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Chapter 12:

Grand Gestures

A lot of people can be heard saying that chivalry and romance is dead. I say different: you cannot kill something meaningful. I had taken a few days to think of my grand gesture before I was set and satisfied. After having dinner with Charlie and Irina on Christmas Eve, I would walk to Edward's house. Alice thought I was insane because of all the snow and freezing temperatures, but it was part of the chivalry. As soon as the night was upon me, I became nervous and worried about my gesture. So nervous I was shaking as I was putting on my coat.

"You're going to be great, Bells," My dad encouraged from beside me.

"Yeah, and you look fabulous."

"Thank you both," I replied hoarsely.

"Are you sure I can't drive you?" Charlie asked pleadingly.

"I'm sure. I can cut through the field and be there in ten minutes."

"Call us if you get too cold, you hear? It's below thirty degrees out there."

"Just keep moving," Irina added.

"Right," I nodded thankfully as Irina opened the door.

"Good luck!" They called in unison. I was so glad to have their encouragement and Irina was quickly becoming a good friend. And then, I was on my way. I tightened my jacket around me and began jogging through the conjoining corn field. The fear of the cold was beginning to hit me as I felt the ice wind beat my face. I slipped a few times on covered ice but managed to stay upright. My joints were beginning to ache and my toes were as numb as my face. I began to feel idiotic for choosing this idea, but kept onward. Once I could see Edward's house my frozen features broke into a smile. The snow twinkled around like it was rooting for me. As soon as I reached his front yard, I stopped my jog and went to the front door carefully. I didn't see much movement in the house when I approached it, but knew he was home because I could see his Volvo. I quickly took my boots off and grabbed the black heels from my over the shoulder bag. I slipped them on, and dropped my coat, bag and boots on the porch. My shaking hand reached for the door bell and pushed it slightly. The sound resonated in the house loudly and I began to hear movement behind the door before It opened before me. I was met with those familiar green eyes as they grew wide in seeing me. Edward's face looked tired and forlorn. So much so it made chest sink.

"Audrey," He whispered. Edward took in my appearance with a smile before his face fell.

"Did you walk here?" He asked worriedly.

"Yeah," I replied looking down to my red and numb hands. "I know it was stupid, but it was apart of the gesture."

"Come inside," He ordered. I followed him into the house and relished the feeling of warm air washing over me. I instantly began to thaw out and took in my surroundings. Edward's home wasn't like I thought. It was somewhat messy, but cozy. It had a cabin in the mountains feel to it that was soothing.

"Here," Edward said coming up to me. I tuned around so that he could drape a soft blanket over my shoulders.

"Thank you," I said. "Is that Yo-Yo Ma?" I asked pointing to the stereo. Soft violin music could be heard from the speakers subtly.

"It is."

"I love his music."

"As do I. Would you like some tea?"

"Got any hot chocolate?" I asked with big eyes. Edward chuckled and went into the kitchen with me on his heels.

"I like your house. It's not what I expected. It's almost like it should be on a Colorado mountain top."

"Thanks," He said laughing softy, "That's what I was going for." He went through his cupboards easily grabbing the ingredients he needed and put the kettle on. His appearance was comfy. The sweat pants and loose sweater he wore had me drooling slightly. Or maybe it was his wool socks.

"I saw Alice with a man I didn't know at the grocery store yesterday," Edward noted.

"Yes, she is back with her ex, Jasper and things couldn't be better for her," I replied happily.

"I'm glad for her. I can't believe you walked here in that attire," Edward said smiling as he leaned against the counter. "And I can't believe you still have that costume."

"I owe you an apology. A large one, and I wanted it to be grand, so I had to be Audrey. She always new how to do it right."

"That means a lot to me, Bella. Except that I should be doing the apologizing."

"What?" I asked curiously.

"My plan was to go to you early tomorrow morning with the gift I got you. Remember the old man at the craft market? I had him paint a new feather for you... Bella," Edward bowed his head in shame, "I should have fought from the beginning. I was a coward, but I was afraid of pushing you away by fighting for you. I never want to make you do something you're not ready for."

"Edward, I'm not Irina. I know who I am, and I like myself even more when I am with you. It's completion with you."

"Bella," Edward whispered as he came up to me, "You know I love you." His words ignited that empty place in my chest full force. It was as if he was replacing my old heart perfectly new. I felt alive and I felt love. He placed his warm and long hands on either side of my face adoringly.

"I love you, Edward. I want you to marry me," I replied softly staring into his eyes. Edward's grin was infectious across his beautiful face.

"I do," He said strongly. The excitement was overwhelming as I closed the distance between our mouths with every inch of passion pouring out of me into him. We stood awkwardly in his kitchen with Yo-Yo Ma in the background as our music. Kissing with me in my heels, he in his socks, it was perfect. It was our grand gesture becoming romance at the highest climax. Edward's arms wrapped around me securely and nothing had felt more right. My world shifted itself onto the right track that I would walk along for the rest of my life with Edward at my side. And to think, it all started with a painted feather.

~The End~