One year later…
"He needs a diaper change!"
"So? Do it yourself!"
"Oh, hell no, woman!" Emmett held the baby away from him, cringing at the pungent smell emanating from the diaper. "He went number two!" Baby Gabriel gurgled happily, oblivious to his father's discomfort. His tiny legs pumped in the air excitedly, as he tried to stuff his fists in his mouth. Boy was really too cute for words, even if he did drop some stinkers. I sighed.
"Number two? What are you, five? Give him to me," I said, rolling my eyes. I took my nephew, cradling him gently, and pulled out a fresh pair of Huggies from his diaper bag. "Emmett, I don't get why you punk out every time."
"Hey, it'll be good practice for when you have your own." Emmett grinned, watching over my shoulder as I fastened the diaper tabs and buttoned up the onesie.
I tossed the soiled diaper at Emmett without warning, and he let it drop to the carpet and covered his mouth and nose with his palm. "Dude, what the fuck?"
"His own? When will that be?" Rose walked in, reaching for little Gabriel. "Anytime soon?" She glanced down at the dirty diaper at her feet. "Oh God, Em, pick it up before Mom sees."
I groaned. "Oh, come on, I haven't even pro—"
"Edward? Are you in here?" Bella walked into the living room. "Hey, dinner's ready, your parents are waiting."
"Let's go." I smiled, leading her out of the room by the hand. She nudged my shoulder with hers, a big grin on her face. We left my sister and her husband arguing about who was going to pick up the diaper.
"I just gave your mom my famous cookie recipe. She's gonna use it to bribe Emmett with the diaper-changing thing."
"Nice." I kissed her. We passed the front door, on our way to the dining room, when I had a sudden flash of inspiration. "Hey, Bells, I'd like to, um, step out onto the porch for a moment. Do you mind?"
"Sure. Let me get my coat first, it's kind of cold." I waited for her in the hall, fidgeting until she reappeared with a dark blue trench coat I'd gotten her last Christmas. She was so lovely; I felt my heart racing.
I closed the door behind us, stepping out into the November cold. Our breaths trailed away in little white puffs, and Bella's cheeks turned pink almost immediately. We sat on the porch swing, my mother's acquisition for rocking little Gabriel to sleep.
"So, what's up?" Bella asked, pushing her hair away from her face. I touched her cheek gently, caressing. She leaned into my hand, smiling.
"Well… I just wanted to get you alone for a bit. Before you're swamped by the Cullens in there."
"I'm all yours." Bella intertwined our fingers together, cuddling against my side. We sat there in comfortable silence, my arm around her, tracing little patterns on her shoulder. Nevertheless, I could still feel my heart pounding furiously. I thought about her words – she was mine.
I thought back to the year we had just shared. Like every relationship, it had its ups and downs. I remembered the day I apologized for standing her up. The same day she forgave me. The first time we made love. The day she took me to get a tattoo. Our first argument. The first time we flew to Phoenix to meet her parents.
And the first time we said I love you.
I took a deep breath, ready to just say it.
"Just so you know, I'm gonna propose tonight." I swallowed hard and tensed my arm around her.
Bella gave a little gasp and turned to look at me. "What?"
"I'm gonna ask you to marry me. During dinner. Make a little toast or something. I'm even considering going down on one knee." Great, my hands were fucking trembling now.
Bella gaped for a moment, before seemingly recovering her powers of speech. "Why are you telling me this now?"
"Well, I thought I'd give you a little heads up. In case you wanted to bail before dinner, and save me a really embarrassing anecdote for future family reunions." I shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant about it, but nothing could be further from the truth. What if she said no?
"Oh." Bella bit her lip, a deep blush flaring on her skin in the most beautiful way. I never got tired of watching the pink tinge on her face – it was like a breaking dawn.
"What do you think?" I took her left hand in mine, squeezing it gently.
She was quiet for a few moments. I think my heart was dangerously close to stopping when she turned to me with a beautiful smile.
"If it helps, I'll say yes."
"Really?" I felt relief and love, an overwhelming love for this woman, wash over me as I grinned like an idiot and pressed kisses all over her face.
"Well," Bella managed between my assault of her and our hands roving everywhere, "I can't in good conscience just leave you there, kneeling on the floor and go without tasting Esme's cooking." Her smile turned playful and she gave my hand a little squeeze back. "Plus, I'm completely in love with you."
"That helps." I kissed her lips once more, before pulling out a velvet box from my coat pocket. I opened it, showing her the ring nestled inside. "I love you, Bella Swan. Forever."
Bella smiled, tears glistening in her eyes. She traced the diamond set on the silver band before I took it from the box, and slipped the ring onto her finger.
"Are you sure you don't want to think about this? Maybe run for the hills while there's still time?" I raised my eyebrow at her, a smirk tugging at the corners of my mouth.
Bella closed the distance between us. I kissed her, sweet and deep and ours. Finally, we broke apart, breathless, our foreheads touching
"There are no hills, Edward. But maybe the cliffs or something." We laughed together, the silver sound echoing in the chill of the air. "Besides, you drove me here. Where else am I gonna go?" she whispered, smiling.
"Wherever you are, that's always where I need to be."
~ oOo ~
Well guys, this is it! I really appreciate all of you taking the time to read this little fic of mine, and I hoped you enjoyed it. Favorite this, favorite me, drop me a line, anything you want. As always, thank you for reading. Cheers!