Disclaimer: I don't own it.
"Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings." ~Laozi
"Hey, we have to get up." Bella whispered, combing her fingers through my hair and pushing it off my forehead.
I shook my head, not bothering to open my eyes as I responded. "Correction. You have to get up. I just have to get dressed and show up, that will take me half an hour― forty-five minutes if I decide to shave."
"I hate you so much right now." I lazily lifted my lids, taking in her narrowed eyes and bottom lip stuck out in a ridiculous pout.
"No you don't." I laughed, pulling her against me and biting her still protruding lip. "You love me."
"Fine. But I don't like you." She gave me a quick peck on the lips, before throwing back the covers and climbing out of bed.
I jerked upright before she could climb completely out of bed, grabbed the waistband of her panties and pulled her back on top of me.
"Hey!" she shrieked, her arms flying out to her sides as she tried to grab a hold of something.
I flipped us over, pinning her underneath me, my hands holding her wrists above her head as I pressed our bare chests together. "Where do you think you're going?"
"I have to meet Rose in less than an hour, do you really want to deal with her if I'm late?"
Shit. I didn't think about that. I didn't have the slightest interest in dealing with her today. Not today.
"Fine. Go do your girly shit." I kissed her lips, her jaw and down her neck, alternating between nips and licks as I moved my mouth over her skin.
She let out a deep sigh and arched her neck so I could have better access, her nails dragging through the back of my hair. I slid my hand down her side, my fingers already tugging at the top of her panties when my phone rang, and someone knocked on the front door.
"Ugh," Bella groaned, her now free hand covering her eyes.
"Shit." I flexed my hips right before the knocking started again.
I rolled off her and covered my face with a pillow, I knew better than to watch her walk across the room in just her underwear, the sight of her naked skin is what started this in the first place.
"Just a sec." she yelled, banging around in the bathroom doing God knows what. "Edward, answer the door."
I heaved a sigh and rolled out of bed, tugging on a t-shirt and basketball shorts before opening the front door.
"Is Bella ready?" Rose asked, looking around me.
"Good morning to you, too." I yawned, opening the door wider for her to come in.
"Yes, I'm ready." Bella walked into the room, her arms extended above her head while she finished pulling her hair into a ponytail.
"Sorry, Edward, but we have a busy day." Rose grabbed Bella's hand and smiled, tugging her toward the door. "Don't worry, you'll get her back in even better condition than she is now."
I grabbed Bella's other hand and pulled her to a stop. "Don't go making her look all crazy Rose, she's perfect the way she is." I kissed Bella's smiling lips, ignoring Rose's gagging sound.
"I'll see you later, okay?" she whispered, squeezing my hand.
"I'll be waiting."
After Bella and Rose took off, I jumped in the shower and grabbed some breakfast before calling Dad and Emmett to see what they wanted to do today. The girls would be busy most of the day, so I didn't really plan on seeing them until later tonight.
"I want to eat a pig." Emmett declared the moment he answered the phone.
I choked a little on the sip of water I'd just taken. "Okay, and what exactly are Dad and I going to do while you're eating said pig?" I asked, holding the phone to my ear with my shoulder as I pulled on my shoe.
"I don't know, eat your own pig?"
I rolled my eyes, and grabbed my keys and suit. "Why don't we talk about this when I get there, I'm walking out the door now."
Twenty minutes later I was shuffling into Emmett's hotel room, which was the temperature of a meat locker.
"Holy shit, man. What do you have the thermostat set at?" An involuntary shiver ran down my spine as a blast of arctic air hit my already sweaty skin.
"I don't know. How you can stand the heat here?" Emmett whined. I followed him into the living room where he fell dramatically onto the couch and fanned his face.
I shrugged and grinned. "You get used to it. Plus you spend a lot more time wearing a lot less clothing."
"I feel as though I should make my presence known before you two start talking about things a parent has no interest in knowing about their children." Dad said dryly, as he strolled into the room.
"Hey Dad. Where's Mom?"
He scrunched up his face like he smelled something bad and shook his head. "The girls came by earlier and collected her. I don't expect to see her again until tonight."
"What's with the face?" I chuckled, pushing Emmett's feet off the couch so I could sit down.
"They were just a little...intense."
"And by they, you mean Rose."
"Hey," Emmett cut in, lifting his foot and kicking me.
"What? You know it's the truth." I stared at him, waiting for him to disagree, which of course he didn't.
"Alright you two." Dad chided. "You can bicker in the car, I want to see the island."
We hopped into the Jeep Emmett had rented and took off toward Diamond Head. He'd informed us that he had no interest in dying of heat stroke so we wouldn't be doing any physical activity. Instead of hiking Diamond Head, I was going to drive down the coast and show them the island.
Bella and I had done the same thing shortly after we got settled in, her excitement over even the smallest thing still made me smile.
"Edward, oh my God, it's the trees from Lost. I mean, I knew the show was filmed here, but l never thought I'd actually get to see them in real life. Look, at the roots! They're above the ground!"
Everything had fallen into place just the way we hoped, even if there were a few bumps along the way. Like when she was passed over for the first few jobs she applied for.
"Edward, it's been six weeks. Maybe I should just get a job at the mall or something, I can't just keep sitting here doing nothing." Her elbows were propped on the kitchen table, her face cradled in her hands and her fingers wound into her hair.
I walked over to her chair and turned it so she was facing me. Squatting in front of her I rubbed the top of her thighs, and waited for her to look at me.
When her eyes met mine I told her the same thing I'd said last time she wasn't offered a job she applied for. "You know that's not going to do any good. If you start a new job then you're going to have to ask for time off when you have interviews, and when you do get a job in your field you'll just have to turn around and quit. It doesn't make any sense for you to get some random job. You know we don't need the money."
"I know," she sighed, placing her hands on top of mine and squeezing. "It's not even about the money, we've talked about that. I'm just honestly going stir crazy. You're gone all day and I don't know what to do with myself."
I had been surprised when she didn't harp on the money factor after we got settled in. But she just laughed it off and said she could work a dozen part time jobs and still not be able to contribute enough for half the expenses, so arguing about it was pointless. I agreed.
I pulled her to her feet and walked us into the living room before falling onto the couch and bringing her with me. "We'll figure something out."
I flipped on the television for noise and ran my fingers through her hair with one hand while she traced patterns over my other arm with the tips of her fingers. I loved being with her like this, feeling the weight of her body pressed against mine, a reminder that she was here with me, that we would never be apart again.
"Hey, I know the aquarium doesn't have the position you were looking for, but what about volunteering? Maybe then you'd have an inside track on any upcoming positions."
She lifted her head from my chest and smiled down at me, her eyes bright with excitement. "That." she dipped her head down and kissed my lips quickly. "Is." Kiss. "An excellent." Kiss. "Idea." Kiss.
"I have all kinds of good ideas. If you want I can tell you all about them." I slid my hands down to her ass and pushed her against me as I rocked my hips.
"How about you show me instead?" she whispered before pushing her tongue into my mouth and shutting us both up.
We skipped dinner that night.
And just like I predicted, two weeks later she came flying through the front door and launched herself at me on the couch.
"UH called. I got the job, I got it! Oh my god, Edward, it's going to be amazing!" She wrapped her arms around my neck, my entire body falling forward as I tried to steady myself from her surprise attack.
"Whoa. What happened? What job?" She'd applied for so many at this point I wasn't exactly sure which one she was referring to. Not that it mattered because whatever it was made her really fucking happy.
"University of Hawaii. The Waikiki Aquarium is part of the university. Anyway the director at the aquarium was talking to me a lunch today when I got a call from the Oceanography Research Department. I applied to work on their new coral reef conservation project after I'd heard some of the staff say their grant was approved and I got it!" Her words came out so fast I was barely able to keep up.
"That's great baby, I'm so fucking proud of you." Her smile was nothing short of blinding as I tucked her against my side and slid back on the couch. "Tell me everything."
She did too, for the rest of the night, and pretty much every day since. Not that I minded, we were both settling into our lives here, and while we missed our families like crazy, being here together made anything bearable.
"Edward!" Emmett yelled, snapping his fingers in front of my face.
"Dude, I've been talking to you for the past ten minutes. Have you heard anything I've said?"
"Yeah, sorry. Not a word."
"I asked, when do I get to eat a pig?"
I sighed and shook my head. Since he arrived a couple of days ago it was the only thing he'd talked about. "Fine. But if you vomit tonight it's not my fault."
We drove around for another couple of hours before finding a local dive that roasted whole hogs. As soon as we stepped out of the Jeep, Emmett took off to the side of the building where an entire hog, with a metal pole running though it, was being rotated over a low flame.
Before Dad and I could even get to the front of the building Emmett came barrelling around the corner, his eyes wide.
"What the fuck was that?" He gasped, his head twisting to look over his shoulder like he was being chased.
"What was what?" What in the hell was he talking about?
"The pig." He panted. "Its head was attached and..." he trailed off as Dad covered his mouth to try and stifle his laugh.
"Well, yeah." I answered, not really sure what in the hell his problem was. He just shook his head and walked through the front door and directly to the counter.
"You don't have any cows back there do you?" He asked the cashier.
Dad and I gave him matching 'what the fuck' faces which he waived off and turned his attention back to the cashier.
"No." The girl answered hesitantly, her expression matching my own.
"Good. Great. I'll have a burger. Well done."
We found a table in the back and I was about to ask him what his deal was, when I heard him mutter something about black, lifeless eyes. He shuddered so violently the table shook. Of course that could have been from Dad who was doubled over laughing at Emmett's dumb ass.
"Oh man, I forgot what it's like to be around the two of you for extended periods of time. I knew all those times your Mom dropped you on your heads was going to have an effect at some point."
"Hey, don't drag me into this!" I interrupted, "this is Emmett's show. And don't think I missed the head dropping comment." I shot him a look letting him know I wasn't the least bit amused.
He rolled his eyes, obviously not even a little concerned before glancing down at his watch. "Alright boys, we need to head back to the hotel, it's almost time."
I cut my eyes over to Emmett, who was already staring at me and swallowed hard. "Let's go then."
I pulled out my phone and sent Bella a quick text, letting her know we were on our way to the hotel, before heading out to the Jeep. The ride back was mostly quiet, everyone taking a little time to relax and chill.
I was the first to shower and dress, so instead of sitting around waiting for Dad and Emmett to get ready, I slipped out of the room to find Bella.
"Damn baby, you look fucking gorgeous." I exhaled as I stepped behind her.
"What are you doing in here," she hissed her eyes darting toward the door.
"I wanted to see you." And holy shit it was a bad idea, because she took my fucking breath away.
Her hair was twisted in some kind of braid that wrapped around her head, with small pieces pulled out and falling around her face and neck. Her makeup was darker than normal and it made her look almost unreal. In a good way.
"You can't be in here. Rose is gonna kick your ass if she catches you."
I moved until my body was flush against hers and wrapped my arms around her waist. "I'm not really worried about Rose now right." I glided my hands up the smooth silk that covered her ass, to her back which was completely exposed.
I lifted my eyes to the mirror behind her as I trailed my fingers up her spine.
"Edward." Her attempt to sound stern no more than an exhaled sigh.
"Turn around, baby, look at you." I turned her slowly until her back was to my front and curled my fingers around her hips, anchoring her to me. I dropped my lips to her shoulder and kissed my way up her neck until I reached her ear.
"I want to rip this pretty dress from your body and brace your hands like this." I reached for her hands and laced our fingers together, positioning them on either side of the mirror. "So when I put my hands here," I moved one hand to her lower back and pressed down so her back arched, while I wrapped my other hand around her hip, "and push into you," I pressed my hips against her, "we can watch each other come."
"Oh my God." she moaned, pressing back against me as she closed her eyes tightly.
"Will you let me?" I bit gently on her earlobe and tugged.
She pushed off the wall and turned, wrapping her arms around my neck and yanking my head down as she pressed her lips to mine. "You have to get out of here." She whispered, putting a little space between us.
"Okay, I'll see you in a few."
"Meet you at the end of the aisle." She grinned.
My chest tightened at the thought as I turned and slipped out of the room before Rose could catch me.
"Where have you been?" Dad asked, sliding on his khaki suit jacket that matched mine.
"I might have snuck in to see Bella." I looked toward the bathroom to make sure Emmett hadn't heard, the last thing I needed was him on my ass.
"Did you see your Mother?"
"No, just Bella."
He opened his mouth then snapped it shut quickly as the bathroom door opened.
"Are we ready?" Emmett asked, tightening his tie.
"Yup. I called down to the lobby and spoke with the wedding coordinator, everything is ready to go." Dad smiled, clapping Emmett on the back.
"Let's go have a wedding then." I grinned, opening the door.
We walked through the lobby and out the back where a gazebo had been set up on the beach. Bright yellow and blue flowers and strands of white lights were attached to everything not moving.
The sun was just beginning to set, and even I had to admit that it was pretty fucking amazing. Emmett and I walked to the end of the aisle as Dad waited for Mom to join him.
I leaned into Emmett and whispered, "where are Randall and Mary?"
He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "They went golfing earlier. Mom called while Dad was in the shower, and you thought you were being slick sneaking out, to let me know they were on their way down."
I grinned and shrugged one shoulder, not really giving a shit that I'd been caught. I thought back to my exchange with Bella in front of the mirror and no, I definitely didn't care.
The music started and our heads snapped to the end of the aisle just as Bella came around the corner, the wind catching the bottom of her light green dress and whipping it around her legs.
Without taking my eyes off of Bella, I leaned toward Emmett once more. "You ready for this little brother?"
"Yeah." He exhaled, I could hear the smile in his voice.
Bella winked and took her place across from me before turning her attention to the back. The music changed and slowly Rose appeared around the corner clutching her dad, Randall's arm.
I heard Emmett's sharp intake of air and knew without even looking at him that his jaw was slack and his eyes were wide, just like mine. Hell, I dare any guy to look at the beautiful girl walking up the aisle toward my brother to not have the same facial expression.
Her dress was simple―strapless white silk, flowing to her feet. No beads, so fancy lines, just plain and absolutely perfect for my little sister. It would have been a waste to have worn something fancier anyway, because all you could see was her blinding smile when she locked eyes with my brother.
The ceremony was low key, just both sets of parents and a few of her family members that made the trip down. They had a huge reception planned back in Seattle for all of their friends and extended family.
Vows were recited, rings were exchanged, and in less than fifteen minutes Rosalie Hale became Rosalie Cullen and officially a member of my family. After a million pictures, we were led to a small tent with several tables all decorated to match the gazebo.
After dinner― which was thankfully chicken and not pork―and cake, Bella insisted I give some sort of toast. And by insisted, I mean she drunkenly whisper-yelled that the sooner I gave a speech, the sooner she could grope me while we danced. I couldn't help but laugh, drunk Bella had very little control on her verbal filter, it was just another thing I loved about her.
I stood from my chair and cleared my throat before beginning. "Rose was in eighth grade the first time Emmett brought her home. Even then she was one of the prettiest girls I'd ever seen, and all I could think was―there's no way Emmett gonna hang onto this girl, she's gonna break his heart." I grinned over at Rose, who rolled her eyes and waved her hand impatiently for me to continue.
"Emmett was so nervous, doing everything he could to impress her, and while at the time I told him I'd hang out with them to try and help him out, secretly I was getting a kick out of watching him act like a tool."
"Jerk." Emmett coughed behind his hand.
"Anyway," I chuckled, "Mom dropped off some snacks and drinks for us, and Emmett, for all his hard work at trying to play it cool, blew it all to hell when he downed half his coke in one swallow and let out the loudest belch I'd ever heard. The look of absolute horror that crossed his face was almost enough for me to feel sorry for him―but that was cut short when Rose laughed, downed her soda, and belched so loud it made Emmett's sound like a hiccup."
Everyone laughed as Rose groaned, folded her arms on the table and dropped her head in embarrassment. Emmett chuckled as he leaned over and whispered something in her ear, causing her shoulders to shake as she laughed with her face still hidden.
"The point of this story is," I continued, "Rose let me know with one belch that she wasn't going anywhere, and for the last nine years they have been inseparable. So I wasn't surprised in the least when Emmett called and informed me he'd finally manned up and asked her to marry him. And when he told me they wanted to get married before the end of summer, I wasn't surprised by that either, because when you find your other half, your soulmate, you grab a hold of them with both hands, open your eyes wide, and jump."
I reached out to Bella, smiling down at her as I brushed my thumb over her cheek. "Because as long as you're together, and you hold on tight, you don't fall...you fly." I raised my glass and turned my attention to my brother and his bride. "To Rose and Emmett, may your wings always be spread wide."
After Rose and Emmett had their first dance, I pulled Bella to her feet and out onto the makeshift dance floor.
"That was some speech you gave." Bella commented as she twisted her fingers in the back of my hair.
"Yeah?" I grinned, pulling her closer.
"Did you come up with that on the spot?" She arched her brow at me, and I already knew where this conversation was headed.
"Yes." I rolled my eyes.
"Greeting cards. I'm telling you, you've missed your true calling."
Such a smartass.
I shook my head and looked toward the beach, "you wanna go for a walk?"
She nodded and we kicked off our shoes before stepping onto the cool, soft sand. "Do you remember the first night we walked on the beach?" She asked.
Oh, I remembered.
"Edward, this is amazing." She pulled away from me and took off in a sprint toward the water.
"Hey," I laughed, dropping our towels and running after her. I caught up with her just as her feet hit the wet sand and scooped her into my arms bridal style, before walking us deeper into the water as she clung to my neck laughing.
When the water reached my chest, I dropped my arm from under her knees and turned her to face me, her legs immediately wrapping around my waist.
"Didn't you mention something in one of your letters about wanting to feel my warm, wet body sliding against yours in the ocean?" She asked, kissing my shoulder.
"Yeah." I whispered, pushing my hands inside of her bikini bottom and palming her ass.
"Well, I'm warm." She moved her hand between us, tugging at the elastic of my swim trunks. "And I'm wet." She whispered, licking my neck as she pushed her hand inside my shorts and wrapped her fingers around me. "Let's see what we can do about sliding our bodies together."
"Yeah, I remember." I answered, my voice rough as I thought about the way her skin tasted when I pushed her top to the side and sucked her nipple into my mouth.
She laughed and wrapped her arm around my waist, her head resting against my chest as we came to a stop.
"I love it here," she whispered, staring out at the water.
"I didn't know it was possible to be this happy."
I kissed the top of her head and just held her for several minutes, letting the sound of the waves drown out everything else. I nudged her shoulder and grinned down at her.
"So when are you going to let me make an honest woman out of you and stop living in sin?" I was only half serious, we wanted to get married in Seattle and neither of us had the time to start planning something like that right now.
"Pfft, sin is in. It's the new black." She joked, moving in front of me and locking her hands around me. "Besides, what kind of devil would I be without a little sin?"
"Oh Lucy," I laughed, mimicking her position and squeezing her against me, "there are plenty of sinful things we can do everyday to keep your reputation intact."
"Is that so?"
"It is a fact." I nodded.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" she laughed, pulling away and walking backwards, her expression full of mischief. "C'mon Stalker, let's go home and commit some sins."
"No rest for the wicked?" I smirked, my tongue sweeping over my bottom lip.
She shook her head, a wolfish grin spreading across her face. "Not even a little."
"Then you better run, little girl."
Her scream echoed around us as she took off running down the beach, the sound of her laughter making my chest ache. I'd found love in the most unconventional way possible. A broken and bitter guy who tripped over his own lies and deceit and fell straight into love.
A love that most people will never experience, and I'd nearly destroyed it single handedly. But Bella gave me a second chance, a chance to come after her, to prove I deserved her.
Honestly, I still wasn't completely sure I deserved her, but as I ran after her down the beach, a smile stretched across my face, I knew one thing for sure―I'd chase her anywhere, always.
Remember the rainbows, hearts, and gooey confessions of love I promised? Yeah, that's happening now.
Meg, Julie, Amber, Rose, Luvrofink- You guys rocked week in and week out, putting up with my crazy and giving me your feedback. I love you guys so much for everything you've done.
Kelly- I wouldn't have written a single word of this story were it not for you. You have been with me every step of the way as my sounding board and my brain stormer. You reeled me in and smacked me around when I needed it. Thanks homie.
Cejsmom- You volunteered to jump on this ride halfway through and I have wondered many times if you ask yourself what in the hell you agreed to. I probably should have warned you I was slightly unstable. Thank you for all of your hard work and the time you put into helping me make this story better.
To all of the authors who rec'd this story in their updates, thank you.
To all of the people on twitter and facebook who pimped PtD and continue to make me cheesy smile, thank you.
TwistedInMasen- You gave me an amazing banner before I posted a single word. Thank you for having faith that my story wouldn't suck.
RoseArcadia- Not only did I get a blinky that still blows me away, but I got a friend out of the deal too. Thanks for everything you've done, your support means so much.
To all of the people who took the time to write about PtD on their blogs, you guys seriously ded me.
The Lemonade Stand- PawsPeaches
The Perv Pack's Smut Shack- Jess, Nico, Corie, and Teal
The Wayward Pushers- Lea and Jamie
And oh my God, my palms are sweaty and I have tears all over my face because I'm so scared I've forgotten someone and they'll think I don't love them!
To everyone that reviewed, even if it was just once, even if it was to tell me how much you wanted to kill Edward, thank you. I love you guys.