AN: This was my entry for the Happily Ever After TwiFic Contest.
This story is dedicated to my sister-in-law, Jascin. She's the real curator of The Maria Mitchell House on Nantucket. Her dedication to preserving history and honoring the past is inspiring.
Thank you to mauigirl60 for being a wonderful beta. Also thank you to cutestkidsmom for pre-reading and being an amazing friend.
Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The joyous feeling was a simple one, but one that Bella loved most. It was the sensation of the warm sand between her toes and the bright sun reflecting off her face. It was better than being snuggled in a warm blanket on a cold winter morning.
"You want to cast one in, kiddo?" Charlie Swan questioned, as he looked back from where he was fishing on the beach. If anyone had said to Charlie five years ago that he would love surf fishing, he would have thought they were crazy, but here he stood, loving every minute of it.
Bella looked up from the trashy romance novel she was reading and shook her head, using a hand to shield her eyes from the glare of the sun. "No way, old man."
"You're no daughter of mine," Charlie said with a chuckle. "You must be the mailman's."
"Ha. Ha." Bella rolled her eyes and looked at the duffel bag that sat mocking her by her feet. Instead of reading about heaving bosoms, secret encounters and love without boundaries, she knew that she needed to be working on applying for more funding grants for the Mitchell House.
Sighing, Bella pulled out her laptop and stared at it blankly. It was such a beautiful day. It would be a shame to ruin it by trying to beg for money that should be willingly given to protect the nation's important history. She looked into the waves and saw seals diving in and out between the rough surf of Tom Nevers Beach.
"Dad, check it out! Seals!" Bella exclaimed happily, pointing toward the brown masses poking out of the surf.
"The fishing must be good over here then," he pointed out. The seals always brought out the best fishing.
Bella got a mischievous look on her face. "I was thinking...Dun, dun. Dun,dun. Dun, dun..."
"Sharks are never funny, girl," he admonished.
"Jaws could be out there right now! You could catch the Great White! You'll be on the cover of The Inquirer and the Mirror!"
Charlie looked at his daughter with a grin. When he'd retired, it was always thought that he'd settle in the little house that had been the Swan family home since he was a young boy. Not one member of the small community of Forks, Washington would have ever imagined him following his daughter across the country to settle on a small island. But he did. Chief Charles Swan had been stuck in a rut; this new home surrounded by ocean had been the way to shake things up. It was the best decision he'd ever made.
"I think I'll stick with...I'm getting something!" Charlie smiled, as he started pulling his rod furiously. "It's a big one!"
With one final tug, out of the water flew...a large horseshoe crab.
"Well, I'll be damned," Charlie stated with a groan.
Bella started laughing, but that laughter was short-lived as a second later, a football smacked right into her head. It hit with such force that her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell back onto the sand.
It could have been hours or maybe just a few seconds - Bella had no clue - but all she knew was that when her eyes opened, she was staring into orbs of sparkling green.
He was a beautiful stranger with a shock of red hair and a worried expression on his pouty lips. Bella struggled to sit up, but the man scolded, "You need to lay still. I need to evaluate your head injury."
"What happened?" Bella questioned, still trying to get up.
"Kid, just rest for a second," Charlie reprimanded. He was kneeling next to her and trying to push her back down on the sand.
"I'm fine, Father," she spat, as sand flew from her mouth. She cringed at the crunching sound it made in her teeth. "That wasn't the first time that I've been knocked on the head!"
"I must apologize." The man helped her sit up. His arm around her made her swoon. Bella blamed the bump on her head, not the fact that his nearness was the cause, nor his delicious smell of sea salt and cinnamon. "I really didn't mean to throw the football so hard. My sister really is too short."
"Hey!" A dark haired girl scoffed. She was a tiny thing that shared the man's green eyes. She hovered near them with a worried expression. "You have no aim there, buddy!"
"I'm fine. Oh, no! My computer is all crusty!" Bella saw that her laptop was covered in sand. She stood up quickly, ignoring the fact that the motion made her really dizzy, and started trying to shake the sand off it. "I worked on this for hours! Shit! Shit!"
The man tried to help her wipe the sand off the keys. "I'm so sorry! Can I retype it for you? Does it need to be fixed?"
Bella looked at his beautiful, panicked face and thawed a bit toward him. "It should be fine. I just had a moment of fear, Mr..."
"I'm Edward!" He shook her hand enthusiastically. "That's Alice! She's my sister. Not my girlfriend, wife or..."
"You mentioned that," Bella interrupted, as her cell phone rang. She reluctantly pulled her hand away. Grabbing her phone, she barked, "What's wrong, Angela?"
"Ang, push...calm down...it's 1, 7...just punch in the code! Forget it! I'm coming!" She moved away slightly, listening with a frown. With a big sigh, she clicked off the phone and looked at her dad. "The intern set off the house alarm and can't turn it off."
"All right kid, I'll see ya later," Charlie announced, looking back at the surf. "Glad we took separate cars. I'll be here a few more hours to catch the big one."
"Good luck with that," she teased. Looking at Edward, she gave a tiny smile. "It was nice to meet you and...you too, umm...Alice. Off to work I go."
She turned to leave and he grabbed her arm gently, but urgently. "Where do you work?"
"I'm the curator at the Maria Mitchell House on Vestal Street. Really, I need to go!" She removed his hand and started walking, but he followed her through the hot sand.
He asked in a rush, "Would you like to go out to dinner?"
"I don't date tourists." She started jogging down the sand and tried to still the quick beating of her heart that wasn't from running, but from being so near such a handsome man.
There was a safety in the history of a maiden stargazer, but not in the evergreen orbs of a vision playing football on the beach.
He was stuck in her dreams and Bella was exhausted by the images of frolicking in the dunes with a stranger who probably would only be on the island for a couple of weeks, tops. She placed her head on the old wooden table next to her laptop and groaned. She could imagine kisses from his perfect lips and it was enough to make her beat her head against the worn wood. No wonder Maria Mitchell died a spinster. It was a lot less stressful.
Jessica poked her head in and looked at Bella with worried eyes. "Ms. Swan, are you okay?"
Bella slowly raised her head and looked at one of her interns. "Yes, Jess. I'm just figuring out which of these grants applications to do first. There's a patch on the southern side of the roof and it needs to be replaced. So, who are we going to sell our soul to first, Jessica? Is it the state or the federal government?"
Bella pointed to all the paperwork filling the tiny office for everything that had been tacked onto the house during the 1970s, along with a bathroom that had actual plumbing. It was rustic and the old rugs on the floor were found at a rummage sale, but it was comfortable, even though it was sweltering in the summer and frigid when Bella had to check the pipes in the winter.
"That's all on you," Jessica said with a grin. "I'll sweep the foyer instead and maybe even dust the formal living room."
"That's sweet of...wait! Angela is supposed to be doing that!" Bella protested.
Jessica shuffled her feet. "She went across the street to the Natural Science Museum."
"I seriously doubt she wants to see the snakes." Bella rolled her eyes.
"I think she's planning on seeing Ben's snake!" Jessica blurted out and covered her mouth in shock at her unplanned outburst.
Bella cracked up laughing and Jessica followed suit.
"Well, now ladies, what do y'all find so funny?"
Jasper Whitlock strolled in and plopped down onto a kitchen chair, propping his cowboy boots on Bella's table. He was a fine specimen of man, with curly blond locks and a ready smile. Unfortunately, he knew it.
Jessica blushed and squeaked, "Oh, Dr. Whitlock!"
"He's not a real doctor, Jess. Just an over-educated stargazer," Bella waved her blushing intern out of the room. "Get your dirty boots off the furniture, Whitlock!"
"Aww honey, you're just jealous that you have that little ole Master's," he announced with a grin. "Where's Boobs?"
Bella started typing on her laptop. "If you mean Angela, she's across the street, flirting with Cheney. Oh... and stop ogling my interns."
"That boy gets all the coeds."
"Jasper, go back to the Observatory!" Bella looked up at him, frowning. "Some of us have work to do!"
Jasper Whitlock was the director of the Loines Observatory and the island's biggest flirt.
"Aww honey, I missed ya," he said, with his lazy grin. "I have an announcement!"
"You're stealing my endowments for research again?" He was always 'borrowing' money that was allocated to the Mitchell House for his new computer gadgets for the observatory. It drove Bella nuts. "If you think I'm letting you..."
"Simmer down, darlin'!" Jasper declared. "I'm in love."
"It's Friday and you're always in love on a Friday." Bella started typing again.
"This is a real love, like the one I would feel about you if you would have ever given me a chance." He placed his feet back on the table. "People are gonna start thinking you're a sapphic stargazer like Maria."
Bella swatted his boots. "Put those back down! Those were only rumors and speculation that she was a lesbian. You know well and good back in her day, a husband would only be a hindrance to her education! I think a wonderful lesson can be learned about men not being needed to fulfill a woman's true potential! Education and self-determination can lead to a life that is full of worth. It's a belief I live by!"
She ignored the thought of the beautiful man from the beach who remained in her head.
"I need to get you some lovin', girl!" He pulled her out of her chair. "I'm taking you to Brotherhood for lunch. We'll sit on the patio so you can get some sun on that face. It's so dark in here. Then I'll take you to my girl's bakery!"
"She's another baker here for the summer season?" Bella asked.
Jasper grinned. "She's going to be a year-rounder!"
"I'll believe that when I see it."
Two hours later, Bella and Jasper were sitting in the waiting room of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital. He was still laughing.
"You are not at all amusing, Whitlock!"
"Darlin', how long have ya lived here? Those cobblestones didn't miraculously appear out of nowhere!" Jasper threw his arm around her. "You were like a little chickadee, Bella! Flying through the air! Then, when you flipped over...well it would make the US Gymnastics team jealous. That landing, though, wasn't your best!"
The town center of Nantucket still held its historic charm with the cobblestone streets and the majestic Methodist church that stood proudly as the bell harkened the noon hour. It was the traffic that Bella blamed for her ankle now being the size of a small pumpkin.
Summer tourists had filled the streets and their large SUVs took up the narrow roads that used to cater to horse-drawn carriages. Bella and Jasper were trying desperately not to get run over on their way to lunch at the Brotherhood of Thieves. A landscaping truck had another idea and as the friends jumped out of the way, Bella's foot hit the bumpy stone road and she was launched into the air and flipped upside down, hitting the ground with her ankle twisted awkwardly underneath her. Their fellow pedestrians walked past them without a backwards glance at the injured woman, clutching their shopping bags filled with overpriced doodads. Sometimes Bella hated summer and that was the perfect reason why.
Bella had protested coming to the island hospital but here she sat, at Jasper's insistence, waiting forever in an empty waiting room. She muttered, "This is ridiculous, Jasper! I can put myself through medical school and fix my own ankle at this rate!"
A booming voice called out, "Miss Swan, what did you do to yourself this time?"
Dr. Emmett McCarty was a big man who had a bright smile, and was one of Bella's favorite people. Usually. After a long wait, he was no longer in the top ten.
"I had a slight fall, Emmett. Can you check out my ankle?"
"Are you two together?" Emmett asked, ignoring Bella's words and, instead, fixating on Jasper's arm around her shoulder. "You two are like Moonlighting or Cheers! Will they or won't they?"
Bella pushed Jasper's arm off. "The eighties called to remind you it's 2013, Emmett! I don't think those shows are even reruns anymore. Jasper is my colleague and nothing else. Let's concentrate on important things, like fixing my ankle."
"No can do, Swanny! I have a date on a fishing boat with Rosie Hale!" he exclaimed.
Rosalie Hale owned a fleet of fishing tour boats that would take tourists out to fish and enjoy the waters surrounding the island. She also had been evading Emmett's advances for the last two years.
"She's going out with you?" Jasper asked in surprise.
"Well, no...I rented the boat. She can't escape a date with me if we're in the middle of the ocean!" he said happily.
Bella didn't want to burst his bubble that Rosalie would most likely push him into that ocean and make him swim back to shore. Instead, she demanded, "What about my ankle?"
"Hey, Dr. Ed, come on out here!" he yelled toward the door leading to the ER patient rooms. "The new doctor will see you! Nice guy, but he's crazy-clumsy. You two should hit it off."
Tripping out of the doors was Bella's football-playing tourist, his arms filled with gauze, a pair of tortoise shell frames perched on his nose. "Dr. McCarty, these just tumbled out of the supply closet. I was trying to clean them up, but...it's you!"
He looked at Bella and a large smile burst forth on his face.
"You aren't a tourist!" she exclaimed.
The gauze slipped out of his arms as he hurried toward her, kneeling down next to her. "Are you all right? Is it your head? I'll never play foot..."
"It's my ankle. I tripped in town." She frowned and winced as she moved it slowly.
Behind them, Emmett grumbled as he picked up the gauze. "I guess I'll just clean this up, Dr. Cullen."
Jasper asked, "Cullen, as in Alice Cullen of Alice's Delicate Wonders? Why, sir, I'm quite taken by that young lady. Are you the brother she speaks about so fondly?"
"Umm...yeah..." Edward looked at Jasper as if he were crazy.
"I'm Dr. Jasper Whitlock of the Loines Observatory, and I would like to court her!"
"Umm...maybe?" he answered, giving Bella a bewildered look.
Bella quickly waved Jasper away. "I'll be fine here with Dr. Cullen, Jasper. I'll let you know how I make out later."
"Make out!" Jasper chuckled. "All right, darlin', let me know. Keep me in mind for fair Alice, Dr. C!"
He waved and skipped out the door. Edward asked, "What's wrong with that guy?"
"So many things, but he's harmless," Bella answered with a wink.
Edward blushed and gently caressed her ankle. "Let me look at this ankle."
After a quick examination, he looked up with a smile. "I need to see an X-ray, but I would gather we have a sprain here. I'll wheel you back and we can get you all fixed up."
Her stomach grumbled and Bella looked away, embarrassed.
"I know the best ham and cheese maker on the east coast. He's willing to share with you." Edward grinned and squeezed her hand.
"I wouldn't want to interrupt your lunch."
Edward lifted her up swiftly. Bella wanted to faint at the wonderful feeling of being in his arms. "He wouldn't want it any other way."
Bella barely heard the chime on the front door of the Mitchell House. She sat at her table with her foot propped up and daydreamed of Dr. Cullen. Her pen tapped on her knee as she thought about his hand caressing her ankle, his arms carrying her to the X-ray room and the way he'd wiped mayonnaise off her chin as they ate in the doctors' break room. That was actually embarrassing, but he'd been just so sweet about it.
There was a knock on the door jamb outside the office and Bella saw Jessica smile broadly at her. "I have someone who is looking for a tour!"
"You know I can't give tours, Jess. I can't make it up the stairs with the crutches."
"I think you can figure out a way! He brought flowers!" she giggled, as Bella turned the color of a tomato.
A bouquet of Gerber daisies waved at her from the door and Edward's kind face peeked around them. "How's my favorite patient?"
"I'm good!" Even better now that he appeared, she realized. Getting up, she hobbled over to him. "Are you here for a tour?"
"I was planning to take you out for a picnic lunch at Quidnet beach. I did hear about a pretty amazing telescope..."
"Oh, yes!" Bella exclaimed in excitement. It had just returned to the museum after being properly cleaned and repaired. It looked brand new instead of a relic from the 1840s. It was Bella's pride and joy. She was so excited that she tripped and fell into Edward's arms. The daisies barely survived the impact.
"No more injuries, okay?" Edward didn't remove his arms from around her. "I'll just keep my arms here to keep you safe."
Bella stomach was all a-flutter as she took him to the formal living room where the telescope resided. She lifted the gold rope and ushered him under it. "You're very lucky! Only a very few people are allowed into the actual room."
"I feel extremely lucky today," Edward stated, giving her a look that made her weak in the knees.
Instead of kissing him passionately as she really wanted to, Bella put on her curator personae. "As you can see by the simple design of the furniture, this is a Quaker home much like those of Nantucket in the time period that Maria gazed through this very window and discovered her comet."
"This was the actual telescope?" Edward gently touched the gold metal gently.
"It is," she said proudly. "We raised the money to get it back into mint condition by fundraising. It took a while to find someone with the knowledge of how to handle a historic telescope with care, but it was worth every penny!"
He stroked her arm tentatively. "What you've done here is amazing! You should be so proud of keeping the history of the island alive."
"There's a beauty on this island that you can't find anywhere else," she admitted.
Edward placed his hand on the back of her neck and moved her close. "There's a beauty in this room."
His lips moved to hers and brushed against them barely, as the door chime rang. Jessica called out, "It's tour time!"
"I guess you were saved by the bell," he said sadly.
"I would say the bell was stupid and unnecessary. Let's try again!" Bella moved in for another kiss.
"Ma! Why are those people kissing in there? Can we go under the rope, too?" a small child whined.
Edward pulled back with a grin. "Off to the beach?"
"To the beach," she agreed, as he held her closely.
The wind was gently blowing making Bella's hair whip in the wind. Edward's fingers would capture the locks in his fingers, feeling their silky strands. He had picked up sandwiches at a popular sandwich shop and was pleased that he'd guessed the turkey salad on herb bread was her favorite. Though they hadn't eaten much...they were too busy talking and kissing.
"You really didn't want to be a brain surgeon?" Bella asked.
Edward smiled as she snuggled closer and wrapped her arms around his waist. "He's so mad at both of us. His surgeon son and chef daughter running off to a small island is not how the great Dr. Cullen imagined his children's futures turning out. Mom will talk him down and they'll come to visit, but I just hope he realizes that it was the best decision for us."
"I'm sorry about that. My mother is out of the picture, but my dad is my biggest fan. He came here from Washington to support me but, at first, it was hard for him to admit that I needed to move here. Of course, now he loves the fishing," she said, with a smile. "Give your dad some time. He'll come around, I promise!"
"How is it that I have hope again for the first time in a long time? Are you an angel?" he murmured into her hair.
She nuzzled into his chest. "I'm just an ordinary woman who, for the first time, feels as if she wants more."
"More, Edward Cullen."
Jasper and Emmett were driving her crazy.
It was a very bad idea to hang out with them on the pier at the end of the day. The trio was seated on the dock with their feet hanging down, as they watched the excessive yachts pull into port. The men were teasing her evilly.
"I think she loves him!" Emmett teased, with his hearty chuckle.
Bella punched him in the shoulder. "I wouldn't push him off the boat."
"Not cool, Swanny!" Emmett was still sensitive. Rosalie had indeed pushed Emmett off her boat when he'd tried to kiss her. "I still have a chance!"
"Good buddy, your gal pushed you off her boat and sailed away. If that isn't a pretty good indication..." Jasper started to say.
Bella snorted and added, "That boat has set sail! Get it! That expression fits so perfectly in so many ways!"
"She turned around and came back for me!" Emmett protested. "We aren't talking about me! We are talking..."
"We are talking about my eternal love for my little filly, Alice?" Jasper inquired, as Bella made gagging noises.
"Jasper, you need to get her to go on a date with you first!" Bella stated. "She hides from you!"
He scoffed, "She's just shy!"
Emmett ruffled Bella's hair. "I think you and Doc Ed are perfect together. I have never seen two more accident-prone people in my life! He was carrying a giant stack of charts and tripped over a man in a wheelchair! To make things worse, he then landed on a cart full of cleaning supplies and they flew everywhere. It was one of those spectacular displays of clumsiness that you usually provide. My day was complete."
"Be nice!" she reprimanded.
"Speaking of those Cullens," Jasper said, pointing to the siblings approaching them. "How do I look?"
"Like an idiot," Bella replied.
Emmett shook his head. "I would say douche."
"Oh, stop it!"
Edward was clutching a cake box and waved as he saw them. The siblings started to jog over, but they didn't make it. Bella didn't know if he'd either hit one of the planks on the pier the wrong way, stumbled into his sister's heel, or if the ghost of a long-deceased whaling ship captain tripped him, but Edward immediately fell onto the ground. His fall made him land on the box, crushing it beneath him.
Bella rushed over to assist Alice in helping him up, but was distracted by a laughing Emmett falling into the water.
"Aww shit," Emmett sputtered in the cool water.
A life preserver was thrown into the water by a tan, long-limbed blonde wearing a dirty Boston Celtic t-shirt from a small boat. She yelled at him in her thick Boston accent, "You fuckin' idiot, another girl push you in?"
"Rosie, my dove, you saved me!" Emmett blurted out, as she pulled him in the boat.
"I'll throw you back in!" the woman threatened, waving to Bella. "Hey there, Bells, I got your dad's scallops! It was a wicked good catch!"
"Thanks, Rosie! I'll let him know!" she called back to the woman. "Give Emmett a break, huh?"
Rosie threw on an old baseball cap to cover up her blond locks. "Yeah, uh, if he keeps his trap shut. Let's get yuh back on dry land."
"She loves me!" Emmett yelled from the boat. "Don't wait up, kids!"
Bella just shook her head at the crazy man and knelt down by Edward, rubbing his head. "Are you okay?"
"Yes...I think so. I don't think the strawberry cream pie I wanted to give you tonight was so lucky," he stated sadly.
Helping him stand, Bella wrapped her arm around his waist. "I bet it still tastes wonderful. Thank you."
He hugged her tightly.
"I have another one you can have for your date, Edward!" Alice offered with a large smile. "There's no reason to fret. I'll just run to my shop and drop it off at your house!"
Jasper took a deep breath and held out his arm. "Miss Alice, can I please escort you to your bakery?"
Alice blushed and nervously said, "That would be nice, Dr. Whit...Jasper."
Edward and Bella watched as Jasper led Alice down the street, talking her ear off.
"She's caving," Edward admitted. "I feel like I should threaten him to treat her right, but the scariest thing I own is a toothpick."
"You can poke him into submission!" Bella suggested.
"I adore you, my smart girl!" Edward declared and kissed her cheek, as they stared at a lighthouse on the horizon. "Are you ready for a night to remember?"
"Every moment with you is one to remember," she said, gracing him with a kiss.
Dinner was an enjoyable affair in a tiny little bistro on a side street in the middle of town, with cocktails and conversation about past loves and future desires. Of course, it wouldn't be a date between the two of them without a slight issue. Edward had been extremely excited telling her about the surfer who had been bitten by a seal and had come into the ER that very morning.
"I've seen dog bites during my ER rotation in med school, but never a seal bite! I always thought seals were like those in the circus, playing with balls," he explained.
"Get your mind out of the gutter, woman!" he exclaimed, eyes bright. He loved the way she found laughter in the most mundane conversations. He then whispered, "So this poor guy comes in and the animal bit him on his...his...behind!"
She let out an entirely inappropriate belly laugh. "Seals are notorious for their ass bites. Emmett's been noshed on twice by those guys."
Edward's mouth dropped open, not because of Emmett's unfortunate run-in with aquatic mammals - because, if being honest they had a big enough target - but rather it was the word 'ass' that sprang nonchalantly from her mouth. It was a huge turn-on and he needed to have his hand touching hers.
Unfortunately, Bella was a hand talker and, as she was describing Emmett's injury, her hands were flying about in a dizzying pace. Edward attempted to capture it, but in his pursuit to grab her fingers, she knocked over the bottle of Pinot Noir. It flowed onto the pristine white tablecloth and onto the skirt of Bella's pale yellow dress.
He jumped up and desperately tried to wipe the red substance off her. Bella stilled his hands. "Don't worry about it. There was a fifty-fifty chance that I would be the one doing the spilling. I actually kind of like the new color addition. It sort of looks like an abstract watercolor, don't you think?"
Taking in her joyful face, Dr. Edward Cullen realized that for the first time ever, he was in love.
Edward's second destination thrilled her. They drove down the road and parked next to all the cars that had come to observe the cosmos at Stargazing Night.
"When you had headed out this way, I thought that we were going to Cisco Brewery to get our drink on," she stated with a wink, as he helped her out of the car.
He stammered, "We could still do..."
She grabbed his hand and in a move that surprised her, she kissed his palm. "This is absolutely perfect! I love coming to Stargazing Night. It's nice to finally have someone to experience it with me."
"I was thinking we could try to find a comet like Maria did," he said, kissing her cheek.
Bella Swan, who had expected to be a spinster and immerse herself in the history of others, realized that she was in love with this gentle man. She knew her future had been changed for the better.
He swung her hand as they approached the stars where Jasper's assistant, Eric, was discussing the lunar phases. Bella tried to stop and listen, but Edward pulled her toward the door that led to the giant telescope. "Jasper is letting us take a first peek. He owes me for letting him harass my sister."
"I feel like we're throwing poor Alice to the curly-haired wolf," Bella admitted, as they entered the dark room.
"To tell you the truth, she loves making him sweat," Edward said, as he helped her up the small ladder to peer into the telescope. His body was flush against hers and his hands gripped her waist. She couldn't help leaning against his chest. "I wonder what you're going to discover."
She looked through the eyepiece and saw the stars glittering in the dark sky. "They're the most amazing things I've ever seen."
He murmured, "You are the most amazing thing I've ever seen."
Bella turned her body so that her chest was pushed against his. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed his nose. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me. This might be too soon to admit and I don't want to scare you, but..."
"I love you!" he blurted out with a deep blush.
"Ditto." Her mouth pushed into his as they kissed, and kissed some more. Unknowingly, an unnamed comet streaked across the sky, but the real discovery was in the love that the two felt for one another, and it was glorious.
All good make-out sessions must come to an end, and an irate Eric broke up the romantic interlude between Bella and Edward. It seemed that hogging the observatory to kiss was not a sight that the visitors needed to witness when they wanted to look at the phases of the moon and the brightness of the stars.
Bella and Edward clung onto one another as they crossed the large field to the cars, as thousands of stars shined brightly above them like a canopy.
"I was thinking Alice's dessert is back at my place," Edward suggested. "I hope that isn't too presumptuous. I don't want you thinking that I'll be overstepping boundaries and trying to seduce..."
Bella kissed him to stop his words. She pulled back and said cheekily, "I was planning on overstepping boundaries and seducing you."
"Really?" he squeaked. His eyes grew dark with lust and love.
"Edward, guess what?" She kissed him hard. "You'll be seeing stars."
And that he did.