So I know it's two months later, but I am FINALLY posting my Twi-Fic Gift Exchange for PurdueLiz. She gave me some very fun prompts and I had so much fun writing this one shot.

I, as always, have to thank the rest of the NS ladies Meg and Katie for dealing with my lack of punctuation and spiffying up my words. Also Kimpy0464 and Jadedandboring for helping paint it in red as needed. I love you all.

Quick side note: I totally stole the title from a Death Cab for Cutie song, and when writing this story I saw Natalie Portman in my head the whole time.

Ms. Meyers owns all things Twilight, I just own a girl crush on Ms. Portman the size of Texas.


"I'm not a charity case Alice."

"Stop being such a baby, Edward. I never said you were. I just don't want you spending New Year's Eve alone."

"What's wrong with some take-out, bad movies, and Dick Clark on the last night of the year?"

"Umm, first of all, it's not even Dick Clark anymore. It's usually like Mario Lopez, or one of the Entertainment Tonight-type rejects. Second, there's nothing wrong with take-out or bad movies either, but that's what you do every night anyway."

"Because that's what I like to do."

"Really Edward, what is it about this face that makes you think you aren't going to go?" My tiny sister asked as she pointed to her irritatingly cute face while looking me dead in the eye.

"Fine, but no trying to set me up. Okay? Remember what happened last time when you set me up with that girl from your marketing department?"

"Look, I didn't know Jessica was going to be such a nut."

"Nut? Alice, I think that might be putting it mildly. Before we'd even had dessert she'd asked what time of year I'd prefer a wedding."

"Get your manties out of a bunch! I already said that it isn't a set-up. I'd just like my big brother to see one of the fabulous events I do, as well as spend New Years Eve in the land of the living."

"I'll see you New Years Eve. Merry Christmas. Tell Jasper I said bye. I think that little one of yours wore him out."

"Yeah, and I'm sure that has nothing to do with a certain uncle feeding Marcus chocolate cookies the whole day," Jasper half moaned from under a stack of pillows he used as a barrier when he was being treated as the human trampoline.


"Wow, you wore the suit I sent over and everything. Impressive. Why aren't you wearing the mask, though?"

"Alice, I'm here, and I'm not complaining. Don't push your luck."

"Oh no sir. This is a masquerade ball! Here." She said, as she shoved a Zoro-esque mask towards my face. I knew it was useless to fight her on it, and even more than that, she had an event to run and I didn't want her wasting her time yelling at me when she could have been yelling at some poor caterers.

"Happy?" I huffed as I slid the mask over my face, feeling totally ridiculous. She nodded her approval to me as she straightened the lapels of a server walking by.

"Yes, thank you. Now, go. You're seated at table seventeen. Have a drink and try and enjoy yourself big brother."

I walked through the doors of the large ballroom, and I did have to admit that it was really beautiful. The entire room had been transformed into a winter wonderland of sorts, and not in the cheesy high school dance kind of way. There were large swaths of fabric hung floor to ceiling in beautiful shades of silver, and small glass prisms suspended from the ceiling as well. The tables had large willow branches that were painted white, and shimmered as if they had just been brought in from the snow.

I took a seat at the still empty table and longed to be sitting on my couch watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the millionth time, rather than the inevitable making of small talk with a bunch of people I didn't know.

I was pleasantly surprised when the band started playing. It was a pared-down orchestra playing very jazzy and swing type music. The table began to fill with three other couples that seemed to know one another.

By my third visit to the bar, the bartender already had my Cuba Libre waiting for me.

"I'm impressed. We haven't even made it to the soup course and the bartender already knows your drink," I heard a honeyed voice behind me laugh. Jake the bartender winked at me before I turned around to address the observer.

"Yeah, well, I have to make it through the night so…" I trailed off as I laid eyes on her.

My heart sped as I saw the gorgeous brown haired woman in front of me. I was certain she was the most beautiful person I'd ever seen, and only half of her face was visible. She was a good 6 inches shorter than me, with long brown hair that was pulled loosely away from her face. She has a large feathered mask on that covered her nose to her forehead, but her warm brown eyes were undeniable. Her full lips quirked into a slight smirk as I stood there dumbfounded, staring at the vision in front of me.

"Can I get a Malibu and Coke?" She asked leaning to the side slightly.

"Sorry," I mumbled and stepped to the side so she could move up to the bar and retrieve her drink.

Fuck, you better check and make sure that you don't have a jizz stain on your pants. Seriously, what are you twelve?

"So, I take it you're here against your will?"

"You could say that," I laughed, trying to hold on to the little bit of dignity I still had.

"Well, I hope you try to have a nice evening. I should go find my table. Looks like they are finally serving that soup course." She smiled at me again before turning and walking back through the crowd.

I turned back to Jake and found him trying to stifle his laughter. I just shook my head and collected my drink from the bar, while I chastised myself for not asking her name before she walked away.

I went to find Jasper, but as usual he was running around helping Alice, so I decided to face the inevitable and make my way back to the table. As I approached the round I noticed that all of my tablemates had arrived, and my seat was the only vacant one left. I glanced around the table and my breathing hitched for a split second when I saw the same brown hair and green dress that had gotten away all too quickly.

I happily took my seat, which afforded me the perfect view of her from across the expanse of the table. The tea-light candles in the centerpiece twinkled, throwing slivers of light across her creamy skin. My eyes were continually drawn to her lips as she demurely ate her soup and made polite small talk with the couples around her.

Dinner was a test in patience as I had to watch her from afar, feeling completely drawn to her, yet anchored a good five feet away. We continued to exchange glances with one another, but never leaving our seats. At least I was able to catch small snippets of her conversations. I had picked up on a few key things, like she was a therapist, had two dogs, and was single. Though, the most important piece of information still eluded me: her name.

As the final dessert plate was cleared, the dance floor began to flood with couples. I used this as my opportunity to get closer to her.

"Would you like to dance?" I asked extending my hand to her.

"I'm not sure if you would want to dance with me. I will undoubtedly step on your foot."

"It's okay, I have two."

"If you insist," she laughed softly, and I enclosed her hand in mine. Just the smallest touch from her already had my mind racing. I was by no means a ladies man – and I certainly didn't make visits to the coat closet – but just the sensation of her skin, delicate fingers pressed against my palm, was enough to conjure visions of clothes strewn about. Old rich ladies' mink coats falling to the ground as I held her body up against a wall, exploring her fully.

I shook my head slightly as I lead us onto the dance floor, trying to clear my head and will my ever-growing arousal down, knowing that her body would be pressed to mine in mere moments.

Hey assface, if you're trying to get Mr. Dicky to take a nap stop thinking about having your body up against hers. NOT FUCKING HELPING.

I grasped her right hand and pulled it up to my shoulder level, and then began to worry that our height difference would make her arm tired and tried to relax my hold on her slightly. I slid my free hand to her hip, and she placed hers on my shoulder. I felt my pants begin to grow uncomfortably tighter.

I looked down into her brown eyes and noticed we both wore the same wide-eyed expression. It was apparent that just the slightest touch had an affect on both of us. A small nervous laugh bubbled from her beautiful lips, and I smiled as the awkwardness seemed to retreat from the situation.

We began to move to the slow brassy song that was being played, and I enjoyed the fact that she allowed me to lead the entire time. Having grown up in the Cullen household, cotillions and galas were a part of life, and I had taken my fair share of dance classes. This was the first time in my twenty-seven years I was thankful for a single one of them.

"I feel I should introduce myself. I'm Edward Cullen." I said, gazing down at her as she unleashed her full radiant smile on me. I waited for her to tell me her name, and after a few moments passed I decided to ask.

"May I ask your name?"

"Well, you should have asked my name over at the bar, but since you didn't, I don't think I want to tell it to you." She laughed coyly, and her head fell forward slightly, the soft feathers from her mask brushing my cheek.

"I'm sorry, you just startled me. It's not everyday someone calls you out on having a drink on New Year's Eve. Then you ordered a Malibu and Coke, I thought maybe I was at a frat party," I replied back, enjoying the playful flirty tone of our conversation.

"What can I say? I like sweet things," she huffed indignantly. I laughed at her expression and she met my eyes with the warmest smile playing across her mouth.

"So if I can't ask your name, what can I ask?"

"Anything."

"Really, anything?"

"Yep, I'm an open book…minus the whole name thing."

"Ok, where'd you go to school?"

"Northwestern. I moved here from Forks, Washington, and I fell in love with Chicago, so I just decided to stay."

"I heard you say you were a therapist. Is that what you went to school for?"

"Wow, Edward, eavesdropping?" She asked as she quirked her eyebrow.

I simply shrugged my shoulders and used the opportunity to readjust my hand on her hip pulling her closer into my body.

She shook her head at me before going on to explain that her mother had left when she was very young, and her dad the police chief wasn't much of a talker, so she had never really been able to discuss much with him. Having felt alone in the whole situation growing up she decided to go into family therapy to, hopefully, help families through times like that. I watched as she told her story, and even though half of her visage was shielded from my view I felt as if I could read every emotion in her eyes.

The band transitioned seamlessly from song to song, and the two of us continued to move with one another, telling our stories as we danced. The space between our bodies gradually grew smaller. My hand drifted to the small of her back as her hand rested closer to my neck. The proximity of her body made me positively ache to feel her entirely flush against me.

Without clothes you mean.

Our eyes stayed locked to one another, only occasionally lingering on the other's lips for a few moments. There was a current that seemed to flow between us freely, and it charged the space with electricity and raw sexual tension.

"Favorite place to get pizza here in the city?" I asked as we had moved from our childhood to our favorite things.

"Are you really even asking that? Giordano's of course."

"Of course," I echoed, realizing with each passing moment this woman was perfect.

"Favorite go-to movie that can be on TV and you still stop what you are doing?"

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off." She responded matter-of-factly.

I'm sorry did you say perfect? I think you meant she was fucking made for you. Lucky prick!

"The question isn't 'what are we going to do', the question is 'what aren't we going to do?'" I quoted in my best Ferris impression, trying to enunciate every word as he did. She broke down into a fit of giggles when I waggled my eyebrows at her, causing her to rest her head against my shoulder as she caught her breath.

Her head stayed there and her hand fully migrated to the back of my neck, her fingers playing with the messy hair just above my collar. I involuntarily shivered as she continued to place whisper soft touches on my skin with her small soft fingers. I pulled her body completely against mine, noticing that she relaxed even more into me the closer we were. My fingers were splayed out at the small of her back and my thumb made little circles against the fabric of her dress.

She dropped my hand from hers, and raised them to clasp at my neck as I added my hand to her other hip pulling her body minutely closer to me. The need to feel her body against mine was maddening. I could feel her breasts move against my chest with every breath she took. My fingers ached to tangle themselves into her hair and kiss her beautiful lips.

"What did you do this Christmas?" She asked quietly, her soft breath warming my neck.

Her question caused me to pause my current mission of kissing her, and I answered into her hair. "Went to my sister's house and then went home and watched White Christmas."

"I love that movie," she said dreamily. "When they move the set and you see the snow falling at the end, I cry every time."

We continued like this for what could have been hours or mere minutes, revealing more and more about ourselves as we paid no attention to the music or people around us, we just stayed anchored to one another.

The clanking of crystal from the bandstand finally pulled us from our bubble, and we looked up to see my sister standing by the microphone.

"I am so glad you have all made it out this evening to support such a worthy cause. I hope you are all enjoying yourselves. We are just one minute from the New Year, so make sure to find that special someone to ring in 2010 with a kiss. That would be you Jasper Hale." I watched my sister bounce down from the stage winning everyone's heart, as she always did.

I pulled back slightly to look down into my new favorite pair of warm brown eyes. "Do you have anywhere you need to be in the next sixty seconds?"

"Yes, right here."

I sighed inwardly, relieved that she had given me permission to do what I had wanted to from the moment I laid eyes on her. I reached to pull her mask from her face.

"Leave it on," she half whispered as she laid her hand against mine to stop me.

"10…9…8…" the crowd around us began to shout. The space between us was positively crackling with electricity. It felt as if my body was humming with excitement in anticipation of feeling my lips against hers.

"4…3…2…1! Happy New Year!" We both breathed against one another's lips. I inhaled her heady scent of honey and gardenia, then grasped her cheek in my hand and pressed my lips fully against hers. I captured her bottom lip between mine and sucked slightly before releasing and kissing her softly again. This time her tongue met my lips, tracing the bottom then up to the top.

I whimpered from the sensation of her warm flesh touching me in such a way. My free hand moved to her hair as we both repositioned ourselves to deepen the kiss. Her tongue retreated, but her mouth opened and I pushed passed her lips and explored her mouth fully, relishing in the sweet taste of her coconut rum and chocolate dessert that she had seemed to fully enjoy from earlier.

A soft moan escaped from the back of her throat as I nibbled at her plump bottom lip, causing me to lose all decorum. I wrapped my hand completely around her waist pressing her against my body and into my undeniable excitement. We both whimpered at the contact and continued kissing and panting into each other's mouth.

The movement of our mouths and tongues slowed, but we never broke our kiss. In the logical part of my brain I was sure that we were making quite the spectacle, but that logical part currently didn't have any blood flow, so in all honesty I could have careed less.

"I'm sorry to interrupt," I heard a tentative voice from behind us say.

I nearly turned and growled at the woman, but before I could she had shoved a small black purse between the two of us. "Your phone has been going off non-stop for the past thirty minutes."

"Shit, it's my office," she cursed as she pulled her phone from the bag. Our tablemate had already turned and was headed back in the crowd before I heard her speaking on the phone.

"Which hospital?...Okay, I'll be there in fifteen minutes," she spoke calmly into the phone.

"I have to go. I'm sorry, one of my patients was just admitted into the hospital," she said and she dropped her phone back in her bag and headed directly for the door.

I stood there completely dumbfounded. I felt a little like the prince from Cinderella, only without the glass slipper to help me find her.

You may not have a glass slipper bozo, but you do have the all knowing Alice you could ask.

I made my way over to my sister not even minding that she was fully entangled with Jasper.

"I need to know the girl who was sitting at my table," I all but demanded.

"Excuse me?"

"Alice, what was the name of the other single person sitting at table seventeen?"

"There wasn't one. It was you and three couples. There should have been an empty seat."

"Fuck," I whispered under my breath, trying to remember anything I could that might give be a clue on how to find her.

"What did she look like?" Alice asked.

"Brown hair, green dress that came right below her knees, beautiful brown eyes. She had a brown green and gold feathered mask on. I don't know she was fucking perfect."

I could tell Alice was trying to do a mental inventory of everyone that had attended. She shook her head at me and shrugged with an apologetic look on her face. I turned on my heel and headed back to the table, hoping maybe she had left something there or perhaps told someone else her name.

I searched the table for anything that might indicate her name or even the name of her office…anything. I even asked the older couple that had been sitting to her left and they knew even less than I did.

Alice brought me another drink over to the table as I sat feeling like the biggest idiot in the world. I had met the most amazing woman and then just let her slip right through my fingers.

I took a big gulp of my drink and hunched over the table. "I'm going to wait," I said, feeling battered but refusing to give up.

Two hours later Alice approached the table very tentatively. "We're done breaking down for the night and have to be out of the venue."

"Fine," I huffed and grabbed my suit jacket off my chair. I walked over to coat room and stopped right out of the doorway.

She had said her father was the Chief of Police for Forks, Washington. If that was the only way I knew to get in touch with her then I would gladly do it. I grabbed my phone and hit 411, too upset to try and look up the information on my phone's browser.

"Forks, Washington, Please"

"Chief of Police if you have it," I answered, as the operator asked for the listing I needed. I grabbed a pen and jotted down the number the robotic voice relayed.

"My dad isn't very nice if you wake him up in the middle of the night."

I spun around to see her standing right behind me. Her mask was removed and her hair had been taken down. My heart lurched in my chest and I moved directly over to her wrapping my arms around body, inhaling her scent once again.

"If it meant getting your number, I would gladly deal with a grumpy police chief," I whispered into her ear before I made a trail of soft kisses against her neck.

She reached into my pocket and I swallowed hard at the feeling of her hands so close to my ever hardening appendage. She retrieved my phone and typed in some information before handing it back to me.

"Bella Swan, well that is just fucking perfect," I said in awe as I looked from my phone back to her.

"Edward, I came back because I left my coat somewhere in here. Care to help me find it?" She asked as she led me into the coatroom, her fingers twining into mine.

"Good night!" I heard Alice call from the main doors before I heard them slam shut.

"No, the best night," I breathed against Bella's lips before pressing her against the wall and kissing her as I had already imagined.


I had just finished writing this story after spending time with Imdominating in Chicago, so Alice may or may not be loosely based on her and include specific phrases she has used.