This was my submission to the Fandom 4LLS:
Rating: Mature for sexual references
Disclaimer: I do not own them...No copyright infringement is intended.
Sitting on the beach, staring out at the calming waves, I try to understand how I ended up alone.
At twenty-six years old, I thought marriage was around the corner and kids were just a couple of blocks away.
Ten years with the man I thought was my future are over, and I don't know what to do with myself.
I feel the sand shift behind me and the familiar scent of Sexwax envelopes me; it's the beach and sunscreen, good music and the cool breeze off of the ocean all wrapped up in one smell.
His legs settle outside of mine, his arms wrap around my shoulders, and he pulls me against his chest.
Tears immediately stream down my face, the sobs quickly follow, and I feel his head rest against the top of mine as his arms tighten around me.
I smile and look up. "Hey you."
"Let's go," he extends his hand out to me and I take it.
He takes my bag and my hand and leads me away from the water.
"How was work today?"
I shrug and frown. "It was okay. I don't know..." I trail off, wondering if I should tell him what I'm thinking. "I think I need a change."
"Yeah. I'm not happy there anymore."
"You should look for something else or..." He trails off and looks at me for a long moment; his feet never stop moving. I can barely walk, and he doesn't even have to pay attention to where he's going.
"Or ... you should finish your novel. Get published."
"Bee," he stops and tilts my head toward his. "You're an amazing writer. The novel you are working on is brilliant." He shook his head and started moving again. "That asshole wouldn't know a good thing if it was right in his face. Don't let him dictate your love, your art."
Don't let him dictate my love? I'll have to think more on that later.
Edward flipped the latch on the gate and gestured for me to enter first. He's always such a gentleman; opening doors, pulling out chairs.
"Do you want to eat outside tonight? It's not too windy; no flying sand."
I giggle. "Sounds good, what can I help with?"
"Nothing, everything's ready except the fish. I'll just throw it on the grill. Want a beer?"
I nodded and watched as he popped the cap and handed me a bottle, clinking his to mine before taking a drink.
I can't believe ... Only me. This kind of shit only ever happens to me.
I try to stand, but when the nurse sees me she tells me to wait and grabs a wheelchair.
"Okay." She pushes me toward a desk that has a big sign that reads Triage. "What's going on here?"
"I was walking in the surf, and I got stung by a stingray."
Her raised eyebrow tells me she knows more than that happened.
"This is so embarrassing," I hide my face. "I got scared, obviously, and somehow I got all tangled up. I fell face first into the ocean, and I think I may have sprained my ankle … and my wrist, and my nose seriously hurts."
Just then I heard someone running, and I look up to find Edward coming at me.
"Bella!" He looks me over, and I can see his relief that I am in one piece. The tension in his body disappears, and his smirk is back in place. "You know if you wanted to see me in action, you could have just called me. You don't have to injure yourself to get me to play doctor."
His eyebrow went up, and his smile turned sexy.
Wait ... sexy?
When did I start seeing him as sexy?
I felt my cheeks get warm, partly from embarrassment, and partly because I suddenly found my best friend to be sexy.
"Cullen, stop messing with the girl. Take her into your office and fix her up. I'll bring a bucket of water for her foot."
"What's wrong with your foot?" He asks as he lifts me in his arms.
"Dr. Cullen, there is a wheelchair right there."
"And?" He asks, with a raised eyebrow.
The nurse lets out a deep breath and shakes her head.
"How do these things happen to you?" He asks, and continues walking toward his office. I notice that all of the nurses are watching us with wide eyes.
"Why is everyone staring at us?"
"Probably because I'm carrying you through a hospital. How hard did you hit your head?"
I stick my tongue out at him, and he laughs.
Edward hasn't changed one bit. He treats me exactly the same. My feelings for him, on the other hand, are changing.
I notice everything about him. His hair, the way he walks, the way his fingers move in time to music.
I had a huge crush on him when we were young.
But at sixteen years old, Edward never looked at the fourteen year old Bella that way.
He always had a beautiful blond on his arm. A cheerleader or volleyball player; someone that could walk without falling, unlike me.
That's actually how we became friends. I was walking, or trying to, and I tripped right in front of him and his friends. He caught me in his arms and said 'You were making a beeline for the concrete.'
It was totally cheesy, and I swooned because he was so pretty to look at. He started calling me Bee, and we became friends; eventually best friends. But if I have these feelings now ... where does that leave us?
I feel like I'm fourteen again and my unrequited love is going to crush me.
Speaking of being crushed...
"Oliver!" I yell as the big, English Bulldog comes over and sits right on my lap; his fleshy face is in mine, waiting for me to say hello. "Hey buddy, you're a little heavy."
I scratch his head and nuzzle his face, and he moves off of my lap and lies next to me.
"Hi Em, how they hangin'?"
"A little to the left today."
I chuckle and look out at the water. Edward is sitting on his board talking to the guy next to him.
He throws his head back in laughter, and his hair is glistening in the sun.
Glistening in the sun?
What in the hell is wrong with me?
"When you gonna put the poor guy out of misery, Bee?"
"What are you talking about?"
"He's in love with you."
"Shut up. He is not."
"Emmett, he has treated me like his kid sister since I was fourteen. Why would that change all of
Emmett fell back onto the blanket, banging his head against the sand.
"Dude, what the hell's wrong with you?"
Emmett groaned. "We're barbecuing, come over, whenever. Let's go Oliver!"
I watched Emmett walk back toward the house and wondered if what he said was true. Could
Edward love me?
I felt drops of water all over my arms and legs, and I look up to see him. His green eyes are happy, and he has a beautiful smile on his face.
Jake's gone; has been for a long time. Edward is my best friend; he's my person. The one I go to with good news; hell, he's the first person I go to with any news. I always smile when his face lights up my phone. I'm disappointed when he gets stuck at the hospital when we have plans. His voice calms my soul. His touch calms my nerves. I never felt for Jake the way I feel for Edward. Jake left me, and I survived; but if I were to lose Edward...
It's now or never, right?
He sits next to me and bumps me with his shoulder. "What's up?"
"Would you like to go out to dinner with me?"
His eyes go wide in surprise, and he smiles, before looking out at the ocean. His Adam's apple bobs a couple times, and I'm starting to think this was a bad idea.
I sigh and look away from him.
Stupid Emmett and his stupid ideas.
I should know better than to listen to him.
I shake my head, ready to say 'never mind, I was just kidding, hahaha...'.
But his arm wraps around my waist and my sunglasses are removed and his eyes are burning into mine. "Bee, I'd love to have dinner with you," and his mouth is on mine and all I can think is holy shit! I'm kissing Edward and damn ... this feels better than I ever knew a kiss could feel.
I curled my hair and let it flow down my back. My make-up consists of taupe eye shadow with shimmer, a little eyeliner and mascara, and a nude lip gloss.
I'm wearing a belted, flowy, blue dress that goes to my knees in the front and drops to my calves in the back; on my feet are navy blue sandals, because I know that I'll end up in the hospital if my shoe has a heel.
I look in the mirror once more, press my lips together and take a deep cleansing breath.
I'm going on a date with Edward.
My cheeks pink and my lips curve into a smile without my permission. My stomach feels like it would fly away if it could.
I grab my purse and a sweater and walk outside.
Three houses down, I see a gorgeous man sitting on his porch steps. Dark denim covering his legs, light blue dress shirt untucked, with the sleeves rolled up exposing his forearms.
His eyes are on me; watching me walk toward him. His fingers twitch and his leg is bouncing but he's letting me pick him up for our date.
I smile brightly, and he smiles back. When I reach him, his hands move to my hips and he pulls me close.
"Hi," I can't help but giggle.
"Hi," he says again, and pulls me in for a kiss. I have to lean in a little, and his hands move to either side of my neck; my hands gripping his forearms.
His lips are so soft and his smell is ... delicious.
"You look beautiful," he whispers against my lips, and I blush. I haven't felt beautiful in a long time.
"I feel beautiful when I'm with you."
He hums and kisses me again.
I smile brightly and bounce on my toes, making him laugh.
He takes my hand and we walk over to Roman's for dinner.
My shoes are off, toes digging into the cold sand; his legs on the outside of mine, denim rough against my skin; his lips on my neck, my stomach tight with tension; eyes closed tight, his scent
"Bella ..." a whisper, a question.
"Please ..." an answer, a plea.
He stands, and extends his hand to me. Once I'm up, his arms wrap around me and he lifts me; my legs wrap around his waist. He walks us up the beach, into his backyard, into his house, and into his bedroom.
The lights are dim; but there is color everywhere. Vases of flowers are all over the room, the window is open allowing the ocean breeze to flow through.
His eyes are soft and questioning; my eyes are filled with tears.
"Is this okay?" He's nervous.
"It's perfect," I whisper, and tangle my fingers into his hair.
Our kiss lingers, soft but urgent; frantic yet soothing. His fingers trail along my skin and my dress is gone.
His eyes follow the line of my body, hungry. He kisses every inch of my skin, his fingers following the path his lips have taken.
I feel worshipped; I feel loved. And when he pushes inside of me, I feel complete.
Saturday morning at seven o'clock the doorbell rings.
The house is quiet; Emmett and Rosalie are still sleeping. I move the griddle from the burner and run to the door to make it stop.
Jake is standing there; wet hair, t-shirt, board shorts, and flip flops. I take a step back, but keep the door closed enough to let him know that he's not invited inside.
"What are you doing here?"
My heart is beating fast. This is the man that left me after ten years because he wasn't sure I was 'the one' for him.
"I wanted to see how you're doing. I heard you quit the paper."
"I'm fine. Is that all?"
"Come on, Bella. I'm trying to apologize."
I snort and shake my head.
Breaking my heart?
Kicking me out of our apartment?
Taking all of my friends?
What exactly are you apologizing for?"
He looked at the floor and frowned. "I didn't realize I took your friends."
"Well, you did but if they dumped me so easily, I guess they weren't really my friends in the first place."
He looked at me, from head to toe and then reached a hand out to touch me. I backed away and his eyes went wide.
"Don't touch me. You don't get to do that anymore."
A car door slammed and footsteps ran up the driveway.
"What the hell are you doing here, asshole?"
"It looks like you got to keep one friend, Bella," Jacob sneered and it pissed me off.
"He was the only one that was important," I replied stonily.
He stepped toward me again and Edward put a hand on his chest and pushed him away from me.
"She said leave."
Jake laughed and shook his head.
"Same old shit. Why don't you man up and tell her you love her already? You always were a fucking thorn in my side."
Edward's eyes met mine and a shiver ran through my body.
"You see? That's where you're wrong. That girl right there," he pointed at me. "She loved you with everything she had. I would never step in the way of her happiness, and at the time, she wanted you. You were the one that threw that away. Not me. I know better."
His eyes were on mine again, "I know when a good thing is right in front of me."
My eyes filled with tears.
"Jake, get the fuck off my property before I call the cops," my brother's voice broke through the tension.
"Whatever," Jake muttered, and walked toward his car.
Before he climbed in he called out to me. "For what it's worth, Bella, I know I fucked up and I would do anything to make it up to you. But I can see I'm already too late. Biggest mistake of my life."
He climbed into his car, started it and drove off. I watched the car until it turned at the stop sign and then my eyes found Edward's.
Green, anxious, hopeful...
"Is it true?"
He looked at the ground and shoved his hands in his pockets before giving me a quick nod. His shoulders dropped and he walked toward me.
"I didn't want you to find out this way. I was trying to give you time to … heal or get over him or whatever." He shook his head and groaned in frustration. "I have a fucking medical degree but I can't talk to a girl."
I giggled and when he looked up at me, I stepped toward him fisting his shirt in my hands.
"I love you, Bee. I have for a long time; before I even realized it was love, and it was so fucking hard to see you with him but ..." I cut him off. I went up on my toes and kissed him. His hands wrapped around me and he picked me up so we were the same height. My fingers went around his neck and tangled in his hair.
"You love me?" I asked, smiling.
Oh my God ... he said I do.
Visions of a white dress, tulle and ribbons, an ocean backdrop, dancing, music and the beautiful man in front of me clouded my vision.
I kissed him softly. "I think I've loved you since the day I met you."
He pushed me up against the house and kissed me more passionately than I think I've ever been kissed.
"Hey kids," Edward pulled away, looking slightly panicked.
"Pancakes ready, Bells?"
I laughed and dropped my head on Edward's shoulder. He slowly lowered me to the ground and
closed his eyes.
"Hi Dad, pancakes aren't quite ready yet. Jake stopped by," I gave my dad a hug and pulled him into the house, grabbing Edward's hand as I passed him.
"What do you mean he stopped by? He's got some fucking nerve showing his face here." Dad smirked, and then looked at Edward. "I take it you set him straight on things?"
Edward swallowed loudly and gave my dad a sharp nod.
"About fucking time. I've been waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass for years."
Edward's mouth dropped open, Emmett's laugh echoed in the kitchen, Rosalie gave Edward a hairy eyeball and an I told you so nod, and me, all I could do was giggle.
Sitting on the couch watching a movie.
All of the lights are off.
I've practically moved in. We have dinner every night, even when he's working. I take dinner to him on those nights and we eat in the courtyard.
I love waking up in his arms; warm and covered in his scent. I love the way he takes care of me.
He's always making sure I have the snacks I like in the house, that I have a few dollars in my pocket when I go out, that my cell phone is charged - that I'm just ... okay. He opens doors for me, walks on the street side of the sidewalk when we go places and he puts gas in my car for me every Sunday.
I was with Jake for ten years, and he never did those things for me. We met on the first day of junior year - and we were inseparable. Edward was away at college and I missed my best friend. The weekly phone calls weren't enough, and Jake filled the void.
It wasn't always bad.
Jake and I started off really good, actually. We had fun together and he watched out for me. It wasn't until about a year ago that Jake started changing. Distancing himself, staying out late and not calling me; the weird thing though, I wasn't terribly upset by it.
Yeah, it annoyed me but it allowed me to spend more time with Edward, Emmett and Rose.
"What are you thinking about?" Edward asked, pulling me toward him.
I climbed into his lap, my fingers automatically tangling into his hair.
"Why didn't you say anything to me?"
"About how you felt?"
His face cleared and his hands squeezed my hips.
"You were happy with him. You talked about getting married and having kids, buying a house... I didn't want to ruin that. Yes, I loved you then; but not like I do now. Then it was something unattainable. It was just a murmur of what it is now. I didn't allow it to be more than that because it would have hurt too much."
I was happy with Jake, that's true but..."The last year wasn't so great, you were my bright spot. I'm sorry it took me so long to open my eyes."
I couldn't stop giggling.
Blue nail polish with a shimmery top coat.
He hasn't noticed yet.
"What is wrong with you? Are we going out?" He asked pointing to the beach. It's early, too early to be awake, but the ocean was singing; it wanted to be noticed.
I shook my head. "I need coffee. Go ahead, I'll find you."
He leaned in and kissed me, got in a boob grope and walked out the door. I lay quietly, listening.
I hear him murmur something and then "BELLA!"
I laugh and cover myself with the blankets and pillow.
I feel his weight on my body and I laugh louder.
He uncovers my face and I'm met with the most beautiful smile and sparkling green eyes.
His face softens and he leans in, kissing me softly. He pulls away, just enough to look at me. I can't stop smiling.
I love him.
"Marry me, Bee," he says, his eyes searching mine, his lips a whisper against mine.
My heart stutters and I know I will never be happier than I am in this moment.
"Yes," I whisper. "Yes."
He covers my body with his and his mouth is urgent against mine. His hands are everywhere and my body feels electric. He jumps off of the bed and takes off his shorts. Turns toward me but then spins away and opens a drawer in his nightstand.
When he's done, he climbs under the blankets and pulls me close. He takes my left hand and kisses my ring finger before sliding cold metal over my skin.
"I love you."
His words are simple but his eyes show me that they mean so much more.
Our bodies are warm; skin against skin. I throw my leg over his hip and I can feel him. I close my eyes and moan.
He shifts his weight and I'm complete. His strong arms pull me against him; his elbow at my hip, his arm across my back, and his hand on my shoulder pulling me even closer, I can feel every part of him. The way his muscles pull and stretch, the way his fingers grip and flex, and his mouth - my God, his mouth is warm and soft and wet and I'm lost in him.
By noon, we were starving. I put on a bathing suit and go downstairs.
I pulled out the ingredients for omelets and got busy. I set the table and set out orange juice and fresh fruit.
When I turn to grab our plates, the bright sparkle of my ring catches my eye and I hold it up, admiring it.
Warm arms wrap around me and I lean into him.
"Do you like it?" He asks, kissing my shoulder.
I turn in his arms and wrap my arms around his neck.
"I love it," I smile and kiss the dip between his neck and collarbone. "I love you."
We kiss lazily for a few moments before our stomachs remind us how hungry we are.
We walk down to the beach, and play in the surf. Edward ends up helping a group of kids make an epic sand castle only to have it trampled by my brother and Oliver.
Emmett acted like King Kong and chased after the kids making them laugh and scream and Oliver sat on Edward licking his face.
I can't remember ever feeling so light and free and amazingly happy.
Emmett sat next to me and bumped my shoulder as we watched Edward play fetch with Oliver.
I scratch my nose, knowing my ring would sparkle in the sunlight.
"What the duck?"
I frowned, duck?
"WHAT IS THIS?!"
He grabs my hand and looks up at Edward who has a ridiculous smile on his face.
I nod and scream, "I'm engaged!" Making Emmett laugh. He wraps a beefy arm around me and squeezes tight.
After a minute, he lets me go and stood up shaking Edward's hand and doing the bro hug thing.
"BBQ. Our place, six o'clock," Emmett said, turning to walk away but stops and spins toward
"Why the duck are your toes blue and sparkly?"
"You're sister thinks she's funny. Why do you keep saying duck?"
Emmett's face lit up and he smiled like it was Christmas. "Rosie's pregnant."
I scream again and jump up to hug my big brother.
"Act surprised. She wants to tell everyone at the BBQ."
He waved and took off down the beach with Oliver trailing behind him.
I'm going to throw up.
Oh my God.
"You okay, baby girl?"
"Dad, I can't walk out there. Look at all of those people and I'm wearing heels and a long dress.
I'm going to trip and end up in the emergency room. On my wedding day!"
He nods, looks out at the patio where everyone is seated and smiles. He pulls me close to him.
"Look at him."
Edward is in a black suit with yellow and pink flowers pinned to his lapel. His hair is shaped in a
smooth, sophisticated style making him look even more beautiful than usual. He's smiling and laughing and happy.
"He is the only one you need to worry about."
I gave my dad a teary smile and squeezed him tight. He's absolutely right. The only one that matters is Edward.
"But you really do need to take off those shoes. An ER trip isn't really necessary today."
I laugh, take off the ridiculous shoes and throw them into the corner.
"I love you, baby girl."
"I love you, too, Daddy."
With one last hug, he leads me toward the doors and the music starts.
Our day was perfect.
We said our vows at sunset with the sky bleeding orange and pink over the water.
The ocean breeze was just enough to keep everyone cool.
There was no tripping, falling or emergency room visits.
There was tulle and ribbon flowing in the wind, live music, good food and laughter.
Lots of laughter.
We danced and kissed, ate cake, toasted with beautiful pink champagne, gave speeches, danced with our parents and showed everyone how much we love each other.
"I can't do this. Please. I want to go home, baby. Take me home," I cried, exhausted and hurting.
My husband's hand moves across my shoulders and back, pulling my hair away from my neck and tying it into a knot on the back of my head.
"I'm sorry you're hurting, baby. Not too much longer."
Gripping pain in my midsection makes me gasp and tense in his arms. His hands don't stop moving, he continues rubbing my lower back and whispers in my ear. I can't focus on his words so I concentrate on his fingers on my skin, his legs resting on the outside of mine, his whisper against my skin.
When the pain runs its course, I fall back against him. He kisses my temple and his hands move around me, rubbing my belly.
"Okay, Mrs. Cullen. Let's take a look, yeah? Dr. Cullen, I'm going to need to you to move for a minute or two."
I cry when he moves off of the bed, but his hands never leave my skin and he kisses me softly, whispering he loves me.
The nurse is busy checking me and I find it odd that I don't even care what she's doing down there.
"Alright!" She says excitedly. "I am going to get Dr. Hale because you are ready to go. Dr. Cullen you know the drill. Be right back."
"Oh my God, it's time! Edward, I'm not ready. I can't do this!"
"Hey," he says, moving so that his face is right in mine. I can't see anything other than his bright green eyes. "You can do this. You are the strongest, most beautiful woman I know. You are going to be a wonderful mother and I love you more than you will ever comprehend."
My eyes water and I push myself toward him so I can kiss his beautiful lips.
"I love you. So much," I whisper. "But we are never having sex again."
He laughs and kisses me again softly just as Dr. Hale walks into the room.
"Okay, kids let's get this show on the road."
Exactly 4 hours and 37 minutes later, we welcomed Anthony Alexander Cullen into the world.
Despite my promise that we would never have sex again, we went through the labor and delivery process two more times.
Our baby girls, Olivia and Ava, were born two years after Anthony, and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. Twin girls and a little boy under three years old was a huge challenge.
Edward found me crying in the nursery at least once a week for the first six months.
But eventually, things smoothed out and I found a groove.
Baby number four, Noah, came along just after the twins fourth birthday. The pregnancy was
rough and high blood pressure triggered a bunch of things that caused me to deliver early. I
honestly tried not to concentrate on what Dr. Hale told me because I didn't want to freak myself out and make it worse.
Edward was a mess and we decided that Noah would be our last baby. He was born five weeks before his due date and weighed in at 4lbs 6ozs. He was so tiny and spent a little more than a week in the neonatal unit before we were allowed to take him home.
But today ... today, my baby Noah is getting married and I don't know what to do with myself.
The kids have been out of the house for a while; off at college, making new friends and falling in love. But Noah has been in love since he was fourteen, and ten years later, we are getting ready to watch him marry the love of his life.
I can't help but smile at the thought that I met the love of my life when I was fourteen and forty years later, I'm still madly in love with him.
He has a few more laugh lines on his face, a little silver in his hair, and he is still the most beautiful man I've ever known.
He is a wonderful husband and father, and I can't wait to see how amazing he will be as a grandfather.
I feel the sand shift behind me and the familiar scent of Sexwax envelopes me; it's the beach and sunscreen, good music and the cool breeze off of the ocean all wrapped up in one smell.
His legs settle outside of mine, his arms wrap around my shoulders and he pulls me against his chest.
"I love you, Bee," he whispers in my ear.
"Love you," I whisper back as he places a kiss on my shoulder and then on my lips.
I look out at the ocean and remember that this - our love, our life - is where it all began.
a/n: I hope you liked it. :)