December 6, 2010
Finally, a spare moment to catch up!
Even at vampire speed, I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment (an expression that’s a lot less meaningful for vampires, but you know what I mean). I want everything about the ballet recital to be perfect for Renesmee, and since I already have such high standards anyway … well, let’s just say this past couple of weeks have been the closest I’ve ever come to neglecting Jasper, and leave it at that.
First things first: ETW2. Well, it wasn’t easy to find time to annoy the crap out of Edward (another one of those human expressions that don’t quite make sense for vampires), but somehow I managed.
We began on Monday, which also happened to be the day some of the theatrical props arrived, so believe me I was already going to be pretty busy! I ordered them pre-made, just to avoid sculpting things like mouse and nutcracker heads myself, but I also ordered supplies to repaint everything to my own tastes. So that’s what I wanted to work on, and Edward was priority #2.
Luckily, Jasper had me covered while I worked on my new toys. He very efficiently and subtly stalked Edward all morning and afternoon, and, like a good Milford man, he was neither seen nor heard (Arrested Development reference I fully expect you to understand!) – but his efforts were very successful.
First, Jasper caught Jacob’s emotional wavelength and focused on making him irrationally angry, not just at Edward, just super pissed off and annoyed by everything and everyone (I made sure to keep Ness at my side and away from Jacob during that hour). This was almost as much fun for Rosalie as it was for me and Jasper, because Jacob naturally took out a lot of his extra anger on her; she got to use quite a few of the insults she’s been holding onto lately. At various points, she called him a mangy poodle, a flea-ridden mutt, and the epic result of Oscar the Grouch’s short-term affair with Lassie (that was my favorite one)!
But how, you ask, did this affect Edward? Well, he hates listening to the two of them bicker, for one thing. But more importantly, when Jacob was mad, he also snapped at Edward.
“You know, for a 110-year-old vampire, you sure do act like a 1,000-year-old priss,” Jacob groused at one point (I think it was when Edward politely requested that Jacob control his language).
Edward briefly gritted his teeth, but controlled his own temper enough to merely reply, “And for someone who intends to someday ask for my daughter’s hand, you do act like a particularly verbose construction worker at times.” (Cue the audience going, Ohhhhhh!)
Jacob, not liking this thinly veiled threat, snapped back, “And what? You think you’re gonna control Ness’s life too, the way you did with Bella?” (OHHHHHH!)
Edward lost his temper then. “Never forget that you are a guest in our home only because of my daughter’s affection for you,” he hissed, his jaw clenched. “If you ever do anything, anything, to change that, I’ll -”
The short silence after Edward interrupted himself was tense, with the audience (Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett, while I was watching from outside with Ness, for the record) looking on in cautious curiosity. Edward turned his head a fraction of an inch, located Jasper standing behind the door, and sighed.
“Yeah, what?” Jacob blurted out, unable to contain himself. “What’re you gonna do?”
“You’re not angry with me, Jacob,” my too-smart brother replied, calm again. As Jacob scowled and opened his mouth to tell him otherwise, Edward continued, “Jasper is trying to make us feel angry.”
“What? Why?” Jacob spluttered, craning his neck to look for Jazz, who obligingly stepped into the room and waved, a tiny smirk gracing his perfect face.
“You’d have to ask Alice that,” Edward answered tranquilly, damn his black soul.
After that, it was a bit harder to mess with him; he automatically suspected that it was Jasper making Emmett feel way too … affectionate … towards Rosalie while they were all in the same room, and ditto when Bella came in and was instantly too embarrassed to even look at Edward, let alone be hugged by him. It was still funny. But not as much as it could have been.
I decided to give Edward a break that evening, since I had rehearsals and fittings anyway. But on Tuesday I took over.
As soon as I got within his hearing range, which I verified by thinking friendly insults at him and waiting for his reaction (a very undignified snort), I got to work. To make it seem authentic, I waited for a genuine vision to come – anything would do – staying within Edward’s range the whole time.
Finally, an insignificant vision of Emmett facing down a bear caught my mind. As soon as it was over I immediately imagined disaster striking – for this, I just went with Emmett returning to the house with the bear’s head and placing it on Bella and Edward’s doorstep. You know, just to warm up, didn’t want to start with anything too crazy to make Edward suspect what I was up to. He’s very suspicious, that boy. No idea why.
Once Edward saw my invented vision, he scowled at Emmett in disgust. Of course, my other brother had no clue why, but that only made it even better!
“I’ll thank you to stay away from my cottage, Emmett,” Edward requested in icy tones, leaving poor Em totally bemused (I did explain it to him as soon as I got a chance – and of course, Emmett found the idea too good to pass up. So I’ll have to intercept him next Saturday …)
The next vision came as I was reorganizing my shoe closet – the new shipment of Louboutins had finally arrived, and I was systematically removing older shoes I didn’t find special enough to hold onto, while keeping my collection grouped by brand and color. Right in the middle of unpacking the new Petite Fee booties – black-ribbon-wrapped pink lace with black polka dots, SO gorgeous they made me want to cry and giggle at the same time – I got another vision.
This time, it was a nice little family scene at home, with Chief Swan. Easy – I just tagged on my own creation, Charlie whispering to Bella, “Has Edward been wearing a lot more aftershave lately, or is it just me?”
When he noticed me nonchalantly joining him in the living room while replaying the (fake) memory of the (fake) vision in my mind, Edward’s jaw dropped. For a moment, he didn’t move or say anything; then, verrrrrrrrrry sllllllllllowly, he angled his head downward, and inhaled silently.
That was really, really difficult for me. I mean, it’s one thing to keep secrets in your mind, it’s an entirely different thing to suppress hysterical laughter in your mind. I had to actually run off to the clearing, ostensibly to check the construction of the theater, so he wouldn’t hear me whooping with laughter. Luckily, Jazz was there, so I grabbed him and whispered the whole story into his ear, leaving him helpless with laughter too.
The next day, I decided to up the ante a little. Edward was with Bella at the piano, being sappy and ridiculous, which made a perfect setting for my next game. Sitting against the dining room wall, I concentrated as hard as I could on seeing the future – which, even if Edward was paying attention (which he was not), he still wouldn’t have found suspicious, since I always check the future around Christmas and especially now with the ballet recital coming up. Whew, that was a mouthful. Anyway, like I said, I focused super hard on seeing the future.
About five minutes in, I had a vision of Seth being in our kitchen (as usual). Perfect – the fact that I actually saw a wolf, albeit in his human form, would catch Edward’s attention anyway, so I added onto the split-second glimpse of this future moment. I imagined Esme being in the kitchen with him and saying, “Of course you can live here with us, Seth. In fact, why don’t you take Edward’s old room? I’ve been meaning to clear out all his books and music anyway.”
“What?!” Edward gasped, Bella’s lullaby ending with an abrupt clash as he jumped to his feet, knocking the bench over. I couldn’t help myself. I collapsed in giggles on the floor.
“Ugh,” Edward groaned, catching on as quickly as he always does. I might have had more fun with this stuff if he was a bit slower, but oh well.
“What is it?” Bella gasped, unable to interpret the strange combination of events. Even in her distress and confusion, her voice still sounded like a chorus of church bells. It was getting harder to remember her as a human, even with vampire memory.
“Alice,” was the only response, as Edward came around the corner, found me, and picked me up with one hand. Shaking me lightly, he mock-growled, “For such a tiny little thing, you can be such a massive pain sometimes!”
“I’m … sorry …” I gasped in between laughs. “It’s … just …”
“So much fun, I know,” Edward finished for me, rolling his eyes at me with great affection. “Still, could I possibly convince you to stop now? I mean, you agreed to the training, so technically there’s nothing to punish me for. Really, it’s just self-indulgence at this point,” he added hopefully, with a pathetic attempt at puppy-dog eyes to melt my cold, dead heart.
Hearing my thoughts, Edward sighed and grinned, setting me back down on the ground. “Fine. You’re impervious to my charms. But really, can we call a truce now? Please?”
Bella and Edward both watched me closely as I pretended to consider his request. In truth, I didn’t have the free time to torment him anymore. So sad, but, well, there’s always next month!
“Okay,” I agreed sweetly, putting out my hand for him to shake. As he took it, I continued, “I’ve got more Christmas shopping to do anyway.”
Bella and Edward groaned in unison, and I grinned widely. It’s just too easy with these guys!