All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. No plagiarism or copyright is intended.
Many thanks to my Beta Adri!
Edward and I were headed to the Cullen house to spend the day. I was excited to see Esme again. With finals taking up so much of our time, it had been a few weeks since we had had time to head to the house. Well, that along with Alice planning the wedding of the century. I blush just thinking about it. I really hope she doesn't go overboard. I just want this weekend to be about family.
"What's the matter my Bella?" Edward is always paying attention.
"Nothing is wrong. I just hope your sister isn't going overboard with the wedding." I admit. He smiles. Edward couldn't care less about the wedding details. He just likes the thought of calling me his wife.
"We could still catch the next flight to Vegas." He has a smile in his voice.
"Alice would kill me!" I answer him back before hearing a chugging sound come from my truck. God, what a time for my favorite mechanic to be missing. Jacob took off when he heard about the upcoming wedding. He hasn't been seen in weeks. I dare not ask Rosalie for help; she still scares me.
We make our way through the trees to the house. I'm forever in awe of the beauty of it. I don't think I will ever get over the sheer size of the home and the yard it comes with. They sure like their privacy. Esme puts a lot of work into all aspects of their home, and it shows in the plants and flowers all around.
After spending a few hours together, gossiping and watching movies, Emmett brought up playing a game. "Hey Bella, do you know how to play Gin?" Emmett is very competitive. I may not be able to go outside and wrestle with his vampire self, but cards I can manage.
"Sure, I know how to play." I answer him.
"Great! Let's do it!" I look around and everyone else just rolls their eyes at him. They are used to his antics.
We all head for the dining room table while Emmett grabs the two decks of cards for the game. I have a seat next to Edward with Alice on my other side. Jasper is beside Alice, then Rosalie and Emmett. Edward takes out some chips for us to play with.
"We don't play by score; we play with chips. We bet around the table and when you are out of chips you lose," he explains to me. The Cullens have their own way of playing games in everything. I just nod my head to show that I understand.
Emmett starts to pass out the cards. Once he has finished everyone picks up the cards. I am already happy that I have an advantage over Edward and Jasper with the mind reading and excitement of playing a game. It is the all-seeing Alice I have to worry about.
I pick up my cards with even more excitement to play the game. I am happy I did as that might set off Jasper as soon as I see my hand. I really cannot believe my luck. My hand holds a set of three 7's, a set of three 2's, and a run of 8, 9, 10 of spades, with a King diamond kicker. I only need one card and I can have this game won. I calm myself down, so as not to alert the others to my good hand. Looking around the table I see Emmett has a huge smile and Jasper is grinning at him.
Rosalie goes first. "I bet $3,000." she says. She places a few red and blue chips on the table.
"I call." Jasper says, putting some red and blue chips in the pot. Alice chooses to call as well, but puts white and blue chips in the pot.
I am confused about the amounts the chips are valued at. Seeing my frown Edward helps me out. "The white chips are worth $100, the red $250, the blue $500, and the green..." I catch on and throw my three green chips in the pot, cutting him off.
"$1000. I got it." I don't know why they didn't just throw in the $1000's to start with. When I look up everyone has a look of shock on their face. "What?"
"Bella, we always play with $100,000 in chips. As you can see, we get three chips in green that are worth $25,000 so we can break them down when we start to run out of money. You just raised the pot from $3,000 to $75,000!" Edward explains.
My eyes widen and I try to grab out of the pot to fix my mistake, but Edward stops me. "Sorry Bella but once it's in the pot it stays." I gulp.
Emmett jumps up out of his seat and takes off. Everyone soon leaves the table and I look to Edward for an answer. "Have I scared them away?"
He shakes his head. "No, they are just going to get their money to cover the cost of your bet." Edward leaves the table, heading toward garage and comes back a moment later. Shortly after, the rest of the family joins them back at the table. Emmett drops of huge stack of bills on the table. Jasper and Alice also drop folded money bills on the table. Emmett rubs his hands together, his excitement painfully obvious.
"I call with my keys to the Aston Martin Vanquish till I can get some cash. You cannot keep it." Edward tells everyone.
At this point I am feeling extremely over my head. I should have known the Cullens play for real cash. Emmett drops all the cash in the pot. "All in!" he shouts.
Rosalie puts a paper in the pot. "I call with my BMW pink slip. You cannot keep my car! I spent my last of cash last week shopping. This will cover the cost till I get cash."
Jasper puts his cash in the pot and finally, we come to Alice. "Well, I can see I won't win this one. I'm out." she says and folds her hand.
At this point I think I am sweating bullets. "I don't have $3000, much less $100,000 to even call this." I don't care at this point that I have a good hand. This is a lot of money.
"Don't worry my Bella, I covered your entry in the game. Just think if you win, you could buy me a new Vanquish to replace the old with." The smile in Edward's voice returning.
I think it over. I would love to buy something so nice for Edward. I knew the Cullens were rich. Taking a deep breath, I push my remaining chips in the pot. I was all in. I just needed one card to win this game.
Everyone is all in but Alice. Edward takes a card from the deck and puts down an 8 of hearts. Emmett takes a card and puts down a 10 of clubs. Rosalie picks up the 10 of clubs and replaces it with a 4 of hearts. Jasper takes a card and puts down a 3 of spades. I take a deep breath. Taking a card from the pile I get a Jack of spades. I finished my run. I lay down my cards and call out, "Gin!"
"Damn!" Emmett yells. All around the table, hands are folded and set down. I am too shocked to move. I just won $400,000 in chips from the others. Edward helps me by pushing the chips towards me. Alice is the only player left.
"Here you go Bella, I can see I won't win." Alice tells me and pushes her chips to me too. Oh my God! I just won $500,000. Okay, breathe. Looking at Edward, I smile. I take his keys to the vanquish.
"I think I will take this baby for a spin!" I give him a huge smile.
"Now wait a minute Bella. I didn't say you could keep my car. It was just for holding until I've got some cash on me." Now he is the one sweating bullets over his car.
"Do you have that cash on you Edward?" I ask, his eyes widen comically. He starts leaning toward me, placing kisses along my cheek as he moves closer to my mouth. His dazzling powers normally affect me very well, but this time, I want to drive that car.
"No, but I was covering your entry fee into the game. You could pay me back with it and I will give it right back," he whispers against my lips.
I kiss his mouth and pull back jumping up and grabbing the keys. "Sure! Right after I test drive this baby!" I squeal as I turn and run with Alice to the garage.
Alice and I are only gone for about 10 minutes. I don't want to damage his car even if I'm considering buying him a new one. I admit, sitting in this new car has me excited. I guess now I can afford to buy myself a new truck since mine seems to be taking a dive.
"Alice can you do me a favor?" I ask, and she nods.
"Consider it done. You're right, it will help with the Charlie situation to explain the amount of cash you won. It does mean we will need to go shopping tomorrow though." Got to love Alice, I don't even have to ask my question. Of course, she needs to use it to her advantage as well. Oh well. I can handle a little shopping with my $500,000 win.
When we get back to the house Edward is pouting, but I just smile at him. This has made my day. "Don't worry Edward. I didn't put so much as a scratch on your baby, and now I won't have to make such a big deal about buying my own new vehicle after feeling the newness of yours." He smiles at me.
"I guess I won't make a big deal about it either. I put all your winnings in this backpack for you, but I can see I just need to give it to Alice. Good thinking on having her get a lottery ticket to cover your winnings. I don't think Charlie would understand you winning half a million dollars of Cullen money." I shake my head.
Yeah, I don't see that going over well. I think I just might send dad on a little vacation too, or better yet buy him a new truck with a boat. It will be something he can keep forever and enjoy with the guys on the reservation. Maybe Dad's new boat will help Billy with Jacob being gone.
It's funny how you think of all the ways you'd like to spend money when you have it. Between my new truck, Dad's new truck and the boat, I will still have plenty of money left. Guess I can tell dad not to worry about my college fund as well. I am glad he won't have to worry. He can spend what he'd saved living comfortable in his retirement.
On the way home my truck made a chugging sound again. When I parked it in the driveway, I heard a bang and smoke came out of the engine. It wouldn't restart. "Did you have anything to do with this?" I yelled at Edward. If he killed my truck just to get rid of it, we were going to have problems. I gave him a glare, daring him to lie to me.
"No Bella, I had nothing to do with your truck breaking down." he told me. I could hear the change in his voice when he said "I".
"Who messed with my truck? It's an awfully big coincidence that the night I win half a million dollars my truck just happens to break down!" I can't hide my accusing tone.
"I don't know! It's a 1953, Bella. It could have broken down just because it's old! You could always let Rosalie look at it. Honestly, I think she would love to get her hands on your truck. Do you realize how much it would be worth if she were to restore it?" I find it hard to believe that though. I would find out who messed with my truck! If Jacob ever comes back, I will have him look at it. Maybe I'll give it back to him as a gift since I will have a new vehicle.
After shopping on Sunday, Alice takes me to a gas station. She waits five minutes, putting gas in the tank, then tells me to head in. I am to buy something small with the $5 she gives me for a snack and follow an old couple buying tickets as well. They will be discussing the lottery jackpot of $536,000 and how they hope they will be the next big winners to pay for their son's wedding since he can't afford anything elaborate with buying a new house and expecting a new baby with his fiancé. I am to buy my item and after hearing the couple, I will decide to buy myself a $1 ticket for the hell of it. It won't look out of place for me to try my luck and get a quick pick after overhearing the couple. Hmm, I will have plenty of money left. I think I will look up this couple and help them with their problem after my win.
When we get home from shopping, Alice drops me off at the house. Since my poor truck took a dive, I've had to use the Cullens as my chauffeurs. "Hey Alice," I get her attention the only way I know will work. I picture myself with Edward at the house the next time the others go out hunting and put lighter fluid on her clothes with a match in my hand. I hear her let out a whimper. "Who was it that messed with my truck?" I ask nicely.
"I swear she didn't do it to spite you Bella. She was trying to do a good thing as a wedding gift. Rosalie knew you wouldn't come to her about fixing your truck, so she changed some things a little. She knew either Edward would be willing to buy you a new vehicle or you would finally come to her for help. Honestly, if you allow her to restore it, you would get more out of it then a new vehicle. Please don't think bad of her. She was trying to do something nice for you to apologize." Alice explained to me. I thought about it. Of course, I would be too afraid to say something to Rosalie with the way she intimidated me.
"I don't see how a broke down truck would be worth anything more than a few hundred dollars alone for parts." I told Alice. She pulled out her phone and brought up a website for me to look at.
"Look at this," she said, handing the phone to me. She had pulled up an auto trader website that lists prices for old and restored 1953 Chevy pickups. I was shocked to find that old 1953 Chevy trucks sold for anywhere from $30,000-$40,000 after restoration.
Wow. I had to admit it would be worth it to let her look at it. I could decide later if I wanted to keep it or sell it and buy something new. "Okay Alice. I'll thank Rosalie later."
Alice shook her head. "No, please don't say anything to her. She didn't want anyone to know she was going soft. She was even able to keep it from Edward, although I'm sure he knows by now. You can still see if she's willing to look at it, and she might ask you about restoring it to be nice. But please, keep this to yourself."
I agreed; I'd do anything to get on Rosalie's good side to have a better relationship with my other soon-to-be sister.
I headed into the house and put my clothes away, then used a magnet to put the lottery ticket on the fridge. I wouldn't forget about it of course, but Charlie would need to see it and question it. I would be able to explain my desire to buy a ticket for the hell of it. With his morning papers he would most likely be the one to point out to me I should check my numbers. I guess I better practice my surprised face.
Wednesday morning Charlie was reading the paper. "Hey Bella, what date is that lottery ticket you bought for?" He questioned. Checkmate.
"Today I think." I grabbed the ticket read today's date on it and handed it to Charlie while I had some breakfast. Three, two, one... and Charlie, froze in place. I was watching out of the corner of my eyes. He gulped for a second.
"Hey Bella, looks like you have a winner here." He croaked. I look up at him and smile after watching his eyes filled with excitement.
"Oh yeah, what $3? That would pay for the snack and the ticket! Guess I got my money's worth." I told him.
"No, it's quite a bit more than that actually." He handed me the paper with the ticket numbers and the ticket beside it. I read it three times. First in shock, because I know Alice is always right and I should trust her, second in excitement as it was proven that I really did win the jackpot with all the numbers, and finally with happiness that I could give myself and my father something to look forward to.
"Wow." It was the only thing I could think of to say.
"Guess you can replace your broken truck."
I hugged Dad. "I still love the Beast. I think I will have Rosalie look at it. She is into restoring vehicles; I may be able to resell it after she is done, and we can both have new vehicles." Charlie just smiled at me.
"Whatever you want. Now, hurry up! I don't want you late for school." Just then a knock came. Charlie went to answer the door, letting Alice in.
"Good morning Alice. I will see you after school Bella. Make sure you sign the back of that ticket!" Charlie said before leaving out the front door.
Looking at me, Alice took the ticket and filled it out with my name and said we would stop by the post office before going to school so I could get my money quicker. She said it could take about a week before they called me and asked for my account information and signature with proof of who I am and so on.
I enjoyed my week. I only had to tell one person I won the lottery and planned to replace my old broken-down truck: Jessica Stanley. She easily passed it on the gossip mill and by the end of the day everyone was planning on trying their luck.
"Alice, do you think any of them will actually get lucky?" I asked her. She nodded.
"Tyler will get lucky and win $50 on a $2 scratcher, and it would be the talk of the town for two weeks as he won't let it go. Eric will get an entry into trying for the wheel, but his name won't get picked. Surprisingly, Angela will win $10,000 playing a $5 scratcher, with which she'll buy herself a vehicle and take her little brothers to Disneyland." she tells me. I can't help but smile; if anyone deserves a win it would be Angela.
It was a week and a half later when the call came in, asking me to come into the Seattle office to show proof of identity and bank account information. I was informed they would also pull out $48,000 in tax fees. I asked Edward to come with me and he brought Jasper as well. Jasper, it turns out, had taken courses at college to become a lawyer back in the 1960's.
Driving to Seattle I asked Edward if we could go buy a new truck if I received money today. He agreed to take me and would even pay for my truck if I didn't receive the money, swearing I could pay him back (but reminding me that we had less than a month till we were married, and all bets were off.)
It wasn't too long of a process. I showed my ID, showed my bank card because really, who had voided checks running around anymore? I was asked if I would like to watch a video on spending my money wisely which I turned down. They sent the money into my bank account, had me check it online and also call the bank itself, for safety precautions. When I spoke to the bank, they told me they would allow for an extended amount of money to be used in the account when I asked for the amount allowed to me. Only about $30,000 could be used since I wanted to buy a new car because usually $2,000 a day was my spending limit. I told them I would let them know when I needed more again as I was buying my father a truck and boat as well as an early birthday present.
"Bella, why don't we just merge our accounts? We are getting married soon anyway and there are no withdraw limits on our accounts. We could take out the full amount you won in a day at my bank." Edward explained to me. I had to agree that having a limit of $2,000 per day was a headache if I needed something. I remember when mom moved one year and we had to buy all new items: fridge, stove, washer, dryer. We had to leave the store without the dryer because her limit had been reached for the day. We had to make plans to come back the next day for the dryer. It was embarrassing!
"Okay, I will have them wire the money to your account when it is there and we will have everything changed after we are married, happy now?" I asked him. His eyes sparked when I said, "after we are married."
"Very much so. Let's go get you a new truck!" Edward drove us to the Toyota lot and handed his keys to Jasper. He would drive the Volvo home so Edward could ride with me.
I ended up getting a 2019 Toyota Tacoma in Sky Metallic. I liked my old truck and didn't want a car. After the purchase, we went to the Chevy dealer next. I found Charlie a 2019 Chevy Silverado in Deep Ocean Blue Metallic and had them deliver it to the Cullens' house. I asked Edward about boats and we went to a dealer and he spoke with the salesperson about it. The only words I really got out of it was Everglades and fishing boat. It too was delivered to the Cullens' house. Charlie always makes plans on the weekends to go fishing with his buddies and I planned to have the truck and boat in front of the house ready for him. The Cullens would deliver it late Friday night after Charlie and I went to bed, so when he left at 5am he would get the surprise of his life. Alice even found a big bow to put on the hood of the truck and made her own sign that said, "Happy Early Birthday Dad!" to put on the side of the boat. When I told her I wished I could see his face when he saw it, she said not to worry, she would get it for me. Got to love my vampire best friend looking out for me!
I had Edward stop at the bank for a casher's check as well, and we went to the gas station. I explained that I was looking for an older couple that was in the store the last week, and the lady did know them as locals but was worried about telling us where they lived. It didn't matter though; Edward read her mind and knew just where we were headed. I thanked her and we were on our way. When we got to Mr. and Mrs. Rickson's house, I explained that I had overheard their conversation about the lottery and decided to buy a ticket for the hell of it. I never would have bought a ticket without their talk of their son's wedding. I wanted to give back to them for their help with my win and handed them the cashier's check for $25,000.
"Oh, thank you so much dear! You have no idea how much this will help my son." Mrs. Rickson said. She had tears running down her face.
On Friday night we headed to the Cullens' house where I could see Dad's truck and boat hitched up and ready to go. I was so excited! I loved my truck and Dad had even asked if he could borrow it over the weekend. I agreed, knowing it wouldn't happen. He would be too excited over his own vehicle and boat. Edward even told me it came with a fishing sonar so he wouldn't spend all day never catching a bite. I wonder if he will feel the need to wake me up and hug me to death. I giggle to myself just thinking about it. Calming myself down I watched a movie with the Cullens before watching Rosalie head for the garage. I took a deep breath and followed her in. I had spoken with Edward beforehand about my plans, and he agreed to let me have my time with his sister. He assured me things would be fine.
"Um, Rosalie, can I have a word?" I asked her. I tried to sound brave, but it just came out squeaky and timid.
"Sure Bella, what do you need?" she asked. I think she knew how hard it was to talk to her about this.
"If you don't mind, could you look at my truck? I thought about giving it back to Billy since Jacob is gone. He will need the extra help." I asked her.
"Yeah, I can do that. I can restore it some too so that it won't have any problems. A full restoration could take a while and I am sure the wait would be too long for the parts for what you have planned. I will look at it and should be able to get it fixed in a few days if I have the right parts on me." I smiled and thanked her for her help.
Saturday morning, a yell woke me. I rubbed my eyes just as Dad ran in the room to hug me, thanking me for his present. I couldn't help the smile I had on my face. I was so glad I could make my Dad's day. I told him I had plans to take the Cullens on a mini vacation as well, and when I learned more, I would let him know.
While Charlie was fishing in his new boat, Edward ran over and I drove my truck to his house. He knew I loved driving it and allowed me to enjoy my truck. When we got there, I thought of a cool idea.
"Hey Emmett?" I asked.
Alice started giggling and Edward wrapped his arms around me laughing into my neck.
"Yeah Bella?" Emmett asked, confused by what I wanted from him but eager to oblige.
"Feeling up to a rematch of Gin? I did promise Edward I would see about buying him the new Vanquish." I grinned as everyone started to laugh. I feel so much better now. I feel like I finally fit in. Who would have thought a little game of Gin would make me feel so much like a Cullen?