My entry for the A Picture Says It All contest. Which by some fluke won judge's pick. So, there's that. My prompt: http:/weheartit(dot)com/entry/1410920 The rest of the entries can be found here: http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/community/Picture_Says_It_All_Contest/86305/
Love, love, love to Bookjunkie1975, Coolbreeeze and Word Ninja for beta and pre-reading duties and for dealing with me when I'm all but yelling, "I'M TRYING TO ART OVER HERE, GUYS!" They're the best.
Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight; some of the events below may have happened to me.
Bella Swan liked to walk around the house in her underwear, dancing and singing to stupid Top 40 pop songs. She liked to take a spoonful of peanut butter and dip into a bag of chocolate chips and call it dinner. And sometimes, when the mood struck her, or if she was having an especially bad day like she had on this particular evening, she liked to do all of those things at once.
Which is why, a little over an hour and a full Britney Spears album later, she was cleaning peanut butter off the mirror in the front hall. Twirl fast enough and peanut butter flew off that spoon.
Earlier that day Bella had experienced what she could only describe as one of the most embarrassing moments of her, all things considered, relatively short twenty-seven years. It had been her own fault, really. She'd been having a terrible day. A day, if she were prone to comparing her life to children's literature she would have called a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But she wasn't the type. So when Renée had called to see how her only daughter was doing Bella just said, "Shitty, Mom. It's a shitty day." Which earned her a reflexive, "Language, Bella Marie." Renée loved her daughter, but she was never going to find herself a suitable man to marry if she went around talking like a sailor or one of those mobsters from The Sopranos.
Renée worried about her daughter's love life, or lack thereof. By the time she had been Bella's age she'd had an eleven year old and was on her second marriage. She'd stopped dropping hints about grandbabies when she called, after Bella had threatened to change her number, but Renée still worried. She wouldn't be young and pretty forever. Renée knew that all too well.
It wasn't a shitty day for any large, noteworthy reason. No one had died; no one had broken her heart, or betrayed her trust. It was the small things. She was out of Diet Coke. A light bulb in the bathroom had burned out; the air filter for her hvac unit needed to be changed; her dvr didn't record one of her favorite shows and she'd found a hole in her favorite sweater.
So really, the fact that she found herself in the situation that led to what she was now referring to as The Incident With the Tampons was her own fault. When the little stuff added up the universe was trying to say something. It was saying, "Stay home, Bella Swan." However, there is only so long a girl can reasonably be expected to go without Diet Coke.
Which is why she found herself in the grocery store, clad in black cropped sweat pants, a bright green St. Patrick's Day t-shirt loudly daring anyone with eyes to kiss her and an equally bright blue hoodie. She was going to be in and out. Get her Diet Coke, her air filter, her light bulb and, in a proactive movement, her tampons and she'd be out. It was the middle of the day in the middle of the week. Who could possible see her?
Standing in the tampon aisle of Forks, Washington's busiest grocery store she tried to juggle her air filter, case of Diet Coke and light bulbs into one hand, without crushing the light bulbs, so she could grab a box of tampons. She hadn't gotten a cart because that would defeat the in-ness and out-ness of her trip.
With a final shift she reached for the box. Which fell on the floor. Bending and clutching she reached again. Only to kick the box to the end of the aisle. It was an impressive kick. Huffing in frustration she walked to pick up the box. At this point, she'd kick it to the register if she had to.
What was waiting for her, however, was not her box of tampons. It was a boy, a man really, holding her box. In the package, all that tampons are is a bit of cotton and plastic. And no bit of cotton and plastic has any right to make anyone as uncomfortable as tampons notoriously do, but Bella was no exception to this rule. Standing there, clutching her bulky items to her chest, she became acutely aware of the fact that a very attractive man was standing in front of her holding her box of tampons.
"These yours?" he held them out.
"Uh, yeah. Yup."
At this point any other person, any sane person, any person whose day hadn't been shitty and who wasn't going through the mildest of caffeine withdrawals, would have taken them and left. Bella Swan started talking. "See? Supers." And kept talking. "Just like me!"
There was a quiet moment as they both let what she'd just said sink in. And then she ran. Bella turned and left him holding her box of tampons and ran to the nearest checkout.
Edward Cullen looked down at the box in his hands and then up at the quickly retreating riot of color and brown curls that had been, not two seconds ago, standing in front of him, confused as to what had just happened.
He looked down at the box again. "OH!" Realizing what was in his hands he shoved it onto the shelf in front of him and looked around, scrubbing a hand across the back of his neck as he walked quickly away.
Later, at home, Bella discovered three things. 1: She'd bought the wrong sized air filter; 2: she bought caffeine-free Diet Coke and 3: when she'd thrown everything into the car in her haste to flee the scene, she'd broken the light bulbs.
The universe, she decided, had just given her the ultimate, "I told you so." She would not be leaving the house any time soon.
Later that night Bella's best friend Alice had shown up on her doorstep to find Bella cleaning her mirror dressed only in her underwear. After hearing about The Incident With the Tampons Alice had decided that her friend needed a change. She needed to take off her sweatpants and go out and find an attractive member of the opposite sex and she needed to sleep with him. And if Bella refused to take action then Alice would just have to go give her the kick in the ass she needed.
Alice was one of those women who started out skinny and somehow, kept getting skinnier. And the older she got the shorter and spikier her hair became. Alice always wrote it off as good genetics, but she knew Bella didn't quite believe that. Alice couldn't help it if her daddy had married a trophy wife.
Over the years Alice had watched as her friend had slowly turned in on herself. After a particularly nasty break-up - he apparently woke up one morning after three years together and just decided it wasn't going to work - it became increasingly difficult for Alice to tear Bella away from the security of her sweatpants and dvr and out into the real world. And while Alice would never tell Bella this, she was starting to agree with Renée. For all her misguided nagging she was right about one thing: if Bella didn't start putting herself out there again she could very well end up alone.
"I really don't want to go out, Alice." Bella stated again.
"Turn off Project Runway and come out with me. Tim Gunn can wait. Your sex life cannot. Why is there peanut butter on your mirror?"
"I don't really feel like telling you. And Tim Gunn doesn't seem like the most patient of people, Alice. My vagina, on the other hand, is very patient. She's like the patron saint of patience. What are those? What's in your hand?"
"They're jeans, Bella. Girls wear them sometimes instead of sweat pants. Or just, you know, in general." Alice held up the jeans and gave a pointed look at Bella's legs.
"Those are not jeans. Those are...jean colored tights. Those wouldn't fit a pre-teen. Have you seen my ass? Seriously," she turned her back to Alice and looked over her shoulder, "take a good look at my ass and then take a good look at those jeans. That's never happening. There are laws of nature at work here, maybe even laws of physics. I don't know, I was never good at science."
"Please Alice, I don't need this now. Take your aggressively skinny jeans and go home. I mean it." Bella paused. "I love you, but I mean it."
She sighed as her friend, her friend of years whom she should probably be nicer to but whose years of friendship afforded her a bit of meanness, of selfishness, turned and left, offending jeans in hand.
Bella had heard the universe loud and clear and this time she was choosing to listen.
Two days later Bella gave in. Alice, Bella knew, had a dogged, single-minded determination when it came to Bella's sex life and it was best to give in before things got out of control. Alice liked to think her life was some sort of cross between Sex and the City and Gossip Girls, always trying to steer the events of her life and her friends' lives into big dramatic events, long drawn out monologues and trendy clothes. Bella had long ago given in to her friend's dramatic tendencies. It was the price of their friendship, she had decided.
So she stood, in what turned out to be a very stretchy pair of skinny jeans, around a tall, slightly sticky table, drinking her second beer of the night while Alice re-told The Incident With the Tampons to their friend Rose.
"You compared yourself to a box of tampons?" Rose had the ability to raise just one eyebrow at a time, a skill that Bella had always been a little jealous of.
"It was not my finest moment, I assure you."
"And supers? Really?"
"Are you actually going to stand there and judge my flow? This is what we've come to?" Bella took another drink and looked around. Since it was the weekend there was a decent crowd. There were only so many places you could go for a drink in a small town.
"At least they weren't super plus," Alice added helpfully.
"Yes," Bella rolled her eyes. "that would have been much more embarrassing." She shook her mostly empty bottle at Rose.
"When did you get so lazy? This is why you're single, you know."
"I got this lazy when you wore a top that barely hides your nipples. You'll get the drinks much faster than I will." Bella smiled sweetly and shook her bottle again.
"Why would I want to hide them? They're beautiful." And they probably were. Rose was one of those women who, much like Alice started out thin, started out pretty and only seemed to be getting prettier. There was no awkward stage for Rosalie. Bella couldn't figure it out. No one person could be truly pretty all the time.
Rose knew she was attractive, she had eyes, after all. She'd been told all her life that she was pretty. "Oh what a pretty baby!" morphed into, "Well, aren't you just the prettiest little thing," as she'd made her way through the pageant circuits. Rose was pretty, but she didn't have the quiet beauty that Bella did. It just radiated out of her, this undefinable quality, something she could never quite pin down if pressed to describe it. She'd always envied that about her friend, too. Nothing you could do, no amount of lip gloss or the right pair of jeans could give you that, try as Rose might. She'd come to the conclusion that it was something you were just born with, the lucky little bitch.
Twenty minutes later it happened, what Bella would later call the pivotal moment. She looked up and saw him coming through the door. If she squinted just right and cocked her head she could picture him holding a box of tampons.
"Oh no. No no no no."
Edward Cullen smiled, recognizing her, just as she ducked under the table.
"Why are you under the table?" Alice leaned down to see Bella clutching her beer, mid-squat under the table.
"He's here! The tampon guy!" Bella hissed.
"You're insane, you know that, right?" Rose kicked her in the ass.
"Knock it off, asshole. Stop looking at me, Alice. Maybe he didn't see me."
"He saw." The voice was deeper than Bella would have thought, given his lean build. Not that she had thought about it. Much. His copper-colored head was upside down, smiling at her. "Hey, Super Girl."
Bella backed out from under the table and stood up.
Rose and Alice were looking between Bella and Edward, whose smile was wide and mischievous.
"This is who you kicked a box of tampons at?" Rose asked once it was clear neither was going to talk.
"Shut up, Rose." Her voice was low, muffled by the top of her beer bottle.
"She left me standing there holding them too," he supplied, grin still in place.
Bella's eyes got wide. "That's. You know, that's enough. Don't you have somewhere to be?"
"Edward. My name is Edward and I think I'm good right here. In fact, I'm just super."
Bella dropped her head to the table. "Awesome."
An hour later and she was drunk. Very drunk. It seemed like the thing to do. Edward Cullen, whatever his reason for coming into the bar that night, had stayed at the table. And no amount of rudeness on Bella's part had convinced him to leave. So she drank.
And for some reason, she was alone with Edward.
"So now what?"
"Yeah, what happens now? You've spent the majority of the night re-living one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Where exactly do you plan to go from here? I'm sure my mom has some really embarrassing pictures of me when I was little. It's kind of late, but she might still be up. I could call her if you like."
He leaned both arms on the table, spinning the green bottle in his hands. "Well, normally I'd buy you a drink and try and take you home, but we both know that can't happen for the next four to seven days."
She rolled her eyes. "Actually it could." She said it mostly to herself, but apparently on top of his chiseled jaw and rugged good looks Edward possessed perfect hearing, too. He stopped spinning the bottle.
"Nothing. I was just stocking up. It's nothing. Can we please stop talking about this?"
He slid around the table until he was standing next to her. "Come on, Bella. It was funny! Cute, even."
"For you maybe. You weren't the one comparing herself to a box of tampons." His hands were next to hers on the table, his head tilted toward her.
"You weren't the dude left standing in the middle of the grocery store with a box of tampons." He nudged her shoulder. She smiled, leaning against him.
"Okay, I see your point."
"So," he ducked his head, "just stocking up, huh?"
Bella was on her back, naked, a foot on Edward's shoulder keeping him from leaning down. He bit her big toe.
"Get my foot out of your mouth, weirdo." She wiggled her toes against his bare skin, nudging his cheek with her now slightly damp big toe.
"Get your foot off my shoulder so I can fuck you." He paused. "It'll be super. Promise."
She frowned as he wiggled his eyebrows, smirking at her, and pushed her foot against his shoulder which did more to lift her ass off the bed than it did to move him away.
"Funny." He grabbed her ankle, which looked small in his large hands, and moved her foot off his shoulder, grasped her thighs and pulled her against him.
"I don't think you're doing it right."
Edward's head shot up, his hips stilled. "I'm sorry?" His very green eyes looked very concerned at the moment.
Bella blew back the hair that was dangling in front of her eye. "You said you were going to fuck me. This is sex, nice sex to be sure, but you're not fucking me. I don't think you're doing it right. The fucking, that is." This was not all together true. Sex with Edward Cullen was the best thing she'd ever come across. But she couldn't tell him that. Always strive for more. That's what her mother always said. Besides, she was bad at dirty talk. Harder. Faster. Yeah, right there, baby. She always sounded like some sort of odd pornbot and while that appealed to a very specific sect of the public it was usually not the sect that was in her bed and both parties ended up cringing.
He leaned back a little putting distance between his head and hers. "You're serious?"
"I'm just saying. You promised one thing and you're delivering another. It's misrepresentation." He looked genuinely upset now. Angry even. She'd address the fact that his anger turned her on at another time. This time was for fucking.
He was mumbling now. 'I don't believe this girl' and 'You have got to be shitting me' striking her while he shook his head, hoping, she guessed, that if he shook it hard enough time would reverse itself and she wouldn't say those apparently very confusing words and they'd continue with the sex. The very good sex, he had been sure.
"You know what? Just. Nevermind. Forget I said it. Continue on. It was very good. Lovely, even. I bet I even come." She gave his shoulder a small pat.
Then he was gone. And she was being flipped with a surprised, "The fuck!" before she landed roughly on her stomach.
She was tiny. Not the skinniest girl he'd ever fucked, but she was small enough to throw around a little. She was pretty too, really pretty, he'd realized at the bar. Not hot, but definitely pretty. And he had a feeling she was one those girls who was truly beautiful, but it doesn't become evident until you get to know them. He wanted to find out.
With a growl of "Knees," and a probably rougher than necessary swat to the back of her thigh she arranged herself accordingly.
And then he was back. His hips were moving again and he was pulling her up, back, against him, a hand on her tit, his lips against her ear. "Better?"
She nodded, hands searching for a place to be, one settling flat against the headboard. "Better."
She woke to the smell of bacon, burnt bacon to be specific, and an empty bed which greatly hindered her plan to quickly and quietly gather her clothes and leave. Staring at the ceiling she considered her options and after a moment got out of bed and went to get dressed, but couldn't find her shirt. She threw on a long-sleeved t-shirt she found on the floor over her jeans and walked into the kitchen, her nose assaulted with the smell of burnt bacon.
"You're wearing my shirt?"
Standing at the kitchen sink stood Edward and he was, in fact, wearing the t-shirt she'd had on last night. The blue fabric strained around his upper arms and stopped just above his navel. He turned and smiled at her.
"I made you bacon, too."
"Why did I make you bacon or why am I wearing your shirt?"
She sat on one of the stools at the breakfast bar. "Both, I suppose."
"Well," he leaned on the counter next to her, "I'm wearing your shirt because I figured you couldn't sneak out without your shirt. And I made you bacon because, well, after last night you should be hungry."
"Who says I was going to sneak out?"
"Oh, you would have snuck out. You're the type. I can tell."
Bella couldn't argue that, so she decided to change the subject. "What exactly are you wearing on your feet?"
Edward stuck a foot out, admiring it. "They're slipper socks! Great, right?" And that's exactly what they were: forest green-colored wool socks with a dark brown leather stitched onto the bottom.
"Look, I know we only just met, but I don't think you should wear those. Ever."
"They're so comfortable! Plus these floors are really cold in the winter," Edward said, wiggling his foot for emphasis.
"I'm just saying if I had known about the slipper socks beforehand then last night might not have happened. And what's wrong with regular socks?" She stood to leave.
"Oh, last night would have happened. Why are you standing?" He stood up, blocking her path.
"I'm leaving now. Enjoy the shirt."
"You can't leave; you haven't had any bacon." He stepped closer, grabbing the loose fabric of the shirt at her waist and pulling her close. "And you're wearing my shirt."
"You can have it back. Just give me mine."
He leaned his head in, running his nose along hers. "I like you in my shirt. You look..."
"If you're at all serious about wanting me to stay, do not say super," she warned, pressing her lips to his in a quick kiss.
He smiled against her mouth, "I wouldn't dare," and deepened the kiss.
"Seriously, though. I'm leaving now," she said as he started walking backwards, pulling her towards the bedroom.
"I think you're doing it wrong."