Pop the Question Contest Entry

Title: Four Little Words

Word Count (without the a/n and header): 3,588

Pairing: Edward and Bella

Rating: M

Summary: Life is full of possibilities, but when Edward ran into Bella while jogging through Central Park and asked her to dinner he had no idea how much his fortune would change.

Warnings (if any): none

Four Little Words

One of my favorite things in the world is Central Park in the fall. The colors of the trees and rustling of the leaves –there isn't anything better. I was enjoying my usual afternoon run when I saw a brown haired beauty leaning against a tree completely absorbed in the book she was reading. I had just stopped to rest for a moment as my run was coming to an end. Her chestnut hair danced in the breeze around her face and whatever she was reading had made her smile – and cry. I watched in rapture as she wiped the errant tears from her face.

I took a few steps closer hoping to see the title of the book she was reading. I smiled when I realized what it was. For some strange reason, I was drawn to the beautiful creature in front of me. I walked closer and smiled.

"I don't blame you for being emotional – that book is really good."

She jumped a bit not aware of my presence but she quickly collected herself.

"Sorry, I didn't see you there. I get so lost in what I'm reading sometimes. I feel incredibly silly for being so sappy over a book, especially in front of a stranger."

"Don't feel silly it happens to the best of us. Besides, if an author can draw out such strong emotions in a reader – it's a sign they're a really great writer."

She smiled and invited me to sit with her and we talked about our favorite books and writers until the air became too chilly for her.

"Would you like to have dinner with me and we can continue this conversation?"

She smiled shyly and nodded.

"I'm Edward, by the way."

"I'm Bella," she giggled.

"Nice to meet you, Bella."

I gave her the address to the restaurant and told her I'd meet her there in forty-five minutes. We both wanted a chance to go home and change. I arrived at the restaurant forty minutes later. It wasn't busy, but the aromas coming from the kitchen were heavenly. I hadn't realized how hungry I was until that moment. I looked at my watch and couldn't help but notice that Bella was ten minutes late. My heart fell at the thought that maybe she'd changed her mind. I waited a few more minutes and felt a gust of cold air blow in.

"Edward …" Bella breathed. "I'm so sorry I'm late. My roommate was especially chatty and then she insisted on sharing a cab. It was a nightmare and I didn't have a number to call and let you know I'd be late."

"It's okay, Bella. You're here, that's all that matters."

We sat down in a booth and the waitress dropped off a plate of crispy noodles, sweet and sour sauce and a pot of hot tea.

"So this place is good?"

"Mmmhmm. They have the best Chinese food in the city. They're also the best kept secret in New York."

Bella read over the menu and I couldn't help but smile at her.

"Is their Wonton soup good?"

"Yeah … but their Egg Flower soup is amazing."

We ordered our soup and entrees and chatted some more about books and literature over tea. I watched Bella intently as she kept her hands wrapped around the little teacup. I could barely hold mine in one hand let alone two.

Bella and I talked about a little bit of everything; where we'd grown up, what we were doing in New York, what we did for fun, and plans for the future. The most important thing I learned about Bella was that I wanted her to be a part of my life no matter the cost.

Not only was Bella intelligent and witty, she was beautiful and sweet – inside and out. We exchanged phone numbers just before the waitress brought our check and when she sat down the little tray, Bella's eyes lit up.

"Fortune cookie?" I asked, offering her the tray.

"Yes," she giggled. "This is the best part of the entire meal. Fortune cookies are my favorite."

"Ugh," I scoffed. "How can you eat those awful things? Nine times out of ten they're stale and the so called "fortunes" are such a load of crap."

"Oh, Edward. They're not meant to be serious. You don't have to eat the cookie, but at least read your fortune."

The pleading look on Bella's face was absolutely precious. There was no way in the world that I could ever tell this adorable creature no.

My life changed from that moment on and I wouldn't have changed it for anything.

Bella and I started dating after that, and it seemed our relationship was in slow motion, but if it meant spending time with her I didn't care. My mom had taught me to be a gentleman so on our first date I kissed her cheek and on the second one I moved to a chaste kiss on the lips. It wasn't until our third date that we even really kissed, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

We had just left the Cinema after watching some romantic comedy I couldn't even tell you the name of that Bella had asked to see, and we were walking back to her apartment hand in hand. I stopped at her door as she let go of my hand to find her keys in her purse.

"I had a great time, Edward. Thank you for taking me."

"It was my pleasure."

Bella turned looking up into my eyes and I was lost in a swirl of green and blue eyes. I placed her head in my hands rubbing my thumbs along her cheekbones. She was so beautiful as a tint of pink creeped up on her cheeks.

"Can I kiss you, Bella?"

She nodded and it only took a second for me to lower my head covering her lips with mine. My lips moved slowly, lightly against hers taking in the warm, pillowy softness. I let my tongue trace her bottom lip before asking for entrance.

Her lips parted as I swept my tongue in her mouth learning every inch. Our tongues tangled together in a sensual dance, neither one dominant. Our lips continued to move against each other, coaxing and tasting. The kiss was lips, tongues and teeth as we both put everything we had into it.

I didn't want it to ever end, but I knew if I didn't slow down we would end up doing something we both weren't ready for yet. I pulled away, leaning my forehead against hers trying to catch my breath. I knew in that moment as I saw the same feelings reflected back at me in her eyes, that Bella was the one, but I would have to wait to tell her before I scared her off.

Three months into our relationship neither Bella nor myself had said those three little words. It wasn't that I thought she didn't feel the same way because I knew that without a shadow of a doubt every time she looked into my eyes she did. We both were over thinking when we should tell the other and never said anything.

Bella was pulled into my side as we sat on her couch while the end credits of Remember Me rolled on the screen. I thought back to the ending of the movie and knew I didn't want to waste another minute without telling Bella I loved her. Life could be taken at any moment and she needed to know she was loved.

I let my arm fall from her shoulder so I could turn toward her bringing my hands up to cup her face. I lowered my lips to hers for a sweet, chaste kiss before pulling back to look into her eyes. Her eyes were filled with love and lust; the latter made me say the words I've wanted to say for months and never had the nerve to.

"I love you, Bella."

"Funny, 'cause I love you, too."

I lowered my lips to hers once again before whispering, "Good, because I wasn't going to leave till I heard you say the words."

"You had doubts?"

I couldn't lie to her even if I wanted to. I simply nodded. Bella was the one to pull back looking deep into my eyes like she was searching my soul. She cupped my face kissing my lips once.

"Edward, never doubt my feelings for you. I think I've loved you from the first moment I saw you."

"Bella … I love you so much, it hurts sometimes."

My lips descended on hers as she moved to straddle my lap. I was lost to all the new but familiar sensations. She pulled back and I whimpered at the loss but then she surprised me once again when she whispered against my lips.

"Make love to me, Edward."

"Are you sure?"

"I've never been more sure of anything than you, Edward. Love me. Make me yours."

"You already are."

Bella's warm, soft lips felt incredible against my own as her warm center came in contact with my hard on. I wanted to come in my pants like a horny teenager when I felt her body against mine. It felt so damn good.

Her hands wrapped around my neck trying to bring me closer. She rubbed against my now very hard erection as her lips left mine to trail wet kisses along my jaw and back up again. My hands drew circles on the now exposed flesh of her hips when her shirt lifted. The feel of her skin was like silk under my fingertips and I wanted to feel every inch of her. Take my time and worship her.

I let go of Bella's hips freeing my hands to wander under her shirt and caressed my hands up and down her back before landing on her backside. I squeezed lightly and lowered my lips to hers for a searing kiss.

Bella's hips moved, grinding against my cock and I could feel her hardened peaks through the thin cotton of her shirt. Slowly I lifted Bella up and set her in front of me just between my legs. She began to protest but I picked her up bridal style, carrying her to the bedroom before gently placing her down in front of the bed.

We both took our time as we undressed until we were both standing completely naked in front of each other. I took in every inch of the exquisite woman before me. From her beautiful long mahogany curls to the cute little toes with the pink polish. She was beautiful and all mine.

Bella's hands were slowly roaming my chest as she stopped to roll a nipple in her fingertips. I groaned at the feel of her hands finally on me.

"Baby, it feels so good when you touch me."

As much as I loved her hands on me I wanted to take this slow. I pulled her close for a kiss as Bella's arms wrapped around my neck while her fingers played with the hair at my neck, caressing so sweetly. Our lips still fused together, I lifted her in my arms and laid her gently on the bed.

"You're so beautiful, Bella."

I crawled up the bed settling between her legs. I lowered my head, my lips covering her lips sweetly. Our lips fit together perfect as they moved together softly, passionately. I pulled back looking into her eyes before working my way down her body and back up again kissing and caressing every inch of her soft skin.

My lips kissed along her shoulder, down her chest to the tops of her breasts before softly taking a nipple in my mouth. I licked and swirled until it was wet and hard. After paying the same respect to the other breast, I shimmied down her body leaving a trail of hot kisses as I said over and over how beautiful and sexy she was. When I reached her belly, I traced my tongue around her belly button, then along each hip.

I lifted my head taking in the beautiful eyes staring back at me with lust and so much love. I moved down hovering over her sex before taking a languid lick of her lips. Bella gasped as her back arched.

"Edward …"

"Tell me, baby. Tell me what you want."

"You. I want you."

I moved back up her body and I braced my hands on either side of her head teasing her entrance —coating myself in her essence.

Bella closed her eyes and I whispered, "Look at me, baby."

Bella opened her eyes as I eased her knees further apart, inching myself into her warm heat. As I pushed to the hilt we moaned, reveling in the feeling of finally coming together.

"You feel so good, Edward."

She wrapped her legs around my waist and twisted her hips below me seeking a deeper intense connection. With slow sensual strokes I moved in and out bringing us both closer to that peak. I wanted it to last but I could feel the last of my control slipping.

"I'm not gonna last, baby."

"So … close."

With another thrust of my hips she cried out clenching around me. Her name slipped from my lips as my own orgasm hit at the same time hers did. It took a few minutes for me to catch my breath before I slowly pulled out, collapsing in a heap next to Bella.

I wrapped an arm around her embracing her tightly as I pulled the covers up over us. She laid her head on my chest drawing circles there relaxing me.

~~FLW~~

I couldn't help but look back on the first time I'd made love to my Bella with fond memories. They were so vivid in my mind, but every time I was with Bella it was every bit as good as the first time and it kept getting better. Every day I fell in love with her a little more.

As the winter months melted in to spring, Bella had taken to sitting and reading in the park again while I was out for my daily run. I'd meet her at our tree and together we'd walk back to our apartment.

It hadn't taken much to convince Bella to move in with me. Her roommate announced on Valentine's Day that her boyfriend was now her fiancé and she was planning on moving in with him as soon as their lease was up in April. Bella knew she couldn't afford the rent on her own, so I suggested that she move in with me. She was leery at first, but when I pouted and stuck my bottom lip out at her she caved. We both ended up winning in the long run; I knew she was safe every night and she was much closer to her job.

Together, we delighted in the simple things that living together offered. We cooked meals together, wash, dried and folded laundry together; we even shopped for groceries together. Our life wasn't perfect; without fights and disagreements. We certainly had our fair share of those but at the end of the day we loved each other and as long as we remembered that we could work through anything.

My family came to the city over Mother's Day weekend and they fell in love with Bella as immediately as I had. She fell into step with my family flawlessly. My sister took to Bella as if they'd known each other all their lives. Alice was the sister that Bella never had and never knew she always wanted. I truly hoped that one day we could make it official.

Bella and I continued to visit our favorite Chinese restaurant – Bella still loved the end of the meal when she could crack open her fortune cookie and giggle at the nonsense she found inside.

Spring have way to summer and Bella and I were happier than ever. We continued our routines and I became more and more anxious to make my commitment to her more permanent. I spent a month planning everything out perfectly.

Bella had seen an advertisement in the Arts & Entertainment section of the paper giving the dates and titles of the movies that would be playing in Central Park during late July and early August. She was so excited because "Funny Face" with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire was playing and it was one of her favorite movies.

"Can we go, Edward?"

"Of course we can go, baby."

The smile on Bella's face lit up the room; her excitement radiating from her.

"You are far too good to me, Edward," she said softly with a kiss to my lips.

I made arrangements to meet Bella in the park. She had packed a cooler with some drinks and took a couple of blankets; one to sit on and one in case we got chilly. I promised her that I would pick up some Chinese food on my way and we'd have take-out for dinner while we watched the movie.

"Don't forget my fortune cookies!" Bella called after me as I went out the door that morning.

The elevator door closed before I could get out my reply so I quickly texted her.

How could I forget your favorite part of the meal? – E XOXO

I didn't have to work that day, but I had a really important appointment in Chinatown. When I was done in Chinatown, I made my way back into Manhattan. I had to stop at Tiffany's to pick up Bella's ring which I'd dropped off the day before to have cleaned and polished and then I could stop in and pick up our dinner.

I knew exactly where Bella would be sitting in the park and I couldn't get there quickly enough. I saw her beautiful chestnut hair swirling around her in the slight early evening breeze. We still had a while before the movie began, but we wanted to get there early or we'd be hard pressed to find a spot to sit and enjoy the movie.

I gently set down our dinner on the blanket before sitting down myself and reaching over to kiss Bella sweetly and asking her about her day.

"Work was good, but I'm glad the week is over. I've been looking forward to tonight – our movie night."

"Me too.

Bella unpacked our take-out and dished our food out onto paper plates. We chatted as we ate and the closer we got to dessert the more anxious and nervous I became. I forced myself to finish everything on my plate – I didn't want Bella to question why I didn't finish my dinner. We cleaned up and I threw away our trash. When I sat down again, Bella crawled over and settled herself between my legs. She pulled out a piece of my favorite chocolate cake from a bakery I loved.

"Sorry, they only had one slice left, so we'll have to share," Bella said sheepishly.

"What about your fortune cookie?" I asked surprised that it wasn't the first thing she went for.

"Don't you want to share a slice of cake with me?" She asked, looking a bit hurt.

"Of course I do, baby. I just know how much you love your fortune cookie and you did remind me to get you one …."

I reached over and picked up the cookie that was still fresh in its innocent wrapper and handed it to Bella.

"Edward … you're shaking. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, love," I managed to get out before she could hear my nerves coming through in my tone of voice.

I watched her as she pulled the wrapper open and tossed it aside – going straight for the cookie. Bella broke it open and pulled out the little strip of paper before popping half the cookie in her mouth. She pulled the paper taught between her hands and read the double sided fortune.

Will you marry me?

She gasped softly as I wrapped my arms around her and held the robin's egg blue box in front of her. I gently kissed the warm, soft exposed skin of her shoulder and she gasped again.

"Yes," She said softly, leaning her head against mine.

"Yes?"

"Yes," she giggled taking the ring out of the box and handing it to me.

I slid the platinum and diamond ring onto her delicate finger before she turned in my arms and kissed me ardently.

"I love you, Edward."

"I love you too, Bella."

"How … how did you get that particular question into my cookie?"

"Remember my "appointment" this morning?" I asked.

She nodded.

"I went to Chinatown and learned how to make fortune cookies and I got to make one to take home and I could write whatever I wanted on the fortune. I've wanted to ask for so long, but I wanted it to be a surprise and I definitely wanted it to be memorable."

"It was definitely a surprise – the best surprise I've ever had. I'll never forget this, Edward. You've made tonight so very special. I just can't believe you went to Chinatown to learn how to make fortune cookies."

"It was worth every minute as long as you said yes in the end."

"How could I not, Edward? You are the only one I want to spend the rest of forever with."