Disclaimer: No copyrights infringement intended. I don't own Twilight saga or any of its awesome characters.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, favorited, put on alert or simply... read OTC. You guys make my days a little bit brighter. Thank you.
I am very sorry for not updating last Tuesday. I was pretty sick with fever. But now that I'm on the mend, I decided to update today according to my usual schedule.
Enjoy Chapter-39 and I'll see you at the end of this chapter! :-)
Chapter-39: The Titanium Wall
I was in a very cheerful mood the next day when I heard that the roaster for Christmas and New Years was announced. Both Bella and I got picked for Christmas shift but thankfully we had vacation on New Years.
It looked like Director Uley had had enough of lotteries and just decided to put down random people for duties this time.
When I saw the list hanging on the department notice board, I called Bella up to share the news with her. But her number kept going to unreachable. Not wanting her pager to say anything personal, I went to look for her myself. Besides, I was having Bella-withdrawals from not seeing her in the last two hours.
First I checked the ward, but she was not at her desk. So I walked by the corridor, trying to see if she was by the vending machine but no luck. By then I was pretty certain where she would be—with Rosalie.
But as it turned out, I was wrong.
When I approached the pharmacy, Rosalie eyed me suspiciously as if I wasn't supposed to be there and normally, I wouldn't be.
I checked if anyone else was nearby before going up to the counter, and asked, "Miss Hale, have you seen Bella?"
She rolled her eyes at my formality and grimaced before saying thoughtfully, "You know, Cullen, if she wasn't so happy with you, I'd so kick your ass for monopolizing her. I don't get to hang out with her outside of work anymore."
I replied dryly, "I don't need my ass kicked, thanks." And then her words hit me and I found myself smiling. "Wait, she's happy with me? Did she tell you this?"
Rosalie smacked her forehead with her palm and sighed. "You really are clueless, aren't you?"
I simply nodded, not wanting to aggravate her in hopes of finding out more about Bella's feelings for me. A small smile made her lips turn upwards as she said, "She's the happiest I have ever seen her. She's always blushing and smiling. Hell, I even caught her giggling at some text you sent her the other day. So, yeah, she's sappy-happy."
I felt my heart beating faster at the thought of making Bella happy. Rosalie snickered at me. "She's clueless too, you know. So why don't you clue her in when you find her?"
I wrinkled my brows, still not getting what she meant but decided not to prolong the conversation and just asked, "Can you tell me where she is?"
Rosalie nodded. "Yeah, Victoria decided to take a sick-day today. And since I cannot leave the counter empty, Bella's getting some meds for me from the medicine closet." I thanked her and started towards the medicine closet in search of my wife.
I slowly opened the closet door before stepping inside and closing it behind me. And then I turned to find my Bella—standing with her back towards me and bending over the lower medicine stacks.
A goofy smile grew on my lips as I noiselessly approached her and carefully moved her ponytail slightly to the side. Then I leaned down and brushed my lips to the nape of her neck.
Bella gasped before leaning back into my touch. I smiled against her skin and moved my kisses to the joint of her neck and shoulder. She tilted her head to the side and said in an almost breathy whisper, "Edward, what are you doing? Hmm, that feels really good."
A chuckle escaped my mouth at her obvious dilemma—it looked like she wanted me to carry on but was still not dazzled enough to forget that we were at work.
I encircled her waist with my arms and in a swift movement, made her stand up. I turned her to face me and then crushed my lips against hers. Bella let out a low laughter and because I am an egotist fucker, I felt the need to show her that I meant business.
I licked her lips once… twice… and then took her bottom lip in between mine and softly nibbled on it before sucking it into my mouth. That finally seemed to succeed to make her forget our whereabouts—momentarily—and she slipped one hand in my hair while inching the other hand up to rest against my chest.
I swear my heart started beating faster the moment she laid her hand over it. Bella must have felt it as well because when we separated, feeling the need for air, she grabbed my right hand which was slowly rubbing the skin of her lower back under her scrub top. She smiled shyly at me and then put my hand right above her chest and blushed. "My heart's beating like crazy too."
A sudden flutter of happiness and joy seemed to lighten up my whole being. Wow! Cullen, could you sound anymore whipped? I quickly stopped the cheesy line I wanted to blurt out to her because when your subconscious thinks you are too whipped, that means you are too fucking whipped.
Instead, I rained small kisses on her heated cheeks and pressed myself against her—just to let her know what she was doing to me—before angling my hips, so that I wouldn't keep poking her with my all too enthusiastic soldier.
Bella whimpered softly then poked her tongue out at me saying, "It's not nice to tease, you know? Especially when it's gonna be so many hours before we can go home."
I smirked at her and said cheekily, "Baby, foreplay heightens the actual moment. You should know that by now."
She blushed again and slapped her hand lightly against my chest to tell me to cut it out. I simply took her hand in mine and placed a kiss on her palm.
Then I remembered the reason I had been looking for Bella in the first place. "Did you check the notice board today?"
When she shook her head, looking confused, I elaborated. "The roaster for the holidays is out. We both have double shifts on Christmas day."
She sighed, apparently already having anticipated something like that happening. "I guessed it already. Being the newbie sucks. Anyway, so we're not going to Forks this year?"
I noticed how she didn't call Forks home anymore. In fact, now that I think about it, she had been calling our place home for some time now. Dare I hope this means she trusts where we're going?
Shaking off my train of thought for the moment, I answered her question, "According to the roaster, we have shifts from 25th night to 26th afternoon. If you want, we can attend the hospital Christmas party on 26th night and then leave for Forks on 28th? We have vacation up to the 2nd of January, next year."
She grimaced and then asked, "I don't mind having our private Christmas this year, but the party…? You really want to attend a work party?"
I quickly replied, trying to ease her mind. "Bella I know how much you hate parties and such and I know you'd much rather curl up with a book in the library than dress up for a party. This was merely a suggestion. I wanted to parade through our co-workers and show you off as my date."
She seemed to think for a moment and then nodded. "Well then, Dr. Cullen, I want to be able to stake a claim to the name of 'Vampire Girl'. So for you, I will attend the stupid party. But on one condition."
I arched an eyebrow, silently asking her about the condition when she giggled. "I get to curl up with you when we get home after the party."
I grinned crookedly at her before saying, "You got yourself a deal, Bellarina."
She started to smile at me before frowning. "We have to let our families know. Maybe we should call them separately this time so that they don't think we're trying to avoid them."
I scowled. "I thought it was all settled—water under the bridge and all that?"
She laid one hand on my cheek and said softly, "It is. Everything's cleared up. Don't start getting that temper on. I just…"
I silenced her by placing a finger on her lips. "You don't need to justify your thoughts to me, baby. Alright, I'll call up my mom and let her know to expect us for the New Year's Eve instead of Christmas."
She nodded and then rose up on her tip-toes and kissed me chastely. "Thank you for trusting me."
I smiled at her. Then kissing her hard once again, I left her in that closet with a silent promise to continue with our… activities… when we got home.
When the door closed behind him, I leaned back against a medicine cabinet and tried to bring my breathing under control. I touched my fingers to my lips and smiled. Edward could make me feel breathless with just a kiss. "I think I really am getting addicted to his kisses," I mentally sighed, thinking about the kiss he gave me before leaving.
After my brain came out of its Edward-induced haze (not an easy feat I assure you), I remembered the plan to call my parents. I started scrolling through my phone's contact list.
Dad… no, he's too perceptive sometimes. He'll figure out that I really wanted to be alone with Edward for Christmas. Though there was nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with my husband but telling my father about it? I knew it would get awkward for both me and dad.
So, mom it is.
My mom picked up the phone after the fifth ring when I was preparing to leave a message. "Bella, honey, how are you?" she panted.
I asked slowly, not sure if I wanted to know what the matter was, "Mom, what happened? Why are you out of breath?"
"It's nothing, Bella. I was… uh… trying to cook a Mexican dish and kind of burnt it all up. And then when I started to throw water in it to put the fire out, your father's uniform—which I was going to put in the washing machine—kind of got lit up as well. Then the phone started ringing and I sort of panicked. Charlie's shirt and the cooking pan are now in the kitchen sink… under running water," she explained, sounding sheepish.
Trying to make sure she was fine, I asked anxiously, "Mom, you are okay though, aren't you?"
Her worry evaporated and she replied in a very off-hand tone, "Of course, I am fine, Bella. Though I cannot say the same for your dad's shirt… you think he'll notice if I add a patch in the place of his pocket and say it's a new style?"
I tried to rein it in but a snort left my pursed lips and then I was full-on laughing. Finally, after minutes, when I could control myself, I said, "Mom, I swear; only you can think of something like that."
I could feel the pout in her voice as she said, "Oh hush, don't start saying stuff like your father. Now tell me how are you?"
I cleared my throat, knowing I had to tell her that for the first time in my life I wasn't going to spend Christmas with her. I took a deep breath and answered her, "I am fine, Mom. I just need to tell you something."
When she didn't say anything, I plowed on, "Mom, Edward and I have been put on Christmas duty. So we won't be able to come over for Christmas this year."
She was silent for a moment and then I could hear the panic in her voice as she asked, "Honey, are you that mad at us? I know we should have told you about the reason for the wedding and you have every right to be mad at us for dictating your life. But please don't cut us out of your life for this. We love you, baby-girl."
I felt tears sting my eyes and rubbed my hand against them, trying to keep myself from crying. In a hoarse voice, I tried to sooth her worries. "Mom, no! It's not that. Honestly, since we got time off for Thanksgiving, we have been put on roaster for Christmas. Edward said we can go to Forks on 28th. We have vacation time till the New Year. We will ring in the New Year together. Okay, Mom?"
When she simply gave a sniffle and a soft 'okay' to my words, I continued, "Mom, I was mad at you—for not telling me everything and for not trusting me to be mature enough to handle it all. But I can never be mad at you for bringing Edward in my life, Mom. Maybe we would have met at work if you guys hadn't gotten us married first. Maybe we would have dated like regular couples. Maybe I would have been the one who could've introduced him to you guys as my boyfriend. Maybe we would have gotten married some day because we fell in love with each other."
I stopped to take a breath, and she sniffled again and whispered, "That sounds really romantic. What you just said."
I shook my head before realizing she couldn't see me and said, "I wasn't finished, Mom. Yeah, we could've had the perfect romance and everything else or we couldn't have given two shits about each other. Who knows what could have happened? We cannot live our lives based on a bunch of maybes. So as much as I would have loved to have the chance to get to know him before marrying him, I am grateful to you and dad for bringing us together."
A soft laughter came from the other end, letting me know my mother was done being overly-emotional. Then she said, "Thank you, Baby-girl. I have been going crazy with guilt for the past few days. I needed to hear that."
I laughed lightly and asked, "Now do you believe we really have to work on Christmas?"
"Yes, honey. I am going to miss you on Christmas though. Who's gonna keep me sane while your dad's gonna be glued to the sports channel all day?" she replied, trying to lighten up the mood.
I chuckled. "Good luck with that!" After a beat, I added more seriously, "I will miss you too Mom—both you and dad."
She sighed. "I should probably let you go… you're at work, aren't you?"
I nodded and replied, "Yeah. I should go and show Rose my face or she's gonna think I skipped out on helping her. I love you, Mom. We'll talk again soon, okay?"
After hanging up, I smiled to myself. Everything in my life was falling into place. With a smile on my face, I got the basket of medicines Rose asked for and headed out of the closet.
By the time my shift ended, I was feeling steam-rolled between doing my own work along with helping Rose out whenever I could. So when Rose texted me, asking if I wanted to get a beer with her, I agreed.
I was about to text Edward to let him know I'll be with Rosalie for a while, when my phone beeped with an incoming text—from him.
Baby, Em's here to pick Rosalie up. He wants to get a drink with me. You want to join us? We're going to a new bar two blocks down, Night-fury. ~~~Edward~~~
Immediately, I knew it was Rose's plan to get Emmett to keep Edward busy, so that we could get a little time for girl talk.
The girl always knows just what I need. Grinning that I would get to spend some time with my best friend, I replied to Edward's text.
Sounds good, Baby. Why don't you and Em go ahead and Rose and I will join you shortly? ~~~Bella~~~
His reply came quickly.
Alright Bellarina, I will see you soon. ~~~Smirky~~~
I was still laughing at his use of name when Rose found me at the deserted changing room.
"Do I want to know what's got you laughing like that or should I just assume it has something to do with a guy you met in a bar?" she asked, arching one of her perfect eyebrows.
I rolled my eyes at her and replied, "Your assumption is correct; just like my assumption that Emmett is here to distract the said guy so that we can have a little girl-time. Am I right or am I right?"
Rose laughed and held out her hand in surrender. "Guilty as charged, Swan. Now you ready to go meet up with our guys?"
I nodded and snaking my arm through hers, I led her to walk out of the hospital and started towards the bar.
As we walked Rose elbowed me. "Are you going to attend the hospital Christmas party? I have a double shift on 24th, but starting from 25th noon, I am free to start my holidays."
I bit my lip and said softly, "I think so. Edward and I have to work till 26th morning and he wants to attend the party that night…"
Rose halted on the front step of the bar and asked me, "What about you, B? Do you want to attend the party as well?"
I sighed, already knowing this was coming. "I just want to spend time with him. There's so much we have to know about each other. And I also kind of want to attend the party… as his date."
Finally, a smile graced her lips. "I understand, B," she said, "Emmett wants to go to Forks for Christmas though. So I don't think I'll be able to be at the party but maybe I'll see you when you get home? You are going home for the holidays, right?"
I could hear the uncertainty in her voice and I hated it. "Since when have we become so distant so as not to know every minute detail of each other's life?" I asked myself, hating the way we were allowing our friendship to be affected by our love lives.
Slowly I nodded. "Yeah, Rose, we'll definitely go to Forks for the holidays. Maybe we'll get to hang out for New Years?"
Satisfied with my answer, Rosalie pulled open the door and led me inside. Letting the warmth of indoors take away the chill from outside, I craned my neck looking for my man. I found him laughing at something Emmett had said while thumping Jasper in the back. He looked so happy that I couldn't help but sigh.
A snicker brought me out of my Edward-induced haze. See what I meant by being addicted to him? Apparently being addicted to his kisses wasn't enough; I had to be addicted to his mere presence.
"Alright, lover-girl, before you decide to go and dry hump him in the middle of the crowed bar, let's go and get you a beer," Rose said in her best sardonic tone.
Usually, I would've snarked back at her but the words 'dry hump' brought back memories from that morning and I blushed—fiercely.
Of course being the observant bitch she was, Rose had to notice. She quickly grasped my arm to stop me from walking away and whispered-yelled, "Wait, you didn't snap back at me with some smart-ass remark. No, you blushed. Isabella Marie Swan, you slept with him, didn't you?"
Because I am the stupidest girl on the face of earth who couldn't lie to save her life, I bit my lip and nodded. As I saw her eyes widen I quickly put my hand on her mouth to stop the scream I knew was about to burst out of her mouth.
Then I hissed in her ear, "Don't you yell, Blondie. We are supposed to talk and if you yell, they'll find us and we won't get to discuss the boys."
My warning had the desired effect, and after she nodded in acquiesce, I removed my hand and started towards the bar. Not wanting to get drunk, I asked the bartender for a beer instead of my usual preference of Gin and Tonic.
Armed with liquor, I turned to face Rosalie. She finally gave up and let out the tiny shriek she had been holding in. "You did the deed and didn't even tell me—you best friend?"
I took a sip of my beer before replying, "I seem to recall you once saying that you wouldn't mind if I had sex with him and not tell you, if I was happy. Besides, I didn't have enough free time to tell you before now."
She thought for a moment then said, "Dang it! I did say that shit! Well then tell me this—are you happy, B? Really and truly happy?"
I felt my lips turn up in a smile as I nodded. "Yeah, Rose. I am really and truly happy. I know our relationship didn't have a conventional start, but I am glad I have him in my life. He makes me happy."
A slow smile came on to her face as she said, "I can see that. So tell me, was he good? Did he take good care of you?"
I giggled at her questions, as if we were two high school girls gossiping about my new boyfriend. I stole a glance at their table and saw Edward check his watch and then smile at something Jasper said. My heart started beating like crazy at that smile and I smiled as I turned back to Rosalie.
"Rose, he was so sweet the first time. He was so tender and caring and just…" I trailed off, not finding the right word to describe the amazing person that was my husband.
Rose patted my shoulder and said softly, "I get it, B. It was the same for me when Em and I got together at first." Looking at the muscled guy she loved, Rose whispered her next words, "He asked me to move in with him, you know?"
I almost spat out my mouthful of drink and sputtered out, "When did that happen? You're coming to live across the hall from me? That'd be great, Rose."
Rose looked down at her fingers tapping against the counter and replied, "He's been asking for about a month really. I just haven't decided if I want to move that quickly. I don't know what's going on with Alice and Jazz. I cannot leave my little brother to fend for himself."
I shook my head at her over-thinking. "I thought I was the chicken? Rose, Jazz is a big boy, despite what you think. And I talked to Allie a few days back she said she has wanted to ask Jazz to move in with her for a while. So I think he'll be fine. Besides, you love Em, Rose and he clearly loves you. So I don't think anything bad is gonna happen if you move in with him."
She quirked her eyebrow and asked, "Jazz is about to settle down, huh? Who would've thought—my dork of a brother and Alice?"
I laughed at that, because frankly, Jasper and Alice couldn't be more different from each other and yet they completed each other just the same. My phone buzzed, letting me know I had a missed call from Edward. I pointed towards their booth and asked, "They're waiting for us. Shall we go and join our men?"
Nodding, Rose took hold of my hand and started moving towards the booth. Just before reaching there, she leaned down and said loudly in my ear, "Thanks, B. I needed the talk. Maybe soon, I'll tell him yes." I gave her thumbs up and moved to join the guys.
As I slid inside the booth beside Edward, he smiled at me before frowning at the half-finished beer in my hands. I gave him a questioning look and he smirked. "I was kind of hoping to buy you a drink… a Gin and Tonic, perhaps?"
I rolled my eyes at him. "You want me to start throwing drinks on you?"
He shrugged. "I don't mind. Because this time, I can take you home with me and make you pay for that." The innuendo was clear in his voice.
I felt my cheeks heating up and tried to cling on to some control. "Or maybe you just want to get me drunk."
He gave me a cheeky smile. "That's not a bad idea either. You know that night at the club? I was trying to make you metabolize the alcohol faster by dancing. Maybe tonight, I will do something else to get your blood pumping."
Oh God! Is it getting too hot in here… in December?
I gulped down the remainder of my drink and took his hand. "Come on, let's dance. You didn't let us finish our dance that night. So you owe me a dance, Cullen."
Grinning at my abrupt subject change, he stood up and then led me towards the dance floor. The upbeat music changed right that moment and a soft music started playing. Edward loosely held on to my waist, trying to be all gentleman-like. I huffed and took his hands to wrap them tightly around my waist. Then I slipped both of my hands around his neck and pressed myself against his body.
A soft smile lit up his face as he held me close to him and started to sway us from side to side. Sighing contentedly, I rested my head against his chest and closed my eyes thinking back to the first time I had laid eyes on this man.
I remembered the intense look in his eyes when our eyes met for the first time across the bar. He was so sexy that I had developed a crush on him at first sight—until he opened his mouth that is.
I remembered the way he had acted after I had poured my drink on him. Knowing his reasoning for his behavior didn't make me think of him as a Rude Adonis anymore. No, he was the sweetest man in the world—trying to be devoted to the stranger he was promised to.
A smile crept up on my face as I remembered how happy he looked at our wedding and the memory of our first kiss still made me want to kiss him silly. I would never forget the bright smile on his face when he said 'I do' that day.
The memories of our first grocery trip, first day at work, our insane fights, our friendship, our first date, my birthday, the beautiful swan pendant on my neck, the way he had held on to me on Thanksgiving, our first night as a married couple, the way he had showered me in the morning… all of it came crushing down on my mind, making me gasp loudly.
As I opened my eyes, I met Edward's worried eyes. He held me close and asked softly, "You okay, baby? Why did you get so tensed up?"
I smiled weakly at him, trying to hide the realization that had dawned on me, "I am okay, Edward. I just had a very tiring day at work." He kissed my forehead and held my head against his chest—no doubt wishing he could take away the exhaustion.
I felt tears prickle the back of my eyes as my whole world shifted in that moment. Because looking back to all the moments I had spent in the presence of this man, I was certain about three things.
First, Edward was the most beautiful, sweet, tender, loving, amazing and perfect man for me.
Second, I- Isabella Cullen had fallen in love. Yes, I was desperately in love with my husband.
And third, the saying that love hits you with the force of a brick wall all of a sudden—was a lie. Because let me tell you ladies and gentleman, the realization that I was in love with Edward was so powerful that I was sure it had to be a fucking Titanium wall—at the very least!
After the song was over, Edward led me back to our friends, and with a flurry of goodbyes, we came out of the bar before climbing into his car and going home.
I knew it was too early to tell him I was in love with him. Don't want him thinking I am insane for falling in love after knowing him for only four months! So instead of telling him, I showed him by making his favorite M&C for dinner and then in bed.
I finally had my answer to the question I had asked Angela. Love was different for everyone, and for me, love was the blissful happiness and utter contentment I found in the arms of my man—my Edward.
A/N: A long-ass chapter to as a peace offering for not updating last Tuesday.
And yes, I watched How to Train Your Dragon a few days before I started on the chapter. So Night-fury was all my brain was coming up with. :P
So what do you think?
Let me know your thoughts and leave a review, please.
Songs I listened to while writing this chapter: Finally Found You—Enrique Iglesias and Catch Me—Demi Lovato (Not a fan of her. But the lyrics pretty much sums up Bella's feelings throughout the story, so try it).