Summary: Best friends, a freak snowstorm, and a blackout. Throw in some board games and nice sheets, and who knows what will happen?
I do not own any of these characters, or anything else related to Twilight. I do own a flashlight, some oatmeal, and a very battered Game of Life.
"It's just snow, Bella."
"But it's so beautiful! Come look!"
Edward complied, chuckling at his roommate's excitement. It was pretty, he had to admit, and the view out of Bella's bedroom window was the best in their apartment. It didn't snow very often in Seattle, and when it did, it was usually only a few inches. He had never seen it snow like this. The weather forecasters had predicted flurries — this was definitely more than a flurry.
Edward's phone chirped, indicating a new text message. He read it quickly. "Alice and Jasper aren't coming. She says that the news is reporting big traffic delays because of the snow."
"She probably doesn't want to ruin her shoes."
Edward laughed at the observation, and sent a quick text back to Alice. In a moment his phone chirped again.
"She says Jasper refused to carry her to the car. "
After Bella's giggles subsided, she turned from the window to face her best friend. "So, it looks like we have the night to ourselves. What do you want to do?"
Edward's face broke into an evil smile. "It's my turn to pick the movie."
"Again? Really, you want to watch it again?" Bella rolled her eyes at him.
"Stop whining. You love it. Now, go make popcorn, woman!" She stuck her tongue out at him as she left the room, and he made his way into the living room, intoning "Bring out your dead!"
Two hours later, Edward was still quoting his favorite bits of the movie at Bella as he went to get the vacuum to clean up the remains of the popcorn fight that had started about the time Arthur and his Knights had found the Holy Hand Grenade.
"Next time, I am making you watch the silliest, girliest, romantic-comediest movie in the…" Bella's words trailed off as the apartment went dark, and unnaturally silent.
"Bella? You ok?" Edward entered the room, using the glow of his phone as a makeshift flashlight.
"Yeah, what happened?"
"Blackout, I think," he replied. They made their way to the window and looked out at the street below. The city was darker than either of them had ever seen it — no streetlights, no storefront lights or neon signs or lighted windows from the apartment buildings, no cars, just the little glow of moonlight that made its way through the heavy clouds, reflecting on the snow and covering everything they could see.
"Do we have flashlights or candles?" Edward's question was valid — they hadn't been in the apartment very long, only having graduated from college the previous spring, and generally they bought things as the need arose. Until now, there had never been a need for a flashlight.
"I have a couple of candles that Alice gave me, because she said my room looked like a boy lived in it. And I think I remember seeing a couple in the sideboard that your mom gave us when we moved in. Plus there are always our phones." Bella pulled hers out of her pocket and turned it on, only to have it promptly turn itself back off. "Oops. Battery's dead. I forgot. Okay, we have YOUR phone".
Edward looked concerned. "Maybe we should find those candles. My battery is pretty low, too, and I don't want to be stuck in the snow with no phone. Who knows when the power will come back on?"
They went first to Bella's room to retrieve Alice's gifts, and once those were lit they checked out the drawers of the big wooden sideboard that Esme had insisted they needed, along with most of the other furniture in the apartment, when they had decided to stay in Seattle after graduation and moved into their apartment. Bella was in grad school part time, studying literature and creative writing, and Edward was trying to make his way as a studio musician. There weren't enough opportunities in Forks to make it worthwhile to go back. They weren't alone in their decision — Bella's brother, Jasper, and his wife, Alice, had opted to stay in the city as well. It had actually been their wedding that had precipitated Edward and Bella moving in together.
Bella had met Alice in a coffee shop during the first week of her freshman year. She had been sitting there alone, moping, after her roommate, a blonde hag named Lauren, had kicked her out to hook up with a frat guy. Just as she had been about to cry, a tiny, spiky-haired whirlwind of a girl had sat down at Bella's table and started talking. She managed to cheer Bella up, and they became fast friends, bonding over their terrible living situations. When Alice's roommate, a crazy red-haired girl named Victoria, got kicked out halfway though their first semester, Bella had jumped at the opportunity to leave Lauren and her frat guys behind. They lived all through undergrad, and when Jasper had transferred from Texas A&M, it had been love at first sight between him and Alice. Bella was thrilled that her brother and best friend had gotten together, and she was happy with her current living situation as well. Alice was a great friend, but she was a little intense to live with. Edward, by contrast, was the definition of easy going. They had been best friends since they were old enough to talk, and the transition from friend to housemate had been remarkably smooth despite dire predictions from friends and family.
At the moment, however, her easygoing housemate was getting increasingly agitated. He closed the last drawer with a bang. "Nothing." He ran his hands though his crazy mop of reddish hair, making it stand on end even more than usual.
"Calm down, Edward. We have these three, and they are huge, plus we can always just go to bed. Who needs light to sleep?" Bella's words seemed to calm him a bit.
"Good point. It's early still, but what else are we going to do with no power?"
Bella grabbed a bottle of water from the case in the kitchen, and they went to the bathroom to brush their teeth. Soon they parted ways, each heading to their respective bedrooms.
"Bella, it's liable to get awfully cold — are you going to be ok tonight?" Edward's concern wasn't misplaced — Bella was famous for her cold nature. She slept with an electric blanket all year long and only her concern for their heating bill kept her from keeping the thermostat above 80.
"I'll be fine. Night!" She closed the door behind her.
Edward entered his own room and quickly changed into a t-shirt and pajama pants. He could already feel the chill in the air from the lack of heating. He crawled into his king size bed, also courtesy of Esme, and pulled the duvet up over himself.
He was almost asleep when the click of his doorknob turning brought him back to consciousness. In the faint glow from outside his window, he saw Bella approach the bed. "Everything ok?" he asked, his voice laced with concern. It wasn't like Bella to come into his room at night.
Without another word, Edward lifted the bedclothes in invitation. Bella dove beneath them and found his warm body. She snuggled close to him, wrapping her arms around him. "Thanks!"
Edward, bemused, pulled her shivering body closer to his. Of course, he was happy to help her warm up, but this felt…different. He inhaled the fragrance of her hair, and felt his heart rate increase in response. He had never thought of Bella as anything other than a friend, but this was nice. Far nicer, in fact, than anything he could remember.
Her body relaxed against his, and her breathing slowed, which he knew meant she had fallen asleep. He pulled her closer and closed his eyes. He would think about all these new feelings tomorrow.
Bella's first thought upon waking early Saturday morning was of how warm she was; magnificently, deliciously warm. This was not the spotty artificial warmth of an electric blanket, it was more like lying in the sun in Phoenix. She couldn't remember the last time she had been this warm.
Her next realization was that there was a hand on her breast.
Her third, and slightly more disturbing, thought was that she didn't seem to mind. It seemed right, somehow, as if she awoke every morning with an arm around her and a large, pale hand with gently tapering fingers draped over her.
Her fourth thought was that she should probably move the hand, and then possibly see a psychiatrist.
Then she realized she had to pee.
Not wanting to wake Edward, she eased herself from beneath his arm and scooted out of the bed. The air outside the bed was freezing. She scurried quickly to the bathroom and then ran just as quickly back to Edward's bed, burrowing back underneath the covers. She no longer cared if she woke Edward — the desire to return to his warmth overcame any other consideration.
His eyes popped open when she jumped back in the bed, and he looked confused for a moment when she pulled the duvet up over both their heads, enclosing them in a little fabric cave. Then he laughed.
"Shut it, chuckles. It's cold out there!" She scowled.
"Good morning to you, too. What time is it?" Edward kept laughing, prompting Bella to scowl again.
"I don't know. Early. Cold."
Edward reached for his phone on his nightstand, and groaned when he saw the time. "Why the hell am I awake at 6:15 on a Saturday?"
"Well, we went to bed at 10."
"And then you woke me up looking for a place to sleep." Edward gave Bella a mock evil-eye.
"How would you feel if you had found me this morning all frozen? You'd be sorry then," she retorted.
Edward shifted. "Think you can survive for a few minutes alone so I can go take care of my bladder?"
Bella huffed and turned over, facing her back to Edward. "Go. I hope you get frostbite on your…y'know."
Edward shuddered at the thought and slipped out from under the covers. He returned after a few minutes, and Bella laughed as he dove under the blankets just as she had.
"See? Say you're sorry for laughing at me."
"Shut up and c'mere." Edward pulled her back against him, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Go back to sleep."
Bella wanted to obey his imperious command. It was too early to be awake on a Saturday. But she found sleep elusive, partially because of her early bedtime the night before, but mostly due to the emotions that swirled though her at Edward's touch. Her skin was on fire where he touched her, and that was through her thick sweatshirt. She couldn't imagine what it would feel like if he actually touched skin. His warm breath on her neck was giving her goosebumps, and she could smell his toothpaste. She suddenly wished she had thought to brush her teeth as well. Morning breath had never bothered her around Edward, in fact, they both delighted in tormenting the other with bad breath. They delighted in tormenting one another in any way they could manage. Edward had seen her at her very worst; after all, they had been friends since they were toddlers. So why was she suddenly so concerned about her breath?
Holy crow, I bet my hair is a mess too.
Has Bella always smelled this good?
Edward was having a very difficult morning. He reminded himself that she had only gotten in his bed for the very practical purpose of sharing body heat while the electricity was off. He told himself very strictly that this was no different than the times they had shared a bed before, all for equally practical, platonic reasons. He recited the Declaration of Independence in his head. He lectured himself about proper friend behavior, and thought that he would not, for instance, have any desire to snuggle up against Jasper and smell his hair. He pictured Bella slapping him if he gave into the temptation to slide his hand from her waist up her ribcage and…
No! No no no!
He was pretty sure the universe was laughing its ass off at him. His body certainly was. Sleep, as much as he wanted it, did not seem to be on the menu at the moment. If her breathing was anything to judge by, Bella was still awake as well.
"Bella, you still awake?" he whispered, not wanting to wake her on the chance she had actually dozed off.
"Yes," came her whispered response.
Bella started to remove the blanket, but Edward was up faster. "I'll get something — you stay here and keep warm." Plus it will give me a few minutes to get myself under control.
Edward pulled on his slippers and put on a sweatshirt over the t-shirt he had slept in, shivering as the cold fabric came into contact with his skin. He went into the kitchen and perused the contents of their cabinets, deciding oatmeal was their best option. He said a quick prayer of thanks for the big old gas stove in the kitchen that worked with or without electricity. Esme had wanted to replace it, calling it a deathtrap, but Edward and Bella had drawn the line at replacing appliances in a rental.
When he returned to his bedroom, two bowls in hand, he was much calmer. His inner voice had very sternly told him that he and Bella were just friends, best friends, and that the feelings he was experiencing were just due to the stress of the blackout and her extended physical proximity. He was a man, after all. He would react this way to any woman. Never mind that he hadn't actually reacted this strongly to anyone before, that was irrelevant. The important thing was to remember that they were friends.
All of that flew right out of the window into the snow below when he saw her.
She was sitting up against the headboard, his headboard, wearing a hoodie, his hoodie, wrapped in a blanket and reading a book she had taken from his bookcase. She had apparently brushed her hair in his absence, and it fell in soft waves around her face. In the early morning light reflecting off the snow outside, she reminded Edward of a renaissance painting. She looked up at his entrance, and smiled at the bowl he silently held out to her.
I am so screwed.
Has Edward always been so…beautiful?
As she took the proffered bowl, Bella studied her best friend as if she hadn't spent most of the past 20 years with him. His hair, which had earned him the hated nickname "copper top" for years, was rumpled and standing on end. He was tall and slim, but not skinny like he had been as a teenager. He had filled out without her really noticing. His legs, encased in striped flannel pants, were long without making him look like a scarecrow.
They sat in silence as they ate their breakfast. Normally silences between them were as comfortable as words — after so many years, they didn't feel the need to chatter constantly. This morning though, the silence was as thick as the oatmeal in her bowl. It made Bella nervous. Could he tell what she was thinking? He always read her so well.
She jumped at the clatter as he dropped his spoon into his empty bowl.
"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. Finished?"
She handed over the bowl with a quiet thanks, not meeting his eyes.
He left the room to take the bowls into the kitchen and returned carrying a stack of board games. He dropped them on the bed in front of Bella.
"I looked outside and it looks like we are pretty well snowed in. Who needs electricity when you have Monopoly?"
Bella looked through the stack — there was Monopoly, of course, and some other classics — Risk, Sorry!, a very battered Game of Life, Chinese checkers, a chess set, and, at the bottom, Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.
Bella looked up at Edward and smirked. "You are such a nerd."
He smirked back at her. "Takes one to know one, baby. Do we need to discuss Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I seem to remember a lot of weekends playing that game…"
Bella blushed. "At least I didn't bring it with me when I moved out."
"Doesn't matter. You are just as nerdy as I am. Besides, you love nerdy me."
She sighed. "Okay, you win, I do."
Initially, playing the games proved a bit troublesome. The temperature in the apartment kept dropping, and playing games wrapped in blankets and scarves and gloves was just as difficult as it looked. Then Edward had a brilliant idea. He stood up and unceremoniously picked Bella up and dumped her off the bed. Ignoring her indignant shriek, he grabbed the games, pulled back the duvet and sheet, placing the games on the sheet underneath. Then he picked her up from the floor and dropped her back on the bed, skillfully dodging her little fists as she tried to pummel him. Finally, he plopped back down on the bed and pulled the sheet and duvet over him, creating a little tent on the bed with himself as the tent pole.
"Have you lost your mind?" She looked at him as if she expected him to start making animal noises or drooling.
"Just wait." Edward smirked as he set up the Monopoly board.
By the time Bella had Pacific and Pennsylvania Avenue, her nose no longer felt numb, and when Edward bought his fourth railroad, it was warm enough in their little shelter that she took off her gloves and scarf. When the game ended with Bella laughing as Edward failed to pay the rent on one of her many hotels, she appeared to have entirely forgotten about the cold.
"What's next? Life? Trivial Pursuit?" Edward raised his eyebrows in question.
"Lunch." With perfect timing, Bella's stomach growled loudly.
"What do you want?" Edward moved to get off the bed, but she stopped him.
"I'll get it this time. You stay here and hold up the tent." She wrapped her scarf back around her neck, grabbed her gloves, and, flashing a smile back at him, ducked under the duvet out into the bedroom.
Edward ducked out as well, and looked around his bedroom, considering. His tall dresser might be just right. He pulled it over and pushed it to the side of the bed. Then he grabbed his skis out of the closet, a couple of sets of sheets, and a roll of duct tape out of a drawer. After a few minutes and only minimal swearing, he had erected the most pitiful little lean-to ever made from one thousand thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Esme is gonna kill me if she ever finds out I used duct tape on the sheets she bought me.
He crawled in to start warming up the inside before Bella returned.
She entered a few minutes later carrying a tray with two bowls of soup and a sleeve of crackers. She stopped short when she passed the doorway.
He stuck his head out and grinned at her. "Like it?"
Edward's head poking out from under the sheets of his little tent was, quite possibly, the cutest thing Bella had ever seen. His hair was even wilder than usual, and he looked exactly like the little boy she remembered.
"You built a fort!" She giggled at the sudden mental image of Edward in the cowboy outfit he had loved when he was eight.
Edward's thoughts were apparently moving in the same direction, as he tipped an imaginary hat in her direction and drawled, "You're welcome t' come on in, ma'am. Thanks for the victuals, much obliged." He winked at her.
Bella carefully handed him the tray and crawled in next to him. The little shelter extended over about half the bed, and was barely high enough to allow Edward to sit up. They sat and ate their soup while Edward grinned like a fool at his accomplishment. As much as she was amused by his building skills, she had to admit it was warmer in the little space than it was out in the apartment. She had removed her scarf and gloves and the coat she had layered over her hoodie and was almost comfortable.
After they finished their meal, Edward set the tray and their dishes on the floor beside the bed, and Bella lay back against his pillows. He lay down as well, and they stayed that way for a few minutes in silence, looking up at the pale blue ceiling of their little haven. She turned to face him, and he did likewise.
"Mmmm…I'm warm and full." –she yawned– "and sleepy. Hand me a blanket, will you?"
A bit earlier, Edward had collected every extra blanket in the house and piled them on the bed. He grabbed her favorite, a thick cashmere throw in patterns of fading blue, and laid it over her, tucking her in gently. She smiled in thanks and curled up under it, closing her eyes.
She awoke some time later to find Edward asleep next to her with the duvet pulled up over both of them. They had moved closer to one another in sleep, and his face was only inches from hers. She watched him sleep for a few minutes, admiring his long eyelashes resting on his cheeks and the way his lips relaxed in sleep. She reached over and gently brushed away a lock of hair falling across his forehead. At her touch, his eyes fluttered open.
"Hi." She smiled at his unfocused expression.
He blinked and smiled back. "Hi"
He rolled to his back and stretched, being careful not to disturb the walls of the tent. As he came to full wakefulness, she spoke softly.
"Mmmm?" He rolled to face her and cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Um…thanks for everything. I am so glad you're here. I can't imagine what I would do if I had to deal with this alone."
"Aw, shucks, honey, a fort's not a fort without a cowgirl to share it with."
She blushed a little, and they lay like that for a moment, looking at one another, heads less than a foot apart on the pillows. Bella wasn't sure what to think of the look in Edward's eyes. She thought she knew all his moods, but this was new. Before the moment got awkward, Edward's expression changed to one of wicked delight.
"Besides, without you here, who would I tickle?" Then he attacked.
Edward held her down with one strong arm while the other found and tortured every spot he knew was most ticklish. Bella's squeals and shrieks filled the small space, and she desperately tried to escape. Suddenly the small structure jerked and one ski fell to the floor as they heard the duct tape pulling away from the fabric and half of the sheet fell down on them.
Edward stopped and looked down at Bella, and then down at her leg that had been frantically kicking at him and had instead managed to kick the ski tent post.
"Oops." She burst into a fit of giggles, and he joined her. They lay together, Edward half sprawled across her, and laughed until tears were running down Bella's face. She took deep breaths to calm herself down, and then she saw it again. That look on Edward's face, the one that made her feel as an entire flock of butterflies had moved into her midsection. Except this time his face was just inches from her and getting closer.
She extricated herself from underneath him, gasped out "bathroom", and fled.
Edward wasn't quite sure which he was swearing at — the ski that had fallen and was now staunchly refusing to stay where he wanted it, or himself. After the ski fell for the fourth time, he gave up.
Way to go, nimrod.
She had been scared, he was sure of it, and who could blame her? One second they were in normal Edward-Bella-BFF mode and the next, he was about to kiss her. He passionately wished to be able to kick his own ass.
Edward had thought about love, of course; he had dated in high school and college. He had even had a few girlfriends, but usually halfway through the date he would find himself wandering what Bella was up to, or thinking of some smart-ass comment he wanted to make to her. Sometimes he would go ahead and make the comment to his date, but more often than not she wouldn't get the joke. He didn't have fun with those girls like he did with Bella, they didn't laugh like she did or call him on his pretense. The first thing he did after every date was to call Bella. They would talk over the date, laugh at Edward's pent-up comments, and make plans. In all that time, Edward had never actually considered dating Bella, even though they had gone together to a million events.
Today, everything had changed. All day he had been feeling something different, and then there had been that moment while they lay under the little tent. Bella had thanked him for being there, and he had made some asinine quip back, and she had looked into his face and blushed. In that second, watching the color flood her face, Edward had seen his whole future unfold before him. He had imagined himself waking up next to her every day for the next 70 years. He had seen her walking towards him in a white silk dress with lilies in her hair. He had pictured her body swollen with their child, and had watched her snuggling a little girl with deep brown eyes and copper-colored curls. He saw the graduation pictures and watched her bake cookies with their grandchildren. He had lived a whole life in that moment, and now he wanted more than anything for that life to come true. He wanted it to start right now.
She hadn't been privy to those visions though, and if her reaction was any indication, she definitely wasn't thinking in that direction. Edward decided he needed a plan. He wouldn't rush anything, he wouldn't say anything right away — they would continue their friendship, and he would try (and hope and pray) to let it evolve naturally into something more.
Satisfied with his decision, and a little concerned at how long she had been gone, Edward ventured into the living room to find Bella on the sofa with her hood up and her arms and legs pulled inside her sweatshirt.
He quickly got a blanket from his room and returned to the sofa, draping it around her and sitting next to her, wrapping his arms around her shivering body.
"Sweetheart, you're freezing! Why didn't you come back where it's warm…well, warmer than this, anyway."
She was silent for a long moment, then…
"Edward, what the hell just happened in there?"
"What do you mean?"
She gave him the look she usually reserved for Alice when she insisted she needed more shoes. "You know what."
Edward sighed. So much for not saying anything and taking it slow.
Bella felt completely lost, as if she had been kidnapped and dropped in a foreign country. Edward had tried to kiss her, she was sure of it. What else could that moment have been? First there had been that look he kept giving her, and then he tried to kiss her! This was all wrong. Edward was her friend. Friends didn't kiss friends like that.
She desperately wanted to know what was going on, even though her stomach hurt at the thought. She had tried to return to his room, but she couldn't do it. She couldn't face him. So instead she sat on the sofa, trying desperately to stay warm.
Maybe I shouldn't say anything. I should just ignore it. The thought didn't quell the sick feeling in her belly.
She hadn't heard him coming, and had been startled out of her thoughts when he dropped a blanket over her shoulders and slid his arms around her. She had a sudden impulse to turn into his body and curl up in his embrace, but she held herself rigid. She had to know what was happening, so she asked the question.
Edward looked terrified. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before he managed to speak.
"I, um. Bella, I think…Bella, over the past day…Oh, damn, how do I say this?" He took a deep breath. "Bella, I want us to be more than friends. I want us to be together. A couple."
Once again, Edward desperately wished for the ability to kick himself. Could I have possibly made that any more awkward? He waited for her answer, feeling like he was lying on hot coals. His heart sank at her words.
"Can't we just…you're my best friend, Edward. Can't things just stay the way they were?" Bella's voice was quavering.
Edward mustered his courage and stumbled over the words he suspected might destroy his heart forever. "Bella, now that I…I can't…I can't just go back to being friends. I wish I could, but I can't. Either you feel the same, or you don't. I want to be with you. I want to be everything with you. If you don't want that…" Edward stubbornly swallowed back sudden tears. "Bella, do you want to be with me or not?"
"I…I don't know." Giving him one last pained look, she went into her room and shut the door.
As soon as the door clicked gently closed behind her, Bella slid down it into the floor. Sobs overwhelmed her so quickly she nearly choked. She sat there, crying as if her life was ending. The room was frigid, but she hardly noticed it past the haze of emotions rolling through her.
Why did he do it? The stupid blockhead has ruined everything! He's taken away my best friend! Her brain screamed in fury and grief. How could he do this to me?
Slowly, calm began to creep over her, and the storm of crying passed.
What are you so afraid of? a tiny voice in her head asked.
I am not afraid of anything. I don't feel that way about him, she angrily told the voice.
Okay, so maybe I am a little afraid.
Bella forced herself to think about Edward. She considered their long history together. She pictured his crazy copper hair, his long beautiful fingers, and his grass green eyes. She considered the past 24 hours and how right it had felt to wake up next to him, even with his hand across her chest. The memory of his face popping out of his little tent filled her mind. He built me a house out of sheets! she thought, with a hiccupy laugh.
Then she tried to imagine a future without him. After only a moment she had dissolved into tears again.
Oh god, I am so stupid.
Just then, with a hushed roar, the electricity came back on.
Edward was at a complete loss. In less than 24 hours he had found everything he ever wanted, and in the process had lost the best thing in his life. He absently wondered if he could afford the rent somewhere on his own — he definitely couldn't stay here by himself if she left, and he could not imagine living with some random person. He slowly took apart the remains of their makeshift little tent, not really caring if the duct tape wound up damaging anything. He could still smell her on the sheets. He sat down on the edge of the bed as his head dropped into his hands in complete dejection.
A few minutes later his head jerked up at the soft knock on his door. "Come in."
Bella entered hesitantly, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth. Her face bore the unmistakable signs of tears, and Edward wanted nothing more than to go sweep her in his arms and hold her forever, but he knew he had to let her come to him.
She approached him but didn't look at him directly. She stared down at her feet, instead.
"You know, Edward, the heat was off for a long time. It's going to take a while for the apartment to warm up again."
Edward stood and gently laid his hands on her shoulders. "Mmm-hmm."
"And an electric blanket really is a shameful waste of energy." She reached up to play with the strings on his hoodie.
"Mmm-hmm." He slid his hands down to her waist.
"And last night was the best sleep I have had in ages…"
"Mmm-hmm." He leaned his forehead against hers.
"So, I was thinking, that maybe I should stay with you again tonight. You know, to save on electricity." She looked up at him, hopeful apology in her dark eyes.
"I concur." With that, he pulled her over to the bed, and they lay down, facing one another, his arms encircling her small body and pulling it tight against him. Her arm found its way across his abdomen and she laid her head on his chest. She sighed contentedly.
"And, you know, you've been saying that you wanted to move your piano here, and I was thinking we could put it in my room…" she trailed off as Edward rolled her over and gently pressed a finger to her mouth, and then slowly, softly, replaced the finger with his lips.
A few long moments later he looked down at her, down at the girl he had known forever but never really seen, the girl he hoped would fill the rest of his life. He knew they had a lot to talk about, but for now there was only one thing he wanted to say. "I love you, Bella."
She met his gaze, a slow smile spreading across her beautiful face and tears filling her eyes. "I love you, too.