A/N: It's a sad sad sad day….final chapter. :-(
The Final Chapter
Time seemed to fly by much to my appreciation. My birthday passed without a big production, but only because I threatened bodily harm to the pixie. Towards the end of October we started "training camp" for softball. Basically we felt out the freshman who wanted to try out.
I participated and it was obvious that I had not kept up my workout routine over the summer break. Even as it was I was better than the majority of the freshmen who showed up.
"Swan! I gotta talk to you." Coach Gina yelled as we ran our cool down laps.
"What's up?" I asked only breathing slightly heavy.
"Look…I know your class load is ridiculous but if this talent doesn't improve, I'm going to need you to start as shortstop when the season starts."
"I don't know if I'll be able to keep my grades up and practice."
"Just wanted to give you a heads up. We'll have this conversation closer to February."
"Okay." I said then took off towards the showers.
"So what'd Gina what?" Rose asked as we dressed.
"Um she thinks she's going to need me to start shortstop…if the talent doesn't improve."
"Can you do that?" They both asked. I just shrugged my shoulders. Part of me really wanted to start; to get that one more championship under my belt. But I knew I would be so stressed trying to keep up with my studies and with the practices. And Edward…oh who the hell was I kidding, Edward would love for me to play one more season, especially if he would be around to see the games.
Speaking of Edward, it was about that time of day. He always called right before he headed out on stage for a performance. He was holding up his side. The tour was half over and he was exhausted but he always seemed happy. On the days he didn't have a show scheduled, I usually heard from him more than once or twice.
It was glorious.
All of our parents, including Carlisle and Esme, flew out to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. Us girls hosted the dinner for everyone but it was odd not having Edward with us. He did call us though. He was in Nashville, Tennessee for a show the next night. His tour was planned to wrap in less than two weeks. His last show being in Los Angeles.
He had gotten the five of us VIP backstage passes to watch the show. It will be the first time any of us had seen him perform live since the TV show. So not only was I elated to see him after three months, I wanted to see the show. But just because he was in the same city as me didn't mean I'd get to see him. It would be two hours before he went on stage that I'd get to see him.
"Let's go Bella!" Alice yelled from the living room. I was in my room trying to decide what to wear for the show and trying to not freak out about the fact that I had no idea what to wear. If the girls caught wind that I was worried about my outfit I'd never hear the end of it. They'd want to go shopping and that's never a good thing.
In fact why is Alice yelling at me? It's only 10:00…
"Isabella Marie Swan! We know you're standing in front of your closet and you never do that…especially not seven hours before you need to be where you're going." Rose yelled.
"Damn." I mumbled as I shoved my feet into my trusty running shoes, grabbed my purse and headed out to where they were waiting on me. "How'd ya know?"
"We just did. Now let's go find you a special outfit…or two." Alice said linking her arm with mine. "Oh and we're taking your car."
"Because as much attention as my Porsche or the BMW attracts, nothing compares to the attention we get when we pull up in your car and we want attention today."
"Um sure." I said as I grabbed my car keys out. That was something I hadn't even thought of giving back to Edward when we broke up. I mean, hell, it was a gift. That car is mine. Plus I absolutely love it. It's my baby.
"Let's hit Robertson and Melrose." Rose said as we climbed into the car.
So off to Robertson and then to Melrose so I could buy an outfit to impress Edward, using Edward's money. I no longer had reservations about using the credit card he gave me; which he loved.
After too many hours on my feet being pulled into a hundred different stores, I walked away with five new pairs of jeans, a plethora of new tops, shoes to compliment them all, and new lacy underwear to match.
More than I really needed and nothing that made my decision on what to wear tonight any easier. Now I had too many possibilities!
We showed up at the stadium at the exact time Edward told us to be there. The roadies and security team were the only people around the back entrance. The looks and whispers we were getting were enough to make Emmett and Jasper go into bodyguard mode.
"I wish you three would have worn more clothes." Jasper grumbled.
"What we're wearing is fine. It's no different than what we wear when we go out other times." Alice said linking her arm with his. And really she wasn't kidding. Alice was wearing a black leather mini-skirt with a yellow one-shoulder shirt with matching yellow stilettos. Rose was wearing a turquoise sweater dress that stopped mid-thigh with a plunging v-neck . She had black belt at her waist to accent it and show off her curves a little more. Her black leather boots where…well they scream dominatrix. They went up over her knees and looked like they were painted onto her legs. The heel looked deadly and how she managed to walk on things that looked more like toothpicks than heels, I'll never know.
I refused to let go of my jeans, but I compromised. I wore a pair of white ripped skinny jeans, that were so tight I had to jump up and down to get into them. But they were smoking hot. Since Rose traded in her signature color for turquoise, I stole her red. I was in a red corset top that wasn't as revealing as most corsets but was just as tight. I finished the outfit off with a pair of red suede open-toed sling back stilettos – which I was having a slight problem walking in. I had gotten better with heels but still didn't really like them. It was part of my deal with Alice and Rose. I'd wear the shoes if they'd let keep the jeans.
We really did look damn good walking up to the doors and I'm pretty sure even if we didn't have our backstage passes we'd had gotten in.
Once in it didn't take long for Aro to see me. He obviously didn't like me by the glare and then snub I got as we walked closer to him.
"What's wrong with wrinkly ass?" Rose asked.
"Oh that's Aro, Edward's producer or manager or something like that. I'm assuming he hates me because I'm the reason his star is insisted on basing everything out of LA…" I said right as Edward came running around a corner and grabbed me up into a hug as he spun around. He started peppering my face with kisses while I laughed.
"I miss you too sweetie." I finally got out.
"Oh you have no idea…I'm so glad…I love you." He said breathless.
"I love you too." I said as he put me down.
"What the hell are you wearing?" He asked scanning my body from head to toe. I saw his eyes darken and knew what was going through his mind.
"You don't like it?" I asked coyly.
"Oh no that's not…I like it, a lot…but…" He said then jerked his head up to where our four friends were standing. "Can you guys give us about twenty minutes? We'll be right back." He said smiling as he took me by the hand and started pulling me away.
"No way buddy. You are not dragging my best friend off to some dressing room to have your way with her while I stand here in the hallway and wait." Alice said tapping her little foot.
Edward huffed in disappointment but stopped walking.
"Don't worry babe…I'm going home with you tonight." I whispered in his ear then lightly bit his earlobe earning me a moan.
"Damn you." He whispered back. "Now I'm gonna have to go on stage with images of what we're going to do tonight playing in my mind. I'll have a raging hard-on all fucking night."
"Good…then you'll be more than ready to make up for the three months we've missed out on."
We spent the next two hours relaxing in Edward's dressing room talking and then he headed out for the show. We followed and four spots to watch the show from backstage.
It was an excellent show and it was just so surreal to me hear the reaction of the crowd to him. He looked so alive on the stage and it was clear that being on stage was what he wanted to do. Where he needed to be.
After the show I said good bye to everyone and went back to Edward's condo with him. We sat in silence on the drive and I wasn't sure if it was because he had something on his mind or it was because I had something on mine. I wanted to tell him how proud I was of him and how wonderful he was and I wanted tot ell him about the softball opportunity.
We were in his house and sitting on the couch winding down from our evening when he finally spoke.
"Bella? Is there something wrong?" He asked looking over at me with nervousness in his eyes.
"Oh! No nothing's wrong. I've just been thinking."
"Thinking about what?"
"You." I smiled. "Those people love you…they almost worship you. It's insane but really great all at the same time."
"Tell me about it." He laughed. "But that's not all you were thinking about."
"Damn you're good." I chuckled. "I had an interesting discussion with Gina back in October at the beginning of camp."
"And you're just now telling me about it? Why?"
"Well I didn't think it was vital at that point and really it still isn't but I want to see what you think." I said. He sat there waiting for me to continue so I did. "It looks like Gina's going to need me to start shortstop this season but we won't know for sure until February."
"That's great! You'll be able to get a championship again before you can't play anymore. Wait…can your knee…"
"It's felt good so far in camp and what not, but I won't know until I go all out on it. I need to know what you think about me doing this if she needs it."
"You know I never wanted you to quit softball. We'll make it work. I'll be here because since I've just ended the tour I'm taking a few months off so that'll be nice. I'll get to see you play." He said with a cheshire cat grin.
"Okay." He said then kissed me.
Two days before Christmas we all hoped on a plane that Edward's record company gave him to use. It sure made the six hour flight more bearable. Unlike last time when we landed in Jacksonville, no one was there waiting for us. We landed at two in the morning and told the families to stay home to avoid a media issue. I was surprised to find out it actually worked.
I decided to stay with Edward with his parents' even though my mother wanted me to stay with them. I just couldn't spend time away from Edward and he needed to spend time with his parents.
I really didn't care where I stayed. I was spending Christmas with Edward...exactly what I should have been doing a year ago.
Considering the previous year's events I just wanted to be together so I made him promise no gifts. He wasn't happy about it but he agreed.
We spent most of the day Christmas Even catching up on the sleep we missed by flying in at an early morning hour but then that evening Esme hosted dinner for all of the families again. After hours of family fun and togetherness everyone finally left and we headed to bed.
"I'm so glad you're with us this year." I said as Edward and I laid down in bed.
"I'm glad I'm here with you." He said placing a kiss on my forehead. "Bella?"
"I know you made me promise not to buy you anything but…" He said as he placed a small wrapped box on my chest. A ring sized box. I inhale deep as I looked up at his eyes. "Don't freak out. I swear I didn't spend more than $10."
"You shouldn't have done anything." I said as I sat up with the box in my hand. I opened the box slowly afraid of what I would find but as soon as I say it, I just smiled. "It's a key."
"It's your key to the house I just bought…our house. I want us to live together."
I couldn't say anything so I just nodded. I had been thinking about brining up the subject again. He hadn't mentioned it since the day we got back together but I was very happy he had.
"Is that a yes?"
"Yes that's a yes." I said with tears in my eyes. He smiled then kissed me earnestly.
We shared our good news with everyone the next day and everyone was very excited, even Rose and Alice who were upset that they would be losing their roommate.
The only down side with sharing the information with everyone was that Esme and Renee immediately started talking about a wedding and grandbabies. I wasn't sure how to handle that discussion but Edward surprised me when he jumped right in.
He was definitely already planning our future together.
Someone else who was planning a future was Jasper. After we shared our happy information with everyone, Jasper surprised everyone by dropping to one knee in front of Alice.
"I know we still have a year and half of school, but I want the world to know you're mine." He said as he opened the ring box. Rose and I both gasped at the sight of the beautiful 3-karat diamond. "Mary Alice Brandon, will you do me the greatest honor I could have and be my wife?"
"Yes!" She yelled as she bounced then lunged at him wrapping her arms around his neck and effectively making him fall onto his back. "I love you. I love you. I love you." She said as she kissed him.
Our Christmas with family just turned into a celebration. Carlisle even pulled out the champagne.
Edward and I were moved into the new house by the first of February. He bought an old Hollywood home off Mulholland Drive. It really was a perfect spot for me. It was only about 10 minutes from campus and 15 from the girls. It was perfect. The house itself was a modest white brick two story with five bedrooms and just about ever amenity you could want.
A week after we moved in, I started practices for softball since I had agreed to play my last season.
But it was hard to keep it all together. I really think if I didn't have Edward as close as I did I wouldn't be able to do it. I was taking six classes while keeping up my workout schedule and the practices. To say I was stressful was an understatement.
It all seemed worth it though when at the beginning of May I ended the semester with a 4.0 grade average. I got a two week break from classes before the first summer session started.
The end of May we wrapped up yet another perfect season and headed for the playoffs, winning the first game. The boys had made it to every game of the season and that streak continued into the playoff games.
When the final game of the championship series came around we were a shoe-in to win it. And we did. It was great to go out of softball with a championship again. I went out on a high and loved every minute of it. For the first time since making the decision to start one final season, I was glad I did it. Granted even if I hadn't started I still would have been part of the championship team again but it wouldn't have been the same if I was sitting on the bench.
After we showered and attended the press conference we met up with the guys in the hallway outside the press room…or at least that was the plan.
"Where's Edward?" I asked my excitement from winning suddenly gone.
"He was at the game but then got a call from Aro we think. He wasn't happy I know that much." Emmett said looking as irritated as I was mad.
"He said to tell you to go home and he'd be there soon. He's really sorry and wanted us to tell you congratulations." Jasper said.
"Yeah. Well um…I'll see ya all soon. I don't know when though since I'm still going crazy at school but maybe we can all plan to go out next weekend."
"Definitely babe. Call if you need us." Alice said.
"I'll kick his ass you know…"
"No there's no need for it. It's really good lately so I'm not mad, just sad he's not here to celebrate with us." I said then gave a smile.
"Okay hun." They said then the four of them left as I walked the other direction towards my car. I took my time driving back to the house, not wanting to get there just to be alone, but there's only so many ways to make a fifteen minute drive longer. Eventually pulling up into the driveway to a dark house.
"Great." I mumbled as I opened the drunk to get all of my equipment out. "I get to celebrate my evening alone." I continued as I opened the front door.
As soon as the front door swung open I saw two lit white candles sitting on the entry way table. In between them was a note with my name on it. Written in the perfect elegant script I would recognize anywhere. I opened it and read it smiling.
My dearest Bella, you will find a chilled bottle of champagne in the kitchen,
please bring it and met me on the deck.
Love your Edward
I did as I was asked and sure enough there was a bottle of champagne in the kitchen. I didn't know what he was planning but I suddenly had a feeling I was under dressed. Something told me my yoga pants and tank top probably didn't coincide with champagne.
Out on the deck Edward was standing in workout pants and a t-shirt, but was surrounded by lit white candles and a table with dinner on it.
"What is this?" I laughed as I took in his attire. It was definitely not what I expected at all.
"I wanted to make us dinner and I knew you'd still be in your workout clothes so I dressed accordingly." He laughed as he pulled a chair out for me.
"Well thank you because I honestly thought about that when I got the champagne."
"I knew you would." He said as he poured us two glasses.
"So what's the reason behind this?" I asked as I sipped. He didn't answer me he just got down on one knee in front of me. My eyes bugged out of my head and tears started spilling down my cheeks.
"Isabella…I've made mistakes in our relationship and I know how lucky I am to have such an understanding and forgiving woman in my life. A woman I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with. I'm sure I'll screw up again, but I'm hoping you'll still be willing to spend your life with me, keeping me in check."
He stopped as he pulled a ring out of his pocket. I didn't even look at it. All I could see was the man kneeling in front of me with tears in his eyes.
"Bella…will you marry me?" he finally got out as he slipped the ring on my finger.
"Yes." I said as I kissed him lovingly.
A/N: THE END! I know you're thinking what the hell kind of ending is that? It's the perfect ending. Trust me.
New story to be posted soon. I'm venturing into the supernatural with the next one. I'm not sure how that's going to work out so be kind to me. I 'm hoping to get the first chapter posted within the week. If you haven't already, add me as a favorite author so you can keep up with my story posts.