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storyline: Brighter

prompt - delay

NOT BETA'D


It was weird to be going to Edward's place without him, but his mother had asked me to stop by when I had time off. She and Carlisle were leaving island in a couple of days, and my work schedule was going to be crazy for the next couple of weeks, so I made sure to go up as soon as I could.

The drive to Edward's was a pleasant one. His house sat at the end of the road, bushes and fruit trees lining the dirt road. I parked beneath a tree at one side, and hopped out, straightening my skirt.

Barely eleven, the day was already warm and a bit humid. I knocked on the door, checking my phone for messages as I waited.

I could hear Esme's heels clicking on the tiles inside as she approached the front door.

"Hi, Bella," she said warmly, gesturing for me to come inside. She kisses my cheek, and I kissed her hers, slipping my shoes off right there at the door. It was a habit now, at both my house and Edward's, and I found I preferred it.

"I hope you're hungry," she said, glancing back at me as we walked to the kitchen. "I made a huge salad. I got a little carried away down at Princess Market..."

I smiled, nodding as I set my purse down on the counter. "I could definitely eat. All I had at home was coffee and toast."

"Good." Beaming, she plated us each heaping portions of loaded, colorful salad. "I wanted to eat on the patio one last time before heading home. Grab the lemonade, will you, Bella?"

I got the pitcher and two glasses before following her outside. On this side of the house, the breeze blowing up the hill cooled things off considerably. Plus, it was shaded by trees and an awning. I places the drinks down carefully, gazing out at the ocean in the distance. I could only imagine what it would be like to live in a place like this, with a view like that.

"Isn't it nice?" Esme said with a sigh, watching me take everything in.

"I think I'd probably eat breakfast out here every day if I could," I said, sitting down. "It's so peaceful and soothing."

"It is," she agreed. "I used to often have my morning coffee out here, before we left."

"Do you miss it a lot?"

"I do...but we have a good life back in Chicago, too. I'm happy as long as I get to come down a couple of times a year."

"Yeah, I think i'll be happy if I can get back to Seattle once or twice a year, too, but...it really depends on my finances," I said. "Right now I'm trying to get my parents to visit."

"Well, I hope they can come down, and see the place you've chosen to live in."

"Me too."

We made small talk for a while, only with her it didn't feel insignificant or awkward, or like conversation filler. I found I enjoyed learning more about Edward's parents; it kind of gave me insight in to him.

"So...Edward went fishing with his Dad, huh?" I leaned back in my chair, wiping my mouth with a napkin.

"He did." Esme smiled. "They take this ridiculous little dinghy out...it belongs to an old friend of Carlisle's."

"That's cool."

"They've been doing it since Edward was a child...and he cleans those fish himself before frying them up because God knows I won't do it."

Making I face, I shook my head. "I wouldn't do it either. Gross."

She laughed quietly. "He loves it. He loves this whole life. It was made for him, and he for it."

My heart clenched and released, a remembering of Edward that ran through my whole body. "You can tell."

She nodded, her eyes on me. "And what about you, Bella? Edward says you're pretty set on staying."

"I am. I love it here. I miss Seattle sometimes, but, I'm happy here. And..." I blushed a bit, feeling so weird saying this to Edward's mom, especially when we hardly knew each other. "I'm really happy with Edward, too."

"I can tell," Esme said, eyes twinkling. "And...I'll be honest with you; he hasn't seemed this content in a relationship in years. I hope you two stick it out. I see good things for you."

"I hope so, too."


I had a wait shift st Brew Pub that afternoon, so after spending a couple of hours with Esme, I said my goodbyes and headed back to my place to change. After seeing how well I could do with tips while waiting tables, I'd been requesting more shifts, and they'd been giving them to me. I still worked a lot at Coconuts, too, but I was considering dropping shifts there so I could save my energy at the pub.

Edward came in a couple hours afterward, a deep golden tan from being on the water all day.

I finished taking the order I was on, winking at Edward on my way back to the kitchen so I could put it in.

"Hi," I said, kissing Edward's cheek chastely when we finally had a moment to talk. "You're later than usual. Fishing must've been fun, huh?"

"Yeah...sorry abut the delay. There was an accident coming in to town, and than I stopped by this store..." he said, pulling me toward the office. "I got you something."

My heart fluttered. "You did?"

He nodded, closing the door before handing me a little navy blue pouch. "I thought you might like it..."

It was a pretty little bracelet, made of what appeared to be bits of ceramic. Gasping, I held it in the palm of my hand, examining the colorful little pieces. "I've never seen anything like it; it's beautiful."

"Crucian Gold makes them," he said, clasping it for me. "These little pieces are called chaney...you find it on beaches, usually, or sometimes in dirt. They're like little artifacts. Each one is different."

"Thank you..." I bit my lip and stepped closer. "You just...bought this? No occasion?"

"You're the occasion," he said, pushing the loose hair from my face.

I had no words for such sweetness, so I kissed him. He kissed me, hugging me close.

"My mom really like you."

"I like her, too. I'm glad we got to hang out today."

"She thinks you're the one for me."

I pulled back, looking up at him. "Yeah? What do you think?"

"I think she's probably right."

"Probably," I teased, thinking of my mother' reaction to Edward's postcards. "Moms have a special sense for that kind of stuff."

The office phone rang, bringing us back to reality. "I gotta get this," Edward said, grabbing for it.

"'Kay."

Bracelet dangling from my wrist, I left the little room, feeling as if I was walking on clouds.


chaney - you can find Crucian Gold on my FB, as one of my friends. they've got great pictures of their chaney jewelry... unique pieces of china collected all over the island and scientifically dated to a period covering the years 1750 to 1900.

so... sorry for the delay - ha, see what i did there? - we've been traveling and doing family stuff all day.

but anyway, much love to all of you! thanks for just...being so great. and supportive, and fun to talk to. have i mentioned how much i adore and appreciate this crazy fandom? cuz i do.

good night, islandlovers

xoxo