Penname: Rochelle Allison
Derivative Fiction
Rating/Warning(s): M
Notes: continues the characters and scenario established by "Alabaster"
Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
Prompts: Sparkling Champagne

Edward led me over to the couch in his living room, which overlooked the forest beyond. He'd built his new home on the side of a hill, so that while the front was on firm ground, the back was supported by stilts. It was a lovely design; he'd obviously enlisted the help and expertise of some of the best architects, contractors and builders in his sphere of influence.

The house wasn't huge but it was beautiful. He'd paid so much attention to detail…the little window above the kitchen sink overlooked a little garden, complete with a pond. He said as time went on he wanted to expand on the idea, adding another pond with fish in it. Each room was a slightly different color, creams and whites and ivories, all playing nicely against the various types of wood used on the inside of the house.

The house was peaceful, albeit a little stark and empty; he needed to finish decorating.

I tucked my bare feet up under me and angled my body toward Edward, who was sitting very similarly.

He sipped at his wine, tugging anxiously at his hair. The sun had pretty much gone down now, and only a small wash of color was visible over the tree line outside.

"Um, do you want to turn a light on?" I asked, leaning over to place my wine glass on the floor.

"Oh, yeah," he jumped up, flicking two lamps on.

He seemed nervous, and I could see that getting him to talk might be like pulling teeth so I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. "So, what's up?"

"I, um… so, do you like the house?"

Nodding enthusiastically, I reached forward to clasp his hand. "It is beautiful. I'm so impressed, Edward. So happy for you."

He stared down at our hands, and I realized that I'd acted on instinct, not really thinking before I'd touched him. I began to pull away, but he grabbed my hand, squeezing gently.

It occurred to me something was going on here, and I wasn't sure what to say. Despite the slight chill in the air, I felt very warm all over, almost flushed.

"Bella," he said, his voice so quiet I had to incline my head to hear.


He squeezed my hand again. "Can you see yourself with me, ever again?"

It had been awhile since we'd broached this topic, and since he'd been this direct. I paused, chewing the inside of my cheek.

He looked up at me, vulnerable and a little sad.

"I can," I said eventually, exhaling.

He nodded slowly, letting go of me, and stood up. "Come," he said nodding his head toward the bedrooms he'd shown us all earlier.

Trusting he wouldn't do anything untoward, I rose and followed him. We went into the bedroom and straight to the attached bathroom, where he flipped on the light switch.

We'd only seen the bathroom in passing earlier, Edward hurrying the group through the tour because he said he'd had other, more interesting things to show us. Now he brought me inside and pointed at the counter.

Glancing at the sinks, I tried to see what he wanted me to see. Our eyes met in the mirror.

"I don't get it," I admitted, sliding my hands into my back pockets.

"They're his and hers sinks," he said simply.

I froze, staring at the sinks. Edward turned the light off and we walked silently back to the couch. Picking up my half full wine glass, I drained the remainder of the Riesling as I sat. If he was saying what I thought he was saying, I wasn't sure how to respond.

"I built it for you."

Tears sprang to my eyes and I covered my face with my hands. "Why?" I gasped.

"Because I love you, Bella," his voice broke. "And I can't lose you."

I opened my eyes and looked at him. We gazed at each other, both of our faces red and splotchy and wet with tears. He slipped off of the couch and knelt in front of me.

"Will you marry me Bella? Will you stay with me?"

I sniffled, taking his hands into mine. "Yes." Leaning forward, I wrapped my arms around him. "I'm really scared, Edward," I whispered. "Please, don't hurt me."

"I won't, " he said, burying his face in my neck. "I love you."

We held one another for a few moments, and then he held my cheeks between his hands. He kissed me softly on my lips, the first time we'd kissed in so, so long.

My phone rang from my purse in the foyer, but I ignored it.

Then his rang. Sighing, he retrieved it from between the couch cushions. "Hello?"

A smile touched his lips, and he gazed affectionately at me, thumbing tears away from my cheek.

"Yeah, Alice. I'll be popping open the sparkling champagne."

We had work to do, but...I was willing.