Author's Notes: These are Stephenie Meyer's characters. I just can't stop making up new stuff about them.
"Bella, a surprise means that you don't get to know until it happens," Alice said patiently.
I scowled at her reflection in the mirror. Even with my annoyed expression, I still looked more beautiful than I had once thought possible. Alice had just spent a few hours experimenting with my hair. At the moment, it was gathered in a bun with little braids circling it and curly tendrils framing my face. According to her, this was going to be a very special evening with my husband, and I had to look just right.
"I think this style is lovely," she pronounced. "Anyway, we're about out of time. So let's just keep this one."
"Fine. Can I get dressed now?"
She skipped ahead of me to her bedroom, where she had a new outfit ready for me. She flung the door open with a flourish. I had to admit the dress was nice. It was dark red and satiny.
"What do you think?"
"It's nice. I like the color. Edward must be sick of seeing me in blue all the time. And I like the swirly skirt."
She helped me into the dress and zipped it up, and she brought shoes and a little purse.
"You're the best, Alice. Well, you would be the best if you'd just give me a hint where we're going."
"No chance. Anyway, you'll find out soon enough. Now come on. Edward is ready."
He was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He was wearing a suit. He was looking up at me. Love and desire surged through me. We'd been married for three years, and his beauty and the love in his golden eyes still blew me away every time. I hadn't gotten used to it, and I never wanted to. I flew down the steps and into his arms. He kissed me gently.
"You look beautiful. As always."
"You look amazing."
We were staring into each other's eyes. I felt completely cherished and completely devoted. Something crashed into me, and I looked down. Renesmee reached up to show me what I looked like running into Edward's embrace.
"Mommy, you look like a princess."
"Thank you, sweetie."
I saw in her memory that Rosalie, Carlisle and Esme had been standing with him.
I looked around. They were still right there. My expression must have shown that I was noticing them for the first time. They laughed.
"You look lovely, both of you," said Esme.
"Say goodbye to Mommy and Daddy," encouraged Rosalie.
I kissed Renesmee and let Edward lead me out to the car.
"Are you going to tell me now where we're going?"
"Not yet." His crooked smile still enchanted me.
We hadn't gone far when he pulled into a small, quiet parking area surrounded by trees. An instant later he had opened my door and helped me out of the car.
"Why are we here? What is this place? Is this where we're going?"
"It's just that you look so sexy in that dress." His voice was slightly ragged silk. He pressed me against the car and kissed me. The delicious taste and the tingling sensation caused my eyes to close and all my questions to vanish. I slid my hands under his jacket to feel his powerful, perfect body. He bent his head to kiss my throat and the back of my neck.
"Bella, do you think if we were very careful…," he began, reaching around to the clasp at the top of my zipper.
"Aren't we supposed to be somewhere?"
"I'll be quick." He had the clasp open, and he was sliding the zipper down.
I was about to unbutton his shirt, but my conscience, unbidden, spoke up. "Edward, my hair! It'll get totally messed up."
He paused. "You don't mind, do you?"
"Alice will know, and she'll kill me. I'm supposed to look nice wherever it is we're going."
He sighed and moved the zipper back up.
"I suppose you have a point."
"If that's what you wanted, why did you let Alice get me all dressed up?"
"I'll just have to be patient. But it's not easy when you look like that." He smirked as he held the door open for me to get back in the car. I gave him one more serious kiss before I slid into my seat.
We were heading back the way we came. I was about to ask if he'd forgotten something, when I spotted the turnoff to the house. Lights were wrapped around the trees again.
"What is going on?" I demanded.
"You'll see in a minute," he said, flashing a mischievous smile and turning into the drive. Music was coming from the house along with a patter of light footsteps.
Edward held my hand as we entered the house. The living room had changed in the short time we'd been gone. The lights were low. Nearly all the furniture had been removed and many flickering candles added. Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper were dancing as Esme played the piano. Renesmee, wearing a pink party dress, sat on Jacob's lap on the small couch and watched her aunts and uncles with a rapt expression.
Edward turned to face me. "Bella, may I have this dance?"
I stared at him. "This is what we're doing? You know I don't dance."
"You didn't. But now you will. Alice and I will teach you." His expression was surprisingly confident.
"You arranged all this?"
"With Alice's help. I couldn't just keep waiting for another girl's choice. Besides, you didn't even ask me the first time." His eyes sparkled with humor and excitement.
"It's fun. Please, try it."
The music ended, and Renesmee clapped with delight. She twirled as she came over to greet us. She showed me a picture of Edward and me on the dance floor with the other couples.
"I'm going to look like an idiot."
"No problem," my best friend interjected. "Then Jasper will owe me twenty bucks."
"Thanks, Jake. I appreciate your confidence."
"Jacob is the only one who bet against you," said Edward. "Now come on. When you live forever, you have to try a lot of new things."
Rosalie turned the lights up, so that Alice and Edward could show me what to do.
"Listen to the music," he said. "It will tell you when to move. And I'll lead you."
We walked slowly through the steps of a simple waltz. I didn't think I'd ever be as graceful as the others, but I didn't make any mistakes.
"Everyone else is going to dance too, right? I don't want you all to just watch me."
The lights were low again, and Esme resumed playing.
I locked my gaze on Edward's eyes and let the music and his arms sweep me along. It was working! We were dancing. His expression held so much delight and affection, I laughed out loud.
"This is fun. It's easier than I thought."
"I told you, it's all in the leading."
"You can lead me anywhere." I loved the look of pride and satisfaction I saw on his beautiful face.
"Very nice, Bella," said Emmett, as we moved past him. Edward tried speed up to get us away from his brother, but of course I could still hear his comment. "Once you've mastered vertical dancing, you should try horizontal."
"Ignore him," Edward advised.
"I didn't hear anything."
"Liar," he said fondly.
One song ran into another, and Edward started to add spins and more ambitious footwork. Dancing was lovely when I was confident of decent coordination, unlimited energy, and my husband's arms to guide me. He knew when the music would end, and he dropped me into a dip. I giggled.
He pulled me upright and kissed me lightly. "I'm going to play for a while so Esme can dance."
Renesmee ran to sit beside him at the piano, and I flopped down next to Jacob.
"Yikes, you're too hot!" I yelped and moved a short distance away.
"Guess Jasper wins this one. You look good out there."
"Serves you right for betting against me," I said pertly. "Speaking of looking good, why didn't you get dressed up?" The Cullens were all in formal clothes, like Edward and me. Jacob's clothes were clean and free of rips, but nothing fancy.
"Hey, I'm wearing shoes and socks. Doesn't that count for anything?"
"Come on, let's dance." He stood up and held out his hand for me.
"Do you know how?"
"As a matter of fact, Alice and Jasper showed me some moves before you got here."
We joined the swirl of movement. He wasn't as smooth as Edward, but he did know what to do.
"You have one strange family," he informed me. "Alice and Edward have been planning this for days. They kept reminding Nessie not to tell you anything. But I knew she wouldn't. She was excited about her new dress. Dresses, actually. Alice bought several."
"I was really surprised. But you shouldn't talk. They're your family too."
"Yeah," he said, deadpan. "How did I get so lucky?"
"You dope. This family is the best thing that ever happened to you."
He laughed. "Don't worry. I know it."
Edward put recorded music on so that he could leave the piano. Renesmee wanted to dance with her father.
He lifted her so that she was standing on his shoes and began dancing her around the room. Her laugh was infectious.
Jacob and I kept dancing but much more slowly. We were both riveted by the sight of their enjoyment. Everyone was. If the love in this room were visible, I thought, it would be blinding. It could light up Forks for a thousand years.
"She loves Daddy," Jacob commented indulgently.
"Of course she does. But you probably make the top three."
Edward and his adorable partner were heading towards us. "Renesmee wants me to dance with you again. May I cut in?"
Jacob put my hand into my husband's and swung Renesmee up into his arms. "Want to dance with me?" he asked her.
"Yes!" She leaned her head on his chest and touched his cheek with her hand. Jacob and Edward both laughed.
"What did she show him?"
"She wants to do this again tomorrow night."
"Hmmm," I said. I thought back to our moment by the car and opened my mind for a moment so Edward could see. He was used to receiving my thoughts when I had something I preferred to convey that way.
"Maybe not tomorrow night, then." He pulled me a little closer. "But we could have another dance party soon."
"I'd like that." I filled my mind with all the happiness I'd felt dancing with him and being with our family and let him see my pleasure and gratitude. "Thank you for planning this."
"You're welcome, love. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me." He kissed my forehead.
Over Edward's shoulder I could see that Renesmee was falling asleep in Jacob's arms as he swayed with the music.
"I'll put her to bed," he whispered to us, starting up the stairs.
"Let me do that!" Rosalie broke away from Emmett and hurried after him.
"I've got it under control."
"I'll be the judge of that."
Edward was shaking his head and looking rueful. "It's not just on the surface. They still don't like each other. Renesmee has performed miracles, but that relationship remains a work in progress."
"Well, I believe in miracles," I declared. "I'm holding one in my arms right now."
"That's my line."
"Edward Cullen," I said sternly, tilting my head to the side and giving him a penetrating look.
"Sometimes you seem to think that you're the only one who is allowed to say nice things and plan surprises."
"I do that?" His innocent expression wasn't very convincing.
I nodded. "But don't you dare apologize. It's my own fault. If I did it more, you'd be used to it."
"So you're going to lavish me with more sweet talk and special outings? I guess I can handle that."
"Yes," I said firmly. "I'm going to plan a night out, and it will happen when you least expect it."
"I'm married to Bella Cullen. I never know what to expect. And I love it."
Author's Note: This story was inspired by the song "Can I Have This Dance?" from the High School Musical 3 sound track. Dancing is a metaphor for Troy and Gabriella's relationship, and of course, being hopelessly stuck in the Twilight zone, I imagined Bella and Edward in their places. But of course Bella doesn't dance. Or could she? After her transformation? This is the first thing I've written with Bella as a vampire, with Renesmee on the scene, etc. It was a fun challenge. Please let me know if you like it!
The next chapter tells about the special night planned by Bella. Edward is really pleased, and I hope my readers will be too.