Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyers. I'm just having some fun with these characters.
I let my fingers tap against my thigh. I watched the talent mill about. Ariana Grande to my left, Harry Styles to my right… Why was I here?
I felt her grab my fingers to still me. "What?" I sighed, turning my head to meet her blue eyes.
"You look like you're on the verge of a breakdown," Tanya said giving my fingers a squeeze.
My girlfriend of three years thrived in this environment. She wasn't a musician, but a model discovered on Instagram. When we first met I loved the distraction of her. Tall, blonde and surprisingly intelligent. She knew her brand, her audience.
She was also ten years younger than me with a zest for life that I once had. Now that zest was more a dimly lit gusto.
"These things make me… twitchy," I responded.
Eclipsed by the Moon rose to an extremely quick fame the summer of two thousand six. Our success fizzled out just as quickly a year later when my best friend since birth and bassist, Jasper Whitlock, died of an heroin overdose. The label then tried to make me a solo artist. Unfortunately, my heart wasn't in doing this on my own.
I turned to a more behind the scenes role as a producer, which earned me more accolades than I would have ever thought.
"Edward you get to introduce 5 Seconds of Summer! It's like a passing of the torch," she informed me seriously.
"They aren't even the same genre that we were," I said, rolling my eyes.
"Is this about Jasper?"
When isn't it about Jasper? I went home for Christmas right after our last show in Seattle in two thousand seven. I should have dragged him back to Forks. Housekeeping found him in his hotel room with a needle hanging out of his arm. My father went with his mom to identify the body. I always wondered if I wouldn't have left him alone and insisted he ride home with me if he'd still be here. I had no clue he was even using.
"It seems odd to be doing this without him or Felix," I said honestly. Felix, our drummer was now a congressman in Portland, he'd never drop anything for KIIS FM's Jingle Ball. I apparently got roped in because a lot of the songs here I produced.
No one cared that tomorrow was the thirteenth anniversary of Jasper's death. Everyone moved on and our lives changed. Here I am.
"Jasper wouldn't want you to put your life on hold, Edward. You need to enjoy the moment!" She probably got that from one of her gurus in Malibu.
I took her in. She was in a black satin strappy crop top and extremely torn jeans with black stiletto heels. Not much different than me in a black t-shirt and extremely torn jeans with scuffed Docs. We matched. We always matched. I'd throw something on and she always would follow-up with something that complimented what I had on. She knew her brand, her audience.
If pictures were taken and they were, we looked like the perfect couple. She created that image. It exhausted me.
"Edward," my assistant, Angela, called making her way through the crowd.
"Tan, mind grabbing me a bourbon from the bar?" I asked not needing her distraction from my work obligations.
"Sure, babe," she grinned, kissing my cheek.
"She didn't need to leave," Angela said taking Tanya's seat.
"Figured you had somethings to run by me," I shrugged.
She nodded pushing up her glasses. I liked Angela. She was quiet and kept my life organized. She made these engagements more bearable.
"You got a call from an Isabella Swan of The Seattle Times," she explained.
Isabella Swan. Why did that name sound so familiar? Wracking my brain I finally remembered a petite girl with a heart shaped face and brown doe eyes. We were in Biology together in high school. She was quiet and would dip her head down when I smiled at her.
"You said The Seattle Times?"
"Yeah, she was wondering if you'd be in the area for Christmas," she said carefully.
I haven't been back since the Christmas Jasper died. Mom, dad and sometimes my brother, Emmett with his family traveled out here to California to see me for the holiday, but they tried to respect my space during this time of year.
"Did you tell her no?"
"I did, however she asked if you would possibly change your mind."
"I'm assuming she wants a story," I mumbled.
"With all the Grammy nominations this year the angle is to talk to the small town boy that made it big," she shared.
"Ang, I'm not sure, maybe she can fly out here after the holidays or something. You and I both know I'm not going anywhere near Washington the next two weeks."
"No worries, boss. I'll call her and see what we can schedule after the New Year."
I nodded, seeing Tanya walking toward us with my drink. A production guy also arrives at the same time telling me they're ready for me. I followed him out the green room to the stage. Looking out at the crowd, I let out a sigh. Ryan Seacrest steps out first bantering with the crowd. "This is a man that most of you have grown up listening to and now he's behind your favorite songs this year, everyone help me welcome Edward Cullen from Eclipsed by the Moon!"
After the show I told Tanya I was going back to my place. The more time we spent together the more I wasn't feeling it. I knew she wanted me to propose. I knew she wanted a Christmas proposal. She hints and hints. She wanted a Christmas proposal this year due to my success and so it makes my depressing past more bright.
Everyone would say look he turned a horrible thing that crashed his world a decade ago to memorable night of new beginnings. She knew our brand, our audience. I have slowly become that brand. My fans have become her fans. Give the people what they want. What I want hasn't mattered for a long time.
I nursed the bourbon I poured when I got in and opened my deck door. I slowly sat on the last step leading out to the beach.
"You know you depress even me, Cullen," a voice said walking toward me.
"This is a private beach," I tell the guy walking my way. I squint seeing familiar blond curls and the lanky frame I haven't seen in over a decade. "Jasper?"
"In the flesh," he grinned.
"How much have I actually drank tonight?" I asked myself, but with the twitch of his lips I knew he had more to say.
"Not enough," he chuckled.
I took him in again. Same Pink Floyd t-shirt he always wore, jeans and scuffed boots. This was nineteen year old Jasper. What he was last wearing the last time I saw him.
"You're dead," I breathed, running a hand through my hair.
"I am, but I needed to see you, man. To watch whatever is going on with you is painful. Others think so too."
"I can't get into it, but you know when I died everyone felt like they lost you too."
"You're being very vague."
"Need to be, Eddo," he grinned, shaking my shoulder.
"Wh…what are you?" I stuttered.
I move to stand as he stepped back. He was smiling really enjoying whatever this was. "That girl of yours was right, you do look like you're on the verge of a breakdown."
"She's smoking by the way. Never thought I'd see you with a girl like her. Funny story, the kid used to have posters of me all over her room. Did she ever tell you that?"
"Wait she was a fan?" I never knew she was even into our music.
"Huge! Her dad took her to a show in Pittsburgh for her tenth birthday. She never told you?"
"No," I said.
"Huh?" he said lightly, taking a seat on the step I was on.
"Are you a ghost? Is this some kind of A Christmas Carol bullshit?" I rushed out.
"Nah, no ghost. I'm more celestial."
"Alien?" I asked confused.
"Dude, your mom was our Sunday school teacher. Celestial doesn't have to be all about space," he said rolling his eyes.
"You're an angel?"
"Trying to be," he shrugged.
"This is so fucked up." Did Tanya slip something into my drink back at the show? Maybe she was right, I'm having a fucking breakdown. I should call my dad.
"You seriously didn't just curse," he said seriously then snorted. "Just fucking with you."
"What is happening?"
"It is time that I needed to check in on you. Edward, you used to be so full of life. When I died you stopped living."
"Jasper, you killed yourself!" I roared.
"Not on purpose. Caius got me hooked. I started that summer at the beginning of the tour and it got away from me."
"I had no clue," I emphasized with frustration.
"Edward, I didn't want anyone knowing. Part of me thought it was too good to stop and the other part that was using my brain was ashamed. You knew I liked to fuck around with shit. The smack wasn't something I could control. At one point I kept telling myself it was just one last hit, I could live without it."
"I still work with Caius."
"I know. He lives with no regrets. Unfortunately, my death didn't deter him from selling to others."
"So he's still selling?"
"Nope, you know that kid of his really changed his life." he looked up toward the sky. "Do you believe in destiny?"
Thrown I asked, "What do you think?"
"Same cynical Ed," he chuckled. "I've always loved it, but others didn't. Like when we were kids you were always so serious. Remember how Newton called you Sullen Cullen most of high school until you finally decked him right before the Christmas Formal."
I laughed because I remembered that. Bella Swan was his date. She helped him up.
"Yes?" he asked, his eyes locked on me.
"Is this about Bella Swan?"
"Is what about Bella Swan?" He looked almost gleeful. Like when he used to try to get a rise out of me.
"Whatever this is," I gestured toward him.
"You should tell Angela to schedule that interview. Bella could really use the boost for her career. Had it a little rough that one."
"What's wrong with her?"
"It's not her. You know how life gets. I never knew how much you liked her when I was here. Edward's first crush. Shame you never did anything about it."
"How did you…"
"I am an enlightened being, bro. Just took some time to get there. Bella tried to work up the courage to talk to you. You disarmed her, that's what she told Stanley. Thought she was too intense for you," he laughed loudly. "Too intense for you, ain't that a real riot? I always thought you'd be with a girl like her. That assistant of yours is even your type. I like to think you never tried anything because you're professional, but also because she reminded you too much of Bella."
I gritted my teeth because he was right. This Jasper knew me just as much as the living one.
"Hate to cut our time short, man, but it's getting late," he said giving his watch an exaggerated glance. "Just take my word and give Bella a good story."
"Jasper," I said at a loss for words.
"Give her a shot," he smiled, giving me a tight hug.
I couldn't speak. Whatever this was could be my last time ever getting to say what needs to be said. I watched him walk up the shore line until I couldn't see him anymore.
"Fuck," I yelled. "Great, now my neighbors think I'm a psychopath."
I made my way back into the house to lock up. After this whole seeing Jasper again I'm still not buying that ghosts may or may not visit me throughout the night. Maybe I should call Tanya to come over.
Sighing into my empty room, I slowly lifted my shirt over my head and dropped my jeans to the floor. What I really needed was sleep. Maybe I'll have Angela call Bella to setup an interview, I just didn't want to do it in Seattle. Closing my eyes I let sleep take me.
Poke. Poke. Poke. "Daddy," I heard a giggle close to my face.
"Baby, let Daddy, sleep," I heard a soft voice beside me.
I opened one eye seeing a little girl sitting on my stomach. She looked familiar, but not. She almost looked like my niece Lily, the only difference was her hair was a dark red not blonde and she had vibrant green eyes.
Now feeling more awake. I opened the other eye taking in the room I was in. This wasn't Malibu. The room was big and balcony doors were in front of me. Turning a bit I noticed another body in the bed. A very pregnant body.
She was on her side facing me, eyes still closed. I knew that face. It was the face of the girl Jasper and I discussed hours ago. Her hand moved up squeezing my bicep as her eyes fluttered open.
"I guess it's time to get up," Bella sighed.
A/N: It's been a very, very, very long time! This idea popped into my mind last night. I was watching The Family Man and was very inspired. I do think this will be a nice short story. Also, I need to find a beta, but wanted to get this out to see what you all think. I hope you enjoy this little holiday surprise!