, Emmett and I went beyond anything that could be described with words. She seemed to know us all better than we knew ourselves, and was always one step ahead of us. We never needed to ask her for anything, as she would already be right there with whatever it was we desired. That's not to say that we were spoiled or anything – oh, no. When it came to household duties like doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, changing the roll of toilet paper when the current one had been finished … Esme was a drill sergeant. As soon as I was old enough to learn how to use the washing machine, I was doing my own laundry. When Emmett came home from football practise and trudged mud all through the house, he was directed to the laundry closet where the mop bucket and scrubbing brush were kept.
We were raised to be independent, while at the same time shown unconditional love and support. Which is where 'Artist Esme' came into play.
Mom's passion and true love was art. Give her a canvas and some paint, and she'd disappear for days. It was through art that she found who she was as a person, and through art that she found my father.
She was seventeen, had just lost her mother to alcoholism, and was at a total loss as to what to do with herself after high school. Art was the only thing she felt that she was really good at, besides rolling the perfect herbal cigarette, but she didn't think she could make a career out of it. Taking her frustrations and raw emotion out on canvas during her art lessons led her art teacher to see something more than just a lost high school art student though; he saw a talented artist. With his encouragement and support, my mother agreed to submit some of her work to local art shows, and before long, she had begun to make a name for herself in the art world. She was no longer just Esme Platt, Unknown Nobody; she was Esme Platt, Seattle's Best Emerging Young Artist.
On her nineteenth birthday she held her very first solo exhibition, which my father – part-way through his degree in naturopathy – attended with a few college friends. Spying a beautiful young girl standing on her own in a quiet part of the room, my father had made his way over and introduced himself; they had been inseparable ever since. The artist and the naturopath.
How Emmett and I turned out normal with parents like Esme and Carlisle was beyond me. My parents were insane. But I loved them with ever fiber of my soul and wouldn't change them for anything.
After my mother had released me, I walked over to my father to hug him as well. He clasped me tight in his embrace and murmured, "Welcome home, son," warmly in my ear.
"It's good to be home, Dad," I replied, grinning at him as we pulled apart.
"Come on, kids, lunch is waiting for you out on the deck!" Mom called, ushering us all inside. I collected my bags from where I'd dropped them on the porch and followed the girls and Emmett inside.
"Eddie and I are gonna put the bags upstairs," Emmett called out, as the two of us took off in the direction of our bedrooms. We heard some undecipherable comment from Mom aimed in our direction, followed by a burst of laughter from Rose and Alice, but just rolled our eyes and shrugged at each other as we continued up the stairs.
I quickly dumped my stuff in my room and ran back downstairs to grab Alice's duffle bag, putting it on the bed in the spare bedroom opposite mine, before heading back down again to join everyone for lunch.
The next day, after a good night's rest in our own separate rooms, the four of us were feeling a bit more tolerant of each other, so Emmett, Alice and I had decided to take Rose on a bit of a sight-seeing tour around our hometown and its surrounds. As the Volvo's gas tank indicator was sitting on empty, and Alice and Rose were taking forever to decide on appropriate attire for the day's events, I suggested that I go alone to the gas station to fill up while I waited for them. Emmett was happy to stay in the kitchen eating as many of Mom's pancakes as he could.
I grabbed my keys and sunglasses and walked out the door. The sun was shining so brightly again today my already good mood multiplied. I slid my sunglasses over my eyes, got into my Volvo, and started the engine, winding my window down fully to allow the fresh, warm summer air to circulate. I cranked my music and rolled out the gravel drive towards town.
A few minutes later I pulled into the driveway of the seemingly deserted gas station. I turned off the engine and got out to start pumping the gas, when a beautiful brunette woman stepped out of the store door and walked towards me. I watched as she walked, face-down, to the bucket of windshield cleaning water and picked up the squeegee. She turned to face my car and froze. The look on her face was one of shock and slight confusion.
"Are you okay?" I asked, slightly worried for this woman. Was there something wrong with her? Was there something wrong with my car? My eyes swept quickly over the Volvo; nope, nothing out of the ordinary there.
The woman turned her head to look at me, and her face paled slightly before her jaw dropped open. She stared at me, making me wonder if she was all there mentally.
After a moment, she seemed to snap out of the daze she was in, rearranging her facial features and standing up a little straighter. She turned her attention back to the car and made as if to wash the windshield, lifting the squeegee up before dropping it straight back to her side again.
"Miss? Is there something wrong?" I asked.
"I'm just trying to work out how I'm going to clean your windshield without touching your car," she replied.
I gave her a confused look. She what?
"I don't want to break it," she added, a little embarrassed by her admission.
She was worried that she would break my car by just cleaning the windshield? I chuckled, amused at her innocence.
"I'm sure a simple windshield cleaning won't hurt it. She's a pretty tough car, this one."
"You underestimate my clumsiness," she said, and she furrowed her brow a little. "There are many ways I could accidentally damage your car. For example, I could -"
Before she could finish her sentence, she began to stumble towards me and the next thing I knew, I was wearing the contents of the windshield water bucket. Excellent. I'd have to change my trousers when I went home to pick up Alice, Rose and Emmett.
"Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!" I heard the beautiful but strange gas station attendant cry. I turned my attention to her and saw the horrified expression on her face. Then her hands were on my crotch, rubbing paper towel quite vigorously over the wet patch that was unfortunately but conveniently situated near a potentially embarrassing part of my anatomy. I felt myself becoming rather aroused; here was a beautiful girl, down on her knees in front of me, rubbing a part of my body that hadn't had much female attention in a while. It felt amazing, but as much as I would have loved for her to continue, I needed to put a stop to it before I did something stupid.
Throwing her down on the bonnet of my car and fucking her senseless seemed like a perfectly good idea right now, and was also a perfect example of what I didn't want to happen.
I grabbed her wrists to still her actions, a slight pained expression on my face. She looked up at me, her face a beautiful shade of scarlet.
"I'm such a klutz! I'm really, really sorry, sir! I told you …" she mumbled furiously to herself. I instantly felt sorry for the poor girl. She was clearly embarrassed and was just trying to help me, and I had managed to make her feel worse with just a look.
I gently moved her hands away from my crotch and helped her to feet, taking the used paper towel from her, all the while smiling warmly at her. She stepped back from me as though burned, holding her hands tightly behind her back. She refused to make eye contact with me. I felt my heart sink a little at this.
"Hey, no blood, no foul," I laughed, trying to ease her anxiety and add a bit of humor to the situation. Strike one.
She groaned, "Yes, but your clothes, and your car …"
"All easily washed," I said quickly. "Please, don't worry about it. It was an accident."
I hoped that my reassurance would help remove the frown from her face. I suddenly realized that I really wanted to see her smile.
"I still feel terrible," she said.
"Please don't," I insisted. I hated that she was so affected by the small mishap. "I promise you, everything is fine! The Volvo needed a wash anyway." Which was true, because, though I had only washed it a week ago, the drive from New York had really done a number on it.
I shot her my biggest smile in the vain hope that she would smile back at me. It didn't work. She ducked her head, mumbled, "You're just saying that," and disappeared back into the store.
I chuckled weakly and sighed, disappointed. I turned back to my Volvo and began to fill the gas tank, my eyes unconsciously coming to rest upon the beautiful brunette who was now separated from me by a thick layer of glass and an old wooden counter. I observed her as she served the few customers who had gathered inside during our little exchange, and felt a small smile tugging at the corners of my mouth as she moved about behind the counter. I watched as her flushed cheeks began to lose their pinkness, her ponytail swinging back and forth as she leaned over the counter to count out her customers' change.
The gas pump clicked off, indicating that my tank was full. I hung the pump back up and made my way across the driveway to the door of the small store.
I stood in the doorway and watched her for a few seconds; she was serving a portly, middle-aged man who was quite clearly focused on gaining a peek down her shirt as she leaned over the counter toward him. I wanted to tear his eyes out. I wanted to rip his eyeballs from their sockets and run them over with the wheels of my Volvo, then feed them to a wild dog, ensuring that he would never look at her like that again. Filthy old man.
Shit. I hadn't even known this girl five minutes and already she had me. I didn't even know her name.
My brunette beauty finished up with the filthy old man and I shot a quick glare at him as he brushed past me on his way out the door, before returning my full attention to the girl behind the counter.
Her eyes met mine and I watched as the lovely blush began to creep back into her cheeks, her eyes shining brightly at me. I started to move towards the counter and the closer I got, the better I could hear the music she had playing softly behind her.
"Clair de Lune …" I mumbled, more to myself than her. "You listen to Debussy?"
She shrugged as though embarrassed, and the pink in her cheeks deepened a little.
"It helps calm me down. Clair de Lune is my favorite," she replied.
"Mine too," I said, smiling at her.
Debussy. She listened to classical music. Sweet baby Jesus, this girl was going to be the death of me.
My smile widened and I handed her a few twenty dollar bills, suddenly remembering why I had come into the store.
"Pump number three, thank you," I said cheerfully. She carefully took the money from my hand, quite clearly trying to avoid any kind of contact with me. The small ego monster inside of me rejoiced a little at the knowledge that I had some effect on her. Maybe she'd say yes to joining me for a drive to the beach? I'd ask Mom to help me prepare a picnic, she'd be wearing a pretty little sundress when I arrived to pick her up, I'd ask her to wear her hair down …
So lost in my little fantasy was I, that a sudden shrill buzzing made me jump as I came crashing back down to reality. I hadn't even realized that I had just been standing there, staring at her. Her warm chocolate eyes were now burned into my memory.
I opened my mouth to ask her if she was free tomorrow, but lost my opportunity when she spoke instead.
"I'd better get back to work."
The connection between our eyes was broken as she stepped down from behind the counter and made her way towards the door and the little old lady who was waiting patiently out beside her car.
I nodded sadly and walked beside her, keeping my distance, but also remaining close enough to her so that I could smell the addictive fragrance that wafted towards me from her swinging ponytail.
"Thanks for the wonderful service. I had fun," I grinned at her, deciding that today was not the day to ask her out. I walked to the Volvo, climbed into the driver's seat, and started the engine. Glancing at my rear view mirror, I noticed her dazed expression and smiled to myself. As I put the car into gear and drove slowly out of the gas station, I began to formulate a plan. I'd start small, with the trip to the beach, followed by an invite to my dad's party. If I was good enough, maybe I'd even secure a date for the Fourth of July. Steal a kiss under the Seattle fireworks display …
Operation Court Gas Station Girl was now officially in motion. This was going to be an interesting summer.