A/N: Welcome to the collaboration between BellaFlan and DoUTrustMe! Neither of us own Twilight, nor do we benefit financially from borrowing from Stephenie Meyer's universe. We do, however, share a love for all things random, bizarre and slightly strange. In that vein, we present you with the tale of a young mortician and the girl who captures his heart. Happy Halloween!
Many thanks to Mac214 and WriteOnTime, the world's most amazing naked betas. (At least that's the way we picture them.)
Chapter One: Dying To Meet You
Isabella Swan wasn't my typical 4 am pick-up. First of all, she wasn't dead. Being a mortician, this was uncharted territory for me. Don't get me wrong—her skin was so pale I had to look twice to be certain, but she was upright, leaning against the door frame and breathing. Dead people typically didn't do that.
"Uh, hi?" I greeted her, scratching my nose. "Isabella Swan?"
"Yeah-huh," she slurred, taking in my formal attire. I usually didn't wear my black suit for pick-ups, but I had to meet with another family in a couple of hours at the funeral home, and I didn't have time to change before then.
"Are you sure?" There had to be a mistake. My paper work clearly indicated she was deceased. I checked it again.
"Pretty sure," she said, barely getting the words out. She was bleary-eyed, and her lower lip hung open, jutting out to the side in a lopsided pout. There was a little bit of drool sliding down the corner of her mouth. It was oddly adorable.
"Isabella Swan is your name?" I repeated with increasing confusion.
"Yes, I'm Bella." She glanced at her chest as if searching for a name tag to confirm her identity, and my eyes followed. Holy shizzlesticks! I was trying not to stare, but I couldn't help but notice her, um, breasts. They were spilling out provocatively over the v-neck of her shirt.
"You're dead," I told her, because obviously she didn't have the same information as I did. Work orders never lied. We were very fastidious at Cullen and Sons Mortuary Services. "It says so right here." I indicated the official form in my hands.
"I'm dead?" She didn't seem surprised by my proclamation. "That's weird." She looked down at her body and then back up to me, her brown eyes locking with mine.
"Yeah, well... apparently you died a couple of hours ago. I was called to come pick up your body." And what a body it was. Apart from her breasts, which were hard to miss, she had the longest legs I'd ever seen on a human.
"Okay... so are you going to pick me up?"
"Er- well..." I tucked the form away in my breast pocket.
"I mean, I probably shouldn't be walking, right, being dead and all?"
She had a point. Also, she looked like she was about to fall over anyway. "I guess not," I agreed lamely.
"Okay. Um, maybe I should lay down." She giggled and hiccuped, and I caught a whiff of alcohol on her breath.
"Hey, are you okay?" I asked, grabbing her arm to steady her as she wobbled. She drew in a quick breath, and her knees buckled. I had to catch her before she hit the peeling linoleum. It looked like I wasn't going to need the stretcher. Most corpses weren't this malleable.
"Just great. Didn't feel a thing."
"Death is the most natural thing in the world," I said sagely, lifting her into my arms. There's a chance I was panicking, so my training kicked it in, and I started quoting trite phrases from bereavement pamphlets. I almost asked her if she wanted to buy into our layaway plan, but refrained. It was probably too late for that.
"Not like the last time. Last time it really hurt."
"You've been dead before?" I asked, curiously.
"Just the one time."
I wasn't quite sure what to say to that. I mean, I was a little unsure of proper social etiquette in this kind of circumstance. "Maybe it gets easier with practice."
"Maybe," she said, sniffing my neck. "You smell good. And you feel good. Has rigor mortis set in, or do I feel good too?" She put her hand against my cheek and sighed.
Yeah, rigor mortis had indeed set in. The girl only touched my face, and my penis was doing its best impression of a stiff. Heat radiated from her voluptuous form, making me as dizzy as the after-effects of too much formaldehyde; the visceral effect of her proximity on me caught me off guard. Spending so much time around corpses, I wasn't used to being so close to a warm body. Sweat started to pour from my forehead, and I became overheated.
"I'm hot," I said, before I could stop myself.
"You're fuckhot," she agreed.
I was sure I turned red at that. I wasn't used to hearing the eff word come out of a girl's mouth. Especially a dead one. It made me think of doing the eff word. Oh, goodness, I hadn't done the eff word in so long. I really wanted to do it with her, but then I worried about being accused of necrophilia. Not that I didn't want to have sex with her, because I really did, but there were social mores that kept me from crossing that line. "I mean, I'm sweating... because you're warm."
"Oh. I am? Strange. Aren't dead people supposed to be cold?"
"Usually," I agreed.
"Do I smell bad? Like, have I started decomposing already?"
I looked at her flushed cheeks and sniffed her long dark hair. "Not yet. You smell like fruit."
"That's my necklace. It's fruit-scented." She picked it up by the pink string and held it out so I could see the little cartoon character on the front with red hair and freckles, but I had to look down her shirt at her breasts to see it.
"Melons?" I asked.
"Shouldn't we get going or something? You know, the neighbors might start to complain if word gets out. About my death and all."
"Well, yeah, sure. I'll need someone to sign a form to say we picked up the body." Since both my hands were holding her up, I couldn't get to the form in my pocket. "Is the next of kin at home?"
"My gran is my only relative, but I just got the call that she died. That's why I've been drinking."
Poor thing. No wonder she was piss drunk. She was in mourning. I gave my standard sympathetic line. "I'm sorry for your loss. This must be a difficult time for you."
"Fuck no! I'm celebrating. She's been trying to control me for years... ever since my dad died. I don't trust it, anyway. She doesn't like to stay dead."
"Um... what? Well, okay. Could you just ..."
I indicated with my chin for her to reach into my breast pocket. She felt around and grabbed the form and a pen, signed it, and tucked it back away.
She squinted out at the street where the long, white hearse was parked under the street light. "Cool. You brought a limo. I've never ridden in one before."
"It's a hearse," I corrected. "Do you need your keys or something? In case we need to find something to dress you in after the embalming?"
She pointed over to the small table in the entryway and reached down, grabbing a stuffed dog with attached straps. She unzipped its back and checked inside, holding her keys up and jingling them when she found them.
"All set." She tucked the keys back inside, zipped up the dog's back, and held it on her lap. "Good girl, Rosie," she whispered to it and petted it a little. "Sometimes Rose can be a real bitch," she explained, and lifted the purse to nuzzle it against my face.
"Good girl," I agreed tentatively.
Bella wrapped one arm around my neck while I reached down to open the door. It clicked shut as we exited, and her lips brushed against the side of my throat.
"You're sexy," she said suddenly, and I nearly dropped her.
"You make me all tingly. Shouldn't my girl parts be dead, too? Should I be finding you sexy?"
She flustered me with that. "My pick-ups don't tend to... or if they do, they don't usually tell me. You're pretty articulate for a corpse." The cement sidewalk was cracked and uneven. I was trying to concentrate on walking in the dark without dropping her on her head and possibly killing her a third time.
"I am," she agreed, sounding proud of herself. "Funny, I never thought the Grim Reaper would be so sexy."
"Thanks?" I said. My erection poked her in her hip before I could shift her body away from my groin.
"Is that a scythe in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" She giggled a little and starting licking my neck. "You taste good, too."
"I'm not the Grim Reaper, by the way. I'm Edward."
"Sexy Edward. Do people call you Sex Ed for short?" She giggled again.
"Well, no. Not really."
We reached the car, and I debated whether to put her in the passenger seat or in the back. There was an empty coffin back there next to the stretcher. She must have felt my hesitation.
"I've always wanted to ride in a coffin."
"You have? Really?"
"Yeah. Ever since I was a kid. I didn't get to do it last time I died. I only made it as far as the morgue."
"What did you die of last time?"
"I got hit by a van in the school parking lot, and there was a mix-up at the hospital. The heart monitor stopped working. Happens all the time with me. I'm like a Bermuda Triangle around electromagnetics. Anyway, they put a tag on my toe and sent me down to the morgue, but I was just unconscious. "
"I hate it when that happens. We get live people all the time. It's really annoying."
I opened the door, and she scrambled into the coffin, closing the lower half but leaving the top half open.
I walked around to the driver's side and settled myself in, buckling my seatbelt. "How are you doing back there?"
"These aren't as comfy as they look," she grumbled from the back.
"That's our top-of-the-line wood model," I called back over my shoulder. "Solid cedar. None of that thin-wood-veneer-over-pressed-board crap. That sucker will last for years."
"Good to know. I'd hate to think of myself decomposing on cheap fiberboard."
She was quiet after that, which was more what I was used to from my passengers, and I drove my usual careful route to our family home and into the garage around the back—the service entrance, we called it.
When I opened up the back door, she looked so peaceful laying there with her arms crossed over her ample chest and her little dog-purse at her side; I just couldn't disturb her.
It still hadn't escaped my notice that she wasn't dead (her breasts were rising and falling with every breath) but I kind of wanted to keep her. After all, she was more than willing to come along with me. I just wasn't sure what to do with her next. I knew what I'd like to do next, but I was raised to be a gentleman, and I'd never had sex with an unconscious woman before. Besides, there wasn't room for both of us in the casket.
I used the automatic levers and pulleys to move the casket onto the wheeled gurney set against the wall of the garage for just this purpose, and from there it was an easy task to wheel her sleeping form into the side of our family funeral home.
"Whatcha got there?" Emmett asked, leaning over for a cursory look while he chewed on his egg salad sandwich. My brother was strange, even by morticians' standards, and we were well known for having a dark sense of humor.
"Isabella Swan. Died of old age. Natural causes." I handed him the paper work.
"Ninety-two, huh? She's amazingly well-preserved for an old broad. She must have exfoliated religiously."
Emmett had started taking notice of such things since he'd been temporarily assigned to do makeup for the viewings. Sometimes he overdid it a bit and they ended up looking like drag queens, but usually that was an improvement. He was just filling in until we found a new cosmetologist. The last one had run off with the petty cash and our high-end Elvis urns.
"She's a number three," he commented, inspecting her face.
"Foundation. Number three. She won't need much more color. Just a touch of golden-kissed blush and a little blacker-than-black mascara."
"You talk makeup speak now? What the eff is wrong with you?"
"Nothing," he said defensively. "I just take my job seriously."
I looked a little closer at him. "Emmett, you're wearing eye-liner. And is that lip gloss?"
"It's guy-liner. The packaging is completely different for men. And the gloss makes my lips soft."
I just shook my head. "You need to get out more. Maybe meet some people who are alive and stuff."
I turned to steer the casket away, but Emmett grabbed my arm and said, "Whoa. What's fancy pants holding?"
"Um... her pet, I think. It's some sort of purse."
"Does her family want her to be buried with it?" he asked, reaching toward the bag. I swear Bella's grip tightened on Rosie as he skulked closer.
"You're going to steal a little old lady's purse?" I asked in disbelief.
"I just want to borrow it for a while."
What could he possibly want with a purse that looked like a stuffed dog? And then it hit me - my brother still kept stuffed animals on his bed which seemed incongruous with his personality. "Emmett, you're not a closet... furry?"
"Um... what? I don't ... uh... maybe... There might be a slight problem. The other day, quite unexpectedly, I saw our neighbor dressed up for work as the local high school team mascot, and-"
"Fork! Stop it!" I shook off his arm and moved the casket away from him. There were things about Emmett I just didn't want to know. And this was one of them.
"Speaking of inappropriate perversions, don't let Jasperv get his hands on her," he warned. "You know how he likes big boobies."
Suddenly Jasper's propensity for feeling up well-endowed corpses seemed refreshingly normal.
I nodded and wheeled the casket toward one of the work rooms, trying to ferry her away from Emmett's curious eyes.
"Come to think of it, I don't want to catch you jacking off anywhere near that body, either," he shouted after me.
He was calling me out? Between his love for all things fuzzy and Jasper copulating with his girlfriend Alice on every solid surface in the house, I was hardly the sexual deviant in the group.
Bella let out a little sigh and turned her face into the white satin.
"I d-don't..." I stuttered. Oh, god, was she awake? Did she hear Emmett accuse me of pleasuring myself on the job? It had been a really long time since I'd made love to a woman, and certain basic needs sometimes made themselves known at inopportune times and places.
"Don't even pull that shit with me, nimrod. You were greasing your pole in the embalming room at least twice last week. That shit ain't normal."
"Language, Emmett, what if Mother hears you? And anyway, the room was empty at the time," I snapped back, trying to keep my voice down. "And shut the heck up in front of the client."
"Who, the corpse? Dude, I don't think she cares about your cock. Besides, she's old."
I didn't know how it had escaped his notice that Bella was not only alive, but clearly in her twenties; however, I was fine with letting him think that. I didn't want him anywhere near her anyway. I'd found her first, and I wasn't willing to give her up.
"Take the purse already," I squealed in an unmanly voice, and tossed Rosie at Emmett's head. He did a quick first pump of triumph and ran up the stairs, taking them four at a time.
At least he'd be occupied now.
I wheeled Bella into the work room and closed the door so we could have some alone time.
Maybe we could do something fun as soon as she woke up, like watch an embalming instructional video or play Operation! Maybe Emmett would take my early morning appointment now so I could spend the day with her. He certainly owed me one.
"Get her back!" Bella yelled suddenly, her eyes popping open.
"Who?" I asked, falling backwards onto the prep table. Bella jumped out of the casket and onto the table. She straddled my hips and pounded her fists into my chest. I nearly had an orgasm.
"Rosie! That dog-fucking freak took my baby!"
"Your baby?" I steadied her by holding her hips in my hands while she continued to pummel me. My erection was back, and Bella seemed to be rutting against it by accident every time she hit me.
"Get me my dog back, asshole!" she yelled, having recovered from the shortest buzz in recorded human history. Maybe it was the nap or maybe it was the stolen-dog-purse trauma but she was suddenly frighteningly sober, which in no way decreased my attraction to her.
"Okay." My penis couldn't be any harder. I pulled her down over it before I could stop myself, and thrust my hips up against the crotch of her pants.
"Fuck you and the hearse you rode in on. I want my Rosie!"
I didn't hear much of what she said after 'eff you' with her boobs heaving in my face and the heat of her crotch tight against me. Something about effing her in the hearse, which was like my biggest fantasy, after effing her at the cemetery (I'd already imagined her naked amongst the flowers on a fresh grave), and it was more than I could take.
"Motherfucker!" I swore suddenly and grabbed her butt, trying to pound into Bella through my pants.
"Stop dry humping me and get me my-"
Suddenly and without warning, the door swung open.
There she stood—The Iron Maiden in all her helmet-haired glory. My mother, Esme Cullen.
"Edward Anthony Cullen! I did not just hear the eff word in my house. I'll wash your mouth out with soap-"
"You might want to wash his dick off, too," Bella said, dismounting. "I'm pretty sure it just tried to molest me, the dirty little bastard."
"What? My son and his winkie would never... who are you?" She turned back to me. "Edward, who is she?"
"Um... well, she's-"
"I'm your new makeup artist," she explained to Mother. "Now be a doll and get my Rosie back from your purse-fucking son before I call the labor board of Washington on your ass."
A/N: Yeah, so... um, we're off to take our respective meds. We blame the Canadian medical system and its hot doctors. ;) We'll be updating here rather than on our own profiles. Is this FFn's first Morticianward?