Scraps and Snippets
Okay, I never do this, but due to the overwhelming response I've received for this story, I have decided to break my own rules.
Sometimes, for various reasons, certain scenes and/or lines don't make it into one of my fics. I maybe decided the scene didn't work, or the dialog wasn't quite right, or I just simply went a different way. Whatever the reason, I usually have a doc file opened down in the task bar where all the scraps go.
The following are those scraps. These are rough draft, please keep in mind.
(This is a slightly different version of a scene in chapter eighteen…)
"I only want for your happiness—"
"And you won't leave my side unless I order you away," I added, interrupting him. "Are you expecting me to? Do you want me to?"
"No. But you should."
He sounded so sure. So absolute. Fear shot through me.
He just stared back at me. The darkness made it difficult to tell, but his eyes seemed to carry a firm sadness. Firm in his resolve, and sad because of it. I was sure I looked scared to death. I didn't want to have this conversation anymore. I never wanted to have it in the first place. But right then, especially, all I wanted was for him to gather me into his arms and tell me it was going to be okay.
He didn't. And he didn't answer me, either. He just made a request.
"Tell me why you came home early today."
He knew. Even with the inability to read my mind, he knew. And he was using that knowledge to answer my question without having to say the words himself.
It was all so obvious, finally, that I felt the urge to smack myself in the forehead and scream: Duh!
He wasn't worried that I wouldn't choose the prong he was on at the fork in the road. He was trying to give me an out. He was trying to guide me towards the less difficult path, all in an effort to save me. But I didn't want to be saved from him. I wanted to be saved by him. He was the only one who could save me.
"You think I'm perceptive, but really, I'm not. Something clicked, in the middle of class, and I had a moment of panic."
"You are perceptive. Amazingly so. At times, to someone as astute as you, the obvious can be overlooked."
I didn't want compliments. I didn't want to tiptoe around the subject anymore. And I didn't want to be high in a tree, miles above the ground. I felt limited. Trapped.
"Can we continue this conversation at a lower elevation?"
Alarm flashed across his expression. "Are you afraid?"
(This is an early version of a scene in chapter twenty-two. If memory serves, I wrote this scrap long before I was even up to chapter twenty-two, hence the need to change it slightly…)
My confusion was obvious to him. He sighed as he looked away. "You don't realize the danger you are in."
What? I was in danger? "In what way am I in danger?"
"I still don't know if I can control myself," he said. When he locked eyes with me again, I saw the pain return to his expression.
"I know you can," I assured him. And I was sure of that. He would never hurt me. He was far too protective of me to allow that to happen.
"You excite me, Bella. I am unable to think clearly when you do."
My heart began pounding, seeking escape from my chest. Because it was, the danger he was trying to hint at refused to click into place.
I excited him!
"I can wait a little longer. Until you acclimate."
He scoffed sadly. Frustrated. "Acclimation isn't the only issue."
I still wasn't able to grasp the problem. "What's the other issue? Or issues?"
"I could hurt you, Bella. I would never do so intentionally, but intentions mean little when one isn't thinking clearly."
Oh! Oh God. Okay, so, if he were to become excited, he might not remember his own strength, and subsequently my frailty. If he lost his sense of self, while in the throes of passion, he might accidentally hurt me. If he were… on top of me – that thought was more than just a little appealing – he might crush me. Break a bone or something.
"Okay, I think I get what you mean," I said. "But, couldn't we just… I don't know… find some kind of alternative?"
He quirked an eyebrow, and I burst into flames. I was way too embarrassed to spell it out for him.
(This scene would have taken place in chapter twenty-three, instead of Eric looking for the high-five from Edward, and Bella falling out of her seat on purpose as a distraction. I wanted to start showing that her friends would be including Edward in their little clique, but the scene seemed a little off and ran long, so I decided to simplify and go a different way…)
"He's a classically trained pianist," I interjected proudly. Then I pulled my iPod out of my pocket and cued up the fifth numbered track… one of my favorites. I passed it over, and Angela and Eric each took an earbud to listen.
Both of their jaws dropped.
"Dude, this is you? Seriously?"
"He's not just playing it," I bragged, "he composed it."
"Okay, dude, sorry, but I gotta see this!" Eric handed me back my iPod, then he stood and gestured for us to follow him. Angela did immediately.
Fear shot through me. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I didn't know what the hell was going on.
My concerns eased somewhat when Edward smiled at me and offered me his hand.
The whole cafeteria looked at Eric when he shouted from across it. Edward chuckled.
"Relax," he whispered as we moved to catch up. "His thoughts are without malice."
The music room held the usual crowd. The arts department at Forks High was small, so there was only the one room, shared by both the band and the choir. The two subjects alternated periods, taught by the same teacher.
Everyone stared at us as we entered. Eric didn't seem to notice. Either that or he didn't care. He strode over to the piano in the corner confidently, then gave it a few pats as he waited for Edward to join him.
"You need sheet music?" he asked.
Edward shook his head. He didn't let go of my hand until we were both seated on the bench. I wasn't exactly comfortable sitting beside him when all the attention in the world – it seemed – was on him, but maybe he needed me to be there. Maybe he was nervous. There was no way to tell if he was. His eyes just looked determined. Maybe even a little amused.
Even the teacher was watching curiously from her desk.
Edward hit a few keys first, then winced slightly. "It's a little out of tune," he said. A few of the kids chuckled. It seemed to me that they were just waiting for him to suck. The air felt thick with condescension.
His hands lingered over the keys for a moment before he began. He didn't need to be nervous. I was nervous enough for him.
I recognized the song instantly, as soon as the first notes filled the room. My lullaby.
The atmosphere changed within seconds. I could hear impressed murmurings. People lingering nearby, outside, started hovering in the doorway. The teacher stood and approached.
If the piano was out of tune, it was undetectable to human ears. Or at least to my ears. It sounded flawless to me, as usual.
As the final cord drifted into silence, the entire room erupted into applause.
"Dude has mad skills!" Eric announced. He was absolutely ecstatic, like he had just found the next amazing undiscovered talent.
The teacher closed the distance as Edward and I both left the bench and stood.
"I don't believe I've ever heard that piece before," she said.
"It's an original composition, ma'am," Edward replied.
She was highly impressed by that. I could see it in her eyes, which then shifted down to his name badge.
"Cullen?" she asked. "Dr. Carlisle Cullen's son?"
(This is an early version of a scene in chapter twenty-eight. I wrote this long before I was at chapter twenty-eight, so it needed to be tweaked once I got there…)
"I have a present for you."
My eyes shot open. But then I just stared at the ceiling.
I pushed my thoughts aside and gave Edward my full attention. His eyes were imploring as he extended a wrapped box towards me.
"Please," he said, like he was begging me not to reject him. Like if I did, it would wound him.
How could I say no? Uncomfortably, reluctantly, I reached out and accepted it.
I almost didn't want to open it. Not because I was afraid of what was inside, but because the wrapping was so elegant, it seemed like a crime to rip it. So I didn't. I carefully slipped my finger under each taped fold until the box within was finally freed. I literally gasped when I lifted the lid.
The bracelet appeared to be made of white gold, and attached to it was a clear crystal heart pendant. At least I hoped it was crystal. If it was a diamond, it would have cost millions.
"Please," he said again. Then he gently removed the piece of jewelry from its box and held it out to me, like he was asking permission to put it on me.
I raised my arm. "Please tell this isn't a diamond." He just grinned as he clipped it around my wrist. "Edward, seriously, tell me it's not. Lie to me if you have to."
"It's not a diamond, my love. I suspected such a gift would make you uncomfortable."
I sighed with relief. Then I settled my attention on the, what I assumed to be, symbolic heart, taking in its beauty. "Thank you," I whispered.
He seemed pleased. Happy. And not just because I liked it.
After a little less than ten days, he already knew me so well. He knew my first inclination would be to refuse his gift. I almost did. It's hard to receive when you have nothing to give in return. I was glad I didn't.
As I admired it, he sat beside me, right up against me, his arm encircling my waist. And then he got affectionate.
Brushing my hair back behind my ear, he began nuzzling and planting gentle kisses. On my temple, my cheek, my ear. My breath caught in anticipation when I thought he was heading for my neck. I tilted my head a little, hopefully, but he didn't take the cue. I didn't have time to feel disappointed for long.
As soon as his lips touched mine, tentatively, I threw my arms around his neck and pulled myself into him. That got a reaction out of him. He intensified the kiss, and then we were reclining. His hands began to roam, but like before, he was careful where he touched me. Propriety sucked. I wanted more. I felt like a dying plant, and he was the water that would save me from death.
It was a desperate move, I admit, but I had to try. I broke the kiss and brushed a path towards his neck. But I didn't get very far.
He created space between us and sighed. "Bella, no."
"I know you're worried, but you can do this. I know you can."
He sighed again. "I appreciate your faith in me, but I won't take chances with your safety."
"If I promise not to bite?"
"No. I know you have needs, and I want to please you, but patience is a must."
His words allowed for a sliver of optimism. "Maybe… in time?"
"I will not make a promise when I am uncertain if I can keep it. But, yes. Possibly. In time."
My heart swelled to almost bursting. I clung to the thread of hope like it was a lifeline. "Thank you," I whispered.
He kissed me again, but it was bordering on chaste. He was slowing things down, trying to bring us both back from the edge of frenzy we had been teetering on. It worked.
We fell into a comfortable position and silence, me snuggled up to him, my head resting on his chest. I was tired enough to go to sleep, but I fought it. It was too early still. I hadn't even had dinner yet, which was being prepared. The smells coming from downstairs kept my head in focus.
"Is it symbolic? The heart?"
"Yes. It symbolizes my love for you."
Simple, but perfect. I sighed contentedly in response.
"I wanted to give you something to serve as a reminder. I want you to always remember that I love you, even during the brief but inevitable moments when I can't be with you."
The extreme emotions that followed stole my breath and voice. Actions would have to convey my gratitude.
I pushed myself further up and nuzzled against his neck. He didn't even try to stop me. Maybe because he realized that I wasn't trying to seduce him. And I wasn't. I just wanted him to know how much I loved him. How much his words had meant to me.
I inhaled his scent, dizzy as I became intoxicated by it.
(This is what I originally wrote near the top of chapter thirty. After showing it to my beta, she said – and this is actually kind of funny – "He's always talking about propriety, and he just got through telling her about having ice tea on the front porch. This might be too much too fast." I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist. Anyway, I decided she was right and rewrote it…)
His only response was to grip at me tighter. That was my answer. I went with it.
I found a rhythm, then began nibbling and kissing. Licking and sucking.
He liked it, if his moans were any indication. But the thing that surprised me a little bit was, I liked it, too. Every time I moved a certain way, tingles of pleasure shot through me.
I moved that way a lot, and then Edward's hands were on my waist and he was helping me move.
It was frantic, and raw, and perfect. It felt amazing.
His moans turned to grunts, and I knew he was close.
"Tell me when," I breathed.
He was just waiting for me to do it, I realized, based off his pained, whispered groan.
I bit down as hard as I could without breaking my teeth.
He roared, and then I was on my back, and he was between my legs. The frantic grinding continued.
I offered myself to him as he nuzzled my neck.
I trusted him. Absolutely. Unequivocally. He wouldn't hurt me. He couldn't.
The only thing I did do – and maybe it was a subconscious attempt to survive – was whisper words of reminder.
"I love you, Edward. I trust you."
His control was firmly in place. He slowed his movements, lovingly kissed my pounding jugular vein, then rolled off of me.
Before I could feel disappointed, his hand took over the task.
(I jotted down several variations of the ending to this fic through the weeks. Some lines were identical. Some made it into the fic and some didn't. These are those snippets…)
"I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'm thinking a million things all at once."
My mind literally felt like it was humming. Vibrating. Every significant moment of the last two weeks – which was almost every moment of the last two weeks – was replaying inside my head. It was like watching fourteen movies all at once, with the remote poised at the ready. Fast forwarding, pausing, slowing down, skipping ahead, backing up.
I was trying to fill in gaps. Trying to make sense of the things that didn't make sense to me before. Reasoning through stuff that I had pushed to the back of my mind at the time so that I could deal with other issues.
"Bella, please, if you value my sanity…"
I started with the first thought my racing brain could grasp. "The compromise to biting me was giving me a hickey?"
"But then you were upset with yourself for it."
I looked over at him then, wanting to gauge his reaction. He seemed remorseful, almost ashamed.
"It was a lapse in judgment. I had not considered the mark it would leave on your skin."
Why did he always have to talk in circles? "So then the compromise wasn't to give me a hickey."
"The compromise was to show you affection without biting you. I got… carried away."
I smirked at that, but attempted to hide it from him by looking back up at the overcast sky.
Then I snatched another racing thought out of my head.
"Thursday night, when Alice winked at you… You said a decision was made that she did not foresee?"
Always with the clipped answers, no elaboration.
I sighed. "Don't make me drag it out of you, Edward. You were willing to… you know… and then you changed your mind. Why?"
I sensed his movements, but I couldn't look at him. I was too embarrassed. Too nervous. I continued to watch the gloom above me.
"Bella, I think you misunderstood." He draped an arm across me as he scooted up against me. "Never was it my intention to dishonor you. I wanted to please you. I wanted to see if it was possible. Your plea… I felt my self-control slipping."
I struggled to process all he had said. Alice was right. His way of explaining did sidestep important details.
"Okay, so, you weren't planning on…?" My face burst into flames. I couldn't say the words.
He gathered me into his arms. He knew what I meant.
"No," he whispered. "I was attempting to find a compromise we both could live with."
A vague thought niggled. My head started spinning, trying to access a specific memory without enough data to complete the search.
Finally, it clicked.
"Jasper. The conversation you had with him."
"Yes. His suggestion seemed reasonable. A compromise we both could live with."
And that was really what it all came down to with us. A series of compromises. But, really, would it be any different if Edward were human? Different issues, definitely, but still… Wasn't that the base of most relationships? Give and take?
He propped himself up on his elbow and stared down at me. "Is it a compromise you can live with?"
Honestly, someday, I was hoping for more. A gradual progression to something more closely resembling…
I reached out to stroke his cheek as I smiled up at him. "For now."
He smiled back at me, and then he was kissing me. Gently. Gratefully. Lovingly. Passionately.
"I love you, Bella. I will always love you."
So much about my life was up in the air. My dad's happiness. My relationship with my mom. If I would get a mere lifetime or an eternity with Edward.
But that I knew. He loved me, and he always would. And I would always love him.
After knowing Edward Cullen for only fourteen days, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
"I know," I whispered. "I love you, too."
In the hours that followed, we expressed our love for each other physically, in a variety of ways that left me breathless each and every time. A certain level of propriety stood firm, but boundary lines became blurred and stretched.
His hands against my bare skin felt amazing, though they never ventured to where I wanted them the most. He saved those touches for over clothes. Still, it was progress. It made me optimistic about the future.
He seemed nervous to, but he even allowed me to reciprocate. His self-control never faltered.
I grinned goofily as I snuggled up against him. It had been the perfect escape. My problems at home weren't going anywhere. They could wait a little while longer.
"Did I please you, my love?"
I chuckled a little. My voice sounded hoarse. "Multiple times."
Yeah, I was hoarse. I wasn't really surprised, though. I was rather vocal, since we were in such a desolate area. He had been, too, but of course his voice was as flawless as ever.
"Did I please you?" I asked.
He pulled me tighter against him, if that were even possible. It almost felt like we were one person.
The sun was starting to set. We would have to leave soon. A pang of sadness inched in, threatening to shatter my joy.
"I love you, Bella. I will always love you."
So much about my life was up in the air. My dad's happiness. My relationship with my mom. If I would get a mere lifetime or an eternity with Edward.
But that I knew. He loved me, and he always would.
Through the days, weeks, and months ahead – through the years ahead – Edward would be my constant. My anchor. The gravitational pull, keeping me on the planet.
After fourteen days of knowing Edward Cullen, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
"I love you, too," I whispered back.
Okay, what the hell? Not only could I not add two plus two plus two, but I also couldn't add three plus three? Which, ironically, equated to the same answer.
It was all so simple. Why had I not thought of it before? He could change me. It solved every problem! I would never grow old. Never die and leave him behind. He wouldn't be in pain around me. We could be intimate without fear of him hurting me. We could be together forever.
I craned my neck, invitingly. I knew there would be pain involved, but that was only the smaller picture. The bigger picture remained my focus.
And then I felt his lips leave my skin.
"Trusting little human, offering herself to me."
He sounded like he was teasing me. I locked eyes with him, deadly serious, and the smile left his face.
"Why not? It solves everything. Every problem."
"That would not be a solution. It would be a tragedy."
"Why? If I were like you—"
"No." He sounded so absolute. "I won't end your life for you."
"But it's not an ending. It's a beginning."
"That's what you call a beginning? Becoming a monster?"
"You're not a monster, Edward. And I'd like to think I wouldn't be one, either."
"You don't know what you're saying. You don't want this."
"I want to be with you. Forever."
"Is it not enough, just to have a long and happy life with me?"
I wasn't going to win this battle. At least not today. "If that's all you're willing to give me, then yes."
He gathered me into his arms then, both offering and seeking comfort.
Waylon Forge had died, my parents left town to tend to the funeral, and I was shipped off to stay with the Cullens for two weeks. Residing with the most reclusive family on the west cost was bound to be an experience I'd never forget.
Little did I know…
It was life changing.
(This was jotted down very early on in the writing of this fic…)
I could see then what he had been talking about before. About them being able to lure their victims. I was craning my neck, offering myself to him. I didn't want to die – I knew Edward wouldn't kill me – but the alternative…
I opened my eyes as I felt his lips leave my skin.
"Trusting little human, offering herself to me."
There was amusement in his tone, but his eyes showed something else.
"I guess I was," I whispered. "Have you ever thought about that? What it might be like to change me?"
(This was an idea I had for a scene in the epilogue. I didn't include it because it just didn't flow with what else I had planned…)
I almost caved to his pleas once. I just wanted to see him happy and smiling again.
Fortunately, Alice talked sense into me. Edward had gone hunting, and she and Esme had stayed behind. When I told them what I was considering – which was essentially to wait a few more years, for Edward's sake – Alice advised against it.
"You will only be prolonging his pain if you do. He's never going to be okay with this, until after it happens. I wish you could see my visions. You guys are going to be so happy!"
I didn't want to prolong his pain. I was near desperate to ease it. And I wanted us to be happy again. I wanted us to be the couple Alice saw in her visions, running through the meadow, playful and laughing. Carefree.
Later that night, when Edward had returned home with his brothers, and he had plucked mine and Alice's previous conversation out of her head…
Well, it was a bad night. He was livid with her for convincing me to go ahead with my original plans. I had never heard him yell like that before. He broke up half the house in his fury. When he got up to our room, I thought for sure I would be next. I had braced myself for it. But his wrath never came.
Apparently, I wasn't the one he had been angry with.
(Random scenes/lines I liked enough to jot down and save...)
"Your soul is too steep a price for a few moments of pleasure."
(This snippet comes from an idea I had, to have Jessica follow Bella into the woods at some point and catch her with Edward. This would have been the setup for that…)
"Hi'ya, Bells! Have a nice lunch?"
There seemed to be a bit of animosity in her tone, but also, smugness. Like she had a secret that was just bursting inside her, but that she would never tell. Since she wasn't usually one for keeping secrets, I could only assume doing so was for her benefit.
I understood. Or at least I thought I did.
"I must learn to control myself. We can't—"
Wait. He stopped abruptly, but I caught the meaning behind the partial statement. I had wondered if intimacy would ever be possible with him, but it seemed we had made some progress with that. I was starting to think it might be possible. After he acclimated.
"We can't?" I asked.
"I won't risk your safety, Bella. I can't."
And that concludes all my ramblings, scraps, and snippets. There are a few more, but they basically made it into the fic word for word, so there's no point in posting them here.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the amazing reviews I have received for this fic. I am truly humbled by all your kind words and compliments. I sincerely hope my new fic, Harvest Moon, lives up to everyone's expectations. I will strive not to disappoint.
Also, if anyone is interested, I've created two Twilight fan videos that I've posted on YouTube. My username there is: janaonwheels
I'm not great at making videos, but I'm proud of what I've done.
Still not smoking, for those who were following my progress with that. Thanks for all the well wishes!