Twi-Fic Promotions "Don't Mess With the Help" Contest
Story Title: Sex & the Soil
Pen name: il_bel_mondo & ipreferbrunettes (collab.)Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended
To view all other entries for the "Don't Mess With the Help Contest" visit the C2 community here www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/~dontmesswiththehelpcontest
The bump and sway of the bus woke me from the terrible nap I was trying to take. The large, sweaty guy next to me on the bus smelled like cat piss and cigarettes. That was bad enough, but on top of it the lady who was sitting behind me and Sir-Smells-A-Lot hummed, fucking hummed for the last eight hours. If this was setting the pace for my summer, things did not look good.
I needed a break from my life and said as much on my last phone conversation with Jasper, my cousin. He always had a response and this time was no different. "A simple problem with a simple solution...come down to Texas for the summer."
So, on a whim, I packed up a gym bag and bought a bus ticket. This would be my first trip to Texas, my parents had never wanted to visit the South, so all vacations were above the Mason-Dixon line. All I had were Jasper's descriptions, and I'm pretty sure he was being an asshole when he said, "Yeah, man, everyone here rides a horse."
But what shocked me most when I stepped off the bus...I saw two people riding horses in the middle of the road. Oh my fucking Bonanza. Granted, cars flanked all sides of the riders, but still...horses on Main Street? Well color me cowboyed.
Evidently, I was standing with my mouth open, gaping at the street. So much so that when someone walked up beside me, I didn't notice him until a hard thump hit the middle of my forehead.
"What the fuck?" I bellowed and turned to see the culprit, who was about to get his ass whooped, and was met with my cousin Jasper's grinning face. I stepped back and really took him in; he didn't look much different than he did when we were eleven. Tall and lanky, with blonde, messy hair poking out from a tan cowboy hat, wearing a plaid shirt, tight jeans and pointy toed cowboy boots. My cousin, the Marlboro man.
"Hey cousin, how was the trip?" A flawless, half-cocked Cullen grin resounded off Jasper's face and I knew he didn't need me to answer, but I did.
"Like riding in a litter box." The fake smile appeared and I even threw in the thumbs up. He patted my shoulder and laughed.
"That good, wow."
Two hours later we stepped outside of the small diner we'd holed up in. The place was the epitome of small town restaurant and had the best melt-in-your-mouth, gooey, pecan pie I'd ever tasted. It was served by the meanest, little, old, wrinkled harpy I'd ever met. I swear if we would have asked for something else her head would have exploded all over our licked-clean plates.
"Ready to head back to the house? My mom is waiting to see you." Jasper winked and I let my eyes bug out at the thought. Jasper's dad, my father's brother, was gone and his mother and my mother had a long history... of despising each other. Surely Aunt Maria only wanted to see me so that she could try and weasel something negative about my mom and why I was in Texas out of me.
"Mmmm, that sounds tempting, but I need to find a paper or something that has the want ads." I spoke aloud even though it was more to myself than Jas. Money was always an issue and this summer would be no different. I needed to be able to pay for my own things while I was here.
"Got it taken care of, Edward." Jasper's wicked, mischievous smile shone with pride. "You start first thing tomorrow. Get in the truck and I'll tell ya all about it... on the way to see my mom... Eddie." I cringed outwardly at my aunt's horrific nickname for me. It's like the woman couldn't say the word "-ward," because every time I had said my name was Ed-WARD she just giggled. "oh, Eddie, such a silly boy."
I had spent the whole evening dodging my aunt and her nosy-ass questions. I got to bed late and didn't sleep all that well. Isn't odd that once you hit the ultimate tired feeling your body punishes you by kicking in some adrenaline and refusing to let you rest?
After a night of tossing and turning, I bumped and bounced around the cab of Jasper's truck (my eyes shutting and opening with every movement felt) while he drove me to my summer job. The road got worse and I peered outside and set my eyes to the now-dirt road. A dirt fucking road.
A huge metal arch framed the grass-patched covered road. Bar None Ranch was spelled out in large, metallic, block letters along the curve. A heavy looking gate was latched closed at the base. While Jasper got out and unhooked the lock I read the signs that adorned it. Trespassers can and will be shot. Proud member of the NRA. No solicitation.
Whoa, Texas is turning out like every so-called stereotype I've seen on bad television. As I sat and worried over what type of boss I would have, Jasper yelled at me through the window.
"HEY! Earth to Edward. Didn't you hear me calling you?" Startled, I jumped in my seat and knocked my head on the roof. My hand shot to my scalp, rubbing gently. "Bwhaha, you okay?" Jasper asked and then with my glare as an answer he continued. "I need you to pull the truck forward so I can lock the gate back."
Cursing I slid over on the soft leather bench seat and pulled the truck through. When my cousin got back inside the truck, I was just re-clicking my seat belt into place. "Dude, why are you so pale? Is the heat too much for you and your Yankee temperment?"
"Naw, I was just thinking about that NRA sign." I sighed and ran my hand over my face and through my hair. "That's the gun group, right?"
"Oh c'mon, Edward, as soon as you turn of age here they hand you a NRA application with your driver's license renewal." He spoke like I was a complete idiot, and when I chanced an incredulous look at his face...I saw that I was. Jasper broke out into loud obnoxious laughter completely at my expense.
We hadn't pulled further than five feet when we heard a loud thump, a man had stepped into the road and had slapped the side of the hood. "Whatcha boys laughing at?"
"Oh hey, Charlie, I was just telling Edward here about the NRA's statewide campaign for recruitment." He grinned devilishly at the older man. I swear the guy's mustache moved and not his lips when he spoke, his eyes nothing but slits in his face. He kinda reminded me of Clint Eastwood-I half expected him to say "I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it."
Instead, I got this: "Did he use the driver's license or as part of Texas job applications?" My mouth must have dropped open as I stuttered something about driver's licenses.
Jasper said he had to run to his job and that he'd be back for me in at his lunch, but Charlie told him he could come at the end of his day. Jasper shot him a curious look and with a non-committal shrug he answered. "City boy's gonna have to get used to the heat sooner or later. Might as well be today."
After I closed the gate behind my cousin's truck, Charlie patted my shoulder and then without a word started walking up toward his house. The pretty blue colored paint was cracked and peeling in a few places, but you could tell Charlie maintained his house well. There was a wrap-around front porch, complete with rocking chairs and a porch swing. A lazy old dog lay its head across the top step, his ears perking with each step we took toward him.
"That's Sam, don't pay him any mind, he's old and honry, not to mention stubborn and full of himself." Charlie winked at me and I heard the dog growl at his description. "See what I mean?" Charlie patted the dog's head as we passed. Seated in two of the rocking chairs, we sat in silence for a few moments.
"Did Jasper tell you what you'd be doing out here?" I shook my head no. "I need a farmhand, you'll help with the animals and the handyman work that needs to be done. " I nodded my okay. "I only have two rules."
"Make that three: Don't call me sir...ever. When you're here, you're here to work and finally Don't mess with my daughter." Oh boy, this was going to be interesting.
I watched him for nearly an hour before anything of relative importance happened. He was easily the most beautiful creature that ever lived, and certainly the best thing that ever happened to The Bar None Ranch.
He was so obviously not from here: for one thing his skin was pasty white. For another, he didn't have a hat or sunglasses on and thirdly, he was not wearing a gun.
Perched at my bedroom window, conveniently located right over the field where he was sowing seeds, I had an ideal view of the loathsomely delicious mancake that my father had evidently hired as summer help.
He had been diligently working, like I mentioned before, for about one hour in the hot Texas sun… and he still had all his clothes on. I got the inkling that he might be inhuman… he looked like a god, anyway. Maybe he was halfsies, like Hercules or something; it wouldn't have shocked me.
Anyway, there he was sweatin' to the oldies over some pre-germinated corn and he was wearing work boots, a grey t-shirt and sinful blue jeans- think Springsteen on the cover of Born in the USA- putting a serious hurt in all my bad places.
I started to pay a little more attention when he sighed heavily and dropped his arms from the seed spreader. He looked around apprehensively for a minute and then grasped the hem of his shirt.
"Oh now this is what I was waiting for, come to mama," I whispered, eyes locked on him.
He hesitated still. Come ON, I urged him with my mind, let's see what's happening under that cotton blend! But it looked like his conscience got the better of him and he ducked back down to return to his work.
"Ugh, just take it off!" His chin jerked up toward my window.
Did I say that out loud?
Yes, and it was exasperated and rude-sounding.
He made a visor out of his hand over his eyes and cocked his head to the side. What kind of dweeb doesn't own sunglasses?
A crooked smile pulled at his cheek. "Someone up there?"
I realized then that he couldn't see me. "Nobody here but us chickens," I called down playfully.
"Chickens want me to take my shirt off?"
"We're a very erotic bunch. All about the cock."
He did a poor job of hiding his grin.
I rummaged around in the desk drawer beside me without taking my eyes off him and he continued to stare blindly into my room.
"Can you catch?" I asked as I tossed a hunk of black plastic towards him.
His pale arm shot out just before it hit the dirt and grabbed what I had thrown. When he looked up again, they were on his face.
Welcome to Texas, my friend.
He was still looking up blindly into my bedroom like he was waiting for what came next. Good thing he was so sexy, because he was clearly a terrible employee.
"Where are you from?" I asked him conversationally.
"That obvious, huh?" He sighed again. "What gave me away?"
"You don't have spurs that jingle jangle jingle. Don't let it bug you, though. We treat foreigners ok. Texas is the best country in the world," I said sardonically.
"Where are you from?" he asked, lifting the hem of his shirt to mop some of the sweat from his forehead.
It took me a second to answer. When he picked his shirt up, there was this delicious slice of alabaster abdominal peeking out from between his T and the waistband of those perfectly-worn Levis. He may have been on the skinny side but he was all cut up underneath his clothes. Me like.
"Well, here, of course." Like I would live in Satan's armpit for any other reason than being born into it? Dumb and useless. He certainly was lucky to be pretty.
"You don't have an accent."
Oh. That. I'd been practicing my non-regional diction since I first heard Tyra Banks talk like a white lady. It was when I realized that just because you are born one way, doesn't mean you have fall into the cookie cutter image that was provided to you. And fuck me if I was going to be a no-count, backwoods trash bag. I was going to live in New York City like Carrie Bradshaw as soon as I got out of high school and nobody would ever know that my birth certificate had a Confederate flag on it.
"I wanna fit in when I break outta here," I answered succinctly. Ten years ago, my mother had lived and died a hillbilly life in this podunk town and I was going to get away for the both of us. She was never meant for a place like Texas and I sure as shit wasn't going to be either.
The Farmer in the Dell did his sexy shirt-wipe thing again. The bottom of the grey material was nearly soaked through by that point. "For real, why don't you just take it off. He doesn't care."
Seriously, stupider than a bag of dicks. I wished I was taping this so that the next time someone tried to insinuate that Southerners were somehow inferior, I could show them how ass-tarded a Yank could be.
"Charlie. Your boss...?" I tried.
"Oh. Right. You sure?" His eyes shifted around and he looked nervous, maybe a little self conscious too. Poor little lamb.
"Yeah. I've been a slave here long enough to know." He balked a little when I said it. What? It's been nearly 200 years, I can't make slave jokes yet? It's not like I said something insensitive about the BP oil spill or - gasp - Sarah Palin's failed run at vice presidency. Everyone needs to lighten the fuck up.
"Are you the housekeeper?" he asked earnestly.
"Yeah, something like that," I answered with a wry smile that he, of course, wasn't privy to.
"Do you take your shirt off when you work?" That crooked smile worked up into the corner of his cheek again. I was impressed with his boldness. For all he knew I could be a 250 pound old lady who smelled like goat cheese, and he was flirting, sight-unseen? Ballsy, city boy, very ballsy.
"No, but only because there's central air."
"And you have the window open? That seems a bit wasteful."
"Funny, I was just thinking the same about your shirt."
He smirked and finally pulled it up over his head.
Hot DAMN that was some pale skin!
"Can I get those sunglasses back? The glare off your ghostly body is blinding me," I said around a giggle.
"Lay off, we don't get this kind of weather in Washington."
"But there is a sun there, yes?" I could not get over his beautiful, chalky body. He was like a Greek sculpture of perfection... but actually made from the white marble. It was a little gross and kind of a turn on at the simultaneously.
His skin was starting to pink up already. He might actually ignite if he didn't get some sunblock on immediately. I rummaged around in the drawer again and tossed a brown bottle down to him, which he caught almost without looking. Maybe what he lacked in pigmentation he made up for with feline reflexes.
"That delicate flesh of yours is going to char in about four seconds. Put that on," I instructed from my Rapunzel tower.
I watched as he slathered it onto his body obediently. From his neck, down to his shoulders and the length of his sinewy arms, across those blissful pecs and then finally to the span of rigid compartments that made up his six-pack.
I had been so enthralled with watching him touch himself that it took me a minute to realize what I'd just done.
The boy sparkled in the sun.
"Hey, what the fuck?" he yelled up in an angsty cry, "why am I glittering?"
I was shaking with laughter. He looked so fucking ridiculous and completely sexy at the same time. This kid was all kinds of weird dichotomies that made me horny.
"I'm sorry," I said, gasping for air through my fitful guffaws, "it was the only sun protection that was up here."
He finally looked at the bottle. "It says 'Hot Bod Glitter Tanning Oil!'" he shouted in exasperation, "and it's only SPF 4!"
"Um, that's better than SPF 0 which is what you had on. Besides, you look good. I like my men sparkly."
"I LOOK like Tinkerbell!" he whined.
"Yeah well, Tink doesn't talk so shut your trap about it. Look around, Fairy Princess, there's nobody here for miles. I think your manhood is safe." Until I get down there, but that's a whole new context.
"I guess," he grumbled his compliance and finally turned his attention back to the seed spreader.
"I know right? Get back to work. All this so I could see you looking like Casper when you're half naked."
He smiled against his will. "I'm Edward, by the way," he said without looking up, pushing the sower in front of him.
"Good to meet you Edward. There's some water in the cooler by the barn door. Try not to die of heat stroke on your first day; the boss doesn't like that." I stuck my arms out and made to close the window.
"Hey, what's your name, anyway?" he asked.
I hesitated. It would do him no good to find out I was Charlie's daughter.
"Carrie," I tried out.
The smile reappeared once more. "Pleasure to meet you, Carrie."
Oh baby, you have no idea.
Oh hell, the voice from beyond the window pane was haunting my brain. My focus was shot and I was left wondering what the woman with the slick mouth looked like. Did you just think about a slick mouth? And fuck if my inner perv wasn't reeling from lack of sex.
The rest of my day was spent mumbling under my breath and reeking havoc on the poor ground with the seed spreader. Snort, seed spreader-you haven't used one of those in a while. Now, I was praying that my mental horn dog would shut up for the last hour of my day. To placate the beast I promised to rub one out as soon as the bathroom door locked behind me at my aunt's house. Thankfully, not one more dirty, sex-driven thought popped up in my head.
Charlie walked up behind me and patted my shoulder, I winced as soon as he made contact.
"Son, you're redder than a lobster that's hit the water in a soup pot." Grimacing I looked down at my torso. Red couldn't even describe the tone of my skin. Blotchy, smears of sparkles on pale flesh zebra'd with horrendous scarlet stripes. And I almost cried out in pain when mindlessly I poked my fingers into the toasted flesh and saw it turn from white to a deepened crimson. The seared flesh almost sizzled as I tried to cover it with my sweat drenched shirt.
"Crap," was the best thing I could manage on the exhale of breath as it left my pained, tensed body.
Laughter rang out from Charlie. "Better have your cousin stop and get some of that aloe gel the tourists have to buy. Texas sunshine will get you every time." He reached to smack my shoulder in the midst of his guffaws bought caught himself and then exploded into louder chortles at my panic-stricken face. "Slather on the gel tonight and drink loads of water, then be here bright and early tomorrow...with some sunscreen on."
As he started walking back toward the gate, I amiably followed behind him, leaving the seeder at the door to what I mistakenly called a barn. It's a tool shed, evidently. Idling at the gate's entrance was Jasper's truck. I was never more happy to see him. Not any holiday he visited. Not when I got to fist pound him after the first time I got laid. Not even when he was rescuing me from his mother's horrendous flirtation. Never. More. Happy.
My body cringed involuntarily as the fabric of my hundred-percent cotton shirt ran over my skin. The knit felt much too much like a Brillo pad. My cousin eyed me then my beet colored forearms and sighed.
"My mom is gonna kill me for ruining your Yankee alabaster skin." I snorted and he joined Charlie in laughing at me...once again. The road that dipped and rose this morning in an amusement park style now was like a horrific torture session by a not-so-skilled tattoo artist. "So how was your first day?" Jasper finally broke the silence.
"It was fine, minus the sunburn. I think I met a girl." As soon as the words passed my lips Jasper's face tensed and a thin set line now showed for his mouth. Hands were tight on the steering wheel, the white in his knuckles becoming prevalent. "Didn't Charlie warn you? Edward you don't wanna mess around there."
"He warned me about his daughter but this lady said she was the maid," He looked like he was thinking hard while I spoke, so I added, "and I didn't even see her...we spoke through an open window...said her name was Carrie." The name was spoken and no reaction came. He sat with his lips pursed but nothing more.
"Carrie?" He asked and I nodded. "Well his daughter's name is Bella, not Carrie. But I never knew he had a maid. Charlie is pretty self-sufficient and doesn't like to ask for help. Matter-of-fact the last guy that worked there was the first and he got fired for being too helpful.
"What do you mean, how can you be too helpful on a job?"
"He was always asking Charlie if he could help him inside the house with chores, he'd stay late and work outside, finding things to do. Those things to do included Bella, and those chores happened to occur in her bedroom. Charlie fired him by chasing him outta the house, pants around his ankles, with a shotgun."
"Wow." I whispered.
"Yeah, poor Jacob swore he was in love with her and her with him, but the next time he saw her...she was walking hand in hand down the sidewalk on Main Street with the guy from the feed store that Charlie shops at. Needless to say his daughter no longer runs to the store for him."
I thought, silently, over the types of girls from back home and how my last girlfriend had also had the rotating fuck buddy syndrome. RFBS for short. I was instantly glad that I hadn't met Bella but Carrie this morning.
The rest of our ride was spent in silence pondering on both sides of the bench seat. And before Jasper could slide the gear shift into park, I hopped out of the truck and ghosted into the house. The annoyed look on my aunt's face said it all, she wanted to know why I looked the way I did.
"I forgot to reapply my sunscreen." Simply stated. I shrugged and made my way to the bathroom.
The hot water felt like spikes hitting my skin and the cool water was a better fit...that is until the air hit me and my skin rose with goosebumps and shivers that caused the pain to sky-rocket, making any thought of sexually molesting myself null and void.
I tried to towel off only to find this made everything worse, including the thought of missing overcast Washington. I covered myself with the terrycloth sandpaper and stepped across the hall to my room. Lying in the middle of my bed was a bottle of what looked like hair gel, but when I picked it up I saw that it read "AloeGel-sunburn soothing gel."
Guess Charlie was wrong, it's not just for tourists.
Dinner smelled spicy and looked like someone, *cough* my aunt, threw a can of chili on top of a microwaveable burrito and coated it all with cheese...or a cheese like substance. From the face my cousin was making I was all too sure I had hit the nail on the head. I saw his head drop and began shaking in an un-utterable "no."
Seconds later my phone vibrated in my pocket. E-Wanna hit the diner up? ~Jas I was bobbing my head without looking up at him, I knew that he saw it.
"I'm not feeling too well," I spoke to my aunt as I pushed my plate away. "Jas could you run my to the store? I need some better sunscreen for tomorrow."
My internal thoughts buzzed wondering what Carrie would say about my Yankee tan if I heard from her tomorrow. I could only hope so as I shoveled some pot roast in my mouth. Jasper peppered me with questions about Washington and why I needed to take a break. I gave him vague answers because truthfully, I didn't really know myself.
Carrie, unfortunately, stayed in my thoughts all through dinner and I found myself lost in thought when the waitress snapped her fingers in front of my face. "Did you want some dessert, sugar?"
I ordered some blackberry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was the only the blocked everything from my mind. No sunburn pain, No Washington thoughts. And mostly no thoughts of the girl hidden behind a pane of glass with a smart mouth and a mysterious allure.