Thank you to TeamEdwardForever1998 for your continued help and support with this story! XOXO
A/N So yeah, epic fail on our parts for posting another chapter. With school out for the summer, we've both been incredibly busy. That, and I had a severe case of writer's block. Thank you to those of you who reached out to me and gave me a push to get the next chapter out. It's because of you that this update is here. You know who you are! :) Anyway, without further ado, here's chapter 28 in BPOV.
Close to Home
Chapter 28 - Being Thankful
November 25, 2010
It's Thanksgiving today, and I've never been more thankful in my life. I have everything I never knew I always wanted, and my life is perfect. As I lie here in Edward's arms, I think back on the last several years. What the hell did I ever see in that creep, Mike Newton? Sure, he was cute and charming when I was in high school, but he never treated me the way a man who loves a woman should treat her.
He was my first everything, so I guess I was blinded by that. If I had just opened my eyes, I would have seen the signs. Mike Newton was far from perfect; in fact, he was anything but. He was a liar and a cheater, and Edward was right - he was just using me for stability in his fucked up life. I can see that clearly, now. I guess the old saying 'hind sight is always 20/20' is accurate.
I always loved Edward as a friend, but now it's so much more. I can see what an amazing person he is, and how much he loves me. And it's not just Edward. Last night, when Esme broke in to tears, I was terrified. I was afraid that she was going to tell Edward that he was making the biggest mistake of his life - that we were best friends, so we couldn't be more than that. When she told us that they were good tears, I almost started crying myself. The relief and the love I found in that moment were indescribable. Then when Carlisle pulled Esme into an embrace and held his other arm open, I knew I had been worrying for nothing.
Telling them about what had happened with Mike was hard, but they were nothing but understanding. I even outright laughed when Esme called him a two-timing man whore. She was always so prim and proper when we were growing up, and to hear that kind of language slip out of her mouth honestly shocked the hell out of me. Have I mentioned that I love Esme to death? Because if I didn't before, I most definitely do now.
After the heavy conversation was over, the atmosphere was much lighter. The four of us had smiles on our faces as we all talked and laughed and shared stories about things the others had missed in our time apart. It was truly a great evening, but I was exhausted. When Esme mentioned that she was going to be up for a while making preparations for today's dinner, I felt horrible. Here I was, a guest in her home, and I hadn't even bothered offering to help with anything. When I did offer, though, she brushed me off, saying that if I really wanted to help, she'd be down in the kitchen at 7 in the morning to put the turkey in, and I could help her then.
So here I am, wrapped up in Edward's arms at 6:30, so comfortable that I don't want to move, but too polite not to go down and help Esme. At least I still have a few minutes before I have to untangle myself from his embrace. As I try to snuggle my way closer to Edward, I am met with some resistance against my lower back. Edward is still sound asleep, but groans when my ass comes in contact with his morning wood. God, why did we agree to keep things chaste this weekend, again?
Unable to resist myself, I reach behind me and start rubbing his erection. His hips automatically flex, pushing his lower half more firmly into my grip as his arms tighten around my waist. My hand is trapped between us, but I don't really care.
"Fuck, Baby, that feels incredible," he manages to say in a husky, sleep-filled voice that sends shivers down my spine. I want him - I need him - and I suddenly don't care who hears us. We are both adults, after all. Twisting myself around in his arms so that I am facing him, I kiss him hard, moaning as I feel him twitch in my hand. Pulling back, he looks at me wide-eyed. "Bee, what are you doing? I thought we agreed…"
I silence him with my lips and tongue, putting everything I have into the kiss. When my lungs are burning with my need for oxygen, I pull back and stare in to his gorgeous green eyes. "I know what we agreed to, Edward, but I can't do it. I need you so much right now. Please?"
He watches me for a minute, searching for something in my eyes. When he finds nothing but the truth of my words, his lips meet mine again as his hands find the hem of my pajama top. We separate only long enough to pull our shirts off before we start feverishly kissing again.
Edward rolls us so I'm on my back with him hovering over me, and then attaches his mouth to my right nipple. "Fuck!" I cry out, unable to hold back as his teeth find purchase on the hard nub. I am so worked up that my hips flex in to his, desperate to find some sort of friction. He complies, grinding his erection against my heated core before slowly trailing open-mouth kisses down my stomach.
When he reaches my pajama bottoms, he pauses only briefly before pulling them, along with my panties, down my legs - baring me to him completely. "God, Bee… how did I get so lucky?" he asks as he stares at my naked body hungrily.
"Ah! I'm the lucky one," I manage to rasp out as he slides two fingers deep inside me, taking me by surprise. He looks up at me with a grin on his face before he lowers his head between my legs. I nearly come unglued when his mouth finds purchase on my engorged clit, flicking it with his tongue.
He senses I'm close, because he pulls away a fraction of an inch to speak. "That's right, Bee. Come for me, Love." As soon as the words are out of his mouth, he's attacking my clit again while his fingers slide in and out of me vigorously.
"Ed….ward! Yes!" I pant, gripping his hair tightly to hold his face in place as I reach my peak. My hips lift up off the bed as my muscles contract, and I can feel the gush of fluids leaving my body.
Once I've ridden out my orgasm, Edward removes his fingers, pulls back, and gives me a satisfied grin as he makes his way up my body. When he gets close enough, I pull him to me and kiss him, tasting myself on his lips and tongue. I can't help the moan that escapes my lips as he grinds his erection against me once again.
He breaks the kiss, straightens up to where he's kneeling between my legs, and quickly pulls his pajama bottoms down, freeing his cock. When he takes himself in his hand and starts to rub up and down his length, I lick my lips without even realizing it. I need to feel him inside me now, so I tell him just that. "Ugh, please, Edward. I need to feel you."
"Mmm, Baby, I thought you'd never ask," he says as he lines up with my entrance.
Even through my haze of lust and need, I am able to think semi-coherently. "Wait! Condom," I remind him and then watch as he shakes his head. "Edward, I'm not in the clear yet and won't be for a few more months. I'd never forgive myself if I passed something along to you," I tell him, pleading with my eyes for him to understand. When his face falls and he pulls away from me, I know he's disappointed.
"Bee, I didn't bring any condoms because we agreed to keep things PG while we were here. I didn't see the point. Fuck!" he yells suddenly, frustration clear in his voice.
"Baby, it's okay. I need to get down to the kitchen to help your mom, anyway. I'm sorry about getting you all worked up for nothing. Can I help you take care of that before I go downstairs?" I ask, eyeing his still fully erect cock.
He starts to shake his head, but I'm already moving off the bed, pulling him behind me. When he's standing beside me, I drop to my knees and lick the length of his shaft from base to tip. When I taste the salty pre-come, I moan and then pull him into my mouth, sucking hard. His hands find my hair and he guides my movements, being careful not to gag me by thrusting too deep.
I know he's getting close, because his words become unintelligible, and he starts to twitch in my mouth. I move my right hand up to his ass and squeeze his flesh as I swallow around his cock, which is his undoing. After a few more quick thrusts, I feel three hot bursts of liquid stream down the back of my throat.
Once I've licked him clean, he helps me stand and then wraps me in his arms, holding me tightly to his chest. My arms automatically snake around his waist as I return his embrace. "Edward, I'm so sorry. I never meant…"
"Love, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for. I wanted it just as much as you did, but it's okay. Thank you for taking care of me," he says, squeezing me tighter against him.
I can't help but giggle at his words. "Anytime, Handsome," I reply, looking up into his eyes. There is so much love and adoration there that it takes my breath away for a second. "I love you so much, Edward," I whisper softly after swallowing the lump in my throat. The emotions I feel for this man are overwhelming.
"I love you, too, Bee. More than anything," he replies and then kisses me softly, sweetly.
Reluctantly, I pull out of his arms and smile up at him. "I'd better get dressed and go down to help your mom in the kitchen. Are you coming down soon?"
He returns my smile and then kisses my lips once more. "Yeah, I just want to take a quick shower. I'll be down in a bit to help out, too. I love you, Gorgeous."
"I love you, too," I tell him before turning toward the door with a cheesy grin on my face. I seriously will never get enough of this hot, sexy man.
~*~*~ C2H ~*~*~
The Cullen household is full of people laughing and having fun. Esme and I finished up the turkey and got it in the oven, made several pies and side dishes, and now Edward and I are just relaxing in the den. Ali and Jasper got here an hour ago, and ten minutes after they arrived, Emmett showed up with Rosalie, surprising everyone. I have honestly never seen Esme happier than she is right now, having her whole family here at once, including their significant others.
My dad is coming over right after work, and as soon as he gets here, we're all going to sit down to eat. Until then, I'm perfectly content sitting in Edward's lap on the couch as he watches the game with the guys. I guess I must end up drifting off to sleep, because when I wake up, Edward is gazing down at me lovingly.
"Hey, Beautiful. Are you ready to eat?" he asks. His eyes are shining so brightly that my breath hitches.
"Yeah. Did I fall asleep? Why didn't you wake me up so I could help your mom set the table? Is my dad here?" I'm still half asleep, so the questions are just pouring out of me.
Edward silences my rambling with a kiss, though, before pulling back and looking into my eyes. "Yes... Because you looked so peaceful and I didn't want to disturb you... And yes, your dad is here." He chuckles, kissing me again briefly before helping me up from the couch and leading me into the dining room where everyone is waiting.
Traditions are strong in the Cullen household, and today is no different. Carlisle sits at the head of the table and says grace. When he is finished, he explains that we will go around the table and each person will say what they're thankful for. Edward and I are on his left, so it looks like we'll be going toward the end.
Surprisingly, Carlisle starts, followed by Esme. They both focus on the fact that their entire family is present and all seem happy. They each explain that all they want as parents is for their children to be happy.
Alice goes next, making everyone laugh at what she's thankful for. "I'm thankful for meeting someone as kind-hearted and patient as Jazz. Who would have ever thought I'd find someone who could put up with me, let alone want to marry me. I love you, Jazz."
Jasper was next. "Ali, from the day I first met you, I knew I was in trouble. I didn't believe in any of that love at first sight stuff, but I quickly changed my tune. I tried to fight my feelings because you were so young and I felt like a pervert, but I just couldn't. I'm thankful for such a loving, understand family, who raised the most incredible woman in the world. But most of all, I'm thankful for meeting you, Ali, because there's no one else I would rather spend my forever with." 'Aww's are heard around the table, making Jasper turn a bright shade of red, but he bends over and kisses Alice on the cheek.
Rosalie and Emmett have everyone in hysterics with the story of how they met and why they're thankful they did. I laugh so hard I cry, and part of it is because I was there to witness most of it. Of course, they leave out the fact that Emmett went to find Rose in her office, and how they had sex right then and there, but that's a good thing. I don't know how poor Esme would react if she heard that side of the tale.
My dad is next, and he's never been good at this. It takes him a few minutes to gather his thoughts, but everyone just remains quiet as he does so. Finally, after clearing his throat for the third time, he starts to talk. "I'm thankful for so many different things today that I honestly don't know where to start, so I guess I'll just jump right in. Carlisle, I'm thankful that you have such a wonderful family. You've always been here for Bells and me, including us in holidays, family gatherings, and the like. It means so much to me that you always think to include us.
"Esme, I'm thankful for all you've done for Bella. With her mother so flighty and never really available, you took on that role whenever she needed it. I don't know what I would have done without you. Thank you for that. I know Bella is appreciative of it as well.
"Alice and Emmett, you've always been like a sister and brother to Bella. My biggest fear as a father to an only child was that she'd grow up alone and end up being a spoiled brat. You helped me more than you realize. I guess I didn't have anything to worry about though, because Bella doesn't have a spoiled bone in her body.
"Edward, you've been Bella's best friend for twenty years. You were and are always there for her when she needs you. You've always been there to support her and protect her. That didn't change a few months ago when that good-for-nothing fiancé of hers pulled the crap that he did. With no questions asked, you took her in and helped her through a really tough time. Thank you, Son.
"And Bella? What I'm most thankful for today is you. I know I only managed with the help of this amazing family, but I couldn't have raised a better person if I'd had all the resources in the world. You're an incredible young woman, and I'm so proud of you, Honey. I'm thankful that Newton showed his true colors before you married him, and that everything worked out in the end. I could never really understand what you saw in that creep, but I just wanted you to be happy, so I stayed quiet and let nature take its course. I love you, baby girl, and I'm thankful that you've found the true happiness you deserve."
At the end of my dad's speech, I have tears in my eyes. Charlie has always been a man of few words, but he sure had a lot to say tonight. Before I even begin to say what I'm thankful for, I get out of my chair, drop to my knees in front of my father, and hug him tightly. "I love you, Daddy. Thank you for everything you've ever done for me. I know I don't say it enough, but you're the one who's made me who I am today."
I climb to my feet and kiss his cheek before returning to my seat. "Wow. How am I supposed to follow that?" I ask, making everyone around the table chuckle. "Here goes nothing, I guess. Carlisle and Esme, you truly are like second parents to me. For twenty years, you treated me like a daughter and showed me unconditional love, and you did so with no ulterior motives.
"Ali and Emmy, you're like the brother and sister I never had. We've been through so much together, and you've always stood by me. Neither one of you tried to tell me I was making a mistake my being with Mike. You let me make my own decision there, and for that I am truly grateful. I wouldn't be the person I am today if you hadn't.
"Dad, the same goes for you. I know you didn't really like Mike, but you thought he made me happy, so you never said anything. You just loved me unconditionally and were always there to help me and support me. Thank you for that. You'll never realize how much I love and respect you.
"Jasper, I'm thankful that you're able to keep our little sprite in line. She's over-exuberant and doesn't understand the meaning of the word no, but you manage to tame her slightly. You're good for her. I know it's not always going to be easy, but thank you for stepping up to take care of one of my best friends.
"Rose, the day Edward and I walked into your club and saw the look on Emmett's face, I knew he was smitten. He was a blundering idiot who didn't know when the heck to shut up. Yet you were able to overlook all that. You gave him a chance when he didn't really deserve it, and I'm thankful for that. I haven't seen my Emmy-bear this happy in a really long time, so thank you.
"Last but most certainly not least, Edward. You've been my best friend for twenty years. You were always there for me when I needed you. You would be my shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear when I had something to say or vent about. You never judged me or told me I was being stupid. You let me make my own mistakes. It took me twenty years to realize that you are my other half. You're perfect for me, and make me strive to be a better person.
"I was with Mike for seven years, and never once did I feel as loved or cherished as I have in the two months I've been with you. At the risk of sounding totally cheesy or cliche, you complete me, Edward. You are my soulmate, and I love you so much. Thank you for everything you have done for me: as my best friend, as my boyfriend, and as my lover." I blush at the last part, but feel it needed to be said. Edward squeezes my hand and then kisses me softly on the corner of my mouth before clearing his throat.
When he starts, he looks around the table with a smile. "Normally, my dad would be last to go during this tradition, but I asked him if I could be last today and he agreed. Mom and Dad, I'm thankful for the endless love you've shown me my entire life. You've been supportive of all my decisions and have been a great example to me of what love is supposed to be like. It hasn't always been perfect or easy, but you proved to me that if love is true, it can endure any trial and come out stronger.
"Liss and Em, I'm thankful for the two best siblings in the world. You've both been there for me through so much, and gave me a swift kick in the ass whenever I needed it. Sorry, Mom." Everyone chuckles as he continues. "Rosalie and Jasper, my brother and sister are better people just from knowing you and having you in their lives. I've never seen either of them happier, and for that I'm thankful. I'm also thankful to have an extremely understanding boss who'll give me time off when I need it," Edward adds, looking at Jasper and smiling his crooked smile. The entire table laughs before quieting so Edward can continue.
When he does continue, he pushes his chair back as he stands, taking both of my hands in his and squeezing. "Bee, as you said, we've been best friends for twenty years. We laughed together, cried together, and loved together. We've made mistakes, and we've learned from them. I never knew true happiness until we started dating, but now that I have, I never want to lose it. I never want to lose you, Bee." He drops to one knee and releases my hands to dig in his pocket. I gasp when he pulls out a black velvet box before taking my left hand in his again.
"Bee, I promise to love you forever, and to do my best to be everything you need me to be. I want to support you and watch you grow, and I promise to never hold you back from your dreams. You are my world, my everything. I can't imagine a life without you in it. Isabella Marie Swan, would you do me the honor of agreeing to be my wife?"
As he finishes his words, he opens up the box, and nestled inside is a ring I'm very familiar with. It belonged to Granny Platt. As the tears stream down my face, Edward looks up at me from his position on one knee. In his emerald eyes, I see vulnerability mixed in with so much love and tenderness. I realize that a part of him is afraid I'll say no because of everything that happened with Mike.
Edward isn't Mike, though. Edward loves me unconditionally, and would do anything to make me happy. Mike was a selfish asshole who only cared about getting his dick wet. I try to speak, but my emotions are overwhelming and I find a huge lump lodged in my throat.
As I start to nod my head, I clear my throat and try again. I know all eyes are on me, but these people are my closest friends and family. My tears never cease as I finally clear my throat enough to answer. "Yes," I whisper. It's all I can do in the moment, but it's enough. Edward understands and his whole face lights up as he pulls the ring out of the box and slides it onto my ring finger. Once it's securely in place, he's up off his knee and his lips are firmly pressed against mine as the whole table erupts in loud cheers and applause.
Edward has tears streaming down his face now too, but in a strong, sure voice, he speaks as he looks me in the eye. "I love you so much, Bee. Now and forever. Thank you for making me the luckiest man on earth." With one more sweet kiss, he takes his seat and smiles. "I'm starving; let's eat!"
A/N Well? What did you think? Did I do it justice? Was the proposal what you wanted it to be? Nothing as flashy as Mike's proposal, but he was a total douche anyway! LOL Please review and let us know what you thought of the chapter! Next up for the main story will be EPOV. I'm also thinking about a CPOV for the outtakes of when Edward talks to him.
Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers yesterday, and Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans. Hope you all enjoy your holidays!