Summary: Bella decieved the stoic Edward Cullen once and now it's time for revenge. Snowballs, Snowangels, Vampires and Hot Chocolate! What's a girl to do?
Meant to take place after Butterfly Kisses: I've… sort of suspended time. Yay Writer's license! Um… It's set just after Eclipse, pre-wedding, but it's snowing. So… figure that one out. Or just read it for the face-value fluff it's meant to have. Critiques are always welcome; I appreciate your thoughts if you don't like it for some reason.
Note 1: Eclipse, New Moon, and Twilight spoilers! Minor ones, but spoilers nonetheless!
Note 2: Sequel to Butterfly Kisses
Come by my place in one hour.
I love you.
I read over the note a second time, and then a third, absorbing every stroke from his glorious script. Suddenly aware of the curious glances thrown my way, I folded the note closed and climbed into my truck, pulling the door closed against the frigid winds outside. I sat in the cab for a moment before cranking the vehicle, and then allowed it to idle gently while the engine warmed.
Why had Edward left that note in the seat of my truck? He had always told me important things. More prominently, he was always waiting for me after school. Was something wrong? Something couldn't possibly be wrong with Edward Cullen. He was too perfect. So much so, I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact he was mine. Still.
But really. If he were in… danger… well, he couldn't be, right? What could hurt a vampire? Many things, I shuddered. But they were all other vampires. Or werewolves. In which case, the last thing he would do would be to have me come. But what else could it be? This behavior was so strange and unlike him, it was unnerving.
I threw the truck into reverse and backed out across the icy parking lot carefully. Pulling onto the main road, I drove home alone for the first time in a long while. Parking in the driveway, I stepped out carefully and made my way to the front door. I was almost there when the front step attacked me. Without warning, I found myself on my rear, half-up the front steps. At least Edward wasn't around to laugh. I blushed anyway.
After carefully pulling myself to my feet, I managed to make it inside with only a few incidents, most involving faint bruising. Normally I hated the cold weather, and anything else that was cold for that matter, but after spending time with a vampire… it kind of changed my perspective. Now the dislike was limited to snow, ice, and other such things that hurt me. Not firm, marble, sculpted, muscular chests and… I needed to stop. Now. Too bad I was inside – some cold air would've done me some good.
I kicked off my snow-laden shoes, and carefully climbed the stairs. I toweled off my hair, damp from the fallen snow, and changed into a warm pair of sweatpants and a long sleeved shirt. Plopping down on the edge of my bed – the place where Edward had laid beside me last night – I contemplated my options.
They were easy enough, I had two: go, or don't go. The consequences of each were a bit more complicated, however. If I went, Lord knew what was in store for me. Edward was planning something. If I didn't go, I might hurt his feelings, miss something important, or even offend another member of his family. That, and I didn't want to be away from him. Although the fact that I didn't have to be under constant vampire supervision anymore for the first time in eighteen months – no more psychopathic vampires wanting me dead at the moment, it seemed - was amazingly freeing, I still didn't like being away from Edward.
Or, on the other hand, perhaps he wrote the note knowing I wouldn't go, so that I would stay and he could have his surprise here! Uhg. Reverse psychology hurt my head. I flopped over onto the bed and just stayed there, breathing slowly. The empty house creaked, and made my decision for me: I certainly didn't want to stay home by myself. I'd grown accustomed to having a vampire sweetheart lurking around the corner, guarding me, protecting me, and holding me while no one was looking. It was weird to actually be alone. Edward had long-since proven he would never leave me again, but I couldn't help it. When he was away and I was alone, I could feel that ghost of a hole rippling in my chest gently. It wasn't with the same terror as it had been right after he'd returned. That had been true fear that he would disappear again. This was just a quiet reminder: my heart's way of saying, 'Hey, don't forget.' It didn't hurt, but it did make my stomach turn at the thought. Edward wasn't going anywhere. We were getting married, for crying out loud. I still couldn't believe that. Charlie had taken it well… Renee… not so much. But she loved me, and somehow gave me her blessings. Another creak from the house startled me from my quiet lamentations.
I sprang up from the bed and grabbed my sweatshirt, tugged it on, and jogged back down the stairs. Grabbing my keys and my wallet, I stepped into a pair of dry sneakers, and carefully made my way outside towards my truck. Again, the step attacked me. And, again, down I went. I was beginning to wonder if stairs were more a threat to me than the average red-eyed vampire. Climbing carefully to my feet, I teetered to the truck and latched on, dragging myself to the door. Climbing inside, my only treat was that the cab was still warm.
Again, I deliberated. I could still decide not to go. However, every time I thought about not going, Alice probably flipped out and told a disappointed Edward I wasn't coming. Then three seconds later, she would be telling him I'd changed my mind. Poor Edward. Who knew. Maybe I could worm some hot chocolate out of this. Hot chocolate was always nice.
I backed carefully out of the driveway and started to pick my way along the road, heading towards the Cullens' home. I wasn't even sure I could find it again. I could always use that as an excuse, but Alice would know, and because of that, so would Edward. I just couldn't win against them. Stupid, cheating vampires. Stupid, pathetic human…
I really didn't deserve him. He was too perfect. Why was I chosen to have such a gift? And why couldn't he see what a gift he was to me? He was incredible. And he was going to make me his. The thought gave me a soft shiver and a blush.
I suddenly found my thoughts interrupted as my truck turned off the road, and onto the dirt road that led to the Cullens'. Naturally, when I didn't want to find the place, it was easy. Nervously, I drove slowly toward the white house and then put the truck into park. Shutting it off, I thought I saw a dash of blonde hair in one of the windows, but by the time I'd focused on it, it was gone.
A bit dazed, I reached for my door handle only to find it missing. Not only was the door handle missing, but the whole door was! I turned my head so quickly to look in that direction that I got a little dizzy. There, holding the door open for me and grinning was Edward. I smiled weakly at him, and started to descend from the truck. Stopping me, he offered the crook of his arm.
I suddenly felt very self conscious and flattered, as I always did, when he pulled his turn-of-the-century moves on me. Shyly snaking my arm around his, I allowed him to help me down from the truck and lead me towards the house. My heart was racing, and I could tell by the breathtaking crooked little smile that he was enjoying it. If only I could be the mind reader for once. At least he couldn't read mine. Not that there was anything to read – it was jumbled with incoherent thought at the moment.
He opened the door, and led us both inside. I sighed physically as the warmth wrapped around me and chased the cold air away. Smiling softly, I tested a soft glance in his direction. Crap. He was staring down at me with those beautiful eyes. I was hypnotized.
I was warm. Too warm. Burning, I was burning. But I couldn't look away from Edward… why was I burning?! My chest was on fire! It wasn't until he turned his head away that I was able to gasp for air. Instantly, the burning sensation subsided. Shaking my head, trying to rid myself of the dizziness, I glanced towards my destiny. His ocher eyes were fixed on a slender blonde beauty leaning against the doorway. Ah, Rosalie. She could rival any female creature to ever grace the Earth. Even though we'd made some ground between us – Rosalie had never liked me from the beginning, and now we were… on civil terms, at least – I still felt very insignificant around her. After all, I never could shake the fact that Rosalie had been intended to be Edward's.
I permitted myself once glance in her direction. One. I noticed she wasn't glaring at me; her face was almost… smug. Was I missing something? I also noticed she was dressed in very thin sweatpants; the stretchy, curve-accenting kind. The kind I could never look good in. She had a fitted, knit cap-sleeved v-neck shirt on. I should know better, I really should, and yet it still caught me by surprise to see them dressed so lightly in such bitter cold weather. Really though, the temperature only affected me. I vaguely noticed she had sneakers on, but didn't think much of it – until I saw what Edward was wearing.
When Edward's eyes were locked on me, I really couldn't look anywhere else, and so it was rather normal for me to belatedly and sluggishly – much to Emmett's amusement – realize trivial facts. Like the fact that Edward was in similar pants and a thin, long-sleeved shirt. He was unusually dressed in running shoes as well. I nibbled on my bottom lip.
"Bella." The angel finally spoke to me. I smiled sheepishly in his direction, blushing. "Did you get my note?" I could only nod. Stars, he was gorgeous. His crooked smile lit up his face, and I nearly melted. "Good." He had an almost wicked look on his face, and I suddenly grew nervous.
"What…what was the note all about, Edward? Everything's alright, isn't it?" He just watched me for a moment, as if debating how to answer. Slowly, he spoke in a low, velvet purr.
"Everything's… perfect." I felt my hair stand on end, my heart flutter in my chest, and my cheeks rush a shade closer to crimson. I think I even heard Rosalie snigger. I was definitely missing something. Something big.
As if on cue, Alice danced into the room. Grabbing my shoulders gently, she leaned down and pecked each of my cheeks in a very French-like style. Dazed, I just smiled at her.
"Hi Bella!" I blinked, and slowly looked over her lithe frame. I think I twitched; a smirk was forming on her lips. Alice's thin frame was draped in similar clothing to Edward and Rosalie. Sweatpants and a long sleeved shirt. And sneakers. My eyes darted to a very suspicious looking duffle bag in her hand. I felt the color wash from my face.
"Bella looks good in that shade." I only subconsciously registered Emmett's casual banter in the background, rebuked by a growl from Edward - he still didn't like the idea, but he'd given up fighting me about it – because I was too busy looking at the duffle. It was the same duffle Alice had given me to put clothing and towels in when I had led Edward to the hot spring I'd found hidden behind my house. That had been quite a while ago, but it left an impression on me. I glanced up to her face through narrowed eyes – I was sure suspicion was written all over my face, for she only smiled back innocently. Whatever was going on, it probably had something to do with that. I swallowed nervously, and then slowly turned to look at Emmett.
He was wrestling halfheartedly with Edward. I'd seen them go at it before and really mean it – that had been terrifying – and right now, they were just trading punches like juvenile boys. I felt sick. Emmett was wearing the same sort of sweatpants and shirt that everyone else wore. Uneasily, I sank down into a chair.
Instantly, I felt a cold pair of hands on my knees. Opening my eyes, I found my worried angel kneeling in front of me, his face a breath away from mine. His troubled golden eyes were heavy with worry as he stared up into my own.
"Bella?" His voice was soft, just a whisper, and the scent that blew from his breath made me feel a little better. "Are you alright?" My eyes draped closed, and I felt his cold hands come up to cradle my face, each of his thumbs brushing over my cheeks. I nodded weakly.
I felt warmer and more relaxed after a moment near Edward, and slowly opened my eyes to stare at him. No words were passed between us, but despite Edward being unable to read my mind, I believe we shared a moment of intimate communication. The same sort of moment that Alice and Jasper had had on occasion. I knew, in that moment, that nothing bad would ever happen to me. Whatever was about to happen was not going to embarrass me, it was intended for my amusement. I smiled weakly. I was sure he had learned all of my uncertainties in that gaze we shared. He leaned in, and gently brushed his lips over mine before standing back up. I blinked in surprised.
No wonder I was calmer: Jasper had come into the room. For the first time, I wasn't surprised to see him in the same sort of clothing. I was expecting it at this point. What I was surprised to see was that Esme and Carlisle were standing side by side in normal clothing. Apparently, they weren't going with us. I smiled shyly to them, and Carlisle smiled back kindly. Esme was busy scolding Emmett for throwing a chair.
Edward held out his hand to me. "Shall we go?"
I gulped and took his hand, allowing him to lead me to where Rosalie, Alice, Jasper and Emmett were walking out the door. I followed along behind them, taking the steps gingerly. I did not want to fall in front of all of them. Luck was with me, and I made it down the stairs alive. Glancing up from the ground, my heart stilled.
Edward, Emmett and Alice had all turned to look at me – apparently they had heard my lack of heartbeat. Edward's crooked smile was lighting up his face, Alice and Emmett just looked confused.
They weren't walking toward the cars. They were walking toward the woods.
Did they want me to die? I couldn't go hiking like this! I hated hiking! This wasn't supposed to embarrass me! I just stared at Edward, and I could tell by the way his head was cocked to the side he was waiting for me to say something. But I couldn't.
"Breathe, Bella." It was Jasper that had spoken, and Edward only chuckled. I gasped for air, realized I had been, in fact, holding my breath.
"W-where are we going?" My voice was a raspy whisper, and I was staring at Edward, daring him to tell me we were hiking. Daring him. He knew I wouldn't like it. He wouldn't dare say it.
"Hiking," he said simply, smirking. He turned and started walking towards the forest, tugging me along behind him.
"She's not breathing again," Emmett pointed out casually, as if he were commenting on the weather.
"She'll be fine." Alice was always so confident. I wanted to kick her. But that would hurt. If punching a fleshy werewolf were any indication of strength, then kicking a stone-like vampire was probably not a good idea. I just shuffled behind them mutely. This was ridiculous. Were they insane?
"Are you sure?" I heard Emmett chuckle and saw him nudge Jasper. Jasper looked at Emmett, as if thinking about punching him or not. He then glanced over his shoulder at me, and thought better of it. Within a minute, I was feeling more relaxed.
"…thanks," I managed to mumble while exhaling. Jasper chuckled. Rosalie was bobbing along gracefully next to Emmett. She hadn't said anything to me the whole time. I supposed that was better than Rosalie saying bad, mean, nasty things to me. She seemed at ease – perhaps that was Jasper's doing – and so I was more at ease around her.
I was glaring at the back of Edward's beautiful head as we turned into the forest. The Cullens made their way through the undergrowth easily. I tripped countless times. "Will you tell me where we're going, yet?" The back of Edward's head chuckled, and I heard Emmett snigger. I was definitely missing something important.
"Not yet." His voice was quiet and hushed. I grumbled and trudged along behind him quietly.
"Even if I say I won't go any further unless you do?" Edward stopped walking, and turned to face me, that addictive half-smile cocked across his lips.
"And what, little Bella, makes you think I won't just drag you?" A thought occurred to me. If I didn't walk… he'd have to carry me. Then I wouldn't be trucking through the snow to go some place. The idea seemed quite promising, and immediately I plopped down in the snow. Alice and Rosalie stopped walking, and turned to look at me. Edward was just staring.
He was thinking something and turned to look at Emmett. Emmett was thinking something to Edward, and Edward slowly smiled and nodded. I had a sinking feeling this wasn't going to go the way I had wanted to. I quickly assessed that I was right.
Before I knew what had happened, Emmett had rushed in front of me and the next thing I realized was he had slung me over his shoulder and I was dangling down his back. I shrieked and squirmed, but naturally, his arm was like stone around my waist, holding me like that. I pounded my fists on his back, fighting to get free. He only laughed a deep, rumbling chuckle that physically reverberated throughout me. Shaking my head, I tried to clear my hair that was falling in my face as I hung upside down.
Stupid vampires. Edward glided beside Emmett a few paces behind so that he was next to me. Stupid. Stupid. His angelic smile gleamed upon my glaring face. His slender hands were laced in front of him properly, shoulders erect as he walked lazily through the forest.
"Comfortable?" His voice purred to me after a moment of Emmett hauling me over trees. I just shot Edward a glare. On the upside, at least I wasn't walking. The terrain had turned unforgiving to clumsy human feet. I had discovered that watching Edward left me dazzled and unable to glare effectively. Studying the ground was much more conducive to pouting. There were tree roots everywhere, and covered in snow and ice they would've been deathtraps to me. In general, when I could see them plainly, they would've killed me.
Snow occasionally dropped from the branches. If I hadn't been slung over Emmett's broad shoulder like a sack of potatoes with my vampire sweetheart playing innocent at my side, it might've been pretty.
I also noticed that they were moving faster. It wasn't the run that Edward took and left me breathless, but it was certainly faster than they would ever go if I were walking, even along a flat, straight surface.
I felt Emmett stop. Edward kept walking past Emmett and I. I was unable to turn to see where he went, but I felt like he walked to the front of the party. Emmett was moving again, and then stopped next to Edward. Alice, Jasper and Rosalie were all standing behind us now with unreadable expressions.
Emmett's large hands closed gently on either side of my waist. Lifting me up, I found myself facing forward and back on my feet in front of him, next to Edward.
I rubbed my eyes. It was gorgeous, and not at all unlike what I had done for him over a year ago. I couldn't stop myself from grinning.
"It's gorgeous…" I stepped away from them and walked forward, walking to the edge of a large, glassy lake. Snow was dusting the top of it, and the view was amazing. The sun reflected off hints of the frozen surface from under the snow, making it sparkle like the vampires behind me. The trees around the lake were all covered in the snow and a few flakes drifted down gently.
It looked as though it had come from a winter storybook. I was so absorbed with the spectacular view that I didn't consciously register the shuffling that was going on behind me.
"Here." I heard Edward's velvet purr in my ear, and I turned to look at him. He was standing behind me, and pressing something into my side. Automatically, I took it without looking to see what his gift was. His eyes were far too interesting. Warm. Ocher… "Bella?" I blinked.
"Yes?" Had I done something stupid?
"You were staring." Yes, yes I had.
"Well, you were dazzling, so you can't blame me." He seemed to ignore me.
"You should put your skates on." Skates? What the heck was he talking about? Without another word, he turned and walked away from me. A bit dazed, I noticed Alice and Jasper step out onto the lake, hand in hand. Instantly, they started gliding around. I noticed the bladed white boots on their feet, and quickly looked to Emmett and Rosalie. The duffle bag was open next to them, and she was finishing the lacings on her last boot. They rose, and made their way out onto the ice in a similar fashion, gliding with unearthly beauty. I gulped.
Slowly, I looked down to the heavy Something in my hand.
It was the knotted shoelaces of a pair of skates. The skates dangled from my hand; I only held the place where the laces were knotted together. Edward had finished with his by now, and was watching me expectantly. Was he crazy?
"You… don't really expect me to go out there, do you?" I think he could tell I was nervous: his expression softened from amusement to concern. I continued, "I mean, you know I can't dance or walk straight on flat, level ground… what makes you think I can keep my balance on a very slippery surface wearing something I've never worn before?"
His hands closed around my waist, and I found myself sitting in the snow, Edward unlacing my sneakers and easing my foot into one of the skates.
"Edward, no! I can't do this! I really can't!" Not only couldn't I, I would make a complete fool of myself in front of everyone. He raised his gentle eyes to mine, and finished with the first boot he leaned towards me.
His lips brushed over mine softly. It always amazed me how such cold lips could warm me as they did. It was like fire. Fire on my lips with complimentary bubbles of fire warming my insides.
His hands worked on the second shoe, and before I realized it, he was pulling me to my feet, his lips still on mine. Edward's lips left mine just long enough for him to whisper into my ear.
"You'll be fine. Please, Bella, trust me." I could only nod, he sounded so pleading. Wrapping his arms around me, he carried me out onto the ice and set me down on the blades.
I swear, I was going to break ankle. I knew it. My ankles wobbled on the metal blades, but Edward held me up dutifully. He faced me, letting himself glide backward out onto the ice, pulling me forward slowly. His hands were firm around my waist, not about to let me fall.
Maybe this wouldn't be so bad, after all.
My ankle slipped and I started to fall. I thrust my arm to catch myself on the cold, hard surface, but it was an unnecessary gesture. Instead, I was captured against a different – and much more appreciated, I had to admit – cold, hard surface. Edward was cradling me against his chest. We continued to move in the same direction; his skates moving backwards while mine moved forward, little human clinging to his chest.
I permitted myself one peek around his strong body. My jaw dropped.
Rosalie and Emmett were a beautiful skating duo, like one of those Olympic routines that are on TV every four years. They were amazing. I think they were showing off to me because they moved slowly enough for me to see. Jasper and Alice, however, were moving much faster. I could hardly see them, but I didn't doubt they were any less graceful or beautiful.
And then there was Edward. Poor Edward, stuck having to hold the stupid, weak, slow human up. My throat tightened, and I felt tears burn in the corners of my eyes. Why did I have to be so incompetent? I wouldn't be for long. Quickly, I wiped the tears away, though not quickly enough.
"You're crying?" My angel's voice was incredulous, and he quickly pulled himself away from me just far enough so he could lower his gorgeous face to my level. It made me want to cry even more. They were all so perfect. Something I could never be. They had all been beautiful in their human lives. Even when I was like them, I could never be… never be…
"S'not fair…" He gave me a perplexed look, his eyes wide with concern. He looked so alarmed and frustrated. His lips parted to ask the common question, 'What are you thinking?' but he closed them again wordlessly. I felt terrible hurting him like this, acting sad and crying. I was so stupid. He kissed my eyelids anyway and the cold felt nice against my hot skin.
"What's not? Bella? What's wrong?" His breath was so nice, so enticing. I couldn't help but be calmed by it. I was grateful at least that the others seemed so absorbed in each other and they weren't watching my pathetic human antics any longer.
I could only point to the other four in answer, trembling softly. Edward glanced in their direction, and then looked back to me, understanding dawning on his perfect features. "Oh Bella. Silly Bella." He let out a soft laugh, and pulled me against him in a gentle hug. His fingertips brushed down my back, playing with my hair. I felt his face turn, and his cold lips were at my ear again. "Would you like to go someplace more private?"
I hadn't even answered when he pulled away and started gliding across the large, crystallized lake, tugging me gently behind him. I was surprised at how all I had to do was focus on keeping my center of gravity over the skates and I could move in a straight line – as long as he was pulling me.
I watched the shore of the lake move by us as we glided. Before too long, Rosalie and Emmett, Alice and Jasper were all out of sight. Edward slowed to a stop, and then pivoted on one heel to face me. He smiled and leaned in.
I was ready for him this time. Releasing his hands, I threw my arms around his neck and brought my lips to his this time. Again, his frozen lips sent fire hot enough to melt my insides ripping through me. I could feel his hands running from my hips up to my waist.
A soft, hungry-sounding noise came from the back of his throat. I knew that sound, and it wasn't one I knew I needed to fear. Instead, it inspired one from me as well. I didn't think our faces could be any closer, but somehow his hands hitched our bodies closer.
I could feel every aspect of him, ever part of him pressed into me. Mr. Proper and Refined Vampire was crossing some of his own lines. My fingers traced up into his hair and played along his scalp gently. He released another soft noise.
I could feel him testing himself. His tongue was brushing over my bottom lip, and I willingly obliged him. The snow falling around us felt hot on my skin. Perhaps my skin was just hot, livid with an irrational blush. The poor flakes didn't stand a chance – simmering to water and steam almost instantly.
I could feel his movements. His legs moved on either side of mine. We were gliding; skating. I could feel the wind brushing through my hair from the movement.
I heard him make a soft noise and felt his arms relax. Within a second, he pulled back from the kiss completely. I opened my heavy eyelids slightly to study him. Edward was watching me with a ravenous look. Once again, it was the sort of ravenous that made a woman's stomach turn and flutter, her heart skip a beat – not the sort that sent a human running from a vampire. As odd as it sounded – and I doubted that over a year ago Edward would ever be agreeing with me – I was safer with him than anywhere else.
"What?" I looked to him faintly, still completely overwhelmed from the kiss. Our gliding had slowed.
"Breathe, Bella. You're holding your breath." Instantly, I felt a rush of air leave my lungs, and a sharp gasp of cold, winter air rush in to take its place. I stood in his arms, panting softly.
"Better?" He kissed my cheek softly, then my nose, then traced my jaw line with delicate butterfly kisses.
"Mmhmm." I purred my assent. My fingers were still playing with his hair absentmindedly. I felt his hands on my hips, and gently he moved me out to arms-length away. Without warning, he spun me around.
Instantly I thrust my arms out for balance, but his hands were on my hips, holding me upright.
"Are you ready?" Was I ready? Ready for what? "I'm going to teach you to skate, Bella." Oh. Oh crap. No, no I wasn't ready! I'd never be ready for something requiring this much coordination! Before I could protest, he was nudging me forward, gliding a safe, arms-length distance behind me.
"Did you ever rollerblade when you were young, Bella?" Had I? Once. I'd run into a tree, and Renee decided it had been a really bad idea.
"Briefly…" Please, please don't ask questions.
"Do you remember how you moved? How you used your hips-" I gulped; his fingers were tracing gentle patterns along my hips as he spoke of them. Like that wasn't distracting… "-to move forward?" To emphasize, he pushed one of my hips forward, and almost instantly I remembered. I was able to move the other one and fall into the push-glide, push-glide motions that were like clockwork. It really was like riding a bike – never forgotten.
I heard him chuckle in my ear at my stellar progress.
Slowly, I felt his hands slip from their protective, stabilizing hold on my hips as I moved myself forward. They were tentative steps, I wasn't sure I could keep my balance. I seemed to be doing alright with my arms held out to my sides, gliding forward slowly. Gently, I'd nudge myself forward, Edward right behind me like a guardian angel, ready to catch me if I fell.
I'm pleased to say I only slipped twice – it was actually easier on ice. I think it was because it was so flat, there was nothing to trip over. As long as I moved in a straight line, and really focused about not tripping over my own feet, I did really well. The turns were much harder; Edward moved in front of me and did a really cool turn so he was facing me and skating backwards in one fluid motion. I wished I could glide like that.
His hands took mine as he tugged me around in a large circle, gradually speeding up. The wind tousled my hair, and I couldn't help but giggle. He released my hands and let me slide forward.
For a brief moment, I, too, was a weightless angel. Edward was behind me again. His cold hands found my wrists, and he held my arms out to the side, his chest pressed into my back. I couldn't help it.
It was a wonderful feeling – we were flying, really flying. Closing my eyes, I let the wind rush past me, Edward's cold body behind me.
Without warning, his hands had dropped to my hips and toyed gently at the sides of my pants. I could feel his cold lips on my neck, and I just sighed. I really was flying, emotionally and physically. His unerring hands were able to guide my turns so I wouldn't fall, his hips moving magnificently beneath mine to help me steer. I couldn't help but let my mind wander to more provocative thoughts.
Without warning, I turned a flaming crimson. Once again, I found myself grateful I was the mysterious little quirk to his gift.
My breath was growing more ragged as his hands teased little designs onto my hips, stomach and ribcage through my clothing, holding me tight against his chest as we moved as one unit across the ice.
"You smell delicious…" I giggled softly as he murmured into my ear, feeling the double entendre beneath his husky words. It made my heart flutter, and he let out a low purr-like sound in response before his lips continued their assault upon me.
Little butterfly kisses littered my neck and collarbone over my shoulder, and then crept up to my jaw. I gasped softly when he nipped playfully at my earlobe. He'd never actually bitten me before, although I don't think it counted as biting. He'd nipped at me through his own lips. I don't think Edward would ever let his razor teeth near my skin. Until... well. I do believe he still managed to surprise himself; as the motion was involuntary. As involuntary and instinctive as the motion to protect me from his teeth with his own lips. I think he amazed himself too, for he paused right after, as if in fear and realization of what he'd just done. Then, it was like he understood that the little nip was not out of a vampire's hunting instinct, but out of a human man's coupled with a vampire's instinct to protect: two very different instincts, but both primal in nature. I purred softly as he returned to smoldering my neck carefully.
His lips traced a slow pattern along my jaw. Instinctively, I turned my head towards him, a quiet whimper coming unchecked from my throat. He knew what I wanted. But Edward Cullen wasn't about to give it up so easily. His lips landed butterfly kisses on my yearning lips. Painfully slowly, he dropped another on my nose, and then one on my forehead before capturing my lips with his in a much more possessive manner. His arms had snaked around my body, holding my back tightly against his torso, our bodies still gliding across the ice. I was now his prisoner.
I can't say I minded. This little 'hike' had turned out better than I had originally envisioned. My lips were on fire, and I could feel myself forgetting to breathe again. Soon, Edward would cave to my human needs, and break the kiss before it killed me.
I hadn't been expecting Edward's break to be so cold, however. Without warning, we were both sent sliding across the ice. I was sprawled across Edward indecently and Edward was sitting on his rump, looking just as confused as I was. We were both covered in snow.
"What happened?" Before Edward could answer me, Emmett's laughed roared from the bank not too far away. The other four had coalesced on the bank. Emmett was forming another giant snowball in his hands, but struggling with the process because he was shaking with laughter.
I heard Edward growl gently, and he picked me up and gently set me on the ice before shooting across the ice to catch Emmett before he'd formed his second round of ammunition. Edward crashed into his brother, and the noise rocked the clearing. Alice and Rosalie didn't look phased, but I winced as the sound echoed in my eardrums.
When I glanced up, there was nothing left to be seen of Emmett and Edward. At least not for my eyes. There was nothing left but a ball – perhaps about six feet in diameter – of blowing snow, whirling around. I knew Emmett and Edward were wrestling somewhere in the center, but I could see no more. Rosalie was laughing in a beautiful, majestic sort of way and cheering Emmett on. Alice and Jasper were completely oblivious to anything going on, lost in each others' eyes.
I tried to stand up, and promptly came crashing back down onto the ice. Crap. Without Edward to help me, I was going to be stuck here. My knees stung a bit from the impact, but determinedly, I pushed back up and tried to stable myself.
Again, I crashed back down. There were going to be some nasty bruises on my knees when I finally made it to the snow-covered shoreline. Once more. I managed to make to my feet. I could feel my feet slipping out from underneath me. I thrust out my arms to keep my balance, but it was too late. I felt myself falling, and closed my eyes, bracing for the cold, hard impact.
Instead of feeling the pain in my knees, I felt it in my forearms. I glanced up, and Alice was standing beside me, a soft smile on her features. There were bits of snow stuck to her ebony spikes, and gingerly she helped me back onto my feet and guided me to the shore. By the time I fell into the cold snow, grateful for the traction, Edward was sitting on Emmett, rubbing his face in the snow.
Only far, far too late did I catch the unusually playful look on Rosalie's face before her snowball crashed into me and sent me sprawling into the snow bank. I sat up slowly, a bit dazed, and found Edward kneeling at my side, brushing the snow from my clothes and hair. Rosalie was helping Emmett up now that she had freed him from Edward's clutches by attacking the hapless human.
Edward kissed my lips softly, and then smiled, a sparkle in his eyes. That sparkle faded quickly without a warning.
"Bella? Oh, Bella, let's take you home." He sounded worried… why was he worried? "You're shaking."
Oh. I was. I was shivering violently. I guess I was a little cold. Before I could protest, he had lifted me into his stone-like arms.
"Close your eyes." I didn't need to close my eyes anymore. I'd grown used to the shock of moving faster than my mind could process. Within a heartbeat, we were flying through the words, the snow-covered branches moving past us as if we were in a vehicle on the highway. It felt like a half-second, but I think it was closer to a few minutes, before we were back at his home.
He opened the door and dropped me down onto the sofa before the large fireplace. For the first time to my knowledge, it had been lit. Carlisle was bringing in some logs to add to it, and dropped a blanket into my lap. Apparently, they had been expecting a Bella-sicle to return.
Gratefully, I snuggled into the blanket, murmuring my thanks to Carlisle as Edward came to sit beside me. His arms curled around me, and pulled me into his lap. We sat before the fire for a short time before Esme entered into the room. Edward chuckled into my hair softly.
"What is it?" I turned to look up into his warm, ocher eyes and instantly lost myself. For a minute, I forgot Esme has walked into the room. It wasn't until she spoke that I remembered she was there.
"Bella dear, would you like some hot chocolate?" Edward chuckled as my eyes lit up at Esme's innocent question. My head swiveled to look at her, and she was already bent over us, holding out a mug of steaming hot chocolatey goodness.
"Yes, please," was all I could mutter before I took it gratefully and put the warm liquid to my lips. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught Edward watching me with amusement as I took a long, warm drink of the thick liquid. I felt it sear down my throat and with a sigh of warming content, I snuggled back into Edward's arms as he fixed the blanket around me. "Thank you," I said to Esme as she walked away, leaving us alone.
Edward's fingers petted my back gently, tracing intricate designs through the blanket. I snuggled up next to him even closer, clutching the warm porcelain to my chest.
He kissed my cheek softly, and then my chin. I tilted my head up, and without further ado, his lips quickly found mine. As warm as the hot chocolate was, I really did enjoy Edward's lips more. Edward was my hot chocolate. I could live off of him for eternity.
I liked that idea.
Hot chocolate Edward. For forever.
The idea was more than appealing.
Edward released my lips and my head rested against his chest once more, tucked beneath his chin. His fingers resumed tracing the patterns along my back and sides as I felt sleep begin to creep over me.
My eyelids grew heavy, and the last thing I remembered was Edward pressing his lips to my hair and whispering, "I love you." Then, I was lost to the conscious world, and knew only my dreams of Edward and hot chocolate.