A/N: A couple things,
1. Some people were concerned that she had forgiven him too quickly, and I honestly agree. But if you remember at the beginning of the story I warned that it was shorter than I'd wanted it because I had written it for a birthday gift and was limited on time. So unfortunately the spray paint on the lighthouse had to be the kicker because I was running out of time. I promise when I do the sequel it will be A LOT longer than 11 chapters.
2. This is the last chapter.....sad. But it's a really good one. Thank you all so much for reading, I really appreciate it. Check out my other stories if you haven't yet, they're definitely worth a read.
3. If you didn't catch it earlier I mentioned that I would be doing a sequel. No word on when that will happen because I'm on busy overload right now with other fanfiction and real life. But I will probably avoid doing the whole "post every ____) just because I feel like I lost a lot of reviews doing it that way, and I'm selfish, I like to know how I'm doing. When I have any news regarding the sequel I will post it to the end of this one.
I leaned back into the seat of the airplane and breathed deep. It smelled like leather and vodka and....Edward. I smiled as he grabbed my hand and turned my face towards him. He looked absolutely panicked.
"Hey are you okay?" I leaned over to him and ran my hands across his cheeks.
"Yeah..." He stuttered. "I just...I can't...I hate flying." His other hand was gripped tightly to the seat.
"How can you fly all over the country and still be this nervous about it..." I said.
"I don't know, but it's terrifying. There's other planes, and weather, and...birds up here. Or we could just have a bum plane that just randomly falls out of the sky. It happens all the time."
"Not when you have the mechanics check and double check their work Ed..." Emmett brought him a glass of water and a couple of pills. "It helps him relax," he whispered to me.
I tightened my hand around Edward's as he took a sip from the glass and laid his head back in the seat. His breathing was slow and steady, but strained. Like he was trying really hard to relax.
"Emmett could you give us some privacy?"
"He's already a member of the mile high club Bells."
"Get out Emmett!" Edward yelled.
Emmett smirked and laughed as he walked out of the area, closing the door behind him. We were alone now, just me and him and about ten empty seats. I unbuckled my seatbelt and crawled over onto his lap. He closed his eyes as he snaked his arms around my waist.
I bent down close to his ear and rested my chin on his shoulder. "Relax," I whispered. I pulled back and looked at his face, his brow furrowed with anxiety.
He slowly opened his eyes and smiled a little when he saw my face. I instantly felt him relax a little as he began rubbing his hands up and down my back.
"That's better." I bent down to kiss him just as we hit some turbulence. His grip around my waist tightened as his wide eyes took in the rest of the cabin.
"Edward," I said placing my hands on his shoulders, trying to relax him.
"We're going to crash..." His head darted back and forth from the front of the cabin to the window. I couldn't believe he was coming completely undone like this. I've never seen him this way.
"Edward look at me. Just me." I took his face in my hands and forced his eyes to mine. My fingers drifted up to the buttons on my shirt and undid them one by one, keeping my eyes on his the whole time. I took his hand in mine and traced down the middle of my chest, just under the fabric. He reached the top of my jeans and he bit his lip. His breathing was completely calm. He started to dip his fingers below the waistline of my underwear but I stopped him.
"This is about you, not me." I reached to the side of him and pulled the lever to recline him back a little.
I smiled and descended from his lap to the floor, bringing the zipper of his jeans down with me.
"Bella what are you doing?" His eyes were wide again, but not with the same panic as before.
"Just sit back and relax."
We landed a couple of hours later and Edward no longer had any fear of flying. He took my hand as we left the plane with a big smile on his face.
"Have a nice flight?" Jasper asked.
"The best I've ever had..." Edward smirked. Emmett coughed a laugh into his hands.
"Good." Jasper started walking along with his reading off our schedule from his PDA. "Bella you have a stylist appointment in a half hour to pick out something to wear tonight. Edward you have an interview in an hour. And please no disappearing in the middle of this one. Bella will be back at the hotel by 6 p.m.. The limo will pick you both up at the hotel at 7:38 to be at the red carpet by 8:05. You'll walk the red carpet and be inside by 8:27 and the awards start at 8:30. Bella, Rosalie will be accompanying you for to the stylist appointment as well as help you get ready for the event. Jasper and I will be with Edward. Is everything clear?"
My mouth gaped open. I've never heard anything so precisely planned before in my life. "Um. Yes."
"Good. Rose will also have a print out of the schedule as well as emergency phone numbers and the address for the hotel."
We walked into the airport to a mass of photographers and screaming fans. Most of them stared at me like they wanted to throw the Ebola virus on me. I'm definitely not immune to all of the attention yet, but I am becoming more numb to it. We push past the crowd and out the front door. Two limos are parked at the curb, I assume one's for Edward and one's for me.
"Bella, Rose is waiting in the front limo for you." He gestured to the car.
I turned towards Edward. "So I guess I'll see you later?"
He smiled and wrapped me up in his arms, nestling his face into the crook of my neck. "I'll miss you." He pulled back and planted a soft kiss on my lips. A collective "aww" came from the small crowd that followed us outside. He smirked in their direction, waved, and disappeared into his limo. Rose swung open the door to mine.
"Get in you crazy bitch..." She smiled.
I laughed and hopped in.
"So can I just tell you how jealous I am right now?" She said.
"Why the hell are you jealous of me?" I laughed.
"Because Edward walked out in the middle of an interview on a prominent television show to go and apologize to you. It usually takes a night of Emmett sleeping in the tub or the hallway to get an apology out of him."
I turned and looked out the window. "Yeah I guess I'm pretty lucky..."
We drove for a while through the traffic of New York before pulling up to a trendy looking shop. The paparazzi didn't follow me, they probably decided more people wanted to see Edward. But I still felt the stares of some of the people walking by. I barely noticed the pointing and the comments that came from them as Rose and I walked into the store.
"That's her?" One girl commented.
"Wow I thought she'd be prettier than that…" The other one pointed towards me.
I ignored them and pushed the door open.
An extremely eccentric man wearing a short skirt and high heels greeted me. He oddly reminded me of Miss J from America's Next Top Model. As soon as he opened his mouth I knew it was no fake, this was the real deal. I was being dressed by Miss J from America's Next Top Model.
"Bella, I'm Miss J. You need something for the awards tonight?" He extended his hand to me.
"Yeah J, listen she needs something edgy but not overboard. Sexy but still comfortable." Rose stepped right in front of me and started going through the racks to the side.
"Oh Miss Rosalie I know exactly what you need." He rummaged through the rack and pulled out a dress. "Just got this in from Stella." He handed the dress to Rose and she looked it over. "It's perfect, how much?"
"I'll give it to you for an even five." She handed him a credit card and he went to ring it up.
"Rosalie how much was that dress?"
"Rose are you insane! That's almost enough to pay for a whole semester of school!" I was suddenly beat red, embarrassed that they were spending this much money on me.
"Bella, you're in our world now. Five thousand dollars is penny change. You'll get used to it. And plus the dress is going to look amazing on you." Miss J came back with the receipt and the dress in a garment bag.
"There you go ladies, have a great day. Enjoy yourself tonight Bella!" He called as we walked out of the store.
As soon as we got back to the hotel Rose insisted on starting my hair. I told her I didn't want anything too done up, it just wasn't me. She told me I could keep it down as long as I let her wash and "prep" it, whatever the hell that means.
I turned on the television and started munching idly on some pretzels after she had washed my hair with shampoo that cost enough to feed a small country. She pulled and tugged and moussed and gelled me as much as I could handle.
"What channel is he on?" I asked.
"I think twenty." She started braiding the front of my hair into a light French braid that framed my face.
I flipped through the channels until I heard his voice.
"Yes I'm very much looking forward to the awards tonight. It should be a great time…" He smiled and the screen faded to Ryan Seacrest.
"Well folks you heard it here, Edward Cullen will be bringing a date to the awards tonight. Will it be his ever-present agent, his sometimes flame Tanya Denali, or maybe his suspected new ladylove Bella Swan? You'll have to tune in to find out." It cut to commercial and I turned it off.
My phone started ringing and I stretched my arm out, trying to reach it on the nightstand as Rose was working on my hair.
"Hey babe, I just saw you."
"Oh great." Edward laughed. "Hey I'm running a little late, so I'm just going to swing by really quick and pick you up on the way to the red carpet okay?"
"Okay I'll be ready."
"Okay. Bye love."
I closed my eyes and started thinking about Edward as Rose finished up my makeup. I tapped my leg a little impatiently. It was almost time to go and I didn't want to be late.
"Alright Cinderella you're done. Let's get you into your dress."
I opened my eyes just as she spun around and grabbed the dress. I could barely recognize the person in the mirror. I mean it was me, I knew it was me and you could still see part of me in the reflection. But I looked beautiful, and feminine and just…perfect. Rosalie is amazing at this. I leaned forward and ran my fingers over the shadow on my eyes.
"Don't touch it," Rose said as she took my dress off the hanger. I pulled my hand back and smirked in her direction. She unzipped the dress and held it down so I could step in.
I felt her cool hands slip up the sides of my body as she pulled the dress up and onto my shoulders. I smoothed it out once she zipped it back up and stepped quickly into my shoes.
"Here is your purse, your limo is waiting, and my work is done." She plopped down into the chair and sighed.
"Thanks Rose. I'll see you later." I ran quickly down the hallway, waited very impatiently for the elevator, and made my way through the crowd in the lobby of the hotel. Emmett was standing by the front door waiting for me.
"Bella!" He waved me over. At the mention of my name a group of young girls turned our way and started sprinting towards Emmett and me.
"Edward!" One of the girls screamed. It was so loud and shrill I swear it pierced my eardrums. Their arms were outstretched as they stumbled over each other to try and get to the limo first. Emmett grabbed me by the waist and ushered me into the limo, closing the door quickly behind me. I breathed deeply and kept my eyes out the window as the girls came nearer. I shuttered back as they threw themselves onto the limo, crashing with a thud onto my window.
Someone cleared their throat from the other end of the seat.
"Is it like this all the time?" I pointed outside.
"No." Edward said. "They must be going crazy about the beautiful woman who just stepped into my limo."
I smiled and scooted over to him. He took my hand in his and bent down to kiss my cheek. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you. Rose did it." I looked down at my dress.
"Well it probably wasn't hard with the canvas she was working with." He winked as the car pulled away from the curb. The group of girls literally started running down the street after us in some misconceived notion that they would in fact run as fast a speeding car.
I started getting more and more nervous as we got closer to the drop off point. Edward calmed me down a little by rubbing small circles on the top of my hand. I tried to slow my breathing, but it started to come out short and staccato.
"Hey are you okay?" He put his arm around my shoulder.
"Yeah. I just. I've just never done anything like this before. I'm really nervous." My hands were shaking a little.
"Look at me. Just me." He smirked as he moved from the seat to the floor of the limo. He looked up at me as he started pushing my dress up my legs, running his fingers on my inner thighs.
"Edward what are you doing?"
"Relax." He kissed my knee and started to make his way up my leg. I could hear Emmett laughing in the front seat the entire time, even with the privacy screen up.
The limo came to a stop and someone tapped on the screen. "We're here guys. Make sure all clothing is readjusted to avoid anyone seeing your Britney hoo ha Bella."
"Shut up Emmett!" I pulled my skirt down as Edward climbed off the floor. He licked his lips and pressed his lips to mine. His tongue dragged lightly along my lower lip as I ran my fingers through his hair. If he was trying to relax me, this was definitely not the way.
I pulled away suddenly as the door opened, turning my face away in embarrassment.
"Mr. Cullen." The chauffeur nodded towards Edward as he got out of the limo. Edward reached inside the limo and took my hand, pulling me out.
Everything was a damn circus. There was a long red carpet, leading up to the hall where the event was being held. There was a long row of photographers at the beginning and a line of reporters and TV cameras after that. Above the carpet, in bleachers along each side, were rows and rows of screaming fans. I had momentary fan-girl moments as I took in all the celebrities around me. Johnny Depp was to my right, Jennifer Aniston to my left. I almost fainted when Johnny smiled at me and nodded.
I felt Edward's hand pull me towards the photographers. I let him go ahead of me, assuming that they wanted a picture of him, not the weird normal girl he was with. I stood and watched him as he worked the camera. He sure knew what he was doing. Every smirk, every raise of his eyebrow was perfect.
"Bella!" One of the photographers yelled. "Bella! Get in there with him!"
Pretty soon all of them were yelling for me. It was surreal. I walked slowly up to Edward and he placed his arm around my waist, smiling big for the pictures. I tried to smile but I probably just looked like a star struck idiot.
I gripped Edward's hand tightly as we started towards the reporters. This was what I was dreading most. I had a hard enough time putting words together on an everyday basis, now they had a camera and someone asking me questions. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
"Just be yourself," Edward whispered as we approached the first one.
"And here is Edward Cullen and his beautiful date…" The man gestured towards us. "Hello Edward, how are you feeling tonight?"
"I'm feeling great! Really excited to be here!" Edward said, flashing a smile towards the camera.
"And Bella how are you doing?"
I was stunned the man was addressing me directly. I looked right into the camera and suddenly had nothing to say. Edward nudged me a little and suddenly the words just started flowing.
"It's amazing to be here, especially with Edward. It's going to be a fun night."
"Great, and who are you wearing?"
I blanked. I knew it was an S. Sara, Sam…Stella? Was it Stella? Stella who?
Edward leaned in and whispered softly to me. "Stella McCartney."
"Stella McCartney," I answered confidently.
"Well you both look fabulous. No doubt front-runners for best dressed. Good luck and have a good time." The reporter turned back to the camera and started chatting away. Edward pulled me along.
"See that wasn't so bad was it?"
"Wasn't so bad? It was terrible."
"You did well. And it'll be easier now. You just had to get your first one out of the way."
"How the hell did you know who made my dress?"
"Rose texted me after she bought it because she knew you wouldn't remember."
I laughed as we were toted along through all the other reporters. Edward was right. It got easier as we went along. Only a few spoke directly to me and I answered with a polite "So excited to be here' or "Looking forward to the awards."
We were at the last reporter before the door and I was anxious to get inside and sit down. These heels were killing me. I was just about to turn and go inside when someone bumped into me, almost sending me crashing to the floor. Edward grabbed me and kept me from faceplanting in front of everyone.
"Thank you…" I said as I turned around to see who I needed to punch in the face. Well depending on who it is and if I liked them.
My smile faded as I saw the pretty face behind me.
"Oh I'm so sorry sweetheart. Are you alright?" Tanya said.
"Yes I'm fine. Thank you." I brushed my dress off and turned towards Edward. This was the definition of awkward.
"Edward." Tanya ran her fingers down his arm. "How have you been?"
"Very well and you?" He looked like he'd rather be anywhere else right now, but he was still trying to be polite and I admired him for that.
"Great." She smiled and turned towards me. "Bella is it?"
"It's nice to meet you. Have fun you two." She turned and went inside. Edward and I followed, taking our seats in the front.
The ceremony went by pretty fast, a lot faster than it feels like when you're just watching it on television.
Edward's award was the last one of the night and I held his hand as they announced all the nominees. I could honestly say that he didn't care if he won or not. He was the most humble person I've ever met, and that's including us regulars too. I think I wanted it that much more for him just because of that.
"And the winner of the hottest bachelor is….no surprise here it's Edward Cullen."
Edward sighed and placed a quick kiss on my cheek before making his way up stage to collect his awards. He ran his fingers through his hair nervously as he approached the microphone.
"Hello." He cleared his throat. "I really appreciate this." He held up the award. "It's really great and all, but I honestly think I have to give it back." The audience fell silent. "Because I feel like a fraud accepting it." He looked down at the shiny metal and shook his head. "Hottest Bachelor." He blinked several times, collecting his thoughts. "I'm not a bachelor anymore so…" He handed the award back to the presenter. "But I still would like to thank my Bella. She is the most patient, kind, understanding person I've ever met." He looked right at me. "My life is better…I'm better…just because I have you. Thank you for being so amazing." He nodded and started backstage. I wiped the tears away and joined the crowd in their applause.
The lights came up and everyone started to get up to leave. I just sat in my seat, waiting for Edward. He was probably doing all those backstage interviews they do, especially after that stunt he just pulled. I finally spotted him, walking towards me with a silly grin on his face and his hands in his pockets.
"I've got to say. I think that was the best non-acceptance speech I've ever heard."
"Yeah." He tilted his head and ran his fingers through his hair. "Well thanks."
He wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed the top of my head.
"I'm just going to run to the bathroom, then we can go." All I'd been doing was drinking glasses of water the whole night, my bladder was about to explode. I smiled and started towards the bathroom. As I was washing my hands I heard the door creak open. I looked up in the mirror and saw Tanya walk in. She eyed me as she sauntered over to the sink.
"Well wasn't that just precious?" She snickered. "Enjoy it while it lasts honey." She turned to walk away.
"Excuse me?" I spun around towards her and put my hands on my hips.
"You heard me bitch. You don't belong here. As soon as he gets bored with you I'll be waiting. People like me and him are supposed to be together. You aren't even close to being good enough." She started to walk out the door but I grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her back. We both fell to the floor and started wrestling around. My leg took out the garbage can and it came crashing down on top of us.
The small group in the bathroom stared in shock as we rolled around on the floor. I felt the punch to my lip and the elbow to my eye before someone pulled her off me. I could safely say that she looked worse than me because there was blood gushing out of her nose. It was definitely broken.
She glared at me as they pulled her out the door. I breathed deeply and turned around to the mirror to start assessing my injuries.
"I'll go get Edward for you honey…" I felt a pat on my shoulder and gasped when I looked up.
"Thank you…Jennifer Aniston." I couldn't help but smile. I leaned forward and started poking and prodding at my face. The bitch got some good hits, I'd give her that. But her whole face was going to swell up like a balloon.
Edward came rushing in the bathroom.
"Did you just kick Tanya's ass?"
I winced back because he sounded angry. "Yes…"
"She said I didn't belong here Edward. With you."
He sighed and walked over to me, picking me up and placing me on the edge of the counter. He grabbed a paper towel and wet it before running it over the cut on my lip.
"I'm sorry Bella."
""It's okay." I looked down at the floor.
"No it's not. She's wrong. As far as I'm concerned you're right where you belong."
"Yeah as far as you're concerned. Everyone else thinks I'm a joke."
He pulled back and threw the bloodied towel into the trash. "Screw them Bella. You are not a joke." He took my face in his hands. "Come on let's go…" He pulled me off the counter and we started towards the front lobby. I could already see and hear the paparazzi outside.
"Beat up the model in the bathroom…" One said.
"Totally unprovoked according to Tanya." Another said. "Make sure to get a good shot of them when they come out."
Edward grabbed my hand. "You ready?"
The doors opened to the blinding flashbulbs. And with one hand in Edward's and the other flipping the paps the bird, we stepped out together ready to take on anything and everything the world was going to throw at us.