AN: I decided to continue. I hope you like it!
I'm sending a big thanks to mauigirl60 for fixing my mistakes.
Just to let you know…I have a new story. It has really short chapters and it's very silly. It's called Curve Ball.
Finally, for those of you who read The Little Pink House, it has been nominated for The Top Ten Completed Fics in February by twifanfictionrecs. Please go vote, if not for The Little Pink House, than for one of the other wonderful stories nominated.
He chewed his unlit cigar thoughtfully as he regarded the young woman sitting on the other side of his desk. Jason Jenks pulled out his stogie and remarked, "I usually don't hire womenfolk for this kind of work, darlin'."
Isabella's mouth dropped open, as she took in the outspoken older man in front of her. His face was etched in lines of a hard-lived life. Wearing a worn Kenny Rogers concert t-shirt and a red plaid bandana on his bald head, Mr. Jenks didn't look like an editor of a newspaper. He reminded Isabella of an old groupie that would follow The Grateful Dead if it weren't for the country music star's face grinning at her from the man's chest.
"I don't trust thangs with breasts. No offense there, darlin'. I've had five wives and not one of 'em here to help me in my time of need." He pulled off his bandana and pointed to his bald head. "Cancer."
Isabella stammered, "I...I...I...well...umm...I'm sorry."
She didn't handle things like illness very well and was trying to find a way to be comforting to this misogynistic old man. This whole interview was disconcerting and Isabella had no idea what was going to happen. She looked around, taking in the crooked posters of rodeos pinned to the walls with push pins, and the piles of hunting magazines perched precariously on the edge of the desk.
Isabella, herself, felt odd wearing a summery dress to an interview instead of one of her power-suits which were hanging up in her closet in New York. Edward had even tried to talk her into wearing jeans because of the casual nature of the newspaper office. She could see now that he'd been right, because even a burlap sack would be considered high fashion in this place.
He waved his hand at her. "Don't worry that pretty head of yours, honey. I'm in remission and headin' to the cool island breezes of the Bahamas. That's why I need someone to run this popsicle stand right quick."
"Mr. Jenks, I was the editor of my college newspaper and a staff journalist of one of the premiere travel magazines in..."
"I never heard of it, honey. However, you're the only little fish bitin' at the job so..." Jason started to say, as a ruggedly handsome man slowly wandered in. "Jamie, my boy, have you changed your tune about runnin' the paper?"
"Naw, Pa, I'll just keep on keepin' on with the crime best," the man drawled lazily. He eyed Isabella and gave a smile. "Is this pretty thing takin' over for Jessica?"
"Jessica isn't quittin', Jamie! Boy, quit yer whinin'! James, this is Miss Isabella Swan." Jason shook his head. "The little lady wants to be editor."
"I wouldn't mind bein' under her." James winked at her. "Call me Jamie, sugar."
Edward poked his head in the door. "Would y'all mind not harassin' my girl?"
"Aww simmer down, Eddie! We're just givin' her a hard time to see if she can fit in," James said, giving her another wink.
Isabella stood up. She remarked, "Is there something in your eye or is that a nervous condition, buddy? Maybe you should get in checked out. Thank you for the interview, Mr. Jenks."
"We'll see ya tomorrow, Miss Swan," Jason Jenks stated. Isabella looked at him in shock. She never thought he'd actually give her the job. "You wouldn't know anybody wantin' to cover our politics beat, would ya?"
"I know the perfect girl!" Isabella announced with a grin.
"More damned women," Jason muttered.
Jamie grinned and took another appreciative look at Bella, making Edward scowl. "I like women!"
Jason made a face. "Just like yer mother!"
Edward waved at the men, pulling Isabella out of the office and into the sunny street that was lined with old buildings. Signs heralding the upcoming rodeo hung proudly. He looked back at the office. "Maybe you should just work at the ranch. You can be the marketin' girl."
"You want me to go food shopping for the ranch?" she asked in confusion.
"Naw, honey! You can make flyers and one of those web sites!"
"Oh! Do the advertising!" She smiled and it quickly turned to a frown. "Are you worried about that James character?"
"I've known him since school, Bella, and I don't trust him a bit!"
Isabella grabbed Edward and pulled him close. "I'm a pretty tough broad."
"You're tough broad, honey!" He pulled her into a heated kiss.
They continued kissing under the hot sun, not noticing the looks thrown their way by the townsfolk as they did their daily errands. Edward Cullen was finally in love and the gossip was going to spread like wildfire.
"It's the perfect plan, Alice!" Isabella bounced up and down to the beat, sitting on a bale of hay. "You would be the perfect person to take the political beat. You can sniff out corruption like no one else."
"The last time I was a political reporter it ended badly," Alice stated. She thought back to her first job as one of the reporters who had covered politics for a New York newspaper. Alice had uncovered a sex scandal starring a state senator. Unfortunately for the young Alice, the editor-in-chief had been getting hush money. Alice's name had been dragged through the mud and she'd been unceremoniously sacked. Once the truth had come out and her name had been cleared, Alice was welcomed back with open arms. It had been too late, though, because her belief in the power of the press had been diminished, and she had ended up turning to the fluff of travel review writing.
"It'll be different, because I'll be the boss!" Isabella's eyes were alight with glee at that thought.
"What happened to you? All of a sudden you're Miss Mary Sunshine and rainbows are coming out of your ass," Alice complained. "Aren't you at all concerned about us coming into a new town and taking over their news source? Think about it...two female yankees rolling into town in their Escalade..."
"We don't have an Escalade! I rented a Ford Escape and you got a Honda Civic. Seriously, Alice, if you mention your gold chains, then perhaps you need to be a fiction writer."
"Hush! You just ruined how I imagined the locals would see our arrival!" Alice walked over to the portable iPod dock and changed the music to some unfamiliar rapper with pulsating beats. Her head bobbed frantically and Bella instantly knew what was wrong.
She went over to the iPod and started searching through the songs. "Hmm...I think we need some jarring guitars and boys who like to bang their heads while destroying instruments."
Alice rushed over and pulled Isabella's hand away. "Don't you dare put any of that 90s grunge on there, you Eddie Vedder-obsessed crazy! I need my 'bitches'!"
"Ah, yes...the relaxing sounds of rap music to soothe the savage Alice." Isabella forced her to plop down in a pile of hay. "This isn't about the job. You only listen to hardcore gangster rap when you have boy troubles. What did Jasper do?"
Alice covered her face. "He didn't do anything wrong, he...he...just..."
"Spit it out!"
Alice looked up with tears in her eyes. "He kissed me!"
Isabella looked at her and tried to squash the smile that threatened to grace her lips. Both Isabella and Alice were notoriously afraid of opening up and allowing a semblance of love into their lives. Jake had destroyed Isabella's trust in the male gender and Alice had been abandoned, with the exception of Isabella, by everyone she'd allowed to get close to her.
Sure, the women would go out to bars and state that they were going to find a conquest that night. Instead, they would sit at a table in a dark corner and nurse beers while discussing politics and the need for political action. Sometimes they would bring Mad Libs in with them and crack themselves up with the idiocy they came up with. Usually, they would toast that their love of vibrators and any man brave enough to approach them would be mocked unmercifully. At the end of the night, arm-in-arm, the girls would stumble down the dirty city streets that were littered with cigarette butts and candy wrappers, ignoring the fact that romance had eluded them once more.
"He's really nice, Alice," Isabella stated, rubbing her distraught friend's back. "What did you do after he kissed you?"
"Umm...I said thanks and ran into my room. I hid under the blankets until morning and when I woke up, there was a vase of wildflowers outside my door with a note from him that said I was 'the sweetest gal he's ever laid eyes on'!" Alice sniffed. "He's going to realize that I'm a fuck-up and leave me."
Isabella squeezed her tight. "He will not! Trust me when I say that if he does, then let me at him. Jasper will be in so much pain that he won't be able to ride a horse in weeks."
"Thanks, Izzy!" Alice looked at her curiously. "What about you and Eddie?"
"I let Edward call me 'Bella'." She smiled at the thought. She hiked up her dress to show off her bandaged knees. "He's a good man. He played doctor."
Alice gave a tiny smile. "Did he kiss you?"
"Well..." Isabella thought back to their lovemaking and his heated skin on hers, as he pushed into her with abandon. Her smile was wistful.
"Play...play...play doctor, Izzy? You had sex!"
Isabella shot Alice a dirty look. "It was more than sex! It was a glorious experience!"
"I see now why you're so happy today! Knockin' da boots will do that for a girl!" Alice exclaimed.
"Did the new Akon drop? That's him, ain't it?" A deep, sultry feminine voice interrupted. Rosie stuck her head into the barn.
Isabella and Alice's mouths dropped open. They were both afraid of the tall, beautiful Rosalie Cullen, whose face seemed to have a permanent glare. It was quite obvious that the woman had no love for 'those damned yankees', as she liked to call them to their faces. Isabella was fairly certain that Rosalie didn't actually know their real names and knew for a fact that she wanted them gone.
Alice regained the ability of speech first. She squeaked, "Yes!"
Rosalie dropped down to sit on a barrel and looked at them with a curious expression. "I went ta Walmart to pick it up, but they said it wasn't comin' out until next month. How did ya'll get a copy?"
"I have a friend who writes for Rolling Stone," Alice said in an unnaturally high voice. Isabella would have laughed if she wasn't afraid of the Amazonian in front of her too.
"Hmph." Rosie started picking grit from her nails.
"You like rap music?" Isabella asked in general interest, since it seemed none of the males in the family had an interest in anything but country music. She positioned herself behind Alice for protection. You never knew what exactly would set Rosalie off.
"Yup, since I was in high school. Emmett teases me something fierce about it," she stated benignly. "However, if he wants me to spank him, I need some Biggie."
Both Isabella and Alice's mouths dropped open for the second time. It was surprising that gnats hadn't flown in their mouths yet.
Rosalie continued, "When are ya all headin' back east? Shouldn't vacation time be just about over?"
Isabella gave Rosalie a once-over, and it was the woman's eyes that were the most telling. She remembered her father telling her when she was a young girl that the eyes were windows to a person's soul. He had been reading a lot of self-help books at the time and had liked sharing the wisdom with his only child. At this moment, Isabella had to give her father some credit. She could see fear in the woman's eyes. Isabella wasn't vain enough to think she could ferret out the truth why Rosalie didn't want them there, but she would wear her down sooner or later.
"I got a job as the editor of the local newspaper and Alice is going to be my Girl Friday." Isabella gave Rosalie a pointed look. "We aren't going anywhere."
"Why don't you dykes just go on home?" Her face turned red. "Y'all are girlfriends and are playing the boys for damned fools."
"Sorry, Rosalie, you're off about my relationship with Ali here. I have heard through the grapevine that she's a selfish lover." Isabella gave Alice a wicked grin.
Alice grinned back. "Izzy is a needy girl. She wants all the pleasure in bed and isn't willing to share the love."
Loud footsteps crunched into the hay and all three women turned to find the men they desired staring at them. Emmett chuckled. "Well, hot damn ladies, we have club music and girl kissin' talk. Did I die and go to heaven?"
Rosalie's face got even redder and she stomped over to him and boxed his ears. "You're in the dog house again, ya hear?"
"No better place I'd rather be, love bug! Can you lead me around with a leash?" Emmett wiggled his eyebrows.
"Get in the house and undressed!" she sneered, stomping out of the barn.
Emmett gave a wave. "Kids, I'll be late for dinner! If Bessie and the little one decide ta kiss, I want a picture, boys!"
They all watched as he whooped and followed his wife.
"So, ya girls plannin' on kissin'?" Jasper inquired with an amused grin. Alice turned bright red and hid her face. He moved her hands away and said, "I'm just teasin'! Give me some sugar and I won't be jealous of Miss Isabella."
He kissed her softly, making Isabella grin at them. Edward wrapped his arms around her and turned Isabella's body to face his. "Are you gonna leave me out, Bella? My lips might not be the softest..."
"Oh, no, Edward they are the softest and most perfect lips I've ever had the pleasure of kissing."
"Well honey, don't keep 'em waiting." He placed his mouth firmly on hers.
There were three couples late to dinner that night. Three couples with big smiles on their faces.
The night sky was once again alight with millions of stars. Isabella couldn't help but gaze up at their beauty. Though it was a warm night, the air was crisp and clean. Isabella couldn't help but take a deep breath and revel in the wonder of her lovely new home.
She was only allowed to stand there for a moment, because Edward led Isabella to one of the barns after dinner, his hand clutching hers tightly. His face was set in determination.
"You knew good and well that your mother wasn't going to let me move into your house, Edward. We haven't known each other that long." Isabella was trying to calm him down.
"We're adults, honey! She's bein' ridiculous!" Mama Esme wanted to keep the children honest until marriage and wasn't having her boys living in sin no matter how much she liked the girls.
Bella grinned at the thought of Edward trying to have an argument with his mother while still being respectful.
"Mama, we are adults and Bella needs a place to stay! I know you think..." He had one hand tightly clutching his fork and the other clasping Isabella's knee.
"Son, don't sass yer mama," Carlisle stated, before shoveling mashed potatoes into his mouth.
Esme smiled sweetly. "Baby, we love Bella and want her to be respected by the likes of you. You treat her like a delicate flower and let your feelin's grow with care."
"Is everybody calling me 'Bella' now?" Isabella asked, wrinkling her nose.
"Yes, honey," Esme said, with a smile. "Do you see your brother complaining about Miss Alice stayin' at the main house?"
Jasper just smiled at Edward, but Isabella could see the twinkle in his eye. He was up to something.
Edward just pouted and rubbed her knee.
"We're here, darlin'!" he exclaimed. Edward led her to the outside tub that she first met him lounging in. He looked at it and smiled.
Bella watched him start the hose and fill it with water. "What are you doing?"
"I want ta see ya in this bathtub with me. It's been a main attraction of my dreams since I met ya." Edward started unbuttoning his plaid button-down and slipped it off. Bella just stared at his defined muscles which were created by his hard work on the farm. The moonlight cast a glow upon his skin that, in Isabella's eyes, made him appear god-like. She wanted to worship him.
"What if somebody sees us?" Isabella asked, nervously looking around her.
Edward kissed her and grinned. "We're perfectly safe! Mama and Daddy have turned in for the night. Jasper and Alice are courtin' at the house. Em and Rosie have to run game night with the tourists. No need ta worry!"
He slipped off his jeans and he stood there in all his glory, naked as the day he was born. Once again, Isabella was speechless by his beauty. Her self-esteem had taken a hit after Jacob, so she couldn't understand what exactly someone as amazing as Edward saw in her.
"Let me check the water, darlin'. I don't want ya ta get a chill." He turned his back to her and Isabella finally got a good look at the tattoo that Edward had etched on his back.
She quietly walked over to him and her fingers gently stroked the lines. It was an old-fashioned guitar and Bella was drawn to it. She didn't know why she hadn't really noticed it before. It could have been something as simple as the fact that everything about Edward made her infatuated with him, so she was now really seeing the exact details that made him incredible.
"It's so beautiful," she whispered, still tracing the guitar.
He smiled, as he felt her long fingers moving over his skin. Isabella completed him. "I know you are."
"No, silly, your tattoo is exquisite."
"It isn't two turntables and a microphone," he laughed.
Isabella turned him around and kissed his nose. "I like more than rap! I love all types of music. My appreciation of country music has grown because of your lovely voice, Mister. Hey! You just quoted a Beck song!"
"I might have a little rock 'n roll in me." He winked at her.
She pulled him closer. "I want a whole lot of your big old country in me right now."
"Hot damn, darlin'!" Edward smashed his mouth on hers. Their tongues danced together and they were panting when they took a breath. "Yer makin' me harder than an old oak tree."
Isabella sucked on his neck and whispered in his ear, "You'll be a redwood when you get this dress off me."
Edward's eyes grew large as he tugged the straps of Isabella's dress down, the thin cotton dress slipping down and pooling around her ankles. He took in her body clad only in a simple white thong and murmured, "Perfection."
He slowly kissed down her body and reached her eager breasts. The cool night air had made her nipples ultra-sensitive and when Edward took his tongue and licked them, Isabella's body quivered in response. His mouth sucked her breast in and as he worked it with his mouth, Isabella's hands gripped his hair tightly and she moaned.
He removed his mouth and Isabella pouted, as he gave each breast a chaste peck and continued down her body. He used his tongue to poke in her belly button and made her giggle. Edward, on his knees, looked up at Isabella with a mischievous grin. "Ready for more?"
His mouth sucked the skin of her inner thigh and worked its way to her already-sensitive clit. He bit it softly and wetness pooled between her legs. Edwards's talented fingers entered her warm center and worked her body into a frenzy. She murmured, "More, love."
Edward smiled and his tongue replaced his fingers. He couldn't help but squeeze her bottom tightly with joy and excitement at her disjointed words. "Damn...oh, sweet Je...ugh...oh! More...please...please...love you!"
The 'love you' she gasped, made Edward immediately want to claim the woman he adored. He pulled away and stood up. Isabella looked at him, her knees weak and still shaking with desire. She was confused and close to the edge. "Huh?"
"The water's ready, darlin'." He grabbed her behind both knees and wrapped her legs around his waist. His hardened cock pressed up against her moist center and they both pushed in closer together. He stepped into the tub and started to sit them both in the warm water.
"We won't fit!" she exclaimed, thinking of the logistics of lovemaking in a tub.
He sat down and settled Isabella on top of his lap and entered her. It was a perfect fit and Isabella felt wild with desire. She rode him gently at first, the water surrounding them and making gentle waves, until Edward started caressing her breasts. The sensations were making her feel out of control and she started to move more forcibly on top of him. The water sloshed over the rim of the tub and onto the ground below.
As the stars lit up the dark sky, one of Edward's hands wrapped into her hair as his mouth met hers, their bodies moving together. The other hand rubbed her nub, making the orgasm that she was desperate to feel finally reach the surface. "I...I...God...I love you!"
"I love you, too!" Edward groaned, as he came with her. They clung to each other and finished their lovemaking with a kiss.
Isabella rested her head on his chest, as he rubbed her back. He kissed the top of her head. "Stay at my house tonight."
"What would your mother say?" she laughed and looked up at him with shining eyes.
He grinned back. "Mama will get over it."
They started to sit up, when a scream rang out. Edward pulled Isabella into his body to cover her.
"Well, I'll be damned," Jasper stated with a smirk. "Ya beat us to it!"
Jasper and a shocked Alice stood near the tub. They were only wearing towels and Alice was gripping hers tightly. Isabella gave her friend a small smile.
"Hey, can we use those towels?" Edward asked. "I forgot to grab some."
"Sure, brother." Jasper dropped his towel and stood naked before everyone. Alice squeaked.
Isabella just looked at a laughing Edward. Life at the ranch was definitely going to be an adventure.