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The Most Precious Gift

Edward and Bella can't help but notice each other. Bella sees this gorgeous boy who, at first, seems to hate her, and then his gaze softens into a wondering expression. His gaze holds something she can't seem to read. Edward sees a girl who's mind he can't read and who's blood sings to him like the sweetest song. He's intrigued. Edward has been given so many amazing and cherished gifts in his existence. But could this strange girl be the most precious gift of all? Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

This is kinda an AU version of Twilight. Edward and Bella have not talked at all. He has been familiarizing himself with her scent. So . . . enjoy! I own the books in hardback, but I do not own the story. Everything is Stpehenie Meyer's.

1. So many gifts . . .

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1532   Review this Chapter

Edward lay with his eyes closed as Clair De Lune played in the background, the only sound, other than the wind and the rustle of leaves. He inhaled - adding another sound - and smelled the scent of the surrounding forest. He let it out slowly, embracing the peace within the moment.

These were the times where he didn't think of much. There were no people around to intrude his mind. Edward Cullen had suddenly become Edward Masen Cullen, somewhat more human than he usually felt. He was in his private sanctuary, a well-sized 'tree-house' of sorts, decorated to his own liking. It reminded him of his family, who he truly was when he forced the monster out of his mind and body.

Nobody but him was allowed in his second home. No, not even his own vampiric monster.

He opened his eyes to see the lights shimmering above, dangling from the ceiling. He wanted it to be this way, he had decorated it himself. Most of the decor was foreign. Persian, really. It wasn't feminine, but had a calming essence about it. His family had built it with him - Emmett still teased him about it - and was only allowed to see it once he was completely done with it. For the moment, at least.

He had chosen the location to be deep within the forest, where he barely ever sensed a human nearby. There were no trails that led near, and humans rarely left the trails. Only once had a human come to this remote area - close enough to where Edward could hear their thoughts, but could not smell them. She hadn't disturbed him, though, for her thoughts were wrapped in a calm caused by the beautiful scenery.

The 'tree-house' was in the shape of an octagon, making the structure of it difficult, but Edward and his family had managed to make it sturdy enough to withstand the Washington weather. Never had he experienced a leak. It rested in the high branches of three large trees surrounding it.

It had several windows, but they held no glass. Edward did not want this to be much like a house. When he left, or during rain and storms, he would place a sheet of metal that held tightly to the wooden sides inside the window. They stayed in place nicely. When the weather was calm he would have the windows open or have chinese wooden curtains over them. The folded up nicely above each window. Over that he would place light blue shear curtains - given to him by Alice - and it created a more calm atmosphere.

He had several heaters inside. He was not truly bothered by the cold, but the warmth they radiated made him more comfortable. More at home.

A couch of sorts rested parallel to the door. It was rounded a bit to fit the shape of the walls, though. The color of it was red, accented with blue designs. That was the overall theme of the room. Black, blue, and red. Edward knew he was no interior designer, but after all the years of helping Esme renovate their houses, he believed he was at least good enough to design his own little space. And, he had to admit, it had turned out well.

A wrap-around balcony surrounded the 'house'. A railing was built along the outside of it. Their was only one opening into it, and that was at the side of it. You would have to climb the tree to get to it.

Edward sat up. He was laying on an Iranian rug made of silk. He thought back to the strange pieces that made of his collection of possessions inside his sanctuary. He first looked to the left of where he was, right to the left corner, near the door.

There stood a statue of Ganesh. He stood and walked to it. There would be days when he would just stare at it. Ganesh was a Hindu god with the head of an elephant and the body of a man. He was known as the son of the two most powerful god and godess. Esme had given this to him. He smiled as he thought of his mother.

Nestled in the opposite corner was Carlisle's gift. Edward cherished this piece. His father had given him a captain's compass from one of his voyages. He had befriended the captain, and he had wanted Carlisle to have something of his. It wasn't that it was expensive - it wasn't -, it wasn't even that Carlisle loved it - he had -, it was what Edward's father had said to him while giving him this.

"So no matter how far apart we are, you can always find your way back home," Carlisle had said. Edward would love it always. The compass was in perfect view of Edward's favorite place to lay and relax. It was inside a glass case, for protection.

Edward turned around to view Emmett's gift. His brother had given him a Mongolian sword. He had gone through hell and high water to get this. Emmett would never tell anyone how, when, or where he got it. It was his own little secret, and even tried not to think about it. Edward would never tell him he knew. After seeing Edward's admiration of it he gave it to Edward to display saying they shared it. It was now resting upon a shelf over his couch.

Edward shifted his weight to the right, turning his head in the same direction. He sighed. He had never wanted a mirror in his 'house'. But, of course, there it stood. He stared into the glass, looking at himself. He was in what looked like basketball shorts. His shirt had been ripped by a bear on the hunting trip he had been on before arriving there - Edward really wasn't a messy eater. Emmett had been distracting him. - so he wore no shirt.

His hair was a messy bronze, the only physical similarity he now had to his birth mother. His once green eyes now shone a deep caramel gold. He was a bit lanky, truly, or at least that is what he looked like next to Emmett. His brother a was a large man. Edward gazed at his arms and torso. He felt inferior. He was the youngest of his family. Well, he had been human the shortest amount of time. Esme always worried about him. If only she could see the changes in him! A pair of deep brown eyes shot into his mind, and he tried to make them disappear. They never did. They always accented everything. And instead of finding this annoying, as he once did, he found that it made everything look more beautiful.

Edward was tired of looking at himself. He looked away from Rosalie's gift.

Edward walked over to the right to see Jasper's gift hanging on the wall. It was something of a different time, something that made him feel so much closer to his brother when he looked at it. He stroked the confederate solder's hat gently. This had scene battles that shouldn't have had to be seen. Edward never wore it, just kept it here to remind him of his brother.

When Jasper had given him this he barely had a thought in his mind, and said absolutely nothing out loud. To anyone else it would have seemed too insignificant. Even though they would see the importance in the piece, they wouldn't have noticed the true meaning of it. Jasper had given this to his brother as a sign of loyalty. As a sign that he was ready to finally stop fighting. Edward smiled.

Hanging near Jasper's gift was Alice's. Edward's laugh rand out as he looked at it. It did look quite strange. Alice had given him basically a symbol of herself. She had given him a crystal ball.

"You and I are two of a kind, brother," she had said. "This is just to let you know that whenever it comes to me and you, the future will always be clear." Edward adored his little sister. Though he was worried at the time when he received it that he was going to break it. Alice's gift was very fragile. He could just picture himself letting lose his anger one day and damaging it. He did not want that to happen.

One day he finally found something perfect. The birdcage sat in the antique store and he had just stared at it wondering how many birds had been trapped inside it. He remembered so many times where he could relate to their feelings. The feeling of being trapped.

And so now it rested on a pillow inside a gold, antique birdcage. A strange sight to see. He laughed at himself again.

Edward walked over to his couch and lay down on it. Tomorrow there was school. And he had to be ready to approach the woman he had been watching for the past two moths since she moved to Forks.

Since she became the center of his universe.