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!
As a writer, have you ever had a review that upset you so bad that you felt like taking everything you have ever done and throwing it in the trash or deleting it from the internet? It really doesn't matter if you are a writer or not, just having someone slam you so hard that you can't seem to find your feet to pick yourself up off the floor. I've had one of those moments, and if it wasn't for my betas, I don't know if I would still be here because it hurt … bad. So, in this chapter, Bella receives a review that almost tears her world apart. However, her betas step in to give her the assistance she needs to stand up and be proud. Let's see how this plays out for Daddyward and Subella.
Last night when I received an email from Master Callham, I was tickled pink to have another beta working on my story. Since Rose wasn't able to work on things as much anymore, I needed the extra pair of eyes. Hell, I need four hundred eyes because no matter how many eyes, I still missed something. I wasn't perfect, and God knows I wasn't trying to be, but I did want to present the best picture I could to my readers.
Quickly drafting an email to Master Callham, I accepted his/her assistance and inquired about how we would exchange copies of my stories. I hadn't really been working with any professional betas and didn't know the rules or guidelines for setting something up. Actually, any way they wanted it, I would give.
After the email, I slipped over and checked all the new reviews on my story. They were pouring in, and each one I received makes me feel like I was finally succeeding at something in my life. It was exhilarating reading their comments. Not all of the reviews I got were good. Some were a little harsh, but I had learned to shake those off pretty quickly. I never expected everyone who read the story to like it. Truth was if ten people had liked it that was good enough for me. As I continued to check my reviews, I soaked up the words of encouragement and support and allowed it to inspire me to write another chapter. I was pushed for time being that I had to go to work in a couple of hours, but I had to get the words on the page before I lost everything I wanted to write.
Thirty minutes before time to go to work, I noticed that I had to stop at the store before I could go in and would have to postpone my writing until later. I was determined to get those words down one way or another, so I pulled out my phone and started to record my words as I worked on getting ready to leave. I used notebooks, voice recordings on my cell phone, anything to help me remember the words for later.
I walked out of the house with a few minutes to spare and stopped at the local Thrift Away for the items I needed. As I walked by the book shelves, I saw something that caught my eye. I stopped in my tracks and picked up the book, looking it over, and reading the cover on the back. Instantly, the summary intrigued me. Placing the book in my basket, I headed toward the check out.
About forty-five minutes into my shift, I pulled out the book from the Thrift Away and started to read. Thank God, we didn't have any customers tonight, and I was able to read a good part majority of the book. I was fucking blown away. The characters sounded like Edison Callham and Annabelle Swain. There were minor differences, but the overall presentation called to the characters I loved. I was instantly hooked.
I closed up the shop for the night and quickly made my way back to the Thrift Away to buy the other two books in the series. I was fucking addicted and knew I wouldn't be happy until I read them all.
Once home, I quickly pulled something together for supper. I slipped into my warm bed, surrounded by my furry little friends, and once again got lost in the love affair of Grayson Clark and Selena Adams. At seven in the morning, I finally put the first book down and went to sleep. I loved the story.
Waking the next morning was hard. I hadn't really slept all that well, and with what time I had finally climbed into bed, I knew I wasn't going to be worth shit today, but I didn't have to work at Newton's, so I guess I had planned everything just right. I grabbed a cup of coffee and fed the fur balls before starting my laptop.
I cracked my knuckles, pulled out the notes and recordings from the day before, and started writing the next chapters in my story. I did research on the things I was unsure about, and multiple times wished I knew how more about the lifestyle I tried to write about.
When the next chapter was done, I sent it to Alice to have her look it over. She promised to have it back by the end of the night, and I was more than happy to get it out to my readers quickly.
Edward came over for dinner, and things were relatively uneventful. I wanted him more than he could have known, but all he could talk about was me going to school. I really wanted to go, but I was also really scared about it.
"What are you doing for Christmas?" he asked.
"Nothing really," I replied. I never did anything at Christmas. I had no one to buy for, and no one to celebrate with.
"That's really sad, Bella," he said, looking over at me. I couldn't help how my life had gone.
"I sometimes help at the local homeless shelter on Christmas. They have a lot of people who come for dinner there, and I donate some money, and then help with dinner."
"That's wonderful. You're a special woman, Isabella," he said. I could see little twinkling in his eyes as he said those words. No one ever thought I was special. My father probably did, but I mean a man, someone who could be a potential lover; never had I been special. It warmed my heart.
"Would you like to join me this year?" I asked, hoping to spend more time with him.
"I would love to," he replied, smiling that crooked smile at me. I could have sighed and almost did until I bit my lip, which caused him to growl under his breath. I quickly let go of my lip and apologized.
He looked nervous, and I didn't know why, but didn't ask. I didn't want him scolding me for biting my lip again. I don't know why biting it bothered him so, but every time he caught me, he would growl. I made sure after the first time of not listening to him to quickly let go.
It wasn't that he scared me, per se, when he would demand me to let go of my lip. Honestly, it made my female parts come to life, which was completely wild. That demanding voice had done wonders to my body and writing. In my stories, Edison would demand and growl at Annabelle when she behaved inappropriately. When I would allow Edison to spank her for doing those things, I would imagine Edward, which then would lead to a session with my vibe. Good times … good times, it was the only sex I was getting and that was better than nothing.
Edward left early tonight, talking about how he needed to grade some papers before report cards were sent to the students, and I didn't night, I had been dying to check my emails to see if Alice had sent the next chapter back and to see if there were anymore reviews on my story. Dominance and Submission was the highest ranked story out of the three I had written, and I felt really good about that. Main Street was the next in line, but still needed work, and Leaving Giles still hadn't picked up that many readers. I was proud of every story I wrote, and the only thing I could have hoped for was that if someone read those stories that were written first … that they could see the growth of writing.
No sooner than Edward was out the door, I rushed to my laptop and quickly checked everything. Reviews were good tonight … no bad ones, and Alice had pulled through once again. I downloaded the chapter and rushed to fix errors, hoping I could get the chapter on and let the women know who were reading about the other story I had picked up at the Thrift Away. Once the story was ready to post, I gushed about how I loved For the Love of Silver Cuffs at the top and happily posted the chapter on my profile.
Logging out of my laptop, I grabbed the second book in the series and headed toward my room. I changed clothes and quickly crawled into bed, pulling my book opened and got lost in the world of For the Love of Whips.
Pulling my lips away from book wasn't all that easy to do first thing in the morning. I didn't want to ruin my book, so I carefully removed my stuck mouth. I couldn't believe I had fallen asleep during reading, but when the words blended together at one point, I should have known what was going to happen.
I hurried to get everything done to see what would be waiting for me in the way of reviews. When I posted a new chapter, my reviews would be blowing out of my inbox, and I couldn't wait to see what people thought. As I logged on and pulled everything up, I scurried around and got the cats fed before they were meowing at me and driving me crazy. I grabbed my coffee and walked back over to the laptop.
The reviews were great and things looked to be moving well. People loved what I was doing. That was until I got to the last review on my list. I read the email in shock.
I don't know what you were thinking adding For the Love of Cuffs to your author notes. They do not sound like Edison or Annebelle. Do you know that story was once a fan fiction? The story on fan fiction was King of the World.
I have noticed in your writing that you have a lot of similar situations within your story. Your plot is exactly like hers, so now I am beginning to wonder if you are plagiarizing this woman's story. I won't hesitate to report you for doing so; she is well loved in this community. Honestly, I would suggest you either come up with your own ideas or remove the story.
I sat back in my chair.
The tears began to roll down my face; I hadn't done what they accused. I had only bragged about a story I thought reminded me of my characters. And I could respond to tell them that I didn't know. I didn't know … I just started reading the story last night, and just because both stories had BDSM themes and made certain aspects similar, they weren't the same. They couldn't be the same.
I was scared as the tears poured down my face. I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, and I couldn't breathe. I quickly sent Alice an email showing her the review. I told her that I was scared that the author would try to sue me, and I hadn't even done anything. Once the email was sent, I immediately remembered that Alice said she would be out of town for the next two days and the reason she rushed to get the chapter done so quickly.
Marching into my room where the books I had been so in love with last night were, I grabbed all three. I stormed back into the kitchen, shoving all three books into the trash. It was a shame really; the last book didn't even have the plastic pulled off it yet, but I didn't want that crap in my house anymore.
Heading back to my computer, I pulled all of Leaving Giles off the internet. I deleted the story all together. I decided that writing wasn't worth getting sued or being called a plagiarizer. I knew how things worked around this website. Once you are a plagiarizer, they report you, and then they take your stuff off. I had seen others on Facebook reporting people who had copied from others.
I called Mrs. Newton, still crying, telling her I had fallen and couldn't come into work. I knew it was lame, but I couldn't be around people like this. I was an absolute mess. She quickly agreed when she heard me sobbing and asked if there was anything she could do. I told her no and got off the phone. I took the author's notes about the story off and deleted the fucking review because I kept reading it over and over, getting more and more upset.
After getting off the phone with Mrs. Newton, I called Mrs. Cope at the college, letting her know I was no longer interested in taking the classes. I tried to compose myself during the phone call and the reasons why I was dropping the classes before the first day. When I explained to her that I had fallen ill and wouldn't be able to attend, she quickly changed her tune and worked to get the money I had already paid for the class credited back to my debit card. I hated lying to her, but it was the only way for her to leave me alone. I didn't want to get better at writing. I wanted miles away from it now.
Mike was right … I was no good. I wasn't anybody. I wasn't special, and I couldn't do shit, as fucking usual. It was easier to tuck my tail and run than to deal with this drama. I would continue to do what I did best, sit and stare at the four walls; at least I couldn't fuck that up.
My phone rang off the hook, but I wouldn't answer it. It was probably Edward, calling to see if we were still having dinner, but I didn't want him here. I e-mailed Rose, but didn't hear anything from her. I pulled Main Street down and was mere seconds from removing Domination and Submission when there was aloud knock at my door. I didn't move; that's how numb I felt.
"Bella, open the door," Edward yelled from the other side. I sat there looking at the screen. Everything I had written, everything that brought me to life, and one person... one fucking person was destroying my reason for living.
"Bella, open the fucking door. I know you're in there, and I know something is wrong. You weren't at Newton's, and you were supposed to work today. You called Mrs. Cope and dropped the class, telling her you were ill. I know for fucking fact you're not, so open the DAMN door."
Sobbing harder than before, now I was going to lose the only other thing in my life that gave me the will to continue to live.
"Fine, I'm breaking the fucking thing down on the count of three," he yelled louder than before.
"One," he said as I tried to calm down and dry the tears. I knew my eyes would be puffy, but I couldn't let him know why I was crying. I wouldn't tell him.
"Two," he screamed. I walked toward the door, taking deep breaths.
"Three," he said as I pulled the door open.
"How fucking hard was that?" he asked.
"Extremely," I whispered. I pulled the door open and walked into the living room. I wasn't up for his company tonight. Hell, this would probably be the last time I saw him. Just thinking those thoughts had be blubbering mess again.
"Bella, tell me what's wrong. I know something is wrong," he said, shutting the door and coming into the living room. I couldn't face him, not wanting to see his face when he finally decided to leave and never come back.
Edward walked over to me and spun me around, pulling me into his arms. I didn't have the strength to fight him or anything anymore. I grabbed his waist, hanging on for dear life. I cried and cried; I knew everyone would think I was crazy for being like this, and maybe some of it was because I had started my period the day before, but I couldn't help it.
"Shh, baby girl, don't cry. I can't handle it when you cry," he cooed in my ear, kissing my hair, forehead, and anywhere he could touch. His arms felt wonderful wrapped around me. With his words, the fact that he was still here, and him rubbing my back, I felt cared for. He hadn't turned away from me when I needed him the most, and even though he didn't like my tears, he didn't shy away from them either. Mike would have told me to stop being a baby and to stop being a drama queen. Not Edward, no he was there to comfort and hold me.
When I finally got myself under control and totally ruined Edward's nice dress shirt with snot and tears, I pulled back to look at him. He turned quickly from my gaze before I could really get a good look at him. He sniffed a little and stood from the couch, walking over to look out the window. I watched him closely; my nerves came back. What if after comforting me, he was planning on leaving?
"I'm not leaving," he said, not turning around. I wondered how he could know what I was thinking.
"You're biting your lip," he said, looking over his shoulder at me.
"How did you know?" I asked. How had he seen me doing that if he wasn't looking my direction?
"I can see your reflection in the window." He ran his hands through his hair and turned around to face me, walking back to the couch. It was then I noticed the redness in his eyes. Either Edward had been drinking before he came or he had been crying, but he hadn't smelled like beer, when I was wrapped in his arms.
Edward sat on the couch beside me and grabbed my hand, rubbing the back of my hand.
"Why were you crying?" he asked. I shook my head, not wanting to ruin the moment and tell him about my writing or how I was being irrational about everything.
"Tell me," he begged.
"I can't," I replied.
"Why? Why can't you tell me?" he asked, still rubbing my hand.
"You will think it's stupid. I promise all these tears are hormonal, nothing more," I tried to play it off. Some of it was because of the increased hormones in my system due to my monthly visitor, but the review was the driving force.
"You're lying," he said. I looked at him trying to make my eyes say something else. That had to be how he knew, Mike always said my eyes couldn't lie. I sighed, knowing I was defeated.
"I can't help if I don't know what the problem is to fix. I want to help you. I don't like you lying to me, or holding things back from me," he said, pushing the hair from my face.
"I got a bad review today; it hurt. Then, being the fact that Mary came to see me, yeah that made it worse," I said. I might as well stick to the truth, and if he walked away, he did. I can't help how I felt or why I cried. If he was planning on staying, he would have to get used to the idea of me having these, and if he walked away, then there wasn't anything I could do. At least, being honest would leave me room to say I had done all that I could.
"What is a review exactly?" he asked.
"Just like it sounds … someone looks over my work and makes an opinion. They're either good or bad, but this one hurt and accused me of plagiarizing someone else's work. Someone I barely even knew existed a day ago."
"Does this mean I finally get to see your work? I mean, I could read the stories and tell you the similarities and the differences, if you are interested."
"Please don't leave when you find out. I've really enjoyed being with you, and I don't know if I could handle it if you left," I admitted with tears streaming down my face again.
"Why would I leave because of what you read or write? I'm not that shallow, and you're forgetting I teach English, so … I don't see the problem with what you read or write for that matter."
"It's the subject matter. A lot of people look down on people who read or active in the lifestyle," I said, looking down at my lap. Edward reached out, placing his fingers under my chin, and raised it to make me look right at him.
"Lifestyle? Explain," he stated.
"It's not porn … well … not really, but BDSM," I whispered the last part of the sentence. Mike had accused me of reading nothing but porn on the internet. In some ways it was, but there were other stories that didn't have a single lemon in them. However, not all the BDSMs were about sex either; well, some weren't.
"I see," he said, straightening up in his seat and pulling his hand away from my chin.
Feeling brave, I got up from the couch and walked toward the kitchen. The first thing I grabbed on my mission was the books I had thrown away earlier. Then, I grabbed my laptop. It was now or never.
"These are the books I was accused of plagiarizing, and this is my story," I said, opening my laptop to the fan fiction sight and showing him Dominance and Submission.
Edward coughed for a few minutes. Fearing the worst, I started shutting the computer.
"Wait … what are you doing?" he asked, holding out his hands to keep me from shutting the lid.
"You …" Edward placed his hands on my lips.
"Stop over thinking everything for a moment," he said sighing and pulling out his hair.
"I've actually read these books," he said. I was utterly fucking speechless. He had read a story about BDSM.
"Don't look so dumbfounded, Bella. Do I need to remind you that I am an English Professor again?" He shook his head, and I couldn't understand why in the world an English Professor would read a BDSM book. Surely the school wasn't teaching from these writings. So why would he be interested?
"Please tell me you're not reading them to teach to the students," I begged because something about that just seemed off to me. He chuckled, but shook his head no.
"Actually, Bella … I love to read. When it was on the best seller list, I decided to give it a try. Now, the Sunrise Series … well, I already explained the allure there. Let's get back to the case at hand though; so you like to read these types of books?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied with my head down. I hated admitting it.
"And you like to write stories that have these elements in them?" he asked, lifting my chin to look at him.
"Yes," I replied a little stronger, looking directly in his eyes. I noticed the look from the diner when he was demanding me to answer him. His eyes were black as night, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with them or why I couldn't seem to look away.
"Have you ever been involved in the lifestyle?" he asked, licking his lips, but never taking his eyes off me.
"No," I whispered.
"Um, have you thought about going to a club, play party, or munch? Because they could help you to learn more about the lifestyle," he asked.
"I've thought about it, but didn't know how to get involved. Plus, I was a little scared. I mean, I know I shouldn't be, but there's just something about it that seems wrong," I replied, not knowing what to think about anything while trapped in his gaze.
"I have a confession …" he said, pulling away from me and looking away "… since the day I meet you, I was intrigued by you. When I learned that you liked to write and wanted to become a writer, better your writing, I became even more enamored by you. I've begged to see your work … to be able to explore your mind, more so than what you give me with words. So, a couple of weeks ago, I got desperate." He rose from the couch and walked over to the picture window in the living room.
"I found your story. I've know about it for a day or two now. But it wasn't until this moment that I knew it was you." He turned and walked over to me, kneeling in front of me.
"Bella … I'm Master Callham … I wanted to help you, and I still do if you will allow me. Please Bella, let me help you. You have something brilliant, and with a little fine tuning, you will be perfect, more than perfect," he begged. I collapsed back against the couch, almost losing the laptop that was still rested on my lap. Edward was … Master Callham, oh shit! I placed my hand over my fucking mouth. Edward was involved in the lifestyle or that was what he had said in email.
"Oh, my fucking God," I exclaimed.
A/N: Think I will leave this story right here. Now, do you think Bella will be mad that it is Edward who is her new beta? No, Bella didn't plagiarizer, and I know some might think she was a little dramatic about the review, but this is how it affected me at the time. If someone one was to send something like that now, I would probably laugh … delete or only allow them to take half of what they did then. Okay … the next chapter we will see what she decides.