High Fidelity by Ireen H
Damaged Edward, damaged Bella. Two sides of the same scarred coin. When one side is up, the other is down. Language and lots of it. Lemons eventually. It's a slow burn, slow and painful. Mature. Lots of random pop culture references. AH, AU, ExB.
Reviewed by: VampsHaveLaws
I was a little late to the High Fidelity train. I saw it rec’d on numerous blog sites, and after a few friends started reading it, I decided to shift it to the top of my list.
Despite working in the same office building for five years, it isn’t until Edward mistakenly files a claim against Bella for a hit and run accident that they “meet”.
He’s arrogant, attractive, and obstinate. She’s fiery, insistent—his perfect match.
"Did you know that you hit someone in the parking lot this morning?"
"Uh. No I didn't. Wait, you mean, someone hit me?" I thought maybe he had misstated what he was trying to say.
"No, you hit another car in the parking lot."
I actually laughed. This was absurd. "Nope, wasn't me."
Things only start to get more heated from here.
Edward sets out to get Bella into bed, but she isn’t like the usual women who fall at his feet. She fights his advances and keeps him at a distance. She has a secret that will only let him get so far before she pulls away.
The UST is crazy. Their banter humourous. And the more Edward gets to know “Bella the person”, instead of “Bella the ass and legs and smart mouth”, the more his previous notions get turned on their head.
He starts to feel things he can’t deal with; emotions he doesn’t want to own.
The story shifts between point of views, allowing us to see what lies beneath protective shields and outward shows.
I especially love this Edward. He’s cruel and broken and has a past he keeps hidden at all costs.
His torn up ideals and inner demons result in personal attacks and mistakes he’ll learn to regret.
And when he lashes out, it’s not only at himself, but at the detriment of others.
I reach out and place my hand gently against the wood. What am I touching? What part of her presses against my hand through this thin barrier of painted oak.
Her back? The small of it? Her hands, bracing her against the force of Edward's thrusts? Her breasts? Two of them?
A whole woman, a broken man. Both of them thieves, robbing me in this moment.
I can't help this longing, comfort me, I can't hold it all in, if you won't let me…I can hear Edward breathing.
I can hear him cursing.
And her moans.
This is fucking.
I am an empty vessel. A moment ago, a heart beat inside of my chest... now it echoes the banging and squeaking of those people... those people on the other side of that door. And this song. This terribly beautiful song which I know is ruined for me forever.
I pull my hand back and return to the kitchen where I hastily pack up my final bag and set it near the door.
My vision blurs as I quickly, sloppily, wipe down his cabinet fronts, his counters, his floors, his bar, his sink.
I tell myself it doesn't matter. My neck starts to ache.
I have to get out of here.
All I hear is her now, the animal sounds of fornication drowned out by her voice, as she says his name. Over and over again.
I feel it in my stomach, in my scar, in my throat which is throbbing with my silent demand to keep it all in.
All I want to do is hide.
But I don't get that chance.
I am just crossing the hallway to finally escape when the door to his bedroom, the door bearing his touch and hers, is thrown open with a bang.
I thought I knew what his bedhead looked like. I was wrong. His hair falls in his face, into his eyes, limp strands damp with sweat. His hair, so beloved, has become anathema to me.His expression, though, is familiar. I've seen it before. I've rejected him before, in this moment.
Bella, dance with me.
It's torment, it's rage, it's someone dying on the inside. His whole persona is electric as he fills the doorway, his eyes beseeching mine. Asking something from me that I can't even comprehend. Accusing me of something I haven't done.
He has his dress slacks on, riding loose on his hips, and he's shirtless. His chest expands as his lungs slowly fill, a soft tangle of hair marks his collarbone. A fine patina of sweat causes his bare skin to sparkle at me… and something else. The ugliest scar I've ever seen. In the scariest place I can imagine. His left pectoral muscle.
I remind myself that the heart is actually more centrally located, and that he is in fact alive in front of me, but I'm reaching for him, to comfort him... God only knows why. Because it's obvious from that scar that he is lucky to be alive.
Oh what a lucky man, he was.
Before I can close the distance between us, he speaks. "Stay away from me."
I’m interested to see where the story is headed, and how dynamics will change now that feelings have.
High Fidelity is well written and has a unique plot, and with it only being thirteen chapters in, won’t take you that long to get caught up.
Read it, enjoy it, and let the author know what you think.
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