A/N: Just a little something I wrote for NANO last year. It's un-beta'd so I'm apologizing for any and all mistakes ahead of time. Updates will be every Friday. No offense is intended to the great state of Alabama or those that live there.
Rain splattered across the windshield as Charlie drove us toward Hell. The past ten hours had been tension filled, the only sounds being the crappy-ass country music on every freaking radio station or Charlie's pathetic attempts at talk.
"C'mon, Bella. How long are you going to keep up the silent treatment?"
As long as possible. I was so furious with both him and Renee, my mom. Everything had been perfect; my life had been perfect and then bam! Next thing I knew, they were getting divorced. Renee was moving off to California to live with some college boy she met on the Internet, and Charlie sold our house and was moving us to Bumfuck, Alabama. I mean, seriously. Who lives in Alabama?
"Look, Bells. I know that you're upset, but our moving isn't the end of the world. Think of it as a new start."
I didn't want a new start. I wanted to be back in Seattle. I wanted the bustling of the city, Starbucks, and my friends. I did not want to live in some dumpy ass town in Ala-freaking-bama. I didn't want to eat fried alligators, listen to country music, and deal with southern belles.
"We should be in Wild Turkey in about an hour."
Great. We were moving to a town named after a brand of whiskey. Could it get any worse?
Of course, it could. An hour later, we drove over a four mile long bridge before passing a sign that read Welcome to Wild Turkey Island. It claimed that it was the Home of Judd's Famous Roasted Wild Turkey and Wild Turkey Days. The population was a whole whopping one thousand and ten. Make that one thousand and twelve. Oh, yeah. Life officially sucked. I was stuck on an island in the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama with no escape. How in the world did I get so lucky?
"I know that you miss Seattle and the big city, but Wild Turkey doesn't look half bad. Just think. You can hit up the beaches everyday and bask in the sunshine," Charlie said.
Right. Because I tanned. Please. If I so much as looked at the sun, I burned.
As we drove past the welcome sign, there were a bunch of docks to the left of us housing boats, and what looked like a swamp to the right. We kept heading down Lemon Drive, passing a fishing supply store, a church, some houses, and the Loon Cafe. At the cafe, Charlie took a left onto Alabama Boulevard, the street lined thick with trees and the occasional house. A few more miles and then we turned right onto Wild Turkey Road. The trees were even thicker there and about a two miles down the road, Charlie turned into a driveway on the left.
As Charlie drove down the pothole filled driveway, I couldn't help but grimace as the house came into view. It looked small, had a tiny porch and a shed, and it was surrounded by trees. Upon closer inspection, I saw that indeed, it was much smaller than the house I'd grown up in.
"You have got to be kidding me!" I scowled as I surveyed my new "home."
"Oh, she finally speaks."
I turned to face him. "Please tell me this is a joke. You can't actually expect me to live in a run-down shack in the backwoods."
"It's hardly a shack, Bella," Charlie said with an eye roll. "Besides, a new coat of paint and a bit of fixing up, and it should be good as new," Charlie said with a grin as he got out of the car.
I crossed my arms over my chest and refused to move. There was no way in hell that I was sleeping in that place and I said as much.
"That's fine. You can sleep in the car. Look out for the alligators, racoons, armadillos, and creepy crawlies."
Charlie roared with laughter as I climbed out of the car and stomped my way up the rotting steps and into the shack. The front door opened up right into the kitchen which was painted the ugliest shade of yellow I'd ever seen.
"Bedrooms are down the hall. Pick one," Charlie told me.
Walking down the hall, I reluctantly opened a door. Immediately, I shut it. There was a freaking stuffed alligator sitting in the corner. Taking a deep breath, I walked across the hall and opened the other door. Ew. It looked like a daisy had thrown up all over the walls, the curtains, and the bedspread. Those would have to go. And so would that bed. No way was I sleeping in the same bed that someone's grandmother had died in.
"The moving truck should arrive tomorrow. Until then you'll have to sleep in that bed, on the floor, or on the couch. Your choice," Charlie said.
The former owner, I was informed, had passed away and had no family. Hence why all of her crap was still there. Charlie had told the real estate agent that he'd remove the furniture if he got money off on the place. Apparently, the agent was so desperate to sell the place, that she readily agreed. Charlie claimed that he'd gotten the house at a cheap price. Well, you know what they say. You get what you pay for.
Later that night, I curled up on the old couch with a moldy afghan. I was so tired that I actually drifted off right away.
What the hell?! I sat up, pushed my hair out of my face, and tried to locate the most annoying sound in the world.
Stomping over to the front door, I threw it open and saw a bug zapper hanging from the porch. The stupid thing was zapping like crazy and driving me freaking insane. Scowling, I slammed the door shut and went back to the couch. Plopping down on it, I let out a cough as dust swirled around me.
Knowing that I wouldn't be going back to sleep anytime soon, I pulled out my phone to text my bestie, Angela. Of course, I had no bars. Why would I? I doubted the people of Wild Turkey even knew what a cell phone was. Huffing, I laid back down and tried to sleep.
By the time the sun came up, I'd investigated every book on the measly bookshelf in the living room and thrown out two garbage bags of magazines. After that, I'd dug out my sketchbook from one of the bags in my room and spent some time drawing. I wasn't the world's greatest artist, but I enjoyed it. Drawing helped to take my mind off of things.
"Hey, Bells," Charlie said with a grin as he came into the room.
I glared at him. I couldn't possibly understand why he was so freaking happy.
"Truck should be here by six tonight. My buddy, Carlisle, is coming over in a bit to help us move out the old furniture and paint the place."
Ah, yes. His buddy, Carlisle. The whole reason that we'd moved to this God-forsaken place. It was all Carlisle's fault. He and Charlie had gone to college together and after college and med school, Carlisle had gone back to his hometown of Wild Turkey. When he'd found out that Charlie and Renee had divorced and that Charlie was looking for a change, good ole Carlisle had recommended Wild Turkey. He'd told Charlie that Wild Turkey was looking for a new Chief of Police, and that was all Charlie needed to hear. He'd applied, gotten hired, sold our house, packed us up, and driven us straight into the bowels of hell without any regard for me or my feelings.
Twenty minutes later, after a freezing cold shower in a tiny ass bathroom, I was dressed and dying from the heat. It wasn't even eight in the morning and already the temperature was in the upper 80s. Me and heat did not get along. At all.
"Bells, come meet Carlisle."
Could I greet him with a swift kick to the junk or would that be considered rude? Grumbling, I headed out onto the porch and found myself face to face with a hot guy. Well, hot for an older guy.
"Nice to meet you," I said after Charlie gave me a glare.
"It's nice to meet you to, Bella. Charlie's told me a lot about you," he said in a thick southern accent. "My boys will be here in a minute to help out. I figure old Mrs. Warren's stuff is still in there, and she had a lot of stuff."
"No shit," I muttered, ignoring the look that Charlie was giving me.
"Your boys are close to Bella's age, aren't they?" Charlie asked.
Carlisle nodded. "Yup. Emmett is eighteen, Jasper and Edward are seventeen."
Great. I could spend the day with redneck boys. I could hardly wait.
While we were waiting for "the boys", we got to removing the dining room table and chairs. We stacked them up outside and as I took the last chair out, a truck blaring country music came down the road and pulled into the drive.
I was completely unprepared for the hotness that climbed out of it. And I mean hotness. Totally, drool-worthy, hotness.
"Howdy there, ma'am. I'm Jasper Cullen," the blond hair god said as he came my way. He was tall, built, and incredibly good-looking.
"Bella Swan," I said as he took my hand and placed a kiss on the back of it. My, my. Someone was certainly the charmer.
"That's my brother, Edward," Jasper told me, pointing toward the bronze-haired Adonis who was just as equally built. Apparently, good genes ran in the family. Edward was fucking gorgeous. Stunningly so. His hair was sticking up all over his head and he had amazing green eyes.
"Hey," I said, getting a curt nod in response. Hmph. Well, he could certainly take some charm lessons from his brother.
A second later, I was wrapped up in a hug by a giant of a man. He twirled me around for a moment before setting me back down on my feet. With a wry grin, Jasper introduced me to his older brother, Emmett.
I liked Emmett right away. He gave off an older brother vibe. That and his eyes danced with mischief. He was someone I could get in trouble with, and someone I could count on for entertainment in this hell hole.
"Ah, boys. Glad to see you've arrived. Let's get moving," Carlisle interrupted.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning out the place and trying not to ogle hot boys when they removed their shirts.
"You gonna stand there all day, or you gonna help out?" bronze-haired boy asked with a sneer as he came up behind me. I didn't know what his problem was, but he was beginning to piss me off.
"What's your problem, Edwin?" I snarled as I shoved some old quilts into a bag.
"It's Edward," he snarled back. "And, I tend to have a problem with lazy city girls who expect others to do all the work."
"Listen here, asshole. I'm sweating my ass off, hauling crap, and helping out. You have no freaking right to stand there and call me lazy. So fuck off!"
"Geez, Ed. Lay off, man. She's helping out, ain't she?" Jasper said as he came into the room. Scowling, Edward stomped out of the room and I was left with Jasper.
"What the hell is your brother's problem?"
Jasper shook his head. "He and his girl are having problems, but he ain't got no right to take it out on you. Just ignore him."
Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. The asshole was walking around shirtless, showing off those glorious abs tinted with sweat, but I did my best to ignore that he even existed.
"So, tell me about yourself Jasper," I said as we were breaking down the bed in what was going to be my room.
"Not much to tell, darlin'. I'm eighteen, a senior, and I play football. I like huntin', fishin', surfin' and hanging out with my friends."
"Got a girlfriend?" I asked.
He shot me a grin. "Why? You interested?"
I let out a laugh. He was hot and nice but sadly, I wasn't interested in him that way at all. "Sadly, no. Just curious."
"Well now, there's this sweet thing named Alice that I'm working on. She's …" he trailed off for a minute, his eyes glazing over. "She's amazing. Tiny little thing, with big blue eyes and black hair. I've been in love with her since the minute I laid eyes on her."
"Yeah? So, why haven't you asked her out yet?"
He let out a sigh as he ran his fingers through his sweaty hair. "Well, she was dating this guy from Mobile up until a few months ago. I've been giving her time to recover from the breakup, since it hit her pretty hard. The Wild Turkey Day parade and dance is next week, and I'm gonna ask her if she wants to go with me."
"Man, are the two of you going to chat all day or actually do some work?" Edward interrupted.
I was so freaking close to hitting him in the head with the closest, heaviest object I could find.
"Excuse us a second," Jasper growled as he grabbed Edward by the arm and dragged him out of the room.
Furious with the asshole's attitude, I worked off my mad by cleaning like a crazy woman. By the time, Charlie poked his head in the room to tell me lunch was ready, my bedroom freaking sparkled.
"Wow, kid. It looks great. Take a break. Esme, Carlisle's wife, brought lunch."
I washed my hands and fixed my hair before heading out onto the porch. I saw that some card tables had been set up in the shade and were groaning under the weight of what smelled like fried chicken.
I slowly made my way over to the tables and was introduced to Carlisle's wife. I told her it was nice to meet her and thanked her for bringing the food. And there was a lot of food. Of course, after a few minutes I saw why she'd made so much. The boys, including Carlisle, could really back it away.
I'd grabbed a chicken leg, some potato salad, and a glass of tea and sat down next to Charlie. All that cleaning and moving had made me thirsty so I took a huge swallow of tea and nearly choked to death. Charlie pounded me on the back asking if I was okay. I nodded as I pushed the glass away from me. Good lord, there had to have been at least nine tablespoons of sugar in that glass alone.
"Is something wrong with the tea, dear?" Esme, as she insisted I call her, asked.
"It's just a bit too sweet for my liking, that's all," I told her.
"Well you're in the south now, and we like our tea sweet. Better get used to it," Emmett informed me.
After lunch, I helped Esme clean up, despite her protests. Once I was done helping Esme, Jasper and I began to peel off the daisy explosion wallpaper that covered my room. Thankfully, it came off easy and the wall underneath was nice, plain, off-white.
"Is there somewhere to buy paint?" I asked Jasper, because honestly, my room needed some color.
"Black's Hardware and Grocery on Lemon Drive. It's got groceries, hardware supplies, bait and tackle. That kind of stuff. "
I thanked him, then went to ask Charlie if he wanted me to head to Black's and get the stuff we needed.
"Sure, Bells. Here's a list of things that I needed to get as well."
Taking the list, I got into his Tahoe and headed down the road. It was an easy drive, and I soon found myself parked in front of Black's. I climbed out of Charlie's SUV and got my first real look at Wild Turkey Island. Not surprisingly, there wasn't a whole lot to see.
The parking lot was pretty empty, a few stray grocery carts milling about, an old Pepsi machine, and some palm trees. I did have a love for palm trees so that was a plus for living here, but so far that was pretty much the only plus. Well, that and some hot guys.
Clutching my wallet, keys, and the list, I headed inside and found an older Native American guy manning a checkout line. He must have seen my lost, slightly dazed look.
"Can I help you?"
I handed him the list that Charlie had given me and the man motioned for me to follow him to the paint section after calling for someone named Larry to take over the cashier.
"New in town, aren't you? Bought the old Warren place?" I nodded in response to his questions.
"Well, welcome to Wild Turkey Island. I'm Billy Black."
I introduced myself to him, made meaningless small talk, and then thirty minutes later, he helped me carry all the paint and supplies out to the SUV.
I arrived back at the house and told Charlie that I'd gotten what he'd wanted.
"Excellent. What color did you pick out for your room?"
Like he had to ask. He knew that green was my favorite color. "I got a nice cucumber color."
Several hours later, with Jasper's help, my room was painted, the windows open and fans blowing air throughout the house. Charlie had stopped in to tell me that he had an electrician coming out to fix the AC the next day. Mrs. Warren had been in the hospital when the central AC in her house had gone out and no one had bothered to fix it.
By seven that evening, my room, the living room, and bathrooms had been cleaned and painted. The Cullens had left, so Charlie and I began to carry in boxes and furniture. The first order of business was putting my bed together. I couldn't wait to sleep in my own bed. But more importantly, I couldn't wait for the AC to be fixed.
"Bells! Come help me with this couch would you?" Charlie called to me.
Heading out of my room, I found him on the porch struggling to get the couch into the house. It took some maneuvering, but we managed. The living room was now painted a cream color that went well with the tan carpet that had already been in there.
A little after nine, I fell into my bed, exhausted.
"C'mon, Bells. Time to get up. We've got a lot more work to do today and without the help of Carlisle and his boys," Charlie said, waking me up.
I groaned as I rolled over and slowly opened my eyes. Oh, yeah. I was in Alabama. Letting out a sigh, I got up, took a quick shower, and headed into the kitchen.
Charlie was behind the counter pouring two bowls of cereal. Taking one from him, I shoved a few spoon fulls of Lucky Charms into my mouth as I listened to him detail our day.
"So, the electrician guy will be here by ten to get the AC up and running. We need to finish cleaning the kitchen and emptying out my bedroom before we can start painting in those areas."
I nodded before asking, "What about Internet and cable? They do have those, right?"
"Yes, Bella. They have both. We live on an island that gets a lot of tourists, not in the boonies. I got the name of the cable provider, and they'll be out by the end of the week."
I let out a sigh of relief. It was bad enough that I had no cell service, but if I had to go without Internet or cable, I'd probably wither away and die.
"And tomorrow or the next day, we'll get new cell phones through a different provider. I didn't really care for the guys that we had to begin with. Now, after we're done painting and putting stuff away, why don't you go check out the library. I'm sure they have Internet access."
That was a great idea. Only problem, I soon discovered, was that Wild Turkey Island didn't have a public library.
"What do you mean there's no library?" I asked Billy Black seeing as how I'd stopped in to ask him directions.
"I mean there ain't a library here. Closest library is in Riverton and that's about forty miles away."
I stared at him dumbfounded. How was I supposed to live without a library? Books were my life.
"But … is there at least someplace I can use the Internet?"
"Sure thing kid. Loon Cafe on the corner has WiFi, providing that you got you're own laptop."
Fuck me. Heaving a sigh, I headed back to the Tahoe and, noticing I had a few bars, gave Angela a call.
"Bella!" she squealed. "Oh, my God! I miss you so much! How is it?"
I played with a strand of my hair as I leaned against the side of the SUV. "It sucks. My cell reception is spotty, they don't have a library, and it's so fucking hot."
"Are there rednecks walking alligators while drinking cheap beer?"
I let out a snort. "Not that I've seen. Granted, we just got here yesterday. Although, it's not quite as bad as I imagined. Wild Turkey is an island, so I've got beaches and water all around me."
"Ooo girl! You know what that means, right? Hot guys in swimsuits everyday of the year! Lucky bitch!" she exclaimed.
I hadn't thought of it like that. "Yeah, but with those hot guys come hot girls in skimpy bikinis, so it's not like I stand a chance anyway."
Angela and I talked for a few more minutes before my phone beeped, alerting me that it was dying. We said our goodbyes and I hung up. I figured I'd drive back to The Shack, as I dubbed it, grab my laptop and head over to the Loon Cafe.
I pulled into the drive behind an unfamiliar truck and headed inside.
"Hey, kiddo. Didn't expect to see you back so soon," Charlie said as he measured something on the wall.
"There's no library here, Dad! I have to drive like forty miles to get to one. However, there is a cafe with WiFi, so I'm going to grab my laptop and head over there. I'll be back in a bit."
A few minutes later, I walked into the Loon Cafe, grabbed a small table and ordered a slice of Key Lime Pie. I felt it would be rude to use their WiFi and not eat anything.
Oh, sweet, sweet, Internet. How I'd missed you. First things first, I logged into my Facebook account. I had missed so much in the past three days. My wall was covered with farewells from my friends, and that made me miss them all the more. I hadn't been Miss Popularity in school, but I'd had a great group of friends and a boyfriend. He'd broken up with me the week before Charlie told me we were moving.
After catching up on things in Seattle, I logged into my email. I had several emails from Renee, one from Jess and one from my ex, Jack. I deleted the email from Jack. I could care less what he had to say and opened the email from Angela.
Bells! I miss you so fucking much and it's only been like two days. This totally blows. Text me as often as possible. Assuming, of course, that you get cell service out in the boondocks. And for the love of god, please, please, please, don't date and get married to some redneck. That would be horrible.
I sent her a quick response, despite the fact that we'd just talked, and assured her that I wouldn't date or marry a redneck. After sending it, I opened up the email from Renee.
I know that you're mad at both me and your father, but please understand. Things hadn't been well for quite a while. I know that you're upset about having to move, but I think it's for the best. Think of it as a new start for both of you.
I'd like for you to come out and visit me and Phil once you're settled in. You'd love L.A. There's so much to do and the beaches are beautiful. Love you!
I still didn't understand why she hadn't let me go live with her in L.A. I was much more suited to the big city than to tiny Southern towns.
I didn't feel like writing her back at the moment as I was still mad at her. I logged out of my email, closed my laptop, and dug into the pie the waitress set in front of me. And it was some good freaking pie. After paying my tab, I headed out the door and ran into someone coming in.
"Watch where you're going!" he snarled.
Ah, Edward. Now, my day was complete. "Watch you're attitude. Just because you're all pissed off at your girlfriend, doesn't mean you can take it out on every girl you see," I snarled right back.
"You don't know what you're talking about!" he growled.
"Whatever," I said, pushing him out of my way and heading toward the parking lot. I didn't know what it was about him that I found attractive, especially considering what a jerk he was.
I was about to climb into the SUV when Billy Black wandered over. We chatted for a few minutes, and I saw Edward leaving the cafe with some Styrofoam boxes in hand.
"Oh, Edward. Have you met one of Wild Turkey' newest residents? This is Bella Swan. Bella, this is Edward Cullen. He's our star quarterback," Billy told me.
"Yeah, we've met," he said before saying goodbye and leaving. Mr. Black frowned and explained to me that Edward wasn't normally so rude. I didn't bother to comment.
I wasn't quite ready to head back, so I decided to walk around for a bit. There wasn't a whole lot to see. I crossed Lemon Drive and headed down the sidewalk. I passed the Pink Shrimp Hair Salon and couldn't contain a giggle at the name. That was horrible. I hoped they were better at cutting hair than they were at coming up with a name for their shop. As I began to walk past it, two girls came out of the shop.
"Oh, my God, Vicky. Did I tell you? Alice Brandon is going up against me for the Miss Wild Turkey title!" a blond girl said before they burst out laughing.
"I almost feel sorry for her. She's going to make a total fool of herself," the other girl, sporting a head full of curly red hair, said.
I wasn't sure how many Alices were in the town of Wild Turkey, but I was willing to bet it wasn't many. Could this be the Alice that Jasper was crushing on? I didn't have long to dwell on it because the giggly girls spotted me and began walking my way. Well, shit. I didn't want to deal with giggly Southern belles.
"Well, hi there. You must be the new girl," the blond said, holding out a hand. "I'm Tanya Denali."
I took her hand and shook it, then wiped my hand off on my jeans. "Bella Swan."
"Well, it's just wonderful to meet you. This is my best friend, Victoria Hunter," she said, introducing the redhead to me. I gave her a nod.
"Are you coming to the Wild Turkey parade next week?"
I shrugged. "Maybe."
"You should. That way you can meet all the right people. You wouldn't want to start off the new school year hanging out with the wrong crowd."
If Tanya thought I was going to hang out with her, she was way off base. I was tempted to borrow the line from Harry Potter, where Harry tells Draco that he can tell the wrong sort for himself. Instead, I made a noncommittal sound. Thankfully, the girls' attention was drawn elsewhere within a matter of seconds.
"Eddie!" Tanya screeched, causing me to flinch.
"Hey, Tanya," came the velvet voice of the asshole, and I watched as she threw her arms around him and planted a huge kiss on him.
Of course. Didn't that just figure. The one guy in Wild Turkey that I find myself sort of attracted to is not only an asshole, but an asshole with a girlfriend. Tanya went to introduce us, but Edward interrupted her telling her that we'd already met.
"When was that?"
"Yesterday at my house," I replied at the same time he said the cafe. I didn't understand the glare that he shot me, but I watched as Tanya's eyes grew cold.
"I see. And just why were you over at her house?"
"Daddy roped me into helping them move. Jasper and Emmett were there as well."
"Hm. We need to get going, Edward. I think Daddy wants to talk to you about the parade next week. It was nice meeting you, Bella," Tanya said and then the three of them walked away.
Rolling my eyes, I walked back toward the car and headed back to the house. I grinned when I saw that the AC van had been replaced by a cable/Internet van. Finally! No more living in the dark ages. Sure, it had only been a few days, but that was way too many.
I started up the walk and noticed a movement in the brush beside the house. Quickly, I started up the porch steps when I heard rustling behind me. Slowly, I turned around and found the ugliest looking bird coming near the steps.
Fear froze me, and all I could think was that I was going to be attacked by a turkey. I wasn't sure I could outrun a turkey, but I could sure out scream one. I let out a long and loud scream, feeling relief when I heard footsteps come running toward me.
"Bells! What's wrong?" Charlie asked as he came onto the porch. With a shaky hand, I pointed toward it.
"Oh, that's just Musket. He tends to get out of his compound and wander around," the cable guy said from behind Charlie.
Whirling around, I turned to face the guy. "Are you freaking kidding me?! You let a wild turkey just wander around throughout town? Are you insane? That thing probably gobbles up children on a daily basis!"
With a laugh, the guy pushed passed me and headed toward it. I almost hoped that Musket took a bite out of him. The guy made some shooing motions and almost as if sighing, Musket slowly headed back across the yard.
I turned to look at Charlie. "I think Musket's owner is in need of a talk. I don't want to get eaten by a wild turkey."
"Don't worry. I'll be having a talk with him," he assured me.
I headed inside to my room where I slammed the door shut and flopped down on my bed. In the two days that I'd been in Wild Turkey, I'd encountered hot guys, jerks, stuck up Southern belles, and a wild turkey. Yeah, my life completely sucked.
a/n: Like I said, it's a bit on the rough side, but if you like it leave me a review. If you hate, leave a review but try and be polite about it. Trolls aren't tolerated.