I didn't die, but I know it took me forever to post the last chapter. Life has been hectic. But here it is, the last one. It's sad but it's good to be done, I don't like when stories are not finished.
Even though it saddens me to finish it, I know it's the right thing, because I just can't write 'happy', give me conflict and awkwardness any day, this is in part the reason why it took me forever to write this.
I guess I'm a negative person :)
ps. I have to travel this weekend, and I'm running out of time, so I didn't have enough time to give it a last proofread, so please forgive me for the typos. I promise to check it next week. Or if you can point them out for me I'd be very grateful. I know it's sloppy but I didn't want to keep you waiting for a few days until I came back.
"Swan! Where are you?" Edward's frustrated voice came from his bedroom breaking the seal of silence that those, like I, who suffer from insomnia, are blessed with.
"I'm in here." I yelled back without taking my attention from my scavenger hunt for something to amuse me from his DVD collection.
"Here where?" I heard him say, and I could tell he was coming out of the bedroom.
"What do you mean where? Where do you think you live? The Taj Mahal? I'm in the living room."
"Keep that up and you won't get your house." He said sitting on the floor behind me, and enveloping me in his arms.
"Is it going to be like the Taj Mahal?" I asked turning my face to him with feigned exacerbated excitement.
"This sarcasm is making you lose points" Edward replied smiling.
"I'll make them up with-" I started saying but he cut me off.
"Wouldn't you want to be that lucky? I was going to say awesomeness." I said looking away and resuming my task of sorting through his stuff.
"Yeah right. I bet you were going to say sex, but I beat you to it. So anyways what are you doing here?"
"I'm going through your stuff."
"Now, who's stating the obvious? Why are you doing that?" He asked resting his head on my left shoulder, and looking over it to what I was doing.
"Because I can't sleep and I'm bored."
"And who said you could go through my stuff?" He asked using his hands to shift me a little do he could easily look at my face.
"It's your place, it's not like I have stuff of my own to go through. And, newsflash… We are in a relationship… I'm the girl… I get to do stuff like this."
"I told you to keep some stuff here… And… Funny how you flip flop between being 'the girl' and being 'one of the guys'." He said irritating me.
"What? Do you want to be the girl?" I asked fully aware of how much I was annoying him.
"No, I don't want to be the girl. You fit the profile much better." And as he said it his hand came to rest on my hips. "And I thought before we had decided to cohabitate."
"We decided to consider it, and also, back then we weren't going to 'be together'. We were going to look for a place and have separate bedrooms."
"I thought that was before".
"Before what?" I asked intrigued.
"Before we… figured things out. I thought we were out of the woods."
"I thought we decided to go slow. I'm not that easy." I noted with a defiant glare.
"It's past three in the morning and you're only wearing my shirt. I think that ship has sailed." And to further make his point he tugged at the hem of the dress shirt of his I was currently wearing.
"I am also wearing underwear, thank you very much. And just a word of advice, keep that up and I'll wear long flannel pjs from now on."
"Think that scares me? Anyway… You can't possibly tell me we're going too fast. I've known you all my life, and we're hardly new lovers." He pointed out.
"So what is it that you want?" I asked with a fake naiveté.
"Am I supposed to believe that is an innocent question? Are you fishing for a compliment Swan?" He asked in return with a wide grin.
"Isn't it my god given right as the girl in this relationship Cullen?"
"Fine…" He conceded in defeat. "I want you… in my bed, every night." And as he said it he pulled me until I was right in front of him.
"Technically, it's my bed. I paid for half of it."
"Honey you are not helping my romantic act here." He said in frustration.
"So it is all an act."
"I know you. You are evading."
"I'm not evading." I contradicted him.
"So… Move in with me and stop going through my stuff at three in the morning because you cannot sleep." He said pushing my hair behind my ears and holding on to my face, as to stop me in case I wanted to look away.
"I'm going to be serious. You think it is a good idea? I just don't want to take a step and go back three." I didn't want to sound like I was trying to boycott the relationship.
"You have this little faith in us?" He asked trying to find something hidden in my eyes.
"No! Please… I hate looking like I'm the commitment-phobe. I just don't ever want to move out to be on my own from a place we've shared. I've been there and I don't want to do it again." I confessed.
"I don't want to do that either. But what do you expect, that things never progress?"
His eyes were so transparent as he spoke, and I knew he was telling me that I could believe, that if I jumped off the cliff with my eyes closed, he'd always be there to catch me.
He didn't need to say this, but it didn't change the fact that the heart knows once it has been burned not to get too close to the flame.
And I knew that he felt just the same.
"You want to have our own places for the rest of our lives?" He continued trying to make me see his point. "What if you get pregnant? You want to have your own place when you are eight months along?"
It was so easy to keep going, not thinking about the hypothetical scenarios that were used to prove his point.
"Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir did it. I mean… minus the pregnancy part." And by now I had caught on the implication. "And anyways, who's talking about pregnancies?"
"I'm not. I was just making a point." He aid sighing and realizing what he had just said, ending his sentence with a goofy grin.
"Good. And no… I don't want to live apart when I'm eight months pregnant." I informed him.
"I love that you said when." He said giving me the smug smile he has for when he feels he has me exactly where he wants.
"You are, as usual, mistaken about my feelings for you, or my intentions." I said knowing that once again, for him, I was the wild horse he felt he had lassoed.
"So, what are your intentions? Enlighten me." Edward dared me.
"Same as yours."
Was he truly surprised?
This should be abundantly clear now, even though in the past I had neglected to let him know exactly how I felt, because all my life I had needed to shield my true self, too scared to get cut, I had, in the recent months gone out of my safe cocoon and dared to let the man I love know exactly what was in my heart, and where I envisioned myself in his own future.
But that fearful image I had carved of myself in his mind and in his heart was hard to erase.
I wanted him to be able to see the one I was now, to know exactly how powerful his words where on my ear, or how mighty his hands were on my skin.
It both, frustrated me and made me sad.
"Can you see something besides a seventeen-year-old scared shitless about being pregnant with her best friend's baby? I am much more than that… I've grown… and back then I had all the right in the world to be immature, and to want to be a free spirit and not looking forward the mainstream dream… But I have grown…" I pleaded my case.
"I know…" He said noticing the slight desperation of my words. Knowing me well, he could see my fear. "But I happen to really love the part of you that is still seventeen and crazy and my best friend." He assured me.
"Sometimes I'm not sure there's anything left of her, of the person I used to be… And then… She's in you…" And I poked the left part of his chest as I spoke. "If I don't know whatever happened to me, or who I am anymore, I know I'm somewhere in you." And I looked up from his chest to his eyes.
"I hope I can be more than just a glorified box of mementos." I was able to identify a lingering trace of an old insecurity of his. I was not going to let us go that road again.
"Don't be an idiot. You are my North… The only person that humbles me… You know changes scare me… The unknown… But you are the one I want to go through it with… Not because you are my security blanket, but because I love you. I can't say it any other way."
I now had no problem putting all my cards on the table; I had figured out recently that it was costly to not voice my feelings.
"So you will be moving in with me?" He asked with the sweetest and most innocent look in his eyes.
"I will… I will do a lot more than that with you. I want you for the long haul. And I'm willing to do anything to assure you stick around." I said fully aware of the meaning of my words.
This was no slip of the tongue.
I wasn't bluffing.
"Anything?" He asked with a certain glee in his eye.
"You'd be surprised."
"I bet I could find a hole in that statement." He added with skepticism.
"I'm sure you could… Oddly enough it won't be what you're thinking. I still can surprise you." I said.
"Oh yeah? Do it." He dared.
"I won't take your name." I informed him instead.
"I beg your pardon?" Edward asked truly confused.
"I can prove it. I can do any of the depraved things you are thinking about right now. Like I said, no matter how scary, if you hold my hand, and I can look into your eyes as we're going through it, I'll do it. But I won't take your name… I owe it to Charlie." I said quite proud of myself, knowing that maybe for the first time in our history together, he hadn't caught me in a bluff, but I truly meant everything I'd said. There was no more fear, now that I knew everything in his heart.
"Are you popping the question Swan?" He joked, and I knew that now, he was using my beloved humor to shift the focus.
I got to him.
"No, don't get your panties in a bunch." I said happy about how the tables had turned.
"I'm not wearing any and you shouldn't now that I'm thinking about it. I like your deal… And to think I was your last chance to be an official Cullen." He said grinning.
"I already am, and I will be yours, so don't bruise that cute little ego of yours."
"What do you mean 'will be'? At risk of sounding repetitive, I must say 'that ship has sailed Swan'. Anyways… I like calling you Swan."
"Very Mulder and Scully of us Cullen."
"You have a knack for making my last name sound sexy." He said looking down for a second to look at his finger tracing circles on my leg.
"Give it up, it turns you on the fact that I'm not all lovey dovey… It keeps the veil of mystery on." I said forcing his face up with my hand.
"Mystery is nice. Given that I know you better than yourself." He responded breaking a smile.
"You're just a masochist." I said, wondering if I had a crooked smile of my own that would infuriate him and make him melt in the inside, just as his usually did to me.
"You… on the other hand, don't want to admit, that you enjoy when I call you baby and I do all the silly romantic things girls like. You are such a closeted girl." He told me delighted of the reaction he knew his words would have on me.
"Take it back." I ordered.
"Come on, take it back." I said gently punching him.
"Okay… You are one of the dudes… You are a tomboy, a strong woman…" He said faking annoyance, and then smiled. "But you are sweet and feminine, and fragile for me… from time to time."
"I… am…" I conceded, and decided to embrace the truth of all this man was for me, I knew that I didn't need to hide, to deny all the things he made me feel. "Only for you… You see what you do to me Cullen? Love? Baby?"
"Have I told you it turns me on when you make me feel unique? You may be just stroking my ego, but I like feeling like there is a secret part of you, reserved only for me." He said wrapping his hands tightly around me, and forcing me to straddle him.
"Oh, you don't need to tell me. I can tell… And I'm not stroking anything…" I joked. "This is real… You make me feel this way… All fragile and strong at the same time… Beautiful… Everything I'm not."
"You are." He said.
And I believed him.
And so we had accomplished the impossible, for now the band of skeptics formed by our brother Emmett, Rosalie and Patrick were helping us move my stuff from my place to Edward.
"Just so you know… if you guys split again you are not getting any help moving." Em's frustrated voice let us know from under the huge box he was carrying out my apartment door.
"Don't worry we won't." Edward said grabbing coming back in from having taken his own big box down the stairs.
"Actually… even if we break up we'll continue living together just to avoid moving. I really don't want to do this again." I added while finishing wrapping the last glass in newspaper alongside Rosalie.
"Not even if I build you a house?" Edward asked planting a quick peck on my cheek and going to my room for the next box.
"You are no builder." I reminded him while I pointed at his back. "But yeah… I will do it only for that…" I agreed.
"Izz dear you have heavy possessions." Patrick said resting the box he was carrying on the table, I guessed in an effort to gather courage to take it down the stairs.
"I thought you had muscles for it." I said fully aware of how much I was bothering him.
"I do, but they are for show and for other extraneous activities." He responded.
"Speaking of that… What's going on with that guy you took to the wedding?" I asked.
"I saw you getting quite chummy with him" Rosalie chipped in.
"Oh, it's been great… I think he's the one Izzie. I may be moving to your neck of the woods." He said looking away like an excited fourteen-year-old girl.
"Really?" I asked piqued at the possibility of Patrick changing his ways, and stopping what I was doing.
"No! Of course not…" He said loudly and throwing his arms out. "You thought we'd be planning a commitment ceremony and adopting a pedigree dog together already?" He asked.
"I think I can even hear Alice's heart breaking right about now." Rosalie commented.
"Hey, I even thought you were going to ask me for some spare eggs or to be a surrogate." I admitted.
"Not just yet love." Patrick said planting a kiss on my cheek.
"Sorry about that Patrick, but all her eggs are already spoken for." Edward said coming over me and enveloping me in his arms.
"You do know I won't ever use them all?" I asked him turning to face him.
"Well, I want all of them to go to waste with me." He responded-
"No worries Ed, I'm not sure about Izzie's genetic material." Patrick said grinning.
"Hey! I have good genetic material… sort of…"
"I love your genetic material." Edward commented right before kissing me.
"Can we talk about something other than genetic material?" Rosalie asked annoyed.
A little while after I found myself pulling my books into a box, with Edward helping me.
"So you don't like the idea of me sharing my eggs?" I asked him jokingly.
"How would you feel about me making a donation of my own?" He asked in return.
"I don't think so…" I said looking intently at him.
"But then again I can donate to you any time…" He said coming over to me and holding me tight.
"It's not a donation if the… stuff… belongs to me already." I said raising my eyebrow.
"Ah… I can hear you and that is disgusting." Rosalie said coming out of the kitchen with another box. "I think we should take this load and give you some space. Patrick! Emmett! Let's go!"
And so they left us alone in my almost empty place.
It was an odd feeling, a déjà vu.
I had done this once before, but now I didn't feel the apprehension that I felt when we first moved in together.
"Swan, please come in here" Edward called from my bedroom. "Okay, so you need to go through this box now." He said handing me the box that used to sit under my bed.
"What do you mean?" I asked confused as to what he wanted me to do.
"We are supposed to make due in an apartment that until recently was already full of my stuff, we decided to both purge to make the same space work for both of us, and we know very well that you own more trash than I do." He said in all seriousness.
"It could have been worse, you could be moving in with a girl that was into clothes and shoes. How much space do my converses take?"
"Your converses are not the problem, it's all your books and magazines and knickknacks… Accept it: you are a pack rat."
"You are as well." I responded in my defense.
"And that is why I went through everything already at my place, now you go through this box." He said forcing me to sit down on the floor, with the box right in front of me.
"But it is my box of mementos of you." I pleaded.
"And you are going to be sleeping with me, so you don't need anything to remember me by." He informed me.
"You don't expect me to throw this away right?" I asked pulling out his old white sharpied t-shirt.
"Why do you want to hold on to that?" He asked as he could not understand my motivation.
"Because it was the most romantic thing you ever did, and it was right after my first kiss… Well… my first kiss that counted."
"I thought your real first kiss was right around the time I deflowered you." He said grinning.
"It doesn't count if it is not with love." I informed him.
"Fine, but go through it, what else could you have there?"
"Letters and photos, and stuff."
"You'll have to make a case for each one. I'm listening." He said crossing his arms over his chest.
"You are an ass! I will de disposing of that photo of me you kept." I threatened.
"We are not broken up anymore, you can't get stuff back."
"What are you doing with mine then?" I asked noticing the huge injustice.
"I'm being practical."
"You are a sadist."
"That makes you a masochist then. But keep digging, I bet you just have shit there and you only threw in just to shove under your bed when cleaning." He said eyeing my box with disgust.
"No way." I said digging in, sure of my priced possessions, until my fingers stumbled with an unfamiliar shape. "What is this?" I said out loud.
"See, I told you."
"No." My hand closed over the foreign object and noticed it was a cube. I pulled it out and at first it didn't make any sense what I was holding on my palm, until I saw through it and noticed Edward's smiley face across from me.
I was very proud of my wit and quick thinking, but I embarrassingly took long to put two and two together.
But when the thought ignited in my brain I felt terrified and elated.
I said pushing it back in.
No one said I ever knew the appropriate thing to do.
"What are you doing? I want to know what that is. Or we can throw the whole thing in the trash then."
"No!" I yelled shocking me in the process. I guess I knew now how I felt about it.
"What are you going to do then?" He dared me.
I pulled it back out. And look at it and noticed the name printed in gold on the top. It was that jeweler we had been at months before.
"You bastard… I can't believe you have me choose my own engagement ring."
"Wow… Careful Swan, you may be getting ahead of yourself. I haven't asked anything yet. And by the way, your use of the possessive makes my day."
The possibility of me having made an assumption, one just like the stupid juvenile line where I was making as ass of me, and only me. He could see my sudden fear and came closer to me, moving the box from between us away, making sure I was still holding on to the little box.
"Why don't you open it? For being the nosiest person I know you are dodging it. Maybe it's not what you wanted." Edward suggested.
"I want this." I replied worried that he would misinterpret my reaction.
"Let's see what happens when you open it." He said cryptically.
It wasn't what I thought it was.
It wasn't an engagement ring.
Not a simple platinum band with a perfect sized diamond.
It was a sapphire nestled among a few tiny diamonds that shied away their magnificence in the presence of the less popular sapphire.
It wasn't an engagement ring.
It was the engagement ring.
My engagement ring.
Not the one I had told him he would propose with.
It was one I took less than a fraction of a second to look at and wonder and desire for that fraction of a second, of a life I thought was forbidden for me.
"And you thought I didn't have another grand gesture in me." He added quite proud of himself.
"How did you know?" I asked truly impressed.
"I know you better than you think."
"But you weren't even close to me."
"When you kept going I just had to look at that display and I knew that you would have gone with the most different one, the one everybody else would deem insufficient. Which, by the way didn't mean it was cheap. The one you chose would have been far cheaper, but that was not the reasoning of my choice." He explained.
"I haven't heard you asking anything." I pointed out.
"Oh, now you want me to ask for something." He said smiling in delight.
"You don't want to?" I asked a little fearful.
"You mean that you are not mine already?" He asked as he pulled me closer in one swift movement of his arm around my waist, one movement that I was embarrassed to admit had made me moist, and given what was happening he'd notice soon.
"And I will still ask. So…"
"You are the one for me. The only one." He said.
"Tell me something new."
"Hold back your tongue or you won't get anything." He admonished me.
"And now, I can tell you no one, not even you, will prevent me from having you in my bed every night until the day I die. You are my friend, my best friend, my lover and the only woman I want to have children with. You make me feel like a man and like a kid in an insane roller coaster every frigging day; I can be cocky and confident and be reduced to humility and guiltiness with one of your words. And I don't want anything different. I'd like, if you grant me this wish, to be able to call you 'wife' as well."
I could feel tears in my eyes.
"Well? You have to answer Swan and then you can get the damn ring. I won't give it to you without an answer."
I kissed him.
"Hell yes…" I said pulling away.
"That's my girl" He said truly happy.
"I can't believe you did this now… I'm wearing sweatpants!" I pointed out looking down at what I was wearing.
"You really don't want to admit it but you read way too many romance novels if you were expecting the nice restaurant, the string quartet and me dropping to my knee."
"This… was perfect." I confessed.
"And I'm telling you one thing. It doesn't need to happen soon… And I didn't get you this to brand you as mine. I just want everyone to know just how much you are worth to me. How valuable you are and how incredibly lucky I am to have you."
He built me my house, he designed it, scrimp and saved and came the closest to build it with his own hands.
I helped quite a lot too.
But he was right, dark hardwood floors feel amazing under my very pregnant and swollen feet. But his arms around the swell of his child inside of me feel a lot better.
In just a few months I'll be facing what it surely be the most difficult trial of my life. It scares me beyond words, and the memory of a past loss still hangs on me.
But no matter how scary, I'll get through it, as long as he's there, holding my hand and looking into my eyes while I accomplish the impossible.
And there you have it. It's all done. It is truly bittersweet for me, but it had to come to an end, this story has gone full circle.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, you have taught me a lot about writing, and who knows? Maybe I will write a book one of days just because you showed me I could write something this long and not throw in the towel.
I will not write a sequel, I think this story has given me all that it had to give me, but I envision them being happy and having difficult trials in their relationship, but raising above them. They will have their dysfunctional happily ever after.
With nothing else to add, just thank you once again, and if anyone wants to keep in touch, or share with me your own stories, I'll be more than happy.