A/N: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I tried posting this yesterday, but ff was being its quirky self, so here we are today. :)
A little plot bunny popped into my head Christmas night. And yes, yes, I know I'm in the middle of 'Uprising,' but I just had to get this down. This will be short (for me). About 8 or so chapters, updated daily (Hopefully. Kiddies are home for the holidays, so I can't make promises, lol).
Most characters belong to S. Meyer. The rest of the story is mine.
Chapter 1 - The First Post-Christmas
A throat cleared from behind me just as I slipped my arm through the sleeve and shrugged on my heavy coat.
I pulled my hair over the hood before turning around, all the while smiling to myself.
"Yes," he exhaled, obviously pleased I'd also made a mental note of his name. When I extended a hand, he removed his glove before shaking it…and shaking it. His own grin showcased dimples on both cheeks as well as one on his chin.
"Bella, I wanted to thank you on behalf of the community, as well as on behalf of HFH, for your help here today."
He shifted his coat from one arm to the other, shuffling his weight from foot to foot as he stood in front of the community center's garland-framed, multi-color lit windows. In contrast, the upper west side's steel skyline through the windows blended with the sparkling snow. All of it made the image of the man before me practically glow.
"It was my pleasure, Edward."
On the radio, George Michael's velvety voice bemoaned the loss of his heart the previous Christmas, while Edward dropped his gaze between us in a somewhat sheepish manner. When he lifted his head, his copper hair, green eyes, and those dimples…well, the entire scene was one worthy of an urban holiday postcard.
"Then, you enjoyed yourself?"
"Very much so. I'm glad I signed up." So glad.
With evident reluctance, he released my hand. "Was this your first volunteer event with HFH?"
"I'm ashamed to admit it was. I mean, I've done the requisite community work for high school and college, but this was the first time I volunteered for the sake of volunteering. I know, I know; I'm a horrible waste of oxygen-consumption," I added, leaning in as if sharing a secret.
Chuckling, he leaned in closer as well. "Not at all, and please don't be ashamed. It's great you even gave it a go. You'd be surprised how many fellow oxygen-consumers never do." He winked as he pulled back, then shifted his gaze nervously and scanned the slowly emptying room before again clearing his throat. "The group was pretty decently-sized today, especially considering the weather. Sometimes, even under the best conditions, only a handful of volunteers show up."
"Well, Christmas was only a couple of days ago, so I imagine a lot of people are still feeling that spirit of generosity and goodwill toward men."
"Which is why we timed the event for this week." He grinned once more, much less shyly. For a handful of seconds, we just stared at one another.
"Well, it was great-"
"You're with the NYU group, right?" he asked.
"Yeah. I volunteered along with a couple of friends from school."
"I actually graduated from NYU a few years ago."
"Get out." I offered him a wide grin. "What was your major?"
"Tandon School of Engineering, BS in Sustainable Urban Environments. And you, what are you majoring in?"
"Well, I'm working on a dual major between Tandon and the School of Arts and Sciences. I'm in the STEM program, on an accelerated, five-year masters' degree track."
Whistling through his teeth, he lifted his dark eyebrows high. "I'm suitably impressed – even more so than I already was."
"It's no big deal."
I shrugged and looked away, my cheeks burning. While Edward told me of his education with pride, I'd simply bragged. But he dipped his head to my eye level and waited for me to meet his gaze. When I did, he offered me a playful smirk.
"No, don't try to downplay it now. I think that's pretty damn amazing."
His gaze was open and honest, and I chuckled. The heat which suddenly infused my cheeks had nothing to do with embarrassment or with my heavy coat.
"So, Bella, I was wondering if you'd be willing to brave the blizzard outside to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate – or even a bite to eat if you're hungry and you have the time?"
Before I could reply, a voice from across the room called me.
"Bella, are you ready?"
My eyes flashed toward Alice, who stood rather impatiently by the door with Diego. Both looked more like Eskimos ready for a trek through the Alaskan wild than like Millennials ready for a New York City subway ride.
"Shit, I forgot about them," I muttered under my breath before returning my attention to Edward. "I'm sorry, Edward. I'd love to grab a bite, but my friends are waiting for me." It was shitty of me, but I was sublimely pleased by the disappointment which flashed in his expression. "Maybe we can get together during the week if you have time?"
Again, Alice interrupted, now standing right next to me.
"Bella, Diego and I are about to combust. Come on." She tugged my arm and jerked her head toward the door. When I stood my ground, she followed the trajectory of my gaze.
"Oh, you're the Habitat for Humanity guy, right? Hi, I'm Alice."
"Hi, Alice. Yes, I'm the HFH guy, but you can call me Edward." He smiled and shook her hand – yet unlike our handshake, only for the requisite couple of seconds.
"Edward, thanks for setting this up. Bella, Diego, and I were saying earlier how good it felt to give back to the community."
"My pleasure," he said genuinely. "And yes, Bella and I were having a similar conversation on the subject. I told her how pleased I was with the turnout and thanked her for her hard work, and I'll thank you as well, Alice. I'm sure the senior citizens who spend their days here will be grateful when they see what you all did to brighten up the place."
He spoke to Alice, but the entire time, his eyes remained on me.
"Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. Bella, whenever you're ready, hon, we'll be outside. No rush whatsoever."
"Actually, Alice, you and Diego can head out without me. Edward and I are going to get a bite to eat."
I think Alice said something about having fun and being careful in the snow. I think, off by the door, Diego shot me a dejected frown. At the time, I vaguely noticed him or heard her because Edward's ensuing grin lit up those green eyes, and like the snowfall outside, it eclipsed absolutely everything else.
We trod through piled-on inches of thick snow, talking and getting to know one another the way two people obviously interested in each other tend to do. He glanced my way often. My eyes trailed to him just as much. Once, during one of these not-so-furtive looks between us, I slipped on a smooth sheet of freshly-fallen snow. It was only a slight skid, and I would've recovered my balance just fine. Nevertheless, Edward wrapped his arm around my waist with impressive speed.
"Whoops. There you go."
"Thank you." I smiled up at him, by then already buried deep in more than snow.
He smiled softly in return. "No problem."
"How tall are you, Edward?"
"Six-two – without the boots."
I laughed. "That's a whole foot taller than me without my boots – a whole ruler's length."
He grinned. "About twelve paper clips' length."
"About the length of a standard sheet of paper."
"About the length of my foot."
Side-eyeing him, I quirked an eyebrow. His cheeks were ruddy, and both of us chuckled under our breath.
"Either way," he said, "It's an incredibly perfect height differential. Just look at how easy it makes it for me to keep my arm around you to make sure you remain upright if you happen slip again."
"It's eerie how perfect it is," I agreed, playing along.
"Yep. Some might even call it uncanny."
We snickered, and Edward tightened his grip, pulling me in closer. Meanwhile, the snow fell around us like silky white curtains shielding us from the rest of the world.
We found one of those trendy, little cafés which always pop up in New York City, some of which last, some of which disappear with the ever-changing whims of novelty. This place distinguished itself through its dozens of mac and cheese variations. Sliding into opposite sides of a small booth, we laughed as we removed our snow-covered layers, noses cold but the rest of us toasty with exhilaration. He ordered his mac with mushrooms and peppers. I ordered mine with bacon and blue cheese.
As we waited for our orders, Edward took my hand across the table, weaving our fingers together. It was the most natural action, one of those meant-to-be things, which doesn't surprise you, yet at the same time, it blows your mind.
"So, tell me more, Bella," he said, voice full of wonder. "Tell me everything."
I laughed again, or once more, or even still. "Everything? Why don't you give me a starting point?"
"Okay. How far along in the STEM program are you?"
"I'm in my senior year of undergrad, and I'll begin the masters' track next September."
"It's a difficult combination," he acknowledged. "You must've put in some late nights over the past few years."
"It's a lot of work, yeah," I confirmed, "but I've never been much of a party girl – not that I'm an angel," I grinned mischievously. "Regardless, it hasn't kept me from much."
"So, that makes you...let's see." He furrowed his brow. "Twenty-one, twenty-two?"
I smiled around the straw in my mouth. "I'm twenty-two. And you? How old are you, Edward?"
"I'm twenty-seven," he said, drawing circles on my knuckles with his thumb.
"A five-year age difference," I said. "That's a bit."
"A whole five-year-masters-degree education."
"The lifespan of my first Mac."
"I happen to think it's another eerily perfect difference," he smiled.
When our macs and cheese arrived, he released my hand, and we shared our meals while simultaneously sharing more information. Last names, middle names, fifth-grade teachers' names and everything in between.
"Are you originally from the city, Bella?" He spiked his fork through my bacon bits.
I swiped a mushroom from his bowl. "Yep. Well, no. That's the standard lie I tell everyone," I laughed. "My parents are the actual native New Yorkers, who moved to New Jersey once my older brother, Emmett, was born because the baby needed his own bedroom and space. By the way, I haven't forgiven him for that."
"I kind of gathered that by the sarcasm," he snorted. "But don't be too hard on your brother. Your parents made the typical trade-up from urban, cramped, one-bedroom to the spacious suburbs."
"I don't know if I'd call it a trade up, but yes, it was the typical trade; though, they kept the cramped one-bedroom for weekend jaunts to the city. Unfortunately, when you trade the city for the 'burbs, you also trade in culture and museums for homogeneity and malls."
His boisterous laughter filled the tiny café. People glanced over, their gazes lingering when they caught sight of Edward in the dim light.
"It's really not that funny," I insisted while laughing along. "Renee Higginbotham – my mom – was a cool, city girl who wore dark makeup and Doc Martens and went to all the best underground parties of the late eighties and early nineties. But she was smart too," I said, pointing my fork at him. "She had a passion for advertising, and she was at the top of her class at NYU, earned a bunch of awards and accolades for her projects. Her senior year, she landed a dream internship on Madison Avenue with one of the Big Three in the industry."
"And then?" he prompted.
"You caught the and then in there, did you?" I smiled.
"I did," he smiled back.
"And then," I sighed, "she fell in love with Charlie Swan, Port Authority cop. Don't get me wrong; I love my dad heart and soul, but then Mom gave up the single life, and soon after, she popped out a baby, and there went the promise of a dream career on Madison Avenue. After that, she said goodbye to the city life for the suburban wife life and a realtor license in, guess where?"
"New Jersey," he smirked.
"Yep. Therefore, ever since I was old enough to take public transportation on my own, I've spent most of my time here in New York."
"Not much of a Jersey Girl, huh?"
"Don't ever call me that." I pointed my fork at him threateningly. "It gives me mental images of big hair and televised cat fights." I shuddered.
Edward snickered. "Oh, you shouldn't have said that." His voice dropped a few octaves. "Now I'm going to call you Jersey Girl every chance I get."
I shot him a scowl. "Anyway, as soon as I was able, I sent in my application to NYU and got the heck out of Dodge."
He set down his utensils and just kept on laughing. "Of course, NYU accepted you right away. Full scholarship, I bet."
"Yes," I admitted with a grin. "The cramped, one-bedroom became my dorm, and after I met Alice, who's on more or less the same track as me, we became roommates and best friends." I set down my own utensils and rubbed my stomach. "That was good, but now I'm stuffed."
His gaze skimmed from my hand to my stomach, trailing lastly to my plate. It sported a few, scattered breadcrumbs which escaped my fork.
"You don't know how relieved I am you're not one of those girls who pretends not to have an appetite."
"I have quite a healthy appetite," I grinned. "Now, tell me more about you, Edward. Are you a native New Yorker?"
He leaned back against the booth, rubbing his own full and flat stomach before stretching his arms against the backrest and making himself comfortable. When he stretched his long legs under the table, they brushed against mine.
"I grew up on the Upper East Side, and like you, once my parents vacated the apartment, I took it over – well, my older brother and I took it over." He made a face.
"Uh-oh. Am I detecting a complicated sibling relationship?" I teased.
He smirked. "Jasper and I get along – for the most part. He just has some…habits with which I've never grown very comfortable. Sometimes, it makes it hard to live with him." He fidgeted with an empty straw wrapper.
"What, he's messy and leaves his dirty socks everywhere?"
He shook his head. "Nah. He's pretty neat."
"He's horrible at paying his half of the household expenses."
Edward snorted. "No, he's responsible with all that. He's got a great job on Wall Street." He raked a hand through his wild hair.
"He drinks milk straight out of the carton while wearing your underwear. Come on, Edward, what is it?"
Edward chortled. "Well, if you must know, he brings home a different girl almost every weekend. And since walls in pre-war buildings are pretty thin, I get to hear them fu-"
"Eww, I get it, I get it!" I put up a hand to halt the explanation, while Edward howled in amusement. "Your brother is a man whore, and you're forced to bear witness to his weekly conquests."
"You got it, alright." He winked.
"Is it…a family trait?"
For a handful of seconds, Edward just held my gaze. Then, he leaned in and took both of my hands, weaving his fingers through mine.
"Ever since I can remember, my dad has cheated on my mom."
A quiet gasp escaped me.
"Don't worry, she's never cared. My dad, Carlisle Cullen, is a well-known and highly respected plastic surgeon, and unlike your mom, Esme Platt's only single girl goal was to catch herself a wealthy husband. She's a blue-blood, who's never worked a day in her life – not for an ad agency nor for a real estate agency. As a bonus, Dad's skilled hands keep her looking disturbingly young. Those are my mom's trade-offs." He shrugged. "And if either of my parents' characteristics are family traits, they skipped me. Bella, I haven't had a girlfriend in a while. I've been busy with my own career. But when I've had one, she's been the only one. I'm not the type to cheat or to jump from one girl to the next."
"Good to know," I breathed. All the while, my heart pitter-pattered in my chest.
"And you, Jersey Girl?" he murmured. "Any guy in the picture?"
"No," I replied softly, "not for some time. Like I said, school keeps me busy. Besides, no one's caught my interest; at least, not until…"
He reached up and pushed a damp tendril of hair behind my ear, his gaze lingering on his fingers. "Very good to know."
We took care of the bill and then bundled and walked back out into the cold. The shortened, winter days meant that by late afternoon, the street lamps were already on. City lights twinkled right along with the snow, and the dusky sky simply enhanced the picture. Then again, the heavens could've been on fire that evening, and I would've found it enchanting. Streets glowed in the snowfall's wake, black and white background broken only by the luminous traffic lights. Children threw snowballs, and dogs jumped to catch them. The barren branches on the sidewalk trees sparkled as if they wore frozen diamonds.
Once again, Edward took my hand in his, both of us foregoing our gloves.
"So, what exactly do you do for a living, Edward?"
He adjusted my beanie over my ears before replying. "I'm a construction engineer with the Habitat for Humanity."
"So, you work full time with HFH?"
"I've heard there's a lot of traveling involved."
"Yeah. I've worked around the country as well as in the Caribbean and Latin America." A heavy sigh abruptly escaped him.
"Was it always your plan to work with the organization?"
"No. Not at all. I was simply going along with my life the way spoiled, Upper East Side boys tend to do." He looked down at his boots and kicked the snow. "I had no real plan other than the basics: finish high school, go to college, most likely follow in my dad's footsteps – career-wise," he stressed. "You know, that sort of thing. Then, there was that superstorm in your state of birth, which I won't mention by name, Jersey Girl, but we both know what state I'm talking about." He shot me a wry grin. "A friend of mine volunteered to help with the clean-up and rebuilding effort through HFH. I was bored, so I tagged along, and…" he looked at me sheepishly, "and it just fit me – or I fit it. Gave me a purpose." He shrugged, and I watched his Adam's apple bob. "Up until today, I thought it was the best decision I'd ever made," he murmured.
"That's certainly a huge career goal shift – from plastic surgeon to humanitarian."
When he shrugged again, I responded how he had earlier when I first mentioned the STEM program. But due to the height differential, I had to fit myself under his chin and walk backward while I waited for him to meet my gaze.
"Now it's your turn not to downplay things because I think that's all pretty amazing, Edward. All of it."
He snorted and stopped walking, giving my hand a little tug to pull me closer.
"I enjoyed volunteering," I said, "and I'm definitely going to make an effort to fit in some more volunteer time, no matter how hectic my schedule gets. But, Edward, I have to be honest with you."
"Go ahead," he smiled softly.
"I'm not a selfless person. See, I have a ten-year plan – Year 1 began with my freshman year of college. I'm on a five-year masters' track. I'm applying for internships this summer at all the leading tech companies here in New York, and I know at least one will offer me something. After a couple of years of holding a position where I'll be respected and highly-valued for my mind and for the fact that I'm a woman in what's been previously considered a man's domain, I'm going to venture out on my own, and I'm going to create something amazing. I don't know what yet, but I know it'll be amazing. Then, by the time I'm twenty-eight, I'll have completely demolished and soared through the proverbial glass ceiling. And it's a selfish goal, and at the center of its success is no one else but me."
He threw back his head and howled with laughter, but before I could bristle with indignation, Edward wrapped his arms around my waist and gazed down at me.
There are moments in life which stay with you – not so much as images, no. Sometimes, you're so caught up in the moment that the images themselves barely register with your consciousness. Afterward, all you remember are the sensations.
Aside from his deep laugh, I can't recall exactly how Edward looked at that moment. But I remember the fiery heat where his hands gripped my waist, despite what I now know was a record chilly night. If I close my eyes, I can still breathe in the scent of Christmas season snow on city sidewalks combined with the scent of him. I can recall the feeling of butterflies dancing deep in my mac-and-cheese filled belly. If I try hard enough, I can even feel the shift from my once-sensibly-beating heart into an erratically-furious rhythm.
All of it together is one of my most cherished memories, because it was that moment which only comes once in a lifetime, and only if you're uncommonly lucky. It's the moment when you first fall in love. But it's more than that. For that one blissful moment, you actually believe in the absolute perfection of the person to whom you've willingly surrendered your heart. And along with that belief, for that one, flawless moment, the entire world is a wondrous and limitless utopia.
"That's a pretty detailed plan, Bella Swan, and so what if it's selfish?" Edward said fiercely. His chest heaved. "I love the fact that you have goals and such a detailed plan for achieving them. And I love that it revolves around you, and you're not apologetic about it. And you know what else? I…I..."
Surrounded by freshly-fallen, Christmas-season snow, Edward Cullen dipped his head and brushed his lips against mine, back and forth, tenderly sucking on one then the other, and softly breathing my name.
When he pulled away, I was left more than slightly dazed, everything before me blurred and glowing the way things do when you've stared at a Christmas tree for too long.
"Bella, there's something I probably should've opened with early this afternoon, but I never imagined it would be this way, this quickly, and then…I just couldn't think clearly."
I blinked and smiled. "What is it?"
He swallowed. "I leave for Kathmandu tomorrow morning. HFH is beginning the first phase of a four-year project there. It's a significant neighborhood development, and I'll be managing construction. I've made a full, four-year commitment."
I suppose I must've stood there, staring at him speechlessly, for a considerable amount of time.
"Say something, please."
My brow furrowed. "Geography has never been my strong suit. I'm trying to figure out where…when you say Kathmandu, do you mean…in Nepal?"
"Is there another Kathmandu?" He frowned as if he honestly wasn't sure.
"I was kind of hoping you meant Kathmandu, Florida."
"There's a Kathmandu in Florida?"
"I don't know if there's a Kathmandu in Florida," I shrugged, "but they do tend to name some of their cities after international locations, don't they? There's St. Petersburg, Florida; Naples, Florida; Hyde Park, Florida."
"Hollywood, Florida," he added.
"That's not international."
Edward snorted. "True, but my parents live in Hollywood, Florida."
"Hey, my parents live in Florida too! They're snow bunnies who winter in Miami. My brother and his wife moved over there last year."
Yes, I was aware we were ignoring the real issue.
"That's a coincidence – the parents in Florida part, not the snow bunnies part or the brother over there part. My parents live there year-round. They've got a house and a yacht on the beach. And like I said, my brother and I share – or I guess after tomorrow, it'll be shared – the apartment here in New York. But yeah, the existence of a Kathmandu in Florida would've definitely made things easier."
We were quiet for a few seconds before breaking into simultaneous fits of tension-releasing laughter.
"Kathmandu," I repeated. "I feel like I've said that word more in the past two minutes than I have in the past twenty-two years."
"You probably have. It's not a word which comes up often in normal conversation."
"Unless you live there, or unless you happen to have a friend named Kat, and you say things like, 'Kat, man, do you really have to do that? Or 'Kat, man, do you know what time it is?'"
Edward stared at me. Then, he kissed the tip of my frigid nose and rubbed my shoulders.
"Come on, let's get you out of the cold. You're beginning to shiver."
I nodded slowly, despite the fact I wasn't shivering from cold. "Yeah. Yeah, I probably should head home."
Edward took the train downtown with me, to the Lower East Side one-bedroom co-op I shared with Alice. By the time we climbed the steps out of the subway, the pristine snow had turned into unattractive slush. Swerving cars and yellow cabs left tire tracks in zig-zagged, raised patterns painted in black dirt and ice. The city suddenly didn't look quite so pretty.
He kissed me again in front of the glass doors into the building, cradling my face in warm, ungloved hands while I held on to his hands and our lips met and retreated…met and retreated. Riley, the building super, swept the vestibule and made no secret of watching.
Breathless, I pulled away. "I'd invite you up, but it's probably not a good idea considering my roommate is likely up there, and we only have the one bedroom – not even thin walls between two, like you and Jasper."
He nodded, a much more subdued smile on his face. "And it's probably not a good idea, considering Kathmandu."
"Yeah," I snorted, "there is that."
He sighed. "May I call you from the airport tomorrow morning?"
"Of course," I smiled.
"And…may I keep in touch with you while I'm in Kathmandu?"
"I'd like that."
"Thank you," he breathed as if relieved. "But Bella, please don't take it wrong if you don't hear from me often, especially at first. There's going to be a lot of initial set-up, site visits, meetings-"
"Edward," I chuckled, though really, I wanted to kick something, "I'm going to be busy too. It'll be my last few months of undergrad. Then, I'll start an internship, and grad school, and…look," I said, drawing in a deep breath, "let's not make one another promises we may not be able to keep. Let's agree we'll keep in touch, but we will be about five thousand miles and twenty hours apart."
His face fell. "It's more like seventy-five hundred miles and ten hours and forty-five minutes apart."
"Seventy-five hundred miles and ten hours and forty-five minutes? That time difference doesn't even make sense! What the hell happened to the other fifteen minutes?"
"It's a good question. I don't really know."
A mirthless chuckle escaped me. "Damn. Kathmandu."
"Yeah, damn Kathmandu."
I quirked a brow. "That's not what I said. I said 'Damn.' Then I paused, which indicated a period before I added 'Kathmandu,' as in 'damn, all the way in Kathmandu,' not as in 'Kathmandu, I damn you.'"
"On top of being brainy and beautiful, you're also a little bit nutty. Bella Swan, can you be any more perfect?" Again, he kissed my nose.
"Edward, do you plan on coming back home for visits?"
"I wasn't planning on it, Bella. At least, not often. Like I said, I'm going to be swamped. You go into it knowing you'll likely be inundated for the entire commitment period. These programs are usually underfunded and understaffed. And to make trips like that-"
"No, I understand. Of course, I do."
He took my hands. "But that was then, Bella, before I met you."
I swallowed. "No promises, remember? You'll be busy, and so will I."
His shoulders seemed to sag. But when he pulled me in, there was nothing soft, hesitant, nor tender about the way he parted my lips with his tongue, groaning as he hungrily claimed my mouth. Afterward, he crushed me against his chest and kissed the top of my head.
"Bella, why the hell couldn't I have met you a year ago, even a few months ago, before I volunteered for this job? I would've stayed so much closer to home if I knew you existed."
"Like in New Jersey?" I smirked up at him. "It's only across the river, but that's practically a different country over there."
His ensuing chuckle was more than a bit wistful. "Yeah, Jersey Girl. For you, I would've taken a job in the wilds of Jersey."
"Although, I can't guarantee I would've visited you in NJ. I've sort of made a vow to never again step foot in NJ if I can at all help it."
"All right," he murmured softly, "maybe not New Jersey then." Slipping his forefinger under my chin, he lifted my eyes and locked me in his gaze. "I'll call you in the morning after I've cleared Customs."
"All right." He looked like he wanted to say more. "Sleep well, Bella Swan."
"You too, Edward Cullen," I smiled.
Then…with one final kiss…Edward Cullen dropped his head, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and walked off into the slushy, snowy, post-Christmas New York night.
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It's basically where the future is, and if you're a woman in the program, well…the sky is literally the limit.
HFH – Habitat for Humanity. The organization basically builds shelters, homes, and communities all around the world and helps to support sustainable development. The cool thing is that Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
As I said, this will post daily (hopefully) for about eight or nine days 'til we get to the end.
Also, as some of you may know, my inspiration for new stories sometimes comes from the strangest places. Last night, while the Christmas evening wound down, we were listening to holiday music, and the following couple of songs just sort of weaved themselves into a story:
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy.
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmastime - Do They Know It's Christmas? By Band Aid
Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special. – Last Christmas, by Wham.
And I thought to myself: what if Edward was a guy who dedicated his life to helping others, and Bella had these huge goals for her life, and they were half a world away from one another? How would that play out?
Well, we shall see…:)