The Canon Tour, Pre-Twilight Round – Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
Fanfiction Profile: http: .net/u/2164406/purelyamuse
Pairing: Jacob, Charlie, Billy
Word Count: 3229
Beta: MeraNaamJoker, Perrymaxed
Summary: Jacob is enlisted to help Charlie get Bella's room ready before she moves in. He's not too happy about it until some things about Bella are revealed.
Title: Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
"Sure, sure. No problem, Charlie. He'll be there bright and early to help. Okay, bye," Dad says, clicking the end button. Great, just great. I was going to do a thing tomorrow with the guys, and now this? I don't even know this girl anymore. Why on earth my dad thinks I should clean her room, paint, and set up her bed or whatever is beyond me. I mean, Chief Swan is nice and all; he's got a great TV, but I don't even want to clean my own room, let alone some strange girl's. She probably wants it spotless. This whole thing is just dumb.
My dad is staring at me, giving me the 'don't you dare complain' look.
"I didn't say a word."
"That's right, you didn't, because Charlie has helped me out in more ways than you can possibly imagine."
"That's gay," I mumble as I walk away to hide in my bedroom.
"That's fine!" I yell, entering my sanctuary and slamming its door.
When my sisters moved out, I kind of didn't miss them. Like at all. They were annoying and moody, and their girly junk was everywhere. They were always bossing me around too. If I had to run down to the drugstore one more time to get tampons . . . I don't even know what.
But, now, now that they've been gone awhile, I realize how valuable they were. They were my buffer. They were responsible. They were helpers, nurturers, do-gooders, and, I, I was just a kid. Now that they're gone, my kid status is completely out the window, and it blows. Hard. I have to do everything around here. I'm not complaining that my dad is in a wheelchair or that he is a lonely, grumbly sort of guy. There's not much I can do about those things. I don't mind helping around the house, cleaning things and fixings things that my dad just can't. That's fine; but going over to Charlie Swan's – who is perfectly capable of cleaning his own daughter's room – to do his dirty work is just . . . it's like slavery or something. Aren't there child labor laws he's breaking? He should know; he's a cop.
I spend the rest of the evening in my room, watching extreme sports highlights on Youtube on my ancient laptop. That's another thing I miss about my sisters – they had gadgets. Real ones, and they let me borrow them. Unfortunately, the gadgets are with them now – wherever the hell they are.
Charlie's banging around in his tool shed looking for paint brushes so we can touch up the walls. I knew he wouldn't be ready. He procrastinates worse than my dad, almost worse than me. I bet we'll have to run to the hardware store to buy everything. Maybe he'll get me a chocolate bar with the change or something.
Oh great. I knew it. Charlie's empty handed as he walks to the house. He opens the kitchen screen door and shrugs. "Looks like we need to make a trip to—"
"Yeah, let's go. I'm getting hungry already, and I promised Dad I'd be home in time to make him lunch." Total lie. Oh well.
I look through the hardware store and pick out basic painting supplies while Charlie gets the paint. Shouldn't he have had that already? Did he forget? How do you forget the paint? Charlie must really be stuck in his head because that's just . . . yeah.
It turns out Bella didn't want him to make a fuss about her moving there. Or so Charlie says. But I don't know. That doesn't sound like anything any girl I've ever known would say. Whatever. Girls are weird. Too bad they're so cute, and I like them.
By the time I'm scrubbing down her walls with a wet rag, it's close to lunch time. I'm starving and trying so hard not to whine, but it's become more and more difficult not to complain about my appetite as of late. I'm hungry all the time, and it seems no matter what I eat, I'm not satisfied.
I stuff my hunger pangs down and continue to work. Two hours pass. I've done a hell of a lot of dust bunny removal, and I'm finishing up my painting. It looks pretty damn good if I do say so myself.
Charlie comes in to inspect my work and gives me a pat on the back and a "Nice work, son." It must be so lonely for him here. Good thing his daughter is finally coming home.
"Thanks, I should be going. Late lunch and all that."
"Nonsense. I'll take you out. My treat," Charlie says, taking the paint brush from my hands and finishing the cleaning while I wash myself up.
I'm a mess. There's paint in my hair, and my arms are covered in splotches of light blue. I basically look stupid. Good thing I'm a guy and don't give a crap about going out in public like this.
Charlie and I eat at the diner. I get a massive double burger and fries with a side salad and a vanilla shake. It's real good and hits the spot. We chat a bit about the reservation and how school is going. He asks me about my friends, and I give him a few tidbits, nothing substantial. He's not my dad, so I really don't feel bad.
I finish up eating when I realize that Charlie looks kind of nervous, like edgy, or maybe even totally freaked out, but I can't be sure because I'm a dude. I don't pay attention to that crap. But, maybe I should . . . maybe it'd help with the girls I find so cute.
"You okay? You look a bit . . ." I move my hand from side to side to make my point, and he divulges immediately.
"It's just—she's seventeen—seventeen!" Say what? I didn't realize she was seventeen. I thought she was . . . I don't even know. I wasn't paying attention, but seventeen sounds promising, though Charlie's not much of a looker. Then again, my sisters don't look anything like my dad, and they're pretty – you know, for sisters.
Charlie continues talking while I wonder if his daughter is attractive. "She lived here when she was little. I mean, I've seen her and visited her and talked to her on the phone, but what—I'm a bachelor, I'm—what the heck am I going to do with a seventeen-year-old girl living in my house?"
Dude, what I wouldn't give to have a seventeen-year-old girl living in my house! Preferably one with very large . . .
"I just don't know, Jake, I'm nervous. What if she doesn't like me?"
"You're her dad. Of course she's not gonna like you. No teenager likes their dad. It's like a rite of passage."
"Well, what can I do to make her hate me less?"
"I dunno. My sisters always loved it when Dad spent money on them, took them shopping, or bought them music." I shrug. I don't really know. I'm just making things up here. I'm fifteen, and the chief is . . . old. Can't he figure this out on his own?
"That's—you're right—I should—I won't have time to do it before Monday—I have to . . ."
What the hell is the old guy babbling about? Charlie gets up, drops some money on the table, and marches out the door. He doesn't even look back to see if I'm following. What is he doing?
He gets in his cruiser, and I follow suit, latching my seat belt because a) he's a cop, and b) he's a bit crazy right now.
I listen to the lame-ass eighties songs his car radio is tuned to for a while before I realize we are not headed home. No, we are headed to the highway.
"Um, I need to get home. I have homework or, uh, something." Winter break's just finishing up. I don't have any homework.
"No, I know. It'll just take a few minutes. I need—I think she'll be happy if I—"
"Where are we going?"
"There's a Bed, Bath and Beyond that just opened up in that new strip mall on Grand."
"What? No, Charlie. I hate all that junk. I'm not—I don't wanna—"
"You can help me pick out a bed spread. You know seventeen-year-old girls, right? You'll know what they like, wontcha?"
"Erm," I say, trying not to tell him that I don't really know seventeen-year-old girls. Besides, seventeen-year-old girls don't talk to fifteen year old boys. There's like a law against speaking to them, but there's no law about looking at them. So I look. I look a lot. Around the reservation, around town, in the diner, at school, online . . . they're just great. I like them. A lot. But I'm not going to tell him that.
"Good. Won't take long, promise. Unless you pick out comforters like a girl." Charlie laughs at his own joke, and I grind my teeth. This is not how I wanted to spend my Friday night. Quil said that Gabe's cousin was coming in from the Makah reservation; she's supposed to be hot. I wanted to meet her, or, at least, watch her all night. Dammit! Sometimes my dad's friendship with Charlie makes my life all kinds of sucky.
We pull into the parking lot, and I'm totally irritated. Charlie's not my dad, so it's not like I'm going to backtalk. Besides, hello . . . Chief of Police. I'm not stupid.
Clearly I'm stupid. I've been standing in front of a row of girly comforters for fifteen minutes. Charlie ditched me, pretending that Bella was in desperate need of hangers. Yeah, right. He just didn't want to be caught dead staring at pink floral duvets or crumpets or whatever the hell these stupid things are called. Why can't she just sleep with a sheet and wear a flannel to bed like me? It's not that cold. Then again, she is from Arizona. Hm.
I scan the top shelf of comforters for the third time when a young sales clerk walks by slowly. Is she checking me out? Well, hello! "Hi, um, can you help me?" I say with my most charming smile.
She looks me up and down, and I follow her gaze, realizing why she was giving me a once over. Damn painted on overalls. I look like an ass. A hick, Native American ass.
"What can I help you with?" she says, pushing her ponytail over her shoulder. Her nametag reads, "Bridgette."
"So, Bridgette, help a guy out. I need to pick a comforter. A girl's comforter. If I was a seventeen-year-old girl . . ." I let the phrase fall flat when she looks at me with concern and maybe a bit of disgust. Crap!
"Look, it's for a friend. It's—I mean, my girlfriend needs a new set of sheets for her bed because—"
"There you are. Pick something pretty yet?"
Geez, sometimes I hate Charlie. He's such a dad.
"No, uh, Bridgette was helping me choose."
"Oh good. So Jake was thinking we should get something pretty, you know, since teenagers like it when grown-ups spend money on them."
Perfect, now Charlie and I look like a couple. Awesome.
"Um, let me get the manager. Maybe she can help," Bridgette says and bolts toward the cashiers, her hands flying about wildly when she speaks to an older woman with white hair.
White Hair meets us and greets us, all smiles. "How can I help you?"
I'm not messing this up again, so I pipe in, "A seventeen-year-old girl is moving in with him, and he needs something pretty for the bed."
Wait. That didn't sound right.
"My daughter," Charlie clarifies.
"Mmm hmm. Okay, well, most seventeen-year-old girls are no different than five-year-old girls. They want something soft and pretty and fun, but they don't want it to look too young. So I'd go with maybe a soft purple, lilac, or salmon."
Purple. Okay, yeah, got that. What the hell is lilac? And why is she talking about fish? Old ladies are weird. White Hair must be losing it. I walk away and check out some extension cords and cleaning supplies. They've got a great car cleaning kit. That'll come in handy when I get the Rabbit done. Maybe I'll come back here, looking better, without Charlie so that Bridgette doesn't think I'm with him.
Dad drags me over to Chief Swan's in the morning after breakfast. I'm sure I'll get suckered into all sorts of manual labor again. My back still hurts from painting yesterday.
I'm sitting on the couch reading a fishing magazine while my dad and Charlie chat about Bella's arrival tomorrow. They're acting like the damn Queen of England is showing up. It's just a girl. It's just Charlie's daughter. It's just Bella - whoever that is. Then again, she is a seventeen-year-old girl . . .
"Oh, hey, this is nice. When did you put this up?" Dad asks.
"You don't think it's too showy?"
"No, she looks nice. Don't you think she looks nice, Jake?"
I nod but don't actually look up. I don't really care what they're talking about; I just want to watch a game or go back home. Embry's mom is making meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight, and I was invited. She loves me. I'm a good influence. Hah! If she only knew what we got up to in my garage.
"Look. You're not even looking," my dad says, his tone reprimanding me.
"I am, I'm look—" Whoa! What I see has me mesmerized. There is a stunning chick looking straight at me, like she can see right through my soul. She's gorgeous. Her eyes are dark and deep, her hair's long and wavy, and her body is . . . wow. "That's B-Bella?" I manage to get out. My dad smacks me on the knee with the photo frame and hands it back to Charlie.
"Of course. Don't you remember her?"
"I don't. Not really. I just remember lots of dark brown hair."
"Well, that hasn't changed. She's a beauty, Charlie. Isn't she?" Dad says, swiveling his head in my direction.
Um. What the hell am I supposed to say? This is one of those 'damned if I do and damned if I don't' situations. I decide to go for a downplay. "She's cute."
"Cute?" My dad grimaces. I worry he's going to smack me again, but he doesn't. "She's not cute. She'll have these small town guys going nuts. You watch. You'll be beating them all off with sticks. They'll all want to—"
"Okay, okay. Geez." Charlie sets the photo frame back on the mantle and traces her face with his index finger. I feel like I shouldn't be watching. It's too intimate a thing or something. Charlie sighs and drops his head and hands simultaneously. "I just want everything to be perfect for when she comes."
"Well, what can we do? What else do you need?" Dad says, offering help.
"Some of her boxes arrived a week ago. They're just sitting in the laundry room. Maybe we could set her things up, make it like she already lives here." Charlie scratches the back of his neck. He looks unsure. I'm unsure too. Rachel and Rebecca were picky about their stuff. And heaven forbid you touch their clothes, especially their under things. Gives me the creeps just thinking about that time I saw Rachel put a g-string in the washing machine. So gross.
"That sounds great." Dad turns to me, saying, "Why don't you haul that stuff upstairs and help Charlie out. I'll get us some snacks and set up the TV for the game. We've got a good thirty minutes still 'til it starts."
I ate dinner an hour ago – pizza delivery—missing Ms. Call's home-cooked meal. My dad and Charlie are downstairs screaming at the TV. I'm in Bella's room putting books on her shelf. How many books does a teenage girl need? Geesh.
I finish up there and open the next box. It's filled with clothes – winter things, by the looks of it. I sort through it, pulling things out as I go. There are big baggie sweaters, sweats, a big coat, hats, gloves. She's going to be all covered up, it seems. I pull another coat from the box – a raincoat this time – and then uncover underwear. Lots and lots of underwear.
I lift a pair up by my pointer finger and hold it in front of my eyes. It's black and lace and soft and girly and, whoa, so nice. Really nice underwear. I try not to imagine the hot girl from the photo – on my dad's oldest friend's mantle – in this fancy, hot pair of panties. I try, I really do. And I fail miserably.
Dammit, why does she have to be so hot?
I drop the underwear and pick up another pair – blue this time and soft, like satin maybe. I rub the fabric between my thumb and forefinger. It feels so nice. I bet it slides right over her legs so easily. I'm caught up in my fantasy of Chief Swan's daughter wearing hot underwear when I'm abruptly pulled from it with a throat clearing.
Crap! Crap! Crap! Dammit! Crap!
"Jacob?" Charlie says in his I'm-a-cop voice.
"I'm just finishing up, getting this all in the drawers and closet, sir."
"I'll be done in a jiffy," I say, folding the underwear and setting them on top of the coats, like that's all I was doing, just folding some laundry. And jiffy's a good word. Innocent. Young. Not something a pervy teenage boy fantasizing about the Chief of Police's daughter would use. Nope, not at all.
"You're done now."
"Right. I'm tired anyway. Wanna get home and take a shower and go straight to bed."
"Skip the shower."
"Skip the shower. And don't ever take a shower after—with anything having to do with—Bella is my—Billy's waiting for you. Just go."
"Sure, sure." I bolt down the stairs, hopping the last five, ready to get the hell out of there.
It's late at night, must be two in the morning or later. I can't sleep. I don't know why either because I did not skip the shower. In fact, I took two. All I can think about is all that hair and those dark brown eyes and that rocking body in those hot black underwear. Dammit. Why did the hottest seventeen-year-old I'd ever seen, or will see in real life, have to be Chief Swan's daughter? My life sucks, but I'll be meeting her soon. Who knows? Maybe it'll get better. Maybe she's the one seventeen-year-old girl that will give me the time of day. Maybe she'll let me see those panties someday too . . .