I'm not Stephanie Meyer. If I was, I wouldn't be writing fanfiction. I'm also not infringing.
It was only after lunch that Bella realised she'd never sent that email to Angela, and so after the plates had been cleared away and everyone was dispersing themselves once more, she fetched it from under the sofa where she'd left it, and curled up on a chair in the kitchen, rereading what she'd written.
It was far too brief, she decided, and so with a frown, she added bits onto it - when she was coming back, a bit of fangirling over a book series they were both reading (Bella had brought a few of them with her, and so that, at least, was genuine) and a suggestion for post-Christmas shopping, right before term began, so they could catch up.
Smiling, satisfied, she sent it off, flicking through the rest of the spam in her inbox before closing the laptop once more, and heading outside for a swim.
No one else was in the water - Alice and Rosalie were sunbathing, and the boys were sitting under a tree singing and playing their guitars. They were too far away for Bella to be able to hear them properly, but the occasional melody or burst of laughter drifted across the sand, and she smiled to herself as she inched her way into the sea.
The morning had been filled with almost enough teasing to turn Bella's face permanently red, but to her relief a good deal of it had been light hearted and no one - other than Emmett, of course - appeared to be making huge leaps towards her being infatuated with him. He'd borne most of it stoically, smiling occasionally and actually blushing almost never, whereas Bella was pretty sure she'd spent more time with her face in her hands than without.
And, hey, she'd fallen asleep on the Edward Cullen.
At that thought, she grinned so wide she was sure she looked like a madwoman, and so ducked her head under the water and threw herself in, surfacing gasping at the cold.
The air was boiling, but the sea wasn't anywhere close. It was, however, calm; Bella floated on her back for a while, until squinting against the sun became a bit much, and then she began to swim in earnest. The sun was warm, the sky was blue, and she was falling in love with Isle Esme.
When her legs began to ache, she slowed, turning to swim towards the shore until she could stand. Then it was a case of wading back to land - and deciding what she was going to do now.
Alice and Rosalie were talking, leaning back on their hands and both looking ridiculously stunning; Bella barely had to look at them to begin feeling inadequate, and she pulled a t-shirt on despite the fact she was still damp in self-consciousness. The boys didn't appear to be playing any more, although Edward was still cradling his guitar - Jasper's and Emmett's were placed carefully in cases in the shade.
Emmett ended her indecisiveness. "Hey, Sleepyhead!" He called out to her, waving her over. She was half-tempted to refuse on the grounds of the nickname, but shook her head and joined them anyway.
Jasper and Edward shifted apart to make room for her, and she ignored the fact that there were three pairs of eyes on her and that she'd ' almost unintentionally - sat quite a bit closer to Edward than Jasper. "Yes, Emmett? Can I help you?" Her voice was sugar sweet; Edward, to her left, snorted.
Emmett frowned, then smoothly turned the expression into a matching smile. "I just wanted you to know..." He began, and there was enough insinuation in that alone that Bella could tell where this was going to end up. She flopped backwards into the sand, groaning and covering her eyes with her hand. She could hear surprised laughs from Jasper and Edward, and smiled slightly; Emmett had been cut off completely.
"Oh, do shut up, Emmett." It was Edward who spoke, and his voice was surprisingly good-natured, all things considered. "If you're going to make noise, at least make it musical."
Bella propped herself up to watch the ensuing events. Emmett inclined his head, launching into a rendition of a song that Bella presumed was one of their own, his bass's voice astoundingly deep. He grinned at Jasper, clearly a challenge, and the blond cleared his throat and began singing the same words - but altering the tune, pushing his voice as far as it would go in the opposite direction.
And then Edward rolled his eyes, singing what seemed to be the true melody between them, resulting in a rather discordant mishmash of notes, and a giggling Bella. "You know, you sound so much nicer when you sing together." She told them, smiling, and then Jasper pointed out they were singing together - although perhaps there wasn't as much teamwork going on as there could be.
"Hey, Emmett - you know those melodies we were arguing over," Edward interjected, half-laughing at Jasper. "We could sing them to Bella, she could tell her which she liked better."
Emmett gave her an appraising look; blushing slightly, she shrugged. "I'd be happy to hear them, but I warn you, I'm not exactly your typical fangirl."
And so she found herself being sung to, and that in itself was so surprising - and when it was Edward's turn, distracting - that she barely actually remembered the melodies the first time they sang them.
"I don't know," she said, unhelpfully, as they watched her expectantly after the second or third time. "They're not that much different - I mean, yours, Edward, has the uppy bit at the end - don't laugh, I never claimed to be musical - but other than that, they're pretty similar. You could use one for the main melody, and the other perhaps the last or second last time it's sung. If you were planning on repeating that section, of course."
Emmett nodded, looking thoughtful, and then Jasper reached behind him, pulling his guitar out of the case. "Sing yours again, Emmett," He instructed, and eyes closed in concentration, he hummed it to himself, finding the melody among the frets of the guitar. It took a few tries, but he managed it, and then looked at Edward, prompting him to sing his as he played Emmett's beneath it. "See, you could use one as a counter-melody beneath the other." He explained, and it was true - they worked.
"Do you often do this?" Bella asked, curious. "Come up with different ideas and have to compromise on the final result?"
Edward rolled his eyes. "All the time. And it doesn't help that we all have very different styles - I mean, Emmett's typically quite rocky, I guess I'm a bit bluesy, and Jasper-" He broke off, both him and Emmett glancing at Jasper mischievously.
"They always say my compositions are 'ballady'." He informed Bella dryly. "Whatever that means." And then he jutted his chin defiantly, speaking to the other boys. "But Alice likes my 'ballady' songs, though, so there!"
Alice's voice came from behind them; Bella turned as she dropped down to sit by Jasper. "I most certainly do," she said, sweetly, shuffling up to give Rosalie room to sit by Emmett. "Beginning to fall for Vampiric?" She asked Bella, smiling.
Laughing a little, Bella nodded. "Yeah. You're amazing - I mean, I've said that before, and I know I've not heard much of what you play, but I've liked everything I've heard." Her cheeks were warm, and she was sure she was going overboard on the compliments, but she meant it all - and the pleased look on Edward's face was worth it, she decided.
Rosalie, sitting almost opposite Bella, smiled. Not widely, but it was something. "They are quite something, aren't they?" Bella just nodded emphatically in response, and Rosalie's smile widened.
The conversation moved on, and after a few minutes, Edward turned to Bella. "Other than Wuthering Heights," He smiled as he referred to the book she'd been reading the day before, "What do you like reading?"
She tilted her head, thinking. "Everything?" She eventually hazarded. "I mean, I couldn't tell you my favourite book, there are so many things out there that I love. I just started rereading a lot of things by Ben Elton - have you read anything by him?"
Edward frowned. "Maybe one or two things, I can't really remember. I know what you mean about not being able to pick a favourite book, though."
She laughed. "Yeah. But no, he's a good writer, his stuff is quite funny at times, but also can be quite chilling. And despite the fact that they're quite old, they still work really well with society today, which is surprising."
Edward nodded, smiling. "I guess that's what's next on my reading list." He quizzed her on a couple of series he liked - she made mental notes to look them up when she got back to Forks - and then finally mentioned something she not only recognised, but adored.
Her jaw dropped. "I love it! All of them!" She took a breath to compose herself slightly and continued, more calmly but definitely excited. "Me and my best friend love them; I brought the last two with me."
He was grinning widely at her enthusiasm. "Was that Jacob?" He enquired, looking curious. "Or whoever you phoned yesterday, I mean."
She shook her head, smiling at the thought. "No, not at all. Jacob's amazing, but he doesn't read that much."
He shrugged. "His loss." And then chuckled when Bella nodded energetically.
They sat there, talking about the books - they were midway through the series, and they both moaned a little about the wait until the next one was due to come out - and discussing plot points and potential endings. Bella was impressed - he'd noticed things she'd not thought about before, and the experience was surprisingly different to talking about them with Angela.
It was only when the others stood up around them, preparing to go into the sea again, that they realised they had become quite rapidly absorbed into a conversation of their own - neither of them could name what any of the rest of them had been talking about.