Thursday, February 3, 2011

Burntcore Week 37: And Forever and Ever


Picture 1

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Burntcore's Choice: Picture 1

And Forever and Ever

Time held no real meaning for us anymore, so it was quite a surprise when we realized our fifth anniversary was approaching. To most vampires, being together for five years was a flash in the pan, but not for me. Not for us. I was still young enough to mark the passage of time in single years as opposed to decades or centuries.

I had been glancing at a calendar, thinking about planning a party for Nessie’s birthday, when I realized what the date was. The next moment, I could hear Alice bounding through the house calling my name.

“Bella! Oh Bella!!”

“Yes, Alice?” I drawled, rolling my eyes at her never-ending exuberance.

“We need to go shopping!”

“And why is that?” I asked, pretending to be bored.

“Your anniversary, silly! Don’t tell me you forgot?” she trilled as she sashayed to the chair next to me.

“Well, I-“ I stuttered. If I could blush, this would be one of those moments.

“Of course you did. I already know, remember?”

Damn, she had me there.

“How can I really forget something if it hasn’t happened yet?” I countered.

“You need to plan for it, Bella! You only have ONE five year anniversary.”

“Why plan ahead when I have you to see the future for me?”

That shut Alice up, a feat that was only accomplished once in a great while, usually only by Edward. She just blinked at me, momentarily stunned. Then her eyebrows furrowed as she gave me a dirty look.

“What is it with you people?” she muttered.

“You people? Just who do you mean?” drawled Emmett as he entered the room, his huge frame seeming to dwarf the entire space.

“You, all of you! You take all the fun out of planning anything!” she pouted.

“Only because you already know what we want, sugarbug,” Emmett replied.

“I guess,” she murmured, slightly mollified.

Hoping to make Alice happy again, I turned to her with a big smile. “So, shopping?”

“You really want to go?” Alice squealed, hopping up and down in her chair.

“Well, it’s not like I can’t afford it anymore, now can I? Let’s just keep it within reason.”

“Hmmm,” Alice said excitedly, tapping the side of her pale, white cheek with her fingernail. “Define ‘within reason.’”

I laughed and smacked her lightly in her arm. “You should know me by now.”

Alice’s face broke into a huge smile and clapped her hands. “I do! That’s why I already knew what you would pick up at the mall so I got everything together already.”

That sneaky little vampire. At least this saved me from having to go to the mall. It still wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but I didn’t dread it like I used to when I was human. My favorite thing was upstairs working on a new composition on his guitar.

“Oh thank God,” I muttered. “Alice, I love you, but I wasn’t looking forward to spending the next several hours being dragged by you around the mall surrounded by crowds of Lauren clones. I had enough of people like her in high school.”

Alice merely shrugged and jumped in my lap, hugging me close.

“You will love what I bought for you and Edward. Come on, you gotta come see!”

Sighing, I allowed Alice to drag me to our cottage where Alice proudly showed me each and every item she bought, every skirt, every blouse, every nightgown, every teddy, and even smaller scraps of clothing that couldn’t be called clothing. I imagined myself modeling them for Edward. This was one of those times I was glad he couldn’t read my mind unless I let him. This surprise would stay just that, a surprise.

“So, you know where he’s taking me?” I asked as I carefully tucked away my new possessions.

Alice nodded.

“But you aren’t going to tell me?”

She shook her head.

“Why am I not surprised?” I muttered to myself.


Later that night after Alice and I went hunting, Edward finally came out of his old bedroom. It was unusual for him to hole himself away from me and Nessie for so long, but I assumed it had something to do with the surprise that Alice hinted about.

He strolled down the stairs with a big grin, like the cat that caught the canary. The rest of our family was lounging around the living room. Jasper and Alice were curled up around one another on the love seat. Emmett was playing video games on the big screen television while Rosalie sat next to him flipping through a magazine. Esme and Carlisle were reading; him a medical journal, she an interior design book.

The only ones missing were Nessie and Jake, who were out on a date. She was full-grown now and fairly mature. Jake was taking his time, making sure she was ready for a romantic relationship. It was the source of many strained conversations between Edward, Jake, and I, but we were working through it. Deep down, Edward knew that Jake wouldn’t do anything to hurt Nessie. The imprinting made it impossible for him to do something like that. It was just hard to imagine our almost five year old little girl as a grown woman. This was another occasion where I was glad I couldn’t read minds. I wouldn’t want to know what Jake thought when he saw Nessie.

Edward walked straight towards me, but turned to stand at my back behind the couch. Before I could turn to face him, he had already bent over and was kissing my neck.

“Good evening, love,” he whispered in between kisses.

I tilted my neck but tried to reign in my reactions due to the rest of our family being so near. Jasper looked up at us with amusement, obviously feeling the waves of desire coming off of us.

“What are you up to, Edward?”

He chuckled against my skin as his hand crept down and grasped my hand.

“Come walk with me.”

Those words momentarily startled me, a long fuzzy memory of when I was human. I was able to quickly brush those old demons away and follow Edward’s lead. He continued to hold my hand as he walked outside. Once we were away from the house, he pulled me close.

“I have a surprise for you,” he murmured.

“Do you? I may have one too,” I countered.

His eyebrows shot up in surprise. I loved doing that to him.

“Oh really? Does my dear sister have anything to do with this?”

I smiled and snuggled into him, savoring the unique scent of him.

“Possibly. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

Edward laughed openly, a hearty laugh that was unlike him normally. “When did you become such a perv?”

I shrugged. Being around Emmett all these years probably rubbed off on me.

“Okay, well, let’s go. I’ll show you mine.... and we’ll get to yours later.”

I shivered in anticipation and quickly followed my handsome husband.

I should’ve known that he was taking me to our Meadow. What I wasn’t expecting was a blanket on the grass, his guitar, and an envelope. He led me to the blanket and directed me to sit down while he joined me with his guitar a second later. I thought he was going to start speaking but instead he began to play. He played a song I hadn’t heard before. It was sweet and full of love. Feeling inspired, and wanting him to know what the effect his music had on me, I dropped my shield and let him read my thoughts. His strumming faltered for a second before he continued. However, his smile got bigger as he continued. Sometimes he’d sing when he’d play for me, but not this time.

Eventually he stopped playing and set his guitar aside. I was beaming. He settled down next to me and handed me the envelope.

“What’s this?”

“Happy Anniversary, sweetheart,” he said softly.

Mystified, I opened the envelope and slid the contents out into my palm.

“Airplane tickets?”

He nodded, his eyes bright with excitement.

“To Italy?”

He nodded again and leaned over to nuzzle my neck.

“It’s about time you got to explore the beauty of Italy without the worry of the Volturi. The last time you were there... well, let’s just say, I’d like to make better memories there.”

I sighed into him, touched by his gesture.

“Sounds like a great idea. Thank you, Edward.”

“You’re welcome, my Bella.”

We spent the rest of the evening out under the stars, reaffirming our love to one another, free of the prying ears of our family.


Another flight to Italy, this one not under such stress. This flight I was excited and relaxed, not panicked and scared. I held Edward’s hand the entire time and enjoyed the trip. The air grew a little stale smelling, and I tried to avoid breathing as much as I could. The burn wasn’t a problem, it just smelled bad in there.

Once we touched down, Edward quickly whisked us off to our destination. I had no idea where we were staying. He was in such a good mood, humming along with the Italian music on the radio of the car he drove. Jasper would have been practically drunk on the good vibes we were giving off. Nothing could spoil our trip.

Eventually he parked the car in a small lot by an old cobblestone street. Everything was so beautiful. We walked hand in hand in the waning sunlight to our accommodations. The walls of the buildings seemed to be made of the same material as the roads. Windows interspersed the brick and stone, deeply set and most wrapped with wrought iron bars. Edward slowed as we approached a massive, iron door. I thought it was just a well-masked hotel but it was a private residence. Edward pulled out a set of keys and quickly unlocked the door. We made our way in and I reveled in the beauty of the old home.

I had just found the interior courtyard when he returned with our bags. “We own this?”

Edward nodded. “Alice saw a need for it a few years ago so we bought the property. The property is maintained by a housekeeper and her family but they are on vacation right now.”

I nodded, not even needing to ask if they were human. I knew they would be.

“Would you like to explore Verona before it gets dark?” Edward asked as he pulled me into his arms.

I smiled and sank into his body. “I’d like that. Then I can show you my surprise.”