to cclore and PhoenixMP3, thank you for everything. This is our first multi-chapter complete together. I hope you know how much this means to me.
to cclore and PhoenixMP3, thank you for everything. This is our first multi-chapter complete together. I hope you know how much this means to me.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns them. I like to play with them.
Epilogue: Future Projections
Bella Swan POV
"Sweetheart, are you ready?" Edward asked as he wrapped his arms around my waist. I was standing in the bathroom of our room at The Lenox hotel, looking in the mirror while putting on my second earring as his hands snaked around my waist, pulling me into him. I hummed 'yes', resting my head back against his shoulder as he kissed my hair.
My hands dropped from my ear and rested on his. "Are you ready?" I asked, catching his eye in the mirror. His eyes cast down and away from me, breaking our eye contact. "Edward," I stated as I turned in his arms, "you'll be perfect. Don't let your nerves get the best of you." He nodded with a smile and bent down to capture my lips in his as I tilted my head up.
"Thank you," he whispered against my mouth. "I couldn't do this without you."
"You could, but you don't have to."
We kissed again and walked hand in hand as we left the calm of our room and headed down to valet to get into the car Edward booked for the long drive ahead.
It's been a little over a year since I officially met Edward. Without a doubt, the best year of my life. Edward was the answer to all the dreams I never knew I even had.
We were in Boston this weekend - one of the few cities I had actually never been to. Edward had been asked to give the graduation speech at Dartmouth, his Alma Mater. He was adamant about staying in Boston this weekend and not in New Hampshire; hell bent on showing me some of his favorite things while we were on this side of the country. When he received the request mid-winter, he nearly hyperventilated with excitement. Then, he sobered up and tried to think of a million ways to decline the request. He was so nervous and had I been a lesser woman, I would have let him back out. But I wasn't. There was no way in hell I was going to let him pass up this opportunity.
They asked him, they wanted him, and he fucking deserved it.
He worked hard for everything he had, never taking his upbringing for granted and always proving himself on his own merit. He was just unsure, overwhelmed, and nervous about speaking in front a huge crowd, afraid he might say something that would mess up one of the impressionable grads. I told him they would all be too busy thinking about their summer internships, fall graduate programs and who was picking up the keg for the party after commencement. He couldn't believe that people didn't actually digest what the speaker said. He was incredulous, insisting on reciting the most memorable parts of all the speeches he's heard. Of course, Edward would be the one person in the crowd who had an ironclad memory of the scripted motivational speeches given at his various graduations.
Eventually, he caved and agreed to do it. I tried to help him see that he had spoken in front of crowds before, selling his and his company's services, time and time again. Standing at the head of the room, in front of suit-clad, cold hearted, unimaginative execs and he was damn good at it. This situation, this graduation, was no different and he would nail it.
That's how we worked. I held him up when he needed it and he did the same for me. Neither of us ever had to ask.
The drive to Dartmouth was nearly a breeze. Edward's lead foot pushing the pedal, the soothing classical music he chose drowning out the sound of the engine while we chatted idly about nothing and everything. Because anything Edward ever said always mattered. Always.
Dartmouth was beautiful. It took my breath away as we drove up to the campus. Classically, elegant New England architecture and design. Regal, but colonial at the same time. Ivy League or not, it just screamed comfort to me. I immediately had images of Edward strolling through the pathways in the fall, his bronze hair matching the changing leaves as he walked forward reading a book in one hand and holding a steaming thermos of green tea, because Edward didn't really like coffee, in the other. Only pausing to push his glasses up his nose.
"Something to smile about, Bella?" he asked, his voice a little shaky with nerves. Nothing to be worried about, this was classic Edward jitters before being in front of people. I would only worry if he was unable to speak, lacking oxygen and turning a weird shade of purple. That only happened once, but he got through it.
"I was just thinking about you roaming the Dartmouth pathways, looking all sexy and intelligent."
Edward's eyes flashed for a minute; a flash I recognized as sexual desire before he composed himself.
"Bella, you can't say things like that to me before something like this. I'm already nervous enough as it is."
"Sorry?" I said with a small laugh, but I really wasn't. I really would have loved to see him in this environment as a student. With me as a student as well, obviously. There never would have been an Angela or a Riley; it would have always been Edward and Bella. Edward chuckled and hopped out of the car. I watched as he shook his head slightly and ran his hands through his hair as he came around to open my door.
Almost as soon as my door was shut, the President's assistant, Jane, came by and whisked us into some kind of lounge area where we waited for things to fall into place. I noticed that Edward managed to appear less nervous, eventually. I think the familiarity of the university eased his nerves a little bit.
"Edward, about five minutes," Jane called from the doorway.
"I'm going to take my seat. See you out there, handsome," I said, kissing his mouth softly and letting go of his hand as I followed Jane out to the audience where I would be seated.
It didn't take long before the Chancellor was introducing Edward.
My heart smiled listening to him go on about how successful Edward was. How he was a shining star among Dartmouth Alumni, a bright gem in a world of lazy and apathetic individuals. Driven, passionate, and genius all stuck out as words I have used to describe him myself. "A perfect example of how to make the most out of the life you have been given," was the last thing he said before Edward took the stage.
I watched as Edward strolled onto the stage, adorned in a black robe that hid his perfectly tailored suit. His shoulders back, jaw strong and eyes focused as he approached the podium to give his speech. I won't lie, I had a temporary thought that I wished I was hidden under that podium and could slip my hands and mouth underneath that robe. Watching Edward was always dangerous for my libido.
"Graduates, families, esteemed colleagues," Edward began, his voice strong and sure, "thank you for the amazing opportunity to be here today. It seems like not long ago I sat in your very seat," he continued, pointing to the graduates, "excited and nervous about the future, feeling fulfilled by the previous four years I spent at Dartmouth."
"This day is about you. It's about who you are, where you have been, and where you will go. Oscar Wilde said, 'be yourself, everyone else is already taken.'"
I listened as he admonished them to remember what they had learned both in the classroom and on the quad. To keep in touch with the people they had met because they would carry those relationships for the rest of their lives. He cracked a joke that meal plans didn't carry over into real life and that they couldn't take the lady who cleaned their dorm bathrooms away with them, and the graduates all laughed.
"If you take away anything I say today, please heed this. It is important to first and foremost, be genuine and honest with yourself. To know your limits and learn to trust your instincts. That sometimes you have to forge your own path. That it's okay to be different, so long as you are truly yourself. Finally, keep your eyes open and be prepared for the most wonderful thing to unexpectedly walk into your life."
He made eye contact with me then and I felt my stomach flutter at his words. I knew that part was meant for me. I could feel it in the burn of his gaze.
"Today marks the first day of the rest of your lives. Go into the world and make your presence known. Congratulations!"
A loud applause rose from the crowd as various people, parents, professors, graduates, and staff gave Edward appreciation for his words and appearance. I have never been more proud of, or hot for him in my life. I was caught in a daze until I felt a single, unexpected tear hit the wrist that was laid in my lap, causing me to jump back to reality.
I met Edward in the lounge area again. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I kissed him passionately. I was aware that we were surrounded by people, but I didn't care. He was perfect and he was mine. I was so proud of him and he needed to know. I felt him smile against my lips as he wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed me back.
"I forgot to tell you how beautiful you are," he whispered and then continued to kiss me.
"Well, Edward, that was quite the speech," some voice called from behind me. I felt Edward freeze, and then his hands gripped the back of my dress a little tighter. "All grown up, I see."
Who the fuck?
I turned around to see who was talking and eyed her suspiciously as I tried to figure out what her deal was. Average height, long black hair, olive toned skin, too fucking skinny with tortoise shell glasses.
"Angela," Edward sighed, never letting me go.
"Nice to see you again, Edward. It's been too long." I watched her eyes rake over him, drinking him in. Bitch. I took a step forward, not even realizing what I was doing. Edward tightened his grip on my hand and pulled me into his side. I could feel the warmth of his hand through the cool material of my dress. He nodded towards Angela in a polite but curt manner and we turned away, heading in the direction of the President of Dartmouth. I looked over my shoulder and saw Angela sucking on her lip as she toyed with the rim of her martini glass.
"Don't, Bella," Edward cautioned softly. My entire body was tense with the possessive need to claim him in front of her, but I let him lead me away, showing her - in his way - that she was nothing. Don't misunderstand, I had no doubts in how Edward felt about me. I was in no way concerned that seeing her would spark some kind of reminiscent flame in him to try her out again. I just didn't fucking like the girl and I didn't want her anywhere near him. If she hurt him again, there was going to be a problem.
Throughout the night, I saw her, but I was almost always with Edward or within his eye sight and she never got close enough to talk to him. People were hanging all over him, listening to every word he had to say. It was a shining moment for him and it made me so happy to witness it.
The drive back to Boston was long as we were both tired, but not too tired. Hotel sex was seriously one of the best things ever. I was not passing that up at all. I took charge, undressing us both and pushing him down on the bed, straddling him and rocking us both into oblivion until we passed out from complete exhaustion.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early, had breakfast in our room, then left for a day of fun. I, for one, was excited. One thing Edward had been looking forward to was taking a sailboat out onto the Charles River with some of his buddies from undergrad. The few friends he had actually made and kept from school. Not because he wasn't friendly, but he was just more focused and different from a lot of people and that made them keep him at a distance.
It was an unseasonably warm Sunday in Boston and I was truly excited for it. Edward always told me how much he loved to sail, but we had yet to do it; we were just too busy. I knew absolutely nothing about sailing, but I wasn't worried about falling in or anything. I was with Edward.
We walked down the marina, Edward in a crisp pair of green board shorts and a tank, and I had a pair of cut off shorts and a tank covering my new, nautical themed bikini. Hand in hand we walked, listening to the sound of our new boat shoes against the planked ground.
"Edward!" a strong voice called from ahead of us. I looked up, squinting through my sunglasses and saw a huge man waving at us.
"Felix, how's it going?" Edward called as we reached the ramp. Felix, born and raised Bostonian, eternal bachelor of Edward's friends. I believed Edward said his current fling was a girl named Chelsea.
"Awesome, man. It's wicked good to see you. It's been too fuckin' long." Felix grabbed Edward's hand firmly then turned to look at me. "This her?" he asked with a nod toward me. Felix's Boston accent was a bit thick and I found it amusing.
"Yeah. This is my Bella. Bella, this is Felix." He kissed my shoulder and I shook Felix's hand, noting how friendly he looked despite his size. "Everyone else on board?"
"Nah, Demetri is here with Heidi and Garrett is here with Kate, but Ben hasn't showed the fuck up yet. Hey, man, listen. I'm still wicked sorry 'bout that whole, ya know?"
"Forget it." Felix nodded and said he was going to do something sailboat-y, while Edward and I moved further into the boat. He led me down to the cabin below and we put our bags into this area that looked like a crawl space and I stripped down to just my suit.
Of all Edward's friends, I had only met Demetri in person, not his girlfriend Heidi. His investment tracking business took him all over the world, and he had been to Seattle twice within the last year, looking up Edward both times. Garrett lived in Montana with his fiancee Kate. I think they were in the hospitality business, or at least Garrett was. Ben was the only other Boston resident out of the group. According to Edward, Ben was his least favorite, but they were obviously friendly enough as a group for Ben to be coming here today. Emmett was Edward's closest friend and confidant and he actually didn't have many other close friends in Seattle, but that's how guys were. They're like penguins and mate for life or something. Jacob was like that with boys from our childhood. I thought that was funny because that would never happen in a group of women.
"Forget what?" I asked.
"Nothing," Edward stated, pulling me to him and kissing me soundly.
"You think you're smooth. Trying to distract me with your gorgeous mouth."
"Is it working?"
"Mmmm," I hummed. Not forgetting what I asked, but suddenly not giving a damn.
"Hey-ho!" A masculine voice called from atop the stairs that lead to where we were standing.
Edward and I popped back top-side and he nearly collided into me as I stopped short just at the top step.
She was standing there. About four feet away was the cunt of a skank Angela.
"Ignore her," Edward stated, kissing my neck. He was trying to play it cool, but I felt the tension in his mouth and heard the tremor in his voice. I thought I had seen the last of her at that reception. Clearly, I was wrong.
I spun around and looked into Edward's eyes; he had removed his sunglasses. "Is that what you told Felix to forget?" He nodded. "Why? Why is she here?"
"She's with Ben. He kind of told Felix last night. Remember that phone call I got last night? I found out then. Just forget it, Bella. Let's have fun."
His smile was weak and half hearted. I hated to see him less than feeling his best. I knew just the sight of her made him feel inadequate and undeserving. Fuck that. The cogs in my brain started to churn. Karma was a bitch that took many forms and today her name was Bella.
Shortly after, once all introductions were made and I resisted the urge to push Angela overboard, the guys were all shouting out sailing terms and having a good time pushing us out onto the river. I watched as Edward pulled and tied a few ropes. His biceps rippling and his shoulders shifting under his tank top. Then he took it off. Yum.
"So, Bella," Kate started as she sat down next to me and handed me a Sam Adams Summer Ale, which I knew happened to be a personal favorite of Edward's. In fact, he's asked for one every place we have been this weekend. "How long have you been with Edward?"
"About a year." I knew we weren't technically together a year, but I counted him as mine since the first day I saw him and I knew Edward felt the same way.
"Really? That's it?" Heidi piped up.
"Yeah. Is that a problem or something?" I was confused by her shocked tone.
"Oh, no. It just seemed like you've known each other longer. The way you, like, gravitate and interact."
I smiled. I felt like Edward was the other half to my whole. What they said made total sense to me, but I had never had a complete stranger bring it up before. This made me feel even more solid in what we had, if that was possible. Angela snickered and we all turned to face her. I glared at her, then plopped my sunglasses back on my face, turning my attention back to the more likable people on this boat. People I wasn't having violent images of burning at the stake.
As the day went on, I tried so, so hard to ignore Angela. I really did. No one could really hold it against me, right? It wasn't my fault she was standing close to me when the boat pitched and my drink spilled in her hair. Nor could I be held responsible for the cooler shutting on her hand after I grabbed a beer for Edward in the cold box next to her. I didn't put her hand there. I watched her hang all over Ben, all the while casting her eyes to Edward and watching him. I could practically see the drool on her chin. To Edward's credit, he ignored her completely. Keeping his distance altogether, never giving her a chance to pounce. I knew she wanted to, even though she dropped him so many years ago. I knew jealousy when I saw it.
I listened as Edward reminisced with his friends and I reveled in his arms around my waist as he attempted to teach me how to steer the boat. I loved listening as he pointed out various points of interest along the Charles River and pointed out when we passed from Boston to Cambridge in the blink of an eye. I never stopped watching her. I was waiting for her to do something, to make it without a doubt justifiable, when I looked over the side of the boat as her ass hit the water.
The sun was low in the sky but not completely gone and we were all having a great time talking and hanging out. I was sure that at least Ben and Chelsea were pretty close to drunk. I was sitting on Edward's lap, his arms on my thighs and his head over my shoulder as Garrett told us a story about his failed attempt to take Kate camping. It was hysterical and I could not do anything but laugh wholeheartedly when he told us about Kate asking where the beds were once he set up the tent. Kate was a good sport and laughed along with us; I liked Kate. I felt Edward harden beneath me and I couldn't resist the urge to shift against him. A low sound reverberated in his chest against my back and I smiled. I looked up and Angela was glaring at me; my smile widened.
"You smell like sunshine," he whispered into my neck, making the tiny hairs stand at attention and my stomach flip.
I shifted against him again, his grip on my thighs flexing and once it softened, I could see the imprint on my flesh. It made me wish I had known Angela was going to be around, I would have been proud to wear one of Edward's love bites today. Well, I was always proud to wear one, but I would have been especially proud to wear one today.
With a huff of breath, Edward shifted me off him and excused himself to the rest room below. I knew he was hard. I also knew there was no way he could pee with what was hanging out in his shorts and I'd be damned if he was about to go play without me.
I sat there for all of a minute, wondering if I should or shouldn't, but knowing well enough that I would anyway. Chelsea, who was sweet but somewhat boring was talking about her job as a kindergarten teacher when I shot up and headed in the same direction as Edward.
I reached the door and knocked, making sure it was him in there as I knew Demetri had also gone below for a minute.
"Just a minute," he called and I knew it was him by the soft strain in his voice.
"Baby, it's me. Open up."
Edward opened the door and looked at me with soft, pleading eyes as I squeezed into the tiny little bathroom. He looked somewhat distressed, probably being uncomfortable in his clothes. He pushed some stray hairs off my forehead and as his hand grazed my skin, the fire for him got hotter.
"I want you. Now," I commanded, pulling him even closer in the confined space by the waist of his shorts.
"I want you. Always," he replied, and I couldn't hold back anymore as I pushed his shorts down and stroked his cock between us. He hissed when I rubbed my thumb over the tip and swirled the wetness that had gathered.
His hands went to my waist and he undid the ties of my bikini bottoms, letting them fall to the floor. I turned around, knowing that in this confined space, this would be the best position possible. Edward leaned back against the small counter space, angling his hips upward and I shifted against him, letting my ass graze his cock, hard and ready for me.
His hands ran down my back, his mouth following and kissing my sun drenched skin. I gasped as one hand slipped between my legs, testing my pussy and dipping into me as the other reached up and pinched my nipple.
"Jesus, Bella. Have you been wet all day?"
"Have you been half naked all day?" I asked in a lustful voice, pointing out that I didn't know how the hell he expected me to stay dry, watching him be all masculine with the sailing and the bare chest. Sun glistening off the sweat beads that formed from the heat. Watching him care free and happy in a hobby he loved, but didn't get to do. Despite Angela's presence, Edward was my main focus.
A low growl resounded in the tiny bathroom as Edward pulled me back by my hips and onto his cock. We both moaned and held still for just a second, a fraction of one really, before he started a fast rhythm of pushing into me and pulling me back to him. My hands gripped onto the slick wall in front of me as I pressed my forehead to the semi-cool surface and reveled in the pleasure of being filled.
I squeaked as my nipples brushed against the cold wall. The cold and friction felt nice.
"Oh god, Edward!" I cried as he was thrusting in a particular way that hit me so deep and in the perfect spot. I knew it would be only a few more minutes before I completely fucking lost it.
The bottom of the boat was air conditioned, but the bathroom was not and I could feel the beads of sweat rolling down my back and chest, my thighs slipping against Edward's. The warmth was probably contributing to my increased delirium, but fuck was it awesome.
It hit me like a flash of lightning; my entire body shook as I cried out and clawed at the wall, which was fruitless since it had no traction. My knees went soft and I was glad the space was so small that even if my legs did give out, I couldn't fall pinned as I was between Edward and the wall.
Edward bit down on my shoulder, my body still shuddering as he finally let go, letting his own release take over. I started to come down from my orgasmic high, noticing my body was involuntarily still rocking against him. I could never get enough of him and if I kept this up, we were never leaving this tiny space.
He turned me around, his mouth hungrily finding mine as his hands ran up and down my back and I ran mine through his hair.
"You are the most perfect thing in my world, Isabella." I smiled and was about to respond when there was a knock on the door that caused us both to jump.
We hurriedly got redressed and Edward checked me over once, as I did him, before we opened the door. Garrett was standing at the door, whining about having to pee and I watched Edward blush and then shrug. We were both laughing as we reached the top side landing when cheers erupted and caught us both by surprise.
"Dude!" Ben called. "Nice."
"You okay there, Bella?" Felix asked, hi-fiving Edward as he walked over to one of the coolers to grab a beer.
Edward sat back down and I resumed my position in his lap, kissing him before I turned back to face the group. Kate, Heidi and Chelsea were all smiling at me. Kate, a little more red than the last time I saw her about twenty minutes prior. I wasn't sure if it was the sun or from the current topic.
"I think it's time to hit land. It looks like Edward and Bella want to continue where they left off," Demetri laughed. "What? We all heard you up here. 'Oh god, Edward.' 'Fuck, Bella,'" he mocked.
I knew it was all in good fun. Just boys being boys and razzing their friend. Edward was laughing by the time Demetri finished; it excited me to see him relaxed and care free with his friends while still maintaining that shyness I found so endearing. All of them stated they didn't know Edward had it in him and decided they were changing his nickname from "Squid" to "Stallion." I looked over to Angela; she was scowling harder than she had been all day. I knew she was thinking about what she missed out on, leaving Edward the way she did. Good! She could take Ben back to wherever he lived and fuck him while thinking of my Edward. She could think all she wanted; he was mine.
For nearly a year I have said that I wanted to rub Edward in Angela's face. Mission accomplished.
I laid my head on my desk, completely exasperated and done with this day.
"Go away," I whined as my cell phone rang next to me. I was done with today and done with people; I needed sex and sleep and that was all. Begrudgingly, I answered. I knew if I didn't, Alice would just call me again and as many times as necessary until I answered.
"What's wrong, Bella? You sound worn down."
"It's been a touch-and-go kind of day," I sighed. "I had to let Irina Denali and Laurent Arnold go today." I looked at the picture of Edward and I that was taken six months ago laughing in the sun on the boat in Boston and sighed. I would rather be there right now.
"I bet that was tough."
I went on to explain to Alice how Irina and Laurent had been caught in some serious confidentiality breaching and trading inside information to competition. I had known them both a long time and Irina was a good friend of my mother's, but they broke one of our most strict rules and it couldn't be helped. I generally didn't get involved in layoffs and firings, but when it came to top level executives in the firm, I had to. It was my least favorite thing about my job.
Laurent left with a sneaky smirk, but Irina exhausted me. She cried and pulled at our familial ties. She complained that she was tricked into sharing information and played on my mother's memory to try and soften the situation. It was awful. I wished I could have believed her, but how did you explain the months of information being exchanged? We knew there was a leak; we just couldn't find it at first. We never expected it to be Laurent or Irina.
Once, perhaps. This business was all about networking and Jake, myself and the board all agreed that if it had been something like a casual mention over drinks or something non-threatening, it would have been understandable. That was not the case. There were emails and records of file sharing, phone calls and eventually, we lost three clients because of it. Action had to be taken.
I spent my entire day dealing with that shit. Doing the job and filing the correct paperwork. I felt the beginning of a tension headache-turned-migraine and I just wanted Edward, but I wouldn't get him. Not tonight. He had a thing running late tonight and I'd probably be asleep by the time he slipped into my place or maybe I would sleep at his. We spent most nights at one or the other. Today, I felt that maybe being surrounded by his things would soothe me until I could see him. Until I could lay my head on his chest and he'd rub my arm and kiss my hair, then it would turn into passionate touches and heated mouth kisses, sweaty bodies and panting. I could wake up tomorrow and pretend this day never existed. Except now, we had to find a new VP of Client Relations and Director of Media.
"Ugh!" I groaned, digging the heel of my free hand into my left eye.
"Oh, sweetie. Let me buy you a drink. We can talk about it and then maybe Edward will be home by the time you are."
Home. Maybe we'd share one soon. We'd idly talked about it a few times, but had yet to officially make the choice. Both owning our own space, it just wasn't easy deciding which one to give up. What to merge and what to keep. Bed switching was working for now. I laughed at myself every time I thought about living with Edward. Not too long ago, that kind of commitment was not something I figured I'd get around to any time soon.
I knew I didn't want anyone else but him, from now until forever and if I was honest with myself, like I always was, I had to admit that the idea of living with him, being his...wife, actually made my heart flutter a little bit. Or a lot. Maybe.
I agreed to get a drink with Alice. Girl talk with my best friend wasn't something I would typically pass up anyway. Even if my headache was out of control and I was so exhausted my body sagged.
It was still light out as I walked out of Black-Swan, Inc, got in my car and headed to Sambar to meet Alice. She was such a good friend, distracting me from the stress of my day. She told me about the samples for her new line that just came in and that she and Jasper finally got that jacuzzi tub she wanted in their townhouse.
"Jasper and I are going to try for a baby," she whispered. I couldn't help the un-Bella-like squeal that came out of me as I gaped at her in excitement.
"That's so great, Al. Are you excited?"
"I am. It's time, you know? Jasper's restaurants are doing so well, he hardly needs to be as hands on so much anymore. And Pure Green has taken off in leaps and bounds. Thanks to your Superman and his genius brain," she beamed. "It's just time now."
I was so happy for my friend. Alice was always going to be the one of us to have a million babies. She's a born nurturer and totally had the energy for it.
"What about you?"
"Me? Oh no, Al."
"Come on, Bells. You don't want a gorgeous Baby Edward sitting on your lap?"
"I'm not saying never. I'm saying I'm not ready. We don't even live together!" I realized my voice was a little higher than necessary and apologized to the couple next to us. They didn't seem to notice.
"You're open to it?"
"Of course I am. In a few years, of course. It's so bad to say, but if he asked me to rob a bank, I would. He makes me so stupid, but in the best possible way. I spend so much time not feeling and with him, I feel everything. I love him; I want him forever. I don't know how I'd balance work, marriage, motherhood and you," I said, punching her arm, "but I'm not closed to the idea."
"What would you say if Edward asked you to marry him?"
"What?" I started but was cut off by the piercing sound of my damn cell phone. It was Gianna calling, which meant it had to be important. Gianna was an excellent assistant, very perceptive and attentive. Hardly ever making obvious mistakes. I knew if it was something trivial, like the copy machine needing maintenance, she would not be calling. She was very competent and handled almost everything without direction. Maybe Irina came back and was strapped with a bomb or Laurent was holding her hostage.
It was hard to hear her, but it sounded like I had a late meeting she forgot to tell me about. The way I was storming about this afternoon, I couldn't say I blamed her, but I was still irritated that she forgot. This never happened before, so I couldn't very well punish her in any way. Not really, but I would mention it when I got to the office. Express my disappointment so she knew not to let it happen again.
I finished my drink in a gulp and said goodbye to Alice and headed back to my office. The sun was gone now and I glanced at the clock in my dash and saw it was nearly nine. Shit. I was so not prepared for any meetings. Not with knowledge or mental capacity. I was wiped, but this was the kind of world I worked in and stuff happened. As I pulled into my parking space, I checked my face in the mirror, popped a mint and practiced smiling as I made my way through the lobby, up the elevator and to my floor.
I didn't really know where I was supposed to be going and when I called Gianna back to try and get more details, she didn't answer. I saw that the door to conference room E, the executive conference room on the same floor as my office, was open, so I headed that way.
I peaked my head into the door way and was surprised to see Edward there, standing at the front of the room with the presentation remote in his hand.
Our eyes locked and I couldn't not smile. He was here and he looked so good. He was wearing one of my favorite ties; a favorite because I liked the way it kind of shimmered in the light. Suddenly, the day didn't seem so bad. Maybe I could take him back to my office or we could just go home. I was stuck in my own thoughts and still staring at Edward when he cleared his throat and spoke.
"Miss Swan, if you'll take a seat, I have a projections presentation for you." I quirked a brow at him in question. Was he serious? "Please, Bella," he said softly. I did as he asked and took a seat at the conference table, waiting for the presentation to begin. Maybe this was something for Pure Green and I spaced it? I knew for a fact that was the only account Black-Swan, Inc had going with EC2.
I looked up at him expectantly as the screen came to life in front of us. Suddenly, I was confronted with images of Edward, of me, of us. A soft violin played in the background while the images popped against a vibrant array of bold reds, deep purples, and royal blues.
"My Bella," Edward's voice came over the speakers in the room, "before you, I lived a life of self-deception. Lying to myself that what I had was all I needed. All I could want." I watched the screen as pictures of Edward studying in school to Edward giving presentations or sitting behind his desk floated across the screen. The look on his face content, but not necessarily happy. Not like the Edward I knew now.
"I never would have thought that my work would lead me to you, to anyone. Yet, the day I pitched a campaign for Pure Green was the first day of the rest of my life."
"You were confident, strong, opinionated, stubborn, beautiful, imaginative, and kind," his voice continued. I saw pictures of me with Alice, pouring over Pure Green plans. I watched as my board room face faded in and out of the presentation and newspaper clippings of the charity work I did were plastered on the large screen.
"You took me by storm and I have never looked back. You are my soul mate in every sense of the word." I saw pictures of us at parties, a candid one of us lounging in my living room that I knew Alice had taken. It had me resting against Edward with my laptop in my lap while he was reading some documents. I remembered that after she left from dropping off the pastries she picked up, my body replaced the documents in Edward's hands. Countless pictures of us were on display and I couldn't ignore the happiness on either one of our faces. A happiness that was not present in the solo pictures.
I was so caught up in the presentation and the soothing sound of Edward's voice, that I didn't realize he had approached me until he was turning my chair and I saw him down on one knee with a red velvet box in his hand.
"This is where we began, Bella. This room is where we met and you captured my attention. All my life, I've strived for perfection, but all of that holds a dull candle to the single most perfect thing in the world. You. I love you, Bella. I want to love you forever. Will you marry me? Please?"
The soft please at the end of his request was enough to send the pile of tears, building behind my eyes, tumbling over the edge. I was not a crier. It was not something I generally had much of a capacity for, but Edward could always touch me in ways no one ever had. How could I say no? Why would I say no? Even if he'd sent me a text message, I would have said yes. But god, this was so perfect. In this room, in this way. This was so Edward, so us. So perfect.
I looked down at the shining diamond ring, which I honestly could not tell you the cut or anything because I was just not one of those girls who gave a damn about that, until about five minutes ago. I could tell you that it was beyond perfect and twinkling, making me want to put it on as quickly as possible and never take it off. Like jotting my signature on a contract to seal the deal. Except, I wasn't getting money out of this, it was so much more. Much, much more.
"Yes," I whispered, "Yes, Edward. Yes! I want to love you forever." I answered him with all the courage I could muster as my heart still clenched from the billowing reality of this moment.
He slipped the gorgeous ring on my finger and then he stood up and pulled me with him, a huge smile across his beautiful face as he picked me up and spun me around.
"I never thought I'd have this, but I am so happy right now." He kissed me hard on the mouth as I wrapped my legs around his waist, keeping us together.
The kiss deepened and I found myself bucking against him, the crotch of my panties hitting his belt buckle and I whimpered.
"Have you ever been fucked on a desk before, Bella?"
I nodded my head.
"Want to do it again?" he asked and I nodded again. A devilish smile appeared on his face as he turned us around and carried me out of the conference room and headed toward my office. Back to the scene of our first time, certainly not our last.
Bella got a Cartier Ballerine Solitaire. It will be on my blog with the outfits.
Rae Cullen is sweet and awesome and she interviewed me about Public Relations for SYTCW. Go check it out - link is in my profile.
Fandom Gives Back is in full swing. Please participate, it's for a great cause!
*sniffle* It's done. PR is over. It's been a great ride and thank you all for reading along. You've been awesome.