Author: swervin35 PM
Can a dream man, who Bella finds out is real, help her discover not only what her writing is lacking but what she has been missing in her life? AH, cannon couples.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 24 - Words: 69,199 - Reviews: 98 - Favs: 89 - Follows: 131 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 04-18-12 - id: 8037180
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The characters belong to the Stephenie Meyer. I do not own or claim to own them.
Playlist: Lady Antebellum – Just a Kiss and Need You Now
The characters belong to the Stephenie Meyer. I do not own or claim to own them.
Playlist: Lady Antebellum – Just a Kiss and Need You Now
Chapter 1 – In the Beginning
He gazed down lovingly at me, caressing my face gently with the back of his hand, as I stared up into his sparkling green eyes. "Of course I love you, Bella. How could you not know," he said in a soothing velvet voice. His head bent closer to me and his eyes flashed to my lips briefly before they were staring into mine again as he bent even closer. His lips were a breath away from reaching mine, and his hand turned, cupping my cheek…
I woke with a start, my left hand flying to my chest as my right hit my annoying alarm clock, the dream vanishing just as the nameless man was about to kiss me. Argh! Why me? The dream had felt so real — even more so than the last time. I hated my life, but at the moment, I hated my alarm clock more. Sliding out of bed, I groaned as I realized I had an American Lit test this afternoon. The professor detested me and my love of the literary world. Well that's was not all true, he really didn't detest me, he just embarrassed me, in front of the class, with his praise and I had talked to him about that. He promised to try and hold back any further praise verbally but instead would write it down on my assignments and tests. But despite his efforts, the class had already deemed me a "know-it-all," and one student, Lauren Mallory, was constantly taunting me. I couldn't help it that I was an English major and the written word was my passion! I couldn't help it that I loved to read. Sighing, I snatched up my toiletry bag and headed toward the bathroom I shared with my roommate, Alice.
The door was closed. I glanced at the clock at the end of the hall. I had to be in my first class in forty-five minutes, and I knew her first class was still two hours away. I loved Alice and all, she was like a sister, but her morning beauty ritual was ridiculous. "Alice," I yelled, banging on the door, "you have two minutes to get out of there."
The door opened. A bare, masculine chest. Definitely not Alice. Had she hooked up with Jasper last night and brought him back here? Oh, this was awkward. I slowly looked up, and met the green eyes of my nameless dream man. Not Jasper. "Uh," I said cleverly.
"Sorry," he said in the same velvety and seductively musical voice I had heard in my dream. "Alice is still in bed. You must be Bella. I'm Edward, her brother. I was plastered last night, and Alice came to the bar to pick me up. She insisted on bringing me here to crash," he rambled out quickly, and I was lucky Alice had been my roomie for so long and I caught everything he said.
"No problem," I responded with a blush. "Anytime you need to sleep it off or whatever." I didn't know why I'd said that, I just knew… heck, I didn't know what I knew.
"Thanks. Alice said you would be cool about it," he said, brushing past me, leaving the path clear for me to enter the bathroom.
I was showered and ready in record time, though I still didn't have time to make myself a hot breakfast. A granola bar and a pint of milk it would be then. Ah, the story of my life. I opened the bathroom door and the smells of something yummy floated in to greet me. My stomach chose that moment to make its presence known.
As I walked toward the front room, I heard laughter. "You know you're an amazing cook, Edward. Just admit it already," I heard Alice say through her laugh.
"Nope, I'm not," he said, placing two more plates on the table. I was in view, but neither had seen me yet. He reached up and rubbed the back of his neck. "Besides, you're biased."
"Fine," Alice huffed, "then Bella will have to convince you." She turned and smiled at me. Damn, the little pixie knew I was in the living room. "There's a plate ready for you."
"I really don't have the time."
"I'll drive you down to campus," she said with a smirk, motioning to the plate.
Oh my, that French toast looked delicious. I slid into the chair, picking up the fork next to the plate. I heard the crisp crunch as I cut a bite off before bringing it to my mouth. Wow, the flavors exploded and melted in my mouth, and I hadn't even begun to chew. Slowly I chewed, enjoying the flavors as they intensified. I think I moaned as I swallowed.
"See, that right there is all the proof you need. Bella happens to love French toast, and I have never heard her moan over just one bite."
Okay, that answered the question as to whether or not I had moaned. I looked up to see both Alice and Edward staring at me, Edward with his mouth hanging open. I felt self-conscious and my face heat. "These are amazing. How do you get the flavors just…" I stopped, not knowing what I was trying to ask.
Edward's mouth closed as his hand rose to the back of his neck again, rubbing roughly. "It's just cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar mixed with syrup." He looked away when I gawked at him.
I looked to Alice. She just shrugged. "Hurry up and finish, or you'll be late even with me driving you."
Five minutes later, I was sitting next to Alice as she drove me down to the main campus. It would have taken me ten minutes to power walk down. "So, that was your brother?"
"Yes, and he told me about his rambling, said you took him by surprise." She looked over at me, and I raised an eyebrow asking why silently. "He wouldn't expound on why he was surprised no matter how much I pestered him while you were showering."
Hmm, I wondered if I asked him if he would tell me why he was surprised seeing me.
Alice was still going on about him. "Wait, what did you just say?" I asked.
Alice looked over at me before repeating what she said. "He's transferring here for the spring semester, and he decided to tour the campus this week and next. He flew in yesterday afternoon and found that someone, meaning me, had cancelled his reservation. I tried calling him to let him know to come to the house instead of the hotel. He called me furious, telling me to come and pick him up. I couldn't right away because of a test; two hours later, I found him in the hotel bar pretty much smashed. He wouldn't tell me much, but I think there is more to why he is transferring. I told him he could stay until you and I left for Thanksgiving break. I hope you don't mind." She didn't even give me a chance to respond. "Can you possibly talk with him and see what you can find out?"
"What?" I yelled, startling her. "I don't even know your brother!"
"I know, but you do have a way with words."
"In essays and works of creativity, Alice. When speaking with others I get all flustered." Realization hit me then — she had an evening class tonight. I would be alone with him. "I take it you want me to talk to him tonight."
"I was hoping you would, Bella." She gave me her best puppy dog face.
"I'm not promising anything, Alice," I said, caving.
"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you," she said, coming to a stop close to where my class was.
"See you at lunch. And thanks for the ride."
"No problem," she responded as I closed the door. I quickly made my way through the Liberal Arts building toward my first class of the week, Advanced Creative Writing. I walked in with the professor following behind.
An hour later, I left with a stack of poetry to read and comment on, as well as a stack of comments on my last poem from the professor as well as my fellow classmates. I was dreading reading those comments; the poem was not my best and I knew it, but I had to have something to hand out. Hopefully with their feedback, I would be able to turn it into something amazing.
My next class was canceled. My professor's wife had gone into labor overnight. I smiled. The professor was young and had often started class with a brief story about his wife or his fear of becoming a father. The class did briefly meet, and a whopping thirty dollars was collected for a small gift. Luckily I wasn't recruited, as one of only seven female students, to pick out the gift. I had two hours to kill before my next class and decided to head to the library.
Sitting at a cubicle, I pulled out my last poem and began reading the comments, starting with the professor's. You can do better than this. I did love the imagery you were writing about, but it needs to be kicked up a notch. I suggest you read She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron. You might find it very inspiring.
Like I didn't know my poem was "lame-ass," Professor Menser. I pulled out my laptop, starting it up, and I was glad I didn't have to fight to get it to hook to the Wi-Fi.
I typed in the name of the poem and author he had suggested and read through the poem when it came up.
She walks in beauty, like the night, Of cloudless climes and starry skies...
It was certainly beautiful, but I wasn't sure how the poem was going to help. I bookmarked and filed it in my Literature links to read again later.
I went through the rest and they all rang with the same remarks, but none gave me anything useful. I tossed all the comments back into my folder and glancing at the clock. Forty-five minutes until my next class, math. Yuck! Why did I need to take math? I can understand why Physical Education was part of the core program but not math. I hated the core program. Sighing, I pulled out my American Lit notes and read through them once again, not that I really needed to; I knew the material and could probably answer any question, even if it were thrown at me before I was fully awake.
Math was once again boring, and I strove to stay awake despite the professor's droning monotone; I rolled my eyes at my internal reflections on the meaning of the word and the fact we were learning about monotonic functions didn't help matters. I was extremely happy when the professor finally dismissed us at the end of the drone and problem-filled hour. I had a headache once again as the numbers swirled in my head. I made my way to the student center to meet Alice for lunch, and, per usual, I arrived first. Her sociology professor had a habit of dismissing the class late, not that she minded. I think she harbored a secret crush on him.
I grabbed a salad, what I hoped would be a juicy apple, orange juice, and a bottle of water before selecting a table where Alice could easily find me.
"So, Miss Know-It-All, are you prepared for today's test?" the voice of my nemesis Lauren asked sneeringly from behind me. I ignored her, not turning from my lunch. "Or are you sleeping with the prof and getting a sneak peek at the answers?"
I cringed, stiffening where I sat, but still not turning. Not this again. I gritted my teeth and growled out, "No, Lauren, I am not sleeping with Professor Black."
"Deny it all you want, Swan, but that is the only way you could survive the class and practically ace all the tests." I went against my better judgment and turned to look at her, still holding my tongue, though what I really wanted to do was pummel Lauren's lie-spewing mouth with my fist. It was a mistake not saying something, as she went on. "The whole class knows you're sleeping with him, what with you being in his office after his posted office hours. Not to mention all the praise that you seem to get from him and you blush each and every time, like a virgin bride. Mark my words, Swan, if you once again ace the test, I will go to the dean and report my suspicions that you're committing academic fraud by cheating. You are nothing but an academic whore," she yelled for everyone in the student center to hear. The place had gone deafeningly quiet, and all heads were turned to where we were.
I'd had enough and was beginning to shake with the effort of holding in my emotional response to her taunting and demeaning outburst. My anger was bubbling to the surface as I blushed scarlet. Tears were building in my eyes, not far behind.
"Leave her alone," an angry voice shouted, and I turned, wondering who was coming to my rescue. To my shock, I recognized Edward walking toward us. "You hit her, and I'll call security." I looked back at Lauren, and she had her hand raised as if she was going to slap me. She, too, was shocked that someone, especially Edward, was coming to my defense. Her hand fell to her side, and turning on her heel, she walked away.
The chair next to me screeched as Edward pulled it away from the table, turning it slightly before sitting down next to me. "Are you all right, Bella?" he asked. I looked over at him as my tears ran down my cheeks. He just didn't seem real to me. No one had ever stood up for me before, besides my parents. He frowned before pulling me slowly to his chest. I sobbed hard into his shoulder, part in a reaction to what Lauren had said and part because of him defending and comforting me. He said nothing as he held me, rubbing my back in gentle circles.
"Oh my, Bella, are you all right?" Alice asked, placing a tray down on the table. She must not have heard what Lauren had said.
I shook my head no. I was in no way all right, I felt like hell right now. I was mortified by what Lauren called me, and everyone in the center had to have heard. I was still crying against Edward's shoulder.
"I don't think she should go to her next class, Al," he said in a low voice.
"If she doesn't, the whole class will start talking." Okay, she did hear.
"She needs to go straight to the dean and report this harassment," he argued back. "I'm sure he would be able to arrange for her to have an excused absence and for the test to be given by another professor."
That wasn't a half bad idea, I thought as I stilled and moved away from his shoulder, wiping my face with the napkin Alice held out to me. "Alice, your brother is right. I can't just brush off what happened, not this time."
A fellow student I had often seen during my lunch break approached. "I heard what happened. I thought you could use this," she said, handing me a slip of paper with a URL written on it. I looked at her questioningly. "A link to my Skydrive; I was interviewing one of the basketball players for the paper and got every word that was said to you," she explained with a shrug.
"Thank you," I said, standing and giving her a hug. "I'm Bella, and this is Alice and Edward." "Angela," she said, "If you give me your email address, I'll grant you access to the audio file."
I gave her my email address slowly and she typed it into her phone.
"Done. I've gotta go. See you around."
"Definitely," Alice said. "So," she started once I sat, "you're skipping class and going to the dean?"
"I have to, Alice, or it's going to be two and a half plus years before I'm free of Lauren."
"She can be kicked out of the class, or worse, out of the program."
"I'm sure Bella doesn't want that, but she does have to say something," Edward remarked, reaching across the table and taking one of the sandwiches Alice had on the tray.
I didn't even know him and he was willing to stand up for me, comfort me as I cried, and now he was making very good points. I looked at Alice, and she was intently staring at her brother, with a furrowed brow, and he back at her, making it seem as if they were having a silent conversation. I wish I knew what that was like. It seemed all my friends had that ability with their siblings. I was an only child, though my parents had wanted more. Unfortunately, my Mom almost lost me before I was born, and it had not been possible for them to have more. I looked between the pair, wondering what they were saying to each other.
Alice sighed, pulling out her laptop. "Fine, but you're going with her, Edward. Email your professor, Bella, and tell him briefly what happened. You don't want him to be blindsided when the dean speaks with him."
"I have no problem with going with her, Al," he responded as I began typing a brief email summary of what had happened and why I would not be in class. "I did hear most of it," he said just as I hit send. I looked over at him wide-eyed as he went on. "And I don't believe a word she said."
Five minutes later, Edward was walking next to me as I headed to the administration office. The dean of students was indeed in his office, and his secretary asked us to be seated while she rang to see if he had a few moments to speak with me. She smiled warmly as she said he would be right with me. I was nervous. "What if he doesn't believe me?" I mumbled to myself as I twisted my fingers together.
~~~~ LB ~~~~
A/N: Poem – She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
I want to thank the four betas (ElleCC, Twimarti, JulieToo, and Gigi Scott) for their wonderful help in getting this chapter edited. I don't know if I would have been able to self-edit, like I have with my other posted stories, and end up with this well written 'piece of creativity', as Bella would call it.
Please review. Till next time. ~Swervin35