A/N: I don't own this, we all know who does. What I do own is a happy heart. I got roses and yummy Mexican food for Valentine's Day. And I might have bought myself some cinnamon bears and a Breaking Dawn tin with gummy hearts and a Cullen Crest necklace. :D Hubs never knows what to get me, other than roses...so I get it myself. :D
It's Valentine's Day...I thought I might post this, just for fun. It's not preread by anyone, so it might be crap. And it's not done, so there will be more...eventually. It's taken me 2 months to get this much written. Ugh...I suck. :)
blueeyedcherry, hope you like it. Thanks for the story prompt. :)
~*0*~ Epilogue ~ Part One ~*0*~
It had been two years since Edward sat down next to me at Maggie's soccer game.
Two years of dinner dates every other Saturday night. Two years of Tuesday evening pizza with Maggie. Two years of Sunday afternoons at Edward's parents house. Two years of staring into glorious green eyes and tracing my fingers over tattoos and piercings.
The two best years of my life.
After a year together, when Edward started dropping hints about moving in together, I panicked a little bit. I wasn't sure how that would be looked upon since I'd been his doctor at one point. Edward didn't care, but I did. It took a huge fight at one of Maggie's soccer games for us to finally realize maybe things weren't going to be as easy as we'd both hoped they would be. The other single moms in the bleachers were clearly relieved to see us at each others throats, even if we were mostly whispering and speaking in low tones to one another. When Edward had finally had enough, he loudly stated that I was being selfish by not even considering his wants and needs. He stormed off after that, and I didn't hear from him for almost two weeks.
I had to hand it to him...he dealt with our separation much better than I did. I took that to mean somewhere in all those counseling sessions, I'd really helped him. He'd grown secure with himself and he was stronger than he'd ever been.
When I saw him at the grocery store one evening, the fact that he barely even acknowledged me nearly broke my heart. When we unknowingly reached for the same bunch of bananas, I sensed the first bit of emotion that I'd felt since he left.
"Sorry," he said, before pulling his hand back and looking up at me. Clearly he was just as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He was better at hiding it, though, and after mumbling a "See ya around" to me, he turned and quickly walked away.
I hurried to check out, then sat in my car in the parking lot and cried, finally seeing him exit the store. He talked on his phone the whole way to his car, never looking up to see me, though he paused a time or two, like he knew I was there.
Then he was gone. The next day I had a meeting with Kate, my supervisor, and she could tell that something was not right with me.
"Bella, what's going on? I've never seen you like this. Did something happen with Maggie?" she asked. We'd grown to be close friends over our time working together, and even though I knew I shouldn't tell her about Edward, I did. Once the whole story of our past was out, I told her about our fight and what had happened at the grocery store.
"I don't know what to do," I whispered as I cried. I would have thought after crying every day for nearly two weeks that I'd run out of tears. That didn't seem to be the case.
"Bella," she said as she sighed, "what a mess you've gotten yourself into. As a physician, and your boss, I have to remind you how unprofessional this is. You could have lost your license or been severely punished for what you did."
"I know. I tried, Kate, I swear I tried so hard to stop what I was feeling. But...it was just too strong. He's the one for me, I know it. I just met him in the worst of ways."
She let out a deep breath and didn't speak for several seconds. When she finally did, her voice was soft and comforting. "As your friend, I feel like I should tell you that you need to fix this. I can see how being away from him is affecting you. If he really is the one for you, then you need to fix it. Go to him and tell him how you feel—make it work, Bella."
I nodded, knowing she was right, but still uncertain about if I could really do it.
"But am I going to be in trouble? I don't want anyone to think I'm abusing my job. I worked so hard, and I want to help people, and if anyone thought-"
"Bella, you can't help anyone like this," she said. I knew she was right.
"Okay, I'll do it," I promised. I just had to figure out how. I had to figure out how to show Edward I was serious and dedicated to him. I had to make him believe me.
I'd lost him once. I knew I couldn't lose him again.
That Saturday afternoon, two weeks after he'd walked away from me, I sat alone in the bleachers. My sunglasses covered my eyes and the constant glances around the field as I searched for him. Rosalie was coaching, as usual, and I noticed Emmett wasn't there. That meant Edward should have been filling in as her assistant, but as game time approached, he still wasn't there.
It wasn't long until I heard the annoying laugh of another soccer mom—one who seemed to have a particularly strong crush on Edward. "You're so funny," I heard her coo just as—from the corner of my eye—I saw her approach the field. Next to her was Edward, walking much too close to her for my liking. What was he thinking? I knew he couldn't stand Lauren, so why on earth would he be talking to her? I sat up straight in my seat, my eyes glued to the two of them. I saw his lips move as he said something to her, and watched as her head leaned back when she began to laugh. He wasn't smiling, and I saw him roll his eyes, both of which made me happy, but still...her hand was on his arm and he wasn't pushing her away.
After about five minutes, I watched as her hand slowly crept up his arm, across his shoulder, and to the hair that hung out from the back of his baseball cap. Her fake, blood-red nails started to push into the hair that was only allowed to be touched by me, and I'd had it. I was up and out of my seat in a flash, and storming down the bleachers.
"What do you think you're doing?" I yelled toward her as I approached them. They both looked straight at me, and a huge, sly smile spread across Lauren's face.
"Oh, hi Bella. Edward and I were just talking about getting coffee after the game, weren't we?" she said in the sugary sweet voice that she usually unleashed on Edward.
He said nothing, just stood there staring at me. I pushed my sun-glasses off my face and onto the top of my head as I let out a huff of anger.
"Really? You're gonna go with her now? Are you kidding me?" I asked him.
He let out a deep breath, and my heart ached as I watched his shoulders slouch just a little. "Well, you don't seem to want me, so..."
"Yeah, Bella, you missed your chance. I can give him what he wants and what he needs. I can do everything you never did for him. Your loss is my gain."
The urge to punch her stupid mouth was so strong in me, that I had to step away from them, putting a little more distance between us as I tried to get my anger under control. I knew hitting her wasn't going to help me get Edward back. Even if it would make me feel better.
"I never said I didn't want you. I just didn't want to move so fast. You weren't being fair to me. It was your way or no way, and I can't do that. Not yet."
"Why?" he asked, and I noticed the slight step to the side that he took, pulling him away from Lauren. "Why can't we move faster? It's been a year, Bella. I know what I want, and I don't think it's a crime to ask you for that."
Lauren began to speak, but I didn't care anymore. "I was scared, you know that," I told him, unable to stop the few steps I took to be closer to him. "It's not so easy for me. We've talked about this a million times. You know I want a life with you, but we just have to go slow."
"Bella, how long? Tell me how long I have to wait, because it's not fair the way things are right now," he said, his eyes pleading with me to make things better between us.
"Oh my...are you kidding me?" Lauren yelled. "You could have me, Edward. What would you want her? She's old, I mean come on."
"You're older than I am, Lauren," I said, knowing full well that she was two years older than me. Much to my surprise, Edward continued to ignore her completely, keeping his eyes focused on me.
"How long?" he asked again.
My index finger moved to my mouth, and I bit down on my finger nail, trying to decide how to answer his question. I knew I wanted him. I knew we belonged together. Maggie adored him. Jake even liked him. My parents thought he hung the moon and stars. All I knew for certain was that the two weeks without him were horrible, and I'd never felt so alone—not even after my divorce.
"One year. Give me one year and then I'll do whatever you want," I said.
He moved himself away from Lauren, causing her to stomp her foot in frustration and cross her arms over her chest. Most men around probably enjoyed the way her arms pushed her silicone boobs together, especially since she was wearing a rather low-cut and tight tank-top, but Edward didn't even notice.
"When you say one year, what does that mean, exactly," he asked, reaching out for my hand and letting his fingers lace with mine.
Looking up into his eyes, I knew the decision I was making was the right one. "It means we stay the same as we are. We stay dating and being together and doing all the things we normally do. And in a year, we can move-in together, or whatever you want."
Edward smiled. "What if I want more than that?" he asked.
"I'll give you whatever you want."
His laugh filled my ears and blocked out the sound of an angry Lauren stomping away from us. "I'm gonna hold you to that, Miss Swan. And trust me, I want a lot more than to just live with you."
The moment he kissed me, all the sadness from the two weeks before melted away, and I wrapped my arms around his waist, pulling him against me. It was perfect and I was happy, and that night as I held him in my bed, I knew I'd made the right choice.
Now, nearly four years after a broken, troubled man walked into my office, I was standing in front of a mirror, laughing at myself.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," I mumbled.
"What, Bells?" my dad asked from across the room as he adjusted his tie.
"Nothing, I just can't believe I let him talk me into this. This whole thing...it's so silly. I don't need this. And what if no one comes?" I asked. I really didn't need all the formality of the day's events, but I knew Edward did. I didn't want him to miss out on that chance, but that's not why he wanted it. He said he wanted it for me, because I hadn't had it the first time.
It was exactly one year after we made-up that Edward dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I accepted, without a moment's hesitation, and had assumed we'd visit a justice of the peace or something, but Edward wouldn't hear of it. He insisted that we have a big wedding—a celebration of our love, is what he cheesily called it. Maggie was all for it, especially since she was getting a fancy dress out of the deal. And apparently some "totally sick and hot" shoes. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I figured it was good. Teenagers were confusing sometimes.
Once our mothers heard about the engagement, they were completely on board, and pleading for a church wedding. Edward and I conceded to their requests, even though neither of us went to church on any kind of regular basis. I hoped that maybe it would lighten the blow a bit when they found out I was already three months pregnant. While both sets of grandparents were excited about the baby, and Maggie was beyond ecstatic, I didn't miss my mothers comment about how I'd been pregnant for my first wedding, too. I tried not to let it bother me, because I knew she didn't mean anything hurtful by it. But I was hormonal and nauseated...I couldn't help a little self pity every now and again.
"Mom, you ready?" Maggie said as she stood in the doorway. It still took my breath away sometimes to see how grown up she was. She stood a few inches taller than I did, and her hair and eyes were both so much darker than mine. She was a good blend of Jake and me, and I wondered for a moment if the baby would look anything like her.
"Yeah, I think so. Is everyone here?" I asked her. For Edward's sake, I really hoped people showed up.
"The church is full, Mom. Don't worry. You want me to tell that planner lady that you're ready?"
I smiled at her, gripping my bouquet a little tighter in my hand. "Yep, let's do this."
Holding onto my fathers arm, Maggie stood in front of us as we waited just outside the chapel doors. I breathed deeply a few times, and listened as my father laughed in a low and quiet tone.
"You sure about this? You're not nervous, are ya, kid?"
"No, I'm good," I whispered. "Just don't let me fall, Dad."
"Never," he said, before leaning over and lightly kissing me on the forehead.
When the doors opened, I was relieved to see so many of our family and friends in the pews. Once my nerves over that were settled, there was only one thing I wanted. Edward.
Our eyes finally met, and his smile nearly stunned me. He looked so happy, standing near the altar with his brother at his side. He was still, by far, the most handsome man I'd ever seen, and for a brief moment I missed the ring that had looped through his eyebrow when we first met. He'd removed it when he started teaching school, and eventually the piercing closed up. In it's place, he got a few other parts of his body pierced, but lucky for me, those were all in areas that only I could see. And not that I would ever tell my father, but Edward may have talked me into a piercing or two, as well.
And a tattoo. On my inner thigh. It was small and simple, yet sent a message that was loud and clear. And it matched the one on Edward's lower stomach.
I Feel It
That's all it said, but that's all we needed.
My father kissed my cheek, Edward took my hand, we made some promises, exchanged some rings, and recited some vows. It was over in about ten minutes, and when Edward's hands held my face and pulled me closer to him, I smiled. He wiped at the tears that were falling down my cheeks and let out a chuckle.
"Oh my sweet girl, you don't know how long I've waited for this day."
And then he kissed me. And it was perfect and sweet and loving, and I never wanted him to stop. As he pulled away and smiled down at me, I realized...he never would.
A/N: No word limit for the epi. :) And no promise on when the rest of this will be up. But it will be lemony...I can guarantee that. :D