Unfortunately, The Littlest Edward did not have them.
"I can never--never--even look her--in the eye agaaaaain!" he wailed, heaving his dry, tearless sparklepire sobs into the Easter grass.
Clarice did her best to soothe him, but it was to no avail; she cast a baleful glance in the direction of my room and That Girl. Did you know that sheep can growl? Because I sure didn't.
"I knew she wouldn't like me, I knew it--I told you, Miss Cleo, I can't talk to girls and [>sob<] now I'll never talk to one agaaaaain--"
"Honey, she's not the only girl in the world--"
"Yes she iiiiiiis!" Well, technically he was right, as far as his scale was concerned. "I don't want any other girl, just the one who--who--doesn't like meeeeeee--"
"Sweetie--" Then I caught a smug Tonner Edward out of the corner of my eye. Of course he'd made sure to witness the whole fiasco. "GET OUT," I snapped. He gave me an infuriating smirk and strolled away.
"--so aloooone--a hundred years--no one like her--not even in another hundred--forever aloooooooone--"
Suddenly, Clarice looked up from her fluffy ministrations: "Where did the Big One go?"
I got there just in time to hear him say, "I can show you around, if you want..."
"Excuse me, I am having a conversation with the lady here--"
I picked him up by the coat collar and threw him out the door. "BELLA! WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU!"
"Just that he was Edgar whoever, he'd seen me around, did I want to take a walk. Yeah, he's seen me around. Because he's a CREEPER. Holy crow, that guy is like a child molester. What is his problem? For a moment I thought he was going to offer me candy."
I found myself startled amid my own relief. "So... you didn't think he was hot or anything?"
"Ew, no! He's like three times my size! What's he doing messing around with girls who don't even come up to his knee? Or do the giant girls think he's a psycho too?" She shuddered. "Gah. He probably had a roll of duct tape in his pocket or something. Sick."
And if I hadn't been so mad, I would have laughed at the idea of tiny doll-sized kidnapping implements. Probably.
I made sure I left Bella with Eowyn and the Arwens--whether any of them liked it or not--before I went out to Have Words with Tonner Edward. He was out sulking on the stairs.
"Bad Edward! BAD! NO BELLA!" And then I smacked him across the back of his head just for good measure ("OW!"). "You swore on your honor as a gentleman!"
"I didn't sabotage him!" Even now he dredged up a smirk: "I didn't have to."
"Well, guess what? She thinks you're SICK and CREEPY, so BACK OFF."
He glared, but he knew I was right--he'd heard what she'd said to me. "I'm still going to watch over her, though."
"NO, you're NOT."
"I HAVE TO. Especially if the little one's going to be down the hall crying into his pillow--she is so delicate," he said, that weird rapt look stealing over his face again. "She is so small, so precious, so fragile--someone has to be there in case she falls, someone must be there to catch her!"
"Yeah, because you did such a good job of that last time."
That unearthly expression darkened: "There won't be anyone to stand in my way next time."
I put Purple Arwen on guard duty in Bella's kitchen after that. She is the Keeper of Pie, after all. And bless her, when Bella started telling her about the sweaty loser weirdo(s) who had accosted her earlier that morning, Purple Arwen did her best:
"Oh, Little Edward! He plays piano for my Aragorn sometimes, he's very talented! Very nice boy, very sweet--"
"Yeah, I'm sure all the girls he screams at think so. Gah! Have we run out of eggs AGAIN?" And that was the end of that.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Little Edward was completely undone. Even I hadn't thought he'd take failure this hard--I'd thought he would brood and angst, maybe lurk a little, certainly get his chagrin all over everything, but I hadn't expected him to fall to damn pieces. The ponies were terribly upset by the whole thing--he tried to dish out their evening grass but only ended up drooping over his pitchdessertfork. After that, he didn't even try to stay vertical. Then the ponies tried to bring him food. I even tried to tempt him with some variegated yarn--the really good stuff, too, that I keep saving to use for something cute after I learn to knit--but he wouldn't eat.
I ended up calling in White Arwen and the Aragorns to see what they could do to help, just to keep the Sparklerosa running, if nothing else--White Arwen's always been kind to Little Edward, after all, and Helm's Deep Aragorn had spent a little quality time with him as well. (Purple Arwen stayed with Bella, but she snuck her Aragorn some apples and carrots for the ponies. I knew better than to even think about asking Eowyn.) So White Arwen took over the mane-curling and tail-braiding duties, and both she and Fug pitched the grass and passed out the munchables. Helm's Deep Aragorn, meanwhile, tried to console Little Edward with a man-to-vamp talk.
"Look, you fall off the horse, you gotta get back in the saddle. Sometimes the horse comes back and fishes you out of the river, sometimes he doesn't--you gotta pull yourself back up by your chainmail and chase that horse down. It's all about getting up and trying again, even in the face of doom, even when the sky is darkest and the Eye is brightest because faint heart never won fair horse--"
Fugagorn looked over from administering a carrot to baby Quackers (Quackers' one tooth meant this was taking a while): "What are you even talking about?"
"MY POINT IS, Edward, you have to man up and talk to this girl again--"
"Yes, you have to. This is your destiny. Arwen wasn't particularly impressed with me when we first met in Rivendell, even though I fell in love at first sight, and yes, it did take thirty years for her to return my feelings, and it was another forty after that before we were married, but look at us now!"
(In the reality of their source material, this was true. I didn't point out that in Actual Shelf Reality, Purple Arwen had jumped Helm's Deep Aragorn the very day he arrived. Neither version bade particularly well for poor Edward.)
He patted Little Edward on the back (Edward whimpered into his pastel haypile). "Come on. Pull yourself together now. We'll think of something for you to say. Or write, even better--"
"Make sure you get him an eraser while you're at it."
"You can write her a letter, or--one of those paintings of yours, you're a good artist. Paint her a nice landscape and tell her that she inspires you. Come on now, let's get up..."
Well, whatever would keep him from that horrible dry sobbing, that sounded fine to me. Of course, in retrospect... I should have known how this would end.
(More from the Secret Life of Dolls; fan community)