Set during Eclipse, after Edward and Bella get engaged. Oneshot.
I am aware of the similarities between this and a chapter by the ever-amazing girl-on-sunshine, but we were bouncing ideas between each other, and we've both decided to do our own spin on this idea. It's okay, neither of us is copying the other, and we're both aware the other is doing a chapter like this. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, I'll put her toys back in her toy-box when I've finished playing with them. All trademarks and copyrighted things mentioned belong to their respective owners. I own nothing.
A million, trillion thanks to my amazing beta, girl-on-sunshine. Without her kind words of encouragement and her talent with language, this would be another file taking up space on my computer. Thanks doesn't cover it :)
"Edward, you have to go." I hated having this argument, it always made me feel like the badie. He shook his head, stubborn as ever.
"Bella, I'm not going anywhere." I sighed in response.
"But your eyes are black. You have to hunt." He didn't move, aside from wrapping his arms tighter around me and kissing my forehead.
I sighed again; I was going to have to do this. I didn't want to do this. I hated doing this.
"Edward…." I stopped, unable to continue. I was a bad, bad girlfriend. Fiancé.
"What is it, Bella?" he murmured.
We were sitting in the lounge of his home with his family, trying to convince him to go hunting with 'the boys', as Emmett put it.
I looked around at his family; the women had hunted last week on their way to a clothing sale in Seattle, but the men's eyes were all pitch black. I hated that I was going to have to pull the guilt-trip card, but you know what they say about desperate times…
"Edward, you have to go. You're hurting, and seeing you hurt hurts me."
I paused, burying my head against his neck, pressing my lips to the scar there through his tee-shirt. "You have to go hunting. It'll be fun. And…and….you have to go because otherwise you're dangerous and a danger to me and I don't want that and you really, really need to hunt and if you really love me like you say you'll go and have a great time and we'll all have fun here, won't we girls?" The last bit came out all in a rush, I looked to Alice for confirmation. She sent an encouraging smile in my direction.
I waited with baited breath to hear Edward's reaction.
After a few minutes of silence, I looked up to see Edward had locked eyes with Alice. I hoped that whatever she was showing him convinced him to go. I hated seeing him in pain, and I knew he was by the way he grimaced every time he swallowed. He eventually sighed, and glanced briefly at Jasper as his eyes travelled to meet mine.
"Stop feeling so guilty, love. I actually think it's sweet that you said that, in a roundabout way, because you know me so well. I'll go. And I'll miss you every second of the trip, and I'll sulk and grumble and annoy my brothers endlessly." Edward said.
"That's my man," I mumbled sarcastically, as my fingers found his neck and I pulled his head over so I could kiss him. He smiled, so that he could show me he wasn't angry. I smiled back, then glanced at Alice. "So Alice, do you wanna stay at mine this weekend?"
It had come to be a bit of a joke between us; every time Edward was "camping" as we told Charlie, Alice stayed over, or I stayed here. After Phoenix, Alice had an open invitation to stay, so I didn't have to call Charlie to ask. She grinned when Esme spoke up.
"Actually Bella, I was wondering if you'd like to stay here with us girls, we could have a sleepover. I'll call Charlie and clear it with him, if you'd like to; that is."
Hmmm, I could see this becoming another guinea-pig Bella session. My eyes must have narrowed slightly, because Rosalie piped up, promising to keep Alice under control. It still kind of shocked me when Rosalie was nice to me, but ever since she had shared her story with me, I felt like we were slowly getting closer. We weren't like sisters, as Alice and I were, but we were friends.
Esme continued. "It's something we ladies do every now and again. We watch soppy movies, and just talk. It's basically a Cullen Women Bonding Session."
"And you're now a Cullen Woman in all but name." Rosalie's statement surprised the heck out of me. I looked up at Edward, ignoring the snickers of the others. He smiled and pressed his lips lightly to mine. He didn't seem surprised by her statement, and judging by the way she was now examining her fingernails; she obviously didn't want a big fuss made. I waited until she looked up again, and mouthed 'thanks' at her. She just smiled back.
"Esme, I'd love to. It sounds like fun."
Alice clapped her hands together, squealing "Yay! Oh, I've got so much stuff to do! Bella, have you seen The Notebook? I love that movie! We should watch it. You haven't seen it, have you?" I didn't get a chance to answer, as she tore out of the room. Judging by the way she went passed Emmett, who was now grumbling and rubbing the back of his head, she didn't appreciate his groans when she mentioned The Notebook. I hadn't seen it, but I knew it was quite a chick-flick.
The room was suddenly empty. I heard Esme on the phone in the kitchen, thanking Charlie. I presumed that meant he'd said yes. It was a few hours until the men planned to leave, and I was comfy sitting in Edward's arms for a while. But I knew I had to go home and get my things for tonight. Last time there was an impromptu sleepover at the Cullens, Alice put me in a….thing. I don't actually know what it was called, but there was lots of lace and satiny fabric and I was meant to sleep in it. I was not going there again. Edward apparently was thinking the same, lifting me up and hugging me, before sending me into the kitchen where Esme was.
He left, murmuring something about helping Carlisle with something. I wandered to the fridge, where I knew there were some bottles of juice. I selected one, and turned around to see Esme sliding a pizza out of the oven.
"I'll take you over to Charlie's. I've made him a pizza; I claimed that the boy's trip wasn't planned and so I had extra and I'm not planning on letting food go to waste." She grinned, knowing Charlie's inability to feed himself.
Before I knew it, we were back at the Cullens' and the boys were just about to get into Emmett's monster. Ah, I mean, Jeep. I had given up deciding what to bring in the end, throwing my flannelette pyjamas into my bag alongside the other things I'd need. I didn't care that they had penguins on them, they were warm and comfy. Edward leaned down to kiss me again, turning on the dazzle. I was more than slightly breathless when I felt his lips on my ear, murmuring, "Don't worry about your pyjamas, Alice's have bunnies on them." I snickered.
He kissed me once again, and got into the passenger's seat beside Carlisle. We waved until the car was out of sight, then went inside. I followed the others into the kitchen, where we all sat down at the breakfast bar. Several laptops were out, and I groaned when I saw they were opened to online shopping sites. Alice glared at me, Esme glared at Alice, and Rosalie laughed, turning her screen towards me.
"See anything you like? I know it's slightly more expensive than you would normally spend, but it's amazing quality, Trust me." Trust me? That was not something that I ever thought I'd hear Rosalie say. But when I scrolled down the page, I did see a few things I liked. Some of my clothes did need replacing, I supposed. And it was better I got to pick than Alice bought things that I would never wear. My eyebrows rose a bit at the prices, but they weren't extreme, and it would probably be rude to turn down their assurances that they would pay. I turned to Rosalie.
"Do you think that greeny-blue blouse would suit me?" They all grinned at my obvious acceptance.
"It would, but if you look up here there's the same one, in the same colour but with different sleeves." I compared the two for a minute, unable to decide. Rosalie was looking at them, obviously comparing like I was. She shrugged, obviously unable to decide either.
"Why don't we get one of each, and then you could send one back when you decide. Or keep both." I nodded, happy that at least Rosalie was on my side with this shopping business. She leaned over and looked at the screen Esme and Alice were scrolling through.
"No way Alice, I would not be caught dead in that. No, take it off! Esmmmmeeeee, make her take it off!" She snarled at Alice, who stood her ground and snarled back.
"It'll look great on you, Rose! Won't it Bella?"
I looked towards Esme for help. She looked at me and shrugged, and we started laughing. Some things never change! The rest of the evening carried on much the same. I picked out a few clothes I liked, vetoed a few of Alice's suggestions…well, most of Alice's suggestions, and laughed along with their jokes. I never thought I would say this, but it was kind of fun.
We had been online shopping for a few hours, when all of a sudden my stomach rumbled really loudly. Ducking my head, embarrassed, I got up in search of an apple or something. Alice followed me into the kitchen.
"Hey Bella, can I ask you a favour?"
"Of course you can, you don't even need to ask. I thought you knew that."
"I do, don't be silly. I was wondering, well, if maybe you'd teach me how to make lasagne? I know it's your favourite dish. I'm bored. I need to learn something new."
"Like you don't already know I'll say yes," I teased.
She grinned at me, jumping up and down.
"But, bear in mind, if you make it gross I'm not afraid to offend you and refuse to eat it." I continued. Esme and Rosalie laughed, while Alice looked chagrined.
"Of course I won't make it gross."
"Sure sure," I laughed.
We got to work quickly, Esme had made Edward take note of what I liked to put in lasagne last time I made it, knowing it was my favourite, and had all the ingredients I liked. The Cullen kitchen though, was quite scary. I'd never really cooked in it before without Edward helping, and I was scared I'd break something. It was so flashy and huge.
Alice did pretty well, although I found it hilarious that she didn't know the difference between the different types of knives. I carefully described the difference between the bread knife and the vegetable knife to her, pleased I'd found something that Amazing Alice wasn't an expert at. I laughed as she eyed up the dribble of blood left in the meat tray, and quickly turned the tap on it, laughing even harder at her glare. As she slid the dish into the oven, my phone vibrated, a txt from Edward saying "I love you". Alice grumbled, and snatched the phone off me before I had a chance to reply.
"He wasn't supposed to take that with him!"
"Oh Alice, let him off the hook. He's been gone for ages." I didn't actually know how long he'd been gone; I refused to look at the clock because I knew that would be when I started missing him. And this girly evening had been kinda fun. The Cullens had been really nice to me, making sure I was enjoying myself, yet not doing things that would make me feel guilty because I knew they wouldn't enjoy them.
We all sat back down at the breakfast bar and chatted. Before I knew it, the timer on the oven went off. Alice flew into the kitchen, excited to see how her masterpiece had turned out.
"Alice!" I yelled when I saw her open the oven door, "You have got to put oven mitts on! It's too hot for a human to handle; you have to at least look like you're scared of burning your hands."
She rolled her eyes at me, looking like Edward. Those two needed to stop spending so much time together. She poised, serving spoon held over the dish.
"How hungry are you?" Her eyes glazed over briefly, and she started dishing up before I could answer.
"Alice, why don't you let the rest cool off and then put it in the freezer for later," suggested Esme. "That way, Bella doesn't have to cook every time she comes to visit. And I can act motherly without making Bella feel guilty at the effort I've put in." I hugged her; these women knew me too well.
As I sat down to eat, Rosalie handed me a large glass of milk.
"I noticed last time you had lasagne you had a drink of milk, I didn't know what else you would like." I blushed furiously, mumbling my thanks as I remembered the reason why I started drinking milk with lasagne.
Rosalie then offered to give everyone manicures and pedicures. I was a bit reluctant, and then Alice mentioned that Jasper loves it when he discovers that she had painted nails. I sat for a minute, considering Edward's possible reactions, while Alice dragged a huge suitcase downstairs. I was shocked and at the same time not surprised when she opened it up to display more nail polishes than I ever knew existed. She had literally every single colour in the world. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought it was shocking.
"You know Alice, I distinctly remember that case being a lot less full last time I saw it." Esme noted.
"Yes, but have you heard of this stuff? It's called crackle, shatter, or mosaics, depending on who you buy it from. You see, you put it over a bright colour, and when it dries it splits and lets the other colour show through…." I zoned out, trying to decide if I wanted my nails polished or not. I sort of didn't, but at the same time I wanted to surprise Edward. A tiny part of me did want to be all girly for a bit, and look nice when he came home.
Rosalie gave Esme electric blue toes and pearly white fingernails. She looked at me and said it was my decision and not to let Alice force me into it, as she turned to do Alice's nails. The green polish in her hands did not surprise me. I agreed to letting her paint my nails, I mean I could always take it off. Alice's eyes glazed over briefly, and she glared at me.
"You will not, missy. Edward will love it." I frowned. Spoilsport. Wait, she just said Edward will love it. Oohhh! I perked up considerably at that, and the others noticed, judging by the snickers.
I chose a pale pink for my fingers and blood red for my toes. Edward would get a kick out of that. I chuckled silently to myself at my dark sense of humour. Alice returned the favour for Rosalie, painting her nails a pinky-red colour.
By now, it was dark outside. Esme lit the fire in the informal lounge, the one with the wall of dvds. It still amazed me; they had more dvds than I knew existed. I started pulling the curtains, the thick, luxurious velvet running through my fingers and their midnight blue colour soon put the room in darkness. Alice flew out the door, flicking the light switch on her way past, as Rosalie started pulling the couches around the television. Alice came into the room, carrying enough pillows and duvets to hide her face from view. She promptly dumped these on the couches.
"Movie time," She squealed, clapping her hands. "What do we want to watch?"
"The Notebook?" I suggested, remembering Alice had suggested it earlier.
"The Vow?" Esme.
"My Wedding and other secrets?" Alice.
"Glee Marathon?" Rosalie.
"Nope, too sad," Alice replied. "The Piano?" I blushed; Rosalie and Esme looked at Alice, astonished.
"There is no way I'm watching that!" squawked Rosalie.
"Uh-uh, not happening missy," warned Esme.
I flushed even harder, remembering certain scenes in that movie.
"Uh, I don't want to watch it, either. We watched it for a film study at my school in Phoenix, we had to, uh, watch it over and over…" I stopped, unable to finish. That movie was really embarrassing to watch in a mixed-gender class, lemme tell you.
"What about Remember Me?" suggested Alice.
"Oh yeah, that sounds good. It's got that guy in it, oh what's his name, from that movie with the war guy," said Esme.
"Jeez Esme, can you get any more exact?" I muttered, grinning. She grinned back.
"Nope." We both laughed.
"Okay, okay, that's enough. Get upstairs and into your pjs, you two. Scram."
I laughed at Esme's expression at being ordered around by her daughter. I trudged up the stair with Esme behind me; I was about to let her go past lest my speed frustrated her, when I realised that she was probably there in case I fell. A likely possibility, sadly. Stupid, overprotective vampire. Vampires.
I changed as fast as I could, noticing someone had already bought my bag up. I opened it, and a piece of paper fluttered to the floor.
Bella, it said.
I miss you already.
Call me when you escape the pixie, I'll leave my phone on.
I sighed. I'd done a nice job of distracting myself and not thinking about the fact that Edward wasn't here, but boy did I miss him. I fished around in my bag until I found the small silver phone Edward had insisted on giving me. Alice had apparently stashed it in my bag, just as I had thought she would, when she confiscated it earlier. There were five messages from him, all saying, simply, I love you. I sighed again.
Dialling his number, it rang 7 times. I was starting to worry when he picked up.
"Bella! I'm so sorry! I wasn't paying attention! Oh, I'm so sorry! I miss you." He sounded frantic. I snickered at the thought of catching him mid-meal.
"Find anything yummy?" There was a brief pause as he decided what to say.
"Uh…yeah. I just found a pride of mountain lions; I got two before Emmett and Jasper even knew they were here." He sounded proud, yet so uncertain at the same time.
I figured he wasn't sure about discussing this with me. I laughed, to set his mind at easy.
"Nice one." I could hear snarls and growls in the background, lots of crashing and thuds, and the sound of animals fighting.
"Oh, wait, Emmett is trying to make a fool of himself. I'll just move." I could hear the wind whistling past the phone as he ran. It stopped abruptly. "Sorry. He was distracting me. I thought that was your job. I miss you, love. Are you having a good time?"
"I miss you, too. Yeah, it's been great. Rosalie has been really nice to me. Like, scarily nice. We did some online shopping together."
"I'm not surprised by Rosalie, it's about time. And she's been warming to you lately. But as for that last part, I'm speechless. What do you mean, online shopping? Books?"
"Ah, no, genuine clothes. She let me choose what I wanted, instead of forcing me to buy stuff. And she gave me some good advice."
"Wow," came the only response.
"And now, we're going to watch a movie. It's called Remember Me." There was a roar of laughter at the other end.
"I know why Alice suggested that movie. I refuse to let them watch it when I'm anywhere near the house, because the level of teasing from Emmett and Jasper is unbearable. It got to the stage that Carlisle has banned them from watching it at all. Actually, he's partly included in the ban…." He trailed off, my curiosity increasing.
"Oh, I'm sure either you'll notice or Alice will point it out." Alice cackled from down the hall, proving his point.
"Never you mind. Trust me, you'll find it…humorous. Anyway, I can hear my sister sighing in the background, are you supposed to be doing something?"
"Oh, yeah. Getting into my pyjamas, I think."
"Well, then. Uh, Bella, I'm going to go now, but I'll leave my phone on loud. Call me at any time, for any reason, even if you just want to chat. I love you."
"Okay, I will. Have fun! Love you too." I put my phone back in my bag, laughing at what I imagined to be his hurry to get off the phone all of a sudden, and quickly got changed.
I took my hair out of its ponytail, and then brushed it. I was surprised when it didn't go crazy. I went to put on my fluffy socks, but then I thought of the stairs and decided to put them on downstairs. When I got down there, I noticed that I wasn't the only one in flannelette pyjamas. Alice's did indeed have bunnies on them, Esme's had teddy bears, and Rosalie's had unicorns. Oh boy. Rosalie saw me trying not to laugh and snickered "Alice's fault" to me. Yeah, I figured.
I claimed a spot on the couch, stealing a pillow and a duvet. Esme curled up in an armchair, and Alice stole the other chair. Rosalie looked at the spot on the seat next to me.
"Bella, do you mind if I….?"
"On one condition. I saw a bag of popcorn in the kitchen earlier; can you grab it for me?"
Before I even really had time to blink, she was passing me the bag. I stared at her for a minute, one eyebrow raised. She stared back, looking more and more concerned. I couldn't hold it in any longer; I laughed and gestured to the spot beside me. She laughed back, and sat down. It surprised me when I noticed that all the Cullens had duvets and pillows of their own, but then I figured that it was all part of the human charade. This whole sleepover thing was almost like a game to them, a part they loved playing.
Before long, the movie was running on the massive TV. Honestly, it nearly took up the whole wall! I jumped and gasped when the main character, Tyler, came on screen. He looked so similar to Edward! If I didn't know Edward's face better than the back of my own hand, I would have thought it was him. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the similarities, and found three pairs of golden eyes staring at me. There were a few quiet snickers around the room.
"That right there is the reason we're not allowed to watch this movie when the boys are home," Esme explained, "Edward gets furious at the comparison, Jasper and Emmett tease him endlessly for weeks, and even Carlisle has been known to take part in a bit of good-natured ribbing."
"I can definitely see why…" I muttered. There were more snickers. I snuggled down under the duvet and started to watch the movie.
"Nooooo…." I grumbled, resisting waking up. I was being moved, from leaning up against one cold thing to another. I was comfy where I was, and I most certainly did not want to wake up.
"Shhhhh," soothed a voice like honey and velvet, "Go back to sleep, love." I sat bolt upright. I would recognize that voice anywhere, and I had missed it like crazy this last night.
"Edward, you're back!" I threw myself into his arms, my lips searching for his. He kissed me, altogether too briefly, and pulled back with a snicker.
"Love you too, Bella." He said; laughter still evident in his voice. I looked up, and noticed that the boys were all back, and were all receiving the warm welcome that Edward had. I realised that the women were all still in their pyjamas, and there were pillows and duvets everywhere. Edward looked around, noticing my distraction.
"Uh, I was just wondering why the others haven't tidied up yet, their stuff is still everywhere. I thought that once the movie was over they would have put it all away."
"Nope, they stayed the night down here, Alice was thinking about how much fun she'd had all night, when we arrived back." The thought that they'd stayed down here for my benefit was surprising. I said so to Edward, who explained that it was something that the women in his family did from time to time, as a way to pass the time and distract themselves when the males were hunting.
"But they haven't done it since we moved to Forks. Actually, they haven't done it for years. Maybe once in Alaska? It's been an age." He finished.
"Why? It's been so much fun!"
He smiled sadly in response to my question.
"But, think of the enthusiastic reaction we all got when we returned. It's hard for a vampire to be away from his mate for any length of time. It got to the stage that it distressed me when I was surrounded by that, both hearing their thoughts and watching them embrace, and Alice noticed. We men haven't been away for as long since, so the opportunity to miss your mate as much isn't there. Meaning, I avoid all the longing thoughts of that bunch, and they avoid me getting irritated when we get back. Win-win situation…well, it's not an issue now, except they have to put up with me whingeing. At one point during the night, Carlisle told me that if he saw me pull my phone out to txt you one more time, he would throw it into the nearest water source he could find."
He looked me in the eyes, and I completely lost every thought in my head. I looked away, thoroughly dazzled, and noticed the lounge was empty. I snuggled further into Edward's side, and he tightened his arms around me infinitesimally.
"How did you enjoy yourself?" He murmured, stroking my hair.
"It was a lot of fun. I mean, aside from the fact that you weren't here of course. I can't believe how nice Rosalie was to me, it was almost scary."
My voice trailed off at the end, finishing at barely a whisper, for fear she was still in the house and would hear me.
"Don't worry, love," he soothed, "they've all gone out to allow us a modicum of privacy. But yes, she had been planning that. Out of respect for her, I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but she did tell me it was okay to tell you. She's been slowly warming to the idea of you for a few months now. When you agreed to make me the happiest being in the history of earth and marry me," his eyes flashed and glimmered at the memory, "she decided to stop being such a….bitch, for lack of a better word." He looked shocked at having used that word in front of a lady, but continued.
"She still isn't happy with your lack of regard for mortality, but she's realised how much you've changed me. She knows it's our decision, not hers, to change you, and while she doesn't agree, she wants me to be happy; for eternity. Under that tough demeanour, she's a bit of a softie, but if you ever tell her I said that, I can guarantee that I won't be able to fulfil my marital duties on our wedding night."
He grimaced, and looked like he was in pain, while I tried in vain to keep the giggles in.
"But, I digress. When Esme mentioned that you lovely ladies could have a sleepover, Rosalie secretly hoped you'd agree so that she would have a chance to be nicer to you without the pressure of anyone other than Alice and Esme hearing. She even told them, when you were having a human moment before you went to get a change of clothes, that she hoped they'd all talk at a human speed so that you could hear everything, as it wasn't fair to exclude you when you had no choice in the matter but they did. Her words, not mine." I was shocked.
"She was so nice to me, it was amazing. I couldn't believe it; at times I wondered when the rug would be pulled from under her niceness. But even when we were online shopping, she protected me from Hurricane Alice and let me choose things I wanted and would wear. She gave me some good advice too, and painted my nails." He picked my hands up, kissing the ring on my left hand before examining my fingernails. I snickered, thinking about how he would react when he saw my toes.
I stood in the bathroom, trying to avoid anything reflective. Charlie was away overnight, he had gone to some police training thingy, and was gone overnight. He thought I was staying at Alice's….well, I was, I just hadn't mentioned the fact that Edward was the only one who would be home.
A whole week had passed since the sleepover, and due to copious amounts of cold rain and my addiction to fluffy socks, I hadn't had a chance to display my pedicure to Edward. It might seem trivial, but I'd worked myself up so much over the thought of his reaction to it that I'd been sorely disappointed. All my new clothes had arrived, along with the others' clothes and the few bags that Alice had given me that I swore I hadn't ordered.
She told me I must have forgotten, I told her I would remember buying Victoria's Secret. But since the stuff was quite tasteful, I wasn't complaining too loudly. Hence why I was now standing in Edward's en suite, trying to avoid his mirror. The silk pyjamas I had on were the polar opposite to the flannelette model I'd worn last time I was at the Cullens. They weren't too bad, long pants and a matching cami with a few small lace inserts, in a beautiful royal blue, and the pants were the perfect length to reveal the blood red polish Alice had kindly retouched on my toes. Esme had installed a heatpump in Edward's room, shortly after we announced our engagement, so it was warm enough that I'd decided to forgo my fluffy socks for a night. I gave up procrastinating and walked into Edward's room. I stood in the doorway for a minute, but ever the gentleman, his eyes never left my face, let alone looked near my toes. I sighed, and crawled into the bed, only to be wrapped up in a pair of cold steel arms. I snuggled in closer, and just as I was about to fall asleep, Edward's cool breath washed over my ear.
"Go to sleep, my love, and in the morning we'll discuss how much I loved the toenail polish that I've just noticed."