Heyyyyy... It's been forever since I've ilitumwa something here, and for a special treat, I know how many people's inayopendelewa chapter of Eclipse is Chapter 19: Compromise. So I decided to write this is Edward's POV. I am already up to here, in Evening Star, which is the, story, Eclipse in Edward's POV. Check out my profile, and go to my spot here in fanpop to see the rest of the chapters. :) Enjoy ^_^
I waited impatiently in the passenger kiti, kiti cha of Bella’s truck the following night. I couldn’t go to the door, as Charlie thought everyone in my family other than Alice was away on our hiking trip. Bella already had a bag packed and waiting in the kitanda of the truck. I smiled when I saw it. It was hard to believe we were actually going to have a night all to ourselves. Of course, we technically had every night to ourselves, but with Charlie sleeping in the inayofuata room, and me needing to concentrate on his thoughts at all times in case he decided to check up on Bella, we could hardly fully enjoy ourselves.
It felt like ages since I’d had her all to myself. We seemed to always be interrupted kwa someone au something. Tonight, I just wanted her. I wanted to bask in our upendo for one another and push all other thoughts and worries to the side for one night. I wanted to onyesha her just how much I loved her.
Of course another zaidi rational part of me was somewhat nervous. It would be much harder to keep my emotions in check when there was nobody around. Bella enjoyed pushing my limits, and I knew if she tried tonight, I would be less inclined to stop her. But stop her I would, as I always did, because I had to. I would never do something that could hurt her.
She finally came out of the house after eating chajio, chakula cha jioni with Charlie, and jumped into the truck quickly. She was probably worried about Charlie sticking his head out the door and seeing me, but I was keeping a close eye on his thoughts, and he had no intention of doing so.
As we drove the familiar road to my house, I noticed how tense Bella was. Everything that would be happening this weekend was weighing heavily down on her.
When she glanced over at me from the driver’s seat, I begged her to relax. “For this one night, could we try to forget everything besides just wewe and me? It seems like I can never get enough time like that. I need to be with you. Just you.”
She agreed easily enough, but I could tell it would be easier alisema than done. She was still silent as we drove on, painfully slowly I might add. I was trying hard not to laugh at this contraption she called a vehicle. Going over forty in it would pretty much be asking for death.
We finally arrived at the house, which I had left lit up to greet us as we approached. Bella still looked tense and nervous, so I decided to try to ease some of that anxiety. No sooner had she cut the engine than I was at her door, taking her in one arm and using the other to shoulder her bag. I kicked the door shut behind me as my lips found hers. This was a different kiss than ones we’d shared as of late. There was no rush, although there was definite urgency. I cradled her into my arms, our lips never breaking contact, and walked slowly towards the house. I managed to get us inside in the same position. We stood in the entryway for countless minutes, neither of us wanting to be the first to break the kiss. But eventually, I knew she needed to come up for air, and I pulled away slightly with a soft chuckle.
“Welcome home,” I whispered, and she smiled.
“That sounds nice.”
I reluctantly set her to her feet, but she wrapped her arms around me tightly, not wanting to let go. I was just as unwilling.
“I have something for you,” I told her casually.
“Oh?” she asked, mild interest in her voice.
“Your hand-me-down, remember? wewe alisema that was allowable.”
“Oh, that’s right. I guess I did say that,” she frowned, and I had to laugh.
“It’s up in my room. Shall I go get it?”
“Sure,” she said. She grabbed my hand, twisting her fingers into my own. “Let’s go.”
I was probably a little too enthusiastic to give her the gift, but I couldn’t help it. I scooped her up into my arms once more, and ran up the stairs as fast as I could. I set her down gently just inside the doorway, and went into my closet to retrieve the heat-shaped charm. I was back in front of her before she had had time to take a step forward, but she walked past me to the bed. She slid to the center, curling up with her arms wrapped around her knees, a sour, wamekula expression on her face.
“Okay. Let me have it,” she alisema with the enthusiasm of someone headed to the gallows.
I laughed again as I went to jiunge her on the bed. She seemed nervous as I approached, and I was sure she was scared of whatever I might have to give her.
“A hand-me-down,” I promised.
I gently grasped her wrist and pulled it towards me, quickly fastening the glistening diamond to the silver bracelet, on the opposite side of the wooden mbwa mwitu carving. She brought her wrist closer to her face to examine the jewel. She gasped as she studied it. It was quite beautiful.
“It was my mother’s,” I explained with a shrug of indifference. “I inherited quite a few baubles like this. I’ve aliyopewa some to Esme and Alice both. So, clearly, this is not a big deal in any way.”
She sent me a small, apologetic smile.
“But I thought it was a good representation,” I went on. “It’s hard and cold.” I let out a laugh at the ridiculous similarities. “And it throws rainbows in the sunlight.”
“You forgot the most important similarity,” she whispered. “It’s beautiful.”
“My moyo is just as silent,” I murmured. “And it, too, is yours.”
She moved her wrist back and forth, watching the stone glisten in the soft light.
“Thank you. For both,” she said.
“No, thank you. It’s a relief to have wewe accept a gift so easily. Good practice for you, too,” I grinned. I fully intended to give her everything she wanted and more. She deserved it.
She leaned herself into my side, wrapping her arms around me, and I did the same. We enjoyed the silent togetherness for a moment. I was incredibly happy she had accepted my gift without fight, though I knew that if she had known it was a real diamond, she wouldn’t have. I was taking a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach on that issue.
Suddenly she spoke, seeming hesitant. “Can we discuss something? I’d appreciate it if wewe could begin kwa being open-minded.”
I didn’t answer right away. Her asking me to be open-minded usually meant I wasn’t going to like where this conversation was headed.
“I’ll give it my best effort,” I finally promised, though I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep it.
“I’m not breaking any rules here. This is strictly about wewe and me.” She cleared her throat, buying time before continuing. “So…I was impressed kwa how well we were able to compromise the other night. I was thinking I would like to apply the same principle to a different situation.”
Her moyo gave away her nerves, and the formality of her voice made me smile.
“What would wewe like to negotiate?” I asked.
She seemed uncertain as to how to continue, and her moyo picked up its pace even more.
“Listen to your moyo fly,” I mused. “It’s fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings. Are wewe all right?”
“I’m great,” she said, sounding anything but.
“Please go on then.”
“Well, I guess, first, I wanted to talk to wewe about the whole ridiculous marriage condition thing,” she said, making marriage sound like a dirty word.
“It’s only ridiculous to you,” I pointed out. “What about it?”
“I was wondering…is that open to negotiation?”
I frowned. I was pretty certain marriage was the compromise. “I’ve already made the largest concession kwa far and away – I’ve agreed to take your life away against my better judgment. And that ought to entitle me to a few compromises on your part.”
“No,” she said, shaking her head slowly. “That part’s a done deal. We’re not discussing my…renovations right now. I want to hammer out some other details.”
I was completely Lost in this conversation. “Which details do wewe mean exactly?” I asked suspiciously.
She wavered again, and I was deeply curious over what would make her so speechless.
“Let’s clarify your prerequisites first,” she hedged.
“You know what I want.”
“Matrimony,” she spat.
I smiled. “Yes. To start with.”
Her eyes widened. “There’s more?”
“Well,” I alisema as I made a mental orodha of the things I wanted to do for her. “If you’re my wife, then what’s mine is yours…like tuition money. So there would be no problem with Dartmouth.”
“Anything else? While you’re already being absurd?” she asked, venom dripping in her voice.
“I wouldn’t mind some time.”
“No. No time,” she interjected quickly. “That’s a deal breaker right there.”
I sighed. “Just a mwaka au two?”
She shook her head, her eyes narrowed. “Move along to the inayofuata one.”
“That’s it. Unless you’d like to talk cars…” I trailed off slowly, ginning at her stunned expression. I took her hand in mine and began stroking it slowly before continuing. “I didn’t realize there was anything else wewe wanted besides being transformed into a monster yourself. I’m extremely curious.”
Actually, I was nervous. I had no idea what could be causing her so much distress to talk about, and it was making me uneasy. She was staring at our intertwined hands, not answering. I was going to say something, but then she started to blush.
“You’re blushing? Please, Bella, the suspense is painful.”
She bit her lip, an open sign of nervousness, and still didn’t answer. I was beginning to grow impatient.
“Bella,” I alisema firmly, and she finally glanced up at me.
“I’m a little worried…about after,” she alisema sheepishly.
So she was scared. That was understandable. Maybe she didn’t want to be transformed as much as she had convinced herself that she did.
“What has wewe worried?” I asked gently.
“All of wewe just seem so convinced that the only thing I’m going to be interested in, afterward, is slaughtering everyone in town,” she explained, and I tensed slightly at her vivid description. “And I’m afraid I’ll be so preoccupied with the mayhem that I won’t be me anymore…and that I won’t…I won’t want wewe the same way I do now.”
“Bella, that part doesn’t last forever,” I promised her.
Of course it would take quite a while for her to get over her newborn blood-lust; that was expected. But she would still be the same Bella deep-down, and I knew our upendo wouldn’t go away.
“Edward,” she started anxiously. She was looking down again, not wanting to meet my eyes. “There’s something that I want to do before I’m not human anymore.”
She was blushing furiously, and I was confused. I couldn’t think of one human experience that could cause her to be this embarrassed.
“Whatever wewe want,” I vowed after she didn’t continue.
“Do wewe promise?” she muttered.
“Yes,” I said, puzzled. She finally met my eyes, the blush not fading from her face. “Tell me what wewe want, and wewe can have it.”
“You,” she murmured under her breath.
“I’m yours,” I replied, smiling. I still didn’t understand what exactly she wanted. She already had me.
She hesitated for a moment, and then took in a deep breath. She leaned forward, wrapping her arms around my neck, and kissed me passionately. I responded immediately, wondering if she was trying to stall for time before making her real request. I didn’t know what to make of the entire conversation, and her cheeks still had a light pink flush to them.
Suddenly, she moved her arms from around my neck and slid them down to the collar, alama of my shirt. Her shaky fingers managed to undo two buttons before it all clicked and I stopped her. I felt completely dense for not understanding earlier. When she alisema she wanted me, she really meant me. And now she was trying to undress me.
I pushed away from her quickly. “Be reasonable, Bella.”
“You promised – whatever I wanted,” she reminded me.
“We’re not having this discussion,” I alisema firmly as I refastened my shirt.
She glared at me. “I say we are,” she snarled, and quickly pulled open the juu button of her own shirt.
I grabbed her wrists before she could go any farther, pinning her arms to her side.
“I say we’re not.”
We glared at each other for a long moment before speaking. I was suddenly nervous. If Bella was going to attempt to seduce me, I wasn’t sure how long my self-control would last. I had to stop her before she started.
“You wanted to know,” she told me.
“I thought it would be something faintly realistic.”
“So wewe can ask for any stupid, ridiculous thing wewe want – like getting married – but I’m not allowed to even discuss what I –“
I cut her off, using one of my hands to gather both of her wrists, and the other to cover her mouth.
I stared at her as the emotions played across her face. The anger faded quickly, and was replaced with something else as her eyes filled with tears. She averted them quickly to the comforter beneath us. I sighed heavily, and moved my hand from her mouth to her chin, making her meet my gaze.
“What now?” I asked.
She tried to songesha away from my hand, but I held her there, staring into her eyes. She was hut.
“Did I hurt your feelings?” I asked, feeling completely horrible.
“No,” she alisema too quickly.
I pulled her hurriedly into my embrace, stroking her cheek with my thumb. I hadn’t meant to hurt her, I was just looking out for her safety.
“You know why I have to say no. wewe know that I want you, too.”
“Do you?” she whispered doubtfully.
“Of course I do, wewe silly, beautiful, oversensitive girl,” I laughed. “Doesn’t everyone? I feel like there’s a line behind me, jockeying for position, waiting for me to make a big enough mistake…You’re too desirable for your own good.”
“Who’s being silly now?” she asked, her brow furrowed.
“Do I have to send a petition around to get wewe to believe? Shall I tell wewe whose names would be on the juu of the list? wewe know a few of them, but some might surprise you.”
She shook her head against my shoulder. “You’re just trying to distract me. Let’s get back to the subject.”
I sighed. She was definitely persistent. However, I wasn’t just trying to distract her. She didn’t see herself as desirable, but she definitely was to almost every male we encountered.
“Tell me if I have anything wrong,” she began in a flat voice. “Your demands are marriage, paying my tuition, zaidi time, and wewe wouldn’t mind if my vehicle went a little faster.” She raised her eyebrows at me. “Did I get everything? That’s a hefty list.”
“Only the first is a demand,” I explained, fighting a smile. “The others are merely requests.”
“And my lone, solitary little demand is –“
“Demand?” I interrupted.
I glared at her. Of course, she wants the one thing I can’t give her, no matter how much I want to. And my God, did I want to.
“Getting married is a stretch for me,” she continued. “I’m not giving in unless I get something in return.”
I leaned down to whisper in her ear, not wanting to hurt her feelings again. “No. It’s not possible now. Later, when you’re less breakable. Be patient, Bella.”
“But that’s the problem. It won’t be the same when I’m less breakable. I won’t be the same! I don’t know who I’ll be then.”
“You’ll still be Bella,” I told her, and she frowned.
“If I’m so far gone that I’d want to kill Charlie – that I’d drink Jacob’s blood au Angela’s if I got the chance – how can that be true?”
“It will pass. And I doubt you’ll want to drink the dog’s blood.” The thought of drinking that horrible stench made me shudder. “Even as a newborn, you’ll have better taste than that.”
She chose to ignore my comments. “But that will always be what I want most, won’t it? Blood, blood, and zaidi blood.”
“The fact that wewe are still alive is proof that that is not true,” I countered.
“Over eighty years later. What I meant was physically, though. Intellectually, I know I’ll be able to be myself…after a while. But just purely physically – I will always be thirsty, zaidi than anything else.”
I didn’t answer her, but I wasn’t exactly sure how true that was. I had wanted Bella’s blood zaidi than any other’s in the world, but now…Now I wanted her. I wished I could give in to her demands without fear au question. I desired her, just as she desired me. The small tickle of thirst in the back of my throat still remained, but it was easy for me to ignore it now, and focus on how much I wanted her body rather than her blood.
“So, I will be different,” she continued. “Because right now, physically, there’s nothing I want zaidi than you. zaidi than chakula au water au oxygen. Intellectually, I have my priorities in a slightly zaidi sensible order. But physically…” she turned her head to place a tender kiss on my palm.
“Bella, I could kill you,” I whispered softly.
“I don’t think wewe could.”
Sometimes I don’t think she fully realizes the extent of my strength. I could destroy things with a flick of my fingers. She would very rarely see that, because I’m always in complete control of myself around her. I always handled her like a glass figurine.
I reached behind me quickly, snapping one of the metal roses decorating the kitanda off. I held it up to her in my hand, and she looked at me curiously. I closed my hand around it, barely putting pressure on it, and opened my hand back up. It was now a completely unrecognizable lump of metal. Another quick grasp and it crumbled to dust in my palm.
She narrowed her eyes at me. “That’s not what I meant. I already knew how strong wewe are. wewe didn’t have to break the furniture.”
“What did wewe meant then?” I asked as I tossed the dust to the far corner of the room.
“Obviously not that wewe aren’t physically able to hurt me, if wewe wanted to…More that, wewe don’t want to hurt me…so much so that I don’t think wewe ever could.”
I was shaking my head before she finished her explanation. Of course, I would never intentionally harm her, but if I Lost control while we were…intimate…I could easily hurt her, completely accidently. I would never be able to live with myself afterwards.
“It might not work like that, Bella.”
“Might,” she emphasized. “You have no zaidi idea what you’re talking about than I do.”
“Exactly. Do wewe imagine I would ever take that kind of risk with you?”
She stared at me indignantly for a moment, before her features softened.
“Please,” she whispered, dejection clear on her face. “It’s all I want. Please.”
Her eyes were shut tight, preparing for the rejection she knew was coming. But I didn’t respond. I was torn. In reality, I didn’t know if it was really impossible for us to be together that way. I just had always categorized it as an impossibility because it may constitute a risk. But she obviously wanted this, and I wanted it too.
“Please?” she asked again, her heartbeat picking up speed. “You don’t have to make me any guarantees. If it doesn’t work out right, well, then that’s that. Just let us try…only try. And I’ll give wewe what wewe want. I’ll marry you. I’ll let wewe pay for Dartmouth, and I won’t complain about the bribe to get me in. wewe can even buy me a fast car if that makes wewe happy! Just…please.”
My arms tightened around her as I considered her request. “This is unbearable. So many things I’ve wanted to give wewe – and this is what wewe decide to demand. Do wewe have any idea how painful it is, trying to refuse wewe when wewe plead with me this way?”
“Then don’t refuse,” she proposed, then after a minute, “Please.”
“Bella…” I trailed off as I placed soft kisses across her throat. I wanted to give her this. I wanted it for us. I couldn’t imagine anything that would be better than being together completely with Bella. To be able to share our upendo physically would be the greatest experience of my existence.
She took advantage of my torn state of mind and kissed me with zaidi force than she ever had before. My hands instinctively cupped her face, but I didn’t break away. I deepened it, pulling her closer and closer, not being able to get enough of her warm lips moving against my cool ones.
The battle raged on in my mind. The part that was screaming at me to stop before this got out of hand was steadily losing to the part that was urging me to continue. This was something we both wanted, and she had alisema we just had to try. If it didn’t work, then no harm done. If I felt myself losing control in the slightest, we would stop. I had to try, for Bella.
She finally had to pull away from our kiss, needing air that I did not. I didn’t break my contact with her skin, transferring my kisses to her throat while she tried to catch her breath. Her hands, steadier this time, returned to the buttons on my shirt. She undid them easily, and this time I didn’t stop her. Soon her smooth hands were exploring my chest, and the feeling was indescribable. Her hands left a trail of warmth on my too-cold skin, and I felt myself wanting more.
Her lips trapped mine again, and they moved together feverishly. But as her hands reached the juu button of her own shirt, I finally snapped out of my trance. Yes, this was what I wanted. I wanted to give myself to Bella, and her to me. But doing it this way was not right.
I pushed her onto her back, gently pinning her arms above her head as I slowly continued kissing her jaw line.
“Bella,” I whispered in her ear. “Would wewe please stop trying to take your clothes off?”
“Do wewe want to do that part?” she asked perplexed.
“Not tonight,” I murmured softly, still placing sporadic kisses here and there.
“Edward, don’t—“ she started, but I cut her off.
“I’m not saying no. I’m just saying not tonight.”
“Give me one good reason why tonight is not as good as any other night?” she demanded, still out of breath.
“I wasn’t born yesterday. Out of the two of us, which do wewe think is zaidi unwilling to give the other what they want? wewe just promised to marry me before wewe do any changing, but if I give in tonight, what guarantee do I have that wewe won’t go running off to Carlisle in the morning? I am – clearly – much less reluctant to vie wewe what wewe want. Therefore…you first.”
She puffed out a breath. “I have to marry wewe first?”
“That’s the deal – take it au leave it. Compromise, remember?” I wrapped my arms around her once more, continuing our kiss from earlier. I didn’t want her to press the issue too much, as I wasn’t thrilled with telling her the whole reason I wouldn’t do this with her tonight. I knew she would think it was ridiculous.
“I think that’s a really bad idea,” she breathed when our lips broke apart.
“I’m not surprised wewe feel that way. wewe have a one-track mind.” I smirked at her.
“How did this happen?” she complained. “I thought I was holding my own tonight – for once – and now, all of a sudden –“
“You’re engaged,” I interjected, finding this far zaidi amusing than I should.
“Ew! Please don’t say that out loud.”
“Are wewe going back on your word?” I asked, pulling back to look in her eyes. I couldn’t keep the smirk off of my face.
She glared at me. That made my smile widen, which, in turn, made her moyo race.
“Are you?” I pushed.
“Ugh!” she exclaimed, exasperated. “No. I’m not. Are wewe happy now?”
“Exceptionally,” I smiled. She groaned. “Aren’t wewe happy at all?”
I kissed her before she could answer. The thought that I could get Bella to agree to marry me, however sneaky it may be, made me blissfully happy. I couldn’t imagine spending my existence with anyone else.
“A little bit,” she alisema when I pulled away. “But not about getting married.”
I gave her one zaidi small kiss before continuing. “Do wewe get the feeling that everything is backwards? Traditionally, shouldn’t wewe be arguing my side, and I yours?”
“There isn’t much that’s traditional about wewe and me,” she pointed out.
“True,” I agreed.
Our lips found each other once more, and it was another breathtaking – at least, for her – kiss. We were both caught up in lust for a moment before I pulled away. I kissed the palm of her hand as she spoke.
“Look, Edward. I alisema I would marry you, and I will. I promise. I swear. If wewe want, I’ll sign a contract in my own blood.”
“Not funny,” I muttered against her hand, though the blissful smile still graced my face.
“What I’m saying is this – I’m not going to trick wewe au anything. wewe know me better than that. So there’s really no reason to wait. We’re completely alone – how often does this happen? – and you’ve provided this very large and comfortable bed…” she trailed off suggestively.
“Not tonight,” I said, though I was trying harder to convince myself than her.
“Don’t wewe trust me?” she accused with a hurt expression.
“Of course I do.”
“Then what’s the problem?” she asked as she pulled me up to eye level. “It’s not like wewe didn’t know wewe were going to win in the end. wewe always win.”
“Just hedging my bets.”
“There’s something else,” she alisema intuitively. “Are wewe planning to go back on your word?”
“No,” I promised. “I swear to you, we will try. After wewe marry me.”
She shook her head slowly and let out a sour, wamekula laugh. “You make me feel like a villain in a melodrama – twirling my mustache while I try to steal some poor girl’s virtue.”
She was closer to the truth than she knew, and I quickly averted my eyes. I placed a small kiss on her collarbone, but she was too perceptive for her own good.
“That’s it, isn’t it?” she guessed, then let out a surprised laugh. “You’re trying to protect your virtue!” She then brought her hands up to cover her mouth as she tried to stifle her laughter.
I rolled my eyes against her shoulder. “No, silly girl. I’m trying to protect yours. And you’re making it shockingly difficult.”
“Of all the ridiculous –“ she started, but I stopped her.
“Let me ask wewe something. We’ve had this discussion before, but humor me. How many people in this room have a soul? A shot at heaven, au whatever there is after this life?”
“Two,” she responded immediately, and her voice left little room to argue.
“All right. Maybe that’s true. Now, there’s a world full of dissension about this, but the vast majority seem to think that there are some rules that have to be followed.”
“Vampire rules aren’t enough for you? wewe want to worry about the human ones too?” she asked.
“It couldn’t hurt,” I shrugged. “Just in case.” She narrowed her eyes at me, but I continued. “Now, of course, it might be too late for me, even if wewe are right about my soul.” Which I wasn’t entirely convinced she was. With an entire existence based on killing, it was hard to believe that a soul was something I possessed.
“No, it isn’t,” she argued. She was getting angry.
“’Thou shalt not kill’ is commonly accepted kwa most major belief systems. And I’ve killed a lot of people, Bella.”
“Only the bad ones.”
I shrugged again. “Maybe that counts, maybe it doesn’t. But wewe haven’t killed anyone –“
“That wewe know about,” she interrupted quietly.
I smiled, but otherwise ignored her. “And I’m going to do my best to keep wewe out of temptation’s way.”
“Okay, but we’re not fighting about committing murder.”
“The same principle applies – the only difference is that this is the one area in which I’m just as spotless as wewe are. Can’t I leave one rule unbroken?”
“One?” she questioned, confused.
“You know that I’ve stolen, I’ve lied, I’ve coveted…my virtue is all I have left,” I grinned.
“I lie all the time.”
“Yes, but you’re such a bad liar that it doesn’t really count. Nobody believes you.”
“I really hope you’re wrong about that – because otherwise Charlie is about to burst through the door with a loaded gun,” she said.
“Charlie is happier when he pretends to kumeza your stories,” I explained. “He’d rather lie to himself than look too closely.” Which was a good thing for us.
“But what did wewe ever covet?” she asked. “You have everything.”
“I coveted you,” I explained, smiling darkly. “I had no right to want wewe – but I reached out and took wewe anyway. And now look what’s become of you! Trying to seduce a vampire.” I shook my head, teasing her.
“You can’t covet what’s already yours,” she said. “Besides, I thought it was my virtue wewe were worried about.”
“It is. If it’s too late for me…Well, I’ll be damned – no pun intended – if I’ll let them keep wewe out, too.”
“You can’t make me go somewhere wewe won’t be,” she said, conviction strong in her voice. “That’s my definition of hell. Anyway, I have an easy solution to all this: let’s never die, all right?”
“Sounds simple enough. Why didn’t I think of that?” I smiled.
We looked at each other for a moment, her willing me with her eyes to give in, but I held strong. She finally relented with an exasperated sigh.
“So that’s it. wewe won’t sleep with me until we’re married.” Still with the sour, wamekula pronunciation of the word.
“Technically, I can’t ever sleep with you,” I joked, which earned me an eye roll.
“Very mature, Edward.”
“But, other than that detail, yes, you’ve got it right.”
“I think wewe have an ulterior motive,” she accused.
“You know this will speed things up.”
“There is only one thing I want to speed up…and the rest can wait forever…but for that, it’s true, your impatient human hormones are my most powerful ally at this point,” I admitted. Time was measured differently kwa me as a vampire, but even I couldn’t wait to make Bella my wife.
“I can’t believe I’m going along with this. When I think of Charlie…and Renee! Can wewe imagine what Angela will think? au Jessica? Ugh. I can hear the gossip now.”
I raised an eyebrow at her questioningly. Bella had never been one to care about the idle gossip from the shallow people of this town. I was sure this had zaidi to do with her parent’s disapproval than it did Jessica Stanley’s big mouth.
I watched as she was deeply considering something, and a shudder racked her body. I decided to cut into her thoughts.
“It doesn’t have to be a big production. I don’t need any fanfare. wewe won’t have to tell anyone au make any changes. We’ll go to Vegas – wewe can wear old jeans and we’ll go to the chapel with the drive-through window. I just want it to be official – that wewe belong to me and no one else.”
In reality, I would have loved nothing zaidi than to have a large, beautiful ceremony surrounded kwa our family and friends. But the most important thing was getting her to say yes. I would forfeit the fancy party in order to make her my wife.
“It couldn’t be any zaidi official than it already is,” she complained.
“We’ll see about that,” I smiled. “I suppose wewe don’t want to see your ring now?”
Her reaction was as I expected. She paled, and had to take a deep, calming breath before choking out, “You suppose correctly.”
I laughed. “That’s fine. I’ll get it on your finger soon enough.”
“You talk like wewe already have one,” she accused, narrowing her eyes at me.
“I do,” I admitted smugly. “Ready to force upon wewe at the first sign of weakness.”
“Do wewe want to see it?” I asked again. I really did want to witness her reaction to the ring. I had pictured in my mind a thousand times how beautiful she would be with my mother’s ring upon her finger. I couldn’t wait to make that dream a reality.
“No!” she claimed, a little too loudly, and I know my face fell slightly. I tried not to take it personally, but it was sometimes hard with how adamant she was about something that was so important to me.
Upon seeing disappointment on my face, she added on, “Unless wewe really want to onyesha it to me.”
“That’s all right. It can wait.”
“Show me the damn ring, Edward,” she sighed.
I shook my head. “No.”
She stared at me, and I felt bad for pouting as I was. But I desperately wanted her to feel the same excitement as I did at the prospect of making her mine.
“Please?” she whispered, a pleading look on her face. She brought her fingertips up and began lightly tracing my face. “Please can I see it?”
I knew what she was doing, but I was powerless to resist her when she appealed to me that way.
I narrowed my eyes slightly. “You are the most dangerous creature I’ve ever met.”
Much faster than necessary, I kneeled in front of the bedside table, removing the small black velvet box from its hiding place. I was back on the kitanda in an instant, wrapping an arm around Bella’s shoulder while placing the box on her knee.
“Go ahead and look, then,” I alisema dismissively, trying to take on the nonchalant attitude Bella had adapted.
She hesitantly picked up the box, brushing her fingers over it slowly. I saw her fighting a grimace.
“You didn’t spend a lot of money, did you? Lie to me, if wewe did.”
“I didn’t spend anything,” I promised. “It’s just another hand-me-down. This is the ring my father gave to my mother.”
“Oh,” she said, surprised. This seemed to relieve a bit of her tension, to which I was grateful. She still didn’t open the box.
“I suppose it’s a little outdated,” I alisema casually. “Old-fashioned, just like me. I can get wewe something zaidi modern. Something from Tiffany’s?”
I was joking with her, but I was secretly afraid that she really wouldn’t like it. Although I was completely convinced she wouldn’t like any ring that symbolized our engagement. But I had been dreaming of slipping it onto her finger for so long, the thought of her not liking it was painful.
“I like kikale, kale fashioned things,” she assured quietly, then slowly lifted the lid of the box.
She stared at the dhahabu ring for an immeasurable amount of time. I watched anxiously as she slowly stroked the rows of glittering diamonds.
“It’s so pretty,” she alisema under her breath, and I beamed.
“Do wewe like it?” I asked hesitantly.
“It’s beautiful,” she answered, then shrugged, her mask of indifference slipping back into place. “What’s not to like?”
I chuckled softly. “See if it fits.”
Her hand clenched into a tight fist, and I couldn’t help but sigh.
“Bella, I’m not going to solder it to your finger. Just try it on so I can see if it needs to be sized. Then wewe can take it right off.”
“Fine,” she mumbled, reaching for the ring.
I grabbed it before she could reach it. I gently grasped her left hand, and slowly slid the ring into place. It was beautiful against her skin, and a perfect fit. It was almost as if it was meant to be there. Seeing my mother’s ring on the amazing woman who had stolen my moyo was better than any ndoto I could ever have imagined.
“A perfect fit. That’s nice – saves me a trip to the jeweler’s.”
She looked up into my eyes, and I wondered what she saw there.
Slowly, she began moving her fingers, making the diamonds dance in the soft light of the room. “You like that, don’t you?”
I shrugged. “Sure. It looks very nice on you.” But I knew she wasn’t talking about the style of the ring.
She looked up at me again, and I couldn’t contain the pure joy coursing through my veins any longer. I let the smile I was feeling break through the surface. Bella gasped, and I pulled her into my embrace for a passionate kiss. It was the kiss of someone who had found his soul mate; a promise of forever.
“Yes, I like it,” I whispered in her ear as I pulled away, both of us breathless. “You have no idea.”
She laughed once, gasping for air. “I believe you.”
“Do wewe mind if I do something?” I questioned, hugging her closer into me.
“Anything wewe want.”
I let her go and began to slide away, off of the bed.
“Anything but that.”
I took her hand in mine, pulling her with me. I placed my hands on her shoulders and looked deep into her eyes as I spoke.
“Now, I want to do this right. Please, please, keep in mind that you’ve already agreed to this, and don’t ruin it for me.”
With that, I slid to one knee, and she gasped. “Oh, no.”
“Be nice,” I muttered. A part of me was afraid that the sight of me actually proposing might make her change her mind about the whole situation.
She drew in a deep breath. There were so many things I wanted to say, but decided simplicity was best.
“Isabella Swan? I promise to upendo wewe forever – every siku of forever. Will wewe marry me?”
She stared at me long and hard, not immediately answering. I tried to be patient, but not knowing what she was thinking was driving me mad. Maybe this would be the siku when I finally sent her screaming and running away.
But she surprised me, as she often does, kwa whispering an emotional, “Yes.”
“Thank you,” I replied sincerely, kissing all of the fingertips on her left hand before placing a final one on the beautiful ring decorating her finger.
She truly was mine forever.