Disclaimer: The characters of Twilight are owned by Stephenie Meyer. The content, ideas and intellectual property of this story are owned by Just4ALE.
A/N1: This is the first outtake from Tunes with Tony Masen. Here's what Tony had to tell me about Ch 9 (Fleetwood Mac).
Santana: She's Not There
Beautiful brown eyes stare into mine and for the briefest of moments after my initial surprise, I'm ecstatic.
She's here. In YOUR apartment. Alone with you.
From the moment I realized the stunning woman I'd seen at Jake's Big Bike shop in April was the very same one I'd befriended on the radio, I've been in hell.
Befriended? Bullshit. Your affection for that woman on-air was so evident, it was ridiculous. And off-air? You made verbal love to her for months.
My first instinct is to touch her. I want to verify she's real. I'm dying to pull her close to me and hug the only new friend I've allowed myself to have in several years.
And then I remember I'm not allowed to feel this way. She can't be here. I can't let her in.
I reach out and yank her out of the corner. She stumbles into me and I grab onto her with both hands.
She's so close. With one move, I could envelop her in my arms.
But I don't. Instead, I shake her and I'm an asshole, denying our relationship.
And she calls me on it.
She wrenches free and confronts me. She knows who I am.
I have a choice. I can keep pretending, or I can admit it.
I'm a good liar. I have to be, given my history. I wanted a new beginning. It's why I've kept my distance from my past. Eleazar and Carmen are the exceptions; they never treated me differently. They stood by me through it all. They let me store my things with them when I took my break from reality.
Very few know who I was. That man is gone. I don't want anyone infected by it, especially not her.
I back away and watch her rubbing her arms where I'd been gripping her. I hurt her.
Then I notice the ring.
A wave of something I can't identify shoots through me. Why does she affect me like this?
So no one told me about her…
Does she have a fiancée or husband? In all your nighttime conversations, shouldn't you have gotten any inkling of this? She always seemed so alone…
Clearly she's been keeping secrets too.
…the way she lied.
We're kindred spirits. I don't know her as well as I thought I did.
Good. This makes it all easier. Decision made.
I admit who I am.
She tells me she had nowhere to go.
Really? What's with the ring then, sweetie?
I watch as she slumps to the floor, curled up in a ball.
I stare at her and quickly process through the new information. The ring is on the wrong hand. Jacob was killed. She's devastated.
I've known about her link to Jacob Black for a while, but seeing that ring on her is painful. She spent months talking to me every night. I thought she'd been by herself, but had he been lying next to her listening to her speak with me? That didn't make any sense, though. Why would a man lie there while his woman talked with some other guy on the phone?
I don't want to think about that right now.
I bring her to the living room. I get her a beverage. I watch her.
I drink her in.
She's disheveled. Her clothes are ripped and dirty and too big for her small frame. Her hair is sloppily pulled back into a pony tail. Her eyes are puffy. Her skin is too pale against the black jacket.
And still she's beautiful. I'm overwhelmed.
My time is limited. I can't help myself: I ask stupid questions. I stare at her, fascinated by her clear intelligence and sharp tongue in the midst of whatever adversity she's faced tonight.
Let me tell you about the way she moves, the way she acted, the color of her hair…
I can't let this happen. As much as I want her here, she can't be here.
Before I can change my mind, I offer to let her stay the night and tell her she has to go in the morning.
She tenses up at the suggestion and then she really tries to break my heart.
She thought of me as a friend.
Yes, I am.
God, how I want to be… I want to be your friend.
Do I tell her this?
Of course not.
Instead, I try to warn her off. Someone who is clearly as good as she is deserves better. If she knew my past, she'd run from me too.
She hears what I'm saying. Her eyes grow dull and she closes them.
You're such a shithead.
I want to retract this discussion, but before I can say anything, she's on her feet. Having accepted my lies, she changes the subject and asks for a shower.
I offer her a change of clothing and she's surprised.
Make up your mind: are you trying to push her away or not?
She follows me as I head to my room to grab something for her to wear. I return and I'm drawn in again. Our bodies touch when I hand her my clothes and it's like electricity. I pull away quickly. You can't do this.
She shuts the door and I stand there staring at it like an idiot. When I'm sure she's in the shower, I hurry to make sure the sofa will be ready for her to sleep on when she's out. Underneath the spare blankets, I find the box I'd planned on donating to Goodwill and I haul that out too. I drop the box on the floor by the sofa and put a sheet down for her. Then I sit and try to make sense of what happened tonight.
I remove the band holding my ponytail and run my fingers through my hair. God, I hate my hair this long.
Of all the apartments, belonging to all the DJs, in all of the Bay Area, she breaks into mine.
Who are you trying to fool? It was inevitable. You were careless.
I'd let her in, convincing myself it was only a phone call with a stranger. We'd never meet. What was wrong with chatting about music with a listener?
Except she wasn't just "a listener."
She is different. Smart, funny, thoughtful, and obviously caring.
I never stood a chance. My feelings for her crept up on me.
At first I didn't notice her; she just called in on occasion and answered the question. After the second week, I realized she was a regular caller, and after a month, a regular winner. My curiosity got the best of me and I began speaking with her for a few minutes after I began the next set. A few minutes became several. I got addicted to the little things about her: her throaty laugh, the cadence of her speech, the various tones and inflection of her voice.
It's ironic that I was the DJ and yet her voice called out to me, night after night, like a siren's song.
She isn't just a listener; she's the listener.
Still, after all these months, I know so little about her.
But now I have an opportunity to really get to know her.
In your shower.
And you really shouldn't be thinking about that.
I get up and start pacing around the room to distract myself. My gaze falls on her backpack. I pause for a moment.
Only a moment.
I open her backpack and find her wallet. In seconds, I'm looking at the driver's license of Isabella Marie Swan, born September 13, 1983, who lives at 1425 Vallejo Street and whose picture doesn't do her justice. Still, in this small photo she's smiling and it's something to see. It's gorgeous.
Sadly, the smile was absent the morning of the attack in the garage, and I haven't seen it at all tonight. In fact, the only time I did see it was that time at Jake's shop.
I run my thumb over her license one more time, admiring her pretty face. Then I notice the water is still running. And she's still in there.
I deposit her wallet in her bag, close it up and tie my hair back. I walk back to the bathroom and then stand outside the door. I lean in to listen and realize she's crying. A lot. Deep sobs are only slightly muffled by the running water.
I feel betrayed, angry that she's crying for that guy, the one she's been running around San Francisco with doing that God-damned contest. El said they looked chummy this morning. God I'm such a selfish bastard. The man is dead and she has a right to cry over someone she cared about.
I wish she wasn't here.
I feel sad, knowing the one person who has managed to worm her way past my defenses is hurting. I want to make the pain go away.
I wish I could help her.
I feel. She makes me feel… everything. And I'm not sure how to handle it. I've been dead for so long.
She makes me feel alive.
I'm so busy with these warring emotions that I don't notice she's turned off the shower until I hear the curtain move. I back away from the door and lean against the wall. She opens the door, looking small and clean… and is she bleeding?
What happened to her tonight?
My training and instincts kick in. I can help her.
I get busy cleaning her cuts and wounds. She's so close, I can barely stay focused. There is an energy between us that is almost visible.
Don't you feel this, Izzy? Don't you see?
No. Her eyes are closed, which gives me the opportunity to stare at her even more since we're standing mere inches apart. My eyes move between her cuts and her face. She gnaws on her bottom lip. She has freckles across her nose.
Even her ears are pretty.
As I work my way down her arms, the diamond flashes in the bathroom light, mocking me.
Suddenly, I'm fighting down anger again. Mustering all the control I have, I ask.
I need to know.
And suddenly, the knife comes out of my heart. He was going to propose to someone else.
She wasn't with Jacob Black.
I take her hand back and continue on her splinters.
I'm almost giddy… to the point where I nearly reveal too much.
I try to cover by making a joke about the band. Did she notice my slip?
I feel her eyes on me. I feel the warmth of her body heat radiating.
She's alone and needy… and just so fuckin' pretty.
Don't even think about it.
I let go quickly and clean up. Then I get her settled in on the sofa.
God, that shirt looks good on you. It's a nice color… you should wear more green.
And damn, I said that out loud.
Her gaze is intense.
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright…
It's too much.
I wish her a good night and leave her to go to my room. But I'm not tired.
She's just down the hall, around the corner, sleeping in YOUR clothes.
I know I've hurt her by pushing her away, but it really is for the best. She's young and beautiful. She's smart and unspoiled. Me and my past… we'd only drag her down.
I pace like a caged animal.
She said she had no one. She is a solitary creature like I am.
I want her friendship.
I want her kindness.
I want her.
You can't have her. She's too good for you.
When the morning comes, she'll be gone.
Quietly, I open my door and return to the living room. I settle in my chair and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. I sit like a statue, watching her sleep.
I wish I could hold her.
I move closer and sit on the floor by the sofa, staring. I'm so near, I can feel her warm breath on my face.
I lose track of time… just watching.
She's moaning and whimpering.
For a second I wonder if the dream is erotic until I realize she's getting more agitated.
Shhh, I've got you, Izzy. I'm here.
I reach out and lightly caress her hand, trying to soothe her, to calm her down.
I let go of her the instant she calls his name.
It's clear whatever happened tonight to Jacob and his girlfriend has scared her. I let her know I'm here, and finally, I do what I've wanted to do all night.
I touch her face.
I wipe her tears away. I'm losing myself when suddenly she tries to touch me.
What are you doing? This is wrong.
I back away, but as I'm leaving she calls to me.
My blood runs cold.
Suddenly, I'm furious with myself once again. I can't allow this.
She sees my anger and shuts down. She turns her back to me and I practically run to my room and slam the door.
I throw myself down on my bed and lie awake, conflicted.
In the brief time she's been with me, she can tell I'm not what I seem to be.
The truth is, she knows me well. Whatever I gave away has been too much. And yet, subconsciously, I know I wanted her to know me.
In a different life, we might have been good for one another.
In that world, I take her for a ride on the bike, maybe somewhere up in wine country. We find a secluded spot, and sit on a blanket under a tree to have a picnic. We talk about everything and nothing. It feels good to laugh again.
Eventually, we stop talking. I undress her, and she me.
I've never felt more alive than now. My senses are heightened around her.
I smell the grass and flowers. I hear the birds and the sound of her breathing. I taste her, my mouth exploring hers, working its way down her naked body. I see her big brown eyes gazing into mine, matching my unmasked longing. I feel her, soft as I caress her bare skin, wet as I enter her; her hips rock against me, her movements in sync with mine.
I'm so close.
I close my eyes.
"Edward!" she cries as she climaxes.
I push up with my arms and arch my back as I continue to move in her.
"Edward," the wind whispers.
I open my eyes and look down at her.
She's not there.
I wake with a start. My heart is racing. Still feeling the dream, I wipe my face. I'm on edge. The idea of her disappearing on me is disturbing. I get up to look at her again.
Quietly, I open the door and go silently to the living room.
It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust and realize what I'm looking at.
My heart leaps into my mouth when I see the empty sofa and the folded blanket.
...it's too late to say you're sorry.
I turn on the light and see the note, and I cross the room like a ghost.
My body turns to stone.
Please, don't bother tryin' to find her... she's not there.
A/N2: Man, that guy's thoughts about her were giving me whiplash... ;) I hope this gave you a little insight into the mysterious Tony Masen. We'll find out more about his history over the next several chapters of Tunes.
Thank you, as always, to the lovely Irritable Grizzzly.
Post A/N: Also not mine – lyrics from Santana's She's Not There.
I had no Edony (as one clever reader called him) trivia in this outtake so I'll only share this:
The group 'Santana' is named after Carlos Santana. MANY, MANY band members have come and gone over the years, so Carlos – and his signature guitar sound (he rarely sings) – is really the constant. He came on the scene with his 'Latin rock' in San Francisco in '67, but became more famous after his appearance at Woodstock in '69.
I had the opportunity to see Santana play New Year's Eve 1995 in San Francisco, and I will never forget the Brazilian dancers and drums that led the way for him at midnight… which instantly fused with his own music. The place was rockin'.