Two Years Later

"Does anyone even remember the last time we had a girls' weekend?"

I consider Angela's question and realize that I don't remember, not exactly. I know it was sometime around a year after Edward and I started dating because it was right around the time the two of us moved in together and I don't think we've spent a weekend apart since then. At least, not until a month ago when he started a six week internship in Los Angeles. I didn't think it would have been that big of a deal - we'd lived apart for four years during college and even though I did miss him, it was tolerable. Turns out, when best friend becomes boyfriend and you go from sleeping with someone you love to sleeping alone every night, things aren't as easy. I have two weeks left before he comes back and I'm looking forward to the weekend with the girls to ease a bit of the loneliness I feel in Edward's absence.

"I think it was the winter before last." Rose's voice pulls me out of my head, confirming my own recollection that it had been far too long since we'd done this. "It was when Emmett and Jasper went on that road trip to see Edward at school."

"Ha! How could I forget that?" Alice cackles, "Tanya bitched about them going down there without us."

"I think it was more bitching about them going down there without her. Not us, just her," Angela says and Rose scoffs.

"I have to say, I'm rather surprised Tanya's coming this weekend. I mean, it's not like there's anything in it for her. Edward won't be there for her to oogle. Sorry, Bella."

"It's okay," I say to Rosalie from my place in the passenger's seat. I never harbored any illusions that Edward and I becoming a couple would curb Tanya's lust for him. Hell, she was still refusing to accept the fact that we were a couple at all. In her defense, if a defense should exist, Edward and I didn't really act all that differently in front of our friends than we did before that night at the cabin almost two years ago. I wasn't the most publicly affectionate person and aside from a quiet 'I love you' or peck on the lips here or there from Edward, the things that defined us as couple happened behind closed doors. I suppose she still had hope that things would go south between us.

"Why did we invite her again?" Alice asks. "I thought we'd established that she's a bitch, did we not?"

"I didn't mean to do it," Angela groaned as Alice glanced at her in the rearview mirror. "I was sending out the details and Ben was talking to me at the same time and I accidentally included her name in the group text. It was like reflex or something. I didn't even think she'd come since it's Bella's birthday and all. Sorry, Bella."

"Why does everyone keep apologizing to me? I know she doesn't like me. I know she's in love with my boyfriend. I just don't give a shit about either of those things. Seriously. I'm not concerned. Actually, strike that. I'm concerned about Jess having to ride up here with her."

"Well, she kind of dug her own grave on that one," Rosalie interjected. "She doesn't have to be so nice to her."

I turned in my seat to look at Rose. "You know, I don't expect anyone to shun Tanya on my behalf."

"That's big of you, Bells, but the girl wants your boyfriend's dick and she ain't shy about it. I get that you're not worried and that Edward would probably just as soon shoot himself than cheat on you but it's still disrespectful. So if you don't expect people to shun her on your behalf, I sure as hell do."

"You're a good friend, Rose." I smile at her and she smirks back at me.

"Eh. I try."

"I'm just glad it's not pouring down rain this time," Alice adds as she pulls into the cabin driveway. "Tanya's presence will be tolerated much easier if we're not stuck inside."


There is one bar (or maybe it's more of a tavern) in a fifty mile radius of the cabin - the Scorpion. It's main patrons are grizzled old men with logger beards who mumble to each other in low, rough tones and chain smoke at the bar even though it's technically not legal to smoke inside in this state. We haven't exactly frequented the place but we've gone there on occasion with the boys, usually on longer cabin trips when people are tired of cooking and just want something to be made for us. I'm pretty sure the pizza they serve there is the worst in three counties but no matter - they have recently installed a karaoke machine which, along with cheap beer and no frat boys around to hit on us, is a winning combination.

On Saturday night, after a few pre-function shots at the cabin, the six of us cram into Alice's car with Angela taking her turn as designated driver. We're dressed in our most comfortable jeans and sweatshirts and I don't think anyone's wearing more makeup than a couple coats of mascara. When we pull up to the Scorpion, there are actually quite a few cars in the parking lot and the hum of chit-chat and laughter is floating across the muggy September air.

When we make it into the bar, it's the busiest I've ever seen it. There's a group of older women who all look like they still listen to Whitesnake on the regular gathered around the pool table and working hard to catch the attention of some guys who are younger than them but still somewhere around my dad's age. The karaoke machine is already up and running with the speakers blaring the intro to "Free Bird" while a guy holding a half-full beer in one hand and the microphone in the other closes his eyes and sways to the music like he's having some sort of Lynard Skynard spiritual experience. We saddle up to the bar where the bartender (who looks something like what I imagine Santa Clause would look like if he were a biker) nods at us.

"Hello, ladies, what can I get you?"

"PBR!" Tanya yells and Rose turns to glare at her.

"No. Since when did you become a hipster?" Rose turns to the bartender. "What do you have on tap?"

He runs through a list that's considerably bigger than I would have expected for a bar in the middle of nowhere and Rose orders a couple of pitchers.

Jess wastes no time in putting her name down for the next song and has just enough time to slam back half of her beer before she's up on stage belting out 'I Love Rock and Roll'.

A few drinks later, I am well past buzzed and made my way through 'Like a Prayer', a duet of 'Love Shack' with Rose and 'Semi-Charmed Life', which I was shocked to find I remembered without even looking at the screen. Alice is finishing up 'Friends in Low Places' and we're all about ready to go when I notice Tanya walk back in the door with a guy about our age, dressed in filthy coveralls who is blushing like crazy and grinning at Tanya like he just won the lottery. I hadn't even realized she left and peeling my eyes away from her and the guy who is now freely touching her ass is going to be next to impossible.

I feel the table vibrate a bit and grab Alice's phone to hold up in front of my face. The screen is lit up with Jasper's picture. I accept the call and chat with him while Alice finishes her song.

"Hey, Jasper," I say, continuing to watch the mating dance Tanya is currently doing at the bar.

"Bells? Where are you guys? It's pretty loud."

"The Scorpion. I'm pretty sure Tanya just hooked up with a miner," I blurt out.

"What?! I know you guys don't like her much but you should stop her. Don't you think her getting arrested would ruin your weekend?"

"What? Why would she get arrested?"

"Well, if the kid's parents find out..."

A kid? What the fuck is he talking about? I never said anything about a kid...oh. OH!

"Not a kid! A miner. Like, a guy who digs up coal for a living or some shit like that. I don't know if that's what he really does. It's a pretty good guess though."

Jasper is silent for a minute before he begin laughing hysterically. "I didn't know prospectors hung out at the Scorpion."

His laugh is infectious and pretty soon I'm laughing right along with him, holding my stomach as I double over. Alice pries her phone from my fingers and pretty soon she's cracking up too.

"Alright!" Angela shouts over the noise in the bar. "I think it's time we took this party back to the cabin, ladies!"


It's probably the fact that I didn't eat much today and our dinner tonight consisted of cool ranch Doritos and a bowl of peanut butter M&Ms but the buzz we started at the bar doesn't feel like it's wearing off. We're all laying around in the living room, deciding what to do next. It's only ten o'clock - not nearly time for bed.

"Hey!" Jess yells over the hysterical giggling spurred by an impression of Emmett Rose was currently conducting on the couch. "Let's play a game!"

Multiple game suggestions and half and hour later, the six of us are gathered around the table crying with laughter over some of the things we were learning about each other. Nothing says 'girls weekend at the cabin' like a good old-fashioned dirty game of Loaded Questions.

"What's your favorite sex position?" Alice reads from the card then looks up as the rest of us giggle and begin to write our answers on our piece of paper.

"Alright! Time's up, give your papers to Bella," Alice announces and everyone hands their paper to me. I mix them up so Alice can't tell what order they were handed to me and begin to read them off.

"Okay. We've got doggy style, reverse cowgirl, the lotus, the ballerina and the dancer lift. Who said what?"

Alice taps her fingers against her lips for a moment. "Hmm. Reverse Cowgirl. Not too wild, but still a little dirty. Jess."

Jess pretends to be offended for a second before she giggles. "Yep, that was me."

"Doggy style - kind of impersonal. Tanya," Alice continues. I bark out a laugh and Tanya looks pissed.

"The lotus is too sweet for Rose..."

"Damn straight," Rose interjects and I scowl at her.

"Don't give her any clues!"

"She didn't," Alice says, "I knew it wasn't her. Bella is the lotus, Angela is the ballerina and Rose is the dancer lift, whatever the fuck that is."

"What makes you think it's me if you don't even know what it is?" Rose arches an eyebrow at Alice.

"If it involves lifting, it's got to be you. Have you seen the size of your boyfriend's biceps?"

"Well, wrong, wrong and wrong," I tell Alice, plunking down the last three answer sheets. "Angela said lotus, Rose said ballerina and I said dancer lift."

"Explain this dancer lift position to me," Alice takes another big swig of her gin and tonic then leans her chin on her upturned hand. "I've never heard of it."

I don't know why, but I'm suddenly a little bashful about explaining this to the group of them and I can feel my cheeks color with blush.

"Go on," Alice encourages with a flourish of her hand.

"Well, I don't know if that's what it's actually called. It's just the best name I can think of for it. It's like the dancer - you know, where you stand on one leg and he holds your other leg up under your knee with the crook of his elbow?"

"Continue," Rose nods at me.

"It's like that, only he holds up both legs - he lifts you up."

Their eyes widen as they consider this. Rose and Alice look intrigued, Tanya just looks jealous.

"Like against the wall?" Angela asks.

I shrug. "If you want, I guess you could. I just hold onto his shoulders."

Tanya has either had too much to drink or she is green with envy.

"Ooooh, Bella! Good for you! Edward's pretty lean, I wouldn't have thought he'd be that. I mean he's obviously no weakling, but holy shit!" Rose flashes me a wide grin and nudges me with her shoulder.

My phone buzzes in my pocket and and I pull it out to see Edward's crooked grin gracing the face of my phone. I hit accept and raise it to my ear.

"Speak of the devil."

"Uh oh. Do I even want to know what you're talking about?" Edward's deep voice comes over the line and I immediately feel a pang of missing him. Why I agreed to a full-weekend birthday trip without him is beyond me.

"Probably not. Boys don't want to know about girl talk."

Alice puts her mouth next to my ear and yells toward my phone. "Edward! Take Jasper to the gym with you, okay? Focus on upper body!"

"What? What is she talking about? And exactly how drunk is she?" Edward asks, clearly confused about why he should bring Jasper to the gym.

"Pretty drunk. Me too. I told them about my favorite sex position. I hope you're not embarrassed."

"Should I be?"

"NO!" I yell, probably too loudly, but it seems hard to control the volume of my voice right now. "I loooove it. That's why it's my favorite."

Everyone but Tanya cat calls me and Edward laughs.

"Well, we are pretty good at it."

I smile for him even though he can't see me.

"Hey - do you know what time it is?"

I shake my head. "No."

"It's after midnight. Happy birthday, babe. I love you."

Maybe it's the liquor but a pang of missing him hits me so hard that the tears spring to my eyes before I can stop them. I'm not a crier and even three sheets to the wind I realize how embarrassing this is.

"Oh! Oh no!" Alice rises from her chair and hurries around to hug me. "What's wrong, Bella? Don't cry, it'll be okay."

I keep my phone pressed against my face and lean into Alice, taking the comfort she offers.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong?" Edward asks softly.

I just hiccup as the tears begin to roll down my face.

"Bella, can I talk to Alice?"

Alice is close enough to me that she can hear what Edward's saying through the phone and she pries it from my fingers to speak with Edward.

"Mmmhmm...yeah...mmmhmm," Alice mumbles her agreement with whatever Edward is saying before she ends the call and lays my phone on the table.

"I'm actually pretty tired," Alice says. "I'm going to bed, what do you say, Bella?"

"You guys don't have to go to bed just because I'm being lame!" The thought that I might have ruined the fun threatens to bring on a new round of tears.

"You're not being lame. I'm done for the night." Alice holds up her drink.

"Besides, anymore of this and I'm waking up with the mother of all hangovers tomorrow."

I follow Alice back to the bathroom where she hands me a make-up remover cloth and I wipe the streaked mascara from my face and brush my teeth before going back to the twin room.

"Do you want me to lay here with you for awhile?" Alice hesitates next to the bed.

"You don't have to."

"I didn't ask if I had to, I asked if you wanted me to."

I nod and she gets under the covers next to me.

"Happy birthday, Bells."

"Thanks, Ali." I reach out and take her hand.

"No problem."


I expected to see Alice there next to me when I woke up but when my eyes finally flutter open I'm met with the vibrant emerald gaze that makes my heart want to both stop and beat right out of my chest at once.

"Edward." I breathe and just stare at him, stunned by his sudden appearance. He looks tired and there's more stubble covering his jaw than usual but his grin lights up his face. "Why aren't you in L.A.?"

"Well, all of us guys were going to come up here tonight and surprise you but when we talked last night I changed to the red eye flight and drove here straight from the airport."

"Oh my God. I ruined the surprise." And also sobbed in front of everyone just because I hadn't seen my boyfriend in a while. Pathetic.

"Nah, you didn't. You were surprised to see me here instead of Alice, right?"


He reaches toward me and wraps one hand around my waist while he slips the other underneath me and pulls me closer to him until we're eye level. My toes only reach to the very bottom of his knee caps and her jerks his leg back.

"Your toes are like ice," he teases but moves back, crushing us together as tightly as he can.

He presses his lips against mine and my fingers find their favorite place, buried in his thick, silky hair. I pour all of my longing and need for him into the kiss, opening my lips to let his tongue slide against my own, to welcome the taste of him in my mouth.

When we finally part, Edward disengages his arms from mine and pulls his white t-shirt over his head before unbuttoning my flannel pajama top until my breasts are exposed to him.

"I just want to feel you," he murmurs, ghosting his hands over my chest softly, reverently even, then pulls me back against him, tangling our legs together and burying his face in my hair.

"I missed you so bad, Bella," he whispers. "I can't sleep without you."

"Me neither." I breathe a sigh of relief at the touch of his warm skin against my own as I drift off to sleep just barely aware of the soft thump-thump of his heart beneath my breast.


If not for the fact that I woke up nearly smothered in Edward's grasp, I could have probably been convinced that his appearance last night was a dream. For the amount that I drank, I felt only slightly groggy and really not too bad. Plus, there was a certain something digging into my thigh that I'd missed badly and having it right here in front of me was rather uplifting.

I pried one hand loose from between Edward and I and moved it down to where I could stroke him through the sweatpants he wore until he groaned softly and rolled over onto his back, pulling me with him. He cracked one eye open at me and smirked while I straddled his hips and sat up to fling my open pajama shirt the rest of the way off and lift my hips off of him just enough to shove his sweatpants and boxer briefs just clear of his erection.

He raises an eyebrow at me, grunting softly as I take him into one hand and shove my panties to the side with the other.

"Is this okay?" I ask him, hoping to God he doesn't need romance right now. I need to feel him inside of me, connected to me, the way I need air. I've been deprived too long and it's like I might die without it.

"It's more than okay," he rasps, eyes fixed on mine, reflecting back at me the hunger in my own.

I drop my hips, taking him into my body until there's nowhere further for him to go, until my bottom is cradled against his pelvis. I lean forward with my arms on either side of his face and he meets me in a kiss at the same time that he thrusts his hips upward, slowly at first, causing the tip of his cock to tap against my cervix and a shudder to run through my body.

I sit up again as Edward picks up the pace and his expression shift from sleepy lust to determination. I lean back with my hands fisting the sweatpants bunched around his knees, bracing myself for the release I can feel building in my tingling thighs and for the ride I know Edward is about to give me.

"You look so fucking hot bouncing on my cock," he growls, eyes glued to where he slides in and out of me. I love when he gets a little dirty. I reach out with one hand, eyes scrunched shut and grasping for him blindly, and he releases my hips to take my take my hands.

"God, Bella, I'm not going to last long," he pants through labored breaths as my body crashes against him.

"It's okay, Edward... let go... let go," I tell him between breathy squeals each time we connect completely.

If he wanted me to come first he doesn't need to worry because one more stroke and I'm over the edge, writhing on top of him and clamping down to hold him within me.

"Oh my...fuck," Edward moans and sucks in a stilted breath as he comes.

He relaxes his arms, never letting go of my hands while I pant on top of him, still sitting in his lap.

"Holy shit, Bella. I haven't come that hard in...I don't know. Forever."

"I know. That wasn't even all that wild for us either," I let go of one of his hands and run my fingers through the sparse hair on his chest.

"Absence makes the cock grow harder," he leers.

"Ew! It's 'heart grow fonder', you perv!" I giggle and slap his chest. "I can't imagine what I see in you."

He grins and crooks his finger at me until I lean forward and hover over his lips and give him a peck, then another, then a third for good measure.

I hear a faint giggling from outside the bedroom, alerting me to the fact that at least some of the girls are up. I knew that at least Jessica and Alice were up - I could hear them singing a duet of the theme from the Golden Girls. I guess we know what's on TV this morning.

"Okay, babe. I'm going to need you to remove your boxers," I tell Edward rolling off of him.

"I don't think I can go again yet. I'm not seventeen anymore, I need some recovery time."

"Just give me your boxers." I hold out my hand. "I have to go to the bathroom and I'm not wearing my panties. They're my favorite ones and, no offense, I don't want to get any of your jizz on them."

He shrugs and hands them over. "Fair enough."

I lift my up off the bed and pull his boxers over my hips then roll them a couple of times at the waist before I lean over the side of the bed and pick his t-shirt from the floor. "I'll take this too."

Once I'm covered I jump off the bed and fling open the door then scurry down the hall toward the bathroom.

Rose comes out of her bedroom just as I pass and does a double take.

"Bella? What are you...why are you wearing dude clothes?"

I ignore her and continue into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me.

I finish up and just start to wash my hands when I hear Rose shriek.

"Edward Cullen, what are you doing here? This is a girls' weekend and you are certainly not a girl!"


Edward apologizes to the girls for barging in our on girls weekend and not a single one of them passes up a chance to tease the two of us for not being able to be apart before they concede that they really don't mind that he's here. Since it's my birthday, Rose makes me crepes for breakfast since they're my favorite and Edward downs six of them before he declares himself stuffed and ready to go down to the lake.

"Okay - bathing suit time!" I say happily, jumping up from the table to rinse off my plate. The sun is shining, it's my birthday and Edward is here. I am in a really fucking good mood.

I practically skip back to the twin room and my morning is made even better when I fling open the door to find Edward standing buck naked with his swim shorts in his hand. I shut the door behind me and click the lock, saunter toward him with a smirk until I'm right in front of him, pressed up against him.

"You know," I say, looking up at him through my lashes and ghosting my fingers up and down the side of his growing erection, "you're not supposed to swim for a half an hour after you eat. I wonder what we should do to pass the time?"

Edward shrugs and twirls a piece of my hair around his finger while I sink to my knees and wrap my fingers around him to pump him a few times. He gathers the rest of my hair up in his hand and holds it in a makeshift ponytail while he puts a bit of gentle pressure on the back of my skull, nudging me closer to him. I tap the head of his cock against my closed lips once and then again before I open up for him and bring him into my mouth, hallowing out my cheeks and sucking with just enough pressure to make him groan before I release him with a pop and run my tongue across the underside of his tip.

"More?" I taunt Edward and watch him nod frantically before I put him back in my mouth and hum around him. He makes a noise that's somewhere between a moan and a whimper when I start a pace, back and forth, in and out, until I feel his testicles twitch under my fingers, signaling me that he's almost there. He tightens his grip around my hair and I squeeze his testicles, lightly, just enough to finish him off until his release hits the back of my throat and I swallow everything he gives me.

Edward's hands fall to his sides and I stand up on my tiptoes to peck him on the lips then strip off my shirt and shorts to tie on my bikini. Edward stands there watching, shamelessly oogling me until I stalk past him, slapping him on the ass on my way out.

"See you down there, buddy."


"Did anybody bring any sunscreen down here?" Alice asks from her place between me and Rose. All of us girls are laid out on the beach trying to soak up as much sun as possible. It's actually pretty hot out here when you're in the direct sun and I'm hoping to get enough color this weekend to last me half way to Halloween.

"Sunscreen? Are you kidding me?" Rose looks at Alice over her sunglasses.

"I don't want my tattoo to fade," Alice whines, waving her wrist in the air, the one with the tiny black lettering on the underside.

"Then turn it toward your towel. Take the sun while you can get it," Rose tells her before she turns over to sun her back.

The crunch of footsteps in gravel sounds behind us, growing closer and closer until the steps are muffled in the sand on the beach and Edward walks past balancing a kayak over his head. His shorts are riding low on his hips, almost indecently so, and all of us turn our heads as he walks in front of us. He flashes a crooked grin as he walks by and when I shove my sunglasses on top of my head to get a better look at him, he winks at me.

"Yeah, Edward! You're looking awfully jacked and tan today," Rose calls while he swings the kayak down into the water, "I didn't know we'd be going to the gun show today."

"Uh...thanks?" Edward looks a little bashful - he's not great at taking compliments.

"I would like to preface this by saying that I mean this as platonically as possible considering the fact that I think of him like a brother," Jess mutters so only the girls can hear, "but...damn. I haven't seen Edward without a shirt on for awhile and you are one lucky bitch, Bella."

I won't disagree with her there.

Edward is still standing outside the kayak, shading his eyes from the sun with one hand while he motions for me to come over to him with the other but I shake my head.

"Come on!" he begs.

"I don't want to get wet yet!"

"I want to show you something. Please," his smile fades a bit and I know he's not playing. He really wants to show me something. I dig the heels of my hands into the sand and push my self up to pad through the sand down to where he has the kayak floating in the lake.

"What is it?"

"It's over there," he points across the lake to a little cove where the woods are thick with beautiful silver birch trees. "Sit behind me and I'll paddle."

He holds the boat steady while I climb into it and then try to shift my weight to keep us from tipping over while he climbs in. Once he's settled, I wrap my arms around his stomach and lean my cheek against his back. Before I know it, the warmth of the sun on my back, the lapping waves against the kayak and rippling movement of Edward's muscles as he moves the paddle through the water has lulled me to sleep.


"Bella?" Edward shakes my arm gently. "Bella, we're here."

I blink a few times, slowly, letting my eyes focus in the blinding, glittering light reflecting off the water and unhook my arms from around Edward's torso so he can climb out of the kayak. He take the mini-anchor out of the little compartment where you can store fish, if you were so inclined to catch any while in this tiny boat, and drops in into the water. Reaching out his arms for me, I lean forward and wrap my arms around his neck and let him pull me from the kayak. The water is shockingly cold against my sun-warmed skin and I practically climb Edward's body to lift myself out of it.

He locks his hands together under my bottom and I relax knowing he won't drop me. With the undersides of my arms resting on his shoulders I bend my elbows to lace my fingers in his hair and touch the tip of my nose to his.

"What did you want to show me?"

He tilts his head down and I can feel his long eyelashes flutter against my cheek each time he blinks.

"Do you love me, Bella?"

I tug on his hair, forcing him to look back up at me.

"Are you serious?"

The lines between his eyebrows get deeper. He's nervous about something and it's rubbing off on me.

"Edward. Sweetheart. You know I love you. I tell you everyday and I mean it when I say it. Have I given you some reason to think I don't?"

The edges of his mouth twitch up, just a bit, like he wants to smile but whatever it is that's got him wound up hasn't quite dissipated yet.

"No, Bella, it isn't that. I just wanted to hear's just...fuck, I don't know why it's so hard to spit this out. It should be easy."

I smile at him and push his hair back off his forehead.

"Bella, I love you so much, if you only loved me a tenth as much, it would be enough for me. This last month away from you, it was really hard. I don't want to do that ever again." He reaches behind me into the kayak and fiddles with something while I cling to him, squeezing his hips between my thighs.

I don't know what I was expecting to see when he pulled back his hand but I can tell you it was not the sparkling diamond ring he's holding between his fingers.


"Bella, will you marry me? Please?"

I swear to God, the shriek that came out of my mouth came out of nowhere and the joy that coursed through my body at that second was uncontrollable. If I squeezed Edward any harder, he'd asphyxiate for sure.

"Is that a yes?"

"Edward," I take his face in my hands and whisper against his lips, "I'll marry you, I'll marry you, I'll marry you."

Our lips crash together before Edward pulls us apart, if only for a moment, to slip the ring on my finger. I don't take the time to look at it. I'll look later. For now, I just want to love him.

We kiss and we kiss until we can't breath and have to part to suck oxygen into our lungs and then we kiss again. My arms never unlock from around his neck and he pulls on the strings of my bikini bottoms until they come free and he flings the tiny piece of soaked fabric into the kayak. His hands come between us, working to untie his shorts while his knuckles brush against my pussy over and over as he struggles to free the laces. Once they're finally undone, I release the hold I have around his waist and stand in the sandy bed of the lake so that he can remove his shorts one leg at a time, careful not to lose them, and toss them into the boat with my own suit. He steps closer to me until his erection is pressed against my belly and his hands caress the sides of my rib cage up to the undersides of my breasts which he frees from the cups of my swimsuit.

My leg hooks around the back of his thigh and he lifts me up again, holding me a little higher and positioning himself to ease into my body. When I've taken him all the way inside he adjusts his arms to support all of my weight. He doesn't pound in and out of me and he doesn't leave me to it either. He only moves his hips just slightly, just enough to feel the fullness of our connection, and his eyes pierce my own with the love he imparts to me with each stroke. The water swirls around us and all we can hear is the soft calls of the birds in the woods and our own ragged breath. He pours attention over my breasts, dipping his head to tenderly take each nipple into his mouth and I use his shoulders as leverage to increase the friction between us. My entire body comes alive with sensation as the tension in my body releases and I cling to Edward, muffling the cry of my pleasure against his shoulder. Edward's not far behind and he reaches out for the boat, trying to steady himself while he rides out his orgasm.

"I love you, Bella, so much I could never even tell you," he says then gives me one last searing kiss before removing himself from my body.

When his breathing returns to normal, he retrieves our suit bottoms from the boat and helps me to tie mine back on then lifts me back into the boat. On the ride back across the lake, I pull my hand from around Edward's waist and gaze at the ring on my finger. It's both simple and intricate, new looking and kind of vintage, with a silver-toned band of some sort. Whether it's white gold or platinum, I don't know or care. I wouldn't care if he got the damned thing out of a vending machine. There's one large diamond in the center surrounded by a number of smaller ones. It's impressive, that's for sure. I never would have imagined myself wearing a ring this big but it doesn't look out of place on my hand.

"Do you like it?" Edward asks me quietly with that anxious tone again.

"It's perfect. How did you pick it?" I wasn't really the type of girl to talk about weddings and big white dresses and fancy engagement rings. I've never said what type of ring I like or don't like.

"Well, Emmett helped me, actually. Kind of. We went into the jewelers to look at rings for Rose. He described Rose's style and the clerk pulled out this ring. I thought it was beautiful and I couldn't help but hope he wouldn't choose it because I wanted it for you. Lucky for me, he said it was nice but not quite what he wanted. He said it was 'a Bella ring, not a Rose ring' and he was right, it was like he read my mind. I went back and got it the next day."

"Edward - Rose and Emmett have been engaged for six months."


"You've had this ring for six months?"

He shrugged. "I've known you for fifteen years, Bella. I've been in love with you for half of them if I really consider it. I was ready to marry you the second you kissed me in the twin room a couple of years ago."

"Why were you so nervous about asking me then?" I peel my eyes from my hand and wrap my arms back around him, kissing the constellation of freckles on his back.

"How could I not have been? You're the only one I want for the rest of my life. That's kind of a lot to ask of someone else."

"What, that I'd want you for the rest of my life too?"


"Well, I do. The rest of my life and whatever happens after that."

We're nearing the beach and the girls rouse when Edward jumps out of the kayak and into the lake, splashing them with the cold water.

"Edward!" Tanya shrieks then makes a show of wiping non-existent droplets off her boobs.

"Mike called, they should be here any second,"Jess says. "Surprise," she adds sarcastically but not necessarily disappointed. We gave up on the whole girls only thing the second I started balling my eyes out last night.

On cue, Emmett, Jasper, Mike and Ben come clomping down the path to the beach, already dressed in their swim trunks and cracking up about something. Emmett bounds over to me and swings me up into his arms, squeezing the air out of me and flopping me around like a ragdoll.

"Happy Birthday, Bells!" he bellows then passes me to Jasper who is only minutely less enthusiastic than Emmett.


Jasper drops me and we turn to look at the source of the ear splitting sound which appears to have come from Alice.

"What. Is. On. Your. Hand?" Alice stops her little wiggling, jumping dance and hold her hand out to me. I do my best version of an Edward-style crooked smile and place my hand daintily into hers.

"Bella, that's beautiful!" Angela coos and grins at Edward, "Nice job, Edward!"

I turn to Tanya and I can't resist. I hold my hand out toward her. "What do you think, huh?"

She lifts her sunglasses and feigns indifference. "It's nice. A little ostentatious, maybe."

"Well, don't worry," Rose tells her, "I'm sure Prospector Pete can dig you up something not quite so ostentatious, as you put it. If you're seeing him again, that is."

"Shut up, Rose. And his name isn't Pete! It'''s not Pete!"

The boys watch the mini cat fight until Emmett rolls his eyes and speaks up.

"Dude! I thought you were going to wait until tonight so we could all see it!" Emmett crosses his arms over his chest.

"Nah, man. It didn't feel right. I was nervous enough, I didn't need an audience."

"Yeah, I hear that. You have to concentrate when you're trying to lock down your lady for life," Emmett nods and pulls Rose into his side.

"Emmett! I'm not property. I'm not 'locked down' and neither is Bella."

"Ah, well," I sigh, looking up at Edward. "Maybe so, but I suppose being locked down to Edward wouldn't be so terrible." He smiles and I give him a wink of my own.

"Some feminist you are, Bella Swan!" Rose chides with her hands on her hips.

"Alright, enough of this. It's awfully hot out here, don't you think?" Jasper doesn't wait for a reply before he picks up Alice and makes a dash for the water and jumps right off the dock with Alice screaming the whole way. I don't even have time to see them resurface before my fiance throws me over his shoulder and takes off.

My fiance. Edward's been my friend, then my best friend, then my boyfriend. But fiance? That is by far the best yet.