- Chapter Five -
"Mistletoe", she said softly. And then disappeared inside.
I stood outside like a clueless douchebag for about three whole minutes, letting what had just happened sink in. Bella Swan had kissed me. She kissed me. All by herself. I didn't bargain with, or blackmail her or even pay her to do it. I absolutely did not try to trick her like Jason wanted to with the whole mistletoe plan.
After battling with myself for three more minutes that I shouldn't run upstairs and scream 'SHE KISSED ME, SUCKA!' to my son's face, I finally closed my mouth and took a deep breath, ready to go back inside.
There was a problem.
The door wouldn't open.
My eyes widened as I struggled with the knob, twisting it left and right as I tried to open the door. The stupid mistletoe hung above my head, mocking me for the little time I had just had rejoicing the fact that my hot neighbour kissed me.
"Shut up", I hissed at it, before shaking the door knob. My fingers were getting cold and cramped, and I was beginning to panic. I hadn't been out here too long, had I? There must be someone in the kitchen who could hear me in my moment of embarrassment for being stuck outside.
I gritted my teeth and took in another breath.
I am an adult. I would not panic. No one locked me out here, surely. Maybe I wasn't trying the door right. I cracked my knuckles a few times and tried it again.
I was not a very patient man, and this door was getting on my nerves. Did someone lock it? Why would someone lock the door? Didn't they know I was here?
Maybe Bella realised that it was you she was kissing so she locked the door and ran away, praying to dear lord above that you'll freeze to death and she can forget about you',a voice that sounded strangely like my son, Jason whispered in my ear.
Self consciously, I swatted against my ear a few times to check he wasn't really there. Nope, not there. What I imagined to be a goofy grin made its way across my face as I remembered I had just won. Jason could whisper what he liked, Bella had kissed me. Now all I had to do was rub it in his face.
I leaned against the door and sighed. The kid would be disappointed but oh well. He always said life goes on. I snickered to myself as I remembered his stupid plan to get Bella under the mistletoe. Looks like that backfired on himself, the little flirt.
"Edward?" Alice's voice brought me back from my thoughts. She was peeking from the door – which was now opened – with a peculiar look on her face, as she looked up at me.
"Thank god. I couldn't open the door", I said, gratefully smiling at her. "It's freezing cold here."
"Why was there a cheesy smile on your face?" she narrowed her eyes at me suspiciously, still blocking the doorway.
"I don't know", I shrugged indifferently, "who locked the door? Didn't you guys know I was out here?"
"Yeah, Bella mentioned you were getting some air", Alice explained, "a couple of minutes ago. I came to check up on you after Jason."
"Jason wasn't here", I frowned, stepping to the left so that Alice could allow me in.
"Sure he was. He was standing by the door just now", Alice said, blocking me to the left. I stepped to the right, frustrated. It was cold, damn it.
"Was he? Wait, did he lock the door?" I demanded, huffing. "Damn it Alice, let me in."
"Oh – sorry, Edward", she said sheepishly, finally letting me into the house and closing the door behind me. "Why would Jason lock you out?"
"Why would Jason call dibs on Bella...why would he steal the last cookie", I muttered darkly, "because he's not really my son, he's the devil son. They were swapped at birth, I'm telling you."
Alice rolled her eyes at me. "You two are like bickering brothers. What are you fighting over this time?"
A devilish smirk slowly crept on Alice's face as her eyes lit up. her fingers were clasped together, her cheeks pulled outwards and her eyes fixed on mine. Instinctively, I took a step back as I eyed her warily.
"What are you planning, little elf?"
"You like Bella?" she squealed, almost rather than ask.
"Uh...sure. She's Jason's teacher", I said with a shrug, "and uh...she baked us cookies when we moved in. Oh and she kissed me a couple of minutes ago."
"She did what?!" the words coming out of her mouth were shrieked out, so that seals and dolphins could understand her rather than humans.
"She baked us cookies, Alice", I spoke slowly, "it was when we moved in, weeks ago. Why do you want me to ask her to bake you some too? Jason can make you some brownies if you want. He's surprisingly good. Though I'm beginning to suspect that he might've bought the ready made – "
"Not that", she snapped, wide eyed, "the bit where she kissed you. When? Where? How? Why?"
"Thanks", I said dryly.
Alice grinned, shaking her head. "That's not what I meant, you big oaf."
"Keep it coming with the compliments, Alice", I said sarcastically, "no really, you're making me blush."
"Edward! Listen", she commanded, whacking me across the chest. I was really beginning to get scared of this little elf. "She told me she wouldn't get involved with you, because she's Jason's teacher and all. So why did she kiss you tonight?"
"You guys talked about me?"
"Of course", she answered indignantly, "what else is there to talk about in Forks? Anyway, did you kiss her or did she kiss you? Think carefully."
"We were under the mistletoe", I muttered pathetically, "and she definitely kissed me. Alice! I sound like a fifteen year old boy talking about his first kiss."
"You're acting like one too", she said, not meaning for me to hear.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Well go after her!" she exclaimed. I backed away cautiously. Her small thin elf arms were flaying around everywhere and I was pretty sure that was a danger hazard. "she just kissed you and you didn't even go after her! Go ask her out! Do something – and stop backing away, jeez I won't hurt you!"
"I...I can't ask her out", I sighed, "Jason called dibs first."
He was my son – or the devil's, one of ours – and I couldn't break him by going after his claim. Even though he was merely twelve, I had to respect that. He'd eventually get over it after all.
My cousin stared at me deadpanned for a couple of seconds before huffing. "Men! You are all so stupid!"
And walked off, leaving me in the kitchen; alone.
I was distinctly aware of an annoying yet familiar voice yelling random words at me. But the words did not make sense. That reason was because it was too early in the morning and I hadn't had my morning coffee yet.
"If you don't get up in the next five seconds, dad, I swear I'm going to call grandma Esme", the voice threatened. Two hands shook my shoulders and groaned when I didn't move.
"Ok, fine. I'm calling her."
"I'm up", I muttered, sitting bolt upright and blinking into the room. Jason stood next to my bedside table holding the phone threateningly. "I'm up, put the phone down. Nice and slowly, son. We don't want anyone harmed."
"Good. Stay up", he warned, "or I'm dialling. "
I groaned, stretching and wincing as my back cracked from the stiffness of me staying too still for too long. "I'm too young for this shit. Why am I up at such an ungodly hour?"
"Firstly, when we go over the grandma's house tonight I'm so telling her you cussed around me", he said, grinning brightly. He was much too perky, much too early. "Secondly, merry Christmas to you too, father. Now, let's go open presents. I've got a few video games to play."
"You don't need me to hold your hand whilst you open them", I muttered, running my fingers through my hair. "This still doesn't explain why you woke me up, Jase."
"Oh. I just like taking pictures of you when you're groggy in the morning", he grinned.
"What pictures?" I asked, suspiciously.
He held up a camera and waved it in my face. "This one." Snap. "I'll be using these for my school project. Thanks for helping out, dad."
"Stupid smart ass."
Because this was our first Christmas alone – Jason and I – I was cautious around him. Though he showed no signs of missing his mother, I couldn't really be sure. We spent the morning watching TV, after we had opened presents in our new living room.
He hadn't really requested for much and I didn't want to buy him presents acting as if I was trying to replace his old life with a new one. I wanted him to have memories of Tanya, the good ones at least.
I bought him a couple of new games for his Nintendo DS, a new digital camera since he was into photography (of me in the morning, apparently) along with scarves, gloves and a woollen jumper so that he could show his dorky side.
He got me a wallet – no doubt Alice must've helped him pick it out, though I have no idea when – and a bunch of refrigerator magnets with sarcastic lines. (The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist. Or I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce. Or my personal favourite Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
We did some last minute wrapping up, mostly because I was the laziest dad in the world as my son kindly named me and also because well, actually that was the only reason.
After watching Santa Claus II, Tanya called. That did not brighten my day. The conversation went something like this:
Tanya: Eddie! Merry Christmas. *Nervous laugh* So. How are you, babe?
Me: Merry Christmas. I'm fine. You?
Tanya: Oh I'm great. – muffled laughter in the background – Yes, hun I'm just calling my husband, well ex husband *laugh* Can you make me some of that? Oh, that looks delicious.
Me: Hello? You there?
Tanya: *laughs* Yes, I'm here Edward. *cough* So...um...*pause*
Me: Would you like to talk to Jason? Wish him merry Christmas?
Me: Jason. Your son? Remember him?
Tanya: *laughs* Still got your sense of humor, Edward. I guess I should talk to him. *sigh* Fine... I'll talk to him. Where's my little boy?
Me: Hold on.
I hung up after that. And unplugged the phone.
Jason looked up from his Nintendo and asked me who was on the phone. I muttered that it was the wrong number and turned back to the TV. After a few minutes of brewing in guilt, I sucked up my stubbornness and plugged the phone back in.
Jason spoke to Tanya for seven minutes and twenty-three seconds. I listened to every word upstairs after I told him I was going to the bathroom. I didn't even feel bad about eavesdropping.
The Christmas dinner was to be spent in my mother and father's house along with Alice and Jasper. When I arrived there with Jason, I realised that there were a few more people present that I had not been warned about coming.
Bella was one of them.
"Edward", Esme whispered, hugging me tight, "merry Christmas, darling." She released me and turned to Jason. "Merry Christmas, Jason!"
"Jase", he muttered under his breath, bracing himself for the cheek pinching whilst I snickered to myself.
My laughter stopped however, when we entered the living room.
Bella was sharing one of the sofas with Alice and Jasper. She wore a red sweater dress that fitted around her body and a Santa hat on her head.
My father sat next to a large burly man with what looked like a giggling little girl, dressed up in a miniature elf suit on his lap. She had dark short hair in a form of a gentle bob around her neck and reminded me of Alice. She seemed no older than nine years old. A blonde woman, sat across them was scowling at the large man.
"Emmett! You can't let her have more chocolate", she huffed at him angrily, "Arie will be up till midnight with all the sugar you let her have."
"Rosie, it's Christmas", the burly man said defensively, "and my baby girl can have as much chocolate as she wants."
"Emmett, Rosalie", Alice interrupted them, "this is my dear brother, Edward. And this is his son Jason. Jason? You ok?"
I tore my gaze away from the couple – ok, from Bella – and looked down at Jason. He was staring open mouthed in front of us, with a weird expression on his face. I followed his gaze...leading back to the giggling small girl.