Monday, May 31, 2010

I Had A(nother) Dream... RPattz, Where Are You? [Please Don't Say "New Jersey"]

For the past couple of months I've been struggling with what I'm going to do for Eclipse. I had tentatively made plans to take the day off and see it with some of my not-nearly-as-obsessed-as-me-but-will-humor-me Twilight-y friends, but now I'm having second thoughts. I reeeeeeeeally want to join Jenny Jerkface and Snarkier Than You in NYC for my virginal viewing of a movie I'm positive will be the death of me (or at least my panties). I live in Maine - I'm not that far away - I should be able to pull it off... right?

Hmmm... maybe JJ and STY would rather not bear witness to my disintegrating panties...

But once again I'm faced with the monumental task of going to Mr. Latchkey Wife with yet another Twilight-related getaway. I mean, he was really cool about Forks and all but how much do I really want to test his patience? I've actually thought about reviving the plan I had last summer when I was obsessed with getting to NYC to set stalk the preh-tay... The general gist was to tell my husband I had some errands to run and come home three days later. Ooopsy.

Edward, you'll be waiting for me in Forks, right? Don't tell Mr. Latchkey, 'mkay?

I'm sure it's all this hand-wringing and plan formulating that led me to have a really fucking strange dream last night. Unfortunately, this dream did not feature a visit from RPattz. Lucky me, the stars of last night's dream were none other than Jenny Jerkface and Snarkier Than You! Wha... wha... what? It was weird... mostly weird because despite being in touch with them about a gazillion times a day, we've never actually met in person!
From what I can remember, I showed up in New Jersey unannounced, landing at the front door of STY's place. Thankfully she was happy to see me! She immediately whisked me away to the local bar [shocker!] where JJ was holding court [wow - another shocker!]. So STY was all like "JJ, look who's here!!" And Jenny looked at me like she had no. fucking. idea. who. the fuck. I was. [I'll have to forgive her because I'm sure she was plastered and probably saw three of me.] When she finally realized it was me, she gave me a sloppy, drunken hug and invited me to join her gathering of misfits.

I ended up sitting next to this older woman [Mommy not a Jerkface perhaps] who was not very nice to me at all. As a matter of fact, the bitch was so mean, she broke a beer bottle on the edge of the table and sliced my arm open. [Maybe now I know where JJ gets her grit!] Here I am bleeding all over the place... I guess that's when JJ decided it was time to go. Do we go to the emergency room? Ah, no... we end up back at JJ's place which wasn't her new house, but an old, run down, attic apartment that actually has a fucking stage in one of the rooms [totally random].

Oh wait, it wasn't MnaJ, it was Kathy-fucking-crazy-ass-Bates who cut me!

When we show up, ML is running around with a band mate trying to gather shit to leave. And I'm still bleeding like a fucking stuck pig but no one seemed to give a shit. Then JJ just leaves. She abandons me in the apartment, letting me bleed to death while she's gone back out to finish her afternoon of drinking. And someone pounds on the door, but instead of a peep hole, there's just a section of the door missing and I look out and it's the crazy bitch from the bar still after me with her broken beer bottle weapon.

Next thing I know, I'm wandering around some sort of generic downtown area looking for Jenny. I can't find her, but I did take a picture of the area and texted it to my husband to show him I arrived safe and sound. The end.
What does it all mean? I think someone is trying to tell me something... like if I go to NYC for Eclipse, I may get murdered in New Jersey before I even make it to the movie. And where the hell did STY go? She just left me with JJ, with absolutely no regard for my safety!

Fuck me... I'm dead.

Note from STY: Uh, JJ, I think maybe we went a liiiiiitle too far when we regaled LKW with all those cheery stories about Newark and the surrounding area!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Get on Your Knees and Chug...

Ah yes, Memorial Day weekend. This weekend most Americans are probably hunched over paper plates, hoovering potato salad, hamburgers from the grill and all that other goodness that comes with outdoor eating and BBQ-ing into their gobs. Myself included, of course.

Yesterday ML and I went to the annual drinkfest camp-out in a town that is probably Jersey's version of Forks - it's that small. Lots of good food and conversation was had, including no less than four conversations about the 3 V's (Vaginas, Vibrators and sparkly Vampires) and one incident that involved multiple F-bombs, a four year old boy, and a flaming s'mores.

Sweet motherfucking baby jeebus fuckity fuck fuck FUCK. Whoops, sorry 'bout torching your marshmallow kid. Now stop fucking crying...

As is usually the case, Mini Edward was indeed in attendance but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures. Due to the high alcohol content of my first drink(s), Mini-E got, er, kind of lost and wasn't unearthed until this morning. Either that or ML threw him under the car seat on purpose. Regardless, I was without my trusty sidekick and was forced to watch a bunch of grown men play "Bros Icing Bros" which is quite possibly the stupidest, most idiotic drinking game I have ever heard of.

“‘Icing’ — or ‘getting iced’ — is a drinking game that’s rapidly gaining popularity amongst office workers, tech and media types, and college students. The rules are simple: If a person sees a Smirnoff Ice, he or she must get down on one knee and chug it, unless they happen to be carrying their own Smirnoff, in which case they can “ice block,” or refract the punishment back onto the attacker. In order to dupe people into stumbling across the beverage, participants have devised creative ways of presenting them with Ices, like strapping the bottles to the backs of dogs or burying them in vats of protein powder.”

I can't wait to pull this on Snarkier Than You. I'm 99.99% positive we can twist this around to incorporate Twilight somehow. I mean, it's almost too easy, what with the word "ice" being used. And let's think about this -- when you get Iced you have an icy cold (albeit totally fucking disgusting) beverage, you have to get on your knees and chug it.

On your knees. And swallow. An icy liquid. Get it?

Quick! You've been Iced. Now get on your knees and chug this bottle Edward Cullen Cum...

Okay, fine. I might have to rethink that one.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Osa Bella - Chapter 7 "Masquerade" and Chapter 8 "Mercy" [Twilight Fan Fiction]

Hi folks. Myg here, with your Saturday installment of Osa Bella. Because Mr. Myg is a generous sort of editor, he's telling me to give you two chapters instead of one and I do agree. Here is a link to the next pdf if you'd prefer. If you are inclined to leave a comment, please do. Your comments mean everything to me! Makes this whole authoring thing much more fun.

Oops - I forgot to mention that if you're new to Osa Bella, you may want to start at Chapter 1.  I think it makes more sense that way. But then, that's me. 

And another thing - I just posted playlist streams for Chapters 7 & 8, for those of you so inclined. (Sun). 



The following morning Edward was waiting for me outside my office. I was getting better at acting normal around him. At least, I didn't feel stunned every time I ran into him now.

"Are you late to work every day?" he asked.

"Good morning," I said. "And yes."

He followed me inside, closing the door behind us.

"How was La Push? Did you learning anything interesting?"

"Yeah, we did, actually." And then I told him the story about the bear legend that Mike shared, and how the black bears had been assembling out at La Push. He seemed quite interested, but he didn't ask any questions. Then he told me that Mercy Brown had scheduled a date for Port Angeles. We talked about her new album for awhile, and then before I realized it, half an hour had gone by as we gabbed and Edward hadn't been to class yet.

"Did you come down here for any reason in particular?" I asked him. "You've missed most of first period."

"Have I?" he said. "I suppose I'll be needing a pass then."

"Right," I said, and started to write one out. I looked up at him and gave him a pointed look.

"What?" he asked.

"Why did you come down here, anyway?"

"To give you this," he said, and pulled a flier out of his pocket for Mercy's show. "So you can put it in your calendar."

I opened up my calendar and marked down the date and could feel him watching me as I did, could feel it like a breeze through the window on the back of my neck. I shuddered and realized I was actually nervous about something. About him.

"Is everything okay?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, and recovered myself. I gave him a smile. "Everything is just fine."

But it wasn't. And I don't think he believed me, but he left without discussion.

Hardly ten seconds later there was a knock at my door and I thought—hoped—he'd come back. But instead Red stuck his head in.

"You were meeting with the Cullen kid?" he asked. My heart sped up a little more.

"Yeah," I said.

"Well?" he asked.

"Well what?"

"What do you think? Have you found anything else out about the family?"

"Not really," I said.

"Those kids make me nervous," Red said. "Keep an eye on them."


I would be keeping an eye on that one, anyway. He could count on it.


Saturday night came but I hadn't heard from Jake all week. I'd expected as much, but was still annoyed at him for making such a big show like we were actually dating when nothing could be farther from the truth. What really pissed me off was that he could date me if he was interested. But he wasn't. I sent him a text Saturday evening.

"so you're picking me up, right?"

"omg. sorta forgot."


"i'm pretty wasted."


"watching the game"

"you totally owe me."

"i know, i suck. i'm really sorry. tomorrow?"

"i have plans."

Which was a lie, but fuck him anyway. I didn't want him thinking I was sitting around all weekend waiting for him to decide he had time for me. I wasn't. I was sitting around all weekend stressing about Edward Cullen.

Having Edward in Thoreau club should have been a good thing. As I got to know him, the familiarity should have ripped big gaping holes in my fantastic perception of him. I was clearly in the position of advisor, and this should have helped me view him more as a student—a kid.

But it wasn't working. He was too different from the other kids. Not simply better looking or better dressed or more mature, though he was those things too. He was quiet and attentive. He opened doors and pulled out chairs for the girls when they came in the room. He didn’t interrupt people when they were talking. When Mike goaded him into conflict, he avoided it like a sage politician. Whenever he spoke, it was to the point.

And though Mike continued to be rude to him, Edward did become almost friendly with Erik, Angela, Paige and Jessica. They did things like stop in the halls to chat between classes and say hello in the morning. In this sense, Edward’s involvement in the Thoreau club had been a great success. He was no longer the lonely emo boy, and this I gladly reported back to Red.

But it didn't mean anything in terms of his mystery. He still never revealed anything about himself, about what he did outside of school or where he’d come from. Things I still very much wanted to know.

“Miss Swan, you’re on chaperone detail for the Winter Ball this year,” Red informed me.

“No problem,” I said.

“I put Derek on too,” he said and watched for my reaction.

"Great," I said.

It had become obvious to my coworkers that Derek and I were spending a lot of time together. And the more time we spent together, the more I liked him. Though he wasn't exactly my type, he was the a type I could grow to like—a very practical sort of guy who liked to make lists and actually do the things on the lists. He did things like plan weeks in advance the discussion topics for Thoreau Club, keeping a separate manilla folder with a typed label for each week, with articles and websites related to whatever the topic was. His classroom and his house were impeccably neat, but not so clean you felt uncomfortable. He never cursed. He drove a Subaru wagon and he didn’t even have kids. He went to bed early. He was the picture of stability and I appreciated that. It was comforting.

Back in the faculty lounge as I pondered all of this, Derek came and sat with me. “Are you assigned to the Winter Ball?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “I’m going as the White Witch from Narnia.”

“Do you think any of these kids will know who that is?”

“The handful of them who like to read will,” I said. “Forget the rest of them. I hear you're on duty too.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I’ll have to go as Aslan, now.” He smiled.

“So what time are you picking me up then?” I teased him.

“How’s seven?”

This was just what I needed, I told myself. A good, reliable man who was age appropriate and might even be interested in me.



The Forks High School Winter Masquerade Ball was my favorite dance of the year. It was almost as big of a deal as prom. It was a way to keep the holidays magical without having to deal with the risky territory of politically incorrect holiday themes. Kids were allowed to come in any kind of costume they wanted, but they had to be in costume to get in.

I decked myself out in white face paint and wore a white wig and crown. Illeana loaned me an ice blue gown and white stole and even I had to admit I looked fabulous. Like a terrifying ice queen. Derek looked hilarious in his mane and crown, and contrary to his prediction, many of the kids did know who we were supposed to be. They’d seen the movie.

The high school gym had been transformed into a winter-themed night club complete with fake snow banks and paper cut snow flakes, fake smoke and blue lights everywhere. Most of the faculty and staff came, whether they were assigned to the party or not. That’s how it usually was, since Forks wasn’t exactly a top night spot. It was something for all of us to do.

As the kids rolled in we saw the usual showing of Christmas elves. There were two Ralphies from A Christmas Story and one Grinch. Then came the kids from Thoreau club. They all came together, except for Edward, each one dressed up as white bears.

“What do you think?” Mike Newton asked. “Pretty good, right? Are you surprised?”

I choked up a little when I saw them all. Jessica handed each of the other bears a stack of flyers that described the Thoreau club and the work they’d done on the bear project, along with a plea to get involved in environmental causes. Red came over to talk to the students, and he was so proud he made an announcement at the break, congratulating them for their enthusiasm and their commitment to conservation.

A few of the kids, most notably Paige, noticed that Derek and I had coordinated our costumes. At the punch bowl, she came over to me and whispered, “So, Mr. Banner, huh? Not Jacob Black then?”

“Shhh,” I whispered back. “Don’t tell anyone, but I am secretly an old maid. I’m not actually dating either of these guys, but you don’t have to go spreading that boring and pathetic fact around, okay?”
She laughed. “Okay, okay,” she said. “But you should be.”

I waved her away. “Go dance or something.”

The music was blaring and the party was in full swing when suddenly all of the kids stopped moving, like the needle had been dragged off the turntable. But it hadn't.

The Cullens had arrived.

Most of them, anyway. Edward wasn't there, much to my disappointment.

Alice, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie were decked out in black capes with extra big fangs, fake blood dripping from the corners of their mouths. The girls wore outrageous make-up and had their hair tangled into rats nests on their heads. Jasper and Emmett had slicked back hair and tuxedoes under their capes. They looked amazing and terrifying.

Red came over to me and whispered in my ear, “What the hell is wrong with those kids, anyway?”

“They can do horror if they want. The theme is masquerade, not necessarily holiday.”

“But still,” he started, but stopped talking because then they started to dance. And when I say they started to dance, I mean that the entire student body cleared the dance floor and formed a circle around them as they broke out into an acrobatic number that looked like it was choreographed by Randy Jackson himself. They were incredible. Emmett threw Rosalie into the air and she twisted and contorted her body and landed perfectly in his arms. Jasper and Alice were turning coordinated flips. Those kids could move like demons. The sheer joy and enthusiasm they expressed in their movement was infectious. All of the kids began to cheer them on and they just kept going.

“There’s something very wrong here,” Derek said, coming up to us.

“I know,” Red said. “But I can’t figure out what it is.”

“Come on," I said, annoyed. "They’re not doing anything wrong. So they’re good dancers. What’s the problem?”

“Go talk to them,” he said. “Find out how they learned to do that.”

I couldn't deny I was curious. When the song was over, they all started to dance normally, though certainly much better than any high school student or adult outside of professional dancing that I’d ever seen. I broke into the crowd to where they were.

“Hey, Miss Swan,” Emmett smiled at me.

“Hi, Miss Swan,” Alice chirped over the music. “You look amazing!”

“Thanks,” I said. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure,” Alice followed me off the dance floor. “I told Edward he should have come. He can be such a recluse sometimes.”

“Well maybe dancing isn’t his thing,” I said.

“He can dance better than the rest of us,” she said.

“How did you all learn to dance like that?” I asked.

“Oh… “ she hesitated, then got that weird look on her face, like the first time I saw her. “Are you here with Mr. Banner?”

“Um,” I wasn’t sure how to answer. “He gave me a ride here, yes.”

She leaned in close so nobody else would hear her. “Not him,” she said, her tone not grave, but definitely serious.

"What are you talking about?"

"You and Mr. Banner," she said, rolling her eyes. "Look, I'm sorry because I know I’m being forward, but trust me on this one. He's not right for you."

"Well, gosh," I said, a little more sarcastically than probably necessary. "I guess I'll have to call off the wedding then."

"What?" she exclaimed, like I'd told her the earth was about to implode right beneath our feet there in the school gym. "You're kidding, right? You're not engaged."

"No, Alice. I'm not even dating."

"I'm sorry," she said. "It was a thought and it hit me and it just came out, you know? Sometimes that happens before I can stop myself from talking."

"I understand."  I wondered if she was stoned, but no stoned person would be able to move like she did on the dance floor. "But as I recall, I was asking you a question about the Cullen troupe's dance skills.” I smiled and tried to make her feel more at ease.

“Right,” she said. “We used to do a lot of dance competitions back when we lived in Alaska. We all trained in acrobatics together. Kept us busy in the long winters.”

“It takes a long time to learn to dance like that,” I said. “How old were you when you all started?”

“I don’t remember,” she said. “It was some years ago I guess. We’re fast learners. Plus we did it all the time, you know? Carlisle and Esme feel that physical activity is good for keeping kids out of trouble. We got pretty good, right?”

“I’ll say.”

“Yeah, we used to win all sorts of awards for it. There’s not much to do with it here, though, and Coach Clapp gets pretty mad when we breakdance in gym class.”

“No doubt,” I said.

“Miss Swan,” she said, turning serious for a moment. “He’s a perfectly nice guy. He’s just not the one.”

"Alice," I said, recognizing a potential clusterfuck of emotional upheaval. "I'm not looking for the one. I know where he is—Arlington Cemetery."

"I'm sorry," she said. "I'm really, really sorry."

"It's okay," I said. "And Mr. Banner and I are just friends, anyway."

"He's totally into you, though," she said. "Like most of the men in this school."

"Now you really sound crazy. Go break dance with Rosalie before Clapp turns you into a pumpkin."


It was late when Derek brought me home, but I invited him in for a drink anyway.

“I don’t drink,” he said. “But I’d love a cup of tea.”

“Great,” I said. We went in and I put the kettle on. I decided against a glass of wine.

“That was fun,” I said. 

“I wonder why Edward Cullen didn’t go,” he said. “I’ve had my doubts about that kid.”

“Because he wouldn’t come to a dance?” I asked.

“No, not that. He just seems so secretive. Like he’s dishonest, you know? All of the Cullens give me that vibe.”

“Well, we don’t really know them. They’ve only been in the area a few months.”

“Six months,” he said. “And I really don’t like the way Rosalie and Emmett and Alice and Jasper are clearly couples, either. That’s inappropriate, I don’t care if they are adopted.”

“Maybe it’s not for us to judge,” I said, feeling strangely defensive. “We don’t know the whole story there. They’re all great students, never really any trouble, right?”

“Edward smokes,” he said. "So does Jasper."

“Lots of kids smoke. It’s dumb, but it doesn’t make them trouble, automatically.” He got quiet. I had no intention of arguing with Derek tonight. I was hoping to make some progress moving our friendship onto something else.

“You’re right,” he finally said. “I’m being too judgmental.”

I put my hand out and covered his in a gesture that I hope signaled understanding. “They are unusual, I have to admit.” He looked up at me.

“So how was your date with Jacob Black?” he asked, pulling his hand away from mine.

“It never happened,” I said. “I’m not dating Jacob.”

“He didn’t act that way,” he said.

“Yeah, well, he can be an idiot sometimes. Most of the time,” I said. “We’re just friends, trust me.”

Derek smiled. “You really do look great in that costume,” he said. “I don’t think that my version of Aslan does you justice.”

“Are you kidding? You make a great Aslan. I am totally acquiescing the throne to you, right now. I hereby declare winter to be over.” I pulled my crown and the wig from my head, in a gesture of mock defeat.

He laughed and unfastened his mane.

“Do you mind waiting here a minute? I just want to wash some of this cake makeup off my face before I end up with hives or something.”

“Sure,” he said. I went into the bathroom and washed my face and ran a brush through my tangled hair.

“Thanks,” I said, coming back to the kitchen. “Do you want to bring your tea inside? We can hang out in the living room. I’ll start a fire.”

“Okay,” he said. “If you don’t mind, can I use your bathroom and wash off some of my handiwork too?”

“Of course,” I said, and pointed the way back. “Hey, we should start planning that Lake Crescent trip,” I yelled back to him. “I think the kids will be really into it.”

“Yeah,” he called from the bathroom. “I’ll be right out.”

I built a fire in my fireplace, something I’d only done a few times since I’d lived there, and not since last winter. I watched as the paper caught fire and lit the log over it. The house began to fill with smoke. “Shit,” I said under my breath and ran to open windows.

“Did you open the flue?” he asked. Like an idiot, of course I’d forgotten. Derek came running out and had a coughing fit. He ran to the fireplace and opened the flue while I opened every window and door in the house and broke out a fan.

“I’m sorry!” I said. “I don’t build a lot of fires here.” He kept coughing and coughing. He was having trouble catching his breath. “Derek?” He was starting to look panicked as he kept hacking away.

“Derek, come on. Let’s get in the car. I’m taking you to the ER.” I wasn’t sure if he was having an asthma attack or what was going on, but I helped him to my car and sped the half mile over to the hospital.

I walked him in, and the attending doctor could see he was in need of immediate assistance with the trouble he was having breathing. They brought him to the back for evaluation and I waited, wondering at the strange sight we must have been in our Narnia garb.

About 20 minutes later an extremely good looking young doctor came out to speak to me.

“Hi Miss Swan, I’m Dr. Cullen,” he said. “I want to update you about your friend. He asked me to come speak to you.”

“Dr. Cullen,” I said. “Of course. I know your kids—I work at the high school.”

“Yes, I know,” he said, “Edward’s told us all about you,” he smiled and I smiled back, a bit freaked out, not having any idea what Edward might have said. “He’s really enjoying Thoreau club.”

“How is Derek?”

“He’s resting comfortably now,” he said. “He had an asthma attack brought on by the smoke. We gave him a nebulizer treatment and he’s much better.”

“I didn’t know he had asthma.”

“Neither did he, apparently. I can bring you back to see him.”

Dr. Cullen walked me back through the Emergency Room into the little stall where Derek lay, an oxygen mask over his face. He looked much better than he did when we got there.

“I’m sorry, Bella,” he said, looking embarrassed. “That’s never happened to me before.”

“No, I’m sorry. I’m the idiot who almost burned the house… oh my God.” I realized I hadn’t done anything to make sure the fire was out in the fireplace. I dialed Charlie in a panic. It was midnight.

“Dad, I need you to go into my house and make sure it’s not on fire!”

“What the hell are you talking about, Bella?”

“I can’t explain but would you please go over and make sure the fire in the fireplace is out?”

“I’ll be right there. Wait. Where are you?”

“In the Emergency Room.”

“Bella, what the hell is going on?”

“I’m fine—everything is fine. Please just go and I’ll explain later.” I hung up the phone. “Gah, I’m sure I’ll be a great asset to the Lake Crescent backcountry expedition with my fire building skills.” He laughed and reached out for my hand, which surprised and pleased me. I took his hand, which was warm, his skin was soft. He squeezed mine lightly.

“You’ll be great in the backcountry,” he said. “You’ve got the right attitude.”

Dr. Cullen came in and Derek pulled his hand away, which I figured was because he was the parent of five of our students, and he didn’t want anyone to know we were—what? In the ER together?

“You’re free to go,” he said. “Take this inhaler with you and use as directed. You’ll need to follow up with your primary.”

“Thanks,” Derek said. 

Charlie called me back and told me everything at the house was fine. Didn’t even look like I’d started a fire, he said. I thought that was weird. I drove Derek back to my house to get his car. I’d offered to drive him home, but he didn’t take me up on it.

“I’m fine now,” he said. “And despite everything, you know, I had a good time.”

“Me too,” I said. Derek smiled and leaned in to give me a kiss, and my heart fluttered a little. Then he stopped.

“Is this okay?” he asked.

“Yes, definitely,” I said.

His lips were warm and soft, like his hands. The kiss wasn’t too fast, like someone who really doesn’t want to kiss you. It wasn’t the start of a make out session, either. It was sort of a medium paced kiss. The kind you give someone when maybe you’re trying the kiss out. Like if it goes well, you might give another, and then another, and then the next thing you know you’re hoping that just-in-case condom at the bottom of your purse hasn’t expired.

But I didn’t get the second kiss, just the first kiss, which wasn’t too wet, but not completely dry. It didn’t have any tongue in it, which would have been all wrong right then anyway. It was a perfectly decent kiss, and I would have been happy to have a second, but that wasn’t the way Derek operated, apparently. Because when he pulled back from me, he was definitely smiling, like we’d passed the first kiss test.

I could only assume the second kiss would have to be earned in some other way, probably by some other outing that didn’t end with one of us in the ER.


I went to school the following Monday wondering what would happen when I saw Derek at school. Would he have any kind of bounce in his step? Would he go out of his way to see me? Would I go out of my way to run into him? I didn’t see him when I first got to school, but then I hardly ever did, so now I had to wonder when the first opportunity might be to run into him and how it would go. I was in my office considering how I might put myself in his way when I had an unexpected visit. It was Edward, clearly perturbed about something.

“I’m quitting Thoreau Club,” he said.

“Why? What happened?”

“Nothing,” he said, pacing my little office, running his hand absently through his wild hair. I could watch him do that for hours, I thought, but then pushed the thought away. “I need the time to study. It’s a lot of extra time right now for me.”

“Don’t,” I said.

“Why not?”

I wasn’t sure what to say. All I knew was that I wanted him around, and that was a desire I couldn’t voice.

“We’re going to apply for credit because of all the work you guys have been doing on the bear project. So you’ll be able to put the time towards graduation requirements.”

“Is that the only reason?”

“Of course not,” I said. “I’ll miss having you there.”

He took a seat on my couch.

“So, I hear you and Mr. Banner are dating.”

Ah ha. I’d wondered if Edward was nursing a crush and was happy to know at least it hadn’t been one sided, as fucked up as that felt. I tried to stifle a smile.

“Is that so?” I said.

“Is it true?”

“Edward,” I said gently, “this isn’t a line of questioning I can answer for you.”

“Fine,” he said. “Are you still coming to the Mercy Brown show?”

“Yes,” I said. "Of course.”

“Good. I’ll introduce you. She loves to meet new fans.”

“You should be her manager, or her publicist or something.” I said. “You should get a commission for every new fan you bring into the Mercy Brown fold.”

“I just do it for love,” he said, his mood lighter. Maybe I was wrong about the crush after all.

“Lucky girl,” I said.


That afternoon, I planted myself in the faculty lounge during Derek’s break, hoping to run into him. He came in and gave me a smile and sat down next to me, but otherwise seemed the same. He talked about possible day trips for Thoreau Club and made other small talk, and then there was a moment when we were alone.

“Are you busy Friday night?” he finally asked.

“Yeah, actually, I am,” I said. I could have invited him out with me to see Mercy Brown. In fact, I should have done that. The fact that I had no intention of doing that should have troubled me far more than it did.

Derek's face told of his disappointment and I said, “I’m free the rest of the weekend.”

“How about dinner Saturday?”




Friday night I met Illeana and Carl at the club in Port Angeles. I didn't go alone, because there was a real possibility of running into people I knew in Port Angeles and last thing I needed was to be seen out at a club with a student by myself. Besides, Illeana had become a big Mercy Brown fan since I'd pushed her new album on her and she would have been pissed if I hadn't told her she was playing.

We took our seats and I spotted Edward up near the stage, sitting at a cluster of small tables with his entire family, chatting with Mercy Brown. Mercy was leaning into Edward, and I had to assume they were an item. With her flawless pale skin and rich chocolate brown hair, she looked like she belonged with them.

I almost regretted that I hadn’t invited Derek. It would have been nice to have a date. It was a little sad to be there watching Illeana and Carl in their new baby glow all on my own. I looked up and was caught by surprise to see Edward standing at our table.

“Miss Swan,” he said. “Glad you could make it. No Mr. Banner?”

“Hi,” I said. “I brought my friends, Dr. and Mr. Rogers.”

“Pffft, call me Illeana,” she said as she smiled at him. “This is my husband Carl. Nice to meet you. This singer is your friend?”

“Yes,” Edward said. "She’s like family to us.”

“She’s got a future,” Illeana gushed. “Bella sent me her CD and I am addicted to it. With those looks and that voice, she’s going places.”

“I agree,” Edward said.

“She’s your girlfriend?” Illeana asked. Nice and subtle, she was.

“No, just an old friend.” He glanced at me briefly, but I did not miss it. Then Alice bounced across the room, all sparkles and smiles, as usual.

“Hi, Miss Swan! How cool of you to come see Mercy! She came down to play a set for my birthday.”

“Happy birthday, Alice.” I smiled. “What a great gift.”

“You have to come to our table,” she said. “She wants to meet you.”

“She does?”

“Yeah, Edward told her all about you.” Alice giggled and Edward rolled his eyes. Now I was worried. Told her about finding me drunk at her last show?

“I told her you had a fine appreciation for music,” Edward reassured me. “She likes to meet new fans.”

“I’d love to meet her,” I said.

We walked over to the Cullen encampment up by the stage. Walking into a cluster of such perfectly formed human beings was unsettling. They all looked refined to an ultimate degree—like their heavenly bodies, their ideal selves, could do no better. They looked unreal. Maybe I should lay off the Klonopin, I thought.

“Miss Swan, we’re so glad you could make it,” Dr. Cullen said.

“Thanks Dr. Cullen.”

“Please, call me Carlisle. This is my wife, Esme."

Esme nodded and gave me a big smile. “The kids have all said such nice things.”

“Well, that’s very nice to hear.” I was not convinced, especially when Rosalie gave a little snort and looked away. “They’re great kids,” I said. “Impeccable grades and a whole host of hidden talents. Half the student population thinks they’re secretly superheroes. Some of the faculty too, actually.” They all laughed. Even Rosalie cracked a satisfied smile. “And now I understand the talented Miss Mercy Brown is also a friend of yours?”

“Yes, she’s a dear,” Esme said. “She comes to stay with us whenever she plays Seattle. She and Edward sit in the music room for hours straight playing.”

“Esme,” Edward said, somewhat embarrassed. “Don’t… “

“Edward’s an enormous musical talent, but too modest,” Carlisle interrupted. “You should get him to play some of his compositions for you. They’re very good.”

“Really?” I looked at Edward. “You sure do have a lot of secrets.” The entire table burst out into laughter, the magnitude of which made no sense to me.

“He’s an enigma,” Alice said, and bonked him on the head with the palm of her hand. Then she put her arm around Jasper, who remained quiet and removed. He didn’t look entirely comfortable being at the coffee house, like he’d sort of been dragged there. But somehow the sight of him put me at ease.

Just then Mercy Brown came back out from behind stage. She looked a lot smaller than I remembered her from Seattle. I suppose being right next to her took away a little of her stage aura.

“Is this her?” she asked, looking right at me, a devilish smile, her eyes lit like flames. “She’s delicious.”

“I love your music,” I said. “I’ve got your entire catalogue on repeat on my iPod. I think I’m a little obsessed.”

“Perfect!” she said. “You’ve got to sit right up front here. I want a completely honest critique after the show. Don’t go easy on me!”

I laughed. She was immensely likable, in addition to talented and beautiful. I sort of hated her, but it was difficult given how alluring she was. “I’m with here friends,” I said, and motioned to Illeana and Carl, who appeared to be completely lost in some conversation, likely related to nursery decorating and assorted baby registry details. I was glad to have some other folks to talk to. Mercy looked over at Illeana and gave a low squeal.

“Oooh, your friend is expecting, how wonderful!” she said. “Or has she not told anyone yet?” She bit her lip regretfully. “It’s still early. Ah, my big mouth.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “It’s a girl.”

I laughed and shook my head, feigning ignorance, and hoping to cover some of my amazement. Mercy smiled and floated over to the side of the stage and started to prepare herself for the performance.

Edward pulled out a chair for me.

“Please,” he said. “Make yourself at home.”

I sat down, and Edward went over to Illeana and Carl and invited them to join us. Illeana looked up at me and waved and motioned they’d stay where they were. Clearly they didn’t mind having a little time to themselves. I suppose they were savoring it now since that would be over in about eight months.

Edward sat next to me and said softly, “I’m glad you came.” I smiled and nodded, and tried to contain what I was feeling because I knew it was something I shouldn’t be feeling and something I sure didn’t want to be expressing. The lights dimmed and Edward leaned over again and whispered, “Enjoy the show.” Then he hopped up out of his seat and strode up onto the stage and picked up an acoustic guitar. The lights dimmed and Mercy stood in front of the microphone.

“Good evening everyone,” Mercy said. “Thank you so much for joining us. I’m Mercy Brown and tonight I’m accompanied by my dear old friend on guitar, Edward Cullen. Please make him feel welcome.” The room broke out into applause and Edward looked up and gave a small wave. “I also have to say happy birthday to my dear friend Alice, who is… “ she looked down to where we were sitting to spot Alice in her chair. “How old are you again? 193?”

The crowd laughed and Alice waved her off. “I guess it doesn’t matter much, since this place isn’t serving.”

She started her first song and I was transported. Her velvet voice blanketed the cafe in warmth and color. She owned that room. Edward’s playing was flawless and soulful. Now to all the things that made this kid perfect in every way aside from his age, I could add accomplished musicianship. I would have steam coming from my ears if I wasn’t so tamed by the soothing tones filling the room from his guitar and her voice.

“I told you, right? He’s very good,” Esme leaned over and whispered to me, smiling.

One good thing about the night was that I had a perfectly reasonable excuse to just stare at Edward, and I did stare openly. I was riveted as I watched his hands work over that guitar with the care and precision of a heart surgeon. The concentration in his face gave him an intensity I couldn’t break away from. Every so often he’d look out at the audience and I had to turn my gaze to Mercy. If his eyes met mine, I wasn’t sure what he might find behind them.

When they were done playing and the applause finally died down, Edward packed up his guitar and came off the stage, directly over to me.

“So you’re leaving school to hit the road for the big time, then?” I teased him. “That was pretty spectacular playing there, Cullen.”

He laughed. “Glad you approve. I think I’ll still go for the diploma, though high school drop out does add to the allure of the traveling musician.”

“Yes, helps the rock image a bit. Straight-A-ivy-league-bound-high-school-student doesn’t have the same dark allure to it.”

“Just the same, I think I’ll stay put.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” I said, sincerely.


Outside, Illeana was all over me. “Girl, that Edward has it for you. Bad. What did you do to the poor kid?”

I blanched at her words. “No, I don’t think so,” I stammered. “Mercy is his girlfriend.”

“Please, you’re so blind. How soon is he 18? He’s a doll.”

“Oh. My. God. You’re pure evil. Don’t even think like that.”

“Oh, come on. You know you’re thinking it.”

“I have a job I’d like to keep, you know? Jesus.”

“Don’t listen to her,” Carl said. “She’s pregnant. She can’t think straight.”

“En serio, Bella, he’s gorgeous and so mature for his age, don’t you think? Plus boyfriend plays guitar like a dream. I’m pretty sure he’s got the big torch, you know? Not the small one.” I didn’t want to be considering the size of Edward’s torch. Not at all. “You say he’s a senior?”

“He’s seventeen. I don’t know when his birthday is, but he’s a high school student and I am not even discussing this. Not even a little.”

I walked Illeana and Carl to their car and Illeana gave me a big hug.  I kissed her on the cheek and told her I’d call her later in the week.

I walked slowly back to my car, sort of dazed, lost on a trail of impure thoughts that I’d tried to veer from, but Illeana’s implied approval of the unthinkable put me squarely back on it. The thought of kissing him swirled in my mind deliciously, and I could not dislodge it. I held it there, contemplating.

I stepped out to cross Front Street, back to where my car was parked when I heard the screech of tires. I looked up to see a black Toyota pickup headed right for me. I hadn’t even bothered to look before stepping out into the street, I was so distracted by my fantasy. I saw the oncoming truck, but I was frozen to that spot on the road, unable to move.

Then there was a painfully strong tug on my right arm and I was pulled out of the street, backwards onto something, on the sidewalk. I tried to catch my breath as I realized it was Edward.

“Are you all right?” he asked, a wild edge in his voice. “Did I hurt you?”

“No,“ I said, but my arm was sore where he'd gripped me. “Where did you come from?”

“I was behind you,“ he said. “You stepped right into traffic. You didn’t even look.” He shook his head.

“Why did you do that?”

“You were definitely not behind me,” I said. “I would have noticed.”

“Yeah, well if you’re so observant, why didn’t you notice that truck coming?” He glared at me.

I had no excuse. I clearly wasn’t paying attention because I was thinking of him and of all the illegal and improper things I wanted to do to him. I couldn’t very well explain that, though.

The driver of the truck came running to where we were sitting on the sidewalk, and Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Jasper, who must have been coming out of the club when it happened, came running over.

“Jesus Christ, lady!” The man driving the truck yelled at me, “You could have gotten us both killed. Why the hell don’t you watch where you’re walking?”

“Back off,” Edward turned and growled at him, an entirely different tone than I’d ever heard before. The man shrank away.

“I’m sorry,” I said, growing more embarrassed and upset. “I’m really sorry.”

“Miss Swan,” Carlisle bent down next to me. “Are you hurt?”

"No," I said. "Just a little stunned."

Carlisle put his hands on my shoulder and my arm and felt around, and I noticed his hands were cool through my clothes. Like an ice pack. Did he have the same condition as Edward? Was that even possible? He helped me to my feet.

“I’m so embarrassed,” I said. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“We’re just glad you’re okay,” Esme said, patting me on the arm.

 I turned to Edward. “Thank you,” I said. My voice cracked and I just plunked myself back down on the sidewalk, my head beginning to fill with the adrenaline of my delayed terror. I put my hands on either side of my head and just tried to breathe. “I’m okay,” I said to the concerned crowd. “I just need to catch my breath.”

Edward sat down next to me. “Let me drive you home,” he said.

“No, that’s not necessary,” I said. “I’ll be fine in a minute. Go on and have fun with Mercy. It’s Alice’s birthday and I’m sure you’ve got plans.”

“We’re just going home,” Alice said. “Mercy already left with Emmett and Rosalie.”

“I don’t want to leave my car.”

“Edward can drive your car, and we’ll follow you. I insist,” Carlisle said. “You shouldn’t drive right now.” I didn’t know how to argue, but part of me knew I should. But then, if I protested too much, would my guilty conscience make it more obvious?

“He’s a very good driver,” Esme said with a reassuring smile. “You’ll be in good hands.”


I can’t even begin to describe the awkward thrill that was the experience of Edward driving me home. First of all, he drives too fast. So do I, so this wasn’t much of a problem for me. I didn’t really know what to say to him, and again I was concerned, thinking of how this entire night might play back at school in the retelling. Had I done anything wrong or out of sync with school policy? I didn’t think so, but I felt so guilty I wasn’t sure.

“How do you like this mini Cooper?” he asked, speeding along the road, distracting me from my clutter of awkward thoughts.

“It’s peppy and handles decently, but it’s not the Z4 I wish I had,” I said. “On my salary, that’s a little bit of a stretch. Unless I want to live in it.”

He laughed. “So you like expensive cars and boats, then.”

“I do,” I said. “And your family has quite the impressive car collection, I’ve noticed.”

“Yeah, well we all like driving a lot. It’s sort of a hobby.”

“You have a lot of interesting hobbies. Driving, yachting, music. It’s a wonder you get any studying done.”

“Well, I don’t sleep,” he joked. “Ever.”

“Not up all night playing Guitar Hero either, I assume.”

“Ha, no, I don’t think so,” he said and smiled. “I’m more of a Call of Duty kind of guy anyway.”

“Somehow I have trouble seeing you in front of a Play Station or an Xbox.”

“Really? Where do you see me, then?”

In my bed, I thought to myself, but didn’t say.

“What are you thinking?” he asked, suspiciously. I am sure I turned red, but luckily it was dark.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You’ve got to be thinking about something. You just don’t want to say what it is.”

“Maybe,” I said. “But then don’t you do the same thing all the time? Mr. ‘I don’t like to talk about myself?’”

“Okay, fine.”

“I’m just feeling very embarrassed,” I said, which was the truth. “I almost got myself killed in one of the stupidest ways imaginable.”

“Well, I’m very glad you didn’t get yourself killed,” he said.

“Yeah, thanks to you.”

“Anytime,” he said, taking his eyes off the road look at me. I don’t know how he managed to look at me like that and continue to steer the car, but we made it to my driveway in one piece. And I didn’t think to ask him then how he knew my address. It just seemed like, of course, he would know. Because for no good reason, that’s how it felt when I was with Edward. There was the thrill of being close to him, but also the comfort of being with someone you’d known forever. And I very much hated feeling that way around him, because it was a feeling I desperately wanted to have with someone. Just not him.

He walked me to my door, keeping a modest distance. I waved my thanks back at his family, who’d followed us there. I had no proper way to show him my gratitude and floundered for some type of good night that felt both sincere and appropriate. I put the key in the lock of my front door and opened it.

“Home safe and sound,” I said.

“Good night,” he said, and turned to walk away.

“Edward?” I couldn’t stop myself from calling after him.


“I had a great time,” I said, feeling unbearably stupid. “Aside from the almost getting myself killed part.”

“Me too.” He smiled at me and then did a jog to his family’s car. I stayed on the porch staring after them until their tail lights disappeared down K Street.


When I went inside, my cell phone rang. I found myself hoping it was Edward, but how would he even have my number, and why would he call anyway? 

It wasn’t him, it was Charlie.

“What’s wrong, Dad?” I asked, worried. “Why are you calling so late?”

“Are you sitting down?” he asked.

“Are you okay? What happened?”

“She said yes,” he said, quietly. I was silent. “Bella? Did you hear me? She said yes.”

“I heard you,” I said, and began to cry. “Dad, you asked Sue to marry you?”

“I finally got up the nerve, can you believe it? Looks like my bachelor days will be behind me soon.”

“I’m so happy for you,” I said, and began bawling.

“Oh, Bells, don’t,” he said. “Aw, come on, please don’t cry honey.”

“No Dad, this is good. This is really, really good. Don’t mind me. You know how I get.”

Charlie's engagement blew my giddy, stupid Edward fantasy to bits and it littered my floor with its sparkly lies. Edward was a diversion. A derailment from any possible real relationship I might pursue. Even my father was moving on into a future with someone he could build a life with. I was chasing a seventeen year old boy I could never be with.

So soon, I’d be the last Swan on the lake without a mate.

Suddenly I Want to Watch the MTV Movie Awards... (Now With Extra Robert Pattinson!!)

In case you missed it - I just saw this over at Twilight Blog and watched it four times in a row and then made Mr. Snarky come watch it with me, because I was practically pissing myself. You know - in the funny way, not the "I have urine on me now" way ('cause that's icky).

How fucking adorable is he?! And RPatts is cute too... OK I totally meant RPatts but Tom Cruise slayed me in Tropic Thunder as Les Grossman and he's dishing the funny here, too. It makes me forget that he seems a tad creepy these days. Fuck it - the man still makes good movies. Sometimes. And you don't always have to be in a great film to have a place in our collective hearts, am I right, ladies??? Huh? Yeah?? All righty then.

Now go read chapters 7 and 8 of Osa Bella and let Myg know what you think!

Friday, May 28, 2010

So Many Edwards! How's A Memory-Challenged Twitard to Cope?

Why hello STY - who cares what this blog post is about? I've been waiting for you...

[*Note to all you non-fanfic-readers who are probably rolling their eyes right now [and aren't thinking "twitchy palm"!!] because it's practically been "FanFic-O-Rama Week!" here at Twitarded: don't ditch us just yet even if you don't feel like reading another fanfic-related post... Skip down to the bottom of the page - I have questions for you!]

As most of you know, I haven't read a ton of fanfic... But between JJ's 15 Step, Myg's Osa Bella, Tara Sue Me's delish tie-me-up-tie-me-down Twifecta The Submissive/The Dominant/The Training, and Master of The Universe, I'm starting to notice a little problem: how the hell are you supposed to keep all these Edwards (and Bellas) straight?! How can you keep all of the story lines and plot points and other shit straight?! Because as I am trying to expand my fanfic horizons, I am seriously at a loss here...

I should probably mention that I am not the best at general. I regularly forget birthdays, anniversaries, what I had for breakfast, what I wore on Monday when it's Friday and I am trying to make sure I don't repeat an outfit at the office in the same week - you know, shit like that. Seriously, I should probably invest in mega-doses of ginko biloba and maybe start playing games like Soduko that are supposed to help keep your brain sharp, because at this rate, my noggin is going to be a mushy turnip by the time I hit 50 (and note to Twilight: I love you but you aren't helping matters - just sayin'... I think my frontal lobe is 1/10th the size it was two years ago).

So what are your methods for coping with Edward overload? How are you reading one story and not mixing it up with the other? Because I have read in the comments recently that some of you are in the middle of 10+ stories, and I am totally baffled. Do you have a max on how many stories you will read at once (which is REALLY hard because most of them are not complete...)? Are you one of those people who ends up on Oprah as an adult because they can remember how many Cheerios they ate for a snack thirty-something years back and every detail since? Or do you just lose track and wing it??? I need to know! Seriously...

*OK you non-fanfic-readers - like I said, I have questions for you: why aren't you reading fanfic??? Are you opposed to people messing with Stephenie Meyer's characters?? Maybe you tried one on for size and found it was horribly written?? Do you not want to read smutty, lemon-y stuff filled with graphic, moistness-inducing smexsiness? Or are you just afraid you will fall down this oft-trodden rabbit hole and find yourself reading Twi-smut every waking moment and at work until you find yourself debating exactly how inappropriate it would be to have a little "alone time" in the ladies room???

I have questions, you have answers. Comments, please!

P.S. We are thisclose to having 1500 followers!!! Please, if you love us, help us get there! And 1520 is better than 1500, so don't wuss out on us after we get to 1500... Really - we live and die by those numbers!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Does Robert Pattinson Really Smell?

I often wonder if Robert Pattinson really does smell or if it's just some nasty rumor some average looking asshole started to try and get all the hoards of women to stop giving two shits about him. And it doesn't help matters that Rob himself has actually joked? about not washing his hair. And yes, I know this is old news and a lot of his female costars have come forward and claimed he smelled wonderful. Blah, blah, blah... but yes, I'm kinda dying to know what he does smell like.

Hmmmm... hair looks washed here...

This is going to sound weird and so 80's of me, but I had this boyfriend in high school who used to wear Old Spice. I know, I know, so old-man-ish, but there was something about that scent, that made me absolutely crazy to the point of needing to jump his bones immediately. (I'm so glad my dad never wore that shit because that probably really would have confused me and possibly resulted in a need for therapy.) I can't be held accountable for what I would do to RPattz, should he smell like this.

Since I'm never happy with secondhand information, I think I'm going to have to gather my own proof. I'm not willing to take just anyone's word for it. I would like to set up my own meeting with Mr. Pattinson to find out exactly what he smells like [JJ's note - if he sees you coming he's just going to smell like fear]. And this isn't a project that I'll be taking lightly. There has been far too much speculation regarding the eau de RPattz so I feel like it's my civic duty to put the rumors to rest.

Huh? Looks fresh and clean here...

This is going to be a tricky mission. Especially with the recent discovery that there may or may not be a restraining order against me after my last interview with Robert. I must be very sensitive to his feelings and try not to dry hump his leg every time he turns his back on me. I'm hoping that if I just sign something resigning myself to being handcuffed while in his presence (oooh, Robbie, me likey the cuffs), he will let me conduct my study.

I'm going to need to spend at least two weeks with him to gather the necessary research to correctly report on his scent. I will need to be with him at all times... including in the shower to see if he really washes his hair complete with shampoo, or if he maybe wears a shower cap to maintain that unkempt, dirty, just-fucked look. I will need to be with him when he dresses to find out his deodorant situation, and to make sure he's at least wearing clean underwear.

It'll be like this but more sexual, less clinical.

For me there's just nothing worse than the smell of b.o. and dirty hair so I asked myself, self, would that be a deal killer for you? Would I cut all ties with the Robsessed world and the Twidom if I found him to smell less than acceptable for my olfactory senses?

Ahhhh, fuck no! Hey, my dog smells. I mean he smells really bad. All the time. I can give him a bath and like three hours later he smells again. That's just his breed - he's a hound and those damn hounds, while incredibly handsome, smell like ass all. the. time! And does that make me love my dog any less? Nope. And like anything, you get used to the smell to a point where you don't smell it anymore. I know there have been times when my mom has come to visit and will comment on how bad the dog smells. I don't smell it. Oh well... Should Rob be stinky, I'd be willing to get acclimated... That's right - I would do that. For him.

And well shit, he looks freshly showered here too...

So I'm thinking this is good news. Even if RPattz is the stinkiest dude on earth, I know that at some point, I would get used to it. I wonder if that's why KStew always has a look on her face like she's just smelled something really bad. Even she can't stand to be with him. She probably doesn't have a dog that has honed her ability to smell bad things and not die from it.

And Rob? Please stop with all the joking about your dirty hair and lack of showering... the whole cutting the hair because of a 'nit infestation'. Totally freaked me out. Plus dirty nits couldn't survive in hair so pretty. Only butterflies and unicorns can live there.

I wouldn't kick him out of bed no matter how bad he smelled! Would you?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fee Fi Fo Fum - I Smell Twilight Fan Fiction


Tonight is just all about fan fiction. First chapter six of Osa Bella and now this.

I'm sorry for all of you who don't read it and I promise we'll somehow make it up to you in another post that will possibly be filled with panty-soaking pictures of RPattz or something.

In three... two... one... Engage engines...
Houston, we have panty-melt. Repeat, we have panty-melt.

I've been reading the comments on last night's post and I noticed that a lot of you mentioned that you're still in love with Twilight because of fan fiction and... well, I have to agree that fan fiction definitely plays a small part in my love of this world.

You guys play the biggest part, though. Just sayin'...

Speaking of big things (ba da bump!) it's time for another FanFic Roundup!! Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, others will make you thank OH-EM-fucking-E that you never, ever, EVER have to re-live high school.

But most will make you want to grab your S/O, or pocket rocket, or terrifying cactus thingy and ride it like your life depended on it.

What was that? The Misapprehension of Bella Swan just updated? Hmmm, which one do I usually need for that fic?

[STY's note - holy shit it's like a vibrator farm... and I like the looks of that pink one in the foreground that sits in a rechargeable base. smart design if I ever saw it...]

This week I'm loving a rather... schizophrenic collection of fics.

The first one is one I found pretty early on but have been hanging on to it for some unknown reason. I'll tell you right off the bat - if you're uncomfortable dealing with themes like death and terminal illness this story is not for you. If you're okay with that, then you'll really love this story:

Ladder to the Sun - How can you die when you've never really lived? That's the problem Bella Swan faces when she's told she only has a year to live. Can she make up for a lonely, unhappy life in the short time she has left... and maybe find love too? All-human, EXB

Picture snagged from - story can be found here

Bella is so heart wrenchingly sweet, lonely, vulnerable but incredibly strong in this fic and the writer really gets her all emotions down pat. I call the Edward in this tale Somberward but he's really so much more than that. He's got his secrets and his "darkness" but there are just so many facets to both of these characters that are so subtle and so raw that you can't help but fall in love with them.

Little Fish, Big Fish - Collab between Paige Parkker BPOV & Michelle M Marie EPOV. A/H OOC Follows the life of Bella and Edward as they meet in high school, eventually parting painfully, only to reunite as adults – in very different circumstances. M for language & lemony awesomeness.

Pic totally jacked from Twilighted. Story can be found there... here

This is hands down my favoritest Bella in the whole wide world -- and that includes my own Bella and characters are supposed to be like your kids and they're supposed to be #1 but... yeah. She's spunky, funny, snarky, witty, sexy and just an all round pot smoking free-spirited little devil. I'd be her best friend but Snarkier Than You would totally kick her ass.

The writing is pretty much exactly how I described Bella so there's that. It's a really cute and awesome trip of a story.

I'm actually not going to give y'all much more than that and it might not start out like an Edward and Bella story but... it is. Trust me.

Plus, I'm compiling a list of awesome quirky sayings from this fic. You've been warned.

The last recommendation I'm throwing out to the masses tonight is one that Texas Katherine and many of you have actually recommended to me but I wanted to make sure that I spread the word around anyway because jeebus frucking crispies is this one... pretty fucking hot in a holy-shit-Edward-is-totes-dangerous kinda way.

And that's before there's even sex.

Hide & Drink - Bella’s blood was just too tempting to be ignored. While Edward drags her around the world, barely keeping a step ahead of his frantic family, Bella battles the monster for possession of the gentler vampire inside her captor. EPOV. Rated M-violence/sex

You know the drill. Story can be found at Twilighted here.

I don't know what it is about violent, angry barely-in-control Edward that makes me a tad hot under the collar but... yummy. And scary. And kinda jealous, too. But he's still fundamentally Edward and the writer really does a great job and differentiating between the voices of her characters. She nails them. The "voices" of the characters that is, not the actual characters. Because, um, that would be really hard to do.

What? You're still here? Quick! Grab a tarp (or tissues, depending on which one you're reading) and settle yourself down for some nice long quality time with Edward, Bella and the gang.

We'll be waiting here for you when you get back so let us know what you think of these stories. And, as always, let us know what's pwning YOU.

Osa Bella - Chapter 6 "Hunter" [Twilight FanFiction]

Hey there Twi fic fans! This here is the second installment of Osa Bella, Chapter 6. If you're new to the story, please start at the beginning.  It'll make more sense that way.

Osa Bella has its own little home here, where you can download pdfs of the story and peruse a lot of geeky extras like playlists (which you can stream and/or purchase), random thoughts I have and other bits of research I've collected. 

But please do come back here to leave comments if you have them. I really appreciate comments, more than I can say. 

Okay, enough prattling on. Here's Chapter 6!

Chapter 6


My interest in Edward Cullen was going to lead me into serious trouble—this I knew just six weeks into the school year. Without my consent, several times a day my mind rifled through the moments I'd spent with him, mental images I'd filed away for safe keeping. At night when I was alone it was the worst, and thoughts of him often interrupted my sleep. I started taking more Klonopin.

I had two hypotheses about this fixation. Either something about Edward reminded me of Zack at that age, or I was sabotaging myself from getting into any relationship with promise of a future. Or both. I was afraid to fall in love again—that much was true. Investing energy into someone impossible like Edward was safe because it could never turn into a real romance. What I needed was a man who might be a possibility.

If Jake was potentially my King of Wands, I'd have to find a way to let him know I was interested without pressure. I cherished Jake's friendship and hated the idea of appearing desperate. I called him to feel him out.

"We should go see that new movie that came out."

"Which one?"

"Face Punch," I said. "Lots of action."

"I saw it with Embry and Quil last week. It sucked."

"Well how about something else?"

"There's nothing out I really want to see."

This was typical, and I wasn't dense. If a guy is interested in you, he wants to be around you. Jake wasn't interested, and I wasn't going to chase him. I had some dignity left. Not much, but some.

Derek Banner, on the other hand, had potential. He was smart and had his shit together. He was attractive in a grown up kind of way. Like you knew he paid all his bills on time, could change a tire on the side of the road, and remembered to send his mother flowers on Mother's Day.

I caught up to him after his fifth period class and asked about the Thoreau club idea. "I've been thinking about that Kermode bear," I said. "I'd love to figure out why it was so far south. Think that might be a good project for the club?"

"That's a great idea," Derek said. "I spotted a film about Kermodes on Netflix. Why don't we get together and watch it? Then maybe we can show it to the students at our first meeting."

We decided to watch it at Derek's house, and he offered to cook. That seemed like a good sign. When I arrived Friday, he’d set a lovely table in his small dining room, which overlooked the back yard and the river.

“Mind if I say grace?” he asked before the meal.

“Of course not,” I said. I hadn't said grace since I was a kid at my grandma's table, but it didn't seem at all awkward when Derek said it.

The pork tenderloin in brandy sauce he made was better than any single thing I’d ever cooked in my life. Granted, that wasn’t saying much other than I was pretty sure I wouldn’t do well to try and repay the favor of a home cooked meal.  After dinner I helped him clean up and we sat together on the couch and watched the DVD.

“Sorry, that was no Planet Earth,” Derek said. “But at least we know something about the plight of the Kermodes up in Canada now.”

“Let’s not make the kids suffer through that.” I laughed. “But I do like the idea of studying the unusual bear activity around here. As long as it’s safe.”

“Right,” he said. “As long as we’re not having the kids take pictures at close range.” He elbowed me.

“It’s a good opportunity to teach them some wildlife safety tips. Something you should have been taught before Hurricane Ridge.”

“Ha. I carry pepper spray. That’s my bear safety training from Chief Swan.”

“Pepper spray is your friend in a bear attack. Luckily bear attacks are rare, unless you provoke one or it’s a mother protecting cubs.”

“I’ll try to remember that, though hopefully I won’t be in a situation where I’ll need to.”

"Better bring it when we hike at Lake Crescent this spring." He smiled. "Just in case."

That was a good sign. In fact, things went so well that at the end of the night I wondered if he might kiss me. I don’t know why I wondered that, since he hadn’t made any overtures in that direction. We’d sat on the couch for ninety minutes during a bad movie and he didn’t even move to sit closer. And when I paused for a bit too long on the stoop pretending to fish for my keys as I was leaving, he just smiled and repeated that he’d had a good time.

I'd had a good time too. There was no drunken sex or inappropriate midnight ship boarding involved, but still, the company was good and the drama was nonexistent. And I could definitely deal with that.


We set a first Thoreau Club meeting date and hand-selected a few members to start. Mike Newton was my first choice. Mike spent a good deal of time in my office throughout his high school career, sweating over this exam, crying over this girl—most recently, Jessica. He was a good kid but his moodiness concerned me. It was beyond a normal teenager's mood swings. When he was feeling good he lit up the school like a flood light but when he was down, you had to scrape him off the pavement. Many times I’d encouraged his parents to get him into treatment but they always blew me off. Thoreau club would be a good distraction for him and an easy way for me to keep a close eye on him during his final year of high school.

We also asked Paige Lee to join. She was a good student, had a great sense of humor and both Derek and I had really enjoyed having her on the hike at Hurricane Ridge. All she had to hear was Mike was in and she was sold. Two other students, Angela Weber, a straight-A student and ivy league hopeful, and Eric Yorkie, the school’s social butterfly, also joined. We thought four students would make for a good, intimate and manageable group so we started there.

For our first meeting we met after school in Derek’s classroom and I pitched the bear project.

“At the store we’ve been hearing weird things customers are seeing with the bears,” Mike said. “One guy came into the store the other day and said he found a bear sleeping next to his car. He made a bunch of noise and when the bear woke up, it didn’t even move until he said he actually asked it to.”

“He asked it to move, and it moved?” Paige asked. “That’s impossible.”

“Maybe not,” I said. “I once heard a Radiolab story about this blue whale who thanked a group of divers for saving its life."

"What?" Paige said. "No way!"

"Seriously" I said. "It was trapped in about two tons of fishing line off the coast of California. The crew of a fishing boat heard about it and got a bunch of divers to try and save it. The divers worked for hours and hours, just cutting through all of this netting. They thought it was going to die before they could free it. But they managed to cut it loose, and then suddenly the whale was just gone, like it vanished.

“Then one of them saw the whale directly below him, swimming up like a submarine on the attack, but then it stopped right under him and just nudged him with its nose. Like it was thanking him. It did the same thing to every diver.

“The crazy thing is, the whale wouldn’t leave. It just stayed with the divers, like it owed them something. The divers had to get back in the boat and motor away to tell the whale it was okay.”

“That’s incredible,” Derek said.

“So maybe the bears are trying to tell us something,” Mike Newton said.

”We should start tracking all of these bear incidents,” Angela said. “We can get the police reports on bear sightings and just keep a log of what they’re doing. Maybe there’s a pattern.”

“Maybe their behavior will change over time, too,” Derek suggested. “And we can derive some meaning from it.”

“Then we can write something up on it,” Angela went on. “We can do a feature in the school paper.”

“Sounds like we’ve got our first project,” Derek said, and began making notes on the board.
I watched him write all of the kids’ ideas down on the board and smiled. He looked over and caught me watching him, and I’m pretty sure I saw a small smile grace that focused face that was meant just for me.

My plan to invest my energy into something with potential, away from Edward Cullen? It was working. Tuesday Thoreau club meetings became the highlight of my week. Derek and I were having regular coffee dates to plan what we’d do week to week, and I was becoming as interested in deciphering the strange bear behavior as I was in deciphering the strange behavior of divorced males who wanted to regularly spend time with me but never wanted to make any moves.

From a little research, the kids learned that the bear behavior was concentrated around Forks. Charlie contacted the Port Angeles police department to compare notes for us and we were definitely seeing a spike in bear sightings they didn't have. La Push had them too, so I had another excuse to call Jacob. When I told him I was co-facilitating a club with a guy, he was suddenly, annoyingly, interested. He offered to have us bring the club to the reservation and meet with the elders to talk about the bears.

“Since when are you such a naturalist?” he asked me.

“I know, right?” I said. “I’ve just been getting more into it with this club.”

“Does your co-facilitator have anything to do with it?” he asked.


“What’s his name? Maybe I don’t want him coming here,” he teased. “He’s got too much influence over my Jersey girl.”

“Oh, please,” I said. “When are we getting drunk, anyway? I owe you an embarrassing moment, as I recall.”

“You do, don’t you?” Jake said. “But I’m swamped this weekend grading mid-terms. We’ll have to try in a couple of weeks.”

Typical Jake.

I hung up and leafed through a pile of paperwork trying to decide which I’d procrastinate on first, when there was a knock at my door.

“Come on in,” I said, not looking up.

“Miss Swan?”

My heart stuttered and stopped as I looked up and saw Edward, perhaps the last person I’d expected. I actively avoided him since the Monday after Seattle and was just beginning to feel normal again. But there he was, closing the door to my office, trapping me inside that small space with him and all that thick, tousled hair of his and it was as if no time had passed at all.

“Well, hi there,” I said, motioning to him to take a seat, feeling the smile spread across my face. “What brings you here? Is everything going okay?”

“Yeah, just fine,” he said, then paused.  I’ve never known anyone who could communicate so much with a look as Edward Cullen. All of the Cullens had that gift, but Edward was especially good at it. And this look told me, “I know you’re not going to believe this, but…”

“I want to join the Thoreau club,” he said.

I gave him my “no shit?” look.

“Seriously,” he said. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“You don’t like clubs,” I said. “But of course you can join. You don’t need to ask—you can just come to the meetings. Do you know the other students?”

“Not very well,” he said. “Angela Weber is in it, right? She’s in a few of my classes. In biology she and Mr. Banner were talking about the bear project. It sounded interesting.” 

“It will be," I said. Undoubtedly. With Edward in the mix, there was no way this could not be interesting. "We meet Tuedays at 3:15 in Mr. Banner’s room.”

"I'll be there," he said.

“I’m glad you changed your mind.”

“Me too,” he said. Then he lingered as if he planned to say something else.  “By the way, Mercy is playing in Port Angeles next month.”

“Really? I didn't see that advertised anywhere.”

“She promised Alice she'd play a set for her birthday. Would you like to come? I'll put you on the guest list.”

“Yeah, of course,” I said. "I'd love to see Mercy again."

“I’ll let you know when she books the date,” he said, smiling as he backed out my door.

And just like that, without thinking, without realizing what I'd actually done, I accepted a date with Edward Cullen.


I had to go into Port Angeles for a conference later that week and met Illeana for lunch at the Black Bird. She was late, her face flushed and panting as she rushed to meet me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “You look like you just hiked 17 miles.”

“Girl, you aren’t going to believe this,” she said. “I’m pregnant.”

I jumped right out of my seat and and threw my arms around her.  “No way!”

“Si! Can you believe it? Just took the pregnancy test today. It’s brand new, don’t tell anyone.”

“Does Carl know?’”

“Claro que si, tonta,” she said. “He died a little when I told him. He’s one happy man.” She blushed.

“Oh, very happy, I see. When are you due?”

“Not 'til July. I told you it’s early. I could lose it, you know,” she looked worried. “Ay, all that wine!”

“You’ll be fine,” I said. “Do you have names picked out yet?”

“Perla for a girl. I always loved that name.”

“Perla Rogers. Sounds lovely. What about for a boy?”

“Edward,” she said. “It’s such a good solid man’s name, you know? Strong sounding. Classic.”

“Wow,” I said, mildly stunned. I tried to ignore that little zing I felt, the one you get when you feel like the stars are aligning in some meaningful way. It was the exact feeling a girl gets when someone inadvertently mentions the name of her crush.

“What? You don’t like it?” she asked.

“I love it,” I said. “It’s perfect.”

I left lunch feeling dejected. I was happy for Illeana, but her pregnancy was another reminder of something I'd wanted but didn't have at this point in my life—a family. I was thirty and didn’t even have a boyfriend.

Could things progress romantically with Derek Banner? He was easy to be around, had a good sense of humor and had a good attitude about just about everything. He was smart and the kids respected him. He was also very kind and generous with them. He’d make a great father and probably not a bad husband, either. For someone.

The person who would be really great with kids was Jacob—if he ever grew up. Bastard. Why couldn't he be into me? It would be so much easier. He was gorgeous, fun to hang out with and a terrible flirt. He knew nearly everything there was to know about me and the sex, the few times it happened, had been quite good. But he was always blowing me off for something else. Like grading papers. It just didn’t make sense.

Then the vacancy in my collection of imaginary suitors was suddenly, inappropriately filled by a man who was barely a man. Edward Cullen, the high school boy who looked like a movie star and never brought a book home but got straight As and smoked in the parking lot and wouldn’t surrender any of the secrets to his dark and mysterious past. What did his house look like? Did he have posters or fine art hanging on his bedroom walls? What did he do in the evenings and on weekends? What else was in his music collection? Who was his first kiss? Who was his first… had he had a first?

I really wanted to just know him, and not in any therapeutic or professional way. And that just couldn’t be.


Tuesday, I was anxious all day anticipating Thoreau club. Would I be able to act normal around Edward? Would our strange meeting in Seattle ever surface? Would he bring up the Mercy Brown show?

In Derek's lab after school I took a seat and waited, nervously tapping my pen on the table until I caught a strange look from Derek. He smiled at me.

"You okay?"

"Yeah," I said. "Too much coffee this afternoon."

"They make decaf, you know," he teased.

"By the way, Edward Cullen is joining Thoreau Club," I said.

"Really?" He was surprised. "Well, I never would have expected that."

Mike walked in with Jessica, who had also decided to join. This would make Mike happy only as long as Jessica didn’t dump him, but it would make poor Paige miserable. Angela and Erik strolled in together and several agonizingly long minutes later, Edward walked into the room and sat in the chair directly across from me and smiled. Did my heart actually stop for a few beats?

"Glad you made it," I said as casually as I could.

"Thanks," he said.

The other students were surprised and rather pleased that a Cullen had joined their group. The Cullens were minor celebrities at Forks High by this point in the year, often dished about and rarely spoken to.

"Welcome Mr. Cullen, Miss Stanley," Derek said. "We'll catch you up on what we're doing here."

Angela laid out an enormous local map, on which she’d marked the areas of concentrated bear activity. She recounted several stories of bear sightings from around Forks, Port Angeles and Olympic National Park that she’d collected from the police and from the National Park Service. Forks and La Push definitely had seen a spike in bear sightings far above what was being reported in the rest of the county.

"La Push?" I said. "We should go out there next week. My close friend can probably get us a meeting with the elders to talk about what they've seen out there."

"Who's your friend?" Edward asked.

"Jacob Black," I said. "Our families go back a long time."

"Oh," Edward said.

"Do you know him?"

"I was just curious," he said.

“Did you hear any any reports of the Kermode bear?” I asked Angela.

“You know, nobody believed me when I told them about that,” she said. “They said it’s not possible. I need to send them your photos from Hurricane Ridge.”

“Seriously, it’s not like we don’t have evidence,” Paige said.

“So we have one Kermode bear sighting, which is crazy since they don't live down here," Erik said.

"And a record breaking number of bear sightings around Forks and La Push since the summer, but no reports of any human getting hurt.”

“Do you think those things are connected?" I asked.

"Who knows?" Angela said. "Maybe there’s some explosion in the bear population, and that lead to the genetic variant for Kermodes being carried this far south. Or maybe something else is causing the existing bears to gravitate more towards humans.”

For the first time in the meeting I noticed Edward fidget a little in his seat, almost as though the topic had become uncomfortable for him. But he said nothing. Derek started writing down things on the board.

“People, we need some hypotheses to start with,” he said.

“Ugh, Mr. Banner, do you have to make it feel like homework?” Jessica said.

“If we consider Miss Swan's story about the blue whale, then one hypothesis is that the bears are trying to tell us something,” Angela said. “Maybe the bears losing their fear of humans is the message.”

“Yes, but what might the message be?” Derek pressed them.

“We miss you?” Angela tentatively suggested and Paige and Erik laughed.

“That’s stupid,” Jessica said. “Bears don’t even like humans.”

“You don’t really know that,” Edward said quietly. Mike Newton glared at him, presumably for crossing his girlfriend, but Edward ignored him.

“Do we really know how bears feel about anything? Can we even argue that they have emotions the way humans do?” Derek asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I think they do.”

“Based on what evidence?” Derek asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s just a gut feeling.”

“Well, this is science.” Derek said. “Feelings don’t count unless they’re backed by evidence.”

“Fair enough,” I said.

“So, what—we’re doing a bear feelings project now?” Mike rolled his eyes. “Miss Swan, does everything have to be related to feelings?”

I laughed. “Well, what’s your hypothesis then?”

“I think the bears are trying to warn us about something,” he said.

“About what?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe there's some new threat in their environment.”

“Like global climate change?” I asked.

“No," he said. "Something more immediate."

"Like what?" I asked. "Some type of predator?"

"Hunters," he said.

"There are hunters every hunting season," I said. "But this is no typical hunting season behavior, right Edward?"

"Right," he said and nodded. "I've never seen anything like it."

"You're a bear hunter?" Paige asked.

"Not exactly," he said. "My family has done a lot of hunting of big game, mostly up in Alaska."

"So what do you make of the bears, then?" Paige asked him.

"I think Angela and Mike are both right," Edward said.

"That's a cop out," Mike said.

"Whatever," Edward said, dismissively. Mike glared at him, but Edward just kept his expression casual and unaffected. It was real obvious Mike didn't like him, and just as clear that Jessica could not take her eyes off of him the entire length of the meeting. But I couldn't blame her for that.

“Okay, we’ve got two different hypotheses,” Derek said, writing them on the board. “Let’s try to make the best cases we can for each of these.”

The kids began to debate all the possible interpretations of the bears' behavior as I considered all the possible interpretations of Edward Cullen's behavior. What was he doing here? I tried to tell myself that he was just there because he had an interest in philosophy and nature, and I could see that fit his personality and what little I knew about him.

But it was also true that he wasn't social, and that was the mystery here. I did my best to keep my eyes off of him, not completely because that would look as suspicious as looking at him too much. It took all of my resolve to hold myself in check when I was that close to him, and now I faced being in this situation with him every Tuesday afternoon.

Derek wrapped the discussion up and we adjourned. I went back to my office to grab my bag and stepped out into the empty hallway to see Edward, leaning against a locker, waiting for me.

"Hi," I said, my palms tingling. We walked together out to the parking lot.

"What did you think of the meeting?"

"Interesting," he said.  "I learned a lot."


"Yeah," he said, smiling. "I'm glad I joined."

"I wonder what we'll find out at La Push," I said as we approached my car. The smile faded a little from his face.

"I'm interested to hear what you find out."

"You're not coming?"

"I can't make it next week," he said. "Dentist appointment."

My heart sank, right through the bottom of my feet, and he must have picked up on that, because he was smiling again. And I was confused again about what was actually happening between us, and whether it was one sided on my part or whether I was in the middle of a much bigger problem than I originally realized.

"I'll come back in two weeks," he said, leaning on the hood of my car as I put my bag inside. "Don't worry."

Yes. The problem at hand was much bigger than I originally thought.

Derek strolled out of the building and over to his car across the parking lot. He saw us and waved. I waved back, but noticed that Edward did not.


I arranged for the meeting with the elders of the Quileute tribe the following week after school. Jacob came out of the Tribal Council office and immediately sized up Derek with a heartier than necessary handshake and a not so subtle once over. Then he picked me up in an embarrassing bear hug. The kids laughed as I tried to hide my blushing face. If there was a more obvious signal that Jacob had tapped this ass, I couldn’t think of what it was. I had to hand it to Derek though, he just smiled, politely, at Jacob’s nonsense.

Billy and a couple of the other Quileute elders, Sam Uley and Quil Ateara Senior, introduced themselves. They were interested to hear what the kids had dug up about the bear activity because they had been dealing with a lot of bear weirdness at La Push too, doing things like hanging out in people’s outbuildings, wandering up onto their porches. From the looks of things there was more bear activity in La Push than in all of Clallam County.

The kids started talking about their ideas that the bears were warning people of some danger or simply wanting to be near them, and the elders were even more interested. Their discussion reminded me of an old Quileute legend I thought might be of interest to the kids.

"Don't you have a legend about shape shifters?" I asked Jacob. "I read something about that in the book Billy gave me for my birthday."

This piqued the kids’ attention—especially Mike’s.

“Quileutes are supposedly descended from wolves," Jake explained. "The legend says when a certain danger presented itself to the tribe, some of the members took on the form of a wolf form in order to offer protection. There are some legends from other tribes where people have taken other forms. Birds, snakes. No bears that I know of, though.”

“Do you have members in wolf form now?” Mike asked.

“They’re just stories, Mike,” Jacob laughed, and the elders smiled kindly at my small pack of eager students.

“Well, I’ve been doing some research on this,” Mike said. “And I found out that there’s an old Cherokee clan called the Ani Tsa’ gu that disappeared into the woods and became bears.”

“Why would they do that?” Paige asked.

“I don’t know. It was hundreds of years ago, supposedly. And this was a legend from the midwest, like Wisconsin. Do you know anything about that?”

“Tell us the story,” Jake said.

“Well, supposedly there was a kid, a member of this clan, and he would disappear for hours and hours every day. He started growing long brown hair all over his body and his parents told him to stay out of the woods, but he said he couldn’t, that he’d already begun some kind of transformation.

“Then he asked his parents to join him. He told them that they were always struggling because there was never enough food to go around, but if they transformed, they would never be without. So his parents went to the council, and the council made a choice to leave and to go into the woods with the boy.

“There were neighboring clans that saw them leaving and they called to them, begging them to change their minds. They were afraid they'd be lost forever. But the clan was already beginning to transform. And then they were gone.

“Weeks later, some members of the clan came back to the settlement and said, ‘Where we have gone, there is always plenty for all of us. From now on, we will be known as bears and when you are hungry and in need, come into the woods and call us and we will come give you our own flesh. Don’t be afraid to kill us, for we will live on always.’”

“Real spirit bears,” I said in a hushed voice.

“I’ve heard that legend,” Billy said quietly.

“The elders gave special songs to the clans to call the bears in times of need. But the clan was never seen or heard from again. Just the bears.”

Angela took notes furiously as Mike spoke. “But we’re in the Pacific Northwest,” she said, looking up from her notebook. “You said this clan was from Wisconsin?”

“Sure, but let’s say they really did become bears,” Mike said. “Bears are nomadic. They can move anywhere. Over hundreds of years, why couldn’t they migrate west?”

“Good work, Mike,” Derek said, redirecting the line of thinking a little. “We should look at some of the themes of these legends and see how they inform modern philosophy regarding how we live today.”

“What if someone was invoking the bear call, and not knowing it?” Angela asked, her face pinched in concentration under her horn rimmed glasses.

“Over the entire county?” Derek said.

“Well? Why not?” I said. “Maybe the bear call isn’t just one person singing a song or making a noise. Maybe our culture—the way we live—somehow signals to the bears that we are in need.”

“But we aren’t,” Paige said.

“Yeah,” Erik added. “We aren’t starving, for the most part.”

“Maybe we need something else,” I suggested. “Not physical comforts.”

“Yeah, but what?" Paige said.

"Maybe we need protection,” Mike Newton said.

"It's getting late," Derek said. "We'd better get going."

“Thanks for the visit,” Billy smiled. "We enjoyed talking with you."

Jacob walked us out to the cars and hooked his arm around my shoulders. “You should bring the kids out here again,” he said. “They’re a great group.” He reached his hand out to Derek again. “Nice to meet you.”

“Sure thing,” Derek said.

“Bella, don’t make plans for Friday,” Jake said. “I’m taking you to dinner.”

“I’m busy,” I said, utterly annoyed. It didn’t phase him.

“Saturday then.” He kissed me on the cheek.

In the car, Paige and Erik teased, “Woohoo, Miss Swan has a boyfriend!” From the corner of my eye, I surveyed Derek for a reaction, but found none I could decipher.

“No, I definitely do not have a boyfriend,” I said. “More like an annoying younger brother.” Still no reaction from Derek. “I’ve known Jacob Black since I was born. That’s why he thinks he can act like a fool. It’s a childhood friend thing.”

“Yeah, sure Miss Swan,” Paige teased.

“I thought he was awesome,” Mike said. “You should go out with him.”

“Okay, that’s enough dating advice for Miss Swan,” Derek finally interjected.

“Not that I don’t need it,” I teased them.

Damn that Jake. As soon as he thought I might be unavailable, he was interested.  Then I laughed at myself. I understood how he felt. We always want what we think we can't have.