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A Better Place, A Better Time

It’s impossible, this can’t be… 1917. Even time, itself, can’t keep them apart. If this is a dream… I don’t ever want to wake up. Bella finds herself nearly 100 years in the past. Coincidentally in the city of Chicago. (Takes place during New Moon when Edward has left, AU.) Time traveling should be illegal. *COMPLETE* Sequel "All This Time" is posted on my profile.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in the story. Warnings: None yet. This takes place during New Moon, when Edward is M.I.A. It does not take the rest of the series into account. Enjoy. *Complete as of 4-25-2008!

10. 10. As Real As It Gets

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1168   Review this Chapter

10. As Real as it Gets

The sun was heading over the horizon before I knew it. Its yellow light casting a morning glow over mother nature outside my window. I imagined standing at the window and watching the world beneath me awaken. I could see them in my mind. The birds fluttering about in the trees. A milk man dropping off deliveries on the front steps of each building. The newsies were congregating at the corner of the street and then scurrying off just in time to catch the early birds heading to work.

I blinked the images from my mind and turned my attention to my companion. His chest rose unnaturally under the sheets of my bed. I stared at him, carefully noting each characteristic that my Edward didn’t have. The rosy colour in his face, the soft flesh of his arms, the dark highlights in his hair… Each one set my heart afire.

He stirred as the sun pitched in through my windowpane and across the pillow. The golden highlights returned as the sun relit them like a candle, giving his hair a bronze glow. The sudden morning light, washed out the rosy colour of his face…

Lit deep within me, I felt this new strange Edward become as I had always known him. He was my Edward, just… more touchable.

His legs shuddered and woke him. At first groggy, he rubbed the sand from his eyes and combed his fingers through his dark tresses. The shaggy length flipped around through his open fingers. His mouth widened with a deep yawn, revealing a pair of lightly yellowed teeth. Somehow, it didn’t disgust me, my stomach didn’t churn. My heart accepted every little insignificancy. What was a pair of normal coloured teeth, or lifelike features when compared to the love of a lifetime?

I snuggled closely, pressing my face into his chest. He smelled of linen and a soft cologne. Fifteen years old… Fifteen. I shook off the odd feeling of actually being older than him and the oddness of our age difference.

“Morning,” he mumbled and glanced over to the ticking clock on the nightstand. He sighed, relieved. “Mother’s at her weekly knitting group.” I realized he was ashamed to have been in my bed all night. He sat up in bed, allowing my body to slip from his grasp. Swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, he got to his feet stretching his gangly arms over his tousled hair.

I groaned, seeing that he actually wanted me to follow suit. “What are you doing?”

“Well…” He bent over the bed and pressed a kiss onto my forehead, “Someone has a promise to keep.”

I groaned again, this time in despair. He turned towards the door, straightening his wrinkled slacks. He smiled over his shoulder as he closed the door behind him.

I tossed my head backwards and pulled the blankets up over my eyes.

The door creaked open. “Oh, and you have thirty minutes.”

“For what?” I grumbled.

“To be ready. I hope you have a warm jacket.”

He pushed a glass of orange juice towards me. “Drink it.” He glared at me over the contents of the glass. “You have to have something in your stomach.”

I shook my head, refusing to let my lips open even so much as a slit.

He cocked his head to the side. “How about some eggs?”

I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. “I’m not hungry.”

“How can you not be?” He crossed his arms mockingly. “You haven’t eaten in days.”

I looked down at my body and felt my hip bones for the first time in years. I scowled and took the glass in my hand. Edward stood suddenly and turned to the gas powered oven behind him. I heard a swift poof as the burner lit. He turned the ice chest fridge and pulled forward on the handle. The door popped open and a mist formed around the small upper freezer. It wafted out like ghostly figure. He quickly grabbed a few eggs from a half carton and a white package from the top shelf. The door slammed shut, cutting off the traveling mist. Setting the little brown eggs on the counter, he retrieved a cast iron pan from the wall where it was hanging, almost decoratively.

I sighed, realizing how gracefully his human form moved about the small city-sized kitchen.

He cracked open the eggs one-handed and dropped them gently into the skillet. He whistled a low tune under his breath as he unwrapped a large slab of meat.

I groaned. Bacon.

He took a knife from the drawer next to him and began slicing of thick slabs. Three in all. He threw them into the pan. They sizzled and spat back at him as they hit the hot skillet. He flipped the eggs with skill, narrowly avoiding a burst of hot fat from one of the larger slabs.

The breakfast was greasy but delicious. It filled my stomach with the warmth of home. A feeling I was beginning to miss.

Edward smiled at me over the empty breakfast plate, making that homesickness disappear. “How was it?”

I nodded and set my fork back down onto the plate. “Good.”

His smile brightened at my compliment. There were these subtle differences in this new Edward. There were different versions of his smile. Here, he had these little changes in each expression. When I thought back to my frozen Edward, his eyes held the same thing no matter what emotion he had felt. His smile, as enrapturing as it was, was always the same. Never the slightest variation.

“What?” he asked, still smiling.


“That look in your eyes is something.” I forgot how good he was at reading my face. Another difference than my icy Edward. He had relied too long on his mind reading abilities and had let the practice of reading facial expressions slip.

“Really, it’s nothing.” I turned my face from his.

“Well if you’re sure.” He sounded sarcastic, but he didn’t put up a fight. “Let’s go.”

“Go where?”

His eyes lit. “Where?” He turned towards the hallway and grabbed two large suitcases. He smiled, knowingly. “You’ll see.”

I huffed and put my foot down. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

His smiled widened, and he moved toward me, setting the bags near the door. His eyes softened with the quality of a puppy. “Don’t you trust me?” he asked quietly and held his hand out. Even as a mortal, his smile was persuasive.

What did I have to lose? I was already here… there was no certainty to any of this. I sighed and took his hand. He gently wrapped his fingers around mine. I eyed him suspiciously, giving him a look of uncertainty. I found my hand shaking in his, frightened suddenly by his secretiveness.

He felt my hand shuddering in his own and gave me reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, I won’t bite.”