Author: ltlerthqak PM
I didn't know anything was missing from my life until I met him at the carnival. Were my gypsy lifestyle and unbelievable gift too much for him to accept? And was there something bigger we should have been watching for? AHRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Mystery - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 30 - Words: 221,474 - Reviews: 2,420 - Favs: 1,566 - Follows: 1,397 - Updated: 02-10-12 - Published: 08-20-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6255401
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Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, nor do I make money off writing about them. If I owned them, the books and movies would not be appropriate for people under 18, just like this story - consider yourself warned. This plot, however, is mine – no fiddling with it without my express permission.
Wildflowers and clouds. Hope and sweetness. The scents on the air floated through my open window and lured me tenderly from sleep. A gentle hum vibrated against my body, like delicate fingers gliding over my skin. Each individual sensation converged and brought to mind a single perception of the day – fresh.
Today would bring something new.
I rolled to face the sunlight streaming in. The dust particles danced happily in the breeze and entertained me for a moment as I smiled to myself. Definitely something new. From the feeling of anticipation in the air, I guessed it would be something enjoyable.
I did not remember ever having felt this charged and full of life. I sat up and stretched, then slipped out of bed and headed to the tiny bathroom.
My Jayco travel trailer was cozy with enough space for just me. A bedroom, a small bath with a shower stall, a kitchenette and a sitting area - it's really just about perfect. My mom, Renee, and her husband, Phil, owned a larger mobile home, which they parked right next to mine whenever we set up the camp. I preferred the increased flexibility of a separate truck and trailer to an all-in-one. When I turned seventeen, I bought the used apartment on wheels and the truck to pull it, ensuring my independence for the first time. It got lonely sometimes, especially late at night, but living alone was better than staying with Renee and Phil. Those two have no self-control! I suffered through four years of overhearing their sexual exploits every night - a little loneliness was definitely a price worth paying.
Renee became a wanderer after she had me. My dad, Charlie, grew up in the same rainy little town in Washington as Renee. They were high school sweethearts, engaged at eighteen, and right after graduation Renee found out she was pregnant with me. It wasn't ideal, but the two of them were happy together. Unfortunately, Charlie died a month after I was born when a drunk driver hit him as he was walking to the post office in town. Renee stayed for the funeral, then packed us up and headed south to warmer weather. Over the years, we had lived in too many cities to count, but Renee always stayed where it was warm and sunny.
When I was thirteen, we lived in Phoenix, Arizona. A few months after we moved in, the church at the end of our block hosted a small carnival. Renee and I were thrilled – three full days of rides and fair food! I woke up on opening morning to the scent of roses, cut grass, bliss and a warm, musky scent I couldn't identify. We were some of the first people through the gates that day and spent all afternoon playing games, riding rides and eating junk food together. When Renee led me over to the Roll-A-Ball game, I noticed the scent again – warm, earthy, with a slight sweetness - like clover honey sitting in the sun. Renee was laughing brightly, money in hand, when the game attendant turned and looked at her.
That was the instant I first felt the physical pull of fíorghrá, or true love. The draw between the two was so intense it took my breath away. Renee stopped dead in her tracks, staring, mouth slightly open in an "oh" of surprise. The attendant, named Phil, mirrored her expression. I was completely unaware of the world around us. All I knew was that warm smell and the delicious pull of two halves coming together as one.
When Renee moved to hand Phil the fee to play a round, his fingers brushed against hers. They each gasped at the contact. At that moment, the noise of the crowds returned, and the gravity between them released me with a sickening jolt.
From the moment of that first touch, Renee and Phil were inseparable and completely enamored with each other. When the carnival moved on to the next town Tuesday morning, we packed up our few possessions and moved with them. That was seven years ago, and we have traveled the country with this rag-tag group of people ever since. Living on the road with a traveling carnival may not be easy, but I had grown to love the lifestyle of a gypsy.
The sounds of people moving about outside my trailer forced my mind back to the present. When my teeth were sparkling and my face was clean, I threw my wavy hair into a messy twist and surveyed myself in the mirror. Long brown hair with a few well placed purple streaks, big brown eyes, pale skin, pink lips – nothing different today from any other day, yet somehow I felt more attractive than yesterday. It was as if there was a sensual energy around me, and I really liked the sensation. With an extra sway in my walk, I headed back into my bedroom to find some clothes. Hope and anticipation today – that felt orange to me. Five minutes later, I walked out the door in my jean shorts, flip-flops and a bright orange tank top with the word "INCONCEIVABLE" printed across my chest.
On this beautiful June day, we were working in Trion, Georgia: population 2001. The town hired the carnival group we co-op with, Eclipse Entertainment, to celebrate its Denim Festival. This afternoon, the local marching band was scheduled to lead a parade of residents down Main Street and into the carnival grounds where we had set up our rides, games and entertainment tents. These small towns were my favorite - people tended to be more excited about the event because there is so little to do on a regular day, and the gossip I overheard was priceless!
Renee and Phil didn't really need my help for setup of the Roll-A-Ball game or our other attraction, the Water Race, so I took my time. Renee and I bought the Water Race attraction from the same person who sold me my trailer and truck. He had met his own fíorghrá and was giving up his carnie ways to settle down with her. I often wondered if their love was enough to calm his wanderlust, or if he still got the itch to move on every now and again. The urge to stay in motion was a strong one. I had a hard time believing someone used to the gypsy lifestyle could give it up forever and be truly happy. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and, ignoring the odor of diesel fuel, headed straight for the midway.
I acknowledged the other carnies with a nod or a smile as I walked. We're a close-knit group, spending eight months out of the year traveling across the country together. Members had their disagreements, of course, but we all worked together. A successful carnival season was good for everyone, so cooperating and supporting each other was a necessity.
Suddenly I felt a strong surge of energy to my right and smelled the scent of spice and citrus on the wind – Alice! Alice Brandon was my best friend. At just five feet tall, she was a tiny wisp of a girl, but her natural exuberance and zest for life made her seem ten foot tall at times. With hazel eyes and waist-length black hair, she was like a living, breathing China doll, and her fun-loving personality kept her as one of the favorite daughters of the carnies.
Alice worked for her mother, Madam Esmeralda. Esme, as the family called her, owned and ran the fortuneteller tent. Both had a strong gift of precognition, which made their tent one of the most popular attractions in the carnival. Esme was the first person ever to understand my connection with the scents and energy of the air around me. Renee had listened to me as I explained how my perceptions seemed to be a precursor to events of my day, but she never truly believed. Esme knew from the moment she met me that I was different - clairvoyant - and she supported me every step of the way as I explored this talent.
"Isabella Marie Swan, where have you been hiding yourself all morning? Don't you know what today is?" yelled Alice as she jogged lightly over from the fortuneteller's tent. The beautiful green peasant blouse and long, white broomstick skirt she was wearing made her look like she was floating across the ground. An image of Alice with angel wings and a crooked halo popped into my mind, and I snorted in laughter. The little sprite was far from "angelic".
"And a good morning to you, too, Alice," I replied with a smile on my face. Alice hugged me in greeting as we continued walking toward the midway, holding hands like we had done everyday for the past seven years.
"Sorry, Bella, I'm just so excited," she exclaimed. "Esme spoke to my cousin about an hour ago, and he's already in Indianapolis. He should be here late this afternoon!" I couldn't help but smile at my best friend, caught up in her excitement. The arrival of her only cousin had her lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.
"Aha, I thought I felt something new on the air today. So how long will he be staying with you?" I asked.
"He's planning on staying for the summer," she replied. "Mom got him a job playing the piano for Tanya and Irina's magical act, and Kate may use him occasionally as well with her sleight of hand displays. He'll probably leave in August to go back to Chicago, though nothing's set in stone as far as I know. Which reminds me…have you decided what you're going to do now that you have your degree?" Her expression dulled a bit as she questioned me. I had been considering pursuing a Master's degree since I received my Bachelor's in anthropology this past March. Alice still had a handful of credits to earn from the same online school I attended before she completed her Bachelor's degree in marketing.
"Not yet. It's too late to make any decisions for this fall anyway," I replied, as I shrugged my shoulders. "If I decide to go to graduate school, I'll have to wait until next year. However, I can't imagine heading back into an actual classroom. Between having your mom home-school us through high school and getting my Bachelor's degree online, the concept of going to school is completely foreign to me."
Just the thought of being in a room full of non-carnies made my stomach twist, though I didn't want to admit this to Alice. I changed the subject quickly hoping she didn't notice how nervous the conversation made me.
"What about you?" I asked. "How many more classes do you need?"
"Just three more classes and that degree is all mine," she exclaimed. "I should be able to get them all completed before our birthday trip in September."
"What's the rush?" I asked. "Are you afraid all the alcohol you plan to consume for our twenty-first birthdays will kill too many brain cells or something?" I bumped her shoulder with mine and smiled at her as she bumped me back. Our birthday trips were something we began when we turned eighteen. We were born two days apart, and a girls' weekend away was the perfect way to celebrate together. Every year we picked somewhere new to visit and spent a couple of days away from the carnival.
"Nah, I know you won't drink with me, so I probably won't get too crazy," she replied, as her eyes met mine. "I just want to make sure I have no commitments in case I meet the man of my dreams while we're in Dallas." She grinned widely as I laughed at her ridiculous reasoning.
"Well good luck with that," I said, still laughing. "Now, tell me all about your cousin…what's he like?"
Alice practically jumped at the chance to fill me in on the details of her cousin, Edward Masen. Apparently, he graduated from Northwestern recently with a degree in Music Theory and Composition. He had decided to travel with the Brandons for the summer, as he never had the opportunity in the past. He and Alice didn't get to spend a lot of time together. Alice always traveled with the carnival while Edward grew up in Chicago with his father, Edward Sr., and his mother, Esme's sister, Elizabeth. I had never met Edward, so I looked forward to his arrival. If he were anything like his aunt and cousin, we would get along just fine.
"Where are you working today, Bella?" she asked. "As soon as he gets here I'll bring him over to meet you. The three of us can grab an early dinner before the evening rush."
I caught her smirking a bit, like she knew something I didn't, but I chose to ignore it. That smirk graced her face more often than not as her abilities had become stronger.
"I think Phil has me running the Water Race game today," I replied. "I'll check with Renee and make sure she can cover for me. Otherwise, I'll just meet up with you around closing."
"Fab!" she exclaimed. "I have to go find Emmett. Mom has a feeling about the carousel today and wants him to inspect it again before the gates open. I'll see you later, Bella!" With that, Alice floated off in search of our resident mechanic, Emmett McCarty. Her skirt trailed behind her through the dirt and I giggled – only Alice would wear a long white skirt at the carnival grounds.
As I reached the midway and approached the Roll-A-Ball booth, the air around me shifted. I felt an electric pulsation hovering nearby and smelled warm honey and that earthy scent I had come to know over the years. It was the smell of sex, arousal and lust. Renee and Phil were apparently enjoying some time alone in the back of the booth.
I slowed my steps so as not to interrupt. I understood exactly what Renee and Phil were up to, but I definitely didn't want to see them. A few minutes later, I heard Renee giggle and murmur something to Phil as the air shifted again. The electricity still pulsed, though not as vigorously as before, and the fragrance on the wind changed to that of sunshine, freedom and fresh cut grass – the scents I had come to identify as Renee and Phil together.
"Hey Mom, are you here?" I tried to keep the smirk out of my voice but doubted my success. Living with those two for four years taught me more about sex and love than any other experience could have. It also didn't help that my gift made me aware of the sexual exploits of others in our temporary camps – sex was something I had grown very comfortable with, in concept. My actual experience up to this point was relatively minor, though. It's not that I had any high ideals about waiting for marriage – I was no virgin – I just understood the difference between love and lust and never confused one for the other. Having seen and felt the amazing connection between pairs of fíorghrás, I refused to settle for less in terms of love. I had, in the past, given into my hormones and spent a night or two with someone, but I knew those moments were all about lust, nothing more.
"Yeah baby, we're back here," Renee replied, still giggling quietly.
I counted to ten before I walked to the back of the booth and moved the curtain aside to reveal Phil and Renee in all their disheveled, post-coital bliss.
"Hi guys, what have you two been up to?" I asked, as Phil ran his hand up my mom's arm. She looked up at him and giggled again. They were like a pair of horny teenagers sometimes, I swear.
"Mmmm, just taking a breather after getting the booths set up. Did you sleep well last night?" Poor Renee couldn't even tear her eyes away from Phil for a split second as she said this. I smiled gently as the bouquets of love swirling around the couple surrounded me.
"Yeah Mom, I slept great," I said, as I leaned against a stack of boxes. "I woke up to clouds and hope - Alice's cousin is arriving today, and the air is buzzing with anticipation."
That got Renee's attention – she was a lover of all things new. As she turned to look at me, I noticed a small hickey on the side of her neck near her ear, and my smile widened.
"Really? I haven't met any of Esme's family other than Alice. I wonder if he takes after them at all. Alice and Esme are both so striking, a young man with looks like theirs may be more than my little girl can resist," she replied cheekily, winking at me as she leaned into Phil.
I snorted at her and kept grinning, my eyes fixated on the small purple mark.
"Sure thing, I'll be overwhelmed by his good looks and just fall prey to all of his lascivious schemes. Sweet, innocent Bella will have no chance against the raw animal magnetism I'm sure he exudes," I replied sarcastically. "Nice hickey, by the way."
I couldn't hold back my laughter anymore as Renee and Phil both blushed and smiled at each other. The bright, floral smell of happiness hit me as I headed over to finish setting up the Water Race booth. Today was a really good day.
Six hours later and I was in desperate need of a break. The temperature had climbed into the nineties, and there was no breeze blowing through my area. It seemed like the entire town was milling about the midway. The Water Race booth had been exceptionally busy all day, and I was tired, sweaty and out of patience. I sent a quick text to Renee to ask her to cover for me. As soon as she entered the booth, I headed toward the nearest exit.
Walking through a crowd was always an unsettling experience for me. Each person had a scent identifying them – usually a mix of relatively common scents, though certain tones in the fragrance made it unique to the owner. Renee had always smelled like sunshine and freedom to me – warm, slightly energized and bright. I had met others whose essences contained the same basic sunshine smell, though none of their scents were exactly the same as Renee's. In a crowd, these individual scents converged and it became difficult to differentiate one from another. This always made me feel slightly nervous.
Once I reached the parking lot, I walked toward the open field just beyond the cars, hoping to catch a breeze to help clear my head. I suddenly stopped halfway across the lot, captivated by a scent that almost knocked me to my knees. It was sweet - with a depth similar to caramel, a hint of rain and just a slight whisper of vanilla. I felt my stomach clench and my body lock in place as the aroma encompassed me.
There were no thoughts, no sounds – just a feeling of completeness I had never experienced before. I stood for seconds, minutes, hours…it could have been a lifetime for all I knew as time ceased to exist. At some point I realized the scent was dwindling, and I began turning in a circle trying to locate the person with such an amazing essence. I stumbled in and out of the rows, back and forth through the lot, trying to pinpoint the glorious aroma. Unfortunately, whoever tempted me so had long since disappeared.
Feeling more disappointed than ever before, I slowly walked back to the Water Race booth. My heart was heavy and it felt like there was a knot in my stomach. Why did the smell affect me so strongly? Who was it? Would I be able to find them again? Renee seemed to notice the change in my attitude as I took over for her in between rounds.
"Baby, are you alright?" she asked, and placed her small hand on my forearm as she looked at me with motherly concern.
"Yeah Mom, I'm fine. I just…it's been a weird day," I grumbled with a sigh.
"Are you sure?" she asked. "You look like someone just told you the purple dye for your hair is being discontinued or something." She laughed at me as I rolled my eyes. She loved to pick on me about my hair.
"I just," I looked around at the patrons before I leaned closer to her, "I caught a scent in the parking lot. It intrigued me." I shifted away from her and looked her in the eyes, willing her to understand.
"Intrigued you?" she asked as she raised her eyebrows at me.
"Yes, intrigued me. Like, I wanted to fall to my knees and follow the scent like a dog in heat kind of intrigued," I answered quietly. She gave me a knowing look and her eyes lit up, as she looked me up and down once.
"I do believe your weekend is about to get a lot more interesting, baby girl," she declared cryptically. With that, she gave me a quick hug and headed out the back of the booth to return to the Roll-A-Ball game and Phil. Her behavior only added to my confusion, and I went back to work without my usual smile in place.
About two hours later I received a text from Alice, letting me know her cousin was with her, and they were headed to the pavilion for dinner. I still felt confused and a little upset from my earlier experience in the parking lot, plus the midway was really busy, so I decided to work straight through closing instead of taking a dinner break. I replied, telling her to go ahead without me and that I would meet up with them later in the evening.
An hour before the carnival closed, Renee came back to the booth to relieve me.
"Where are you headed to tonight?" she asked as she moved to acknowledge the patrons at the counter.
"I'm just going to track down Alice and her cousin," I said. "You and Phil have any big plans for tonight?"
"Not really. Tomorrow's going to be a long day, and this heat makes him grumpy. We'll probably just head back to the camp and go to bed," she replied as she moved away from me to collect the money for the next round.
"Hmmm," I hummed, not really paying attention to her as I grabbed my things and got ready to leave. "I will probably turn in early myself. I want to go for a run in the morning and need to get some sleep." Renee laughed, and I looked up to see her walking toward me, smiling devilishly.
"I said we would be headed to bed, I never said anything about sleep." She winked at me as I laughed at her innuendo.
"Nice, Mom," I said, as I walked out the back of the booth. I heard Renee's laughter over the noise of the crowd as I walked away, headed to the fortuneteller tent to find Alice. I hadn't walked more than fifty yards down the midway when the scent of mist and mischief enveloped me. That scent meant only one person – Emmett McCarty.
Emmett was one of my favorite carnies - the only thing about him larger than his body builder frame was his boisterous personality. With dark, curly hair, blue eyes and killer dimples, he was an absolute heartbreaker, though his kind nature was truly his most outstanding characteristic. His parents died when he was a little kid, and the Newton family, who own Eclipse Entertainment, ended up adopting him shortly thereafter. He and his brother, Mike, both worked for the carnival and grew up with Alice and some of the other carnie kids.
"Belle of the Ball," he hollered. "What's got you looking so serious tonight?" Damn that boy was loud; I think the entire crowd turned to look when he yelled like that.
I blushed slightly from the attention of the patrons and turned to find Emmett bounding toward me like a golden retriever after a Frisbee. I smiled widely at him and squealed as he picked me up in a big bear hug and spun me around.
"Put me down, you big oaf," I laughed.
"Aw, c'mon Bell, you know you love my physicality," he replied with a cheesy grin, as he set me carefully back on solid ground.
"That's a big word for a man such as you. Have you been reading your Word-A-Day toilet paper again?" I teased him, as we stood in the midway together.
"Damn straight little one. Now stop avoiding my question – what's up with you? I don't think I've seen you without a smile on your face since my brother grabbed your ass at that roadside park in Tennessee last month. Do my fists need to get up close and personal with a patron or something?" Emmett asked, as he threw a punch at the empty space in front of us.
"Nothing like that, really. I just had an odd experience earlier, and I'm trying to work it out in my head," I admitted. "How are things going for you tonight? Did you get everything worked out with the carousel?"
We strolled casually toward the front of the carnival grounds, pausing occasionally to let people pass us by as they headed toward the back of the midway.
"Shit, that was one scary moment. As much as I don't like to take any of these freaky ass gifts too seriously, no offense, there are times like earlier today when I have to wonder. I mean, Mike helped the guys get the carousel up and did all of the safety-checks himself. I even went behind him and double-checked on my final rounds. When Alice told me Esme saw something going wrong, I didn't think anything of it at first, but it kept eating at me, you know? Right before the band made it to the gates, I decided to give it one final test run, and sure as shit, on the second time around one of the inner horse's u-bolts came loose. Someone could have been hurt. I just can't believe I almost ignored her warning," he said, as he shook his head slightly.
"Guess you learned to never bet against the Brandon women, huh?" I asked with a small smile, trying to lighten his mood just a bit.
Emmett threw his arm around my shoulders and yanked me into his side. "Yeah, yeah, never bet against the Brandon women and never ask you to name that smell. Jesus, you people keep things interesting around here." Emmett grinned down at me before releasing his hold. "I need to get to the pavilion to help Mikey. Where are you headed?" he asked.
"I'm going to see if Alice is at Esme's tent. If not I'll head over to the pavilion," I replied.
"If I see her, I'll tell her you're looking for her. See ya later, Bell!" he exclaimed as he waved a little and walked away from me. I smiled, looking at the ground, and began walking the rest of the way to Esme's tent.
When I reached the tent, I entered through the back curtain and took a deep breath as the familiar scent of Esme enveloped me. It was like the smell of fresh baked bread; hearty and making you feel at home. I heard Esme in the side room with a client, but Alice was not there. I exited quietly so as not to disturb Esme's reading and headed toward the far side of the grounds.
The pavilion, also known as the food court, was a simple concept. We grouped most of the food vendors in one area and set up a bunch of picnic tables nearby for people to congregate. Last year, we added a small stage to the area. Eclipse hired local performers to entertain the patrons as they ate, making it the perfect place to hang out and just enjoy the day.
I made it to the pavilion just as Mr. Newton announced over the sound system that the carnival was closing. Patrons headed toward the gates in a wave of bodies and giant stuffed animals. Little kids either cried over having to leave or raced around in circles due to a sugar buzz. I didn't envy those parents one bit…cotton candy, caramel apples and extra large lollipops did not make for easy bedtimes.
"Bella!" I suddenly heard Alice shout from up ahead. I trained my eyes in the direction of her voice, trying to find her, but the mass of humanity heading past me blocked my view. I picked my way carefully through the crowd and eventually made it to the edge of the stage. I had hopped up on a bench and stretched onto my toes, trying to see above the crowd, when I heard her again.
"Bella, over here!" she shouted from my left.
I turned and spotted my little friend bouncing up and down on a picnic table at the opposite side of the pavilion from where I stood. I could tell someone was with her at the table, but there wasn't enough light to make out anything more than a human shape in the dark.
I stepped off the bench and began weaving my way across the pavilion. The ground was littered with food wrappers, plastic cups and various other items left behind by patrons, all of which slowed me down.
If there was one thing I would remember about that night, it was the tranquility that surrounded me. Time slowed down as I reached my destination, and there was suddenly no movement in the air. The man at the table turned to greet me. When his eyes met mine the world stood completely still. No breeze, no sound from Alice's jumping, no laughter from the passing patrons…just stillness.
He rose slowly from the table while staring at me with a shocked expression on his face. I felt this undeniable pull toward him, as if nothing else mattered but bringing our bodies together. He must have felt the same tug because we both took a step forward, my measured movements a mirror image to his. My foot landed on something unsteady, and I stumbled slightly forward. The man's hand grabbed my upper arm to steady me, and we both gasped.
As we made contact for the first time, I was inundated by a kaleidoscope of sensation. It was as if the sky exploded into pink and purple sparkles. The scent of warm caramel and rain surrounded me to such an extent that my mouth watered from the taste of it in the air. An electric current ran up and down my body and the only sound was the beating of my own heart as it tried to pound its way out of my chest. I stopped moving and allowed my senses to deal with the overwhelming stimulation encircling me.
"Are you alright?" he asked, his voice low and sultry.
"Mmhmm," I hummed, still unable to stop staring at this stunning man. Good God! He was beautiful – tall and lean with a mop of wavy brown hair and pale skin. It was too dark to see many details, but I could tell he had a strong jaw and high cheekbones. I really wished the pavilion lights were brighter so I could see what color his eyes were.
He tugged lightly on my arm, bringing me further into him. The electricity between us swelled and pulsed as our bodies came to a stop mere centimeters from each other. The scents of wildflowers and warm honey embraced me completely and sent my body into a frenzy of want and need.
My eyes darted to his full lips, and I licked my own, running my tongue from one side to the other as his eyes tracked the movement like a predator stalking their prey. We stood just millimeters apart, our bodies leaning toward each other. My eyelids grew heavy as my eyes stayed focused on those plump, pink…
"I KNEW IT!"
I jumped back as Alice's shriek broke through the bubble of calm surrounding me. The sudden onslaught of noise hit me like a physical blow and caused me to cringe as I continued to gaze in wonder at the man in front of me. He removed his hand from my arm, and I immediately missed the warmth of his touch.
I moved to watch Alice, who was dancing and smirking, while I tried to recover some semblance of composure. I guessed by the look on her face, as well as her happy dance, that she'd had a vision of what would happen when he and I met, but had chosen not to tell me. This was cause for serious retribution, and I made a mental note to begin planning my revenge…once I regained the ability to think clearly.
I turned to face the man, who also appeared to be in a bit of shock. Here he was - my fíorghrá - standing in front of me for the first time. The enormity of this knowledge temporarily confounded me. I froze as I tried to think through what I should do next. He ran his hand through his hair and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He heaved a sigh, and when his minty breath washed over me, I snapped out of my stupor instantly.
"Hi, I'm Bella Swan," I whispered, feeling shy and slightly vulnerable. "It's really nice to meet you." I held my hand out for him to shake and took a step closer. I felt the electricity between us begin to pulse once more.
"I'm Edward Masen. And it's, uh, really nice to meet you, too," he replied quietly. He took my hand and held it between his larger ones. The electricity surrounding us increased tenfold as our skin once again made contact, and I gasped at the sensation.
Wildflowers and clouds. Hope and sweetness. Oh yes, the day had definitely brought me something new.
A/N: I have to say thank you to Project Team Beta for all of your assistance. I can't say enough nice things about this group! Elizabeth, Remylebeauishot and Ava all helped to make sure this chapter was as lovely as it could be.
Thank you to all the people who read, reviewed and favorited Caramel Rain. You all gave me the kick in the pants I needed to rewrite that one-shot as Giofógach. I will forever be grateful for your support.
Fic Recs (because I read way more than I should):
With All My Strength by Rhi Aeffyll – fanfictionDOTnet/s/5632121 – AU, ancient, warrior king Edward. Seriously, I jump up and down whenever I get an update on this story.
Through the Flames by SparklingTwilight – fanfictionDOTnet/s/5883476 - AU/AH, firefighter Edward almost loses his life while trying to save Bella. The interaction between Edward's family members is heartbreaking and so powerful. Have some fluff to read after this one, you'll need it.