Review by Catti-brie Potter
- Beyond time by TKegl
Summary: After the Cullens leave Forks, a twist of fate lands Bella in Chicago in 1918. She thinks it's a second chance to build a life with Edward, but when she finds him, he's not quite what she expected. Can Bella create the future she's hoping for?
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This story begins six months after The Cullens leave Forks. Bella is spending time with Jacob in La Push. She’s not exactly the same Bella than in the books:
I'm not an idiot. I knew he was lying. He does… did… love me and left because of some twisted obligation to protect me.
It broke my heart.
It pissed me off.
And it didn't really matter. Why he left didn't matter, because he was gone – they all were. I didn't know where they were. I couldn't find them if I wanted to.
And I wanted to… a lot.
The Quileutes are going to perform a ritual called The Spirit Walk. Each person experiences a kind of vision in a different way. The shaman has an interesting conversation with Bella. He tells her he saw her in his vision. He tells her he knows that she’s looking for someone and that there’s a way to find what she’s looking for. She asks him what she needs to do and she finds herself going through the ritual. She faints and when she wakes up, she doesn’t know where she is.
She is found in the street by a nice gentleman called Tom who helps her by escorting her into the guesthouse where he’s living. This guesthouse is Mrs. Oleson’s, Maggie, as she wants to be called. At first, Bella thinks she’s hallucinating. But she realizes soon enough that she’s actually in Chicago, in 1918. Edward’s time. She faints when she learns this so Tom takes her to the hospital.
She encounters a very familiar face there:
Then, I heard a voice, muffled… yet familiar. I turned sharply, looking toward a closed door opposite the waiting room as I heard footsteps approach.
"Watch him carefully tonight," the voice said. "If his condition worsens, we will have to operate right away."
The door opened and I braced myself, knowing, yet not really believing who would be on the other side.
Another nurse came through first, and then I saw the top of his head as he bent over a medical chart, reading as he walked.
"And this patient needs an additional two grains of quinine," he continued in his smooth, other-worldly voice.
At my sharp inhalation, startled amber eyes rose to meet my shocked brown ones.
"Carlisle!" I gasped.
Carlisle is working at that hospital. Bella tells him right away that she knows what he is and that she won’t betray him. After realizing she’s really living in Chicago and that apparently she’s not going anywhere, she concocts a plan. She wants to find a job and to find Edward. She gets a job at Carlisle’s hospital and eventually she ends up working for him. Carlisle and Bella get close and their relationship is very interesting.
Bella looks for Edward’s address in the directory and she finds him:
He was digging in the ground and hadn't heard my approach, so I took a moment to admire the sight of him – so long denied me. The shovel scraped against a stubborn stump and he wrestled to get it out of the ground. A glistening drop of sweat trickled down his neck and a shiver passed through my body.
I may have made a sound – or maybe not – because he turned to me then, examining me with curious eyes, his lips quirking in an uncertain smile.
And with a trembling hand I opened the gate, taking the first tentative steps toward my destiny.
They begin to talk and Bella realizes really soon that he’s not exactly the Edward she knew:
"Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you," he said, apparently confused at my reaction. "It's only natural for a woman in your position to look for a husband – and I was just saying you've chosen a good place to do it."
You've got to be kidding me.
"You make it sound like I'm a predator on the hunt!" I exclaimed.
He shrugged. "I'm sure it must feel like that sometimes," he said sympathetically. "And I know many men would look unfavorably upon your circumstances, so that's got to make it even more difficult. But don't worry, I'm sure in time you'll snare a husband."
I turned to him, my hands on my hips. "Snare… snare…?" I repeated. I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself.
It didn't really work.
"Look buddy," I began in a low voice, and his eyes widened. "I work at the hospital because I needed a job and I wanted to do something I enjoy. I support myself. I pay my own bills and I don't need a man to do it."
"I don't understand what you're so upset about," he said, mystified. "I'm just trying to be sympathetic of your predicament."
"Are you for real…? Sympathetic…?" I sputtered. "I don't even know what to say to that!" I paced back and forth, muttering under my breath. "Predicament?" I questioned. "Predicament?" I repeated, my voice growing louder.
"I am not in a 'predicament', Edward," I spat. "I don't know where you get these outdated ideas about women in the workplace, but they're ridiculous! I'm not looking for a husband at the hospital. I'm not looking for a husband, period!"
At the beginning, their conversations end up always more or less like this. They bicker a lot. They’re quite entertaining actually. But don’t worry because the Edward we all know and love is there. He’s attracted to Bella but at first he can’t figure it out. She just has thrown him for a loop with all her modern ideas. They became friends and their relationship begins to develop. They have the chance they didn’t have in the “present”: They can develop a totally normal relationship.
It’s a slow burn and it’s sensational:
"We have to stop," Edward panted.
"Why?" I asked, still dazed and craving.
Edward peppered kisses on my face and my eyes fluttered closed. "Because…" kiss on my neck "…someone…" my cheek "…will see…" my nose "…us…" He planted another light kiss on my lips before resting his forehead on mine.
"And despite the fact I'd like to continue doing that for hours," he continued, "you need to get to work. And you don't need someone seeing you being compromised in an alley." I worried that Edward was feeling guilty again, but his face was relaxed and he smiled lazily.
Apparently things had changed a bit in the past week.
Not that I was complaining.
But Bella knows their time could be coming to end. She knows when the Spanish influenza is going to hit Chicago. She’s determined to save Edward but she really doesn’t know if she will be able to do it. Is she going to be dragged back to her days? Will she be able to save him from the influenza? But what happens if she saves him and he doesn’t become a vampire? What will happen in the future/her real present?
I can’t put into a little summary all the amazing things this story has. It has great new characters like Maggie, Tom and Samantha. Edward’s and Bella’s relationship is fantastic. The author has developed it incredibly well. Bella’s inner monologue is pretty funny and witty. There’s also the question about the past-present. You don’t know how things are going to end until the last moment and you will be biting your nails until you find out! TKegl is an amazing author. I’ve read some of her other fics and they’re fantastic too. There’s a lot more to this story than what can be said in these few words so just give it a try. You won’t regret it!
Thank you, Catti-brie!
If you read this fic, please don't forget to tell the author that "My Reading Lounge sent you" and say "Ciao!" from me! Thanks!