Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I own the entire Southern Vampire Mysteries series (seriously, check it out, it's great) and a vast amount of tequila knowledge.
AN: Sorry this has taken so long! I had an overwhelming response that yes I should definitely write an epilogue, but then I dithered for about a week on what to even include in it. If it disappoints, many apologies, but I swear I tried. Hard.
PS- You guys are great!
I fidgeted in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. I couldn't bring myself to even pick up a magazine and pretend to flip through it, I was so nervous. I could only bounce my gaze around the two other people waiting, the generic paintings on the wall, the ficus tree in the corner, and the pleasantly plump receptionist as I waited for them to call my name.
"Bella Swan?" a young woman called from behind the counter. I stood up shakily and followed her very slowly back to the back of the office.
This was the moment of truth. I honestly didn't know which answer I wanted the doctor to give me.
Yes would be both scary and wonderful. I wasn't ready to be a mom, but who is, really? And the thought of carrying Edward's baby… also scary and wonderful. Scary because who knew the blacklisting I'd get when it got out that I'd gone and gotten myself pregnant without a ring on my finger. Wonderful because I'd be having a child with the love of my life.
God knew that it would be a beautiful baby, with his looks.
No would bring relief and a little sadness. Like I said, I'm not ready to be a mom, and I didn't know how ready Edward was to be a dad. But a baby would be something tangible, something that demonstrated to the world just how committed we were to each other. A physical embodiment of our love.
Though he hadn't asked me to marry him, I had no doubt of his commitment to me. This past year had been amazing, a whirlwind of fantastic lovemaking, private piano concerts, and the beautiful feeling of belonging to someone. I would never get over the fact that this perfect angel of a man loved me just as much as I worshipped him.
"Take off your clothes and put this on," the physician's assistant told me, handing me one of those uncomfortable crinkly robes. "Dr. Meyer will be with you in a moment."
I nodded and changed quickly. I always hated the feeling of undressing in such an awkward environment.
I sat on the table and got lost in my thoughts again. Would I want a boy, with Edward's deadly smile and piercing eyes? Or a little girl, with bouncing bronze locks and her father's musical laugh?
What if Edward didn't want a baby? We'd never exactly discussed it. I knew we were both in it for the long haul, but marriage and children had never come up, the few times we talked about the future. Mostly we talked about places we might move to, to get away from the ever-present Seattle society pressure, or places we want to visit, or possibly moving in together.
"Bella?" Dr. Meyer asked as she came in the door. She was a plain woman, pretty but not interesting, with brown hair and a heart-shaped face. I liked her because she felt like a close-but-not-too-close-it's-weird relative. A girl will do anything to make these trips less awkward.
I tried to smile, but probably failed. "Hello, Dr. Meyer."
"What brings you in today?" she asked, glancing at her chart. She knew my yearly checkup shouldn't be for another few months.
I gulped. Spit it out, Swan.
"I think I might be pregnant." I said it so fast, Superman wouldn't have caught it.
She smiled, obviously understanding. She's probably used to nervous babble.
"Alright, then we'll have you pee in a cup and run some tests." She handed me one of those deplorable plastic cups and saw my grimace. "I know, I know, it sucks. Why couldn't God have given us a little aim, too?"
I chuckled quietly and headed into the attached bathroom to try and force myself to fill the cup. Trying to pee when you can't might be the worst sensation ever, but I made myself man up. Metaphorically speaking, of course. It wouldn't be so hard if I actually was a man.
I came back out, handed her the cup, and sat back down on the table. She left and assured me it shouldn't take longer than fifteen minutes.
How quickly a life could change.
I wiped my sweaty palms on my scrubs as I surveyed Bella's living room.
My traveling keyboard: check.
Now for the most important thing. I patted my pocket and felt its weight.
Diamond ring: check.
God, who knew I'd be so nervous asking someone to share their life with me? It wasn't like I didn't already know the answer.
No, I can't let myself think like that. Of course she's going to say yes. She loves me just as much as I love her. I can see it every time she looks at me. I know the look because I see it in the mirror while I'm brushing my teeth and thinking of her. But then, I'm pretty much always thinking of her.
I checked my watch. She was at the doctor's, something about a yearly checkup, and should be arriving in about an hour. That gave me enough time to shower and change into slacks and her favorite sweater on me.
My phone rang as I walked back to Bella's bedroom to grab the clothes I'd left there. I glanced at the caller ID and grimaced.
She squealed. "I couldn't help myself! I have to make sure everything is perfect for you! Did you already set everything up? Is there anything I need to get for you real quick? Have you rehearsed the song you wrote for her? Cause I know you thought it needed a little more work even though I loved it and-"
"Alice!" I cut her off. "Calm down! Everything is fine."
She took a deep breath I heard through the phone. "Okay. I just want it to be perfect. Bella deserves perfect."
I agreed wholeheartedly. My angel deserved someone much better than me, in fact, but I was too selfish to let her go. I'd just have to spend the rest of my life making sure she got everything her beautiful heart desired, to make up for it.
If she said yes.
Stop it! Of course she's going to say yes!
"Don't worry, Edward. Of course she's going to say yes," Alice assured me.
I smiled at my sister. She was always good at knowing what I was thinking, probably before I even thought it.
"I certainly hope so," I replied, trying to sound like I wasn't worried.
"You make sure you call me the second the ring is on her finger!" she ordered.
"I don't know, Ali. We might be a little… busy."
She laughed. "Okay, fine. You can call me after you're done celebrating by banging my best friend's brains out."
I would never get used to Alice's ease of conversation on that subject. The thought of joking with her about Jasper and their sex life made me throw up a little in my mouth.
"I'll make sure Bella calls you at some point," I promised.
"Good luck, Edward! I'm so happy for you!"
I chuckled. "Thanks, Ali. You made me feel better about this."
"I can't have you messing this up! I want Bells for a sister bad!"
We hung up and I quickly undressed and jumped into the shower. I had about 45 minutes now until Bella arrived and I asked her to marry me.
How quickly a life could change.
I was walking through the waiting room after my appointment when I saw her.
Ugh. I am totally not in the mood right now. And, according to Dr. Meyer, I could blame any rudeness on the hormones.
"Bella!" Tanya exclaimed, faking politeness.
I just looked at her and tried to hurry past her to the sanctuary of my car.
"What are you doing here?" she asked. She didn't wait for a response. "You're not pregnant, are you?" She laughed meanly as I froze in place.
Tears filled my eyes, even though I tried to stop them. I wasn't even used to the news myself, and the first person I saw was the craziest bitch this side of Britney.
She gasped as she took in my reaction. "Holy shit, you are! Oh, this is classic!" she cackled. "You're not even engaged!"
I tried to push past her but she reached out and grabbed me. "You should get rid of it," she informed me. "Edward's not going to marry you, and when he finds out you got pregnant to trap him, he's going to drop you like a bad habit. You can't raise a kid on your measly teacher's salary."
I glared at her. "What are you doing here, Tanya? If I heard correctly, your husband isn't exactly spending his nights with you," I sneered.
Tanya had gotten married very quickly about six months ago. He was a much older man, very wealthy, but rumor had it she'd only married him to get back at Edward and he'd only married her because she was the sole heir of Aro Denali. Edward hadn't cared, we'd skipped the happy event, and Aro had lost a great deal of money in the recent economic downturn. Needless to say, they weren't a very happy couple. I'd heard they both ignored the "faithful" part of their vows.
Her face grew red with rage. "It's none of your business why I'm here," she sneered back. "But I can't wait to get home and let everybody know about Bella 'The Slut' Swan and her harebrained scheme to get Edward Cullen to marry her."
She'd touched a nerve, but I couldn't give her the satisfaction of seeing it. My worries over Edward's reaction and why he'd never spoken about marriage would be music to her ears, and I couldn't let her even suspect or she'd roast me alive.
"Just wait until I get home and tell everybody about how I saw Tanya Denali at the gynecologist's office getting medicine for her recurring herpes problem," I spat defensively.
Her eyes widened and I knew I'd hit close to the mark. I'd just been taking a stab, but jeez. Tanya having some kind of venereal disease wasn't exactly a stretch.
"Don't tell Edward," she pleaded.
I laughed. "Why would I do anything you asked me to?"
"Because then I won't tell a soul I saw you here." I looked at her doubtfully, and she held up three fingers, Girl Scout-style. "I swear on my inheritance."
Wow. That was a big swear for people like her.
I sighed. "I'd rather just forget I saw you, anyway."
"Believe me, the feeling is reciprocated." With that, her name was called by the physician's assistant, and she turned and flounced away.
Well, I hope she keeps her word. Spreading gossip in return would be satisfying, but then I'd be stooping to her level. And it's not like everyone won't find out soon enough, when my clothes get suspiciously tight and I'm throwing up all the time.
And as much as I didn't want to admit it, Tanya had rattled me. I'd barely had time for the news to sink in before I was being told, yet again, that there was no way Edward would marry me. No doubt people would believe I got pregnant to make him do it, just like she'd said.
I slowly left the doctor's office and got in my car. I drove home in a daze.
A baby! What was I going to do with a baby?
At least the father was a doctor. Even though he was a surgeon, he'd had to take some classes with baby stuff in them, right? Because I'd never been around children, being an only child. I wouldn't know the first thing about holding it, formula, making it sleep, diapers, what car seat I should get…
I took deep breaths and forced myself to calm down. First things first.
I had to tell Edward.
He'd be happy, right? A baby was always a blessing, even if it wasn't planned. I was happy, I was sure of that much. When Dr. Meyer told me, I burst out into tears, but not the sad kind. It was like she was telling me I was fulfilling a destiny I'd never known I had.
I pulled into my driveway, noticing Edward's Volvo parked on the street. Well, I guess now was as good a time as any. Putting it off would only make me more nervous. And I had no guarantees Tanya would keep her trap shut, no matter what promises she made.
I got out and took one more deep breath before walking up to my front door and pushing it open.
I immediately noticed the candlelight. What was going on? Was Edward giving me another massage like last month, when I'd been stressed out with finals?
I walked a little further into my house. There were candles everywhere, more than last time. There were also roses all over the place, grouped into pretty much every vase I owned and a few pots and glasses. I smiled at that.
keyboard was in the corner. When did he bring that here? Was he
going to play for me?
I was more and more confused. "Edward?" I called out.
He appeared in the hallway that led to my bedroom. He looked drop dead gorgeous, as usual, but this time he was even wearing my favorite green sweater. It brought out the beauty of his eyes.
"Bella," he said warmly, coming to take my purse and jacket.
"What's going on?" I asked, gesturing around the room.
He smiled, a little nervous, I think. "Can't I treat my woman to a little romance?"
"Sure you can. But what's the occasion?" Why was Edward fidgeting? He normally exuded confidence.
He took my hand and led me to the couch. He poured me a glass of wine and offered it to me. "I love you," he said simply.
I smiled. I would never get tired of hearing that. "I love you, too."
He poured himself a glass and took a big gulp. "I got your favorite," he pointed out.
I'd noticed, but due to the news I'd received today, I couldn't exactly partake. Time to get it over with, I guess.
"Bella, there's something I want to say to you," he cut me off.
My eyes widened in confusion. Was he breaking up with me? Was he telling me he'd lost his job? Had Tanya somehow called him in the fifteen minutes it took me to get home? A number of possibilities ran through my head at lightning speed.
Bella suddenly looked confused and alarmed. Shit, I wasn't doing this right.
"Bella, this last year, just me and you, has been the best year of my life," I began. She looked down, breaking eye contact, and I immediately reached out and lifted her chin so she'd look at me. "I can't tell you how happy you've made me up to this moment."
Her eyes filled with tears, and I had to stop the speech I'd prepared. "Bella, love, what's wrong?"
"I'm pregnant," she blurted, as the tears began rolling down her cheeks.
I dropped my hand. "What?"
She grabbed both of my arms with her tiny hands. "Edward, I don't know how it happened. I'm so sorry. Please don't leave me, we'll figure something out. I don't know what I'd do without you," she sobbed.
"You're pregnant?" The words just wouldn't sink in.
She nodded, biting her lip. "I've been so happy this past year, too, Edward! I still can't believe that you've chosen me. But can't this add to our happiness?"
Bella was obviously freaking out, waiting for my reaction. I immediately reached over and pulled her onto my lap, tucking her into me.
"Love, I'm not leaving you," I assured her. She was still crying, I could see the tears leaking onto my sweater. "What makes you say that?"
She looked up at me, and her expression nearly broke my heart. "I saw Tanya today at the doctor's office."
I growled. Fucking Tanya. When would that bitch finally be out of our lives? "What did she say to you?"
"She guessed that I was pregnant, and then told me that you'd think I did it on purpose to trap you. But I didn't!"
"I know you didn't, love," I cooed, trying to make her stop crying. I rubbed her back comfortingly.
"And then she said you were going to leave me," Bella sobbed. Wow, she was never normally this emotional.
"I'm not going anywhere," I swore. I tilted her chin up to look at me again. "We're having a baby?"
She bit her lip and nodded.
My chest swelled with emotion. A baby! With my beautiful Bella!
I gave her my trademark smile and she visibly relaxed. "You're not mad?"
"Of course not, love. A little surprised, but I'm definitely not mad."
She gave me a watery smile and I fell in love with her all over again. I couldn't wait to make this woman permanently mine.
I smiled as I realized all my nervousness had disappeared.
"You kind of stole my thunder, though," I said casually, reaching down to retrieve the box from my pocket.
"What are you talking about?"
I gestured to the scene around us. "What did you think this was for?"
She looked around. "I really had no idea. I was so freaked out with trying to tell you, besides realizing I'm pregnant, that I wasn't really focusing."
I grinned and lifted her off my lap onto the couch. She looked confused for a second until I got down on my knees in front of her, and then she gasped. I ignored that and began to talk to her, unrehearsed words, just spilling my guts out to the love of my life.
"Bella, my life was incomplete without you. I never felt at home, never felt whole, until the day I saw you walk onto the stage at Alice's auction. I knew right then you were special and I just had to meet you. That night was perfect, and the next morning I determined that you were it for me. I had to find you." Her eyes widened. I hadn't told her that yet, holding it for this moment. "I searched high and low for you, and when I finally saw you again, I knew I'd do whatever it took to make you mine."
I grabbed the ring box from my pocket and flicked it open. Bella gasped as she took in the ring I'd chosen for her: white gold, with little diamonds on the sides sweeping up into a kite shape with four larger diamonds grouped together. Its unique beauty had reminded me of my Bella.
"Isabella Marie Swan, there is nothing that would make me happier than to call you my wife. Say you'll marry me?"
She flung her arms around me, nearly knocking me backwards. "Of course I will!" she sobbed. I stood, bringing her with me, and swung her around as my chest filled again with so much emotion I thought I'd burst.
I remembered her condition, and set her down quickly. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
She laughed. "No, silly. It's way too early for that. Now give me my ring."
I took it out of the box, chunked that aside, and slid the ring onto her left hand. We both admired it there for a moment.
Bella finally looked up at me. "This day couldn't be any more perfect. Well, except for running into Tanya."
I nodded. "Next time you see her, make sure you flash your ring."
She smiled broadly. "Oh, you better believe I will. Her and any other member of the Cullen-obsessed Seattle society."
"You realize now they'll be obsessed with you, too."
Bella's love for me shone from her chocolate eyes. "I can take it. As long as I'm a Cullen, I can handle anything they throw my way."
"Isabella Cullen. I like the sound of that."
"Bella Cullen sounds even better."
"You know, you're right. I have always liked Bella better."
darkened and she bit her lip. "Does that mean you don't want
Isabella to come around anymore?"
I grinned in anticipation. "Oh, she can come out at night all she wants."
With that, I picked my Bella up and carried her to the bedroom to begin the rest of our lives together.