Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of its characters. They all belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Thanks to Juliegirl18 for stepping in mid-story and taking over as beta. You are awesome and I am so glad you have agreed, for some crazy reason, to continue to beta for me. LOL
So... this is it guys. Important A/N at the end... please read it!
"The grand essentials of happiness are:
something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
Allan K. Challmers
I saw Bella floating in the water, eyes closed, not moving. She looked so peaceful, so carefree. No worries making her forehead crinkle up the way it did when she was thinking too hard. Moving closer to the edge, I let my toes hang off the end. Then, I closed my eyes and dove in.
"Edward! You asshole!" Bella screamed as I resurfaced to the top of the pool. I laughed loudly and swam over to where she had been floating.
"I'm sorry, baby," I told her as she wrapped her legs around my waist. "You just looked too peaceful. Couldn't have you falling asleep on me."
It had been a year since all the shit went down at the docks. After Esme had knocked the fuck out of Ed, I stumbled over to where Bella had fallen in the water. I could lie and say that I jumped in that water like some fucking knight in shining armor, but that definitely didn't happen. Yeah, I jumped in the water, but I panicked when I realized exactly where I was. I heard Carlisle and Esme screaming from the dock asking where Bella was. I was then able to calm myself down enough to find Bella and pull her from the water.
When I laid her down on the dock, her lips were blue and she wasn't breathing. Carlisle started chest compressions and yelled at me to start rescue breaths. As we performed CPR on her, I sent a prayer up to a God I wasn't sure I believed in, begging him not to take her.
After what seemed like hours but was probably more like seconds, Bella coughed up a lot of water. Carlisle rolled her over to her side and gently patted her back while I leaned down and kissed her repeatedly, all over her face and chanted 'thank you' to whoever would listen.
When Bella woke up later in the hospital and she found out I was the one who had jumped in the water to save her, she told me how proud she was of me. I laughed at her and said that if I was a normal boyfriend she wouldn't need to tell me she was proud of me and that it would have been expected.
After several long, exhausting months of therapy I was finally able to go near water again. My first venture into any kind of water besides a shower was during a weekend trip with Bella. We checked into a bed and breakfast outside of Port Angeles just to get away for a while. I walked into the bathroom to find that Bella had spread tiny candles all around the room and filled the large clawfoot tub with water and bubbles. I hadn't taken a bath since I was five years old. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a big fan of baths now, at least with the company of Bella.
Which led to how I was able to jump in the pool here at the Cullen's house without a major freak out. It had taken me a few months, but I was finally able to enjoy a relaxing swim with my girl.
"Dinner's ready if you guys wanna hop out," Esme said as she stuck her head through the door leading to the pool. Bella and I got out of the pool, dried off and joined Esme and Carlisle on the back deck.
Even though Bella and I live together now in our own apartment, we still spend the majority of our time here at my mom's. We usually eat at least five meals a week here and if we're too tired by the time night falls, we just crash in what used to be Bella's room.
"Let me get that, Mom," I told Esme as I reached to get the plates she had collected once we all finished eating. I had been calling her Mom for a few months now, but each and every time you could see her face light up.
Once all the food was put away and the table was cleared, we all settled back down on the back deck with beers.
"So Edward, I have sort of a proposition for you," Carlisle said as he sat his empty beer bottle down on the railing. I followed suit, sitting mine down and leaned forward resting my elbows on my knees.
"Now, I know I'm not your father," he began before I interrupted him.
"You might not be my father by blood, but you are the closest fucking thing I have ever had to one," I said looking him dead in the eye. He knew I was being completely honest with him because this wasn't the first time I had told him this. The first time was after Ed Masen was sentenced to ten years in prison for the shit he'd pulled kidnapping Bella. I might not call him Dad, but he knows how I feel.
"Okay, okay. Anyway, if I may continue? I was just thinking about your last name... Masen. I know you said after Ed was sentenced that you wanted to cut all ties with him. I just can't help but think that will be extremely hard, seeing as you share a last name. Now, I know you are in your twenties and far past the age of adoption, but I thought that maybe, as a sort of welcome to the family, you could take the Cullen name... officially."
I looked between both Esme and Carlisle, shock clearly written on my face. I had been thinking myself of asking for the exact same thing, but had no idea how to bring it up.
"Actually, I had been thinking the same thing but didn't want to seem to presumptuous. I was just thinking that when Bella and I get married, it would be awesome if we both could have the Cullen name." When the word marriage came out of my mouth I heard Bella gasp beside me and my mother's face lit up; her smile was so wide that I was afraid her face would crack.
"Hold on, hold on now," I said, standing up and holding my hands in the air. "Now don't go getting any ideas. Bella and I are far from getting married and shit. Hell, we just moved in together. Now, I'm not saying it won't happen, but give us some time. I was just thinking of how great it would be that we would share a name with you guys and our kids would and all that, ya know." I thought Mom's face lit up with the word marriage, but she could have lit a fucking room with the smile that graced her face at the mention of grandchildren.
"Fuck," I muttered, rubbing my face. Carlisle laughed and stood beside me, clapping me on the back.
"It's okay, son. We understand what you're saying," Carlisle said, looking at Esme as she nodded and smiled at me. After a little more talking, Esme and Carlisle excused themselves to go to bed. Bella and I stayed out back, enjoying the quiet of the summer night. We sat together on the small couch, Bella tucked into my side.
"So, you wanna marry me one day?" she asked me as she turned her head up to look at me.
"Of course I will... one day. You know I can't stay away from you," I told her honestly as I bent down to kiss her.
God knows, I fucked up countless times with Bella, but for some unexplainable reason she still wanted to be with me. One day down the road, maybe six months from now, maybe a year, I would ask Bella to marry me. She would hopefully say yes and we would have the wedding she had always dreamed of. We'd have a house with the fucking white picket fence, a couple of kids, and maybe even a dog. I would probably spend the rest of my life striving to be the man I thought she deserved, but there was nowhere else I'd rather be.
A/N: So, this is the end of the main story. Make sure you have the companion story on alert because I do have an alternate POV planned and one, possibly two, future takes planned.
Thank you so much for sticking with me on this crazy ride. You've all been wonderful! Make sure you have me on alert because I have several plot bunnies running rampant in my head right now that are dying to break out, LOL.