Put this Chapter in place, just before the last one- and SURPRISE- I'm going to do one more, for the Fandom for Texas Collection, because I too lived there when this was written. To donate go to
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My Heartbreak Girl Extra Special Chapter! For Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness!
Imagine you know someone, a friend with a tragic life, who just keeps going. What would happen if that life became famous – at the hands of someone else?
This Chapter is an Outtake Extra, coming at the end of Chapter 10, Edward and his band, Edward and Crew, have just finished a private set at a radio station in Chicago. Special thanks to Mumford and Sons for inspiration.
This is a PTB (Project Team Beta) Project. Thanks Someone aka Me and addicted to Edward. Characters are the Property of Stephenie Meyer. The plot is mine.
"Excuse me, miss. I'm Edward, Edward Cullen. Are, ah, did you go, I mean, did you have a classmate by the name of Tanya Denali?"
She just looked, blinking her own eyes a few times to clear the tears that had threatened at the edges ever since he'd started singing that last song about a father and a son. His eyes were so green. Green like home. Living so far away made her a little more emotional. Losing herself in his eyes, she considered how much she missed her family. With a start, she realized she was staring at his beautiful eyes and she slipped out a small smile.
Edward continued to sit and wait, taking in the woman before him. Girl, truly, her face and expression were still young and fresh, though guarded. He let the silence sit; really he did not want to put any more pressure on her than he already had. He might be wrong; it might not be her but in his heart he was sure.
"Yes. Yes I know a Tanya Denali. I - I think we were in high school together. Is she a close friend?" She questioned with a light tone as she barely bit on her lower lip.
Edward studied her face as he spoke, hoping for the right reaction. His curiosity hit him full in the face. He really wanted to get to know her. "Oh, that was a few years ago. I haven't seen her in a while. We, ah, we didn't part too badly." He watched the slight bob of her chin and the blink. "We should, I mean, would you...?"
"Would I...?" She prompted.
"We could, I mean, would you come with me for some coffee or something?"
The little voice that usually reminded Bella of all the past mistakes, warning her away, the one that had been pushing her to be here now surprisingly fell silent, because she heard herself say, "I - yes. Yes. That would be… nice."
He took her hand and they stood. He leaned into her; and whispered in her ear, explaining that he had to smile for a few photos and stay for this meet and greet for a little longer, and then the could go to a place that he knew would be perfect. He brought her in what was to have been his seat at the autograph table, pulling out the chair and offering it to Bella. He chose to stand next to her, at the end, smiling and signing the CD's, posing for a few photographs, often looking to her. The time passed quickly, Bella not being bothered by a few photographs being snapped of her as well.
Rose left the room, after her phone alerted her of a conference call beginning. She hurried back over to her office and closed the door because the noise from the hallway was too distracting for the business at hand. The call went long, and she realized she hadn't spoken or heard from Bella. Curious, she stopped by the reception desk. Mel, an intern whom she didn't know very well, was manning it.
"Did you see a brown-haired girl, maybe so tall," Rose held her hand out Egyptian-style, to indicate Bella's height – " waiting out here at all?"
Mel nodded, giving her a questioning look. "The pretty brunette with the band… Oh, do you know her?"
Theprettybrunettewiththeband? "With the band?" Rose was startled by the thought that Bella had left with Edward and Crew? "Uh, why did you think she was with the band? Oh, yeah she and I are old friends. She's been over here a lot."
Mel answered with a puzzled tone. "Kay… I thought she looked familiar, but this girl had such a pretty smile on her face I wasn't sure." Mel put two and two together as she finished. "She was sitting with the band when I peeked in the studio at the end of the set."
"Sitting. With. The. Band?" Rose enunciated each word as to convince herself.
"Yeah, she had the end chair, and the red head? Edward, I think? Yeah, well - he was standing next to her. Hey, I took a shot from the doorway."
Mel handed her iPhone to Rose, the picture on full display. Rose couldn't believe her eyes. She gently slid her finger across the screen to enlarge the faces. Bella was looking at Edward and he at her. Even in profile, the smiles were still quite evident.
"She's lucky," commented Mel as Rose handed her back her phone.
Isurehopeso, thought Rose as she nodded and headed back to her office. If anyone deserved it, it would be Bella. As tempting as it was to send a text, Rose decided to let it be for the moment. She dove back into her work; a hopeful feeling spreading through her that lingered for the rest of the day.
Edward, Bella, the rest of the band with another intern rode down to the lobby. There was a large cab - a minivan really, waiting at the curb. Once she joined the band inside she saw Felix, a wiry, energetic sort who managed the band. As they began to move, Felix jumped right into a review of the schedule. The biggest item was a sound check at 6. Edward told Bella that Demetri, the engineer, was a perfectionist, but he never wanted the band there til he had everything "Perfeto". They had about seven hours free.
As the cab pulled up to the hotel, Edward turned to Bella. "Do you trust me?" He flashed her an amused sort of wink. He motioned for her to remain as the rest of the cab emptied out.
"Yeah." Bella eyed him with a slight smile and nod of her head.
"Okay, then. Let's go get that coffee. I just have one stop first." He leaned over the seat and gave another address to the driver. The cabbie looked surprised in the mirror; and as Edward assured him it was correct he nodded and pulled away from the curb.
"It's kinda long from here, but I've missed my car for too long."
"Yeah, I have it at a friend's place on the south side. It's pretty much his now, but he lets me drive it when I'm in town."
The rest of the ride on the expressway was taken up with talking. Edward opened up about his own youth, his days in university, and founding his band. Bella filled in the rest of the details of her childhood. It wasn't quite as bleak as the song; there were some happy times. Edward relaxed and enjoying her company more and more. Traffic moved quickly, and he found himself more than a little thrilled to show off his "baby."
Almost too soon, they arrived at a parish on the south side of the city. Next to the grand church, across a large lake of fresh asphalt, was a house with an attached garage. It was correct in its placement only because it was made of the same brick as the church. Otherwise the sight of the ordinary split-level would have been jarring. The garage door was open and inside sat two cars, a basic tan sedan and a red convertible. The top was down, and a man stood in front of the open door. Bella felt reassured that Edward had taken her hand as they exited the cab and continued to hold it as they walked. Ever since he'd held it in the cab for a moment, it seemed too cold and empty when he wasn't hand in hand with her
"Padre Paul!" Edward called out.
"Edward!" he reached out and grasped his other hand. "It's all gassed up and ready to go. I had it out just the other day."
"Bella, this is my good friend, Padre Paul, one of the priests here. He taught one of my courses."
Bella watched the friendly exchange, extending her hand when the priest offered his to her. "It's nice to meet you, Father."
"Bella." Padre Paul greeted as he nodded and smiled in her direction. "It's been very nice of Edward to let me watch his car while he's been on tour. Edward, do you need anything more from me?"
"No, Padre. I'll have this back to you before I leave on Monday."
At those words, Bella's heart sank just a bit. It was already Tuesday. She didn't say anything as he opened the door for her and they pulled out of the garage. As the sun again hit her shoulders, she decided to enjoy today just for today. Maybe there would be a nice memory at the end. It was the most she would let herself hope for.
"Hungry?" He queried. "I know I said coffee."
Bella had continued to study his profile as he drove, handsome and so suited to the convertible. She noted the brand; it was printed on the dash. His words had startled her just a bit, so it was a beat before she spoke. "Oh, sure. I could eat."
"Good. I hope you like pancakes."
"I do. I like the car too." She ran her finger over the name on the dash and smiled. "Do you have a Saab story?"
"Oh crap, I should have been expecting that. No, well, you heard my story, but I just liked the car. I bought it in December of senior year. It was the only way I could afford a convertible."
"Ah, you got a good deal, in December – in Chicago?"
"Yep." He grinned, " hey here we are." He pulled into the parking lot.
"The Original House of Pancakes?"
"Hey, it's awesome. They also have KFC on the menu. I think they share a freezer or kitchen or something since the KFC is attached at the back." The entered the restaurant and were quickly seated near a massive natural stone fireplace.
As they studied their menus, Edward peeked over the top at Bella. "Can we call this our first date?"
"Sure, why not?"
"Well, if this is the first date, tonight can be the second."
Edward set his menu down. "Bella, will you come to the show tonight? I have it on good authority that I can get you a backstage pass. I'm pretty sure I know the manager."
Bella laughed. "Well then, of course. I'm a sucker for backstage passes." She slid her finger down the menu. " Are all these flavors really good?"
"I've eaten every one of them, and yes, they are all good. I'm fond of the Dutch Baby."
Bella opted for the Blueberry short stack, and they chatted about lighter matters until the food arrived. Bella was quite happy to find the pancakes and coffee to be as wonderful as the company she was sharing them with. The restaurant began to fill with a lunch crowd, and a few of the patrons stopped by to say hello. Apparently, Edward had been quite a regular.
"Yeah, I ate here, sometimes with the guys, at least twice or three times a week. I lived in a single room, without much in the way of a kitchen."
"I take it you lived in the neighborhood," she stated as they stood at the register.
"But of course. Let me take you down memory lane." They spent the rest of the hour driving past the house where Edward once had a room, a large mansion on Longwood Avenue, in sight of a real castle.
"That place was built as a wedding present, the whole thing was shipped from Europe and re-built here. Sadly, the bride died before spending a night in her own home." Edward waved at the stone structure with the round tower looking fresh off the pages of a Grimm Brothers' collection for children.
"You could write a song about that."
"You caught me - I've been working on it."
"Thought so. It's the kind of song your band is known for, isn't it?"
"Yes, we do seem to run to the sad ballads, the laments. We do have a couple of brighter numbers, but the sadder numbers seem to be the crowd favorites," Edward commented as he turned around in the driveway of the house across the street. "Let me show you where the band started."
They drove on for about ten minutes, pulling up to a rowdy-looking establishment across the street from a large park. "Extra Innings" was painted on the long brick wall at the front of the building. They entered hand in hand, laughing as Edward told her how he got his job here.
"… So I just stayed behind the bar that night, and at the end, Patrick asked me to stay on."
"Edward?" The stocky man behind the bar called out with a grin.
"Hey, Pat. Is Danni around?"
"She's in back. She'll be out in a moment. So, slumming it this afternoon?"
"Pat." He spread his arms wide, "this place is a palace. I've played in worse, far worse." He finished with a gesture and a nod. " This is Bella."
"Nice, Ed. Nice," he commented as he set two beverages on the bar.
Edward picked one up and handed it to Bella then took the other and led her to a booth. He took a sip and watched as Bella did the same.
She smiled; the beer was darker than her usual choice. "What is this?"
"A Black and Tan. Pat remembered it's my favorite. Danni is his wife. She introduced me to Paul who introduced me to the rest of the band."
"This is really good." She took another sip, looking around. "Paul, as in Paul from the band and not Padre Paul?
"Right. That is part of the reason there is a Padre Paul and Paul who plays base. No relation," Edward chuckled a bit as he confirmed the difference.
There was an upright piano next to a slightly raised area with lights rigged on the ceiling. She pictured the band under the lights. "Hey, is this now our second date, because…"
" Because. Because - we're in a bar now. Sure, I'd like it to be our second date."
She looked at his face as if he was a puzzle that she had to solve. She felt somehow he was the missing piece in hers. It should have had her little voice, those muses whispering in her ear. Instead, she felt flutters. Flutters of anticipation as she answered, "Why is the number so important to you?"
Edward sat up a little straighter and squared his shoulders. He'd been living with her story in his head and finally his heart every time he sang. It felt like he was alive with her now. "Bella, my mother and father insisted I respect women. There are certain things I don't do on a first date, but I can on a second." His eyes sparkled with a mischievous gleam as he spoke.
"Like this." His voiced had dropped, and he had scooted closer to her on the bench seat. "Bella." He brushed his hand across her cheek, ending with her chin resting on his hand and thumb. He asked permission with his eyes. Bella's lips were already at a slight part as his lips brushed over her cheek and made contact with hers. It was not quite the chaste kiss of a first date; it held more promise and more emotion as he pulled her lower lip into his, marveling at the sweetness that was hers alone. In turn, she opened a bit more, inviting him in, marveling at the presence of his hands. As the kiss deepened, when breath failed them and was required again, she turned, resting her back against his chest, his arms encircling her as he murmured endearments into her hair. They remained like that for a while, until thirst prompted them to shift just enough to reach their glasses.
Edward found his heart pounding. In that moment he realized one thing for certain. Tanya had never had that effect on him, not once. It wasn't just a song it was Bella. She was it.
Bella too was caught in her own moment. She wasn't a stranger to kissing, but this felt like sunshine as warmth shot through her. "This is the best second date ever." she finally commented as they finished their drinks.
Bella could not help the blush that stole across her cheeks. "I didn't have to wonder if you'd call."
At that, he kissed her cheek. "Oh, well then, tonight will be our third."
"Really? What are your rules for the third date?" She smiled as she spoke.
"That would be entirely up to you. I am at your disposal." His voice was completely sincere.
As she sat in the bar on the far south side, Bella could swear she'd felt a breeze as the muses of misfortune gathered their skirts and beat a hasty exit from her presence.
A local station was playing in the background. As if on a cosmic cue, the latest hit from Edward and Crew sailed out over the bar. Edward shook his head as Bella decided to let him off the hook. Edward broke the quiet at their table. "So, you've been wondering about your song?"
"Yeah, did Tanya really write all that in a story?" Nestled in the crook of his arm, the bar mostly empty at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, she felt safe in satisfying her curiosity.
"Yes, it was for a creative writing class. Hers got picked for reading in the full seminar. In the discussion, Tanya admitted that she knew a real person who had most of these events; she said she'd made up the ending." Bella stiffened slightly in his arms. "It was too close, after I made some changes, wasn't it?" He waited, watching her think. I'vepushedtoomuch;I'mgoingtoloseheroverthat? "Bella, I've gone too far?"
"No, I guess it's second date stuff. It's old news. I'd thought I was going to see my boyfriend in Europe, that we'd have a great trip at the end of my studies. Tanya didn't know me after high school, almost no one from then knew what happened."
"Oh" I'dgottenclosertothetruththanImeantto.He kept his arm around her shoulder.
"Hey, no worries. I can't change my past. It seems to make a good song, and think. I definitely got the better end of the deal." Bella looked into his face as she took a long drink.
"So, I get the feeling that the changes I made…?" His hand trailed down her arm as he spoke and she jumped in at the pause, eager to reassure him.
"Okay. First, I did have a pet. That part is pretty spot on. The first boy I kissed, well yeah it happened." Bella hesitated there for a moment, drew in a deep breath, squeezed Edward's hand and continued. "Yes, there was a fire. But we only lost three total rooms. I did go to prom, just - well I did go to my senior prom, so any changes you made, since I don't have her story to compare, they were correct, but it's fine."
"Really?" He swallowed hard, gulping from his glass, watching her.
"Really." She finished her statement by drawing him into another kiss. This one was passion and hunger and forgiveness all rolled into one.
They enjoyed another hour, messing around on actual pinball machines and the random pinging of the balls with their laughter filling the empty space. The afternoon ended with a quick game of pool before they headed back to the hotel to prepare for the show. Bella lounged in the sitting room of the suite, enjoying the view of the lakefront as Edward hurried to change. Once ready, they walked the few blocks up to Millennium Park. Edward released her hand only when she left to help the crew with the sound check and he reluctantly entered the stage door. His hand felt odd and empty now that it was not holding, nor could he even see Bella for the moment.
Edward found the rest of the band backstage and greeted the crew, smiling, excitement building for the evening. He stood a moment, watching. Each one had their personal ritual to get ready for the performance. Paul would sing under his breath while walking around in a corner and Embry always played a game on his phone. Laraunt would finger drum on a chair His habit was simply to sit, close his eyes and find a calm memory to remember how music had healed him, when his heart was too pained to consider anything else.
As Bella sat in the first row, waiting for the band to come onstage, she couldn't help but smile as she thought about Edward's words on the drive back up from the south side.
They had taken turns picking out songs from their iPods. They both had a large supply of Beatles and other classic rock and roll. Edward was surprised at the amount of older jazz ballads Bella had and Bella was surprised at his classical collection. Bella operated the controls as Edward calling out the songs on his turn. "Bella I can't wait to see what happens on our third date." He'd quipped as they'd discussed what to do after the concert.
She turned his phrase over and over in her mind. Whatwouldheliketodo?Isn'tthatthewayadateshouldwork?Thinkwhattheotherwouldenjoy? Sharesomething together?
She smiled as she mulled it over while the crew came on for a few moments. She watched Edward lead the rest of the band onto the stage. He strode across the space, taking command of it with his presence. He sat at the piano for a moment and then walked to the edge of the platform to search for her. His eyes glowed as they met hers, as green as the new grass surrounding the stage. In that look, Bella understood exactly what he wanted. Her body fluttered under his gaze and the slow smile that spread from his lips to his eyes.
Bella could hardly wait either.
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