a/n: This story idea came to me while listening to the song of the same title by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

*waits for laughter to stop*

Anyway, I know Christmas is passed, but I hope people will enjoy it anyway....

Chapter One – A Tahoe Ski Chalet

"I don't even know how you talked me into this," Bella complained as she dragged her luggage out to the taxi. "I'm spending Christmas being the fifth wheel."

"Well, it's better than spending Christmas alone," Alice retorted. "We promised we wouldn't ignore you. It'll just be five friends hanging out enjoying the Christmas break."

"And watching me fall on my ass when I try to ski," Bella rolled her eyes.

"You don't have to ski, you know," Rosalie pointed out. "There are plenty of other things to do at the lodge."

"Yeah. Alone. While you two are out enjoying your time with your boyfriends."

Rosalie snapped, "You know what, Bella? We didn't exactly tie you up and drag you here. So suck it up, or we really will ignore you."

Bella let out a huff and pouted.

"Bella," Alice touched her arm. "We invited you with us because we wanted you with us. We never intended to make you miserable."

The single friend let out a sigh and said, "You're right. I'm sorry. It's just, I get lonely around Christmas."

Alice gave a small smile and winked, "Maybe you will find someone. This could be your year."

"Maybe," Bella agreed, but truly doubted it.

The three friends couldn't look any different from each other. Rosalie was the most beautiful by convention. She was tall with blonde hair that reached just below her shoulders. Her face was flawless, and her body could be that of a supermodel.

Where Rosalie was tall, Alice was short. Barely making five foot, her personality made up for what her height lacked. She was always bubbly and optimistic, and those around her could not help but be happy around her. Her black hair was cut short and curled out around her head. Her face was pixie-like to match the rest of her body.

Bella was of average height with long brown hair that reached the middle of her back. With a heart-shaped face and a body that was anything but curvy, Bella always thought of herself as ordinary. Those who knew her, though, were often enchanted with her dark brown eyes that held so much depth and emotion and added a sense of beauty to her physical appearance.

What also made her somewhat intriguing was her lack of coordination. None of her friends and family could understand how a grown woman could trip over nothing in a pair of sneakers. Wherever she walked, she was bound to stumble.

Although not blood related in any way, the three girls might have well been sisters. The parents of all three girls had been friends since long before they were born. It was a strange coincidence that the girls were born within a year of each other, and thus thrown together all through their childhood. The friendship that resembled sisterhood quickly grew between them and became stronger as they matured.

This Christmas was the first Christmas all three had been out of college. Coincidentally, all three set of parents decided they were going to take the Christmas holiday away from the cold in the tropics… without the kids. In one manner, it was a way to let the three young women have their first taste of true independence. They were able to choose how they spent their holiday without worrying about family or other obligations.

So along with Rosalie's and Alice's boyfriends, Emmett and Jasper respectively, the three young ladies decided to take a ski trip to Lake Tahoe. All three women knew how to ski; knew being the operative word. Rosalie and Alice, ever the most graceful, took to the slopes as naturals. Bella, on the other hand, always found herself back in lessons just to teach her how to stand in the skis.

As the girls took in the view from the taxi, their moods shifted. Even Bella, who was dreading the vacation in fear of being the "fifth wheel," realized that she was glad to come to the beautiful Tahoe region. The beauty of the snow-covered mountains did not escape her notice, and she even thought that if she were alone, as long as she had a good book, a mug of rich hot chocolate, and a view of the slopes, she would be very happy indeed.

"Why did I let you guys talk me into this again?" the bronze-haired man asked his friends as they walked into the lodge. "What am I going to do when you two are gallivanting with your girlfriends?"

"Eddie," the large man with cropped curly hair slapped the first on his back. "Relax! We're all here together. We wouldn't leave you hanging. Unless, of course, you found a babe and decided you want to be left alone," he winked.

The third man, a tall, lean but muscular blond, rolled his eyes. "Only you would turn everything back to sex, Emmett."

"Hey! Sex is a natural, beautiful thing, Jasper. You need to embrace it."

The three men standing in the lobby were certainly a sight for sore eyes. All three were over six feet tall, with Emmett standing even several inches over the other two. He was as wide as he was tall, made of what seemed to be only muscle. Despite his tough appearance, people soon realized that he was nothing but a big teddy bear.

Jasper was Emmett's friend since college. He was almost as tall as Emmett, but much more lean. His curly blond hair was hidden underneath a baseball cap as he waited patiently to check in. He was the even-tempered man of the group, who had a talent to perceive emotions around him and put everybody else at ease.

Edward was just about Jasper's height and stature, but his bronze hair stood out in all directions as if he never stopped running his fingers through his hair. He was the brooding one of the group. He always seemed serious and Jasper and Emmett swore they hadn't seen him smile since high school. Thus, Emmett's jokes about Edward finding a woman to have sex with came in a constant stream.

"Eddie here needs to get laid," Emmett continued. "Maybe he would actually become fun again."

"I'm plenty fun," Edward grumbled.

Edward wasn't always so moody. As a teenager, he was happy and laid back, but in college, both his parents died in a tragic train accident. Since then, his whole demeanor changed. Long gone were the carefree days when he would smile at the drop of a hat and spend all weekend with Emmett and Jasper playing sports and video games and just acting like the typical young adult male. After the deaths of his parents, he chose instead to bury his nose in his textbooks, a chore that has paid off well in terms of his G.P.A., but has taken a toll on his life.

Emmett was not being insensitive towards Edward; in fact, they were cousins, so he himself lost an aunt and uncle was close to. But in Emmett's opinion, five years was enough time to mourn. He spent much time trying to persuade Edward that his parents would want him to enjoy life. His cousin always retorted that his parents would also want him to become a successful doctor.

Touché.

All three men were friends since high school, but whereas Emmett and Jasper chose to stay in the state of Washington as a mechanic and a paper science engineer, Edward packed himself off to Northwestern University to pursue his goal of being a surgeon, just like his father. This was the first time in several years that the men had actually planned on an extended period of time to spend together without the constraints of work or school interfering with their lives. Edward would have been more enthusiastic if he didn't suspect that his two best friends would be spending most of their time locked away in their rooms with their girlfriends. Considering that Emmett and Jasper saw their girlfriends every day, Edward saw no reason for them to retreat to their rooms. But he also knew the sense of romance that a skiing chalet could convey and the effects it could have on people.

The boys didn't wait long to check-in, but as it turned out the women had already arrived, so there was no need for Jasper and Emmett to officially check-in; only to receive their keys. However, Edward, the only one of the group with his own room, still had to. Finally, they were on their way to find their rooms.

They purposely booked all three rooms in a row so there wouldn't be much of a problem coordinating plans and meeting up to partake in certain activities. One after the other, Jasper and Emmett opened their doors with huge smiles on their faces; excited to see their loves of their lives. Sighing, Edward inserted his key into the lock and opened the heavy wooden door.

Opening it wide, he let out a startled gasp.