Please review or rate! The Cullens, Jacob, and Seth move to New Hampshire, where a new vampire comes into their life; but not before a devastating car accident alters Bella's family forever. EXCERPT: Edward sat back down on the bed next to me, and held the neatly-wrapped package out to his daughter. “This is from your mother and me; happy birthday,” he said gently. While her eyes were transfixed on the package, I shot him a silent thought. What is this? He just smiled and left me hanging. Renesmee slowly turned and walked towards the package, thrilled at the prospect of an unexpected treasure. She took the box and carefully untied the ribbon. When she lifted the top of the box, she revealed a stunning gem in the shape of a heart. It was identical to the one Edward gave me after graduation, but instead of a flawless and colorless diamond charm meant for a bracelet, it was a blood red ruby attached to a delicate, silver chain and meant to be worn around her neck.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. Bella's POV
7. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 766 Review this Chapter
Several hours later, the party was winding down. After our portrait session, we played an hour or so of birthday party games, and then, just as Alice predicted, it started to rain, and we’d moved everyone into the house.
The house’s main living space had been transformed into a beautiful theater, curtains and all. Music played while a slideshow our lives together played out on a giant screen. Football and baseball games, hiking, parties, birthdays, holidays, and random snaps from random days; it was fun to watch, and a fitting close to our time in Forks.
It was hard not to notice how genuinely happy the pictures were. So many smiles, so much laughter and fun; there was one thing no one in this room could deny; since the Volturi left us to our gentle existence, we had all been truly blessed.
Around the room, comfortable couches surrounded low tables covered in trays of food. On a side table, there were more than twenty copies of our new family portrait, already printed, framed and tied with bows.
I picked up one and removed the bow. In the picture, Carlisle, Esme, Charlie, Renee, Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, Phil, Billy, Sue, Jacob, Seth, Sam, Emily, Paul, Rachel, Jared, Kim, Embry, Quill, Claire, Brady, Collin, Edward, Renesmee and I were all gathered together by the river’s edge.
Right before the final shot was snapped, Renesmee threw out her arms and sang, “Happy birthday to YOU!” Every face in the picture was laughing. Despite my irritation about getting dressed up this morning, I knew this picture would be one of my most prized possessions for the rest of my existence.
As I stood and looked at the pictures, Alice came over to me. “I knew you would love it,” she said triumphantly.
“I do,” I confessed. “It was really a great idea.”
She gave me a hug, and whispered in my ear, “I know you said we couldn’t make a big deal out of your birthday anymore, but this was our gift to you, from everyone. Happy birthday, Bella.”
Realization dawned on me. My birthday was only three days away. “Is that why Renesmee shouted, ‘Happy Birthday to you!’?”
“Of course, silly!” Alice said as if it were obvious.
I gave her a heartfelt hug. “Thanks, Alice. I really love it. I’m sorry we were such grumps this morning.”
“Don’t worry about it; you’ll make it up to me,” she said with a grin.
There was a swell of chatter in the dining room, and we went to see what was going on.
Renesmee, Jacob, Emmett and Rosalie had pushed the furniture in the dining room over to the side so they could build an enormous house of cards in the middle of the floor. Renesmee’s record was 17 levels, but only because Emmett always did something to make the cards fall before she could reach 18. His birthday gift to Renesmee was a promise to not knock it down until after she had broken her record.
Renesmee was getting ready to start the 18th level, and she eyed Emmett suspiciously.
“I promised, just go ahead!” he said, feigning impatience.
Just then every vampire in the room froze.
“Oh, God,” said Jacob.
I heard it coming immediately, “Is that what I think it is?” I asked Edward.
Edward pursed his lips and nodded.
“What?” Renee and Charlie asked at the same time.
Just then, the loud, braying whinny of a horse filled the house, and all of the humans jumped. Standing on the landing of the stairs was a massive black horse.
Emmett burst out laughing, pounded his fist on the floor and, in doing so, brought down the house of cards.
While the rest of us threw up our hands and shouted “NO,” Renesmee simply sat and glowered at Emmett. I have to say, given her usual reaction to his antics, I was proud of her for remembering there were humans in the room.
Emmett held up his hands. “Aww, kid, it was an accident! I swear!”
“Jacob? You want to take care of this?” Carlisle gestured patiently at the horse.
Jacob jumped up and ran over to the horse.
“Sorry, Carlisle. Sorry, Esme,” he said, sheepishly.
Charlie looked at Billy. “Is coming into a house considered normal horse behavior?”
Billy shrugged. “I don’t know, chief. The only horse I ride has wheels,” he said, gesturing at his wheelchair.
“Nope, it’s definitely not normal,” giggled Renesmee. “He just missed me.” Forgetting the cards, she jumped up and followed Jacob and her new pet horse out of the house.
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