Six weeks later...
School started back up about a month ago and we were back into the swing of teaching. Embry and I called Alice to thank her for use of her penthouse. She told us to keep the keys because she saw us using the penthouse over and over again.
Embry had gone to the Makah Reservation to play basketball with some of his friends for the afternoon. Meanwhile, I was at home cooking dinner. A few hours later, he came home with a brochure in his hand and a huge smile on his face.
"You look happy," I noted immediately.
"I am." He twirled me around the kitchen, and then pinched a sautéed green bean from the pan on the stove. "I've got to ask you something. How do you feel about living abroad for a few years?"
"Years? How and where?"
"I found this flyer pinned up at the tribal school at the Makah Reservation. The U.S. Department of State is looking for teachers to teach at American schools overseas. We can move to a different country yearly if we want to. The pay is actually much higher than our current salaries now and it includes housing and transportation. On top of that, I might be able to finally put my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction to good use."
This actually sounded interesting. Hmm... "Okay, hypothetically speaking, say we applied to do this, what happens if we each get hired, but in two different countries."
"They place married couples together."
"We're not married."
He grinned at me with a mischievous expression on his face. Raising a finger in the air, he declared, "I thought about this, and we can get married."
"Are you asking me to marry you?"
"Yeah, will you?"
Was this a marriage proposal? It sure sounded like one. I glanced at him and he still had a grin on his face. Clearly, he was waiting for an answer. "Sure."
"Good, wait here."
Wait a second! Did he just ask me to marry him, and leave?
Embry ran upstairs and came back down with something in his hand. He got down on one knee in front of me, held out a ring, and said, "Bella, you already know I love you with my whole heart. Will you marry me, and travel around the world with me?"
Oh, so this was the real proposal. Nice. What was I supposed to say to this? Embry's proposal was simple and no-nonsense and completely different from Eddie's elaborate, romantic one. They were both romantic, but in different ways.
"Yes, yes, yes! I'll go anywhere with you, Embry."
"And you'll marry me, right?"
"Embry, of course I will. We're practically married already."
"True, so when and how? We have until November 15th to get the applications in."
I shrugged my shoulders. "Um, you pick, I've already had one big wedding so I'll do whatever you want to do."
"I kind of want to elope," he admitted sheepishly, then produced a brochure for a little inn in Nesbit, Washington with wedding packages.
"Aren't you supposed to get married on Quileute land?" I asked. "Aren't those pack rules?"
"I don't have to, I'm not a member of the Quileute Indian Nation and therefore not a member of said pack. Officially, on paper, I'm a member of the Makah Nation and our kids will be, too."
"Okay, I'm going to leave this all up to you, Embry. I think you've had the wedding part planned for a few weeks anyway."
He wagged his eyebrows at me. Sneaky devil.
Two weeks later, Embry and I were married at Alexander's Country Inn. Our small elopement for two ended up being a pretty big deal, with my mom and Phil flying in from Florida and Eddie's parents flying in from California. Billy, Tiffany, Charlie, Sue and seemingly everyone from La Push and his relatives from the Makah reservation attended the ceremony. We didn't even invite most of the people, but they all showed up anyway. It was the most non-secret elopement in the history of elopements.
Embry was going to wear a simple suit and I was going to wear a nice dress, but when we got to the inn, there was a FedEx package from Alice Cullen waiting for us, containing an Armani tuxedo and a gorgeous, white, strapless silk Vera Wang gown. There was a note inside the package, which read, "What the hell were you two thinking? By the way, congratulations. I'm so happy for you both! Love, Alice."
We were both happy she sent the outfits because we had no idea we were getting married in front of so many people. Some elopement this was. It was even bigger than my first wedding.
This time, I didn't have anyone walk me down the aisle. It was my second wedding after all, and I was an independent woman. Neither Embry nor I had a reception planned. We had been planning on treating our invited guests, which numbered roughly ten to dinner. We weren't expecting all of La Push, the Makah Reservation, and Forks to show up. But everyone surprised us with a potluck dinner prepared by all of the families who came to witness our nuptials. Mrs. Ateara even baked a beautiful three-tiered wedding cake for us.
"Thought you'd get away with eloping, huh?" Kim guffawed.
"Did you do all of this?" I asked.
"Well, Sue, Tiffany, Emily, Rachel, and I did. It's a wedding, Bella, and even if it's your second one, it's still a big deal." I gave Kim a huge hug.
I gave Kim a huge hug. "Thank you, how can I ever repay you for your kindness?"
"You don't owe me anything, but I'd love to have a ladies' night out with Emily, Rachel, and you next Friday."
"You've got it," I replied in agreement.
"Oh, good, because we already have it all planned out."
I chuckled at my friend. When I first met her, she was shy, but once she warmed up to me, I realized she was open and friendly. During the last few months, I had become close to some of the other imprints in Embry's pack—in particular, Emily, Kim, and Rachel. They were very friendly and kind.
I walked up to Sue, Tiffany, and the rest of the ladies, thanked them, and gave them hugs. I was touched by their kindness.
By August of the following year, Embry and I were in Delhi, India at an American School. Embry was teaching a seventh grade class while I taught a second grade class. We lived in an apartment provided to us by the US Department of State and taught students of American diplomats and businessmen. This was definitely a brand new experience for both of us. We stayed in India for two years before we were off to Tokyo, Japan. We loved it so much that we ended up staying for five years. After Tokyo, our next adventure was in Saudi Arabia. We only stayed there for one year. The heat was too much for Embry and I couldn't handle how suppressed women were. Our next city was Madrid, Spain. We were three months into our third year now and absolutely adored the city—the people, the culture, everything was just fascinating.
I had been fighting a stomach bug for the last week and finally ended up seeing a doctor, which was where I was now. Embry practically forced me to go. "Senora Call, I have the results of your examination," the Spanish doctor told me in thick, accented English. "There is nothing wrong with you except for morning sickness."
"Morning sickness? But I'm on the birth control pill."
"You must stop taking it now. You will have your baby in June."
My jaw dropped. "Pardon me? Did you say June? A baby?"
"Si," the doctor confirmed.
"But, I'm too young to have a baby."
"Señora Call, you are thirty-eight years old, it is not considered a young age for parenthood. In fact, you are rather old to be a first-time mother."
I'm thirty-eight? Where the hell did the time go? Wait a sec! Did the doctor just call me old?
"Yes, but my husband is only thirty-seven," I insisted. As if that meant anything.
The doctor had the nerve to chuckle at me. "Señora Call, I will see you next month for another appointment. Please take care of your health and the nurse will give you prenatal vitamins on the way out."
"Embarazada? Are you calling me an embarrassment?"
"No, no, no! Embarazada means pregnant in Spanish."
"Oh, I thought… I don't know what I thought."
"You are surprised, Senora Call, and maybe a little shocked, but your first baby is good news, si?"
"Si," I agreed, but honestly, I wasn't prepared for this at all.
I went home to see Embry who had a huge grin on his face. "How was the doctor's visit, babe? Find out anything new?"
"Yes, I'm not sick."
"I could have told you that."
I glared at my husband.
"We're having a baby."
"I know. I heard the heartbeat two weeks ago."
"And you couldn't tell me?"
"I wanted you to be surprised. Now come and sit on my lap. I'm so happy. We're going to be parents." He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight.
"I'm surprised, but not unhappy. Actually, I'm ecstatic. Are we moving back to Forks now that we're becoming parents?"
"Only if you want to. I'm kind of happy here. I want my babies to see the world. There are wonderful things about Forks and La Push, but you're really only exposed to one way of life. Our kids are meant for bigger and better things."
I smiled at my husband. I felt the same way. It was funny, I didn't think about Eddie so much anymore, but at times like this, I did. His dream was always to have babies and raise them on the reservation surrounded by family, whereas Embry's was the complete opposite—he wanted them to see the world, and be exposed to different cultures. There was nothing wrong with either way, but I Embry's dream aligned more with mine. Maybe, just maybe, Eddie saw that and sent him my way.