The Courier

Written for Southern Fan Fiction Review's Christmas one-shot

Edward straddled his bike on the cross walk of Broadway and Bond street. It was an early December morning in Manhattan, snow flurries danced around his face as he looked up and down the busy street. He blew his warm breath into his gloved hands and adjusted the collar of his jacket before peddling down the sidewalk past his favorite newspaper vendor.

"Sup Max-a-million?" Edward greeted, cycling around the stand. "Lookin' good old timer."

The elderly man tipped his ratty hat and cursed something in Yiddish before replying. "Old timer? I'm younger than you, Edward." He patted the right side of his chest and winked. "In my heart."

"True." Edward laughed, grabbing a doughnut from the display.

"You owe me!" Max yelled as he shook his fist in the air.

"Merry Christmas!" Edward winked and peddled away.

Edward had worked for Paragon Express Courier for the four years he attended New York University. He busted his butt to finish early and he did just that with a degree in History, he planned to move back home to Forks and teach while he continued his education. A week ago today, Edward proudly walked into the Paragon's main office and handed in his two-weeks notice…one more week to go and he'd be free.

The phone he kept stuffed in the strap of his back pack rang as he weaved in and out of the crowed on the street. He decided to ignore the irritating thing and increase the volume on his iPod. He bobbed his head to the beats while he cycled past a huddle of cops that sat in front of Crazy Al's doughnut shop and waved at Jessica Stanly, a crazy old woman who sold her jewelry in front of his favorite coffee shop. He grew to love the craziness of the city, he loved that he could get a hot dog at three-in-the-morning if he wanted to or even breakfast for dinner. Simple freedoms like that were big deals to him…he'd miss it, but he missed the comforts of home more.

He took a deep breath and savored the smells of fresh cinnamon rolls and pumpkin spice coffee from SilverMoon Bakery as he waited for the light at the crosswalk to change. He noticed an open window above the coffee shop with a pair of stockings tied to the stair well blowing crazy against the wind, he chuckled to himself before noticing the light had turned.

"You're beautiful, more so," he muttered.

Edward turned down Bleecker street and started to feel the familiar chill in the pit of his stomach. He waved at Taylor, an elderly barber who kept shop on that corner and smiled warily as the old man shook his head in amusement. This was his favorite part of the day, this was the only thing he knew he'd miss in his four years of being a courier. He slowed to a halt in front of the brick-red building and could almost make out her silhouette through the tinted double doors. He nervously cleared his throat and dug out a bike lock from the bottom of his pack praying that this time, she'd talk to him.

"There he is…right on time," Alice said as she skipped to Bella's desk, she leaned over and watched Bella look up from her book and turn a bright red. "Why don't you ask him out, Bells?"

"Alice, don't start please." She muttered behind her book. "Besides, I'm leaving town…what's the point?"

"The point is, Bella dear, you need to get your stick wet."

"My stick wet?" Bella snorted. "Isn't that something you say to a guy?"

"Works either way." She shrugged, chewing on her pen. "He is a hottie, Bella." Alice fanned herself with a stack of papers and blew a low whistle when he bent down to secure his bike. "If I weren't married-"

"If you weren't married, what?" Jasper asks, walking out of his office. Alice blew her husband a kiss and cocked her head towards the front door. "Ah, I see now…" Jasper chuckled.

"Bella's checking out the courier dude again," Alice giggled.

"You're checking him out, Alice." Bella blushed, roughly flipping the pages of her book. She had stolen a quick glance towards the door and nervously patted her hair to distract herself from the fact that he was coming up the stairs.

"Just talk to him, Bella," Alice whined. "You haven't been out on a date in about two years."

"Three," Bella corrected. Edward stopped in front of the door and ran his hand through his messy hair. "Alice, please don't embarrass me…please?" Bella begged under her breath.

"Baby, can you look over this set blue prints before I send it off to Jenks?" Jasper said, pulling her away from Bella's desk.

"Can't you do it yourself?" Alice rolled her eyes and tried to pull away from his grip.

"I would but if I get it wrong again…you can't blame me."

Alice looked between Jasper and Bella and before she could say no, Jasper tugged on her arm once more. "Fine, fine," Alice huffed.

"Thank you," Bella mouthed to Jasper. He replied with a wink before playfully swatting Alice's ass into his office.

Bella Swan was a shy woman, she kept her head buried in books and often found herself lost the world of Austen. She was a smart girl and after her graduation from Forks High school, she foolishly followed her high school sweetheart to New York. Their relationship ended before the ink on the lease was dry and instead of going back home, she worked her way through school and graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Astronomy. Ever since she was a child, Bella was fascinated with stars and the universe and that childish obsession led her to angling for a spot in a research team in Washington State.

Everyday for four years, the 'hot courier boy', had made deliveries to the office and tried to strike up a conversation with her. She secretly carried a torch for him but since her rough breakup all those years ago, she had a very hard time letting go of things from the past.

This was Edward's favorite part of the trip. Bella sat at her desk reading Mansfield Park for the thousandth time and the look on her face was like she was reading it for the first time. He loved the way she bit down on her bottom lip as she turned the page or how her eyes widened in surprise at certain parts. "Some things never change," he chuckled to himself.

"Good morning, Whitlock Designs. Bella speaking." Edward walked towards her desk and breathed in her subtle perfume as he watched her twirl her hair around her finger. "Sure, Mr. Black, let me check Mr. Whitlock's schedule and I will return your call." She hung up and crossed her arms over her chest, exposing just a hint of cleavage. "Hey Edward," she smiled.

"Bella." He nodded, smiling shyly. "Good morning….looking good today."

"Thank you," she smiled. "I like that coat." She eyed his dark blue army jacket and nodded appreciatively. "The color suits you."

Edward looked down at his jacket and toyed with the buttons, smiling to himself at the compliment. "It's always been my favorite." He looked at her dark blue top for a fraction of a second and toyed with artificial roses that sat on her desk. "Blue suits you, too, I've always thought so."

"So," Bella blushed, "whatcha got for me today?" Edward smiled and pulled out the envelopes from his backpack. She laughed when papers and plastic wraps fell everywhere on her desk. "Do you keep your entire life in there?"

"Almost. I don't ever throw anything away and my backpack is my lifeline…has been for a few years." Edward chuckled nervously as he pulled out his clipboard. "Um, I have a delivery from Black Incorporated and a certified letter from a University of Washington-" Bella squealed and snapped the letter from Edward's hands, before she could contain herself he laughed. "I take it that's for you?"

"Y-yes," Bella was suddenly overcome by embarrassment when she felt her cheeks warm. "I uh…is that all you have for us?" She whispered, pushing away from her desk. Edward noticed her blouse and nodded in appreciation when he stole a peek of her cleavage again.

"I uh…yeah." Edward leaned against her desk and waited for her to sign his clipboard. "Don't you ever get tired of that story?" He asked, tapping the spine of the worn book.

She shook her head and shifted uncomfortably when the scent of his cologne hit her nose. "Is that a new cologne?" She asked, slowly lifting her eyes to meet his.

"Yes, it was a gift from someone a long time ago." He said, smelling his shirt with a shy smile.

"Was this someone a girlfriend?" She asked, biting her lip.

"She was."

"I see," she smiled as she searched her desk for a pen.

"You know, Bella-"

"Oh! Thank God I managed to catch you!" Alice ran from Jasper's office carrying a couple of rolled up blue prints. "How are you today, Edward?"

"I'm great, Mrs. Whitlock." He answered, staring at Bella as she continued to search for a pen and conceal her blush. "I have a pen, Bella." Edward pulled out a fancy silver pen and placed it in her shaking hand, she eyed it for a long moment and quickly signed her name.

"Thank you." She whispered, turning her attention to her computer screen.

"So Edward!" Alice chirped. "What are your plans this evening?" Bella gasped and spun in her chair to glare at her friend.

"Um, nothing…just packing."

"Oh are you moving?" Alice asked as she batted her lashes, Bella coughed a laugh and Alice patted her back a little too hard on the back. "You okay there, Bella?" She smiled and flipped her hair over her shoulders before she turned back to Edward again. "So anyway, Edward, we are having a company Christmas party tonight and I know it's the day before Christmas eve and all but-"

"I don't know." Edward looked at Bella for a second and pulled out his phone to silence the insistent vibrating. "I don't want to intrude-"

"Nonsense!" Alice said, nudging Bella. "We'd love you to go, isn't that right, Bella?"

Bella looked up from her computer screen and prayed to God that she wasn't beet red. Alice was glaring at her from behind Edward and mouthed something that looked like a threat until Edward turned around to see what she was gaping at. "Uh, sure. That's a great idea." She looked at his buzzing phone again and furrowed her brow. "If you can, that is."

"I'm pretty sure I can," he smiled.

"Great!" Alice squealed, clapping her hands. "The party starts at nine here in the office…casual attire, so don't worry about having to dress up in one of those penguin suits."

"Well thank god for that." He held up the rolls of blue prints and bounced them on desk to get Bella's attention. "Can I have my pen back? It's my favorite."

"S-sure," she placed it in his hand and flinched back when her skin touched his.

"Where do these go, Mrs. Whitlock?" Edward asked, staring at Bella.

"West 57th street….Jenks Reality."

"Gotcha," he winked. Alice smiled and retreated back into her office but not before wagging her brow at Bella. "Well, I guess I'll be going…maybe I'll see you there?"

"You don't have to go, Edward. I don't want you to feel…obligated."

"I'd like to go but if you-"

"Then you should," she smiled. "I'll see you there." She turned her attention to the computer screen and answered the incoming call.

Edward all but ran out of the building with a smile so big that it began to hurt his cheeks. He would definitely have his chance to talk to her and tell her all the things he should have told her years ago…things he never could muster up the courage to say. As he peddled halfway down Broadway his phone began to ring again.

"What do you want, Tanya?"

"It's about time you answered the damn phone, Edward. I've been calling you all morning."

"Why?" He snapped. "What is so important that you have to blow up my phone?"

"You can't just say it's over and not expect me to want a reason why."

"Tanya, we never had anything…I said, and I quote, 'nothing is ever going to come out of you and I.' Do you remember? I can't see you as anything other than a friend."

"Edward…you never gave us a chance. I've cared about you all these years but you've been too hung up on-"

"I'm biking down one of the busiest streets in New York, I don't have time to talk you off a ledge right now, Tanya."


"Goodbye, Tanya…and I mean it. I won't be seeing you after yesterday. I wish you all the-" Before Edward could finish his well wishes, she screamed and hung up on him. He laughed to himself as he continued down the street whistling to a song coming from the cab next to him.

"What the hell was that?" Bella snapped, slamming Alice's office door.

"What are you talking about?" Alice smiled, crossing her legs over her desk.

"Inviting him!"

"I just figured I'd do what you didn't have the balls to do. It worked right? Didn't he say he was coming?"

"Alice," Bella whined. "Although I appreciate your 'take the bull by the horns' method, I'm a little mortified right now…he probably thinks I'm desperate."

"No he doesn't. " Alice snorted, throwing a wadded up piece of paper to her head. "Stop being so negative…I'm just trying to get you laid."

"Alice," Bella rolled her eyes and made her way to the door. "Must you be so crude?"

"That's just how I roll, baby."

"Oh god." Bella laughed as she covered her face in embarrassment. "Get back to work and stop watching Vh1...loser."

"I'll come by later tonight to help pick out an outfit, I have an extra key so don't try and pull that whole 'oh I had an emergency' crap on me. I've got-" Bella closed the door on Alice before she could finish and giggled when Alice called her something not-so-nice.

While walking back to the reception area, she noticed a small shiny object laying on the ground in front of her desk. Upon closer inspection, she discovered that Edward dropped his iPod while digging through the mess in his backpack. "Don't get yourself caught up in anything," she whispered to herself as she touched the music player to her lips. "Now is not the time to be getting your hopes up."

She skittered to her desk and tore open the envelope containing the letter she had been waiting for since November.

Dear Miss Isabella Swan,

The University of Washington Admissions Committee has completed it's evaluation of this years candidates, and we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to attended University of Washington Seattle for Spring Quarter 2011.…

"Oh my god!" She screamed. "I'm in!"

"What the?" Jasper ran out of his office and tore the napkin hanging from around his collar. "I almost choked on my breakfast, Bella…what-" She shoved her acceptance letter in his hands and began to jump up and down around him. "Well goddamn!" He laughed, "congratulations!"

"What's with all the screaming?" Alice asked. "Do we have rats again?"

"Bella got accepted into UW, Alice."

"What?" She whimpered, tearing the letter away from Jasper. "You start in the Spring? That's less than…oh no! What am I going to do without my best friend?"

"Oh Alice," Bella hugged her friend quickly before prying the letter out of her hands. "This is a great opportunity for me…I've been looking forward to going back to school for some time now."

"There's NYU and Columbia here."

"I think it's time for me to go home now…Alice, we've had this conversation before."

"I know, I know." She pouted. "This is a good thing."

"This is a very good thing!" Bella kissed her on the cheek and ran to her desk to answer the phone.

It was a little after six that evening when the snow began to fall again, Bella breathed her warm breath against the window and drew a little heart. She loved Christmas time in the city, especially when it snowed. She bundled up good before starting her usual walk home, Christmas lights and decorations hung on every window she passed and the smell of fresh baked cookies mixed with the cold air made her think of home. She buried her hands deep in her pockets and remembered she had Edward's iPod, she stopped in front of the old barber shop and rummaged through her bag for some headphones.

She quickly thumbed through his list of songs and recognized a few from her own play list, she listened to the soothing sounds of Bon Iver and Iron and Wine. Halfway home, a song came on that stopped her in her tracks.

Come the end of this June, I'm gonna leave this cit y for good.

I'm gonna black out all the pages I wrote and move on to some better ages, I hope.

Do what I can to forget about you 'cause your love un-made me…

You loved me so fine in fact that all it really did is fuck me up real bad.

I don't know 'bout what I did possessed that's got me so obsessive.

I gotta know all about your new squeeze. Yeah..

I gotta know does he call you monkey? Yeah…

I gotta know does he nibble at your hip bone? Yeah…

Does he call you beautiful? Yeah…

Does he think you're beautiful? Yeah…

Does he actually know, you're beautiful more so? I sure hope so.

I've been so tired these days with loggin' late-night sessions.

So uninspired these days, I hardly even try to write my own progressions.

It's not that easy not to feel sorry for myself

Because, honest to god, I do believe that this could be me throwing away the best thing that I ever got.

So please don't kick me if I ever come crawling back

My money says I'm never gonna, but with you I'd like to play on the safe side….

You're beautiful, more so…

You're beautiful, more so….

She knew the song all to well and the voice singing was hauntingly familiar, she kept it on repeat until she reached her studio apartment above her favorite coffee shop. As she climbed the stairs, she noticed the usually warm hallway was blistering cold and a draft was coming from under her door. "Shit!" She muttered, fumbling for her keys.

She pushed the heavy door open and cursed under her breath when she discovered that she forgot to close the window this morning before she left for work. Bella yanked the pantyhose from the stair well and giggled when she discovered they were frozen. "I'm never going to learn," she laughed.

After about twenty minutes of kicking the radiator, she undressed and ran a hot bath. She took Edward's iPod with her and laid comfortable as she listened to the song again. Without wanting to, memories of a relationship she spent years trying to forget overcame her.

"Baby, did you eat the last snowball?" He called from the kitchen, boxes of cereal and can goods could be heard being shuffled around as he huffed in frustration.

"No." Bella eyed the pink cake sitting by her laptop and giggled when he cursed under his breath. "Why don't you try in the cookie jar?"

"What would it be doing-" He stopped rambling when he passed her desk and saw the bright pink confection sitting perfectly on a paper plate. "You liar," he gasped. "That's the last snowball, Bella."

"I know." She hummed, picking a piece of the coconut flake from the plate. "I've been eyeing it since this morning and when I came home from work today, I just had to have it."


"Yes, my love?" She said, typing away on her laptop. She could hear him move closer towards her and before he could stake his claim, she grabbed the snowball and jumped out of her chair. "I don't think so," she giggled.

"That's my snowball, Bella." He began to follow her towards their bedroom, looking like a lion about to pounce on it's prey. "I need my snowball fix." Bella touched the snack cake to her lips and slowly took a tiny bite, moaning as she chewed. "That's not nice, baby."

"Mmm, it's so good, probably one of the best snowballs I've had…ever." She brought it up to her lips again and before she could take another bite, he pushed her back into the bed and pounced over her. "What are you-"

"Give me my snowball, baby," he said. He began to kiss her neck and reach for the snack when she giggled and held it over her head. His fingers trailed under her blouse and stroked her ribcage softly, making her giggle uncontrollably. "It's going to get worse if you don't give up the goods."

"You want it?" She gasped in between giggles.

"You know I-" Before he could finish, Bella shoved the rest of the snowball into his face. Bella snorted and threw her head back in laughter as the marshmallow and chocolate fell from his face. He playfully glared at her before rubbing his face against hers.

"No!" She squealed, trying to pull away. "You're getting it all in my nose!"

"Tough," he brought her hands over her head and searched her face before looking into her eyes. "I've never loved you more than I do right at this very moment."

"You're silly," she squirmed. "I'm sure you love me now that I'm covered in your favorite snack."

"I'm serious, my love." He smiled and a piece of chocolate fell from his chin and hit her nose, they both started to laugh before he leaned in to kiss her nose. "Your love is the best thing I'm my life…I'm so in love with you, it hurts."

"Hey!" Bella was startled awake when Alice yanked out her ear buds, she looked around in confusion and quickly covered herself to find Alice sitting on the toilet. "The water is so cold, how long were you in here?"

"I must have fallen asleep, what time is it?" She saw that Alice was already dressed in a festive red dress with matching lipstick as checked the time on her Cartier watch.

"It's almost seven-thirty."

"Shoot! I've been here for almost an hour." Bella scrambled out of the tub and wrapped herself with an over-sized white rob. "I don't know what to wear."

"Relax," Alice huffed. "I went shopping and picked out an outfit for you."

"Alice, I have plenty of clothes-"

"Merry Christmas," Alice smiled, letting a bag from Barneys swing off her finger. "You'll like it, I promise."

"Oh Alice," she cooed. She pulled out a simple black cocktail dress, "I thought we agreed it was casual attire."

"It is, look at the bottom of the bag…no heels." Bella dangled the cute pair of Prada flats with a matching cardigan. "Do you like it?"

"Alice, I love it!" Bella dropped the items and ran over to give Alice a hug. "Thank you so much."

"Don't mention it, babe." Alice laughed. "I saw it and thought this was totally your style-early fifties pin up…the dress is vintage." She ran her hands over the delicate material and hummed appreciatively. "All you need is lipstick and some mascara…the dress speaks for itself."

"Okay, let me get throw this on and we can go."

"Hurry! Jasper is waiting in the car downstairs."

Twenty minutes later, Bella emerged from the bathroom wearing the gorgeous black dress. Her hair was pulled back into a simple, yet elegant pony tail and instead of her regular clear lip-gloss, she opted for one with a reddish tint. After slapping on a single coat of mascara, Alice finally pushed her out the door as Jasper honked impatiently.

The party was in full swing a couple of hours later. Co-workers and clients, family and friends that belonged to Alice and Jasper filled the top floor of the building mingling and dancing. Bella paced along the large window and looked down at the city…Broadway was beautiful at night, especially during the holidays. Bleecker street looked like a neighborhood out of one of her childhood Christmas story books, pretty white lights and wreaths hung from the street signs and snow blanketed every inch of the quiet street.

"Merry Christmas, Bella!" She smiled when she recognized the thick southern accent. Bella looked up and saw a Mistletoe hanging over her head, when she turned to see who was behind her, she felt a pair of cool lips against her cheek. "How's my favorite gal doing?"

"Just fine, Emmett. When did you get into town?"

"Rose and I arrived last night, didn't Jasper tell you?" Emmett was married to Jasper's older sister, they lived in South Carolina with their six children and lived comfortably in a two-story colonial in South Carolina.

"It's been pretty busy today, we were trying to close on all the new accounts before the new year. How's the family?"

"Big," Emmett huffed. "The oldest just turned fourteen and the baby just got out of diapers." Emmett pulled out his wallet and showed her the family pictures. "Where did the time go?" He muttered, looking at his children.

"They grow so fast," Bella agreed.

"That they do," a tall statuesque blonde said as she wrapped her arms around Bella's waist. "How are you, Bella? Long time no see and I heard the good news."

"Thank you, Rose, I'm very happy."

"Well, I'm proud of you and if you need anything at all, let me or Emmett know."

"I'll be fine, but thank you, Rose."

Bella anxiously waited for Edward to finally make an appearance but as the party wound down and people started to leave, her hopes did too. "Bella, don't worry about it." Alice said as she picked up the empty champagne flutes from around the tables. "You're destined for something bigger…something better."

"I'm not disappointed, it's no big deal." Bella was a good liar, she felt as if she couldn't breathe, as if there was a two-ton elephant sitting on her chest…but she wouldn't let herself cry over a man again.

Alice let the cleaning crew take over and poured them two glasses of champagne. "To your new adventure!" Alice held up her glass and handed Bella the other. "May you find your life's happiness."

"Cheers and thank you, Alice."

"I'm going to miss you." Alice whimpered, pulling her into a tight hug.

"I'm going to miss you, too. Thank you for everything you've done for-"

"No need thanking me, Bells…it was my pleasure. Just promise me you will never settle for anything less that what you deserve."

"I promise." Bella hugged Alice once more before saying her goodbyes to the remaining guest.

"Are you sure you don't want the driver to take you?" Alice asks, helping Bella with her coat.

"No, it's really not that far…I'll be fine."

"Merry Christmas, Bella!"

"Merry Christmas, Alice. Thank you again for the pretty dress."

A sudden gust of wind blew and at that very same moment, the snow began to fall. "Bella, I'd feel so much better if you'd let me call the driver…you're going to get sick." Alice shivered as she hugged herself.

"It's a fifteen minute walk, I'll be okay. You are the one with no coat on, go inside."

"Call me when you get home and not a moment later."

"Goodnight, Alice," she waved as she started down the quiet street. Bella stopped and gave a homeless man a few dollars and bought a pack of cigarettes from Max, her favorite vendor.

"My beautiful shiksa goddess! What are you doing out here this late all dressed up and without an escort?" The elderly man greeted, patting her gently on the cheek.

"I'm coming from a company party, I just needed a pack of-"

"Camel number nines…pink and black box, yes, I know." He places the pack on the counter and grabs a Christmas cookie, Bella reaches into her pea coat and pulls out a twenty but Max places his hand over hers and shakes his head. "On the house, Happy Christmas."

"Oh Max, you don't have to."

"I know…but you remind me so much of my Sharon, may she rest in peace." He looks up towards the sky and smiles as the falling snow falls around his face. "She loved snow…it's three years today, you know."

"I know, I'm sorry." Bella takes his hand in hers and squeezes gently. "Take comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering."

"That's one of the reasons I can get out of bed in the morning…she's in a better place." Max quickly wipes his tears and laughs off his moment of weakness. "Thank you for your kind words, shiksa…you will make a young man very happy one day."

"We'll see," she laughed.

"Max-a-million?" The familiar voice comes from behind the news stand and in that moment, Bella's frozen in place. She slowly looked up to Max who's face went from kind to annoyed in less than a second when he caught sight of the man calling his name. "Why don't I ever get free cookies from you?" Edward asked as he kept his eyes on Bella.

"Edward, Edward, Edward," Max sighs. "I like her, she comes by and buys things…you don't!"

"You love me, Max…admit it." Edward winked, tossing a five dollar bill on the counter.

"Well, it's getting late Max." Bella stuttered, taking the pack of cigarettes, "I should head home, goodnight and Merry Christmas."

"Bella, wait-" Edward grabbed her elbow and rubbed gently before she pulled away.

"Bye, Max!" Bella's voice cracked.

"Be safe!" Max called out as she jogged away from the stand. Bella stuffed the cigarettes in her pocket and tried her best to calm the butterflies in her stomach, he was just as handsome as he was this morning…she was foolish to let him worm his way back in her heart again and she'd be damned if she was going to hurt again.

Max was grunted and shook his head in disgust while Edward watched Bella's fleeting figure. "What?" Edward said, grabbing his pack of cigarettes.

"I'd leave things be, if I were you." Max warned, fixing the cigarettes on the shelf. "You hurt her once, don't do it again."

"How did you-"

"She talks to me, we're friends…leave her be."

"I cant. I love her."

"When you love someone, you trust them completely. You communicate and don't point don't assume the worst."

"I know that now, Max," Edward huffed annoyingly.

"You know she never cheated, right?" Max said, taking Edward's money.

"I know," he muttered.

"Do you now?" Max chuckled humorlessly. "How long did it take for you to realize that?

"What business is it of yours?" Edward snapped. Max ignored his tone and laughed again, fixing the stacks of newspapers on the ground. "Not that it's any of your business, but the guy who told me they...were um...together, came clean a month after I left her..."

"Where are you going?" Bella cried as she watched Edward rip the clothes from the closet.

"I'm leaving."

"Nothing happened, Edward! He's lying to you, why are you believing him over me?" She grabbed his arm and yelped when he flinched.

"Because it all makes sense now."

"What makes sense? I've never done anything-"

"You get home late every night, you never want to have sex anymore...fuck Bella, I work like a dog every single day so we can keep our shit hole and all you do is go to school...I support us and you go and fuck around just because I'm not around as much?"

"That's bullshit and you know it," she sobbed. "I work, too! I'm tired, too!"

"You sit on your ass all day taking phone calls, that's not work."

"Why are you being like this? This isn't the Edward I know."

"You're clearly not the Bella I know...or love. The Bella I know wouldn't be slutting around with a guy she said creeps her out."

Fuck you, Edward. I'm not a slut." Bella reached for her English book and threw it against the wall next to his head. Edward froze in place and quickly turned to face her. "You know that James has always had an eye for me and I told you, from the beginning, that I didn't trust him."

"You trusted him enough to let him fuck you, right?" Edward staggered back when Bella's hand went across his face, she stood in front of him with her arms crossed and tears streaming down her face. "Was that necessary?"

"How dare you," she sniffled. "You know me better than anyone...why would I-"

"Riley and Mike saw you two sucking face at the coffee shop, the coffee shop we fucking live above...he's my frat brother, why would they lie?" Edward chuckled humorlessly and looked at Bella with disgust. "That was the night you told me you were with Angela studying...studying, ha! Yeah right."

"Fuck you, Edward," Bella sobbed, "You're believing two guys you met two months ago instead of the woman you love and have known since we were twelve?" Edward continued to stuff his belongings into a giant trash bag, ignoring her cries."You're throwing us away, you realize this don't you?"

"No," Edward snapped. "You threw us away when you let him fuck you!"

"You are the only man I've ever been with you asshole! You were my first and-"

"It's over, Bella." Edward yelled, ripping his bike from it's place on the wall. He unhooked the key from the key ring and tossed it on the counter. "I don't deserve this, I've given you everything and this is how-"

"You can't leave me, Edward." She begged, desperately tugging on his arm. "It's not true, I swear to God it's not."

"I can't ignore the evidence." He whispered, blinking back tears of his own.

"Why is this happening?" She cried, sinking to her knees against the counter of the kitchen. "You can't leave me alone in this city...I don't know am I supposed to do now?"

Edward stood at the door with his hand tightly holding the nob, ignoring the rapid beating in his heart that told him he was about to do something very wrong. "Go or doesn't matter to me anymore."

Tears began to stream down his face when he heard her gasp for breath, he fought with himself not to look back. "If you go," she heaved, "an-and rea-realize what I've told you was the truth...because yo-you will find out the t-truth one day, Edward, I promise you...don't y-you dare come've broken my heart." He walked out the door and slammed it behind him, he could hear her sobbing his name and as much as he wanted to go back and take her in his arms...his pride wouldn't let him.

One month later-

Edward had been staying frat house since that day and the first week of their separation, Bella called at least six times a day. As the weeks past, her calls were becoming less frequent until they stopped all together.

One night Riley managed to drag him out of the room to grab a few drinks and possibly a lucky girl for the night. He sat alone at the bar while his friends mingled with the college girls by the pool table and noticed James had been there talking to a brown-haired girl that resembled Bella.

Without thinking twice, he stormed over to his table and placed his hand on the girls shoulder. "Can I help you, friend?" James laughed. The girl turned around to smile at Edward and James stood up as if to mark his territory. The girl wasn't Bella and when Edward saw that, he shook his head and walked back to his place at the bar. James followed and placed his hands on both Edward's shoulders. "You still down in the dumps over that floozy?"

"Don't call her that, James."

"If it means anything to you, I didn't know you were seriously dating her...I thought she was just a girl you fucked."

"She was never just a girl I fucked. It doesn't matter anymore, does it?" Edward snapped as he peeled off the label from his beer.

"No it doesn't." James sat beside him and ordered two shots of whiskey, eyeing Edward before taking a long swig of his beer. "Can I tell you something, bro?"

"What?" Edward said, wincing after his fourth shot of whiskey.

"You know how we have hazing, right?" James shrugged, knocking back his shot.

"Yeah, you made me wake up at three-in-the-morning to tie your shoes...that wasn't cool man." Edward chuckled.

"Well, that wasn't your hazing, man."

"What?" Edward asked, confused. "What are you talking about?"

"Well Riley, Mike and I wanted to test how strong your relationship was with you and your was sort of a mind fuck ritual we have-"

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"

"None of that shit happened, bro." James laughed as he patted Edward on the back.

"None of what happened?" Edward snapped, rising from his bar stool.

"Bella and I...she's hot, don't get me wrong, but that's your girl dude. We never fucked or even kissed man. The guys and I just made it up to get a rise out of you."James snickered, "your reaction was priceless!"

Edward hunched over trying to gasp for breath, he felt as though someone had punched him in the stomach so hard that he forgot how to breath. His heart twisted in his chest and he had to fight the urge to vomit. "Y-you didn't..."

"Nah man," James snorted. Before he knew it, he was on the ground covering his jaw. He looked up to see Edward standing over him with his hands balled up into fists. "What the fuck?"

"You fucking lied to me?" Edward said, kicking him in the stomach.

"Easy bro!" Riley said as he and Mike pulled him off James before his foot had a chance to connect with his face.

"No, fuck you guys!" Edward yelled, pushing Mike off him. "You guys ruined everything!"

"It was just a joke, Edward." Mike said, raising his hands in defense. "Just go back and apologize's no big deal." Edward turned to attack Mike but was pulled out by security and thrown outside.

"You guys are fucking insane!" Edward yelled over the shoulders of the bouncers. "You ruined everything!" The laughter from inside the bar infuriated him, he was too drunk to fight properly and at that moment, all he wanted to do was see Bella.

"If you go, an-and rea-realize what I've told you was the truth...because yo-you will find out the t-truth one day, Edward, I promise you. Don't y-you dare come've broken my heart." Her last words to him spun around in his head and he was suddenly sick to his stomach. He staggered to the alley next to the bar and threw up until his face was numb. He woke on a tattered sofa in an apartment he didn't recognize at first and wondered if it was all just a dream-the pounding in this head suggested other wise.

"You're finally up." His friend Tyler said, handing him a glass of water and two tablets of aspirin.

"How did I get here?" Edward groaned.

"Eric and I found you passed out in an alley. We heard what happened in the bar dude, that sucks…they're dicks, bro."

"Yeah," he muttered. "Thanks for this," he said, holding up the glass of water.

"Anytime bro…you can stay here for as long as you need. Eric and I have an extra room you can have."

"Thanks, I think I'm gonna be needing it." Tyler nodded and held up a box of cereal.

Edward excused himself to the restroom and sat on the edge of the bathtub staring at his phone. His finger smoothed over Bella's name on the screen and took a deep breath before hitting the talk button.

"We're sorry, but the number you dialed is disconnected and no longer in service. If you feel this is an error, please hang up and try agai-"

"What the?" Edward dialed the number again and threw the phone against the wall when he heard same recording. He couldn't bring himself to face her, after everything he had said and done…

"You're an idiot and if she had any sense, she'd tell you to go away."

"She won't."

"You didn't see how heart broken she was...she didn't know anyone in this city, poor girl." Max shook his head and sat on the small stool by the stack of papers. When Edward didn't say anything after a minute, Max got up and stared down the street to Bella's fading figure. "My wife and her grew close, that's why I feel as though it's my a problem with that, kid?"

Edward shook his head and felt as if his heart went to live in his throat, he felt like such a shit for the things he had said and done to her. "She still loves me, I know she does."

"Love fades," Max said as he waved him off.

"Even you don't believe that, Max." Edward snorted. "You don't know us…"

"I know enough."

"I'll show you, Max…Bella! Wait up!" Edward shouted, ignoring Max's glares. He took off jogging in her direction just in time to see her hastily cross the street. "Bella!"

"No!" She screamed, turning quickly in his direction. "I will not wait for you anymore!" She sniffed, Edward stopped in the middle of the street and stared wide-eyed at the angry woman before him. "Leave me alone, Edward."

"Bella, I had to work late…my boss made me take a delivery truck to New Jersey, I just got-"

"I don't care!" Bella shouted again, she turned to face him and shoved him weakly before running in the direction of her apartment. "You not showing up was the sign I needed to really, truly let go."

"I love you, Bella." Edward gasped as the cold hair hit his face. "God damn it, will you just listen."

"Love me?" She snorted. "It's been four years, Edward. .Me. Remember?"

"I know." He whispered, staring at his shoes. "We were so young and-it was a lie."

"And you believed them! Ugh! Why couldn't you just let me be?" She cried. "You stayed on the same route and I had to see you every day for years! Did you even care to know what that did to me?" She screamed, tightening her jacket around herself. "But I learned to deal with it…I moved on-"

"You moved on?" Edward asked, suddenly feeling as if all hope was lost.

Bella stared at ground and tried not to let the hurt in his voice weaken her resolve. "I tried," she whispered, "I'm stronger than I was back then…I'm not that naive eighteen-year-old anymore."

"And I'm not that hot-headed kid either, Bella!" Edward shouted, pacing back and forth in the street. "You're the fucking love of my life!"

"Why are you doing this four years later? Is this because I'm going back home?" She asked, pushing him away from her. "Your timing stinks."

"Wait, you-you're going back home?" He asked, taking one step closer to her.

"I only stayed to finish school, believe me…it wasn't for you." She lied and thought she'd vomit when his face fell.

"I made a mistake, Bella. I got really angry over something so stupid and jumped to the wrong conclusion. I regret every single day that I didn't go back. Baby, believe that I'm so sorry."

"I accept your apology and I'm sorry, but it's too late." She whimpered, walking backward away from him. "My heart can't take another let down."

"Jesus, Bella." He cried, running his hands through his hair. "What can I do to show you what you mean to me?"

She stomped back towards him, balling her hands into tight fists. "You shouldn't have never left me in the first place…you should have come right back, you should have taken one of my hundreds of calls…you should have set your pride aside and admitted you made a mountain out of a mole hill. YOU SHOULD HAVE BELIEVED ME!"


"You should have realized that I loved you enough to leave all I've ever known behind to start something new with you…why would I cheat? Why would I have even thought about being with another man?"


"No! You listen to me now." She snapped, wiping the tears from her cheeks. "I would have loved you forever…I would have stayed faithful to you, had your children and lived wherever you wanted. You threw US away just because you believed a lie." She shivered when the wind blew fiercely across her wet face. "God! Why couldn't you just have stayed away?" She sobbed, walking backward towards the coffee shop.

"Bella, you and I are meant-"

"You and I…NOTHING!" Bella yelled before realizing that she was screaming on the street.

He stared at her for a long moment before realizing there was nothing he could do to weaken her resolve. "Fine," Edward rasped. "This was a big mistake, coming here to try and fix this. I can see now that I'm too late." Tears streamed down his face as he took one last look into her eyes. "You told me not to come back and I didn't listen…It's my fault and I have to live with it for the rest of my life…I just-can I just tell you one thing before I leave?"

She stood there in the snow, wiping her tears, fighting the urge to throw herself into his arms again. She closed her eyes and nodded weakly, taking in a deep breath.

"You were and will always be the best thing that ever happened to me. You, Bella, are the great love of my life and I promise you, with all my heart, that I never stopped loving you. Everyday for the last four years, I've watched you grow into something amazing. You've found yourself in this city and from a distance, I watched in awe, kicking myself that I left you slip away." He sniffed and wiped his tears with the palms of his hands. "Bella Swan, I'm so proud of the woman you've become."

"Edward-" Bella whispered, staring at the snow on the ground.

"I'm stopping now," he said. "I'm going to let you go now…I'm sorry…forgive me." He turned on his heel and headed in the opposite direction, leaving Bella standing alone in the middle on an empty street.

Something about watching him walk away from her again made her realize that this wasn't what she wanted. Every day for four years, she wished for this…she wished he'd apologize and make things right. He stood there, pouring his heart and soul into an apology that she tossed aside like it was nothing. Before he disappeared around the corner of Bleecker, without thinking, she chased after him, ignoring the stares from the handful of people on the street.

"Edward!" She cried. "Edward, please stop!" She saw him stop but he didn't turn to look at her. His body was shaking and when she finally caught up with him, she used all her strength to turn him around to face her. He had been crying, the tears streamed freely down his face as he heaved for breaths. "I love you, I love you." She whimpered, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I forgive you and I'm sorry for being such a bitch…I-I was hurting for so long and-"

"Bella, god baby…I'm so sorry." He whimpered, tightening his grip around her waist. His lips gently grazed hers, she lifted her chin slightly to catch the feel of his lips again. Edward placed both hands on either side of her head and gazed adoringly into her eyes as the relief coursed through his body. "Is this real?" He asked, touching his nose with hers. "I've dreamed about this for years, my love."

"Kiss me and find out." She smiled, closing her eyes. He slowly leaned in to touch his lips to hers, the familiar spark he felt ignited a flame between them, making the pain and longing disappear all together. His left hand explored the exposed flesh of her neck as his right cupped her chin. Their tongues met with the familiarity of reunited lovers, and it was if nothing had ever came between them. Bella's body shivered when his cold hands stroked up and down her neck.

"Let's get you out of the cold," he offered, rubbing her arms for warmth.

"I don't want you to leave me tonight."

"Who said I was going anywhere?" He smiled, kissing her forehead he closed his eyes and breathed in her familiar scent…lilac and home.

Once they reached the apartment, Edward threw Bella over his shoulder and ran up the stairs with her, laughing at the way she squealed in excitement. "Put me down! You're going to fall."

"You weigh like ten pounds Bella, please." He snorted, gently setting her back down on the floor. "I got us up here in no time anyway." He ran his hands through her hair and pinned her against the wall, kissing her neck hungrily before taking the key away from her. "We need to get inside and get you warm." He kicked the door open and threw her over his shoulders again. "You've changed things around a bit." He said, surveying the area.

"I moved everything around when I had an attack of feng shui."

"It still smells the same…like you, like home." Edward walked into the bedroom they used to share and gently placed her one the bed. He removed his jacket and took her foot in his hand to remove her shoe, he slowly caressed her bare feet, starting at the tips of her toes and worked his way to the back of her knees. He smiled when she squirmed, "still sensitive there, baby?"

"Yes" she breathed.

He stood her up on the bed and slowly unzipped her dress, letting it pool around her feet. He took a step back and admired what he'd been missing for all those years now. "Take your bra off, baby…do it slowly." She bit her lip and ran her hands over her breast before unhooking the clasps in the front. He removed his shirt and pants without breaking eye contact with her exposed chest. "My memory did you no justice, my love."

Edward's heated gaze made Bella feel confident, sexy even. She slowly let her hand trail down her stomach and to her panties, she removed them quickly and moved her hands over her breasts again. "Feel me," she purred, laying back slowly in her bed.

Edward removed his pants and shirt with a quickness one can only describe as a desperate longing. His eyes never left hers as he pushed down his boxer-briefs, letting his prominent erection spring free. Bella's eyes raked over his entire body and held a whimper in her throat when her eyes met his again. "I never thought we'd be here again…I was afraid I'd never-"

"We're here, my love…and I'm never leaving you again." Edward vowed, taking her in his arms and savoring the feel of their naked skin. "I do everything in my power to make you trust me again, to make you believe that I'm with you for the long haul."

"Shh, enough talking." She whispered, pulling out of his embrace to straddle him. "Just let me feel you again." Bella rotated her hips and rubbed herself against his erection.

"Jesus, Bella." Edward gasped, savoring the feel of the slickness of her skin against his. His hands dug into her hips, stilling her just as she was about to impale herself over him. He gazed over her nakedness and kissed her chest slowly before lifting her up to sit on his chest.

"What are you-"

"I want to taste you again." He whispered, cupping her ass and bringing her to hover over his face, Bella gripped the wrought-iron head board and shivered when his warm breath touched her wet skin. Edward's hands caressed her backside, leaving a trail of Goosebumps where he had touched.

"Fuck," she whimpered as Edward lapped her juices in one long lick. His eyes met hers for an instant before she threw her head back in pleasure.

"You taste fucking amazing, baby." He rasped, feeling up and down her thighs. Lost in the sensation, Bella gasped for breath as her head thudded against the wall. She watched Edward ferociously suck her clit, bringing her closer and closer to a place she thought she'd never be again. "Do you like watching me fuck your pussy with my tongue, baby?" She muttered incoherently as his teeth caught her clit and sucked gently.

"Fuck!" Bella cried as his tongue licked her clit again. She began to feel something building up inside her as she thrust her hips against his tongue.

"That's right baby," Edward crooned. He quickly moved back to the her clit and sucked gently as he plunged a finger into her wet pussy.

"Fuck, ugh…don't stop…yes, just like-" getting closer now, Bella thrusted faster against his tongue and moaned loudly as the warmth overcame her. Edward kept her from moving away from him as she rode out her orgasm, her body soon fell limp and Edward sat up, laying her back on the bed. "That was-"

"Amazing to see." He kissed her with chaste on the lips once before Bella shoved her tongue in his mouth, tasting herself on his lips. "God I want you."

"I want you in me, baby." Bella shifted underneath him and spread her legs enough to feel his erection against her thigh. "Make love to me," she said, wrapping her hands around his cock.

"I love you." He moaned, thrusting his cock in between her hands. She guided him to her opening and ran her hands up and down his back as he hovered over her. "You're beautiful," he whispered with a roll of his hips and in one swift motion, he buried himself inside her.

"Oh God," she whimpered as she stretched around him. "So familiar…so good." Edward thrust deeper inside her as her legs wrapped around his waist. "Fuck yeah," she moaned as his pace increased.

"Right there baby" He muttered through gritted teeth. "Give it to me."

"Hmmm, yeah, fuck!" Bella's arms flew over her head as his hands found purchase on he hips, pushing faster and harder against her. "So good, hmmm so good."

"I'm going to…fuck," Edward gasped, slowing his pace. "Come with me baby…" He quickly rolled under her, knowing that she'd cum quicker if she were on top. She scrambled above him, impaling herself on him as he rubbed her clit. "Fuck, this is a perfect view." He moaned, watching her back arch, exposing her breast. He sat up and caught a nipple in his mouth, Bella moaned loudly in response and bucked her hip harder against him. He sucked on her breast gently before laying back down, savoring the sight of his beloved. "Do you know how much it turns me on to see you fucking yourself with my dick, baby?" His words were her undoing, she threw her head back and gripped his thighs as she rode out the greatest orgasm in her life. Edward's eyes clenched shut as her tightening around his cock made him cum fast and hard inside her.

"Fuck," Bella gasped, falling into bed beside him. "That-"

"I know," Edward chuckled, gasping for breath.

"Amazing-" Her hands moved across his slick stomach and placed lazy kissed on his chest.

"I know," he wheezed. They laid together in silence until their breathing returned to normal. Edward pulled her into his arms and nuzzled her cheek, sucking gently on the lobe of her ear. "I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my Life seems to stop there - I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving... I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you. My creed is Love and you are its only tenet - You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist."

"Still a Keats man?" Bella said, yawning against his stomach.

Edward ran his fingers through her hair, moving it away from her neck and noticed something different about her. "When did you get a tattoo?" He laughed, sitting up for a closer look. "You're terrified of needles." His pinky traced the small music note behind her ear and trailed down her spine.

"Alice and I went to Coney Island last year and met this man who owned a traveling tattoo shop…I threw caution to the wind and got something that reminded me of you."

"A music note?" He asked, kissing her bare shoulder.

"You always played that silly electric piano I bought you for Christmas, you were terrible but you played it 'til you shorted out the keys."

"I was a genius on that Casio." He argued, "everyone thought so."

"The only other person you played for was your mother…she loves anything you do." Bella snorted, playfully shoving him.

"You liked it, too."

"Edward, we were twelve."

"Still…I would have made a great pianist."

"I'm so sure."

Hours past as they laid tangled in each other's embrace, the lights coming from Bella's sparsely decorated Christmas tree was the only thing that lit up the dark apartment. Edward watched the way the Christmas lights danced off her ivory skin as she slept soundly across his stomach, he missed her. He cursed himself for ever doubting that she was loyal and he hoped to god that she would be willing to look past all the hurt he'd given her and start anew.

"Did you date anyone while we were separated?" She asked, breaking the comfortable silence.

"I dated one girl two years after we split up."

"How long?" Bella tried her best to hide the bitterness in her voice but Edward knew her far to well.

"Not long…about two weeks. Give or take."

"Did you sleep with her?"

"Yes," he whispered, readying himself for the shit storm that he was sure would follow.


"And you?" He asked, surprised by her calm reaction. "Did you date anyone?"

"I dated one guy for a month…it never went anywhere."

"Did you-"

"Yes." Edward fisted the blankets for a moment and remembered that it was his fault she tried to move on.

"Do you still see him?" He asked calmly.

"No, I haven't seem him in about three years." Bella sat up and traced lazy patterns across his chest. "I couldn't give my heart to him, it still belonged to you."

Edward stopped her hand over his chest and placed it on his heart. "You have always had mine," he pulled her to him and caught her lip in between his teeth. "I want to go back home with you and start over again…I want to spend the rest of my life with you Bella. I'm done with this city, it only reminds me of what I lost."

"And found," she whispered. "We found each other again, my love."

"And I swear I'm never going to let you go."

Two years later-

"Will you get off that ladder!" Edward yelled from his car, he was coming from a very long day at school and felt as though his heart would rip from his chest when he saw his very pregnant wife trying to rearrange the Christmas lights along the trimming of the house. "You're going to fall, Bella."

"Oh stop worrying so much," she huffed, blowing the hair away from her face. "I'm nearly done-Edward what are you-" Edward came behind her and pulled her off the ladder, placing her gently back on the ground as he kissed her nose. "You need to stop fussing over me, I'm can't sit on my lily pad all day doing nothing."

"That's exactly what you're going to do." He said, touching his forehead to hers. "You are ready to pop any day now, and I won't have you over exerting yourself."

"It's called the nesting," she said. "I can't just lay around all day and the lights didn't look right."

"Did you-Tell me you didn't put the lights up by yourself?"

"I would, but then I'd be lying." She reached up to kiss him on the cheek and made another attempt to climb the ladder.

"Bella," he whined. "Give me a break here."

"Fine, fine." She hummed, throwing the now-tangled lights back into the box. "Oh!" She giggled. "She likes all the activity," she smiled, rubbing her tummy. "She's been kicking all day."

"She's a regular Bruce Lee," he laughed.

"The doctor said that if it doesn't happen within the next 48 hours, he'd have to induce," Bella sighed.

"She's still cooking in there," he laughed, rubbing her stomach.

"Edward," Bella snorted. "She's not a turkey…although, I'm starting to look like one right about now."

"Stop that…you're beautiful."

"Yeah, yeah…whales are beautiful, too."

"Um, not the hump back whale…or Moby Dick."

"Alright Captain Ahab…I'm just ready for the nugget here to make an appearance."

"Me too." Edward agreed, kissing her on the cheek. "You know what they say…sex helps speed up the labor."

"I'm not in labor, Edward."

"So…can't hurt to try, right?"

"Hmmm," Bella mused, peeling off her overalls. "Maybe." She squealed and ran up the stairs, Edward followed hot on her heels, unbuttoning his shirt and kicking off his shoes. "Shit!" Bella shouted from their bedroom, "shit, shit, shit!"


"My water just broke," she whimpered, "and the cock blocking begins." She giggled before gasping in pain, Edward rushed over to her side.

"Have you been having contractions today?"

Bella bit her lip and nodded quickly as the pain shot up her back. "They were few and far between, I thought it was indigestion or something."

"We have to get you to the hospital, baby."

"But the Christmas lights!"

"Bella!" Edward huffed. "Come on, your bag is in the car."

"When did you put my bag in the car?" She laughed, rubbing her stomach.

"Two months ago," he shrugged, helping her down the stairs. "I kept tripping over it in the hallway."

"Edward," Bella snorted, " I think you were ready for this baby since the first time I told you I was knocked up."

"First-time-father syndrome."

"You've been talking to Emmett again, haven't you?"

"He's the one with the most experience…how many do they have now? Twenty?"

"Eight," she giggled. "Don't be mean."

"I'm not being mean, I just wonder if they have cable T.V."

"I'm sure they do…shit! Ow…" Bella stopped at the foot of the stairs and crouched down against the railing. "That one was bad."

"They're coming five minutes apart now…we need to get going," he lifted her up and ran with her to the car.

Ten excruciating hours later, they welcomed their first child in to world-Julie Marie Cullen-born on Christmas Eve. The new little family laid together in Bella's hospital bed, Julie laid in a peaceful slumber on her father's chest while Bella snored softly against his shoulder.

He recounted the memories on this very night, two years ago and thanked God for blessing him with another chance with the love of his life. He gazed at the wonder that they had created and traced her profile with his pinky, taking note that she had her mother's full lips and crazy hair. "Are you counting her fingers and toes again? They're all there, you know."

"I know," he whispered, kissing her forehead.


"She inherited your wild hair."

"Ugh, I know…poor kiddo." She gently rubbed her daughter's back and kissed her nose. "Thank goodness for frizz-ease." They laughed together quietly, trying not to jostle her too much.

"Thank you," he said, taking her hand in his.

"For?" She studied her daughters features adoringly, feeling Edward's heated gaze on her.

"Giving my this," he gestured to both their daughter and her. "This is the beginning of something great."

Six years later-

"Mom! Dad! You're going to miss it!" A brown-haired little girl shouted as her glasses fell down her nose. She smoothed her frizzy-hair away from her forehead and pushed her glasses back up to sit comfortably at the bridge of her nose.

"Julie, we have about ten minutes. Do you have your coat on?"

"Yes," she muttered, shivering when the cold air hit her bare arms.

"Are you lying?" Bella appeared in the doorway, dangling her daughter's new bright pink pea-coat from her pinky, a present from her godmother Alice.

"Yes," she muttered again, realizing that her mother was playfully glaring at her. "Mom, I can't adjust focus on this." Bella crouched down next to her daughter and held up her jacket, Julie sighed and stuck her arms out jumping up and down in place in excitement. "We're going to miss it!"

"Calm down, bunny." Edward chuckled, placing three cups of hot chocolate on the patio table. "Mom said the shower won't start until nine."

Julie inherited her mother's interest in star gazing and for Christmas that year, Edward surprised her with a fancy new telescope to watch the meteor shower her mother said would happen that very night. "When is the next one?" Julie asked as she ran back to her telescope.

"Why don't we concentrate on this one first," Bella laughed, adjusting the focus. "There, that should do it."

"Yes!" Julie squealed. "Perfect!"

Bella took her seat beside Edward on the patio swing and watched their daughter star gaze, humming to herself 'Twinkle, Twinkle little star'. "She gets this from you, you know."

"So?" Bella shrugged, snaking her arm around his. "Better this than an obsession with an electric keyboard."

"Don't start," he laughed, tickling her sides.

"Mom! Dad! It's starting!" She squealed, jumping up and down again. "Come look."

"We can see from here." Edward said, gazing adoringly at his wife. "It's beautiful."

An hour later, Edward carried Julie up the stairs to her bed and tucked her in with a kiss on the cheek. Bella poured two cups of sparkling cider and met him in the living room, he kissed her softly before pulling her on to the sofa with him. "Did you like your present?" He asked, touching the diamond earrings she wore.

"I love them." She took a sip of cider and leaned against his shoulder, he sunk into the sofa and moved his arm to wrap around her shoulders. "Edward," she hummed against his chest.

"Yes," he whispered lazily.

"I've got something to tell you and I don't know how you're going to take it." The nervousness in her voice made Edward's posture stiffen, his breathing stopped as she pulled away from him.

"What is it?"

"Do you remember that weekend we left Julie with your parents?"

"The weekend we went to the vineyard?" He wagged his brow and smiled. "How could I forget?"

"Well," she breathed, taking a long drink of her cider. "It seems we made another memory of our time there."

"What do you mean-oh…ARE YOU PREGNANT?" He yelped, staring at her stomach.

"It would seem so," she shrugged shyly. "I know we wanted to wait but-" Edward threw himself at her, touching his lips to hers almost reverently. "You're not upset?"

"Hell no!" He cried, wiping the tears from his eyes. "I only wanted to wait because you didn't seem to keen on the idea…I would have tried to knock you up the day Julie turned a year old." He laughed, kissing her cheeks, forehead and nose. "This is fucking great news baby."

Bella laughed and moved to sit on his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. He cradled her head in his hands as his tongue traced along her lips. "I love you," she whispered, rotating her hips against his.

"As I love you." Edward's hands trailed down her chest, past her stomach, to the hem of her skirt. He pushed up the fabric and tugged her underwear to the side. His fingers massaged her bundle of nerves slowly, earning a throaty moan. Bella pulled her shirt over her head and stopped when the feel of Edward's hot breath blew through the lace of her bra. He helped yank her shirt off as her hands made quick work of the zipper, freeing his erection. "See what you do to me?" He breathed, kissing across her chest, his touched her slick, wet center and rubbed slowly along her slit until his fingers disappeared inside her. "You're so wet baby."

"I want you in me," she moaned, bucking her hips. She positioned herself over him, slowly taking him in one thrust at a time.

"Fuck baby." He grunted, gripping gently on her perfect breasts. "Fuck yeah, Bella."

She steadied herself against the back of the sofa and increased her pace, watching as Edward's eyes roll back-a tell-tale sign that he was about to come undone. She spread her legs further apart and gasped when he slipped in deeper, touching right where she needed it. "Ugh, yeah, right there," she panted, squeezing Edward's shoulders. His hands gripped her waist as he pushed up into her, Bella moaned and mutter incoherently as he rocked her over him faster and faster. "Mmmm yeah, oh right there baby…I'm coming!"

"Shh," he chuckled. "Julie's sleeping." Bella threw her head back and let the warmth of her climax overtake her, Edward soon followed more vocal than ever.

They laid together half-naked on the sofa, watching the fire slowly die out. "This has been the best Christmas ever, aside from Julie being born." Bella said, heavy lidded.

"Hmmm," Edward muttered, lazily against a throw pillow. "We are truly blessed." His leg snaked around hers as he pulled her closer to him, kissing her bare shoulder. "Merry Christmas, my love."

He wrapped his arms around his wife and kissed the shell of her ear before falling into a peaceful sleep. "Merry Christmas, Edward."

A/N Thank you to CoffeeLuva from TFFA (Twilight FanFics Addicts) for being my awesome beta for this one-shot

Thank you to Ssherill for giving me the opportunity to share this story with you, check out her site www(DOT)southernfanfictionreview(DOT)com. This is my first one-shot and I hope you like it

The song on Edward's iPod is called Beautiful, More so by Spencer Bell.

Merry Christmas everyone!