Chapter One

I woke up with a dreadful headache. Staying up until five am on a school night is not a good idea, even if it is with Edward, the love of my life, my existence. The one night I should have been having an early night in preparation for an English exam the next day, and I choose to spend it cuddling up to Edward through the night talking about life. It's all right for him; he doesn't need to sleep at all. I on the other hand, do. So you can imagine my mood when I have to wake up at 7am after only two hours sleep, to much protest over Edward's pokes and kisses trying to wake me up.

He really needs to learn a new method, because when he kisses me its more likely to send me into a dizzy state than wake me up. At least it wakes up my heart. I smile, thinking about the hours we spent last night, having mini disagreements over the silliest of things. Like my decision to become a vampire, even though we'd already settled this idea a long time ago.

Edward, who has been a vampire for over 80 years, for some reason doesn't think it's a good idea for me to become one, even though it would mean me spending eternity in his arms.
I got dressed in a hurry, thinking about the weather outside; heavily snowing, and how my truck is going to manage getting to school without having an accident. Even though I had at least an hour to get ready, I knew from experience that my klutziness didn't get any better when in a hurry.

I looked at Edward lying casually on my bed, a statue even Madame Tussauds would be jealous of, while I, looking like a wreck, get dressed and packed for school.
I noticed that nearly all of my popular clothes were in the wash. How convenient. I found a pair of blue jeans that look about a day old. I decided these would be okay to wear, along with a grey sweater that hadn't been washed in, I don't want to think how long. How dirty must I look? I glared at Edward, knowing full well it was his fault I'm like this today.

Edward must have seen something amusing on my face, or else he was laughing to himself how much of a mess I looked, because he suddenly smirked and raised his eyebrows and then after much of my glaring, finally spoke.

“You... look... lovely, by the way.” He said in his charming, but sometimes irritatingly, over the top voice, which he obviously used to try and soften me. Now though, it wasn't working.
I glared at him some more.

“What did I do wrong?” He asked innocently. Sometimes I wondered if he realises how..., well, I can't think of a word right now.

“You know full well what you've done” I said through gritted teeth, packing my books into my school bag and marching out of my bedroom. Edward followed me, laughing.

I stopped at the top of the stairs, trying to adjust my balance before going downstairs, when I got to the bottom, Edward stood behind me and put his arms around my waist. I felt cold air blowing the hair around my ear, giving me a shiver I'd had way too often, I should be used to it by now.

“Please tell me what I've done wrong?” He whispered smoothly in my right ear, giving me goose-bumps, although that could well have been the weather, it was very cold. Forks always was, during November anyway, unless we had a miracle day with sun.

I blushed. Now was not a good time to be trying to dazzle me, especially when I had to get my head together for a test.
I walked to the kitchen, a white light glaring at me through the window ahead of me. I opened the top cupboard and pulled out cereal, along with a bowl from the pile of washed up dishes, and milk from the fridge. I could feel eyes burning a whole in my back, so I turned my head briefly to the left to find Edward sitting in the chair that so often had Charlies company. Somehow, Edward didn't quite look right, not in this kitchen, he's far too beautiful to be in a house this dull.
“What are you staring at?” I asked casually. Wondering if the weather was going to stop soon and actually show some sun. Then came to a decision; nope that was never going to happen.
“Hmm?” He replied, as though I'd pulled him out of some fantasy. I thought I was the only one who had those.

“I said, what are you staring at? I can feel you staring at me, as if I don't feel self- conscious enough as it is.” I repeated, turning around to sit down at the kitchen table, scoffing down the small bowl of cornflake cereal. I really should learn to eat slower.

“Oh I'm sorry honey. I was, thinking about stuff.” He said with a trace of guilt in his voice.
I pondered on the words “thinking” and “stuff”. Anything to do with thinking, stuff and Edwards mind involved, wasn't a good sign. In fact, there was usually something happening that I wasn't going to like. And like now, my mind decides to make matters worse than they are.
Darn imagination!

I respond calmly whilst finishing my breakfast and getting up from the chair to quickly wash the bowl. I looked up at the clock to check I had enough time. It's half past seven. I have half an hour. Drat!
“You and thinking never go well. Tell me what's going on please?” I sighed “Before I find a way of making a big thing out of it. And, can you tell me on the way to school please? Because I'm in a hurry.” I said, rushing towards the front door grabbing my bag off the floor by the stairs.

“Hold up Bella!” Edward grabbed me from behind and turned me around to face him. He kissed me softly on the lips, using the moment of weakness to take my bag out of my hand and put it on the floor. He suddenly stopped kissing, with a smirk on his face.
“Why the rush?” he said with his amazing crooked smile.
I'm confused. I swear he does this on purpose.
I struggled to find coherent words after my moment of glory.
“I, I, I have a, test.” I stuttered, slightly dizzy still from his kiss.
I went to pick up my bag again, but Edward beats me to it. He already had it over his shoulder, and no crane strong enough would be able to prize that bag from his arms!

“First off,” His right hand stroked my face as if it was velvet.
“We have a test, an English test to be exact, and secondly, did you forget that I can drive faster than you,”
He grinned teasingly, now brushing his lips over my throat, sending tingles down my spine, which I swear he can see.
“And third....”
Edward opened the front door.
“Have you seen the weather lately?”
He pointed at the ground outside, which looked like it has about six inches of snow. “Somehow, I don't think the school is going to be open today, in fact, I can bet all of my money on it.” He smirked. Obviously feeling triumphant over knowing I'm not going anywhere today.

I stared up at him in wonder, eyebrows furrowed.
“Alice been at the weather station again has she?” I asked, with a hint of sarcasm.
He looked at me with pure bemusement on his face.
“Well that and the fact she can tell the future. Did you hit your head as well as hardly sleep last night?” He said, definitely testing my patience.

“So I...” I had to think about this, I'm still tired. “Don't have school today?”
I must sound so stupid.
“No.” He corrected me. “You don't have school today. But you do tomorrow, unfortunately.”
He smiled his crooked smile yet again. Wow, he is really on the ball today.

I was confused yet again – that seems to be happening a lot today. If I didn't have school, then why didn't Edward just say so when I was going to get up this morning?

“If we don't have school today, then why did you wake me up?” I questioned him, getting irritated. Today wasn't starting out so well.
“I, wanted to see your reaction I suppose. You always look so... sexy, when you're messy.” He chuckled and I gave up. I stalked back up stairs and closed my bedroom door without letting him in.

I laughed to myself. He's such a tease. Although, I guess I have time to revise for the test now. Maybe I should let him in, he would soon find another way in anyway, like the window for example. That second I heard a breeze drift in through the window behind me, and I knew straight away who it was. I didn't turn to see him, I was too annoyed.

“Don't expect me to talk to you, because I won't.” I muttered, even if I'd whispered, he would be able to hear me.

There was silence for a minute. At first I thought he had left, but then I felt his cold fingers on my cheeks, releasing me from my moment of fury. It didn't take the annoyance away completely though. He laughed.

“What's so funny?” I scowled. Although I don't know how anyone could be angry with him, but I kept on trying. He didn't deserve to be let off just yet.
He kissed me on the cheek as I glared at the door.
“Has anyone told you, you're adorable when you're angry, and even more so when I know you can't stay angry” He whispered in my ear.
I didn't speak.

“Oh don't be like that!” He moaned. “It wasn't that bad. I didn't expect you to be so... enthusiastic for a test anyway. Usually it takes ages for you to get ready. I was hoping for a bit of time to tease.”
He spoke so smoothly. With his hand caressing my cheek and down my neck, that I couldn't help but turn to look at him. I relaxed my expression.
“I just don't like having mini jokes played on me so early on a morning. Especially when I only had two hours sleep last night, no thanks to you.” I tried an attempt at poking him, but he didn't even notice that I nearly broke my finger in the process.

He seemed to understand that I wasn't in the mood for teasing anymore, because he sat up straight and was silent for a moment, which felt like forever.

“So what have you got planned for today? Since we don't have school.” I asked, attempting to push the past morning behind us. I looked at my clock by the bed side lamp. It was coming up to 8am.

He considered that question for a moment.
“I was thinking, we could go to my place, and help Alice with some decorations she's putting up for,” He played a fake cough and mumbled “Thanksgiving.”
Edward shifted position slightly, although this didn't seem to bother me. Something that did bother me however, was something he just mentioned. Something about thanksgiving.
I blinked.
“You... celebrate... thanksgiving?” I spluttered.
Edward didn't seem to find this funny. I found it hilarious. How hypocritical could the Cullens get?
He put on a serious face, but hiding a smirk, I could tell.
“Well of course we do, why shouldn't we? Don't you celebrate thanksgiving?”
He sounded so serious, I think he really meant it.
“Well, yes, I do. But... I just didn't expect your family to do the same thing, that's all. You caught me off guard.” I said.
I looked at the floor.

Not meaning to sound mean against vampires, but to me, I wondered what exactly they had to be thankful for.
Other than the family itself, they weren't exactly lucky. I mean, they're dead, to put it bluntly. They have the thirst to kill people. I suddenly realised that I would be the same soon enough.
I suddenly felt guilty for thinking this.

Edward was silent.
“I'm sorry” I moved in close to him and he wrapped his arms around me, I felt the cold suddenly hit my nervous system.
I tried to hide it.
“I mean, it's great you all celebrate. I'm sure Alice has a whale of a time, with the decorations, although, why you need decorations, I do not know.” I started to ramble.
I sat up and looked into his eyes curiously.
“Hang on, most families have a meal together too as part of the day. What do you do? I mean, surely you don't cook?” I raised my eyebrows and watched his expression change from serious to his crooked smile.

It clicked.
“Ooh I see. Yes, that's definitely more fun. Why wait for a butcher to kill an animal, when you can just go out and get it yourself” I said sarcastically and then giggled quietly. I could hear Edward trying to hide a laugh, then giving in, he laughed musically, and I shut up, feeling outdone.

“So do you want to come around?” He continued batting his eyelids at me.
I gave in.
“Yes, okay, I will come to your house; but I don't want to be dragged into anything stupid. I already feel inadequate as it is around you lot.” I laughed nervously, nudging him in the stomach, and then I had to rub my elbow. That hurt.

Edward stood up suddenly and pulled me up carefully, minding his strength.
He opened the bedroom door and went downstairs, leaving me wondering what was going on.
“So.. I guess we're going now, huh?” I called down.
I heard an “of course” float up the stairs.

Chapter two

The day was turning out a lot better than I'd expected. We arrived at his home, and compared to what I was expecting, it really wasn't that bad. For Alice, that is.

There were only a few strings of confetti scattered around the house and a few balloons hanging from different points on the ceiling. It was however, more decorated for a full blown party, than the traditional thanksgiving, and I was starting to wonder if Edward was hiding something else. I double checked in my mental calendar for any birthdays or special events to do with me that I may have missed. Nope, my birthday was in September, and I didn't even want to think about that now.

I found Alice, hanging up on the wall by the kitchen entrance, what looked like a turtle, but I'm almost positive that can't be right. I hoped.
“Hey Alice” I said as I walked in to see Alice and Jasper fiddling with the decoration by the kitchen door, much to Jaspers annoyance. Still, he put on a cheerful expression just for Alice. The things we do for love.

Alice turned around to see me and smiled widely. I didn't notice before as she had her back to me, but I saw Alice was wearing a small lilac dress with a halter-neck, showing off her amazing white skin and her harsh bone structure.
From this angle, she didn't seem angelic, more like rock and roll chick.

“Oh hey Bella” Alice said in her musical voice only given to angels, I'm sure.
“How are you?” She asked after a few seconds. I couldn't help but look at how amazing she looks, as well as Jasper, who was wearing a black t-shirt with dark blue golf pants.
I swear, they could be wearing ripped clothes, and I'd still think they were beautiful.
How jealous I was of them.
“I'm great thanks. Although, Edward didn't really help my mood this morning” I muttered, turning to look at Edward who was busy chatting to Carlisle.
She looked over to him and then back to me, raising her eyebrows in amusement.
“Yes, well, I am sorry about that. Edward never learns does he?” She said, giggling. Probably at the memory.
“I hear you all celebrate Thanksgiving,” I said whilst looking at the decorations along the ceiling.
Jasper looked at me, smirking.
“Oh yes, we have always done so. Just because of our – lives – doesn't mean to say we can't celebrate the family we have become” He said, a hint of a smile on his face.

I nodded in agreement and then walked off to kitchen and found Esme and Rosalie whispering about something. Whatever it was, must have been private, because as soon as they sensed my presence, they stopped.
“Oh hello Bella” Rosalie said, her voice going up an octave, then she looked at Esme. I still have trouble knowing what to say to her. Everything about Rosalie says 'divine' and everything about me says 'dull' so how could I possibly say anything intelligent?
“Hi “ I mumbled nervously, while hovering beside them, feeling like I'm a spoon they hadn't put away in the drawer.
Esme smiled and gave me a hug. I could smell something sweet. Perfume?
“How are you?” She asked me, stepping backwards slightly to see me.
“Umm I'm fine thankyou. How about you?” I asked. I could see Rosalie eyeing me with a curious glare as though she thought I suspected something. She folded her arms impatiently.

“I'm great thankyou bella” she smiled. “Why don't you go and say hello to Carlisle, I'm sure he'd be very glad to see you again”
It was obvious she was discreetly trying to get me out of the kitchen.
I decided it was best to leave them, so I turned around and walked into the living room to Edward who was still talking to Carlisle.
I put my arms around Edward's solid waist and he replied by kissing my forehead.
“Hey” said Edward, looking at me with his melting eyes.
I leaned into his chest while he had his arms around me. I was rather aware of Carlisle still standing opposite us, but he didn't seem uncomfortable, unlike me.

“Why, hello Bella” said Carlisle, smiling widely at me, and I thought I saw a look at Edward, but it was over so quickly.
“Hi Carlisle. How are you?” I asked politely. Carlisle seemed to be wearing a smart blue polo shirt and black pants, seemingly to show off his fine complexion.
I answered quickly.
“Uh I'm fine thank you, do you mind if I take Edward away for just a second?” I asked while standing straight and smiling wryly.
Carlisle eyed Edward briefly, obviously checking if everything was alright.
“Of course Bella. He's all yours” He answered, smiling coyly at Edward. Sometimes I wish that I could hear others minds too.
We walked over to the back door near where Emmett was standing, oblivious to our arrival, and I turned to speak to Edward.
He spoke first.
“What's the matter Bella?” He asked, brushing a loose hair from my eye. The cold really did send a shiver down my spine.
“Nothing, nothing. Erm, although, I did wonder why you and Carlisle looked so serious, and also,” I looked around to check neither Rosalie nor Esme were in ear shot.
“I wondered if you knew what was going between Rosalie and Esme. It's just, when I went in the kitchen to say hello, they looked like they were having a heated discussion over something, and well, when I spoke to them, they quickly tried to send me away. Although, politely” I tried to look calm, but something inside of me felt uneasy. I stood staring at edward with my eyebrows raised and feeling my face blushing red with annoyance.

Edward stood still, I wondered if he was even paying attention. Then he just took my face in his hand and whispered.
“Bella, honey, don't go worrying over silly things, that aren't worth worrying over.”
He smiled.
I raised my eyebrows.
“So, there is something to worry about, or are you just humouring me? Or am I just being stupid and jumping to the wrong conclusions, as usual?”
He chuckled lightly, and I groaned quietly.
“Rosalie and Esme were probably just discussing thanksgiving and if it's worth all the fuss- and, they were discussing what to get you for christmas.” He said all this so quickly, my head began to spin.
“Christmas?” I blurted out, slightly too loud, given the hearing abilities they all had.
I started again.
“Christmas? You know full well I don't like accepting gifts, birthdays or christmas, or any holiday event.” I said quietly, trying not to attract attention.
Too late.
“What's up Bella?” Emmett called from by the piano, and he then proceeded to grin and walk towards Edward and I.
I folded my arms in protest. I knew full well Emmett was in on this. Especially if Rosalie was.
I had a permanent scowl on my face.
“Everything is fine thank you very much for your concern.” I spat.
Then I tried not to be so rude.
”Edward and I were just discussing something,”
I gave Edward a quick look, and he could see I wasn't going to let it go.
“Weren't we?”
Edward turned to Emmett, raising one eyebrow.
“Yes, nothing to worry about here Emmett. Just two people having a, conversation.”
I think I saw a wink then, but I couldn't be sure.
“Okay Bro, but if she gives you any hassle,” Emmett gave Edward a wink too
“You just let me know alright” He then smiled in my direction and winked.
Edward just laughed and said “Okay Emmett, I will, don't you worry.”

I turned on Edward again.
“But christmas is ages away, why would you all be planning now?”
He calmly rested his hands on mine, and then guided me to the kitchen where Rosalie and Esme were still hard in discussion.
As soon as we stepped in the kitchen door way, both Esme and Rosalie looked up, smiling.
Edward spoke first.
“Hello, Bella was just wondering what you both were discussing, and I'm afraid I had to tell her.” he turned his head to look at me.. I was still mad.
Rosalie scowled at him.
“Oh that's just great. Thanks Edward, so much for your top secret attitude.” she said sarcastically.
Edward instantly went all defensive.
“Well, I couldn't just let Bella think you were discussing something worse than you were. Although, Bella doesn't feel it's a good subject either” he said, taking a look at me, still holding my hand.

Esme then walked across the kitchen and hugged me softly, trying not to use too much strength, as she knew it wouldn't do me any good. As in, her strength could kill me. I gulped.
“No no, it's fine, really.” I looked up to Edward and then back to Esme and Rosalie. “I just, I'm not a huge, fan of, presents.” I looked at the floor, feeling ashamed.

Just then, Alice flitted past us, and went to stand by Rosalie, she smiled at me.
“Hey Bella” she giggled at the obvious awkward tension, and then Jasper must have felt the same, because I soon relaxed.
I nodded.
“Hey Bella, again” said Jasper, gliding past Edward's side to stand by Alice and a small smile appeared on his face, pleased with his efforts in changing the mood.
“H, Hey” I stuttered.
Edward straightened out and smiled.
“Okay, so, we're going to go for a little bit.” he looked at me and then back to the others “because this little one is getting all worked up over absolutely nothing and so it's best if we don't, give her anything more to over dramatise with.” he smiled at his family, a hint of laughter around the edges, and they all smiled back, obviously not needing to say a word.
I on the other hand was a bit, bemused, to say the least. Who said I was over dramatising things? How can me saying I didn't want any presents for christmas, be classed as drama?

Chapter Three:

“Edward?” I asked, holding his hand, as we were walking back to his car. The weather was turning even more icy now, and the ground was still thick with snow, but with there being cars around, the snow had turned to slush, and then to ice, which I knew from experience was never a good sign, and if it wasn't for Edward being extra fast, I would have fallen and broken my neck, if not my whole body, just by walking to the car.

He opened the passenger side door of his silver Volvo for me, and I stepped in carefully, making sure I didn't lose my balance.
When he appeared next to me, he started the engine and quickly turned on the heater, seeing I was cold.
“Yes Bella?” he replied, turning to face me properly, and I could suddenly see my reflection in his golden eyes. I looked rough.
I had to remind myself what I was going to ask.
“I was just wondering,” I paused, and looked outside of the car towards the cullens garage. I could see Emmett moving something, a big box, into a car, and then Edward quickly distracted me, by turning on the radio, obviously seeing something himself he wasn't happy about.

“You were saying?” he said, suddenly holding my hand so I would look at him.
I quickly had to let go of his hand. As much as I could hold his hand for decades without anything else, it was very cold, and he wasn't exactly a thermos.

“Right. Erm, yeah, I was wondering why we left.” I looked at him curiously. He was staring at something, or someone, behind me, and I went to turn to see who or what it was, but again, Edward distracted me by turning my head and kissing me full on the lips. Which definitely caught me unawares.
The kiss ended after only a few seconds, but I found myself wanting more, as usual, and after much protest from Edward, I was left trying to catch my breath. I saw Edward also surprised by his actions, and he looked like his was muttering something, but my human ears didn't have a chance of hearing.

I decided I was going to sort this out, because my temper I getting out of control. So I quickly turned around and got out of the car, letting Edward stare after me in shock. Before I could breathe however, he was walking beside me in anticipation. Obvious curious, as was I, as to what I was going to do next.
I walked up to Emmett who was walking back and forth from the garage and stopped him before he walked back into the house.
“Hey Emmett” I called out when I was just a few paces away from him. He looked to me then to Edward, and then he just shrugged and turned into the house. Not saying a word.
I looked to Edward, my eyes narrowing, and then stormed into the house after Emmett.
Carlisle cut me off. He stopped me in the doorway, with Edward smirking at something humourous beyond my understanding.
“Why hello there Bella. We thought you two had left.” He smiled and then eyed Edward suspiciously.
“Is there a problem?” He asked Edward, who was leaning against the door frame.
Edward stood up straight and put his hand on my right shoulder.
“No problem. Bella just got out of the car and came storming into the house...”
He looked at me with questioning eyes and then looked at the floor, acting oblivious.

I decided to stand my ground. I loved this family like my own, but I hated having secrets about, especially if those secrets involved me in anyway.
“Carlisle, I,” I paused, my palms were sweating, my voice was cracking. I was losing the plot. I can't believe I'm nervous now.
“I want to know what's going on?” I said, calmly taking breaths through my nose and out my mouth. Being careful not to show I was worried.

Carlisle smiled then, showing all his glorious white teeth, and I wondered for a minute if I was jumping to conclusions.
He laughed.
“Bella, we are just sorting out thanksgiving, that's all. What did you think was going on?” he asked, looking at Edward and then back to me.
I knew they were hiding something, and I would get to the bottom of it... hopefully it wasn't a grave they were making. I had to hide my worry.
“I, I, know you're all planning something to do with me, and I want to know what. You should all know by now that I don't do surprises!” I almost shouted, making sure the others could hear, although I'm sure they were listening anyway.

Edward quickly spoke up then, looking a little unsure about this situation.
“Carlisle, I, think we should tell Bella about...” He nodded towards the living room and I stared up at him, wondering what was going on.

“Edward? Tell me, before I shoot someone.” I said, biting my nails with aggravation.
Both Edward and Carlisle laughed, and I thought I heard Emmett laughed from inside the house too.
“I wonder, who will you be shooting?” Edward asked, showing a huge grin across his face and wrapping his arm around my waist.
“I don't know,” I muttered in defeat. “Maybe myself if you don't tell me what's happening. I know it's to do with christmas.” I folded my arms.

“Okay, if we tell you, will you promise not to make a big deal out of it?” Edward said, holding my hand and trying to dazzle me with his eyes.
“I, can't promise anything. It depends what it is.” I said through gritted teeth, dreading the words to come.
“We were planning on making a meal for thanksgiving, so you can come round. Problem is, we weren't sure if you would, want to, since it would only you eating.” he said, eyeing my expressions very carefully.
I thought about that for a moment. A meal. With, only me eating. I could hardly call it a family meal, more like, a vampire version of Hansel and Gretal.
“Is that all?” I said, wondering if there was more to the point.
“Also,” Carlisle cut in. “We were planning a party for christmas, with you in mind.” He held out his hand, to stop me from protesting. “We all know you don't like surprises, which I guess is why we're telling you now. But, I'm afraid, Alice has gone and invited most of your school class.” He looked a little embarrassed then, wondering how I would take it.
“Why would I mind? I mean, it's only a thanksgiving meal with a family of vampires and me, a human, and a christmas party with the whole of the class at school. No, it doesn't matter.” I sounded rather hysterical, my voice going up an octave. “Just because I don't like surprises, or parties, or attention, why should it matter to me?”
By this time I pretty much had all of the Cullens standing at the door watching my face. Emmett cringing, and Alice looking all innocent as though I was being silly.
Edward looked eager to escape as much as I was eager to throw up.
“Okay,” He said loud enough to interrupt my reverie. “Well, I think we, as in Bella and I, really should be going. We have a test to study for tomorrow, so I will see you all later” He gave Alice a stern look, I could see from the corner of my eye, and he turned me around to walk to the car.
“Bye Bella” called Alice.
“Bye” I called, still stunned by what had just happened.

We walked slowly back to the car, with Edward holding my arm so I didn't fall. The sun was starting to appear, but it brought no warmth.
A few seconds after we were settled in the car and the engine started, Edward pulled out of the driveway and down the narrow road and back to Forks.
The sun gleamed off the windscreen and made it a little difficult for me to see out, but of course Edward didn't have any trouble.
“Edward?” I asked, not looking at him directly. I had to admit to myself, I did feel a little ashamed of my behaviour. I realised that the Cullens thought of me as family in some senses and I now felt bad.

After a minutes of silence, I realised I'd upset Edward too.
I tried to get him to look at me, even though I also wanted him to look at the road whilst driving.
“Edward, I...” I couldn't think of the right words, but he seemed to know what I was going to say, even though he couldn't read my mind.
“I know; but you should really learn to appreciate the things they do for you, Alice especially. She loves you, you know, and she may put on a brave face, but behind the bravado all this negativity you show against parties and presents does upset her” he turned to look at me then with a grin and I wondered what was so funny.
“What?” I asked.
He smiled and brushed a strand of hair from my eyes, of which I didn't even notice.
“You should have seen yourself trying to stand up to Carlisle.” He chuckled, and I scowled in his direction while he looked at the road.

Chapter Four

We arrived back at my house just in time for lunch time – for me at least. Edward followed me to the kitchen and sat down on the chair, watching me make a sandwich. I looked out of the kitchen window to see it was still snowing. I groaned.
“What's wrong?” said Edward, when he suddenly put his arms around my waist. This made me jump, hence now the splattered bread and butter on the floor.
“Drat!” I squealed. I bent down to clear up the mess, but Edward beat me to it. Of course, he was pulling faces as he touched the human food, and put it in the bin for me.
“Thanks” I muttered, slightly embarrassed.
“Sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you” he muttered as I got back to making a new ham sandwich.
“It's okay. But you might want to wait until I'm not holding a knife.” I laughed.
Edward sat back down on the chair and watched me make lunch. Everytime I would turn around to see him and smile, he was looking into space, then he'd notice me looking and put on such a fake smile that I couldn't help but think he was thinking something bad.

Before I could worry anymore, Edward sighed and spoke.
“Bella, I, need to talk to you.” he said, sounding thoughtful. I hesitated, but quickly finished making my sandwich and sat down at the table and started eating slowly, waiting for him to speak.
He looked at me taking a bite and smirked, but then realised he had something to say.
“I have been trying to find a way to tell you, but I didn't want to, worry you, I suppose.

Although, I'm positive that won't stop you.”
He smiled.
I stared at him, sandwich mid way to my mouth, confused.
“What are you getting at?” I asked, quickly taking another bite, then placing the remains on my plate. Something tells me I won't be in the mood to eat in a few minutes anyway.
Edward looked past me, trying to find the correct words.
“Alice has seen something, that at any other time, might not have been that troublesome, but it is now.” he paused, looking at my still confused expression.
I nodded in encouragement to carry on.

“Apparently, Renee and Phil are coming to visit for Christmas,” he waited for me to register that piece of news before carrying on. All I could do was nod.
“And so are a couple of other guests that, like I said, had it not been for your mother and Phil, wouldn't be as difficult to deal with.” he paused again, obviously thinking I had gone into a trance of some sort. I think I had.
I took a breath in and came to.
“And who may they be?”

He swallowed unnecessarily before continuing.
“You have heard of them, in passing. They are part of the Volturi, they are what we call, the head of all vampires, so to speak.”
“And they are bad because? I mean, they wouldn't hurt mom would they? Or Phil? Surely if you're here to protect us, they wouldn't dare.” I was rambling. Nervous as well, come to think of it. I'd never met the Volturi before, but from what I'd heard, you didn't want to, unless you were in serious trouble, and a vampire, or wanted to be lunch. I gulped.

Edward looked at me reassuringly and held my hand from across the table. He smiled for a second and then looked at my hand while he held it.
“What have I told you about worrying?”
He looked up then to melt me with his eyes. I tried to look away so I could think straight, but I failed, tremendously.
I looked down at the table.
“I guess I can't help it. I don't want anything bad to happen, especially after, you know.” I said quietly, just so he could hear. I didn't want to remind him about when James came to kill me that time in Phoenix earlier in the year. Luckily Edward found me just in the nick of time. Although, not before I'd been... I shuddered at the thought.

He sounded more serious this time, still holding my right hand and used his free hand to stroke my cheek. I looked in his eyes, and saw the reflection of sadness that we both tried to hide.
“I will never let anyone hurt you again, never again.” He said these words like they were being scratched into stone.
I believed him. I had to.
“I know that. Now at least, anyway.”
Edward pulled away then, a face as solid as a rock opposite me.
I stood up and walked around the table to sit on his lap. He kissed me softly on my neck while rustled his hair.

“So,” I whispered in his ear, trying not to ruin the moment. “Did Alice see when my visitors are going to arrive?”
He made a movement so small, yet strong enough for it to knock me off his lap. I managed to stand up straight. He looked up to me, both corners of his mouth pulled downwards.
“Your mother and Phil, will be here on Wednesday.”
I did the mental math. It's Monday today, so I only had...
My mouth opened suddenly with shock. Not shock that my mother was coming to see me, but shock that I only had two days in which to prepare.
“Oh No! Two days? Seriously, Alice must have made some mistake. I can't be ready in Two days!” I almost shrieked, and started pacing around the kitchen.

“Seriously, Bella! Calm down! You're making me nervous!” he shouted.
Edward got up off the chair and drew me in for a hug. Even though it was cold anyway without his added temperature, I felt so comfortable in his arms.
I moaned into his tshirt.
“I'm so sorry for freaking out. I'm just not good with pressure.” I laughed at the idea.
He pulled me tighter to him, and inhaled my hair scent, and then sighed.
“It's okay. I'm sorry for shouting. It's just, if we are to deal with this problem, then we're going to need to be calm.”
He let go of me steadily and checked my face to see if I was okay. I rolled my eyes.
“I'm okay. Honestly!” I couldn't help but laugh at my over reaction. Although, two days really wasn't long enough to organise looking relaxed.

. . .

Edward and I spent a few hours of the afternoon attempting exam preparation for tomorrow. Although, if I'm honest, it was more myself preparing and Edward mimicking me. He knew pretty much everything, and yet wouldn't even give me any help.

By 3pm, Charlie burst through the door, cursing words under his breath and slamming his gun on the kitchen table. I looked at Edward and then to the hall way. Edward didn't seem too impressed with whatever Charlie was angry about.
We both got up off the floor and then Edward disappeared off upstairs without a sound, while I went to see what was wrong with Charlie.
Walking slowly to the kitchen, I decided to play it cool. I didn't want to spark off whatever was bothering him even more.
I sat down at the table.
“Hey, Dad.” I watched him cautiously, while he made over the top movements.
He turned around to see me looking at him cautiously in my seat.
“Oh hey Bells.” He said calmly.
“Dad, Are you, Okay?” I asked, preparing for the speech.
His face was turning red, but he still sat down opposite me with a posture that said nothing was wrong.
“Sure Bella, why shouldn't i be?” he said whilst smiling a little too much.
I rolled the pen i had around between my fingers as i spoke.
“I dont know. Maybe because you came in nearly all guns blazing.” i looked at him raising an eyebrow.

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