A/N: No excuse for posting this chapter so late. A big smile thank you to blk3660, queen cullen0527, sujari6, dvandever, guest, Vivi H88, jadedghost22 and Leibeezer for your reviews. A silly grin to Courtney518, Cmatt518, I AM Elizabeth Bennet, Stellybelle, Squeezy101, channas, emmettcullendisoder, dvandever, giovfamily, hollyandvine, liltwist, pcirish, redsonjacullen, stupidlamb2010 and sydsam10 for following my story this last week or so. If inclined, please leave a review if you like what you read. This chapter time is going to move the story forward in time.
Disclaimer: To quote Jerry Seinfeld, Yadda, yadda, yadda . . . Stephenie Meyer . . . yadda, yadda, yadda. I also don't own any part of The Big Bang Theory either. Sad face.
Chapter 26 "Together Forever" [House of Love Mix]
Despite the fact that I have two consecutive glorious days off from the hospital, my body automatically wakes up at 5 a.m. I plan on spending every precious second of that time with my steady gal. So, let's get things started I think to myself. I playfully smack Bella's ass and command her out of bed, instruct her to stuff some clothes and toiletries into her backpack, grab my Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy set and meet me downstairs in fifteen minutes flat. "Time is a wasting." I plan on holding her captive in my apartment and bask in every free moment. With her soon leaving to follow her next whirlwind adventure and me starting my night shift rotation, time is indeed too precious to waste.
"Are you gonna tie me up to the bedpost so I don't escape," Bella wickedly teases as she stumbles out of bed rubbing her tingling backside.
"Hurry woman, you're wasting valuable time that could be otherwise used for . . . shall, I say, more interesting things." I wag my eyebrows and smirk before heading to the other bathroom to shower and dress.
In the kitchen, my parents are quietly enjoying their morning coffee. Mom is nibbling on some leftover cranberry bread. After all our Christmas snacking, none of us have been very hungry the last few days.
"Good morning my baby boy, you want something to eat?"
At her 'baby boy' greeting, I roll my eyes. I dearly love my mother but when, for goodness sakes, is she going to stop calling me 'baby boy.' The last few nights I've been having sleepovers with my girlfriend upstairs in her very own home. I grin at the thought of my girlfriend but, I stamp my foot figuratively. So, okay, yeah maybe I still am her baby boy. "No thanks mom. I'm not hungry. Oh, and just so that you don't worry, Bella and I are heading out for a couple of days. Don't expect her home for the next few days."
"Why? Alice and I thought maybe Bella would go after Christmas shopping with us," mom pouts.
Just at that moment, Bella enters the kitchen packed and ready to go.
"Thank goodness, you're kidnapping me. I'd rather be tied up with a grey silk tie and locked in a red room than go shopping the day after Christmas."
Carlisle chokes spewing his coffee across the table.
Mom's eyes dart to her choking husband then to my very wide open eyes and settles on a smirking Bella.
"Bella, I think we better get going now." I grab her backpack hoping for a quick escape from this obviously embarrassing situation.
"Oh poppa bear don't worry. I was only kidding." Bella lightly pats my dad's back to ease his choking fit. "There will be no tying of hands or feet with a grey silk tie. Edward and I are only planning on doing some heavy reading." As she speaks, she walks over to me pulling out the first volume of my Christmas gift from her pack. She waves the book in the air. "See, just some heavy reading."
"Oooooh, I've been dying to read that book for so long," exclaims mom with a bit too much excitement. "Bella, may I please borrow the books when you're done?"
I cringe dropping my head to my chest shaking it back and forth and moan, "Please shoot me now." Being away at college for so many years, I had forgotten how blunt my mom can be at times. And, as much as I love Bella, she doesn't help the situation. Yeah, I said the L word!
"Oh momma bear, this isn't my book . . ."
I moan again and reiterate, ". . . please, shoot me now."
". . . it's Edward's," Bella proudly professes. "I gave it to Eddie here for Christmas."
Eddie, yeah I guess being called Eddie sounds kind of cute coming from Bella but I digress from the issue at hand. I clear my throat and not looking either of my parents in the eye, I grab Bella's free hand, "Bella, come on. Let's go."
"Edward! Oh honey, maybe we could read the book all together." Mom rubs her palms together in thought. "I have an idea . . . perhaps we could form a Fifty Shades book club. We could read all three of them together. I am positive I could talk Alice, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett into joining us."
"Mom you're not serious are you?" I can't hide the outrage in my voice. My Rick Astley lovin' mother knows about these books. My saintly mother wants to read these books out loud in the same room with her baby boy. What in this world coming to? The idea of reading this book with my mother has just deflated my plans so to speak.
"Hey, I feeling out of the loop," dad interrupts. "What is the book about? I've never heard of it."
Gently, mom squeezes dad's thigh and whispers in his ear, "I'll tell you about when they leave." Her eyes sparkled with a wicked glimmer of mischief.
I shiver looking in Bella's direction before taking the book from an equally wicked smug Bella. I stuff the culprit in her backpack and wrap my arm around her waist directing her out of the kitchen calling out a quiet 'good bye.'
"Bye momma bear. Have fun explaining the book to poppa bear," snorts Bella as I drag her out the front door.
Once outside, I turn to Bella, "Really Bella, was that necessary? My father almost choked to death with your 'tying up' comment. He's going to think his son is some kind of sexual deviant once my mother tells him what this book is about!"
"Oh, stop being so dramatic. Believe me I'm positive you are the last thing your father is going to be thinking about once your mother explains. Didn't you see that wicked gleam in her eye?"
I grumble at the image that has now invaded my head. "Thanks, now I have a completely different image in my head. If we plan on having sex anytime in the next two days, you have got to stop talking about my parents and their sex life." I desperately need to rid my mind of my parents and their sexual activities. "Let's stop at the market and pick up a few groceries." Yeah, food, that'll do work.
"Oh, don't think I can't see what you're trying to do Sheldon. You're trying to change the subject of your parents and sex," I shake my head and giggle as I get into the passenger's seat. "Okay, I'll go along with it if it will make your life easier." I switch gears. "I don't have to work today but I do have to work tomorrow afternoon for a few hours. So you only have a day and a half to do with me as you please." I wag my eyebrows at Edward as he looks straight ahead. His swallows hard at my words and I smile in satisfaction as his Adam's apple bobs up and down.
"While you're at work tomorrow, I can catch up on some reading but, let me be clear, I will be catching up on medical reading and nothing more," he states emphatically. Repeating Esme's action, I snicker, place my hand on his thigh and squeeze. He reciprocates by placing his hand atop mine gently squeezing before interlocking our fingers. Edward looks down at our joined hands, he sighs. We fit perfectly.
We ride in comfortable silence. I look out the window. Edward breaks the silence as he begins to hum then sings ". . . together forever and never to part, together forever we two, And don't you know I would move heaven and earth, To be together forever with you . . ."
Still looking out the passenger's window, I join in mumbling through the words I don't know as Edward's singing becomes louder; more telling. When the song ends, he raises our joined hands to his lips. "Yup, we fit perfectly," he sighs through the kiss.
The next two days are filled with more 'getting to know each other better' questions as we cuddle on the sofa. We nap wrapped in each other's arms followed by a quickie or two, read a few chapters from the book that will not be named, as Edward now refers to it, followed by more quickies and two nights filled with long slow love making. On two occasions, Jasper pops in to shower and shave before making a quick exit. While Bella is at work, I catch up on some much needed medical reading and review some notes. I call mom to ask for help with cooking a romantic dinner for Bella. "No mother. Absolutely not, I want to do this on my own. You can't come over to help. I'm a grown man. I can do this; I just need a little assistance." I want to do this all on my own for my steady girl.
Over my disaster of a romantic dinner, we discuss our plans for New Year's Eve as Bella teases me about obviously not inheriting Esme's cooking skills. I scowl pretending to be hurt by her playful insults but, in all honesty, I had to acknowledge I did indeed not share mom's cooking skills. I offer to order a pizza but Bella will not hear of it.
"Don't be silly. This is the most lip-smacking food I have ever eaten because it was cooked by you . . . with love." She flutters her long dark lashes at me and smirks.
I roll my eyes as I bite into a piece of undercooked potato. "Seriously, I will not be offended in the least if you want to order a pizza with toppings of your choice."
We argue about how to spend my upcoming golden weekend. I want to go to Forks to meet Charlie; Bella wants to explore more of Seattle's hidden treasures. After some shrewd reasoning and compromising, Bella wins out. We have some pretty hot make up sex on the kitchen counter before sharing a second round in the shower.
My voice is as soft as the moonlight glow illuminating the room. I talk about my new nighttime rotation softly tracing circles on her back. She sighs at the tingling sensation my fingers leave on her body. I never tire of the cosmic electric shock I feel at the slightest touch of her skin. I pray our cosmic connection never ends.
Half asleep, Bella mumbles into her pillow about her upcoming Northern Lights trip, her hopes of hearing mystical legends from the locals, capturing some amazing photographs of the lights to add to her journal and the possibility of traveling somewhere much warmer for her next trip. She snuggles against the mattress to get comfortable. Suddenly, her hands reach to her neck as she unclasps the chain placing her ring on the nightstand. Once free of the ring, she snuggles up against my chest as a satisfied smirk crosses my face.
Noticing her change in breathing, I reach to the nightstand setting the alarm at an ungodly early morning hour. Although physically exhausted, I'm unable to sleep, a myriad of thoughts jetting about my mind. Hoping some soft music will calm my jetting thoughts; I shuffle the music on my IPod before settling into bed. Settling back into bed, Bella instinctively gravitates toward me and my smirk returns. We are a tangled mess of arms and legs. Staring into the darkness, I exhale a slow soothing breath before kissing the top of her head and shutting my eyes.
As much as I was looking forward to my golden weekend, I wanted to make our first New Year's Eve together unforgettable. So I did the unthinkable for a first year resident. I made the ultimate sacrifice and traded my golden weekend for New Year's Day off. It was easy to find a first year resident willing trade one day for three days off.
With the Christmas rush over, I knew mom would be more than willing to help with the arrangements. I emailed her a detailed list of what I wanted. Romance was the theme for the night. I instructed her to add any touches she felt necessary but warned her not to go too overboard. I knew mom only had a few days to get this together but, when mom's on a mission, there is no stopping her. And, mom was on a mission.
The musicians are louder than normal tonight; the boisterous crowd is singing along and banging on the tables. The holidays do that to people no matter what part of the country you are. It's hard to hear yourself think over the clicking of glasses and the merriment and music. Lauren leans over the bar and yells in my ear, "Hey Bella, what are you doing New Year's Eve?"
I jump up and yell back into her ear, "Um, to be honest Lauren, I haven't made any definite plans yet. As long as I can catch the fireworks and take some pictures from the Space Needle and kiss Edward at midnight, I think I'll be good. What are you doing? Got any special plans?"
I catch Seth eyeing Lauren's backside as she leans against the bar. I give him the evil eye and he smirks before turning away.
"Ummm . . . well . . ." She eyes Seth before turning back to me. "I think I have a late night date," she giggles.
I roll my eyes knowing she's obviously talking about Seth. "When did that start?"
"When did what start?" Lauren innocently asks. Yeah, she doesn't pull off the innocent act very well.
Before we can continue our conversation, my boss clears his throat. "Bella, can I speak with you for a moment . . . in my office?"
It's never a good sign when the boss wants to talk to you in the office. "Sure," I stutter. Seriously, what else can I say? I follow him to his office and shut the door behind me.
Sam takes a seat behind his desk as he waves his hand to an empty chair. "Have a seat and don't look so worried. I'm not firing you; I just need to ask you something and it's louder than normal out there."
I let out a huge sigh of relief at his comforting words. "That's a relief. So what's up boss?"
Sam seems nervous as he begins to speak. "Okay, so I know you're scheduled to be off at ten on New Year's Eve. . . but ummm . . . I need you to umm . . . stay until one instead."
I cringe at his words again; my heart sinks. I desperately want to see the Space Needle fireworks show. It's one of the major reasons I came to Seattle in the first place. More importantly, however, I need to kiss Edward at midnight.
"One of the waiters had a family emergency and I need you to cover his tables. You're a great waitress Bella and I hate to play the boss card but I am doing you a giant favor by saving your job while you're gone next month."
"Yeah well, you got me there." I need all the extra money I can get my hands on for my trip so there's nothing I can do but agree to cover the shift. "There's always next year." I shock myself at my own words of next year.
"Thanks Bella, you're a life saver."
"Yeah, I'm a life saver." I repeat in less enthusiastically. On my way back to the floor, I text Edward the bad news before dropping my phone into my apron pocket.
It's been so long since Jasper and I have spent any time together. Since starting our first year of residency, we're more like two ships passing in the night. Tonight, however, we finished our shifts at the same time. We relax on the sofa, eat one of Bella's frozen dinners and watch a rerun of The Big Bang Theory. Well not a rerun for me since I still haven't caught up on all the seasons yet. My phone vibrates with a text message. "What! No, no way. This can't be happening."
"What's the matter man?"
"It's Bella. She just text me telling me she has to work on New Year's Eve until one in the morning."
"That sucks but don't you work the next day anyway? It's not like you guys could go out and party all night long."
I explained my romantic New Year's Eve plans to Jasper. When I finished my story, Jasper picks up his phone and the crack of a whip escapes his phone. He smirks a lopsided smirk.
"What the hell is that?" I ask with a quizzical look on my face.
"That my dear friend is the sound of a whip because that is what you are."
Forgetting my dilemma for a moment, I ask, "And why exactly do you have an app that makes the sound of a whip?"
Jasper then explains he got the idea from a Big Bang Theory episode. He found the app and was confident that it would somehow eventually be put to good use. ". . . but I didn't think I would be using it this soon." He smirks again.
I roll my eyes. "Can we get back to the problem at hand please? What am I going to do? My mom's already done most of the leg work. This is a disaster." I drop my head into my hands rubbing my face in frustration.
"Calm your horses there big fellow. All you gotta do is get another waiter or waitress to cover her shift." Jasper states calmly before hitting the whip app again.
"Okay genius, exactly how am I going to do that? I don't know any of Bella's coworkers. Oh, this is a disaster," I repeat.
"Calm down Sheldon. I have a plan."
I listen intently as Jasper speaks. He really is a sneaky bastard, smart but sneaky and I think his plan is going to work. I call mom to explain the current state of affairs. She gasps at my news but listens as I relay Jasper's plan of attack.
"Don't worry about a thing baby boy. I've got this under control. You and Bella are going to have the most memorable and romantic New Year's Eve in the history of all romantic New Year's Eves or my name isn't Esme Cullen."
Bella texts me telling me she will be off work in about fifteen more minutes. I text her back letting her know I'll be outside waiting. "Thanks for all your help Jazz. I really appreciate it. I just hope this works." I take my plate to the kitchen, slip on my shoes and grab my car keys. "I'll see you later. I'm gonna pick up Bella from work. I'll probably just hang out with Bella tonight. Talk to you later." As I shut the door, I hear the sound of the crack of the whip one last time. "Asshole," I call out as I hear Jasper laugh.
I must have been really tired last night. The next morning I can barely whisper goodbye as Edward quietly makes his way down the stairs for his shift at the hospital.
"Well good morning sleepy head," laughs Esme as she pours me a cup of fresh coffee. I love how momma bear spoils me.
I rub the sleep from my eyes as I let out a loud morning yawn. "Thanks momma bear. I was bushed last night; the restaurant was so busy."
"Edward told me about New Year's Eve. I'm so sorry sweetie. I know how badly you wanted to take pictures of the fireworks. You must be so disappointed." Let the interrogations begin.
I hold my coffee cup to my nose inhaling the aroma hoping the smell will help me wake up. "Yup, I am disappointed but what can I do," I drawl out. "Sam is holding my job for me while I'm away next month. I kinda owe him. Besides, there's always next year." I sip my coffee noticing Esme's Cheshire cat grin at my words 'always next year.'
"So, who's working with you on New Year's Eve?" Esme asks as she rises to scramble some eggs.
I take another sip of coffee. "Well, I know that Lauren is working that night for sure and some of the servers on the day shift. I pretty sure Bree's working . . . Siobhon, Claire, Jared and Maggie . . . oh yeah and Diego but lucky Lauren gets off at ten. She told me she has a late night date planned. She's working this afternoon since she gets off early tomorrow night." I ramble on.
BINGO! "So do you work today?" Esme asks trying to hide the excitement in her voice.
"Nah, I'm off today since I work late tomorrow night. Sam said it was the least he could do." I shrug before finishing off my first cup of coffee trying not to think about disappointment. Then my eyes shoot open. "I just thought of something. Edward works the day after New Year's Eve so really we couldn't have done anything anyway. I really just wanted to kiss Edward at midnight but I can kiss him anytime I want so what's the big deal." I smile. "I feel better."
Esme plates my eggs and toast and pours me another cup of coffee. "Okay, so this is what we are going to do today. Since you don't work how about we do something girly. Let me call Rosalie and Alice to meet us. We'll get our hair done, maybe a mani-pedi and definitely a massage.
"I'm not much of a mani-pedi kinda gal but what the heck, it's the holidays." I finish my second cup of coffee and grub down my breakfast.
Esme and I meet Rosalie and Alice at the salon. We sit and chit-chat about nails and hair. I have to admit, I'm having fun doing this girly stuff. As Alice and I discuss the pros and cons of gel nails, Esme's phone vibrates. She reads a text and places her phone back in her purse.
"I'm so sorry girls but Carlisle is having some sort of car problem. I have to meet him at the mechanic."
"Ahhhh," we cry in disappointment.
Esme talks to the receptionist then turns back to us. "Don't let car trouble ruin the day. Get the works, my treat." She smiles holding up a black credit card. "Take care of my girls." She winks at the receptionist. "I'll be back as soon as I can."
I drive like a bat out of hell to the closest bank to make a sizeable withdrawal. I'm not sure how much I'm going to need, better to be safe than sorry. I pray the plan works. Next, I walk into the restaurant and ask for a table for one in Lauren's section.
Lauren walks up to my table. "Hey, I recognize you. You're a friend of Bella's right?"
I smile. "Yes, yes I most definitely am Bella's friend. You're Lauren right?" I ask innocently. I'm good. She nods. "Nice to meet you Lauren, I'm Esme Cullen." I reach my hand out to shake hers. "Now that we're friends Lauren, how about you sit so we can chat?" Lauren looks confused. "I have a proposition for you." I wave to the empty chair across from me inviting her to sit.
"I guess I can sit for a minute," Lauren stretches out the words confused at the request of a near stranger.
As soon as Lauren sits, I lay my cards on the table so to speak. She listens intently as I speak. "Oh, that is so romantic. I wish I had a man like that." She swoons at my story. "Mrs. Cullen, do you have another son for me?"
"Sorry sweetie, I only have one baby boy and he is all Bella's." I laugh when Lauren pouts at my news. We strategically negotiate back and forth for a few minutes. "So, do we have a deal?"
"Yes, we have a deal. My date will just have to wait until one, no biggie." Lauren answers confidently. "Let me go talk to Sam right now. I'll be right back and let you know what he says."
A few minutes later Lauren returns to my table, all smiles. "All set. Bella works until ten tomorrow and I work until one."
At her news, I reach into my purse and inconspicuously slide three hundred dollars into Lauren's anxiously waiting hands.
"Thanks for the tip." Lauren stands, "Now that that is over with, what can I get you to eat?"
"Oh I'm sorry sweetie. I'm not really hungry. I have to get going but thanks again. I can't tell you how much my son will appreciate you switching shifts. It was good doing business with you. Happy New Year Lauren."
"Happy New Year Mrs. Cullen."
As I make my way to my car, I smile contently knowing that my baby boy will have the New Year's Eve he planned with his steady girl. I'm not one to flaunt my money but when it comes to my children, this fierce momma bear will do everything and anything, including bribing a more than willing waitress. I text my baby boy letting him know his plans are back on. That was fun. I would have made a good spy I laugh to myself.
Alice, Rosalie and Bella are getting their pedicures by the time I return to the salon. "I'm back!"
"Mom, you're just in time for a pedi. Have a seat."
Just as I settle my feet into the warm tub, I hear Bella's phone ring. I casually watch as she reads a text. I smile as she smiles a Happy New Year kind of smile at the phone's screen.
"Lauren just text. She said Sam changed the shift for tomorrow night. I work until ten instead of one. I can't believe it." Bella cries. "I'm going to text Edward right now and tell him the fantastic news!"
A/N: Next chapter should be up within the week. I know there were no lemons but next chapter should more than make up for it. I would love a review. It would make me as happy as Bella is right now.