So, this was my little musing on the most perfect summer, remember this all is from the Mind of Stephenie Meyer and I am just playing a bit. No awards for this round, but still all's fun. Enjoy!
It had been a most perfect day.
Of course it was raining in Forks, just lightly, but still the June temperature was such that even Bella could not complain. Alice and Rose had left sometime in the night for a day of shopping in Seattle. Her joy in not being brought along was not dampened one bit when Alice decreed Bella would love what she would bring home for her.
Bella could deal. That is how she found herself seated beside Edward in the Volvo as they followed Emmett's jeep up an old logging road. Jasper had found a quiet cove, up the coast off this road that was deserted and away from prying eyes. Emmett wanted time with his brothers and time with Bella.
They hadn't told the family, yet so only Edward knew his and Rosalie's plans. Emmett knew Bella would be guilty and so she didn't yet know that he and Rose were leaving next week, even before the 4th of July. Bella did notice the odd look that passed amongst the boys from time to time, but had no luck in puzzling out the source. It wasn't irritation and it seemed to keep everyone in a good mood without Jasper's influence. It didn't irritate her enough to remain at the forefront of her mind, it remained in her subconscious, waiting for the right key to unlock the knowledge when presented.
The beach was all Jasper had described and more. Sheer cliffs formed a deep V, hiding it from the road and barely visible from the sea unless directly before it. At the base of the cliffs, a decent space of clear, fine sand filled in, with the edges full of the brilliant rocks like those found over at First Beach. The water was still colder than Bella could stand for long, but she enjoyed watching the brothers in the surf, their stunts growing more ridiculous as the morning gave way to the afternoon. The clouds broke just past one, filling the mini fjord with sunshine. It was hard for her to decipher what or rather who was more dazzling. The choice being between the sparkling water and sand or the trio of Aphrodite's mates tossing a rugby ball amongst the waves. One girl should not be so lucky to have so much beauty in sight. Bella drank it all in, feeling again those notes of wonder at wandering through the looking glass.
It remained a mystery to Bella, why this outing? She was a bit reflective, at one point, putting down her book, drawing her knees up to her chest and looking out past the cliffs toward the open sea. Bella sat near the apex of the rocky walls, and all that spread before her was bright. In this moment, she was happy, one of the happiest moments she could remember, and that was radiated or reflected by Edward and his brothers.
For just a moment, Jasper found himself flung up on her towel, partially by the waves and partially by a good shove from Emmett.
"He's really exceptional today, Miss Bella."
Before she could compose a reply, he'd sprung back up and launched himself over into the water, arching across the sand like a big cat on the prowl.
Watching Edward and his brothers let loose around her gave her hope. Maybe this was to test her waters, see if she spooked. This world felt so comfortable to her, she just had to prove it to him. He'd often come up to where she lay, stealing a kiss between the innings of water-play, the sunshine reflecting and warming her skin.
They stayed on the water, Edward building a driftwood fire as sunset began to color the skies. He'd thought of everything for her that day, sunscreen and the new collection of Bronte, lunch and dinner, even an extra can of Coke for the ride back to town.
The last hour of the drive up to the spot and the first hour back down, everyone rode in Emmett's jeep as the old road hadn't been used in years hence Edward wouldn't risk the finish on the Volvo. The brush and close trees scraped noisily and infrequently but did not reach her, protected as she was inside Edward's embrace.
Somehow, in the dark they'd picked up an NPR broadcast on the radio. A chirpy voiced female host was interviewing a doctor about sleep teaching. It sounded promising as Bella 's eyes grew heavy with Edward's arms around her and the swaying of the jeep.
Once back in the Volvo, Bella 's courage caught up to her curiosity. "It was a really fun day. It was good to see you goofing off with Jasper and Em."
"It was a good day. You made it better."
"I did? I hardly went into the water."
""You made it just by being there Bella. You really did."
Blushing over the compliment, Bella decided to attack her situation from a different angle.
"I wonder if that sleep teaching or learning really works?"
"I've no idea Bella. I don't sleep so ..." Before he could finish the thought, Bella jumped in.
"It'd be handy for me. I do have to sleep and I do have to start thinking about one more round of SAT's"
"Bella, you can go anywhere you want, we could go?"
"UNLV?" She let the words pounce and smirked just a little
"Very Funny." Edward's voice came out as a cross between a low growl and speech.
"Seriously. I want to get in on my own, since I'm doing this the old fashioned way. Maybe you could help me with this. We could experiment."
Edward saw right through her little ruse but was committed to helping her to wherever she wanted to go, however she wanted to get there, mostly anyway.
"Sure, what do you want me to teach you tonight?" He kept his exasperation out of his voice.
"Thanks" Bella 's voice was soft. "I know you think it might be silly, but I really do want to do better when I take that stupid test again"
"Bella, I would do anything to give you what you want."
If only that were true. One day I will wake from this dream and my life will really seem like a nightmare, or at least a bad romance. In that moment Bella wished for the courage to push just a bit further, but the day had been so perfect she would not do anything to tarnish it. "I'd like you to help me remember today. It was one of the best days I have ever had."
"You would like me to teach? To recount the day for you, every detail so you can fix it in your memories?"
"Yes. Perfect. Exactly that Edward." She nodded firmly as she spoke.
"It would be my pleasure. I don't know if it will work, but for you, Bella, I will do my best. How will you tell if it worked?"
"Give me a detail I could not have seen. If I can tell you in the morning-we'll know it works."
"Fair point. We - it will be interesting to say the least."
After fixing her father a mostly leftovers dinner that he could not notice as such, Bella climbed the stairs an hour earlier than usual, citing the long day in the sun as the cause. Charlie had noted a little color in her cheeks and only thought the fresh air and sunshine was a nice change for his girl who was still not 100% comfortable with the local weather. The Mariners were on that night, and as a pitching change was called, he watched his daughter ascend the stairs. He was fulfilled by the thought that his little girl was safe under his roof that night.
Bella made sure her window was still open as the clouds rolled back in, removing the light from the moon. The soft shadows of night grew murky in her room and she flicked on her twinkle lights to dispel the gloom.
Under the warm spray of the shower, Bella washed the remainder of the sea from her hair, wrapping her head in a towel as she donned the PJ top and pants set, one of a collection that somehow Alice had made appear in her dresser. On the bright side, they were not too frilly or revealing, they were soft, comfortable and flattering. It felt good to slide them on as she'd noticed even with the sunscreen and sheltered cove, she had a bit of sun and maybe windburn too. She'd been so careful, but still the sun had kissed her shoulders and the wind had bit her cheeks a bit. She dug around in the makeup bag Alice had given her before prom and found a small tube of moisturizer. It eased the ache on her face but only served to remind her again of her fragile status. One day by the water and she was at the bare minimum, uncomfortable. Her hair and skin needed all the TLC she could provide. The only saving grace was she had not fallen unintentionally all day. Allowing herself to plop into the waves a few times did not count. The silly human hadn't caused too much concern.
As she left the bathroom, she called a final goodnight to Charlie, just loud enough to be heard over the crack of a bat from the flat-screen. She was aware that a cold vitamin "R" and the Mariners in the lead made for a very content and absorbed father. She closed her bedroom door and flicked on a small lamp by her bed. She picked up the pretty paper journal, a gift from Esme, and began to write her own, imperfect human recount of the day's activities.
Before another hour had passed she heard a soft goodnight from Charlie as he passed her closed door. A man of habit, she knew his routine well and he would be softly making the occasional snore before the next half hour chimed, well, if there were chimes or church bells in Forks. Her mind wandered to a book from her childhood, a tale of growing up in Chicago with the sound of the trains and church bells marking the stages of a day. The book was set even before Edward's time, it was around the great Chicago Fire, and for a moment Bella wondered if Carlisle had been any where near the city when that had happened.
It was mere breaths later when she felt his cool lips kiss her bare shoulder. It was welcome relief from the slight warm pink of her skin.
"You got a little too much sun here"
"Hardly. It was more the wind I think, but you are welcome to kiss it away, it does feel wonderful."
He peppered the tops of her shoulders and, after removing her makeshift turban, her head with light kisses followed by the cool touch of his hands on her shoulders as he responded, "As you wish, My Bella."
Keeping her own wistful frustrations at bay, she changed the subject with her question.
"Edward, I was just thinking and got curious. Did Carlisle live in Chicago during the Great Fire?"
For Edward, the question sparked a dim human memory of a bright red bucket set near the front door of his house by the hat-tree. He pondered it slightly while answering. "No, love. I think that was well before his time there too. He was probably in Alaska, but I can or you can ask him if you are still curious. What brought that on?" His curiosity at the workings of Bella 's mind was ever present. No matter the situation, she always managed to surprise him.
"Oh, nothing important really. I was just remembering a book I read as a child. It was set in Chicago, around the fire." Bella had grabbed the brush from her desk and was now softly but firmly brushing out her damp hair, the towel tossed to a cromer for now.
Edward sat in the rocker out of habit more than anything else. He watched her brush her long chocolate locks, wishing he could take over the task. He held himself in reserve, partly because he did not have the patience to learn to deal softly with her hair, that had been Alice's delight after they had returned from Phoenix and Bella had needed care while she healed; and partly because they had seen so much, so much of each other today. When he had climbed from the water for any length of time, he'd donned a tee shirt before sitting with Bella. Jasper had worn a sort of wet suit top the entire day, only Emmett being completely comfortable with being shirtless. Each for their own reason, a product of their times, they wore what made them most comfortable. Bella 's two piece was modest by modern standards, the Bikini top was not too revealing and the boy shorts provided decent cover. Still her legs appeared long and toned on the sand. The vampire or the boy, it didn't matter, the result was still the same. A longing for more tore through him and he didn't trust himself fully, even after an extra snack on the way here.
A few minutes later, Bella was in her bed, her favorite comforter tucked around her shoulders. She gave Edward a soft kiss before closing her eyes. "Just like we discussed, just tell me the story of today and give me one extra detail. It won't be hard to think of something. This fragile human doesn't catch everything."
But you do see so much more than the rest Bella, you do. He allowed himself the treat of stroking his fingers softly through her drying waves as he began to recount the day, beginning with the bagel with strawberry preserves she'd eaten for breakfast right down to the radio program on the ride back down. He spoke softly to her ears, recounting the events in perfect detail three times over until the barest of change to the sky was perceivable by vampire sight. Knowing their time together for this night was closing, he whispered the final detail.
"It was the best birthday in a hundred years Bella. It was the only thing I wanted for my birthday and you gave me the day. You gave me the best birthday I've ever had."
He watched her continue in sleep, the whole night punctuated by only a few moments of her speech and now he was sure she would not wake for at least another half hour.
His phone buzzed in his pocket 45 minutes later
Your Birthday? I'm glad I gave you what you wanted even if I had no idea. I guess this really does work.
Yes, love, it does work. I'm going to give you a memorable birthday too.