Disclaimer: All things Twilight are the property of the amazing Steph Meyer. I just like getting her characters drunk. =D
"What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?"
It was a Friday night, a much needed hunting night for Edward, and while I had originally planned to hole myself up in my bedroom for the night and settle down with Cathy and Heathcliff, Alice had had other ideas. She was adamant that I could not spend my night alone, especially with a book that I had read so many times that, "if Edward could read my mind, he'd be able to read the story word-for-word without even opening his eyes." Also, with the wedding only two weeks away, it was imperative that I spend some quality time with Alice, sans the presence of Edward, to discuss some of the finer points of the wedding, such as what color ribbon should be tied around the candles to match the rest of the decorations, how many flowers should be attached to the chairs at the end of every row down the aisle, and whether the waiters should carry silver, gold or silver with gold detail trays with the alcoholic beverages.
"It's a very important part of the reception, Bella!" Alice had insisted at lunch earlier that day. "If the color of the ribbon is even slightly off, it destroys the entire effect of the appearance of the room. As for the beverage trays-"
She had made a tsking sound at me when I had told her that no one would even notice if the color of the napkins was a different shade to that of the drapes, and she had walked off muttering something about "lack of basic color co-ordination" and "color blind."
So it was with great vexation that I found myself sitting in the middle of the Cullen's pristine living room later that evening, surrounded by color charts, images of flower arrangements, and an extremely spirited Alice. All I could think of was how much I wished Edward would walk right through the door and rescue me from his torturous sister. I loved Alice, but right now I was in my own personal hell.
"-it would definitely work better than that one. Dont you agree? Bella?"
When Alice said my name, my thoughts were abruptly snatched away from the memory of the last time Edward had taken me to our meadow. I stared at Alice blankly, before saying, "Er, yes. I totally agree with you on that."
"You don't even know what I just said, do you?" she asked with narrowed eyes.
I gave her an apologetic smile and shook my head. "I''m sorry Alice! Im just not very good with these things."
"You don't need to tell me," she mumbled.
"Alice, please don't be upset with me. I love that you're excited about this, and I'm so glad that you're handling it all, because I don't even know the first thing about organizing a wedding. But to be honest with you, I wouldn't even care if Edward and I got married in a pig pen with the Chicken Dance playing in the background while we said our vows. All I care about is making Edward happy. I just want to get married and move on to spending the rest of eternity together."
Alice sighed with frustration and looked at me with those damn puppy dog eyes of hers.
"But it's your wedding day, Bella! It's supposed to be pretty and perfect and color co-ordinated. And you are most definitely not getting married in a pig pen! If anyone even dares to play the Chicken Dance -"
"Alice, relax!" I laughed, "No one's going to play the Chicken Dance. Though, if Emmett happened to hear it mentioned ..."
She growled quietly under her breath and shot me a don't-you-dare glare, causing me to burst into laughter. My uncontrollable giggles broke the tension and Alice joined in too, both of us falling back onto the couch with mirth.
After our laughter had died down and we sat on the couch catching our breath, I turned to Alice, who had just let a small giggle escape her lips, and reached for her hand. She looked back at me and I gave her hand a little squeeze.
"Alice, I really do appreciate all you're doing for this wedding. If you, Esme and Renée weren't planning this thing, Edward and I would be standing in a chapel in Vegas," I grinned. She rolled her eyes and I continued, a more serious tone to my voice.
"I know he doesn't want that, I know he wants the whole traditional experience; me in a white dress walking down the aisle on Charlie's arm while all our family and friends watch. And I do have to admit, I want it a little too. The thought of everyone watching Edward and I express how much we mean to one another is both thrilling and terrifying. I want everyone to see how much I love Edward, and know that it's not just a passing phase. I really do love Edward, Alice. He's everything to me."
Alice squeezed my hand in return and said, "I know you do, Bella. I can see it when you're together, and I can see it when you're apart, even if it's just for a minute. The only people who don't see it are people like Jessica and Lauren, because they constantly blind themselves with jealousy and self-adoration."
"Do we really have to invite them to the wedding?"
"Yes! They need to see for themselves that Edward is most definitely officially off the market."
"They can't already tell?"
"They think it's just a passing phase," she teased, throwing my words back at me.
I sighed and rested my head back against the couch, gazing up at the ceiling. I felt Alice move beside me and heard the rustling of paper.
"So, about these napkins-"
"Alice, can we please take a break from all the wedding planning? It's a Friday night and the boys are all out hunting. Shouldn't we be doing something girly, like painting our nails and watching romance films?" I'd much rather be subjected to that than wedding plans, I thought to myself.
The earlier excitement I'd seen in Alice returned in full force at my statement, and I suddenly regretted saying it. Who knew what kind of torture she was now going to force upon me? In the time it took me to blink, the coffee table was cleared of all her wedding plans and paraphernalia, and she had disappeared from the room.
I let my mind wander back to the memory of the meadow; lying in Edwards arms as he ghosted his fingers down my arm, tracing circles on my stomach and peppering my face and neck with delicate, sensual kisses ...
Alice returned with a bottle of wine, a platter of cheeses and a box full of nail polish. I groaned.
"We're seriously going to paint our nails?" I asked.
"You suggested it," she replied with a shrug.
"Do I at least get to pick the color?"
"With your experience of color? I don't think so!"
I rolled my eyes. Could this night get any worse?
"Just dont use red, please? It's trashy."
As I settled into the couch in preparation, Alice poured me a glass of wine and sat the cheese platter in front of me. I accepted the wine and reached over to cut a small slice of Brie. Why the Cullens kept a selection of cheeses in their kitchen, I didn't know, but before I could ask, Alice began to talk.
The rest of the night turned out to be much more enjoyable than I'd anticipated. Alice had painted my toenails first, choosing the brightest shade of scarlet she owned, much to my chagrin, then moved onto my fingernails, all the while chattering about anything but the wedding, for which I was grateful. I didn't really notice that Alice kept re-filling my wine glass, so the more we gossiped and joked, the more I giggled and a permanent flush took residence in my cheeks.
Alice started to tell me some stories about Emmett, Jasper and Edward from the time she and Jasper had joined the Cullen family to the present, which only made my giggling worse. I was too drunk to care, and the stories were hilarious. Besides, it was only Alice.
She was halfway through a telling me of the time when Emmett and Edward had gone on a class excursion to Alaska Zoo when I felt a familiar presence beside me and turned - laughing so hard I was snorting - to find Edward sitting beside me, an amused smile on his face. I threw myself on him and covered him with kisses, not even caring that Alice had not finished her story.
Edward took me in his arms and kissed me in return, laughing into my mouth at my clearly drunken state. I sighed in content and relaxed into him, snuggling up against his chest. He looked at Alice with a bemused smile.
"How much has she had to drink?" he asked. Alice just nodded toward the bottle with a grin. It was empty. Edward picked up my glass to see that it too was almost empty, and chuckled to himself.
"So you force my fiancée to come here tonight to discuss wedding plans, and end up making her drunk instead. Thanks, Alice."
Alice shrugged and said, "She's really funny when she's drunk. And anyway, she needed to loosen up a little. She was no help whatsoever with the wedding plans."
"That's because I'm so color blind I can't even dress myself," I stated, unsteadily pushing myself up from Edwards chest to face her.
"I'm not going to argue with you there," Alice laughed. I scowled at her.
"I refuse to talk about color anymore," I said indignantly, lifting my glass of wine up and downing the last of it. I reached over to the cheese platter and selected a piece of Swiss. "Cheese, on the other hand ... I will talk about cheese."
Alice and Edward looked at each other and burst into laughter. I couldn't see what was so funny about cheese. I voiced my opinion, which made Alice laugh even harder. Edward wrapped his arm around my shoulder and smiled at me, his eyes shining with adoration and amusement.
"Bella, love, it's not the cheese thats funny. It's - What were you going to say about cheese?"
Smiling back at him, I held the slice of Swiss up in front of his face, my unsteady arm waving around, causing the cheese to wobble.
"What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?" I asked seriously. "I mean, it's a hole while there's cheese around it, but once the cheese is gone, does that mean the hole is gone? Or is it still a hole, just somewhere else?"
The questions were too much for Alice - doubled over with laughter - as she struggled to her feet, glancing over at Edward and me once more before heading up to her bedroom. Edward watched her leave, chuckling to himself. I kept my attention focused on him though, as I waited for his response. I knew that I wouldn't be talking about cheese if I hadn't had the wine, but then again, it was a very valid question. I'd never really stopped to think about Swiss cheese before; It was suddenly very interesting.
Edward cleared his throat and took the piece of cheese from my hand, holding it very still and inspecting it closely. I let my own hand drop, resting it on his chest.
"Well, Bella, I guess that depends on how you look at it. If you're a glass half empty kind of person, then I guess you would say that yes, the hole does indeed cease to exist once the cheese is gone. However, if you're on the glass half full team, I suppose that the argument of the hole's existence becomes a little more involved.
For example, you could say that, once the cheese is gone, the hole expands to fit the size of the new object that contains it. So if you were to eat this slice of cheese, this hole right here," he put his index finger through the small hole in the centre of the slice, "would then expand to fill this room. It would be trapped by the walls and windows. Therefore, it would still be considered a hole.
However, there would be others who would argue that, yes the hole does still exist, but the manner of how the cheese ceases to exist would determine the existence of the hole. If you were to eat this slice of cheese, you would be eating the hole, so essentially the hole would then exist inside of you."
I looked up at Edward in confusion. "But what about, you know, later, when the cheese wasn't in me anymore? When I go to the bathroom?" I asked.
He chuckled and gave my question some serious thought. Inspecting the cheese again, he replied, "Well, then I guess the hole would expand to fill the new area of confinement, as in my first explanation."
"So the hole would then fill the bathroom? That poor hole," I sighed, looking at the hole with pity. "From a life of being surrounded by cheese, to a life trapped in the bathroom. If I was the hole, I'd rather stay in the cheese."
"So would I," laughed Edward.
We both stared at the slice of cheese for a moment, pondering. I then took it back out of Edwards gentle grasp and held it delicately in the palm of my hand.
"What if a mouse ate the cheese? Or it was eaten by ants? Or it went all mouldy and began to just fall to pieces? What would happen to the hole then? I mean, say I did this," and I bit into the cheese, leaving a gap in the hole, "and there was still part of the hole left? With humans and larger animals, we can eat the hole in one mouthful, but for mice and ants and mould, the hole is only released in pieces."
These new questions left Edward pondering for a while. I couldn't make sense of them myself, I could barely even concentrate on what I'd said because my head was so fuzzy from the wine, but I really wanted to know the answer. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until I found out. Then, of course, my body betrayed me in the way of a huge yawn. Edward looked down at me and pulled me in closer towards him.
"We should get you up to bed," he murmured, gently stroking my hair with one hand and extracting the slice of cheese from my fingers with the other.
"But I want to know about the hole! Im not tired," I said, but as soon as the words left my mouth, I yawned again. He laughed into my hair and planted a soft kiss on top of my head. I wrapped my arms fully around his chest and rested my head on his shoulder. I loved the way he felt this close to me. His body may be cold as stone, but I always felt warm next to him. Even the thought of him sent constant waves of euphoria through me and warmed me from head to toe.
All this wedding shemozzle was worth it, for him.
I placed a few kisses on his neck and whispered, "Edward, tell me more about the hole. Please?"
I moved my kisses up to his jaw. He sighed with pleasure.
"In the case of all three possibilities, the mice, ants and mould, the hole would -" he broke off mid-sentence to allow a small moan to escape. I had begun to trace small patterns on the skin of his stomach, underneath his shirt. I reached up and gently pressed my lips to his, then whispered in his ear, "Would what?"
"Would ... it would ... Bella, why are we talking about cheese?" he mumbled.
I giggled into his neck and felt him hold me a little tighter. Sitting there, curled up on the couch in his embrace, was one of my favorite places. Just being wrapped up in him was my favorite place, and I never wanted to move. I could feel myself drifting off in his arms, and he must have sensed it too, as he shifted underneath me to gather me in his arms and carried me up the stairs to his bedroom.
He lay me down gently on his bed and pulled the covers up to my shoulders before lying down next to me and wrapping his body around my blanket-covered form.
I tilted my face towards his, searching, and his lips found mine instantly, softly moving in a rhythm that made my insides bubble with a melting warmth.
"I love you," I murmured, snuggling closer to him.
"I love you, too, Bella."
We lay in silence for a moment, and I knew I was dreadfully close to giving into the sandman; however there was one thing my fuzzy mind really wanted to ask.
"Can we play the Chicken Dance at our wedding?"
I heard an amused noise escape from his throat. "You can play whatever you like at our wedding, love."
"Good. Remind me to speak to Emmett tomorrow. Were going to need some cheese ..."
My mumbling drifted off as I succumbed to the temptation of sleep. The last thing I remembered before I drifted out of consciousness was Edward's soft laugh and the pressure of his lips on my forehead.