Author's Note: The following story is rated M for sexual dialogue, adult situations, underage drinking, and general lunacy. Reader discretion is advised. All characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer and Little Brown publishing.
A big thanks to my betas, MarcyJ and blondie AKA Robin, for encouraging me to cross over into the "sexy Twilight zone." I never would have had the guts to do this without you two.
Chapter 1: Sparkling Glorified Icicles
"We're going where??" I shrieked. A chill ran down my spine as though someone had dumped a glass of ice water down the back of my shirt.
"To your bachelorette party," Alice repeated patiently in a bored voice, as the Porsche zipped off the highway under a large green sign that read Portland.
"My w-w-what??" I stammered, trying very, very hard not to hyperventilate, pee my pants, faint, or engage in any other embarrassing involuntary bodily reactions. Alice gave me a knowing wink-wink-nod-nod.
"You know—your 'hen's party'…your 'girls' night out'…your 'last night of freedom before tying the knot.'"
"I don't get it," I said faintly, feeling sick. Alice looked mildly surprised.
"I knew Charlie kept you sheltered, but I would have thought that growing up going to Phoenix public schools, you at least would have heard of these things…" she trailed off her musings, then shrugged. "Fine then. I'll explain. A bachelorette party is a pre-wedding tradition in which a bride joins her girlfriends in an evening of risqué games, drinking, flirting, debauchery, and candid talk about sex, as she enjoys her last night of bar-hopping. The roots of the tradition began in fifth century Sparta, when…"
"I know what a bachelorette party is," I sputtered angrily. "I just can't believe that you decided to throw me one without even having the courtesy to tell me about it!"
"Oh." Alice bristled defensively. "Well, I did mention that I was taking you out for special 'human experience,' didn't I?"
"You told me that we were going to the Cheesecake Factory," I said through gritted teeth.
Alice ducked her head and glanced over at me, her porcelain face apologetic. "Well, that's not entirely a lie. I ordered something for you from the Cheesecake Factory. It will be waiting for us when we get there."
The feeling going through the pit of my stomach wasn't fear, exactly. I'd faced far scarier things in my life, such as James, the Volturi, and my dad's cooking. No, this feeling was more like…well…disappointment. It was like finishing exams at the end of the school year, mentally prepared for graduation, only to discover that I was tardy for Woodshop one too many times, and that my grade was still an incomplete.
I'd agreed to my fair share of idiotic "human experiences" out of a desire to please Alice (namely my ridiculous junior prom, my disastrous eighteenth birthday party, and the upcoming spectacle-to-be known as my wedding). Knowing that the big ones were out of the way, I'd mentally checked out of humanity. I was more surprised than pleased to find out that there was yet one more stupid social situation I'd have to fumble my way through before crossing over into eternity with Edward.
"So where is this insanity taking place?" I asked, wincing with dread.
"I reserved us a room in a nice hotel. We'll be walking distance from some downtown bars and clubs, so the location is perfect."
"Bars? Clubs??" My second word ended in a high-pitched squeak. I was aghast. I tried to imagine Alice (who was so stunning in appearance that she was stared at wherever she went) and myself (the poster child for unremarkable) walking into a bar together, and every scenario that came to mind involved her getting hit on by creepy guys while I sat in the corner feeling useless. Not my idea of a great time. I tried to come up with an excuse. "Alice, I'm only eighteen. They won't let me in." She waved her dainty hand dismissively.
"Relax. I made us fake IDs." Her red lips curled into a self-satisfied grin.
I glared at her. "My father is a cop, Alice. I can't go illegally sneaking into bars using a fake ID."
"You didn't have a problem with sneaking into a casino using a fake ID last year," she countered.
"I didn't exactly have much of a choice in that situation. I was inconveniently stuck in a wheelchair, hundreds of miles from home, completely at your mercy."
"And tonight, you are conveniently stuck in a car, a hundred miles from home, completely at my mercy." Tears of anger began to well in my eyes.
"You can't make me go," I insisted, hoping I sounded less helpless than I felt.
Alice rolled her irresistible eyes and ran her tiny hand through her inky black hair. "Is that so? How do you plan to stop me?"
"I'll call Edward," I said firmly, remembering how he had held her back when she was threatening me about my birthday party, that fateful day so long ago. "He'll find a way to heroically save me from this torment."
Alice laughed. "I'm looking into the future right now and I can see that that plan is futile."
I huffed and decided that I needed to up my ante. "Fine then! I'll call my dad and have you arrested for forgery and reckless driving," Alice grumbled, and I smiled triumphantly. Charlie was her Achilles heel.
"Nuts. That will work." She scowled. "Fine then. Have it your way. No fake ID's. Go figure. I'm over a hundred years old and I'm still too young to drink."
I frowned. "Vampires can't get drunk anyways."
"Of course we can't. But that's not the point—it's the principle of the thing."
My mind raced, as I tried to think of a way to escape. Alice gave me a severe look.
"Pulling the fire alarm won't work," she said quickly, seeing the results of my plans even as they were forming. "Neither will calling 911!" She glared at me sharply. "Oh no. Don't you dare even think about burning down the hotel! Edward will be pretty pissed if he finds himself alone at the alter because you're in prison for arson."
Double nuts, I thought.
Alice let out a resigned, soprano, musical sigh. "I guess I'll have to go with plan 'B' and hit up the college bars instead. Everyone will look pretty lame with big M's drawn on the backs of our hands, but at least we'll still get to dance and enjoy the music." My heart began to thud erratically.
"Everyone?" I said, surprised. "Who all did you invite?"
"Just your closest girlfriends," Alice said, her long-lashed eyes widening innocently.
"I have close girlfriends besides you?"
Alice banged her head against the black steering wheel. "Humor me Bella. I put a lot of time, effort, and thought into this. I want it to be one of the most memorable nights of your life."
"If by memorable, you mean totally, completely, and positively humiliating," I said under my breath, staring out the window. Alice shot me a sharp look.
"This is a traditional rite of passage. Planning this night is one of the most important tasks of a maid of honor, according to 101 Party Tips for Bored Bridesmaids. You need to remember that Edward wants you to cherish every remaining milestone of your fleeting human life. Unlike Rosalie, you're only getting married once, so it's now or never."
"Never is fine with me," I insisted. Alice chuckled, patting my knee with her hand.
"You'll have a blast. Trust me."
"Okay," I relented. "The party I'll do. But do we really have to go to…" I winced as I said the word, "bars?"
"Of course you have to go to bars," Alice said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Since you're never going to turn twenty-one, and once you're a vampire you can't get drunk, we've got to cover the twenty-first-birthday rite of passage before the wedding as well. This kills two birds with one stone."
"I don't think Edward would approve," I said, grasping for a way out of this one. I was horrified to think of what Edward's reaction would be when he found out that his virginal fiancée had been carousing at the local meat markets. Why would I go to a place like that? Humans weren't even my type. Drunk, sweaty, horny humans, looking for one night stands were definitely not my type.
"It was actually Edward's idea," Alice laughed.
I gasped in surprise, my mind reeling. "What?"
"Three weeks left as a human. He doesn't want you to miss a thing."
We pulled up to one of the most posh buildings I'd ever seen in my entire life. Its exterior appeared to be molded out of some sort of sandstone and was carved into intricate designs, pillars, and terraces. Carefully placed track lights highlighted the more elaborate sculptures. An arched black awning hung over the main entrance, with the words The Governor Hotel splayed across it in gold. A pair of uniformed bellhops waited by the door with brass carts.
"Alice," I said anxiously. "I didn't pack an overnight bag." I glanced down at my comfortable corduroys and faded pink and brown top. "Not that I'm an expert on what's appropriate to wear on a girl's night out, but I'm almost certain that I'm underdressed. And I have no toothbrush. So maybe be should just turn around and go back to Forks." She just laughed merrily.
"Nonsense." She raised a perfect, little black eyebrow at me. "I packed everything you could possibly need for tonight." She parked the car in front of the entrance and stepped out.
"Where?" I asked, confused, glancing over my shoulder. There was nothing in the nearly non-existent storage space behind the two seats. Alice looked at me as if I were a moron. She walked to the front of the car, popped the hood and grabbed two humongous leather duffle bags from underneath.
"Erm…" I stared, confused.
"Porsche places the engine between the rear wheels," she said, as though stating the obvious. "More power that way. Storage is in the front." She tossed the keys to the valet, and the bellhops rushed to grab her bags as she told them her room number. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her slip them each a folded piece of green paper that I suspected contained a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. It was then that I realized that I didn't want to know just how much money Alice had spent and was planning on spending tonight. One thing was for sure: that money was not going to be the last cash that exchanged hands tonight.
We made our way across a glowing marble floor, amidst a jungle of exotic plants, Alice's fashionable high-heeled shoes going click-click-click-click. The high ceiling was covered in elaborate designs, and a single, beautiful overhead light fixture cast an ambient glow across the foyer that clearly said only rich people belong here. We approached the front desk, where two crisply uniformed gentlemen, (one tall and lanky, one short and stout) were sitting. The moment they saw Alice, they jumped to their feet.
"Ms. Cullen!" the tall one cried, in a French accent. She extended her hand, and he kissed it.
"Hello Pierre," she said, smiling warmly.
"It is so good to see you back. It's been what…a year…since I saw you last?" he said, in a smiling, but accusing tone.
"Ten months, two days, eight hours, to be precise" she said, grinning up at him. "The temporary move to L.A. really put a snag in our weekend habits."
"Please tell Mr. Hale that the two of you are welcome here any time…any time at all. Think of this as your second home."
"I will," Alice chimed warmly. Pierre kissed her pale hand again.
"Have the other guests arrived?" Alice asked abruptly, cutting the reunion short. The concierge's eyes lit up.
"Indeed they have!" he turned his eyes to me, appraising. "So this is the bride-to-be then?" he asked, noticing me for the first time. His eyes betrayed what his voice did not…that I was clearly not the same caliber of client that Alice was. I didn't carry myself with the same sophisticated air. Alice squeezed my arm.
"Sure is. It's her first time here, but I assure you, it won't be her last."
"It won't?" I asked, suspicious.
"Trust me," she said, pointing to her head, grinning broadly. "I know things."
"Welcome, welcome," Pierre murmured, grabbing my unsuspecting hand and kissing it, his waxed mustache tickling. "Any friend of Ms. Cullen is a friend of mine. Make yourself at home."
"Er, thanks," I said awkwardly, obviously out of my element.
"Here are your keys for the night," Pierre said, handing Alice and I each a keycard. "Either card will open both of the Penthouse Parlor Suites. Checkout time is three o'clock, tomorrow afternoon. Please call me if there is anything you need...anything at all."
"Thank you," she called over her shoulder, as we made our way to the elevators. "You're too kind!"
"Why does everyone here know you?" I asked, as the elevator doors closed and the numbers rose.
"This is where Jasper and I come to have sex," she replied. "We book a penthouse suite once a month." I stared at her, taken aback. During our year and a half of friendship, we'd discussed many things about life as a vampire, but the topic of sex had never come up. I suddenly felt like a fourth grader who'd discovered her parent's condoms…burning with questions I was very curious about, but way too embarrassed to ask.
"You only have sex once a month?" I said, shocked. I'd always imagined that if I were drop-dead gorgeous, married to someone drop-dead gorgeous, never needed to sleep, and didn't have to worry about getting pregnant, we'd be going at it like Energizer bunnies on crack.
"I never said that!" Alice said quickly. She peered at me through narrowed eyes. "You know nothing about the physiology of vampire mating, do you?"
"Edward said that it was a lot like human sex," I said nervously. She suppressed a smile.
"Edward…well…he lies sometimes." I could think of nothing to say, and felt a plethora of blood rush to my face and hoped that it wasn't making me smell yummy. "Don't worry Bella," Alice laughed. "You'll find out the truth soon enough." The elevator dinged as we reached the top floor.
We made our way to the end of the hall, where Alice swiped the keycard. The green light came on, and she lithely turned the handle and pushed me into the hotel room. I blinked, pulling my mind away from exhilarating yet squeamish topic of vampire sex. I found myself in a luxurious living room filled with squashy black leather furniture, abstract art, and walls that were painted in bold, nicely matched shades of orange, red, and yellow. For a split second, I was able to admire the breathtaking view of downtown Portland through the tall picture windows. My moment was awe was interrupted with a moment of horror, the second I realized who, (and what) surrounded me.
"Surprise!" five voices called at once. I cringed.
"Apparently I missed the 'little black dress' memo," I muttered under my breath. Standing in front of me were Jessica, Lauren, Angela, Rosalie, and Esme. They were dressed to impress, each wearing a different version of the classic outfit that never goes out of style. My penny loafers looked downright dowdy compared to their strappy black shoes and pedicured toenails. The first three guests looked better than I'd ever seen them, outside of junior prom night. The latter two, however, made me stare and catch my breath.
The fact that Rosalie looked like a supermodel was of no surprise. The V neckline of her strapless-sleeveless sheath revealed a set of sculpted cleavage that would send any male in the universe baying at the moon, while her luxurious blonde hair cascaded down her back in a series of perfect spiral curls...so what? So Rosalie looked perfectly, devastatingly, undeniably breathtaking. Nothing unusual there. Esme's appearance, on the other hand, had me completely taken aback.
Esme was always beautiful to me, of course. With her caramel-colored waves and soft, feminine features, she was like something out of a mythic painting of a goddess. But she was Edward's mom. My future mother-in-law. Every time I'd ever encountered her, she was always dressed in the classy, modest wardrobe of a respectable homemaker. I wasn't used to thinking of her as…well…hot.
I wasn't every day that I saw Esme with makeup on. Like any vampire, her features were perfect and she didn't really need it. But now that it was on, it made a difference. Her lips were bright red, her eyes shadowed in an iridescent light blue, and her normally light eyelashes were dark and curled, making her lovely yellow eyes stand out like lanterns on a foggy night. Her dress was fitted around the top, with stylish cap sleeves and a scooped neckline. The A-line skirt accentuated her curves and fell to her knees, flaring slightly. Her hair was stylishly straightened, piled high in the back but sweeping across her forehead, making her look like some long lost James Bond chick, straight out of the 1960's.
The fact that the vamps were all there, made sense. They were going to be my family in three weeks, so of course Alice made sure they'd come. The fact that Angela was present was a surprise, but understandable. Alice knew that I'd always considered her a good, loyal friend, and Angela would have done anything to be supportive of me. The fact that Jessica was there was odd, but considering her emotional declaration of never-ending friendship at graduation, perhaps she'd decided to bury the hatchet after all. But Lauren? Lauren??
Since my very first day at Forks, Lauren had made no secret of the fact that she irrevocably and undeniably hated my guts. I was quite certain that she's rather spend an evening cutting onions in a room full of rabid skunks while someone dragged their fingernails across a chalkboard to the tune of Hey Mickey than spend any amount time at an occasion that involved me being the center of attention. She excluded me half of the time and glared at me the rest of it. Though I'd never understood exactly what it was that made her despise me, I'd come to accept that I was a misfit, so her opinion didn't really matter. Surely, Alice knew that the only emotional connection this girl had towards me was animosity. So why was she invited? Even stranger, why was she here?
"The guest of honor has arrived! Let's break out the drinks!" Lauren said.
Ah, I thought. Mystery solved.
"In a minute," Esme said patiently, her ruby red lips forming a lovely smile.
"You guys look awesome," I said, feeling more Plain Jane than I ever had in my life. "And this hotel is definitely something else."
"What do you think of the decorations?" Jessica asked enthusiastically. I glanced around, taking the rest of the room in, and struggled to come up with an adjective that wouldn't hurt her feelings.
"They're…er…interesting." I said, after a long pause. Interesting they were. Hot pink streamers twisted and strung across the ceiling in all directions, making it look like a very large, very feminine spider was trying to catch me in its trap. Covering every flat, stable surface in the room was a multi-colored bouquet of what could have been balloons, had they not been phallic shaped. Where a curtain rod should have been, a long, red ribbon stretched from one end of the window to the other, and hanging from it were several pairs of panties. But that wasn't the worst of it; for adorning the walls were six posters bearing images of half-clothed, slightly sweaty men, and one poster bearing an image of a completely naked man. Completely naked—that is—except for the fact that a series of red and white circles—a target—covered the area where his genitals should have been.
"Do you like them?" Jessica asked, giggling.
"Yes…?" Jessica's wide brown eyes sparkled with a childlike eagerness.
"Sure, sure," I finally said, in a very unsure voice. Jessica didn't pick up on the fact that I was lying through my teeth though, and she came over, swept me into a big hug, and squeezed me so tight that I squeaked.
"I'm glad!" she said. "I spent a week putting all this together for you! Nothing like throwing a party for your best friend!" She blushed furiously, biting her lip. She eyed the 'target' poster. "That particular decoration got me into a lot of trouble though," she admitted.
"How?" I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.
"Well," she said sheepishly, "I wanted to get it for this game we're going to play later on. And they didn't sell it at Spencer's."
"Go on," I said, dreading what was coming next.
"So I had to go to an adult bookstore to buy it." She ducked her head. "I was stupid and used my debit card. Well, Forks Federal Bank tracks your purchases. If they suddenly see that your card was suddenly used in a way that's…er…out of character for your usual spending habits, they put a hold on your account. It's a precaution, to prevent identity theft. They then contact you, to make sure your card wasn't stolen." She groaned. "I had to explain to my mom's boss why I was in a porn shop! He did think it was really funny when I explained that it was all for your bachelorette party. Mom said that everyone was talking about it for the rest of the day."
My inner being recoiled, and I glanced around the room, looking for a hole that I could crawl into and die in. Finding none, I collapsed back in my chair, concentrating on taking air in and out, trying not to scream. Jessica's mom, who worked at Forks Federal Bank, was a notorious town gossip. Surely, everyone in town, including my dad must have heard of the incident by now. Great. Just great. First, the town thinks I'm having a shotgun wedding because I got knocked up. Now they think I'm a sex freak.
"Let's get this party started!" Alice suddenly sang. She pulled a tiny remote control, the size of a stick of gum, out of some hidden pocket in her dress and hit play. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, as I heard the song Let's Get This Party Started by Pink start playing from some unseen high-quality surround sound system. I realized, to my chagrin, that Alice must have "seen" how each and every minute of the evening would go and thought that it would be hilarious to develop an appropriate play list.
The sprite-like vampire danced over to a table by the window, where a bottle of champagne bubbled in a bottle of ice, next to a stack of glass dessert plates and a pile of silver forks. "It's time to cut the cake and make the toasts." At the word 'cake,' Angela turned bright red, and Lauren smirked. I had the feeling that they were in on a secret that I wouldn't like.
I approached the table and groaned at what I saw. The pure white cake was…penis shaped. A three-dimensional work of art, crafted to look unmistakably like a pair of testicles and a long, thick erection lay before me. The thing was sprinkled in a layer of iridescent large-grain sugar, which, in the ambient halogen lights, threw little rainbows into the air.
"It…sparkles," I said lamely.
"They do that sometimes," Rosalie chuckled, giving me an impish look.
"Since when?" Lauren said in a perplexed-yet-annoyed voice, missing out on the inside joke.
"I'll tell you when you're older," Rosalie said to Lauren with a patronizing wink. Lauren frowned, and I shuddered, wondering what Lauren would think if she knew the real meaning behind Rosalie's comment. Not a pleasant thought. I then found myself wondering silently what it would look like to see Edward's…er…parts…gleaming in the sunlight. The image in my mind was…pleasing to say the least. I began to indulge in the daydream, imagining my god-like husband, naked in the sun, approaching me fiercely, desire burning in his liquid amber eyes…
"Dig in!" Alice said, interrupting my fantasy by cutting into the cake and swiftly offering me the first piece. It was the head of the penis, of course. I gingerly took a bite, and gagged in surprise.
"It's…cold," I said, choking down the bite.
"They usually are," Rosalie said wickedly, obviously amused. "Glorified icicles, those Cullen penises." Esme shot her a warning look.
"Since WHEN?" Lauren said, again miffed that someone seemed more sexually experienced than her.
"I'll tell you when you're older," Rosalie said again, this time in a sing-song voice. Lauren scowled, royally put out, and crossed her arms, sulking. She stuck her bottom lip out and exhaled quickly, blowing her sweep-across bangs from her forehead. They promptly fell back into her eyes. I wondered how she could see.
"I special-ordered the cake from the Cheesecake Factory," Alice explained. " It has a core of ice-cream-cake, covered in a layer of cheesecake, dusted with coarse sugar. They froze it at an ultra-low temperature to assure that it'd be 'extra hard' when it arrived. They don't usually make things like these, but I worked out a special deal with the bakery." Rosalie, Lauren, and Jessica cracked up. Esme rolled her eyes, and Angela began to stare at the floor, fidgeting.
"Check out the whipped cream," Rosalie said mirthfully. I took a second glance and wished I hadn't. From the now-circumcised tip of the cake, a single line of the fluff trailed down, obviously representing a certain milky-white body fluid. Lauren, to Angela's horror and Jessica's delight, dipped her finger in the whipped cream and licked it.
"Mmmmm," she said happily, as the other girls tittered awkwardly.
"Careful with that stuff," Rosalie said ominously. "It's dangerous. Spoo of that sort has…transforming capabilities, you know."
"Since WHEN??" Lauren asked, this time so angry that her acrylic nailed hands were forming fists.
"You don't mean what I think you mean…do you?" I asked, a wave of understanding washing over me as I pondered the implications of the statement. Rosalie's glowing eyes narrowed and her lips curled, as she nodded once. I gasped, horrified. Well shoot! This complicates things, I thought.
"What is it?? What do you mean by that?" Lauren demanded.
"I'll tell you when you're older," Rosalie said, laughing so hard she could barely breathe. Jessica, happy to see one boy-magnet blonde one-upped by another laughed so hard that she snorted…a real, genuine, pig-like snort. Everyone stared at her. She turned scarlet and joined Angela in staring at the floor.
"A toast!" Alice said, when everyone had eaten their cake (including the vamps. I wondered if they'd have to cough it up later). She nodded to Esme, who uncorked the bottle and poured the bubbly into a series of tall, narrow, thin-stemmed glasses. "To Bella and Edward. May you have a very long, happy, fulfilled existence together!" everyone clinked glasses, and I took a sip. I made a face and forced myself to swallow. Alcohol. I thought about my conversation with Alice in the car and realized that she must have "seen" that I wouldn't have the courage to refuse to drink when everyone else was drinking around me. I felt like a poser. "Your turn!" she said to Esme.
Esme held her glass up and looked at me tenderly. "To my long-awaited daughter-in-law," she said fondly. "Because it warms my heart to finally see my son in love." We all clinked glasses, and drank. I eyed the vamps suspiciously, wondering what would happen when the alcohol hit stomachs that were only made to digest blood. They appeared to be in no discomfort whatsoever, however.
My towering brunette friend held up her glass. "I'm so happy for you," she said, with genuine, heartfelt tenderness. "Edward and you have something special that you don't see every day. I'm glad he came back and you two were able to work everything out."
Jessica's champagne sloshed a little, as she eagerly bounced closer to me. I wondered if, with her petite frame, she was drunk already. "I'm so so so glad you moved to Forks!" she said. "I know we're going to keep in touch forever!" I grit my teeth. Of course she was glad I moved to Forks. If I hadn't, she wouldn't have this easy access to sparkling wine or fancy hotels. With that sip, all the glasses were empty. Esme refilled them. My cheeks felt hot, and I could feel my pulse bounding uncomfortably in my wrists, neck, and groin. On top of that, I was becoming lightheaded. My body wasn't used to alcohol, and wasn't quite reacting right, even after just one glass.
Lauren gave me an interesting smile that didn't quite meet her eyes. "To great sex," she said, arching an eyebrow, attempting to recreate the haughty and experienced expression she'd seen on Rosalie's face earlier. We drank to that. Finally, Rosalie stepped forward, her impossible beauty intimidating me. She lowered her eyes to my level and spoke very quietly.
"To my brother, whom at long, long last, is finally losing his virginity," she said casually, raising her glass and cocking her head to the side evilly.
An audible gasp came from Lauren and Jessica, who stared at Rosalie in amazement. Jessica, for what was probably the first time in her life, had absolutely nothing to say. In the absence of conversation, the background music seemed suddenly very loud as the song switched.
Like a virgin...WOO!
Touched for the very first time
Like a vir-er-er-er-gin
Feel your heart beat
Next to mine
I looked sharply up, over to Alice, and realized that she was convulsing with laughter, the tiny remote control in her hand. I narrowed my eyes at her and she shrugged apologetically, obviously very pleased with herself. At last, Lauren spoke, in disbelieving tones.
"Rosalie, you're telling me that—Edward—Edward Cullen—the hottest guy on the planet…has never…ever…"
"I don't think he's ever even masturbated," Rosalie interrupted smugly, her smile widening. "The boy is as pure as driven snow." I slumped my shoulders and covered my eyes, shaking my head with a sinking feeling. At least they don't know he's a hundred-and-seven-year-old virgin, I thought, trying to see the glass as half full, hoping that I wouldn't go into hysterics. I wonder what they'll think of this at the bank? Uncomfortable silence again hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity, before Esme coughed pointedly, raising her glass.
"To Edward and Bella," she said graciously, giving Rosalie a subtle look of disapproval.
"To Edward and Bella," the rest of the girls chorused. As I drank the last sip of champagne from my second glass, I felt a sensation of warmth and flushing going through me, and wondered if it was from the alcohol, or the embarrassment. How could this night possibly get any worse?