Good morning sexy readers! Welcome to my new fic (kind of) ...
This was inspired, loosely, by a pic I saw a while ago. For those who received the Fandom4OK compilation - this might look familiar. I donated the first 2 chaps to it.
Big thanks to Louise Lewin and Vancouver-Canuck-Girl, they talk me off the ledge. Often. Capricorn75 and AJasper Forme make the words pretty. And you - my readers- make the sweat and tears worth it! (Smh ... That's a little more dramatic sounding than I intended it to be).
Anyway, I'll let you get to it.:-)
No Matter What
As he slumped down on the bench, Edward let out a drawn-out and exaggerated groan.
It had been a long twelve hour day, yet if he was being honest with himself, he wasn't incredibly tired. However, he was hot, hungry, and dying to get home to start his weekend.
Fridays meant grilling and games at his brother's house. A standing weekly tradition that at the moment was being delayed, thanks to a minor accident he was involved in just days before leaving him bus-bound.
The driver of the car that hit him was an elderly woman who had no insurance, so any talk of Edward getting a rental was non-existent.
However, due to similar incidents in his past, Edward had always been what people called an easygoing guy. Despite what his outer appearance gave off, the minute he opened his mouth, it was clear he was kind and even-tempered when it came to just about everything.
So his gratitude that everyone was able to literally walk away from the accident with no scratches had him more than content to work out an arrangement. The older lady and her husband would split the cost of the repairs with Edward 50/50.
But the car was at his brother's shop. That meant it wasn't a priority to the workers, and he kept getting pushed back for more important clients. Edward had a feeling he was going to have to be the one to fix it.
After a few minutes of sitting in solitude lest for the sounds of cars whizzing by, the soft voice of a little girl caught his attention. With a hint of nosiness, he tilted his head to the side to watch as she interacted with the woman sitting next to her.
Though their vast difference in outer appearance—the little girl's caramel colored skin, next to that of the lady's fair complexion —didn't make it obvious of their relationship, from their profiles alone he could see some similarities.
While he was quick to deduce they must be in some way related, he knew from personal experience that kids can resemble whoever you want them to. So he didn't assume it was her kid, until the little girl spoke up.
"But, Mama, the phone is for yooouuu," she whined, her voice holding that of pleading, mixed with desperation and boredom.
"Oh, honey. Mommy's too tired to play telephone right now. Maybe when we get home."
"Briella, I said no."
"Oh, okay." She pouted, her little shoulders slumping in defeat.
Her reaction made Edward frown slightly, but fight off a smile all at once. She reminded him of his niece, Maggie—a bubbly five-year-old, who could go from hyper one minute, to utterly heartbroken the next if she couldn't find someone to play with.
When she got in her defeated moods he was always there to cheer her up by giving her the one thing she was after: attention.
When that realization dawned on him, he picked up his phone and flipped through the ring tones. Making it chime with a song from one of the Disney movies Maggie always watched, he hoped it might cheer the little girl up.
From barely a foot away, Briella didn't do a good job of hiding her intrigue and looked over at Edward with a small smile.
She was immediately curious about him—mesmerized by the pretty drawings on one of his arms—but got worried when she saw he wasn't answering his phone. A memory of her mom getting yelled at by her grandma for 'being rude' by not answering the phone assaulted her and sent her into worrying this guy might face the same fate. Frantically, she pointed and said, "Phone for you," while leaning into her mother's side.
"Oh!" Edward's eyes widened with mock surprise. "You're right." Keeping his voice bright, he answered, "Hello?" Briella smiled, pleased with herself she was able to help, but his responding gasp had her nervous. Especially when he looked around, confused but excited all at once. "No, sir, I'm afraid you have the wrong number … No, sir, my name is Edward and this is not Princess Briella's phone."
At that she gasped, quickly looking at her mother then back at the guy. "Who is it?"
With an exaggerated show of covering the phone with his hands, he stage whispered, "There's a prince on the phone who is looking for a princess named Briella. I told him he has the wrong number. Unless … do you know who he's looking for?"
Briella's eyes widened, her hands flying to her chest. "That's me! That's me! I'm Briella and my granddaddy calls me his princess all times. It's for me!"
"Well, then ..." Edward offered her a gentle, playful smile, glancing over at her mother for approval to hand her his sleek phone.
Before she could answer him—which would have been a nervous request to not trust her three-year-old hellion with anything of value—they heard the screeching sound of bus tires in the distance.
Grabbing her purse, and the small pink backpack next to it, she let out a relieved sigh and stood. "That's us."
Edward stood as well, almost startling her with his height alone, until he offered a soft, "Me, too." Pointing at the bus.
The sweet tenor of his voice continued to render her speechless—the same way it did while he was talking to Briella. Now that he was standing, she took a few seconds to fully take him in and appreciate the visible ink on his arm. She noticed some heavy scarring around his neck as well, but it didn't take away from how handsome she thought he was.
They waited in silence and when the bus finally stopped, Edward waved for them to go forward.
Once inside the bus, Edward made his way straight to the back. Since he was the last stop of the bus route, it was always his preferred seat. This way he didn't have to worry about being in anyone's way.
The little girl and her mom sat at the front, and he wondered, for a moment, if they did that to get out easier. Maybe they lived closer to the bus station than he.
Then he snorted, shrugging off his nosiness. A seat was just a seat, he told himself, shaking his head. Not everyone had to have a reason for everything they did.
With his eyes closed, he settled into his seat, opening them mere seconds later when he felt as though he was being watched.
Briella, who'd been seeking out her new friend, pouted when she realized he was going to sleep. She had hoped he'd play pretend with her some more. But when his eyes opened, she perked up and sent him an eager wave. Pleased when he returned it just as vigorously, she giggled and turned back around to rest against her mother. Briella didn't realize she had also taken a moment to seek out her daughter's new friend.
When he noticed his extra audience, Edward's smile turned into a smirk, his head tilting in question when the lady's brown eyes lingered longer than most would deem appropriate.
In the end, he was the first to break their gaze, finally quirking up one eyebrow when she didn't bother looking away, and didn't show embarrassment at being caught. In a second of insecurity, he wondered if she realized she was staring at him, and tried to peek over his shoulder. When he came face to face with the wall of the back of the bus, he felt immensely stupid and quickly turned back to face her.
His shoulders slumped slightly when he saw she was no longer facing him. But the look she gave him was enough that he decided if they run into each other at the bus again, he was going to introduce himself.
"Dude! It's about fucking time, man."
Balancing the new hula-hoop he bought for his niece Maggie, and the shoes he got for his mom in one hand, Edward easily flipped his older brother the finger. Though you wouldn't be able to tell he was older by the way he acted at times. At twenty-nine, he was two years older than Edward.
"Woulda got here faster if I had my fucking car, don't you think?" At his brother's silence, Edward smirked. "Fucking thought so."
"Language, boys! Language."
"Sorry, Ma," they both mumbled, bowing their heads as if their mother, Esme, was about to get up and smack them upside the head. "And he's right, Jasper," she scolded the older brother. "You better not be ignoring your brother's car just because you know you can get away with it."
"And you ..." now she turned in her chair as best she could to point at Edward.
"What'd I do?"
Her lips quirked up in a smile and she pointed to her cheek in demand for a kiss. "And make it a good one."
Ever the mama's boy, Edward's grin was wide as he made his way to her, placing a long and loud kiss on her cheek. "So …" He pretended to sit himself down on her lap, but made sure to hold up as much of his weight as possible as he frowned down at her wheelchair. "What's with this thing? Where's your crutches?"
"Oh, don't you worry about me." She waved a hand in the air even though she knew it would fall on deaf ears. "I'm just tired. Now, what did you get me?"
Esme didn't have to guess who the items in Edward's hands belonged to. She knew—just like every week—one thing was for her and the other for her precious grandbaby, Maggie.
Edward was always a good boy—in her eyes. Of course she loved her children equally, but there was always something kinder, gentler about him when they were all growing up. Not just because of the things he'd gone through, either. He was born that way.
That something about him—which she couldn't name—had been amplified in the past five years, since the accident happened.
The one that rocked her family to the core.
The one which claimed her daughter and left a baby girl motherless.
The one that left her in a constant state of pain and sometimes unable to stand because of the bones that were shattered on the right side of her body.
The one that left Edward with scars taking over his entire left side which he tried to cover up with tattoos on areas that weren't too sensitive.
The one that, every Friday, had Edward bringing her a gift—because it was the same accident Edward still blamed himself for.
With a beaming smile, he handed her the pair of shoes he found for her online. But realizing something, he clamped his hands around the box. "They're ugly," he said bluntly. "But I saw, and heard, they're really comfortable. So, they're for you to wear on the days you … you know ... walk around."
"Thanks, baby boy."
"You're welcome. But no, really, what's with the chair?"
"Like I said, I'm tired. No need to fuss."
Edward's eyes narrowed, knowing his mom was full of shit. "You'd tell me—"
"Nothing to tell. And don't go making that face at me, either." She tried to snap at him when he pursed his lips, but really, her voice never held enough weight for that. "You look like a duck."
"Quack, quack, quack."
Edward's entire demeanor changed, his face splitting into a smile at hearing Maggie's voice. But when he saw her, he jumped back. "Who are you?"
Maggie's mouth gaped, her hands going to her chest. "It's me, Uncle Edward. Maggie!"
"But it can't be."
"But it is."
"But it can't be."
Maggie giggled, barely getting out another protest.
"You see ..." Edward started in mock solemnity. "I brought this hula-hoop over for a little girl. A baby almost. Not this big girl I see in front of me." He waved a hand at her. "And I demand you find me my Maggie Mae."
Having stopped listening at the words 'I brought this', she skipped over to him and pointed at the large, round, plastic toy. "That's for me?"
"No, I told you it's for Maggie Mae."
"Uncle Edward," she groaned and shook her head, seemingly bored and done with his pretending not to know who she is.
"Okay, okay. But first ..." He knelt down in front of her, jutting his cheek in her direction. "And make it a good one."
With a squeal, she threw her little arms around his neck and puffed out her cheek to blow fart noises against his face.
"What? It's a good one!"
"Oh, yeah?" He stood to his full height and threw her in the air. "How about that?"
Watching on, Esme couldn't help but feel a little crack at her heart. There was not a day that went by where she didn't think about her Rosie. And she knew Edward's over-exuberance with Maggie was his way of trying to make up for what happened.
"Grandpa, get him," Maggie pleaded as an older gentleman walked into the room.
His presence made Edward's laughs die down to soft chuckles and set Maggie down.
At the men's stiff greeting, it was Esme's lips that pursed this time. No one knew why the two never seemed to hit it off.
As Esme's long term boyfriend, Carlisle Cullen had been around since Edward was younger, but that didn't make him his real father. Everyone suspected Edward's resistance to bond with him stemmed from that fact, but no one could be sure.
Regardless, the manners he was brought up with dictated that Edward always respected him. So he turned to his elder and as politely as possible, asked, "Can I talk to you real quick?"
Esme groaned. The only time the men seemed to really bond was when Edward was probing him about how his mom was doing.
"Carlisle, don't fall for it. I already told him I'm fine."
"Which means you won't mind me talking to him then."
"Grandma, stop making duck face."
They all cracked up at Maggie, but Edward raised an eyebrow at his mother, wondering if she was hiding something.
He sure hoped not because he knew the family wouldn't be able to handle any more bad news.
Sooo ... what do you think?
Posting wise it's looking like every 1-1.5 weeks with the focus on getting them up over the weekends. Since I already have the first few chaps written, and I don't think this will be a long fic, we won't be getting off schedule anytime soon. I WILL be working on my other WIP's it's just a matter of getting those characters interested in me again. Right now those bastards are mute.
Missy aka Cullens-Twi-Mistress made me a wonderful banner. On it, shows Edward, Bella, and Briella (pronounced like Bree-ella). It's posted in my group and also should be on my blog! Check it out :-)
Thanks for reading
Until Next Time