AN: Another futuretake. This one was inspired by my darling tkmoon712, who said that all she wanted from me was to see them all happy. I know she was dealing with a lot of sadness this week, and I'm hoping this makes her smile even just a little bit.
Thanks to MsKathy for beta'ing in a pinch. You're a doll and I owe you majorly.
I hadn't been back to Long Lake since the summer after my freshman year of college. It was a spectacular summer, but it was harder than hard to be away from Edward for three months, even surrounded by my best friends. But I was excited to be there.
Walking through the campus, completely devoid of campers, gave an odd sense of familiarity. Like pre-camp all over again. I made my way towards the dance studio quickly, anticipation building with every step. The air was thick with midday heat, the sun streaming into the barely opened windows. Cheesy 80s tunes blasted from the iPod docked in the corner, but the only person in the room was Rosalie.
She sat cross legged on the floor in front of the mirror, straightening iron in hand, not even bothering to look up as she barked out, "Finally, she graces us with her presence."
I grinned and dropped my purse before skipping over to her and taking up residence on the squeaking wooden floor next to her.
"I'm not that fucking late, am I?"
"Nah." She rolled her eyes and grabbed a chunk of her light hair to press into the hot iron. "I just missed your pretty face so much. Plus, dealing with Alice without you is like playing with fire and not having an extinguisher on hand."
I laughed at her analogy and then looked around the empty room. "Um, and where is her majesty?"
Suddenly, Alice's head popped into the doorway, followed by the rest of her body and a shriek so loud I thought my eardrums would bleed.
"LB! You're here! Finally!" Her tiny arms flailed as she sprinted across the room to capture me in a massive hug. "I'm getting married today!"
"I know." I smiled. "I'm so sorry I couldn't be at the rehearsal dinner last night. If my boss hadn't just lost her biggest client, I swear I could have been…"
Alice shook her head and pulled back to look at me. "Doesn't matter, LB. You're here now and ready to perform any and all maid of honor duties, I assume."
"Of course," I said with a nod.
"Great!" Alice stood up and started to pull me with her, causing us both to stagger towards one another in a mess of tangled limbs with an umph.
"Fuck!" I heard my favorite voice call out from the doorway. I turned my head towards where he was leaning up against the door jam, arms crossed in front of his body with a frustrated scowl gracing his face. "Alice, why are you naked?"
I stepped back and for the first time actually took in what Alice was wearing—aka, a strapless bra and undies.
"Have you been running around camp like that?" I asked over my shoulder, walking towards Edward. His scowl melted into a smile as I leaned up on my toes to kiss him hello.
"Missed you," he muttered.
"Mm, you too," I agreed as I straightened his tie with a small tug. "How was last night?"
"Lonely," he whined, running his hands down my sides and pulling me closer.
"Oh no you don't!" Alice scolded as she pried me from his grasp. "She's mine today. MINE!"
Edward held up his hands in defeat and shook his head sadly as Alice dragged me across the room to the little table of makeup she'd set up before traipsing around camp half-naked.
"Okay," Alice began as she picked up a pot of some concealer. "Porcelain skin, black eye liner, mascara, and sheer red gloss. Nothing too major."
"Wait!" Edward shouted, jogging across the room. "I need one really good kiss before red goes on those lips." His eyes flicked to Alice's, asking for permission. "I won't be able to make it through photos otherwise," he said with a wink.
Alice rolled her eyes and took a giant step back so that Edward could angle his head down to mine. Our slanted lips met quickly, and his hands knotted in my hair to keep me close. Although I was sure they'd seen worse, I wasn't really all about PDA. I was about to pull back when Edward's tongue thrust into mouth, parting my lips and taking control. Yeah, he was right. I needed this, too. My legs felt the familiar twitch to wrap themselves around his waist, and I knew it was time to dial things down. Humming, I slowed the kiss and pulled away with a giant smile.
He chuckled and brushed his lips against mine once more quickly before responding with a, "Hi," himself.
Alice pushed him away with an elbow before dipping her finger into the small makeup pot and slathering some of it onto my skin. "Okay, hornball. She's mine now, for real. Now, git."
Edward scoffed, and I could hear Rosalie giggling under the steady beat of Madonna's "Express Yourself."
"Did you just tell me to 'git?'" he asked, shocked. "Like a horse?"
Alice just cocked her eyebrow at him, and he got the picture. No more play time. With a sad smile and a wave, Edward left us to our wedding preparations. As Alice worked, she and Rosalie caught me up on the shenanigans of the previous night. Apparently, Emmett and Jake had gotten so blasted that they ended up passing out in the Adirondack chairs after their own rousing rendition of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" to Jasper. You'd think by thirty-years-old they'd know their alcohol limits. Clearly not, though.
When she was finished, instead of letting me look in the mirror, Alice opened up the garment bag hanging on the barre. I had yet to see the actual dress. Being so far apart for wedding preparations had kind of put a chink in her plans. She'd wanted to custom make her dresses, but it wasn't like I could fly across the country and be fitted, so I just ended up sending her a list of my measurements and trusting her to design a dress that wouldn't be completely ridiculous.
I was right to trust her.
The dress was all Alice. Not my tastes at all, but as I stepped into it, I could tell it looked damn good on.
"I was inspired by the swing girls of the 50s," she explained as she zipped up the back and started tying the halter neckline into a bow.
"I love it, Al," I said of the black and white polka-dotted swing dress. It was a little flouncy, with a layer of red tulle peeking out of the bottom of the skirt, and the square-cut halter neckline gave me a rack to die for.
"You do?" she said with glassy eyes, and I nodded excitedly. "Your tits look spectacular," she choked out, discretely trying to brush a tear away. "Now, just put your hair up into a ponytail and you'll be ready to go. Thank you for straightening your hair, by the way."
It was weird seeing Alice so emotional. Even during the last days of camp, she never really cried. I guessed it was pretty big day for her, though. Marriage. It still astounded me that at twenty-four-years old, Alice was ready for marriage. I mean, I loved Edward with all my heart, but marriage? My head just wasn't there yet.
"Okay, bitches," Rosalie chimed in, already fully dressed and ready. "It's time to beautify the bride."
An hour later, I was perched at the top of the hill, looking out at the set up below with a perfectly calm Alice next to me. She looked beautiful, serene, and still as the flat lake below us.
Alice had decided early on that the wedding should be at Long Lake. It was, after all, where she and Jasper met and fell in love. She almost knocked me on my ass when she asked me to be her maid of honor, her only bridesmaid, actually. The wedding was small, about fifty of their closest friends and family gathered on white folding chairs facing a small white platform that I bet was probably stolen from the scene shop. Her hoity-toity Connecticut parents were displeased with the decision at first, and especially with Alice's decision to walk down the aisle by herself, but I think they'd already learned that trying to make Alice do anything was completely fruitless.
Jasper stood, hands clasped, on the makeshift altar, looking just as jittery as the day I met him. It was the boy who stood off to his left who had captured my attention, however. Jasper and Alice had chosen me and Edward to be their wedding party, claiming that they wouldn't have had the confidence to first get together had it not been for us. Although, Jasper did say that I was really his best man and Edward was Alice's maid of honor, but he wasn't sure how Edward would feel about wearing a dress.
The thought made me smile, remembering those first unsure dates and the ensuing madness of our first summer together. Just then, soft strains of Cat Steven's "The Wind" started playing.
"That's your cue, LB," Alice whispered over my shoulder. I reached my hand back to squeeze hers. "Don't accidentally trip and roll down the hill, okay?"
With a big smile, I took a step forward and began my descent down the hill and to the aisle. Familiar faces smiled back at me, and I clutched my bouquet of white peonies closer, overwhelmed with an influx of unfamiliar emotions.
Jasper smiled broadly, his demeanor changing from nervous to completely settled, as I reached the altar. He gave me a quick wink before looking back up the hill, watching his bride descend.
The ceremony went by too quickly, and suddenly Jasper and Alice were sliding rings onto each other's fingers and bringing their grinning faces together in a passionate kiss. The crowd stood up and cheered as Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Whitlock trailed back up the hill towards the front porch, looking every bit the happy couple I knew they were.
Soft lips brushed against my cheek as a thick arm linked with mine.
I tilted my head to squint up at Edward and noticed him brush at the corner of his eye as he led us back up the aisle.
"Are you crying?" I asked.
"No," he scoffed, purposefully avoiding eye contact with me.
I chuckled and leaned into his side. Fuck, I loved this man. "Pussy," I taunted.
"Your tits look spectacular, by the way," he said as he finally brought his eyes towards me, only to leer at my cleavage.
"Filter, you two!" Rosalie called out from her seat, jogging over to head up with us. "I was sitting next to Alice's little cousins and heard 'pussy' and 'tits' in the same fucking breath."
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. She should have known by then that Edward and Bella and filter don't really go well together.
"They do, though," she continued, giving my boobs a small grope. "Look spectacular."
"Thanks, R," I said dryly. Here she was chastising us about inappropriate vocab, and she just fucking grabbed my tits in broad daylight. I really hoped the videographer got that one for posterity.
"Don't fuck around, B. You love when they're appreciated properly." Rosalie may have had a point. They were one of my best assets, and I did enjoy flaunting them.
"Hey!" Emmett barreled over, swinging his meaty arm around Rose's shoulders. "What are we talking about?"
"Bella's tits," Edward and Rosalie repeated in unison.
Emmett nodded, as if that were completely normal, and then reached over and squeezed for himself. Shocked, I stumbled backwards and nearly lost my footing.
"What?" he asked, his eyes wide with faux innocence. "Everyone else has touched them. Even Jake. I was feeling left out."
Glaring, Edward leaned over and smacked the back of Emmett's head before pulling me back close to him, my chest pressed to his and away from sight.
"Don't fucking remind me," he grumbled.
With a sigh, I leaned into his touch, letting his jealousy wash over me in a protective blanket as Rosalie and Emmett continued upwards and onwards to the reception.
"Don't be grumpy." I tilted my head up, raising my lips for a kiss. "You know what you need?"
"Your spectacular tits in my mouth?"
"I…" Momentarily at a loss for words, Edward dropped his head into the crook of my shoulder and groaned. "It's been a week. I'm dying here, MB. You have no idea how amazing you look right now."
Pressed up against his hard body and his even harder cock, I'd say I had a pretty good idea, but there would be time for that later. All the wedding guests were invited to stay in the cabins, and Edward had already reclaimed his old bedroom for us since Jasper and Alice would be heading to the director's house—permission courtesy of Riley—for their wedding night.
"No," I said as I ran my fingers through his hair. "You need to get me a drink or seven, because I have to give a toast in the near future, and I really need to be toasted to say some of the things I have planned."
He stood back up and smiled as we headed up the hill, completing the long trek to the front porch where cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were being served. Edward grabbed two "signature drinks" from a server passing by and handed one to me. I took a long sip and smiled. Delicious. Sangria. Perfect. Although, it definitely felt rebellious drinking alcohol on camp grounds. I felt like such a deviant.
The cool fruity beverage was consumed quickly and Edward handed his over to me before I could even ask for it.
"Love you," I mumbled into the new glass, taking another sip.
Chuckling, he wrapped his arm around my waist and kissed the top of my head. "You'll be great. You're a writer, Bella. It's what you want to do with your life."
"Thanks for taking the pressure off, asshole." I nudged him in the ribs, now feeling even more nervous about my toast.
"I know how we could relieve some of that pressure…"
"Stop trying to molest Bella in public, Edward!" Jake bounded over and grabbed his best friend, pulling him away from me and hugging me tightly.
"Yeah," I laughed as I pulled back. "Only Jake's allowed to do that, remember?"
A few more glasses of sangria later, I was feeling fabulous. I hadn't seen everyone since CCR, and it felt so good to catch up with them. I learned that Riley's first summer as assistant director went incredibly well and that her family was so happy to have the wedding at camp. Jasper and Alice had found jobs as teachers in Providence—he teaching art and she teaching dance—and still spent each summer up at Long Lake. I learned that Emily had joined the Peace Corps and was being shipped off to a small island in Indonesia in two months. Seth was working as an assistant for a small start up documentary-focused production company in Manhattan. He said he was living off SpaghettiOs and frozen vegetables on a mattress in a tiny studio apartment, but he felt like he was finally doing something that he loved and cared about.
Before I knew it, I was handed a microphone and pushed in front of the head table where Alice and Jasper looked up at me nervously.
I took a deep breath and looked around the room, taking a second to gather my thoughts. Alice had done a bang-up job of rearranging the dining hall into a gorgeous venue. The walls were covered in billowy white fabric and small twinkle lights started becoming apparent as the sky darkened outside.
"Hi, I'm Bella," I began, "and for those of you who don't know me, I'm the maid of honor, and Alice is the closest thing I've ever had to a sister. We started coming to Long Lake together when we were eight-years-old. My first day here, I remember being terrified of being so far away from home, but Alice just grabbed my hand and told me that she was going to be my best friend. And she was right."
Alice smiled broadly and blew me a kiss, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see Edward wink at me. Feeling confident, I continued.
"Alice is kind of like the devil sitting on my shoulder, the one who encourages me when I second-guess myself. She's been there for everything, and I don't think there's anything that we haven't shared. Seriously, Alice came close to walking in on me losing my virginity, and I don't think I'll ever be able to bleach my brain of the image of Alice and Jasper rolling amongst the glitter and pipe cleaners in the Fine Arts room."
Jasper's cheeks pooled with blood, and I couldn't help but laugh. Alice leaned over and pinched his cheek before kissing it softly.
"I've always wanted the best for Alice, but for those of you who know her, Alice isn't one to be told to do anything. She literally dances to her own beat and has always been a little of the 'act first, think later' attitude. However, when it came to Jasper, Alice completely recoiled. All of a sudden, my boisterous, go-lucky best friend became reserved and nervous. Luckily, I was partnered with Jasper to teach art that summer, and I was able to get the other side of the story—get the information on the boy who had tongue tied the untieable. But he somehow seemed just as resistant as she did, content to just be friends and watch her from afar. But, well…I couldn't bear to have my best friend go through that. Essentially, I'm the lucky soul who got the privilege of watching these two fools try to avoid their clear need to be with each other by resisting for as long as humanly possible."
Jasper cocked his head to the side and looked at me so intently that I paused my speech. "I'm sure you have that the wrong way around, Bella," he chortled, patting Edward's shoulder.
"Yeah, you do!" Seth shouted loudly from his table, accompanied by a few whoops and hollers.
"Okay, ha-ha, very cute. Yes, Edward and I resisted for a little bit, too—"
"A little bit?" Alice laughed.
"Yes, a little bit!" I was getting frustrated, and maybe those last few sangrias hadn't been a stellar idea because I was starting to be able to feel the alcohol buzzing through my body. "Shush, this is my toast. When you're giving the toast at my wedding you can tell all the great anecdotes you know about me and Edward, okay?"
Then I realized what the fuck I had just said…as did everyone else, apparently. Laughter filled the room, and I wanted to bash my head against the wall somewhere.
"Not that I'm planning on getting married anytime soon," I corrected. "Not that I don't want to get married at all. No pressure, Edward." I covered my face with my free hand, knowing that I was probably the color of a lobster. The laughter increased, and I let my hand drop, defeated. "Okay, I'm going to shut up now. Congratulations, you two. I love you both. Cheers."
The audience cheered loudly, and Alice and Jasper both sprang to their feet to embrace me tightly.
"You are hilarious, LB," Alice giggled.
I sighed. "I'm sorry I totally fucked up your toast. It's Jasper's fault."
"It was perfect," he said, pulling back with a grin.
Alice pulled out a seat for me, and I leaned on her shoulder as the delicious meal was served. Everyone stopped by the table to congratulate me on my toast, but I still couldn't believe I'd had that kind of verbal vomit. I mean, I'd rehearsed the goddamn speech about twenty times. I knew that thing and had been prepared, but then I felt completely unbalanced. And I hadn't looked at Edward since I sat down at the table.
As if he could hear me thinking about him, his head turned in my direction. I didn't look up, but I could feel the heat of his eyes on me, beckoning me to return his gaze. But I couldn't. I was too fucking embarrassed.
What I'd forgotten to take into account, though, was that the best man also gave a speech. And before the cake cutting, it was Edward's turn.
He took the microphone with ease, falling quickly into place on the stage. He was just a natural. I was jealous.
"Hello, everyone, I'm Edward," his smooth voice rang out through the speakers, capturing the masses' attentions. "And I'm Jasper's best man only because Bella had already been asked by Alice."
"Not true!" Jasper scoffed, and I smiled and finally let my eyes raise enough to see Edward's face.
"It is, but it's okay. I was present at the genesis of Jasper and Alice's non-relationship as well. See, I was Jasper's roommate, and for some reason when we were together, we gossiped. A lot."
I laughed, intrigued at where his toast was going. Did boys really gossip? I guess I always thought Jasper was the exception to that rule.
"Yes, long nights became even longer when Jasper hemmed and hawed about not wanting to ruin their friendship, even though it was plain to see that Alice wanted to be anything but just friends. Then it was debating how to ask her out. I mean, where do you take someone on a date in the middle of Nowheresville, Maine? Not that many options, I know. And let's not forget the ever-persistent age issue. She's too young, she's just out of high school, young enough that I'd worked as her counselor—"
"This toast isn't supposed to be about you, Edward!" Rosalie shouted, interrupting him.
"It's not!" he insisted. "And, hey, um…what Bella said about our wedding. You can wait a little bit longer, can't you?"
My jaw unhinged at the words "our wedding," and the entire room broke into raucous laughter once again. How many times in my life had I dreamed about marrying Edward Cullen? Since first laying eyes on him at age thirteen, I'd wager…hundreds of thousands of times. Now here he was in my presence talking about it himself. As a concrete event. As in, he'd been thinking about it, too.
My inner monologue was broken by a loud thump of the microphone slipping from Edward's hand and the loud, obnoxious feedback that ensued. The noise swept through the room, silencing the laughter and causing a few unhappy groans instead.
Cussing, he leaned down to pick the mic back up, but his hands were shaking just enough that I thought it might slip again.
"Oh for fuck's sake," Edward mumbled, his ears turning pink under the intense scrutiny of the audience. "Fuck it. Congrats, guys. You deserve all the happiness in the world."
Suddenly, his heat was behind me and a warm breath whispered into my ear, "Come on, let's get the hell out of here before we both spontaneously combust, okay?"
"We'll miss the cake cutting and bouquet tossing, though," I insisted, not really sure why I was bothering.
"I think they'll be okay."
With that, Edward pulled out my seat for me and led us back into the warm August night. The moon was out, shining brightly over the lake, and I slipped off my shoes, wanting to feel the cool grass against the soles of my feet.
Edward took off his jacket and tie before pushing off his own shoes, and I took a moment to truly admire him. He was just as beautiful as the first day I spotted him at age thirteen, and even on that first day of camp as a counselor, but a decade later, I could finally say I truly knew him. I knew that he applied mint Chapstick religiously because once his lips split so badly they didn't stop bleeding for an entire month. I knew he watched Citizen Kane once a year, just to see if he liked it any better—so far, he still hated it. I knew he had a small scar above his eyebrow from the time he got too drunk his freshman year of college and wiped out on the front stairs of his dorm, face first, and had to get six stitches. I knew he scratched the back of his neck when he was nervous because his hands got fidgety and he didn't know where else to put them. I knew he craved Thai food after really exhausting sex, and I knew he preferred noodle dishes to curry. I knew he called the members of his family at least once a week—Kate on Monday afternoons, his mom on Thursday nights before Grey's Anatomy, Tanya on Saturday mornings, and his dad on Sundays. And I could say without a doubt that I loved him.
Eighteen-year-old Rosalie would have been so proud of me right now.
"What?" His voice cut into my thoughts.
"Nothing." I grinned and wrapped my arms around his waist. "I just love you."
"Oh, that's all, is it?" His grip on me tightened, and I could feel him hard against me again. So delicious.
"Mhm," I hummed as he lifted my chin up towards him. Our lips met in a soft kiss, but it didn't stay calm for long. Soon, hands were wandering up and down, and mouths widened as the kiss deepened, tongues meeting and melding perfectly.
Out of breath, Edward broke the kiss, but I could see exactly where his mind was wandering. I wasn't going to lie, my head was there, too. He'd been gone for almost an entire week, and my body had most definitely missed his.
Edward smirked and picked up his jacket and shoes, leaving them in the corner of one of the front porch steps. I followed and did the same with mine, happy to be in stockinged feet for the time being.
"My lady," Edward said, bending over slightly to signal me hopping onto his back.
"Edward! No." I shook my head fiercely. "I'm not that light. I'll hurt you."
He looked over his shoulder with a scowl and sighed. "And I'm not that fucking old, MB. I'm not letting you walk around camp and ruin your stockings. Alice would kill me. Now get on before I throw you over my shoulder and haul you off like a caveman."
"Fine, old man, but Alice is going to kill us regardless for skipping out halfway through her reception. And don't come complaining to me about your back pain later," I said as I climbed on. I squealed as he smacked my ass and then took off in the direction of Bunk Seven.
I burrowed my head into the crook of his neck and kissed the skin there lightly, rubbing my nose back and forth. He'd used his camp shampoo and body wash, the light, fresh citrusy smell going straight to my center, which was conveniently rubbing up and down his back with each step he took. I couldn't help the small moan that passed through my lips.
"You smell so good, Edward." Unable to resist, I opened my mouth and ran my tongue to the spot just behind his ear, and I could feel his groan reverberate through my hands, which were roaming his chest. "And taste good, too."
His hands pushed my skirt up higher as he adjusted my position on his back, his fingers coming precariously close to discovering what I was wearing beneath my dress for him.
"Not being able to kiss you right now is torture," he complained, his voice rough with desire.
"We're almost there," I whispered before sucking his earlobe into my mouth momentarily.
"Fuck, Bella!" His pace increased, and Bunk Seven rapidly came into view. Giggling, I slid off his back and grabbed his hand, leading him faster into his bunk. We were walking so fast that I barely had time to register what had happened until I'd already crashed into the two people coming out of the bunk.
"Uh, hey guys!" a familiar voice said, and I could practically hear Edward's cock soften as he sighed, breathing sadly onto the top of my head.
"We were just going to grab some food and booze and uhhh…" Jake trailed off, unsure of how to continue. I watched as he shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot as he slid something black and lacy into his pants pocket and hoped to God that Edward hadn't seen.
"Really, Tan? Really?" Edward asked his sister, his body tense against mine.
Tanya looked as gorgeous as ever, despite her obviously disheveled appearance, in a dark green strapless mini dress, which I was sure brought out the color of her eyes. She smiled and tugged at the short hem of her dress. "What, Teddy? Don't tell me you two weren't about to do the same thing."
"We were," he said sadly, "until I saw my best friend with my sister's panties in his pocket!" His voice changed from melancholy to angry with each word, which only turned angrier as Jake barked out a laugh. "I hate you."
"Good thing it's not windy tonight then," I added.
"True facts," Tanya said with a wink and adjusted her dress once more. "Come on, Jake, you're going to need some sustenance if you want another round or five of this tonight." She motioned to her body, a la Vanna White, and I looked up to see that Edward had finally cracked a smile. It was still tense, but if he was smiling, at least he wasn't going to be a Sullen Sally for the rest of the night.
"I can't go in there right now," Edward whined. "Down to the docks instead?"
I smiled and nodded as we headed down towards the lake. The walk was slightly uncomfortable, and I was beginning to wonder if the Jake and Tanya run-in had really spoiled his mood for the night. I loved him, but Edward was the moodiest fucker on the planet.
Each step towards the lake, he became more and more agitated and withdrawn, barely answering me or bothering to look me in the eye. It was unfortunate, but luckily, I knew the one sure way to bring my Edward back. Nudity, of course.
Once down at the docks, I was trying to figure out the best way to surprise him when he surprised me.
"Bella," he began, running a hand through his hair. "I'm so sorry about this." He turned around to face the lake, his back facing me. Perfect. "I had this plan," he continued on, "but…"
And, yes, I was aware it was a total bitch move, but I tuned him out and continued with my own plan. From experience, I knew that Edward was justifying his shitty attitude and apologizing profusely with promises of many orgasms and movie marathons. He should have known by now that I didn't need any of those promises, that no matter what, I loved him, but it was fine because it gave me the distraction I needed to execute my plan.
Quickly, I untied the halter neckline and unzipped the back of my dress, shimmying out of it as quietly as possible. I stepped forward, one arm across my chest, and exposed the ensemble—thigh high stockings, garters, belt, and red lace undies. I had never really "dressed up" for Edward. It was more, how fast can we tear each other's clothes off and get to it, so I was particularly eager to see his reaction to this get up. Butterflies raced around my stomach, and I tuned back into his rambling to keep from exploding with nerves.
"…deserve more than this, but I don't want to wait…"
I tried to focus on his words when I saw his hand reach into his pants pocket and pull out a small box.
Oh. My. God. That's…that's…
My jaw dropped and my hand that once covered my chest moved up to cover my mouth, muffling a large gasp. Blood rushed to my ears, throbbing, pounding, as he turned around, the small box extended in his hand. He was about to lower himself to a kneeling position. I saw it. I swear to fucking god, I saw the knee bending, when he raised his eyes.
He cut himself off, his entire body going lax and his eyes nearly bugging out of his head. I'd never seen them grow so wide, but I could only imagine mine looked fairly similar. Neither of us realized what was happening until it was too late, the tiny splash and Edward's empty hand the only indicator that my engagement ring had just fallen into Long Lake.
"NO!" Edward lunged toward the edge of the dock. "Oh my God, Bella, I…"
Frantically, he unbuttoned his shirt and pulled off his undershirt, jumping into the lake with a loud splash. He disappeared for about thirty seconds before I began to panic. I raced over to the edge of the dock, kneeling and looking through the murky water, hoping to catch a glance of him.
Drenched brown hair popped up through the surface, and his arms flailed in the water as he treaded water. "I can't fucking see anything down there!"
"Edward?" My voice sounded meek and shaky, a result of nerves and adrenaline.
"Of course this would happen to me. I don't know what to do! Do they keep goggles down here?"
"I think so." My heart was pounding fast as I rushed from the edge of the dock to the small swim pagoda. I rifled through the cabinets, grateful that they hadn't been locked up for the winter yet. I found a pair of pink snorkeling goggles that would probably be two sizes too small for Edward, but they would have to do.
Is this really happening?
I tossed them to him over the railing, and he put them on before disappearing again. He was gone for about a full minute that time, and I really hoped he hadn't drowned trying to get that box back. At this level, the lake wasn't too deep, about eight feet—the depth of an Olympic swimming pool—but it was also nighttime. Though the moon was large and shining brightly, I couldn't imagine it being easy to see so many feet down.
After what felt like ages, Edward's sputtering face appeared again. I knelt down at the edge of the dock and could feel the tears gather at the corners of my eyes as he pulled the tiny mask off his face. He looked exhausted and defeated, but at that point, I just wanted to kiss him. He swam towards me slowly and laid his head against my knees, breathing heavily.
"Are you okay?" I asked, tears now freely spilling down my cheeks.
His head snapped up to look at me, and he pulled one hand from the water to wipe away my tears. "I can't believe how badly I managed to fuck that one up." He laughed without any humor. "Story of my life."
I moved his wet hair away from his face, so it wouldn't drip into his eyes, despite how sad they looked. "I don't care, Edward," I said, lowering my lips to kiss his forehead. "I'd say 'yes' a thousand times anyway. And we always get better with practice. You know that."
"Practice, huh?" he said with a new glint in his eye.
"Did you want to try again?"
"Did you want to put on your dress again so you're clothed when I propose to you this time?" he asked, the glint getting brighter.
"Not really." I couldn't bear to move, as if any small motion would alter this miraculous dream I was having. "Did you want to get out of the water?"
"Not really." Maybe he felt similarly. "Should I just go for it?"
I nodded and smiled broadly.
"MB, I have never been sure of much. I second guess. I'm insecure and moody and a terminal fuck-up. But I'm sure of one thing, and that is how much I love you. How much I will always love you. Will you marry me? Please?"
So, there, treading water in Long Lake and me, half-naked above him, Edward Cullen proposed.
"Yes," I whispered.
With a huge smile, Edward pushed himself out of the lake and flopped onto the dock. Lying on his back, he tried to catch his breath, but I saw it as another opportunity. I straddled his waist and leaned down to finally kiss him, but he stopped me with his finger.
"Not so fast." He shifted slightly below me before holding up the small box in front of my face. He'd found it. He'd actually fucking found it. That little shit. "Put this on first, please. Because if it falls in again, I'm not going in after it, and I'm going to be out a rather sizable chunk of money."
He opened the box and slipped the ring onto my shaking hand. It was gorgeous. A large princess cut diamond sat securely between two smaller bezels. He hadn't been exaggerating when he said he'd be out a sizable chunk of money. Good lord. I'd never seen a diamond that big before, much less had one on my finger. Once it was fully situated, he kissed my finger and rolled us over so he was hovering over me.
"It's your fault anyway," he said, kissing my collarbone, dragging his teeth towards my cleavage. "I wouldn't have dropped the damn thing in the first place if you hadn't visually assaulted me with this…" His hand ran up my thigh and over the garter to my hipbone. "You're so fucking gorgeous."
Drops of lake water shook from his hair and splattered onto my body. "And you're fucking wet," I laughed.
His hand then slid from my hip into my undies, tracing up and down my slit, before grinning salaciously. "So are you."
My body smoldered, heating up as his finger probed further and faster. "Fuuuuck," I groaned. Without a word, he pulled his hand out, and I was about to call him out for being an epic tease when his other hand moved to help unhook the garter belt and pull down my undies.
Unable to wait any longer, I grabbed the back of his neck and brought his lips to mine in a hot kiss. As soon as his hands were finished, one went back to its place between my thighs, two fingers entering me quickly as his thumb rubbed over my clit. I widened my legs and tilted my hips up, searching for the best angle.
"Yes, yes, yes," I muttered over and over again against his lips. I could feel the tension building, coming to a boil. I came apart, crying out his name. My body melted into the dock, completely relaxed.
But I was only given a short reprieve—only as long as it took for Edward to unbutton his pants and pull them down to his knees. Then, he was inside me again. Hard and hot and incredible. He rocked his hips slowly against mine, a lethargic but intense pace. He grabbed my hands and intertwined his fingers with mine, keeping them above our heads. The wood of the dock scraped against my back, but I felt nothing except for Edward. The push and pull of his muscles as he flexed his hips, the soft panting of his warm breath, the flickering of the moonlight off the still lake…I couldn't imagine a moment more perfect than this.
Running his hand up my thigh high, he pushed my leg to rest over his shoulder—our favorite position currently. "Bella," he groaned, his thrusts gaining in force.
As he pushed deeper and stronger, I gripped onto his shoulders and wrapped my free leg around his. I wanted him as close as possible. In a chorus of breathy moans, we climaxed together, joy tingling through me with every pant.
"I love you," Edward mumbled into the damp skin of my neck. And I didn't doubt it. Edward Cullen loved me.
Oh my God. Edward Cullen loves me. Edward Cullen wants to marry me. He wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
A large smile took over my face, and a small chortle bubbled up in my chest and through my lips.
Edward lifted his head to look at me, his eyes piercing into me. "Uh, laughing after proposal sex isn't really the nicest thing you could do, MB."
"I'm sorry." I laughed more, unable to stop it. "Thirteen-year-old me just needs a second to process that I'm marrying Edward Cullen. Oh my God, I'm going to be Bella Cullen. Do you know how many notebooks have that doodled in the margins?"
Edward finally joined in the laughter, happy to see me so happy. After we'd gotten redressed, we decided to walk hand-in-hand back to the reception. I was in the mood to celebrate.
He squeezed my hand and held it out in front of us to examine the ring again. "You like it?"
"I love it. It looks just like Grace Kelly's." I sighed. It really did. Classy, timeless. Fit for a fucking princess.
"You're definitely more beautiful than Grace Kelly," Edward said, bringing our locked hands to wrap around my shoulders.
"Sure," I scoffed, although I was internally swooning.
"How many times do I have to tell you that I prefer brunettes?"
Grinning, I leaned into his side and made the final ascent into the reception. Everyone was heading out when we arrived, though, and they were definitely two sheets to the wind. While Edward and I had time to sober up, they'd had time to get a little crazy.
"We're rolling down the hill!" Alice called out, Jasper loping by her side.
"You'll ruin your dress, Al!" I scolded.
"It'll be worth it! Come on, LB! I can't roll down without you." Alice slid off her shoes and placed them behind her.
I glanced over my shoulder at Edward, who was motioning for me to go to my best friend.
"Meet me at the bottom?"
"Always," he said before kissing me swiftly.
"Ready, LB?" Alice hopped up and down excitedly as I approached her.
I crouched down and Alice followed, stretching out her hands as we always did. I should have had the foresight to realize that she would notice the huge ass ring on my finger, but before she could say anything, we were off.
Our bodies rolled quickly down the soft grass, each turn making me feel more playful and liberated and carefree. At the bottom I finally came to a stop, and I smiled at the smug face looking down at me.
Alice stopped merely seconds later, though, and she dragged me to my feet. "LB! You... you…"
"I'm marrying Edward Cullen!" I squealed.
Alice joined in my squealing and hugged me fiercely. "How does the thirteen-year-old you feel right now? Is she totally freaking out?"
I laughed at the similarity in our lines of thought. She truly was my sister. "Um, yes. In the best way possible."
There was a round of congratulatory hugs and back slaps before we all headed back inside to continue the party.
As I took a sip of sangria, I felt a warm hand slip into mine. "So, how do you feel about a Star Wars themed wedding?" he whispered.
I rolled my eyes, but ideas for the honeymoon started filtering through my mind. At my silence, I could practically hear Edward's fist pump. "Love you," he said with a soft kiss to my cheek before taking off to drink more with the boys.
"To new beginnings!" Jasper cheered, winking at me.
Yes. To new beginnings.
Chapter End Notes: Smiles abound? I love you all so much. Thanks for your love and support. And Sasha, I really hope you smiled at least once ::hugs:: xoxo