hi! This was written for some awesome people—the team that donated to FGB waaaay back in November for an outtake to The Best I Ever Had.I took forever (six months!) to write it and wound up writing a mini-sequel and they were so patient and sweet about it. So thanks so much, you guys. A couple other thank yous: to Jaime Arkin, for putting together the team and the Kates: Kate S, for prereading and always cheerleading this story; and Kate B, for betaing like a champ and putting up with me, the latter of which is truly a challenge. Typos/mistakes are all me, always. Oh, and FamouslySo who makes the prettiest banners for things: http(:/(/)i753(.photobucket.)com/albums(/xx179/)whatsmynomdeplume(/btied021).png with no parethenses.
This thing is six chapters and an epilogue, all pre-written so it'll be posted pretty regularly. ndd be warned, this is even fluffier than last time, I think. Twilight's not mine, etc.
The Best Thing I Ever Did
"Stop doing that," Edward mutters.
I do not stop doing that—that being splashing my galoshes into the little puddles that form as the February flurries of snowflakes hit the ground and melt. "Aww, don't be a killjoy. I'm singing in the rain!"
"It's not raining and you're not singing," he replies.
I stick my tongue out at him, but since we're both crammed under the umbrella, I accidentally wind up licking his cheek. "Why are you so grumpy?"
"I'm not grumpy," he says, grumpily. "I just want to get to the coffee shop. I'm freezing."
"You should have worn galoshes," I tell him.
"Men don't wear galoshes."
"Well, you're the one complaining about your wet pants."
"I'll give you wet pants," he retorts and then grins, bad mood suddenly cleared. Nothing makes Edward happier than inadvertent innuendo.
When we get to the coffee shop, Em and Alice are already there, discussing the movie he and Jasper saw the night before.
"So, you're telling me Death Squelch Part Six had more to offer than the first five?" Alice asks, disbelieving.
Emmett nods his head. "Yup, these movies are like wine."
"They get better with age?" I guess as I sit on the arm of Edward's chair.
"Nope. Some are good and some are terrible, but either way, who cares? You're definitely going to get drunk," he replies.
"Hey, I heard they might make another Die Hard," Edward tells Emmett, whose eyes widen in excitement.
"No fucking way, man! Really? That's awesome," he says as Edward nods.
"How many times can you die hard anyway?" Alice jokes. "Dude just needs to go jack off, clearly."
I laugh, but the smile wipes right off Emmett's face. "Do not insult John McClane," he growls.
"I'm just joki—"
"Do not. Insult. John McClane."
Alice and I—and possibly every woman that has ever seen Die Hard—roll our eyes.
Emmett's phone beeps and he picks it up. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he says, "Oh, so Edward, I um, really need some coffee." His words are way too deliberate and stilted and it sounds strange. It's even stranger because he has a full cup of coffee in front of him.
"Hey, Emmett?" He turns to me. "That thing right in front of you, with the brown liquid? That's coffee."
"Um, yeah but it's cold and I—" Emmett's fumbling is interrupted by the beeping of Edward's phone. He quickly reads it and his eyes widen.
"Cold coffee is terrible," Edward blurts, in a tone just as weird as Emmett's was. His eyes keep darting to me and then back to Emmett.
"Terrible," Emmett agrees, far too seriously.
"A crime upon humanity," Alice intones, mimicking him.
"Come on, let's grab something," Edward says, and they both stand up.
Alice and I exchange looks of bewilderment as they walk away. "Why are they being so weird?" I ask.
Alice frowns and shrugs. "I have no idea. Like why couldn't Edward just get Emmett's coffee for him?" She reaches down to grab his cup and pulls her hand away quickly. "That cup is hot. His coffee is still warm!"
"Really?" I twist around and see Edward and Emmett are not in the short line to order their coffee. In fact, they're nowhere in sight. "What's going on? Where did they go? Do you think they're planning something for the wedding? And they don't want us to know so that we won't tell Rose?"
"What could they be planning? The wedding is less than two weeks away," Alice says. "And Rose would flip if she didn't have utter and absolute control over every part of it. Rose and Emmett might be the ones getting married, but really it's Esme and Rose's wedding."
I laugh, nodding in agreement. "I mean, I can only hope she gets this out of her system before Edward and I… you know. Whatever." I wave my hand.
Alice grins and hugs me to her side. "Aww, look at you. Vaguely insinuating long-term commitment with hand gestures." She places both hands over her heart and pretends to tear up. "You've grown so much."
I shrug. Maybe I have. "I mean, yeah, I guess. It's pretty obvious that we're… yeah. I mean. Yeah. Yeah." Maybe I haven't grown that much. It's not that I don't have faith in Edward or our relationship. It's just that talking about things in sureties feels strange. Almost like we're jinxing it. "Yeah. Whatever."
"Whoa, there. Calm down with the declarations of everlasting love, Bella," she says and I hurry to change the subject. Growing or not, I'm still me.
"Where have those two gone?" I ask, wondering again about Edward and Emmett as I absently check my phone. No messages from Edward, though I do have two missed calls from my mother. Those can wait.
"Maybe they're—" Suddenly, her eyes grow wide. Well, wider than normal. "Oh my god. Oh my god! Oh my god!" she shrieks, and I'm halfway torn between running away in embarrassment and asking her if she's maybe having a seizure.
"You and Edward—aren't you guys about to celebrate your one-year anniversary?"
"Oh… I guess." I think about it more carefully. "I mean, if we take it as the night before Valentine's Day then, yeah, in about two weeks," I say, not understanding.
"Do you think… I mean, it totally makes sense. Don't you think he's planning something?"
"Yeah! He's planning a surprise for your one-year anniversary," Alice says.
"What surprise could he be planning that he needs Emmett's help? I doubt Em's thinking about Edward's and my anniversary. It's like three days after he gets married."
"It's two days. You're so bad at math."
Alice rolls her eyes. "Em and Rose get married on the Saturday before Valentines' Day, which is two, not three, days before Monday, which is your anniversary."
"Fine, whatever. The point still stands. What would Edward be bothering Emmett about this close to his wedding?"
"Maybe…" Alice's eyes widen. "Maybe he's getting advice on how to propose."
I nearly drop my coffee.
"He's not proposing," I tell Alice, sounding more sure than I am. He's not proposing. He's not. He's not.
"How do you know he's not?" she asks.
"Because it's not even been a year. We just moved in together like, three months ago!"
"What do you mean 'so'? So that's how I know he's not proposing!" I let out a little laugh, but it comes out more like I'm choking.
"But he's Edward!" she says, laughing a little. "And it's you two."
I roll my eyes. "Despite the way you guys have insisted on re-writing history, this is still all pretty new to us."
She looks at me closely, as if she's scrutinizing me and I almost feel like squirming. "I just... I don't get why you're so sure Edward's not proposing."
I'm not, but I'm not about to tell Alice that. I shrug. "It's not even been a year."
"You keep saying that like it means something," she replies.
"Why do you think it doesn't? You don't propose after dating for less than a year."
She snorts and it's such a huge, ugly noise coming from such a tiny, pretty person.
"It's not a law, Bella. It's not like not wearing white after labor day—"
"Because that's the best example of a law."
"Whatever. I mean, there's no set schedule. He'll propose when the time is right."
And suddenly, I'm almost sure Alice is correct. Because with me and Edward, it's always right.
Edward and Emmett never return after their mysterious dash out of the coffee shop, so I text him to let him know we're leaving to meet Rosalie at the lingerie store.
He responds, Buy me a gift.
I roll my eyes and write back, What size teddy do you wear? And do you like black lace or red?
I prefer something in a pastel, like a baby pink. And get the boy shorts kind because otherwise I look pear-shaped.
I start laughing, so grateful to have a boyfriend that doesn't expect me to sleep in garments that seem to get more expensive the smaller they are.
Once again, I've found myself at a lingerie shop again with these two, but this time, that devious Chignon is not there, and I nurse my one glass of champagne slowly, making sure I just sit in a corner as Alice and Rose choose her bridal lingerie. It's sort of weird to me, honestly, that I'm doing this with them. I don't really want the visual of what Rose is going to wear when she has sex with Emmett—he's like a brother to me, not to mention that Edward is actually Rose's brother. Even though that has nothing to do with me, I feel like I can be even more grossed out on his behalf.
"What do you think of this?" Alice asks, waving something tiny at me.
I take it from her and hold it up. "This is supposed to be underwear?" I ask her incredulously. "It's so small and frilly. I'm pretty sure these are the exact size of the curtains my Barbie dream house had."
Alice laughs and tosses something else in my lap. "They also come in black and red, instead of cream and white."
"And these look like the curtains for a Barbie dream house if that house were a brothel." I make a face. "Anyway, isn't wedding lingerie supposed to be white? All virginal even if it's been like, a decade since Rose was actually one?"
"Shut up, Bella," Rose calls from inside her dressing room.
Alice shakes her head and turns back to me. "I meant for you. For… er, your big night."
Alice is the human equivalent of hair clogged in a drain; it's only a little annoying at first, so you ignore it. But then it builds and builds till you have a big gunky mess on your hands. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves."
"No, I just mean, wouldn't it be a nice way to say thank you? And then there's engagement sex—that's just a gift for both of you," she continues.
"Who is having engagement sex?" Rosalie asks, coming out of the changing room, thankfully dressed. She tells the saleslady she'll take the pair in her hand and sits down on the sofa next to me. "Seriously, who is having engagement sex? Other than me."
"Edward is going to propose!" Alice blurts excitedly.
I take a deep breath. "Alice thinks Edward is going to propose."
"And when have I ever been wrong about stuff like this?" she asks, indignantly.
"A lot of times," I say, even as Rosalie begins rattling off a list. "The time you thought I'd marry Austin, but he was cheating on me. The time you thought I'd marry Alistair, but he was gay. The time you thought I'd marry Stefan, but I never called him back after our second date, the time—"
"Okay, okay, I get it," Alice says, frowning. "But this is Edward and Bella. We all know that he's totally nuts about you. If you called him up and said, 'hey, want to get married in an hour?', he would, no questions asked."
I smile, and feel incredibly warm inside because she's probably right.
Rosalie sits back on the couch. "Would you be okay with this, Bella?"
Something about the calm, rational way Rose asks this make me actually consider it. "I'm not freaking out… so… maybe? But it's also marriage. I'm not exactly carrying on some great legacy of it here."
Alice nods. "Oh yeah. The Renee Higginbotham-Swan-Lee-Dwyer curse. Three marriages for the price of one dysfunctional daughter."
I relax a little; it's so different talking about this with Alice and Rose than it is with Edward. As much as he gets why I'm wary of commitment, he wants it so much from me that it makes him biased. Alice and Rose take it in stride; they're not trying to battle my neuroses so much as just figure out how I can function with them.
"All I'll say is this: can you actually see yourself with anyone but my brother? Is there anyone out there better for you?" Rose asks.
I smile. "Of course not. I don't think there is anyone out there that is better, period."
"Then why wouldn't you marry him?" she asks. "You'll both still be the exactly the way you are right now. You'll still live in the same apartment. You'll still hang out with the same people. You'll still do the same things. You'll just happen to tick a different box on some forms. You don't even have to change your name."
And when she puts it in such simple terms, it seems like the most logical thing in the world, not some scary endeavor that I'm doomed to fail at. Still, I don't know if I'm ready to announce that I am marriage-ready. So instead, I smile at Rose and say, "You're a really good sister."
She smiles back and offers a rare moment of sentimentality. "He's been a good brother."
"I helped too!" Alice whines and I laugh.
"Yes, Al, you helped too. A lot. Thanks guys," I say.
"If we were in a Kate Hudson movie, this is where we'd all start hugging and jumping and squealing around like idiots while some never-going-to-be-as-good-as-the-Spice-Girls-bubblegum-girl-pop anthem plays in the background," Alice notes.
Rose tosses back the rest of her nearly-full champagne glass. "Well, we're not in a Kate Hudson movie."
"And I thank god every day for that," I say.
But life is never as simple as deciding you're ready for marriage and then having it offered to you. It's almost as if in retribution for always waffling on commitment, now I can't wait for Edward to propose—the only minor detail being that I don't actually whether he is going to or not.
Things with us carry on as normal, though I wind up analyzing everything he says for little hints. I bother him a lot about his weird behavior with Emmett at the coffee shop but he brushes it off and changes the subject, finding a way to distract me. In all the years I've known him, Edward has never not told me something, so my only conclusion is that he can't tell me because he is proposing and wants to surprise me, and I lay off bugging him about it.
And then one night, he says something so otherwise random that I'm positive it's not random.
"You know, if you'd married that moron Jacob Black, you guys would be the Black-Swan wedding," he says, flipping through the TV channels.
I narrow my eyes at him, all the while internally saying stay cool, Bella. Edward would not be stupid enough to start my proposal by bringing up the only ex-boyfriend I've ever had.
"Why are you talking about Jake?" I ask. Playing dumb, I continue, "Why are you even talking about weddings?"
"Uh, my sister and our best friend's wedding is in ten days."
"Yeah, but why are you talking about my wedding? And to Jake of all people?"
He shrugs. "No reason. Just saying. Black-Swan. I mean, if that's not proof that you guys were never meant to be…"
"It's not proof," I say, rolling my eyes. I move his arm away from his body and snuggle into his side, pulling his arm down around me. "It's just a Natalie Portman movie. About ballet. That you watch every time it's on."
"Did I mention it's about ballet?"
He snorts. "It's not. It's about crazy chicks, and lesbian sex, and Mila Kunis. Why wouldn't I watch it?"
"Well," I mutter. "We know how much you like all of those things."
He nods slowly, like he's contemplating my words. "Lesbian sex… is okay. Fun. Whatever. Good for the lesbians. Mila Kunis, I like. But crazy chicks," he says, leaning in to place his hand on the side of my face and kiss my cheek. "Crazy chicks, I love." He trails little pecks, just brushes of his lips along my cheek until he gets to my mouth, where he kisses me harder.
We stretch out along the couch, and he slips his hand into my underwear, slowly moving it in tiny little flicks until I can't stand it anymore and pounce on him. Unfortunately, I underestimate the width of the couch when I flip us and he winds up falling off it. And then I fall off it too, right on top of him.
He lets out this deflating "oof" noise when I land on him, and coughs a couple times.
"I'm sorry!" I say, running my hands all over his chest, in a meaningless gesture to check if he's okay. "You alright?"
He closes his eyes, and takes a few deep breaths, making his nostrils flare. Then he opens them and says, "Yup!" before pulling my head down to kiss him and rolling us over, making me squeal. He's so good at taking my pants off I barely notice when he does it, but I am only too aware when he dips down to kiss along my lower abdomen and then moves lower and lower.
We have sex half under the coffee table, and I have to grab onto the edge of it at one point, just to have something to hold on to, because I can't stop moving, not even when he pins one of my thighs down so he can have a better angle.
When he finally tries to sit up to move off me, he hits his head on the underside of the table. I'm so blissed out and boneless that I barely care when he just flops back down on me and falls asleep in his favorite place in the world—between my boobs.
Sometime, a few hours later, he wakes me up and we go to bed. The last thing my sleep-addled brains thinks is that he definitely showed me how much he loves crazy chicks—or rather, just this one in particular. But he still hasn't proposed.
It's a weird few days. Things aren't tense between us, not really, but he insists on not telling me what he did when he ran off with Emmett. I obviously can't tell him that I pretty much know that he was probably out choosing a ring or something, so for the first time, there is something between us. It's not huge and it doesn't really change anything, but I find myself getting almost frustrated at not being able to be completely free with Edward. I wish I could just tell him to forget about proposing, but now I've gotten used to the idea, and I really, really want him to. I want to see what he'll come up with, what sweet words he'll say. I want to see the smile on his face when I say yes and then, however long later, that same smile when I marry him.
Exactly one week before Rose's wedding, I'm thinking all these things for the millionth time in a jumbled rush of thoughts as I enter our apartment, returning from my final bridesmaid dress fitting. I can hear the shower going, so I know Edward's home. I'm just about to join him when my phone buzzes. My mother is calling me but I'm not really in the mood to talk to her so I just let the phone ring and place it on the table.
And that's when I see it.
A bright blue bag with a white ribbon. Even someone as immune to girliness as I am knows it's from Tiffany's. And it's sitting on our dining room table, next to Edward's keys.
Oh my god.
Edward is going to propose tonight.
The minute you close to the door our apartment, I grab you around the waist and sling you over my shoulder.
"Edward!" you shriek, laughing. "I still have my purse on." I stop walking as you slip your purse off your shoulder and hand it to me. Balancing your weight on my shoulder by placing my hand on your ass, I walk over to the kitchen table and place it on there. "Alright, now you may proceed."
I sprint to bedroom and toss you on the bed, practically jumping on you. You're laughing and giddy and it's one of my favorite sounds, but right now, I'm really interested in hearing another type of favorite noise you make. I start to slide up your shirt and you slip off my pants.
"Wait," you say.
I don't really wait. Instead, I just mumble "What?" against your skin as I continue to kiss it. You don't seem to understand that there are very few reasons good enough to make me stop touching you.
"Is there some sort of special position we should be doing this in?"
I pull away from kissing your neck to look at you. "Why would there be a special position?"
"I don't know," you say, shrugging. "We just got engaged. Shouldn't there be some sort of…"
"Engagement-style sex?" I ask, laughing.
"Is there wedding-style sex?"
"Duh." You roll your eyes at me. "Missionary. It's like a rule; you have to do missionary on your wedding night."
"I don't think that's a rule."
"I think it is."
"Well, because of this conversation, I'm going to make sure we don't do it missionary," I retort.
You pretend to shiver and bite your lip in what is meant to be a comical way, but it turns me on anyway. "Oh, I'm marrying such a rebel."
I laugh. "If that's what gets you going."
"You get me going," you tell me as you remove my shirt. I like the sound of that. "But still… I feel like we should be doing something special. Something different."
"I don't know… maybe we should do it outside? We haven't ever really done that."
"Good point. Maybe dirty talk? We don't really—"
I cover your mouth with my lips to get you to stop. "How about no talk?" I say, kissing your breast on top of your bra before nudging it away with my nose and then kissing the same spot again. When you moan, I can feel the vibrations against my hand. I like to make you shake.
And after that there's no talk for awhile because there are no words that can adequately describe this. We touch and move, rub and taste, and it's amazing, like it always is. But you asked me for something and I have to at least try to give it to you.
"I don't know about dirty talk," I say, barely understanding how I form words as I move in and out, which makes you move in a way that blows my mind. "But how about I tell you that I want you like this, always, with me and on me."
"Edward," you moan quietly, and move your hips faster. I think that means you like it and that only spurs me on more.
"And I'll tell you that whatever you ask me to do, I'll do it. If you tell me to touch you here"—I slide my hand to a place that makes you writhe. "Then I'll touch you here. And if you tell me to lean back slightly and go a little faster, then that's what I'll do. And some things you won't even have to tell me to do." I grab your foot and place it on my shoulder, and the angle is unbelievable, maximum contact, unbelievable impact. I turn my head to suck lightly on your ankle and the result is almost immediate; you still for a moment and then quake, arching your back as you cry out. I really like to make you shake. If I wasn't so busy losing my mind myself, I'd realize I've found a brand new way to turn you inside out.
Yipee-ki-yay. Come say hi? I've missed you.