A/N: okay guys, so leave it to me to think of this on Christmas Eve, leaving me only twenty four hours to really get this story out to you guys before I left for my grandparents' house in Jeff City. This story hasn't been beta-ed yet, but if someone wants to, that's cool with me. Just keep in mind you're reading an unedited version that has mostly been written after ten at night, so we're dealing with a very slaphappy/unawake/caffeine-deficient Kelcey. Lol

IMPORTANT: the line breaks represent transitions between flashbacks and normal time. The first flashbacks take place during New Moon, after Edward had left Bella. The "third" flashback takes place during Breaking Dawn on Christmas before the Volturi arrive in Forks, after Bella meets J. Jenks and Nessie and Jake spend the day with Charlie and the La Push Gang. Alrighty then!

Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer, not me. But this little story belongs to me, so if anybody steals it, I will cut them. J


Four Christmases

a twilight Christmas story

Bella and Edward - Christmas Eve (present day)

"You can open your eyes now, Bella."

I did, and found myself face-to-face with my god-like husband, his molten-gold eyes filled with excitement and anticipation. I pressed a quick kiss to his lips before turning around to see his surprise, and my breath caught.

Edward had decorated our cottage for Christmas. Four stockings hung by our little fireplace in the living room, one for the two of us - then one for Nessie and Jake – and real pine boughs graced the mantle piece, sending a woodsy scent through the room that reminded me of my wolfy best friend. Now I knew why Edward had insisted I hold my breath as we entered.

In the corner of the living room stood a fir tree as tall as our ceiling, decorated with sprigs of holly and garlands of ribbon, where underneath lay twenty or more presents.

I gave him a wicked glare, teasing him. Now that we were married, I could care less if Edward showered me with gifts. He winked at me, and I laughed. Since his name was my name, his money was my money.

"Let me show you something." Edward bent down by the outlet plug, and half a second later, hundreds of twinkling lights erupted on the ceiling, shining like little stars.

"It's beautiful, Edward." I spun around the room, trying to glimpse all the colors glinting off the little bulbs overhead. It was just like the sky above our meadow at night.

Edward pulled me closer from behind, and I pulled his face to my neck, where he laid a quiet kiss on my skin.

"I'm glad you like it, my love."

I smiled, weaving my fingers into his untidy hair.

"I'm just happy to have our first real Christmas together," I sighed, "one full of happiness instead of heartache."


Bella and Charlie - Christmas Day

"Merry Christmas, Bella."

"Merry Christmas, Dad."

Charlie flushed, throwing a couple of shiny paper packages to me. "Why don't you open up your presents?"

I picked up one of the presents Charlie had tossed in my lap, and carefully pulled the paper off. I was to exhausted to even pretend enthusiasm. I was barely paying attention to the item in my hand, more focused on staying unfocused, to keep my mind off of thingsn namely the recent appearance of a huge, gaping, untangible hole close to my heart. One thing was for certain, though: I would never be careless enough to cut my finger on wrapping paper ever again. When I had finished unwrapping the object in my hands - a CD?- I looked down to take it in.

A horrible lurching in my chest, coming from the giant hole that originated there, suddenly ripped free of the few stitches of willpower that had been holding it together.

Charlie had gotten me a CD of Debussy.

As the burning pain seared through me, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The only other time I had felt such a great burning ache through me, I had been rescued by him. Now it was ironic that he was the cause of it.

I felt Charlie tense across from me, and I knew he was worried about me. Usually, I never let him see any of my breakdowns. Those were reserved for my bedroom, late at night, when I was sure he was asleep. I couldn't believe that Charlie would choose to buy me a CD of classical music, let alone the CD I was holding in my hand- the exact same CD that was sitting in a shiny, silver Volvo somewhere, wherever he was. It was the same one he had pulled out of the player as he drove me home from school.

"Bella, are you alright? You're shaking."

It wasn't Charlie's fault of course. I had never told him about Edward's - I flinched as I thought the name- mutual love for Debussy. It had never come up.. you liked that kinda stuff... what's that one? Clara du something?"

"Bella? Honey?" Charlie reached for me then, grasping my shaking shoulder with his hand. "Do you not like it? I thought I remembered you saying something about piano music.... Clara Deluna Something?"

Another horrible retch shuddered through me, but I couldn't resist the urge to correct him.

"Clair de Lune, Dad." A tear escaped my eye, squeezed tight as they were. "Its called Clair de Lune."

The sobs grew louder as the memories increased in intensity.

This happened everyday. I would walk through the halls at school and see a flash of untidy hair, or go to the gas station and see a boy with a silver car. I was reminded of him everyday. Today was different though. Today, the day meant for giving and receiving, was a day where I was reminded of the greatest gift I had ever known, love, which had been taken away as suddenly as it had been given.

"That's what I said, Clair de Lune. You used to play that CD upstairs all the time. but then you stopped, for some reason. I thought you had lost it, so I got you another one."

No Dad, I thought, He took it with him when he left. That's why the music stopped playing. It wasn't lost. It's in the same place my heart is. With him.

I broke into a high keening wail at the thought, and stood up before all strength left me completely.

"Bella, sweetheart, sit back down. You don't look so well..."

I walked to the stairs, leaving a bewildered Charlie behind, headed to my room, CD in hand.

The damage was already done – I might as well make as much out of the pain as as I still could.

I busted through my door and across the room, nearly tripping over the loose floorboard on my way to the CD player.

Ripping the CD out of its case, I put the first track on repeat and curled on my bed, pulling an extra blanket on top of myself.

There I spent the remainder of the loneliest Christmas of my life- curled up in a blanket, listening to Clair de Lune, praying for him to change his mind and come back to me.


(present day)

"I'm sorry our Christmases together so far haven't exactly been...ideal..."

I shook my head at him.

"Edward, there was nothing you could do about it.

Edward frowned slightly.

"I could have come back."


Edward - Christmas Day

You have to go back to her.

No.

She needs you.

No. She needs to stay safe. She's safer without me.

She's dying without you. Remember.

The argument going on inside my head faded away as "Over-Protective Edward" and "Selfish Edward" gave way to a vision of deep brown eyes, filled with hurt, heartbreak, and betrayal.

I can't believe how easily she believed my lies.

She has always trusted you. You betrayed that trust with blasphemies.

I rolled over on the floor, sick with myself. I had lied to her, to keep her safe, but I had lied to her nonetheless. It had been so long-months- since I had last seen her face somewhere other than my mind, and the pain was slowly burning a hole in my already dead heart. The pain was so intense, so life-seeking, that it reminded me of tongues of flame, the only deadly element for my kind. How ironic.

You can still go to her. You still love her.

Yes, I do. No matter how much it hurts me.

My Bella.

My Isabella.

She was the love of my life- the life that had started with our meeting; the life that had ended when with my departure.

I had left to give her a full life, one that she could only have without me. I would stay here, curled up in a ball on the floor of an attic in Brazil, to keep her alive.

Even if I was slowly dying without her.


(present day)

Edward frowned slightly at some unspoken memory. I kissed him, trying to wipe the frown off his face, and succeeded. I hummed in contentment, and Edward chuckled, easily catching on to my mood.

"Last Christmas was nice."

"Eh, it was okay."

My jaw dropped.

"Just okay? Last Christmas was special! Not just 'okay!'"

Edward grinned at my mild distress.

"And what was so special about last Christmas?"

I placed my hand on his face, bringing his cheek close to mine as I showed him what I remembered.


Edward and Bella - Christmas Eve

I looked over at my baby, still asleep in her bed, visible through the cracked door.

"I wish we could give her more of a Christmas this year, especially since its her first."

Edward pulled me closer to him so that we were snuggled closely on the couch, basking in the warmth the fireplace was giving off.

"Don't forget, love," he said, brushing my bangs out of my eyes to gaze at me, "Its our first Christmas as a married couple."

I smiled.

"The first of many more to come."

Edward grinned his crooked smile at me before pulling me onto his lap, my back into the arm of the couch and my feet hanging onto the cushion next to us. Once I was settled, Edward reached up to hold my face in his hand.

"I have something for you."

I groaned, still disliking his habit of expensive gift giving.

"Edward-"

"Sh. It's our first Christmas as man and wife. I'm entitled to give you anything I want." He smiled at me, crookedly, before reaching into his jeans pocket. "Besides, I'm just giving you the second half of something I already gave you."

He took my left hand in his own and slid something onto my ring finger, next to my wedding ring. I gasped when I saw it.

Now, instead of the delicate band that had circled my finger, there was a band of woven gold and diamonds that had securely locked onto my wedding ring, forming a beautifully intricate design.

I gazed up at him, my eyes stinging with unsheddable tears.

"I love it, Edward."

"I love you, Isabella."

I sighed as he leaned down to kiss my lips for the first, but definitely not the last, time that night.


(present day)

Edward smiled at the memory I shared with him, enjoying the fact that the memory was as happy for me as it was for him.

"Oh. That."

I punched him in the shoulder, and scowled as he pretended to feel pain.

"Yes, that, you jerk." Edward chuckled.

"I guess that wasn't too bad."

I punched him again, and he broke into full-out laughter, making me scowl harder.

"Bella"

I rolled my eyes, refusing to look at him.

"Bella, love. I was just kidding.... Don't be like that."

He turned my face up to his, and I was instantly caught up in his liquid gold gaze.

"That Christmas definitely surpasses any I've had until this year. Even with the Volturi and young Jacob Black's fascination with our daughter."

"Until this year?" I asked in surprise, "Christmas hasn't even begun yet."

"Look, love." Edward pointed to the antique clock over our mantel, and I saw that it was already a quarter past midnight. It was already Christmas.

"Since it is now officially a quarter-past midnight on Christmas Day, am I allowed to give you your present?" He grinned at me, and I couldn't begrudge him.

"Let me have it."

Edward grinned his crooked smile wider, and reached into the drawer on the side table next to us, pulling out a long, rectangular, blue velvet box.

"Edward?"

He smirked at me, trying to contain his excitement.

"Open it, love."

I followed his loving order, and my breath caught as the box opened.

Inside was an ivory miniature with the likenesses of Edward, Nessie, and myself together, strung on an antique silver chain.

"Edward, it's beautiful."

Our likenesses were painted gorgeously, and I couldn't stop staring.

Renesmee was in the center of the miniature, a lovely baby with coppery curls, held aloft in my arms. Edward looked on from above, hovering over us protectively and lovingly.

"Renesmee has one just like it in her stocking, love."

I glanced up to meet his gaze.

"It's perfect, Edward."

"I agree."

He leaned down to kiss my nose.

"You are perfect."


A/N: so... whaddya think?

leave me a review!

also, i have a funny story.

when my g-parents, the ones who live here in Jeff City, asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I automatically told them that I wanted a Jasper t-shirt.

well, apparently they looked EVERYWHERE for one. my straight-laced grandmother even went into Hot Topic TWICE to find me my tshirt, which I find ridiculously funny, since I cannot even imagine her going anywhere near Hot Topic. anyways, the second time she was in HT, she was looking through the twilight t-shirts with the sales clerk, who had NO idea who any of the characters in twilight were (GASP), so he couldn't point out the Jasper t-shirts.

All the sudden, as though the name of Jasper Cullen/Hale/Whitlock/? called to her, a tween from across the room screamed out, running and pointing to the Jasper tshirts

"THAT'S JASPER!!!! AHHHHH!!!! JASPER!!!! YAYAYAYAYA!!!!! ILOVEJASPERILOVEEDWARDILOVEEMMETTILOVECARLISLEILOVETWILIGHTPERIOD!!!!"

or something like that.

anyways, the tshirt wasn't very cool, so she didn't get it for me. but whatever. she gave me money to buy my own.

but i thought i'd share that lovely little story with you, just to amuse you. and also to persuade you to review for me.

:)

love love love

RHB