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This is the last chapter for the story… hope you guys enjoy! Thank you so much to all of you who followed this story even when I, as the writer, didn't want to.

Gotta warn you: things get a little steamy towards the middle of the chapter. It's not too bad, I don't think.


Chapter 27

Bella

Shortly after returning to Chicago from our vacation to Miami, things both changed yet stayed the same for the lot of us.

The majority of my friends were preparing to leave home to attend the universities of their choices, while Edward and I remained out of the loop, having only now finished our junior years of high school, as opposed to our friends – all seniors.

In a way, our trip to Miami had been one of the last trips that the group of us would take while we were all still in high school.

It was weird; going to school every day and not being part of my small trio of friends. Instead, I had to stick out my last year of high school clinging to Angela and a few other acquaintances.

Tanya had (thankfully) graduated along with Rosalie and Alice, though I wasn't entirely sure what she had been accepted into college to pursue.

And even though it was gratifying to not see her face in the halls, I kind of have to admit that I'd grown accustomed to the daily bickering that used to ensue between my friends, and Tanya and her minions. I almost missed it in a weird sort of way. (Almost, being the key word. I wasn't that forgiving for all that she'd done to me.)

But although school life was a dull, dreary time, after school was an entirely different story. Edward picked me up every single day, and once in a while, we'd try to take the bus, just to have a little laugh and reminisce the day we'd first met.

Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice visited as often as they could. Once in a while, they'd all drive down back home, and spend the weekend with Edward and me. Not to mention every possibly holiday and/or vacation.

All in all, my senior year with Edward was pretty amazing, even with our lack of close friends. I got to spend an immense amount of time with him, applying to most of the same universities that he applied to – not completely because of him. Believe it or not, we both liked a lot of the same campuses.

So, coming down to our senior year, when we were both accepted into Princeton University – Edward for pre-med, and me for English – we were both ecstatic, and jumped at the opportunity to attend the same school. I was thrilled because I'd luckily avoided having to choose between one of my dream universities and the guy of my dreams.

Instead, I'd gotten the best of both worlds – cheesy as it sounds.

Our friends were all relatively nearby, so throughout university, the group of us would meet up at least once a month to hang out together and catch up on old times. The last thing that any of us wanted to do was drift apart – not that that would ever happen. After all, I was Emmett's sister, while Edward was Alice's brother - Alice and Jasper, and Rosalie and Emmett were still just as inseparable as Edward and me.

Moreover, in my second year of university, Emmett had decided to pop the big question to Rosalie, who had obviously accepted. They had gotten married during the summer of that year.

Jasper wasn't too far behind in that area, proposing to Alice in my last year of university before I began my journalism apprenticeship at a well-known magazine. The couple had a spring wedding, which was just as extravagant as Rosalie and Emmett's.

Edward, on the other hand, continued to focus on his studies like me, but soon after my graduation, decided to ask me to move into an apartment with him.

During that time, I'd stay up late with him while he was studying for finals, picking him up in his work. Similarly, he'd read over some of my works in progress.

We had a good system.

And so now, here we were, revising for Edward's last final exam in medical school before he graduated.

It was clear that he was exhausted and bored of studying, and to be honest, I was too. It was actually applaudable that he'd been doing this same routine for more than six years.

But unfortunately, he still had at least five more topics to go over, and knowing this, I decided to come up with a way to spice things up a bit.

Once the gears started turning in my head, a smile slowly started forming on my lips as I thought of just the thing to get him going once again.

"What?" Edward asked, suspicion evident in his velvety voice as he looked at my smiling face. He couldn't help but smile back, though.

"I was just thinking about us playing a little studying game, of the sorts. Since you're clearly having a hard time finishing this part," I replied, wondering how exactly this game of mine was going to go down.

"Care to elaborate, love?" my heart skipped a beat at the nickname he'd started using for me most recently.

Yes, we had both established the fact that we loved each other, a long time ago, but still, I always turned to goo every time he said it – or something along the lines of it – to me.

I looked down at my clothes, noting that I was wearing a jumper over a tank top (which was obviously over a bra), plus my sweatpants and underwear. Then I looked back up at him, noticing that his expression was turning more and more curious by the second.

"Okay, I think I've determined how this is going to work. For every topic that we cover, in which you get every single question I ask you right – I will take off an article of clothing. However, if you get one or more questions wrong within the topic, you have to take off one of yours," by this time, Edward's jaw had dropped open, and he was trying fruitlessly to cover up both his disbelief and excitement.

"Seriously?" he asked, cocking his dark eyebrows up at me as if what he was hearing was too good to be true.

"Seriously," I confirmed, locking eyes with him and smirking.

"We better get started, then," Edward looked at my clothes, visibly gulping, making my smile widen even further.

In case you were wondering, Edward and I still hadn't… well, you know. Even after all these years of being together.

We'd been close to doing it once before, but in that one circumstance, I had felt like it just wasn't the right time. And he had respected that, which I was really grateful for.

Obviously, I wasn't planning on finally doing it the day before his final exam; doing that would probably only leave him disoriented and confused.

But I figured that having a little fun while studying would be good for him, and for us. It'd been a while since we'd done anything besides give each other short kisses goodbye.

"Okay, first question…" and with that, I started our studying game, pulling off my sweater when he'd gotten all the answers in the first section correct. He had grinned when that had happened, while I had only rolled my eyes, smiling.


After about an hour, we were finally down to the last topic of questions. I was now only clad in my tank top covering my bra, along with my underwear, while Edward was only in boxers.

It actually physically took an effort for me to tear my eyes away from his perfectly sculpted body. He was still going to the gym religiously to maintain a six-pack, and God-given biceps – cue mental cheer.

Currently, we were both standing; Edward was pacing around as I shot question after question at him. He had answered all of them perfectly so far, and we were now down to the last question.

"What is the name of the condition which occurs when blood accumulates in the pleural cavity?" I asked, waiting patiently for him to answer.

After just about a minute, "Hemothorax," he answered smoothly, before smiling when he realized that I had to take off another article of clothing.

I only sighed, before reaching for the hem of my tank top and gently tugging it off, to reveal a pink lacy bra that matched my underwear.

Edward had seen me in my underwear before, when he'd accidentally walked into the bathroom while I was still changing.

But it really didn't count that time seeing as he'd covered his eyes, apologizing profusely, before turning and walking back out. (It had been so adorable to see his cheeks and neck turn a rosy hue due to his sheer embarrassment.)

Now this time, however, he was given the opportunity to look, really look – and boy, did he take advantage of that. Edward's eyes roamed over my body a few times before he froze in his spot, looking like a fish out of water with his open-mouthed gaping.

I resisted the urge to laugh out loud, finding it completely humorous that he still got flustered by me. Possibly even more than he used to when we'd first gotten together. I slowly cocked my head to the side, moving my feet backwards in the direction of the bedroom before beckoning him with my finger to follow me.

I didn't know what compelled me to do so, but I guess I was feeling a little outgoing – okay, a lot.

His eyes only widened further, before something seemed to trigger inside of him, making him quickly close the distance between us. This only caused me to giggle when his arms wrapped around my waist as he dipped me down, planting a searing kiss on my lips.

It wasn't long before my fingers found themselves tangled into his always-messy, bronze hair, while he gently lifted me up, walking us into large bedroom that we shared in our apartment.

By this time, Edward's tongue had plunged itself into my open mouth, wrestling with my own as he gently rested my body onto the king-sized bed. His muscular body hovered over mine, still not breaking the kiss as his hands trailed from my waist, up my arms, to my hair. My arms went to his back, pulling him flush against my body, making him groan audibly.

When we broke apart for air, Edward barely breathed before his lips went to a different part of my body. He planted butterfly kisses from my jaw, down to my neck, before finally reaching my sternum. All the while, my fingers were curled, pressing into his back as I resisted the urge to moan.

I knew that it was going to be excruciatingly hard to stop if we went any further, so I held onto the little amount of self-control that I still had, before lightly pushing him away so that I could see his face.

His eyes were closed, and I watched the steady rise and fall of his shoulders as he breathed in and out, in and out.

I didn't want to break the silence, but at the same time, I needed to, "Edward."

I whispered his name, causing his eyes to immediately flutter open. They were their usual vibrant green, but had an undertone of darkness, and…lust.

"I want to do it. You have no idea how much I do. But at the same time, I don't want this to be all that you're thinking of while you're in your exam tomorrow," I had been completely serious, but smiled when Edward eyes cleared as he chuckled.

"I know. You're completely right. I probably wouldn't be able to focus on anything but you," he laughed again, eyes brightening with humour as I only shook my head, smiling.

"But, thank you," he eventually said, after sobering up. I only quirked a single eyebrow, wondering what he meant by that.

"For what?" I voiced my thoughts, before soon getting his answer, "For helping me study."

His expression was smug as I bit my lip, blushing, "You're welcome."

After a few minutes, his expression turned calculating, and anxious. He was deliberating whether or not he should ask me something, before he finally came to a decision.

"Can we continue this tomorrow? You know, when I have nothing else to study for? I mean… only if you're ready. God, what am I saying? I'm really being selfish," his expression turned from hopeful to guilty in a matter of seconds. I almost kissed him for once again putting my feelings above his.

Thinking about it, honestly, I had no reason to say no to what he was proposing. All that I had been worried about was whether he'd have all of his energy focused on his last final exam in medical school - because education always came first. But tomorrow, he'd be finished.

And truly, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to do it. I mean, we'd been together for over six years now, and I knew that I was ready.

So…why not?

"No, you're not being selfish. You're being open, and that's exactly what you're supposed to be. And I'm not saying this because I'd feel bad for turning you down…I'm saying this because I actually do want to do this with you: yes, we can continue this tomorrow," I didn't know how I'd managed to turn a simple 'yes' into a mini-speech, but hey, I couldn't take it back now.

"Are you sure? We don't have to - " Edward still looked wary, making my smile widen, "Absolutely sure."

And, guess what?

We did continue the next day, and it was everything that I'd wished it to be and more.

In the movies, the girl almost always wakes up feeling regretful… but I didn't. If anything, I'd felt more whole and complete than I'd ever felt in my life. I felt happy – truly happy.

Obviously, it had a lot to do with what had happened on the bed… but something equally amazing had happened just prior to that.

I glanced down at my left hand, seeing the diamonds glistening in the morning sun, thinking back to how it'd gotten on my finger.

Flashback:

I'd decided to pay a visit to Alice and Jasper in Manhattan while Edward was finishing his last exam. My mind was still swimming with what had happened the night before when I'd played that studying game with Edward.

I wasn't going back on my decision to finally lose my virginity to Edward. In fact, I was reveling in that fact. I honestly didn't know how tonight was going to turn out, but I hoped that everything would go smoothly.

It was a relatively long drive from New Jersey to New York, so by the time I'd gotten to Alice and Jasper's apartment, it was already well into the morning.

Alice had opened the door, beaming as she enveloped me in one of her signature hugs, before Jasper had greeted me with a smile and light hug.

"How's the married life going?" I asked the couple after we'd settled down on the couches located in their living room.

My response was a cheeky grin from Alice aimed at Jasper, "Incredible. I mean, obviously we fight a little here and there. But it's never anything that can't be resolved. And with Jasper being a therapist and all, it's a little hard to ever really stay mad." We all laughed at that, before Jasper formulated his own response.

"You and Edward would really love it," I could tell that there was some kind of hidden meaning in his words, but at the time, I couldn't seem to figure it out.

"Yeah, well. I want it to happen, but I'm not going to obsess over it. He's busy, and I get it, so I'm really not gonna push him to pop the question. It'll happen when it happens," I responded, making Alice and Jasper's grins widen even further.

"So you would say 'yes' if he were to ask you, hypothetically speaking," Jasper asked, seeking clarification.

"Of course. There's no one else that I'd want to spend the rest of my life with," I answered truthfully, making Alice visibly bounce in her seat.

It seemed that my answer seemed to give her so much happiness that she had to run over and hug me with a vice grip, "Oh, I'm so thrilled that you two got together all those years ago."

I only laughed, patting her on the back, "Well it's thanks to you that Edward had happened to take the bus with me that day." I recalled the fact that she'd forced Edward to hitch a ride on the bus while she borrowed his Volvo after her Porsche had been impounded.

I'd also happened to take the bus that day due to the fact that my Audi had been at the mechanic's.

It was honestly crazy to think that all of this had come from just one accidental meeting on the bus.

"Well, you two would've eventually met anyway, but you're welcome!" Alice released me, before she walked back over and sat on Jasper's lap. They shared a short moment of looking into each other's eyes before snapping out of it after remembering that they had company. It was clear to any bystander that the two of them absolutely adored each other.

Jasper and Alice were almost as lovey-dovey as Emmett and Rosalie.

Well actually, I couldn't really compare the two due to the fact that Emmett and Rose were more of a hands-on couple, while Jasper and Alice were more of a look-into-each-other's-eyes-and-melt couple.

I think that Edward and I were probably a mixture of the two.

Soon after I got settled in Alice and Jasper's couch, the three of us fell into conversation about our careers, and plans for the future, steering clear of the topic of marriage after having already interrogated me about it.

It was during the early evening that I decided to head back home, sending a message to Edward that I was on my way. He'd confirmed that his exam was easy enough – "I know that I definitely didn't fail" – making me smile with pride at him.

Parking in the underground lot, I headed for the elevator, soon reaching the door to our apartment. Turning the key in the lock, my sense of smell was assaulted by a lovely aroma coming from the kitchen.

My interest piqued as I rounded the corner, seeing Edward setting out two plates of food on a small table fit for two.

"What's all this?" I asked, as Edward came to greet me.

"Just my way of letting you know how much I love and appreciate you. It's the least that I could do after everything you do for me," he spoke, green eyes blazing with honesty into mine.

That really should have been my first hint as to what was soon to come, but being me, I had really believed that that was all that this was about.

I had only kissed him softly, "Thank you," before sitting with him and preparing to eat his mouth-watering food. The dishes consisted of lasagna, steamed vegetables, and roasted chicken.

All in all, it was definitely one of the best meals that I'd ever had. I was certain now that he'd picked up a thing or two from Esme in the kitchen.

When he was convinced that I'd had my fair share of food, he helped me up from the seat and led the way to the bedroom. I was confused to say the least, about to ask him what he was planning on doing.

But once I entered the room, my confusion soon transformed into genuine surprise.

Candles were placed strategically around the room – away from all flammable objects – while several rose petals were strewn on both the bed and the carpeted floors. It was only after closer inspection that I noticed that the rose petals on the bed had been placed in a way that they spelled out a sentence… or was it a question?

I walked up closer to the bed, gasping when I realized what they spelt out.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I saw Edward's lean hand reach out and grasp a black, velvet box I hadn't noticed was resting on the bed. Then I turned and watched as he lowered himself to the floor, in a kneeling stance.

Oh. My. Gosh.

He took my hands in his, even at his position, before clearing his throat nervously, "Isabella Marie Swan, the day that I met you, I knew that things would never be the same. And I was right.

"For the past six years, I've felt an indescribable warmth and happiness that I don't think anyone else in the world can make me feel. Before I met you, I thought that my life was good… great, even. I never knew that there was something missing from it, until you filled that empty space. Bella, I promise to love you and care for you for the rest of my life. It will be my mission to never make you cry, and always keep that beautiful smile on your face, for as long as I live.

"Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" Edward's emerald eyes looked imploringly into my own. I knew that he was practically dying of anxiety, so I quickly relieved him of his worries, not having to ponder my answer. Because I'd already known in the back of my mind that he was the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Ever since the day I'd met him.

"Yes," I nodded, wiping away a few stray tears – I hadn't even noticed that I'd been crying – with my right hand.

After that one, simple word, the brightest smile lit up Edward's entire face, making his features seem all the more attractive. Already holding my left hand in his, he pulled the most gorgeous (gigantic) diamond ring out of the velvet box and slipped it onto my ring finger.

Then, in one fluid motion, he stood, lifting me up in his arms and twirling me around – the smiles never left either of our faces.

"You've just made me the happiest man in the world, Bella," he said, before bringing me down to give me just about the most passionate kiss he'd ever given me in his life.

End Flashback

I had been admiring the diamond engagement ring, while Edward gazed down at me. We were still wrapped up in the bed sheets, too lazy to get up.

"What are you thinking about?" Edward asked curiously, moving the tangled hair away from my face, leaving his hand caressing my cheek.

"Last night," I answered simply, making a smirk form across his face, "Which part?"

I grinned, locking eyes with him, "When you proposed. I guess I've just been realizing how much I love you, Edward. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me." I was speaking slowly and honestly, and he knew that. I intertwined my fingers with his, as he kissed my knuckles.

A smile slowly spread across his face, as he leaned his forehead against mine.

"I meant all of those things I said last night. I'd do anything to make you happy. I truly and wholeheartedly love you, Bella. Always and forever."

And I could safely say that I felt the same about him. I couldn't wait to start our new life together. Because I knew it was going to be one hell of a journey.

~ Fin~


A/N: The End. For real, this time :(

I just realized that I totally led you guys on in my A/N for the last chapter. I made it seem like I was writing 2-3 more chapters, and to be honest, I was going to.

But I just felt like I was dragging this story on, and it was time for it to end. Sorry!

But how did you guys find the last chapter?! Leave me a review… your last reviews :'( well for this story anyway.

Thank you for all of your support throughout this story! I still can't believe you guys sent me over 500 reviews :')

Oh, and I decided to answer some questions you guys might have about the chapter:

1. Did Edward want to propose just because they were finally going to have sex?

No, absolutely not. He'd been planning that proposal since months before. He wanted to propose to Bella when he was officially finished with medical school. They just happened to do it that night too…

2. Did Alice and Jasper already know about the proposal?

Yup! Hence all of the dropped hints.

3. Will there be a sequel to this story?

Probably not, sorry.

That's all I can think of…

Xoxo,

LoveACullen

P.S. I'm actually in the process of writing another story (I'll post the first chapter in the next two days – please check it out!)