Kassiah's Rec of the Week: 2/27/12

March 01, 2012

Under These Lights by jaxington
Review by Kassiah

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

Small town Texas. High school football. Two best friends, one girl. A tragedy that changes everything. All Human. Lemons. The usual suspects. YeeHaw!

I. Love. This. Story.

Is that enough to get you to read it? Under These Lights is one of those almost-undiscovered gems--it's practically a travesty how few reviews this story has. Since I just want everyone to read it, I emailed Lori about a month ago, begging her to let me rec this story here on Indie Fic Pimp. It's so good, and I'm so glad she let me! Based loosely on the show Friday Night Lights, this story features a jaded football-playing Edward and cheerleader Bella. You know I love high-school fics, and this one really packs in the drama.
"I don't want you to leave," I say petulantly. And I shouldn't. I don't ask anything from her. That's how it's been this summer. Expect for the first couple times, I let her come to me. I follow her lead.
But I feel myself startin' to panic as our time comes to an end.
And usually I'm so good at livin' in the moment.
"Don't say that," Bella says quietly, not meeting my gaze.
"You're beautiful."
She cracks a small smile. "Don't say that either."
"It's true."
"We can't keep doing this, Edward." Her words break my heart, which is double, shitty because it forces me to admit I have a heart at all. Bella has always gotten though my tough guy exterior. It's not the first time I've cursed this weakness.
"So what, Jazz comes home and you're done with me? We just forget everything that happened this summer?" I demand, suddenly angry.
"Stop pretending like we've had some sort of giant love affair," she snaps back, narrowing her eyes at me as she pulls her hair roughly into a ponytail. "That's not what you do. You don't do romance. It's just s…sex."
She stutters over the word. Despite how much she is trying to be that girl – the one that's completely okay getting her kicks from her boyfriend's best friend to scratch the itch while he's away for the summer – she can't quite pull it off. She's a good girl at heart. The guilt must be eatin' at her.
It's eatin' at me too.
You don't have to be familiar with the show to know what's going on here. Football rules the small town in Texas that they live in. Jasper, Bella's boyfriend and Edward's best friend, is away for the summer at Quarterback camp. Bella's dad, Charlie, is a former NFL-player and now owns a successful car dealership. Edward lives on his own with older-brother Emmett, and has quite a reputation for trouble.
I met Bella Swan because I was best friends with the son of the second richest family in town, even though I wasn't supposed to be. We were inseparable since kindergarten, Jasper and me, much to the displeasure of Mrs. Whitlock. I like to think I've grown on her. She does feed me an awful lot.
Anyway, the rich families tend to stick together so I met Bella Swan the summer before seventh grade. Bella was beautiful, even then, but in seventh grade boys show their affection with teases and hair pullin'. Jasper and I were havin' none of that, and we became quite the little threesome. Mikey Newton tripped Bella durin' a game of kickball, Jazz and I beat him up, and the three of us became fast friends.
We were both mostly in love with her from the moment we saw her, but Jazz was the one she ended up with.
And that makes sense. That's the way it should be.
Bella and Jasper were basically made for each other. She's the good girl cheerleader. He's the all-American quarterback. Their families are friends. They both go to the same church, want to get married right out of college, and move on to the 2.3 babies and white picket fence. They are the perfect, it couple at Dillon High.
So I wasn't even mad when Jasper took Bella to the eighth grade dance. I was already pretty familiar with how the world works, even when it sucked which was most of the time. The differences between my life and Jaspers were always apparent so why wouldn't he get Bella Swan?
The two of them made sense to me, even at thirteen. Even if I hated it.
I don't want to spoil too much, but I also don't want you to think this is just another cheat fic. Technically, Bella is Jasper's girlfriend, but it's complicated. Just before Jasper leaves for camp, Bella's family goes through something that makes them the center of a town scandal. She can barely deal with the gossip, and turns to Edward (who's been her friend for years) for support. Of course, one thing leads to another...
The first time...I told myself it was a one-time thing. A one-time mistake. The second time, I convinced myself that I was seduced. Edward said he couldn't stop thinking about me. Who could resist that?
If you've seen Friday Night Lights, you know what happens next. Jasper comes home, but before anything can be resolved, he's hurt during a game--and it's really bad.
Unfortunately, in the second half, we're still sloppy. No one expected Westerby to give us any fuckin' trouble at all. Newton can't get anywhere. No one can get open. The blitz fucks with us all.
"This is our field," yells Jazz in the huddle. "They do not push us around. Run your routes. Have faith in your routes. The ball will be there every time."
I bounce in place, ready for the next play. Ready to hurt someone. Jazz throws an interception, and I'm too far away to do anything about it but that doesn't stop me from runnin'. Jazz is the only one anywhere near the fucker with the ball, and I grin for a moment when Jasper lays in to the Westerby player, hard, causin' a fumble.
We recover, and for one glorious moment, it seems Jazz has done the impossible. He's shifted the momentum back to us. He's once again the savior of the game. But then he doesn't get up.
What will happen next? Will Bella stay with him out of obligation? Will the town forgive Edward when and if they find out about his relationship with their fallen hero's girlfriend? You'll be on the edge of your seat to find out! The way they think, the way they interact with each other, the small-town politics--it's so real. And that's one of the reasons I love this story. Oh, and I love Edward and Bella and them:
"Kiss me," he insists, smiling lazy.
"Absolutely not."
"Kiss me."
I shake my head, not an easy task with my face still trapped.
He grins crookedly at me before laying his forehead on mine. His thumb traces my bottom lip and then his fingers drop down to graze the side of my neck. I bite my lip in an attempt to shift my whimper.
Damn him and his dazzlingness. It's like his light touch leaves a line of fire on my skin.
"Bella," he breaths out, his voice low. My eyes go a little cross-eyed as I try to maintain eye contact but he is too close so I give up. I close my eyes in anticipation of his kiss and lean towards him. "Kiss me."
I let out a little growl because he is so immensely irritating before kissing him angrily. I can feel him smile before he kisses me back, opening his mouth and sweeping his tongue over my lower lip.
He drives me so crazy. I love kissing him.
"You're one manipulative son of a bitch," I mutter against his lips, pushing both my hands through his hair and tugging a little too hard.
He smirks and laughs deep in his chest. "You love it."
I love the other characters too. Except Renee lol! I do have to say that this story does have some spelling errors, but it's so good, I am willing to overlook them. Her last update said we're in the final stretch, so I believe the story is close to being complete.

Whether you're a sports fan, a high-school fic fan, a drama fan, or you just want something awesome to read, give Under These Light a try. I think you'll love it like I do!


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