Disclaimer: Last time I checked, my name is NOT Stephenie Meyer and I have never been involved with the group Survivor. No copyright infringement intended.
I do suggest that you find the song I Can't Hold Back by Survivor and put it on repeat for this story.
I Can't Hold Back
There's A Story in My Eyes
There's a story in my eyes.
Turn the pages of desire.
Now it's time to trade those dreams,
For the rush of passion's fire.
"Is that… Survivor?" Jasper asked, hesitantly. The music was muffled, but he was almost certain of the song.
Alice glanced up at him in shock. She had been desperately trying to ignore the song that was once more coming from Bella's room. "I didn't realize you were such a big fan of 80's music, Jasper."
Jasper's cheeks flushed. While he thought that there was plenty of good music from the 80's, he wasn't going to just blurt it out. Immediately he went into evasive maneuvers, even though he was telling the truth. "Um, actually, my roommate listens to that song all the time and I recognized it, that's all."
"Yeah, my roommate gets in these moods. She gets emo and wonders about some guy from high school or something. I think this was their song. She never really talks about it." Alice shrugged, if Bella didn't want to talk about it, who was she to make her?
"It's the same with my roommate. At first I thought she broke his heart or something, then I thought maybe it was unrequited love… but really, I think he just never told her how he felt." Jasper shrugged too, who was he to dig into Edward's past? But those were the feelings he got.
"Personally, I think it's a bit ridiculous. We live in the age of technology, and if she really wanted to know about this guy, why doesn't she just look him up? She could seriously Google him and just be done with it." Then she sighed, "I guess I can understand why she doesn't though. I mean, Bella's been holding this flame for him for over a decade now. I think it would crush her if she found out he was happy and had moved on with his life without a second thought."
Something tickled at the back of Jasper's memory, but he brushed it off. He wasn't here to think about Alice's roommate, or to analyze why she listened to this song to remember her high school crush. He was here to learn more about the very delectable Alice Brandon. He leaned over and brushed her cheek with his fingertips. "Do you want to watch that movie now? Maybe if we're lucky, it will drown out the noise."
Bella sat in her room and sighed. She held a frame in her hands that contained a picture of herself when she was much younger. She was smiling brightly and had her arms wrapped around his waist. His arm was thrown over her shoulder as they leaned in together for the picture. This had been taken the month before he left, before their worlds had been torn apart. She never forgot him though.
The music continued to swell around her and she found her eyes wet with tears. So many times she had tried to build up the courage to seek him out, and then she would chicken out and call herself a coward. She told herself that if he really wanted to stay in touch with her, or if he wanted to talk to her, he could just as easily have tried to find her. But he hadn't.
It had been years, closing in on fifteen, actually. She could still see his smile; that crooked grin that made her heart beat a little faster than normal. The way his green eyes would twinkle with mischief every time they were together. He had been her best friend, through and through, and she hadn't known it then, but he had also been her first love. But even if he hadn't been her first love, it would have still been impossible to forget Edward.
Do you ever forget your first love? What if that love never waned? Even thinking it, she knew it was impossible that she was still in love with Edward. She didn't even know him anymore, but whenever she did think of him, it was always fondly. For years after he had left, she would fantasize about a future with him. There would be kids and a dog, and a cozy house they would call their own. Maybe that's why no other relationship had ever worked out for her. She couldn't let go.
Across town, Edward sat at his computer and held a similar frame with an identical picture. The music played and he closed his eyes, thinking back to a time when life had been so much simpler. A time when he had been close to Bella. A time when he had been happy. That had all come crashing down around him when his father took a job at a hospital halfway across the country. He'd had to leave Bella behind and it had broken his heart.
Try as he might, he couldn't erase the image of her running after his parent's car from his mind. Tears had been streaming down her face and her arms had been reaching for him. Her dad, Charlie, had grabbed her and held her close right before she could tear off into the street like a small child. Edward could still see her struggling against Charlie with all her might, trying to get away.
That had been part of the reason he had come back to Washington. He had hoped that maybe he would have the nerve to find Bella. He couldn't remember how many times over the years he had started to look for her and stopped. He was sure someone as beautiful and pure as Bella would have found someone else to make her happy. Any guy would have been lucky to have her.
Over time, he realized that he had loved her with as much intensity as he could at fifteen. As the years had passed, the love never went away, but it changed into something different. It was bittersweet, his 'what if' fantasy. What if he and Bella hadn't been separated before they could truly begin? There was no doubt in his mind they had been heading in that direction. Even now he couldn't stop himself from comparing every woman he came in contact with to Bella, and all of them fell drastically short.
Bella remembered the first time she heard this song. She had been little, maybe 5 or 6, and her parents had this record on the turntable. It was scratchy, but the words and the music together sounded so pretty. She told her best friend about it the next day, and when he heard the song, he immediately liked it too. They decided then and there that it was going to be their song.
She laughed lightly. If they had only understood what the words meant. But somehow they were very true. No matter how hard she had tried, she couldn't hold back. She couldn't stop herself from loving Edward and missing him with everything in her. Her mother had told her that time would heal her heart and that eventually she would forget him. Bella never talked to Renee about Edward after that.
Despite what everyone said, and despite the fact that she knew it should be impossible for her to love him, she did. It hurt that her mother and all of her friends would brush aside her feelings, especially when she had been so low. Edward had been the only one she could connect with, the only person who truly knew her. When he had left, she was never able to connect with anyone else quite the same. Even now, she held back from Alice, just the tiniest bit.
Somehow, she just knew that she had to keep faith. Even though he hadn't contacted her in so long, and they had been adults for more years than she cared to count already. She wasn't ready to abandon hope yet. There was something deep inside that told her to wait. Something was just around the corner. She just hoped it would hurry up and get here already.
Edward laughed at himself for this hope he had been holding on to for longer than he cared to admit. Was it really possible that Bella would even remember him? Sure they had been best friends, but that had been so many years before. And there was surely no way that she had thought of him as desperately as he'd thought of her. There was an ache deep inside that he could never shake off, and somehow he knew it was because Bella was missing.
Would he be considered crazy for still being in love with someone he didn't even know how to locate? Someone he hadn't spoken to since his early teen years? Probably, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to care. Why settle for mediocrity when you had already sampled perfection personified? Unless he could find someone identical to Bella in every way possible, he wasn't interested. The song repeated over and over, an endless loop of memories flooding his brain.
For her 9th birthday he had begged his mom to take him to Port Angeles so he could buy her a record of their song. He had even wrapped it himself and it didn't take much for him to remember the way her face lit up when she opened it. She had even kissed him in her excitement, which was right before she grabbed him by the hand and dragged him into her room to listen to it on her portable turntable.
Their first school dance had been in their 8th grade year. By some unspoken agreement, they had gone together. It had been much less awkward that way; he wasn't shy about taking Bella in his arms to dance with her. He had even requested that the DJ play this song. When it had started playing, a coy smile had played at the corners of her mouth. Her eyes had been sparkling, shining into his own, and his stomach had fluttered.
Although she was staring at the wall in front of her, she wasn't seeing the wall. Instead, she was seeing the inside of Edward's tree house. They had the turntable up there and were playing the song on repeat. They had become masters at it, so much so that it was rare for them to break a needle anymore. They sat side by side and sang the song at the top of their lungs. When they were done, they'd broken down into fits of laughter. Nothing felt better than laughing with Edward.
Her vision blurred as the tears began to stream down her face. Her heart was aching in a way she'd never experienced before. She knew the sobs were coming and she was powerless to fight them off. Her cheeks were hot and the salty tears stung her skin. She missed him so damn much. It still hurt, even after fifteen years. Is this what love really felt like? She wasn't sure she really wanted to be in this mess if it hurt this much.
She still remembered receiving the record from him for her birthday. Of course he would get her something so sentimental. They had been two missing halves of the same whole. Even at a young age they had recognized that. She knew she still had the record too; it was on the top shelf of her closet. She got to her feet and grabbed the record from its hiding spot.
Then she closed her eyes and they were dancing. With the school dance coming up, neither of them had wanted to look like fools, so they had practiced. Their mothers had thought it was cute to find the pair of them dancing to their song every chance they could get. His arms had felt so warm and comforting around her as they spun around the room. Dancing with Edward was almost as good as laughing with Edward.
Edward rubbed his hands over his face roughly. He always got emotional when he thought about Bella. There was still some residual anger toward his parents over the whole thing and he wasn't quite ready to let it go, even after all this time. How could they have been so blind to think that telling him they were leaving the night before they actually left was a good idea? He had never had the proper chance to tell Bella goodbye. They said they thought it would be less painful if he had a clean break.
His eyes were stinging as he remembered the arguments. He only regretted some of the terrible things he had said to his parents in that time. He still felt they deserved his ire. Nothing they had done in the years since then had been able to make up for the cruel and heartless way they had ripped him from his best friend. By the time he had stopped throwing his tantrum, he was scared. He was afraid that Bella would be mad at him and not want to speak to him.
For the first week he had been surly and avoided contact with anyone. After that he had been indifferent. He didn't avoid anyone, he just ignored them. Everyone assumed he thought he was better than them; he let them make their assumptions. It wasn't until his junior year that he'd come across Emmett. Emmett didn't care that Edward ignored him; he still sat next to him and chattered away. He was hard to ignore, and before Edward knew it, he had made a friend. It had hurt to watch Emmett and his girlfriend Rosalie. It was obvious they had what it would take to really make a go of it. This wasn't a passing thing for them, and it reminded him so vividly of Bella.
Everything hurt. Sunsets reminded him of the hints of red in her hair, chocolate reminded him of her eyes. Green reminded him of the woods behind their houses, the woods they had played in for so many years. There was nothing that he came into contact with that didn't, in some small way, remind him of Bella. He was afraid he was going to lose his mind.
Every time these memories assaulted her, she remembered him leaving. She knew it was going to hurt, and she knew that she couldn't stop it, but nothing could stop her from wallowing in Edward. She still wondered if he had been telling the truth about not knowing they were moving. He had seemed so frantic and so panicked. She had been stunned, shocked to the core. She had never tried to imagine a life without Edward. Every goal she had, every hope, every dream… all of them included Edward. Could she really accomplish all of them on her own?
Now that seemed incredibly selfish of her. In his moment of panic and need, she had been concerned about how she would survive. Not even how but if. She knew he was essential to her, she just hadn't been aware of just how much so until much later. In both of their states of shock, neither of them had remembered contact info. Of course Edward knew hers, but he failed to give her his. Later, she wondered if he was trying to send her a message.
She knew that she was going to have a massive headache come morning. Crying jags combined with self doubt and delusions of a reunion were always too much for her. They left her groggy and ill the following day. Much like she had been for months following his departure. She had been a ghost of her former self. She ate robotically, answered when directly asked a question, and pretty much avoided life. She became a zombie. And every day she just went through the motions. It wasn't until she was in college that she had met Alice, and while they were as close of friends as Bella ever allowed herself to be with anyone, she was still, at most times, a loner.
Alice was always trying to get her to go out. It was amazing to think they could manage to get along at all. Where Alice was a vibrant bundle of energy, Bella was very beige. She also had no desire to doll herself up. She was content with the way her life was and wasn't interested in attracting any outside attention. Bella was deeply afraid Alice might think badly of her for her obsession with Edward. Because if she was being honest with herself, that's what it really was.
Feelings coursed through his body, to the point he was almost sure he couldn't handle it. Memories assaulted him from all sides. The way she smiled when she was truly happy, the musical sound of her laughter, her soft pelt of hair that flowed over her shoulders, and the way she smelled. There were so many more images and senses battering at him. Her eyes, her hands, her voice, her own sense of grace, her crass sense of humor, her wit, her charm, her intelligence… it was too much.
The music couldn't drown it out, couldn't stop the attack. He knew he had caused it by starting the song to begin with, but now that it had begun, it was going to be an endless cycle of torment. He thought once again about the one time her lips had pressed against his. He had been very young, but he could still acutely remember the taste that was uniquely Bella. She didn't need any Chapstick or lip gloss to enhance the sweetness that was her.
Times like these were dangerous for Edward. When he was this vulnerable, it was hard to stop himself from searching her out. When the memories of Bella made her seem so real that he could swear all he had to do was reach out to touch her, those were the times he was weak. Helpless. Nearly useless to be his own line of defense. His finger itched to type her name into his Google browser. The window was open, beckoning him. All he had to do was type in her name and hit Enter. What was holding him back?
He clicked in the text box and typed her name, 'Isabella Marie Swan.' He stared at it for a moment before highlighting it and deleting it. Then he typed it again, this time adding 'WA' to the end of it. His finger hovered over the Enter button and all he could think about was hitting the button and ending this agony. This pure torture. This madness that was keeping him from Bella. He ran his hands through his hair, disrupting it and causing it to stick out from his head in every which way. He snarled into the empty air and banged his hands down on his desk. Why was he being such a coward? What was the worst that could happen? Before he could change his mind, he hit Enter.
Her head was pounding and throbbing with too much emotion. She couldn't stop thinking about Edward. His voice was echoing in her mind, 'I'll never forget you.' It repeated itself in a perfect loop, in perfect synchronization with the song. Hearing it over and over in her mind did little to help though, in fact it brought more pain than just thinking of him would. All she could think was that his last words to her had been a lie.
Her chest constricted with the pain. She could feel her heart swelling and it was threatening to overflow. It was pounding so erratically, frantically trying to escape its tight cage. It was desperate to break free, to get away. Abandon hope, ye who enter here. It should be engraved across her chest. There was no longer any hope for her. Unless…
There was no way it could get any worse than it already was. Was she ready to step out from behind her cowardice and finally look for him? The steady thumping in her chest and her labored breathing were echoing in the silence. She stared at the screen, seeking salvation in its pixilated depths. Her mind threatened to crack again, like it had so many years before. Only this time, she wasn't sure she'd make it out alive.
As she stared at her monitor, her breathing kicked up. Her mind was overloaded and her system waivered. Black spots formed in front of her eyes and her vision blurred once more. The panic attack hit full force before she recognized the signs. She stood abruptly, needing to find her bed and lay down. The head rush didn't help; it only served to enrage the problem. Her vision turned a bloody red before melting to black. Her last thought before she hit the floor was Edward.
He only had roughly three seconds to change his mind. As the load bar popped up, he hit the red X. He still wasn't ready. His inner voice mocked him, pointing out that he wasn't getting any younger and wondering if he wasn't ready now, when he would be. Time most certainly wasn't going to stand still for them. It was getting away from him faster than he wanted it to. Their time was running out. Yet he couldn't find the nerve within himself to reach out. Fear crippled him. The thought of Bella could turn him from the confident, nearly aloof, man that everyone else knew to the insecure teenage boy that was hiding inside.
He picked up the nearest thing to him and hurled it across the room. It wasn't until he heard the glass shattering that he realized it was his picture of Bella and himself. The tears he had been holding back burned down his face as it contorted in rage. He wanted to be angry at her, to hate her for haunting him this way. He wanted, desperately, to be happy, but he couldn't seem to find happiness. It was her fault. He knew it. But he couldn't blame her. He could never hate her for being herself.
He pinched the bridge of his nose between his forefingers and took a few deep, calming breaths. When he opened his eyes the wrath was gone, but the grief remained. He walked over slowly to the other side of the room and gently picked up the broken remains of his memories. Even as gentle as he was, it didn't stop him from nicking his finger on the shards of glass.
He watched as the blood oozed up from the slice in his index finger. As it pooled over and dripped onto the hardwood floor beneath him, he couldn't help but find the irony in it. He had loved her, cried for her, and now he was bleeding for her. Was there anything that he wouldn't do for his long lost love? He was very afraid that answer was a resounding no.
The thud could be heard over the noise of the music and the movie. Alice went rushing into Bella's room, but wasn't overly surprised at what she found. They had been living together for too many years for this to shock her. She had been expected something like this all along, but she was helpless to stop it from happening. Every time Bella got in these moods, she would first have some kind of episode, and then she would sulk for days. She wouldn't talk, she wouldn't eat, and she would barely sleep. After that, she'd snap out of it.
But Alice would still help her pick up her life and move on. Just as Jasper would give Edward the space that he needed to heal his wounded heart. None of them knew it, but fate had placed them all where they needed to be. Nobody realized the plans that she had in store for them. Their connections to each other were intricately weaved, and this couldn't have worked out for everyone in any other possible way.
As Jasper picked Bella up off the floor to gently place her on her bed, he couldn't help but feel a stir of sympathy for her. She looked so lost and broken, and the haunted look he had seen in her eyes before had reminded him so much of his roommate. His mind pushed at his memory again, urging him to know. Once again, he brushed it off thinking it was just his compassion.
The rest of the evening carried a somber mood for everyone. Bella slept off her emotional breakdown while Alice and Jasper just held each other. Edward lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling. The music was still playing, but he had long since stopped hearing it. None of them realized the mere miles between these two star-crossed lovers. No one had made the connection. Fate sighed in frustration; this was harder than she had bargained for.
Dreams pummeled both Edward and Bella that night. Dreams of a possible and wishful future played out for both of them. Dreams of their happiness; of a happy ever after, together. They tossed and turned, restlessly, seeking comfort in a partner that wasn't there. Change was coming, for both of them, soon.
In the morning, Bella didn't come out of her room. She curled into a ball and wrapped the covers around herself like a cocoon. That was how Alice found her, and she quietly shut the door to give Bella her privacy and her peace. She just hoped that her friend would be okay, and she'd make sure she was there for her. It was all Bella would ever allow her to do.
Bella wallowed all weekend. It was all she could ever do. She shut out the world and mourned her lost dreams. This was so much more staggering than any other time had been. Never before had her dreams been so vivid, so real. She could nearly smell Edward again, and the scent soothed her parched soul. The craving she had woken with had been debilitating. She ached for him.
By Monday morning the chinks in her armor had been patched and her façade had returned. She went to work and portrayed herself as a calm and collected woman. It was all she knew how to do, but this time was different. This time she was on her way to being that woman. The dreams had been her breaking point.
When she had woken that morning, she had realized that she was never going to have that dream. She was convinced it was her psyche kissing it goodbye. One last big hurrah before its departure. She was finally going to heal. She was going to do her damndest to become whole again.
Edward opened his eyes and winced as the sun pierced through his window and lasered into his pupils. His head was already pounding and felt like it would fall off his shoulders. Late in the night, he'd tried to drown his sorrows in liquor. His sorrows remained and now he had a beauty of a hangover to go along with them.
He smelled the coffee and heard the voices, the former being what lured him out of his room. Even though Rosalie and Jasper were chatting and laughing in the kitchen, he grabbed his coffee and made his way back to his room. He was in no mood to be social, whether he liked the siblings or not. He briefly wondered what Emmett was doing and why he wasn't with Rosalie, but was too anxious to get back to the solitude of his room.
The weekend passed much in the same fashion. He came out of his room to sustenance, but once he had what he needed, he was back to his cave to mope. His computer sat on his desk, taunting him. It was calling him all sorts of names from coward to jackass and finally settling on spineless tool. But none of that could sway him, his fear was too great. He knew there was no way he'd ever work up the courage to find her. He truly was a coward.
By late Sunday night, his resolve was set. He was going to move on with his life, come hell or high water. Nothing was going to keep him away from happiness any longer. The damage his parents had inflicted would end, now. He was tired of suffering. It was long past time for him to pick up the pieces of his broken life. What he did with the mangled pieces was his new quest. He would just have to find a way to piece them together that satisfied him.
The weeks passed while they both attempted to fix the carnage of their lives. Bella put the album back in its hiding spot, but this time she added the frame that contained the picture of her with Edward. It still hurt to look at it, and it didn't help her resolve to move on with her life. She was going to finally put the past behind her and try to move on with as much courage as she could.
While she wasn't ready yet to go completely out on a limb and go out on the town with Alice, she was trying to become more comfortable in her own skin. She started taking more care in the way she was dressed. She walked with her head held higher and faked having confidence she didn't feel. Bella was finally preparing to seek companionship.
The first time she went out with Alice, it was just the girls. Angela was a nice enough girl. She worked with Alice and was fairly quiet, like Bella. They were a comfortable fit. Then there was Rosalie. She was Jasper's sister, and everything about her was loud. She dressed in a way that begged for attention and she was crass. But for some odd reason, Bella felt somewhat comfortable with her, like she had known her for a long time.
The last person to round out their group was another girl from Alice's office that had overheard their plans and tagged along. Her name was Jessica and Bella did not like her. At all. Jessica was everything that Bella didn't like in people. She was shallow, she was fake, and most importantly she was hateful. From the moment she sat down she had done nothing but bitch and complain and make fun of other people. Bella shifted around in her seat uncomfortably. This had been one of the reasons she had never been interested in joining the dating pool.
Edward tried his best to be happy. He smiled at women he passed throughout his day, he laughed with his coworkers more freely, and he tried to push the dreams away that had been plaguing him. Every morning he tried to rid the scent of Bella from his skin. He knew it was in his mind, but that didn't stop her smell from permeating his things. He wondered, briefly, if he had finally cracked. Maybe the men in white coats would be here soon to take him away.
He hadn't built up the courage to go out yet, but Emmett had been relentless in asking him. Even Jasper had joined in, saying that Alice had finally talked her roommate into going out with the girls. This would be the third weekend in a row that they had dragged the poor girl out to finally live a little. He felt a pang of sympathy for the poor girl; he knew what it was like to have friends hound you about your social life. He wondered though, why she would have been so solitary.
Finally, he caved and agreed to let his two closest friends take him out for a night on the town. He wasn't all that enthusiastic about going, he wasn't ready to face people yet. He was still trying to work his way through the first step in his recovery plan. When he finally accepted that he wanted to move on from Bella, this would be so much easier. Thinking her name brought a twinge. He winced before he could stop himself and that enraged him. What right did she have to maintain this kind of control over him?
He set his shoulders and grabbed his clothes. He was going to go out tonight and he was going to have a good time, Bella be damned. It was about time he finally realized he'd never have the courage to find her. Might as well try to make due with whatever he had left. With that in mind, he got himself ready. He was determined to make this memorable.
Alice was whining through Bella's door, begging her to go out with them once again. Bella pulled a pillow over her head and tried to ignore the incessant chirping coming from the other side. She didn't care if Alice promised that Jessica wouldn't be there again. Or if that nasty Lauren girl that had tagged along with Jessica would be absent too. The point was that Bella felt overwhelmed by all of this. She was still trying to shelter her damaged heart and wasn't sure if she was really ready for all of this.
A wistful sigh slipped through her lips just as Alice's impatience won over. Her door was thrown open and Bella pulled the pillow off her face to stare down her bubbling roommate. Since Bella had told Alice she wanted to start going with her on the weekends, Alice had been a force to be reckoned with. She hadn't allowed Bella to back out last weekend, and it looked like Bella was going to lose the battle again this weekend. She sighed again and resigned herself to try to have more fun this time.
As promised, Jessica and Lauren were nowhere to be found. That, at least, was some consolation to this whole mess. She didn't know who she was trying to fool, meeting a person this way just wasn't her style. She had always been more of a homebody. She would have been one even without Edward. Just thinking his name made her skin hum, tingles leaving a burning wake as they raced across her limbs. It stopped at the base of her neck and Bella would have sworn Edward was close by.
She shook her head to clear the haze and ran her fingers through her hair, trying to dispel the feeling she had. The hairs on the back of her neck were still standing tall and she was starting to feel a little lightheaded. She should have been scared of fainting, but something was calling to her… singing in her blood. She turned sharply and caught a flash of bronze in the crowd just as a hauntingly familiar song started playing.
He tried not to regret his decision. There were writhing bodies all around the dance floor, spilling over into the bar area as well. It was a hot spot and it seemed this was where everyone was at tonight. Even if he'd prefer to be spending his time in a quiet location, perhaps a coffee bar, he was determined to stick it out. There was 80's music playing loudly and he was immediately glad the patrons hadn't decided to dress accordingly. While the music might not have been so bad, the fashion sense most certainly had been. He was relieved he'd been too young to care about fashion at the time.
He still wasn't sure how Jasper had talked him into coming here. There was bound to be something here that reminded him of Bella. The 80's were all he had of her, the most vivid of his memories of her. They had spent that entire decade becoming vital to one another. It was bound to be painful.
He couldn't shake the feeling deep inside. He felt excitement, like something was brewing. There was a spark in the air. He would have sworn it was the Seattle weather, but he had never felt this before during one of their notorious downpours. It had to be something more. The opening chords of the next song started and he felt his stomach clench. If there was anything that reminded him most of Bella, it was this song. Before he could bolt, he felt a sharp piercing stare, right in the back of his head.
He turned slowly, not sure how he was so aware that this was the moment he'd be anticipating. This was the current that charged the air. His eyes were closed as he completed his pivot and he slowly opened them. The chocolate eyes that met his took his breath away. It couldn't be possible, there was no way. He saw her take a few stumbling steps before she broke into a full run, shoving people out of her way. The whole time he could see her mouth forming his name as the music continued. Somehow, his feet were moving too, and as they finally met, in the middle of the dance floor, he wrapped his arms around her and breathed her in. He let out a contented sigh, "Bella."
End Notes: There will be two more chapters of this story as well. And I am sorry for the delay on my other stories, but I've had a lot of stuff going on in RL and it's making it difficult for me to let the creativity flow. This story was my way of getting my mojo back.
JuJu is my most wonderful beta extraordinaire and I love her dearly. She makes this all look so pretty for you all. Jess and Tracy, I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of the help you gave me when writing this… you two are invaluable to me. I love you h00rs with all my heart.
And one last PSA – today is that last day for The Fandom Gives Back Auction in support of Alex's Lemonade Stand. The proceeds all go to help fight children's cancer. Let's help kick cancer's ass, okay? I have put up an auction for one 10K outtake from The Mistress and Her Master and an independent 5K outtake of your choice for the second high bidder. My auction can be found here: http:// thefandomgivesback (dot) proboards (dot) com/index (dot) cgi?action=display&board=fic&thread=354 Obviously you will want to replace the (dot) with actual . in order for it to work. Thanks so much for all of your support in fighting cancer! Y'all fucking rock!