Hello again! I totally forgot about this, but I was reminded today by some lovely readers. This was originally going to be chapter 7, but it was a bit too early to introduce Edward's side of things, so I saved it to post later as an outtake. This was obviously written some time ago, and I've tweaked it some to hopefully fix any disparities.

Huge thanks again to Twilly, Sophiacorgi, & Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy for giving this a once-over for me!

SM owns all things Twilight.

EPOV - Outtake (original chapter 7)

"All right. Enough! Get your ass up and in the shower right this second, or so help me…"

Harsh light invades my bleary eyes, and I let out a hiss, hunching back under my covers.

"Come on, Dracula. Seriously. This has to stop."

"Please just leave me alone," I manage to croak out.

The covers are ripped off of me, and a gasp follows. "Aw, shit. I don't need to see that."

"Then get out of my room, Al."

"Edward Masen, you get your ass up right now." I hear the thud of her little foot stomping on my carpet, and then she mercifully leaves me alone. The clanging in my kitchen tells me she's not going to leave my house, though, until I demonstrate that I'm still amongst the living. A comical thought, really, since I deserve to be dead.

Bree comes bounding in as I swing my legs over the side of the bed, and she nudges her nose up under my hand with a whine.

"I know, girl. I'm sorry." I take a minute to pat her head and scratch behind her ears, feeling guilty about being asleep for so long... not that it's anything new lately. The minute the smell of seared beef wafts into my room, though, she bolts out the door. "Typical," I mutter, shaking my head and standing up with a satisfying stretch of my limbs.

Stepping into my bathroom, I start the shower and move to brush my teeth since it takes my piece of shit water heater at least two minutes to get its ass in gear. I take a quick shower to appease the little dictator in my kitchen, because when Alice Whitlock says jump, you pretty much ask, "How high? How many times?" and, "May I get something for you while I'm up there?"

You'd think she was my sister or something by the way she barges in and barks orders at me, but we're not related. She just kind of adopted me after Jasper and I became good friends a couple years ago. Speaking of whom…

"Your wife just saw my naked ass," I inform him, sinking into my couch next to him.

"I heard."


He snorts. I'm a little offended.

"Look, man. She wants us to talk again. She says I have to find out what's going on," Jasper says, mimicking his wife's flair for the dramatic. "So can you please just tell me so she'll stop dragging me over here to babysit your sorry ass?"

Scowling, I prop my feet up on my coffee table. "No one's forcing you to be here."

"That's where you're wrong," he replies with a pointed glance into my kitchen, where his wife is busy preparing something that smells way better than anything I've ever produced in there. "Now, come on. Spill it. You've barely been over to our apartment in the last month. You made me take you off your regular route. You're drinking." Another pointed look goes to the nearly empty bottle of Jack on my kitchen bar.

"Not that much," I mumble, embarrassed to have been called out. I never wanted to turn out like my father, and I won't. I just needed to forget.

Every swig that burns my throat helps to dull the memory of deep chocolate eyes and perfect creamy skin, soft curves and wet heat, moans and whimpers from the most incredible woman on the planet, emitted just for me.


Squeezing my eyes shut, I groan, sitting forward to hide the growing problem in my pants.

"Seriously, dude. What the fuck happened?"

My dick stands down at Jasper's close proximity, and I flop backward again.

"Bella Swan happened."

"Bella Swan…" Gears turn. He cocks his head. "Who's that? Do I know her?"

"Nah. I was pretty much in love with her all through high school, but she didn't know I existed."

"Ah, so your teenage spank fantasy." He nods sagely.

A short laugh escapes through my nose. "Something like that."

"So… what? Did you run into her?"

"You could say that."

Jasper turns off my crappy TV and angles toward me. "Look, dude. I'm not a dentist. I'm not gonna sit here and pull teeth all day. Just tell me what happened."

Resigned, I relay the basics to him, and understanding dawns in his eyes about why I wanted off my normal route.

And then his fist connects with my bicep at the same time a small hand smacks me upside the back of my head.

"Ow. What the fuck?"

My head swivels back and forth between Jasper and Alice, who I didn't hear stomp over to us from the kitchen, as they glare at me.

"Okay, fuck. I deserved that, but come on. A woman like her would never want a guy like me. She'd dump my ass the minute she really got to know me, and then where would I be?"

"Exactly where you are now, I'd guess," Alice shoots back with a raised brow.

I shake my head. "No. I'd be worse. Way worse."

"I doubt that's possible." She starts ticking things off on her fingers. "You've basically become a hermit. You start drinking as soon as you get home from work." I start to interrupt, but she shuts me up with a pointed look. She and Jasper are good at those, apparently. "The only thing in your trash can is empty bottles of liquor, Edward. Have you even been eating?"

"Sometimes," I mumble, feeling every bit the scolded child in this scenario.

She goes back to ticking. "I don't know if you get drunk and pass out or what, but you sleep all day. You don't answer your phone. Do I need to keep going?"

I sink farther into the couch cushions. "No."

"I'm putting you back on your regular route," Jasper says.

"No," I practically whine. "You can't. I won't be able to stay away from her, and I have to, Jas. She's like fucking Kryptonite or some shit."

"Yeah, well. You're no Superman."

I snort. Don't I know it.

"Exactly. I'm not good enough for her. I shouldn't have gone back for breakfast that day, but once I figured out who she was... And the way she was looking at me… She never would've looked at me like that back in the day. It was like a drug." I run a hand through my hair. "I just couldn't stop. She's fucking amazing." I can't look at either of them as I spill my guts, so I talk to the hands I'm twisting in my lap instead. "After she fell asleep, I just looked at her for a long time. She was so peaceful... perfect, with this sweet little smile curving her lips." My own lips mimic the memory for a second. "She loves dogs and nostalgic movies. She's nosy and messy but also laid back and cool as hell. She's getting her master's and has this great career ahead of her. And who am I? The guy who barely graduated high school. The guy who ruins everything he touches. She might like the outer packaging now, but she would've realized pretty fucking quickly that she's still way out of my league."

Uncomfortable at having revealed so much, I don't look up until Jasper clears his throat beside me.

"I think that's more words than I've ever heard you say at one time in the two years I've known you," he says, blinking at me.

I slug him in the arm.

Alice's mouth is hanging open, her eyes full of disbelief.

"What?" I ask, irritated that she's still gaping at me.

"You really are an idiot."

Jasper takes that as his cue to go to the kitchen and get a drink.

"Well, thanks so much. You don't have to be here, y'know."

"Yes. I do. Who the hell else is going to knock some sense into you?"

"It wouldn't work out between us, Al. Trust me."

Alice crosses her arms and eyes me. "Who knew this big tough guy," she starts, jerking her head back and forth to emphasize her words, "all muscles and tattoos... was such a giant pussy?"

I stand up so fast she takes a step back. "What did you call me?"

Her chin juts out in defiance. She knows I won't hurt her. Doesn't mean I don't want to.

"You heard me."

"I want my key back."

She shakes her head. "Oh, no, you don't. You're not getting rid of me that easily. You're a stubborn ass, Edward, and you need tough love." She points a spatula at me. "You used that girl." My mouth pops open, but she cuts me off. "Whether you want to believe it or not, you used her. And you hurt her."

I shake my head right back and sit down again. "You don't understand, Al. It was just some kind of slummin'-it-with-a-blue-collar-guy type fantasy for her. That's it."

"Oh, really? And that's why she asked you all kinds of questions about yourself and then tried to track you down through the office after you left?"

Furrowing my brows, I scratch the back of my neck.

"Exactly. Listen." Alice sits down next to me, softly taking my hand in hers. Jasper stays busy in the kitchen, doing what, I have no idea. "I know you've had things rough, and you've been hurt, Edward. But you can't keep assuming the worst of people. Not everyone is going to leave you."

"Everyone has."

"We haven't."

"True." I look down at my hands. "As much as I wish you would sometimes." Cutting my eyes to her, I give her a half-smile so she'll know I'm kidding, and she bumps my shoulder with hers.

"You've got to go talk to her, Edward, if for nothing else than to apologize."

Leaning my head back on the couch, I stare up at the water-stained ceiling. "I've already let so much time go by. If what you say is true and she feels hurt and…" I pause to swallow the lump of shame in my throat. "...used, then she probably hates me."


I scoff. "Thanks."

"Look at me." She waits for me to obey. "You have been to hell and back. You've been to war. You rescue people and fight fires. You can do this."

What she says about me is true. But I've never been so terrified in my life than I am at the prospect of facing Bella Swan again.



Her ice scraper is in the snow again. Her face is in her hands. And the punch to my chest is agonizing as I realize Alice was right. I hurt Bella.

It's not the first time I've hurt someone, but it's never made my heart squeeze quite this hard, because it's her—the girl no one else has ever measured up to and I know never would. The girl who worked tirelessly to hold a bake sale in eleventh grade to help buy toys for underprivileged kids. The girl I never thought I'd see again because she was destined for great things, and I was… not.

Watching her like this and knowing I did this to her pummels me because I never intend to hurt people, but I always seem to make every situation worse.

Shuffling forward, I think better of it and stop. I don't know what she'll do if I get close to her. Junk-punch me?

I wouldn't blame her.

Holding out her scraper in front of me, I repeat what I said to her that day over a month ago. "I believe this belongs to you."

Bella's pretty pink lips part and stay that way. She gapes at me for a solid minute. But then she snaps her mouth shut and glares before spitting out, "Keep it," and sliding into her car.

"Shit," I mutter as her brake lights illuminate, followed quickly by her reverse lights. She backs toward me, but I don't budge. I have to talk to her.

"Move," she yells out the window, coming to a stop a foot in front of me.

"No. Not until you talk to me."

"Why should I?"

"Because I'm sorry!" I shout, not brave enough to walk up to her window.

Apparently Alice was right. I. Am. A pussy.

"Not good enough," Bella says. "Now, move."

I find my balls and decide to stand my ground, but my eyes widen as her brake lights dim.

The next thing I know, I'm flat on my ass at the end of her driveway, blinking at the dark blue sky, in total disbelief that she actually hit me. Although… I'm pretty sure I deserved it.

And hey… at least now she's out of her car and talking to me.

Mission accomplished?

Thank you all again so much! You've made this such a fun ride! I'm still working on review replies to the last chapter, so bear with me.

Some fabulous fics by some fabulous ladies:

GREED by Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy: She thrives on the spotlight; he depends on the darkness. Theirs is a tale of an implausible friendship crashing, burning and rising again. Contribution to the seven deadly sins SALIGIA compilation from The Sinners posted on Fat Tuesday 2014. Originally a one-shot; now a multi-chapter story.

Watch and See by JiffyKate: Her sexual experience is limited, at best. She's never found pleasure in it, so what's the point? Now, though, she wants what he's giving. Seeing the women fall apart against his window has her yearning and wanting to the point she almost combusts sitting on the ledge, merely an observer. What would it be like if she were one of them?

A Sinner's Grace by MrzEdCullen: She wanted all of me, but I couldn't give her that. What I did give her was far too much, yet not enough. Having her walk back into my life could be my saving grace… if there's anything left to save.

Down to Earth by Powered by 23 Kicks: For centuries, a Muse has been tantalizing others, dancing in and out of lives with no real feelings or repercussions - until he meets the painter girl who challenges him. Xanadu meets Mt. Olympus at Twilight when history's sexiest Muse falls into forbidden love with a human.

In Your Dreams by winterhorses: One mistake gives Edward the power to put anyone to sleep and search their memories, but there's a drawback: he must also sleep. When a conspiracy threatens to destroy the tenuous peace between vampire and humans, the Cullens must figure out how to get information from vampire-hater Isabella Swan. How will they uncover her secrets when she thwarts Edward at every turn?

SoCal by Krazyk85: Being with them wasn't the problem, but losing me was. A life filled with sandy beaches and sunshine, I felt safe here. Nothing bad ever happens in SoCal, except maybe bad Mexican food. Or so I thought. This isn't your everyday love story. Based on the movie Savages. For Kninut, an Edward, Bella, Jasper- polyfic

The Summer Before by ericastwilight: It's the summer before college, and what better way to spend it than with friends on the beach. Love, sand, and the ocean is what awaits them. Can two people with difficult pasts move on? A birthday fic for Kyla713

Unexpected Complication by Edward's Eternal: Homeless Bella seeks shelter from a storm in an abandoned warehouse. But while she is there, she witnesses something she should never have seen. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After discovering her, the gunman realizes he has no choice but to protect her from what she's seen. He has to save her—even if she fights him—even if she hates him.

Love Hurts by Maplestyle: I met Edward Cullen on my first day at my new high school. From that moment on we were practically joined at the hip. We dated for the rest of Junior year and all of Senior. Though we didn't take that ultimate step in our relationship, we were very much in love… or so I thought.