Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The ladies who I run around in circles to correct my writings: Dannibags and piesmom. They have become my best friends in this whole adventure into fanfiction land. Thank you ladies for all the work you put into cleaning me up!
Edward wants Bella to open up about her stories, but when she constantly refuses, Edward takes things into his own hands and finds the websites himself. Will Edward be able to locate Bella's story and what will he think about it?
College and Beta Services
It didn't take long for me to get Bella enrolled into the Creative Writing course here at Peninsula. All it took was a couple sly winks and a few of the patent Cullen smirks to get Mrs. Cope to quickly agree. It was as easy as taking pie from a baby with that one. Women are typical; give them a little attention, the panty dropping smile, and they were ready to drop their pants to be what you wanted them to be. I hated that aspect at times. Of course, women could probably say the same thing about men; show them a little T and A, and they are begging at your feet. Yeah, that wouldn't work for someone like me. I wasn't that easily persuaded.
I guess I had toughened up my skin when it came to things like that because of my position at the college. Girls in my class thought all they had to do was show me a little skin or promise to do things for me, and I would magically pass them. I guess they learned real quick when they didn't pass no matter how many times they wore miniskirts and bent over in front of me, showing their asses. I knew at the first of the semester who would be the ones to watch for, and I would watch my interactions with them. Hell, I had made it a policy to avoid ones like that, and if they came to my office because their grades were failing, I would admittedly have another colleague step into the room to monitor the situation.
Peter, one of the Professors in Chicago, had gotten accused of wrongdoing with a student in his class. She had come to him during his office hours, and when he wouldn't give her the grade she wanted, she accused him of sexual harassment. To say the least, he lost his job, his career, and his wife with a lie. It didn't come out until the girl was kicked out for her behavior that she had lied, but the damage was done. After that incident, all the male professors were scared that something like that could happen to them. So we would either call a female professor or the dean to supervisor our office hours.
Here at Peninsula though, I didn't have that many problems. A lot of the students that attended seemed more mature or something. I knew it was always a potential, but hadn't seen it here yet.
I walked away from work with a smile on my face, happy to give Bella the news. I had told her I would take care of everything, and I did. She only wanted Creative Writing and that is what she got. However, I wished she would take more classes to better herself, and I was planning on telling her that once again. I don't know, maybe she would be able to get out of this small town if she had the tools. But, that thinking caused me great pain because if she left, I would dearly miss her, but not only that, I would have to follow her. I needed her like air to breathe. She made me smile and brightened my day. Hell, if I wasn't talking to her in some way, shape, or form, I felt naked. We had a standing date for dinner now every day at six. So, I couldn't wait to give her the news and see if she would once again open up about her writing. I was dying to figure out what she could do and what she wrote. I was also curious as to why she kept everything so secret from me.
I climbed into my car and headed straight to the diner. I would wait there for her because boss man was getting his pants in a knot if I hung around the store. It was okay when I was shopping or planning on buying something, but when I would stand at the counter to chat with her, he would give her the stink eye. The last time we had dinner, she asked if she could meet me here instead. I hated it and wanted to tell that little shit to calm down. It wasn't like Newton's was busy, and if a customer had needed her, I would have patiently awaited her return. He made some dumbass comment about her not being able to have visitors at work or fraternize with the customers. I wanted to march in there and ask him how much money I had spent at his shitty little store. I had bought crap I would never use just to get a glimpse of Bella sometimes, and that was before the whole first coffee date. I had to hound the hell out of her after that first time to go again. It eventually turned into a daily coffee date, then dinner every night. I was the happiest I had been in a long time.
I didn't want her to lose her job because I didn't know her financial status, and she had asked me not to say anything about it. She said it would only make it harder on her, and I figured he would. That's the day she broke down and told me all the negative things he had said to her about her writing. To say the least, I didn't like him one bit, and I noticed him watching her like a hawk too, whenever I was around. It was almost like he was pissing on her leg every time I was there. I didn't like it, and I really didn't like him.
I pulled into the parking lot and waved at Bella in Newton's as I walked by the window. I always park in Newton's parking lot, and I was waiting for Mr. Newton to have a problem with that too. Hell, I was banking on it. I had a few things to say to him.
I walked into the diner where I saw Gayle, the waitress, nodding my head in the direction of the booth Bella and I had been occupying the last couple of weeks. Gayle was a nice older woman, and she often times winked at Bella when she would set down Bella's drink. I figured they had known each other for a really long time, and I knew she would have answers for me. But, she would never answer a one of them. She would turn the questions back on me, wanting to know my intentions. I always answered the best I could and would tell her right now it was friendship. She didn't say much, but I knew she was just looking out for Bella. Gayle walked over to the table carrying my coffee.
"Back again?" she asked, smiling.
"I like learning more about her," I said, as she placed the coffee and creams down in front of me.
"I'm sure you do," she replied, still smiling.
That was basically the stent of our conversations. I had opened the creamers, stirring them into my coffee, when I heard the bell chime above the doors of the diner. I looked up in time to see Bella walking through. She always looked radiate, but she never wore anything that would show off her body. Hell, today's ensemble was yoga pants with a tee-shirt pulled almost down to her knees. I wanted to take her shopping to buy her things that fit her better, highlighting her assets that I knew she had. You could see them trying to bust out of her shirt, and when her shirt rose, you could see the assets she had in her yoga pants too.
She caught sight of me and kind of waved before her head lowered to the ground to walk. I shook my head; I wanted her chin up and proud, not dragging along. God, I need to find a way to crack open her shell. There was one way to crack it open, but I wasn't going to go there just yet. I needed more time to figure out my way in the door, and with her becoming my student, I would have to tone it down until she was no longer in my class.
I smiled broadly as she sat down, and of course, she didn't see it, once again.
"So, how was work?" I asked because I always had to ask her something to get her talking. It's like she would clam up around me now a days.
"Fine," she said, chewing on her bottom lip.
"Stop that," I demanded. It was all I could do to control myself around her, and when she started that lip biting thing, it threatened my control. She quickly stopped and looked around the table.
"Newton give you hard time today?" I asked.
"No, but he doesn't like you parking your car in his parking lot. Especially, if you are not buying anything," she said, looking at me for the first time.
"Yes, well tell him to come out and stop me," I replied. I wanted that little shit to say something to me about it. And, when he did, I was going to tell him to shove it up his ass.
"I won't tell him that, but I did want you to know in case you wanted to park somewhere else," she said, begging me with those chocolate brown eyes. She wanted me to stop parking there so it wouldn't cause trouble for her. It was the same damn look she gave me when I wanted to say something about me hanging out at the store, but once again, I would cave for her. I didn't like it, and I knew that she was being treated like a doormat when it came to Newton, but I didn't know how to get passed it at the moment.
"So, have you written any new stories?" I asked. I was always looking for a way to trip her up so she would tell me about them. And I thought maybe she would still be thinking about work and just blurt it out.
However, that didn't work, and she didn't say a word, but shook her head 'no'.
"I talked to Mrs. Cope, the academic advisor, assigned to you. She was able to get you into the Creative Writing course at Peninsula. The next semester starts in January."
"Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate it, but you didn't have to," she said, getting ready to chew on her bottom lip again until I narrowed my eyes at her.
"Sorry," she whispered.
"I know I didn't have to, but you wanted to attend the course. It was just a matter of having the Professor's approval." I smirked.
"Yes, but I might have pushed a little too hard," she whispered.
"Why? Do you not want to take the classes now?" I asked, perplexed. Hadn't we discussed her wanting to go to school? Had Newton said something to her to change her mind? Why was she having second thoughts?
She huffed, blew her hair out of her eyes, and pushed it behind her ear.
"Look, I want to take the course, but is there any way I can have another Professor?" she asked, looking at me.
"Why would you want another Professor?" I asked, still completely puzzled. It was like she had done a one eighty on going to school.
She sighed and looked down at her shirt, finding it amusing all of the sudden.
She sat there for a little bit. When I couldn't take the silence anymore, the Dom in me took over.
"Answer me," I demanded.
She looked at me with wide eyes, almost stunned at the tone of my voice. She still didn't say anything, but I had her attention.
"I said answer me," I barked.
She blinked her eyes and swallowed hard.
"I am afraid for you to see what I would write," she whispered.
"I couldn't hear you, Isabella," I countered. I wanted her to be able to talk to me, instead of acting shy. She had to learn how to demand things and speak up for herself.
"I'm afraid you will see what I write and think I am stupid," she said stronger.
"Thank you," I replied. She had spoken up louder and that is what I wanted. I didn't want her to be shy and quiet around me. I wanted to know what she was thinking or writing. I wanted to learn more, and with her not wanting to admit things to me, it made it harder for me to get to know her better.
"Now, I wouldn't think you are stupid, and I would be able to guide you through it. I would be able to teach you how to write better, and with that, you would look smarter. That is my purpose in life, to teach you things that you missed or had a hard time learning the first time around. Remember, you are not the only person who will be in my class with bad grammar." I shrugged because I didn't care if she could write a paragraph at this point. I would help her learn, and if our dinner time turned into extra help, then so be it. But my biggest worry was about the other students thinking I was being partial to her because I was. I had already given her my approval to enter the course, and I wanted to nurture her, so I was sure everyone would notice. Then I had to worry about not showing my true colors at the moment and not letting the sexual tension I felt every time I was around her seep through.
I guess she had her own concerns, and I had mine, but I knew we could make it work. I was more determined than ever to see what she had written on those fan fiction sites, and I briefly wondered if I could sneak a peek at her clipboard.
She didn't say anything more about the course, and I too had dropped the subject. I really wanted to talk her into taking other courses, but maybe I needed to wait until after she had taken mine to broach the subject again.
I sipped on my coffee as she sipped on her tea. Gayle came back and placed our food down in front of us. We casually talked about other areas of interest, which for some odd reason always went back to fishing. I hadn't went fishing again since the last time Jasper had sent me to Newton's to find a life jacket to tell you the truth. I didn't know much and didn't see the appeal of sitting out in a boat all day long in the cold. I would rather be running or doing something that would keep my body moving and in shape.
It didn't take long before my coffee was stone cold and I didn't want it anymore. Bella was sucking on the lemon in her tea, driving me crazy. Neither one of us hardly even touched our food that night. I think something was just a little off. A part of me wanted to demand her to stop sucking on the lemon, but another part of me wanted to beg her to do that to me. I wasn't going to stop her because I was enjoying it just a little too much, and the fact that having her do those things to me with her tongue would head down the road I wanted to avoid right now. Especially with us getting ready to embark on a student and teacher relationship. I watched her in silence, shifting in my seat. She didn't even know what she was doing to me.
When she was ready to leave, I couldn't even get up to walk her to her truck. I told her I was going to stay a little longer and finish my dinner. However, all I needed was a couple of minutes to sit here and clear my mind. I watched her walk out the door and down to her truck, which I could see from here. When I was satisfied she was safe, I got up, paid the tab, and walked to my vehicle.
On the drive home, I thought more about her writing fan fiction and decided that I was definitely going to figure out where she had posted her work. How hard could it be to locate her?
It took me weeks on end to find my way around those websites, and I still didn't think I was any closer to finding out which one was Bella's. I thought there would only be a handful of people writing these types of stories. I was totally wrong. Apparently, Bella wasn't the only person in the world inspired by the story. I had heard others talk about it with different books that had been featured in fan fictions, but never to this magnitude. I was completely baffled.
It had taken me about one day to rule out the website I stumbled on first, and the only reason I ruled it out was because it had a strict submission policy. Sunblocked was a little stricter with their grammar rules and would only allow ten mistakes. If Bella's grammar was bad, and she wanted to attend classes to get better then she wouldn't be posting here. I had already wasted a day reading through half their stories though.
Fantasyjunkie was the next site on my list and even though they suggested a well written story, they didn't have a strict submission policy. So, I planned on signing up for an account. The only problem was trying to come up with a name. I didn't want it too girlish because I wasn't a girl, but I didn't want to attract attention of being a male either. I assumed that the majority of writer's were women, but I could be wrong in my assessment.
I checked out the other sites listed, and they had a load of stories too. I briefly wondered how many websites Bella posted on? And, would it be easier to find her on another website? Certainly, finding her on those other sites proved to be of no luck. It seemed everyone or about everyone hid behind a pen name, and she wouldn't tell me. I tried every day we had met to get her to talk about her writing, hoping she would provide me with a clue into her mind, but she still refused to talk about it.
Defeated and still trying to figure her out, I came home every night to sit and read. It wasn't long before all the mistakes in the stories were taking a toll on my mind. So, within a matter of minutes on Fantasyjunkie, Master Callhum became a beta reader. It was simple. All I had to do was write a six thousand word story and presto, Master Callhum was a beta. It was kind of disappointing that someone could write that many words and become a beta without truly knowing what to do, but it wasn't my battle to fight, and I was on a mission.
I had an alternate email account started and was hiding behind my own penname. I sent out a couple of emails to the authors I was already reading. I was hoping that one of them would turn out to be Bella. But, so far I couldn't tell. The majority of people I beta'd for had emails with their pen names, and the ones I contacted who actually used their real names, I didn't want to help anymore. But, I wasn't one to turn down an opportunity to teach someone else the wonderful world of the English language, so I continued on the principle of teaching someone new.
I reached for my cell phone when it rang and saw it was Jasper.
"Hello," I answered.
"Hey man, what's up?" he asked.
"Nothing much, correcting papers," I replied because it was essentially the same thing I did at school all the time. Read the story, fix grammar, add notes for adding or taking away from the plotline; same ole same ole.
"I thought classes ended last week. Usually you already have the last stories completed by now," he mused.
"I have taken another adventure under my belt at the moment."
"Ah, does this having something to do with the lovely Miss Swan?" he asked.
"She writes fan fiction, and I am trying to figure out where to find her stories. They are all published on the internet … somewhere."
"I see. Why don't you just ask her?" he asked.
"I have. She won't tell me her pen name or anything about the stories she writes."
"Why do you want to know? Why not just wait for her to come to you?"
"I told you about her writing and how it interested me. She's not going to open up because that jerk of a boss keeps putting her down. I need a way in, and I think I could help her."
"Why don't I come over and help you?" he asked. I wasn't about to turn down his help at this point. He had guided me through everything in life, why not this too?
"Fine, bring beer. I will call and order a pizza. Pick it up on your way over. We will be here all night. You haven't been looking around these websites the last couple of days, and you are going to have a hard time trying to figure this out," I sighed.
"On my way," he replied, hanging up the phone.
I finished up reading and was about to start on the other story I had said I would help with when Jasper walked in through the door. His hands were full of pizza boxes and beer, but he also had his laptop bag slung over his shoulder.
He smirked at me when I raised my eyebrows when I saw his bag.
"Look, I am not going to stand behind you all night trying to look. We can accomplish more if we both have something to work with."
I nodded, maybe he was right. Maybe we would be able to narrow it down. Jasper and I would argue more if we used the same computer anyway. Jasper was an IT technician and knew his way in and out of a computer. He would often fix mine, when I had it in a mess. Our biggest problem with us working on the same one would be that he would want me to do something, while I was still trying to figure out something else.
I grabbed the pizzas, bringing them over to the dining room table where I was seated while I looked over the websites and worked on stories. Jasper sat his laptop on the table and took the beer to the refrigerator. When he returned, he handed me a Corona and sat up his computer to the right of me.
"You know we could know who she is in a matter of a few minutes," he stated, with a sly smirk on his face.
"How is that O' Great One?" I asked. I knew where this was going.
"I could break in her house while she is at work, and within a matter of minutes, I would know everything about her."
"We're not doing that," I stated. Jasper wanted to live the life of a secret spy, and it didn't shock me one bit when he mentioned sneaking into her house.
"Why didn't you ever become a private investigator?" I asked. If he had gone into that career choice, maybe I wouldn't be sitting here trying to figure her out. Maybe if she would open up more about her writing, I wouldn't be digging around for her stories either.
"Because it wouldn't pay the bills," he replied, as he fired up his laptop. I quickly told him the website I was on and who I was reading and editing at the moment.
"Do you realize you are reading stories that are rated T?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied, while reading a sentence and correcting the punctuation the author had used.
"How does Bella act when she talks about her writing? Is she shy and reserved about it? Has she said anything that would seem a little odd for a person to blurt out, or maybe something you wouldn't talk about in public?" he questioned.
I tried to think back to all of the conversations we have had, and the majority of them had revolved around fishing and cooking. I sat back in my chair and pondered.
"She's embarrassed with talking about sex, but I don't find that exactly unusual, a lot of people have that issue. Uhm, the only thing that struck me odd is when she asked about me about being gay, and what it was like being with a man."
"Yeah, that was kind of funny, her wanting to know what is was like …" Jasper's eye widened "… what if she was asking because those are the kinds of stories she likes?"
"What do you mean?"
"What if your girl is a closet slash reader?"
"You lost me with the word slash, and yeah, she said she read slash, and it's HOT," I said.
"Slash means a pairing between the same sexes, Edward. How long have you been reading fan fictions?" he taunted.
"Oh, okay. So, you're thinking maybe she writes slash fics?" I asked, still a little confused because it seems out of character for someone so shy about sex.
"Yeah, hell she might even write erotica, BDSM, or slash. All those are like porn, and with her being so reserved, maybe it's the opposite in her writing life. You know how it is … you can't express yourself in your real life, but yet as an alter ego, you can be a sexual deviant." He smirked at me, and I understood completely. Weren't we living the same kind of double life ourselves? During our days, we were your average people, but in our off time, we like to do things others might deem unethical. Hell, we didn't talk about things in public, and things were kept hush at clubs we attended to protect our identities.
"So, that means all of these people I am reading for run a good chance of not being Bella?" I asked. I was hoping I was one step closer to cracking her shell, but maybe I wasn't.
"That's a good chance. Let's look at all the stories rated M or MA to see if we can find your girl," he said, focusing back on this computer screen.
It took us hours to weed through different stories. I had started a list of different authors that I would try to reach out to. Every so often Jasper would send me links to check out stories. I would look them over and either add them to my list or follow the story on my profile.
"Check this one out," he said, emailing me the link for the story.
"Who's the author?" I asked.
"WashingtonCallhum," he said, still looking over the story.
"Which one? She has written quite a few, but she looks to be new to writing. Her first post was around September."
"Dominance and Submission," he said, smiling.
"Sounds good," I replied, scrolling through the notes.
I started reading, and right away, I could see this author needs lots of help. She bounced in and out of tense, had multiple run on sentences, and comma splices. Her plot needed help, and she has some aspects of the BDSM community wrong, and that was within the first couple of chapters. Her lists were repetitive, and she clearly needed guidance.
"I think I am going to send her a message," I said automatically.
"I would. She clearly needs help," Jasper was pretty good himself. Hell, he could probably become a beta, and between the two of us, we could guide these women.
"I already started an account for myself. This story sounds interesting," he said, clicking away on his laptop.
"Here take this." I tore my paper in half and gave him the top half, while I took the bottom.
Jasper contacted all the authors on the top half, while I worked on sending a message to WashingtonCallhum.
To: Washington Callhum
From: Master Callhum
Re: Dominance and Submission
I was wondering if you would be interested in having another beta reader. I am an English Professor and stumbled upon your story. I like the plotline and think with a little grammar help, you could truly have something spectacular here. I am also a member in the community and might be able to give you some advice on the aspects of your story that are wrong, when it comes to the community.
I would love the opportunity to help guide you through your writing journey. If you are interested, you can email me at mastercallhum Thanks.
I continued to work well into the night, and Jasper didn't relent either. We searched every avenue possible. Some authors responded back quickly with a "no thank you" response, which I was shocked they didn't want someone's help, but there wasn't anything I could do about it.
Jasper finally left around three in the morning, totally beat, and he still had to work in the morning. It was right around Christmas, and neither of us had any family, so we didn't even celebrate anymore. The only positive I had was the fact that I didn't have to work for the next couple of weeks.
I finally crawled in bed around four, tired and exhausted, hoping that one of the authors I contacted would be the wonderful Bella Swan.
A/N: Another chapter to this story. I love the fact that Edward will hopefully be beta reading for the wonderful Washington Callhum. I wonder what will happen next. Will Bella allow Master Callhum to read for her? Will Edward figure out that he has potentially found Bella? What will reading her writing do to him? So many questions … all will be answered, and then we will truly learn how to turn fiction into reality. As always, thanks for reading and reviewing. Remember, be kind and show some love.