DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but the books and DVD's. I'm not Stephanie Meyers. Unfortunately!
Canon pairs. E&B One-shot
A/N - So, I was utterly bored today and had this little story playing around in my head, but couldn't develop it enough to make it into a multi chapter so for the first time ever - I wrote a one-shot. Be aware - there's no lemons (Gasp! I know, how terrible of me!), no angst and no drama. It's just a straight forward fluffy one-shot. Tell me what you think!
P.S: I offer this plot up to anyone who think they might be able to develop it, if they wish to!
I never gave much thought about true love. My formative years were spent fighting with my brothers and learning how to be a man. My college years passed by in a blur of books, parties and friends. My girlfriend in college was a classmate who then became a friend. How we made the transition from friend to boyfriend-girlfriend is still unknown to me.
Gianna and I were never 'in love', though I'm sure we loved one another in some small way. We had nothing in common – except for the love of books. We were paired up in our Creative Writing class for a project that was worth 40% of our overall grade for sophomore year. We debated and fought over the subject matter for two weeks until we finally settled on writing and presenting a dual comedic monologue based on the characters from the Sweet Valley High series. Gee was the eldest twin and I was the youngest. It was hilarious and creative with just the right amount of teenage angst – our professor's words, not mine. We got an A- for our efforts.
Other than a love for books, we had nothing else in common – as I said. The music I liked, she hated. The movies I enjoyed, she hated. The friendships I cultivated, she hated. You get the idea. And yet, we managed to date solely each other right up until the last semester of senior year. How – I'll never know. We parted amicably. We both agreed that our relationship had no future. One of the only things we ever agreed upon.
Two years after college, I published my first novel. I had always been a romantic at heart so it stood to reason that my first foray into the literary world was a romantic drama. Within weeks of release my book was listed as number four on the New York Times Bestsellers list. My second book – a murder mystery – surprised all expectations and slid straight into the number one spot, where it stayed for six weeks.
My fame skyrocketed with my third book – a sci-fi romance modelled after Star Wars and Star ship Troopers. The characters were all my own, as was the plot, but it had the feel of the two famous films. I even got a movie deal out of it.
It was on the press tour for this film that I met my wife.
I was in my hometown, New York, for a TV interview with Regis and Kelly and a few other big name shows on TV, one of which happened to be Late Night with Isabella. The shows anchor was a petite brunette with sparkling mocha eyes that drew me in. The first time I saw her live and in person was when I exited backstage and onto the stage front. She stood from the red armchair that she had been sat on as I moved across the stage. She was ethereal in her beauty. Her long mahogany hair fell in waves down her back to her tiny waist which was cinched with a wide black belt that looked as soft as her skin. She was pale, but not overly so. Her cheeks were tinted red and she had a shy smile on her perfectly pouty pink lips. But it was her eyes that held all of my attention. Two swirling pools of mocha with a hint of gold, twinkling with mirth and something else that I could easily discern as desire.
In her eyes that day, I lost my heart.
We dated in secret. Our fame meant that paparazzi followed our every move to try and catch us out with a 'money shot', but we were clever. We never went out in public or to places where we knew the paps loitered. Instead we went to secluded restaurants that were nothing more than 'ma and pops' eateries, we went to drive in movies that were unknown by those in the limelight and any vacations we took were on the private island off the coast of Brazil that my father bought for my mother on their tenth wedding anniversary.
We stayed well out of the scrutiny of the public and never attended functions together, although by the time we had been dating for a year we were in fact living together in a brownstone townhouse in the suburbs of Manhattan. How we managed to keep our relationship out of the public eye, is a mystery to me. I was constantly linked to one starlet or another in the media and Isabella – or Bella as she preferred to be called – was said to be dating her shows producer, Jacob Black, if the mags were to be believed. It was laughable really. I knew Jacob Black and I also knew his partner in life. Bella and I double dated with Jacob and Sam several times and the pair were hilarious. We counted them among some of our best friends. Jacob had never publicly 'come out' so the media knew nothing about his sexual orientation and the fact that he was living with his boyfriend of four years. To look at him, you would never know that he was gay. He was tall and built, with a tanned skin that led credence to his American Indian heritage. Sam was just as tall and just as built as Jacob and also just as gay.
Bella and I felt that our relationship was too private and despite our fame, we were very private people. Neither of us fancied the idea of dating in the public eye. We knew the many pitfalls of being a celebrity couple. As with all couples, we fought and disagreed, but with being famous, we knew that our small disagreements would be considered big blowouts by the media is we were ever to announce ourselves publicly. So for two years we dated in complete secret. I proposed on Isle Esme on our second anniversary. We married on Isle Esme on our third anniversary. Our marriage was only attended by thirty of our closest friends and family. Along with our parents, siblings and their spouses we had my best friend, Garrett and his girlfriend Kate, Jacob and Sam, Bella's best friend and cousin, Angela and her husband Ben, Bella's step-siblings Seth and Leah and my agent Demitri. We were married right on the beach at sunset and it was beautiful.
We returned to the real world after a magical three week honeymoon on Isle Esme to speculation about our whereabouts. The media still had not picked up on the fact that we had been away together – surprisingly – and did not put two and two together. They did however manage to get a shot of Bella's engagement and wedding rings as she stepped out of her car at work and the rumour mill worked overtime to supply the masses with false claims that she and Jacob had eloped to Vegas. It was funny to us because no one seemed to realise that I was the one that wore the matching platinum wedding band and not Jacob – whose left hand remained bare, might I add!
That was eight months ago. And the media still have no clue about the truth. Until now.
I sat in the Green Room contemplating the events that had led me here. Let's recap shall we? I met Bella three years and ten months ago. We dated in secret for a year before I asked her to move in with me. I proposed to her on our two year anniversary and married a year later on our three year anniversary – all without the media and public finding out. But now something had come up that found me sitting backstage in the green room of a TV show. Something that meant that as private people, we had to succumb to the scrutiny and the questions.
The time had come to defend our relationship.
Bella and I had discussed this long and hard and for hours before we finally came up with a plan that worked for both of us. A plan that would out us on our own terms. A plan that no other media outlet had caught wind of yet. A joint interview. On Bella's show.
'Welcome to Late Night with Isabella!' Applause.
'Tonight we have a bit of a surprise for you all. You ready?' Screams from the audience.
'We've met this guest a couple of times now and we loved him. A New York native who rose to fame by writing his way there. Two movie deals and four books. Who else can it be but the great Edward Cullen!' More screams and cheers from the audience.
'But! But, but, but! We have another surprise for you! Tonight we're going to do things a bit differently. We're handing the reins over to one lucky audience member to conduct the interview.' Cheers. 'Stand up, Lucy Mae Jones!' Cheers.
'Come on down here, Lucy Mae.' Cheers as Lucy Mae runs down to the stage area and hugs Isabella.
'Okay, what Lucy Mae here doesn't know is that Edward Cullen will not be the only person she is going to interview tonight. Lucy Mae, you are also going to be interviewing, for the first time ever, Mr. Cullen's wife!' Deafening screams from the audience as Lucy Mae smiles widely in awe and surprise.
I watched the TV screen as Bella stepped away and gestured for Lucy Mae to take her seat on the red armchair. She leaned in and whispered something into the girl's ear before spinning away to exit stage left. I smiled to myself at her grace and beauty, admiring her curves in the midnight blue dress she wore for the show tonight, knowing that it was my favourite colour on her. I looked up as the door opened and my wife stepped into the room. Holding out my hand for her I smiled wider.
"You look beautiful, baby." I murmured as I placed a soft kiss on her knuckles.
She chuckled, "You're biased." She retorted. I shook my head but said nothing in return. We sat in silence for a while as we watched Lucy Mae settle into the hostess persona.
"Are you sure about this, Edward?" Bella asked quietly.
"Absolutely. It's time, baby." I replied confidently.
"Yeah." She sighed, "Yeah, it is."
"You're on Mr Cullen." I looked up as the stage hand opened the door and gestured for me to follow him.
I stood from my seat and bent down to kiss my wife's perfect lips, "I love you, Bella and it'll go great. I'll see you out there, baby." I whispered in her ear before I left her to take my place in the spotlight. It's time.
'Please welcome our first guest this evening, Literary phenomenon, Edward Cullen!'
I stepped out onto the stage at Lucy Mae's cue and smile my 'celebrity smile' as I waved at the audience who were screaming and cheering for me. I greeted Lucy Mae with a hug to which she squeaked and turned bright red; reminding me very much of my Bella at my first appearance on her show nearly four years ago. I smiled to myself at the memory and chuckled slightly as I took my seat on the cream couch with red throw pillows opposite the red armchair and waited for Lucy Mae to start the interview.
"Welcome to Late Night, Mr. Cullen." Lucy Mae said as she glanced from me to the teleprompter.
I smiled back reassuringly, "It's a pleasure to be here, Lucy Mae." I replied cordially, causing the girl to squeak at the use of her name and blush.
"Oh, um…Uh. Oh, okay, You're in town for the press tour for your next book, right?" Lucy Mae stuttered out.
I leant forward and grinned, "I live 'in town' so technically I was already here at the start of the press tour, but yes, that is essentially why I am here." I answered.
Lucy Mae faltered and looked ready to pass out so I took pity on her, "Just breath and read from the prompter, Lucy Mae. It'll be ok. The show's producer knows what can and can't be asked tonight, so all you have to do is read the questions off." I whispered gently. Lucy Mae breathed out a long sigh of relief and smiled shyly.
"Thank you, Mr. Cullen." She whispered back.
"Edward." I returned with a soothing smile.
From there, Lucy Mae relaxed some and started asking me the questions displayed on the prompter. The main questions were about my new book – a romantic story of two people in the public eye who forged a deep relationship away from the prying eyes of the media. You can guess where my inspiration came from. Which made answering the next question all the more easier to follow with the plan we had cooked up with Jacob.
"So, what inspired you to write such a romantic story? After all, it's not everyday that you find a man who can write so powerfully about love, is it?"
"Easy, it's about my life." I answered confidently.
Lucy Mae looked shocked for a few moments before she recovered, "Are you saying that the lead character in this story, Ethan Platt, is you?" she asked in a stunned voice.
I smiled, "Yes."
"So the lead female is…?" she lead me perfectly where I wanted to go.
"You really are married?" that question did not come from the prompter, but from Lucy Mae herself.
"Isn't it common knowledge?" I replied cockily.
"Well, it's been published that you are but we've never seen you with your wife so I guess most of us assumed that the rumours were not true." Lucy Mae answered with a quizzical furrow to her brow.
I laughed, "Well, it is true and she's here with me tonight." I returned happily. Lucy Mae looked shocked again and seemed speechless. I guess it was time for me to lead the interview.
"Would you all like to meet her?" I turned and asked the audience with a mischievous glint in my eye. There was resounding chorus of yeses from the audience. I turned back to face Lucy Mae again and this time I smiled in apology.
"Can we really meet her?" she asked in a whisper.
"Of course. I wasn't hiding her you know!" I winked playfully, causing the girl to blush once again.
"Come on out, baby!" I called to the wings where I knew my wife was standing, hidden. There were several gasps as Bella stepped out into the lights and into full view of the audience. She glided gracefully across the floor to my position by the couch. I stood to greet her and saw Lucy Mae do the same in a daze out of the corner of my eye.
Bella smiled as she moved closer and I held out my hand for her. She placed her hand in mine as soon as she was within touching range and I heard the audience gasp and start murmuring amongst themselves. I pull my wife closer to my body and leaned in to place a soft kiss just behind her ear before whispering my love for her and assuring her that all would be well once again. We sat side by side on the couch and waited for Lucy Mae to return to Earth. She did, but only after Bella cleared her throat.
"Oh wow." She whispered as she stared at us in awe. I'm sure the close way in which we were sat and the fact that neither of us had let go of the other's hand had not gone unnoticed. Surprisingly, the audience was as quiet as a mouse in a church. I looked to the audience only to see them watching us with the same expression of stunned awe on their faces. Bella sighed next to me and squeezed my hand.
"Hi everyone. My name, as you all know, is Isabella Swan. What you don't know is that – legally – my full name is Isabella Swan-Cullen. Edward and I met right here on this stage nearly four years ago. Two months after meeting, we were dating. On our second anniversary, Edward proposed and we were married on a secluded beach on our third anniversary. We have been married now for eight months." Bella spoke quietly and calmly towards the audience, all who seemed to be listening to her intently.
"Why hide it?" Lucy Mae asked softly.
Bella sighed, "We are both very private people and prefer to keep our private lives just that – private. We didn't want to navigate our relationship in the full attention of the public and media. At first it was just about keeping things quiet whilst we got to know one another and then we realised that we enjoyed not having to answer the pressing questions about our relationship to the paps and various gossip mags. We loved having the time to ourselves and liked knowing that our families were not hounded for answers about us."
"But what about the rumours about you and Jacob Black? Were you ever a couple?" Lucy Mae continued.
"No. Never. Jacob is a very good friend, not only to me but to Edward too. He and I have never dated." Bella answered.
"So why now? Why come out with your relationship now? Are you no longer private people?" Lucy Mae retorted.
"It was time." I replied calmly as I stroked my thumb soothing over Bella's knuckles to loosen the tension in her somewhat.
"But that makes no sense! You hid your relationship for nearly four years, you dated, got engaged and married all without alerting the media and now you're in the home stretch, you come out openly and say 'hey, guess what everyone! We're married and we did it right under your noses whilst you all thought one was a playboy who dated every starlet in Hollywood and the other was dating the producer of her show!' so seriously, Why. Now?" Lucy Mae exclaimed in disbelief.
"Because I'm pregnant." Bella answered in a clear voice.
"W-what?" Lucy Mae stuttered.
"We're having a baby and we don't want the public speculation to reflect negatively on our child. I don't want to have to answer to my child when it's older why the tabloids thought he or she was Jacob Black's child or why – when the child comes out looking nothing like Jacob but more like me – the tabloids claimed that their mother cheated on their father with me. It's not fair to them." I cut in vehemently.
"We're happy that we're having this baby and we want nothing or no-one to question where they came from. This child is borne from our love for each other and I won't have anyone question that. It was better to come out upfront and admit to our relationship so that tomorrow, when my child asks his Daddy any questions, he can answer unequivocally that we were not ashamed of him or our relationship. We wanted both. We always want both." Bella chimed in.
I stared at my wife in adoration. There was nothing left to say. She had hit the nail right on the head. We always want both. Our relationship and our child.
And so, this was the story of how my wife and I admitted to the world that we were together and that we wanted to be together. Always.
A/N - After popular demand, I have decided to expand this into a full length story. It'll be a collabaration with PerfectlyImperfectGirl, who has been great so far in getting this developed further. Thanks, hon!
Watch this space for more details and I'll let you know when the story goes live and where! Thank you to all those that reviewed and voted to expand this story so far. Keep 'em comin'!