A/N: I am eternally grateful that you are still reading this. I know it took me forever to get to this point, but after this, there will be no more waiting. I give you the final chapter of Magnetism, and I'll see you at the bottom. I hope I don't disappoint you. ;)
Disclaimer: SMeyer is the owner of these characters.
Some weeks later
I had promised my parents months ago that I would bring Bella by for dinner. Esme called me two days ago, reminding me of my promise. So here we were, in the car on our way to my parents' house in the Pacific Palisades, and my nerves were starting to get the better of me.
Checking the time I noticed that we were a bit early. Without a conscious thought, I took a small detour; something Bella noticed right away. "Um...Edward? Aren't we going the wrong way?"
"Yeah, I just want to do something before we head up to the Palisades." I stole a glance at Bella as an idea took form in my mind. I drove away from Santa Monica Pier, towards the end of Venice Beach, and lucked out. There was a parking spot on the street, not far from the beach itself.
Bella was due any day now, just getting up and sitting down was a struggle for her, so I walked around the car and opened the passenger door, helping Bella out. She scowled at me slightly, never liking the idea of someone helping her.
"What are we doing here? We're supposed to be at your parents' in a few minutes," Bella groaned.
"We're just making a quick pit stop," I replied, steadying her.
"Edward, your parents already have a bad impression of me, being late to the first visit, is not going to help."
"Don't worry about it, Bella. Give them a chance to get to know you, you'll win them over in a heartbeat." I put my hand in my pocket and felt the warm metal there. I always carried it with me, waiting for the right moment, and now the right moment had arrived. Holding firmly onto Bella, I led her to an empty spot on the beach. Seeing how late it was in the day, Venice Beach was mostly deserted.
When we were almost all the way down by the waterline, we stopped and just looked out at the ocean and the sun that was setting. "I need to sit down," Bella groaned after a couple minutes, "my back has been killing me all day and standing up is too painful."
I helped Bella down on the sand as I tried to hide my smirk. She was making this really easy for me. I stayed on one knee after Bella was comfortable. Glancing at the sunset, I took a deep breath and turned back to the very pregnant woman who had come into my life and taken over so completely. "Bella?" I began.
She looked away from the sunset she had been admiring and turned to look at me. Bella put her hand gently on my cheek, probably sensing my nerves. "Edward? Are you all right?"
"I..." I croaked out and paused to clear my throat. Holding onto her hand that was on my cheek, I started over; "I had a huge speech rehearsed months ago, but I realized that huge speeches and huge gestures aren't your thing, so I've just been waiting for the right moment." I could see Bella's eyes grow huge at that, she knew what I was doing. Turning my head slightly, I kissed the inside of her hand. "Bella, will you marry me?"
I was holding the ring in a tight fist, and when Bella finally nodded her yes, I loosened my hand and found hers. As I slipped the ring on her finger, I kissed her with everything I had. Wrapping her arms around my neck, Bella pulled away from the kiss and looked me in the eyes. "I thought you'd never ask," she whispered with a wicked glint in her eyes before she kissed me.
With a groan I pulled Bella closer to me as we were making out like a couple teenagers on the beach. She had been waiting for me to ask her. I wanted to kick myself for not asking her sooner, but at the same time I knew I had been waiting for the right moment. And today was the right moment, so I couldn't regret that.
I half pulled Bella up on my lap while we kissed, and hiked up her mommy-dress past her knees. "Are you comfortable?" I asked as I let my hand wander from her knee and up her smooth thigh.
"Uh-huh," Bella confirmed as she deepened the kiss. I felt her hands snake around the back of my neck and into my hair, making me groan with want and anticipation. Bella's pregnancy had worked wonders for our sex life. She had gone from withholding in the beginning, to being completely insatiable.
When my hand reached her ass, that now was wonderfully big and soft, I let me fingers slide underneath the elastic and squeezed, making Bella moan loudly into my mouth. Parting her legs slightly to allow me more access to her slick folds, I practically dove right in making Bella squirm in my lap. Never stopping kissing her, I let two digits pump quickly in and out of her while I used my thumb on her clit, knowing how sensitive she was that she would be coming in a matter of minutes. I was not disappointed as Bella tensed and groaned loudly into my mouth.
Pulling away from my lips, Bella rested her forehead on my shoulder while she breathed heavily. "God, Edward. That has to be a new record for me," she whispered right before she went rigid and groaned loudly.
Looking at her, I saw that she was on the verge of tears, which pulled me out of my happy place and made me panic. "Bella? Are you all right? What's wrong?" I shot the questions at her, never giving her a chance to reply.
Bella's eyes flowed over with her tears as she laughed. "Here is this perfect moment, I'm perfectly happy and more relaxed than I have been in months. And in this perfect moment, my water has to break."
It took a few moments for Bella's words to reach my brain; "Shit! Your water broke?"
"Edward, honey. My dress is soaked and so are your pants," she laughed at me before she tried to sit up while I looked around frantically, my car wasn't too far away. "Bella? I want you to call the hospital and tell them we're on our way while I carry you," I told her as I pulled out my cellphone.
"Don't be stupid, Edward, I'm much too heavy to be carried around. I'm capable of walking on my own." Not wanting to argue with Bella and upset her, I put the phone back in my pocket and bent down to help her up from the sand. "Ungh!" Bella exclaimed as she tried to stand up, clearly in pain. Not wanting to drag this out with any discussions, I simply pulled Bella into my arms and carried her towards the car.
The next several hours went by in a blur. I called Carlisle first to tell him that dinner was off. I was sure I'd soon see both my parents at the hospital. Then I called Alice to tell her to bring Bella's hospital-bag and to tell the others that we were having a baby.
Our daughter came into the world quickly, so quickly in fact that there hadn't been any time for any drugs. She was a skinny but long baby, and loud from the very minute she was born. The nurse laughed and told us she was going to be more than a handful.
Usually babies are born with nearly black eyes, but our girl had my green eyes. My eyes and Bella's dark hair. After our baby girl had been washed and powdered and dressed, the nurses handed her over to Bella. "Look what we did," she whispered as she looked at the tiny thing in her arms. The doctor and the nurses left us alone for a few minutes and I just enjoyed the quiet and the feeling of complete happiness. I knew in my heart that it didn't get much better than this very moment.
When we got to Bella's room, everyone piled in to say hello to the newcomer. As I had guessed, my parents had made it to the hospital shortly after I had called them. Being first time grand-parents, they wanted to be where the action was. Esme walked quietly around the bed to my side and looked at the baby with so much love I felt guilty for not involving my parents more in my life since we had found out Bella was pregnant.
Bella smiled at me and lifted her arms slightly, signaling for me to take the baby. As I bent down to lift our little daughter out of Bella's arms, she looked pointedly at Esme before looking back at me. I immediately understood what she meant. Turning slowly towards my mom, I saw that she had an expression of wonder when she looked at this featherlight baby in my arms.
"You want to hold her?"
Esme just nodded and stretched out her arms. Her eyes filled with tears as she held the baby. Carlisle came up to us and put his arm around Esme, together they stood and silently admired their grandchild. I sat down on Bella's bed and took a hold of her hand while she talked to Jasper and Emmett. Alice and Rosalie were hoovering around Esme and the baby, unable to stay away.
Suddenly Alice turned to Bella and me. "What are you calling her? Did you choose a name yet? You better not be keeping it a secret if you have." She shot out her questions, making Bella giggle.
I looked at Bella, she just lifted her eyebrow and shrugged. I cleared my throat to get everyone's attention. "We have decided on a name. We did a while ago, and after meeting her today, we know for sure that she is Iris Swan Cullen," I said and looked over at Bella when I said our daughter's full name.
2 months later
I took a sip of my herbal tea with a sigh while watching Edward enjoying his morning coffee. I was so jealous of him being able to drink caffeine I hated him just a little bit for that. I was about ready to kill for some coffee. Iris turned out to be a bit of a handful and kept me up most nights. Edward was good at helping me with her during the nights, but it was just me and Iris during the days, and her crying wasn't much better then.
Putting my mug down and felt a pang of guilt for my caffeine withdrawal hate. Edward was more than amazing; with me, Iris and work. He was pulling more than his share of the load. He'd done most of the work, putting together the move to our new house, together with Emmett, Jasper and the moving company he had done the heavy lifting while I just stood around telling everyone where I wanted everything to go.
Alice had taken it upon herself to design the baby room and she had dragged Rosalie into it. They were finally done deciding what they wanted the room to look like, and I had no say in it. It was their present to Iris. They were coming over later with their boys to do the actual decorating. Edward had taken the day off of work to help.
Things had finally calmed down in all our lives. Even if Rose and Emmett's marriage had started off as a drunken mistake of sorts, they were happy together. Every day with them was entertaining, both were strong willed and stubborn, and it was a constant fight for dominance. More often than not, Rosalie came out on top; which didn't really surprise me. One look from her reduced Emmett to a drooling lapdog.
Seeing Iris for the first time at the hospital eight weeks ago, had inspired Emmett and Rosalie to try for a baby. Apparently Emmett's little swimmers were very focused cause they hit a home run on practically the first try. Rosalie was about six or seven weeks along and Emmett was walking around, very proud of himself. You'd think he'd come up with the solution to world peace.
It had taken her a while, but Alice had embraced the idea of being engaged to a heartthrob and was busy planning what she had dubbed as 'the wedding of the century'. She kept nagging me and Edward about getting married as well, but we had talked about it and were happy with just being engaged for now. Alice was more than happy to show off her engagement ring to everyone she ran into; be it friends, family or paparazzi. The paps were more than happy to snap pictures of Alice and Jasper, their engagement was plastered all over the tabloids, and Alice basked in all the extra attention she was getting.
"You all right, Bella?" Edward's question pulled me out of my thoughts.
"Yeah, just thinking about how much has happened since our supposed one night stand." I couldn't stop my grin even if I wanted to, making Edward laugh out loud. "Shh... You'll wake Iris up," I whispered sternly at Edward while listening to see if she was still asleep. We had a crib for her in the kitchen. I was a little paranoid about leaving her alone too far away from me, much to Edward's amusement.
"Relax, Bella. Iris is just fine," Edward said as he leaned across the table and grabbed my hand.
"I know," I sighed, "I'm just exhausted from her crying all night." I squeezed Edward's hand and glanced at the crib. It had been a really tough night. Edward let go of my hand and came walking around the table, lifted me up off my chair and sat down with me in his lap. I nuzzled into him and sighed contently.
"Bella, maybe we should get a nanny for Iris. Someone who can help either during the night or during the day. What do you think?"
I thought about it for all of five seconds. "Oh god, that would be so perfect." The thought of getting some help made me smile; I loved Iris and wanted to wrap her up in cotton and bubble wrap to protect her from everything, but I was in over my head. Normally I hated to admit defeat, but I was so exhausted that I simply didn't care. I wanted some help.
"Great, I'll look into agencies and start the process," he whispered into my hair. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Edward's arms around me. We never got much time together anymore, just the two of us. We hadn't been intimate since Iris had been born; it was tough going from getting laid on a daily basis to absolutely nothing for two months. Frustrated didn't even begin to describe how I felt about my sex life, or lack thereof.
Someone slammed open the door, and we heard Emmett yell, "We're here!" It took no more than half a second before Iris was crying in her crib, torn out of her sleep.
"Emmett! The hell?" I yelled back at him as I got up and ran to Iris. Even after I picked her up, she wouldn't calm down. Edward sent Emmett a murderous look and reached out his arms for Iris. I hated to let go of her when she was so distraught, but knew I couldn't hog her. She calmed down almost right away in Edward's arms, making me feel like a failure. Edward just looked at me and shrugged, pretty proud of his calming abilities.
Once he was sure Iris was calm, Edward handed her over to Rosalie and grabbed a few beers from the fridge and followed Emmett and Jasper up to Iris' bedroom to set up her new furniture. Seeing as Iris was calm in Rosalie's arms, I put the kettle on and made tea for us girls.
"She's so beautiful," Rosalie sighed, looking down at Iris.
Alice, who was hanging over Rosalie's shoulder just hummed in agreement. Looking at the two of them so completely taken with Iris, I knew I was beyond lucky to have them in my life. I still didn't always get along with Rose, but we were getting better at being friends. It was new to both of us.
A loud crash from upstairs pulled me out of my thoughts. Rose looked up at me in alarm. "If Emmett wrecked anything, he's replacing it," she grumbled as we all made our way up the stairs. The sight that met us in Iris' room had us laughing. Jasper was holding onto what looked like some parts of the new crib while he was laughing at Emmett who was sitting on the floor, holding onto his foot. Edward was on his knees in front of Emmett and mid-apology when he saw us.
"What the hell happened?" Alice asked.
"This moron here," Emmett said and pointed to Edward, "was supposed to help that moron over there," he said, now pointing to Jasper, "only he didn't grab the bottom of the crib in time and they broke my toes." Emmett's bottom lip was sticking so far out, it looked more like a sulk than a pout.
Rosalie handed Iris over to me and bent down to Emmett's foot. She grabbed his toes and gave them a good squeeze, making him scream for dear life. Which again made Iris cry again. "Oh for fucks' sake, shut the hell up, you big oaf. You're scaring Iris." Rosalie had no mercy for Emmett.
"Sorry," Emmett whispered while giving me an apologetic look. "But woman, your grip busted my toes!"
"There's nothing wrong with your toes. Get off your ass, we don't have time for your bruised ego."
Emmett got up off the floor with a groan and hopped around on his so-called good foot. Rosalie rolled her eyes and looked at me and Alice. "Ladies? Shall we?" Understanding what she was getting at, we just nodded at her. "Edward, take Iris, please," Rosalie commanded.
Alice took the parts Jasper was holding and we all took a quick inventory of what was scattered around the room. Without even looking at each other, we started to assemble the crib and were done in less than ten minutes.
As Rosalie was checking the crib and making sure it was safe, I walked over to Edward and Iris. His dumbstruck look made me giggle, and I couldn't resist a jib. "Close your mouth, honey, makes you look stupid." At which Edward snapped his mouth shut. I just took Iris from his arms and placed her in her new bed.
Iris seemed happy in her new crib so we started putting together the rest of the baby furniture. The boys were our reluctant little helpers. Being emasculated by three women put a damper on their moods. Emmett was all over Rosalie, refusing to let her do anything that required any lifting.
"I'm pregnant, you idiot, not an invalid!" Rose snapped after Emmett took the screwdriver away from her.
"Oh come on, Rosie! I just don't want anything to happy to our little boy!" Emmett protested.
"We're having a girl, just because you're an imbecile!"
Emmett stopped dead in his track at Rosalie's words. "You can do that? You can decide the baby's sex?"
"Yes, when the sperm donor is an idiot, I can." Rosalie was barely able to hold her smile back. When Emmett seemed to think really hard about that 'fact', the rest of us burst out laughing making Emmett blush.
"I knew you were jibbing," he defended himself. "Hey, at least my little boys managed to knock Rosalie up on first try!" he bragged.
"Yeah, like that's a feat," Edward said and pointed to the crib where Iris was sound asleep.
"Oh right," Emmett said sheepishly and scratched the back of his head. "But still..." Emmett's grin was wide and showcased the dimples that never failed to make girls swoon.
The rest of the day and evening passed in very much the same manner. Everyone was in a good mood after Rosalie's little stab at Emmett. We found out that Jasper had proposed to Alice and asked her to be his wife because she wanted to not because their little indiscretion had forced them to. He had even gone out and bought her a new engagement ring, and Alice was proudly showing off her new rock.
The day had gone well and ended on a good note. Everyone went home in good spirits and Iris was finally sleeping in her own bed. I knew Bella was really nervous about leaving Iris alone to sleep in her own room, but we had the baby monitor on, and it was nice to have the bed to ourselves again. Looking at how she was fidgeting, I decided to offer up some distraction to stop her worrying so much.
I wrapped my arm around Bella and pulled her closer to me, who nuzzled into me and sighed. I scooted down a bit and started to kiss her face; eyebrows, down to her cheekbones, nose, chin. But Bella obviously wasn't paying attention to my kisses. "What if Iris wakes up and cries, and we don't hear her?"
I held back my sigh and pulled my head away from Bella and looked down on her. "Bella, we tested the baby monitors, we know they work. We'll hear Iris even if all she does is gurgle." Her worry was both adorable and exasperating at the same time.
"I know, but..." I cut her off by kissing Bella on the mouth, who moaned and opened up her mouth, letting in my demanding tongue. Finally I had her attention. I let my hands wander across her body, to my delight she was still carrying a bit of her baby weight, making her soft and curvy in all the right places. Bella had been an knockout before she had gotten pregnant, but now she was a curvy and gorgeous woman. More perfect than she had ever been.
Pulling away a little from the kiss, Bella looked me in the eyes. "You're really good at distracting me." She let her fingers trace my eyebrows and nose before leaning in and giving me a quick kiss. "Thank you for being you, thank you for loving me," she whispered and leaned her forehead to mine.
"Oh Bella, I'm the one who should be thanking you. Sometimes I still can't believe that you're mine. I can't believe you chose me." I hugged her tightly to me. "You've made me completely happy."
I had tried to distract Bella with sex, but instead she ended up distracting me with her declaration of love. We ended up just cuddling in bed and talking about everything that had happened to us this past year. We talked about our friends, and we talked about work. Bella wasn't ready to go back to work full time yet, not with Iris being so small and dependent on her. But she felt the time was right for her to do some light work from home. Our businesses were going to go through some changes, we wanted to pool our resources and work together.
Bella fell asleep mid-sentence, and I couldn't help but grin at her. I watched her as her breathing slowed down. I really couldn't believe my luck, she was mine to keep, mine to love, mine to grow old with. I swallowed down the lump that had suddenly grown in my throat. I kissed her forehead softly and let my hand brush her tummy under the covers. Some times it was surreal to think that Iris had been in there just a couple short months ago. I let my fingers follow the tiny stretchmarks there. They were proof of the miracle we had created together, and I loved every single one of them.
With my fingers still touching the marks, a smile on my face and love in my heart, I fell asleep.
A/N: This story took me absolutely forever to write, it was partly due to real life and partly due to writer's block. But. Magnetism is complete. Yeah, I did a happy dance for real when I realized that. :D But I still might have a surprise up the sleeve for ya. I can't tell you what or when or why - but leave Magnetism on your alerts if you want to find out.
Getting to this point, took a lot of encouragement from quite a few people. I want to say thank you to Zigster, BeautifulFigment, VanPireNZ and GypsySue for being in my corner and for cheering me on when I was sure I couldn't complete this story. I want to say thank you to Ezzery for helping me figuring out the finer details of the story when I had no clue what to write next. I want to say thank you to to everyone who has been with me along the way; BQOTFU, Megsly, Nat3200, Monksmama, and anyone else I might have forgotten to mention. I didn't mean to, but you know my memory sucks major ass...
I feel like I'm saying goodbye. Which I'm absolutely not. But I have to say that it feels good to wrap this story up. I am eternally grateful to every single one of my readers, even if most of you don't leave reviews. ;) But seeing that people read this, really makes me smile. And that's what it's all about at the end of the day. Thank you to everyone who stuck with me even if writing this story took insanely long time.
GypsySue is a doll for stepping in as my beta.
I want to dedicate this to Ezzery, who is taking blow after blow from life, and who continues to rise up and refuses to let life's shitty sense of humor to knock her down. I wish I had half your strength, babe.