IMPORTANT AN: PLEASE READ! This is the end...
Thank you to lionnara, Solar571, team jazper, Mireads, ellaryne, kittycat1980, april666king, vampiregurl, Edward1998, and Noble Korhedron for their reviews.
This chapter is unbeta'ed so the mistakes are all mine.
It's been a long couple of weeks, but it was all worth it to be where I am now. Well, I say that but I'm actually nervous as fuck. I swear that my hands are shaking and my palms are sweating. I wipe the evidence of my anxiety on to my jeans. It helps for a second before the residue builds up once again.
"Seriously Edward, it'll be fine," Bella tells me. "Trust me."
I do, implicitly, but meeting her father is huge. I mean, what if he shoots me or something. I'm not bulletproof! I bet he has guns lying around all over the place.
Bella assures me that he knows nothing of my past with regards to how I met her. She said that there was no need for him to know. I think she was worried that either he would want to kill me, or he would make sure she got a restraining order against me.
I'm glad she hasn't told him. Besides, that would just be an awkward conversation to say the least.
Bella is driving us to her home town of Forks where I'll meet Charlie before we take him to La Push for his birthday. His friends there are throwing him a small beach party. At least there will be the opportunity to escape somewhere nearby if the anxiety gets to be too much for me. Then again, having Bella by my side will help with that I expect. She always knows how to calm me down.
Plus, Alice and Jasper will be there. Bella told me that Charlie thinks of Alice as almost like a second daughter, so it was only right that she be there. We're meeting them both at the beach as they drove straight there separately from us. I think Alice wanted to be involved in the party preparation from what Bella was saying.
Things between me and Bella's friends were difficult to begin with. I'm not sure how much Jasper was aware of my behaviour but he never treated me any differently. Alice continues to be weary of me though. Bella told me they had a good talk about everything after we got back together. I can only hope that it doesn't take too long for Alice to forgive me completely. To make things as comfortable as possible, Bella comes over to my place whenever Alice is at their apartment. It wouldn't feel right to try and force her to be in my presence when she clearly doesn't want me around. I don't want her to be uncomfortable. I just want to be able to call her my friend again. She's important to Bella, so she's important to me too.
Maybe I should ask Bella if she wants to move in with me…
It's probably too soon for that though.
My brother was supportive of me in the end. He never completely understood why I acted the way I did when I first saw Bella. To be honest, neither do I. I guess there was just something about her that I didn't want to let go of. I never thought I could feel this way about another person. It's crazy just how much I love her. I literally would do anything for her.
Emmett suggested that I go and talk to someone professional. At first I refused. He then tried to resort to emotional blackmail, saying that he would tell Mom and Dad about my behaviour if I didn't at least consider it. I know he actually wouldn't tell them, but maybe one day I should. Dad is a doctor after all; maybe he can recommend someone for me to talk to. Then again, I don't believe that I would ever engage in any stalker type behaviours again in the future. I have my angel now, and she's not going anywhere.
Yes- I admit that my behaviour could be deemed as stalker-ish. I realise that now, but I didn't at the time. I wonder if knowing what I was doing would have stopped me... I can't regret what I did though. It brought me to where I am now.
Bella and I have discussed it a couple of times. She made me see things from her point of view, as the victim, I guess. I see now how I completely invaded her privacy. Sometimes I'm amazed that she wants anything to do with me.
I must have been a saint in a previous life.
Emmett and I may be on good terms now, but his girlfriend Rose really has a problem with me. Every time I see her, see gives me bitchy looks and makes derogatory comments. I understand why she does it, and I deserve it all in my opinion. My brother does try and stop her though. It's nice of him to do so, but I don't want to create problems in their relationship. I inadvertently did that before and it hurt to find out that I was the cause of it. I'm lucky that my brother loves me unconditionally. I guess I'll just have to work on my relationship with Rose. I hope we'll get on one day because I'm not going anywhere. From the looks I see on Emmett's face, I don't think she is either. But it's okay. I'm happy for him.
Bella pulls up in front of an average looking house. It's quaint and typical of a small town, painted white with blue shutters on the windows. I like it.
We exit the car and head towards the front door. I'm walking slower than I would usually. Bella notices and takes my hand. I hope it's not too sweaty for her. If it is, she doesn't do or say anything about it.
Bella doesn't even need to knock on the door to the house before her father opens it up to greet us. He was obviously anxious for his daughter's arrival.
"Bells," he smiles at her as we reach him.
She lets go of my hand and hugs her father.
Is it irrational for me to be jealous right now? Maybe a little bit…
"Happy birthday, Dad."
We didn't bring a gift. It was delivered first thing this morning. Bella still has a friend working at some outdoors type store here in the town. He dropped off some new fishing gear as a present from Bella.
"It's good to see you," he replies.
"Dad, this is Edward. My, uh, boyfriend," she blushes.
"It's good to meet you, sir," I say. I hope my voice didn't show him any of my nerves.
I raise my hand in order to shake his.
"Boyfriend, huh," he murmurs as he looks down at my offered hand.
"Yeah, Dad, we talked about this on the phone…"
I'm not sure what she's referring to at this point.
He grips my hand tightly and shakes it.
"Edmund, good to meet you."
"Dad!" I think she's embarrassed. I just think it's funny.
He lets go and invites us inside.
"I'm just messing with you, Bells," he jokes.
"Right, very funny," she mumbles in response. "I thought we were going straight to La Push?"
"Just a minute, Bella. I wanted to say something first."
I think I hear her say something like 'oh, God' before offering me an apologetic smile.
Charlie clears his throat. From what I've been told, he doesn't talk too much. Should I be worried about this?
"Edward," Charlie begins.
Oh crap, it's a speech for me. At least he got my name right this time.
"I just wanted to, uh, say thank you… for what you've done for my daughter. I'm glad someone was there for her after she was attacked… I feel better knowing that Jacob won't be able to bother her anymore."
I notice that Bella has turned a bright shade of red. I, on the other hand, am kind of speechless. I was expecting Charlie to give me a hard time until I'd proved myself or something along those lines. I guess I already have in his eyes.
"It was nothing, sir. Just in the right place at the right time," I tell him whilst smiling at Bella.
"Time to go?" Bella asks.
Her father agrees.
On the ride over to La Push, I sit in the back after relinquishing my seat to Bella's father. They share a quiet conversation in the front of the vehicle which gives me time to think.
Jacob was found shortly after Charlie put in a call to his friend at the Seattle police department. Because Bella had injured him, he went to a hospital for treatment which happened to be where my father works. I had sent Dad a message on my way home from Bella's asking him to alert the staff in case he turned up. While the police were taking a statement from Bella at her apartment, my father was treating Jake for a broken nose. While a nurse was cleaning the blood from his face, Dad put in a call to the police who turned up at the hospital immediately.
As Jake had broken the conditions of his bail, he was sent back in to custody to wait for his trial. Unfortunately, his father lost the bail money that he had helped his son out with. So, that's where he is at the moment. I'm just glad he can't come near my Bella again. I would kill him if he did, without a doubt.
Bella felt so much guilt for Jacob's father, Billy. He wasn't a rich man to begin with, and for him to lose all the money really hurt her. From the sounds of it, he's also quite ill, I'm not sure what with though. I think he'll be at the beach when we arrive. Billy was Charlie's best friend. The attack on Bella obviously came between them though. I think tonight will be a reconciliation of sorts for the pair of them. I hope it goes well for them.
Pulling up at the make shift car lot, I notice there's quite a reception for the Chief. I can see why he would be popular guy though. I realise that Forks is a small town, but I think most of its population is on this beach this evening. Charlie doesn't say anything as he takes in the crowd. I can tell he's touched though. I know I would be.
We exit the car and walk towards the crowd. I follow behind Bella and Charlie. Bella looks over her shoulder, probably to make sure I'm still here. I give her a smile to let her know I'm alright.
I love how she cares and looks out for me.
As we get closer, the crowd draws their attention to us. We're immediately assaulted by a chorus of loud birthday wishes. I see Charlie begin to laugh in front of me.
I thought I would be uncomfortable around him this evening. I think it's going to be okay after all.
Charlie leaves us and makes his way through the crowd, saying his hello's and thank you's as he does so. I come to stand by Bella's side and put my arm around her waist. She fits perfectly beside me.
"Thank you for coming with me," she says as she looks up at me.
"I wouldn't have missed it for anything."
It's true… No matter how nervous something makes me, I know I'll be okay with Bella by my side. Six months ago, I wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to be around this many people at a celebration. I'm happy that things are changing now, because they're changing for the better.
"Hey, guys," I hear Jasper drawl as he makes his way over to us.
I guess we were easy to spot.
"Jasper, glad you could make it," says Bella. "Where's Alice?"
"She's making conversation with your father, I believe. I thought I'd bring you guys something to drink before the rest of the town drinks this place dry."
"Thanks," I say as I take the plastic cup from him. So does Bella as she takes hers.
"You and Alice made it down okay then?" asks Bella.
"Oh yeah, no problem, but if I have to listen to Kesha singing about P Diddy one more time I might-"
"What was that, Jazzy?" asks Alice as she comes over to join us.
"I might… have to join in with her?" he finishes, sounding like he's asking a question.
We all laugh as Alice leans on her tip toes to kiss him on the cheek.
"That's what I thought," she replies smugly.
Even I know not to talk trash about Alice's taste in music.
"Bella, I was wondering if I could borrow Edward for a minute. Is that okay?" Alice asks while looking at me.
What could she want?
I nod wearily as Bella tells her not to be too long with me. I leave her with a kiss, and then begin to walk by Alice's side towards a more secluded part of the beach. She's silent as we do so.
Alice takes a seat on a large boulder sticking out of the sand. I sit on the ground in front of her so I'm on her level.
"I think I owe you an apology, Edward."
Did I hear that right?
"You have to know," she adds, "that all I want is for Bella to be happy. I can see now that you do that for her. You're her happiness. I don't want to complicate things for you two, and I don't want to come between you guys."
"Uh… thanks, Alice."
What else can I say? I'm kind of speechless.
"I think I know why you did what you did," she says quietly as she looks me in the eye.
"What do you mean?"
"You couldn't get her out of your head, could you? The way you felt for her when you first saw her… I think I know what that was like for you. It was love at first sight, wasn't it?"
I hadn't thought of it like that.
"I guess it was for me," I admit to her.
I turn to look in the direction of my angel. "How could it not be?" I add rhetorically.
I turn my gaze back to Alice's. Her smile is beaming at me.
"It was for me with Jasper," she tells me.
"He's a great guy."
"For what?" I ask.
"For being there for Bella… for making her as happy as she is today- she deserves that, you know?"
I intend to be the cause of her happiness for as long as she will let me be.
"Hey, what did she want? Is everything okay?" I ask as Alice and Jasper leave to get themselves a drink.
I was worried when Alice said she wanted to speak to Edward privately. I know that she hasn't been his biggest fan for a while now.
"Don't worry, everything is just fine," he smiles at me.
He immediately leans down to place a kiss on my lips. This time, I don't want it to be quick. As he begins to move away from me, I stand on my tip toes, keeping our lips connected for longer. I can feel him smiling against me. I take that as all the encouragement I need, and open my mouth slightly. He takes the lead and kisses my bottom lip before sliding part of his tongue into my mouth.
I think I moan slightly.
Then I begin to realise just where we are.
On a beach… for my dad's birthday.
I pull away.
"Damn, you're going to be the death of me," he tells me.
I laugh at his statement.
"No, I mean it. Your father is giving me the evil eye. If he shoots me when we get back to your place, then it will be on your conscience," he laughs.
I look in the direction of Edward's gaze and immediately see my father's disapproving look.
"Oops… It was worth it though," I say as I look back at Edward.
"Definitely," he agrees. "Although, maybe we should keep the rest of this trip PG-13?"
"Spoil my fun," I joke.
He chuckles in response.
I love that sound.
"I love you, Edward."
"I love you, too."
"We're going to be okay, aren't we?" he asks me.
I stare at him for a moment, wondering why he's asking me that.
I realise that he has come a long way in a short period of time. The Edward I knew when we first met was possessive but caring. Now, he's loving and attentive. It took courage for him to tell me about the demons from his past as well as the reasons behind his behaviour when he first saw me. He's dealt with more than he should have in the past couple of years, but he got through it all. He also showed me how strong he was when he put up with Alice's crap. He persevered with her though, and he did it for me.
My Edward is brave, loyal, and most importantly, all mine.
I'm the luckiest girl I know.
"We're going to be just fine," I reply.
AN: It took me a while to sit down and write this- I didn't want my first fic to come to and end.
Huge thank you's to those who stuck with it 'til the end, including my beta's Jasperbells and Pastiche Lethe.
IMPORTANT- as this is the end, let me know if you have any unanswered questions or anything you would like to see in their future. Maybe I'll post it as an epilogue, as at the moment I'm not planning to write one.
Check out my new fic LEARNING TO LIVE on my profile.
If you're still reading this, thank you :)