Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of its characters.
Epilogue: 3 years later…
"Where's my big girl?" I called out as I walked in the door at home.
"Here, here!" Charlotte cried as she came tearing around the corner and jumped into my arms.
"You're going to be a big sister very soon!"
"I know! My brother is coming!" she replied.
Just then Edward poked his head around the corner, "Oh, good, you're home… I need to get to the studio and check the proofs from yesterdays shoot. I won't be long, call me when the baby comes."
"I just talked to Em, the doctors think it will still be a while, yet. So you've got some time." I explained.
"Okay, I'm looking forward to seeing the shots, you looked so beautiful, baby."
I spent the day before with Edward taking promotional shots for my new movie. It was written into all my contracts now that he was the only still photographer that I would work with. Not because he needed the work, though. Once the pre-Oscar shots were bought by a very reputable magazine, Edward's status as a 'photographer' skyrocketed. He hasn't papped since.
But he is the only photographer I will work with simply because we love to work together and it gives us some extra time together when our schedules are extra busy. Edward also refuses to let me pose for other photographers because he gets too jealous.
I kissed him good bye as he walked out the door and turned to Charlotte, "How do you feel about going to Mc Donald's for dinner?"
"Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!" she screamed.
Rose discovered she was pregnant with Charlotte about five weeks after the Oscars. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize Edward and I weren't the only ones taking comfort in each other that night.
Emmett and Rose took off for Vegas the very next day and got married, not wanting their child to be born out of wedlock. After Charlotte was born they had a more formal wedding in the garden of their new house. Rose wore a simple, ivory, satin sheath and she looked radiant.
She was currently in labour with their second child, a son. Edward and I were watching Charlotte for them while they were in the hospital.
Alice called while I was watching Charlotte tear around the playground at Mc Donald's.
"Hey…just calling for an update." She said after my greeting.
"Last I spoke to Em, it was still going to be a while. Probably not until very late tonight or the early hours of tomorrow, I'd guess."
"Okay, let us know straight away!"
"Of course. How're you feeling?" I asked. Alice had been unwell lately, she thought she had picked up a bug that she just couldn't shake, but lately she was wondering if it was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (she was exhausted all the time) caused by the stress of launching her own line. Mary Alice designs showed at New York Fashion Week just two weeks earlier, to critical acclaim.
"Starting to pick up actually. I think it was just the stress, actually."
"Good, I was worried about you."
We ended the call with Alice demanding I call the minute I found out anything about Rose, no matter what time.
I pulled a very tired Charlotte away from the playground and took her back to mine and Edward's house. She was asleep in her car seat before we even got there. I carried her upstairs and placed her in bed, pulling her shoes off and tucking her in.
"Aunt Bella?" she asked sleepily, "Am I a sister now?"
"Not Yet, Honey. But when you wake up you will be, okay?"
"Okay." She yawned and promptly fell back to sleep.
As I turned to leave the room I was startled to find Edward standing in the doorway, trademark lopsided grin on his face.
"Oh… you scared me," I swatted his arm as I walked past and closed the door quietly, "What are you smiling at?"
"You're so good with her. You'll be such a great mother…"
"One day," I interrupted him and turned to walk back downstairs.
Edward and I had been together just over three years and though we'd talked about our future together, marriage had never come up and he obviously had not proposed yet, much to my dismay. It wasn't a source of contention between us, as he had no idea I was feeling that way and I was so happy with him that it seemed greedy to want the ring, too.
It actually didn't become apparent to me how much I wanted to marry Edward until last year at Alice and Jasper's wedding. She had taken eighteen months after Jasper proposed to plan her perfect wedding and it really was perfect. Perfect flowers, perfect food, perfect cake, and perfect dress. It was the most amazing wedding I had ever seen and while I was so incredibly happy for my friends, it left me wanting.
"Hey," Edward interrupted my musings, "You okay?" he asked quietly as he tugged on my hand and pulled me into his arms.
"Yeah…just tired, I guess."
"Well, come on then." He dragged me to the couch and pulled me against his side as we sat down, "We should probably try to get some rest."
"MmmHmm" I replied and snuggled further into him, reminding myself that I didn't need a ring to be content with Edward.
My phone ringing from the pocket of my jeans woke me an indeterminate amount of time later.
"Hello?" I rasped out and cleared my throat.
"B, she did it… she had the baby…my baby…our baby….he's here!"
I was instantly awake, "That's awesome Em, give me the details."
"Okay…umm… he was nine pound and seven ounces, he has curly black hair…like me… he is twenty-four inches long…he's just perfect, B."
"What's his name?"
"Oh, Riley…Riley Emmett Mc Carty."
"That's gorgeous Em… I'm so happy for you guys! Get some sleep okay, we'll bring Charlotte by in the morning."
After getting off the phone with Emmett I filled Edward in on the details and called Alice. I thought I would be too excited to sleep, but as soon as Edward dragged me up to bed, I was out like a light.
Charlotte was immediately enamoured with her baby brother, climbing up to her mother's side on the bed and cuddling up to them. When Rose asked if I would like to hold the baby, I immediately scooped him up.
Edward watched from the other side of the room as I nursed baby Riley and it might have been my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw him wipe away a tear.
Alice and Jasper arrived a short time later and I reluctantly gave Riley over to Alice for her turn.
"I suppose I better get used to this," Alice mused as she held the baby.
"Are you guys trying?" I asked excitedly.
"No need," she replied, "I'm already pregnant." She said it so calmly that I thought she was joking, but when I saw the beaming smile taking up half of Jasper's face I knew she wasn't.
"Oh my God, Congratulations!" I whisper-cried, so not to wake the baby.
I embraced her and asked how she found out. She explained that her mystery illness was actually pregnancy, but because she had been so busy with the fashion show, she neglected to realise her period was so late.
"I haven't been to the doctor yet, but from my calculations, I'm about ten week along." She finished.
This time it was my turn to wipe tears from my eyes as Edward wrapped his arms around me from behind.
When Riley woke, wanting to be fed some time later we all piled out of the hospital, to give Rose and Emmett some time alone with Charlotte and Riley.
Edward begged off as soon as we got home to go back to the studio and finish printing the shots, so I went upstairs to take a nap. Feeling happy for my friends, but longing for my own family was exhausting and before I knew it, Edward was shaking me awake.
"Baby, Bella. Wake up."
"Hmmm, what time is it?" I asked sleepily.
"Just after 5." He answered.
"What? How did I sleep so long?"
"You must have been more tired than you thought. I was going to take you out for dinner, but if you're too tired…." He trailed off.
"No, no...I'd love to go to dinner, just give me a few minutes to get ready." I replied, climbing out of bed and noticing for the first time what Edward was wearing. He was dressed in black slack and a white dress shirt with grey pinstripes, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, as usual.
He left the room so I could get ready and I took my cue from what he was wearing, picking out pale pick strapless dress that was fitted to the hips and then flowed out in layers of chiffon to just above the knee. A black satin ribbon tied around the waist completed the look.
I left my hair down in soft waves and kept my makeup simple. I slipped on a pair of nude coloured flats with a flower at the toe and walked downstairs to meet Edward.
His eyes raked up form my shoes to my face and he sucked in a breath, "You look beautiful." He said as he walked toward me and pulled me in for a heated kiss.
I couldn't work out where we were going and he refused to tell me, claiming it was a surprise and when we pulled up at a small secluded part of the beach, I was surprised.
"What are we doing here? I thought we were going for dinner." I asked confused.
"We are… you'll see."
I was about to ask Edward what this was all about when he lead me through a small cluster of trees to the sand and the question died on my lips. There was a picnic rug laid out on the sand and it was surrounded by hundreds of tiny tea light candles. Crisp white lilies were scattered around the candles and there was a bucket of ice with champagne chilling next to a picnic basket.
"Edward, what is all this?" I asked in awe.
"Hmmm, I was going to wait until after dinner to do this, but the anticipation is killing me already," he dropped to his knee in front of me and my heart must have known what was about to happen because it started pounding furiously in my chest and tears began streaming down my cheeks.
"Bella, I love you more than words could possibly express. You are my sunshine, you make everything around me brighter and warmer. I can't imagine spending even one day of my life without you… you are my life now. Will you do me the incredible honour of becoming my wife?"
"Yes!" I screamed and dropped to my knees to kiss him all over his face. He laughed at me before grabbing my face in his palms and pulling me into a passionate kiss.
"I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you, Edward."
"I can't wait to spend the rest of my existence with you, Bella."
A/N: Okay…that's all folks.
At this stage I will not be posting a sequel as only three people asked for one. I may change my mind at some stage, or I might start posting an entirely new story… haven't made up my mind yet!
Thank you so much to all the readers, your encouragement has meant so much to me during this process!