In April I participated in the Support Stace Author Auction and in turn was bought by the lovely Ysar. So, as per her request I present this mini story to you. It takes place in between No One Saw the Pain and The Family that Stays Together. It's the holidays that we missed. A little light fluff for everyone to enjoy. This will be about three chapters and will include a companion piece about Alice and Jasper as well. I hope you all enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. all Stephenie Meyer.
A Birthday Surprise
The week of my birthday I kept insisting to both Edward and Alice that I did not want a party. In light of everything that had happened, I didn't think that a big 'to do' would be the best thing.
But, just like always, Alice ignored me, not telling me a word of what she was planning. She was a force of nature and there was no stopping her.
I was still finding my way back to being comfortable around Edward. It had been two weeks since I finally let him touch me, even kiss me, and it was still somewhat difficult to let go.
Night seemed to be when I was the most comfortable with him. He'd hold me in his arms when we went to bed, and everything else just melted away. It was almost as though we existed in our own little bubble together.
When I woke up on the morning of my birthday I realized that I was all alone. I sat up sleepily and searched around the room for him.
"Happy birthday, love." Edward said softly as he entered the room. He had a tray of food in his hands that he carried with him, placing it on his side of the bed before coming over to me. "Good morning." He kissed my forehead.
I blushed. "Good morning. And thank you."
Edward held my cheek gently in his hand, his crooked grin playing across his lips as he looked into my eyes. "Anything for the birthday girl." He leaned in and kissed me softly for a moment. "Now, would you like your breakfast?" He asked after pulling back slightly.
"Please." I grinned.
Chuckling, he turned around and picked up the tray, placing it careful on top of my lap. "I figured that we could share. Does that sound alright?"
I smiled and nodded.
He had made an assortment of food, my favorite being pancakes. There was fruit, eggs, bacon, and sausage. He even had coffee and orange juice for both of us.
Grinning, he handed a fork to me and pressed his lips softly to my temple before encouraging me to eat.
I giggled when he picked up a strawberry with his fork and held it up to my mouth for me. "Edward," I blushed.
"Eat." He insisted, his grin turning into a mischievous smirk.
"Alright." I took his offering, my cheeks still stained red from my embarrassment, and chewed it slowly before swallowing. "Thank you."
He winked at me and continued eating.
Once we both had our fill Edward slipped out of the bed and picked up the tray. I tried to protest, but he just shook his head at me. "Today is your day, love. I'll take care of these while you're in the shower."
Usually my birthdays weren't a big deal and I was fine with that fact. Now with Edward pampering me and taking care of me, I wasn't entirely sure how to handle it.
I eventually got out of the bed and got myself ready for the day, putting on some comfortable jeans and a top that Alice had gotten for me. I brushed my hair and put on some shoes before making my way downstairs.
Waiting for me in the entryway, Edward held my jacket out for me. "Are you ready, Bella?"
"For what?" I asked, slightly confused, slipping my arms into the sleeves as Edward helped me put it on. "Don't you have to work today?"
"Today, I am all yours. I requested the weekend off." He made sure the jacket was on securely. "Now, we have a busy day to attend to."
My eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What are you planning, Edward Cullen?"
"Bella, will you please let me have my fun." He placed his arm around my waist when we got on the elevator. "You will like this, I promise."
Still somewhat suspicious, I watched him for a moment and decided to try and be gracious. "Okay." I smiled at him.
We left the apartment building and went into the garage to get the Volvo. He held my hand in his, our fingers intertwined as he rubbed soothing circles into my skin. I had to remind myself that it was Edward and he wouldn't hurt me.
Our first stop was a new art gallery downtown. Edward parked the car and got out quickly so he could open my door for me. "I've heard you mention a few times that you'd like to go to a gallery opening and I received an invitation last week for this one."
I kissed his cheek after he shut my door. "Thank you."
He took my hand in his again and we made our way to the entrance. "After you," he held the door open for me and followed me in. Once he gave his name to the host we were able to move into the exhibit.
There was so much to see, I could hardly believe it. "Where should we start?"
Edward glanced around the room and ran his free hand through his hair. "I think that it begins over here." I pointed to an area to our left.
"Let's go then." I felt like squealing, but refrained. I didn't want to cause any unwanted attention on myself.
The first section had a series of photographs. They were black and white, taken with different lenses and at different speeds to create specific effects. Each told a piece of the overall story.
I was already intrigued and we had barely started.
As we moved further along, each section became more and more engrossing. The artists' use of colors and strokes on his paintings left me in awe. He was extremely talented.
Edward made me blush when he asked if I enjoyed a particular piece and then insisted on purchasing it after I showed him the one that was my favorite.
When I got angry at him for spending such a large amount of money on me and tried to walk away, he just wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close. It was an internal struggle for me to breathe and not panic.
"Bella, why does my spending money on you upset you so much?" He asked.
I didn't want to have this conversation here, but he made no attempt to release me. "I would never be able afford to get you anything nearly as nice. Besides, I don't need expensive things. I have everything that I need and want."
He kissed my temple. "Bella, that's exactly why I like to buy you things. You aren't materialistic. Love, you are an amazing woman and you deserve to be treated well." His crooked smile flashed across his features. "Especially on your birthday."
Trying to glare at him, I narrowed my eyes, but gave in when I saw the look in his eyes. He really wanted to do this for me. "Alright." I groaned internally, unable to say no to him. "Thank you."
"You are more than welcome." He whispered before pressing his lips to the back of my hand, when he pulled back he lifted one arm from around my waist to check his watch. "Is there anything else that you would like to see?"
I looked around the room to see what was left. The other sections looked okay, but I wasn't dying to see them. "No, I'm finished."
"Okay then. It's time for our next stop." He led us back out to the car and drove us to our next destination.
About half an hour later we arrived in front of an old movie house. I eyed him strangely when he helped me out of the car.
He put his arm around my waist and kissed my hair, thankfully unaware of the slight flinch I had made when he first touched me. "In about ten minutes there's going to be a showing of 'An American in Paris'. I know that it's one of your favorites."
I was shocked at the detail Edward had put into this day. He had remembered little things that I had mentioned in passing. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him close to me, wanting to feel as much of him as I could. "Thank you."
Edward placed a tiny kiss on my ear and rubbed my back soothingly for a moment. "You're welcome." He whispered.
Grinning, I pulled back a little to see his face, and then pressed my lips to his softly. It was a chaste kiss, perfect and delicate. I hadn't initiated our physical contact since before I was taken, and it felt good to do so. My fingers wound through his bronze locks as I pulled him closer to me.
He smiled against my lips and groaned softly. "We better head inside, the movie's about to start." His voice was husky, his lips still lingering against mine.
I blushed and nodded.
So far, my birthday had been perfect; breakfast in bed, a gallery trip, now getting to see one of favorite musicals in a theatre. I felt so lucky to have Edward. Maybe I would be lucky enough not to have to endure another one of Alice's over the top extravaganzas.
That was a long shot, but there was always hope.
We reluctantly pulled apart, Edward taking my hand in his, and then bringing us into the theatre. I hated having to force myself not to panic, but my body was still working through everything. He offered to get me refreshments, but I wasn't in the mood for any.
Once we got to our seats, I settled in and turned my attention to Edward.
He noticed and grinned at me. "What?"
I kissed his cheek. "Thank you for today. I really needed this." I whispered
"You're welcome, love." He chuckled and kissed my hair.
The movie was great. When it neared the end I found myself unwilling to leave. I wanted to stay in that spot and not move the rest of the day.
Eventually Edward insisted that we had one more stop to make before heading home, gently pulling me to my feet.
We went to a bookstore and Edward insisted that I pick up a few books. He didn't want me sitting around bored and I thought that was a sweet gesture.
So I spent a long time going up and down the aisles, picking out the books that I wanted. I always got lost in my own little world when surrounded by books.
As I finished up, Edward pulled out his credit card and picked up the books that I wanted into his arms. I wanted to protest, but managed a smile and followed him to the checkout counter.
He brought us home, putting the bags on the back of the couch, and then ushered me toward the stairs. "Come on, love."
I let him bring me up stairs, and then refused to do anything else when we got into the bedroom. "Edward Culled, what is going on with you?"
"Bella, please just change your clothes." He pleaded with me.
"No." I put my hands on my hips and pouted defiantly. "Not until you tell me why."
He hung his head in defeat. "Alice has instructed me to take you to Forks for your birthday party."
"Edward," I groaned. "Please don't make me do this. Please?"
"Bella, love, I promise you that Alice has kept this very toned down." He tried to assure me, putting his hands on the tops of my arms. "It won't be as bad as you are imagining."
I wanted to protest, but I could see pleading in his eyes. "Fine." I relented.
"Thank you, Bella." He smiled appreciatively.
"Right." I shoved his shoulder gently and pushed my way past him to the closet.
Dressing in the closet, I thought over our day together. My reactions to even the simplest of gestures. I wondered if I would ever be truly comfortable with him touching me again.
I brushed my hair and grabbed my cell phone before heading downstairs.
Edward was waiting for me by the elevator with his crooked smile in place. "You look beautiful, love." He whispered.
My cheeks reddened and I heard him chuckle beside me.
All throughout the drive Edward tried to distract me, to get my mind off of what we were heading out for. He asked me questions, nonchalantly trying to keep my focus on him.
When he finally pulled up to his parents' house, he let out a deep sigh and came around the car to open my door for me. I tried to smile at him, to let him know that I was okay, but it ended up looking like a grimace instead.
Leading the way to the house, Edward tentatively reached for my hand. I cringed at first, but welcomed the comfort of his embrace.
"Happy Birthday, Bella!" My friend's cried as Edward and I walked into the Cullen's home.
I blushed furiously, squeezing Edward's hand. "This is toned down?" I whispered to him.
"Very much so." He kissed my hair. "Please behave."
"Come on over here. Let's start this celebration off right." Alice motioned to me.
Shyly, I made my way into the room and tried not to cringe as I took in all of the decorations. The hundreds of flowers that adorned practically every surface in the living room, the food set up on the coffee table, my birthday cake on top of Edward's piano, and the mountain of presents I had requested they not get on the floor in front of his piano.
Alice and Jasper hugged me and wished me Happy Birthday. Emmett and Rosalie did the same, Emmett getting a bit too much enjoyment out of watching me squirm and blush.
Then I went to Carlisle and Esme, they hugged me tightly and each kissed me on the head. They asked me the typical parental questions and playfully warned that if Edward was giving me any trouble I should let them know.
Charlie was standing next to Carlisle. He seemed embarrassed at first, eventually pulling me into a hug. I told him that I loved him and kissed his cheek, receiving a mumbled "I love you, too," from him.
I tried to ignore the extreme embarrassment that threatened to take over as we sat down to eat. Being a klutz didn't exactly make me jump for joy at being the center of attention.
Instead, I focused my attention on Edward. Things between us weren't where they were before, but we were getting there. Today had been a big step for us. I loved that he was so patient with me.
"My present for you is at home, love." Edward smiled at me, his arm around my shoulders. He must have noticed me glancing at the large pile of gifts
"Edward, I said that I didn't want any presents." I complained. They had already done so much for me and there was no way that I could repay them. Giving me presents just put us more out of balance.
He just shook his head and touched his fingers to my lips. "You will like this one, I promise. It didn't cost me any money." He assured me.
I didn't want anything else from him. He had spent more than enough money on me today as it was.
"Love, I promise you that I didn't spend any money on it." He repeated again trying to reassure me, gauging my reaction.
When I nodded my approval he seemed to relax.
Alice had some finger sandwiches and fruit set up for us to eat. She had matching plates, cups and napkins put out.
Charlie and I sat and talked as we quietly munched on our food. I smiled when I felt Edward sit down beside me, staying close, but not hovering.
It wasn't long after we finished eating that Alice insisted that it was time to open presents. I wanted to throttle her.
Much to my chagrin, they had all spent way too much money on me. Emmett and Rosalie had gotten me a new state of the art lap top. Carlisle and Esme gave me tickets for Edward and I to go to New York and for a show on Broadway. Jasper and Alice had gotten me more CD's than I knew what to do with. Some of them were extremely hard to come by and had to be ordered out of the country. I couldn't believe it. Charlie had gotten me a beautiful digital camera that must have cost him a fortune.
I tried to protest and Charlie just shushed me. "Take it, Bells."
How could I say no to him? "Thank you, Dad." I nodded and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. I chuckled when he waved me off, embarrassed by my display of affection.
Thankfully, Alice didn't insist on lighting candles and singing to me when it came time to cut the cake. I don't know if I would have made it through such an embarrassing moment.
Esme packed up the cake for us when it started getting late. She handed it to Edward since the possibility of my dropping it was extremely high.
Carlisle and Emmett carried my presents out to the Volvo for me and put them in the trunk.
We said our goodbyes to everyone, promising to call and get together again soon. I saved my goodbye to Charlie for last, making sure to hug him extra tight. I promised to call him later in the week and then got into Edward's car.
I considered suggesting to him that we just stay in Port Angeles for the night, but his maniacal driving would get us back home in plenty of time so I just left it alone.
He woke me up when he parked in the garage of our building, kissing my temple softly. "Will you be able to carry the cake, love?" The amusement on his face was on difficult to miss.
Glaring at him as he shut my door, I held my hands out for the box. "I think I can manage it."
"Alright, I'll meet you at the elevator." He said, unaffected by my anger. "I love you, Bella."
In a huff I stomped off, sticking my tongue out at him as I made my way into the building.
"Happy Birthday, Miss." The sweet doorman called to me.
"Thank you, Mr. Varner." I grinned at him, pressing the button for the elevator. I stepped into the elevator when the doors opened, jumping slightly as Edward slipped in behind me.
Smiling, he ducked his head sheepishly. "I'm sorry, Bella. I couldn't help it. You look so adorable when you get angry."
I continued to glare at him, until he kissed me gently on the temple, effectively changing my mood. "You make it extremely difficult to stay angry with you, Edward Cullen." I muttered.
"That's a good thing, love." He winked at me.
Once we got to the apartment, I brought the leftover cake to the kitchen, glancing around to make sure everything else was in order.
When I went upstairs to our room, I found Edward sitting in the middle of the bed, a small box sitting right in front of him.
I gasped in surprise and went to sit down in front of him. I chewed on my lip nervously and looked into his eyes. He handed the present to me and I took in a deep breath before opening it. "Edward this is too much." I looked up from the box after opening it.
He just kissed the top of my head. "Love, nothing is too much for you. Besides, it's been in my family for a long time, it deserves to be worn." He took the bracelet from the box and carefully put it on my wrist.
"It's beautiful." I managed whispered.
The chain was thin and silver and a diamond heart rested in the middle. It was perfect and not overly done, just the way that I liked it.
"Not nearly as beautiful as you are." He smiled and kissed my hand, brushing his lips lightly over my knuckles and eliciting my signature blush.
I brought my arms around him and pulled him in to me for a hug. This seemed to be just the right ending to an amazing day.
Thank you very much to rmcrms5 for beta-ing these chapters for me! I really appreciate it.