Thank you for your patience and support! Here is the final chapter of Turbulence! More might come as small vignettes or peeks into the future (likely NSFW lemonny goodness), but you'll have to beg for them, since I survive off of Christmas cookies and reviews.
"Have a nice flight!" The agent checking the tickets smiled pleasantly at Bella and Edward as they passed through the gate and began down the tunnel toward the waiting plane. Bella smiled back, and then waited behind other passengers while Edward caught up behind her.
Bella jumped slightly as Edward's hands gently rubbed her shoulders, which until that moment she hadn't realized were tensed. "Relax, Bella." Edward whispered. She leaned back against his firm chest and he kissed the side of her head gently, causing her to close her eyes and sigh deeply.
Flying caused her to stress out already; add in the pressure of returning back to Seattle in the midst of starting a new relationship and trying to navigate a potential career…triple the tension. That reminded her: she needed to check her phone for any word from Billy, Carrie's manager. She had sent over the song earlier that afternoon, but had no idea what or when to expect anything back from him. It probably won't go anywhere…that break would be way too lucky.
As they shuffled forward down the gangway, Bella quickly refreshed her email for any word from Billy. Nothing yet. She did, however, have a new email from Alice. She opened it and was greeted with a pic of the entire Cullen clan, all smiling in a crowded selfie for the camera. The message attached was what Bella's smile grow even larger:
We miss you already, Bella! Since you don't have any pictures of the family, we thought we'd send you with one of all of us. Hopefully it serves as a reminder that you're welcome back here anytime. You and Eddy have a safe flight!
Edward was looking over her shoulder and chuckled in response to the message. He whispered into her ear, "They love you. They'd be crazy not to." Bella shivered, feeling like his message was regarding more than just his family's feelings for her. She was distracted from her thoughts as the line moved forward and Bella was forced to focus on finding her seat.
An hour later, Bella and Edward were safely buckled into their seats and gliding up through the clouds. Edward had held her hand through the takeoff, and she was happy to see that he hadn't taken it away yet. As it was a night flight, the cabin lights had been dimmed and the entire plane was shrouded in peaceful darkness. Bella and Edward, tucked far in the back away from the prying eyes of most of the other passengers, snuggled into each other under an airline blanket. Edward had purchased two airplane-sized bottles of wine and they were sipping them between whispers and laughter. Not the most romantic setting for a date, but still pretty darn good.
"Favorite place to eat in Seattle?"
"Los Agaves, downtown," Bella responded quickly.
"I haven't tried it. You'll have to take me soon. I love Mexican food."
Bella barely contained her squeal at hearing him casually reference the future. No matter how much she tried to trust in his feelings for her, she was still so uncertain about where this was going once they touched back down to Earth.
"Your turn," she said. "Favorite coffee shop?" She whispered because all the passengers in their nearest vicinity were deep in sleep.
"Café Besalu," Edward said after some thinking. "It was a tie with Milstead & Co. but I'm obsessed with the pastries at Besalu."
"Oh I've been there, I think! Really yummy pan au chocolat, right? Mmmm, I could go for one of those and a mocha on a rainy morning." She thought for a moment. "I guess that would mean I'd be eating a lot of those, it being Seattle and all."
They both laughed, and Edward finished off the last of his tiny airplane Pinot Noir. Bella looked up at him and noticed his lips were slightly tinged purple from the dark stain of the wine.
"You're lips, they're stained," she commented, touching his full bottom lip with the pads of her finger. Edward caught her hand and held it briefly against his mouth before guiding her fingers so they brushed softly along the seam of his lips. Bella gasped in sudden need, and despite their semi-public location, had not a single qualm about leaning in a replacing her fingers with her lips.
The two kissed for a long moment, Edward's hand still grasping Bella's, but now on the blanket covering them. They were jolted from their embrace by a sudden bump. Bella gasped, not believing that they would have turbulence on this flight as well, but then bursting into embarrassed giggles as she saw it was just a wider-than-normal passenger squeezing through the aisle on the way to the lavatory. No more kissing in the airplanes. Avoid spectators at all costs!
So in lieu of kissing further, Bella snuggled against Edward's chest and let him gently pet her hair until they both fell into uncomplicated, dreamless naps.
"Gosh, Bella, how much stuff did you pack?" Angela groaned as she lugged Bella's suitcase behind her. Bella shrugged. "Oh come on, Ang. It's not like it's only for a week this time. I had to put everything I own into these suitcases!"
Bella was gesturing to the rest of the living room, where Edward and Ben were busy zipping up and gathering together the various bags, cases, and boxes that were filled to the brim with all of Bella's belongings.
Edward threw a devastatingly handsome smile in Bella's direction. "But at least she cleared out her closet, Angela, so you can move in and fill it right back up!"
Ben was the one groaning now. He rolled his eyes at Edward. "This is nothing in comparison to Angela's overflowing wardrobe. Thank goodness you have a spare bedroom in here, Bella. At least I'll have somewhere to put my things!"
The foursome laughed at Ben's description of his new wife's clothing addiction. The two had recently eloped in Hawaii and were moving in together for the first time…into Bella's apartment in Seattle.
Bella, on the other hand, was embarking on her own adventure. She was following her dream out to Music City, Tennessee. Luckily, she didn't have to do it alone. They had loaded up the Uhaul with Edward's stuff earlier in the day. Tomorrow morning they were hitching it to his Jeep and driving it on a romantic road trip across the United States.
As Ben and Angela headed toward the kitchen to get the pizza out of the oven and the beers from the fridge, Edward came over to Bella and put his arms around her. "Are you sure you're ready for this?" he asked her quietly.
Bella smiled serenely up at him. "So ready," she replied. And she really was.
Just two days ago she had marched into Jessica's office and giddily presented her boss with her letter of immediate resignation. She still giggled when she pictured the shocked look on the editor's face when she stammered out questions.
"Where are you going?" "What am I supposed to do without you?" "Who's going to help me do my job?"
It was with supreme pleasure that Bella answered her. "I'm going to Nashville, Jessica. I'm going to be a songwriter. And as for the last two questions: I don't know, and I don't really give a damn. Good luck!" And with a bright smile, Bella bounced out of her former-boss/permanent-SheDevil's office.
"And even if I wasn't ready, I'd need to get there fast! Carrie can't be waiting for my brain to catch up to my heart. She needs them both functioning so that we can work on her new album."
Bella was of course referring to the partnership that she and Carrie had quickly forged after the star had realized that Bella's lyrical style and talent with words appealed to her market. The demo that Bella had sent over the first weekend they'd met was a hit with the country music legend. And while Carrie had not ultimately decided to go that direction for her new album, she immediately booked Bella for some songwriting sessions via Skype.
After a few months of online communication, it became too complicated. Luckily, Edward had presented a solution around that very time. Immediately following their Nashville visit, he began looking for work closer to his family in the south. Finally, after months of searching, an old colleague helped him find a job with the Vanderbilt football team. With this new position, he was managing the team of physical trainers and team physicians that took care of the large football squad.
It was only three days ago that he had presented her with the happy news, and it didn't take long for them to start planning the next step: moving to Nashville together.
Bella smiled as she sat down to pizza with her dear friends. Though she would miss them—she knew that Edward would too since he'd spent the last 5 months getting to know them closely—she felt excited for her and Edward's new adventure.
"I can't believe this day is finally here!" Angela exclaimed dramatically. "It felt like only yesterday I was pushing you onto the plane to get started on following your dreams. Now you're living them!" She wiped a fake tear from her eye. "My baby's all grown up."
Everyone at the table laughed. Edward grabbed Bella's left hand and ran his finger along the rough edges of the piece of jewelry that newly sat upon the third finger. "Aw, Angela, you know we move quickly. Before you know it, you and Ben will be standing up alongside us at the church."
And with that, the two girls once again got started on wedding plans and ideas. They'd been at it all day, but Edward didn't care one bit. He was just so happy to see his future bride beaming with the joy he knew he felt inside.
Like always: peace, love, and review!