So, here is the final for this short story.
I'm not sure if I'm 100% happy with it; it sounded better in my head. Anyway, I think the epilogue is good and I hope anyone reading this will enjoy it.
Disclaimer: Character's are not mine.
Chapter Five – Secrets Revealed
As the morning continued Bella was most definitely NOT feeling the Christmas spirit of the day. It seemed that her anger rose the longer she was in the company of everyone, their problem's hanging over their heads like neon lit up signs. She hated the fact that she now knew pretty much everyone's relationship issues.
She could see them everywhere; there was no break from them. She watched as Rosalie avoided Emmett, as Jasper and Alice exchanged scathing looks when they thought no one was looking. Edward's avoidance of her was even worse than usual and she could see the fakeness of Angela's smile and the guilty look in Ben's eyes every time he looked at her. She could see the lines of sadness on Esme's face, the sheer ignorance of Carlisle and then there was Mike and Jessica who only added to the problems with their continual flirting with everyone, making tempers boil and the tense atmosphere even worse!
Like all emotional upheavals, they explode at some point. Bella found her breaking point as they were sitting down for Christmas lunch in the sunroom.
Bella had just walked into the sunroom carrying the salad bowl and glanced over at Edward.
"Edward, can you take this for me?" She asked, mind already thinking about the bowl of colesore she had to get.
"Yeah, just give me a moment, Bella." He said walking away from her to do god knew what.
The dismissal caused something in Bella to snap and before she could think about it, she hurled the glass salad bowel at him. Luckily for Edward, he managed to duck just in time for the bowel to shatter on the wall behind him.
"What the hell, Bella?" He yelled, more out of shock than anything else. Silence descended upon the rest of the family as they stared at the normally sweet and kind Bella whose cheeks were now flushed red, hands clenched white and fury burning in her eyes.
"I give up!" She yelled. "I can't take it anymore! You lot better start spilling these stupid secrets or, hell, I'm going to do it for you without a shred of remorse." She gave everyone a deadly looking glare, but no one moved, everyone too surprised.
'How can they all be so blind?' She cried angrily in her head.
She knew she shouldn't meddle in everyone else's problems, but they weren't doing anything about them! Family was supposed to support and help each other, weren't they? How could they help if they didn't know anyone was having problems? How could they not have noticed at least some of the problems going on?
"You two! You love each other so stop fighting all the time for heaven's sake! Alice, you shop so much that it become obsessive! Stop telling everyone they look like crap if they're wearing something YOU don't like. Not everyone needs to look perfect ALL the time. Jasper, stop being such a coward and a guy and actually TALK to her about this; not yell, but talk." Bella felt as if a small weight had been lifted off her chest and the feeling made her feel so much better she couldn't stop the words from tubling out of her mouth. The fact that the duo now looked gobsmacked also made her feel slightly satisfied.
She turned to Rose.
"Tell him about it! He's not going to be angry with you, he'll love it. I know that and you have to trust me on this, Rosalie. Emmett, try being a little more perceptive will you? It's SO obvious!" Bella snapped. As she was catching her breath, Rose suddenly burst out:
Silence once again filled the room as all eyes snapped to her in shock.
"What?" Jasper – of all people – yelled in shock.
"Why the hell are you shocked? You lot were talking about it yesterday?" Bella asked, momentarily dstracted from her anger.
"We didn't know Rose was pregnant, we thought YOU were pregnant." He said, pointing at Bella.
"You were in the bathroom being sick and you've been sick for the last couple of weeks. Not to mention you've been acting weird around Edward." He said.
"I've been acting weird?" Her eyes flashed as they glanced at the object of her ire before she changed targets.
"Are you or are you not having an affair?" She snapped at Carlisle. He looked stunned at her for a moment before looking over at Esme who was watching him with surprisingly cold and calculating eyes.
"Why would you think I would do such a thing?" He asked sftly, hurt evident in his voice.
"You've been working so much lately… what else was I supposed to think?" She asked softly.
"I was going to give it to you after lunch when we all exchanged gifts, but I've been working so much to pull in some extra money to get you some tickets to go on that cruse that you wanted so badly."
Embarrassment filttered across her face before he laughed softly and leaned over to hug her.
"Now that I think about it I should have expected you to think something like this, if I had been in your shoes I'd have thought the same thing."
"Well, at least one relationship is fixed, unlike yours which is so screwed up at the moment." Bella said, looking over at Ben distastefully.
"I've been thinking about it actually, and, I'd like to try and start thing over again. I know I made a mistake, a massive mistake at that, but I truly love you and want to try again." Ben said, looking sadly over at Angela who smiled feebly.
"I think I'd like that too, but it'll take a long time for me to trust you again."
"Gods, your family is so full of stupid drama." Jessica said scathingly to Mike from the end of the table. Eyes flashing again, Bella took a step towards her with the intention of violence, but Edward suddenly put an arm around her to both restrain her and calm her down.
"Bella, I think you need to calm down a bit." He said soothingly.
This, however, had the opposite affect and she slapped away his arm furiously, tears forming in her eyes as she looked at him.
"Good God Edward. What the hell if going on with you? She's right, everyone in this family has their problems but, I wish that you would be the one to tell me what YOU'RE problem is. I know everyone else's problems, but I don't know the only one that directly affects me. I love you so much, Edward, I always have. But you have to be honest with me, no joking around or stringing alone for a laugh or out of guilt." She paused for a moment, trying to stop herself from dying inside as she finally confronted him about it all.
"Bella, what are you talking about?"
"Edward, if you don't love me anymore then just break it off, stop pretending that everything's ok and that you're just always busy."
"You think I don't love you?" He asked, real surprise entering his voice.
"When was the last time you talked to me? When the hell was the last time you held my hand, kissed me, or even had just a normal conversation with me without all the awkwardness in the air between us? I don't even remember the last time you sad that you loved me." She broke of tearfully, furiously trying to wipe away any tears that had managed to escape.
"Bella, I love you more than anything else in this world. You're my life now, always have been really. I was going to do this later tonight, but, well," without further ado he suddenly knelt down on one knee before her shocked eyes.
Reaching into his picket he pulled out a small velvet ring case and opened it to reveal a simple silver band with a sapphire in a diamond shape in the centre, ivory engraved around the rest of the bane.
"Isabella Marie Swan, will you marry me?"
Chocking on tears, she laughed and nodded her head, feeling lighter than she could ever remember.
"Yes, oh, yes, of cause I will Edward!"
A brilliantly crooked smile crossed his lips as he slipped the ring onto her finger before standing and hugging her, kissing her softly on the lips as a sign of how much he loved her.
One Year Later…
Lunch time on Christmas day had always been an eventful day in the Cullen family, the year before especially so. Sitting around the large table in the sunroom, Bella smiled as she watched her family.
Rosalie was sitting next to Emmett, their little girl of five months, Katie, was being held up right in her father's lap. Rosalie was laughing at something Emmett had said before the man leaned over and kissed his wife gently, the little girl gurgling between them. Next to the small family was Carlisle who was smiling up at Esme as she put some salad on his plate. Both were smiling softly at one another, clearly still as in love as when they're been young.
Angela and Ben were sitting beside each other next. Angela had been fixing up a plate for herself when Ben tapped her on the shoulder causing her to turn in surprise. He quickly leaned in and gave her a short, sweet kiss, causing her eyes the light up. From what Bella had heard, the two where back to being madly in love and had just decided to move back in together.
Alice and Jasper where both cooing over Alice's growing stomach, hands gently resting on it as they spoke to the yet-to-be-born baby. After Christmas last year they had decided to begin seeing a marriage councillor and, as evident in the large stomach Alice was now sporting, it'd had been a grand success.
There was more space at the table this year as Mike and Jessica had kindly not attended. Bella had heard through the family that apparently Jessica was now engaged to Mike. Bella didn't miss their presence.
Bella smiled, as she looked at all her loved ones, well almost all of them…
"Here you go, love." Edward's warm voice came from her side and as she looked over at him the room seemed to get just that bit brighter. She accepted the glass of juice he handed her and offered him a bright smile in return.
"Hey, everyone." Edward suddenly said, catching the attention of the rest of the table. Bella felt her nerves increase, as excitement became a bundle of butterflies in her gut.
Edward gave her one of his crooked smiles as he took her hand and stood up, pulling her up with him.
"Bella and I have something important to tell you all." He started.
"Somebody hide the salad bowl!" Emmett stage whispered, causing the table to laugh and Bella to blush in embarrassment. Emmett made a point of saying this every time they were all together and someone went to announce something.
"No, nothing quite like that." Edward sent her his own amused smile, which just made her redder.
"Oh, shut up." Bella mumbled.
"No, what we wanted to tell you all is that we're now proudly expecting – Bella's pregnant!" Edward said, the pride clear to all in his voice.
Immediately the women squealed excitedly and got up to hug Bella while the men congratulated Edward.
"This is so exciting!"
"I'm so happy for you!"
Once the laughter and congratulations had died down and everyone had returned to their seats and more normal conversation had resumed, Edward turned to Bella. Leaning in close to her ear, his whispered.
Shooting him a curious look, she looked up and gasped at what she saw. Sitting innocently above them was a piece of mistletoe.
"Mistletoe." She whispered, before looking over at him, love in her eyes.
"I love you, Mrs Bella Cullen." He whispered, breath trailing over her own lips as he leaned in to kiss her.
"I love you too." She just managed to get out before their lips touched.
Smiling into the kiss, Bella knew she was loved and that her life may not be perfect, but it was bright and full of happiness.
Even better, it was full of love.