So you all asked for it. Here's the negotiation/proposal from Edward's point of view. It's really really long, don't feel obligated to read it all in one sitting.
I don't own Twilight
"Can we discuss something? I'd appreciate it if you could begin by being open-minded." My curiosity was peaked, but I could sense a trap in her words.
"I'll give it my best effort."
"I'm not breaking any rules her. This is strictly about you and me. So…I was impressed by how well we were able to compromise the other night. I was thinking I would like to apply the same principle to a different situation." It was clear she was nervous.
"What would you like to negotiate?" I was amused by her formality. Her heartbeat, always so clear to me, was racing. "Listen to your heart fly. It's fluttering like a hummingbird's wings. Are you all right?" What could she be so nervous about?
"Please go on then." I used my most encouraging voice, truly curious.
"Well, I guess, first, I wanted to talk to you about that whole ridiculous marriage condition thing." Hadn't we gone over this a million times?
"It's only ridiculous to you. What about it?"
"I was wondering…is that open to negotiation?" Whoa, this was serious. What could she want to discuss? I wasn't backing off.
"I've already made the largest concession by far and away-I've agreed to take your life away against my better judgment. And that ought to entitle me to a few compromises on your part." This was the one thing I wouldn't change, couldn't, for her.
"No. That part's a done deal. We're not discussing my…renovations right now. I want to hammer out some other details." Now I was suspicious. Bella was up to something. She wouldn't meet my eyes.
"Which details do you mean exactly?"
"Let's clarify your prerequisites first."
"You know what I want."
"Matrimony." At least I still knew where she stood in regards to that.
"Yes. To start with." I figured I might as well get add a few things. I had no idea where Bella was going with this. I didn't like being so confused.
"There's more?" Her composure split in shock.
"Well. If you're my wife, then what's mine is yours…like tuition money. So there would be no problem with Dartmouth." I could see our life so clearly, but it was only a fantasy.
"Anything else? While you're already being absurd?" of course, the one thing I wanted more than anything for her.
"I wouldn't mind some time."
"No. No time. That's a deal breaker right there." Why was she so eager to be a monster?
"Just a year or two?"
"Move along to the next one." There was nothing she'd agree to.
"That's it. Unless you 'd like to talk cars…" Was there a point to this? I had assumed we were being hypothetical. What if we weren't? I studied her face. She was serious. I reached for hand, loving her so much. Maybe this wasn't hypothetical. "I didn't realize there was anything else you wanted besides being transformed into a monster yourself. I'm extremely curious." I was also worried. Bella's requests tended to be problematic. I wished again that I could read her mind.
I studied her face. She was blushing. I was shocked.
"You're blushing? Please, Bella, the suspense is painful." It was, to have to wait to hear her beautiful voice, to not know what the center of my universe was thinking. She still didn't speak. "Bella." I needed to know what she was thinking about.
"Well, I'm a little worried…about after." I tensed. Was she changing her mind? Was I about to lose her?
"What has you worried?" I hated when she was anxious.
"All of you just seem so convinced that the only thing I'm going to be interested in, afterward, is slaughtering everyone in town. And I'm afraid I'll be so preoccupied with the mayhem that I won't be me anymore…and that I won't…I won't want you the same way I do now." I hadn't had any idea.
"Bella, that part doesn't last forever.
"Edward, there's something that I want to do before I'm not human anymore." I waited. She didn't continue.
"Whatever you want." I would give her anything. There was nothing that I wouldn't give her.
"Do you promise?"
"Yes. Tell me what you want, and you can have it."
"You." I was very confused. She already had me, forever.
"I'm yours." I tried to meet her gaze, but she looked away.
She kissed me. I was taken by surprise, unable to resist, unwilling to resist. I was confused, but willing to go with the flow. What was she thinking? Then, I felt her trembling fingers at my shirt buttons. I froze. This was what she wanted? Why did it have to be the one thing that I couldn't give her? I forced myself to push her away.
"Be reasonable, Bella."
"You promised-whatever I wanted."
"We're not having this discussion." I glared, angry at myself for being unable to give this to her, angry for having to break my word.
"I say we are." Her kitten anger appeared.
"I say we're not." I said, needing her to listen. My control was barely there.
"You wanted to know."
"I thought it would be something faintly realistic." I responded. She just didn't understand. It was too dangerous.
"So you can ask for any stupid, ridiculous thing you want-like getting married-but I'm not allowed to even discuss what I-"I had to stop her. Did she have any idea how much I wanted to give her what she wanted? I would give her anything, accept that.
"No." I had to be strong. It didn't matter what I wanted, or what she wanted. I would do what was best for her. I was so caught up in my thoughts that I hardly noticed Bella turn away, a strange expression on her face. Then her silence broke into my mind.
"What now?" I couldn't take much more.
"Nothing." I held her still while I studied her face, trying to discern her thoughts from her eyes and expression. Then, I got it. She was hurt! I had hurt my Bella. Horror washed over me.
"Did I hurt your feelings?" Could I do nothing right?
"No." She lied. I pulled her close, not giving her a chance to escape.
"You know why I have to say no. You know I want you, too."
"Do you?" How could she still doubt?
"Of course I do, you silly, beautiful, oversensitive girl. Doesn't everyone? I feel like there's a line behind me, jockeying for position, waiting for me to make a big mistake…You're too desirable for your own good." And any of them would be better for her than me.
"Who's being silly now?" She didn't see herself clearly.
"Do I have to send a position around to get you to believe? Shall I tell you whose names would be on the top of the list? You know a few of them, but some might surprise you."
"You're just trying to distract me. Let's get back to the subject." I sighed, she saw right through me.
"Tell me if I have anything wrong. Your demands are marriage, paying my tuition, more time, and you wouldn't mind if my vehicle went a little faster. Did I get everything? That's a hefty list."
"Only the first is a demand. The others are merely requests." This was so pointless; neither of us would give in.
"And my lone, solitary little demand is-"That surprised me.
"Demand?" She was really serious, not giving up.
"Yes, demand." How would I get her to see reason? "Getting married is a stretch for me. I'm not giving in unless I get something in return."
"No. It's not possible now. Later, when you're less breakable. Be patient, Bella."
"But that's the problem. It won't be the same when I'm less breakable. I won't be the same! I don't now who I'll be then."
"You'll still be Bella."
"If I'm so far gone that I'd want to kill Charlie-that I'd drink Jacob's blood or Angela's if I got the chance-how can that be true?" The smell of werewolf blood surfaced in my memories. I made a face.
"It will pass. And I doubt you'll want to drink the dog's blood. Even as a newborn, you'll have better taste than that."
"But that will always be what I want most, won't it? Blood, blood, and more blood!"
"The fact that you are still alive is proof that that is not true." I felt smug at my small victory, but she wasn't letting go.
"Over eighty years later. What I meant was physically, though. Intellectually, I know I'll be able to be myself…after a while. But just purely physically-I will always be thirsty, more than anything else." She was right. I hated it. "So I will be different, because right now, physically, there's nothing I want more than you. More than food or water or oxygen. Intellectually, I have my priorities in a slightly more sensible order. But physically…" She was killing me. I wanted to give her what she wanted so much.
"Bella, I could kill you."
"I don't think you could." Was she serious? Perhaps a demonstration was in order. I snapped a piece of bed off and showed her the crushed remains.
"That's not what I meant. I already know how strong you are. You didn't have to break the furniture."
"What did you mean then?"
"Obviously not that you aren't physically able to hurt me, if you wanted to...More that, you don't want to hurt me…so much so that don't think that you ever could." The words rang a bell, but there was no way to be sure.
"It might no work like that, Bella."
"Might. You have no more idea what you're talking about than I do."
"Exactly. Do you imagine I would ever take that kind of risk with you?" She just couldn't see.
"Please. It's all I want. Please." This angel, who had never asked for anything, was begging. I could hear the hopelessness in her voice. It was breaking me. Maybe I could just try for her. Wasn't her happiness the most important thing? "Please?" Her heart picked up. She could see my indecision. "You don't have to make me any guarantees. If it doesn't work out right, well, then that's that. Just let us try…only try. And I'll give you what you want. I'll marry you. I'll let you pay for Dartmouth, and I won't complain about the bribe to get me in. You can even buy me a fast car if that makes you happy! Just…please." This was not fair.
"This is unbearable. So many things I've wanted to give you-and this is what you decide to demand. Do you have any idea how painful it is, trying to refuse you when you plead with me this way?"
"Then don't refuse." I wanted to comply. "Please."
"Bella…" I was still undecided. She kissed me again. I didn't resist. I was in control. I wanted to never let go, but I had to be responsible.
"Bella, would you please stop trying to take your clothes off?"
"Do you want to do that part?" Yes.
"I'm not saying no. I'm just saying not tonight."
"Give me one good reason why tonight is not as good as any other night."
"I wasn't born yesterday," Far from it. I laughed at the truth in that statement. "Out of the two of us, which do you think is more unwilling to give the other what they want? You just promised to marry me before you do any changing, but if I give in tonight, what guarantee do I have that you won't go running off to Carlisle in the morning? I am-clearly-much less reluctant to give you what you want. Therefore…you first." It was reasonable.
"I have to marry you first?"
"That's the deal-take it or leave it. Compromise, remember?" This was working out nicely for me. I could get what I wanted. I tried to dazzle her, pouring my love into a kiss.
"I think that's a really bad idea."
"I'm not surprised you feel that way. You have a one-track mind."
"How did this happen? I thought I was holding my own tonight-for once-and now, all of the sudden-"
"Ew! Please don't say that out loud."
"Are you going back on your word?" There was no way I was letting her back out now. But she wouldn't, she was my Bella. Her absurd courage would make her face this even more absurd fear of marriage. "Are you?"
"Ugh! No. I'm not. Are you happy now?"
"Exceptionally." Bella had agreed to marry me? That fantasy was coming into sharper focus. Now if only Bella could see it. "Aren't you happy at all?"
"A little bit. But not about getting married." A pattern occurred to me. I smiled.
"Don't you get the feeling that everything is backward? Traditionally, shouldn't you be arguing my side, and I yours?"
"There isn't much that's traditional about you and me."
"True." I needed to be close to her. I kissed her and listened to her heart accelerate.
"Look, Edward. I said I would marry you, and I will. I promise. I swear. If you want, I'll sign a contract in my own blood."
"Not funny." I murmured into her wrist, unable to pull myself away from her soft, warm skin.
"What I'm saying is this-I'm not going to trick you or anything. You know me better than that. So there's really no reason to wait. We're completely alone-how often does that happen?-and you've provided this large and comfortable bed…" I could think of a reason, but Bella wouldn't like it.
"Don't you trust me?" Silly girl.
"Of course I do."
"Then what's the problem? It's not like you didn't know you were going to win in the end you always win." Not really, Bella had far too much power over me with her beautiful eyes.
"Just hedging my bets." I tried to be calm so that Bella wouldn't keep digging for the real reason.
"There's something else. Are you planning to go back on your word?"
"No. I swear to you, we will try. After you marry me."
"You make me feel like a villain in a melodrama-twirling my mustache while I try to steal some poor girl's virtue." That was too close to the truth/
"That's it, isn't it? You're trying to protect your virtue!" As if that matters. I was already going to hell.
"No, silly girl. I'm trying to protect yours. And you're making it shockingly difficult.
"Of all the ridiculous-"
"Let me ask you something. We've had this discussion before, but humor me. How many people in this room have a soul? A shot at heaven or whatever is after this life?"
"Two." So stubborn, I almost believed it.
"All right. Maybe that's true. Now, there's a world full of dissension about this, but the vast majority seem to think that there are some rules that have to be followed." I thought of how many I'd broken. My soul (if I had one) must be black with sin in comparison o Bella's innocent, clean one.
"Vampire riles aren't enough for you? You want to worry about the human ones too?"
"It couldn't hurt. Just in case. Now, of course, it might be too late for me, even if you are right about my soul." That eternal separation was a hideous thought, to be forever apart from my angel.
"No, it isn't."
"'Thou shalt not kill' is commonly accepted by most major belief systems. And I've killed a lot of people, Bella."
"Only the bad ones." Had anyone ever had so much faith in me?
"Maybe that counts, maybe it doesn't. But you haven't killed anyone-"
"That you know about." The thought of Bella attempting to hurt a living creature was preposterous to e. She was so good and caring.
"And I'm going o do my best to keep you out of temptation's way."
"Okay. But we weren't fighting over committing murder."
"The same principle applies-the only difference is that this is the one area in which I'm just as spotless as you are. Can't I leave one rule unbroken?" I knew pleading the case for myself would convince her far more easily than if I tried to plead for her.
"You know I've stolen, I've lied. I've coveted…my virtue is all I have left." That seemed funny.
"I lie all the time."
"Yes, but you're such a bad liar that it doesn't really count. Nobody believes you."
"I really hope your wrong about that-because otherwise Charlie is about to burst through the door with a loaded gun."
"Charlie is happier when he pretends to swallow your stories. He'd rather lie to himself than look too closely." I had won.
"But what did you ever covet. You have everything." Now I do. Now that I have you.
"I coveted you. I had no right to want you-but I reached out and took you anyway. And now look what's become of you! Trying to seduce a vampire."
"You can't covet what's already yours. Besides, I thought it was my virtue you were worried about."
"It is. If it's too late for me…Well, I'll be damned-no pun intended-if I'll let them keep you out, too."
"You can't make me go somewhere you won't be. That's my definition of hell. Anyway, I have an easy solution to all this: let's never die, all right?" It might not work like that, but it was time to drop it.
"Sounds simple enough. Why didn't I think of that?"
"SO that's it. You won't sleep with me until we're married."
"Technically I can't ever sleep with you."
"Very mature, Edward."
"But other than that detail, yes, you've got it right."
"I think you have an ulterior motive."
"Another one?" How is it that she always saw through me?
'You know this will speed things up."
"There is only one thing I want to speed up, and the rest can wait forever…but for that, it's true, your impatient human hormones are my most powerful ally at this point."
"I can't believe that I'm going along with this. When I think of Charlie…and Renee! Can you imagine what Angela will think? Or Jessica? Ugh. I can hear the gossip now." We both knew that it didn't matter what any of them thought. Bella wouldn't be here long enough to hear much of it.
"It doesn't have to be a big production." I tried to reassure her, wanting her to be as happy as I was. "I don't need any fanfare. You won't have to tell anyone or make any changes. We'll go to Vegas-you can wear old jeans and we'll go to the chapel with the drive-through window. I just want it to be official-that you belong to me and no one else." The thought was so amazing, to have Bella all to myself, to remove the line of suitors that all wanted her.
"It couldn't be any more official than it already is."
"We'll see about that. I suppose you don't want your ring right now?" I kept my voice neutral, not wanting to push her. When, in fact, I was burning to get my ring on her hand, to see if it fit. I wanted to see that small mark of my claim on her with my own eyes.
"You suppose correctly."
"That's fine. I'll get it on your finger soon enough." I was too happy to dwell.
"You talk like you already have one."
"I do, read to force upon you at the first sign of weakness." I had had it ready for her for so long, waiting for her for eternity. Just Bella. Only Bella.
"Do you want to see it?" Would she like it? I wanted to show it to her.
"No!" Of course not. "Unless you really want to show it to me."
"That's all right. It can wait." She didn't really want to see it. I wanted her to be as excited and joy filled as me.
"Show me the damn ring, Edward."
"Please? Please can I see it?" How did she do that? Her pleading melted my resolve and muddled my mind. I loved her so much.
"You are the most dangerous creature I've ever met." I fetched the ring, my excitement returning. I tried not to show it. "Go ahead and look then." I really wanted to whisk the box away and propose like I should, but I didn't want to scare her off.
"You didn't spend a lot of money, did you? Lie to me if you did." As if that mattered. No amount was too grand for Bella's ring.
"I didn't spend anything. It's just another hand-me-down. This is the ring my father gave to my mother." And they were so happy. It had to be lucky.
"I supposed I's a little outdated. Old-fashioned, just like me. I can get you something more modern. Something from Tiffany's?"
"I like old-fashioned things." I watched her face as she saw the ring. She was extraordinary.
"It's so pretty." Unconscious happiness washed over me. She liked it. It was made for her.
"Do you like it?" I wanted to be sure.
"It's beautiful. What's not to like?"
"See if it fits." She had her hand in a fist, still resisting.
"Bella, I'm not going to solder it to your finger. Just try it on so I can see if it needs to be sized. Then you can take it right off."
"Fine." I suddenly needed to be the one to pout the ring on her finger. I grabbed it and took her fragile hand in mine. I slid it onto her finger, a dozen different sentiments rushed through my mind, but I restrained, for Bella.
The ring fit perfectly, like it was meant to be there, like we were meant to be together.
"A perfect fit. That's nice-saves me a trip to the jeweler's."
"You like that, don't you?"
"Sure. It looks very nice on you." I couldn't hold the mask any longer. I let my joy shine through. The ring was the physical evidence of my fantasy being reality. I had to kiss her, to seal the moment in its perfection.
"Yes, I like it. You have no idea."
"I believe you."
"Do you mind if I do something?" Please.
"Anything you want."
"Anything but that."
"Now, I want to do this right. Please, please, keep in mind that you've already agreed to this, and don't ruin it for me." I'd dreamt of this, of proposing to Bella.
"Be nice." Steadied myself. "Isabella Swan?" I stared at her perfection, my angel. "I promise to love you forever-every single day of forever. Will you marry me?"
"Yes." My heart practically exploded with joy. Bella and I were engaged. Finally, truly, engaged.