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13 May 2008 @ 02:38 am
Title: Fold
Fandom: Twilight
Rating: R
Summary: I think this is a kind of complicated piece. I'm not even sure if it works. It's a joined series of vignettes from Bella's POV on themes that are both intimate and embarrassing. Edward/Bella. One sequence implies violent sexual fantasies, so be warned. This isn't smut at all, though. More like fluff. The pieces aren't slapped together for no reason; I hope they show some change in Bella's reactions as they go.
AN: Unbeta'd. I feel like this is experimental, so please tell me what you think.
Word Count: 2344


“Women have hunger two-fold, shyness four-fold, daring six-fold, and lust eight-fold as compared to men.” - Chanyaka

"This is possibly the worst idea you have ever had." I stood with my racket drooping like my shoulders. The evening was grayer than usual and threatening rain. I felt like a pouting child. Just now I didn't care if I looked and acted like one, too.

"Bella, you could try to humor me."

"Do you not remember gym class?"

He flashed me an arch smile.

"Are you lacking in entertainment? Did you want to try the library, instead? Or am I really that amusing?"

"Oh, you are always amusing," his eyes glinted.

"You know, you're almost as bad as Emmett." I saw him glance up at me with a glimmer of something like worry, but he must have seen the humor in my eyes because his smile returned promptly.

"Edward, I'm serious. This is a really bad idea. If we're lucky, I'll just stand here and do nothing."

"The difference between this," Edward held up his tennis racket, "and racquetball in gym, is that I will be serving you the balls. I can assure you that if you stood there and did nothing, they would bounce off of your racket every time, Bella. Give me some credit."

I sighed dramatically and came to terms with the inevitability of the lesson ahead. The green community court plastered with "no skateboarding" signs, where a low net would always separate me from Edward, was the last place I wanted to spend a summer evening.

I did as I was told: stand in the middle of the court, hold my racket off to my right, and do absolutely nothing. The yellow projectile came flying towards me. It looked too fast. Instinct kicked in and I wailed and flinched away from its trajectory, curling up as I thought I felt the ball pass too closely.

Edward said nothing. I stood again and waited for the next ball. When it came, the result was nearly identical.

"Bella," Edward's voice was already impatient, "I'm not going to hit you."

"I know! It's just can't help it. I hate this. Can we just go home?"

"You are going to go home," he said meaningfully. I could only stare at him in complete confusion.

"What does that mean?"

He inhaled deeply, sighed, and flicked wary eyes out to the park ensuring that no one was around. "Just trust me on this, please?"

I intended to, but I knew that if I told him that, he would never clue me in. "Why?"


"Why?" I persisted.

"I'll stay there with you." I heard that he was making a deal, a plea for me to stop asking questions in exchange for his continued presence.

"Why, Edward?" He was already pulling my arm towards his car. "What if I want to go to your house?"

"In a few hours," he said cryptically.

Aware that I wasn't going to get an answer, I finally followed along. Two hours later, perched in my room with some new CDs Phil had sent (calling it an engagement present), I felt it. My period was starting several days early. I blanched then flushed a vibrant red, realizing that Edward had known. He must have been able to tell all along. Of course he'd been able to tell all along, and his entire family too, I had no doubt.

"Excuse me," I whispered. Edward was sprawled on the bed next to me looking through my other CDs, putting them into separate piles for some indiscernible reason. He made a quiet noise as I left the room. I thought I had never been more mortified and furious in my life. I stayed in the bathroom until I had cried myself out.

I was starting to worry. I knew it was silly, and that Edward would be terrifically amused by me if he had any idea. I was in my room, alone, at night-- a most unusual occurrence, but Edward had to eat sometime, right? I couldn't glue him to my side, and I did manage to win my case to stay here with Charlie. No pedicures tonight.

Being alone was good for me. I needed alone time. I hadn't realized I needed it until I had it, but I was grateful to have some peace and quiet, space to think. Everything was happening very fast. The abstractions I was sinking into felt less than helpful. I knew I should distract myself. Usually I was good at that sort of thing, blocking out unpleasant thoughts or finding ways to refocus my attention where I wanted it to be. Not tonight, though.

I knew exactly what was bothering me. Alice had made me try on the dress, but not for alterations-- she'd done those perfectly the first time-- but because she'd bought a rather large assortment of odd and formal underwear, bras, corsets, and slips, and wanted me to try on every conceivable combination. Alice's primary concern, I knew, was what will look best with the dress. I knew she isn't thinking beyond that, I really did.

But I was, and it made me afraid.

As many times as I'd felt ready to throw all my clothes off in front of Edward, I'd never had to confront the actual reality of it. I'm not perfect, physically. I certainly can't compete with a female vampire. Thank goodness Edward doesn't have intimate knowledge of any other women. Maybe I could trick him into thinking I have a beautiful body. I laughed grimly.

It's not that I think I'm fat, or that I think I'm ugly. Nothing so simple. I do think that my lower belly is flabby. It has a little track of dark hair that runs down to my private regions, and I don't think that's attractive. My father's half Italian, and I'm sure that's where I get it, along with the course, dark hair on my head. My thighs aren't gorgeous. I doubt anyone thinks their thighs are gorgeous. They seem designed to be distinctly un-gorgeous. I don't know if other women shave or... wax. Jessica was talking about it once. I'd tuned her out. Now I wished I'd paid a little bit more attention. Would Edward be expecting anything in particular? Would he expect the beauty conventions of his own time? Of mine? I didn't like to think about these things, because I simply didn't have a single answer. Nor would I ever ask. Even if I were to suck it up and ask Alice, Edward would see that I had, in her thoughts. And she'd probably take it as an invitation to do a thorough makeover or something. Rosalie's face flashed through my head. I knew at least that she wouldn't want anything to do with me after I asked. She probably would never think about it again, so maybe Edward would never know. I would never have gotten a chance to ask Rosalie even if I'd found the courage, though, because she was hunting with Emmett and Edward.

I sat up in bed abruptly. I knew Edward might find out I'd done this, but I needed to ease my fears somehow. I'd been feeling far too human and inadequate and-- well, just a little bit like a steak trying to marry a king, to tell the truth. This newest idea was at least much better than talking to Alice or Rosalie. I was promised discretion and understanding, and I knew she would be easy to talk to. She always was. She always was.

I sneaked out of the house well after midnight. Charlie was sound asleep and I doubt he'd suspect a thing with Edward away. At this moment, there was not a single place in the world I wanted to be besides in Esme's confidence. I'd never had a mother who took care of me, who put me first, though I love Renee. Renee is the very best friend I've ever had. But Esme...

Esme could easily be my mother. She would be, before long. I hoped the sound of my truck starting didn't wake Charlie as I pulled away.

The lights were on in the Cullen house when I pulled up. My truck's analog clock read in the neighborhood of 1:45 am, but I wasn't surprised. Why would the lights be off? Surely they'd heard my truck pull up, and I didn't doubt that Alice was standing on the other side of the door with a pint of ice cream she'd probably ran out and bought while I was driving over here, but no one opened the door and I was afforded the luxury of knocking. Once.

Before my hand hit the door a second time, it did fly open, but I was surprised to see Carlisle, not Alice, on the other side. "Good evening Bella. I'm afraid Alice has run to the convenience store. Make yourself at home," he gestured towards the living room.

"Wow, she's... slow."

Carlisle chuckled. "She had some crisis trying to figure out what you would want. It seems she thought you weren't coming over for an especially usual reason?" His voice was tender. I wondered what Alice had told him.

"No," I answered. "I was actually hoping to speak to Esme."

Carlisle smiled, and his face seemed to light like the sun when he did. "She's in our room."

I nodded.

"And I believe Alice settled on ice cream."

"I knew she would," I grinned.

"Oh? Are you developing some talents yourself?" Carlisle's eyes sparkled.

"I have a lot of incentive to try and anticipate Alice."

"Don't we all." He patted me on the back. "Go on. She's expecting you."

That caused the blood to rush to my cheeks instantly. What had Alice said?

Carlisle must have noticed the blush, because he was swift to respond. "Bella, you don't need a reason or excuse. It thrills Esme. You've made her very happy tonight simply by needing her."

I nodded and continued with my necessary task, knowing that at least some ice cream was waiting at the other end.

"He could not have said that." Edward's eyebrow rose.

"I was right there at the next register. I think I know what he said." I picked at a cold french fry, running it through the leftover sauce from my sandwich.

"I cannot believe it. I wish I had been there. Hayden honestly believes he has a shot with you?"

I waved another fry. "How did you not know this?"

"I've told you before, Bella, you are a favorite among many of the boys at school. I often catch them imagining." He grimaced.

"Imagining? Imagining what?"

"Sometimes simply that they can win your heart or that they secretly already have. Other times..." Edward hesitated then calmly scanned the noisy Port Angeles grill we-- well, I-- was eating in as he spoke. "Other times they imagine things that I still have to imagine, were I indelicate enough to let my mind wander such paths."

"Wait, you imagine things?"

His eyes spun to catch mine quickly. "That isn't what I said."

"Too bad," I grinned, "I was just about to tell you how flattering that was, and how... how strangely beautiful it made me feel."

Edward frowned again, his brow furrowing. "I may do some imagining. It is only natural."

"Uh uh. You already said you didn't."

A playful growl rolled through Edward's throat. I bit off the end of a fry and cocked my head, leaning forward. "Do you ever... listen in? On their imaginings?" I wasn't sure if I loved or hated the idea. I wanted more than Edward listening in. I wanted Edward to reach in and snake those fantasies away from my classmates and coworkers; they belonged to him alone.

His growl grew more menacing and then stopped in a hiss, seemingly as soon as he realized that he'd started. "The..." He huffed, at a rare loss for words. "No. Definitely not. I do what I can to distract them. Ask questions. Throw heavy objects." He smiled rakishly. "In my imaginings, anyway."

I huffed. "Boys. You always have sex on the mind."

"Excuse me, but I do not."

"Uh huh. Should I take offense, then?"

"Besides," Edward redirected, "the girls are just as bad."

"The girls fantasize about me too?" I felt my eyes widen.

"Silly Bella. They fantasize about me, of course. So do a couple of the guys."

"Kurt, I guess," I named the one classmate I knew was gay.

Edward's mouth quirked and he answered, "Not always the people you'd expect."

"Oh." I eyed the remaining soggy fries and pushed my plate away. "I don't like to think of people fantasizing about you. W-What do they... I mean, when they--"

"Human minds are fairly conventional and unimaginative."

"Gee, thanks," I whispered.

Edward chuckled. "You should know by now that you are an exception to everything, love."

"Freak. Right." I grinned despite myself. "I'm guessing my fantasies are just as straight forward as theirs, though. Only in mine..." Edward didn't ask. I looked up and held his gaze a moment. It was implied, hanging between us, that in my fantasies he was rather less human than in those of our former classmates'. In my dreams, he finished by biting me, by changing me, and the pain became bliss. Sometimes... sometimes I even imagined him draining me, during sex, after, ... before. Once, before. I would never, could never tell him these things. He would be furious, or worse. What was worse than furious? Thirsty. I was never quite sure how seriously to take his blood-lust, but I knew that I wouldn't fit in my wedding dress if people went around describing to me the tastes and textures of the best desserts. They were fantasies, after all, and if they were to come true... I imagined Edward, beside himself with grief and shame, and I felt my stomach turn abruptly. How quickly could he get to Italy? Would he wait that long, even? Maybe he would beg his brothers. Would they--? I shook my head, dropping the thoughts forever, knowing those were sexual fantasies I would never be returning to. I could not separate them from the broken Edward I had just conjured as a consequence.

"Bella," Edward's voice was quiet and strained.

"I'm sorry." I wasn't apologizing for my silence, but for the thoughts that had filled it. He seemed to understand.

He silently took my hand from across the table and kissed it.
Current Location: St. Paul, MN
bombshell_chicbombshell_chic on May 13th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
Nice, I like it. Not smutty at all, just intimate and thoughtful.
Bloody Jack Flint: Edward Volvo Starring at Bella Hushrhye on June 23rd, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Thanks :)
hibellahibella on May 13th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
This was interesting and definitely different. The only thing that was strange and confusing was the last vignette. It didn't flow and I'm not quite sure I understood it at all. It was hard to figure out who was say what also. But maybe it's just me. Anyway. I like it. Keep "experimenting."
Saturn Starssaturnstars on May 13th, 2008 11:18 am (UTC)
i really liked it please write more
damnherfortressdamnherfortress on May 13th, 2008 12:09 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, I have a gay friend named Kurt who loves Twilight.

This is scary.

Anyway, about the fic - pretty amusing, though I sometimes got confused over who was talking. I'd love to read more of your stuff in the future though!

PS - this is one of the first Twilight fics I've ever read.
medoraly on May 13th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
I loved this! Very original and well-written, I really liked the subtext in all of the parts. I'll be saving this one.
ferrylights: black&white moviesilvers on May 13th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
I really liked it! I think the middle one was my favorite. You write beautifully...very simple but it flows.
Looking forward to reading more from you. :)
be_cool_bec: Edward - moody volvo ownerbe_cool_bec on May 13th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
This is great, i really enjoyed it. The subject matter is interesting too because Twilight doesnt address such issues obv.

I hope you write more!
Ms. J to the Diva: twilight: you really shouldn't have saidjadeddiva on May 14th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Another fantastic fic from you - I always enjoy how you tackle the tough issues in this fandom without reducing the complexity of the issues.
Synchestra Duende: Bellward - Bella staring pensively on Edmysduende on May 15th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Whatelse can I say about you? You're AMAZING. These little vignettes are perfect and subtle. I'd be willing to bet that SM herself would enjoy them. I really love your approach to exploring this couple.

Btw, I rec'd a few of your fics on my LJ a few posts back along with some other Twilight recs. I think I'll have to add this one to the list!

I'll be looking for more of your stuff. SOOO good.
noperfectlife on May 30th, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
Meeep, I know it's been a long time, but I read this when you first posted it and meant to comment since then!

I think you're one of the best Twilight writers out there, hands down. You get Edward and Bella's voice, and all other characters like no one else. You write original plots, that the fandom often disregards, and you make them interesting, clever, simple and yet without never diminishing their complexity.

I love all your experiments, never stop!
Clairediamondqull on June 8th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
This was excellent; good characterization, nicely chosen scenes, paced dialogue and controlled narrative. I love your writing style and you've more than inspired me to get cracking with chapter three of 'Seducing Ms Swan'...
websandwhiskerswebsandwhiskers on June 12th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
I think this works well; it's a bit dark, but that's not bad, it gives Bella depth. It . . makes a sort of sense that I hadn't considered before, that marriage and sex and being bitten and maybe dying would be all tangled up in Bella's head. That of course it would at some point occur to her to imagine what it'd be like for him if he gave in completely . . to want to romanticize that idea, because there's got to be a little voice at the back of her head, no matter how brave or how trusting she thinks she is, that knows it's still possible.