a/n: I no more own Twilight than I own any other published work. I did, however, write a fascinating senior thesis on women in the Chinese Communist Party.
I love my sister. Not in a creepy, "Flowers in the Attic" way, but in the "Sure, I'll help you fuck with that human" way. She is so excited about setting up the Scumbag so that Bella can see him for the poseur he is, she even offers to do it on the night of her man-hater group. (Please don't tell her I called it that.)
Rosalie and I start putting things in motion for the Great Wannabe Sting of 2011, while Alice works on making sure Bella will be in position to see his fall from grace.
I won't bore you with the logistics except to say that, at some point, I figured out that Bella knew Rosalie from high school, so her involvement had to be sub rosa; and that the boredom inherent in being around a hundred years had really lowered my expectations in terms of entertaining activities. Which is just a snotty way of saying that it was pretty fun to plot Scumbag's downfall.
So, because I had the dubious pleasure of skulking around inside Scumbag's brain while all this was happening (because I'm immature like that) I will, for your enjoyment, show you what happened that day from Spencer's point of view.
Spencer left his spacious apartment in Port Angeles that Saturday morning at 10 o'clock, on his way to go help a friend move. But before he could get to his car, his attention was drawn to a shapely blonde bent over the engine of a 1968 Impala.
"Can I give you a hand?" The scout-like Spencer asked, as he took in the near-perfect shape of a woman's posterior.
She pulled herself upright, in the process removing from the engine cavity one of the most beautiful faces Spencer had ever seen.
"I think I may be out of antifreeze," the blonde said huskily. "You wouldn't happen to have any, would you?" She fluttered her thick eyelashes and pouted with her perfect red lips.
"I… I think I might," our hero stuttered. "Let me go look." He spun around, stumbling slightly. He briefly considered running to the nearest automotive supply store if he didn't have any in the carport.
"Oh, thank you so much," the blonde said. "I would really appreciate it."
The scumbag hightailed it into his carport and quickly found half a bottle of anti-freeze, which he delivered to the blonde chivalrously. Additionally, he offered her a hose with which to dilute it with water and filled her coolant tank for her, all the while maintaining a charming conversation with her in which he educated her in the ways of proper automobile maintenance. The blonde really seemed to appreciate it.
"Well, I think you should be all right now," Spencer said. "If you'd like, I can follow you home to make sure it's okay."
"No, I think it should be okay," the blonde said, fluttering her lashes again. "Say, what kind of music do you like?"
"I like all kinds," he said, being the open-minded young man he is.
"Well, one of my favorite bands is playing in town tonight, and I was wondering if you'd like to go dancing with me?" There was just the perfect hint of coyness in the blonde's invitation. "Do you like country music?"
Spencer nodded vigorously. "I love it," he said. The blonde looked thrilled.
"Great," she said, taking a piece of paper out of her purse and writing down an address. "Meet me here at 7," she said, taking in his attire. "Make sure you bring your cowboy hat, Cowboy." She gave him a wink and jumped into the Impala.
Spencer watched her drive off, filled with anticipation for the night's events. Back behind the dumpster, I was somewhat nauseated from being inside the head of someone who found my sister so attractive. But, it was all for the greater good so I figured I could tough it out.
Now, like the colossal poseur he is, Spencer shows up promptly at 7 PM at Rowdy's Country Bar sporting a cowboy hat, boots, and jeans almost as tight as the ones Jasper had been wearing. I shudder from my position in the parking lot in my Volvo.
Alice had done her job, telling Bella that she wanted her help scoping out a local coffee shop for inspiration. "Spying on the competition," Alice had called it.
Alice may not understand sarcasm and her husband may be a little too vampirey for my purposes, but her timing is excellent. I love people who are punctual.
Our cowboy is approaching the bar as Alice and Bella make their way in his direction, and like a perfectly choreographed ballet of rival sabotage Bella sees her erstwhile suitor dressed, not in converse and black, but like an extra from "Brokeback Mountain."
"Spencer?" Bella says, scorn mixing with confusion on her face.
"Bella…I…" Spencer suddenly takes in his own attire and blushes. 100 feet away in the Volvo, I laugh like a loon.
"I have a…" Spencer suddenly wonders whether he shouldn't tell Bella that he has a date. They weren't dating exclusively. In fact, they had never even been on their first date, thanks to yours truly. If I were capable of tears, at this point they would have been streaming down my face. I haven't laughed this hard since Emmett thought Women's Studies classes would prepare him for a career as a gynecologist.
Bella just shakes her head with a look of the deepest disgust on her face and waves her hand dismissively at him. "I just don't get it," she mumbles, and then turns to Alice. "Where's the place we're checking out?" She passes by an embarrassed Spencer with Alice in tow.
Spencer shakes his cowboy-hatted head and calls her name, but she ignores him, so he heads into Rowdy's fine establishment, still eager for his date with my sister.
Unfortunately for him, Rosalie is nowhere to be seen, as she's watching from the Volvo with me while I give her a running commentary of his thoughts. Waiting for Spencer in the bar, however, is my brother.
"You lookin' for Rosie?" Emmett grunts at him, doing his best "Deliverance" impression.
"Yeah," Spencer says cautiously. 'Do you know where she is?"
Emmett scowls at him. "She's at home where she belongs, takin' care of our six kids and my prize hog!" Emmett takes several menacing, staggering steps towards the terrified boy. He is laying it on a bit thick, but Spencer is too distracted by Emmett's size and filthy overalls to discern his lack of acting talent, and he stumbles backwards out of the bar, all the while praying to God to make this whole thing just a bad dream.
Truthfully, we had several additional steps planned, but everything had gone so smoothly so far that we decide to nix the "stealing his iPhone at vampire speed", and the part where we had sheet-wearing goblins chasing him home. It just seems like overkill at this point.
Rosalie and I laugh hysterically in the Volvo for the next few minutes, watching Spencer drop his keys several times and then drive off haphazardly. The laughter has just about died down when Emmett joins us. One look at his face and we start laughing all over again.
We let Emmett tell us how he had missed his calling as a great actor for a few minutes. He has himself winning Oscars and playing Hamlet before we burst his bubble and tell him that we actually thought Mr. Ed was a better actor than him.
We are debating this very point when my phone rings. Alice.
"What's up, Nostradamus?" I ask.
"Funny, Deadward," she snorts. "And here I was calling to do you a favor. It's okay, I'll just let Bella cry on my shoulder. Or maybe one of the rednecks buying her drinks will do."
"Wait, what?" I ask. "Where are you guys?"
"We're in Rowdy's," she answers. "We decided to get a drink, and I thought you might want an opportunity to catch Bella on the rebound. Well, the mini-rebound. I don't think she's actually upset about Spencer…" The noise from the bar surged and Alice yells something about another round.
"Alice! Alice, wait!" I yell into the phone. Then I hang up and look at Emmett and Rosalie.
"I'm going into that Western bar over there and try to talk to a girl." I must look nervous because Rosalie gives me an uncharacteristically kind smile and pats me on the arm.
"You'll do great, Edward," she says, shooting a glance at Emmett when he snorts. "Just pretend you're someone who has skills with women and that she doesn't hate you."
"Booze may help, too!" Emmett says. Sadly, he means this to be encouraging.
I check my hair in the rearview mirror and, seeing that it's gotten a little wild from my hysterical laughter, pull a bottle of extra-hold hair gel out of the glove box.
Rose thinks, for the three-hundredth time, that I look like a dweeb with my hair gelled down.
"Yeah, but I look like a feather duster without it," I say, still looking in the tiny mirror as I press my hair down with both hands.
Emmett confirms my feather duster impression and then asks Rose if she thinks he should try out for the local theatre company.
"Maybe if they're doing 'Deliverance,'" I interject, flashing a smile at the two of them and getting out of my car. "Now, you two need to either wait for me or go back in Alice's car. There's no way I'm running back to Forks in these shoes." I gesture at my brand new loafers.
"I didn't think they still made those," Emmett said, staring at my exquisitely polished shoes. "Are those python?"
"Alligator," I say. "Overdone?" Emmett and Rosalie look at one another and laugh. I give up and wave at them as I walk over to the bar. It occurs to me, as I listen to the live country music coming out of the fine establishment I am approaching, that I am going to look even more out of place than Alice and Bella. I inspect my clothes again, but there's really nothing to be done. I mean, you can't really do much to make wool slacks and a sweater vest look rustic, can you?
I push open the doors and zero in on the girls. They are sitting at a table halfway back towards the stage and over to the side. Bella doesn't look even the slightest bit broken-hearted - which is good and bad, right? I mean, if she was torn up about the Spencer thing I could catch her on the rebound. On the other hand, if she were really upset about it I'd have to feel all insecure about it, right?
Anyhow, Bella and Alice are talking and smiling while ignoring an annoying little cloud of admirers hovering around them. Bella has in front of her what appears to be half of a beer, and Alice pretends to drink hers. Really, she's pouring amounts of it out at vampire speed into a plastic plant that sits a few feet away from her.
Alice sees me first. "Edward," she says, pretending to be surprised to see me.
"Hey Alice, Bella," I give Bella a restrained smile. "I saw your car out in the parking lot and decided to come find you." I take an unoffered seat at their table and shoot a glare to a mustachioed fellow who has swarmed a little too close.
"I'm so glad to see you," Alice says, her eyes flickering to Bella. Bella catches the social cue and nods in agreement.
"Let me buy you two a round," I say, raising my hand for a bartender.
"No, Edward, you shouldn't," Bella says to me, her eyes wide with anxiety.
"Please," I say, smiling at her. "I want to." I just signal the frightening woman who starts to walk over to bring us another round. I don't want to give Bella the chance to refuse.
"So, you two come here often?" I ask, grinning. I gesture around the place, with its wagon wheels and rope décor. Alice and Bella look at each other, a little embarrassed.
"No, we were checking out a coffee shop and we decided to duck in for a drink," Alice says. I can see in her head that it was her suggestion to drink beer in the Redneck Saloon.
"Well, the place where Alice wanted to do her 'market research' was a Starbucks and therefore just like every other Starbucks out there," Bella says, rolling her eyes at Alice.
"What can I say? I've been overseas for a while." Alice shrugs her shoulders and winks at me.
"Well, maybe the answer is making it more like a European café, then," I suggest.
Bella's face lights up in a way that Bella's face has never responded to any other word that have ever come out of my poorly-socialized mouth. I stare at her in wonder.
"Have you been to Europe?" Bella asks. I choose my words carefully. I can't go talking myself into a timeline corner. For example, if I'm only supposed to be twenty-one, I can't very well tell her that I spent ten years in St. Petersburg, right? Especially if I mention that it was Leningrad at the time.
"Yeah, my parents have taken me there in the summer a few times," I say. Bella's face goes dreamy.
"I would love to go to Europe," she says. "What was your favorite place?"
Oddly, miraculously, euphorically, I am able to maintain an appropriate conversation with Bella for a whole half an hour without offending her or making myself look like a jackass. I am able to do this because my family and I have had to move like crazy in order to escape detection, and that means I have been all over the place; and, a little known fact about Bella Swan? She is dying to travel.
I giggle to myself that I just might be able to accommodate her, especially with the dying part.
a/n: Betham fixes everything and makes it better. Also, speaking of cool things, the lovely and talented Vicanlp made me the coolest banner for this. bit (dot) ly / HThgj4 (remove my dots and spaces and prepare to be wowed)
I actually got to like 30% of my reviews this time, please forgive my poor time management and know that I treasure each one and feel unspeakable guilt every time I don't respond.
Thank you so much for reading! xoxo JuJu