Three Years Later
"Mr. Masen-Cullen, care to have lunch with your old man?"
I looked up and smiled when I saw my dad standing in the doorway.
"I don't know, it's not really cool to been seen with the principal. My students might think I'm a brown-noser."
"Very funny, come on, I'll treat you to a gourmet meal in the cafeteria."
I laughed and got up from my desk. I was the new Music Ed teacher at Forks High, after graduating with my masters from U-Dub, I sent in my resume and after Carlisle made the suggestion to the school board to hire me, they agreed. We were into the first month of the school year, and I couldn't be happier with my new job. It had been everything I hoped for and I was so happy to finally bring my passion to life through teaching.
Bella graduated with her degree in English and landed a job at a publishing house in Seattle. The company was so impressed with her, that they allowed her to work from home as long as she made it to the office at least twice a month. She was thrilled to edit books like she'd always dreamed of doing.
We'd bought a small house in Forks, not far from the diner. Bella still oversaw all the financial aspects, but she was able to step back from the day-to-day operations when she hired a manager and a reliable staff. Which was another thing she'd always wanted to do. Her mother's diner would always run on under Bella's watchful eye.
Our house was a good size for us. It had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also had a large kitchen that Bella loved cooking in and living room that we decorated with tons of pictures of our families. We'd definitely made it our own.
As far as family goes, Charlie was still working. I think Bella finally convinced him to at least start talking about retirement, but I'm not sure the Chief is ready to let go just yet. I'd gotten closer to Charlie, mostly because I became a Seahawlks fan after moving to Forks. Nothing says male bonding like football and a couple beers.
Alice, my little sister, graduated high school and then received a scholarship to study at AFI Paris. It was so hard to let her go, but she had do what made her happy. I keep in touch with her though email and we Skype at least once a week. She and Jasper got together, then broke up, then got back together… I think. I can't keep up with her sometimes, all I know for sure is that she's happy and doing what she loves.
My parents, Esme and Carlisle, they've been great. We've become very close over the years; it was almost as if no time had been lost. Not to mention, my dad was now my boss, but that was cool. I just loved teasing him. If it wasn't for him believing in me like he did, I wouldn't be here doing what I love.
And my other parents Edward and Elizabeth, while our relationship was never the same, we've come to be in a good place. I'd call from time to time to give them updates on what's going on in my life. We'd been back to Chicago a couple times over the past three years to visit Riley and had stopped in to see them. Even though my relationship with them is drastically different from what it once was, I'm grateful to have discovered the truth because without it I never would've found what I have today.
Esme and Carlisle still refuse to see Edward and Elizabeth, it being too hard for them, and I respect that. I doubt that will ever change.
"So, tonight's the night?" Carlisle asked as we took a seat at an empty table in the faculty lunchroom.
"Yeah," I confirmed, "I"m just nervous, I mean what if she says no?"
"She's not going to say no, Son," Carlisle assured me, "she loves you."
"And I love her, so much," I said, and then took a bite of my sandwich. "It's funny, when I think about where my life could've gone had I not found out the truth and come here. I'd probably be in some law office right now completely miserable, and definitely not about to propose to the love of my life."
"Well it's a good thing that didn't happen," he said. "You're doing well here, It's like you were meant to teach. As much as your mother loved teaching music, it's no wonder you'd love it too." He took a sip of his coffee, put his cup down and gave me a heartfelt smile. "I'm glad you're here."
"Me too, Dad."
Later that night, I was back at the house getting ready for Bella to come home. She was on her way back from Seattle. She'd been gone for three days, and I missed her terribly. Her company put her up in a hotel when she had to go into the office since it was such a long drive. I'd been able to go with her during the summer months, but since school's back in session, she's had to go without me.
She'd be home in an hour and that left me enough time to shower and get changed. I looked at everything to make sure it was perfect before I went upstairs.
After my shower, I dressed in black slacks and a green button down with matching tie. I finished up with my shoes and hair and then headed back downstairs. As I gave the living room one last look I heard her car door slam.
Bella was home.
This was it.
I got into place and my heart skipped a beat when I heard the key in the front door. Bella opened the front door, walked in and then dropped her bags.
"Edward, you home?" She called, as she closed the door.
"Right here," I replied.
I watched somewhat nervously as she turned around and saw what I'd done. The living room was covered in candles and red rose petals. And I was standing in the middle of the room holding a single red rose.
"Edward..." she gasped. "Oh my."
"Welcome home, babe." I walked over to her and handed her the rose. I leaned down and kissed her lips.
"What is all this?" She blushed.
"I missed you," I said with a smile, "and I have a surprise for you."
"You mean there's more than this?"
"Oh yeah, much more." I took her hand and led her over to the couch. I sat her down and then I got down on one knee in front of her."
"Oh," she gasped then she covered her mouth with her hand.
"Bella, I love you so much it hurts sometimes," I started. I felt tears gathering in the corners my eyes as I spoke. "When I came to this town three years ago in search of my birthparents, I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to walk into a diner and find anything other than a hot meal, but I found you that night and my whole life changed."
Bella was in full fledged tears as I spoke. I reached up and tried to wipe some of them away, but it was no use, more fell in their place.
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you,"I started again, "you are my everything, I want you to be my wife. Isabella Swan, will you marry me?"
"Oh Edward, I love you so much," she sobbed. "Yes, I'll marry you."
I smiled big and wrapped her in my arms while still on my knees. I pulled back so I could kiss her deeply and passionately.
"Good answer," I grinned as I leaned back. "Now you can have this." I reached in my pocket and took out a small black box. I opened it, and again Bella covered her mouth when she saw the ring that rested on the black velvet bed.
The ring was a single round solitaire set in platinum. It was simple but elegant. I plucked it from the box and slid it onto her left ring finger, it was a perfect fit.
"It's so beautiful," she said as she looked down at the ring. She then looked back at me. "Um… since you're down there, there's something I need to tell you."
"What is it?" I asked.
"Well, when I was in Seattle, I wasn't feeling very well," she explained.
"Are you okay now, do you need to rest?" I asked, suddenly concerned.
"No, I'm fine," she said, "I just well... I happened to look at my calendar and I realized that I was five day late."
"Late?" I questioned, as my breath caught in my throat it hit me. "As in…?"
"I took a test this morning before I left the hotel," she continued, "I'm pregnant, Edward. We're going to have a baby."
"A baby?" My head was spinning, so much so that I lost my balance and fell back on my ass.
"Oh God, are you okay?" She gasped. Bella then joined me on the floor, grabbed my hand and tugged until I was sitting up.
"You're sure?" I asked. I was still in complete shock.
"I took four tests, so yeah pretty sure," she confirmedd. "I know this wasn't planned, but..."
"Bella, I"m sorry, I was still reeling from the fact that you said you'd marry me and then you tell me you're having my baby." I pulled her closer to me until she was on my lap. "We're going to have a baby?"
"It would seem so," she murmured. "Are you okay with this?"
"Bella, I'm beyond okay with this." I then lowered my hand to her still very flat stomach and looked in her eyes. "Our baby is in there."
"It is," she replied, tears once again falling from her eyes. "Our baby."
I pushed her down on the floor and within a few minutes, we were naked and I was about to move inside her, but I paused.
"Wait, is this okay?" I wasn't sure if it was with her being pregnant.
"It's very much okay, Edward."
I then moved inside her and made love to my fiancee and mother of my unborn child.
Afterward, we lay wrapped up in each other's arms in front of the blazing fire. My hand was still resting protectively on her stomach, her hand on top of mine.
"You're really okay with this?" Bella asked as she propped herself up on her elbow to look at me.
"Yes, I'm really okay with this," I told her. "I mean, yes, it was a surprise, but I couldn't have asked for a better one." I moved so I was on my side facing her. I reached over and cupped her face. "I love you so much and I love that you're having my baby. It's funny, I never saw myself as a father before I came here, it just wasn't on my radar, but now, I can't think of anything other than marrying you and raising our family, here in this house that we've made our home."
"I was nervous when I first realized that I might be pregnant," she admitted, then she exhaled. "I knew we hadn't really talked about it, but I am so glad you're happy, Edward."
I leaned in and kissed her lips and then pulled her back into my arms where we both fell asleep content and warm.
The next day, we were able to get in to see a doctor where it was confirmed that Bella was six weeks pregnant. Everything looked good and both she and the baby were healthy.
After we left the doctor's office I called my parents and asked them if we could stop by and Bella called Charlie asking him to meet us at my parents' house as well.
Once we were there, I used my dad's laptop to get Alice on Skype and when everyone was accounted for, it was time to share our news.
"Is everything okay, Bells?" Charlie asked.
"Yeah Daddy, everything's great," Bella smiled and then looked at me.
"So, we wanted to tell you all that… I asked Bella to marry me and she said yes." I announced.
"Yay! That's so great," Alice squealed through the computer screen.
Charlie smiled, walked over to me and hugged me. "Take care of my little girl," he instructed.
"I will Charlie," I said as I hugged him back.
Charlie then hugged in a tight embrace.
"I knew she'd say yes." Carlisle smiled.
"I'm so happy for both of you,' Esme said before she hugged Bella. "Welcome to our family."
"It's such a nice place to be," Bella said with a smile.
"Um, well now that we have that done, "I said. "There's something else we'd like to share with all of you." I walked over to Bella, took her hand in mine and smiled at her. I then nodded at her; she should be the one to share the news. Bella nodded back and turned to our family.
"Well, in addition to planning a wedding, we're also going to have choose colors... for a nursery." Bella smiled.
"Oh my God!" Alice screamed.
"Bella?" Charlie questioned.
I looked around, Carlisle was smiling and Esme was about to cry.
"I'm pregnant, we're going to have a baby," Bella finished.
A mixture of cries and cheers ensued from everyone in the room. There was so much happiness in a family that once had so much loss.
Once the emotions settled down, it turned into a series of questions mostly asked by Alice, even thousands of miles away, she was all involved. She told us she'd be coming home soon on a break from school and I couldn't wait to see her. Bella and I had already decided that we were going to ask her to be our baby's godmother, and I couldn't wait until she got home so we could tell her.
Later that night, after Bella I had gotten home from my parents' house, I was laying awake in bed. I looked over at Bella who was sleeping soundly beside me, and my eyes drifted down to her stomach.
I couldn't believe we were having a baby. I was going to be a father and I couldn't help but feel scared.
Yesterday I'd been nervous about proposing to Bella and now that seemed like a cakewalk in comparison to being told I was going to be a father.
I couldn't take my eyes off of Bella. She was my whole world and now she was going to be my wife and the mother of my child. I gazed at her stomach as her left hand rested on her skin, already protecting our baby. My ring was on her finger and a life was growing under her hand, a life we'd created together in love.
I looked at the clock on the night table, it was just after 11pm. I quietly got up out of bed and grabbed my cell phone. I headed down to the kitchen and took a seat at the table. I took a deep breath and dialed the number, I knew she'd be up.
"Oh Edward, how are you?"
It had been well over two months since I talked to my parents in Chicago, but I felt like I should tell them the news.
"I'm good, I didn't wake you did I?"
"Not not at all, I was just reading."
"Uh, Dad home?"
"No, he's in New York on business," she sighed. "How's Bella?"
"She's good, we both are," I paused, "I actually called to share some news with you."
"Good news I hope?"
"Very good news. I ah, asked Bella to marry me tonight, and she said yes."
"Oh baby, that's wonderful. I'm so happy for the both of you."
"Thank you," I replied. "There's actually more."
"Yeah, after I asked her, it seemed Bella had a surprise of her own for me. We're having a baby, Mom."
"Edward," she cried. "I'm... wow."
"Yeah, I know," I responded.
"I"m... really happy for y-you," she sobbed. "I love you so much, I always will."
"I know Mom, I love you too," I sighed into the phone. "Please tell, ah, dad the news for me, okay?"
"I will, thanks for calling and please give Bella my love."
"I will. Good night, Mom."
"Good night, Son."
I hung up the phone and went back to the bedroom. As I walked in, Bella was coming out of the bathroom.
"Everything okay?" She asked.
"Yeah," I replied, then I tossed my phone back on the night table. I climbed back into bed and took Bella in my arms. "I called Liz... to tell her about us getting married and about the baby."
"How did that go?"
"It went well, she was very happy for us." I told her as I pulled her closer. "It's always going to be different with them. I'm not sure any amount of time or even the baby is going to change that."
"I understand," Bella sighed, "you can send pictures from time to time if you'd like."
"Yeah, that might be a good idea." I took a deep breath and exhaled. "I know I can't ever have the same relationship with them. It's a shame that it's so awkward, especially with all this happiness in my life, but it doesn't change what they did. And while I'm able to forgive, I'm not able to get back to where we once were. That part of my life with them is over. So sending pictures is the best I can do."
"Well, they should be grateful for that, you could've stopped communicating with them all together," Bella pointed out. "But whatever you decide to do, you know I'll be by your side, we both will." Bella placed my hand on her stomach. I gently ran my hand over her skin.
"I know, it's where you've been since the night we met."
"We've come a long way since that night," she smiled.
"Yes, we have," I agreed. I leaned down to kiss her lips. "Thank you for making one hell of a cup of coffee and for making me the happiest man in the world, not to mention a daddy too."
"Thank you for making me a mommy," she whispered. "I love you so much, Edward."
"I love you too, Bella; both you and the baby. And I promise you, I'll be the best husband and father that I can be. I'll protect you both with my life. A life I am so grateful to have found."
I wrapped Bella tighter in my arms never wanting to let go, and I knew in that moment as our baby grew inside her, I never would.
When the visions around you
Bring tears to your eyes
And all that surround you,
Are secrets and lies
I'll be your strength
I'll be your hope
Keeping your faith when it's gone
The one you should call
When stranding here all alone
And I will take
You in my arms
And hold you right where you belong
Till the day my life is through
This I promise you
Final A/N: *Sniff. Sob. Blows Nose.* That's it, my friends. This one is now over and complete. I had such a great time writing this one. Truth is, I had the first 3 chapters of this story written for well over a year, but I could never get passed it. So glad the plot bunny came back to me in this one allowing me finish it and share it with you.
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed, I loved them all, even when some people got a little mean a times because of the Lauren issue. I'm no longer going to apologize for that. I don't consider myself a traditional writer, I like to mix things up when it comes to the other characters, but E&B will always be together in my writing and there will always be an HEA, but yes sometimes I like to mix up the other parings. If that's not something you like, then please just move on, no need to flame FB or my group. Just asking nicely.
I need to thank my beta, Pixie Kat for another job well done. I know things haven't been easy, but much love to you. I'd also like to thank my special pre-reader who pre-read some chapters for me. Thanks bunches. My words would not look as pretty as they do without the assist.
Please put me on author alert if you haven't already. As I mentioned in my FB group, I am starting a new story, One Night of Love. I posted the banner there as well. I am shooting to begin posting in the 2nd week of April, so please check it out. Also if you haven't joined my FB group, please do. Awish's Fanfiction.
So for one last time, thank you again and forever and please tell me your thoughts on the final instalment of Lies Destroy.
Song Credit: "This I Promise You." By N'SYNC.