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Everchanging Destiny

Summary:
Bella and Edward continue their relationship as a vampire and a human. This story takes place after Breaking Dawn but not as you would expect it to. There are the usual threats of other vampires trying to get to Bella and ruin the Cullen family.


Notes:


21. Chapter 22: Presents

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3169   Review this Chapter

Chapter 22: Presents

Tuesday morning proved to be a typical fall day in Forks; dark, depressing and drizzly. When I woke up Edward was gone, assumedly hanging out behind the house with the rest of the family. We had to still pretend he was picking me up as usual to give the illusion we were going to class.

I was running unprecedentedly ahead of schedule so I was able to surprise Charlie with his favorite breakfast.

“Do I smell waffles?” He smiled when he walked into the kitchen.

“Morning Dad,” I replied while setting the table. “Yep, I got all your favorites; waffles, sausage links, hash browns and hot maple syrup.”

“Wow! What’s the occasion, Bells?”

“No occasion. I had some spare time and wanted to do something special for my dad.”

I’d decided last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, that I was going to make an effort to do some special things for Charlie this week. If we did indeed all end up dead by Sunday I wanted to be sure this last week was as pleasant as I could make it. I owed him that and so much more considering I was the one that brought the vampires into his world to begin with.

I was able to enjoy breakfast without having to scarf it down in a hurry for once when the doorbell rang at precisely 7:30.

“Good morning,” he smiled, showing off his predictable morning perfectness.

“Good morning to you as well,” I involuntarily smiled back. Even when impending doom was surrounding us I couldn’t help being happy around him. “You seem particularly perky this morning.”

“I’m always perky when I get to see you,” he beamed, leaning over to kiss my cheek.

“Seriously Edward, why are you so happy? Did Alice see something? Has something changed?”

“I told you, I’m happy because I am here, looking at you.”

“Whatever,” I sneered. I knew him too well to not believe something was up.
“Anyway, I’m almost ready. I just have to finish the dishes and run up and grab by backpack.”

“Take your time,” he whispered, brushing my hair behind my ear. “We don’t really have anywhere to be right?”

Edward followed me back into the kitchen so I could finish up with the dishes. Charlie was still sitting at the table reading his paper.

“Good morning Charlie,” Edward greeted him. “Is there anything interesting going on in the world today?”

“Oh, hey, Edward. No, nothing interesting. The world is still going to hell in a hand basket. What’s new with you?”

“Well, I’m actually glad you asked Charlie,” Edward answered in a sly tone, a tone I knew too well.

I knew it! I knew he was up to something!

Edward continued, “Charlie, I know your birthday isn’t until next month but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get you an early gift. It’s kind of time sensitive so I hope you won’t mind if I give it to you now.”

Charlie looked as floored as I felt, “Uh…well…sure, Edward.”

“It’s nothing really,” Edward replied as he reached into his inside coat pocket and grabbed out a slip of paper.

Birthday present? What? What was Edward doing? I couldn’t see what the paper was from where I was standing by the sink; only that it was an email confirmation of some sort.

Charlie read the email for a few seconds before he suddenly leaped off his chair, startling me so much that I actually physically jumped, “Are you kidding me?! Is this for real?!”

Edward laughed, obviously pleased with Charlie’s reaction. “Yes, they’re real. They’ll be waiting for you at the on-call booth.”

“Umm…is someone going to tell me what’s going on,” I interrupted. I hated when Edward caught me off guard like this. I had no clue what he was up to.

“Do you know what these are Bells?” He answered, flapping the piece of paper in front of my face. “They’re front row, 50 yard line seats for the Seahawks game Thursday night! I just…I can’t believe it. They’re like impossible to get, especially for a nationally televised game!!”

“Not only that Charlie, but Carlisle has arranged for you to go into the locker room afterwards and meet some of the players,” Edward added.

I didn’t think it was possible for Charlie to look more stunned then he had a minute ago but I was wrong.

Charlie paced back and forth through the kitchen to the living room, staring at the piece of paper in his hands, still not believing his eyes. “Edward, I don’t…I don’t know what to say. You really shouldn’t have. These must’ve cost you a fortune.”

“Don’t worry about it Charlie,” Edward replied, still looking extremely happy with himself. “Carlisle does some specialty rehab for some of the players every now and then so he was able to pull some strings for me.”

Seahawks game? What could Edward possibly be thinking! I didn’t know if I should be worried, mad, or grateful. It was driving me crazy I didn’t know his intentions.

Charlie approached Edward, “Thank you so much son.” Son? Did he just say son? “This is probably the best present I’ve ever got.” Edward stood up to shake his hand, smartly wearing his leather gloves, when out of the blue Charlie pulled Edward into a man-hug and continuously patted him on the back.

Still a little uncertain about this, I couldn’t help but giggle at Edward’s facial expression at the unexpected show of appreciation.

“There’s no need to thank me, Charlie,” Edward awkwardly pulled away. “Just have a good time.”

“Have a good time? That’s the understatement of the year!” Charlie laughed.

He started walking towards the phone then suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, as if just realizing something. He turned around and looked at Edward.

“Umm…Edward…do you want to…I mean…would you like to go with me, to the game?” He uncomfortably asked.

“Oh,” Edward slightly laughed. “No. No thank you Charlie. Those tickets are for you and Billy. Football really isn’t my thing.”

Undoubtedly relieved by Edward’s response, Charlie grabbed the cordless phone and went to the living room to call Billy. He sounded like a little kid at Christmas. I hadn’t heard him that happy in a long time. Even though I still didn’t know Edward’s intentions, I was grateful for the happiness it was bringing my dad.

“So what was that all about,” I smiled as I walked over and put my arms around Edward’s neck.

Edward returned my smile and gently kissed my lips. “Why do you think there’s always some kind of hidden agenda? Can’t I just do something nice for my future father-in-law?”

“Yeah, but a birthday present, a month before his actual birthday, Edward? And right now, with everything that’s going on?” I didn’t buy there wasn’t more to the gesture.

“So untrusting,” he smiled and kissed me again. “We should be going though. Everyone’s waiting outside. Emmett and Jasper will follow Charlie to the station.”

When we got to the Cullen’s, and Emmett and Jasper had returned, they agreed to split up into two groups to do some hunting again like they did yesterday. They had to keep their strength up as much as they possibly could over the next 6 days.

Edward, Jasper, Esme and Rosalie went first. Alice promised Edward she would keep me occupied while he was out. I knew that unfortunately meant either wedding plans or more internet shopping.

I kissed him goodbye and went to join Alice who was impatiently waiting for me up in her room. When I walked through her door, she giggled at me, like she knew some kind of secret she wasn’t letting me in on.

“Ok, what’s up Alice?”

“What makes you think something’s up? Geez, you’re so paranoid Bella,” she answered, avoiding my stare, looking down at her laptop, trying to stifle her laughter.

“Alright, we’ll play it your way,” I gave up.

“Good, now come sit. The printer just emailed me the final copy of your wedding invitations and I wanted to see what your thoughts were.”

“Alice, does it really matter what I think?”

“No, not really,” she smirked. I’m just trying to be polite.”

“Alice, if I ask you something will you promise to be honest with me?” I inquired as she searched through her emails.

“Of course Bella.”

“Edward told me your vision changed a little last night.”

“Yeah, so?”

“It’s just that…well…Edward made me a promise. He promised that if something happened to me he wouldn’t give up, that he would…live. I just need to know that you’re seeing Edward survive now.”

“Ugh…Don’t be silly Bella; we’re all going to survive. Really, I don’t know who is more anxious for you to become one of us, me or you. I love you but you can be such a buzz kill when you worry all the time.”

“Well, according to your latest vision we aren’t all going to be ok, Alice,” I was starting to get annoyed. “Edward said some of you, us, still…”

“That’s how it seems now Bella but we’ve told you, it’s changing every minute; with every decision being made. The only people that are going to get hurt are Megan and her band of low-lives, so quit trying to get out of this and let’s get back to work.”

I knew there was no use fighting so I gave in to her will. As we looked at the final invitation proof and the ridiculous, tree-killing amount of other cards, notices and envelopes that went along with it, she started giggling again.

“You’re really starting to get on my nerves, Alice. What’s so funny?”

“It’s nothing funny, it’s good really,” she chuckled again.

“I swear Alice, if you don’t tell me I’m going to take Edward to Vegas and elope!”

“You wouldn’t dare, Bella,” she laughed.

“Oh yeah, just watch me,” I threatened, only half kidding.

“Are you upsetting my bride, Alice?” Edward interrupted, appearing out of nowhere, looking incredibly handsome leaning against her doorframe with his arms crossed.

“Of course I am, Edward,” she smiled, releasing yet another annoying, little giggle.

He shot her a dirty look, undeniably as annoyed as I was. The only difference was he knew what her secret was and I didn’t.

“She’s been doing that to me for the past hour,” I sneered and walked over to meet him.

Edward didn’t say anything else to her; just shook his head and rolled his eyes.

When we got to his room there was a gift-wrapped box sitting on the bed with a huge red bow on top.

I turned to look at him, confused. He smiled, grabbed my face and gently kissed me before scooping me up in his arms and carrying me to the bed.

“Well, don’t just sit there, open it,” he eagerly demanded.

“What is it with you and presents today? And how… when did you get out to get this?”

“Haven’t you learned by now? I can be very resourceful when I need to be Bella,” he grinned, eyebrow lifted. “Go ahead, open it.”

The wrapping was so pretty it made me sad to have to rip it open. Under the shiny gold paper was your typical, run of the mill clothing box.

“Oh no, not you too?” I mumbled

“What do you mean,” he replied, befuddled.

“Now you’re buying me clothes too? Do I really dress that badly?”

“Of course not,” he laughed. “Just open it already.”

When I got the top of the box off, I was greeted by layers of beautiful, glistening, gold tissue paper. As I took them out one by one, I could tell there was something black underneath but couldn’t make out what it was. When I finally made my way to the bottom of the box, I saw a beautiful black nightgown. It was the most amazing piece of lingerie I had ever seen. It was floor length and made of shimmering, pure silk with a lace bodice.

I laid it on my lap and couldn’t stop rubbing my hands up and down against the silk. I couldn’t believe how velvety soft it felt.

“So, do you like it?” He asked.

“Yeah, it’s beautiful. I’ve never seen anything so nice.”

“Good,” he responded, as pleased with himself as he was with Charlie earlier.

“So, is this your way of telling me you don’t like my sweats anymore?” I laughed.

He laughed along with me, “I love your sweats Bella.”

“Then I don’t get it.”

He quietly laughed at my confusion. “Bella, the nightgown is a hint, a clue. It’s the answer to the question you asked me yesterday.”

It took me a few seconds to run through yesterday in my head. When I realized what question he was referring to, what the nightgown meant, I couldn’t breathe again. “You mean…” I couldn’t get the rest of the words out.

“Yes, my love. My answer is yes” he smiled, rubbing his fingers over my flushed cheeks, hypnotizing me with his smoldering eyes. “I gave your request a lot of thought and realized you were right. While I’m fairly certain that nothing will happen to us Sunday, I couldn’t bear the thought of not giving you what you want most in this world, not giving me what I want most…just in case I’m wrong.”

I probably should’ve been petrified that Edward was agreeing to this. It was almost like he was admitting that I would probably be dead on Sunday but I didn’t care. Every thought and emotion I had were consumed by the realization that I was finally going to have Edward, in every way I could have him.

As the fantasies played through my mind I found I couldn’t control myself. Screw the amazing nightgown. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away from me before he changed his mind.

In one swift motion I threw him back against the pillows and jumped on top of him. I quivered with excitement when my lips were met eagerly by his. Our hands tangled in each others hair as he flipped me over and was now lying on top of me.

I pulled him so close to me, I felt like I was being crushed but I didn’t care. I wrapped my legs around his thighs, moving my hips in motion with his. I had never felt this level of excitement before. I was letting all my walls down, letting all of my love for him pour out of every part of my body, knowing this time he wasn’t going to pull away.

My lips were moving uncontrollably, furiously against his when he broke out into a quiet laugh and pulled away, again.

“What?” I asked.

“You sure don’t like to waste any time do you,” he continued laughing.

He gently pushed me off to his side and held his head up with his hand against the pillows. I remained on my back trying to catch my breath.

“I don’t get it Edward,” I breathed like I had just run a dozen laps. “Is this some kind of sick, twisted joke? Because if it is, I don’t find it amusing at all.”

“Of course it isn’t a joke Bella. Do you really think I could be so cruel?” I could hear the annoyance creeping into his voice but I didn’t care. I was the one that should be mad, being led on like this.

He sighed and grabbed my chin, gently forcing me to look at him. “Sweetheart, I meant what I said, I just didn’t mean right this minute. We’ve both waited so long for this, I want it be special. Not like this.”

“But Edward, I don’t need candlelight and roses, I just need you.”

“And I you, but it isn’t just about candlelight, Bella. Do you really want to do this with Alice giggling right down the hall? I bought those tickets for Charlie for Thursday so we could be alone. Charlie will be safe amongst all of those people at the game so we’ll be able to be here, alone for the evening. We all agreed that Carlisle and the rest of the family will meet the pack for some more training in the back forest so they’ll be close enough to be here if we need them, but far enough away for us to have our privacy.”

“So wait, are you telling me your whole family knows about this? Oh my God! Is that what Alice was laughing about?” I suddenly felt mortified.

Edward chuckled at the horror on my face. “Bella, unfortunately Alice knows everything. But don’t worry. It isn’t like she’s a peeper or anything. She saw my decision but it isn’t like she dwells on it or tries to see any details.”

“And what about the rest of them? Will Emmett and Jasper be outside our door applauding when we’re done?”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Edward laughing as hard as he was right now. When he was finally able to stop and control himself he replied, “Of course not Bella. Everyone respects our privacy.”

I still wasn’t feeling any better about the situation. I couldn’t believe I’d never thought about this before. That Alice would “see” these kinds of things; these intimate things. It was starting to creep me out a little.

“Sweetheart,” he whispered as he pulled me close to him, deadly serious now, “I’m sorry that the situation is what it is. If it makes you uncomfortable we don’t have to go through with it. I’ll understand.”

His scent, the feel of his chilled fingers running down my face, his smoldering eyes, and the tenderness of his voice made me decide that I wasn’t going to let everyone knowing bother me. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I was going to finally be with him. Besides, being a part of this family pretty much meant that everyone was going to know everything we did anyway, so I might as well start getting used to it.

“Oh no, you’re not getting out of this Edward,” I replied. “Emmett can come in here with score cards and judge our performance for all I care.”

“I don’t think that will be necessary,” he chuckled.

He tenderly leaned over to kiss me, caressing my face with his hand. “So, you’re still sure you want to do this? You’re absolutely certain?”

“Of course I do Edward. I’ve never wanted anything so badly in my life.”

He kissed me softly again, “We have to take it slow Bella. I’m still so afraid I may hurt you.”

“I’m not,” I responded, running my finger across his chiseled cheek bone.

“It’s amazing to me how you can be so terrified of the little things but you have no worries about this, something that is truly dangerous for you.”

“That’s because I know you won’t hurt me, Edward. Your love and overwhelming need to protect me will win out over everything else. You’ll see.”

“You sound like Carlisle,” he replied.

“Yeah, well, Carlisle is a wise, wise man. You’ve said so yourself on many occasions.”

He smiled and kissed me again; still softly, but for a much longer time. Chills shot up and down by body but not from the cold.

“Edward.”

“Yes my love?”

“Thank you for my present. It’s the most wonderful gift I could ever receive. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Bella.”

We stayed in each others arms without speaking for a few minutes. Fantasies running through my mind, worries probably running through his.

“Edward?”

“Yes?”

“Is it Thursday yet?”