Writer Submitted Fic: 6/13 - 6/19

June 16, 2011

Red Letter Year by theswandive
Reviewed by Agrutle

Rating: M
Genre: Romance/Drama, AH
Characters: Alice/Bella

Summary: Alice needs to leave her single life behind. Venturing out with her brother, she finds more than she expected in a pair of warm brown eyes. What started out as a physical need may, in fact, be more

We first meet Alice and Edward, brother and sister, on their way out for the night. I notice right away that this Alice is different than most I’ve read. She is shy and a homebody and it takes a lot to get her to go out. But Edward succeeds in getting her to go out with him. While there they both meet someone. While heading to get a drink, she literally gets knocked over and is set to yell at this person, but when she turns, she sees this beautiful woman and is tongue tied. It's Bella and her brother, Jasper, is the guy that Edward has met. What are the chances right? Instant connections are there and they end up back at Alice and Edward’s place.

I close my eyes and tilt my head. It takes a millennium, but I lean in and our noses are touching, our hearts are beating rapid-fire, and I can feel her breath on my face. Slowly and surely, I move just a fraction of an inch closer and place a kiss on the corner of her mouth. I can feel her smile under my lips. Instant courage. I take her bottom lip in between mine and pull just slightly. She moves closer and presses herself against me and my hands encircle her waist.

"Do that again, please," she whispers.

"My pleasure."

After that first night, they are inseparable and they start sharing their secrets. Secrets that Alice is scared will push Bella away. One night, while at Bella’s, Jasper asks Alice point blank what he wants to know. Alice starts to tell her story, not knowing that Bella is hiding in the hallway eavesdropping. Alice blames herself and will not listen to anyone telling her any different.

Her breaths were broken and staggered, my shirt damp from her tears. How could this have happened? My sweet, loving Alice. I cried even harder when I imagined her sitting there all alone, both of her parents gruesomely shot to death right in front of her. Then, I imagined what it must have been like for her brother to hear the news over the phone, and have to come and rescue her. Why did they have to suffer so much? There was no one there to answer my questions; there was no justification. That frustrated me more than anything. Giving up on trying to figuring anything out right now, I closed my eyes.

We lay there for an immeasurable amount of time before her crying began to fade. I kissed the top of her head and ran my hands up and down her arms, and along her side.

She whimpered in my arms. I had to hold back more of my tears. I needed to be strong for her.

"Oh, Alice. I'm so sorry," I say, rocking her still. I know there's nothing I can say or do right now that will make it any better.

"It was all my fault," she says in a raspy voice.

Still worried that something will click in Bella and she will realize that Alice is unworthy of her, Alice holds on tight and pulls Bella in to her cocoon, wanting to stay home all the time and never leave. Bella tells her that she needs to go outside the house. Bella wants to go on dates and be a couple outside. She's worried that Alice is ashamed of her, that she only wants her for sex. Alice realizes that she has to try to be a better girlfriend. They begin to be a couple on the outside, too. Then Bella asks Alice to meet her parents.

The three Swans having reunited finally remember that we're standing there. "Oh, God. I'm sorry. Dad, this is my girlfriend, Alice. And her brother, Edward," Bella says, letting go of him and moving towards me.

"It's nice to meet you, sir," I say, holding out my hand. Edward follows suit, totally copying me.

"What's the matter with you two?" Charlie asks. I freak.

"Uh. I...um..." I babble.

"There's no way in hell you two are dating my kids and haven't realized that this here is a family of huggers," he says, quite seriously. He grabs us both and pulls us close to him, wrapping one arm around each of us.

Holy shit.

I don't know what comes over me. Maybe I'm in shock. Maybe I just really fucking miss my dad - I don't know. But I hug him back, and I hold on tight.

It’s great to see Bella and Alice interact and to see how different they both are. Alice is muted compared to what she is in other fics and its a nice change! Bella is a personal trainer and not clumsy at all. Its also nice to see a bit of the relationship between Jasper and Edward. The emotions this author conveys are amazing. I felt the anguish that Alice felt as she was telling her story to Jasper and then Bella. Bella isn’t without her stories though, you must check out this story to find out whats going on with her. It is well worth the read. I can’t wait until it updates again!!!


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