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The Perfect Choice

Summary:
Co-written with ObsessiveCullenDisorder. Bella is home sick one day, without the company of Edward. She decides to learn more about her ring, and this decision leads to the story of Edward Masen Sr.'s quest for the perfect ring.


Notes:


1. The Perfect Choice

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1698   Review this Chapter

It was a rainy day, and for the first time in a while, I did not want to read Wuthering Heights. I sat staring out my window, watching rain droplets chase each other down the glass. Edward was hanging out with his family, and maybe playing piano in order to not go fully crazy. Normally, I would have been with him, arguing with Alice that "Barbie Bella" is not a good idea, but I was suffering from a cold. If a runny nose didn't kill me first, boredom might.

I kept looking down at my ring finger. Even though I wasn’t wearing it right now, I could still feel and see it in my mind. It was a beautiful ring, but Charlie was still a little angry about the engagement and Renee’s betrayal. I didn’t want to push my luck. We didn't need to test the theory that Edward is bulletproof!

Bingo! I know something to keep me occupied. I can Google information on my ring! I’d never have done something like this in Phoenix. Small town life was really getting to me. I’d have to go through images, but oh well, I didn’t have anything else to do anyway.

Edward told me that the ring was classified, as an Edwardian engagement ring, ironically enough. If Edward hadn't given me the laptop as a graduation present, my old computer would have take several minutes turning on, and then opening up the internet, etcetera, etcetera. In a matter of a few seconds, I was able to start my search.

The rings I saw were so beautiful! But I didn't see my ring. Page after page went by, until I saw the familiar piece of jewelry. I clicked on the image and started reading about it. A few things jumped out at me. First, it was valued at around $20,000! I inwardly cringed at the sticker shock. Second, it was designed in the 1920’s. How could Edward have inherited this ring from his mother if she had died before 1920? Had Edward lied to me?

I was asking myself multiple questions on how Edward’s story could have still been plausible when a knock on my window stopped the whirlwind of thoughts. Edward was starting to open the window, and I rushed over to help. Of course, by the time I got there he was already in, but it's the thought that counts.

"Alice saw that you had a question for me, and so I came over. I hope you don't mind."

"Of course I don't mind. So my question..." I was wondering what to say, when I saw he was looking behind me and at my computer screen.

"You want to know how I got my mother's ring if it didn't come out until the 1920’s." He phrased it as a statement rather than a question. I simply nodded my head. He opened his mouth to begin talking.

As Edward began telling me the story, I found myself going back a hundred years.

The foggy morning was like any other to most of the citizens of Chicago, Illinois. Like any other morning, unless you were a certain Edward Masen.

The well built, dark-haired young man walked purposefully down the sidewalk of the shopping district, into a small shop tucked away from the main foot traffic. The bell tinkled as Edward walked into Harper & Sons Jewelry.

Approaching a glass case, he began to look through the assortment of engagement rings. Pursing his lips at each one, he moved on to another case. Nothing was good enough for his, well hopefully his, Lizzy.

Elizabeth Harper and Edward Masen had been introduced by mutual friends of their parents over the Christmas holidays, and quickly began courting. It was now early May, and Edward knew she was the one he would spend the rest of his life with. She was perfect in every way, and he was going to ask her to become Mrs. Edward Masen.

Having looked at three displays of rings by now, Edward let an exasperated sigh escape his lips, catching the attention of the store owner.

Wasn’t that the boy his Lizzy, his favorite niece, had introduced to him as her new beau? Edmund? No, that wasn’t it. Eddy? No, still not right. Oh, he couldn’t remember.

Walking over to the tall law student, the jeweler offered his assistance, “May I help you, Sir?”

“That would be most appreciated,” the boy’s sigh was one of relief.

“What are you shopping for today?” Best to get the basics over with, although the Jeweler had a pretty good idea what the young man was looking for. Drat, why couldn’t he remember his name?

Not meeting the other man’s eyes, and a slight blush creeping up his cheeks, the younger man answered, “An engagement ring, Sir.”

“Ah. For my Lizzy, if I’m not mistaken.” He would most likely lose the customer if he were wrong, but he knew he wasn’t.

The blush deepened. “Yes Sir.”

The jeweler remained stoic. This would be the perfect opportunity of gauge his niece’s suitor’s character. He couldn’t have Lizzy marrying just anyone, after all. She deserved much more than average.

“First thing is first, I know we’ve met before, but for the life of me I cannot remember your name. We were introduced at family dinner a few weeks back, were we not?” Better to be out with the truth now than the young man find out later.

The young man smiled. The question seemed to put him at ease. “Edward Masen, Mr. Harper. And yes, Lizzy…er, Miss Elizabeth introduced us.”

“Good to meet you, Edward. And none of this Mr. Harper stuff. The name’s Alfred.”Despite the man’s age, he was rather forward thinking. Besides, it would surprise a person how much a simple befriending gesture puts one off their guard, and that is exactly where Mr. Harper wanted Edward Masen. He wanted to know what made this man tick.

“Alfred then.” Edward smiled, clearly more at ease.

“Engagement ring, then,” Alfred stated in a factual manner, nodding his head. “We have a lovely selection over here.”

Walking over they looked at several rings. Nothing was good enough.

“What about this one?” Alfred asked, holding out yet another ring.

Taking it, Edward inspected the object. Oval and inset with many small diamonds; it was beautiful and quite popular this year, but it wasn’t good enough for Lizzy. “It’s exquisite, but it’s not right.” He answered.

Putting the ring back, the jeweler considered the young man who stood before him. One could tell a lot about a man by how he picked his jewelry. Perhaps….“You’re clearly not finding anything. Would you care to design something for my niece?”

Edward considered the question a moment. He liked the idea. “Alright,” he acquiesced.

Leading him over to a table Alfred helped Edward sketch out Lizzy’s ring. It was quite modern, yet still lovely. Platinum was not as well known in the engagement ring business as of yet because of its expense. The filigree around the circular diamond in the center would take Alfred nearly all day to complete, but it was for his Lizzy. Smaller diamonds would be placed in channels around the filigree, completing the sparkle. Very modern, yet beautiful; just like the girl for which it was intended.

As Alfred was making arrangements with Edward, he reflected upon what he had learned about the boy from working with him for the past few hours. An impressive presence of mind was accompanied by a deep worth ethic. The law would suit this young man. Overall Alfred was pleased with Lizzy’s potential fiance..

Edward thanked his future Uncle and turned to leave. He had a date with Lizzy in an hour, and did not want to be late.

“Ahem,”

Hearing Alfred’s voice, he spun back around. “Yes,”

“I just wanted to say that I hope Lizzy accepts you. For what it’s worth, you have my blessing. Take care of her, young man.”

Eyes misting a little, Edward thanked the old man for his help and blessing, and assured him that he had every intention of taking care of her until their dying day. He exited the store - back into the pouring rain, where he was surrounded by the citizens of Chicago. To them this was like any other day, yet to Edward Masen, this day was the day he was accepted by his future fiancée’s family.

My eyes had tears in them after hearing the story of my engagement ring. But if Edward Masen Sr. had created Elizabeth’s ring, how were there copies of it online?

Edward must have known what I was thinking for he went on to explain, “My mother’s ring was greatly admired by all the young ladies in the city. All hoping their potential husbands would be as romantic as my father. I believe a Miss Elise Diggory was the cause of the duplicates of the ring. She lived after the influenza, and made sure her husband styled her ring after my mother's. Her husband's cousin later became on of the top jewelry designers in the world saw the Elise's ring, and found it so revolutionary that the design was launched the next year.”

I was speechless. It was so magnificent the Edward Sr. loved Elizabeth so much that he designed her ring...my ring. I didn’t feel worthy enough to have this ring.

“Oh, but that is where you’re wrong, love.” I swear Edward can read my mind! “My mother always wanted me to pass on this ring to my one true love, and that would be you.”

The tears started coming. How did I end up with someone who knew just what to say?

“Now, my dear, I think you should go to bed. I want you to recover from your cold as soon as you can.” I had almost forgotten about my cold. And now that he mentioned it, my eyelids were having problems staying open. I got snuggled up in bed with Edward at my side.

“I love you, my dear.” And with that, I fell into a deep sleep, knowing that I had made the perfect choice saying yes.