I do not own Twilight or its characters. Stephenie Meyer does. I don't own A Christmas Carol either. Charles Dickens does.
CH 10: New Years Eve (BPOV)
The week flew by quickly. I thought bargaining with Alice would work to my favor. Apparently not. She had jammed as much as possible in that short time span. My legs were sore and my ankle swollen again the next day. Edward wasn't too happy with that.
However, with her help, I was able to shop for everyone using Edward's card since he insisted. I insisted I needed to get his present with my own money. It didn't feel right using his money to buy him a present.
In addition to the card, Edward gave me a cell phone that he told me was on the family plan. He wanted me to have it in case I had any car troubles or other problems and I needed to reach him, Charlie, or any of the other family members. He also pointed out that we can remain in contact even when he was hunting. I'm sure that this was for his own comfort, as well as mine. I took it happily.
Alice helped me find a pair of golden swan cufflinks and matching tie tack. On the Swans, inscribed in elegant script, were my initials. Alice promised me that he would love them and would wear them at the charity ball tonight, New Years Eve.
Opening presents with the Cullens wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was nervous after my birthday to open presents there. It went well overall.
I tried to stay good as I got presents from the others. Alice and Jasper gave me a laptop with WiFi, to replace my dinosaur computer. Rose and Emmett gave me a heated blanket for my bed, since 'Edward is unable to heat my bed' Emmett explained. Esme and Carlisle's gift was very sweet. They gave me a pin pendant with the Cullen's crest; telling me that I was officially a member of the family. That thought had made me tear up.
Edward and I ended up exchanging gifts privately.
I had just finished getting ready, and reached the bottom of the stairs, when there was a knock on the door. I pulled it open, knowing who would be on the other side.
"Good Morning, love." Edward smiled brightly as he leaned down and kissed my cheek.
"Good Morning." I smiled as I turned to reach for my coat.
"Hold on a minute," Edward asked as he closed the door.
I paused and looked back at him confused.
"Would you mind if we exchange gifts together privately, first?" Edward asked shyly.
"We can do that." I nodded as I took his gift from the pile I had near the door.
I walked into the living room with him following behind me. We sat on the couch and he pulled out a small present and envelope. He handed them to me and I handed him his.
"Ladies, first." He gestured.
"Does it matter which?" I looked at the items now in my lap. Edward reached and tapped the envelope with a finger.
I picked it up and opened the unsealed flap. I pulled out the papers and unfolded it. I had to read the papers twice. A sizable donation had been made to a foundation for Alzheimer in memory of my Grandmother Swan.
"Edward, this is so sweet of you." I reached up kissed his cheek and his lips chastely.
"I'm glad you like it, love." He was all smiles.
I reached for the second box. It looked like it was a jeweler's box. I took the bow off and stuck it on top of Edward's head. I giggled as he playfully scowled. I turned back to the present just before he spoke.
"Now, before you protest. I didn't spend any money on that, so please don't get upset." Edward looked a bit worried.
I nodded. My hands trembled as I reached for the paper. I tired to calm myself so I didn't get another paper cut ripping open the paper. I cautiously took my time and gratefully Edward stayed patient. Once it was off, I opened the box and looked down at a beautiful crystal heart on a silver chain.
"Edward, this is beautiful." I touched it gingerly. "But how could you not spend money on something as beautiful as this?" I asked.
"It was my mother's. My father gave it to her on their wedding day. I wanted you to have it." He gently played with my hair. I smiled up at him.
"Will you help me put it on," I asked.
He plucked it out of my hands and helped clasp it around my neck. I watched it sparkle as it laid against my chest, near my own heart.
"Thank you. But does this mean, I can have my birthday presents back too." Edward gave me a sheepish grin.
"Technically, I never took them." He looked away from me.
"Then where did they go? They disappeared at the same time as you did." I eyed him as he was acting nervous.
"They are under your floor boards in your room. Even though I said no reminders, I couldn't help but to leave something behind in hopes you would always have something to remember me by." He seemed fearful of my response.
I blinked a few times then started laughing. Once I started I couldn't stop. Edward went from looking scared to looking worried.
"Bella, are you okay?" He raised an eyebrow and his lips twitched a bit.
I couldn't stop laughing at his obvious contradiction. That should been a sign to him that day he really didn't want to leave. I finally was able to take a few calming breaths and my laughter slowed to giggles.
"Edward, that was such a contradiction, if I ever heard one. What am I going to do with you?" I flung my arms around his neck and buried my face into his neck and kissed it.
"Glad I amuse you," Edward said dryly. But when I pulled back he was smiling.
"Your turn, open." I hopped a bit in my seat.
Edward picked up his present and tore the paper easily with a finger. He slid the box out and opened it. He face remained blank as he looked at it. I felt the smile drop from my face.
"You don't like it, do you?" I bit my lip and I looked at my lap.
I felt Edward's cool finger graze lightly under my chin and lifted it. I looked up into Edward's eyes, they were burning bright with emotion.
"I happen to love them. I would be proud to wear them, Miss Swan, especially with their significances. Thank you." He kissed me passionately.
His phone started to ring. He pulled back with a reluctant sigh. He looked at the text and rolled his eyes.
"We better go before they send Emmett after us." He stood offering me his hand.
Bella & Edward
It was now New Years Eve. I was in Alice's room getting ready for tonight. Esme had called Charlie for permission for me to go to the charity event. She had promised him that us girls would be sharing a room tonight. Charlie reluctantly agreed.
"There. What do you think?" Alice stepped back.
I looked up into a mirror to see a beautiful brunette staring back at me. She was dressed in a black cocktail style dress with halter top and it flared slightly at the waist. The black dress had a sparkle to it in the light. Alice kept my makeup natural, yet it brought out my eyes. She styled my hair so it had half of it up with loose big curls that the fell down my back. I fought Alice for the right to wear ballet flats instead of heels and won.
"Is that even me?" I questioned.
"Who else?" Alice rolled her eyes at me. "Edward is going to be speechless." She grinned.
"Thank you, Alice." I stood up from the chair. I turned to face her. She was in a short violet gown that was slim and hugged her curves.
"You are welcome. We have to do this again soon." I fight my frown. She linked arms with me to lead me to the stairs. She held on to me as we descended the stairs. I slipped once but she held on to me so I didn't fall.
"I guess you are right about the heels. However, it would have been a good excuse for Edward not to let you go all night." She winked.
Once we got to the bottom of the steps she let go of me and went to stand with Jasper. Edward walked over and took my hand. He looked amazing in his tux. The golden swan glittered in the light of the room.
"You look breathtaking, love." Edward's eyes were bright golden as he looked down at me.
"Thank you. You look very handsome." I smiled back. I watched as he slipped a wrist corsage of deep red roses onto my wrist before bringing my hand to his lips for a kiss.
"Shall we, my dear?" Edward linked our fingers together.
I nodded and he led me out to his waiting vehicle.
"We are taking the Vanquish?" I asked in surprise.
"Why not? It is a special occasion. It is the first time I've had a date for New Year's." Edward winked at me as he opened the door so I could sit. I looked around and didn't see anyone else so I assume that they left without us.
Edward moved to his side at vampire speed and the car purred to life. Edward started the drive looking happy and carefree, a look that is not common for him. It put me in a good mood to see it.
"Are you sure you will not let me buy you a new car, Bella. Something nice, reliable and can go over 45mph," Edward asked.
"I'm fine, thank you. You know that you buying me a car would never go over well with Charlie. Besides, I happen to love my truck." I sighed hoping to avoid a fight.
"Bella, but it is so old," Edward groaned.
"I happened to love old things," I teased caressing his arm lightly. "Besides it is still younger than you." I smirked and Edward growled lightly, but I saw the amusement sparkling in his eyes.
"Not funny, Bella." He smirked.
"You aren't sensitive about your age are you? Look at it this way, at least the wheel is older than you." I couldn't help but to still tease him.
He chuckled then reached over and started to tickle my side. I let out a squeal.
"If you mess anything up, you're dealing with Alice," I threatened.
Scooting as far as I could from him in the car. He let out a laugh but stopped his pursuit.
"Then behave yourself," he answered as he placed both hands on the wheel.
I rifled through a few of his CDs before slipping Debussy into his stereo. He smiled as the music filled the car.
About an hour-n-half later Edward was pulling up to the valet parking at the Grand Hyatt Seattle hotel where the charity ball was. He came to my side to open my car door, as the valets where a bit slacked jawed looking at the car. Edward had a smirk on his face as he handed off the keys and a wad of money asking them to keep a close eye on his car.
He then led me inside towards the Leonesa Ballroom.
He took my coat from me and quickly hung it up in the coat room before leading me into the room and towards his family's table. The others were there already and the men rose when we approached the table.
"Bella, I'm so glad you were able to join us." Esme leaned over from her seat to give me a hug.
"I'm glad to have made it." I smiled back. I was enjoying the feeling of being part of the family more. I wasn't looking forward to the dancing, but at least it wasn't as bad as the prom, but even then dancing with Edward wasn't that bad.
Our first course was served almost as soon as we sat down. I couldn't catch what they were doing, but their salads disappeared from their plates. I highly doubted they ate any of it. The same thing happened to the main course.
After our meal, I excused myself for a 'human moment', Alice and Rose joined me under the pretense of girls going to the bathroom together.
"This is fun." Alice seemed excited, nearly bouncing as she walked. "We should double or triple date some time soon."
"Charlie would like that," I answered thinking about it.
"One problem. Em and I are suppose to be at Dartmouth." Rose followed at a more leisurely pace behind us.
"We can work it out. We can always triple here in Seattle, or far enough away that we will not run into anyone from Forks. We can also include Angela and Ben in things closer to home, that would make Charlie even happier." Alice wouldn't let Rose derail her.
I stepped into a stall as Rose and Alice stepped into a side room to check their hair and makeup, even though I knew they were flawless.
Just before I came out, I heard the door open and two sets of feet come in.
"Oooh my God, did you see the smoking hottie out there." A high-pitched voice squeaked.
"There was a few, which one?" another voice answered.
"The one with the gorgeous cooper hair. Oh, I could just die." The voice squealed.
Please do. I had a feeling it was Edward, she was talking about.
"Dr. Cullen's son? I'm pretty sure he is with the girl that was sitting next to him. He was kissing her cheek and staring at her through out dinner." Her friend responded.
I smiled triumphantly.
"Her? Puh-lease! She's nothing. All it will take is one look at me, and he would leave that mouse." I fumed.
Months ago, I would have thought she might be right. But now I know that Edward was mine and this girl needed to back off. I had enough and exited the stall in hopes to quell her talk of absurdity.
However, it seemed to have the opposite affect. She smirked in the mirror when she saw me. It seemed as if she wanted me to hear her. She was obviously a fake blonde. Her breasts looked like they had to be fake. It was kind of funny that one was bigger than the other, apparently the surgery was not successful. Her eyes were a dull gray. She was wearing a fuchsia dress, or should I say handkerchief, since it seemed to cover important areas only and those just barely.
"Oppsy, I think we have been overheard," she giggled.
I rolled my eyes and headed to wash my hands quickly. I briefly wondered if Alice and Rose were still in here.
When I turned to check the side room she stepped in my path.
"What is it about you that he can possibly see?" She eyed me critically. She was either looking for attention or just wanted to start a fight.
I wasn't going to stoop to her level. "Excuse me," I said with as much politeness as I could muster. I tried to step around her.
She grabbed my arm trying to stop me. "Answer my question," she snapped.
"Let go of her," Rose snarled coming into the room.
"Are you going to make me," the fake blonde smirked turning to face Rose. Her eyes widened.
Rose was now standing beside me looking terrifying. "If I have to," she glowered and the girl let go of my arm.
"You want to know what my brother sees?" Rose stepped in between us and Alice came up beside me. "Just about everything you're not. She is intelligent. She is a natural beauty. She never needed a false, botched improvement. She's one of the most caring and selfless people I know. And that is just to start." Rose smirked, pausing to cock her head to the side. "That, and add in he's head over heels in love with her. But you wouldn't know about things like that, would you?"
"What's wrong, she's not up to a competition? She has to have you fight her battles for her." The blonde crossed her arms across her chest.
"If I had some, then I would deal with it. But right now, I'm not worried." I heard myself speak before I realized it.
But in all honesty, looking at this girl, I wasn't worried in the slightest. She's the type of girl I saw Edward always cringing about. Alice let out a giggle beside me as the girl narrowed her eyes at me.
"Excuse you, our men will be looking for us." Rose ordered and the girl flinched back out of the way. Alice was quick to position herself behind me, giving me a gentle push to follow Rose.
As we approached the door, I heard her mumble to her friend.
"Let's see what daddy has to say about this." She pushed her way by us. Her friend followed her. Alice moved me out of the way at the right time.
"What was that about?" I asked out loud.
"She's daddy's little princess. She's going to try to get to Edward through her father. She wants her father to subtly hint to Carlisle it would be in his best interest if Edward was interest in her. But Carlisle won't take to be threatened easily and will hint at a lawsuit if he tries anything. Carlisle would win to." Alice smirked as we headed out the door.
I wondered just how much power this girl's father had.
Not too far from the door the guys were waiting for us. They must have heard the altercation between us and the blonde and headed in our direction. She turned to see if we were watching before she strode right up to Edward.
"Hi, I am Tara." she batted her eyes shamelessly at Edward.
I frowned and resisted ripping her away from by the roots of her over-processed hair. It would probably fall out in my hands.
"Ah Tara, I don't mean to be impolite, but your dress is crooked. You might want to fix that before you go back into the ballroom," Emmett told her as he snickered.
She looked mortified as she looked down at herself.
"Em, dear, it's not the dress. It's a botched boob job. They are uneven." Rose went right up to him and slipped her arm around her waist.
Tara started to turn red and smoke was practically coming out of her ears. She turned to Edward again.
"Save me a dance, handsome," she purred.
"Sorry, my dances are filled by the most beautiful girl in the room." He stepped around her and came to my side. "Ready to dance the night away, beautiful?"
I nodded, blushing. I wasn't looking forward to making a fool of myself on the dance floor, but I won't let Tara know that.
I took Edward's offered arm as he led me out to the dance floor.
"Are you alright, love?" Edward asked as he wrapped one arm around my waist and took my hand in his other.
"I'm fine. She's just annoying. I hope she doesn't cause too many problems for Carlisle." I let him lead us smoothly.
"Between Alice and myself, we will be able to see anything coming. Her father has tremendous respect for Carlisle. He might try, but he will back off easily. Not that he can do much. He is a lawyer and his power is mainly here in Seattle. To do anything in Forks, he would have to have the local law enforcement on his side," Edward answered, not seeming a bit worried. I can see why, Charlie wouldn't be persuaded against the Cullens for a superficial reason like that one.
"Looks like princess will have to stay disappointed," I sighed and then snickered.
Edward smiled down at me. "I'm liking the more self-confidence." Edward leaned down and whispered in my ear. I blushed slightly.
After our little journey I was more confident about his love for me. We were in a good place right now and I hoped that it would last. I wished we could freeze time like this. This made me wonder if Edward was ever going to change me. I'm not sure if the journey changed that for him. If he doesn't change me, we will end up right back where we were in September. I was going to die at some point.
Then Edward will still probably try to follow suite, or would be in that curled ball, like in that room. This future was sad and it would affect more than just us. I was going to make it my New Years Resolution to convince him to change me. My approach before didn't work. Edward says I am stubborn but he is the same. I would have to find a way to convince him that he has a soul. A beautiful one. Once I was able to do that, maybe he will be ready to change me.
I danced on through the night, taking turns with other Cullen men. They were all patient with me. Somehow I got roped into doing the Chicken dance with Emmett. I spent more time laughing then dancing during that song.
As it approached midnight, I was dancing with Edward, again. This was going to be my first New Year's Eve with a boyfriend. I was hoping Edward wouldn't be too gentlemanly, and would still give me a kiss at midnight.
I would soon find out as the countdown started.
"Here's to a brand new year, with the hope of new beginnings," Edward spoke softly. His golden eyes were sparkling with love.
The countdown reached one and he placed a gentle kiss on my lips. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he lifted me slightly off the ground. When the kiss ended he lightly placed me on my feet. He rested his forehead against mine and we stared into each others eyes.
"Happy New Years," I whispered.
"Happy New Years, love. Will you marry me?" he asked.
A/N: I know many of you are going to say, 'You're ending there?', I wasn't going to originally, then I thought of how the movie New Moon ended and I found it to be fitting way to lead off to the sequel.
Both are learning of the gift front. She is learning to accept them. Edward's learning it doesn't have to big flashy that she prefers more of the sentimental gifts.
Is Tara going to be a problem in the sequel? She will make an appearance probably, but she more of annoyance if anything. Bella is growing a backbone in that department. She knows better what Edward's mate means and that she is it.
Synopsis for Sequel it is going to be called Resolutions. Edward's New Years Resolution is to convince Bella to marry him. Bella's resolutions are to get Edward to change her and convince him he has a soul. Will both succeed? Will Edward learn he can't make decisions for both of them? Will Bella keep the self-confidence that she starting to built about her relationship with Edward?
Each chapter is going to be a month in a year. Ex.: Ch. 1 January, Ch. 2 February.
It will not start until after the new year. Sometime that first week.
Thank You For all the wonderful reviews and for those who read the story. I appreciate it all very much.