Sadly, Twilight is still not mine, but this "ward" is. I'm cool with that. Anglerward was inspired by twilightmandy. Thanks for the idea and your support, sweetie!
"Oh, I've got one!"
A panicked look suddenly appears on Edward's face. "A what?! Shit!" he shouts as he jumps off the pier and lands in the water with a huge splash. Sloshing his way to the end of Bella's fishing line, Edward pulls it out of the water.
"Edward, what the hell are you doing?" The look on Bella's face is one of pure bewilderment.
Waist deep in water, Edward frantically wrestles with the fish, attempting to retrieve the hook from of its mouth. With a grunt, he forcibly pulls the hook out, along with the entrails and something decidedly shiny. Holding the dead fish in one hand and the end of the line dripping fish guts in the other, Edward looks up at Bella in embarrassment. Dropping the fish and pulling fish intestines away from the hook, he holds up what appears to be a diamond ring. Sighing, Edward seems to come to some sort of unpleasant decision and hangs his head.
"You know what? I'm not even gonna ask. This is not the story I want to tell our children. It's too damn humiliating."
"What's going on, Edward?"
Slowly lifting his head, Edward looks at Bella, a defeated expression in his eyes. "I remembered what you said; that I didn't know you when I asked before. And you were right. I should have made it about you and not what I thought would be cool. So I listened, I really listened. And I thought about this being something that you did with your dad. Something you enjoyed. It's who you are. So I figured what a great way to ask again. But this?" Edward holds out the ring for Bella's inspection. "This is not how it was supposed to go. I just…You know what? Just forget it." Edward shakes his head and again lowers his head – crushed.
"You tied the ring to the lure? How did you even do that without my noticing?"
"I waited for you go to the bathroom. I've been practicing knots for two weeks so that I could tie it on really quickly before you came back. That's why I wanted to fish off a pier instead of a boat. I needed you to leave so I could do this."
"So that's why you kept pushing the beer?"
"Yeah," he says resigned. "And I have to say, you have a really big bladder. Which actually bodes well for future plans, but for this…not so much."
"Did you even have fishing gear before this?"
"So what you're saying is you bought a ring, bought fishing equipment, practiced tying knots for two weeks and plied me with copious amounts of beer just so you could propose?"
"And after all that, you're not going to ask?"
"Under the circumstances, standing waist deep in a lake holding a ring with blood and fish guts on it, I would have to say no."
"I love you."
"I love you. I can't believe you did all this just so you could propose to me in a way that you thought I'd appreciate. I just…love you," Bella states emphatically, smiling ear-to-ear.
"I love you too, Bella. I always have." Edward's grin matches Bella's as he sloshes to the end of the pier.
"I know." She hesitates, "So you're really not gonna ask me?"
"Nope," he says, popping the 'p.'
"Oh. No. I mean, yeah," he quickly corrects himself. "I'm definitely going to ask you again, just not now – I think a minnow is swimming around in my shorts."
Many thanks to my pre-readers kikki7 and prettyflour. Without them, this might have been a much grosser chapter. As always, thank you for sticking with me!