Author: psyche001 PM
Her peculiar gift will also prove to be her curse & the one thing haunting enough to drive Edward to his gravest decision ever. Betrayal for her life vs. acceptance for her love. He will save her life but it might cost him her love. M/AH/language/angstyRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 59 - Words: 436,086 - Reviews: 819 - Favs: 423 - Follows: 141 - Updated: 02-05-10 - Published: 09-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5348872
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This epilogue has been long overdue. It took forever but it's here and it's great and you can all thank twilightjonasfreak96 for making it happen! She stalked me obediently until I did it! It wouldn't have happened if it weren't for her persistence..lol.
Great news! Conflicted has been nominated for an Indie TwiFic Award! It was nominated for Best AH Action or Drama! Please vote for it! I will need the votes! I'd appreciate it so much. I don't know which one of my readers nominated this story but I would really like to find out that so that I may thank you! Thank you sweet person whoever you are! I am honored.
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(Beg much??? – l know! lol)
Six months later, we were halfway into January and working real hard at all that New Year resolution crap. I'd never had a New Year resolution that I'd kept and since the deaths of my mother and Marcus, I'd stopped making them. At Bella's insistence however, I found the perfect one; sex everyday for the year. And like I said, we were working real hard at it.
Christmas was eventful with Charlie. More than once I caught him trying to sneak Captain Morgan behind the scenes, and more than once I almost planted my fist into his face. Time was wearing thin and the more of it that passed the more Charlie's control waned. It was plain to see and it made me an impatient fucker with the nastiest chip on my shoulder.
Ignoring that, Christmas wasn't half bad. It was kind of nice having the whole family back together for the holidays since Alice and Emmett had left for college in September. Rosalie was the only one I didn't care for. However, I was accustomed to her being that abominable chink in my armor that would never smooth itself the fuck out. So, as usual, I ignored her attitude and insistence on irritating me when she came home with Emmet for Christmas. Not that she stood out at all with everything that was happening with Bella and Charlie. Carlisle and Esme's wedding was also a forerunner in the attention seeking department. It was two months away, during Spring Break, so that Alice and Emmett could come home without having to miss school.
Charlie and I had the strangest relationship. Until January, he lived with Bella at the house. The MarcBeth Rehabilitation Center was only ready to receive him in the middle of January, making those six months of him living with Bella the longest six months of my fucking life. Even though the physical structure was ready, there were still a lot of medical board approvals that needed to go through. The three senior doctors that were relocating to work in the hospital also needed time to wrap up their lives elsewhere and move their entire families down to Forks. The entire charade took six staggering months. I was going out of my mind.
On the one hand I could see that Charlie was trying to stay in line, adopt a healthy diet as was imposed on him by Bella, and live alongside her amicably. On the other hand however, he was ever the asinine fool with the attention span of a toddler and the temper of a bull. In all honesty so was I, and that made it very easy to clash with him. We constantly rocked back and forth often between polite tension and near biting each other's heads off. Or maybe it was just me always being held back from biting his head off, maybe.
Then there was the jealousy thing that I just couldn't work my way though. We were both jealous of the other in ways that purely sucked. He hated the way Bella had gravitated toward me, seemingly away from him, and I hated the unspoken bond between them. Every stubbed toe and pricked finger made them giggle quietly together because as soon as it happened to him, she felt it.
"Sorry," he would say.
"It's ok," she would giggle out. "Clutz."
A few times I slapped myself in the face just to get her attention. She always knew what I was doing and when I tried to giggle with her like she did with Charlie, she just raised her eyebrow and sent me a look of disbelief.
"Stop with the slapping, Edward," she would say. "That's not cool."
What a bitch.
After all of Charlie's fuckery and complaining in Florida about how much of a burden she was and how trapped he felt by her physical connection to him, he hated it when the first signs of her detachment started to show. I fucking loved and reveled in it. It was my one hope in all that mess, that she would be healed of him. He wasn't good for her in that way. He also hated it when Bella and I got physical in front of him. It made him feel excluded I figured, and he bitched about it a lot. I had to keep reminding him that we weren't the Three fucked up Musketeers.
I on the other hand, couldn't stand that snotty fucker, Jacob Black. Sad to say, but he was another source of my jealousy. He came around too often and had an above normal interest in Charlie. He was all the rave about how fucking great Charlie was and how nasty I was to him, and that it wasn't healthy for his recovery.
I had to tell him "fuck off" one too any times and that a half ass doctor rate didn't give him the right to talk to me like that. Just who the fuck did Jacob Black think he was anyway?
He didn't fool me. I knew he was only trying to impress Bella with all his "hands on" shit with Charlie. Left to it without me in the fucking picture, he'd have been just as head strong and impatient with the alcoholic asshole as I was. And all it proved was that he didn't care about Bella half as much as I did. He'd never gone through the crippling fright of seeing her suffer like she did under Charlie's curse and he didn't know the insatiable need to save her from his wretched stink. All he was, was an arrogant imbecile with an eye on my girl and I didn't appreciate it one bit. As huge as he motherfucking was, I wouldn't have hesitated to pummel his ass all the way back to La Push and sink him in the ocean somewhere. I not so secretly waited and hoped for the opportunity, and so help me, every ounce of rage I had to stifle with Charlie over time would have flared out on Sir Dr. Jacob Black.
Things had changed drastically when I returned from Florida. Bella and I for starters, were better than we could ever have hoped for. I had thought for sure during our ordeal and through all our fighting in the beginning that we were destined for a rocky road to relationship hell. I'd thought that she was way too introverted, withdrawn and fragile looking for all my selfish bullshit; but my girl proved me wrong. Watching her evolve right in front of my eyes everyday was a sight only for the strong hearted. She had a way of biting down on pressure and kicking it in the ass like it was nobody's business. I'd been a front line witness to her strength and struggle with Charlie and even after all that time, she still continued to amaze me.
Our sex life was ever the milestone accomplishment. At first I wanted to keep sex at bay because I hated the idea of spoiling what made her so different and precious to me. My trip to Florida however, cured that nobility. After taking her virginity on the day I discovered the shock of a surprise in my mother's nursery…..all fucking hell broke loose. We couldn't keep our hands off each other after that. She thought she'd waited long enough for that stage in our relationship. Well, she had no fucking idea how strangled the sex mongrel was inside of me. She never saw it coming with such ferocity. Letting that bat out of the cave was an irreversible move and she quite literally got put in her horny little place. I made her have sex with me everyday, including public holidays and Sundays. She wanted it and so she got it. The permanent flush she had developed on her complexion because of our bunny behavior was the sexiest thing I'd ever seen. Her cheeks were always glowing with pink circles and the rest of her body looked like she was suffering a permanent fever.
Putting sex aside however, she was a rock of strength. By far, the most incredible thing to witness was her progress in physically detaching herself from Charlie. In no way did I expect or even want her to divorce herself from him completely. Even though I hated it, I knew I had to learn to accept that she would always love him in a way I couldn't control. And if having her stale drunk father in her life was making her happy, so fucking be it; but I wanted their empathic connection to cease.
For a while after returning to Forks I was nervous about her ability to do it. I saw her relax in her new lifestyle with him and I worried that she would recline in the comfort of having him so near. I didn't want her to lose her drive to separate her mind from his because he seemed to be recovering.
She proved me wrong, again. I didn't know how it worked, what motivated her or if it was an actual, conscious decision of hers; but the day came when I literally saw the line that set her apart from Charlie. I almost cried.
It was two weeks into January and Jasper and I were smoking on my balcony. That was also the day Charlie was to be admitted to Marcbeth's. Charlie was resisting days early like I knew he would, and so I needed to calm my shit before facing off with him.
"I can't believe how much I miss that fucking girl," Jasper grunted as he blew a line of smoke out his nose. Alice had gone back to school the week before. He was always moping about Alice lately.
"Shut up, aren't you going over there next weekend?" I said, pulling on my own cig.
"Yeah, but it's like, the more I see her, the harder it is not seeing her. She cried like a baby in the airport last week. Can you believe I'm still in High School and my girl is in college? It fucking blows."
"Dude, I have a long ass Charlie day ahead of me, a fuck load of assignments to complete before Monday and a fitting appointment for the suit I'm to wear to my father's wedding. You know, the one where he's marrying my girlfriend's mother? Spare me the sad story about missing Alice. You see her twice a month and she'll be back for the wedding in Spring Break. Your shit is easy."
"Don't be a fucking prick," he said, flicking his cig butt through the bars of the balcony. "I listen to your shit all the time."
"You make me tell you my shit," I said with a grin. I raised my left wrist then to check the time. "Fuck, it's time. I have to go. Bella's waiting."
"You want help dealing with Charlie?" Jasper asked. I raised an eyebrow at him as I flicked my cig over the balcony and stood up. There was nothing Jasper could do to help but stay the neutral outsider that he was. There was comfort in that. He was my brain cooler.
"No, but you can come if you want. I'm sure he intends on putting on a show today. He's not getting out of this though. Six months was a long wait. He's going into rehab whether he fucking likes it or not."
We walked through my room so that I could get my car keys and cell, then out the door. On our way past Marcus' open bedroom door, I smiled secretly and glanced in.
"So, what's gonna happen now that he'll be in rehab? Bella gonna live in that house by herself? I can't see Esme moving back in there and I don't think they want Bella moving in here….well cause…well obviously, things have escalated between you two."
"I don't know, but I'm not letting her live in a house by herself. Either she comes here and they deal with our relationship, or I'm moving in with her. The only other option is moving in together somewhere new."
"What the fuck? Are you seriously ready to move in with Bella?"
"Why the fuck not? We're both 18 and when we head out to college we'll be together anyway."
"And how exactly are you two gonna support a household? You don't work. You're High School students."
"If I had it figured the fuck out, Jazz, I'd be able to tell you."
"You were right," he said, with a smug chuckle. "My shit is easier than yours."
"Now who's being the prick?" I grunted, getting into my car.
"See you later." He waved me off, heading towards his own car. "I'll take a rain check on the rehab scene and find something else to do. Call me."
I had my own key to Bella's house much to Charlie's annoyance. When I opened the door that morning and walked in, he was downstairs already, pacing the floor in the open hallway with his hands on his hips.
"Good morning, Charlie," I said.
He blew a stringent breath of air out his nose and shot me a nasty glare.
"You know as well as I do that this is not a good fucking morning," he snapped. I slammed the door with a sigh of annoyance and tried walking past him to the stairs.
"This is unnecessary," he continued to argue. "I've been good. I've been fucking clean since coming here. Why do I still have to go to that place?"
"One," I said, with an arrogant finger in the air as I turned back on my heels to face him. "That place was made because of you. Two, the only reason you're clean is because you were caught every time you tried to sneak something, and because Bella and I clean your room and this entire house every fucking day to make sure you're not hiding any shit. And three, because you made a promise and you're gonna keep it."
"I don't remember making any fucking promise."
"Well, thankfully for you, I do."
"Arrogant fuck," he bit out.
"Spineless, half wit, prick….."
"God!" Bella yelled, coming down the stairs. "Do you two ever quit?! Shut up!"
The moment she made it down to the landing I grabbed her by her waist and pulled her glowing face to me with a hand behind her head. I made sure to plant a deep, longing kiss on her so that Charlie would flare up.
He made the mistake of flicking me behind my ear with his fingers. I let go of Bella roughly and turned on him like a devil from hell.
"What the fuck was that?!" I barked in his face.
"Have some respect you fucking punk. I'm standing right here!"
"I know! That was the point!" I shoved him hard in his chest and made him stumble backward. As soon as I did it, I turned back to Bella with wide eyes and grabbed her by her shoulders.
"Fuck, are you ok?!"
She was glaring at me so hard that I knew the pooled blood in her cheeks wasn't sex blood anymore. It was the "You're a jackass for shoving my father and you're going to pay for that," kind of flush.
"Sorry," I said, closing my eyes minutely with an open palm to her chest.
"Not me!! " She yelled, pointing her finger to Charlie. "Him!"
"But he flicked me first!" I argued in rebuttal.
"Edward…" she growled through clenched teeth. She really knew how to wound up the 'bitch-o-meter' when it came to Charlie. I turned to him, spitting anger from every pore of my body and folded my arms. Even more pricking than being embarrassed into apologizing, was the gloat on his face. I narrowed my eyes into slits and bit down hard on my jaw, my pulse popping at my temples.
"I'm fucking sorry," I ground out with difficulty. The gloat was effectively wiped off his face when Bella turned on him next.
"Charlie?" She said next, tapping her foot on the floor.
"Don't you have something to say to Edward?"
God, he was such a child.
"Fuck! Sorry for flicking your ear! I actually kinda want to go to that fucking prison now if it gets me away from you!"
"Whatever works, Charlie," I answered, taking Bella by her hand. "You ready?" I asked her. She was still pissed off at me, but boring my eyes into hers long enough with a one sided smile had a way of melting her. So, that's what I did. Her flush started reassessing itself to that new sex glow of hers. It made my smile widen and my pants tighten. I couldn't wait to bring her back home after dropping Charlie off. The thought alone made me gulp.
It was Saturday and even though I had my suit fitting and homework to do, having sex with my girl was definitely going to make all that other shit wait.
"Yes, I'm ready," Bella answered, squeezing my hand as she read my eyes.
"Well I'm not," Charlie said and walked into the kitchen.
Bella rolled her eyes and sighed, putting her hand up to my chest.
"Let me handle it. You'll only make it worse."
"Don't let him take advantage of you, Bells," I said down into her face. "He has to do this."
"I know. He'll do it. But it's Charlie. We had to expect this. Stay here."
She turned and walked into the kitchen behind him and left me at the foot of the staircase. I couldn't hear what they were saying to each other, but I heard Charlie's aggravated tone and her more subdued one. Pacing the floor wasn't easy. I wanted to storm into the kitchen and demand that Charlie stop being a spoilt prick and just get into the car. That's when I looked around and realized that there were no suitcases in the foyer. I went into the sitting room. There were none in there either. I made a quick run up the stairs and poked my head into his room. The empty suitcases were open on his bed. He hadn't even packed yet.
The blood rushed straight to my head.
"Fucking Charlie," I grunted harshly, bolting through the corridor and back down the stairs. They were in a heated argument when I stormed into the kitchen.
"You haven't even packed yet!" I yelled. "They're expecting you in fifteen minutes and you haven't even packed yet!"
"You're just as in need of this as I am, Bella," he was saying to Bella. "Why the fuck do I have to live there and you get to just show up for appointments?" He was pointing his finger in her face. I stormed forward and chucked his and away.
"Don't point at her like that."
"Edward, I'm handing this," Bella warned.
"Get the fuck out of here, marvel boy," Charlie bit out. "I'm talking to my daughter."
"Talk all you fucking want, but keep your finger out of her face."
"Bella, no," I bit out, keeping my eyes on Charlie. "And what are you telling her about her appointments anyway?"
He turned his entire body to face me then and folded his arms defiantly across his chest. "She ought to be in there with me. You know it and I know it. Everybody knows it. She needs help, but somehow I'm the only one everybody's screwing with."
"Grow the fuck up, Charlie," I snapped. "It's a rehab facility. Bella is not a user. You are. She doesn't need to move in there for one shot therapy sessions. What the fuck is your angle here? Why are you resisting? You've been here six months for a specific reason….this reason. Now get the fuck moving!"
"I'm not going anywhere with this asshole," Charlie said, turning back to Bella with raised eyebrows and a thumb in my direction.
Bella had her eyes closed with pinching fingers on the bridge of her nose.
"Charlie," she said in a controlled tone. The tension in her voice was palpable. "You agreed to this. Please don't make this anymore difficult than it has to be. Carlisle already explained everything. You go in, do your program and if you show steady and early progress, you'll get out early. It's not prison. It's a very homely, comfortable place and you will have your own space. It's not bad at all."
"Then you move in!"
"Do I have to all Carlisle over here?" She asked, dropping her hands at her sides heavily. "Is that what you want? You want Carlisle to have to get involved?"
"No," he said, then glanced at me with an arrogant expression. "But you can call Jake. I'm not doing anything without him here."
"Fuck," I said, throwing my hands into the air in exasperation.
"I knew you'd like that," he smirked at me.
"Your face gives me indigestion," I bit out at him.
Bella pulled out her cell.
"You're really calling that snotty fuck?" I asked her with wide eyes. She shot me a warning look and held the phone up to her ear.
"One big happy family," Charlie grunted and let his body fall back against the refrigerator lazily. He didn't average his weight properly. The heavy jolt from his body made the large glass vase of Crocus flowers on the top wobble and tumble forward onto his head.
The glass shattered on contact with his skull with a sickening crack. He hobbled forward with the blow and almost fell to the floor. I immediately grabbed for Bella when he yelped in shock.
"Fuckin' shit!" He howled.
Stunningly enough, Bella just stood there with a confused expression and wide eyes stuck on her grimacing father. She flinched initially when the vase burst on his head, but beside that instinctive alarm, there was nothing else.
"Jake, I'm gonna have to call you back," she murmured distractedly.
"Baby?" I asked, with my hands on either side of her face. My eyes scanned her like fiery little balls, searching furiously for any sign that she was hurt from the impact. I rubbed my hands over the top of her head, over her forehead, down the sides of her face, the back of her neck, but she still hadn't budged.
"Fuck!" Charlie shrieked. I spun around to face him. He had blood running down the sides of his face. "How heavy was that fucker? I'm cut!"
He was soaked in the water from the vase and two of the open flowers stuck out of his hair by their stems. A short laugh belted out of my mouth. I couldn't believe it.
"Does it hurt?!" I demanded with wild eyes. He glared at me.
"Of course it fucking hurts! I'm cut in the head you ass!"
I turned back to Bella with eager, shocked eyes. She was still standing and staring at Charlie with a confused frown pinned on her brow.
"You're ok," I gasped, blinking in utter excitement. "Baby….he is hurt! It hurts! But you're ok! Do you feel it?"
She blinked and glanced at me fleetingly, then back at Charlie. Her frown deepened then and I saw her swallow.
"Is there a gap?" I asked carefully.
"Not even a little one," she whispered, with a far off look in her eyes. Her expression disturbed me. She seemed almost upset. I turned back to Charlie and grabbed his shoulders.
"Where does it hurt?" I asked him with a small shake.
"You don't care one bit about me, do you?" He choked out, slightly out of breath by his pump of adrenaline. The dark intonation in his voice made me falter. I blinked at him, slightly taken aback by his question and watched as the blood continued to trickle down the sides of his face and forehead.
"All you care about is that Bella is rid of me. I have glass stuck in my head and the only thing you care about is if she's ok."
"What do you expect? Of course I'd worry about her," I answered, in a matter of fact tone.
"I held up my end of the deal marvel boy," he said. "Now it's your turn. I've been clean for six months."
"And? What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Tell me you love me."
"You made a deal with me in the cab. Stay clean for six months and you'd tell me whatever I wanted you to."
"Ok, he's definitely not sober," I turned back to Bella, sticking my thumb in his direction. "He's high on fucking something right now."
"Tell me you love me."
"Fuck off, ass wit."
"I'm calling Jacob," he said. "Bella, give me the phone."
"You think that's gonna work?" I shrieked. "I don't give a shit about your fucking love affair with that penis. Call him if you want. I'm not telling you I love you!"
"You made that deal Edward?" Bella asked.
"Don't you start with me woman," I said to her, opening my eyes like two livid saucers.
"Hey Jake," Charlie said into the phone. My head was swelling from the pressure. I was starting to see red. The last thing I needed right then was for that tanned, overgrown fucker to come bouncing in there with all his level headed, concerned for Charlie shit. "Hey man….aw shit, really? Sorry about that earlier. Naw, I'm fine. I just busted my head though. Hey, can you….?"
I grabbed the cell from Charlie's hand and flung it across the kitchen. It smashed against the wall.
"Edward?! What the fuck! That's my phone!" Bella screamed.
"That idiot isn't coming over here right now. There's only so much shit I can take at one time. I'll buy you a new phone."
"You're crazy!!" Bella shrieked.
I faced Charlie then and narrowed my eyes on him. He stood perfectly still with his face and neck stained with lines of blood, staring back at me sadistically.
Bella moved then and I followed her with my eyes. She grabbed a kitchen towel and shoved it under the running water in the sink. She then came back to Charlie and started wiping the blood off his face.
"You're gonna have to change your shirt," she said softly. Her voice cracked and the sound made my heart sink to my stomach. She was hurting, not physically, but she was hurting.
I watched in silence as she tended to him gently. She went through his hair with her fingers on one hand and searched out his cut, all the while dabbing at his skin with the wet towel. I saw the way he looked at her. His eyes went up and down her face with an alien wave of tenderness emoting through them. It was something I'd never seen in his eyes before.
He let out a slow, long sigh and swallowed.
"I don't deserve you," he said to her. "I never have."
She shook her head stubbornly and started wiping his neck. "Stop it."
"I know I'm a pain in the ass, but…" he lowered his eyes to the floor. "How else am I to get your attention, right?"
"I thought you didn't want my attention," she said. "You had it, and you hated it."
"And now that I don't have it anymore, I hate that too, maybe even more."
She dropped her hand with the towel to her side. "You can't have it both ways Charlie."
I wanted to tell him that the only way he could have it was this way, without him in her head; but they were having a rare kind of moment and I actually felt bad to interject. The fact that their moment had nothing to do with me stung, because I was so fixated on Bella and selfish with her love that I wanted it all for myself. Ever since learning about her empathy for him in the beginning I was jealous. It was also one of the reasons for seeking him out. I knew it was ridiculous of me, but most things about me were. I couldn't stand the fact that she was more connected to someone else than me, and so intimately to boot. Father or not, it irked me, and the fact that is was destructive and caused her suffering only made it worse.
It was bitter sweet, witnessing the first time she didn't respond in like manner to his pain. I was bursting with joy on the inside, but her disposition spoiled it for me. Something was bothering her. My eyes got wet and a sturdy lump erected itself in my throat. It was hard to swallow. My entire body felt shell shocked as the reality started to set in. Bella was actually getting better.
Could the nightmare finally be over?
I turned my face up to the ceiling in silent thanks and closed my eyes momentarily, biting down on my jaw.
"I'm going to disappear in there, aren't I?" Charlie asked her. "When I go in, everybody will sigh in relief and wash their hands clean of me….forget about me in there, and go about their lives like I don't exist."
Oh, for the love of French toast!
"When have I ever forgotten about you?" She asked him firmly.
He didn't answer.
"When have I ever turned away from you, or ignored you?"
"But it's happening, Bella."
"What are you talking about?" She shook her head in rapt dismissal and started dabbing at his shirt.
"Just now….you don't feel me anymore."
"That's not me ignoring or turning away from you, Charlie."
"Yes, it is. Are you starting to love me less?"
"She's getting better!" I yelled from the sideway. "Don't you want her to get better?! You like that she has to hurt when you do?"
"Fuck off, Edward," he snapped at me. "You know that's not what I meant."
"Guys, please stop it. What hurts me more than anything else is the way you treat each other. One minute you're competing for each other's attention and the next, you're killing one another."
"I don't fight for his attention," I corrected her impatiently.
"Oh yes you do," Charlie came in.
"Go find a tree to fuck," I snapped back at him.
"I know you love me."
"I said, go fuck a tree," I reiterated through clenched teeth.
"Edward!" Bella shrieked.
"Sorry," I apologized.
"Oh, for the love of…..!"
By the time we had gotten Charlie to the rehab facility, he had made such a royal scene that everyone ended up there. Carlisle was there because he had to be. Jacob as well, go figure. Esme showed up to lend support to Bella and even Jasper made an appearance. Since Emmett, Rosalie and Alice left for college he and I had gotten closer. He had turned into such a sad little guy that needed my company all the time. Lucky for him, I loved him, so it was tolerable.
Carlisle ended up stitching the two cuts on Charlie's head right there in the center and after an awkward good bye between him and Bella, he was escorted away by the welcoming staff. While staring at his retreating back and shifting from foot to foot uncomfortably, I heard Jacob talking to my girl.
"Do you want to come in and stay a while longer?" He asked her.
"Umm….I'm not supposed to be in that meeting. They said it was private."
"Yeah but, I can get you in. You're his daughter." He winked at her; fucking winked at her.
"Hitting you won't transfer to her face, ass bag," I said dryly. "Back the fuck off. We'll be back later to see him."
He sent me a disparaging look and shook his head before walking off.
"Thanks for everything, Jake," Bella said. He waved over the top of his head as he walked away.
She was quiet in the car on the way back to the house. I knew I had a good ass whooping coming because of my behavior all morning, but I clearly remembered holding back a couple of times. So, in hind sight, it could have been much worse. In fact, she should have been praising me for my effort.
"Are you going to talk? Or am I going to get the silent treatment all day?"
"What do you want me to say Edward? You've been a prick today. I'm used to it with Charlie, but you really don't need to be that way with Jake. He's really been helpful with Charlie and is always a great friend to me."
"I thought I told you I hate it when you call him Jake. His fucking name is Jacob Black."
"That's it. Pull over."
I laughed out and glanced over at her. "What?"
"Pull the car over, Edward."
"What the fuck, Bella. Calm down."
"You haven't heard a thing I've said to you."
"Ok fine! Call him Jake. Fuck. Is it that important to you?!"
"Why are you so jealous!"
"I am NOT jealous."
"Yes you are! You're always bitching about him being around. We can't deal with Charlie by ourselves, Edward! We need help! And Jacob helps! How often is a doctor so willing to get involved in his patient's personal life and care so much?!"
"Exactly!" I yelled, slamming my hand against the steering wheel. "He's too fucking willing! It's not natural. He's after you and he's trying to replace me in Charlie's life. He flirts with you right in my fucking face and you expect me to be ok with that?"
"Edward! What the hell is the matter with you? Oh, for fuck's sake! Do you really think Jacob is a threat to you? REALLY? Because that's just insulting."
I loved it when she got angry and developed a feisty tongue. It got me hot for her.
"Of course I don't think he's a threat, but he's disrespectful. He knows it ticks me off and he does it on purpose."
"You're the last person that should be branding someone else for disrespect. And when has he been disrespectful anyway?"
"Just fucking now! He winked at you!"
"I am not fighting with you about this, Bella. Today is shit. Charlie went into rehab. We have to go back there again later and check on him. I didn't get to tell him a proper good bye. He's being a pain in the ass and I have my fucking fitting for my suit today. I'm also horny like fuck! So I don't need to be fighting with you right now, ok? I need you to do this with me."
She folded her arms and turned her face out the window.
"Since when are you so pissed off about the way I talk to Jacob anyway?" I asked when she didn't respond. "I always talk to him like that and you usually just ignore it. Is it your dad? Are you stressed that he finally went in?"
And then it hit me.
I squeezed the steering wheel until my knuckles went sheer white. I knew I'd seen it in her eyes when the vase broke on his head earlier. Something was on her mind, bothering her, and so everything was pissing her off.
"Talk to me," I said in a dead pan tone.
"I don't feel like it right now."
I swerved to the side of the road unexpectedly and came to an abrupt, screeching halt. We both shot forward with the jolt but the seatbelts locked in place.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, Edward. You drive like an ass."
"Bella," I said, turning to face her in my seat.
"I'm right here. So I'm a prick and I'm always saying fucked up things, but please, don't let that make you shut me out."
"I can't talk to you about this part."
"You can talk to me about any fucking thing, Bella. Don't say shit like that to me."
"You won't like it."
"I love you. Talk to me."
"I'm afraid you'll think I'm weak and that I'm ungrateful after everything you've done for me." Her voice was cracking and I could see her chin quivering from her side profile.
With one swift movement I unbuckled my seatbelt, leaned over and turned her face to me. She already had tears in her eyes. Regardless of what she thought I had no intentions of letting her hide from me. That was one thing I hated and had no tolerance for. She was my fucking pride and joy, the love of my life, my reason for breathing and wanting to be. There was no life for me without that girl and no me without her. We'd gone to hell and back through fire and I'd have been damned if I was about to let a shitty morning and some estrogen stand in the way of getting her to open up.
"Bella, there isn't a weak bone in your body. You are single handedly the strongest and most resilient person I know. Sometimes I wonder if you even understand how much I love you," I said, shifting my eyes back and forth between her glassy, brown ones. My hands were on either side of her face. "There is nothing you can't tell me and keeping shit inside because you're afraid of a fight is stupid. So we'll fight, but haven't you learned by now that making up is fucking sweet?"
She sighed and leaned the weight of her head into one of my hands.
"I'm disappointed in myself," she said. "I thought I'd be able to…."
Her voice trailed off and she straightened her back, turning her face forward.
"I know it's what I want," she continued. "It's what I've been working toward this whole time, and Edward…." Her tears finally came and she glanced at me from the side. "I really wanted you to be proud of me when it finally happened."
I waited for her to finish.
"I wanted it to be an accomplishment, like finally…." She sobbed and stopped to sniffle and inhale. "Finally, it happened without me having to force it. I thought I'd be happy and that it would be something to celebrate….but…."
Her tears got in the way. She could barely breathe now she was crying so hard. Her shoulders were heaving and her hair had fallen forward, blocking her profile from me. I used my fingers to smooth her hair back and tuck it behind her ear.
"Why do I feel like this?" She cried. "Why does it feel so horrible, like a part of me has died?"
I dropped my eyes to her lap and tried to find the right words to console her. The truth was, I knew she felt like that before she even said it and I was afraid of it. Her mind was so on point and on cue with her feelings that the slightest inclination to hold on to Charlie had the power to relinquish any progress she had made. It was as easy as that. That's why I got so fucking pissed when Charlie started with all that sentimental bullshit when she was cleaning his face. One guilt trip was all it took to reel her back in.
I looked at her sadly, seeing her pain and knowing with certainty that she really did need psychiatric help. I tried to heal her with my love and hoped that crowding her life with mine would be sufficient to distract her. I had hoped that I could fill her to such completion that nothing else mattered. But the truth slapped me in the face that day and I had to finally admit that her problem was bigger than me.
"I'm sorry," she cried. "I know that you were so happy to see that this morning. And now I'm ruining it with my nonsense."
"No," I said softly, reaching out to stroke her face. "It's ok. I actually understand. I wish you felt differently, but I understand why you feel like you do."
"Don't get me wrong, Edward," she sniffled out. "I want to get better. I don't want to be bound to him like that anymore. As much as I held on to it, I didn't like it, especially when you were away. I'm happier now than I've ever been in my life and you Edward are the only reason for that. I want to not have to worry about Charlie anymore.
I want to think that we can go off to college this year and be at peace with him living alone, confident that he's healthy and that he won't hurt himself. I really do think, especially because of you, that it's time to separate myself from him in that way. It's not fair to you, or to us. But at the same time, I can't help but feel like he's this part of me I don't know how to lose.
He's still my dad and I will always love him in a special way. I didn't know how I'd feel when it finally happened, but I didn't expect to be this affected by it. I guess it's because I've been programmed a certain way all my life, and it's just…..strange to have it suddenly disappear."
"But it wasn't sudden. It's been happening ever since I left for Florida. You started seeing a difference since back then."
"I know, but now he's here and he's trying so hard to be good," she said, turning to face me in her seat. "I felt nothing this morning…nothing. Not a lance, not a wave, not a vibration. His gap was completely non existent. It caught me off guard."
"Are you still willing to fight this?" I asked. She bit down on her bottom lip and bore her eyes into mine. Then with a small nod, she agreed.
"Yes, I do, especially for you."
"Don't do it for me, Bella," I said. "That's the problem all along. You think you're doing it for me, but it has to be for you. You have to want it for yourself. That's the only way it's going to work."
"I'm working on it," she said. "I'm making progress, I promise. I won't let you down."
"Progress? Bella! You achieved a monumental feat this morning! Do you have any idea how incredible that was?! I wanted to scoop you up right there on the spot and consummate that shit!"
"What?" She laughed, wiping her cheeks. "That made you want to have sex?!"
"Hell yeah! That was a fuck worthy moment! I was so fucking thrilled to see that, you have no idea. And even though it's hard, I have no doubt that we'll beat this Bella. You want it, I know you do. You're just afraid of it, but there isn't anything to be afraid of, not with me. I'll take care of you, baby. I love you."
She smiled widely, leaned over and pressed her heavenly pout against my lips.
"You make everything worth it." She smiled on my lips. "What would I do with you, Edward?"
"There's no without me, so don't even think it."
"Well then…" She smiled seductively and bit my bottom lip. "How's about we go home and celebrate my progress?"
"Hell to the fuck to the yeah," I grinned, and sped off.
It was the first time in forever we were able to unleash ourselves on each other without having to rush it. At my house there was always the chance of Charlie coming home, or him banging on my door if he was already there. Regardless of our circumstances, he was still my father and the thought of him knowing I was having sex in the same house as him grossed me out.
The Cullen mansion was even worse. Esme was always around and when she knew I was there, she made it a point to hover and check in on us every fifteen minutes. Our only free time was on afternoons after school and even then, Esme had a sixth sense and would find her way home early to the mansion whenever she could. When she couldn't, she called me incessantly until she knew I was home with Charlie.
This time however, there was no Charlie coming back home. Carlisle was occupied at Marcbeth's with his dream team for the day, and Esme had to run into Port Angeles with her wedding planner to collect the outdoor lanterns. She had them shipped across from Seattle for the wedding. For the next few hours, we were free.
Edward had an insatiable sexual appetite. Even after doing it every day for the past six months, he still couldn't get enough. We didn't even make it up the stairs when he pushed me through the door. He was eating at my lips and breathing down my throat frantically, his hands tangling in my hair. We'd only gotten three steps up when his hands were already inside of my panties, rubbing against my already swollen, flickering clitoris.
My knees buckled instantly and I slumped against him. It was impossible to walk. The grunt he exhaled against my face was evidence enough that he didn't care where we were as long as we were inside. It was his "fuck it" grunt. His gap spread out behind my eyelids quickly and all at once he overtook me.
My jeans were already under my butt. His middle finger was working feverishly inside my panties, up and down, fast as a bullet, making me cling and gasp intelligibly.
"I've been thinking about this all morning," he groaned, coming down on top me roughly.
I grabbed onto his hair and pulled his face down to mine. Our teeth clashed when our tongues collided and the taste of the cigarette smoke in his mouth made me croon and ooze harder between my legs. My moisture excited him and his crude comment in my ear about my wetness made me flicker delightedly under his finger. His groin was pressing against my thigh, screaming for an exit from his pants. So I helped him out. With harassed and frantic movements, I unbuttoned his jeans and released him, taking him into my hands as best as I could through my haze.
The edges of the steps were boring into my back but I didn't care. I dropped my head back onto the highest step and moaned when I felt his fingers slide up inside of me. My blood rushed to the surface when he dropped his head into my neck and started sucking. Every part of me burst into wet flames.
He needed better access between my thighs so he impatiently pulled his mouth away from my neck and yanked my pants and underwear off with one harsh tug. Once he was back on top of me, he spread my legs wider to accommodate his length and thrust his fingers inside of me again. His other hand went in under my top and under my bra.
My head fell back again and my eyes rolled to the back of my head when he started thrusting again. I rocked my hips back and forth on his fingers, loving the sensation but growing wildly impatient for the real ride. His mouth was on the other side of my neck then, one hand was massaging my nipple under my top and his fingers were slapping in and out of me stealthily. In the middle of it all he was fiddling with his own pants, trying to use his feet to pull them off at his ankles. Fighting with his pants for minutes on end got him frustrated so that when he finally got them off and kicked to the side, he rushed at me with a vengeance.
"I want you now," he panted against my mouth, raising himself in line with me. "I'm about to explode. I have to have you now."
"Yes Edward, yes," I gasped breathily.
I had no qualms about it being raw and harsh. We had our moments when we were tender and emotional, but there were times like these when we just needed to tear each other apart. The stress of the morning took its toll and we needed release.
He replaced his fingers with his brutish erection. The first thrust sent my butt and hips back into the step. My lower back got a nasty lash and my scream was both an exclamation of pleasure and shocking pain. Needless to say, nothing was bad enough to make me stop him. I had wanted Edward with an insurmountable passion ever since I met him and he had tormented me by making me wait. Having him take my body to physical oblivion was more than anything I had expected. He knew exactly how to touch me, how to kiss me, and how to give me an orgasm. He knew the curve of my body and how to play me like a fiddle; making all kinds of music belt from my throat.
He repositioned his hands on the same step that my back was pressed against, on either side of me. With that leverage, he dropped his hips and drove himself deeper inside. Every thrust sent me crashing into the edges of the steps and I cried out with every one. My shoulders were getting a beating. The discomfort was masochistic and it made me burst into a feverish sweat.
"Do you need to move?!" He grunted wildly.
"Bella, you're so fucking red!" He exclaimed into my face as he rocked his hips madly into me. "I love it."
I dug my nails into his butt cheeks and pushed him deeper inside. We were going fast and my knees were jerking back. I more than felt his body. I felt his internal pleasure and it meshed with mine powerfully. The double effect was astounding. I couldn't do anything but squeeze my eyes shut, pin my eyebrows together and try not to pass from the overwhelming thrill.
I felt him harden inside of me. The muscles in his butt were tight and even with my eyes closed I knew that the muscles in his shoulders and back flexed with every move he made. I knew him by heart.
I opened my eyes to look the reddened pleasure on his face. His head was bent. He too was flushed and his messy, overgrown bronze locks were damp and falling into his eyes. His jaw was firmly locked and his eyes were clouded with a sexual haze. Satisfied with the vision of him and dropped my head back onto the step and pushed myself toward him harder.
We were very near. Not only did I feel him swell, but I felt the burst of pleasure that always came before his orgasms. That sensation drove me higher. My screams were uncontrollable.
"I know!" I cried out.
I stopped feeling the steps stabbing at my body. We were going too fast for any pain to trump the intense pleasure. I only felt him. His white light burst out in splinters in my head and his gap fortified itself. His explosion and the sound that erupted from his throat made my body seize. Mine came the very next second. I had to bite into his shoulder in order to displace some of the blast. The double orgasms were always extreme and crippling. Every muscle in my body locked in place. When biting him didn't work, I threw my head back and screamed with wide eyes. The veins in my neck and face raised and threatened to burst.
The seconds were long. He collapsed on top of me and clung with his arms around my waist. A solid minute later, my body slowly unlocked itself from around him and gave way to trembling. He squeezed me tighter.
"Shit," he gasped, still breathless and flushed. "Uhhhhh."
"I know," I whispered unevenly, also out of breath. "I…..knoooww."
Two months later – Spring Break
"Bella!" Alice screamed from the foot of the stairs. "What the hell are you doing?!! We have to get over to the mansion now!"
"I'm coming!" I yelled back, darting through the corridor upstairs. "Oh my god!! Where's my corsage! Alice I can't find my corsage!!"
"Forget it! I have extras! Mom just called!"
Running down the stairs in heels was a bad idea and I almost went catapulting the entire way down.
"You're so beautiful!" Alice squealed, grabbing me by my wrist to pull me through the front door. "I did a good job!"
Alice had flown in to Forks two days before the wedding for the bachelorette party. She stayed at the Cullen mansion of course, even though I told her it'd be fine to stay with Edward and me at the house. Esme and Carlisle didn't try fighting with us about Edward's decision to move in with me. They wanted me to move into the mansion instead, but after much thought, they agreed to let us test the waters since we had plans of living together when we left for college. They also paid for everything, since they'd be doing it when we moved away.
Carlisle however, had a major request. He had pulled Edward aside and given him a lengthy speech about responsibility and adulthood and about what he thought was right given the nature of our relationship. He wanted Edward and me to get engaged because living together was only right if there was marriage or at least the intention of marriage.
"You want to be an adult," Carlisle had said. "Then be an adult. I expect good news soon."
He left it at that. I didn't ask any questions or probe into Edward's mind about what he thought about it. In fact, it was Esme who told me about their conversation. I knew how Edward's mind worked. When he felt pressured or anxious, he withdrew into himself and got agitated. And as much as the thought of being engaged to him thrilled me, I was afraid to press. I sought comfort in the fact that he moved in with me at all given Carlisle's warning. I figured that the move had to have meant something to him. So with that in mind I tried not to harp on the obvious; that he hadn't said a word to me about his conversation with Carlisle.
Charlie was already out of rehab and living on the Quileute reservation. He and Billy Black had gotten very close and Billy had offered him a job at the private High School on the res. Ever since the day in the kitchen when the vase broke on his head, I hadn't felt anything transfer from him to me. There were times when a slight sensation would flicker and I would jump up, gasp then hold my breath, excited almost, waiting for his gap to appear. And when it didn't, my heart fell. I missed him. It made me sad at times, but Edward was always there and he pulled me through everyday. We visited Charlie very often and sometimes Edward agreed to let me go alone. On those days Charlie and I spent hours together, walking and talking and eating. He had improved so much. He and Edward were still contentious, but with me, he was calm.
The entire week building up to the wedding was tense. Not only was Esme running about like a headless chicken, but I couldn't help but feel an additional welt of anxiety on becoming Edward's step sister. It didn't count as incest, but the title I knew meant something to many people. Despite our conviction to stick it out and face the music, the elephant in the room was still very large and very pink. It stood out, and though our friends and family tried to ignore it, I couldn't.
"We should have gotten ready at the mansion," Alice complained as she sped toward the Cullen Estate in the Porsche. It was mine now that she was at college, but she never let me drive it when she came home. She was still as bossy as ever.
"Why?" I asked, smoothing my Bride's maid's dress over my lap. "We still have lots of time to help mom get ready. Getting dressed first was a perfect idea, now we can focus completely on her."
"Yes, but we should have gotten ready over there."
"Aw, come on! I wanted my sister all to myself for two hours! I missed you too you know!"
She sent me a sideways smile and nodded. "I can't wait to see Jazz in his suit. He's going to be so adorable!"
"I wonder how Edward's making out with Charlie. He went to pick him up at the res." I wondered out loud, staring out the window. Edward had insisted on collecting Charlie even though he could have easily come with Jacob and Billy. There was still that territorial, ongoing battle between him and Jacob for Charlie though Edward would have never, ever admitted to it.
Esme was surprisingly quite calm when we burst into her bedroom.
"Stop running," she said smilingly. "You're going to ruin your makeup with all that sweat."
"Oh please," Alice said, chucking off her heels to help Esme get into her dress. "Nothing's cutting through this sucker." She pointed to her face and I groaned.
I cringed at the thought of how much gunk I had sitting on my face.
There was essentially nothing for me to do but supply chatter. I'd already made the bouquets the day before and arranged all the flowers in the church and in the reception area on the estate. That was my contribution to the wedding. Ever since Elizabeth's nursery, botany was my hobby and I still tended to the nursery three times a week after school and on weekends. Alice had Esme under control. After the dress, she did her hair and makeup, retouched mine then put on her shoes again.
"Bella, where's your corsage?" Esme asked.
"Are you even getting married today?" I asked. "Where are your nerves? How the hell can you pick out that I'm not wearing my corsage?"
"This is not my first time, remember?" She answered.
"But it's your first time with Carlisle," Alice teased with singing emphasis on Carlisle's name. Esme clasped her hands over her chest and sighed. I had to smile. She looked sincerely happy and I couldn't begrudge her that happiness. She had gone through a lot of stress and heartache and a lot of it was my doing. Being happy for her on her big day was the least I could have done to assuage whatever hurt there was between us.
"You look beautiful, Mom," I said to her. She really did. Alice piled her hair in organized, messy swirls on top of her head and left loose tendrils at the sides of her face and neck. The flowers in her hair matched the magenta highlights on her cream dress, which also pulled in our magenta knee length dresses.
"Thank you, Bella," she said with a smile. That thank you had many meanings. She was thinking me too for my blessing. God only knew, Edward and I could have made things awful and difficult for them. I was glad that the four of us were able to understand and just let each other be.
Alice and I stood in the church parlor with Esme an hour later, waiting for Jasper to give us the cue that it was time. Emmett was the groomsman and Edward was Carlisle's best man. They were already at the altar with Carlisle, waiting for the bridal party. I had a swarm of nervous butterflies in my stomach. Alice was bouncing all over the room and fussing over Esme and Jasper kept popping in and out to steal kisses from her.
"Are they ready yet?" Alice giggled when he popped in for the hundredth time. I didn't know how Esme was holding it together. It was her wedding and she was as calm as a zephyr; me, not so much.
"Yes," Jasper grinned. "It's time ladies."
Alice squealed. My arm pits reacted with nervous perspiration.
"Ugh," I groaned.
"Ok girls," Esme smiled and took a deep breath. "Time."
I turned to her and blinked.
"Bella," she said in a reassuring tone. "I promise you. Everything will be alright. We're a strong family."
I was as transparent as glass. My anxiety was plastered all over my face. Try all I might, I couldn't hide it. I smiled for her benefit though and shook it off.
"Of course! What are you talking about?! Let's go!" I clapped.
"You're in front Bella," Alice said, shoving my bouquet into my hand. "Oh wait! Here!"
She grabbed a box off the side board, pulled out a corsage and slipped it around my wrist.
With a spank on my ass, she pushed me toward the door.
I swallowed and walked out toward where I saw Jasper standing at the mouth of the aisle. He was surrounded by my flowers.
On making it to his side, he smiled at me and winked.
"You look pretty, Bella," he said, then gestured with his head toward the aisle. "Your boy's waiting."
I raised my eyes then and turned to face the altar. I spotted Edward immediately. It wasn't hard to miss that overgrown mass of bronze hair. His eyes thawed on me and raised my pores. The organ player started playing the wedding march then and everyone in the packed church turned around noisily to look. Edward was astonishing. He was tall and lean and by far the most handsome man up there. He was right next to Carlisle. I saw him swallow and shift his weight slightly. His hands were clasped in front of him.
"Bellaaaa," Alice hissed from behind me. "March!"
I walked forward to the cue of the music with my eyes on Edward. Esme was behind Alice who was behind me….walking down the aisle toward her husband to be. I was walking down the aisle toward my step brother to be…and everybody in that church knew it.
It could have been an overactive case of nerves, but I thought I felt their eyes boring into the sides of my face. I thought I could hear them chastise and judge me for my relationship with Edward. Hypocrites they were; sitting in that church to celebrate with Carlisle and Esme, waiting to eat their food and get drunk on their drink; all the while judging us for the strangeness of our family. Something probably flashed across my face then because Edward pinned his brows together and nodded slowly, his eyes holding mine intently. He was pulling me toward him. It wasn't hard. His energy shot out and snagged me and my feet suddenly felt lighter.
When I had gotten to the step up, he opened his smile and winked. My heart tripped and I turned left to stand opposite him. Alice came next, then Esme. When Esme stepped up next to Carlisle, she handed me her bouquet and sent me a reassuring smile. It amazed me the way she stayed connected to me in the middle of her own show, sending me secret waves of encouragement whenever she could.
Edward was still looking at me from on the other side of our parents. His eyes were searching and gentle and his lips were pulled up ever so slightly on one side of his mouth. I felt his eyes on my skin and it made me flush. I just knew I was getting redder with every passing minute that he stared at me like that.
Then he mouthed the words "I love you" to me and I blushed insanely.
The ceremony passed with Edward and I bonded like that. Whenever I dropped my eyes or looked away from him, he dug his finger nails into his palm and got my attention again when I felt the sensation in mine. I hardly heard any words that were said because Edward had me completely distracted with his aura. At one point I scanned the crowd for Charlie and when I found his scowl on the bride's side near the back, I stifled a giggle and looked back to Edward.
When the ceremony was over, Carlisle and Esme turned toward the congregation and accepted their applause. Edward and I met in the center behind them, interlinked arms and walked out behind the bride and groom.
"You're stunning," he whispered to me, as we walked out.
"Even with all this makeup?" I smirked self consciously.
"Baby…" He smiled and dropped our arms so that he could interlock our fingers. "Nothing can spoil that face."
Once we were outside, Emmett walked up to us and lifted me off the floor.
"Put me down you big oaf!" I squealed.
"Well, just look at my Bellalita!" Emmet laughed, setting me back on my feet. "All girlie and shit. I'd hold you in a head lock right now and knuckle your hair if it wasn't Alice that did it."
"You afraid of Alice, Emmett?" I laughed.
"Hell fucking yeah. That bitch is freakishly strong for such a little person."
"Not bad," Rosalie said, coming up beside him with a painted smile on her face. Of course, she was stunning in her body hugging, sweetheart gown that grazed the floor. The color was teal and it made her blue eyes pop exquisitely.
"Edward," she acknowledged Edward. At least she was trying to be nice, though there was arrogance in her tone.
Edward saw the words before they came out of her mouth and raised his hand.
"Shut it, Rose," he said. "Don't even think about saying it. Now's not the time."
She raised an eyebrow and smirked, intertwining her arm with Emmett's.
"What? I was just to indicate how cute you two are with your matching colors. Your tie matches Bella's dress. Matching siblings are always so adorable."
"Fucking shit," Edward cursed and grabbed my hand immediately.
"You know what Rose," I said, raising my chin to square off with her.
"No, what?" She smiled provokingly at me.
"Go find a tree to fuck."
"Haaa!" Emmett squealed, raising a hand to his mouth.
"Baby!" Edward grinned with wide eyes.
"Emmett Cullen, shut the fuck up," Rose grunted. She spun on her heels and stormed away.
"Aw, babe!" Emmett laughed and took off behind her. "Come on! It was funny! Don't be maaaad!"
Nothing had changed between those two.
"You learn well," Edward said against my temple, kissing the spot.
"I listen to you when you talk," I answered.
"Then I shall continue to depart my wisdom on you," he laughed. "Ugh…we have pictures now."
He did the most uncalled for thing then. He took my hand and started skipping across the churchyard to the waiting car, pulling me behind him.
"Edward, what are you doing?" I laughed. He looked utterly ridiculous.
"Come on sis!" He chuckled as he skipped. "Mummy and Daddy are waiting for us for pictures!"
He had me laughing so hard, my stomach started to bind in stitches.
"That will never be funny, Edward!"
What a contradiction that was, because my laughter was so loud it was drawing attention to us.
"You are never to call me sis!"
A few months later
Edward and I got into different colleges in Downtown, Seattle. They were an hour and half away from each other, but we got our apartment in the middle and that cut our commuting time in half. Jasper made sure to study his ass of so that The University of Washington would have no reason to turn him down. He even qualified for a partial scholarship. We weren't very close to them even though we were all in Seattle, but we agreed to come together as often as possible so that we wouldn't lose touch.
Leaving Forks was emotional. I had lived there for a year and half and had experienced more than most people do in an entire lifetime. Esme cried. Even Carlisle got emotional. He held on to me and couldn't stop kissing the top of my head. He and I especially, had gone through a spell together when Edward was in Florida. I couldn't have gotten through any of that without Carlisle.
"Take care of yourself," he said with my face between his hands. We were on the port in Port Angeles about to board the ferry. "Live well. I'm proud of you."
"Promise me something?" I asked.
"Anything," he said with a slight frown.
"Promise you'll keep an eye on Charlie for me?"
He nodded and smiled. "You didn't even have to ask. His therapy is going well. He's stubborn, but Jacob is good for him."
Charlie stepped out from behind Esme then and hugged me. He hadn't heard my conversation with Carlisle.
"Don't forget my number," he said.
"Oh, so this time you'll be answering my calls?" I joked.
"I promise," he laughed. "But please don't freak out if I miss one or two."
He turned to Edward then.
"Marvel boy," he said, shoving his hands awkwardly into his pockets. "She's my daughter no matter you think. Take care of her or I'll fuck you up."
Surprisingly enough Edward didn't have a crude rebuttal.
"We're just right over the lake," Edward answered in a weird tone. "Why is everyone getting so sentimental?"
Edward took my hand then and pulled me toward the gate. Esme was waving and holding on to Carlisle. Just before we stepped out Edward stopped and turned back.
"Hey," he called out to Charlie who was walking away toward his truck. Charlie turned around and raised his eyebrows.
"A deal's a deal right?" Edward said.
All Charlie did was stare.
"It took me longer than six months," Edward said uncomfortably with his eyes on the floor. "But, ok…fine. I love you. Now get the fuck out of here and if I hear that you're drinking again, I'll kill you. This time I will, I promise."
My eyes filled up with water and my heart thudded heavily in my chest.
"Arrogant fuck," Charlie said to Edward with a smile.
"Stale drunk pussy," Edward returned.
"Ok!" I came in. "Let's go! Bye! Love you guys!"
Two hours and one nauseating boat ride later, we were dragging our suitcases up the path to our apartment.
"The keys are in my back pack," Edward said, bending to drag the last of the last of the suitcases to the door. The apartment was ready for us. Esme and I had made a trip across two weeks before to put everything in place.
"Why aren't the keys in your pocket?" I asked, rummaging through his bag for the little cigarette lighter key ring.
"It's a huge ass bunch of keys, Bella. I'm not stuffing that in my pocket to look like I have a second penis."
After impatiently raking through the various paraphernalia in his bag I found the bunch and pulled it out.
"Found it," I said, standing up to blow the hair out of my eyes. I shoved the longest key into the hole and froze when I caught a glint of something gold glimmer among the rest of silver metal. My hand dropped away from the bunch that hung from the key hole and my heart started to pound.
Edward's smoky, musk scent wafted around my sides then and encased me. He came up close behind, but remained silent. I dared not move. My palms stated to sweat and I had to stifle the urge to squeal like a newborn pig.
Because the bunch of keys was still swinging gently from where it hung, the diamond suspended on the little gold ring below glinted every time it moved and caught the sun.
"It wouldn't be right to take you over the threshold without this," Edward said, leaning over me with his arm forward. He took the bunch in his hand, turned the key in the door, then pulled it out. I watched as he fingered through the keys until he had the ring between his forefinger and thumb.
"Bella," he said. "You're not saying anything."
I raised my shell shocked eyes to him then and blinked.
He slid the ring on, but it only made it up halfway because it was still attached to the key ring and the ridiculous bunch of keys. I stared at it and nodded with my bottom lip between my teeth, giving way to the biggest smile I had in me.
"Mind being married to a temperamental jack ass that can't drive?" He asked.
I started to laugh then, dangling the bunch of keys from my ring finger playfully.
"I don't mind," I answered, grinning like an idiot. My face started to hurt and I knew I had gone red.
He raised my face with a finger under my chin then and offered me a gentle, chaste kiss.
"I love you so much," I said.
"I love you too, Bella."
"Edward….are you sure about this?"
He put his both hands in my hair then and ran his fingers through its entire length down to my waist. When he got there, he tugged on my ends gently then rested his hands on my waist. My heart gorged when his eyes twinkled and his smile broadened.
THE END! AGAIN!
A/N: So you know that because I'm a romantic sap it had to end fluffy right?? LoL. Come on, after all the stress they went through, they HAD to have a happy ending. It was only fair.
I reaaaaaaaaaally hope you liked it. And I REEEAAAALLLLYYY hoped you will review and let me know that you did and what you thought. I will miss this story and this Edward and Bella. They will always be my favorite I think, no matter how many stories I write.
Special thanks to twilightjonasfreak96, teambella23 for being the # 1 fan of this story and nicarter who's been waiting patiently for this. Love you ladies !
Review! And don't forget to vote for this story in the Indies!! YAY!