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A/N- I am very excited to say I have a new laptop! Fitting as it's the last chapter of the story somewhat bittersweet actually. I'm sad to say farewell to this story. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It is one of my favorite stories I've written thus far. If you haven't checked out my other stories please feel free to do so a few of my favorites was my first story til I see you again and my one shot What the future holds and if you liked this story you might also enjoy Inn and Out of Love. I have one more story I have to finish before I start anything new so maybe those will hold you over . Thanks so much for the love and support, the reviews, favorites and alerts. Very encouraging for me and yes I know updates our sometimes far and in between but I will finish my please ignore any mistakes. Finally as always ENJOY and let me know what you think. Thanks again for sticking with me. As always ENJOY and REVIEW! I mean after all I wrote lots of words the least you can do is share a few of yours.
"Your dates here" Kate smirked slyly from the door of my bedroom as I finished applying my eyeliner.
"Don't say that, you know it isn't like that" I grinned.
"What a shame, he's pretty dashing if you ask me!" She laughed.
"Are you suggesting that I'm not?" I played along twirling in my beaded crimson evening gown, almost tripping over the bottom. It was quite beautiful and sexy with a slit that left little to the imagination.
"Stunning" she giggled as she helped tie the ribbon criss crossing the back of my dress. It was such a nice sound hearing Kate laugh. She was such a different person from the one I met a short while ago in prison. I could easily understand why Garrett had fallen in love with her. They would have been so happy.
"Thank you again for helping me get ready, Kate. I really appreciate it." I smiled.
"Don't thank me Bella, thank you for not only proving me innocent but for letting me stay here until Garrets' estate gets settled. It shouldn't be to much longer. "
"Anything for my Godson!" I laid my hand on her small stomach and watched as Kate's face lit up with a soft glow.
Kate had found out shortly after her release that she was pregnant that not only was she pregnant but that Garrett had altered his will leaving virtually everything to Kate. She was just waiting for the legal process to cut through all the red tape so she could get her own apartment. In the beginning she was planning to stay at a hotel but since I had an extra room she opted to move in for a while which worked out well for both of us.
"How did Aro's family take the news?" I asked nervously. She had been worried at informing them of the news; afraid of what they would think of the once incarcerated call girl who was now carrying their murdered loved ones illegitimate child.
"Oh Bella!" she gushed excitedly. "They were ecstatic!" His mother was so happy that she would have a grandchild and not only is Heidi already planning my shower she has offered to watch the baby when I go back to school this fall."
"I am so happy for you. I know Garrett would have been too." We shared a knowing look before I heard a slight movement outside my door.
"Is he pacing?" I laughed at Kate as she shook her head.
"I think he's nervous." She giggled.
"Well let's put him out of his misery." I sighed as I opened the door stunning my poor unexpected suitor.
"James, you look handsome" I stood shocked at the clean shaven, cropped hair man who looked extremely uncomfortable in his tuxedo. In his hands was a single white Lilly.
"Wow, you look…wow!" he shook his head handing me the beautiful flower and I smiled.
"Thank you James. Are you ready? We probably don't want to be late, do you have the tickets?"
He patted around his suit before pulling them from the right pocket of his vest. He replaced them and helped me into my coat. I grabbed my clutch from the table. I wished Kate a lovely evening telling her not to wait up.
"Shall we?" I asked as I grabbed James arm. He opened the door for me and bowed letting me lead the way.
xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxo oxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxo xoxoxoooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoo xoxo
The taxi dropped me off outside in the chilly air. I thanked James for a lovely evening with a small kiss on the cheek. He again seemed embarrassed but made sure I got inside ok. I was holding my contraband under my coat in one hand, my hills in another trying to sneak my way in without being noticed but with no such luck. Maggie was watching.
"Now listen her Mrs. Swan" she lectured in her native Irish, "you've got to quit coming here in the middle of the night. It's after one in the morning. We've done warned ya. Next time I'll be calling security." She threatened.
"I'm sorry Maggie really, its just, well you know how it is." I pleaded.
"Yes. I do but that's still no excuse! Carmen has been through the ringer today be glad it was me here that caught ya and not her. "
"Yikes, how bad was it?" I asked afraid of the answer.
She tried to hide her smile unsuccessfully.
"He's been all sorts of difficult calling her nurse Ratchet to her face, and refusing to eat again. "
"You would think he was five." I muttered. "I'll see what I can do." I sighed resigning myself to a short visit. I thanked Maggie and headed toward his room.
He's in room 381 now. She pointed her stark, sterile finger toward the Geriatric Ward. Carmen got tired of his tantrums and sent him where the other patients can't hear him bellyache.
I talked a few more minutes with her about her family and job. I liked Maggie she was a little older than me but we had quite a bit in common. I wish she would consider my offer to be an informant but she was still hesitant. I'm sure she would be good at it if she would loosen up a little more. Right now wasn't a good time for her but perhaps one day.
I entered Room 381 with hesitation fearing he might be asleep. It, as with all hospital rooms was claustrophobic, dingy and smelled of bleach and sanitizer. Cullen was intently watching something on the screen of television which hung on the mobile metal stand above his bed. He hadn't spotted me yet.
"Anything interesting?" I questioned as I laid my coat on the uncomfortable metal chair.
"Not really. Some billionaire from Seattle is MIA. His helicopter went down on the way back from a business trip." He flipped the power button and threw the remote from the bed. The cord barely kept it from clanking on the floor. "How about you? You look all dolled up. Hot date?" He huffed sarcastically.
"As a matter of fact I did!" I smiled. "The policeman's ball. James asked me to go last night when his date bailed on him."
Cullen looked murderous. "Are you kidding me?"
"Seriously Edward, What's wrong with you?" I was losing my temper fast.
"Well for one you went out with him and in that dress!" he seethed.
"He seemed to like it, said he was the luckiest SOB at the ball. Quiet civil actually. Wish I could say the same about you sometimes." I spat.
"Swan you're going to be the death of me yet! I can't believe you would agree to go out with him!"
"What! He asked for a favor. I figured I owed him one I mean after all he did save our lives!" I argued and tears stirred at my eyes. The images rushed back and I couldn't stop the memory.
Cullen lay in a pool of his own blood trying desperately to say something I couldn't understand. I watched Eric Yorkie point his gun at Edward and turned away when I heard the crack. My heart stopped as I heard someone running. I looked up to find James gun in hand checking the pulse of Yorkie. He pulled a handheld radio from his back pocket and requested ambulance assistance. They rushed Edward to surgery immediately. I didn't worry much I was unconscious by that time having passed out on our ride to the hospital. I was released a day later after the GHB did its damage to my body. I guess I still fared better than Eric; he was in the morgue.
The next few weeks were somewhat of a blur. Kate was released after we submitted the voice recording of Yorkie confessing to the authorities. Cullen had been smart enough to email it to his phone before the SIM card was destroyed in mine. Cullen was touch and go for a long time; infections, blood clots you name it and it was probably on his chart somewhere. I think if she hadn't come stayed with me I would have probably lived at the hospital. I went only to work because I knew if I didn't Cullen would kill me. I couldn't let the story of a lifetime slip through my fingers. I shared my byline with not only Edward (only because I felt sorry he got stabbed and deserved something!) but also an ecstatic Seth. I figured he'd earned it. He was the one that did the grunt work and called the police as Cullen had requested. He deserved some credit in the whole debacle. It worked out well for him in the end. Seth was now part of the Tribune permanently. Apparently Sue had run off with Harry from Obits. That left two openings on our staff. One for Seth and of course I decided I wanted my job back! I hated when Cullen was right, but I was a newspaper man Damn it whether I liked it or not. The sad thing was I realized I did enjoy it. Charlie just grunted about making more paperwork for him but I think he was pleased.
Edward scooted over patting the small section of hospital mattress. I eagerly climbed on his bed and he wrapped his arms around me.
"I'm sorry Swan." He muttered tugging me close. "It's just this stupid place. I can't stand it anymore. I need out of here!" he sighed. "I'm going stir crazy in here locked up!"
"Then why aren't you behaving? Maggie told me you're not eating again?" I snuggled closer.
"Have you tried that stuff?" he snarled his nose. "Tastes like they got it from a dumpster." I giggled.
"I almost forgot, I brought you something." I hopped up from the bed.
"Swan did you wear those shoes to the ball, they don't really match the rest of the gown." He winked.
"Ha-ha" I said sarcastically. "My feet hurt so I changed into my slippers. "
"Heels rubbing your feet." He teased.
"No, not everyone is as eloquent a dancer as you are Cullen. My feet trampled a few times. I was very popular this evening." I said lifting my coat.
"I take it you had a nice time." He forced out.
"Yes" I grinned. "Everyone was very friendly."
"Did James try anything? So help me Bella I'll break his arms if he did!" he grumbled.
"NO!" I turned at him in shock. "Really Cullen; James was a perfect gentleman this evening. Let it go or I won't share this with you." I nodded at the pizza box in my hand. I opened the box took out a slice of extra cheese and took a bite wiping the cheese from my mouth. Cullen nearly had heart failure.
"I I I can't eat that, can I "he said salivating.
"OH on the contrary, I talked to your father this evening. He assures me that if you take it slowly you most certainly can. There is just one catch..." I muttered waving the slice at him.
"Anything" he assured me gripping the bed sheets.
"No more hassling the nurses. No more refusing the meds, No more grumbling, and no more fasting." I said taking another big bite.
"I can do that." He swore "now give me." He said grasping for the box.
"I don't know Cullen I said sauntering toward him. Can I trust you?" I said holding the box out of reach.
"No" he growled wickedly pulling me onto the bed and tickling me.
I gasp for breath and he pulled me to him kissing me long and hard like the day in the closet.
I tried to catch my breath and he seemed a little winded himself. "Bella please tell me you've spoken to Jacob." He said grabbing a slice of pizza and analyzing his first bite. I was hoping he wouldn't bring that up this evening. I should have known better. He asked every evening.
"Yes…No…I talk to him it's just I think that it would be better to break things off in person. He comes back next week Edward. I promise I'll talk to him."
He was agitated. "Do you really think he doesn't already know, Bella? I mean it's been almost three weeks."
"No but he still deserves to be told face to face not to mention I need to return the ring." I paused a moment. "Speaking of which" I went back to my coat. "James gave me this to give to you, said the EMT took it from around your neck that day in the ambulance. Can you tell me why you were wearing my wedding ring around your neck? Was it for luck?" I teased.
"Love" he said seriously. "I was hoping to get the chance to see you wear it again." He put down the pizza and looked at me with sincerity burning brightly in his bright green eyes.
"I know I've made a lot of mistakes Bella. I've screwed up practically every part of our relationship. You are a great reporter, a beautiful woman, and a damn amazing wife. I'm truly sorry for everything I've put you through and I'm hoping that when I get out of here you will let me make up for it. Will you ever forgive me?"
"I'm trying" I said earnestly. "It won't be easy; we can't go back to before." I warned him.
"I know" he assured me. "But I want the opportunity to start fresh so will you please talk to Jacob soon so I can ask you out on a real date?" he pleaded.
"Yes." I promised looking forward to that day.
"Good" he nodded than he leaned closer to my ear. "And just so you know had that dress been blue, I wouldn't be asking you on a date, I'd be asking you to breakfast." He breathed.
I shivered, cool goose bumps prickling my skin. "What is it with you and the color blue?" I huffed. He just smiled and kept eating his pizza.
I stayed as long as I could before Carmen caught me and banished me, saying a few words in a language I wasn't sure I was meant to understand. I went home and crashed for a few hours before heading to the newsroom. I adjusted my chair and got comfortable trying to catch up on the messages posted on my desk. I was there for only a moment when the phone rang.
"Bella Swan" I answered digging for a pencil. "What do you have for me?"
Thank you all again for reading my story. I'm not sure if it was the ending you were hoping for but I didn't feel that I could simply close it. I hope you understand. Maybe it means I'm not done with the characters yet. Only the future can tell. Again please review and tell me what your thoughts. Again please feel free to check out my other stories. Looking forward to hearing from you.