A/N: Happy New Year! Here's hoping 2013 is filled with love, laughter, happiness, and success for all! :)

The holidays wiped me out as I'm sure you noticed, and I kinda lost my writing mojo for a bit. I'm back in the saddle again now, however, and plan on resuming my regular update schedule for this story heading into the new year.

I participated in FAGE this year. My entry, which was for the lovely Staceleo, is now posted. It's called 'A Night to Remember.' Lots and lots of fluff, so check it out if you're into that. And thank you very much to beegurl13 for the sexy little piece she wrote for me. It's called 'Can You Feel It?' and everyone should check it out.

I have an outtake from this story in the Fandom 4 Red Cross compilation. You can donate up until January 15 to receive the compilation, and there's a lot of amazing talent locked up in there. Check out fandomfightshurricanesandy dot blogspot dot com for more info!

I won't keep going here, but some thank yous are in order and you'll find those at the end.

See you in a few!

Chapter Song: Heaven by No Doubt


Characters belong to SM. The fate of these fun people belongs to me.

Chapter 26 – A New Arrangement

Bella's POV

Six weeks after our discussion I still had no solid answer to give Edward when it came to the idea of living together. In fact, having so much time to contemplate had done nothing but leave me more confused than ever.

I only had three weeks left to negotiate with my landlords or give them my official notice to vacate. That meant Edward and I would need to have another conversation sooner or later. He'd been dropping subtle hints over the course of the past month, letting me know he was still more than interested in the idea of us cohabitating.

Alice, Rose, and I had spent an ample amount of time discussing the situation, and at the end of the day they both agreed that I should give Edward's proposed living arrangement a try. Alice pointed out, as Edward had, that we'd spent six consecutive weeks staying together in hotel rooms around the country. In her words, "If you two didn't kill each other then, what makes you think you would now?"

Rose was a bit more apprehensive, but surprised me by drawing the same conclusion as Alice. "I love you sweetie, and I love that you always think with your head, but this time I think it might be safe for you to jump with your heart," she'd said.

That left me with just one other person to mind fuck the situation with.

"It's been too long since you and I have gone out alone!" Mike held his arm out and I looped mine through it happily. The first signs of spring were starting to appear throughout the city, and instead of spending our time indoors we opted to go for a walk in Central Park.

"Between Edward and the White party my head is spinning." I used my free hand to pull my cell phone out and check for missed calls or messages. Mike reached around and grabbed it from me, stuffing it in his pocket and clicking his tongue.

"You're mine for the morning, Swan. No calls, no texts, and no interruptions." We started down the trail. "So, when is this big fiesta you're helping coordinate?"

"April 21."

"Will I be getting an invitation?"

"Alice's parents paid for two tables for ten people each. We're included in their head count."

"Laurent too?"

"No, he has to stay home that night," I teased.


"It takes one to know one." Silence filled the air for a brief moment, and then we both burst out laughing.

"All of us are at one of the tables," I explained. "Laurent included."

"Thank fuck." We weaved around a jogging elderly couple. "What's the occasion behind this thing?"

"Victoria holds two galas each year to help raise money for charity," I explained.

"What type of charity are we supporting this time around?"

"Children's cancer research."

"Is there any entertainment lined up?"

I nodded. "Stand up comedy, as a matter of fact. Which I find incredibly odd, given the composition of the guest list."

"Well, someone will have to lighten the atmosphere in that room. It'll get too stuffy with a bunch of big business suits crammed in."

Mike and I came to a stop in front of an ice cream cart, where he ordered us each a bomb pop. We plopped down on a bench a few feet away to enjoy our treats.

"So, how are things going with Mr. Perfect?"

I smiled. "Things are going very well."

"Any new developments?" he asked, arching his eyebrows. "C'mon, Swan. I rely on you to keep me abreast on the gossip in this social circle."

"Well, actually, yes." I took a deep breath and looked over at my friend. "He suggested that we get a place together."

"WHAT?!" he shrieked, causing a woman walking past to jump and the ice cream vendor to turn and look at us in alarm. Mike lowered his voice. "When did this happen?"

"A little over a month ago," I explained.

"And you're still living apart?" I nodded sheepishly. "Why?"

"We agreed to take some time to think about it."

"Well? You've had weeks to contemplate, Bell. What are you thinking?"

I released a loud breath and looked out at the park. "Honestly? I think I want to do it, but I'm completely terrified."

"What part are you terrified of?"

I thought for a moment. "What if it doesn't work? Where am I supposed to go then? Or what if he gets tired of me or realizes that my habits are the bane of his existence?"

Mike laughed. "Oh, Swan, don't be such a narcissist!"

I scowled. "I'm not being a narcissist, ass. These are legitimate concerns that I have."

"Every couple that lives together worries about these kind of things at some point. You need to stop focusing your energy on this negative stuff and start thinking about all the great things that will happen if you do live together."

"Like what?"

"Like getting to see that man's fine naked ass every single night instead of just a few nights a week."

"Leave it to you to come up with something like that."

Mike slipped his arm around my shoulders and gave them a squeeze. "In all seriousness, the two of you are cute as hell and you seem to be very good fits for one another. I say go for it."

"But-" Mike covered my mouth with his hand and shook his head.

"I'm sure you've covered all the 'buts' and 'ifs' that exist over the past few weeks, missy. I think it's time to give your mouth a rest – at least when it comes to the contemplation game you're playing – and listen to what this," Mike pointed to his heart, "is telling you."

I couldn't help but laugh. "Oddly enough, that's the same thing Rosalie told me when we were talking about this."

"Well, as you must know after being friends with us all for how long, Rosalie and I are usually right."


"Okay, we're always right." Mike bit the last part of his bomb pop off the stick and stood up. "Now, if you don't mind, I think we need to discuss what to wear for this party that's coming up. In particular, we need to discuss what I'm going to wear to this party."

I stood and looped my arm through Mike's once more, setting off down the path that we were already taking. As Mike went on about possible designers and price ranges for the suit he would wear, I continued thinking about Edward and how we would work out a suitable living arrangement. I knew we were fortunate in that we'd only had one fight during our time together. However, I also knew that things wouldn't always be rainbows and sunshine between us, and I wasn't sure how we'd handle that when we shared the same space. Separate apartments meant we could go our separate ways and use the time to cool off when things got tough.

I sighed and turned my attention back to what Mike was saying.

"I should have asked about this sooner. There's no way I'm going to be able to get the suit I want on such short notice."

"Maybe you can talk Rose into dressing you," I suggested. "She loves doing that shit. Free advertising, ya know?"

"She's probably getting tired of dressing me. I think I've gone to her for the last three big occasions I've had."

"Oh, please. This is Rosalie Smith we're talking about. Do you think she'll ever tire of dressing people?"

Mike smirked. "Point taken."

I glanced over my shoulder, taking note of Edward's building looming across the way.

"Just say yes, Swan." Mike whispered, giving my arm a soft pinch.

I blushed. "How do you do that?"

"You're like an open book, doll. Always have been and always will be."

I bit my lip and turned my attention back to the path in front of us.

It was my weekend to stay at Edward's place, which meant I'd be going over there sometime tomorrow night.

That gave me a little over twenty-four hours to figure my shit out.

And to decide if I was ready to just say yes – or just say not right now.

Edward's POV

We need to talk. – B.

Still coming over tonight? – E.

Of course. I'll be there at five. – B.

Should I be worried? – E.

Oh gosh, no! Sorry, I didn't realize how bad that might sound! :) – B.

I let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding and resumed chopping vegetables. Since returning to the city, Bella and I had been alternating whose house we spent weekends at. This weekend marked my turn, and I decided stir-fry and a nice wine was a good way to kick it off.

I was just finishing setting the table when I heard Bella's key in the lock. A minute later arms slid around my waist and soft lips pressed against the back of my neck.

"Happy Friday," I murmured, turning around and hugging her against me. She sighed and rested her cheek on my chest. "How was work?"

"I'm so exhausted." She leaned away and ran her hands down my chest. "I just want this gala to be over. I'm counting down the days."

"It's next weekend, right?"

She shook her head. "It's the twenty-first. Fifteen more days."

"Well, I hope you're hungry tonight." I linked my pinky finger with hers and led her to the dining room. "I'm afraid I made a bit too much rice."

"This looks delicious," Bella commented, pulling out a chair and taking her place. I sat across from her and watched as she eagerly dished up some food.

"So…" my voice trailed off and my mind wandered back to the series of text messages we'd exchanged not that many hours earlier. I took a deep breath and decided to bite the bullet. "What did you want to talk about?"

She held her finger up, indicating I should wait while she finished chewing her food. Once she took a large gulp of wine, she cleared her throat and set her fork down. "Our living situation."

A jolt of anxiety zipped through me. I'd been mentioning-but-not-mentioning the idea of moving in together ever since I first brought it up so many weeks ago. I didn't want to bombard Bella with it, nor did I want her to feel like I was trying to pressure her in to it. At the same time, the idea excited me, and I couldn't help but talk about it when the opportunity presented itself.

I placed my napkin in my lap and leaned forward on my elbows. I couldn't explain the feeling that had settled itself in the pit of my stomach. It was a wicked combination of apprehension and excitement. "Go on."

"I've been thinking," Bella started. She picked her fork up, twisted it around between her fingers, and then placed it back on the edge of her plate. "I've been thinking and discussing this with everyone I could possibly discuss it with, actually. Rose, Alice, Mike, Renee … I mean, it's only natural to have second thoughts about something like this, right? Especially when-"

"Bella, stop." I bit the inside of my lip to keep myself from laughing out loud. Her cheeks were flushed pink and I could tell her leg was shaking under the table.

She slapped her palm to her forehead and shook her head. "God, I'm rambling aren't it?" I nodded at her. "Okay, let me try this again." She took a deep breath and looked me in the eye. "I thought about it and I want us to live together."

I jumped up, knocking over my chair and dropping my napkin on the floor. "You want to live together?"

Bella stood up and grinned. "Yes. I'm scared shitless, but we need to do this."

I stepped forward and grabbed her hand, pulling her to me and wrapping my arms around her waist. "I'm scared shitless too, baby. I haven't lived with anyone else for almost a decade, but this just feels like it's the right thing to do."

She stood on her toes and gave me a peck on the lips. "We're going to fight you know."

I rolled my eyes. "Every couple fights. I don't think a relationship is healthy if there isn't some occasional fighting."

"I might make you sleep on the couch."

"If I could do it in LA, I can do it again. Besides, my couch is rather comfortable."

She stepped back. "Your couch?"

I nodded.

"When did we decide to live here?"

I picked up my toppled chair and took a seat, sipping on my wine. "I guess I just assumed we'd move in here. I mean, there's plenty of extra space for your things and Central Park is right across the street. Plus you'd be closer to Alice and Rosalie."

Bella drummed her fingers on the edge of her wineglass. "Did moving into my place even cross your mind?"

"Well, um…" My voice trailed off and I looked down at the table. "Not exactly."

"Why am I not surprised?" Irritation hung from her words. "If we're really going to do this we need to have a discussion. It can't all be on your terms, Edward."

"I know, and I'm sorry. I just got caught up in the excitement of thinking about it." I reached across the table and brushed my fingertips over the tops of her knuckles. "Do you want to keep your apartment?"

She shrugged. "I do love the place," she admitted. "It's cozy and the building is nice. Plus I know the neighborhood like the back of my hand."

"But…?" I could tell she wasn't sharing everything that was on her mind.

"But there's some work that needs to be done." She took a bite of her stir-fry and chewed thoughtfully. "The walls need painting and some of the fixtures could stand to be replaced. I could ask them to take care of that before I bought it, but I think that would only add more hassle to something that's already going to be enough of a challenge."

"I'm guessing you'd want to close on it and get these changes made before I moved in?"

Bella nodded. "Probably."

"Do you need some more time to think about this?"

"No, no, no. I'd rather make a decision now so I can give the owners a heads up."

"All this stuff," I gestured to the room around me, "is just that. Stuff. I can find places for it if we do this and decide to stick with your place. I don't want to pressure you either way, Bell."

"Would you get rid of this place if you moved in at mine?"

"Honestly? I don't think so. My intention is to buy this unit. I could always keep it as an investment property."

I watched the wheels spin behind Bella's eyes as we sat in silence. I crossed my fingers that she'd decide it was okay to settle down here. I truly didn't want to part with my apartment, and I wasn't looking forward to having to spend weeks working on whatever changes were needed at her place either.

I didn't expect us to move in together tomorrow, but I certainly didn't want it to take months either.

"I'll move in here," she said finally. I blinked several times, sure that I'd heard her incorrectly.


"I'll move in here," she repeated.

"Really? It was that easy to decide?"

"I'm in love with your kitchen; and the rest of this building, to be honest. And as much as I love interior design projects, I don't feel like getting caught up in one for months. I'd much rather be able to just enjoy my time with you."

I narrowed my eyes and smirked. "You're in love with my kitchen, huh? I see how it is."

"I'm pretty sure you'd be in love with your kitchen too if you saw me in there wearing nothing but an apron when you came home from work one night." She winked mischievously.

"I hope you're not just talk, Ms. Swan." I watched as she stood and sauntered toward me. She grabbed my tie and tugged on it gently. I stood and followed her to the couch. She spun around and pushed me down, climbing on my lap and entwining her fingers in my hair.

"I talk the talk and walk the walk." Bella dipped her head and pressed her lips against mine. I ran my tongue along her bottom lip before slipping it in her mouth and letting it glide against hers.

"Care to prove that?"

She laughed. "Oh, I'd be more than happy to prove that, Mr. Cullen." She slid off me and dropped to her knees, undoing my belt and slipping her hands inside my boxer briefs. She pulled my cock out and stroked it twice, then bent her head forward and ran her tongue around the tip. Looking up at me through long lashes, Bella wrapped her lips around my length and took me in her mouth. I let out a moan when I felt the head of my cock hit the back of her throat.

"My God, Bella." I slid my fingers in her hair and caressed the back of her head. Cupping my balls with one hand, she began a slow and steady rhythm, sucking me in on her upstroke and massaging my erection with her tongue each time she slid back down. I tipped my head back against the couch and closed my eyes, focusing my attention on the magic she was creating with her warm, wet mouth.

My legs were just starting to tremble when she released my cock with a pop and stood up. She slid her skirt and panties down and kicked them aside, crawling into my lap and grabbing me in her hand. She slid the head of my cock through her slick folds, biting down on her lip every time it passed over her clit.

"You're quite the tease," I murmured, unbuttoning her shirt and pushing it back onto her shoulders. Black lace greeted me, and I leaned forward and captured her nipple between my teeth. She groaned pushed her chest out toward me. I smiled against the thin fabric and used my hands to tug the straps of her bra down, freeing her perfect round breasts from their confines.

"You're calling me a tease?" she whispered, aligning my erection with her entrance. I resisted the urge to buck my hips up and used my tongue to draw a circle around one of her nipples instead.

"We're both teases." She sank down slowly, grabbing my face in her hands and forcing me to look at her once I was fully sheathed inside. She rocked forward ever so slightly and tipped her head down so her forehead rested against mine.

"I love you," she moaned, moving up and then sinking down slowly. I gripped her hips tightly, shifting my own so that the head of my cock rubbed against that special spot inside her each time she moved.

"I love you too."

She rested her forearms on my shoulders and tangled her fingers in my hair. The speed of her movements increased, and each time her skin met mine she swiveled her hips, creating desired friction for both of us.

"So close," she breathed, sweeping her lips against mine and looking in my eyes. I watched as desire and love flickered behind the chocolate colored orbs. I reached my hand between us and pressed the pad of my thumb against her clit, rubbing small, tight circles around the wet and swollen nub.

"Fall for me, Bella," I said, increasing the pressure of my thumb.

"I fell for you a long time ago, Edward."

"Fall for me again, baby." I ran my nose across her cheek and nibbled on her earlobe. When I felt her body begin to tremble, I pinched her clit between my fingers and watched as she came undone.

"Edward," she moaned, dropping her forehead to my shoulder and tugging on my hair. Her walls clenched around me and a series of soft cries fell from her lips.

"I love you," I groaned as my own release hit me, closing my eyes and tipping my head back as familiar feelings of euphoria washed over me.

"I love you too." Bella lifted her head and pressed her lips against mine softly. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and pulled her to me, resting my chin on top of her head.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, willing my body to relax as Bella melted against me. I wasn't sure how long we stayed in that position before one of us finally moved, but our dinner was cold when we made it back to the table.

Neither of us spoke as we finished our meal in our half-clothed states. Instead, we drank one another in with our eyes, shared thoughts with coy smiles, and opted to head straight to bed instead up cleaning anything up.

We fell asleep in each others arms that night. Bella's head rested against my chest, and wayward strands of soft, floral-scented brown hair tickled my bare skin. Her breaths were low and even, lulling me to sleep.

I had no doubt in my mind that living with Bella would exceed every expectation I had in me.

-=- HC -=-

My parents were thrilled when I invited them to join Bella and I for lunch the next day.

Esme was even more thrilled when Bella presented then with an invitation to Victoria's gala.

"Oh, sweetheart, you really don't have to do this." She scanned the paper's contents and looked up at my girlfriend. "I've never gone to any of her parties before."

"Nonsense." Bella waved her hand nonchalantly. "You were the first couple I thought of when Alice's mother told me they'd reserved a second table."

Esme looked excitedly at Carlisle. "What do you say?"

My dad just shrugged and smirked. "Do I even have a say?"

My mom laughed and shook her head. "I love you."

"I love you too."

"Okay, enough of the sap show." I opened the passenger door on my car and gestured for my mom to get in. "My stomach is ready to start eating itself."

"Oh, Edward, didn't you eat breakfast?" Esme patted my cheek and slid into the car. A minute later we were headed back to Manhattan.

"He never eats breakfast," Bella remarked.

"Hey, I woke up late," I said in my own defense.

Esme rolled her eyes. "Some things never change."

My slightly crazy driving got us to the restaurant in record time, and I ordered up a side of French fries along with my soda.

"Geeze, from the outside one might think you hadn't eaten in weeks," Bella teased.

I pushed my stomach out and patted it. "This bad boy needs its nourishment."

While we all browsed the menu and eventually placed our orders, I contemplated how to go about announcing our news to Carlisle and Esme. Both of them adored Bella and I knew they'd be happy for us, but I was afraid my mom was literally going to launch through the ceiling and create an unprecedented scene.

"What's got you thinking so hard over there, son?"

I glanced up at my dad and smiled. "Actually, I need to tell you two something." Bella nudged me with her elbow and I smirked. "Bella and I need to tell you something."

"Wait, wait, let me guess." My mom set down her water glass and fixed Bella with a thoughtful stare. After a minute a smile lit her face and she snapped her fingers. "You're pregnant!"


"Esme, what are you thinking? They aren't even married for heaven's sake!"

She shrugged and crossed her arms over her chest. "It's 2012, Carlisle, not 1950. People have kids out of wedlock all the time."

"Not this woman," Bella piped up, effectively silencing both my mom and dad. "I'm not pregnant; not even close."

"No, she's not," I added. Carlisle heaved what I assumed was a sigh of relief.

"What's the news then?" Esme asked with a pout.

I glanced at Bella, who reached over and squeezed my knee. I took a deep breath and looked at my parents. "Bella and I are moving in together."

My mom jumped up, ran around the table, and flung her arms around Bella's neck. "This is great news!"

"Congrats," my dad said, reaching across the table and giving me a fist bump. I couldn't help but laugh.

"Where did an old man like you learn a move like that?"

"Old man?" He threw his hand over his heart. "That hurt, Edward. And your young, happening best friend was kind enough to show me that move."

"This calls for a bottle of wine." Esme sat back down and flagged over the waiter. "When did you decide on this?"

"Just last night," I explained. "We discussed it when we first got back from the book tour and decided we needed some time to think."

"That's the way to do it," Carlisle said. The waiter arrived and poured four glasses of wine. "Weigh the pros and cons, think about what's already gone on in your relationship, and then come to a decision."

"Well, if Edward had his way I would have moved in the night we had the talk," Bella joked. I felt my cheeks redden.

"Aw, look at you Edward, so smitten." Esme held her glass up and the rest of us did the same. "To your future."

We drank our wine and continued the conversation. By the time we were ready to return home, Esme and Bella had worked out a new decorating scheme for my entire apartment. I was preparing to put a wrench in their plans when my dad tapped my shoulder.

"Don't bother protesting," he whispered, nodding toward the two ladies who were still busy chatting in the back seat. "If you're lucky they'll both get too caught up in the excitement of the move itself to remember they even had this discussion."

"I can only hope."

"I heard that!" Bella smacked the back of my head playfully.

"When is this move happening?" Carlisle asked.

"Sometime before the end of May" I explained. "Bella still needs to give notice to vacate at her place. Plus this White party is a lot of work, so it'll be easier to coordinate after it's all said and done."

Esme leaned forward in her seat. "Have you told anyone else?"

Bella shook her head. "You two are the first to know."

"We're telling Bella's parents tonight," I explained.

"This is just so fabulous! Carlisle, isn't this fabulous?"

"Absolutely fabulous," he mocked, earning himself a swat from Esme.

Bella's eyes met mine in the rearview and we both grinned.

One set of parents down.

Now we just had Charlie Swan to go.

Bella's POV

I flipped on my apartment lights and dropped my overnight bag on the floor along with my purse. I headed to the living room, kicking my shoes and socks off along the way. The letter from my landlord sat on my coffee table in the exact spot I'd left it when I went to Edward's. I grabbed it and sat down on an armchair.

I was going to wait until Monday morning to call the couple that owned my unit, but on my way home I decided that I wanted to get it over and done with. I was crazy excited about moving, but worried that if I had more time to contemplate everything I'd chicken out and change my mind.

You can't change your mind, Bella. Renee and Esme would kill you.

"Charlie wouldn't complain," I said to myself.

Even though he wasn't a huge fan of our idea, my dad had taken it better than I thought he would…

"Your mother told me the news," he'd said on the phone earlier that morning.

"I was going to tell you myself, but you weren't home when Edward and I called last night."

Silence hung on the line.

"How mad are you?"

"I'm not," he said finally.

"Excuse me? Who are you and what have you done with my father?"

He laughed. "I'm not a monster, Bella. I'm just a concerned father."

"You really don't have to be concerned, dad. I thought you realized that after you met Edward."

"I like the guy," he admitted. "But I can't help but worry, Bell. Living together is a big commitment. You've never done that with a man before."

"I stayed with Ben."

"You still had your own apartment though. Can't you keep your apartment this time around?"

"Are you going to pay the rent for me? Because I can't afford to pay for both."

"Where do I send the check?" he joked. I rolled my eyes and sank down on Edward's bed.

"C'mon, Charlie. Be happy for me."

"I am happy for you." He was silent for a moment before continuing. "I just have a hard time trusting people's intentions. Especially when those intentions involve my wife or my daughter."

"Do you trust me?"

"Of course."

"Then trust that I'm making the right decision."

If I closed my eyes and concentrated hard I could almost hear him scratching his chin on the other end of the line.

"I like Edward," he finally admitted. "I said I'd give the guy a chance and so far he hasn't done anything to disappoint me. I just hope this move doesn't change that."

"It won't," I assured him, although even I couldn't be absolutely sure. Nothing was ever set in stone, no matter how much we wanted it to be.

"Well you have my best wishes."

"Thank you," I whispered.

"I love you, Bell."

"I love you too, dad."

I allowed myself to stare at the letter for a few more minutes before I dialed the number up on my phone. I took a deep breath and hit the send button.


I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out.


"Hi, Gary," I squeaked out. "It's Isabella Swan."

"Swan, Swan… oh, yes! From the Midtown property, right?"

"Yes, from the Midtown property." I placed the letter back on the table and stood, running my fingers through my hair nervously. "I'm calling in regards to the letter I received about the apartment."

"Oh, yes. We're sad to have to let the place go, but it's just not feasible for us to own it anymore."

"I imagine it's hard to keep on top of things when you're a thousand miles away."

"Very hard," the older gentleman said. "I'm guessing you had a chance to consider what was offered in the letter?"

"Yes, sir, and I've reached a decision." I pinched the bridge of my nose, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. "I'd like to put in my notice to vacate."

"Vacate? Really?" He sounded surprised. "Edith and I were sure you'd decide to stay."

"Six months ago yes, but I have another option that's more appropriate right now."

"Well, you certainly need to do what's best for you." I could hear the shuffling of papers in the background. "Do you plan on staying through June?"

"No, sir." Edward thought I needed ample time to recuperate after the White party. I, on the other hand, wanted to get everything over with as soon as possible. "I'll be out by May fifteenth."

"Are you sure you don't need some more time to prepare?"

"No, this will be just fine."

"Well, alright then." He cleared his throat. "If you have a fax number I can send you the documents I need signed by you."

I rattled off my office information and wrapped the conversation up. When I ended the call, I tossed my phone on the coffee table and flopped down on the sofa.

Adrenaline and anxiety coursed through me. I couldn't wait to tell the girls what I'd just done. For the first time in twenty-nine years, I was moving in with a boyfriend and really starting to build a life with someone.

Half of me was hella excited.

The other half was insanely scared.

And while small slivers of uncertainty still clouded my thoughts, one thing was certain:

There was no turning back now.

A/N: I believe I may have underestimated in thinking there were only 5 or 6 regular chapters left here. There will probably be a bit more than that. And then the epilogues of course.

Some thanks are in order here:

Hot Commodity was nominated in three categories in the Fandom Choice Awards: Best All Human, Best Quote, and Best Friendship. If You Only Knew was also nominated for Best Drama, and somehow I ended up on the nomination list for Best Author. THANK YOU to whoever is responsible for those nominations. The fanfic world is HUGE, so most of the time I feel like a small fish paddling around in a ginormous sea. You have no idea how much I appreciate things like this, and no idea how thankful I am for each and every one of you out there reading this and my other stories. You're an amazing group of individuals and I consider myself lucky to be able to call myself part of this particular fanfic family. :)

Chloe Masen's story, Say Goodbye, was also nominated in the FCAs. Not only is CM one of my bestest friends in this fandom, but she's an incredibly talented writer as well. I would urge everyone to head over and check her stuff out. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Thank you to the lovely Rose Arcadia for pimping this story and rec'ing it. Your support and friendship are invaluable.

I think that about wraps it up for now.

I'll see you guys back here in a little over a week!