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Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





I assume that Quaker meeting house was an author’s vacation insert.

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Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






chitoryu12 posted:

If he has no blood in his body, was it a boner produced by venom in Breaking Dawn? If so, why does it only work for that?

The whole venom thing makes no sense. Does he cum venom? Is his saliva venomous? Does he sneeze venom? Does he produce earwax, and if he does, is it also venomous?

I've officially thought more about this than Smeyer has.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Dirt Road Junglist posted:

The whole venom thing makes no sense. Does he cum venom? Is his saliva venomous? Does he sneeze venom? Does he produce earwax, and if he does, is it also venomous?

I've officially thought more about this than Smeyer has.

I hate to say it, but the cum and saliva are correct.

macabresca
Jan 26, 2019

I WANNA HUG


The way they solved it in Vampire: The Masquerade (and possibly other vampire media, I'm not a specialist) is so much better. There the blood that vampires suck just circulates in their bodies so that they can perform all the bodily functions and when it runs out, they need to feed again. Sorta like, um... regular food works. What the hell was Meyer thinking

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






macabresca posted:

The way they solved it in Vampire: The Masquerade (and possibly other vampire media, I'm not a specialist) is so much better. There the blood that vampires suck just circulates in their bodies so that they can perform all the bodily functions and when it runs out, they need to feed again. Sorta like, um... regular food works. What the hell was Meyer thinking

Same in LKH. Feeding made vampires more "lifelike" until it wore off.

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!


The venom saliva reminded me of a spiteful fanfic where one of the random vampires from Breaking Dawn gets petrified and shattered. His friends desperately attempt to fix him by licking the pieces and trying to piece him back together.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



macabresca posted:

The way they solved it in Vampire: The Masquerade (and possibly other vampire media, I'm not a specialist) is so much better. There the blood that vampires suck just circulates in their bodies so that they can perform all the bodily functions and when it runs out, they need to feed again. Sorta like, um... regular food works. What the hell was Meyer thinking

Vampire biology gets a bit more explanation in this book. Basically, vampires are rock-hard internally and externally and move and function through an unknown means that may as well be magic. All of their bodily fluids are replaced by venom. Blood is the only substance they can digest; anything else they eat or drink remains in their body unless they vomit it back up.

The context in which this gets explained is not one you will expect, and it will horrify.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



This setting straight up runs on magic anyway with the weird powers everyone has but only vampires have noticed.

Meyer should have just said "It's magic, I don't gotta explain poo poo" and be done with it.

Although I suppose that would get her in trouble for encouraging witchcraft or some such...

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 01:01 on Nov 13, 2020

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

The passing of time was meaningless while I cradled her, my lips against her hair. Her heart moved languorously now, her breath was slow and even against my skin. I only noticed the change when the shadow of the trees fell over us. Without the reflection off my skin, the meadow seemed suddenly darker, evening rather than afternoon.

Bella heaved a deep sigh. Not contented this time, but regretful.

“You have to go,” I guessed.

“I thought you couldn’t read my mind.”

I grinned and then pressed one last hidden kiss to the top of her head. “It’s getting clearer.”

We’d been a long time here, though now it seemed like mere seconds. She would have human needs she was neglecting. I thought of the long, slow trek to get to the meadow, and I had an idea.

Don't tell me now that you can hear her bowel movements.

quote:

I pulled away—reluctant to end our embrace no matter what came next—and placed my hands lightly on her shoulders.

“Can I show you something?” I asked.

“Show me what?” she asked, a hint of suspicion in her voice. I realized my tone was more than a little enthusiastic.

“I’ll show you how I travel in the forest,” I explained.

Her lips pursed, doubtful, and the crease between her brows appeared, deeper than before, even when I’d nearly attacked her. It surprised me a little; she was usually so curious and fearless.

Except for hiking, at which point she almost breaks down crying.

quote:

“Don’t worry,” I reassured her. “You’ll be very safe, and we’ll get to your truck much faster.”

I grinned encouragingly at her.

She considered for a minute, and then whispered, “Will you turn into a bat?”

I couldn’t suppress my laughter. I didn’t really want to. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so free to be myself. Of course, that wasn’t exactly true; I was always free and open when it was just me and my family. However, I never felt like this with my family—ecstatic, wild, every cell of my body alive in a new, electric way. Being with Bella intensified all sensation.

“Like I haven’t heard that one before,” I teased once I could speak again.

She grinned. “Right. I’m sure you get that all the time.”

I was on my feet in an instant, holding out one hand to her. She eyed it doubtfully.

“Come on, little coward,” I coaxed. “Climb on my back.”

She stared at me for a moment, hesitating. I wasn’t sure whether she was wary of this idea of mine, or just wasn’t sure exactly how to approach me. We were very new to this physical closeness, and there was still plenty of shyness between us.

Deciding that the latter was the problem, I made it easy for her.

I lifted her from the ground and gently arranged her limbs around me as if for a piggyback ride. Her pulse quickened and her breath caught, but once she was in place, her arms and legs constricted around me. I felt enveloped in the warmth of her body.

“I’m a bit heavier than your average backpack.” She sounded worried—that I might not be able to bear her weight?

"Are you a loving idiot? I just threw a tree branch hard enough to make it explode."

quote:

“Hah,” I snorted.

It struck me how easy it was, not to carry her insignificant weight, but to have her literally wrapped around me. My thirst was so wholly overshadowed by my happiness that it barely caused me any conscious pain.

I took her hand from where it was gripped around my neck, and held her palm to my nose. I inhaled as deeply as I could. Yes, there the pain was. Real, but unimpressive. What was a little fire to all this light?

"Easier all the time," I breathed.

I forgot how weird that was.

quote:

I took off at a relaxed lope, choosing the smoothest route back to our starting point. It would cost me a few extra seconds to go the long way, but we would still get to her truck in minutes rather than hours. It was better than to jostle her with a more vertical path.

Another new, joyous experience. I’d always loved to run—for nearly a hundred years, it had been my purest physical happiness. But now, sharing this with her, no distance between us bodily or psychically, I realized how much more pleasure there could be in simply running than I’d ever imagined. I wondered if it thrilled her as much as it did me.

One qualm nagged at me. I’d been in a hurry to get her home as soon as that seemed to be her wish. However… surely we should have concluded that most momentous interlude with a proper finale, a sort of seal on our new understanding? A benediction. But I’d been too hasty to realize it was missing until we were already in motion.

It wasn’t too late. My system was electrified again as I thought of it: a true kiss. Once I’d assumed it impossible. Once I’d mourned that this impossibility seemed to hurt her as well as me. Now I was sure it was both possible… and fast approaching. The electricity ricocheted around the inside of my stomach and I wondered why humans had thought to name such a wild sensation butterflies.

I didn't expect the sequence of Edward galloping through the woods at high speed to be so boring, but here we are!

quote:

I slowed to a smooth stop just a few paces from where she’d parked.

“Exhilarating, isn’t it?” I asked, eager for her reaction.

She didn’t respond, and her limbs retained their taut grip around my waist and neck. A few quiet seconds passed with no answer. What was wrong?

“Bella?”

Her breath came in a gasp, and I realized that she’d been holding it. I should have noticed that.

“I think I need to lie down,” she said faintly.

“Oh.” I was in dire need of practice with human. I hadn’t even thought of the possibility of motion sickness. “I’m sorry.”

I waited for her to release her hold, but she didn’t relax one locked muscle.

“I think I need help,” she whispered.

With slow, gentle movements I freed first her legs, then her arms, and pulled her around so that I was holding her cradled against my chest.

The state of her complexion alarmed me at first, but I had seen this same chalky green before. I’d held her in my arms that day, too, yet what a wholly different affair it was now.

Imagine writing a character who's supposed to be strong and fearless and stubborn, and she spends so much of the series passing out or crying in terror that it becomes a regular occurrence for the love interest within a month.

quote:

I knelt down and set her on a soft patch of ferns.

“How do you feel?”

“Dizzy… I think.”

“Put your head between your knees,” I advised.

She complied automatically, as if this was a practiced response.

I sat beside her. Listening to her measured breathing, I found that I was more anxious than the situation merited. I knew this was nothing serious, just a bit of queasiness, and yet… seeing her pale and ill bothered me more than was reasonable.

A few moments later, she lifted her head experimentally. She was still pale, but not as green. A faint sheen of sweat covered her brow.

“I guess that wasn’t the best idea,” I muttered, feeling like an rear end.

Edward, please! You're in front of a lady!

quote:

She smiled a wan smile. “No, it was very interesting,” she lied.

“Hah,” I huffed sourly. “You’re as white as a ghost—no, you’re as white as me.”

She took a slow breath. “I think I should have closed my eyes.” As she said the words, her lids followed suit.

“Remember that next time.” Her color was improving, and my tension eased in direct correlation with the pink infusing her cheeks.

“Next time?” She groaned theatrically.

I laughed at her sham scowl.

“Show-off,” she muttered. Her lower lip jutted out, rounded and full. It looked incredibly soft. I imagined how it would give, bringing us even closer.

How much is her lip jutting out that you're staring at it?

quote:

I rolled to my knees, facing her. I felt nervous, and restless, and impatient, and unsure. The yearning to be closer to her reminded me of the thirst that used to control me. This, too, was demanding, impossible to ignore.

Her breath was hot against my face.

I leaned closer. “Open your eyes, Bella.”

She complied slowly, looking up at me through her dense lashes for a moment before lifting her chin so that our faces were aligned.

“I was thinking, while I was running…” My voice trailed off; this was not the most romantic beginning.

Her eyes narrowed. “About not hitting the trees, I hope.”

I chuckled as she tried to hold back a grin. “Silly Bella. Running is second nature to me. It’s not something I have to think about.”

“Show-off,” she repeated, with more emphasis this time.

We were off topic. It was surprising this was even possible, close as our faces were. I smiled and redirected.

Edward is the worst forum moderator.

quote:

“No, I was thinking there was something I wanted to try.”

I put my hands lightly on either side of her face, leaving her plenty of room to move away if this was unwelcome.

Her breath caught, and she automatically angled her head closer to mine.

I used an eighth of a second to recalibrate, testing every system in my body to be completely positive that nothing would take me off guard. My thirst was well under control, sublimated to the very bottom of my physical needs. I regulated the pressure in my hands, in my arms, the way my torso curved toward her, so that my touch would be lighter against her skin than the breeze. Though I was sure the precaution was unnecessary, I held my breath. There was no such thing as too careful, after all.

Her eyelids slid shut.

I closed the tiny distance between us, and pressed my lips softly against hers.

Though I’d thought I was prepared, I was not entirely ready for the combustion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnM-hsbpeH8

quote:

What strange alchemy was this, that the touch of lips should be so much more than the touch of fingers? It made no logical sense that simple contact between this specific area of skin should be so much more powerful than anything I’d yet experienced. It felt as if a new sun was bursting into being where our mouths met, and my whole body was filled to a shatter point with the brilliant light of it.

I only had a fraction of a second to grapple with the potency of this kiss before the alchemy impacted Bella.

She gasped in reaction, her lips parting against mine, the fever of her breath burning my skin. Her arms wound around my neck, her fingers twisted into my hair. She used that leverage to crush her lips more tightly to mine. Her lips felt warmer than before, as fresh blood flowed into them. They opened wider, an invitation.…

An invitation it would not be safe for me to accept.

"We're sitting here openly at the trail head."

quote:

Gingerly, with the lightest force possible, I eased her face away from mine, leaving my fingertips in place against her skin to keep her at that distance. Apart from that small shift, I held myself motionless and tried, if not to ignore the temptation, at least to separate myself from it. I noted the unpleasant return of a few predatory reactions—an excess of venom in my mouth, a tightening in my core—but these were superficial responses. While perhaps it would be unfair to say that rationality was in total control, at least it was not a feeding passion that made that statement untrue. A much more agreeable passion held me in its thrall. Its nature, however, did not eliminate the need to moderate it.

Bella’s expression was both overwhelmed and apologetic.

“Oops,” she said.

I couldn’t help but think what her innocent actions might have precipitated just a few hours ago.

“That’s an understatement,” I agreed.

"A few hours ago, I'd have just killed you instead!"

quote:

She was unaware of the progress I’d made today, but she had always acted as if I were in perfect control of myself, even when it wasn’t true. It was a relief to finally feel as if I deserved some of that trust.

She tried to move back, but my hands were locked around her face. “Should I…?”

“No,” I assured her. “It’s tolerable. Wait for a moment, please.”

I wanted to be very careful that nothing was escaping me. Already, my muscles had relaxed and the influx of venom dissipated. The urge to wrap my arms around her and continue the alchemy of kissing was a harder impulse to deny, but I used my decades of practicing self-control to make the right choice.

“There,” I said when I was totally calm.

She was fighting another smile. “Tolerable?” she asked.

Not this book.

quote:

I laughed. “I’m stronger than I thought.” I would have never believed how in control I was able to be now. This was very rapid progress indeed. “It’s nice to know.”

“I wish I could say the same. I’m sorry.”

“You are only human, after all.”

She rolled her eyes at my weak joke. “Thanks so much.”

The light that had filled my body during our kiss lingered. I felt so much happiness, I wasn’t sure how to contain it all. The overwhelming joy and general bemusement made me worry I wasn’t being responsible enough. I should take her home. It wasn’t so hard to think of ending this afternoon’s utopia, because we would leave together.

I stood and offered her my hand. This time she took it quickly, and I pulled her to her feet. She wobbled there, looking unsteady.

“Are you still faint from the run?” I asked. “Or was it my kissing expertise?” I laughed out loud.

She wrapped her free hand around my wrist to steady herself. “I can’t be sure,” she teased. “I’m still woozy. I think it’s some of both, though.” Her body swayed closer to mine. It seemed intentional rather than vertiginous.

"I had a minor heart attack. Give me a minute."

quote:

“Maybe you should let me drive.”

All disequilibrium seemed to vanish. Her shoulders squared. “Are you insane?”

If she were driving, I would need her to keep both hands on the wheel and I could do nothing to distract her. If I were driving, however, there would be much more leeway.

Ah. Road head.

quote:

“I can drive better than you on your best day. You have much slower reflexes.” I smiled so that she would know I was teasing. Mostly.

She didn’t argue with the facts. “I’m sure that’s true, but I don’t think my nerves, or my truck, could take it.”

I tried to do the dazzling thing she’d accused me of before. I still wasn’t exactly sure what qualified. “Some trust, please, Bella?”

It didn’t work, perhaps because she was looking down. She patted her jeans pocket, then pulled out her key and wrapped her fingers into a fist around it. She looked up again, and shook her head.

“Nope,” she told me. “Not a chance.”

She started toward the road, stepping around me. Whether she was actually still dizzy or just moved clumsily, I didn’t know. But she staggered on the second step and I caught her before she could fall. I pulled her against my chest.

"Bella, my superhuman senses just detected a major heart palpitation when I kissed you. You need to go to the emergency room immediately."

quote:

“Bella,” I breathed. All the jocularity vanished from her eyes, and she leaned into me, her face tilted up toward mine. Kissing her immediately seemed like both a fantastic and a terrible idea. I forced myself to err on the side of caution.

“I’ve already expended a great deal of personal effort at this point to keep you alive,” I reminded her in a playful tone. “I’m not about to let you behind the wheel of a vehicle when you can’t even walk straight. Besides, friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” I concluded, quoting the Ad Council slogan. It was a dated reference for her; she’d been only three when the campaign was launched.

This was already a hell of a dad joke in the original book. Midnight Sun has somehow made it worse.

quote:

“Drunk?” she protested.

I grinned a crooked smile at her. “You’re intoxicated by my very presence.”

She sighed, accepting defeat. “I can’t argue with that.” Holding her fist up, she let the key drop from her hand and fall into mine.

“Take it easy,” she cautioned. “My truck is a senior citizen.”

"Very sensible."

"I am also a senior citizen."

quote:

Her lips pursed into a frown. “And are you not affected at all? By my presence?”

Affected? She’d utterly transformed every part of me. I barely recognized myself.

For the first time in a hundred years, I was grateful to be what I was. Every aspect of being a vampire—all but the danger to her—was suddenly acceptable to me, because it was what had let me live long enough to find Bella. The decades I had endured would not have been so difficult had I known what was waiting for me, that my existence was advancing toward something better than I could have imagined. It had not been years of killing time, as I had thought; it had been years of progress. Refining, preparing, mastering myself so that I could have this now.

I wasn’t entirely sure of this new self yet; the violent ecstasy suffusing my every cell seemed unsustainable in the long term. Still, I never wanted to go back to the old me. That Edward seemed unfinished now, incomplete. As though half of him was missing.

It would have been impossible for him to do this—I leaned down and pressed my lips to the corner of her jaw, just above her pulsing artery. I let my lips brush softly along her jawline to her chin, and then kissed my way back to her ear, feeling the velvet give of her warm skin under the faint pressure. I returned slowly to her chin, so close to her lips. She shivered in my arms, reminding me that what was unprecedented warmth for me was icy winter to her. I loosed my hold.

“Regardless,” I whispered in her ear. “I have better reflexes.”

macabresca
Jan 26, 2019

I WANNA HUG


I swear to god, every paragraph of this chapter shortened my lifespan by a few months.

quote:

Gingerly, with the lightest force possible, I eased her face away from mine, leaving my fingertips in place against her skin to keep her at that distance. Apart from that small shift, I held myself motionless and tried, if not to ignore the temptation, at least to separate myself from it. I noted the unpleasant return of a few predatory reactions—an excess of venom in my mouth, a tightening in my core—but these were superficial responses. While perhaps it would be unfair to say that rationality was in total control, at least it was not a feeding passion that made that statement untrue. A much more agreeable passion held me in its thrall. Its nature, however, did not eliminate the need to moderate it.
I should stop thinking about this goddamn venom already but wait, he has it in his mouth when they're kissing? So Bella could swallow it by accident at some point? But if Edward holds it in then that means that the inside of his mouth is completely dry? I knew he had marble lips but I've never thought further than that.

This is so cursed I hate it

Lord Zedd-Repulsa
Jul 21, 2007

Devour a good book.



I think the idea there is that it's a closed-mouth kiss and Bella is safe because of it, but that's an even stranger mental image than one of them making out like typical teens is.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Since venom has replaced all of a vampire's normal bodily fluids and their skin is so rock-hard that it breaks like stone, I'm guessing that when Bella describes Edward as a marble statue that she means it literally. Kissing and cuddling him is literally like molesting a statue at the Met.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 18: Mind Over Matter

quote:

Insisting upon driving had been a very good idea.

There were all those things, of course, that would be out of the question if she needed to concentrate her human senses on the road—hand-holding, eye-gazing, general joy-radiating. But more than this, the feeling of being filled to the point of bursting with pure light hadn’t dimmed at all. I knew how overwhelming it was for me; I wasn’t sure how much it would compromise a human system. Much safer to let my inhuman system tend to the road.

The clouds were shifting as the sun set. Every now and then a lance of fading red sunlight would strike my face. I could imagine the terror I would have felt only yesterday to have been exposed in this way. Now it made me want to laugh. I felt filled with laughter, as if the light within me needed that escape.

Curious, I switched on her radio. I was surprised that it was tuned to nothing but static. Then, considering the volume of the engine, I deduced that she didn’t bother much with driving music. I twisted the knob until I found a semi-audible station. It was playing Johnny Ace, and I smiled. “Pledging My Love.” How apt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rahTKCeBZ2M

This is another song not mentioned by name in the original book. Enjoy the soundtrack!

quote:

I began to sing along, feeling a little cheesy, but also enjoying the chance to say these words to her. Always and forever, I’ll love only you.

She never took her eyes off my face, smiling in what I could now accurately construe as wonder.

“You like fifties music?” she asked when the song ended.

“Music in the fifties was good. Much better than the sixties, or the seventies, ugh!” Though there were certainly excellent outliers, the artists that were played most often on the limited radio options then were not my favorites. I’d never warmed up to disco. “The eighties were bearable.”

How hard did Emmett and Alice try to get Edward into disco?

quote:

She pressed her lips together for a moment, her eyes tensing as if something worried her. Quietly, she asked, “Are you ever going to tell me how old you are?”

Ah, she was afraid to distress me. I smiled at her easily. “Does it matter much?”

She seemed relieved by my light response. “No, but I still wonder.… There’s nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep you up at night.”

And then it was my turn to worry. “I wonder if it will upset you.”

She hadn’t been disgusted by my inhumanity, but would she have a different reaction to the years between us? In many very real ways, I was still seventeen. Would she see it that way?

See, here's the problem people keep running into with this relationship. On the one hand, Edward is over a century old and him dating a teenager should be criminally creepy. But Twilight vampires are also locked mentally as well as physically, which means Edward has until the heat death of the universe to remain a bratty teenager forever. Had Bella never been turned into a vampire at 18, the relationship would have become weird and virtually predatory on her side because he would never mature. No matter which way you look at it, it's going to end up hosed up in some way.

quote:

What had she imagined already? Millennia behind me, gothic castles and Transylvanian accents? Well, none of that was impossible. Carlisle knew those types.

They're supervillains! And soon to be your allies!

quote:

“Try me,” she challenged.

I looked into her eyes, searching their depths for the answers. I sighed. Shouldn’t I have developed some courage after the events behind us? But here I was again, terrified to frighten her. Of course, there was no way forward but total honesty.

“I was born in Chicago in 1901,” I admitted. I turned my face toward the road ahead so she wouldn’t feel scrutinized as she did the mental math, but I couldn’t help stealing a look from the corner of my eye. She was artificially composed, and I realized that she was carefully modulating her reactions. She didn’t want to appear frightened any more than I wanted to scare her. The more we came to know each other, the more we seemed to mirror each other’s feelings. Harmonizing.

“Carlisle found me in a hospital in the summer of 1918,” I continued. “I was seventeen, and dying of the Spanish influenza."

Something we're all now familiar with!

quote:

At this her control slipped, and she gasped in shock, her eyes huge.

“I don’t remember it well,” I assured her. “It was a very long time ago, and human memories fade.”

She did not look entirely comforted, but she nodded. She said nothing, waiting for more.

I had just mentally committed to total honesty, but I realized now that there would have to be limits. There were things she should know… but also details that would not be wise to share. Maybe Alice was right. Maybe, if Bella was feeling anything close to the way I was feeling now, she would think it imperative to prolong this feeling. To stay with me, as she’d said in the meadow. I knew it would be no simple thing for me to deny Bella anything she wanted. I chose my words with care.

“I do remember how it felt, when Carlisle… saved me. It’s not an easy thing, not something you could forget.”

“Your parents?” she asked in a timid voice, and I relaxed, glad she’d chosen not to fixate on that last part.

“They had already died from the disease. I was alone.” These weren’t hard words to say. This part of my history almost felt more like a story I’d been told than actual memories. “That was why he chose me. In all the chaos of the epidemic, no one would ever realize I was gone.”

“How did he… save you?”

So much for avoiding the difficult questions. I thought about what was most important to keep from her.

My words danced around the edges of her question. “It was difficult. Not many of us have the restraint necessary to accomplish it. But Carlisle has always been the most humane, the most compassionate of us.… I don’t think you could find his equal throughout all of history.” I considered my father for a moment, and wondered if my words were adequate praise. Then I continued with the rest of what I thought it safe for her to know. “For me, it was merely very, very painful.”

While the other memories that might have brought pain—the loss of my mother in particular—were confused and faded, the memory of this pain was exceptionally clear. I flinched slightly. If there ever came a time that Bella did ask again, with full knowledge of what it meant to stay with me, this memory would be all the aid I needed to say no. I recoiled from the idea of her facing such pain.

This is a really obtuse reference, but it'll actually get explained later. There was a moment in the original book that I reacted to with confusion, as it didn't seem to be referencing anything in the plot. It turns out there's more to Edward's transformation that we don't know!

quote:

She absorbed my answer, lips pursed and eyes narrowed in thought. I wanted to know her reaction, but I knew that if I asked, I would face more pointed questions. I continued my history, hoping to distract her.

“He acted from loneliness. That’s usually the reason behind the choice. I was the first in Carlisle’s family, though he found Esme soon after. She fell from a cliff. They brought her straight to the hospital morgue, though somehow, her heart was still beating.”

“So you must be dying, then, to become…” Not distracted enough. Still trying to discern the mechanism. I hurried to redirect.

"Oh God she's strategizing."

quote:

“No, that’s just Carlisle. He would never do that to someone who had another choice. It is easier he says, though, if the blood is weak.”

I shifted my gaze to the road again. I shouldn’t have added that. I wondered if I was dancing closer to the answers she sought because part of me wanted her to know, wanted her to find a way to stay with me. I had to be better at controlling my tongue. To keep the selfish part of myself bridled.

“And Emmett and Rosalie?”

I smiled at her. She probably realized I was being evasive, and yet she was willing to let it go to make me comfortable.

“Carlisle brought Rosalie to our family next. I didn’t realize till much later that he was hoping she would be to me what Esme was to him—he was careful with his thoughts around me.”

I remembered my disgust when he’d finally slipped. Rosalie had not been a welcome addition in the beginning—in truth, life had been more complicated for all of us ever since her inclusion—and learning that Carlisle had envisioned an even closer relationship for her and me was horrifying. The extent of my aversion would be impolite to share. Ungentlemanly.

Since we only got a brief line from Edward in the original book, this disgust was never palpable. The Cullens are a lot more complicated and kinda hosed up than we anticipated. Fortunately, we're going to get a very extensive amount of Rosalie backstory that will make you even more furious about how the series treats her!

quote:

“But she was never more than a sister.” That was probably the kindest way to sum up that chapter. “It was only two years later that she found Emmett. She was hunting—we were in Appalachia at the time—and found a bear about to finish him off. She carried him back to Carlisle, more than a hundred miles, afraid she wouldn’t be able to… do it herself.”

We’d been outside Knoxville then—not an ideal place for us, weather-wise. We had to stay inside most days. It wasn’t a long-term situation, though—Carlisle was researching some pathology studies at the University of Tennessee’s medical school. A few weeks, a few months… it wasn’t really a difficult ask. We had access to several libraries, and the nightlife in New Orleans wasn’t inconveniently far, not for creatures as swift as we. However, Rosalie, out of her newborn stage but not yet comfortable with very close proximity to humans, refused to entertain herself. Instead, she moped and whined, finding fault with every suggestion for amusement or self-improvement. To be fair, perhaps she did not whine so much out loud. Esme was not as irritated as I was.

No, we will not get to find out how the Cullens lived it up in the 1930s New Orleans nightlife. Instead we just get Edward complaining that a newborn vampire who was raped and murdered by her fiancee and will have that trauma for eternity is "whiny".

quote:

Rosalie preferred to hunt by herself, and though I really should have watched after her, it was a relief to us both that I didn’t object very strenuously. She knew how to be careful. We all were practiced at restraining our senses until we were in unpopulated areas. And though I was reluctant to attribute any virtue to this unwelcome interloper, even I had to admit that she was incredibly gifted at self-control. Mostly due to stubbornness and, in my opinion, a desire to best me.

I mean, gently caress you?

quote:

So when the sound of Rosalie’s footsteps, thudding faster and heavier than usual, broke the predawn calm of that Knoxville summer, her familiar scent preceded by the strong aroma of human blood and her thoughts wild and incoherent, my initial expectation was not that she had made a mistake.

In the first year of Rosalie’s second life, before she had disappeared on her several missions of revenge, her thoughts had given her away clearly and thoroughly. I knew what she was planning, and I’d informed Carlisle. The first time, he counseled her gently, urging her to let go of her past life, certain that if she did she would forget, and then her pain could lessen. Revenge could not bring back anything she had lost. But when his guidance met only the implacability of her fury, he gave her advice on how best to be discreet about her forays. Neither of us could argue that she didn’t deserve vengeance. And we both couldn’t help but believe that the world would be a better place without the rapists and murderers who had ended her life.

Why is Rosalie not the loving protagonist?

quote:

I’d believed she’d gotten them all. Her thoughts had long since calmed, no longer obsessed with the desire to break and tear, maim and mutilate.

But as the smell of blood flooded the house like a tsunami, I immediately assumed that she’d discovered another accomplice to her death. Though I did not think very highly of her in general, my faith in her ability to do no harm was strong.

All my expectations were turned upside down as she cried out in panic, calling for Carlisle’s help. And then, beneath the shrill sound of her distress, I caught the sound of one very feeble heartbeat.

I raced from my room, finding her in the front parlor before she’d even finished her cry. Carlisle was already there. Rosalie, hair unusually disordered, her favorite dress stained with blood so heavily that the skirt’s hem was dyed deep crimson, carried in her arms a giant of a human man. He was barely conscious, eyes wandering the room out of sync with each other. His skin had been torn again and again by evenly spaced slashes, some of his bones clearly broken beneath.

“Save him!” Rosalie almost screamed at Carlisle. “Please!”

Please please please, her thoughts begged.

I saw what the words cost her. When she inhaled to replace the air she’d used, she flinched against the power of the fresh blood so close to her mouth. She held the man farther from herself, turning her face away.

Why are you making me like her so much more than Bella

quote:

Carlisle understood her anguish. He swiftly removed the man from her arms and laid him on the parlor rug with gentle hands. The man was too far gone even to groan.

I watched, shocked by the strange tableau, automatically holding my breath. I should have already left the house. I could hear Esme’s thoughts, quickly retreating. Once she’d caught the scent of blood, she’d known to flee, though she was just as confused as I.

It’s too late, Carlisle realized, examining the man. He was loath to disappoint Rosalie; though she was clearly unhappy in this second life he’d given her, she rarely asked for anything from him. Certainly never with this level of agony. He must be family, Carlisle thought. How can I bear to hurt her again?

The big man—not that much older than I was, now that I really looked at his face—closed his eyes. His shallow breathing stuttered.

“What are you waiting for?” Rosalie shrieked. He’s dying! He’s dying!

“Rosalie, I…” Carlisle held out his bloodied hands helplessly.

Then an image surfaced in her mind, and I understood exactly what she was asking for.

“She doesn’t mean for you to heal him,” I translated quickly. “She means for you to save him.”

Rosalie’s eyes flashed to me, a look of intense gratitude altering her features in a way I’d never seen before. For one instant, I remembered how very beautiful she was.

Remember how I said that there's some passages in Midnight Sun that are good enough to make the bad parts of the book stand out? This is one of those.

quote:

We didn’t have long to wait for Carlisle’s decision.

Oh! Carlisle thought. And then I saw exactly how much he would do for Rosalie, how much he felt he owed her. There was barely any deliberation.

He was already kneeling beside the broken figure as he shooed us away. “It’s not safe for you to stay,” he said, his face inclining toward the man’s throat.

I grabbed Rosalie’s bloodied arm as I rushed to the door. She didn’t resist. We both escaped the house, not pausing till we’d reached the nearby Tennessee River and immersed ourselves.

There, lying in the cool mud at the river’s edge, Rosalie letting the blood sluice from her dress and her skin, we had our first real conversation.

She didn’t speak often, just showed me in her mind how she’d found the man, a total stranger, about to die, and how something in his face had made that future intolerable to her. She didn’t have words for why. She didn’t have words for how—how she’d managed to complete her harrowing journey without killing him herself. I saw her run for miles, faster than she’d ever moved before, aching to satisfy her thirst the entire way. While she relived it all, her mind was unguarded and vulnerable. She was trying to understand, too, almost as confused as I was.

And so another Mormon couple finds each other.

quote:

I wasn’t looking for yet another addition to my family. I’d never been particularly concerned about what Rosalie wanted or needed. But suddenly, seeing this all through her eyes, I could only root for her happiness. For the first time, we were on the same side.

If only Edward could have continued not being a loving douchebag.

quote:

We couldn’t return for a while, though Rosalie was anxious in the extreme to know what was happening. I assured her that Carlisle would have come for us if he’d been unsuccessful. So for now we would just have to wait till it was safe.

Those hours changed us both. When Carlisle finally came to call us home, we returned as brother and sister.

They why didn't you write the rest of the series that way?

This scene, and a later Rosalie one, are possibly the most frustrating in the entire Twilight canon. Stephenie Meyer belatedly realized, over a decade late, how much people actually liked and sided with the character she used as an avatar for her schoolyard insecurities. She writes so many pages trying to humanize her and better justify her place in the Cullen coven after having her be seemingly hated by everyone....and doesn't even change the first third of the book where she keeps her villain personality. It's laziness to the degree that it hurts the story and offends me personally.

quote:

The pause as I remembered how I’d come to love my sister was not very long. Bella was still waiting for the rest of the story. I thought of where I’d left off: Rosalie, dripping with blood, holding her face as far away from Emmett as she could. Her posture in the image reminded me of a more recent memory: me struggling to carry a lightheaded Bella to the nurse’s office. It was an interesting juxtaposition.

“I’m only beginning to guess how difficult that journey was for her,” I concluded.

Our fingers were knotted together. I lifted our hands and, with the back of mine, stroked her cheek.

The last bit of red light in the sky faded to deep purple.

And we're back to the uninteresting part.

quote:

“But she made it,” Bella said after a short silence, eager for me to continue.

“Yes. She saw something in his face that made her strong enough.” Amazing that she’d been right. Astonishing that they’d matched up perfectly, like two halves of a whole. Fate or astronomical good luck? I’d never been able to decide. “And they’ve been together ever since. Sometimes they live separately from us, as a married couple.” And oh, how I appreciated those times. I loved Emmett and Rosalie separately, but Emmett and Rosalie alone together, heard only by my inescapable mental reach, were a grueling ordeal. “But the younger we pretend to be, the longer we can stay in any given place. Forks seemed perfect, so we all enrolled in high school.” I laughed. “I suppose we’ll have to go to their wedding in a few years, again.”

Emmett and Rosalie are canonically so horny that they're constantly tormenting Edward with their house-destroying sex.

quote:

Rosalie loved to get married. The chance to do it over and over was probably her favorite thing about immortality.

That's because she's better than you.

quote:

“Alice and Jasper?” Bella asked.

“Alice and Jasper are two very rare creatures. They both developed a conscience, as we refer to it, with no outside guidance. Jasper belonged to another… family.” I avoided the correct word, controlling a shiver as I thought of his beginnings. “A very different kind of family. He became depressed, and he wandered on his own. Alice found him. Like me, she has certain gifts above and beyond the norm for our kind.”

This surprised Bella enough to break through her calm façade. “Really? But you said you were the only one who could hear people’s thoughts.”

“That’s true. She knows other things. She sees things—things that might happen, things that are coming.” Things that now would never happen. I was past the worst of it. Though still… it bothered me how hazy the new vision had been, the one I could live with. The other—Alice and Bella both white and cold—had been so much clearer. That didn’t matter. It couldn’t. I’d subdued one impossible future and I would triumph over this one, too. “But it’s very subjective,” I continued, hearing the harder edge in my voice. “The future isn’t set in stone. Things change.”

I glanced at her cream and apricot skin, almost to reassure myself that she was as she should be, and then looked away when she caught my gaze. I could never be certain how much she was reading in my eyes.

“What kinds of things does she see?” Bella wanted to know.

I gave her the safe answers, the proven prophecies.

“She saw Jasper and knew that he was looking for her before he knew it himself.” Their union had been a magical thing. Whenever Jasper thought of it, the entire household relaxed into dreamy contentment, so powerful were his communal emotions. “She saw Carlisle and our family, and they came together to find us.”

All right, time to leave behind the old poo poo for more flashbacks!

quote:

I’d missed that first introduction, when Alice and Jasper had presented themselves to an extremely wary Carlisle, a frightened Esme, and a hostile Rosalie. It was Jasper’s warlike appearance that had them all so apprehensive, but Alice knew exactly what to say to ease their anxiety. Of course she knew exactly what to say. She’d envisioned every possible version of that momentous meeting, and then chosen the best. It was no accident that Emmett and I had been away. She’d preferred the smoother scene without the family’s primary defenders in residence.

Yes, that is how Alice joined the Cullens: she literally showed up and told them "I'm moving in, you'll love me."

quote:

It was hard to believe how firmly entrenched they were by the time Emmett and I arrived, just a few days later. We were both shocked, and Emmett was ready for battle the second he laid eyes on Jasper. But Alice ran forward to throw her arms around me before a word could be spoken.

I wasn’t frightened by what might have been construed as an attack. Her thoughts were so sure of me, so full of love for me, I thought I’d had the first memory loss of my second life. Because this tiny immortal knew me perfectly, better than anyone else in my current or former family. Who was she?

Oh, Edward! At last! My brother! We’re finally together!

And then, with her arms tight around my waist—and my own arms hesitantly coming to rest around her shoulders—she thought swiftly through her life from her first memory to that very moment, and then forward in time through the highlights of our next few years together. It felt very strange to realize in that instant that now I knew her, too.

“This is Alice, Emmett,” I told him, still embracing my new sister. Emmett’s aggressive pose changed to one of confusion. “She’s part of our family. And that’s Jasper. You’re going to love him.”

And Emmett is left standing there, dumbfounded, at everything going on.

This is probably the funniest scene in all of Twilight and it's already over.

quote:

There were so many stories about Alice, so many miracles and phenomena, paradoxes and enigmas, I could have spent the rest of the week just telling Bella the bullet-point version. Instead, I gave her a few of the simpler, more mechanical details.

“She’s most sensitive to nonhumans. She always sees, for example, when another group of our kind is coming near. And any threat they may pose.” Alice had become one of the family’s defenders, too.

“Are there a lot of… your kind?” Bella asked, sounding a little shaken by the idea.

“No, not many,” I assured her. “But most won’t settle in any one place. Only those like us, who’ve given up hunting you people”—I raised an eyebrow at her and squeezed her hand—“can live together with humans for any length of time. We’ve only found one other family like ours, in a small village in Alaska. We lived together for a time, but there were so many of us that we became too noticeable.” Also Tanya, the matriarch of that clan, was persistent to the point of harassment. “Those of us who live… differently tend to band together.”

“And the others?”

We’d reached her home. It was empty, no lights in any windows. I parked in her usual spot and turned the engine off. The sudden quiet felt very intimate, there in the dark.

“Nomads, for the most part,” I answered. “We’ve all lived that way at times. It gets tedious, like anything else. But we run across the others now and then, because most of us prefer the North.”

“Why is that?”

I grinned and nudged her gently with my elbow. “Did you have your eyes open this afternoon? Do you think I could walk down the street in the sunlight without causing traffic accidents? There’s a reason why we chose the Olympic Peninsula, one of the most sunless places in the world. It’s nice to be able to go outside in the day. You wouldn’t believe how tired you can get of nighttime in eighty-odd years.”

“So that’s where the legends came from,” she said, nodding to herself.

“Probably.”

There was actually a precise source behind the legends, but that wasn’t something I wanted to get into. The Volturi were very far away and very much absorbed in their mission to police the vampire world. They would never affect Bella’s life beyond the lore they’d concocted to protect immortals’ privacy.

Definitely never!

quote:

“And Alice came from another family, like Jasper?” she asked.

“No, and that is a mystery. Alice doesn’t remember her human life at all.”

I’d seen that first memory. Bright morning sunlight, a light mist hanging in the air. Tangled grass surrounding her, broad oak trees shading the hollow where she woke. Besides that, a blankness, no sense of identity or purpose. She’d looked at her pale skin, shimmering in the sun, and not known who or what she was. And then the first vision had taken her.

A man’s face, fierce but also broken, scarred but beautiful. Deep red eyes and a mane of golden hair. With this face came a profound conviction of belonging. And then she saw him speaking a name.

Alice.

Her name, she realized.

The visions told her who she was, or shaped her into who she would become. These were the only help she would get.

So in case you can't figure it out, that's Jasper. Alice knows her name because she saw Jasper saying her name in the future because she told it to him because she saw him say it because she told it to him and oh no we've created a recursive timeline.

quote:

“And she doesn’t know who created her,” I told Bella. “She awoke alone. Whoever made her walked away, and none of us understand why, or how, he could. If she hadn’t had that other sense, if she hadn’t seen Jasper and Carlisle and known that she would someday become one of us, she probably would have turned into a total savage.”

Bella pondered this in silence. I was sure it was difficult for her to comprehend. It had taken my family a while to adjust, as well. I wondered what her next question would be.

And then her stomach gurgled, and I realized that we’d been together all day and she’d eaten nothing in that time. Ah, I needed to keep better focused on her human needs!

"I've discovered that humans can survive entirely off these compact lifeboat survival rations. I've made you dinner."

quote:

“I’m sorry, I’m keeping you from dinner.”

“I’m fine, really,” she said too quickly. “I’ve never spent much time around anyone who eats food,” I apologized. “I forget.” It was a poor excuse.

Her expression was totally open as she responded, vulnerable. “I want to stay with you.”

Again, the word stay seemed to carry so much more weight than it usually did.

“Can’t I come in?” I asked gently.

She blinked twice, clearly thrown by the idea. “Would you like to?”

“Yes, if it’s all right.”

I wondered if she thought I had to have an explicit invitation in order to come inside. The thought made me smile, and then frown as I felt a spasm of guilt. I would need to come clean with her. Again. But how to broach such a shameful admission?

Keep it light?

quote:

I stewed on that while I got out and opened the passenger door for her.

“Very human,” she commended.

“It’s definitely resurfacing.”

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Happy Thanksgiving! On Tuesday, we received the horror that is Ready Player Two. Since I've been brought up by name in several threads and Discord servers now with the release (and have tormented a few of those servers with the book already), I wanted to announce that I will be doing a Let's Read of it once we finish the slog that is Midnight Sun! Rather than just hate-reading a hideously awful book that the publisher is attempting DMCA takedowns on to try and prevent anyone from seeing how horrid it is without buying it, it's going to focus on engaging with and interacting with the media involved on a deeper level than Cline does. And hate-reading it.

Once I finish Midnight Sun and prep for Ready Player Two, this thread and my Bond one will receive links to the new one.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





See you there!

Mebh
May 10, 2010



My liver is ready!

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

We walked together at human speed across her shadowed, silent yard as if this were a normal thing. She flickered glances at me as we walked, smiling to herself. I reached up and pulled the house key from its hiding place as we passed, then opened the door for her.

She hesitated, looking down the dark hallway. “The door was unlocked?” she asked.

“No, I used the key from under the eave.”

I replaced the key in question while she moved to turn on the porch lamp. When she turned back, yellow light made harsh shadows across her face as she raised both eyebrows at me. I could see she meant the look to be stern, but the corners of her lips were puckered as though she was fighting a smile.

“I was curious about you,” I confessed.

“You spied on me?”

It didn’t seem to be a joking matter, but she sounded as if she were about to laugh.

Even Edward is confused by her treatment of this behavior!

quote:

I should have confessed all then, but I went along with her teasing tone. “What else is there to do at night?”

It was the wrong choice, a cowardly choice. She heard only a joke, not an admission. Strange again to realize how, even with the huge potential nightmares resolved, there continued to be much to fear. Of course, this issue was nothing but my own fault, my own extremely poor behavior.

You dumbass.

quote:

She shook her head slightly, then gestured for me to enter. I moved past her down the hall, switching on lights as I went so she wouldn’t have to stumble in the dark. I took a seat at her small kitchen table and looked around, examining the angles that were invisible from outside the window. The room was tidy and warm, bright with gaudy yellow paint that was somehow endearing in its failed attempt to mimic sunshine. Everything smelled like Bella, which should have been quite painful, but I found that I enjoyed it in a strange way. Masochistic, indeed.

She stared at me with a hard to read expression. A little confusion, I guessed, a little bit of wonder. As though she wasn’t sure I was real. I smiled and pointed her toward the refrigerator. She whirled in that direction with an answering grin. I hoped she had some food easily accessible. Perhaps I should have taken her to dinner? But it felt wrong to think of subjecting ourselves to a crowd of strangers. Our new understanding was still too unique, too raw. Any obstacle that would force silence would be unendurable. I wanted her to myself.

Is this why they never go on dates? They're too awkward and obnoxious to be seen in public together?

quote:

It only took her a minute to find an acceptable option. She cut out a square of casserole and heated it in the microwave. I could smell oregano, onions, garlic, and tomato sauce. Something Italian. She stared intently at the plate while it revolved.

Perhaps I would learn to cook food. Not being able to appreciate flavors the same way a human did would definitely be a hurdle, but there seemed to be quite a bit of math to the process, and I was sure I could teach myself to recognize the correct smells.

Just read the recipe, dude.

quote:

Because, suddenly, I felt sure that this was just the first of our quiet evenings in, rather than a singular event. We would have years of this. She and I together, just enjoying each other’s company. So many hours… the light inside me seemed to stretch and grow, and I thought again that I might shatter.

Bella and Edward were well-prepared for the pandemic.

quote:

“How often?” Bella asked without looking at me.

My thoughts were so caught up in this tremendous image of the future that I didn’t follow her at once. “Hmmm?”

She still didn’t turn. “How often did you come here?”

Oh, right. Time to have courage. Time to be honest, no matter the consequences. Though after the day I’d had, I felt fairly sure that she would eventually forgive me. I hoped.

If this book were written by someone more competent, it would be a black comedy right now.

quote:

“I come here almost every night.”

She spun to look at me with startled eyes. “Why?”

Honesty.

“You’re interesting when you sleep. You talk.”

“No!” she gasped. Blood washed into her cheeks and didn’t stop there, coloring even her forehead. The room grew infinitesimally warmer as her blush heated the air around her. She leaned against the counter behind her, gripping it so hard that her knuckles turned white. Shock was the only emotion I could see in her expression, but I was sure others would come soon.

“Are you very angry with me?”

“That depends!” she blurted out breathlessly.

That depends? I wondered what could possibly mitigate my crime. What could make it less or more horrible? I was disgusted by the thought that she was reserving judgment until she knew exactly how offside my lurking had been. Did she imagine that I was as depraved as any peeping tom? That I’d leered at her from the shadows, hoping for her to expose herself? If my stomach could turn, it would have.

"Look, I didn't want to see her naked! It's okay!"

quote:

Would she believe me if I tried to explain my torment at being separated from her? Could anyone believe the kinds of catastrophes I’d imagined, thinking she might not be safe? They had all been so far-fetched. And yet, if I were separated from her now, I knew the same impossible dangers would begin to plague me again.

I recommend therapy.

quote:

Long seconds passed, the microwave shrilled out its announcement that its work was done, but Bella didn’t speak again.

“On?” I prompted.

Bella groaned the words. “What you heard!”

I felt a rush of relief that she did not believe me capable of a viler kind of surveillance. Her only worry was embarrassment at what I might have heard her say? Well, on that matter I could comfort her. She had nothing to be ashamed of. I jumped up and rushed to take her hands. Part of me thrilled to the fact that I could do this so easily.

Or are you actually thrilled that you got away with being a creep?

quote:

“Don’t be upset!” I pleaded. Her eyes were downcast. I leaned in so that our faces would be on the same level, and waited until she met my gaze.

“You miss your mother. You worry about her. And when it rains,” I murmured, “the sound makes you restless. You used to talk about home a lot, but it’s less often now. Once you said, ‘It’s too green.’”

I laughed quietly, trying to coax a smile from her. Surely she could see there was no need for mortification.

I think there is!

quote:

“Anything else?” she demanded, raising one eyebrow. The way she half turned her face away, her eyes moving down and then darting back up again, helped me realize what she was worried about.

“You did say my name,” I admitted.

She inhaled and then blew out a long sigh. “A lot?”

“How much do you mean by ‘a lot,’ exactly?”

Her eyes dropped to the floor. “Oh no!”

I reached out and wrapped my arms carefully around her shoulders. She leaned into my chest, still hiding her face. Did she think I had ever been anything but overjoyed to hear my name on her lips? It was one of my favorite sounds, along with the sound of her breath, the sound of her heart.…

The sound of the blood draining from her neck onto a tile floor...

quote:

I whispered my response into her ear. “Don’t be self-conscious. If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I’m not ashamed of it.”

How I had once wished to be able to dream of her! How I’d ached for that. And now, reality was better than dreams. I wouldn’t want to miss one second of it for any kind of unconsciousness.

Her body relaxed. A happy sound, almost a hum or a purr, sighed out of her.

Could this really be it? Was I to have no punishment at all for my outrageous behavior? This felt more like a reward. I knew I owed her a deeper penance.

Try self-flagellation.

quote:

I became aware of another sound beyond her heart thrumming in my arms. A car was drawing closer and the thoughts of the driver were very quiet. Tired after a full day. Looking forward to the promise of food and comfort that the warm lights in the windows offered. But I couldn’t be perfectly sure that was what he was thinking.

I didn’t want to move from where I was. I pressed my cheek against Bella’s hair and waited until she also heard her father’s car. Her body stiffened.

Meyer covering for forgetting Edward's super hearing in the first book.

quote:

“Should your father know I’m here?”

She hesitated. “I’m not sure.…”

I brushed my lips quickly against her hair and then released her with a sigh.

“Another time, then…”

I ducked out of the room and darted up the stairs into the darkness of the tiny hall between bedrooms. I’d been here once before, finding a blanket for Bella.

“Edward!” she called in a stage whisper from the kitchen.

I laughed just loud enough for her to know that I was close.

Her father stomped up to the front door, scraping each of his boots twice against the mat. He shoved his key into the lock, and then grunted when the handle turned with the key, already unlatched.

“Bella?” he called as he swung the door open. His thoughts registered the smell of the food in the microwave, and his stomach grumbled.

I realized that Bella, also, had still not eaten. I supposed it was a good thing her father had interrupted us. I would starve her at this rate.

It'll match you!

quote:

But some small part of me was just a little… wistful. When I’d asked if she wanted her father to know I was here, that we were together, I’d hoped that the answer would be different. Of course, she had so much to consider before introducing me to him. Or she might never want him to know she had someone like me in love with her, and that was perfectly fair. More than fair.

And truly, it would have been inconvenient to meet her father officially in my current state of dress. Or undress. I supposed I should be grateful for her reticence.

....oh my God, he didn't put his shirt back on before this scene.

quote:

“In here,” Bella called to her father. I heard his soft grunt of acknowledgment as he locked the door, and then his boots stomping toward the kitchen.

“Can you get me some of that?” Charlie asked. “I’m bushed.”

It was easy to understand the sounds of Bella moving around the kitchen while Charlie settled himself, even without a more convenient set of thoughts to watch through. Chewing—Bella was finally eating something. The refrigerator opening and closing. The microwave whirring. Liquid—too thick for water, I would guess milk—poured into glasses. A dish set gently on the wooden table. Chair legs scraping against the floor as Bella sat down.

“Thanks,” Charlie said, and then they both were chewing for a long moment.

Bella broke the companionable silence. “How was your day?” Her inflections sounded off, as if her mind was elsewhere. I smiled.

“Good, the fish were biting… how about you? Did you get everything done that you wanted to?”

“Not really—it was too nice out to stay indoors.” Her casual answer wasn’t as relaxed as his. She wasn’t a natural at hiding things from her father.

Wow, I hope her difficulty in telling lies will matter in the future! She can't just say anything and get away with it, that's for sure!

quote:

“It was a nice day,” he agreed, sounding oblivious to the edge in her voice.

A chair moved again.

“In a hurry?” Charlie asked.

Bella swallowed loudly. “Yeah, I’m tired. I’m going to bed early.” Her footsteps moved to the sink and the water began to run.

“You look kinda keyed up,” Charlie continued. Not so oblivious as I’d thought. I wouldn’t miss these things if his thoughts weren’t so hard to get to. I tried to make sense of them. Bella’s eyes flashing to the hall. The suddenly brighter color in her cheeks. This seemed to be all he was aware of. Then a sudden confusion of images, nebulous and without context. A 1971 mustard-yellow Impala. The Forks High School gym, decorated with crepe paper. A porch swing and a girl with bright green barrettes in her pale hair. Two red vinyl seats at a shiny chrome bar in a tacky diner. A girl with long, dark curls, walking along a beach under the moon.

A more interesting story than this one, you mean?

quote:

“Do I?” Bella asked with put-on innocence. Water ran in the sink, and I could hear the sound of bristles against melamine.

Charlie was still thinking about the moon. “It’s Saturday,” he announced randomly.

Bella didn’t seem to know how to respond. I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, either.

Finally, he continued. “No plans tonight?”

I thought I understood the images now. Saturday nights from his youth? Maybe.

After all these years, Charlie is still stuck on his relationship and how it ended. Now remember how quickly Bella would use his sadness and trauma against him.

quote:

“No, Dad, I just want to get some sleep.” She sounded anything but tired.

Charlie sniffed once. “None of the boys in town your type, eh?”

Was he worried that she wasn’t having a normal teen experience? That she was missing out? For a second I felt a deep twinge of doubt. Should I be worried about the same? What I was keeping her from?

But then the sureness and sense of right from the meadow washed over me. We belonged together.

So sayeth the author, I guess.

quote:

“No, none of the boys have caught my eye yet.” Bella’s tone was slightly patronizing.

“I thought maybe that Mike Newton… you said he was friendly.”

I hadn’t expected that. A sharp blade of anger twisted in my chest. Not anger, I recognized. Jealousy. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever disliked anyone quite so much as that pointless, insignificant boy.

That's because you're a psychopath.

quote:

“He’s just a friend, Dad.”

I couldn’t tell if Charlie was upset by her answer or relieved by it. Perhaps a mixture of both. “Well, you’re too good for them all, anyway,” he said. “Wait till you get to college to start looking.”

"Just like your creator!"

quote:

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Bella agreed quickly. She turned the corner and started up the stairs. Her footsteps were slow—probably to emphasize her assertion that she was sleepy—and I had plenty of time to beat her to her room. Just in case Charlie followed. It would hardly be in line with her wishes for him to find me here, half-dressed, eavesdropping.

“’Night, honey,” Charlie called after her.

“See you in the morning, Dad,” she responded in a voice that tried to sound tired but failed badly.

It felt wrong to sit in the rocking chair as usual, invisible in the dark corner. It had been a hiding place when I hadn’t wanted her to know I was here. When I was being deceitful.

I lay across her bed, the most obvious place in the room, where there could be no hint of trying to disguise my presence.

I knew that her scent would engulf me here. The smell of detergent was fresh enough to suggest she’d washed the sheets recently, but it didn’t overpower her own fragrance. Overwhelming as it was, it was also painfully pleasant to be surrounded in such a sharp way by the evidence of her existence.

Sometimes this book just really reminds you of how creepy it is.

quote:

As soon as she entered the room, Bella stopped dragging her feet. She slammed the door shut behind her, then ran on her tiptoes to the window. Right past me without a glance. She shoved the window open and leaned outside, staring into the night.

“Edward?” she stage-whispered.

I suppose my resting place was not that obvious after all. I laughed quietly at my failed attempt to be aboveboard, then answered her.

“Yes?”

She spun so fast that she nearly lost her balance. With one hand, she gripped the window ledge for stability. Her other hand clutched at her throat.

“Oh,” she choked out. Almost in slow motion, she slid down the wall behind her until she was sitting on the wooden floor.

Once again, it seemed as though everything I did was wrong. At least this time it was funny rather than terrifying.

This time!

quote:

“I’m sorry.” She nodded. “Just give me a minute to restart my heart.”

In reality, her heart was thrumming from the shock I’d just given her.

Don't worry, you'll stop it for real soon!

macabresca
Jan 26, 2019

I WANNA HUG


This book really is a prime example of putting too much detail in the story. I mean it's nothing new but it got me thinking. When I write my own stories I usually think of many details about the characters but I don't put them in because they are largely unnecesary for the overall narrative. They're just a fun little thing I do and who knows, maybe it'll be useful eventually but most of the time it isn't. But Meyer just puts everything in. She knew what Edward was thinking and feeling, which probably helped her plan out the dialogue, but a lot of it could be discerned easily by context. But now we get every. single. thought. and feeling. What for? If only Edward was an interesting character, but, well.

And even the occasional flashback or a new scene don't really make it worth it, especially since their inclusion is so awkward and jarring. If Meyer didn't plan on remaking the whole series, why not make this book more about Edward? Start the plot back when he was turned or something, show his miserable life step-by-step, and contrast it with how big of a change Bella's brought, instead just having him dramatically monologue all the time. He would still be an insufferable rear end in a top hat, but at least it'be something new.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



This book is so hard to slog through just because there's so much. It's a full repeat of the first, but with entire paragraphs inserted between lines so Edward can keep overthinking every one of them. The only reason I'm pushing through this is for the ending, honestly. The Phoenix chapters are so nuts that it's almost worth it.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Currently having issues getting highlights working on Kindle. Hold tight.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



https://twitter.com/thatpazuzu/status/1335401585824952320?s=21

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

I sat up, all my movements deliberate and slow. Moving like a human. She watched, her eyes riveted to each motion, a smile starting to form at the corners of her lips.

Noticing her lips made me feel that she was much too far away. I leaned toward her and picked her up carefully, my hands wrapped around the tops of her arms, then set her down beside me, only an inch of space between us. Much better.

I placed my hand on top of hers, welcoming the smolder of her skin with something like relief. “Why don’t you sit with me?”

She grinned.

“How’s the heart?” I asked, though it was beating so strongly I could feel the subtle vibrations dancing through the air around her.

“You tell me,” she countered. “I’m sure you hear it better than I do.”

Accurate. I laughed softly while her smile grew wider.

The pleasant weather wasn’t quite over yet; the clouds parted and a silvery sheen of moonlight touched her skin, making her look like something entirely celestial. I wondered how I looked to her. Her eyes seemed filled with wonder, much as mine must be.

Below us, the front door opened and closed. There were no other thoughts near the house besides Charlie’s muffled narrative. I wondered where he was going. Not far… There was a creak of metal, a muted clank. Something almost like a schematic flashed through his head.

Ah. Her truck. It surprised me a little that Charlie was going to this extreme to curb whatever he thought Bella was up to.

It surprised me to! It's not only totally out of character, you do it later!

quote:

I was about to mention Charlie’s odd behavior when her expression suddenly changed. Her eyes slid to the bedroom door and then back to me.

“Can I have a minute to be human?” she asked.

“Certainly,” I responded at once, amused by her phrasing.

Abruptly, her brows lowered and she frowned at me. “Stay,” she ordered in a stern tone.

It was the easiest demand anyone had ever made of me. Nothing I could imagine would compel me to leave this room now.

Oh, he's a sub.

quote:

I made my voice serious to match hers. “Yes, ma’am.” I straightened up and conspicuously locked all my muscles into place. She smiled, pleased.

It took her a minute to gather her things, and then she left the room. She made no attempt to hide the sound of the door closing. Another door banged more loudly. The bathroom. I supposed part of this was convincing Charlie she wasn’t up to anything nefarious. It was unlikely that he could imagine what exactly she was up to. But it was a wasted effort. Charlie came back inside just a moment later. The sound of the shower running upstairs did seem to confuse him, I thought.

While I waited for Bella, I finally took the opportunity to examine her small media collection beside the bed. There weren’t many surprises, after all my interrogations. I found just one hardback in her library, too new to be in paperback yet. It was her copy of Tooth and Claw, the one of her favorites that I’d never read. I’d not yet taken time to catch up on this lack —I’d been too busy following Bella around like a demented bodyguard. I opened the novel now and began.

Yes, someone has put a reference to Midnight Sun on the Tooth and Claw Wikipedia page.

quote:

I was aware as I read that Bella was taking longer than usual. As ever, the constant anxiety that she would at last see something in me to avoid quickly reared its head. I tried to ignore it. There could be a million reasons why Bella dawdled. I focused on the book instead. I could see why it was one of her favorites—it was both strange and charming. Of course, any story of triumphant love would fit my humor today.

The bathroom door opened. I replaced the book—noting the page number, 166, so I could return to it later—and assumed my statue-like pose from before. But I was disappointed; rather than return, she shuffled down the stairs. Her steps came to a stop on the bottom tread.

“’Night, Dad,” she called out.

Charlie’s thoughts felt slightly scrambled, but I couldn’t make out anything else.

He's also trying to understand this story.

quote:

“’Night, Bella,” he mumbled back.

And then she was dashing back up the stairs, skipping steps in apparent haste. She flung the door open—her eyes were searching the darkness for me before she was inside—and then shut it firmly behind herself. When she found me exactly as she expected, a wide grin spread across her face.

I broke my perfect stillness to return it.

She hesitated for a second—her eyes flashing down to her well-worn pajamas—and then crossed her arms in an almost apologetic posture. I thought perhaps I understood the earlier delay. Not a fear of monsters, rather a more common fear. Shyness. I could easily imagine how, away from the sun and magic of the meadow, she might feel unsure. I was on unfamiliar ground as well.

I fell back on old habits, trying to tease her out of her insecurity. I appraised her new ensemble with a smile and commented, “Nice.”

"I fell back on old habits by negging her."

quote:

She frowned, but her shoulders relaxed.

“No,” I insisted. “It looks good on you.”

Perhaps too casual a descriptor. With her wet hair looping in long seaweed tangles around her shoulders, and her face glowing in the moonlight, she looked more than good. The English language needed a word that meant something halfway between a goddess and a naiad.

You are no longer allowed to use words like that.

quote:

“Thanks,” she murmured, and then she came to sit beside me, just as close as before. This time she sat cross-legged. Her knee touched my leg, a bright point of heat.

I gestured to the door, and then the room beneath us, where her father’s
thoughts were still in a snarl.

“What was all that for?” I asked.

She smiled a tiny, smug smile. “Charlie thinks I’m sneaking out.”

“Ah.” I wondered how much my read of the evening with her father matched her own. “Why?”

She opened her eyes extra wide, feigning innocence. “Apparently, I look a little overexcited.”

Playing along with her joke, I placed my hand beneath her chin and gently lifted her face toward the moonlight as if to better examine it. However, touching her face put all jokes far out of my head.

"Which is why I didn't make a joke at all in the original text."

quote:

“You look very warm, actually,” I murmured and, without stopping to think of every possible consequence, I leaned in and pressed my cheek against hers. My eyes closed of their own volition.

I breathed in her scent. Her skin blazed exquisitely against mine.

Her voice was husky when she spoke. “It seems to be…” She lost her voice for a moment, then cleared her throat and continued. “Much easier for you now. To be close to me.”

“Does it seem that way to you?”

I thought about this assumption as I let my nose skim along the edge of her jaw. The physical pain in my throat had never eased in the slightest, though it did nothing to take away from the pleasure of touching her. While parts of my mind were lost in the miracle of the moment, other parts had never stopped calibrating the actions of every muscle, monitoring every bodily reaction. It took up quite a bit of my mental capacity, in fact, but then, an immortal mind had a great deal of space to spare. This did not damage the moment, either.

A great deal of space, none of which is for behaving like a decent person or remembering human biology.

quote:

I lifted her curtain of damp hair and then pressed my lips lightly against the impossibly soft skin just beneath her ear.

She took a shaky breath. “Much, much easier.”

“Hmm,” was my only comment. I was very much involved in the exploration of her moonlit throat.

“So I was wondering,” she began, but then fell silent when my fingers traced the fragile line of her collarbone. She took another unsteady breath.

“Yes?” I encouraged, my fingertips dipping into the hollow above the bone.

Her voice was higher and trembling as she asked, “Why is that, do you think?”

I chuckled. “Mind over matter.”

She leaned away from me and I froze, on guard at once. Had I crossed a line? Been inappropriate? She stared back at me, seeming just as surprised as I was. I waited for her to say something, but she just gazed at me with ocean-deep eyes. All the while, her heart fluttered so quickly that it sounded like she’d just run a marathon. Or was very frightened.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

“No—the opposite.” Her lips curled into a smile. “You’re driving me crazy.”

A little shocked, I could only ask, “Really?”

Her heart was still thrumming away… not in fear, but in desire.

Knowing this now sent the electric pulse in my own body into overdrive.

My answering smile was probably too wide.



quote:

Her grin grew to match mine. “Would you like a round of applause?”

Did she think I was so sure of myself? Could she not guess how entirely out of my wheelhouse all this was? There were many things I excelled at, most of them due to my extra-human abilities. I knew when I could be confident. This was not any of those times.

“I’m just… pleasantly surprised. In the last hundred years or so”—I paused and almost laughed at her somewhat smug reaction before I continued; she loved my honesty—“I never imagined anything like this.” Nothing close. “I didn’t believe I would ever find someone I wanted to be with in another way than my brothers and sisters.” Perhaps romance always seemed a slightly foolish thing to everyone until one actually fell into it. “And then to find, even though it’s all new to me, that I’m good at it—at being with you.…”

Words rarely failed me, but this was an emotion I’d never experienced, that I had no name for.

“You’re good at everything,” she said, her tone implying that this was so obvious she shouldn’t have had to say it out loud.

This book is proving otherwise.

quote:

I shrugged in mock acceptance, and then laughed quietly with her, mostly with joy and wonder.

Her laugh faded, and a hint of the worry line appeared between her brows. “But how can it be so easy now? This afternoon…”

Though we were more in sync than we’d ever been, I had to remember that her afternoon in the meadow and my afternoon in the meadow had been quite different experiences. How could she begin to understand the kinds of changes I’d gone through in those hours we’d been together in the sun? Despite the new intimacy, I knew I would never explain to her exactly how I’d gotten to this place. She would never know what I had allowed myself to imagine.

I sighed, choosing my words. I wanted her to understand as much as I could share. “It’s not easy.” It would never be easy. It would always be painful. None of that mattered. Possible was all I would ever ask for. “But this afternoon, I was still… undecided.” Was that the best word to describe my sudden fit of violence? I couldn’t think of another. “I am sorry about that. It was unforgivable for me to behave so.”

Her smile became benevolent. “Not unforgivable.”

“Thank you,” I murmured before returning to the task of explaining.

“You see… I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough, and…” I took one of her hands and held it against my skin, smoldering embers against ice. It was an instinctive gesture, and I was surprised to find that it did somehow make it easier to speak. “While there was still that possibility that I might be”—I inhaled her scent from the most fragrant point inside her wrist, reveling in the fiery pain—“overcome… I was susceptible. Until I made up my mind that I was strong enough, that there was no possibility at all that I would… that I ever could…”

"...stop being weird."

quote:

My sentence trailed off, unfinished, as I finally met her gaze. I took both her hands in mine.

“So there’s no possibility now.” I couldn’t tell if she meant it as a statement or a question. If it was a question, she seemed very sure of the answer. And I wanted to sing with joy that she was right.

“Mind over matter,” I said again.

“Wow, that was easy.” She was laughing again.

I laughed, too, effortlessly falling into her exuberant mood.

“Easy for you!” I teased. I freed one of my hands to touch the tip of her nose with my index finger.

Abruptly, the jocularity felt off, somehow abrasive. All my anxieties swirled through my head like a whirlpool. My humor vanished and I found myself choking out another warning.

“I’m trying. If it gets to be too much, I’m fairly sure I’ll be able to leave.”

Even Meyer can't figure out an explanation for his random mood swings, which makes me wonder about what she's like.

quote:

The frown that crossed her face featured an unexpected note of outrage.

But I wasn’t finished cautioning. “And it will be harder tomorrow. I’ve had the scent of you in my head all day, and I’ve grown amazingly desensitized. If I’m away from you for any length of time, I’ll have to start over again. Not quite from scratch, though, I think.”

She leaned toward my chest, then swayed back again, as if she were catching herself. It reminded me of how she’d tucked her chin before. No throat exposure.

“Don’t go away, then.”

I took a steadying breath—a steadying, burning breath—and forced myself to stop panicking. Could she understand that the invitation in her words spoke to my greatest desire?

I smiled at her, wishing I could display a similar kindness on my face. It came so easily to her.

“That suits me. Bring on the shackles—I’m your prisoner.”

I wrapped my hands around her delicate wrists as I spoke, laughing at the image in my mind. They could bind me in iron, or steel, or some stronger alloy yet to be discovered, and none of that would hold me the way one look from this fragile human girl could.

This is the least interesting romance since Ready Player One.

quote:

“You seem more optimistic than usual. I haven’t seen you like this before,” she noted.

Optimistic… an astute observation. My cynical old self seemed an entirely a different person.

I leaned closer to her, her wrists still locked in my hands. “Isn’t it supposed to be like this? The glory of first love, and all that. It’s incredible, isn’t it, the difference between reading about something, seeing it in the pictures, and experiencing it?”

She nodded, thoughtful. “Very different. More… forceful than I’d imagined.”

I contemplated the first time I’d really experienced the difference between first-and secondhand emotion. “For example: the emotion of jealousy,” I said. “I’ve read about it a hundred thousand times, seen actors portray it in a thousand different plays and movies. I believed I understood that one pretty clearly. But it shocked me.… Do you remember the day that Mike asked you to the dance?”

“The day you started talking to me again.” She said this like a correction, as if I were prioritizing the wrong part of the memory.

But I was lost in what had happened just before that, reliving with perfect recall the first time I’d ever felt that specific passion.

“I was surprised,” I mused, “by the flare of resentment, almost fury, that I felt—I didn’t recognize what it was at first. I was even more aggravated than usual that I couldn’t know what you were thinking, why you refused him. Was it simply for your friend’s sake? Was there someone else? I knew I had no right to care either way. I tried not to care.…” My mood shifted as the story followed its path. I laughed once. “And then the line started forming.”

As I had expected, her answering scowl only made me want to laugh again.

"Your emotions only give me amusement."

quote:

“I waited, unreasonably anxious to hear what you would say to them, to watch your expressions. I couldn’t deny the relief I felt, watching the annoyance on your face. But I couldn’t be sure.… That was the first night I came here.”

A slow flush began in her cheeks, but she leaned closer, intense rather than embarrassed. The atmosphere transformed once more, and I found myself mid-confession for the hundredth time today. I whispered more softly now.

“I wrestled all night while watching you sleep… with the chasm between what I knew was right, moral, ethical, and what I wanted. I knew that if I continued to ignore you as I should, or if I left for a few years, till you were gone, that someday you would say yes to Mike, or someone like him. It made me angry.”

This all sounds a lot scarier now!

quote:

Angry, miserable, as if life were draining of all color and purpose.
In what seemed an unconscious movement, she shook her head, denying
this vision of her future.

“And then, as you were sleeping, you said my name.”

Looking back, it seemed as though those brief seconds were the turning point, the divide. Though I had doubted myself a million times in the interim, once I’d heard her call to me, I’d never had another choice.

“You spoke so clearly,” I continued, my voice just a breath. “At first I thought you’d woken. But you rolled over restlessly and mumbled my name once more, and sighed. The feeling that coursed through me then was unnerving, staggering. And I knew I couldn’t ignore you any longer.”

Her heart beat more quickly.

“But jealousy… it’s a strange thing. So much more powerful than I would have thought. And irrational! Just now, when Charlie asked you about that vile Mike Newton—”

I didn’t finish, remembering that I should probably not reveal exactly how strong my feelings about the hapless boy had become.

"She might call the police to put him in witness protection."

quote:

“I should have known you’d be listening,” she muttered.

It wasn’t really an option to not hear anything that happened so close. “Of course.”

Yeah, that makes it better.

quote:

“That made you feel jealous, though, really?” Her tone changed from annoyance to disbelief.

“I’m new at this,” I reminded her. “You’re resurrecting the human in me, and everything feels stronger because it’s fresh.”

Unexpectedly, a smug little smile puckered her lips. “But honestly, for that to bother you, after I have to hear that Rosalie—Rosalie, the incarnation of pure beauty, Rosalie—was meant for you. Emmett or no Emmett, how can I compete with that?”

She said the words as though she was playing her trump card. As if jealousy were rational enough to weigh out the physical attractiveness of the third parties, and then be felt in direct proportion.

“There’s no competition,” I promised her.

Gently and slowly, I used her imprisoned wrists to pull her closer to me, until her head rested just under my chin. Her cheek seared against my skin.

“I know there’s no competition. That’s the problem,” she grumbled.

“Of course Rosalie is beautiful in her way.…” It wasn’t as if I could deny Rosalie’s exquisiteness, but it was an unnatural, heightened thing— sometimes more disturbing than attracting. “But even if she wasn’t like a sister to me, even if Emmett didn’t belong with her, she could never have one tenth, no, one hundredth of the attraction you hold for me. For almost ninety years I’ve walked among my kind, and yours… all the time thinking I was complete in myself, not realizing what I was seeking. And not finding anything… because you weren’t alive yet.”

I felt her breath against my skin as she whispered her response. “It hardly seems fair. I haven’t had to wait at all. Why should I get off so easily?”

It'll help your marriage?

quote:

No one had ever had more sympathy for the devil. Still, I wondered that she could count her own sacrifices so lightly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgnClrx8N2k

Listening to this is a much better use of my time.

quote:

“You’re right. I should make this harder for you, definitely.” I gathered both of her wrists into my left hand so that my right was free, then brushed lightly down the length of her dripping hair. Its texture, slippery like this, wasn’t so far from the seaweed I’d imagined before. I twisted a strand between my fingers as I listed her forfeitures. “You only have to risk your life every second you spend with me, that’s surely not much. You only have to turn your back on nature, on humanity… what’s that worth?”

“Very little,” she breathed into my skin. “I don’t feel deprived of anything.”

Perhaps it was not surprising that Rosalie’s face flickered behind my eyelids. In the last seven decades, she had taught me a thousand different aspects of humanity to mourn.

“Not yet.”

Something in my voice had her tugging against my hold, pulling back from my chest as she tried to see my face. I was about to free her when something outside our intense moment intruded.

Doubt. Awkwardness. Worry. The words were no clearer than usual, and there wasn’t much time for conjecture.

“What—?” she began, but before she could voice her question, I was on the move. She caught herself against the mattress as I darted to the dark corner where I habitually spent my nights.

“Lie down,” I whispered just loud enough for her to hear the urgency in my voice. I was surprised that she hadn’t noticed Charlie’s footsteps coming up the stairs. To be fair, it sounded like he was trying to be furtive.

She reacted immediately, diving under her quilt and curling into a ball. Charlie’s hand was already turning the knob. As the door cracked open, Bella took a deep breath and then slowly exhaled. The motion was overdone, slightly theatrical.

Like everything you do?

quote:

Huh, was the only reaction I could read from Charlie. As Bella performed her next sleeping breath, Charlie eased the door closed. I waited until his own bedroom door was closed and I’d heard the creak of mattress springs before I returned to Bella.

She must have been waiting for the all clear, still curled in a rigid ball, still amplifying her slow and even breathing. If Charlie had really watched her for a few seconds, he probably would have known she was pretending. Bella wasn’t particularly good at deception.

Following these strange new instincts—they’d yet to lead me astray—I lowered myself onto the bed beside her and then slid under her quilt and put my arm around her.

“You are a terrible actress,” I said conversationally, as if it were a perfectly routine thing for me to lie with her this way. “I’d say that career path is out for you.”

"There's not a chance you can lie later in the series. Ever."

quote:

Her heart drummed loudly again, but her voice was as casual as mine. “Darn it.”

She nestled herself against me, closer than before, then lay still and sighed with contentment. I wondered if she would fall asleep like this, in my arms. It seemed unlikely, given the pace of her heart, but she didn’t speak again.

Unbidden, the notes of her song came into my head. I started to hum along almost automatically. The music seemed to belong here, in the place where it had been inspired. Bella didn’t comment, but her body tensed, as if she were listening carefully.

I paused to ask, “Should I sing you to sleep?”

I was surprised when she laughed quietly. “Right, like I could sleep with you here!”

“You do it all the time.”

Her tone hardened. “But I didn’t know you were here.”

I was glad that she still seemed upset by my transgressions. I knew I deserved some kind of punishment, that she should hold me accountable. However, she didn’t move away from me. I couldn’t imagine a punishment that would carry any weight while she allowed me to hold her.

This is a really weird and creepy thing in this book. Meyer is trying to find a way to deal with Edward's criminally and abusively invasive actions that she seemed to disregard entirely over 15 years ago, but she can't. She's stuck herself in the quicksand of the past. The best she can give is having Edward repeatedly claim that he should be getting punished for all of the terrible things he does, then react in surprise that he gets forgiven or even ignored. This book was a folly from the start that only exposes her issues deeper.

quote:

“So if you don’t want to sleep…?” I asked. Was this like food? Was I selfishly keeping her from something vital? But how could I leave when she wanted me to stay?

“If I don’t want to sleep…?” she echoed.

“What do you want to do then?” Would she tell me if she was exhausted? Or would she pretend she was fine?

It took her a long moment to answer. “I’m not sure,” she said at last, and I couldn’t help but wonder what options she had run through in her deliberations. I’d been very forward in joining her like this, but it felt oddly natural. Did it feel that way to her? Or just presumptuous? Did it make her, like me, imagine more? Is that what she’d thought through for so long?

“Tell me when you decide.” I would make no suggestions. I would let her lead.

Easier said than done. In her silence, I found myself leaning closer to her, letting my face brush along the length of her jaw, breathing in both her scent and her warmth. The fire was such a part of me now that it was easy to notice other things. I’d always thought of her scent with fear and desire. But there were so many layers to its beauty that I hadn’t been able to appreciate before.

“I thought you were desensitized,” she murmured.

I returned to my earlier metaphor to explain. “Just because I’m resisting the wine doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the bouquet. You have a very floral smell, like lavender… or freesia.” I laughed once. “It’s mouthwatering.”

She swallowed loudly, then spoke with an assumed nonchalance. “Yeah, it’s an off day when I don’t get somebody telling me how edible I smell.”

"Have I explained to you yet how Mike Newton would totally be killing you right now if he was breaking into your room instead of me?"

quote:

laughed again, and then sighed. I would always regret this part of my
response to her, but it wasn’t such a weighty thing anymore. One small
thorn, so irrelevant in the face of the rose’s beauty.

“I’ve decided what I want to do,” she announced.

I waited eagerly.

“I want to hear more about you.”

Well, not as interesting for me, but she could have whatever she wanted.“ Ask me anything.”

“Why do you do it?” she breathed, quieter than before. “I still don’t understand how you can work so hard to resist what you… are. Please don’t misunderstand, of course I’m glad that you do. I just don’t see why you would bother in the first place.”

I was glad she asked this. It was important. I tried to find the best way to explain, but my words faltered in a few places. “That’s a good question, and you are not the first one to ask it. The others—the majority of our kind who are quite content with our lot—they, too, wonder at how we live. But you see, just because we’ve been… dealt a certain hand… it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above—to conquer the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. To try to retain whatever essential humanity we can.”

Was that clear? Would she understand what I meant?

After your actions in the later books? Nope!

quote:

She didn’t comment, and she didn’t move.

“Did you fall asleep?” I whispered so quietly that it couldn’t possibly wake her if that were the case.

“No,” she said quickly. And added nothing more.

It was frustrating and hilarious how much nothing had changed despite everything changing. I would always be driven frantic by her silent thoughts.

“Is that all you were curious about?” I encouraged.

“Not quite.” I couldn’t see her face, but I knew she was smiling.

“What else do you want to know?”

“Why can you read minds—why only you?” she demanded. “And Alice, seeing the future… why does that happen?”

I wished I had a better answer. I shrugged and admitted, “We don’t really know. Carlisle has a theory—he believes that we all bring something of our strongest human traits with us into the next life, where they are intensified, like our minds, and our senses. He thinks that I must have already been very sensitive to the thoughts of those around me. And that Alice had some precognition, wherever she was.”

“What did he bring into the next life, and the others?”

This was an easier answer; I’d considered it many times before. “Carlisle brought his compassion. Esme brought her ability to love passionately. Emmett brought his strength, Rosalie…” Well, Rose had brought her beauty. But that seemed a less than tactful answer in light of our earlier discussion. If Bella’s jealousy was even a tiny bit as painful as my own, I didn’t want her to have a reason to feel it again. “Her… tenacity. Or you could call it pigheadedness.” Surely this was true as well. I laughed quietly, imagining how she must have been as a human girl. “Jasper is very interesting. He was quite charismatic in his first life, able to influence those around him to see things his way. Now he is able to manipulate the emotions of those around him—calm down a room of angry people, for example, or excite a lethargic crowd, conversely. It’s a very subtle gift.”

Oh, gently caress off. "Rosalie has no gifts except beauty, but I couldn't make Bella jealous so I just said she was supernaturally stubborn!" Are we forgetting that Rosalie is the only vampire other than Carlisle to never drink human blood at this point? She may be the only vampire who hasn't been given a seriously useful "gift" (because Meyer is using her as a lightning rod for her childhood anger), but she's one of the mentally strongest vampires we've ever seen.

quote:

She was quiet again. I wasn’t surprised; it was a lot to process.

“So where did it all start?” she asked at last. “I mean, Carlisle changed you, and then someone must have changed him, and so on.…”

Another answer that was only conjecture. “Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn’t we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or…” Though I didn’t always agree with Carlisle’s unshakable faith, his answers were just as likely as any others. Sometimes, perhaps because his mind was so firm, they felt most likely. “If you don’t believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?”

“Let me get this straight.” She was trying to sound as serious as before, but I could hear the joke coming. “I’m the baby seal, right?”

Get the club.

quote:

“Right,” I agreed, and then laughed. I closed my eyes and pressed my lips to the top of her head.

She twitched, shifted her weight. Was she uncomfortable? I prepared to free her, but she settled again, snug against my chest. Her breath seemed just slightly deeper than before. Her heart had relaxed into a steady rhythm.

“Are you ready to sleep?” I murmured. “Or do you have any more questions?”

“Only a million or two.”

“We have tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.…” It had been a powerful thought in the kitchen, the idea of many more evenings spent in her company. It was more powerful now, curled up together in the dark. If she wished it, there was actually very little time we needed to be separated. Less time apart than together. Did she feel the shattering joy, too?

“Are you sure you won’t vanish in the morning? You are mythical, after all.” She asked her question with no humor at all. It sounded like a serious concern.

“I won’t leave you,” I promised. It felt like a vow, a covenant. I hoped she could hear that.

"Unlike every previous night, where I left you before you knew I was sitting in your chair staring at you for 8 hours."

quote:

“One more, then, tonight…”

I waited for her question, but she didn’t continue. I was mystified when her heart started to move jaggedly again. The air around me heated with the pulse of her blood.

“What is it?”

“No, forget it,” she said quickly. “I changed my mind.”

“Bella, you can ask me anything.”

She said nothing. I couldn’t imagine anything she would be frightened to ask at this point. Her heart sped again, and I groaned aloud. “I keep thinking it will get less frustrating, not hearing your thoughts. But it just gets worse and worse.”

“I’m glad you can’t read my thoughts,” she countered at once. “It’s bad enough that you eavesdrop on my sleep-talking.”

Strange that this would be her one objection to my stalking, but I was too eager for her missing question, the one that made her heart race, to worry about that now.

"Strange that the author could think of no reason for anyone to object to my actions..."

quote:

“Please?” I pleaded.

Her hair brushed back and forth across my chest as she shook her head.

“If you don’t tell me, I’ll just assume it’s something much worse than it is.” I waited, but that bluff didn’t move her. In truth, I had no ideas, either trivial or dark. I tried begging again. “Please?”

“Well…” She hesitated, but at least she was talking. Or not. Silence fell again.

“Yes?” I prompted.

“You said… that Rosalie and Emmett will get married soon.…” She trailed off, leaving me baffled again at her train of thought. Did she want an invitation?

I do!

quote:

“Is that… marriage… the same as it is for humans?”

Even as quickly as my brain worked, it took me a second to follow. It should have been more obvious. I needed to keep firmly in mind that nine times out of ten—in my experience with her, at least—whenever her heart started to race, it had nothing to do with fear. It was usually attraction. And should this train of thought be in any way shocking when I had just recently climbed into her bed with her?

I laughed at my own obtuseness. “Is that what you’re getting at?”

My question sounded light, but I could not help responding to the subject at hand. The electricity rioted through my body, and I had to resist the urge to reposition myself so that my lips could find hers. That wasn’t the right answer. It couldn’t be. Because there was an obvious second question following the first.

“Yes, I suppose it is much the same,” I answered. “I told you, most of those human desires are there, just hidden behind more powerful desires.”

“Oh.”

She didn’t continue. Maybe I was wrong.

“Was there a purpose behind your curiosity?”

She sighed. “Well, I did wonder… about you and me… someday.…”

No, not wrong. The sudden grief felt like a weight pressing against my chest. How I wished I had a different answer to give her.

“I don’t think that… that…”—I avoided the word sex because she did —“would be possible for us.”

I thought you avoided that word out of Mormon purity.

quote:

“Because it would be too hard for you?” she whispered. “If I were
that… close?”

It was hard not to imagine.… I refocused.

“That’s certainly a problem,” I said slowly. “But that’s not what I was thinking of. It’s just that you are so soft, so fragile. I have to mind my actions every moment that we’re together so that I don’t hurt you. I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident.” I reached up carefully to lay my hand against her cheek. “If I was too hasty… if for one second I wasn’t paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don’t realize how incredibly breakable you are. I can never, never afford to lose any kind of control when I’m with you.”

Admitting to this obstacle seemed less shameful than confessing my thirst. After all, my strength was simply part of what I was. Well, my thirst was, too, but the intensity of it around her was unnatural. That aspect of myself felt indefensible, disgraceful. Even now that it was under control, I was mortified it existed.

"Everything about me is indefensible and immoral! It just doesn't matter as long as I get what I want!"

quote:

She thought over my answer for a long time. Perhaps my wording was more frightening than I’d intended. But how would she understand if I edited the truth too much?

“Are you scared?” I asked.

Another pause.

“No,” she said slowly. “I’m fine.”

We were silent for another pensive moment. I wasn’t thrilled with where my thoughts went in her silence. Even though she’d told me so much about her own past that didn’t align… even though she’d introduced the topic with such bashfulness… I couldn’t help but wonder. And I knew well enough by now that if I ignored my intrusive curiosity, it would only begin to fester.

I tried to sound indifferent. “I’m curious now, though.… Have you ever…?”

“Of course not,” she answered at once, not angrily, but incredulously. “I told you I’ve never felt like this about anyone before, not even close.”

Did she think I hadn’t been paying attention?

Look buddy, I can barely parse this book already.

quote:

“I know,” I assured her. “It’s just that I know other people’s thoughts. I know love and lust don’t always keep the same company.”

“They do for me. Now, anyway, that they exist for me at all.”

Her use of the plural was a kind of acknowledgment. I knew that she loved me. The fact that we both also lusted was definitely going to complicate matters.

How is this getting more Mormon?

quote:

I decided to answer her next question before she could ask it. “That’s nice. We have that one thing in common, at least.”

She sighed, but it sounded like a pleased sigh.

“Your human instincts…,” she asked slowly. “Well, do you find me attractive, in that way, at all?”

I laughed out loud at that. Was there any way in which I did not want her? Mind and soul and body, body no less than either of the others. I smoothed her hair against her neck.

“I may not be a human, but I am a man.”

She yawned, and I suppressed another laugh. “I’ve answered your questions, now you should sleep.”

“I’m not sure if I can.”

“Do you want me to leave?” I suggested, though I was extremely loath to do so.

“No!” In her outrage, her answer was much louder than the whispers we’d been using all night. No harm done; Charlie’s snores didn’t even stutter.

I laughed again, then pulled myself closer to her. With my lips against her ear, I began humming her song again, so quietly it was little more than a breath.

I could feel the difference when she crossed over into unconsciousness. All the alertness escaped her muscles, until they were loose and languid. Her breathing slowed and her hands curled together against her chest, almost as if in prayer.

I felt no desire to move. Ever again, in fact. I knew eventually she would begin to toss, and I would have to get out of her way so as not to wake her, but for now, nothing could be more perfect. I was still unused to this joy, and it didn’t really feel like something a person could get used to. I would embrace it for as long as that was possible, and know that no matter what happened in the future, just having this one paradisiacal day was worth any pain that might follow.

“Edward,” Bella whispered in her sleep. “Edward… I love you.”

macabresca
Jan 26, 2019

I WANNA HUG


quote:

Another answer that was only conjecture. “Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn’t we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or…” Though I didn’t always agree with Carlisle’s unshakable faith, his answers were just as likely as any others. Sometimes, perhaps because his mind was so firm, they felt most likely. “If you don’t believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?”

This bit's been bugging me since I've read Twilight 10 years ago. From the perspective of evolution Twilight vampires are complete gently caress ups - they're not independent as a species because there's no way for them to breed other than turning humans. But that means their potential offspring is their only food source. And on top of that, death of starvation is never mentioned in these books so there's no reason to assume they need blood to actually survive. They are these standard undead unholy abominations but here Meyer tries to suggest there might be a scientifically plausible reason they exist. There aren't any vampire scholars who try to uncover their origins? There aren't any vampire mythos of how were they created? The oldest vampires we hear about were created B.C. iirc. But were there any vampires before that? Were there any vampire species that the current vampires evolved from?

Honestly, the biggest wasted opportunity here is that Twivamps don't have any culture. They are complete parasites of human race in every possible aspect, yet they are presented as superior in every way

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I swear I've read Amish romance novels written by and for middle aged women (don't laugh, it's a surprisingly popular niche genre and I worked as a librarian for years) with a healthier attitude towards sex and sexuality.

Mouzer
May 9, 2006
Feed the fish!



These conversations are just so unfathomably boring a second time around. Kudos to you for sticking with it

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Mouzer posted:

These conversations are just so unfathomably boring a second time around. Kudos to you for sticking with it

It’s seriously difficult to find decently funny interjections a lot of the time.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 19: Home

quote:

I wondered if I would ever spend a night happier than this one. I doubted it.

Wait until you discover sex!

quote:

As she slept, Bella told me again and again that she loved me. More than the words themselves, the sound of perfect bliss in her tone was all I could ever want. I made her truly happy. Did that not excuse everything else?

Eventually, in the very early morning, she settled into deeper sleep. I knew she wouldn’t speak again. After finishing her book—one of my favorites now, too—I’d thought mostly about the day ahead, about Alice’s vision of Bella visiting my family. Though I’d seen it clearly in Alice’s head, it was hard to believe. Would Bella want that? Did I?

I considered Alice’s fairly well-developed friendship with Bella, of which Bella was completely ignorant. Now that I felt assured about the future I was pursuing—and the likelihood of it happening—it did feel a little cruel to keep Alice away from her. What would Bella think of Emmett? I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that he would behave himself. He would find it hilarious to say something off-putting or frightening. Maybe, if I promised him something he wanted… A wrestling match? A football game? There had to be a price he’d accept. I’d already seen how Jasper would keep his distance, but had Alice thought to tell him that, or was her vision contingent on my action? Of course, Bella had met Carlisle, but it would be something different now. I found that the idea of Bella spending time with Carlisle was appealing to me. He was the very best of us. It could only make her think more highly of us all to know him better. And then, Esme would be ecstatic to meet Bella. The thought of Esme’s pleasure almost had my mind made up.

There was just the one obstacle, really.

The author's insecurities.

quote:

Rosalie.

As I said.

quote:

I realized there was prep work I absolutely had to accomplish before I could even think of bringing Bella home. And that meant leaving her.

I gazed at her now, deep in her dreams. I’d moved to the floor beside her bed when she’d begun her nightly gyrations. I leaned against the edge of the mattress, one hand outstretched, a lock of her hair wrapped around my finger. I sighed and untangled myself. It had to be done. She would never know I’d left. But I would miss her for even this short interlude.

Never, ever say "nightly gyrations" again.

quote:

I hurried home, hoping to conclude my tasks in the briefest time possible.

Alice had done her part, as usual. Most of the things I wanted to accomplish were just details. Alice knew which were most vital, and sure enough, Rosalie was waiting on the front porch, perched on the top step of the stairs, as I ran up to the house.

Alice had not told her much. Rosalie’s face was a little confused when I first spotted her, as if she had no idea what she was waiting for. As soon as she caught sight of me, her confusion turned to a scowl.

Oh, what now!

“Rose, please,” I called to her. “Can we talk?”

I should have realized Alice was just helping you.

“And herself, a little.”

Rosalie stood up, brushing her jeans off.

“Please, Rose?”

Fine! Fine. Say what you have to say.

I swept my arm out as an invitation. “Come for a walk with me?”

Who's ready for the scene that will really make you wish Rosalie was the protagonist instead?

quote:

She pursed her lips but nodded. I led the way around the house, to the edge of the night-black river. At first we were silent as we paced north along the bank. There was no sound but the gush of the water.

Well, it wouldn't be night-black to you. Meyer did this a lot in Breaking Dawn where she initially established that vampires have such good night vision that night itself is basically "daytime with a different color palette" but then kept writing as if Bella was still a human when describing anything.

quote:

It was by design I’d chosen this path. I hoped it would remind her of the day I’d been thinking of earlier, the day she’d brought Emmett home. The first time we’d found common ground.

“Can we get on with this?” she complained.

Though she sounded only irritated, I could hear more in her head. She was nervous. Still afraid that I was angry about her bet? A little ashamed of that, I thought.

“I want to ask you a favor,” I told her. “It won’t be easy for you, I know.”

This was not the direction she’d been expecting. My gentle tone only made her angrier, though.

You want me to be nice to the human, she guessed.

“Yes. You don’t have to like her, if you’d rather not. But she’s part of my life, and that makes her part of your life, too. I know you didn’t ask for this, and you don’t want it.”

No, I do not, she agreed.

“You didn’t ask my permission to bring Emmett home,” I reminded her.

She sniffed derisively. That’s different.

"He's actually fun."

quote:

“More permanent, certainly.”

Rosalie stopped walking, and I paused with her. She stared at me, surprised and suspicious.

What do you mean by that? Aren’t you talking about permanence?

She caught on real fast.

quote:

Her thoughts were so caught up with these questions, it took me by surprise when she spoke to a different subject.

“Did you feel harmed when I chose Emmett? Did that injure you in any way?”

“Of course not. You chose very well.”

She sniffed again, unimpressed with my flattery.

“Could you give me the chance to prove that I have, too?”

Rosalie spun away from me, striding north again, breaking a path now through the untamed forest.

I can’t look at her. When I look at her, I can’t see her as a person. I just see a waste.

Against my intentions, I felt my anger flare. I bit back a growl, and tried to compose myself. Rosalie glanced over her shoulder and saw the change in my expression. She paused again, swinging around to face me. Her features softened.

I am sorry. I don’t mean that to sound so cruel. I just can’t… I can’t watch her do this. “She’s got a chance for everything, Edward,” Rosalie whispered, her whole body rigid with intensity. “A whole life of possibilities ahead of her, and she’s going to waste it all. Everything I lost. I can’t bear to watch it.”

I stared back at her, shaken.

Rosalie's complexity and sympathetic personality has finally come roaring back in full force, ready to make you hate everything Meyer does to force her to remain in her original Twilight personality after this scene!

quote:

I’d been annoyed by Rosalie’s strange jealousy, which indeed had roots in my preference for Bella. That part was all so petty. But this was something different, so much deeper. I felt that I understood her now for the first time since I’d saved Bella’s life.

I reached out carefully to place my hand on her arm, expecting she would shake it off. But she just stood very still.

“I’m not going to let that happen,” I promised, matching her intensity. She examined my face for a long moment. Then she pictured Bella in her mind. It wasn’t the perfect representation of Alice’s visions, more of a caricature, really. But it was clear what she meant. Bella’s skin was white, her eyes bright red. The image was flavored with heavy disgust.

This is not your goal?

I shook my head, just as disgusted. “No. No, I want her to have everything. I won’t take anything away from her, Rose. Do you understand? I won’t hurt her that way.”

She was unsettled now, too. But… how do you see that… working?

I shrugged, feigning a nonchalance I didn’t feel. “How long until she grows bored with a seventeen-year-old? Do you think I can keep her interested until she’s twenty-three? Maybe twenty-five? Eventually… she’ll move on.” I tried to control my face, to hide what the words cost me, but she saw through me.

This is a dangerous game you’re playing, Edward.

If this were done by a better writer, this would have been part of the book from the very beginning. It immediately sets all of Rosalie's behavior in a different light: not only is she horrified to see that Bella is so willingly to throw away all of the potential that she had forcibly taken from her by rape and murder, she knows that there's no alternative once Edward sets down this path. Both of them are too emotionally unstable to be apart from one another and Bella's growing obsession with immortality means she'll only keep pushing the Cullens to turn her even if Edward is unwilling (recall that at one point she threatens to get Alice to vamp her if he won't).

Her anger and rudeness through the entire series are completely justifiable with this knowledge. She's watching an immature and dangerously crazy teenage girl force herself into the world of vampires (which Rosalie doesn't exactly consider glamorous and cool) by latching onto her supremely hosed up stalker of a "brother" who's always one bad day away from returning to mass murder. Alice is all too eager to use her visions to push everything her way, Emmett thinks having a vampire sister-in-law is too cool to care about the moral implications, Carlisle is exceedingly diplomatic and won't stand in the way if Edward wills it, and Esme is totally absorbed with the idea of a new family member. To Rosalie, the only possible benefit of Bella becoming a Cullen might be that Jasper is less inclined to eat Edward's girlfriend! It's easy to interpret Rosalie as the only sane woman in this entire plot.

But that's not to be, because this just Meyer hastily papering over her years-old writing with extra scenes for the first book. Rosalie is destined to just be a vessel for her insecurities who does nothing but act like a mean girl for no apparent reason, then instantly shift to an obsessive surrogate mother who unconditionally loves Bella as soon as she does the proper thing and has a baby. This scene, finally giving Rosalie the characterization she deserves, is ultimately no more meaningful than fanfiction.

quote:

“I’ll find a way to survive. After she goes…” I flinched, my hand falling to my side.

“That’s not what I meant,” she said. Look, you’re not up to my personal standards, but there’s not a human man alive who can compare with you, and you know it.

He shouldn't be up to anyone's standards!

quote:

I shook my head. “Someday she’ll want more than I can give her.” There was so much I couldn’t give her. “You would have wanted more, wouldn’t you? If you were in her position, and Emmett in mine?”

Rosalie took my question seriously, thinking it through. She imagined Emmett just as he was now, his easy smile, his hands held out to her. She saw herself human again, still lovely but less remarkable, reaching back to him. Then she imagined her human self turning away from him. Neither image seemed to satisfy her.

Earlier in the book, I mentioned how the 2010 Meyer wrote a mention of Rosalie being so willing to return to normal mortality that she would give up even Emmett for it. This, written years later, makes it far more ambiguous.

quote:

But I know what I lost, she thought, her tone subdued. I don’t think she’ll see it that way. “I’m going to sound like an octogenarian now,” she continued aloud, the faintest hint of levity suddenly in her voice. “But… you know kids these days.” She smiled weakly. “All about the here and now, no thought for five years into the future, let alone fifty. What will you do when she asks you to change her?”

“I’ll tell her why it’s wrong. I’ll tell her everything she’ll lose.”

And when she begs?

I hesitated, thinking of Alice’s vision of a grieving Bella, her hollow cheeks, her body curled in on itself in agony. What if my presence, and not my absence, were the reason she felt that way? I imagined her full of Rosalie’s bitterness.

“I’ll refuse.”

Rose heard the iron in my tone, and I could see that she finally understood my resolve. She nodded to herself.

I still think it’s too dangerous. I’m not sure you’re that strong.

Rosalie has spent this entire series being the only character to understand all the crazy bullshit going on, and got castigated by the author and tricked into being hated by readers for it.

quote:

She turned around and started walking slowly back toward the house. I kept pace with her.

“Your life isn’t what you wanted,” I began quietly. “But in the last seventy years or so, would you say you’ve had at least five years of pure happiness?”

Flashes of the best parts of her life, all of them revolving around Emmett, moved through her head, though I could see that, obstinate as ever, she didn’t want to agree with me.

I smiled halfheartedly. “Ten years, even?”

She wouldn’t answer me.

“Let me have my five years, Rosalie,” I whispered. “I know it can’t last. Let me be happy while happiness is possible. Be part of that happiness. Be my sister, and if you can’t love my choice the way I love yours, can you at least pretend to tolerate her?”

My words, gentle and quiet, seemed to hit her like bricks. Her shoulders were suddenly stiff, brittle.

I’m not sure what I can do. Seeing everything I want… out of my reach… It’s too painful.

It would be painful for her, I knew that. But I also knew that her regret and sorrow wouldn’t equal even a fraction of the anguish that was waiting for me. Rosalie’s life would go back to what it was now. Emmett would be there throughout to comfort her. But I… I would lose everything.

You stupid, selfish teenager.

quote:

“Will you try?” I demanded, my voice sterner than before. Her walk slowed for a few seconds, and her eyes were on her feet.

Finally, her shoulders slumped and she nodded. I can try.

“There’s a chance… Alice saw Bella coming to the house in the morning.”

Her eyes flashed up, angry again. I need more time than that.

I held my hands up, placating. “Take the time you need.”

Poor Rosalie.

quote:

It made me sad, and tired, to see that her eyes were suspicious again. Maybe she wasn’t strong enough. She seemed to feel the judgment in my gaze. She looked away, then suddenly ran for the house. I let her go.

And even after all that, he's still finding a way to blame her for her feelings.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 06:19 on Dec 22, 2020

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






The Assassination of Rosalie Cullen by the Coward Stephenie Meyer

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





chitoryu12 posted:

If this were done by a better writer, this would have been part of the book from the very beginning. It immediately sets all of Rosalie's behavior in a different light: not only is she horrified to see that Bella is so willingly to throw away all of the potential that she had forcibly taken from her by rape and murder, she knows that there's no alternative once Edward sets down this path. Both of them are too emotionally unstable to be apart from one another and Bella's growing obsession with immortality means she'll only keep pushing the Cullens to turn her even if Edward is unwilling (recall that at one point she threatens to get Alice to vamp her if he won't).

Her anger and rudeness through the entire series are completely justifiable with this knowledge. She's watching an immature and dangerously crazy teenage girl force herself into the world of vampires (which Rosalie doesn't exactly consider glamorous and cool) by latching onto her supremely hosed up stalker of a "brother" who's always one bad day away from returning to mass murder. Alice is all too eager to use her visions to push everything her way, Emmett thinks having a vampire sister-in-law is too cool to care about the moral implications, Carlisle is exceedingly diplomatic and won't stand in the way if Edward wills it, and Esme is totally absorbed with the idea of a new family member. To Rosalie, the only possible benefit of Bella becoming a Cullen might be that Jasper is less inclined to eat Edward's girlfriend! It's easy to interpret Rosalie as the only sane woman in this entire plot.

In the hands of a competent writer, this could be THE hook for an incredible story.

Even make Rosalie the primary antagonist, but with this depth and complexity to her motivations would make for an extremely sympathetic "villain". Hell even flip the script and make her the protagonist, trying save a young girl hurtling towards doom due to her emotional immaturity.

Up Circle
Apr 3, 2008


Dirt Road Junglist posted:

The Assassination of Rosalie Cullen by the Coward Stephenie Meyer

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Proteus Jones posted:

In the hands of a competent writer, this could be THE hook for an incredible story.

Even make Rosalie the primary antagonist, but with this depth and complexity to her motivations would make for an extremely sympathetic "villain". Hell even flip the script and make her the protagonist, trying save a young girl hurtling towards doom due to her emotional immaturity.

Yes, this, PLEASE.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



I don't think Stephanie Meyer has the writing talent to pull off any of the incredibly interesting premises and protagonists that emerge in her writing but it does kind of amaze me that she's either unable to see them or not interested in trying to write them rather than... *Gestures wildly towards the crap pile*

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!


I wonder if the lack of continuity in Rosalie’s personality is handwaved away by fans with “oh, she just pretended to be bitchy and jealous in hopes of driving Bella away, but once Bella got pregnant Rose couldn’t keep up the facade any longer.” At least it’s the only way it makes any kind of remote sense.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

At least it’s the only way it makes any kind of remote sense.

It's Mormonism at work. The moment babies appear, if you are a woman, your previous personality, beliefs, and ambitions for the future are summarily replaced by MUST CARE FOR BABY.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

I wonder if the lack of continuity in Rosalie’s personality is handwaved away by fans with “oh, she just pretended to be bitchy and jealous in hopes of driving Bella away, but once Bella got pregnant Rose couldn’t keep up the facade any longer.” At least it’s the only way it makes any kind of remote sense.

This scene was completely unknown by fans until August when the book released. It does fit in with her Eclipse scene, though, which reflects the really odd order in which she wrote everything. Since Breaking Dawn was her second book hastily recycled into the fourth, it reverts everyone back to their first book personalities and erases Rosalie's character development entirely before adding the baby craziness. Now Midnight Sun is coming a decade later and you have her old stuff that's still stuck in the past and new stuff from the last few years (at the very oldest; for all we know this scene could be barely a year old) that's trying to improve on her old flaws. If you read the entire series in chronological order with Midnight Sun coming right after Twilight, her personality is just a series of wild ups and downs like there's a different author every time.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Going out of town for a bit and got a chunk deleted by a computer fuckup. I will see if I can continue my work on a laptop though!

Malah
May 18, 2015




The LP curse looms.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Malah posted:

The LP curse looms.

We’re finishing this bitch!

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Also, as I continue typing, I'm happy to say we're well past the halfway mark.

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014





This chapter sucks so bad

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