Author's Note: So, it's been awhile since an update. But that's okay, right? Right.
Thanks to MsKatyCullen for the beta job, and then Project Team Beta (specifically DreaC and Carrie36) for touching it up.
And, I'm so thrilled to announce that Freaks, the sister story to this fic written by the reason this story was created to begin with, IndependenceIndividuality, has been posted. So, if you want to read about a punk-Nessie, the link is on my profile. And you should just do it. It's incredible.
"Respect is love in plain clothes."
Chapter Four – Chit-Chat Teeth
The next day came all too soon, but it wasn't that shocking to Nessie – after all, she had spent the rest of the day sleeping and didn't wake up till almost noon the next day. But something that did come across as a surprise was her aunt's appearance. Alice often looked clean and put together, her clothes stainless and never having a crease, but at that moment, she looked like a wreck.
"Who died?" Nessie asked when she walked into the living room, noticing how stuffy the air felt.
Alice looked up at her from the red couch, eyes puffy and nose running. She wore a t-shirt that was big enough to be a dress or a night gown.
"I'm sick," she muttered, coughing into her pale fist.
"Oh, no!" Nessie said as she took a seat next to her aunt. But as soon as her bottom touched the red couch, Alice was knocking her onto the ground.
"I'm sick, didn't ya hear me? I don't need you getting sick, too." She nearly screamed the words, and Nessie felt slightly panicked. But she didn't care, it was her aunt on that couch who looked like a beat up old woman, and she was going to take care of her.
"I'll be fine. You know me, strong immune system and all that," Nessie stated, crawling over to her aunt and looking at her from down below. "What do you think you have? The flu?"
"Most likely. But seriously, I have like a special French flu. I feel like shit and I don't want you to feel like this. Go away, 'kay?"
Nessie sighed and got to her feet, realizing that maybe she should get ready for her second day at Legend. The thought excited her but petrified her in a different sense.
"Fuck," Alice moaned. She jumped up from the couch and rushed past Nessie, a hand cupping her mouth and her small body disappearing behind a beige door.
"Do you need me to get you anything?" Nessie shouted from the other side.
"Fuck off!" Alice growled.
The tired girl didn't take it to heart, in fact, she was happy that her aunt was being a little bit of a bitch. It made her new take on being in Paris all the more better. Bitchiness was something she was used to, she could relate to, and dismiss. It was one thing the whole world shared, and for once in her life, Nessie was actually loving the fact that anyone could be a bitch to her.
"Alright, then," she began, her cheek against the door. "I'm going to get ready for today."
Alice replied with a gagging sound. Nessie grimaced and went into her bedroom. It looked much like the purple themed one Alice had, except this one was more concentrated about dark greens and browns. It reminded her of her bedroom at home, but more neat and there wasn't a mysterious smell coming from underneath the bed. Often times, her father threatened that he'd make Nessie live underneath the stairs in a cupboard like the famous wizard if she didn't clean up her room – but of course, he never did.
She headed for her cleaner, and more organized closet, where last night she'd gone a bit overboard when putting her clothes in. She'd made everything color coordinated; even her shoes which found sanctum at the bottom of the large, boxy room. Everything was by a Legendary designer; she wore nothing but Legendary clothes. Sometimes, though, she'd be caught wearing her mom's old navy T-shirts if she were doing yard work.
After spending nearly an hour searching for the right outfit, Nessie decided. She wanted to look casual, almost as if she just woke up and grabbed whatever was closest, yet still looking cool; like a rock star. When she finally did find the perfect, casual outfit, she stared at herself forever in the mirror.
She picked a gray and white stripped cotton dress. It was sleeveless and screamed summer time at the beach. It was one of her favorites; her uncle Jasper had taken her to get it. She matched it with gray-blue leggings and the same color of ballet flats. It was then that Nessie realized that she really loved blues and grays – it made her laugh a little. But what made her laugh even more was that she realized she hadn't taken a shower yet, and she felt almost as dirty as Alice probably did.
She stripped then and there, double checking to see if she locked her bedroom door. She did, thankfully. Nessie was all too modest when it came to her privacy and she figured she'd die if her aunt saw any other part of her. Once in the shower, where she'd already placed her toiletries and favorite soaps and shampoos, she stepped into the warm water and washed away all of her bad feelings she had the previous day.
When she was finished getting ready for the day, she went out onto the back patio, spotting her new and for now neighbors. Most were outside smoking, talking on their cell phones or on their computers. Which reminded Nessie, she needed to make some form of contact with her family that were thousands of miles away. She ran back inside, noticing that Alice was no longer in the bathroom that was located near the living room. She must be in her room, Nessie thought as she went into her room.
Grabbing her cell phone and laptop, she took a seat at the kitchen table, preparing herself for lots of time spent on her second love; the Internet. She could spend hours on a computer, whether on Facebook or buying new things from Legend's online store—which was only Legendary Apparel things. But today she decided not to get too entranced by anything. Instead, she concentrated on her mail, which was full of things from her friends and family.
After spending a good hour emptying her inbox, she then, with a great amount of will power, closed her laptop and dialed her home phone number. She needed to hear her parent's voice. But as she attempted to call them, she remembered that the time zones were different. It was about 2 AM there, and not a chance in hell would either of her parents wake up to answer the phone, plus Nessie didn't feel like calling them this late at night. She sighed and set her phone back down on the table then, her eyes slowly trailing towards the open glass door.
The sound of the bathroom door caught her attention and she turned to see her aunt wrapped in a blanket, looking just the same as she had been.
"Feeling better?" Nessie questioned, a small smile on her lips meant for comfort.
Alice laughed, but it sounded more like a scoff. "I. Wish."
She stopped walking to the couch long enough to look at Nessie straight in the eye.
"Why can't I just die?" she moaned.
Nessie giggled and got up, a knock at the front door alerting her. "Don't be so dramatic, Aunt Alice. You'll live."
"Sure about that?" Alice mumbled and collapsed on the couch.
Nessie ignored her dramatic aunt and answered the door. Angela had told her that yesterday she'd be picking her up around noon. The butterflies began to flop in Nessie's stomach as she began to think about her second day, which would probably be her official day, seeing as how yesterday she was so loopy from not having any proper sleep.
She smiled as she thought of the nap she'd taken on Jacob's couch.
Unlocking the door in a clumsy fashion, Nessie tried not to let the embarrassment get to her then. There stood Jacob Black, a fresh smile on his face and wearing casual clothes. Nessie's passion of anything Legend immediately made her able to detect what he was wearing. But she didn't ponder too much on his clothes; instead, she was thinking something else entirely.
"What are you doing here?" she choked out.
He smiled at her. "Angela said you were bummed that you couldn't do anything fun yesterday, so I'm making today a 'Paris-sightseeing-adventure day'," he said, quotes and all.
His voice was so cheery and eager, complete opposite of Nessie's.
"'Paris-sightseeing-adventure day'?" she mimicked, her voice caught on her shock and nerves.
"Sounds like hell!" Alice shouted from beneath the covers.
"Who was that?" Jacob asked, eyes narrowed at the areas behind Nessie.
Nessie cleared her throat. "My aunt, she's not feeling too good."
"The flu?" he guessed, but he said it in a matter-of-factly tone.
She nodded her head and Alice sat up, the white blankets slipping away from her head.
"It's more horrible than childbirth," she muttered, staring at the two.
The red-head turned and looked at the sick woman. "And you would know how child birth would feel?"
Alice glared and a snarl escaped through her clenched teeth.
"Actually, this bug has been going around for awhile," Jacob cut in. "I had it last week, and I'm pretty sure it was worse than childbirth. And I'm a guy. It's not physically possible for me to have a baby."
"Wanna try?" Alice challenged. Nessie felt embarrassed by her aunt. It was fine that she was being harsh to Nessie, but to Jacob, who was Nessie's boss, was something that wasn't even considered to be alright with.
Jacob dismissed Alice's crude ways. "Hey, we're sharing the same sickness. You've got part of me in you."
Nessie giggled and Alice smirked for a second before she disappeared beneath her covers. Jacob smiled back and turned his attention back to Nessie.
"Well, are you ready?" he asked her.
Nessie bit her lip and looked at the lump on the couch.
"I don't know. My aunt's really-"
"She is," Alice said for him.
Jacob's smile grew. "Let's go."
"Um, café….café au…" Nessie struggled to order a simple coffee with milk. Some things she could pronounce, only because they were obvious, but everything else came out in stutters and insecurity of an American girl. She looked up at Jacob with desperate eyes, her face a dark pink as the embarrassment seemed to cultivate each time the waiter sighed in annoyance.
With a smile on his face and humor-lit eyes, Jacob did the kind thing and helped out the girl.
"Elle aura un café au lait, et je vais avoir un café noisette. Merci."
Jacob's perfect French surprised Nessie, she admired him for it. He must have done a lot to change his life style for an American boy to a French man. She knew the transition would in fact be hard, seeing as how he'd grown up under harsh living conditions. His money and business was brought to him; he didn't make it happen. Most of the things that did happen in his life, though, we're unexpected and sometimes unwanted, but he managed, and Nessie knew that was one of the reasons why he was her hero, and she was happy to be where she was, even though yesterday she was having seconds thoughts.
Like Jacob, she just had to do it, even if she was unsure.
The waiter took their menus and walked away, probably glad to finally be able to do his job.
"Where'd you learn to speak French so well?" she questioned him.
He smacked his lips and his dark eyes flickered up to the bright sky above them.
"Mostly from books, plus dating a woman who speaks fluent French is a pro against the many cons," he answered, almost as if he immediately stopped himself from speaking. He coughed and looked over his shoulder, averting his eyes from the girl sitting across from him.
Nessie wasn't sure why she felt so suddenly ill. It was nothing physical, minus the twinge in her stomach, but mental. It was at that moment in time she realized that she liked Jacob more than a role-model, or a hero. She liked him as a girl would like a boy—a crush.
She swallowed hard and looked away, mentally cursing at herself.
Get a grip on yourself, Nessie, you don't even know the guy. It was true, Nessie didn't know him. But in some weird world, she did. Nessie knew everything about him, at least what magazines and interviews could provide. But beyond on that, she didn't know the true him.
"You okay?" Jacob asked suddenly, his head tilted to the side as he studied the flushed girl. He didn't sound all that well either.
Nessie snapped her attention back to him.
"Yeah, fine," she replied, stiffening as the waiter returned with two cups on a black, circular tray.
He put their orders in front of them and asked something in French. Nessie guessed he was asking if they wanted anything else, since it was normal waiter cliché. She shook her head and Jacob answered with an obvious 'no'. The blonde grinned politely, nodded his head, and disappeared once again.
Nessie took her cup of coffee and sipped it, embracing the warmth of it. Jacob did the same, but seemed to annihilate his in one gulp. She put her cup down, her hands still holding it, though.
"So, who's the French girl who gives you free lessons in the language?" Nessie questioned. She was determined to learn about him, and not from the media. If she was going to stay in Paris and work with the man she idolized, she was going to get to know him for the real person that he was.
"Mmm," he started as he swallowed his drink, another cough deep in his throat. Nessie wondered if maybe he was coming down with something. "You met her. Uhm, Victoria."
A blow to the heart in Nessie's eyes, but she smiled at him. "I should have known." The smile she wore was fake, and if anyone who truly knew her saw this, they'd realize this as well. But Jacob was blind.
He scoffed. "Why? By how she has me whipped or by the way she just seemed so, what's the word? Stubborn?" Jacob seemed a bit ticked, Nessie noted.
"I dunno. It just seemed that you two were more than friends, that's all," Nessie said, her voice hushed.
Jacob shrugged and sighed, eyes once again nowhere near Nessie's. "Well, after awhile… you just let people walk all over you."
Nessie's eyes grew wide. "I never said that she was walking all over you."
He looked at her. "She is. Big time. Have you not seen the magazine lately? I don't know whether if I should fire her, or dump her. I would not want to the feel the wrath of her."
"Wait, let me get this right, you don't like her?" she tried to sum up.
"Do you like her?" he asked back, eyebrows rose.
"I don't know her."
"Well, I do. She's….just, blah." He inhaled deeply, his fingers gently drumming against the table-top. He looked uncomfortable. "I really don't know what the hell I'm doing anymore," he said dramatically and sadly. He sighed in defeat and leaned back in his chair, his eyes finding other things to stare at once again. Clearly he wasn't one for confrontation, or interrogation for that matter.
Nessie was surprised by Jacob. It was often that she'd heard about someone letting themselves go, but Jacob seemed to be doing it wrong. He was letting himself go and giving himself up. It was obvious that he no longer cared, but a tiny ounce of him was still passionate about Legend. Clearly he was playing tug and war with himself, and only one side would win.
"I'm sorry," Nessie said out loud.
"For what?" the copper-skinned man asked.
"I know that ever since your mom died, you've been struggling."
Jacob's eyes got very wide then, almost as if he witnessed Nessie killing his mother. His fists locked tight and he clenched his jaw. Nessie hadn't expected this reaction.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean-"
He cut her off, "Just forget about it."
She nodded. She did know. It had only been a year since her grandmother had died. It was still hard to think of her as no longer around.
"I think I'm ready to go," she replied, wanting to get Jacob's mind off of everything.
He nodded and pushed himself from the table. "Sure."