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Mr. Cullen

Summary:
Isabella Swan has a good life, ‘good’ being the key word. Her life is just fine and ordinary. But will her world be turned upside down when she gets a job working as a PA for Hollywood’s latest darling? And is he as cold as he seems? First impressions can be very deceiving indeed. Photobucket(Please note its rated adult for a reason. The story contains adult humour, some strong language, and it will have sexual scenes in later chapters.) Chapter 16 is up!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All the wonderful characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.


17. I Heart London

Rating 5/5   Word Count 6551   Review this Chapter

By the time we arrived at the hotel it was late, but the eight hour time difference and the five hours of napping on the plane meant none of us were ready or wanting to go to sleep. So instead of retreating to their own suites, Jasper and Emmett made themselves at home in Edward's room and were battling each other in an intense game of checkers on the floor. I had a suite to myself but it was only for show, to keep the hotel staff from suspecting anything. The only thing I intended on doing in my hotel room was jumping on the bed, making it appear like I slept there. The only place I wanted to be was where I was now; snuggled next to Edward, listening to him grumble at Emmett for sticking his head in front of the TV.

The hotel we were staying at was so beautiful. Old fashioned with floral patterns on the curtains and bedspreads, elegance dripped everywhere. It had large windows overlooking London, but the city was a black canvas, shrouded by the darkness of the night with the outside lamps lighting dim circles on the street— the snow atop the rows Victorian houses was barely visible.

I couldn't wait to see it, to see the London often portrayed in films. I wanted to visit Covent Garden and Trafalgar square, walk down Oxford Street and spend hours in the British Museum. I was well aware of how packed Edward's schedule was, heck I'd helped organise it, but he had big chunks of time where he was free to explore the city. On Monday he had interviews from eight till one with the British press; he then had a two hour brake, followed by another four hours of interviews. He would be done by seven, after which he was free to do what he wanted. Then on Tuesday he was scheduled for a one hour press conference in the afternoon and the premiere to attend, meaning his morning was completely free.

We could cram a lot in before travelling to Paris Wednesday, and I really couldn't wait to see it all with him, but for now I was happy to just be lying in bed with him.

I shuffled closer to Edward and let my hand ghost over a sliver of exposed skin above his jeans. I felt his muscles twitch and Edward smile against my forehead. I loved this; being with him and not having to hide our affection. It felt natural.

As I continued to lightly trace my fingertips over Edward's glorious happy trail, his stomach rumble, demanding food.

I looked up and found his eyes on my face.

"Maybe we should order room service?" I suggested quietly, not wanting to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere.

"Mmm, sounds good." Edward reached beside him, picking up a rectangular cushion and threw it at Emmett's head. "Dude, get us room service, and for all that is holy, get your supersized head out of the way—I can't see the TV."

Emmett ducked before the cushion connected with his head and grumbled something under his breath. Whatever it was it made Jasper chuckle and nod in agreement.

"I'm sorry Emmett, I didn't quiet catch that. Care to repeat it?" Edward asked, irritably.

He had been a grumpy pants since setting foot in the hotel. I mainly attributed it to the masses of screaming fan girls and the receptionist drooling on his shoes. Now, in true Edward fashion, he was letting everyone know exactly how he felt by being a grouchy old man.

"Nope, I'm good, sweet cakes."

I huffed. Emmett was just adding fuel to the fire, which he was fine with since he wasn't the one who would then have to spend the rest of the night and all of tomorrow trying to get Edward out of his bad mood. Mm... come to think of it, I wouldn't mind that task either.

Beside me Edward started to do that thing where his jaw goes all tense and I can tell he's trying to keep his anger in check. It's really kind of cute. "Just get the damn menus, Emmett."

"Something wrong with your legs?"

It was like we were in a playground and they were six year olds trying to see whose daddy is the bestestest, and not men in their twenties in a five star hotel.

"Emmett—"

I quickly kissed Edward on the lips, stopping his tirade, and made my way to where the menus were. I threw one at Emmet, which did make contact with his head, and took one over to the bed for Edward.

Em rubbed the spot where the leather menu hit him, acting as if he was greatly injured. Pfft, as if something that tiny could hurt the latest incarnation of the Hulk.

"You know, you two are the most ungrateful people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. Considering we—" He stopped as his face was greeted with many red checker pieces.

"What did I tell you? Keep your gob shut, man." Jasper rolled his eyes and punched Em's shoulder.

"C'mon! I bruise like a peach, you know that."

I mentally snorted at his ridiculous claim, but what he said made me curious. I perched on the end of the bed and regarded the two conspirators on the floor in front of me. They were hiding something...Well, they were always hiding something, but that's beyond the point.

"No, no. There are no secrets amongst friends. Spill it, Em," I demanded.

There was some rustling behind me as Edward joined my side.

"Er, I said nothing. Um..."—Emmett flipped through the menu, trying to not make eye contact—"I think I'll have the Risotto with chicken fillet and beans."

Jasper cleared his throat and took the menu. "Oh that sounds nice, yeah. Mm, I'm going for the salted salmon fettuccini."

I couldn't help a very lady like snort; they were not well practiced in the art of changing the subject.

"Whatever it is, it can't be so bad that you need to keep it a secret."

"Buttons, you have no idea."

I loved Emmett; he never could hold himself back from responding. His outspoken nature, so unlike Jasper's, usually meant punches or slaps were needed to make sure he kept things to himself. This time was no different.

"Am I going to have to sew your mouth shut?" Jasper asked as he punched Emmett.

Em looked stunned for a second before returning Jasper's blow, making Jazz lose his balance and fall backwards on the floor. In a blink of an eye Jasper had thrown himself on top of Emmett and was pulling his hair.

I couldn't help but laugh. Really, what guy pulls hair in a fight?

They started rolling around, punching and hair pulling, insulting each other's mommas. Which is ironic considering neither of them really knew their moms.

Edward was shaking beside me with silent laughter, but pretty soon neither of us could hold back large snorts. The situation was so ridiculous; we really had returned to the school playground.

Then Edward had to join in by calling out fighting tips from his spot on the bed. I should've seen it coming, really. When he told Jasper to tighten up his fist just a little bit more, Emmett froze and his eye started twitching. It was fascinating to watch.

"Cullen, can you please keep out of this? Two men are fighting; have some respect. And next time you want to get busy in a plane, do it when no one is around so I don't have to beat up Jazz and try to keep shit secret."

Yeah, I stopped laughing after that. I could feel the blush spread all over me; feel my cheeks turn pink and then a hideous shade of appalling red. He couldn't mean what I think he meant, because if he meant it, then I was ready to die from embarrassment.

I turned to look at Edward, my mouth opening and closing like a fish gasping for air. His cheeks were flushed but not enough to say he was blushing. His jaw, though, was going into overdrive with all the flexing it was doing.

"What did you say?" Edward's voice, unlike his face, didn't show any form of annoyance or embarrassment.

Uh-oh.

"I'm going to be scarred for life. Not even my iPod could keep the sounds out."

Mortified, that's what I was in that exact moment. I didn't know whether to burrow under the bed covers and never resurface again, not even for oxygen, or to break Em and Jazz's noses. I liked the last option a lot more.

Thankfully my knight in shining armour was able to resolve the situation for me before I broke my hand trying to exact revenge. Edward launched himself on top of the other two and soon enough things had turned into a full out war.

I was worried about their horsing around; not really wanting them to injure Edward. But I could see they were just playing—well, for most part. It was that mock wrestling guys do, only joking with each other but underneath it all they are actually competing to see who's the strongest. Silly boys.

After a couple of minutes I got bored. Watching them three roll around screeching and acting every bit the tough men they are wasn't very interesting. Now, if I you removed Jazz and Em from the equation and added me, well, then things could get much, much more interesting. But it wasn't going to happen; they were enjoying feeling each other up far too much for it to come to an end.

When things descend into a tickling match, I knew I had better things to do. I left them on the floor and went to order dinner. I got what the guys said they wanted, ordered Edward a stake, which I was sure would be the size of a cow, and opted for tomato soup for myself.

When room service arrived they still hadn't desisted in their mock fight. It didn't really bother me; Edward was smiling and laughing and that was all that mattered. The man who delivered the food, however, wasn't accustomed to their child like behaviour as I was. He eyed them as if they had escaped a mental facility and placed the food on the dining table as quickly as he possibly could. I was sure he now thought all celebrities had missing brain cells.

I removed the steel dome covers from the plates, checking to see if they got our order right. The meals were all there, as was the bunch of muffins I'd ordered as an afterthought. I was certain Edward would love them.

I sat down and started slurping my soup loudly, not waiting for them to stop fighting. Soon enough, Emmett heard the clinking of my spoon and extricated himself from the heap of limbs on the floor with one last kick to Jasper's shin.

"Damn, I'm hungry."

He took the seat in front of me but I avoided looking in his direction. For freaking's sake, the man knew what I sounded like when I got, er, excited. It was wrong, so darn wrong.

Edward and Jasper joined us a few moments later, still chuckling. But the conversation around the table was non-existent. I was trying to pretend I was just in Edward's company and ignored the others—Jasper was doing the same, as he concentrate all his attention on the fettuccini in front of him.

"Oh, come on people. Why so silent? Why so blue? Why so red, Bella?" Ha, ha. Emmett thought he was funny, but really, he wasn't.

"Em, I will kick your butt again," Edward threatened, not even looking up from his meal.

"Ha. Kick my butt. Good one. But seriously, Buttons, there's no need to be embarrassed. Love is a beautiful thing."

His comment was badly timed; I had just stuffed a chunk of bread in my mouth— Chocking after what Em said was inevitable.

Edward slowly patted my back whilst glaring at his stupid friend. When I had more control over my breathing and drank some water, I mustered all my courage and beat down as much embarrassment as possible before looking Emmett in the eye.

"Let's pretend you didn't hear what you heard, 'kay?"

Emmett nodded. "I heard nothing; I saw nothing."

My face was a chameleon; it blended in with my shame.

"You saw?!" Hysterical screeching was really called for in this situation.

Jasper and Edward groaned in unison, Emmett shrugged and I nearly pass out from mortification.

"Not much. I kind of tried to keep the good ol' eyes closed."

Not much? That didn't mean 'nothing'.

"Ohmygod. Edward..." I whimpered and hid my face in his chest.

"Right. Get out, both of you."

"What!"

"Em, grab your food and go away, you idiot."

I heard the creaking of chairs, muffled footsteps and then, thankfully, the click of a door being closed.

"I don't think I'll ever be able to look at them again, ever," I mumbled.

"Of course you will."

"Nah, I won't."

Edward chuckled quietly but hugged me with one arm—his other arm was curled around his plate as he tried to cut his stake with one hand.

I gave up on my soup, not liking what its red-orangey colour reminded me of, and went to have a shower. When I came out of the bathroom Edward was already in bed, his hair damp and his chest bare. He'd obviously showered in one of the other gazillion bathrooms in his presidential suite. I joined him in bed and curled around him, loving the feel of his warm skin underneath my finger tips and the way his scent and arms wrapped around me. Within minutes our breathing had slowed down to a steady rhythm and I fell asleep to the faint sounds of London in the background.

~*~*~*~

Our morning was hectic and tiresome. The first sight that greeted me was not Edward by my side but rather clothes flying across the room, followed closely by shoes. Edward had been restless to get the day started so he could get it finished, but he was having trouble getting dressed—he couldn't find the shirt and tie combo he wanted to wear. So he'd dumped the contents of his luggage on the floor. He stomped around the room, pointlessly going through every empty drawer, shutting them forcefully, waking up the hotel with his mutterings. It was the first of many hissy fits he threw during the morning.

I suspected he was acting up because of his anxiety at facing the press so I didn't tell him to stop being a moron, instead I sat him down and gave him the muffins I'd ordered last night. Their chocolaty goodness seemed to placate him momentarily. However, his niceness only lasted the three minutes it took him to eat a muffin and drink a glass of milk, then he went back to being the aggravating Hollywood star he had been when I first met him.

As the first film crew was escorted to the living room to start setting up, Edward, strangely enough, calmed down marginally. But my nerves, which had been hidden deep inside of me, resurfaced. I felt Edward pull away instantly as people came into the room; there was more distance between us, no contact, and our conversations turned formal. I even found myself cringing every time I called him 'Edward' in front of others, preferring instead to not say his name at all or address him as 'Cullen'.

It was difficult seating in the background listening to the same questions being repeated and watching his acute discomfort every time some journalist touched on a sensitive subject. But it was even harder to witness him deny our relationship without hesitation, watch Jasper jump in and state that while no personal questions were being answered, that yes, he could confirm Edward's single status.

After what seemed an eternity of interviews, I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed to get fresh air or at least new stale air; I needed to get out of the once spacious but now claustrophobic room. I took myself to my own suite and sat down on the bed. The nothingness I heard was a welcomed change. My thoughts floated around my head, questioning my decision to fake my path and remain hidden under my title of assistant. But I came to the conclusion—like I always did— that in the end, Edward was worth any sacrifice on my part. I'd had an hour alone with my mind and silence when the guys joined me in my room for lunch. My embarrassment was still apparent around Jasper and Emmett but I needed them and their support to get through weeks of having Edward erase my presence and meaning in his life to the world.

The morning quickly became afternoon and I was going crazy stuck in the luxurious hotel. Seven o'clock took far too long to arrive, but arrive it did. The last camera crew packed up their equipment and left right on the dot.

I stared out the window, my eyes following the murky waters of the River Thames, taking in the city I had yet to see. The other team members were cheery as they left to explore London's nightlife. I'd felt a small pang of sadness as I sat down on the bed instead of changing clothes and delving into London's culture. But it seemed like I was the only one disappointed to still be inside. Next to me, Edward was contently reading a horror novel– happy the day was done with. Jasper and Emmett were watching the English equivalent of Jerry Springer, but, apparently, with less violence. I… I was exasperated.

"Can we do something?" I asked no one in particular. If I stayed in the hotel room while London was out there, bustling and exciting, I was going to lose my mind and scream. And become even more dramatic than I already was.

"Come and watch Jeremy Kyle. It's so funny; the dude acts like he knows everything."

I ignored Jasper's recommendation, instead choosing to focus my attention on the man next to me.

"Edward, don't you want to do something?"

He put his book down on the side as he answered, "Like what?"

"Anything. We're in London; there are loads of places to go."

"Er, sure? I mean, I guess so. If you want to." Well that was decisive.

"Buttons, I don't think that's a good idea, with Eddie being famous and all."

I nodded and sighed in resignation. Of course, of course that crucial detail was the bane of my existence. Everything in my life now centred on the fact that my boyfriend was famous. The decisions normal people face don't apply to those connected with Hollywood royalty—it was no longer a matter of choosing where to go but whether or not we could go. Edward's gilded cage was shutting me in and the desire to escape its confines was growing stronger every second I only saw London's skyline.

My next sigh was not one of annoyance or in defeat brought about by the situation. My sigh was in disappointment with myself. I was complaining about this and that instead of appreciating the good things. I'd joined Edward in the cage but at least I was in there with him. And London, well, London was beautiful, I'm sure, but it wasn't worth me getting stressed about it. I had enough things to keep me entertained in this beautiful hotel room.

I rolled to my side and gave Edward a small kiss before telling him I was going to have bath. I chose the big bathroom with the Jacuzzi tub to unwind in. I turned on all the taps and the jets, poured in some bubble bath and started to undress. I was removing my blouse when Edward walked in, stopping near an oval ottoman in the middle of the bathroom.

I stood there, in my far too cutesy yellow and pink polka dot underwear, blinking and blushing as Edward took in my appearance. It was the first time he was seeing me without clothes and the urge to pick up a towel and cover by body was overwhelming. I was self-conscious of what I might appear to him, whether he would notice how my stomach was not quite flat, or when I moved a certain way you could see hints of cellulite. I was worried I wasn't going to come up to scratch; that his standards were too high for me to reach. After all, this was the man who dated Victoria Secret Angels and Bond Girls.

If this scene were to be repeated later on in our relationship I would have been fine in my semi-nakedness; I would've simply continued getting undressed, not paying any real attention to Edward's presence in the bathroom. It wasn't that I was uncomfortable with my body, because that wasn't the case. In the 'good' stages of my relationship with Jacob I would've been fine with having showers with him or walking around the bedroom topless and only wearing boy shorts – It was the judgement, not the nudity, which I feared now. I just needed to get more comfortable being this way with Edward.

It seemed like hours before he took steps towards me, but in reality it was mere seconds. His eyes travelled all over my body as he came closer and closer, his gaze making splodges of pink appear on my pale skin. When he was near enough to touch me, to let his fingers graze my back, my skin responded by bursting into goosebumps—its own unique celebration to his nearness. Edward followed the contour of my spine slowly, an imperceptible bump at a time, ghosting fingers making me melt into his body. As he came to the end of his path, his hands left my back and traced the slight flare of my hips in a repetitive soothing pattern.

His touch, every minute movement of his hands, was making my insecurities disappear in a cloud of smoke. Then his words and lips made me forget them all together.

"Your skin... your body is… I mean, so beautiful. All of you is just… wow." His broken sentence was sprinkled across my collarbone as he kissed it sweetly.

"Edward," I whispered without meaning to. His name tumbled out, joining the sounds of the water cascading in the bathtub.

His lips made their way gradually up my neck, to my left cheek and finally arriving at my mouth. Edward licked my lips before sucking my bottom lip in between his. We kissed standing there, him fully clothed and me in nothing but a few scraps of cotton, listening to each other's panting breaths and the sounds of water running gently.

Water running.

Shit.

I pushed away from Edward and lunged to turn off the bathtub taps quickly. The water was nearly to the point of overflowing and the bubbles from the bubble bath were falling off the edge of the tub.

I remembered just in time. Now, thankfully, I wouldn't have to explain to housekeeping or the hotel manager why water had seeped to the room bellow.

"That was close."

Edward hugged me from behind and nuzzled my neck.

"Mmm, it would have been funny trying to explain what happened." I smirked, turning to look at him. Sometimes it was weird how alike our thoughts could be.

"You mean awkward. Don't you think I've had enough embarrassment to last me a life time?" He laughed and started kissing me again. At this rate the water would cool and I would never have my bath. "Ugh, Edward, stop distracting me," I complained with a smile. "I will never get in the bathtub unless you stop kissing me. And anyway, why are you here? Come to watch a show or something?"

Edward laughed, smiling that crooked smile I like so much and sat down on the ottoman, looking up at me with the green jewels he had for eyes.

"Why don't you have your bath, angel, and I'll talk."

I hesitated. I just got over him seeing me in underwear, now I was going to have to pluck up the courage to go completely nude in front of him? With all the lights on and no shadows to hide behind? Whatever happened to taking it slow? Someone somewhere was asking far too much of me.

"Don't worry, I'll avert my eyes."

Relief swept through me. He was so good to me. Even the most heartless bitch couldn't help but fall for this man. No one stood a chance. Heck, no one would want to stand a chance.

Edward lowered his head, a smirk still lingering on the edge of his mouth. I trailed my fingers through his beautiful hair and started to slip off my underwear. I lowered myself in the tub— a small amount of water escaping as a result of my movement— and covered my body with bubbles.

"Okay, you can look."

His head lifted and his smirk grew to a grin. "I haven't painted in a while, but when I get back home this image, you surrounded by bubbles, is the first thing I'm going to put on a canvas."

"Edward, stop trying to be smooth and tell me what you came in here to say."

He got up and sat on the edge of the tub, picking up a loofa and started to wash the arm I had exposed to put my hair in a ponytail.

"You are so bossy."

"Look who's talking, sweetie."

"I hate that endearment."

Edward's grumble made me laugh. I knew he loved when I called him 'sweetie'; he always got a smile on his face when I did.

"No you don't."

"Fine, I don't hate it. But couldn't we come up with something more masculine?"

"Where would the fun in that be?" I splashed his hand and he splashed me back. Playful Edward was my favourite Edward. Well, I like sweet Edward and bare-chested Edward too. Oh and then there were grumpy Edward and sleepy Edward… There were just too many sides of Edward that I liked. It was impossible to have a favourite, really.

"Okay, 'sweetie' stays. Anyway, I came to ask you something."

He trailed the loofa up and down my arm, around my neck and over my shoulders. I eased back further and relaxed completely.

"So, I was thinking." His hand slipped under the water as he washed my back. "I've been to London a few times but I've never gone anywhere except to hotels, and well, I thought maybe we should go somewhere."

No, no. I didn't want this. He was going out of his way for me, to make me happy. But I knew he would be content to sit and read, or watch something silly on TV. He had no desire to go out and see tourist sites. I hated the feeling of being a chore or a weight on his shoulders.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him to the floor so I could see his face. "Edward, you don't have to. I understand you can't just walk out and about, and you don't need to. Really, you don't need to do this to try to please me. We can stay in and watch a film, order room service, talk."

Edward brought my hand to his lips, kissing my fingers. "I'll do anything to please you. But you're not the only one getting fed up with being inside. I hate having to stay here while there are more exciting things to do outside."

"That's not true. You only want to go out because of me."

"Well, yeah, kind of. I mean, I want to go out too..." His argument was very unconvincing, and he knew it. "Look Bella, you make me happy and I want to make you happy. It only seems fair."

"But—"

Edward dropped my hand and stood up. "Nope, not listening. Have your bath and then get dressed. It's started to snow again so wrap up warm."

With that he left me alone in the bathroom. It only took me a second before I stood up in a hurry, forgot anything about relaxing baths, and wrapped myself in one of those fluffy white towels I'd been eyeing up earlier. I slipped a bit and tripped twice as I made my way to the bedroom to pick out something to wear. I was so, so excited. My heart was jumping inside my chest and I couldn't stop giggles from escaping. I was going to see London!

Oh goodness gracious me.

I rummaged through my suitcase, grabbing the first decent warm article of clothing and something that sort of matched it, and ran to the bathroom with Edward's laughter following my footsteps.

It took me less than five minutes to get dressed. By the time I re-emerged Edward was ready also. I couldn't help but act like a five year old and skip my way to where he was.

"I'm ready," I said with a huge smile taking up half of my face.

"I can tell." Edward laughed as I poked him playfully.

"Oh shush, I'm just a tad excited."

Edward intertwined his fingers with mine and started to lead the way out of the room. The moment the door closed behind me I felt free, free like a bird.

Turn the dramatics down just a bit.

"Em and Jazz are downstairs waiting for us," Edward explained as we walked down the empty corridor. "The security team has been contacted, but they'll keep away so we can be less conspicuous."

We waited for the lift and when it came, Edward started to prepare his disguise. He wore a beanie hat, dark sunglasses, gloves, hoodie, and large coat. No one would be able to see the colour of his eyes or hair, not even the colour of his skin was visible unless he was seen from the front.

"Sounds great. But where are we going?"

Before Edward could answer the lift doors opened and we quietly left through a side exit, avoiding the busy hotel lobby.

When we stepped onto the street it was already dark. The sun had started setting sometimes after half six, and now, at a few minutes past eight, the sun had disappeared from the horizon and only stars lit up the London sky. The scenery was further enhanced by the speckles of snow falling, melting when it reached the road but settling when it fell upon the greenery. As we walked, a few steps apart, my breath came out in little puffs, and the tip of my nose grew slightly pink from the cold air. I wanted to move closer to Edward and have his heat warm up my side, encase his hand in my own and provide some warmth for him too. But I didn't close the gap, knowing it was there for a reason. Instead I stayed on my side, admiring the details of London still partially visible.

It didn't take long for me to spot Emmett and Jasper patiently waiting for our arrival. When they saw us, they began to walk a few steps in front. I frowned in response but then saw in my peripheral vision two huge men move behind us. It finally hit me what was happening. They were executing the triangle formation: two bodyguards behind and one in front.

Shaking my head at how weird everything had become, I tried to blend in with the crowd walking down the street. "So where are we going?"

"The National Gallery."

"Really?" I asked as I bounced down the street. Maybe I wasn't so good at blending in with the serious Londoners.

"Well, we had to think of a place where photography was restricted and we only came up with The National Gallery. That way there is less chance of photographs being taken, and if someone does attempt to take a photo of us then they will be escorted out. And we can also kill two birds with one stone; the gallery is in Trafalgar Square." Edward answered looking down at his feet.

I smiled, doing nothing to hide how excited I was. Without thinking I reached for Edward's hand but he moved away. His eyes were looking straight forward at couple coming towards us, his slight grimace and discomfort explained why he did what he did. It had been a thoughtless action on my part and I understood his reaction. I had no other option but to understand it.

I remained silent as we navigated through the crowds, always keeping my distance from Edward but never too far that he couldn't wrap an arm around me. Eh, a girl can't lose hope. As we walked past a building with mirrored doors, Edward's reflection stared back at me. I giggled and he turned to me, his lips quirking up at the sound of my amusement.

"Um, can you actually see?"

He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. "Of course I can see. Why do you ask?"

I laughed as I answered, "Well, you are wearing dark sunglasses and its night time. I just thought that would make things difficult."

He snorted and removed his sunglasses. "Yeah, I did wonder why it was so dark."

I threw my head back and laughed, revelling in the feeling of being in an amazing city with an amazing man. My laughter quieted down when a big crowd of tourists and commuters came towards us. We got lost in the sea of people all focused on getting home or seeing more of London, and as I looked at Edward, his gaze was on me, and then his arm was wrapped around my waist.

Ha. You should never lose hope.

I was startled by his sudden change in attitude but he whispered that no one was paying attention, something which was very true. People didn't even look our way; they were too busy in their own little worlds to notice two people holding each other.

"You're so beautiful when you laugh," He told me quietly.

I moved closer to Edward's side, enjoying the turn of events.

"Oh no, here comes the poetry," I teased.

"Geese, Bella. Just accept the compliment, will you?"

"Fine. But I'm not happy about it."

"I know." Edward squeezed my side and turned us to a new street. "That's what makes it fun showering you with them."

We walked side by side, enjoying how the darkness offered us a chance to be together, and I thanked the heavens for making Londoners oblivious to their surroundings.

I was so caught up with being able to have time with Edward outside a house or hotel that it took me a minute to realise we'd arrived at Trafalgar Square.

In the centre of the square Nelson's Column loomed before us, as did the four bronze lions at the base protecting the national hero. The two fountains on either side were large and elegant in their simplicity—the colourful lighting reflecting off the flowing water making them appear more modern and giving the surroundings an air of joviality. The view around the square was stunning; historic buildings on all sides, and to the south of the square there was a beautiful view of a long street—Big Ben was at the end of it, its clock face glowing and iconic.

Because of my hurry to get out of the hotel it had slipped my mind to bring a camera with me. But I longed to have this moment for eternity, to be able to experience this again and again, to have the images my eyes captured to be ingrained in my brain with clarity. Thankfully, Edward remembered his phone in his pocket and excitedly waved Jasper over so we could take pictures. We spent an hour taking photos in front of everything that could be linked back to Trafalgar Square. Edward grumbled when I coerced him with kisses to make silly faces for the camera. He gave in, but only when we were nearly alone in the square.

Jasper and Emmett joined us in many of the photos but then warned us that the gallery was going to close soon. We crossed the road and ascended the large staircase that led to the gallery. The entry was free but Edward dropped a fifty pound note in one of the collection boxes near the entry doors, which earned him many kisses.

The gallery, very much like Trafalgar square, was empty apart for a few overly enthusiastic tourists. I was in awe, and that was just at the entry. As we moved from room to room, each more exquisite than the last, we held hands and talked in whispers appropriate for such a sanctuary. I lost myself in the priceless paintings hanging on the richly wallpapered walls. I read all the plaques beside the masterpieces, sat down on the leather benches and admired the beauty all around me. Edward would sometimes leave my side and take a closer look at the paintings, equally as captured by it all as I was.

Time flew by, and as Big Ben signalled midnight a uniformed man with a maroon jacket came towards where Edward and I were standing. He was quickly intercepted by Emmett and another one of the bodyguards. I could see they had startled him, he obviously didn't know he was in the presence of one of the world's most famous people. Edward ducked his head quickly, avoiding the man's inquisitive stare. Emmett brought the attention back to himself with a click of his fingers and after seeing what the situation was, left the man standing there wondering what happened.

"Short dude over there wants us gone. Apparently the gallery is closing now," Emmett explained.

We nodded and exited the gallery as soon as we could work out the way to the exit.

Jasper, Emmett and the beefy bodyguards descended the staircases in front of the gallery, but Edward and I stayed up there, still watching the city.

Edward's arms were around my waist and my back leaned comfortably against his chest. We stood there watching the snow fall in front of us, feeling the cold wind on our faces. But that wasn't all I felt as I covered Edward's gloved hands with mine. For the first time in my life I felt a surge of love so strong that my eyes watered with joyful tears. The feelings coming from Edward as he held me tighter and placed a kiss to my cold cheek were tangible, and all I wanted to do was hold them close to me. But even more, I wanted to give everything I was feeling to Edward, to show him the secrets of my mind. I wanted to tell him what I had hidden even from myself.

I turned around in his arms and rose on my tip toes so my mouth was brushing his ear. He hugged me closer and I just gave myself over to the moment, knowing I would never regret it.

"Edward..."

"Mmm?"

"I love you."