Me and Alice Cullen had been the best of friends since kinder garden, when I first moved to Forks with my parents.
We did everything together - even though we didn't always have a lot of the same interests. There was just a certain connection, a certain bond that formed between us that could never be broken.
But there was a problem - she had an older brother.
I was in love the moment I first set eyes on that bronze haired, green eyed little boy.
Alice knew, of course. I never even had to tell her. She could just tell.
For the past thirteen years I tried to gather up the courage to tell Edward how I felt. How I was never able to get over that stupid crush.
But I just couldn't do it.
I mean, he's two years older than me. For all his life I've just been his little sister's dorky friend. What could he ever possibly see in me?
Of course, by the time I hit eighteen Alice had gotten fed up. She didn't want to wait for me to come to him of my own free will - she wanted to force me on him.
And she had devised a plan on just how to do it.
"He's going to be Santa down at the mall this year," she told me with a grin that went from ear to ear.
"So that means this is the perfect time!"
My eyes widened in realization at her meaning.
"No... No! I told you a thousand times, I'm just not ready yet! Please don't make me do it Alice, please..."
"Don't you at least want to hear my plan? I swear, it's foolproof!"
She pulled out the pout card, knowing it always allowed her to get her own way. I sighed dramatically and motioned with my hand for her to continue. She squealed with glee.
"Perfect! So as I said, he's going to be Santa. Right? So what we do, is surprise him at the mall one day, and wait in line behind all the kids to see him..."
Oh man, I'm hating it already...
"So then I go up first to break him in for you."
"Break him in?"
"Yeah! See, I'm going to doll you up all nice and good..."
"Alice," I groaned, having made my decision to sit this one out at the word doll.
"Just hear me out! See, I fit you up in a gorgeous skirt and tank top, get your hair all curly, stuff like that. So then when I go up to Edward, i'll start pointing out all the little things I've done to you. To make him see it. Otherwise he'll automatically be all gentlemanly and everything, right?"
"That... makes sense..."
"Of course it does! Anyways, after that I walk away and leave you to work your magic. So you sit on his lap..."
"But it will be innocent, I swear! Look, i'll do it before you so it won't seem so weird, okay?"
I just continued to glare at her. She sighed in frustration, waving her hands in the air dismissively.
"Please just trust me here, alright?"
Backing down, I nodded.
"Good. So then after you sit on his lap, you just look at him all seductive from under your eyelashes, right? And he'll ask you what you want for Christmas, making sure to keep the whole Santa bit going."
"And what do I say..."
"A kiss," she replied wistfully. If I wasn't so embarrassed about the whole situation I would've laughed at the dreamy look in her eyes.
"I. Am. Not. Saying. That."
"But it's the big finish, you have to!"
"No, no, no, no, NO, not in a thousand years, no!!"
I don't know why I agreed to this. I really don't. I'm just going to make an ass out of myself.
"Deep breaths, Bella," Alice said soothingly as we walked through the mall - me in a red sweater and high heels, and a dark green skirt with my hair all done up in curls - scouring out the whole North Pole display area where Edward would be.
"It's not helping."
"Just relax, I promise you that everything will go perfectly."
"How do you know that?" I snapped before stumbling on the stupid red high heels.
"Have I ever been wrong before?"
I sighed, crossed my arms and refused to look at her.
She'll just have that smug grin on her face, I know it.
"There he is!" She squealed, beginning to jump up and down excitedly.
The moment I saw him I froze up, stopping dead in my tracks like a deer caught in the headlights.
"Come on," Alice huffed, dragging me by the arm.
You can do this, you can do this, you can do this...
"I can't do it, Alice," I whimpered, my hands beginning to shake from nerves.
"Yes you can, and you'll be wonderful. He won't be able to keep his hands off of you even if he tried."
"Damn it, how do you always know the right thing to say..."
We reached the line of kids and stood at the end. I felt like an idiot.
"Alice, imagine how this looks to those on the outside. Two grown women standing in line to see SANTA CLAUS," I hissed, ready to turn around and leave at the drop of a hat.
"So? Adults can believe in Santa, too."
"Then why are we the oldest people in line?"
"Just keep your eyes on the prize!"
I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms, risking a glance at Edward.
Even with the fake white bear and pillow stuffed in his shirt, he was gorgeous.
He hadn't noticed us yet, still focusing all his attention on the kids.
He's so sweet to be doing this...
I must have been staring for a pretty long time, because before I knew it Alice was tugging me right up to him, a huge smile on his face.
"What are you guys doing here?" He asked, using his real voice on accident. "I mean..." He cleared his throat, switching to the Santa voice since there was still kids around. "What are you doing here?"
"We were just getting some last minute Christmas shopping," Alice said with a giggle. "Oh, but before we left I gave Bella a little makeover. What do you think?"
She gestured to me like I was some sort of prize on a game show as I stood awkwardly beside her, wishing I could crawl into a hole and die.
"You look great, Bella," he smiled. Alice huffed angrily beside me. I glared at her.
"I mean really look at her, Edward. What do you like best? The hair, the sweater, the light makeup I used around her eyes to make them stand out more... What?"
"Umm... It's all great Alice," he muttered uncomfortably, shooting her a look before turning back to me. "You really do look amazing, Bella."
"Umm... Thank you," I blushed, looking at my feet. When I looked back up, she was already on his lap, and he was chuckling, clearly amused by all of this.
"So then what do you want for Christmas, little sister?"
"A new Louis Vuitton bag," she grinned, batting her eyelashes innocently.
"Well have you been a good girl?"
"I want it anyways."
"Okay, off you go," he laughed, pushing her playfully until she hopped down. As she walked past me, she gave me a thumbs up. I rolled my eyes and took a small step forward.
"Hurry up!" A kid shouted behind me.
I flinched, and hurried over. Instead of sitting all the way on his lap, I sat at the very edge of his legs, praying I wouldn't fall off.
Okay, what did Alice say to do? "Be seductive..." Right. Like I'm supposed to pull that off? Oh God, he's staring at me! But wait, why isn't he saying anything...
"Umm... aren't you... supposed to ask me what I'd like... for Christmas?" I stuttered, refusing to look him in the eyes.
"Oh, of course," he replied in his real voice. He cleared his throat before speaking again. "So what would you like for Christmas, Bella?" He whispered, causing me to shiver with delight.
Now comes the big finish. What did Alice say? "Make sure he knows exactly what you mean, or else he'll pull that big-brother-kiss-on-the-cheek crap..."
I hung my head down slightly and gazed up at him through my lashes, praying it looked at least somewhat sexy.
"A kiss," I whispered, leaning forward slightly to help drive my point home.
His eyes widened as he caught my meaning.
Please don't laugh, please don't laugh, please don't laugh...
But he didn't.
Instead he leaned forward, placing a sweet, gentle kiss on my lips. I nearly cried out in joy, as a wave of some sort of tingling sensation went through my lips.
YES! YES!! YES!!!
I closed my eyes, bringing a hand up to reach under his Santa hat to grab a fistful of those wonderful bronze locks that I'd been longing to touch for the longest time. He hummed in appreciation, bring his arms out to wrap tightly around my waist.
I could swear I heard Alice squealing behind me, though I can't be sure. My entire mind and body were all focused entirely on Edward.
He slowly pulled away, but still remained close enough that I could feel his breath against my face.
"Wow," he smiled.
"Yeah," I nodded, unable to come up with anything better.
I wonder if he felt it too...
My thoughts were answered as he brought a hand up to his lips, pressing against them curiously.
"What," I asked breathlessly, a huge dopey grin on my face.
He leaned back in, once again fusing our lips together. It amazed me how well we fit together, like we were two pieces of a puzzle, like we were truly meant for each other.
He felt it too, I could see it in his eyes. Say you felt it too, Edward...
I wrapped my arms around his neck as he pulled me so I was sitting properly on his lap. I think I heard kids yelling in annoyance, but I didn't care. Nothing was going to tear me away from him, not now that I've finally gotten him.
But suddenly he pulled away, a look of shock on his face.
"What, what is it?"
"Bella, we shouldn't be doing this..."
My heart sank so fast I'm surprised water didn't pour out of my ears.
"What?" I whimpered pathetically.
"I'm at work, there's kids waiting... I could get fired," he sighed, removing his hands from my waist quickly. "But... well... If you'd like, we could... continue this later, after I buy you dinner?"
"Yeah... yeah of course, I'd love to," I smiled, nodding my head enthusiastically.
"I'll pick you up at 6," he said with the crooked grin I'd been in love with for the past thirteen years.
"Can't wait," I replied, sliding off his lap and strutting away proudly.
I knew this would work.