Disclaimer: No copyrights infringement intended. I don't own Twilight saga or any of its amazing characters.

A/N: This is a birthday present for my adoptive Granma in the fic world—DataByteDL-FangirlinGranma. Happy Birthday, Granma. I hope you enjoy your little present and it brings a smile on your face. :)

Stay In My Heart

I frown as I look into the mirror and see the woman standing before me. Unlike my usual smile, a grimace seems to have taken over my face. My naturally bright brown eyes look anything but bright at the moment. Despite my promise to myself otherwise, I cannot help but think of the reason behind these changes in me—Edward.

Edward Cullen has been my best friend since as long as I can remember. He was the boy who sat by me and shared his crayons with me that first day I walked into kindergarten. He was the boy who made his mother get strawberry shortcake for his birthday just because I liked them. He was the boy who had given me my first awkward kiss when we were thirteen, and I had gotten worried about my first date for not having been kissed yet. He was also the boy who had kept me from falling apart the morning when Mike Newton broke up with me after taking my virginity the night before.

He was always there for me, until today.

Today was our graduation day. We finally said goodbye to our college life and got ready to enter our professional lives. It is supposed to be a day of happy tears and promises to keep in touch ... a day of celebration.

But not for me ... not when my best friend is leaving me the next morning for New York.

A silent tear rolls down my cheek as my heart whispers to me that Edward is much more than just my best friend to me ... he is the only boy I truly loved, the only man I fell in love with.

I don't know the exact moment I fell in love with Edward, but the moment that realization hit me with the force of a ton of bricks is still fresh in my mind.

Flashback

"Bella, you need to get over here, now!" Alice's trilling cry made me stop halfway through my chat with Rosalie and rush in the general direction of her voice.

Following Alice's voice, I found myself in the Cullens' backyard where the party for our high school graduation was still going on in full swing.

Alice must have spied me because she ran up to me and grabbed my hand. "Bella, you need to stop him. He just lost it. I don't ..."

Her babbling made no sense to me. I put a calming hand on my friend's shoulder and said, "Allie, calm down and tell me what happened. Who are you talking about?"

"My stupid brother, Bella! He's over there ...fighting with Jacob," she replied, pointing behind her.

Looking up, I saw the place where the brawl had broken out. It was pretty hard to miss with everyone standing there with wide-eyed stares. I let go of Alice and pushed my way toward the spot.

There, lying on ground with Edward clutching his collars, was my boyfriend of two months—Jacob Black.

"Edward! What are you doing?" I cried out in horror.

The sound of my voice seemed to bring Edward out of whatever haze he was in, and he pushed Jake once more before standing up.

The look in his eyes made me gasp. I couldn't think of ever seeing those calming green eyes look so livid before in all the years I had known him.

The sight of small cuts and bruises marring his perfect face made me reach out and touch his cheek. "What happened?" I asked softly.

He sighed, leaning his face into my hand. "He said ... he was just spewing shit about you, B, and I just lost it."

His hesitation in telling me exactly what Jacob had said made me realize it must have been something really disgusting.

I nodded and let out a breath. "Okay. Come inside the house. You're bleeding."

As I slid my hand down to his shoulder, Jacob's angry voice made us stop. "I knew it. You act all prim and proper, but you're fucking him on the side! You're such a slut, Swan!"

Edward whirled around to glare down at Jacob. "Black, if you want to leave here with all your teeth intact, I suggest you shut the fuck up and apologize to Bella. NOW!"

Jacob leapt up to his feet and shrugged his shoulders. "Whatever, Cullen, keep your whore. I'm not interested in her anyway. She's not even that pretty to look at."

In a flash, Edward was grasping Jacob's collars and punching his nose. The sound of bones crunching made me jump, and I grabbed Edward from behind. "Hey, E, it's fine. I don't care for him. Let's go," I whispered urgently.

My touch seemed to calm him down and Edward let go of Jacob, spitting down at his feet before walking back with his arms wrapped around me. "Get the fuck out of here, Jacob, and don't ever fucking think of coming near my Bella."

Once we were back inside the house and Alice had punched her twin brother in the arm for getting into a fight in the first place, I led Edward into his parents' kitchen where they kept the first-aid box.

As I wiped at the dried blood on the corner of his lips, he flinched at the sting. "Shit! That hurts."

I glared at him and snapped, "Good. That should remind you not to get into backyard fights. Honestly, what were you thinking, Edward?"

He smiled crookedly at me and replied, "Not much, really. The moment he started calling you names, my mind stopped working. All I could think of is breaking his jaw so that he could never say shit like that about you."

Shaking my head at him, I concentrated on dabbing at the cut on his temple when he whispered, "You should have let me get a few more punches in, B. He said you are not pretty. That alone should have earned him a few loose teeth."

"All right, Hulk. Calm down. Jacob Black is out of our lives now," I said jokingly.

"I mean it, Bella," he said softly. "You are so much more than pretty. You're beautiful."

Blushing at the compliment, I ducked my head.

That night when I was about to fall asleep, I realized that Edward had done for me what I had dreamt of having since I was a little kid. He had defended me against the big bad wolf. He was my knight in shining armor ... a knight I was in love with.

End of Flashback

"Bella! Get your ass in the gear, sweet cheeks! We've got some celebrating to do!" My roommate and other best friend, Rosalie, calls as she walks into my room.

One look at me and the smile slips from her face. She walks up to pull me into a hug and asks softly, "Bell? It's about Edward, isn't it?"

Sniffing, I nod.

"Oh, Bell! When are you going to get your head out of your ass? That boy loves you!"

Her words only make my inner turmoil increase. "You don't know that, Rose. Maybe he cares for me like Emmett or Jasper does for me—as a sister."

"That's just ridiculous!" She huffs. "Anyone blessed with the gift of eyesight can see that he's head over heels for you … just like you are for him."

She waits for me to respond, and when I don't, she asks, "You're not coming to dinner, are you?"

Looking down at my feet, I shake my head. "I can't, Rose. I can't go and have this last hurrah with him before he leaves me. I don't know how I'm going to drive him to the airport tomorrow morning, but I do know that I cannot go out and smile, pretending that his absence won't break me."

With a sigh, she pats my back. "I understand, sweetie. I don't approve, but I understand. Take the time to clear your head, Bell. And if you need me, I'm just a phone call away."

One more hug, and she leaves me to wallow in my misery.

How do I clear my head enough to say goodbye to the only man I have ever loved?

~*~*~*Stay In My Heart*~*~*~

About an hour into my self-imposed solitude, there is a knock at the front door.

For a moment, I consider not answering, but when the knocking keeps getting insistent, I slam my bottle of Corona in the tea table and drag my ass out of the couch—the site for my pity party.

"Alice, you can be so annoying!" I whine grumpily as I unlock the door and wrench it open. The sight that greets me makes me stop at my tracks. "Edward?"

He looks at me with those brilliant green eyes and I can practically see the questions plaguing his mind.

Stepping aside from the doorway, I motion him to come inside.

He closes the door behind him and then asks quietly, "Why?"

That one question is loaded with so many other unspoken questions that I stumble back, dropping down to sit back down on the couch again.

"I was feeling tired after this morning," I mumble, looking down at my feet.

There is a silent moment in which I become extremely interested in my toes. Then I hear his footsteps. He walks forward and stops right in front of me.

When I keep avoiding his eyes, he kneels down before me. "B?" he calls me by the name only he is allowed to as he nudges my chin to make me meet his eyes.

"Hmm?" I try to act all nonchalant.

"Why did you skip dinner?" he asks quietly.

"I told you I'm tired. I needed to rest a little bit."

"Is that all there is to it? You can tell me anything, B," he tries again.

I roll my eyes, keeping up the façade. "Urgh! E, I need to learn how to live without sharing every little bit of my life with you. I'm fine," I insist. "Honestly, you need to quit worrying about me. Go and celebrate with our friends. I'll see you in the morning."

Please, let me keep what's left of my heart with myself. You're taking a huge part of it with you anyway, I mentally beg of him.

He looks crestfallen at my words, and for the first time in days, I truly notice how his chaotic bronze hair looks even wilder than usual … how there seems to be dark circles under his eyes. Is he worried about the move?

I reach out and run my hand though his hair—trying to tame it down in a futile attempt. "E? Are you okay? You're not worried about the move are you?" the words tumble down from my lips without a thought.

"Oh no! I'm just fine and dandy, Bella," he snaps at me as he scrambles up to his feet.

"Edward …" I start, but he cuts me off. "No, Bella. If you get to pretend like it doesn't matter to you that I'm going away from you then I can do so as well. So, no, I'm fucking ecstatic to be moving to New York."

His words slice through my dejection and I get up to stand face to face with him. "What the fuck do you want me to say, Edward? You want me to tell you how I'll be a shell of myself without you? You want me to tell you how much it hurts to see the man I love walk out of my life? How the hell will that help? Huh? Tell me!"

It's not until I finish my ramble that I realize what I have blurted out in my anger.

I slap a hand over my mouth and refuse to look at him, not wanting to see the rejection on his face.

"Bella, look at me," his voice is soft as he calls my name.

Like a moth to his flame, I do as he asks and look at his face. All his emotions are reflected in his eyes as he smiles at me. "It will help, B."

"How?" My voice is just a little higher than a whisper.

He slowly wraps his arms around my waist and brings me to his chest before placing a soft kiss on my forehead. "It will help because then I will tell you how much I love you, you crazy beautiful girl. I will tell you how it broke my heart when I realized that taking that job will take me so far away from you. Finally, I will tell you that I chickened out and didn't take the job."

"What? Edward, no …"

"Shh, beautiful girl," he says, placing a finger on my lips. "Nothing is more important to me than you are, Bella. I got a job here, in Seattle. It pays better, and I'll be able to stay close to home … close to you."

A choked sob leaves my lips as I relax into his embrace. "You really love me, Edward?"

He nuzzles my neck with his nose and nods. "I do, beautiful. I love you with all my heart."

With a smile stretching on my lips, I respond, "I love you too, Edward … so much."

I thread my fingers in his hair and bring his lips close to mine. He stops to give me a bright smile before taking my lips in a kiss. I feel all the tension leave me as he urges my lips open. When he sucks my lips into his mouth, it feels like he has healed my broken heart with just that one kiss.

As we continue to kiss, he sneaks his hands underneath my tank top and grazes my stomach. I moan at the contact and feel him smile against my lips.

When the need to breath escalates, he lets go of my lips, only to continue his exploration of my neck with his lips. Throwing my head back at the sensation, I say, "Love me, Edward."

"I do, baby. I love you … only you," he replies.

I take the hand he has been using to cup my face and let it slide down to rest on my breast. He follows my silent request and caresses me through the thin fabric of my top. "Love me," I say again.

This time, he looks straight into my eyes as the words leave my lips. He must find whatever he looks for in there because the next thing I know, he has scooped me up in his arms.

He carries me to my bedroom and when he lets me slide down his body, I feel him … all of him against me.

He kisses me once more before asking, "You sure about us?"

"Always," I reply resolutely.

His hands reach for the hem of my top, and the next few moments are filled with tugging and pulling and pushing of clothes as we revel in the way we love each other.

With one more kiss at my naked shoulder, he lowers me down on the bed. He stares at me for a moment as I lay there beneath him before smiling up at me and saying, "Fuck! I'm a lucky bastard."

Wrapping my legs around his hips, I bring us as close to each other as possible and ask playfully, "And why is that, Mr. Cullen?"

He gives me his best cheeky smile and kisses my collarbone. "Because I'm in love with a girl who is beautiful inside and out, and by some miracle, she loves me too."

I moan as I feel him drop open-mouthed kisses on my nipples and reply, "That she does, baby."

Letting go of my nipple from his mouth, he skims down my body … placing butterfly kisses anywhere he can reach. When I feel his lips on me, I cannot help but grab his hair in my hand. The tugging only seems to make him more desperate.

The moment he joins me in the most intimate way for the first time, I feel it in my bones—this is exactly how we are supposed to be.

As his thrusts get erratic and he still manages to tell me that he loves me, I know … I know that it's the most beautiful truth in our lives.

When he tugs me to lie beside him with my head resting on his chest and his heart beating beneath my ear, I feel like it's beating just for me … just like mine is for him.

~*~*~*Stay In My Heart*~*~*~

The sound of my phone ringing brings me out of the most amazing dream I could ever remember of having.

As I turn around to reach the phone, I meet the sleeping face of my best friend, the man I love—my Edward.

A wide smile threatens to split my face in two as I lean forward to kiss his lips just because I can, and then I reach for the phone.

"Bell, have you seen Edward?" Even before I can utter a single word, I am greeted by Edward's twin sister's panicked voice.

"Alice?"

"Yeah," she replies. "We cannot seem to find Ed. He's supposed to leave soon, isn't he?"

Her loud cries seem to have woken Edward up because I feel him reach over me and speak into the phone. "No, he isn't. He is staying right here, Allie. Now, I'll appreciate it if you leave me alone with my girlfriend."

"Girlfriend?" Alice echoes the word before a squeal of delight coming from her end almost threatens to turn me deaf. "Oh my God! You two finally got together! We've been hoping for this forever!"

Edward clears his throat and says, "Allie? We're hanging up now. We'll see you for dinner tonight."

Then he hangs up without letting her say another word.

I arch an eyebrow at him and ask thoughtfully, "So … girlfriend, huh?"

He shrugs. "We love each other and we're each other's best friends. I don't see why I can't call you my girlfriend."

I place a kiss on the tip of his nose and nod. "Then you're my boyfriend."

"I'll be honored to be so, Miss Swan," he responds, hugging me to his chest.

A sudden thought strikes me and I blurt out, "Do you think we're going to be one of the clichéd couples? The ones who fall in love with their best friends?"

Taking my hand in his, he kisses my knuckles. "I fell in love with my best friend. If it's cliché, then I don't care. I'll be part of those sappy clichéd couples if that means I can have you with me."

"You'll always have me, E," I whisper to him.

"Likewise, B. Now that I've found you, I'm not letting you go … ever." His words bring tears of joy in my eyes.

As we sink back into the dream we created the night before, I know it. I know that Edward is going to stay in my heart … forever.

~*~*~The End*~*~*~

A/N: So, what did you think, Granma? I hope you had the smelling salts handy! ;)

Share your thoughts with me and leave a review and wish my adoptive Granma a very happy birthday, guys! :D

Thanks for reading.

Take care.

Ann