All recognisable characters belong to SM. I just own the plot.
Before I start with anything, I would like to apologise once again for the delay. I had been busy with an original fiction and its deadline with a publisher. Now that was taken cared of, I could focus on my fanfics again.
This last chapter is dedicated to my beta, A Jasper For Me. Hope you'll be blessed with good health soon. Thank you for always being ready to go over my stories.
This last chapter is unbetaed, so excuse any and all mistakes you find along the way.
I tried to wrap this up the best way I could ... so here you go, guys. One last time.
There was bantering behind me, and I didn't need to turn around to know it was Emmett and Rosalie. Even after months of knowing each other, they still argued about almost everything. It seemed to me this was some kind of foreplay to them – everyone knew they were fucking each other even if they tried to keep it a secret.
"Your Highness," Felix said, making me look up at him. "Everything's ready."
The bickering stopped as I stood up from where I sat. Emmett stepped beside me as I walked out the door, looking harassed.
"I find it amusing to see how you and Rose interact."
"You're friend infuriates me." I could hear the irritation in his tone, and I chuckled.
"If she irritates you, then why don't you just avoid her?"
"That woman j-just … just aggravates me! She's so damn arrogant," he hissed, running his hand through his hair. "Sometimes I really want to strangle her." He made a strangling motion with his hands, and turned to me as I stopped walking.
"Do you really want to do that?" I arched an eyebrow at him, daring him to answer me. "I know you've been fucking her, Em."
He couldn't deny that fact to me … he wouldn't dare. He just cleared his throat as we hurried passed the corridors, rearranging his tie as we did.
"Perhaps the public hostility between the two of you is some kind of game for you guys."
"We are not discussing my sex life, Edward. This is not the proper place or time to do that," he said, trying to sound nonchalant but failed.
"So you mean to tell me we will be discussing it some other time?" I teased, and he shot me a glare.
It was funny to see Emmett's control slip. His forehead creased in a frown, his mouth thinned out in irritation. It took a moment before he responded, clearly debating on how to proceed with me.
"We will not be discussing it, period."
I decided to toy with him. "As the next sovereign of this country, I'm saying that we will," I told him, walking ahead so he wouldn't see the smile on my lips. He groaned, and I smiled wider. After a few seconds, he was beside me looking somber.
Feeling a little guilty, I decided to stop my teasing. His weird relationship with Rose was a sensitive topic for him. Although I wasn't privy to the details of said relationship, I still knew enough for me to give him a break.
"Don't worry. No more talks about you and Rose."
The look of surprise crossed his face for a fleeting moment to be replaced by gratefulness. He cleared his throat when I continued to stare at him, as if he was uncomfortable all of a sudden.
"So, where is she?" I asked, checking behind us to confirm there was no Rose.
"She said she'll follow," he answered, his eyes not meeting mine. "Don't worry, she'll be there. She won't miss this party. She said it herself."
"Then why can't she just ride in one of the cars?" I asked, a little suspicious.
"She said she can't go to the party without a gift, so she's gonna get it first."
"Since when does she give gifts?"
He just shrugged, but his fidgeting was a sign he was up to something. I narrowed my eyes at him skeptically. It was uncharacteristic of Rose to be all mushy, and her giving gifts equated to just that. Something was definitely up.
Emmett seemed to gain some composure, because when he stared back at me his face didn't give away anything.
"So that's how we're going to do this," I said, fixing my tie as we exited the hotel.
"Doing what?" He still acted like he didn't understand what I was talking about, but I knew better. I was on to him … and Rose.
"Sure, deny it all you want." I slid inside the limousine, more confident than ever he was hiding something from me.
"There's nothing to deny."
I would get it out of him eventually.
"We need to go now or you'll be late to your own party, Edward."
He sat beside me looking all dignified in his tuxedo, acting oblivious to my queries. Felix got inside the passenger seat just in time for Oliver to maneuver the car forward.
"Is Bella –"
"Yeah, she's on her way." His quick response cut me off.
Bella wanted to go talk to her parents after what had happened last night. And after she had left my apartment a quarter before twelve this noon, she stayed with them the rest of the afternoon. Alice was there. I made sure she would be even though it had only been two weeks since she gave birth to Jax. And I didn't forget about Jessica. Bella needed all the important people in her life so she could talk to them. There was no doubt in my mind the topic of conversation would've been us. In all honesty, I wanted them to have talked about me so to appease her in some way.
"Is Jeff with her?"
"Of course. They're only a few minutes behind us."
The dynamics of our relationship had changed, and her security needed to change as well. One car was ahead of the one I was in, and two cars behind with men fully equipped and trained to protect me … while Bella only had Jeff. My safety would always come first as compared to her. And even though I didn't like it, I had no delusions into thinking otherwise. It was just those things that came with my role..
There were certain things that would change soon, and that included her safety. A few more men would guard her from now on.
"Make sure she's safe all the time. Okay. Emmett?"
"Yes. I'll talk to Jeff as soon as possible."
"I want to see her before we make our appearance in the ballroom," I told him. "Make that happen, Em."
"Are you sure?" he asked, frowning at me. "The Queen said she needs to make sure th-"
"No, Em. Make sure Bella is in my office before the party starts or she'll be whisked away by my mother. And if that happens, you know I'll not be able to have some alone time with her for hours."
The tone of my voice didn't leave any room for argument. This was not a request, and he knew it.
In light of my recent demand, he started to text someone. It wasn't until after a few seconds that he finally made a call, leaving me to ponder on my thoughts. I leaned back my head on the seat, hoping to relax before I arrived at the Palace, where my mother threw a party for Bella and me. It was an important event for both of us, exciting and scary at the same time.
It was going to be a zoo. There was no doubt about it. That was why I needed to see Bella – more for my sanity than hers – before the craziness started. I needed to see her smile and feel her lips to remind me how fucking lucky I was to have her. I could take anything life threw at me, any fucking thing, as long as she was beside me. And she would be, because she said so last night. She agreed to be mine.
Bella's mine. That thought made me grin, and I stayed giddy the remainder of the way to the Palace.
An hour after in my office, I was pacing around impatiently. Jeff had radioed they had arrived and Bella was expected to be here with me in a minute or so. A knock on the door got me excited, only to reveal Rosalie when it opened.
My sudden disappointment turned to confusion when I thought about why she was here in my office. I glanced at Emmett to find him looking so serious. He stepped forward to meet Rose, reaching out a hand to her when she was close to him.
A big black box of what looked like jewelry was in her hand, and she gave it to him. Their actions puzzled me.
"Edward," he started, looking apprehensive.
"What is this?"
"Please don't argue," he continued, still baffling me. "I, … no, it was actually Rose who got you something."
"It was both of us … who thought to give you this," Rose corrected him, smiling at me with confidence.
I opened the black flat box with the engraved signature of a very famous jewelry designer to reveal a diamond bracelet. It was completely different from the one I gave Bella, but it was exquisite. Something I would have picked out for her.
I reached out to check finger the diamonds that surrounded the whole bracelet to see an ISC initials – the same size as the diamonds – inserted amongst the stones. I grinned, suddenly realizing what this was really for.
So this was what they were up to.
"This is beautiful, Em."
"It's an anklet, Edward," Rose informed me, looking shy all of a sudden.
"I thought it was a bracelet."
"We wanted you to have something to give her this night. As a token of some sorts for the importance of this night."
"I don't know what to say." I ran a hand through my hair, trying to find the right words.
"You don't have to say anything, Edward," Rose said, grinning like she just won the lottery. "Emmett took care of it."
"Thank you. But this is expensive, Em. I don't want you slaving to pay thi-"
"I charged it to your account," Emmett explained, his brow creased in worry like he wasn't sure about his actions. "Seeing that he knows me, Sir Matt from the store agreed."
I chuckled, still a little amazed and dumbfounded at what he and Rose did. "Well, okay."
"You just have to sign the receipt to confirm the sale. That's all," he said in relief. I couldn't stop myself from grinning.
Even before we could continue with our conversation, the door opened again this time to reveal my Bella.
"Hey," I said, staring as she crossed the room towards me. The pale pink gown she wore made her look elegantly beautiful … just like a royal.
"You look …" I pulled her to me, skimming my nose across her jaw "… absolutely mouth watering."
The clearing of a throat made me realize Emmett and Rose were still with us.
"We're gonna leave the two of you, now," Emmett said, winking as he ushered Rose toward the door.
"Thanks," I mouthed, grinning. He gave me a thumbs up and finally exited the room, leaving me and Bella alone.
"I have something for you." I reached for the black box on top of the table where I placed it earlier when she arrived, and removed the jewelry from the flat bed. Her eyes widened in surprise.
"It's an anklet."
"Edward, you've already given me so –"
"No, baby. This one marks tonight's occasion."
"But I told you before, you don't have to give me things."
"You're so stubborn," I argued, smiling when she frowned.
"I could say the same thing about you."
Without saying anything, I placed my hands on her hips and placed her to sit on top of the table.
"Please indulge me," I begged, my eyes pleading with her. "I just want you to have this around you tonight."
She sighed. "Okay."
I pushed her gown upwards enough to expose a little skin of her left foot to put the diamond anklet around her ankle.
"There," I said, giving her foot a little kiss. "It didn't hurt, did it?"
"Emmett and Rose were the ones who thought it'll be nice for me to give you something tonight. I hope you like it."
She smiled. "You know I do."
"Good," I said, helping her down from the table. "Can I kiss you now?"
"Of course." Her eyes twinkled as she reached up to pucker her lips.
I didn't want a peck on the lips. So instead, I pulled her to me, wrapping her arms around my neck and kissed her slowly … and passionately until I thought my head would explode from the pleasure.
"I think we should go, Edward."
"Your mom's not gonna be happy if we're late to the party."
"We're already here in the Palace. It wouldn't take five minutes to walk toward the ballroom. We're fine right here … just as we are." I nuzzled her neck and she simply tilted her head a little more so I could have more access.
"I missed you." I kissed the pulse point on her neck before I pulled my head up to lean my forehead against hers. "Did you talk to your family?"
She nodded, pulling her lower lip between her teeth.
"Well, they're a little scared but excited as well." She lowered her eyes, making me know something was bothering her.
"What is it, little bird?" I tilted her chin with my fingers, smiling encouragingly at her. If she was nervous about something, she needed to tell me. It wouldn't be good if she had seconds thoughts, not when I waited for years to finally hear her say yes – for her to finally agree to marry me.
I raised her right hand and kissed the ring I had placed on her finger last night.
"For being you … for wanting me the same way I want you …" I shrugged, smiling at her "… for saying yes."
She raised her hand and cradled my cheek. "It's about time I did."
I rubbed my cheek on her palm, wanting the reassurance of her touch.
"You won't regret it."
I kissed her.
"I think it's time."
That made her smile. I covered her hand with mine, linking my fingers with hers, knowing the road ahead wasn't easy. With her at my side, it would be less a task but more of an adventure.
There you go. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing.
Huggles and kisses to everyone - from the alerts, faves to the reviews. My loyal readers and friends, who had been with me all throughout this story, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Words can't express my gratitude.
It was fun to have you guys along for the ride.
*I and my characters now humbly vow to mark the conclusion of this story*
P.S I still have that new story The Anthem of the Swan. Check it out if you got time.