First off, I want to apologize for the delay. RL is crazy right now. Hubby is leaving to North Dakota for two weeks, and it's been busy. There is also a chance we will be moving there, so please be patient with my crazy life, and I promise to update as soon as I can.

Chapter 37

Bella's POV

I can't believe what is happening. I know what it is like to lose your parents, and now, here I am watching as we find out Carlisle will die of cancer. It was hard enough with the sudden death of my parents, but it has to be so much harder knowing you are going to have to watch it happen. My heart breaks as I watch Edward walk to his dad's office to talk. He will need me, and I will be here for him.

Esme brings me out of my thoughts as she touches my hand.

"How are you, dear?"

"Oh, Esme, I should be asking you that."

"Nonsense, this will affect us all. We will find a way to make it through this. All we can do is pray that the doctors are wrong and that he will make it. Edward will need you."

"I'm not going anywhere. I will be here for all of you."

"You are so good for him. I have never seen him this way."

Esme and I talk and cry while we wait for Edward and Carlisle to return. The rest of the family are all still here. They are huddles in different corners of the room talking and crying. We all turn when we hear heavy footsteps all but running down the stairs. My first thought is that something has happened to Carlisle. We turn and see Edward rush into the room.

"Bella…" I jump up and quickly make my way to his side.

"Baby, what's wrong?"

"I need to talk to you."

"Is it your dad? Is everything OK?"

"He's OK. It's you I need. Please can we talk?"

"Baby, you're scaring me. What's going on?"

"Come on, let's go outside."

Something is off with him. I'm not yet sure if it is good or bad, but whatever it is, it's big. He pulls my hands into his and pulls me out the door. I can hear his family behind us asking questions. I don't know what happened in that office, but I'm not sure I like it.

We finally stop once we get to the garden. He is visibly shaking, and it just scares me more. He takes a deep breath and turns to look at me.

"Bella, I love you. I have loved you for so long now, and hell, I've wanted to tell you so many things, but I was scared. I'm scared now, but I need to get it out. I can't wait any longer. I'm sorry I'm rambling, but I'm nervous."

I have never seen Edward this uncomposed, and truthfully, I don't know what to make of it. We just found out some of the worst news, and now he is acting like this. Is he having some sort of a breakdown?

"Edward, what is it, love?"

"Look, please let me get this out. I know the timing may seem off, but I need to tell you. Life if too short, and things can change so fast. I don't want anything to happen without you knowing how I feel; without everyone knowing how I feel."

What a silly man, I already know how he feels about me. Maybe with everything going on he just needs to reassure himself that I know he loves me.

"What I am trying to say is, you, are my life. The air that fills my lungs is all because of you. You give me life, hope, joy, and happiness. Even in a time like this, with so much pain, you bring me hope. I don't want to ever live my life without you…"

Wait, this is beginning to sound like a…could he be…? I no longer see anything around me; I only see the man standing before me. He is shaking and sweating, but determined to finish.

"I never should have married Tanya; it should have been you all along. You have made me see what true love is. You have given me the love that my parents have shared for so many years, and there are no words to thank you for that…marry me, Bella."

My only fear is that he is doing this because of the news he got. I want this for us. I want him to want it, and not just because he is scared.

"Baby, I love you, but this is not the right time. I can't say yes, under these circumstances."

"Baby, that's not it. Yes, part of this is brought on because of Dad, but not in the way you think. I don't want to ever rush you, but things can change overnight. Things happen, and one day one of us may not be here for the other. I don't want to waste any time. I don't want a day to go by that you don't wake in my arms or hear me tell you I love you. You deserve so much more than I can offer you, but I'm giving you everything I have. I am giving you my heart, my soul, my life…"

Tears begin to spill over my eyes. I know that this is right, it's what I want.

"Edward, I love you. More than you will ever know. I want nothing more to marry you, but you are under a lot of stress. I know what it's like. I've been there. You have it worse, you know what is coming, and I'm sorry. I will always be here for you, but baby, this is not the right way to do this." I want nothing more to be his wife, but not like this. I will always wonder what if.

"Baby, you have to understand. I have been planning this for a while now. I have just been waiting for the right time. I want everyone to know that I am yours and that you are mine. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to love you and cherish you forever. I want to spoil you rotten and give you lots of babies. I want to grow old with you, and love you forever. What I am trying to say is that I am nothing without you, Isabella Swan. There is nothing in the world that would make me happier than being able to call you my wife."

He is no longer standing before me but on one knee and holding a box. He opens it slowly, and I see the most elegant ring ever made. It is beyond perfect.

"But…"

"I want to show you something." He places the box in his left hand before reaching into his other pocket. He pulls out a second box. I'm even more confused now.

"The ring I am offering you was my grandmother's. My dad gave it to me while we were in his office. Baby, I know you think this is the wrong time, but I want you to know, I really have been waiting for the right time. In this box…" He slowly opens the second box and shows me yet another diamond. "…is the ring that I bought three weeks ago. Bella, I understand that you may be wary on this, but you need to know that I meant every word that I have said. I love you more than anything. I want nothing more than to be your husband. The news about my dad just made me realize that things can change. You know about my family. That means you know the risks. I don't know what I would do if something happened to one of us before I got the chance to marry you. If you honestly feel that this is not the right time, I understand. Just know that I am asking you because I love you, and only for that. Isabella, will you please do me the honor of being my wife?"

I look at the man kneeling before me. I can see the love in his eyes. I understand his need. I know what I want.

"Edward, you are more than I ever thought I would have. I would be honored to be your wife, there is one condition though."

His face falls.

"Anything you want?"

"I don't want a long engagement. I love you, and I know that with the help of your family, we can pull it off. I want your dad to be there. I want him to see us marry. I know you are not asking me solely because of what is going on, but I don't want to wait. My dad will not be here to see me marry. I have lost so much when it comes to family, but I am gaining the best family I could ask for. I love each of you, and we don't know how much time Carlisle has. Let's give this to him as well. I want him to be there."

Edward smiles at me and looks at both rings.

"Baby, if it's OK with you, I would love to wear your family's ring."

He places the new ring in his pocket and slowly takes his family's ring from its box and slips it lovingly on my finger. There is a rush of commotion, and Edward picks me up, spins me around and kisses me over and over again.

"Baby, I want nothing more to take you home and show you just how much I love you, but I kind of left the house in a hurry. I am sure my mom is freaking out."

"I know she is. Come on; let's go tell them the good news."

He kisses me once more, grabs my hand and we slowly start to walk back to the house.

Once we make it to the house, Esme rushes to us with a look of fear.

"Edward, Bella, is everything OK?"

"Mom, it is more than OK."

By now the entire family is surrounding us.

"No one knows, but a few weeks ago I bought Bella a ring. Learning what is going on made me realize how quickly things can change. Tonight, Dad gave me grandma's ring. I asked Bella to marry me, and she said yes."

There is a slew of I love you's, and even more kisses. I can't believe I am getting married. He picks me up and kisses me once more. Edward finally places me back on my feet, but it doesn't last long. It seems as if I am being passed from one family member to the next. Each of them congratulating us, and welcoming me to the family. I end with Carlisle. He pulls me into a hug so tight; I know it's a hug only a father can provide.

"Thank you for bringing some happiness in this time of such pain. It is just what we need to focus on. Thank you for everything you have brought to my son, and our family." He kisses me on the cheek and passes me back to Edward before I have a chance to respond.

"Carlisle, I have a question for you. Edward and I have decided to have a quick engagement. We both want you there. There is something I want to ask you though. I will never have my dad there to give me away. I love you all so much, and it would mean the world to me if you would walk me down the aisle."

"Bella, it would be my honor. I made a mistake with Edward and Tanya, and I would love nothing more to be there to see my son marry his soul mate."

We talk a bit about the wedding, but I can see that Edward is ready to head home. We say our goodnights, and promise to return over the weekend to start the real planning. We grab our coats and head home.

When we arrive home, we don't even make it to the bedroom before he is removing my clothes. It is fast paced and full of need. He stops for a moment and looks deep in my eyes.

"I'm sorry, baby. I wanted to go slow and love you, but I just need you. I need that connection."

I can understand where he is coming from. Today has been an emotional day. Between someone following me, finding out about Carlisle, and getting engaged…well, I would say there are a whole lot of emotions there. I can understand the need to just be together, and besides, we have the rest of our lives to be slow and easy. I tell him all of this as well, and he soon picks up right where he left off.

He carries me to bed and remove our clothes. His body surrounds me. I feel his hands and lips on my body as he is now he is on me and in me. Every movement and act of love is screaming at me loud and clear. The emotions are pouring from his soul. We spend the rest of the night with our bodies wrapped around each other and showing just how much we love, want, and need each other.

A/N: I thought about writing out the love scene, but there were so many emotions I didn't want to fail it. So I am leaving it to your imagination. Just know that it was hot, steamy, and full of want, lust, need and love. It was perfect.