DISCLAIMER: all recognizable characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.

A/N: This is a short sequel to my holiday story from last year, 'tis the damn season. Bella has a history with an eating disorder, and it is a topic that will be mentioned frequently throughout the story. If that is a triggering subject for you, please proceed with caution or reconsider reading. I am not an expert on the subject and don't want to hurt, offend or trigger anyone who has struggled with any kind of eating disorder. This will be the only content warning for this subject.

Snow On The Beach

A 'tis the damn season holiday sequel

Chapter 1


One night, a few moons ago

I saw flecks of what could've been lights

~ Taylor Swift feat. Lana Del Rey, Snow On The Beach


No one could ever accuse Forks, Washington of lacking festivity.

They'd had all of the classic holidays covered since I was a kid. I could walk down Main Street in the fall and recognize the same wreath on the diner's door that had been there when I was fifteen, albeit spruced up over the years. Or walk into the dentist's office in the heat of the summer and know the patriotic flag sitting on the receptionist's desk was the same one I once threw at my mother when I was five and not a fan of getting my teeth cleaned.

They knew how to throw a fourth of July bar-b-que and they knew how to decorate the hell out of Main Street for winter. Our town was a festive bunch, so eventually they just started making their own holiday's to fill in the blanks, too.

There was a flower festival in the summer. It was exactly as it sounded. Just… flowers. Everywhere. Fruits were a big deal, too. Apple picking season was practically a sport by this point.

Forks celebrated everything and everyone, no matter how big or small.

It was so remarkably different from Los Angeles where people were celebrated while their downfall was plotted in secret.

My mother always struggled with plants. Loves them, but has never been able to keep anything alive. It's a miracle I'm alive. But I got her a cactus a few months after moving back, and she's kept it alive ever since.

The town was ecstatic about it. Everyone knew about the cactus, everyone asks her about its progress. She's asked to see pictures of it like it's her second child.

The people of Forks are kind and caring and genuine. They live modest lives and say hello to every single person they pass on the street.

It wasn't the life for everyone. Most people were of the mindset that small towns held you back; that you constantly needed to be on the search for something bigger, always needed to want something more.

You didn't.

There was nothing wrong with wanting a simple life.

I could see both sides. I understood the appeal of a big city and a big life surrounded by people and things and events and followers. For some people, that was enough, that was the dream.

Once upon a time I thought it was my dream, too.

I wasn't going to lie to myself and say I never enjoyed it. Los Angeles was like a drug. The high was addictive, and the withdrawals could be a bitch. It wasn't a sustainable lifestyle for me and left me with a nasty side effect that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

Edward and Alice were the only ones who knew about it. I still hadn't been able to work up the nerve to tell my parents.

Getting out of Los Angeles wasn't a fix, there was no cure. Some days were better than others, and always would be.

My eyes lingered on the corner of the kitchen counter that was dedicated to a plethora of vitamins I had been prescribed by the town doctor.

The one who was snoring away upstairs.

He was incredibly professional that first visit. While I was… not.

I pulled away with a snort, unable to keep my laughter in as his hands went to my neck. Not in the same way they had been there not an hour earlier this morning as he leaned down to kiss me goodbye before he left for work. In a much more professional, clinical way that triggered my own uncontrollable laughter.

Edward's eyes sparkled with amusement, but he kept his voice professional. "Something wrong?"

"No," I said quickly. "Sorry. I just–nevermind. I'll be good."

He shook his head, reaching around both sides of my neck to check my lymph nodes. Until another snort escaped.


"I'm sorry," I giggled. I had kept perfectly composed as he went over my paperwork. But something about him standing there in that white coat with a stethoscope around his neck looking all professional and unfairly gorgeous at the same time got to me.

The stern face he gave me only induced more laughter.

He sighed, reaching for the stethoscope around his neck and popping it in his ears before he came around to stand beside where I sat on the exam table.

"What about—"

"Shh," he responded, the cool weight of the instrument against my back.

I took a few deep breaths as instructed. Without laughing.

"What about my lymph nodes?" I finished as he rounded the table again.

Edward sighed, scribbling something on his clipboard. "I'm well acquainted with your neck. They're fine."

I sighed, nervously tucking my hands underneath my thighs where I sat at the edge of the exam table.

He frowned at the paper for a moment too long.

"It's okay," I said softly. "You can ask."

"Your previous doctor never did any further testing following your diagnosis and recovery of anorexia nervosa," he said softly, very obviously at odds with trying to be professional and attempting to soften the blow for me.


I was well acquainted with my doctor in LA. Dancing brought with it various injuries, and she had been the one to recommend a few different therapists for me who specialized with my issues.

She never brought up any further tests, though.

Edward shook his head, eyes meeting mine. I expected to see disappointment, maybe even some disgust hidden in them. There was nothing but sincerity and a hint of worry. "Depending on the… severity and length of the illness there can be a few lasting side effects, even after recovery."

I frowned. "Like what?"

He took a deep breath. "Anemia, osteoporosis, cardiovascular complications…" he flinched as he spoke.

My eyes immediately dropped from his. "Oh."

It wasn't news to me. I knew how fucking stupid it was. I was.

Warm fingers brushed underneath my chin, lifting my gaze to meet his. "I can order a few tests. They can all be done at the hospital. Just to make sure you're all good."

I was, for the most part, all good. Nothing a few extra vitamins couldn't help. It was hard to forget the deep set of his brows as he watched over the poor techs manning the x-rays and placing the electrodes. He was worried and hovered nervously and it made my stomach twist with guilt whenever I remembered it.

Warm arms wrapped around my waist from behind, pulling me out of my thoughts. I leaned back against his chest, all of the guilt and worry and anxiety disappearing.

"You're up early," he sighed, his voice still thick with sleep. His lips fell to my shoulder, warmth seeping through the thin t-shirt.

I was up early, but I didn't have a concrete reason. Some days were good, some bad, even if I didn't have any idea what made a difference in which was when.

With another kiss pressed to the side of my neck, I knew he understood.

"It's supposed to snow tonight," he said softly.

I lost the battle against my smile. It would be the first snow of the season. "Really?"

He hummed against my neck.

I had enjoyed the winter in the past, but I had to admit I had grown a soft spot for the holiday season after that fateful winter two years ago. The one that started with me absentmindedly kissing Edward like he was mine and ended with the beginning of the best thing to ever happen to me.

Then, last winter I officially moved back home. Mostly. I had to go back to LA after the new year and pack up everything, which was a mess from start to finish, but worth it.

So, so worth it.

"Midnight walk through the snow?" I asked.

His arms tightened around my waist in answer.

We were well on our way to walking a path through the forest that surrounded his–our–place. It wasn't too thick, not dense enough for us to get lost in but not someplace where we would run into anybody else. Our own little place to walk and relax and wind down at the end of the day.

The day went on like usual. I made us a batch of scrambled eggs for breakfast while Edward was in charge of the toast. He dropped me off at the dance studio on his way to the clinic. I walked the few blocks down the street to meet him for lunch in his office that somehow morphed into us very nearly defiling his office. Would have if his next appointment hadn't shown up early.

It wouldn't have been the first time our lunch date had turned into more than lunch.

Snow started fluttering to the ground by the time I was locking the door of the studio. The flakes had doubled in size by the time I made the short walk home.

I never bothered to buy a car. Just about everything in Forks was walkable, and I liked walking. Even if there was usually a steady mist or some snowflakes. It was relaxing. And Forks was safe enough for me to be able to pop in both of my headphones at full volume and not have to worry about being attacked, which was a luxury I wasn't going to pass up.

There was a small fire in the fireplace, soft classical music floating through the air, and the smell of something delicious coming from the kitchen when I walked in.

"Yum," I sighed, dropping my bag in its spot by the door and wandering over to see what he had concocted.

Edward dipped a spoon in the pot in front of him, blowing on the steaming bite for a few seconds before holding it out for me.

I tried to hold back my moan.

Edward was stupidly good at everything. I could hold my own cooking these days, miles better than I was before moving back home, but I still managed to butcher things now and then.

I had yet to have a meal cooked by him that wasn't mouth watering.

"Good?" he asked, a nervous furrow of his brow as he studied me.

Odd. But it disappeared quickly.

"Delicious," I told him, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

The frown appeared again as he looked at the stew. "You have time to shower before it's done if you want," he mumbled, eyes scanning the plethora of spice containers surrounding him.

My head cocked to the side as I watched him, surprisingly indecisive. Very unlike him. "You okay?"

We were technically approaching our two year anniversary. That first year was full of long distance phone calls and spur of the moment trips for a few hours together before we were separated for weeks, months again. But we'd spent nearly a full year together together now.

So I knew him. And I knew the frown and indecision weren't normal.

He smiled over at me, grabbing a spice and sniffing it before scooping out a teaspoon and sprinkling it over the stew. "Yeah. I'm good."

"Are you sure?"

He reduced the temperature of the stove, wiped his hands on a nearby towel, and sauntered over to me. His hands were firm on my hips, his body close enough for me to feel his heat seeping through my still-chilled clothing but not nearly as close as I'd like.

His lips found mine, soft and gentle in a chaste kiss that had my own worries drifting away. "I'm sure."

I nodded, letting the kiss and subsequent brain fog chase away any doubt. I showered off a day of sweat after teaching three classes and working on a choreo concept for a potential job next year. I pulled on a chunky emerald green sweater and a pair of leggings, making it downstairs just in time for Edward to be putting two bowls of delicious stew on the table.

I pressed a lingering kiss to his lips before I sat down across from him.

"How was your day?" I asked, blowing on my spoonful of food and watching as he did the same. His uneasiness was a little less obvious, but still there behind his eyes.

"Long," he sighed. "I've never given so many flu shots in one day in my entire life." Even as he complained about one of the more monotonous aspects of being the small town doctor he always wanted to be, he said it with a hint of a smile. "Yours?"

"Good," I nodded. "Rosalie wants to add a fourth summer camp course next year. I'm going to try to convince Alice to come home for a few weeks to help."

Alice was still in Los Angeles. Still dancing her heart across the world. She came home more often now that I was here, though. And I could tell at her last visit she had been drained and exhausted. I wasn't trying to convince her to move home per se, but I thought a few weeks off in the summer enjoying the town might do her some good.

"Do you think she'll actually come?"

"If she's not booked for anything. She said she was going to try for a few weeks at some point next year."

"Do you ever regret it?" Edward said suddenly.

My hand froze, spoon spilling stew back into my bowl. "Regret what?"

He ran an uncharacteristically anxious hand through his already messy hair. "Moving here, downsizing your career, all of it."

His eyes hardened as he finished, and I knew all of it roughly translated to choosing him.

"No," I snapped firmly. "Why… Why do you think I regret it?"

Those forest eyes softened. "I don't. Not really. I just… wanted to make sure. That you were still happy."

I wracked my brain for some idiotic thing I could have done that had given him the impression that I wasn't happy. We got into our usual little fight over the fact that, a year into living together, I still had a habit of forgetting to put the cap back on the toothpaste even though it was something he was surprisingly strict about. And I might have let my period cramps get the best of me two months ago and picked a fight with him about every unimportant thing that happened for two days but that was also fairly common for us.

None of it meant I wasn't happy.

People fought. Hormones raged. It didn't mean I ever missed the opportunity to tell him I loved him every night before going to sleep.

"You think I'm not happy?"

He cursed underneath his breath. "I didn't mean… I love you."

"I love you, too," I replied instantly.

"You've been here for nearly a year and I wanted to make sure you hadn't changed your mind. That you didn't regret leaving LA or weren't getting tired of living in a small town again. This… I always knew this was what I wanted. Days full of flu shots and getting stuck chatting with Mrs. Stanley in the parking lot of the grocery store. You didn't always want that."

I frowned down at my stew, immediately losing interest in it. "I never knew what I wanted," I admitted.

"That's not a bad thing. Fuck. I didn't mean any of it in a bad way."

"So what do you mean?"

"I mean I love you. I love waking up to you every morning and knowing you're a walk down the street during the day if I have a free moment. And if that's ever not enough for you anymore, if you start to miss Los Angeles or traveling, you can tell me. We'll work it out."

I chewed on my bottom lip. I understood where he was coming from, sort of. I wasn't sure where all the doubt came from, but he was right. I got out of town as soon as I was able to and didn't come back for eight years.

"I never knew what I wanted, Edward," I repeated softly. "I found dance and I was good at it, and Alice and I thought the only way to make dance our career was to move to LA. It was, at the time. And I don't regret it, for the most part. But I–I love being here. Home.

"I love getting stuck chatting with Mrs. Stanley in the parking lot of the grocery store," I said with a smile. "And I love knowing the name of everyone I pass on the street. I love the fact that there are a dozen new festivals to celebrate than I remember growing up and I love celebrating them with you."

His face softened, that edge of doubt and uncertainty that had been hovering starting to disappear.

"The only thing I miss about LA is Alice," I told him sincerely. "Even the few choreo jobs I've taken the last year test my patience for being there. Two weeks in LA is pushing my limit."

"If you ever change your mind–"

"If I change my mind, you'll be the first to know. But I won't."

"Okay," he nodded, running another less-anxious-more-frustrated hand through his hair. "I'm sorry it all came out wrong. You should know I'm not selfless enough to let you go anywhere without me."

I smiled across the table at him, absentmindedly stirring my stew. "Is this why you've been weird all night?"

He gave me a playful glare. "I haven't been weird."

I rolled my eyes, taking another bite of stew.

~snow on the beach~

My arm was hooked securely through Edward's as we walked through the first snow of the season. We were both bundled in sweaters and coats and boots, but I still felt the comforting warmth seeping through his body into mine.

He had been far less odd after our talk. And I was hoping our walk would erase any idea in his head that I didn't want to be here. Because it had never even crossed my mind, not being happy here.

I welcomed the chill that was seeping through my coat and smiled at every little flutter of a snowflake that caught my eye.

"You're sure?" Edward asked quietly. His voice uncharacteristically uneasy. "That you don't regret it?"

"I don't regret it," I told him quickly and confidently, squeezing his arm I had wrapped my own through. "You didn't bring me to the middle of the woods to break up with me, did you?" I attempted to joke.

He sighed, warm lips pressing to the top of my head. "No," he said softly. "I brought you to the middle of the woods to ask you to marry me."

It took my brain an embarrassingly long time to comprehend what was happening. His arm slid through my hold, and by the time I turned toward him he was already down on one knee with a little black box in his hands.

He looked up at me with that soft crooked smile of his that melted me on the spot. "I love you," he breathed out. "Will you, Isabella Swan, do me the honor of marrying me?"

My breath escaped in an unsteady huff as my eyes darted from his face to the shimmering diamond in his hands.

"I–really?" I squeaked.

We hadn't explicitly talked about it, marriage. We talked about our future. I knew he wanted at least two kids and he knew I would not push out more than three human beings from my body. We talked about expanding the house whenever we needed more space as opposed to moving somewhere new and I was on the brink of convincing him we should get a dog.

After his ended engagement with Tanya I thought maybe marriage wasn't something he wanted. For a while, at least.

"Yes," he chuckled patiently. "Really."

My eyes couldn't decide which to focus on; the diamond glaring up at me or the pretty forest eyes patiently waiting for my brain to catch up.

Maybe I had convinced myself he didn't want marriage or maybe I had been subconsciously protecting that part of myself that desperately wanted every part of him I could have.

But standing there, it was blasphemous to think it wasn't something I had wanted. The ring and the pretty dress and the evening all about celebrating us. The lifetime of being unquestionably his, of him being unequivocally mine.

That moment on the porch of his clinic two years ago, that feeling of everything in the world righting as he held my hand and locked up, it settled in my chest again. Flooded through my veins. Showed me that life we had slowly been building for ourselves the last year.

"Yes," I breathed out as soon as my brain caught up.

Edward broke our gaze only to reach for my shaking hand and slide a perfectly snug diamond onto my finger. He moved with a frustrating slowness, like he was taking his time to memorize every moment.

I, personally, didn't have the same restraint. As soon as the ring was securely on my finger I wrapped my arms around his neck. Pulled him in for a kiss that quickly made my lungs burn. Wrapped my legs around his waist as he stood from where he knelt and secured his arms around my own waist.

I pulled away reluctantly, fingers knotted in his hair and smiled down at him.

His matching grin would be ingrained in my memory for the rest of my life.

~snow on the beach~

It was a miracle we made it back to the house in one piece. We did, but only after a trek through the woods only made dangerous by the fact that neither of us had the patience to wait until we were home to celebrate. I ended up against more trees than I could count until I was pressed firmly against the front door, the heat from the lingering fireplace warming me even as Edward finally started shoving my layers of clothing away.

"I love you," he breathed against my neck, gently tugging my sweater out of the way for his lips to brush against my bare skin.

I whimpered against his chest, my fingers curled around his coat. The same one he gave me that first night.

I sighed out his name, reluctantly shoving the coat down his arms. I let out an involuntary squeak as he lifted me up, thighs tight around his waist as he carried me carefully up the stairs to our bedroom.

"Too many layers," I grumbled to myself, tearing through his clothing in between his own attempt to get my own out of the way.

He beat me to completion, smirking down at me before gently easing me back to the bed. His eyes lingered on every inch of my exposed skin as he took his time with his belt and jeans.

The sight of his hand absentmindedly stroking his cock as he stared at me had me squeezing my thighs together.

He groaned under his breath, dropping to his knees at the end of the bed and gently pulling me toward him by my ankle. He peppered kisses along my inner thighs, smirking against my skin the more I squirmed against him to get him where I wanted him.

"Bella," he sighed, kissing along my lower abdomen.

"Please," I gasped out. My hands knotted in his hair, legs spread with his mouth just inches from me. "Please."

His tongue finally brushed against my clit, a slow stroke that seemed to be the end of his patience. His groan vibrated against my skin as his mouth did wonderfully delicious things to me. His lips eventually moved to my thigh as he pressed two fingers inside of me.

I whimpered, fingers digging into the sheets.

He didn't stop until my throat was sore and my thighs were trembling.

He kissed his way up my abdomen, leisurely as if he hadn't just given me the most mind-melting orgasm. His teeth scraped against my nipple, his hands leaving my body trembling in the wake of every brush of his touch.

"Edward," I gasped, fingers finally loosening their death-grip on the sheets to tangle in his hair as he hovered over me.

"You're going to be mine," he breathed out, his voice surprisingly soft. "All mine, forever."

I already was, ring or no, but I kept that to myself. Lost the ability to say it as he slid himself inside of me in a firm thrust.

His fingers intertwined with mine, pressing them into the bed and squeezing mine every time he filled me.

"I love you," he breathed into my neck.

"Love you," I gasped, trying to make a conscious effort to loosen my grip on his fingers because it had to be painful.

His lips covered mine, a sloppy, never ending kiss as he took me until my lungs were burning and I couldn't do much more than moan out his name over and over again.

His full weight never settled on me, even as he collapsed against me after his orgasm.

He quickly shifted our position, my body like jello as I rested against his chest.

~snow on the beach~

It was later that night, once I was settled back in bed, that I finally remembered it. The ring.

My breath caught in my throat as I finally gave it the attention it deserved.

The delicate golden band resembled twigs or branches, peppered with a few small diamonds as two branches intertwined and wrapped around my finger. In the center was a modest, round diamond. Shimmering beautifully against the flame of the candles that were lit and flickering throughout our room.

I couldn't help my mind from remembering the ring Tanya once showed me, years ago the one time I had ever met her. It had been much more gaudy, platinum and basic. The kind of ring you saw on every other woman walking down the street.

"Do you like it?" Edward asked softly, walking over to settle himself back in bed beside me after blowing out the lingering candles.

"I love it," I whispered, twisting it around my finger. It fit perfectly. I settled myself into bed beside him, my head resting against his chest. "So you… you don't really think I regret moving here, right?"

"No," he groaned, his arm tightening around my shoulder. "I might have let my nerves get the best of me."

"Good," I sighed. "Not that you were nervous. But good that you know I don't regret it. I've already practically signed on the dotted line to have your babies some day and you thought I'd say no?"

"I don't know. For some people, it might be too soon. But I just–an old friend from med school found me online a while back and I had to call you my girlfriend."

"I am your girlfriend," I whispered into the dark.

"You're my fiancé," he corrected, the smile invisible in the dark but oh so evident in his voice. "And girlfriend always felt too… insignificant. I know it's just a title, and maybe it makes me remarkably old fashioned, but I want you to wear my ring and share my last name and have my babies."

My exhaustion started to make my eyelids droop. I barely had the energy to mumble, "Sounds s'good," against his chest before I was out.

~snow on the beach~

"I'll miss you," I whispered to my beautiful, shimmery ring before carefully putting it in the front pocket of my jeans. It wouldn't be there long, but I would still miss it.

"Fuckin' adorable," Edward sighed, grabbing my hand and not bothering to knock on his parents front door.

Mom and Esme's newest obsession was brunch. I only took Forks a few decades to get the memo about it, but it was finally here.

Edward and I were on the late side. Entirely his fault for accosting me in the shower this morning, but I had no complaints. Especially because I wasn't sure I could have handled the small talk before brunch without blurting out the news.

I wasn't nervous about their reaction, I was still a little shell shocked about it myself. But I had this undercurrent of undiluted giddiness that hadn't gone away since last night. And I thought maybe telling our parents might help me calm down a little bit.

"Just in time!" Esme beamed, placing a platter of pancakes on the table. "Sit, sit."

Everyone else was already in their usual spots as Edward and I took ours. I flashed back to sitting in this exact seat a year ago, unsure how to tell them we were dating.

Edward's hand grasped mine underneath the table as he cleared his throat.

My mothers gasp would have been comical had her words not come immediately after, "You're pregnant!"

I choked on my own saliva. "No!"

"She better not be," my father grumbled, eying Edward with a frown.

"Not pregnant," Edward said firmly. "Just engaged."

"Damnit, Charlie!" Carlisle groaned, eying my father and his outstretched hand.

"Pay up, Doc," Dad said calmly, nibbling on a piece of bacon.

My eyes widened as I watched money be exchanged between the lot of them.

"Seriously?" I squeaked, eying my father as he counted the bills Carlisle had handed him.

"It's a small town, sweetheart. We have to find something to entertain us," Mom said calmly.

"You don't have to bet on us."

It had been more than humiliating to know that after a year of sneaking around my parents knew Edward and I had been seeing each other from the first night I snuck out to meet him.

"You just bought me a new fishing rod, kid. No harm, no foul."

"Oh, hush," Mom sighed, waving him off and holding her hands out to me. "Show us the ring!"

I pressed my lips together, fighting against my smile as I happily slid my ring back on my finger and held it out.

Even with the bet and the money exchanged, I watched my Moms eyes start to glisten as she eyed the ring. "Beautiful," she said softly.

Esme came around the table, pulling me up and into a tight hug. "You're perfect for each other," she whispered softly, her palm cupping my cheek before Carlisle swooped in.

"Welcome to the family, Bella."

I beamed up at him.

Edward sent me a wink as I took my spot back beside him. His arm fell lazily around my shoulder as he eyed our parents.

"I don't know how this factors into your little bet, but I asked Charlie's permission a year ago," he told them smugly. His own little form of retribution for the betting, that had Carlisle valiantly arguing for his money back.

I lost interest in the bet quickly and turned toward Edward. "When did you ask him?"

He smiled down at me, palm cupping my cheek. "The night we told them we were dating."

A/N: Here we go! All of this is pre-written and ready to be posted once a week until it is complete. There are five chapters total, but this first chapter was broken into two parts because I got a little wordy. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow, and then chapters will be once a week every Sunday until completed. There are five chapters total, which means we should be finishing up on Dec. 24 :)

Fair warning: this is not as light and fluffy as I had originally intended. It is very real, though. To me, at least. Life is messy and love doesn't always change that. We still have plenty of fluff, though, so don't worry.

I hope you guys enjoy this, and happy holidays!

PS: Playlist can be found on my twitter!