Authors' Note:

Tequila: whoa. hehe. SORRY.

Justin: Long time no see?

Tequila: i think you mean long time no update, justin :S

Justin: Well… at least it's good and long?

Tequila: and we're making a CAMEO APPEARANCE!!

Justin: Of a sort…

Disclaimer: STEPEHNIE MEYER showed up and said that we actually owned the rights to Twilight and everything… and then we woke up…

Bowling for Hearts…




I woke up in the morning when I rolled off the mattress and onto a hardwood floor. Whaaa… I remembered where I was only after staring at the wall for several disjointed seconds. I was at Jessica's, I was in the basement, and I had gotten—I glanced down at my watch—almost three hours of sleep. Not bad. I sat up, and noted that while Emmett and Ben were still dozing, Jasper was nowhere to be seen. I stood, stretched, and went looking for him, still in my pajamas.

I found him, eventually, curled up with a book on the big sofa in front of the television, wrapped in a throw. "Hey."

He glanced up. "Hey."

I sat down a few inches away from his feet. "Any good?"

He nodded enthusiastically. "It's called Son of the Morning Star, about the Battle of Little Bighorn. Very well written, and quite accurate."

"Isn't that a bit past your period?" Jasper was a Civil War buff, and is usual reading of choice was interminably dry histories of the 1830-1870 period.

"Yeah, but it came very well recommended. Quite worth a read."

I nodded and fell back against the sofa. "So… any idea what we're doing today?"

"Probably going into town, grab some lunch, rent a movie or two. Maybe go bowling."


"Yes, bowling. There's a nice little bowling place in town. Although Alice still refuses to wear the shoes."

"Mmm… what's up with—"


I looked at him. He was one of my best friends, unquestionably, but… "You realize that if you hurt my sister they'll never find your body, right?"

He laughed. "No worries, Edward. Alice can take care of herself."

I grinned. "I know that. Believe me, do I know that." There was a pause. "But, seriously. Never. Find. Your. Body."

Eventually, I abandoned Jasper to contemplation of his book. I returned downstairs, grabbed my clothing for the day, and ducked into the shower, which was nice. Although, if I knew my twin, she would find the bathmat a tad too small— she was very picky about bathrooms.

When I left the bathroom, toweling my hair dry, I bumped into Emmett… who was running frantically towards the hall, Rosalie chasing after him… alright…

At about nine, most of the others woke up and there was a general movement towards the kitchen, and breakfast. They had waffles, which I rejoiced in, as well as orange juice and some fruit—I was contented.

I moved out onto the balcony after eating, and sat enjoying the sunshine with Jasper. I was even more pleased. That is, until Alice and Bella came in and sat down. I could see quite well from here.

Damn. It was bad enough that Bella was sitting, less than ten feet away from me, in her pajamas. After all, I'd seen her in them before, rarely. But the fact that she was sitting there, eating waffles, was, for some odd reason, impossible to bear. I bit my lip.

Jasper turned to look at me, eyes wide. "Whoa, Edward… I can practically feel that. What's up? You don't have a thing for…" he scanned the table, "Lauren, do you?"



I shook my head.

"Good lord, you're in love with Bella."

"Damn, you're good."

He shrugged. "I can't help it. Spend enough time with your sister, some of that omniscience rubs off." He stood. "Speaking of your sister," we entered the room and sat down at the table. Alice flounced off, and I winced. I didn't like having the two of them at odds with one another, not at all. It just felt… wrong. Really, really wrong.

But on the other hand, I was now eating a second breakfast. Next to Bella Swan. And they had waffles. And Nutella. Life was pretty good, actually.


I woke up to the sound of Rosalie's voice whispering furiously through the door. "Emmett! If you come in here before I've done my hair you will die. Painfully and slowly."

He laughed. "Come on, Rosie baby—"

"Don't you 'Rosie baby' me! First you walk in while I'm in the shower—"


"What? What? You thought the water running and the fact that the door was locked was some sort of invitation to pervy voyeurs?"

"Rose, the door was not locked!"

"Oh? Oh, really? That's the best you can come up with in the way of an apology? Calling me a liar?"

"No, I'm saying maybe you thought you locked it, but it opened when I turned the handle."

She hissed like an enraged cat and I winced. I'd gotten to know Rosalie pretty well since I'd moved to Forks—boyfriend's older sister, after all—and that hissing noise she was making did not bode well for Emmett. At all. I sat up carefully, trying to be quiet, and slipped out of bed. "Rose…"

She spun. "What, Alice?"

"Without meaning in any way to denigrate your suffering, which I'm sure was extreme…"

"Get on with it."

"Could you take this somewhere else? It's like seven in the morning… and Angela and Bella are still asleep."

She narrowed her eyes, but nodded. Then she quickly twisted the lock, yanked the door open (and by the thump, hit Emmett in the head doing so) and stalked out of the room. I flopped back onto the bed, frowning. I had managed to avoid Bella last night, but it wouldn't last long. The girl was tenacious… a coward (viz a viz my brother, at least) but a tenacious one. Damn.

I snuck out of the room at about nine, after dozing for while, and slipped into the shower. It wasn't bad, for a bathroom that wasn't in my house. Admittedly, I get a wee bit obsessive, but sometimes I have a reason. Some bathrooms are disgusting!!

This one, although with a bathmat marginally too small, and the lights that were a little too far from the mirror, was at least hygienic. And the toilet paper dispenser was the right type, which cannot be overestimated. Those disgusting little metal stick things may look nice, but the toilet paper is always falling off onto the floor! How disgusting can you get?

After a short shower (less than fifty minutes… I was quite proud of myself) I returned the room to find Angela already gone, but Bella still sleeping the sleep of the just (but cowardly). This would not do at all. Edward had come and knocked on the door while I was in the shower to tell me that breakfast was being served… and that the cut off for breakfast was ten thirty. It was… ten fifteen!

"Bella! Bellsy, Belladona, Bella Luna, Bellalicious!"

She groaned and rolled over… falling out of the bed. "GAAHH!"


"Um… sorry, Bella… but breakfast is going to go away soon!"

"Breakfast… huh?"

"Bella. It's morning-time. That means it's wakey-up time. Okay?"

She snorted, and sat up. "There's no need for condescension at this hour of the morning… what time is it?"


"Great… eight hours of sleep."

"Bella, come on. Breakfast!"

She sighed, and stood. "Coming, Alice."

By the time we'd trudged down the hall and up the stairs, I was nearly bouncing with excitement. Breakfast was the most important meal of the day, after all. Only Lauren, Emmett, Ben, and Angela were still at the table by the time we arrived. But what was at the table was breakfast.

I dropped down into a seat next to Angela, and proceeded to assemble French toast, lemonade, an apple, and some raspberries. Bella seemed to be doing the same—sans the French toast, but with the addition of a waffle… yum.

I was rather busy with my happy-French-toast-world, but I definitely noticed when Jasper came through the door off the balcony and tried to sit down. I grabbed the last of the toast and left the table quickly.

By about noon, everyone was up, and dressed, and lounging in the downstairs room with the TV again. Lauren had managed to worm herself in between Tyler and Edward, and while the martyred look on my brother's face was amusing, her presumption was starting to irritate me. Was the girl trying to get in the way of my genius plans?

Knowing her, probably. Drat.

"When are we going into town?"

Jess grinned. "As soon as I can convince my mom to take us. I thought we'd go bowling, grab some lunch, rent some movies, okay?"

We all agreed with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I was very fond of bowling, but I categorically refused to wear the shoes. Some things a girl just should not have to endure.

It turned out to be almost one before Jessica was able to convince Cynthia to take us all to town for lunch and bowling; we all piled into the van and spent the entire journey teasing Emmett, who was undergoing some sort of punishment from Rose (probably because of the bathroom incident I'd heard of this morning). Regardless of the reason why, he was wearing the most ridiculous hangdog look I'd ever seen and Rosalie had traded seats with Jasper so she didn't have to sit next to him.

Edward and Bella were still sitting next to one another, though, and things seemed to be progressing quite nicely on that particular front. Soulful glances? Check. Twitchy fingers? Check. A lovely blush on both of their faces? Check.

Yes, my work was progressing quite well indeed.


By the time we got to the bowling alley (and getting there was torture enough, sitting next to Bella and trying not to breathe) my sister looked to be so thoroughly pleased with herself I was surprised she didn't spontaneously combust. She practically bounced her way out of Moby Dick and into the bowling alley, cheerfully chatting with Jessica the entire way.

"So I haven't really decided what I want my bowling name to be—"

I groaned. Alice was going to insist that we used bowling names again. I had hoped she had outgrown this. Years ago.

"Bowling name?" Jessica blinked.

"Yes, of course. You never bowl under your own name!"

Lauren gaped. "Um, Alice?"

"For instance, I shall be bowling as Tequila Mockingbird—"

Emmett lunged forward, "And I'll be Justin Saine—"

Rosalie, still pointedly ignoring Emmett, leaned into my other side, "I always bowl as Trixie LaRue."

Ben grinned, "And I'm the TANMAN."

I blinked. Ben shrugged. "He's a little known superhero who appears in the 56th edition of—"

Angela gently covered his mouth with her hand. "And I'm going to be bowling as fish."


"G-H-O-T-I. Pronounced like fish—you take the 'gh' from enough, the 'o' from women and the 'ti' from nation. Ghoti."

Bella laughed—god, her laugh was beautiful. "What should I bowl as?"

Alice smirked. "How about Anita Mann? I think that name really… suits you."

Bella turned bright red, but nodded in assent.

Lauren moaned. "This is so dumb. Why can't I just bowl as Lauren?"

Just for that, "I think it's a great idea."

Lauren turned a dull red, but her blush was nothing compared to Bella's. A crow to a swan…

Jessica smiled, "Why don't you just bowl as, uh, Nerual?"

Lauren looked even more like a goldfish. "Wha…"

Rosalie rolled her eyes. "Lauren backwards. Nerual."

Jessica nodded. "And I'll be, uh, Quesadilla. I like quesadillas." She walked up to the counter where her mother was arranging our two lanes, and got her shoes. I wandered over to join her and Angela, Ben, Tyler, Jasper, and Bella. Just because I needed shoes. Not because I had glanced around, not seen Bella anywhere, and panicked slightly. At all.

Oh, hell. I couldn't even fool myself.

By the time we had all (with the exception, of course, of Alice, who had somehow managed to sweet talk the attendants into looking the other way) changed into our ridiculous bowling shoes and found our lanes, everyone had chosen 'bowling names.'

Except for me.

Tyler was Drew A. Blank, Mike was Ben Dover and Jasper was Claire Voyant. As everyone turned an expectant gaze towards me, I knew I had to think, and think fast. What in the world would be my bowling name?

"So Edward," Emmett grinned "What in the world is your bowling name?"

I had to think faster.

Against my will, my eyes flicked to a smiling Bella, and a wickedly smirking Alice. I gulped. I wanted to impress Bella, but I couldn't make it seem too obvious. It had to reflect me, but in a good light. I was not going to pick a stupid name like Ben Dover.

So what did I like? Music. What did Bella like? Books. Well I liked books as well, we had some of the same taste in literary works, though I would never understand her love for Romeo and Juliet

I had it.

"ZOUNDS!" I proclaimed dramatically. "ZOUNDS! is going to be my bowling name."

Bella laughed and her entire face lit up. I knew I made the right choice as I watched her eyes sparkle and her nose scrunch up just a little. Alice laughed as well and I, albeit reluctantly, turned my gaze to her.

"That's great, Edward. Type it in and we're good to go!" She said excitedly, clapping her hands together. How she could possibly be any chipper-er I had no idea.

I nodded and began pressing the large buttons on the machine. Just as I was getting to Z-O-U I was interrupted.

"Uh, Edward?" Lauren asked "You're spelling your name wrong."

"No he's not." Bella replied calmly as I continued typing (with suddenly shaking fingers). "That's how it's spelled."

"But that would make it 'zownds', not 'zoonds'" Lauren protested, looking positively mulish.

Bella shook her head. "No, you see, it's spelled Z-O-U-N-D-S but pronounced "zoonds" because it's an abbreviation of the phrase "God's wounds". Sometimes it's even spelled Apostrophe-S-W-O-U-N-D-S, but most editions of Shakespeare don't have it written that way because it's very close to looking like sounds, a word we use everyday."

This girl even knew what zounds meant. Who else would besides me would know what zounds meant? Only Bella would know. Only beautiful, angelic, perfect, darling, fantas—

"ZOUNDS! you're up," said a very satisfied Rosalie as she turned away from a perfect strike.

Two games later, one in which Emmett won first place, the other in which Angela (or rather, Ghoti) got the gold medal, and both where poor Bella scored dead last (she refused to put up the rails, even though everyone offered. Numerous times), our time was up. We quickly exchanged our borrowed shoes for our own personal ones—except Alice, of course—left the vicinity, and scrambled into Moby Dick, arguing on which team won. We had split it girls against guys, and as we won one game each, were currently in an epic battle to ensure our dominance on the bowling field—bowling lane? We argued that we won by more points—Emmett had 121 whereas Angela had 110. They in turn argued that it didn't matter, because the sum of their collective points was bigger than ours. After that they rashly declared that it also didn't matter because they would have won the next game anyway, which meant that bowling had suddenly turned from friendly competition to war. But war had to stop in the face of an unstoppable force sitting in the backseat. Emmett, as he loudly and frequently reminded us all, was hungry.

"I'm hunnnngry" Emmett whined for the umpteenth time.

"We know, Emmett." Jessica said irritably "we're going to a pizza place, okay?"

"Good! Pizza!" Emmett grinned agreeably. "That's cool. I like pizza."

We breathed a collective sigh of relief as Emmett finally quieted down. Our relief was short-lived.

"I'm hungry." Emmett said.

We all groaned.

By the time we arrived at the pizzeria, Emmett was bouncing off the walls. Luckily, there was one large booth that could seat all twelve of us—although things were complicated by the fact that Rosalie wouldn't sit with Emmett, Alice wouldn't sit with Jasper, Lauren was desperate to sit next to me, and both Mike and Tyler were trying frantically to finagle a seat next to Bella. And as if that wasn't enough, for some reason, Bella and Alice refused to sit next to each other (something about bad spirits and tradition. Traditionally bad spirits?) I had sat down next to Jasper, which meant Alice sat down across from me - and because of the "traditionally bad spirits," Bella, instead of sitting next to Alice (which would result in a comfortable 6 people to a side), sat down next to me... very next to me. Practically in my lap.


I did, however, manage to choke down some rather good pizza, garlic knots and a Sierra Mist while trying not to accidentally molest the girl of my dreams by simply reaching over the table to grab a napkin.

Not that that happened.

More than twice.

I was so very, very doomed. And Alice was laughing at me again, while intermittently glaring slightly at Jasper.

It was unnerving, having them angry at each other. It made me almost itchy.

Or perhaps that was because Bella's thigh was pressed against mine.

Yeah, that was probably it, upon reflection. I was lucky to get out of that pizzeria alive.

I did notice, however, that Alice had pulled Jasper aside as we all figured out who owed whom money, and how much, and why and when. They had a vehement, whispered discussion and I fervently hoped that it would prove to be the resolution of their fight. Having them at odds with one another just felt wrong.

We all stood on the curb after lunch, looking about. Cynthia wouldn't be back with the car for another hour, which left us with time to waste. It was an attractive town, although there wasn't really much to do—a bit of a tourist trap, honestly. Everyone was arguing good-naturedly about whether to go shopping, get ice-cream, to pick out DVDs, or check out the library (needless to say, only Angela, Ben and Bella really thought that the latter was a good idea, although I would have happily gone along with it to make Bella happy). After a minute or so of cheerful chatting, Emmett pulled me aside.

"Hey, Edward, want to go check out that store over there?"

"Sure, Emmett."

As soon as we turned to corner, he grabbed my arm. "I want to grab something for Rose, and you're my cover, alright? As far as anyone knows, we'll have spent this time, uh, at that video game store." He pointed down the street.

I nodded. "So where are we really going?"

"Mall. I wanna get her a necklace, 'cause she's been real steamed up since I accidentally walked in on her in the shower this morning… get it, steamed up?" he chuckled to himself. I rolled my eyes, but followed him across the street and around a corner. There was a tiny little mall, 15 stores at most, just a block or two further down that he was evidently heading for.

"So. What's up?"

"Not much." I shaded my eyes and peered forward. It was warm out, even through the perpetual clouds of Washington State.

"Look, Edward. You're a great guy, one of my good friends… but I gotta say something."

I raised my eyebrows. "Please. Go ahead."

"You're a friend… but I've known Bella since I was two. And the way you're looking at her, dude, you'd better treat her right."

I flushed, doubtless red as a tomato. Had I been that obvious? I mumbled something noncommittal, and then, thank god, we were at the little mall and Emmett made a beeline for the only semi-nice looking jewelry store in the place.

We entered, and the air-conditioning was blissful. He wandered back and forth before yanking me over to the display cases and jabbing a finger at two necklaces: one a simple silvery pendent of some sort of deep blue-violet stone surrounded with smaller, flashing gems, the other a choker set with small dark red stones worked with what was probably brass.

"Whaddaya think?"

I paused, pondering what I knew of Rosalie. "The bluish one."

He frowned for a moment. "To match her eyes. I think you're right." He beckoned to a salesgirl. "What's that?"

She sniffed slightly. "That's tanzanite. And opals."

"How much."

Her voice was a sneer. "Three-hundred and seventy-five dollars."

He nodded, slowly. "I'll take it." He dug about in his pocket for a moment and pulled out a credit card, which he plopped down on the counter, like he spent nearly four hundred dollars on jewelry every day.

Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. But she swiped the card, he signed, and she packed the necklace into a box and handed it to him.

We walked out of the store and back into the heat, Emmett whistling cheerfully and me still stunned.

"Emmett? Is that—uh—do you really think—for a shower?"

He smirked at me. "Nah. Our anniversary is today, and she thinks I've forgotten. And I've got some money saved up, anyway."

He tossed his head towards another building, this one with a distinctive XXX ADULT sign above it, and raised his eyebrows with a leer. "Well, Edward? Wanna kill some time?" He waggled his eyebrows.

I sighed. Just when I thought he might actually be a sensitive, caring guy. "Emmett, I think we should just head back."

He clapped me on the shoulder, hard. "C'mon, Edward, don't be so boring," he sighed. I glared. "Fine, let's get back to the girls."

We walked back through the town to where Jessica, Ben, Angela, and Alice were waiting.

"Hey guys!"

We were quickly reabsorbed into the crowd and the chatter. It seemed that while Emmett and I were out selecting a bribe for Rosalie, the others had selected DVDs for this evening, and were on their way to meet the rest of the group at an ice cream parlor.

It was nearby, and while we walked I chatted with Ben about their movie selection for the evening. It was going to be interesting, to say the least. Everything was just fine, until we finally arrived at the ice-cream parlor, where Jasper, Rosalie, Mike, Tyler, Lauren, and Bella were waiting.

I thought I was going to spontaneously combust. Bella had an ice-cream cone—chocolate chocolate chip with rainbow sprinkles—and was eating it. Normal enough. But the way she was eating it should have been illegal. It was bad enough with the… the licking, and the swirly-tongue-thing, and the lapping up. But then some got on her fingers, and she started sucking on them, and biting little bits of the waffle cone off, and slurping up big hunks of ice-cream… and then it started to melt down out of the bottom of the cone, and she started… sucking on it… and then she had ice-cream all over her face and her hands and some on her neck and she was laughing and grinning and she looked so happy I just about died. This was pure torture.

"Edward. Edward!" the voice of my twin snapped me back into reality. Alice was looking at me sympathetically. "Edward, breathe."

I nodded, somewhat frantically, but I couldn't afford to be pushy. It wasn't like I was able to hide anything from my twin. I was incoherent and distracted for the rest of the outing, and by the time we were back in Moby Dick and I was sitting next to Bella I was completely out of it. Alice had to practically pull me out of the van and into the house, where I collapsed onto a sofa and closed my eyes. Then she went to snuggle with Jasper—I was so glad whatever issues they'd had seemed to have been resolved. I glanced up at the clock on the DVD player—6:24. Their little spat had lasted for almost three full days. That might just have been some kind of record.

"God, what should we do? I don't want to just sit around." Lauren had a whine that would make a mosquito green with envy.

"Oooh, let's play sardines!" my sister's eyes lit up. Uh-oh.

Mike frowned. "What's sardines? Like… the fish in the cans? We just ate."

"No… it's like hide and seek, only backwards." Alice frowned, "Um…"

Jessica rolled her eyes. "Okay, basically, one person hides and everyone else seeks. But once you find them, you don't tell anybody, you just hide with them, so by the end of the game you're all squished in together… like sardines in a can, get it?"

"Oh…okay." Tyler nodded. "Cool. Shot hiding!"

Rosalie grinned. "You get a slow count of twenty."

We all turned around to face the wall of windows that looked out on a soggy lawn. Lauren began chanting numbers, monotonous and high pitched. Vile.

"Un, deux, trois," Rosalie chimed in, in French. Ha.

Next came Alice, murmuring sporadically in German. I didn't even know she spoke German. Soon everyone was yelling out numbers in various foreign languages (I thought I caught some Japanese, there was definitely some Spanish, a bit of Italian, and some of what sounded like the nonsense language Emmett and Jasper had made up last year), completely drowning out Lauren's caterwauling. Good. Twenty (or vignt, or nijuu, or squishi) arrived fairly quickly.

"Ready or not, here we come!"

We all split up—I headed straight for the basement. The only good strategy, when playing Sardines, was to be methodical about it. I clattered down the stairs, noting that only Tyler and Jessica were following me. Good. The fewer, the better. Once I reached the basement, I quickly peered into all of the closets in the largest basement room, where I had spent last night. Nothing. Next I stuck my head into the boiler room, pantry, several storage closets—still nothing (although I noted one very nice spot I would have to try out the next time I hid). I trotted back upstairs, and ran into the girls' room. I dropped to the floor: no one under the beds. Next was the closet—nada, just a lot of clothing. Next was both bathrooms (zip), the empty guest room (under the bed, behind the door, closet… nothing) and the laundry room (behind the door, on the shelves, in the washer and the dryer). By the time I made my way upstairs to the second floor, I was starting to worry a bit. I'd seen Ben, Angela, Mike, Rosalie, and Lauren. I was fairly sure that Alice had already found Tyler—the girl had an almost psychic gift for this game—but Emmett, Bella, and Jessica were still unaccounted for. I did a quick lap around the island in the kitchen/dining area (nothing) and peeked behind the piano in the living area. Still nothing. I retraced my steps to the top of the stairs and turned to go into the little hall that led to Jessica's room and the second guest room. There was nothing under Jess's bed, or in her closet… but as I ducked into a room that bore unmistakable traces of occupation by two teenage males, I heard… giggling?

I yanked open the closet door…

Good lord.

Tyler was standing, tightly pressed against the far wall, with Alice right next to him. I stepped in and closed the door, huddling towards the wall.

"Any idea how close anyone else is?"

Now, I'm certainly not the kind of guy who has this 'macho' reputation to maintain. In fact, I'd like to think I'm fairly laid back… so I'm not ashamed to admit that I squealed like a little girl when the completely disembodied voice spoke into the darkness. Alice immediately giggled, then hushed herself. By now, I felt completely ridiculous… because I recognized the voice.

"Bella? Where are you?"

"Under the shoe rack, of course."

"How did you fit under there?" She must have been curled up like a contortionist!

Uh-oh. Baaad thoughts, there. Bella… contortionist… oh dear. I swallowed.

"I guess I'm just flexible…" Help.

I mentally smacked myself in the head. What was I, some kind of pervert? First breakfast, then lunch, now this… I was taking completely innocent things she said or did and turning them into some kind of twisted innuendo suitable for some kind of courtesan!

Ah. Courtesan. Shit.

What was worst of all, though, was the fact that I could practically hear Alice laughing at me in my head…


I bit my lip, hard, and grinned, even though nobody could see me. Getting Bella down there under the shelf had been brilliant… and as soon as I had figured out that Tyler was up here, I had dragged her with me. I had been sure that Edward would find us next, and now that they were both progressing wonderfully, I turned my attention to holding still and keeping quiet… something Tyler seemed to be having trouble with.

"Shh." I jabbed an elbow gently into his side. If he would stop snorting like some kind of wildebeest with a respiratory illness, then everything would be perfect.

Of course, Jasper had to choose just that moment to yank open the door and join us. I loved that boy, but sometimes…

I grabbed his arm and hauled him up against me, pressing a finger to his lips to indicate that silence was non-optional. He got the message.

We waited in silence, in the dark, and I could absolutely feel the hormones building… and building… and—

Oh, hell with it. I grabbed Jazz and hauled him down for a kiss. I'm only human, right?

After a moment or two, we separated as silently as we had come together, and I snuggled into him instead. Perfect peace.

Which was, of course, exactly when Angela and Emmett burst in, laughing. I hushed them, but it was starting to get a bit crowded… even with Bella under a shelf and me standing on top of the aforementioned shelf, there were four people just standing about in a closet.

The door opened again. Make that six. Jess and Rosalie had just found us. Angela had joined me on the shelf… but from the sound of things, Rosalie had already smacked Emmett several times.

When Ben showed up, I was non-happy. It was getting really warm in here, and I sincerely hoped that the hand that was brushing my ass belonged to Jasper, not Emmett or Tyler.

By the time Mike and Lauren finally found us, I was just about ready to scream. We all tumbled out of the closet (smirk) and after Bella had finally removed herself from the cramped space she'd squeezed into, she was left upstairs while the rest of us trooped down to the TV room to count again. Lauren didn't even try to go with that vile monotone—this time the strange languages and funny accents won the day.

After Mike did his impression of a Russian accent, we were all laughing so hard we accidentally gave Bella an extra ten seconds or so… oh well. She'd need them, although the hiding spot she'd chosen was rather good. I gave it a moment or two of poking about in other rooms before nipping into the garage (just off the front hall, opposite the stairs to the second floor) and jumping into the back of the truck with her. I saw that Rosalie had beaten me there.

"Hello, girls!"

I was immediately shushed. "Alice."

I shrugged. It wasn't like anyone could hear us. There was a freaking wall in the way! I hunkered down in the back and waited, breathing as quietly as I could, for the rest of them to find us.

It took almost an hour. Honestly, they were slow. We waited, tense at first but growing more and more relaxed as the minutes ticked by. Rosalie and I chatted about our recent quarrels with our respective boyfriends, I teased Bella about Edward, Rosalie and I told Bella all about the truck we were sitting in, and eventually we got bored and started rating every boy in Forks High on a scale of one to four.

Jasper, Edward, and Emmett all got fours.

We had just about gotten up to rating the boys from the LaPush Reservation that we saw on the beach from time to time, when we were found by Emmett, Ben, Angela, Edward, and Jessica all at once. Hard on their heels came Jasper and Mike… and it turned out that Lauren had quit and was watching TV.


After the prolonged round sardines seemed to have paled a bit, and so we played several rousing rounds of tag until supper at around 8:30. It was barbeque, and very delicious—I gorged myself and Bella managed to somehow spill ketchup all over her shirt.

I would have been more irritated by it, but the combination of pure joy and anguish that crossed my brother's face when she tried to wipe it off were more than enough compensation for the mess. Boys and their hormones. I shook my head. They were so easy to take advantage of.

After dinner, we settled down for a movie we had picked up earlier. It was my (and Bella's) favorite. It was the epitome of quality films, a true masterpiece, the best piece of film-making in the entire industry. There was nothing bad about this movie— its levels of perfection were only equaled by works of Picasso. Or Van Gough. Or some other guy whose name ended in O.

It was Snakes On a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Or, as I like to call him, Sammy L..

I snuggled up to Jasper as the movie was playing (I was so glad we'd had time to talk things out. And that Bella hadn't had time to corner me on it). It was still on the kid witnessing the murder, so nothing too interesting. Sammy L hadn't come up yet with his famous "do as I say, and you live" line, which is when the movie really starts, so I decided to people watch.

Mike was sitting next to Jessica on the end of the couch, watching the screen with tentative eyes. He clearly hadn't seen the movie before. I smiled to myself. It was always good to have some first timers. Jessica, squashed between Mike and Ben (and valiantly not complaining about her lack of space), was just as clueless. Perfect, their reactions would be just as hilarious as the movie itself. Tyler was grinning, so he had to have known what was coming. Lauren, who had slightly more space than Jessica as she was sitting between Tyler and Angela, was watching the movie with a sneer. I mentally shrugged. If she couldn't appreciate the true beauty of Snakes On a Plane, then she deserved to suffer. Angela and Ben had the same looks on their face— both of them were clearly withholding their judgment on the movie for now. That was fine. I was sure they'd learn to love it when Sammy L. came on camera and the action began.

Emmett had a mischievous smirk on his face. This could either be due to the fact that he was sitting next to a pissed-off looking Rosalie, or because he, too, knew the greatness of this movie. I couldn't tell with Emmett, but it hardly mattered. I knew he had loved the movie when he saw it with me the first time. Rosalie, although looking pissed-off and slightly disgruntled, had all her attention focused firmly on the screen and off of Emmett. I knew she hadn't seen this movie, and I was unsure how she would take it, so at least it was good that she was paying attention. Either she'd learn to love it, or I would never speak to her again. Bella came next, tucked neatly in between Rose and a very nervously happy Edward. I gave her a closer examination than I normally would have— I already knew she loved the movie. But her smile was a tad too broad, and her eyes were just a little bit too bright, so I knew that Edward's presence also had something to do with her happy expression, and I was pleased.

But then I heard 'do as I say, and you live' and I had to stop people-watching. There was a movie to watch!

It was a great audience—full of newbies and veterans alike. The newbies laughed in all the right places right along with the old ones. Mike even fell off the couch from laughter during the bathroom snake-in-the-toilet scene, which I had to admit, was one of the best parts of the movie. And all of the old veterans chimed in (and by "chimed" I mean quoted and by "in" I mean exuberantly) during Sammy L.'s most famous scene.


As everyone burst into laughter, I caught sight of Edward's face. It was an odd mix of scandalized and awed. I didn't think he ever heard his 'innocent' Bella curse. I grinned. She had many more sides than he realized.

"Best. Movie. Ever." Ben grinned as the credits were rolling. "Loved it. The Microwave scene? Brilliant."

"And when the old man threw the dog?" Jessica agreed with a grin "I almost cried I was laughing so hard."

"Bathroom. Snake. Man." Mike gasped out, laughing again as he remembered the utter ridiculousness of that scene (and by "utter" I mean pure and by "ridiculousness" I mean brilliance).

"Wait you guys!" Bella informed them cheerfully. "It's music video time!"

"They didn't" Angela said, her eyes widening in mock horror as the very cheesy and very good music video started rolling.

"Ahh Cobra Starship," Emmett said "how I love them. The lengths they will go…"

Rosalie giggled, too distracted to even remember to be mad at Emmett. "I think I actually know this song," she mused "Oh! I'm ready for it, c'mon bring it!"

"You know it 'cause Emmett bought it off of iTunes and wouldn't stop playing it for a straight week." Jasper informed her soberly. Rosalie nodded, promptly remembered that she was supposed to be angry at Emmett, and turned his back on him. Emmett pouted. Aww, the great big teddy bear.

"I'm downloading that song," Mike announced, and wrote down Bring It (Snakes On A Plane) by Cobra Starship on the back of his hand.

"That was such a bad movie." Lauren muttered insolently and quietly, but still, we all heard it.

"What?" gasped Ben "that was phenomenal!"

Jessica nodded her agreement as Tyler treated Lauren to a shocked expression. "By bad you mean good, right? As in, this movie is such a crappy action film that it turned comedy, right? 'Cause that's what it is. It's a great comedy. It's a great movie. It's amazingly awesome. A classic."

Emmett nodded to Tyler's words of wisdom. Meanwhile, Bella and I narrowed our eyes. Doth mine ears deceive me, or didst she just calleth the movie bad?

Snakes On a Plane was not a bad movie.

She deserved to be slapped.

"Take it back." I said, my voice low and dangerous.

Jasper's eyes widened. "For the love of God, Lauren, take it back if you know what's good for you," he whispered.

His warning went, unfortunately for Lauren, unheeded. Or perhaps she didn't hear him. Either way, she opened her mouth and said possibly the stupidest thing that she could've.

"No," she said sullenly "by bad I meant bad. That was the stupidest movie I've seen!"

"Then prepare to face the consequences!" I declared, albeit a little dramatically. I seized the pillow next to me and promptly clubbed Lauren in the head like a baby seal. She let out a muffled shriek as first Bella, then Mike, then Edward, then Jasper, then everyone grabbed a pillow and began beating the nonbeliever. Lauren tried to put up a fight, but it was futile, the strength of our conviction was not to be matched. Eventually her yelling and struggling stopped, and we abandoned our cudgeling since it stopped being fun.

But then clumsy, silly, uncoordinated, darling Bella had to accidentally hit Edward in the head with her pillow. Edward, not expecting it at all, stumbled and crashed into Emmett, and it all dissolved into madness from there.

"THIS MEANS WAR!" He cried, and bashed Edward on the head.

After a minute or two of crazy free-for-all pillow fighting, alliances started being made. Soon it was very clear that we had divided into bowling teams, which was a bit of a problem. The guys were simply… bigger than all of us, and Bella's lack of coordination meant that she hit us just as much as she hit them. As Emmett fended Jessica, Angela, and I off all at once, I saw Bella and Rosalie go down back to back under the flurry of Edward and Jasper's pillows.

In this situation I could only see one solution: play dirty.

I stuck out a hand and tickled Emmett, who promptly fell down in a heap of helpless laughter. Angela and Jessica ran off to help Bella and Rosalie as I held Emmett off. Once I saw that most of the girls were safe, I knew the time was right to flee. To retreat, or rather, to advance to the rear.

"Girls, to me!" I yelled above a writhing Emmett still howling with laughter. As they all ran back to me (and escape) I gave them the final command. "The room! Go!"

Lauren, who had managed to escape Tyler, Ben, and Mike all at once, nodded and led the way. Quickly, before the guys could react, we had all ran into the room Rosalie, Bella, Angela, and I were all sharing. We would hold in here until the boys gave up. We had enough food and water to stay here for a few hours, and the boys would definitely give up before then.

I slammed the door, the last to arrive. Bella locked the door, and threw herself at it to block it in case the lock failed. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. That had been too close.

The door rattled.

We all shared frightened looks as Emmett's voice rang out. "Come out, come out!" He said in a terrifying sing-song. "We know you're in there…"

Jessica swallowed her fear. "But you can't get to us, can you? So I think we'll just wait here…"

"But that's not fair!" I could practically hear Emmett pouting.

"Life's not fair," Bella retorted.

There was a scuffle, whispers, a murmured "are you sure?", and then silence. The girls looked at each other in confusion. Sure about what?

"We are prepared to come to a truce." It was Edward speaking this time. "We give you our word of honor that if you open the door right now, we won't attack."

I shook my head. Boys had no honor.

"Swear by Snakes On a Plane." Angela challenged. I felt like hugging her; they would never even dare to defile the scared movie by lies.

"We swear by Snakes On a Plane," Edward said solemnly.

The girls, again, looked at each other in confusion and trepidation, but then opened the door a hairline crack.

"Who's your spokesperson?" Edward asked warily as he walked in with Emmett by his side.

"Rosalie," I said instantly. If there was anyone who could win the epic girls versus guys battle, it was Rosalie.

Rosalie scowled as Edward nodded. "Ours is Emmett."

Emmett, who never understood the warning signs, grinned and walked closer to her. "Hey sexy… having a fun anniversary?"

I heard Bella hiss. If I didn't know that it would all be okay, I'd be doing the same thing. That was below the belt.

Now, I'm not a very tall person, normally, and Rosalie is. So it's perfectly normal that I think she's a bit intimidating. Honestly, most people I know think she's intimidating. But I swear, that moment—and I think everyone there will back me up on this, except my moronic twin brother, who was staring at Bella instead—Rosalie looked about ten feet tall. And very, very intimidating. To say the least.

"No, actually," she hissed, "this may be, I think, the crappiest anniversary ever."

He pouted. "But babe, didn't you like my celebratory skillz?"

Rose's eyes were narrowed in fury. "Ha! You forgot and you know it! All you got me for our goddamn anniversary was a stupid perve in the shower!"

Emmett laughed. I winced. It was going to work out fine, of course, but I was slightly worried for his health in the interim. "Babe, I'm forgetful," he brought his hands out from behind his back, and displayed the box, "but I'm not that forgetful… and since you didn't seem too keen on my first anniversary present," he smirked, "I thought you might like this one better?"

She reached out and opened the box with hands that trembled just a bit. Inside lay an absolutely beautiful necklace—a simple silvery pendant with a stone of so deep and rich a blue-violet that it almost glowed, surrounded by winking gleams of light that had to be opals. Rosalie lifted it delicately out of the box and turned so he could fasten it around her neck.

It fit her like it had been made with her in mind, the color of the stones just barely matching the color of her eyes. She beamed.

"Happy Anniversary, Rose." He grinned at her. "I'd get you flowers… but it seems redundant. What with the roses in your name, poppies in your lips, violets in your eyes, goldenrods in your hair, lilies in your skin…"

Rosalie swallowed, and it looked like she was blinking back tears. She leaned forward, slowly, inevitably, like she'd forgotten that we were all there (or like she didn't care, which was just as likely—neither of them were shy) and kissed him full on the lips for so long that I was sure Bella was bright red.

I sighed. They were so cute together.

Well worth the effort I had put in getting them together in the first place.

Even though we'd probably just lost the pillow fight.

A/N, the 2nd Anniversary:

Tequila: awwwww…

Justin: --Wipes eyes-- Emmett's such a sap…

Tequila: shout out to Lord and Lady Peter on their anniversary last week… you guys are AWESOME :D