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. Stephenie Meyer created this little world I like to play.
Many, Many thanks to angelgoddess1981 for her excellent banner making skills, and Mina Rivera for the use of her wonderful Docward Manip. ;) In addition, my good friend, Amber, sent me another banner. I just love them both!
And to AngelycDevil for helping me to write this story. We posted this together as ContentDevil for the Fandom for Oklahoma. Because I love messing with Edward's mind, I wrote his chapters, AngelyDevil wrote Bella. She is also posting over on her FF profile, so feel free to give her a read and a review!
Also, to my bestie, Sue, who gave this a beta's eye. You are an amazing person, and I just can't wait to see your book come out! I'll be able to say I know someone famous!
As I come to the end of this short story, I want to thank each and every one of you for taking your time to read it. For those of you who have taken the time to leave a review, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I've completed my final chapter of my other, and last, fan fiction story, so I promise to return all reviews to this last chapter!
A soft breeze played over my face, waking me. I immediately looked over to the beauty asleep beside me, to reassure myself she was really there. I'd done it several times throughout the night, when my nightmares had become too graphic. It was not yet sunrise, but I could see her in the light from the living room. Carlisle and Esme had offered for us to stay at the house, and we'd have to take them up on that offering while we figured out what to do. Just as Jasper, Alice, and Jackson would have to do. But after being released from the hospital after her twelve hour observation, we'd needed some privacy and rest. So for the next two days, I'd pulled several favors and gotten Bella and me an elaborate suite at the Skirvin Hilton. I was afraid that the sounds of the recovery would still be too loud at Carlisle's, and I didn't want anything to bother Bella.
My concerns had been proven right. In the middle of the night, she'd woken up in a cold sweat.
"Edward! Don't leave me!" she'd shouted, causing my heart to break.
The feeling of being closed in had been too much, which is why we were currently laying on a chaise lounge on the small patio. It reminded me of the large one we'd had at the house. Several nights we'd spent out under the stars, taking advantage of the cool temperatures to use the space as an outdoor bedroom.
No more, I thought sadly. Our beautiful home, the one we'd worked so hard to build, was gone, reduced to nothing in just mere minutes. We'd lost everything except for my car and the few things we'd left at Carlisle's and Esme's for nights when we'd partied too hard and didn't want to drive home. Carlisle had brought us a bag from his house, so that we had at least a few familiar things, and I was infinitely grateful for one thing in particular; one that I hadn't shared with Bella yet, but planned to do so before we left this oasis.
Regardless, we were lucky. I thought of the numbers the news was already reporting. Hundreds dead and as many still missing. The recovery effort would go on for days, and the funerals and ceremonies would spread into the next week. We had our own mourning to do. We'd be leaving for Chicago the day after tomorrow to attend Felix's funeral. We were going to have to drive, because Bella's IDs had been lost in the storm, and we didn't have the time to replace them and get a plane ticket.
I was worried that the drive would be too hard on Bella, but she'd insisted, rolling her eyes at my over-protectiveness. Luckily, we'd both been too tired to fight about it, crashing to sleep as soon as we'd brushed our teeth and taken showers. The only romantic thing we'd done was fall asleep, wrapped in each other's arms.
But as I watched her sleep and saw the sky begin to lighten, I knew there would be no better time and place to do what I needed to do. The horizon promised hope, the dawning of a new day, a day where new choices could be made and life celebrated.
Moving softly away from her, I watched as her arms twitched, reaching for me. I had to hurry. Running toward the bedroom, I searched in the bag, bringing out the box I'd had Esme hide for me at their house. Bella was a snoop. If I'd kept it at ours, she would've found it. At least my desire to be sneaky had saved something.
Within a minute, I was back in Bella's arms, kissing her face gently to wake her. I wanted to greet the sunrise in a special way.
"Hmmm…" she murmured, stretching against me before running her knee up my leg enticingly. When she came up against the part of me that was very happy to see her, she smiled seductively. "Hmmm... maybe I should say, good morning to you."
Chuckling at her playfulness, I kissed her lips softly, nipping her bottom lip playfully, before scrubbing my scruff against her neck softly.
Her reaction was half a groan of pleasure and the other half snickering.
"Oh my God, Edward, stop!" She finally snorted, laughing hysterically until she was pulling in gasps of air. Thankfully, her ribs hadn't been cracked or bruised. The scratches and wounds on her back and arms would heal.
Placing her hands on my cheeks, she ran her fingertips along my cheekbones. Her eyes sparkled brightly as she traced my features. I knew what she was feeling… the need to make sure everything was fine. I leaned over to kiss the strip of gauze at her hairline. She had a few more cuts here or there, a sprained ankle, but she was going to be fine.
Threading her fingers through my hair, she pulled me to her for a kiss. "I thought I might never see you again." Kiss...kiss. "I kept remembering what you said...that we'd never be separated." Kiss…kiss. "I knew you would come for me." Kiss…kiss. "My E-man."
My lips curved into a smile at her nickname for me. I was surprised she hadn't come up with a pajama outfit yet with the E shield in blue and red. Kissing down the line of her throat, I scraped the scruff across the collar of the loose t-shirt she was wearing. Pushing it down so that I could kiss my tattoo, I felt the rapid beating of her heart under my lips.
As much as I would like to claim responsibility for what happened, I couldn't.
"Love, I'm not responsible for anything that happened. Emmett and Jacob…even Riley…they're the ones that made it all come together. Ask Em, he'll tell you. In fact, I think my manhood was called into question at one point."
A tug on my hair caused me to move my lips from where I worried her skin. When our eyes met, I saw the deep chocolate of hers watching me lovingly.
"Babe…that's not how I heard it." She grinned broadly. "Let me see… a chaotic redhead, tugging at his hair and pacing in between helping other people to live. Screaming that he would go in himself. Holding a woman's hand while he doctored her… and may I say that woman plans to off me and get to you even if she is fifty years your elder. Talk about a cougar." She made a "tsking" sound in the back of her throat and laughed hard at my face. It was the shock that Ms. Brewer would think about me that way… seriously. "Someone diving toward the house when he saw it, refusing to leave and go back to where he was 'supposed to be.' Threatening Emmett…" She smoothed her hands down to rest on my shoulders. "I also heard that you were first to start picking up the rubble once you heard Jackson crying."
"For a wimpy doctor… you did kinda good."
So, Emmett had been the one to tell her.
I was distracted when one of her hands slid around my waist and squeezed my ass. When she waggled her eyebrows at me, I started to lunge for her, but stopped myself. Must focus.
"Bella, when I realized that our neighborhood had been hit, I thought my heart would stop. But when Emmett told me that our house had been destroyed, it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. And as the hours flew by, I thought I was going crazy; you can't even imagine the thoughts that were going through my head." Closing my eyes, I laid my head against her chest. For a moment, the fear resurfaced, and I was close to shaking.
Pushing back up, I looked into her eyes. "I wished that there was a better way for me to say how I feel about you."
Just get to it, Edward! I heard my inner voice screaming at me. So reaching back to the decking behind me, I pulled the box into my hand, slipping off the chaise lounge and to my knees before her.
Her eyes widened adorably.
"I've had this for a while, but I haven't had the guts to ask you. I was waiting for the 'right time,' wanting to make it special. I was thinking of our vacation to Cancun coming up… envisioning a romantic beach proposal. I was building myself up to it." I shrugged. "But as I waited helplessly, not knowing whether or not I would get the pleasure to hold you again, I knew that I'd allowed my fears to make me a fool."
Opening the blue box, I shook the inner ring case out and flipped it open.
Bella gasped seeing the simple solitaire. Even with Alice's help, I hadn't been able to decide on anything more elaborate, so I planned to take Bella with me to the store to decide on a wedding band and whether or not she wanted a more elaborate setting for the pear shaped diamond. For now it was in a simple platinum band.
"Love…" I chuckled softly "…that word, well it doesn't even come close to defining how I feel about you. You are my everything, Bella. My heart beats for you; my whole word revolves around you. When we are apart, I always feel as if the better half of me is missing. The day you walked into that psych class and into my life was the best moment of my life. And although we've lost everything, it took that to happen for me to realize I couldn't wait one more moment… fears, doubts, and insecurities be damned… to ask you to be my wife."
Taking the ring out of the box, I held it between my fingers and held it out to her. She'd sat up, putting her legs around me where I was kneeling, and I smiled as the sun broke on the horizon, sending soft rays of light down onto us, highlighting the reds, purples, blues, and green in her hair. It seemed prophetic.
"A new day, a new chance to live our lives, one we've definitely been graced with. Isabella Swan, will you do me the extraordinary honor of being my wife?"
A little gasp was my only warning before she lunged at me, knocking the ring out of my hand and to the floor. "Yes!" "Yes!" "Yes!" she said as she peppered kisses across my face. She squealed and all but fell out of the chair into the floor to straddle me.
But when our lips met, the ring and her answer were forgotten for several minutes, as I kissed her the way I'd wanted to when she was rescued. I pulled her to me, biting back a moan as she snuggled me . Our breaths mingled between kisses as our hands roamed against skin.
When she went to undress me, I stopped her for a moment. "Wait… Bella… let me get your ring." Because as soon as our clothes were gone, I planned to be distracted for a very long time.
She giggled at me as I had to get down on hands and knees to look under the chair we'd been sleeping on. Sliding it across the knuckle of her ring finger made me feel so possessive that I wanted to take her right then. She must have seen the lust in my eyes because she groaned.
"Why a pear shape, Edward?"
She knew me too well, that I would have bought something with significance.
It was my turn to blush… damn my Irish Grandfather. I was certain my face was as red as my hair. "It's the shape of a tear. So when I make you cry, which I will, you'll be able to look down at it and remember you promised to be mine through it all."
She chuckled and then shook her head at me. "You goof!"
All I could do was shrug. It was true.
"Edward, do you think that you could forget that I was in the hospital yesterday?" I shook my head in confusion, and she smirked in a devious fashion. "Because, although I love it when you make love to me, um… I'm kinda hoping for some fast and furious right now."
My mouth dropped, and then a bark of laughter tore out of me. Standing, I reached down to pull her up beside me. "I think I can handle that, Bella." Feeling her healthy and safe in my arms, I felt the fire in my blood. "Yeah, I can definitely handle that."
The sun rose in the horizon and then through the bedroom windows we'd left open, streaming over us as I ravished my fiancé. Like so many others, we would have to start over, start from the beginning. But we were blessed. We had insurance, our family and friends to support us, and the hope that each day would bring. As the sun rose higher, highlighting the time we spent in bed, first in frantic coupling, then later in slow love making, I knew the most important thing I had was Bella…. her love for me… and the promise of our little piece of forever.
I hope you enjoyed!