It's been awhile hasn't it!? Well if you haven't gone back and re-read the other chapters DON'T feel like you need to before reading this one! The previous chapters were mostly back-story and fillers but it picks up from here so you can honestly just start from this chapter. If you have any questions just ask me and I'll be happy to refresh your memory!

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight; it all belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

I stared out the window as the plane began its descent. I'd spent the entire flight with my headphones in my ears and my eyes glued to the window. I'd only looked away a few times to smile at Edward across the aisle or frown at Alice when she tried to close the window shade. I'd been on an airplane before but I'd never gone this far.

New York already looked amazing from overhead and I couldn't wait to get everyone off the plane so we could start exploring the city. I happily obeyed the stewardess when she announced for everyone to secure their tray tables and lift their seat backs. The excited butterflies in my stomach were getting crazier as the plane descended lower and lower. The plane vibrated violently as we touched down, finally arriving in New York.

It was madness as everyone tried to get off the plane and make their way to baggage claim. Once every person had their stuff, we all headed out to the shuttles that would take us to the hotel. Luckily, we had been able to find a pretty nice hotel near downtown NYC that gave us a great group rate, although I knew Edward had put in quite a bit of his own money to pay for it.

When we arrived, Edward quickly ran to the front desk as everyone else began unloading the shuttle buses. When he came back he had everyone quiet down so he could call names and hand out room keys. Everyone had already been paired up into groups of four roommates. There was one room that would only have two people in it, so of course Alice and I made sure we got that one. Edward was more than willing to let us have it since there was no chance I would be able to sneak over to his room if I had other roommates.

There were two chaperones that came along on the trip with us, Ms. Lewis and Mrs. Stanley. We had free time so everyone was basically free to do what they wanted but the chaperones were there just in case anything happened. I had heard them talking together earlier, sharing all the places they absolutely had to go visit while in New York City.

"Hey, Bella I got our keys. Let's go upstairs!" Alice excitedly grabbed her stuff and I followed her over to the elevators. When we made it up to the room we immediately put our things down and ran to the huge window. We smiled as we took in the city before us, seeing the people and yellow taxi cabs everywhere below.


"This is so not real life right now."

After we got settled in, everyone had a couple hours to themselves just to explore the city. Edward sent me a text saying he was going to Times Square with some of the drumline guys. So when Alice asked if I wanted to go shopping around there I easily agreed, secretly hoping we'd bump into them.

After hours of shopping, and sadly no encounters with Edward, we returned to the hotel. I had sent him several texts while we'd been out but hadn't heard back from him at all. I frowned as I placed my bags next to my bed before lying down.

"Cheer up, sour puss. Why do you look so depressed?" Alice asked as she took all her new clothes out and looked them over. She cocked her head to the side before lifting up a bright yellow shirt. "Should I have gotten this in red?"

"Alice, you got it in yellow, purple, and blue. I think you can live without the red one. And I'm not a sour puss," I finished with a huff.

She rolled her eyes before picking up her phone to call Jasper.

"Don't stay on the phone long. We need to get ready for rehearsal," I told her as I made my way into the bathroom.

Later that night, the entire band met down in the hotel's ballroom to rehearse the music we were performing in the parade the next day. Everyone's ears rang a little as the sound bounced off of the walls in the room. This was definitely the best we'd ever sounded, which I believed was due to everyone's excitement.

Edward cued is to stop playing and then stepped down off the chair he'd been standing on. "Okay, I've got a couple things. Trumpets need to come in together at the beginning of the second phrase. From measures fifteen to twenty-six, clarinets, flutes and piccolos need to articulate clearer. Other than that, I love the energy we've got going on. I can tell you're all ready to get out there and show them what we've got."

Everyone clapped and cheered happily before Edward continued, "Right now, everyone needs to gather their things and make your way outside to the shuttles so we can get to the parade rehearsal."

While everyone started heading outside, I causally went over to Edward. "Um, Mr. Cullen," I began loudly before lowering my voice and continuing, "Why didn't you text me back all day?"

"I'm sorry, Bella. I have absolutely no idea where my phone is. I think I dropped it somewhere while I was out," he explained with a slight frown.

"Oh," was my brilliant response.

He smiled at my expression before softly nudging me. "Come on, Ms. Swan. We've gotta get going."

When we got to the rehearsal, we were all led to our position in the lineup and put into order by sections. Our band was towards the beginning of the parade so we finished pretty early. Everyone decided to stay and stand on the side to watch the rest of the parade.

We all smiled and took out our phones to take pictures as the pretty floats rode by. It was all so picturesque as flurry's began to fall from the night sky. I looked around at all my band mates, having the time of their lives in NYC at Christmas time. The only thing that could have made the moment better was if Edward's arms were wrapped around me. It was hard being so close to him yet still not close enough.

I flinched a little when I felt something cold softly brush my hand. My smile grew wide when I looked down and noticed Edward's fingers happened to be very close to mine. I casually moved an inch closer to him so that the backs of our hands and fingers rested solidly against each other's. It wasn't much and it wasn't ideal, but it was enough for us. I couldn't help but dream of the day I could casually stand in a crowd or walk down the street with Edward holding my hand…

When the rehearsal was over, we all walked back towards the shuttles. Alice hooked her arm in mine and we cozied together, trying to keep warm as the flurries picked up. By the time we reached the hotel there was a noticeable amount of snow on the ground. Some people tried scraping some together and making little snowballs. We all laughed when Mike got hit in the face with one and started yelling at Tyler.

The elevators were packed as everyone tried to get back up to their rooms quickly. I could tell I wasn't the only one who was pretty exhausted from such an exciting day. Alice swiped us into our room and immediately ran into the bathroom yelling, "I call shower first!"

I rolled my eyes as I closed the door and flopped down on my bed. Just as I was taking my shoes off, the room phone on the nightstand began to ring. I was confused who would be calling on it but then remembered Edward said he had lost his cell phone.

"So are you as exhausted as I am?" I immediately asked.

He laughed softly into the phone. "Yeah I'm pretty worn-out. Did you enjoy the parade?"

"Yeah, it was great! I'm so excited for tomorrow. I still can't believe we're actually here."

"I know, I'm still taking it all in myself. It's all thanks to you though, Bella. You really are amazing for making this happen."

"Edward, don't act like you weren't a major part in this trip happening. You think I don't know you footed most of the hotel bill?"

"How'd you find that out?" he questioned with a laugh.

"Well we're in a nice hotel that's near downtown, which you suggested and insisted on calling yourself to make reservations. This has got to cost way more than the $150 everyone paid and you're the only person who'd chip in that much money. It wasn't that hard to figure out, Edward."

"Hmmm, well I'm certainly not as sneaky as I thought."

I laughed, "Maybe with other people but not me."

"Yeah, I don't think I can get anything past you," he agreed. "Are you coming over here?"

"I will after I take a shower. I'm waiting for Alice to get out." I raised my voice on the second part so that Alice would hopefully hear me and hurry up.

"Just shower over here with me," he said convincingly.

"Hmmm, well I suppose I can do that. Be there in a few," I told him before hanging up.

I gathered up all my things before telling Alice I was leaving and heading towards the elevators. I wasn't worried about anyone spotting me because the chaperones had put a piece of scotch tape on all our doors. The tape was placed so that if the door had been opened it would either break or one side would be pulled off. In the morning before breakfast, they'd go through and check to see if anyone's tape had been tampered with. Of course I had no problem sneaking out of my room because Edward could just put the tape back on my door after I was back inside.

I knocked softly on his door, knowing he was listening out for it. He opened the door with a smile on his face, grabbing my hands and pulling me inside. After closing the door, he took my bag off my shoulder with one hand and pulled my head towards his with the other.

Our mouths fit perfectly together as we kissed passionately. My hands slipped under his shirt and ran up and down his back as his moved over my ass before picking me up. My legs wrapped around his waist then he walked us over to the window and pressed me up against it. Our hips moved together in a slow rhythm while his tongue caressed mine.

Edward began kissing down my neck as I rested my head back against the cool glass, catching my breath. I moaned when he sucked lightly on my skin and I felt him hard between my legs.

"Shower," I mumbled, having a hard time even forming words.

"Mmmm what, baby?" he asked, not bothering to remove his lips from my skin.

"Let's take this… oh mmmm," I stopped when his tongue ran over a sensitive spot by my ear and my body trembled. "That feels so good."

He continued sucking and licking all over my neck and collarbones, making me moan and my skin warm.

"Weren't you saying something?" he asked hastily before continuing.

"Oh right," I said. I had completely lost my train of thought, getting distracted by Edward's talented tongue. "I was saying let's take this to the shower. I want to get cleaned up first."

"Bella, if we're taking a shower together I can guarantee you'll be feeling dirtier when you get out than when you got in." He winked before quickly kissing me and setting me down on my feet.

"I'll go start the shower. You… get naked," he said before walking to the bathroom.

I picked up my bag and sat it on the bed, pulling out my body wash and shampoo. I had brought a pair of pajamas with me but figured I probably wouldn't be wearing them so I left them in the bag. Wasting no time, I quickly stripped my clothes off and headed to the bathroom.

After a lengthy shower, in which Edward came through on his guarantee, we got right into bed and cuddled close together. I made sure I set an early alarm so that I could get back to my room before the chaperones were up.

Edward placed a soft kiss to my head before we both quickly dozed off.

The sound of my alarm startled me awake at five in the morning. I groaned, rolling over and cuddling myself into Edward's warm chest. His arm tightened around me as his chest hummed with soft laughter.

"Bella, it's not going to turn itself off."

I groaned as I reached behind me and picked up my phone. After turning the alarm off, I yawned and stretched my arms and legs.

"We should get you back to your room," Edward said as he moved my messy hair away from my face.

After ten minutes of coaxing, Edward finally got me up and out the door. He kept his arm tightly around me until we reached my room.

"Alright, I'll see you in a few hours," he whispered softly before placing a sweet kiss to my forehead then turning to head back down to the elevator.

I caught his hand in mine before he could go, pulling him back towards me. "Happy Birthday, Edward," I said softly before kissing him and scurrying inside my room.

I got into my bed and slept for another hour before getting up and ready for breakfast. Alice was a morning person so she easily got up and ready while still finding time to write a lengthy text message for Jasper to read whenever he woke up. We both finished just as the chaperones knocked on our door telling us we could go down to breakfast.

After everyone was finished eating, we all went right out to the shuttles and straight to the parade. The parade was a blur of people, balloons, and music. Everyone was truly filled with the Christmas spirit which was a great distraction from the cold weather.

At the end of the parade, my feet ached and my lips were slightly chapped but none of that mattered. My eyes were glued to Edward's bright smile as he shook hands with some of the other bands' directors, thanking them for their compliments on our band. I caught his eye as he was saying goodbye to the other men and he gave me a quick wink before walking over to our group.

"Listen up," Edward began, trying to get everyone's attention. "You all should be very proud of yourselves! You did a great job out there today and represented not only Forks, but the state of Washington very well. I'm truly honored to lead such a talented and ambitious group of people."

Some of the drumline guys joined together for a chorus of Awwwww's which made Edward laugh and roll his eyes.

"Alright, alright settle down back there. Tomorrow is Christmas and I know you all want to make it home to see your families in time. So right now we all need to get back to the hotel and get ready to go. We've got a flight to catch."

We got back to the hotel and immediately went up to our rooms to get our stuff, packing up and going to the airport. I wasn't surprised to see that so many people were still flying all over the country, everyone just trying to make it home to their family before Christmas.

When we finally made it back to the school everyone quickly got their stuff and jumped in their cars to head home. Most people carpooled and others had their parent's there waiting for them so everyone was gone in a matter of 10 minutes.

I had sat in the parking lot in Alice's car, waiting for Edward to finish locking up inside.

"So what do you and Edward have planned for tonight?" Alice grinned and nudged my arm.

I laughed and shook her off. "I don't know. We're probably just going to relax and take it easy tonight."

Alice rolled her eyes and sarcastically mumbled, "Yeah, sure you are."

But I chose to ignore her because Edward strolled out of the building right at that moment. He hopped into his car and started the engine. I barely had "See ya later, Alice" out of my mouth before I was already in the Volvo's passenger seat. Alice drove away and we left right after her, heading straight for Edward's apartment.

When we were almost there, my phone went off in my pocket. I assumed it was Alice so I was surprised when I saw 'Dad' across the screen.

"It's Charlie," I explained to Edward before answering. "Hey, Dad."

"Hi, Bella. Just calling to make sure you made it in safe," Charlie replied, sounding genuinely concerned.

"Yeah everything's fine, Dad. We got back a while ago."

There was a brief pause before I heard him on the line again. "So are you sure it's okay for you to stay at Alice's tonight?"

"Yeah she already cleared it with her parents…"

"Oh… okay. I was just thinking that maybe you'd wanna come home and sleep in your own bed after being on a trip and stuff."

Suddenly I realized what a terrible daughter I was being. My poor dad hadn't been seeing much of me in the past few months since I started seeing Edward and sneaking around. Now I wasn't even spending Christmas Eve with him or waking up Christmas morning at home with him.



"Yeah, Bells?"

"I'll be home first thing in the morning. Okay?" I told him, trying to make sure he knew that it was important to me too.

"Alright, I'll see ya then," he said before adding, "Merry Christmas, Bella."

I smiled at the sentiment. "Merry Christmas, Dad," I replied before hanging up.

"Are you sure you don't want to spend the night at home with Charlie?" Edward asked.

I should've known he'd ask considering how selfless he tends to be.

"Edward, it's your birthday and I want to spend the rest of it with you. We're finally alone," I said convincingly before placing my hand high on his thigh— bringing it home.

Yup, he didn't ask again after that, he just pressed his foot against the pedal a little harder to get us home faster.

We hardly had our stuff in the door before it all fell to the ground as we immediately grabbed at each other. Edward quickly pushed me back to the couch before laying me down and covering my body with his. Our lips were moving frantically against each other's yet our kisses were so soft and full of passion.

We kissed until I was light-headed. He pecked my lips gently one more time before resting his forehead against mine as we breathed heavily.

"It's crazy how much I love you," I said softly, smiling up at him.

He laughed softly as he stared into my eyes. "Yeah, I know what you mean." He moved his hand to my cheek and softly rubbed his thumb against it. "I'm glad I could spend my birthday with you."

"Me too." I smiled happily as I enjoyed the feeling of Edward's body against mine. After all the excitement of the trip, it was nice to just be alone with Edward.

"Are you hungry?" he asked before stealing another kiss.

"Yeah but I'm pretty sure your kitchen is empty."

"Hmmm I think you're right. We can order delivery."

"Edward, it's Christmas Eve. I don't think anything is going to be open."

He frowned for a moment as he thought to himself, before smiling and jumping up, heading towards the kitchen.

"Who are you calling?" I asked as I watched him pick up his phone.

Instead of answering me, he began speaking to the person the phone. "Hi, are you still open tonight? Great! I'll have an order of beef & broccoli and an order of General Tso's for delivery. Yeah cash… okay….alright, thanks!"

After hanging up the phone, Edward turned to smile triumphantly at me. "Am I the man or am I the man?"

I rolled my eyes, trying to hide my smile so his ego didn't inflate too much. "You're certainly A man for thinking you can just order for me like that without asking what I wanted."

Now it was his turn to roll his eyes at me. "Please, Bella. You order the same thing every time we get Chinese. You're too scared to try anything else because you think you won't like it."

"Shut it, Mr. Know-it-all," I huffed like a 5 year old. "How'd you even know they were open?"

He shrugged. "I remembered seeing a sign that said they were open on holidays."

"How long did they say it would take?"

"About 20 to 30 minutes. I was thinking maybe we could take a quick shower in the meantime," he said suggestively.

I laughed at his wicked grin before getting off the couch and walking towards his room. "You're always trying to get me in the shower with you."

"What can I say? I love it when you're all wet," he replied, heavy with innuendo.

"Silly Edward, you don't need a shower for that…" I finished with a wink as I left a trail of my clothes to the bathroom.

We'd only been in the shower for about 15 minutes when we heard banging on the front door.

"Dammit he's early," Edward sighed before quickly getting out of the shower and throwing a pair of shorts on. "I'll be right back."

"Alright, I'll be here…. naked and wet," I taunted him.

"Fuuuuck," he groaned as he rushed out of the bathroom.

I decided to wash my hair as I waited for him to return but couldn't find my shampoo that I usually left in his shower. I quickly realized it was still packed away in my bag which was out in the living room. I figured Edward had already said goodbye to the delivery guy so I precariously tossed a towel around me before walking out of the bathroom.

Right as I reached the bedroom doorway I was surprised to hear a woman's voice.

"I've been looking for you for a long time, Edward. It was only a matter of time."

"You need to leave. NOW!" He shouted at the woman.

I gasped, caught off guard hearing Edward raise his voice. It must have been louder than I thought because I caught the woman's attention. She pushed open Edward's door so that she could now see me and I could see her.

The woman looked around Edward's age and had strawberry blonde hair, icy blue eyes, and a pair of obviously fake breast. Everything about her, especially the way she was now staring at me, made my skin crawl and my stomach churn.

I watched as an evil grin spread across her perfectly made-up face.

"Well, well, well… what do we have here?"

My heart stopped with those words and everything moved in slow motion as I looked over at Edward. His face looked pale, as if he'd just seen a ghost and been caught red-handed all at once. I was looking to him for reassurance that everything was okay but he looked just as terrified as I felt.

This was it. I knew this would be the worst moment of my life—my worst fear come true. This was the moment Edward and I were finally caught.

Recently there's been an influx in new readers which definitely caught my attention and pushed me to get this chapter done! Thanks for giving FM a shot even though I hadn't updated in so long! And to all the readers who've been waiting for so long, thank you for sticking with me. I'm finishing this story for you guys!

Again, if you have any questions about previous chapters/information I'll be happy to answer or recap for you! Please leave a review and let me know what you think! :)