Christmas At The Cullen's
"Merry Christmas." I said as I wrapped my arms around Edward's neck. He had stayed with me last night, like he usually did. This time, however, I had stayed up long enough for the for the clock to chime midnight before kissing Edward one last time and closing my eyes. The morning brought snow and the sun that glinted off of it and into my window, causing Edward to sparkle beside me. "You better not have spent anything on me."
"Aww...Bella." He whined. "Just one car? It's more for me than you anyway." His beautiful, topaz eyes attempted to dazzle me.
I was having none of that, however. I buried my face in his neck. "You heard me, Edward. Not one cent." My lips brushed his bare skin. I had somehow convinced him to begin sleeping without a shirt on.
He shuddered beside me, a reaction to my lips against his flesh, as cool and white as the snow outside. I marveled for a second that I had made this beautiful, immortal vampire shudder with just my touch.
"I swear to you, Bella, that I didn't spend one cent on your present."
"Good." I kissed his neck and nipped his shoulder, the way I knew he liked it.
"Bella." He warned, his eyes full of hunger. I had begun to recognize the different types of hunger his eyes symbolized. This wasn't bloodlust, I noticed, but normal, everyday lust.
"Fine. I'll stop, but Charlie is going to come up here in about three minutes. That's the only reason why."
"And how do you know this, Miss Mind Reader?" He cocked an eyebrow at me.
"Because it is 8:57, and Charlie has woken me up at nine o'clock to open presents since I first got here."
"So Charlie's allowed to buy you things, but I'm not?"
"Exactly." I said, nodding my head.
"You're being difficult." He told me.
"But you love me for it." I pecked him on the lips. "See you in about an hour. I have gifts for you guys."
"You didn't have to do that." He said.
"Did Alice get me something?" I asked, knowing the answer.
"Yes." He said hesitantly.
"Okay, okay. Do you want me to pick you up?" He asked.
"Hmmm...spend a few extra minutes with you? Yes, please."
"All right. See you in an hour." He kissed me before disappearing.
I pretended to be asleep as Charlie opened the door and snuck inside. Used to eerily silent vampires, even his quietest movement seemed thunderously loud. He flung himself onto the foot of my bed.
"Wake up, Bells! It's Christmas!"
I smiled and sat up. "You sound like a five year old, Dad." He had woken me up the same way last year and the first year I had moved here. This would be the first year I went to the Cullen's house, though. Edward usually came over here with Alice to deliver presents.
Charlie waved a cup of hot chocolate under my nose. "Come downstairs!"
He left the room, and I chuckled. Edward's cell phone vibrated beside my hip. "Alice" was written under the identification tag. "Hello, Miss Psychic. What can I help you with?"
"Be careful going down the stairs. I saw you trip on the fourth one from the bottom."
"Thanks for the warning Alice. Merry Christmas."
"See you in an hour." She chirped.
I groaned and went for the robe Alice had gotten me last year. Made of beautiful blue silk, it felt heavenly against my skin.
Taking care, I managed to avoid tripping and made it to the living room in one piece. Charlie sat beside the tree with two presents in his lap. He threw one of them to me before tearing into the one I had gotten him.
"Wow, Bells! Thank you!" He exclaimed, holding up the new fishing rod I had gotten him for his inspections. His old rod had seen better days. Inside his pile from me was also a pair of new slippers and a new bathrobe.
I unwrapped the package he had thrown to me slowly. It was a pair of black leather gloves. "Oh, gosh, Dad! They're perfect." I told him.
"Edward suggested them. Asked me to tell you to wear them to his house so he could see them." Charlie said reluctantly.
I smiled. My stupid, brilliant, vampire boyfriend. Remembering my eighteenth birthday and the innocent paper cut that caused the darkest period of my life, I inspected the gloves. They were certainly Bella-proof. "Thanks, Dad. I will."
I ripped through a few more gifts. There was an emergency first-aid kit from Renee and Phil. Sitting under the tree was a squat, little gift. "Dad? What's that?" I asked. I hadn't seen it before.
"I got it from Jake when I went to the station this morning." Charlie looked guilty.
"So he's back in town then?" I asked as I picked it up.
"Apparently." He watched me out of the corner of his eye.
Inside the little gift was a t-shirt reading "vampires suck." It took me a second before I began laughing. Hysterical, I rolled off of the couch and onto the floor. Jake's present was more than a t-shirt. It was a peace offering.
"Bella? What's so funny?" He looked at the t-shirt.
"Nothing. It's an inside joke. Don't worry about it." I told him.
"Okay. What do you want for breakfast?"
"I'm not hungry. What do you want?" I asked.
"I made myself cereal this morning."
"You actually cooked?" I asked with a fake shocked expression.
"I can make cereal, Bells. Go get dressed. He'll probably be here soon."
"Probably." I said as I walked upstairs. There was no probably about it. He was already sitting on my bed.
"Hey. Thanks for telling Charlie about the gloves. They'll surely prevent any crisis situations." I said as I curled up in his arms.
"That's what I was counting on. Go get dressed. Alice is practically bouncing off the walls."
"When isn't she?" I asked as I grabbed a black miniskirt I didn't remember buying and my favorite red blouse. Walking out the door to my bedroom, I noticed the shower running in Charlie's and my shared bathroom.
I immediately went back into my bedroom. "Okay. I'm going to change in here." I pulled off my shirt, a blush forming on my cheeks.
"B-b-Bella? Why don't you change in the bathroom?"
"I thought you had super-hearing or something. Charlie in there. Unless you want to explain why I can't change in my bedroom..." I paused. "I can just see that! 'Charlie,'" I said, mimicking Edward, "'I need to ask you to get out of the shower so that your daughter doesn't have to change in front of me because I snuck into her bedroom through the window, like I've done every night for the last three years and plan on doing for eternity because I'm a vampire and plan on turning your daughter after she marries me in February.' That'd go over like Emmett in a china shop."
Edward laughed. "That was actually a good impression." I started to shimmy my pajama pants down my legs. "W-what are you doing?"
"Edward. Love. We've already covered this. I'm changing." I pulled the blouse and skirt on. I looked over at my favorite vampire. "Are you okay, Edward? Did you have a heart attack?"
He was at my side in an instant. "I can't have a heart attack. That would require a beating heart." He kissed his way down my neck. "First this morning, now this. What am I going to do with you?"
"Love me forever?" I offered.
"Sounds like a plan." He kissed me then, and we forgot Charlie was in the house for a moment. When the shower shut off, Edward pulled away and kissed me on the forehead. "Come on, love. Time to go tame Alice."
"Is that even possible?" I asked as I kissed his nose.
"I don't know. Hasn't happened yet." He pulled away and disappeared out the window.
When we got within sight of the Cullen house, I probably could have pinpointed it from space. When I groaned, Edward looked over at me. "Alice" was all he needed to say.
The Cullen's were already waiting outside the house when we pulled up. Alice had Jasper in one of those funny Santa hats that had elf ears. She had on a more traditional one. She looked ecstatic. He looked miserable.
Pulling on the gloves, I turned to Edward. "Let's get this over with."
"Give them a break. This is the first Christmas they had anybody who wasn't a vampire over. They're excited." He got out of the car to open my door.
"That's what you said about my birthday party, and look how that turned out." I mumbled, forgetting what he was.
"It's not going to be like that. I swear." He told me as he pulled me out of the car. He led me into the house with his family following us.
I'll give it to Alice. Even though she thoroughly enjoyed torturing me at every opportunity, she sure knew how to take a person's breath away. There were beautiful wreaths hanging from the banisters. Garlands formed ribbons between them. Edward's piano had a mini-tree on it, decorated identically to the huge one in the center of the room. A mountain of presents were under the tree, a million different bows and wrapping papers.
"Guys..." I groaned.
"Bella." Edward said in a warning tone. "You promised me you would behave."
"Do I have to?" I whined. I really hated people spending money on me.
"Yes." Alice dropped me on my butt to the floor in front of the tree.
Edward sat beside me and grabbed my hand. The rest of the family sat in a semi-circle beside us. Jasper looked at my hands, did a double-take when he saw the gloves, then smiled.
Before I could smile back, Alice, playing Santa, placed a small, silver wrapped gift in my lap right next to where Edward's marble thumb was stroking my knuckles. I squeezed his hand and went for the gift.
"I never thought I'd see it. A day where Bella doesn't complain about getting a gift." Alice teased.
Like a five-year-old, I stuck my tongue out at her. She mimicked the gesture. I was only acting fourteen years younger than I really was. So what did that say about her?
Inside the little box was a charm for my bracelet; a golden piano. I traced the lines with one finger. "Esme...I don't know what to say. It's perfect. Thank you."
Esme smiled at me. "You're welcome, dear."
Edward put the little charm onto the bracelet. I leaned forward and grabbed Esme's gift from where it sat between Emmett and Carlisle's. I caught Edward staring at the place where, two seconds ago, my butt had been on display.
"Why, Edward, It's not polite to ogle." I teased.
"Well, Bella. It's not polite to point out that your fiancee is ogling." He kissed the back of my hand. I gave Esme her present and settled myself into Edward's lap.
The day went as expected. The Cullen family spent outrageous amounts of money. The charm was only the beginning it seemed. In my pile were books (modern, of course. Jasper couldn't stand the classics for some reason), french clothing (from Alice, who else?), A full-size mirror from Rosalie ("You'll need it for after your change." she had explained.), a hand-carved wooden statue from Carlisle, and lingerie from Emmett (a joke, he told me when the blush burned fiercely in my cheeks). But nothing from Edward, I noticed.
"I love you." I told him as I kissed him.
"Why?" He asked. "Other than the obvious, of course." he joked.
"Because you wonderful, man, vampire...thing. You actually listened to me for once."
He had the grace to look ashamed. "Well, Bella, you see..."
I narrowed my gaze at him. "What?"
"Your present's outside." He told me, pulling me up with him.
Sitting in the driveway, with a large, blue bow on the top, was a Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder in midnight blue.
"Edward..." I tapped my foot at him. "What is this?"
"It's a car, love." he said. "Please don't be difficult." He pleaded.
"You lied to me this morning." I told him.
"I did not!" He seemed a little confused..
"You said, and I quote, 'I swear to you, Bella, that I didn't spend one cent on your present.'" I mimicked his voice for the second time that morning. Emmett snickered behind us. We both turned to look at him.
"What? It was a really good impression of you, Eddie."
We both ignored him. "And that, Edward," I said, pointing. "is worth a lot of cents."
"Well, you see, I didn't buy it. Alice did. With my credit card." He looked somewhat abashed.
"Oooh! That is a technicality and you know it." I threw up my hands and glared at him.
"Bella." His eyes smoldered at me.
"No! You are not cheating your way out of this one. You are in big trouble, mister!" I poked him in the stone chest.
"Uh oh, Edward. Now you've done it. She's become a Cullen girl. You'll never get rid of her now." Emmett called from the sidelines.
I turned to him. "I do believe that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me." I grinned at him.
"So am I off the hook?" Edward asked hopefully.
"Not even close. But points for trying." I told him. "You are going to be on major restrictions for a while."
He smiled sheepishly. "Yes, love."
"Damn, Bella! You have him whipped already? It took me twelve years to train Emmett the way I wanted him!" Rosalie called from inside the house.
I laughed. "Come on, Edward. I've got to go cook dinner for Charlie." I hugged everyone goodbye and handed my gifts to Edward, who was in major suck-up mode. I began to head for the Volvo.
"Bella? Please? Just one drive, then you can make me drive it for eternity." he pleaded, dangling the keys in front of my face with the hand that wasn't preoccupied with my presents.
"Fine." I said, taking the keys from him. "But don't think that I'll forget this."
"Never." he kissed my nose as he opened the driver's side door.
"Cheater." I replied as I put the keys in the ignition and started the car. The engine purred like Edward did when he thought I couldn't hear him.
I hit the button for the radio, and Edward's piano music poured out of the speakers. I recognized Esme's favorite in seconds.
"Oh, you are such a cheater!" I told him. I was half-tempted to drive off without him...but that would mean leaving without him.
He smiled as he sat in the passenger's seat and reached over to pull on my seatbelt.
"You are so..." I dropped off the sentence as I turned the car around in the Cullen's massive driveway and headed to Charlie's.
When I pulled up to the house, I turned to Edward. "Fine. I'll drive it. But we're taking the Volvo most of the time."
"That's all I'm asking for." He leaned over to kiss me. I let him enjoy himself for a second before pulling away. "Minx." he said under his breath teasingly.
"Charlie's at the door." I told him. "Besides, what would he think?"
"That I must love you with my whole being to allow myself to be treated like this." He teased.
"Oh, you are so in for..." He cut me off with a kiss.
"I do, you know." He said after a minute.
"Do what?" I asked, slightly intoxicated.
"Love you with all my being." He replied with a smile.
"Well, then, you could have saved your money for the car." I told him.
"Because all I want for Christmas is you." I told him.
"You've got me." He said as he leaned down to kiss the breath out of me. Outside the car, snow began to fall. And , for once, I didn't complain. Why should I? After all, what more could a person ask for? I had the perfect Christmas, in Forks and at the Cullen's.