Disclaimer: I own nothing but the storyline. "Winter Wonderland" is also not mine.
A/N: Some characters may be a little OOC at times. The time frame is the winter during New Moon, but is thoroughly ignoring the storyline of New Moon. For the purposes of this story, Bella and Edward are engaged. Jacob and the wolves will not exist in this story.
Winter had come to Forks. It had come in roaring like a lion, with bitterly cold winds, freezing temperatures and surprisingly dry weather. Most of the vegetation had died off with the first few frosts in November. Maybe Mother Nature heard me when I had insisted that it was too green here. Now the only things still green were the spruce, pines and other evergreens.
On the drive to school every morning, the heater in my truck was getting a workout. Luckily it still worked. The radio reception was sketchy, it wouldn't go faster than 55 miles per hour and the defroster was kaput, but the heater was fully functional. Small miracles happen every day, right?
Speaking of small miracles, I thought to myself as I pulled into the school's parking lot, Edward was waiting for me next to his car. He grinned when he saw that I had spotted him, no doubt he had heard my truck coming at least five minutes ago. I grinned back and waved before pulling into the parking spot next to him. Anticipating the cold outside the comfort of the cab of my truck, I wound a thick woolen scarf around my neck and the lower part of my face, then pulled on a toboggan and my extra thick gloves. Edward was at my door, opening it for me as soon as I finished bundling up. He planted a quick soft kiss on my forehead, one of the small areas of skin still exposed.
"Morning, love. Are you as cold as you look?" His eyes danced with merriment as he spoke, fully aware that I was only so bundled up so that I could stay close to him while we were outdoors. "I'll take advantage of your wool-induced silence to tell you that Alice has a surprise planned for you and the long weekend."
I was about to protest, when a small figure in an ivory swing coat came gracefully dancing out of the English building. Alice stopped directly in front of me with her hands on my shoulders, her short black hair still swinging around her face. The excitement in her face was obvious. She was up to something.
She was bouncing in place before she got the first word out. "Bella! What do you say to a long relaxing weekend with us? We'll play it up as a girls' retreat spa weekend for Charlie of course, but that can be part of the plan, too." She gave a little shiver, even though she was completely unaffected by the chill in the air, keeping up her human appearance.
Edward moved from my side to stand behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist. "What do you say, a long weekend, just the eight of us?" I twisted my head to look up at him in time to see a knowing smile pass between him and Alice. They were both up to something.
"I'm in," I said with a grin. Why would I say no? It's not like I wouldn't be safe, like I wouldn't have fun. I always felt guilty, deceiving Charlie like this, but I knew if there was anyone he didn't have to worry about me spending time with, it was the Cullens. I loved them all like family—they were my extended family in every way that mattered already, and were soon to be officially family.
"Perfect," Alice exclaimed. "Charlie will agree whole-heartedly when you call him at lunch—he's been wanting to go ice fishing this weekend, farther north. Just tell him the boys will be closely watched and you'll be with me and Rose. Got it?"
I nodded my head, causing my scarf to slip a little. "Got it." She kissed me on the cheek before heading back inside. "What is she up to?" I asked Edward as we began walking to first period.
He laughed. "Oh nothing, she just has a more accurate prediction of the weather for the weekend than everyone else," he said, failing to maintain his look of innocence.
The excitement of the student population of Forks High School was undeniable. Even though the weather report called for only 2-4 inches of snow, Mike, Jessica, Angela, Ben and many of the other students were making plans for a massive snow-war. Everywhere I went, all I heard was snow, snow, snow.
It must have spread to the police station because I heard laughter and a few snatches of "Winter Wonderland" in the background when I called Charlie at lunch. Just as Alice said, Charlie agreed to my weekend plans with very little coaxing, and even told me to say hello to all of the Cullens.
"Pack warm, Bells. Have fun," he said, before hanging up without giving me a chance to say goodbye.
"Well that was interesting. You heard that, right?" I asked, looking at Edward who had been waiting with me at the pay phone in the cafeteria. When he didn't say anything, I recounted my conversation with Charlie. "That's all he said! 'Pack warm!' and not even a goodbye! And he said to say hello to all of you. I think they're getting into the narcotics store room."
Edward, who had said nothing throughout the whole exchange, roared with laughter. "You need a vacation, Bella. Lighten up." Lighten up?! This, coming from my uptight worrier of a vampire boyfriend? I snorted. "Did you just snort? Are you mocking me?" He was enjoying this.
I rolled my eyes. "Oh hush. Is it really going to snow this weekend?"
"Alice says it will. Pack really warm, love. Don't give me that look," he said as I started to scrunch up my face in disgust at the snow. "I'll pick you up around 3:30, okay?"
The rest of the day flew by—before I knew it, I was driving home to pack for the long weekend. Once I was upstairs in my room, I began pulling out my heaviest sweaters, a few long sleeved thermal tops, long underwear and several pairs of jeans and sweats. If it was going to snow, I knew better than to think the Cullens, especially Emmett would let me stay dry inside. I added a couple pairs of gloves, an extra scarf and a pair of snow boots, shoving everything into a duffel bag. Now came the fun part—lugging the beast downstairs.
At the last minute, I decided to throw together some food for Charlie to take on his fishing trip. I made a batch of chili, cornbread, some sandwiches and fished out a few packets of hot chocolate mix. That should do it, I thought. I wrote out a quick note and had just signed "love you" when Edward arrived.
"Shall we go?" he asked, his golden eyes excited again.
I couldn't shake the feeling that he was up to something. "Sure, I'm ready." He grabbed my bag, which I had dumped unceremoniously at the foot of the stairs and we headed for his car, ready to begin what promised to be an eventful weekend.