Disclaimer: All Twilight characters/names belong to Stephenie Meyer. All else is mine. No copyright infringement is intended.
There are no words good enough to express my thanks to everyone that has continued with me on this road that is my wacky world. As ever, Red, my beta, you're the bestest. To my sisters, I don't know what I'd do without you all. Thanks for all your support and love. *hugs*
So lets find out what is up with this tow truck and Maury's agitation, shall we?
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It's just my luck, as usual, I have to break down with him still here. To top that off I can't figure out why my baby won't start back up. Usually I can find the problem in "two shakes of a lambs tail", but I can't figure it out this time. Oh, and what's with his brother and all his questions? He's just as bad as Cullen staring at me. What, did I grow a third eye in the middle of my forehead? Or is it because I didn't swoon at their very existence? Well, they're just going to have to get over themselves and find some other poor sap of a female to fawn over them.
As my usual luck continues to hold, I see James in the driver's seat of the tow truck. Fuck, now I'm going to have to deal with him as well. I had hoped that maybe his dad would be working the early shift. Setting my teeth, I wait for the barrage of questions and accusations that are about to come my way. I push away from my car as I see James swing around and begin to back up. Making a mental check I start toward the tow truck.
"James," I call out as he swings down from the truck.
"Well looky, looky the high and mighty Maury needs help from lowly ol' me."
I do my best to ignore his snide comments. "James let's just keep it pleasant, ok. I'm not looking for a fight. I just want to get my car home and figure out what's wrong with it."
He snorts and the look I get sends a chill running down my spine. "I didn't think you knew how to do pleasant, Sanford." His eyes bore into mine.
Fine, if that's the way he wants to play it, game on. "Oh for fucks sake, James, just get my car loaded up and get it home; I don't have time for your juvenile games."
With that I turn and walk to the back of my car only to be reminded we have a spectator looking curiously at the conversation that just ensued. Shit! I'm never going to get through this night without decking someone. I take a deep breath and the heady scent of jasmine and honeysuckle bombard me, wrapping me in its silky sweet bouquet. I look up and find a pair of topaz eyes scrutinizing me. It's like he is trying to help me calm down. I search my brain, trying to remember what I was doing, as I hear the machinery and chains rattle from the tow truck. Fuck, that's right my baby is hurt. I turn to see James scrambling around the front of my car looking for the best place to hook it up so the rollback can winch her up. I groan as frustration starts to build up in me. He better not damage my baby or there will be hell to pay. I pace quietly back and forth behind my car, working hard not to say anything more. I can see out of the corner of my eye Cullen is watching me closely.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to commit murder yet, Cullen," I spit as I hear James curse from under my car. I hear a snicker come from Cullen. "What's your problem, Cullen?"
"No problem here." He holds his hands up in surrender. "It just sounds like James is having a few issues under there. Want me to see if I can help?"
"Well you couldn't do any worse." I shrug. It's going to be bad enough repairing whatever damage James is doing under there. I'm sure Cullen can't do worse. I turn as he starts to move toward the front of the vehicle.
Whatever history there is between Maury and this James guy, it isn't good and it's making her very upset. I have to see what information I can pry out of this guy.
I make my way up to the front of the car to see a pair of legs sticking out as he is working to attach the winch hook to the undercarriage. I bend down and look underneath. "Anything I can do to help?"
A dull thud followed by a "Fuckin' A," emits from under the car.
Curling my lip in a small snicker, I try to keep my face straight and peek further under to see James rubbing a spot just above his eye. "Can I help you?"
"No, I got this. Just go keep the bitch from running me over, ok." I frown at his retort as an image of a car runs through his head.
"Well lucky for you it won't start(,) so the probability of her running you over is moot," I reply.
"Well, just keep her out of my way. Ok, dude?" He mumbles as he finally gets the hook into the undercarriage and starts to shimmy out from under the car.
His mind is a jumble of thoughts and visions so scrambled it's very hard to pick up a coherent thought. I think maybe if I direct his train of thought he might settle his mind. "So how do you know Maury?"
"Hmmmph, dude, that's a road you don't want to go down. Get out now while you can."
But images of their past start to slide by, and what I'm seeing is not pretty.
Fights. Lots and lots of fights - and not just vocal ones. She was a very physical person, and angry. Damn crazy bitch, lucky I got out when I did. But damn she was one fiery chick. His thoughts are going back to the checklist for getting the car on the rollback. Well one thing is clear, he isn't a multi-tasking thinker.
"So how long have you known her?"
"A little over two years. She has issues, man, deep disturbed issues. I wouldn't go back down that road if you paid me a million bucks." He continues to the front of the truck to tilt and lower the roll back so the winch can pull it up. I decide wait till we are driving to try to get more information out of him. In the mean time, I go to the driver's side and make sure the gearbox is in neutral and the emergency brake is off. Maury is still pacing back and forth at the back of the car, her body language clearly saying 'back off fucker'.
Well, this is certainly a whole different person than my Bella, who was quiet and self deprecating, always tripping and placating everyone around her. This woman is like the anti-Bella - very confident, assured, graceful, athletic, and boy what a mouth she has on her. No, this is a very different person from my Bella. But the draw on me is there just like with Bella, and that scent, that wonderful, beautiful scent. How can this be possible? There has to be an explanation.
The sounds coming from the front of my baby bring me up short from my pacing and worrying. I look toward the front and see Edward bent over looking underneath. What the fuck is he doing in the enemy's camp? God, what is James telling him? Asshole is probably telling him all my crazy ass explosions. They weren't my fault. It was all those crazy meds they kept putting me on, but James didn't want to hear that. Well if that fucker thought he was going to use James to learn more about me, he had another thing coming. James can't remember which hand to scratch his balls with let alone what happened over six months ago. *snicker* Why do I care what James tells Cullen? It's not like I care what he thinks, right?
8 months earlier…
What a shitty ass week it had been, dad walking in on my deal and finding out that I was selling stolen parts. I'm just lucky he didn't turn my ass in and fire me. But damn, I really needed the extra cash 'cuz his ass sure didn't pay me enough. I really wanted to do something nice for Maury, she's been really having a tough go of it. So I decided to surprise her at school and take her out to lunch. Much to my surprise, I found parking quickly, letting me get to her building before class let out. I was just on the other side of the quad when I spotted her sitting next to her building with that nerdy dude "what's his name". They had their heads bent over some book. I see her lean in and smile at something nerdy dude says, their heads almost touching. What the fuck? Is this guy is trying to make a move on my girl? All at once I saw red. That whoring bitch is cheating on me! Me! James! What the fuck? She never smiles at anyone. Well, just you wait, bitch! Just you wait!
It had been a shitty ass day at school and the night wasn't looking to shape up any better. That dick of a teacher had trashed my paper saying it lacked depth and research. Asshole! To top everything off James was in a fucked up mood as well. His dad found out about his side business selling stolen parts. Oopsy! It's not like he stole the parts from his dad's shop. What-the fuck-ever. I just wanted this day to end. I was looking forward to tinkering with my baby; she was feeling a little sluggish, maybe just needing an adjustment to the carburetor.
When I entered the house it was unusually quiet. I called out, "James?" but there was no answer. As I moved from the kitchen to the living room all I remember was feeling this immediate pain just below my eye as a fist punch connected with my cheek sending me hurling back into the kitchen.
"Fucking Whore! I saw you with him. Think you can cheat on me?"
My mind was reeling, trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. Saw me with who? The next blow caught my lip just as I was about to ask what the hell he was talking about. The taste of metal hit my tongue and I realized that my lip was bleeding. My body spun as he backhanded me and I sprawled over the counter.
"You're going to regret the day you cheated on me, bitch!"
I heard his words slurring. That asshole is drunk! I felt my book bag dangling at my elbow since I hadn't put it down, and I let it slip to my fingers. Winding my hand around the strap, I swung around with the book bag and aimed for his head. I saw him twist to avoid being hit with the bag, but he stumbled a bit and I caught him on the shoulder with enough momentum to send him down on all fours. I followed quickly with a solid kick to his nuts then turned and ran to my car, hearing him groaning from the kick. He scrambled to get up and came after me screaming, "I'm gonna kill you, bitch!"
I ran to my car and, just as I got in, saw James coming after me. I locked the door and fumbled to get the key in the ignition. He tried to open the door, banging at the window and screaming at me. I got the car started, shifted into reverse, and peeled out of the garage sending James spinning. I made it out of the driveway, shifting into drive as James came at me with a wrench. I slammed my foot on the gas just as James started to take a swing at my baby. As I jolted forward I felt my car slam into James. I saw him go down, but I didn't stop; I needed to get as far away from him as I possibly could…
I feel something cold on my shoulder, breaking me out of my daydream. Spinning around I see Cullen. "What the fuck, Cullen?"
"I believe James is ready to go." He gestures toward the tow truck.
As I stalk toward the truck, I can see that my baby is all loaded and winched down. "Whatever. Just keep your cold ass hands to yourself."
"Is everything ok? You were deep in thought." He moves to open the truck door and gestures for me to get in. "Ladies first."
"Not happening, Cullen. Get your ass in." I glare at him knowing there's no way I'm going to sit next to James.
His golden eyes bore into mine like he's trying to figure something out. I stare back, arching an eyebrow, daring him to say something. Just as I'm about to flip out on him, he shrugs and hops into the truck. Following behind him I get in the truck and slam the door shut.
I stare straight ahead as I hear James mumble some crap and start the truck. I take several deep breaths to calm myself. I don't need Cullen seeing me freak out on James. The last thing I need is for Cullen to see James and me fight. I sneak a peek to my left and see Cullen trying to engage James in conversation. Good luck there, buddy. He is about as engaging as a rock. Thankfully, this is going to be a short trip. We are less than 20 minutes from my house.
I can tell Maury is holding on to her temper by a thread and decide not to push it any further. Maybe I can get some answers from James while we're driving back. His mind is truly a one track subject. He's concentrating hard on driving.
"So, James, you work for your father?"
"Huh, what? Oh yeah? Been driving a truck for him since I was 14," he replies.
I can hear him concentrating on the RPM's so he can shift at the right moment.
"I haven't had the pleasure of meeting your parents yet; I hope to get the chance soon. My sister is an excellent mechanic. I'm sure you two will have a lot to talk about." I can just imagine my sister, Rosalie, engaging this guy in conversation. The thought makes me snicker to myself.
"Your sister is a mechanic. Um, right, sure." I hear the disbelief in his voice as the thoughts of a feminine Paul Bunyan runs through his mind.
"Yes, she's been known to tinker with our cars from time to time." I remember the time she rebuilt the engine in Emmett's Jeep as a present for their anniversary. He was so stoked at the new power he spent the next month four wheeling in Canada.
I peek a glance at Maury who is staring out the window, and I can hear her teeth grinding as she tries not to eavesdrop on my conversation with James. So, she's interested in what James may or may not say to me. Let's just see how far she'll let this go.
"So, James, have you met any of Maury's relatives?" I hear the quick intake of breath by Maury, but she stays stubbornly quiet.
"Huh, what? Relatives? You mean like her parents?"
"Yes. Did you ever meet her parents?" I question again.
"Naw, man, they were already dead when I met Maury." He downshifts as we near the intersection to the main road to town.
Maury is ridgidly still as this information comes forward. I'd known they were deceased, but I was just curious as to how she would react to the information being relayed to me.
"Well, that's too bad. I would have liked to have met them." I nod towards Maury as I reply to James. The truck cab is uncomfortably quiet. I sigh realizing James really doesn't have that much information about Maury, and his thoughts are on driving. I know if I try to engage Maury in conversation she's likely to try and kill me, so I keep my eyes forward hope for a speedy trip.
Time seems to slow down even more. Thankfully, James is just as eager to get his load to Maury's house as she is. I never realized how fast a tow truck could actually go. We make it in just over 20 minutes. I can hear pride as James begins to think about boasting to his buddies about the timing. He gets her car unloaded in record time and turns to me.
"You need a ride somewhere?"
"Thanks, but I've got it covered." I motion to my cell.
"It's your ass." I hear him mumble as he gets back into the truck and drives off.
I turn to Maury. "Can I help you get your car back into the garage?"
She shrugs, moving to the car and pressing the remote door opener.
I can see her pursing her lips like she wants to say something but won't.
"If you don't want my help just say so and I'll go." I gesture to the car.
A heavy sigh comes from her. "I don't like to ask for fucking help."
"Well you didn't ask. I offered, big difference." I start to push the car as she steers.
We get the car maneuvered into her garage.
"Well, thank you for the, um, interesting afternoon."
I turn to leave, but her words catch me off guard.
"If you want to fucking know something about me, Cullen, just ask me. I may tell you, I may not. You don't need to go all Columbo on my friends to find shit out."
I turn, narrowing my eyes at her. "I thought you didn't want to talk to me."
"Yeah, well, I figure I owe you. You stayed and helped when you fucking didn't have to, and that counts for something, right?" She stares me down.
"This is not a game, Maury, you don't owe me. I just find you interesting, and I want to get you know you better."
She opens her eyes slightly, and I see her shoulders droop a bit. "I'm no one special."
"That depends on who you're talking to; I find you very special." I take a step forward. "Can you answer just one question for me?"
"Maybe." She steps back.
"Do you have any siblings?" I step forward again.
"Huh? Like brothers and sisters?" She steps back.
"Yes, like brothers or sisters." I step forward.
"Um, I don't know." She whispers as she steps back into the workbench. "I'm adopted."
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Wow so there is a clue. Who is Maury? Where did she come from? Any guesses? Working on the next chapter hopefully it will much quicker. Thanks for sticking with me. And as always let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.