A/N: My sincere thanks to TwilightMundi for doing her usual beautiful beta job on this chapter, as well as the whole story. Words fail me, my sweet friend, but I giggle at the email we exchange, look forward to hugging you again sometime soon, and am grateful for your presence in my life every single day.
To my pre-reader, a feistyginger, "thank you" doesn't even begin to cover it, starfish. I would double tap with you any day. Thank you for everything.
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The workday was long, and I cut out early, just after sending email to Edward to let him know he could do the same. I was eager to hear about Jasper's therapy session, and had asked him to check in with me after it. I called Alice to keep me awake on the drive home, and I wasn't at all surprised when her smiling face greeted me in my driveway.
"I love you," I said, practically collapsing in her arms.
"I know you do."
The first week was difficult for Jasper, but once he found a routine that included therapy, he seemed to settle back into himself.
There were good days and bad days. Days when Edward stayed at Jasper's overnight because we were both worried. Edward and I grew so much closer through our shared concern, in fact. We would text each other and email or talk at work, trying to figure out what kind of a day Jasper was having and make sure that we were there for him.
Alice moved in to my house slowly, bringing some of her things here and there over a few weeks. The four of us moved her couch, then hung out for pizza, beer, and a movie.
Weekends became a ritual congregation of the four of us – six, when Rose and Emmett joined our group. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on between Rose and Emmett, but they seemed to be dating. I'd tried to grill Rose several times, but got nowhere. It was the first time I could ever remember her keeping details of a relationship private.
After a long week, I'd left work early Friday afternoon. I stopped by the grocery store and picked up everything I'd need for that night. I wanted to surprise Alice with a romantic dinner in.
I was in the kitchen slicing mushrooms for dinner when I heard the front door open and close. Alice. Jasper had taken to actually knocking again when coming over, after the last time he'd come in unannounced and walked in on Alice and me on the couch.
I heard the soft click of her heels on the floor as she made her way to me and smiled. I continued my knife work, focusing on not slicing off a finger while daydreaming about her, as the sound got closer.
My shoes had long been kicked off, so when she approached me from behind, we were at basically the same height. I felt her warmth press into me, hands wrapping around my waist, palms flattened against my skin the entire time. Her lips curled around the lobe of my ear and I closed my eyes and set the knife flat on the cutting board. Her hands slid up my torso to cup my breasts, thumbs extended and teasing my nipples to aching points.
"What's for dinner?" she asked softly, more breathing the question right into my ear than anything.
I shivered. "Nothing if you don't stop that."
I tilted my head back onto her shoulder and soaked in her light laugh as it escaped her mouth in waves. Alice kissed my neck gently, her hands never stopping their attention at my breasts, rubbing, rolling, pinching, caressing. I was going to be a puddle of goo on the floor soon, if she kept this up. Maybe that's her plan.
She flattened her palms once more and gave my breasts a final moment of attention before she stepped back slightly and ran her hands up my back to my shoulders.
"Baby, you are too tense. Long day?" she asked.
Her hands were working magic and I let out a soft moan. "You have no idea," I sighed.
My hair was pulled up, standard for when I was cooking. Alice reached and released the clip, allowing my hair to drop down softly over my shoulders. Her fingertips traced a light path up my neck and tangled into my hair. She began to gently scratch my scalp then switched to half massaging with the pads of her fingers and half scratching. I braced myself against the counter with my hands, even more of my muscles going slack against my will.
"I'm so glad it's Friday. Aren't you?" Alice was speaking in that teasing tone that I knew meant trouble. Lots and lots of great, fun trouble.
I mustered all of my strength and turned around to face my love, her fingers creating a mess in my hair as I did so. I wanted to tease her back, so I lightly brushed my hands up the front of her body, knuckles sliding over her nipples, until her face was in my hands. My lips brushed hers, both sets still closed. One of my hands played in the hair at the nape of Alice's neck and the other was on her shoulder.
My lips pressed into hers again, just as lightly as the first time, then I rested my head on her shoulder.
"Hey, are you okay?"
"Yeah, Ali, I just had a long day. I worked on a tough case and it was very emotional." I took a deep breath, willing away the tears. What was this woman doing to me? Six months ago, I never would have let a case make me cry... that anyone would know of.
"Whatcha got goin' on in here, baby?"
Alice's hands slid down my back and were rubbing soothing patterns. I closed my eyes and hummed in appreciation.
"Carpet picnic," I smiled. Alice loved our carpet picnics almost as much as I did.
"Oooh! What are you making?" she asked.
"Mushroom turnovers. I wasn't expecting you home so early. Hey, why are you home so early? Don't you have a class to teach tonight?"
My mouth met hers again, the soft skin of our lips dancing together. She let out a gentle sigh and smiled against my mouth.
"Veronica agreed to pick up the class tonight; she needs all the extra classes she can get. I missed you. You've been so busy at work and it feels like we haven't spent any time together in a while," she said. Laughing lightly, she continued, "I guess you had the same idea. Anything I can help with?"
Alice trailed her kisses down from my mouth across my jawline and to my neck. She licked and nipped at my collarbone and then swiped her tongue across the exposed swell of my breast.
"You're not helping with that, I can assure you," I moaned. "Actually, if you want to help, do you think you could run out to the liquor store? I only realized we were out of red once I got home and I need to get these going or we'll never eat... Augh... Alice, sweetheart, you have to stop, please," I begged.
Shamelessly begging for my girlfriend to stop loving me so she could go run an errand. What in the fuck is the world coming to? Once I realized the errand was in the name of some naked, wine-laced carpet picnic time with my hot girlfriend, I felt a little less white bread about it all.
Alice gave me one last kiss on the lips before making her way back out of the kitchen, car keys in hand.
"Be right back." She winked as she walked back through the hallway to the front door, locking it from the outside behind her.
I put my hair back up in my clip and returned to chopping then sautéing my mushrooms and onions. While they happily cooked on the stove, I got out one of the trays we used to serve each other breakfast in bed. Putting a serving platter on top, I began to arrange my various foods. I took the brick of goat cheese and sliced it into half rounds, then brought out the small wheel of brie I had in the fridge.
I got the grapes, strawberries, and raspberries out. I washed the fruit and arranged it around the cheeses. I grabbed one of the creamy milk chocolate bars from the pantry and broke it into squares, dropping them around the edges of the platter. The last thing I added to the tray was the bottle of honey.
I smiled and began assembling the turnovers. After I put them in the oven, I got out a corkscrew, cheese knife, a few napkins, and some wine glasses, taking the tray of food into the living room. I set everything up and went back to the kitchen when the oven beeped. I turned it off, took the turnovers out to cool, and took the glasses and corkscrew into the living room.
Once I plated the turnovers, I took them to the platter in the living room, then took the honey cap off, allowing the slow drizzle to flow onto part of the brie and goat cheese, leaving some plain. I couldn't help it, I let a tiny drop fall onto my finger and sucked it into my mouth, closing the lid with my other hand as I thought about the night ahead.
Before Alice got home, I wanted to quickly change into something far more comfortable and far less publicly acceptable. Once I picked out the lingerie from the closet, a white flyaway babydoll with a subtle black floral print and matching panties, I undressed and changed. I walked barefoot back to the living room and started a fire in the fireplace, then got out as many tea light candles as I could find. I lit them, as well as the pillar candles we had all around the room.
After I had the music on, I turned the lights off and reclined on the couch. I pulled one leg up into a bent position, took the clip out of my hair and laid my head on the arm of the couch. I pushed open the main part of the lingerie I had on and rested one hand across the back of the couch and the other on my stomach. I listened to the soft sounds of our favorite playlist drifting from the iHome.
A few songs played, but my lips lifted into a broad smile as I heard the key in the lock and Alice walked through a moment later. The paper bag sliped from Alice's hands as she took in the scene around her; thankfully, she was able to recover and not drop the wine.
Alice set the bag down at the end of the table and crawled on top of me. Her hands were still cool from being outside and her fingers ran a cold trail up my exposed skin. When she got to my stomach, she leaned down and kissed me, her tongue dipping into my belly button briefly. She moved to cup my breasts and I arched my back up off the couch and let out a soft moan.
"How did I get so fucking lucky?" I breathed.
She leaned down to my ear and kissed just beneath my lobe. "Oh, you haven't gotten lucky yet tonight, love, but don't worry... we're going to get there. Over and over, I suspect."
I could feel the weight of her body rest against mine as she moved to kiss my lips again.
"Hungry, baby?" I asked against her lips.
"You have no idea."
I giggled at the double entendre. We'd been deprived of each other for too long, that was for sure. I took her face in my hands and smiled, stroking her hair softly as I spoke. "Let's eat first, okay?"
"Okay," she sighed, defeated. "It looks good. Thanks for fixing this up."
Alice took my hand in hers and helped me off the couch. As soon as we were standing, I
took a long look at what she had on and realized we sort of matched; she had on a black and off-white blouse with a black cherry print, black slacks, and black heels. It was slightly conservative for Alice, but I knew she'd had a meeting with an important client that morning, so she needed to look professional.
Once I had helped her out of her clothes, down to her bra and panties, I slowed down and enjoyed the scene before me. Alice loved sexy undergarments and could make even the simplest things seem sexy, but what she had on underneath her clothes was downright hot.
I put my hand at the base of her neck and brought her in for a kiss. Without her shoes, she was back to being slightly shorter than me. We laid down on the ground, platter of food within arm's reach, and I opened the bottle of wine.
"Standard carpet picnic rules?" she asked.
Laughing, I nodded. We'd previously set down guidelines that during carpet picnic time, neither of us was allowed to eat by our own hand – everything had to be fed by the other person. It made for a much slower dining experience, but intensely intimate. It was the perfect way to reconnect.
As we drank glass after glass of wine, we fed each other small bites, nibbling and licking at fingers, our bodies unconsciously shifted closer. When a drizzle of honey fell off Alice's finger and onto my collarbone, I suspected it wasn't entirely an accident, but lost my train of thought when her lips and tongue made quick work of removing it. After the wine spilled down into the cup of my lingerie, I gave up all pretenses of eating and carefully nudged her onto her back.
I sat up and removed my nightie, then slid her panties off. The lovely buzz I had from the wine helped me to be relaxed and leisurely, and I nipped at the inside of her knee, then kissed her thigh softly. I wanted to tease her, to extend this time and bubble of space we'd created.
Skipping where I most wanted to focus my attention, I kissed the round softness of her belly. A lump formed in my throat as I thought of her past, and of our future together, but I quickly push it aside. Nibbling at the slope of her hip, I moved my mouth side-to-side all along my path up her body. Once I was straddling her, I undid the clasp of her bra and removed it from her body. As beautiful as she was in the lingerie she cherished, she was fucking gorgeous out of it.
"Don't look at me like that," she pled quietly. Her eyes were closed, head bent, and I could see her discomfort written across her face.
"Why not? You're gorgeous, Alice. Look at me, baby."
She did, opening her watery eyes and staring into mine.
"Gorgeous," I whispered. "Let me make you feel as sexy and loved as you are."
Maintaining eye contact, I bent and kissed her body again, and again, and again. When I wanted to move lower, I threaded our fingers and maintained contact that way. As my mouth worshipped her, her fingers tightened and released around mine. I made slow, steady swipes up the length between her lower lips. My mouth wrapped around her clit and my tongue slid along the sensitive skin as I pulled away.
I looked up at her again, her eyes trained down at me, and winked slowly. Alice laughed lightly, then squeaked a quiet moan out as I went back to what I'd been doing. I worked carefully, keeping her at the edge, the space when she took on sort of an ethereal glow from what we were doing, until she'd finally had enough. Her hand left mine and one was on either side of my head, a near death grip as she held me directly over her.
Our bodies worked together, her hips lifting her body to my mouth and tongue. Her fingers curled in my hair, tugging beyond gentle, as her body tensed and her breathing halted. My eyes moved to her again, watching her face contort in the sweetest of bliss. I hummed against her, overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of her, unable to release the feelings I had any other way.
Watching her chest heave with exertion, I sat back for a moment and let the image of her sear into my brain. I wanted to always remember her just this way – happy, sated, as pleasured as she could be. Alice's hand reached out for mine, and as she pulled me to her, her body wrapped around me.
Lying there with her, the quiet hum of the fire burning and nothing else, my mind quieted. All the stress of the day, the needs everyone placed on me, it all fell away. There was nothing but Alice and me, and that was perfect.
"Alice," I whispered, "will you marry me?"
Her voice was infused with the tipsy qualities I was used to after we'd exhausted each other. "Sure," she said.
"I don't mean that as a theoretical, you know," I clarified. "I mean marry me. Let's wear white and have a big party and beautiful babies."
I smiled, knowing Alice could never resist parties. Or babies.
"You want to?" she asked, her voice cracking. "Really?"
"Yeah. I want that. With you."
For several days, we didn't talk about it again. At Sunday brunch, I made up an excuse to leave Alice in the backyard with Hannah and found Carlisle and Esme.
"Hey you two," I said. "So, I don't know if Alice mentioned it, but I asked her to marry me the other night."
They both look startled, and I laughed. "I guess not. Well, that's okay, it was kind of spur of the moment and informal. I wanted to ask you for your permission, even though I know it's weird. I found a gorgeous vintage ring and I wanted to ask her again after we eat. You just mean so much to me and I love your family. I want everyone to be there, and..."
Esme didn't even let me finish my sentence, she just crushed me with one of her infamous full-body hugs. I could hear Carlisle chuckle in the background and the smile on my face was huge.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Let me see the ring," Esme said, pulling back from our embrace.
I shook my head and smiled. "Sorry. You know I love you, but I want Alice to see it first."
"You girls," she laughed.
Everyone was there and as we finished our plates and Esme began the coffee presses, my heart began to race. I reminded myself that this was our family around us, and took a deep breath. When Esme was back and the coffee had been poured, we began our usual banter around the table. I listened for a few minutes, waiting for my opportunity, and finally there was a lull.
Alice had been looking at me and I took her left hand in mine.
"Alice, I've been in love with you from the first moment I met you. Will you marry me?"
I didn't want to waste time recounting all of the reasons I loved her, nor was I that sort of person. Most of the reasons were deeply private, and she knew them already.
The ring sparkled in its box when I opened it. It was exactly as I'd remembered, cushion-cut diamond in the center, surrounded by smaller stones.
"Of course!" she practically shouted, leaping from her chair and throwing her arms around me.
The next three months of planning passed in a blur of activity. I thought there was no way wedding planning took more than a few days. How wrong I was.
To add to the stress of wedding planning, we knew we wanted to start a family right away. Of course, we figured it would take a few months to get pregnant … it wasn't as if we were doing things the conventional way, after all. Poor Edward and Jasper tolerated us calling them at all hours to make sure they weren't cheating and having sex or masturbating. Alice kept reminding Edward she needed his good swimmers.
Everyone was shocked when I was pregnant the second month of trying, three weeks before the wedding.
My stress levels almost shot through the roof when I started feeling morning sickness at all hours of the day. I wondered how in the world we'd hide the information from Carlisle and Esme until we were back from the honeymoon. Alice didn't want anyone aside from the boys to know about me being pregnant before the wedding date, which made me laugh incessantly. It wasn't like we could get accidentally pregnant.
She was far less stressed than she could have been about the whole thing, though. When the day arrived, we spent the morning lounging and drinking coffee together after a small breakfast. The only tradition she was insistent on was that we not see each other after we started getting ready, so the morning was spent loving each other. I was glad we'd gotten dressed again in some lounge clothes when the boys showed up.
During the drive, I made sure to go over everything I had on my lists. When we walked through the Cullen house, I was a little overwhelmed by the scope of it all. Of course, we knew how grand it would be, but with only a handful of guests, I hadn't expected things to be quite so lavish. I should have known better.
I made sure to give Alice a parting kiss that would keep her swooning until I saw her again before Jasper and I walked to the other side of the house. Rose and our mom were already there and waiting. We spent a few minutes sipping the champagne Esme had left us (I just lifted the glass to my lips, not actually drinking) and talking about how our lives had changed over the last twenty-four months.
Sometime around mid-afternoon, Alice texted me to ask if I'd seen Edward. When I said I hadn't, I could tell from her response that she was working herself into a tizzy. I giggled, then left Jasper to go find him.
Edward and Emmett were in the backyard and I approached cautiously, then realized they were talking about weddings. When Emmett made a comment that someday he and Rose would be at the altar, I almost passed out. I hadn't realized things were so serious, but at the same time, my heart soared. I'd grown to really enjoy Emmett.
Back with Jasper, we talked about what the early stages of pregnancy had been like so far. Even though I wasn't showing, I was grateful for stretchy pants. I briefly considered getting into my dress, but it was too early still and I wanted to stay comfortable as long as I could. We turned the TV on and relaxed a bit more. When Edward came in, he had a box in his hand. Hugging me, he whispered that it was a gift from Alice, then handed it to me.
The boys left to change and I gave them shit about not getting distracted. Those two were almost as bad as Alice and me.
I opened the box carefully, then felt tears well up. Inside were handmade coupons for a few trips to the spa, and a gorgeous watch that was engraved on the back. There was also a card from her where she reminded me how happy she was, how perfect she thought things were going, and how much she looked forward to seeing me full-bellied, and then making memories of us with our baby.
The thought took my breath away for a moment.
I sat, grateful to be alone, and took deep breaths. My mom and Rose reappeared shortly after.
"You okay? Ready to get into your dress?" Rose asked.
"Yeah, I think so," I said, smiling at her. "Help me get this on first?" I asked, handing the watch to Rose. She helped me with the clasp and I smiled as I watched it twinkle on my wrist, catching the sun.
"Can you take this to Alice?" I asked Rose, handing her a wrapped rectangular box. "It's a necklace."
We shared a look and Rose hugged me so tight I couldn't breathe. Somehow, she just knew. Of course, if Alice opened the birthstone necklace – one for each of us, and one for the projected due date of our baby – in front of her, she would get confirmation.
My dress was ecru-colored and made of soft, swishy silk. It was mostly simple and easy, not fussy, exactly how I wanted it. The top was fitted corset-style, and I just hoped I wouldn't spill out and give our guests more than an eyeful.
As my mother slowly tightened the back of my dress, she leaned in close to whisper. "You're glowing."
"Am I?" I hedged. "I must be really happy."
Renee laughed, and I'd never been more happy to have her drop a subject. Before she turned to walk away, she added a whispered congratulations. I reached out to grab her hand, then pulled her into a tight hug, tears leaking from my eyes unexpectedly.
"Thank you for being here," I said. "I'm so glad you came."
"Wouldn't have missed it for the world."
"Okay you two, no messing up our make-up!" Rose admonished, back from her task.
With a nervous laugh, we split apart and dabbed at our eyes with the Kleenex Rose handed us.
"Ready?" my mom asked.
I nodded. "Where's Jasper?"
"I'll go find him," my mom offered.
Alone with Rose, I smiled at her as we shared this moment of memories that would last forever.
"You gonna be next?" I asked, smug smirk on my face from having overheard Emmett.
She just shrugged and turned light pink. It was perfect.
"Okay, okay, here I am," Jasper announce as he entered the room. "Let's get this show on the road! We've got ladies to hitch together. Renee, Rose, why don't you beautiful ladies lead the way. I'd like one last moment here with our bride before I walk her down the aisle."
When we were alone, Jasper faced me and took my hands in his.
"This is it, B. Did you ever think you'd be getting married?"
"Hell no," I said with a laugh. "Did you?"
Jasper smiled at me in a way that spoke so much more than words ever could.
"Are you ready?"
"So fucking ready, you have no idea," I said.
He extended his arm to me and I looped mine through. As we approached the French doors, we exchanged one last look before he opened them and we walked through.
"Thank you for this," I whispered to him as we walked.
Jasper's voice was strained, his voice tight with emotion. "Thank you for the honor."
At the end of the aisle, he kissed each cheek, squeezed my hands, then let me go to stand to my side. When the music changed, my heart fluttered. I couldn't wait to see her. I knew she'd worked tirelessly on her dress with Esme, and I wanted the night to be perfect for her. For us, really.
Carlisle looked fabulous in his tuxedo, but my girl was drop-dead gorgeous in her dress. When she walked, the candles and lights around us sparkled against the bodice. The skirt flared all around her, twinkling and moving with each step she took. I barely remembered to breathe.
The entire ceremony, although I knew it was short, left my head as soon as it was over. I remembered Carlisle joining our hands, and saying my vows and hearing hers, then kissing her when Emmett pronounced us married.
I remembered the flame-like sunset that embraced us in our new life.
I remembered the way her eyes flitted so quickly to my flat stomach as we stood in front of everyone, joined forever.
I remembered dancing with her and sharing a private laugh as we whispered about the first time we'd danced together.
A/N2: Yes, that's it. That's the end of this journey. I can't thank you all enough for joining me – for the waiting during the hiatus, for reading femme slash, which isn't a popular genre in this fandom, and for trusting me to tell these stories. I want to hug you all. And cry.
I felt it was only right to end on a Bella/Alice chapter, since that's who I began this story about. Edward and Jasper would never have even played a starring role if my former co-writer (NaughtyPastryChef) hadn't begged. I'm so glad she did. I hope you are, too.
I'm hoping to post the first/next chapter of Yes Mistress next Wednesday, but don't shoot me if it takes an extra week to edit and catch up. After YM, the TTH sequel will begin.