"Alright, is everyone here?" Alice asked us, bursting with excitement.
"Yes. Now will you please tell us what you're planning?" Edward grumbled.
I looked up at him questioningly from where I sat on his couch. "What was she doing to keep you out?"
"First she was translating The Twelve Days of Christmas into German, and then got bored and started humming all of Beethoven's works." He murmured in my ear, his sweet breath tickling.
"Well that would do it." I whispered back.
"Okay. We're going…" Alice paused for a dramatic effect. "Rollerblading!"
"Yeah!" Emmet shouted excitedly giving Jasper a high five.
"Fun!" Rosalie exclaimed, surprising me.
Carlisle and Esme smiled happily at each other.
"Umm…" I mumbled worriedly, looking at Edward. I remembered the last time I went rollerblading and winced. My clumsiness would not be helping me stay upright today.
"Maybe Bella and I should stay back…" Edward began, looking rather nervous at the idea of having wheels underneath my already unstable feet.
"No way! It wouldn't be a family if you two didn't come. You both have to go." Alice insisted, already moving towards the door with the rest of the Cullens.
My heart quickened for a few moments at her words. Family. I couldn't wait to be part of Edward's family. Well, the marriage part I could do without. Being part of his vampire family was what I was really excited about. But Edward was still being stubborn about changing me into a vampire. He thought he would be taking away my soul and damning me for eternity. I on the other hand preferred to think of it as a chance to be with my love forever.
At the moment though, there was something else I had to worry about. Rollerblading. I threw Edward a desperate look. "We'll make a getaway once we're in the car." he murmured in my ear and I smiled.
Alice froze for a few moments. Jasper was instantly at her side. "Alice?" he asked anxiously. "What's wrong? What did you see?"
She turned to us and asked angrily, "Bella, why do I see you running away with Edward and skipping the party I have planned?"
"A party?" I exclaimed, horrified. "I thought we were just going rollerblading!" I shuddered. Rollerblading.
Alice waved her hand dismissively. "Oh whatever, Bella. Party, rollerblading, same thing."
"Right. They're both awful." I grumbled, not intending for her to hear me. But, of course, with her heightened vampire senses, she did.
Alice frowned. "Bella," she scolded, shaking her head. "It won't be that bad." I crossed my arms over my chest and shook my head stubbornly. Although, I knew that if she really wanted me to go, it would be pretty easy for her to pick me up and bring me there.
Alice sighed. Realizing that she wouldn't be able to persuade me to go using reasoning, she changed her tactics.
"Bella?" she asked in a completely miserable voice, suddenly in front of me. She was wearing a heartbreaking expression, her eyebrows slanted up sadly.
"Yes?" I asked, automatically reaching out, attempting to soothe her.
"Please?" she begged. "Please come to my skating party?" Her eyes were big and miserable. I was sure that if she were human that she would be crying.
I frowned at her. "Alice…" I groaned. The corners of her lips trembled. How could I disappoint such a face? I sighed. Stupid vampires and their sad, persuasive faces. "Fine."
"Yay!" she squealed, wrapping her cold arms around me in a quick hug. "Thank you Bella!" Alice sang, skipping over to Jasper and pulling him outside.
"That was nice of you." Edward murmured, wrapping a stone-like arm around my waist and pulling me closer as we walked out to his silver Volvo.
"Might as well let Alice have her fun. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to stand up without falling on my face." I said jokingly. Edward didn't seem to think of it as a joke.
"I'll hold your hand." he promised, still looking worried, as he opened the door for me. Esme and Carlisle climbed into the back and Edward got in the driver's seat. We started driving and I glanced anxiously at the speedometer. We were going 85 mph. In a 40 mph zone.
"Edward," I sighed. "Do you think you could slow down a bit?"
He looked at me with one eyebrow raised just as we turned a sharp corner. I gripped the seat nervously.
"And is it really necessary for you to look away from the road at the exact second we turn?" I asked with a hint of panic in my voice. His driving was really quite nerve wrecking. Carlisle chuckled quietly from the backseat.
"Honestly, Bella, of all the things to worry about, you choose how fast I drive." he said exasperatedly as the needle passed 90.
"You really do drive rather fast." I pointed out. A smile played at the corners of his lips. "Please slow down," I begged. "Just a bit." Edward sighed, but slowed down so we were going 75 mph.
"Better?" he asked, irritation leaking into his voice.
I frowned. "Much." Edward laughed quietly and reached over to wrap his cool hand around my considerably warmer one. He pulled our entwined fingers to his lips and kissed my hand, leaving it pressed against the side of his face as he drove.
We arrived at the skating rink in about half an hour, thanks to Edward's insane driving. He parked and came around to open my door for me. I hesitated, not really wanting to get out.
Edward waited with the door open for a few moments. "We'll meet you there." he told Esme and Carlisle, who were waiting by the car. "Are you coming?" he asked me once they began to walk away.
"Umm…Maybe?" I squeaked, glancing at the building.
"Yes, Edward, maybe. You see…" I trailed off and motioned for him to come closer. Edward squatted next to me. "I'm kind of…well…" I bit my lip and started to blush.
"Yes, love?" Edward asked curiously.
"I'm not the best...and the last time I went, well – the thing is I'm slightly…"
"Traumatized." I leaned over and whispered in his ear.
A grin burst out on his face. "Traumatized?" he asked, fighting breaking out into laughter.
I flushed. "The last time I went rollerblading, I fractured my wrist and-" I broke off embarrassedly. "I broke my friend's nose." I whispered hurriedly.
Edward's eyebrows flew up and disappeared in his bronze hair. "You broke your friend's nose," he said incredulously. I nodded, mortified. "Bella…" he sighed.
Edward surprised me by leaning forward and planting a kiss on my forehead and the tip of my nose before putting a hand on my neck and pressing his icy lips to mine. After a few seconds he pulled away, much to my disappointment.
"You're amazingly adorable when you're embarrassed," he murmured, laying his forehead on mine. I blushed as I leaned away and elbowed him in the arm. "Now," Edward took my hand, ignoring my annoyance, and pulled me out of his car. "I feel obligated to show you that rollerblading is really not all that bad. To have you forget that rollerblading has traumatized you."
"To tamper with my memory?" I asked hopefully, thinking of the time he took me to our meadow to play baseball and the way he persuaded me to let him piggyback me as he ran at what I thought was a terrifying speed.
Edward was fully aware of what I was talking about. I expected him to glare and reprimand me in some way. What he did instead surprised me.
He chuckled. "Maybe, love, maybe…" Edward's beautiful golden eyes stared into mine, fully dazzling me.
"Are you two coming?" Alice asked, suddenly beside us. I jumped, startled.
"Alice! Don't sneak up on me like that." I exclaimed, putting a hand to my heart, which was fluttering madly, from both Edward's golden eyes and Alice's silent approach.
"Well are you?" she asked impatiently. "I want to start having fun. Let's go rollerblading!" She turned around and started walking – or dancing, as Alice's nimble gait could never be compared to the way normal humans walked – to the door where the rest of the Cullens were waiting.
"Rollerblading? Fun?" I grumbled under my breath as Edward and I followed her. "Those words should never be put together."