HOLIDAY ROAD

CHAPTER 2

"Bella, you have to go to your father's wedding because... because it's his wedding!" Lauren insisted.

"I don't want to go. It's in Lake Tahoe and I'm going to be stuck in some sort of fishing hell with my father, his wife to be, and my two soon to be stepsiblings and their other halves. Do I seem like the fishing type to you?"

"Em, tell her she has to go!"

"I'm not telling her anything, you know how I feel about her soon to be stepsister and brother-in-law."

"Okay, Em, so Leah Crowley stole Taylor Crowley from you! Look at it this way, she did you a damned favor. The guy was a lying, cheating, no-good bastard. Besides, it happened five years ago. It's time to let it go."

"I don't see you buddying up with Jessica Stanley... oops Crowley."

"Um, that's cause she's a man stealing grade-A bitch. Besides, think about it. Taylor and Tyler Crowley obviously have major issues with fidelity. It's a good thing we were dumped by them because we could have found out about their issues after we'd married them. Anyway, the three of us wouldn't have become friends if it weren't for our man issues."

"You have a point." Emily Young turned to her other best friend. "Lauren's right, you have to go to your father's wedding."

"I know," Bella huffed. "I just don't want to go because I'm going to be the only one without a date."

"You could bring a date with you. I'm sure Ryan will want to go with you."

"No, he's too boring."

"How about Chris?"

"Halitosis."

"Tony?"

"Small penis."

"Really?" her friends both questioned in surprise.

"But he's so buff," Emily noted.

Bella held her thumb and index finger up. "He's like Wee Willy Winkie."

"Huh, well there goes my fantasy of the perfect male. I mean, I thought he belonged on the cover of a romance novel with those dark, smoldering looks and those perfectly sculpted muscles of his."

"Nope, I think he takes steroids or something. The guy ejaculated before he even made it inside. I haven't gone out on a date with him since."

"Well, that sucks!" Lauren opined. "Why aren't there any good men left in Seattle?"

"No idea. Maybe we should go and scope out the Makah Reservation the next time we go home with Emily?"

"Trust me, I went to school with those guys. You don't want to get involved with them. They're either too needy or too self-centered."

"No, thank you! I've had enough of self-centered males with Edward Cullen in high school." Bella shook her head thinking about the fact that she dodged a bullet when the vampire broke up with her. She was grateful to him for keeping his promise of staying away from her. She wanted nothing to do with him, his family, or anything cold, dead, and pasty for that matter... that included fish. Granted that fish weren't pasty, but after you caught them they were cold and dead. It was two out of three. Blech.

Lauren suddenly clapped her hands together. "I've got an idea!" Her friends motioned for her to continue. "What if we went with you? Would you go then? I mean, we can drive down there and make it like a road trip. Emily and I will be there to give you moral support." She started Googling 'Lake Tahoe' on the Web. "Look, there are beaches, casinos, nightclubs—I mean, think about it! Men! There are going to be men there!"

"What if they're jerks like the ones we've dated so far?"

"Yeah and what if they suffer from premature ejaculation like Tony?" Bella added.

"Will you two stop being so negative? We need to go into this with a positive attitude. All three of us are going to go man-hunting in Lake Tahoe and we're at least going to get laid! Hopefully, we'll come out of this with boyfriends or fuck buddies. Is that understood?"

"Okay, okay. Gee whiz, Lauren, you don't have to get so emotional," Emily stated.

"I am only trying to be there for Bella. She needs us." They both turned to her for affirmation.

"Yes, I do need you. Thank you. You girls know that I'd do the same for you, don't you?" She meant what she said. She loved Emily and Lauren with all her heart. The three of them had been together since the summer after Bella and Lauren graduated from Forks High School. Bella had been spending the summer recovering from a break up with Edward Cullen—vampire, and from subsequently being told by someone she had thought was her best friend, Jacob Black, that she should leave La Push and never come back. She'd been doing her best in trying to become a more positive, independent girl without depending on others. She had been shopping for groceries at Forks Outfitters when all hell had broken loose inside the store. Lauren had walked in and gone ballistic because she had caught Tyler and Jessica getting cozy while shopping together in the produce section. Apparently, Jessica was going to cook dinner for her best friend's steady boyfriend. Lauren, after giving both of them a piece of her mind, broke down and started crying. At the time, Lauren wasn't Bella's favorite person, but she felt terrible for her so she went to her side to comfort her. Around the same time, a miserable looking Emily who had overheard Lauren's very public breakdown came over to comfort her as well. She knew Lauren because she had been engaged to Tyler's brother Taylor, up until a week prior when he abruptly dropped her for her cousin Leah Clearwater—the very same Leah Clearwater who was now slated to become Bella's stepsister. It was at that very moment, with the three of them comforting each other in the supermarket, that they formed a lifelong bond. They ended up going to Lauren's house and pouring their hearts out to each other. They supported each other, propped each other up, and became inseparable. That fall, despite Charlie's protests, Bella moved to Seattle with her two best friends. They needed to get away from the area and the people who were constant reminders of such negativity in their lives. They needed to start anew.