Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. Except for the character of Amarina "Amara" Noel Cullen. She belongs to my very talented friend Hollowgo.
I wrote this particular fic for him as a Christmas present. If you have not read "The Solstice Saga: Blood Solstice" I suggest you do. It's wonderful and is written brilliantly with different ideas then the usual change the pairing. Without Hollowgo we wouldn't have the the wonderful Amara character. Get to know her more in "Blood Solstice"!
A few things you may need to know, this is Alice/Bella, so if you can't handle some girl/girl lovin' then you need to GTFO, sorry but there's no point in you reading if it makes you uncomfortable. Also, Bella never fell in love with Edward he was already with Kate. When you think Kate, think Kristen Bell. (: Bella fell in love with Alice, this doesn't really have a particular place in the Twilight time line.
This is my very first publishing, and I had no Beta, so please, be gentle with me. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Plain rude insults will get you or me nowhere, if you don't like it and have nothing helpful to say, don't say anything please.
On another note, a big thanks again to Hollowgo, without whom I would not be writing the A/B fic I'm currently working on. I may publish some chapters soon. However, this fic and that one have nothing to do with each other, while some themes may be similar, they are not in the same Universe. Anyways thanks to him and his wonderful help with my writing of that story and with allowing me to borrow his OC for both this fic and that one.
Well, enough of my blabber. I really hope you enjoy this little Holiday fic. Read on!
Christmas With the Angels
"Bella…Bella." Somewhere in the distance of my dream land I heard an angel singing my name. "Bella, sweetheart it's time to get up." I felt ice cold lips on my neck.
"Mmm." I let my eyes slowly open. As the room came into focus I looked around for whoever called my name. I felt granite arms around me; I smiled. I turned around in their grasp; they only loosened for a moment before entrapping me further.
"Good morning, sleepyhead." I looked into the most beautiful golden eyes and let another contented sigh escape my lips.
"Good morning, Alice." She smiled in return and kissed my forehead. I breathed in her mouth wateringly delicious honey and chamomile scent.
"How did you sleep, my love?" I stretched my body out a bit in her arms eliciting a bell like giggle from her.
"Mmm, I slept amazingly." More giggles and I felt her poke my stomach. I flinched back and giggled myself. She let her hand rest on my stomach and started rubbing small circles.
"Did you dream?" she asked nuzzling my neck.
"I did." I nodded and smiled at her. "I dreamed about you." She smiled wide.
"Well that's good to know other wise those moans may have me worried." My eyes went wide. "I'm only joking Belly." She poked my stomach again and kissed my cheek. "Get up I want to show you something." She got out of my bed and reached out for my hand. I was apparently too slow for her, because she flashed over to me and picked me up.
"Patience is a virtue." I said as she carried me to the window at human speed.
"I am patient. See, I'm walking at your pace." I laughed as she set me down. She was smaller than me, but that never stopped her from carrying me constantly. I looked down into her eyes as hers smoldered back into mine. I leaned down and kissed her lips tangling my fingers in her perfectly tousled hair. She kissed me back with just as much love and wrapped her arms around my waist to pull me closer. She then pulled back, but did not let me go.
"Look, Bella." She said as she spun me towards the window. I gasped. There was ice framing the window and icicles dangling from the roof outside of it. Snow covered my front lawn and still came down in gentle drifts. The tree, outside my window, that had been bare once the fall was through with it, was now sporting white layers.
"It's beautiful." I had seen snow before. I had seen snow in Forks before, also. It just seemed one hundred times as brilliant with Alice standing with me. She stood on her tip toes to rest her chin on my shoulder.
"Not nearly as beautiful as you." I turned my head and kissed her cheek.
"Cute, but a little cliché don't you think?" I giggled. She shrugged.
"Stick to the classics and you'll never go wrong." There was a brilliant smile adorning her face, causing her dimples to deepen in her stone cheeks. I felt like I was being held by a statue of some Greek goddess. "Okay, Bella, we've got a long day planned out for us. Why don't you go ahead and take your 'human moments' while I go home to change and get a car? Charlie's up and downstairs already. We're having breakfast at my house. So I'd say you have half an hour to get ready." I looked at her curiously.
"What do you mean we are having breakfast at your house?" I laughed as she rolled her eyes.
"You know what I mean. You will be having breakfast at our house." She turned me around to face her once again. "I'll be back in half an hour." She kissed my nose and turned to open the window. Before she disappeared I put my hand on her cheek to make her face me. I kissed her lovingly as I held her face to mine. I melted into mush as my head swooned. I felt her giggle resonate through me and smiled into the kiss. She pulled back.
"I love you. Half an hour." She smiled. I nodded.
"I love you too." She was gone.
I turned back around to face my room. I walked to my closet to pick out the clothes I'd be wearing today. Opening the door I assessed my options. There were a lot more now that Alice had decided to buy me an entire wardrobe. Still, I never liked wearing anything on the much fancier side. She had bought a few articles of clothing I actually like; I pretty much stuck to those.
I pulled out some dark wash jeans, a plain white long sleeved cotton t, and a beautiful cream colored sweater. This particular piece belonged to my Alice. She had loaned it to me a few nights ago and I refused to give it back. Her scent was woven into the fabric. I smiled as I brought it to my nose. It still hadn't faded. I put the clothes on my bed, grabbed a towel and marched into the bathroom.
I took a relatively quick shower. Letting the warm water run over me briefly to help wake me up. It was a nice feeling. When I finished washing my hair and body I turned off the water and wrenched back the curtain. It was much cooler outside of the warm steam so I hurriedly dried myself off. I wrapped the towel around me quickly washed my face, and brushed my teeth, and dashed into my room.
I pulled on my undergarments and yanked on my jeans and shirt. I walked over to my dresser and pulled out some wool socks. Snow hates cotton. I thought it best to keep myself from loosing any appendages. I put my socks on and moved to my closet for shoes. Alice, when on her mad shopping spree, had also bought me a pair of nice snow boots. The kinds that have the rubber bottoms but lace half way up your calf. They were warm and I assumed they looked okay, as Alice would never spend money on anything that was less then perfect. I pulled them on and tied them up snuggly.
I went back across to the bathroom to comb my messy hair and blow dry it as quickly as I could. When I finished I ran my hand through it, grabbed the sweater throwing it over my head, and walked downstairs. Charlie was already seated at the table reading the paper with his usual cup of coffee. He looked up as he heard me stomp down.
"Morning, Bells. Sleep well?" I smiled at him. Did I ever.
"Morning, dad. Yeah I slept great. How about you?" he nodded and took another sip of coffee.
"Alice will be here in a few minutes. Are you still going over to the Clearwater's with Billy later?" I asked.
"Sure am. So you'll be with the Cullens all day correct? We're still on for tomorrow, right?" he said looking at me with a small smile.
"Yes I will be, and of course Dad. I wouldn't have Christmas morning any other way." Charlie and I had decided to spend Christmas day together while Christmas Eve day we would spend time with friends. We didn't have any family near by so we both figured we'd spend some time with those closest to us.
"Good to hear. I'm looking forward to it. Maybe you should stop by and see Jacob later." He said looking back to his paper.
"Yeah, maybe I'll catch up with him later." I did want to see Jacob. He was my best friend, but I figured he'd be spending the day on the reservation with the rest of the pack. While the Quileutes and the Cullens had started getting along much better, the Cullens still were not allowed on the reservation, and I would be with Alice all day. I sighed.
Just then I heard a loud knock on the door. Right on time, as always. I smiled and pushed off of the counter where I'd been standing to answer the door. When I opened the door I was greeted with smoldering pools of liquid gold, a radiant smile full of dimples, and an angelic voice.
"Well, good morning, Bella." Alice trilled. She gave me a quick once over and nodded her approval. "Don't you look radiant?" I felt the blood rush to my cheeks as I blushed.
"Err. Good morning, Alice." I mumbled. "Thanks. You-you too." How lame was that? She always looked like she walked out of a fashion magazine. She just giggled more and wrapped her arms around my neck to pull me down and kiss her. I complied with ease, nearly fainting as my head spun with her scent. She pulled back just in time and took my hand. I lead her inside as a cold breeze came through the door. I shut it quickly and shivered a little. She looked at me sideways, but said nothing.
We turned the corner into the kitchen and Charlie was up putting his coffee mug into the sink. He turned around as he heard us enter. A smile wrinkled his eyes as he caught sight of me and Alice.
"Hello there, Alice." Charlie had always loved her. And not a beat was missed when we officially came out to him. I think his heart only grew to love her more. She beamed at him.
"Well my, my Charlie. Don't you look dapper." She giggled and Charlie rubbed the back of his neck and his cheeks turned red. My father handled compliments about as well as I did, if not worse. It was only then that I realized what he was wearing. I assessed the image of my father. He wore a pair of black work boots, black slacks, and a dark green long sleeved button up shirt.
"Err, uhm, yeah, Sue and Emily are making a big dinner for everyone tonight. I just, thought, I'd try and err, look nice…" he trailed off awkwardly. Alice and I only giggled. Her laughter was much more elegant than mine.
"Well goal achieved, Chief Swan." His blush deepened crimson. I laughed some more.
"Well, well, Bella, I wouldn't mock your father. You'll be changing for dinner at my house tonight as well." My eyes bulged.
"What? Alice, why?" I whined. She laughed this time at me.
"Oh, hush, it's not going to be that bad." I looked pleadingly at my father for help. He raised his hands in defense and shrugged.
"Don't look at me, kiddo." We all laughed and then Charlie spoke again. "Well I'm about to head over to Sue's. Billy and I are going to watch the game. You two girls have fun and if you need anything you know where to find me." He walked to us and wrapped us both in an awkward hug placing a kiss on my cheek.
"Alright, Charlie, no problem. I'll take good care of her, promise." Alice beamed pleasantly but there was true conviction in her words. He nodded.
"Love you, kiddo." He said as he put on his coat and opened the door.
"Love you too, Dad." I replied. He closed the door after him. I looked to Alice who hadn't dropped my hand since we walked in. She looked back.
"Well, I suppose we should head back to my place now." I nodded and started to walk towards the door but Alice's strong grip held me in place. "Bella, it's very cold outside, don't you need another coat?" I blushed, oh, yeah, right. Alice walked to the closet and handed me a coat, which of course she had bought. I liked it, it was warm and comfortable. Alice liked it because it was fashionable. I shrugged it on; it was a black pea-coat that reached about mid thigh. Alice gave me a once over and nodded.
"You look wonderful, Belly." She smiled. "Ready?" I nodded, and then remembered something.
"I forgot the gifts." I said and started to walk towards mine and Charlie's small Christmas tree. Alice followed behind me.
"I'll get them." She said and picked up several packages that looked like they would overwhelm someone her size. She merely put them all in one arm.
She reached for my hand and I lead us out the door. She closed it behind us as we made our way out to the car. I was suddenly thankful for Alice's attention to detail. It was still snowing lightly and as beautiful as it was, it was very brisk. I followed her as she pulled me along towards Emmett's jeep. Then she opened the door for me and as I got in, closed it after me. She was beside me in second, packages already safely tucked away in the back seat, with the car rumbling to life.
I looked at her questioningly as I strapped myself in. She looked back at me with a grin as she pulled out of the drive. I was about to ask why she had Emmett's car when she interrupted my thought.
"It turns out a 911 Porsche Turbo isn't exactly snow chain friendly." I laughed. She switched on the radio to some Christmas music singing along. Her voice was much more beautiful than those coming from the speakers, much smoother. I watched her as the green and white blurred by the windows. It was a silly sight to see tiny Alice behind the wheel of Emmett's massive Jeep. The seat looked way too big for her. I giggled at the thought she just looked at me and cocked her head to the side.
"You just look so cute driving this monster truck." She smiled and continued singing. She reached for my hand and held it for the rest of the very, very quick drive to the Cullens.
As we pulled into the garage I saw Emmett holding up Edward's Volvo as Rosalie put chains on its tires. He smiled and waved as he saw me. I waved back as Alice killed the engine and flashed to my side. The door was open and she helped me down from the car. I was grateful, had she not, I would have face planted and Emmett just would've made fun of me.
"What's crackin', Bella?" he boomed. Rosalie looked up from what she was doing and smiled her beautiful Aphrodite smile.
"Hello Bella." She said warmly.
"Hey guys." Rosalie stood up right and clapped her hands together.
"All done." Emmett set the front end of the Volvo down. He jumped up in a flash and whisked me in to a huge bear hug, lifting me two feet of the ground.
"And how's our favorite human sister today?" he asked as he set me down. I teetered and nearly fell over from being dizzy as Rosalie grabbed onto my arm. I smiled at her thankfully, and then she pulled me into a warm gentle hug. I smiled and breathed in the wondrous smell of roses and lilies that permeated off her golden hair. We then both released each other.
"I'm fine. How are you guys?" Alice appeared beside me with all the packages in her arms. She thrust half of them at Emmett who whined, but started leading us inside as he answered.
"I'm just great. Me and Rosie here were just putting some chains on the Volvo for later." He smirked Alice shot him a look. I looked between him.
"What's later?" I asked. Rosalie answered nudging her husband in the side. He replied with and 'ow' and rubbed where she made contact.
"Oh, not much. You'll find out later." She winked at me. I just shrugged and proceeded inside.
I walked into the warm house and followed Alice into the living room. My eyes met Jasper as he nodded and smiled.
"How's it going, Bella?" he drawled as he walked over and gave me a brotherly hug.
"Good, good. You?" I asked. He nodded again.
"Just fine, thank you." He stepped aside and I saw someone kneeling down at the fire place. I heard the striking of a match and a huge fire ball engulfed the wood that was sitting on the iron rack. The woman stood up and turned around
"Hey there, Belly Button. What's up?" It was Alice's other sister Amara. I smiled at the tall, beautiful, bare bellied, redhead.
"Hi Amara. Not much apparently eating breakfast soon." She laughed and strode gracefully over to me at human speed. She bent down a little to kiss me on the cheek and wrap her long slender arms around me. She had to be at least six feet tall. She pulled back and walked over to Jasper who put his arms around her waist and kissed her tenderly.
"Bella." Esme's voice caught my attention. I turned in the direction of the kitchen, Alice right on my heels. The smell of French toast, fresh strawberries, eggs, and bacon filled my senses. "Good morning, honey. Are you hungry?" My stomach decided to answer for itself as it grumbled loudly. I heard Emmett and Amara laugh thunderously from the other room, and of course I blushed. Esme merely smiled.
"Well I'll take that as a yes. Have a seat at the table, Bella." She gestured and Alice grabbed my hand, and led me to my seat. She pulled it out for me, and then as I sat down, she pushed it back in. She sat right beside me, gently caressing my back. Esme walked over with a plate piled high with delicious smelling food.
As she sat the plate down in front of me my eyes widened. There was four slices of French toast, smothered in whipped cream, strawberries, and powdered sugar. There was also a heap of eggs to the side of my French toast, and three strips of crisp bacon. Esme walked back to the kitchen and returned with a large mug of hot chocolate and a bottle of syrup.
"There you are, Bella dear. I hope you enjoy." With that she disappeared into the living room with the others. I appreciated it, I didn't like when people watched me eat, especially when I knew I was going to be eating with manners thrown to the wind. The glorious feast in front of me assured that.
I took a deep breath inhaling the scent and began to dig in. It was heavenly. The French toast melted in my mouth with sweet buttery goodness. I savored every flavor. The strawberries were simply amazing they tasted fresh picked and juicy. The eggs were perfectly seasoned. The bacon was cooked to perfection. Even the hot chocolate seemed to have ethereal flavor. There was a stick of cinnamon swirling around in the cup.
Alice watched me closely as I classlessly stuffed my face. She looked like she could've been staring at the Venus De Milo. I looked up at her mouth full of French toast.
"Is there something on my face?" she giggled.
"Yes, but that's not what I'm looking at." I swallowed my mouthful, blushed, and went to wipe my face and she stopped me. She leaned forward and licked some sticky syrup off the corner of my lip. Her eyes simmered when she pulled back.
"You taste divine." She laughed again. I blushed deeper.
"I thought you didn't like human food." I pointed out. She nodded her head.
"This is true, the syrup tastes like sticky dirt, but that's not what I was talking about." She brushed her hand on my cheek. "It's curious watching you eat. I find it fascinating. The faces you make are entertaining." She smiled. I just shrugged and continued eating.
By the time I finished eating I was stuffed so full I thought I would pop. However it was worth every bit of it. I left nothing on my plate, and I did not regret a single bite. I leaned back in my chair and sighed contentment. Alice leaned forward again and kissed me on the lips. She patted my stomach.
"Is the human fully satisfied?" I rolled my eyes. "Good, come on let's join the others." She rose and I got to my feet. I could hear music playing in the other room as well as the others playing video games. We walked into the room and Alice sat down on the couch and patted the spot to her right, closest to the fire. I sat down and she pulled me into her side. I snuggled up and she kissed my forehead.
I noticed Edward was playing the piano. He looked over to me and gave me a crooked grin.
"Hello, Bella. I'm sorry I didn't say hello earlier. Kate and I were out for a while." He never faltered in his playing. His mention of Kate had me looking around for the petite blonde.
"That's fine, Edward. It's good to see you. Where is Kate by the way?" I asked.
"I'm here." I jumped at the sound. I looked up and sure enough Kate was leaning on the couch behind me. Her light blonde bangs framed her face as the rest of her straight hair fell loosely around her shoulders. She smiled down at me and I smiled back.
"Sorry, Bella, didn't mean to scare you." She came around the couch and kissed Alice's and my cheeks. She went over and placed her hands on Edward's shoulders and kissed him. He still continued to play. A wave of lethargy overwhelmed me and I felt my eyes droop. I looked at Alice, even she had a tired look on her face, though vampires could not sleep. She was glaring at Jasper who was playing Emmett on the XBOX 360.
"Hey…" Emmett groaned. "That's cheating. No powers." He sounded half alert and his fingers started moving much slower on the buttons. Jasper, sitting on the ground next to Amara, in front of Alice, laughed and the exhaustion was gone. Alice slapped the back of her brother's head. He looked back at us.
"Sorry, I was loosing." We all laughed. Amara scoffed.
"That, my dear, is because you have absolutely no skill." At the moment she said that, Jasper's character took a fatal shot. "Hah, see? Now hand over that controller and watch me whoop his ass!" she snatched the controller from Jaspers grasp. He just laughed.
"Yeah right, Ginger! You're so on!" Emmett boomed. Amara just smiled smugly.
"Whatever, Ape. Five hundred and the loser take a header in the frozen pond out back, bare ass naked?" Emmett laughed loudly again.
"Deal!" Amara turned her head to me with a wicked grin and winked. I stifled a giggle in Alice's shoulder who wasn't even trying to hide the laughter. Edward and Kate walked over and sat on the other couch with Rosalie, intrigued by the new stakes. I looked at Alice. Her eyes glazed over for a second and then she laughed and grimaced. Edward chuckled and shook his head. No one else seemed too noticed, much too caught up in their game. I refocused my attention.
"No! You're not gonna get that shot! Hah! Told ya!" Emmett shouted as his player rolled out of the way of a shot Amara's threw at him. She retorted with a kick to his players head. He was floored. Her player was on him in the next moment.
"Oh, man! That's unfortunate! Guess you're going to have to start thinking about that walk of shame, huh?" Amara's voice was laced with wicked humor. Her character knocked out Emmett's with one final blow. His eyes went wide and he stood up.
"No way! You cheated! You had to! That's not fair! I want a rematch!" Amara shook her head and shrugged.
"No can do, Ape man. Better get down to the monkey suit!" she chided. Everyone roared with laughter. Emmett looked to Rosalie.
"Babe, come on. Help me out!" She shook her heard.
"Sorry, Em. You made the bet. You have to pay up." Emmett threw his hands up in the air. "Bella, come on. I'm your favorite Cullen."
"Sorry, Em. I'm taken." I said and everyone laughed.
"That's my girl." Alice said and pecked me on the cheek. Then she turned her attention to her huge brother. "Look Emmett, I already saw what'd going to happen, you might as well just deal with it."
"Is nobody on my side?" he threw his hands up in the air once again.
"NO!" myself and all the Cullens shouted at the exact same time.
"Pay up Emmett! If you can't pay the price I'll beat you to a pulp and take it anyway!" Amara got up from her spot on the floor and squared up. He still had a good six inches on her but she didn't seem to care.
"Fine here's your money!" he took a wad of cash from his pocket and threw it at his sister, who caught it with ease. She flipped through it quickly.
"Alright, that's all there, but where's the rest, brute? We're growing impatient here." She folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot.
"No, forget it. I'm leaving." He made his move to exit out the back door. Once it was open wide enough, Amara lunged and with a loud thunderous sound collided with the back of Emmett. Everyone rushed outside; Alice picked me up and ran after them. Blurs of what I assumed were Emmett and Amara wrestled around on the ground.
"Pay up Emmett!" Amara said pinning her bigger brother underneath her and in one clean swoop had ripped his shirt to shreds. He managed to throw her off before she made a move to discard the rest of his clothing. The rest of the Cullens were howling now, doubled over in fits. I was too.
"No way, wench! You'll never take me!" he said a big goofy grin on his face as he made his move to grab for his sister, which she easily dodged with a flip. While she flipped, she swept his feet out from under him and landed skillfully on his back, and then did away with his jeans. She picked him up with his hands behind his back and ran with him over her head.
The laughing family ran after to follow through the snowy day. Alice gestured for me to get on her back which I did as fast as I could, then she was off. We caught up with the others moments after. They were standing around the bank of the pond where a bare pale Emmett was heading. Amara heaved his body like it was nothing more than a down pillow. With a loud crack and the shattering of the thick ice Emmett was gone. My eyes barely caught it. I was still on Alice's back as I felt her start laughing.
Amara threw her arms up in the air and did a little dance. I noticed that she was holding up some sort of shredded cloth. I squinted only to find it was the remains of Emmett's boxer shorts.
"That's what you get Brute! Next time you should just concede to do it the easy way and I won't have to pummel you in front of your pretty wife! Don't make bets you can't afford to loose!" she shouted as Emmett's head popped up out of the frigid waters. I looked up to see Rosalie leaning over clutching at her sides as her flute like laughter grew louder. The rest of the Cullens in similar positions. Emmett just cursed and flipped his red headed sister off.
"Ah well, blow me big boy!" she retorted between fits. Alice stilled for a moment and then Edward stopped laughing as hard and cringed.
"Good, god. We should get out of here before he decides to get out of the water." Edward said laughing again. Alice nodded and I assumed that she had seen it. All the Cullens took off back towards the house leaving Emmett behind alone.
"Well, that was delightful!" chimed Amara as she plopped back down on the couch. Kate nodded her agreement then spoke to Rosalie.
"Dear sister, perhaps you should fetch him a towel, so we are not going to have to observe more of our brother than we truly desire."
"Here, here." Jasper sniggered. Rosalie giggled and was gone up the stairs then back out the door. She reappeared with Emmett in tow with a scowl on his usually dimpled face, barely covered by the large towel around his midsection.
"Oh, Em, come on, now. There are always opportunities to get her back." Alice said. He brightened.
"You know what, you're right." He shot the red head a smirk. "Next time, Legs."
"Don't worry I'll be waiting, Brute." She shrugged with a sneer of her own. Emmett rambled off up the stairs. Esme and Carlisle appeared then.
"What were you getting into this time?" Esme said looking between her children. They all looked at each other and shrugged.
"Nothing out of the ordinary." Kate replied coolly waving her hand in the air. Carlisle shook his head.
"Oh, so just causing trouble?" he said with a warm smile. "Weren't you all going out soon?" he asked directing his look between us. Edward nodded.
"We'll be leaving as soon as Emmett is fully clothed." Amara winked at me. Esme looked at Amara.
"Beg your pardon?" she said with a smile. "Oh, you two and your bets." She laughed shaking her head. Alice looked at her sister who stood at least a foot taller than she.
"You're one to talk. Maybe you should put a sweatshirt on or something. Don't you think the humans will get slightly curious, as to why you're not turning blue, wearing only a cut off tank top and jeans." Amara looked down at herself. She was wearing as Alice said black jeans, and a black tank top cut just past her chest. Her usual studded belt, fingerless gloves, and combat boots.
"I guess." She flashed and was zipping up a red hooded sweat shirt that was barely longer than her black tank top. Her scar still showing proudly.
"We're going somewhere?" I directed at Alice. She turned towards me and clutched my hand. "Where are we going?"
"You'll see. You're going to love it." Her smile was dazzling, so I melted into it without another word. "Hurry up Emmett, you're driving." She said in a casual tone knowing he'd hear her. He was at the top of the stairs and jumped over the railing landing right behind me.
"BOO!" I jumped minutely.
"Emmett!" Alice and Esme scolded at the same time. He just exploded with raucous laughter. He grabbed his keys and Edward grabbed his.
"Alright, alright, let's go." Emmett chortled. Esme gave me a hug and a kiss as I left and the eight of us walked to the cars. Alice and I rode with Edward and Kate while Amara and Jasper went with Emmett and Rosalie.
As the garage doors opened, Edward looked over at Emmett's jeep and revved his engine. Emmett returned the gesture. When the door was open enough they both took off. I gripped Alice's arm tightly and she undid my belt and pulled me into her lap.
"Don't worry, Bella. Edward wins." She cooed in my ear to reassure we'd make it. "It's just not poor Emmett's day." I put my face in her neck, and watched out the window, as the white snow covered scenery flew by. We started slowing after about five minutes. Then Edward brought the car to a stop. Alice opened the door and lifted me out of the car setting me down as she stepped out. Emmett had pulled up a moment after Edward and the others were already out of their cars.
"Damn it. Why is nothing going my way?" Emmett moaned. Rosalie smacked him. He walked to the back of his jeep to fetch something I didn't see.
"I told you not to take that turn, but did you listen? No." she huffed. Edward and Kate started walking off in some direction and the others followed. Alice dragged me along beside her. As I was walking I noticed we were in a parking lot, but it wasn't one I recognized from Forks. As I looked around me I saw that we were surrounded by a few cars and even more snow. I took a step and nearly fell on my back, slipping on ice, had Alice's strong arms not caught me. She just wrapped her arm around my waist and basically carried me the rest of the way.
When we caught up with the others I saw what Emmett had grabbed from the back if his Jeep. Emmett put the huge hockey bag down on a bench and Rosalie and Jasper sat next to it.
"Alright, who's first?" he said opening it. I was confused and I looked around us again. I saw a clearing past the trees just a little ways away. There were people running around. A few people. There was a small shack to the far side of the clearing.
"Alice what are we doing?" I questioned. She just smiled at me. She walked over to the bag and pulled out a pair of white shoes. She held them up to me by the laces.
"I believe these are for you, mademoiselle." She said. Then I realized what they were. Ice skates. My eyes widened in terror.
"Alice! You have got to be kidding me." I looked at the others who were already lacing up their respective skates. "I can't ice skate. I can barely walk. What makes you think I would be able to stand on ice let alone skate over it?" I started getting hysterical.
"Bella, calm down. I'll be with you the entire time. I will not let you fall." She wrapped her free arm around my waste and held the skates up with the other. Her bottom lip jutted out forming a pout on her beautiful face. I groaned.
"Alice…" she just looked more sullen. I heard Amara snicker and I shot her a glare. She stopped. I returned my sights to Alice who was giving me a wounded puppy look. "Ugh, fine! But if I fall and make a fool of myself I will never forgive you." She let go of me and bounced up and down with a massive smile on her face. She was all dimples, and I was a puddle of mush.
"Here sit down. Amara move." Alice said to her sister. Amara scoffed and Alice grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away. Then she gestured for me to sit. I giggled but did as I was told. She kneeled down and started taking off my boots and replacing them with the pretty white skates.
"Where are we anyway, Alice? This place doesn't look familiar." I said looking around. Then snow had stopped for the time being. Alice's sibling were already skated up and waiting for us.
"We're about 20 miles outside Forks, what you see before you is the frozen over west side of Lake Pleasant." She looked up after she finished tying my skates. "A lot of people from Forks come here during the winter for ice skating and hockey games. This would be our first year here, but I thought you might enjoy it." There was a glint of something in her eyes. I just smiled and she sat down next to me and put on her own skates. She placed both of our shoes back into the large bag and Edward picked it up.
Alice stood and I just sat, afraid that if I tried to stand I'd land on my face and Emmett and Amara would laugh at me. Alice noticed my hesitation and held her hand out to me.
"I won't let you fall. I promise." I grabbed her hand and she hoisted me up delicately holding me to her side. She started walking and I was barely touching the ground. I smiled down at her.
"Thank you, Alice." I kissed her cheek. We made it to where Edward was setting down the duffle on a stand of bleachers near the ice. There was Christmas music coming from large speakers near, what I now identified as the refreshment stand, across the ice.
"Be careful Bella, we wouldn't want you to slip now, huh?" Emmett mocked and then took a step backward on to the ice. Rosalie winked at me and took off after her husband, at a fast human pace. He was huge, and you wouldn't expect it, but Emmett was graceful for his size. Edward and Kate took each others hands and made their way out on to the ice, as beautiful as dancers, the slid around each other staring in to each others eyes, never noticing anyone, never running into anyone. I wished I could be as graceful as that.
Jasper and Amara stood on the ice in front of Alice and I. Amara held the glove clad hand, that wasn't in Jasper's, out to me. I looked at Alice; she grasped me around the waist and slid us onto the ice. If I had not been holding onto Alice, or rather her onto me, I would have already fallen on my backside. I blushed as my feet slid clumsily along with her perfectly beautiful movements. She never let go of my waste as Amara took my other hand. They started leading me around the ice at a swift speed. Never once did I feel afraid, not with Alice's arms around me.
I looked around to see Rosalie and Emmett still chasing after one another, and Edward and Kate still in their romantic dance. They twirled in and out of each other. Coming together and separating, but never leaving a three foot radius. They were divine. I looked at Alice and she smiled at me before nodding to Amara. Amara let go of my hand and continued gliding along side us but, about five feet away.
I felt Alice slide behind me and wrap her arms fully around my waste as she pushed us along.
"Put you arms out, mi bella." She whispered in my ear. I felt a shiver go down my spine with her cool breath on my warm neck. I did as she bade, and I felt her hand slide very slowly over my stomach, unwrapping from the previously locked embrace. I would have panicked had she not whispered in my ear, and caused me to go into an elated state, that forced me not to think about it. As her hands moved to grip firmly on my hips, she pushed us forward faster, Amara keeping pace beside us, she had let go of Jasper who was now to my other side skating backwards at our quick pace. Then Alice spun us, righted us, and let me go.
I zoomed across the ice, when I was about to panic, Amara's hands firmly caught me. She pulled me to her right side, never missing a step. Her right arm around my shoulder, her left cradled my left hand.
"Bella, when I say. Lean forward and lift your right foot out behind you." She said with a smile in her voice. I was skeptical but, I trusted her, so I nodded. Maybe I was light headed from the speed; it was just a little fast for humans, but not enough for anyone to raise questions, but I was having so much fun.
"Alright Bella. Lean forward. I've got you." I did as she said and she mirrored my action, still holding onto me as she was before. I felt like I was flying. I smiled brightly. Then I saw Alice cross in front of us, she jumped two feet in the air and did a perfect 360 landing on one foot and continuing to skate backwards. She held her arms open for me.
"Keep your leg up, Belly. Here we go." With a spin: Amara let me go into Alice's waiting arms. Alice spun us again and then moved her body swiftly behind me, locking her arms over my stomach.
"That was incredible." I said breathless. Alice steered us off to the right slowing down a bit. She spun me around to face her, one hand on the small of my back, the other cool hand rubbing my flushed cheek. She leaned in to kiss me, still gliding across the ice slowly. I melted into the feeling. My face suddenly felt hot, and my heart thrummed in my chest. I could barely keep breathing. She pulled away with a titanic grin on her face that heated up my favorite pools of honey.
"I love you, Bells." She said. I rarely let anyone besides my father call me that, but it sounded right coming from her. I responded as soon as my head stopped swooning, but my heart pounded on.
"I love you too, Alice. So much." She placed another gentle kiss on my lips. I hadn't noticed we'd stopped moving completely until I heard Emmett.
"Come on, don't stop now, it's just getting good!" I blushed and Alice glared at her brother.
"Moment killer." She hissed. Rosalie came up behind him and smacked him in the back of the head.
"Knock it off, Emmett, leave them alone. Sorry, Bella." She smiled her heart stopping smile at me.
"Actually Rose, could you take her for a moment? I have to go check on something." Rosalie smiled wider.
"Of course. Is that alright with you, Bella?" she asked me. I smiled and nodded.
She held her arms open for me. I was actually kind of excited to spend a little time on the ice with Rose. She was nearly as graceful as Alice was in the way she moved. Alice kissed me once more, and slid me into Rose's embrace. She was very gentle as her granite arms wrapped around me.
"Ready Bella?" I told her I was and she was off. She took me along with her spinning us in poised figure eights. Twirling and laughing the whole while. She slowed down a little and I caught a glimpse of Alice off the ice talking in to a small silver phone. Rose twirled me away from her body. Right before I could fall, she twirled me back to her and dipped me. It was like she was dancing with me on air. Emmett skated over to us and held his arms out to me. This, I was a little more skeptical about.
"Come on Bella, I won't drop you." He said with a twinkle in his big amber eyes. I looked at Rosalie who motioned me to go on. She let go of me and Emmett's huge muscled arms caught me lightly. His grasp was even gentler than any of the others had been.
"Alright Bella, ready for some real fun?" he said and I was immediately concerned, but nothing had happened to me yet, so I shrugged. He smiled a grin that stretched from ear to ear. He started skating faster and let me go, I was sliding faster and further away from him. Great, of course Emmett would.
Just as I thought I'd fall and land on my backside, Emmett was in front of me again, taking a knee, arms outstretched ready for impact. I slid into his hands and he lifted me over his head and spun around twice. I let my arms go out in front of me. This was flying. Cool air whipped around my hair. I was giggling like a little girl when he finally set me back down. He then passed me back to Rosalie with another large grin.
"See, even Emmett isn't such a goof all the time. He can be fun, and not just annoying." She said her voice like flutes. She kept skating along with me with little effort and then slowed down. I looked around watching the others continue their games. They were now playing tag. Trying their hardest to remain at a human pace, as there were other people occupying the other side of the make shift rink. I laughed as Amara tried to trip Edward, and having to pretend to be human he nearly face planted, but Kate caught him.
"I can take it from here, Rose. Go knock Amara over." I heard Alice's bell like voice ring from behind us. Amara's head snapped up eyeing Rose for the challenge. She raised her hand and curled her finger in the 'come hither' gesture. Rosalie turned around holding my hand. She smiled at us both, leaned over and kissed my cheek, and then sped over to Amara chasing her taller sister around. Alice's arms were around me in the next second.
"Did you have fun? I saw Emmett showing off." She whispered into my ear. I dissolved. "I wish I could do that for you, you looked exhilarated. Though I doubt people wouldn't notice me lifting you over my head. I'll do it for you some other time." She continued somewhat morose. I turned around and cupped her face. I kissed her mouth and held her there, I breathed in as much of her as I could.
"You lift me up every day, Alice." Her eyes burned with adoration. She kissed me more passionately. Then pulled back and looked at me with a smirk.
"Now who's being cliché?" she asked. I rolled my eyes.
"Way to kill the moment. I thought it was pretty good." We both giggled. We continued to stand and watch the game of tag in front of us. Her siblings were growing more frustrated with the human charade, moving a little faster than they should, but it was all still playful. Rosalie finally caught Amara and 'tripped' her. Amara slid on her butt about five feet. Then got up and took after the blonde with a wicked grin. Kate was trying to get the three boys. Then I heard someone call my name.
"Bella!" a loud husky voice called. I knew that voice. I turned in the direction it came from. I saw a huge, tanned, shaggy haired figure striding towards us waiving. It was Jacob. A pair of hockey skates slung over his shoulders and a package in his hands. He finally made it to the spot Alice and I were standing. His nose was crinkled slightly, but he had a broad smile on his russet face.
"Hey, Bells! How's it going?" I rolled my eyes when he used my father's nickname, even though there had been countless corrections from me in the past.
"I'm alright, what are you doing here, Jake?" his smile only got wider as he looked at Alice.
"Surprise seeing you here, eh, half pint?" he said with a wink at her. Once Jake and Alice had put aside the 'mortal enemy's' nonsense they realized they actually liked each other. They were a like in many ways, their brightness and exuberance for one. She beamed back at him.
"Something isn't it?" what? Then it clicked.
"Alice, who were you on the phone with?" she looked from Jacob to me and feigned innocence.
"Why no one, Bella, at least no one of importance." Jacob laughed loud and rough.
"Sure, sure. I'm the life of the party. Of course I'm important. Alice and I had talked earlier when you made plans to be together all day. I wanted to see you guys and since I figured you can't come down to the rez I'd come to you." I smiled warmly. They did this for me? I was so happy; I didn't think I'd get to see my best friend today.
"That was really thoughtful of you guys. I'm glad you came, Jake. Thanks Alice." I turned my head towards her cheek and kissed her. Her arms were still around my waist and I leaned into her. I heard a cough. Jacob laughed again. I looked up in time to see my closest human friend: Angela Weber, coming up behind Jacob.
"Hey, Bella, Alice." She said as she skated to Jake's side. He put his huge arm around her small shoulders and gave her a quick kiss and a completely smitten look. I had introduced them a few months ago, Jacob imprinted, and she got let in on the big secret, the rest in history. Now Jacob looked at her like he was a lost puppy, found, every time she was near. I chuckled to myself. Puppy. It was actually nice now Angela knew; I could be even more open with her than before, not that it wasn't always easy with her. Angela is the kind of gentle, caring, laid back person who observes quietly and never pushes. She turned to face me; Jacob still looked at her face with goo goo eyes. I snickered and so did Alice.
"Thank you for inviting us, Alice. I'm glad we get to spend some time with you and Bella today." She said to my vampire.
"Of course, Angela. It's always nice having you two around." She said being entirely honest. No hint of animosity towards Jacob whatsoever. Jacob looked away from his imprint and back at us.
"Were you just laughing at me, Bells?" he said a little late to the draw. I just snickered again.
"You know you look at Alice the exact same way." He looked between us. I blushed and quieted down. "Yeah, that's what I thought. So, anyways I brought you something. Sit down." He said and Alice led me to the bleachers by the duffle. She, Angela, and I all sat down. Jacob handed me the news paper wrapped parcel. I looked at it and then back at him. He shrugged.
"Couldn't find the wrapping paper." He responded to my look, then laughed and brushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes. "Open it." He demanded. I ripped off the paper and stared at it.
"Wow, Jake. Where did you get this?" I said looking at my gift. It was a large feather, encased in a wood frame. On the feather, a huge auburn wolf was painted howling at the moon. Jacob shrugged.
"Eh, called in a favor." I stood up as best I could, Alice supporting me, and hugged Jacob and he took over. His massive heat nearly made me sweat; I wasn't used to it in contrast to Alice's ice cold skin. He hugged me tightly and then sat me back on the bleachers.
"Thank you so much, Jake. It's beautiful… Crap! I don't have either of your presents with me." I frowned looking at Angela.
"Ah, see that's where you're wrong." Alice dug through the duffle and pulled out two packages. A large red wrapped box, and a smaller gift bag. She was about to hand them to me when Angela stopped her.
"Wait, open mine next." She said and dug through her purse. She pulled out a neatly wrapped, silver, rectangular gift and handed it to me. I smiled at her and blushed slightly. I tore the paper off her gift and smiled brightly. It was a beautiful leather bound copy of Wuthering Heights.
"Wow, Ang. Thank you so much." I said and I threw my arms around her neck. She hugged me back tightly.
"You're welcome, Bella. I'm glad you like it. I figured your other one was in need of replacement, and with how many times you've reread it, I figured you'd like a sturdier copy." She smiled and adjusted her glasses.
"It's great, Angela. Thanks again. Here open these." I said as Alice handed me the gifts. "Thank you for bringing them, Alice." I whispered to her, she kissed my cheek. I handed Jacob the large red package and Angela the small gift bag. They opened them at the same time.
"Oh, awesome, Bells! Thanks!" Jacobs said rotating the part for his rabbit over in his hand. "I really needed this. It'll run perfectly now!" I smiled at him. Then Angela spoke up.
"Wow, Bella thank you. No one ever gets me books. I haven't even gotten a chance to read this yet." She said holding up her new copy of The Wolfman. Jacob laughed gruffly.
"Nice, choice Bells." I shrugged. Alice dug in the duffle again and pulled out two more gifts I didn't know about.
"Here I got you each something as well." She handed Angela a small card, and Jacob a rectangular box wrapped perfectly in gold paper. Angela opened hers first. She smiled warmly at Alice.
"Wow, Alice, it's wonderful. Thank you, I love it." I looked at her curiously, she held up the iTunes gift card, and then held up and sketched photo of Jacob and her, his arms draped around her shoulders as they both stared off in the distance.
"Did you draw that?" Jacob asked impressed. Alice nodded.
"Just a little thing I do to pass the time." They laughed at the same time. You would have thought Jacobs boisterous laughter would have sounded off with Alice's wind chimes. However they harmonized perfectly with his bass and her soprano.
"You're up, pooch." She said still giggling. Jacob turned the package over in his hands and shook it by his ear, earning a laugh from the three of us. He ripped off the wrappings and opened the white box. He grinned and lifted out a black t-shirt with a white embroidered symbol, the same as his tattoo.
"I did that too, by hand. I figured I'd get you that since you never seem to have any shirts." Jacob laughed loudly again.
"Ha ha! Thanks, midget, its great!" he smiled a big wolfy grin. "I know you're not trying to out do us." He winked at her. She cocked her head to the side. Angela dug in her bag once more.
"This is from the both of us." She said and handed Alice a small gift bag. She actually looked surprised. "Go on, open it." Angela insisted. Alice opened the bag and her eyes went wide. She pulled out a beautiful cream colored silk scarf; it had white designs all across it.
"Its beautiful!" she squeaked and launched herself at Jacob who caught her easily and hugged her back, though both of their noses wrinkled at the smell of the other. "Thank you so much! It's rare that someone can buy an article of clothing I actually like, and do not own already." She climbed off Jacob and hugged Angela much more gently.
"Glad you like it; sorry we couldn't get you separate gifts that was a little pricey." Jacob said rubbing his neck and blushed slightly.
"Oh, hush, mutt. It's perfect." She wrapped it around her delicate neck, it went perfectly with her outfit. "You really did surprise me. I didn't know you'd get me anything, Then again I suppose you hid behind your stupid werewolf side." She smacked Jacob in the arm. He rubbed his it where she hit him.
"Hey it's not my fault." We stood there not saying anything we watched the others still gliding around the ice. Jacob sat beside Angela and started putting on his massive skates. When he was done, he straightened up, and put his hand out for Angela's much smaller one. They stood up together and glided on to the ice. Angela was tall, taller than Rosalie, not as tall as Amara, but tall. However Jacob completely towered over her. It was adorable.
"Bet, we're the best looking couple out here." He said looking at me and Alice. She stood up and offered her hand to me. I took it and she spun us agilely around them.
"Oh, I highly doubt that." She trilled and the four of us skated around together for a while. Some more time passed and it started snowing again. All of us, all the Cullens included, slid around making shapes in the snow. It got a little colder and I shivered. Alice looked at me.
"Would you like something hot to drink, my love?" she whispered to me. I nodded. "Would anyone like to join us for a beverage?" she asked, mainly Jacob and Angela. They both nodded. Then Jake swung Angela onto his back and started skating towards us. She was giggling the whole way. He skidded to a stop. Just like Emmett, Jake was huge, but pretty graceful. Not as graceful as Emmett, but close.
"Well, then again, that depends on what you want to drink, bloodsucker." He smirked at Alice. She playfully leaned in and sniffed him, her nose scrunching in disgust.
"Mmm, no thanks, you smell a little past your expiration date." She teased. Angela and I laughed together at them. We continued to the refreshment shack, when we reached it the person at the counter looked at our odd group with interest.
"What can I do for you?" he asked, Alice turned to me as I eyed the list of drinks.
"Mmm, hot apple cider sounds nice." I said. Angela spoke up from her perch.
"Mmm, yeah it does. I'll have on too." Jacob lifted up three fingers and stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a wrinkled ten dollar bill.
"Don't worry, Alice I got it. Not like you're thirsty any ways." He winked at her. She just giggled.
"Thanks Jacob." I said. Angela kissed his neck as he leaned forward and handed the guy the money.
"Thanks babe." He beamed and nodded to her and turned his head slightly for a kiss which she gave. Then the man behind the counter handed him his change, and gave us our ciders. We went back to the bleachers; Angela and I were done skating for the day, so we told Alice and Jacob to go join the game for a bit. Jacob chugged his cider and they went off. We both changed our shoes. It felt good to put my comfy warm boots back on.
Angela and I watched and cheered as each of the Cullens and Jacob had their turns being 'it'. We talked a little and drank our cider. Only about ten minutes passed when everyone came skating over.
"What up, kiddos?" Amara teased. "Enjoying the view?" she shook her shoulders back and forth seductively. We both laughed.
"Oh, you know it, baby." I was surprised by Angela's remark and giggled some more as Amara growled sexy at her. The Cullens and Jacob started trading their skates for shoes.
"Nice work out there, pup!" Emmett walked over to Jake and clapped him on the back. "We got 'em good."
"Hah, we totally got you more times then you got us, Em." Rosalie said, Alice, Edward, Kate and Amara agreeing. Jasper just shook his head at his brother. Jake laughed.
"Well, we'll have to settle this some way." Emmett grinned. "Hey, how long have we been here anyway? Seems like the fun was just getting started."
"Oh, it's been about three hours." Kate said looking at her watch. My mouth fell open. Wow, time flies when you're having fun. "I'm sure we can figure out a way to settle this little dispute at home. If you're up to the challenge." She teased.
"Always." Emmett boomed. The others agreed.
"Well, we gotta get going. We're supposed to be back at Sue's place soon." Jacob said and reached for Angela's hand. "We'll catch you later though." He gave me and Alice each a one armed hug and waved to everyone else.
"See you, later, guys." Angela said following Jacobs example. Alice spoke up.
"Thanks again for the fabulous gifts. We love them. Have a great rest of your day." I waved to them.
"Alright, everyone ready?" Edward asked. Everyone nodded and headed for the cars. Alice held me like she had been doing all day.
"Did you have fun, Belly?" Amara asked keeping pace with us, Jasper to her other side.
"Loads, I've never skated before in my life. I'm much too clumsy. But, today was great, and I didn't fall once."
"I told you I wouldn't let you fall." Alice said. "I keep my promises. You know, even if I have to get my siblings to do some of the work." She threw a glance at Amara.
"Yeah well, we love to do it. It's like having a life sized doll to play with!" Amara hooted and bumped my arm. We got back to the cars Emmett tossed the duffle in the trunk and put my gifts in with it. We road with Emmett and Rosalie this time, while Amara and Jasper went with Edward and Kate. When we got in the car, Alice pulled me into the safety of her lap again. Emmett turned on the heat as the engines roared to life. They revved against each other again.
"Alright which way, Alice?" Emmett asked her as he and Edward took off.
"I'm not helping you, cheat." He shrugged. "However I wouldn't do what you're about to do." She stifled a laugh as Emmett turned right instead of left.
"I told him not to do that last time." Rosalie said from the front. "He didn't listen then either. You're going to lose." She stated flatly.
A few minutes later we made it to the Cullen's home. Like Alice and Rosalie predicted, Emmett lost again.
"Told you so." They mocked him at the same time. The others were already out of their car. Alice hopped out with me still cradled in her arms. Rosalie grabbed the hockey duffle from the back and tossed it in a corner of the garage. Alice still held me in one arm and grabbed my gifts in the other.
"I won't loose anything else today." Emmett huffed crossing his arms and walking inside. The rest of the Cullens followed. Alice never setting me down, she moved the same spot on the couch by the fire that I had occupied before. She sat with me cradled in her lap.
"Hello, dears. Did you all have a good time?" Esme's sweet voice came from nowhere. I looked up and she was standing in the middle of the room as her children took places on the couches. Edward was standing by their large stereo and turn table. He was looking through a few albums.
"It was a lot of fun." Kate said lounging lazily, letting her head rest in Rosalie's lap. Amara and Jasper sat next to Alice and me on the long white couch. Emmett had his arm wrapped around Rosalie's shoulders.
"Good, I'm glad. Did you enjoy yourself, Bella?" Esme turned her attention to me.
"It was wonderful, I'd never been ice skating before." She smiled as Carlisle entered the room.
"I'm glad, did you enjoy seeing Jacob?" he asked with his warm smile. I looked from him to Alice to all the other Cullens, my eyes falling on Alice narrowing again.
"We thought you'd want to see him today." She shrugged nonchalantly and kissed me. Then she lifted me up and sat me in her spot, sitting in a similar position to Kate, her head in my lap, only her legs draped across Amara's. I smiled and absently ran my fingers through her hair. I looked back to Carlisle.
"It was a welcome surprise." He smiled again a little wider. I looked to see Edward holding up two different Christmas albums.
"Which one first?" his velvety voice asked the family. They all looked between the two albums.
"That one." Jasper pointed to the album in his left hand. Edward nodded and set the other album aside. A second later the room was filled with some beautiful symphonic renditions of Christmas music.
"So how are we going to settle our unfinished business?" Emmett finally cut in. "We can always wrestle." He said smirking at Amara. She just rolled her eyes.
"What unfinished business?" Esme asked politely.
"Well, while we were at the lake, we played a game of tag. No one seemed to win, so of course we need to settle that." It was Alice who spoke. Esme nodded with a smile gracing her flawless features.
"How about you go about it in a less, shall we say, destructive way? I'd like to keep some of the forest standing around our home." She teased. "There's always plenty of snow on the ground." She suggested.
"Perfect! Snow ball fight it is then!" Emmett removed his hand from around Rosalie and bounced up. "Let's go, what are you all waiting for?"
"Sure, I'm in." Edward said walking over to his bigger brother punching him in the arm.
"Me too. Of course." Amara said.
"Well duh, we all are. What are the rules to see who wins?" Rosalie said as Kate sat up.
"Alright, if you can get hit less than the others that's a good place to start. Every time you hit someone else, it counts as points for you." Esme said laying down the rules.
"Sounds easy enough." Kate said. "Who's keeping score? We all know Emmett will cheat." Everyone just laughed and Emmett pouted.
"Will not." He said crossing his arms. Rosalie stood and walked to him pinching his cheek.
"Of course you won't babe. However, why don't we have a moderator just to be certain?" he batted her hand away and huffed.
"I'll keep an eye out, and keep Bella company." Carlisle said. "Unfortunately snow ball fights in this family can get a little rough." He said looking to me. I just shrugged.
"I'm not a big fan of them anyway. I don't like getting wet and cold." He smiled and nodded.
"It's alright, Carlisle, I'll stay with Bella and keep an eye out for cheaters." Alice said though I could tell she wanted in on the fun.
"No, Alice, you play with them. Peg Emmett for me." I said and nudged her shoulder. She sat up and kissed me.
"Are you sure?" I nodded. "Alright then. Let's do this." She said looking at the others. The Cullens started for the back door. Edward only turned to pause by the stereo flipping on the out door speakers.
"Come on, Bella." Alice said taking my hand.
"Alright, keep it clean." I heard Esme saying to her children giving them each a look. I stood on the porch while Alice kissed my cheek tenderly and moved to stand by Jasper. "Ready? Go!" the others, besides Carlisle and me, flashed away.
It was a little cool out here and I shivered. He looked at me.
"Are you alright, Bella?" I nodded but shivered again. He smiled. "Amara." I heard him say and she was before him in an instant holding another match. She walked over to a large outdoor wood burning stove and struck her match. Another fireball ignited the dry wood. She turned to wink at me as a snowball flew out of nowhere and collided with the side of her head. She scowled in the direction of the others. I followed her gaze to see my Alice laughing as she stuck her tongue out at Amara, who took off after her.
"That was a cheap shot, runt!"
Carlisle and I laughed. He grabbed two chairs and set them near the fire. He gestured for me to sit and I warmed up. We continued watching the Cullens endlessly try and peg each other with snowballs.
Rosalie jumped up a tree and from her perch launched a hand full of snow at her 'twin' and it hit him square in the chest. He looked up as she laughed and hurled his snow ball at her. It her in the leg and she jumped from the tree right at Jasper. He moved in a blink and was on the other side of the clearing.
Esme was aiming her handful of snow at Amara and launched it, hitting her daughter in the right shoulder. Amara had been looking at Edward at the moment so she didn't have time to move. She turned to glare at her mother and tried to hit Esme, but she merely side stepped it. Then a snow ball collided with Esme's back and she spun around to see Emmett howling with laughter.
Two snowballs hit him on each side of his head at the same time. He stopped laughing and glared at the howling Alice and Edward. They gave each other a high five then took off in opposite directions.
Edward and Alice kept hitting their targets. Eventually everyone gave up on hitting anyone besides those two. Edward heard all their plans just in time for him to move before the snow ever hit him. Alice saw every move before it happened. She danced elegantly out of the path of any snow balls headed in her direction.
I then saw Edward nod at Jasper, Amara, and Kate who had been aiming at him, and then four snowballs headed right for my pixie, from all different directions. She jumped at the very last second and did a back flip, avoiding them all. She landed, spun around and launched a snowball at Edward. This time he didn't dodge it and took it full on in the face.
Carlisle and I laughed at the same time and I saw Alice turn to wink at me and blow me a kiss. My eyes widened as Emmett hurled a snowball directly at her turned head, she dipped down just in time and it went over her. She turned back around and the game continued.
Having warmed up enough I stood and walked to a nice patch of open snow. I plopped down and made a snow angel. When I stood I admired my handy work. A snow Alice. I giggled to myself. So cheesy, I was glad Edward couldn't hear my thoughts.
"Would you like to make a snowman, Bella?" Carlisle came up behind me. I looked at him and smiled brightly as I nodded.
"Yes! Let's do it!" I started rolling a snowball for the mid section, while Carlisle took the burden of making the large bottom snowball. I tried to lift them middle snowball but was having some difficulty. Carlisle came over and lifted it with ease, onto the bottom snowball. He smiled at me.
"You should make the head." He said kindly. I nodded and started rolling another snow ball. When it looked about right I placed it atop it's body. We both took a step back and gave it a once over. It was rather large and tall. About sixe feet due to the size of it's bottom.
"Hmm, it needs a mouth and eyes." I turned to look at Carlisle. "What should we use?" he put his hand on his chin.
"Shall we stick with the classic? Or go more original?" he asked. I thought about it.
"Originality is key." I finally decided. He nodded and was gone in the house in a flicker. He retuned with a tin box full of a variety of large beads and buttons. I smiled at him as he extended it to me.
"Don't tell Alice." He winked. I looked into the box and found two beautiful gold beads that were about the size of golf balls. They matched and they had intricate designed on them. I picked them out and stepped towards our snow man and tried to put them on its face. I had to stand on tip toes, but I placed them in the position of the eyes. I looked back in the tin and found several slightly smaller red buttons. I put them on as the mouth.
"It looks great." Carlisle said. "What shall we use for the nose?" he asked me. I shrugged.
"I'm not sure. What do you think?" he thought again.
"I think a classic carrot will work nicely." He smiled and disappeared into the house again. He came back and handed me a carrot. I shoved it on the face. We stepped back and admired our snowman.
"It still needs…something." I said. He agreed. "Hmm…"
"I have just the thing." I heard a beautiful bell voice. I looked over in time to see Alice disappear into the house and return with a large black coat, obviously Emmett's, a red satin scarf, and a grey top hat. She placed them on the snow man and stepped back. Carlisle, she, and I all nodded in approval.
"It's perfect." I said. The others came up and looked it over.
"Is that my hat, Alice?" I heard Edward say. She nodded.
"And Emmett's coat, and Rosalie's scarf. It looks better on him." She teased. Everyone laughed.
"That it does." Jasper said. "So who won, Carlisle?" he asked. Had Carlisle still been keeping track? Of course, vampire, he could multitask with ease.
"Well, Alice never got hit, so she won on that front at least. Edward never missed other than Alice, so I'd say they won." He spoke kindly. Amara rolled her eyes.
"Of course they won, they cheated. Stupid powers." She grumbled the last sentence crossing her arms. Alice and Edward laughed together and high fived. The music was still playing softly over the speakers and the snow started coming down again in little drifts. Alice wrapped her arms around me.
"Let's head inside. It's getting colder." She whispered in my ear.
"What time is it?" I asked her. Her eyes glazed over for a second and she replied.
"It's nearly four. It will start getting dark around five. Are you hungry?" she asked. I shook my head. I was pretty sure I'd be held over for another little while, I had a huge breakfast. The Cullens headed inside Alice pulling me along.
Carlisle and Esme sat on the smaller couch and he held her hand gently in his own. Alice led me to the spot we'd occupied all day and sat me down, but she stood. Amara sat down right next to me and held my hand, Jasper on her other side, his arm around her shoulders. Kate sat next to him and curled her feet up on the couch; Edward sat on the floor in front of her. Emmett sat in the recliner with a goofy grin on his face.
Alice kissed my hand and strode over to turn the music off. I was confused. Rosalie then sat down at the piano. She played some fast intricate piece for a brief moment then looked over to me and winked. Alice went to stand beside her sister at the Piano. I smiled.
"You're going to like this." Amara whispered to me. Rosalie began to play a beautiful slow tune. We all sat and listened and I watched Rosalie's hands glide over the keys. A few seconds after Rosalie began playing, Alice began to sing. Her beautiful voice wove in and out with Rosalie's playing beautifully. They were playing Silent Night.
I was staring at Alice as she sang. Her eyes closed, and her chest rose and fell as words flowed slowly and gently from her. Her voice was the most soothing thing I'd ever heard. She sang to me all the time. However I'd never heard her sing with a piano accompaniment and they harmonized perfectly. I couldn't look away from her as she sang. It was the most beautiful sight and sound I'd ever experienced in my life.
I felt Amara squeeze my hand, but I couldn't tear my eyes away. I was entrapped by the beauty that was my girlfriend. My girlfriend, incredible. Alice sang the last note, and then was followed shortly by Rosalie playing her last chord. Alice's eyes opened and they were shining with happiness as she looked at me.
"Any requests?" I could barely find my voice as I came back down from the heavens.
"Err, uhm…" I stuttered. Amara chuckled beside me. "O Holy Night, is my favorite." I finally got out with a deep blush. O Holy Night really was my favorite Christmas song, if it was sung correctly the voice was put to the test. It was beautiful. I had absolutely no doubt Alice would sing it better than anyone could ever dream to. She nodded and Rosalie began to play again.
Another moment and Alice's voice joined in. It was more beautiful than any version I had ever heard before. It was more beautiful than anything I had heard before. Alice's voice dominated the songs ups and downs. As the song came it its forte Alice's voice easily belted the final "Noel" and I shivered. The song came back down and Alice finished, Rosalie playing the ending flawlessly.
I felt a cool hand on my cheek as Amara wiped away a tear that had escaped without my knowledge. I smiled and blushed again. Then looked back to Alice and Rose. The family clapped and I joined in. Rosalie stood next to Alice and they both curtsied gracefully. When we stopped clapping Alice walked over to me and Kate and Edward got up. Amara and Jasper scooted over and Alice sat beside me. Rosalie curled up on her husbands lap.
"That was beautiful, Alice." I said as she took me in her arms. I kissed her and I felt her smile into it.
"Is that why you were crying?" she asked. I nodded and blushed yet again. Edward sat at the piano and Kate stood beside him this time. Esme stood after giving her husband a soft peck.
"I'm going to go ahead and finish up your dinner, Bella dear." She smiled in my direction then left to the kitchen. Edward started playing and the couple began their duet of Baby It's Cold Outside. His wonderful velvet bass went perfectly with her tenor. I snuggled in closer to Alice as we watched Kate playfully sing with Edward. They were gazing into each others eyes. Kate sat beside Edward on the piano bench and ran her hands through his messy bronze hair. She smiled and mussed it some more and stood again.
Alice chuckled and started swaying us slightly as we listened. She was holding me close and nuzzling into me. I leaned my head on hers and then felt her place a sweet kiss on my neck. Edward and Kate finished their song but continued to play more songs.
After a while I could smell delicious scents of my dinner cooking flowing around the house from the kitchen. Alice sat up and kissed me on the cheek.
"Are you hungry now, baby?" I felt my tummy grumble and she laughed. We stood up as the others continued to listen and watch Kate and Edward. She led me to the table and I sat down.
There had been candles place and lit on it with a place setting for me. Alice pulled my chair out and I sat down. She sat down beside me again and Esme appeared. If I had thought my breakfast was large, than this was titanic. She came out first with a large full sized Turkey, only to disappear and return with a large bowl of mashed potatoes, another with stuffing, and another with green beans. My eyes bulged.
"Is this all for me?" I asked looking over the dinner that could have fed a large family. Esme smiled.
"I thought you and Charlie might enjoy the leftovers. Don't worry I don't expect you to eat it all." She laughed and disappeared again coming back with a basket of bread and a glass of bubbly gold liquid. She placed it in front of me and I reached for it and sniffed it. Mmm, sparkling cider, I couldn't get enough of this stuff.
"Thank you so much, Esme."
"You're welcome, Bella. Eat up." She walked out of the room. Alice stood up and started cutting me a piece of turkey and quickly filling my plate with the other dishes. When she placed it in front of me she kissed my forehead, and I dug in. This was the best food I'd ever had. The turkey was warm, and not a hint of it was dry, it was seasoned to perfection. The mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans were also just as amazing. I looked over to see Alice staring at me again.
"Good?" she inquired. I nodded with my mouth full not wanting to speak. "Don't fill yourself up too much. I believe Esme has also got a pie baked for you." My eyes widened again. This woman was trying to make me fat.
"She did?" I said after I swallowed. Alice nodded. "What kind?" I asked curiously. She smiled and sniffed the air.
"I believe it's pecan pie." She said and her gold eyes bore into my brown ones. I smiled and looked back at my plate.
"My favorite." I said and started eating again. When I finished Alice swiftly cleaned everything up and returned with a slice of the promised pie and a glass of eggnog. She set it in front of me and I scarffed it down quickly. I repeated my actions from this morning and leaned back in the chair with a sigh of contentment.
"Esme is going to make me fat. Will you still love me if I'm huge?" I asked with a smile and Alice giggled.
"I'll love you no matter what, Belly." She poked my tummy.
"You better not do that. I might explode." I said laughing.
"I guess that would be bad, huh?" she asked with a giggle. "Come on. We're doing presents now." I pushed myself out from the table and stood to follow her back into the living room.
The family was sitting around waiting and Carlisle stood to go to the Christmas tree that was lit up beautifully behind the piano.
"Who's first?" he asked looking around at his family.
"Give her ours first." Esme said gently. Her husband nodded, and he bent down to retrieve a small box with a card taped to it, and then he handed it to me. "Go ahead, sweetheart."
I started to tear open the card, Alice sitting beside me one arm loosely around my waist. The others watched, I tried to ignore it, but I felt the familiar blush creep into my cheeks. I focused my attention on the card. Two pieces of paper fell out of it as I read. In Esme's elegant handwriting:
Merry Christmas, Bella.
Use this to get some of that Florida sun.
Carlisle & Esme
I looked down at the paper that had fallen out it was two airplane ticket vouchers. I looked up and smiled.
"Thank you so much! Renee will be so pleased. She's been wanting Alice and me to come out for a while." I said. My mother had been bugging me about wanting to have Alice go shopping with her. Esme just smiled.
"Open the rest of it, Bella." Alice said gesturing to the box. I looked down at it and placed the tickets to the side. I tore off the wrapping paper. It was a leather bound copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare. I smiled up at them again.
"Thank you! It's wonderful." I said looking between Carlisle and Esme.
"You're very welcome, Bella." Carlisle said and then he leaned over to grab another package. He handed it to me. I looked at the tag on it.
Love: Rose and Em
I marveled at Rosalie's beautiful handwriting. They all seemed to have calligraphy down to a T. I glanced up at Emmett and Rosalie who smiled and gestured for me to open the big box. I tore open the paper and looked at the box. It was a brand new Digital and 35mm SLR Nikon camera. My jaw dropped.
"This is incredible! I love it! Thank you, both so much." I said.
"You're welcome, Bella." Rosalie said warmly.
"Yeah, just don't try and walk and take pictures at the same time, other wise you'll trip and break it." Emmett joked. I blushed. Carlisle had another gift in his hands already. He handed it to me and Alice took the camera and set it off to the side. I checked the tag of this one.
Love Always: Amara & Jasper
I knew it was Amara's handwriting, it wasn't as refined as everyone else's was, but it was still beautiful any way. I looked up and Amara rolled her eyes.
"Just open it." She said. I laughed and tore off the paper of the thin rectangular box. My jaw dropped, it was a brand new Mac Laptop.
"Th-thank you, guys! That's awesome."
"I know. We're pretty awesome." Amara said laughing. I looked up and Jasper nodded with a large grin on his beautiful scared face. Carlisle handed another card to me. I was hoping this was the last one. They had already given me way too much. I opened the card and read what I knew was Edwards perfect script.
Merry Christmas, Bella
Your gift is waiting for you at home.
Alice will help you set it up.
I hope you enjoy it. Let us know how it sounds.
Edward and Kate
I looked up at Kate and Edward and cocked my head to the side. Edward smiled smugly and Kate giggled.
"What is it?" I asked puzzled. I heard Emmett and Amara laugh. Edward shook his head.
"You just have to wait and see." He smirked. I looked at Alice who rolled her eyes at her older brother then looked at me.
"Don't worry, Bella, I at least know you'll like it." She tapped her temple. "Now, was there something you wanted to do?" I smiled, she knew I wanted to give each of the Cullens the gifts I'd gotten them next.
"Yeah. Where are they?" I asked her. She pointed to the tree. I nodded and got up. I grabbed the first one. "Err, here." I said sheepishly and started handing out the things I had gotten them. When I was finished I nodded to them and sat back next to Alice.
"Well, go ahead and open them." I said. Emmett was the first to act; tearing the paper off his in one fail swoop.
"Alright! Mass Effect! I've been wanting this! Look Rosie." He said elbowing his wife she just smirked with a raised eyebrow. He looked back to me and smiled full of dimples. "Thanks, sis." I nodded and smiled. Kate and Edward opened their present next. Edward easily tore open the envelope and they read the card. He looked up and smiled warmly at me.
"Why that's very thoughtful of you, Bella. It's been decades since we've been to the symphony."
"Thank you, Bella." Kate said when Edward finished.
"You're welcome." I said and blushed just a little. Jasper was the next one to open his present. He tore the paper off the large box and looked it over. His eyes lit up like a little boy when he assessed the book set.
"Wow, this is something, Bella! A complete history of the Civil War. Thank you, darlin'" he drawled. I nodded again. Rosalie then began to tear the paper off my gift to her. When the paper was gone her eyes widened.
"Bella," she breathed in surprise. I had gotten her a hand made black leather bound book of blank sheet music. It had a large gold 'R' on the front cover with golden musical notes surrounding the border. "It-it's beautiful." She said flipping through the pages.
"It's perfect. Thank you so much." Her eyes gleamed in a way that I knew, had it been possible, she would have tears trickling down her angel's face.
"I'm glad you like it. Edward mentioned that you had been wanting to write some of your piece's down." I looked at Edward who smiled, then back to Rosalie who nodded.
"Guess I'm next." Amara said. I looked to her as she began to open the small gift bag in her hand. She retrieved the little box from within, and removed the top. She stopped moving and just looked.
"Well what is it, Ama?" Emmett pushed impatiently. She looked over at me and then back to the box. She flipped it over into her hand. A small silver Zippo lighter was what came out. It had the Cullen crest engraved in the front of it and the letters 'A.N.C.' on the back.
"Carlisle helped me get that engraved for you." I said sheepishly and blushed as she had yet to speak. She looked back at me with a wide grin.
"It's badass, Bella. Perfect. I love it." I smiled back at her. Esme started to unwrap her large thin present. She held it up in front of her and looked it over with a happy smile in place as she did.
"Bella, this is beautiful." She turned around the 15" by 30" photograph of the Cullens. I had taken it one day when they were playing in the yard together. They were all laughing with large smiles.
"When did you take that?" Kate asked me. "It's gorgeous." I shrugged.
"A few weeks ago, I think?" The rest of the Cullens agreed with Kate's statement.
"Open yours, Dad." Emmett said chuckling. Carlisle opened his gift bag and took out the leather bound notebook. He inspected it; there was no indication of what was inside on the cover. He opened it up and immediately his eyes lit up with curiosity.
"How did you get this, Bella?" he asked astonished. And Still looking at the book in his hands.
"I just asked him for it. I told him what is was for and he agreed. But he said that is only if you promise to keep that in this family." Carlisle finally looked up.
"Of course, Bella. I can assure you both. This is fascinating." Amara glanced between us with a frustrated look on her face. Edward had his head cocked to the side a expression of curiosity like Carlisle's had been.
"What is it?" Amara asked not wanting to wait any longer.
"It's a hand written notebook of the Quileute legends and history of the wolves by Billy Black." Edward answered. "Truly a one of a kind book." Carlisle nodded.
"Wow, he just gave it to you?" Rosalie asked me.
"Well I asked him if it would be something he was willing to share with you all now. The magic of it…I mean I've heard the legends, but even if I wanted to I couldn't tell them to you right. Anyway Billy agreed and wrote it for Carlisle."
"Thank you so much, Bella dear. These gifts are all wonderful. They have been very thoughtful." Esme said the others agreed and thanked me again.
"You're all very welcome. I'm glad you like them." I paused and then looked at Edward. "Err… Edward, did you…?" I trailed off when he nodded and disappeared up to his room. He came back and handed me the large wrapped gift about the same size as Esme's.
"This is for you, Alice." I said and looked at her next to me. She turned her head to the side.
"I didn't see you get my anything…" she said puzzled.
"That was the point." I sniggered. "I asked Edward to help me with it, since he knew how to keep you from seeing and he would know if you did. I gave him a few options of what I wanted to get you, since I knew I couldn't hide it from you if I decided."
"Really?" she asked looking from me to Edward. He nodded with a smile.
"It's not that easy, I had to keep changing my mind and then made my snap decision this morning. It was one of the errands I had to run, when Kate went to your house, Bella." I looked at him confused.
"Oh, right, my gift. Anyway, here I'm not one hundred percent sure what it is, but I have a good idea." I handed her the wrapped gift. She took it and looked it over. Then tore it open.
Watching her, I bit my lip with nerves, she didn't make any faces. Her eyes just took it in. She stared at it for another minute then looked at me. Her face looked like Rosalie's had. Only there was absolute love, adoration, and tenderness pouring from her melting honey orbs.
"Oh, Bella. It's absolutely beautiful. How did you know Degas was my favorite artist, I didn't think I mentioned that to you?" she looked to Edward who held his hands up.
"I didn't tell her, it was just one of the options." She looked back at me her eyes still glistening with unsheddable tears. The gift choice Edward had picked was a print of the Edgar Degas' Star Dancer. It was a beautiful painting of a ballerina on stage.
"Well, I-I mean I didn't know he was your favorite. I hoped you'd like the painting because, well, you enjoy art and dancing…it just kind of seemed right…" I trailed off this time blushing deeply and looking down at my hands.
I felt a cold hand touch my chin. Alice lifted my face up to look into my eyes. Her eyes were burning with love. She leaned in and kissed me tenderly. Then pulled away only slightly, resting her forehead on mine to look into my eyes once more. I felt myself blush again.
"It's perfect. Thank you, my love." She whispered though everyone heard her. I could feel the others looking at us, and while I continued to get lost in her eyes, I blushed even deeper. Her eyes darkened a little, then she pulled back.
"Well, if everyone doesn't mind I'd like to spend some alone time, with my Bella." She said looking to the family.
"Of course. Thank you again, Bella. I hope you had a good day today." Carlisle said.
"I did, thanks to you all again. For everything." I told them all, receiving nine smiles in return. Alice stood up and blurred my gifts into a neat pile by the garage door. She came back and with her print in one hand, held the other out to me. I took it and followed her up the stairs to her bedroom.
When we entered the room Alice shut the door behind me and gestured for me to sit on her bed. She went to the wall beside it and immediately began moving things around swiftly, when she had a space cleared she hung up her new print.
"Perfect." She said then faced me. "Thank you, Bella."
"You're welcome. But, you really don't have to thank me, Alice. You give me stuff all the time." Alice stood there and crossed her arms, shaking her head.
"Oh, Bella. What will I ever do with you?" I blushed and looked away from her face and around the room.
There were no lights in the room, but it wasn't dark. Some how the silver light of the full moon broke through the clouds in the sky, and drenched the room in its ethereal glow. Today I kept feeling like I was in heaven. The snow was still coming down softly outside the wall of windows. It really was a mesmerizing sight.
I turned back around as I heard Alice step closer to me. She had both hands behind her back. She moved closer to me and then started kneeling on the bed before me nodding for me to back up. I complied.
"Lay back, Bella." She whispered. I did as I was told. She scooted over to me, hands still behind her back. Then she straddled my waist. I blushed deeply but held her smoldering amber eyes. They were slightly darker then usual, but she showed now signs of discomfort.
"Okay, pick a hand." She told me. I looked between her right and left side and pointed to her right hand first. She beamed. Her hand came up over her head holding something small and green.
"Good choice." She said and I saw what it was.
"Mistletoe." I said quietly. She shook her head yes and leaned forward to bend down and capture my lips in a passionate kiss.
Her smell hit my senses like a wildfire that spread through my whole body. I felt like every single inch of me was on fire. She tasted like the sweetest honey. My hands immediately found her wild hair and locked in, pulling harder then would be comfortable for any human. I felt her arms go around me and pulled me closer to her. Our bodies molded together, mine of fire, hers of ice. It felt amazing, her coldness helped to bring my soaring temperature back down. I heard myself moan in to her kiss and felt her giggle.
I then felt her ice cold tongue dart out of her mouth and run swiftly across mine. She was asking permission, which I would never deny. I parted my lips and her tongue entered my mouth and started swirling around with expertise. My heart was pounding and my breath was becoming much more shallow and fast. I felt a vibration against my chest and realized it was Alice purring.
She retracted slightly to let me breathe, only to move her lips down my jaw trailing sweet kisses down my neck. My heart was still pounding as I caught my breath. She continued kissing my neck, my hands still locked in her hair with an iron grasp. She leaned up again and placed a gentle kiss on my lips. I could feel her little growl resonate against mine, but her purring died down. She rested her forehead against mine for a moment with her eyes closed.
When they opened I saw dark deep amber burning back at me. I gasped quietly at the sight. Her skin was milk white, glowing faintly in the silver moonlight. I let my hands leave her hair as she pulled back so I could really look at her, our bodies still melted together. I cupped her face in my hands and caressed her cheeks with my thumbs. She leaned into it and her eyes closed again and she purred loudly. I giggled this time. Her dark eyes opened once more and a smile lit up her features. Her dimples deep in her cheeks. She leaned in for on more kiss and sat up.
She pulled me with her to sitting position, I crossed my legs and she kneeled in front of me. She leaned past me quickly, and stuck her hand under the pillow where she'd apparently stashed the other object, while she kissed me.
"Okay, Bella. Now it's my turn to give you your present." She held up a small box. It was about the same size as the box I had given Amara. I reached for it. She pulled it back and held up a finger. I looked up at her and she smirked.
"First you have to read this." She said and pulled something else from under the pillow: a card. She handed it to me and I opened the envelope and pulled out the card. Alice's delicate handwriting was etched across it.
To my Bella
As I give this gift to you, remember that it is a symbol.
It represents myself.
C'est vous qui est dans le coeur de mon esprit.
I'll Love You Forever
I reread the card several times. Just trying to memorize Alice's beautiful words. Even though I didn't understand part of it.
"That's French, right?" I asked looking back up at her dark amber pools. She nodded. "What does it mean?" She leaned in and placed a sweet kiss on my lips then trailed her lips lightlt across my cheek to my ear.
"It's you who is in the heart of my soul." She whispered her voice laced with love. She kissed my cheek and pulled back extending the small golden wrapped box to me again. "Now you can open it."
I reached for it and this time she didn't pull back. I shredded the golden wrapping paper and looked at what seemed to be a small jewelry box. I looked up at her with my hand about to lift the lid. Her eyes were focused on my face. I looked back down as I lifted open the lid. I gasped and then froze.
Inside the little box was the most beautiful necklace I had ever seen. It was a silver heart about the size of a fifty cent piece, but it was covered in several diamonds. I looked back up at Alice.
"Alice, I can't take this. It's way too mu"- she silenced me by putting her fingers on my lips, then letting them slide to my cheek.
"Bella, nothing is too much for you." She said with much conviction. I just shook my head and looked back at the beautiful necklace. The heart on the silver chain, it was beautiful. Diamond, just like my Alice.
"Open it, Bella. It's a locket." She whispered. I looked up at her puzzled then took the necklace from the box. Sure enough there was a tiny clasp on the side of it. I clicked it open. There on the right side was a beautiful picture of Alice and I. Her arms were around my shoulders, and she was looking into my eyes, and I into hers. On the left side there was something engraved, in the same script as Alice's hand writing. It said: Amor Eterno. I knew enough Spanish to know what that meant.
"Eternal love." I whispered. I felt her cool hand raise my face to meet hers.
"Yes." She replied and kissed me with all the love that flowed through her. When she pulled back she looked into my eyes again. "I'm yours forever, Bella."
As I looked into her eyes I knew she meant every word. I had never believed anything so much in my life. I felt the sting of tears forming in my eyes and felt the wetness on my cheeks soon follow. She wiped my tears away. I saw the same glistening in her eyes there was before, and knew she'd be crying too. I couldn't help myself I launched myself at her and threw my arms around her neck and kissed her with all I had.
Alice caught me easily and returned the kiss. She laid us back down on the bed and continued kissing me with passion. My body caught fire again. My heart started pounding harder in my chest than last time. I could hear it echoing in my ears. My breathing was nearly nonexistent. Alice's tongue and mine danced together slowly. Her scent and her taste making my head swirl. I was seeing lights igniting behind my eyelids. She pulled away from me again kissing my neck with more gentleness then the first time. All her love flowing into me like a current.
Her right hand held me closer to her, her hips slid between my legs, and her left hand gently pushed the fabric of my shirt up as it started caressing my stomach. She brought her lips to mine again and I felt her purring return. I reveled in the sound and feel of it. I let Alice take over all my senses. There was nothing that wasn't her. She pulled back slowly again this time kissing down my neck, passed my collar bone, down the valley of my breasts, to my heart. She stopped there briefly and laid her ear against it. Her eyes shut and I let my hands lock in her hair. I could hardly breathe.
She looked up at me then, a question in her eyes. I nodded. She lifted my shirt a little and began kissing the bare skin of my stomach tenderly. There was nothing so much sexual about this as there was loving. Her lips were barely touching my skin as they glided past my belly button. I shivered with the slight contact. Alice noticed this and I felt her press her lips to my stomach, there was a smile on them. Then her tongue jotted out and she licked a small circle around my belly button. Her cold breath raised goose bumps where ever it made a connection with my skin.
She brought her hand to my side and let her fingers gently roam my stomach as her tongue continued to explore my skin. I felt her tongue go lower towards my hip and I shivered as a wave of pleasure hit me. I heard a low rumble come from her chest. My hands that were still in her hair, pulled. She growled again.
Her lips pressed against my skin again trailing back towards my belly button. She was purring loudly and it was tickling my skin. I then felt her lips pull back slightly and her teeth were very carefully, very gently caressing my flesh. I moaned. She smiled into my stomach again and placed on final kiss there before kissing her way back up my body.
When she reached my neck she nuzzled into it and I heard her inhale. A moan escaped her lips.
"You smell so damn good." She whispered huskily. I shivered. She had been eliciting that reaction quite a bit from me. "Like freesia and fresh strawberries." She placed a kiss on my neck and then moved to face me again.
"I love you, so much, Bella." She kissed my lips and I returned it.
"I love you too Alice." She smiled.
"Can I put it on you?" she asked. I looked confused. "The locket?" she said. Oh. That. I had forgotten about it when she started kissing me. I nodded and she sat up helping me. She moved behind me and I lifted my hair out of the way. Before anything else I felt her cold marble lips on the back of my neck. The blood rushed to my face heating it up. She giggled and then the locket was in place. I let my hair fall down and put my hand on it. Alice's arms wrapped around me and I leaned into her embrace. All of a sudden I felt exhausted I let my eyes close.
"Are you tired, my love?" I sighed.
"Yes." She nuzzled into my hair .
"It's no wonder, it's been a very long day. It's nearly ten. Shall I take you home to Charlie?" she asked. I shrugged.
"I guess. But only if you stay with me." I said hopeful. Her grip tightened on me.
"Always. Let's go." She said warmly. She unlaced her arms and we both got up.
We made our way down the stairs and the family was still there talking happily with each other. Amara came out of nowhere.
"What's up Belly Button? Have fun up there?" she nudged me. My face was on fire when I realized what she meant, then I glared at her.
"Leave her alone, Ama." Rosalie said. I gave her a thankful look. "Are you leaving?" she asked with a smile.
"Yes, I'm taking Bella home. She's had a long day with all you lunatics." Alice chimed. Amara rolled her eyes.
"Whatever, if we're lunatics what does that make you? One flew over the coo coo's nest." She smirked and crossed her arms. Alice stuck her tongue out at her and Amara returned the gesture and ruffled her hair.
"Alright, well we had a great time with you Belly. See you later." Amara said leaning down to give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Yeah, see you later." The other Cullens got up from their seats and came to give me a hug, except Edward who disappeared.
"Merry Christmas, Bella." Esme said as she gave me her warmest hug. "It was wonderful to spend it with you."
"Thank you Esme. Merry Christmas to you too, all of you." I replied looking around at the second family I'd grown to love so much.
"Charlie's already home, and he'll be asleep when we get there. So Edward's going to drive us, so I don't have to come back to drop off the car." Alice said. I nodded and waved to the rest. She grabbed my hand and led me to the Volvo. She picked me up bridal style and hopped in the back.
"Where to, ladies?" Edward said over his shoulder taking off as soon as the garage was open.
"Ha ha." Alice said sarcastically. He just chuckled.
"Your leftovers and gifts are in the back, Bella." He said to me as the car started slowing down. "I'll grab them and take them in for you."
"Thank you, Edward." He nodded and stopped the car.
He got out and opened the door for Alice and I and she hopped out with me still in her arms. She carried me to the threshold with Edward behind us arms full of gifts and food. Alice opened the door and we were in the dining room in a second. Edward was putting the food in the fridge when I looked up.
"I put your gifts in your room. Don't forget to tell me how you like the one from Kate and me." He said as he walked over to me and wrapped me in a brotherly embrace.
"Thank you, and I will. Merry Christmas, Edward." I said as he let me go.
"Merry Christmas, Bella. Sleep well. Goodnight Alice." And with that he was gone. I took Alice by the hand and led us to my room. I walked in and grabbed some pajamas before heading off to the bathroom to change.
When I came back Alice was sitting under the covers of my bed with her arms outstretched to me. I smiled and walked towards the bed only to stop a foot shy. It was then I noticed the massive speakers and stereo next to my desk, that had not been there this morning. There was a large bow on the middle of the stereo. So that's what they got me. I smiled and heard Alice giggle as I continued to lie down in her arms. I heaved a contented sigh and snuggled as close to her as I could. She held me tighter in her arms.
"Did you have a good day, my love?" she said in a hushed voice. I nodded as sleep already began to close my heavy lids.
"It was amazing." I breathed. I heard wind chimes.
"I'm so happy you spent today with me. I love you." She said and kissed me before I fell into unconsciousness.
"I love you. Merry Christmas, Alice."
"Merry Christmas, my angel." I felt sleep take me in it's arms, but not before I realized what she had said. Her angel? Didn't she know I had spent my entire day with a family of angels?