The Age of Innocence

Ladies (and maybe a few Gentlemen?)…what we have all been waiting for over the past few weeks is here – PattyRose’s new story!  The Age of Innocence is the third PattyRose story we have been lucky enough to feature here at the International House of Fan Fic this year, and we are all so excited to embark on another journey with one of our favourite authors!  Strap in tight, everyone, because this one is going to be epic.

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Made by Lolypop82
Made by Lolypop82

Hey there, All! First, I’d like to thank the FicSisters for once again inviting me to premiere my latest fic with them.

Over the summer, I posted a story called, Key West: a fun, flirty read meant to keep you smiling while lounging at the beach or by the pool.

My new story, The Age of Innocence, is meant to keep you thinking way beyond the beach or the pool.

AOI is set around one of the most epic and tragic time periods in history: World War II. But don’t let that scare you away because though the story will begin on the eve of world conflict, there is so much more going on in this tale.

The story opens up with present-day Bella, who at the age of ninety has lived a full life: one of struggles, yes, but also one full of great joy as well. Her life experiences have left her with the belief that though each generation may have its own unique set of conflicts, we as human beings have an innate strength that may waver but will never fail.

It’s this belief that she tries to impart to her granddaughter, Isabella, and in doing so, she begins a story that would inevitably become an epic tale:

Behind ancient lids, I see them all young and strong. I see the river sparkling like diamonds while Sandy runs and barks. I see Carlisle and Esme sitting out on the porch, kissing quietly by the light of the full moon. I see Alice running with her skirts flying high in the wind, and Jasper chasing her despite his bad leg. I see Rose and Masen holding hands in the woods. I see Jacob, smiling. I see my Dad…I see Papa Phil…I see Mother with her glittering diamonds…

But at the forefront…always at the forefront, I see him…I see bright, emerald eyes full of an innocence that stole my breath, an innocence that stole my heart…

Made by Melissa Melton
Made by Melissa Melton

In depression-era 1934, young Isabella Dwyer has been sent away to boarding school after her mother divorces her schoolteacher father and marries rich, railroad tycoon, Philip Dwyer. Confused and wary, Isabella isn’t quite sure where she belongs. She joins her mother and stepfather for summer vacations in Washington State where unknown to her, her fate awaits her up in the lush, green mountains.

“…You just don’t belong there in that big house.”

It was like he’d read my mind.

“How about in a house like yours?” I asked curiously. “You think I’d belong somewhere like that?”

“Nope. You don’t belong in a house like that either. Haven’t you noticed? You’re an anomaly; you stick out like a sore thumb wherever you are,” he said with a careless shrug.

I began to feel frustrated again. “So if I don’t belong in a house like mine, and I don’t belong in a house like yours, then where do I belong, Edward?” I anxiously crossed my arms against my chest, waiting.

He stared at me for a long moment, and then with a clearly resigned sigh, bent down and picked up his pail full of fish. And that was that.

Except he reached out and wrapped his free arm around my shoulder.

“I’ve got no idea where you belong, Bella, but don’t worry, we’ll figure it out, just not today cuz it’s starting to rain. Let’s go.”

Made by Melissa Melton
Made by Melissa Melton

AOI will follow both Edward and Bella as they come-of-age in the midst of a nation on a precipice of upheaval. It tells the story of a hero and heroine at that poignant crossroad between naivete and adulthood:

I felt him behind me. I suppose I knew all along he’d follow me. He always had; I just had no idea why.

“I thought you were afraid of being under this tree in the dark.”

A shiver ran down my spine when his warm breath caressed my bare neck, and oh how I wished I wouldn’t have this reaction to him.

“I was barely twelve years old when I told you that, Edward. I’ve grown up a bit since then, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“I’ve noticed, Bella.”

“I don’t think you really have,” I said quietly, mostly to myself.

But he heard. “I’ve seen the differences, year after year.” I felt his light touch on my hair, following its length down to my neck, where his fingertips stopped and rested, tingling against my skin. “That first summer, your hair was so long, and you were so tiny,” – I thought I could hear a smile in his voice – “that I was sure you’d end up tripping on the ends before the summer was over.”

I couldn’t resist chuckling.

“Then the next summer, either you’d grown or your hair had gotten a bit shorter.” Edward circled around slowly until he was in front of me, and I was forced to look up to hold his gaze. “Your eyes…they’ve always been a deep, golden color, a shade that just grows richer with the more time you spend in the sun, even on those summers where it rains more than it doesn’t. Your skin…it’s so light when you first get here, almost translucent, like some sort of apparition. But by the time you leave, you’re glowing, and you get this smattering of freckles just here…” His warm fingers ghosted just under my eyes, making them flutter closed. “And then…by the time you come back the following summer, they’re gone, and it starts all over again. Some things, Bella, stay the same year after year, yet in other ways…you’ve changed so much…”

I drew in a few successive breaths and opened my eyes once more…

And finally, AOI tells the story of how a sweet friendship carefully shifts into a fierce love that will be tested by the circumstances of the times:

“Listen to me!” he demanded. “It was never what I thought you’d do to me! It’s what I’ve always known I’d do to you!”

“What will you do to me?” I yelled.

He rushed me then, cradling my face in his warm hands, his eyes locking me in their frenzied gaze.

“It’ll kill me to leave you,” he said huskily. “Yet I know that someday I’ll have to. I have to, Bella. But I love you. I think I’ve always loved you in one form or another.” His voice broke then, and the pain in his eyes brought tears to mine. “I love you, yet I can’t promise you I won’t go, and you deserve so much better than that because where will that leave you? You’re everything to me, Bella, and I know that if you ask me to stay, I’ll stay, but the entire time, I’ll believe myself a coward.”

Made by LolyPop82
Made by LolyPop82

AOI is Rated M and will be approximately thirty-five chapters. It’ll post Mondays and Thursdays; it will be told mostly in Bella’s POV with a few EPOV chapters towards the end.

Hope you all enjoy!

pattyrose

Summary: On the eve of the Second World War, young Isabella has been taken from all she knows and is now stepdaughter to one of the richest men in America. Made to join her mother and stepfather for summers in Washington State, she’s unaware that this is where she and a young boy will find their fate, where childhood friendship will mature into the fiercest of loves: a love that must endure the end of innocence. Rated M. AH. E&B. *WIP*

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Young Edward, Young Bella and an emotional goodbye...
Young Edward, Young Bella and an emotional goodbye… we can’t wait!

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Made by elliania_kat
Made by elliania_kat

There is always a story that is a panacea for your soul…the story you read when you feel down, when you want to celebrate and, sometimes, just because. For this FicSister, that story is This is Who I Am by the irreplaceable PattyRose.

For us, this story ticks all the boxes. It seems almost crazy to have so many “pluses” in one story, but This is Who I Am delivers on every one in spectacular fashion.

In our opinion, this story is as much about Edward oh-so-sweetly falling in love with Maddie, Bella’s daughter, as it is about Edward and Bella themselves. The relationship Edward and Maddie have is unique, gorgeous and so uplifting. Maddie sees Edward through a child’s eyes, and to her he is Prince Charming, Superman and Santa all rolled into one, and possibly even a little better (she is a clever girl, that Maddie!).

We love Edward because, really, he is as good as Maddie sees him; he’s just a little lost when we meet him in the first chapter. He is the epitome of the man who has everything, except for the thing he most wants and needs; even if he doesn’t know what that is. It’s not until he meets a little girl who calls him “Edwood”, and her beautiful, gun-shy mom, does he realize he’s found what’s been eluding him.

We have always said here at The International House of FanFic, Patty creates wonderful Bellas for us to admire and adore, and TIWIA’s Bella is no exception. She has been through some harrowing times, but still has the strength and tenacity to move Maddie and herself all the way across the US for a much-needed change. What a change it turns out to be!

Watching this Edward and Bella weave around one another is a dance you do not want to miss, it’s beautiful, heartwarming, occasionally heart-wrenching, but one of the most (if not THE most) rewarding stories this FicSister has ever read. So, thank you Patty xox.

Summary: Edward Cullen, successful business exec/playboy/all around bad boy. Bella Swan, divorced mom/graphic artist/unwilling to trust her heart to the likes of someone like Edward again. Will she give him a chance? Does he even deserve one? AH, AU ExB *Complete*

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Thank you to the always delightful PattyRose for joining us today and telling us all about her newest story, which we just know we are going to adore.  Happy reading, everyone!

FicSisters x