Note: A friend and I did a TwiFic swap. I was supposed to include something about Valentines Day, a peacock and guns. Sorry, darling, the guns just did not quite make it but thanks for trying to make it as hard as possible… chagrining my dazzle and all…
Dedication: To Elisa, we're so interTWIned, it frightens me. Enjoy it. And don't worry… this shit could go on aaaall summer long. PS: I stole your Note/Dedication/Disclaimer format. But I took "Author's" out of the "Note" because everyone knows it's the Author's note. Duh.
Disclaimer: I don't own Edward or anything that comes attached with him. If I did own him, do you honestly believe I would waste one second on my computer?
It was a surprisingly warm evening in Forks, but a light breeze still found its way through my open window as I lay in bed, under only the sheet. Edward, reclining next to me, had his cool arm wrapped over me, my head pressed against his chest. I was beginning to feel my breathing slow and my mind go when a pensive tone interrupted me.
"Do you know what I just realized?"
"Hmm," I asked, feeling myself drifting away from the sensation of falling asleep.
"We've never celebrated a Valentines Day together."
This hardly fazed me. The holiday had never really meant much to me. Back home in Phoenix I had joked with Renee about it really being "Singles Awareness Day" and a ploy by the greeting card companies.
"Guess not," I muttered.
I opened one eye to steal a glance at Edward. His brow was furrowed. After a moment, he finally said, "We could celebrate it on August 16th, but… What about June 16?" I saw a smile creep onto his face.
"That's tomorrow," I said stupidly.
"Actually, it's today. It is twelve minutes after midnight," he said, his velvet voice infiltrating my mind as he planted a kiss on my forehead.
"12:12, huh? Make a wish," I said sarcastically."
"So, should we celebrate it today?"
"Why are you fixated on this?" I asked, now completely awake.
"Because it's important," he shot back.
I sighed. Edward really asked very few things of me, but it was ridiculous to give in to such an obscure thing. "We're going to have unlimited Valentine's Days together… and we can celebrate all of them if that's what you want," I argued.
He did not respond, but instead rose from the bed, dragging his arm off of me and walked towards the rocking chair, rounding it and holding the frame from behind. "It's a human experience, Bella. One of many I am robbing from you." His voice was steady and calm, but I could tell that he really was beginning to grow frustrated
"No, it's a Hallmark experience," I mumbled under my breath.
Edward, I could tell, suppressed a smile as he walked back towards me, sitting on the edge of the bed. Sitting up, I sat Indian-style and readied myself to listen to what I began to affectionately think of as "Edwariloquy" or "Monodwards." Regardless of its name, I knew it was going to be a speech.
"Bella," he began patiently. "There are a few theories on the origins of Valentine's Day and none of them involve capitalism. Some credit it to a Greek tradition, others a Roman. St. Valentine was a persecuted Christian who was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor of the time, Claudius II, for not converting to Roman paganism. He refused. While in jail, he supposedly performed a miracle, healing the jailer's blind daughter. Tradition states that he wrote a letter to the girl, signing it "From your Valentine" before going to meet his death."
"Death by sick, masochistic lion?" I asked, laughing.
He shot me a dark look, but I could see the smile in his bright eyes. I had interrupted his history lesson.
"There are many other Valentines too, so no one knows which one the holiday is named for. One particularly Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret, against Roman law. Another was a martyred Bishop. It goes on; I believe there are seven or eight."
"I'm glad the Catholic Church isn't that confused when it comes to St. Patrick's Day," I sighed dramatically. "Chicago would be in serious trouble come March."
"Serious trouble," he repeated, smirking.
We sat in silence for a moment. Finally, I felt sleepiness trickling back into my brain and reclined backwards, pulling the sheet over me. Without even noticing him stand up, I saw Edward sitting in the old rocking chair, staring at me. Rolling over, I pressed my face into the pillow, hoping he'd come back and join me in a moment.
"Bella," his voice called, stirring the night air around me, "may I take you out for Valentine's Day this evening?"
I remained quiet for a moment, squeezing my eyes shut. I knew it was ridiculous to hope he'd think I was asleep, but it was worth a shot. I even shifted lazily as if to drive my point home.
"Bella," his voice called again.
I paused. I heard him sigh, and the chair creak as he continued to rock. "Fine."
"I promise," I whispered. Somehow in the back of my mind I knew I was going to regret this.
"I knew I was going to regret this," I mumbled to myself as I sat on the vanity stand in Alice's ridiculously oversized bathroom, tilting my head whichever way Alice was pulling at that moment, wincing.
"Oh, Bella," whined Alice, battling with a curling iron. I told her it was when she would be better off to surrender; years of experience had taught me that my hair would never successfully hold a curl. "Why won't you just have fun with it?"
After forty-five minutes, my head had been scrubbed in Alice's sink, conditioned, dried and blow dried. Dollops and "dime-sized" dots of unidentifiable French products had gone from Alice's palm into my hair. From there, the gun shaped blow-dryer blasted stifling hot air into my face as she pulled my hair every which way with a roller brush. Then the hot curling iron, which no description that I could possibly give could possibly capture the experience that was the curling iron.
All the while I had sat quietly – miserably, but quietly – with my eyes squeezed shut.
The make-up had been an entirely different experience. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Rub that in! Base. Blink. Blink. Blink again. Look up. Close your eyes. Okay. Look left. Right. Down. Look down, Bella! Now up. Mascara and eyeliner. There, there, there, there and… your nose. Powder. Close your eyes. Eye shadow. Suck in your cheeks. Because I need to see where your cheekbones are, Bella! Like a fish! Blush. Look surprised! Now pucker up, Bella!! Lipstick.
"And now—" Alice used her greatest bravado voice to say what I had quickly guessed as an introduction for a small tube of pink sparkles.
"No way," I said, pushing her tube-wielding hand away. "I draw the line at the lip gloss."
Alice's face darkened, giving me what I believe was the most threatening look I had ever received from any Cullen before.
And so it was to be that I wore lip gloss that evening.
Who knew that such a tiny, fairy-like creature could be so bossy and forceful? Looks are deceiving, as is true with all vampires, but particularly Alice.
Looking in the mirror, I could not deny that I was amazed at the difference, though I would have never admitted it. I stepped back from the mirror to look at my new hair and face combined with the clothes I had chosen for myself, the only khaki skirt I owned coupled with a solid blue button down blouse.
Alice snorted behind me. "Bella, did you honestly think I was going to allow you to wear whatever you wanted?" Taking me by the hand, she led me to the window seat by her closet where she had already laid out what I presumed was to be my outfit for the evening.
"Put it on," she ordered, smiling. She stood, satisfied at her great success, her arms folded.
"I don't need help getting dressed." It sounded like a question. I had not yet examined the dress closely enough to be sure I could successfully slip it on.
"Alright," sighed Alice. "I understand you don't want an audience. I'll give you three minutes."
The dress was a dusty shade of blue, strung with topstitched cloth roses that were alternating blue and green with yellow stitching. On the ground, there lay golden kitten heels and on the window sill a small brown beaded bracelet with matching earrings, both with gold hardware. I walked towards the full length mirror and stood for a moment.
"I look… like… a peacock," I informed my reflection.
Musical laughter made me turn my head to the door, which I just noticed was open as four pairs of golden eyes looked at me.
"Wow Bella," boomed Emmett. "You clean up nice!"
"Thanks," I mumbled, feeling blood rush to my face.
Rosalie only looked, her face void of any expression as Alice continued to beam at her great success and glance over at Jasper who gave me a small grin.
"Edward is downstairs," he said politely.
Walking down the stairs, I was aware that four out of the seven most graceful people I knew were watching me endeavor to walk down already difficult terrain for me in a foreign pair of unstable shoes. It was a good thing I had no idea Edward was standing at the base or else I would have certainly lost my footing.
"Happy Valentines Day, love," I looked up from the stairs I had been eyeing so closely only to see my own personal Greek god staring right at me, clad in dress pants and a long sleeve button down shirt.
"This is ridiculous," I said, noting the bouquet of flowers he was holding, beginning to reach for them.
As if he hadn't heard me scoff at the first attempt, Edward took a step backwards, yet continued to hold the flowers out to me and repeated, "Happy Valentines Day, love."
"Thank you," I said, looking into his topaz eyes, catching on to his game.
He relinquished the flowers to me. I hardly had a moment to look down at the dozen blood, red roses in my arms before my elbow was seized by a frosty hand and steered towards the front door towards a June Valentine's Day I could not even begin to imagine.