A/N: It's the end of the story. I'm sad. I'll miss you if you don't come with me.
Thanks also to my army of Betas Daisy, Profmom, and Twike. Everwondering validates me.
Goodbye, Dumbward. We love you.
Characters are not mine.
Good Enough Epilogue
This time I was 79% sure I did everything right. I have been in love with Bella Swan for around a year. After a month of acting a complete douche, I finally realized that she was the woman of my dreams. She was like the air I breathed and everything I've ever wanted wrapped up in one beautiful package just for me. I sat on the park bench waiting for the signal from Emmett. Tonight, hopefully, (I'd learned not be too confident) Bella would agree to be my wife. It might be the eleventh time I'd tried proposing, but for some reason I really thought this time she might finally say yes.
I could tell by the way Bella treated me, when we were together, that she adored me as much as I did her. When I looked at her I saw my present and my future and my everything. The thought of her turned me into a mushy girl that made me want to buy kittens and read to preschoolers. I finally realized Jasper wasn't a femme – he just loved Alice. Love makes you girly.
After nearly getting her killed, I didn't want her to leave my side for one second. I was a little obsessive. I see that now. Alice says I smothered Bella, but I didn't care. I almost lost her. After a near death experience and the hottest sponge bath any woman has ever received at the hands of an FBI agent, I figured Bella and I were pretty completely committed and inseparable.
That sponge bath was one of my favorite memories. Back when I was still innocent. Back when I thought relationships were easy. Back when I thought I understood women – or at least Bella. I caressed her body and she writhed under my touch. It was perfection. I thought there would be more to come. There wasn't.
11 months ago, I assumed we would move straight from the hospital together into my house. We would pick out china patterns and get married. I foolishly thought declaring our love for each other meant we were committed to spending every minute of our lives together from here on out. I was wrong.
When Bella got out of the hospital, she decided to move in with Alice and Jasper until she could find her own place. Rosalie had moved in with Emmett, and no one expected her to leave. Bella was shaken up about the whole getting shot and almost killed, so she didn't want to live alone. I was devastated and didn't understand why she wasn't planning to live with me. Then I realized she wanted a ring. Girls love diamonds. So I marched over to Bella's apartment where she was packing her things, pulled it out of my pocket, and said proudly, "Here, I got you this."
"Got me what?" For some reason she wasn't crying tears of joy. Maybe it was her time of the month.
"An engagement ring. I want you to marry me and move in with me."
"You're proposing while I'm sitting on my bedroom floor wearing sweats and going through all my crap?"
"I thought you wanted to marry me?" I said feeling confused and rejected.
"I thought you might not be a complete idiot after everything that happened," Bella rolled her eyes. "I love you, but that was the worst proposal in the history of the world. 'Here I got you this?' You think that was romantic? You think I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who doesn't even think I'm worth a nice dinner first?"
"I'll take you out tonight if that's what you want," I offered generously.
"Bella, what's the matter?"
"I SAID GET OUT! CALL JASPER AND ASK HIM WHAT YOU DID!" I started backing toward the door, afraid that she might actually hurt me by the look on her face.
"So do you want to go out tonight?" At that, Bella slammed her bedroom door in my face. I was a glutton for punishment so I knocked softly. She cracked it open and glared at me. "I love you?" I said as sweetly as possible with the most dazzling look I could muster. Bella just growled again and slammed the door. I was pretty sure she didn't just break up with me, but I called Jasper just to make sure.
My life's purpose was to make Bella happy, so after Jasper explained to me that I was an insensitive jerk, I tried to fix things. I made reservations at her favorite restaurant, and asked Bella out on Thursday for Saturday dinner. Jasper explained to me that girls like you to make plans with them in advance. Jasper really wasn't so bad after all, and he made some damn good bread.
I picked Bella up at Alice's, and she was so beautiful I could barely stand up straight at the sight of her. We'd only been together a short time, and most of that time, one of us had been in the hospital or hiding from killers. This was our first real date. Jasper suggested it might be too soon for me to propose, but he didn't know everything. I was sure about the fact that I wanted to marry Bella Swan more than I was sure that gravity existed. She was it for me. I had no doubts. All other women ceased to exist, and I wanted her alone.
Her hair hung in loose curls free on her shoulders. I could tell by her shoes and lipstick that Alice had helped her to get ready. She smiled when she saw me, and I knew she'd forgiven me for my blunder at her apartment.
"You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," I whispered in her ear as I led her down the porch steps to my car. I stopped before opening her door to kiss her. She responded, and I felt like the king of the world. My Bella loved me.
We held hands all the way to the restaurant, and the way she kept glancing at me told me she wanted me as much as I wanted her. We hadn't had enough time alone together. Tonight would change everything.
We arrived at Lombardo's, and I helped Bella out of the car. Everything was perfect until we got inside. I went up to the hostess stand. The girl was young and attractive and seemed happy to see me.
"Can I help you with something?" she purred.
"Yes, two for Cullen," I said trying to be polite, but she was kind of grossing me out.
"I don't seem to have anything reserved under that name." The hostess winked at me.
"There must be some sort of mistake. I made reservations." I leaned into the podium trying to get a look at the book.
"Well, I'm sorry honey, I'd be happy to help you with something else." She leaned forward flashing her cleavage at me.
"Listen," I leaned forward and whispered so that Bella couldn't hear and smiled, so my facial expression didn't match my words. "I made reservations, and I would really appreciate you seeing if you can get us a table right away. My fiancée and I came here to eat, not to be propositioned. I would hate to let Mr. Lombardo know about your inappropriate behavior."
In the old days I might have decided this chick was my soul mate for a few days, but not anymore. Now I just wanted to enjoy an evening with my Bella.
"Right this way, Mr. Cullen," the hostess seethed at me.
I turned around to offer my arm to Bella. She looked pissed off too. What was going on?
We sat down, and the hostess was very cold to Bella. I made a mental note to run her for warrants later, or call my friend at the police station and ask her to give the hostess a speeding ticket when she left here that night. Nobody puts Bella in a corner. Nobody.
I turned my full attention on the love of my life. The woman who was worshiping me with her eyes five minutes ago was now looking at me like I disgusted her.
"Edward, I don't want us to play games. I love you, and I want to be with you, but if you are going to keep falling in love with other women, then I'm not going to put myself through this," Bella said, and I could see tears in her eyes.
"I saw how you were looking at that hostess. You were flirting with her, and then you stared at her boobs. I'm so humiliated."
"Bella, no! I swear I wasn't. I was threatening to have her fired if she didn't stop acting inappropriate in front of my fiancée. You're the only woman in the world to me now," I took her hand and pleaded.
Bella looked skeptical for a second, but I continued to assure her that I loved her and wanted her, and eventually she relaxed. She dabbed at her eyes with her napkin and took a deep breath.
"Edward, why did you call me your fiancée?"
I figured that was as good a time as ever. I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and said, "Bella, will you be my wife?"
"Edward!" Bella groaned and buried her head in her hands. That wasn't exactly what I'd been hoping for.
"Bella? What's wrong, love?"
"Please get off the floor." She grumbled.
I got up and sat in my chair feeling like the wind had just been knocked out of my sails. Bella took a deep breath, and said, "This is our first official date, and I'm obviously still concerned that you'll change your mind again. You haven't met my parents. I don't know about Med school yet. I hardly think we are ready to get married."
"Oh," I said. Now I kind of wanted to cry. Stupid Jasper. I was turning into him.
Bella saw the look on my face, and tried to reassure me, "I mean, I hope that this turns into that… someday. I just think we need to spend more time together first."
"Okay," I shook my head in acceptance and sighed.
"Edward, I love you. I hope you know that." She squeezed my hand.
I reached over and took both her hands in both of mine. "Bella, I have no doubts that you are the only one for me now or ever. I promise you that. I'm sorry you don't trust my intentions, but I swear on my life that I will never change my mind about you again. I've never been more sure of anything. You're my entire existence. You're my life now. I promise to love you every single day of forever."
Bella scrunched up her face and looked at me skeptically.
"That was too much, wasn't it?" I said.
"Yeah, a little bit," she nodded. We both laughed, and then she kissed me, and I knew everything would work itself out. I just had to be patient.
Two months later, I called Bella to see if I could come over for a cuddle. She said yes, knowing how much I loved her and her bed and her in her bed. I accidentally got caught up in the comfiness and her smell, and I whispered, "Marry me," in her ear.
She whispered, "After you grow up," back in mine. I took that as progress.
I still say the next time I proposed shouldn't count. After months of waiting, Bella and I finally made love. I might have accidently asked her to marry me in the throws of ecstasy. It just kind of slipped out. Something like, "Oh baby, marry me now so you can do this to me every night." Bella didn't say yes to that one, and she didn't do that to me again for a good long while.
The one with the Jumbotron didn't technically count either. Alice managed to tackle Bella before she even saw it. I think Bella had an idea of what I did, but spared me from any further consequences after Rosalie kneed me. That woman had always had a strange fascination with my balls.
The worst one of all was probably when Bella and I made the drive to Forks to visit her dad. It was good to see Charlie again and not have to worry about any of those bloodsuckers. Bella and I had been together for nine months, and I wanted to do everything right. I had the ring in my pocket, and before the three of us went to dinner that night, I pulled Charlie aside and asked his permission to marry Bella. He asked me about my bank account and 401k, but after I told him about my diversified investment portfolio, he happily agreed to hand over his daughter in marriage.
We had just ordered desert at the lovely Italian place in Port Angeles, when I decided it was time. "Bella, I've loved you since the first day I saw you, and I will love until the day I die. You make me a better man, Bella. Please be my wife?"
Bella smiled, and there were tears in her eyes. Bella looked at her dad for approval. I understood exactly what she was doing. She had a strong need for her parent's approval, which she felt she'd never received. It was text book Psychoanalysis stuff.
"Go for it, baby," Charlie said smiling. "Edward here makes enough that you won't have to worry about becoming a doctor. He can support you both, and you can stay home with your kids."
Bella's face fell, and she looked at me. I shook my head yes, trying to get her to follow my lead and say the word. I think she must have taken it as me agreeing with Charlie, because the next thing we knew, Bella had left in my Volvo. Charlie had to call a deputy to pick us up, and I got taken back all the way to Seattle in a squad car. It took a lot of flowers and explaining for me to convince Bella that I supported her dream of becoming a doctor.
The other proposals were just spur of the moment things. I think Bella started to think it was funny, and found pleasure in telling me "not yet" over and over and over.
It had been almost 47 days since I last proposed. It was a new record for me. Bella and I had grown closer, and what I felt for her now was more than I would have thought possible the day we first declared ourselves.
I went to Alice for advice on how I should propose. I had spectacular ideas like parachuting in or standing on top of a two story building and threatening to jump if Bella didn't agree to marry me. She would hopefully say yes, but I would pretend to slip anyway. Bella would scream, but I would be attached to some sort of bungee cord. Alice slapped me on the head when I told her that idea. "You're an FBI analyst, not batman!"
Alice did agree with me that it was time. I even had a feeling Bella was ready. She'd been hinting here and there or saying little things in front of Alice about when she gets married. Part of me wanted to make her wait, to put her through the same torture she'd put me through, but that part of me was an idiot.
I spent a lot of time trying to set things up just right. I decided to send her on a scavenger hunt of the proposals that led us to this point, hoping she would find the whole situation humorous and not annoying. I convinced her to let me take her truck in for a tune-up and gave her my car. Late that afternoon, she arrived at my house and found a note on her front door telling her that she was going on an adventure, and to please go to the place of my first proposal to find her next clue.
I'd spoken with the new tenants of Bella's old apartment, and they agreed to let me rent the place for a few hours. Inside I covered the living room with flowers and candles.
I left Bella a note and a single rose.
Remember when you slammed the door in my face?
I love you, Edward
Next, she was directed to Lombardo's. They had a table for her there with a glass of her favorite Pinot and another red rose.
The note read:
You didn't believe I could love only you forever. It was too much too soon.
I'll always love you, Edward
She went to Alice's house next. Our song was playing on the stereo, and rose petals led her to her bed. There were five Rose's there representing the five times I'd proposed in this spot. Under them were five notes.
I'm still sorry about that one time.
I still want you to do that to me every night.
Please don't be mad about that last note.
You're Beautiful and I love you, Edward
I want you to feel how much I love you every night too.
You have the most comfortable bed in the world.
Hopefully she was laughing when she left there. The directions told her to go to Forks. I could just imagine her swearing when she read that. At the bottom of the page was an arrow that told her to turn it over. I wrote "Gotcha" and instructed her to look in the trunk. There was a new stethoscope she'd been wanting, a rose, and a note inside.
If you break my heart tonight, I know a good doctor.
Your favorite patient, Edward
Then she was directed to go back in the house and push play on the DVD player in the family room. The video of the Jumbotron incident played for her. Alice tackling her, my confused face, and Rosalie's attack all played, before I came on the screen and told her to look in the cabinet below the TV. There she found a rose and a note.
I might not be a smart man, but I do know what love is.
Love only you, Edward
It wasn't that mushy, but it was hard trying to be Jasper.
Finally she was directed to the hospital. I was sure I must have proposed to her once or twice there. The GPS directed her to the nurses' station on "our floor." Jacob told her where to go from there, until she found her rose and a note.
What other man could say getting shot was the best thing that ever happened to him? I love you, and I'm glad we're not dead.
Love you forever, Edward
I stood nervously across the street at the park waiting for her. I'd never been so confident and terrified all at the same time. I saw her walk out the front door of the hospital. She didn't know I was watching her. She was my angel. She looked both ways and crossed the street walking towards me. I stood between the trees directly in front of her. The smile on her face when she saw me was my answer.
She started walking faster, and then she started jogging toward me. I walked toward her and she jumped up into my arms. I swung her around, and it was every bit as bad as the cheesiest chick flick.
I set her down and said, "Bella, I was hoping you'd want to be my wife."
"Sure, why not?" she laughed.
"Thank you," I breathed as relief swept over me.
She smiled at me like I'd hung the moon, and she was the only woman in the world for me. We kissed and it was perfect. She was perfect. We were perfect together.
"So how'd I do?" I finally asked when our lips parted.
"Eh, it was good enough," she shrugged.
A/N: I really really wanted to end with this, but no one would let me:
I was about to kiss her again when I heard a loud bang, and her lifeless body slipped from my arms.
Thanks for reading – I had a lot of fun with this story. I'm working on a new story – which I will start posting NOW! It's called Controlled Burn, and it's about Bella who grows a ridiculous crush on her bff's much younger brother, Edward. Everything's legal I promise. I'm going for more comedy and less shooting this time. Find it in my profile. Also check out my Jasper contest fic.
Don't forget to review this one! All the good people do it. Are you good enough?