All things Twilight related belong to Stephenie Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended. Thank you to AWayWithWords, Savannavansmutsmut, and Jess2002. All mistakes are our own.

***FFN version is highly edited for content to not violate the tos, the unedited for content files may be read at TWCS and FICPAD.***

It Started With a Proposal

"Hey, Eddy, my man," Emmett, my roommate, says as he slaps me on my back.

The force that he uses pushes me forward a little and my coffee spills partially over my work.

"There's a party tonight – you coming?"

I pick up the papers quickly wiping them off, hoping all is not lost.

"Eh… no… I've got loads of work to do."

"Come on, man, one night is not going to kill you."

I don't answer him, as I place the papers carefully over the old radiator to dry faster.

"Come on, man, who knows, you may even get laid. Word on the street is that Mike has dumped Tanya, and she's upset over it. You could offer her a shoulder to cry on, and then make your move. You could dip your stick, and double click her mouse – either way you hit home base and she feels good."

He wiggles his eyebrows as he grins.

"That's disgusting, Emmett. Tanya and Mike dated for a good five years. Now, you want me to use the fact she found out that he slept around on her most of the time, to get laid?"

Emmett looks unaffected by my words and just scratches his head.

"Okay, I was never planning on asking you this, because it doesn't matter to me. I mean, you're my friend, and I was sure you weren't—not that there's a problem if you were—but man, in the seven years I have shared a room, and known you—you've never been with a girl."

I roll my eyes at his stuttering and start working on my school work again.

"I'm not a virgin, Emmett," I say tersely.

Just because he flaunts his girl around, doesn't mean we all do.

"Oh, well, that's good, man, but are you gay?"

I drop my pen and just look at him.

"What?!" I yell and he holds up his hands.

"It's just… well, Mike thinks you're in the closet."

I pinch the bridge of my nose and shake my head.

"No! I am not gay."

Emmett gives me a curt nod and walks away to his room.

It's a few hours later when there's a knock on the door.

"Emmett – door," I yell. It's always for him anyway.

When the knock sounds again, I sigh, and move knowing Emmett must have left.

When I open the door, I'm surprised to see Bella, my little sister's best friend, standing there. I frown at her as she talks, not getting any of it since she's sobbing so hard.

I pull her into the apartment and to the couch to sit. It takes me well over an hour, before her sobbing calms enough for me to understand her.

"They said I have to leave, that I can't stay," she sobs out as her shoulders go up and down.

I frown at her, not following what she's talking about.

"Alice?" I say questioningly. "You know what she's like, I'm sure whatever mood she's in, she will come back out of."

Bella shakes her head at me.

"No… the Government—well the Immigration and Naturalization Service—anyway."


Bella wipes her eyes.

"They said that my mom was not a US citizen, and since I came here as an infant, I'm not either."

I swallow, unsure of what to say… what to do.

"She only just died and now they're kicking me out of the only place I've ever known. What the hell am I going to do in England?"

I softly place my hand on hers as she begins to sob again.

"I don't want to leave," she cries and she places her head on my chest.

She got both fists full of my sweater, holding it tightly as she sobs harder than before.

Bella and Alice have been best friends from the age of eight. She's always been around, but I still don't know her that well. I was always, and still am, the loner of my large family. I don't make friends easily, and keeping them, I find even harder. My mom always said it was because I was special.

Emmett, the only friend that I have been able to get and keep, says he agrees with my mom. I was special all right ... special needs.

Bella's always just been there. I'm not even sure if we are friends or not. We haven't really spent a lot of time together, not with me being four years older than her. Even when she and Alice came to the same college, I still didn't get to know her. I was Bella's TA that first year, but we were never what I would call friendly or really close.

Things started changing for Bella only a few months ago, when she graduated from college. Her mother, Renee, became quite ill. I found out from Alice that she had an aggressive cancer, and there was nothing they could do. Renee passed away a month ago in her sleep … now this? It's no wonder Bella's sobbing so hard.

I rub my hand up and down her back. I look at the time seeing it's well into the early hours of the morning. I have a shift at the animal hospital in a few hours. I tilt my head and push Bella's hair out of the way. I see that her red puffy eyes are closed. I softly move a little at a time and lay her on the couch. I get a blanket to cover her up with, and get back to the work. Just before I head out in the early morning hours, I pick Bella up and place her in my bed. Beside her I leave a note, telling her I'm sorry and explaining if there's anything I can do to help, just ask.


I yawn as I open my front door, and try to wake up enough to get to my bed. I had to work the early shift at Starbucks, and then had a shift at the animal hospital. After the animal hospital, I had a night class, only to be called in to work the night shift at Starbucks, because Mike called in sick. I have now been awake for just over twenty-four hours, and been on my feet for all, but three hours of it.

"Edward?" a soft voice says and I turn my head a little to the side. Looking down, I see Bella standing there, in her pajamas. Good thing she only lives next door.

"Oh, hey, how are you?" I ask pushing my apartment door open.

"I just wanted to thank you for sitting with me, and I'm sorry you had to see that."

She chuckles oddly as she picks at peeling paint around the door frame.

"It's okay," I say softly as I make my way into my apartment just needing my bed.

"Edward," Bella says as she touches my arm. "Did you really mean it, that you would help me?"

I nod at her, while yawning hugely.

"I ask ... because there is away ... if you can do it ... well then, um, it means I can stay?"

I nod at her as another yawn racks my body, and I fight exhaustion.

"Yes, all you have to do is ask," I say once I'm able to talk.

"Drive me?" I nod at her as I yawn again, trying to keep my focus on her and what she saying.

"Really?" Bella says in a surprisingly loud excited voice. I'm not really sure why she's so happy that I am going to drive her somewhere. I wonder where she wants me to drive her to.

"Yeah, sure," I say sleepily.

Bella hugs me and gives me a big smile.

"Should we sit and talk about what we should do now?"

I yawn and nod at her, moving inside with Bella following me. I sit down on the couch as she tells me all about her plan.

I rub my face as I wake up feeling sore. As I look around myself, I see that I'm in the living room still on the couch. I sit all the way up and rub my neck, before removing the sleep from my eyes. I can just about make out my glasses on the table in front of me. I grab my glasses and put them on trying to work out why I was sleeping on my couch and not in my bed.

It slowly comes back to me that Bella was here. She asked if I would drive her someplace and if I would talk to them, too. I try to remember what else she said, but I keep coming up blank. I sigh and head out the front door, down the hallway, and knock on her door. Within a few seconds the door opens, and I see a weak smile on Bella's face.

"Can I come in?" I ask tugging at my hair.

"Yeah, sure," she says biting her lip as I follow her.

"I take it you don't want to do it now that you've had time to think about it?"

The sadness on her face hits me hard. Bella is a very beautiful girl, and this sadness just doesn't fit her natural beauty.

"No, I said I'll do it and I will," I say and Bella's face lights up.

I chuckle as she suddenly wraps her arms around my middle and hugs me to her.

"Really? I mean, I felt really bad for asking you when you were so worn out."

I pat her back, when she fails to let me go. I swallow as I try to think of a way to tell her I don't know where she wants me to drive her to.

"Marrying someone is a big thing," she says and I feel my face drop, as Bella keeps talking, "and I know it means a lot to you. I swear, I wouldn't be with anyone else, no dating, nothing."

Her eyes meet mine.

"I mean, you can ... I mean, I wouldn't ..." she starts to stutter, I'm sure, because of the shocked look on my face.

"Marry you?" I squeak out.

"Yeah," she says slowly.

"You asked me to marry you?"

She nods at me and I can see she's now holding back tears.

"Yes, if we get married, I can stay. We would need to be a married for few years, but ... did you not ... what were you saying yes to?"

I swallow again, touched by how sad she looks.

"I thought," I clear my throat, "I thought you asked me to drive you some place."

I grimace as she bobs her head.

"Bella, I'm not sure if ..."

She waves me off, stopping my words.

"It's fine, really, Edward. I'm sure I can come up with something else—if not, England isn't that far."

I watch her close her eyes. Without meaning to, my hand goes to her face and she leans into my touch.

"Why me? You have loads of male friends. Jacob would love to marry you." I was well aware of his lust for Bella.

"Because, I don't feel that for him, and that wouldn't be fair of me to lead him on like that. Besides…" she stops talking and turns a little, looking right at me.

"You're amazing, really amazing. You like the books I like, the music I like, we can talk, and neither of us are into partying, and going out, or being the center of attention. You're a thoughtful, kind, funny, smart man, and I trust you. Out of every male I know, I trust you the most. I know you don't think of me as a friend. I'm just Alice's friend to you, but I do see you as a friend and I know I would be safe with you."

I swallow and feel a little pang, when she thinks I wouldn't – don't – see her as a friend.

"Okay," I say and she looks at me tilting her head. "We'll get married, but I would like us to at least be friends and we must live together, too, and ..." I pull at my hair. "I would like you to be—to the outside world—act like my wife. Like you said, no dating or seeing anyone, I'll do that, too."

Bella smiles and leaps into my arms.

"Really! Thank you, Edward," she says kissing my cheek and neck. I feel a little panic over what everyone will say about this. I can just hear the ribbing Emmett will give, and of course, Alice will have something to say about it.

"One last thing," I say holding her close to me, liking the feel more than I should.

"No one but us should know the reason why we're getting married," she says.

I pull her a little away from me, and look into her eyes. How did she manage to read my inner thought?

"No one knows about this thing going on with the INS. Alice has been busy with Jasper, and ever since Rose and Emmett hooked up ... well, you're the only one that knows I'm not a US citizen."

I nod at her as she continues to look at me.

"You still look tired. You should get some more sleep."

I chuckle at her shaking my head.

"No, I'm not back on until tomorrow night."

Bella bites her lip and looks at me.

"Do you need to study, or do want to spend some time together?"

I pull at my hair, knowing I really should study.

"Why don't you get your books; you can study here for a few hours, and then we can watch a movie or something?"

I grin and nod at her, not genuinely wanting to leave.

"Yeah, that sounds good, but I need to shower before, so I'll be back."

"Okay, I'll be here."

I walk back to my apartment, taking a quick shower, and changing my clothes. I grab all of my books, before heading back to Bella's.

I grin, seeing that she has set up a table with food and drinks for me. I walk in shaking my head, but smiling largely.

"You didn't need to do all this for me."

She raises her left eyebrow at me.

"This is for me. I need to fill out all of these crazy forms, but I'll share," she says playfully.

I chuckle putting everything I need down on the table beside her and getting to work.

"Edward," I hear softly and I look up, seeing Bella holding out a plate for me.

I look to my watch, seeing it's been close to five hours I've been working.

"Oh, wow, sorry. I think I must have just been zoned on my work," I say looking down at the amount I've gotten done. "I never manage to get that much done at one sitting," I say chuckling.

I look back at Bella who seems to be fine with my lack of talking for the past few hours.

"I'm not surprised with Emmett as a roommate. He's not a quiet person. I'm not sure I've ever seen him sit still for more than five seconds."

I chuckle nodding at her, because she's correct. I take a big bite of the dinner she made and hum loudly.

"This is very good," I say after swallowing the first bite.

I watch her blush a little.

"You always seem to enjoy the food I cook, even though no one else does."

I shake my head, her food isn't like some five star restaurants, but it's not bad at all. Bella just tends to cook things that her mother taught her.

"Do you want to watch a movie now?" I ask eating more of the food, because it really is quite tasty.

"You finished?" she asks looking at my workload.

"Not even close, but I can take a few hours off for a movie, besides I need to have a break from it sometimes."

I help her clear the table and we do the dishes, before sitting on her couch. She hands me the remote and I flick through and stop on the first movie we come to.

"So," I say trailing off.

"So, what?" she chuckles and pulls at my hair.

I've never been good at talking to girls, not even my sister or my mom.

"When do we have to ... you know, get married?"

"Oh, I'm not sure. I need to meet with them next week. Can you come with me?"

"Of course," I say and nod at her.

"I know they'll ask us questions about how well we know each other. I think we'll do okay, we have known each other for years. I know most of the answers about you, like your favorite color ..."

I tilt my head at her, not sure how she would know what my favorite color is, and it makes her stop talking for a second.

"It's blue," she says with a grin.

I swallow as she gets it right and I watch her as she smirks at me.

"Yeah, it is," I agree.

"Your birthday is the twenty-first of June. You were born in eighty-nine and you just turned twenty-five. Your favorite color is blue, as I said. You like all kinds of music and what you listen to goes by how you feel. When you want to relax, you listen to classical. When you feel buzzed or hyper, you lean more toward classic rock. You don't listen to pop often if at all. You like the classic books and you have a diary that you write in every night. You prefer Italian food over most other. You can speak Italian, German, French, and you also you know sign language. You used to have an imaginary friend named Garrett and he was a vampire. You can play the piano, violin, and the guitar. You want to be a Veterinarian, because you love animals."

I nod at her in astonishment.

"How ... how do you know all this?"

"Edward, I see you, I've always seen you. You have been in my life for thirteen years."

I shake my head at her.

"But I know nothing about you," I say feeling guilty. She's been able to get all that about me, yet I know nothing about her.

"You're not a people person, that's fine, we have time."

"What's your favorite color?"

"Ah, starting off with a hard one. It changes from day to day, just depends on how I feel about what's happening. Today, it's green," she says looking at me.


"Like you, I love all music. The nineties music is the best."

I try not to frown at her and she slaps my arm lightly.

"I know you're a fan of books," I say pleased at knowing something. "I know you tend to read the same books over and over."

Bella nods at me and I turn my body more toward her and she mirrors my movement.

"Edward, I'm going to ask you this, and I'll answer first before you do. This is a question I know they will ask."

I nod at her hearing the worry in her voice.

"They will ask what we know about each other's past relationships."

I feel myself pale, but Bella keeps going on.

"I have had one boyfriend that lasted three years, that was Paul. We dated when I was seventeen, until I turned twenty. He was my first in everything, but we didn't sleep together, until I was nineteen. It really wasn't that good and because of that, it didn't happen very often. After him, I've only been with one other—one time—and again that wasn't good. I honestly don't know what all the hype is," she chuckles a little at the end.

The faint blush on her face tells me she's a bit embarrassed to admit all of this to me.

"Okay, well, I've never had a girlfriend, but I have had sex with four girls. First time was when I was sixteen; she was older—much older, my teacher in fact." I laugh a little, even though I hate admitting to it all. "We sort of had an affair for six months; she taught me a lot—no pun intended. The next was another older woman, but was causal dating. With her, I wanted more, she didn't. I later found out she was married. The other two were drunken one night stands."

Bella just nods and stares at me.

"What?" I ask feeling a little self-conscious.

"You really have no idea, do you?"

"About what?"

"How sweet, kind, and how good looking you are."

I chuckle feeling nervous and shake my head.

"No, I know I'm not, I mean, Emmett and Jasper are ..." I just stop, not feeling like I should announce my own personal inadequacies.

She touches my arm and smiles at me.

We keep asking each other questions we think we will be asked and even come up with our story about how we started dating.

I sit down, placing Bella's coffee down and look to see she's fast asleep. I look at my watch, seeing it's now in the early hours of the morning. Knowing she can't sleep on the couch, I pick her up and carry her to her bed.

"Edward," she says softly and I look at her smiling. I remember Alice telling me how Bella talks in her sleep. I move back out to her living room and clean up. As I do, I think back over the whole night together and I'm shocked at just how much I laughed with her. I shake at the warm and gushy feeling I have inside.

"You're just helping her out, nothing more, nothing less," I say out loud to the empty kitchen.

Once I'm done cleaning up, I take another look in at Bella. I move to her bed, seeing she's sound asleep and I move her hair gently out of her face. I smile at just how pretty she looks.

"I had fun tonight," I whisper.

"Meee, tooo," she moans out.

I tilt my head a little and smirk.

"Really, with boring old me?"

"You're not boring. You're nice and very sexy."

I swallow not really sure what to say next.

"I'm going to the chapel and I'm gonna get married, now pass the M&M's."

I chuckle loudly, which of course causes Bella to mumble more. I quickly stroke her forehead and smile as she goes back to her peaceful sleep.

I walk into my apartment and head to bed. When I get there, I just lie there looking at the ceiling. I have lived almost twenty-five years alone, and been completely fine with it. However, tonight, lying here, I feel lonely, like there's something missing in my life.


A loud moan wakes me and I sit up feeling sticky and wet. I pull back my blankets and see, that yes, I have just had my first wet dream in ten years. I get up stripping my bed, before heading for a shower. As the water runs down my body, I close my eyes, and my mind drifts back to my dream. I watch as Bella grins at me, and walks toward me, swinging her hips as she moves.


I jump, opening my eyes.

"Eddy, come on, I need to piss," Emmett yells.

I turn off the water and rub my face, shaking off my daydream. I grab the towel, wrapping it around me, before walking out of the shower.

"You've been in there for almost an hour," he says barging past me.

"Sorry," I say walking to my room and getting dressed. I grab clean sheets and make my bed. I let out a groan, when I hear a knock on my door, and Emmett pops his head in.

"Is everything all right, Edward? I mean, dude, you're acting a little strange ... well, stranger than normal anyway."

"I'm fine, I've just got a lot on my mind with work, class and that. Speaking of which, I need to head out, or I'm going to be late."

"You know my door is always open, if you need to talk, unless I got Rosie in there," Emmett chuckles.

"Yeah, I know," I say, picking up my bag with my books in it.

"Remember it's family meal night, tonight. Alice says that you have to be there and she's making Bella come, too."

I swallow, ducking my head down as I feel my face heat up.

"I'll try my best," I say and Emmett sighs.

"Edward, come on man, it's only one night."

I nod at him and walk out of my room, heading for another shift at my shitty daytime job.


"Welcome to Starbucks, what can I get for you?" I ask without looking at the person in front of me.

"I'll have a small hot chocolate and a sugar cookie."

I close my eyes when I hear Bella's sweet voice. What the hell has gotten into me?

"Coming right up," I say turning away from her and get her drink.

"That's three dollars," I say and my eyes go unwillingly to hers and I can see she's frowning.

"Can we talk, when your shift's over?"

I nod at her and she hands me ten dollars.

I get her change, hot chocolate, and cookie, handing it all to her.

"I get off in an hour."

She nods and I watch her sit down at one of the tables and start to read a book.

"Shit, man, she's hot. Who is she and how do you know her?" Mike asks and I turn to glare at him.

"That's Bella"

"Alice's, B-F-F?"

I sigh nodding at him.

"Shit, no wonder Jacob follows her around. Is she seeing anyone? Not that it matters really, because all girls fall for me."

"Don't even think about it," I growl out.

"Why? Even if she knows my rep, all girls love a challenge, thinking they'll be the one to tame me."

I shake my head.

"I said no."

"Why not?"

"She's my girlfriend," I snarl out.

"No way," Mike chuckles. "There's no way a guy like you, could land a girl like that?"

I close my eyes and take a deep breath knowing he's right. I could never have Bella as my real girlfriend.

"Hey, baby," I suddenly hear my angel say, and I turn to see Bella looking right at me. "I know Alice's planning this big get together tonight, but how do you feel about skipping it and having some alone time?"

Bella bites her lip and keeps her eyes locked with mine. I feel a little panicky about what she's doing.

"Hey, I'm Mike," the douche says like he's all that and a bucket of chicken.

I swallow, but I can't seem to drop my eyes from Bella's.

"I know who you are, Mike," she replies making a face like she's got a sour candy in her mouth.

"So, how about I keep you company tonight?"

"Mike, Edward just got done with telling you to leave me alone and that I'm his girlfriend. He's my boyfriend, and well, honestly, even if he wasn't, I still wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole, especially with all those new rumors going around about your rash and recent trips to the campus health department's clinic."

Mike laughs, like Bella just shared a joke with him.

"You're actually turning me down, for him?"

"Hell yeah, he's twice the man you'll ever be, but I'm also turning you down for myself, because you're a parasite at best."

I feel my face heat up and I grin a little, when Bella looks at me shyly.

"You should be careful, Mike. The last guy that chatted me up in front of him didn't come out of it too good. You almost done, baby?"

I look at my watch and see that it's time for me to clock out, so I nod at her.

"Yep, love, get your stuff and I'll be right there."

She blows me a kiss as she walks away and I turn to Mike for the first time. I can see just how shocked he looks and I hold back my laughter. I clock out, picking up my bag and I shake my head, seeing that Mike's still standing in the same place, with his mouth open.

I walk to Bella, taking her bag from her.

"Thank you," she says sweetly.

I nod at her.

"So, I thought we could go to my place, and talk?"

"Sounds good," I say with a smile.

Bella and I stop and get take-out for our dinner, and then take the fire stairs, so we can avoid running into Alice.

From the corner of my eye, I watch as Bella keeps looking my way and not eating. She opens, but quickly closes her mouth and looks away from me.

"Is there something wrong?" I ask looking at my meal.

"Should we ... I mean, I think they'll expect us to ... you know ... so I thought we should maybe try it out, so we're ... practiced. I mean, while we are alone the first time. What do you think?"

I tilt my head and look at her.

"Sorry, Bella, but I'm not following what you're saying?"

"Kissing, Edward, I think we should kiss."

I drop my fork and my throat starts to feel dry.

"If we tell them we're dating, and getting married, then they'll assume it's something we would do. I just thought we could try to do it when it's just us, so that way if it's too weird or you don't like me—we'll forget it and just say we're not in to PDA or something."

Bella's eyes drop as she speaks but, by the end of her speech, I could hear a little insecurity in her voice. I look at her, and see that she has a red flush to her face, and her eyes are still clearly on the floor. The look on her face tells me she's waiting for me to reject her. I feel the need and desire to laugh at the absurdness of it all, like I could ever reject her, but I don't laugh.

"Okay, I think we should move to the couch."

Bella's head snaps up and she looks at me with her mouth open.

"Really?" she squeaks out and I grin, nodding at how cute she's being.

"Sure, I mean, you're right, we'll have to kiss when we get married. It'd be best to get to know each other ahead of time."

I can't hide my grin, when her blush gets darker. I stand up and hold out my hand, which she takes and I lead her to the couch.

"So, how are we going to do this?" she asks quietly.

I take a deep breath, as my eyes go back to hers. I move my hand up, pushing her hair out the way and gently clasp her face.

"Hold still," I say and I edge closer to her. I suck in a breath, taking in her scent. I stop my lips just before they touch her. "This could change everything," I mumble as I place my lips on hers. I give her a few chaste kisses, and I feel her hands run up my arms. I pull back and smile, before we lean in together again. We pull back a little to breathe, and then almost as if hunger takes over, we pull toward each other. Suddenly, her fingers thread into my hair and grip, pulling me closer. My hands are on her back, pulling her to straddle my lap. Our mouths open at the same time and our tongues begin to dance with each other.

This does not feel like a first kiss, this feels, too familiar, too comfortable. It's almost as if we've been kissing each other for years. My hands moves like it knows her body, her wants, and needs. They find themselves inside of the back of her top. As my hands move up the top follows. Her hands let go of my hair, so that I can pull her top off and I throw it aside. I turn us, so she's lying flat on the couch, and I start to trail kisses down her body.

"Patience, love," I say huskily.

"Please, Edward," Bella moans out.

I move a little away from her, when she tugs at my sweater. I rise up a bit, and whip my sweater and t-shirt off at the same time. My eyes meet hers and I see that they are filled with desire and lust, the same feelings coursing through me.

I move back on top of her, pressing my whole body against hers.

"Please say that you feel this, too?"

I nod as I'm kissing her, not wanting to take my lips off of her again.

"I want this so much. Why didn't we know this before? I don't understand."

I moan in agreement.

"Bella, why are you hiding? EDWARD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY FRIEND?"

I freeze and Bella's arm quickly covers her exposed chest.

"Alice, what's with ... wow. Yeah, semi-naked Bella and Edward never mind," Emmett says in a voice which is twice as loud as what Alice just shrieked.

I groan and drop my head on Bella's shoulder.

"Alice, that key was for emergency use only, and not to let yourself into my place anytime you want. I know this is not an emergency; now if you two can go, we can get dressed."

"I want know," Alice starts off, but Bella cuts of her off.

"No, Alice, we'll tell you when we are ready, now get out." Alice glares at me, and storms out, slamming the door.

"High five, bud," Emmett says holding out his hand.

I give him the 'are you stupid or something' look.

"Or… not. This is great, wait until I tell Jasper we can include you in our guy talks now. I'll close the door and hold her back for ten, after that, you both are on your own."

I let out the breath I was holding, when I hear Emmett close the door, but he keeps talking as he makes his way back to our apartment next door.

I look down at Bella to see she has tears in her eyes. I wipe them quickly away.

"What is this about, sweetheart?" I ask, more than a little worried she regrets how far we went.

She shakes her head at me.

"I hate fighting with Alice and I think we're about to have a huge fight. But that was the best kiss of my life, and I'm scared in case she makes you change your mind. It's not just because I will need to leave, but after that kiss and don't ..."

Not wanting to hear talk of her leaving, I place my lips on hers, tasting the salt from her tears.

"I won't; she doesn't make my choices for me, and that was the best kiss of my life, too. It felt like I knew you, where to touch you."

Bella nods at me in agreement and swallows.

"We better get over there, before she comes back."

I sigh, before moving off her. I let my hand linger on her waist for a few seconds more, then the rest of me. I pick up my shirt and sweater, and pass Bella her top.

Once we both have our clothing fixed, I take hold of her hand, leading her to my apartment. Before opening the door, we can hear Alice's frantic voice bitching about us.

"They can't date! She's supposed to be my friend and he's my brother. That's just weird, like incest or something."

I roll my eyes at the dramatic performance that Alice is giving right now.

"Tonight was my night—it was meant to be all about me and Jazz getting engaged, now you're all going to be talking about Bella and Edward," Alice huffs out loudly.

I can't hear anyone's replies, mainly because I know the rest of them must be speaking at normal voice levels.

"She such a spoiled brat at times," I mutter.

"She does have her moments," Bella says with a sigh.

"You ready for this?" Bella shakes her head, and we both take a deep breath, and walk in.

Alice's eyes lock on us and her head slowly moves around to face our direction.

"So?" she says crossing her arms and tapping her foot.

"Alice, Bella and I have been dating for a few months now," I start off with the agreed story we came up with to tell people. "We decided to become a couple last month, when everything went down with her mom. I asked her to marry me today, she said yes, which led us to doing couple stuff."

As I talk, Alice's face goes red, but Emmett, Jasper and Rose all look happy for us.

"No!" Alice screams like she's telling us we can't do something.

"Yes," I counter in a normal tone and Alice busts into tears.

"How could you do this to me? And you – are you really that desperate that you had to go after him? I thought you were over that stupid ass crush you had on him," Alice harps.

My head snaps to Bella, and she gives me a shy smile, before turning on Alice. Hmm, she had a crush on me, when?

"Alice, I swear to God, you better watch what you're saying. I'm not desperate; Edward's a great guy and any girl would be glad to have him."

"Really?" Alice says narrowing her eyes. "Well then, we should get to celebrating then." As soon as she's done talking, she downs her drink and walks away.

Bella rubs her head and we move. I sit on the seat and Bella surprises me by sitting on the arm of that chair. My arm goes around her, pulling her into my lap. This was not something I planned when she sat there. It was almost as if my body wanted her closer. I feel Bella relax and lean more against me. I can't help but smile, that she's having the same reactions as I am.

"Let's play I never," Alice says as she slams the bottle of vodka down on the coffee table.

"Alice, baby, I ..."

Alice just glares at Jasper, cutting him off.

"I'll start ... I have never screwed my best-friend's brother."

Bella looks at Alice, not taking a drink.

"Why aren't you drinking up?"

"We want to wait until after we are married," I say quickly, saving my girl from having Alice be more vindictive to her.

"My turn," Bella says. "I've never had sex with the father of someone I know."

I frown at Bella, who raises her brow at Alice, who looks ready to cry. Alice jumps up, picks up her glass of water, and throws it over Bella, before running out of the flat.

"Oh, that went well," Emmett chuckles, "so what's that story?"

Bella just shakes her head a looks glum.

"It's okay, she'll get over it, and she was being a spoiled rotten bitch."

"Yeah, maybe," Bella says softly and she jumps up quickly. "Well, I'm going to head to bed."

She doesn't look at me as she runs out of the apartment and back to her own.

"Edward, this is your cue to go after her."

I turn looking at Emmett.

"What?" I mumble out.

"Look man, I know I fuck around a lot and I give you a hard time, but Bella's a cool chick, and you two look good together. Now, when your girlfriend walks out like that, you go after her."

I look at Rose who nods at me, to say she agrees with Emmett.

I get up and walk to Bella's apartment. When I get outside the door, I can hear a faint sob coming from inside.

"Bella, it's Edward," I say as I knock on the door softly.

I pull at my hair, when she fails to answer. I close my eyes as I try the handle, finding she's left it unlocked. I walk in and my heart drops as I see she's curled up crying on the couch. I walk over to her quickly, picking her up, and sitting her on my lap once I am seated.

Bella mumbles something, which I don't catch.

"Shush, sweetheart, I've got you," I say and swallow a little at the end.

I'm playing this by ear, this is my first relationship.

"She's going to hate me forever," Bella says again, and I silently curse Alice and her selfish ways.

"She'll never know."

"She will, when you divorce me."

I pull back a little and look at her. "Why would I divorce you?"

"Because ..."

"Because," I let out a sigh. "Bella, I like you and I always have. You know that I'm not good at dealing with people. But the time I've spent with you, now and in the past, I find easy. It's like this," I wave my hand between us, "has always been there. I know that you asked me, because you want my help, but maybe as time passes, we'll truly find love. We could fall in love with each other, and want to stay married. Could you ever see yourself loving me, the way a wife loves her husband?"

Bella nods at me as she sniffles. "I think it would be easy to fall in love with you."

I grin at her, pushing her hair back from her face.

"I feel the same about you, so let's try?"

"Okay," Bella says, as she hugs me.

It takes a little bit of time for Bella to fully calm herself. When she does, we sit talking and laughing with each other. I kiss her softly at the end of the night, making my way back to my apartment.


The week has gone by quickly, and neither Bella nor I have heard from Alice. My mom and dad called to ask what was going on, and I told them that Bella and I are getting married and are in love. Normally, if I lie to my parents, I feel guilty and stutter my way through it. But, saying that I loved Bella and that we're in love seems to roll off my tongue so easily.

Emmett and Bella's friend, Rose, have been showing their support of our new relationship. Jasper, who Bella and I rarely talk to, has of course taken Alice's side of things. Due to Alice not hanging around Bella as much, it has given Bella and me the time to get to know each other, and I now see her as my best friend.

Today is the meeting with the INS worker. Bella and I are both clearly worried about it.

"Miss Swan, Mr. Cullen, we will talk to you each separately and together."

First, Bella heads off with an agent and another one speaks to me. It's all very odd and they inform us of our rights and we are sworn in like in a court of law. They even video tape us, I imagine it's to try and catch us in lies easier.

After an hour or so, I'm led back to the waiting room and soon Bella comes out, too.

"We will be going over your interviews. You have a short time of waiting here, before the joint interview. There is a small cafeteria around that corner; don't leave the building."

We sit together and hold hands, not speaking, but holding each other close. We eventually walk around a bit, use the restrooms, and grab something to drink. I think we're both too nervous to eat at this point.

We are sitting back where we were left three hours later, when an agent comes to get us.

Bella swallows and I can feel her shake as we stand up and follow the man into the office.

"I'm Aro, and I'll be conducting your joint interview. I see on your forms that you are engaged to be married?"

When Bella fails to answer, I speak up.

"Yes, that's right."

I place my hand in Bella's and rub my thumb over her knuckles.

"How long have you two known each other?"

"We met when I was eight, so thirteen years?"

I nod at Bella and turn it to see Aro watching us intently.

"Have you been friends all this time?"

"Yes, no, well sort of, you see Edward's four years older than I am. I grew up as a best friend to his little sister, Alice. It was the start of this year that things changed, and we found that we were attracted to each other and wanted more with each other. We began dating, and then my mom started getting sick. During her illness, we grew closer. By the time she passed away, I knew I was in love with him."

I swallow and I look at her. I smile a little, when I see her blush.

"And how do you feel about Miss Swan?" Aro asks as he looks right at me.

"It's not real easy to put into words. I could sit here and tell you that I love her – I want to spend the rest of my life with her, but those are just words. So I'll tell you how she makes me feel. I feel normal when I am with Bella—I feel more comfortable with her than I do with anyone else. She has a smile that lights up her eyes and makes my insides feel warm. She touches me, and it sends tingles down my body. I gravitate to her, and I have this need to always be closer to her. Being with her, I know that I will never fail, never be alone, because she returns to me everything I feel for her."

Aro just looks at me a few minutes, before he clears his throat and writes something down on his pad.

"And the wedding is soon?"

Bella and I just look at him.

"It would be best to be married within the next twenty-one days for this application to go through quicker and without any problems," he says arching his brow at us.

We spend a few hours going through his list of questions. At the end, he says he'll be in touch in a few days. Bella and I just about run out the building, when he says we are free to go.

"That went well, right, don't you think?"

I smile and nod at her. "Yeah it did," I say kissing her hand.

"Where are we going now?" she asks me with a smile as we walk down the sidewalk.

"The courthouse?"

Bella stops and frowns at me.

"Well, if we need to be married soon and that is the best option, right?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry," Bella chuckles.

"Shit, I know that's not a great thing and you more than likely want to get married in church, but ..."

Bella cuts me off by kissing my lips. The second they touch mine, I pull her to me, picking her up as I do.

"The courthouse is fine, and I already have a ring for you," Bella says shyly and I raise my brow at her.

"Want to see it?" she asks. I grip the back of her head, bringing her lips back to mine as I put her back on the ground.

"Yeah, I want to see it. Let's go make our arrangements first, okay?"

Bella nods and we head to the courthouse. We make all the arrangements for our wedding at the courthouse in two weeks.

We arrive back at Bella's apartment, and she runs into what was Renee's bedroom. She comes back out with a ring box. She sits on the couch next to me, and opens it. I see a white gold men's wedding band.

"It was my dad's, and I would like you to wear it."

I look at Bella as she talks, seeing that she's looking to the floor, while biting her lip.

"Are you sure? What if you find another ..." I say and a pain hits my chest as the images of her with another man flash in my mind.

Bella shakes her head at me. "Edward, shit, I wasn't completely honest when I told you why I asked you." She stops and clears her throat. "Well, more to the point, I left something out, when I gave my reasons for asking you. When I was younger, I had a huge crush on you. When my dad died, and my mom said that I could have this to give to the man I marry, it was always you who I pictured in my head. As I grew up and you went off to college, my crush ended, but I could never picture anyone but you with this ring. Even when I dated Paul, it was you I saw wearing it. You mean a lot to me and I know that you've only just gotten to know me, but I do know, that this," Bella says showing me the ring and then placing it in my open palm, "will always be yours."

I clasp Bella's face with my free hand, and kiss her as I place the ring down on the table. Right away, Bella's hands go to the back of my head as she pulls at my hair.

I pull back and look at her puffed lips and the hunger in her eyes.

"Fuck," I say only for the lusty look in Bella's eyes to heat up. "So, you like the dirty talk then?" I chuckle and Bella blushes, dropping her hair to hide her face from me.

"I like talking dirty," I whisper in her ear. "Having sex seemed to be the only time I could talk to girls, not that what I said could be taken as talking to them." I place a soft kiss on her neck. "Let me see this side of you, and I'll show you what you've been missing. I would like to wait until our wedding night. It'll give us some more time to get to know each other."

Bella nods and tries to get off my lap, but I hold her in place.

"Will you move in now or after?" she asks me.

"You want to live with me?"

"Yeah, to everyone we'll be married?"

I chuckle and nod at her.

"I'll move in now, if that's okay, but I'll still pay Emmett for the next two months, so he has time to find someone."

Bella grins a little at me.

"Well, I was going to put Rose's name forward, since she needs a place and was going to live with me, until she found out about us. They slept together a few times now. They were off and on for a while, but seem to float back to each other, and they still talk when they are not together. What do you think?"

"I'll say something to him, and you can say something to Rose. They're old enough to make their own choices."

"Need help packing?"

I shake my head at the grin on her face.

"Don't have much, but sure, you can help me."

My watch buzzes and I frown, pouting at her.

"Well, that's me, I've got to go. I have another shift at the animal hospital this evening."

"Will you come back here afterward?"

The hope is so clear in Bella's face, and all I can do is nod at her.

"I'll get the spare key for you, since Alice threw it at me the last time I saw her."

I take the key from her and head to my own apartment to change. Before I leave, I tell Emmett that I need to speak with him. The whole time I'm at the animal hospital, all I can think of is Bella.

I walk into the building and just stand there looking at Bella's door as I play with her key on my key chain. I let out a slow shallow breath and unlock the door walking in. I turn closing and locking the door and grin when I seeing she has pinned a note up inside the door.


Hi, there is juice and food in the fridge all made up if you want a snack before coming to bed. Oh, that sounds weird and I hope I haven't scared you away, but we should share a bed, right? I swear, I won't molest you, well, unless you want me to *wink-wink*.

Okay, that was my lame attempt at a joke. But please come to bed, my mom's bed is gone and the couch is not very comfortable. I will understand if I don't wake up with you tomorrow morning, but I hope that I do. Shit, I always say more than I should. Okay, bye for now.


I feel my heart race as my eyes widen. She wants me to come to her bed, share her bed? Shit, I've never shared a bed, not even with Alice when we were younger or my parents, not even as a baby. I shake my head trying to calm myself.

I walk into her room and see her lying there peacefully. I move to her and brush her hair out of her face.

"In for a penny, in for a pound, okay, Edward, you can do this," I say giving myself a pep talk.

I strip down leaving my boxers and t-shirt on, before climbing in the bed. I turn on my side and just look at Bella sleeping. Before closing my eyes and allowing myself to go in to a deep sleep, I smile, knowing she will soon be my wife.

As I slowly come out of my dream state, I become aware that I'm lying on top of a soft body. I open my eyes and see that I'm draped over Bella.

"Sorry," I say. I go to move back, but Bella's legs and arms that are wrapped around my body stops me.

"This is too nice, just a few more minutes, please?" she asks sleepily closing her eyes again.

"Are you okay?" I ask worried about how tired she is.

"Yeah, I'm just feeling sorry for myself, and the whole not sleeping so great these last few months, has caught up with me."

I nod at her and my lip touches her forehead. I can't seem to stop myself from placing a soft kiss there.

Her eyes open and go to mine. She smiles at me, "This is good, right? It's good that this doesn't feel awkward, I mean. I just have this voice at the back of my head repeatedly asking why we haven't been doing this for longer."

"Me, too, and yes, this is beyond good," I say kissing her head again and moving us, so she's now draped over me. I pull her close, and I grin at the fact she comes willingly to me.

I close my eyes as I place my head in the crook of Bella's neck and I kiss it softly and hum.

"I really like this."

My grin gets bigger as Bella speaks.

"Me, too, me, too," I reply.

"Edward?" Bella says softly after a few moments.


"What are you going to wear when we get married?"

I open my eyes frowning as I think about it, especially when something else pops in to my head.

"You'll need a ring, too. Hmm, well, looks like our spending time inside alone and secluded is over, time to do some shopping."

I pull the covers off and get out of bed.

"Do you mind if I go for a shower first?"

Bella grins shaking her head and I lean back over the bed to kiss her lips. It doesn't take us to long to eat, shower, and to get dressed. When we get out to the shop Bella chose, I'm a little surprised. Instead of the upper scale shops I'm usually taken to with Alice, we're at a smaller shop without the high-end pricing.

"What do you think?" I ask showing her another suit. She looks me up and down as I pull at the collar.

"It looks good, so don't get me wrong, but it's just not you?"

Bella stands up and looks along the row of suits. She picks up pants and a dress shirt handing them to me.

"Try them on and I'll be back."

She walks away quickly and I chuckle making my way back into the changing room.

"I'm back," Bella says softly from outside the door.

Since I'm already changed, I walk out and she smiles at me softly.

"Much better, but this is missing," she says handing me a soft blue sweater.

I pull it quickly over my head and smile as I look in the mirror, feeling more like me.

"Okay, well that's me done; now it's your turn."

I smile when Bella picks up a blue dress that looks like it will be quite fitting. She disappears into the changing room and comes back out twirling around. My reaction shocks me slightly, because I instantly feel myself harden. My eyes travel down her body as I take in her beautiful curves—it's perfect—she's perfect.

"You should get this," I say sounding like I'm out of breath. "In fact, I'll get for you. Even if you don't wear it when we get married, I know you'll wear it at some point when you're out with me."

"You like it that much?"

I shake my head at her. "No, I love you in it."

I bet it will look even better when I'm peeling it off of her, but I don't say that. I watch as Bella blushes and I'm a little worried I had said my inner thoughts out loud. Before I'm able to dwell on it too much, Bella starts to speak again.

"Okay, I'll go and get changed."

As soon as she's dressed, we pay for our new clothes. As we head outside the shop, I move my hand to hold hers.

"So we're done then, now what should we do?"

I shake my head and she looks at me confused.

"We're not done yet, you still need a wedding ring."

"Edward there's ..."

I turn looking right at her, and whatever she sees in my face makes her stop talking.

"We already agreed to try making it a normal marriage; therefore, you need a real ring."

I turn back around and start walking, pulling her along behind me.

It has been two hours and so far none of the rings we have seen seem to be the one.

"What about that one?" Bella says pointing to a ring. I look at it and shake my head as I close my eyes.

"What's wrong with it?" Bella asks and I can hear the faint chuckle.

I'm sure it's because of my facial expression.

"There's nothing wrong with it per se, it's just ... it's not us."

I rub my face slightly out of frustration.

"Do you know what kind of ring you have in mind?" the saleslady asks.

I look at the saleslady and frown. I try to picture the ring in my head, and suddenly I can see Bella wearing the perfect ring as it comes to mind.

"Does that look mean you thought of something?"

I turn to Bella and nod at her, happy that I finally know.

"Yes, and it's absolutely perfect. Thank you, ma'am, for your help," I say to the saleslady. "Come on, let's go," I say taking Bella's hand.

I drive straight to my parents' home and yell for them as I walk in the door.

"Edward," My mom sounds surprised as she looks between Bella and me.

"Remember, when I was younger, you said grandma left me her wedding ring?"

My mom's face lights up as I talk.

"You want to use your grandma's wedding set when you marry Bella?"

I nod at her with a big grin, because I can see how pleased this makes my mother.

"Oh, this is such a good day. I'll send both of the rings off to be cleaned and sized. Well, maybe we should hold off on the wedding ring ..." my mom goes quiet as she seems to drift off to deep thought.

"Mom, we're getting married in twelve days."

"What? Why ... she's not, is she?"

My mom's eyes go to Bella's stomach.

"No, we're waiting until we get married before ... you know."

My mom tilts her head as she looks at me.

"So, what's the rush to get married?"

I move my eyes, so I can look at Bella who looks close to panicking.

"Mom, the past few months have shown us that we must grab on to the things we want, and this is what we want."

My mom smiles a little and nods her head at us.

"Okay, then I'll go and get them. We can see what we can get done for the big day."

My mom walks off and I pull Bella to me, moving her hair so I can talk into her ear.

"You need to stop panicking all the time. I swear I've got this."

I feel her tense body starting to relax and I run my hand up and down her back.

"Here, I thought you were the one that could talk to people, but you're making me look like a master at it."

I can feel her gently chuckle on my chest.

"We can do this, I swear," I say kissing her head.

I only pull back, when a flash of light hits my eyes.

"Mom," I say blinking my eyes trying to readjust my eyes.

"What? You two look so cute and in love. I just had to take a picture."

I look at Bella grinning and wink at her, when I see her faint blush. I know I, too, will have a faint redness in my face, which only makes me enjoy this even more.

My mom sighs and passes me the ring box and walks away. I open it, and smile when I see the two rings. Bella looks at them in awe.

"These are beautiful, are you sure you want me to have them?"

"Just like what you said about your dad's ring, these just seem to be yours."

I take the engagement ring out and place it on her finger.

"See how perfect it looks, and it fits like it was designed for you."

I place a kiss on her finger, and then interlock our fingers together. Bella looks at the ring, then into my eyes, and I feel my heart starting to pound faster. I can almost swear I can already see the love there in her eyes and I know mine must look the same.


Bella and I spent the last week moving our things together into her apartment. Rose and Emmett chose to be an exclusive couple and are now living together. Things are going well and all is pretty much perfect, except Alice, who is not speaking to us at all.

I kiss Bella's neck as we walk in the door together, after we went out for breakfast. I'm really enjoying this more intimate side that we have been sharing these past ten days, since deciding to truly give ourselves this chance.

"What's that?" Bella asks bending down, which pushes her ass against my groin.

She stands back up holding a piece of paper with both our names scribbled on it.

"Who is it from?" I ask, but it comes out in a mumble, since I now have my lips pressing against her neck.

"Alice," Bella says and I pull away hearing that she's holding back a sob.

I take the letter from her and read it.

Edward and Isabella—

I just wanted to let you know that I will not be attending this sham of a wedding you two are having. Who in their right mind gets married in a courthouse? What a joke! This just confirms to me that you two are playing a cruel joke on me. I will not speak to either of you until you have put a stop to it, and have made it up to me. *Note – I expect a lot of gifts and begging from you both. You both owe me so much and I will never forgive you if you don't put a stop to it immediately.

Goodbye for now, from a very hurt and angry, Alice—

Alice is really starting to piss me off. This whole, everything has to revolve around me and I am the queen of the world, should've been knocked out of her years ago. If she keeps this up, I may just beat it out of her.

"Bella, honey," I say softly as I run my hand along her face and into her hair.

She shakes her head with a look of pure heartbreak and loss on her face. It goes straight to my heart, almost making me drop to my knees.

"Please, honey, I'm here ... she ... she's just being a self-centered, spoiled rotten bitch."

Bella's head turns back up and I wipe the tears that have fallen in her silent crying.

"What?" I ask as her mouth stays open.

"I'm just a little shocked to hear you speak like that. You're normally so reserved in what you say."

"Yes, you're right, I am, but there are really no other words that could be used to describe how Alice is behaving."

Bella lets out a breath.

"Are you sure this ... that I'm worth losing your sister over?"

I move closer to her, placing my hands into her hair and making her eyes meet mine.

"Yes, I think that you are. Never in my life have I ever felt half of what I feel for you, and it's only been two weeks. I believe with time, what we can have will be great, and I want it. I want the chance to have something great with you, and I will not allow Alice's temper tantrums ruin it. Will you?"

She shakes her head for a fraction of a second, before placing her lips to mine.

After a heated kissing session, I leave Bella, who's a little happier, to go for another shift at Starbucks.

"Edward, I need you to take my shift Friday and Saturday," Mike says in his usual, I'm really telling you not asking voice.

"Can't," I say and carry on with my own work.

"Come on, Edward, I'm taking Tanya out. We're getting back together, she's been missing me. Thanks man," Mike says hitting my shoulder as he walks away.

"Mike, I said NO, I can't do it," I say again, but Mike just blinks at me as he sits down at one of the tables putting his feet up as I do all the work.

I carry on with my work slowly getting more pissed at Mike as he continues to do nothing.


I groan loudly, when I hear Alice's shrilly voice.

"So what, Alice, I need to work?" I say only glancing at her.

"No, you need to talk to me! What are you doing, Edward, I mean, Bella – really?"

"I love her," I say.

The words roll out of my mouth, and I know that I have never spoken truer words before.

Alice laughs shaking her head at me.

"Cute, you have your first crush, but girls like Bella don't go for guys like you."

I close my eyes and move away from where Alice is standing.

"Edward, you're my brother and I love you…"

I stop walking and turn to face her cutting her words off.

"Really, after all of this, you say you love me? I'd absolutely hate to see what you would say if you hated me. We, Bella and I, are getting married, and that's the end of the story. For the record, dear loving sister, I don't need your approval."

"Edward," Alice says as she stomps her foot, "she's my friend. I told you when you wanted to be friends with her that you couldn't – you've betrayed me."

I shake my head giving her a little chuckle.

"Really, how do you figure? Bella is a person, not a toy, and she certainly doesn't belong to you."

As soon as the words are out of my mouth, Alice starts to cry her fake ass crocodile tears.

"Please, Edward, don't take her from me. I'll find you a better girl and more beautiful."

"More beautiful?" I say out loud wondering if my sister is mentally insane. I mean, she's really lost it. Bella's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen.

"Yes, Edward, Bella's pretty and all, but she's kind of plain, too. You should meet my friend Kate, now she's a knockout. You can have Kate and don't worry about telling Bella, I'll do that."

"I don't think so, you must truly be stupid. Bella and I are together and we're staying that way. Now leave," I growl out. For the first time Alice looks afraid of me.

"You are…" I bite my lip to stop the words from coming out. "Bella and I are getting married, if you don't like it, tough. If you go anywhere near her, I swear to God, Alice, I will tell Jasper about you sleeping with his father."

"She told you?" Alice screeches loudly and I have to rub my ears.

"No, you weren't very discreet about what you were up to."

Alice looks at me confused.

"You fucked him at Renee's wake. I was the one that walked in on you."

Alice crosses her arms and then storms out. I let out a breath as I walk back out front to see that my boss is there with Mike.

"Yeah, so I switched Friday and Saturday with Edward."

"No, you haven't. You asked and I said no, I can't do it."

Mike glares at me. "My mom's sick, and I have done the last four weekend shifts," Mike boldface lies.

"Edward, you need to take your turn and Mike's mom is real sick. He should be there, not here doing double the work, because you won't switch. I mean really, you could give up time with your girls for once to work a weekend," Marcus says.

Mike looks at me with a smug grin, and I take off my apron and hat handing them to Marcus.


"If you believe that bull, then I'm done."

I go to move away, but Marcus grabs my arm.

"Edward, we can get to the bottom of this between the three of us."

"No, Marcus, we can't. You see that there," I say pointing at Mike, "is a waste of space. He never does anything. We all work to cover for him. I clean this whole place, plus do his shift work, while he gets paid for it. I—ME, not HIM—have done every weekend shift for almost two years, which you clearly should be aware of."

"Hey, who are you calling a waste of space?" Mike says with a glum look on his face.

Marcus sighs rolling his eyes turning his body away from Mike and looks to me.

"Come in this one weekend and I'll hire someone to do the weekends after that."

"No, you're only asking me because you know he won't come in. Fire him, if he doesn't show up for his scheduled shift. Just because his dad's your boss, doesn't mean you have to bend over and take it up the ass. I have something far more important than this place to do this weekend. I think marrying the woman of my dreams is more important than covering for that douche, so he can go out on a hot date with his ex."

I shake Marcus' hand off my arm and get my jacket walking out. When I'm on the street, I feel a mix of panic that I have spoken to my boss—well probably ex-boss—in such a poor manner, but I also feel alive and free. For so long I wanted to say most of that and more to both Mike and him. To finally say a large part of it has taken some of the weight off of my shoulders.

I arrive back at Bella's apartment—well our apartment—and smile as the thought of it being our home floods my mind.

"Hey, you're early?" Bella says as she looks away from her kindle to her watch.

"I missed you," I say walking over and sit down next to her. I hum when she starts to run her fingers through my hair and I close my eyes.

"Alice came by and we had a verbal fight. Then Mike started his usual wanting this weekend off shit. Marcus, of course, assumed I would just drop everything and cover even after I told him I couldn't, so I walked out."

Bella's hand stops and I open my eyes looking at her.

"It's fine. I feel so much better and I said a lot of things I've wanted to say for a while now." She gives me a weak smile and I brush my head on her hand hoping she'll start to move her fingers again. I grin closing my eyes as she giggles and starts to move her fingers again.


I have been standing in the living room with my hand in my pockets waiting for Bella to come out for the past twenty minutes. I let out a sigh looking at the time. I see that we are cutting it close. I open my mouth to call her just as her door opens and she walks out. My eyes go up and down, taking in the beautiful sight of my soon-to-be wife.

"Wow, you look amazing," I say putting my forehead on hers as she stands on her tip toes.

I bend a little more, touching her lips with my own.

"As much as I love doing this with you, we have to go."

Bella just hums and kisses me again.

"We have plenty of time for more of this after the wedding, love," I say and she nods taking my hand as we walk out of the apartment.

We arrive at the courthouse with ten minutes to spare.

"Hey, you two," Emmett yells as we walk through the door.

"Bella, you look amazing," Rose says hugging Bella.

"I'm glad you both could make it," Bella says as she looks around. It's as if she's looking for someone and I know who that is.

"Sorry, Bella, she's not coming. Jasper took her away for the weekend; she left first thing the morning."

Bella nods and I kiss the side of her head.

"Bella, Edward," I hear Ben's voice.

I turn seeing Angela and Ben, two more of Bella's friends, running toward us.

"Sorry, oh God, my alarm didn't go off. I swear I set it before going to bed. But I got up and saw how late it was. We had to rush to get ready, and then I couldn't find anything, even my door keys, they were not in my purse. I called Alice, but her cell was off. I was just about ready to try to shimmy my way out the fire escape, when Ben found the keys in the fridge."

As Angela tells us about her morning, I knew this was Alice's doing. Alice and Jasper share an apartment with Angela and Ben, so it would be so easy for her to do.

"Cullen and Swan, wedding party," the clerk calls out.

I look at the man and Bella looks around, before looking to me with hurt all across her face.

"What's wrong, love?"

"Your parents aren't here, maybe this is a sign," Bella says and I pull her to me hugging her.

"Yeah, it's a sign all right, a sign saying that Alice has been a bitch and they're allowing her to get away with it."

"I need the Cullen and Swan wedding party now," the man yells again looking right at us.

"Come on, let's get married."

I kiss her lips, before she can say another word pulling her to the room.

"Is this everyone?" The judge asks and we nod our heads. "Okay, then I will begin. We are gathered here—"

He gets cut off by the door opening and my parents walking in looking out of breath.

"Sorry, traffic was a nightmare," my dad says and walks in standing behind us.

"Is everyone now here?" the judge asks, clearly irritated.

We again nod at him and he starts off again.

Ten minutes later, we walk out holding hands and smiling. Bella smiles, looking at the rings on her finger and it makes me happy. We're now a married couple. We all head to a restaurant for a late lunch. My dad taps his glass lightly standing up.

"Bella, you have been a part of our family for so long, and we have thought of you as a second daughter for a long time. I'm so very pleased that you and my son—who I also love dearly—are now married. When I was first told, I was surprised, shocked even, but as I thought about it, I could see how right for each other the two of you are. Edward, you were always more alive when Bella was around, you even had a twinkle in your eyes. And, Bella, you would often stay in Alice's shadow, but when Edward was around you, it was like you were bathed in light."

I turn looking at Bella with my head a little tilted toward my dad as I think over his words. As Bella smiles looking back at me, I know that he is right; we are and always have been so right for each other.

"I know you'll have a very happy life together, so please, everyone, raise your glasses to Bella and Edward."

"Bella and Edward," the rest of them say, as they raise their own glass.

We say our goodbyes to everyone and return to our apartment. I walk through the door carrying her over the threshold. I head over to the stereo, putting on some music.

"Dance with me," I say holding out my hand.

"I should warn you that I'm not good at dancing," Bella says walking into my arms.

"Oh, I know, think my toes are still broken," I chuckle and Bella pouts at me. "But I'll gladly take the chance, if it means dancing with you."

As we sway a little, I gently kiss her lips again. I move my hands out of hers, and placing them softly on her back. My hands softly move up her back and I pull back from her, as I drag her zipper down. She nods at me and my lips go back to hers and I slide it down as it drops to the floor. I pick her up as her legs go around my waist, and her fingers are in my hair, holding my head to hers.

It only takes me a little time to get to our room. As I lay her on the bed, she pulls my sweater and shirt off, in one fell swoop. I kiss my way down the top of her body, unclasping her bra as I go. I palm and suck on her breasts, as she unzips my pants. Before long, I'm kicking my legs to finish getting them off.

"You're sure about this? That you want this?" I ask, almost pleading.

"Yes, do you?"

"More than I want to be a vet. I need you and this with you, more than I need to breathe."

She smiles, as she pulls my head back to her. I run my hands down her body and up her legs, hitching them back around my waist.


I look down at Bella, still grinning at the fact I was able to make her feel ultimate pleasures the first time we joined together. I know that's not really something to be overly pleased about, but usually it takes time to learn another's needs. For us, it seems to be natural, like breathing.

"I know how you feel, that really was something," Bella say sleepily against my chest.

"Yeah, it was, and I can't wait to do it again with you."

"Me, too," Bella yawns out closing her eyes.

I hold her to me as she sleeps.

"I don't like pink, Alice," Bella growls out and I look down to see that she's talking in her sleep.

"Please, don't take Edward away from me, Alice."

"She won't, Bella, I'm with you, right where I want to be," I whisper in her ear, hoping to calm her back into a peaceful sleep.

"I love you, please, Edward, I love you," Bella begs.

I feel my heart racing hearing her say that for the first time, even if it's just in her sleep. From the sound of her voice, it was so clear and heartfelt. I can't help but want it to be true. I'm brought out of my mental thoughts, when Bella starts to whimper.

"Bella, love, wake up."

I shake her gently and she opens her eyes and starts to cry right away.

"Hey, what's this?" I say pulling her on top of me.

"They said no. They said no, and I had to leave and you didn't come with me. When I finally was allowed to come back, you were married to another woman. Alice was there and said your new wife was better for you and you didn't want me. I was yelling for you and you just walked away, saying that I was not worth losing your family for."

I pull her closer to me and make her look in my eyes.

"That won't happen," I say, holding back my own fear that I will lose her in some way.

"It may ..."

I shake my head clasping her face in my hands.

"No, it won't, because if you have to leave, then I'll be coming with you."

Bella looks at me and then tilts her head.


I sigh and kiss her lips, tasting her tears as I do.

"I know this in some ways has been fast, but in others, it feels like a long time coming. Bella, I'm in love with you. When I think back to before now, I realize it's always been there, just growing stronger all the time. Without you, my life would be incomplete. I really, honestly, truly love you, and I'm in love with you."

Bella pulls back from me and just looks at me.

"Bella, if you don't fe ..." the word feel, comes out in a half mumble as Bella starts to kiss me. Just as I'm getting into it, she pulls back.

"I love you, too. I should've said that before."

I kiss her lips and flip us over, so I can hover over her.

"Let's do this right; from here until death do us part. I love you, Isabella Cullen."

"And I love you, Edward Cullen."

I feel my heart leap as if it's trying to escape my chest. I lock our hands together as my body enters hers for the second time tonight. The entire time we make love, our eyes remain locked on the other. Only minutes from joining, we both reach our peak and fall over the edge together.

"I'm never letting you go, and if you have to leave, I will come, too," I say softly into her ear, flipping us again so she's on top of me.


Bella and I have been married for a little over a week now, and we're very much in love with each other. Everything seems to be falling into place and running smoothly. We still have our deciding interview to attend with Aro, tomorrow. We're both hopeful that it'll go well.

I knock on my parents' door, before walking in. We're joining them today for Sunday lunch. As soon as we walk through the door, we're greeted with Alice, who has her arm crossed over her chest.

"Still playing house, I see?" she snarls.

"Still being a bitch, I see," I reply and she narrows her eyes at me, before glaring at Bella.

I watch her eyes go wide as she catches sight of Grandma Platt's wedding set on Bella's ring finger.

"That's nana Mary's rings! You gave her MY nana Mary's rings!" Alice shrieks, making the rest of the family come running out.

"What's going on now?" my mom says looking at the three off us.

"You bitch," Alice yells and pulls Bella's hair. Within seconds, Alice is trying to take the rings off of Bella's hand.

"That's mine, you give it to me, you trashy bitch!"

I pull Alice roughly off of Bella, and just about throw her on her ass, but sadly Jasper catches her. He puts her behind him as he steps forward to me.

"Enough!" my dad yells and we turn to him. "Those rings were left to Edward to give to whomever he married, and that person is Bella."

"No, Daddy, he was meant to give them over to me, for when I got married to Jasper."

I look at her like she crazy.

"What planet are you from? Why on earth would I do that?"

"Because, I'm your sister and I wanted those rings. You all knew that and the old bag knew that, too. She only gave them to you, just to spite me," Alice says and then huffs.

I shake my head and look at my mom who looks hurt over what Alice just said. Before any of us can speak, the doorbell sounds.

"I'll get that," my mom says sadly and walks quickly away.

"What's wrong with you?" Bella says. "Esme loved her mother very much and to hear you speaking of her like that was very horrible. Seriously, Alice, what is wrong with you?"

Alice's head slowly turns to Bella.

"You know nothing! You're just using him for his money."

"Everyone, this is Aro Volturi, and he's from the INS," my mom says and Bella and I both look at each other swallowing, before turning to my mom and Aro.

"Bella, Edward, I heard you got married. I've just come to speak to the family. I've already spoken with most of your friends."

"You're an illegal immigrant?" Alice yells again. "So this is why you married him, so you could stay in America? Oh, I knew you were a low-life, back-biting cunt, but really, this takes the cake, Isabella."

"You think they only got married so she could stay in the USA?" Aro asks.

"Well, yeah, they never spent any time together until about three weeks ago. Then there's the whole getting married at the courthouse—I mean who does that other than lowlife freaks or people with shady shit to hide—unless the skank is pregnant."

"No, I'm not pregnant. None of what you said is true, we love each other. Bella doesn't have any family left and Mom and Dad were both at our wedding, ask them. I only have one real friend besides Bella, so there was no reason for us to spend all that money on one day, when we could use it to build our future," I say holding Bella's now weak body to mine.

"Hmm," Aro says. I know Alice may've done unfixable damage to this.

"What Alice is claiming is not true," my mom says and we all face her.

"Edward and Bella have been dating for a while. They're both just private people. Edward asked me for my mother's ring, before Renee had passed away. He wanted to ask Bella to marry him, but Renee's death knocked Bella down so hard, he held off as long as he could."

I just stare at my mom. To say she spins a very good sounding lie would be an understatement.

"You'll have to forgive Alice, she's not taken this well and as her mother, I can only blame myself for repeatedly giving into her demands when she was a child. You see, she's just jealous, because she wanted something she can't have, because it was not left to her by the old hag it belonged to," my mom spits out the ending part, while flat out glaring at Alice.

Aro nods in understanding.

"No, mom, what are you saying? She's only using him," Alice says again.

"Okay, well I have everything I need, and I'll see both of you tomorrow morning at nine," Aro says.

Bella doesn't say anything and I can hear her breathing becoming shallower. As my mom walks Aro out, Bella bends over trying to breathe easier.

"Nice and easy, love," I say sitting on the floor and pulling Bella onto my lap.

"I knew it, I told you all this was some lie," Alice says cheerfully. "And before they kick your ass out of my country, I want my rings!"

"You spiteful, horrible, ungrateful, worthless, bitch," I say standing up and moving to her. "That's all you want, everything done your way, right? You're so stupid, she's been your friend ..."

Alice goes to cut me off, but she sees something in my face and gulps remaining quiet.

"For thirteen years, Alice, she's stood by you. In all that time, she's always been there for you. You are so hateful and such a horrid person, I could care less if I EVER see you again. And, for the record, if they kick her out of YOUR country, she will still have the rings, Alice, because she'll still be my wife."

"She'll be screwing some guy before the plane hits the ground when they send her back where she belongs," Alice says finding her voice and I chuckle nodding at her.

"I know she will be, because I'll be that guy."

Alice looks at me confused.

"If she has to leave, well then I'm going, too! So I do hope what everything you did and said in all of this, was worth losing your brother and your best friend."

I don't let Alice say anything, I just walk to Bella picking her up and carrying her out to the car. As I drive away, I can see my dad holding my mom who is crying. I do feel guilty for leaving so quickly, but if I stayed any longer, I would have been arrested for beating the shit out of Alice.

When we arrive back at our building, I carry Bella to our apartment, and straight to bed.

"It's going to be okay. I'll be with you no matter where we have to go. I'll be right by your side," I say into her ear, "because I want to be with you, I love you."

"But your family," she sobs out finally.

"Bella, you are my family, you are the only thing—one that matters to me, now. Besides, my parents like to travel. If we have to leave, they'll visit, often."

I kiss her lips and we pull at each other's clothing, touching each other everywhere we can. We spend the whole night joined together. It's not just sex, but this all-encompassing kind of coming together that makes you feel complete as if you need more at the same time. When morning arrives, we both leave without breakfast and head to the immigration office waiting on Aro.

"Bella and Edward, please come in," he says and we follow him into his office.

"Well, everyone apart from your sister Alice, all say you been dating for months. The only problem is, they all have different months of when this started, thankfully it's all been agreed it's within this year. They have all given me evidence supporting your relationship. Because of the varying information, the agent in me would say most of it was made up. However, I have seen you and I've watched you closely. From the first time you walked into my office and even more so since then, you look like you're both in love to me. As you sit in front of me, I can almost feel it pour off of you. This inclines me to believe that your sister, Alice, was right. I do think and believe that you got married so that you could stay."

I clasp Bella's hand, ready to fight for her. I don't understand how he can say he sees our love, but thinks we married to keep her here. I frown when Aro starts to chuckle.

"But, Alice is clearly wrong on the fact that you don't really love one another. This whole thing may've started as a way to keep her here, but you two are in love. Therefore, I believe in this marriage, and I believe that it will work. Because of the conditions and situation, I have granted your request, Isabella Marie Cullen, for citizenship."


"Edward, can I look now?" Bella asks with a sigh, but I know it's as fake as can be. I can see the smile she's trying hard to hide.

"No, not yet," I say kissing the side of her head, as I guide her into the room.

"Okay, ready?"

Bella bobs her head and I take the blindfold from her eyes.

"This is your old apartment?" Bella says looking around.

"Yeah, it is," I say with a chuckle.

"Why are we here?"

I grin at her, pulling her to the table that I have had set up for us.

"Twenty years ago at that the very door," I say pointing at the door behind Bella, "you asked me to marry you. But today, I'm asking you to marry me, again."

I open the box that has the diamond encrusted eternity band inside and she gasps.

"You're crazy, and of course I'll marry you again. I'd do it all—every bit of it over again."

She kisses my lips and I pull her down on the floor with me.

We spend the rest of the night making love and staying in each other's arms. As she sleeps, I think back on the last twenty years.

After Bella was cleared, she took her pledge to become a US citizen. Our happiness was short lived, when Alice started making things hard for us – well for Bella. Every job Bella had applied for; Alice would call them up or go to the place making them write Bella off, before they'd even seen her. Both my parents tried to talk to Alice, but had no luck when they did. I had to take action when Bella became pregnant. Alice was none too happy when she got served with the restraining order. She was actually arrested three times, before she finally started to stay away. By month four, Bella was able to relax and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy. Our son, Anthony, was born on our first wedding anniversary. He's my spitting image and he's following in my footsteps, also wanting to be a veterinarian.

Life was good for a few months, until Jasper caught Alice and his dad going at it, on their wedding day no less. Then all-hell broke loose. The more Jasper stayed away from her, the more hurtful Alice became with others. When she received the annulment papers two months later, she blamed Bella again. She violated the order of protection again, and tried to seriously harm Bella. This time, when she was arrested, she got a prison term of two years.

After everything that happened, Bella and I moved the few miles back to our home town, after being married just four years. I got a job in the local Veterinary clinic and Bella worked at the local elementary school, teaching kindergarten. Our move was closely followed by Angela and Ben. Angela is the town reverend, a first for our small town. Then Rose and Emmett came and opened their own mechanic shop.

Anthony had just started kindergarten when we were blessed with our second son. Bella and I were finding it hard to find a name that suited him. I wanted to call him Charlie after her father, but she said it was unfair to my father, who pretty much took on the role of being her dad after Charlie passed away. After going through all the names in our families, we found that our fathers shared the same middle name of Lawrence. Strangely enough, the name suited our son very well.

Life became a routine of going to work, coming home, spending time with the family, and once a month the kids went to their grandparents' home and we went out with Rose, Angela, Ben, and Emmett. Over the years, we'd all become dear friends that had each other's back.

The years passed and my boss retired, and I bought the clinic from him. Lawrence was at kindergarten and I was busy at work, when I received a call from someone I had not heard from in almost ten years.

Jasper quickly told me that he and Bella were attending the same teaching course, and during it, Bella doubled over in pain. He rushed her to the hospital. They were scanning her to see if her appendix had burst.

The four-hour journey, only took me an hour and a half. As soon as I was there, I ran all the way to the room Bella was in, arriving just in time to see our surprise daughter Arya being born. After having the boys, Bella filled out and where she wasn't always happy with her new curves and battle scars, I loved the softness it gave her body. Arya was very small, less than five pounds. She was an estimated six weeks early and had to be in the NICU for almost two weeks.

Our happiness over the surprise baby was quickly over shadowed, when Bella became ill and started to bleed. The two hours that it took for them to stabilize her felt like a lifetime to me. I was very grateful that Jasper and his wife Maria stayed with me and called the people that needed to know.

After spending two weeks in the hospital, I was allowed to take Bella and Arya home. We were advised not to have any more children, and as Bella was still healing, I booked myself in for a vasectomy.

Things slowly went back to normal and Bella and I adjusted to having three children. When she went back to work, she found that there were two new teachers coming to the school. We were happy to find that it was Jasper and Maria who joined our small town school system and quickly they joined our group of friends, too.

The last ten years for all of us have been very good. Of course, we had our share of bad luck, money worries, surprise babies, and sick kids, but we got through it all as a family.

It was only a few weeks ago, when Arya was asking us to tell her our story, that I really thought about the fact Bella and I never got a real wedding. So much has changed from that day, long ago. I do know we were both in love and that was the main point, but I still wanted to show her that the love I have for her has only kept growing. I also want to share that with our family and friends.

With the help of Maria, Rose, and Angela, I have most of the work and preparations done. All that was left to do, was ask her, and for her to get a dress, but she has almost three weeks in which to do it.

"Everything okay?" I look down at Bella, who's looking at me a little worried.

"Yeah, I was just thinking about the last twenty years."

She bites her lip and nods at me.

"It has been a roller coaster ride, but I wouldn't change it for anything," she says.

"Neither would I, love," I say kissing her lips.


I take deep breaths and tug at my suit collar.

"Edward, you know you're already married, right? This is just a renewal of your vows."

I turn and glare at Angela, who chuckles at me.

"I'm sorry, it's just you're acting like a guy who's getting married for the first time. It's kind of cute."

I roll my eyes at her.

"Okay, I better get down there. I'll see you in a minute," she says running down and out the door.

The door just closes, when the music begins and Ben walks Angela back down, leaving her to stand in front of me and then he moves to my side. Next down is Rose and Emmett, followed by Jasper and Maria. Then our son, Lawrence walks down the aisle with Arya. Last is Anthony who walks with his mom, my wife, Bella.

As she reaches me, I kiss her softly.

"You look beautiful," I whisper and then we look to Angela, who begins.

Soon the service is over and we head off to the reception to have a big party this time. After we're done with our meal, I kiss Bella's lips softly.

"Can I have your attention please," Anthony says in to a microphone. "... Dad, stop kissing my mom for three minutes."

I just ignore him and keep kissing Bella. Her lips are just too good.

"Mom," he says and I pout as Bella pulls away from me.

"Sorry, Tony," she says with a grin.

He sighs and rolls his eyes at her and I look around the room seeing that our family and friends are all chuckling at my display with Bella.

"Mom, Dad, we're all here to help you celebrate. We all know that Mom didn't get a big wedding and has since been busy raising a family. Mom, you helped Dad when he took over the practice and other things that have come along the way. Dad and us, your family, thought you deserved a special day, you both do," he says looking my way, too. "So we're all here to help you ring in the celebration that you two have been married for twenty years."

Everyone cheers and claps.

"If you killed him, you would've been out on good behavior by now," Emmett yells making everyone chuckle.

Anthony clears his throat and turns to Bella and me again.

"Through the years, you've taught me many great things. One of the main things you taught me is about family and love."

Bella lays her head on my arm and I pull her closer, kissing the side of her head, but keeping my eye on Anthony who's still speaking.

"Even as I watch you now, you are still unable to keep your hands off each other. Where most kids would feel disgusted at their parents acting like this, I only feel hope that one day I will be blessed with a love like yours."

I grin and tip Bella's chin up and kiss her soundly. I can hear the cat calls from around the room.

"Okay, I'm starting to feel disgusted now," Anthony deadpans.

I chuckle pulling back and wave at Anthony to keep going.

"So please, raise you glasses to my mom and my dad, to Bella and Edward, we hope you have another happy twenty years and more."

There are echoes of our names around the room. After toasting with everyone, I stand up.

"I would just like to thank Angela, Rose, Maria, and the kids, who all helped make this day great for Bella and me. Anthony says he learned a lot from Bella and me, well I learned love and what family means from my parents, who have now been married for fifty years."

I stop talking as everyone claps.

"I know I wasn't an easy child to bring up, and was really awkward, but you always helped and supported me, so thank you. As have all of you," I say looking at the faces of my friends. "You have all helped guide Bella and me through the journey of adult life and parenthood. You all mean so much to Bella and me, and to call you friends, seems to almost deteriorate what you truly mean to us. People say 'blood is thicker than water,' but there isn't one of you here who—relative or not—isn't a part of our very souls."

Everyone cheers and I turn to Bella.

"Now for you, my love, my wife, you have been in my life for so long. You are still my best friend, my first love, last and my only love. We have had some bad times, some rough times, but mainly we've had great times. You have given me three of the best kids around, all of whom I'm proud of."

I give each of my kids a look to show them I mean what I am saying, before turning back to my wife.

"I love you so much, and every day I am amazed at how it grows and how the love you have for me grows. I love you and I can't wait to spend another twenty years with you."

Bella stands up pulling me down a little, so she can reach my lips. Her fingers go right into my hair and I run my hands down to her waist, picking her up as I keep kissing her. We pull back and I look down at her. "I love you," I mouth the words silently and she replies back the same way.

I place her fully back on the ground and pick up my glass.

"To all of you, our family."

Everyone says family and takes a drink.

"And to my wife, Bella."

After the hall is cleared of some of the tables, I lead Bella to the dance floor. Over the years, I have pulled her up many times to dance and she has become good at slow dancing with me.

"Are you looking forward to going away with me?" I ask.

"Hell yeah, I'll miss the kids, but it'll feel so good being just you and me. Two nights a month just goes so quick."

I nod and kiss her lips.

"It does, more so when we end up doing those odd jobs that we seem to leave for when the kids are gone."

"Yeah, then there's the sleeping we always have to catch up on."

I chuckle a little, resting my hand on her fine ass.

"We have two whole weeks, just you and me," I say wiggling my brow at her.

"It's going to be heaven."

I nod and spin her around the room. So many stories start with once upon a time—Bella and my story, it started with a proposal—and I truly think we have the best story of them all.

A/N: Thanks for reading and reviewing. Hope you all enjoyed this short story. Be sure to check out the awesome banner that goes with this story. Nikky and I wrote a oneshot for this Awesome banner that was made
by, Caitlin Beresford in a contest, where it was awarded 3rd place. You can Google battle of the banner artist blogspot to see more of the banners and learn more about the contest. HUGE thanks to all the entries and Carolina Cullen for trusting us to write this one-shot to accompany the lovely banner Caitlin made.