A/N: Here's a short little EPOV for you all…this takes place just a few months after Bella and Edward are first married.
I wish each and every one of you a happy holiday season filled with family, friends, laughter, love, peace, and happiness!
The First Christmas
December 23, 2007
Standing on the sidewalk on Pine Street, I look up at the Tiffany & Co sign. Chewing at my bottom lip, I once again search my mind for any other possible gift for Bella.
The thing is, she's just not a jewelry person. Aside from the few black tie occasions we've attended in our first few months together, I rarely see her wear much more than a pair of simple pearl earrings and her wedding ring.
I keep hoping we'll eventually feel more comfortable with one another. I want to know her. I know our situation is certainly unconventional, but I want her to be happy. I want her to have the things she wants and desires.
I want her not to regret this new life with me and giving up her chances at a normal marriage.
She seems happy. She seems like she's slowly becoming acclimated to this lifestyle. I can't even begin to fathom what it must be like going from pinching pennies to having the ability to buy anything she wants. Before our wedding, I had imagined that she would probably take advantage of her new wealth and spend her time shopping and getting manicures. Most women would.
But not Bella.
Aside from a new wardrobe, which I had asked her to buy, she hasn't really bought herself anything. And I can't help but feel guilty about it. I mean, this deal was supposed to be mutually beneficial, but so far I seem to be the only one getting anything out of it. I've bought her things – though I don't know if I've bought them simply because I want her to have them or if it's that nagging guilt. I've gotten her a new laptop, a new car, an iPod – and every time I give her something, her face turns red and although she thanks me several times, she just seems so uncomfortable with receiving anything.
I don't even usually like Christmas. Christmas with my parents was always some big elaborate, month-long event filled with stuffy party after stuffy party. I swear my mother spends more money each year decorating her house than most people spend on a car. I haven't even put up a tree since I moved out of my parent's home before college. Bella had insisted on a tree and even though I could have lived without it, I have to admit that it's nice to have a little bit of Christmas in our home. This is the first year in so long that I've shared the holiday with anyone, and even under the odd circumstances of our relationship, it's nice to not be alone for a change.
I remember Bella once saying that her parents never really made a big deal out of Christmas. Which is why I want to make this year special for her.
The first Christmas in her new life.
So here I stand.
With no idea what to buy her for Christmas.
Of course, I've learned much more about her these past few months, but the conversations where I can glean any details about her are few and far between. Through observation, I've found that not only is she one of the most beautiful women I've ever met, but she's also one of the kindest, sweetest people I've known.
I know she has a smile that could light up a room.
I know she likes coffee, but only if it's filled with French vanilla creamer and sugar. Real sugar – none of that artificial sweetener crap.
I know she loves to read anything she can get her hands on. Her crazy book collection ranges from classic British literature to books about vampires to biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt.
I know she likes to read trashy romance novels in the evening and her face lights up in a brilliant blush whenever I happen to catch her with them.
I know she hates the cold and wears about two or three layers too many any time she leaves the house, only to start peeling off sweaters when she gets overheated.
I know she hums to herself when she cooks, although she immediately stops whenever I enter the kitchen.
I know she loves snickerdoodle cookies, because she bakes a batch at least once a month and eats most of them the same day, usually accompanied by her overly sweet coffee.
What I don't know is what to get her for Christmas.
I know I want to get her something meaningful. I want her eyes to light up. I want to earn one of those beautiful smiles.
I've spent days agonizing over this. Somehow, my brain always returns to jewelry.
Isn't that what husbands are supposed to buy their wives?
With a sigh, I finally walk through the door.
Jesus, I really have no clue what I'm doing. I've never bought jewelry for a woman before. The few times I've bought a woman a gift, it was easy. But Bella is so complicated. She's so guarded.
I'm afraid she's going to hate whatever I pick out here.
Fuck, maybe I should just give up and get her a gift card to a book store or something.
I glance around the store. Several men in business suits look like they are having the same issue I am. I almost want to laugh at how absurd it all looks. Loads of men with money milling about, completely clueless on what to buy the women in their lives.
I start to walk around, carefully avoiding touching anyone or anything. I hate crowded stores and prefer to shop online, but this time around I'm thankful for the crowd, given that all of the sales staff are busy handling other customers at the moment. The last thing I want is some fucking perky salesgirl trying to help me by blabbering on about carat weight and shit.
I just want to find something simple, elegant, and perfect for Bella. I honestly don't care what the cost is or any of the details that are usually important when purchasing jewelry.
I'm hoping I'll know it when I see it.
It's hot and stuffy in this store. Off to my right, I hear somebody sneeze and I tense up. This is exactly why I hate shopping. Germs and crowds. I can't wait to get out of here and back to my car where I can drown myself in antibacterial hand gel.
The display cases are intimidating – rings, necklaces, some gaudy shit that no one would ever wear. Who on earth would spend over $200,000 for a pendant of a unicorn? No, thank you. I could only imagine the look on Bella's face if she found that under the tree for her Christmas morning.
And then I see it.
Stuck in the back corner of a case is a pair of white gold, heart-shaped earrings, each embedded with a trio of round diamonds. They are small, elegant, delicate…they're perfect. I immediately think back to what Bella was wearing yesterday – a pair of jeans and a soft pink sweater. These earrings would have looked perfect with that. Honestly, I could see her wearing these with just about anything in her day-to-day wardrobe.
Fuck…is it bad for me to give her heart-shaped jewelry? I mean, I know we're married, but it's not like we're in love or anything. Will I be sending the wrong message?
But staring at them, I decide I don't care – I want to get them for her.
It takes nearly an hour of waiting before I have them wrapped and I'm finally back at my car, slathering my hands with antibacterial gel.
Bella's in the kitchen when I get home. I smile as she hums away – tonight her tune of choice is Jingle Bell Rock. Quietly, I make my way toward the front room and nestle the small box so that it rests partially hidden on one of the Christmas tree branches.
The house smells of cinnamon. I can just picture her in the kitchen, baking cookies and eating them before they have even had a chance to cool.
The lights on the tree twinkle brilliantly against the window backdrop, with flickers bouncing off the partially hidden Tiffany & Co box.
The sweet smell of spice, the soft sound of her melody off in the other room, the gentle pine fragrance from the tree….it's all so normal.
So perfectly Christmas…hopefully, the first of many Christmases we'll share together in this new life.
A/N: Merry Christmas! Reviews are like heart-shaped Tiffany jewelry from Edward :-) More EPOV to come...make sure to add this to story alerts if you want more!
Check out my profile for a link to the earrings Edward bought Bella...