A/N- I realize that I already have one WIP updating and I can promise you, those that are reading, Just Like A Dream, Eddie will not interfere with that story. Both are complete.
A big huge thank you to ShellWRX who preread this story without even realizing she was doing so until it was too late. I love you BB! Thank you for all of your wonderful words of encouragement and squeeing. (PS- Her story, The Little Fish is pretty awesome).
Katydid2363 is my beta extraordinaire. She's been with me from the beginning and as far as I'm concerned, she'll be with me until the end. Love you!
This chapter was originally submitted for the Fandom Fights Autism compilation and with that, I'd like to give a massive hug to Amieforshort. You are my inspiration for so many things.
Disclaimer to appear only once but pertain to every chapter: I don't own anything that has to do with Twilight or its characters. Thank you Stephanie Meyer. Same to be said for the movie/book, Eddie and the Cruisers (credit to P.F. Kluge) and any quotes or songs (performed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band) used from the movie (some were just too good not to use in the story).
It was always the same thing. The ocean breeze danced across both of their bodies, lightly dusting the salt water across their skin. She held him close. Had she known that this would have been the last time she felt him in her arms she would have held on tighter. She would have never let him go.
He was hovering over her body, her unclothed back pressed firmly against the grains of the sand of the beach. He looked down at her like she was the only woman in the world. She was. For him, she was it. Even though he was a quiet man by nature, she knew without a doubt that it had only been her for him and vice versa.
He closed the space between them, moving in for a kiss but avoiding her mouth. Instead, his lips grazed the exposed part of her neck. He kissed and nipped along her throat, playfully biting at the sensitive spot right below her ear. She whispered his name. It was more a plea for him to claim her body. This wasn't their first time, but unbeknownst to her, it would be their last.
When he slid into her, her body melted into the sand. She sighed aloud and he smiled. He moved slowly, savoring the moment with her. It never occurred to her at the time if he knew this would be the last time that he would take her.
As their bodies pressed against each others, the tide rolled in soaking them in the salty water. Neither were clothed and if they had been it wouldn't have mattered. She was in Heaven. In his arms, whether it was casually draped across her shoulders or holding her close to his body as they made love, she was always in Heaven.
The continual release of the water from the ocean splashed against their bodies as their own release took over their hearts. She held him closer, if it were possible, as he filled her with the only love he had ever known for a woman. They lay in each others arms, gasping for air and letting the smell of their surroundings encompass them. He was her life, plain and simple. She would have given anything for him and she had.
Slowly, he raised himself away and out of her. She pouted at the loss of contact. He smiled her favorite smile. The slow crooked one that told her so much, yet nothing at all. Before she could reach out to bring their bodies back together, he was in the water. She rose from the ground and watched as he beckoned her over. She stood on her feet and began to make her way toward him. She thought she was getting closer, but every time she felt she was in arms reach, he ventured out further.
"Ed," she playfully said. "Come over here. You know I'm afraid of the fish."
He shook his head no and crooked his finger at her. She smiled on the outside but on the inside she was impatient to be in his arms again.
"Eddie," she whined. She refrained as much as she could from calling him that even though that's what everyone in the world knew him by.
Again, he shook his head and taunted her with his finger. She was getting mad now. She was tired of playing games. She wanted to be with him. He promised her forever and now he was here but he was just barely out of her reach.
"Edward," she said more sternly. He smiled again and walked backwards. His feet skimmed the top of the water. He could do a lot of things but walking on water was not one of them.
She shouted his name louder but he only gave her the same smile. Slowly, he started to disappear. His form took on that of an apparition. It was like he wasn't real and she knew for a fact that he was.
"Edward," she cried out, losing her voice. She was frantic. He left her once and she would be damned if he did it again.
Knowing a life without him was worse than death, she flung herself into the water trying her hardest to get to him. Her body tired as she swam into the vast nothing of the ocean. Keeping herself afloat, she turned her body in circles desperate to see his face again. With one last plea, she cried out for him but he didn't answer. He was gone. Again.
Bella awoke with a start. She was panting hard and desperate to catch her breath. It had happened again. The same dream that had been haunting her for the past twelve years was the reason for her emotional breakdown at seven-thirty on a Saturday morning.
She was use to this dream or nightmare as it always ended up being. It had plagued her since the first night she lay alone without him by her side. She hated him for what had happened but regardless of that, she loved him all the same.
As the years since the accident passed, the nightmares became easier. They were never pleasant and they were never gone entirely but they were easier to deal with. Lately, with the release of her much anticipated novel on their time together, the dreams became more frequent. Her state to reach him increased with each dream she had. This was the first time she had gone out in the water to get him. Sometimes he wouldn't venture out so far. Sometimes he left her right after he made love to her. The fact was that there was only two consistent parts to the dream. The first being their love making. It was the only part of the whole experience she relived that was factual. That was the last time she had been wrapped in the arms of her lover, Edward Masen.
The second was he never stayed with her. He never let her catch him. He always disappeared.
Bella flung her legs over to the side of her bed, stretching her muscles in the early morning hours. She wasn't sure what she had planned for the day. Nowadays, her agent and good friend took care of all appearances she was required to make. She knew that was why the dreams were so much more frequent. She was talking about him more, reliving more of their past. In some way she felt as if she was cashing in on their torrid love affair. She was writing what some had called a tell-all book. It wasn't that she was exploiting what they had shared. For her, she felt that if she could get their story out there then she might be able to find some sort of closure. But that was the kicker for Bella Swan. She wasn't sure if she wanted closure or not. It had been twelve years since he…left? She didn't know. Some say he died but a body had never been found and she believed, deep down in her heart, that he was out there. What he was waiting for was the big mystery. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything had become too much for him and he left. Staged the whole thing. She didn't know. She hadn't seen him since that night on the beach.
Before she could contemplate the past or what her latest maneuver in her dream meant, her cell phone rang. Bella didn't even have to pick it up to know who was on the other end. Out of habit, however, she glanced at the name that flashed across. She wasn't sure, why after all this time, she hoped he would call, but she did all the same.
"Good morning, Rose," Bella said as cheerfully as she could.
"Did you just wake up?" Rosalie Hale, Bella's agent/publicist/best friend asked her.
Bella hummed her response into the phone and placed her feet on the cold hardwood floor.
"I just wanted to remind you that you have four weeks before we have to send in the final manuscript to the editors. Now, I know that you still haven't decided on what ending you're going with but you need to start really focusing on that."
Bella rolled her eyes and flushed the toilet. She could care less if Rosalie knew she had just relieved her body after a nights rest.
"Really, Bella? You have to pee with me on the phone?" Rosalie asked with an exasperated tone.
"Don't call before eight in the morning and you won't have to listen to that."
"Whatever. So, what are you going to do about the ending?"
The ending. The ending of the book. The ending of their love. Bella felt like choosing one ending over the other would direct the path in which the rest of her life would be led. She knew that she needed to go with the truth. Everyone expected that. But why couldn't she have her happy ending? Was that what she was waiting for? For Eddie to come back from the dead or from Fiji?
Rosalie knew from Bella's silence what she was thinking. She didn't have to be in the same room with her to know that she had that far off distant look in her eye. Whenever the ending of the book was mentioned she always got the same look, the one that made Rosalie's heart ache and her blood pressure boil. She knew Bella loved Eddie but she also knew that if she didn't end the book the way it had actually happened she would forever go on with her life checking over her shoulder hoping that he would appear from nowhere. She had never met Eddie Masen but Rosalie knew that if she did, a swift kick in the balls would be the best introduction she would be able to give him.
She and Bella had known each other for ten years. She was the first person Bella befriended when she left the small town of Washington after his accident for Phoenix, Arizona. Well, that was after she allowed herself to see the light of day. Rosalie knew that those two years after his death were what Bella referred to as her "season in hell". Never mind the fact that ever since Eddie's car had gone down in a blaze of glory, people were fascinated with the man, the mystery, the myth. Whoever said that you're more famous after you were dead was right.
Rosalie and Bella had worked together at a school for autistic children. Rosalie was the driving force that helped the kids explore their inner writer. She crafted each one of them to write a story or paint pictures. Bella was the music that filled their ears.
It took some time but Bella eventually opened up to Rosalie. She told her the whole story and while Rosalie had been familiar with the story behind Eddie and his band, The Cruisers, she never imagined the kind of hurt and despair that Bella had been living with.
While working at the school, Rosalie was also in college getting her masters in literature. She never wanted to be a writer herself. She wanted to craft and hone the creative minds that could bring a story to life. As soon as she graduated, she was hired at an agency that wanted to specialize in helping local up and coming authors get their break in the publishing world. Rosalie's first task was to find the next best thing. The one who would write a novel that would put all others to shame. Rosalie thought of only one person.
Convincing Bella that she should share with the world the other side of Eddie and the Cruisers proved to be a little harder than she expected. At first Bella was reluctant to the idea. She didn't want to exploit Eddie or any of the other members of the band. Eventually, after some much needed convincing, Bella gave into Rosalie's request. Rosalie was surprised, after all the pleading she had done, that Bella had already in fact begun to document their love affair. She had note books with words written in them that were poetic enough to write a chart topping song.
"I wasn't the lyrical genius that Eddie or the Jazz Man were," Bella had told her when she allowed Rosalie to see her notes.
Rosalie thought otherwise. From that moment on, the two women began crafting Bella's first novel. The one, now after eight years, that would finally be hitting the shelves if only Bella could decide which ending to go with.
"Bella?" Rosalie asked. "Stop over thinking things."
Bella sighed into the phone. "I'm sorry, Rose. It's just…" she trailed off. Rosalie knew where the conversation was headed.
"You had the dream again," she stated. Rosalie didn't need clarification. She knew this to be true. "Listen honey. You've got investors ready to print the book. It's up to this final straw. I know this is hard for you. I know that, but you've got to give it an ending. I know you think that…"
"Rosalie, stop," Bella stated sternly. "I know what I have to do. I'm sorry I'm not making this easy for anyone. This was my life though. How can I put an ending on something I never wanted to end?"
"Sweetie, I don't know. I've never been in a situation like this before. I don't know what to tell you as a friend. I'm sorry."
"I know. I'm sorry too. The end of the month you said?"
"Yeah," Rosalie said in a quiet voice.
After several long pauses, Bella finally answered. "Okay. The book will have its ending by the end of the month."
"Great," Rosalie said, relieved. "One more thing, Alice Brandon called me this morning and wants to set up an interview with you."
"Alice Brandon?" Bella asked. "The really cute girl from New York that hosts the morning show?"
"The very one," Rosalie replied. "I think it will be good. She's just accepted an offer to have her own series that will air in prime time. She's like the next Barbara Walters."
Bella nodded even though she was aware that Rosalie wouldn't see her.
"She called me this morning and said she wanted to set up a time to meet with you. She's excited about the release of the book, being a big Cruisers fan back in the day."
"Okay," Bella said. "When?"
"Well, that's kind of the thing. She's trying to really up the ante with her show and she wants it to be as authentic as possible."
"Where?" Bella asked again in a clipped tone.
"Washington," Rosalie said in a rush.
Bella thought on that for a minute. Alice Brandon wanted her to return to the one place that she hadn't been to in twelve years. The place that held it all for her. The dreams, the nightmares, the long lost love.
"Fine," Bella answered.
"Fine? Really?" Rosalie asked a little too excited.
"Sure, why not. I've got to decide on an ending for my book, why not go back to the one place that started it all."
A/N- Well, that's that! Thank you for reading and giving it a chance. The story, as I said before, is complete. 12 chapters long and updates will come weekly. If you're looking for teasers, check out the Sneak Peek campfire on A Different Forest every Monday. I'll be posting teasers there.
Some of you may very well be familiar with the movie or book. I've never read the book and I don't plan to until this story is fully posted. As for the movie…well, I'm not saying what all is the same and what's not. Just know that I've taken a few creative liberties of my own.
I'd love to hear what you think! Until next time…