Summary: Hedge fund manager Edward Cullen didn't make the Forbes list this year and thinks he's a failure, just like his father and teachers in small-town Forks always told him. Only one person ever believed in him, but he left her behind to chase his fortune in New York City. Can a festive Seattle tradition bring magic and love back to his life? Holiday themes, sweet romance, AH, E/B, HEA. ** Voted Top Ten Completed Fics of Dec 2015 on TwiFanfictionRecs **
Co-Authors: Sophia Amador and Alisa Pearce
A/N: This story is inspired by an anonymous Facebook post shared by Thats-So-Alex:
"When I was in seventh grade, I used to have the biggest crush on this kid and we were literally best friends, and he knew that I liked him already for more than a year. This one day we were passing notes in class, and I told him that I knew the future and the future said we get married, but he said liar and we made a bet of $20 that we wouldn't get married. He ended up moving to NYC until he moved back two years ago. On our wedding day he handed me the notes and the $20 and said 'you won.'"
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author(s). The author(s) is/are in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Twilight is owned by Stephenie Meyer.
Fog and ice didn't merge well, Edward decided, surveying the Seattle night through the plate glass window in his top-floor study. Fog could be soft and mystical, and ice could lend a chill and brittle beauty to the world, but when brought together, the bitter damp knifed to the bone. He leaned an elbow on the rich leather of his chair and swirled a glass of whisky in long fingers. Tendrils of fog eddied over the tops of the cedars in the yard beneath. The lights of the city were blurred by mist, and he could see almost nothing of the town of Redmond across Lake Washington.
Not that there was anything he cared to see.
He lifted his drink and gulped it down.
"Goodness, Edward, what are you doing sitting all alone here in the dark?" His sister breezed in to the room, the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg swirling in with her along with a blast of icy air.
"I'm working, Alice. And I'd prefer to be left alone, if you don't mind."
"Working? Don't be silly. You're sitting in the dark drinking. You need to go outside. Don't you know what's happening?"
"Much as you may wish it otherwise, the financial engine that powers your shopping sprees doesn't run itself. Thinking and planning are just as essential to business as social interactions."
Alice scoffed, shaking her pixie hair, and dropped a package on his desk. She darted to the balcony doors and flung them wide.
"What are you doing?" He pulled his flannel bathrobe more tightly around him. "It's freezing out there. They're saying Seattle's facing record-breaking cold."
"The Christmas Ships are here!" She ran to the edge of the balcony and peered over the railing. "They're docking at the Windermere Beach Club in five minutes. You must stand out here and listen."
He groaned. "Alice, I'm too busy for this. You may have plenty of time for frivolous activities like sitting around listening to a bunch of hackneyed old songs played over cheap loudspeakers, but I don't."
"Shhh!" cried Alice. "They're beginning!"
Grumbling to himself, Edward got out of the chair. If he didn't humor Alice for at least a few minutes, she wouldn't leave him alone. But then he was going to go in, get out of the cold and get back to work on his drinking.
He strode to the balcony and stood looking out over the twinkling lights of the hills, misty in the icy fog, stretching all the way down to the dark mass of Lake Washington, now dotted with an array of fully lighted ships steaming south along the lake.
"What a waste of electricity," he groused.
"Oh come on," said Alice. "This has been a Seattle tradition for over 60 years. All the Christmas lights are so gorgeous. And festive. And the choirs sing so sweetly. You can't tell me it doesn't warm even your ice cold heart."
"Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen …"
The voices rang out over the lake. Talk about over-amplified. Surely everyone in Seattle could hear them. Or certainly everyone in the neighborhoods of Windermere, Laurelhurst, and Sand Point. Why more people didn't complain about the disturbance was beyond him. Edward gazed at the glittering lights outlining the string of ships streaming along the dark lake.
He felt a sudden stirring. They were beautiful.
He had been planning to go back inside after a few minutes of listening to please Alice.
But this year the singers' voices were so strong, so heartfelt. He leaned on the railing to get a better view. He could stay out in the cold and listen just a little bit longer.
"Where the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even…"
He found himself smiling. The soloist had an exceptional voice.
"Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger…"
It brought back a memory that he hadn't thought about in ages. A memory from his childhood back in Forks. From long before he had decided to leave that pathetic small town to find opportunity and wealth in the big city. He had made his fortune in New York City as a hedge fund manager, but had grown tired of the cold and fast-paced life. Alice had convinced him to move his company headquarters to Seattle for a more congenial atmosphere, but to be frank, he hadn't made any friends here either.
They called it the "Seattle chill."
"Fails my heart, I know not how. I can go no longer…"
Not that it mattered to him. He was too busy building his business empire to make friends.
A/N: The Christmas Ships are a real Seattle tradition and we researched all the facts in this story hoping to make it as accurate as possible. Thanks for reading.
If you like it, please review. Thanks! ~Alisa