A/N: And now, I hit complete on another story. As much as I would love to hold onto each character in this story, probably most especially little Mikey, their story has been told. This was honestly just meant to be a singular one-shot, but as so often happens, certain characters wouldn't stop talking (again, namely Mikey lol). I hope you have all enjoyed this, and while I don't foresee any outtakes or futuretakes on this story at all, who knows what the future will hold. But for now, I am going to try concentrating on my other fics and such.
Thank you all for reading. Take care!
All I Want For Christmas 9
After making their rounds of the room, finishing off with a conversation with Bella's father—giving him the "dad's warning" to take good care of his little girl and grandbabies—they finally walked outside hand-in-hand, and stepped into the waiting limo.
"I still can't believe you did this," Bella said with a smile once the door closed behind them.
"Was it too much?" Edward asked nervously, his eyes flickering as he looked at her.
Bella snuggled into his side and kissed him gently, feeling his body relax minimally in response. "Not at all. It was very thoughtful and sweet. Thank you."
"You're welcome," he replied with a soft smile, ghosting his lips over hers again.
Bella's hand rested on his cheek and pressed her mouth more firmly to his, her body buzzing with nervousness and anticipation. She wanted him closer and cursed the long skirt tangling around her legs as she attempted to drape one over his.
"Baby, let's just wait until we get to the room, okay?" Edward murmured against her lips with a hard swallow, his shoulders tensing as hers fell slightly. "Bella, are you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Bella whispered in response as she settled back into the seat beside him with a sigh. "It's just been so long since we've been really alone, that's all. Guess I'm just a little anxious."
"I'd just prefer to be really, really alone first," Edward replied as he secured a hold on her waist and she felt his lips press to her hair. "But I'm anxious, too, sweetheart."
"You are?" Bella asked with her eyes still lowered until his hand came to her chin, lifting her gaze to his.
"Of course, I am. Why wouldn't I be?" he inquired, the crease of worry deepening in his forehead.
"I don't know. It's just … I guess it's just that I know this isn't exactly what you left behind," she replied, lowering her head again and gesturing to her body with her hand as she felt her skin heat with embarrassment. "And I'm nervous that you might not like what you see tonight, or that maybe you are."
"Oh God, Bella," he sighed, wrapping both his arms around her and pulling her gently to his chest. "Is that why you've been acting this way? You think I don't want you anymore?"
Bella only shrugged in response, burying her face into him and he felt like such an idiot. It was their wedding day, and he'd hurt her without ever intending on it. He'd been hurting her. And needlessly, at that.
"Baby, look at me," Edward whispered, his chest aching as he felt her trembling in his arms before she hesitantly lifted her head again to meet his eyes. "Nothing could make me not want you anymore. A dozen babies couldn't change that. If possible, you're even more beautiful today than the day I left."
Bella felt a tear slip down her cheek as he gently kissed her, stroking her face lightly with his fingertips to brush it away. "Then why haven't you wanted to … well, anything."
"Oh, I wanted to, Bella. A little too much, in fact. It's one of the few things I could think about all the way home," Edward whispered, resting his forehead on hers. "It took everything in me to stop that first night."
"And since then?" Bella asked softly.
Edward thought deeply over the previous weeks, still trying to figure out himself what had been holding him back from her, and the words just began pouring out of him. "Everything at home was just so different, and a lot to adjust to. And I think, even kissing you was too much at times. I know how to be disciplined in my career, but with you, it's different. What if I lost my restraint, and ended up hurting you. You just had a baby. I would never forgive myself. And then, Bailey could have woken up at any time, and what if she did and saw us … doing things."
Bella's eyes widened as she gazed up at him. "Edward, first of all, you are the most gentle man I've ever met in my life, and have more restraint than even I do. I don't think you could ever hurt me."
"It's been almost a year since I've had sex, Bella. That's a lot of built up tension," Edward replied, chuckling uncomfortably as his eyes closed.
"And how long had it been for you before we were together for the first time?" Bella asked teasingly, her fingers tracing along the back of his neck.
He gazed at her sarcastically and rolled his eyes, but an unmistakable smile touched his lips. "I also didn't have a wife waiting at home for me, either. There was nothing for me to really miss before you."
"I love you," Bella whispered, for lack of anything else coming to mind for her to say in response to that. Her heart was racing and the tears of relief burned behind her lids as she pressed a kiss to his lips. "And as for Bailey, she's a baby, honey. I doubt we'd do anything to permanently scar her, anyway."
"I guess I just wanted to be truly alone with you, with no worries. Make tonight special," Edward said softly, his hand running along her side. "Being our wedding night and all."
Bella's mouth twitched with a smile and sealed her lips gently to his, finally seeing the man she fell in love with gradually reemerging. Everything from the awkwardness about being intimate in front of their baby to the sweet itinerary behind his actions, even if he wasn't completely conscious of it at the time. "I'm pretty sure it would have been special anyway."
The limo pulled to a stop in front of the hotel and they separated from their embrace just as the door opened. Edward stepped out first and held his hand out for Bella, who followed as quickly as she could manage without tripping on her dress. He tipped the chauffer and received a keycard in exchange, along with the assurance that all of their things had already been brought to their room.
The butterflies fluttered wildly inside Bella as she held firmly to Edward's hand, feeling the eyes upon them as they moved through the lobby, with her in her wedding gown and him still in his full uniform. Edward stopped suddenly, palming her cheek and lowering his lips to hers in a sound kiss. There were hushed chuckles surrounding them as they parted and he wrapped his arm around his literally blushing bride before guiding her toward the elevator amidst soft smiles and congratulations.
Bella laughed as they reached their room and he swept her into his arms to carry her into the room, silenced from speaking by his lips once again. She sighed against him as he set her feet back down on the floor, and reached back to swing the door closed, and then wrapped his arms back around her waist. Her husband was really back; no more fear or reservations between them, she hoped. He traced her lower lip with his tongue and her arms tightened around his shoulders as she felt it meet hers in a relaxed, but sensual movement.
Edward pulled back slowly, brushing several soft kisses against her lips and cheeks before opening his eyes to look at her. "I have something for you."
"Baby, you've done enough. Between the earrings and the limo," she replied as he turned her in his arms and she released a soft gasp as she took in the sight in front of her. The honeymoon suite surrounding her was more than she could have ever imagined; the faux fire crackling in the fireplace, the bottle of champagne nestled in the elegant ice bucket and accompanying crystal flutes on the small intimate breakfast table. The deep red drapes contrasted with the plush, cream carpet and matched the thick duvet covering the massive, king-sized bed along the far wall, scattered with white rose petals. "And, oh my God, this room."
Edward chuckled as his lips brushed against her neck as his arms encircled her middle, embracing her. "I can only take credit for the rose petals. The rest was a wedding present. And that wasn't it anyway."
With one more kiss to her cheek, he released her and took her hand, leading her toward the bed. Bella gazed up at him as he motioned for her to sit down and lowered herself to the edge of the bed, until her eyes followed him as he took a deep breath and knelt down at her feet. "Baby, I hope you realize exactly how much you mean to me, and how much I truly love you. I don't know where I'd be right now if I didn't have you and the kids to come home to, or how I ever thought that my life was complete without that. And I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to do this sooner."
Bella watched through tear-filled eyes as Edward reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a small, black velvet box and setting it in her palm. Her smile grew as she opened it to find a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring inside, the five stones arranged in an alternating order along the band.
"Every woman deserves one of these from her husband," Edward said as Bella remained speechless, and both their eyes followed the path of his hand, taking the ring and sliding it onto her finger to join her wedding ring.
Bella choked out a soft cry, bringing his attention to her face with a worried expression marring his. Before he could allow himself to think too much on it, she took his face between her hands and brushed a soft kiss on his lips. "It's beautiful, Edward. You didn't have to do that, but thank you."
Edward rose to his feet, lifting her to stand with him and reaching his hand behind her head, pulling the comb loose from her hair. Once he'd set it on the bedside table, his fingers returned to her soft strands as they cascaded over her shoulders and her skin tingled at his gentle touch. "You're beautiful. And you deserve so much more than this."
"I'm more than happy with what I've got," she whispered, framing his face with her hands and lifting onto her toes to capture his lips. Her kiss was gentle, with the trace of desperation behind it as her fingers lowered to the buttons of his coat. One by one, she unfastened them and moaned at the satisfying thump of the fabric hitting the floor when she pushed it over his shoulders and down his arms.
Edward felt her arms tighten around him as his hands moved behind her to slowly unhook each of the tiny clasps down the back of her dress he'd been eyeing all evening. As amazing as she looked in that dress, he'd been waiting a long time for that moment. To be able to touch her, feel her skin against his, and cherish the body he loved and had given him so much. He kissed along her neck toward her as he reached the last clasp and she ran her hands over his shoulders.
"I'll be right back," Bella whispered as she brushed his lips against his jaw, chuckling when he groaned and squeezed her hips gently. "Just a couple of minutes."
Edward reluctantly released her and she stepped back, grabbing her overnight back and retreating to the bathroom. "Hurry back."
Bella smiled back at him before closing the door and then released a heavy breath as she set her back on the counter and looked at herself in the mirror. The tear tracks from earlier streaked down her face and she shook her head. This won't do at all, she thought to herself stepped out of her shoes and slid out of her dress, hanging it up on the back of the door.
Grabbing one of the facecloths, she quickly removed all traces of makeup from her skin and then combed through her hair. She briskly brushed her teeth and dabbed a little perfume on each of her pulse points, her hands trembling the entire time.
"This is stupid. He's your husband," Bella chastised herself in a whisper, finally reaching back to unclasp her bra and sliding it off. She held up the lacy white nightgown in front of her, staring at it for a moment before slipping it over her head and watching in the mirror as it cascaded down over her curves.
"Bella?" she heard Edward call out softly from the next room and she dragged her teeth over her lip, swallowing hard to compose herself.
"Coming," she replied shakily, taking one last look in the mirror and opening the door to reenter the bedroom. Her eyes landed on her husband and a shiver ran through her.
Edward was sitting on the bed with only his pants remaining on his body, his long legs stretched out as he rested back against the headboard. Her eyes ran appreciatively over the contoured muscles of his chest, shoulders, and arms, and she blew out a breath.
This remarkably sexy man really is all mine, forever, she mused with a smile as she crossed the room, crawling onto the bed beside him and running her fingers over that chest, down to his abdomen.
"What's that smile for, Mrs. Cullen?" Edward murmured in a teasing tone as his arm wrapped around her.
"Just admiring my perfect, half-naked husband, Mr. Cullen," Bella replied with a smirk, sliding her body over his to straddle his hips and leaning down to capture his lips with hers. "And wishing he was fully naked."
"No need to rush tonight, baby," Edward whispered, running his hands over the bare skin of her back not covered by fabric. "I'm not going anywhere."
Bella moaned softly, rolling her hips over him and pressing her body down against his chest. No rush, no impending deployment, nothing but enjoying every moment they had with each other. She would wake up in the morning wrapped in the arms of the man she loved, and not have to leave them until she was ready. And that was nearly as arousing of a thought as what was about to transpire between them.
Edward took her hands with his and entwined their fingers together, guiding her to sit up over him to look at her fully. His gaze ran from her slender neck to the swells of her breasts, down to her waist and the curves of her hips, and settling on her smooth thighs for a prolonged moment. She shifted slightly under his silent appraisal, eager for him to say something. Anything. And it wasn't long before she was granted just that. "God, you are so damn sexy. I really am such a lucky man."
Bella sighed in contentment with the husky tone of his voice, full of desire and arousal, and any remaining reservations all but completely disappeared. He sat up in front of her, releasing her hands and sliding his arms around her. Their lips met again and he pulled her more firmly against him, and she moaned at the feel of him pressing between her legs. "Please, I want you."
Edward responded by sliding the thin straps of her nightgown off her shoulders, allowing the fabric to slide down her body and settle around her waist. He ghosted kisses over her collarbone and breasts before pulling back to lift the garment over her head and tossing it to the floor. She let her head fall back at the feel of his calloused fingertips running over her skin, her hands gripping his shoulders for support.
Bella shrieked in surprise as he gripped her waist, flipping her onto her back, and laughed as he settled back on top of her with a wicked smirk before sealing her lips with his. All too soon, they parted as he kissed down her body, pausing for a moment at her abdomen before continuing his path. She held her breath and closed her eyes while he slid her panties off her legs, knowing that she was about to be completely bared to him for the first time in eleven long months.
When he didn't immediately return to her, she slowly opened her eyes again to find his darkened gaze running over her again.
"God," he breathed out heavily, but said nothing else.
"Your turn," Bella whispered, rising to kneel in front of him and tugging at the waist of his pants before her fingers began working the buckle of his belt, followed by the button and zipper. She listened to the ragged sounds of his breaths as she slid both them and his boxers over his hips and down his legs, unable to wait much longer. Her fingers barely made contact with his hardened length and his body stiffened, lowering her to lie back down on the bed and settling above her again.
"I don't want this over before it even starts, baby," Edward said in a gruff voice, resting his forehead against hers with labored breaths.
"I'm not worried, Edward. I just want to feel you," she whispered, running her nails lightly over the back of his neck.
Edward's lips returned to hers as he slowly pressed inside her and simultaneous moans escaped them both. He stilled over her and she wrapped her legs around his, relishing in the feel of being connected with him again that way. Their kiss deepened into slow, sensual movements together before he pulled his hips back and surged forward again with a soft groan.
Bella hummed against him, flattening her palms on his shoulder blades and arching her body toward him. "Oh damn, I've missed you so much."
"I've missed you, too, Bella. More than I could ever tell you," he mumbled against her lips, gliding his hand from her hip to her knee and lifting it to his side to deepen his thrusts. "Shit, it's been too long, baby."
Bella slid her hands around his shoulders, rolling them over and lowering onto him again, gently taking hold of his face and kissing him. "It's okay. No rush or time limits this time, remember?"
Edward grasped her waist, gently guiding her as she rolled her hips over him. His panting breaths ghosted over her lips and face and sent a tremor through her body, the sensations of his touch and their motions overwhelming her.
Bella whimpered as she began to tense, the flush of warmth radiating through her entire body and her movements quickening. "I'm so close, baby."
"So am I," Edward grunted deeply, his breath frozen in his throat as his fingers dug into the skin of her hips.
The slight pinch was just enough to spur her climax and her muscles clenched around him as her head fell back with a gasp. She heard him moan loudly as he joined her a moment later, his hips jerking frantically up to hers. Bella's entire body was trembling, her thighs squeezing him until she shakily collapsed on top of him and rested her head on his shoulder. She never wanted to leave that moment; his arms wrapped around her as their chests rose and fell in a perfectly synchronized rhythm, the feel of the dampened skin of his neck on her lips with each brush against it.
Edward's whispered words of his love for her as he kissed her forehead brought fresh tears to her eyes and she nuzzled her nose along his jaw and then pressed her lips against it. "You okay, Bella?"
"Perfect. Absolutely perfect," she whispered, finally lifting her head to look down at the gorgeous face of her husband. "Was it as good as you remembered?"
"Better. Well worth the wait," he replied softly, brushing her hair back from her face and tucking it behind her ear. "You?"
Bella smiled and sighed contentedly. "There are no words. But I think I know what our first order of business needs to be once we get home?"
"What's that?" Edward asked, his brow creasing with her tone.
"I think we need to look into a crib for Mikey's room," Bella replied, kissing him gently.
Edward's eyes widened in surprise. "What if she wakes up in the middle of the night?"
"That's why we have baby monitors, honey," she whispered, tracing her fingers along his face. "I love our kids and being a mom. But as a wife, I don't think I could go another year without making love to my husband again. Even if I'm nowhere near done with you tonight."
Before Edward could respond, Bella began slithering down his body, pressing soft kisses to his chest and stomach before wrapping her fingers around his hardening length.
"Jesus, Bella!" he gasped, tightening his fists at his sides with his eyes squeezed shut and moaning in pleasure as she took him into her mouth.
It was nearly daybreak when Bella finally curled into her husband's side. She was completely exhausted from their night of lovemaking and enjoying each other, and was asleep against his chest almost immediately.
Edward, on the other hand, was far too captivated by the woman at his side for sleep to even attempt to claim him. He wanted to take the opportunity in their rare, peaceful surroundings to watch the sunrise illuminate her face and the path of his fingers running though her hair while her eyelashes fluttered softly in her sleep. He pondered for what had to be the millionth time since he first saw her face staring back at him on that tarmac. From the moment he stepped off the plane, he couldn't believe how drastically different his life was from the year previous. He was actually happy, for the first time in as long as he could remember. He had an amazing, beautiful wife, who had undeniably given him more love and support than he'd ever known. He had an incredible little boy looking up to him and calling him Dad, and a tiny baby girl that he still couldn't believe he'd had part in creating. His life was almost frighteningly close to perfect.
He had a home, a family—everything to fight and live for.
"I love you so much, Bella," Edward whispered against her hair and pressed a gentle kiss there, trying hard not to wake her. "Thank you."
The next day, Edward and Bella anxiously made their way to Angela and Eric's house. Despite their amazing night—and late morning and early afternoon—the ache to be back with their children was strong.
Edward smiled as he thought back over the previous two weeks since he'd been home, recalling all the little instances of watching the kids bond together. Even though Mikey was still so stubborn about admitting that he actually liked having a little sister, Edward was gradually seeing more cracks in his façade as time passed. The way he would try to hide his smile when he would warn him about his sister's affinity for grabbing hair and ears, while rubbing his own. Edward had honestly thought she was too little to be able to do that, until he leaned a little too close one day to kiss her cheek, and felt the tight pinch of her fist on his earlobe. And of course, got the subsequent "told ya so, Dad" from Mikey.
It was little times like that, that made both of them miss their kids so much, that even if they'd planned to be gone longer, it wasn't something that appealed to them at all. And as they pulled into the driveway of the house, it was obvious that they weren't the only ones who felt that way.
Mikey sat on the front steps, bundled in his thick coat and his backpack sitting beside his legs, waiting for them. He looked up at the sound of the crunching gravel and raced toward the car before Edward even had the chance to shut off the engine. "Mom! Dad!"
Bella smiled widely as she stepped out of the car, catching her little boy up into her arms the instant he reached her. "Oh, baby, we missed you so much!"
Mikey hugged his arms tightly around her neck, crying softly against her before looking over to Edward and leaning toward him. He grabbed onto the man's shoulders and clung to him as soon as he was in his hold.
Angela gave them a sad smile as she walked toward them, carrying Bailey in her carseat in one arm and their bags in the other. "He had some bad dreams last night."
Edward gently kissed Mikey's temple as his embrace secure more around him. "About what, buddy?"
Mikey only shook his head violently, burying his face into Edward's shoulder and soaking the fabric of his shirt with his tears.
Bella's heart constricted at the sight and then shared an understanding glance with Angela, almost certain what the nightmares had been about, with the way he held to Edward. "Thank you for watching them last night, Angela."
"Anytime," Angela replied as she set Bailey in the car along with the bags, and then stood again to press a kiss to Mikey's hair. "They were both perfect angels."
Edward turned to put the little boy in the back seat with his sister, but Mikey was hesitant to release his hold around his neck. "Hey, little man. We have to get you buckled in so we can go home."
A soft sob escaped Mikey but he slowly loosened his arms and allowed Edward to secure the seatbelt around him. His eyes stayed lowered to his lap as he heard the muffled voices through the closed doors, of his parent's thanking and saying goodbye to Angela. He continued to remain silent through the three minute drive back to their house, and immediately ran up the front walk upon their arrival.
Edward and Bella looked on helplessly as Mikey charged through the house to his bedroom the instant the front door was open, and glanced at each other. "I've got him while you put her down for her nap?"
Bella nodded to him as she lifted Bailey from the carseat, watching him place a lingering kiss on the baby's forehead and one more to her own lips, before turning and making his way to Mikey's room.
Edward knocked lightly on the bedroom door, opening it slowly when he received no response after a few moments and finding Mikey curled under his blankets on the bed. He lowered himself to sit beside him on the mattress, running his hand over his hair where it peeked out from beneath the comforter.
"I tried to be good, Dad. I really did," Mikey's garbled voice sounded from his hiding place, the outline of his body under the fabric curling into a tight ball.
"Mikey, it's okay to have nightmares. Everyone does once in a while," Edward replied softly in an attempt to comfort the little boy. "You want to talk about it?"
Mikey didn't answer right away, but then finally lowered the blanket and lifted his tearstained face to look at Edward. "You died and Mommy didn't come back for us. And we were all alone and I was so scared. I don't want you to die, Dad."
Edward held his arms out for Mikey to climb into, which he did so slowly, curling into his dad's lap and nestling against his chest. He embraced the child securely, pressing his lips to the top of his head.
Maybe leaving the kids alone so soon after returning home was too soon, even if only for one night, he thought as he rocked Mikey back and forth in his arms with his eyes closed. Even with as much as he needed to reconnect with his wife, he knew this past deployment had hit the little boy hard. He felt he had just gotten the dad he wanted so badly, and then he was taken away. All those months were spent wondering and worrying whether he was ever coming back, and when he finally did, he had to share his dad with a new little sister. They hadn't even really gotten into a solid pattern of functioning as a family, and while Bailey was still too young to understand, Mikey had shown every sign the night before that he wasn't ready to be separated from them yet.
"Don't worry, Mikey. Your dad's not going anywhere for quite a while," Bella said softly from the doorway, walking across the room to sit on the other side of Edward and running her thumb over her son's damp cheek. "And you're never getting rid of me, baby."
Mikey's lip trembled as he lifted his eyes to look between his parents. "But I ruined your honeymoon."
"No, you didn't, buddy. Your mom and I were just as eager to come home as you were to have us here," Edward replied, resting his forehead against the little boy's.
"You were?" Mikey asked quizzically, tilting his head slightly as he gazed at them and lifting up onto his knees on Edward's lap. Cupping his dad's ear with his hand, he whispered, "I don't think you did it right then, Dad."
Edward chuckled, hugging Mikey securely to him and Bella to his side. "Maybe not. But I'll figure it out someday."
"I think we should all change into our pajamas," Bella began, bringing both male's attention to her. "And go cuddle up on Mom and Dad's bed for a special movie night, what do you think?"
"Can we watch Despicable Me?" Mikey asked, his voice sounding a little more hopeful.
Bella took a deep breath, fighting the instinct to cringe, but smiled at Mikey. "Only if you're washed up, in your jammies and on the bed in five minutes."
"Okay!" Mikey replied, wiggling off Edward's lap and rushing to his dresser.
Bella took her husband's hand and led him out into the hall, and once they were out of earshot, he leaned toward her, whispering, "Are we going to survive this?"
She laughed and squeezed his hand, turning to face him and kissing him gently. "If I survived it every single night for about six months straight—while pregnant and moody, mind you—I think we just might. And for the record?" she paused, sliding her arms around him. "You did everything right."
Edward's eyes widened as her lips pressed more firmly against his, but her hand slid down and squeezed his ass. "You're dirty."
Bella smirked with a wink and released him, walking out to the kitchen to pop the popcorn.
Less than a half an hour into the movie, Edward sat on the bed with his wife and children, and he was the only one still awake. Bella had drifted off on his shoulder, while Mikey was snuggled against his side, and Bailey was on top of him, nestled against his chest. Everything that mattered to him was right there in his arms, and that was exactly where he wanted to spend his time home, however long he was granted.
With his family, building strong foundations for them as a singular unit. To take Mikey on fishing and camping trips, and be there for as many of Bailey's milestones as he could. And to love the woman beside him with everything he had for as long as they were given. Maybe even have another baby someday, and be there to watch his child take its first breath.
Whatever the future held, he knew he was not the same man he was the year before, nor would he ever opt to be, if given the choice. Each of their lives had changed so much in the past twelve months, but in every way, it was better, fuller.
And all from one little boy's Christmas wish.