Christmas Eve 2014

It never ceases to amaze me how people wait until the last minute to shop for groceries. All day, it's been nothing but lines – droves of people coming in to get all the things they need for Christmas dinner. Of course, as I look back to the end of my line, I contritely admit to myself that I am one of those people. Because there, looking at a magazine and pretending not to notice me, is Edward.

I've never been really good at pretending not to notice him.

Well, not for a while anyway.

"Merry Christmas," he says, as I scan the items he put on the belt, checking to make sure he got everything that was on the list. "It's all there. You were very specific. Although, I have no idea what the fuck cream of tartar is. I only know it's not a cream."

I giggle. "No. It's on the spice aisle. Did you not get it? I need it for one of my recipes."

"I did get it," he says. "I had to ask an old lady for help. I think she was scared of me, but she helped me anyway."

"Well, you are scary," I tease.

"How am I scary?"

"The beard makes you scary. Well, that and the whole lumberjack thing you've got going on."

"I thought you liked my beard."

"I do like your beard," I tell him, narrowing my eyes and lowering my voice. "I like it a lot. Especially the way it feels against my neck…and between my…" I don't finish my thought because he's already blushing.

It's been over a year, and I still make him blush.

Basically, I love that.

Basically, I love him.

"You're almost done?" he asks, swiping his card.


"I'll be waiting for you outside when you're finished."

"Okay," I tell him. "Will you put everything away when we get home? I'll need to shower and change, so I can get out of this stupid smock."

"Actually, I'd love for you to wear nothing but that sexy smock when we get home."

And now I'm the one blushing.




When I walk downstairs, Edward has already finished with the groceries and is sitting on the couch. The tree is lit in the corner of the living room, and he's just staring at it.

"What are you thinking about?" I ask him, as I drop down on the couch beside him.

He pulls me close, wrapping his arm around me.

"I was hoping you'd be in your smock and nothing else."

"Sorry," I tell him, grinning. "Though, to be honest, I thought you'd appreciate the flannel. You seem to love it on yourself."

"It keeps me warm."

"It keeps me warm, too."

"I can keep you warm," he says, pulling me in for a kiss.

And even after all this time, kissing him is still my favorite thing. Well, except for maybe the sex. But Edward likes to kiss while we have sex, so that's pretty much a win/win situation for me.

"Tell me," I say, pulling back to look at him before rubbing my cheek on his beard and then kissing his neck. "What were you thinking about when I came downstairs?"

"You really wanna know?"

"Well, yes," I tell him, laying my head on his chest. "Unless it's bad. All bad things can wait 'til after Christmas."

"It's not bad."

"Then what is it?" I ask, looking up at him.

"Just that you gave me the best Christmas present in the world."

"Even better than last year?" I ask, grinning.

His eyes soften, and I can see him remembering last Christmas, otherwise known as the first time we had sex. His hand slides up and under my top, cupping my bare breast in his warm hand. And I have to close my eyes, just so I can focus on the way it feels, and not the intense way he's looking at me.

"Well, last year was amazing," he murmurs, brushing his thumb back and forth across my nipple. "But I'm pretty sure that you moving in with me is even better than that."

He pinches, and I moan. I want to smile, but I'm too busy panting against his neck.

"Better than sex?" I ask. "I don't know about that."

"Well, you moving in means that sex…" He lowers his hand away from my breast, and before I can protest, he's cupping something even more intimate. "I'm assuming that sex comes with it. Lots and lots of sex."

I can't help laughing, if that's what you'd call the gasping sound I make.

"So, it's like two presents in one," I tell him, more breathless by the moment. "I'm pretty much the best gift-giver in the world. Is that what you're telling me?"

He chuckles, sliding his hand inside the waistband of my pants.

Seeking me.

Finding me.

Touching me.

"You're just the best," he tells me, kissing me deep and soft, warm and wet. "The best part of my life, Bella. The best…everything."

I kiss him back with all the love and passion and happiness I have inside. And for the millionth time in the last year, I'm so fucking thankful that I never shoveled the damn snow. I wasn't supposed to, and fate knew that.

I pull back, just long enough to look at him in the glowing lights of our little Christmas tree.


It's ours, together.

And I love that, almost as much as I love him.

"No, Edward. You are."




Merry Christmas, beautiful girls! (And guys, if there are any of you reading.) Thank you for sharing this story with me through the holidays. I loved writing these two so much, and it makes me so happy that so many of you enjoyed reading them. I hope your 2014 is filled with as much happiness and love as you can stand.

Jaime, Kourt, Laura, and Raina - You all mean the world to me. Thank you for being a part of my crazy fandom experience. ILY.

Marvar, you are mostly like my family. And I love you just as much as I love them. Thank you for everything. Seriously, words are not enough.

Reviews are love.