"Bella, you should be resting,"
I turned my attention from the steaming pot of soup in front of me to see my overly concerned husband standing by the doorway.
"You don't have to cook anymore, sweetheart," he reminded me as he walked to my side and kissed my temple.
"I know," I nodded. "But I feel like I have done nothing but sit for such a long time. I wish to make myself useful,"
Edward sighed and rested his forehead against the side of my head. His arms wrapped around my body until his hands rested on the small protrusion on my stomach.
I smiled and placed the spoon I was holding aside to put my hands over his. Ever since we learned I was with child, Edward's protective nature had become more dominant. Though I was not that far along, he constantly insisted that I should sleep more and to indulge on hobbies that required no physical work. For the past few days, I had not done much other than sit in his study and read.
"You are useful," he murmured. "You are caring for the two most important people in my life,"
I chuckled lightly. "The baby will not be harmed if I do simple housework, Edward,"
"But you do not have to do any of that anymore," he gently turned me around so that I faced him. "That life is behind you, Bella,"
While it was true that my days as a lowly servant girl were done, it was difficult for me to forget the habits and actions ingrained in me while I was still one.
Edward and I married only days after we arrived in England and he brought me to his home as his wife. A majority of the house staff was a bit wary of me at first, but eventually grew to appreciate the effect of my presence on their master. Some had even openly thanked me for making him happier than they've ever seen him.
The maids still had some trouble accepting that I did some household chores, however. Their surprise was over the roof when they saw me making breakfast after spending my first night in the estate. Though they had somewhat gotten used to me performing tasks they were supposed to do, I still received strange looks every time I polished silverware or swept the floors of our bedroom.
"Yes, I know it is," I told him softly, raising my hand to rest on his cheek. "But I wish to do it, Edward. I want to care for you,"
"You already do," he said. "I love you so much,"
"I love you too,"
Edward smiled and pressed his lips to mine. What began as a chaste kiss soon became more heated as my hands tangled in his hair and he pulled me closer. A low moan escaped his throat when his tongue touched mine and his hands began to wander to my bottom when a loud gasp filled the room.
We both pulled away immediately and saw a servant standing by the door leading to the yard. Her jaw was dropped and eyes wide as she openly gaped at us.
My cheeks reddened – another attribute I had not been able to remove – and Edward cleared his throat.
"Mr. Cullen! I was just…the…um," the maid stuttered, her hands fiddling with her basket. "I was just about to bring in these apples,"
"Yes, you may come in," Edward nodded and pulled me to his side. "Mrs. Cullen and I were just leaving,"
"But, the soup-"
"Mary can take care of it," he smiled and looked at the young girl. "Can't you?"
"Er, yes, Mr. Cullen," Mary said.
Without another word, Edward's hand gripped mine and he pulled me out of the kitchen. We had barely made it to the hallway when he pushed me against the wall and kissed me again.
"Should we be doing this here?" I whispered as his lips moved to my neck. "We can easily be seen,"
"I am too impatient," he growled lowly before nipping at my skin. "I want you so much,"
"Our room," I told him, tugging on his hair. "People pass through this hallway too often,"
With another growl, Edward eventually moved away from me and a second later, was leading me up the stairs and onto our bed.
Showing Edward how much I loved him with my body was a different experience each time I did but all of them were always far better than I've imagined. Our bodies fit together so perfectly and the pleasure loving each other brought never ceased to be immense.
Edward seemed to feel the same way if his grunts and moans were of any indication. The way he held me so close to him as he whispered how much he loved me in my ear afterwards showed how much he enjoyed doing it as well.
"You are amazing," he panted as he collapsed on the pillow beside me. "I can make love to you every day for the rest of my life and I would never complain,"
"Every day?" I smiled teasingly. "I do not think your brother would appreciate that with his and Alice's wedding just a few weeks away,"
Edward groaned. "Don't remind me. I still have to accompany him to the tailor's tomorrow and if I recall correctly, Alice wants you to help her select flowers,"
"Yes, I remember that as well," I sighed and snuggled closer to him. "I suppose a good thing about having a small wedding like ours is that we did not have to do much,"
"But it was to your liking, yes?" his voice was suddenly hesitant. "I know we married immediately but…if you wish to have a big celebration as well, we can – "
"Edward, it was perfect," I made my face level with his and placed my hands on his cheeks. "Really. Having our friends and family was more than enough. And the most important part of that day was finally being able to call you my husband,"
Edward smiled and kissed my lips chastely. "Our wedding day was perfect for me as well. My mother still regrets not being able to show off her son's union to all her society friends, however, but I'm sure she is making up for it now with Jasper's,"
"But was she angry about it?"
"Of course not, Bella," he chuckled. "She was a bit disappointed, yes, but it was your wedding, therefore, your choices. Besides, she adores you,"
That point I could not argue with. I had thought that Lord and Lady Cullen would not be welcoming of me considering the circumstances surrounding the manner at which Edward and I met but surprisingly, they were both very warm towards me. Lady Cullen asked me a million and one questions about myself and even insisted that I call her by her first name though I had yet to do so.
It also became apparent that Edward's parents were nothing at all like what the elites of San Diego were like – cold and quite unfeeling to anyone they deemed below them. Attending dinner at their enormous manor one night proved how kind they were towards their servants.
"…accompany you tomorrow,"
I was brought out of my musings by Edward's final words. "I'm sorry, Edward. What was that?"
"I said my mother told me she wished to spend time with you and Alice so she shall accompany you tomorrow,"
"Oh," I said. "Yes, I would love to spend time with her as well,"
We laid there together for a few more hours as the sun slowly set and the sky turned dark. Still, it was not until my stomach made its hunger known that we dressed and descended the stairs for dinner. Afterwards, we changed into our night attires and snuggled back under the covers of our bed.
"I almost forgot," Edward let go of me for a moment to reach for his night stand. He returned with an envelope in his hand.
"It is from your father," he explained, handing it to me.
I looked at the white envelope that bore Commander Swan's rough handwriting. The last time I conversed with him in any way was after my wedding. He had to return immediately to the Philippines to fulfill his duties afterwards but he did promise to write. This was the first letter I received.
"When did this arrive?" I asked as I sat up and carefully opened the envelope.
"This morning," Edward replied. "What does it say?"
I moved my hand so that the letter was between us and began to read.
Edward and Bella,
I know it has been a while since you last heard from me so I write to you now that I have time to spare. It has been a very busy month for us here but everything is going smoothly and in accordance to plan. I hope your lives are in the same manner.
San Diego had experienced some changes in your absence. The captain's daughter, Tanya, and Jacob Black had recently wed and had a baby boy. They have no intention of staying in the Philippines for long, however, and plan to travel with Jacob's father, William, when he returns to New York. The Hales have also moved to Intramuros to avoid the gossip that spread about their daughter running off with that boat fellow. Speaking of whom, I have received a letter from her earlier this week from their home in America. She thanked me once again for taking her away from San Diego and to report that she and Elias will be wed soon.
I'm sure you are also interested to know of what happened to Father Marcus. After he discovered that not only Edward but the entire Cullen family had disappeared, the man went mad. He shook up quite the scene in front of the whole town the way he shouted at and called the lieutenant incompetent. He had to be restrained and kept locked somewhere where he could no longer stir trouble. Still, this did not stop him from making his situation worse for himself. He was a complete nuisance in his cell and only earned the anger and annoyance of the guards with how he shouted profanities at them.
He even revealed through one of his tirades that he knew of Spain's plan to sell the Philippines to America and completely detested the idea as he would no longer have a church or a town to control. Eventually, the lieutenant had had enough of his endless rants and ordered him to be executed by garrote. I think this provided a great relief to San Diego. Father Aro still lives though he returned to Madrid shortly after the death of his fellow friar.
Aside from these, everything is quite normal and quiet for the most part. Many still speculate about what happened to you and your friends but no one knows anything true.
I hope you write back and tell me about what is happening with your lives now. Is your estate still prospering? Am I to expect grandchildren soon? Either way, I would love to hear from you. After all of this is done, I promise to visit and see how you are for myself.
I smiled at the name on the bottom of the letter. 'Charlie' was what Elias and Elisar used to refer to Commander Swan after hearing the ship's men call him that. It was what I started calling him as well, not used to calling him 'father', though I unconsciously still referred to him as Commander Swan from time to time.
"Well, that was certainly interesting," Edward commented. "I have to say, I am incredibly happy that Marcus was finally put to justice,"
"What a terrible fate, though," I said. "Death by any means is never pleasant, but I cannot deny the relief I feel. He will truly never bother us again,"
"Yes, never again," he kissed my forehead.
"I hope Lady Ro- Rosalie, Elias and Elisar are alright. Perhaps we should write to them," my words were interrupted by a yawn.
Edward took the paper from my hand and placed it back on the table. "We can do that tomorrow. Right now, my loves need to rest," he leaned down to kiss the small bump on my stomach.
I didn't put up any resistance and laid my head on the pillow instead, smiling as the light was put out and Edward pulled my back to his chest.
"Goodnight, sweetheart," Edward murmured.
"Goodnight," I murmured back, finally allowing my eyes to close.
The End/Ang Katapusan/Das Ende
Garrote – an execution device which slowly strangles a person through the gradual tightening of a rope, chain or metal tab placed across the neck. Hope this is enough to punish Marcus (keep in mind that executions at that time were done publicly).