Sorry for the delay, I was puppy-sitting all weekend, but I should now be back to my usual Wednesday, Sunday updates.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: I received a review for the last chapter saying it was irresponsible of Edward to only give his son swimming lessons now (at nearly 8 years old) but I want to make it known to all that Cooper CAN swim, he is simply learning the strokes and how to improve in the sport from Bella.
Another thing is in relation to this chapter: I've never celebrated Thanksgiving, I've never written about it either – everything I mention in this chapter is from my wee American friend and how he celebrates with his family (thanks Jacob!)
But without further ado, and a massive thank you to everyone who read and reviewed the last chapter, I give you chapter ten…
I don't. Stephenie does.
"Dad, Dad, Dad, can I get this one?" Cooper skipped down the aisle a grabbed a t-shirt that had caught his eye. Alice had not-so-subtly forced the shopping list into my hand for this evenings Thanksgiving drinks party and sent me off to Walmart. Naturally, Cooper was not happy to hear that we had to drive to Port A. when he came out of school, but I promised I'd buy him a new outfit for the party, which he quickly agreed too. However the tee he saw was not in our agreement.
"Remember I said smart clothes, bud." I parked the cart beside him.
"But, Dad," he shook the tee vigorously – it almost fell off the rail, "this one is so totally awesome and it's gots Iron Man on the front!" The tee was a vibrant orange with the character coming in from the left side, showing off his palm with the brightly lit circle shining.
I hate denying him of things (especially simple things like a cheap Walmart top) but if I said I was buying him smart clothes, then I have to stick to my deal. "You have got a lot of Avenger tops and it'll be Christmas before too long – why don't you wait and put it on your Santa list? But, hey, this is a cool one…" I spotted the blue, plaid button down shirt which was just what I was looking for. Apparently it wasn't cool enough for Cooper who huffed and stomped his foot in frustration.
"Oh, you suck you don't know anything about cool clothes! Just 'cause you're boring Dad and wear boring clothes…" he spoke through clenched teeth.
I had had enough with his attitude and was eager to leave the shop as soon as possible. And I bet I wouldn't have been the only father thinking this if their son started a mini tantrum in the middle of Walmart. God, can you think of anything worse? "Fine, then I won't get you anything. Let's go now."
"But you said I could get some clothes!"
"I said you could get some smart clothes for the party, but you think they're boring and clearly don't want them. I want you to put back your Iron Man top and come with me please, Cooper."
He continued to refuse and it ended up being me who took the tee from his hands and practically threw it back onto the rail. "Let's go." I held no humour in my voice and Cooper knew from experience that I meant business. He trudged behind me slowly and gave me that well known 'you-are-the-worst-person-in-the-world' look. His attitude only got worse when we were scanning through the items. He spotted a bag of M&Ms in the confectionary stand, asked for them with a tiny voice and groaned loudly when I said no.
"But why not?!"
I hand the check-out clerk my card, "you'll be having lots of treats at the party and after your attitude back there you don't deserve candy."
I left the shop with a screaming child and a bag full of Alice's crap.
Oh, she so owes me for this.
Unfortunately for me his attitude didn't get any better once we got home. Cooper wanted to go out and play with Flash even though it was freezing cold and raining, but because of the weather, I said no. He then wanted to make up an assault course for Gary and Paul, but his homework had to be completed first. Yes, I probably seemed like the meanest dad in the world to him, but he has to learn that he can't play around all the time and those more important things have to be done first.
Like right now for example; we have an hour before the party starts and he needs to have a bath and hair wash.
"But I don't want to have a bath – I want to play with Flash!" He was rocking himself off the banister.
"You can play with Flash afterwards." I was halfway up the stairs, doing my best to coax him.
"But I won't have time, 'cause I take ages in the bath playing with all my toys…"
"Then how about you have a shower? C'mon, buddy, you need to wash your hair and make yourself look nice for this evening."
He flattened his already-polker-straight hair with his palm. "But I already look nice 'cause Lucy said I looked nice today…And you should have a shower too 'cause my girlfriend isn't going to be there, but yours will!"
"Coop, I don't have a girlfriend…"
"Yes you do – Bella. Duhh. C'mon, Padre, I'll show you what to wear…" The idea of a challenge seemingly brightened his spirits and he raced up the stairs in front of me, running into my room and over to the drawers. "Ooh, I have a shirt like this!" He brought up the black polo shirt, closed the drawer and moved to one below it, "I have pants like these, too!" He had found the beige chinos I received from Alice for my birthday and seldom wear. "We could be matching 'cause, y'know, we're best friends!"
At that moment, no matter what he did, I couldn't do anything but love him; especially when he says things like that. Growing up, I had never been the sort of person to say: 'my parents are my best friends' and I had always found the idea a little bit strange, but now that Cooper said it, it is my favourite saying in the world.
"Sure, bud, why not? So…want to have that shower now?"
"Okay…But you can't help me 'cause you'll see my wiener…" He crossed his right foot over his left and cupped a hand between his legs.
I chuckled quietly, "it's nothing I haven't seen before, Coop."
Whilst in the shower, Coop refused my help until it was time to rinse off the bubbles. "Daaaddy! I'm reaaady!" he shouted from the steamy bathroom. He covered his eyes with a face cloth and pursed his lips tight even though all the water and bubbles were dripping down the back of his head and onto the tiled floors.
After the shower we split off in different directions to get ready and only met up again when my shoe-tying-skills were needed. "Dad, why do you have lots-a-lots-a hair and I don't?" My hand let go of his lace and patted the crazy locks on my head.
"You do have lots of hair, Coop – yours is just very straight and thin whereas mine is kinda curly and thick so it only seems like I have more."
"No I mean, like, on your arms and legs…and wiener…" He giggled into his hand. So immature…
But, wait, is he too young to learn about…well, hair in funny places? I think yes.
"Um…well…um, when people grow older their hair grows too…and…so it grows on your face as a beard or…on your arms and legs." Fuck, this is awkward. But it shouldn't be because I knew I would be questioned on hormones and puberty and everything else a guy has to suffer through. "However, because I have dark hair it's more obvious to see." Why did I say that? It didn't help the case; I still have more than he does.
"So…when I grow up will I have a beard?" He giggled. "I might look like Bella's dad 'cause he has one just here," he rubbed his top lip, "and I think it looks really funny. Why don't you have one?"
I finished off tying his shoes and handed him his jacket. "Some people suit beards and moustaches and some don't. It all depends on what you look like when you grow up." I took the Walmart bags and Cooper took Flash on the leash. "Any more questions you wish to ask me?" I winked.
"No…but, Dad, y'know Justin Bieber?"
"I know of him."
"Yeah, well I think you should follow his advice when getting a girlfriend."
Thanks, Coop, but I'd rather inhale vodka through my nose.
"Happy early Thanksgiving!" Alice cheered, arms open wide and with a fruity-looking cocktail in her hand. Cooper ran in for a hug first and accepted the kiss she planted on the crown of his head. He's not the biggest fan of kisses.
"Auntie Alice is Bella here yet? 'Cause I need to talk to her."
Why am I now really scared? I don't think I want to know what he has to talk to her about. Especially as the last time the conversation turned to me they discussed my dick.
"Not yet, Sweetheart, but she'll be here soon." Alice turned to me, "hey, brother! Ooh, thank you for getting this."
"Auntie Alice? Can I get a drink, please?"
"Absolutely! C'mon, Edward, you too."
A large table in the dining room had been covered in a white cloth and full of a variety of drinks – some alcoholic, some sodas and some fruit juices. Alice also mentioned the milk in her fridge and water in the tap. On the table next to this some snacks were laid out – crudités and dips, chips, and a selection of my mother's award winning pies. I cracked open a beer and Cooper took a glass of apple juice (with a straw to help with his still-swollen lip) and grabbed a handful of chips before running off to see his aunt and uncles. Flash was let off his leash and ran around the room, greeting everyone by jumping up to paw their knees and chewing on the odd shoe lace.
The doorbell rang ten minutes after I arrived and, I swear to God, when Bella stepped into the room, I couldn't stop my eyes from widening. She was wearing a black, strap dress which had red roses blended in with the black at the bottom. It floated around just above her knees and the top did wonders to her tits. Now, I don't want to sound crude, but I'm a guy y'know? And my thoughts aren't always innocent; which my siblings and son don't allow me to forget.
Simply thinking about what was hiding under that dress made my…no, I'm not in high school anymore – I refuse to go down that road again. But shit, sometimes you can't control your mind and imagination, y'know?
"Calm your pants, man." Emmett whispered, slapping my shoulder from behind.
I took a gulp of beer and laughed humorously. "You're really not funny, Em'."
"I know I'm not funny – I'm fucking hilarious. Now, here's a tip for you – you want Bella to like you? Don't, whatever you do, dry-hump her leg like a dog, 'cause I know what you're like."
"What? I don't (nor have I ever) dry-humped her leg."
"No, but being the lightweight you are, if you continue to down a few Buds nothing will stop you." I glance warily at the bottle in my hand and find the nearest coaster to place it on. I think I've had enough of that for now… "Now, stow your boner and go get talking to her." I swear one of us is adopted, because there is no way I can be related to him. With the nudge of his arm, Emmett pushed me in Bella's direction.
But it seemed Cooper cut in before me. He was hugging her tight and I over-heard him apologising for not going swimming yesterday because his lip was still cut and sore. Hearing Bella ask how he is after his fall and showing genuine concern played with me more than it had with anyone else. I'm not a complete prude; I have had dates with girls who I would have liked to have a relationship with, but whenever I mentioned Cooper they either turned a blind eye and didn't want anything else to do with me, or faked their enthusiasm and tried to convince me to bring Cooper to meet them. But I never felt comfortable doing so. With Bella, however, no-one has forced her to like him. No-one has forced her to feel this protection and care for him and there is no better thought in the world.
"Evening, Edward." Her angelic voice broke me from my thoughts. Not only did she have the sinful (in my eyes) dress on, but also her hair curled down below her shoulders and she was wearing the same black, army boots that I've seen her wear before. That's another thing I admire about her – she doesn't follow the stereotypical style that you see everyone else wearing right now, and she wears whatever she finds comfortable (it had always been that way; even through school.)
"Hey, Bella. You look beautiful, by the way."
The beautiful, heated blush spread across her cheeks, sneaking down to her neck. "Thank you…" I noticed her unsubtle glance at my outfit, and then looked from Coop and myself. "You're wearing the same clothes…" she noticed.
Until then I had forgotten we were both wearing the black polo shirt and beige chinos.
"We're matching 'cause we're best friends!" Coop cheered, squeezing my arm tight in a hug.
"That is so cute. Coop, why are you such a little charmer?"
Coop shrugged, "I dunno; I was born that way."
The night carried on and we went through our traditional Thanksgiving family regime apart from eating till we burst and playing tag football in the yard. We all went 'round and spoke about what and who we're thankful for – we all mentioned family, health and the opportunities that have found us in the last year. Bella mentioned that she was thankful for finding us again and picking up from where we left off ten years previous.
Alice and Jasper were the last to speak, their fingers locked together and the same look of love on their face that they have had for the twelve years they've been together. "We're more thankful for the year to come," Alice muttered, fighting the smile appearing but losing badly, "Jazz and I have something to tell you all."
Mom gasped, Rosalie screamed and beside me, Bella tapped her feet excitedly. However Emmett and I didn't react because we hadn't caught onto the excitement or reason for it, Dad was smiling like the proud father he is.
"I don't think any of you realised that Alice has been drinking non-alcoholic cocktails all night." Okay, now I understood then and couldn't stop the shit-eating grin off my face. "We're going to have a baby." Jasper beamed and kissed his wife's cheek sweetly. The ladies stood to smother Alice in hugs and kisses and Emmett fist pumped the air in pride.
"Congratulations, Jazz, your juice works!"
"What's juice, Dad? Like, apple juice?" Ahh, shit. If the hair conversation earlier wasn't embarrassing enough.
"Er, no, bud it's…um…" Bella quietly laughed into her hand. "You're not helping."
"Sorry." She blushed and laughed again. "This is really funny though, you must admit."
It's not funny, it's terrifying! My son is not old to learn this stuff. I was thirteen when Dad decided to explain it all to me and why the pitch in my voice went from high to low in the middle of a sentence. Not seven year olds, for Christ sake!
"Dad, what is juice then?" Coop was getting impatient and I had to work out an answer soon. I must admit, if Coop was a girl I would hate this conversation more – trying to explain periods and…yeah, I'm not going into that.
"Basically…um…er…all boys have…um…special boy juice which you need to make a baby…"
"Oh, so do I have special boy juice?"
"No, it's, er, something you get when you get older."
"Oh, so when I grow up I'll have hair on my wiener and special boy juice?"
Oh, my good God.
"Er, yeah…Okay, shall we change the subject now?"
"Okay. Well, y'know how Auntie Alice is having a baby? That'll be my cousin, right?"
"Yes, well done – that's right."
I brought the Bud to my lips, "cool! But what if I wanted a brother and not a cousin?" and then chocked on the beer. Where the hell is all of this coming from?
"Cooper why did you ask me that?"
He shrugged and climbed on the couch to snuggle between Bella and myself. "I want to have a brother and a sister like you have a brother and a sister, can I have one?"
"Buddy it's not as simple as that. Y'know I'd need to have a girlfriend first, right? And it takes a long time to make a baby – you can't go to a shop and buy one like a pet."
Cooper whipped his head 'round to Bella. I knew exactly what was about to happen, but I didn't have the time to stop it. "Bella, when you're my Dad's girlfriend you can have a baby and it'll be my brother or sister!"
Where is that useful hole in the ground I can jump into?
"I don't think that's going to happen, Coop." The humour from a few minutes ago had left Bella and now she simply sounded scared witless.
"Why? Do you not want to be my Dad's girlfriend?"
Cooper, please, stop talking…
"It's not that…I don't…it's not that I don't want…"
Hang on, Bella – keep talking…or, stuttering.
"So…you do want to be his girlfriend?"
"Um, yes…I mean, I mean, no…um…I mean…"
Like Lloyd said in 'Dumb and Dumber': So you're telling me I have a chance? Yeah!
My favourite chapter ending. EVER! 'Dumb and Dumber' may have to be the finest movie to date…
This story is up for FIC OF THE WEEK at The Lemonade Stand! I would really appreciate it if you could please vote…?
Facebook: RosieRathbone FanFiction for sneak peeks and random Cooper gossip.
See you on Sunday!