Chapter 19 - The Plan
"You should call Rosalie. Tonight." Edward looks so pleased with himself.
"I'm not calling Rosalie. I told you - been there, done that. She isn't going to listen to me."
Now he looks confused and a tad bit desperate. "But you said you get it. You said you get that they belong together like we do."
I kiss the crease that has developed between his eyebrows. "I do get it, but we need a better plan than me talking to Rosalie." I bite my fingernail. How in the world are we going to change her mind? "I like Esme's plan to mess with the wedding. I think I better call her and tell her to not pick up the shoes."
Edward smiles. "That was my idea."
My eyes widen at his admission. "Well, aren't you the devious one?"
He shrugs humbly. Sometimes he's too cute for words.
"I want to be bad, too," I say. "I've spent too many months trying to keep that girl happy when it's impossible."
"What do you have in mind, Miss Trouble?"
"We go to the salon for a practice run on her hair and makeup on Tuesday. I'm going to tell her the updo makes her face look fat."
Edward fears for my life, I can tell. "I'm not sure that's a good idea."
"I won't say she looks fat, I'll imply it. It'll make her nuts. She never wears her hair down for anything formal. She'll obsess about it. It's perfect. She could cancel the whole thing out of fear she won't look good in pictures." I love Rosalie, but she's vain and she knows it.
"Very nice," he says with some pride in his eyes.
"We could have Carlisle fake an injury. So he has a limp. The prospect of being walked down the aisle with her limping father will drive her insane."
"We need to do more than piss Rosalie off, though." He grabs my hands, pleading. "You need to convince her that she still loves Emmett. You need to remind her that he's the one."
He is so sweet and I appreciate that he thinks I have that much power over Rosalie, but convincing her that she still loves Emmett is not my job. Someone else needs to remind her of her feelings for my cousin.
"There's only one person who can do that." I pull my hands away and grab my phone. "And he needs to get his ass to Seattle ready to perform the grandest of gestures."
I call Emmett.
"Hello cousin," Emmett says, sounding like I woke him. I forget sometimes about the time difference.
"Sorry, shit. What time is it there? I woke you, didn't I?"
"I don't sleep great anyway." He sighs. "It doesn't matter. What's going on?"
"She's not happy. In fact, she's really quite miserable. She will never be happy married to Felix. She'll be divorced in a couple years and even more depressed."
"Bells, ugh." I can hear his hand smack his forehead. This is what he wanted and didn't want to hear. He hates the thought of her being unhappy, but it's the one thing he needs to justify fighting for her. "Swear to God."
"I swear to God, Em. I've planned this entire damn wedding. She didn't have an opinion about anything. Not even the dress."
"Rosalie Cullen? My Rose? Didn't have an opinion?" He almost laughs.
"She's not your Rose. And I don't mean that to hurt you. I just mean, if she was yours, I wouldn't be worried sick about her. She should be loving every minute of this, Em. She should be counting down the days and deliriously happy about beginning her life with her husband. He's not the right guy. He's not the one who makes her smile the way she used to smile when she was with you. If you still love her, you need to stop her."
"If I still love her? I never stopped! I loved her when I was pissed off at her. I loved her when she asked me to choose between her and my old man. I loved her when she packed her fucking bags and tried to hide the fact that she was crying. I loved her when she begged me to let her go. I loved her when it seemed so easy for her to move on without me. I love her right now even though she doesn't love me."
"She loves you. She wants you to fight for her."
"She said that?"
She said it the night of the symphony. Hopefully that counted. "Of course she did, but remember when Edward and I broke up? It was Rose who told-"
The phone goes dead.
I look at Edward, pulling the phone from my ear to see what happened. "I think he hung up on me."
Edward starts to laugh as my phone rings.
"Did you hang up on me?" I answer.
"I told you not to call that a break up," Emmett growls.
My sigh sounds just as frustrated. "It was a break up. I told him I wanted a break. I told him I didn't want him to call me or text me or contact me. And he listened. And we were both miserable. You know why?"
"Because you're both ridiculously over-dramatic?"
I smile because that is true. "We were miserable because I didn't want him to listen to me. I wanted him to call me and tell me he didn't want to go on a break."
"Then why did you tell him not to call you?" I can hear his exasperation.
"Because that's what girls do. I don't know. I wanted him to prove that he wanted me as much as I wanted him. I was also so afraid he was going to break my heart, I wanted to break his first."
Edward reaches over and tucks some hair behind my ear. The back of his fingers gently caress my cheek, letting me know he forgives me for hurting him like that.
"You think that's what Rosalie did? You think she broke up with me because she thought I was going to hurt her? When she told me to choose her or my dad, I told her I couldn't choose. I didn't choose him or her. I wanted them both. That was so fucking stupid because now I have neither."
My heart breaks for him. "It hurt her to see him taking advantage of you, Em. I get why you wanted to believe he was better than he was. I do. I think Rose got it, too. I think she left because she couldn't watch him hurt you like he did in the end."
"No," he says sadly, "she just wanted me to choose her and I didn't. I should have chosen her."
"Choose her now. Show her you want her so she can admit she wants you."
He doesn't say anything. I know I'm asking him to put his heart out there with the possibility of it getting obliterated.
"It's better than not trying at all," I encourage.
"I need to think about this, Bells."
I dumped all this on him in the middle of the night. I guess I shouldn't have expected him to get on a plane and take care of this right away.
"You've got six days. I'm here if you need my help."
"Thanks. I'll talk to you soon. Okay?"
I hang up, not sure how to feel. I think I got to him. He's the only one who can stop this wedding. If we don't have him, we've got nothing.
"What did he say?" Edward asks.
I lean into him and he's quick to wrap me up in his arms. "He needs some time to think."
"We don't really have any time left."
"I know, but did you really jump on the plane to Ithaca the second Rosalie told you to?"
"No, I was afraid you were going to tell me to go away."
"I imagine that's what it's like for Emmett. Actually, it's probably worse for him. She moved on with Felix. And they didn't break up over a stupid misunderstanding either."
"No. I guess not." Edward holds me tighter. "But I still think she wants someone to stop her. I mean, you said it. She hasn't been involved in the wedding planning. She's been on the sidelines while you did all the work. This is basically your wedding. Not hers."
With Esme and Carlisle's money to spend, I did have fun picking out things I probably would have been more practical about if it had been my wedding and my parents' bill. Since I couldn't get Rosalie to make a decision about anything from the colors, to the flowers, to the music, I picked everything I would want if I had an unlimited budget. It was going to be a gorgeous wedding. I overdid on the flowers, but it was so much fun and Rose let me. I kept the colors understated with no blue even though that's her favorite color. Blue's not my color; I didn't want to wear blue. The champagne dresses I picked looked perfect on Alice, Angela, and me. Our flowers are creams, white, and a little orange. It's a late summer wedding, I figured some fall colors were appropriate.
Edward rubs circles on my back. "It's kind of like it's your dream wedding. Wouldn't you say?"
"I don't know," I say hesitantly, wondering why he's asking.
"Everything is the way you would want it if you were the one getting married, right?"
"Yeah, I suppose so."
"Are there calla lilies and colored roses in the bouquets?"
He knows what I like. He buys me flowers for my birthday every year. Lilies and roses. Never just one or the other. Always both. He makes it impossible for the girls at work to not hate me. I have the best boyfriend in the world. I am the envy of everyone I know.
"Maybe," I say with a smile.
"You love filet mignon - choice #1 for dinner, but #2 is halibut. That was for your dad, wasn't it? He loves halibut."
Dinner will be fantastic. Felix told Rose to pick whatever. He was too busy with work to join us when we met with the caterer. Rosalie was completely apathetic about the whole things. She asked me what I liked. I wasn't going to lie. My mouth is already watering just thinking about it. "Just wait until you see the oyster bar that'll be set up before dinner. It's going to be amazing."
Edward's arms drop, and he pulls away so he can see my face. "Is the cake frosting super sweet and is there raspberry jam inside?"
I love raspberry jam. I love it. And with white cake and buttercream frosting that is extra sugary, I die just thinking about it. "Yes," I reply trying not to drool.
He cocks his head to the side. "This definitely sounds like your dream wedding, baby."
"What are you trying to say, Edward?"
He slides off the couch and gets down on one knee. My breathing hitches and he takes my hand. "What I'm trying to say is I love you. I need you like rain clouds need rain, like thunder needs lightning, like dew points need...I don't know, dew?"
I'm laughing with tears in my eyes.
"I want to spend every day for the rest of my life with you. Hell, I want more than that if the good Lord will give it to me." Now there are tears in both of our eyes. "There were a couple reasons I wanted you to read my journal. One was to see that we owe it to Emmett and Rosalie to fight for them like they fought for us. But it was also to make you see that I have always loved you. That there wasn't a day you weren't the first thing I thought about when I got up in the morning and last thing I wanted to dream about at night."
It feels like my heart is ten times too big for my chest. He fills me up with his sweet words and his unwavering devotion. He always has. "I could tell."
Edward looks so serious. "I don't want you to think this is something I'm doing on a whim. I've thought about this forever. I've been waiting for the right time and I think this is it."
"I believe you," I whisper, the emotion too much for me to speak louder.
"Esme and I have been talking. She doesn't want Rosalie to marry Felix any more than we do. She also would hate to see an entire wedding and reception go to waste."
The look of shock on my face must be comical because Edward chuckles. He can't be serious. We can't...
"Just hear me out. I wanted to marry you the minute we graduated, but we decided since I was going to Europe with our symphony and you were taking that job in Jacksonville, we would wait. Well, I waited. I don't want to wait anymore."
He had waited. After graduating from Cornell, I moved to Jacksonville so I could be in the middle of all the weather action. Florida is the place to be for heavy weather activity: tornadoes, hurricanes, and tropical storms. I was ready to be in thick of it all. Especially since Edward was going overseas to do special performances of his symphony. When he was done with that, he was going to try to find a teaching position with a school of music near me.
Of course, things never go exactly as I plan. Edward was courted by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as well as The Seattle School of Music. It was all a little too perfect for him. He could conduct and play with the orchestra and teach at the school. Everything he wanted. Except it put us on opposite coasts. Again. I wondered if we were ever going to find a way to be together permanently.
Florida was everything I hoped it would be. I experienced storms I had read about, watched on youtube, dreamed about. I was in weather heaven. We got wind, rain, heat, and lightning like I had never imagined. Then Hurricane Laurent tore through the east coast with a vengeance. I only needed to live through one hurricane to realize I didn't want to try to live through another. I loved to study weather from afar, I decided. But getting a job as a meteorologist isn't easy. Jobs are limited, especially in certain areas. I did the behind the scenes stuff in Jacksonville. I was never in front of the camera. I thought I would be a nervous wreck if I worked in television. It was Rosalie who reminded me that the best thing that could happen to me was my nerves. If I was nervous, I would be rattling off obscure and fascinating weather facts. It would be brilliant.
Finding a job near Seattle was rough. I sent resumes to every news channel in a fifty mile radius. No one had openings. I was suffering through the hottest spring in Florida history when Twitter actually saved my life. I had tweeted with Benjamin Buchanan, the weatherman from the Seattle Channel 4 news, since I was in high school. He contacted me when he was retiring and told me I should apply for his job because he believed wholeheartedly that there was no one who had more weather knowledge than me. With Benjamin as one of my references, I got the job.
Everything fell perfectly in place. I moved back. Edward moved in. We had waited long enough, but now we were going to be in the same place for good. I spent all of my teen years thinking I wanted to get as far from Washington state as possible. I know now that this is the only place I truly belong. Edward is a big part of that.
"I don't want to wait anymore either," I say reassuringly.
Edward's smile warms more than just my heart. "No more waiting. Bella -"
My phone rings, interrupting the biggest moment of my life. The picture of Emmett's Texan jersey fills the screen.
"You should answer," Edward says, handing me the phone.
I want to scream but answer the phone instead. "Hey, Em."
"I'm gonna do it."
I'm smiling so big even though this is only step one in a very complicated plan that hasn't even been fully developed. "Good. When can you get here?"
"I don't know if I can get out there any earlier than Saturday. That's really pushing it, huh?"
The day of the wedding? Yeah, that's pushing it to the extreme. But maybe that's the grand gesture she's going to need - Emmett busting in before the wedding starts. If I can get her good and flustered all week, Emmett will be exactly what she needs. No matter what has happened between them, I know he has always been a calming force for her. Just like he has for me.
"You get here as quick as you can. Edward and I will do what we can, but you have to get here before she says I do."
"I will. But Bella..." his voice lowers "...I might not survive it if she tells me to walk away and marries this guy anyway."
I suddenly feel this overwhelming responsibility to see to it that that doesn't happen.
"She's not going to say that. If you tell her how you feel, everything is going to work out. I believe that. You have to believe it."
I'm not as confident as I'm trying to sound, but this only works if Emmett comes to Seattle believing he can convince her to not go through with the wedding.
"If you believe it, Bell, then I believe it. You wouldn't set me up for any more heartache."
I squeeze my eyes shut and I say a quick prayer that this doesn't end up a huge disaster. "Call me when you know you can get here."
We hang up and I feel terribly deflated. I lost all the tingly goodness from the almost proposal.
"He's coming?" Edward asks still on bended knee in front of me.
"As long as he doesn't talk himself out of it over the next couple days."
"We'll make sure that doesn't happen." He sounds so sure.
"Everything hinges on him. If he doesn't come here and do something big to prove to her that he loves her, she isn't going to stop anything. She's going to marry someone she doesn't really love. She's going to make the biggest mistake of her life."
Edward stands up and takes my hand. "Come here." Pulling me to the door, he opens the small hall closet and takes out my jacket. Ever the gentleman, Edward holds my jacket as I slip my arms in the sleeves.
"What are we doing? It's after eleven."
"Put your shoes on. Come on, we don't have much time," he says with the biggest smile. I don't know what he's up to, but I would follow him to the ends of the earth if he asked me to. Shoes and coat on and we're out the door.
We jump in the car and he starts driving south until we get to the West Seattle Bridge.
"Where are we going?"
"Shh, trust me."
I do. I've never trusted anyone as much as I trust Edward.
We turn on Harbor Avenue. I have no idea where we're headed. I've never been in this part of Seattle before. There's nothing out here but houses, and no one I'm aware of lives out here.
"When have you been out this way before?" I ask, looking out the window at Puget Sound glowing under the city lights.
"I haven't, but someone told me about it. Now, shush."
He's being so mysterious. I like it. He's sexy when he's being all secretive.
"Did you know that Washington is the safest lightning state in the country?" I ask, looking up at the clear night sky. "Florida was the most lightning prone. Did I ever tell you that?"
Edward chuckles. "You told me. A couple times, I think. Another reason I'm glad you left there. If the storms didn't blow you away, the lightning could have taken you out."
"Florida also has seven of the top ten hottest cities in the US, too. The heat was not good. I felt like I was melting that one summer. And just think what all those ultraviolet rays could have done to my skin. I don't tan well. I go from white to red. That's bad when you live in Florida."
"Another good reason you came home." Edward spent most of his life in Chicago, but he will always consider Seattle his home. I love that.
"It also has four of the top ten wettest cities. Rain, rain, rain. I could have been washed away by all that rain. We think it rains a lot here, but Seattle's not even in the top ten."
He grabs my hand and kisses it. "Stop worrying and relax."
Just as we reach the most northern part of West Seattle, he pulls over and into a parking spot.
"Let's go," he says, opening his car door. It's dark and the beach has to be closed for the night. The last thing I want is to get arrested.
"What are we doing out here?" I ask, getting out and following him anyway because he seems to have a plan.
He's already walking down the sidewalk. "Come on, before we get in trouble."
I follow him because being with him is the only thing I want. He reaches his hand out and I grab on. We walk a little ways down until I see a giant anchor and small grassy area by a lookout point.
"Why are we at the beach in the middle of the night?"
"Not just any beach. This is Alki Beach. It's one of the most romantic spots in Seattle." He walks me towards the water and motions across Puget Sound at the most beautiful view of the Seattle city skyline I have ever seen. It's a clear night and the city just glows, its lights reflecting off the water like multi-colored ribbons stretching all the way across the sound.
"Wow, this is...wow." I'm speechless. It's like something you'd see on a postcard.
"Someone at work suggested this spot. I thought about bringing you here a million times over the last month or so. The where has always been up in the air. The how was easier. I've thought about how I would do this for much too long." He was back on bended knee. "Six years ago I met this girl on a beach who thought I was a cocky, obnoxious jerk. I did manage to impress her with my ability to predict the rain even though she hates to admit it." I shake my head at this man I love so very much. He is cocky and obnoxious but never a jerk. "Somehow I convinced her she should be my girl and I even wrote her a symphony. Now I want more. I want forever and ever. I want her to be my wife. I don't have a ring because I wasn't sure I could convince you to do this and I was scared that a ring would burn a hole in my pocket. I would have given it to you the day I got it, plans be damned. But, Bella, I want you to marry me. Will you? Next week or next year. I don't care. Just say yes."
I imagined this moment so many times over the years. What would he say? Where would he say it? I knew he would make me cry. I knew I would say yes. I didn't expect the feeling of calm that came over me, though. There's no storm inside me, just a perfect, wonderful sense of peace. Marrying Edward is what I was put here on this earth to do. I have no doubt. "Yes. I'll marry you."
Edward is on his feet faster than a blink of the eye. He takes me in his arms and lifts me off my feet. We spin like in all the cheesy movies, but I love it. I love him.
"I don't know why part of me worried you wouldn't say yes," Edward says, setting me back on my feet. He kisses me and I want to get married right now. Right here in the dark on Alki Beach. But I have a better idea.
"I meant it when I said I could only plan one wedding at a time. So, we need to do two things on Monday."
Edward has never looked happier and I know exactly how he feels because I feel it too. "Is that so?"
"I need a ring."
"Yes, you do." He kisses me again. I think he feels bad. He holds my face in his hands, curiosity fills his eyes. "What's the other thing we need to do?"
"We need to get our marriage license."
Both of his eyebrows shoot up. "Really?"
"Well, baby, if we're going to hijack a wedding next Saturday, we need to have our paperwork in order."
Edward lifts me off the ground again. His smile is almost brighter than the city lights. "Yes, we do."
A/N: Thanks to momof4 and Mama Trouble for putting up with my last minute writing. They are the best. Thanks to all of you for reading and reviewing. You guys make me smile all week long. Hello to my Facebook friends in Nothing But Trouble who I've been teasing with songs and picteases. Some of that might be on the blog a little later. Hi to the ladies on Twitter who are so sweet and pimp this story out. And thanks to Belladonna Cullen for helping me pick the perfect spot in Seattle for them to get engaged.
Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Hope the Bunny brings you lots of chocolate.