Yeah, yeah. I know, you don't have to say it. This is so short and I waited for so long!
I've decided that as the mood takes me, I will likely post one-shots of either cut-out scenes (like the waterpark or something) or future scenes. Just because I love these characters and can't just let them go.
But for now, we've reached the end of Ignorance is Not Bliss. I hope you all have enjoyed, and I hope to see some of you at my other stories.
For the last time here - Enjoy.
Five years later
Alice laughed as I made a face at her baby, a beautiful little girl. She was just past two months old, and still so little it amazed me.
"Stop teaching her bad habits, Bells. Before you know it, she's gonna be making faces at me because you taught them to her."
I laughed, scrunching my nose at the little girl in my lap. "She'd learn that from Emmett, not me."
Alice paused, then laughed as well. "True. He'll also teach her all the bad words she won't need to know."
I smirked as I lifted Sophey into the air, gasping in excitement at her as she stared down at me, wide-eyed. As I brought her back down to my lap, I looked at Alice. "How's business going?" Jasper had taken a few business classes over the years, and had started his own small restaurant in Davis. A friend from the restaurant he'd worked at instead of going straight to college was his partner and the chef, and last I'd heard, it was going well. I hadn't had time to visit it yet except for opening night.
Alice beamed. "Oh, Bella. We should go eat there on our next afternoon out. It's been doing so well, I'm so proud of him." Still beaming, Alice fell onto the couch next to me, eyes shinning as she looked at her baby.
Sophey started getting fussy, her eyes locking onto Alice, so with a laugh, I passed her off. Cooing, Alice took her daughter and lifted her in the air, blowing a raspberry into her stomach. "You just miss Daddy, don't you, you little monster?"
I smiled, watching them, and couldn't help but feel a little jealous. Smiling, Alice tucked her daughter into her arms and looked at me. "How's Edward been doing?"
The mention of Edward made me smile sadly. "He's still in Chicago, but should be back soon. Apparently, his grandpa took a turn for the worse, and Edward hurried up there. I guess Grandma Masen isn't taking it so well."
Alice sighed, reaching a hand up to tickle her daughter's tummy. Her wedding ring flashed in the light, and I swallowed back more jealousy.
Alice and Jasper had gotten married almost two years ago, with a big wedding that put any others to shame. The joke was that they waited so long so they could top Rose and Emmett's wedding, which took place not even two years after high school. They were in the process of moving to the suburbs outside of Sacramento, which wasn't easy with a toddler. Ethan had just turned two the other week, and had Rosalie's stubborn attitude to boot. As if a toddler wasn't already stubborn enough.
"Have you spoken to Rosalie recently?" I asked, since I hadn't really talked with her in almost two weeks. She always seemed to be busy doing something, whether it was work, Ethan, or moving.
Alice shrugged. "I talked with her for a little last Friday. Emmett's stressed out over the whole moving thing, and the counselor's position he took up. And then Ethan decided he could color on the living room wall. So she had to go," Alice finished in amusement. I chuckled - that's what Rosalie got for letting her two-year-old help paint his room.
"I think they're trying for another kid," Alice confided to me, smirking. I nodded my agreement. The new house had more rooms, and Rosalie had been staring around Sophey's room with a wistful expression. We were all waiting for her to call us saying she was pregnant again.
Alice sent a sly look my way, and I braced myself for the questions that seemed to come around far too often now. "Are you and Edward planning to buy a house anytime soon?"
I managed not to grimace only because I'd faced questions like this one far too often now. Especially from Renee, who seemed to think it was her duty to know all about my personal life and offer her opinions. Opinions that usually went along the lines of how I needed to get moving before life passed me by.
"No," I said with practiced nonchalance. "We're fine here."
Alice made an unconvinced humming noise. "I don't know, Bells. You guys have been here for what? Three, almost four years now?"
"Four next year," I muttered, staring at Sophey blowing spit bubbles. I smiled slightly as they popped and she fisted her little hands on Alice's shirt, stretching the material slightly.
Alice's expression turned a little concerned, and she reached out to rest a hand on my arm. "Bella, is everything… okay?"
Edward was her cousin. Maybe not by blood, but in any and every other way that mattered. Perhaps she could give me insight into him that I couldn't have.
Maybe she'd tell me I was just over-thinking things.
I shrugged, still staring at the baby. "We've been together for five years. He's finished his music degree, his psychology minor, and is working on getting his work set up." Edward wanted to teach music to kids with less-than-fortunate circumstances. "I've got a few more classes to take before I'm ready to start work as well. And things still feel…" I searched for a word and settled with, "halted."
Alice frowned. "Halted?"
I nodded. "Like we're not going anywhere. Like we're stuck or something." I bit my lip in distress. "It just feels like while things aren't getting worse or anything, we're not…. He's not…."
Alice frowned. "He still hasn't gotten the guts to propose to you?"
I blushed but reluctantly nodded. "I know he will, eventually. I just wish…."
"You're tired of waiting." Alice finished like it was the most logical thing in the world.
I smiled slightly and murmured, "Yeah," before shrugging and offering a brave face. "I can wait, though. He's going through a tough time right now, and there's no way I'm going to push him into even more stressful territory by hinting at the future."
Alice rolled her eyes. "You should just propose to him," she said decisively, standing and carrying Sophey to her car seat. I blushed again and followed her.
"Uh, no thanks."
Alice snorted, but didn't say anything as she tickled her daughter's stomach. She looked up at me, a slightly worried look in her eyes. "You sure you're okay with watching her for the night?"
Now I snorted. "Yes, Alice. I think I can take care of her for one night."
She grabbed her purse, but hovered by her daughter. "Thanks, Bella. I really hate leaving her, but I really do have to get to San Fran and pull this all nighter with the team."
I smirked. "They'd be lost without you," I teased.
"You'd think that," she snorted. "Really, they could pull this show off on their own, but they prefer having me there. Apparently, I'm their lucky charm." Alice was working towards having her own line, and right now that meant getting into the business first. I had faith she'd be her own boss before too long.
I walked her to the door, smiling at her as she glanced once more over at her daughter. "Really, don't worry. Jasper will have her back super early tomorrow morning. I can manage to watch her for a night without doing something drastically wrong."
It took a few minutes of assuring Alice as she got into her car, but when she was finally off, I walked back inside and smirked down at the baby as she stared up at me, blinking her big eyes and looking around.
"Well, Sophey, it seems it's just you and me." I lifted her up and brought her over to the couch as I turned on the TV. "Let's see what girly shows are on for us to enjoy."
I sighed and kicked off my shoes. Spending the day and watching Jasper with his little daughter made me feel incredibly saddened and longing. I knew Edward would marry me one day, and then we'd have our own little family. But to see Jasper interact with his daughter. To see him hold her and the look in his eyes and he did, as he stared at her…. It felt almost like intruding, like I was seeing something more than I should.
It also made me want to smile and cry at the same time. He was so good with her, she already had him wrapped around her teeny tiny pinkie finger. She'd never want for anything if Jasper has his say in it.
Sighing again, smiling slightly, I finally looked up and around the apartment, and my brows raised. Edward was obviously back, which he'd told me he might. He'd been unable to give me an exact date that he'd be able to come home, just a few days span. And today was one of them, and obviously the one he was able to get back on.
Candles were lit, lining the hallway, with single red rose petals about a foot apart leading to the bedroom. The sweet scent of lilacs met my nose, probably from the candles, and I smirked as I slipped off my jacket. Someone was trying to make a good impression, weren't they?
Then I froze. Or had I forgotten something important? Shit, I mentally swore, scanning through important dates in my head. I couldn't figure out which one it might be, though, because I had no clue what today's date was.
I tentatively followed the little path Edward had made to the bedroom, peering around the doorway uncertainly. He wasn't in there. Frowning in confusion, I stepped farther into the room, and caught sight of the note pinned to a long-stemmed rose lying on the dresser. His elegant script made it look all the more like something out of a romantic movie.
The patio, Love.
Rolling my eyes but smiling, I smelled the rose because I couldn't help myself, then set it down and wandered back out to the hall, to the kitchen at the back of the house. Edward was standing outside in the light twilight, waiting, holding three long-stemmed roses in his hands. He grinned crookedly at me as I wrapped my arms around him, sinking into his chest.
"Hello," I murmured, pressing a kiss to his chest.
His lips brushed the top of my head. "Hello to you, too, love." He handed me a rose. "For the first time you let me kiss you," he whispered. He handed me the other. "For the first time you took me back."
I raised a teasing eyebrow. "Better be the only time I have to, Mr. Masen." I absently brought the second rose to my nose, smiling at him.
He chuckled, nodding. He still held the third rose, twirling it slightly between his fingers almost absently. His eyes were staring down, his hair brushing his forehead.
I waited to be told what the third rose was for.
A few minutes passed in silence, before he finally glanced up at me, his green eyes swirling and heated and oh so breathtaking.
"What's the last rose for?" I whispered, feeling almost breathless.
His lips quirked up, and he continued twirling it lightly between his fingers, first to one side, then to the other. "This one? It's a special rose."
I smiled tolerantly at him, picking up on the teasing notes. "Is it now? Why is that?"
He smiled again, but ducked his head so he was staring at the floor once more as he handed it silently over to me.
I took it, smiling slightly in a confused way, and looked down to try to figure out why it was special. I drew in a sharp breath when I saw the ring tied to it by a thin thread.
My fingers trembling, I lifted it up to stare at it, then glanced in shock at Edward, who was purposefully lowering himself to one knee, not taking his eyes off of me.
"I love you, Bella Swan. You're the light that led me out of the dark I'd submersed myself in, you made me happy to be alive, you showed me how wonderful it was to play my music again. I've always loved you, even when my actions seemed to be saying just the opposite. And I want to always be the one to love you, the only one to love you like this. I want to marry you. Please say yes. Please say you'll take me for your husband."
I dropped to my knees in front of him and grabbed his face between my hands, feeling tears mist over my eyes. "Yes," I whispered, kissing first one eye then the other. "Yes," I whispered again, brushing a kisses across his cheeks. "Definitely yes," I whispered passionately, brushing my lips over his.
His hands came up, one taking the rose from me and the other cupping my face as he kissed me deeply. Pulling away, he untied the string and slid the ring onto my finger, where he pressed a kiss to it. I stared down at it, grinning ridiculously, and then looked back up at Edward.
"I love you," I whispered, and the words felt completely inadequate for what I felt for him.
"Always, Bella. Always."
"Where… how…" I stared at him in amazement, shaking my head, unable to comprehend this was finally happening for me.
He grinned crookedly at me. "I have a confession to make. My grandpa… he's fine. I went up there to get this," he told me, lifting up my ring finger and making the ring catch the light. "It was the same ring my father gave my mother, which is the same one my grandpa gave my grandma. And now I've given it to you." He leaned forward and pressed his lips firmly to mine. "I know I've taken a while, Bella. But I just always wanted to be sure things were… perfect."
I laughed. "Edward, haven't you learned by now? I love imperfections."