The 80's Power Ballad Contest: Twilight Edition
Name of song and artist chosen: Alone by Heart
twitter name: BoydBlog
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Summary: *Winner Public Vote The 80s Power Ballad contest/Winner Third place in the Judges choice* I didn't really mind being alone. Not until I met him. Now, he's all I want. I just need to tell him. How can I get him alone?
Disclaimer: I do not own the character names. They are most definitely the property of Stephenie Meyer. Alone, lyrics © Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. The Only Thing I Know Lyrics © Gotye. I do not have permission to reproduce the lyrics. Big hugs to Madmum for being my beta! I think you give me great luck!
I hear the ticking of the clock
I'm lying here the room's pitch dark
I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won't end though
Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone
You don't know how long I have wanted
to touch your lips and hold you tight, oh
You don't know how long I have waited
and I was going to tell you tonight
But the secret is still my own
and my love for you is still unknown
Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone
I heard his front door slam.
I lay still in bed, listening to the sound of heels clacking abruptly down the pathway outside. I heard the faint beep of the car door unlocking and then another slammed door. The roaring drone of the revved engine, quickly fading as the car drove down the street.
It was happening more frequently, yet she still kept coming back and she'd stay, until early morning.
Did they stay up and talk? Did the talking turn into an argument? Did they fight? Did she leave for good this time?
I closed my eyes. The ticking of the clock was the only sound.
In my fantasies, she left him. He didn't care. He didn't want her. She was selfish and cruel. He saw through her lies. He'd had enough.
In my fantasies, he knocked on my door. He wondered what the delectable smell was that came from my kitchen. It started out innocently; pizza and a movie once a week, then twice a week. He would ask me out to that expensive Italian restaurant on Main Street.
Then one night, he professes his undying love for me and kisses me.
I force myself to stop concocting scenarios in my head. I could literally wile the whole day away, dreaming about him. He was the puppet that did whatever I told him to. Kiss me there, caress me here, whisper sweet nothings and then make love to me.
All of it was in my head.
I didn't mind being alone. Not when I had my imaginings of him. Endless fantasies detailing what we'd be like together, how much he'd want me, how he couldn't live with out me.
He was a real living and breathing man that lived literally next door. He didn't even know I existed; yet in my mind, in my life, he gave me everything I needed. He was a friend, a lover, a source of inspiration and desire. He would never let me down, he would always be there with me and I was his life. Devoted, loving, generous and kind. I didn't need to actually meet him. I rejected any thing that was contrary to the way I saw him, or the way I wanted him to be.
I was obsessed with the man I thought he should be.
I had no experience of the real person. He was a construct. I made his personality as charming as his looks. He was perfect in every way.
Of course, I knew this was a fallacy. No one is as perfect as I'd made him out to be. Yet, every waking second of my day held some impression of him. His smile, his voice, the way he walked and the way he'd glide his sensual fingers through his perfectly arousing hair. Every minute detail was like a new page of possibility. Like that frayed tear in his well-worn and body-hugging jeans, or the faint smell of his cologne as it lingered in the hall...
This went on for months, months that I avoided him. If I met and engaged with the real man, my fantasy would crumble. It would disintegrate and I couldn't let that happen.
What would I do without that image of him? How could I cope knowing he's just an ordinary twenty-four year old with flaws and quirks and a mind of his own?
I couldn't. My fantasy was so much better.
I lay in bed and listened to the clock ticking.
He'd been alone now for fifteen days. She'd stopped staying over. I was glad. I hadn't really seen him, although I knew he was home every night. He'd play his guitar. I could hear the soft strum when he'd leave the window open.
I tired to determine his change in schedule, but in the end I couldn't.
It was mid morning on a Saturday that altered everything.
A loud bang startled me awake.
I jumped out of bed, and stumbled to the window. I was aghast when I saw a removal van on the street.
No, NO, NO, he can't move!
I slid into my jeans and my sweater, forced my feet into my converse and ran my fingers through my knotted hair. I had to see what was going on. I couldn't lose him!
I watched, panicked, confused. The men were moving things into his apartment, not out of it!
Even worse! They've made up and she's moving in!
I tried to be covert in my snooping. I decided to check the mail and see what type of furniture was being carried in.
None of it looked feminine.
When the two men came back around the corner to walk to the truck and retrieve another load, I hurried to my apartment door.
I didn't see it, but they'd left some rope curled on the floor. I noticed too late and when I tripped, my hands flew out automatically to brace for the inevitable fall. I closed my eyes.
But the impact never came; instead I was lifted, clean off my feet and pulled into something warm, fragrant and solid. Powerful hands held me tightly.
"Hey! Are you OK?"
I couldn't open my eyes. I could feel my body shaking with panic. It was his voice, but...not.
"It's OK, I got you in time."
I felt my feet touch the ground. Those warm hands held me steady but then almost instantly released me. I slowly opened my eyes.
It wasn't him, yet this man had the same green eyes and tall lean build.
"Hi," he said softly. "Are you OK?"
I opened my mouth, but then found myself biting my lip without speaking.
"You must be my new neighbor?" he motioned to my door.
I nodded my head.
He smirked at me. The cheeky look on his face and his full lips and masculine features were familiar yet completely unique.
They must be related.
"Well, it's nice to meet you. Maybe I'll come and borrow a cup of sugar sometime."
He started to walk away, and I gathered enough courage and confidence to speak.
"Welcome to the building," I said softly.
He turned then, and smiled at me. "Ah, you can speak!" he said with a laugh.
"Um, yeah, sorry. I'm Bella."
He stepped forward to stand in front of me.
"It's lovely to meet you, Bella. I'm Edward," he held his hand out.
It seemed strange, but I shook it, my eyes never leaving his.
I couldn't think of anything to say. Edward didn't drop my hand.
"I'm moving in with my brother, Jasper," he explained.
I'd never known his full name, just the initial on that one piece of mail that was mistakenly put in my letterbox over three months ago.
I couldn't speak. I just smiled at him as I tried to compute everything.
His name is Jasper and his brother, Edward, is just as beautiful and is moving in?
I tried to avoid them both. I wasn't very successful.
Edward was always taking Jasper somewhere; normally at the same time I was sneaking out to work, or coming home.
"What are you cooking tonight, Bella?" Edward would always ask me.
I just stared at him. He was so beautiful. I should say handsome, but that word didn't accurately describe. Jasper was handsome. Jasper was also cute when he smiled (which wasn't much lately).
Edward had an almost ethereal quality. His eyelashes were long and curled. His almond eyes and the intensity of the green were kind of feline. His hands were out of this world. They were large yet sensual, almost delicate.
We'd talk in the hallway. I could sense Jasper just inside their living room, watching some music show.
"Jazz and I are gonna watch a movie tonight. Do you want to come over and join us?"
I thought I'd faint. The thought of being in their apartment, made me feel elated and tragically ill at the same time.
I channeled all my confidence, the shred of bravery that I still possessed and I simply said, "Yes."
That first time was the hardest, but after that, each time Edward invited me, I didn't hesitate. I said yes every time.
We'd usually just eat and watch a DVD, or Jasper and Edward would play around on their guitars. They were both so casual and friendly. There was never any expectation or awkwardness, just three people hanging out and talking about life, music, art.
They were inspiring and their talent exceptional.
I felt like a fraud.
They were the cool popular boys. Yet, they were content, it seemed, to let me, plain old Isabella Swan, just hang around them.
Once, I had been content to spend my evenings alone. Now, I couldn't bear to not be in their company. I couldn't believe I'd functioned in such as lonely and hollow existence before.
I got to spend time and get to know both of them. Jasper was still an enigma. He seemed fine one minute and then distant the next. I never analyzed it. I just let myself be a part of their lives. They had become the best part of mine.
Whenever I suggested we go out, to a bar, or club or to the movies, they would both make an excuse.
I didn't mind.
Weeks turned into months.
My attraction to Edward slowly grew. It wasn't based on fantasy though. Yes, I was attracted to his looks, but also his charming wit and his openness.
Sometimes I convinced myself I was imagining things. Like at the end of the evening when I'd leave to go home, Edward would always pick up my discarded hoodie to hand it to me. It seemed as though he would always bring it under his nose and inhale, before he said goodbye.
Or when he'd pass the pizza or my drink and his long cool fingers would casually brush against mine.
I didn't let my mind get carried away.
I didn't want to fall into the same mental fantasyland like I had with Jasper.
Jasper was–like I had suspected–completely different to what I had made him out to be in my mind.
Yes, he was cute, he could be intense when he got talking about something he truly believed in, he was sweet, and a gentleman as well. Yet, it became even more evident over time that he had a type of sadness. Flashes of it would appear frequently. When they did, he would claim he wasn't feeling well and excuse himself to go to bed.
Instantly, Edward would be suggesting I went home, like he didn't want to be in the same room alone with me.
I didn't take it personally, although I wondered why.
Three months went by.
They were the happiest months of my life.
I'd cook for us all. We'd eat at their place and watch a movie, or a TV show. Or we'd simply play music, read, or talk.
The man that I had imagined as perfection, who starred in my emotional and sexual fantasies, was now a platonic friend. I didn't think of Jasper that way anymore. In fact, I couldn't really admit to myself without embarrassment that I actually had.
Then one night, Jasper started singing and my heart thought it would break.
He was in pain. I knew then that her leaving was the cause of his depression. It was so evident in the lyrics of the song and the heartfelt emotion that seemed to exude from his aura.
I felt so horrible. For the nasty thoughts of her, and the way I'd been relieved when she had stopped coming around.
My fingers twitched at my phone. I found my voice memo's app and hit 'record'.
I was overridden with delusional guilt. I became determined that the negative vibes I'd harbored towards her needed to be reversed. The plan constructed itself in my head during that song.
Surely, if she knew how heartbroken he was, she'd come back?
I didn't know where to start, but I was determined. The problem was that Edward never left Jasper alone.
I never got to be alone with Edward.
Then, by chance one day Edward was getting the mail.
"Hey," I said and I walked up behind him.
"Bella," he smiled at me. Every damn time, it literally took my breath away.
"It's a girl right?" I asked.
"What?" Edward looked confused.
"Jasper's depression? The girl that used to stay over? Her name was, um..."
"Alice Brandon," he said and furrowed his brow.
"Why did she leave?" I asked.
"I think I can keep up."
"I don't really want to say. I gotta get back," he stated to walk away.
Then he turned back to me. "Come over later?" he sounded hopeful.
"Why don't you come over to my place?" I asked. "We can hang out?"
He smiled and my heart-raced.
He's going to say yes. I'm going to be alone with him!
"I'll ask Jasper and call you."
"Sure, OK." I hid my disappointment.
He either doesn't want to be alone with me, or I'm misinterpreting his attraction to me?
He didn't come over, because Jasper didn't feel well.
I was even more determined then. I spent three hours on Google, looking up Alice Brandon.
I remembered what she looked like, but finding her could be next to impossible. She may have moved or she could be dating someone else.
Then I discovered a tiny gem of information. Mention of 'A. Brandon' and the make of her car. I remembered the car.
It was in a 'For Sale' advertisement.
The next day, I called the number.
"Hi, this is Alice."
"Hello, I'm calling about the car?"
Alice had agreed to meet me so I could see the car and take it for a test drive. I felt so devious tricking her like that, but I needed to do what I could.
Maybe if they get back together Edward and I–
I cut off that thought. I was done with having unrealistic fantasies. I just wanted Jasper to be happy.
We met in the parking lot at the Mall. I interrupted her when she started explaining the mileage and reliability of her car.
"Alice, I kind of don't need to buy a car. I just wanted to meet you. Can I buy you a coffee?" I said and pointed to a Starbucks across the road.
She looked confused.
"It's about Jasper Cullen," I said softly.
Her face crumpled in a look of dread and anguish.
"No, no, no, is he OK?" she grabbed at me, aghast and pleading.
"Um, yes, kind of. Can we talk?"
After I reassured her that he was doing OK, she agreed to give me ten minutes of her time. We sat in Starbucks sipping the coffees that were way too hot.
"What do you need to tell me?" She appeared calm, and yet, I could see through the facade. She was so curious and desperate to hear about him. Her eyes gave it away.
She still loves him.
I didn't really think twice, I just pulled out my iPhone, lay it on the table and played her the recording of Jasper strumming his guitar and singing.
I'm living with your memory
In the attic in my mind
And you've been getting by without me
But I've been spending all my time
With a girl that I remember
Who'll never leave or need to grow
Cos when you left you left your memory
Now it's the only thing I know
She cried silently. Her hands shook.
When the song finished, I took in a deep breath. I hoped she would listen.
"He was singing to you. He's depressed. He can't function without you, he's barely living. Edward does his best, but nothing seems to be able to break him out of the depression."
"Yes, Edward moved in with him. He never leaves Jasper's side, literally."
"So, is Jasper..." she swallowed, "clean?" she asked tentatively.
Her tears started to fall again.
"Is he off the drugs? That's why I left. I couldn't bear it any longer. He shouldn't need them. I would have given him anything."
I started at her as the pieces fell into place.
Edward was getting Jasper clean. Alice left because he was a user?
"I, Edward is..."
"Who are you, Bella? How did you get involved?"
I explained where I lived and what I had witnessed since Edward moved in. I told her that I had no idea about the drugs, but that I thought Jasper's depression was purely because she left.
"I've never seen him high, just sad. He plays the guitar every night. He sings these amazingly sad love songs. I know they're for you. He loves you. I can't see that he's been on anything in the last three months. Edward never leaves his side. Please won't you talk to him, or Edward?"
Alice blew her nose on a Kleenex and wiped her smudged eye makeup.
"He said he had it under control, but he couldn't go a day without it. I tried to get help for him. He wouldn't even admit he had a problem. It must have been bad if Edward moved from Chicago to live with him," said Alice.
I didn't know what to tell her. I never, ever thought that the reason Edward was so attached to Jasper was anything to do with drug abuse.
"I need time to think," said Alice. "I know you're just trying to help, and I thank you Bella. Can you email me the recording, please?" she wrote her email address for me.
That night, I stayed silent about my meeting with Alice. With this new knowledge, I saw Edward's reasoning for staying glued to Jasper admirable rather than perplexing.
Edward, in his casual and calm demeanor, was living this life, for his brother. He didn't expect anything in return, other than to know Jasper would stay clean and recover.
I fell even more in love with Edward.
I let myself do something that my body and mind craved. When Edward saw me out, after Jasper went to his room, I hugged him.
I didn't say anything; I simply reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck. His arms gently surrounded me and touched to the small of my back.
I wanted to say so many things. I wanted to turn my cheek and plant a soft kiss to the V-neck of his T-shirt. I wanted to pull his head down to me to whisper that I loved him.
My head was full of multiple desires all bombarding me. My heart rate increased, adrenaline flushed my system. I felt Edward's fingers move in a slow stroking pattern on my back. Soothing me, yet igniting an ache of desire that seemed to radiate between my legs.
I heard his breathing increase. I felt the distinct movement of his throat as he swallowed. Ever so slowly I felt his arms tighten their hold, like he was afraid to let me go. I heard him inhale as his cheek nestled against my ear.
I melted in his embrace. This was better than any fantasy. This was real. Edward was real and he was holding me.
It seemed as though our breathing became synchronized. We both pulled each other closer.
Time didn't exist as we stood there in his apartment doorway. But my heart ached.
Neither of us spoke.
All of it was sensory overload.
I reluctantly pulled away.
Tell him! Say the words, now. Just do it!
Edward needed to help Jasper. My declaration would just complicate things. He was staring at me. He looked like he wanted to say something too.
"See you tomorrow," I said, maybe a bit too cheerily.
The next night the lights were off at Edward and Jasper's place. I hoped that Alice had contacted Jasper. I prayed for it.
I called their home phone–no one answered.
I lay in bed. I listened to the clock.
I was trying to convince myself it was a projection, transference of desire? But no matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it, because I knew that I was in love with Edward.
It wasn't the imagined fantasy love I'd tried to make real for Jasper.
When I closed my eyes it was Edward's face I saw and his voice I heard. I recollected the way he said my name and the softness of his touch. I smiled when I thought about his sexy smirk, his warmth. Everything I had seen and experienced, all of it was real and tangible and yet, still so far out of my reach.
Could it be real? Could he feel the same? How can I ask? How can I get him alone to tell him how I feel, what I feel for him?
I reached for the phone and called him again. No answer.
I curled in a ball on my bed and I imagined telling Edward that I was in love with him…
"It was you," he said. "You contacted Alice?"
"Oh God," Edward pulled me into a tight hug. He pulled me so tight against his chest that I was drowning in the sound of his heart beating against my ear and his sigh of relief.
"Invite me in?" he said in a husky voice that made my knees go weak.
Suddenly we were in my apartment.
We were alone.
Completely alone for the first time.
We stood staring at each other. The air was electric.
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing happened. I had no words.
"Thank you," he said.
Then his hands glided through my hair and he was kissing me. Soft tentative kisses. I became needy and started kissing him back. The passion ignited like a rocket. He lifted me and pushed by back up against the wall.
"I love you, Edward. I need you." I said.
"I'm in love with you," he moaned into my mouth. "I want you, right now."
His deft fingers tugged my panties down, his hot breath in my mouth and he was urgent, lifting my dress and lowering his jeans. There was no waiting.
Long, deep, fast, slick. His body fully connected to mine. My senses overwhelmed. We were clutching each other in carnal pleasure that was building to an inevitable peak.
This was pure want and lust and desperation.
"Edward," I moaned.
Torture! Self torture to even try and imagine what it would be like. I stopped. I slowly pulled my hand out of my panties.
I rolled onto my back.
I don't want to be alone. He's all I want. I just need to tell him how I feel. How much I need to be with him!
Lying on my bed in the pitch dark was the loneliest I've ever felt. I held on to my remembrance of the feel of being in his arms. The shivers that ran up my spine chilled me to the bone.
I want his warm arms around me. I want him, I need him.
Then I came to the dark realization.
My secret love would need to stay that way. I couldn't expect Edward to choose me, over his dedication to help his brother.
The clock kept ticking.
I had to have faith that one day, I would no longer go to bed alone.