Disclaimer: In my abscense I have not taken control of anything Twilight.
A/N: Hello IEWIS Land! AH! I'm so entirely happy to be back! I have been so busy since the end of IEWIS and I have missed you all so much!
So here is the dealio. I am going to write the IEWIS sequel soon, I haven't started yet due to my time in the cruise, which was bomb diggity if I do say so myself. Seriously, I love living on a boat. I have been thinking non stop about it though... which led me to this:
To get back into the groove of IEWIS Land I did a little writing so I could reconnect to the story. That piece of writing just so happened to be Chapter 41- Float On entirely in EPOV! It made sense to do because so many of you requested it and I started wondering about it myself! So you know what this means, right?
A special feature chapter of EPOV Saturday!! Are you happy my maroon hoodie army? I hope so.
So here it is my friends, an IEWIS Special Feature EPOV Saturday!
Chapter 42 - Special Feature
EPOV of Chapter 41 - Float On
I felt the movement happen but I couldn't stop it any longer.
My left hand has been spending a lot of time in my pocket lately. I just cannot help it. I have this new subconscious need to check and make sure the little black box is there. I carry it around and obsess over feeling it occupy my pocket, like a crazed fool. I need to know it's there though. Once I find the words to finally say to her, to ask her, I need to be 100 percent sure I have not lost the ring.
Her face turned away from me and to the women she was sitting in the living room with, the one closest to her being my mother, so that she could concentrate on the ridiculous dress meeting Alice has just called them all in to. I was instructed to go upstairs and help Emmett pick out cups.
Yeah, right. I bet he and Jasper are already on round 2 of stalking each other in an abandoned warehouse with sniper rifles.
I stole one last glance at my Bella before turning and walking away. I can't be sure from this angle but it looks as if her mouth may be twisted up into the beautiful smile that I love. I let one of my own flood my face as I walked away and upstairs to Emmett's room.
"Dang Eddie, I thought we were going to loose you to the lady meeting," Emmett joked as I walked into the room, not looking away from his game at all.
"Don't call me Eddie, Felicia," I said sternly as I swatted the back of Emmett's head and fell into the bean bag chair in the corner of his room.
I grimaced quickly at the feeling underneath me. Nothing will ever compare to the Love Sac back home.
Oh wait, we are home. The Love Sac in LA, no longer my home.
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. I looked up then and my brothers were staring at me. Emmett with a death glare on his face, Jasper with a smirk.
"My name is not Felicia, don't ever say that name in my presence ever, ever again!" Emmet seethed at me and I scoffed a laugh with Jasper.
"Felicia is not my doing, that was your fiancé, remember?" I laughed and Emmett's eyes narrowed.
"I bet Rose still calls you Felicia," Jasper interjected as he turned to Emmett.
"No, Rosalie calls me manly things like Thor."
Jasper and I stared at him for a second and then all 3 of us fell into a fit of laughter.
"I can barely imagine Rose calling you Thor, even in the heat of the moment," I said between laughs.
"A man can dream," was Emmett's response.
We laughed a bit longer together and I appreciated the moment. I knew the second the girls were around Emmett's defenses would be back up and he would insist the Thor story was true, but around his brothers he let his guard down more.
"So Felicia it is then?" Jasper asked with a smirk, not letting the nickname go.
"Actually, the other night she was joking around and it got worse. She shortened it to 'Lee-lee'."
Jasper and I both snorted out a laugh and Emmett just shook his head.
"That freaked her out enough though. She realized if she kept referring to my manhood as a flamboyantly girly being she wouldn't be able to treat it the same. It really was a mood killer."
Jasper and I laughed but agreed. I can't imagine that would be a good thing for any relationship. I can't imagine my Bella referring to me as the pretzel during our own intimate time, whenever that blessed time comes upon us. It's not a woman's name but it's not very romantic either.
I sighed inwardly and let my hand fidget around the box in my pocket. I suppose it doesn't matter what the hell either of us says, performing that act of love with her when she is my wife will be the most exhilarating experience of my life. To be that close to her, that connected...
"Edward are you ok, man?"
Jasper broke me from my daydream and I snapped my head towards him.
"Yeah, sorry. I was just...thinking..."
"About what? Bro, your face looked like how I feel when mom makes German chocolate cake. Oh God, do you think we could get her to make one before we leave? That cake is sinfully good. I would bathe in that cake."
My brow furrowed at Emmett's rant about mom's cake. His relationship with food will always be beyond me.
"Yeah, it was something like bathing in cake..." I trailed of and chuckled.
"Now I'm hungry," Emmett whined at rubbed his stomach. "I can't go downstairs though cause then Alice will know I'm not picking out napkins, or spoons, or toothpicks...or whatever, like I'm supposed to."
"You're supposed to be picking out cups," Jasper informed him with a nod to the order form that was lying on the floor next to the desk.
"Ok, well I'm too hungry to pick out cups. Wedding planning is hard. Make sure you know what you're getting into," he pointed at me and I felt my eyes widen and my hand tighten in my pocket.
"How's that going by the way? I know these things are usually kept secret from Alice so she doesn't throw a parade for the newly engaged couples and such," Jasper chuckled and Emmett snorted.
"Nothing's changed. I still haven't found the right time to do it," I sighed and smiled meekly in defeat.
"You'll be fine dude, you need to relax. She's in freaking love with you so she won't care how or when you ask, only that you do," Emmett looked at me seriously and looked very confident. "I know it's hard, believe me! I almost threw myself over the cliff right before asking Rose I got so nervous. But then, once you look her in the eye... it's like the most beautiful moment of your life. Like, everything makes sense, and she makes sense, so you suddenly make sense. Does that make sense?"
We all chuckled at the tangled words he'd spoken but I felt more than amusement towards Emmett at this point. He was always the goofball and the big bear that couldn't even pick out cups for his own wedding, but when it came down to it he was a great guy. A great older brother. He really was ready for this, for all of it. It made me feel proud of him, and also motivated.
"Yes, it makes sense oddly enough," I replied.
"Ok ladies, I'm really glad you two were struck by the wedding bug, but I'm ready to kick your asses in Halo so can we be men now?" Jasper laughed at himself as he threw me a controller. Emmett and I spat out our own retorts and the battle began.
"I hate you."
That was Emmett's gracious way of losing to his younger brother.
"No, I believe you hate yourself because I just killed both of you 5 times in the first round alone," Jasper said calmly as he stretched out his arms above him.
"No, I definitely hate you," Emmett said with a glare. "You have to have a cheat code or something, there's no way you are that much better than me. No way."
"Emmett I'm just the Halo King, ok? Deal with it. Felicia apparently isn't fit to bear arms," Jasper chuckled at himself and I watched Emmett's jaw tighten. Uh oh.
I leapt out of my seat in the bean bag just in time as Emmett launched out of his seat and he and Jasper tumbled to the floor.
"Who's the King now?" Emmett laughed as he pinned Jasper's arms behind him.
"What are you, King of the Floor?" Jasper laughed, barely phased by the compromising position he was currently in.
"I believe it may be Queen of the Floor if we are keeping the Felicia theme going," I chimed in, earning a glare from Emmett and a laugh from Jasper.
Emmett's attention diverting to me was enough to let Jasper get the upper hand. I missed the movement, Jasper was so quick to change their positions.
Emmett struggled and the rolled around on the ground for a while, pulling me into the wrestling match for a few minutes myself. Once Emmett realized I was on Jasper's side he pushed me out of the way and returned the fight back to one-on-one, still determined to get revenge for being shown up at his favorite video game.
In one swift move Jasper had Emmett pinned again and it was clearly over. Emmett wasn't going anywhere. They both were breathing heavily and I was sitting on the bed lazily applauding Jasper's victory.
"Sorry 'Lee-Lee' today just isn't your day," Jasper laughed as he held Emmett down.
"I hate you."
I fell to the bed in laughter as Emmett's groaned out his previous declaration with his face half smashed into the carpet. Not having this time with them is really going to be hard. The three of us have always been close, our parents raised us that way, so not being together will be quite a change. Sure we fight like all siblings, but we have bonded deeply as well. They are my 2 best friends outside of my Bella. A pang of sadness twisted in me as I watched them get off the floor and call it truce, for now.
The sadness never left me as we settled in and discussed playing another round. The only remedy for me is my love so I decided to break up the man party and rescue Bella from the dress meeting she was most likely getting sick of herself.
"The girls should be done now, don't you think?" I speculated.
Emmett shrugged and Jasper said, "go check if you want, but I'm sure Alice will be up here milliseconds after their meeting is over to see if the cups match the dresses properly."
I laughed in agreement but got up anyway. I don't really need them to be finished I just need to see Bella.
As I rounded the corner into the kitchen I caught the sound of her beautiful voice in my ear and automatically smiled. I still couldn't see her, but this was almost as good. When I started to make out her actual words I stopped to listen just outside the entryway to the living room, still hidden. Maybe I don't need to interrupt just yet...
"...but I know that I want to get married in the summer, in the sun, so I would choose a shorter length. The tea length, right? Yeah. I've thought about the idea of doing different cuts on each bridesmaid, since no one has exactly the same body, but then I think that uniformity would look nice too. I know you 2 will look good in anything though, so I guess I won't really have much to worry about when I look for your dresses. I could paint potato sacks maroon and you would rock them."
All the women I loved laughed in unison then and every sad feeling I had before melted away. My Bella was talking about the bridesmaid dresses she would choose for Alice and Rose when we got married. She even had a specific color in mind it seems. Maroon. Of course, just like our hoodie.
I shrugged to myself and thought about how appropriate that would be. So she does think about planning the wedding.
That thought danced through me as I leaned against the wall of the kitchen, letting my hand wrap around the too familiar object in my pocket. I wonder how much more she has planned in that little head of hers. Soon I will know. Soon I will ask her to be mine and we can plan the rest of our lives together, from maroon wedding decorations to where we want to retire.
Suddenly my angel walked past me, seemingly in a rush, and I was pulled out of my thoughts. I smiled widely to myself. Someone seems to be in a hurry. She didn't even notice me leaning here.
I watched her jump slightly and then turn to me, her eyes wide, making me chuckle. She's too adorable for her own good.
"That was mean," she pouted at me and I stayed leaning against the wall. I shrugged at her since I couldn't find the will to stand up. Her bottom lip jutting out like that distracted me and I was sure I wasn't able to hold myself upright at this point, my legs being too weak from the sight of her. I'm still so incredibly hopelessly in love. I could feel the smile still in place on my lips and I hoped she knew how much I had fallen for her.
"How long have you been waiting here?" she suddenly asked me, relieving me from the sight of her pout.
"Not very long at all. I just came down to rescue you, I'm in need of your services you see. But I got caught up in listening to you explain to Rosalie what dresses you would have them wear if this was your wedding. I simply couldn't bring myself to interrupt."
It was the truth, except for the 'in need of your services' part. I threw that in so I wouldn't seem so desperate to need to see her. I didn't want to bring up my sadness that had willed me downstairs. For once she didn't have it clouding her eyes and I wanted to keep it that way. I'm not going to be the one to remind her of the sorrow we all will feel in the coming days.
I noticed her smiling at me then and I had one on my face in response. Something I said made her very happy. Score one for Edward.
"My opinion on bridesmaid dresses interests you?" she asked as she approached me and encircled her arms around my waist.
"Every thing that escapes your mouth interests me, Bella." I leaned down and kissed her quickly, not being able to resist any longer. "But that particular conversation caught my attention, yes."
I controlled the urge to check my pocket for the ring. Looking into her eyes always made me want to ask and I needed to be prepared if this moment finally provided me the time I needed to get the words out. But I also didn't want to stop holding her.
Suddenly she looked at me with narrowed eyes, like she was trying to figure something out.
"What?" I inquired of her new expression.
Her lovely features changed quickly and her deep brown eyes widened again as she seemed to choose to forget about whatever it was that was troubling her.
"Nothing. Did you make any progress with cups?"
She smiled and I sighed.
"No. We played Halo for a bit and then Emmett wrestled Jasper for a good 15 minutes because he got sick of Jasper's gloating after he slaughtered us in the first round. It only got worse when Jasper pinned him and gloated about that too."
We laughed together and she shook her head at us, thinking exactly what I was at that moment.
"Alice is not going to be pleased-"
"What? Why am I not going to be pleased? What did you do?"
The sudden appearance of Alice caused us to break apart in surprise. Unfortunately she managed to catch the beginning of Bella's statement, earning me a glare and a hand on the hip from Alice.
"Nothing!" I raised his hands in defense not wanting to have Alice's wedding wrath turned on me.
"Well apparently someone did something." She looked back and forth between Bella and I, trying to provoke a confession.
"Is it about the wedding? It is, isn't it? Spill. You know I'll find out eventually."
"Talk to Emmett," I said calmly, glad to have someone else to point the finger at. He's the one that had a responsibility he didn't fulfill. Whenever cup duty is on my list of things to do I will not disobey Alice, that's for sure. Maybe I should take a look at that order form and get a head start...
"Oh I will."
Alice's little features set into determination and she mumbled nonsense as she left to hunt down Emmett.
"Oh you are so going to get it when Emmett finds out you ratted him out," Bella lightly hit my arm and chuckled at me.
"It's nothing I can't handle. I rather it be him than her."
Her lovely laugh filled my sense and I grabbed her hand to get her away from the living room where we could easily be interrupted again. Alone time with Bella sounded nice before the big show tonight, which is sure to be chaotic.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"I told you I require your assistance, remember?" I threw that out there, sticking to my old fib. She calms me and that's what I needed. Maybe I should make something else up so I don't have to bring up the sadness again...
She can help me pick out my shirt for tonight I suppose. I don't care much, but maybe it will come off as a sweet gesture. It will have to do anyway.
We started up the stairs but she abruptly stopped, taking me by surprise.
"You wouldn't be requiring my assistance in your bedroom, would you Mr. Cullen?" Faux astonishment took over her face and I rolled my eyes at her speculation while trying to drive away thoughts of what she was hinting at.
Tempting, but no. There are too many chances of interruption with this many people in the house even though I did miss having alone time with her. The longer I looked at her the more tempting it became though. It's been so long since I've been able to let my lips wander her skin. Some of my resolve was shaken, but I have to stick with the T-shirt bit.
"That is where we are headed my love, yes, but it's strictly because I need your opinion on something. I'm not trying to lure you into the bed if that's what you are thinking. Or hoping." I felt my smile deepen at the thought of her wanting me like that. "If and when I decide to do that I will make sure the house is empty first."
I couldn't help but lean into her and share a private moment as I whispered my thoughts. The proimity was too much for me to handle and I had to grant my lips their one wish of connecting with her skin. They found her neck and I let them linger longer than was probably necessary or polite, savoring the feeling of her since I wasn't sure of the moments we would get like this in the next week.
The house is too full, I decided in that moment. Much, much to full.
I chuckled at my thoughts of ridding the house of the other occupants and then pulled away and led her up the stairs to my room. Be good Edward. In a little over a week the house will be much too empty.
"So what do you need my help with?" she asked once we entered the room and I shut the door.
I threw my shirt off right away to start my lame shirt-opinion facade. The quicker we get through this the quicker I can have her in my arms and relax before the show.
I heard her gasp slightly from the bed at the reveal of my torso and I smiled as I turned away from her. Thank God for Emmett and his insane obsession of Jasper and I following in his high school football steps when we were younger. Of course neither of us ever did, but he started teaching us good work out techniques early on. It was more habit now than anything, but if it got reactions like this out of such a stunning creature like Bella I would never stop.
I approached the dresser and searched for 2 shirts, not really caring what I ended up choosing.
"I need your opinion on what shirt to wear tonight," I said almost lazily as I clutched 2 in my hands without even looking at them. I held in a smile as I watched her watch me walk back over to her.
"My opinion is that shirts are over rated," she replied softly and with a smile, melting me with her sweet voice. I threw the shirts down next to her, still not taking any interest in them, but only in her.
I bent over her slowly, making sure I controlled myself and didn't jump her like an animal. I leaned into her and decided to play. It's amusing how attractive she finds me in times like this. The times where I have to control myself the most because she is the one person I have ever needed control around.
"You'd prefer me to stay like this?" I asked her softly. Surely she doesn't want me half naked all night.
But she nodded and kept smiling at me, finally looking me in the eyes. That was all I could take. Her eyes drew me in and I closed the distance between us to kiss her softly. She was luring me into my own bed and she wasn't even trying.
I pulled away from the kiss but not from her so I could play some more.
"So you would rather I play the show tonight like this? So the whole venue, every attendee can watch me play without a shirt on, and hug me, and-"
"Alright I get it. Put a damn shirt on so I don't go crazy all night watching other females drool over you. Well, more than they already do."
I smiled at her breakdown, amused that she still thought she had anything to be jealous of. I have to admit, I do like winning these little games. Seeing that I have this sort of effect on her makes me feel more confident, more manly in a way. It may be just a "guy thing" but it's the truth.
"I thought so." I gave her one more quick peck as a reward to myself. I grabbed the shirts but kept my eyes on her, finally fulfilling the fake reason I brought her with me to my room. "So which one?"
She actually looked at the shirts in my hands as I continued to stare at her. Her face started to turn doubtful as she looked from one hand to the other.
"You really want my opinion on what shirt to wear?"
I simply nodded, not caring if she saw through me or not. All she had to do was pick and then I could wrap her in my arms for a few hours.
"Ok... um, the green one."
She pointed to my left hand so that's the one I threw on lazily. Green, huh? That works.
"There. Not that you have any reason to be jealous, love. You know I don't even see other women any more. There's only you."
I felt the need to clear that up now that the game and the charade are over. I leaned in to kiss her, ready to wrap my arms around her but she beat me to it. She immediately pulled me onto her, causing a moan to escape me as she took control. This woman is amazing. One of her hands found it's way into my impossible mess of hair and the other flirted with the skin under my shirt, driving me wild. So innocent yet so seductive at the same time.
My lips demanded their own freedom as I felt her hand trace up and down my side. I let them wander to her jaw and the side of her face, right below her ear. Her lovely hair was fanned out beside it and I pulled away slightly to brush more of it back from her neck, revealing what I wanted access too. I was breathing heavily and her hand tightened around my messy locks in response and I felt her body stiffen momentarily. I chuckled at the reaction, ignoring the small pain and thrill the pulling of my hair sent through me, and then directed my attention to the smooth skin of her newly exposed neck.
I had to shift my weight to get better access to more and more of her lovely skin, one side of her body not being enough for me anymore. I love all of her. I started to travel to the other side, noticing that her hand was now traveling the length of my body, needing more of me too.
Suddenly the hand that was not on my leg stopped its motion and I felt a small pressure as I heard her gasp. We both froze and I recognized the pressure as her hand hovering over the small box inside my pocket.
"Edward, what's in your pocket?" she asked innocently.
"It's just my cell phone Bella," I replied hurriedly, while trying to sound casual as I cursed myself for being so careless. She cannot find out about this surprise before I ask.
I sat up and pulled her with me so I could turn and get my left side as far away from her as possible. I tried smiling at her innocently but she was already one step ahead of me.
"Your cell phone is on the dresser."
What do I do? I cannot tell her the truth because it will ruin the moment of the proposal. Think Edward...
"Oh. Hmm," is the only thing I could get out.
I have to try something else. Distract her.
I leaned in swiftly and began to kiss her fiercely. This is what distracts me, hopefully I can have the same effect on her and I can escape more questions. I do not want to lie to her but I do not want to ruin the surprise of what is in my pocket either. It will be worth it when I get to see the look in her eyes.
It almost worked. Almost.
"No...wait..." she was struggling against my lips, which I never took away from her even as she spoke. "I want... to know... what... it... is... Edward!"
She tried to push me away as she started laughing and yelling at the same time, causing me to fall into my own laughter. She is so damned determined, just give in and let me distract you!
At least I have strength that she doesn't. I trapped both of her hands to the bed and pinned her down, making sure she would not be able to ruin her own surprise. I gazed down at her for the few moments she tried to fight my hold on her.
"Edward! What is it?" she finally pleaded with me after trying her hand at beating my strength.
Normally her pleading would send me into a wave of need to fulfill her wishes, but this time I know that it's for her benefit she doesn't get her way.
"It's a secret love, sorry."
She still looked determined and I prayed my resolve would hold. Looking into her eyes as she laid pinned below me was compromising enough, I don't need her pretty little face pouting up at me.
Luckily we were interrupted by our friends and family. Normally I would have been extremely annoyed at Emmett bursting into my room with no consideration of privacy, but this time I welcomed it. Bella seemed distracted enough as the others joked about our position on the bed.
I thanked them all secretly in my head and managed to let go of her without any danger of my pocket getting attacked again.
"Don't think the pocket discussion is over," she threatened me with a smile before she left the room to let Alice have her way with her. Like she needed any help being any more beautiful... this tradition is getting out of hand.
I simply shook my head at her, trying to stay cool, but I couldn't help but worry slightly. If only I could find a moment to ask her, a moment that finally felt perfect for the proposal I wouldn't have to worry about this. I watched her walk away and sighed to myself. I have a strange feeling tonight is going to be a long night.
I was able to drive Bella to the show in the Volvo, which was nice. I know she doesn't take interest in cars like I do, or even like Rosalie does, but it's nice to have her sitting next to me in it. Two of my favorite things at once, what more could a guy ask for?
Once we got to the show I lost Bella for a while, much to my confusion and discontent. One minute we were in my car parking at the venue and the next I was turning to introduce her to some of my friends that were greeting me and she wasn't there. When I found her inside she looked troubled, which was not right.
She seemed to calm after I was able to kiss her and touch her again though, allowing me to feel confident again. I'm glad she seems to calm around me. In that we are equal. We belong where the other is, simple as that.
After I left to check out Garrett's new guitar I went back to the merch table to try and introduce Bella to Kate, Garrett's girlfriend who had finally arrived. Garrett joked about them being friends earlier but I really hoped it could be true. I want Bella to enjoy the time we have to spend in Forks. As much as I plan to occupy most of her time, I know it's probably good she makes other friends as well.
Bella was nowhere to be found for the second time tonight. My brothers, Rose, and Alice were also missing. I started searching the venue, having to stop every few minutes to greet people here and there. Finally one set of guys said they say Jasper and Emmett heading out back so that's where I went. It was a start at finding Bella. I assume she is with the only other 4 people she knows here.
My breath caught in my throat when I saw Irina leaning against the wall outside of the venue. I relaxed a bit but became puzzled. Why would she be here? Tanya no longer lives in Forks and Irina has no interest in our band, or music in general. Also, why are Alice and Rose circling her like sharks?
"Edward," she cooed in greeting, a little annoyance slipping out.
"Irina," I greeted back with a nod. I noticed then that Rose, Alice, Jasper, and Emmett were all staring at me with worried looks.
"What are you doing here?" I asked her a little harshly as things started to swim in my mind.
"It's nice to see you too," she sarcastically replied. "For your information I'm here to help my friend out. Did you know Tanya was in town Edward? It's her father's birthday this week, remember?"
Her smile was sickening and I felt just as sick when I realized that her presence here only meant one thing. Tanya had to be here too.
"Where is Bella?"
I was through talking to Tanya's slimy friend and I turned my attention the to 2 ladies at her side, my own caring friends, knowing they wouldn't play games with me.
"Relax Edward, she's just in the forest talking to Tanya," Alice said calmly as if it were an everyday occurrence.
"WHAT?" I practically shouted out. "Just in the forest... talking to Tanya..." I repeated her words back to the group in astonishment. This cannot be good.
"It's fine Edward, we were there when they left together and we asked Bella if she needed any help but she declined. She's a big girl, she can take care of herself," Rose smiled at me but I couldn't return it.
I turned to head into the forest after them but Alice grabbed my arm before I got more that 2 steps across the small lawn.
"Edward let them be," she said gently yet sternly.
"Alice let me go, I need to find Bella."
I tried to be calm but I couldn't help the upset that was building in me.
"Actually, no, you don't." Alice stepped in front of me and stared me down, even though she was almost 2 full feet shorter than me.
"Edward, no." She cut me off and pointed one index finger at me in a scolding manner. "Bella decided to handle this alone, and you have to let her do that. I know you love her and you want to protect her, but protect her from things she needs protecting from. She's been through a lot in the last year and she's handled it all pretty much on her own. Hard stuff too, mostly brought on by you!"
I deflated at her last statement as regret washed over me. I know all of this. I know I caused her pain and I would never forgive myself for that. That's why I was trying to shield her from more right now. That's why I needed to go, why can't Alice understand that?
Unless I'm not enough to shield her. Unless I'm what she needs to be shielded from.
Alice seemed to notice my train of thought without me having to say a word. Something about Alice and I just clicks, it always has from the beginning of the group friendship. We just seem to be thinking the same things a lot, sharing things in our thoughts that others don't seem to see. It's a subtle bond but it's there.
"Edward please don't be upset with yourself because the past is the past. I didn't mean to make you feel bad I just want you to realize that Bella can handle one measly conversation with Tanya."
He hand on my arm turned gentle and her big blue eyes pleaded with me to understand. The others around us seemed to be moving in their own conversations now. I leaned into Alice and spoke quietly, not wanting to broadcast everything I was feeling.
"I'm not afraid of her not being able to handle it, Alice. I'm afraid of me not being able to. It's not as if I intentionally hurt either of them but I am the sole reason they both know what heartbreak feels like. I don't like the idea of them being alone for many reasons, the fact that the only thing they have in common in being hurt by me is the most prominent. What if she remembers what that felt like and realizes I'm not worth it Alice? I've already drug her out here to Forks selfishly, how can I expect her to give more of herself to me?"
My thoughts were swimming at this point and my left hand was clutching the outside of my pocket. I can't loose my Bella or stand to cause her any more pain. I don't deserve her as it is, I don't need Tanya here to remind her of that fact.
"You are an amazing guy, Edward, and believe me when I tell you Bella knows that." Her little hand reached up and patted my cheek for a second before dropping to her side. She smiled at me and then sighed. "I suppose you are not going to lighten up until Bella comes out of the forest and proves to you she's still insanely in love with you though, are you?"
I smiled slightly and shook my head.
"Sorry, Alice. I'm Edward. I over think."
There was no humor in my voice but she chuckled lightly and patted my arm.
"I love you Edward, but I'll never understand why you do this to yourself. Since I can be no further assistance here I'm going to go help Rose charm the snake lady."
She winked at me and then headed towards Irina and Rose, leaving me to myself.
I folded my arms and leaned against the wall closest to me as I took to staring at the small clearing I knew Tanya would have led Bella too. It's the same place her and I used to go to talk during shows when I wanted to escape the crowd. It's the place I asked her to be my girlfriend, the same place I kissed her for the first time, and also the place I dumped her for the first time. It's the same small clearing that I sat alone in the night of our last Forks farewell show while Tanya was out kissing random men behind my back.
What could she possibly be saying to my Bella? Ridiculing her? Informing her of my horridness? Harassing her? Interrogating her?
It seemed like ages before they emerged and I felt myself turn to stone as I saw Tanya. She's still as gorgeous as ever, but nothing compared to the vision of my Bella next to her. I got stressed out again then, feeling one hand travel through my hair in frustration and the other grip the small box in my pocket in anticipation.
They looked happy enough as they stood there, a good distance away still, and spoke to one another. Is that good or bad? If they are happy with each other then what emotions do they feel towards me? No, I couldn't care less what they feel, what does Bella feel?
Shock slid through me as I watched them embrace suddenly.
Hugging? Bella and Tanya are hugging each other?
No, this is not good. Not good at all. The world had turned upside-down.
They broke apart and Tanya started walking in the opposite direction towards the parking lot. I didn't even look to see Irina leave, I haven't been paying attention to anything else going on since Alice walked away from me. The only thing I saw was Bella as I leaned against the wall and let the upset take me over. She is acting too casual about everything while I'm having a panic attack.
"Oh, hey," she said breathlessly after a few moments of conversing with the others casually, as if she just noticed me standing here.
I continued to stare at nothing but her as she took a step closer to me, still acting casual. I kept my arms crossed and my body leaned against the wall. She wasn't dangerously close so it was a bit easy to ignore the pull her body has on my own.
"Oh hey," I mocked back at her, not feeling relaxed at all.
Only hours ago she had been my only source of serenity. Now Tanya had visited and ruined that for me. Now Bella was making me tense as I wondered at what new thoughts she had about me after her little chat. That embrace haunted my mind as well.
"How is everything?" I asked sarcastically since clearly rainbows and daisies were littered all over her and Tanya's new world of friendship. I'm not trying to be cruel, not to my love, but I'm still uncomfortable and upset. I need answers from her, not this damn casualness.
"Edward are you upset?" she asked me straight forward with a trace of annoyance. It pleased me more than the casual manner she was using earlier. Emotions meant answers.
"Not at all. Should I be?" I asked innocently, being pretty straight forward with my questioning and trying to not stare at her lips for too long. Again, it's good she's kept some distance between us.
"Of course not. But you aren't smiling so I figured something was wrong."
I scoffed inwardly. Alright my Bella, if you want to ignore the fact that you were just hugging my ex-girlfriend in front of me and that would indeed be an upsetting sight then that's fine my dear. We can play your little game.
"Nope. I just don't have anything in particular to smile about, so I'm not. I'm not frowning either so I don't see the issue here."
I watched her face fall slightly and I resisted the urge to push off the wall and take her in my arms to wipe the small sadness from her features. The discomfort in me would not leave. I can't feel normal around her with that image of them hugging still in my mind.
Finally the look on her face changed and I felt something besides the discomfort wash through me. Excitement. Because she was slowly walking towards me.
"No reason to smile?" she cooed as she closed the distance between us and I focused only on her.
I glanced for a moment at the other's suddenly dashing off around the corner but put my gaze right back on Bella as she drew even closer.
I shrugged in reply to her question, unable so speak or move because I knew I would loose my now determined resolve to win this game between us. I knew what she was trying on me, sometimes I fear she knows just exactly how tempting she is.
"Maybe I can give you a reason."
She was pressed against me now and I had to use every ounce of control in me to not take her into my arms then. The image of Tanya's arms around her flashed through my mind and it helped me get a word out blandly.
I watched her beautiful eyes widen slightly and an emotion ran through them that I couldn't identify. Is she worried? Whatever the emotion was that clouded her before quickly fled and I watched as something hinting at anger crossed her face. Oh God, even her anger is beautiful. Before I could open my mouth to calm her she made her own move against me.
She attacked me with her full lips, passionately kissing me and pressing me into the wall. I lost any other thoughts or visions I had and reacted to the feeling of her hands wrapping around the flesh under my shirt. After the immediate shock of her attack wore off I let my own lips move against her demanding movements and I pulled her into me even deeper, not longer wanting any sort of space between us.
The kiss broke far too soon and I breathed heavily, now very thankful I had remained leaning up against the wall. She kept her fingers lightly moving up and down my sides, sending erotic shivers through my body. I chucked to try and release some of the tension of what she was doing to me.
"Careful love, there are kids around. Don't tempt me to..." I trailed off, not being able to vocalize my thoughts to her. The feel of her touch brought on very ungentlemanly urges me. Not here, not now Edward.
"To what?" she whispered into my ear, letting her soft mouth make slight contact with it. I groaned inwardly at how badly I wanted her. She has to know the power she has over me. I had to remind myself of the show I still had to play and of the fact that dragging her into the forest right now would not be polite to her or my family that was expecting me to perform soon.
"You know what," I said before kissing her sweetly, trying very hard to keep the urges controlled.
"At least you're smiling now," she said as she finally moved her lovely hands safely away from my flesh.
"You had to know that wasn't going to take much persuasion. It was unfathomably hard to stare at you and not smile. It was the toughest act I have ever put on."
"You were very convincing actually. I was worried for a few moments."
I had noticed that, but I was not aware that it's what drove her to seduce me up against the wall. Perhaps I should worry her more often.
"I'm sorry my Bella. It was just extremely odd to see the two of you together." I felt uneasy again at the memory of their embrace. "Heaven knows what she could have said to you. Especially about me."
I continued to gaze down at her, searching again for any sign that she thought less of me. Instead her hand reached up and stroked my cheek gently, sending fire through my body again, warming me.
"It was very nice actually. I was nervous at first, but we got along really well. It's something both of us needed in a way. Even though we'd never met we sort of needed closure too, I guess."
She smiled at me lovingly and I understood now the need for them to connect. The hug was still unnecessary in my eyes, but who am I to demand necessary things from either of them? I took her hand that was still on my face and held it in my own, needing to feel her fingers lace through mine.
"Then I'm happy you got the chance to speak."
With that the conversation was over and I walked my Bella back around to the front of the building and into the show.
Before I knew it the equipment was set up and my brothers and I were facing the immense crowd set out before us.
Just like the beauty of my Bella this was a sight I never got used to. It astounds me every single time. All of these people are here for us. It meant a lot to me. It still does, even now during the final show.
We went about business as usual as we set up, joking and smiling at the many people who hadn't yet had a chance to say hello.
It hardly felt like the last show at all, or the last anything for that matter. The strangest thing about the entire procedure was looking to my right and seeing Bella, Rose, and Alice standing with my parents on the side of the stage. It was strange in the best of ways, though, and only pumped the pre-show adrenaline through me even deeper.
Jasper, Emmett and I were fine tuned enough at our routine now to know when we were all prepared. I felt the mood shift and I quickly moved over to where the people I loved were huddled together, whispering an "I love you" to Bella as I gave her my cell.
I noticed my mother had tissues in her hand and my heart lurched for a fraction of a second at the sight. She never cried at shows before. She's never had a reason to.
The lights in the entire venue snapped off as I approached my place on stage and it as the cheer from the crowd rose so did the wave of emotion.
This was it. The end.
No - don't get caught up in that. Play Edward. Play.
Still in complete darkness Jasper's voice rang out through his microphone.
"Let's do this. For the last time. The best time."
He sounded almost joyful and I joined him there, turning towards Emmett as I always did right before the first song. As the show began all the worries in my head and heart fled. Every face swam in front of me as the sound of our music erupted into the room and wrapped itself around everyone, making it impossible to escape the closeness. This is what I am going to miss the most. This feeling of togetherness in the sound. The way the emotions are allowed to flow and ebb.
I glanced at my family every so often, wanting very much to share these moments with them the most. I still focused on not lingering my gaze on Bella too often... the distraction was too threatening. I did catch my father in the midst of a shimmy throw once though. Only the love of my life could coax Carlisle Cullen to shimmy.
The main show practically flowed into the encore and the tiredness I usually felt at this point of our Forks show was nowhere to be found. Just energy, love, and the insane need to never let go of this music and this band.
Knowing the encore would be a necessity we had carefully chosen the final set list, settling for one of our earliest written songs to be last. The last line of the song just felt right. It had been Jasper's idea to end with this song and my idea to exit the stage separately, giving us each an opportunity to show our gratitude to the people who gave us a chance before any one else.
Again, all to soon the last song was coming to an end.
All of the voices in the room seemed to become one as the familiar chant rang out before us. I stepped away from the mic, wanting the sound to be free and raw and equal.
"Close your eyes, one last breath, let's rendezvous here.
Whoa-oa-oa, I'm nowhere."
I listened to the words and felt them echo through the room. It went on longer than usual, something I let happen to postpone the inevitable.
This is it. The end.
I let that feeling linger this time, knowing it was time to embrace it. It filled me with the need to fully experience these last moments.
As I stepped back to my position in front of the mic I felt the lights soften even though the chanting did not. I leaned in and sang the same line back to the crowd, allowing the end to come.
"Close your eyes, one last breath, let's rendezvous here.
Whoa-oa-oa, I'm nowhere."
As I sang I waited for it until it happened...
The last symbol crash of Emmett's drums rang out behind me. I felt the stage behind me get darker and I closed my eyes as the cheering of the crowd erupted during Emmett's departure from stage. When I opened them the line I was singing became secondary as I watched him sink to the ground next to Rose, his head falling into his hands.
My heart lurched again and I refocused, waiting for the next exit.
Jasper's voice disappeared and shortly after the deep soothing sound of his bass did as well. My voice continued to flow through the cheers he got as he bowed towards the appreciation being thrown at him from the crowd. Then the spot next to me on stage darkened until it was just me.
I strummed the guitar lightly, taking in as many faces as I could as they all sang along with me. The whole world stopped, just as it had the first time I saw my Bella, and I drew in one deep breath before ending something that meant the world to me.
"Whoa-oa-oa, I'm nowhere," I heard my voice ring out with hundreds of others and then it all faded into complete silence.
I looked directly into the crowd, into the backbone of this whole crazy thing that had started the best journey of my life and I took the end face on.
"My brothers and I thank you for your support. Now and always. We love you all. Thank you."
I bowed my head in submittance to the final moment and then complete darkness surrounded me.
I barely heard it all as I walked over to my brothers. The applause was thunderous and as appreciative as we were for it, but the goodbyes were not over for us.
I discarded my guitar quickly and approached the only other 2 people who knew what this moment meant to me.
Moments were still flying by me, and before I knew it I was trapped in a hug with the 2 men I was immensely proud to call my brothers, all of us fighting tears at the moments and quiet exchanges we had just shared.
As the lights came up the privacy was ripped away and we broke apart but not without being more connected with each other than ever before.
I was approached with a hug from everyone in my family, the LA girls and my parents.
"I'm so sorry," my mother whispered to me in the middle of our embrace.
"No, you cannot be sorry, do you hear me?" I scolded her, tightening my grip. "What would you ever have to be sorry for? We made this decision and it's alright. It's the end of something, but it will certainly be the beginning of others."
She just nodded into me and sniffed more.
"Thank you Edward."
Her voice was still laden with sorrow and I fled through my mind, trying desperately to find a solution to the troubles my parents were facing.
"I'm sorry you have to leave your home Edward. I know it's not here anymore. I know that it's hard for all of you to be apart. I can't help but feel badly for taking it all away from you, leaving you with so little..." she was looking at me now, having pulled back slightly from the embrace.
I shook my head at my mother sincerely.
"No. Let me show you something."
I turned us slightly and pointed a few feet away to where Bella and Alice were hugging intently.
"You see that beautiful woman right there?"
She nodded her head and smiled at Bella and then back at me.
"Ok. Now pair her together with the beautiful woman standing in front of me and then try to tell me I'm left with 'so little'." I shook my head again. "I'm sorry Esme Cullen, but you are sorely mistaken. My life is very full and my time in Forks will be very full as well."
I spoke my heart and my mother let more tears fall, but I'm almost positive they were slightly happy tears now, knowing my take on the situation was not all engulfed in the loss I felt.
The next six days were fleeting and I was again having trouble comprehending how quickly it was all ending. Before I was able to grasp my acceptance of the situation we were back in Los Angeles packing.
The conversation somehow managed to turn itself in a direction I had not anticipated. I sighed heavily.
"Yes we all know I ran into the screen door Jasper, thank you."
I wasn't upset with him of course, it was common knowledge I had become a fool for my Bella the second I laid eyes on her, I just wasn't too interested in flaunting it. I looked up at her from what I was doing and the look she gave me floored me all over again. I will gladly remain a fool forever.
"Well there was that, and then there was the song." Jasper smiled at me, reminding me of what I had managed to forget.
I froze with the memory of it and realized this was one thing I had never told Bella, because I still to this day wasn't sure if the timing of it was too inappropriate to acknowledge.
Emmett mumbled, "Oh yeah" and the girls encouraged them by asking, "What song?"
"I wrote a song," I confessed casually, hoping they would brush it off as nothing since I frequently perform such an act. I focused on packing the box of DVDs in front of me.
"Not just any song," Jasper said as I remained concentrated on packing, cursing him in my head. "A song about the 'chocolate brown pools that lead into her soul and match the locks around her face'..."
"'I don't know where they lead but it's becoming my favorite place'," Emmett finished.
I heard a gasp escape Bella as the lyrics I hadn't been able to control so long ago flowed freely from my brothers' big mouths. I have never once told her about this part of my journey through my love for her. It was a private thing that I had accidentally shared with Emmett and Jasper. I was never supposed to leave the small alliance of my head, heart, hands, and keyboard.
"Edward..." her lovely voice beckoned me and she sounded very pleased. Of course I couldn't refuse to look at her, I couldn't deny her anything when she spoke to me like that. I looked up and met my favorite pair of eyes.
They were shining back at me, all deep and full of love and appreciation for me. She's my motivation for everything, still to this day just like the day I wrote the song.
"I couldn't help it. I've never told you about it due to my cliché theory, and also because I wrote it so early on. Jasper and Emmett caught me playing it in the practice space a few nights after I met you. Such a great deal of time before...I knew."
I shrugged and she smiled at me, pulling one out of me as well. If it made her happy it made me ecstatic. She gave me the look that made me weak and stronger all in the same instant. This woman affects me more than anything else in the entire world. Even before I recognized my love for what it truly was she was inside of me, composing my music and guiding my heart
"Well Bella almost caused a 5 car pile up thanks to you!" Alice broke my thoughts by walking by and nudging the side of my head play fully with her tiny hip as she passed me, carrying some clothes into her room to pack.
I smiled at the memory of how I affect my Bella, reveling in the fact that we had found each other and changed both of our worlds for the better, even in foolish and borderline dangerous ways.
"I know, she's told me."
That last night of course passed far to swiftly as well. Breakfast sped by and the final packing and the loading of the car.
"I can't do it," Alice shook her head and buried her face into Jasper's arm as everyone in our group silently turned into a circle, preparing to say goodbye.
Here we are standing in the middle of the street embracing and saying goodbye. I cannot remember a moment in my life that felt quite like this. The end of the band had been intense, there is no denying that. This is different though. This is deeper, more rooted because this is a family breaking apart. This is a perfect piece of art being shattered. This is not what it should be. This is just plain painful through and through.
Too much has changed for the better here, in this city, in these arms.
How do you prepare yourself to leave that? How do you let it go and walk away?
These questions continued to plague me as it began. Another ending.
"Thank you guys. My brothers and my sisters and my Rosalie, for loving me as much as you do..."
My eldest brother's voice was soft and gentle for once as he broke the silence that had overtaken the group. I felt my own eyes water and I sensed it in everyone around me as well.
The sorrow only deepened with every word that traveled through the circle as the rotation of goodbyes took place. Poor little Alice couldn't even begin to say goodbye. I thought her sobs would tear her small frame apart. At least I was helping hold my Bella together as I felt her body pulse with her own sadness next to me.
Then it was my turn.
"You all know the mess I went through during our time here," I began as the focus of the goodbye drew itself to me. I felt another tear escape but at this point no one was breaking the connection of our bodies to wipe away the wetness on our faces.
"What you don't know is how comforting it was just to be with all of you. Even when I was…the black hole," I threw in my unfortunate nickname in an effort to lighten things a bit. A few sniffle filled chuckles broke out, "even then I was truly appreciative of time I spent around all of you. It was the only thing that got me through, truthfully."
I let the truth of my words weigh down on my so it would be evident to the 5 people surrounding me how important their presence in my life was. How can I ever thank them for accepting me after drawing so far away? I'm still in disbelief that I am loved so dearly.
"I knew that the 5 of you loved me and that it was stronger than anything in the end. That won."
I felt Bella's familiar body lean into mine and I rested my cheek on her head, gaining as much contact with her as I could. More tears threatened me as a chorus of "we love you's" began and I closed my eyes, disbelieving tears finally getting their escape.
"I feel very similar to Alice, I don't know where to start."
I opened my eyes as Bella's broken voice overtook me. She should never sound this way, never. I may be breaking a bit as well, but I need to do my best to comfort her.
"It's ok love" I said softly to her, hoping my voice and my support could give her any sort of strength. I will make it more than ok for us. Did she remember that promise I had made to her so many weeks ago on her couch in Phoenix?
"I didn't grow up in a big family and I never wanted to. When I came to Los Angeles I was scared out of my mind, not of the city or of the people but of myself and my insecurities. It's all flipped around now. Now I'm scared of leaving because I have a big wonderful family who helped me love myself. I can't thank any of you enough for loving me and showing me different ways to love. So many different ways... you are my family now and forever."
The last few words of her goodbye were almost lost to the night, her voice was trying so hard to fight the tears. I tightened my grip on her and let her cry into me. She was done speaking and the last person left to speak, Rosalie, set into another emotional goodbye.
"...I don't know what would have happened to me had I not been loved so greatly by you all. I'm so grateful for everything we did, every second we had. I can never tell you what it meant to me. There aren't words."
The sobs coming from Alice and Bella were no longer silent as Rosalie stopped speaking.
I took in her words and tried to imagine what any of us would be like without the love we shared. How would I exist outside of the world we had created? We loved this world as intensely as we loved each other. I can't even imagine the man I would be without this part of my life taking place. I can't even begin to count the memories and amount growth I would be without.
No. This was meant to happen. All of us meeting here, in this city and this lifetime.
Rosalie is right. In this moment there are not any words to describe how meaningful that is. The connection is silent and strong. Deep and true and everlasting.
The final round of hugs began and I was faced with Emmett first.
"Bye brother. Be good like I know you will," he sniffed as he clapped my back in a very many fashion.
"Of course. Keep Rosalie on her toes, like I know you will."
He snorted out a laugh and as we pulled away he gave one last nod to me.
Jasper found me next, and it was a similar quick hug with the back clap.
"Hey man, we're going to be back in the house together soon," he said with a smile as we pulled apart.
"That's right," I smiled as I remembered he was coming to Forks after helping Alice acclimate to her new life in Seattle.
"Think of all the food we are going to get now that Emmett won't be there to horde it all."
We laughed together and then told each other to be safe on our travels.
I barely had anytime to think before something small and strong latched onto me.
"Alice," I breathed and helped to support her weight.
"Edward, I love you. Have I ever told you that? You are an amazing guy and I wouldn't let Bella go with you if I didn't truly love you as much as I do her."
I laughed at her statements and wiped a tear from her face as she looked up at me, still not loosening her grip.
"Thank you Alice. I'm glad you approve of me, loving Bella isn't something I would ever stop doing, but having your blessing definitely makes it more convenient."
I got her to smile and I felt more loss as she buried her head back into my chest.
"I love you too Alice, very much. I can't wait for the day Jasper officially makes you my sister."
I spoke to her quietly, knowing that day would come. Jasper has never been so content. For that reason alone I loved this tiny woman.
After Alice peeled herself off of me and flung herself as Emmett I was faced with Rosalie.
"...and don't let Bella doubt herself, ever," Rose commanded during our hug.
"Do you honestly believe I would let such a thing happen?" I drew back and looked her in the eye seriously. She smirked and sniffed then gave me a serious look in return.
"It's just hard for me because I won't be there to make sure."
"I know Rosalie, but my days of foolishly letting Bella be hurt are long gone," I sighed and pulled her to me again, "I never thanked you for taking care of her during that time. I will never stop making it up to her, I promise. Thank you for holding her together. Thank you for caring so much about all of us."
I felt a silent sob flow through Rose as both of our grips tightened. Rosalie has a hard outer shell, but I truly appreciate the amount of love she contributed to all of us. I needed her to know the risk she took of giving her real self to us was not done in vain. It was appreciated.
"Thank you for waking up and for being your wonderful self, Edward. I missed you during that time too, you know. And I will miss you now."
After I finished saying goodbye to Rosalie I watched Bella tearfully be dropped from Emmett's arms. She did not look like she was in any shape to hold herself upright so I took my place behind her and took the burden on myself. I will be strong enough for both of us if I have to.
"We have to go," Jasper said as he checked the time on his phone.
"Us too," I admitted to the group, feeling Bella melt more into my arms with the finality of the statements.
In a daze we broke from the group. I opened Bella's door for her and then shut it. I took a deep breath and walked around to the driver's side of the vehicle. Giving one last smile to the 4 people I hated to leave behind I entered the car and started the engine.
I held myself together as much as possible as I pulled away. Bella's vocal sobs reflected the silent ones I felt inside. I stared ahead and let the sadness rip me apart a bit, knowing this feeling was the last thing we would all share together for a while.
I drove away from the place and the life that taught me the most important and beautiful of things. I learned how to properly love deeply and completely.
I reached over to grasp Bella's hand, needing to feel her skin to keep my sanity. I have her, therefore I have everything no matter what I am leaving behind.
Too soon we were out of sight of the others. I knew parts of my heart had broken off this night, staying with the people and the places they belonged to.
"Crimson and clover...over and over..."
We both heard it at the same time, the anthem of our family, as it quietly filled the car. When my Bella's gaze turned to me I squeezed my hand and sped forward, pushing us into our new life together.
"Bella, are you not speaking to me?"
I leaned close to the face I loved and tried to lure her precious voice out of her.
She simply shook her head at me, and with each movement of her head my lips brushed against her soft cheek. I hadn't even planned that. It was another small gift the universe gave me. She stopped too soon and determination set on her face.
Oh so we are playing a game I see.
"And why not?" I asked, still trying to be alluring and get her to at least face me.
It worked and she threw me the most precious annoyed look I have ever seen. I know she's not really annoyed with me so I didn't stop the smile from spreading across my face.
"Oh right, you can't tell me."
I chuckled at her little game and her kitten-like fierceness. As cute as this is, however, I am growing impatient. If my Bella has decided she's not speaking to me then I will just have to use my time with her in other productive ways. Touching usually seems to work pretty efficiently in these times.
I leaned into my love, pushing her back into the black leather couch in my room.
We've been frequenting my couch a lot recently, practically every night of the short week we have been officially living in Forks. Tomorrow Bella moves into her apartment which is both happy and sad for me. Having her in my house every minute of every day has been very nice. She won't be far of course but I've been enjoying our ability to lounge around endlessly and spend time together. It makes dealing with the loss of everything else so much easier.
Once our bodies were settled into the couch I pressed my lips to her neck, willing away all the thoughts of friends and family and the way of life that was lost. I was instantly caught up in her and I concentrated on nothing but my love for her.
She turned to me and I registered the "what are you doing?" look she was trying to give me. It looked clouded by desire though, so I knew I was edging towards winning whatever little game she had set up in her head. She should know by now, I will always turn it into my own game. And I will always win. I am persistent.
"If I can get you to speak then I win," I explained quickly before setting my lips every so gently back to her skin, growing more forceful the higher I climbed to the hollow just before her ear.
I knew I was gaining control because I could feel her grip on the maroon fabric around me tighten. Then she moved a hand to my hair, then my hip, then my thigh... oh God why won't this beautiful woman just cave already?! I crave her, every part of her. Her love, her touch, her voice. I need her alluring voice. The soft sounds she makes when we are together are the most alluring thing I have ever, ever encountered and I just didn't feel like I was doing my job without them.
"This is no good," I practically whined after a few minutes of getting nothing but those teasing touches from her. I will have to be honest. "I like it better when you are vocal."
She looked confused so I explained, the impatience taking over now.
"Your moans Bella. They are my favorite...thing...ever..."
I finished my sentence in between more kisses along her jaw, trying my damnedest to effect her the way she effects me.
She's extremely stubborn when she wants to be, however. Instead of granting me my wish she just tightened her grip on me again, a pleasurable sensation but not what I was going for.
I had been too distracted by eliciting a sound out of her to notice where her hand had traveled though. Every motion stopped as I felt pressure fall on my left thigh.
I shot my hand down over hers as quickly as possible and pulled it up over her head.
"Edward-" she started to protest.
Oh no my beautiful girl. I interrupted her with a kiss, the return of her voice making my insides sing.
"Oh no Bella," I laughed as I pulled away, enthralled by the annoyed look on her face.
"What is it?" she demanded.
"Nothing," I replied quickly.
Only your nana's engagement ring that I carry around everywhere, pathetically, until I finally find the moment where I don't act like a total imbecile and can ask you to be mine. Only that specific nothing.
"Lie. What is it?" she tried again.
"I don't know."
It doesn't matter if she knows I'm lying or if I don't make sense. I'm not telling her.
"Well I don't know if I want to stay up any longer. I think it's bed time."
She made a show of yawning and closed her eyes even though I was still on top of her and still holding her arm over her head. This silly girl and her silly tactics.
"Hmm?" She didn't open her eyes, continuing her new game, reminding me I still hadn't found out the reason for her first one.
"Why weren't you talking to me earlier?"
"Because you ate the coffee cake."
She opened her deep brown eyes and glared at me. Oh, is that all? I love her and her fun, mixed up priorities like coffee cake. So unexpected and entertaining. There is no other girl like my Bella. There never will be. I laughed with the joy of it all.
"I don't see what's funny," she said seriously.
"You don't?" I asked, releasing her hand and moving mine slowly down her body. I will have to coax the beautiful laugh from her lips it seems.
"Edward," she warned, already knowing my plan.
"Ed...Edward...ah!...stop..." she choked out between laughs at my tickle attack. I laughed at her scrunched up features, still perfect in this elated state, and I maneuvered with her, trying desperately not to let her escape.
She began cheating and reached up to kiss me, causing the movement of my hands on her side to become the secondary action to the movement of my lips against hers. She's a very dangerous distraction.
Eventually we were laughing and kissing simultaneously and I managed to keep my hands on her sides, still tickling, hoping it would keep the lovely joyful noise from filling my room.
Suddenly, since neither of us were paying much attention to being careful, we slid off the couch and onto the floor landing sideways with a big thud.
We laid silent for a second, both listening for any indication that we had woken up the other 2 occupants of the house, my parents.
"It's odd to have that fear of being caught," I admitted, allowing any part of my body that could reach to become entangled with hers.
"It's kind of fun," she smiled devilishly. I rolled my eyes at her playfully to distract me from how seductive that smile was.
"Are you really upset I ate your coffee cake?" I asked sincerely. It's as tempting to me as it is to her, but I really should know if my eating it does upset her. I can sacrifice that small indulgence for her.
"Yes and no. No in the sense that I wasn't angry enough to stop talking to you seriously," he laughed a bit at me, "and yes in the sense that I love that coffee cake incredibly too much, so I do get slightly angry when I wake up and it's all gone."
She playfully swatted my shoulder, but I just pulled her into me as tight as possible.
"I love it too." I kissed her softly and felt her smile underneath my lips.
"I love you."
My body filled with warmth, every time I heard that fall from her lips I was taken aback. I reminded her, "More, more, more, my love."
We laid on my floor just holding each other and letting the love between us turn beautifully serious for a moment. The moonlight from the window wall behind us bathed us in a soft glow as her finger reached up to trace the lines of my face. I wish I could lay here in this moment for the rest of my life. It is perfect.
"Maybe instead of real cake we should serve coffee cake," she said quietly after a few perfect moments.
"When?" I asked. She cannot be speaking of her birthday, she loathes celebrating it.
"At our wedding of course."
A smile took over her face and she looked expectantly at me.
I know that she is speaking of the ridiculous fake wedding we have been joking about for months. I know that. But the only thing I could feel was the ever building burning of the proposal inside of me. She deserves to be planning a real wedding. And here we are, in a perfect moment with each other. I realized within a second what I needed to do.
It's now. The time is now.
I kissed her fiercely with all of the love I had in me, trying to convey every ounce of passion I had for her. When I pulled away the emotions were bubbling over the surfaces inside of me.
"Marry me, Bella."
I felt my eyes widen at my words.
That happened to quickly. No Edward! No. You cannot blurt it out like that, you fool. Fix it. Fix it for her now.
"What?" her shocked voice asked me.
"Get up Bella," I said urgently, still trying to keep my love wrapped around every word.
"Ok," she stood up and I ran my hand across her lovely cheek once then kissed her once more, letting the happiness of what was about to happen wash over me.
I walked her over to the space just before my giant window. I know she loves this view. Sometimes after I come out of a shower or finish talking privately with my father I will find her here just silently looking at the scene below. I placed us in front of it, wanting the moonlight to be as involved in this as anything else.
I looked into her eyes and drank in every emotion that I could find as I lowered myself in front of her to my knee, my heartbeat picking up with every inch I fell.
"Bella," I began, taking her soft hands in my own and looking up at her, still directly into her eyes and the soul I love.
"Oh my God," she whispered in disbelief.
She made no move to leave. Her small hands tightened on mine she she stayed where she was, gazing back at me with the most sensual chocolate color that's ever existed.
Her face turned into a deeper shock a second later though, and I got a tiny bit concerned. Maybe she's not ready. Maybe I read her wrong.
"Bella?" I asked, testing her.
"Is this it? This is it, isn't it? Is it?"
Relief filled me as I realized she was merely caught off guard and processing the situation. I was surprised briefly at the calm that took over inside of me. This is right. This is perfect.
"Yes, love, this is it. I can't wait any longer."
I smiled up at her trying to calm her and not chuckle at the nervousness I could sense. She had to have known this was coming. I've been stumbling over attempts at this for some time now.
"But I'm in my pajamas," she said quietly, as if I hadn't known that all along. She spoke quietly and quickly.
It seems someone else is having "I need to do this right" issues. Silly girl. I finally see now, as long as she is here and I am here and our love is here it is right.
"So am I," I mused, so entertained but patient now.
"Well should I change?" She asked, almost frantic now, as if there were rules for this type of thing.
"If you want to..." I continued to smile at her, fully amused by how her mind worked in moments like this.
"Should you change?"
Again she caught me off guard. What I wouldn't give for one minute in her head hearing her thoughts. I chuckled slightly.
"If you want me to." This is about her after all.
"No! I don't ever want you to change."
The panic left her face and she looked into me then, down into where I kept everything I felt for her. Then I saw it. She understood. She understood that all this moment need was our love. Her hand touched my face and I kissed the first part of her skin my lips could reach.
"Isabella, you know that I love you more than anything. More than life."
My heart began racing again but in excitement this time. I can't believe this amazing, perfect, loving girl is going to be mine. What have I ever done to deserve this?
"Even when I wasn't ready for you and I could not see what a beautiful opportunity I had right in front of me you were there. You believed in me and in us when I was too foolish to believe in anything correctly. You saved me, my Bella. I am not the way you found me. I am better only because of the love you graciously give me everyday."
I kissed her hand in gratitude, needing her to hear and feel my love now. I cannot ever contain it. How I had for so long I will never, ever understand.
"The only way I can think to thank you properly is to promise to love you in a very borderline inappropriate manner for the rest of our lives. And then beyond that. For the rest of all time, no matter what comes after this life. Will you allow me to do that, love?"
Her gorgeous hair moved along with the motion of her head nodding "yes" to my question and I watched as silent, glistening tears slipped down her angelic face. We shared a moment of laughter and I filled with warmth again, loving how I would be granted permission to make her laugh forever, just as I had always wanted.
For the last time I let my hand fall in to my left pocket and I pulled out the delicate little box, holding the most prized treasure I would ever hold.
A gasp escaped her as the small gold ring was revealed.
"Nana," she whispered as I took the ring from the box and held what was already hers up to her.
After all the wrong I had done by her, it is so incredible to finally do something right.
"Bella, will you marry me?"
"Yes Edward! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!"
I slid the ring onto her finger and felt like I was going to burst from the amount of love that pounded within me. She fell into me and mumbled "yes" over and over again through the kisses we showered on each other. No better moment has ever existed.
When our breathing deepened and we pulled away we sat up and I pulled her to me, not being able to resist the pull she had on me, the pull she will always, always have on me.
I held her left hand up and got a good look at the ring on her finger for the first time. I kissed it, sealing my promise to her silently.
"Does it look good on me?" she asked playfully, wiggling her fingers at me.
The moonlight danced off of the tiny diamonds and the finality of her being mine shone back at me. Mine. She loves me and she is now marked as mine in the most precious of ways. Mine. I love how that feels.
"Mmm," I half moaned, not being able to take my gaze off of the small ring on her finger. "It effects me more than you know."
I could resist her no longer as the feeling of possession took me over.
Mine. She's mine. This beautiful creature that could surely choose anyone she wanted chose me. Me. Over thinking, foolish, selfish me. I kissed her from the ring all the way up to her ear, needing to mark more of her as mine as I moved along, loving the finality of it because I was just as equally hers through her acceptance of me.
"You have no idea how much that effects me," I whispered into her ear, needing her to know the way this new sensation weighed heavily on me.
I just held her and gazed out the window then, softly stealing kisses from her neck or her cheek every so often.
After everything the last 9 months has brought upon us we have made it through. I am here with my beautiful Bella in my arms, promised to me forever.
The universe worked this out, I feel it will work everything else out too. Of course there are more hardships to face. Of course there are more obstacles and losses. That is life. But as I let my thoughts drift to the events and people that led me and Bella together I couldn't help but smile.
As we floated through the universe to each other we will continue to float on until we find each other again. I honestly believe that.
"I love you my Bella," were the last words I uttered on that perfect night as we lay in my bed inviting sleep together.
"I love you Edward Anthony."
I smiled at her words closed my eyes, still seeing the lovely vision of her behind my lids.
I will love her and everything she taught me and brought to me and showed me and changed me into for the rest of my life.
Continuously. Through every other adventure I have in this life.
More. More. More.
How was that? I felt really great about giving Edward a long chapter :)
I know a ton of you wanted his thoughts during the end of everything, so here it is for all of us!
Let me know kids! I've missed you all terribly and hope to hear from you soon :)
SEQUEL INFO: Once the sequel gets posted I will put a chapter up here in IEWIS to alert everyone, so no worries there. The sequel will be called More.More.More. and it will continue our journey in IEWIS Land. More on that soon...
P.S. If you have heard about the Midnight Sun postponement and want to show Steph your support my good friend Kayla and I have started a site to promote supporting Steph and Midnight Sun. Go check it out and see how we are working to unite the fans and give Steph our support. www dot supportmidnightsun dot com. Thanks MHA. I know my Zip Up Warriors are capable of great things :)