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It's the time around Nessie's second Christmas. Bella's POV. "MOM!" The screech, along with the insistant beeping of the smoke alarm jerked me away from my thoughts. Won 2nd Place in NovelNovice.com's Nov/Dec Contest!
1. Christmas Cookies
Word Count 1997
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By: Natilie Sawada
A/n: Takes place post-Breaking Dawn, Nessie’s second Christmas, so she is roughly in the form of a 12-13 year old? Somewhere around there…
“MOM!” The screech jerked my up from the newspaper I was reading in the living room, along with the insistent beeping of the smoke alarm. I sighed and raced into the kitchen in a matter of seconds.
“I don’t know what happened, I followed all the directions, and,” Nessie was babbling worriedly, looking panicked from me to the oven which had dark black smoke billowing out from it.
I quickly opened the oven, letting the smoke flow out into the kitchen, reached into the oven, grabbed the pan covered in black circles, a couple of which were still on fire.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Nessie continued to plead. The pan didn’t burn me of course. Only live flames can do that, so I was careful not to touch the flames licking upwards from the blackened mess on the pan as I carried it to the sink, dropping it in, and turning on the faucet full ways, soaking the entire spread.
I shut the sink off and turned to face my daughter.
“Honey, calm down,” I said, silencing her stream of apologies. “What were you doing?”
“I…I…” she sniffled, and I could see tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “I just wanted to make some Christmas cookies for Jacob. And I thought if I did it myself, he’d like them better, but they caught on fire.” A couple tears slipped down her cheeks. “And now they’re ruined! What am I going to do now, Mom?”
“Honey, honey, shh,” I comforted, pulling her into a tight hug, “It’s your first time making cookies, you were bound to make a couple of mistakes.”
“I was?” Nessie sniffed, peering up at me through the impossibly long lashes she had inherited from her father. I sighed and smiled.
“Yes, it runs in the family. The first time I made cookies with my mom, I almost burned the entire kitchen down.”
“I don’t believe that,” a smooth velvet voice contradicted from the doorway. I turned to see my personal Greek god leaning against the doorway, smirking.
“I never told you?”
“I was seven years old, and I wanted to make some cookies for Christmas. I didn’t tell Renee because I wanted to prove I could do it myself.” I sent a sideways grin at Nessie and she looked away, blushing. “But,” I sighed, shrugging, “like our lovely daughter here, the cookies caught on fire, and I almost burnt the house down.”
Edward chuckled and I glared at him.
“How much did you cook when you were human?” I challenged. He stiffened and then turned his nose slightly upwards.
“I didn’t. We had a cook.” I snorted.
“Rich boy,” I muttered. He rolled his eyes, smiling.
“I’m sorry,” Nessie muttered again, wiping tears from her cheeks with her designer sweater Alice had gotten her on a trip to Paris with Rosalie.
“Renesmee, it’s okay. Once all the smoke clears, do you want me to help you make some cookies for Jake?” She sniffed again and nodded, her eyes on the kitchen floor. “Okay.”
“May I assist you?” Edward inquired.
“No,” I said shortly. His eyebrows rose. “It is a mother-daughter bonding experience. There will be plenty of family cooking opportunities in the future.”
“All right then. Seeing as how I’m no longer needed…” Edward trailed off as he exited out the door.
“So now that you’re dad’s out of the way,” I said, playfully tapping her nose with the tip of my index finger, “would you like to make some cookies?”
We made the dough from scratch—the way Renee and I did when I was a kid. Renesmee dropped a few eggs on the kitchen floor, but other than that there were no major disasters. We rolled the dough and used some cookie cutters Esme had insisted on buying me for my previous birthday—my second as a vampire—to make Christmas shapes.
“Hey, Mom,” Nessie called as we cut out shapes, “what is this supposed to be?” I walked over to her, looking over her shoulder at the shape she’d made.
“Uh…a candle I think.” She giggled, making a sound like wind chimes.
“How is it a candle?” She asked. I flipped the flimsy dough around.
“Oh, I see it now. But I still think it looks better like this.” She turned it 180° back around to the way it was originally facing.
“And what’s that’s supposed to be?”
“It looks sorta like a caduses, don’tchya think? You know the medical symbol. See, the metal pole goes here, and the two snakes wrapped around it…” she explained, tracing her finger in the shapes.
“Oh, I see it now,” I laughed, and she beamed up at me. “How about after they come out of the oven, we’ll decorate this one like a caduses and give it to Carlisle?” Nessie laughed.
“I bet he’d like that…even though he can’t eat it.”
“I’m sure he’ll appreciate the thought.”
We finished cutting out all the cookies, although I could say we lost a few because Nessie kept eating the dough when she thought I wasn’t looking. We placed them on pans, and put them in the oven.
About fifteen minutes later, Nessie was standing in front of the stove, bouncing up and down with excitement.
“Are they ready? Are they ready?” She sang, pulling the oven open a little bit and recoiling at the sudden burst of heat.
“Careful, sweetie. Let me take a look.” I peered in the oven. “They look ready. Okay, lets take them out.” I pulled the pan out with my bare hand and set it on the blanket of hot pads I’d laid out on the counter.
“Mmm!” Renesmee exclaimed, as she helped me transfer the baked cookies from the pan to the cooling racks Esme had also gotten. She was so thoughtful. I’d have to let her know how wonderful her gifts were.
“There now. We just—”
“Ow!” She cried, dropping a cookie back onto the pan. I gave her a disapproving look.
“We just have to wait until they cool.” She laughed nervously, grinning.
“Oooh, I smell cookies!” Emmett boomed as he burst into the kitchen. He scooped Nessie up in his arms. “Hey, kiddo!”
“Uncle Emmett!” She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. He peered around her head, surveying the scene.
“You guys made cookies?”
“You don’t eat, Emmett,” I reminded him. He shrugged.
“Neither do you. But they smell pretty good, as human food goes.” He grinned, setting Nessie back down.
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” I muttered. Emmett snickered, exiting the room.
“Well, have fun with the cookies you can’t eat, Bells!”
“Shut up, Emmett,” I called after him. I heard his laugh from the other room.
“Mom,” Renesmee complained, “are the cookies cool enough to taste yet?”
“Mom,” a long ago echo sounded through murky, clouded ears, “are the cookies cool enough yet?”
“Yes, honey,” my mother had sighed, smiling. We’d walked over to the cooling rack, and I’d selected the biggest cookie. I was about to take a bite out of it when Renee had stopped me. “There’s a tradition my mother and I had whenever we made cookies. When we took the first batch out of the oven, and took the first cookie to taste, we’d break it in half and each bite into our halves at the same time.”
“Why?” I’d asked, because it had seemed a stupid tradition at the time.
“Well, I don’t know exactly,” she’d admitted with a little laugh, “but I’d like to keep the tradition alive, okay?”
“Okay,” I’d relented, and we’d split the cookie in half and bit into our sides at the same time.
“Mom?” My daughters voice brought me back to the kitchen. “Can I try one?”
“Uh, sure, sweetheart. They should be cool enough now.” She hopped over to the cooling rack, and picked up a cookie. “Wait!” I stopped her.
“What now?” She whined. I stepped over, and broke the cookie in half right out of her hands. “Hey!” She complained. “What was that for?”
“It’s a tradition my mom and I used to have. We’d each have half of the first cookie.”
“But you can’t eat it,” she pointed out. I smiled lovingly at her.
“That doesn’t matter. I’d like to keep the tradition alive, okay?” She nodded, and sunk her teeth into her own half while I just held mine in my hand. “Are they any good?” I asked. She chewed, her eyes lighting up.
“They’re awesome!” She exclaimed, and then looked a little wary. “Do you think Jake’ll like them?” I put a hand on her shoulder.
“I’m sure anything you made he’ll love. Besides, he’s a werewolf. And we’re talking about cookies, here.” Nessie shrugged.
“Who’s talking about cookies?” A husky voice asked from the doorway.
“Jake!” Nessie exclaimed, wheeling around and leaping into his arms.
“Hey there, missy,” he said, hugging her tightly. “Now what about cookies?”
“Me and Mom made cookies for you,” she explained enthusiastically.
“Did you now?” He stated, his dark eyebrows rising above his black eyes.
“She almost set the kitchen on fire the first time she tried.” He laughed, setting my daughter back down to the kitchen floor. She slipped her hand into his innocently, like a child to an older friend she admired extremely.
“So,” he started, moseying over to the cooling tray, “you did say these are for me right?”
“All except for this one,” she said, pointing to the candel/caduses cookie. “That one’s for Carlisle.” He snorted.
“What’s Dr. Fang gonna do with a cookie?”
“That’s up to him,” I said.
“But all the rest are for me?” He asked, excitement lighting in his eyes. I sighed. Jacob and his food.
“That’s what we made them for,” I stated.
“You’ll share though right?” Nessie pleaded, looking up at him through her lashes the way Edward always did to me. Damn Cullen genes.
“Nope,” he said, turning his head away.
“What?!” She shrieked in indignation. “Not even one little cookie?”
“Not even one little cookie,” he repeated. He was doing a good job acting, but I could see he was only playing. Nessie sniffed—apparently she couldn’t—and he looked back down at her. “Aw, I was just kiddin’, Ness. You can have as many as you want.”
“Really?” Her eyes sparkled.
I placed my half of the cookie on the counter subtly, turning my eyes away from them for a moment.
I stared at the half cookie, my heart sinking a little.
“Yo, Bells, what’s wrong?” Jacob asked. I looked up.
“What? Oh, nothing. Sorry, just zoning out.”
“Huh, I guess even vampization didn’t knock that outta you.” I stuck my tongue out at him, but his eyes were already back on Nessie, who was nibbling on a cookie, smiling.
I looked back at my half of the cookies sitting on the counter, sad that I would never eat Christmas cookies with my daughter.
But that was okay.
I had forever to make them with her.
“Eaten any of those cookies yet?” Emmett asked, poking his head through the doorframe. “Oh, hi, Jacob.”
“Emmett…” I growled, “Out of the kitchen. Now.”
“Jeez, okay,” he huffed, retreating back down the hall. “You’re as bad as Rose.” I shook my head.
I had forever with all of them.