I do not own Twilight or its characters. Stephenie Meyer does.

CH 1: January (EPOV)

Alice and I waited outside the Swan's house in the Volvo as the heat was on full blast. It was a bitter cold day and I wanted to make sure it was warm enough for Bella. So many humans get sick every winter with colds or the flu. It was my job, as Bella's mate, and/or boyfriend, to take care of her to the best of my ability.

Yes, boyfriend. Personally, I was hopping for a different title. Fiancé which would hopefully be changed to husband in the near future. However, neither seemed likely in the near future. I thought back to New Year's Eve.


I was dancing with my Bella just before the countdown started. She looked beautiful this evening in her sparkly black dress. Her eyes were also alive with joy and love as she looked at me. She seemed to enjoy herself dancing with me and my family members. Her laughter from dancing with Emmett to this foolish dance named after a chicken still rang in my ear. I saw my Bella had grown more confident about my feelings for her. She didn't allow herself to be bothered by the girl in the bathroom, and in fact stood up for herself.

It was not long after I got back that I realized I wanted to propose to Bella. I wanted her to be my wife, not just my mate or girlfriend. I wasn't sure how to do it. I knew lavish and big was out of the question. I knew Bella liked simple and would be mortified if I did a grand public gesture. The countdown started and I realized for the first time, I would be able to give my love a kiss at the stroke of midnight beginning a brand new year, a first for the both of us.

"Here is to a brand new year, with the hope of new beginnings." I spoke softly. Her beautiful chocolate brown eyes stared up at me through her lashes

The countdown reached one and I placed a gentle kiss on her sweet lips. I felt her wrap her arms around my neck and I could feel her stretching on her toes, so I lifted her slightly off the ground. When the kiss ended I lightly placed her on her feet. I rested my forehead against hers and we stared into each others eyes. "Happy New Years," she whispered in her soft sweet voice

"Happy New Years, love. Will you marry me?" I asked, the words popped out of my mouth before I could stop them. I felt her stiffen in my arms and her eyes widened. Granted, I never expect to her to jump up and down then start squealing 'yes'. However, I didn't expect the smile to drop off her face and have her look at me in disbelief.

"What?" she looked confused and a little upset.

Edward, I think you might want to continue that in private. Alice warned me in her thoughts. That's when I knew the outcome of this wouldn't be as I hoped.

I took her by the hand and led her from the room. I knew Alice would grab our coats. I brought her to the elevator so we could talk in private in our hotel room.

Bella followed me but remained quiet, I could practically see the wheels turning in her head as she gnawed on her lip.

The longer she didn't speak, the more I started to panic. I couldn't lose her. I was afraid now that I might have scared her off.

I opened the door to the suite and let her walk in first. Her eyes widen as she walked to the couch and sat down.

I followed cautiously behind her and sat next to her on the couch taking her shaking hand in mine.


"Edward…" We both started as she stopped. I gestured for her to go ahead.

"Edward, you know that I love you more than anything right?" She looked at me with her eyes brimmed with worry.

"Yes." I nodded, I felt my chest tighten.

"The thing is I… I… I don't really believe in the idea of marriage." She said nervously. I rubbed my thumb on the back of her hand in hopes she would explain more. "People get married all the time. Then fall out of love and leave. So I don't believe that marriage means that you will always be together. People still leave." I thought over her words. I had a feeling her prime example of marriage was her parents, that didn't give her a positive outlook. But I couldn't help but feel a little hurt; she still thought I would leave her.

"Bella, do you believe your love for me will not last," I asked. She shook her head furtively and opened her mouth. I held up my hand. "Do you believe my love for you could go away?"

"No, but…" I cut her off again.

"Then why not, Bella? Granted there are others out there who rush into marriage. But we are not them and our bond will not falter. Unlike humans, the mating bond between us will only strength over time, not weaken. I want to marry you to symbolize that we will be together forever." I brought her hand to my lips and kissed it and she gave me a weak smile.

"I don't want to disappoint my parents, either. I don't want them to think I am making the same mistake they made. Even if I did believe in marriage, we would still be too young. People still talk about my mother leaving my father. I don't want him to have people talk in town that his daughter is making the same mistake. That isn't fair to him to have to go through that again. Plus, my mother has always told me to wait until I am thirty," she told me. I fought my smirk. I couldn't fault her for trying to protect Charlie from mindless gossip of a small town.

"What would be different from now and thirty?" I asked. In my day one didn't wait to marry their intended.

"By thirty, you would have been able to go to go school and start your career, first." She announced. I nodded, fairly reasonable for most. But I still wasn't happy with waiting, though I would wait if I had to.

"If we were married, we could go to college together. In fact, by being my wife I could help you with any college payments and you wouldn't have to worry about loans or asking your parents for money. I would even support you with whatever career you wanted." I promised. "Although, I'm willing to wait until you are thirty." She flinched a bit and I had to wonder why it seemed I was always saying the wrong thing.

"Edward, are you going to change me?" She asked in a whisper.

I closed my eyes briefly; I should have known that this argument would come up again.

"I can't take your soul, love. We've been through this. Nothing has changed" I begged her to understand. She shook her head and a tear slipped down her cheek and my dead heart clenched.

"You're wrong. You have your soul. I know it. I just wished you could believe it." She looked down at the space between us. She suddenly looked up at me with fire in her eyes. "Is it better that I died one day and you follow suite? That would crush our family. In that supposed future, they had completely fallen apart." I wasn't sure how to respond to that. She winced and shuddered when she had said 'suite', I knew that had been very traumatic for her. She has had nightmares a few times, waking and checking that my head was still attached. Involving the Volturi would put the rest of my family in danger too, as I had found out.

"What about your family? Don't you think it would hurt them to think that you're dead?" I thought of how upset Charlie was in the future I saw.

"I don't want to hurt anyone. I want the best solution to make people happy. It's my life, why can't I chose the path I want and what I want to do with it? Why do I need your permission?" She looked agitated.

"You don't need my permission. I love you. If I think you're making a mistake, then it's my duty to stop you." Bella frowned and looked away. I ran my hand through my hair. I decided on a different approach.

"Bella… so what is it you want, to be changed at age thirty?" I thought it would at least buy me some time. She shook her head.

"I want you to change me sooner," she answered. "I might be confident that you love only me, but that doesn't mean I will be comfortable seeing bitches throw themselves at you and not be able to fight them off because I'm too old." She had her angry tiger kitten face on. "Not to mention at age thirty, I could get arrested and go to jail just for holding your hand, let alone for kissing you."

"Bella, I would never let that happen." I promised her as I leaned forward to push a strand of hair behind her ear.

"So, if I change you before you are thirty, you would never marry me?" I raised an eyebrow. She shifted nervously.

"Honesty, I don't know. I just can't say 'yes' right now. I know I love you and I want to be with you forever, but marriage still scares me. I'm not ready for it. I don't think we are. You just got back and I feel we just barely got on track." She pleaded at me to understand. I nodded; perhaps it was too soon after the mess I caused.

"Don't say 'no' either. Give me a chance to change your mind to show you that marriage can be a good thing. Prime example: Esme and Carlisle, or my siblings. All long, healthy marriages. Please, don't say, 'no'." I begged her.

"Only if you promise not to say 'no' to changing me and give me a chance to change your mind. Prove to you that you have soul." She countered. I paused as I looked at her determined face. She wasn't going to budge. I might as well let her believe that she has a chance, if it gives me mine.

"All right. I will think about changing you, but I am not making any promises." I smiled at her.

"Then I will try to be open to the idea of getting married." She smiled back. "Are we okay?" She whispered almost silently, biting her lip and looking worried.

I reached over and pulled her into my lap. I placed soft kisses along her neck. I heard her heart race and her breath hitch.

"We are fine, Bella. I may be disappointed that you're not ready, but I understand why. Beside that, it was a bit of a rushed proposal anyways. I got caught up in the moment. You deserve something special and at least a ring." I nuzzled her neck, then kissed her jaw, working my way up to her jaw. I slowly kissed her deeply and she enthusiastically responded.

I snapped back to reality as I heard the door to Charlie's house open. I got out and flew to the passenger side to let Bella in. She smiled as she saw my eyes lighting up.

"Good morning, beautiful," I smiled as I opened the door as she reached it so I didn't let any warm air out. She blushed lightly.

"Good Morning," She said softly. She reached up to kiss my cheek before slipping in.

I closed the door and got back in the car before she finished clicking her seatbelt.

"Hi, Alice." She turned in the seat.

"Morning, Bella. It's going to be an interesting day at school today," Alice answered as I backed down the driveway. It won't be as bad as you think. Just stay focused on Bella. Ignore the others.

I wasn't entirely looking forward to going back to Forks High School. Besides Bella, I am not sure how we would be welcomed back. From the scene at Jessica's party, some thought I had physically hurt her. Having Bella beside me would make it worthwhile. Alice had already assured me that I would get my same schedule back and my seat in every class since I know no one took my place, including Newton.

"Are you ready for this?" Bella asked looking over at me, as if she was reading my mind.

"Yes and no." I shrugged and took her soft gloved hand in mine. "I'm not looking forward to the minds of the kids here, but I always enjoy any time spent with you." She blushed and turned to look out the window.

"I will enjoy having you back with me, too," she admitted with a shy smile. I pulled into the parking lot. Already kids were gasping, pointing and just out right staring. It was going to be a long day.

Many wondered why, we were back? A few were actually concerned for Bella's reaction. While others hoped Bella and I would get into some public fight. I got more images then I could handle of how Bella had looked while I was gone.

I saw Michael Newton as he gave hateful look in my direction and he starting searching for Bella's truck.

Damn! Cullen is back. I guess I will have to make my move today on Bella. Offer her the sympathetic shoulder to cry on. I'm not letting him near her. He smirked thinking how he could rub it my face that she had moved on.

Jessica Stanley wasn't much better.

Eeek! Edward is back. I wonder if I can get him to notice me this time. Since, Bella looks pathetic there is no change in hell he would want her now.

"Edward, the stares will get worse the longer we stay in the car," Alice called from the backseat. Bella's fine and happy. If you get upset so will she. I nodded and got out of the car. I opened Alice's door, first, since she had been sitting right behind me. I registered some thoughts wondering why she was in the back. I walked to Bella's door and took a deep breath. I opened the door and held out my hand to her. She took it and I could hear the gasps of shocks as she stepped out of the car. I smiled down at her and she smiled back at me, luckily she seemed oblivious to everyone else.

"Are you okay?" She whispered lips barley moving.

"I'm fine, love. Lets' just say not everyone is celebrating my return." I shrugged as I took her hand. I inwardly smirked at Newton cursing me in his mind. Seemed like his daydreams will never be a reality. Such a shame.

I threw both our bags over my shoulder as I started towards the office, linking our hands and pulling her along to get her out of the cold. Alice followed behind us.

"Who?" Bella looked offended that I wasn't wanted as she tried to scan the parking lot. It pleased me that my little tigress would defend my honor.

"I believe that would be good old Mike." Alice giggled from behind me. Bella frowned then smirked a bit.

"What's wrong with Mike? Wasn't he the one you kept trying to push me towards?" Bella raised an eyebrow challenging me. I grimaced when I thought about how I once believed that Bella needed someone more human. In reality, she needed me to keep her safe. Mike would never be able to fill the position.

"Mike, seriously?" Alice snorted. Bella broke out into giggles too. At least the thought of Newton being a boyfriend was funny to her, rather then pleasing.

"Ha ha, yes, very funny." I suddenly pulled Bella to me and gave her a passionate kiss, right in front of the whole school. I heard a couple of cat calls. Alice cleared her throat loudly.

I pulled back and Bella was looking at me dazed and with a big goofy smile that probably matched my own. I even surprised myself by my boldness.

"Sorry, if I was out of line. I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion," I apologized for my rash ungentlemanly behavior.
"No apology necessary. You may kiss me anytime you want, like that." Bella smiled up at me sounding dazed still, I chuckled.

"Come on. I need to go 'dazzle' Mrs. Cope into letting me have my former schedule." I pulled her along with me.

The day was slow. Every time the thoughts of others would annoy me, I would just look at Bella, who for once was oblivious to the outside world and was smiling and looked happy. Seeing her happy, put a smile on my face. If she wanted to be oblivious to the gossip, I would let her.

Unfortunately, I had to split from her when she went to her math class. Not only was I separated from her, but Mike and Jessica were in her class and were not happy with the idea that we were back together.

Both seemed to deem it appropriate to talk to us about the other. They decided to wait after class before lunch. I hurried to get outside her class to hopefully avoid any confrontations. I was about two seconds too late as Jessica stepped into my path.

"Edward, I'm so happy to see you back," she said batting her eyes shamelessly at me.
"Jennifer, nice to see you, again." I pretend to be polite but I looked past her, looking for my Bella, she was already cornered by Newton.

"It's Jessica," she looked annoyed and her voice sounded crisp.

"Oh, sorry." I hid my smirk, not being sorry at all. I tried to step around her.

"Wait. I thought you might want some warning about Bella?" She tried to sound concerned but failed.

"What warning?" I decided to play dumb.

"She's not stable. If you could have just seen her after you left. You would never get back with her, she's going to be clingy." She hissed in not quite a whisper, enjoying the attention she was getting.

"Oh really? Concerned for me are you?" The venom leaked into my voice. She hesitated but nodded. She was surprised I wasn't more grateful to her.

"Well, you shouldn't be. I have a fair account of how Bella was from an unbiased source. I don't need the likes of some petty attention getting gossip hound to tell me. Especially, one that was never a true friend. Tell me, did you even try to help Bella or did you just want to get the dirt on what happened last fall?" Jessica frowned in irritation.

"I was only looking out for you," Jessica huffed. This isn't how I thought this would go.

"Yes, I am sure you were. I bet you thought what…that I would be so grateful; I would fall into your arms or something?" I hissed and she flinched.

"You like to gossip, Jessica. So I will let you spread the good word. Last fall was a mistake. I foolishly listened to advice that a long distance relationships do not work. In the process, I hurt Bella and myself. If you think Bella was in a bad place, I was in a worst one without her. I will say this only once, I love Bella more than my own life. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for her. I will protect her and our love for each other against anyone at any time. Think you can past that along for me?" I glared at her. There was a twinge of regret knowing I shouldn't speak to a female this way, but I didn't want to have this fight everyday and I could trust Jessica to spread the word.

"Su…rrre." She stuttered, her face turning red before hurrying off.

I didn't hesitate to move to the class where apparently Mike had blocked off Bella from the door. My angered flared seeing that he had grabbed her wrist. I started to lunge forward when Alice grabbed my arm. Let her do this or Mike will never back off.

I growled quietly, but stopped. I was angered that Bella was in the position. Where the hell did Mr. Varner go? Isn't it his job to make sure things like this don't happen in his classroom?

"Mike, let go of me. How dare you accuse Edward of ever hurting me, when it's you who's twisting my wrist. I am sorry you don't like Edward, but I love him. You need to back off," Bella's face was red with anger. I wished I had backhanded him into the wall like I wanted to last year.

"Mike, man, enough, Let go of her. You've said your piece, she still wants Cullen. Time for you to walk away." I noticed Ben Cheney stepped forward and grabbed him by the upper arm that was holding Bella. I was grateful for his interference.

"Seriously, dude. If Cullen sees you hurting Bella, he's going to hurt you back." Tyler warned him he looked around and spotted me and paled. Shit! He looks pissed.

"That all depends on what Bella wants me to do," I spoke in a cold voice. Bella's face filled with relief.

"Edward," she cried out finally breaking free of Mike and flung herself towards me, wrapping her arms around my waist and holding herself tight to me.

"This isn't the best place to start a fight." Ben took a step in between us. I was impressed with Ben's attempt to try and keep things civil.

"I have no plans to fight. I do, however, plan to take Bella to her father when she presses charges, if you ever place your hands on her again." I rubbed small circles on Bella's back in efforts to calm us both and not hurt Mike.

"What, not man enough to fight?" Mike smirked then looked for confirmation from his peers. No one seemed ready to give him their support, including Tyler, surprisingly. The threat of Chief Swan had them all worried.

Bella turned before I could respond.

"No, he's just man enough to know that fighting wouldn't be worth the trouble." She snapped her warm eyes were cold and hard. "Alice, can you take a picture of this?" She calmly turned to her, extending her arm out. Alice grabbed her phone and took a couple pictures.

My anger inflamed as I saw Bella's swollen red wrist.

Edward, she needs you to comfort her, right now. Not by being a barbarian, vengeful boyfriend. Alice warned. I showed her I understood with our silent communication.

"We can just say that Cullen did that." Mike smirked thinking he changed the tables on me. I felt calming waves hit me from outside.

Bro, seriously calm down, before you blow our cover and we have to leave. Jasper's thoughts came to me from outside, where he and Emmett were in the shadows of the forest. Alice must have called them.

"I'm not lying for you, Mike." Ben gave him a look of disgust.

"Me, neither." Austin shook his head, wishing that he had just gone to lunch.

"Dude, can't you go to jail for perjury? I'm not lying. She doesn't even want you, move on already." Tyler was starting to get annoyed. In fact, he decided it was a good time to leave. I pulled Bella to the side as he practically ran from the room.

"Are you ready to go to lunch?" I whispered in her ear and she nodded, so I led her from the room with Alice at our side.

Mike came storming past us a moment later. I rolled my eyes. I turned back to the others two, who were just exiting the room.

"Thank you, Ben, for helping Bella back there." I turned to him. He looked embarrassed but nodded. Angela would've never forgiven me if I let something bad happen to her friend. She's all excited they are back together.

"It was the right thing to do." He shrugged. "I'll see you guys later." He walked off.
"He's a great guy. Angela is lucky to have him. They are going to be so happy together." Alice smiled.

"They are going to stay together?" Bella asked interest peaked as she glanced sideways at Alice.

"Mmm hmm. They will get married after they finish their first year of college and live happily ever after." Alice said with a flourish. Bella chewed on her bottom lip thoughtfully.

Just thought I would help the cause. But just so you know, it would be easier if you just both gave in. I gave her a look to tell her it wasn't happening and she rolled her eyes.

I looked down at Bella as she was rubbing her wrist lightly.

"Are you alright? Do you want me to bring you to Carlisle?" I asked.

She shook her head. "It's just a little sore." She slipped my hand over the red marks and gave me a smile.

"Much better than an ice pack." She smiled at me; I resisted rolling my eyes and kissed the top of her head.

"I'm sorry I didn't get to you sooner. I was waylaid by Jessica. She thought it was her duty to tell me how you were when I was gone." Bella frowned in irritation. I wished I could put that happy bubble she seemed to be in this morning back up.

"Don't worry. Edward set her straight. The news is probably all over the school, right now." Alice reached in her bag and handed Bella a granola bar and a water bottle. "I figured we might want to skip the cafeteria today."

"Thank you." Bella reached over and took the food. I wanted to say something about her eating more then that. But a bigger part of me was enjoying the moment away from prying eyes. I led Bella over to a bench and pulled her into my lap so she could eat. I kept one hand around her waist and the other on her wrist, where the redness that had already started to dissipate. She leaned against me as she ate.

"Are you okay?" She asked looking at me with concern.

"I'll be fine. Things can only get better from here. By next week, our return will be old news." I smiled.

I was right too. The next two weeks flew by, by that time most everyone had moved on. Each day I tried to do something special for Bella. I tried to mix in a little courting from my day and with a few ideas from couples today. I left her notes in her locker or on her pillow in the morning. I brought her flowers on occasion, or simple pieces of chocolate. I wrote her a few poems. I texted her messages through out the day. I took her out on a couple of dates. I even allowed the rules to be bent a bit more.

These were all efforts in hopes to slowly get her to change her mind. I realized before I held back from showing Bella my love at times, in order to keep her safe. Also to keep some distance, in case I had to leave. So now I was all in, I was giving it my all to show her that I wasn't leaving her. I didn't bring up marriage again. I didn't want to badger her or rush her.

Today was a special today. A year ago, today I spoke to Bella for the first time. I had taken Bella out for an early dinner with Charlie's approval. Although, the first time I saw Bella a year and a week prior; I wasn't going to celebrate the first time I also left her.

I rushed down the stairs after changing to head back to her place, after Charlie had gone to bed.

Edward, do you have a moment? Carlisle called me from inside his office.

I paused and stepped in to see what the man I came to known as my father wanted.

Just wanted to update you, Mr. Carson called me today? Carlisle looked up at me from behind his desk from with a bit of a smirk.

"Who is he?" I asked in confusion.

I believe you met his daughter, Tara. Of course, her; I had hoped she had given up. He called to offer me a prestigious position at a Seattle hospital that he is on the board on. He was unhappy to hear that we prefer the country. I also told him that I had upset my son's life once from taking him from his soul mate, and I wasn't about to make the same mistake twice.

He then asked about you. I told him you were the son I was speaking about. That you were very much in love with a girl from this town and it was very serious. He had tried to suggest that his daughter was interested in you and it might be in my best interest as well. I told him it was a waste of time. I wasn't going to set my son up for a relationship that his heart wasn't in, that it would be destined for disastrous results, only hurting my son and his daughter. I don't care how it affected me, I wouldn't do it. He was silent for awhile then wished me a good-night. He leaned back in his chair.

"Has Alice seen anything?" I asked hoping it was over.

She saw him backing off. But, not the girl, just yet. Sorry. He gave me his sympathy. I nodded. I wasn't too worried about her, unless she upset Bella.

Going to see Bella? I nodded and started to smile a big smile.

I am glad to see that you are so happy. Are you still trying to get her to agree to getting married?

"I'm trying to woo her to the best to my abilities. I realize there is a small bit of her that fears I will leave. I'm not sure if she is consciously aware of it. I also know that she loves me and her reason against marriage is the institution itself and fear of disappointing her parents. Not personal. So I am hoping I can change her mind if I'm patient with her and don't push her." I sighed running my hand through my hair.

I'm proud of you, son, for realizing that. Children from divorced marriages sometimes have hard time accept marriage for themselves. It's not an uncommon fear.

I do hope you are considering her request as well. This family can't lose the both of you.

If she didn't want to be changed, I wouldn't force it. But she does. If I have to I will take matters into my own hands. I growled.

"You will not take her soul." I hissed.

She doesn't think I would be doing that. Are you still afraid that she will resent you one day if you change her? I nodded sadly as he gave me a sad look. Have you considered what happens, if she resents you for not changing her? I opened my mouth and closed it. I would say she could move on to someone else. But I knew that wasn't true.

Just think about it, Edward.

I turned and ran from the house trying to clear my head before I got to Bella's. The selfish monster in me wanted to change her. But I couldn't get past how much I would take from her in doing so. I am not even sure if she understood all that she would no longer have.

I smiled as I reached her house and heard Charlie sound asleep. I jumped through the window just in time to catch a pencil that was hurtling in my direction.

"Have I done something to upset you? I thought you knew wooden stakes were a myth?" I teased. I looked over as she groaned. Her face was buried under a pillow. I grew more concerned as I observed the situation. On the bed was her math book and notebook. The notebook had a lot of erasing marks and smudges on the page. I laid down next to her on the bed and removed the pillow from her head. I wanted to see her beautiful face. Her eyes were closed, causing me to chuckle slightly.

"Hi," I whispered.

She peeked through her eyes at me. "Hi."

"Would you like some help with your homework?" I asked her.

"Yes, please. I don't get what I am doing wrong. I feel so stupid." She sighed sitting up. She was already dressed for bed wearing her long sleeve light cotton shirt and a pair of lounge pants.

"You are not stupid, love. You're one of the smartest people I know. It isn't your fault for not getting this. Mr. Varner isn't the greatest teacher. He shows his students the hard method on purpose, to make himself feel more important and smarter. I can show you an easier way." I brushed her hair back away from her neck and placed a kiss there.

"Are you serious? That's so unfair." She grumbled. "Will he accept your method?"

"He will. There it's only about a step that is different. He never said anything about the rest of my family doing it that way." She nodded.

We spent the next half hour finishing the assignment. I had only had to walk her through the first two problems and she handled the rest.

"Thank you," she flung her arms around my neck and peppered my face with kisses.

"You're quite welcome. I will help you anytime that you need it." I nuzzled her cheek and sighed, pulling her warm body closer to me.

"I'm going to have to find some way to repay you." She promised seductively; kissing my neck with her sweet warm lips. I fought with the side of me that just wanted to throw her down on the bed and take her up on that.

"Another time. I believe it's time for you to get some sleep," I whispered huskily, and with one swift movement I laid her down and managed to get her under the covers.

She gave me a pretty little pout as she pulled back the covers slightly and patted the spot next to her. "Please."

I hesitated briefly before joining her. The heated blanket seemed to have made a difference. As crude as Emmett's joke might have been, it was really a thoughtful gift. Although, every time I got under the covers, it didn't seem that sleep was Bella's goal.

"May I have a good-night kiss?" She asked curling up into me rubbing my chest with her hand lightly.

With one hand I lightly I cupped her cheek. I pressed my lips to her tenderly. She responded automatically with her small hand slipping into my hair, tugging at it lightly. I held back the moan that wanted to escape. Her warm body seemed to melt into mine and felt every curve of her body fit into mine perfectly.

As if my other hand had a mind of its own it slipped from her waist and under her shirt. I slowly traced her ribs until I was just under the swells of her breasts. I pulled back when she made a small whimpering sound. I had to stop us before we woke Charlie.

"We have to stop." I whispered huskily against her lips, though I fought hard against my own self.

"I'll be good," Bella's eyes met mine. She gave me a smirk and I realized I hadn't moved my hand.

"Sorry," I slipped it out and rested it on the middle of her back.

"That's okay. You could have left it there, I didn't mind. I also wouldn't have minded if it was a couple inches higher either." She giggled her eyes full of mischief and desire. I raised a brow at her forwardness and I felt my eyes darken.

"Bella, I think you enjoy driving me crazy. What am I going to do with you?" I whispered kissing her pulse point and her breathing hitched.

"I have a suggestion." She sounded breathless and her heart raced again.

"I'm sure you do." I chuckled against her neck before pulling back. "I think it would be better though if I got out of the bed so you can sleep." I started to pull back the covers.

"No," she cried out in alarm grabbing on to my shirt. Her eyes looked panicked and I froze.

"Shhh. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere," I pulled her to me and rubbed her back. I started to hum her lullaby and she started to calm down. She was quiet and I thought she was ready to fall asleep finally.

"I'm sorry," she spoke very soft to the point I almost missed it.

"For what?" I asked her.

"For pushing you and then overreacting when you had to stop." She traced invisible designs on my chest.

"I'm just as guilty for the pushing part and I'm not sorry for that. And I don't think you overreacted. Just get some sleep, my angel." I hummed her lullaby and she soon was breathing deep against my chest.

A/N: Happy New Years! A new year a new story. This is the squeal to A Twilight Carol. Each Chapter will be a month of the new year. However, I will be probably updating once to twice a week, depended how the writing goes.

So Bella said she wasn't ready to get married. Are any of really that surprised? It always got me that Edward wasn't back 24hrs in New Moon before he told Bella marry him and he will change her. I wasn't surprised she said no then. ( not to mention he technically didn't ask)

I hope you find that she explain her reasons for waiting well enough, even if you still think wrong or crazy for saying no.

Yes, Bella may overreacted a bit when Edward tried to get out of the bed. But what was Edward going to say 'Yes you did'. I don't think that it is his style; I believe he would just try to comfort her.


Before long it was all out a war as snowballs flew everywhere. I made my own, but was reluctant to try and throw it. Edward dodged and blocked the most snowballs keeping his back to me as he defended me.

"It's no use, we aren't going to get him," Alice groaned and the action came to a stand still.

"Of course not, I can see everything you are thinking," Edward got cocky. Before I contemplate my actions, I threw my snowball and prayed that luck would be on my side for once. There was a loud smack as it hit Edward in the back of the head. I covered my mouth to hold in my giggles as Edward's head whipped around.

The other burst out into laughter.

"I can't believe that she actually got him." Emmett laughed so hard he was shaking.

"That was just sweet, Bella," Jasper was laughing almost as hard.