AN: Ok, so I had a suggestion to add one more chapter to this. So here it is. A New Year's chapter.
Remember, none of this is mine, it all belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Happy New Year
I stood in the middle of my huge closet, both hands on my hips and sighed. I still had not paid Alice back for one) all the French lingerie and skimpy bikinis she had packed for my honeymoon or two) this ridiculous monstrosity of a closet. Ok, ok, so I did enjoy the effects of some of that French lingerie and bikini's after I was able to prove to Edward they weren't detrimental to my physical health, or rather, we didn't think so at the time. I sighed as my mind wandered from that thought to what all that skimpy clothing had led to. I could hear Renesmee and Edward down the hall. She was giggling and I could hear music filtering through the cottage. I smiled to myself at the sound.
Renesmee must have asked for another "dance lesson". She was fond of those with her father. I had dressed Renesmee as Edward had gotten ready. He was in a pair of nice black slacks, a silver grey button down shirt and a black tie. Renesmee had on a simple black velvet party dress with a large satin sash. Now it was my turn to figure out what to put on. Alice of course had decided it had been too long since we've had a proper party and she wanted to celebrate the New Year holiday. Granted our little party couldn't be too extravagant, due to the fact only a handful of people even knew the Cullens were still around Forks, but that didn't deter her. She was a woman on a mission.
I sniffed once, sorting all the scents. Edward had taught me to do that so that I could find my way through this maze of cloth. I had much rather put on an old pair of jeans and t-shirt, however, that would cause my dear sister to have a heart attack. Something impossible for an immortal. I squared my shoulders as I made my way over to the area of my closet that held the silks, satins, chiffons and lace. I started pulling zippers on long white garment bags. Long pink silk dress, nope. Really, short and tight bright blue dress, nope. Something champagne colored and poufy, nope. This was going to take all night. I turned around and walked back into my bedroom and found my cell phone on the dresser.
"Hi Bella. Is there any particular reason, I can't see what you're wearing tonight?" Alice started straight in as soon as she picked up the phone.
"It's because I can't find anything to wear." I ground out slightly. "Where in the world is just a simple black cocktail dress?" I asked impatiently.
I heard Alice sigh on the other end of the line. "Fourth garment bag on the left. There are several take your pick. I really think you should try the purple dress in the fifth bag it…" I cut her off before she could get started good.
"Thanks Alice, I need to go and get dressed now. We'll see you soon." I hung up and went back into the closet and unzipped the garment bag Alice had mentioned. Sure enough there were four knee length black dresses there. I sifted through them and sighed. I really wasn't happy with any of them either. My phone buzzed with a text message. I dropped the dresses and went to see who had messaged me.
Sixth bag, blue one
It was from Alice. I could still hear Renesmee's giggles and the cd of Edward's piano music down the hall. They were in no hurry to leave. I returned once again to my torment and found the bag Alice had messaged me about and unzipped it. There was a simple deep royal blue knee length dress. Perfect. I sat down at the vanity in the corner and tried to pin my hair up the way Rose had showed me yesterday while Emmett and Edward were out hunting. I pulled it partially up, and left the rest in curls hanging lose. It didn't quite look like it had when Rose had done it, but close enough. I found a pair of simple princess cut earrings Edward had placed in my stocking for Christmas. I turned then and sighed again in exasperation. Shoes, how in the world was I going to find the right pair of shoes.
My phone buzzed once more with a message. Of course it was another one from Alice telling me which box I needed to pull to find the shoes that would match this dress. I smiled as I placed the strappy heels on my feet. Her over indulgence with clothes was a bit annoying, however, she did it out of love I knew. Perhaps I could go a bit longer without paying her back for this.
The music stopped down the hall and I could hear Renesmee's light run as she came down the hall. I stood up and held my arms open as she bounded into them. She placed her hand on my cheek. She told me she thought I looked pretty and asked when were we going to the big house.
"Thank you, and so do you. Now. Are you ready?" She nodded and I placed her back on the floor. She ran to the door, side stepping her father as he came in.
Edward smiled wide, and his eyes danced in the low light of our bedroom. I felt that familiar pull in my stomach and tingle in my cheeks where I would blush if I still could. He crossed the bedroom and met me at the door to the closet wrapping his hands around my waist and pulled me closer to him. I still had to get on my toes just slightly even in the heels, but I met his lips and melted into his embrace. I sighed into the kiss knowing I could stay right here all night and knowing that I couldn't.
I felt Edward smile as he pulled back. I pouted.
"Can't we just stay here?" I whined, being slightly childish.
Edward gave me his signature crooked smirk. "Alice would come and get us. Actually if we don't hurry, she might be on her way soon."
He stepped back but kept his hands on my waist. I watched his eyes travel across me and they were dark when they traveled back up to my face. He took one of my hands and held it up so I would twirl around. When I had made a full circle he pulled me close again, this time his lips traveled across my cheek to my ear and I felt his breath there.
"You look beautiful tonight Mrs. Cullen." His use of my married name still sent tremors up my spine just like it did when we were first married over a year ago now. I found his lips and kissed him one more time.
"Thank you." I stated as he pulled away.
I peeked around Edward's shoulder as I heard the question to find Renesmee in the doorway to our bedroom. Hands on hips and waiting.
Edward smiled at her and took my hand as I followed him. She jumped up into his free arm and we left the cottage headed across the river to our family.
Of course when we jumped the river I could see Alice on the back porch, toe tapping with Jasper waiting patiently behind her with a small smile on his face.
"I was about to come and get you if I hadn't seen that you were already headed this way." She stated exasperated as we climbed the stairs. Renesmee jumped from her father's arms and ran the rest of the way up the stairs to greet her aunt and then her uncle. Jasper took her hand and followed her into the house as Alice inspected what I was wearing.
"Perfect. I had almost forgotten about that one." She grinned then. It wasn't in her to stay mad at anyone for any length of time.
We made our way in the back door and were immediately greeted by Esme and Carlisle. I could tell just about everyone was here already. Jake was running late. That was odd. But then again he hated dressing up. He wasn't the only werewolf present. All of his pack, including Quil and Embry were there. Seth and Leah as well, which surprised me. Sam and Emily were present. They had gotten married late last winter, only a few months after our incident with the Volturi and now Emily was clearly expecting their first child. She was seated in one of the oversized chairs, one hand on her stomach and the other in Sam's hand.
I scanned the room further and noticed Kate and Garrett cozy on the couch and talking with Rose and Emmett. I wondered if they would actually get married like all of us or just stay together as mates. Not all vampire couples did the human thing of getting married officially. Pretty much the only ones I knew of were the Cullens. Tanya and Eleazar and Carmen were also here. I was shocked to see that Peter and Charlotte were across the room talking with Jasper.
"Alice saw in a vision they would be visiting soon, so she was able to contact them by some information she had to encourage them to come earlier." Edward whispered in my ear. I turned and looked up at him.
"I saw the question in your expression." He smiled. I just nodded. I had gotten better at letting my shield down so that he could read my mind and used it when necessary or convenient. However, he already had perfected the skill of reading my face.
I spotted Sue and Charlie across the room as well. Renesmee had already spotted her grandfather and she was now sitting in his lap as they listened to Seth talking animatedly. His hand that wasn't gesturing wildly was tight in the grasp of Amy. Seth had spotted her when he was visiting friends up on the Makah reservation over the summer. She was in town visiting an aunt. She was part Native American. Her mother had moved off the reservation with Amy's father before she was born. Now, she was living with her aunt. Imprinting kind of did that to you.
The door opened and Jacob came in. I caught him searching through the crowd as everyone greeted him. In a second Renesmee was out of Charlie's lap and over at Jacob. He picked her up and swirled her around telling her how pretty she looked in her party dress. She grabbed his hand and pointed back toward Charlie and Sue when she was placed back on the ground. She wanted to hear the rest of Seth's story I was sure.
We mingled and laughed and talked. Edward played the piano for a while, couples danced. Rose took over for a few songs so Edward could dance with me and of course Renesmee. Her grandfathers applauded her skills and said her lessons were paying off. She was the center of attention off and on as the hours passed. Emmett, Quil and Embry had a football game playing on the television and on occasion we could hear shouts of indignation over bad plays. Esme the perfect hostess had a spread on the table for those who wanted to eat.
I thought back over the past year. We had had a quiet uneventful year since that day a year ago when we thought we weren't going to survive. We had all reveled in the time together. Edward had told me that usually if they ever spent time not 'being human' the family usually would go their separate ways for a few months. The couples for the most part playing newlyweds, he would usually stay with Carlisle and Esme. He said these stints never lasted long, a few months at a time.
Edward had also informed me that the rest of the family had never gone for a whole year just pretty much staying at home. That this past year had been a first. I think that was because we had all realized how close we came to losing everything, each other, our way of life. We just wanted the time to be together. And we had been.
We had spent most of our days at the large white house and most nights in our little cottage. Edward had started tutoring Renesmee and various members of the family had joined that venture as topics of particular interest to each of them was broached. She had started to learn to play piano and took to it quiet well. She wanted to start learning to play the violin next. Her aunts kept up their work of a scrapbook that looked as if it had spanned years not months. We all doted on her and loved her.
I got to see Charlie often, I even cooked dinner for him a few times, even though now the thought of actually eating what I cooked revolted me. That seemed to please him. To come home to see my car parked in the driveway, his granddaughter in the living room waiting on him and his daughter in the kitchen. We had agreed that Renee didn't need to know of the frequency of our visits. She was still under the impression I was slowly getting over my very long illness. There was still a weight in my stomach over my mom, however, from her e-mails I knew she was happy. Phil was seeing to that.
Edward spun me around the room to the music now filtering through the sound system. I could catch glimpses of Alice and Jasper near us. Renesmee was not with Carlisle and Esme was taking pictures. Jared and Kim were tucked into a corner as we spun by. Their wedding was coming up in a few months. Kim had actually asked if Renesmee could be their flower girl. She was very excited over the possibility of a new dress for the occasion.
Edward slowed us as the music changed. We ended up near the back glass wall. I stopped us for a moment as I reached up on my toes and my lips met his. He returned my kiss enthusiastically, considering we were surrounded by people. We heard Emmett whistle and then a thud as Alice wacked him in the back of the head as she walked by where he was sitting on the couch. I pulled away and ducked my head, burying it in Edward's chest. Glad in this moment I couldn't blush. I wondered when that emotion would fade. In a few more years? Would I still feel the pull to my silly human embarrassment even after a hundred? I hoped not.
Edward took his hand and pulled my chin up. "Sorry, I lost myself there for a moment." He smiled down at me and I was dazzled. That feeling hadn't faded either, and I hoped it never would.
"It's ok, I don't mind. But we might want to remember who's around."
"Anyway, what time is it? It has to be near midnight by now." I asked as I surveyed the room looking for a clock. I peaked around Edward's shoulder and found one.
He turned to look as well. "11:55" he stated. He pulled me closer and leaned in to whisper in my ear.
"I hate to see this year go, it's been a good one."
I nodded my head in agreement. I surveyed the room once more as everyone began to notice the time. All of our family and friends were present. A little over a year ago, I never thought this serenity existed. I sighed and melted into Edward's embrace as he pulled my back closer to his chest, wrapping his arms around me. Emmett found the remote and found a channel counting down the time to the New Year.
Those who wanted it were passed flutes of champagne. Minor conversations were halted and Rose left the piano to find Emmett. He held his arms out for her and pulled her into his lap on the couch. Alice was clinging tightly to Jasper and Carlisle and Esme were quietly standing in a corner, looking as if they had only been married days rather than decades. Couples found one another and families sat near each other. I found my daughter in the arms of Jacob standing behind Charlie. She was intently watching the countdown on the tv.
My mind wandered back through the past year and wondered how it could get any better. Flashes of the moments I treasured with my daughter as she raced through her childhood came to mind. Those moments when she was profoundly more than human and smarter beyond her years didn't frighten me the way they once had. I knew now that even though she would be a child for only a short time, she would still be our daughter forever. I was not going to lose her to time. I let the memories of the nights spent with my husband wash over me. I seriously wondered if eternity was enough time to have with Edward, but I knew of no longer increment of time. Alice had become even more of a best friend now that we shared the same life, and I had gained her as a true sister. My experience of having Renesmee and then standing beside the rest of my family to protect our way of life had bonded Rosalie and I in ways I think neither of us imagined. Not only had I given her brother a reason to enjoy life now, but I had given Rosalie a surrogate motherhood in a sense. Esme filled her days with cataloging and rearranging the artwork of her granddaughter around the house and Carlisle marveled at the life that had been brought forth from insurmountable odds and a love the transcended all boundaries. Emmett became not only a big brother for me, but the best uncle anyone could have for Renesmee and Jasper found new hope for the life he had chosen when he found Alice through my control. Jacob…Jacob was finally the friend I had always knew he was. Charlie was finally forgetting about his life with Renee and moving on towards a new life with Sue. He looked younger and happier every time I saw him because of his new found life.
My mind was brought back to the present as I heard those around me begin to count.
Edward's breath brushed my ear as he counted, "five, four, three.."
He removed his arms from around me and placed his hands on my waist and turned me to face him. I immediately placed my arms around his neck, pulling myself closer to him.
"two….one." His whispered numbers cut off as his lips melded to mine.
My body molded against his as I heard the rounds of applause and "Happy New Years" surrounding us. I tried to place all of the love and emotions and happiness from the past year and my hopes for the future into that kiss. Eventually Edward pulled back and smirked at me, his signature crooked grin. I blinked, still dazzled by him. He took my breath away even now when I no longer needed it.
He tilted in his head down till our foreheads were touching. I leaned in and gave him one more soft, short kiss. He smiled back at me as I grinned at him.
"I don't think this upcoming year can be better than the last one," he whispered in a single slight breath.
"I don't see how." I lowered my arms from his neck and wrapped them around his torso and looked up at him. "But if it is, it will be wonderful….magical." I sighed contentedly and let myself be swept away into the hope of a bright and happy future.
Remember if you like it, love it or loathe it…let me know it!