This outtake was written for Fandom Gives Back - Eclipse Edition.

I want to thank mommakal and her team for bidding (and winning) the auction.

Also a big thanks to kharizzmatik for beta'ing.

I hope you enjoy :)

Hit By Destiny

Outtake: "Snippet"

Edward Cullen POV

I threw the offending piece of white fabric on the floor and held my tongue from cursing out loud. I already had two strikes – I couldn't afford another one. Even though I thought I was alone in the back room, one could never be sure who was listening – especially when it came to my current co-workers. They all wanted me gone because I was the one getting most of the sexy customers – and the tips. I couldn't be too angry about that, though, since it was with the tips that I had managed to save up enough to get a special gift for a certain someone.

A certain someone who happened to be my damn happy place. All I had to do was to think of her and my frown would be replaced with a smile. All the bullshit from the day would wash off of me like water on a duck, and suddenly I'd be calm again. She was better than any of the meds I was taking – or had taken over the years.


I picked up my apron again and sat down on the worn chair, folding the fabric in my lap before leaning back. I dragged my hand through my hair and took a deep breath, trying to get rid of the tension that was still present. Although I knew that particular tension had nothing to do with my job and everything to do with her.


I got up and walked over to my locker, putting my apron on one of the shelves before grabbing my jacket. I figured I better get out of there before my manager asked me to stay longer, since it was no secret that business was always better when I was there. The seventeen-year-old version of me would have been ashamed. Who would've thought that Edward fucking Cullen would end up being a damn bartender-slash-waiter? Granted, it was at a high-end type of place – a spot for young and rich people if you will. That was mainly our circle of customers – young, twenty-somethings, living off of their daddy's paychecks. In a way, I guess that meant their daddies were paying for my rent and living expenses, too. I wondered if, in a fucked up way, that made them my sugar daddies.

Dear God, I hoped not.

At least I was able to keep a roof over my head, as well as keep my bird fed.

I walked out the back door, which was for personnel only, and toward my Volvo.

No, it wasn't the same silver Volvo that I had back in high school. This particular Volvo was a black SUV that I'd gotten for my eighteenth birthday. It had been clear from early on that I would never be able to drive the silver bullet again and nobody blamed me for it. On the contrary, actually, Bella had been on my side as soon as I mentioned trading it for another car. Three weeks after our conversation, sitting in the car in the garage, we had decided to finally put my driving to the test with the Volvo. I wasn't sure who felt worse after it – her or me.

We'd barely made it down the driveway and onto the main road before everything came rushing back. I was barely hanging on, but it was still more than you could say about her. She completely freaked out and got out of the car, refusing to get back in, and I had no other choice but to follow her. Neither of us ever sat in that car again. Emmett drove it back to the house and I never saw it again, even though I knew it was still parked in the garage.

I asked Bella why she freaked out, since she always claimed it hadn't been my fault, and she said she finally understood what I'd been talking about. She told me she remembered the drawing I made in class once, where she'd been the driving. She could see it happening before her eyes as we headed down the driveway, even though I'd been the one behind the wheel of the car. She never pressured me about driving again after that. She only pressured me about getting better in a way that was comfortable for me. It was the good kind of pressure – the kind I appreciated.

By my eighteenth birthday it had become clear to my parents that I wasn't going to change my mind about the car, even though they'd been hoping I would. They thought I would eventually get over it, since they knew how much I used to love the Volvo. But since I stood my ground, they finally gave in and decided to trade it in just in time for my birthday.

I'd had the SUV ever since, even though it was over eight years ago.

I got behind the wheel but before I turned the ignition, I did my usual routine. I closed my eyes and took a few calculated breaths, mumbling to myself that everything would be fine. I didn't care that it was the end of August, so the possibility of black ice was pretty slim. I knew there was other shit that could fuck you up, too. It was all so fucked up that it took Emmett three years before he was comfortable enough to mock me for my "pussy-ass driving" – his words, not mine.

It took a total of four years, two months and eleven days before I could also finally joke about the accident.

I don't think I ever saw Sparrow smile as wide as she did at that moment. It wasn't a good joke but that mattered little to her. I couldn't even remember what the joke even was anymore – all I remembered was her face. That might have been the moment that I knew for sure that I would really spend the rest of my life with her. She wasn't just another girl or another number. She was the girl. The number.

What could I say? I was a slow son-of-a-bitch. When we were still in high school, it was easy to be together. All we did was live in the moment, because that was all we had. But eventually we had to start thinking about our futures and what we wanted to do with them. We had to consider college and I was convinced it would mean the end of us, and it didn't soothe my worries when it became clear she thought that, too.

Mallory threw a graduation party for our senior class that year, which ended in the biggest fight Sparrow and I'd ever had. Even now, eight years later, it was still true.

We broke up that night.

We didn't talk for six months. She went off to college in Seattle to study psychology, and I went to Chicago to study… nothing. I just took a few different classes, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and failed them all except for one – an introductory class in psychology. Go figure.

I moved back to Forks and stayed there for about a month before trying my luck in Seattle.

It wasn't a coincidence that I picked Seattle – I might not have known what I wanted to do with my life, but I did know who I wanted to spend it with. Sparrow. Who else? I knew from the get-go that I didn't want to go back to college, but Seattle was a big city and I figured I wouldn't have a hard time finding something to do. Said and done. A week after moving to Seattle, I found a job at a piano-bar. I was paid to play every Thursday, and every other day I was just your regular run-of-the-mill waiter.

That was where Sparrow found me.

She'd gone out with a couple of friends to celebrate the end of their midterms and it just happened to be on a Thursday. They ended up going to my work place and I was so busy playing whatever classical piece they wanted me to play that night that I almost didn't notice her. It wasn't until she walked up to me and tapped me on the shoulder that I was pulled from my trance. The moment I met her gaze, I knew there was no turning back. Six months apart was six months too many.

It might have taken me another few years before I realized that she really was my forever, but that didn't keep me from knowing that I wouldn't love anyone else but her. Even at 19 years old, I was sure about that.

I sighed as I pulled myself from the memory. I wasn't sure why I even started thinking about the time we had spent apart. That shit didn't matter anymore, now that we were together.

The drive back to the apartment was quick – only fifteen minutes, sometimes twenty five if it was rush-hour. The apartment was dark and quiet when I got home, something that was becoming a common occurrence these days. I threw my jacket aside before going to the kitchen to grab a beer from the fridge.

I plopped down on the couch, taking a deep drink from my beer. According to the clock on the wall, it was already nearly ten thirty in the evening. Where the hell could she be?

I was almost done with the bottle when I finally got the answer to my question. I could hear the jiggle of keys on the other side of the front door. I walked over, taking the last sip of my beer as I opened it for her, smiled at the sight in front of me. Bella was holding three thick files as well her handbag, while jiggling her keys in the lock. She smiled in relief when she met my gaze.

"Hey," she said, sounding breathless.

I stepped aside, letting her in before closing the door behind her. I put my empty bottle on the nearest side table before helping her with her stuff. I grabbed the files from her hands and set them on the coffee table while she hung up her jacket and put away her bag.

"Long day?" I asked.

"You have no idea," she replied. She walked over to me, placing her hands on my chest. "Hi," she said again.

"Hi," I replied as I leaned down to meet her lips with mine. "How was work?"

"Exhausting, but that's not all." She nibbled on her lip, a sure sign that she was dreading telling me something, which made me anxious. We were probably the most pathetically co-dependent couple on earth. That was something that would never change. In fact, we might have been even worse now than we were eight years ago.

"Did something happen?" I asked.

"Yes and no," she replied vaguely.

"C'mon, just tell me already."

"Fine. I have to go to Forks for a few days to help evaluate a case there."

I blanched. This would not end well. "Forks?" I echoed. "You really think that's a good idea? Have you talked to Kate?"

"Yes, I have, and she was the one who encouraged me to go. She thought it would be beneficial for me."

I scoffed. "What the hell does she know?"

She smiled and rolled her eyes. "Typical you. You only agree with her when she's agreeing with you."

Kate had become a very good friend of ours over the years and, even though Bella never said it out loud, I knew she considered Kate to be her mother. She was partly the reason why Bella went on to major in psychology and ended up becoming a social worker. Bella was now working to help kids with similar – yet, not as extreme – pasts as she had. She dealt with abuse in all its forms, and now she had to go back to Forks to deal with a case.

"I want to do this," she assured me. "I think it can be good for me."

"Will you stay in Forks for the week?"

"I was thinking of staying with Kate in Port Angeles. I think we can deal with the situation from there since the kid's psychiatrist is located there, as well."

I frowned. "It feels like I haven't had you for myself in forever."

She smiled softly. "If I remember correctly, you had me all to yourself just a couple of days ago, and as far as I know, there were no complaints." She trailed her finger down my chest, a soft blush coloring her cheeks. "I think I'm going to take a shower and go to bed. It has been a long day."

She kissed me once again and walked away, so I followed her into the bedroom before slipping into the bathroom. She rolled her eyes when I started to undress next to her, but she didn't say anything about it. She knew I was going to join her in there. It wasn't like I was willingly going to pass up a chance to see her naked body all wet and soapy.

The mere thought made my body react accordingly and she snorted when she noticed.

"You're such a guy," she said, shaking her head with an amused smile. She stepped inside the shower and turned it on, yelping as the cold water hit her before turning warm. I bit the inside of my cheek when I looked at her boobs, seeing them react from the cold spray.

So. Fucking. Hot.

I licked my lips and took a step forward, but she held out her hand to stop me.

"No funny business, okay? I'm too tired," she said sternly. She wasn't a fan of bathroom sex, but that didn't mean I couldn't persuade her from time to time. From the look in her eyes, however, this was not one of those times. I definitely wasn't getting lucky in the shower today.

I sighed deeply in defeat. "Fine, but you better turn the shit to cold then. Because Edward junior isn't going down without a fight." I put my hands on my hips, as if I really had to put any emphasis on the situation going on down below. Her gaze shifted down until she locked eyes with the one-eyed snake, and I smirked when I saw her blush again.

"That thing is trouble," she mumbled, before turning her back to me.

I stepped in behind her and closed the shower door, trapping us and the steam inside. I wrapped my arms around her, and she leaned her head against my chest.

"I love you, Sparrow," I murmured in her ear.

She didn't say it back, but this time she didn't have to. I didn't doubt her feelings.

I knew for certain she loved me back.

x x x x x

A few days later, Bella went away to Forks, leaving me behind like the sad bastard I was. We didn't even have sex before she left, which marked the seventh day since the last time I got lucky. I wasn't like we were nymphos, doing it at every chance we got no matter where we were, but we weren't exactly prudes, either. Seven days without a visit to the holy land was a fucking stretch for us. What the hell was going on with her? She didn't seem stressed or upset about going to Forks, and stress had never kept her from ruffling feathers before. Something was up, but I was too chicken to ask her what it was.

I had more important things on my mind than worrying about why my girlfriend didn't want to have sex with me. In ten days, I would have to worry about why my fiancé didn't want to have sex with me – or, at least, that was the plan. I wanted to propose to her on her twenty-fifth birthday, but I had no idea how to do it. I didn't want to do something too cheesy, but I still wanted it to be memorable. I wanted it to be us. I also wanted to top how she told she loved me all those years ago, but how the fucking hell does someone top that?

The answer is: you don't. Luckily, I knew someone who could help me out. Someone who knew her almost as well as I did these days, someone who remained her friend even during the six months that we were broken up.

Mr. Jazz-man.

While Emmett had encouraged me to go out and get some "fresh pussy" (his words, not mine) after the breakup, Jasper had encouraged me to contact her. He said I would never find anyone that would put up with my shit as well as she did, or for as long as she did, for that matter. His advice to me was to swallow my pride, call her, apologize and be the man she wanted me to be. I told him to fuck off, which in turn had made him ignore me for a month. I guess he didn't appreciate that I blew him off after everything he'd done for me and Bella. Sometimes it felt like he was a part of our relationship, too.

And dude, seriously, I didn't swing that way.

I decided to call him up during one of my breaks at work. I needed him to figure this out for me.

"I need your help," I said, as soon as he picked up.

"Hello to you, too," he replied dryly. "And the answer is flowers, preferably blue and white freesias."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm assuming you fucked up with Bella and need to break the ice before you apologize. You do know that freesias are her favorite flower, right?"

I rolled my eyes. "Fuck you," I spat. "I didn't fuck anything up, but I might fuck up the most important thing ever if you don't help me the fuck out!" In my defense, I had managed to cut down on the cursing over the years, but sometimes Jasper still pulled the seventeen-year-old boy back to the surface, as if he did it to taunt me.

"And what's that?" Jasper asked patiently.

"I want to ask her to marry me, but I don't think fucking freesias will be enough to make it special." I had to fight hard to keep my voice even. There was nothing but silence on the other end and for a moment I thought the douche had hung up on me, but it turned out that it wasn't the case. He was simply stunned.

"Are you serious about this?" he asked, his voice neutral so he didn't show what he was really thinking.

"Yes, I am. I want to ask her on her birthday."


"Yes, seriously."

"Wow. Congratulations, man. I knew it would come eventually; I just didn't know it was this soon. I mean, it's awesome. Congratulations!" he said, sounding a little happier about it now.

"Hold your horses," I muttered. "She hasn't said yes yet, because I haven't asked her yet. And she won't say yes unless I make it perfect."

He scoffed. "Please. You could ask her in an off-hand way like, 'Hey, how about going to Vegas? We can gamble and get married,' she would still be all over it. She loves you. I don't think she cares about how you ask her."

"This coming from the guy who got turned down when he proposed," I pointed out.

"Yes, that's the spirit, Ed. Kick the guy who you're calling to help you. Real nice."

"I'm sorry, okay? I'm just freaking out here."

He sighed deeply. "Fine, I'll come by tonight after work. You're working the bar tonight, right?"


"Good, because I'll need alcohol for this crap."

"I owe you one."

"I've heard that before," he said, before hanging up.

x x x x x

Jasper threw back a shot, shuddering at the aftertaste. I wiped down the counter, pretending to look busy so I could talk to him in private. A couple of girls at the other end of the bar were looking at me and whispering, but I was too stressed and anxious to take advantage of the situation to get more tips. Money wasn't the issue here – getting my proposal perfect was.

"Do you remember that book she gave me for Christmas eight years ago? The one wi-"

"The birds, yes, I remember," he said, motioning for me to pour him another shot. "I was there when she bought it."

"Yeah… so, she made some notes in it, and the first time she told me she loved me she used that book. I want to make my proposal special like that, but not the same. I don't want to copy her or anything. She deserves an original proposal."

"She does, she does," he agreed, nodding. "How about proposing to her in Forks?"

"Yeah, because we have so many fine memories from there."

"I'm just shooting you some suggestions," he said with a shrug.

"Looks more like you're shooting shots," I replied. "You're no fucking help."

He chuckled. "You're not getting it," he said. "I'm not supposed to tell you how to do this. You have to figure it out for yourself. Even if I come up with the perfect idea, it won't really be perfect since it's coming from me and not you. I can help guiding you but I can't give you the idea, because you have to find it yourself."

"So I should consider Forks the clue, huh?" I asked.

"It is what it is. It's not a clue; it's not anything. This is your proposal, your chance to make it right with Bella. Take the chance to dig deep and do something special."

"Did you drink before you came here?" I asked suspiciously. "Did you get high?"

He snorted. "No, I'm just tired. I didn't sleep well last night since Alice doesn't understand the meaning of time-difference. Just because it's noon in Paris doesn't mean it's noon in Seattle."

"Serves you well," I said, smirking.

"And it would serve you well to serve me another shot."

"You better tip me well. I have an engagement ring to buy."

He held up his shot glass. "To you and Bella. You better not fuck this up."

He downed his drink and I poured him another one.

x x x x x

I went from store to store, looking for the perfect ring. I listened to countless salesladies, nodding and humming as they talked about princess cuts, radiant cuts, cushion cuts, trillion cuts, emerald cuts, asscher cuts – by the time they were done, I wanted my wrists cut. I had no idea what the hell all those different cuts meant, nor did I understand why Bella would even care. A diamond was a diamond, right? What difference did the cut make?

I decided that none of the jewelry stores had the type of ring I was looking for. Not that I even knew what kind of ring I was looking for, but I did know that I hadn't found it.

I walked down the busy streets and just happened to pass a small side street. On a whim, I decided to take the turn and see if it was anything worth looking for in there.

There were a few stores, mostly small obscure ones – even one for secondhand designer stuff. I made a mental note to tell Rosalie about it the next time she was in Seattle, since she loved vintage things.

I stopped outside another small store – a vintage jewelry store. All of the pieces on the display in the window were old-fashioned and appeared to be almost antique. You could tell by just looking at them that they came with a history. I glanced briefly at the necklaces and then turned my eyes to the few rings on display.

My heart stopped.

There it was. The ring.

A small gold band, with a slightly oval shaped diamond no bigger than quarter of an inch. The diamond was kept in place by tiny delicate strings of gold, making it appear as if the diamond was lying in a birds nest. At least, that was what it looked like to me.

It was absolutely perfect.

I stepped inside the store and the bell above the door rang as I entered. A small elderly woman came out from the back room, smiling at me.

"I'd like to buy the ring in the window," I said, pointing with my thumb.

"Of course," she said, nodding. She walked over to the window and reached in behind the display to grab the ring. I followed her to the counter but before she wrapped it I asked to have a better look. She handed it to me with a smile and I held the ring between my fingers to inspect it. I held it up, seeing the light reflect in the diamond, making tiny rainbows appear before my eyes. It was delicate, just like my Sparrow.

"She's a very lucky girl," the saleslady said.

I couldn't help but smile.

"Do you think she'll like it?" I asked, even though there was no way for her to know that.

But still, when she nodded, it helped calm my fears. Just as I was about to hand the ring back, the door to the store opened behind me. The sound of the bell above the door was muffled by the voice that suddenly echoed through the store.

"Oh my god, Edward!"

I tried not to let my cringe show when I realized exactly who it was. I'd recognize that shriek anywhere. Tanya. I hadn't seen or heard from her since I graduated high school and she'd been held back a year. Apparently being a slut didn't do much for her grades.

"Tanya," I said calmly, turning around.

"Is this the lucky lady?" the saleslady asked.

I looked at her, mortified. I wanted to yell, "Hell no," but at that moment Tanya spotted the ring in my hand.

"That's so pretty," she said, reaching out to take it from me, but I clasped it tightly in my palm. There was no way I was going to let her disgusting hands come anywhere near my eternal gift for Bella.

"Yes, I know," I replied. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, you know, nothing," she said, tossing her bleached hair over her shoulder. "I was just shopping and saw you when I passed the window, so I figured I'd say hi."

I turned back to the counter, looking at the green velvet box that would soon hold the ring. "Do you have one in dark blue? It's more her color."

"Yes, of course." The lady beamed at the chance to help me make this perfect, and because of that I could almost forgive her for thinking Tanya was my girl.

"Getting engaged, huh?" Tanya said with a strained laugh.

"That's the plan," I mumbled. "As long as she says yes."

"Who would say no to you?" She giggled. "I remember back in high school – I don't know if you know this – but I used to have the biggest crush on you."

I snorted under my breath. "Yes, I noticed," I replied dryly.

"Anyway, so who's the lucky lady? I heard you broke up with the Goose at the night of Lauren's graduation party. I guess that made sense. You guys were together for longer than what was natural." She laughed again. "I mean, seriously, what did you even see in her? She was such a loser. I wonder whatever happened to her…"

"Who knows," I said through clenched teeth.

The old lady wrapped up my purchase, and I quickly paid with my credit card. I found it to be a good thing that the ring wasn't cheap just because it wasn't brand new. I put the small box with the ring in my pocket and the old lady handed me my receipt.

"You're about to make a woman very happy," she said, looking me straight in the eyes. "That particular ring has good karma. There has never been a divorce where this ring has been involved."

I smiled at her. "I don't think I needed to worry about that in my case, anyway."


"She hasn't said yes yet."

"She will." The certainty in her voice made chills run down my spine – in a good way – and I wondered if she somehow knew something I didn't. Tanya followed me out from the store, and I tried to come up with a way to ditch her without having to resort to the douchey ways of my inner seventeen-year-old.

"How long have you known her?" Tanya asked. "Your girlfriend, I mean."

"A while," I replied vaguely.

"How long is a while?"

"Long enough."

"You know, we should have a drink or something and catch up on old times. I would love to hear what you've been up to since graduation." She touched my arm and bit her lip as she gazed at me through her lashes. It was ridiculous how little she'd changed in the past eight years. She obviously hadn't grown up at all. She was the same vapid slut, only with more makeup and marks on her skin from her horrible spray tan.

She wasn't beautiful at all. The seventeen-year-old me must have been both blind and stupid for managing to ever get it up for her. How the hell had I managed to sleep with her so many times and let her disgusting mouth anywhere near my dick? God only knew how many diseases she was carrying around these days. At least I knew she was clean back in high school – Or, at least I assumed she had been since never gave me anything.

"I don't think so," I replied, trying to walk away from her.

She quickly caught up with me, stopping me as she stepped in my path.

"What the hell, Edward? We used to be friends. Why are you acting so cold?"

"You terrorized my girlfriend. You even sent her to the hospital. You treated her like shit. Is that a good enough reminder for you?" I snapped, not caring about being civil anymore.

She rolled her eyes. "That was, like, a hundred years ago, and we both know she wasn't really your girlfriend… at least not in the ways that matter. You dumped her as soon as you graduated, which just proved how much she meant to you – nothing. I've forgiven you for how you treated me, so why can't you forgive me? She doesn't even matter anymore. I bet she even ended up married with one of the people at the rez. I bet she's busy breeding."

"Have a nice life, Tanya."

I turned my back on her and started walking the other way. Tanya was smart enough to not follow me this time, but before she was done she yelled, "I hope she realizes what an ass you are before she wastes her life on you! You haven't changed one bit, Edward Cullen!"

I clamped my fingers around the box in my pocket.

Oh, I had changed, alright.

I wasn't blind anymore.

x x x x x

I sat on the couch, just staring at the open box in my hand. The ring lay there on a bed of dark blue velvet, mocking me with what it represented. This was the rest of my life. My eternity. And even though I'd known for quite a while that Bella was the only woman in the world for me, I still couldn't help but panic a little bit. Getting married was a big fucking deal. I would be given a wife, and I would become someone's husband. How fucked up was that?

There would be a Mrs. Edward Cullen.

I closed the box as I reached for the phone. I pressed the number two on my speed dial and tapped my foot impatiently as I waited for the jackass to answer. After four rings and what seemed like an eternity, he finally picked up.

"I can't do this," I blurted out before he even got the chance to say hello.

"What are you freaking out about now?" Jasper asked, sounding amused.

"I bought a ring."

"Yes, that is generally the first step toward a proposal. Proposing without a ring isn't nearly as romantic."

"Can you be serious for just a moment here?"

"I am being serious. You're just going through the same thing every man does after buying a ring. It makes it more real somehow, yes? The idea of proposing isn't really terrifying until you get the ring. You feel like there's no turning back, because you bought it and now you have to use it. Otherwise, it's a waste."

"You're such a damn fortune cookie!"

"You sound just like Bella. She told me the exact same thing when I spoke to her last night."

"And what did you say to earn that shit from her?"

"That's for me to know and you to wonder, because I'm not telling. What she says to me in confidence stays with me."

"Is she keeping secrets from me? Fuck! She wants to break up with me, doesn't she? But she doesn't know how to do it."

Jasper groaned and I could almost picture him facepalming. "Duuude," he complained. "Do you think I would encourage you to propose if I didn't think she would actually say yes? Do you think I would push you toward this if I knew she wanted to break up with you? I'm not a sadist."

"No, but apparently I'm a damn masochist," I muttered. "What were you guys talking about? Is it something serious?"

He sighed. "She just wanted some advice. And, you know, you'd be surprised at how similarly the two of you respond to my advice. You know what my advice is? To stop asking me for advice! Why ask when neither of you want it anyway?"

"Because we love you?" I joked.

"Oh, fuck you. Grow a pair and propose. I'll make sure to include this in my best man speech."

"Your best man speech? Who says you're my best man?"

"After all I've done for you over the years and all the mental suffering, I think the least you can do is let me be up there with you when you say your damn I do's."

"So, you really think she'll say yes?" I asked, still feeling unsure about it all for no logical reason.

I was awarded with the sound of him hanging up.

x x x x x

On day three of Bella's trip, she called to tell me her stay would be extended for a few more days, so she wouldn't be back within a week as she'd promised. On day four, I was sitting in my black Volvo SUV, driving down the highway toward Forks. My bags were packed and held enough clothes to last for the entire stay – I had no intention of leaving without her. My boss hadn't exactly been thrilled when I told him I needed an unscheduled vacation, but he eventually let me go when I promised to work extra every night for two weeks after I returned.

I stopped by my parents' house on the way. My mom would kill me if she found out I'd been in Forks but hadn't stopped by to say hello. She was working out in her garden, preparing her autumn flowers, when I pulled up to the house. She stood up, smiling me as she wiped her hands on her pants. She walked over to me and gave me a hug. "It's so good to see you," she said. "This is a surprise, though. I wasn't expecting you. Does your father know you're coming?"

I shook my head. "Bella's in town helping out with a case. She's staying for another week, so I thought I'd come down and keep her company…"

She put her hand to her heart, and I could only imagine all the sappy things she was envisioning in her head. I was glad she didn't vocalize them – she'd done enough of that over the years.

"Where is she now?" she asked, glancing at her watch.

"I think she's at the school, She mentioned something about a meeting with a couple of teachers. I figured I'd go there and see if I can catch her."

"You have to come over for dinner tonight. Your father is getting off work early, so it would work out perfect."

"We'll see, Mom, we'll see."

x x x x x

Driving to Forks High and pulling into the parking lot brought back a lot of memories. When I saw Principal Greene's parking space was vacant, I couldn't stop my inner seventeen-year-old from coming out to play and I got a sick thrill from climbing out of the car. I acted as if parking in the principal's spot at twenty-five was something to be proud of, when there was nothing even remotely rebellious about it.

I locked the car and started toward the entrance. Once inside I realized not much had really changed; it all looked pretty much the same to me. I walked over to the front desk, shaking my head and scratching my cheek in amusement when I spotted the familiar woman sitting behind the counter. Apparently Ms. Cope hadn't retired yet. She looked up from her crossword puzzle and narrowed her eyes at me from over her glasses that were perched on her nose.

"Mr. Cullen, I thought I would never see you here again. What owes us this pleasure?" she asked, removing her glasses and putting them down.

"I'm just wondering if Bella is here… Isabella Swan? She was supposed to meet with some teachers today." The way she smiled when I mentioned Bella's name reminded me of the old lady at the jewelry store.

"Yes, she's here. Do you want me to get her for you?"

"No, it's okay, I can wait."

I walk over to take a seat in one of the chairs by the wall.

"Edward," Ms. Cope called. I turned my head to her, still seeing her smile. "You do know you parked in Principal Green's spot again, right?"

I smirked. "Old habits die hard."

x x x x x

I was in front of the school having a smoke, something I only did anymore to calm my nerves, when Bella came outside. She smiled widely at me. "What are you doing here?" she asked as she walked toward me.

"I missed my girl, is that a crime?" I asked.

"Definitely not a crime," she said, still grinning. She grabbed the cigarette from my fingers and threw it on the ground, stomping on it. Usually she'd comment on how smoking was bad for me, but she didn't this time – this time she settled on throwing her arms around my neck and smashing her lips to mine. Yes, I was definitely marrying this woman.

x x x x x

We had dinner with my parents that night, just as they wished. My mom and Bella kept the conversation flowing by speaking what felt like a thousand words a minute. Mom wanted to know everything about Bella's work and how it was going these days, while Bella wanted to know more about Mom's current design projects. I mostly just picked at my food, too nervous to really eat anything. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep myself from popping the question until Bella's birthday – I was going to ask her before we even left for Seattle. When we went back home in a few days, we would either be engaged or I'd be utterly heartbroken. I knew realistically the chances of her saying yes were way higher than the chances of her ever saying no. She loved me and I loved her, so what the hell was I worrying about?

After dinner I decided to take Bella out for a walk, needing her all to myself for a while. The good thing about being with Bella was that our silence was comfortable. She didn't force me into having a conversation when it was clear what I really needed was time to think. She gave me space while still being close. It was a fine line that only my Sparrow could walk.

We strolled aimlessly for a while until we ended up at the last place I thought we would go. At the same time, though, I couldn't really be surprised, considering it was where it had all began.

I kicked a rock, making it bounce on the pavement before disappearing into a ditch, and Bella looked around at nothing in particular. The sun was starting to set, making the trees cast shadows on the vacant road. Bella closed her eyes, inhaling deeply through her nose, and I watched her chest sink when she exhaled.

"I always liked this smell. The scent of woods and trees and grass and… mud," she said with a pleased smile. My fingers played with the box in my pocket as I smiled at her words.

"You like the smell of mud?" I asked skeptically.

"Yeah, sure, why not?" she replied, opening her eyes and shrugging.

We were standing on the empty street, at the exact spot where our lives had collided eight years ago. The place wasn't painful for me to visit anymore, even though I hadn't been there in years. I avoided the place, thinking I'd suffer a panic attack every time I tried to come near it, but as I stood here, watching Sparrow, I realized there was nothing to feel bad about anymore. It was the place where it had all began. It didn't matter how we began, really, because the only thing that mattered was that we began at all. Which was why, at that moment, I decided to take Jasper's advice.

I was going to propose there.

I was sure it wasn't what he'd meant when he said I should propose in Forks, but it made sense to me. Hitting her with my car had been the best thing that ever happened to me, because it brought her into my life. How could this place not be perfect in all of its imperfect glory? Our souls connected here, and now it was where I would officially make her mine. It made total sense – in a completely fucked up and backward way. I was sure when people found out about it they would think I was being completely morbid, but I didn't care. I knew my Sparrow would understand.

Soon enough, it was twilight – the perfect moment to do it.

As if on cue, Sparrow closed her eyes again, taking in the scenery with her sense of smell and hearing. All I could hear was the loud thumping of my heart, but I was sure she was listening to the birds singing in the woods.

Shakily, I got down on one knee. I had prepared a speech for the occasion – at least, in theory I had. I wanted to tell her exactly how I felt. I wanted to tell her how lucky I was to have her in my life. How lucky I was to have found the only person in the world who could put up with all my bullshit. How lucky I was to have found the love of my life. I couldn't ask for more, because with her I already had everything I'd ever need.

I was prepared to tell her all that – just more eloquently – but once she opened her eyes and spotted me, no words would come out. The box was in my hand, but as if on its own accord my hand opened the lid and presented the ring to her. I tried to speak, but my tongue seemed to be glued to the roof of my mouth. I couldn't get anything out to save my damn life.

Her bottom lip quivered as her eyes welled up with tears. Were they happy tears? Was she sad? Was she horrified? I couldn't tell, because all my senses and every bit of logic I had shut down. I couldn't see anything that was in front of me. I was blind.

"E-Edward, wh-what are you doing?" she asked shakily.

I felt my own bottom lip quiver.

"M-m-marry me, Sparrow." A lone tear slipped from my eye as Sparrow gasped, putting a hand over her mouth when a sob escaped her. This was so not how I'd envisioned this would go. I was supposed to make a speech, damnit! I was supposed to make her feel special by telling her exactly how much she had changed me for the better, but instead I say it in a way that sounded like a command. I didn't even ask her if she wanted to be my wife – I demanded she marry me. Leave it to me to fuck this up.

Sparrow met my gaze as she slowly moved in my direction, sitting down on her knees so she was level with me. "I have to tell you something," she began slowly, and I felt my stomach drop.

"Oh, no…" I breathed, closing the box. "Oh, no, no, no, no…"

"Shh, sweetie," she said, putting her hands on either side of my face. "It's nothing bad and I should have told you sooner but… I…" She frowned as she trailed off – it seemed I wasn't the only one tongue-tied. She took a deep breath before continuing. "I thought I was pregnant."

All thoughts of my proposal went out the window as I stared at her, wide-eyed. Did she just say what I thought she said?

"You're… you're pregnant? With a baby? A real baby? Pregnant?" I blurted incoherently.

She shook her head quickly. "No, no," she said. "I thought I was, but Kate took me to the women's clinic in Port Angeles and it was negative. I'm not pregnant."

"How long have you been thinking you were?"

She shrugged hesitantly. "Three weeks?" she suggested, as if she didn't really know.

I gaped at her. "Three weeks? You have been keeping this from me for three weeks?" The moment I said it, something dawned on me. Oh crap. "But you told Jasper."

She looked surprised. "How did you know?"

"Because he told me you told him something, but he couldn't tell me because you told him in confidence. Then he told you something that made you tell him something that I also told him, which he thought was ironic." I was rambling incoherently again. I didn't even know what was up or down anymore. My brain had officially left the building, leaving me to fend for myself.



"Just give me the damn ring."


"Make me yours, dumbass."

My mouth twitched into one of the most awkward and scary-looking smiles ever, but she didn't seem to care as another round of tears fell from her eyes. Since she was smiling widely, I assumed her tears were actually a good thing. Her hands fell to her lap as I opened the box again, pulling out the ring. I looked her in the eyes as I took her left hand. "Sparrow, would you mind spending the rest of eternity with me, as my wife?" I asked her quietly, surprised that my voice managed to get out all of those words without failing me.

She shook her head softly. "No, Edward, of course I wouldn't mind. I'd love for you to be my husband."

I slipped the ring onto her finger. I hadn't even thought about the size, but it seemed destiny was on our side as it fit perfectly. She looked at her ring, holding it out in front of her, and we both watched as it twinkled in the glow of twilight sky.

She wrapped her arms around my neck and I hugged her tightly to me. We were both still on our knees on the cold ground, but neither of us seemed to care.

"Thank you," she whispered in my ear. "For giving me everything I could ever ask for."I smiled and nuzzled in her neck, breathing in the scent that was pure Bella. "I love you."

I smiled and kissed her skin. "I love you too, Sparrow."

x x x x x

"We need champagne! We need to celebrate this shit," I declared as I dragged her toward the grocery store, happy that it was still open at this hour. She giggled as we stepped inside. "Okay, how about this – you go grab your favorite kind of champagne and I'll go pick up something sweet."

"I don't even like champagne. Remember New Years Eve in New York two years ago? I don't think I've ever thrown up like that before. Having you hold back my hair so I wouldn't get vomit on it as the clock struck twelve wasn't exactly romantic. It was cute that you did that for me, but I'd rather keep this night vomit-free if you don't mind."

"Fine, whatever. Pick something else, then. Pick cranberry juice if that's what tickles your fancy. I'll be right back." I kissed her lips quickly before running down another aisle.

I cursed when I couldn't find the canned whip cream but then something else caught my eye. Huh, caramel sauce. Yes, it would be sticky… but it was delicious, and I wouldn't mind spending my time licking her completely clean. I smirked and grabbed a tube before making my way back to the liquor section.

It wasn't like Bella and I experimented with food when we usually got hot and heavy – it was just something she'd mentioned not too long ago. After a party at Jasper's apartment, we'd walked home and on the way stopped at a place that sold ice cream cones – the creamy kind. Bella hadn't exactly been sober, but she hadn't been wasted, either. She'd been at that perfect state where she was happy about everything and verbalized every single thought that passed through her head. I'd been licking my ice cream cone and accidentally got a drop on my chin that ran down to my neck. She had noticed this and stopped, sticking her delicate tongue out and licking the trail up my throat and toward my lips. Then she kissed me, murmuring something about how good whipped cream-tasting Edward was.

Considering it was the night of our engagement, I was due for some caramel tasting Sparrow for dessert.

"… engaged! Isn't it so romantic? I wonder who the girl is."

I groaned when I heard the voice of yet another skank before I even turned the corner to the liquor aisle. I stepped around, spotting Sparrow standing with Jessica. I wasn't happy to see her, but at least it wasn't Tanya. Jessica was dressed in a uniform, holding a price sticker gun. I guess she never made it out of Forks.

"Very," Sparrow replied.

"Tanya called me as soon as she saw him. I wish we could've seen the ring. Apparently it was, like, super gorgeous. You can't help but be jealous, you know? According to Tanya, he's still as gorgeous as ever. I'm so jealous of the girl who got to him, aren't you? I bet you were completely crushed when you guys broke up. Are you dating anyone new?" Jessica was spewing questions at the speed of light. I was kind of surprised that she wasn't taunting her, just merely gossiping. I remembered that Jessica used to only be mean when in company of others, so on her own she was pretty harmless. Seeing as she was still stuck in Forks, maybe she'd been dying to gossip to someone about me. I bet there weren't many of us left here.

I walked over to them and Jessica smiled excitedly in surprise. "Oh my god, there he is!"

Sparrow looked my way and seemed highly amused when she met my gaze. "Hello Edward, nice seeing you again," she said. I smirked at her playfulness.

"Same to you, Bella. What brings you to town?" I teased, deciding to play along. It would be interesting to see how long it would take before Jessica actually caught on.

"Oh, nothing. Just picking out some sparkly… or, at least, boozy. It's a special night, so I'm celebrating," Sparrow replied, holding up a bottle of gin. "How about you?"

"Oh, nothing," I said, shrugging. "Just picking up some caramel sauce. It's a special night for me, too." I showed her the tube of caramel and her face turned red.

"And what are you going to do with that?" she asked nervously.

I shrugged again. "You know, a little of this, a taste of that. Care to join me?" I wiggled my eyebrows at her and she suppressed a giggle. "Come on, for old times' sake."

"But… but… Tanya said you're engaged, or at least that you were getting engaged," Jessica protested, staring at me as if I'd grown a second head. "I mean, seriously. We all know you were a manwhore in high school, but that's the past. You guys were a cute couple back then, yada, yada, yada, but that doesn't mean you can cheat on your fiancé! What's wrong with you?" Her face was turning red in anger, surprising me with her intense reaction.

"Breathe!" Bella urged and then held up her left hand. "I'm his fiancé."

Jessica gaped at the ring, then at Bella and finally at me. Rinse and repeat. It took a few moments before she collected herself enough to speak again. "Seriously? You guys are still together? But the last I heard was that you broke up at Lauren's party. How long have you been together again?"

"We've been together for eight years, give or take," Bella replied. "And tonight, Edward saw to it that we'll be together for eighty more years to come."

"Just eighty? Is that it? I want to live to at least one hundred and seven," I said. She rolled her eyes at me and I leaned in, pressing my lips against her forehead and making her hum happily.

"You guys are so cute," Jessica said. "Really, you are. I'm glad you made it after all the fuckery you two went through."

Bella smiled softly. "Thank you."

I guess time really did change some people, but maybe it was easier for people to change when they weren't that bad to begin with. Maybe it was easier to change when you found your own identity – even if that identity meant still living in Forks while everyone else left the nest.

We said goodbye to Jessica after that, paid for our things and left.

Bella hugged my arm as we walked. If anyone ran into us now, they'd probably think we were quite the sight. Me, with the caramel sauce and her, with the booze. My mind rewarded me with a mental image of what I'd want to do with the sauce after taking a swig of the booze. Or maybe we should leave the booze for afterward – I kind of wanted to be sober for it.

I leaned into her, kissing her temple while we walked. She turned her head so I could kiss her lips instead. "I know a place," she whispered against my lips, "where we can make this night even more special."

I smirked. "Show me the way."

She giggled again as she started pulling me down another street. I laughed at her exuberance and couldn't remember ever feeling so happy before. Who knew being tied down would give you such a sense of freedom? I was guaranteed to never lose her now. And if I ever screwed up enough to almost loose her, I would still be blessed with more time to try to win her back. I figured divorces took time, especially if one of parties didn't want to sign the papers. I'd be damned before I signed anything of the sort, no matter how much she begged me for it.

I didn't know what to think when we were all of a sudden standing outside of Forks High.

"Eh… Bella?" I asked, turning to look at her. She smiled at me, as if it made total sense in her head. "I'm not going to eat this shit off your body in the janitor's closet. There's where I draw the line."

She rolled her eyes. "Don't be a douche. That's disgusting. C'mon." She pulled me toward the entrance, which was, of course, locked. "Damnit."

She nibbled on her lip for a moment, before another thought seemed to occur to her. "Come on, over here," she said, letting go of my hand. She disappeared around the corner of the building, leaving me no choice but to follow her.

She walked fast, her limp barely noticeable anymore. After years of physical therapy, she'd managed to almost get back to where she was before the accident. The doctors had said that it would probably be impossible for her to ever run a marathon, but she could still exercise as long as she didn't put too much pressure on her leg. As long as she kept to that rule, she'd be fine and her injury would never bother her again.

Bella stopped by a fire ladder, which was attached to the wing that used to be a restricted area. When I looked up, I realized exactly why she'd chosen the place.

"The music room," I said, nodding in appreciation. "Good choice."

She nodded and clamped the bottle of booze under her arm as she gripped the ladder. "Let's embrace our inner teenagers," she replied as she started climbing upward.

"You sure you wanna do that? I was a horny and hormonal bastard back then," I teased. She looked down at me with those brown eyes that hypnotized me every time and smirked.

"I'm counting on it," she replied huskily, before quickly climbing the rest of the way.

I didn't follow after her until she reached the right window. I couldn't really see what she was doing, but low and behold – after a second the window opened. I took that as my sign to go after her.

Soon, we were both in the music room. It was clear the area was still restricted, an even thicker layer of dust having settled in the room since the last time we were there. But I could also see a few footprints, probably from some rebellious student wanting to do something naughty – but hopefully not as naughty as I was planning to get with Sparrow tonight. I was going to do something we should have done a long time ago, right here.

"It's so weird being back here," she said, putting down the bottle of gin on the piano. I placed the caramel next to it as she turned to me, holding out her hands. I smiled as I took them and stroked the underside of her left ring finger with my thumb. "I'm engaged," she said.

"I am too," I replied.

"I'm going to marry you."

"And I'm going to marry you."

"Are you scared?"

"Fucking terrified. Jasper thinks he's going to be my best man."

She laughed. "He should be. I think he belongs up there with us."

"Who's gonna be your maid of honor?"


I looked at her with surprise – I hadn't seen that one coming. "Huh, I thought you would pick Kate or something."

"Kate's amazing, and I love her, but Rosalie did something for me that I'll never forget. She belongs up there with us, because we wouldn't be here if it weren't for her."

I looked at her, puzzled. "What did she do?"

She smiled crookedly, tilting her head to the side. "She was there for me when we broke up." She took a deep breath, as if preparing herself for something. "It wasn't faith or destiny that brought us back together, Edward. It was her. She told me where you worked. She even gave me your schedule. She was convinced that if we met again, there would be no turning back. We would end up together again. I just had to take the first step."

That was news to me. It hadn't been destiny – it was Rosalie.

"Rosalie, huh?" I said.

"Yeah. Rosalie."

"Remind me to send her a bunch of flowers, or jewelry or some shit. Better yet, remind me to send her one of those vintage designer bags. I found this cute little store tha-"

Bella quieted me by pressing her pointer finger to my lips. "Edward? I was asking for the horny and hormonal bastard, not the romantic and sentimental girl."

I smirked against her finger. "He'll get here soon enough, don't worry. He's going to take good care of you. I just wanted to say that I owe her, and she's going to be up there with us whether she likes it or not, because she is the reason we'll be standing there. We need to throw her a fucking party or some shit."

"Mmm, yes, as good as that may sound, I think we should throw the party we came here to throw."

She took a step away from me, smiling teasingly as she started unbuttoning her shirt.

"Oh, Sparrow, you really shouldn't have said that…"

She backed up until she hit the piano and sat down on the bench, while I stalked toward her like she was my prey. My prey that I had chased forever, and who was finally mine. All mine.

"Do you still need to be pure, Sparrow?" I purred as I reached her. She opened her legs so I could step in between them and looked up at me.

"That ship sailed a long time ago, Cullen," she replied sweetly. "I've never been dirtier."

I smirked. "Is that so?"

"You should know," she replied, starting to unbuckle my belt in slow motion. I almost wanted to swat her hands away and do it myself, but there was something so erotic about having a girl take the lead. There was no rush. We had forever. When she was done, she removed the belt and tossed it aside. It skidded away on the floor, leaving a trail in the dust.

Ever so slowly, she pulled down my zipper and put a hand against my underwear, right on the very part of me that ached to be inside her. She looked up at me, tilting her head again. She looked so innocent. I put my hands on either side of her face, forcing her to stand up so I could smash my lips to hers. I didn't want her to go down on me – not this very minute, anyway. I wanted to worship her first, make her come so hard she'd forget her own name. She would forget all names, for that matter – all of them except mine. My damn name would be etched to her mind forever.

We hungrily devoured each others' mouths as I gripped her hips, lifting her up to sit on the keyboard lid instead. It was an awkward position and she almost slid off, but I kept her securely in place. I tugged on her shirt while she tugged on mine, and we let our lips part just long enough for us to get rid of them entirely.

She gripped the sides of the piano and before I knew it, she pulled away from me. I looked at her with confusion, and saw her hand was gripping the tube of caramel sauce. She looked at it while biting her lip, a habit she never really managed to break.

"You know what?" she said. "I prefer chocolate pudding, but I think this will do."

She removed the cap and squeezed the tube, making a point to look at me while she licked the amount that came out. I thrust against her by mere reflex and she giggled as she set the tube aside. I leaned down to kiss her again, my tongue swirling around the caramel sauce she still had in her mouth.

I reached behind her to unclasp her bra, and it was quickly discarded on the dusty floor as well. I palmed her perfect breasts, enjoying (as always) the relief when she let me, even though she never pulled away anymore. She never tensed up, enjoying this just as much as I did. Okay, maybe not just as much – there was no way in hell this could be better for her than it was for me.

It had taken a while to ease her into the state where she was now. Getting her to actually enjoy sex without worrying about the pleasure not being allowed had been a struggle all by itself, but we could finally enjoy it together now. She knew that her pleasure was just as important as my pleasure – but to me, hers was more important. She would always be my number one priority, even if it made me a damn pussy – no pun intended.

My hips were moving slowly against the fabric of her jeans, while my hands massaged her breasts. Her nipples were hard and waiting, the slight chill in the air making them stand out even more. I needed some damn friction and my hips started moving faster until I was practically humping her like a damn dog.

She finally had enough and pushed me away so she could get down on the floor. She pressed me down onto the bench before straddling me. With her hands on either side of my face, she crushed her lips to mine once more. I gripped her hips, grinding her against my crotch. I really needed to be inside of her.

I undid her pants and slipped my hand inside. Her panties were warm, taunting me with what they hid. I traced the lining of her panties and slipped a finger under them whenever I reached my target. A satisfied hum escaped her when my finger found its ultimate goal, sliding inside of her.

Slowly, I moved it in and out, but I knew my finger wouldn't be enough to bring her over the edge. It never was. My Sparrow needed more than that. Besides, it was still too early.

I wanted to savor this perfect moment, but apparently someone else was in a hurry. She removed my hand from her pants so she could stand up again and shot me a look. "You never play fair," she muttered. "Take off your damn pants."

"Yes, ma'am."

I loved how she started cursing when I'd cut down. 'Damn' had quickly become her curse word of choice and it was fucking hot.

With our pants out of the way - now lying in the dust – she came back to me. I still sat on the bench and was buzzing in anticipation. I took in the naked beauty before me, unable to believe she was really mine. She was absolutely perfect and there wasn't a single thing I would change about her – not even the huge scar on her leg that was displayed like a long pink thread. While I once thought it was ugly, I now found it beautiful. The scar was a part of Bella – how could it not be beautiful? It was also a part of me, because that was my mark. I'd placed it there.

She put her hands on my shoulders and gently pushed me back. I lay down, letting her take control. She smiled coyly as she straddled me and the bench, and I gulped as her legs parted. She was close enough for me to reach out and touch her and I was glad there were no panties in the way. She closed her eyes, her breathing heavy as I worked my magic.

One finger became two fingers inside her while my thumb worked the button that most guys didn't even know was there. Most guys would need a fucking GPS to find the right spot, and even then they would fail because they wouldn't know what to do with it. But I knew, because I knew my Sparrow's body almost as well as I did my own.

She slowly moved her hips to meet my movements, and her lips parted as she took a shuddering breath. There was nothing more erotic than seeing my girl being pleasured – as long as the reason she was pleasured was me. I loved knowing that I was the only guy that had ever made her feel this way, and as of tonight, I'd made sure that I would always be the only one. The first, the last, the only. The thought alone almost made me come. There was just something so damn primal about being engaged. Me Tarzan, her Jane, or some kind of shit.

She gazed down at me through heavy lids as a small smile graced her lips. She didn't say anything, but she really didn't need to. All of her unspoken words were playing out in her eyes.

She once again took control as she stepped away from my hand, and I all but whimpered at the lost of contact. I loved having my fingers inside of her and she knew that. She used to tease me that I had penis fingers, since I sometimes spent more time fingering her than I did actually fucking her.

She gripped my dick, shaking her head in amusement when my eyes rolled in my head and I groaned – loudly. It would never cease to amaze me what her touch did to me.

With my eyes closed, I let my body just… feel. Feel her hands on me, feel her move and squeeze and… goddamnit, was that her tongue? I peeked at her with one eye and damn right, there she was licking the head before bringing it into her mouth.

I squeezed my eyes shut and lay an arm over my face. I tried to keep completely still, even though my instincts were to thrust my hips in the air. But I wasn't going to fuck her mouth. Not like this and definitely not tonight.

Agonizingly slow, as if she were indeed trying to kill me, she pleasured me with her mouth. She never deep-throated me but I didn't pressure her about it, because she was exceeding any expectations with her tongue alone. I swear her tongue and her lips were a gift to me from God – or was it Satan? It was pleasure and pain all wrapped up in one – pleasure, because it was fucking awesome and pain, because it felt so good I could barely stand it.

She sucked gently on the head and I had to stop her right there, otherwise I would really turn into a teenager again and come way too prematurely for a twenty-five-year old guy.

She wiped the corner of her mouth with her thumb when she pulled away. She stroked me with her other hand a few times before finally settling in to connect us. I was the cord and she was the outlet. It was time to make electricity shoot through our veins.

A satisfied – yet pained – noise escaped her throat as she sunk down on me. I guess I wasn't the only one dancing that line tonight. Pleasure or pain – was there even a difference?

She buried me inside her completely, and I gripped her hips to keep her still. I did not want her to move right away, because I didn't want to explode.

"Fuck, Sparrow," I said through clenched teeth. She squeezed her vaginal muscles, clamping down on my dick for a moment, and she giggled at my horrified expression. "Do you want me to burst like a goddamn prepubescent bed wetter?"

She shrugged. "I didn't know I got a choice," she replied, smirking.

I held onto her hips as I sat up on the bench, so I moved a little to straighten my back. She rested her arms on my shoulders and played with the hair on the back of my head. Our naked bodies were connected; I was literally inside of her as she wrapped herself around me. But our bodies didn't mean shit compared to the connection we had when we just looked at each other.

"Fuck, I love you," I blurted out, unable to stop the words.

"Mmm… I figured as much when you went down on one knee in the middle of nowhere," she teased.

I lifted my hand to stroke her cheek. "Was it okay? I mean, I'd planned to make a damn speech and everything but then I just… I meant to make it special, but the words just came out and I…"

She quieted me by her lips to mine, and when she pulled back I saw there were tears in her eyes. "It was perfect, Edward. It wouldn't have been you if you would've done it any differently. Perfect." She kissed me again. "Absolutely perfect."

"I'm going to grow old with you," I whispered.

She shook her head. "We'll stay young forever."

I leaned in to kiss her as I squeezed her hips and neither of us pulled away that time. She gripped my hair as we started moving together and I helped guide her movements at a pace I knew we both liked. Our lips were locked for as long as we could keep them, but eventually she pulled away. The most beautiful noises escaped her as she moved up and down, leaning her head back and closing her eyes. I leaned in to nibble on her neck and she rewarded me by tugging at my hair, the prickling in my scalp quite satisfying.

For a while, the only sounds that could be heard were our panting echoing in the room and the piano bench creaking slightly in protest of our movements. Eventually she started to move faster and I pushed her down onto my lap harder. Her breathing was coming fast and shallow, and I knew that could only mean one thing. I slipped one of my hands between us, trying to find that special place to rub with my thumb. Her body responded by my touch by letting her walls spasm lightly around me, but it would take more before she was officially over the edge.

I moved my thumb in the way I knew she liked and in our position, with her moving, it was a fruitless trying to suck on her nipples. That didn't mean I couldn't enjoy the view of her boobs bouncing up and down in front of me, though.

It was nothing short of a miracle that I hadn't come yet, and when her walls spasmed around me again I knew I was getting close. I wanted her to come first, but at this rate I was probably the one losing – or winning, depending on your point of view. Her movements became almost frantic, and I tried to match my thumbs movements with her rhythm.

There was another fucking spasm – and I was a fucking goner. My dick jerked inside of her, giving me the release I wasn't ready for, but I enjoyed it none the less. I groaned and leaned my head against her chest as her movements automatically slowed down. My dick wasn't limp yet so she could still enjoy it for a little while, even though I always found it a bit uncomfortable. My dick was not to be touched after I'd gotten off – but for Sparrow, I always made an exception. She was more important, after all.

When she was completely still, I took deep cleansing breaths for a moment to gather some strength. When I was fine enough to move again I wrapped her legs around my waist, making sure she was crossing them behind me, before standing up. I held her tightly so she wouldn't fall and with one arm around her back, I pulled the bench closer to the side of the piano. I put her down on the top of the piano before taking a seat on the bench. The holyland was right in front of my face, and it was time for me to do right by my Sparrow.

I looked up at her, seeing her face was flushed while she nibbled her lip. I didn't know if she was embarrassed or just out of breath; All I knew was that she would soon be a thoroughly satisfied woman.

I pressed my lips to her inner thigh and she leaned back on her forearms. That was just as well, considering she wouldn't be able to sit up for long. Not if I had a say in it, anyway.

Trailing soft kisses on her inner thigh, I eventually reached my destination. With my hand and tongue both at my disposal, I knew I couldn't fail. I had perfected this routine over the years, and I knew exactly what to do in order to send her into a post-coital coma.

It didn't take long to bring her as close to the edge as she was before, and I made sure to be thorough in my pleasing. I licked, I kissed, I sucked, I rubbed, I massaged, I moved, rinse and repeat. I could've stayed down there forever, but when her walls did their thing and her tell-tale moans alerted me of an impending orgasm, I knew my time was limited. I knew from experience she didn't want me down there for long after she had been thoroughly fucked – or fingered, for that matter. I guess I wasn't the only one who got uncomfortable sometimes when the body parts were too sensitive to touch.

Usually, when Bella came, she wouldn't really say or moan any real words. It was usually just noises, but that time she surprised me. Even if it might've been too muffled in her moan for me to be certain, I was convinced I heard her say "free."

I leaned back and placed my hands on her thighs, knowing it was safe territory. I rubbed soothing circles on her skin with my thumbs and smirked as she looked at me through heavy eyelids. Goddamnit, I'm good. I'm a fucking god.

"I think we finally got an answer to the mystery of life," she said, sounding sleepy but happy. I quirked an eyebrow in amusement at her weird comment. "I know the answer to what came first, the chicken or the egg."

I laughed. "That doesn't make any sense, but sure, go ahead… which came first?"

"The chicken."

"How do you figure?"

"Because you came first."

"I thought you were the bird?"

She shook her head. "I'm the egg, because you take care of me and make sure I'm not being crushed by the weight of the world. You've always protected me. An egg can't protect itself."

"Technically, the chicken is in the egg," I pointed out.

Her mouth twisted into a lazy smirk. "My point exactly."

I looked at her with confusion before I got what she was saying, and I laughed out loud. "I guess I really am the chicken then – a chicken that thoroughly enjoys being inside the egg."

Bella shivered and I stood up to collect our clothes. I had to shake them in order to get the dust off. We got dressed in silence and when I zipped up my jeans, I spotted the tube of caramel sauce. I picked it up to show her – I guess we had forgotten about it.

"Ready for dessert?" I asked, wiggling my eyebrows.

She nodded. "Only if there's a warm shower included."

"I think I can make that happen," I said, gesturing toward the window. "After you."

We were just about to climb out when we heard the sound of sirens. We looked out the window and saw no less than three police cruises speeding toward the school. We glanced at each other, grinning widely. "I guess we're busted," I said.

She shook her head. "They have to catch us first."

She quickly climbed out the window and down the fire escape, and I soon followed. When we were both safe on the ground, she took my hand and we ran as fast as we could toward the woods.

The booze and the tube of caramel sauce were the only traces we'd ever been there.