Finally! It took me forever to write this. For those of you reading this, if you have not read "Find My Place" by Saxyad18 it may be very difficult to follow- so I would suggest reading that first (It's an amazing story, I highly recommend it) If you decide not to read the other story first…all I can say is Good Luck!
Contest: Saxyad18 and ManipulativeRunner's RosaBella Challenge
Title: The Gift
Word Count: 3,536
It had been five years since that fateful night where everything had been laid out on the table and things were running smoothly, though we had a few bumps along the way. Carlisle and Jasper had butted heads a few times in regards to the latter's place in the family. Jasper still had a hard time just relaxing and acting in the ways of the family, not a coven. And at times, it was too much for our father to handle.
Emmett still acted a bit childishly, using Edward's power against him; or more specifically, remembering every detail from every one of his and Rose's wedding nights and honeymoons. It had gotten to the point where Edward and I had to move out of the house for a few months…not that I minded any alone time I could get with my husband. But over all, there was a peaceful aura emanating from everyone.
After four years as a vampire, Rosalie and I were finally going to thank Alice for that bonding weekend she set up for us.
We had waited so long to take this trip on Rose's suggestion. That's why I love my blonde sister. She thought it would be best to wait until my stamina was up to par with hours upon hours of shopping. Even after my change, it took me a little while to gain control of my speed and strength. It was also difficult to control my just for human blood. Even though I had such a low tolerance for it as a human, it did not lessen my vampire cravings.
The rest of the family had gone up to Denali for a week; Eleazer's coven had come across a few newborn vampires and they needed help training them. Edward had been extremely reluctant to leave. Not only was it the first time for us to be apart for more than 48 hours since he…left me, but he was not looking forward to a reunion with Tanya.
Rosalie and I had deemed it our "week of bonding". We had everything planned out to the last minute detail; from the time when we would gossip about our mates, to our own intimate time of brushing each other's hair, to when we would go hunting. For the first time in a long while, we were just going to act as normal, human teenage girls would act.
Edward had been able to persuade me to attend Dartmouth with him, and the whole family had decided to tag along. We were going to spend a year getting to know the place and then enroll next fall. New England was so beautiful. Some days Edward and I would just take a ride in his Volvo up into the hills for a few days; just to spend some time alone without the family. It was like a second safe haven for us- though nothing could ever replace our meadow back in Forks.
Two days before the others were suppose to return, Rose and I headed out to Rhode Island for our shopping trip extravaganza at the Providence Place Mall. Rosalie had called it "the best place to find a gift for our hyperactive pixie of a sister". With six floors and almost every expensive store imaginable, I had no reason to argue with her. My older sister had even been generous enough to choose a mall with a full-size bookstore.
I had made sure to wear the most comfortable, yet stylish, outfit I could find. I had grabbed a green turtleneck sweater, a white denim vest, black skinny jeans, and green converse. My first choice, boot cut jeans and an oversized sweater, had been deemed unacceptable by Rose. The second, a fitted t-shirt and sweatpants, had literally been banned from my closet by a frantic Alice.
"Bella! How dare you even think of wearing something so outrageously ridiculous! Have I taught you nothing?"
Rosalie, although wearing an outfit similar to mine, still made me feel inferior in comparison. Clad in a red turtleneck, black vest, blue skinny jeans, and red ankle boots, she looked better than a runway model.
It was mid-October, so there was a bit of chill in the air, and the sky was overcast. Rosalie pulled up to the tollbooth, money in hand, to pay for parking in the garage. We parked in the spot closest to the door, knowing that we would be making plenty of trips in and out of the mall. Even though Rose was not as manic about shopping, she was still a force to be reckoned with. No one was as bad as Alice. As soon as the automatic doors closed behind us, we were off like a bullet, my sister literally dragging me behind her. However, once I realized where she was taking me, I dug my heels into the floor. There was no way I was going in there. The bane of my entire existence.
"Rose, no way! We are suppose to be looking for something for Alice. I am not going in there--no way in hell!"
"Oh, I already know what we're doing for Alice. This is just for you and me. Now, let's go!" And with that, she yanked me into that wretched store.
After combing through every store on the first five floors, I grabbed my sister by the wrist and turned her to face me. She gave me the most innocent of smiles, but that didn't stop the exasperated look I gave her.
"Rose," I whined. "Where, pray tell is this so called gift we are getting for Alice?"
She gave me a sly grin, "Oh, that's back at home."
"Don't worry, she'll love it…though you might not."
"Excuse me? What did you just say?" Had I still been human, my face would have been flushed tomato red in anger.
Rosalie sighed, "Listen, Bella. Yes, I already knew what Alice's gift was going to be before we came. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you, but I was hoping this would be our shopping day. This is the first time the two of us have been out together since your transformation." I knew she could see my chagrin dissolving, so she finished quickly. "Look, the mall closes in three hours. Give me one more hour of shopping and we can spend the last two in the bookstore, okay?" And there it was. Rose's infamous puppy dog pout. This was the same look that she had given Emmett to get him to spend $40,000 on a new wardrobe for her on a whim.
I quickly looked away, but the damage had been done. In retrospect, though, the day hadn't been all that bad; it had been quite enjoyable, as a matter of fact. Rosalie wasn't really forceful or demanding, and we'd only needed to make five trips to the BMW, unlike Alice's usual fifteen. How horrific could one more hour be?
Once we arrived at the book store, Rosalie and I split up; she to the Home and Garden section (she'd wanted to add some color to the trellis Emmett had crafted for Esme) and I to the classics. I had been meaning to get a new copy of "Pride and Prejudice" for a few years now. For some reason or another, mine had been misplaced by Emmett during our last move. How a vampire with a photographic memory could lose something as simple as a book, I'll never know.
I hadn't had a chance to grab the book before it was snatched from the shelf, along with some other works by Jane Austen, "Sense and Sensibility", "Emma", and "Persuasion". I noticed Rose a few feet away, books in hand, as she walked towards the register. I quickly caught up and kept stride with her.
"Rosalie Lillian Hale Cullen," I hissed. "What do you think you are doing?"
"This is a book store, isn't it?" she smirked.
The blonde vampire grinned at me, "calm down, Bella. I'm not paying for these books…Emmett is," she replied, pulling a red charge card out of her purse. I had to smile as well. That will teach my big bear of a brother not to touch my things. With an hour left to kill, Rose and I sat down in the back corner of the store and read, just enjoying each other's company.
The ride home was peaceful and serene. As I rested my head on my sister's shoulder, she started humming one of the new compositions she had been writing with Edward.
Once our purchases had been stored in our closets, Rosalie quickly pulled me into the room and shoved me onto the bed. She got down on the floor and rummaged through a hidden compartment, and placed an oversized shoebox next to me. "Go on, open it," she urged as she grabbed our "special" pink brush and began gently combing through my hair.
I lifted the lid and pulled out a piece of paper. After reading it through, I glared at the grinning blonde.
"Rose! How could you, you traitor!"
She just kept smiling. "Read the bottom."
I did so, "That's a little better, I suppose."
"Now this one." She nudged me and handed me another slip of paper. I let out such a loud laugh that I actually snorted.
"Rose, you are brilliant!"
The next one had me laughing so hard I nearly fell off the bed. "I take that back. You aren't just brilliant, you're a genius."
She simply laughed lightly and continued brushing my hair.
The next couple of days went by uneventfully, while Rose wrote a bit of her composition and I lay stretched out on the couch, reading my new Jane Austen collection.
A few hours before the family was to return home, my sister and I were ordered by Alice to hunt, making sure we (or more specifically, I) were able to handle another shopping spree at the same six-floor mall. Her exact words were, "…but I wasn't there! And I've never been to that mall before!"
Even with my argument that we still had a few years in New England, she wouldn't budge. "Bella," she'd whined, "I need to strike while the iron is hot. You were just there, so you know the layout of the stores. And you know which stores are my favorites. Look, I'll make you a deal. I'll put you in charge this one time, just as long as we visit all of my faves."
I had stared at the phone, dumbfounded, for an immeasurable amount of time until Rose grabbed the phone from my hand. "Alice? Throw in an hour in the bookstore at the end, and you've got a deal." After a few more minutes of chatting, she handed the phone back to me, grinning, and sang, "Someone wants to talk to you."
I perked up immediately. "Hi, Edward."
"Hello, love. Did you enjoy your week with Rosalie?"
"Of course I did, but I still miss you."
"As do I."
"Um, Edward? Is there any way you could save me from our evil shopoholic sisters?"
"NO!" both Rose and Alice screeched.
"I'm sorry, love, I really wish I could," he chuckled, but I could hear the sincerity in his voice.
As soon as I opened the front door, I was attacked by the black and white pixie. It took both Emmett and Jasper to pry Alice off of me, only to have her jump straight to Rosalie. Two strong arms wrapped around me from behind, and I leaned back against his chest.
"I thought she was going to snap me in half." Edward just laughed and kissed the hollow below my ear, making me shiver.
"Hey, Alice. We've got a surprise for you. Rose?" She nodded and ran upstairs. She was back down in seconds while the family relocated to the living room. Edward and I took one of the loveseats, me sitting on his lap. Carlisle and Esme occupied the couch opposite us, with Esme curled up against her husband's side. Emmett sat in the recliner, Rose in his lap. Jasper leaned his back against the couch as he sat on the floor next to Carlisle and Esme. The ever hyper Alice was bouncing in her seat between her husband's legs, her gift unopened in front of her. She opened the box and her jovial expression quickly turned to one of confusion, until she picked up one of the papers.
"Really?" she chirped, a full-blown grin on her face.
I just nodded reluctantly. I still wasn't too thrilled with the idea, but if it made Alice happy…
After another glance in the box, the sprite was absolutely giddy. I felt Edward tense under me. "I never agreed to that!" he whispered low enough for only me to hear.
"It was Rose's idea, not mine."
Edward and I were pulled out of our conversation by Jasper's voice. "What is it, darlin'?"
"They're coupons, "she squeaked excitedly.
The others, aside from Rosalie, Edward, and I, looked at Alice as if she had lost her mind. Alice read off one of the cards:
"One free, no argument session of Bella Barbie for a special occasion. Not reusable. Must authorize ALL ideas with Rose first. No expiration date. #1 of 10."
Alice's jaw dropped, "You mean there are ten of them?"
"Ten of each," Rose responded.
"Each?" Esme questioned.
"Yes," Edward groaned. "Ten makeovers for Bella, ten makeovers for Rosalie, ten for me," he glared at the blonde female vampire who just smirked at him, "and ten for Emmett."
At that point, the whole family save Edward and Emmett, were laughing hysterically. Alice grinned maniacally at me, making me cringe against Edward's chiseled chest.
"You know…I think we should go out tomorrow night. There's a new club that just opened downtown."
"Now Alice, don't use them all at once. You're not getting any more. Those are going to have to last you an eternity…literally."
I had hoped that my threat would deter her, but her smile only widened.
"Oh, don't worry your pretty little head, Bella dear. I know exactly what I'm doing."
Five o'clock the next evening had me sitting stone still in front of Alice's vanity as she danced around her room in search of the hairbrush I had expertly hidden in Emmett's sock drawer. She finally let out an aggravated sigh and rubbed her temples. I caught Rose's eye in the mirror and smirked. She simply shook her head in mock disappointment.
Unfortunately, the pixie noticed our exchange and growled lowly at me.
"Isabella Cullen, what did you do?"
"I swear, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, sister dear," I mocked, causing Rosalie to collapse on the bed in a fit of laugher.
"Bella, your transformation did nothing for your lying skills; you still suck at it."
That just made the blonde vampire laugh harder. Alice finally gave up her inquisition and grabbed the spare brush from the bottom drawer of her dresser.
I did approve, somewhat, of her choice of clothing for me. She had me in a backless, royal blue halter dress that hugged my body in all of the right places. It hit a few inches above my knees and flared out at the bottom. Now that I didn't trip every five steps, she insisted that I wear a pair of metallic blue paten leather espadrilles. I was, of course, wearing both my charm bracelet and Edward's engagement ring.
My hair was styled in a French twist with a sapphire hair comb attached on the side.
After two hours of torture I was free to search for my husband, who was still pretending to be miffed about his surprise in Alice's gift. I found him sitting at the piano with a pen in his hand, writing his newest composition. He looked extremely handsome in a pair of dress shoes, fitted dark wash jeans and a royal blue buttoned-down shirt, unbuttoned, expositing his toned chest and abs. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. I quietly walked behind him and wrapped my arms around his neck, resting my chin on his shoulder.
"Hey," I breathed in his ear, and couldn't help but smile as I felt him shudder in my embrace.
"Good evening, my love," he stood, turned around in my embrace, and appraised me with his eyes, "You look simply stunning, as usual. So, did you enjoy your makeover session with Alice?" he goaded me, that crooked smile adorning his face.
"I think I'm already starting to resent Rosalie for this little surprise."
"Aw, come on Bella, don't lie. You know you still love me," she called from upstairs.
"Just because I love you doesn't mean you don't still piss me off," I muttered, low enough so that only Edward could hear. His musical laughter vibrated throughout my entire body, sending a tingling sensation down my spine.
I pulled out of his embrace and slowly sauntered towards the stairs, swaying my hips as sensually as I could. I couldn't help but smirk when I heard Edward panting behind me. He was suddenly behind me, grasped my hips, and pulled me backwards so that my back was pressed against his toned, muscular chest. Wrapping his strong arms around my waist, my angel whispered, "It seems that I've suddenly had a change of heart. You simply cannot leave this house dressed in such a manner. You are much too delectable for your own good. I won't be able to keep my hand off of you at all tonight."
"Then don't try." I replied huskily.
His breathing was uneven as he rasped out. "Maybe I won't." He kissed the sensitive skin just below my ear, making me shiver. I could feel him smirk against my neck. He knew full well the effect he had on my body. And he'd use it to his advantage every chance he got. I could feel Edward's excitement pressing into my backside. But just when I'd decided to try and sneak us both into the bedroom…
"Isabella Marie Cullen! Don't even think about it! You are not going to ruin all of my hard work!" She stormed down the stairs, the rest of the family hot on her heels.
"Evil little pixie."
Edward chuckled in my ear, "Later love. I promise."
I checked the clock - 15 minutes had elapsed since I had left the torture chamber Alice calls a bedroom.
"Yes?" she replied innocently.
"Why did you only spend 15 minutes dressing Rose when I was locked up for over two hours?" I half screamed.
Alice quickly hid behind her husband. "Well, it's really very simple. Rose isn't as…stubborn as you are. So, I'm going to spend as much time on you as I can while you can't complain."
"Oh, is that all" I gave her a sickeningly sweet smile before lunging at her. Edward's arms tightened around my waist. "Edward! Let go of me!" He simply threw me over his shoulder like a sack of flour and sprinted out to the Volvo.
The next few hours were tolerable. I spent most of the time sitting in Edward's lap while the rest of the family danced. Including both Esme and Carlisle. They had, thankfully, taken to heart the fact that they were 26 and 23 years old, and were making the most of it. It was a bit odd in the beginning to see them act their age. But after the first year or so, it was a normal thing for all 8 of us to hang out and just spend some family time together.
An upbeat song suddenly blasted through the sound system and I was dragged out onto the dance floor by my sisters.
"Thank you guys so much." Alice gushed, "I couldn't have wished for better sisters."
Rosalie shook her head and smiled, "No, Alice. We should be the ones thanking you."
"She's right, you know. If it wasn't for you, the three of us wouldn't be as close as we are now.
"But Bella," Rose interjected, "You're the one who has kept the whole family together. Who knows where we would be if you hadn't called us out all those years ago?"
"Excuse me ladies, but I'm afraid I have to steal my wife back."
I was then led away to a secluded corner of the dance floor, wrapped up in Edward's strong embrace. "Thank you, my love."
"Bella, Rosalie was correct. We would be lost if it weren't for you. You were able to define all of us, and forced us to face our faults head on." he gave me that brilliant crooked smile of his that still left me weak in the knees, and his honey-golden eyes lit up in pure love and adoration, "Without you, our family would not have lasted much longer. I am so very proud of you, my love." he whispered in my ear.
As his lips gently caressed mine, any and all coherent thoughts were wiped from my mind. There was no way anyone could ever be as happy as I was at that very moment.
There you go. Hope you enjoyed it. It's not as Rose/Bella as I would have liked, and I know it's not as well written as "Find My Place", but I'm still proud of it.