As Bella sat staring out her bedroom window life continued on as if no one was aware of her broken heart. She really had no concern for what time of year it was or what the world was doing outside her bedroom window; the only thing on her mind was Edward and why he had chosen to leave her. She had loved him with her whole heart and every fiber of her being but it hadn’t been enough he left her anyway. She had tried to lie and convince herself that she had been better off without him but she knew the truth. The truth was she would never be the same, could never be the same without him. So instead of venturing out to start a new life and moving on as everyone had told her to she sat curled up in her chair and watched life go on outside her window trying to live the memories they had shared. Alice had been by her side and had tried to tell her that Edward loved her and that the only reason he had left was because he had honestly thought it was best for her, safer for her. Bella blamed herself for everything that had went wrong and she blamed herself for the fact that in the end he had gotten himself killed anyway. He had left leaving her behind and not only that but he had tried to take everything that would remind her of him, but he couldn’t take her heart. Her heart remembered every touch, every kiss and every moment spent with him and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved her, had always loved her. With that knowledge she and Alice had ran as fast as possible to Italy to try and stop him from making the most ultimate of sacrifices but they had been too late. He had stood in the middle of the plaza in the glaring high noon sun amid thousands and thousands of humans as they sat, stood and froze at the vision before them. Edward in the sunlight had been beautiful, magnificent. He was like a god, with rainbow shards glimmering on the sidewalk and reflecting off the windows, sparkling like a diamond. Of course the Volturi couldn’t let that happen so he had been seized immediately and taken beyond the palace gates to never be seen again. The crowds began to murmur but in the end they had been led to believe that it had all been an illusion, a trick of the brilliant sunlight. Bella and Alice had arrived just a minute too late. As they had raced as fast as they could down the corridors and up the winding steps that led them to the colorless, cavern like room that held him they could hear his tortured screams as his life ebbed away. As they barged into the room they saw him lying in the floor with his life already gone, his body a crumbled heap on the floor. Bella had held what was left him in her arms and cried hysterically begging for someone, anyone to bring him back to her for she knew she could live without many things but to live without the hope of ever seeing him again was impossible. She had already tried to live without him once and it hadn’t worked and she knew it wouldn’t work now for now all hope was gone, dead in her arms. Here she sat on the cobblestone floor with the pieces of her one true love in her arms knowing that from that moment forward she would never see his tousled bronze hair, his crooked smile or the love that would shine so bright in his eyes that it was impossible to see anything else. She had held him until the guards had taken him away and she smelled the fire and knew that her life as she had known it was over. So now here she was a lifeless entity with no thought of living but just barely existing. She was a shell of the person she had once been. She asked herself every day how had it ended like this? How was she supposed to go on now? She had given up on life and only wanted to live in her dream world where Edward was as alive as he had ever been. As she drifted further and further away Edward watched her and ached to ease her pain. He only asked for one more day with her or even just an hour he just needed to take her pain away. He too blamed himself for everything that had happened and only wanted to tell Bella that somehow, someway everything would be okay, that she would be okay.
Edward never intended to enter Bella’s room, but he could see her curled up on her bed with tears still drying on her cheeks. She was clutching an old Harvard sweatshirt that had once been his. He was drawn inside by the very smell of her drifting through the open window; how many times had he been here before? How many nights had she left her window cracked for his late night entries? He wondered if she did this out of habit or in hope that he would somehow come back. He quietly swung his legs over the window seal and lowered himself soundlessly inside. The room was exactly as he remembered it. The soft sweet floral scent of her lingered in the air and just seemed to pull him in. He could see her Chap Stick and hair clasps strewn on the vanity; she had never been very organized. He laughed as the memories filled his mind, Bella looking for her keys or searching for her i-pod. As he continued to scan the room his gaze settled on a corner shelf and he felt his chest tighten. It wasn’t the deep blue corsage from prom or the crumbled movie tickets from their one and only attempt at a normal date nor was it the baseball from their very first date but it was the 5 x10 framed photos. He could see Bella in his mind’s eye chewing on her bottom lip and how she had objected to having her picture taken. He had tried to take everything that might cause her unnecessary pain when he left but Bella had clung to every memory like a lifeline. He could see the rocking chair where he had sat so many nights and watched her sleep. How many times had he sat in that very chair and wished to be a part of her world rather than his own? He crossed the room and saw his Cullen family baseball cap on her bed post. He realized that there were traces of him everywhere, as if she refused to let him go. He quickly gathered all these left over reminders and placed them beside the window as if their absence would wash away all memory of him. He had been wrong to think that she would ever let go or forget so easily. He now stood by her bedside and watched the soft moonlight illuminate her perfect face. He could see the faint tracks where her tears had fallen before sleep had finally taken over. His poor Bella, she would always be his Bella and it made his very being ache to see her in such turmoil. Edward tried to imagine what it would be like to never see her again, to envision her with someone else but the vision just wouldn’t come. He couldn’t think of her as anything but his, she would always be his. He just couldn’t fathom not knowing or remembering her. He continued to stand at her side mesmerized by the rise and fall of her uneven breathing and the beauty that was Bella. She began to toss and turn, tangling the sheets and he could see pain radiating from every pore of her body. He heard her call his name as if what was left of her heart was breaking into tiny fragmented slivers that would never be put back in quiet the right place again. He thought of Adrianna the angel of time and memory maybe she was right it would be better for everyone to forget. He could not bear to see Bella in such turmoil and unending pain, if forgetting would heal her and make her whole then that was what he would do. He touched the small flask in his pocket and the leather pouch that she had given him and he knew what he had to do. As he stood and lovingly watched her, trying to memorize every facet of her face and ever sigh and moan that escaped her lips she slowly opened her lovely brown eyes. She blinked twice and then smiled a radiant smile that shone brighter than the sun.
“This dream is much nicer than the other ones.”
He smiled as he walked to the edge of her bed and knelt by her side, to clasp her hand firmly in his. He saw the life sparkling back into her once dull eyes. She smiled so serenely and so lovingly it made him ache for what he knew would come next.
“Bella, love I have missed you so.”
“Oh Edward I can’t even put into words how much the absence of you has turned my world upside down leaving a huge hole where my heart should be.”
Edward cringed as the words fell freely from her sweet lips. He knew that Bella had no reason to censor her words she would never lie to him, unlike the blasphemy that had poured out of his mouth when he had left. He regretted the harm he had caused her and would gladly do it over again if he could but he knew that would never happen. He drew a ragged breath and tried to form the words that he needed to say.
“Bella please listen for I do not have much time. I need to share some things with you and I hope that you understand and that somehow you will remember that you once knew a boy who loved you more than life itself.”
Edward could see the look of confusion filling her eyes and worry knitting her brow. As she gazed into his eyes she pulled on her bottom lip and he knew she was already fretting about what he had to say. She reluctantly nodded her head and waited for him to continue.
“Bella I know when I leave here tonight you will have no memory of me or this conversation but I still feel the overwhelming need to explain and apologize for the things that I caused to happen. I have always loved you even before I knew you I loved you. I spent my entire existence waiting for you. I was wrong for thinking I could walk away from you and I am so sorry for the pain I caused you. I want you to know that nothing that happened was your fault if there is any blame it falls solely on me. I made my decisions and I alone am to blame for what came next. My love for you was so vast that nothing could measure the depth of my love for you. Bella before you my life was a cold, dark and miserable place and then you came along and pulled me out of the darkness that had become my life. It was you brought my cold dead heart back to life and at times it was as if I could hear it beating. I knew I should have left before things went too far but I wasn’t strong enough to leave you or to deprive myself of your company so I stayed. I am so sorry that my selfishness has caused you so much pain.”
Edward had to stop before he came completely undone and became a blubbering mess. He rested his head on the edge of the bed and felt Bella’s butterfly soft touch as she began to run her fingers through his tousled hair. He marveled at the exquisite feel of her hand and knew that was just one of the many things he would be missing tomorrow. She began to mummer soft words of love and comfort in his ear and he could feel the warmth of her breath and the touch of her lips grazing his skin. Edward struggled to lift his head and see her troubled eyes looking expectantly at him.
“Bella promise me something.”
He waited as she looked at him and nodded her head. Edward knew she wouldn’t remember him come morning but maybe she would be able to somehow keep this promise.
“Love please don’t stop living. You have to promise me you will get up each day and take whatever cards are dealt and make the most of whatever this life has to offer. I want you to believe in the gift of love. I know when I leave you tonight that all our memories will fade and our life together will be no more than a dream that never came true, our lives as we have known them will be over. I know that time will pass and life will go on, but Bella my heart will remember when you were mine and my heart will not let me forget. I know that if there is any possible way for my spirit to come back to this earth that I will find my way back to you. I love you always your name and memory will be etched in my heart for eternity and beyond and I will find my way back to you.”
Edward raised Bella’s hand to his lips and gently pressed them to each of her fingers, then her palm. He slowly made his way up her neck until he found her mouth that was parted waiting to meet him half way. He savored the feel of her lips and the teasing of her anxious tongue as it assaulted his. He felt very much alive as if a million tiny fireworks were exploding behind his closed eyelids and the sensations that ran through his body had him shivering in want. Edward struggled to bring this life altering kiss to an end even though it was the last thing he wanted to do. He carefully pushed Bella away and let her head fall to rest on his chest. As he held her close he felt the rapid beating of her heart and the shallow breaths she now drew in and out. She raised her head slightly and looked at him questioningly.
“Edward I know this is a dream, your lips are so soft and warm and the touch of your hand so soothing as if you’re taking all my pain away.”
He sighed and drew her closer to his chest so she would not see the truth hiding in his eyes. Edward never wanted her to feel an ounce of pain ever again. He knew she had endured enough for a lifetime already. He would not let her continue to suffer because of him and his poor judgment.
“Bella, my Bella I love you so much and it is for you I am doing the unthinkable. Please try to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other and see where this new life takes you. You just have to breathe in and out and know that there will always be someone out there who always has and always will love you.”
He eased her back on her pillows and stood beside her bed. She was watching him as silent tears began to fall down her face. He held out his hand to catch one and clutched it in his fist as if that would thrust all her pain onto him. He would leave until she fell asleep. He slowly made his way to the window before glancing over his shoulder.
“Edward please come back I don’t want to be alone anymore. Just don’t go until I have fallen asleep.”
He could see her outstretched arms reaching for him. That one simple request was all that it took and he was by her side. He lay beside her and held her close to his heart. He would do this one thing for her before he left, he would stay until sleep came.
“Love close your eyes and go to sleep. “
He lost all track of time as he closed his eyes and tried to ingrain every memory firmly in his mind. He would not let himself forget one second of his life with Bella. He had no idea how long it was before she drifted off to sleep. He lay perfectly still beside her and listened to her strong heart beat until her breathing evened out and her soft mummers fell silent. The time had come. He rose from the bed and gripped the pouch in his hand. Edward quickly before changing his mind shook the memory dust in the air and watched as it fell on Bella’s sleeping body. He could see the tiny particles floating like tiny dust fairies in the shimmering moonlight. He knew in the morning any memory or idea she had of him would be forgotten forever. Edward could hear her talking in her sleep and calling out for him. The hardest thing he had ever done was turn away from his heart and walk to the window. He gathered up all reminders of the past before looking over his shoulder one last time. He drank in the sight of his Bella, his love, the only heaven he ever wanted to know. He pushed himself off the window ledge and landed softly on his feet already running to the forest. He found a place to stop and he took the flask out of his pocket. He knew that Adrianna would be here soon and that he had to finish this. He removed the cork and turned the bottle up and drained the dark, bitter liquid it held inside. It took his breath away as he felt a burn going down his throat and then back up again. He had never felt such pain not even as a new born. He threw the empty flask watching as it shattered into the bushes. He cursed the vile fluid that by the light of the morning sun would have erased all memory of his heart.
“Edward come we have to leave.”
He looked up to see Adrianna standing before him. She was so graceful and beautiful in a majestic kind of way. When she took him in her arms and unfolded her golden wings it was mind altering. She was indeed a sight to behold. She took off and within seconds they were in Heaven’s gates. Edward looked around and nothing had changed it was just as it had been earlier. He could see the streets of gold, he could hear choirs of angels singing the most beautiful hymns ever written but amid all the beauty and perfection he still missed his Bella. He hadn’t been sure what to expect but he knew that at some point Bella would be gone from him forever.
He looked at Adrianna waiting to see what was to become of him now. As her eyes rested on Edward he could see mercy and pity shine in her angel’s eyes.
“Edward you know that I am the angel of time and memory. I don’t think you really understand what that means but I am going to explain it to you. When you went to Italy and begged to be killed I was watching you. Bella and Alice raced to get to you but they arrived too late. I watched as Bella held your broken body in her arms. She was devastated and she pleaded and begged for someone to give back her Edward. I heard her cries and that is why I brought you here. I feel that even though your heart had ceased to beat it was still a good heart and you Edward were a good person. I think you lived an honorable life despite the circumstance you found yourself in. I feel that had you been able to live your life you would have been a selfless person who would have changed the world for the better. It is for these reasons that I think you deserve a second chance. I had to be sure that you had Bella’s best interest at heart, so I sent you to see her and to see if you would be unselfish. I know how you wanted to leave and not enter her room but you did it for her. I know how hard that was for you seeing her like that and then to talk to her and touch her for the last time and yet you never faltered you did the one thing that broke what was left of your heart. You chose to make Bella’s life better even though it meant her forgetting you completely. I gave you the potion that at first light will wipe your memory clean, at that time I am sending you back to earth for a second chance to be human. I hope you are able to have a chance at love, happiness and the life you were meant to have because you Edward Anthony Masen deserve it. Good luck Edward now sleeps and when morning comes go and find your place in the world for no foot print is too small to leave its mark.”
He watched as she began to sparkle so bright he had to cover his eyes and then in a shower of light she was gone. He had so many unanswered questions. He didn’t see how he could possibly not remember Bella and even if his human mind forgot he vowed that some way, somehow he would find her again.
He fought to stay awake to not close his eyes but eventually he lost the battle and he succumbed to the effect of the potion. He closed his eyes as visions of Bella filled his dreams.
THE REST OF FOREVER
As the glaring sun poured through the window Bella pulled the pillow tightly over her head and groaned. She heard a musical laugh floating in the air around her and stiffened at the warm muscular fingers that were lazily tickling her exposed arms. She coyly lowered the pillow to peak over the edge at Edward’s laughing green eyes.
"Edward what are you doing up here? You know Dad will kill you if he catches you up here?"
Edward graced her with his crooked grin that always did unexplainable things to her heart. She dropped the pillow without much of a fight as Edward tackled her in a bear hug and they tumbled to the floor with Edward cushioning her fall. Bella giggled as she heard her mother's voice drifting up the stairs. "Edward you were supposed to be waking Bella up! Not reenacting Wrestle Mania."
"Sorry Renee she's being difficult."
Charlie's booming voice answered, "And you’re not?"
Bella laughed out loud, "Of course he is."
Bella whispered in Edward's ear, “So you came in the front door this time?"
"I climbed out the window and put the ladder in the shed. Your dad thinks Alice dropped me off."
Bella laughed as she pushed him out the door. "I'll be down in a minute."
Bella could hear Edward's laughter bouncing off the walls as he waited for her to get dressed. She leaned against the door and marveled at how perfect her life was and she wondered how she had gotten so lucky. She pushed herself away from the door and crossed the room to the closet. She pulled out a pair of black skinny jeans, gray camp shirt and her well worn black and white converse tennis shoes.
She dashed out the door and in to the bathroom. She brushed her hair, applied a touch of makeup and brushed her teeth. She ran out the door and stopped at the stairs as she almost fell on Edward as he sat on the top step waiting for her. He gently pulled her on his lap and kissed her soundly on her lips.
“Good morning love.”
Bella giggled as she snuggled into the crook of his arms. She loved the contrast of his strong embrace yet the gentle feel of his fingers grazing her bare flesh in soothing circles. She breathed in the heady scent of citrus soap, mint toothpaste and the unique woodsy smell of his skin that was all his own. She loved everything about him and she couldn’t even remember her life before the Cullen family moved to town. She had known Edward since kindergarten when he had stolen her crayons and refused to let her play with the blocks at recess. Of course Alice had sided with her and for years she and Edward had had a love hate relationship. She hated to love him and he had loved to hate her or so she had thought. Eventually they had outgrown that and progressed to being friends until she had dated Jake and then things had gotten really crazy. As Bella rested her head on his chest she couldn’t believe that had been four years ago. She had been thirteen when she and Jake had tried to go out only to find they were much better off as friends but Edward hadn’t known that and well they had somehow been thrown together.
“So Cullen what do you have in mind for today?”
He laughed into her hair as it tickled his nose. “Well you do remember what today is don’t you?”
She feigned confusion. “Of course it’s the anniversary of the day you ruined any and all chances I had of ever marrying Jake.”
Bella waited for it and then he groaned as he pushed her away from his chest to look in her laughing eyes. “Well that’s not exactly how I remember it. I distinctly remember saving you from a very bad first date and sweeping you off your feet. I also think you have me to thank for the best four years of your life.”
Bella laughed as she nodded her head. “I was joking of course I remember it was four year ago today that you professed your undying love for me and begged me to go out with you.”
Edward grinned. “Four years ago today we had our first date and every day since then has been the happiest of my life.”
Bella brushed a kiss on his tanned cheek and stood to her feet offering him her hand. They walked downstairs to the kitchen where Renee and Charlie were sitting at the table waiting for them. As they sat down at the table Renee placed a plate of heart shaped pancakes in front of each of them. “Happy anniversary you two!!” Renee placed syrup and butter on the table as Charlie poured milk in their empty glasses. He looked at his little girl and he couldn’t help but feel a little misty eyed at the thought of her leaving for college soon and the quiet that would fill the once bustling house. He knew that Alice and Edward would be leaving in the fall as well to join Jasper, Rose and Em at Dartmouth so when the too short summer drew to an end the house would be empty. He looked at his wife and he sighed as she made over Bella and Edward. He loved her and he knew that life would be different but he realized that he and Renee would finally have all the time in the world to discover the world.
“So what have you two got planned for today?”
Bella shrugged as she ate her pancakes smothered in maple syrup and dripping with melted butter. She took a sip of milk. “You’ll have to ask Mr. Secretive here.”
Renee grinned at Bella as she looked at Edward. She knew exactly what he had planned but she had agreed to play along so Bella wouldn’t suspect anything. Charlie never said a word he was too busy thinking over the last eighteen years and how much he loved Bella and her friends. He had watched Edward grow into the man he was and he knew that no one other than he or Renee would ever love his little girl more than Edward Cullen. Edward was like the son he had never had and he and Renee loved him and his family as if they were their own. Charlie smiled as he realized that soon enough they would be family.
As Bella and Edward finished their breakfast Renee and Charlie walked to the living room to talk. Charlie listened as the kids began to talk quietly in the other room.
“Renee you Esme did make the reservations in Port Angeles at La Bella Italia?”
Renee laughed. “For the hundredth time yes everything is set. Edward will take Bella to the movie’s and then to the restaurant. They will have a private booth outside the reserved room we will be in. After his private moment he will bring her in for the party.”
Charlie shook his head as she thought of the last four years and all the time Bella and Edward had spend together with them and the Cullen family. They truly belonged together but he still wondered if getting married before leaving for college was the best thing for them. They were still young and maybe it would be better if they waited. He knew that in the beginning things with Renee had been hard and they had almost called it quits more than once. She had even left him for a minor league baseball player for a time but had eventually came home and now they couldn’t be happier. He had to believe that in the end love did conquer all.
“Ok honey what time are we supposed to there?”
Renee laughed, “We are driving over with Carlisle and Esme so we need to leave here at six.”
“Ok honey I have to get to the station but I’ll be home early.”
Renee walked him to the door and kissed his weathered cheek as he walked out in to the sunny day. She breathed in the fresh morning air and wondered what the day would bring. As she closed the door she heard Bella and Edward coming in the living room.
“So guys it’s the last weekend of spring break what do you have planned for today.”
Edward winked at Renee over Bella’s head. “I think we’re going to first beach to hang with Jake and the guys. They’re having a volleyball tournament not to mention that the weather is perfect for surfing today. Then tonight I am taking Bella out to a movie and dinner.”
Bella perked up at the sound of Jake and a movie. “I haven’t seen Jake in weeks and do I get to pick the movie?”
Edward kissed her upturned nose and smiled. “I know Jake misses you too and I already have the tickets so sorry your stuck.”
Bella stuck her lip out and smirked at his smiling face. “Joy another vampire movie or aliens taking over the world movie.”
Edward laughed at her sulky face. “Now don’t be rude you just might like this one; after all this is our anniversary so I want it to be special.”
Bella smiled and jabbed her bony elbow in his side. “If I don’t like it you’ll be the first to know.”
Renee walked them to the door and waved as they continued to bicker all the way to the truck. She closed the door and walked to the kitchen and grabbed the phone. She punched a number and tapped her foot as she waited for someone to pick up on the other end of the line.
“Hello Cullen residence.”
“Good morning Esme, how are you?”
Esme laughed a sarcastic laugh. “Are you kidding me? I have a actor who thinks he’s really a vampire and a football player who wants only black walls in his house tell me how am I supposed to decorate for a vampire and a oversized teddy bear who only likes black?”
Renee laughed as Esme began to chuckle. “Really I’m good and how are you?”
“I’m good the kids just left to go to First Beach so we have several hours to finish up the arrangements for tonight.”
Renee could hear Esme rustling a few pieces of paper before she spoke again. “I have already called the movie theater and they have the movie ready to go and Carlisle and I bought out the entire theater so Bella and Edward will be completely alone. I thought maybe we could hide in the balcony and spy on our babies.”
Renee laughed. “That sounds perfect but you know Jazz and Alice went on a double date with Bella and Edward on their first date so are they going with them?”
“Of course they did but not his time. The kids arrived home early this morning and they don’t have classes on Monday so they’ll fly out on Monday morning so they’ll be at the party.”
“Oh that’s perfect Edward and Bella would be so disappointed if they missed out on this.”
“I know I am so happy for them I can’t wait to see how things go tonight. Can you believe that our babies have been dating for four years?”
Renee honestly couldn’t believe all that time had passed so quickly. “It seems like just yesterday you and Carlisle brought that adorable little boy home from the hospital. He was such a cute little thing and so smart for a four year old. I am so glad that Carlisle was there when they brought him in to the ER after that horrible accident.”
Renee could hear the tears in Esme’s voice. “I know Esme and you and Carlisle have spent the last thirteen years raising your kids but now maybe it’s time you had a baby of your own. I know Edward, Alice, Rose and Em are as much yours as any baby you may have but now that they are all grown maybe the time is right for a baby.”
Esme breathed into the phone as she gathered her runaway thoughts. “I don’t know maybe but if I have a baby now at 36 than you have to promise to have one too then we can raise our babies together and they can be best friends. It worked for Bella, Edward and Alice so it would be perfect.”
Renee could feel her heart start to pound at the thought of a new baby after all this time. She had never thought of having another baby but why not? Charlie had always wanted a baby boy and who knows maybe it would be a boy this time.
“I can’t promise anything without talking to Charlie but if he agrees then I think I would like to have a baby. Just think Esme I could have a boy and you a girl and they could fall in love just like Bella and Edward.”
Esme laughed into the phone. “Or it could be two boys or two girls who would be best friends and get into all kinds of trouble together.”
“That would be okay too. Oh I can’t wait to talk to Charlie about this. I wonder what the kids will think if we decide to have babies now at our age.”
Esme clucked her tongue, “We are not old besides people are having babies in their forties these days. I think it’s a marvelous idea. Oh I hear Carlisle coming in I’ll see here at six.”
“Ok see you then give Carlisle my love.”
“And the same to Charlie see you soon.”
Renee hung up the phone and went upstairs to lay out Bella’s dress for tonight. As she placed the midnight blue dress on the bed she laid a box that held her Grandmother Marie’s pearl necklace and earrings beside it. She knew Bella would look amazing tonight and she could feel the tears gathering in her eyes as she envisioned Bella as a young bride and a new mother one day in the future. She knew she was being sentimental but Bella was her baby girl. She swiped at the tears and wondered what Bella and Edward were doing.
Bella parked the truck and jumped out and took off running down the beach. She could hear Edward running behind her as she threw herself at Jake. He laughed as he caught her and spun her around in circles. “Hi Bells it’s nice to see you too.”
“Jake how are you? I haven’t seen you in weeks what’s going on?”
“Not much hanging with the guys who miss you too. Jared, Paul, Emery and Quil are down the beach playing volley ball I was waiting for you guys.”
Edward walked up behind Bella and pounded Jake on the back. “Ok Black get your grubby hands off my girl.”
Jake laughed as he lowered Bella to the sand and offered his hand to Edward. “Hey Cullen nice of you to join us.”
Edward shook Jake’s hand as the three walked down the beach to join the others. Edward was surprised to see his Alice the evil little pixie laughing with the Rachel and Leah. As he and Bella drew closer he realized Jazz, Em and Rose were there as well. He ran across the sand and grabbed Jazz around the neck and threw him to the ground as Em jumped into the mix. Edward could see Bella laughing with Alice and Rose. After several minutes of wrestling around on the ground Edward got to his feet and offered Jazz his hand.
“When did you guys get home?”
Emmett’s booming voice drifting on the wind. “Early his morning which you would have known if you hadn’t spent the night with your girlfriend. I wonder what Charlie would think about your late night visits?”
Edward laughed. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t figured it out by now. However please don’t test that theory. I need to stay in his good graces for a little while longer.”
Emmett followed Edward’s gaze to Bella as she chatted with their sisters. He couldn’t get enough of her and she was so much more than he deserved. He loved her more than life itself and he couldn’t imagine a day without her in it.
“So how’s college life treating you guys?”
Jasper laughed, “Fine but I miss Alice so much I may fail all my classes this year. I swear I can’t wait until next fall when you guys are with us again.”
Emmett nodded his head. “I can’t say I know exactly how you feel because Rose is there with me but I can’t wait to see how much trouble we can get in when we’re all together again.”
Edward pounded Emmett on the back and agreed that the amount of trouble they could get in was endless. Edward hadn’t realized how much he had missed his brothers. He loved Bella and he was close to Alice but there was a bond that he shared with his brothers that no one could ever replace. They shared a connection that was as strong as the old oak tree in the back yard that they had climbed as kids. He could still remember how he and Em had carried Jazz to the house when he fell out and broke his arm. He had thought it was his fault and that Jazz would hate him forever but he had laughed and treated it like a badge of honor. Edward knew that no blood brother could ever have been closer to him than Em and Jazz and he loved them more than any words could ever describe.
“I think the girls are growing impatient with us maybe we should join them. I noticed Jared eyeing Alice.”
Jazz glanced at the tall dark haired boy and laughed. “Jared is trying to get under my skin besides he’s talking to Rachel now I think.”
Edward could see the two of them standing close to one another as Paul stood to the side looking a little annoyed. “I don’t think that Paul likes the idea of Jarrod and Rachel.”
The three laughed at the look on Paul’s face. Edward placed his arm around Bella as she talked to the girls and Jake. He had once thought that Jake was in love with Bella but he says that Bella is like a sister to him and he is very protective of her but only as a friend. He had learned to accept that because Bella cared for Jake and he would never ask her to chose between him and her oldest friend. He liked Jake and the guys from La Push and you never knew when good friends might come in handy.
As the afternoon passed Edward laughed and played volleyball and caught a few waves. He walked with Bella along the beach and he gazed at her face as if he were memorizing it for moments when she might not be around which were few and far between. As the sun began to dip behind the clouds Bella and Edward and his brothers and sisters began to say their goodbyes.
Bella dropped Edward off at home and he hurried to the house to change. He was starting to panic and that wasn’t him he was always so sure of himself and he never doubted that what he wanted would come to be. He ran his sweat slicked palms on his pant legs and worried because this was the most important decision of his life but he suddenly feared that Bella might not agree with him on this one. He shook the irritating thoughts out of his head. He had to hurry or they would never make it to the movies on time.
As Bella entered her room she saw the beautiful arrangement of roses on the night stand. She walked over and removed the card.
Bella, my love this is a small token of my love for you and I hope you enjoy their beauty and fragrant odor as much as I enjoy looking at you. Thank you for four years of blissful happiness with many more to come. I love you and happy anniversary.
Bella ran a finger tip along the edge of one of the delicate petals and breathed in the beautiful floral scent. She loved Edward so much more than he knew. He had changed her life for the better and she owed all her happiness to him. She turned and left the room to shower and try to do something with her hair. She stood under the spray of water and just let it loosen the tight muscles in her back and neck. She knew she needed to hurry but it felt so good. She was dreaming about Edward when she heard a knock on the bathroom door and an annoyingly high pitched soprano voice.
“Bella if you don’t hurry up you’ll never make it to the movie. Now hurry up so Rose and I can help you get ready.”
Bella groaned at the thought of another Bella Barbie moment. She turned the water off and stepped out of the tub. She dried her hair and body with the oversized towel and then wrapped it firmly under her arms and around her waist. She then walked to her room that now looked like the make-up counter at Macy’s. She sat down in the chair that Alice was patting and waited as they began to work on her hair, nails and makeup. She closed her eyes and wondered exactly what Edward was doing right now.
After what seemed like forever Alice told her she could look in the mirror. She could feel her mouth drop in amazement at the reflection staring back at her in the mirror. She turned from side to side and couldn’t believe that it was her staring back at her. Alice had swept her hair up in the back with tendrils trailing around her cheek and face. Her face seemed to be glowing from the makeup and she knew her upswept hair would show off her pearl earrings and her strapless dress would accent the pearl necklace. She slipped on the dress and waited as Alice fastened the necklace. Bella put the earrings on and finally stood in front of the full length mirror. She looked stunning and for once even she knew it.
“Thank you guys so much. I look amazing.”
Alice beamed beside her and Rose nodded her head. “Yes you do now be still while we take pictures.”
Bella stood by the window as Alice snapped away then Rose stood with her and finally Rose took one of Alice by her side. Bella smiled as she heard a knock on the door. Alice grabbed Bella’s arm and held her in place. “Wait let Rose get the door. I want to take a picture of you walking down the stairs and of Edward’s face when he sees you.”
Bella stood perfectly still at the top of the stairs and waited for Alice to call for her. She took a deep breath and prayed she didn’t fall on her face as she walked in the high heels. She held her head high and carefully placed one foot in front of the other. She paused as Alice snapped pictures frantically and finally stepped to the side and snapped a picture of Edward’s mesmerized face as Bella took the last step and was finally in his arms. He pulled her close and held her to his chest. He knew she could feel his frantic heartbeat as it threatened to jump right out of his chest but he also realized her heart was beating the exact same way.
He whispered softly in her ear. “Bella, love you look beautiful.”
Bella could feel the blush tinting her cheeks and she smiled. “Thank you Mr. Cullen you look rather dashing yourself.”
Edward kissed her cheek and took her hand and led her out the door while Alice continued to snap pictures furiously. She followed them all the way to the car and she wondered why she was taking so many pictures and why Edward was driving Carlisle’s Mercedes.
Edward opened her door and helped her into the car. She watched him dash around the front of the car and slide in beside her. He stated the car and turned the volume on the stereo up so that she could hear the mix CD that was playing their song. She smiled as the words reminded her why she loved Edward. She scanned the playlist
!) Just the Girl (The Click Five)
2) Incomplete (Backstreet Boys)
3) Your Beautiful (James Blunt)
4) If I Fell (The Beatles)
5) Never Be Anyone Else But You (Rick Nelson)
6) When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
7) I Love Her (The Beatles)
8) Just My Imagination (The Temptations)
9) Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (The Platters)
10) Brown Eyed Girl (Jimmy Buffett)
11) True (Ryan Cabrera)
Bella could feel Edward squeezing her hand as the music played. “Edward I love how you always seem to find the perfect songs and how you tend to pick oldies. I swear sometimes I think you must be reincarnated from another time and place.”
Edward laughed. “Who knows but sometimes I get the strangest feeling like I’ve already done something before or like in world history I feel like I know firsthand what it was like when JFK was assonated or how The Beatle craze swept the world.”
Bella smiled as she watched the way his messy bronze hair fall across his eyes. She reached up and pushed it back. He smiled as she watched his beautiful face in the early evening sun. She loved him and all she could think of when she was with him was how the next day could ever be any better than today. She noticed that he was slowing as they neared the Cinema but she found it odd that the parking lot was empty. She raised a questioning eye at Edward.
“Are you sure they’re open?”
Edward parked the sleek black ride and jumped out and ran around to open Bella’s door. She took his outstretched hand and let him guide her to the entrance. She noticed a sign on the door that said reserved private party. She began to turn away but Edward held her hand firmly as he motioned to someone inside. Bella watched as a young man opened the door and greeted Edward by name.
“Good evening Mr. Cullen please come in and this must be Bella.”
Bella smiled at the man as he escorted them to the front counter. Edward watched as he carried sodas and popcorn as he led the way in to the empty theater. Edward walked to the middle row and then to the exact middle of that row before sitting down. Bella was watching as the man followed and handed them their refreshment.
“Your movie is about to begin enjoy the show.”
Bella watched as the man left the theater. “Edward what is going on?”
Edward sat his drink in the cup holder and Bella followed his lead. He then turned to face Bella. “Bella four years ago we went to the movies on Tuesday night and we saw “In the Land of Women” and yeah I know you hated the movie you said Kristen Stewart was a horrible actress but that night changed my life so tonight we are doing it all over again. The only difference is I’m not thirteen and I can actually drive now.”
Bella looked at the drinks and the popcorn it was exactly the same right down to the old containers that had been replaced over the years. She remembered Carlisle driving them in his brand new Mercedes that night and now the first movie they ever say together was playing. She snuggled against Edward and rested her head on his shoulder. She knew she had tears threatening to fall but she was so touched that he actually remembered all the little details of that first date that she could feel the tears threatening to fall. That night had been a disaster and she had been sure he would never ask her out again but to her complete amazement he not only asked her out he became a regular fixture around her house and in her life. She was lost in her own runaway thoughts as the movie came to an end and Edward took her hand to help her up.
“Ok now on to dinner.”
Bella looked at Edward. “Aren’t we a little dressed up for pizza and video games?”
Edward laughed. “Yes but I hope you don’t mind I made reservations at La Bella Italia.”
Bella smiled that was her favorite restaurant. “No that sounds perfect.”
Edward closed her door behind her and headed to the fancy Italian restaurant around the corner. He knew that the next hour would be the most important moment of his young life but he was sure that everything would work out perfectly.
Edward parked on the curb and hurried to to hold Bella’s hand as he helped her out of the car. He smiled at the hostess who was well aware of the plan for the evening and immediately led them to a secluded corner booth close to the private room that had been reserved for a party.
Bella sat down as Edward pulled her chair out and took the menu the hostess handed her. She could see the way the young lady ogled Edward as if he were nothing more than eye candy but Bella knew that behind that amazing face there was so much more than beauty.
Edward waited as the waiter arrived at the table and then he ordered for both of them. He knew that their food would be served later but first he had something else to take care of. He watched Bella’s eyes twinkle in the candlelight and he reached for her soft delicate hand. He turned it as his larger strong one enclosed it.
Bella watched Edward as he moved closer to her side of the table. He was now sitting as close he could get to her. She smiled that heart melting smile that made his heart race and his hands sweat but tonight he had bigger things on his mind.
“Edward are you okay?”
Edward pushed his chair back and sat his I-phone on the table. He got on one knee and looked up into Bella’s flashing brown eyes. “Bella please be patient because I am sure that I am going to make a mess of this but just listen okay?”
Bella nodded her head as her hand went automatically to her throat at the sight of Edward on one knee. He hit the play button on his phone and the lyrics for Marry Me by Train played softly as he spoke.
“Bella four years ago you changed everything and now every time I see you my heart beats so loud I know you must be able to hear it. You have completely consumed every part of me and I am not me without you and I love you. I find myself not wanting to face a day without you by my side. I can’t imagine a day without you and in a few months we’ll be leaving home to start school but anywhere I go will be home as long as I have you by my side. Bella you are my heart, soul and life and you never cease to amaze me and the only thing that scares me is not having you by my side. Isabella Marie Swan will you do me the honor and privilege of being my wife?”
Bella could feel the tears falling as he held out the black velvet box that she already knew held his mother’s engagement ring. It was the only procession he had left along with his parents’ wedding bands. She mutely nodded her head and fell into his open arms.
“Yes Edward Anthony Masen Cullen it would be my great honor to spend every day of forever with you.”
Edward breathed a sigh of relief as he rained kisses down on her upturned face. He gently got to his feet and led her to the door of the private party room and flung it open as he yelled. “She said yes.”
Bella heard shouts; yells and cries go up all at once as she was swarmed by Alice and Rose.
“Now you’ll be our sister for real.” She was passed around until she found the arms of her dad who was for the first time that she could remember crying.
“Bella congratulations honey I know Edward will treat you well and love you forever.”
Bella hugged him close and then was swept up in her mother’s cries of joy and little bit of heartache at the thought of her baby leaving home. She then made the round from one Cullen to the next until she was face to face with Jake. He grinned at her and opened his arms wide.
“Bells I guess the best guy got the girl.”
Bella looked at him as she smiled through the tears. “Jake stop playing we tried to go out but it wasn’t right. You’re my best friend and nothing will ever change that.”
Jake hugged Bella close and lifted her off her feet so that he could whisper in her ear. “Bells I have always loved you but you have always loved Edward. I know he will love you, protect you and give you everything you deserve so congratulations.”
Bella could feel the tears still falling down her face. She could see Edward as he was being pounded on the back by Emmett and Jasper. She nodded into Jake’s chest.”I love you Jake.”
He lowered her to her feet and offered her his hand as he walked her across the packed room to a waiting Edward. She kissed Jake’s smooth tanned skin and returned to Edward’s side as Alice took over.
“Ok everyone this is a party so let’s have some fun. Congratulations to Bella and Edward. In honor of you two we are going to let your family and friends sing songs that reflect you. So let the Karaoke begin. Bella laughed as she and Edward took the seat next to the stage and began to eat as Alice sang “I Hate Everything About You.” That had been there theme for the first eight years of their life together but somehow along the way it had all changed and Bella couldn’t even place the moment she knew that he was the one but she knew in her heart that her life had truly began the day he whispered those magic words “Bella I love you.” Bella looked up as Edward whispered the words that had been in her head.
“I love you more.”
Bella grinned as they began the unending question of who loved who the most. She knew that nothing could ever be better than this but there would always be a tomorrow and a whole new world to discover together.
A/N I would like to know if you guys would like me to end this fanfiction here and start a sequel or continue it as it is. Thanks to all of you who have taken this journey with me to bring Bella and Edward back together with a chance to have all their dreams and heart's desires come true. Thanks so much for reading my story.
Thank you so much for your response. I am so glad you liked it. And that you read my story.
I think I may write a couple of more chapters and end this with their wedding. What do you think?
Completed...? Wh-what? No! I'm eagerly awaiting that sequel because it was so good! You know I loved to bits and tiny pieces and I'm so happy for them but I'm really really waiting for more!
+Stares at watch+ I'm waiting...
+Foot starts to tap+ (still waiting)
+Hopes for much more soon+
I am debating the title. Echoes of the Heart or Whispers of the Heart but either way the preface is almost ready. All I need now is a banner so I hope to post the beginning this week. I hope everyone likes it.
Hi Kallie I left you a comment and Of course you can make the banner I would love that. Thank you so much.
I'll admit I cried.......You better have a sequel!!!!!!