It all belongs to SM. I am lucky to dabble with them.

Hello!!! I'm back! LOL I've been working hard on writing my own characters, but needed a little break to regroup before going back to the writing board. I always have a couple of side stories to go to for this purpose, and this is one of them. It starts a few months after Year Two ended, with the wedding Bella wants – snow and all.

Winter Wonderland

Bella's POV:

A fluttering softness that barely lasted a second before turning to water on my overheated cheeks—that was what it felt like to have the snow falling gently all around me, making the yard as white as the wedding dress I would wear in just two days.

If Alice caught me out here right now, she'd have a fit, but I needed this moment. I needed to be alone with my thoughts and to get past the embarrassment Rosalie's comments had left me with. I knew in my heart she hadn't meant to hurt my feelings, or to send me off into the backyard, but that was exactly what had happened. Alice was probably doing that low speech hissing thing right now to keep me from hearing her yelling at her sister.

As much as I wanted to use "our", it wasn't time yet. It had taken me a few weeks to get past everything I had dreamed and to accept the reality, but I had come to see that it was for the best. That dream had been spectacular in so many ways, and now it was my road map, my guide. It would hopefully keep me far away from the many mistakes I'd managed to make in a made up world, and help to accomplish the things I'd loved most—like having close relationships with Rosalie and Jasper.

But there was a time for everything and today was not that day for Rose and me. It would come soon and when it did, it would be so much better than any dream my brain could conjure up. In the meantime, I would just have to deal with her personality "quirks" where I was concerned.

I held out my hand and caught a few snowflakes in it, smiling as I watched the delicate white disappear and leave a thin mist on my skin. There had been a time in my life when I'd said that I didn't like "any cold, wet thing", but those days had long since passed. Well, at least for the cold part. There were times when being wet was acceptable to me, like during a shower, but usually, I preferred dry. I chuckled at the way my mind could wander as I knelt down, drawing random designs in the snow that was now covering the deck of the back porch.

"What are you doing, Love?" Edward asked, startling me and sending me backwards to fall rather unceremoniously on my butt. He chuckled as he held out a hand to me. "Sorry."

"You aren't in the least, but that's okay, I guess." I smiled at him as he helped me up and smiled even wider when he wrapped his arms tightly around me. I'd been so worried he would be overprotective beyond my wildest dreams after I'd woken up in the hospital, but to my delight, he'd been … well, he'd been perfect. He made sure I ate, drank, and rested enough, but he also was teasing and playful with me. He was actually enjoying our days together instead of fretting over my health and safety every second of the day.

"What are you doing outside all by yourself?" he asked as he sat on the steps and settled me into his lap. "Isn't tonight your bonding night with the girls?"

"It is, but I'm just … taking a break," I replied cautiously. He might be teasing and playful with me, but when it came to anyone making me unhappy, he was the same easily angered Edward.

To my great and pleasant surprise, he didn't ask me any more questions about my wandering outside alone. Instead, he changed the subject completely. "I know that you're spending the night with my sisters, but I was hoping you'd be up to sneaking away for an hour. There's something I would love to show you."

"As long as you won't get in trouble for it from Alice," I said, meaning it completely. The last thing I wanted was the two of them at odds days before the wedding. Their sibling fighting had reached a new high lately because while Edward had backed down and relaxed, Alice had traded places with him and become insane with the need to protect me from everything she deemed hazardous to my health. The little pixie had even gone so far as to attempt to put me on a healthy diet. She had not found it funny when I'd told her she would have to pry my cheese stuffed pizza from my cold, dead hands.

"Alice knows what I'm planning and has no objections since I've promised to keep you wrapped in a blanket the entire time."

I chuckled at that and kissed his cheek. "Then let's go see whatever this surprise is."

"I would just like to say once again, Love, that I am very much enjoying your aversion to surprises being nearly completely gone."

"Only until the wedding. As soon as you are pronounced my husband, the spoiling stops unless it's a major holiday. And declaring it 'Edward Loves Bella Day' will not work, Mister Cullen."

"You swear you can't read my mind, Ms. Swan?" he chuckled, touching his forehead to mine. His eyes were such a soft golden color from all of the extra hunting he'd been doing this week—a precaution for our human guests. They reminded me of the buttercups Esme had growing in her little greenhouse behind the garage.

Edward's voice drew my wandering mind back to him. "I love you, Bella. There's nothing I want more than to spend forever with you."

I was able to ignore the urge to laugh, but not to tease. "You spoil me with your flattery, Sir."

Edward shook his head, sending a lock of his bronze hair down over one eye and I couldn't resist reaching up and pushing it away. He gently took my wrist into his hand and kissed the pulse point there, his smile never wavering. "While Flattery may not always be truth, Truth can never be simple flattery. So if these lips say you are a star among candles, know that Truth has been spoken and Flattery cast aside."

"If you're going to show her, then get a move on and stop being cheesy!" Alice demanded. I lifted my head up toward the sound of her voice and found her leaning out of one of the upstairs windows. She was going for a look of irritation, but failing miserably with the way her lips kept twitching.

"Don't be jealous, Ali," Edward said as he wrapped a blanket tightly around me. "Green is not your most flattering color," he taunted seconds before lifting me bridal style and dashing off into the woods with me laughing the whole time.

But the laughter seemed loud in the quiet of the forest so I stopped and cuddled closer to Edward, enjoying the ride. I could only hear our breathing as he moved us through the trees and I wondered how much more Edward could hear. Of course, that led me to imagine what I might hear once I was turned and to the many other questions I had about my change.

Edward has promised he would do it after the wedding. We would leave that night to travel to the home in Alaska that Esme had purchased—nothing like the home in my dream, but still gorgeous—and the family would all join us the next morning. Carlisle and Edward would spend the day preparing and that night, I would begin the process of truly becoming a Cullen.

Edward's sudden stillness woke me from my imaginings and I took a long look at our surroundings. I wasn't great at directions to being with so to have everything covered in snow made it impossible for me to know if I'd ever been here before.

Edward's face, made paler by the moonlight, seemed to be searching for something as his eyes roamed across the rock wall we were standing near. Before I could ask what he was looking for, he gave a breathtaking smile—and with Edward, it really did leave me breathless.

"Bella, breathe," he chuckled, nuzzling my cheek with the tip of his nose. "And when you're ready, wrap your arms around my neck and hold tightly to me. We're going up and I think you'd feel better about it if you were holding on."

"Sure, sure," I agreed quickly, putting my arms around his solid neck and pressing my face into the coldness there. Up was not a favorite direction of mine. Then again, neither was down. Just one more reason to look forward to the end of my human disabilities.

Edward's arms tightened around me just moments before the air around us changed, coming fast and feeling colder. That lasted for just a few seconds and then I found myself in Edward's lap with the blanket secured once more around me.

But since I was content to keep enjoying the feeling and scent of being this close to Edward, I didn't bother moving at all or even opening my eyes. He seemed to be just as content because he held me and placed random kisses in my hair for quite awhile before asking me to open my eyes.

When I did open them, I couldn't help but gasp at the beauty surrounding us. We were sitting together on an outcropping of rocks and the snow was falling softly, blanketing everything. From this view, it seemed as if the flakes were coming down from the very stars in the sky and I felt an overwhelming sense of joy that Edward would share this with me. Lately, he'd been sharing so much with me, things he'd done a million times in his long life—he said sharing them with me made them feel like they were brand new experiences. I appreciated his attempts to be more open, though he was still reluctant to tell me much about his life before me. It had been Rosalie of all people that had finally explained his hesitance to me.

"Bella, why do you think Edward doesn't talk to you about his past?" Rosalie asked, startling me and causing me to drop the book I'd been reading. My human ears had never heard her enter the bedroom Edward and I shared.

"I honestly don't know," I replied, picking the book up from the floor while managing to not take my eyes off of her. We were getting along much better, but it still wasn't that great. Rosalie tended to have wicked mood swings where I was concerned, one moment attempting to be nice and the next looking ready to kill me for wanting to become a vampire.

She sat down at the edge of the bed, tossing her golden hair behind her shoulders and then lifting a hand to check her nails—they were perfect as usual. She lifted her golden eyes just enough for me to see that her attention was now on me and then she spoke. "It frustrates him."

I could feel my face scrunching up with my confusion. "My asking about his past?"

"No," Rose replied, lifting her head and really looking at me. "It frustrates him that he has nothing to tell. He doesn't remember his human life, and he's afraid the few things he does recall are only his imagination. Of course, he could tell you all about this version of life he's been living the last century, but Edward is still afraid it will warp your fragile little mind."

I wasn't sure if she was picking at me on purpose or not, but either way, I wasn't going to let it go. "Many things about me are fragile, but my mind is definitely not one of them."

Rose's lips pulled up into a smirk and her golden eyes flashed with something I couldn't decipher. "How are your efforts going to write down the details of your life so you don't forget?"

"Fine, I guess," I said with a shrug.

"And the new laptop?" she pressed. She was definitely goading me now.

I released my annoyance through a sigh before answering. "The laptop is fine. Over the top as most of Edward's gifts to me are, but a very nice laptop all the same."

"If you ever need help with it," she said, trailing off at the end. And there was the mood swing back to attempting to be nice.

"That would be great, Rosalie. I haven't wanted to ask Edward or Alice since they tend to talk over my head when it comes to electronics, especially expensive ones."

"You'll get used to it," Rose chuckled. And then her smile turned sad and her eyes softened. "You'll have more time than you can possibly imagine."

Edward's velvet voice in my ear called me back to the present. "Bella, are you still warm?"

"Yes, thank you," I whispered back. It just seemed wrong to be loud here. I peered down from the safety of Edward's strong arms, to the snow covered ground below. I could just make out the edges of a small frozen pond; a few more inches of snow and it would be covered completely. The entire landscape was so beautiful, sparkling softly beneath the starlight and the small sliver of moon that was visible.

Cool breath flowed over my ear once more. "What are you thinking?"

I smiled at just how many times he'd asked me this simple question. And while my answers weren't always so simple or short, he seemed to enjoy every one of them. "I'm thinking this is beautiful and I'm extremely happy that you shared this with me," I answered.

"There are so many things I want to share with you, Bella. There's a world out there, even more amazing than what your books have described. I want to show you everything that I know. And after that, we can learn new things together."

"Are you nervous at all?"

He didn't ask for clarification or pretend he didn't know what I was asking like he would have before. He answered me straight away and I could hear in his voice and feel in the tightening of his arms around me that he was being completely open and honest. "Extremely so, but only because it's something I've never done before. This is not a selfish act on my part, but a gift to both of us. I can see that now and I welcome it. And I will do everything I can to make it as painless as possible."

"I'm sure it helps that I've given up my request."

He chuckled and kissed the back of my head. "Yes, it's much easier to be accepting when I know it will be under controlled circumstances and not in the heat of the moment." Then he sighed deeply and I knew what was coming before he even opened his mouth. "Bella…Are you sure about all of this?"

I turned so that I could see his face and he could see the honesty and confidence in mine. "In two days time, I will be Mrs. Edward Anthony Masen Cullen and there is nothing I want more. I don't want it because I dreamed of it. I don't want it because you want it. I don't even want it as a way to not disappoint Alice or to give my parents closure. I simply want it because I love you with everything I am and I want the world to know that I belong to you and only you. Forever. My dream gave me a maturity towards our relationship that I was sorely lacking before, but it hasn't influenced my desire to be with you at all. I already wanted that more than life itself."

He smiled and kissed my lips so tenderly, warming me better than any heater ever could. "All that I have seen in this world and yet it's this small slip of a human that amazes me time and time again."

"That's right, Cullen," I joked, grinning at him. "I was created just for you, complete with the ability to entertain, whether it be through a clumsy moment or a cheesy expression."

"I don't think you're cheesy at all," he breathed, sending his sweet scent swirling all around my head.

I smiled goofily, unable to form a response, and Edward predictably enough chuckled at his ability to dazzle me senseless.

"Come, my silly Bella. I have to get you home before Alice becomes annoyed with me. And I've also heard that Esme plans to have a cup of hot chocolate drenched in marshmallows and a grilled cheese sandwich waiting for you when we return."

As if it had just been waiting for its cue, my stomach gave out a loud grumble. "You would think that since I'm not very big, it would be impossible for me to make these sorts of sounds," I said as Edward rushed me back toward the Cullen home. "Then again, if my stomach can reach such auditory heights, it makes me wonder exactly what Emmett's would have been like when he was alive. I'd ask him, but he'd probably just embellish it and tell me that it sounded like a grizzly bear just waking from hibernation."

Edward laughed and it was a beautiful sound—free and relaxed. "I'm sure you're right about that, Love."

As we reached the back porch, he gently set me on my feet and I took one more look around, marveling at how the snow had transformed an average yard into a winter wonderland. I could only hope it looked this beautiful in two days time when I stood out here and married the love of my life—scratch that—my existence.

Edward's voice filled my ear, sending a ripple down my spine and making me wonder once again if he couldn't sometimes read my mind. "It will be perfect, Love. A beautiful wedding for my beautiful bride."