Hey guys :) You all still alive out there? Sorry for making you wait a little longer than usual =[ … Work has been very inconsiderate when it comes to my writing!!

Anyway, hope you enjoy…

Chapter 11:


So the start of the week went off pretty well. I'd only had 1 class with Edward, which, at first, despite being a tad disappointed, meant I had a chance to take a breather for awhile. As always my paranoia still led me to believe he'd probably had caviar and champagne for breakfast, but I tried not to linger on it, knowing it was just my irrational mind playing tricks on me.

In fact, come Monday morning, all thoughts of inadequacy were quickly brushed aside, and after listening to him moan about the complexity of the Psychology Homework, I realised he was still just an all round average guy. He didn't fly in on a helicopter as my Sunday night dream had led me to believe, and he still suffered from the same Educational stumps as I did. I was thankful for that.

Come lunch time, we all still hung out, but with there being 6 of us in the group, the pressure was kept to a minimum. I was strangely no longer feeling suffocated by my attraction towards him. That combined with the fact that I'd managed to avoid embarrassing myself in front of him, was an added bonus.

Everything was going pretty great. I was even looking forward to my birthday weekend! Because the more we discussed it- the constructing of tents, the hunting for firewood, the idea of staying up late with only the moon and gods creatures to keep us company- the more I couldn't wait to witness Alice staring nature in the eye.

I hadn't been this excited for my birthday since … well, since I was born actually. That was until Tuesday night, when my dad had returned home with some unfortunate news. Apparently there was this major case on the go, and being chief of Forks station, he has to venture up to headquarters to discuss it. Career-wise, it's a win win. The sad part of the matter is, HQ is almost 10 miles away, and this case wasn't going to get solved over night. Meaning, my birthday night at Disney on Ice had to be relinquished. So much for that tradition.

Fascinating how one minute you could be over the moon about something, then the next, it all seemed like the end of the world. So by the time I'd arrived at school on the Wednesday morning, I was feeling as miserable as ever.

"Hey Cinderella!" his upbeat voice approached me from the front, completely unaware of the grey cloud conveniently positioned over my head; but not even Edward could put a smile on my face now. "You all ready for tomorrow night!? Ball gowns and tiaras an all!?"

I sighed, my shoulders slouching as I sat slumped on the ledge wall that lead to the library's entrance. I didn't look up to greet him like I usually would have. I didn't want him seeing my blotchy pug eyes and bright red nose, following the tears I'd shed last night as I'd cried myself into my slumber.

"Hey … are you ok?" his previously bubbly persona had vanished, and his tone turned to concern. His shoes and legs were all that I saw at first, before I watched as he took a seat beside me, his body angled towards me as I imagined him inspecting my appearance. Meanwhile I just stared at my hands. "What's wrong?" he pressed as I failed to look up.

"It doesn't matter" the glum tone of my voice made me even more depressed.

"Of course it does. You're upset, what is it?"

I took a breath and raised my head a little. "I found out last night that my dad has to work over my birthday. There's some kind of criminal activity in the area, and because he's chief of police, he has to be involved. It's an all-hands-to-the-deck kinda deal. There's no way around it … and I wouldn't want him to pull out anyway, its so high profile, it'll be good for him".

I was met with silence at first, before he released a long soundly exhale. "I'm sorry, that, really sucks. It was the one thing you were actually looking forward too as well," he sounded genuinely upset for me, no longer his usual cheeky self, but displaying a tenderness I'd never witnessed up until now. I probably would've savoured the moment more if I hadn't been feeling so miserable about it.

I shook my head a little. "It doesn't matter. I'm not bothered anymore. I'd sooner know that he's out there saving lives … Birthdays are just another day, right".

"Hey don't give me that! You told me, that it's something you've done with your dad since… since you can remember! It's your tradition".

"It's Disney on Ice Edward" I finally turned to him, my face expressionless, "it's just a childish dream… it's probably done me a favour anyway. Can't keep clinging onto the past. It's about time I grew up" I told him. And with that, I stood up and dragged my heavy uncooperative feet towards the library doors…

I eventually found myself sat at one of the library tables, in the 'quiet only' zone, by myself. Now not only depressed over the situation concerning my birthday, but also disappointed in myself for just walking away from Edward, when I'm sure all he wanted to do was help.

I sat there staring miserably through heavy eyes, at the photos I'd stored in my cell phone over the years. I stopped at a photo taken on my 17th birthday. Just me and my dad at Disney on Ice, it was taken after the show and the grins plastered across our faces reminded me of how much we'd enjoyed it.

I slammed it shut as I struggled to keep a hold of my emotions. To anyone else it would seem pathetic to get so upset over a cancelled birthday event. But not to me…

Maybe it was because my family life failed to consist of the average nuclear variety. My mother had deserted us, my father was a workaholic, his existence only apparent in the evenings nowadays, and by that time, end of day exhaustion meant we'd only manage a few measly sentences to each other, before we'd both be off to bed. And my brother Emmett, well, he would juggle his time between fixing cars at the garage and getting drunk and partying at night. I guess my birthday always provided me with some kind of normality. A chance for me to bond with my father and subsequently cling onto a variation of family life.

Some ten minutes later I felt someone take a seat beside me, before a hand reached over and placed a pink iced cupcake on the table in front of me. It sat there temptingly, appearing almost too good to eat. I turned to see Edward smiling at me sympathetically, a rush of warm blood pumped through my veins at the sight of him sat beside me, before I focused back onto the cupcake in question.

He spoke up as I sat there in silence. "Rose always says there isn't a problem that can't be solved by chocolate. Or, a cake in this matter" he smiled, his cheeks turning a fresh pink colour. "I'm not sure I agree with her on that one. It can't really solve anything, but, it can make things seem a little better, even for just a few minutes or so".

I felt my mouth curve upwards for the first time that day at the sweetness of his gesture; my eyes starting to water slightly as I considered how much he must really care.

"Look I know that you think your birthdays ruined now, especially since spending time with your dad was probably what you were most looking forward too, but, I still think you should have the chance to enjoy your night…" I turned my head a jar to look at him. "I think you should still go to the show" he told me.

I reached out to swivel the cake in my hand distractively. "I couldn't…" I shook my head; my forehead was starting to ache at its constant strain. "Emmett already has plans, Alice has a phobia of people dressed in character costumes" I rolled my eyes at that "…I wouldn't want to go by myself and there isn't anyone else to ask" I spoke softly, slowly retracting my hand.

"Well sure there is!" I looked at him, my face frowning as I awaited his suggestion. "He's sitting right next to you!" he beamed at me, animatedly placing his hands to the side like jazz hands.

I looked across at him cautiously, "Edward, don't be silly … You wouldn't want to go to a Disney show with me. Look, I appreciate what you're doing, but, it's really not necessary".

"Erm excuse me, but did you ever consider that maybe I want to go. I'll have you know that I spent the first 10 years of my life lusting after Belle from Beauty and the Beast!" I looked at him in bafflement. "And if she thinks the best she can do is a hairy beast, then, she's in for a big surprise when she meets me" he said, smirking at me; his usual arrogant self beginning to re-appear. He just couldn't help himself.

I frowned in response, choosing to play along. "So, what you're saying is that once we're there, you're going to take one look at her and ditch me right on the spot?" I looked him in the eye straight-faced.

"Well, it's probably unlikely, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a possibility" his arms folded across his chest as he leant backwards into his chair.

"Well I'm not sure I'd want to encourage that kind of behaviour. The kind where you ditch your friends for a more attractive model".

His head leant to one side, his smile going with it. He looked so adorable. But I simply looked back at him through sulking eyes.

"Don't worry; it won't happen. I'm not nearly hairy enough for her" he said matter-of-factly, to which I smiled in return.

"So what do you say anyway?" he let out a tiny chuckle. "It'll be fun. Besides, I've already arranged for someone to cover my shift" my ears pricked up at that. "And I think it'd be rather selfish of you to reject my offer, especially since I've gone to so much effort … don't you think? … huh?" He then proceeded to poke my sides; I laughed back, fidgeting in my seat, my muscles tensing in a spasm as he tickled me. "Come on" he stressed as he tried to ware me down. "You can't possibly resist my charms for this long" he smirked.

"Ok, ok" I relented, holding my hands out to surrender, my face almost cracking as I found myself mimicking his contagious smile. "But just so you know, it's not your charm that got to me, it was all that poking" I poked him back playfully.

"Sure, whatever you say" he smiled lightly in amusement, whilst I felt my cheeks grow beetroot red.

"Well great anyway," he grinned back, clearly pleased with himself. "Should be a good night. We'll have fun, scouts honour!" he held his hand up…

He left soon after that, saying he had some piano practice he had to attend to. Apparently he was one of the highflyers in his music class and had been asked to tutor those that were lagging behind. He seemed to take pride in making me aware of that. It also looked good on his CV resume'.

So I was left with a feeling of ambivalence; completely moved by Edwards attempt at making my birthday seem salvageable, flabbergasted that he would change his shift to endure two hours of watching people dressed up in fanciful costumes, and skating to cheesy music. And then overcome with nerves and excitement at the prospect of spending my actual birthday with the guy of my dreams. Understandably, the nerves were gradually outweighing all of the other sensations I was experiencing.

Taking a hold of the cupcake I peeled back the wrapping. I almost didn't want to eat it. A part of me pondering the idea of savouring it for years to come, in which I could look back at it and remember the moment so dearly. But I chose to take a bite, never wanting to let myself become that pathetically lovesick, when I would cherish every item he'd laid his hands on, and keep them locked up in a keep-safe box under my bed.

No thanks!

That said, I took my time to enjoy its sugary sweetness. Firstly by picking off the tiny rounded iced balls one by one, and swirling them around on my tongue. Five minutes later and all I was left with was a white flimsy cake wrapper.

Following my brief trip to the restrooms where I washed my sticky hands, I then found myself heading towards the music block. At first it was simply to thank him for being so thoughtful, and for cheering me up of course; he had a knack for doing that. But as I neared the doors to the building (a place I hadn't set foot in since my first year at Forks High School, a single failed attempt at playing the recorder left me almost traumatised – the teacher at the time having no sympathy for the uncoordinated), my intrigue at witnessing him playing an instrument overpowered everything else. And I opted for just spying on him. It was a tad stalker-ish I admit, but when else would I get the opportunity to see him in action, and also with his teacher-head on… an even bigger reason for me to watch from the sidelines. I hoped he had his glasses on…

I entered the hallway with caution, welcomed to the sound of a mass of musical instruments, as they suddenly sprung to life. At first I wasn't sure where they were coming from. It all sounded too loud and orchestrated, not having that distinct richness of the piano I was looking for. They were harsh at first, gritty and droney, followed soon after by a high-pitched buzzing sound… oh … I came to a realisation as I poked my head through one of the windows, noticing the group of trumpet and saxophone players all sat in a circle with their piece notes set out before them.

Rather extravagant for Forks High School if you ask me. I'd never known of any other instrument to be played within the confines of the school grounds, other than the recorder and piano of course.

I then happened to glance at one of the flyers stuck to the wall. It read, 'The FIRST EVER Forks High School Christmas Music Night! Come along!'

Well, that explained it. They were obviously rehearsing.

It was fascinating stuff, don't get me wrong, but my interest quickly dissipated, and I found my ears picking up on something else. Don't ask me where I was heading. I'd never known the music building to be so vast, but as I walked towards the furthest crevice of the building, I located a small room kept well out the way.

I peered through the window at the 5 students who all had their backs to me. All huddled around the grand piano, and listening intently as the guy at the centre of it all gave them instruction. I smiled, my hand without thinking rising to touch my heart, feeling strangely proud that Edward was in the midst of it all.

So he wasn't joking when he said he could play. He could play, and he played like an angel. I was a little disappointed I could only see his back however. But I made do with what I could see and hear, his head bopping to the music, as his hands struck down on each note with precision, creating the most beautiful of tunes. To be honest, after awhile I didn't need to see anything else, the image I made up of him smiling in my head would suffice for now.

"Can I help you dear?" I was abruptly pulled out of my gaze, as a hand tapped me on the shoulder, and a figure appeared to my left. The hand belonged to that of a short middle aged woman, slightly rough around the edges, glasses positioned at the tip of her nose and her brown woollen suit all looking rather dated. She must have been the music teacher.

"Oh, sorry. No… I erm…"

"He's talented, isn't he" her voice was so calm as she gave me a gentle nudge, her caring eyes turned to admiration as she peered through the window to look at him.

"Yeah, he is" I sighed a little as I turned back to watch him.

"I've never seen talent like that in my 30 years of teaching you know".

"I guess he was worth the wait" I spoke softly, my eyes not straying an inch.

"Oh without a doubt … and such a lovely boy, so sweet and always helpful. Whoever ends up with him will be one very lucky lady" she said, and I felt her eyes smiling back at me once again. Did she know something I didn't!?

"Yeah, I'm sure" my voice seemed to fade away through my unease.

"Why don't you come in dear," her eyes lit up, "you can sit at the back, I'm sure he wont mind" she went to open the door.

"No, its ok, thank you. I..I actually have to go.. But thank you!" I stuttered, forcing a weak smile as I shimmied straight past her.

I scurried out of the building in record speed. Dodging several musicians as they precariously carried their instruments down the hallway, trying their hardest not to drop them. I gave an apology as I accidently brushed passed the one; momentarily unsteadying them, but thankfully they remained standing, before I successfully made it outside, unscathed and more importantly, unseen by Edward.

I headed back towards the library, now slightly startled, but also pumped from my brief encounter at almost getting busted. What a rush! The day went by so fast after that, eventually turning into a blissful distant memory. And as I lay in my bed that night, with a smile so big, it caused me to stay awake for hours, I thought back to the image in my head of Edward playing. He owned that piano, in every way possible. And I only hoped that someday, just maybe he would play a song for me…

Hey, a girl could dream right?

And dream is what I did …

A/N: Still no kiss :( I know you all hate me because of it, but it'll be worth it in the end… I promise :)

Please review =D xxx