Close Your Eyes by CaraNo
Bella barely remembers her godparents, but after losing her mom and dad, she's shipped off to rainy Washington to live with the Cullens for her final semester in high school. On the outside, the Cullens are perfect. Behind closed doors is another matter. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Lisa A. Hollett
If you’ve read Cara No’s stories before, please heed this warning, this story is not like the others! Close Your Eyes is full of angst. Hard-core angst. The prologue gives you just a hint of what sort of heartfail is to come. But if you trust Cara as I do, you’ll steel yourself and keep reading. She will always make the pain worth it.
Her story starts with a Prologue which gives the reader a glimpse at the future for Edward and Bella. And from the looks of it, it’s bleak.
Tears stream down her cheeks. I swallow bile.
"What?" I exhale harshly.
Her last words are soft, shallow, but they couldn't cut deeper.
"I hate you."
With that said, she turns to leave.
I hate you.
I hate you.
I hate you.
It's suddenly impossible to breathe.
My eyes blur.
I watch her retreating form until she's out of sight.
Don't worry, baby. I hate me, too.
Bella’s parents have been killed, and she has moved to Forks live with her godparents, the Cullens. The circumstances surrounding her parents’ deaths have yet to be fully disclosed, but Bella’s guilt over the event is obvious immediately. We get glimpses that the life she left behind in Phoenix was full of heartbreak and tragedy.
Rosalie, who has her back to me, asks the question I want the answer to. "Her name was Alice?"
Tinks looks down at her lap. "Yeah, she died when we were fifteen."
Emmett hands me the joint we share, and I take a deep pull from it, feeling my eyes glaze over as I hold my breath.
"She always reminded me of Tinkerbell," Tinks…my Tinks…continues quietly. "So, last year I managed to convince my folks to let me get a tattoo in her memory."
"That sucks," Rosalie mutters. "That she died, I mean. How'd she die?"
It's clear that the questions are unwelcome, but I fucking want the answers.
So, I don't interrupt.
"She killed herself."
Edward Cullen lives an incredibly private life. Big Man on Campus in public; in private, it’s a very different story. He is desperate to get out of Forks and head off to college, even if it is to Johns Hopkins to pursue a medical degree he has no interest in.
He’s counting the days until he’s away from his father. Snippets of just what sort of a father is Carlisle have started to appear in the story, but the full scope of Edward’s waking nightmare has not yet been revealed. Though from what we’ve seen, it doesn’t look pretty.
I kill the engine and switch off my phone before stepping out of the car.
Dad hates it when my phone rings. It's a distraction.
"Here we go," I sigh, opening the door. The house smells clean. Maybe because I've spent the past two days making sure there are no traces left of my two weeks without parents.
I clear my throat and take off my jacket.
My mind is going hundred miles a minute as I try to come up with anything that may piss him off. Have I accidently left a pizza box somewhere? Didn't I empty the laundry? Has he heard anything from school? Are there any test results he could be disappointed in?
"In the kitchen, son."
Funny how my spine reacts to his voice before my fucking ears do.
Fourteen steps later, I reach the kitchen. As always, Dad is in a suit.
"Hey," I say lamely, shifting on my feet. My hands go to my pockets.
Dad looks up from the mail he has spread out on the kitchen island. Then he looks down again, saying nothing for a while. He has a knack for making a guy sweat. And I can see that it's not just the mail he has on the island. There are also a few tests and school reports I've gotten back while he was away.
Straight A's. Anything else is unacceptable. When I came home with a B- once…
But, don’t fear that it’s all sorrow and sadness, Edward and his Tinks connect very quickly and very intimately. It wouldn’t be a Cara No story without some insanely hot lemons. These two share a love for marijuana and a growing, inescapable desire for each other. Luckily for us, they act on that desire often.
"Ride me," I pant. "I'm gonna film us."
She moans loudly, using my thighs as leverage, and then she fucks me.
Slowly and deeply.
With each swivel of her hips, I groan.
And I look at us through my phone.
I watch how my cock, wet from her juices, slips in and out of her.
I feel how her muscles constrict around me.
I blink slowly, caught in something weird. It's like I'm lost. The pleasure fucking consumes me, and I drop the phone…Iforget the phone…and am I even breathing? I have no fucking idea but, suddenly, my hands are on her hips, and I slam her down on me, making both of us cry out. Euphoria. Dizziness. And then she's coming. And then I'm coming. Every muscle in me tenses. My fucking toes curl. My thighs throb. My cock pulses in her pussy. Nope, not breathing.
I’m her beta, so I have a little bit of advance knowledge of what’s going to happen in this story. She advised early on for readers to “put on their big girl panties”, and I second that advice. It is not going to be an easy road for Edward and Bella; they are going to struggle and suffer, and there will probably be chapters when it seems like all hope is lost. But it isn’t. They’re Cara No’s characters, and they adhere to her rules. They don’t cheat on each other, and they always get their Happily Ever After. Take a chance on this story. It’ll make you hurt, and it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you believe that love conquers all.
Rhapsody in B by Lillybellis-rec'd by Jaime Arkin
When a rising musician falls in love with his small-town childhood friend, can their yearly New Year's Eve tradition bring them together once he rockets to stardom and leaves her behind?
Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Jaime Arkin
It's hard for me to explain how dear this author is to me and how much I adore her writing. I fell in love with Lillybellis when I stumbled upon Rhapsody in B. Of course, I was late to the party but I do remember sitting up until an ungodly hour in the morning devouring the chapters, needing and wanting more, wiping the tears and stifling the laughs. I'm not even exaggerating in the least with that statement. In fact, this story was my absolute favorite story of all time ... until she wrote We Come to Life Beneath the Stars.(lol I'm allowed to say that right cuz it's the same author! Come on! She holds my top 2 spots!!)
I struggle with putting into words all the different parts of this story because it's not just about loss or love or traditions... it's about all those things, but it's also about friendships, and growing up, and dreaming, and ultimately about finding your place in life. Knowing where you're supposed to be and who you're supposed to be with. And to be perfectly honest, I’m afraid I can’t do this story justice.
Rhapsody in B takes place over a series of New Year's Eves starting in 1975 and it all begins with one person's desire to build and have a tradition to cling to. We get Charlie's point of view in the prologue:
"I know you didn't. I just...I miss being home. Doing these things makes me feel like I'm there with my family, even though I'm not."
She leaned back into my chest, so warm and small. I wrapped my arms around her, so tight, because I just wanted to protect her. I wanted her to have everything, but we were both so young, and we barely had a pot to piss in. If I could make her happy by watching a stupid countdown and eating whatever it was she was cooking that really did smell delicious, then I would do it.
"This means a lot to you," I said.
"I thought it would be a nice thing to do every year, something we could share with our kids once they're old enough, and then they could share it with their kids, and on and on and on...
Our first new years officially happens in 1990 when Bella is 14 and she’s recently lost her mother. The yearly tradition of celebrating with family and friends still stands as a testament to what she meant to everyone. The whole gang is accounted for, Jasper, Alice, Rose, Emmett and Edward. While Renee isn’t physically at each one of the celebrations, she’s definitely a big part of each chapter, whether it’s the mention of a song, or someone sharing a memory and I love the way Lillybellis weaves all the details together. The guitar she gave Edward and even something as simple as making hot chocolate reminds readers that this person had a profound impact on the two main characters of this story.
When we first meet Edward, he's the awkward older brother of Bella's best friend Alice. He's sweet, he's cute and he's adorable. Did I mention that he sings and he plays the piano and guitar too? He's an aspiring musician but in 1993 everything changes. Edward is 'discovered', and it forces them to acknowledge (sort of) their feelings:
"The greatest thing. It's the best thing I could've ever wished for you, Edward, and I'm so excited that your dreams are coming true," I told him, more tears falling from my eyes as I spoke.
"You're excited and you're crying." He shook his head, smiling.
"Well…" I began, not really sure what I was supposed to say.
He moved his hands so that I could feel each of his thumbs right by my ears as he brought his face closer to mine. The only sound I could hear was my breathing as he leaned over and gently kissed the spots where my tears were falling, first on my right cheek, and then on my left.
I brought my hands up to grip his arms, because I felt like my world was spinning and I just needed something to hold on to, and I wanted it to be him.
"I'm going to miss you," I whispered, and I knew he heard it, because his forehead was resting against mine, and I could feel his breath on my cheek.
"Say that again," he asked, but he was telling me more than anything. "Please…say it again."
"I'm going to miss you," I whispered. "I'm going to miss you so much."
"God, I..." He stopped himself before he said anything else, and I could feel him shifting his feet just a little bit, like he was fighting with his body to stay where he was. "I'll come back, B. I promise you that I'll come back." His thumbs moved up and down my cheeks, soothing, comforting. "I shouldn't..."
I felt every word he said on my skin, his lips so close to me that even though they weren't quite touching me when he talked, I could feel them moving anyway. He stood there, battling with himself, and I wasn't sure what he was fighting, but his mouth was right there, and all I could think about was what it would feel like to kiss him.
I moved my face toward his just the tiniest bit, and I felt his top lip on mine, and his breath mixing with mine, and it was wrong and it was right and my heart and my brain were all jumbled up, and he was so close, and I thought maybe he wanted it too, but he'd been drinking and it seemed like he was getting ready to run away, and I wasn't sure of anything anymore. But I made up my mind to move forward the two centimeters it would take to taste him, because I had never felt anything like this before, and I just had to know-
I want to copy and paste every damn chapter here for everyone because I love every single word of it. But I won’t. I won't give anything more away about this beautiful story. I honestly can't without telling you the whole thing and I won't do that, you need to go read it for yourself. Lillybellis's writing is incredible. It has a clean and natural flow with intelligent dialogue layered with emotion. The story isn't filled with lemons, it isn't based on an over the top premise and never ending angst, it's simply a superbly told story that brings back memories of growing up. I promise you will laugh (slap bracelets, Crystal Pepsi, 90210 & NKOTB references) you will cry (I did, and I never ever do!) and you will want more and more. There are twelve chapters to this lovely story and I suggest you go now, and read them, and please leave her some love.
Distractions by Windchymes
An unexpected discovery and Bella realises Edward lied when he left her. She is determined to find him, but as she searches she finds there is more to Edward Cullen than she ever realised.
Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Dragnfli
I have been meaning to read a windchymes story for quite some time now and was not disappointed when I picked up Distractions. Now, I am not a Stephanie Meyer hater, or one to bash the wonderful books that brought us all together here, yearning for some more Edward/Bella time, BUT this story could easily replace New Moon for me.
The story starts the December after Edward leaves Bella in the woods. Jacob comes over with a Christmas tree as per Charlie’s request. The thing with this is that Bella and Jacob never get to have the deeper friendship that they had in New Moon because after Christmas and New Year’s, when Jacob is helping to take the tree down, Bella has a major discovery.
The tree makes a hole in the ceiling and amongst the plaster that falls, certain things also fall down, such as the cd Edward made her, the plane tickets to Florida, the pictures. Bella quickly stashes them, only to lay them out on her bed later that night and ponder what it all means.
It all fell into place. I groaned as I slid from the rocking chair and sank to the floor, resting my head on the edge of the bed while I hugged myself and a new pain ripped through me.
It had been a lie.
Not about loving me, about leaving me.
He'd left to protect me.
From his world, from him.
And slowly, my mind put out a toe to test the water, and then it unlocked my heart and let it out.
He still loved me.
My heart started to pound and my breaths were sharp and shallow. Tears spilled onto my cheeks and ran down my face.
He still loved me.
I began to shake, almost too scared to believe. This new truth was a fragile, delicate thing. I had to embrace it slowly, gently, in case it broke and shattered and I was left with the emptiness again. I'd been so long in the dark, I was squinting now against the light.
I hugged my new truth, letting it grow and strengthen. Letting it fill me up, I checked it for flaws and impossibilities, but could find none.
He loves me.
And now, the truth became solid and real and sure as I remembered new things, things I'd been too distracted to see before.
The press of his lips against my forehead as he'd said goodbye - how they'd lingered.
He loves me.
The flicker in his eyes as he'd pulled away. I'd been so distraught I hadn't understood it at the time but I understood now. It was the moment his heart had broken.
"Oh, Edward." My tears flowed faster.
This urges Bella to try and find Edward...to let him know the she knows the truth, even if he still doesn’t want to be with her anymore.
The thing that I ultimately love about this story is the evolution of Edward and Bella and their love for one another, their acceptance of each other and of themselves. Bella realized things about herself and her actions toward Edward that she wouldn’t have if she hadn’t gone on her journey to find him. Edward also finds himself and we see a playful, seventeen-year-old side to him as well.
Windchymes did such a fantastic job with this AU story and I can’t wait to read more by her! Please give this a read! It’s complete and completely wonderful!
Ethan Church by Dryler-rec'd by Twific Crackmum
When Bella accepts an offer to write the biography of a severely reclusive author, the old, dying man she's presented with and the young, too perfect man she meets while there convince her she's missing some very important parts of the story. E/B, AU. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Twific Crackmum
I'll start by saying that I love a mystery story - and while Ethan Church by dryler isn't exactly a mystery, it certainly is mysterious. Bella Swan works for a publishing company, which is a well-worn career path for our heroine, except in this case she is not an author, but a translator of other people's work. That's why she is amused and suprised when she receives a letter from one of her employers most successful authors, Ethan Church, asking her to personally write a memoir of his life. She politley declines his offer, advising him that there must have been a misunderstanding because she is not actually an author. However, she decides to read one of his books, and ends up completely besotted (a la Twilight - we've all been there!) reading book after book, calling in sick to work so that she can keep reading.
Ethan Church is a very old man. His first book was published in 1938. He has 48 novels published, and is a world-wide success. Yet very little is known about him. Theories abound that he is not even actually a real person, but a collective of writers who have secretly banded together. Surely no one man could have produced these books over such a long period of time? After her mini reading meltdown, Bella vows to put aside any more reading of Mr. Church's books, and get back to her old routine. However, she receives another letter, assuring her that there has been no misunderstanding, and that Mr Church does indeed want to hire her. Included with the letter is a plane ticket to Seattle. The old man needs her to come and stay with him, in his home, so he can tell his story, as he is too old and infirm to travel. Bella decides to go.
Bella's introduction to Ethan Church is a shock:
The appearance of the man sitting on the couch on the other side of the room stops me in my tracks. His frailty is shocking. He has pale, delicate looking skin, white wispy hair, and his hunched frame is dwarfed by the plush couch and pillows surrounding him. Logically I knew he couldn't be young, but the power of his words seems to have led me to unknowingly expect someone with the physical power of youth, despite the rational impossibility
They quickly get down to business though, with Mr Church nonchalantly explaining that he is dying, which is why he requires Bella to write his memoir, quite urgently. So Bella settles into this strange household, run by Mr Church's elderly housekeeper, Adelaide. She agrees to meet with Ethan every morning, as that is when he is at his most energetic.
On her very first night in the house, Bella has an "encounter", or is it her imagination? During a severe thunder storm, she believes she sees a young man, illuminated in the dark by a flash of lightning, but soon dismisses this as the overactive imagination of a tired girl living in a creepy house. When she mentions it to the housekeeper the next morning, Adelaide alludes to the fact that the house has a resident ghost.
Work with the enigmatic Mr Church begins. There are problems right from the start:
"Alright." He takes a deep breath and carefully adjusts the sleeve of his shirt. "I suppose I should start at the very beginning, which precipitously enough happens to be one of the most important parts of my story. I, Miss Swan, was birthed from death."
"You mean your mother died in childbirth?"
"I'm going to have to insist that you don't ask me any questions. The only way to properly tell a story is to tell it the way it's meant to be told, and questions only pull you out of the narrative and put you down somewhere else you're not meant to be yet, if at all. One must let a narrative follow its natural course."
"I'll also have to insist that you don't do that. I can't stand apologies; people so rarely mean them. Not that I'm saying you don't, you seem like a very genuine young woman, it's merely a general rule. As for you having something to apologize for, I'd say you most certainly don't. I had meant to tell you that before we started, but as I'm sure you've noticed I'm well aged, much like wine, but with less positive results."
So, Ethan begins to tell the story of his life, often in ways that sound like riddles. Here's another example of his strange tale
"In 1935, I got a brother. It only happened because of my sister. She was obsessed with children, babies in particular. She insisted the family be expanded, and our parents were loath to deprive us of anything that would make us happy, within reason, of course. So I gained a younger brother, a very happy one. I'm sure he was a pleasant change for our parents.
"They got along very well, my sister and my brother. We all agreed she was much more palatable to live with after that, not necessarily pleasant, but palatable."
Can you see what is happening here? It's such a strange and wonderful story - and I don't want to give too much away. Yes, Edward does show up, never fear! He captures Bella's attention with his love of literature and astute mind. Bella is perplexed though when Edward tells her that he has never read any of Ethan Church's novels - and never will. I'm just going to give you one more clue as to Edward's role in this story - hope I don't give it away ;)
"What's the point of avoiding Ethan Church's novels if you already think like that?"
"Like... everything is bad, like life and people are completely horrible."
"The books tell stories, unpleasant stories about crumbling people, but they aren't intended as an analysis of life or mankind in general."
"I thought you didn't read them."
"I don't. That doesn't mean I don't know what's in them. There's a big difference between knowing and experiencing."
This is a short story, at only 13 chapters, so it's a really quick and very satisfying read. You wont be sorry :)
Mine by SuzyQSparkles-rec'd by Dragnfli Threethreesix
Bella, a sophmore in college, is an artist who has recently joined a sorority where she does not fit in. While Edward, a senior in college, is the all too perfect president of the fraternity two houses down. In this story all characters are human. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: evilnat
‘Mine’ by SuzyQSparkles is an AH E & B fic set in college. It is well written and a little serious, but it doesn’t come across as too heavy. Each chapter is an alternate Edward or Bella point of view that replays each situation as the other sees it, and you might think it would be repetitive seeing as they are both going over the same thing, but it isn't. A lot of the beginning of the story there is minimal interaction between the two and when they finally do spend some time together their internal monologues and demeanors are so different that you find it interesting to find out what they were thinking. Especially Edward.
Bella Swan is an arty sophomore and an unlikely member of a sorority. Edward Cullen is an intense serious senior and president of a fraternity. Bella has a history that seems to have affected her more than she wants to admit. Edward also has some demons that are slowly being revealed. He has sworn to himself that he will never fall in love and his fascination with Bella almost shocks him, because of this, he tries to act distant but just comes across as an asshole.
The UST is high from the moment Edward and Bella meet. They have a class in common and are partnered up for an assignment, so as much as they try to avoid each other they can’t.
FUCK. The word screamed through my mind. I hardly ever swore, but right now I was cursing up a storm in my head. Of course, Hands would be Edward Cullen. And, damn him, even his voice was sexy. Rough, sex-warmed velvet.
"Jessica, who's your friend? I don't believe I've had the pleasure."
Jessica giggled. I suddenly fiercely hated her giggle. "Oh, this is just Isabella Swan. So, I heard you were in France last semester?"
"Hello, Bella" he murmured. The four syllables caused a slow meltdown inside of me. And then his words fully registered.
My head snapped up and I responded quickly, "How did you know to call me Bella?"
His face shuttered and he shrugged. He shrugged as if my question meant nothing, as if he wasn't going to bother answering me. Whatever. Now I was pissed. I was still turned on and somewhat, well…..dazzled…. but my anger was focusing my thoughts. He was going to answer me.
"How did you know to call me Bella?" I demanded. I wasn't going to be treated like I didn't matter, like I was nothing. He wasn't going to just ignore me. No freaking way.
He smirked as if my anger was somehow amusing to him; then he lifted his gorgeous, supercilious eyebrow. "I was up when you called Emmett last night" he said. His tone was bored and slightly condescending, as if I was ridiculous for even asking such a mundane question.
I stared at him. He looked pissed. Why the heck would he be mad at me? What did I do? He didn't even know me. Maybe he was mad because I called last night. He probably didn't want anyone disturbing the fraternity house he lorded over. Whatever. I hated him, I told myself fiercely. He was a supercilious, arrogant asshole and I didn't care how sexy his hands were. My body whispered that it did care but I resolutely decided to ignore it.
Bella’s bedroom window faces the window of the president’s office in his frat house; he sees her and has feelings for her before they even meet.
I bent down slightly to take a peek. It probably didn't even work. I put my eye to the eye piece and started to tinker with the focus. Slowly the blur cleared and a picture came into focus. My breath caught. It was a woman's naked back.
My eyes widened and my heart sped as I realized that the telescope was being used to spy into a sorority house three houses down.
I told myself to lift my head and stop looking. That spying on someone was wrong in so many ways. But I couldn't lift my head. I was transfixed. Her long shapely legs led up to the most luscious ass I had ever seen. And her narrow waist accented it perfectly. Her long luscious hair fell in wavy russet curtains down her back. It would give a man something to hold onto, I mussed in appreciation. I felt my dick harden as I continued to stare at her.
She bent at the waist leaving her legs straight and slightly parted. It gave me a perfect view of the little cleft of her pussy. Fuck. My dick was standing at full attention now desperately wanting to ram into that little cleft. Pound into her. Hear her cries echoing off the wall coupled with the rhythmic slap of our bodies.
Fuck. I felt like I was going to cum and I had only been looking at her for sixty seconds. Where was this shit coming from? I usually liked control. Liked to make it last. Pleasurable vanilla sex with only a few twists and turns. But one look at this girls pussy and suddenly I wanted to dominate her. Fuck her without preliminaries. Make her admit my ownership.
Wait. Ownership? She was a stranger. I didn't even know her. I needed to stop looking. Right. Now.
I didn't stop looking.
Jessica is the character you love to hate; she’s a bitchy, jealous, fake sorority sister who deliberately makes trouble for Bella.
Angela looked at me. I could tell she was debating about whether or not to press me for more details but before she could, Jessica walked into the kitchen.
"Hey girls" Jessica called out.
"Hey Jess" I responded and bit my lip. I didn't want to have to tell her I didn't drop the class. I knew she was going to be upset.
"How did it go at the advisor's office?" Jessica asked.
"Oh. It didn't. I decided not to drop the class." I said.
"Really? Why?" Jessica asked
"No reason. Just didn't feel right." I responded.
"Whatever." She said. She looked at me as if she was assessing me. I thought she was going to start grilling me. But then her eyes hardened and she walked out.
I knew why she was disappointed. She thought if I dropped the class she could be Edward's partner for the semester. Damn. I had totally forgotten about that. Not only was I staying in this class, but I was literally academically required to get to know Edward Cullen. How was I going to deal with that?
As the story proceeds, we meet some of the regular cast of characters. Emmett is a great character; he is Edward’s best friend and fraternity brother. Angela, the sorority president, is nice, and a great friend to Bella, she is there to guide her when she needs some advice. Alice, Jasper and Rose are there but not necessarily present, we hear about them, but I don’t want to give anything away.
‘Mine’ is a great read, it’s not too long and the angst is there but it’s an undercurrent to the rest of the story and doesn’t take it over. The UST is great and the humor is well placed and really funny. Edward’s POV is my favourite; he’s intense and hard to work out.
Check it out!