Monday, January 17, 2011

Team Anything Goes: Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella by MeraNaamJoker


The Team Anything Goes Pick is...


Title: Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella
Author: MeraNaamJoker
Chapters: 6
Words: 27,101
Reviews: 180
Summary: Paul stops Bella before she can jump off that cliff and ruin her life. Complications ensue. Totally unlike my other stories, so brace yourself, Bridget; there's language and lemons ahead.

Jeanne - Alternate Universe is a genre that is close to my heart. After all, I came to read Twilight fan fiction, not just because I was dissatisfied with how SM chose to end the story. I was haunted with all the possibilities of what could have happened. There are so many times when the story could have gone a different way, from Edward staying in Alaska after meeting Bella for the first time to Bella never jumping off the cliff. Exploring the results of these choices is what AU fan fic is all about. However, great AU fic doesn’t just stop there, instead it goes one step further, and blows your mind.

In Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella MeraNaamJoker doesn’t answer the question; “what would happen if Paul imprinted on Bella before she jumped off the cliff?” She it shows us how this twist of fate changes not just Bella and Paul, but everyone around them. A cliche story would use the imprint as a convenient way to erase Edward’s relevance from the story, and paint a fairy tale of an imprint inspired HEA. MeraNaamJoker has the courage to tell the truth, that love doesn’t always solve our problems, and more often than not it just adds more complications.

Bella and Paul’s lives quickly spiral out of their control, as the magic of imprint takes root in their hearts, souls and lives. As they struggle to try to keep it a secret to protect Bella’s best friend and Paul’s pack brother, Jacob. There are even the real life complications of engaging in unsafe, imprint drive sex, and don’t forget the crazed red-headed vampire that’s still looking to kill Bella.

One of the things that I love about this story is how it doesn’t ever let the reader forget that they are in Twilight canon. The characters are in character, even as MeraNaamJoker shows us more of Paul than we ever saw in canon, she does it with such skill that we embrace this version of the stereotypical hair-trigger, bad boy. This Bella is New Moon Bella. She is confused, irrational and desperate beyond reason to cling to everyone she loves, no matter who it hurts.

Through this all, it’s the unlikely love story that has captured my heart, and keeps me yearning for the next update. Bella and Paul are trying so hard to make sense of the monkey wrench that fate thrown at them, and they are so intensely connected to each other. This relationship is compelling, heartbreaking and fucking beautiful. I have always wished to see someone tell the real story of imprinting, both the good and bad. I wanted to see the fear at realizing that fate has forever bound you to another without your permission, as well as the rapture of truly knowing you are love, and that you will never, ever be alone again. There is no middle ground in this kind of love.

The title Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella translates as “I marvel at how beautifully you shine.” It is the second line from the Latin translation of the classic lullaby, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Like this simple understated lullaby, Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella shows the simple truth of love, that imprint love, true love or the love between friends, it is never easy, but it is always worth it.

Teal - Sweet mercy, where has this story been all my life? Words simply cannot express how MFing pwned I am by this unexpected, complicated, UNFtastic New Moon-AU.

So Bella and Paul, it just doesn’t make sense, right? But oh how it does in this story. My usual hesitation with NM-AUs is that Edward tends to get thrown under the bus just for the sake of Bella ending up with/fucking someone else. That is not the case here. While Bella still has to deal with everything that happened between her and everyone’s favorite vampire, it almost becomes a non-issue in the shadow of the completely unexpected developments with Paul. Bella has to release the demons that have been haunting her for months, but the real love triangle in this tale is between Jake, Bella, and Paul.

Instead of playing dumb with herself, this Bella acknowledges that there is something between her and Jacob -- something that she seems to have wanted to explore, perhaps not immediately, but in time. She was still struggling to accept Edward’s absence, but she also knew she could have something real with Jacob. That is until Paul completely threw a wrench into the works.

What I love about this story is how natural and canon Bella feels. Her personality and reactions feel consistent with the girl we knew in the books, if things had gone this way for her, and the progression is a wonderful blend of balance, personal struggle, building sexual and emotional tension, and some really, really, really hot moments between Bella and Paul. This story is a perfect place to “open mind, insert Alex Meraz,” which I sincerely hope you do because fuuuuuuuuuuck is this version of Paul sexy. He’s still the aggressive hothead we know from the books, but he’s also the loveable asshole type that we ladies always seems to find ourselves inexplicably attracted to. You know what I mean, oh yes you do, pervlings.

I am astounded by the creativity and talent of this author, and utterly refreshed by this pairing. It’s a pleasure I have absolutely no guilt about. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

Chele - The story opens on the cliffs of La Push where Bella, bored and desperate, is about to plunge off the edge into the rough waters below. Ironically, I was in the same place when I found it - poised for some fic diving, and desperate for something good when I remembered that Jenn had recc’d this. When I opened it, I was completely swept away within the few paragraphs. Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella has restored my love for het. Twific. I absolutely cannot get enough of this story. I may have actually squealed when I found out it is fully written and will have reliable updates until it’s completion. Now, I wait for it like.. my..own.personal.brand.of.heroin.

No, really.

The way that MeraNaamJoker describes the physical ramifications of imprinting is stunning. She goes to intricate detail in showing us the agony present when an imprint is separated from his mate, and the level of complete wholeness when they are joined intimately. It took my breath away and imparted to me a subtle echoing ache to answer the character’s passions. The physicality between Bella and Paul made me feel voyeuristic, each movement speaking volumes about their state of mind and wild need for each other.

Canon Paul is passionate and quick tempered. While this is sexy, it’s also off-putting when considering lifelong commitment. MeraNaamJoker takes canon to the next level by painting the full picture of why Paul behaves the way he does. No, She doesn’t tell us about it with a drawn out narrative - Paul is a man of few words. She SHOWS us who he is, by taking Bella into his space to see the regimented way that he keeps his belongings, by letting us know about the strong woman who raised him. Paul has a depth and intensity that fulfills all the potential only hinted at in canon. He is a soldier with a fierce sense of loyalty in a war to save his people from evil monsters. If we didn’t know anything about the Cullens? Paul would clearly be the hero of Twilight.

I cannot say enough good things about this story. It is beautiful, effective writing, which tells a story of passion, desperation and love. The smut is out of this world hot. Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella is everything I could ever have wanted in an AU with this pairing, and so much more.

Jen - I wasn’t a really big fan of the idea of imprinting when I read about it in the Saga. However, I’ve recently become completely enamored of the idea of one of the pack imprinting on Bella after Edward leaves in NM. Imagine my glee at finding Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella. I’m keen on pretty much all the boys in the wolfpack, but Paul is definitely my favorite. Yeah, yeah, it may have something to do with the fact that Alex Meraz is a total panty melter. It also has to do with Paul being such a hot-head. Maybe I wouldn’t want to be married to a volatile guy, but he sure is fun to read about. Even if the plot and pairing hadn’t been to my liking I would have given Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella a shot if only because the Latin title intrigued me. *Latin geek waving hi* It’s a bonus that the story is so damn good.

There are so many things to love about this fic. It’s got it all--wonderful writing, hot sexytimes, humor, angst, and just the right amount of reality for a supernatural love story.

He moved one arm to the small of my back and held me still while the other hand traveled between us, slipping down to the folds between my legs. I cried out when he reached the small bundle of nerves at the top, stroking and rubbing and making me quiver with gratification. "You're better at this…than I am," I babbled, not even hearing the sense of the words till it was too late. He grinned, fierce and hot, and one of his fingers slipped inside me while his thumb kept working where it would do the most good. I dug my nails into his shoulders; he hissed at the pain but didn't stop his hand.

I love that she just blurts out what she’s thinking in that moment. You can just see Paul’s smirk as he accepts Bella’s compliment, however unintended it was. The sex is amazing and fierce and so damn passionate.

Over the next day, Bella realizes that there’s something more going on between them than random horniness. I love the little touches MeraNaamJoker puts in to show the effect of the imprint on Bella even before she has any sort of idea about what’s going on. When Bella does find out, her pain is visceral as Paul tries to break the imprint for fear of hurting Jacob. I love angst, and Paul and Bella’s separation hurts in all the best ways. When Bella realizes that Paul is going to leave her, she cries ‘Nooooo’ and it feels like your own heart is being ripped out. Paul feels the pain intensely too, and we get to hear about it from him once he comes back and admits that he can’t be away from her.

I can’t fully put into words how much I enjoy Bella MeraNaamJoker writes Bella as a real girl. She’s the kind of girl who would research blow jobs since she’d never given one, the kind of girl who can admit that tasting herself on his lips was kind of weird for her. That first blow job is so delightfully awkward for Bella. She’s not a virgin deep throater, and I seriously love MeraNaamJoker for it. While being Paul’s imprint helps fill the hole that’s been in her heart since Edward left her in the woods, she is still allowed to feel the pain Edward caused her. The imprint isn’t just a magic bandaid that makes everything else go away. Bella isn’t just a fragile piece of porcelain that everyone’s trying to protect, even though Victoria is a danger to her. She’s allowed to share her thoughts, desires, and ideas, and it is so refreshing.

Paul’s characterization is equally refreshing. We don’t really know too much from canon, and it’s all too easy to assume that he’s just an angry moron. Bella finds out that there’s so much more to him than his hot-headedness. He’s smart, determined, and sexy, and I freaking die every time he calls her ‘Isabella’--you know it just sounds like sex coming out of his mouth.

Miror Quaenam Sis Tam Bella is the best kind of AU--it uses canon and adds to it in a realistic and extremely fulfilling way. I know I’m going to be sad when this one is over, and I hope that MeraNaamJoker has another multi-chap up her sleeve.

Guest TAG Member Jess - I am thrilled to be a guest reviewer for Team Anything Goes! When I first heard about this on the Lemon Report, I wasn’t too keen on reading it. I mean, I’m part of Team Wussperv; I like my Bella and Edward together. But the Pervs’ chatter convinced me to read this gem, and when I say gem I mean one of the hottest, most beautiful stories I’ve read in a LONG (heh) time.

This story starts with Bella standing on the ledge about to cliff dive. Edward has left, and she’s fighting to cling to his voice - all the normal AU things you’d expect. Except that’s where it ends, because Paul finds her, curses her for being stupid enough to jump by herself, and then the magic of imprinting begins. You read that right - Paul imprints on Bella! The struggle that ensues from there is so beautiful and compelling, it was hard to stop reading and then left me screaming at my computer when I ran out of chapters.

There are so many angles to this story. Probably the most compelling for me was the real struggle both Paul and Bella feel about Jacob. Like in New Moon, Jacob and Bella become friends with the potential for more. Of course, tack on the fact that Jacob and Paul are both part of the wolfpack - a bond that goes beyond phasing but is akin to family - and the agony of deceit and fear of loss comes into play. While the power of imprinting is permanent and deep, Paul does everything in his power to deny it. He runs, asks Sam to prevent him from seeing her in his mind, and doesn’t hardly eat while he’s away. If I had any doubt about the intensity of this relationship and their feelings, this little bit had me fully convinced.

Just the thought [of Paul leaving] had me quaking like a leaf in a tornado. I tried to answer, but the only thing that came out was a low-pitched strangled, "Nooooo…" from the other-me.

"Shit. Isabella, cut that out! Goddammit." He pulled me closer, but his hands were desperate, moving everywhere as if they could memorize the outlines of my body before he forced them to let go forever. "You should be grateful; he's [Jacob] way better for you than I would be. Fuck."

I gasped out, "You don't want me anymore," and it felt like I had just encapsulated my life story in one sentence.

"I want you. I fucking want you so Goddamn much I can barely breathe. It doesn't matter. We're still human—well, you are, I mostly am—and we're not gonna let werewolf shit control the way we live our lives any more than we have to. We should be able to help it.”

This excerpt literally had me breathing hard and feeling pain in my chest at the thought of them apart. I hated the idea that their being together could hurt Jacob, especially since they both love him as a friend and brother, and yet, I needed them to be together.

The sense of loss is equally as intense and painful to watch through Bella’s eyes; it literally takes your breath away. I found myself aching for Paul to return, for Bella to get answers from Sam, and to find anything to give her a little peace. After everything she had suffered - all the self doubt, the loss of love, friendship, and family - I just wanted her to be happy, free from the skull-splitting headaches she feels as a result of Paul’s absence.

Paul is nothing like Edward, and I love that about this story. Bella’s heart is still broken over Edward leaving, so much so it still hurts to hear or say his name. But this story doesn’t make Paul an Edward - or Jacob - replacement. He is a new and vital part of her life. He allows her to be herself, as opposed to leaving her tentative, unsure, and overly cautious. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bella and Edward together, but seeing her paired with someone as different and mercurial as Paul allowed me to really enjoying reading about her and watching her grow/heal in this new relationship. Bella and Paul’s interactions are charged. There’s just no other word for it. He’s quick to anger and just as quick to tenderness. Tenderness, you say? Yes, tenderness. It’s so clear how powerful imprinting is because of how he loves her and shows it; it makes me swoon and feel all gushy gushy inside just thinking about it.

That charge carries over into EVERY interaction. Their sexy times are HOT HOT HOT from the minute he claims her - and her virginity - on the cliff ledge.

"I should go…" he said, but then his mouth was on mine, devouring me. I squeaked in terror; I'd never experienced anything other than Edward's gentle, careful kisses, and Paul apparently didn't share Edward's belief in my fragility. He gripped my hips, digging grooves in my skin with his fingertips, and shoved his pelvis between my thighs. I could feel his penis fully erect, straining to get to me, and to my total surprise it felt right, exactly where it was. I rubbed myself against the hardness, moaning at the sudden vicious ache between my legs.

Paul was cursing, a steady stream of profanity that seemed to have no connection to his actions. He worked his way down my neck with his teeth, hard enough to leave marks, and ripped my shirt up over my head. I gasped and then moaned again at the shock of pleasure when we were skin to skin.

"No bra," he said against my collarbone.

"I didn't want to get it wet," I explained, panting as he hoisted me again and fastened his mouth on my nipple. "Oooh, God, oh, God, what the hell are you doing to me?"

"It's the other way around," he groaned around my breast. "Fuck, oh shit, holy shit…" He reached down and ripped my jeans and underwear straight off of my body, then unbuttoned his own shorts, letting them fall to the ground. I shivered as a blast of wind spattered me with water from the tree branches above us. Paul switched to the other side, suckling so hard I almost couldn't decide if it hurt too badly to be good, but then his fingers gently caressed the breast his mouth had abandoned and I let my head fall back. I clutched his hair, pushing myself into his kiss.

He moved one arm to the small of my back and held me still while the other hand traveled between us, slipping down to the folds between my legs. I cried out when he reached the small bundle of nerves at the top, stroking and rubbing and making me quiver with gratification. "You're better at this…than I am," I babbled, not even hearing the sense of the words till it was too late.

He grinned, fierce and hot, and one of his fingers slipped inside me while his thumb kept working where it would do the most good. I dug my nails into his shoulders; he hissed at the pain but didn't stop his hand.

"Paul…" I groaned, as another finger slid up to join the first. "Paul, I don't… even… know you…"

He buried his face in the juncture of my neck and shoulder and nipped my skin; when his teeth closed around the muscle I went limp in submission. "Goddammit… I know…that..." he breathed. "Shit, shit shit oh my holy fuck you're so fucking wet just give it to me give it to me now—"

"Okay," I gasped. I didn't even know what I was saying but I was out of my mind with lust. I had to have him, had to have something filling the yearning emptiness that was getting worse by the second.

He moved his hands away. I whimpered, "No!" when his fingers eased out, and he murmured to me, nonsense words meant to comfort and soothe, as he lay down on the ground and drew me with him. He was on his back; his penis looked positively painful as it throbbed between us.

"You're on top," he instructed, pulling my legs apart so that I straddled him.

"I don't know what to do," I whispered, meeting his hot-eyed gaze with desperation.

"Jesus, you're a fucking virgin?" he exclaimed.

I giggled, suddenly lightheaded with the ridiculousness of the situation. "I don't think that's possible."

"Come here," he said, and all urges to laugh fell away at the deep timbre of his voice. He held my head to his chest with one hand. With the other, he reached down and guided his penis to my opening, which by now felt like it was dripping. He rubbed the head into my softness; we both gasped again at the feeling. I anchored my nails into his skin; he grunted and pushed the tiniest way inside me. I cried out. My nails scratched until they drew blood. The tiny wounds healed over while I watched, as he gritted his teeth and angled his hips to push farther into me. When he got to the barrier of my virginity, I sobbed.

"You want this," he said.

I couldn't tell if he was asking or telling me, but, "Yes," I whimpered. "Yes. Yes. Please."

With one final thrust, he broke through. I sobbed again, a few tears leaking out of the corners of my eyes and dropping down on his chest. He murmured to me again, rubbing the back of my neck and my thighs while I trembled from head to toe. He didn't move, giving me time to adjust. I didn't know if that was possible. Paul. This was Paul inside me. How the hell had this happened?

"You're all right, you're okay," he whispered. His touch was unexpectedly gentle. The pain faded, and all of a sudden everything felt so good. Waves of heat and delight emanated from the point of our joining. It had been six months since I'd even come close to feeling this happy. "Isabella."

That was long, but I think it does an amazing job of describing the heat they have together, as well as the tenderness that always works its way into every interaction they have. Even when they fight, it’s like they both know what to say to make it right. It’s just amazing, and I loved reading their relationship grow and change as they admit and succumb to the power of imprinting... and the love that blossoms as a result.

There are so many moments that left me positively quaking with want. MeraNaamJoker has crafted an AMAZINGLY beautiful, sexy, emotional tale that explores the what-ifs beyond Edward and Jacob. Give this story a chance. From one Wussperv-Bella/Edward lover to another, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

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