Hello All! I know, I know-it has been AGES since we updated. Sorry that we kept you waiting for so long! The real world is incredibly stressful-who knew that teachers had more homework than their students? Anyway, I'll let you get to it... See you down below!

Thanks to my awesome co-author coldasicex3 :)


In retrospect, it was my own damn fault for being so tired.

I'd stayed up late talking to Bella, and even when I did sleep, she was all I could think about. So even though my idea of taking a nap with Bella was a perfect way of catching up on my sleep, it completely and utterly failed.

I was painfully aware of every movement the girl made as she was sprawled out across my chest. She had been asleep for two hours, fifteen minutes, and thirty-seven seconds. After the first fifteen minutes went by, Bella shifted positions and her nose was in the crook of my neck. Five minutes later, she rolled over and made it too easy for me to wrap my arm around her stomach and pull her close to me. She stayed in that position for almost the entire time, much to my dismay.

It was never like this with Tanya. We met during finals week. Over Christmas break, we were practically inseparable. By New Year's, we'd slept together. By Valentine's Day, I was so sure I was going to propose to her one day. Ours was a passion that had been ignited so quickly, and completely influenced by endorphins. When we finally got used to each other and fell into a routine, it was almost like we were trying too hard to stay happy together.

Bella and I met in August. It was late November, and I was still just as drawn in.

As my mind ran wild with thoughts about Bella, she shifted slightly and let out a throaty moan, followed by something that literally stopped my heart.


She said it with the same tone Jasper used with Alice when they were locked in their intense lovers' stare, something that everyone in the room would try to look away from due to the magnitude of their love for each other. A shiver crept down my spine. I never thought I would hear my name coming from Bella's lips in such a way.

But then her voice changed, and let out a strangled cry of pain when she said another name, one that almost caused me physical pain to hear.


My mind was reeling. She was dreaming of that bastard, and his face cut me out completely. I hated Jacob. I wanted nothing more than to hop a plane to Washington and physically show him how much I detested him. And I was trying to tell myself that it wasn't because I was jealous that at one point in time, he'd gotten to hold Bella close to him and kiss her without reservation. Not only that, but I knew she once looked up at him with love and adoration and told him she loved him. But that wasn't what bothered me the most. Jacob had all of these things, and he still couldn't commit. Here I was, hopelessly in love with the most perfect woman I'd ever met, and she was still broken from her first love's inability to accept her forever.

No one said life was fair.

As if on cue, Bella stretched her body, raising her arms haphazardly above her head and very nearly punching me in the chin in the process. The groaned and unknowingly ground her back into me, causing me to bite my tongue to keep from making any sort of noise. She rolled over and looked at me, her eyes heavy with sleep.

"How long was I asleep?" She asked me, her voice quiet and throaty.

Two hours, forty-two minutes, and ten seconds. "A couple hours," I tried to answer nonchalantly. It didn't work, so I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried to relax myself.

Bella smiled slightly and reached her hand up to touch my cheek. "You look terrible. Did you sleep at all?"

I tried not to concentrate on her touch. I tried not to think about the fact that she was inches away from me, and just a slight movement would connect our lips.

"I did," I lied. It almost sounded real, too.

"Mm." She smiled again, then sat up and stretched her arms above her head. Her shirt rose just a bit, but I tried not to pay attention.

"Will you meet me at my house later?" She asked, turning back to me.

I'm certain she could have asked me anything and I would have obliged, no matter what the request was. "Of course."

"It'll be so nice to have someone helping me with Christmas lights for once. Charlie was never home on a nice weekend, and Jacob only helped me the year I fractured my ankle."

"You fractured your ankle?" I asked, distracted by this tidbit. "How many bones have you broken, Bella?"

She waved her hand at me. "I've lost count." Bella swung her legs off the bed and stood up, arching her back in a stretch that probably wasn't meant to be seductive. "I tripped over a tree root."

Bella made her way to my bathroom and shut the door behind her, giving me a moment to myself. I needed it. I stood up and tried to reposition my clothes so that my reaction to her wasn't so obvious. Then, I realized that I should probably change out of my plain white shirt into a sweatshirt or something warm. This turned into a full-on change of clothes, and I prayed Bella didn't walk out of the bathroom while I had one leg through my jeans.

Just as I secured my belt buckle, Bella walked in the room with her hand in her hair. She stopped directly in front of me and raised an eyebrow at my appearance. "Well, aren't you beautiful after a two hour nap."

"Beautiful?" I echoed. I caught my reflection in the mirror. I had serious stubble growing in, and my hair looked like I'd chosen to sleep on my head. Bella was staring at me, too. Her eyes surveyed me as if I was a work of art – but, surely, that was due to her drowsiness.

Her cheeks were flushed. "I should get going. Meet you in a few hours?"

She tried to sneak past me, but I caught her and pulled her to my side, giving her a one-armed hug. "Sure."

We hugged properly, and she quickly walked to my front door. Her hand was on the doorknob when she turned and gave me a shy look. "Um," she began. "Alice dropped me off. I don't have my truck."

Two hours later, Bella was safely at home and I was braving the crowds at Home Depot to buy Christmas lights. It wasn't my idea of fun, but Bella had called me a short time ago claiming that her five boxes of one hundred-count lights weren't going to be enough.

"Bella," I said as gently as I could. "Just what are you planning to do?"

She sighed loudly into the phone. "Does it matter?"

I wandered around the store wondering if my sister had somehow possessed Bella and was now speaking through her. Alice had taken out the same frustration on me once when I went to the store for her.

Two minutes later, she sent me a text message.

Get multi-colored, not white. –B

I responded back with, Yes, drill sergeant.

"We're losing sunlight!" Bella shrieked, pointing up at the cloudy gray sky.

After I bought her seven more boxes of lights, I stopped at the local Chinese food store and picked up our dinner. We sat on our porch with strings of lights around our feet, eagerly digging into sweet and sour pork and pepper steak. Even though it was freezing cold outside and there was a talk of freezing rain in the middle of the night, Bella insisted that lights had to be up before the sun went down, and the cold was not an issue. She dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans with dark brown combat boots. Her hair was spilling out of a beanie, and she wore thick black gloves as well. She looked beautiful.

The house was an A-frame, with two double glass doors and an enclosed porch with tons of windows. Her porch, in a sense, was almost a greenhouse. Her pre-lit Christmas tree was in the corner, but she hadn't fully decorated it yet. Her plan for the house included a wreath under the A-frame, and icicle lights hanging on the actual frame. She wanted to wrap every branch of her pear tree and decorate it with giant glass ornaments. She told me this very seriously, as if we were discussing life insurance or politics. I chuckled once at something she said, and she glared at me with a hatred she had to have learned from Alice.

While she wrapped the bushes in colored lights, I stood there with my arms crossed.

"What?" She asked as she caught me with a smirk on my face.

I shrugged. "You're very into this," I remarked.

She sent me a hard look. "Stop trying to tease me. Talk about something else."

I bent down and grabbed the three empty boxes. "Like what? I'm still trying to adjust to your enthusiasm for these Christmas lights. You're rivaling Alice."

This caused Bella to actually look at me in amazement. "I don't believe you."

"She does lights, but nothing like this. Jasper usually helps her, which means Lilly tries to join in."

Bella finished off one hedge and ran an extension cord to the other set. "Aw," she remarked. "Do they let Lilly put up lights?"

"Jasper holds her up and she strings the lights along the tree branches. She helps Alice set up the inflatable snow man."

She walked next to me and looked at her hedges. "Alice and Jasper are amazing parents to Lilly. Do they ever think about having more children?"

"It's a touchy subject. Lilly was such a big deal. Alice is tiny, and she inherited Esme's fertility problems…"I trailed off, feeling uncomfortable. "It was a shock that she got pregnant with Lilly in the first place."

Bella placed a hand on my arm and gave me a small smile. "But everything worked out in the end."

"It did," I agreed. "Alice just wants a houseful of children. Jasper, however, is terrified of another night like Lilly's birth."

"Maybe it won't be like that," Bella reasoned. "Obviously, Alice is a wonderful mother. How could the universe punish such a fantastic person like that?"

I shrugged; I'd often wondered the same thing.

Bella took a deep breath and took her hand back, much to my dismay. "Time to break out the ladder and do the pear tree," she said grimly.

Being taller than Bella, I was assigned to do the branches on the pear tree. Her ladder was old and wooden, and the ground was not all together level. I rocked back and forth a few times, trying to space out my balance with my legs. Bella handed me the roll of lights and I studiously wrapped them around every branch, just as she instructed. That didn't stop her from biting her lip and looking up at me with a disapproving stare.

"What?" I finally asked, the ladder rocking with my shift in weight.

"Nothing," she said while shaking her head. Her eyes flitted to the branch I was currently on. "It's just…" She bit her lip again. "You're not doing it right."

"Bella," I said as calmly as I could. "I've been wrapping it around just like you told me."

"But you have to wrap it tighter. It's too loose. It won't look good once it's lit up."

I sat the lights on a rung and jumped off the ladder, landing safely on my feet. "Alright, so does this mean I have to start over?"

Instead of answering me, she pulled off her gloves and began to climb the rungs of her rickety ladder.

"Bella—" I protested. "That ladder isn't safe." I instinctively stood behind her, holding my arms out so that she could climb back down.

"I'm fine," she snapped. The ladder rocked, and she froze. Then, very slowly, she grabbed the lights and began rewrapping a branch.

She extended her arms and started wrapping further than the ladder would allow her to go. It jolted to its right side, and Bella lost her balance. Three things happened at once.

One, the lights fell from the branch to the ground with a soft thud.

Two, the ladder's sudden movement caused Bella to shift all of her weight, and the ladder began to fall on its side.

Three, Bella screamed.

I didn't have time to think about catching her. I knew she was falling, and I knew that something would end up broken if I didn't save her. So, as the ladder fell and Bella pushed off with her feet, I held out my arms and broke her fall. She landed with her back to me, and my arms wound around her waist. She was clinging to me for dear life, and her breath was coming out in little white puffs. The impact forced me to take three steps back. I nearly tripped over a box of lights, but I recovered.

We stood in the yard, my arms wrapped tightly around her. I knew she was safe, but I made no attempt to let her go. She turned her head to the side and looked up at me.

"Thank you," she breathed. Our eyes locked, and I was suddenly very aware of what the cold weather had done to her lips. They were red and plump, more so than usual. Her breath smelled sweet, and it was intoxicating.

My eyes traveled down to her beautiful lips. It would be so easy. Just a few inches, and my lips would cover hers.

As if she could hear my thoughts, she suddenly sprang away from me, leaving a gaping void in my arms. "Hot chocolate?" She asked, her voice about three octaves higher than usual.

There were a thousand things I wanted to say at that moment. There was one thing I wanted to do. However, I forced my lips to form a small smile and said, "Sure."

She disappeared into the house like a startled fawn. Once she was safe inside, I smacked my forehead with my hand. "Idiot," I mumbled. "Stop forcing her."

I picked up the ladder and lined it up with the tree branch. I figured that if I finished the pear tree, there wouldn't be a chance of her climbing the ladder and falling into my arms again. I wasn't sure if I could handle another incident with her being that close. My self control was slipping every minute while I was around her. Bella Swan was like the finest brandy to a recovering alcoholic. I'd resisted for so long. I thought I'd never feel like this once Tanya left.

The pear tree was finished in my opinion, so I folded the ladder and put it against the garage door. Bella was taking her time in the kitchen. I needed to distract myself. I checked every cord and made sure it was plugged in to the main extension cord. Bella had insisted that we plug it in all at once so that we could see the finished product.

After what felt like an eternity, Bella emerged from the house carrying to steaming mugs of hot chocolate. They both had mini marshmallows floating on top.

"Do you like marshmallows?" She asked quietly, passing me a mug. "I wasn't sure."

"Silly Bella," I said. "I like everything if it comes from you."

She smiled, and another impossibly awkward silence passed us as we sipped our hot chocolate.

"Ready for the big show?" Bella asked, placing her mug on top of the hood of her truck. I nodded and walked out to the street.

"Close your eyes and wait for me to get there," she shouted from the side of the house, where she had to plug the extension cord into the main power supply.

I turned around and waited. I heard her running, and I prayed she wouldn't trip. I knew she was trying not to look at her house as she ran to me. When she joined me, we gave each other anxious grins.

"One, two, three," we said together, and turned around to face her now lit-up house.

The lights were beautiful, of course. She was the brightest one on her block. But the way the lights casted on her face was the truly breathtaking moment. They made her eyes sparkle, and they brought out her creamy skin and delicate blush. She was unaware of my survey, her attention totally absorbed in her own lights.

"Bella," I whispered, causing her to look at me with curious eyes. Maybe she saw the fire in my own eyes. She didn't look away. I could feel her breath on my lips.

I took a step that brought me in front of her and even closer than I was before. My hand reached up and touched her cheek on its own accord – I was too far gone to control any part of me except my brain. "Bella, I'm going to kiss you."

I wasn't waiting for permission. I was past that point. But I was slightly surprised when she whispered, "Okay." Because then, she closed her eyes and tilted her head as an invitation. She was leaving the rest up to me. I took another step and grabbed her face with both hands. I took a split second to look over her beautiful face; to take in her smooth skin and her red nose and long eyelashes. After that, I couldn't resist. I lowered my mouth to hers and reveled in that wonderful sensation of happiness. Her lips were home to me. I couldn't hold back this time. My mouth molded to hers as if we were two pieces to the same puzzle. She had to feel it.

I touched my tongue to her lips and she readily took me in. The way she kissed me made me feel some hope that maybe, just maybe, she would let me love her the way she deserved to be loved. A part of my mind speculated that she would put up another wall, even after I'd thoroughly proved to her that we had passion and chemistry. I kissed her gently, trying to show her that beyond passion and chemistry, there was love. My fingers worked their way to the loose strands of hair spilling out from her hat. I ran my fingers through the chocolate colored silk, hoping to convey my desire to take care of her. I prayed that she could understand all of this through the kiss and my touches.

She started to ease off, her mouth slowly coming to a halt. My heart broke. The wall was up.

"Edward." She said my name as if she was conflicted. I rested my forehead against hers, refusing to let our contact end. "Edward," she said again, in a tortured way. "I can't."

There was a bead of moisture on her cheek, and I wiped it away with my thumb and kissed the tear trail. "I'm sorry, Bella."

"I want to," she whispered, her eyes tightly closed. "I want to be ready."

I continued to wipe away and kiss away her tears. "It's okay, Bella."

"I'm so sorry." She pulled away from me, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. She took another step back. "I'm sorry," she repeated.

Then, she was gone.


I was an idiot...I knew that much.

The feel of Edward's lips against mine as he kissed me was familiar and thrilling at the same time. I didn't think it would ever be something I would get used to, and with what I had just done, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was the last kiss we shared.

But it wasn't fair to lead Edward on if I didn't have my mind made up...If I wasn't sure what I wanted.

Earlier in the afternoon, while Edward was off buying an abundance of Christmas lights to fuel my decorating frenzy, I received an unexpected and unwelcome phone call. I was distracted by a string of stubborn tangled Christmas lights when my phone rang. Assuming it was Edward calling again to try and convince me to buy fewer lights, I answered the phone with an annoyed sigh.

"Yes, Edward, four more boxes of colored lights. You can never be too-", I was interrupted by the last voice I expected or wanted to hear.

"Bella, do you mind telling me what the hell you think you are doing?"

My heart stopped and my hands began to shake from the surprise of hearing his voice.


"Who else would it be?" I could tell he was frustrated already, and I proceeded with caution.

"I don't know..."

"You don't? Who is Edward? Is that the guy you spent Thanksgiving with instead of your own family?"

Well, he sure didn't waste any time getting to the point.

I sighed, turning away from the string of lights, and took a seat on the couch. I rested my head in my hands and closed my eyes, wanting to avoid this conversation at all costs. "It's none of your business, Jacob."

"I think it is my business, Bella. Charlie was really upset."

"Don't get all high and mighty on me, Jake. Since when do you care about Charlie's feelings? About anyone's feelings, really?"

I heard Jake huff through the phone, and I could tell he was getting frustrated. "Charlie is like family to me. I care about him just as much as I do my own father."

"Family?" I scoffed, "You lost the right to call Charlie family when you broke my heart—"

"I didn't break anyone's heart, Bella...you broke your own. You were the one to walk away."

His words caused a sharp pain in my chest and tears in my eyes. The last thing I wanted to do was sit on my couch and rehash my breakup with Jacob, especially if Edward was going to be back any minute.

"Jacob, I really don't want to talk about this. Is there any other reason you called?"

"I just wanted to find out who this guy was that you abandoned us for."

I tried to ignore Jake's attempt at baiting me for an argument once again, "He is just a friend. His niece is one of my students, so we met the first week of school and he's been showing me around town."

"Yeah... I'm sure that's exactly what happened."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, immediately defensive.

"Bella, you couldn't be 'just friends' with a guy if your life depended on it."

"Excuse me?" I all but screeched.

"You heard me. Not once in your life have you been only friends with a guy. Hell, you and I started out as friends and look where that ended up."

"Just what are you getting at, Jake?"

"All I'm saying is, I know how this is going to end up. You're going to fall for him, and maybe he'll fall for you too, but you'll mess it all up. You're just so desperate for marriage and a family, it doesn't matter who gives it to you."

I choked back a sob, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of my tears. Who was this man I was talking to? What happened to the Jacob that I had fallen in love with five years ago? Somewhere along the line he had changed into a man I didn't know anymore, and that realization caused a small part of me to be thankful for the fact that he had refused to move things forward in our relationship.

The heavy silence must have clued Jake in on the fact that he had taken things a little too far.

"Listen, Bells—"

"Don't call me that."

"-I'm sorry if I was a little harsh, but it was wrong for you to stay there for the holiday. Thanksgiving is about family, and you shared it with a bunch of strangers."

My temper flared as he talked about my relationship with Alice and Edward. Who was he to decide who my friends were and how much time I spent with them? He didn't have any right to care about it anymore.

"Those strangers have been more of a family to me than you ever could have been, Jacob. They care about what makes me happy, and they want to spend time with me. They don't make me feel like I am stupid, or like I am a waste of their time. They love me, and I loved spending that day with them. I would do it all over again."

I could almost hear Jacob rolling his eyes at me over the phone, and I could imagine what he would have said if I had given him a chance to speak. Quit with the dramatics, Bella. You're being ridiculous. What does that have to do with anything?

But I didn't slow down, or give him a chance to speak.

"And Edward is an amazing guy. When I was brand new in town and didn't know a soul, he and his sister took me in. He invited me to dinner and ice cream and showed me around town, and he didn't let me feel alone. Whether he is more than a friend to me is none of your business. You don't need to know anything else about my life, Jacob, because you aren't part of it anymore."

I hung up before he could retort and buried my head in my hands, finally allowing the sobs that I was holding back to break free. My body shook with each sob as one question kept echoing in my mind.

Was Jacob right?

Of course I wanted to be married and to raise a family, but was that the only reason why I was interested in Edward? Was that not one of the first things I had pictured when I imagined us together? Our little perfect family in the perfect back yard of our perfect little house?

Would I be able to tell the difference between my desire for Edward and my desire for the perfect life? There was no doubt that Edward could give me the perfect life I wanted...but was he just a stepping stone to get to my goal?

He deserved more than that. Edward was a beautiful man that deserved love and devotion... He didn't deserve to be used. Was I using him?

Was Jacob right?

The ringing of my phone caused me to jump and I anxiously wiped my tears away as I saw that it was Edward calling me. I cleared my throat before answering the phone, hoping to sound normal.

"Hey, Bella, I got all of the lights, and some food. I'm about to pull into the drive—can you help me bring the bags out of the truck?"

"Sure, I'll be right out..."

My voice trailed off as the same thought remained, echoing throughout my mind for the remainder of the afternoon. Through dinner, decorating, and that kiss...Was Jacob right?...

As I stumbled into the house, leaving Edward alone in the front yard, I struggled to regain my composure. I was fighting back tears and taking deep breaths, waving my hands in front of my face like they would magically make the wetness in my eyes go away. What type of horrible person was I to string Edward along while I tried to make up my mind about what I wanted?

My stomach churned as Jacob's words from earlier echoed in my mind. I knew the more I replayed them in my mind, the more upset I would become..and the more I would be convinced that he was right.

Without thinking I pulled out my cell phone, ignoring a missed call from Charlie, and called the first person who came to mind. I knew she could fix this.

"Bella!" her excited voice chimed through the earpiece.

"Alice? I need your help." My voice was shaky as I tried to hide my tears.

"What's wrong? Did the lights come out okay?"

I let out a weak laugh at her questioning and smiled, "Yes. They're fine. It looks like a winter wonderland in my front yard. I actually just need some advice about Edward." I winced, hating that I had to call her in the first place, and dreading her reaction to my request. To my surprise, her answering tone was very calm and businesslike.

"Okay, let's hear it. You called the right person."

"Yeah, um... Okay, I guess I'll just start from the beginning," I mumbled, more to my self than to Alice. "Jacob called me today-"

"WHAT? What did he say?"

Now that was the response I was expecting. Relieved that diplomatic Alice had disappeared and bubbly, take-the-bull-by-the-horns Alice had returned, I dove head first into the story. As much as it hurt to re-hash the entire conversation so soon, I knew it was something that needed to be done in order to clear my mind. Alice listened intently, gasping and cursing in all of the right places, and I could tell she was brainstorming on the other end of the phone.

"...And now every time I think of Edward, I keep thinking of what Jacob said and I don't know if I am attracted to Edward just because he is someone who seems interested in me and might want to settle down and have a family, or if I am genuinely interested in him! What if Jacob is right and I am just using him?"

As soon as those words left my mouth, I remembered who I was talking to. Best friend or not, Alice was Edward's little sister and she was fiercely protective of him. "Oh God, Alice... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called. This is such a mess, and I wasn't even thinking about you and Edward..."

"Don't be ridiculous, Bella," Alice chided, "I'm glad that you called and are being honest with me about this. It's better than you trying to figure this out all on your own. Now, I have a plan."

"Okay..." I answered cautiously.

"I have someone I want you to meet. You need to hear me out before you interrupt me, Bella, or you will seriously be left to do this by yourself."

I sighed. Alice knew me too well. So, I kept my mouth shut and settled down on my couch. I noticed as I glanced out of the window that Edward's car was gone.

"Alright, Alice. Let's hear it."

"Okay. This is a guy I know through some of Carlisle's work functions. He is also a professor at OU. He teaches English and has only been there a few years so he is around Edward's age. I think you would really like talking to him."

"Alice, how is bringing another guy into the picture going to help? It's only going to confuse me more!"

"Because, if you're really only looking for a husband/baby daddy then James—that's his name by the way—would be a perfect candidate. However, if you truly have feelings for Edward, this guy won't even be a blip on your radar."

"So...you think I should go on a date," I repeated slowly.

"Yes. Don't tell Edward about it though. This will just be between you and me. You'll know by the end of the date whether Edward is the one you want."

"I don't know, Alice. What if Edward finds out? Won't that hurt us even more?"

I could hear her sigh and I knew she was rolling her eyes at me. "He won't find out...and if he does, you can just explain and he'll understand. You're doing this all for him, Bella. Don't you want to just be at peace with what you feel?"

"Okay, okay. I'll do it."

"Perfect! I'll give him your number and he'll call you before the end of the week. Don't worry, Bella...this will all work out!"

I reluctantly agreed and hung up the phone, praying that I was making the right decision.


Dear Edward Masen,

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Peter Hoyt. I am the music director at the University of South Carolina in Beaufort. As you might know, the University of South Carolina in Beaufort is a new institution, and the music program is a constantly improving process.

I'm writing to you to inform you that as of May of next year, I will be retired. I've invested time into this music program, and I would only trust it to someone who has the qualifications and experience to lead it to success. That is why I've spent the last three months looking for an educator such as yourself. You were highly recommended by Miss Tanya Denali. It was, in fact, on her suggestion that I decided to write you.

There will be a conference in the middle of December, one that I'm sure you were planning on attending. If you have the opportunity to make it, please let me know so we can arrange to meet and discuss your qualifications.

If you have any questions, please email me or leave word with my secretary.


Peter Hoyt

The letter fell from my hands to the floor as I picked up my cell phone and dialed a number I knew by heart.

"Ah, Edward," the smooth voice said knowingly. "I've missed you."

So, what did you think?

Yes-it's been forever! Coldasicex3 and I have been incredibly busy lately, but I can promise you the story is always in the back of our mind. YES we will finish the story, but it will take a while. Just be patient with us! We have decided not to update again until the story is finished and we can give you regular updates...so the next time you see an update, get excited! That means the story is finished and we will FINALLY be able to give you the regular updates you've been asking for! We love you all, and your messages and words of encouragement really help us get motivated to write again. Sometimes you just lose the inspiration, whether it be a harsh review, a job that sucks the life out of you, school, or simply too many distractions... Stick with us-we'll finish this!