Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight!
Thank you so much for your wonderful responses to the first chapter! I really appreciate them! They mean a lot to a humble little writer like me...lol. Anyway, I love each and every one of you that took the time out to review! Thanks again!
Now, here's chapter two!
The Music of His Heart
Chapter Two: One Step At A Time
"Take one step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find a reason why
One step at a time"
"One Step At A Time" - Jordin Sparks
"Good boy, Jake." I said, reaching down and feeling for my golden retriever's furry head. I patted it several times before I took the ball from his mouth and threw it across the park yet again. He never seemed to tire of doing this, and neither did I.
The happy barks coming from Jake could make anyone smile, and I found myself doing so as he trotted back to me once more. "Good boy!" I repeated, grinning from ear to ear.
He barked in reply, giving my slender hand a sloppy lick.
I took the red ball covered in slobber in my hands and tossed it even further from me. I laughed as I made out the shape of my dog practically running over a snobby looking lady on her cell phone.
It took Jake only seconds to come back with the ball between his teeth. It made a squeaking noise as he chewed on it with vigor. He dropped it at my feet, sensing it was time to go by the way I was positioned on the park bench; I took it in my hands before sliding it into the small backpack I brought with me. Jake dropped his head to the ground and nudged his harness that rested to the right of me. Carefully, I strapped the walking harness onto Jake and stood up, steadying myself with the bench.
I was born blind. Well, not completely blind; I still had some sight. Looking through my eyes is like looking through the width of a straw. The little sight I have isn't enough to consider me a "seeing" citizen, so on all my documents, they label me "legally blind." Which is true.
On days like this, I take Jake out to the park to play with him. He is my seeing-eye dog. I take Jake with me pretty much everywhere, because his company is something I enjoy, and it makes me feel less handicapped, I guess. He is a wonderful companion that I couldn't live without. He's so incredibly intelligent, I would swear he used to be human at one point in his life, though that would seem silly.
Jake led me through the beautiful park, I could tell that much from my limited vision, and to the sidewalk that led up to my house. It wasn't far at all from my house to the park, which was why I visited often.
I felt the bright sun on my skin and relished the feeling as I walked down the street, leash in hand.
I kept thinking about everything that happened today. I was a bit groggy when I woke this morning, due to lack of sleep. I had been too anxious about the demo I had sent in to Swan Records, one of the hugest record labels in the United States. I sent my basic information. My name, background info, a demo CD, and a head-shot. The usual. Then I slipped it in the mailbox early that morning, almost afraid that the carrier wouldn't get it. Silly, I know, but...my dreams counted on if the head of the company approved of my work.
I got excited all over again just thinking about it.
I was humming some tune to a catchy little pop song when I turned into the driveway, Jake leading the way. I could hear his panting in front of me, which was to be expected since he had been running in the park all day. I smiled to myself as I reached out, fingers searching for the doorknob.
I hadn't even wrapped my hand around the knob when Carlisle opened the door, a broad smile gracing his features.
"Welcome home, son." He said, and immediately I knew something was up.
"What's the matter, Carlisle?" I asked, looking at him in wonder. "You're acting odd..."
Jake's tongue slid across the surface of Carlisle's hand; I could hear the slobbering licks.
"Oh, nothing," He said, turning his head upward like he was intentionally hiding something from me. "Just that...no, wait, I don't think I should tell you."
I reached out cautiously, as was the norm for me, and grasped his arm, "Hey, quit playing games like that..."
"Hm?" Carlisle said, his grin widening, "What games? Oh...you did get a call..."
He shook his head no.
"Um..." I racked my brain. I could think of no one else that would actually bother calling me in the middle of a day like this, "...I can't think of anyone..."
"A certain Bella Swan from Swan Records." He said, finally, pointedly.
I dropped Jake's harness; it clattered to the ground with a loud, metallic clank. I knew my mouth was hanging open from the satisfied look on my adopted father's face. I moved my lips, but no sound came from them. Finally, I managed to croak, "N-No..."
"Yes." He said, rather easily, making me look like even more of a moron that I already was.
Bella Swan, head of Swan Records, the renowned record label signing all the hot, young talent these days. I would have never even dreamed that she would call my house, just a day after receiving my demos. I was floored and utterly, completely speechless.
After a while, I carefully crouched down to find Jake's harness. He had stayed at my feet like a good dog instead of sprinting off into the house or down the street to chase the neighbor's cat or relieve himself on the rose bushes. My head was a mess, thoughts whirling around like I had just gone through the spin cycle in my washing machine.
I shook my head, clenching my eyes together. My father grasped my wrist and pulled both me and Jake into the house gently.
He then explained to me that I was to meet Miss Swan at the record label at around one tomorrow afternoon. I would have to prepare a couple of my favorite songs to perform for her live so she could see what I'm like when singing in front of a group.
Carlisle also told me that Miss Swan used such words as "amazing" and "able to be enjoyed by a lot of people" and "very well-received" to describe my demo.
I couldn't ignore the thrill that shot through me when I heard him relay her kind words to me. I was even more anxious to go gather a few of my favorite songs and stuff them into one of my music folders, along with some extras, in case she wanted to hear more. I was always eager to play, and now that it actually might result in my dream coming true, I was even more excited.
That night, I laid in my bed, Jake at the foot of it, snoring softly like only a dog can do, and desperately tried to sleep.
It was difficult, my eyes just wouldn't stay closed. I kept tossing and turning, my mind constantly coming up with scenarios about me and my talents. What could go wrong. What could go right. What I was playing. Should I change it? What key should I play it in? What about singing? How should a enunciate my words? And, funnily enough, what should I wear to such an occasion.
All these ridiculous worries kept me up at night.
But one stuck in the back of my head more than the rest.
Would they like me?
Waking up the next morning was something I was looking forward to. So much so that I almost drank several cups of coffee to keep me up, but I decided against it due to the fact that I'm grumpy when I don't sleep much, and I wouldn't want to scare Edward away with my...issues.
I'm not too much of a morning person, but apparently it didn't matter when I knew I was on the trail of hot, new potential.
I sighed and shrugged into an over-sized, scoop necked green sweater and a pair of well-fitted black pants. I tried not to notice how much the color reminded me of Edward's beautiful eyes, but...well, some things are unavoidable. My hair was unmanageable, so I just slung it back into a messy bun at the nape of my neck before stretching my arms above my form lazily.
I arrived at the studio to find that Rosalie was leaning against the brick wall, looking gorgeous in her inconspicuousness, wearing a pair of black tights and a purple dress, along with a large, black sweater that swallowed her slender form up in the swaths of clothing. Her blonde hair was impeccable, as always, and flowed freely around her neck and shoulders, down to her back in golden waves. She had stuck a pair of large sunglasses over her eyes to try to disguise herself even further. It wasn't working, for every now and then a person would pass and give her a look.
"You're early." I noted, taking in her stunning appearance that suddenly made me feel like I had grown a third eye.
"Yeah," She replied casually, brushing her golden locks away from her face. "I got up way early and was like what the hell. Might as well go wait for the boss." She said the last two words with teasing familiarity and I smiled as I stepped forward and unlocked the building.
I held the door open for her and she muttered her thanks as she ducked inside. "Ya know, I signed a new band yesterday...their drummer is pretty interested in you." I nudged her thin shoulder.
She pulled the glasses from the bridge of her nose and stared at me skeptically for a second. She then signed and stared at the poster of her on the wall above us before chuckling, "I knew that damn poster was a bad idea."
"Well, apparently, this guy was one of the few people that hasn't seen you..." I trailed off, before adding, "Until yesterday. And he looked smitten." I laughed at Rosalie's horrified expression, obviously scared that Emmett was one of those creepy stalkers she got every now and then. "I believe his exact words were 'She was damn fine!'"
The blonde beauty looked at me and genuinely laughed, "Oh, really? He must have good taste, this guy..."
I was surprised she was interested, but I provided the name for her anyway, "Emmett. Emmett McCarty."
She chuckled to herself as she made her way up the stairs to the recording studio on the second floor. I figured Jacob wouldn't be there just yet, but it couldn't hurt to get everything set up while he was gone. Rosalie was bound to be in the studio for a good portion of the morning.
As I tidied up, I remarked, "Eclipsed Dawn should be here in a few hours."
"Eclipsed Dawn?" Rosalie repeated, both brows knitted together in pretty confusion.
"The band I was talking about before." I clarified, giving her a wink as I tested the microphone in the glass enclosed area where all my artists recorded.
"Ah..." Rose mused, pulling her hair back into a loose bun at the back of her head. She yawned slightly, and even mid-yawn, she was so pretty that I was surprised she was still single. "So...are they going to be here during my session?"
I smiled, "That was Emmett's idea."
This seemed amusing to Rosalie, for she tossed her head back with a laugh, the few free strands of blonde hair around her face swirling around her cheeks with the movement. "Well, I guess they'll see the pro at work." She said playfully when she finally collected herself.
Just then, a knock at the door interrupted our banter. "Come in..." I called softly.
I heard slurping and immediately knew who that would be. Jacob Black came into the studio, a large soda and breakfast burrito resting in his hands. Jacob was the mechanical wizard around here, so he was the one who was the head of the recording studio. He, after all, knew how to work the equipment, of course. His long black hair was pulled back at the nape of his neck. The hooded sweatshirt he had on was slightly wrinkled, and the baggy khaki shorts he wore barely stayed on his slim hips.
"Morning, Bells, Blondie." He said with a lazy smile, tipping his cup toward us as if he were toasting.
Rosalie glowered slightly at her nickname, but otherwise ignored it. She had been with us long enough to know that Jake gave people odd nicknames, but Jake was a good guy all around, and I think she knew that. "Hello, Jacob." She said, almost curtly if her voice wasn't so pleasant.
"Morning, Jake! You ready to record some hits?" I said enthusiastically as I watched Jake sit down at the control panel, faced with thousands of buttons that I was better off not touching. I would probably end up setting off some kind of secret, nuclear bomb if I even came near the flashing lights of the buttons in front of Jake.
"Of course," Jacob said with a sunny grin. That's why I liked Jake - ever the optimist.
I sat down at the seat beside him after I walked to the water cooler to retrieve a two cups of water. One for myself and one for Rose in case her voice were to tire before we were done with the day's session. I sat down beside Jake and the water sloshed ominously, several droplets sprinkling from the cup onto the panel of buttons.
"Bells!" Jake groaned, steadying my hand. "What did I tell you about bringing water beside my baby?"
I blinked, then felt my cheeks heat up. Oh, yes. His baby.
I remembered the last time I brought a beverage near the colorful array of buttons. I had tripped and splashed water all over the recording equipment, much to my embarrassment. I should've known what would happen. I have always been quite clumsy. But...well, we had to pay an arm and a leg to get it fixed. Jake still hasn't totally forgotten it. Shoot, I wouldn't have either if someone spilled water on my favorite...er...book and it...short-circuited.
Of course, that's impossible, but still.
Rosalie brought me out of my self-imposed reverie by saying, playfully, into the hanging mic in front of her. "Are you two clowns ready?"
Jacob put his headphones on, minding his hair, to my amusement, and gave her the thumbs up after pushing several buttons.
With that, Rosalie's crystal clear voice like wind chimes, came sounding through the silence, the distinct rock edge to her voice was inspiring, as well as beautiful. I smiled to myself as Jacob pressed several buttons before leaning back in his chair and taking a large bite out of his breakfast burrito.
Rosalie's beautiful voice lilted through the beginning of the song, then went to the chorus. Everything was going along well - me and Jacob chatted idly about nothing in particular while listening to the soothing ballad the blonde woman in the other room was singing. As we looked on through the glass window separating us, I felt a sigh of contentment escape my lips. I could already hear this song on the radio...
A few minutes later, and the peace was disrupted.
The door slammed open, the hard knob banging back on the wall behind it.
And there stood Leah Clearwater, looking frustrated and annoyed and just plain old pissed off as she stood in the door frame, bundling her long, ebony hair in a loose ponytail resting high on her head. She groaned, shaking her head, and the motion caused her glossy hair to bounce. "Okay, here we are. Rosalie Hale's recording session. Now will you let me help you with writing some songs?!"
I hadn't noticed that the members of Eclipsed Dawn were standing behind her. Alice was grinning like a mischievous angel; Jasper was holding her hand, trying not to burst into laughter; and, Emmett looked...lovestruck.
He gazed at Rosalie as if she were the epitome of everything he had ever hoped to be with. His gaze was so intense and loving and just dopey that I thought it would melt the glass wall between us. Rosalie had apparently not noticed, for she was still singing with abandon into the microphone, her vocals licking the lyrics like they were the most gentle of objects.
"She's even hotter in person..." Emmett drawled, looking like a lost puppy.
"Oh. My. God." Leah groaned as she walked over to Jacob. He grinned up at her and planted a big, wet one on her cheek. "Ew."
"You know you like it."
"Sure. But not when you act like a dog."
"Sure, sure." Jacob dismissed with the most secretive roll of her eyes. He then leaned upward to whisper something in her ear. I'm guessing it was intimate, for she then reared back and slapped him on the arm. "Ow, Leah!"
"Yeah, but you like it."
"Oh, shut up."
Throughout all of this, Rosalie just kept on singing, oblivious to the fact that she had several new people watching her inside the booth, where it used to just be Jacob and me.
"Hey! Blonde hottie with the body!" Emmett cheered, shouting loudly over her singing and appropriately ruining whatever Rose had recorded up until that point. I turned and saw Rosalie send Emmett a bone-chilling glare and felt myself shiver.
Oh, this would not end well for Emmett.
"Hey, who let the amateur in here?" Rosalie snarled, and even her angry tone was more glorious than my normal voice could ever be. She set her violet glare to Leah, who raised her arms in defeat and shrugged. "Leah..."
"Emmett wouldn't shut up for one minute to let me work until I let him come see you."
"That's right!" Emmett said, as if it were some major accomplishment.
The blonde beauty sent her glare on the lovable big guy and his eyes widened as hers roamed his muscular body, "You ruined my session."
"Yes! You did!"
She then sent her scary glare on me with a force that would make any person run for their life. I didn't...because, well, that'd be a tad odd. "Bella, yeah, he's cute, but dammit, he is dense!"
It was quiet for a minute, and then...
"You think I'm cute?"
Rosalie growled, running a hand through her blonde locks, messing up the impromptu bun she had pulled it in.
"Well, baby, did it hurt when you fell from Heaven, 'cause you sure do look like an angel!"
"You - "
Cutting off Rosalie's sharp reply was the buzzer I had installed in the recording room. Angela's sweet voice said, "Bella? You in there?"
"Y-Yes..." I replied, my voice quieter than I intended.
"Edward Cullen is here a bit earlier than expected. Do you want to come down here?"
I started at the name before looking at the clock. It read 11:34 in big, digital letters. I quirked a brow, wondering why exactly he was here so early, but wasn't too bothered by it. Everything seemed going downhill in here, so I was ready to leave as fast as I could. Another cause of my added excitement was that I actually wanted to see him. I was excited just by the mention of his name.
"Sure!" I looked from Rosalie to Jacob to Leah to the members of the band and smiled. "Okay, Leah, get the Eclipsed Dawn members in the room across from here. And Jake, start again with Rosalie's song. I really liked that arrangement you were doing. I've got to go meet with a potential client."
Jacob smiled at me, "Good luck, Bells!"
With that, I took my leave.
As I rushed down the stairs, tripping several times over my own feet, I thought of the perfection I saw in Edward Cullen's face. The perfection that matched his vocals he sang with such raw emotion. His voice was captivating, and would make a large crowd of a million cheering people promptly fade into silence with its clarity and ability to move mountains.
I was panting slightly, my hair just a bit messed up, when I reached the bottom floor. I smoothed the stray ends away from my face and looked forward, trying to see the man that had plagued my thoughts for the longest time.
When I did, I was shocked.
There he was, standing by Angela's desk, giving her a most breathtaking crooked smile and looking at her with an interested expression. His tousled bronze hair was as impeccable as it was in the picture. He wore a simple ivory colored sweater and a pair of khaki pants. He was taller than I realized, even though I read his information just yesterday. He had a strong jaw, full lips, and clear skin. And there were those emerald orbs that had captivated me so. But...there was something off about it. Something I just couldn't put my finger on. Then, I looked down, seeing that he had a walking cane in his hand, gripped tightly, pressed against the side of the desk. His hand felt the edge of the wooden surface, testing it.
"Oh, here's Bella now!" Angela said cheerily, looking over at me.
He walked over to me, using the cane as a judging stick, to not trip over anything. His eyes were focused ahead, as if he could see where he was going, but not very clearly. I smiled gently, politely at him, and he held out his hand. I took it, and he gave the same crooked smile, his eyes moving down to the top of my head.
Then, it clicked.
Something I hadn't thought of. Something I hadn't even realized. Not even considered...not until now.
Edward Cullen was blind.
End Chapter Two.
Well, there you go! Chapter two. I hope you enjoyed it! I really appreciate all of the kind reviews I got for the first installment of this little fic of mine, and I would love it if you just dropped by and stated your opinions on this one as well. Thank you so much for your support. I really, really appreciate it! (I already said that, but oh well! Lol.)
Thank you so much for reading!