"Are you all set, son?" Dad asked as he picked up my duffle bag. I nodded and took a glance around our living room with a heavy heart.
It had been my home for all my life: my mother's home. Dad and I talked about her as much as we could. At first it was hard, but lately she'd been the topic of many conversations. How proud she'd be of me. How much she loved me. How much she'd like Leah and how happy she'd be that I found someone like her.
"Hey," Leah said softly from behind me.
"Speak of the devil," I muttered and she quirked an eyebrow at me. "I was thinking about you."
"Only good things, I hope." She gave me a sad smile and I held out my hand. Leah came to me quickly and buried herself in my arms.
"All right, asshole. Let's get this show on the road!" Jasper yelled from my front door.
"Jasper, always a pleasure," Dad muttered and clapped him on the shoulder while giving me an incredulous look. I laughed and stepped away from Leah.
"I'll be out in a few." I nodded to them and felt Leah squeeze my fingers gently.
"So, this is it, huh?" Dad smiled sadly at me.
"You'll be out next week, right?"
"Of course I will," he said, blinking furiously.
"Dad…c'mon." I half-laughed and stepped forward. He hugged me tightly and kissed my cheek.
"I'm so very proud of you, Edward."
"Thank you," I whispered. We stood there for a long moment, until I finally managed to pull away.
"Call me when you land."
"I will," I told him as I walked backwards down the front steps. "I love you."
"I love you, son." He smiled and closed the front door as I slid into the backseat of Jasper's car with Leah. Bella grinned from the front and handed me a box of tissues.
"Baby want a tissue?"
"I would, but I'm scared to ask why Jasper has tissues in his car."
"It's not what you're thinking, bro," Jasper retorted, shaking his head.
"Oh, no?" Leah asked, biting her lip to keep from laughing.
"Nah, man. It's to clean up when Bella gives me hand jobs."
"Dude," I groaned and rubbed my hand over my face. Bella slapped him, but Leah just took my hand in hers and rested her head on my shoulder. The ride to Seattle was entertaining to say the least.
Bella sang loudly and Jasper told dirty jokes, but Leah and I just were.
When we got to the airport, I said goodbye to Jasper and Bella at the drop-off ramp, and they promised to drive around until Leah texted them to pick her up. She grasped my hand as we walked through the airport until I reached my terminal.
"I'll see you at Thanksgiving," I whispered to her hair as I held her tightly.
She let out a shuddery breath and nodded against my shoulder.
"Don't forget about me," she whispered back.
"Like that could ever happen." I tipped her chin up and wiped her tears away. "I belong with you," I said before kissing her gently.
Leah closed her eyes and rested her cheek against mine. "It's only the beginning, right?"
"Only the beginning," I repeated.
She pushed me away and wrapped her arms around herself. "Get on your plane, Cullen."
"Don't bum any smokes from weird guys hanging out behind buildings, okay?"
"I learned my lesson doing that," she said with a smirk.
I grinned. "I'll see you. I kind of love you."
"I kind of love you, too."