The Geek and the Cardboard Girl

Chapter Eighteen

Edward's POV

I feel quite sick. It'd completely ruin the moment if I vomited.

That'd be typical of me.

I'm still not entirely sure if it's too soon or not... but it just feels right, somehow. I'm relying completely on my gut instinct.

Bella walks slowly into our bedroom but I remain frozen outside, too afraid to look at her reaction. Will it be one of joy, or one of complete horror? Or will she just be in shock, feeling as confused as I am?

Or maybe I shouldn't worry half as much as I do.

I hear a noise from her; she must have found it.

I've tried to be clever and to at least make it all memorable, because it's one of those moments that only come across once or twice in a lifetime. Well, unless you're somebody who plans on getting married several times and completely ruining the specialness of the occasion.

Like Henry the eighth, for example. That didn't exactly go well.

There's not much noise coming from the room, so I take a shaky breath and walk in to meet Bella.

Bella's POV

I can't quite believe what I'm seeing. Despite how many times I blink and pinch myself, it's actually real. Really real.

On our bed, Edward has placed a large piece of cardboard with just five words written on it that might completely change my life, dramatic as that sounds.

Bella, it says. Will you marry me?

It's adorable how much thought he's put into it and I think back to our first meeting which was somewhat disastrous; I can replay it all clearly in my mind and I just know it'll stay with me forever.

Okay, back to the present.

As well as the cardboard, Edward's also added some roses and there's a tiny box on my pillow, waiting to be opened.

My vision is blurring. Tears are gathering in my eyes and I let them fall, becoming utterly lost in the moment. I never thought something like this would happen to me; it always felt as though I wouldn't be lucky enough to find someone so caring and wonderful and downright handsome.

Yet, somehow I have, and now he wants me to be his wife.

I hear movement from outside and the man dominating my thoughts slowly peeks his head around the door. He looks so petrified, so unsure, and when his eyes meet mine, his face falls.

"Oh no..." he breathes. "Is it too soon?"

That thought had flickered through my mind for the briefest of seconds, but I'd quickly realised that no, it bloody well wasn't.

"No," I manage back. "No, Edward it's... it's just wow."

He steps slowly closer and I suddenly know my answer. It's not like I was ever in any doubt anyway.

It all feels like a blur, but one minute he's standing next to me uncertainly, the next he's down on one knee with a ring in his hands. He looks up to me and a small smile makes its way onto his flushed and beautiful face.

"Bella, will you do me the honour of please being my wife?"

Without anymore hesitation, I nod wildly. "Of course I will, Edward." My hands move to my mouth as it suddenly becomes even more overwhelming. "Of course I will!"

He suddenly leaps up and we're hugging so tightly; I never want to let go. All of a sudden, though, he groans, bursting the bubble we're in. "Ow... maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Ah, my back's still sore from that fall on the ice."

I pull away to grin at him; the happiness is making me feel oddly giddy. "Trust you to say that."

"I was so worried you'd say no," he admits after a brief pause and we both slump down onto the bed.

"It was very brave of you," I smile. "I'm still in shock..."

"I'm just pleased you said yes. No, I'm ecstastic..."

"Then let's celebrate."

His eyes are sparkling and bright when they meet mine. Days like this have taught me that life isn't always so bad; sure, there are definitely gonna be down days, but the good days make up for them so much. It just took one person to make me realise that.

Look at me, turning all soppy and philosophical.


Edward's gentle voice and the brush of his fingers across my cheek take me out of my thoughts. "You're crying. Again."

"I can't help it."

His small smile is nothing less then beautiful. "You were saying about celebrating...?"

"You're keen," I sniff, wiping at my eyes absently.

"Can you blame me?" The coy grin returns and, before I can even try to reply, he presses his lips against mine with more fire and passion than ever before, and my tears disappear to be replaced by heat and joy.

"You're engaged!"

I don't know why I was ever nervous about announcing the news to Edward's parents; they seem absolutely thrilled, which is such a relief that I can actually feel the tension leaving my shoulders for the first time all day. And besides, they're brilliant people and were hardly going to pass judgement anyway.

As well as this, Esme had finally provided me with a job that's both fulfilling and enjoyable, so it feels like things really can't get any better.

Although I don't want to jinx anything.

"We're sure you've made the right decision," Carlisle says, smiling genuinely as he hugs me. "It's brilliant that you're making each other so happy."

"I had an inkling it would end like this," Esme beams, finally releasing Edward from her arms. He looks a little red and smooths down his hair bashfully. "Just think, Carlisle, I will get my money's worth of that hat after all!"

Carlisle rolls his eyes playfully. "That's not the only reason you're excited, I hope."

"Of course not!" she sighs. Before I know it, she's hugging me and I can see why Edward looked so dishevelled afterwards. But, at the same time, it's contact that's full of warmth and, cheesy as it sounds, love.

"Any plans for the wedding yet?" she continues brightly.

"Gosh, we haven't really thought about it..." I sigh, running my hands through my hair; Edward watches and looks just as wide-eyed. It's gonna take a lot of work and organisation. "But, if you can offer any help, I'm sure we'd both be thrilled."

Edward nods in agreement. "Definitely."

A wide smile creeps back onto Esme's face and Carlisle laughs. "That's just Esme's type of thing. You don't know what you're getting yourself into!"

I grin along; that's what makes this whole experience so much more exciting.

The week passed by in the same fashion; Edward and I slowly went around sharing the news to those closest to us. Emmett and Rosalie were ecstastic and had some news of their own when we visited them; they were expecting their first child together.

"That's fantastic news!" Edward had beamed, letting himself in for what looked like a very tight and painful hug from his brother.

"You'll be an uncle," I smiled at him. "Congratulations, both of you."

Rosalie seemed to be warming to me even more, too, which was a bonus. Hopefully we'd become closer friends in the future, seeing as we were sisters in law.

Emmett also agreed to be the best man, which resulted in even more bone crunching for Edward.

Following that visit, we decided to visit Jess in my old flat to see how she was. Thankfully, she had somebody with her; a man, which wasn't really a surprise, and she seemed happy enough, which put my mind at ease. She also seemed to have changed her views; she was pleased for us and actually hugged me. Hugged me.

I vaguely considered trying to reconcile with Brandon, my boss, but that seemed a little too far-fetched. It'd probably get thrown back in my face, and I decided against it. Besides, there was always time for that. Who knew, maybe we could actually be friends in the future. There was no point holding any grudges anymore.

Maybe I could make her happier.

Yeah, that sounded incredibly unrealistic.

Now, though, after those hectic seven days, Edward and I are sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee in our hands.

"Do you think we've changed each other?"

I look over at him after his random question and ponder my answer. "Only in a good way. You seem a lot more confident with yourself now that I really consider it. What do you think?"

"I agree with you there," he smiles. "And I'd like to think that you're happier. When I first met you out in the rain you looked very... sad."

"That's because I was completely soaked," I tease. "But no, I do get what you mean. My life just felt... unfilfilling, I guess."

"Hmm." There's a brief pause before he adds, "And I guess this has proved that sometimes going slow isn't always the best option."

I raise my eyebrows at him and snicker. "I'm not even going to think about turning that into an innuendo."

The crooked grin returns. "It's gone fast, though, hasn't it?"

"In some ways, yeah," I reply, nodding. "But it's been a brilliant time. One image that springs to mind, though, is you in that cowboy costume. Phwoar. Hey, do you still have it?"

He shudders. "We're not even gonna go there, or I may have to mention that certain Karaoke video..."

I give him a playful glare. "No, just... no."

"Sorry, cardboard girl."

I sigh at him. "I thought we agreed on you never calling me that again you... you geek!"

We grin at each other. "Is that the best you can come up with? I actually quite like being a geek."

Without another response, I just chuckle. "Never mind that."

We sit in a comfortable silence and I can't help smiling to myself. Now that I think about it, to be completely honest, I'd be perfectly happy as his cardboard girl as long as he promises to stay as my geek.

And hopefully it'll be that way for a long, long time.

Oh my goodness, it's taken about seven months, but this is finally finished! There were small bouts of writer's block but, in the end, I'm pleased to say that I'm happy with the finished product.

I hope you've enjoyed Bella and Edward's slowly blooming love and I reallly hope this has been worth your time. Thank you to anyone who has followed this and left your feedback, it really does mean the world and keeps me going as a writer.

Enough babble from me now, but if you do want something else to read, I have a Carlisle/Bella fanfiction going called 'Fix You' and very soon I will be uploading a mature Bella/Edward fanfiction called 'Eight Letters.' If any of those titles catch your attention, please feel free to add me on your author alert thingymajig.

Thanks again!

Becky :)