Hello readers! I've been wanting to write a holiday one-shot for a while now, and I'm finally getting around to it. I actually was busy writing another Christmas one-shot for the past three weeks but I've gotten severely bored with it. So, now I came up with a fresh new idea and I'm writing it three days before Christmas!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Twilight related.
"Edward, could you please detach yourself from that computer and come help me finish cleaning!" My mom yelled from downstairs.
I sighed and rolled out of bed. I wasn't on the computer. Actually, who knows what the heck I was doing. Mentally preparing myself, maybe. Tonight was my parent's annual Christmas Eve party. That meant that my parents, their friends, my brother and sister, their respected partners, and their friend that they were bringing home this year would all be here tonight. Talk about a hectic night.
I made my way downstairs and into the kitchen where my mother was ferociously wiping down the counters.
"Goodness mom, if you don't calm down, you're going to have a heart attack," I warned, taking the rag from her and finishing the job.
"I know," she sighed, exhausted."I'm just a little rattled. It's already noon and the kids aren't here yet. They were supposed to leave Seattle in the morning. Why aren't they here yet?"
"Relax," I said, then kissed her on the cheek."You still have me. You know, in a perfect world, I would be your only child. You know I'm secretly your favorite."
"Oh, shut up," she chided, then swatted at me.
I laughed and helped her finish cleaning the kitchen. When we finished, every surface sparkled. The party tonight was starting at seven. The only thing left to do was wait for dad to get off of work, the cater to deliver, and for my siblings to show up with their friends.
Mom had been a little disappointed this year when I came home by myself. She worried too much. I was the only one of my family members who didn't attend the University of Washington. Instead, I decided on Dartmouth all the way across the country. Mom worried that I was all alone out there. I had friends, but I was more focused on school. Pre-med wasn't exactly an easy program. Not to mention, I loved the solidarity, All my life, it was my mom, dad, Alice and Emmett. There was never a quiet minute. College was a godsend. It wasn't that I didn't love my family, it's just that they could be a little too much sometimes.
My phone beeped, so I checked my messages.
We'll be there soon! From: Emmett.
Hurry! Mom is starting to get worried. I replied.
Who knows why there were so late? I'm sure they had a full car. Emmett was bringing Rosalie Hale, his girlfriend of two years. She was his perfect match. Blond, beautiful, and stubborn as a mule. She was scary, but a good kind of scary. She kept him out of trouble. Meanwhile, Alice was bringing Jasper Whitlock, her boyfriend. I hadn't gotten to meet Jasper, but everyone else had, and they assured me that he was a good guy. Emmett called them an odd couple, though. I wondered why that was.
There was also one more person joining us this year. Alice and Emmett had been raving about this girl they met at the beginning of this semester. Every time I'd talk to them, they would always mention something about the infamous Isabella (prefers Bella) Swan. Apparently, Bella had no Christmas plans this year, so Alice and Emmett had invited her to join us. My mom and dad were thrilled. They'd met her a couple times and already considered her a second daughter. I admit, I was pretty excited to meet her. It's not every day somebody new is introduced to the family, and everybody is completely taken with her.
The doorbell sounded off, and then the sound of Emmett's infamous booming voice rattled through the house.
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!"
"Emmett!" I heard my mother squeal in excitement. I could faintly hear her welcoming everybody into the house. I made my way out of my room and downstairs to greet everybody.
"Eddie!" I heard right before little Alice literally pounced on me. I staggered back and fell on the stairs. Meanwhile, she continued to pepper my face with kisses. "It's been entirely too long since I've seen your beautiful face, older brother!"
I laughed uncontrollably as I tried to pry her off of me. Sometimes having a crazy family was very amusing.
"I've missed you too, Alice. Now please get off of me," I pleaded. She complied and returned to her place next to who I assumed was Jasper.
Emmett was right. They were an odd couple. He towered over her and his blond hair and blue eyes contrasted greatly with her jet black hair and dark onyx eyes. She was practically vibrating with energy, and he stood quietly, not saying a word, but offering a kind smile.
"Edward, this is Jasper Whitlock, my boyfriend," Alice introduced. Jasper stepped forward and shook my hand firmly.
"It's nice to finally meet you," he said. He had a bit of a southern accent. "Alice loves to talk about you. Obviously you're the favorite of her brothers."
"Hey!" Emmett objected. "That's not true!"
"You know it is," I teased. Emmett stepped up and gave me a manly one-armed hug.
"It's good to see you, Eddie. It's been way too long. Quit taking those summer classes, and come home every once in a while," he said.
"Whatever," I told him. "Hey Rosalie, it's been a while since I've seen you."
"Not since last Christmas," she said, giving me a friendly hug. "How's school?"
"Don't ask," I smiled. Then my eyes fell on the last person I hadn't been introduced to. Bella Swan.
"They're not very good at remembering stuff, so I'll just introduce myself," I said. "I'm Edward."
"I've heard a lot about you," she answered. "I'm Bella."
No wonder everybody loved her. She was gorgeous, with long flowing mahogany curls, a heart shaped face adorned with wide doe-like chocolate eyes, a perfect button nose, and full red lips. She was so...I didn't even know the word to describe her. She had a face that you automatically trusted, and a voice that sounded like tinkling bells. It was impossible not to like this girl, and that was only her physical appearance. If she was able to charm my mother, then she must have a killer personality also.
"I've heard a lot about you," I replied. "I swear, my family loves you more than they love me."
"Not true," she smiled. I could get used to that smile.
"Uh-hum," somebody cleared their throat. Alice.
"We just had the most exhausting adventure ever, so could you stop the flirting. We got a party to get ready for!" She squealed. I felt my neck get a little warm. I wasn't flirting.
"It doesn't start for another six hours," my mom said.
"Yes, but there is eight of us staying here tonight who need to get ready and there are only three bathrooms!" Alice exclaimed. See what I mean? Never a quiet moment in this house.
"Not everybody takes forever to get ready, Alice," chimed Bella. I felt sorry for her when Alice turned and gave her a stern look.
"Don't try and weasel your way out of this," she said. "We spent all of yesterday picking out the perfect outfit for tonight, and you are going to look fabulous in it!"
I noticed Bella turn and send me a scared expression before Alice grabbed her hand and dragged her upstairs. That poor girl.
"Edward, would you be a dear and help them with their luggage?" My mom asked.
"Sure," I said. "Where is everyone staying?"
"Well, Alice and Emmett will go in their own rooms. Jasper will room with Emmett, and Rosalie and Bella go in Alice's room. Someone might want to take the guest bedroom next to your room, though. Ask to see who wants it," she said, before returning to the kitchen.
I lugged the bags upstairs, Jasper being the only one to come back downstairs to help me. I could hear Alice in the bathroom now, talking a mile a minute with Bella. Rosalie was with Emmett in his room, and I made sure to knock before I entered their room.
"So who will take the guest room?" I asked Jasper as we dumped the girl's luggage in their room.
"Probably Bella," he said. "Just so she can escape from the danger that is Rosalie and Alice. Lord knows those two don't sleep until late at night, and Bella needs all the rest she can get."
"Why is that?" I asked.
"She's on the accelerated MBA program at school and takes an overload of classes. She hardly gets any sleep, and let's just say she didn't have the easiest finals week," he said.
He sounded so concerned, I was almost worried that he had a thing for her and was going behind my sister's back. However, I'd noticed that about how everybody talked about Bella. Everybody loved her. Obviously there was something about this girl. Even Rosalie loved her, and trust me, that is an accomplishment.
"So you want to tell me about this exhausting adventure you guys had trying to get here?" I asked after we were finished. The guy was easy to communicate with, and definitely a hell of a lot more agreeable then Emmett. He was alright in my book, and even if he wasn't, Alice still wouldn't care.
"Let's just say Emmett was driving," he offered.
That was all the explanation I needed.
"Guess who's home?" Yelled a voice from downstairs.
Everybody made their way downstairs and greeted him.
"Bella!" My dad exclaimed happily.
"Hello, Carlisle," she answered.
"I'm so glad you could join us this year. It's a shame you can't spend it with your father but we're glad to have you anyway," he said, wrapping his arm around her and leading her into the kitchen. I followed, intrigued.
"Thank you, Carlisle," she replied sweetly. I noticed the way he smiled softly, the way he did when he told us stories about the emergency room and the miracles that would happen.
"Well I hope you enjoy yourself tonight," he offered. He then spotted me in the doorway. "Have you met my elusive son, Edward?"
"Yes," Bella replied, smiling at me. There was something so pure about that smile. It was as if you were the most important thing in the world when she was smiling at you.
"You two should get along nicely. You both work too hard and need to have a break," he stated. He left to go find my mom, and it was just Bella and me left in the room.
"I'm not joking, I seriously think they love you more," I said teasingly.
She laughed and sat down at the table. I sat down across from her.
"Impossible," she replied. "You should hear the conversations we have. Half the time it's about how everybody misses you and how proud they are of you."
I felt a pang of guilt. Maybe I didn't stay in touch with my family as much as I should. This is the first time I've seen them since last Christmas. I didn't come home for spring break, I took summer classes, and I didn't come home for thanksgiving.
"Well you should hear the conversations they have with me," I said, flipping the focus back on her. "I'm telling you, you've come up in every single conversation."
She shook her head, unbelieving. Did she really not understand how taken my family was with her?
"So how is life at school? Dartmouth, right?" She asked.
"It's good," I answered. "Not much to say about it. I'm usually studying or working."
"What about friends, or a girlfriend?" She inquired.
I suddenly felt a little embarrassed to tell her that I had neither. I shook my head.
"Really?" She asked, astonished.
"I try to stay focused on school, for the most part," I said. "I never really have time for anything else."
I felt really lame. After what Jasper told me, I couldn't just say that being a pre-med student didn't allow me to have a social life. After all, she had the same workload as me, and yet she still managed to be friends with everybody and occasionally come home to meet my parents.
"Don't you ever get lonely?" She asked, and her brown orbs focused on me. I was prepared to say no, but...I was no longer sure if my life wasn't lonely.
"Hey guys," Alice interrupted. "Come on, Bella. You get in the shower first."
"Yes, Alice," she replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes at me and smiling.
Gah, that smile.
Once she left the room, Alice turned to me, and narrowed her eyes.
"I'm onto you," she said.
"What?" I asked, although I'm pretty sure I knew what she was talking about.
"Don't play any games with Bella. I love you, but I will personally kick your ass if you hurt her," she said.
"You don't anything to worry about," I reassured her, although I wasn't quite so sure about how true that statement was.
"Hey Eleazar," I greeted.
It was now eleven o'clock, and the party was still going on. Didn't anybody have kids to put to sleep? Don't they know that Santa won't deliver the presents if they're not in bed when he comes? Goodness.
"It's good to see you, Edward," he said. "It's been entirely too long. How are you?"
"Fine," I replied. Ever since my conversation with Bella earlier, fine was all I could say whenever somebody asked me that question.
"I got a chance to meet Alice's friend, Bella. Such a nice girl," he said.
I'm aware of that.
I continued to make small talk with all of the family friends and extended family that I hadn't seen in a year. The whole thing was rather tedious. The only thing that kept me interested was when I would circle around to my sibling's group. They would laugh and discuss all of the memories from the past semester. I learned quite a bit of Bella from those conversations that I eavesdropped on.
Apparently, Mike Newton, the boy I remember detesting from high school, attended the University with them and had quite a crush on Bella. They recounted the many times that Bella had tried to nicely reject him. I also learned that she had accidentally pepper sprayed Emmett when she first met him. Apparently, when she went to go visit Alice in her dorm, Emmett was there and freaked her out so she got him straight in the face. I quietly listened to all of their stories. They sounded like they had a lot of fun together.
Now, I was talking to Tanya, Eleazar's daughter, and although they were just family friends, it still felt violating whenever she would try to make a move. She was busy telling me about something completely insignificant when I glanced back at Bella. She looked rather beautiful tonight. Her long hair cascaded down her back, hiding the skin that showed from the black silk and lace dress that she was wearing. She was smiling softly at one of Esme's coworkers as she talked with her.
The only thought that ran through my head was: Look at me. Just turn and smile at me. She did. My breath caught as her eyes met mine, and her smile grew. Her fingers waved a little at me before she turned back to the conversation she was having.
"Could you excuse me, Tanya?" I asked, but I didn't wait for the answer. I made my way outside to the front porch and sat on the bench. My breath came out in little puffs and I busied myself by watching the little puffs of moist air meet the dry cold atmosphere.
The door opened, and Bella stepped out.
"Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to bother you," she said.
"You weren't," I told her. "Have a seat, if you want."
She sat down on the other end of the bench and quietly looked out into the night.
"Are you okay," I asked.
"I'm fine," she said.
I've heard that one before.
"Really?" I asked, skeptically. She breathed out a short laugh, before answering.
"It's nothing really," she said, but for once, her eyes didn't seem bright and happy like they've been since she arrived. I stayed quiet and watched her. She sighed before continuing.
"I guess I'm just a little nostalgic," she answered. "No wait, that's not the right word. Maybe overwhelmed."
"I know what you mean," I replied, laughing dryly.
"Not in a bad way, though," she quickly said. "More in an envious way. I'm not used to such a festive Christmas. It feels really nice to have so many people together. Usually, it's just my dad and me. I love my dad, but he's not exactly the festive type. If it wasn't for Alice and Emmett inviting me here today, then I'd probably be at home all alone right now."
"What about your dad?" I asked.
"He's working tonight and tomorrow," she answered. "He's the police chief. Somebody has to be on duty."
"I'm sorry," I told her.
"It's fine. Like I said, I'm just a little overwhelmed. Going from being an only child to suddenly being surrounded by people that I'm even closer to then I am with my parents. You're so lucky to have such a big and loving family," she said.
Lucky. I didn't think of it that way, but in that moment, I did feel lucky.
"That's funny," I said. "Usually, I feel as if it's too much. That's why I went to Dartmouth in the first place."
She turned to me, and her eyes searched mine. I could see it. I could see why everybody loved her so much. She generally cared. She was good. It'd been a while since the world had seen anybody so selfless or just plain nice.
"You moved all the way across the country to get away from your family?" She asked.
I didn't have an answer that didn't make me seem like a complete douche bag.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean for that to come out so harsh," she said.
"No, it's fine," I said truthfully. "I know how bad it sounds. Actually, it seemed to make perfect sense before, but now it just seems like the most idiotic thing in the world. I mean, I literally have no time for myself, and even when I do, I spend it by myself. I used to think that all I wanted was a bit of peace and quiet, but I've got to tell you, I seriously miss the loud and obnoxious adventures that my family has."
She stayed quiet, but she looked up and stared at the ceiling for a second before setting her gaze back on me.
"Your family really misses you, and you miss them. I think that's grounds for a little re-evaluation about what you want to do with your life," she said. A second later, she quickly back-tracked. "I'm sorry, I didn't meant to say that. It's your life, don't listen to me."
"No," I said quickly. "You're right. In fact, I think you're right about everything."
She laughed, and stood up.
"Trust me, I'm not as smart as I think I am," she joked. "Do you want to go back inside, or just hang out here a little longer?"
"I'll go inside with you," I told her. She offered me her hand to help me stand up, and I held on, even after I was up.
We opened the front door, and the first person we saw was my mother.
"Look up," she said.
Bella and I looked up and I froze. Mistletoe. I looked into Bella's eyes, and hers were wide with shock.
"We don't have to if you don't want to," I told her.
She glanced up again, before taking a deep breath.
"It is a Christmas tradition," she said. "But if you don't want to, that's fine."
I lent forward and softly pressed my lips to hers. We barely moved, but it was still one of the best kisses I'd ever had. The hand that I was still holding began to tingle as her thumb slowly trailed across my skin. It lasted all of five seconds before we pulled away. I didn't get to see what she was thinking. Her eyes were cast downward, and she quietly slipped past me into the crowd. I didn't follow her.
It was probably four in the morning when I woke up to use the restroom. I noticed the guest bedroom door next to my room wasn't closed all the way. There was a light coming from downstairs so I went down to go see what it was.
"Hello?" I asked as I walked into the kitchen. Whoever it was was behind the refrigerator door.
Bella popped her head up and closed the fridge door.
"Oh, hi Edward. I was just getting a glass of water," she said, but her eyes didn't meet mine.
"Did I do something?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" She said as she poured the filtered water into a glass.
"I mean, why won't you look at me?" I said. "I'm really sorry if that kiss from earlier upset you."
"It didn't upset me," she said quietly.
"Then what is going on?" I asked.
"Nothing," she said as she put the filter back in the fridge.
I walked forward until I was right next to her. She took a sip from the glass but continued staring down at the island top. I tilted her chin up until she was finally looking at me.
She smiled nervously from the tension, and I laughed.
"Why are you laughing?" She asked.
"Because I love your smile," I told her and then leaned down to press my lips against hers for the second time tonight.
This time, her lips moved against mine, slowly and sensuously. She pulled away briefly and whispered, "Earlier, I thought that you didn't want to kiss me." I answered her with my lips as they softly moved against hers. It was insane to think I literally just met her today, but I couldn't help it. She was so amazing, and after all the times my family had mentioned her, I might as well have met her at the same time they did.
"You know what I just realized," she said as we pulled away.
"What?" I asked.
"Merry Christmas," she said. I looked at the clock and remembered what time it was.
"Merry Christmas," I replied.
I leaned forward to kiss her beautiful smile.
Christmas time! This story was inspired by a line in one of my favorite books Bottled Up by: Jaye Murray. The main character says something like "she smiled at people like she was in love with them." So...
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
Reviews are always nice! Tell me if you spot any grammar or spelling problems. I've checked over it several times, so I think it's perfect, but you never know. Love you guys!
I'll probably post an epilogue later on in the week having to do with new years.