Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twi-Hard With a Vengeance

What follows is an excerpt from Misty Evening, the worldwide bestseller about vampires, and undying love, and shit.


It was dawn, and Belle awoke to the sound of gentle rain tapping at her window. It was always raining in Spoons, the small town where she lived, but she didn’t mind it so much now that she had him. For a moment she thought, again, that she had simply imagined it, that her wondrous time with Edmund had been nothing more than a pleasant and exciting dream. But then she saw him standing there, gazing upon her with his big, expressive eyes, the retinas colored mauve (which she now knew indicated that he was happy, or was it constipated? She couldn’t quite recall) and she knew that it had all been as real as anything. Belle shuddered pleasurably.
“Oh, Edmund,” she sighed. “You didn’t leave me.”
“Of course not,” he replied with a dry chuckle. “Silly girl.”
“So, so silly,” Belle agreed. She frowned. “What are you doing with a silly girl like me, anyway?”
“I already told you,” Edmund said, crouching down beside her bed and stroking her shoulder with his cold, clammy hands (which still managed to make Belle feel warm as fire). “I adore you. You are everything to me, the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
“I know,” Belle said. “I know that you’ve said that before, and that you’ve followed me everywhere for the past eight months and watched me when I didn’t know you were watching—which could be seen as stalker-ish but with you I just think it’s romantic—and that you wrote me that poem, and painted me that mural, and gave me that mix CD…”
“Four mix CDs,” Edmund corrected. “And don’t forget the sonnet I wrote you.”
“Oh, right,” Belle amended. “But still, I just can’t believe that you, who are so gorgeous and magnificent, so strong and alluring, would fall in love with someone as painfully ordinary as me.”
“Shh,” Edmund said. “I want to just smell you for a moment.” He began to inhale deeply as he hovered over Belle’s face, moving down the length of her body gradually and closing his eyes as if to better lose himself in her scent.
“Again, that could be creepy but with you it’s… um, not,” Belle said.
“Shh,” Edmund repeated. “You smell like lilacs. You smell of freshly fallen rain and of… calf brains.”
“What?” Bella asked, looking down.
“It’s a compliment,” Edmund said. “I enjoy slaughtering cows and devouring them alive, remember?”
“Oh, right,” Bella answered. “Of course.” There were times when she forgot that Edmund was more than just a man—albeit a very beautiful and intelligent one with great taste in clothes and a mean two step. He was also an immortal vampire. Who drank blood and stuff.
“Thank you,” Edmund said, evidently done inhaling her aroma. “That was quite wonderful for me. Was it good for you?”
“It was,” Belle answered. “Do you know what I think would be even better?”
Edmund looked at her expectantly, turning his head to the side and letting his luscious brown locks fall across his creamy white forehead. It took everything she had to breathe normally and continue with her train of thought. God, he was a hottie.
“If you and I were to share a hot, steamy…” Belle began.
“Belle,” Edmund interrupted. “We made a pledge, remember? At school. No copulation until after marriage or, failing that, death. Though in my case it’s too late for that…”
“Oh!” Belle exclaimed. “I didn’t mean to suggest that. I meant a hot steamy cup of cocoa.”
“Of course,” Edmund said. “I should never have thought you’d be proposing otherwise. Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Belle said.
“You wouldn’t ever propose that—would you?” Edmund asked.
“Oh no,” Belle replied. “No way. No way, Jose. You wouldn’t ever propose that… right?”
“Me?” Edmund asked. “Goodness no. Not at all. Nope. I’d never propose anything of the sort. Crazy talk.”
“Right, crazy talk,” Belle said. They both giggled nervously. Of course, Edmund’s giggle was far more rapturous and refined to Bella’s ears. And the way he threw his head back, and thumped his smooth, gentle hand across his tight, muscled chest… It was so utterly exquisite. Bella tried not to dwell on it so as not to faint again. She’d already had seven fainting spells the previous day alone, just from him rubbing her back in a circular motion and helping her take off her snow boots.
“Well,” Belle said finally, breaking the silence. “I should take a shower before I go downstairs.”
“Right, of course,” Edmund answered.
They stared at each other for a moment.
“Um, so I’ll need to… um… yeah.”
“Un… dress?” Edmund asked.
“Uh, yeah, that,” Belle agreed.
“Right,” Edmund said. “So I’ll just be right outside, um, waiting.”
“Okay,” Belle said. “Yes, yes, you do that while I… uh… remove my—you know. And stuff.”
“Okay, yeah,” Edmund said. In an instant he was out of the room. Belle undressed and slipped into her powder blue bathrobe, then walked into the hall to find Edmund waiting.
“Well, I’ll just be going into the shower now.”
“Right, yes,” Edmund stammered. “You go take your shower, um, with the nakedness and the hot, hot water, and I’ll just be right here, waiting.”
“Okay,” Belle said. After a moment she turned and walked into the bathroom. She slammed the door shut with unusual force.
“You okay?” Edmund called.
“What? Oh, I’m fine,” Belle answered. “Sorry I just—closed it a little too hard, I guess.” Belle fidgeted with the knob, pressing the lock in. But it just popped out again. She cursed under her breath, then made a mental note to add a quarter to her swear jar later.
“Everything alright?” Edmund asked from the other side.
“Yes, yes,” Belle said. “I’m just having trouble, um… locking the door.”
“But it’s fine, because it’s just you and me here, and you’re not going to come in, obviously.”
A beat.
“Unless you… want me to?”
They both stood frozen.
“Okay, well, you enjoy your shower!” Edmund called, and then ran down the stairs.
“You okay?” Belle called.
“Yes!” he replied, now sounding much farther away. “I’m just going to take out your trash for you and then maybe get the cocoa started!”
“Oh-okay,” Belle answered. “Thanks!”
“Don’t mention it!”

When Belle came downstairs later, Edmund was nowhere to be found. She called his name but heard no answer; then she noticed with a start that two steaming cups of cocoa were set on the table. Neither one seemed to have been touched.
Belle didn’t have much time to think about this, however—the phone rang an instant later.
“Oh, hi, Jen,” Belle said, yawning loudly.
“It’s Jan,” Jan answered, irritated.
“Whatever,” Belle replied. “You’re not a vampire.”
“Uh, nothing,” Belle said quickly. “What’s up?”
“Omigod Omigod Omigod,” Jan said. “You will not believe who asked me to the semi-formal.”
“Who?” Belle said, twirling her hair and wondering where Edmund was.
Belle didn’t answer. She glanced at the mirror in the hall. Should she get highlights?
“Isn’t that amazing?” Jan asked.
“Who’s Matt again?”
“Um, like, one of your best friends and the guy I’ve been crushing on for a year.”
“Oh, right,” Belle said, with no trace of enthusiasm. “The one who was into me but then I sent him your way because I only like dead guys.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Hey Jan, really sorry but I gotta go. I don’t know where my boyfriend is and he and his vampire family are way more interesting than any of you boring ‘normal’ kids.”
Jan was still talking when Belle hang up. Now, where could Edmund be? Belle wondered. A moment later the door flew open.
“Belle!” Edmund exclaimed. “Thank God you’re safe!” He embraced her tightly and covered her with kisses. Cold, sexy, undead kisses. Mmmm.
“Of course I am,” Belle stammered, trying not to faint from the sheer excitement of Edmund’s lips on her face.
“Oh, Belle,” Edmund sighed. “I was so afraid one of the others had gotten to you.”
“The others?” Belle asked.
“Yes, the bad vampires,” Edmund said. “The ones that actually kill people and whatnot. I just had a spectacular battle with their leader, Jamie.”
“Oh no!” Belle cried. “Are you all right?”
“Yes,” Edmund said. “But barely. That fight took every ounce of my strength. It was really quite spectacular.”
“Was it?” Belle asked.
“Oh yes,” Edmund said. “There were exploding cars and breaking glass. A lot of blood, too. When his head came off, it was just like a fountain—but anyway, none of that matters now. You’re safe.”
“Still, I’m kinda bummed I missed it,” Bella said. “It sounds really exciting, especially after spending the last few months not doing much of anything besides thinking about you and frying fish for my dad.”
“Nonsense,” Edmund said. “You wouldn’t want to see any of that extreme fighting or fiery destruction. All you need to worry about is being right here with me, drinking cocoa. A woman’s place is at home, with her vampire by her side.”
“Mmm,” Belle murmured as Edmund started kissing her again. “I love the patriarchy.” That night they had a very passionate evening of Scrabble and lukewarm cocoa. It was like a dream. A sexy, teenage wish-fulfillment dream. With vampires.

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