Finally, an update! I know it's been years since I last updated any of my stories, but I promise you all that I have been slowly working on many of them. I am endeavouring to finish another few chapters this week, so hopefully you should see some more updates to some other stories!

Chapter 33

Midnight in Blue

Two weeks later found Alice dragging Bella through the most expensive designer shops Seattle had to offer. Bella had protested madly at such extravagance, but as usual, Alice couldn't be swayed. By lunchtime, Bella had lost count of the amount of dresses Alice had made her try on. She'd even tried to point out to Alice that surely she must have seen what dress she'll be wearing, but Alice was insistent that she try on everything, just to be sure that her vision wouldn't change at the last minute.

"Alice, I'm tired and hungry! Can we just find the dress you saw and get out of here?" Bella pleaded, somewhat petulantly.

"Just a few more minutes! I'm still not sure," Alice said, waving a hand and grabbing more dresses.

"Alice, you're a bad liar! Get the damned dress!"

"Alright, alright!"

Alice digs out the dress and hands it to Bella. A sky blue satin dress with a halter neck ribbon tie. Bella is unsure as she tries it on, feeling a little more exposed than she's used to, but Alice is insistent that it's the dress from her vision of them dancing together.

"I still can't believe you saw us dancing. I don't dance. I can't. Two left feet, remember? Not exactly going to give the right impression," Bella said as she pulled at the hem of the dress.

"Stop tugging on it! It's fine! It reaches your knees! If it was up to me, you'd be wearing something a bit shorter!"

"If it was up to you, I'd be wearing lacy underwear and not much else!"

"Oh, Bella, don't be so dramatic. I would never have you looking so trashy! You're going to look so beautiful! Carlisle is going to…"

Bella cut her off. "Don't! Don't tell me what he'll do! I have a hard enough time keeping my brain together as it is…"

Alice chuckled. Newly mated pairs were nothing new to her, and despite Bella's humanity, it didn't seem to faze her at all. At least, not as much as she thought it would. What's more, neither seemed to be worried about what Edward would think. Alice had still not heard from him, or seen any decisions he might have made in regards to coming back. It was possible he would never come back, but Alice knew he wouldn't stay away forever. Even as a newborn he had only wandered for a decade.

Alice worried about the fallout. Edward had no idea that Carlisle and Esme had divorced, and that Esme was now living with a newborn called Aidan in the cottage. She tried not to think about how he would take the news that Bella and Carlisle had found each other. Until it happened, it was a non-issue.

Right now, she was more concerned with Bella looking every inch the mature and beautiful woman she had become since they had met over a year ago. Despite her youth, physically, she was only five years younger than Carlisle's 23. Of course, Carlisle often dressed slight more maturely to better reflect his position professionally. It wasn't generally accepted that a 23 year old could have such skill as a doctor, and as such, most of the town thought he was nearer 30. With that in mind, Alice wanted Bella looking to be at least in her early 20's for the fundraiser. No one would know who she was, but just in case anyone did have an inkling about who she was, they'd second guess themselves once Alive had perfected her makeup and hair.

"You're still worried about being recognised?" she asked as Bella bit her lip, surveying herself in the mirror.

"I know it's a long shot, but someone from the hospital might know who I am. They must know who Charlie is…"

"Bella, if anything bad was going to happen, I would have seen it."

"But, maybe it's not something that can be decided upon until they see me… What if they only decide to make a fuss once I'm there?"

"Look, I know I'm not exactly a crystal ball, but you've got to stop worrying. Do you not want to go?" she questioned, though she knew the answer.

"No! I mean… yes… I want to go. More than anything. To feel… normal. To not have to hide. It's just… we haven't told anyone outside of the family. No one would understand," she said, undoing the ribbon at her neck as she went to change.

"You've only got a few months of school left. Once it's done, you can talk to Carlisle about how to handle telling people. You're already an adult, so it's not like anyone can really do anything about it."

"Tell that to Charlie!" she called out as she tugged on her sweater.

"I don't think he'll be that mad. Carlisle is probably a more preferred choice in some ways…"

"That's not how he'll see it." Bella handed the dress to Alice, sighing as she tried to shake off the image of her father taking a shotgun to her lover.

"Stop worrying! You're going to give yourself wrinkles!" Alice exclaimed, taking the dress to the cashier and whipping out a shiny gold credit card.

Bella glared at Alice, still inwardly worrying about all the different possibilities for everything to come crashing down. The more time she'd spent with Carlisle, the more she'd fretted about something bad happening. She didn't feel lucky enough to be able to have the life she was beginning to enjoy more than anything she ever had before, even being with Edward. Edward… He was another matter entirely. She no longer felt that same anguish. If she was honest, she didn't think she loved him at all now. She would always be fond of him and the life he had shown her with his family, but he no longer held sway over her heart, or her life. She was no longer dazzled by his presence. Carlisle did everything he could to let Bella choose the pace at which they moved forward, always conscious of her own thoughts and needs.

Out of all the Vampires she'd met, which, granted, weren't exactly many, Carlisle was the least vampire-like she could imagine. Edward had spoken of Vampires taking some part of their humanity with them when they changed, however small the trait. Carlisle had taken his compassion and understanding with him. It was the ultimate in human traits. He didn't need to dazzle people with his presence. His very nature made people like him. Attraction would always be part of a Vampire's allure for humans, but Carlisle never went out of his way to attract anyone to him. No charm, no suave movements or smooth talking. Even when he hunted, by all accounts he was compassionate to the animal lives he took to survive. Killing quickly, and making sure never to kill parents or young.

During the drive back to the house, Bella was still lost in her thoughts of Carlisle. She'd seen him dressed moderately formally, but never in a tuxedo. She wondered just how handsome he would look. Suited and booted. It made her smile, and Alice couldn't help but chuckle.

Her smile widened as Alice pulled in to the drive. Carlisle was waiting for her, his face alight with happiness as Bella bounded out of the car, stumbling a little over a poorly tied trainer, but finding the arms she'd been aching for all morning as they wrapped around her, burying her face into his chest.

"I got a dress…" she mumbled, finally looking up at him.

"A dress? Sounds lovely, though, you could have worn what you're wearing now… you're beautiful no matter what," he said softly, kissing her forehead as she blushed.

"You want to see it?"

"Absolutely not! He can't see it until this evening!" Alice exclaimed, skipping up to them with all the bags.

"Alice, it's just a party, not a wedding…" Bella said, looking as the pixie as though she was mad.

"It's alright, I can wait," Carlisle said, leaning down to kiss Bella properly.

"Oh no you don't! No funny stuff! Bella has to bathe, then eat, then get ready! You want her to be perfect, don't you?" Alice took Bella's hand and dragged her away as Carlisle looked on, shaking his head at their retreating forms.

Bella protested the entire way. She wanted nothing more than to spend a few hours with Carlisle before she had to dress, and Alice likely had seen what they would have gotten up to. All Bella could think of as Alice ran her a bath was how her psychic abilities really did get in the way of a good time.