This is the long awaited sequel to 'Wake-up Call'. I truly hope that it meets and exceeds all positive expectations.
May the glorious magic of words take over the world!
With sincerest devotion and utmost enthusiasm,
"What say you to having our own party this weekend?"
"It has been a while since you and 'Alice' have had a sleepover, hasn't it?"
My eyes glittered in anticipation.
"My thoughts exactly."
Part One: The Set-Up
I couldn't wait for the Friday.
It would be quite literally impossible to last that long.
And today is Thursday! What is wrong with me?
Don't answer that.
See, Edward had gone hunting with Jasper and Carlisle, who would not be returning until late morning on Friday. I was still hoping--quite pitifully, and with such dependent fervor that it was nearly suicidal--that Edward would manage to come back to me ahead of the others, as he'd told me he might.
I smiled wistfully, relishing in the memory of our plans for the weekend; our little 'sleepover' probably wouldn't involve much in the way of slumber...not if I had anything to do with it, anyway.
Alice had consented to play along with our little ruse, of course...however, she assured me that we would, in fact, be spending time together--for girl time.
When she'd seen that I was going to argue, she had said, "Do you really like flat-out lying to Charlie, or would you rather legitimize what you told him about this weekend?"
That shut me up.
And so, that is how she convinced me to start the weekend early to go on a four-hour shopping excursion.
"Alice, is this really necessary?"
She looked me up and down with a cursory glance and replied, "Yes, Bella. It is quite thoroughly necessary."
I was sure I should have been uproariously offended or something, but I just couldn't muster the concentration necessary to exhibit any symptoms of being affronted.
Actually, all of my concentration was invested in thoughts of...
I am so hopeless.
Alice appeared an inch from my face, causing me to jump approximately half an inch away before she caught me by my shoulders.
"Snap out of it! We need to focus! Here!"
She threw a rather suspicious looking garment into my face and nudged me semi-gently into the dressing rooms.
Oh, joy of joys, now my life is complete.
I gave a cursory glance to the article of clothing I had been so ceremoniously presented with, and then dropped it like a hot coal.
Alice's voice drifted menacingly through the door.
"Put. It. On."
It's really quite amazing, what you'll do for fear of your life.
At long last, we were heading home-ward, and Alice was chatting away animatedly. At first, I struggled to keep my eyes open for longer than two seconds, but Alice was simply too entertaining, and so the fatigue sort of wore off.
"Did I ever tell you about how Jasper used to try to embarrass me in public places?"
"Okay, maybe embarrass is the wrong word. And it was really only a couple of times..."
"Alice! What happened?!"
I smiled brightly at Bella, whose face was rapt with interest. I almost laughed at the way she leaned forward, hands clasped in anticipation--I had successfully distracted her from the long wait she was enduring in Edward's absence.
"Well," I began, "it was several decades ago, when Jasper and I were first...getting to know each other, if you know what I mean."
I winked, and Bella blushed.
"Anyway," I went on, getting just as wrapped up in the telling as she was in the listening...
"It didn't take long to realize we were meant for each other, but, as you may have noticed, we aren't quite as physical as the others,"--Bella nodded--"so it was a little while before we...consummated our relationship. Certainly before we reached the Cullens, but, well...
"So, on our way to where they were living at the time, Jasper and I would occasionally need to seek refuge indoors from the sun, prying eyes, or even the rain, at times, to deter suspicion. Fortunately, I was usually able to see far enough ahead that we never had to rush for cover, but I was quite young and still learning to focus my visions, so there were a few fairly close shaves--nothing serious, mind you, just less than comfortable.
"One of those times, we ducked into a restaurant...you can imagine how pleasant that was. We had to order food."
I wrinkled my nose, and Bella giggled. I couldn't help but laugh with her before continuing.
"Yes, well, we actually had a lot of fun; we were still sort of in the get-to-know-you stage, and I had finally figured out how to get him to really open up to me."
I smiled again, softly this time, remembering just how cute he could be when he got embarrassed or when he was feeling vulnerable.
"Now, we hadbeen in a restaurant together before, but this time, we sat next to each other, rather than at either end of a table. And there weren't that many people, so--and you'd better not tell him I told you this--" she shook her head, eyes wide with sincerity--"we sort of cuddled, and he started rubbing little circles on the back of my neck."
Predictably, Bella blushed, but I was still lost in the memory.
"Then, all of a sudden, His finger trailed down the nape of my neck, and I just about lost it. He noticed, of course, my physical and emotional reaction, and asked about it. I offered the only explanation I could think of: it was probably just a sort of trigger spot, you know? Just one of those places that can drive you mad, whether you're being tickled or caressed, and there's no hope of hiding it.
"Of course," I smiled wickedly at Bella now, coming back momentarily to the here and now, "I have since discovered many ways to elicit the same from him, so we're more than even now."
Bella's face crinkled as she flushed once again.
"A little too much information, Alice."
"Sorry. But I haven't finished.
"After he found that out, he just smiled this unfairly cute smile, so I couldn't get mad at him for being smug about it, the dirty cheater. You can understand that, as I'm sure that Edward has an equally underhanded trick he uses on you, too."
She nodded, smiling wryly, and we chuckled in sympathy for each other.
"So, anyway, when the waiter came, he did it again,just as I was about to order the food I wouldn't eat! The man just gave me a strange look and did his best to ignore it, and I wasn't really embarrassed, but it was a great excuse to give Jasper a hard time."
"Wouldn't he know that you weren't really upset?"
"Oh, yes, he did, but that didn't stop him from playing along," I laughed. "He's only done it in front of people a couple of times since then, and only in response to teasing, but it's a nice memory."
"That's really sweet, Alice."
Then her face fell into a more glum expression.
"What's wrong?" I asked, though I was certain I knew what the matter was.
"I just miss Edward, that's all."
Yep. Thought so.
I peered ahead, trying to get a glimpse of Edward coming back home early.
"Don't worry, Bella," I told her as I turned into the driveway. "He'll have come back by the time you wake up."
She brightened for a moment, then went back to looking utterly forlorn.
"That's great...but how in the world am I going to wake up if I can't fall asleep in the first place?"
I thought about that.
"Would it help to have some music playing? One of Edward's home-made CDs?"
Bella smiled a little and nodded.
"Yeah, that'd be great. Thanks Alice."
I grinned, stopped the car, and took her into the house.
After putting her to bed, and I peeked into the next day...and frowned.
What? Oh, Edward, you are going to be in trouble.
Then, a slow, menacing smile worked its way across my face.
Yes, and a lot of trouble, too.
I chortled quietly to myself.
Tomorrow would be a very interesting day.
You like? Please tell me how I'm doing so far! I promise Edward will be in the next chapter fairly early on.
I need criticism! Praise is nice, too, though. I really need to know how well this is matching up with 'Wake-up Call'.
Do you like changing POVs?