Challenge Number: #1 – Rocky Horizons
Date Posted: 01/21/2013
Content Descriptors: Fluff
Character Pairing: Bella & Edward
Bella took several confident steps towards the outcropping of rock before dropping down and sliding the last few inches needed to get the shot she wanted. If anyone had told her five years ago that this is where she'd be today, she'd have thought they were crazy.
Bella's mother, Renee, was always taking up some harebrained hobby. Bella still had a closet full of votives that smelled more like Pine-Sol than pine tree from Renee's candle making phase. She'd made costume jewelry for a summer, but gave that up when she couldn't bear to sell any of her creations. She'd fizzled on wine making when she realized the soil around her home wasn't good for growing grapes. You name it, Renee had tried it: macramé, knitting, stained glass, painting, photography, the list was endless.
Unlike the detritus from Renee's other hobbies: half used tubes of oil paint, balls of yarn, colorful crystals…the unused equipment from the photography days was useful. In an unusually thoughtful burst of energy, scatterbrained Renee had carefully packed up the Nikon, its extra lenses, the camera case and other miscellaneous items and sent them off to Bella while she was in her freshman year at UDub.
Bella had dreamed of being a journalist ever since she was old enough to put crayon to paper. She was pursuing her dream of becoming an international correspondent by carrying a double major—Journalism and Anthropology—when the package from Renee had arrived.
Curious, Bella had opened the box and eyed the expensive equipment inside. She had shaken her head; Bella was much more a point-and-shoot kind of girl, really. The eight-megapixel camera in her cell phone was all the photography equipment she needed. She slid the box and its contents into the back of her closet, called her mom to thank her, and promptly forgot about it.
A few months later, Bella was enjoying a private weekend in her dorm room with her new boyfriend, thanks to her own roommate's trip home for her mother's 50th birthday. Mike was a nice guy. Good looking in an all-American boy way, with short blond hair and bright blue eyes. He was fun to be around and didn't take himself too seriously. Despite the fact they were more than halfway through their freshman year, Mike still had no idea which major appealed to him.
"I think the class will be fun." Mike was badgering Bella to take a photography class with him in the fall. Bella's schedule was packed with requirements, but she had room for one elective. She just wasn't sure she wanted to commit to a class for a guy she'd only been seeing for a few weeks. In the end, she dug out the photography equipment and agreed.
Turns out it was the best decision of her life…for so many reasons.
Bella discovered that she had a natural talent for photography. She saw the best angles, the clearest shots, and the most pleasing arrangements with ease. While others struggled with delicate equipment, lighting issues, and exposure timing, Bella sailed through the course requirements effortlessly.
Unfortunately, her relationship with Mike wasn't as easily navigated. Truthfully, Bella never felt more than fondness for the good-looking young man. After doing the long distance thing over the summer, Bella realized she had no serious feelings for Mike. When he tried to convince her to cancel her housing and move into an apartment with him for sophomore year, she realized that they weren't on the same wavelength relationship-wise. She broke up with him a week before the semester started.
Not surprisingly, the photography class was uncomfortable. Mike insisted on sitting right next to her when he arrived for their first class together, even though there were plenty of seats around the U-shaped arrangement of tables. Bella gritted her teeth and focused on the professor-right until the auburn haired hottie in very well fitting jeans sauntered into the room and took a seat right across from her. One look and she was smitten.
When the hottie looked up and caught her staring, he offered her an insolent grin. Instead of looking away, Bella cocked her head and smiled in return. He looked away first.
"The professor said we needed to pair up for the project. Should I just come to your place?"
"Mike, I don't think that working together is a good idea. We broke up. You should find another partner."
Encouraged by their silent exchanged earlier, Bella made an uncharacteristically bold move and approached the gorgeous man across from her. As it turned out, Edward Cullen liked women who went for what they wanted.
"How's the angle, babe?"
"It's perfect! Come up and take a look."
Bella and Edward dated all the way through undergrad, if you didn't count the two week misunderstanding near the end of their junior year. After graduation Bella joined Edward for a two week visit to his parents in Washington. Not only did she fall in love with the grey skies, green trees, and blue water of the Olympic Peninsula, but with Edward's parents as well.
Ultimately, they decided to settle just outside Seattle. This made it easier for Edward to put his business degree to use, while Bella made a name for herself with pictures in the local papers. They were close enough to his parents that they made frequent trips to the tiny town of Forks and often visited the beaches of nearby La Push.
It was during one of these visits that they learned that the local tourism board was looking to revamp their literature. Bella presented her portfolio to the head of the board and was offered the job.
"On my way!"
Bella snapped a few more shots over the edge of the rocky promontory before settling back. It was just a moment later that Edward joined her on the rocks.
"It's almost criminal to take money for this," Bella commented. "The scenery is incredible."
"Yes, it is," Edward agreed, never taking his eyes off her.
Bella blushed and then rolled her eyes.. She'd been with this incredible man for four years…done all kinds of dirty things to him without hesitation and allowed him to do the same to her, but he could still make her blush with a sweet word.
Edward chuckled. He got a kick out of her reaction to him.
Leaning forward, Bella kissed Edward. Their lips met softly in lingering kisses. She found herself scooting forward to get closer. She moved her hand to his neck and shivered a bit when his hand slid down her other arm until he was drawing circles on her open palm.
He lifted her hand and, without breaking their kiss, slid a cold ring onto her finger.
Bella drew back and opened her eyes. She was immediately caught in his bright green gaze. He nodded his head slightly and Bella's eyes widened.
"Isabella Swan? I promise to love you forever—every single day of forever. Will you marry me?"
A single, breathless sound of disbelief left Bella's mouth before a glorious smile spread over her face.
With thanks to Shasta 53, Cejsmom, & LibbyLou.