Insert standard disclaimer here. Coincidences, etc. Y'all know what I mean because we share a Universal Mind. No one owns anything. And like Rousseau says--personal property is an illusion that one dude claimed and another dude was so dumb he believed him.
<--Prologue, Chapters One - Nine
"So where are we going?" Jacob tried to sound casual and would have carried it off it it weren't for the falsetto and the squeak at the end of his question.
"To get you some clothes. Then you should probably meet up with your pack," Bella said.
"You really don't remember? Before you were a potato?" Bella slowed down at an intersection, but didn't stop. She almost clipped a van. "You grew up on the Rez in La Push. Your dad is in a wheelchair. You were in love with me until Nessie was born and then you imprinted on her and she is your soulmate. How could you forget your soulmate?"
"The scary chick with the black nails? She's my soulmate? I don't think so."
Bella pulled into a parking lot and went into a camping store. She came only a few minutes later carrying a bag bulging with clothes. She shoved them at Jacob and told him to get dressed.
They pulled back out on the road toward the reservation. Jacob didn't recognize it, but he could read the signs that said how far away it was.
"So how did I turn into a potato?"
"No idea. Look that's the least of my problems right now," Bella turned off the main road and had to slow down because the dirt road was deeply pitted.
"Wanna tell me about it?"
"Not so much. You're just another guy who thinks with his crotch. I'm really sick of men. They fuck everything up. You know I'm really strong. I'm immortal. Why do I always need a man to make me feel OK? I really don't. I can take down a full grown bear. I don't need protection. I don't need to be subjugated."
"Why are you yelling at me?"
"Because this is all your fault. Because you and Edward keep failing me repeatedly. I can't count anyone anymore. Get out." Bella stopped the car and shoved Jacob out. She pulled out in a great cloud of dust and drove off muttering about Edward being a giant loser and Jacob being a date rapist.
* * *
Meanwhile back at the Cullen house Nessie had changed her name to Clove. Edward was continually drunk and doing a smashing imitation of Peter O'Toole. Esmee decided to redecorate the house. Carlisle went to work and didn't come home. Jasper was busy practicing cheers. Alice had contact drunk from Edward's thoughts. Rose and Emmet had snuck off.
"What do you think?" Esmee held up a bolt of dark red brocade silk against the wall.
"It's OK," Clove said, which meant she really liked it. She was lying on the old leather couch in her father's old room, which she had decided was now hers. He had some OK music, but she'd stolen Jasper's laptop and was busy configuring everything to her taste and downloading music with her mother's credit card. Bauhaus, The Smiths, Joy Division--music to slit your wrists to.
"Have you eaten today?" Esmee asked in her brittle chipper voice which meant she was worried and trying not to show it and ironically making it more clear than hiring a sky writer.
"Why, grandmother. What big eyes you have,"
"Are you sassing me?"
"That's wonderful! I've never had a teenager to take care of before. All my children were like fifty when I got them."
"But my dad..."
"Edward was 17 going on 80. Always." Esmee flopped down on the couch. "So how are you doing? You know with your parents?"
"They are so lame. They don't understand me. And my father is drunk all the time and my mother drove away with my boyfriend. How do you think I'm doing?"
"They love you, Nessie--"
"Clove. Never doubt that they love you." Esmee patted her knee.
"Are you stupid? They're useless. My father freaks out at everything. He's practically bi-polar. And my mother has been storing up rage for the last twenty years and is finally letting it out. Plus she thinks I'm a freak."
"Well, you are a little odd." Esmee held up black velvet at the window. Clove nodded. The room was going to look like a Victorian brothel in Hell. Perfect for your sixteen year old half-vampire spawn.
Clove was glad Jacob left. He smelled funny and he'd made a terrible were-potato. And he was still hung up on her mom, which was super creepy.
Sybilla looked around the room. Edward was passed under the piano surrounded by empty bottles. Jasper was outside doing backflips and splits. Nessie was upstairs singing along with Morrissey. Carlisle still hadn't come home. Everything was falling into place.
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