Thanks to my betas susayq and secretobsess7 and my pre-readers obsmama and Dinx219. You girls are the best and I am so happy I met you! A special thanks to lotusblosm for introducing me into facfiction by way of a little story called Clipped Wings and Inked Armor. This is the final chapter and there probably won't be an epilogue unless something that desperately needs written hits me.
Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.
~Chapter 38~That's All She Wrote
Being back in my office was bittersweet. I was happy to be back in my workplace, yet all of the shit piled up on my desk was starting to give me anxiety. Em and Jazz were planning on hanging out for a little while, so I had plenty of time to take care of the most pressing matter: Riley.
I sorted through the mass on my desk as fast as I could to look for the paperwork that was supposed to have been delivered that morning. When I found it, I breathed a sigh of relief. Cleveland, Ohio was a far cry from Seattle, Washington. Far enough away that Riley could have a real chance at a new beginning.
Victoria Marcus was listed as his aunt, and all of her information was complete. I booted up my computer so I could check her record, praying that it was squeaky clean. When the information I checked was verified, I filled out nearly seven pages of forms recommending that his parole be switched to the State of Ohio for supervision. I then typed a letter explaining how important the transfer was, and then scanned the newspaper article to show them that staying in Washington was a threat to his well being. I was hoping that the fact he saved an FBI Agent's life would hold some merit.
"Bella. BELLA!" Emmett was leaning against my office door with his arms crossed.
I was startled out of my concentration and banged my leg on my fucking desk. "Fuck nuts, what's with the creeping around?"
"Bella, holy hella. I've been standing here for like three whole minutes. Geez. Why so serious?" Oh no, Esme had gotten to him. He sang the last question Pink style. "Vaminos bambino."
"I can't help it. I flove her. I'm telling you what, if Rose ever gets sick of my ass, and Carlisle decides to practice medicine in a third world country, she's all mine." He had a far away dreamy look on his face.
"Ew, Emmett! She's Edward's mother." His obsession was ridiculous.
"He'll be calling me daddy!"
I hit send on the transfer documents, and then got up to give Em a smack.
Jasper seemed uncomfortable the entire car ride to Edward's. I was wondering what was up his ass, until Emmett congratulated him on his new roommate. I was somewhat surprised, until I saw Jasper cringe at his words. Maybe he hadn't told Alice yet.
"What? I won't tell Alice, if that's what you're worried about." I could keep secrets…well sometimes anyway.
"She already knows. You'll have to talk to her about it." He turned the radio up, signaling the end of conversation. He was acting way weird. I'd just have to ask Alice like he said.
I said my goodbyes as they dropped me off at the door. The condo was silent, but I saw Edward's keys hanging up in the foyer, meaning he was hopefully resting upstairs. I tiptoed upstairs and found him lying in bed looking so peaceful. I turned to leave and knocked into his dresser sending a glass tumbling to the ground. "Fuckers." I bent down to pick it up, hoping I didn't wake him up, and thankful that the glass was empty, and intact.
"Who's here?" came a sleepy voice from the bed.
"Sorry, baby. I was trying to be quiet." I sat on the edge of his bed and started rubbing his back.
"That's alright. I didn't want to sleep all afternoon anyway. I called you. The doctor's office called and I'm clean."
I took the phone off of my belt and saw that I had missed a few calls. Alice, my father, and Edward had called. I wondered how I missed them and then saw that my ringer was set to off.
"That's a relief! Shit, my ringer was off. Sorry, I was busy filling out Riley's transfer papers. He has an aunt in Cleveland that seems perfect. Hey, has Jazz said anything to you about a roommate? He was acting all weird because Emmett mentioned it in front of me. Well, Alice called so I'm going to call her back."
"Bella, I wanted to run something by you," Edward said as he pushed himself into a sitting position.
"Okay," I answered as I dialed Alice. "Hey, Al. Sorry, I just saw that you called. I had my damn ringer off. You should feel privileged; I'm calling you back before my dad, who I haven't talked to all week, by the way."
Edward moved past me and walked to the bathroom. He seemed annoyed, but I needed to find out what was up with my girl. She was small talking and I wanted to just ask her but I could barely get a word in edgewise. I started daydreaming until I heard the words 'Volturi' and 'Los New Mooners'.
Apparently, Esme had gotten them a gig for that weekend. They were going to play for happy hour, and the plan was to stay and hang out afterward. I got the shivers when I thought of what transpired the last time we went there, but I was pretty positive Tanya's ass would be at home with her family.
Alice's conversation went to outfits, hair and makeup, and then she cut me short when Jasper arrived at our apartment. She hung up before I had the chance to figure out what was going on. It wasn't really my business anyhow; I just couldn't help but be overly curious.
Edward came out of the bathroom as I was dialing my father. I left him a message, figuring he was at work, or most likely hanging at the bowling alley. I missed him and owed him a visit in the very near future.
He was a nervous wreck ever since he found out what had transpired with the South End Riders. Jacob sent his father all of the articles and my dad was pissed and hurt that he found out from someone else. It wasn't that I was trying to hide it from him; I just knew that he would freak out, and I was hoping to tell him in person. The only thing that kept him from driving to Seattle immediately was a bowling tournament. They took that shit seriously in Forks.
Edward was standing up looking very anxious and a lot annoyed. He was fidgeting and yanking on his hair. It was getting on my nerves. "What's wrong with you?"
"Oh, um nothing. I just wanted to talk to you about something my dad said."
"Oh no, he's not pissed at Emmett is he? Shit, I told him he was being ridiculous. Maybe you should talk to him."
My phone rang and it was my dad. I mouthed "Charlie" to Edward and sat down to answer his million questions. Edward went downstairs to do hell knows what. I must have talked to my dad for nearly an hour, because it was dark when I hung up. I promised to visit him the following weekend and hoped that Edward would come with me. Speaking of Edward, my stomach growled and I wondered what he wanted to do for dinner.
As I made my way downstairs, I noticed a soft glow coming from the kitchen. I found it strange and wondered if the power was out. "Edward?" I followed the light and was nearly brought to tears by the sight before me.
Two candelabras holding ivory candles adorned a perfectly set table. The faint smell of roast beef lingered in the air, and Edward was standing in front of the oven wearing a Hawaiian patterned apron. My hand flew to my heart, as I'd never seen a more beautiful sight in my life. He turned and looked at me, flashing his ever so sexy smile and my heart fluttered.
"Hi. This is beautiful," I said motioning around the kitchen.
"Take a seat, my love." He moved to the table and pulled out a chair for me before I could even blink.
I looked up to see a vase full of my favorite star gazer lilies sitting on the table. "Oh, Edward. These are my favorites, they're so beautiful." I leaned toward them to take in their scent. "Heavenly." I wasn't sure how I missed them when I first walked in.
I suddenly felt underdressed and wished I would've showered, or at least changed clothes. As I stared at my handsome boyfriend busy at work with our dinner, I was awestruck. He was it for me. I suddenly became very anxious and before long I was sure to pit out my shirt. I snuck a rub of said area and smelled my hand to make sure my nervousness wasn't evident by smell.
I thought back to the way Edward was acting when I got home. He was nervous, anxious and wanted to talk to me. He looked annoyed while I was on the phone, and then surprised me with the elaborate dinner set-up. I sucked in an audible deep breath.
"Did you say something?" the fuck-hot cook asked.
"Um, nope. I'm just stopping to smell the roses...errr...lilies." Shit, I hoped he believed my rambling.
Was he planning on engaging me? No, surely he wasn't. It was too soon, wasn't it? We loved each other and had been through pretty stressful events together, but it was too soon, right? What would I say? Yes, but isn't it too soon? Yes. Yes, but I'm homeless. I couldn't fathom saying no. My leg was bouncing so hard I rattled the table. I dabbed my sweaty forehead with my fancy napkin and proceeded to pick at my non-existent nails. What else could it be, and how the hell was I going to choke down my dinner without freaking the fuck out?
Edward poured me a glass of wine, which I gulped down the second he turned his back. With an eyebrow raised he poured me another as soon as he noticed. "Stressful rest of your day, sweetheart?"
"Just thirsty I guess." Keep your cool. Keep your cool Mrs. Cullen Swan, shit Swan Cullen, or maybe just Cullen, definitely no hyphen cuz that's just a pain in the ass. Really, he hadn't even asked yet and I was already running to social security to change my name.
Edward returned to the table with two heaping plates full of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and glazed carrots. It smelled delicious but there was no way I was going to be able to eat without upchucking all over the fine linen.
I needed to settle down and not ruin this for him. I felt hot and glanced back at my armpits to make sure there weren't any sweat rings yet. "Babe, are you okay? You look a little flushed."
"I guess the next time I'm thirsty I should drink some water." I smiled weakly at my attempt to assure him that I was alright. "Geez, I already have to use the bathroom."
I stared in the mirror and tried to calm down. I had a cool, wet washcloth plastered to my sweaty forehead, and I was dabbing my armpits with toilet paper. Thank God the ever anal Edward had his medicine cabinet stocked. A little mouthwash couldn't hurt and neither could some good ole Right Guard, because, you know, anything else would be uncivilized. I left the bathroom refreshed, smelling a little like a dude, but refreshed nonetheless.
"Yep, I'm greaaaat." Fuck, I sounded like Tony the Tiger.
Edward just looked at me and chuckled softly. "Bella, you never cease to amaze me."
He began eating and I just stared at his mouth as he chewed, watching his strong jaw flex with the movements. I knew I wanted to spend my life with him, and I also knew that I didn't want to be engaged for a million years. I still couldn't stop the thought of 'it's too soon' from entering my head though.
I ate as if on autopilot, thankful that my nervous stomach was accepting the food. We sat there in a comfortable silence, though I could tell something was obviously on his mind. As soon as I pushed my plate away he was up in a flash clearing it away. He then got on his knees next to my chair and grasped my hand.
My heart started beating erratically, and I was sure I was going to pass out. He licked his lips nervously, and it took everything I had from spouting out an inappropriate comment.
"Bella, you know how I feel about you, about us, right?" I met his eyes and nodded, which led him to continue. "I want us to be together for always, and at least as much as possible. You make me a better man, the kind that I've strived to be my entire life. I envision a future with you, something that I've never done with anyone else. You've stood by my side when I didn't deserve anyone, especially someone like you. Bella, an opportunity has presented itself and I truly think it will be the best thing for our future and the future of our family, the family that I hope to have with you someday."
"Edward?" I wasn't going to lie, I was a little confused.
"Bella, I want us to buy a house together. Not just any house, but the house I grew up in. It's perfect to raise a family in, and I think you'll love it. In fact, I'm sure you'll love it. I never thought I'd be able to afford something in that neighborhood, but my dad is willing to sell it to us for what I owe on this place. My parents are interested in living here and wanted to see what we thought before putting theirs on the market."
Phew. Wait, I didn't feel relieved, or disappointed, just a little bit thrown for a loop. We could actually live together in a house that we bought. I couldn't wait to see it. It was the perfect next step in our relationship. I was sure it was worth way more than it would be sold to us for, and though I wasn't one for handouts, I wasn't a dumb ass either. It was a lucky break and the most perfect timing!
I looked at Edward who was still on bended knee waiting from my response. "Yes! Yes, Edward! That's perfect." It didn't matter to me that I had never even seen the house; I knew I wanted to go for it. Go for it I did, as I launched myself at him knocking him to the floor and ravishing him with all I had.
We were in the midst of a clothes shedding frenzy when he stopped and looked at me quizzically. "Bella, you smell like a man."
"Better that than the alternative." I shrugged and we got back to our wrestling match on the kitchen floor.
Once our quickly satisfying sealing of the moving in together for real deal was done, we got into the car to check out his parents' house. Edward promised that we could redecorate together if we so decided, and then specifically said that we were not to accept the dining room set even if they insisted on it. I tried to ask what the reason was but he just shivered and told me to use my imagination.
We'd been driving maybe ten minutes when Edward pulled off of the busy two lane road onto a winding street that seemed to weave into a neighborhood. The houses were large and set apart from each other perfectly. I couldn't stand how houses these days were built so close together you could practically hear what they were doing inside.
The driveways in this neighborhood were filled with high end SUV's and the lawns looked perfectly manicured. The street lights were bright and there were still kids playing outside. I loved it. He pulled into the driveway and I gasped at the beautiful house in front of me. It was a dark red brick with black shutters and a huge front porch with two rocking chairs.
Edward turned the car off and looked over at me expectantly. "Well?"
"Holy shit, Edward. It's beautiful! The whole neighborhood is beautiful. I fucking love it!"
Carlisle was at the door before we even got out of the car. "Hi kids, what a nice surprise. It's a good thing your surprise didn't happen say ten minutes ago." He looked at his watch, and when I noticed his disheveled appearance I could guess the reason. Edward's cheeks were instantly pink.
"You two are dirty little freaks!" Sometimes things flew out of my mouth before I could stop them.
Edward groaned and Carlisle chuckled as he led us into the house. I stood in the foyer and gaped at my surroundings. So far I was mentally moving in all of our shit and making a list of what we needed to buy. Esme's color choices were a little bold for my taste, but surprisingly nothing was completely out of control.
We heard grunting from what I guessed was the great room. Edward stopped dead in his tracks, but I had a mind of my own. I mean Carlisle was dressed and obviously finished, so I couldn't imagine he would have left her to take care of her own business...literally.
"C'mon Edward. Don't be a puss, things aren't always as they seem." I grabbed his hand and dragged him with me...you know, in case things were as they seemed.
To our relief she was in the midst of a game of Wii tennis, hence the grunting. We stood side by side silently watching as she was actually pretty damn good. Edward sneezed which caused her to turn toward us in mid swing. Before I could register what was happening an object came flying at us. Edward was frozen in place and the split second it took for me to glance at him made it so that I was defenseless as the controller hit me smack dab in the stomach.
"Umph. Shit." The breath was knocked out of my lungs causing me to double over. All my eyes could register in between my huffing and puffing was the hot pink controller lying on the floor.
"Oh noes, Bella. Are you alright? Carlisle is going to spank me for not securing the strap around my wrist. Carlisle!" she shouted. "Come quick and give Bella the Heimlich. I think she's choking on the Wii. Oh, and when you're done you get to spank me for being very naughty."
"Mom! That's enough. Bella got the wind knocked out of her; she's not choking."
"Oh dear, I'm sorry."
I looked up at her and weakly smiled. "It's okay," I managed to whisper. I also managed to realize that her shirt was on inside out. I'll be damned if they weren't sex fiends.
I felt hands from behind me lift me up. "No, dad! She's fine, really." Carlisle stopped in mid motion and we had an awkward moment of him with his hands wrapped around me holding onto my girls. Edward's father was grabbing my freaking boobs. "Dad," Edward cleared his throat.
All four sets of eyes moved to his hands. The most disturbing part was that he was so handsome I had to keep from shimmying myself back and forth.
"Oh. Um, sorry." He made sure I was balanced and removed his hands. "Edward." He winked at him in obvious appreciation of my chest.
Kill me now. Esme walked up and gave Carlisle a smack on the ass. "Bella, let me show you around."
"Alright, sounds like a plan." I followed behind her leaving Edward and his booby grabbing hot father to discuss their finances.
"Bella, I'm so excited for you and my son to make this home your own. We have a lot of great memories here, and I pray that someday you can say the same. Now here is where the magic happens."
I tentatively stepped into what was surely the master bedroom. "Holy shit," I whispered to myself. Their bed, most definitely king sized, sat in the middle of the room, and when she flipped on the lights it looked like a shrine. The lighting had a slight reddish hue to it and shone perfectly on the bed. The bedding perfectly matched the curtains and a rather large area rug, which adorned the floor. The pattern was purple cheetah and the material looked like silk. I swear I'd seen robes like that in those racy catalogues.
Once I got past the decor, and the odd looking hammock apparatus that hung in the corner, I realized the room was giant for a bedroom. "Bella, unfortunately we will be taking the love swing. Carlisle just can't stand to be without it." Esme pointed to the corner, and I suddenly realized it wasn't a hammock after all. The dirty birds had a sex trapeze swing! I'd only seen those in the same catalogs as the cheetah robes. "Don't you just love how the carpet matches the drapes?'
She did not just say that. I felt myself blush, but replaced it with snark. "Oh, Esme it's okay. We've got one on backorder, and I totally prefer my carpet to match my drapes."
She smiled and led me through the rest of the house. "Believe it or not, I used to be a lot more old fashioned about this sort of thing; this living together before marriage stuff. Fortunately for you, my dear, my son almost knocked up that trash, and we like you. Plus, you don't have to feel like he's getting your milk without buying you, the cow, because he loves you and I'm pretty positive he plans on buying you real soon."
Wait, she just called me a cow and then said Edward was buying me and getting my milk? The woman never ceased to confuse the shit out of me.
We met back up with the guys and Edward flashed me a smile letting me know that they had come to a decision.
We said our goodbyes and promised to see them at Volturi.
The minute we got into the car I had to reveal my discovery. "Edward, did you know your parents have one of those trapeze swings in their bedroom?"
"Yep. My father swears it's for some sort of new age physical therapy for his back," he responded as he rolled his eyes. "They offered to demonstrate, and I had to draw the line. So what'd you think of the house?"
"Incredible. We could have like four kids and still have enough room." Four kids? Where the fuck did that come from? I could even hear myself being introduced as Sammie Lynn's mom. I needed to get a grip.
Edward just smiled as I continued to ramble on about the yard, the finished basement, and the neighborhood. We decided that he would pay the mortgage and I would be responsible for the utilities, both of us splitting groceries.
"So, when do you want to move?"
"Well this weekend we'll be at Volturi, and next weekend I'm hoping you'll come with me to Forks to meet my father."
"Of course I'll come with you. I can't wait to meet your father. Alright then, three weeks and we'll be moving onto our new house."
Alice and I met at our apartment to get ready for our night out. The two of us had been so nervous to tell each other that we were moving in with our boyfriends, that we had been avoiding the subject and each other for a few days. We had finally just shouted it out at practically the same time, followed by relief, screams, and fits of laughter when I went to get my brows attacked by Rose. The good thing was that our locations in relation to each other would actually be closer with the moves.
Alice told me what I was wearing before I even asked. It was out of my comfort zone, but Edward and I needed a night out, and her choice was hot. She pulled the over the knee boots she had bought me out of the box and inspected them. I couldn't help but giggle as they were almost as tall as she was. "Bella, kindly shut the fuck up and put these on please."
I did as she said and had to laugh at myself wearing them with workout shorts. She threw the rest of my outfit at me and ordered me to get dressed.
I came out of the bathroom feeling like a classy hoochie mama. I had on what looked like a skirt but actually had a crotch, kind of like shorts but they looked like a skirt. Well, you get my drift. Most importantly they were short, but my ass wasn't hanging out. The shirt was an off white and very silky sleeveless number that had a high neck. It was super sexy considering the fact that there was no cleavage showing. The boots were fuck-hot, and I planned on wearing them and only them for Edward when we got home.
"Al, I'm going to miss you. Promise me we'll still have girl's nights and sleepovers." I was going to miss the shit out of her. I realized that our lives were headed in whole new directions; grown-up directions. This was serious stuff. We were moving in with guys that we loved and foresaw futures with.
"Oh Bella, you couldn't get rid of me if you tried." She ran to hug me but stopped short because she didn't want to wrinkle my shirt.
Rose picked us up and we headed downtown. She seemed nervous and wasn't her usual bitchy, confident self. "What's up with you," Alice probed.
"Emmett has been acting really fucking weird and it's stressing me out. He insisted that I go with you guys, no offense, and has been pretty much blowing me off. He's even been cleaning up after himself and doing dishes and shit."
"Does he have a fever?" I was trying to lighten the mood, but I was really freaked out that he'd taken his Esme obsession way too seriously.
"He's my everything, and I'm so fucking scared that he's over this whole thing." She motioned to herself and I was hoping she'd put her hands back on the wheel.
She looked so devastated, and I felt terrible.
Once we arrived I was about to pull out my badge when Alice pushed in front of me flashing a special Los New Mooners pass. The place was more crowded than usual due to the addition of many Mexicans. I hoped Edward was mentally ready for a potential Esme nightmarish evening. I thought once he spotted my boots nothing would be able to taint the evening.
The Los New Mooners were just about to start playing when we walked inside. I looked around for the guys but couldn't find them anywhere. The place was filling up so we grabbed the first table we found. Esme spotted us and waved as she continued to scurry around doing hell knows what for the band.
Alice ordered some drinks and Rose sat somberly fidgeting. I was feeling pretty good. My stress level was at an all time low, my sex life rocked, and I was totally in love with a man who was hotter than fuck. Yorkie and his teacher girlfriend, whose name was actually Pam, well Pam B. to be exact, pulled up some chairs and joined us. A bell sounded and Esme took the stage, mic in hand.
"Adios friends. This is a big night for The Los New Mooners. Thank you all for coming out and I hope you enjoy the show. Not only do we have a new member of the band, Dinx, we have a surprise performance to start off the show. Without further ado, Em Mac."
The three of us stared at each other in confusion and disbelief. Our eyes immediately darted back to the stage to see Emmett in a suit with his hair slicked back and a microphone in his hand. I guess the Battle Hymn of the Republic was just a warm up. The Los New Mooners played behind him and I recognized the music at once.
Emmett locked eyes with Rose and started singing Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars. I watched her face as she realized the beautiful words were meant for her. She was at a complete loss; emotions were written all over her face. His was a pretty damn good singer and tears were silently falling from her eyes.
He made his way off of the stage and stood right in front of our table serenading her as if she was the only one in the place. He grabbed her hands as he finished the last chorus. I felt hands on my shoulders and even knowing it was Edward couldn't make me turn away from them for even a second. I placed my hands over his and watched as Emmett got down one knee in front of the love of his life. Baby Lopez retrieved the microphone from him and they continued to play background music.
The entire bar erupted into applause and cheers when they saw what was happening. Strangely enough it gave them a sense of privacy since no one else could hear what he was saying to her. I watched as he pulled out a ring and placed it on her finger. I could read her lips shouting 'Yes' and then she was in his arms in an instant. I was so touched by his proposal that tears were running down my face. Alice was sobbing while holding onto Jasper and Carlisle and Esme were clapping.
Once they were done hugging, Rose got up and showed us her ring. It was a gorgeous princess cut diamond that was at least two karats. Her face shined with radiance and she looked so incredibly happy. "I guess I know why he's been acting so strange."
A round of shots were sent over, and we all stood up and toasted to Rose and Em Mac's engagement. I took a look at Edward's outfit and was instantly wet for him. He was wearing a dark grey button down shirt with the cuffs rolled up, dark wash distressed jeans and his hair was styled perfectly to look like he'd just woken up. He had a new black Nixon watch on and a thick black leather bracelet on his other wrist. I looked at him with an eyebrow raised wondering when he had escaped to the mall.
"Online shopping rules," he declared.
The look on his face when he saw my outfit was priceless. He licked his lips and was speechless as he eyed my boots. He ran his hands up and down my bare arms sending chills through my body. I could see the raw emotion in his eyes and was sure that he could see the same in mine. I had never felt so content and happy before. He was everything I could have ever hoped for and just as important was the fact that he felt the same about me.
Edward held me close and when I looked at him my heart swelled. "Beautfiul, the things I'm going to do to you tonight are probably illegal in some states."
I snorted in response. "I'm looking forward to it, my federale." It was, after all, only fitting that I use the Spanish term for him.
I was having the time of my life with my closest friends and the man that I knew I would love forever. I was ever thankful and looked to the ceiling to give thanks for something that most people waited their whole lives to find. There was no way I was going to fuck this up.
In a crowded club with Esme's terrible Spanish echoing in the background, I took a deep breath and savored the moment; it truly was perfect, and I was a very lucky girl.
a/n: First of all I never anticipated writing a full blown story that people would actually read. I thank all of you for giving this story a chance when there are so many to choose from. I can't tell you how much it means to get an email telling me someone added it to their favorites, alerts, and especially reviews. I've loved hearing from you, and would love to hear from those of you reading, but have never reviewed.
Pam B., Sammielynnsmom and Dinx have reviewed every single chapter and deserved a place in the story. In fact everyone that reviewed every chapter has been mentioned in one way or another.
To my TwiFicTrivia family: you girls (and p1mp) are awesome and I'm so glad I've gotten to hang out with you on Tuesdays! (9PM est. on Twitter)
Thanks to IndieFicPimp, TwiFicPromotions, and TwilightFanfictionAddicts for promoting Agent 00hot.
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I truly thank you for taking this journey with me. I'll be back, I'm just not exactly sure when:)