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A B.A. in BS

Summary:
Dear Edward, I have finally gotten over you No, that won’t work. Dear Edward, It’s been 3 years now. You never returned. At least you could keep ½ of your promise; I never saw you again, but the whole thing about life being as if you never existed is a large heaping load of horse sh— GAH! How do you tell your high school sweetheart, the man you stole your heart never to return it, the man who obsessed over keeping you safe, the man who left you broken in a forest because he did not love you anymore…how do you tell him that that you are finally over him and moving on, kinda-sorta. How do you tell him if he’s moved away with his family and you have no way to contact him? You write his sister’s husband, that’s how! What happens if Edward really never returned and Bella went on with her life? What happens if she was able to get over Edward, leave Forks, go to college, and make a life of her own? Would his heart break if he knew she was over him and could surive without him? Would she ever see him again? What about is family-could she really live with out her best friend, forever? What about the wolves? Jake? And oh, dear....what about Victoria?? This story takes place after Edward left. Bella was too much "into" herself (her depression was too strong) that she never did any of the extreme sports, never jumped off the cliff therefore leaving on reason for Alice to come back or for them to go to Volterra. This should be interesting. (BTW the title essentially means ABachelor of Arts inBull Sh--) FAIR WARNING: THERE IS SOME OOC ACTIVITY (Out Of Character) Also, there's some senuality coming up so be prepared :-) I have this "book" finished and the second "book" started and hopefully finished by the end of my holiday vacation. Thank you for allowing me creative license with what's in my head which will soon be on "paper".This Story is rated ADULT for language, future fight scenes, and sensuality. I just wrote a scene in one of the chapters that warranted a change in rating, sorry.Updat: this book is finished-on to the next!


Notes:
You guys rock and I hope you'll fogive my months-long absence. School owned me for a while. I have a total of 23 chapters in this book and two more "books" after this. I hope you all enjoy!


18. Chapter 18

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4149   Review this Chapter

Bella POV

Alice had taken it upon herself to turn the house into the North Pole. She had robotic elves, stylishly dressed elves, making toys at little tables throughout the yard, candy cane lightstands outlining the driveway, lights were strung from the windows in a very elegant and precise way, and snow not only laid fresh on the ground, the spray can stuff was sprayed on all the windows. It was overdone, but very pretty. Minus one thing: Santa and his sleigh.

There was a life-size, very real looking Santa waving from the front of a metal sleigh that was filled with large presents in the back. There were nine reindeer strung together through reigns. There was something off about these reindeer and apparently I was the only one who caught it.

“What,” Alice started, “It’s just Santa’s workshop. I did it for you.”

“Alice, I’m not twelve anymore and was there really a need to add stuffed reindeer?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Over there with Santa’s sleigh. Those are real!”

“Bella, they are not. I bought fake—“

“Then how come I can see the bite mark in its neck?”

“EMMETT!”

I started laughing so hard my stomach hurt and my eyes watered.

“Bella this is not funny. He changed them out when we left. He’s going to pay.”

The house was boomed with his laughter.

“What’s funny is that you didn’t see it and the human did.”

“I was too angry with your mutt of a friend that I missed it.”

As we pulled up to the garage, Edward was at my door holding it open.

“Hello, Bella.”

“Hello, Edward.”

“How was your trip?”

“Eventful.”

“I know, Alice told me. I’m sorry that you had to fight with your father and friend over my family.”

“It’s ok because it was none of their business in the first place.”

“Esme is brimming with anticipation. She can’t wait to see you.”

I got out of the car and walked up the stairs to the front door as Edward, Alice, and Jasper followed. Edward then held the door open for me as I stood on the top step looking at the reindeer. I bit my lip to try to hold my laugh back, but failed.

“Alice, you have to admit that it looks pretty funny. Look at the way that Prancer is smiling and Dasher is sticking out his tongue.”

Suddenly Rudolph’s nose started to blink and I lost it. Emmett had essentially wired a red light bulb to his snout. Then it started to throw sparks and poor Rudolph caught on fire. Jasper and and Alice were quickly throwing snow on it from the bottom of the stairs with on-spot accuracy and luckily put it out.

“Fried Rudolph anyone,” Emmett laughed as he made his way down the stairs.

“Emmett, you could have set the house or your family on fire,” Jasper said with disappointment.

“The pixie would have seen it.”

“That’s not the point.”

“Hey, it made Bella smile.”

“Don’t bring me into it,” I chuckled as I squeezed through the open space between Emmett and the door frame to greet Esme with a big hug.

“It’s good to have you back.”

“It’s good to be back. I missed you guys. Holy crap, Esme. You let her attack the inside of the house, too?” She released our hug and let me have a better look around.

“You try controlling her, Bella.”

Alice had put up a tree that almost touched the ceiling. She decorated it with clear flashing lights, gold and silver ball ornaments, and some iridescent snowflakes. What did touch the ceiling was a brown-haired angel wearing a gold dress. She had put large red stockings on the wall behind the couch and lights were strung on the walls and up the banister of the stairs. She was good…over-zealous, but good.

“Are you hungry? I could have a dinner ready for you shortly.”

“Thanks, Esme, but not right now. Maybe later?”

“Of course. Just let me know when.

The rest of the kids gathered in the living room after shaking snow off each other from the apparent snowball fight they had outside that I was not even close to being aware of. Alice had brought in my bags so I could get their gifts out of it. I told them I didn’t wrap them because wrapping paper was just not an option. I had used gift bags.

I got Carlisle an engraved stethoscope. It had his name on it and the padding on the part that was held to the chest had the family crest on it. Esme’s present was an assortment of flower seeds I found that reminded me of her. They were annuals and would be back every year, so I knew it would be something she could enjoy every year. I promised her that when the ground and weather was right we would plant them together.

Alice and Rose each got a coupon for a “free” girl’s shopping weekend in a foreign country, meaning I’d go without complaint. I had a little trouble deciding on Emmett’s gift and came real close to a season pass to the New York Zoo, but found a bunch of old video games on an old system at a consignment store. I figured I fair better at playing Mario 3 with him on NES than Resident Evil on Xbox or Playstation what-ever-number-they-were-on. He really liked it. I also gave him his snake from the New York Zoo and he got a big kick out of it.

Jasper’s was the most expensive of them all, but I thought it had some meaning to him. I had stumbled upon a new store in Forks that sold antiques and vintage clothes. I walked in to just browse when something caught my eye. I asked the saleswoman if it was real or a costume and she said it belonged to an old relative of hers and she knew it was real. I bought it immediately.

“Jasper, your present will be here in a few days. I had to have it shipped from Forks. It will be under Jasper Whitlock, not Cullen.”

“I can’t wait to open it Bella.”

“Alice, should I tell him?”

“That’s up to you, but either way he’ll be surprised.”

“Jasper, I am having something framed for you. It’s an authentic Confederate Army uniform. I’m not sure what rank it is, but it came with the sword, shirt, pants, and hat. The hat and sword will be set in a clear box since they really can’t be framed.”

“Bella! That was very thoughtful of you. I don’t know what to say. It’s amazing that you found it! My uniform was lost centuries ago. I got rid of it after I was changed. I always regretted not keeping it. I just can’t get over how thrilled I am to see it.”

“I was hoping you would like it.”

“I don’t think there’s a way I couldn’t like it.”

I saved Edward for last. I started out not having any idea about what to give him. I had gone from getting him a new iPod with every accessory available to saying yes to his date that I wasn’t yet ready for. Then one night I was reminiscing about high school and looking through my Senior scrapbook that I was forced to fill with pictures and answers to questions about most popular songs and movies. I found a picture posted under the heading “My Favorites” and knew exactly what to get him.

“Edward yours is being shipped too, but should arrive before Jasper’s. Guys, if you don’t mind, I’d like to explain it to Edward in private.”

“Sure Bella, we can go prepare your gift. We’ll be back in about ten minutes,” Carlisle said politely accommodating me.

“Don’t worry, sis. He doesn’t know a thing and ten minutes is more than enough time,” chimed Alice as she walked out the back door. I had wondered if she had accidently let him see what I had gotten him.

After the family had left and Edward and I were the last two in the living room sitting next to each other on the couch, I pulled out an envelope from my bag. I opened it and pulled out a picture. It was the meadow.

“I was going through a few pictures back home when it occurred to me what to give you. It took a lot of careful doing, and you may not be all too happy with what I did, but I went to the meadow last week.”

“Bella, there was a lot of snow on the ground up there. I kept an eye on the weather reports. If something would have happened to you—“

“It didn’t and it was worth it. Just ignore what I did and realize I’m safe and sound and back home, ok?”

“Ok,” he said with a very seductive crooked smile.

Wow, no argument from him.

“I went to the meadow to take a picture of it. I’m having that picture blown up and sent to you.”

“I don’t understand. Why a picture of the meadow in winter,” he asked shifting around to face me head on.

“The meadow is barren, sleeping, waiting for the season to change. It’s taking a break to prepare for new life, rejuvenating itself to be bigger and better in the spring. It’s what we are right now. It’s not prepared, not prepped, not ready for life yet. It’s not yet willing to facilitate new growth. But when it is, when it is absolute sure and absolutely ready for new growth, new life will emerge. After the new life has emerged, it will move to the next season to prosper and grow and remain beautiful. Then it will be ready for a new phase-a phase to prepare for a new life as never experienced before. When I am ready for the new life, when I am ready for spring, when I am ready for us again, I’ll give you a picture of the meadow I took senior year in the spring. When I am ready to prosper and grow with you, to be absolutely committed to us and to our future then I’ll give you a picture of the meadow I took the summer after we met. And when I am ready, when I am prepared enough to enter into a life with you-one I thought I might never experience-I will give you a picture of the meadow I took on my nineteenth birthday. Don’t think of it as a reminder of what happened-that’s not the point. It’s to serve as a symbol that we have come full circle and survived everything the world had to throw at us. You just have to be patient with me and realize that it may take a long time for you to receive the other seasons, if you ever do.”

“Bella, that is an amazing present and it was very thought out and thoughtful for you to do that. I will do everything I can to earn each and every one of those. I will do everything to be worthy of you and your heart again no matter how long it takes.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

“Love, it’s the best present anyone could have given me. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called you—“

“It’s ok,” I interrupted, “I don’t mind a slip or two here and there, just not all the time, ok? Just be aware.”

“I promise.”

“You said I had to ask permission to touch you, so I am asking if I may give you a hug.”

“Thank you for asking, and my answer is y—.”

Before I could finish my sentence, I was whisked into his arms for a brief yet amazing and much needed embrace. His hard cold arms were wrapped around me tightly and I could feel his chest inhale as he breathed in my scent through my hair. Then, all too quickly, his arms were no longer wrapped around my body. He wasn’t going to test his limits today.

“Yes, you can come in now,” spoke Edward asking an unasked question.

Alice was at my side holding my hand and Emmett behind me tying a blindfold around my eyes.

“Hey! What the hell are you guys doing? Wait, what’s going on?”

“Calm down little sis. We’re giving you your present.”

“Crap, what on Earth did you guys get me?”

“You’ll see,” Jasper chuckled sending me a wave of excitement.

“Jasper, it won’t be a real reaction if you make me feel excited.”

“Just trying to appease my wife.”

I was soon turned around in a circle seven times and walked left, right, forward, backward, I was then picked up and carried by Emmett throughout the house, outside-which I only knew because the temperature dropped-, and into a room then set on my feet.

“What did you get me a piñata? OH! Is the fried deer stuffed with candy now?” They all laughed at me.

I could see that lights were turned on as the edges of the blindfold lightened slightly. I was then spun around in a circle, again, this time by a gentle touch I immediately recognized as Edward as his hand lifted mine in the air like a ballerina. He didn’t ask permission, but I let it go and stayed in the moment. After I was done playing Prima Ballerina, my blindfold was lifted and I stood in front of an Ice Blue Audi A6.

“Seriously. You bought me a car?”

“We thought you would want to be independent and not have to rely on us all the time to visit. We wanted you to be able to come and go as you pleased.”

“No offense intended Esme, but buying the car myself would have been the independent thing to do.”

“I know dear, but just humor us, please. This is something we really wanted to do for you.”

“It’s fast and it has a appropriate sound system to go with it, not like that truck of yours that could get past—“

“Emmett, don’t hate on the truck!”

Edward handed me the keys and whispered, “Enjoy the surprise in the CD player. I also have it in mp3 format if you would like. Alice suggested it.”

“Thank you Edward,” I whispered back, but had no doubt they all heard me.

“Esme, remember that dinner you offered?”

“I’m on it, dear,” she said with a razor-sharp grin.

Esme made pork tenderloin with real mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. I was in heaven. After dinner, I started to yawn and Alice suggested I retire to my room. I told her I would rather have some time alone back at the dorm. Jasper loaded my bags into my trunk as I said my goodbyes. Luckily, I had been to the Cullens enough to know the way home, but just in case Jasper programmed the way back to campus into the GPS. After I was out of the garage and heading toward the highway, I hit the CD button so it would play. I want to hear what Alice and Edward had done. The first song was Clair De Lune and I let it play all the way through-and repeated it twice. I let the CD play through to the last song as I drove down the highway, arrived on campus, and sat in the car for twenty minutes until it only one song was left. They were all our favorites when we were together. It was a sweet gift that I would get a lot of usage out of. I would have to have him send me the mp3 formats so I could add them to my mp3 player.

Finally, the last song started and sweet tears erupted from my eyes. I didn’t realize that I had gasped and let my mouth lay open while putting my hand up to my mouth until I felt the tears touch my fingers. I let the song end and then pulled it out of the stereo and placed it in the sleeve waiting in the center console so I could safely take it inside. I would no longer have to hum my lullaby or replay it in my head. Tonight, I would hear the real thing as the CD played on my laptop….in repeat.

Compared to my trip home and back, the next few months were almost bland. I got a certificate in the mail from the Dean’s Office for making the Dean’s List. Esme was able to scan it into her computer and print an amazing replica that I could send to Renee. The original went to Charlie and then she printed one for herself. She had it framed and hung it on the wall in the living room with the rest of her children’s accolades.

When Jasper’s present arrived the week after I got home, he immediately hung it his and Alice’s room. It didn’t match her very thought-out and coordinating décor, but she dealt with it. When Edward’s arrived, he said he hung it on the wall opposite the door so when he would walk into his room it would be the first thing he saw. His effort was evident.

When classes started back up, the majority of my time was spent studying. I didn’t have any classes with my family, but Alice and I met a few times a week for lunch. When they could fit it in, Rose and Emmett would join us. I still had to stop by Esme’s office to pick up my breakfast at her insistence. Edward wasn’t taking classes, so I never saw him on campus. He did offer to help me study and tutor me in a couple of classes. I would accept as needed.

Family dinners still happened a few times a week and I would stay over. After dinner, Edward would invite me to walk with him to the lake or explore the forest. It was nice just to spend time together learning about each other. I learned things about his past both before and after his change, his parents, and his family. He was making a true effort and I could see that.

When Valentine’s Day came around, there was also a family dinner. Edward had insisted that he make dinner for me instead of Esme and I told him as long as she was ok with it, so I was I. No one made a huge matter over Valentine’s Day, at least in front of me, but Edward had sent three dozen of the most fragrant lilies to my dorm room that morning. He said there was one dozen for each month I been back in his life. After he cooked dinner, he gave me a black jewelry box. I was somewhat afraid to open it, but I swallowed my fear and found a set of the clearest two carat sapphire earrings set in platinum. They were gorgeous. I thanked and hugged him for his thoughtful gift.

As Spring Break approached, I realized how crowded I had made my schedule for that week. I was going to Florida to spend time with mom and Phil and then would come back here to fly out to Paris with Rose and Alice so they could redeem their Christmas present. The trip to mom’s fell through when a close friend of Phil’s from college passed away. They had to be out of state for the funeral during that week. The circumstances were not the best, but I was glad to finally have a little downtime and time away from classes.

I spent the afternoon of the Friday before Spring Break started planting flowers with Esme. That night, I sat on my bed thinking about the past few weeks; about the renewed comfort I felt, the security, the happiness and laughter, and about how right and just my world felt. Nothing but respect, chivalry, and consideration had existed over the last three months and that’s all I wanted and needed.

Right then I knew the time was right. I knew it was right because I didn’t doubt it. I followed my gut and my heart. I was ready and it was time he knew it. I grabbed an envelope I kept in the top drawer of my desk and grabbed my purse. I hopped into my Audi and sped off at the speed it deserved. I didn’t know why I was so frantic or in a hurry, I just knew I had to get this done. I found the nearest drug store and was able to make my purchase. I was in and out in less than an hour. I then drove to the house and found Emmett standing on the porch with his arms crossed over his chest.

“He, Em,” I said getting out of the car.

“Looks like we are having some type of influence on you.”

“What are you talking about,” I asked bewildered.

“Did you even pay attention to your speedometer?”

“Why?”

“You were doing eighty on the road up here.”

“I was?”

“Yep. It’s about time you got some good use out of that car. Hey, Wanna race later?”

“I’m sure your car is faster than mine, Emmett,” I said grabbing my purse and shopping bag out of the car and approached the steps.

“Not cars, Bells. I’ll be on foot.”

“No way, Emmett. You’ll be too fast for me.”

“C’mon baby sis. Humor me!”

“You’ll beat me hands down.”

“I’m not as fast as Edward; you might just have a chance.”

“I’ll think about it, ok? Speaking of Edward, is he here?”

“Hey Eddie,” yelled Emmett into the house although unnecessary, “Bella’s here to see you.” He didn’t even to have to finish his sentence. As soon as Edward heard my name, he was standing on the steps in front of Emmett. Once Edward go there, Emmett disappeared into the house.

“Hi Bella. You look nice.”

“Thanks. Clothes courtesy of Prada via your sister.”

“Of course,” he snickered.

“Um, is there a place we could be alone for a few minutes. I have something for you.”

“Sure. Would you like to come in? The living room, Carlisle’s study, and my bedroom are empty.”

I was so not ready to be alone with him in his bedroom, so I choose Carlisle’s study so we wouldn’t be interrupted. I knew they could hear us no matter where we went, but the appearance of a closed door spoke to me. He escorted me into Carlisle’s office and sat in the chair next to mine.

“I have been doing some thinking. You are a different Edward from the one I knew. The old Edward was controlling and overbearing and had to have everything his way. This new Edward asks permission, compromises, does not pressure me to make decisions one way or another, and gives me my space-gives me my room. I like the new Edward. There are going to be tests and challenges, there always are. But I’m hoping to see success where there was once failure. I’m hoping that the hard work isn’t going to be too much and that it’s not unilateral because I know that if it brings us back to that amazing place we once were that the hard work will absolutely be worth it. I’m taking a risk here, Edward. I’m taking a risk in giving you something you haven’t wholly earned, but earned enough for me to be confident in you and enough for me to give you a chance.”

I pulled the frame out of the shopping bag which sat in my lap. It was a 8x10 and not exactly the size I wanted to give him, but I felt this had to be done now and it was the largest they could do at the drugstore in a hurry.

“I am giving you the picture of the meadow in spring. I’m giving you an opportunity to start a new with me; for us to have a chance and give a relationship new life.”