Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns the Twilight Saga. We just took and plopped the characters right down in the middle of a fairy tale and a teen angst movie. We also don't own Ever After or She's All That!
SUMMARY: Bella is a modern Cinderella and Edward is a player Prince. Will they live Happily Ever After? AH Rated M for Ripe Lemons. Orig Collab between Belli486 and SavageWoman.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER
Why is breakfast late?" Irina asked, not bothering with the pleasantry of a good morning.
I delighted in coming up with the most bizarre excuses I could think of to annoy Irina. "I was besieged by menstrual cramps so severe this morning I had to take four Midol before I could even walk."
Irina regarded the artist's smock I was wearing in lieu of an apron. "Seems to me someone's been painting before breakfast again. Look at you, paint everywhere; and is that soot from the basement Buck stove on your face?"
"She should just sleep down there amongst the soot from that stove," Kate said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "That would be totally apropos for someone of her class."
"What's that god-awful turpentine smell?" Tanya asked, scrunching up her nose and plopping down in a chair. "If you want to smell like a manual laborer...oh right, you are our manual laborer."
"That was impolite, Tanya," Irina said without conviction. "Come here, Bella."
I slunk over to my stepmother. Irina took my face in her hands and looked me over as she often did as if hoping to discover some ancient truth in my visage that wasn't there before. I was convinced that it was in these examinations that she was recalling how much I looked like my mother, the woman whom her husband loved above all others, even in death.
"You could benefit from a makeover, my dear," Irina said finally, with a frown. "What can I do to make you care about your appearance and about me?"
"I do care, Irina. I wish my style wasn't so offensive to you," I said, endeavoring not to sound disingenuous.
"It is hardly your style that offends; it is your flair for the dramatic and your disdain for truth."
"I spend a great deal of time thinking of what I can do, how I can act, that will make you care for me as I care for you Irina," I entreated her with an earnestness that I really didn't feel. I had long ago learned that if I catered to and patronized my stepmother in this manner I got a gentler version of her ire, something more akin to righteous indignation.
Irina took her seat at the head of the table. "In the years since your father died, I have loved and provided for you." I knew that her diatribe would last several minutes, so I pulled the quiche out of the oven, placed it on a trivet on the table and took a seat.
Irina continued as we began our breakfast. "All I require in return is that you do the things I ask of you in a timely fashion and without complaint. Is that so unfair?"
When I wanted the Irina diatribe to end, I knew exactly what to do—agree with her. "No, Irina."
"Good," Irina said, almost as if she was satisfied. But then she continued. "Charlie would roll over in his grave if he had knowledge of your ingratitude. I have sacrificed to make a comfortable life for you here, but apparently it's not enough." She put a strip of bacon to her mouth and nibbled in that affected manner she had of eating. "This bacon is cold."
"Sorry, Irina," I said as if by rote. There was always something about the meal that wasn't to Irina's liking, and her invoking Charlie's name was a new low, even for her.
I usually ate my breakfast and tuned out Irina and the harpies. I had gone into my own thought zone until I heard a name that made my ears perk up in attention.
"Mom," Kate was saying. "Tanya and I met these new rich boys yesterday at the mall in Port Angeles who have moved back to Forks after living several years in California."
"Jasper, Emmett and Edward Cullen," Tanya said excitedly.
I dropped my glass with a thunk, and orange juice splattered everywhere, including on Kate and Tanya's carefully coordinated designer outfits.
"Oh, shit!" Tanya exclaimed. "You've ruined my blouse."
And Kate let loose the granddaddy of all curse words, and twice in front of her mother, no less. "Fuck! Bella, you're a fucking spazz!"
"Language! Girls, a real lady doesn't use such words," Irina said. Then she took an icy tone with me. "Clean this up. Now!"
E/N: I am finally making good on my promise to continue this One-Shot for those of you who read and enjoyed our "Fun With Your Clothes On" Submission. I have quite a bit of this already written, so hopefully the updates will appear quickly after the holidays. However, that will be totally up to my flailing mojo and the betas.
It is so good to be writing something again. As many of you know, I've been on hiatus due to family issues, but I am very hopeful that I am back, not only with my two new works in progress, but my first love, "Trust, Loyalty, Commitment." TLC should wrap in the early months of 2011. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. - 3 Bev