"Bella! Let's go! We're going to be late!" Alice whined as she called up the stairs.
"Alice!" I cried as I looked at the clock. "I have five hours before we leave for Denali!"
"Yeah," she said as she entered the room. "but it's going to take me that long to redo everything you've done."
Laughing, I smiled and just waved her into my closet. She jumped up and clapped like a hyperactive five year old let loose in an unsupervised candy shop overnight. The Denali family, namely Tanya and Kate, were throwing a New Year's party for anyone they could find. Namely, the Cullens and Garrett (who was already living there, so he didn't count). It would take us five minutes to run there, but Alice insisted on leaving two hours early to help set up.
She squealed from the closet and I looked up to see what horrors she had found in the deepest, unplundered depths of my closet. I smelled silk in the air where she was standing, and that's never a good sign with Alice.
My premonition of doom was correct. It looked like a lilac silk sheet someone had decided to tie into a dress. Two straps that tied behind my neck plunged downward to my waist, where it joined a full skirt under a black band. However, the straps had apparently decided to flee from the rest of the dress, as they would expose a good portion of my cleavage. It was a beautiful gown, but entirely too dressy for a party in which I would likely end up soaked in blood, having yet to master the art of hunting cleanly, darn it. (A/N Links for dress and shoes in the Author's Note)
The shoes were equally impractical, as they were merely heels that clung to my foot by means of a jeweled strap that went to both sides of my feet and up the front of my foot to my ankle. While my fear of stilettos was no longer as paralyzing, there was still a great deal of concern as to how I was supposed to run through the muddy planes of Washington, Oregon, and Canada--as a major snow storm had just melted throughout the countryside--without Alice killing me for 'destroying' the shoes?
I decided there was no option but to run barefoot with the shoes in my hand. I sighed, knowing that I was going to have to wash the mud from my feet on arrival. Alice forced the dress over my shoulders barely after I had finished shucking off my previous outfit of black pencil skirt and blue blouse. The gown slid over my thin frame as only silk could do. My evil pixie sister used fashion tape to ensure that the dress stayed in position all night.
As when I was human, I was then strapped to a barber's chair in my own bathroom as Alice smoothed down my hair and forced it into soft curls. She tied a lilac ribbon behind my ears to control my bangs, then curled them to match the rest of my hair. Soft silver eyeliner with a lilac shadow completed the outfit, as Edward forbade Alice to lipstick after the last time.
"Mommy? I'm leaving!" Renesmee called from the stairs as her footsteps moved toward my bedroom. She gasped when she opened the door. "You look like a princess."
I opened my arms to her, and she hugged me gently, as though afraid to ruin my outfit. "Thank you, sweetie. You look pretty gorgeous yourself." She dressed in the dress Edward and I had bought her for Christmas (A/N see "Another Cullen Christmas" for details). She would be staying at her grandfather's tonight to watch the ball drop with him and Jake. "Have fun tonight with Grandpa and Jake. No biting."
She pouted. "I can't even bite Jakey?"
I smiled and gave in. "Bite him as hard as you like. He heals quickly enough." I smiled and kissed her cheek. "I'm sure Daddy's downstairs waiting for you. Go on." I patted her gently on the back, and rubbed my cheek against her own. Luckily, Alice had yet to apply blush.
Renesmee smiled and waved as she carried her small backpack/purse downstairs to where Edward was waiting in the Volvo for her. Alice turned me back around and went right back to work.
The party was nothing special. It was a nice reunion with my family, thanking them for the gifts they had sent Renesmee and a chance to congratulate Kate and Garrett on their own wedding a month prior. Carmen and Eleazar were disappointed that Renesmee hadn't come with us, but got over it quickly when we promised to bring her up for Easter.
Edward's jaws had dropped when he had seen me, and his possessive arm around my waist had yet to drop. He had cleaned up pretty well also, donning a black tuxedo with a red tie and flower. He looked like a villain from an old silent movie, but he was my villain. I was truly looking forward to getting him alone tonight.
We watched the ball drop together with our men, curled up on a sofa together. The rest of the family had gone all out as well (or may have been forced by Alice). There were more designer clothes in the room than in most boutiques.
The rest of the Cullens and I said goodbye to the Denali clan around two in the morning and went our seperate directions for some alone time with our spouses. Edward and I barely made it to the door of our cottage before the designer clothes were balled up in a corner and we celebrated the New Year the best way we knew how.