Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. It belongs to Stephenie Meyers.
It's finally here. The last real chapter of the story (I feel like there should be a fanfare or something).
Thank you so much for all your encouraging reviews and PMs. They have really kept me going throughout this story when I was feeling overwhelmed.
Thank you to Melanie, who is probably crying right about now. The Professor has been her pet from day one and I know that no one is sadder to see him go than she is. Thank you for the beautiful words you've added and for the help you have been in finding the Professor's voice.
That's all I have to say right now. I hope you enjoy this. :)
My heart went into overdrive in a matter of moments.
Did she just…?
I looked at her face and especially her beautiful dark eyes, searching for panic; the kind that settled almost immediately after she blurted out that she loved me that day in the shower. But it wasn't there. I was met with nothing but certainty and love. She meant it. She wanted this. She wanted me.
Oh, dear God. Is this really happening?
The girl who was once so terrified of getting close to me, of letting herself feel for me, of committing, just offered me the greatest gift on earth, namely her. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, 'till death do us part…
Stop reciting vows in your head and answer her, you idiot!
Her lopsided grin appeared. God, I had missed it so much.
"Really?" she whispered.
"Yes! Yes, I'll marry you!" I almost yelled and held her face between my hands. "Yes, of course I will."
"Then kiss me," she said and stood up on her toes.
She didn't have to tell me twice. I pressed my lips against hers, softly at first, but Isabella wasn't having any of that and deepened the kiss while pressing her body against mine. I groaned and reached down to her waist to hold her closer, wishing that she wasn't wearing her heavy coat which hid her beautiful curves.
"Let's go upstairs," I panted against her lips and reluctantly let go of her.
She nodded and we quickly got my suitcases together and scrambled up the stairs to her apartment.
"I love your place," I told her, honestly, when we stepped inside and I hung up my jacket.
It was bigger than Isabella's apartment back home but very reminiscent of it being both quaint and disorganized. It felt like Isabella. It felt like home. I was finally home.
"It's our place now, Professor Cullen," she said and put the bag she had helped me carry on the floor. "Or should I maybe start calling you Professor Swan-Cullen?"
"You want us to hyphenate?" I asked.
Isabella shrugged off her coat and, in true form, ignored the hanger by the door and threw it over a chair. It made my heart swell with happiness to see that she really hadn't changed since I saw her last.
"Well, I am the last Swan and there's no one left to carry on the family name except me," she said, with an air of hesitance. "I know people don't do it a lot anymore, but…"
"No, of course we should do that," I said, immediately. "I wasn't thinking. I wouldn't want you to give up your name after we get married."
After we get married. There's going to be a wedding. Our wedding. And then Isabella will be my wife! I'll have a wife!
I looked at Isabella, standing there in her combat boots, torn jeans and long-sleeved band t-shirt with her hair pulled back and her smudged makeup in place. She looked so young.
"Oh, my God," I said, feeling a little lightheaded. "You really asked me to marry you."
"I did," she confirmed and walked over to hold me around my waist. "Are you okay?"
"Well, yes. But, are you sure you want to get married, sweetheart? There's no rush, really, and you're so young, and still in school," I babbled. "I guess I just never saw you as someone who would even want to be a wife. And I'm so much older than you are, and I'm kind of boring and I like being at home most nights. Are you sure you want to get married so soon and to someone like me- someone so set in his ways already?"
She looked pensive, mulling over what I had said and I started to get nervous. What if I had just talked her out of it and she retracted her offer because I couldn't keep my mouth shut? I would kick my own ass if that happened!
"I've never really had a normal life," she said, her voice soft. "I know that even though Pop did his best, my childhood was anything but ordinary and now that I'm grown up I would really love some normalcy, you know? I realize that I'm young and I still have years of school ahead of me, especially if I'm going to go all the way like you did. And I'm messy and impulsive, that probably won't ever change. But I think that we belong together, Edward. No, I know we do."
She drew a deep breath.
"I know that from the outside you and I don't look like the perfect couple, and that we're different in a lot of ways, but I know who I am and I know you, baby, and I think it's our differences that make us perfect for each other. You love and support me no matter what and I will do the same for you. I don't expect you to become really outgoing all of a sudden and I know you love your quiet nights just as much as I love being out with the girls making noise. We can have separate interests and still be together. I think that maybe our differences actually make us stronger and we don't have to try to change each other. We love each other just the way we are now. No matter what I'm doing or where life takes me I know that I want you to be my husband," she said. "I want you to be my home. Please, say you will be."
"Wow," I croaked and cleared my throat. "You've really thought a lot about this."
"No, I didn't have to," she said, softly. "It's a no-brainer. I've never been happier than I am with you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. It's simple. I love you. I want to marry you."
"Before I met you I never thought this was going to happen," I admitted. "I never thought anyone would even want me, let alone want me forever."
I drew her into my arms.
"I love you. So much, Isabella. So much. And marrying you is a dream come true so you'll get no more objections from me. I swear I'll be the best husband in the world."
"I know you will," she whispered. "Now, will you please just rip my clothes off already?"
"You say the sweetest things. You're such a romantic," I grinned and leaned down to kiss her.
"Well, I did just ask you to marry me, didn't I?" she murmured against my lips.
"You sure did," I said.
"Hey, wait," she said when I started to pull up her shirt. "You're not disappointed that you weren't the one to pop the question, are you? I know that it's traditionally something that the man does."
I laughed and shook my head.
"When have we ever done things the traditional way?" I asked, rhetorically. "Besides, me proposing would probably have involved a lot of nerves and stuttering, and I wouldn't have gotten up the courage to do so for a long time. This is better. This is perfect."
"You're perfect," she whispered. "I can't believe you're really here with me, that you came just for me."
"Of course I did," I said with a smile. "I couldn't stay away. Isabella, being with you is everything. I know I need to be where you are. I want you to be my wife and…and I want us to have kids, to be a family."
I held my breath. The subject of having children with Isabella had never been breached before and I was anxious for her response. I knew that I wanted a family and I hoped she did too. I would never for a moment consider leaving her if that wasn't something she wanted but I knew that it would feel as though something was missing in my life if I never became a father. The way that Isabella was staring at me with wide eyes made my palms sweaty and tied my stomach in a tight knot.
"Kids?" she whispered.
"Don't you want any?" I asked.
"I…I do, I'd love to have kids some day, but…Edward, I'm only twenty-three."
Relief was instantaneous.
"I don't mean right now," I said, smiling. "You have to finish school, of course, and like you said you're only…"
Twenty-two. No, she said twenty-three!
"When's your birthday?" I gasped.
"Um, September 13th," she replied quietly.
"Oh, God!" I lamented. "I missed your birthday and I didn't even realize it! Sweetheart, I'm so sorry!"
I hadn't really paid attention to Isabella's date of birth when I looked over her profile on Facebook months ago. I had focused mostly on the year she was born to find out just exactly how much younger than me she was. She had never talked about an upcoming birthday before she left in August and in truth, I hadn't thought to check for myself. I wasn't used to having someone in my life to celebrate, except my parents and Emmett, but it still made me feel like a lousy fiancé.
"It's okay," she shrugged. "I didn't think you'd remember anyway."
"But why didn't you tell me?" I asked, a little baffled by her nonchalance.
"It's no big deal, honestly," she said. "Pop couldn't remember stuff like that and I just stopped celebrating. It doesn't matter. It's just a day like any other."
"Unacceptable!" I said firmly. "We are celebrating it right now. You deserve a wonderful birthday and you will get everything you want."
As I walked over to the door to put my jacket back on I started planning in my head; dinner was a definite and then maybe a show of some kind, but where should we eat and what would Isabella like to see? I also wanted to buy a birthday gift, a really good one, something that would make her happy.
"Edward? I know what I want for my birthday."
"Hmm?" I murmured distractedly as I turned around to face her.
Oh, my God!
"You're naked!" I gasped, even though that was obvious.
Isabella had quickly removed all of her clothes and now stood completely bare in the middle of the apartment, beautiful and unashamed. She was glorious. In a matter of seconds I had rushed back to her, holding her warm body against mine. How could I think about trivial things such as eating when she was here now, within reach and I had longed to touch her for so many weeks?
"What exactly do you want?" I asked, doing my best to conjure up a seductive sounding voice.
"You. Just you," she whispered against my neck. "Inside me."
I smiled in response and without warning I lifted her up into my arms.
"Bedroom?" I questioned.
Isabella nodded over my shoulder and I just about flew in there and placed her gently on the bed. I looked at her, stretched out and waiting for me, for my touch. She was the most beautiful girl in the whole world and she was mine, all mine. There was so much I wanted to do to her, and with her. I wanted to kiss and touch her all over, worship every gorgeous inch of her. I wanted to make her come with my fingers and my mouth. I wanted to make love to her, sweetly and gently. I wanted to fuck her, wildly and savagely. I wanted to tie her up. I wanted her to tie me up. I wanted it all and I realized that I didn't have to choose because I was never leaving her side ever again. We had all night and the one after that, and the one after that. Forever, and ever and ever. And that was only the sexual part of our relationship. It had started out being just about that, but now it was so much more. We had so much more. We had love and tenderness to share. We had fun and exciting adventures to look forward to. We had marriage and children in our future. We had it all.
"What are you waiting for?" Isabella whispered and sat up on her elbows.
"Nothing," I said, reverently. "I'm not waiting for anything anymore. Because I already have everything I could possibly want."
I crawled onto the bed and lay down on my side next to her, cupping her face in my hand.
"I love you, sweetheart," I whispered.
I took her hand and placed it on my chest, above my heart.
"It's so much," I continued. "It makes me hurt right here when you're not with me. Please promise me that we'll stay together forever, that we'll always make time for each other no matter how busy our lives get. That we'll always love each other."
"I-I promise," Isabella choked and sniffed back the tears in her eyes. "Always."
"Always," I whispered back and leaned down to kiss her gently. "Always, always, I love you."
"I love you," she said and wrapped her arms around me.
I deepened the kiss, parting my lips as she did and caressed her tongue with mine. My hand moved down her body, getting reacquainted with her beautiful curves; the swell of her breast, her slender waist, her softly rounded hip. She had lost a little weight in the time we had spent apart and I vowed to myself to make sure that she ate healthily from now on. Now that I was here, I would be cooking for her every day and I couldn't wait to spend time taking care of her and doing everything I could to make her happy, which in return made me happy, as well. It was perfect. We were perfect.
I kissed my way down her body, focusing on the places I knew brought her the most pleasure. It had been a while, but it all came back to me so easily. I knew what she liked, I knew her. I knew that she moaned when I kissed her neck, I knew that she was ticklish across her ribs and I knew that sucking her nipples made her deliciously wet.
"Mmm," I hummed and brushed my cheek over the soft downy hair that now covered her pubic area. "This is new."
"I didn't have time to find a waxer yet. Does it bother you?"
She wasn't apologetic and, really, why should she be? This was the way she was supposed to look.
"Not at all," I said, honestly. "You don't have to keep doing it for my sake. Emmett screamed like a girl when he was waxed and that was just his unibrow. I know it has to hurt."
"You'll still lick my pussy?" she smiled happily.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" I growled and spread her thighs. "It's one of my favorite things."
It truly was and I moaned against her soft flesh when I tasted her on my tongue. I worshipped her with kisses, teasing flicks of my tongue and long slow licks until she was panting above me, gripping my hair in her hands.
"Oh, fuck!" Isabella gasped when I slid my fingers inside her.
She was so tight and so close already. It made me wonder…
"Haven't you been using your toys, you naughty girl?" I purred and moved up her body until I hovered above her, face to face.
"No," she shook her head. "I couldn't. It made me miss you too much. Every time I tried touching myself it just felt wrong."
"Oh, sweetheart," I said, softly. "I'm here now. And I'll take such good care of you."
"Yeah?" she grinned again, lopsided and perfect.
"Mmm," I hummed and kissed her lips. "You'll see."
I licked and sucked and kissed my way back down between her thighs, now even more determined to make her feel good. Isabella was a very sexual person and I loved that about her. Being away from me had apparently put a damper on that but now it was time to resuscitate her passion and lust, just as she had done for me when we first met.
"I want you to come, Isabella," I said and kissed the soft skin on her inner thigh before giving her a teasing lick. "I want you to come apart and scream my name."
She nodded eagerly, her eyes wide with excitement.
"Such a good girl," I murmured. "With such a sweet little pussy."
Her grin widened. Isabella loved it when I talked dirty to her and I smiled right back, knowing that I loved it just as much as she did. There was nothing that we couldn't explore together, in and out of the bedroom.
"Mmm," I hummed against her, the vibrations causing her to moan.
Hey! That's what Emmett meant when he mentioned the word 'hummer' all those months ago! I finally get it!
Don't think about your brother while you're doing this! Have you lost your mind?
I immediately put all thoughts that didn't involve Isabella out of my head and focused solely on her and the pleasure I bestowed on her with my mouth and fingers. I hummed against her again, reveling in the sounds of her moans and gasps. I so enjoyed doing this to her. Every time I had made her come a small part of the old me, the one who believed he would never satisfy a woman, had disappeared without a trace until there was nothing left of that insecure, lonely soul. The man who remained was completely different and I loved being him. He was happy, confident and now also engaged to the sweetest most wonderful girl in the whole world.
"Come, sweetheart," I whispered and curled my fingers inside her.
A few more flicks of my tongue was all it took for Isabella to call out my name as she climaxed. I nuzzled her as she came down but made no move to leave my spot between her legs. I started stroking her slowly with my fingers, placing gentle kisses on her pretty pink flesh while savoring her taste.
I grinned. I was really glad I had discovered what a hummer was.
"Take your clothes off, please," Isabella whispered. "I want to see you."
I sat up on my knees and rid myself of my clothes quickly, albeit gracelessly. Isabella didn't care about my clumsiness. Her eyes were glued to my naked torso.
"Fuck, you look so hot," she practically moaned. "How much time have you spent at the gym?"
"More than before," I shrugged. "I didn't like being at home without you."
"Never again," Isabella promised and sat up quickly to position herself in my lap. "I won't ever leave again."
"Good," I smiled and wrapped my arms around her, loving the way her naked skin felt against mine. "I really don't function very well without you. And I've missed you so much."
"I can tell," she said and glanced down, her eyes lit up with mischief.
"Not just that part," I laughed softly.
She nodded. Isabella always understood what I meant.
"Let's make love," she whispered.
"I think we always do, in everything we do together, "I said and held her tighter. "All those long weeks of phone calls and emails…we were making love then too, I think, because every day I loved you more even though we were apart. Does that make sense?"
Instead of answering Isabella kissed me passionately, tangling her fingers in my hair.
"Yes," she whispered and kissed me again. "Yes. God, I love you so fucking much, baby. I want you, please."
I lifted her easily and moaned when I slipped inside her. This was where I belonged, making beautiful love with my Isabella.
And we did.
We made love for hours that night, only pausing to rest and hold each other close until we were ready again. We were insatiable but there was no desperation in our movements like the last night we spent together before she left. No one was leaving now and we had all the time in the world to enjoy one another.
And we did.
Many hours later we finally dressed, both of us absolute exhausted and starving but deliriously happy too.
"Ready?" Isabella asked and took my hand by the door to the outside world.
The outside which was now a completely new continent, so far from my boring and predictable life back home before I met her. Yes, I was more than ready to experience whatever this new world had to offer as long as I had my sweetheart by my side.
"Ready," I replied happily and gave her hand a soft squeeze.
There was no doubt in my mind as we stepped out into the cool crisp night that this was the beginning of a great adventure. There was so much to see, so many places to visit, so much to experience. Maybe I would get to see snow? That possibility and so many others filled me with an excitement I had never previously experienced and it was all thanks to her. My Isabella, my sweetheart, my future wife. We walked hand in hand through the brightly lit city, the whole world at our feet. We had it all. We were in love and I knew we were going to stay that way forever.
And we did.
I am so tempted to say 'The End' right now. This chapter seems a lot more final than I had planned and I might have to skip the epilogue and post it as a futuretake instead. I'll let you know either way, but make sure you have me on author alert just in case.
Thank you so much for taking this journey with me and for supporting me through everything that has been going on in my life while writing this story. You really are the best readers a girl could ask for.
As for the future there are three other stories that I need to get to work on. Yes, three. The Blizzard, My Viking and in case you didn't notice I have started the grueling task of re-writing Taken and I have posted 8 chapters of it so far. Now it's called Taken in the Night to avoid confusion.
Take care of yourself and each other until next time. :)