Edward quietly chuckled to himself. The slight shacking of his chest snapped me out of my reverie. I looked up to see Alice glaring at him as she stormed up the stairs. I glanced at him with a perplexed look in my eyes and waited for him to explain.
"Alice is so funny when she's trying to hide things from me," he said, his nonchalant tone made me smile.
"What was she distracting herself with this time?"
Edward raised his eyebrow and twisted his face into my favorite half smile.
"Actually, she was 'seeing' this conversation in her mind and translating it into Swahili."
I giggled at the thought of how funny I would sound speaking Swahili- not that I knew how to in the first place. I turned to see him staring at me with an insightful expression on his face. "Weren't you going to ask me something," he inquired knowingly.
I rummaged through my brain for the answer that I knew was there. We'd been lounging in front of the fire for so long I had lost my previous train of thought. I looked in his eyes- not yet black; they still had flecks of topaz hidden beneath the shadow- and it clicked. "Would you like to join me on a hunting trip?"
It was late, but I knew he wouldn't refuse. He always liked to keep me well "fed"; he'd said that it would help my resistance toward human blood.
Edward shrugged and walked with me to the front door of the cabin. Alice was by the door talking to Jasper in hushed tones- not that it really mattered much- and looked only too thankful that we were finally leaving. I had been my job to distract Edward while Alice set up for the party. I also had to keep Edward preoccupied enough so that he wouldn't realize that Rosalie and Emmett had come over to New Hampshire to celebrate with us, granted I didn't know how much of it would actually stay a surprise.
As we stepped outside I was, once again, thankful that I couldn't get cold anymore as the temperature was in the upper forties.
Edward entwined his fingers around mine and smiled encouragingly as he always did before we ran off to go hunt. Although I'd been a vampire for nearly a full year, he still felt the need to help secure my catch.
It wasn't long before we stumbled upon a lone black bear, which seemed to be in a particularly bad mood- this would be fun.
Edward and I danced choreographed circles around it. We knew each others' movements so well, like we had been doing this for years. The bear was completely outmatched against a skilled lion and his lioness. The din we had created had apparently attracted its mate, although still no match for us. The fight latest too short of a time to have been very enjoyable for either of us, but our thirst was satisfied enough to not have to go any farther.
Edward and I sat and listened to the chirping of crickets and the whistling of the wind not wanting to head back to the party we both knew was waiting back at the cabin. I let my mind wander back to Forks and Charlie who probably thought I was getting a good night's sleep to prepare myself for some class at Dartmouth I should be attending tomorrow- if he only knew. I also, unwillingly, thought of Jacob and what might have become of him. My mind didn't wander far before I heard Edward sigh. I turned my head to see him looking intently at the moon. It took me a moment to decipher his sigh; based on the position of the moon it was just past midnight. I gave him a smug grin and whispered in his ear, "Happy Birthday." He stood up and rolled his eyes. "I guess I shouldn't be late to my own party then," he chuckled and kissed my forehead.
We raced back to find the whole Cullen clan, minus Carlisle and Esme who were still back in Forks, waiting for us in the front room. Although it was unnecessary, everyone beamed and yelled "happy birthday" in unison. I gazed around the cabin to see it completely covered in gold. From streamers to balloons it was all there. Even the table tops were draped with gold sheets and confetti. With the light music in the background it all seemed very elegant, not as ostentatious as I had imagined it would.
As the party continued Emmett insisted on Edward opening his gifts- not that he didn't already know what they were. I guess knowing everything leaves something left to be desired, but Edward opened up the large rectangular box from Rosalie and Emmett obediently. Inside the box was a brand new plasma screen TV that just happen to be the perfect size to fit the empty wall of the living room. Emmett looked pleased with himself as Jasper eyed it greedily.
Next was Alice and Jasper's gift. From the look on Jasper's face he'd had nothing to do with the process of picking out the gift. It was this gift that I was most interested in because, for some unknown reason, Alice refused to tell me what it was. I was curious by the small envelope and the hesitant look Edward had given both Alice and me. Inside were two vouchers for a trip to France. I didn't even fathom trying to hide the astonishment I was sure was clear on my face.
"France! But we . . . you . . . France!" I sputtered out dumbfounded.
I wasn't sure as to what emotion I was sticking with at the moment. Sure I was excited to go to one of the most beautiful places in the world with Edward, but the people. I haven't left the relatively barren vicinity of the cabin since I changed.
"Bella don't worry you've been doing great, better than we expected actually," Alice encouraged.
"Don't worry about it Bella the vouchers have a while before they expire, we can put it off as long as you like," Edward whispered in my ear.
My head was still swimming and I unnecessarily started hyperventilating. Covering my face with my hands, I tried to reassure myself that by the trip I would be perfectly capable to resist. It was a lie though. I thought about Jasper then; had I been able to I would have probably cried or passed out.
Strange gasps broke me from my panic. I head whipped up in just enough time to see the new TV hovering above all our heads. I too gasped and it went flying across the room into the south wall. Everyone was baffled, especially Emmett.
"Oh," muttered Alice," I didn't see that one coming."
Emmett looked at me accusingly.
"Um, did I do that," my voice was filled with chagrin. Edward sighed, "Looks like we've found your special ability."
"Took long enough," giggle Alice.
Although the sudden ability was disconcerting I managed to find an upside- at least we could put off France a little longer.