October 22, 2010
There’s no use trying to hide from Emmett.
Today was overcast and rainy, as usual; the perfect type of day to stay in bed and ignore the rest of the world. At least, I thought so. And I’m pretty sure Jasper agreed.
But no! Heaven forbid we should miss one single storm. Around 2:30 this afternoon, Emmett came pounding up the stairs and burst into our room without knocking.
Obviously, I had both seen that he was about to do this, and heard him coming, so it’s not like he really interrupted anything major … but still!
“Ex-cuse me,” I huffed, pulling the covers all the way up to my chin pointedly, despite the fact that I was already partially clothed.
“Come on! Why didn’t you tell us there was gonna be a storm today?!” Emmett yelled, smacking his fist into his other hand as he grinned wickedly at Jasper. “Sorry, man, but I just caught it on the news! Thunder and lightning starts in less than ten minutes! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”
As usual, it was impossible to ignore Emmett. Though I really, really wanted to stay in bed, I knew Jasper would love a game of vampire baseball … and, well, so would I!
“Meet you there in five,” I trilled, hopping out of the bed and bounding to my closet as I spoke.
Behind me, I heard Jazz chuckling jovially as he moved to his dresser and opened the drawer containing his baseball jerseys. “What color are we wearing today, Miz Alice?” he inquired, exaggerating his drawl for my enjoyment.
“Hmmm …” I scanned my row of custom jerseys quickly. “Purple!” I decided. But as soon as I made the decision, I saw that Emmett would be wearing his dark blue jersey. Too close to purple!
“Ooops! Never mind, we’ll wear red today! I want to play against Emmett,” I explained, yanking a white jersey with red trim and “0.5 PIXIE” on the back over my head.
Jasper let loose with an appreciative laugh as he pulled out his own matching shirt. (Not that it said “Pixie” on it, of course, just that the colors were the same.)
“I don’t know what you’ve seen, but remember, his team has won the last three games,” Jazz reminded me, settling a baseball cap on my head with a tender kiss for my nose.
“Not this time,” I growled in mock-aggression, shaking my fist at the ceiling. It sounded like everyone else had already taken off, except for Esme.
“Are you ready?” she asked eagerly, standing just outside our doorway. (See, now that’s polite.)
“Ready!” I affirmed, taking Jazz’s hand and swinging it between us as we followed Esme down the stairs and out the door.
The sky had turned an ominous shade of charcoal gray, and was just beginning to emit rumbling sounds as we arrived at the clearing. Edward and Emmett were warming up by tossing the newest ball to each other – across the entire length of the clearing. Rose was swiftly French-braiding her own hair with one hand and Nessie’s with the other hand, and Bella was explaining the vampire version of baseball rules to Renesmee as Carlisle marked the bases and pitcher’s mound.
I saw that Emmett had brought some eye black, judging by the thick V he’d painted over his eyebrows for a menacing look. Not to be outdone, I scanned the clearing until I saw the little pot sitting on a boulder, and skipped over to paint my own face.
“What do you think?” I asked Jazz, giving him my best ferocious scowl à la Rosalie. He cracked up when he saw that I had used the eye black as war paint.
“Very intimidating,” he assured me with a wink when he was done laughing. He took the eye black and swiped one thick line beneath each eye, the way a normal person would.
I leaned in closer and in a whisper barely audible even to me, I asked, “Is Edward feeling okay? You know, about the last time we played here?”
“I’m not sensing anything unusual from him so far,” Jazz murmured back.
“Aside from the normal level of concern and agitation, you mean?” I replied, rolling my eyes. Jasper didn’t respond, but I could tell from the lingering smile on his face that I was right.
“All right, everyone,” Carlisle announced. “Let the game begin!”
As always, I was the game-opening pitcher. It was a complicated role, requiring me to keep careful tabs on the thunder, look for the batter’s intentions, and then check again once I had decided on what to throw.
Since Emmett – again: as always – wouldn’t allow anyone else to be at bat first, I decided on a curveball. It looked like he would try to swing at it as though it were a fastball (which, of course, it would be as well). Maybe I could strike him out right away!
Standing perfectly still on the pitcher’s mound, I waited. A split second before the next crash of thunder, I hurled the ball at Emmett’s head.
My brother swung hard, a crazy grin on his face as he aimed for the ball. HA!!!
“Strike one!” Esme called from behind him (at a safe distance). I stuck out my tongue at Emmett as he howled in rage.
“Yeah, just try that again,” he shouted, crouching back into position with an intent glare.
Despite this auspicious start, I was unable to strike him out entirely. He gained two bases before I struck out Bella (she had never played with us before, and wasn’t used to my very unique pitching style).
But then Carlisle was up, and my arms refused to cooperate with my brain. I wanted our team to win! But it was just too hard to intentionally mess with Carlisle. He hit a home run and their side gained two points.
The game went on all afternoon, since we play 18 innings. By the time we were at the bottom of the 18th, the storm was almost over. And worse – the game was tied!
“Okay, Jazz, we’ve got to wrap this up,” I whispered softly as he stepped up to the plate. I crossed my fingers in the hope that Esme and Ness couldn’t hear me as I checked to see what Emmett would be throwing.
“Slider,” I hissed under my breath as Emmett threw the ball with a loud roar.
Jazz’s bat connected to the ball with a resounding thwack. Oops – that was the third aluminum bat we’d dented today! Not to mention the seven busted baseballs …
“Go, Jasper, go!” I shrieked excitedly, rushing toward third as Edward took off after the ball.
With his two-run homer, we took the game. What a perfect end to a perfect day! I guess I’m not too mad at Emmett for disturbing our peace and solitude earlier today after all.
Oh boy … looks like Emmett is plotting his revenge. I’d better go!
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