The Twilight Twenty-Five: Three months to turn twenty-five picture prompts into drabbles or one shots. Let's see how this goes, shall we?
Huge, huge thanks to Bookjunkie1975, Coolbreeeze and Word Ninja for beta/pre-reading duties.
Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight; I own an unnecessarily large carton of Goldfish.
The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt #: 13
Pen name: CrumblingFool
Photos for prompts can be found here:
Cheddar. Pretzel. Original. Pizza. Whole Grain. S'mores Adventures. Fuck, s'mores adventures? How is that a flavor?
My eyes scanned the shelves in front of me. Three rows of selections. For one product. Nobody needed this many choices. I could barely look for a new app for my phone without my head exploding. How the hell was I supposed to know which one to choose?
As I ran my hand through my hair, tightening my grip on the basket in my other hand, I caught a glimpse of faded red to my left. I knew that shirt. It was my shirt.
"Jasper!" Darting down the aisle I grabbed him and hauled him back to where I'd been standing.
"Look. Look at that!" I pointed at the offending rows.
"Nice to see you too, Edward. Funny running into you here. How are you doing this fine evening?" The little thief was pulling on the edge of his shirt, correction my shirt that he was wearing.
"Stop stretching out my shirt, dude. You're my roommate, I see you every day. It's 2am on a Tuesday at Wal-Mart in Forks. This is not that big of a coincidence. Now look."
With an emphatic sigh, Jasper turned to face the aisle. "What am I looking at here?"
"Goldfish? Right, well I got that. But why exactly am I looking at Goldfish crackers? You sprout a kid I don't know about? Better yet, why do you look like you're going to tear your hair out or cry while looking at Goldfish crackers?"
I wanted to smack that smirk off his face.
"Well, Bella…you remember Bella?"
"Yes Edward, I remember Bella. Bella, who you have talked nonstop about for two months. Bella, who has come to every party our house has thrown. Bella, who thinks that ridiculous mop of hair on your head is sexy. Bella, with the big brown eyes and sweet, sweet ass. Bella, who swoons when you walk in the door. Bella, who just gets you, who just understands you like no one else can. That Bella?"
"I hate you so much right now."
"Hey, you dragged me down here. I was just on my way to get some beer and was accosted by a crazy person with a fetish for children's crackers."
"Just-" I looked up at the ceiling, blowing out air through my nose. "She's sick. And I went over to see if she needed anything and she gave me a list. She wants Goldfish."
"So, get her Goldfish."
"There are 15 different kinds of Goldfish here, Jasper! And those are just the ones in bags!" I grabbed a box off the shelf. "What the shit is this? Did you know they come in boxes too? And what about these?" I put the box back, reaching for another. "Does she want 100 calorie packs? Who only wants 100 calories of Goldfish? That's gotta be like, what, 5 fish? So, she probably doesn't want that. But she is sick, so maybe she only wants 5 fish. Or does she want a carton? Who needs that many? Maybe she does, I don't know. Maybe she really, really likes Goldfish. I mean, that's a shit ton of Goldfish and she's tiny, but the girl can eat."
"Dude, okay. Edward?" Jasper paused, his eyes darting to my hand holding the box of fish. It was folded in two. "You need to take a breath, put that back on the shelf before they make you buy it and calm the fuck down."
I set the box back with a sigh. "It's just, she's sick and I want help and I really don't want to blow it with her."
"I don't think she's going to dump you over the wrong kind of crackers," Jasper chuckled. "Okay, okay, okay," he held his hands up at my pleading look. "You said she was sick. Fever or cold or what?"
"No she's, like, sick. It's not pretty. She could barely tell me what she wanted without hurling," I waved the now crumpled yellow paper in his face.
"So she probably doesn't need pizza Goldfish, or chocolate. Whoa, they make chocolate Goldfish? That's…well, that sounds kinda delicious, right?"
"Jasper, please. Focus."
"Right, right. So, just get the regular ones. Something easy on her stomach."
"Which would be?" I gestured between cheddar and original.
"Huh. I would have said cheddar was original, but…" he scratched the back of his neck in a move I'd seen him do for the last 3 years whenever he was thinking. Finally he grabbed a blue and white bag off the shelf and threw it into my basket.
"Original. There. Now what else you got on that list?"
I handed him the list and we started towards the cereal aisle. "Cheerios, I think. That should be easy enough."
I scanned the rows of cereal looking for the familiar yellow box. I stopped in my tracks when I found it.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me."
I could see Jasper's shoulders shaking from the corner of my eye. "There are…ten kinds of Cheerios. Oh shit, chocolate Cheerios? That's just wrong."
I turned to look at him, wide-eyed. "I was having a hard enough time trying to decide between original and honey nut. Now..." I gestured vaguely at the four rows of Cheerios.
"Oh, this is easy. Multi-grain because that shit's delicious and it's got like one of each kind so you can't go wrong."
Shifting the bags in my right hand to my left I let myself into Bella's with the keys I'd swiped earlier. The door shut behind me as I moved through the living room into the kitchen, keeping the lights off as I went. I quickly put away the cold stuff before grabbing a Sprite and a bendy straw and making my way back through the living room and down the hall towards her bedroom. She hadn't asked for bendy straws, but I was pretty certain it was a scientific fact that you had to drink out of bendy straws when you were sick or things just got worse. It's just what you did.
The lights were out but the light from the street lamp next to her window poured through the partially open blinds. She had kicked her comforter to the corner of the bed and lay naked except for her underwear. I could see the goosebumps along her back from the doorway.
I slipped off my shoes and jeans, leaving me in my boxer briefs and t-shirt. Padding over to the bed, I set the Sprite and straw down on her nightstand and sat down gently. She shivered, curling in on herself.
"Bella?" I ran my hand down her chilled flesh, reaching up to smooth the damp hair away from her face. She was sweating despite obviously being cold. "Hey," I said softly, scooting further onto the bed. "Do you think you can sit up a bit?"
I reached down toward the twisted pile of blanket, pulling it up her legs.
"Too hot," she moaned, feebly kicking the blanket back off.
"Bella, you're freezing. You've got a fever. Do you think you can stomach some Tylenol?"
"Ohgodnogoaway." Her voice was barely above a whisper as she turned her back to me.
"I'm not leaving you alone when you're sick."
"I'm gross. Go away."
I just chuckled and slid fully into the bed. I reached out, pulling her body until she was against me, face pressed to my neck.
"You're not listening," she mumbled.
"Everyone likes zebras. Shut up." Her voice was losing what little strength it had as her body settled into mine.
I wrapped one arm around her shoulders, the other one looped underneath her body, smoothing down her back.
"Get your hand off my ass, Cullen."
I smiled against her temple, moving my hand up her back again, trying to warm her.
"Don't puke on me, okay?"
I woke up twice throughout the early morning. The first time she was on top of me, legs straddling my torso, head tucked under my chin, arms curled under her and wedged between our bodies on top of me. At some point she'd pulled the comforter back up. I was sweating my balls off. It was like having a 110lb heater attached to your chest and then you put a down blanket over it. Slowly I began to peel back the comforter but she started shivering almost immediately. I settled for having my arms outside the cocoon-of-hotness and managed to kick my feet free. I was going to sweat to death with this beautiful girl sitting on my chest.
The second time I woke up it was because that beautiful girl kicked me in the fucking head. Somehow she'd twisted and her feet were now alarmingly close to my face, her head by my feet. Rather than risk another blow I grabbed a pillow and folded myself until my head was next to hers.
The last thing I registered before falling back asleep were the damp baby hairs curling lightly against her forehead and her impossibly long lashes almost dusting against the top of her fever flushed cheeks.
She nodded, setting the Sprite back on her nightstand, the straw twirling and bobbing.
"Thanks for coming over last night. You didn't have to do that." She sat with her back against the headboard, head resting on her knees which she'd pulled up against her chest. She turned her face to rest her cheek against the fabric of the blanket, smiling shyly at me.
"Bella, you're sick. Of course I came over."
"I'm just glad I didn't throw up on you."
"Yeah," I chuckled, "me too."
"Shut up." She knocked her elbow against my side.
"You think you could eat something? Maybe some goldfish?"
She scrunched up her nose and looked at me doubtfully. "I don't know."
"You need to eat something. C'mon, just a few fish." I reached behind me and pulled the bag of Goldfish I'd grabbed when I woke up, off the floor. I shook the bag at her. "They're the snack that smiles back…until you bite their head off!"
Her eyes got wide as she looked at the bag.
"What? Have you not heard that terrible bit of marketing? To kids no less." I shook a couple of fish into my hand and held it out.
She took a few, still staring oddly at them. "You got the right ones." The fish were no longer smiling as she popped them into her mouth.
"The right ones?"
"Everyone always gets the cheddar ones, but the original are the best ones." She was grinning now. "You got me the right goldfish."
Suddenly she was in my arms and I was flat on my back. Her hair fell around us as she beamed down at me. "You came and took care of me while I was sick and you got me the right goldfish."
Jasper could keep the damn shirt.
"Well, you know, I do what I can." I ran my hands down her back and smiled back. This time when I moved my hands lower she didn't tell me to move them. She just cocked her head, still smiling. I shrugged. Jasper was right, it was a very fine ass.
"Still a perv. I'm a sick woman, Cullen."
"Stop looking so good when you're sick and I'll stop copping a feel." She rolled her eyes at that, but leaned down and pressed her lips to mine before I could say anything else. Kissing her never got old. Even sick, she sparked something in me that I'd never felt before.
She pulled back before I could get carried away. "Thank you."
Scooting down, she settled herself against me. "You're welcome, beautiful," I mumbled against her hair.
Her ice-cold toes wormed their way in between my legs, burrowing for heat.
"What time did you finally go to the store last night?" Her breath warmed my skin through my shirt.
"Hmm? Oh, not too late. Hey, did you know there are 15 different kinds of Goldfish?"