(A/N) Well. I want to see where this story will take me – I have a little bit of an outline. The main plot gets underway in a few chapters – I have to get this set up first. Very fluffy first chapter!
Are You Serious
Bella...my little Bella…
I gazed at her sleeping angel's form, twitching every so often in the blankets covering her. How I loved her…it was rather pathetic how quickly my affection for her grew to obsession. She claimed to love me, but all it can ever be for her is a crush. She said so herself, though she says that the words were merely to deter her mother.
But in the off chance that she really did love me, I wished that I could give her more than I currently was. But if I tried, it might endanger her life – something I was, under no circumstances, willing to risk.
I longed to be normal for her, to give her things a human could give her.
A hug that wasn't cold.
A kiss that wasn't deadly.
A life that wasn't damned.
She seemed so willing to accept these things. Maybe...no. I could not let myself hope that…that maybe…she could love me. That would explain all that is absurd about her. Why she stayed with me, why she was frightened when I left, why she looked at me with warmth in her chocolate brown eyes. Why she, as of yet, has failed to run away from me, screaming…
Then she woke up.
"Edward?" I mumbled sleepily. Cold arms tightened around my waist.
"My angel," he murmured against my hair. I shivered with delight as his perfect lips brushed my head. "Good morning, Bella." This was followed by more kisses. He reached his head over my shoulder to kiss down my jaw line, finishing with my lips. I tried to pull away from him, but to no avail.
"Morning, Edward," I said, thoroughly confused. "But I have to take a human minute." Still struggling uselessly, I began to pound against his stone-hard chest.
"Mmmm," he agreed. "But I don't want you to leave." There was an inner meaning to those words that I couldn't help but notice.
"Edward," I said firmly, pulling his beautiful god's face close to mine. Trailing my fingers along his jaw, I said, "I will love you for forever, for eternity, if I live that long or not. If you change me or not, leave me or not, my heart will never waver." His depthless golden eyes bore into mine, searching for the truth. They widened as they found that it was.
"Really?" His voice was barely a whisper, his mind hardly daring to believe what his ears told him they had heard.
My thumb traced his lips. "I promise that that was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." His eyes delved deeper into mine. Apparently he missed the joke. He turned away for a few moments; to me it felt like a millennia. His eyes glistened, pure honey, when he looked at me next.
I looked down; I couldn't bear to see the sheer joy in his eyes. Because that meant that the same joy hadn't been there before. He had not believed in my love for him – my undying love. He had thought all the time that he was an undeserving monster, no matter how often I protested. That had me miffed.
"Of all the absurd things!" I growled. Edward blinked, taken aback. He looked hurt, so I hurried to explain. "You have no idea how far from a monster you are." He opened his mouth in protest; I silenced him with a look and a finger to his lips. "No, Edward. You need to know. You are not a monster. You abstain from human blood because you want to be good – you don't want to hurt people. That makes you good. And to me, you are the very best."
Okay, so maybe that was a little cheesy. Hopefully he wouldn't notice.
His hands crept forward, shakily, and caressed my face. "My…love," he whispered, breath hitting me hard. He brought his face to mine. "My Bella."
He touched his lips ever so lightly to every part of my face and neck. So light, due to protecting my human frailness, but also forceful enough to let me know the ferocity of the kisses. They each had so much power. And now I realized that they also contained his love.
"Bella…I can't believe…I couldn't understand…" I cut him off.
"Edward, I love you. Don't you ever doubt that. I love you." My voice cracked, tears beginning to stream unbidden down my cheeks. "I love you."
Slowly, painstakingly, Edward lifted my chin up to meet his eyes. His cool fingers reached over to flick the tears gently from my face. He leaned in, lips brushing against mine. "I know." His voice held warmth, love, and joy.
Suddenly, that wonderfully crooked grin broke out on his heart-stopping (literally) face.
"My God, Bella, I love you!" He flipped me onto my back. His cold hands were on my shoulders. His touch wasn't his usual, hesitant touch any longer – it was reckless.
I loved it.
"Mmm, Edward…" I mumbled as his lips crushed mine. My hands tangled once again in his hair – the cause of many close calls – but for once he didn't pull away. At least, not abruptly. Eventually, he pulled back, breathing erratically (in perfect imitation of my heart). He leaned his forehead against mine.
"Bella…God, Bella, you've got to know I want to give you more, Bella. But now, of all times, I can't lose control. I…after graduation, I'll change you – unless you want to remain human?" His sudden grin wasn't exactly hopeful – more teasing. "Though that's not much of an option anymore – I love you too much to ever let you go." He squeezed me tightly to his chest once more.
This surprised me. I quickly regained my composure and replied. "Are you serious?!" I screeched. Oops. That was louder than I intended it to be.
The smile froze on his face; he sighed. "Good job, Bella," he said dryly, but with a twinkle in his eye. He leaned forward and, with a light kiss on my nose, disappeared from sight.
"Edward? You're in the closet, aren't you?" My voice was confident. I knew he would never leave me. A low chuckle came from behind my closet doors, and I smiled to myself. God, he was so perfect…weird, but perfect.
The bedroom door opened, revealing an angry-looking Charlie standing in the doorway.
My breath caught – it looked like he wanted to have yet another little chat about what happened after Edward and I had come back from Italy. Crap.
"Hey, Dad." I yawned, attempting to sound at least a little sleepy.
"Bella…I just want to know…why do you love him so much? I mean, even in your dreams he makes you scream in pain. How can you trust him? How can you-"
"Dad. Screaming in pain? Well, that hasn't happened since he came back three weeks ago." Okay, I was pissed. Ever since Edward had come back, me right by his side, Charlie had been angry as heck off and on. But, he didn't seem mad at Edward…and I didn't understand why.
"Bella…you love him. It's obvious. I guess…" He sat down on the edge of my bed. "I guess he's good for you. I mean, he's not your typical teenage boyfriend…I think that you two kind of click. You know? It's like you're made for each other."
I stared at him, dumbfounded. "Okay, Dad…but why do you hate him so much? I mean, if you're willing to admit that we love each other, and that we're 'made for each other', why do you always get tense when he's around?"
He sighed. The purplish-reddish color was gently receding from his face, and I was beginning to see Charlie again. He put his face in his hands, and sighed again. "Bella…I'm just trying to be a father. You were without a real father for seventeen, almost eighteen years. Doesn't every father not approve of his daughter's first boyfriend? I just…I want to protect you, Bells. But it's so hard. Especially because I actually like him."
"What?" I was shocked, to say the least, but I was also a little grateful. He had spent all this time trying to be a good father, even when his instincts told him that Edward was a good guy. He was just trying to give me what I never had – a Dad.
"And…there's more, Bells, so sit tight. I guess I…I've been selfish. I just don't want to lose you, Bella. You're my child…my only child…" He paused for breath.
"For these past eighteen years, you've been my reason to keep on living. For the hope that you would someday have it in you to return here to Forks. Forgive me for phrasing it like this, but for the past year, you've been my everything." He looked down, shamefaced. "Forgive me for putting myself before you."
I stared. No way…it was all an act. That entire year he had spent, utterly despising my perfect vampire boyfriend, was an act! And Edward couldn't tell in Charlie's thoughts. Why? Then I realized…
Charlie kept thinking, 'I hate him I hate him I hate him," but he knew it wasn't truth. He kept trying to convince himself, however, that it was the truth. So, when Edward was around, he would be thinking it to himself extremely powerful. So Edward thought that Charlie really hated him. Wow. I could tell that I didn't get any acting skills from Charlie…fooling a vampire…if only he knew…
When he spoke up again, I suddenly noticed that the room had been eerily quiet. "Bella, it was just so hard for me to just let this relationship with Edward unfold. I was just trying to be a good, protective father. But Edward's a good kid. I tried to convince myself, even, that Edward wasn't good for you. I can't pretend any longer, Bella. I want you two to be together."
I stared at him once more, incredulously, mouth agape. "Dad…? Are you serious?"
Charlie chuckled. "I seem to recall you saying that earlier tonight…that's why I came up here, I believe."
I blushed. "Umm…well…" I stuttered for an excuse. Something believable. And the only excuse Charlie will believe is something that is true. Or, semi-true.
"Well, Dad," I broke off, pretending to be embarrassed. Though, in actuality, it wasn't really pretending.
"Go on, Bells. I promise I won't react in any way, shape, or form." He winked.
"Right. Good," I said, flustered. "Well, I was dreaming…" Again, my courage dwindled to a mere speck in the far-off distance.
Charlie sighed. "Bella. Don't be scared of my reaction." He turned to the window, where the sun began to rise. "I promise. No reactions whatsoever." He turned to me again, smiling his crinkly old-guy smile.
"In this dream of mine, that I just had, that is…" I really was a horrible liar. Might as well have 'LIAR' in bright red painted on my forehead. Charlie would really fall for it then. "In the dream, I was sitting next to Edward…it wasn't very realistic, I mean, we were in the middle of the lunchroom, but he did…"
I stopped for the third time. Charlie was leaning forward intently, his eyes searching for what I might say next. "Um, Dad? No reactions, remember?"
He blinked, like coming out of a trance. "Oh, right, sorry…" he muttered, embarrassed.
"S' okay." Charlie may have promised no reactions, he may have said he liked Edward and thought we were 'perfect' together, and Edward may have superhuman, vampire strength, but I was still concerned for Edward's safety after Charlie heard what I was about to tell him.
"He proposed to me." The words came out in a rush, mushing together like a bowl of mashed potatoes. I sat there, waiting for Charlie's reaction.
"Are you serious?" he asked. I didn't know what he was thinking, and I probably didn't want to.
"No reactions, remember?" I reminded him. He looked down, sheepish.
"And you said?" he prompted when he looked back at me, his face now impassive.
"I said yes." I said this in a whisper. My dad leaned back thoughtfully.
"And what would you say if he asked you? In real life?" I could tell it was hard for him to say this – after all, I was his only daughter here.
"I…Dad, I don't want to hurt you or-" Charlie cut me off.
"No, Bells. I don't want you to make a decision like because of what Renée or I feel. I want this decision to be based off of what you want." He said this firmly, decisively.
"Then…I would undoubtedly say yes." About a million times…and then a million times again, and then-
"Well, Bella…I think you've made a good decision. I think that boy loves you with everything he has. Now it's just a matter of when he proposes." He winked, and headed for the door.
I smiled at him. "Night, Dad." He turned.
"I love you. I know, when you two get together, you'll leave me…" I tried to cut in, but he stopped me. "But that's okay with me. Because I know that I've had the honor of being your father, and now the opportunity to be your dad. I love you Bella, and I know he'll take care of you."
Tears welled up in my eyes at the kindness of this man, the only father I have ever known, who stayed by me even when his wife left him. "I love you too, Dad. I love you, too."
When he left, the door closing quietly behind him, Edward came out of the closet and sat next to me on the bed.
"Bella…was that…was what you said…" He looked at me, his eyes full of questions. Questions that demanded answering, needed it. "Do you…"
"Edward. The only reason, I repeat, only reason that I didn't say yes on the spot was because I didn't want my last little bit of life with Charlie and Renee to be with them loathing the man I marry. It had absolutely nothing to do with you." I said this all very fast. But Edward should be able to understand it – he and his siblings talk about a thousand times faster than that.
"I just wondered…if you had anything against…being…this." He looked down at his hands, folded uselessly in his lap.
I took those hands in my own, though they were much bigger than mine, and stared into his eyes. "Never." I leaned forward all of a sudden, planting my lips firmly against his.
A few minutes and a hundred kisses later, I pulled back. "Edward…yes. I'll marry you. That is, if you'll still have me."
Edward looked at me, his face normal. His expression hadn't changed. I grew worried…I was going to get really pissed if he hadn't heard me. Or if…
"Wait, what?" he asked, coming out of a daze. "Did you just…Bella?" He took my face in his hands. "Bella…" He took a deep breath, though, him being a vampire, he wouldn't really need it.
"Are you serious?!"
"Undeniably." He pulled me into his arms, squeezing me tight.
"Bella…I love you. Seriously."
I giggled. "Seriously, huh? Since when have you been serious?"
"Ha-ha. Very funny. Oh…Bella? I've been carrying this around with me…in the hope that you would, you know…" He pulled out a small velvet box. I froze. I had told him, time and time again, no rings. But when he opened the lid, all my anger slipped away into the night. In the box lay a simple golden band with a single topaz glinting in the center.
"Isabella Swan, my Bella, my angel…will you marry me?"
My heart leapt with joy, and all I could do was respond with a half whispered, half squealed, "Yes!" He chuckled, slipping it on my finger.
"Forever," he said quietly, and leaned down to kiss my forehead.
I drifted off to sleep in my vampire fiancée's arms