I apologize for all the delays. Here's an extra long chapter to finish this story. Enjoy.
My phone vibrated with a text before the elevator doors even closed.
I'll cover for you with Newton. And Edward's at home. Luv u
Thanks to Rosalie's message, I didn't waste my time driving to Edward's office. Though, I did wonder what he was doing home on a Monday. It didn't matter. None of it mattered as I stopped my car in his driveway and ran to the house.
The door opened before I could even knock and I threw myself into Edward's arms. He held me so tight I'd probably be bruised by morning, but I didn't care as long as he was holding me. Again, it was hypocritical to be here now after telling myself I wouldn't just run back to him, but the thought of him believing I didn't want him anymore hurt too much.
"Bella, baby, what are you doing here?"
"I love you." My arms tightened around his neck. "It's not over."
I left a trail of kisses across his cheek until I found his lips. I kissed him, a hard, bruising kiss, before leaving more kisses back to his ear. "I promise, it's not over."
"Not that I'm complaining or anything," he said as he brushed his fingers across my bare shoulder, "but I thought you wanted time away from me."
I snuggled deeper into the pillow as I turned to face him. "I did, but someone very smart asked me a question that I didn't know how to answer until this morning."
He flashed that beautiful smile I loved so much. "You know that doesn't make any sense, right?"
I scooted a little closer to him and he slipped an arm around my waist. "There were flowers on my desk this morning and I was so sure they were from you."
His smile fell away. "I'm sorry. I didn't think you would…"
I put a finger to his lips to stop him. "I know. By some crazy coincidence, Mr. Newton bought my favorite flowers and the pain I felt when I realized they weren't from you crushed me. I knew then that I had my answer." I moved my hand to cup his cheek. "There is nothing in this world that means more to me than you. And as long as you're honest with me, the time apart doesn't matter because everything we have and everything we are when we're together is worth so much more. I love you, Edward, and I don't want to live without you."
In a heartbeat, I was on my back and Edward was kissing me, but before I could deepen the kiss, he lifted his head to look at me.
"I love you, Bella. With all my heart, I love you. But you're wrong, the time apart does matter. So, when I went to work on Thursday, I told Marcus everything and walked out."
"You quit your job?"
"That job almost ruined us and I won't take that chance again."
"What about Aro?"
"Aro can go fuck himself. Let him say what he wants; I don't need his endorsement. I'll work at McDonald's if I have to."
I slid my hand up his arm. "Mmm, it's a good thing I like French fries."
I burst into a fit of laughter as Edward's tickled my side. I apologized quickly.
"Sorry, sorry. I was kidding." Catching my breath again, I held his face in my hands. "You're amazing at what you do, Edward. You'll find another job. Hopefully, it's in your field but if not, we'll figure it out. But whatever happens, we're in this together."
"Together." He leaned in, kissing me softly. "I like that."
I checked my dress in the mirror again just as I heard the knock on the door. Running my fingers through my hair one last time, I left the bedroom and went to answer the door. Edward stood in front of me looking gorgeous in his black suit, his blue tie matching my dress perfectly.
"You're beautiful," he said as he stepped into the house and gave me a kiss.
"So are you." He raised an eyebrow. "Handsome, I mean."
"Are you ready to go? The party starts in twenty minutes."
My office Christmas party was a big deal every year and tonight was no different. Mr. Newton spared no expense and I was told I couldn't be late.
"Almost." I smiled and walked to the drawer to pull out the box that held his present. "I know it's not Christmas yet but I wanted to give you this before we go."
The brightest smile lit his face when he saw the key inside.
"Bella, are you sure?"
For so long, I didn't think we'd get to this point but after the day he told me he'd quit his job, hoping to save our relationship, things began to change. We went on dates, he cooked me dinner, and we were there for each other through everything, even when Marcus called to offer him his job back.
Well, it wasn't exactly his job Marcus was offering. It was Aro's. As it turned out, on top of learning that he was paying Aro for work he didn't do, Marcus was livid over losing his best employee and he did the one thing Edward thought he'd never do. He fired his son.
We'd struggled with the decision but after a lengthy discussion, Edward took the job. Though, not before making it clear that his family came first. He wouldn't let the job jeopardize our relationship again. Marcus, who Edward had learned was a devoted husband, completely understood his reasoning and quickly agreed. That decision gave me my Edward back.
"We've been apart long enough," I answered. "I want you to move back in."
"There's nothing in the world I want more. Well," he smirked, "there is one thing."
Edward dropped to one knee and pulled his own box out of his pocket.
"A year ago I was lying in bed thinking I'd lost you. But then you came to me and gave me another chance. I will never take that for granted again. I told you once before, you are the angel in my life and I'm not complete without you." He opened the box, revealing the diamond ring inside. "Will you marry me, Bella?"
My blurry eyes shifted from him to the ring and back again before I whispered the only word I could. "Yes."
The party was in full swing when we finally arrived. I felt horrible for missing the presentation, but it couldn't be helped. Edward left me to get us some drinks while I scanned the crowd for Rosalie and Emmett.
"Better late than never, I guess."
I grinned and turned to see Paul with the biggest smile on his face.
"Look." He held up the award in his hands. "Now I have one just like you."
"You deserve it. I'm sorry I missed the presentation."
"It's alright. I think your celebration was a little more important than mine." I looked at him questioningly and he lifted my left hand. "So, what did you think of your early Christmas gift?"
"Of course, I know everything." My eyes narrowed and Paul smirked. "Bella, you know Edward and I put our differences behind us months ago. So, after he bought the ring, he came to me, as one of your oldest friends, and told me what he was planning. I obviously approved because I'd do anything to see my girl happy." He pulled me into a quick hug. "So tell me, what do you think."
He released me and I turned, quickly finding Edward across the room talking to his brother. Our eyes locked and he flashed a brilliant smile. Without turning away from my fiancé, I answered, "It's perfect."
Finally, Bella and Edward are happy. And I can only hope you enjoyed the journey to get them there.
Big, big hugs and a million kisses to kmah88 for putting up with my craziness. It's a tough job, but she kept me in line while making this one pretty for all of you.
To all my readers…thank you so much for always sticking with me. You are the best.
And to my girls – you know who you are – I'm so thankful you're in my life. I love you all so much. I couldn't get by without you.