Ch. 25: If I Ain't Got You
A/N: Hey guys. Well, this was a long wait, we know, but it wasn't as long as the last update! So there's something to be happy about. Real life got in the way like no other mother. But we always make time for our baby We'd like to thank you all for the story/author alerts, favorite story/ author, and the reviews. They really mean a lot to us. An absolutely humongous thank you goes out to hgbkwrm for being there for us and helping us with all this. Seriously, without you, we wouldn't have come this far. And last chapter we promoted hgbkwrm to being a part of our team and we were looking for a new number one fan, and our brand new numero uno fan is…..xorachel63xo!!! Congrats!!
I whipped my head around at the sound of the voice, not expecting to see her standing in the doorway. "What are you doing here?" I asked, clearly stunned.
"Nice to see you, too, Edward. Way to greet your sister," Rose said as she walked into the room and took a seat next to me on the piano bench.
"Sorry, I thought you were Esme. I just wasn't expecting it to be you standing there." I said with a shrug of my shoulders. If I was being honest, the one person I wanted it to be was still in Florida.
"It's cool." Rosalie took a moment to look at me from head to toe. "You look like hell, Edward." I scoffed at the comment, but should've expected it from her. "I know that was harsh and I'm sorry, but you need to take care of yourself. What would Bella say if she saw you looking like this?" she asked me.
I took a moment to think it over. Once again, Rosalie was right. "Must you always prove me wrong?" I asked, granting her a small smile, which she returned. "I know Bella wouldn't be too happy if she saw me moping around like I have been. I know that I shouldn't, but I just can't shake this damn feeling."
"I know it's hard, but like I've said before, you have to do it. And quite frankly, your Mopey Mable act is getting a little old." Leave it to Rosalie to tell you how it is. "She'll be home soon, Edward. You've lasted this long and she's going to be home sooner than you know it. Try not to dwell on it and keep living." I nodded at everything she said, knowing I had to do it. I needed to do it for myself and for Bella. "How have you been sleeping?" she asked after a few moments of silence between us.
"Not very well," I admitted. "It's not the same without her." Saying it out loud made it seem kind of ridiculous, but I knew it was true.
"Again, I know it's not, but you did it before you met her and you need to get used to the fact that she's not always going to be able to sleep in the same bed with you. Go take a nap; you could use it."
"Yes, Mom," I teased, "Have I mentioned how annoying you being right all the time is?"
"Hey, it's not my fault I'm perfect," she said, complete with a hair toss and an award winning smile.
I laughed, "You're definitely one of a kind, Rose." I sighed before stretching my arms above my head. "I think I will go take that nap. I'm exhausted," I said as I finally gave in to my tiredness.
"Good boy," Rosalie said with a teasing smile. "Do you want someone to wake you up for dinner?"
"That might be best. I don't think Esme would want me missing dinner unless I was laying on my deathbed." I thought that over for a second before I spoke, "Actually, scratch that, she'd probably make sure I was still eating," I said as I smiled at the thought of my mom's strong maternal instincts.
Rosalie laughed, "That is more than true. God, I love that woman." I couldn't help but nod in agreement.
"Alright, I'm off to take that nap," I said as I stood from the bench and headed for the door. I stopped before I got to the door and turned around to face Rosalie again, "Thanks, Rose, I owe you."
"You got that right!" We both laughed. "No, but seriously, you're welcome," she said, "Now go!"
"Always so pushy," I rushed out, dodging a slap that I knew was coming. I ran up the stairs, and flopped onto my bed. I turned on my stomach and shut my eyes hoping that maybe I could get at least a little bit of rest. I was almost completely asleep when I felt a weight above me and felt a breath in my ear. "Miss me?"
My eyes shot open and I flipped over so quick I was surprised that I didn't knock her arms out from under her. I saw those beautiful, chocolate eyes staring down at me and I felt like I had found my home. I had to blink a couple of times to make sure I wasn't making up what I was seeing because of the lack of sleep. I heard that musical laughter I loved so much and I knew I wasn't just making it up, she was actually here.
"I'm taking the silence as you either didn't miss me at all or you missed me tremendously and am shocked to see me. Personally, I like to think it's the latter."
"The latter. Definitely the latter." I kissed those soft lips that I had missed so much and I felt like the storm within me had finally calmed down when her lips touched mine.
She pulled away and smiled down at me, "Good."
I smiled back and was about to start kissing her again when a thought occurred to me, "What are you doing here? You aren't supposed to be back till tomorrow."
"That was the plan but it changed at the last minute thanks to Renée and Charlie." I was thoroughly confused by this and my face must have said it all because she took a deep breath and lay down next to me. I immediately put my arm around her and began rubbing her arm.
"After you left I found the necklace and we continued on with the rest of the vacation as planned and I thought I was doing a good job of hiding how much I didn't want to be there but Charlie picked up on it."
I looked over at her and she was, unknowingly, playing with the heart pendant on her necklace. I grabbed that hand and rubbed circles on it while she continued on with her explanation.
"So last night I was lying on the bed and I just kept crying and the tears wouldn't stop no matter how hard I tried to make them." Her voice had gotten a little shaky at this point and one tear rolled down her cheek and I wiped it away with my thumb and gave her a reassuring smile, "Go on."
"Charlie came in and said that the distance would make us stronger and that we would be together again soon and all that. Then I went on about being apart for three days and then he said that we were going home early. And now, here I am." I looked down at her and smiled.
"I'm glad you're here now," I looked at her and she smiled at me, "but I'm also sad that you were crying so much and didn't enjoy the rest of your vacation."
She wrapped her arm around my torso and gently squeezed, "My vacation ended when you left. The past couple of days have been my own personal hell. I didn't enjoy any of it because you weren't there. I feel like I'm home now."
I kissed her forehead and brought her closer to my body, "I know how you feel. I haven't felt this at ease since we were last together. I missed you."
"I missed you too. More than you know."
I had finished my packing within minutes thanks to my frenzied pace fueled by my desire to be with Edward again. As I was packing, though, a thought occurred to me. I had just finished zipping up my suitcase, sat on the bed, and turned to Charlie, who was putting the last articles of clothing into his, and asked, "Dad?"
"Edward lives four hours away." Charlie looked at me as if encouraging me to continue, so I did, "So am I just going to drive back to Seattle after we get home and come back home?"
"We've got it all taken care of, Bells."
I looked at him in shock, "What do you mean?"
"Your mother already called Carlisle and Esme. They said that they would be more than willing to pick you up from Sea-Tac airport while your mother and I continue on home to Forks. You'll be spending a few days with the Cullens. Esme said she misses having you around," he said with a small chuckle.
"Really?" I asked, excitement clear in my voice.
"Yep. I'm sure Edward misses you too. That boy is head over heels for you, Bella."
I smiled at Charlie's recognition of Edward's love for me and my love for him. "I know he is." At that moment, Renée walked in the door. "Hey Mom," I greeted with enthusiasm that I had been lacking.
"Hey Sweetie, you almost ready to head out? We've got to head to the airport in about ten minutes."
"Yep, I'm all packed. And thank you, Mom."
"For what?" She asked, as she checked the hotel room one last time for anything we may have left.
"For letting us go home early. It really means a lot and I'm so excited to see Edward again." I got up from my spot on the bed and engulfed her and Charlie in a hug.
"Of course, Sweetie. Your father and I could tell how miserable you were. And the Cullens were more than willing to help us out. Apparently Edward has been a little blue lately, too. They said they'd love to have you stay with them for a few days. Okay you two, we need to get a move on."
I grabbed my bag and followed Charlie and Renée out the hotel door and to the elevator. Knowing that I would see Edward soon made me antsy and I began shifting my weight from foot to foot in the elevator. Charlie must've noticed because he chuckled, "A little anxious, are we?"
Of course, me being me, I blushed and ceased my movements, "Maybe just a little."
He laughed again, "Calm down Bells, we still have six hours of flying before we get to Washington."
"I know, but that doesn't make me any less excited to see Edward."
"Touché," my mom said, causing my dad to scoff. But I didn't miss the small smile he gave as he looked the curb. Charlie took charge of loading our bags into the trunk and climbed into the car behind Renée and me.
We arrived at the airport and walked to the check in desk, but unfortunately, the airport was extremely crowded and the line was a mile long. Standing in line was excruciating, I felt like the line wasn't moving at all. Every time someone came over the intercom to announce something, I was freaking out that they would announce that our flight was delayed. I kept looking around and practically jumping in place. "Bella, you've got to chill out. We're almost to the counter and then we won't have to wait long." Renée said.
"I know, I know. Sorry." I noticed that I kept fiddling with my necklace and finally stopped when we reached the counter. Finally, we had our tickets and made our way through security. Fortunately, that line moved surprisingly fast and, before I knew it, we were at our terminal waiting for our zone to be called.
The six hour plane ride felt like the longest time I had to sit still in my entire life. The seatbelt sign couldn't come on fast enough and, as soon as it was on, I jumped out of my seat and went to the bathroom. I thought maybe walking around would make the time go by quicker, but that didn't work. I felt like every time I was up, I was up for hours but it was really only minutes. Throughout the entire flight, I would constantly play with my necklace and think about Edward. I couldn't wait to be with him again, I would finally feel like I could be myself again. I wasn't just excited to see Edward, I was excited to see the entire Cullen Family. Esme and Carlisle were like my second parents and Rose, Emmett, Jasper, and Alice had become the siblings that I never had. It felt nice to have a large family since it had always been just me and my parents.
Finally, after what seemed like an entire day, the plane landed in Sea-Tac airport. We got off the plane relatively quick and made our way to the terminal. Charlie and Renée stopped as soon as we got off to the side. "Honey, one of the Cullens will be waiting outside to pick you up."
"Okay Mom. Do you know who exactly?" I was hoping that it would be Edward, but deep down, I knew it would be someone else.
"I'm not sure who's going to pick you up, but tell the Cullens hello for us and that we send our love," Renée said.
"I will." I gave her a hug as I told her this, then turned to Charlie.
"Have fun, Bells. Like your mother said, tell them we say hello and we send our love."
I was a little shocked to hear this coming from Charlie, but over the past few days, I think he knew that the Cullens would be in our lives forever. "Got it, Dad. I love you."
"Love you too, Bells." I gave them both one last hug and made my way to the main doors. I was still curious as to who was going to pick me up. I was kind of hoping for Alice, since she was like my sister and I missed that spiky haired pixie. Or maybe Jasper will be there. He makes me feel calm, which I probably needed right now, since I was still pretty anxious. I walked down the steps and, as soon as I looked up, she was right there waiting, impossible to miss. "Hey Bella, long time no see."
"Hi Rose. It's only been two days."
She came over and helped me get my luggage, "Yeah, I know, but with Edward's mood lately, it's felt way longer than that."
The thought of Edward hurting made me a little worried and my hand immediately went up to the necklace. "Really? Has it been that bad?"
"Not horrible, but everyone can see how different he is without you there. Thank God you're finally here," she said with a laugh.
I couldn't tell whether or not that was sarcasm, or if she was really glad I was here. "Um, thanks?"
She gave another chuckle and said, "Don't worry, that was genuine. We really are glad to have you back with us."
"Well in that case, my thanks were sincere." By this time, we were already at her car and on our way back the house. I wasn't really anxious anymore as much as I was excited. I was only a matter of minutes away from seeing Edward and I couldn't be happier.
I didn't notice Rose was laughing at me until I looked over at her. "What?"
"If you're this excited about seeing him, I can only imagine how excited he's going to be to see you. He's going to be shocked."
I stopped bouncing in my seat when I heard this, "Wait, so he doesn't know I'm coming?"
"Nope. He doesn't have the slightest clue, you're his surprise," she said with a devilish smile.
Learning this piece of information made me just that much more excited to get there. "Cool. Are we almost there?"
"Chill out woman. We're almost there, like 10 more minutes."
"Okay, sorry, I'm just really excited."
"It's okay. I get where you're coming from."
"Thanks." I looked out the window to see an amazing house with glass surrounding it and it seemed like all the lights were on and then looked to Rose.
She gave me a big smile and a chuckle, "Yes Bella, we're finally here."
She pulled around to the back of the house and I was a little confused and was about to ask what was going on until she pulled into a garage with four other cars in it. "Wow. There are a lot of cars."
She got out of the car and went to go get my bags out of the trunk, "Yeah, the Cullens like their cars."
I looked at all the cars and noticed they were all really nice cars. "Yeah, apparently so."
"Come on, this way." She led me into the house and Carlisle and Esme were right there waiting for us with open arms.
"Hi, Sweetie. How are you?" Esme asked me as soon as she saw me.
I went up and hugged her, "Hi, Esme. I'm doing better now, thanks. How are you?"
"So glad to have you here." She returned my hug gratefully.
"Thank you." I then turned to Carlisle, "Hello, Carlisle."
He reached out and gave me a warm embrace, "It's so good to see you, Bella. We've missed you being around."
"I've missed you guys too. And thank you so much for letting me stay here for the next couple days. It really means a lot to me."
"It's our pleasure. I think everybody will be excited to have you here for the next couple of days."
Rose took this opportunity to chime in, "Speaking of people being excited about Bella, I think she needs to go be someone's surprise."
Esme gave me a huge smile, "Oh yes. Rose will show you where you need to be. It's so good to have you here Bella."
"Thank you. It's so nice to see you two again." And with that, Rose grabbed my arm and took me up two flights of stairs to a door. I was starting to get excited knowing that he would be just beyond that door. One door separated me from the person I needed most in life.
Rose opened the door and I had the biggest grin on my face ever, "Okay, this is his room."
My smile faded when I saw that the room was empty. Rose noticed my face right away. "Don't freak out, he's here just not in here specifically. You're his surprise, remember?"
"I know, I just thought he would be here right now."
"You're a surprise and when we say surprise, we really mean surprise. Get in the closet." She started pushing me towards the closet and I didn't know what was going on.
"Rose! What…..why am I going in the closet?" I was trying to dig my heels in the ground until she told me what was going on, but I was no match for her.
"You're going to stay in here until he gets in here himself, then you're going to surprise him by coming out of the closet." I finally gave in and let her put me in the closet.
"Now, just stay here, be quiet and come out whenever you think it's the right time. He'll be up here soon. Have fun." With that, she closed the closet door, leaving it open just a crack.
"Hey, Rose," she opened the door, "Yes?"
"Thanks, for picking me up and for helping me with this." I gave her the most genuine smile I could muster up.
She gave me a big smile and said, "No problem. Now, get in there and be quiet until he gets in here."
The door was closed again and I heard the bedroom door shut too. Now it was just a matter of waiting and, hopefully, I wouldn't have to wait too long before I got to see him. I was in there for probably about five minutes before I heard the door open again. I peeped through the crack and saw him. I was about ready to just burst through the door and yell that I was there but, like Rose said, this was a real surprise and I wanted to keep it that way, so I waited.
I saw him lay down on the bed on his stomach and decided to wait just a couple moments longer before making my move. It took everything in me not to just jump on the bed with him and brush that piece of hair out of his eyes but I gently climbed on the bed right above him and whispered in his ear, "Miss me?"
After his initial shock, we spent a few moments just kissing and rememorizing everything about each other.
I loved having Bella by my side again, the world felt right after two nights of feeling alone and lost. We just sat in silence looking at each other. I had never felt as calm as I did in that moment. I continued rubbing Bella's arm until she spoke.
"Edward, these past two days have been really, really hard for me without you by my side. I hated every second of it."
"I know. I hated it too. I was so lost without you, I felt like I was going crazy."
"I don't want to feel like that ever again. I know it's probably too late now, so I'll wait until I can, but I'm going to transfer to Dartmouth."
I had to cease my movement on her arm and sit up because I didn't think she was serious. I pulled her up with me and looked her in the eye. "Are you serious? You're really going to transfer to Dartmouth?"
She smiled and said, "Yeah, I would never wish that type of pain on my worst enemy. I know I won't be happy unless you're with me. And even though I have to be on my own for a semester, I'd do it because that'd be easier than four years on my own."
I was elated to hear this news. I pulled her into my arms again and kissed her passionately. "Bella, that's the best news I have heard in a long time. I can't wait to have you there with me."
"I just, I love you a lot and I want you with me always."
"I love you so much Baby."
I grabbed her and pulled her down beside me and we spent the rest of the night in each other's arm. As we were laying there, I felt Bella's breathing get heavier and soon she was fast asleep. I looked down at her and knew that this was where we were supposed to be, together in each other's arms. The last thing I thought of before I fell asleep was that I couldn't wait for the first semester of college to go by so I could have Bella with me all the time as opposed to only being able to see each other during school breaks. I had a feeling that, no matter what life threw at us, we would always have each other.
A/N: The song we used for this chapter was "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. As sad as this makes us, this is where this journey ends. We just felt if we drug it out, we wouldn't be happy with it and it would turn out to be generic and predictable, which is something we never want to put out. Thank you guys so much for sticking with us through the long time between updates. Your support with all the alerts and reviews means so much to us. Thank you all, again, from the bottom of our hearts. We had so much fun writing this and we refer to this as our baby. Our baby is all grown up and ready to be completed. Make our days and give us one final review for this story. We have another story, for those of you that are interested called "Calling All Angels." We started writing it a while back but stopped in order to finish writing this but that will now become our priority. Thank you all again.
Lots of love always!