All characters and movie/book tie ins are property of SM and/or Summit/Lionsgate. The plot...is MINE.
Special thanks to Rachel (TexasBella) for her friendship, awesome beta skills and for keeping me calm. I know I'm way too anxious and needy! Love you hard! Nicole...I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. You've been with me the whole way, laughing, crying, supporting and pushing me to get this story out. Your dedication is more than I deserve. Thank you love! Last but not least, thanks to my amazing friend, author and pre reader Kyla. (Theonlykyla) Your insight and advice are invaluable. (And you read my whole story in a matter of hours...and liked it!) You complete me!
My name is Edward Anthony Masen. I'm no one really. I'm merely a thirty-four year old man who has lived, loved and who is now dying.
There, I've said it.
Bella keeps telling me I have to say it out loud to believe it. Hell, I believed it the day they told me. I think I always knew. I just can't admit that to her.
As I stroll across campus to meet my best friend in the auditorium, I realize the sun is shining. For most, this observation would go unnoticed, but here in Seattle, the weather is fairly predictable. The word 'sun' rarely graces our forecast.
Jasper had asked me to help him set up for tonight's concert, and even though I have a ton of homework to get to, I couldn't exactly tell him no. Not only is he my best friend, he is also the founder of the up and coming band "Breaking Dawn". With his dark hair, green eyes, and southern drawl, he oozes charm; and the ladies eat it up.
We met when Jasper's family, the Whitlock's, moved into the house next to ours when we were both eleven. His dad's job had transferred to Forks from Houston, Texas, and we'd hit it off from day one. Peas and carrots.
Walking into the auditorium, I see Jasper and Alice are already setting up. Alice is the manager, and self-appointed set and wardrobe designer for the band. She is like a sister to Jazz and I. The day we saw our stylish pixie dancing her way into the cafeteria at Forks Elementary, we just knew our duo would soon become a trio. She was a tiny thing with pale skin, dark piercing eyes, and spiky brown hair that stood on end in every direction and yet it always looked perfectly styled.
Alice Brandon was a breath of fresh air in this otherwise cold and damp town.
"It's about time you showed up, E. Ali was sure you were ditching us," Jazz chuckles.
"Umm, actually Jazz, it was you who thought that, remember?" Alice says. "I believe your exact words were 'I bet Eddie is too tangled up with some babe in the throws of passion to even care about us'," she snorts.
"Well, I wasn't, and for the record, Jazz, my name is not Eddie!" I snap at him.
I had dated off and on since high school, but lately I've found myself in a bit of a dry spell. Just going through the motions. Relationships and I never get along. Jazz says the ladies swarm to me like bees to honey, and while I don't have trouble getting dates, they always end up lacking substance and personality. When all is said and done, the spark is either never there, or the timing is off.
Alice insists it's because most girls can't see past my pretty face. Those are her words not mine. My mom says I get my good looks from her, and my brains from my dad, the best of both worlds. I'm fine with that. I mean, I'm not horrible to look at, but I'm far from anything special. I've been told I resemble that dude from that angsty 9-11 flick. Maybe his wild, untamed, and unruly hair I guess, but that's about it.
As Jazz and I are adjusting the last of the spotlights, I see Tanya walking in with Emmett and another girl I have seen around, but whom I've never met. Tanya is Jasper's drummer. She is tall, blonde, and has a rack that rivals Pam Anderson's. She is also many other things … overbearing, flirtatious and all around annoying. Okay, so maybe I'm bitter and exaggerating a bit, but she has been wanting me to ask her out for a year. She's just not my type. Luckily, Tanya is over the top fantastic on the drums, and has quite a nice male following thanks to the band, so that alone got me off the hook.
Emmett McCarty is Ali's dark-haired, older half-brother and the bouncer for the band. Not that a bouncer is exactly needed these days, but Ali insisted that Jasper include him when he started the band. He truly is an asset though. He's fiercely protective and built like a tank. He stands at about six-foot-one, weighing almost 200 pounds, all solid alone is worth something. All that equipment is damn heavy.
"Sorry I'm so late guys. I had to stay over after my biology lab to talk to Professor Banner," Tanya says as she approaches us.
"Sure, sure, better late than never, T. Oh, hey Kate, what's up?" Jasper asks, glancing over to the girl that is standing next to Tanya.
"Not much Jazz, just perpetually holed up in our room, studying as always. Same ole, same ole. Tanya literally dragged me here, babbling something about it being her responsibility as my older sister to get my nose out of my books and my ass out of the dorm," Kate responds.
So Kate is Tanya's sister, hmm. How did I not know this? She is stunning. Long, strawberry blond hair, bright blue eyes, a smattering of freckles across her nose and creamy pale skin. She seems more soft spoken than Tanya, not hard to believe,but confident all the same. I am instantly intrigued and I need to meet this girl. All of a sudden I'm feeling nervous.
"Umm, I don't believe I've had the pleasure...I'm Edward Masen, pre-med and senior." Real smooth, E! Why did I just say that? Pre-med? She'll think I'm a cocky stuck up bastard.
"Don't forget songwriter for the band," Emmett adds with a cocky grin. Was that really necessary, Emm? So, I occasionally tinker on the piano and pen a few lines for Jazz, it's no big deal.
"Nice to meet you, Edward, I'm Kate Denali. Umm ... Psychology major, and also a senior," she giggles back. Giggles! Is she teasing me?
"Well, that's ... umm, great. Psychology huh? Bet you could ... analyze me?" Oh shit! What the hell? Did I forget how to talk to girls all of a sudden? I'm so screwed.
"Well ain't this cute and all," Emmett chimes in. "Looks like we have a love connection going on here. Do you two want to be alone? I bet Dr. Masen here can make a house call, Katie! Paging Dr. Love!"
Damn Emmett and his big mouth. Is there some way I can get out of this conversation before the embarrassment swallows me whole? Think Masen ...
"Yeah, well I'm glad I amuse you, Emmett. Let's not forget how smooth your moves are pal. I recall a certain rumor going around about your unfortunate problem with Angela the night of prom. It seems a certain someone's ship sailed before it even left port." That should shut him up. Suddenly I feel like we are in grade school again. I gotta get out here.
With that comment hanging in the air, Emmett gets all wide eyed, and for once is at a loss for words. He simply turns and lopes away.
This is my cue to leave.
"So, I'm out of here too. See you all tonight at the concert. It really is nice to meet you Kate. Will I see you later?" Better Edward. You sound more sure of yourself ...
"I wouldn't miss it for the world ... now," she replies. Huh. What exactly does that mean? I was sure as hell going to find out.
Kate Denali. She is suddenly all I can think about. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I figure I should head back to the apartment to shower and change for the concert. Mom and dad set me up in a small place just outside the UW campus. They had hoped by doing so that I would stay out of the college party scene and focus on studying. That pretty much is the case, although I have been known to have an occasional sleepover.
The prospect of seeing Kate again tonight is making me giddy. Giddy? Who uses words like that? After I shower and shave, I slip on a pair black button flies and a gray V-neck tee and then set about to taming my hair. Yeah, that shit isn't happening. I run my hands through it a few times and give up. Sex hair ... Ali says I always have sex hair.
When I get to the auditorium, I park the Volvo and walk in through the back entrance. Jazz and the band are already doing their sound checks. Before I can blink twice, I see her across the room, and my heart nearly skips a beat. She has a short, white skirt on with a pale yellow blouse and a pair of gold strappy sandals. Her hair is pulled back and secured with a gold clip, and a few wisps of hair hang loose, framing her face. She looks ... amazing. Play it cool Masen, don't mess this up.
Breathe, Edward. What's with all the pep talks to myself? I need therapy.
She looks in my direction and starts walking towards me. She is sporting a beautiful smile that reaches her eyes. I take a quick look behind me- I have to make sure she is looking at me. I'm clearly out of practice here ...
"Hi, Edward, you made it!" Kate says cheerfully.
"Hey, Kate! You look great! Are you here alone?" I ask, and instantly know I might not like her answer. What if she came with a date?
"No, not exactly, I came with Tanya." Yes!"How about you?"
"Nah, it's just me. Would you like to sit and watch the concert with me? I'm sure since we have an 'in' with the band, we can land some decent seats," I say jokingly.
"Sure, sounds great," Kate replies.
The concert is insane. Jasper and the guys are honestly a talented group. They play a little of everything ... blues, rock and even a bit of pop. When they transition into a slow song, I offer Kate my hand and ask her to dance. Cheesy, I know. But it's spontaneous and as easy as breathing.
During a three minute song,along with a thousand people in a crowded auditorium, I fall for
the woman who makes me feel alive again.
Chapter two will be up soon. If you think a certain someone is missing, just keep reading!