Finding my voice
All human. Edward is shy and awkward,struggling to cope with his hostile father and overprotective mother. He meets a pretty little waitress, who helps him survive a family torn apart by deep seated secrets and lies and shows him how to find his voice after a lifetime of bullying. Rated M for lemons and content.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 5413 Review this Chapter
"There's my boy…"My mother, Esme cooed at me with a sweet smile.
I smiled back at her in the reflection of the mirror as I straightened my tie. I was nervously preparing for my date with Jessica, who my lovely mother was not fond of. At. All.
My mom was a sweet lady and my best friend in many ways, which I realise; is quite pathetic in itself really. She is also the most loving person I know. She is a tiny little thing with a heart shaped face and a kind smile. I on the other hand, am lanky and gangly, standing nearly a foot taller than Esme at 6'2. She may not have given me her height but I definitely got my red hair and green eyes from her. My height came from my father, and namesake; Edward Masen. Thankfully that is all I got from him, the two of us don't get along very well at all. He loves to point out that I am a complete failure in his eyes. He wanted an athletic, boisterous son and instead he got me; the geeky virgin. The disappointment. Luckily for him, he got the son he desired in my brother Emmett. He is huge,both in stature and character. Everything that my father hoped for in son, everything I wasn't. You would think we wouldn't get along but in all honesty, Emmett is awesome. We have always been close. Mostly because he has always been my protector. He never said anything but I know I disappointed him too. I disappoint everybody.
"What's the matter darling?" My mother interrupted my brooding with a look of concern etched on her features as she turned to smooth out my collar. I smiled at her reassuringly.
"Are you having second thoughts about the date? You don't have to go. I'll call her if you don't feel comfortable cancelling yourself. I'll call Jessica, what's the number?" my mother rambled, and shit she was already grabbing the phone. I guess she really doesn't like Jess.
"Mom, it's not that, I do want to go. I'm looking forward to it, I'm just nervous that's all, I really want to impress her." I said with a sigh. I felt like I was letting her down by dating a girl she so clearly didn't approve of. Mom was the one person who really defended me when I was growing up and I felt like I owed it to her to make her proud. I was letting her down but she would never admit she was unhappy with any of my decisions. My heart sank when I watched her face fall as she turned away from me with a watery smile. I was about to try and make things right when we were interrupted.
"MOM! mom...mom…mom...mom...mom…MO-O-OM!" Emmett chanted loudly, not even giving her time to answer. She sighed.
"Yes Emmett?" she said as she fussed with her shirt, most likely trying to hide the tears that were threatening to fall and suddenly I felt like an ass.
"I'm here and I'm hungry." He stated with no shame whatsoever. Esme flitted off to fix him some food with a sad smile. Rosalie stood behind Emmett shaking her head in amusement.
Rosalie was Emmett's long suffering girlfriend. She was undoubtedly beautiful, in an ostentatious way. She stood at almost 6 feet tall with long blonde hair and had a level of confidence that I could only dream of possessing. She could be a bit of a bitch but generally speaking she was ok. We didn't get along at first, or rather; she didn't like me at first. Until she met my father, once she saw how he was with me, I think she pitied me because she started to lay off me a little. This was yet another reason for me to feel like more of a failure and less of a man.
Mom mumbled something about dinner being ready soon as she looked at me sadly.
"Are you sure I can't convince you to stay for dinner baby?" Mom asked as she looked at me hopefully. Emmett interrupted before I had the chance to answer.
"He can't mom, he's got another hot date with Jess, right Eddie?" he said with a wiggle of his eyebrows. I nodded and gave Esme an apologetic look. I looked at my watch and sighed. I had to leave soon if I was going to have time to call to the florist on the way to pick up Jess for our date.
We had been going out for a couple of months now on and off. She didn't always have time to go out every time I asked her but she had called me earlier in the week saying that there was a new restaurant she wanted to try. It was a little pricey but if it made her happy then it was worth it I guess. Plus, how could I say no to her? Isn't making the woman happy the gentlemanly thing to do?
"I've got to go mom." I said, planting a kiss on her cheek. "Bye, love you."
She mumbled a goodbye and turned back to the sink, she looked so sad. I felt bad for her that she didn't like the woman I was with but I needed her to see that this was a good thing. Hopefully, her and Jess would get along. After all, it's like my dad said, I was lucky to have a girl like Jess look at me twice, let alone go on a date with me. He didn't seem to be on my case as much since I started seeing her. Although he did keep dropping hints about sexual activities and I didn't exactly tell him that I hadn't even kissed Jessica yet.
I rushed towards the door but Alice was blocking my way, her arms crossed over her chest and an angry scowl on her face.
"Please don't do this now Alice." I pleaded. I desperately wanted to be out of here before my father arrived home.
Alice was my younger sister, at 28; I was six years older than her but we were so close we may as well have been twins. We looked nothing alike though, she is a tiny little thing, standing at under 5 feet tall, with spiky black hair and no fear at all. She would quite happily tell anybody what she thought of them. This is exactly why I am avoiding her spending much time with Jessica. They don't get along either. My dad loves Jessica though which figures I guess.
"She is no good for you brother." Alice said in a soft tone. "Please Edward, see her for what she is." she pleaded.
I placed a hand on her shoulder and kissed her head softly.
"I'll be ok Ali. She's really not that bad. Not once you get to know her." I said trying to brush past her.
"Well I wouldnt know that seeing as I'm not allowed to see her am I?" she shouted angrily.
"No, because you are like this. You won't give her a chance and I don't know why. Dad likes her why can't you?" I said the nice bit quietly, feeling a little ashamed. I realised that I sounded like a child. I really was pathetic.
She just looked at me with sad eyes, all traces of anger gone and shook her head gently, moving to the side to let me pass. I was about to say something to placate her, apologise; anything, but I thought better of it and turned away.
"Edward?" Alice said in a trembling voice.
I turned back to her with a small smile.
"Bring her around for dinner tomorrow." she said, it wasn't a question. Tomorrow was Sunday so the whole family would be here. I could only hope that Jessica would say yes.
I called to the florist on the way to Jessica's house, picking up two dozen long stemmed red roses for her. Hopefully this would sweeten her up about dinner tomorrow.
My mind was on Alice all through the drive to Jessica's house. I wished she could see that a loser like me was lucky to land a girl like Jess. She was pretty and popular, whenever we were out together she always seemed to run into somebody she knew and they always greeted her warmly. Unlike me, who never really had a large group of friends or any actually. Most of my childhood was spent with my siblings. which again is pretty sad, the only friend I ever really had was my dorm-mate from college; Jasper Hale. He is Rosalie's brother, that's how she and Emmett came to meet. They just seemed to click instantly. That's Emmett all over though, as the ever popular jock, he never had any trouble connecting with people. I always envied him that trait.
I pulled up outside Jessica's in a hurry, she would get mad if I was late and I was anxious to please her. I exited the car and swiftly made my way to Jessica's door, bouquet in hand. My hand trembled as I rang her doorbell. I don't know why but being around her always made me nervous. when I was in high school my mother once told me that when i met the right girl I would get butterflies in my stomach whenever I saw her, so strong my love for her would be. This felt more like I had swallowed rocks, and Jessica often made me so nervous I believed I could vomit. I don't think this is the feeling mom was talking about but maybe I'm defective.
After ringing the bell i waited patiently, I could hear Jessica mumbling in hushed tones and lots of moving around behind the door but she had yet to answer. I was sure she had heard me so I didn't ring again, I didnt want to make her mad at me like last time.
I had taken her to the theatre one evening for an exclusive performance of Don Giovanni. Jessica didnt much care for it and spent most of the time texting on her cellphone, I didnt say anything, having felt guilty for failing to take her on a date that she would enjoy. However, when she recieved a call and started talking loudly we began to attract negative attention, I mentioned this to her discreetly and she exploded. She was screaming at me and calling me dull and pretentious, amongst other names I couldn't possibly repeat. She then shot up and demanded that I take her home immediately. The ride home was deathly silent and she bolted from the car as soon as I dropped her home. I hadn't heard from her in the two weeks since that night until she called to arrange our date for tonight. I was hoping this meant I was forgiven and had made my way back into her good graces.
Jessica eventually opened the door, looking more than a little flustered. I greeted her with a smile only to find her looking back at me with a confused and slightly annoyed expression. I opened my mouth to say hello but she held her hand up to stop me.
"You are early." She snapped. I checked my watch and I was actually a little later than we had agreed, the confrontation with Alice setting me back some.
Jessica ducked her head back in the door and peered to the left side of the wall, no doubt checking the time herself. Her face had softened when she returned to look at me.
"You are actually late, but I lost track of time myself so I will let it slide I suppose." she said in an empassive tone. I thanked her quietly and she sighed in response.
She glanced over her shoulder and I was sure that I heard a door click at the other side of the house but Jessica said nothing so I knew that I must have been mistaken. I held the bouquet out for her with a hopeful smile; she smiled back albeit weakly and placed the flowers on the table by the door without so much as a thank you. She motioned for me to follow her through the house and into the sitting room and as I trailed behind her I took a moment to take in her appearance. She did indeed look somewhat disshevled. Her usually perfectly groomed salon blonde curls were in wild dissarray as if she had been running her hands through her hair roughly. She kept trying to calm her mane with the palms of her hands. Her red cocktail dress was also crumpled and bunched up at one side. Her heavily applied make up was also smudged, her lipstick smeared slightly around her mouth. I could only assume it had been applied in haste and without the aid of a mirror. She noticed me staring and avoided my gaze nervously. She huffed out a breath and stated that she needed to go and freshen up, I simply nodded in response. I doubted it would be noble of me to say I was inclined to agree with her.
Whilst she was in the bathroom I took the oppertunity to survey the room; this was also untidy. There were two empty wine glasses on the coffee table and the scatter cushions from the couch were disorganised and some were even on the floor. The lamp next to the sofa had even been knocked over on its resting table. I took a moment to right the lamp and pick up the cushions although I didnt reorganise them on the sofa as it wasnt really my place and I didnt want Jess to get mad at me again for being rude.
Jessica entered the room again shortly. Thankfully looking a little better presented, although her outfit was a little revealing for her choice of dinner location.
Her eyes flitted to the coffee table and she paled for a moment before her features softened and she flashed me a wide smile.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting, I had a friend call in earlier. That's why there are two glasses out. He- sorry she has only just left." She said, placing her hand on my bicep and squeezing gently. She fluttered her eyelashes and looked at me in a manner that made me a little uncomfortable. I smiled in acceptance and discreetly turned out of her grasp.
"D-did you have a n-nice time? with your friend? " I stammered, her gaze making me nervous.
" Oh yes. We had a very nice time" she said in a tone I couldnt discipher before she giggled lightly.
I asked if she was ready to leave as we had very little time if we were to make our reservations at the restaurant. She hummed her approval and walked towards the door. I assisted her with her coat and got the door for her, waiting for her to secure it after us. I opened her car door for her and she climbed in silently having rejected my hand to assist her. I tried not to be offended that she hadnt acknowledged the gesture or even made eye contact with me since leaving the house.
Once again, the drive was a silent one, with Jessica spending most of it glancing out of the passenger window. After the first few failed attempts to start a conversation, I politely gave up and accepted the ride of silence.
Jessica perked up visibly when we arrived at the restaurant. I was hopeful that this date would finally be a pleasant one. Over the months, I had come to notice that I had the unfortunate habit of irritating Jessica very easily. I hoped to amend that tonight. She hadn't seemed very impressed by the flowers when I presented them to her back at the house so I hoped to find another way to please her. I needed this relationship to work out. I certainly did not need to give my father another reason to view me as a failure. As much as I hated to admit it, a part of me,and a rather dominant part at that, loved it when my father approved of my actions. It was so infrequent that I recieved anything close to praise or acceptance from him that I ate it up pathetically as soon as it was offered.
I parked the car and made a move to Jessica's side, opening the door for her. Frowning as once again when I offered my hand in assistance, I was rebuffed. I didnt say anything to Jessica, thinking that perhaps she just wasnt used to being treated like a lady. I would have to amend that.
We entered the restaurant and I informed the maître d' of our reservations. He was around my age, with dark black hair and an olive complexion. Jessica was very warm in her greeting of him; smiling sweetly and staying very close to him as he led us to our table. Once there, I pulled out her chair for her and she glared at me for reasons unknown. I thanked the young man as he informed us our server would be over shortly and he raised his eye brows at me and smirked in a knowing way. As he walked away I'm sure I heard him mumble something that sounded like 'good luck with that one' but I wasn't sure so I let it go. Not that I would have said anything anyway, I was too timid for that.
After a couple of minutes of yet more silence, another young man approached our table and presented us with a set of menus. He smiled wide at me and Jessica in turn before he introduced himself.
"Hi, my name is Michael and I'll be your server this evening. Please take some time to peruse our menu and I'll return shortly to take your order. Before I leave, can I get you started with any drinks?"
I ordered a soda water, earning an eye roll from Jessica. I considered using my defense of driving but thought better of it as Jessica knew I was a non-drinker anyway, so she would no doubt throw that back at me. Michael chuckled in Jessica's direction and she giggled back and twirled a lock of hair around her index finger whilst focusing her attention on the server in front of her and blanking me.
"Alright. What about you young lady, what can I get for you?" He asked in slow drawl, I noticed he had moved closer to Jessica and was looking at her so intently I almost felt like I was intruding. Jessica's face lit up as she grinned wide.
"Champagne. I'd like champagne." she said looking at me with a raised eyebrow as if challenging me to contest it. I nodded my acquiescence. Michael smiled and promised to return shortly.
I turned to Jessica with a smile, hoping to start up a conversation. However, she already had her phone out and was texting away with a faraway smile on her face. I took the time to look over the menu while I waited for her to look in my direction. I decided to chance it and start polite conversation with her, this was a date afterall.
" I like the sound of the steak. What about you Jessica?" I said softly, so as not to appear overbearing. I was once again met with silence. I could feel what little confidence I had slipping away from me, so I sat in silence for the next few minutes until a pretty little brunette approached our table.
"Hi there, I hope I'm not interrupting you guys. I'm afraid your server, Michael is otherwise occupied right now. So, I will be resuming your service if that's alright. I hope you'll accept our apologies." she said, adressing both myself and Jessica with a lovely smile. For the first time tonight, I found myself smiling genuinely in response. My smile faltered when I realised the smile was genuine because this was the first time tonight that I felt like anyone had actually noticed me. Jessica huffed and pulled out her phone again.
"Fine, I'll have the salmon." Jessica stated without looking away from the gadget in her hand.
"Excellent choice, the salmon is ethically sourced and the marinade is exquisite if I do say so myself." the girl before me said towards Jessica with a bright smile which faltered slightly when she was met with silence from Jessica. Her eyes widened as she brought her gaze to me. Her eyes had a dark chocolate hue and held a unique sense of warmth in them. She tilted her head slightly in question and I silently chastised myself when i realised I had been staring.
"Sorry, erm... I'd like the steak, medium r-rare." I stuttered, but I was unsure why. The room suddenly felt too warm; my tie too tight. I cleared my throat gently to compose myself. I feared I had spooked the young lady serving us when she ducked her eyes away from mine and a furious blush spread over her cheeks and neck, my mind urged me to allow my eyes to wander and follow the blush to the collar of her shirt when we were interrupted by another young lady with a tray of drinks.
This girl was also a brunette but appeared much plainer somehow, yet her smile was just as warm.
"Ok, so I have a soda..." she prompted but I was too busy sneaking glances at our server to take the cue.
"That's his. He always has dull drinks. Dull everything." Jessica said with a hint of malice whilst looking around the room absently.
"Soda water is a good choice if you are not taking alcohol, it will cleanse your pallet and you'll appreciate the flavours of your food more." The first girl said with a smile in my direction. I found myself glowing at the thought of earning her approval even in such a small way. That's the thing about being so shy that you can't form proper friendships. You tend to ostracize yourself to such a degree that the slightest form of praise or physical contact can affect you far more than it should. I smiled at the waitresses as I heard Jessica tut and mutter 'finally' in a rude manner as her drink was placed in front of her, the bottle left in a bucket of ice to the side of the table. The two servers exchanged a glance at the sight of Jessica deinking champagne alone. They left us with a parting word of our food arriving shortly. As they left I heard one of them mutter 'what a lush' under their breath and stifled a smirk.
The conversation with Jessica was stagnant at best, our food arrived as promised and with my thanks I earned another warm smile from the chocolate eyed brunette. It was enough to make me want to order again and I would have if I thought I could justifyably get away with it.
I was still smiling to myself, for once not minding the silence with Jessica when she spoke and swiftly wiped the smile from my face.
"Well someone's desperate for her tip." she said throwing a look towards my favourite brunette, who was serving at a nearby table. She looked to be being friendly with them too but I liked to think she was more so with me. Then it hit me how pathetic I was being. She had not glanced back at me; she hadn't noticed me at all. Not really. She was just doing her job and I was deluding myself. This reminded me of why I was really sitting here and I turned my attention back to Jessica with a nod and a smile.
"Pathetic if you ask me. The way she was sucking up to you and you lapped it up, you shouldnt encourage her kind." she said shooting me a look of disdain and I found myself apologising and lowering my gaze to the table. Jessica just sighed in response.
We ate in silence for a while until Jessica spoke again; I looked up to her eagerly, feeling guilty for my earlier misdemeanor with the waitress.
"Say baby, I wanted to ask you something..." she said in a sickly sweet voice placing her hand on mine over the table. She was looking at me in that weird way again. It made me uncomfortable. It didnt look real, almost like she was forcing it. I nodded for her to continue and as I looked up I noticed the waitress from earlier glancing at our hands with a sad expression, the previous warmth dissipated.
I removed my hand from Jessica's under the pretence of taking a drink, i hazarded a look to the brunwtte again but she was focused on somebody else. A customer; which is all I was to her. This fact bothered me much more than it should have and I couldn't understand why.
"Well, I need an outfit for interviews and stuff, shoes too probably and you know I cant afford it right now… and I will never get a decent job if I dont look the part..." she rambled on as my eyes locked with the warm eyes that I had been obsessed with all evening as the young lady passed our table. This was when Jessica got a unusual glint in her eye and an unpleasant smirk crossed her face.
"And you want me to get a decent job dont you, it's like you were saying the other day; you dont want me to end up in some low life job like waitressing do you babes?" the venom in her voice was unmistakable.
My heart sank when I saw the eyes of the sweet brunette tear up as she asked if we were all done and if everything was ok with the meal. I had to put this right.
"I'm quite sure I said nothing of the sort Jessica." I said strongly, knowing I spoke the truth. I had never said anything like that. I couldn't understand why Jessica was behaving this way. She giggled and looked up to the lady tending our table with a viscious smirk.
"Oh yes, of course sweetheart." she ended with a giggle again and I couldn't understand her sudden penchant for pet names, she had never used them before and they sounded like poison coming from her lips.
The brunette didn't look at me as she asked if she could get us anything else. I politely declined, cutting Jessica off before she could speak. I had seen another side of her tonight and wasn't sure that I liked it. Maybe Alice had been right about her after all.
I waited anxiously for the young lady to return with our bill. I had the irrational need to put this right. I couldn't bear the thought of her being upset with me. I had a great need to please her for some reason. I definitely favoured her over Jessica right now at any rate. However, I was soon disappointed. It was Michael from earlier who brought the bill. His earlier smile was also absent. Jessica lit up at the sight of him and I struggled to hide my distaste. He ignored her and I was silently pleased, I felt it was justified. I swiftly paid, leaving a generous tip and Michael offered his apologies for the disjointed service. I offered my compliments to the both him and his colleagues much to Jessica's dismay.
I left the restaurant with Jessica and in low spirits, disturbed by the chain of events this evening. I wanted to go back inside and find the brunette who had intrigued me so. Instead I walked to the car with this bleach blonde witch child. I entered the car leaving her looking shocked at the prospect of opening her own door. If she couldnt behave like a lady, then I wouldn't treat her like one. She climbed in and I sped off without a word.
"So, about this outfit. $800 should be enough Eddie." she said batting her eyelashes. I looked back at her aghast. Surely she didnt expect the money from me.
"So, do you have it with you now or do you want to meet up tomorrow?" she said frankly. She really had no shame at all. I was livid as I pulled up at her door. I retrieved my balls; metephorically of course and looked her dead in the eye as I answered her.
"No, I dont think I'll be giving you a penny today and after tonight I'm not sure that I want to see you again either." I said, immensely pleased when my voice didn't waver. The look on her face was priceless. Then her mouth pulled into a frown and her lower lip trembled. I actually felt bad for her for a second until I recalled her behaviour over dinner. She moved closer to me and placed her hand on my arm moving her mouth to my ear with a doe eyed expression.
"Please baby, I need you to take care of me" she purred, her breath on the side of my face repulsed me and I pulled away. A few hours ago that would have worked but not after tonight. I had seen her true colours.
I exited the car and opened her door for her, a fake smile plastered on my face. she beamed back, clearly oblivious to my feelings as usual.
"so when-" she started but I cut her off.
"Goodbye Jessica." I stated calmly, not making eye contact and she jumped out if the car angrily.
"Don't be like that baby." she said sweetly with a pout. Then she placed a talloned hand on my cheek and moved in to kiss me, I jerked away before she could make contact. I may have waited a pathetic 28 years for my first kiss but I wasnt going to let it happen like this; with someone like her.
"I said goodbye Jessica."
"Goodbye? Goodbye!" she screeched.
"But…but…why? I know you are good for it. It's the only reason that I agreed to go out with your sorry ass in the first place. You're fucking pathetic Edward. A sad little virgin and everybody knows it. You will bring me that money tomorrow or daddy will get a tearful visit at his office, so he can hear how I caught his son, my beloved boyfriend in a very compromised position with another man." With this she stormed towards the house, casting a spiteful glance over her shoulder and shouting back at me.
"I'll see you tomorrow Edward!"
I got back into the car and sped home, rushing into my parent's house on shaky legs.
As I entered, I searched out my sister, ignoring the concerned look on my mothers face at my obviously distressed expression.
Alice met me at the top if the stairs, the look on her face telling me she was about to come out with a snarky comment regarding my date, until she saw my face and her expression softened. She motioned me into her bedroom and tilted her head in question, pulling me into a tight hug with her arms around my waist. I welcomed it eagerly.
"I need your help Alice. Jessica is a total bitch. From here on in, you have free reign."
Once she had recovered from the obvious shock of my ungentlemanly statement, she beamed a brilliant smile.
"Don't you worry brother dearest, just tell me what happened and I'll take care of it for you. As a matter of fact you can consider it my fucking birthday present." She said whilst bounding up and down on the spot with a wild glint in her eye.
"Okay but before you deal with Jessica, there is one other thing I need you to do." I asked with an awkward smile. She tilted her head in question.
"You know how you pulled a few strings to get me those reservations for the restaurant we went to tonight?" she nodded, looking confused.
"Well do you think that you could pull a few more and find out the name of a waitress. I owe her some flowers."
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