Every time I read my own writing, even the published stuff, I find things I want to tweak or improve. I think most writers experience this. During the writing process, as you think through different scenes, you have to decide whose point of view to use. As a result, I sometimes end up with many versions of the same moment as I figure out who is the best person for the reader to see it through. In this case, I wanted to do a little bit of a re-write and while I was at it, also give a new POV. So this scene from Iteration is a little different than what is in the book. In the book it’s from Lysandra’s head, this is from Edward’s.
This scene is after Esben and Lysandra have been kidnapped and Lysandra wakes up in a hotel room with him. She is not happy about this but there is not much she can do about it. They start talking about ways to get out of the situation and Esben mentions that time when she and Brendan were trying to hone her telekinetics to pull Elbie out of people.
“Excuse me.” Lysandra rushed to the bathroom.
Edward leaned back against the stone railing. Stupid, stupid, stupid. She was still angry with him about her brother and he had to go and mention it. The guilt over Brendan's death had hung on him for months. She had every right to be angry with him. Didn't change the fact that she was all he thought about.
He heard the bathroom door open. Lysandra emerged, her cheeks pink from washing. She moved across the room with purpose, heading directly for him. Edward gripped the railing, bracing for another punch. As she came out into the sun, her gaze locked on to him. Without a word she threw her arms around his neck, her cheek against his. Edward froze, stunned and confused about this sudden change. Every thought in his head scrambled as she leaned into him. His heartbeat pounded in his jaw where she had hit him. Suddenly he was hot, very hot and it had nothing to do with the desert at his back.
“Put your arms around me.” She whispered.
Edward complied, circling her waist, lightly resting his arms on her hips, still trying to wrap his head around this moment. All too aware of the skin to skin contact of his forearms against her exposed midriff.
“Let’s get the bastard.” Her voice sent shivers down his spine. “The sooner we strike the better.”
Edward took a shaky breath. Now it made sense. This was a ploy to disguise their talk from any recording devices Xander may have around them. Disappointed, he nodded. “Do you really think you can do it?”
“I'm not sure.” She shifted against him. “That's where I need you.”
“Me?” He swallowed, his mouth was dry. The weight of her body against his, even as a ruse, brought every nerve in his body to full tingle mode. It took every ounce of willpower not to pull her closer, or let his hands wander to other places.
“I need to practice. You're the only one here with an Elbie.”
Her body went rigid. “It was your big idea.” She whispered curtly. Her arms slid from his neck and down his arms as she leaned back from him. Anger burned in her eyes, waiting for an explanation.
“Esben’s gone. I had to surrender him shortly after we got here.” There was no other way to put it. What Xander wanted with Esben, he had no idea.
Anger melted into shock, maybe even confusion. “Surrender? Why?”
Edward shook his head. Because Xander threatened to hurt you, if I didn't. If he told her that giving up Esben had been an easy choice given the alternative, would she believe him? “I’m just Edward right now.”
Her eyes searched his and then went to the bruise still pulsing along his jaw. Seeing that he was not healing, her body relaxed ever so slightly into him, as she accepted the truth of his statement. “Esb– Edward, why didn't you say so before?”
The gentleness in her voice made him want to bury his face in her neck and just breathe. Forcing illicit thoughts from his mind he tried to put on a business posture. “It wasn't pertinent information until now.”
She looked away, her gaze distant with thought. “You're Elbie-free right now?”
“I am.” For the life of him, he could not read her, but he would keep his hands firmly on her hips for as long as she would let him.
“Are you sure?” A shrewd gleam came into her eyes as she looked up at him.
Edward laughed. “I’ve been a host for several years. I know the difference.” To date, this was the longest he and Esben had been separated since meeting.
“That’s why you're acting so weird.” She smirked.
“I’m behaving as I normally do.” His voice lacked conviction, even to himself. It had only been a couple of hours and he did feel weird. And overwhelmed. He wasn’t afraid for himself, but Xander had already threatened Lysandra once. The cycle of emotions he had been through in the last few hours was having a toll on him.
She continued to examine his face. Her scrutiny made him nervous. “What?” He asked.
With one hand splayed on his chest, she cupped his cheek with the other. Before he could register what was happening her lips were on his. Her tongue slid against his as her body pressed him against the railing. Not needing any explanation, he met her enthusiasm with his own. He balled the fabric of her sari in his hands to keep his hands in place. His whole body buzzed with adrenaline.
As suddenly as it had started, it stopped. Lysandra broke contact, her breath hitched, her cheeks burned a deeper shade of pink.
Edward could barely think. “What was that for?” His head spun.
“A test.” She said flatly, leaning back from him.
Attempting to keep her as close as possible, he asked. “Did I pass?”
“It wasn't for you.” Her tone was still flat, but he could swear a smile tugged at the corner of her flushed lips.
Even in this disheveled state, she was ravishing. He leaned in for another kiss. He had to feel those lips again.
A loud knock from inside the room made them both freeze. The doors to the suite opened, and two of Xander’s men came in. Edward let her go and they stood side by side as the two guards stared at them. “Miss Carlisle. Please come with us.”
Lysandra looked over at him. Edward shook his head slightly. Nothing good could come from talking with Xander. And there was no way he was going to let her be alone with him.
Lysandra crossed her arms. “Do I have a choice?”
“Love to.” She pulled away from Edward. He fell in step beside her.
One guard put his hand out and used his body to block Edward from Lysandra. “Mr. Hansen wants to see her alone.” The guard grimmly informed.
Edward drew himself up. “Absolutely not.”
“Your turn will come, Mr. Drake.” The other guard took Lysandra by the arm and pushed her toward the door.
A jolt of hot anger sliced through Edward as the man gripped Lysandra's arm and dragged her into the hallway. Edward moved to intervene. The guard next to him pulled back his jacket to reveal the gun beneath. Only a few hours ago such threats would have meant nothing to Edward, but without Esben to heal him, endangering himself would not help him or Lysandra. Clenching his fists, he took a step back.
Edward caught a glimpse of her face as the man closed the door between them. He needed to figure out what Lysandra was to Xander before he could come up with any solutions.
From there, Lysandra goes to meet Xander and he lets her know what he wants. Anywho, I hope this has added a new layer of understanding. Thank you for reading!