Saturday, November 7, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 28 & Pics

Chapter 28 – Outtake
Dull, winter morning light filtered in from the windows, and I cracked an eye open. Seeing unpacked boxes and everything I owned in complete disarray, not to mention a way-too-early time on the clock, I burrowed back down into my pillow. I didn’t want to get up. Getting up meant that I’d be putting my husband on a plane soon, and I couldn’t follow him for another four days.
Getting up out of bed also meant I had to at least attempt to unpack into our new home. A deep breath brought with it the smell of ocean air, fresh paint, and something altogether irresistible – coffee. God bless the damn timer.
However, none of that mattered when warm, strong arms pulled me back against bare skin and muscles. My whole body reacted to it. I simply couldn’t help it. After being married for going on three years, I was still hopelessly head over heels for the man currently pressed against every inch of me beneath the covers of our bed.
“Edward,” I breathed, my voice raspy from just waking up.
“Shh, pretty girl. Listen,” he whispered in my ear, but I could hear and feel the smile against the skin of my neck and then my bare shoulder as his hands started to move. “All you can hear is the waves.”
I chuckled, rolling in his arms to see the face I adored. He pulled me closer, and I could feel just what was causing all the attention, now trapped between us, and I hummed in approval. Reaching up, I ran my fingers through his hair. Sweet, loving green gazed back at me, and not for the first time since I met him did I wonder how I got so damned lucky.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 27 & Pics

Chapter 27 – Epilogue Part One
“Thanks for letting me know, Liam,” I said softly into the phone, ending the call and dropping it onto the bed next to me.
I fell back, gazing up at the ceiling, my feet still hanging off the side of the mattress. I tried to figure out what I was feeling, but I wasn’t sure I was feeling anything. If I were completely honest with myself, I had been expecting that call long before now, well before I’d entered into the first semester of my senior year at Edgewater.
I heard the door to the apartment open and close, Bella’s sweet voice calling out to me. “Edward, baby! Where are you?” she said, entering the bedroom, and I couldn’t help but grin when she was suddenly crawling up my body to loom over me. “Hi, handsome!”
Cupping her face, I pulled her in for a kiss. “Hey, pretty girl.”
“What are you…” She paused, reaching up to brush my hair from my forehead. “What’s wrong? Your eyes look…tense.”
Snorting a little, I brought her in for another kiss. “Dad’s out.”
To say my girl hated Carlisle Cullen would be a complete and total understatement. Her eyes narrowed, and she sat up, still straddling me. “Out where?” she asked slowly and through gritted teeth.
“He was released, Bella,” I sighed, sitting up and situating her on my lap. “He’s at a halfway house in Seattle, where he will remain for another six months or so. He’s…out.”
Sunday, November 1, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 26 & Pics

Chapter 26
“Baby boy,” Mom whispered as she pushed the grocery cart. “Isn’t that the girl from your class?”
I looked up from the comic book I’d been reading, pushing my glasses up my nose. I nodded slowly when I saw Katie at the other end of the store’s aisle.
“Yeah. Katie.” I frowned, going back to my reading when I felt my cheeks heat up.
I hated being shy. I wished I was more like Emmett, who got along with everyone – girls included. Though, at that very moment, I was glad he was at baseball practice, because he’d have razzed me something awful in the store, especially had he caught me blushing. I was just happy to have Mom to myself for an hour or so.
“You like her?”
Shrugging, I didn’t bother to look up. Katie was pretty, with light-brown hair and bluish-green eyes. “She’s okay. She… Sh-She likes Mike, ’cause he’s funny and…and…can even make the teachers laugh.”
My mother didn’t say anything for a moment, but I felt her eyes on me. When I looked up, she only said, “Pick some cereal for you guys. Make sure to grab that fruity one your sister likes.”
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 25 & Pics

Chapter 25
The library was quiet as I strode down the last aisle at the back of the building. I scanned the shelf, reaching up high for the book I needed. My fingertips barely brushed the spine, and I grunted in frustration. However, I couldn’t stop the smile from creeping up my face when a long, strong arm reached over me to effortlessly pull down the book I’d been struggling to obtain.
Turning around, I leaned back against the bookcase, giggling softly at Edward’s sweet, crooked smile as he held out my book. He was in his contacts today, something that he rotated on a regular basis. I loved the glasses because they made him look so sweet and smart. I loved the contacts, too, because they gave me an uninterrupted view of that gorgeous green and those long eyelashes.
“Better?” he asked, leaning in to kiss my lips as I hugged the book to me.
“Yes, thank you,” I whispered, brushing my mouth across his a few more times. “I wasn’t expecting you for another hour.”
“Dr. Carmen had to reschedule, so I told her I’d see her next Friday,” he answered, shrugging a shoulder. “Which is fine by me; I have to study for finals.” He reached out for my hand, and I laced my fingers with his as he led us back to our table. “I’ll get some done now before work.”
Saturday, October 24, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 24 & Pics

Chapter 24
“We’ll be right behind you,” Emmett told Aunt Jane. “But if I don’t stop at the diner for coffee, Rosie’ll kill me…or turn into the road-rage queen.”
I grinned from the backseat at Rose’s snort, but she nodded and shrugged, too. “I resemble that remark,” she muttered, grinning at Bella’s soft laugh.
Alice, Bella, and I were all riding with Emmett to Seattle, where he’d drop us off at the hotel by the airport before he and Rose drove back to UW. The movers were loaded up and gone with the few boxes we’d needed. Alice was packed and had already checked out Glenhaven High School’s website, the school Jasper had attended. She was nervous and quiet, but she seemed to be coming to terms with it all. She’d wanted to join me in Florida anyway, but it all happened quicker than we’d originally thought.
“Coffee sounds pretty damn good, actually,” Bella chimed in, leaning into me from the middle of the backseat.
She was between me and Alice, and just like I’d thought… The two got along perfectly. Rose, too, for that matter. The three were very strong personalities, but they seemed to complement one another instead of clashing.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 23 & Pics

Chapter 23
“Edward?” I heard Aunt Jane call from the hallway.
“In here,” I grunted, dropping the last full box from my bed to the floor and gazing around my bedroom for anything else I might want.
Those of us heading back to Florida were catching a very early flight, so we were staying tomorrow night in a hotel in Seattle. They’d asked my siblings and me if we wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve there, but we’d all declined. Emmett and Rose had to get back to UW, and Alice and I… Well, we just wanted out of Washington.
Every item we’d wanted, we’d taken pictures of, which we sent to Marcus. Personal items – like clothes, music, and our own books – were packed up without question. It was the items in my mother’s office and the box in the attic that we were waiting on the okay to take. We’d boxed them up, just in case he said yes. However, I honestly expected my father to say no just to be an ass.
Sunday, October 18, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 22 & Pics

Chapter 22
I sat near the fireplace that Edward had been so very sweet to build up to a roaring flame. The snow, while really pretty, was just too damned cold, and I smiled at the memory of Edward’s teasing me with a picture of it not even three days ago. He’d said my thin Floridian blood would not be able to hold up. My handsome, silly thing was right. Whether it was from the nasty events at the police station or from the extremely cold temperature outside, I was shivering once we followed everyone back to the Cullen home.
And I mean…everyone.
Edward’s house was full. Most of them were sitting at the dining table, the conversation ranging from what had happened over the course of the last few weeks, to Dr. Cullen’s despicable behavior, to my mother’s awesome fried chicken.
My dad was in deep conversation with Pastor Liam, who seemed to be a kind, patient man. He was a handsome older gentleman, and he spoke of Edward’s mother with nothing but respect and love. Edward’s brother, Emmett, commanded the head of the table. He was loud, like Edward had teased, but he seemed to be a great big lovable guy, and his fiancée was stunning.
Rose had to be the prettiest girl I’d ever set eyes on, and to look at her, I’d expected snobby or stuck-up, but she was neither. She was kind and strong and treated Edward and Alice really sweet. Her father, on the other hand, was soft-spoken and extremely smart, if not a bit intense. Marcus Hale was at the opposite end of the dining table as Emmett – laptop open, cell phone to his ear, and a fierce look on his face. He was here for one reason – to financially destroy Carlisle Cullen.
And I hoped to God he succeeded.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 21 & Pics

Chapter 21
I slowly woke up in a cocoon of covers and legs and skin, surrounded by Bella’s scent. We’d crawled into my bed the night before, completely and utterly exhausted. With all that I’d been through and her long flight, all we could manage was to curl ourselves around each other and a few very long, very deep kisses. Hell, I wasn’t sure which one of us passed out first.
The gray, early morning light lit up my room, but it was the sight next to me, the perfect body alongside mine, that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Bella was just beautiful. She always was to me – whether she was dressed for school or hanging out at home, it didn’t matter…not to me. But watching her slowly wake up, feeling her hands and arms against my bare chest and her legs entwined with mine, was the best thing ever, especially in my old bed. Having her here seemed to chase away the darkness that hung over this house.
Sleepy-sweet brown opened up to gaze at me.
My fingers trailed up and down her spine beneath her shirt – up between her shoulder blades and down along the edge of her pajama bottoms. I needed to touch her. Hell, if I was being honest with myself, I wanted everything all at once, but today, it wasn’t going to happen. The trip to the police station was weighing heavily on me.
Sunday, October 11, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 20 & Pics

Chapter 20
Love, the boy a few tables away
I closed Edward’s journal for a moment, gazing unseeingly out of the plane’s window. Seattle was coming into view, and I’d already put my seat belt back on and my tray up. I glared out into the night, my hatred and anger building into something ugly. My whole body shook with the force of it.
Opening Edward’s journal back up, I lost myself in his words again. Since he’d left for Washington, I’d reread his entries a thousand times. They were beautiful and sweet, they were filled with love and adorable adoration for me, and they were Edward’s pure, undiluted thoughts written down in black and white.
And they were all to me.
I loved the first one, his sweet initial crush on me, his curiosity over all I’d read inside our library. I loved the tentative decision to tell me about his past, his mother, his fears. My heart swelled with the one he’d left for me declaring his beautiful love for me before getting on the plane. But there were a few in between that were just…Edward.
Thursday, October 8, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 19 & Pics

Chapter 19
“Pretty girl, hang on,” Edward said softly over the line, and I frowned at the change in his tone.
We’d just been joking, laughing, and we were trying to decide on a new book to read. Suddenly, he was serious, and if I’d had to guess…tentative, maybe even scared.
“Okay,” I muttered back, but I didn’t think he heard me, because another voice came over the line. And I grimaced at the sound of Edward’s father’s voice. Jesus, could he sound more hateful and disgusting?
When I heard the words “weak loser,” I left my room quickly, practically skidding down the stairs to the living room, where my dad and Jasper were watching TV. They both looked up at me as I shut off the flat screen and put a finger to my lips for them to be quiet. Someone needed to witness this shit, because the language and the tone were so very foul. But more than that, if something happened to Edward, I needed my dad.
I put my phone on speaker just as Edward’s dad said, “God, you’re so much like your fucking mother. Emotionless and cold. Nothing ever gets to you. Not even when you let her die.”
I gasped, looking to my dad in shock and hurt, and Jasper moved to cover my mouth, touching the screen at the same time to mute our end of the line. Tears ran unchecked down my face with every foul word from Carlisle and every brave deflection from Edward. My sweet boyfriend was trying so fucking hard to maintain his temper. And he was doing a hell of a lot better than I would have.
“Daddy?” I pleaded with him, not knowing what for, but something needed to be done. I’d never felt so helpless and angry in all my life.
“Jesus,” Jasper whispered, narrowing his eyes as he shook his head slowly. “I think Ed’s reached his limit. Uncle Charlie, we need to—”
“Yeah,” Dad interrupted him. “Go get your mother and aunt.”
Saturday, October 3, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 18 & Pics

Chapter 18
“Favorite Christmas movie?” I asked Bella over the phone as I flipped through the channels on the TV in my room.
The bank statement was still in my pocket, but Dad had left not long after Alice and I had gotten off the phone with Emmett in the car to come on inside. He was working overnight, which meant he’d be back in the morning, sleep through the day, and go in again on Christmas Eve. It was that latter part that made me happy. That he’d be gone for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Gifts were not an important part of the Cullen household. They hadn’t been since Alice had turned eleven and figured out that Santa was just a great big ruse. After that, no one bothered with any of it.
“Um, A Christmas Story,” she answered. “You?”
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” I said, grinning when she laughed.
“Okay, then.”
“What’d you expect? A Christmas Carol? Dickens and Scrooge?”
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 17 & Pics

Chapter 17
As a little kid, I never thought to question my parents on certain things. Esme Cullen had always been open and forthcoming with all three of us. She’d explain things, teach us things, and she’d done it all with patience and love and hugs.
The sound of the splitting log sounded dull in the snowy late morning. I stood the next one up and swung again as my mind sorted through memories.
I was trying my damnedest to remember if my father had ever hugged me – or any of us, for that matter. Other than the occasional medical issue, I was pretty sure he’d never touched us. Actually, I’d never really wanted to be anywhere near the man. I’d been perfectly content in my mother’s presence.
Sunday, September 27, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 16 & Pics

Chapter 16
“And the fairy king knighted the archer boy so that his daughter could marry him,” I said, smiling when Alice squealed and clapped her hands.
“So they married and had a bunch of fairy babies, living happily ever after,” she concluded, bouncing in her bed.
“Yo, Ed, that war was awesome, with the acorn slingshots and the fiery arrows! And then there was the hummingbirds they flew on…like horses!” Emmett proclaimed, tossing his baseball up and catching it in his mitt.
“Excellent job, baby boy,” Mom whispered into my ear as she kissed the side of my head and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “You should write it down, my love.”
“Will you help me get it right?”
“If you want,” she said through a soft sigh, raking her fingers through my hair.
“I do! I wanna be a writer like you, Mom,” I told her but fiddled with the string of my pajama pants and then adjusted my glasses. “But… Dad says… Dad says writers starve.”
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 15 & Pics

Chapter 15
“Take your break, kiddo,” Tanya said, ruffling my hair on her way back to the front counter, but she stopped and cupped my face. “Gonna miss you when you’re gone.”
“Why? ’Cause you got more shifts?” I teased her, jerking when she poked my side, and I almost spilled the sugar I was refilling.
“Well, there is that, but…” She narrowed her eyes playfully. “You know, I’m old enough to be your…very awesome young aunt,” she said, grinning when I laughed. “You’re a sweet kid, Edward. I’d warn you all about being safe and being a good boy, but I don’t think I have to. I’d warn you not to hurt Bells, but I damn well know I don’t have to do that, so just…hurry back, okay?”
When I nodded, she kissed my cheek and ruffled my hair again, and I remembered her saying something about her own father being a problem. “Hey, Tanya?” I asked, putting the lid back on the sugar. She stopped before heading out front, and I said, “You… Y-You said your dad was…”
“Toxic, Edward. He was bad news when I was a kid.”
Nodding, I tilted my head at her. “You ever see him now?”
“See him? No. Though, I do call him every few months or so to make sure he hasn’t drunk himself to death or…forgotten to pay his rent, so… He’s an asshole, but I’m all he has left, despite the fact that we can barely stand one another.” She walked back to me, tapping my chin gently. “You can’t pick your family.”
Grimacing, I nodded. It seemed to be a repetitive statement surrounding me lately. “Yeah, Bella’s dad said the same thing.”
“They love you. Hell, kid, we all do, so if things get shitty, then…remember that. Remember who’s in your corner here. You live here now, not back there. You’re just going back for a visit.” She tapped my temple. “Home is where this is,” she added, tapping my chest to indicate my heart. “And I am pretty sure you’re leaving it behind.”
She shot me a wink when I nodded. “Break, Edward.”
Sunday, September 20, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 14 & Pics

Chapter 14
“Go, go, go!” Jasper and Charlie whisper-yelled at the football game, and it ended in groans of disappointment when the player was tackled.
Dinner had been amazing, and I was so stuffed I could barely keep my eyes open. Bella and I had stayed up late. My face heated with the memories of what we’d done. We had also ended up reading into the wee hours, and I was pretty sure it was because neither of us was willing to be separated just yet.
The kitchen was cleaned up, leftovers put away, and Aunt Jane and Renee were out back on the porch with hot cups of coffee.
However, it was the sleeping girl with her head on my chest that kept me right where I was on the living room sofa. I didn’t give a damn about the football game, and it wouldn’t have taken much for me to fall asleep with her, but I was enjoying the simple act of holding her.
“You know, Ed, you can move her,” Jasper said softly with a chuckle to his tone.
“No, no…” I laughed, shaking my head, and running my hand down her hair. “She’s fine.”
Charlie snorted, drained his beer, and stood up. “I’m not sure she’s ever made it past halftime, but you don’t have to be her pillow, son.”
Grinning, I nodded. “She’s helped me more times than I can count, so…assuming the role of the pillow is an easy thing,” I stated honestly.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 13 & Pics

Chapter 13
“There he is!” Renee sang when Bella and I walked into the kitchen to find the place was buzzing with activity. “I was beginning to worry. With the crazy drivers out there and it being a holiday weekend… Well, anyway…glad you made it, sweet pea.”
My brow furrowed, but I leaned into the kiss she gave to my cheek. “My roommate was saving the universe from aliens controlled by a kid in Dubai.”
Jasper cracked up, glancing up and over his shoulder from the counter. “Nice.”
“Well, good. Better video games than idiot drivers,” Aunt Jane said, hugging me from the side with her free arm. The other hand was holding a casserole dish full of what looked like homemade scalloped potatoes. “I’m glad you’re here. I could use another strong back. And you’d better bring your A-game appetite tomorrow, kiddo.”
I pushed up the sleeves of my shirt and nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
I tried to focus on the tasks they needed done and not the fact that they’d been worried. I’d been just over the hour I’d told Jasper I’d be, but I wasn’t used to any adult worried about me. Back home, it didn’t matter, simply because I’d never gone anywhere but school, and usually my siblings – one or the other – had been with me. I was pretty certain my dad didn’t give a damn.
“C’mere, you two,” Renee called, pointing to Bella and me. “You guys can work on these green beans.”
Sunday, September 13, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 12 & Pics

Chapter 12
Except for the sound of water running in the kitchen, my house was quiet when Edward and I walked in. Aunt Jane glanced up from the sink to smile our way.
“Hey, kids,” she greeted, shutting off the water and drying her hands. “Don’t mind me. I’m going back to the guest house. There’s a marathon of Housewives of some shit or another. I plan on losing a few IQ points to it but gaining a pound or two with the tub of ice cream I’ve successfully hidden from my son.”
“Sounds like a damn good date, Aunt Jane,” I teased her, kissing her cheek.
“Trust me, it’s better than some dates I’ve actually been on, so…” She shot us a wink and squeezed Edward’s shoulder when he chuckled. “There’s plenty to eat in the fridge – leftovers, sandwich stuff, frozen pizza – so enjoy. And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” she sang on the way out the back door.
“That doesn’t leave much,” I muttered, smiling when Edward laughed again.
“Why does she keep her ex-husband’s last name?” Edward asked out of the blue.
“She’ll tell you it’s because she didn’t want Jasper to be different after the divorce, but really…she hates the idea of changing everything back to Swan. Don’t mind her; she’s crazy, which explains Jasper completely, right?”
Edward grinned and nodded. “She’s funny, though.”
“She is that.” I stood up on my toes to kiss his cheek. “You know where everything is, so make yourself at home, baby. I’m going to change clothes.”
“Okay,” he said softly.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 11 & Pics

Chapter 11
The sky was a bruised, purplish gray, flickering with bright strands of lightning. It was fascinating to watch from the large windows of Sunset Roast. The rain was so different in Glenhaven compared to back home. It was heavy and harsh, with cold, fat drops that spattered against the glass. It was also interesting to see it roll in off the water, covering the blue sky in its path.
A part of me could feel the old fear at the sight of rain and ocean, but the other part knew I was safe inside the café. I was warm and dry indoors for at least the next couple of hours. October was starting to cool off in Florida, which made me smile at the hoodies and jackets and sweaters I’d seen the last few days.
The café was quiet; we’d had a rush earlier before the rain had rolled in, but now everyone was where they wanted to be in order to wait it out. I finished wiping down all the tables, and I wanted to get a head start on the floors before closing. With no one in the sitting area, it seemed like the perfect time.
It was just Tanya and me working. Maggie had asked for the night off for a party somewhere on campus – the same party that Ben and Angela were going to, I was pretty sure. Jasper and Bella were with Renee in the art building helping her get set up for the art show that coming weekend. I’d offered to help after we’d closed.
I was just about to take advantage of the quiet downtime and work on my Creative Writing paper, but my phone buzzed in my pocket. Pulling it out, I grimaced at the sight of my father’s number.
“Hey, Tanya?” I called, holding up my phone. “I’ll be right out back, okay?”
“Yeah, honey. Do what you do,” she said, barely glancing up from the magazine she was flipping through. “Tell Bells I said hey.”
I smiled but shook my head as I walked through the kitchen. I wished it was Bella.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 10 & Pics

Chapter 10
My eyes couldn’t focus on the notes Professor Swan was writing at the front of the classroom. Instead, they raked along tight, faded jeans and the hand slowly doodling at the top corner of her page. My brain was still scrambled from our kisses. The one from the night before in the guest room of Bella’s house, to the one this morning on her front porch, never mind the few minutes we’d lost ourselves in her car when she’d pulled into the parking lot at Edgewater – my thoughts were consumed with her, the feel of her, the taste of her.
Rubbing my face, I forced myself to pay attention to the front of the classroom and take notes on what the next assignment was before he released us for the day.
He shot us a smile and wave as we left the room. Bella’s hand slipped into mine as we walked across campus to the dining hall. She stayed quiet, which was a bit unusual for her, so when we were finally outside at our table under the shade, I glanced up at her.
“You…okay?” I asked, scanning my head for something I might have done wrong.
She smiled and nodded, dragging a fry through ketchup. “I’m…perfect. I just… I have a question for you, but I’m not sure how to ask it. Or if I should ask it.”
Frowning at her, I took a deep breath. “Did I… Is there…”
Suddenly, her smiling lips were on mine. “Shh, you’ve done nothing wrong, baby. I just…” She pulled back to cup my face. “I just… What are you doing about the holidays?”
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 9 & Pics

Chapter 9
“You eat as much as you want, sweet pea,” Mom crooned to Edward, who was on his second bowl of beef stew. She patted him on the shoulder before taking the seat next to him.
Despite the late hour, my family was still up. Jasper was watching TV in the living room, Dad was grading papers in the library, and my mother and Aunt Jane had been cleaning up the kitchen when I’d walked in with Edward in tow. Not one of them batted an eye when I told them he was taking the guest room for the night; they simply heated up dinner for us and sat us down at the table.
Looking at Edward right then, you’d never know all the shit, the hailstorm of hurt and heartache he’d been through. He never showed it. Before I’d gotten to know him, talked to him the first time, I’d thought it was aloofness, but it wasn’t. It was the walls he’d put into place to keep from being hurt, picked on, and it kept him from having to explain himself. As I looked at him sitting across from me, smiling at my mother and aunt fawning over him, I could see he had the ability to shut off the parts of him that had been battered and bruised.
I’d never, ever considered myself a violent person, but as I watched the sweet, beautiful man in front of me, a long list of twisted, vile acts flickered through my head, things I wanted to do to his dad. They ranged from instant gratification, to slow, meticulous torture. Shaking my head, I stood up from the table.
“I’ll be right back,” I told Edward but locked gazes with my mother. “I need to ask Dad a question before we head upstairs.”
“Sure, baby.”
Monday, August 31, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 8 & Pics

Chapter 8
“Ed, you okay?” I heard behind me as I put away the mop and bucket.
I nodded but didn’t say anything, reaching for my backpack. When I stood up straight, he was still eyeing me, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Did my cousin say something crazy?”
I broke into a laugh, shaking my head. “No, not at all.”
“Well, there’s a first,” he said with a teasing grin.
“No, she’s… We need to talk. I’m just…nervous, I guess.”
He sobered quickly, walking to me. “Sounds serious…” he started but then trailed off. “Is that why she asked to close up?”
Wrinkling my nose, I nodded. “Yeah, probably. Privacy.”
He nodded again. “Try not to hurt my cousin, Ed. Mm’kay?”
I snorted at the ridiculousness of that statement. “Of all the people in this equation, Jasper…it’s not Bella who’ll get hurt. Okay?”
Friday, August 28, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 7

Chapter 7
“There you are,” Alice said through a laugh over the phone, and I couldn’t help but grin. “He gets a girlfriend and suddenly dumps the rest of us.”
I laughed, shaking my head as I walked across campus. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Ah, hell, don’t tell me she’s friend-zoned you already,” she groaned.
“No, no… I don’t think so. I mean, it’s not… Ali, I’ve only been talking to her for a few weeks! Really talking to her, not just…stalking her in the library,” I mumbled.
“But you’ve had dinner at her house…what? Two times now? She calls you, texts you, calls you ‘sweetie,’ not to mention she sits with you in class and at your table in said library,” Alice summed up, like she was calculating what that meant.
What the hell did that mean?
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 6 & Pics

Chapter 6
The sound of birds chirping in the late afternoon echoed all around us as we walked up to Bella’s house, though one sound overrode them all. It was eerie and loud, and it sounded like it came from another time and place.
I glanced over to my right to see what it was, and Bella laughed softly. “Sandhill Cranes. See?”
She pointed toward the far edge of the yard, where three very tall birds were calling to each other. They were pale gray, with red feathers along the top of their heads. Everything about them was long and skinny – legs, necks, beaks.
“Damn, they’re as tall as you!”
Bella grinned and nodded. “Yeah, they mate for life and raise one baby to adulthood. The shorter guy is their most recent. My mother’s painted pictures of them. I’ll show you inside.”
They called out again.
She smiled again, her lips close to my ear as she whispered, “I love that sound. It’s what I imagine pterodactyls sounded like.”
I huffed a light laugh, because she was right; it was otherworldly. The sound of the front door opening made me jump, but I smiled at Jasper’s lazy half grin.
Monday, August 24, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 5 & Pics

Chapter 5
The feel of Bella’s hand in mine was surreal. I wanted it to last longer, but then again, I didn’t, because I could feel my nerves kicking into overdrive. My palm started to sweat just about the time we rounded the corner for the front of the library.
Pulling my hand from hers, I reached for the door to hold it open and then wiped it down my jeans once she was inside. Suddenly, I was a bit self-conscious. Where would we sit? And would it be together? Or were we going to take our normal spots?
Deciding to follow Bella’s lead, my mouth fell open when she set her things down in the opposite chair from my usual spot. I slid my backpack onto the table, slowly sinking down into my chair.
My surprise had to have been written all over my face, because Bella grinned, tapping the table. “You don’t mind, do you?” she asked, and I shook my head no.
“It is your library,” I whispered back, grinning when she broke into a quiet giggle.
“Hush, you,” she stated teasingly.

A Few Tables Away Chapter 4 & Pics

Chapter 4
My heart was pounding in my chest as I slammed my car door. Unable to stop myself, my eyes immediately found Edward’s tall form walking away from the boardwalk back toward the school. I’d just spent the most amazing yet tiring afternoon with him.
If I thought he was gorgeous sitting in the library, nothing prepared me for actually having a conversation with him. I’d been prepared for smart – if only because my handsome Library Guy studied endlessly – and I was right about that. I’d been prepared for aloof, because guys with faces that pretty usually knew it, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t conceited or cocky or anything most guys were. He was shy – painfully so, actually. He’d been nervous, self-deprecating, and holy shit, the smile on that face could light up the entire state of Florida with its power.
Watching his form finally disappear around the corner, I reached for the car’s ignition, only to yank the keys out at the last second. I got out of the car and locked it, storming back into the coffee shop.
“Oh, hell,” Tanya muttered with wide eyes as she watched me cross the sitting area. “What’d your cousin do now?”
She grinned evilly. “Not buying it, but if you’re gonna kick his ass, he’s in his office.”
Sunday, August 16, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 3 & Pics

Chapter 3
My head was swimming by the time Jasper and I had finished locking up. I took my time walking back to the dorms. The night was muggy, warm, but the sky was clear. The stars were pretty visible and beautiful on my walk.
Just as I rounded the corner of my building, heading for the front door, my phone vibrated in my pocket. Thinking it was Alice back from her date, I pulled my phone out, only to frown when I saw who it was.
“Hello?” I answered, sitting down on a bench in the courtyard in front of my building.
“Where’s your sister?” Dad immediately began.
“How am I supposed to know that? I’m across the country,” I replied indifferently, which was much easier to do over the phone than in person.
“Because you two tell each other every-damn-thing, son!” he snapped, making me flinch, despite the three thousand miles that separated us. “You think I don’t read the goddamn cell phone bill before I pay it?”
I shook my head because I knew this wasn’t about Alice. He didn’t care what she did, as long as she brought home decent grades and stayed out of his hair. His problem wasn’t with Alice, and it wasn’t really with Emmett, either. It was with me. However, I’d learned a long time ago that if you gave him something, even something little, he’d back off just a bit.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 2 & Pics

Chapter 2
“Here you go.”
Glancing up from packing up my things in the library, I met Angela’s gaze that seemed bigger behind her glasses, and for a split second, my attention span drifted away. I wondered if my own eyes looked like that when I had my glasses on. I’d never really thought about it.
“Thank you,” she said softly, snapping my attention out of the daze.
“Oh,” I said with a polite smile as I took the notebook from her and stuffed it into my bag. “No problem.”
“Um…listen,” she started nervously, still keeping her voice low, but she fidgeted, adjusted her glasses, and then twisted her fingers together in front of her. “I know we have that project in Physics coming up. We’re supposed to…get with a partner or group, and I was wondering… Well, if you don’t have one already. Though I’m sure you do, but I just thought… Forget it.”
Her ramble was familiar, and I had sympathy, because in all reality, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to ask someone to be my partner.
Sunday, August 9, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 1

Chapter 1
“That asshole’s tryin’ to kill us with homework,” I heard the male voice from behind me. “I’ll never get all this reading done.”
“Stop goin’ out every damn night,” the girl with him countered.
He cursed under his breath, because she was either right or he liked her enough to shut up. I turned just enough to see it was a guy from my Lit class who spent more time on his phone than taking notes.
The dining hall was loud, filled with chatter, phones ringing, and TVs blaring in the top corners of the large space. The entire room made me sweat more than the humidity outside. Before the true panic of being surrounded by so many people I didn’t know, didn’t want to know, set in, I was called up to the counter to order my food.
Despite the blaring sun and the thick, muggy air, I made my way back outside to the tables in the shade. I could breathe better outside. Outside, there was less chance of someone talking to me. Talking led to conversation, and conversation led to someone finding out just how awkward I was. Alone was better. Alone there was less of a chance I could make a fool out of myself.

New Story! A Few Tables Away

Summary: Edward spent most of his life trying to be invisible until he got to college. All alone, 3000 miles from home, there’s only one person he wishes would see him. His Library Girl, just a few tables away. AH/Rated M/Canon couples.

I’m back! ;) This might be the longest break between fics that I’ve ever had. It was needed, and with that time came some rough RL stuff. I actually took longer than I had intended, but nevertheless, I’m here.
I won’t keep you long, but I thought I’d tell you a few things about A Few Tables Away. This started as a post on FB. I couldn’t get the letter out of my head, so this story is a result of that. A few things you should know before going in… The college and beach town I use in Florida are completely fictional, though I’m sure there’s a Glenhaven somewhere in the world. This story took a darker turn than I had originally planned, but sometimes, I can’t help that. So…usual warnings…rated M simply because it’s me and there’s no telling what trouble I’ll cause. ;)
Last thing… I don’t own the characters. SM does. I didn’t write the letter in this first chapter; someone somewhere created a meme…it’s theirs. Don’t know who, but it isn’t me, no matter how badly I wish it was. Everything else is mine – plot, original places and people, and whatever mistakes you find.