I can't believe this is it -but here it is! The end of this story. I really want to thank you guys for sticking along with me through it, as well as leaving me such useful (and flattering) reviews. Also, a great thanks goes to SUNFLOWER3759 for her wonderful editing skills. ...I should also disclaim (as i don't like to do) that these aren't my characters, but I've enjoyed toying with them, and i will continue to do some in later stories [because let's be honest, I don't think I can stay away from fanfic for too long]. I didn't say this before...I don't think, but this story was inspired by the song 'Love the Way You Lie' by Eminem ft. Rihanna. That's where the name, and some of the lines come from. I don't want it to bite me in the ass later that I didn't say that SO. Enough rambling -thank you for your reading and reviews...and,
Chapter 15: Reasons, Results, and Rock-a-bye's
-o- Monday 12:29pm -o-
"I have to admit," Jasper peers over the rim of his glasses, "I didn't think I'd be seeing the two of you together again like this."
"I'm just as surprised as you doc," I agree, "I'm sure Edward has been giving you updates."
"Yes he has," Jasper smiles happily, "But I'd love to hear more, especially from your point of view."
"It does tend to be more exciting," I grin at Edward.
Edward rolls his eyes, "Just tell him, would you?"
-o- 3 weeks ago Friday 1:24 pm -o-
"You are absolutely ridiculous, do you know that?" I snap at Edward as I fling my purse onto the sofa. I contemplate removing my heels and flinging them at him, but I didn't think that would be very productive.
I had come down to visit for the next couple of weeks, and Edward had invited me to some expensive dinner. He called me when I had reached the restaurant, apologizing profusely; he was going to be late. Now, the man's a doctor, so I couldn't be upset if something came up. But after waiting for an hour I decided to surprise him with a hospital visit, only to find that he had wasn't even at the hospital.
Edward and I had been doing the long distance shindig for the past year and a half, and though it wasn't perfect, I had never once regretted it. I trusted that he would be here, and be faithful to me, after everything we've been through. I know I'm allowed to have my doubts –because the man technically cheated twice –but I try my hardest not to reach the wrong conclusions. I just hated that he was lying about his whereabouts.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he keeps saying, "I just had to run a few errands."
"Errands, Edward? You kept me waiting for two hours and you want to blame errands," I scoff.
"Bella, it will all make sense soon, just trust me on this," Edward says.
"I do trust you," I tell him, and I am telling the truth. He hadn't given me any other reason to think otherwise over the past year. "But excuse me for being a little suspicious when my boyfriend is missing in action on a night where he invites me out. Just tell me where you were Edward. I won't get mad."
"You're already mad," he rolls his eyes.
"Because I was waiting for two fucking hours-," I scream in frustration.
Edward whips something out of his pocket that initially makes me flinch because really, you only pull guns out of your pocket that way. But instead of a weapon of destruction, all that's in his hand is a little blue velvet box. Instantly I feel like a bitch.
But could you really blame me?
"I have spent the past month searching all over for the perfect ring for you," he starts, "I visited over twenty jewelers until I found this one. And then, like an idiot, I let Tanya try it on, who got it stuck on her big pregnant fingers, and when she was washing her hands she dropped it into the active garbage disposal. I had to take it to get shined and buffed and shit, which apparently takes an unspeakable amount of time. Then, because the world basically hates me right now, I got scheduled for a surgery. I was picking up the ring when you were at the hospital."
"I," I stutter, "What the hell was I supposed to think, Edward-,"
"I know you have every right to be mad at me, and every right to be suspicious," he stops me, "but I will never hurt you, especially like that, again."
"Oh great, now I feel like some insensitive bitch that ruined your proposal-,"
"Fuck, Bella," Edward growls, "Would you just shut up, and marry me?"
-o- Monday 12:38pm –o-
"Please tell me he didn't actually propose like that," Jasper's eyes were as wide as saucers as he takes in the story.
"Oh," I snicker, "He did. Smooth isn't he?"
"She just wouldn't stop talking and let me propose," Edward groans, "I had this whole elaborate evening planned. I apologized right after."
"But you said yes," Jasper raises a brow.
Edward and I exchanged a glance, "Edward didn't tell you?" I ask.
"He had said he proposed, but he likes keeping me in suspense," Jasper rolls his eyes.
"We both agreed that we should wait a little longer," I say, "It's not because I don't love him. I do, truly. But it's only been around two years since the divorce."
Jasper let out a sigh of relief, "That's actually a very wise decision on both your parts."
Yes, I had rejected a marriage proposal from Edward, but I have my reasons. Though I love him with my entire being, a part of me knew that even after two years, we would be moving too fast. We don't need legal papers to show that we love each other, and marriage isn't a decision that should be taken lightly or in the spur of the moment. I don't think Edward and I considered that fully when we had originally gotten married. We were both young, and wanted different things for ourselves. Perhaps if we had taken that into consideration, we could have saved ourselves a lot of strife.
"So where do we go from here?" Jasper asks. I love the fact that he says 'we'. It's a reminder that he is here for us in this journey.
"Wait, wait, doc," Edward chuckles, "Would you believe there's more?"
-o- Two weeks ago Monday 4:54pm -o-
"Bella, this is really awkward," Tanya casts her eyes to the ceiling, avoiding eye contact.
"For God sakes Tanya, you've seen me naked before," I roll my eyes, and lean my elbows against my knees.
"I don't understand why I have to be in here while you pee. I can come in for the results," she whines.
"I don't want to be alone for any of it," I sigh, "I'm scared."
"Of peeing," she scoffs, "You owe me."
"I took your pig headed brother off your hands, that's payment enough," I remind her before jumping, "It's coming!"
"You really don't need to announce it," she squeals, "Just pee on the stick already."
I place the device between my legs and allow the warm stream of urine to sully it. There is only one other time in my life I cared so much about the pee coming out of my body, and that had been a life defining moment much like this one. Now here I am with Tanya again, waiting to see if this will be life changing as well. After I finish, I cap the contraption, and place it on the sink as gently as I can. I regard it with caution, as if dropping it would ruin the results. Tanya and I wait on the tiled floor of her master bathroom.
"Tanya, what if it's negative," I mope, "I won't be able to tell Edward."
"Are you really going to keep more secrets from him?" she slaps my arm, "No offense, but you don't need any more shit in your relationship. I'm surprised he's taking your rejection to the proposal so well."
I sigh, "I know, I know Tanya. But shit –it'll break him. I mean it's already messing me up. We don't need any more hurt."
"But what if it's positive? It's fifty-fifty Bella. You're just choosing to look at this negatively," she says, "Glass half empty and shit."
"Ugh, when your child pops out we have to cut down on the cuss words," I chuckle, "or else it'll turn out like us."
"We made the same promise when I was pregnant with Gracie," she snickers as she picks up my hand and gives it a squeeze. "Sweetie, it's time to check it. But remember, whatever the results are, I'm here for you, and Edward still loves you."
And despite the gaping hole that's threatening to rip my chest open from the anxiety –I believe her.
-o- Two weeks ago Monday 11:32pm -o-
I sit outside on the front step and wait for his arrival. I've been here for the past two hours, but not because he didn't call. Only because this is where Tanya left me, and I haven't the energy to get up and go inside. After the tears, after the laughter, after the talking, and even after the silence, I am exhausted. All I want is for Edward to come home and pick me up off the ground. All I want is for him to save me like he always does.
Then finally, from around the corner I can hear the soft purr of his engine, and soon his blue-white headlights are shining down the street. I watch as he parks the car, and rests his head against the steering wheel. It's alarmingly dark out, but even in this darkness I can see the pure tiredness on his face. He pulls his hands through his hair, once, twice, three times. I want to go in there, I want to hold him the way he holds me, but I don't. I don't because I know that those three minutes in the car are his way of leaving behind Doctor Masen, and stepping into Edward.
So when he has finally breathed it all out, he collects his things and gets out of the car. He makes his way to the front door where I know he'll be surprised at my sitting there. And he is.
"Beautiful, what are you doing on the ground," he murmurs, before putting down his briefcase and jacket.
"I'm waiting for you," I smile at him, my heart finally coming to rest.
"Didn't you get my text," he asks, as he hooks an arm around me and pulls me up. I don't know how he knows he needs to help me, but he does. He presses his lips to my nose in a small kiss, "You're freezing! How long have you been out here?"
"Not too long," I shrug as I pick up his briefcase and jacket for him, "I just missed you."
"I missed you too," he sighs, and gifts me with a proper kiss, one that makes my toes curl and the hairs on my neck stand.
I allow him about half an hour to situate himself while I dish out his dinner. My pulse begins to race as I anticipate the news I'm about to deliver, but I remember that no matter what, Edward loves me. Our dinner is relatively silent, the only conversation being about Edward's day. He talks about how he lost a patient on the table, and I know how hurt he must be feeling. He barely makes it through the meal, but I don't blame him because I couldn't even eat earlier. No matter how hard Tanya tried to force me.
And after I've cleared the table he scoots back his chair, a motion for me to sit on his lap. However this time I decline, not because I don't want to, but because I have something else in mind. I lean down and tenderly kiss at his neck before whispering for him to play for me.
We go to the piano, where he scoots over to allow room for me. He pulls my legs into his lap, and then proceeds to serenade me with one of his lullabies. I close my eyes and lean my head against his shoulder, embracing the moment and not quite wanting to let it go. Then I remind myself that things do change, and that it is inevitable. So with that, at the end of Edward's lullaby, I change everything.
"Can I show you something?" I ask him.
My voice startles him, but all the same he smiles, "Show me what?"
"On the piano," I tell him "I'm preparing a song."
He raises a brow, "Oh? This should be good."
"Shut up," I grumble, and swat his hands away.
The tune is shaky and unrecognizable at first, but then I gain confidence and I'm finally able to play. Edwards face goes through a range of emotions. At first it is obvious that he's trying to hold in laughter, but then, when he stops being an asshole, he joins in the playing and adds flourishes. Together the once simple tune gains dimension, and something once plain is now magnificent.
Twinkle-Twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky…
"That was great," he presses a kiss to the top of my head, "I'm proud of you."
I chuckle, wondering how it is that Edward hasn't figured it out as yet. But I'm not going to tell him because it'll be better when he says it.
"What are you preparing for," his face scrunches up in confusion. It is from this question that I doubt my husband's intelligence, and I truly hope that he's not this oblivious when he cuts into his patients. But because I love him despite his obtuseness, and because his face is adorable when it's scrunched up like this, I give him a clue.
"Well, I know I have nine months, but I figured I'll get a head start on it," I admit.
"Wait, but why would you need it in-,"
Then the moment I've been waiting for comes, and the news seeps in. In a flash of movement I'm ripped from my space in front of the piano, and he's kissing me, and hugging me, and loving me, and crying with me, and we're just twirling, twirling, twirling. And yes this is changing things, but for once it's for the better. It's for the very better. If that even makes sense.
I don't really care if it doesn't.
"I'm going to be a father?" he confirms.
"Yes, Edward," I'm barely able to say before he recaptures my lips, "You're going to be a father."
And suddenly he sinks to his knees, and I wonder if I'm going to have to call the ambulance for him. But then his arms are moving, and I know he's conscious, just barely. He lifts up my shirt, and leans his forehead against my flattened tummy. He presses a kiss, once, twice, three times, and I'm still just fucking twirling on the inside. Then he murmurs two words I hadn't expected him to say.
-o- Monday 12:45pm -o-
"Congratulations!" Jasper walks around the table to press a kiss to my cheek.
"Thank you, so much," I squeeze him as we embrace, the tears flowing freely now. I could blame the tears on the excess of hormones coursing through my body, but I'd be lying. "Thank you, for everything."
"You're more than welcome," he holds me tighter before releasing me, and exchanges a hug with Edward. "I don't see further reason for our therapy, however if you don't mind, I'd like to have one last session with the both of you."
"Sure," I smile, "But don't make it sound as if it's the last time you're seeing us Doc. You think I don't know about those times you and Edward went out?"
Jasper laughs, "He's alright, that one."
"He's been itching to have you over for dinner too," I roll my eyes at Edward, whose suddenly gone quiet with embarrassment; "Maybe I do have to worry about that affair."
He rolls his eyes, "Do me a favor Bella?"
"Try not to pass down all of your feistiness to your child," he laughs, "I don't think it'd be able to survive the double dosage from you and Edward."
"Will do, Jasper," I shake my head at his antics, "Will do."
-o- Thursday 12:56pm –o-three months later –o-
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Edward rushes through the door into the office, "I lost track of time."
I glare at him, "I told you about this meeting three weeks ago in advance and even told Nessie –how do you lose track of time? I flew up here for this."
He rolls his eyes, "Relax, Bella."
Did he just tell me to relax?
"Relax? You want me to relax?" I screech as I roll up my sleeves. I don't know why I'm doing it because it's not as if I'm going to punch him. Well, not in public at least.
"Yah, I do," he speaks slowly, as if I lack the intelligence to understand, "That's why I said it."
"Yah, well I'm about to say something pretty colorful you little fu-,"
Jasper clears his throat, gaining our attention. My cheeks heat from embarrassment, and anger. It's moments like these when I just want to reach out and scratch that stupid smirk off of Edward's stupid face.
"Bella, I see pregnancy is treating you well," Jasper chuckles, "as it is Edward."
"Oh no, she was like this before the pregnancy too," Edward says.
And then I slap him across the arm because I really can't hold it back any longer.
"Okay, okay," Jasper smiles, "how've we been doing?"
We fill him in, telling about our weeks and the pregnancy. Although it's only been a short amount of time, and physically there hasn't been much change, emotionally the pregnancy has been a catalyst. It's hard being so far from one another, but Edward's sure that by my second trimester, he'll be moved down to LA, and helping me throughout the rest of the pregnancy. I know he wants to be there for every second of it, but he has obligations down here, as do I in LA. The dynamics of our relationship have changed in a sense. I mean Edward and I were happy before, but now we are plain ecstatic. Very rarely do we grate on each other's nerves. Okay not rarely, but it definitely doesn't happen often.
"Definitely progress," Jasper nods, "A vast improvement."
"For some of us," Edward grumbles.
"I'm sorry, did you say something," I raise a brow.
"Guys," Jasper groans, "Look. I have one last exercise; let's just get through it okay? It's very simple. There are three hats, one labeled 'past', one 'present' and one 'future.' We will each pick a card out of the respective hats, and you must relate the item presented on the card to your marriage. Are we clear?"
First Edward sinks his hand into the hat labeled, 'past.' From it he draws a card with a golden urn printed on its face. His face contorts in confusion, "An urn?"
"Get creative," Jasper shrugs.
He thinks for a few moments, but finally comes up with something.
"Urns hold ashes right?" Edward starts, "Well…in a way, we can think of our past as ashes that we keep bottled up in an urn. But when we finally let go of the past, figuratively speaking, we throw our ashes to the wind."
My eyes widen at his explanation, not having expected any of that. I mean, I'm not sure what I did expect, but it definitely wasn't that.
"Bella? Would you like to draw next," Jasper asks.
"No," I shake my head, "It's fine. You can go."
Jasper's hand disappears within the pink fedora (why Jasper has a pink fedora I wouldn't know) and withdraws a card from the 'present' hat. On its surface an old fashioned record is depicted. He scratches at his scruff, pretending to be deep in thought. I know that he's probably seen all these cards a million times, and has a perfectly formulated answer for every one of them.
"Every day as your marriage progresses, you let go of the past grievances that pain you," he says, "but every day we are also making memories. It is essential to record these memories, and never let themgo."
Another answer seeps in, and I begin to feel the pressure of the exercise. I wonder if I can make such an insightful comment to a plain picture, but I feel as if I'll only make a fool of myself. With slight reservations, I reach into the 'future' hat and pull out a picture that makes me snort.
"A window," I laugh, immediately thinking of the night I escaped through the window, "Did you put this in here just for me, doc?"
Jasper chuckles at this, and even Edward has to snicker.
"Come on, Bella," Jasper says, "Pick something more positive…something pertaining to the future."
I stare at the card, as if the meaning will jump out at me. I look at Jasper, I look at Edward, and I think, what could a window mean? In all this time, with everything we've been through, what could a window say about our future?
Hoping for a little guidance from him, I look back at Edward beside me. I expect him to be staring at me waiting for my response, but instead he's glancing down with a small smile on his face. He runs his fingers over my hand, and gives me an encouraging squeeze. Though we might not be married, I know that I'll love this man forever. With that the image of our hands ingrained in my memory, and that small word 'forever' in mind, I know what I want to say.
"Even when every door slammed in our faces," I say, "and with every odd against us, we managed to find a window. We're opening it to our future."
-o- Sunday 4:06am –o-
"This is absolutely horrible," I huff as Edward helps me to sit down. The bulge of my stomach makes it incredibly difficult, but somehow we manage to get me on the side of the dock. "Any moment now Free Willy is going to start singing and expect a response from me."
Edward's loud guffaw disturbs the calm of the water in front of us, "You're cute you know that?"
"Cute…a whale…same difference," I huff, "Was there a point to this or…"
"You're an awfully impatient pregnant woman," he rolls his eyes, "In about a month you won't be able to do things like watch the sunset with me anymore. Then you'll regret it. "
"You won't be here in about a month if this sun doesn't come out soon," I smart.
"Such a pretty little mouth," he kisses me, his movements soft and caring, "such feisty little comments."
"It's either this, or I sugar coat it," I tell him, "Which do you prefer?"
"Lie to me," Edward chooses.
"I'm so excited," I giggle against his lips, "I would rather be here with you on this hard ass floor than in my cozy bed."
"Mm, tell me more," he encourages.
"I don't feel like I should be starring in a marine movie," I continue, "Your hair looks absolutely fabulous-,"
"Shh, look," he turns our heads to look at the approaching sun. And although I've been bitching the entire time about being dragged out here, I have to admit it that this is a devastatingly beautiful sight. But as I look at Edward and the way his emerald eyes overflow with adoration for me, I can't help but think the view pales in comparison.
I hold his hand in mine, and use our joined palms to brush his locks from his forehead. His lips draw closer to mine, and all I can think is that I will never get enough of this man.
"You are not perfect," I whisper against his mouth, "I'm not terribly in love with you."
I feel his smile as it makes his way across his face, uneven and yet perfect at the same time, "Bella?"
"Mhmm," I murmur as he captures my mouth.
"I absolutely love the way you lie."
Like it? Love it? Hate it? Don't really like the way Bella lies? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear.