I stared at the glowing computer another vivid email was waiting for me, I figured as much. It read-

"My dearest Caprice
I am so very excited about your upcoming visit, I know it was much to ask for you to come for as little as a week. At times I forget you're still human with how powerful you're. Everything is as you left it and we await your visit, it will be such fun."

It wouldn't he was ordering me home to gather information and ensure I was still loyal to him and the Volturi. I never was and never would be, but it was time to play the part because Alice would stick to her deal Bella would never grow old, she would cross Theo because, in the end, he would be happy. I just type an answer and send, leaving it at that my visit wasn't even soon it was months away.

I was dressed and out the door into the pouring rain without a care, it was the new normal here in Forks. I tried to drive as best as possible while my mind wonders when my own words to Bella hit me again. "The thing about a soul mate is that the universe has to bring it... and the universe must achieve many good things with a single move in order to beat the dark force. And so, when you find your mate, you are as the greatest of lovers and the greatest of soldiers, for you must vow to fight for love all the rest of your days or until love has won the peace. Your mate will love you, live for you and even die for you, yet knowing that their death will be yours too... for once the bond is made it is eternal... and that is the grand prize, the most this universe has to offer... time with someone who loves you and either a paradise to live in or the right to fight for it." she after stumbled to her feet before taking a header, at least when she was changed the issue of her falling wouldn't be an issue any longer.

I pulled into the familiar parking lot behind Forks High School and spotted Edward leaning motionlessly against his polished silver Volvo, like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty. The dream had not done him justice. And he was waiting there for me, just the same as every other day.

Despair momentarily vanished; wonder took its place. Even after half a year with him, I still couldn't believe that I deserved this degree of good fortune.

His sister's Alice and Rose are standing by his side, waiting for me, too. With Bella and Theo next to Alice. Jasper and Emmett are behind them looking more like bodyguards, this was normal too. "Hey there," my voice low and I was still in my car but they heard me just fine, all but Bell's that is.

Alice with her tawny eyes brilliant with excitement, and a small silver-wrapped square in her hands, Rose held a royal blue package, and Jasper a glittering green all this made me frown. I'd told Alice I didn't want anything, anything, not gifts or even attention, for my birthday. Obviously, my wishes were being ignored. Bella had two gifts in hand she looked as flustered and frowny as I did now, I just let the door slam as I make my way towards the smiling group.

"Do you sparklepires ever listen?"

Rose beamed, which had Mike tripping and Jessica foaming from the mouth. "Never,"

Alice skipped forward to meet me, her pixie face glowing under her spiky black hair. Rose glided behind her, her blonde hair trailing like a thick veil behind her.

"Happy birthday, Caprice!"

With a low snarl, "I don't want everyone in the school knowing, get it shorty,"

She ignored me. "Do you want to open your present now or later?" she asked eagerly as we made our way to where Edward still waited.

"No presents," I protested in a mumble my eyes pleading with my boyfriend, but he wasn't about to intervene.

She finally seemed to process my mood. "Okay later, then. Did you like the book your dad got you? Or the scrapbook from Charlie?"

I sighed. Of course, she would know what my birthday presents were. Edward wasn't the only member of his family with unusual skills. Alice would have "seen" what my parents were planning as soon as they'd decided that themselves.

"Yeah. They're great."

Edward held out his hand for mine. I took it, forgetting, for a moment, my something bad is going to happen, but I have no proof mood. His skin was, as always, smooth, hard, and very cold. He gave my fingers a gentle squeeze. I looked into his liquid topa2 eyes, and my heart gave a not-quite-so-gentle squeeze of its own. Hearing the stutter in my heartbeats, he smiled again.

He lifted his free hand and traced one cool fingertip around the outside of my lips as he spoke. "So, as discussed, I am not allowed to wish you a happy birthday, is that correct?"

"As if you care, you're as bad as the rest,"

He smiled that smile, "Happy Birthday, my love,"

Rose gave me a look, her eyes shifted to Bella as well. "Eighteen is a fine age, I wouldn't worry the both of you," Bella just smiled, you could see the tension fade from her shoulders as Alice smiled.

"What time will you be at the house?" Alice continued, changing the subject. From her expression, she was up to exactly the kind of thing I'd been hoping to avoid.

Venting, "I knew it, a party, I swear if anyone but your family is there head will role. Not going to argue or fight, because, in the end, it will not work," wanting to take my History book out a slammed it on her head, but it would do nothing but break my book.

I sit next to Bella, Theo, and Edward, during each class like magic Edward and I got into their classes. As the day progressed, I considered ways to get out of whatever was going down at the Cullen house tonight. It would be bad enough to have to celebrate when I was in the mood of pending disaster. I offered, 'I could wreck my car to avoid it, but then she might bring the party to the hospital," a slight chuckle was muffed as we turned to the boys who tried to act normal.

I talked to Bella last night alone, her words are insecure "But how could I let him give me things when I had nothing to reciprocate with? He, for some unfathomable reason, wanted to be with me. Anything he gave me on top of that just threw us more out of balance."

After she stopped crying, and I slapped her she calmed down. "Love is not about who has more money, you have money even though you can't touch it until your twenty-one. Love is the greatest gift and you putting your self down is hurting him and me, we don't see anything but this radiant woman who is caring, smart, and so much more,"

His cold fingers tracing patterns on my thigh snapped me right out of my daydreams. The afternoon passed quickly. School ended, and Edward walked me to my truck as he usually did. But this time, he held the passenger door open for me. Alice must have been taking his car home so that he could keep me from making a run for it.

I folded my arms and made no move to get out of the rain. "It's my birthday, don't I get to drive?"

"I'm pretending it's not your birthday, just as you wished."

I scoffed, "You liar,"

He was such a liar...