Completed Fic of the Week: 5/9 - 5/15

May 10, 2011

Forbidden Muse by Chocolate Lover 82
Review by phoebes.promise

Rating: M
Genre: Drama/Romance
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: When Edward Cullen had to return home after two years in Italy, he never expected to find new inspiration in a woman that was off limits. AH, ExB. Originally written as an entry for the Pick a Pic Challenge

The title alone elicits shades of sensuality, of passion desperate to be realized… Forbidden Muse, the first and fabulous fic by Chocolate Lover 82 offers those themes and more. Beautifully written and vividly descriptive, it is a perfect short story to awaken the heart and senses.

Originally offered as a one shot for a contest, Forbidden Muse was thankfully extended to five full chapters, rich with narrative and varying points of view. Layered, fresh characterizations provide palpable emotions throughout. Edward is the quintessential, creative wayward son with an ache in his soul. He exists in stark contrast to his business minded, fiscally driven brother, Emmett. Though deeply connected to his mother, he’s stifled by his family’s manner and expectations.

The story opens as Edward is called home by an illness in the family. For peace and respite he frequents a public park with his sketchbook… one such afternoon visit deems fateful. He spots a beautiful, mysterious woman who will alter his being forever.

As much as I tried to sleep that night, the memory of that girl kept me from it. Finally, I gave up and went to look for my sketchbook. I sat all night drawing her; her lips, legs, her hands and never feeling satisfied with any of them. There was something that was missing from them … her eyes. I realized I never saw her eyes and that was what was missing from all of my sketches: A soul.

I could see more details of her face now; the color of her lips was a beautiful shade of cherry; the softness of her skin, the shape of her eyes, jaw, nose. Her cheeks were a little pink, maybe from the laughing with the little boy and the little rays of sun that illuminated her face from where she sat. When she turned to go back to reading her book, our eyes met for a moment and I finally got to see her. Truly her.

Life and love are never so perfectly poetic. Edward barrels heart first and head last into the moment of forbidden truth… He officially meets his Bella.

As they talked and laughed about things I neither knew nor cared about, I turned to meet Emmett's fiancée. When I saw her standing there, it felt like I was punched in the stomach. Standing there in a red dress, looking even more beautiful, was my 'Book Girl' and standing next to her was Emmett with an arm wrapped around her waist.

Realization hit me even stronger at that moment: 'Book Girl' was here and she was my brother's fiancée

A studio breathing creativity, sensuality and possibility becomes the setting for romantic discovery. Bella becomes Edward’s subject, his inspiration… his muse. A bond blooming under the worst of pretenses, yet so strong, it’s impossible to deny…

From Bella…
“Your skin is so soft. I've tried to get it right in my paintings, but I'm never satisfied with the way it turns out. Feeling it against my skin tonight, I realize that'll never happen." He was looking at his hand as it caressed my skin with such amazement, as if it was the first time he had ever touched me. Like I wasn't even real and would disappear at any second. I hated that he had reasons to actually believe this.

Reality looms, the secret lovers must confess if they want to move from the darkness. Disappointing and breaking hearts all around is painful, but necessary. In an intensely palpable scene, the truth surfaces…

I looked around the room and took notice of this beautiful table, the delicate china, a wedding gift for Esme and Carlisle, and the silverware that accompanied it. The remnants of the delicious meal we had been eating until a few moments ago were still on our plates and I could still smell the scents of the food in the air. Everything looked the same as it did every time we had been there eating with Esme and Carlisle, yet there was this intense feeling of loss in the air oppressing my chest. Was this my last time in their company? I wanted to commit everything to memory, not just the things that surrounded me, but the moments we had spent there, the talks, the jokes, the laughs. All gone now.

I turned to Edward and saw him gazing at the door, tears in his eyes, with such intensity, as if through force of will, he could make her appear to tell him all was forgotten or at least forgiven. I could feel his pain at Esme's words and at that moment there were no words to tell him that could make it better, not even telling him that I loved him, not after this.

So I just squeezed the hand that, through it all, hadn't let go of mine and brought the other one to his heart, while resting my head on his shoulder. It was the only way that I knew to tell him I was there for him and that I loved him at that moment without overwhelming him.

Brothers battle ego and past demons as Emmett comes to grip with losing his fiancée. But Edward and Bella wage through the together, growing closer and dreaming of the future.

Our road had been far from perfect, handled in a way that hurt people we cared about deeply. Relationships that we probably could never mend completely again, at least not to the way they were before, but we were willing to wait for however long it took. In the end, I could truly say that it was a price we were willing to pay again, if it meant we could be together like this.

Even with the consequences of our actions, we were now facing a new future, one full of possibilities. It was exciting and scary and one that I knew I wanted to face with him by my side.
Edward often said that I was his muse, forbidden at the beginning, but one that inspired his life and brought him back to life again after years of darkness. He said that I was his light. And in him, I found life again as well. I had been sleeping for so long, just existing. He showed me that I didn't have to settle, that I was worth more than I was getting.

In the end, we were the sparkle that had been missing in each other's lives and hearts and I couldn't wait to see where that would lead us. What kind of new colors and light we would create together.

Brushes and strokes, shades and hues, peppermint and paint, Forbidden Muse stirs the senses as deeply as it ignites the heart. Weaving gorgeous imagery throughout a sensual, love story, Chocolate Lover 82 creates a textured journey of a sensitive artist and his beautiful muse…

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