Love and Blackmail
Disclaimer: I'm not Stephenie Meyer and I don't own Twilight or have any association with it other than having read the books and watched the movies.
Brothers Emmett and Edward, rich and bored with life, take bets at illegal races for the thrill. After the cops bust up the latest race, Emmett and Edward hide their stash but are caught speeding. Once they're out of jail, the two receive a blackmail letter and find that their money is missing. According to the letter each day they must complete a specific good deed or a hundred dollars will be deducted from their ill gotten gains. Can the brothers be changed by the good deeds they must perform? Rated M for language.
A/N: This was originally written for Fics for Nashville. Many thanks to Lee723 for giving me this idea, fleshing it out with me, and giving me Bella's Beyonce ass. I usually don't do alternating first person point of view, but I needed to keep this as a very small fic. I'm only planning one or two more chapters and that's it.
CHAPTER 1: THE JIG IS UP
"There she is."
"Edward, stop staring at Bella and focus."
"You are a buzz kill," my brother said. "A. Fucking. Buzz. Kill."
I shook my head in disgust. "Did you write down Newton's bet?"
"Um….," Edward glanced down at his spiral bound, college ruled note book. "Aw, shit."
"Fifty on Thorton," I told him. "Write it down this time, will ya?"
That is why I always handled the actual money. Edward was too distracted by simple, shiny objects like a cute girl in a mini skirt. Lately it seemed like his mouth dropped open and he lost any all concentration whenever Bella Swan was nearby. Although Bella was dressed in skin tight jeans and a simple form fitting t-shirt, my brother was still ready to drag her into the back seat of my car and fuck her brains out or get a blow job.
That was another reason why I always had to lock my car if we only brought mine to the races. Who knew what the hell Edward and his latest fuck would stain. The back seat? The front seat? The roof interior?
Don't ask me how the hell that happened, but it did once. Damn stain never came out. Not that I personally tried. A member of our family's housekeeping staff was the poor soul who attempted their hand at the job. No pun intended. I couldn't keep that car after god knows what was splattered on the interior. I sweet talked Dad, quite easily might I add, into getting me another ride. A better ride.
I saw Tyler approaching us, stopping now and then while he made his normal pre-race announcement. As he passed us he loudly yelled, "Five minutes! Next race is in five minutes!"
We were in the middle of bumfuck nowhere in upstate New York. Barely a speck on a map. Our current location used to be a cow pasture before the owner had to sell the land. Actually, the remnants of its past occupants could still be found here and there in the grass. Soon it'd be just another overpriced development that lured people from New York City to its locale. Sure, we'd need to find another location for our races, but that wouldn't be hard. There was plenty of land in the sixty mile radius around our shitty city, and I was sure we'd find another location once the need arose.
In the meantime, our current location would work until it was sold or we were ratted out to the local authorities, because really, who wanted illegal racing taking place on their property?
"Bella, what the hell are you staring at?" My sister was all googly eyed, and I was wondering what the hell was going on with her. I followed her line of sight and unfortunately understood her gaze; I didn't have to like it though. I jabbed her in the ribs. "Sis, stop it!"
Bella narrowed her eyes and stared at me momentarily before returning her gaze to Edward. "Would you please afford me one simple joy in life?"
"And what is that?" I asked although I already knew her answer. "Lusting after Edward Cullen?"
"Take a picture, it'll last longer."
Bella finally turned away from Edward's direction and faced me. "God, what the hell crawled up your ass and died? Look, I know there's no way in hell someone like Edward would want to be with me anyway, but yeesh, if I wanna stare at a fine specimen of a man, why the hell can't I?"
Tyler walked past us, announcing that there were five minutes before the start of the next race.
"Would you stop talking about yourself like that! There is no reason someone like Edward Cullen wouldn't like you."
Bella's jaw dropped. "You! One minute you tell me to stop drooling over the man and the next you tell me a guy like him could like me."
I folded my arms across my chest in frustration. "A guy like Edward Cullen. Not Edward Cullen. God, please no. Edward is selfish, greedy…he and Emmett are just out for themselves. The rich wanting to get richer. Please, don't fall for him. I don't want to see you get hurt. He's a…scoundrel."
"He wouldn't want me and my fat ass anyway."
No, no, no. I didn't mean for her to go off on one of her self confidence rants. I hated when she did that. She wasn't ugly nor was she fat. Bella was a healthy normal size, not stick thin. She thought her ass was big and maybe she did have a little extra meat on it, a little junk in the trunk as the saying goes, but I never heard anyone but her complain over it. In fact, she was like the white girl's answer to Beyonce. While I didn't want my sister to fall for a man like Edward, it wasn't because I didn't think he'd like her. In fact, I had caught him staring at her many times. Especially at the asset that she hated so much. I didn't want to see her heart broken when he pulled a "fuck and dump" on her.
"Bella, if you don't stop talking like that, when we get home I'm going to shove one of my hard earned stilettos so far up your ass you'll be tasting leather for weeks."
"You need to get laid more than I do." Before I could respond, Bella's cell phone loudly blared a police siren. Her hands scrambled to her back pocket for the offending device. "Hello? Yeah. Shit. Okay. Thanks."
I questioned her as soon as she removed the phone from her ear. "What's up?"
"That was Lisa from dispatch," she explained. "We gotta ditch. Dad and the crew are on their way."
We calmly walked toward my car and tried not to tip anyone off. Sometimes it sucked to have a stepfather that was the chief of police, but then again it was great to be a file clerk at the same police station. You made friends with people who understood your love of racing. Yeah, Bella and I enjoyed watching the races and the excitement that went with them. We disliked the illegal activities such as Emmett and Edward's little side bookie business.
I drove away from the field as the next race was about to start. I could hear the roar of the engines. If you stood close enough, you could feel it vibrate through your entire body. The dirt the cars kicked up, though, was a pain in the ass and smelled like cow shit.
"Damn!" Bella exclaimed. "Did you see that?"
An unmarked police car sped by us.
Holy mother of fuck.
We had only made it about a mile from the location of the races. If Charlie found us anywhere near the raided site, he'd know what we had been up to. He'd try to ground us even though we were in our twenties and could technically move out but chose not to. He'd have his men watching us any chance they could.
I spotted a worn tract of land that led into an open field on the right. On the left hand side there was a dense patch of trees and bushes. I prayed the path went far enough back and hung a left, offering us some privacy from the hay wagons that were headed in our direction.
Someone or something was on our side because that's exactly what happened. I held back laughter as I imagined that Bella and I were stuck in some old sitcom—covering up my car with loose branches and undergrowth from the forest it was partially parked in.
We sat on the hood of my car and watched through the trees as the police cars sped by.
The next race had just practically begun. It was off to a great start. I had our dark blue money bag tucked securely under my arm. I heard engines roaring from the field.
And then I heard them from a direction where they shouldn't be coming from. The entrance of the field.
Police cars, marked and unmarked, were barreling toward us. There were so many bodies scrambling toward vehicles. Edward's ass actually skidded over the hood of mine like Luke Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard.
To this day, I don't know how I managed to get out of that field without running someone over. Turning out of the field, the back end of my car fishtailed and I masterfully corrected my course. I heard a siren somewhere behind us, coming closer—we weren't in the clear yet.
Edward's neck was twisted as he anxiously stared out the back window. "Man, if we get caught with all this money, we're fucking doomed!"
"I know!" I practically screamed the words. "Almost four fucking thousand dollars down the drain and jail time. We have to hide it. Quick. Shit, where's the notebook?"
Edward leaned down and grabbed it from the floor. "Hell, it's evidence too."
"Tear out the important pages, fold it into squares, and shove it in your damn shoe."
Surprisingly, he did what I asked of him without any further smart ass comments and threw the notebook into the back seat. "Remember old man Quigley's farm had those trees we carved into? Some of 'em had those natural niches and shit." Edward said. "Think any of 'em would still be left?"
As I came up upon the end of Quigley's property line, I practically went from sixty to zero in a second. Edward reached out and braced himself against the dash. "Shut up, no time right now," I told him. We both undid our seat belts and with the engine still running, we ran toward the tree line. "Start looking."
We searched the trees, examining them quickly for a spot to hide our stash. "Over here!" Edward called.
I sprinted the few feet over to him and checked out what he had found: a large tree that had mostly fallen down, its remnants old and rotting from age. It stood right about my height, six foot, and the remaining foliage originally had two larger branches expanding toward the air, but they no longer remained. Between those two larger tributaries was a hollow spot which would hold our money bag for the time being.
"Good find." I said, shoving the bag down into the belly of the tree. "Let's jet!"
We ran back to my car like the devil was at our heels. Sliding into the driver's seat, I quickly clicked my seat belt into place and, as the saying went, put the pedal to the metal.
Crouching behind my car, Bella and I watched as Emmett and Edward searched the trees for… who the hell knew what. Edward called his brother's name, and Emmett went running toward him, their money bag clutched in his hand. We watched as Emmett shoved the bag inside of the tree and then both of them ran back to his car. They took off like a bat out of hell. A set of sirens were closing in on our location, its source unseen but heard nonetheless. Silently, we stayed in our current positions until the sirens passed us. Rising to our full height, we hurried over to the tree, curious about the tree's new foreign contents.
Up on my tip toes, I attempted to reach for the bag, but my fingers didn't come in contact with anything but air and bark. "Bell, I can't reach it."
Bella sighed. "Fine, I'll give you a boost."
"You are the best sister in the entire world."
She lowered herself onto to the ground, bracing herself on her hands and knees. "Stop your yapping and don't break my back."
I carefully climbed up on the center of Bella's back, viewed the bag therein, and snatched it quickly before jumping off and landing on the ground.
Bella wiped the leaves and grass from the knees of her jeans. "You owe me a fucking back massage."
"Kiss my ass," I said.
"What's in the bag, bitch?"
I unzipped the bag and peaked inside. "Oh, shit." There was a thick wad of cash, more than I had ever seen in my entire life, stuffed in the bag. We were in the middle of nowhere, vulnerable, with what could potentially be thousands of dollars. "Not here, Bella. Let's go."
I rushed to my car with Bella following directly behind me. "Guess you can get me that massage by a professional this time, huh?"
"That and then some."
We had lucked out big time. There was no other way to describe what had ended up happening to us. After we ditched the cash and made our getaway, a hay wagon quickly caught up with us. I should have been able to out run him, but one of his buddies cut me off, almost causing my car to slam into his. Edward and I were hauled into the police station and questioned.
It always paid to have a cover story and to have talked about what it would be ahead of time. Both Edward and I stated that we were bored and out for a drive. Sure, I had driven past a field with a bunch of people packed in it, but I hadn't stopped and had no clue as to what was going on. Edward and I had been talking, and what do you know? Before I knew it, I was doing sixty in a thirty.
However, there was no evidence to the contrary. No reason to search us. Nothing unusual in my car to raise suspicions. No one dared to place us at the race.
I got slapped with a speeding ticket. No big fuckin' deal.
"I'm keeping my eyes on you boys," Charlie Swan declared. "You better behave."
"You better watch yourself, Chief," I told him. "You don't want to be brought up on stalking charges, now do you?"
He did that entire lame ass "take two fingers, put 'em to your eyes and then point to the offending person" deal. So fucking lame it wasn't funny.
Edward held up two fingers and formed a peace sign. "Peace to you too, Chief."
"Get out of here, you smart asses." Charlie's eyes were cut down into slits as he stared at us. "Sooner or later, I will catch you two."
As we walked out of the station, Edward craned his neck around in almost a three hundred and sixty degree spin. I knew he was looking for Bella and her hot ass sister Rose. "They're not here," I said. "Do you think they'd be that stupid?"
"Hell, I was wondering if they were caught or if they got out of there."
"Not our damn job to worry about them, though it would be funny as hell if the police chief's daughter and stepdaughter were caught." Man, in a small upstate New York town like ours, that gossip would be a gold mine. Something like that might even make me feel sorry for those two. Exiting the building, I took note that Rose's car wasn't in the parking lot. I didn't know how they managed to get out of that field, but they were lucky as hell.
"So, um, when do we, you know?" Edward tried to ask on the sly. "When do we?"
I motioned for him to shut up. When we got into my car, I felt that it was safe to talk. "I want to drive around some, see if we're being followed."
Since we had been trapped at the police station for a few hours, I swung by the local pizza place and we grabbed a pie. While we sat inside eating, I noticed a police cruiser slowly pass in front of the store front. Afterward, we went to the drug store and picked up some shit. When we were getting into my car, I noticed a black and white sitting in the lot.
"Edward, bro, I don't know if I'm being paranoid or if we're really being followed," I said. "This stupid town doesn't have that many cops and two of 'em have been coincidently at the same places we have been? I don't know, man."
Edward shook his head in agreement. "If we go out there to grab our cash and we are being followed, then the jig is up."
"Maybe we should lay low and hope like hell our stash is still there in a few days. What do you think?" I asked.
"We're on the same page, man." Edward held out his fist and I bumped it with my own. "Let's lay low."
Bella stared at the bills on the floor in front of us. "Ooooooh…..my….gawd."
"Stop goin' all Valley Girl on me!"
"I can't help it," she said. "I've never seen this much money in my life."
"Three thousand nine hundred and seventy-five dollars."
"Would you think I was completely insane if I wanted to get naked and roll around in it?"
I started to pick up the money and put it back into the blue money bag. "Yes, most definitely."
"I'm not." Bella picked up a wad of hundred dollar bills. Her eyes were wide in wonder as she gazed at them. "Insane that is."
"Prove it by not tearing off your clothes in front of me."
She passed me the money that was in her hands. "Only because it's you that's here with me and not Edward. If I was in a room full of money and Edward Cullen…well, all bets are off on the getting naked and rolling around in it thing."
"What are we going to do with all this cash?" I zipped up the bag and stared at it. "We can't keep it, it's not ours. But giving it back to Emmett and Edward seems so… wrong, you know?"
"Yeah, I know what you mean."
Bella lay down on our carpeted floor and stared up at the ceiling. I didn't know why she always did that. The ceiling in our room was ugly and dingy, severely needing updating. "Why do you always look up at the ceiling?"
"It's disgusting," she explained. "That popcorn deal up there? So out of date. It needs painting, but that shit needs to be removed. So I imagine what I'd want it to look like if we had the money to bother to remodel. It gets my brain going creatively thinking wise I guess."
With a shrug of my shoulders, I laid down next to Bella on the floor. We stared at the ceiling for what seemed like hours.
"We don't know who the money belongs to, right?" Bella asked.
"Right, we don't know who placed bets and how much."
"So, for all intents and purposes and such, that money does belong to Emmett and Edward, right?"
"If we're going to be nice and not spend the money on a new ceiling or wardrobe, I say we make them work for their money," Sitting up, Bella leaned up on one of her elbows and looked down at me. "I doubt either one of them have worked a day in their lives."
I loved how her mind was working. "How do we make them work for their money?"
"Through good deeds," Bella said with a smile plastered across her lips. "We'll make up a list of things they have to accomplish."
"Can you see them volunteering at a nursing home?"
"Or holding a car wash and giving the money to a charity?" I laughed at the thought.
"Cleaning out Old Man Gunderson's gutters?" Bella sat up and leaned against her bed.
"Mowing someone's lawn?"
"If they don't complete a deed for the day then we make a donation, with their money, to a charity."
I sat up and smiled at my sister. "Bella, sis, I don't care what anyone says about you—you are a genius!"
Bella stuck her middle finger up at me. "Fuck you and let's make a ransom note!"
Two days later Edward and I were both getting itchy and twitching regarding our money. See, our parents have it and spend it on us, but contrary to what people believe, Edward and I didn't have money literally coming out of our asses. Our parents weren't stupid. We might be given a hundred or two if we ask for cash, but not a thousand. Sure, we had credit cards, but they had a five hundred dollar limit. We didn't boast that embarrassing shit.
We were in the living room on the Wii console when Dad walked into the room. "Um, boys, Timmy Henderson just delivered something for you."
Turning around on the couch, I saw that Dad was holding a small box. "Timmy 'Two-Ton' Henderson delivered something for us?"
"Emmett, please don't call the boy names," he lectured me. "He's trying to lose weight."
"Yeah!" Edward said from his spot on the couch next to me. "Don't call Timmy names!"
He was so full of shit, not to mention a kiss ass. I had been led to believe years ago that Edward was the one who had created Timmy's nickname. I never knew if it was true or not.
Dad passed me the box and I proceeded to make kissing noises at Edward. My loving brother attempted to punch me in the head, but I blocked him and then punched him in his bicep. He winced.
"Don't kill each other in the house," Dad said. "Your mother would fret over the blood stains."
"Thanks for the love, Dad." Edward rubbed his arm and faced me. "Who's it from?" Our parental unit walked away, leaving us to our own accord. Which is what they both did best really.
"Don't know." I showed the front of the box to him. "It only says 'Emmett and Edward Cullen' and that's it."
"Open the fucker up."
I clawed at the tape until it became free, removing bits of card board with its sticky substance. "It hasn't blown up on me, so that's a good sign."
"Think they'd avenge our deaths if Two-Ton bombed us to smithereens?" I stared at him, not emitting a bit of emotion from my face. He knew my answer. "Yeah, that's what I thought too."
Opening the box, I found an envelope lying inside of it. It was also addressed to the both of us, so I lifted it out and started to open it. Retrieving the pieces of paper that were inside of the envelope, I unfolded them to read. I was surprised to view cut out letters and words that appeared to be from magazines plastered on the pages. As I tried to comprehend the words, Edward's voice cut into my thoughts. "What the hell is it?"
Emmett and Edward,
We know your secret. We have your stash.
One good deed a day for the next thirty you shall do.
If you refuse, each day $100 of your ill gotten gains shall be given to charity.
$3,975 can be spent very quickly in such a manner.
Your do gooding will start tomorrow.
Appropriately enough, their sign off was from the cover of an Us magazine. I only knew that bit of information because our mother had a subscription to it.
"You're not going to believe this. We were given a ransom note." I passed it to him.
Edward's jaw fell open in shock as he read it. "What do we do?"
"We have to get out to that tree and see if our stash is still there or not," I told him. "If it is, someone is messing with us. If it isn't, well, someone is still messing with us but it's a lot more serious."
"If they're serious and give away our money…" His voice trailed off as the whiz kid did some quick math in his head. "Shit, there'd only be nine-hundred and seventy-five dollars left!"
"We've got to pay out about that much," I said. "Who's to say that we'll actually get the rest? If we don't do what they want, will they give the rest away? If we do what they want, will they give it away anyway?"
Edward threw the letters back at me. "Either way, we are fucked big time."
"No shit, Sherlock."
We waited until after dinner to go and check out the tree. Our parents weren't surprised when we headed out for the night, feigning boredom in the house. Dad tried to tell us not to be out too late because of classes the next day. The fact that he didn't know that it was the end of May and classes were already done with crappy community college for the year didn't surprise me.
Yes, we were in our mid-twenties and still attending community college. Neither one of us knew what we wanted to do with our lives. Don't get me started. Taking the stupid courses kept our parents off our asses for the most part.
Although I had been driving around in circles, doubling back, and not taking a direct route out to our stash, I was still unsure if we were actually being followed or not. Chief Swan's threat was in the back of my mind, and I kept on seeing lights behind us when I shouldn't have.
Slowing down the car, I stopped just long enough for Edward to exit and then I was on my way again. The plan was for Edward to wait to see if anyone was indeed following me and then run and get the bag once the offending car passed by. I was to continue on some of the back roads and circle back for him. Sure enough, in the distance I thought I spotted headlights from another car.
Either that or aliens had landed and were after my ass. Our town had been the subject of alien sighting rumors after all.
As I approached, I flashed my lights and saw Edward running through the trees toward the road. I stopped long enough for him to enter the car and then we were off again.
He started to answer me even before I could ask my question. "We are fucked, bro," he said. "We are majorly fucked. The money isn't there."
Bella and I were out with Timmy Henderson on a sporadic after dinner walk. One night I was out with Bella and passed Timmy, who was out by himself and said hello to us. Since all three of us were out for a leisurely stroll, we tried to join him as much as possible. Sometimes, though, life got in the way and we could go a week without seeing him. I often felt guilty over that fact.
"Timmy, did you deliver the package like we asked?"
"Yes, I dropped it off at the house," he said, breathing heavily. "Their father answered the door so I gave it to him."
Bella smiled at the boy. "Thank you."
"I don't know what you two are up to, but I'll keep quiet about it." Timmy stopped and stood still on the sidewalk. "I need to rest for a minute."
The three of us sat down in grass at the edge of the yard we were passing. I hoped the owners wouldn't mind. "We appreciate the help, Timmy."
"Why do you prefer to walk with me and Rose?" Bella asked. "Why don't you walk by yourself?"
Timmy shrugged. "I can and I do walk by myself, but it's boring. I guess I like the motivation of keeping up with you or maybe the company. You two always try to make me go further each day and urge me to keep going. I like that."
"I get that." I said.
"Oh, girls, I lost another two pounds!" Timmy smiled widely at us. "My doctor says I'm doing really well with my weight loss. I have to keep reminding myself that losing the weight slower is better."
"Don't you hate that?" Bella asked. "I know I do."
Timmy laughed. "Bella, honey, you look fine. Oh, if only I was older or you were younger." That was Timmy. He was fifteen and underneath all that excessive weight, he could be a ladies' man. He was the nicest and most thoughtful kid his age I had ever met. Thing was he wasn't confident enough in himself because he was severely overweight. He knew what to say, even if he turned ten shades of red and pink while giving Bella a compliment. "I like your butt."
"Timmy!" Bella started laughing. "Stop staring at my butt!"
I fell back into the grass, laughing. "Timmy's an ass man."
"Bella will always be my dream girl." Timmy sighed. "You'd rock the fifties pin up girl deal like Marilyn Monroe. If I was five years younger and you were five years older think of the magic we could make together." Bella and I started laughing and Timmy joined in. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "I need to find a new crush."
As we sat there laughing a roar of an engine could be hearing coming closer to us. Glancing across the street, I realized whose car it must've been. Sure enough, Emmett Cullen's silver Mustang came into view and pulled into the driveway from across from where we were sitting. Emmett and Edward got out of the beefed up car and stood on opposite sides of it. They appeared to be arguing, but we were too far away to hear what they were saying to each other.
Edward walked over to the garage and dragged a portable basketball hoop to the end of the driveway. Emmett had grabbed a basketball from somewhere and the two started to play. The three of us sat there and pretended not to stare.
"I want to be able to do that," Timmy said. "I want to be able to run around and play basketball without getting out of breath."
"You keep at it and you'll do it." Bella said convincingly. "Two pounds by two pounds by two pounds… keep it up and you'll play that basketball game."
"And you wonder why I have a huge crush on you?"
The three of us stood and were about to continue on with our walk when Emmett and Edward's basketball rolled toward us. Timmy picked it up and dribbled it a few times before throwing it at Edward who had walked halfway across the street to retrieve it.
"Thanks, Timmy!" Edward said. "Nice arm there."
Timmy's dream of wanting to play a simple game of basketball spurned an idea. He was going to be Emmett and Edward's first good deed.