"Uh huh, yeah we're on the 95 now. Oh really? Shit, he gets the Tom Sawyer room then doesn't he...?"
We'd be getting the Princess room if I assume correctly.
"Are you serious? She's three years old!"
Ah, Sarah, Rosalie and Emmett's little princess. Apparently she'd be getting the Princess room this year.
"Yeah, alright, OK. We'll be there soon. Love you, too. Alright. Bye." Macon snapped his phone shut before placing his hand back in mine.
"Does that leave us with what I think it leaves us with?" I asked while inwardly cringing.
"If you're thinking it leaves us with the jungle themed room then you're correct." he sighed.
Bunk beds, brown shag carpet, and a monkey door knob. Along with other jungle necessities, but those details were the only ones that stuck.
"I can't help but think we got this room for other reasons besides the obvious ones." he contemplated.
I cracked a smile. "You're probably right."
Macon and I had been dating for two years now. Currently, we were off to spend the holidays with his family. Luckily, I had met most of his relatives before so no awkward confrontations were in my near future.
"I mean, you've got to admit, it worked out pretty nicely that Emmett, Rose, and Sarah got the only available rooms in the house left with queen sized beds." he said slyly while giving my hand a gentle squeeze.
"It worked out a little too nicely if you ask me." I added.
He laughed. "Do they really think a twin sized bed is going to stop us?"
I laughed, but frowned. "It probably should. Besides, it's only for four days."
He shrugged and turned his attention back to the rode, with a mischievous smile on his lips.
It was obvious he was going to keep this fight up, but I'd be on my guard.
"Ooh, I love this song." I said excitedly while turning up the radio fractionally.
He burst out laughing. "No you don't!"
I stopped bobbing my head and turned to him with a scowl. "Yes, I do. Why wouldn't I?"
It had a good beat.
He sobered up slightly. "It's about masturbation." This set him off again, like middle school students and the word 'sex'.
"H-How?" I asked quietly.
"I've read it somewhere, on Youtube I think. Just listen to the lyrics and you'll understand." he explained.
I did as I was told, trying to decipher what they were singing while translating it just as quickly with my knowledge of perverted jokes.
Body and beats
I stain my sheets
I shuddered and turned the song down.
"It could mean a number of things, you know? I mean, the only things remotely aiming to masturbation are those two lines. Everything else is just about a guy going… wild… Ugh, okay!" I screeched the end in defeat.
There goes another song.
"Sorry, babe." he soothed.
I frowned. "You should be."
He pulled my fingers to his lips and kissed them, all the while not taking his eyes off the road.
I cringed away like I had been licked by a cow.
"Please forgive me, Bella." He played along.
"Yeah, whatever," I shrugged it off while resting my forehead on the cold window.
"I love you." he said longingly.
I sighed. "And I you," I told him.
The song that had caused this mock debacle was still playing in the background.
"Ah, turn it off! Before I start finding everything dirty!" I threw my hands up exasperatedly and searched the CD compartment on the visor above the steering wheel.
"Jeez, Bella, try not to kill us."
Finding the CD almost immediately I pushed it in, ignoring his comment.
After the intro, he could no longer take it.
"What…. is this?" he breathed in horror.
I laughed at his expression. "Its Christmas hits sang by all of today's hottest artists." I said mimicking Alice's tone when she had given it to me earlier this month.
"It's… it's awful!" he uttered out.
"No, it's Christina Aguilera. She's talented." I reasoned.
He sighed and straightened his back.
"I'm sorry, Bella, but could you get a tissue from the back? I think my ears are bleeding!" His voice was rising on the last part.
"You narrow minded baby!" I said while grabbing a tissue from the back.
I placed it in the palm of my hand and offered it to him.
He took it and placed it on his lap.
"Thank you, Bella. False alarm I guess." He said monotonously.
The next song came on a few hilarious minutes after watching him silently suffer.
"Hey…" I said, recognizing the band.
"Yeah?" he questioned apprehensively.
"Didn't you see these guys in concert once?" I asked while full on turning my body to gaze at him accusingly.
He cringed as he recognized the voice. "…yes,"
"Ha!" My voice broke through the song.
"It was one time! I was young!" he said defensively.
I shook my head. "Correction: younger, I had known you then, it's not like you were seventeen!" I said. "It was like what? Three years ago?"
He thought that over for a moment, and then sighed. "Yeah,"
"So, I never really asked you about the concert…" I said slowly, pondering.
"You didn't," He shook his head.
I smiled slowly. "I just have one question."
He waited, already in position to cringe away from me.
"Were the flair legged jeans sexier in person?" I asked innocently.
We were both caught in a fit of laughter after that. This band couldn't get any lamer. Tight tee shirts, and of course the borderline bell bottoms.
"If I say yes will you leave me alone?" he asked brokenly.
I smiled. "Not a chance,"
He groaned then, leaning over the steering wheel.
I giggled and leaned over the seat to place a wet kiss on his cheek. He leaned into me a little before we both pulled away.
I sat back in my seat and gazed out the window, at the snow soaked ditches and city lights before us.
After a few moments of silence a loud intro began.
And then a fake, candy voice started.
"You know what I suggest we do?" he asked after the chorus.
"What's that?" I asked, willing him to go on.
"Throw this CD out the window!" he announced loudly.
I laughed while shaking my head. "The last time we threw a CD out the window, at your request might I add, we were pulled over, remember?"
"Yes, I do. And the only reason why we got a ticket instead of a warning is because she was a Joss Stone fan. What are the odds?" He remembered.
I just laughed and turned the radio back on.
"College rock it is," I announced.
The next few minutes passed by peacefully. I gazed out the window at the passing traffic, at the night sky and street lights illuminating sections if only for a moment.
I was excited. Christmas was only three days away. And I was going to spend it with the people I've grown to love. There was Sue, Macon's mom. She was crazy but I loved her, and she didn't seem to mind me. And Greg, his father, was more over the authoritative, sane figure of the household. And Rosalie, his intimidating sister who's husband Emmett always chose me to pick on. But it didn't matter, I loved them. And whenever I loved, I loved hard.
We all got a long great the last two holidays I had spent in Wilmington. There was the fourth of July, spent at Emmett's. He wore a 'King of the Grill' apron, which I had snickered at. In turn, when I had asked for non-seasoned burgers I received seasoned. When I protested, he simply reminded me not to mess with the 'King of the Grill' ever again.
Thanksgiving was next. We spent it at his parents. This was the first time I had seen his house, where he had grown up. It was extravagant, to say the least. Six bedrooms, four and half baths, a game room, detached garage with an apartment, a pool out back settled between the patio. I remember going out there at night when Macon had to smoke and needed someone to talk to. The trees had always haunted the scenery, casting odd shapes on our faces. I remember on the first night there, he was complaining about the location of the trees, because they always littered the pool. Now of course, the tarp had been on, sheltering it. But the trees reeked havoc throughout the spring and summer nonetheless.
Each room inside the house was decorated to a certain theme, mostly children's. The most coveted of all was the Tom Sawyer room. It was the baby blue walls and strategically placed maps and pieces of childhood that gave it its calming quality.
Other rooms always seemed to scream as you'd walk by. The Princess room with its dome shape and pink walls. Dolls adorned every shelf, giving it an eerie feel. But it had a memory foam bed, which was nice.
Macon's room was currently being converted into The Las Vegas room. He fought, protested, complained, and whined.
"To see something so wonderful go to such waste," he'd begin.
But there was no fighting with Sue. It was her house after all. And it wasn't like he or anyone really lived there anymore.
Then there was The Chocolate Factory room, pretty self explanatory.
I had seen it once - smelled the dust from under use - and walked away, hoping that we'd never have to stay in it.
Another room currently under construction was The Canadian Rockies Suite. The room itself was ideal enough, but not the location. Too much traffic passed through, including his parents, whose room was right across the hall.
So that left us with the jungle themed room. With twin bunk beds festooned with automated screaming monkeys.
He had always told me that his mother's choice to decorate the rooms like so was her way of subtly hinting her want for more grandchildren.
And then he'd stare at me for a second, studying me, curiously. Then whatever emotion he had suddenly disappeared and he'd laugh.
"She's funny," he'd say.
It was never something that came up between us. Marriage.
I love him, a lot. I have feelings for him that I'd never experienced before.
I really adore him. His laugh, the sparkle in his eyes when he'd become animated in a story. I just love that.
And then when he'd say it, that he loved me, even if it was just a 'love you, too' on the phone, my heart did flips.
He was the first guy, besides my father, to ever say that to me. And I liked it. A lot.
It was his sense of humor that got me first, not his looks. Tons of guys were gorgeous like him, he didn't stand out. Though, I admit, his disheveled hair and bright eyes were major plus's; it's not like they were unique.
Personality is always the deal breaker. And he had it. The spirit and playfulness that I needed in order to mellow out from my usual shell, was there.
And Macon was always so happy, just carefree. Mid term tomorrow? With four questions each with twenty five sub parts? Only studied on Saturday for like an hour? No problem.
"As long as I got my girl," he'd say, joking.
Joking, he was always joking with me. Most times I found it hard to tell if we was being serious our sarcastic. Another thing I liked about him.
He wasn't easy to read.
He didn't seem observant, always letting things slip.
But he was.
Like when we had gone to a party together and I got myself a soda in a plastic red cup.
I think his eyes scanned to it once in the whole night.
It was Sierra Mist. And by the end of the night I had gone through four glasses.
And then, weeks later, when we were just starting to take our dating to a more casual level, he got me a Sierra Mist without even asking me.
I was at work, and he was buying me lunch. It was some burger place, and he had called in advance to ask what I wanted. I had just assumed we'd skip out on drinks. They were expensive and I could always drink from the water cooler.
But then he showed up. His hair was darker due to the rain, but his eyes were bright as always. Bright and cheery, he handed me the bag of food and a Sierra Mist.
I remember looking at it, bemused at first. When I asked him how he knew, he just shrugged indifferently and said he'd seen me drink it once or twice.
And I just beamed up at him.
That was the first of many times he kept me guessing.
There was no I doubt that we were in love. I was head over heels after the first week. He took longer to catch on, but after a while began to reciprocate my feelings.
And now we had been together for two years. We hadn't had any break ups, but like any couple we had our disagreements. But they were light, and when both of us cooperated, easy to be fixed.
And his eyes, they would plead silently for me to agree, and I would, almost every time.
Though I have to admit, if it weren't for those eyes, I would have never agreed to meet his parents during the fourth of July in the first place.
That's one forced decision I don't regret.
We were pulling up to a 7-Eleven.
"What are we doing?" I asked immediately.
He sighed, running his hands through his hair once. Then he leaned over the seat for a kiss.
"I need a smoke," he said quickly with his hand on the door.
"Here?" I said.
He stopped. "My mom thinks I quit." he admitted with a sheepish grin.
So did I.
"Didn't you?" I inquired.
He frowned. "I'm sorry, Bella. Maybe it'll be my New Years Resolution." With that he got out of the car and walked into the gas station.
I scoffed while I watched him get his cigarettes. He knew it bothered me when he smoked. But I never really pushed him to quit. I mean, it's his life. He only smoked in front of me on rare occasions anyway.
Then he got all sweet and said he'd quit for me, because he noticed my subtle distaste. I didn't protest but I didn't necessarily encourage him like I should have.
Once Macon was out I rolled down the window despite the cold so we could talk.
"How you doing there, cowboy?" I asked casually.
He laughed. "Shut up,"
He rushed the smoke along as we made small talk.
Once he was sufficiently filled he got back in the car and placed his ice cold hand in mine. I was used to it though.
Ten minutes later we were pulling up into the twinkle light studded driveway that led to our Christmas Haven.
"Here goes everything," he said cheerfully.
It was his new saying and he was attempting to spread it like wildfire. I think I said it to Alice once and she just went on doing her business.
I still thought it was witty though.
Halfway up the steps with department bags full of presents in hand we were bombarded by the family.
The shouts came first, then the bodies. And soon we were struggling with our holds while they grouped hugged us.
Sue was a strong one, her grasp nearly meeting the strength of Emmett's ironically. Rosalie gave me a small pat on the back. Greg pulled me in and said it was good to see me. Emmett lifted me off my feet, bags be damned, and proclaimed his love for me.
Once I was back on my feet I picked up my bags and looked over to Macon. He was smiling, and his eyes were luminescent under the Christmas lights. He looked so happy.
I knew it meant a lot to him to have me and his family together for Christmas.
Inside, the house was warm. Some children's show was playing ridiculously loud in the living room, and a Dr. Phil rerun was playing on the kitchen TV.
It smelled like gingerbread cookies, but I knew better. It took me two point five seconds to spot the candle. I just laughed and shook my head as everyone got settled in.
"Presents!" Sue breathed. "Set them on the counter, later I'll organize them accordingly under the tree." she concluded.
We followed our orders.
"Bella, have you lost weight?" Rosalie asked, feigning incredulity.
The room grew silent.
I blushed and shrugged.
Then she broke out into her tinkling laughter. "I'm only kidding!"
Greg cleared his throat before Emmett erupted, and everyone sort of followed suit at that.
Typical Rosalie. She had a sense of humor, no doubt, but it was always aimed at making others appear inferior, jokingly of course.
Macon came back in with Sarah atop his shoulders.
"Look what I found." he proclaimed in a feminine voice.
There really was no point to that. He just did it for laughs, which he received.
Funny, they all seemed a little buzzed.
Aha, after a few moments of searching I found the wine coolers and a Jack Daniel in a secluded corner.
He brought Sarah over to me as she sleepily leaned forward over his head.
"Up you go," He said in a strained tone as he plucked her off his shoulders and into my unsuspecting arms.
Wow. She weighed a ton.
I tried to keep a smile on my face but it probably turned into somewhat of a grimace.
Sue's high pitched laughter broke through the room, followed by Emmett's.
Man, they must be drunk.
I fumbled with Sarah a few moments before finding a more comfortable position for us both.
The truth was I didn't really fancy kids much. Sure they were cute… from a distance.
Sarah was adorable though. She had blonde hair and blue eyes, just like her mom. And she was quite the feisty little bugger, just like her father.
I gazed down at her for a moment, peacefully sleeping on my shoulder. We had only met each other twice, on the Fourth and on Thanksgiving.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, I had to baby sit her for forty five minutes once, while Rosalie and Sue prepared the catered food from Whole Foods on Thanksgiving.
She was a little bit of a brat, using my submissive qualities to her advantage, but lovable all the same.
I just remember being fascinated with the little dimples in her hands. It was always the little things like that which attracted my interest.
She was a sweetheart when she wanted to be, but only then.
I looked up to see Macon staring at me, with a curious expression. But he composed himself quickly and turned to Rosalie.
"Well, Rose, Bella and I are going to head up and get settled. Mind taking care of your little rascal for once?" he asked.
She scoffed and scowled simultaneously. "Hand her over," she requested annoyed.
I smiled and gratefully returned Sarah to her mother's waiting arms.
Macon turned to me and smiled, carrying both of our duffel bags as we made our way through the living room.
"Some tree," I said admiringly as I took it in.
Standing two stories high in the available space was a tree covered in white 'frosting' and all the traditional ornaments. I felt a pang of sadness at remembering my own childhood Christmas trees - with random ornaments bought at Hallmark and made during Sunday school.
To top it off, skirting the tree was a fully functioning train system. It was off at the moment.
The books once housing the bookshelves were replaced with the Nativity Story knick knacks of all variety. Precious Moments was the one I recognized. Then there were spoofs and Disney ones too.
I was turning toward the staircase when he stopped me.
"Whoa, where do you think you're going?" he asked incredulously.
Laughter erupted in the kitchen behind us as the sound of someone retrieving crushed ice from the fridge followed.
"The stairs," I answered, bored.
He just grinned wryly.
In the subtle light from the TV, his whole face gleamed wickedly.
I rolled my eyes.
"We are not riding on the elevator." I said disapprovingly.
His grin just got wider.
"Oh, yes we are,"
You'd think that after living here his whole life that the whole 'having an elevator in your house' thing would get old.
After all, his house was only three floors, including the basement of course.
It was pointless really. I mean, I could see the elevator entrance upstairs from here.
I exhaled and followed his lead.
"This is pointless," I sang.
"No it's not," he repeated in the same tone.
It was an awkwardly small elevator, but one nonetheless.
It had one of those old fashioned gates installed that retracted into the wall. It was pretty neat… the first time.
Inside were a medicine ball and a vacuum cleaner. He acted as if they weren't there.
"Where to, madam?" he asked in failed British accent.
Again, I don't know why he does this.
I humored him, "Second floor, please," but not without sounding bored.
"Alright-y then," That wasn't necessary.
Once Macon had pressed the button - but not without making a show of 'which one shall I choose' - he was kissing me. I could taste the smoke.
Once we had reached our floor and the doors opened, he pulled a way.
Biting his lip he grinned wickedly. I just offered him a lazy smile, too tired to do anything else.
He obviously thought he had enlightened me about the elevator ride.
I suppose he did.
"Here we are, love," he said, continuing his accent.
"Alright, stop!" I said exasperated.
A loud, prerecorded shriek resonated throughout the room. Stupid, expensive, motion sensing stuffed monkeys.
He just chuckled and went into the bathroom.
After retrieving his stuff he began brushing his teeth.
I set my stuff in the corner and brushed my hair, not really knowing what else to do.
He came back in and kissed me softly on the lips, lingering for a moment. I immediately responded by pushing my self to him and parting my lips.
He grinned and pulled back.
"Much better," he said,
Always the thoughtful one…
Glancing at the digital clock told me that it was only nine o'clock.
"Gosh, I'm so tired." I said, joining him on the bed.
He rubbed my back soothingly.
"We can go to bed soon, if you'd like." he said.
I turned and smiled at him.
He returned it.
Suddenly we were interrupted by someone shouting downstairs.
"OH! How wonderful! I'm so glad you decided to come!" screeched Sue… or Rosalie.
Most likely Sue though.
"I can't thank you enough for inviting me." came another, unfamiliar voice.
It was a male's voice and he sounded around my age.
I turned to Macon. His eyes were wide and calculating.
It was obvious we were having a new visitor. Sue seemed happy to see him, so he must be alright.
"Macon! Bella! Come downstairs! We have a visitor!" she sang the last part.
And then it clicked with him.
"Oh, my God!" he shouted, jerking off the bed and pulling me with him.
He sounded an awful lot like a young girl.
"What? What is it?" I asked, hating to be out of the loop.
"It's Edward!" he said excitedly.
My eyebrows furrowed. "Who?"
He was dragging me toward the door frantically, but when I asked he stopped.
"He's one of my best friends! I've known him forever. Now, come on! You'll love him!" he said while pulling me through the hall.
From here I could see the kitchen. Rosalie and Sarah were missing. Emmett was still there, along with everyone else, and this stranger whom I was about to meet.
Not even bothering to take the elevator, Macon frantically flew down the stairs, seemingly forgetting his death grip on my wrist.
Once inside the kitchen he let go of me.
"Brother!" he shouted, and then jumped into the stranger's arms, wrapping his legs around his waist in the process.
"Macon!" he said at the same volume.
Sue and Greg watched animatedly. Emmett was watching me, seemingly enjoying my confused reaction. I scowled in his direction.
The man, named Edward, let Macon down. Macon hadn't had enough yet, pulling him in for another hug, though less passionate and manlier - slapping his back loudly a few times.
"It's so good to see you, man." he said finally.
"You too," Edward said.
And then he turned to me. And the full force of his eyes were unleashed. Green. That was the first thing I registered. And they were bright.
He was very handsome. I could think that, right? His attire made it look like he had just come from a nine to five job. His face looked smooth. His hair was another story though. Wild. That's what I thought of it.
Macon nearly skipped back to me, grabbing my hand and pulling me up to Edward.
Moments before he was barely able to contain his enthusiasm, now, he just looked vacant as he studied me, curiously, but differently than Macon usually did.
"Edward, I don't believe you've met my girlfriend Bella." he said with a big smile on his face.
Edward seemed frozen for a moment, similar to how a DVD would skip, before swallowing and shaking his head.
"I don't think I have," He held out his hand for mine.
I looked at it, and then back to him, and smiled politely.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you." I said.
His hand was warm and soft - softer than a guy's should be, actually.
"It's nice to meet you, too." he said, squeezing my hand once.
I continued to smile at him.
Once he let go he studied his hand for a moment, and then looked back up to me, and then Macon.
I frowned. My hand felt tingly.
"This is so great!" Macon said excitedly as he gazed at everyone in the room.
I smiled at him, happy to see him happy.
"This is going to be the best Christmas yet," he declared proudly.
Then Sue, being Sue, said "Can I get an 'Amen'?"
And only Greg, Macon, and Emmett burst out into laughter this time. I felt someone's eyes on me, almost willing me to turn in their direction.
I shyly lifted my head up, and was met with Edward's intense stare. His eyebrows were furrowed slightly. He tilted his head when our eyes met.
I gasped softly and turned away quickly.