Chapter 3

"No peeking."

"I'm not. I'm totally horizontal. But you're naked in the kitchen, baby. And I smell coconut." Fuck.

"Don't be a jerk. I want to surprise you. While you were out birthing foals, I baked… all night."

"You can't call me a jerk, it's my birthday," I teased, running Lucky's ears through my fingers. Sated from early morning sex that happened too fast, ended too soon, I stretched in the cream sheets.

"You're a sexy, birthday jerk," she shouted, giddy and giggling. "And yes it's a delicious Heidi Hale coconut cake." Fuck. "And I'm going to feed you myself… one luscious bite at time."


"Naked." Humming the birthday tune, she swayed slowly towards the bed. Her hands wrapped tight along the rim of a chipped turquoise plate. A single white candle flame flickered between us. "Make a wish, baby."

"I don't need to…" I smirked, raised brows, leaning boldly with hands behind my head.

"Ahhhh… I see what kind of day this is going to be." She wrinkled her sun kissed nose and offered a teasing kiss. I attempted to deepen, but determined and elated, she was on a mission. "Hold this."

I teetered the plate up and away, coconut assaulting my senses. "I hate coconut, Lucky. With a fucking passion." Our beagle puppy, climbed, pawed to sniff. "Our secret though…"

"Okay, let me slice." Bella crawled onto the bed, eager and proud of the enormous four layer creation. I smoothed up her bare thigh, taunting and tapping near the top, a furious attempt to distract. "Oh god, I think I've finally mastered this…" With wide eyes, she made love to a huge slice, staring and tasting, licking her fingers.

"Babe, you're turning me on, killing me… you can give me my present first…" I whispered, running a hand along her neck, tangling through her morning hair. An unsuccessful diversion, the fork penetrated through an avalanche of white icing and coconut.

"We'll celebrate in a minute, you need energy first… here… taste." I braced, opening just wide enough. Closing my eyes, I forced, choking down my worst nightmare. "Isn't it heaven? Oh my god. It's like a sweet summer orgasm." Swallowing, suffering, I survived. She enjoyed forkfuls, purring and moaning. Jesus. I palmed my erection, exhaling through waning patience. "I'm sorry, I'm not sharing very well, am I?" Offering another, grazing my lips, I wrapped a strong hand around her wrist.

"I'd rather taste something else…" My pathetic seduction was met with a dramatic eye roll and a snicker. She held and offered again, studying my horror.

"Holy shit," she squealed, leaping from the bed. "You don't like it!" Pointing, raging… adorable in her naked glory. I reached, playfully tugging. Stumbling back, she opened her mouth, stuffed the bite in… chewing, swallowing, humming dramatically, slow and sure. Poking, pressing the prongs of the fork at her bottom lip, she licked, up and down, sliding the silver in and out of her mouth with an arched brow and bare ass.

"Stop it. I'm sorry…"

"For what, Edward?" The taunt continued. Scooping fingers through the frosting and coconut, she trailed down between breasts, over her stomach, dipping in her navel and lower… then again.

"Oh, I see…" Peeling, pushing sheets, I stood, stalking slowly towards her. In one swift motion, I grabbed her waist, bent her over my shoulder and carried my shrieking beauty into the bathroom. Dodging flailing limbs, we laughed. Her pleas echoed through the small garage apartment.

I pushed back the curtain, steadied her in the tub and turned the shower on. Grinning wide and satisfied, I watched the disgusting concoction slide down her flesh into the drain. "Are you serious right now?" Her hands settled on her hips, eyes narrowed and mouth twisted.

"Yes." I stepped in, grasping her hands. Her expression softened as I dusted lips along the inside of each wrist.

"I feel terrible." Closing the small gap between, she pursed her lips, swiveling against my erection. "I can make you a different cake. Or…" Tipping back, she soaked her hair in the warm spray, then met my stare. Her tongue peeked out, sweeping her bottom lip, then grazed my heated skin.

Easing to brace against the cool tile, I exhaled gratefully as she made a path down. Nipping, sucking, appreciating the sweetest torture, as I reactively stroked my cock. Groaning as the sensations took hold, she leaned back slightly to watch. Fingers teased over her own swells, as I thumbed my tip. Kneeling, her hands resting at my thighs as the water slid down over porcelain flesh. Teasing, tentatively tasting, she moved forward, taking me in.

"Motherfuck, Bella…" I gently massaged her neck, as my hips titled and she moved deeper. "Baby, that feels…" I breathed. Overwhelmed, as her tongue pressed firm underneath, I paced and slid. Cradling her neck, my hand barely squeezed to draw her attention. "Come up here." My hands moved along damp skin as she rose.

We pressed, gliding and wanting. I buried fingers in her hair, capturing a parted mouth gasping from desire. Tongues tangled, testing as I turned pinning her along the slippery wall. "Oh…"

Lifting and spreading, I thrust hard. Desperate for leverage, she reached high behind, fingers clawing slick tile. I controlled, weighting her arms overhead.

"Yes… god, Edward… please. I need more."

A fevered rhythm, rotating and thrusting, my lips danced along her neck. "Tell me…" I pushed, barely fighting the burn.

"It's good… oh, fuck…" I slowed ever so slightly as our eyes met, lips brushing. Her leg tightened around my waist, searching, angling so close. "There… mmmm" Breathless, she peaked and tipped. Once and again, I pounded erratic through the rise. Lost in her… lost in us… I pulsed, buried.

Our lips caught in a tender kiss, she lowered steady. I rested my forehead at hers. "You're beautiful."



"The puppy's out there with the cake…"


Fuck. My phone vibrated as my coffee spilled. I grabbed Lucky's blanket from the floorboard, an attempt to dry my soaked jeans. "Hello?"

"Dr. Cullen, we've got an emergency." Sue's voice trembled.

"What is it?"

"The Jenks' golden retriever had a run in with a porcupine."

"Face, snout?"

"Yes, bless his heart."

"Okay, let me turn around and head back."

"No, no… they're in the woods two hours away."

"Oh, shit. Do they want me to come up to them? I can."

"No, they're going to do most with pliers, then bring him in."

"Alright, Bella and I are supposed to have lunch, then I'll be there. Tell them to go slow, and cover his eyes. I'll deal with the wounds when they arrive."

I snuck in the back door of the Forks Frontier. Spying my favorite view leaning over a light table. Rounding the corner, I discovered another. Sharing a small loop and a certain laugh, Bella and the new photographer worked close. Too close.

Clearing my throat, I approached. Bella spun around, gasping, grabbing her chest. "Edward, you scared us!"

"Us?" I sounded like an asshole, she arched a brow.

"Edward, you remember Paul… our new photographer?" He offered a hand, while running his other through his big city coif.

"Hey, Dr. Cullen…" Yeah, that's right. I squared, stiffening. Bella eye rolled over his shoulder.

"Paul. How's the cat?"

"Good, she's good. Eating well again."

"Glad to hear it. You ready, babe?" My hand dusted her arm elbow to hand, resting, holding. Paul glanced between us, smirking at Bella's obvious annoyance.

"Wait, look at this…" She tugged me towards the light table. "It's Sue and her husband. We're doing the community layout. Isn't she lovely?" I focused, smiling at a photograph under an anniversary banner.

"They look great."

"I know it… so in love."

"I've got a dog in distress on the way to the clinic, we should get going." I pulled Bella stumbling behind me. "Paul, take care of that cat, bud…" Pussy.

Attempting to nuzzle as I opened the truck door, Bella scoffed and fell in. "What?"

"You embarrass me. You're a jealous loon." Wild and frustrated, she loosened her knotted mussed hair. Letting the engine idle, I chuckled.

"Huh. How about Chelsea the eager intern…" Risky, I teased at the edge. She pulled off her short denim jacket, balancing the arguement with a black thin strapped sundress.

"You're missing the point," she mumbled, pausing, scratching at a crack in the window. "And you're going to ruin the mood of my surprise…"

"Hey…" I reached, feathering over her naturally flushed cheek. "I'm sorry." Kissing each knuckle, then I nipping with teeth, hoping. She snatched her hand away, laughing lightly. "Bella, where am I going?"

"Oh shit, sorry." She dug in her brown leather bag. "Here, it's downtown… near the square." An address scribbled on torn newspaper led our way.

"What is it? A new coffee shop? Deli?" I wondered.

"Just go…" She smirked, arms crossed, eyes sparkling.


We pulled into the pebbled drive adjacent the pink Victorian house, with a Richardson Realty sign planted in the front yard. Bella giggled, fisting her hands, grinning wide. "I'm so excited. Come on…"

I met her at the fieldstone stairs that led to the wide wrap around porch. Running my hand down the back of my neck, soothing the confusion. "Who's house is this, Bella?" She ran playfully back down the stairs, arms wide and forward.

"Well… I…"

"Hello, you two," a tall, attractive woman interrupted. She stepped through the door, onto the porch, glossy lips greeting. "Come, come…" She gestured, Bella yanked. "Hi, I'm Joan Richardson, you must be Edward. The handsome, new veterinarian I've heard so much about."

"Nice to meet you. I'm not new to town though, I grew up here." Bella disappeared, leaving Joan, the able realtor and I in the grand wallpapered foyer. Bouquets of lilacs… wallpaper.

"Oh, how wonderful. I didn't realize. So were you and Bella high school sweethearts?" I reactively laughed.

"No, I wish. Would have saved me a lot of…"

"So…" Bella swayed around the corner, clicking her tongue, thumbs up. Wrapping around, she twisted a button on my blue dress shirt, seemingly anxious.

"Okay, so the exterior is freshly painted. Such a stunning pale rose color." That's new? Joan rattled her sales spiel. "Now of course the price reflects the level of renovations needed." Four bedrooms, five possibly if we remodeled the parlor on the second floor. The kitchen was disastrous, to which Bella and her new best friend noted possibilities and space for a modern top of line range. She was still dizzy from her Heidi Hale haughty homemaker spell. I left the immediate, observing, processing the reality of her surprise.


"Say something," Bella whispered. I had her trapped against the pedestal sink in the true lavender styled master bath. Pushing hair off and away, I smoothed my thumbs along her jaw.

"What are we doing here?" I knew, I needed to hear. Running my nose along hers, our mouths grazed within a breath. She sighed, melting.

"Wanna go halfsies on a mortgage?" We laughed, gentle kisses calmed. My heart ignited, owned forever.

"It's pink… the house is pink."

"You liked that pink dress I wore last weekend." I angled, tucking in, wet lips tasting along her neck.

"I liked it on the floor."

"There's an observatory… mmmm…" I caressed, rolling a hardening nipple through black linen. "We can have sex under the stars."

"We can have it right here, if Joan stays on that phone call long enough," I breathed over glistening skin.

"God, Edward…" Scooting and settling onto the edge of sink, she tugged at the hem of her dress. Pulling me between her legs, she reached to unbuckle as I felt up quivering thighs.

"Fuck, baby… hurry…" Our mouths met desperate, hushing the other. Just as I found the hot and ready, heels clicked and climbed wooden stairs just beyond the door.

"No, no, no dammit…" She whimpered. We straightened, sighed and met Joan at the door.

"Oh." She greeted with a wicked, suspicious grin. "Isn't the pedestal sink charming?"

"Yes!" We shouted in unison, while I hid my guilty erection, standing behind Bella.

"I have another family coming to see the house this evening." A family…

"We want it," I blurted, confident.

"We do?"

"We do. It's perfect… and pink. And we'll go to the bank tomorrow." I peppered soft, reassuring kisses at Bella's temple. Joan blushed and hurried back down the stairs.

"Are you sure? Please be sure… sometimes you're weird and do things just to make me smile. Like suggesting I take that job in London… and our quickie behind Aro's Pizzeria the other day… and this is a big step… and… " Her nonsense waged on, peeking up through dark lashes, feathering over heated skin beneath my collar.

"Shhh… We're ready; we live in a garage and..." I pressed light lips to her forehead. "I love you."

"Do you love me enough to scrape wallpaper?"


"Do you love me enough to refinish the wood floors in the dining room?"

"Absolutely." I embraced, tight and warm at my chest. "I even love you enough to repaint the whole exterior."

"Why would you want to do that?"


Needing quiet, a slice of peace to ponder and sort the day, I ducked into exam room four.

My weary eyes were met with a balding head, very busy hands and Sue shocked and blushed over her husband's shoulder. "Dr. Cullen!"

"Oh shit. Sorry." I slammed the door and staggered down the hall willing the images out of my psyche. Chuckling, I kicked the soda machine in the small break room with a coffee soaked, blood stained denim covered leg. Falling into a metal folding chair, I tossed two charts and my stethoscope onto the table.

Sue walked in, casually primping her hair, glancing everywhere but my way. I sipped the cold Coke, smirking behind the can as she began straightening leftover containers in the refrigerator. "Maybe I should offer the Jenks family something to eat. They won't leave that poor dog back there," she mumbled.

"I already made them some sandwiches."

"Of course you did, because you're the most gracious, thoughtful young man…" She whispered, righting and turning. Bright red cheeks, a shade deeper than her manicured nails, she inhaled to calm. "Dr. Cullen, I apologize for my totally inappropriate, unprofessional behavior. It will never, ever happen again." I swallowed, waving and gesturing.

"Sue, it's okay. Really." I shrugged, then winked. "I apologize for interrupting." She gasped and slid quickly into a chair across.

"I'm so relieved you're not upset or… disgusted. I know we aren't… well hot, spring chickens and all." She touched the corners of her mouth, grinning. "But lately, we just… well this gal at church, her daughter Alice owns this…" She cupped over her pursed mouth. "…little shop." I stifled, running a strong hand over my face. "And we've just been insatiable. I mean after twenty five years…"

"That's right." Thank god a segue… "Bella showed me your wedding photo at the Frontier today. You two looked terrific."

"So young… Oh, that was such a perfect day… and night," she giggled and sighed. I smiled in response. "Twenty five years…"

"My parents had just celebrated their twentieth before my mom passed."

"Oh, sugar…" She reached, smoothing a faintly wrinkled hand over mine. "Your mother would be so proud of you and what you have with Bella." It was true. "She's so lovely, Edward. So smart and creative… she's just turned that newspaper around, you know… And the way she looks at you when you're talking and what not, well, I can't even explain it.

"She would have loved Bella. She's a lot like her… stubborn." We laughed. "Protective, caring…"

"Bella's going to make a wonderful mother one day. And you… lord have mercy… well…" I stood suddenly. A swirl of energy, truth and hope flooded my soul. I knew. The pink house, my mom's illness… I knew. After kissing Sue swiftly on the cheek, I ran, taking the steps of the garage apartment two at time. After a settling exhale, I dialed.

"Swan Ranch."

"Mr. Swan, please."


His stare and study menaced in the blazing temperature. The wooden hammer handle slipped in my palm. I was sweating and trembling not only from the summer heat, but from the day's purpose. "You need to put some muscle into this, son. We're gonna be out here 'til dark," Charlie shouted. I smiled, saluting against my soaked forehead. Pulling my black t-shirt over my head, I lined up the next white plank and held a nail between my parched lips.

"Mr. Swan, actually I was hoping we could…" I mumbled, interrupted by his approach.

"What's that?" He leaned, wiping the back of his hand over his mustache. I smirked, twirling the hammer… then dropping it in the dirt. Real smooth. Fuck.

"I was just wondering how Willow's doing." He gazed toward the barn, twisting his mouth.

"Well, she's doing fine. You gave her an exam two weeks ago. But you can stop in and see her before you go."

"Yes… yes, I should do that… I'll do that." Charlie tested the fence where I worked. Pulling and pounding, he stayed near. I rubbed my face along my arm, settling and breathing. "So, I wanted to…"


"Yeah," I sighed, slightly relieved.

"What about her?" His arms crossed over his chest, heels dug in.

"Well, sir… I'm planning… Well I'm…" Doing this shirtless. Fuck. "I want to marry her… I want to marry your daughter." There. Done.

"Huh." Shit.

"Is that… I mean, I'm asking…"

"You plan on living in that garage of yours?" His expression, tone, stance never shifted.

"Uh… no. No, actually, we applied for a loan to buy a house downtown."

"Downtown? Huh."

"Yeah… Yes. A massive Victorian on the corner near the town square… The price is good, there's a bunch of renovations and improvements to be done… I mean…" I rambled, his brow pinched, raised.

"The pink one?"

I cringed, exhaling. "The pink one."

"There's plenty of room out on the south end of the property for something small."

"I appreciate that, but Bella seems to really have her heart set on that place. And I… I don't know… I like to make her happy."

"I know you do. I can tell."

"So it's good? We're good?" Stay calm, stay calm. He motioned, I moved closer. His strong arm landed around my shoulder as he urged us towards the house.

"Congratulations, son. Let's head in for a cold beer." He knuckled my head, age inappropriate, but I welcomed the gesture. "You get the ring yet?"

"Actually, I did." I laughed cathartically and loud.

"You know, Edward… townsfolk say that pink house… is haunted." Of course it is. Terrific.


I leaned over the metal gate of the stall, smoothing down Willow's nose. "Hey there, pretty girl." She snuffed into my hand seeking a snack, grunting softly when nothing appeared.

"You talking to me or the horse?"

Startled, I turned, facing the barn door. Bella's eyes trailed from my boots to my sweat soaked t-shirt. "Pretty doesn't do you justice, baby. What are you doing out here?"

"Mom called and said you were here at the ranch acting strange. Doing manual labor and talking to Dad. What's that all about?" She moved opposite Willow, feathering through her mane.

"You look beautiful today." I hushed, hoping to divert. "Is that new? I like it… It's really sexy on you…" I took in the short green tank dress, avoiding.

Her fingers lingered lightly along the neck of her dress, lip tortured between her teeth, lids heavy. Oh boy. I knew that look. She stalked towards me, grabbed roughly and pulled me to the loft ladder. I stilled at the bottom, raising a challenging brow.

"Up." The demand was followed by a slow, seductive wetting of her lower lip.



Climbing, she followed close. The moment our feet landed on the worn wood, she launched me against the far paneled wall.

"Baby, what are you doing?" I braced, grunting as her tongue found the side of my neck and her body pressed. With a reactively firm grip on her hips, I steadied us. She tore at my filthy shirt, lifting and tossing.

"Bella… come on, let's head home. We're not doing this up here."

"Edward…" She whined irresistibly. "You look so… so rough and hot." Her teeth grazed my earlobe, tasting undoubtedly salty skin, swirling and licking all the way down to my bare chest. Forcing me to sit, she straddled, dress lifted to her waist. Hands fumbled between as her mouth frantically met mine. Hard and hot, tongues caressed, as I caved to the insatiable fight.

"Jesus Christ, Bella. You and this body are going to be the death of me." I guided her, grinding against my hard cock. Rotating for immediate friction, she quickly released my belt to undo my jeans. She freed and grasped, I tipped my head to breathe and groan.

"Baby, baby, baby… wait," I hushed panicked. "We can't do this here…your dad…"

"They're both in the house. Please shut up, Edward and fuck me. Now." She punctuated her point with a squeeze around my throbbing erection. She hummed as her tongue worked again along my jaw.

I stroked up her damp thighs, finding warmth, wetness. She moaned at my mouth, as I teased along her cream cotton panties. "Fuck." Pushing them aside, she quickly angled, lifting and lowering. "Yes…" She cried through the sudden rush of connection. I tugged her loose ponytail, then the straps of her dress. I roamed lower licking and nipping her sensitive swells.

"Oh… Edward, it just gets better…right? Or am I crazy?" Her fingers tangled in my hair as she paced faster, grinding to perfect rhythm.

"No… not crazy….you're goddamn incredible." I panted against her glistening chest.

"Bella…" A deep voice thundered through the structure. I grabbed her hips, digging into flesh as she arched and fucked oblivious.

"Bella! Shit…stop. Bella... it's your dad!"

"Mmmmm. I… can't… stop... "

"Bella, you in here?" The voice grew closer.

"Answer him, dammit, Bella."

Pulling her tight to stop the movements, I rolled us over. Holy shit. Pinning her to the floor was my last resort.

"Answer him." I ordered, wide and warning.

"Daddy, up here… Edward and I are … talking." She twisted, contracting purposely around my ache. "I'm just showing him the gorgeous view." Licking and biting my chin, she stuck her tongue out at me.

"Oh. Okay. Well, your mom wants you to come in and make that fancy coleslaw with the oranges."

"Be right there."

I rested my forehead just above her breasts as we listened to his fading footsteps and the wide swing of the barn door. "Jesus…"

"Oh, god, Edward… it wasn't that bad." She heaved, laughing.

"Yes. It was. I just spent three hours bonding with Charlie and a hammer. Trust me, it would have been all for nothing if he'd caught us screwing in his barn."

I stood, tucked and buckled. Pulling up my pouting beauty, I straightened her dress and tightened her hair tie. Frustrated, playfully pushing me away, I forced her in my arms. Spreading warm kisses along her forehead, down her temple, reaching her ear. I whispered and breathed. "I promise one day soon, I'm going to fuck you in this loft." But only when your dad's out of town.


I assessed my secret, surprise loot quietly. Anxious, a collision of emotions, I poured a small glass of wine to calm, noticing the bottle was almost empty. "Edward… I'm getting in the shower. What do you want me to wear tonight? Shorts? Or… easy access…" Bella giggled giddy and teasing, shouting from the bedroom. She would be the most certain death of me.

"How about that white strapless summer dress thing…" I sipped, swallowed, easing the cool and crisp through my nerves.

"I don't want to get grass stains on it. You know… in case we…" Good grief, woman… I adjusted the immediate throb below.

"I'll grab a blanket." Thumbing over the tiny, life altering prize in my short's pocket, I blew a deep exhale as the water finally sprayed in the bathroom. I suffered through a few moments of temptation to join her. Suddenly, door pounding penetrated my senses.

"Yo, Dr. C…" Quil. Leaning in the frame, in all his teenage stupor was my favorite menace. "What up, Dr. C." Towering over, pushing me aside with a friendly fist to my chest, he swaggered inside. "Here's the shit my mom sent. You're lookin' cute with a picnic basket and girly wine glass."

"Shut up. You're such a punk. Give it to me, come on," I urged, taking the borrowed paraphernalia that Sue sent. "Bella's getting ready, you need to go." He stared over my shoulder, attempting a view into our bedroom.

"Dude, why are you so jacked up? Your neck is all red and shit."

"Just… it's… it's an important night." I pulled the door shut to halt his peeping.

"What's the big deal? Fourth of July gets you all excited, heh, Dr. C?" He fell onto the couch, scooping Lucky into his lap with no obvious intention of leaving. Christ, this kid… "And what's with the picnic basket and champagne? You doing one of your stupid romantic fantasies again?"

"No, it's not stupid. Actually, it's huge… Here. Look." I fumbled, pulling the gem from my pocket.

"Whoa. What in the hell?" He sat forward, pushing his baseball cap off his head, wide eyed. "No shit." He stared at the ring, then me. "Don't get pissed or anything, Dr. C… but is she knocked up?"

"What? No!"

"No, I mean… you guys have only been together what like since… Christmas?"

"Well… yes. But… we've known each other a long time." I shoved the ring back in my pocket and a trembling hand through my damp hair. "When you know, you know. And…"

"Right, right. Yeah, I mean I can't blame you… I'd marry that sweet ass any day," he scoffed, shifting back, bowed up. I offered an arched brow. "What? Dude, she's like the hottest thing in town."

"Alright, you're done… go." I yanked, gripping his arm just as Bella swung the bedroom door open. Stunning, towel wrapped, Quil froze, gasping.

"Ooops, hi, Quil."

"Hey, Bella…"

"He was just leaving." I shoved, pushed, warned with narrowed eyes.

"Yeah… but I'll see you guys down at the park for sure later. Bunch of us are going."

"Oh good. It's going to be a blast," she laughed. "Did you get that… a blast?"

"Has she already been drinking?" Quil whispered.

"Maybe. A little… Just go." He turned once again towards Bella.

"See you guys down there. I hear it's going to be quite a show this year. Right, Dr. C?"


"Kiss me," Bella demanded, flirting and sweet. "You're so quiet?" A quick dusting of quivering lips, I twisted my mouth and sighed. "Are you mad at me about something?" She twisted the cap on a turquoise thermos and sipped, staring intently. "It's because of the expensive fridge I ordered isn't it? Baby, I promise… that freezer drawer is best thing ever." Irresistible, innocent to my plan, I nestled her under my arm, against and tight.

"You can have any appliance you want." She wrinkled her nose in response, brushing my cheek with a soft hand. A group of brave locals attempted folk tunes from a make shift stage across the field. Gatherings, small groups huddled, appreciating the warm summer evening. I smoothed up Bella's bare legs, nuzzling, playfully tugging her silver earring with my teeth.

"Want some?" She held the container at my lips. The intense alcoholic aroma struck me.

"God, baby… what are you drinking?"

"Just being festive." She shrugged, glassy eyed and glowing. I tasted her exposed sun freckled shoulder, smiling against her honeyed skin.

"I'm good, you relax and enjoy." Her fingers walked the edge, then up and under my khaki shorts.

"I'd enjoy it a lot more if…"

"Well look who we have here… Dr. and Mrs. Cullen…" Quil and his bevy of hormonal thugs crowded around. Fuck.

"Hi, boys!" Bella squealed. Shoulder shoves and obscene gestures, tensed and distracted.

"I hear you can see the explosives better over there across the foot bridge, Quil," I said sternly, pointing.

"Nope. The view is prime right here. Huh, Bella?" He nudged her hard, she fell over and back, hysterical. Great.

"Edward, you have to lie down, this is the best way to watch the fireworks." Bella bunched and fisted my t-shirt, pulling. While she was still mildly coherent, I knew I needed to do the deed quickly. Quil rested a bit too close on her other side, itching to taste her liquid contraband. I grabbed the thermos instead, taking a deep soothing swallow, bracing.

Twisting, finger to thumb, the ring balanced between. "Bella…" She laughed, shouting a joke's punch line. Quil and company ignited with loud nonsense. "Bella… I…" Colors, popping, bright, loud and plenty suddenly illuminated the night sky. Shit. I tumbled onto my back, momentarily defeated, still madly determined. I closed my eyes and listened. A hot, wet mouth smothering mine startled.

"Hi." Bella gazed, leaning over my chest. The slurring and naughty grin had settled. "I was just wondering if there were any treats in your basket." She traced my lips with her tongue, shifting over further. I noticed Quil, open mouthed gawking and reactively rolled her off. The night, the proposal… was null. I slowly realized that truth. Popping the champagne, I handed the full bottle to a tipsy Bella. "Oh, delicious. This is a fun surprise." She knocked back, wrapping plump lips around. Booming overhead, delightful reactions of giggles and sighs filled the scene.

I angled to take her in. White, pink and green sparkling light overhead lit her face, her features. Details more defined than when I'd first fell hopelessly. Propping up, closing in, I tucked loose strands behind her ear. "Bella… please marry me." Sound in the sky, a finale burst and vibrated.

"Dude!" Quil shouted. "She didn't hear you, man." Bella turned, wondering.


"He just asked you to marry him," Quil laughed. She rolled her head back towards me.

"You did?" Holy shit. "Really? Okay."



"Here we go." I hoisted Bella from the front seat, she continued to ramble and slur. I cradled her slowly up the narrow side stairway.

"But I didn't know you hated coconut. That's okay, right? I mean a wife should know that stuff about… her man… husband, right? I knew you wanted to marry me… I knew like in high school…. You looked at me like that… either fuck me or marry me. Right? I mean…remember that day… that one year… you pretended… presented your science thing… that project…"

"Yes, Bella…" I fumbled the keys, leveling her against the door. Her hands motioned, hair wild, eyes heavy… perfection.

"You had…wore that sweater, that shirt… sweater… blue?" Impressive.

"It was black." We moved into the apartment, straight to the bed.

"Yeah, black… you watched… me… like the whole time, during… your pretending in front of the class. And…" She pointed, her hand waving. I eased her back, nestling into the down pillow and slipped off her heeled sandals. "I went home… I was so turned up… on… turned on… I touched…" Oh really. "Like how crazy hot… sexy, you… fingers and mouth… whispering the period table of developments on me. That's hot, Edward."

"The Periodic Table of Elements…" What the hell...

"Yeah that… see… smart guys… Angela told me nerds… are yummy. Did you… you know… do that too… and… think about me then… you did…"


"I know it… knew it."

"You're insane. And drunk. And I love you. You need to drink some water. " I kissed her forehead and walked into the kitchen. She shouted after me.

"I love you… And I love… your face… And we're getting married…"

I stood in the doorway of our small bedroom sipping her intended bottle of water. Watching her chest rise and fall, my head, heart lighter. I slowly unzipped, unbuttoned and laid her shorts and tank on a chair in the corner. Curling in, I rested my head on my hand, simply staring. I kissed her palm; she shifted, sighing through a faint moan. The ring slid down her limp finger. I twirled it, testing the fit. Admiring the glisten and shine alone for a moment, my mouth hovered over her knuckles. Reaching, lifting the puppy between us, I turned the lamp off. "So what do you say, Lucky? Do you think she'll remember?"


"Edward! Wake up!" My body shook, my head fogged. "Baby… hey, wake up!" I struggled.

"Huh… what's wrong? Did my pager go…"

"No, no… just move, get off my arm… please," she begged and urged. I scooted, sinking almost drifting again. She gasped.

"Oh, god." I opened my eyes, her right hand covered her mouth, her other held above. "You did…" Realizing, I lazily dusted her arm with light kisses, smirking satisfied. Then suddenly a sharp pain on my side.

"Ow! Why are you pinching me?"

"To be sure…" She teased, snuggling down under the duvet, legs tangling.

"Aren't you supposed to pinch yourself?"

She smiled with raised brows, licking her lips. "It's beautiful, Edward. Seriously beautiful. And the little sapphires on the sides… it's just amazing." She gazed at her hand, I gazed at her. "Is it your mother's?" She whispered, knowing.

"It was Mom's, now it's yours." I thumbed over her mouth, she puckered. "Should I ask again? Now that it's quiet and you're sober?" She bit her lip, wincing.

"Sorry about that." Melting, barely a breath between, she cupped my face and searched. "Do you want to… ask again?"

"You know what I want…" I righted, blowing a deep, overtly dramatic exhale. Smoothing her tangled dark hair over the pillow, meeting her sleepy eyes.


"I want to wake up to this face." Lips grazed over her cheeks, down her nose… "I want to kiss this mouth." Teeth teased and tugged her bottom lip… "I want to hear your loud, hearty belly laugh." Fingertips tickled up her bare sides… "I want to see you hold our babies." Kisses lingered along the inside of her wrists… "I want to make love to you, every, single morning." Gentle hands eased along the edge of her panties, pulling and slipping down and away… "Forever."

Mouth parted, breathless, tears slid silently over flushed skin. She nodded, dark, damp lashes swept closed. I moved over, settling between her legs, flexing to hold just above. "Is that a yes?"

"Yes. Yes. Yes…"


For, FFpassion and Obsmama... thank you for everything, love you xo

Thank you for reading a little summer sugar. xx

These two make us smile. The silly, sweet lovers will return for autumnal treats and tricks.

Would you say yes?