How To Live With Werewolves
Rule Number Nineteen;
Do not feed a wild animal—unless it's something sweet, of course.
Along the way I saw Edward peering up at me. I gave a half-hearted wave.
"We're gonna go get the kings men."
"Do you... do you still love him, Bells?"
I shake my head no.
"But I was thinking after we could go to La Push, see Billy and have dinner there. Pizza. My shout."
"Sounds good." It sounded perfect, actually.
"Oh, sugartit," I hissed. Of course, the custard pie I'd been making had to fall apart. The crumbled bottom was scattered all over the fancy plate. I hadn't let it bake long enough. And the custard was lumpy.
Although, mind you, this recipe was from a failed attempt me and Renee had tried a few years ago which I'd found at the bottom of my closet while looking for a pair of shoes that weren't ballet flats.
Amongst this list of things to do today, Mike Newton wasn't answering any of my calls. So either way I'd have to go in to work tomorrow, despite the doctors appointment to remove the cast.
"Sugartit," I repeated, unsure where I'd heard the phrase but using it none the less. Just as I was crushing more biscuits for the base, I heard three sharp knocks on the door—and the knocker, apparently, took it as a cue to come inside before I could call out or open it. And in strode Seth, grinning sheepishly, Quil right behind him. For a couple of seconds I couldn't meet Seths eyes. Sans pants. Maury would have a field day with my life.
"Bella-Bean!" Quil crowed. "Seth said there was food?"
Seth, meanwhile, looked horrified. "I didn't say there was food, I said she was cooking food-
"Same thing," Quil says loftily, planting himself down at the kitchen table. Then he narrows his eyes at me, leaning forward. I shrink back.
"You look different. Did you do something to your hair?"
All I'd done was wrap a towel around it to absorb the water and then let it fall where it did.
"Are you sure? It looks amazing."
Seth and I regarded Quil with the same expression. A look, which I guessed, said "what are you getting at?"
Then Seth clicked, laughing. "He's trying to suck up so you'll give him food," he chuckled, eyes twinkling with mirth. I shook my head and passed over the failed attempt of custard. "All yours."
"Shweet, thanksh," he managed around his full mouth. God, he was quick.
"So," I tried casually, making conversation as I began to restart on the base. "Why aren't you two at Emily's and eating all her food?"
Seth shrugged, dug into the failed mess of soft biscuit base, using his fingers to scoop up the soft mess into his mouth. "Sam's getting a bit prickly over Emily," Quil answered before dipping the ladle back into the mess for more.
"Oh. How far along is she now?" was that even the right question? God, conversation was hard. And why were these biscuits so damn messy?
Seth looked up to the roof as though he was counting in his head. "Well, she's supposed to be a couple months, but my mom thinks that because of the wolf gene the baby is growing quicker. And Sam's getting anxious. It's weird being in his head. Leah doesn't phase much anymore..."
Was I the only one to think 'phase' was some kind of noise a laser made or something? Possibly. Oh, right, I was supposed to add water to the crushed biscuits to make them stick. Or was it butter... maybe both. Oh, sugartit. Cakes are better anyway. Passing the failed attempt back over to Quil, I noticed the custard bowl was empty already and set it in the sink, getting new ingredients from the fridge and cupboard. Unfortunately for me, the flour bag was on the top shelf—probably when Charlie put it away for me last time—and I struggled to get it. "Here," Seth said at the same time Quil said, with crumbs falling from around his mouth "Jeez" and they both crossed arms to reach above me. "Seth, you're still tiny. Besides, Bella likes looking at my guns!"
"I'm not tiny! Leah says I'm growing faster than any of you did!"
"And yet you still lack chest hair. Or facial hair. Jeez, do you even lift?"
"Guys," I tried, noticing with horror that Quils' fingertips were moving the bag closer to the edge. But it was lost on them. And it didn't help I was caged in by their two bodies in a parody of help but now a male stand off. Ugh.
"I lift. Amy says my muscles are big," Seth snaps. I'm trying to find a way to slip between them to get out of the mess that is bound to happen.
"Quil, you really shou-
"Whose Amy? I didn't know boys could be called Amy."
"She's a girl at my school, you jerk and—
"Uh, guys, really, the flour is about to—
And before I can even raise my voice, the bag tips over, open edge first and spills in a white cloud around our heads. The boys snap into action and leap out of the way, but it's too late. Quil has a good portion on his hair and shoulders while poor Seth is covered—from his long lashes, to his shoulders, to his shoes. I, however, can feel it on my scalp and arms. We all blink, looking at one another. And then Quil starts laughing. I remember his laugh from before he was a wolf or pack and used to hang around with Jacob in the garage and how it was utterly contagious. It's an outright gut wrenching belly laugh and soon Seth and I are laughing right along with him.
"Oh my God, we look like we've been nose diving in a crack pile," Quil gasps and I slip on the powder, butt hitting the tiles. "Sugartit!" I curse. The laughter increases volume and soon Seth is laughing so hard there are wet murky white lines running from his eyes to his chin.
While we slow down, to a point, I attempt to stand and fill the sink with water and throw in the wash cloths for good measure.
"Dude, doesn't flour make your hair die or something?" Seth asks, shaking like a dog, another white cloud settling like dust around him. I think long and hard about it. Maybe. Anything was possible.
"Aw, I hope not... I don't think the ladies could stay away if I was bald," Quil waggles his eyebrows, which are salt and pepper coloured amongst the flour.
"Oh Quil," I sigh dramatically "I don't know how I manage to keep my hands off you, some days."
Seth snorts, which then turns to a sneeze.
"So... what are you making food for, anyway?" Quil asks as he grabs the broom and Seth grabs one of the wet cloths, working viscously on his hair.
'Well, you see, I wanted to make Jacob custard pie because he loved custard as a kid and we made mud pies so it might be a symbol or something from me saying that I love him without words while our dads eat pizza in the next room and drink beer. But he might not notice. Cake would work, right?'
"Billy likes custard pie," I lied horribly. But Quil took it none the less, frowning at tiled floor as he swept and swept.
By this point, Seth had settled for dunking his head into the sink, cold water and all, and felt around for the tap blindly. Quil noticed this, as well, and smirked as he poked Seth in the backside with the broom.
"Hey!" Seth yelped, jerking up and hitting his head on the tap—but, of course, fate decided I wasn't causing enough problems on my own with being clumsy and as luck would have it, the tap made a horrible cracking sound as it met Seths' skull. And then the kitchen was flooding.
"Holy sugar cubes!" I crowed, horrified as the stream poured higher and higher.
"Do something!" Quil shouted.
"That's a lot of water," Seth blinked blearily.
I put my hands over the spray, but all that did was soak my front.
"Turn the water off!" I cried.
Quil leapt for it at the same time Seth moved just a little to the side, clutching the back of his head, and they crashed. "God damn it, Seth!" followed by "Man, that hurts!" but in the end Quil flicked off the water, ripped off his shirt and shoved it over the now spitting gaping hole where the tap had been. He grinned, as if a hero amongst damsels. But I ended up laughing all over again—the flour had created tan lines and his hair was grey at this point and the water had soaked the front of his pants.
"You look like a grandpa," I giggled at his confused stare.
And poor Seth, he had settled just for sitting on the soaked floor, frowning at the tiles. When he pulled his hand away from his head, there was blood.
Of course there was blood.
It could have been from laughing too hard, all the excitement and the sight of blood, but I fainted. My last thought before I went down was "nobody really likes cake anyway..."
Voices murmured softly in the kitchen and I lifted my groggy head from the couch to peer over the back. Somewhere between the kitchen and passing out, someone had moved me here and was nice enough to tuck a blanket over me. Flour still fell from my hair when I sat up.
Standing in the kitchen in cut-offs and looking exhausted was Sam. Seth and Quil were mopping up the water –Seth using the mop and Quil using the cloths—and their voices were still hushed and fast but I could make out a few choice words and eventually got the gist. Nonetheless, I listened harder to keep up.
"The tap was old anyway. I can call in to the workplace, get a replacement or something and fit it. But there's gonna be water damage on those cabinets... Seriously, what the hell happened?"
"Seth got stupid over a girl named Amy," Quil ribbed.
"What? No. It started because Quil was in my head when I phased this morning."
"And Bella saw him naked!" Quil added.
"What?" Sam spluttered.
"She didn't! Well, she almost did, but Jacob asked me to watch her last night and told me to go into her room and I wanted to keep in contact so I stayed a wolf, but then her dad woke up and—
Sam waved a hand quickly. "Alright, okay, calm down kid." then he sighed. And looked over at me. Something told me he'd known I was awake for a while now.
"Hey, Bella. You alright?"
I nodded. "Um. Yeah. What'd I miss?"
"Not much. But these two are gonna help tidy up and get your tap fixed before Charlie comes back, I can promise you," he aimed a look at the two who cringed under the heavy glare.
"Why aren't you at home resting?" I asked timidly, trying not to get tangled in the sheets.
"All healed now. And Emily's out with her sister shopping. She basically kicked me out of the house for the day," he frowned. And I could sympathise—it must be hard to be away from her, seeing as I often found myself missing Jacob so much it hurt.
"And I guess it's a good thing. The building company has a contract with a major business coming up and I was supposed to be at work a week ago."
I never knew he worked. I wondered, idly, where he found the time in between and felt bad for all the trouble I had caused. He'd no doubt been caught up on last nights incident. God, what a clusterf—udge that was...
"It's good to see you're alright," not that I would ever forget the image of him bleeding, Emily's red hands or the hard but equally scared look in Leah's eyes.
He looked at me for a long moment, nodded.
"I better call my dad..."
"Seth, you missed a spot," Quil cooed.
"Shut up," Seth hissed.
Before long, the kitchen was flooded with the sound of heavy rock filtering through staticy stereo speakers and there was the undeniable wet smell of wood. Sam had stripped down to his cut-offs and tucked his shirt into his pant pocket, while Quil and Seth helped bring in the supplies Sam had ordered in from work and set them down on the kitchen floor. It'd only taken a few short hours, but in the end there were three hulking figures working away in the kitchen, and two other men outside smoking a cigarette on a small break. I supposed there wasn't much they could do in the cramped space between the three, but they'd inspected the bathroom upstairs and checked any other water source.
"You've got termites in the laundry skirt boards," the smaller one said once he'd found me watching from the hall, unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth. "There's some cheap planks of wood we've got laying around back at the heap, so we'll measure the room and see what we can do. But some vinegar and lime should drown them in the meantime and we'll suck them up later with a vacuum when we rip the boards out."
I was flabbergasted—not only had I not noticed the termites, but they were doing all of this for free on our part. I couldn't accept it and shook my head slowly "No, that's fine, I'm sure Charlie and I can—
The bigger one smiled, and his smile reminded me of Embry. "Look, it's no straw off our backs, really. The spares we've got laying around needs to be used sometime and we've had it sitting in the shed for a while now. And besides, Charlies a good man, and you're a good kid."
"That and Sam's giving us a nice little raise when we start on this contract," the smaller one added cheekily.
"Only because you're both such charmers," Sam snarked lightly from the doorway. He smiled at me.
"Hey, we're not gonna be done for a while yet. And you and your dad are headed to Jacobs later, right?"
I realised he must have gathered this from Seth. Damn wolf perks.
"Yeah," I nodded.
"Well, why don't you head into town for a bit? We've got to shut off the water lines and start ripping stuff out of walls, but if I guessed right this place will be back in working order tomorrow afternoon."
"That quick?" I asked, surprised.
"Well, yeah, we've got five capable guys here and equipment from the company just lying around. Shouldn't take longer than that."
I was touched—Sam had reached out a hand and people had answered, willing to lend a hand just as easily. A part of me, maybe a darker part, was worrying that the boot would drop any moment. That maybe it was all a big joke. But Sam was genuine.
I pulled him to the side while the rest of the guys debated over if they should use tiles instead of wood for the side skirts.
"Sam, really, this is too much."
"All this," I gestured to the kitchen. "Look, I can pay you, I've still got some money in my account and—
Sam grabbed me by the shoulders.
"This may seem like a lot, but it's nothing compared to what you went through when the Cullens were here before. I was the first wolf to phase and I knew, I should have protected you, not just my own people, but I didn't. If I had stepped in, maybe I could have prevented what happened..." his eyes were distant, as if remembering a particularly bad memory. His hands dropped to his sides. "When I found you... It doesn't matter now. All that matters is you're okay, you're an imprint, and that means you're family. I know you would do the same for us, if given the chance. Just let us help you."
His eyes dropped to something on my cheek and I wiped at it hastily. I hadn't realised I'd been crying.
"Now get on out of here so we can work," he chided.
"Sam," I called when I reached the front door, keys in hand and wearing a favourite hoodie.
"Thanks. For... this, and everything else."
Of course, it took me a few minutes to realise while driving I still had flour in my hair.
[Long A/N or me basically kissing ass because I am a terrible human being. Or bean.]
Oh. My. God. Can you believe it took me this long just to come up with this? THIS? I don't even know how I feel about it. Sorry about the delay. I blame the plot bunny. Or plot fox. Yes, fox. Damn tricky thing.
It also left a couple of new starters for my other fanfiction account (when I start it) and boy oh boy, am I excited—although I have to admit, I thought long and hard about it and it seems that I can't start a new account until I've finished this fanfiction. Damn you, aqua scum!
I understand why some of you have given up, and I wish you the best of luck with more authors who set their promises in stone (I prefer jelly, it's delicious) and I'm thankful you stayed with me and kept cheering me on despite how I've been throughout this whole thing.
To those of you who stayed, I'm even more thankful. I never knew that so many of you would and it breaks my heart how I've strung you all along and left you bone dry while I sorted my life out without a word.
You're all beautiful, wonderfully amazing people, and I hope we can all finish this thing together. (… Ha! Gaaaaay!)
Anyway! To clarify, once How To is over and done with, this account will remain open, but nothing more will come of it.
Love, peace and chicken grease, my minions!
[Don't forget to tip your waitress! Unless she spat in your drink...]