Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight in any shape or form.
Author's Note: Hasn't been beta'd - so all mistakes are mine and mine alone.
Thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, alerted and fave'd this - appreciation for you guys. :)
That Green-Eyed Boy
And if their roles were reversed, would they still be together? Edward Masen, a transfer student, meets the golden-eyed Bella Cullen. A different road is taken, a different outcome is given. AU
Part Four: Mothers
Jessica picked him up in the morning – early than expected. He had been sitting at the piano, hands hovering over the keyboard, a steaming cup of coffee to his right, and his hair still in a complete and utter state of disarray – not that it normally wasn't.
He hadn't even put on his shirt, just sitting there, thinking. He had had a strange dream last night. A dream he could remember anyway because in most cases he only remembered the emotions given to him but never the specific details.
Even now he couldn't really remember much except for the rush – and the shadows.
And the dog.
Maybe he was cracking. He grinned at that, took a sip of coffee, throwing a glance out the side window which looked onto the distant trees. He wanted to run, to shake off the dream. He heard a car pull up outside. Standing and heading to the window he peeked out to see Jessica getting out, dressed in jeans, a short-sleeve knitted top and a scarf. Her hair was tumbling all over the place, and as she looked up towards the house, she saw him through the window.
He glanced down, face warming and quickly grabbed a t-shirt. He found a light green one that didn't smell musty from being placed in a box for over four days, and pulled it on. The doorbell rang and he opened it.
"Oh hey, Edward," said Jessica, stepping inside, and taking a glance at his shirt, "And here I thought you were going to seduce me," she let out an audible sigh and grinned.
"It's all about the teasing and not about the pleasing," smirked Edward.
"Heartbreaker," quipped Jessica.
They went into the lounge room – the piano and couch were the only real lounge furniture there since the rest was covered in boxes – many open since Elizabeth and Edward had decided against setting up until they improved their humble abode.
"I thought you wouldn't be coming until later," he said, grabbing his coffee and sitting on the piano stool.
"So did I," said Jessica, falling back onto the couch and staring at the ceiling, "but Mom was in a shit – oh hey, Elizabeth,"
Edward's mother had just come out of the bathroom, hair dripping from the shower.
"Hello, Jessica," said Elizabeth, lightly, "What was today's problem?"
"Christian cancelled on her," shrugged Jessica. "A good thing if you ask me,"
The last bit was added with just a slice of malice.
From what Edward had gathered Jessica never liked the men that her mother dated – and made it a well-known to them. She saw them all as trying to replace her father who had died serving in Iraq. No one could measure up to her Dad in Jessica's opinion and anyone trying to replace him (in her eyes) weren't welcome.
"I see," said Elizabeth, deep in thought and deliberately ignoring Jessica's last comment.
"So anyway," said Jessica, "that put Mom in a bad mood hence why I'm here,"
Elizabeth pursed her lips but moved on into the kitchen to make her own cup of coffee. As she was bustling around Jessica looked at Edward.
"So were you practicing?"
He glanced at the ivory keys. "Nope,"
"I've never actually heard you play,"
"Well, I haven't been here terribly long have I?" he responded, taking a sip of coffee, and placing it down.
He twisted around, ready to play and glanced back at her. "So what do you want?" he pressed the middle key, "Something light?" his hands started trailing higher and higher, "Or something a little more dangerous?"
His second day, Edward thought, went smoother than his first.
For starters he knew people and even though he still got the customary stares that came with being the new kid and a new kid who had arrived in the middle of term no less (he still hadn't figured his Mom's logic in that) but at least this time he also got smiles and people chatting to him.
He sat again with Alice in each of the classes he shared with her. Bella was a part of the package in Government but this time she gave him a smile, a 'good morning' before she sat down and asked how his day had been so far.
Alice sat smugly in between them – why, he wasn't sure, but he and Bella both shot her a glare.
This only made her more pleased with herself.
He didn't have Biology that day – which he was half-relieved about – with Study Hall taking up one of his blocks. He saw Bella in the library (they had to report here for study), sitting with her brother – Jasper: Alice's partner, if what Jessica had told him yesterday was true. It had looked true yesterday at least. He looked stiff – the opposite of Alice's fluidity. Bella, he noted, was still her collected herself but she did seem to be more relaxed.
From all his watching he didn't get a lot of study done (which wasn't that unusual because Mike who was next to him was playing on his iPhone and at least half the students were passing notes or something) and from Bella's frostier 'good afternoon' when he went to get his name re-marked off to show he hadn't skipped out, he knew she knew that he had been watching.
He just smiled at her as he reached to take the pen from her. His skin brushed against her's - it was cold. As brief as their contact had been Edward likened it to ice compared to the warmth of the Library. He frowned slightly, not sure why it bothered him that she was so cold.
At lunch his breach of conduct of who-to-sit-with-in-class was brought up again by Jessica and Lauren. Lauren especially was after dirt whilst Jessica was just anxious for information. That was the main difference between them: Jessica just wanted to stick her nose into everything while Lauren just wanted to stick her nose in and then kill it.
It was amusing.
Ben invited him to come running in the mornings at six thirty, meeting at the school oval with Mike Newton and Michael Sutherland every Tuesday and Thursday.
"We can't compete this year," Ben had said, "But next year there are some good Sophmores coming up so we gotta keep in shape,"
Keep in shape, Edward could do that.
He didn't like the term. He really didn't. It got passed around a lot with his old friends back in Chicago as they sat in the Mall on a Saturday or when they were on the subway to the Game. No matter how many times he heard it though he never liked it. It sounded wrong – no, that wasn't it. It was disrespectful.
But it was a term that accurately summed up what he felt on the appearance of a mother. Mothers were funny like that. You had your prim and proper, your wild and embarrassing, your classically beautiful, your dress-like-they-were-sixteen. All of these, depending what you were into could be a M.I.L.F.
M.I.L.F: mother I'd like to fuck.
He didn't get why it wasn't M.I.L.T.F because of the 'to' in there but he supposed M.I.L.F just flowed better.
He didn't like the term because he had heard his Mom be called one which disturbed him in a sense. And yet when he saw Esme Cullen … he had to admit she was a bit of a M.I.L.F. He immediately felt horrible for thinking that, squashing the thought deep into the pit of his mind.
Esme Cullen had arrived at his home ten minutes after he had. He had been staring into the fridge, contemplating what to eat when her BMW pulled up. It was the BMW that first made him think of the Cullens.
It was her appearance that made him confirm that she was one of them.
She had the same porcelain white skin: flawless and unmoving. Her eyes weren't as light or gold as the others but a dark honey which complimented her caramel hair. She was young – Edward could see that. Mid-twenties he guessed. She was young, she was beautiful and yet her youth was overshadowed by something else.
He saw this as she smiled, as she spoke. It was warmth, it was affection for everything. She was like Alice and Bella but different: Esme was unconditional love – not that of a romantic nature but motherly. The moment he met Esme Cullen, he saw she was like an embodiment of motherly love.
When she introduced herself, his blurted out. "You're Alice and Bella's mom?"
Her eyes sparkled at that. "Yes,"
Of course the 'doctor's wife' had to be Cullen, thought Edward.
"You share a class with them?" asked Esme.
"Yeah," said Edward, "Biology with Bella, Spanish with Alice, and Government with them both," he blinked, "I'm Edward, by the way,"
"I guessed as much," said Esme with a smile, "Elizabeth talked a lot about you when I met her,"
His face grew warm. Trust, he thought.
"So shall you show me the house?" asked Esme, sparing him the embarrassment.
He showed Esme the house, following her as she looked at the rooms – fixating on small things rather than the large things. She asked about colours, about what type of furniture – about inane and unimportant things. She did this all with her soft eyes.
He offered her a drink and she politely refused and asked to continue looking on if he was hungry. He was, the teenage boy in him demanding something – preferably greasy and salty. He left her to wander through the house and went back to staring at the fridge.
When his own mother, Elizabeth, came home, Esme was preparing to leave. The two woman chatted for a bit on the front porch while Edward sat doing his Spanish homework.
Edward wasn't good at Spanish. It wasn't that he wasn't good at languages but in Chicago he had spoken Italian with their House Keeper while learning Spanish at school. He always found learning from a native speaker, hearing the words and how the sentences came together better than reading books or listening to a lecture. It was like music – he was always better when he had freedom to experiment or work out things by ear than reading music.
But on a whole Spanish and Italian were similar – but not. He mistook phrases and while Italian helped in some cases, it hampered him. In fact the only reason he had picked it was because he wanted to learn.
One day on top of going back to Chicago he would also travel and absorb the culture. Language was a part of that.
"How is the homework coming along?"
Edward jumped slightly looking up at his Mom.
"It's … being difficult," he said.
Elizabeth took a seat opposite him, leaning in and resting her head on her hands which were steepled.
"Español" guessed Elizabeth, "¿Cuál es el problema, hijo mío?"
"Il mio italiano è di gran lunga superiore al mio spagnolo. Mi viene in mente ogni giorno, Mamma"said Edward, speaking in Italian instead to make a point of how much better it was to his Spanish.
His mother didn't speak a single word of Italian, but clearly got the point as she chided him. "Práctica, práctica,"
"I know," said Edward, "It just frustrates me – the only reason I'm good at Italian is because of our housekeeper,"
Elizabeth titled her head to the right. "Well, if that is your problem maybe we need to go on a vacation to Spain then? The summer … we haven't been away in so long,"
Edward's father had had not only a high-paying job as a partner of one of the major Chicagoan law firms but had also inherited a great deal of wealth from his parents - especially after they had disowned his father's older brother for getting involved in drugs – it wasn't really spoken about to be honest but it had resulted in Edward's father getting all the family fortune.
Because of the wealth they could afford to travel and Edward had spent a lot of time travelling around the continental US and Canada, with one trip to South East Asia. They didn't leave the country often but from looking at that misty look that overcame his mother he knew that any other trips would be out of the country: away from the memories. Edward couldn't understand why they haunted her like this. He guessed it was because he had never really loved – gone out with some great girls but he'd only liked them.
The kitchen fell into silence: the whistle of wind could be heard outside, the sway of the tall and ominous trees, and crackle of the Autumn leaves.
"Why not just South America?" said Edward, breaking the silence.
"Dialect," said Elizabeth simply, "And maybe we should just speak Spanish at home …"
"Mom, your Spanish is worse than mine,"
Elizabeth put her hand to her ear as if she hadn't heard him. "¿Qué has dicho, Edward?"
"Mamá, tu español es peor que la mía,"
"It isn't that bad,"
"It is," he said with a grin.
"Now you are just being rude," said Elizabeth.
"Never, not me,"
Elizabeth chuckled. "Of course not ..." she laid on the sarcasm thick and heavy.
Edward just smiled ever so sweetly back.
"Watch yourself," said Elizabeth half-heartly, "Also do you want anything from Seattle?"
"Esme and I are going there to look at colours on Saturday," said Elizabeth. "If you want I can get you something or you can come,"
Edward leaned back on his chair and ran his hand through his hair. "Maybe … most likely,"
"So how is school?" asked Elizabeth, rising to go and make some coffee, "Meet any pretty girls? Have people been nice?"
"Well …" started Edward, "It's different. I'm sitting with Jessica's group …"
Edward talked, she listened, and they made toasted sandwiches for dinner. It was nice to talk to his Mom like this. They had always been close but Edward could be a bit of a loner if prompted too. He liked his space, liked his music and his piano. Sometimes he just liked being a moody teenager which had expressed itself most eloquently back home. But now they were talking as if nothing was sacred. He talked about Jessica's friends: Ben the nice one, Lauren the bitch, Tyler the cocky jock. He mentioned the Cullens: how nice Alice was, how Bella, the sister, was very quiet and had an air of superiorty about her, and how they seemed seperate from everyone.
His mother banked it on being because since they all moved together, they hadn't branched out, unlike him who had had to make friends otherwise he'd have no one.
There was constant flow.
It was nice.
Author's Notes: Thoughts and comments are very much appreciated - like very, very, very much appreciated.
Translations are (taken from Google so if it is horribly wrong, forgive me):
"Español" guessed Elizabeth, "¿Cuál es el problema, hijo mío?" - "Spanish" guessed Elizabeth, "What is the problem, my son?"
"Il mio italiano è di gran lunga superiore al mio spagnolo. Mi viene in mente ogni giorno, Mamma" - "My Italian is far superior to my Spanish. I am reminded every day, Mom"
"Práctica, práctica," - "Practice, Practice"
"¿Qué has dicho, Edward?" - "What did you say, Edward?"
"Mamá, tu español es peor que la mía," - "Mom, your Spanish is poorer than my own,"