A/N: Sorry I haven't updated in a while! Major writer's block. :(
The next couple of days were pure hell. Well, that's a lie. Really, I'm just being overdramatic. But can you blame me if you were the one sitting bored in bed (thanks to Charlie, who was unnecessarily concerned about my health and insisted I 'take it easy' for now) while your gorgeous boyfriend, best friends and brothers were out having the time of their lives pranking the Skank Trio? It's just not fair. But anyway, I'll give you an overview of what happened: Day One after my 'accident': a nasty incident involving a screaming Lauren, a hyperventilating Adele, a fainting Jessica, lots of honey, and what seemed like an entire colony of fire ants. Where Rose got the ants, I'll never know.
Day Two: Charlie had to rescue Lauren and Jessica from a salivating bear by scaring it off with a few gunshots. Charlie said it had probably just smelled food and was hungry. Coincidentally enough, a few bass went missing from Charlie's fish supply the same day the bear came after Lauren and Jessica.
Day Three: Charlie received a call on Adele's cell phone about the results of Lauren's STD test. Apparently, Lauren has gonorrhea. Two hours later, a call from Planned Parenthood came informing Charlie about an abortion appointment in two weeks. Don't even ask me how Jake and Rose pulled that off.
Day Four a.k.a. Today: Adele finally blew up. (Not literally, unfortunately.)
"Charlie, I've had enough!" Adele screamed. Ignoring Edward's protests, I jumped up and ran outside. To be honest, Adele looked a bit demented; her hair flying all over the place and her eyes wild, like in that movie The Exorcist. I also noticed that her skin looked like a newly made t-dyed t-shirt, an interesting mixture of neon green, yellow, pink, purple, smurf blue, and a really grotesque looking orange.
"Wait till you see the other two!" Alice whispered gleefully, coming up from behind me. Sure enough, Lauren and Jessica came into view a few minutes later. Well, maybe the terms Freaky Clown from the movie It, and Emo Girl were more appropriate. Lauren was in full clown gear, complete with the suit (which looked painted on), wig, make up, nose, and shoes. Jessica was wearing so much black eyeliner she would've made Adam Lambert proud, was completely decked in black (again, painted on) and her hair was now the shade of tar.
"What…how…?" I gasped, between fits of laughter.
"Jake's idea. Not quite as good as Rose with the STDs, but still. Actually, they got off easy. Jasper wanted to tar and feather them. Not to mention the paint is washable." Alice said in one breath.
"Shit. Where did you get this stuff?" Edward asked in awe. Yeah, he had been missing out too, insisting on keeping me company instead. I knew there was a reason I love him.
"Jake bought them in secret when he went shopping with Charlie for supplies," Jazz replied, appearing out of nowhere.
"Well, kudos to him," Edward muttered. I turned my attention back to the scene. Adele was screaming obscenities at Charlie, and Charlie…well, he was looking like he was trying hard not to laugh.
"Look, honey, I've put up with your devil spawn for weeks now, hoping that you would open your eyes and knock some sense into them. They've been nothing but a pain in my ass this whole time. So let me get some things clear- once the wedding is over, they're gone, got it? You've got money, ship them off to Japan or something for boarding school, but they're not coming anywhere near my house." Charlie's face hardened.
"Now, see here Adele, they're just kids playing some harmless pranks…" Charlie was soon cut off by Emmett, who was swinging a vaguely familiar bundle. My eyes widened as I realized it was the recording Alice had taken weeks before.
"I really don't think you're in any position to make threats, considering you're gonna be the one gone, not us." Emmett stated calmly. Our eyes met, and my brother quirked an eyebrow, asking a silent question. I nodded, giving him permission to use the recording. Honestly, I just wanted Adele out of our lives ASAP, and the video recording was a sure-fire way to do that. I would have used it sooner, had I not been having so much fun with the pranks.
"What are you talking about?" Adele snapped, at the same time Jessica piped up and asked, "Hey, what's in there?"
"Proof that you're too much of a whoring bitch to be a suitable mother," Jake said easily. Lauren lunged for the bundle, but Emmett tossed it gently to Rose who grinned, pulled out the recorder and hit play. Adele's eyes widened as she heard her voice playing.
"…I'm desperate. My bastard husband was a drinker and a gambler, and he left us neck-high in debt before dying of heart failure. Then I met Charlie, and he is the answer to all our problems- a Gods given gift, or at least his money is. I'm not afraid of playing dirty if it means getting that money, and the sooner you learn this and give up, the easier it'll be for you once this is all over. Well? What do you say?"
"Bring it on. We won't be backing down until you do." Video Bella replied.
"Well, I guess I won't feel bad about doing this then." Rose cut off at the part where I was shoved into the dishwasher. I looked at Charlie- his face was a concerning shade of maroon, and a vein was pulsing in his forehead.
"Pack your bags," he said in a strained voice.
"What?" Adele gasped. "No, wait, Charlie I can explain this."
"Which part?" He sneered. "The part where you only marry me for the money? The part where you threaten my daughter? Or how about the part where you assault and injure my daughter? I can't believe I didn't see you for the conniving, lying bitch you are from the beginning, but I'll do all I can to make up for it now. You're not spending another second around my kids! Now PACK YOUR BAGS!" He roared. Adele stared at him for a moment, then gave this tiny squeak and scampered timidly away back towards the cabins. Lauren and Jessica quickly followed.
"I'm so sorry I didn't listen to you, kids." He muttered once we were alone. I noticed Alice, Rose, Jake, and Edward subtly sneaking away, giving us some Swan family time. "I'm an idiot. And a bad father."
"No kidding," Emmett snorted. I glared at him. Charlie took a deep breath and continued, "Kids, I understand that nothing I say can make up for how I've acted in the past. But I have to apologize for bailing out on you guys when Renee died. I was a mess, but that's no excuse. I'm sorry for not being there for you when you needed me. I'm sorry for not listening to you about Adele. I'm sorry I've left you three to mostly fend for yourselves. I understand if you don't forgive me, but I want you to know that I've always loved you."
"It's okay, dad. I understand. Just next time you get a girlfriend, check in with us first, 'kay?" I reached over, choking up a bit, and gave him a hug. "It's never too late to start being a good parent." Charlie then looked up at Jazz and Em, who were both glaring at him and sighed, shoulders slumped.
"Charlie, I get that you were upset when Mom died. We all were. But we didn't go and sink into this pit of depression because of it. You have no idea how many times I've wanted to punch you this summer alone, let alone all the years since Renee died. But if you can prove to me that you can be a good father, that you can be here for us, then I might just forgive you." Jasper said stiffly, before turning away. Emmett's speech was short and too the point.
"Glad you finally got that stick out of your ass, Charlie. But you mess up again and that gun of yours you've got in the basement might just turn against you." Emmett growled, before walking away.
"Guess I deserved that," Charlie muttered. "I was thinking that after I drop Adele, Lauren and Jessica off, we can cut our vacation short too. I've had enough of the woods for a lifetime." He walked over to his car while I went inside my cabin to find Edward waiting for me anxiously.
"So how'd it go?" He asked, standing up and taking me in his arms.
"About as well as can be expected, considering Emmett's grudge-holding skills, Jasper's moodiness, and Charlie's past idiocy," I murmured, leaning forward as Edward kissed me sweetly. "But the important thing is that we're finally a family again. That, and the fact that Charlie has decided to take pity on us and send us home early."
"Well, you can't argue that this trip hasn't been fairly interesting." Edward said with a smile. I thought of all the pranks we'd pulled, Edward earning my trust back, nearly dying, getting rid of the Skank Trio, and getting my father back. "No," I grinned as Edward planted another kiss on my mouth. "I guess I can't."
Epilogue- 22 years later
The sound of the front door opening alerted me to my daughter's arrival home. That and the loud stomps I heard going up the stairs and the sound of her bedroom door slamming shut. I quickly finished putting the pie I was working on in the oven, and cautiously knocked on her bedroom door. "Nessie?" I called out softly. "Can I come in?" Hearing no answer, I carefully turned the doorknob and walked in. Nessie was lying face down on her bed, her petite body shaking with sobs. "Oh Nessie," I sighed, "what happened?" Ness seemed to debate with herself whether or not she wanted to tell me anything, but when I pulled her in for a hug, she caved.
"It's about Alec," she whispered, rubbing her nose. Alec had been her boyfriend for a couple months now, and Ness was completely head over heels for him. "What about him?" I asked encouragingly.
"Well, this morning he told me he loved me. I don't think he meant to, he just blurted it out, and then got flustered because he wanted to say it on Valentine's Day next week and…" I cut her off. Like me, she tends to ramble sometimes.
"That's wonderful! But isn't that a good thing?" I questioned. Nessie shot me an annoyed look. "I'm getting to that part, Mom! So anyway, I was like on cloud nine all morning and in global I told Bree Tanner that Alec Voltaire loved me." I had never really liked Bree ever since she spat gum into Ness's hair in grade school. Vindictive bitch.
"And yeah, maybe I wanted to rub it in a bit. But then she laughed, and asked if I really though Alec loved me. I told her yeah, duh. And then she…she…," here Nessie paused to grab some Kleenex as the waterworks had started flowing freely again. "She said Alec was only with me in the first place because of a bet! I didn't believe her at first, but when I told Alec about it, expecting him to laugh it off, he got all still and weird." All semblance of control flew out the window as Nessie threw herself at me and sobbed into my shoulder. I held her, but couldn't help the way I stiffened. "That bastard," I growled, "No one gets away hurting my daughter like this without Mama Cullen coming to kick their ass. You just wait, Voltaire, by the end of this day your balls will be so deformed…"
"Mom, mom, stop." Nessie said soothingly as possible through her hiccups. "I'm not finished yet. Well, after I found out the truth, I had pretty much the same reaction. Basically, I dumped my cup of scalding double mocha espresso down his shirt, told him I was never going to speak to him again, stormed off and broke down in the bathroom." Ha, I told Edward she takes after me more. "But then he cornered me and told me I had to hear him out. He admitted that yes, he did start to date me because of a bet, but he'd called it off once he got to really know me and then he'd already fallen in love with me. Mom, he literally got down on his knees in the girl's bathroom and begged me to believe and forgive him."
"I told him that I can't be with a prick who'd play with a girl's feelings because of a fucking bet and that it didn't matter that he'd called it off. The fact that he did it at all was enough. Alec told me that I changed him, and that he'd never do it again." Nessie sniffled, as I listened patiently. "I told him his words meant nothing to me anymore, and to fuck off until I was ready. Mom, what am I gonna do? How do I know he's not lying again? Because that's really all he's done so far- lie. This is WAY too much for a girl to handle, I mean, I found out that he apparently loves me, but at the same time only went out with me because of a bet all in one day, and a part of me REALLY wants to just forgive and forget, but the other part of me wants revenge, and to break his heart like he broke mine, not that you would know how it feels like so I don't even know why I'm asking you, and now I just sound like a bitch, and…"
"Hey, Ness, calm down, deep breaths," I said evenly, as Nessie started to hyperventilate. "Believe it or not, I went through the same thing."
"Nuh-uh," Nessie scoffed. "You said yourself that Dad was the only guy for you."
"Yes, well, I went through a similar scenario with your dad. He wasn't always the charming gentleman, you know. He was actually a real douche once."
"Are we talking about the same person here?" Nessie asked incredulously. "My dad, the same guy who still takes you on dates once a week, gives you flowers at the most random times, holds doors open for old ladies, and throws a fit when you pay the dinner bill?"
"Yes, we're talking about the same person, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, otherwise known as your dad." I rolled my eyes. "It's time you know how he was when I first met him." I said before proceeding to fill Nessie in on the messed up relationship Edward and I had in the beginning, leaving a few things out, of course. No need getting her to hate her Dad. Ness had never really known the whole story of how we first dated, and now she listened with wide eyes. On the upside, it distracted her from Alec.
"So you see, if someone is really sorry, and they show it, forgiveness can lead to something wonderful. Your dad is the most wonderful man I've ever had the fortune to meet, and I can honestly say giving him a second chance is the best choice I've ever made." I concluded. "And the revenge thing didn't really work in my case- it just made us both more miserable."
"Wow," Nessie breathed. "I had no idea Dad was such a jerk. How did you ever learn to trust him again?" I smiled wistfully, thinking of the wonderful dates he'd taken me on and the interesting summer we'd had getting rid of the Skank Trio.
"It wasn't easy," I admitted, "But it all started with just one kiss…"
A/N: Last chapter, so PLEASE, PLEASE review! I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read my story, and a special thanks to all those who reviewed. I'm thinking of starting a new story soon also, it's gonna be my first story with mythical creatures and vampires in it. It'll be called Violet Lightning, so keep your eyes out for it! Any questions, please PM me.