No copyright infringement is intended; Stephenie Meyer owns all of Twilight.
Irritable Grizzzly is the wonderful person who edits all my real stuff; she hasn't seen these. They were twitlongers I did as false teasers when feeling bored, just to see who was awake.
The Count of Tuscany, outtakes.
This never made it to the cut of Chapter 1. I think you'll agree that's a good thing:
It was Jasper and Alice who started the game. As Jasper bent, with Alice's dainty foot in his clasped hands, Emmet reached across and casually picked up a fallen Scots Pine. He tickled Jasper's butt with the end of it. Startled, Jasper straightened faster than he'd expected, hurling Alice into the air like a scud missile.
She rocketed up into the blue, glittering, but travelling too fast for Bella to see. She heard the sonic boom, though. It stunned a flock of migrating geese, which rained down around the Cullens.
"Waste not, want not," said Emmett, setting down for a snack. Edward picked up a couple for Bella to give to Charlie. "Nice change from fish," he said.
Alice was levelling out over the mountains. With their vampire-enhanced eyesight, her family saw her pointing south, before disappearing into the next valley, and heard her gleeful call, "I can see our house from here."
Second teaser for The Count of Tuscany, chapter 4
Edward stood before the door to Portia's chamber, hesitating for only a second before he gently tapped. She opened the door almost instantly, face and mind both registering her surprise that he wasn't Demetri.
"Edward," her voice was rich and sultry, "what can I do for you?"
He smiled down at her, admiring how her dark auburn hair cascaded in waves across her shoulders, how her eyes and lips were both the colour of ripe strawberries, how her alabaster skin glowed in the golden light of the sunset. "I died a virgin once," he said, "and I've no intention of doing so a second time."
Portia's lips parted as the tip of her tongue dampened her lower lip. She sashayed a step closer, "In that case," she spoke slow and low, almost in a purr, "I have just the perfect activity in mind."
"Hmmm," said Edward, approvingly, seeing it in her thoughts, "so you do. Are you sure the castle turret is strong enough for this?"
"Let's see, shall we?" asked Portia as she ran her hand up his chest, took hold of his tie and pulled him into her room."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: actually, this has nothing to do with the story and isn't in it, I'm just seeing who's awake. Bitch, eh?
Teaser for The Count of Tuscany, chapter 7:
Kill the mutant
After a long moment, Edward's shoulders slumped and he nodded, defeated. "lf that is your command."
"And allow yourself to enjoy it," Aro added, "I shall know if you do not, and you understand the implications of that. If you are truly to join us, you must shed these ridiculous notions."
Seth was backing toward the corner, mind awhirl with horror and disbelief. Edward looked different to him now, the friend he thought he had was changing.
Edward concentrated on every instance of bloodlust from the last ninety years, every missed opprtunity to feed, and every time he'd let the beast within him run free. He allowed its power to flow over him now, his muscles tensing as he instinctively shifted into a crouch. His eyes were fixed on the vulnerable spot at the base of Seth's neck. He could drive his hand in there, past the collar bone into the chest and rip Seth's heart and lungs out in one swift movement. The kid wouldn't know what had hit him. Let his accelerated healing system deal with that!
"Been nice knowing you," said Edward, and he leaped.
Teaser for Chapter 10
Bella sat back on her heels and wiped the back of her hand across her forehead. Her knees hurt and it was hot. She couldn't understand it. The task was pointless but Demetri seemed amused.
Out the corner of her eye she saw the cat. It was heading for her again and she flicked water at it. It hissed and ran out of the way, lying down in the shade of one of the stone benches, never taking its eyes off her.
Bella resumed scrubbing the slabs. Every day she was told to clean this one particular area of the courtyard. It wasn't a big area: about six foot by three, over near the corner. Every day, Demetri watched her, grinning that grin that frightened her so much.
While she was out here it was the cats that unnerved her the most. The first day she'd been amazed to find them living here - dozens of them - unafraid of the vampires. When she started the task of cleaning, the ginger one with the emerald eyes - the one watching her now - came over. It sniffed at her outstretched hand, purring and then delicately and deliberately bit her.
Spec: Bella in a hardhat with a jackhammer in the courtyard at Volterra
As the Cullens and the wolves held the Volturi guard at bay, Bella and Emmett walked across to the corner of the courtyard, to the area Caius had indicated. Bella pulled her hard hat down more firmly on her head as Emmett handed her the jackhammer. "Are you sure you want to do this yourself? I can tear this patio to rubble."
Bella smiled tightly. "No, but thanks Emmett, I want to be the one to free him and be the first person to see his face."
Emmett shrugged and stepped back as Bella measured the location she needed. She carefully lined up the jackhammer and pulled the lever. Won't be long now she told herself Then I can take him away from this awful place and look after him.
As the concrete turned to rubble, Emmett cleared it away, flicking one chunk directly into the centre of Demetri's forehead just for good measure. Demetri growled at him and Quil snarled back.
"Can you hurry it up?" Rosalie snapped. "The dog stench is getting intense here in this heat."
Eventually Bella broke through to something encased in the concrete. She knelt down and reached into the hole to clear the rubble away. Suddenly the sunlight was reflected upward in a burst of light and rainbows. "Oh!" Bella exclaimed, staring down, her face mulit-hued.
Emmett looked down past her shoulders, "Looks like his head's at the other end," he said in an admiring tone, "but he's sure got the hots for you, Bella."
Epilogue for The Count of Tuscany chapter 10:
Edward and Bella sat on their balcony, watching Aro skipping round the courtyard, cackling.
Edward licked his lips, never taking his eyes off Bella's neck. She shifted uncomfortably and spread out her scarf.
"Six weeks," Edward said, "six weeks until Charlie finds Carlisle. I'm going to get awfully thirsty in that time." He licked his lips again. "I don't know how I'm going to hold on that long."
"I think Withany slipped up there." said Bella. "Bitch."
To the Pain
Several readers asked me for a version of the Westley/Prince Humperdincke scene to make up for Aro being a bit of a dastard and a rotter, so here we go:
Esme always sang when she was pruning. She was singing now, a string of nursery rhymes.
"This little piggy went to market…"
"This little piggy stayed at home…"
"This little piggy had roast beef…"
"Emmett! The pruning shears are getting blunt … thank you, dear … This little piggy had none…"
Across the living room, Rosalie blew on her fingernails to dry the varnish and re-read the contract with De Beers. "Agreement to be the sole supplier of Tuscan Diamonds." She looked over to Esme. "And what exactly do we need all this money for? We've got more than we can deal with as it is."
Esme smiled. "I'm going to suggest to Carlisle that we build a few new hospitals, in cloudy places. It's an investment in our future."
She began a new song. "Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clements … "
"… and here is a candle to light you to bed, and here is a chopper to chop off your …" This one proved tough and she gritted her teeth, putting more force into it, "…head." The cutters squealed and the blade shattered.
The door burst open and Edward rushed in, horror written all over his face. "Mom! What are you DOING?" He stared down at the glittering pile of assorted extremities oozing venom into a newspaper and Aro's disembodied head glaring at them from the coffee table.
"Selling him, dear, by the carat." Esme picked up one appendage, not much larger than her little finger, "Not sure what they'll do with this one. It's not really suitable, unless we split these two bits off for earrings."
Aro's head winced and looked at her murderously.
Esme gathered up the newspaper to rinse its contents in the kitchen sink.
"He's challenging you to a fight." Edward announced.
"Now you behave yourself," Esme told the head, patting its cheek, "or I'll let the wolves use you as a football."
"He says 'Come back and I'll bite your legs off.'"
"He's in no position to make demands."
"He says it's just a flesh wound…"
Chapter 11, something I thought up in the shower one morning. I kind of wish this was the real ending, but it isn't.
Even before he finished screaming, Edward was trying to hear Bella's pulse and scrabbling to give her CPR. He couldn't hear her. There was nothing. No reassuring booming from her heart, no rhythmic swish of blood through her arteries. Her body was as silent as her mind.
All traces of color had left her face; her skin was gray, lips almost black. He'd murdered her. She was beyond even the powerful properties of his venom and there was nothing he could do.
Behind him, Aro gleefully anticipated the next step, that wonderfully satisfying feeling of tearing off the transgressor's head. He could almost hear the crack as the neck snapped.
Edward took Bella's body in his arms, held her close for a moment and then laid her down gently on the sofa. Just as he'd done all those months ago, he briefly kissed her forehead in farewell. "I won't be long."
He didn't have much time. Aro was enjoying himself thinking of the others - the six telepaths he'd broken and killed for the crime of having a talent he considered a threat. Hatred shot hot lava through Edward as he turned. He wasn't going alone. If nothing else, he'd rid the world of one demon and in the process show him just how much power a telepath truly had. Aro had never found his own singer, so had never felt the incandescent energy which now filled Edward. He was stronger than he had any right to be from the few pints he'd drained from Bella's tiny body and he fully intended to use it in vengeance.
Keeping his head down, Edward walked slowly over to Aro. He knelt at his feet and held out his hand. "Please."
In the split second before Aro took his hand, Edward summoned up every feeling of despair and desolation he'd felt all those months entombed in the concrete. As Aro's skin touched his, he blasted them into Aro's mind. The older vampire rocked on his feet, trying to pull away but Edward's grip on his fingers was crushing. He continued to assault Aro's mind with images and feelings, insanity and loathing. Each time Aro recoiled from one of the mental bolts, Edward saw it and redoubled it, providing an instantaneous feedback loop that grew in intensity by the millisecond until he could tell that Aro knew nothing other than the assault on his mind.
As Aro screamed, Edward knew Renata would be on them in instants. He flung one arm round Aro's throat and dragged him into the kitchen, still battering away with the images and feelings while he tore chunks out of Aro's forearm and shoulder with his teeth. He caught a glimpse of Renata over Aro's shoulder as he ignited the gas hob and pushed Aro's head onto it.
To vampire senses, time stood still as the flames licked at the venom oozing from Aro's shoulder, and then a violet flame burst into the air. Before Renata could reach him, Aro was engulfed. His shrieks grew more and more shrill and he struggled in Edward's grip until Edward backed away, blocking the doorway to stop Renata getting through to her master. He heard her mind ordering him to walk away and found he'd turned, but she was too late. The kitchen was fully alight now and Edward found he savoured Aro's last mental shrieks of agony before they were suddenly snuffed out.
While Demetri ran past with an armful of extinguishers, Edward saw Jane and Caius standing in the doorway, watching dispassionately. When Jane's gaze turned to him, he braced himself for her own brand of fire, hoping Caius would be quick to kill him. Instead, Caius said only, "Come with us."
In the marble chamber, Marcus looked intently at Edward as Caius turned to the Court. Edward didn't care. He held Bella in his arms while his entire being howled for a release from his grief. His anger had gone and all that remained was a crushing darkness that he couldn't wait to escape. All he wanted was for them to get on with it. Maybe he'd burn in hell, but maybe, just maybe he could be with Her. He knew what he deserved but this was his last hope. He took no notice of the exclamations and shufflings in the crowd as Caius spoke; all he saw was Bella as he tenderly hugged her to him. Then he heard his name and looked up. The crowd was kneeling.
Caius held out his hand. "Edward, Conte di Toscana, please take your throne."
For Sabriel – Chapter 12
Her specification was: E&B escaping Volterra on wolf-Seth's back.
As Seth phased, running through the door of his cell, the shockwave scattered his vampire guards like skittles. Ears perked up, he galloped up the spiral staircase at Edward's heels. In the courtyard, he barely skidded to a halt, the rough finish on the paving taking half the skin off the pads of his paws. Edward almost threw Bella astride his back and she grabbed a clump of fur in each hand as Seth leaned back on his haunches before rocketing off through the castle, skidding round corner after corner until they reached the front entrance. They burst through the main doors and into the busy square.
Ignoring the shocked silence of the tourists, Edward didn't pause. He turned north, darting between the buildings, heading toward the Vale Francesco Ferruci and the woodland beyond. Behind them, a din had broken out - screams and shouts of panic as the shocked humans found their voices. Then he heard what he'd dreaded - the sounds of unfriendly pursuit. He allowed Seth to pass him as they pounded across a parking lot. Bella giggled, a touch of hysteria. "This is like 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'," she called.
Ahead, Sam and the pack flowed out of the woodland, close, but not close enough. On the hilltop Edward could see Charlie standing by Alice. Seth gave a series of barks, to which Sam replied with an angry howl. Edward laughed.
"What did they say?" Bella asked.
"Sam was lecturing Seth for using bad language - he said, 'Yippee kiy yay, motherfuckers'."
Rosalie and Emmett were running alongside the wolves. Edward fell back, picking up a car.
"Not the Ferrari, idiot!" Rosalie's horrified thought stopped him. Gently he put it down and darted to a parked bus. He spun, hurling it at Demetri and Felix. Over the crunch as it hit them he heard Charlie's incredulous, "How the hell did he do that?"
"Awww, he's in love," Alice replied fondly as Edward sprinted away to join his family.
Not a teaser for The Count of Tuscany Chapter 12
Carlisle sighed as he started to read the email.
Esme leaned over his shoulder to look. "What is it?"
"It's a - ransom note from Aro. For Edward."
"Hey, Carlisle, Dude,
If you ever, everr want to sea your Edwerd agen only motsly dead sennd 20 torists in unmarkked bils to
PO Boxx -3000, Volterror hahahahaha Marcus saiD I shud put that hes funy or weel put dEward back in the concreet witt his feet sticked outt an tickel him wiht fethers ha ha.
Esme blinked. "What on Earth's all that?"
Carlisle rubbed his forehead. "Heidi must have rounded up a crack addict. They always get him this way and his writing goes to pot. First the spelling, then the grammar."