AN: Hello all. For those who read POAG, Conjugate Pairs does not mean that I'm going to slack off and abandon it. No, on the contrary, now that this is out of my head I'm going to go finish off the next chapter of POAG. I write things like this all the time when I have trouble writing other things. Today, I felt generous and decided to share.
Those beautiful blue flashing lights not too far in the distance were quite a surprise, considering I didn't think anybody passed by this place on a Sunday. My mind was hazy, so instead of giving in to that instinctual panic that told me to run, I sat back against the log that I had only recently been acquainted with and waited for the son of a bitch to show up.
I closed my eyes as the front hood pulled close, the tires crunching into the gravel a yard or so in front of me. The thud of the car door opening and then closing was followed by his boots kicking rocks my way as he came closer, and I smiled in preparation.
"Hello, Edward. What's this we got here?" he said.
There were numerous things in front of me. "I think you can see for yourself," I replied, opening my eyes. He was looking a little hazy too, but I didn't mind. His damn uniform meant that he always looked the same, so I closed my eyes again and sank further against my trusty log.
"You know what I'm going to say, Edward. Stand up."
"Aw, come on, Charlie," I whined. "Why don't you sit down instead and join me for once?"
"Stand up, Cullen."
I opened my eyes and frowned at him, disappointed that he used that name because he knew better. "We've gone over this, Charles. It's Masen. The name is Masen."
He played with the cuffs at his side as he spoke, drawing my attention to them. "I don't ever hear you calling me Chief, son. So stand up, let's go. You know the routine."
"Charlie," I began thoughtfully, "you're like my best friend. You know that? My best god damn fucking friend. You're always looking out for me."
He shook his head, because the asshole never really had the patience for my brand of humor. "Edward Cullen, you are under arrest for illegal possession of alcohol and lighting a fire without a permit while trespassing on public property. You have the right to remain silent—"
"Aw, come on, come on!" I complained as I squinted at him, my voice rising in pitch. "Would you just shut the fuck up already? I've only heard you say that eighty damn million times. I'm standing up now, okay?"
Charlie stepped forward, impatient for me to hobble to my feet as he grabbed my upper arm and yanked me until I was much more vertical than I wanted to be in my state.
"Ow, Charlie," I grumbled. "That really hurt."
He ignored me, like he usually did when he cuffed me, and in the most unkind way possible, wrenched my arms behind my back. I bit my lip to keep the complaints behind it, and only struggled against him out of reflex for the unnatural way I was forced to keep my arms.
The big red fire engine pulled up then, its tires grinding heavily into the ground beneath them. Two of the men inside jumped out and walked over to where Charlie and I were doing our same old song and dance.
"Hey boys!" I called to them. They scowled and ignored me as they walked up to Charlie and briefly discussed 'the situation'. Big fucking surprise. The older one barked at the younger fireman to pick up my booze and Goldfish, and I was only pissed that I didn't get to eat more of my snack before they arrived. Though, they did break my heart a little when they put out my fire. It was pretty large considering the type of twigs and shit with which I had put it together. I had been proud of it.
Charlie turned back to me, asking more questions. Those small movements he used to move his mouth to speak wouldn't stop, and I lost my focus. He didn't have the patience to joke around about us being the good buddies that we never will be, and I didn't have the patience to listen to the deep rumble of his voice that was meant to intimidate me. It was bullshit. So when I didn't respond to his questions, statements, whatever—which, judging from the way nothing in his expression changed, didn't really surprise him—he pushed me forward and opened the back door of his butt ugly excuse for a squad car, and tossed me in.
Well, that's never really the truth. Charlie, good soul that he is, always makes sure I don't accidently bump my head on the frame after he manhandles me onto the plastic seat in the back.
"Ow," I grumbled again, shifting so that I was leaning sideways on the seat. My mind swam and I pressed my forehead against the cool glass of the door opposite the one I was pushed through. "Police brutality," I mumbled, my eyes falling shut of their own accord this time. "You always think the bastards on Cops are being overdramatic and deserve it. . . until it happens to you."
I heard Charlie settle into the driver's seat while I rambled on. He didn't say anything about it. My threats of police brutality were never very intimidating to his ears.
The plastic was god damn uncomfortable as Charlie began to drive. He hit a bump and my head banged lightly against the window. I shifted. I made little whiny noises. I shifted some more. He hit another bump, probably on purpose. I huffed. I tried to scratch an itch I didn't have. I sighed.
Nothing pissed him off. Nothing got him to call back for me to cut it out.
I forced my eyes open and glared at the back of his head, which I could only see a very small portion of considering I was slumped directly behind him.
"So, who called me in?" I asked. "Who in the hell was around to call me in, Charlie? Or do you just have some sort of special radar for me?"
He was silent. I rolled my eyes, and while I did, a movement on the passenger's side stopped their turning.
There was a friggin' girl sitting there. She wasn't looking at me. I could only see her brown hair covering the side of her face.
Who the hell was that? "Who the hell are you?"
That got Charlie's attention. His voice was gruff as he answered, "Cut it out, Cullen."
"Masen, Charles. Masen," I quickly reminded him, before I moved on to the more important stuff. "Who the fuck is that? And why does she get to sit in the front seat?"
"That's enough, Edward," he reprimanded, and this time the tone of his voice was able to convince me to shut the hell up.
I watched her shoulders slump forward a little as she turned away from me more, looking out her window. I could see the barest shadow of her reflection in the glass, which was made even stronger whenever we drove past a group of particularly dark green trees. From what I could make out, her eyebrows were all scrunched together and her lips were drawn tight. She was thinking pretty friggin' seriously about something.
"Hello," I said to her back. "My name is Edward Masen. I didn't have the chance to introduce myself, mostly 'cause I didn't even know you were in the car—"
"Edward," Charlie growled warningly.
"But it's a pleasure to meet your back," I finished. I attempted to sit up straighter in case she turned around (it was the polite thing to do, really, to be presentable), but when she didn't I gave up.
"I'm calling Esme this time," Charlie said, and I groaned, thoroughly distracted.
"Why do you have to go and do that?" I kicked at the wall that protected the back of his seat. "She doesn't. . . she doesn't fucking need you calling her up and ruining her day. Leave her to her gardening and shit."
"Too late. You've pushed enough of my buttons today."
He took a sharp turn and I squished into the window more. Bitch.
"Fine," I muttered, but continued to swear a blue streak under my breath when the guilt hit and I thought of how I was going to ruin Esme's day. She was so damn nice. You don't ruin a nice person's day. At least, not a nice person like her. Her god damn husband, on the other hand, Cunt Ass Carlisle, was a fucking pretentious prick and I loved to interrupt his fucking work. I had no problem with Charlie calling him.
I was bitterly silent for the rest of the ride to the station. There was an uncomfortable pressure building behind my eyes and my head was starting to throb. All of it nearly made me think that maybe I had had too much to drink for a Sunday afternoon. But then I remembered the warmth in my stomach and burn in my throat when I started and changed my mind.
I stared at the girl's back the rest of the way. She didn't move a damn muscle, and I couldn't help but think that that was uncomfortable. And who was she anyway? What made her so god damn special that she got to sit in the front seat? Shit, if I got to sit in the front instead of on the hard plastic in the back, then I would willingly throw my wrists together every time Charlie and I got together. Due to the manner in which Charlie was growling at me earlier, I didn't want to risk my ass talking to her again.
But I was belligerent. What the fuck could he do to me anyway?
"Hey," I said, as if I could nudge her shoulder with the word. "Hey, girl. You're not being taken down to party with me and the rest of the boys down at the station, right?"
I saw Charlie's glare trying to shoot me through the rearview mirror and ignored it. Tit for tat. He ignores me, I ignore him.
I chuckled darkly to myself then. "Or have you been a naughty girl?" I asked. Her back stiffened and Charlie sped into a spot at the station. Bastard slammed on the brakes a little too harshly for my liking, and my face was almost introduced to the partition that separated me from my favorite police officer.
"Hey, watch it!" I warned. "What's with the lead foot today, buddy?"
"Stay in the car. Just for a moment," Charlie said quietly to the girl. Without looking in either of our directions, she nodded her head, and then Charlie stepped out and manhandled me inside.
"You could be gentler, you know," I told him. "You look like you could be a gentle soul if you tried."
He ignored me.
"Hey Tommy," he said to my other good friend, Officer Tommy Parks, behind the counter at the entrance. "Got Cullen here, in for the usual. I'm just going to throw him in a holding cell while I call Esme."
Tommy nodded passively, but before he could open his mouth to make some smart ass comment, I just had to interrupt.
"Jesus Christ, Charles. I still remember my damn father, okay? The name is Masen. EDWARD MASEN."
Good old Charlie was unaffected by the raised volume of my voice, and gave me his classic withering stare. "You're being adopted by the Cullens, correct?"
I nodded. He began dragging me off to what I like to consider the Presidential suite of prison cells; my home away from home whenever I came to visit the station.
"And I heard Esme talking about you agreeing to changing your name in the grocery store the other day."
I stayed silent.
"Maybe it's time you get used to your new name," he suggested.
"Fuck you," I spat. "It's still Masen. Maybe I was lying to the bitch." I cringed internally at the name calling, because I didn't really mean it, but it helped the attitude I was going for. "All right? Masen, Charles. M-A-S-E—"
My spelling of my last name was cut off when Charlie pushed me inside the holding cell and I tripped. Without having my arms for balance, I fell to my side with a semi-dramatic shout of surprise. I always like to think I'm still really masculine when something like that happens, even when the pitch of my voice rises unnaturally like it just did.
I decided to stay on the floor. No use in getting up when Charlie would come in later and do that for me. My arm was uncomfortably pinned under my side, so I rolled onto my stomach and lay my cheek against the floor. I sighed pitifully. I had had better days.
Just like all my other hospitable stays, I patiently waited for Charlie to come tell me Esme was coming to get me. Today the whole wait just happened to feel a hell of a lot longer than the other times. I was getting cold on the floor, but obstinately waited for Charlie to do all the heavy lifting for me when it was time to go. And maybe Esme would see how I was being treated and fucking do something about Charlie's behavior. I could endure anything if I thought that in the long run it would somehow come around and bite Charlie in the ass.
While I was waiting, I heard shoes scuffling along the corridor that led to my suite. I spun around on my tummy (yes, tummy, because that's what I felt like calling it) so that I could see Charlie approach.
But it wasn't Charlie coming to pick me up. It was that frigid girl again. She slowed stepped forward, not bothering to actually pick up her feet as she walked, so they continued to make a shuffling sound that I could kind of hear through the ear that I had against the floor.
I waited for her to say something first, but nothing came out of her mouth. It sort of strained my eyes to look up at her sideways for very long, so I wasn't really able to grasp what kind of expression she had on her face. I did know from my few glances that she was pretty little thing.
"Well hello," I greeted when I realized she really wasn't going to say anything. "I see you've discovered my palace. You can come in if you'd like. We can finally get to know each other. Charlie was being rude in the car—not introducing us and all. Maybe you could help me off the floor?"
I didn't mean to ask that last question, but I figured if pitying her to come in would work then it was worth Charlie not doing it. Idiot would probably bruise me with his fat fingers if he tried.
Girl still didn't say anything. I began wondering if I was that much of a zoo display that she was worried if she spoke she'd disturb the animal. Or maybe. . .
"I know what you're thinking," I said, well, knowingly. I began nodding sagely, but stopped when I realized that I was effectively just rubbing my face into the dirt and concrete. I cleared my throat and tried again. "I understand. You're in stunned silence right now. You had no idea they had rooms this nice here. I was quiet in the presence of the beauty of this place the first time I saw it too. You'll get used to it eventually."
I heard laughter and quickly glanced up at her to see her eyes smiling at me while she chuckled. Not with me, mind you. At me.
So what I was a drunken mess on the grungy cell floor, she found me funny. It was all good. Chicks go for guys with a sense of humor.
"Your mom's on her way," she said softly.
I sighed, for this was a common mistake strangers made. "She's not my mom," I informed Girl, feeling my good mood deflate with the change of subject. "Again, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, 'Holy hell Masen, but you're so hot, and she's so hot, you had to have come from her.' Alas, that is not the case, Girl. Esme Cullen, although arguably the most motherly-like almost mother on the planet, did not actually birth me."
"Sorry," she said meekly.
"S'okay," I told her sincerely. "I think I wish she was my mom too. But unfortunately, that was some other woman's job."
I sighed again and rolled onto my back. "But she's almost here, you say?"
"Yup," Girl said. "Well, uh, Chief Swan just wanted me to let you know."
She ducked away quickly. I barely registered that she was leaving before I shouted out my goodbye after her, my voice ringing down the hall. We still weren't properly introduced, which was a shame. But I'd survive.
I hummed to myself while I waited, suddenly eager to hear the delicate tap of Esme's heel draw near so that I could start apologizing for ruining her Sunday. I had thought that Girl said she was almost at the station, so I couldn't help but get a little impatient when she didn't show up in the next two seconds.
Finally, after many unmeasured moments of waiting, I heard the rumble of Charlie's voice down the hall as he greeted Esme, whose voice was so kind and gentle I couldn't hear it from where I lay. However, seconds later, it wasn't the tap of Esme's shoe I heard coming down the hall. The sound was more like a clap.
I groaned, recognizing it immediately.
Now completely miserable, I turned my head to the side as his shiny black shoes came into view.
Cunt Ass Carlisle.