Kept you waiting

A/N

A short story to help me find my way back into writing again. It's been a long road for me, for many reasons.

Thank you for the reviews and messages you have sent.

I don't own any of the characters from Twilight, I just love to imagine other situations for them.

Thank you, as always for Butterfly Betty who gives me encouragement, and checks my work for me...have you read any of her amazing stories yet?

I admire this woman so very much not only as a writer, as a mother, as a human being as my friend.

EPOV.

I stood there, nervously…waiting for her to appear. I had arrived way too early, mainly due to over excitement. I had been waiting, for what seemed like a life time or more for this moment and now it was almost here.

But I still had time to waste till she was due to arrive. I closed my eyes, blocking out the sights and sounds of the people around me, longing for some silence in the bustle of the excited chattering they were making.

I knew all eyes were on me at the moment while they waited just like I did for my girl to arrive. Emmett was with Jasper fussing about his tie or something that our Mother, Esme was not one hundred percent happy with. Me… I just wanted stillness and silence, it was like I could hear every thought that each and every person near me was thinking.

I was a quiet person by nature. I liked my own space and I liked peacefulness. I enjoyed music to soothe my soul and books to broaden my mind. I didn't need a lot of attention and fuss. That was something else we had in common, something else that made us compatible.

Time in my own head gave me opportunity to think back to when I first saw her while swimming early one Friday morning. As I ploughed through the water, my arm lunging out and turning my head to take a breath of air, I saw her stand at the side of the pool and look up towards the wall of glass across the room. I inhaled water not air, coughed and spluttered, and came to a standstill as I fought to compose myself.

She was wearing some sort of dark blue bikini, not skimpy and barely there like the girls who flirted as they sat at the pool's edge, but never actually swam. I could do nothing but just stand there, in the middle of the fast lane, the water barely at my ribs, and watched as she turned and lowered herself down the steps and into the pool. The coolness made her shiver and pause for a moment as her glorious ass made contact with the frigid fluid.

Slowly, she submerged completely, her long flowing chocolate locks fanned out around her until even the crown of her head was underwater. It seemed to take a lifetime as I held my breath till she reappeared like Venus, throwing her head back and gathering up her hair to tie in some sort of knot behind her. Her breasts pushed forward before she bobbed back down to lower beneath the water again, this time to cover her up past her shoulders.

All the time I stood there, gawping, just mesmerised by my mermaid bobbing up and down before me, the water was running down her skin which was shimmering under the lights above.

She lowered herself down again and swam across the pool reaching the lane next to mine. I still hadn't moved from the spot I was standing in.

It was then she smiled at me and I grinned back. Turning her attention back to the pool lane before her, she took a breath of air in and disappeared under the water and swam right past me, the ripples bubbling up on the water's surface while she remained submerged swimming further away from me. I turned on the spot and watched her glide under the waves.

I wanted to go and talk to her. I wanted to swim after her or wait till she returned back down the lane to me. But I had to leave and get ready for work, my shift almost about to begin. I seriously contemplated phoning in telling them I would be late, but we had a practice meeting this morning and since it was my practice, I really couldn't keep them waiting.

I swam the last few metres back to the pools edge and hoisted myself up and out of the water, unable to resist one more look over at my beautiful distraction. She took a breath as she broke through the water and then was gone below the surface once more as she swam at some speed towards me.

The swimming shorts I had on were going to nothing to conceal my growing attraction so I had no choice but to get myself quickly to the changing rooms and cover up before I made a disgrace of myself.

I don't remember much about the meeting at work… all I could think about was my beautiful Venus. The blue ink from my pen that was drawing nothing but doodles matched the blue swimwear that she had worn. The staff all looked at me as yet again I was distracted to the point of missing the question I had been asked.

It was from that day on that I seemed to see her everywhere, but nowhere I could approach her and ask her name. I saw her on the bus as it drove past me on the street; I am sure she looked at me and smiled as I held my hand up to wave. I saw her leaving the bank just as the manager called me into to discuss the business plan we had for extending the practice. And I know I saw her at the window of the tattoo shop as I sat in the chair while Riley worked on a family crest that was being finished on my upper arm.

It was Riley who spotted her standing watching me as he inked my skin.

"She has been there a little while; do you think she is planning to come in for some work?" he asked, nodding over to my beautiful stranger who was standing with the edge of her thumb between her teeth as she watched the needle piercing my skin with its permanent etching of my family loyalty.

I blew out a breath I had been holding as the burn of the needle, scratching the last of the shading on the design was taking me close to my limit of pain. And when I looked up again, she was gone. Unless she had ink hidden under that bikini she had worn, I was sure there was nothing decorating her beautiful skin. I wondered if the various pieces I had chosen to document my life on my body with would be something she would like. Would I ever get the chance to show her and ask her? Would I ever know is she was marked herself?

I avoided the pool for a few weeks as my skin healed on the advice of Riley. I was desperate to return to see my mystery girl, the need to speak to her burning in my very soul.

Alice started wittering on about a friend of hers she wanted me to meet, a double date my sister, her husband and some girl she had just met sounded like an awful idea and I was more than relieved when her new friend was always unavailable when I was free.

It felt like I would be cheating on my unnamed nymph with a woman I didn't want to meet anyway. After a few weeks, my Mother started telling me how Alice's friend would be a great match for me. Even Rose liked her and my sister-in-law didn't like many women she met at all! She knew Alice's friend as she was the new owner at the child care centre her daughter Emily attended. I shook my head as the three women now joined forces in some sort of matchmaking coven to attempt to arrange a meeting for me and this intended bride!

I took Emily out of Rose's arms and headed to the family room to entertain the only female I trusted not to try to marry me off.

"What did you do this morning Miss Emily?" I asked my three year old niece as we sat down to watch the little mermaid…again.

Oh great, suddenly all I could think of was my mermaid as she lifted her body out of the pool and threw her head back. An erection while holding Emily was just not on at all. I gave myself a severe talking to and imagined Emily's dad Emmett in a bikini and started to laugh as the desired effect was almost instant relief.

Emily looked away from the screen and smiled up at me. "I pwayed with Be-be." She giggled. "We readed dis book, a Ariel book."

She nodded as she told me about someone named Be-be and the book they read, all about the cookies they had made and then ate with milk. Cold milk, not warm milk like Nana tried to give her. No sir, it had to be really cold milk. I just nodded and agreed with Emily as she told me all about Be-be, clapping her hands as she sang some song they had learnt during her morning in child care.

It seems she had been a busy wee girl.

Realising the chattering had stopped, I looked down to see Emily was sound asleep in my arms, so I moved back onto the sofa into a better position to support her as she napped, while I watched the Little Mermaid sing and dance with some crab and then argue with her father…don't judge me, it had been a long week! And I was still avoiding the match makers.

The weeks rolled on, and I still hadn't managed to see my girl again, I didn't know her name or where she lived or anything about her. All I knew was I desperately wanted to know everything about her. All I could do was wait.

I had to miss a family Sunday brunch two weekends in a row due to work. First time was because I was on call and had to operate on a great dane who had fallen off the side of a cliff and the second time I had to assist one of the younger vets in transfusing blood to a poorly dog. My family understood but were disappointed I had still not yet met Alice's friend. To be honest, I didn't know if I was sick of hearing all about this wonder woman or just at the stage of hoping if I met her she would take my mind of the brunette I was pining away after.

Friday afternoon, and Alice was busy talking to her new best friend on the phone while I finished up in putting data into the computerised patient files, and I couldn't help but overhear her tell the girl it was fine she was going to be a bit late in joining all of us for drinks that evening. I didn't even want to go for drinks, and would much rather just go home and relax and unwind after a busy week.

Again, I had not managed to see my girl. Resigned to the fact this arrangement had been made I grunted in Alice's directions when she asked if we could meet at the Wolf Pack. I didn't really mind her choice of pub, the food was okay, and they did a really good rare steak. So yeah, okay… I would go for that, it would pass some time and mean less time for me at home dreaming of my mermaid, at home, alone, by myself…again.

Alice left to get ready, since we only had a few hours till we were all due to meet up. And I passed the time waiting for my last appointment finishing off with the computer work I had been messing about with. Claire, our receptionist came into to tell me the last appointment was going to be a few minutes late as the patient's owner was new to the area and had got a bit lost on her way here. I was in no hurry so carried on with the task at hand and told Claire to head on home. I continued my two fingers at a time typing on the keyboard until I heard a gentle hello and then scraping of claws on the floor. The biggest hound I had ever seen lunged into my room and just before he collided with my kneecaps, I heard a command for him to sit, and he came to an almighty stop, sat down at my feet looking up at me with a lopsided grin and a cocked his head. I heard her again before I looked round, her gentle chastisement before praising the now obedient beast before me.

"Good boy Jake."

Not sure if I should take my eyes off the panting animal before me or look round to see who was attempting to be in control of him, I hesitated before turning but was unable to resist as I heard her speak softly once more.

"I am so sorry to have kept you waiting," she rushed out.

"It's you!" We both exclaimed at the same time.

It was her, my mermaid, my beautiful mystery girl.

"I've been looking for you!" I stupidly admitted before realising what I had said out loud.

"I've seen you everywhere," she whispered before biting her lip.

"But absolutely nowhere that I could stop and to speak to you," I replied before stepping forward to hold my hand out. "Edward Cullen."

"Bella, oh and he is Jake Swan." She giggled and waved her hand down at the hairy dog that was now licking my outstretched hand.

I shook my head and took the lead from Bella so that I could have a look at Jake and gather my thoughts that were suddenly all over the place since my beautiful girl had stepped before me.

"He is really friendly," she said smiling at the loveable bear that was before me. "That's what got us into this mess."

She laughed and pointed at Jake's head. I could see several scratched and something sticking out of the fur above his eyebrow. I knelt down to have a closer look. And right there in one of the deeper scratches was the case from a cat's claw protruding from a nasty laceration.

"He will not take a telling…will you, Jakey?" she asked as she moved to kneel down beside us both. Jake moaned and snuggled right into her arms.

"I know, I know but she is a mean, mean cat and she didn't want your kisses."

She soothed her boy as he now moaned and wailed looking for sympathy. Laughing, I asked what happened.

"He will insist on speaking to this cat that lives a few doors down, a ginger puss called Vicky. She is not very friendly and swipes at him, and caught him with her claws good and proper this time," she explained while Jake now moved and pushed her so she was sitting on the floor, her back against the wall and he moved to sit in between her legs, lying across her body and sinking into her protection.

She allowed him to settle into her and calmed him down. I moved closer and was able to clean his cuts and remove the claw that had been way too close to his eye.

"You were lucky this time, Jake," I commented. "I know that cat. Lives on Masen Drive?"

I looked at Bella for confirmation. She nodded and shuddered at the mention of the cat. Her owner Mr. James was a strange man who thought Vicky was just the sweetest kitty who he loved to bits, and he didn't understand why we all wore protective clothing when she came in, thankfully he didn't know we all pulled straws to see who was going to have to treat the blood thirsty creature when she was ever here at the practice.

"Oh, Jake, you best stay well away from Miss Vicky…she doesn't play nice with anyone," I advised laughing as poor Jake now looked very forlorn with himself.

I leaned back and removed a small tube of cream to apply to the wounds, all while trying to move as little away from Bella as I possibly could.

"Ok, something to prevent infection," I explained, trying to open the lid at the same time as speak to Bella which was proving to be more tricky than normal. "Now, I just need to use the wee sharp bit on the top of the lid," I muttered, "To penetrate…"

Oh crap… why did I say penetrate… bollocks… I shook my head and tried to get myself back under control. But looking up to see Bella giggle and blush let me know that she was aware I was embarrassed about mentioning anything to do with penetration.

"Right, we, erm, we pierce the seal on the tube with that pointy bit…" I muttered and squeezed the tube way too hard so most of it expelled out and all over my hand. Jake looked at me as if to ask me if I knew what I was doing! I took a deep breath and looked at Bella who just bit down on her lip and smiled at me.

All too soon, I had Jake all patched up, filed in his new patient details on the computer, checked his vaccinations were up to date, checked him all over, and corrected the details on his animal id chip and anything else I could think of to spend more time with Bella before she would leave with him. Jake had fallen asleep, so with some help from me, we freed Bella from underneath him and I offered my hand to help her stand up and there she was, the girl of my dreams, so close, right in front of me. I wasn't aware I was doing it; until I watched my fingers push a stray curl of her silken hair behind her ear. I didn't let go of her hand as I stepped back and she called Jake to a sleepy heel beside her. We walked hand in hand out of my office; I was running out of time with her and not ready to let her go. There was nothing else left to do so I walked Bella out to main reception.

"What do I owe you?" she asked as she rummaged in her bag for her purse.

"Will you have dinner with me tonight? Please?" I asked, turning to face her at the now empty reception desk.

"I can't." She shook her head sadly. "I have plans for this evening, and it's too late to cancel."

"Then owe me dinner?" I asked not too afraid to beg. No way was I letting her go now I had found her.

"What about Jake?" She looked down at her faithful friend and then back up at me smiling and looking so sweet.

"He can come on the next date," I bargained.

"No, silly, I mean what do I owe you for his treatment today," she chuckled.

"Nothing…this is on the house." I laughed and pushed her purse back into the bag she was balancing on her arm.

Jake mumbled some sort of doggy noise and patted my leg with his huge paw.

"You are welcome, young man." I said to him, patting his head and avoiding the area Vicky had savaged. "Stay away from cats, you hear me?" I advised.

He made some sort of reply and I swear to you he grinned at me and looked back at Bella with pure adoration. I knew how he felt; I was smitten with her too. We swapped phone numbers and made plans to meet for dinner soon.

With a heavy heart I watched her drive away, Jake in the back of the car, his face raised up as he howled and swiped his tongue on the inside of rear window.

There was nothing else for it, after locking up the surgery I slowly walked the short distance to my house and prepared to meet my sister and the rest of the gang for drinks.

Alice and Rose it seemed were already a few cocktails into their weekend by the time I arrived, so I gathered a half pint of ale and the menu while they chatted away about who knows what. A text chimed on someone's mobile phone and they announced as I placed my order with the waitress that whoever they were waiting on was on her way. It didn't matter who they were now trying to set me up with, I had Bella's number and a promise to meet up soon. Nothing was going to persuade me that Alice's friend was going to be anything more than Alice's friend to me. I had made my mind up.

"Oh here she is!" Alice exclaimed and wobbled as she stood up to greet the person she had been waiting on; I stood up and looked around just as I heard my dream girl speak again.

"So sorry to have kept you waiting Alice, Jake had a fight with a bloody awful cat, but wait till I tell you; I finally got to speak to that absolutely gorgeous man I have been going on about for weeks while at the vets…."

I grinned as she came to a sudden halt before me, her face bright red in a combination of rushing about and embarrassment at her garbled admission at meeting me.

I couldn't take any more, I stepped forward and pulled her into my arms and as her arms wrapped round my neck I whispered something about my gorgeous girl before finally meeting her lips with mine.

Alice and Rose just stood there, stunned at the turn of events. Jasper started laughing and Emmett hollered about what was going on as he walked back to see Bella and I locked together in the best first kiss in history!

That was eight months ago now. Bella and I had fallen head over heels. My mother never let me forget that she knew Bella was the girl I was meant to be with when she first started trying to set us up when Alice introduced her to the family at the brunch I had missed. And Miss Emily was just head over heels about her Aunty Be-be who made the best cookies and served them with cold milk.

New music began to play and everyone stood up as it started and I went to turn round, but Emmett and Jasper both stepped forward and told me to wait.

It took forever for first Alice then Rose to appear opposite us so we could stand wait again. I heard folk chuckle and sigh as Miss Emily appeared next, throwing white rose petals here there and everywhere. Her mother just laughed as Emily bent down to pick one up to hand deliver to her Pops. My Dad thanked her and then persuaded her to carry on over to see her Mama.

The music changed again. Time honoured traditional music, announced the arrival of my Venus, my nymph, my mermaid and beloved. Eventually I turned to see her walk at last towards me as she held on nervously to her Dad's arm. I tore my eyes from her and looked to the man who was entrusting me with his only child's heart.

He muttered something to her, she nodded and he told me to love her more than he did.

"I will Charlie, I do."

"That's the line you need in a bit, Son," he laughed.

It was only then did Bella look up and we stared into each other's eyes. I stepped forward and held her hand as she offered her flowers to Alice standing beside her, without looking away from me at all. I guided her carefully on the last few steps towards the altar and then slowly lifted the veil from her beautiful face.

"I am sorry to have kept you waiting, my Love," she whispered.

"I would wait for you forever, my Darling girl," I replied, leaning down to kiss her forehead, not letting my lips linger for as long as I would have liked and sighing before looking back into her eyes again. Hands held again, we turned to face the minister and began the vows that would bind us forever.

(End note. I am working on my previous unfinished stories again. Hope to see you soon, please review and let me know you were here xx)