The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: Three - Laundromat
Pen Name: lizmondaine
Pairing/Main Character(s): Bella/Edward
Photo prompts can be viewed here:
The basket lands on my foot and I let out a string of curses hopping up and down on my other foot trying to relieve the pain while avoiding running into anything.
The warning voice from the other room makes me wrinkle my nose and curse again in Latin. "Sorry, Noni!"
That's the trouble with living with her, I could sit next to her on the couch and talk for ten minutes about something important and she'd look at me with a blank expression like she couldn't hear a thing I said. However, the second anything unladylike left my mouth she was all over me like sauce on pasta.
I hitch the basket back up from the place it had offended my foot, walk towards the door. "Noni, I'm going to do laundry and run by the market."
"That is fine, of course." Noni waves me on not looking way from her shows "But be a lady, Isabella, be a lady."
"Yeah, got it." I snort as I heave the laundry into the passenger seat of my busted up truck before slamming the door, not once, but twice to get it shut enough that I was sure my unmentionables wouldn't leave me a Hansel and Gretal trail back home.
"Wouldn't that just be lady like of me." I giggle at my own stupid joke as I start the beast and back out of the driveway. As weird as it sounds I look forward to this escape every week.
Honestly, laundry's not my cup of tea, but escaping the selectively hearing cat like ears of Noni, a total win any day in my book.
The inside of the All American Laundromat and Arcade looks as dated as the sign, but it was never crowded, the Ms. Pac Man was always in service, and he was there.
My eyes dart to the far corner where he always was as I set my laundry detergent on top of the washer. As I load the items into the machine my eyes never stray from the top of the riotous mass of bronze hair bent over a notebook, scribbling away.
I wish I knew exactly what he was working on so diligently. I had no idea if he was writing or drawing, and I had yet to be brave enough to venture close enough to him to attempt to sneak a peak. However, a crease appeared between his eyebrows and his head was constantly bowed. The only time he moved was when his washer and dryers budged.
The first time I noticed him I had once though folding next to him might be a good way to break the ice, but as I'd carefully and casually positioned myself at a table facing his her hopes had been dashed by his toss in the basket and go technique.
Looking at his slightly rumpled appearance as I fished in her pocket for the quarters she thought it was likely rare he ever folding his clothes at all, just waited for one basket to be empty of clean clothes to bring another one in.
Her back was to him as she slid the quarters into the arcade machine. She'd learned quickly it was remain distracted or spend the entire time staring at him like some teenage love sick fool, and at twenty-five that was the last thing she wanted to be mistaken for.
Without much thought I was watching Ms Pacman's marriage when I can feel a hand on the small of my back.
"I think these might be yours."
The voice washes over me and without turning around I know who the voice belongs to, I take a deep breath bracing myself as I turn towards him my game forgotten. As soon as my eyes hand on the pink lace panties in his hand my face flames and my mouth goes dry.
"Wow." I finally managed as my eyes met his, attempting to push down the embarrassment that felt stifling. "Yeah, thank you."
I watched in horror as he extended his hand the panties hanging off of his long dexterous fingers by the waistband. I was sure my mouth was hanging open like a gaping fish as I tried to figure out why he would be hanging them for everyone to see. For a month I had been trying to figure out how to approach this man for a month and the first time we talk he waves my panties around like a flag. I hadn't been quite so embarrassed since the slumber party with the mean girls when they froze my favorite purple training bra.
"Did you want me to put them somewhere?"
Suddenly his words permeated and I blushed again my hand reaching out and snatching the panties from where his hand had fallen limply by his side.
"I'm sorry. Sometimes my brain doesn't completely process things and I end up looking like an idiot."
His laugh brought a smile back to my face.
"Thank you again, for picking them up."
"Well, I saw old man Wagner over there eyeing them and I thought I'd better rescue them on your behalf before they fell into unsavory hands."
"Really? Old man Wagner? I always thought he was so sweet and cute..."
"Ooh just you wait stick around this place long enough and you'll see sweet and cute replaced with creepy and a little inappropriate."
"How long have you been coming here?"
"About six months. My apartment's laundry room is over run with housewives and children. It's hard to think while I wash."
"Thinking and washing is a good combo."
"As is your Pac Man playing and washing."
His crooked smile is enough to make me weak in the knees, he appeared to know my habits as well as I knew his. I blush and shrug a shoulder.
"What can I say, we all have our escapes."
"What about you? Your apartment doesn't have a good laundry room."
"No, I'm staying with Noni to help her out and her set is ancient, plus it's my once a week break."
He smiles at my words as he nods his head back towards his table, "I'm afraid I cost you your game, but your clothes are still washing and mine are drying, you want to sit and I'll give you the low down on the rest of the regulars?"
I laugh, because his waggling of eyebrows is so irresistibly cute. I nod following him towards his table who cares about Ms. PacMan when you have the hot laundry boy.
Thank you for reading this! Let me know what you think! It was an absolute labor of love and a challenge and I enjoyed every minute of it even when I was cursing 100 words.
This last one shot was the first thing I wrote for this challenge and one of my favorites!
A massive amount of gratitude goes out to Emergency Beta Service for all of their help on my drabbles.