A/N: I don't wanna hear anything about the song choice. I like Brad Paisley.
And now you're my whole life,
And now you're my whole world,
And I just can't believe the way I feel about you girl,
Like a river meets the sea, stronger than it's ever been,
We've come so far since that day,
And I thought I loved you then
"Then" by Brad Paisley
Five Years Later
"So, how does this work? How do we split into teams?" Emmett asked as he bounded up to our loosely assembled group outside the laser tag arena.
I shrugged. "I don't know. We can assign team captains, I guess."
"No! We should do girls versus boys," Alice chimed in. Doing a quick sweep of the group, which consisted of myself, Bella, Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, Ben, Angela, Bella's teaching assistant Jill, and Jasper's business partner Blake, I confirmed that we were indeed evenly divided between the two sexes.
Rosalie, the only girl who had so far lasted more than a month dating Emmett, gave Alice a fist bump. "I like that idea." Bella and Alice had been throwing them together ever since they'd graduated, but it was only recently that they started dating. So far, things were looking good between the two.
Everyone, including Bella, looked at me like they were awaiting instructions. I knew I was the one to instigate the laser tag play date, but Bella was really the one to get everyone to come, so shouldn't they be looking at her? I flushed and shoved my hands into my pockets. "If that's alright with everyone..." I trailed off, shrugging. Bella slipped a hand around my forearm and lightly squeezed. She knew I still had trouble being the center of attention, even among our friends. This is why I liked my job. All I did was sit behind a computer in an office, type code and listen to music. It was perfectly suited for me.
"We're gonna cream you!" Emmett yelled, slamming his fist into his palm menacingly. Alice and Rosalie scoffed, drifting closer together as they started talking smack about the guys.
Bella looked worried. "Do you think this is a good idea? You know how Alice gets when she plays against Jasper."
I did know. Ever since they got married last year, their level of competition reached a new high. Thank goodness they lived out in the suburbs and we didn't hang out with them more than once or twice a month. Especially after last year's horseshoe tournament that was held just after they returned from their extreme honeymoon. You could still see the small scar above Jasper's eyebrow when it caught the light where Alice's "accidental" wayward horseshoe had clipped him.
"Hey! No talking to the adversary!" Alice exclaimed, prompting Bella to give me a "See what I mean?" look.
Pulling a hand out of my pocket, I linked my fingers with hers. "I'm sure it'll be fine. There's nothing she can throw this time."
Bella snorted, but didn't say anything else as our group of ten went inside. I'd already called ahead, so they were ready for us. It took almost no time at all for everyone to get vested up and plugged in before our assigned guide explained the rules to us. I could tell the more he talked, the more excited and restless the group became because the level of energy started to make me feel on edge.
Emmett and Jasper whispered furiously in the back, shooting pointed looks at Alice and Rosalie during the guide's breakdown of the rules while the girls did the same thing in the opposite corner.
The lines had clearly been drawn.
Bella grabbed me before we were led into the laser tag room, which was one of their two-level rooms for bigger groups. "I want you to be careful. And if someone tackles you, call foul," she warned me, completely serious.
"Tackle me? There's no tackling in laser tag."
She shrugged. "I'm just saying, there's a reason we won the intermural flag football tournament every year."
"Really? Did you tackle a lot of girls during games?" I asked, seeing a completely new side to Bella. "I don't remember seeing that."
"No, not really... but I wasn't the only one on the team," she replied.
"You didn't throw them on the ground and hold them down as they tried to struggle free?" My breathing grew shallower the longer my fantasy of Bella wrestling another hot girl went on. I added mud to the visual and started drooling.
Bella cocked an eyebrow at me and tilted her head. "Oh, it's like that, is it? Does that make you all hot and bothered, thinking of me with another girl?"
Of course it did. I was a guy. But I didn't know what game Bella was playing at so I didn't answer; the dramatic gulp said it all.
"I guess I shouldn't tell you about my bachelorette party then?" She ran one hand down the front of my shirt and then tugged on its hem. "But that night I did learn I can be very... bendy." Her fingers slid across under my shirt and circled my hip bone. "Come find me and maybe I'll show you what I mean."
With a saucy smirk, she walked over to the huddle of girls who had already entered the room, purposefully swinging her hips suggestively.
The minx. I remember her telling me about her bachelorette party and no mention of bending was ever brought up.
Feeling an intense tightening down below, I took a deep breath and swore that I would find Bella during this game and make her pay for that. I made my way to the opposite end where the guys were circled up.
Ben pulled me into the circle as Emmett explained our strategy. "Jasper and I are going heading straight to cover the north quadrant and be the first line of defense. Edward, I want you to cover the west quadrant. Ben, the east. Blake, I don't know you, but I hope you're good because you'll be our back-up. We're going to prevail, gentlemen. Ninja style." Throwing our hands in the middle, we yelled 'Go team!' before splitting off to wait for the starting beep and dimming of the lights.
"Do you have any idea what Emmett just said?" I asked Ben.
"Not a clue," he replied.
At least I wasn't alone in my confusion. I planned on just finding Bella and holing up in a dark corner until someone shed first blood and we were kicked out for roughhousing. That's about all ninja I could get today. Bella had wound me up too much for anything else. I was continuously surprised and pleased that we were still so into each other five years after the fact. Even getting married two years ago hadn't dimmed the spark between us.
I heard the beep, the lights turned out and we were off. Emmett and Jasper shot ahead, covering each other's backs and holding their laser guns up to their chins Marine-style. Ben saluted me and wandered off to the right. Blake and I looked at each other, simultaneously shrugged and found cover on opposite ends of the room.
Darting along the right wall, I searched for a way up to the second floor, figuring Bella would go for high ground. Off in the distance I heard a yell of surprise and several minutes of intense firing, randomly punctuated with trash talk and curses. Peeking around the edge of the top of the stairs only to find it clear, I slipped into a dark shadowed corner and waited. The staircase was a great tactical point because if anyone was up here, they'd want to go down eventually since that was where all the action currently was.
It didn't take long before my first victim appeared, crouching low to the ground as she - and it was a she, I could see her ponytail - slowly made her way to the stairs. I didn't recall Bella having a ponytail when I last saw her, but she could have put it up. Angela had her hair up when she arrived, though.
In silence I waited to get a clear shot, and at the first opportunity, I took it.
"Hey!" Angela yelled, ducking behind a pillar.
Once I knew it was Angela, I started backing away from her position, taking cover when I could. She wasn't my intended target, so there was no need to stick around here after I'd given my position away.
My drive to find Bella only increased the longer I spent looking and listening for her. I ran into everyone else at least once before deciding to sweep the second floor again. Making my way past a cylinder laying on its side, a hand clapped over my mouth and I was yanked backward, landing on my side.
"Oh, God! Are you okay? I'm so sorry." Bella helped me sit up. "I guess I don't know my own strength."
"I'm fine, thanks," I groaned, rubbing my hip, which had taken the brunt of my weight when I fell. "Have you been here the entire time? I've made an entire circuit around this place looking for you."
"No. It took me a while to find this hideaway. Nearly scared Jasper half to death jumping out at him when I thought he was you," Bella explained, unclipping and removing my vest. I watched, amused, as she took off hers as well and then slid them and our guns against the wall. She curled up against my side and sighed. "Why did we invite all these people to celebrate our anniversary with us?"
"As I recall, Mrs Cullen, you said you wanted to partake in more gifts because you weren't content with your take last month for your birthday and apparently couldn't hold out until Christmas."
"Hmm... I don't remember wording it quite like that… You make me sound like a greedy gift mongrel." She snuggled closer and I kissed her hair.
"We could just leave," I suggested. "I'm sure everyone would understand if we didn't go to dinner with them after."
"No, I couldn't do that. We've already made the reservation and I was the one to invite them all in the first place. It'd be rude. But I don't mind just sitting here while everyone else battles it out."
"Sounds good to me." We fell into a comfortable silence, Bella lazily tracing a circle on my thigh as I rubbed her back. Her trailed down my chest and when I grabbed it to stop its descent, our wedding rings clinked. I smiled, knowing we'd been told to take off all jewelry before entering the laser tag room. Apparently Bella was as equally hesitant to remove her ring as I was to remove mine.
I remembered the night I proposed. It hadn't been the most romantic proposal. In fact, it was probably more spastic than anything, but for some reason, she'd accepted. I'd been carrying her ring around for a month before I found the courage to show it to her. Just remembering the look on her face when she opened the box, seeing the gems that matched her necklace, and the radiant smile that lit up her face made me tighten my arm around her.
A couple minutes later, Bella stirred. "Edward?"
"Are you happy that you married me?" There was a hesitant hitch to her voice, making her sound young and vulnerable. It reminded me of when I'd first met her.
"Of course I am. Aren't you happy?"
"Yes, extremely. I just needed to know because there's something I need to tell you, but I'm not sure how you'll react."
"Bella." I lifted her chin, looking at her with what little light filtered through the cylinder's opening. "There's nothing you can say that will make me wish I hadn't married you. I love you. Whatever it is, you can tell me."
"Okay." She took a deep breath and straightened, folding her legs underneath her Indian-style. "Here goes." She paused. "Edward, I'm pregnant."
My head imploded.
"What did you say?" I asked, hoping I'd heard wrong.
"I'm pregnant?" she said again, tentatively. "I just found out yesterday. I know we talked about waiting another couple years but when the doctor told me I was pregnant... Edward, I'm actually happy about it. And I really hope you can be too because I don't want to go through this alone and have you resent me for this, and oh my god, I wish you would say something."
"Yes," Bella answered, reaching for my hand. "How are you feeling right now? Good? Bad?"
"Stunned," I whispered. "You're pregnant."
"As in, carrying my child and in nine months we'll have a baby to take care who will be a little of you and a little of me and it'll be ours?"
"Well, seven months, but essentially, yes."
As the idea took root, a grin slowly spread across my face. Throwing myself forward, I grabbed Bella's face and gave her a smacking kiss.
"Is this good? Are you okay with it?" she asked in confusion.
"I think so, yeah. You're pregnant," I said in wonder. Unable to stay sitting, I jumped out of the tube and ran to the railing. "Stop the game!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. "Everyone! Stop!" Taking in a deep breath, I shouted, "Bella's pregnant!"
"What?" Alice shrieked below me.
"My wife is pregnant! We're having a baby!" Arms outstretched - in victory? Triumph? I wasn't sure - over my head, I felt like hugging the entire world.
Bella appeared next to me, encircling my waist. "This wasn't exactly how I envisioned telling our friends, but I guess it'll do."
"I don't care," I laughed. "I'm going to tell everyone! You're pregnant!" I couldn't stop saying it. I kissed her, joy radiating from my body. Our intimate bubble burst as we were swarmed by our friends and their excitement over our news. Separating, I became overwhelmed as I was hugged and congratulated multiple times over.
Locking on to Bella as our friends continued talking and asking questions, I could suddenly see our entire lives stretch out in her eyes. The years together, the kids, the fights and the make-ups. The parties and the family gatherings and everything in between. I couldn't wait for all of it and more, as long as she was by my side.
"I love you," she mouthed.
My grin grew wider. "I love you, too."
A/N: THE END
I hope you liked my story. I probably won't write Twilight fanfiction anymore, but I'm still around, lurking in other fandoms. Maybe we'll meet again someday.
Until then, thanks for reading! And a special thank you to everyone who helped me start this story, continue it and eventually finish it. I owe each and every one of you a huge hug and kiss.