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Edward never came back after he left Bella in New Moon. Bella went to college, married Jacob, had a daughter. When Bella's grandaughter and Edward find each other in Forks, can Edward overcome his memories and devote himself to a new love?
It's a tired old plot, but this is the first time I've ever written Twilight fanfiction, so please indulge me.
2. Chapter 2
Word Count 2844
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I hadn’t intended to, but my twisted re-enactment compulsion calls me to Bella’s – Izzie’s - house late that night. Her light is off, and I climb up the familiar way to her window.
It was a thoughtless, because the window should be locked, but when I try it, the glass slides up easily. I half slide through the window, my eyes fastened to the blanketed form. I pause, and freeze. I’m not sure that she’s asleep. She’s turning over rather often, and brushing her hair around in a way that sleeping people do not usually do. She kicks the blanket down to her knees and rolls into a different position. That settles it for me – she is not asleep! I retreat through the window and slide it shut silently.
Common sense urges me to climb down and return to the house, but I can not bring myself to do it. I lean against her window and wait, eyes closed, just listening to the sounds of the night. I can hear insects, I can hear cars on the interstate. Most of all I can hear Izzie’s troubled attempts at slumber. I long to go in her room and hold her, soothe her into sleep the way I used to do with Bella.
Bella. I’m surprised to find that I can think her name with barely a twinge of pain. Am I finally moving on, or have I just changed one addiction for another?
“Bella, Bella, Bella,” I sigh. Normally saying her name fills me with hurt. There is less pain now, but more confusion, even guilt at the idea that I’m no longer in love with her, that I am, in fact, in love with her granddaughter.
Speaking of whom, Izzie has finally stilled, and apparently subsided into slumber. I ease through her window and glide to her bedside. She really is asleep, mouth slightly open, a few strands of hair over her face. I barely know her, and I’m in love with her. I can’t help it, it was so – inevitable. A feeling of destiny, of rightness – that’s was how I feel. But does she feel the same? I can only pray.
In her presence, I can finally relax. I hadn’t realized how tense I had been until I suddenly wasn’t. When she was awake and talking to me, Izzie was overwhelming. Asleep, she’s calming and reassuring. I allow myself to move away from her, to take in the room, how it has changed – and hasn’t.
The walls are still painted a soft blue – someone must have touched it up since the last time I was here, the floor is still uncarpeted. Izzie’s bed, desk, bookcase, and dresser are different, but arranged very closely to the way Bella’s furniture was. The décor is simple, even Spartan.
I want to know more about Izzie, and examining her possessions is an ideal method. I start with the desk. A laptop with an E-ban containing all her music plugged into it shares space with a stereo. I find a Fine China album in the CD player. Otherwise, the desk is bare.
The bookshelf is filled with an eclectic mixture of science fiction, literature, and fantasy, shelved with no discernable pattern. Jane Eyre is next to the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Beside them are two Eternal Flame books – a popular contemporary fantasy-gothic series. Beyond this is The Mayor of Castorbridge. Jane Austen, Bella’s favorite author, is conspicuous in her absence. I shake my head at Izzie’s mixture of tastes and move on. Her dresser is messy – piled with papers and cosmetics. Several drawers are open, clothes falling out of them.
Now I return to the bed – and Izzie herself. She sleeps on her side, covered only by a sheet that comes up to her waist. She wears a white tank top that rides up, showing a muscled midriff. I’m rather thrown by the muscles – Bella was so very un-athletic, but sternly remind myself that Izzie is not a reincarnation of Bella. Then I sternly order myself to stop looking at her bare stomach. Izzie’s face is peaceful in sleep – as is everyone’s, really. She doesn’t talk in her sleep, which is a little disappointing. Bella’s sleep talk was one of the few ways I could find out what she really thought.
As I watch her, Izzie stirs, her eyelids flutter, and for a moment I fear she has woken up and seen me, but she only sighs and returns soundly to sleep. I find that the pressing urge to see her had been sated, and leave her room, careful to pull the window down after me.
The next morning, I wait impatiently for Chemistry, for Izzie. Last night I fought a haunting voice in my head that said I was not really in love with her – just in love with the return of Bella, the absence of pain. I have to disprove the voice, to discover that I am truly in love with this little human girl.
She is already seated when I come into the room. When she sees me, she smiles, and something in my chest eases.
“Good morning,” I say, conscious that my normally smooth voice is a bit rough. Izzie doesn’t notice.
“Hey,” she says, but she isn’t looking at me any more, she’s concentrating on the homework in front of her.
“Did you get that last formula?” she asks. “I couldn’t figure it out. No matter what I did I came out with extra pH.” I help her with the formula, noting that her handwriting is messy and similar to Bella’s. The strange mixtures of similarities and differences unsettles me, keeps me on edge. I stare at Izzie out of the corner of my eye until the end of class.
Again, we walk to lunch together and sit opposite each other. I try to reassure myself – she wouldn’t be spending so much time with someone she didn’t like. She must be attracted to me, she must. I won’t be able to bear it if she isn’t.
We talk all through lunch, I am a bit distracted, trying to ignore the worried thoughts coming from Alice and Jasper. Izzie eats a little this time – half an apple – but she seems uninterested in food and throws most of her lunch away uneaten. I wonder if she is wondering the same thing about me – why I don’t eat. I don’t smile, because if I am serious about her, then someday I will have to tell her the reason why. We walk through the halls to her Algebra II class, and I steel my nerves for what I am about to do.
Edward Cullen has just asked me out. We were walking through the hallway and I was admiring the way he moved – quickly and gracefully, and somehow as though he was the only person in the hall, as though we were not being crowded on all sides – when he asked me if I’d like to go somewhere with him tonight. Yes, I would. Very much. I know the virtues of playing hard to get, though, so I said:
“Yeah, sure. I have to go shopping tonight, though, and buy food to sustain my father and myself in exile.”
“Do you know the way to the grocery store?” His velvet voice was amused when he asked that question, perhaps because he knew the answer.
“It can’t be too hard to find.”
“I can take you, if you want. It will be very romantic, I’m sure.”
“Absolutely,” I said. “Five o’clock this evening outside my house, be there or…or call me and explain why.” His smile was like sun through the clouds, softening his frighteningly perfect face.
I had thought I was over Edward-induced mental haze, but setting up a date with him, even a date at the supermarket, threw me right back into a frenzy. Luckily, I play well in a frenzy, and the coach was impressed by my mad volleyball skillz both in PE and at the team practice after school. She asked me to join the team and I agreed, less pleased than I might have been because I was so distracted by the upcoming rendezvous.
When I got home, I fretted for awhile over what to wear, before deciding to stay in my school clothes. I didn't want to look like I spent along time getting ready for him. I did shower, though, to rid myself of volleyball-sweat. Normally grocery shopping is task that bores me, but I this evening was positively looking forward to it, eager for more time with Edward, even time at the supermarket. In fact, I was secretly pleased that we were going somewhere bright and open. Considering how attracted physically I was to him, a dark movie theater or a cozy table-for-two dinner might be dangerous.
Edward picked me up in a sleek, gray Lexus. I tried not to look to impressed, and inwardly wondered why it is that the very attractive are, almost without exception, quite rich. It’s not fair, but, yanno, neither is life.
“Good afternoon,” he purred. It’s odd to refer to a guy – man – as purring, but that’s really the best description for his voice. A very low, rumbling, velvety purr.
“Hey,” I replied, sliding into the passenger seat. “Nice car.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“Really? If I said I didn’t like it, would you sell it?”
“Without hesitation.” He smiled a delicious smile, and I couldn’t help smiling back. There was a slight pause. I had the odd feeling that something very important had just occurred, only I missed it.
“How have your first few days here in the good town of Forks gone, then?” he asked.
“Alright-y. I’m on la volleyball team.”
“Don’t you mean el volleyball team?”
“Do I? I’m not familiar with the gender of voleibol.”
“You’re hopeless. The noun in that sentence is team, not volleyball. Volleyball is the adjective.”
“Very well. I’m on el equipo de voleibol.”
“You really ought to translate the I’m on as well. It’s very poor grammar to use two languages in one sentence.”
“Estoy – this is a very silly conversation.”
“Yes.” He grinned. “Isn’t it nice?”
“Wonderfully nice, but shouldn’t you be trying to impress me with your sparkling wit and mature ideas?”
“I’m afraid my wit doesn’t sparkle. I, however, do.”
“You sparkle?” I raise an eyebrow.
“In the sun. Like a diamond.”
“I don’t understand. What is this sun of which you speak?” He laughed, and I was outrageously gratified that I made him laugh.
“Here’s the Safeway,” he said, turning the car into a generic super-market parking lot. He parked the car in one, smooth movement and leaps out. I had only just reached for the handle when he appeared at my door and opened it for me. I grabbed my purse and checked my pocket to be sure I still had the grocery list.
“Oh, good it’s still there,” I said when I found it.
“What?” he asked.
“The grocery list. I am famed in my family for losing grocery lists – I think two seconds is my personal record for quickest lost list.”
“Do a lot of grocery shopping, then?”
“My mother started sending my to the store as soon as I got a drivers’ license. She loved to cook, hated to shop.” I selected a cart from the rows and pushed it one-handed into the store.
“Where to?” he asked.
“The produce section – I am in dire need of fruit.”
Edward watches in amazement as I fill the cart with a wide variety of fruit – apples, plums, oranges, bananas, pears, nectarines, honeydew melons, a cantaloupe. All of it, sadly, out of season. There just isn’t a lot of fruit available naturally in late October.
“Are you vegetarians?” he asked. “I’ve never seen one person purchase so much fruit.”
“We’re not actually vegetarians, but we only have meat when we eat out.” He gives me a questioning look.
“It’s a pain,” I explain. “To cook, I mean, and neither of us really cooks. We mostly just snack, so I buy healthy stuff to snack on instead of junk. You’d be amazed how much fruit we can eat in one day.”
“Do you eat anything other than fruit?”
“Yogurt, and some cheese. Bread, peanut butter, tortilla chips, salsa. If I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll buy some ground beef and make tacos, which is the height of my cooking ability.”
“I’m impressed. I couldn’t make tacos if the fate of the world depended on it.” He smiled. I had to force myself to keep walking, keep talking, don’t stop dead in the middle of the aisle and stare at his drop-dead gorgeousness.
“I’m not surprised,” I said lightly. “The stores up here don’t seem to carry chili powder.”
“I don’t the think there’s often much call for it around here.”
“Maybe not.” I was tired of talking about me – now I wanted to find out about him. “You said you moved down from Alaska, didn’t you?”
“How depressing. It’s dark half the year, isn’t it?”
“Quite dark. But in a way, summer is just as annoying. It’s light all the time.”
“Must be hard to sleep, especially considering the way you sparkle in sunlight.”
“Very hard to sleep. In fact, I don’t think I got a good night’s sleep all the years we lived there.” He smiled again, a quick, fleeting one.
“How tiresome. Is it easier to sleep here?”
“Not really. I’m afraid I suffer from chronic insomnia. If you ever take a walk around four in the morning, you might see me.”
“I’ll remember it, if I ever happen to be up at four in the morning.” I placed a jar of orange marmalade in the cart. “Alright, that’s it. Check-out time.”
Steering the car into a self-check kiosk, I started to unload the groceries, but Edward was already there, unloading and swiping with a speed I couldn’t match. I took out Dad’s credit card and waited, admiring how graceful he was. He turned around and I hurried to pretend that I hadn’t been staring at him, swiped the card and waited for the receipt. Edward bagged the purchases and put them in the cart swiftly, always graceful.
“Thanks,” I said. “Or, you know, gracias.”
“You’re welcome. Here I’ll get the cart.” He pushed the bag-laden cart out to his car. Although we’d been jabbering away a few minutes ago, I suddenly couldn’t think of anything to say. A few minutes passed in uncomfortable silence in his car, both of us doubtless wondering what had happened.
“Music?” Edward offered, gesturing at his in-car E-ban.
“Sure,” I said, eager for something to break the tension. He pushed play and sat back while his music filled the car. I listened for a few minutes, puzzled.
“I don’t know this song at all,” I said. He laughed a little.
“I’m not surprised. I collect old music. This song first came out in the early years of the twenty-first century. A group called Fort Minor.”
“What a name,” I murmured.
“Shhh. Listen to the chorus.” Most of the song was old-school rap, but the chorus was sung in a clear, high, female voice. It sounded sad, and somehow lost.
“Where’d you go?
I miss you so -
Seems like it’s been forever
That you’ve been gone.
Please come back home.”
Edward seemed lost in thought, or perhaps lost in memories. I ran a hand through my hair and his head snapped around, as though he had forgotten that I was in the car. He seemed very sad. I gave him a slight smile, wondering what this was all about.
“Here’s your house,” he said, velvet voice rough. The driveway was empty except for my truck– Dad wasn’t home yet, though it was past six.
“Thanks for driving me,” I said, collecting the groceries from the back seat.
“I’ll get the rest,” he offered. I pulled my key out of my pocket and unlocked the front door.
I set my bags on the kitchen countertop. “Just put them here,” I said to Edward, who just entering the house.
“Here,” he said. “Sorry to rush but I need to get home. I have an appointment Alice and Jasper.”
“Have fun,” I said. “Thanks again for taking me.”
“You’re welcome.” He bowed formally. “Happy to be of service.” I laughed, glad that his sad mood was lifting.
“See you tomorrow.”