I've had loads of people asking me when Bella is going to grow up and decided this will be my last chapter with a young Bella, I'll fill you all in at the end of the story…
It was a few day before Christmas and the house had been buzzing non-stop for the past few weeks.
Alice, Esme and Bella had been so hyper preparing for Christmas and the arrival of the Denali's.
We'd managed to rein Alice in and hold of putting any decorations up until December.
The beginning of November was when she wanted to start!
Her excuse, "if the shops can do it why cant we?" after that Edward had started with his consumerism speech and a heated debate ensued.
The rest of us just sat and giggle at them until Carlisle had put his foot down and told Alice she had to wait until December.
"But Carlisle don't you want everything to be special for Bella's first Christmas with us?" Alice had whined, knowing that Bella was Carlisle's weak spot.
"Everything will be perfect Alice, I have no doubt that you, Esme and Rose will pull of a spectacular Christmas for all of us, but that doesn't mean you can start decorating this early, it's tacky, and your a vampire, its not like you need extra time" Carlisle had effectively ended the conversation and went right back to looking through a housing brochure he'd recently obtained.
That didn't stop Alice from her online ordering and constant spending so that everything was here come the first.
I remember Bella's reaction to Alice's enthusiasm to Christmas, as much as she to loved to shop she couldn't understand why Alice felt the need to go Over the Top this time of year.
"Alice I hope your not doing all of this for my benefit?" Bella had questioned.
"Mostly" she replied "It's your first Christmas as a Cullen Bella and I want it to be the most spectacular Christmas you've ever had, that and the Denali's are coming so it's not all for you, just mainly"
"But Alice this isn't going to be my last Christmas with you, there's more to come, and no way in hell are you ordering that large a turkey, I'm the only one whose going to be eating any of it!"
"O shush Bella, it's all for show, when we take pictures of Christmas and one day you show them to your friends don't you think it will be a little strange if they see only you sitting at the table with food on your plate? Plus its tradition" Alice had countered.
"I can understand where you coming from sort of but…"
"No buts, besides I'm pumping money back into the world, I'm making someone's Christmas better, so everyone wins" Alice had grinned.
Bella had thrown her hands in the air and stomped off to sit next to Edward on the sofa. He wrapped his arm around her as she snuggled into his side and that had been the end of it.
No-one else had tried to calm Alice.
When the first of December had arrived Alice had dished out orders to everyone. The boys were to decorate the garden to Alice's exact specifications. She's even drawn them a diagram of what would go where. Alice was going to decorate the large tree in the living room, the centre piece; she called it, whilst Esme worked on hanging garland and arranging other items Alice had purchased. Bella and myself were decorating each of the bedrooms with something Christmassy.
Bella's room had a 6ft white Christmas tree with blue, pink, red and gold decorations. We'd hung some white lights around her ceiling just to give it more of that Christmas feel. Because Alice had insisted that Bella have decorations in her room, Bella then insisted that we had to have decorations as well. Emmett and I went for a simple black cone shaped pop up tree, decorated with red and silver so it fitted in nicely with our room. Edward had a similar tree to mine and Emmett's, except his was white and decorated with blue accessories. Each of the trees had some fake presents underneath because Alice said it looked more authentic. Bella thought that the presents were real and was avidly shaking them to guess what was inside. I laughed so hard at Bella's pout when I told her they weren't real.
Esme and Carlisle had opted only for a small wreath that they could hang above their bed, which at Alice's request had light in.
Alice however had decided her and Jasper were going all out on the decorations in their room. A white snowball light now hung as a replacement from their ceiling, they had white lights framing their bed and a small animated reindeer lit up in the corner and new bed sheets that matched Alice's festive mood. If it was possible, Jasper would have a heart attack at his wife's antics.
Alice and Esme had decorated downstairs beautifully. With the inside and outside of the house combined it looked like a winter wonderland. You could see the awe written across Bella's face.
The living room now held an enormous pine tree, decorated in gold and white with bright twinkling lights. Around the fireplace was a garland with gold and white baubles and two gold candle sticks placed on the mantle. The rest of the room was decorated in trinkets of matching colours, gold and white flowers, candles even Sox had been given a new gold collar to match.
It was truly magical.
Bella had broken up from school yesterday and she was very anxious for the arrival of the Denali's. So much so she'd cleaned her room – twice -, sorted through her outfits to look her best and insisted she needed a trip to the hairdressers before they arrived.
Jasper had sent some calming vibes her way and she melted into Edwards arms and fell asleep.
Meanwhile it gave us a chance to wrap some of her presents, as well as others. With a telepath and a psychic in the family, there was no surprising them with gifts, but for the rest of us Christmas was still mystical.
Us girls had gone shopping together as a chance to get away from the boys who similarly had gone elsewhere to do theirs. Esme handled getting all the gifts for the Denali's with the odd bit of help from Alice. With a psychic helping us our shopping was done in next to no time, but from the grin on her face she already knew what she was getting.
She'd even coordinated what colour wrapping paper we should be using.
I was so nervous about the Denali arrival. I kept thinking 'What if they don't like me?' over and over in my head.
I'd cleaned my room top to tail twice in less than 24 hours, arranged all my best outfits that I'd be wearing for the duration of their stay and thrown a fit to Mum about needing to get my hair cut.
I knew I was overreacting and being stupid but I just couldn't keep calm. Finally Jasper relented and sent me a heavy dose of calm that knocked me sound asleep in Edwards's arms. If anything being with Edward always calmed me down, he was so in tune with me. He would sit and help me with my homework, teach me piano, we'd even take walks through the woods together when it was raining. I wasn't scared of going into the woods, not now I had my friendly vampires watching over me.
Other than the nervousness I felt towards the Denali's I was extremely excited for Christmas. I'd managed to get some brilliant presents for everyone, not that Alice would be surprised by hers; no doubt she'd probably seen it, Edward to for that matter. Mum and Alice had got the presents for the Denali's, I'd never met them and had no idea what they'd like so I thought it best to leave it up to them.
Edward had graciously helped me wrap my gifts when I was struggling to wrap a simple box, fingers and thumbs I was. Alice had been adamant that only silver, gold and white could be used for wrapping. Something about it all matching perfectly. I didn't care; it was what was inside that I wanted.
No-one had given me any clues to what I was getting. Id written a list, stuck it on the fridge, but nothing. I couldn't find the hidden stashes of gifts or even a notebook of what everyone was getting. It was so hush hush that I was beginning to think I wasn't getting anything.
The Denali's were arriving tomorrow afternoon, the day before Christmas, that way I could get used to having more vampires around and they could get to know me.
I was just worried they wouldn't like me.
The Denali's were due to arrive any minute and Bella was positively bouncing off the walls with nervousness. Even jasper constant flow of calm was doing little to placate her.
Carlisle had gotten a call just under a while ago to say they would be no more than an hour, so Bella had fidgeted with her hair, smoothed out her clothes, brushed her teeth relentlessly until finally Esme had told her to sit and put on a DVD for her. But Bella's focus wasn't on the DVD, her eyes looked towards the screen but her attention was towards the front door, waiting for the sound of a car to pull up and a knock on the door.
"Nobody say anything when you hear cars coming down the drive, I think Bella will have a heart attack" I whispered so only the vampires in the room could hear.
"Bella dear" Esme said "are you sure I can't get you anything to calm your nerves? Maybe a nice hot chocolate?"
"No thanks Mum; I think if I have anything right now I'll be sick"
She had started to look a little queasy.
"Oh Bella you don't need to be this worried, they're just like us and we loved you from the very beginning, they will too" Esme cooed.
I think Bella's anxiety was beginning to rub off on the rest of us, poor Jasper I don't think he could handle it anymore. His leg was bouncing up and down in anticipation, he was projecting.
Bella caught on to what she was doing "Sorry Jazz, I'll try to keep calm".
Slowly the angst in the room dissipated.
"Bella that was amazing, you just managed to control you emotions almost instantly and replace it with calm" Jasper said astounded.
"I dunno, I just thought of a happy memory and I how felt when it happened" she said.
"What memory did you think of?" Esme asked.
"When I beat Emmett at Mario Kart and he got so mad he fell off the back of the sofa" she said with a giggle.
"You did not beat me I let you win!" Emmett boomed and the room burst into giggles. Emmett didn't take losing well, being teased even less so. It was his job to do the teasing.
And then the doorbell rang.
There was silence. Apart from Bella's frantic heart beat.
Carlisle got up from the arm chair and made his way over to the front door. Esme followed behind him.
"Eleazer my old friend how have you been?" Carlisle asked embracing one of his oldest companions.
"We've been well my friend" Eleazer answered moving from Carlisle to embrace Esme, "Esme you grow more radiant each time we meet".
"Oh Eleazer you flirt" she said hugging him back "If I have changed at all it's because of our wondrous new family member"
"Ah yes" Carmen said, stepping in through the door "Isabella, I can't wait to meet her"
"You need not wait any longer" Carlisle said "Let us bring your things inside, and move to the family room with the rest of the family".
A few moments passed while Carlisle and Esme help the Denali coven bring their bags in from the car. No doubt at vampire speed. And in a short time they entered the living room closely followed by Eleazer, Carmen, Kate, Irina and Tanya.
"Eleazer, Carmen I'd like you to meet our daughter Bella" Carlisle said.
I got up from the sofa and walked over to Dad taking his hand for comfort.
"Well aren't you precious" Carmen said bending slightly to get a better look at me. "My name is Carmen and this is my husband Eleazer"
"Pleased to meet you" I said shyly.
"Oh Carlisle she's adorable" One of the blonde vampires said. "I'm Irina, and this is Tanya and Kate" she said pointing to her sisters. "How are you enjoying living with your new family?"
"I love it, I've got big brothers to look after me and big sisters to go shopping with and a mum and dad who love to cook and look after me, and they bought me a puppy for my birthday" I said with more enthusiasm. My nerves where beginning to diminish.
"Oh aren't you lucky" The one who Irina pointed to as Kate said "I bet you love to shop"
"Yea, it's great. I get to spend loads of money and Alice and Rose help me choose everything that I look good in" I said turning to smile back at Rose and Alice.
"You've got quite a collection growing in your wardrobe already" Rose said.
"Wow just over 3 months living here and a wardrobe that rivals Alice's, you must be loved" Kate said smirking at Alice.
"As good as it is to teach the value of money I can't help but indulge but beautiful little girl" Dad said hugging me to his side.
"I bet you can't Carlisle, you can clearly see she completes your family, I haven't seen you smile so much in years" Eleazer commented.
"Well as you said Eleazer she completes us" Carlisle replied.
Carlisle and Esme helped the Denali's with their bags to the guest rooms. I went and sat back on the sofa next to Rose. The DVD had been turned off and Emmett and Jasper where in a heated racing game battle, Jasper was winning.
Eventually the Denali's came back downstairs and settled into a comfortable existence within the Cullen family lifestyle.
Esme had gone into the kitchen to prepare me some dinner, Carmen had offered to help saying it had been over a hundred years since she had cooked. Carlisle and Eleazer were talking in the dining room about Edwards gift not working on me whilst Emmett, Rose, Edward, Kate, Tanya, Irina and myself sat in the family room with a mixture of talking and watching Emmett and Edward fight on the Xbox.
Tanya had yet to say a word to me but she hung on every word Edward said and would cling to his arm or place a hand on his leg, which he would politely remove every time she did it.
It was actually quite sickening to watch and amusing at the same time.
Her attempts at seduction worked on every other man because of her beauty but Edward was the only one who could read her mind, he was a gentleman and didn't think or want Tanya in that way.
After an eventful few hours and a delicious dinner cooked by Esme and Carmen I bid everyone goodnight and made my way to bed. Edward followed me upstairs and to my room. It had become a bit of a habit that he would stay with me of a night and I would fall asleep to him singing or reading to me. I had to admit I loved that he only put this much attention to me and secretly had a crush on him.
Tanya had been pretty unhappy that Edward had ditched her for me for the evening; I guess she was hoping to make a move on Edward and he would succumb and be all romantic because it was Christmas. Fat chance his was my boyfriend!
"Oh Edward why don't I join you upstairs so you don't get lonely" She had said.
But Edward was ever the gentleman "No Tanya that wont be necessary, I wont be alone, I spend the evening with Bella while she sleeps"
"I'm sure she'll be alright on her own for one night wont you Bella, its not as if you haven't got anyone else at your beck and call?"
"No Tanya, I stay with Bella, I will not want your company tonight or any other night"
And that had been that, Edward had ushered me up to my room while I and several other members of the family stifled giggles.
I'd been so excited all night I'd barely slept. My whole body was tingling with anticipation. I wanted to open my eyes but I knew if I did, it would be to early and id been sent back to bed to wait until a reasonable time.
But lying in bed, pretending to be asleep, in a house full of vampires that didn't sleep just wasn't cutting it for me.
Why wait anyway? It's not as if I was going to wake anyone up!
I felt the bed shift next to me and peeked one eye open. I expected to see Edward but instead found Jasper, with a smirk on his face.
"No point trying to hide it we all know you're awake" He said.
Of course they did. I rolled onto my back, huffed, stretched and sat up. "Where's Edward, he's usually here when I wake up?"
"He went to grab a shower and get changed, Alice saw you trying to fight to stay asleep and fail, so she told Edward to go get ready and I'm here to keep you company until he's done" Jasper said.
"Oh ok, is everyone else up?" I said, trying to listen to the movement outside my room.
"Everyone's up, Esme's downstairs cooking you breakfast so you should hop in the shower and get dressed quickly if you want to open your presents, Merry Christmas Bella" he said.
"Merry Christmas Jazz" I replied. I kissed his cheek and jumped out of bed to find a change of clothes and have a shower.
The hot water helped ease away some of the excitement and tiredness I was feeling. Although it could have been Jasper I all fairness. And I got out thoroughly scrubbed and refreshed, ready for an enjoyably long day.
I settled on a pink chequered tunic and some leggings to dress in, I did have another party dress to wear today but that was for the evening, Alice said I had to wait.
I descended the stairs to the smell of bacon and eggs wafting from the kitchen.
"Merry Christmas baby girl" Dad said coming over to hug me.
"Merry Christmas Daddy" I said hugging him back "Is Mum is in the kitchen?"
"Yes, her and Carmen are making you breakfast" he replied.
"Ok, I'll go say hello, then can we open presents?" My excitement peaked when I looked towards the Christmas tree and saw it littered with presents.
"After you've eaten, now hustle" he said lightly pushing me towards the kitchen.
I said a few more 'Merry Christmas's' on my way through the lounge to the Denali's but not to Tanya, I see she hadn't felt it would be nice to break in the festive spirit and get past her hostility towards me.
"Mmm, that smells great" I said as I plopped myself onto one of the stools.
"It was all Carmen's work this morning, I just supervised" Esme said and came over to kiss my cheek. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah just the excitement of presents got to me, this is really good Carmen" I said digging into my breakfast.
"Thank you niña, I had Esme make sure the meat was cooked enough, it's been so long since I cooked" Carmen said.
"Well it tastes great!" I said scooping another mouthful in "What does niña mean?"
"It means baby girl in Spanish, its my native language"
"Your Spanish?" I asked in astonishment. I would never have guessed. But now I could see the little giveaways in her appearance. "That's actually pretty cool, will you teach me?"
"Of course niña I'd be happy to, but right now I think you'd rather open your present".
"Oh my gosh I completely forgot" I said shoving the last forkful into my mouth "Carmen your food is so good it makes me forgetful".
"No Bella that's just you" said another voice.
Edward strolled into the kitchen, freshly showered and hair still damp, looking like a god. "Come on, Alice's level of excitement is rivalling your, I don't think Jasper can take much more"
I climbed onto his back and he walked into the family room where everyone was seated, ready and waiting, to open there gifts. I sat on the floor, between Edward and Sox as Alice dashed around handing everyone their presents.
When she'd finished, I had the largest pile by far, but everyone had loads of presents. Even Sox had a few little presents that I'd have to undo for him.
"Right everyone dig in" Alice bellowed.
And the sounds of ripping and the piles of wrapping paper began to build.
**A few hours later**
The unwrapping of all the gifts had taken less than an hour. Including mine and that was without the vampire speed to help.
I'd gotten some really nice gifts. A purple mountain bike courtesy of Rose and Emmett, including a helmet and all the other safety accessories. That did make me chuckle, it wasn't as if I was ever going to fall, not with a load of high-speed vampires to catch me. Alice and Jasper (mainly Alice) had gotten me new iPod and Jasper had gotten me a guitar, promising to teach me how to play it. Edward had given me a unique piece of jewellery.
"This necklace belonged to my human mother, it's over a hundred years old" he said.
"Edward it's beautiful, but what if I break it"
"You wont besides, its really only for special occasions, like today, you can wear it when we dress up later and put in it your jewellery box for the future" he said.
The necklace was a small bow pendant with a diamond in the centre that held a slightly larger heart encrusted with diamonds that dropped down from it. You could tell it was old and very delicate, but it meant so much that Edward had chosen to give me this. It was simple and elegant and not over the top.
It made me love him that much more.
Mum and Dad had booked a mini vacation in New York before we went back to school for the whole family. We could go to Broadway and see plays or ice skating in Central Park or even go to the Empire State Building. The options were endless and I was really excited. Alice was bouncing up and down, probably because of the shopping possibilities.
The Denali's had given me an assortment of DVD's, books, sweets and clothing, hoping to cover all the good things as they hadn't got to know me before they bought them. I still thanked them profusely and immediately added the DVD's to my fast growing collection.
After an hour or so of calm and playing with new toys, Esme excused herself to check on the Christmas dinner and which Alice insisted that now was the time to get dressed.
I'd chosen a royal blue dress, with a puffy skirt and a bow as one of the straps over my shoulder. My hair was still curly from where it had dried getting out of the shower so I left it and put on my black glittery ballets flats.
I came downstairs half an hour or so later all dressed up, Alice had a camera at the ready and was taking candid shots of everyone, catching them at there almost natural state.
Alice was dressed in gold strapless dress, with sequins in a circular patterns embellished on it and some gold peep toe heels.
She was taking a picture of Emmett and Rose, looking all loved up holding glasses of champagne, that we all knew where just for show. Rose was wearing a red high necked pleat skirt mini dress with red chain and leather belt as well as sequined peep toe heels. Emmett had gone more laid back, as had the rest of the men, choosing to wear dress pants and nice shirt, he was tieless, but I guess that was his casual side shining through.
Carmen was wearing a gorgeous emerald green draped dress and strappy stilettos that matched her Latin blood. She was standing with Eleazer, Carlisle and Esme as they chatted casually in the corner. Esme had chosen her dress on one of our more recent shopping trips, it was a metallic rust coloured silk dress with a draped neckline and belt, she wore it with merlot coloured tights and matching ankle boots.
Kate wore a black, one shoulder fitted dress with an all over ruched detail and a pair of nude heels. She sat happily next to Irina who worse a purple, one shoulder dress with matching purple shoes that had blue feather on the straps, they were to die for. The sisters sat happily talking to Jasper about his experiences in the Civil War.
The only two people missing were Tanya and Edward, Given the things I'd been hearing about Tanya, the pair of them missing was not a good sign.
"Tanya, can you tone down the sex, this is Bella's first Christmas as a Cullen" Edward chastised coming down the stairs "And I guess I need to repeat myself in saying that I have no sexual feelings towards you nor will I ever!" Edward led me towards the sofas.
"Burn" Emmett sneered and Rosalie, Jasper, Alice and I chuckled. Even Kate and Irina had trouble hiding the smirks on their faces.
Apparently that wasn't a big enough hint to Tanya, and she came and sat next to her sisters, "Edward, I know you want me, why play games? Haven't you heard that I'm irresistible, no man has ever denied me!"
"Prepare to be resisted for the first time then. What you just said should be proof alone that I want nothing to do with you. You're a succubus, you lure men in. I was born in a time where a sex wasn't something that was flaunted, your thoughts are vulgar to me, your actions repulsive and your seduction flawed. I couldn't possible think of anyone I would never want to be with more than you!" Edward roared.
Everything was eerily silent, and Tanya stormed up the stairs and slammed the door to her guest room.
"Edward you could have been a little more discreet" Esme chided.
"No Esme, Edwards right in his actions, Tanya needed to hear it, its been a long time coming and she needs to learn she cant have everything she wants" Kate interjected.
"Besides it made for some rather amusing entertainment" Irina giggled.
The Christmas dinner Esme and Carmen had cooked was delicious, even if I was the only one eating it. The vampires put up a good show for the pictures that were being taken though. Alice even managed to get Emmett to put a forkful of Turkey in his mouth.
To anyone on the outside, it would have looked like a normal family gathered together for Christmas; to me it was something much, much more.
The family was wonderful, the Christmas beautiful and the food delicious. But there was still something missing. I missed Charlie and Renee. I still wished that they could have been here for this, but if they had been alive, I wouldn't be with the Cullen's. I would never of met them or got to spend the last few month with them in an almost euphoric state.
I wish they could have been here.
I looked up from my pretty empty to plate to see Carlisle looking at me.
"Bella, as its Christmas, Esme and I have been thinking that maybe you'd like to go and visit Charlie and Renee's grave and lay a wreath. It's best not to forget them on a day like today, don't you think?"
"I think that would be lovely, let me go grab my coat" I jumped up from my seat and walked towards the door, pausing to kiss Esme and Carmen on their cheeks "The food was really nice, even if I was the only one eating it!"
"Gracias niña, anything for you" Carmen said and Esme smiled.
Carlisle, Esme, Carmen and Eleazer were all waiting for me after I'd gotten my coat.
"We wanted to come and pay our respects to your parents as well Bella, if you don't mind. We can, of course, stay here if you prefer" Eleazer said.
"No your more than welcome, Charlie and Renee would probably love to meet more of my new family" I said.
The 5 of us piled into Carlisle's car, he and Eleazer sat in the front and I sat in between Esme and Carmen. The wreath the had chosen was beautiful, the holly was sprayed gold to match the festive time, leaving the berries shining red. In the centre there was a picture of Charlie, Renee and I. I recognised as the one that was in my room, Esme must of gotten it copied. Billy had taken it on day when we were at the beach in La Push, Renee and I had buried Charlie in the sand despite his protests of being cold.
It was perfect.
We didn't stay at the cemetery long, it was cold and getting dark and Esme didn't want me to catch a cold.
I said hi to my parents, laid the wreath on their grave as Esme cleared away the dead flowers. It had been the first time since the funeral that I'd actually come back to visit them. I felt a little bad that I didn't visit more, but they were always in my thoughts and I knew they were watching over me and everything I did.
I told them about all the things that had happened since they'd been gone, even the stuff about the Cullen's being vampires; it was nice that I didn't have to hide it from them. I told them about the gifts I'd received and how I wished they could have been there. I told them about the trip to New York and how much I missed them. But mostly I just cried, I cried for my loss, I cried at there absence and I cried that I was happy, because I'd found a wonderful family that wanted me, and treated me as one of their own.
When it was time to leave, I pulled myself up off the cold, hard ground and dusted the dirt off my knees. I made a promise to come and visit them again before the New Year and told them how much I loved them.
When we left Carmen and Eleazer said they were staying behind to speak to Charlie and Renee and pay their respects. They would run back home after.
Getting back to the house I finally felt like the day was complete, everything had gone perfectly, and the icing on the cake was visiting Charlie and Renee. So I cuddled into Edward and sat and enjoyed the family banter for the rest of the night.
Hope you enjoyed the chapter
The next chapter is gonna skip to when Bella's older, not sure how old yet, but I'll fill in all the gaps you don't read about.