|Nothing But a Number
Author: Duchess Michelle PM
Age is nothing but a number, right? What happens when Edward is several years older than Bella... and he meets her when she is 15? Read and find out. : AH/AU, M for lemons, BxERated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 3 - Words: 26,267 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 195 - Follows: 63 - Updated: 04-06-11 - Published: 03-15-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6826065
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
III. The Big 3-0!
Bella and Edward were in the midst of their happily ever after. They were blissful, reasonably successful, and very relaxed in their lives. Tonight was their seven year anniversary and instead of going out on the town and celebrating in some fancy way, Edward cooked a nice family dinner for his wife and kids. Their lives were busy and hectic with kids ages four and two scampered around.
Most of the time Bella was able to work from home, saving them from spending a ridiculous amount on daycare. She was happy to be a stay at home mom too. She never thought that this would be her life, married to her sweetheart and raising a family with him. It seemed too perfect, but it was her life and she was grateful for it.
After dinner Bella and Edward sat on the porch swing of their house and watched Lily, four, and Brendon, two, scamper around their front yard. They didn't have a white picket fence, but that was the only thing missing from the seemingly picture perfect family. Bella laid her head on Edward's shoulder, curling her legs up and under her body.
"Thank you," she said softly.
"For all of this; I never imagined having a life like this."
"It's been seven years sweetheart. You should get used to being irrationally happy," he said, kissing the top of her head.
"I know," she said, watching Brendon chase Lily around the yard. "Everything is so perfect," she whispered.
"But? I know there's a but in there somewhere."
"But," she said, looking up at him briefly before her gaze went back to the children. "Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop… like this perfect happiness isn't going to last."
Edward took a deep breath and pulled her more tightly against his side. His other hand reached out for hers, lacing their fingers together. "It'll last Bella. We'll last. Everything is going to be fine," he said, trying to reassure her.
"Promise?" she asked, looking up at him once more.
"I promise," he said, kissing the tip of her nose. Every once in a while he had to reassure her of things. Sometimes it was tiresome, but he never let on that he felt that way. He knew that she had been through a lot as a child and that her need for reassurance might never go away, not completely. Although she needed it less and less these days.
Early on in their relationship, when they had been separated by the distance and their ambitions he had had to reassure her more. She was always afraid that he wouldn't wait for her to come back to him, that he would find something or someone better. He knew that wouldn't happen though. Even now he knew that Bella was the one for him, the love of his life.
His eyes followed her hand as it went to her barely swollen belly and rubbed it soothingly. He couldn't help the feeling he got in his heart at the sight of that small gesture. Both of their children were his pride and joy. He could no more choose a favorite child than he could a favorite arm. He loved them both as he loved their mother. Yet he still never tired of seeing her pregnant.
"I love it when you're pregnant," he whispered.
She just smiled as she watched Lily and Brendon plop down on the ground, panting like little puppies who had finally gotten tired of running around. "Looks like they're completely worn-out," she said.
He looked up then, tearing his eyes away from his beloved wife and looking at their children. "I guess its bedtime then. Do they need bathes tonight?"
Bella seemed to think about it for a moment. "Yeah, let's go ahead and do that tonight. They've been running around a lot today."
Edward kissed her temple and stood from the swing. He walked out to where his kids were now laying in the grass. When he got there they both looked up at him expectantly. Then they were suddenly giggling as he tickled them for a few seconds. When he stopped they were both panting again and he easily lifted one with each arm.
Bella opened the front door as Edward carried their children through. She followed him inside, watching him go into the bathroom while she went to grab their pajamas. He started the bathwater, having the kids brush their teeth while he filled the tub. They both turned to him eagerly when they finished.
"Bubble bath!" Lily said excitedly.
"Bubbles," Brendon repeated.
The father of two simply smiled at his kids as he helped them out of their clothes. He tossed the dirty clothes into the hamper and looked up at the doorway to find his wife watching him. Her eyes had a dreamy look in them and he was excitedly anticipating when he would have her alone tonight.
She set the pajamas on top of the toilet and kneeled beside the tub with him to turn the water off. "Okay, my darlings," Bella said sweetly.
They both giggled happily as a parent picked them up and put them in the warm, soapy water. Bella and Edward each took a kids loofah and started washing them. "Ducky," Brendon cooed as his mother scrubbed the dirt from his body.
"Yes, ducky," Bella cooed back.
"I've got a froggy," Lily said, splashing the water.
Edward had to wipe his face, but he was smiling through the sudsy water. This was one of Bella's favorite parts of the week; bathing the kids. It was something they did together and she enjoyed the time spent as a family doing something as simple as bathing. After they washed the kids' hair, they drained the tub and pulled them out.
They each took a towel and dried a child off, making noises with them as they did so. When both kids were dry they helped them into their pajamas. Bella took Brendon in her arms and Edward took Lily, and they carried them into the room they shared. Brendon had a small child's bed with railing to help prevent him from falling out. His bed was dressed up with Lightning McQueen bedding while Lily had The Little Mermaid. Her bed was a little bigger than Brendon's, but it still had railing on it as well.
The kids were tucked in, read a story, and kissed goodnight before Bella and Edward were able to sneak away. They went back out to the kitchen to clean up the last few dishes. When the kitchen was clean they headed to their bedroom, Bella stopping off to check on the kids along the way.
Edward waited for Bella in their room, going ahead and changing into a pair of boxers. He went into their bathroom and was brushing his teeth when she finally rejoined him, already changed into a new negligee. "And what's this?" he asked, eyeing the new lingerie appreciatively.
"Just new pajamas," she answered, as if it was no big deal.
"I see that," he said, moving behind her to nuzzle her neck. "It's very pretty…" he said. "And sexy," he added with a love nip at her shoulder.
"I'm glad you approve," she said, smiling as she patted his head. His arms snaked around her waist, his hands coming to rest on her baby bump. She smiled again as he rubbed that little bump.
"So little," he murmured. "I can't believe we're going to have another baby in a few months.
"You better get ready. He'll be here before you know it," she half joked.
He kissed her shoulder again and continued to hold her while she went through her pre-bed ritual. He was completely enraptured by the small bump in her abdomen under his hands that he didn't even realize she was finished. She watched him in the mirror for a minute, a smile softening her face. Then she moved her hands over his on her belly.
"Another little boy," she whispered.
"Mmm…" he mumbled.
"I was thinking of naming him 'Edward'," she whispered, not wanting to disturb the moment.
His eyes moved up to hers in the mirror. "Really? You want to name him after me?" Bella just nodded and Edward smiled as he looked down at their hands again. "Little Edward," he murmured.
Bella smiled and laced her fingers with his. "Come on, honey. Let's go to bed."
Edward followed his wife to bed, sliding in and wrapping his arms around her. "I love you so much," he said earnestly.
"I know baby."
"Thank you," he said softly.
"For what?" she asked, his earlier words echoing in her mind.
"For everything; the kids, marrying me, this life. You are my world, Bella."
"Edward…" she started, but she didn't know what to say.
He leaned in and captured her lips in a soft kiss, deepening it after a moment. Emotions were running on high as they quickly divested one another of their clothes. Her hand found its way to his hardening cock and she started to pump him slowly. "Oh God…" he gasped, losing his focus to kiss her.
"Lay back," she instructed and he did as she said. She was lying on her side next to him, stroking his erection as he gasped and groaned. The feeling of him growing impossibly harder in her hand was one that she enjoyed very much. The only thing she liked more was the feel of him hardening in her mouth. She could feel herself getting wetter at the mere thought of it.
His eyes were closed as he let himself just feel what she was doing to him. Not only could he feel the confidence that had grown in her over time, but the gentleness that was simply her as well. She was unique and his perfect match. No other woman made him feel the way she did and he didn't want anyone else for as long as he lived.
"Watch me," she whispered in his ear, nibbling on his lobe for a second afterward.
He opened his eyes and looked down, groaning at the sight of her hand enveloping his cock. "Oh my… Bella…" he moaned, trying to stave off his orgasm. "I'm close," he told her. "If you don't stop…"
Right before his eyes she not only stopped stroking him, but replaced her hand with her mouth. All he could do was groan and watch as she took him into her mouth. He was so close and feeling her warm little mouth surround him was bliss. Her soft pink lips moved up and down on his rod, taking him in as far as she could and swallowing around him then pulling back to the tip. She'd swipe her tongue around the tip, playing with the spot on the underside that she knew drove him wild.
"Shit! Damn! Fucking…" he cut off his rather loud expletives with a pillow over his face as he came in her mouth.
She managed to swallow almost everything, licking him clean of the rest. Then she crawled back up to lay next to him, pulling the pillow away from his face. "Don't worry, babe. They're sound sleepers," she said with a smirk.
"You're unbelievable." He looked at her and smiled, fully satiated.
"I try," she said proudly, cuddling with him as he wrapped an arm around her waist. He kissed her temple and they pulled the covers up, settling in for the night.
"Happy anniversary, sweetheart," he murmured.
"Happy anniversary, Edward."
As the days after their anniversary passed by Bella's thirtieth birthday neared and although she did not mention it Edward was still thinking about it. Any good husband would remember his wife's birthday, especially after seven years of marriage, even if she wasn't a big fan of her birthday. For whatever reason, getting older always peeved Bella and she never really explained why.
Edward mostly left it alone, but this year was special. Bella was going to be thirty and that was a big deal in and of itself, so he had a little something up his sleeve. Of course he wasn't going to be able to pull it off on his own, so Alice was in on it with him. They were planning a small party for family and close friends at one of Bella's favorite restaurants in Seattle.
Being a doctor had gained Edward some connections and he was able to arrange to have the restaurant open for them alone on the night of Bella's birthday bash. Alice had been a doll and sent out invitations as well as worked on the decorations. They were keeping it simple and Edward had seen everything to give his final approval before letting Alice go hog wild.
Now only a few days stood between them and the big event and Edward was getting nervous. He hoped Bella would like it. He knew she had a tendency to dislike parties thrown in her honor, but he wanted to do something special for her for the big 3-0 and a party had seemed like a good idea at the time. Doubts were creeping in now that the details had been finalized though. Everything was set; all that was left to do was wait.
"Everything okay, honey?" Bella asked the day before her birthday.
Edward just looked up at her and nodded. "Yeah, of course," he said, clearing his throat. He'd been staring off into space, thinking about the party and his surprise gift for Bella. He really hoped she would like it. No one, not even Alice, knew what his present was for her this year and he was waiting to reveal it at the party.
"You seem a little distracted today," she said, walking over to where he was sitting at the kitchen table.
"Just thinking about a patient," he lied smoothly.
"Mmm, everything okay at work?"
"Mhm. It's fine. I was just thinking about a different course of action for a case. It might be better, but it's more experimental." He really did have a case like that. It just wasn't what was on his mind at the moment.
"Oh, okay," she said, leaning down to kiss his cheek. "I'm sure you'll do the right thing. You always do."
"Thank you," he said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her down onto his lap so he could hold her properly.
She nuzzled against him and sighed contentedly as he started rubbing her belly again. "Oh!" she squealed.
His eyes widened in alarm. "You okay?" he asked, worry creasing his brow.
"Fine. He just moved is all." His face brightened and his hand slid under her shirt to rest on her bare belly. He was still as he tried to feel the baby move. "I don't know if you can feel him yet baby. He's been moving a lot though. It feels like he's just turning. I think he's going to be a handful," she said with a smile.
Her hand came to rest with his on her stomach as they both continued to caress it for a few more minutes. "It never ceases to amaze me…" he murmured.
"The tiny life that we make, that grows inside of you for nine months," he said quietly. "It's completely baffling to me."
"You're a doctor Edward," she teased. "And a father of two. How does this baffle you?"
"It just… it's amazing and new every time."
She smiled sweetly and kissed him full on the lips. "I know what you mean, honey."
He held her for a little longer before she wiggled and he looked up at her. "Do you want to go?" he asked, quirking a brow at her.
"Well…" she began slowly. "I kinda need to pee," she said, squirming again.
"Oh," he said, blushing and letting her go.
"It's okay Edward. The baby just pushes on my bladder. You should know the drill by now." She kissed him softly on the cheek as she rose and went to the bathroom. Not three minutes later she was back in the kitchen with him. "Is there anything you want to do today while Alice has the kids?"
"Mmm… I can think of a few things," he said, his eyes darkening almost imperceptibly, but Bella noticed. She always noticed those things about Edward.
"Is that so?"
"And what makes you think that I want to do that?"
"You don't?" he asked, suddenly worried.
She smiled and bit back her laughter. "Oh honey…" she cooed, coming to soothe his temporarily bruised ego. "I was only kidding. You should know by now that six months in I get really tired and horny." She gave him a devilish smirk and a wink as she straddled his lap in the chair where he sat.
"I seem to recall that with the last two pregnancies now that I think about it."
Bella nodded and ground herself against him, feeling him hardening beneath her. "I always want you, Edward," she whispered against his lips.
They kissed for a long moment, Edward's hands moving to caress Bella's swollen breasts. "I want you too," he whispered. "Always."
A few minutes later and their clothes were strewn on the kitchen floor. Bella gazed into her husband's loving eyes as she sank down on to his erection, moaning in pleasure as he filled her up. His hands slid over her body, touching everything he could. He massaged her breasts and then bent down to kiss and suck them, only serving to make her moan and squirm above him.
"God Bella…" he gasped. "You make me feel…"
"Like a teenager. Like I can't get enough of you. It's never enough." He groaned as she swiveled her hips and he moved his hand between her legs. "I always want more of you," he said as his hand settled in her curls, his fingers finding the bundle of nerves that would send her over the edge. "Come for Bella," he requested as he pressed firmly on her clit.
She screamed in pleasure as her orgasm tore through her, her muscles contracting around him. Coming back down to Earth, she felt him still hard inside of her. She smiled. "Waiting for something?"
He grinned. "I want to feel you come again," he said.
"I think I can do that," she said, moaning as she raised herself off of him and sank back down. He gripped her hips and hissed in pleasure. "Do you like that?" she asked.
He glared at her. "You know what I like," he ground out.
"Then show me," she demanded.
Without a second thought he stood, holding her in his arms. He set her down on the kitchen table, telling her to lay back. She acquiesced and he pulled her hips to the edge of the table as he started pounding into her. "Bella… Oh God! So close…"
She moaned and opened her eyes to watch him. He was shiny with sweat, pounding into her relentlessly, but she loved every second of it. "That's it baby. I'm so close. Just a little… more…"
Her hands moved to grab her breasts, pinching her nipples as she moaned again and said, "Watch me." His eyes locked with hers as she moaned his name reverently. "Edward," she gasped. "Mmmm…"
One of her hands snaked down and she pinched her clit, sending her spiraling into her second climax and pulling him with her. He grunted and thrust into her a couple more times as he released inside of her. Not bothering to hold himself up any longer, he collapsed against her, careful of the baby, both of them panting as they tried to catch their breath.
She ran her hands through his hair, whispering how much she loved him. When they finally came down from their mutual highs, Edward pulled out of her and helped her to her feet. Still naked, he knelt on the floor and kissed her swollen tummy. "I love you," he murmured. "And your mommy," he said, looking up at her with glazed eyes.
"We love you too," she said, blushing slightly and running her fingers through his hair. "I'd better go pick up Lily and Brendon. I'm sure they're driving Alice and Jazz crazy by now."
"Nah. I bet they're having fun with their cousins."
Bella just smiled and nodded. "Yeah, but…"
"You miss them," he finished.
She nodded again.
"I know. I do too. It's good for them to go spend time over there though and you know they love it." He stood and hugged her close.
"I know, I know."
He leaned down and kissed her, trying to soothe away her concern. "They're still our babies, Bella. Nothing is every going to change that."
She tried to push her insecurities away, but she couldn't help the incessant fear that something bad was coming. Instead of letting Edward in on this though she just forced a smile and hugged him, burying her face in his chest because she knew he'd be able to read the expression in her eyes.
"Everything is going to be fine, Bella," he said, kissing the top of her head. "We're happy and we're going to be happy for many years more. We have a beautiful family, two wonderful kids and a third on the way. You have nothing to worry about."
Maybe he was right. She knew that their life was pretty perfect, but things always felt that way before they fell apart and she couldn't help but feel that way. "Is it okay if I head over there anyway?" she asked hesitantly.
"Yes," he sighed with a smile. "Go catch up with Alice while you watch the kids. I'm sure Alice would love to talk with you since you've been spending more time here in the last few months."
She smiled and kissed him quickly as she stepped away from him to pick up her clothes. Bella dressed in a hurry, trying not to watch as Edward dressed too. It would be so easy to stay naked with him for a little while longer, but she really wanted to get over to Alice's.
Less than an hour later Bella was sitting in Alice's kitchen chatting away aimlessly with her as she glanced out of the sliding glass door into the yard and watched Lily and Brendon play with Michael and Christine. All four of the kids seemed to be having a blast as they played on the mini playground set up in the backyard. Being older, Lily and Michael helped Brendon and Christine by pushing them on the swing and climbing the ladder. It was very sweet.
"What does Lily think of having a new little brother or sister soon?" Alice asked, pulling Bella out of her reverie.
"She's excited. She was only 2 when we had Brendon, so she'll be able to do more this time."
"Have you guys found out the sex of the baby?"
"Not yet, but we think it's a boy."
"Exciting! Have you picked out a name yet then?"
"I want to name him Edward," Bella said with a smile.
Alice grinned brightly. "What does Edward think of that?"
"He was surprised at first, but he's thrilled. Neither of us ever expected to be here, to be this happy…" Bella said, trailing off.
Alice just nodded. "Jasper and I are trying for a third as well," Alice informed Bella.
"Really? That's great!"
Alice smiled and nodded again. "We're really excited, so hopefully we'll be announcing it soon."
"I'm so happy for you Alice," Bella said, sipping her lemonade and smiling at her sister-in-law and best friend.
They were both quiet for a few minutes before Bella squeaked in surprised and rubbed her belly. Alice's eyes shot up in alarm, but Bella spoke before she could ask. "It's fine. This one is just a mover."
Alice smiled at that. "Christine was a mover too."
"I call him my little nudger," Bella said affectionately.
A giggled escaped Alice. "That's so cute. Has Edward heard you call him that?"
Bella nodded. "Yeah, he usually just rolls his eyes at the endearment. We've taken to calling the baby Little Edward too though."
"And what about Brendon? Does he understand that there's going to be a new baby in the house soon?"
"I think so. He knows that Mommy is carrying a new baby and he rubs my tummy just like Edward does. Lily rubs the baby too. I have a feeling Brendon gets part of it, but he'll be surprised when we bring the baby home."
"I'm sure he'll be a good big brother though."
"Yeah, he's a good little boy."
"So, any big plans for tomorrow?" Alice asked, changing the subject suddenly.
"No." Bella said flatly.
"No?" Alice queried. Bella shook her head. "It's your thirtieth though. You should do something."
"Alice, I'm turning thirty. It's just another birthday to me and you know how my birthdays usually turn out when I try celebrating."
Alice huffed. "Bella, you're just being superstitious. Nothing is going to happen tomorrow."
"Don't jinx it Alice." Bella gave her a warning glare.
Putting her hands up in mock surrender Alice gave in. "Fine, fine."
"I'm just going to have a nice, quiet evening at home with Edward and the kids," Bella said contentedly.
Yeah, that's what you think, Alice thought.
"And Alice," Bella said.
"Hmm?" Alice replied, turning to Bella.
"Don't try anything tomorrow."
"I wouldn't dare," Alice said innocently.
Bella studied her for a minute, but pushed her suspicions aside. Alice wouldn't have planned a party this year. Bella had told her explicitly that she did not want to celebrate her thirtieth birthday.
About an hour later Bella pulled up in her own driveway, taking the kids out of their car seats. She carried Brendon, who had fallen asleep on the short drive, inside. The moment she walked through the front door she could smell dinner cooking and she smiled. He cooked, she thought. As she entered the kitchen with Brendon in her arms and Lily by her side she watched Edward move around until he noticed they were there.
Lily ran into his arms and he kissed her sweetly. "Hi there Peanut," he said cheerfully. Then he walked over and kissed Bella softly on the lips and eyed Brendon. "I take it he fell asleep in the car again, huh?"
She just nodded at him. "What are you cooking?"
"Dinner," he retorted.
Rolling her eyes she set her bag down and moved to take Brendon to his room. Edward watched her go. She came back a moment later and tried to discover what Edward was cooking for dinner.
"Ah, ah, ah," he tsked her.
"What? I can't look through my own kitchen now?"
"Not when I'm surprising you."
"Edward," she almost whined. "You know I hate surprises."
"Yeah, well, we've had a few, haven't we?"
She eyed him carefully. "Fine," she said, crossing her arms across her chest. "Lily, honey, how would you like some chicken tenders and green beans?" Bella asked, turning her attention to her four year old.
Lily nodded and said, "Yes, please" as she climbed into her chair at the kitchen table.
Bella moved around, microwaving the left over green beans and some chicken tenders for Lily's dinner. She also pulled out some fruit to make it a well rounded meal. She poured Lily a glass of milk, set it and her plate in front of her, allowing her to eat her dinner.
A short while later Lily was done with dinner and Bella was helping her into her pajamas and tucking her into bed. She kissed her goodnight and turned on her sleepy music before returning to Edward in their kitchen. When she returned she saw him plating out their dinner.
"Chicken Parmesan?" she asked, knowing it by sight and smell. It was her favorite. "What's the occasion?"
"Do I need an occasion to cook my wife dinner?"
Bella bit her lip and shook her head. "No, but you don't usually cook my favorite. What do you have up your sleeve?" she asked, taking a seat at the table.
"Not a thing." He was playing smooth and charming and while Bella didn't completely believe him, she let it slide.
"Okay…" she said hesitantly, watching him pour two glasses of sparkling grape juice. She smiled as he brought their dinner and drinks over to the table, sitting beside her. "You're sweet," she said, smiling at him.
He smiled back. "A toast," he said, raising his glass. She raised hers and listened. "To a beautiful woman, a wonderful wife and mother, and to the next thirty years, may you only get better with age."
She bit her lip nervously as they clinked glasses. She sipped the juice slowly and tried the chicken. "It's wonderful," she said between bites, trying to give him her best smile.
Not much conversation passed during the meal. They smiled and would occasionally say something, but mostly they ate in a somewhat comfortable silence. Bella was deep in thought about her thirtieth birthday and Edward knew that there was something on her mind. However, he also knew that she would tell him given time, so he let her have time.
That night they made love again, slow and steady as they locked eyes and climaxed in unison. There was nothing more beautiful than two lovers joined together in love, simultaneously bringing each other exquisite pleasure. They kissed softly and held the other as they quietly fell asleep in each other's arms.
When the sun rose and peaked through the curtains of their bedroom window, Bella groaned in displeasure. Edward awoke when he felt her squirm and he heard her groan. He tightened his grip on her and kissed her shoulder carefully. "What's wrong love?" he asked, worry lacing his tone.
She could feel his concern for her. They both knew that she'd been keeping her thoughts to herself lately. "It's nothing," she lied, trying appease him.
He squeezed her again, pulling her back into his chest. "It's not 'nothing' Bella. I know something is on your mind. I just wish you'd talk to me about it."
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath as she mumbled "It's my birthday."
"It's my birthday," she said a little more clearly.
"Yeah, I caught that, but what's wrong with it being your birthday?"
"I'm thirty," she groaned, turning over to look at him seriously. He didn't seem to understand. "I'm thirty years old. I was fifteen when we met. How do you think it makes me feel that I'm fifteen years older than when you were first attracted to me?"
His eyes widened in alarm and understanding. "Bella…" he began, but he was so flabbergasted that it took him a minute to compose himself. "Do you really think that I was attracted to you because you were fifteen?" he asked, real worry entering his voice.
She just sat there, staring at him as they sat in bed. She looked down and fiddled with the sheet that she was holding to her naked body.
"Bella, baby…" he said scooting closer to her and raising her chin so she was looking at him. "It wasn't your youthful appearance that made me fall in love with you. That wasn't even what attracted me to you. I fell in love with you, with the strong, capable, young woman you were at fifteen and the independent, gorgeous woman you grew into. I fell in love with your personality, not your looks. You're the woman of my dreams, the love of my life, my soul mate because you give as good as you get, because you don't let me get away with shit, because you love me not for the man I am, but the man I can be. I love you for all of these reasons and so much more."
Tears welled in her eyes, threatening to spill over as he held her gaze during his little speech. Staring into his loving eyes, she knew that she had been a fool to think that he would discard her because she was getting older. With that thought the tears spilled down her cheeks and she tried to fight back the onslaught of tears and sobs that wracked her small body.
"Shhh, baby. It's okay. I've got you and I'm not going anywhere," he soothed. He rubbed her back peacefully, trying to calm her down.
Eventually she calmed and pulled back to look at him. "I'm sorry," she sniffled. "I should have known better. I was such a fool…" she trailed off, continuing to sniffle and wipe the last few tears away.
"Yes, you were, but its okay. Sometimes I wonder at how such a gorgeous woman could love me."
Her eyes widened. "I do love you, Edward," she assured him. "So, so much."
"I know baby. I know," he whispered, leaning in to kiss her softly. The kiss quickly deepened and they set about reassuring each other of the magnificent love they shared with gentle touches, soft kisses, and tender lovemaking.
Edward entered her slowly, working towards their pleasure with gentle, loving strokes. She held onto his shoulders firmly as he thrust into her again and again. He was keeping an almost excruciating pace, but she loved every second of it. They kept up the languid pace as their impending climax neared ever closer. Even on the edge of their release they managed to keep up the uncharacteristic calm of this lovemaking. When their orgasms finally hit they rolled over them, causing them to cry out collectively.
"Happy birthday, Bella," he whispered, leaning in to her to kiss her softly.
"Thank you," she murmured in return.
That evening Edward successfully convinced Bell to go out with him. He drove her to her favorite restaurant and showed her inside, Lily and Brendon each holding a parent's hand. When she first stepped inside her forehead crinkled in confusion. "Edward…" she started to ask him what was going on, but suddenly everyone came out singing "Surprise!" much to Bella's dismay.
The first thing that happened was Bella's hand coming up to cover her mouth. Then her eyes raked the room, taking in all of her family and her closest friends. Even Charlie managed to make an appearance. "How did you…" she asked, looking to Edward.
He was delighted that he had surprised her and that she wasn't angry with him. His grin was charming and his eyes crinkled pleasantly in his happiness over her surprise. Leaning in he kissed her chastely on the cheek and whispered "Happy birthday, sweetheart."
Alice moved swiftly to stand before the birthday girl, giving her a big hug and whisking her off to greet the guests. "I should've known you were planning something when I talked to you yesterday," Bella scolded.
"Now, now, don't be angry. It was Edward's idea to do something special for the big day and from the looks of it you really are surprised and even a little happy."
Bella smiled. "I am happy. Today has been really great and the party…" She glanced around at everything. "You've outdone yourself Alice. Thank you."
Alice stopped in her tracks and looked at Bella hesitantly. Then she said, "You're welcome."
After being dragged around from one person to the next and being wished a happy birthday she finally managed to get Alice to let her sit down for a minute. Just as she found a seat and a piece of delicious chocolate cake Emmett appeared behind her, ruffling her hair playfully.
"Emmett!" she scolded. "Don't you know better than to antagonize a pregnant woman while she's eating?" She glared at him for a minute, but his child like grin quickly softened her resolve. "You're incorrigible."
"Yep, but you love me anyway."
"Remind me of why again," she teased.
"Because I'm a great guy and I don't throw you surprise parties."
"No, you just come to them."
"Like I'd miss it," he scoffed, taking a seat beside her. "Besides if I did you know that I'd be up against the wrath of Alice and that's no small thing."
"Excuses, excuses," Bella teased before grinning back at Emmett. "How have you been? It's been a while since Edward and I have seen you and Rose."
"We're good, keeping busy. She got a new modeling gig that she's psyched about and I'm still coaching the high school football team."
"Sounds good. I'm happy for her and the modeling thing. She was practically born for it."
"Yeah," he said with a shrug.
"We're great. We have a good marriage; we're happy, in love, and successful. I should be good with all of that, right?"
"Umm… it sounds good, but it also sounds like you want something more…" Bella paused. "Like a baby?" she puzzled. He looked up and met her gaze. "There's no shame in admitting that you want a family with her. You just have to find the time to manage it all. It can be difficult, but it's also worth it if it's something you really want."
"Bells, you're too good to be true. Edward is a lucky man."
Bella leaned over to give him a hug, laying her head on his shoulder as she rested for a minute. "Rose is a lucky woman to have you too," she told him, kissing him on the cheek softly.
Just then a throat cleared behind them and they both looked to see who it was. "Trying to steal my wife, Em?" Edward accused evenly.
Emmett put his hands up in surrender while Bella looked between the two of them, finally breaking out in laughter as she caught a glint in Edward's eyes. "Damn, Edward. Don't scare a man!" Emmett wheezed.
"Maybe you should be snuggling with your own wife then," Edward shot back.
"But your wife is so sweet and comfy," Emmett teased.
"I know. That's why she's mine."
"Oh? So that's why you married me, eh? Because I'm sweet and comfy? Hmm?"
"Yep, pretty much," Edward said with a grin as Bella stood and wrapped her arms around his waist. He placed his hands around her waist too, holding her close.
Bella just rolled her eyes at her husband. "You're full of shit." She grinned and stood on her tippy toes to kiss him.
"I love you," he said enchantingly.
"Mhmm," she murmured against his lips, sighing contentedly as she eased back down on her feet and hugged him close. When she turned back to the table Emmett was gone. "I think you scared him away," she accused.
"He'll live," he chuckled.
"Thanks for the party," she whispered against his chest.
"What's that?" he asked, unsure if he had heard her correctly.
She pulled back to look into his eyes as she spoke. "Thank you for the party. It's wonderful."
"Is that so?" he queried. She nodded silently. "So you like parties now, is that it?"
"No, I just like this party," she said playfully.
"Ah, I see."
He chuckled and kissed her forehead. "I think we better rejoin the fabulous party you like so much," he said, tugging her back to their friends and family.
She pouted playfully, but followed him and put on a smile as she greeted and chatted with everyone. Before long the kids were asleep in a few of the booths and the parents were starting to wind down the party.
Edward grabbed a glass and clinked a fork to it. "I'd like to make a toast," he said, raising his glass as everyone grabbed one from the waiting trays that the caterers were holding.
"To the birthday girl. We all know that thirty is a big deal," he teased. "But she's wearing it remarkably well." Bella smiled up at him as he continued. "She's given me so much happiness and I can only hope to return the favor in the years ahead. So, without further ado I would like to present my lovely wife with her birthday present."
It was then that Edward pulled a key out of his pocket and handed it to Bella. Everyone watched as Bella eyed the key. "I don't get it. What does this go to?" she asked, confusion clearly written on her features.
Edward just smiled at her and moved to the side so that he could pull the cover from the picture behind him. It was a house with a big yard surrounded by trees, that and much more. He watched as she looked from the key to Edward to the picture and finally back to him.
"It's the key to a new house," he said delightfully. "Our new house, in Forks."
She was quiet for a few seconds before understanding dawned on her. "You bought us a new house?"
He nodded and gave her a smile, waiting for her to take in the big news.
"Oh Edward…" she said softly, taking the few steps to him and wrapping her arms around his neck. "This is wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she practically squealed with excitement.
Everyone cheered and clinked their glasses in congratulations while the happy couple kissed. They quickly broke the kiss and started giving thanks to their guests as people came up to say goodnight. Of course Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rose, Carlisle, Esme, and Charlie stayed behind to help clean up and talk a little more.
Charlie came up to give Bella a hug, telling her "It'll be so nice to have you and the kids nearby."
Bella smiled at her dad. "It will. I know the kids miss their grandpa and I miss you too."
He just blushed and fumbled with his words. Charlie was never good with emotions, so he hugged Bella again and mumbled, "I miss you too" into her hair.
"So… have you seen it?" Bella asked, excitement entering her voice.
"Erm… no, but I think Carlisle has. I think it's closer to them than it is to me, but you know how close everything is in Forks," he said with a shrug.
She nodded and said "Yeah. I'm really excited though. I'll have to talk to Edward about when we're moving and stuff though. I really had no idea he had this planned. We had talked about moving to Forks, but I didn't think it'd happen for a few more years."
"He's a good guy, Bells. I'm really glad you have him."
After helping with the cleaning and gathering of presents everyone parted ways. Carlisle and Esme went with Alice and Jasper, and Charlie followed Bella and Edward. Charlie would be driving home the next day as would Carlisle and Esme, knowing that they would see their children again soon.
As Bella crawled into bed with Edward that night she thought about the evening. Everything had been so perfect. It was great to see everyone and spend time with them. Maybe she really was coming around to the idea of parties. She really did enjoy this one at any rate. Part of that was thanks to Edward though. When she was with him she generally had a good time.
"So…" she began whispering to him as he held her, one hand automatically rubbing the small baby bump.
"So…" he repeated, looking into her eyes.
"When are we moving?"
"Well, I think we should move before the baby comes and before winter hits. I already have a job lined up at the hospital in Forks. I'll be taking Carlisle's position since he's retiring in the next few weeks. So, we could move next month if that's not too soon for you."
Her eyes lit up. "Really?"
"Really," he guaranteed her.
She kissed him firmly, smiling against his lips. "You have no idea how much I love you," she murmured against his lips.
"I have an idea of how much I love you, though."
"Oh? How much?"
"More than words can ever say, sweetheart."
"Tell me about the house," she pleaded, excitement still evident in her voice.
"It's really great and I think you'll love it. It doesn't have a white picket fence or anything," he joked. "But it does have five bedrooms, one for each of the kids and a guest room as well as the master suite. We'll have a dining room and a kitchen with plenty of room to work with. There's a laundry room, a pantry, a living room, a study, and we have a garage with an apartment above it. The yard is gorgeous with more than enough room for your gardening and the kids to play. It's really quite perfect for us."
"And bathrooms?" she queried.
He chuckled and rubbed his hand over his slightly stubbled jaw. "One in the master suite on the third floor, two full baths for the kids and guests on the second floor, and a half bath on the first floor. Is that enough?"
"Until they're teenagers," she teased. He scoffed. "I think it's perfect. I can't wait to see it!"
"We can go out to see it and take a few things next weekend if you'd like," he suggested.
"Perfect!" Her eyes were alight with pure happiness. "Thank you Edward."
"Bella, I'd do anything for you. You should know that by now."
"I do know that, but this is still something to thank you for. You didn't have to get us a new house. We would have been happy here."
"I know," he said quietly. "But I knew you wanted to move further from the city, somewhere safe where we could raise the kids and be assured that we wouldn't have to worry so much."
"You really are a great guy," she pointed out.
"My dad," she said with a twinkle in her eye.
"Just your dad?"
"Mmm…" She hesitated and he pulled her closer. "And me."
"Well, that means the world to me."
"You mean the world to me," she told him softly. "You and our family."
"Bella, you are my world. Always," he said just before claiming her lips in another kiss.
Author's Note: Ok, so my beta mentioned that some of you may not understand when Bella & Edward got married. She's turning 30 and they just celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary, so that means they got married just before she turned 23. I hope that clears up any confusion there.
Thank you to my beta VampireExtraordinaire. Also, thank you to all those who read & review. I read every one and am trying to reply. Thank you!