A very fluffy little EdwardxBella story. Which is weird, coming from me, but hey! Here's proof that I'm capable of writing a canon coupling! :P I don't own the story, of course, or the setting or any of the characters. Etc etc and all that. Oh, and the story was inspired by the beginning of the Billy Joel song of the same title. Which I don't own. xD Eddie and Bells have a lot of Billy Joel in their history ((Note: The song "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)" was used in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight soundtrack, presumably as the inspiration for Bella's Lullaby.)) So it fits. :)
The car came to a stop, presumably beside a curb somewhere.
"Can I look yet?" I demanded, biting my lip in anticipation.
"Not quite yet."
I obligingly clenched my eyes shut tightly even though the necktie Edward had been wearing when we left the cottage was tied over them like a blindfold. As badly as I wanted to know where he was taking me, it wouldn't be worth ruining the surprise. Finally (I could tell he was walking around the car at human speed) I heard my car door open. Taking Edward's hand, I stepped out.
"Smells like… food," I observed, knowing I must have looked quite confused. "Are you taking me out for dinner, Edward?"
I heard him chuckle softly.
"Just trust me. We're still a block away, but I'll lead you."
I giggled, still completely baffled.
I'm sure we must have looked odd, me walking down some street who-knew-where, led by Edward because my eyes were covered. I really wasn't in danger of bumping into anyone; I could smell anyone in close enough range for that to be an issue. But it would have looked even stranger to see a blindfolded girl walking flawlessly without any aid at all. And I didn't mind.
The sensation of Edward leading me reminded me very much of the human years. It was sweet, in a way, feeling like he was protecting me again. Even if I no longer needed it.
Finally, I felt him come to a stop, and I followed suit. The area seemed terribly familiar, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Perhaps it was a place from one of the blurry human memories. That had to be it.
"Okay, Bella," Edward said softly. "We're here."
I felt his hands at the back of my neck untying the knot of the tie, and my skin prickled. Finally, when the cool evening breeze washed over my face, I allowed my golden eyes to flutter open.
"Edward…" I gasped, chills running up my spine. "It's our Italian Restaurant."
"Indeed," he replied, his smile as dazzling as ever. "From our very first date."
"That was so long ago," I whispered, gazing at the façade of the old brick building that held so much nostalgia I could barely take it.
"Not really," Edward replied, laughing. "Four and a half years, give or take a little."
"That's incredible," I said.
Edward's arm fell around my shoulder, and he kissed me quickly. My stomach leapt as it always had when he turned his attention to me – as it did when he picked me up on that night four and a half years ago. That hadn't changed – even though absolutely everything else in our lives had.
"Shall we allow them to seat us?" he asked once he had broken off the kiss. I gave him a look of skepticism.
"If that's the plan," I replied, giving him a look that clearly told him I knew that he had something up his sleeve. It didn't seem to bother him, because he simply nodded and gave me a conspiratorial smile.
The stewardess who seated us wasn't the same one that had been there all of those years ago – not that I'd expected her to be. That still didn't keep me from remembering how angry I'd been to watch the other one flirt with Edward. How silly and completely petty I had been. I hadn't known anything… about anything.
The current stewardess may or may not have flirted with Edward; we were too absorbed in one another to notice. Hand in hand, we allowed ourselves to be led back through the familiar restaurant with its familiar decorations, still unchanged despite the cataclysmic change in our lives. Right as I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever be seated, the stewardess put the menus down… at precisely the same table where we had been on that first night together.
"You planned this," I told Edward. He shrugged, but gave me a wink.
"Can I start you guys off with something to drink?" the stewardess asked. I gave Edward a blank look, and he took over.
"One bottle of your house red wine, please," he said. The lady scrutinized him for a moment, but didn't ask for his I.D.
"We'll have that right out for you, sir," she said finally, before turning around and heading back towards what I assumed was the kitchen.
"We can't drink wine," I said after she had departed.
"Well of course not, technically," Edward said, giving me an infectious grin. "We're both under twenty-one."
I shoved him playfully across the table, realizing only later that the light swat I gave his arm could probably have broken the bone of a human. Not that it really mattered.
"But really," I said, settling back into my seat. "What's the big idea?"
"You'll see," he insisted. "Just wait for the wine."
The time passed as pleasantly as it always seemed to when we were together. Naturally we reminisced some more – particularly about the night he'd saved my life for the first time and had then taken me to that same restaurant. He kept having to remind me of the details. Since he had already been a vampire at that time, his memory of it was much clearer.
After what seemed like a sadly quick amount of time, a staff member who was presumably our waitress returned with our bottle of wine. She started to uncork it, but Edward held up his hand to stop her.
"I can take care of that, but thank you," he said pleasantly. She shrugged.
"Just fine, sir. May I take your orders?"
"Absolutely," he replied easily. "I'll have the fettucini cardinale. You've always liked the mushroom ravioli here, right, love?"
I nodded, somehow managing to keep a straight face.
"Sounds good to me," the waitress said, giving us a smile. "I'll be back with that shortly."
"What were you thinking?" I demanded, as soon as she was out of earshot. Edward shrugged.
"We'll probably have some leftovers, but I told Jacob and Renesmee to eat a light supper."
"Ah," I replied. "This is their favorite restaurant, isn't it?"
"Lately," Edward agreed. "They finally got tired of that Thai place. Or maybe the wait staff got tired of them."
I laughed out loud.
"She's just like any other teenage girl," I said. "Very into the public displays of affection."
"I don't think Jacob minds," Edward snarled. I gave him a smile.
"Remember, we weren't much better at that age."
"We're still that age, Bella," he laughed.
"I mean back when we were in high school," I corrected, rolling my eyes. "We're far beyond all of that nonsense now."
"Of course we are," Edward replied, reaching over the table and kissing me several times. I turned my head, giggling.
"Okay, okay. We should save it for later. Our food will be here soon."
"And we still haven't had any wine," he agreed, his expression perfectly innocent. "May I have your glass?"
I handed it over, wondering what he was going to do.
I didn't have to wonder long.
Edward took another wine bottle out from under the table. I hadn't even noticed him bring it in. However, standing next to the one from the restaurant, it was nearly impossible to distinguish – the liquids were the same deep red, and the corks were both tight. The only difference was a slight variance in the labels, and that didn't last long. In one smooth motion, Edward had switched the two labels, so it now appeared as though the bottle Edward had brought was "La Bella Italia House Red." After having done this, he quickly stowed the real House Red under the table where his own bottle had been before.
The "wine" that remained on the table was whatever he had brought with us, though it was now cleverly disguised. I had finally figured out exactly what was coming, and it definitely hadn't required Alice's extrasensory perception.
"Are you out of your mind?" I demanded, mouth agape.
Edward's only response was to offer me a crooked smile as he uncorked the "wine" easily. All of my senses engaged immediately as the smell wafted my direction.
"Happy anniversary, Bella," Edward said, pouring us each a glass. The substance, looking every bit like red wine, poured gracefully into the slender glasses. But my nose told me otherwise: it was human blood. Of the finest quality.
"This better be from the blood bank," I whispered harshly and too quickly for any human ear to pick up. He rolled his eyes.
"Of course it is, Bella," he replied in a normal human tone. "It's a special occasion; you know I wouldn't be this extravagant otherwise. And I have the situation under control. Can you just relax for a moment and allow yourself to have a romantic evening?"
"I suppose," I sighed, giving him a smile.
"Take a drink," he urged, clasping my icy marble hand over the table. I didn't need to be told twice. My head spun as I placed the rim of the glass to my lips and took my first sip. The flavor was smooth and wonderful – like a filet mignon would be to a human who had eaten nothing but white rice for two years.
"You're going to be sorry when I go off on a mad feeding frenzy and destroy the restaurant," I told him coyly as I employed every bit of self-control I had and placed the glass back on the table in front of me.
"That's not you," he said assuredly. "I wouldn't take that kind of chance."
We sipped in silence for a few moments, savoring both the flavor of our drinks and the feeling of our entwined fingers.
"Drinking this – it reminds me of being pregnant," I whispered, somehow unsurprised that I could now reminisce fondly about an experience that was probably among the most traumatic of my life. "I don't think I've had any of the real stuff since then."
"Bella, for goodness sake, you don't drink wine when you're pregnant."
Edward's expression was severe, but I still caught the smile in his eyes.
"Oh, right," I replied, winking at him. "I must be remembering another time."
We laughed for a moment, but as we stopped, he have me a profound look.
"You're precious, love," he said finally, leaning gracefully over the table to kiss my forehead. It had finally been long enough that I wasn't surprised not to feel blood rush to my face.
"You are, too. I mean it. It's amazing to think… about any of this. Four and a half years ago, I could never have imagined the way things would turn out. Not even in my wildest, craziest dreams. I wouldn't have dared."
"We've come through a lot, love," Edward agreed, giving my hand a squeeze. "But we've done it together."
"That's what made it work," I said softly. "And who knows… maybe we'll get to do some of the good stuff again. I'd love to see Italy without the distraction of your life hanging in the balance. In fact, that would make a nice second honeymoon!"
Edward laughed out loud.
"Just not on St. Marcus Day… please. And could we not end it on the note we ended our first honeymoon?"
"Fair enough," I agreed, my laughter joining his. "Oh, wait, I think this might be our food."
Sure enough, the waitress brought us two plates of steaming hot pasta. It was still funny to me how little appeal human food had. The very same dish had been placed in front of me four years before, and I could even remember how delicious I thought it was. But now all I wanted to do was drink out of the wine glass that sat behind my plate. In fact, the smell of the food even irked me, the way it lessened the experience.
"The change in appetite never ceases to amaze, does it?" Edward asked me, raising an eyebrow.
"There was a time when this was one of my favorite foods…" I agreed, biting my lip. "Oh well. At least my daughter seems to have inherited my tastes."
"When she's not eating wild elk," Edward finished drily. We snickered again, each making a show of taking bites of food and then (very discreetly) spitting it out into napkins.
"I can't imagine how you managed to swallow that wedding cake without gagging in front of all our guests," I said, quickly cleansing my palate with a drink from my wine glass.
"The same way I ate that pizza in front of you during our junior year…" Edward replied. "Very deliberately, and with no intention of repeating the experience. It's not an undertaking for the faint of heart."
"You're such a man," I sighed, feigning a faint. He shrugged self-deprecatingly.
"You'll get there too… with a few more years of practice."
We shifted the food around enough that people nearby would not have noticed that we didn't eat a bite. Naturally, however, we did finish the entire bottle of red wine. And it would appear as though we liked it enough to get an almost identical bottle to go.
"Having a nice night, Bella?" Edward asked me as we stepped out the door with our heavily-laden takeout boxes.
"Wonderful," I whispered. "Let's pick up some feather pillows on the way home… just for old times' sake."
He gave me a devious smile.
"What a wonderful idea."