A/N: This is a repost because the first post was a huge CF. Apparently I need to learn a few tricks about editing in Word.
Disclaimer: Stephenie owns all things Twilight, as usual.
So, this is my first foray into non-canon couples and I'm kind of scared.
Eternal thanks to killerlashes and IAmToWait for letting me take a drunk idea and run with it. And promising to hold my hand.
Yeah... here you go.
I'm not a God person.
What I mean is, I'd never gone to church as a kid. When my father died I swore off anything spiritual. When my mother remarried, well… things turned upside down fast.
I would never have guessed that a night out in La Push would have landed me in such a fucked-up situation.
Everything in La Push had been going fine until Paul grabbed my ass. Well, maybe everything was fine until I decked him and stormed out to my car; the night was pretty much fuzzy all around. I did remember that the blue lights were nearly blinding in my side view mirror. Did they really have to be that bright? And the siren, God. It was three in the morning, for fuck's sake, was it really even necessary?
I tried to straighten my shirt as the officer neared my car. Pulling it down to show a little cleavage seemed like a good idea, so I pushed my tits up to my chin, grabbed my license and registration, and rolled down my window. Did they not check my plates? Do they not know my last name, that my mother was married to the chief?
"Is there a problem, officer?" I asked, my voice so saccharine it made me nauseated.
"Do you know how fast you were going, ma'am?" He leaned into the window of my car and I moved back against the seat.
"Uh… 55?" I replied stupidly. Do you know Chief Swan is my stepfather? I didn't ask, though I really wanted to. The fact that my mother found it necessary to marry the chief of police had to have some kind of pull in this shitty town.
"45. You were going 45 in a 65. And you were swerving. Have you had anything to drink tonight?" The officer eyed me. He was close enough for me to smell his Old Spice aftershave, the same kind my dad used to wear. Thinking about my dad and smelling the aftershave made my stomach turn more than trying to be polite did.
"Just one?" came my weak reply. The officer opened my car door and I stumbled out. Oh, the chief would not be happy about this.
I went through the whole spiel: I touched my nose, said the alphabet backwards, and attempted to walk in a straight line.
Then I threw up on the officer's shoes.
He didn't seem to think the handcuffs were necessary and I don't remember the drive to the police station.
I do remember how the police chief's brown eyes stared down at me between the metal bars with disappointment. He opened the door and I trudged out, knowing that my mother's face would be wearing the same look as Chief Swan's.
We drove home in silence. My stepfather didn't say anything until we reached the driveway of the modest two-story home we'd all moved into last year.
"You'll have to go to court. They'll probably revoke your license, seein' as your blood alcohol level was well over the legal limit."
"Great," I muttered and leaned my head back against the seat.
"I'll see what I can do about your sentence; maybe get you some community service."
"I don't want your help!" I cried as I yanked off my seatbelt and flung open the door.
"It's better than jail!" he called as my foot touched the top of the stairs. I turned slowly, trying to hate my stepfather, but finding it hard to.
"Fine," I answered before opening the door. My mother was sitting at the bottom of the stairs, her eyes wet, the corners of her mouth turned down. "I'm sorry," I whispered as I passed her on my way to my room. I couldn't look at them anymore. I didn't want to think about how I was the cause for their disappointment.
"Hey, you new here?" A tiny blond girl in skinny jeans and a Hollister t-shirt came to where I'd been leaning against the wall.
"Uh, no… I'm supposed to be helping out."
"Oh, you're our new volunteer?" She eyed me up and down and smirked. "Good luck. I'm sure Edward will fill you in on all of us." She walked away.
I frowned and fixed myself against the wall. It was months after my DUI; despite Charlie's intervention, the judge had been less than merciful, and I had been sentenced to two hundred hours of community service.
Chief Swan didn't have much pull when the judge is trying to crack down on drinking and driving. Maybe he should have slipped the judge a six pack; that probably would've helped more than his puppy-dog eyes.
So, that's how I found myself leaning up against the fellowship hall of Forks United Christian Church, watching twenty-five kids kick two soccer balls around. It was a bit unnerving to see and the kids clearly knew nothing about personal boundaries. I almost got hit five times with a fucking ball and witnessed hugs that came close to groping (I was pretty sure that was inappropriate).
I really wanted to bail, but duh, I didn't have a driver's license, and I didn't feel like having my kid brother come and pick me up. So here I was, waiting to meet the youth pastor, Edward Cullen, and to find out how I would be helping the community. Apparently I would be helping out with the kids, servicing the youth of Forks, but you know, not like that. He was the fourth youth pastor at Forks United within the span of two months, and he'd supposedly inherited a bunch of kids with personal problems more serious than anyone had ever imagined.
Or so Charlie had said. I wouldn't have known. I didn't go to church.
But then again, we were in Forks and everyone had their secrets.
From what little Charlie had told me about the kids, I gathered that they were worse off than anyone really knew. Eating disorders and suicide attempts were at the top of the list. Apparently promiscuity and drug use littered the group, too. And then there were the ones who were fine, who just needed a place to go and someone to talk to.
I watched a girl whose clothes were too big for her body sit alone at a round table and watch the group play, wondering how she was getting comfort here, what this place and this new guy were doing for her. A few of the other kids just looked ragged with dirty clothes and hair, like they had to take care of themselves.
I almost felt bad for them but at the same time… I didn't get what was wrong with kids these days. Were they really that stupid? Or maybe the word was impressionable. I didn't know, or really care. I wanted to do my time and get out. I needed out of my house, the town, state… out of all of it.
"Kind of crazy, huh?" A soft voice came from beside me.
"Um… a bit." I gave a shaky laugh and turned toward the voice. "Is there any kind of structure here?"
"Sometimes." He laughed.
I had to remind myself that I was at a youth group meeting and that he was probably underage. Really, really underage. Like, jailbait underage. And I was way too pretty to go to prison.
His eyes jumped out at me, vivid pops of green against clear pale skin. The hair that hung across his forehead was a coppery color, as if he'd dipped his head in a thousand little melted pennies. Faded jeans and a ratty pocket tee clung to his lean body and I could feel my blood warming just looking at him.
"Maybe this new guy will be able to do some good?" I said. I figured I had to make nice with the kids if I was going to spend two hundred hours with them.
The kid laughed and ran a hand through his hair. My eyes followed his hand and I wondered if his hair was as soft as it looked, and maybe if he could tell me what kind of conditioner he used.
"Hopefully." He pushed himself off the wall. "Excuse me." He squeezed my arm softly and made his way over to the stage at the front of the hall.
My eyes were trained on him as he threw one leg over an amp and jumped to the top of the stage. I watched as he slung an electric guitar over his shoulder and adjusted the microphone on the stand in front of him.
What surprised me was not the way the kids automatically stopped kicking the damned ball around the moment his fingers touched the strings of his guitar. It wasn't how they all sat, mesmerized, when he began to sing. The thing that shocked me was how I felt. How the music and his voice seemed to radiate through my body. His voice was clear and warm, like a summer day that would never end.
His eyes closed as he sang, not needing any sheet music, and his fingers moved as flawlessly across the instrument as if it were a part of his body. The kids began to sing along and I felt goosebumps rise on my flesh.
I listened to this kid sing three songs about faith, hope, and grace. I listened to the words, but all I heard was his voice and all I could see was his face, eyes closed and lips moving like he was pouring out his soul.
When the songs were finished, the kids cheered and I looked around for this Edward guy and frowned. I assumed there would be some kind of adult supervision with a group of such rowdy kids. He may have gotten them all settled down with his performance, but a ruckus would definitely ensue if someone didn't come to keep order. The kid set the guitar in its stand and took a seat on the edge of the stage, his feet crossed in front of him and hands folded in his lap.
My jaw dropped as he spoke.
"All right, guys, let's get started. If this is your first time here, I'm Edward Cullen, the youth pastor."
I was so going to hell.