Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 5

I sat on the sofa in the living room, gazing out the large front window. It was almost Thanksgiving and school was out for a week. I watched light flutters of snow descend to the ground, making the front yard look like it was a snow globe and I had just given it a good shake.
I was outlining my next few chapters. I hadn't written anything since Edward and I had returned from Isle Esme. I had been writing Carlisle and Esme's story, but in traditional vampire lore. But with the start of school, I hadn't really had time to write anything.
"It's snowing," Esme beamed when she sat back down next to me. I looked up at her and nodded. "Are you really going to submit that for publication?" She smiled at me with a raised eyebrow. She had been sitting with me for a few hours giving me details for the next few chapters. I found her and Carlisle's story very sweet.
"Jasper is," I snickered. "For some reason he wants to be my 'manager'…he swears I'm going to get published." Jasper was really funny when it came to my writing. I think it was all the years he just went along with everyone else's wants and having nothing to show for it. As much as we "fought", Jasper was as much my best friend as Alice was. He was determined to make sure I never got to the point that he had, hating what he was and thinking there was no purpose in living forever.
"Knowing you…" she giggled, "you probably will. Have you heard from them?" I shook my head no. "I hope they can find him," she sighed, "before he hurts someone else.
"Me too," I sighed. Carlisle had taken all the boys in search for Joe. The girl he attacked the night of Halloween woke up in the hospital. She woke up pissed, knowing exactly who Joe was. The best part was that she had scratched the hell out of him and DNA was now on file.
What Carlisle was hoping to do was similar to the incident in Port Angeles. He was going to knock him out, depositing him on the steps of the police department. The problem was that Joe was gone. He never showed back up in school. Edward feared that he would seek revenge on me for my show of temper at the Halloween party, but that fear proved needless when we didn't see him at school.
Emmett, the computer geek that he truly was, discovered that Joe's father was a park ranger. Joe's Facebook page was filled with pictures of camping and roughing it in the woods with his dad. Jasper theorized, after tracking his scent from the dorms, that Joe was probably in hiding and most likely in the national park. Who better to hunt for a human in the middle of the deep, dark forest? Four male vampires determined to keep said human from ever reaching their daughter, baby sister and wife. They all gave nervous explanations of not wanting him to hurt anyone else, but in reality they were protecting me from having to defend myself.
"Oh," Esme groaned. "I do not envy Joe."
"Me either," I laughed. "Protective fools."
"Good deeds, Bella," she smiled. "Carlisle loves a good deed."
"Edward too," I nodded, remembering a night we had gone to a summer festival and he had helped the mothers of two small kids. They were being harassed by some teenage boys. Edward, his brothers, Jake and Quil put an end to it quickly.
"That comes from years of living with Carlisle," she smiled. "They are a lot alike in many ways."
"I see that," I nodded. Edward truly admired Carlisle and vice versa. There couldn't be a better person for my husband to trade ideas or theories with. Carlisle was calm, wise and loving. In six hundred years, Edward would probably be exactly the same.
"But different," she giggled. "You have brought the teenager back into my son. He's so free." I smiled at her. Esme had always called me the sunshine to Edward's dark night.
She kissed my head, saying, "Oh, I have a few prospects for houses in Portland. Want to see?" I nodded and she took my laptop from me. She pulled up a few websites, showing me the houses that had peaked her interest. She also brought up websites for the high school we would be attending and pictures of the Portland area.
"Are you ok with being Isabella Swan again?" She asked, closing the computer.
"Yeah, foster kid story and all," I snickered. Edward and Emmett were going to use Cullen again as their last name, claiming to be brothers. Everyone else would be using their real given names. Hale, Swan, Brandon, and Whitlock. "Is Alice ok with using Brandon?" I asked, looking over at Esme. Alice had only recently discovered her true identity after James had attacked me in Phoenix.
"She said she was."
So the old story was the same, but new with me in the mix. Carlisle and Esme Cullen were well off and couldn't have children of their own. They opted to take in foster kids without anyplace else to go. Emmett and Rosalie were going to be juniors. Jasper put up a fight about staying in the same grade as the rest of us. He had always been a year ahead, but he was determined to stay with my shield. Carlisle finally gave in, allowing him to join us as sophomores, but warned him that he looked older. A story was concocted that he was held back. Emmett laughed way too hard over that one and they ended up wrestling on the living room floor.
They wanted to start earlier for the move this time, getting the place, stories and mind sets ready for the change. They were trying to make this as easy for me as possible. I was ready. I had chosen life with Edward with the complete knowledge that things would be this way. I had no problem with any of it. We were leaving as soon as we graduated.
"Thanksgiving is tomorrow," she smirked. "Are you guys still carrying on the tradition of Truth or Dare?"
"Of course I wanted to," Alice huffed, coming down the stairs, "but Carlisle wants to work with Bells tomorrow…" She paused for a moment and a smile crept over her face. "Ooh, and Demitri's coming for a visit."
"Now, that's the best reason for missing Truth or Dare," Rose laughed, joining us on the couch.
E: Did I tell you I love you today?
I smiled down at Edward's text, replying immediately.
B: Yes, baby, 3 times before you left. Any luck?
E: Not yet. We're on our way back. And 3 times is not enough.
"They're on their way back," Alice and I happened to say at the same time. I just looked over at her and shook my head. "That really has to stop," I snorted. Alice just smiled and shrugged at me.
Rose barked a laugh without looking up from her cards. We were in the game room, bored with the poker that we had been playing for hours. Night had fallen and it still continued to snow.
"I don't know why we play with Alice," Esme smirked. "She kills us every time."
"Because if we don't, she pouts," Rose sighed, throwing her cards down. "I'm out." She looked out the window into the back yard. "Yeah, that's just all kinds of hot right there."
I looked out with her, seeing five stunning men walking towards the house. They had met up with Demitri while they were out. They walked like a dream as the snowflakes clung to their hair and clothes. Demitri was in a long black leather coat and it flowed around him like a cape. The boys were all in dark or black jeans, sweaters and jackets. Carlisle was in black pants and parka. "Damn," I groaned, watching Edward walk across the yard, a large smile on his face as he laughed at whatever Emmett was talking animatedly about. Jasper was nodding in agreement. I held back a groan as I watched Edward walk. Every muscle in his thighs flexed with every step he took.
"God…and why can't we play Truth or Dare?" Alice whined. "Demitri would make a fun addition."
"Girls," Esme scolded, but a smile played on her lips. "We should find someone for him…he's too handsome to be alone."
"Funny," Alice chuckled, "you used to say that about Edward." I laughed, throwing my cards down.
The door opened and they all walked in, shaking the snow from their hair. "Hey Demitri," we all sang.
"Ladies," he laughed, shaking his head. "Don't bother with your matchmaking skills, I'll survive."
"Yeah, Edward said that too," Rose laughed.
Edward sighed, rolling his eyes, but held his arms out. I snickered, burying my face in his shirt. He smelled like snow and trees, leather and me. I smiled at the last one. I felt a kiss to the top of my head. We didn't say anything, just followed everyone in the living room. Our reunion was a comfortable, quiet one.
"Yes," Demitri smiled. "And Edward was a smart man to be patient."
Edward pulled off his jacket with the rest of the boys and hung it by the front door, sitting on the floor and pulling me in his lap. Yes, you were, baby, I smiled, thinking to him. His chuckle was sweet as he squeezed me closer.
"Genius," he whispered, giving me his hand so that I could play with his ring.
"Carlisle, any news?" Esme asked, sitting next to him on the sofa. Everyone joined us, Alice and Jasper on the floor with us.
"We found his camp," Jasper answered instead. "It looked like he had been there a few days and moved on. Demitri came along at the right time…"
"Yes, I'll help you look for him," Demitri nodded.
"You can track humans?" I asked.
"I can track anything, Bella," he laughed. "It would be easier if I had met the boy, but it's not necessary."
"Demitri's gift works like mine a little," Edward explained. "He can sense their mind…he catches the flavor of it."
"That's pretty close, Edward," Demitri smiled. "So are we going out tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow's Thanksgiving, dude," Emmett smiled. "It's a holiday. Maybe the kid will freeze while we're playing Truth or Dare."
I giggled, covering my mouth. "Oh God, Em," I shook my head. "How many disgusting snowmen do you have to build before you move on?" I asked, feeling Edward's chuckle behind me.
"Until Jasper stops daring him to build them," Edward said in my ear.
"Sucker," Jasper snorted, giving Edward a fist bump.
Mmm, but snow angels on the other hand…I laughed, squealing when Edward pinched my butt. My first Thanksgiving with the Cullens I had still been human. I had dared Edward to make as many snow angels as he could completely naked.
"Careful, love, or it's you this year," he growled low in my ear, chuckling when my laugh stopped abruptly.
"What's Truth or Dare?" Demitri smiled, looking around. Carlisle sighed, shaking his head.
"It's a game," Alice piped in. "You ask someone if they want to tell the truth about something or submit to a dare. You must tell the truth or you must complete the dare. But we aren't playing this year, are we, Carlisle?"
"No," he smiled. "First of all, I'm not playing that game with you crazy people and second, the lake is frozen…how about hockey?"
"Um…" I started. "Yeah…never skated."
"Ever?" Edward asked, turning me in his lap. His face was an adorable mix of surprise and sweet concern.
"I grew up in the desert," I reminded him sarcastically. He chuckled, kissing my forehead.
"Oh yeah," Jasper frowned. "Ok, so hockey's out for now…at least until we can teach her."
"Capture the Flag?" Carlisle asked, looking hopeful and smiling when we all agreed.
"So no Truth or Dare?" Emmett frowned, looking so disappointed. My big brother was the biggest kid of us all.
Esme must have been thinking the same thing, because she ruffled his curls, shaking her head at him. "You could play tonight, Emmett, but if you touch my closet and dress one more snowman to look like me…I will wrench your ear from your head."
I laughed, burying my face in Edward's shoulder.
"Tonight!" Alice beamed. She looked over at Demitri, Carlisle and Esme. "Wanna play?"
"Not a chance," Carlisle laughed and Esme shook her head no.
"Sure," Demitri shrugged. His face was a little nervous as he watched our parents leave for the night, wishing him luck.
"Don't worry, Demitri," Edward laughed. "Alice will take it easy on you the first few rounds."
"I go first," Alice said with a hand over her heart. "Bella."
"Why do you pick me first every year?" I laughed, shaking my head. "Truth."
"What else have you two broken lately having sex?" She asked laughing.
I turned to Edward. "Does she mean in the house?" I smirked.
"She doesn't care," he answered, chuckling.
"Ok…a poor pine tree met its demise the other day," I laughed. Jasper and Emmett snorted into laughter, nodding in approval. I felt Edward shake with a silent chuckle.
"Nice," Rose laughed.
"Um…Jasper," I smiled.
"Aw hell," he sighed. "Dare."
"Go to your room and put on the one thing that irritates Alice the most and wear it for two rounds," I laughed. Edward snorted behind me.
"Bella!" Alice growled. In less than thirty seconds, Jasper had returned in a complete disco outfit - gold medallions around his neck, white suit and black shirt open to his navel. Rose and Emmett fell off the couch, laughing. Alice looked mortified. Demitri shook his head in awe.
"What's sad…that's really his from the seventies," Edward laughed, avoiding Jasper's fist to his arm.
We all cracked up when Emmett burst into "Staying Alive". Even Alice fought a smile as Emmett did the dance that went with it.
"Emmett," Jasper smiled.
"Dare," Emmett beamed.
"Drop 'em, Emmett…all your clothes and streak through the parental unit's house…every room," Jasper chuckled.
Emmett stood up and Edward stopped him. He turned to Jasper, asking, "You do know what they're doing, right?" Jasper laughed and nodded, falling over on the floor. If Emmett cared, he didn't show it. He was naked in a flash and out the back door.
A booming, "Emmett!" rang through the night from the other house and the living room exploded in laughter.
"Aw guys!" Emmett growled, getting dressed. "Not funny." Edward's head fell back as he laughed. Jasper beat the floor, but he stood, running upstairs to change back into his regular clothes. "Bells," Emmett smiled as Jasper joined us instantly.
"Again?" I asked. "Truth…I'm not taking dares from you."
"Ok…so you married the hundred year old virgin mind reader…what's something we don't know about Eddikins?" He asked, smiling and folding his arms across his chest.
Holy hell, I thought to Edward groaning. Does he have any ideas in his mind?
"More than you can even comprehend," Edward chuckled.
I couldn't divulge anything in betrayal of my husband and I wasn't giving up anything that I held dear, so I went for vague. "Edward has…a very active imagination," I smiled in triumph, leaning back to his chest. He chuckled, kissing my head. By the way, my love, there's a football game at home next week…you want to go? I turned to look at him with a raised eyebrow. His eyes flashed black and he nodded. Good.
"That's it?" Emmett gawked at me. "That's all you're saying?"
Alice smirked at me. "You're getting nothing more and she didn't lie, Em."
"Damn," he growled.
"Demitri," I smiled, thinking I would go easy if he chose dare.
"I'm no fool…" He laughed. "Truth."
"Do you miss Italy…your life there?" I asked, tilting my head at him.
"And I thought for sure you would ask about Tanya…" He chuckled.
"No, that would have been me," Rose laughed.
"Yes, Beautiful Bella…I miss my country. I don't miss the Volturi or what they do or how they treat others. I miss Rome and Tuscany and Venice…I miss the Mediterranean and the smell of a vineyard. I left a part of me there too." He sighed, suddenly looking very sad. Edward wrapped his arms around my waist. He must have seen something more in Demitri's thoughts. "I looked at her the way Edward looks at you…"
"What happened?" Emmett asked, sounding like a child asking for a story. The game was forgotten.
"I had to leave her behind…"
"You left her?" I breathed, "Why didn't you bring her?" I knew my reaction was from my own experience and Edward rocked me back and forth.
"She couldn't come, Bella…there's a woman in the higher rankings…Aro uses her quite effectively. Chelsea can…manipulate relationships…" He frowned for a moment, watching my fingers grip Edward's hand. "Another man wanted my Carina and bribed Chelsea to use her gift, taking her love away from me."
Rose growled, frowning down at her hands.
"But if you got her away from them…wouldn't that break it?" I could feel the panic that couldn't be stopped. "You shouldn't have left her behind!" I started to shake, my hands balling into fists.
"Bella," Edward crooned. "It's ok."
"She's right, Edward, I shouldn't have left her. Even though I knew it was forced…jealousy can make a man crazy. To see her looking at someone else…someone I hate…it drove me away." He smiled down at me. "One day…I have hope."
"You shouldn't wait," I growled. "You never know what could happen while you're away from her…when you can't be there to protect her!" I fought a sob, standing from Edward's lap. He tried to hold me, but I jerked from his grasp. I ran upstairs, slamming the bedroom door behind me.
I sat stunned, flinching at the sound of the bedroom door slamming. I ran my hand through my hair.
"Damn," Jasper frowned. "I didn't feel that coming…shit."
I started to stand and Alice's mind stopped me. Give her a minute, Edward. I nodded, putting my face in my hands.
"Edward," Rose's voice barked. "It's not you…it was Jake. You know this."
I heard Demitri's mind question what had just happened. So I started the story. "I left her once." My voice sounded small to me. "She was human then…I stayed away for two years," I breathed, looking up at him. "I thought I was wrong for her…when I came back once…she was with someone and I couldn't see past the jealousy…so I let her be, thinking she was happy without me. What I didn't know…she was in hell…I had left her in hell," I growled, staring at the floor. I bit my lip, fighting my self-loathing.
"Her reaction is for the love and time lost, Demitri," Alice said solemnly. "Bella was abused when Edward was gone. She gets a little protective when women are hurt."
"She loves you still, I see it," Demitri growled. "Her love for you fills this house and overflows into the forest. Can't that give me hope?" The question was to my sister.
Alice's mind went blank and suddenly a flood of visions filled her mind. "Who's Felix?" She asked.
"That's who has my Carina…" His eyes blackened. "He's Aro's personal guard…an enforcer." In his mind a pretty Italian girl's face smiled up at him. Another memory was his Carina in the arms of who I could only assume was Felix. He was a large vampire, menacing. Felix wore a taunting smile as he wrapped an arm around Demitri's love.
"She's beautiful, Demitri," I sighed. "Don't leave her long. Bella does love me…but I will be spending an eternity making up for the mistake I made. And I'll do it, because I don't deserve her. I swore I was doing the right thing…what was best for her. I was arrogant and na├»ve, thinking that she would get over me and live a normal life. She didn't and she was punished for it. Every day I am grateful she allows me in her life. Every day with her is a gift…" I stood up, looking around at my family. "Tell Carlisle we'll meet at the field in the morning."
Emmett nodded, his eyes sad. He hated when Bella was upset. He liked her laughing and shoving back at him. She was a ray of sunshine in the house. It made them all nervous when she was not happy.
I walked out of the living room and up the stairs. I opened the door to our bedroom to see my beautiful girl sitting in her window seat, her arms wrapped around her knees. She was watching the snow fall. My still heart twisted with the love I had for her. "I'm sorry," she whispered, not looking away from the window.
Her apology was heavy with meaning. She was apologizing for her reaction, her rudeness, her inability to not let the past go sometimes. I didn't want it; it wasn't needed. I walked over and sat the opposite way than she was, facing her. "Is Demitri upset with me…it's not my place…" She started, placing a hand on the window pane.
"No." I could still hear Demitri's mind. If anything, she had forced him to think about Carina. Something he had not allowed himself in a very long time.
"His pain…his face…so familiar," she mused. I was letting her lead this. I knew what I had done and as happy as we were, occasionally I still had to pay for it. It was a price I was willing to pay. "His face looked like yours when you came back to me." Her mind opened, showing me sitting on the steps of our house in Forks, the pain and relief were mixed on my face as I talked to her. "I suppose it's my romantic heart that hates the thought that there can't be a happily ever after for everyone," she smiled slightly. I couldn't help but smile with her. "I got mine. Demitri should have his. He's a good person."
"Did you? Get yours?" I asked, tilting my head at her.
"Yes, Edward," she sighed, finally meeting my gaze. "I heard what you said…you owe me nothing. You paid your debt just by loving me."
"That's an easy payment," I teased, reaching up to brush a stray strand of her hair away from her face.
She smiled, leaning into my hand. "I know why you left, Edward. It made sense. If I was anyone else…it might have worked." She smirked, her eyes studying my face. "But I'm not. I'm yours and have been since we met. I was young and insecure…I accepted your dismissal instantly. I shouldn't have. There was one moment when you weren't lying to me that day in the forest. I should have forced that, but…I didn't…" She sighed, picking up my hand and studying my palm. "I let you go too, Edward. I could have fought…"
"I wish you had…" I sighed. "I wish you hadn't allowed me to negate everything with one word…to accept my lie so quickly. My heart was screaming for me not to leave you. You have to know…"
"I do," she nodded. "Hindsight, love," she smiled. "I wouldn't change the last four years, though. Not one minute…" she frowned, shaking her head. "To have you more open and honest when you came back than you were before you left…marrying you…my change…nothing."
"I see your face, baby," she frowned, crawling into my lap. "Don't you dare apologize to me." She grabbed my face and straddled my legs. "I don't need an apology…it was just a shock…so familiar."
I couldn't help myself. I wrapped my arms around her, sighing and burying my face into her neck. She leaned into me, her hands slipping up my neck into my hair. I felt her lips drag lightly across my ear and jaw.
She sat up on her knees, leaning over me and pressing her forehead to mine. Her thick curls fell around our faces like a curtain. It smelled like strawberries and me. Our breathing was heavy, the crackle of electricity around us was thick, making it hard to inhale.
I slipped my hands to her face, pulling her hair up and holding it in fistfuls at the sides of her head. "Look at me," I whispered and her eyes snapped open, locking onto mine. "You feel that?" I asked.
"That's us, love…it's what brought me home to you. It's what makes everything else insignificant, but what is in my hands…right now. Tell me you know that."
"Yes, baby," she whimpered. "I don't doubt it. Ever. You don't have to prove it to me."
I studied her face, taking in every feature. Her mind was closed, but I still could tell when she was truthful and when she wasn't. Nothing but honesty was looking back at me. How this beautiful angel could forgive me and still love me was something that I will never take for granted. It wasn't the memory or the abuse that had bothered her. It was the thought of someone else making the same mistakes we had.
I brought her face to mine, my fists still in her hair. With sighs and tender caresses, we kissed. It was soft, quiet. Her mouth was lazy against mine and I let her lead. She broke from my mouth and her mind opened at the same time.
Would you have really made me make snow angels naked? She smiled against my neck as I chuckled.
"Absolutely," I smiled, releasing her hair with one hand and grinding her into me.
Note to self…never pick dare with you… She giggled into my neck.
"Are we really going to a football game?" I asked, nuzzling her neck and slipping my hand up her shirt.
Oh hell yes, she snickered, gripping my sweater and lifting it over my head. Anything you want, baby…
"Just you," I whispered, groaning as she rolled her hips over me. "All night, please."
"Your wish…my command," she smirked, her eyes flicking to our bed behind us. I didn't need to even read her mind for that one.
We spent the night alone. We tried to be quiet, but I'm sure my family knew all about it. Their minds were of relief, though, not humor. They wanted Bella happy and they wanted me happy. They knew how we healed ourselves.
There are times when my human memories are an all out assault and sometimes I can't remember some of the names of the people I graduated high school with. When Demitri had said that he had left Carina behind, I saw the forest and the lies. But I saw them as mistakes he was making, not something that Edward needed to apologize for. Edward apologized anyway. He will always feel responsible.
I came downstairs the next morning to Edward at the piano. He was picking out Christmas carols while Emmett set up the tree in the living room. "Ok, I love you all, but you do know that you're not supposed to do anything Christmas related until Santa shows up at the end of the parade today…"
"Really?" Emmett frowned. "Shit…well Eddie, stop." I smiled, shaking my head.
"Decorations, Em," I laughed. "Hell, the carols have been playing since Halloween."
"Ha!" Edward teased, winking at me and going back to his music. He started "Carol of the Bells" with a smirk and I shook my head.
"Eddie, no!" Jasper smiled. "Let's do the other version of that song!"
Edward stopped and turned around, pulling the keyboards next to him. Emmett hissed a "yes" and dove for his drum set in the corner. Jasper grinned, turning on one of the amps. He started with an electric guitar version of the same song. I smiled. Trans Siberian Orchestra. Instantly, the house was filled with drums and guitar. Edward had the keyboard sounding like stringed instruments he had prerecorded and then turned to the piano.
"Whoa," Alice whispered, coming to stand by me. I turned to her and saw that even Carlisle, Esme and Demitri were watching from behind us.
It was massive, the sound coming from them. It was heavy and powerful. "Damn," Rose breathed, shaking her head.
When the song finished, they didn't realize that they had an audience. "Impressive," Demitri chuckled, nodding in approval. The boys shared fist bumps amongst each other.
"Bells," Carlisle called. "I think we can teach you to skate anyway…let's try hockey."
"Oh ok," I laughed sarcastically. "Whatever, Carlisle." Esme was offering me a pair of skates and I took them. "This should be interesting."
"Come on, Bells," Emmett laughed, "I'll teach you." He took the skates, carrying them for me with a huge grin.
As we all walked out the back door, Jasper smashed Emmett in the back of the head with a snowball, exploding and hitting Edward in the face. The snowball fight was on. Demitri caught up to me and we walked around the now wrestling boys at a human pace.
"Bella, I'm sorry about…"
"Oh no," I laughed. "I was rude, Demitri…it's none of my business," I sighed.
"You couldn't be rude if you tried," he chuckled. "You're right…I shouldn't have left her."
"They must have told you the story, huh?" I asked, looking up into his handsome face. He nodded, smiling slightly. "You love Carina…" I said, but it sounded more like a question.
"Yes," he nodded. "You're going to ask me about Tanya…"
"Yeah," I frowned. "I mean…I assumed you two…"
"I tried," he sighed, staring off into the trees of the snowy forest. "I enjoyed Tanya's companionship, but she preferred humans and I missed my Carina…it was like therapy," he chuckled. "We talked and traveled. No more. Oh and I kept her from you."
"That was probably best," I growled and he laughed. "You said she mated."
"Yes…Mark. He's from Toronto."
I sneered. "Sorry, I can't imagine…"
"It took some time…but she finally accepted facts." He chuckled, shaking his head.
A snowball hit my back and I whirled around to see all three boys looking in different directions. "Jackasses," I laughed, wrapping my shield around their knees. They hit the ground with a groan.
"Cheater," Emmett called out.
"You taught me," I laughed still walking with Demitri. "Do you want up?"
"Yes," they all laughed. Edward adding, "Baby, it wasn't me." I released them much to Demitri's entertainment.
"Actually," Alice laughed from up ahead, "Edward thought about it, but it was Emmett that did it."
"That doesn't surprise me," I mumbled.
"Tattle tale," Emmett growled. "Um, Bells…I was aiming for something else."
We came out of the trees to a small lake, frozen completely. "Are you going to let them check you and everything?" Demitri asked with a chuckle.
"Oh I'm sure the goal is to not allow my team to get checked, but I'm telling you…anything is better than having a baseball thrown at me at five hundred miles an hour." I reached up to Emmett's shoulder taking the skates that were hanging. "Right, Emmett?" Emmett just laughed, ruffling my hair. I found a rock and changed from boots to the skates. "I can't believe I'm skating."
"Come on, Bells," Jasper laughed. "It will be fine." He picked me up and set me on the ice. "I damn sure wouldn't have attempted this when you were human."
"Funny," I sneered. "Next you're going to tell me if I fall, my tail bone will crack the ice, right?" Edward laughed behind me.
"Well…now that you know…" Jasper chuckled.
Vampire grace is fantastic. My balance and awareness helped make the learning pretty simple. I wasn't spinning like Alice and Rose, but it wasn't long when I didn't need to hold on to someone.
Carlisle skated to me, skidding to a stop. "Show off," I mumbled. Smiling at his chuckle.
"Ok, you know the rules of the game…surely Charlie watched it." I nodded and took the stick he was handing me.
"And don't call me Shirley!" Emmett, Jasper and Edward guffawed from the other side of the lake.
"They're mentally challenged today, forgive them."
"Airplane is funny," Carlisle laughed. I rolled my eyes, waving for him to go on. "Anyway, this will work like football…shield your teammates…Emmett is goalie on this end…Alice the other." Normally, you wouldn't think that Alice could play goalie being as small as she was, but she was perfect. She could predict the shots.
"Girls versus boys again?"
"Yes," he nodded. "I'm thinking your talent with pool will help you with this…look at the ice…see it as a pool table, but only one ball." I studied the ice, noticing where the goals were. The sides of the lake had been lined with logs to keep the puck from getting lodged in the snow banks. I saw the angles that I used in pool and nodded.
"And they aren't mentally challenged," Carlisle whispered. "I heard about last night…they just want you happy."
"I know," I snorted as Jasper and Edward rushed Emmett in the goal. He ended up in the net. "Silly asses."
Carlisle played referee, Demitri taking his place as a player for the boy's team. Edward and Rose faced off in the middle of the ice. The difficulty of playing any sport against my husband was his speed and sometimes he didn't want to play as hard against me as he would everyone else. He had a tendency to take it easy on me. With my shield, his speed was intimidating.
It took a few plays and a number of goals for each side before I got the hang of it.
"She's got it now," Edward chuckled, pulling himself up out of the snow after Esme had checked him with the help of my shield.
"Real game…play to five," Jasper grinned. "We should put something on the line…"
"Oh Demitri," Carlisle chuckled. "Get out of there before you wind up in something you aren't prepared for…never underestimate the girls…" Alice, Rose and I laughed, leaning into each other.
"Hey," Emmett frowned indignantly. "We'll destroy them."
"What's the bet?" Demitri chuckled.
"Karaoke," Alice whispered. "Watch…"
"If we win," Edward smirked, "the girls sing at the karaoke club tonight."
"Same bet, every time," Rose snorted quietly. "I suppose it's only fair…they sing for us all the time."
"True…but I don't sing," I growled low.
"How many songs?" Rose asked, laughing when Alice answered with Edward, "Two."
"And the opposing bet?" Jasper asked with a smug look on his face.
Esme looked at us as we huddled up to discuss our options. "I'm out of here…but kick their butts, girls."
"You know…I think I'm out too," Demitri chuckled. "Good luck, gentlemen."
"What will they hate?" I asked, laughing.
"Christmas shopping on Black Friday," Alice and Rose said together with a smirk.
"And there it is," I laughed. "Ok, boys…Christmas shopping tomorrow…"
"Screw that!" Jasper grimaced.
"Hell no," Edward shook his head. His face was wrinkled up adorably. "We aren't losing."
"Bells shouldn't be able to use her shield…" Emmett pouted.
"You wish!" I growled. "That's like asking Edward not to hear your thoughts or Alice not to predict something…not a chance…may the Force be with you…"
"Mmm," Edward purred. "That's my girl." His eyes were black as we faced each other on the side of the face off. Rose and Jasper were waiting for Carlisle to drop the puck.
"Easy, baby," I laughed, licking my bottom lip and knowing it was just going to spur him on. I watched his hands twitch as he held his hockey stick.
"Edward!" Jasper snarled. "Cut it out…focus! I don't want to freaking go shopping."
I snickered, looking back at Edward. "You got in trouble," I sang, smiling when Edward just shrugged. I slammed my shield around Rose as soon as the puck was dropped. He tried to rush me, but my shield stopped him.
The game was brutal. Edward had zero shame in trying to distract me. Alice was our only savior at one point, seeing every shot the boys were going to make. However, Jasper proved deadly, catching Rose and me without shields. I wasn't able to shield fast enough. Lust hit us like a brick wall and I found myself checked into the snow. Edward chuckled as his body collided with mine.
"Shit," I growled. "Get off of me…Jasper's killing me."
"I know," Edward rumbled. "I can," he inhaled the air, "tell."
"Oh hell no," I whined, pushing Edward up. "Evil man."
We were done for. I shook my head as they celebrated a five to four victory. "Well, shit," Rose frowned. Alice's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.
"Shield, now," she whispered. "They'll never ask this of us again after tonight. It will drive them crazy." She looked over my shoulder, asking, "What decades, boys?"
"Sixties and current…" Edward smirked, his arms folded across his chest.
"Perfect," Alice smiled evilly. She told us the plan and Rose and I nodded in agreement. When she told us the songs, we smiled along with her.
"Are you sure?" I asked Alice as we pulled into the club.
"Yes," she laughed. "After this, karaoke is officially off the betting list." She turned in her seat to look at me. "The smug bastards are already here and in the front row, we're going to use that."
"Ok," Rose snickered.
We walked into the club, staying away from the front row. "Hey Danny," we smiled.
"Ladies," he smiled. Danny owned the karaoke club on Newberry Street in Boston. "Did those boys lose another bet again?"
"No, we did," I sighed. "It's our turn, Danny."
"Aw hell," he snickered. "Sorry, beautiful…what decades?" When we told him the songs he just shook his head. "Man oh man," he grinned. "You will drive my male customers out of their minds tonight." He clicked a few things on the computer system. "Come on, I'll put you up next so you can get it over with…ok?"
"Thanks, Danny," Rose snickered.
We watched as he walked onto the stage, addressing Edward, Jasper and Emmett. "You're gonna regret this, pals," he chuckled and I shielded him quickly. Edward's head snapped around with a smirk planted on his face.
The music started and it was one of my favorite older songs. Alice had dressed us in mini-skirts and high boots for a reason. Singing "Then He Kissed Me" was sweet and the boys ate it up. They leaned back in their chairs watching us with smug looks on their faces.
When the song was over, I opened my thoughts to Edward. Are you sure you want this? He nodded, a smile playing on his lips. Ok, I laughed.
The music started again, Danny shaking his head on the side of the stage.
Sweet sugar candy man, we whispered.
We walked to the edge of the stage, coming just out of reach of the boys and a few gentlemen that were sitting at the next table. A few more steps and we were standing right between our boys' legs.I met him out for dinner on a Friday nightHe really had me working up an appetiteHe had tattoos up and down his armThere's nothing more dangerous than a boy with charm
With that last lyric, we poked them in their chests. Their eyes were black, Jasper sat up burying his face in his hands. The lust in the room kicked up ten-fold. It actually made the whole thing easier for me. I hated singing.
He's a one stop shop, makes the panties dropHe's a sweet-talkin', sugar coated candy manA sweet-talkin', sugar coated candyman
I heard Edward and Emmett growl, "Shit," under their breaths. Alice and I had to fight our laughs as we continued to sing. It was the third verse where the boys almost lost their fight.
Well by now I'm getting all bothered and hotWhen he kissed my mouth he really hit the spotHe had lips like sugar caneGood things come to boys who wait
We touched their lips and then shook our fingers at them with the last line, turning around and walking back on stage. I glanced around the club and men were shifting in their seats. Jasper was losing it. He was radiating lust throughout the whole club.
Sweet sugar candy man He's a one stop, gotcha hot, making all the panties dropSweet sugar candy man
He's a one stop, got me hot, making my uh popSweet sugar candy man He's a one stop, get it while it's hot, baby don't stopSweet sugar He got those lips like sugar caneGood things come for boys who waitHe's a one stop shop with a real big…uh
Their eyes popped on that one. I laughed, barely able to continue.
He's a sweet-talkin', sugar coated candyman
By the end of the song, the boys' faces were in their hands. Edward was pinching the bridge of his nose, his hair disheveled from running his hands through it so many times. Emmett was glaring at the men at the next table, his arms flexing with whatever they were talking about. Jasper was practically shaking.
"We better get them out of here," I snickered, handing Danny back the microphones.
"Thanks, Danny," Alice smiled.
"Sure thing, ladies," he smirked, looking over at the boys walking our way. "Bet they don't do this again."
"Lesson learned," Rose sighed, turning to Alice. "It's a good thing everyone drove separately…thanks Alice. See you ladies at home," she cracked up as Emmett pulled her away without a word.
Edward's breathing was heavy behind me. He was silent when I turned around, his eyes as black as I'd ever seen them. "Come on, let's take a walk…" I smiled in sympathy, taking his hand. He gripped mine hard.
We hit the cold air and we walked a few blocks down. Commonwealth Avenue in Boston was just about my favorite street. Brownstone houses lined each side of the street, a tree filled park running down between the east and west bound lanes. In the spring and summer it was pretty, green and you could smell the bay just a few blocks away. In the fall it was stunning, the colors were so many that they couldn't be described. In the winter, it looked like a portrait - something straight from Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kincade.
Being a vampire meant that the winter was no longer painfully cold anymore. We could have been walking in the spring or summer and it wouldn't have felt much different. We found a secluded bench in the corner by a fountain they had emptied for the cold season. "Never again," Edward mumbled, pulling me onto his lap. I fought my laugh as he looked at me with a painful expression. "You can't even imagine what that whole club full of men was thinking," he growled, pulling me flush to his hips. My skirt rode up slightly.
"Probably the same things that the girls do when you guys play," I sighed, kissing his neck just below his ear. My tongue snaked out, tasting the sweet flavor of him.
He stopped, took a deep breath and smirked up at me. "Yeah, you're right," he said, his voice smooth, but filled with something else. "What does it do to you? Does it make you want to claim me in front of them all?" His hand slipped between us, snaking up my skirt. "Hmm…so wet," he smiled, licking his lips. His brilliant fingers slipped my underwear to the side, my hips jerking with the lightest touch from him. "Does it, love? Do you want to mark what's yours?"
"Yes," I squeaked, grinding down on his hand. I gripped his leather coat, my breath catching in my throat.
"You were so fucking sexy, Bella," he growled, pulling me closer and trapping his hand between my legs. He bit at my neck. "Did you know what you were doing to me?"
"Oh, shit…yes," I barely breathed as two of his fingers slipped into me. "More, baby," I begged, grunting as I thrust against his hand.
"Was it just for me?" He licked up my neck, sucking hard at the spot below my ear. His thumb teasingly brushed against my clit. I groaned when he took it away.
"Always…you…Edward…right there," I pleaded.
"Here?" He asked, his long fingers gliding across the sweet spot inside me. "Or here?" He growled as his thumb circled my nub tightly.
"Both…fuck…all of it, please," I whispered, my head hitting his shoulder. My hips swiveled with the pace his hand was setting. Just when I was about to come, he pulled his hand away. "Edward," I cried out.
He slid me back, unzipping his pants. I growled as he slammed me down over him. I came instantly. "Shit!" I sobbed as he continued to guide me up and down over him. He didn't stop and another wave of ecstasy hit me hard.
"I need more," he growled, pulling open my shirt. He palmed my breasts, lifting them out of my bra. His light touch caused my nipples to ache. He kissed the scar over my heart. Without removing his eyes from mine, his tongue circled my nipple, flicking, biting and sucking at it. His other hand pinched and rolled. He moaned against my skin as a shudder ran through me. Just the sight of his perfect mouth was twisting me inside.
I was so wet as I ground against him, there was barely any friction. "Jesus," he gasped, his head falling back. "Bella…my God," he panted. His neck was irresistible, the tendons straining against his skin. I bit and licked at them, reaching back to the bench and pulling hard against him. "Oh fuck, I need to come…fucking hard, baby," he growled, gripping my hips. "Come with me, I can't…I won't stop…"
His thumb brushed against my apex, barely touching me and I cried out at the sensitivity. "Jesus," I stopped, my body ceasing listening to my commands. I shattered over him, unable to stop the cry that left my lips. Edward pulled me close, crashing his lips into mine to stifle the sounds. His mouth opened against mine, sucking air in as his own release hit him fiercely.
Edward stifled a chuckle, helping me right my clothes. "I think we scared the neighbors," he smirked, looking at a light that turned on just across the street. I giggled, burying my face in his hair. "Come on, love," he smiled, setting me on my feet. "They've called the police."
"Oops," I laughed as he stood up. I fixed his pants and we took off at a brisk human walk. When we were far enough away, he wrapped an arm across my shoulders. "So, no more karaoke?" I teased.
"You almost incited a riot, love," he smirked. "And poor Jasper," he laughed, shaking his head. "He had us all in a frenzy."
"I know," I laughed, "it was a vicious cycle. He affected us too."
"No more karaoke," he growled with a nod.
"Good," I laughed, thinking Alice was a genius.


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