Stephenie Meyer is the genius behind Twilight!
(The entire story will be from Bella's POV)
I was looking forward to spring. Even here in the Northern Territories, spring meant new leaves, flowers, and warmer weather. We went to visit Charlie over the Christmas break again. It was our second Christmas with him. At least this time, he wasn't in the hospital. Charlie had to work everyday, but he came and spent Christmas Day with us at Carlisle's home. He was very impressed with Alice's fervor for decorating. He had never seen a Christmas tree that tall, or so many lights on a house. She never ceased to amaze him, or me. I was so happy to be with everyone I love. It was good to see Charlie feeling more and more comfortable around the Cullens. I think he's actually starting to enjoy their company.
Emmett is a constant source of laughter. At first sight, he appears intimidating, but when you get to know him, he's like a... teddy bear. I guess that kind of explains his diet preference. Rosalie is still more reserved than anything, but she smiles more and we've gone shopping a few times together. Jasper is opening up. He's more playful around me now. He's always looking for something to tease me about. Alice is my best friend, next to Edward of course. Edward... my sun, my moon, and all the stars put together. He has been by my side constantly, except when I run off with Alice. He has helped me hone my vampire skills. We go running, swimming, hiking, driving, and of course, hunting together.
Hunting has become almost common place for me in the last year. I guess there has been a stronger sense of thirst, but I've been able to quench it with animals. I remember my first anniversary because it's the day Jasper bought Emmett a brand new Jeep. Jasper had bet that my casualties rate would be rather high. I was proud to say it was nil. Thanks to my being an oddity as a vampire, and a human, for that matter. Edward is often thinking about how incredible it is that my life as a vampire seems so... easy. Well, that's not the word he uses, but he is constantly amazed at how well I've adapted, and accepted this . I have a theory about that: I was meant to be a part of his world. Like a bee to honey, like the earth orbits the sun, we were irrefutably drawn to each other. All my thoughts and desires are for him to be happy. And he feels exactly the same way. I suppose that's what makes it work. When giving one hundred percent, you receive the same in return.
Edward felt that we should maintain our secluded lifestyle for the first year, just in case. Of course, he couldn't argue with Alice and I when we would see a vision of a safe shopping trip. Those trips were growing in frequency, to his dismay. I always tried to make it worth his while, but it still made him sad when I was away from him. It made me sad too, but it made returning to him even more exciting. In fact, a routine has developed as our little shopping trips have become more regular. As soon as we return, Alice and Jasper leave the house to go hunting or to find their own private foxhole. Poor Jasper, the emotions that explode when Edward and I see each other after shopping with Alice drive him crazy. He's so sensitive. I'm actually glad he leaves, because when he stays in the house, everything I'm feeling gets magnified. It gets overwhelming sometimes. I can understand what he's going through.
Jasper and I have been working on the gift we share when he's around. We sometimes play little games with his power. We started placing bets on who can influence the others more. To make it interesting, we don't tell each other which feeling we're going to try to stir, we simply determine the prize. Then we unleash the feelings on the unsuspecting victim, and see who wins. Unfortunately, Emmett and Rosalie tend to be the victims most of the time. It never works on Alice. She sees it coming. It doesn't work on Edward either, he knows what we're thinking. Esme is just too sweet to play those kind of games on. Carlisle, well, he's the father figure, and we both don't want to mess with that. Okay, so I guess we almost always play the games on Emmett and Rosalie. At first, we tried to keep it subtle enough that they didn't even realize what was happening. But they've caught on and let us have it when they find out. Like the other day, we focused our attention on Emmett. He was standing next to his Jeep watching Rosalie work on it. We started to focus our attention on Emmett. I didn't know which feeling Jasper was going to use, but I used one of my favorites. As we watched, Emmett reached over and started moving his hand up Rosalie's leg. In a flash, he was on the ground, and the wrench that was in Rosalie's hand was flying in our direction. I grinned. Jasper was disappointed.
"I should have gone with lust" he said shaking his head. "Good one!"
"Enjoy washing my car, Jasper" I said as I skipped off to tell Edward the good news. I'm so glad Jasper has warmed up to me. He was so distant when I was still human. He still didn't trust himself. Although, I'll never forget some of the things he said to me. I was so skeptical about how Edward felt about me, and why he felt those things. Jasper gave me a spark of hope when he told me I was wrong, that I was worth it. A simple phrase from the one member of the family who almost attacked me on my seventeenth birthday. It has stuck with me. I'm glad we're friends now. All it took was for me to lose my life, which I freely gave.
"There you are. What have you been up to?" Edward asked while looking through some papers. In the blink of an eye he was next to me, his arms wrapped around me. I lay my head against his shoulder and told him about our latest prank. He laughed heartily then said, "If you ever want Rosalie to take you seriously, you'd better leave her out of your games."
"I know, it's just so much fun. I see why Emmett and Jasper have such a good time betting on things. It's addictive and fun, well, when you win." I let go of Edward to walk towards the desk where he had been reading. I picked up a brochure that was all about Dartmouth. I smiled, thinking about how excited Charlie was when I mentioned that we might transfer to Dartmouth. Edward came over and put one hand on my shoulder.
"So, are you ready to go to college?" his voice became serious. "I think you're ready. Both for school, and to be around... people again." He waited patiently as I considered what he was saying.
"Who will be going?" I asked, hoping he wouldn't read too much into my question. His face changed to show he didn't understand.
"Who do you think will be going?" he wondered.
I spoke quickly. "It just that, I've come to really love being around your whole family. I mean, you know if it's just you and me, of course I'd be happy, I just... was wondering... if Alice?" I saw his face relax. Then he started to grin.
"If I didn't know any better... I'd be jealous of my own sister." he pulled me into a tight embrace. His face became serious again. "Maybe we need to go somewhere to be alone so I can remind you of why you love me... best!" For a split second I was afraid he meant it.
"Edward, you know you are... my everything. All I need is you. You know that." I was part pleading, part waiting for him break his facade. His face looked serious for a few seconds, then his grin took over his mouth, and his eyes twinkled, and I relaxed knowing he was playing. I felt my body sink into his arms as I relaxed.
"Of course they're coming, they can't stand to be away from you!" he said beaming. If I could blush, I would have. Edward placed his hand on my cheek, thinking the same thing.
"Do you miss that about me?" I wondered.
His eyes looked distant for a second, then they almost glazed over as he said, "a little, but there are so many other things I've learned to appreciate about you." His mouth covered mine, and his hands pulled me tight to him. He could still manage to make my mind hazy.
"Okay, you win. Let's go somewhere alone before we go off to college." I was feeling drunk with his love.
"Nice try, Bella. I wouldn't want to take you away from everyone who adores you" he was teasing me.
I wanted to test something, see if it still worked. I looked down at the ground and looked sad. Then I said in my saddest, most pitiful voice, "Please Edward? Can we please go somewhere alone so I can spend time only with you?" He audibly inhaled, then slowly exhaled.
"Playing games with me now, are you?" he answered with tortured voice. He lifted my face to look at his, then bent within a centimeter of my lips and whispered "as you wish" before he planted his lips solidly against mine.