Pen name: Burntcore
Pairing: B&E… and some T AU/AH
Title: Ruby Slippers
A/N: This is an AU outtake to my story, Breaking From the Ordinary, for the Fics for Nashville. It was something fun to do within my story's universe that isn't a part of the actual storyline. Many people have commiserated in reviews at the various ways they would like to see Bella & Edward rid themselves of the Tanya problem. This is a tribute to my readers and reviewers.
I stood on the street, looking up at the pulley that was slowly lifting some of our heavy furniture from the moving van into our new penthouse. Edward and I had finally done it; we moved in together. I left Angela in charge of my bar in Ohio and looked forward to opening a new one out here in LA. I could see the bronze mop of Edward's hair in the window as he directed the pulley towards the window opening.
You'd think buildings like this had freight elevators that would accommodate just about anything, especially with the cost of the mortgage on this place, but some of our odd-shaped furniture just wouldn't make the elevator. So now we had to make a public spectacle of ourselves with this huge crane pulley, drawing a crowd of curious people and probably a few paparazzi. We couldn't so much as walk down the street without someone snapping our picture.
Thankfully, we got some of the local police to help maintain traffic and keep the throng back. Of course, having the police there just made more people curious, which added to the commotion surrounding our seemingly simple move. Keeping Edward inside seemed to be the smartest move. People recognized him much quicker than me. Since we had kept my appearance as under wraps as possible, the general public would not immediately figure out who I was if I walked down the street. This was a blessing for me as I stood on the street corner.
It was warm in LA, a heat I wasn't completely accustomed to yet. California was much warmer than Ohio. This time of year in Ohio I'd be crazy to be running around in shorts and a t-shirt, but here I was in mid October, dressed like it was June. This was one part of LA I could get used to. It reminded me of growing up in Phoenix. Although, living here I'd miss the snow in the winter. But on the other hand, winter meant Cullen Christmases in Forks and I could easily deal with that as a trade off.
I laughed as I heard Edward swear from five floors up. The antique dresser was not fitting in the window opening well. This move was straining our last nerves with all the hold-ups and drama. At least this was the last step.
"Are you laughing at me, Swan?" Edward hollered, his head sticking out of the window.
"Maybe!" I yelled back as my face split with a huge grin.
He politely gave me the finger as his head ducked back inside our home.
Home. My heart warmed over the thought. It hadn't completely sunk in yet.
We spent the next several hours getting the last of the boxes up the freight elevator and just had one last piece to move. Edward and I quickly organized the boxes into each room to make it easier to unpack later. Plus, we'd need the space for the final piece that awaited us down on the street.
"You ready, love?" Edward asked me softly as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me back into his chest.
He dropped gentle kisses along my neck and shoulders and I hummed in pleasure. I reached up and buried my fingers in his hair, one of my favorite things to do. I had to fight not to do this the night I met him. Now I can do it anytime I want.
"Yep." Edward released me and I turned to face him. He was smiling from ear to ear. "It's really happening, isn't it?" I whispered.
He nodded and kissed me again, chastely on the lips.
"Our first night in our place," I sighed. All of the time we spent, bouncing between LA and Ohio just to spend time together, never really having something for both of us was finally over. Now we did. Our place, our home.
A knock at our front door disrupted our moment. Edward pulled away to answer. It was our movers. The final piece was roped and ready to be heaved to our floor.
"Alright, let's get this over with," Edward said with enthusiasm, running his hands through his hair. He was excited but I could tell he was nervous. This was his baby we were talking about after all. This was one of the reasons that this piece was being done last. Not only was it the largest piece aside from our bed, which came apart to make it easier to move thankfully, but Edward didn't want to take the chance that his precious baby would be damaged if we brought it in before everything else was inside.
We followed the mover downstairs so Edward could inspect how secure the ropes and pulley were for his baby. I rolled my eyes and snorted with amusement. He really had some anal-retentive tendencies. Standing before the back of the flatbed truck, Edward stared lovingly at the cloth-covered prized possession. With a flourish, Edward pulled the dust cloth off revealing a gorgeous black Steinway piano. I snorted again over his flair for dramatics. Yep, my baby is an actor, that's for sure.
The movers carefully attached the piano to a special harness and clipped it to the chain that hung from the pulley. Edward's nervousness only amplified once he saw his precious piano strapped in. Once everything was given Edward's seal of approval, much to the movers' amusement, Edward ran back upstairs to the penthouse to help guide her –yes, her—through the window into our open living room.
Slowly, the movers slipped the piano out of the back of the truck and started to heave her up towards Edward's waiting arms. Before the piano got past the second floor, I heard a woman call out to me. I instantly recognized her voice and wished she would just leave us alone once and for all.
"Bella? Is that you? Hey, Bella!" called out a tall, stunning strawberry blonde wearing ruby red heels.
Tanya. I tried to keep the bile down as I watched the woman who almost succeeded in breaking up Edward and me early on walk up to me like we were friends.
"Can I help you, Ms. Denali?" I asked politely.
"You're so formal, Bella. I think we are beyond that by now, aren't we?" she chided me sweetly. I wanted to smack her. Her being sweet was just a cover for some ulterior motive. There was nothing genuine or good about this woman.
I crossed my arms across my chest and glared at her. "Do you need something?" I spat.
Tanya wrapped a curl around her finger and giggled. "I just wanted to welcome you and Edward to the neighborhood."
"You live around here?" I asked, horrified. My happy thoughts about my new home with Edward were shattered by the idea of this vile, unpleasant, self-serving woman being our neighbor.
"Yeah, I have a house right around the corner. We'll be able to go to Ivy for lunch all the time!"
I threw up in my mouth a little. The last place I would want to be seen was at Ivy, especially with Tanya Denali. A person only went to Ivy if he or she wanted to be seen, and I definitely had no desire at all to be paparazzi fodder. Hell, that's where Edward broke up with her all those year ago.
"I don't think so, Tanya. I have no interest in going anywhere with you," I said dismissively. I fought the urge to glance up in Edward's direction. I didn't want to draw her attention to where he was.
Tanya didn't seem surprised by my rebuff. She merely flipped her hair over her shoulder and huffed. "Well, that's good because I wouldn't be seen in public with Edward's sloppy seconds."
That was it, I had reached my limit. My heart was beating out of my chest and my fists were balled in fury. "You are such a jealous, hateful bitch!" I shrieked.
"Bella?" Edward called down with concern in his voice as the piano hung in position, ready to be drawn into the penthouse.
He must've heard me yell at Tanya.
"Edward! Welcome to the neighborhood, sweetheart!" Tanya called up at him, batting her eyelashes at him.
Like he can see you doing that from five floors up.
"Tanya, what the hell are you doing here?" Edward demanded loudly.
I looked around and realized that our confrontation was being watched avidly by the crowd. Several camera phones were taking pictures and I saw a few people with handheld video cameras. I was just waiting for someone from TMZ to come stomping through the mob.
"I was welcoming your little Bella here to the neighborhood. She's just all kinds of adorable. I just want to eat her up," she yelled back at Edward. Somehow, the seemingly nice things she said had an edge to them, turning her compliments into snide insults.
Edward's head ducked back into the window leaving the piano to hang where it was.
"What is your problem, Tanya?" I demanded. "You could have anyone in the world, yet you are here after Edward, again." I was tired of her interference in our lives. I just wanted her gone, any way possible.
"My problem, little Bella," Tanya sneered as she slowly walked closer to me, invading my personal space, "is you." She extended one well-manicured finger towards me and poked me in the chest. "You are my problem. Edward is mine. He's always been mine. He'll always be mine."
"You're delusional," I spat as I pushed her away from me. "And keep your fucking hands to yourself, you crazy whore."
Tanya's face turned a very unflattering shade of purple and she started to shake. Her fist came rounding towards me but another hand flashed out before she could make contact with my face.
"That's enough, Tanya," Edward spat as he released Tanya's hand roughly.
"Hi, Edward! I knew you couldn't resist touching me," she cooed. Her cool blue eyes looked at him with such fanatical longing. It was actually kind of scary.
Edward laughed mirthlessly beside me as he wrapped an arm around my waist. "I was only protecting Bella, Tanya. I have absolutely no desire to touch you whatsoever."
Tanya's eyes widened as she watched Edward touch me. Her expression only worsened when he leaned over and kissed the side of my head.
"But Edward, you're supposed to be with me," she uttered in a small voice.
"No, no I'm not, Tanya. I belong with Bella. I'm in love with Bella and I always will be."
My eyes got as wide as saucers at his declaration.
"No, I won't let you!" she screeched, lunging towards me with murder in her eyes.
Edward swiftly pulled me out of the way but not before I'd had a chance to shove Tanya away from me. Tanya stumbled on her ruby shoes and fell to the ground. She started talking to herself as she sat there. It was hard to make out, but every so often I'd hear "He's mine." She seriously scared me.
"Edward, what are we going to do?" I whispered. I was afraid to distract Tanya from her mumblings.
He thought deeply for a moment, before the groan of the ropes suspending his piano five floors up distracted him. Edward started to rub his chin as he thought.
"I think a sacrifice will need to be made," he murmured quietly.
"What? What kind of sacrifice?"
Edward looked up at the piano quickly while he grabbed the pulley's motor controller from one of the movers who was standing nearby. The mover was smirking. I wanted to slap him.
"Edward, what are you doing?" I whispered with a strain to my voice. Could he be serious? It would definitely take care of our problem.
He merely looked at me with an expression that said "You know what I'm doing."
Tanya had shaken herself out of her trance and stood up unsteadily. She looked a little unhinged. I was genuinely afraid of her now. She stiffly walked towards me, her lip curling up in a sneer.
"You're going to regret the day you met Edward, you little whore," Tanya said, her blue eyes not quite focusing on me or Edward.
Edward started walking backwards, pulling me along with him. He kept glancing upward as Tanya stalked us. Satisfied with our position, he stopped and tugged me behind him slightly.
Tanya was surprised that he no longer continued to retreat. She also took in the smug, triumphant expression on his face. Her face fell in confusion and she stopped about six feet from us.
"Goodbye, Tanya," Edward said coldly, as he pressed down a button on the controller.
The next thing I heard was a whooshing sound and the rattle of a chain through a pulley before Edward's prized Steinway flew down right on top of Tanya. She looked up right at the last possible millisecond and didn't even have time to scream before the piano hit her.
It was a devastatingly beautiful sight, like watching one of those horrific car accidents that you couldn't help but stare at. Wood panels cracked. Ivory keys went flying, twinkling in the sunlight. Piano strings snapped, creating a discordant cacophony of tortured sound. Almost as quickly as the noise started, it ended. The only remaining sounds were the groans of tortured wood as the piano settled on the pavement.
Once the dust had settled, the only parts of Tanya that were visible were her legs from the knees down, including her ruby slippers.
"Wow, Edward. You loved that piano," I commented.
"I did, but I can buy another one. This one served its purpose."
I started to chuckle. We were finally free of this wicked witch of the west. She could hurt us no longer. Edward peered down at me with his trademarked crooked grin.
"What's so funny, love?"
"Nothing, dear, just happy that this is finally over. She won't bother us ever again."
Edward joined me in my laughter as he pulled me into his arms. Before I knew it, I was humming the song "Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!" from the Wizard of Oz. Edward really started laughing and whirled me around in circles.
Our laughing was cut short by a hissing sound coming from the destroyed piano on the sidewalk. I looked over and saw Tanya's legs deflate like a balloon and shrivel up like raisins. Her legs pulled away from her ruby slippers and hid underneath the wreckage. All that was left were her ruby slippers. I pulled away from Edward to kneel down before the shoes. Puzzled, I reached out to touch them.
I sat up in bed suddenly, momentarily disoriented. I looked over and saw Edward sleeping, snoring quietly next to me, oblivious to the world.
What the hell? What a crazy dream.
In the darkness, a twinkle coming from Edward's bookshelves caught my eye. I turned the lamp next to my side of the bed on low so I could see. On one of Edward's bookshelves was a pair of ruby slippers.
It was a dream, wasn't it?
A/N Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little fantasy venture into my story. Most of all, thank you for supporting the charities that are helping the people of Nashville and the surrounding areas.