Much Ado

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

Epov

“So, are you gonna give it to her?”

“What? Who?” I took a seat across from Garrett, grabbed the box of Cap’n Crunch off the table and poured myself a bowl along with some milk. We hadn’t had a break in hours and were scarfing down some cereal in the doctor’s lounge.

He rolled his eyes. “Bella. The Hope diamond.”

“Fuck you.”

“Whatever. Your family is going to be here in a couple of days and Bella’s still sporting the wrong ring.”

“For fuck’s sake!” I dropped my spoon in exasperation, letting it clang against the bowl. “What is with you people? It’s not the wrong ring! It’s just, not my grandmother’s.”

“Hey,” he held his hands up as if he meant no harm. “Don’t shoot the messenger, or whatever the fuck that saying is. I just heard from both you and Ang how your family got all wiggy about her not having the rock.”

“Did you just say wiggy?”

“Yes, wiggy, as in, to wig out, and you haven’t answered my initial question.”

“Ugh. Yes. I’m going to give it to her. I have it all planned out.”

“You do?” His voice rose an octave in surprise.

I nodded and took another bite of cereal.

“I’m kind of excited about it. I mean, initially I wanted to wait a little longer, but that’s not fair to Bella. If we’re doing this, and we are, she deserves to have it now.”

“That’s so not romantic.”

“That’s not how I’m going to ask her, dumbass.”

Everything with Bella had been completely backwards from day one. If there was one thing I owed her, it was an real proposal. More than that, I loved her enough that I wanted to give it to her, to have that moment when I waited, anxiously, for her to say yes.

“I’m thinking about it too, you know?” He shoveled a spoonful of cereal into his mouth and milk dripped down his chin.

Garrett was a huge flirt. If he’d had the time, he’d have been a ladies man. As it was, he’d hooked up with more than his fair share of the female hospital staff. Before he met Angela, he’d been a walking television-doctor cliché.

“You’re what?”

“I mean, I’m not thinking about proposing tomorrow, but I think I could see a future with Ang.”

I’m pretty sure I looked at him like he’d grown two heads. “Who are you, and what have you done with my best friend?”

“What? You’re the only one who gets to grow up?”

Laughing, he shook his head at me as he stood and picked up his bowl. He reached a hand towards my bowl to see if I wanted him to take it to the sink. I nodded and sipped the last bit of milk before handing it over.

“No, not at all,” I chuckled, “I’m just surprised.”

“Yeah, well, you fell in love with your fake fianceé, that shocked the hell out of me.”

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

When I began planning my proposal to Bella, I realized, because of where I wanted to ask her, it would either have to happen the week after my family visited, or the night they arrived in Seattle. When I thought about Bella shopping for her dress, I envisioned her with Grammy’s ring on her hand, so I knew when I needed to do it.

I enlisted Alice in helping me, swearing her to secrecy. She loved all things wedding and was thrilled to be a part of, what she considered, a second proposal. I wasn’t ready yet, nor was I sure if I would ever be ready, to tell her that it was actually going to be my official proposal.

Aside from the time I’d carved out to propose, I’d have to work almost the entire time my family was in Seattle. I felt bad that Bella was going to have to play hostess to my family, but luckily they weren’t staying with us. My mother insisted on staying at one of the hotels downtown, and Alice reserved a car to bring them to the hotel. Bella made arrangements to meet them for dinner after they settled in, and everyone, except for Alice, thought I was at the hospital.

“We’re here!” Alice’s voice sang through the phone.

“You’re at the hotel?”

“Yes, I’m in my room freshening up.”

“You know the plan?”

“No,” she huffed, “I only know what you’ve told me.”

I chuckled at our on-going argument. “Alice, I appreciate everything you’re doing for me, but I’m not telling you how I’m going to propose. You know more than anyone else as it is.”

“Fine, but I’m not happy about this. I could help you-”

“And that’s why I’m not telling you anything more,” I laughed. “I know you want to help, but save it for dress shopping, okay?”

“Fine. But you’re paying for dinner. I’m going to have to supply mom with a steady supply of vodka until you meet up with us.”

“Of course. Listen, I need to finish getting ready. Don’t let mom call Bella after you tell her about the change in plans.”

“Don’t worry! Bella will meet you in front of the restaurant, alone. We’ll see you at the hotel tonight.”

“Thanks, I’ll see you then.”

“I’m so excited for you!” she called before hanging up.

I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. Looking at the picnic basket half packed on my kitchen table, I started to get nervous. I was about to ask Bella to marry me, for real.

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

I leaned against the wall outside of the restaurant with my hands in my pockets, jingling my keys. I tried not to look as nervous as I felt. I didn’t want to give anything away to Bella too soon. Well, the whole thing was a give away, but I was going to play it off like this was just a surprise date, nothing more.

When I finally saw her walking down the block towards me, I couldn’t hide my smile. She furrowed her brow and cocked her head in confusion for a second, but grinned as she came closer.

“Hey, baby,” I said, stepping forward and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“Hey, yourself.” Her eyes darted around us, no doubt looking for my family. “What’s going on? I thought you had to be at the hospital.”

“I wanted to surprise you.” I grinned.

“Well, it worked!” She laughed and took my hand, rubbing her thumb over the back of my hand. “Are we eating here?”

“Nope.” I started to lead her towards my car so we could make our way to the ferry.

“You’re not telling me where we’re going?” She was still grinning,

I shrugged. “You’ll see.”

She laughed and smacked my shoulder. “You’re so mean!”

“But you love me,” I teased.

She rolled her eyes. “I have no idea why.”

We climbed into my car, and I drove us over the few blocks to the ferry terminal.

“Vashon? Curiouser and curiouser,” she quoted Alice in Wonderland, keeping a straight face.

I grinned but didn’t give her any more information. She didn’t know it, but she’d just boosted my confidence in my plan. Bella may have been a math teacher, but she loved literature and was certified to teach that as well.

We stood at the rail, watching the water as we made small talk. We discussed her plans with my family, and pretty much anything else I could come up with so I didn’t have to think about what I was about to do. It wasn’t that I was afraid. Since we were officially unofficially engaged, I didn’t doubt that she would say yes. But I was nervous. It was an important moment, and I wanted it to be perfect.

When the ferry docked, we pulled up the ramp, and I drove towards town. Bella commented about a few restaurants that she liked, but before we reached downtown I turned off. I found a spot near the library and parked.

“Okay…” she said, stretching the word.

“You’ll see,” I chuckled, before walking around the car to open her door. I gave her a quick kiss and stepped to the back of the car and took a picnic basket out of the trunk.

We made our way to the park, and Bella seemed even more confused when she saw the small crowd gathered.

Then, as if a lightbulb went off, she squealed in excitement and threw her arms around me.

“Oh my God!” She looked a little like Alice as she bounced on her toes taking in the stage and the banners advertising the summer theater series. “Outdoor theater? Holy crap, is it Shakespeare? I wanted to do this!”

“I know you did, baby. They’re doing Much Ado About Nothing tonight. You love that one; I think you’ve worn out the DVD.” I grinned as she stretched up on her toes to kiss me.

“This is so cool, but what about your family? I was supposed to meet them for dinner.”

“I know, but this is the last weekend they’re performing this summer. Besides, my family will have you for the next couple of days. I promised Alice we’d meet them for a drink later tonight, too.”

She reached up and cupped my cheek. “Aw, that’s sweet of you.”

“Come on,” I angled my head towards the stage, “let’s find somewhere to sit.”

We spread the blanket out and sit down. Bella looked around, taking in the scene. It was mostly couples, both young and old, and a few children attending with their parents. I unpacked the picnic basket and opened a bottle of wine. I had packed some of her favorites for dinner, and we ate quickly, laughing and grinning in the late afternoon sun. She was so happy she practically glowed. It was a day I never wanted to forget, and we hadn’t gotten to the most significant part.

The play began, and we sat huddled together, my arm around her shoulder and her hand on my knee. Her eyes were wide as she stared raptly at the stage. Occasionally, her lips would move along with the actors, reciting favorite lines. Eventually, she caught me staring.

“What?” she whispered, grinning. .

“Nothing,” I slid my hand up her shoulder to her neck, tangling my fingers in her hair, “enjoying the view.”

She snorted, and her eyes darted to the stage before coming back to mine. She didn’t want to miss a second of it.

“Watch the play, baby,” I chuckled and kissed her forehead.

She bit her lip for a second before smiling at me, then she turned back to the stage, falling under its spell.

As the play went on, I found myself wiping my hand on my pant leg and fidgeting with Bella’s hair. I knew the intermission was close, and I realized it was a moment I would never be fully prepared for, but I was as ready as I’d ever be.

The audience broke into a round of applause as the actors left the stage. Bella laid back and stretched out on the blanket.

“This is so cool!”

Her face was full of joy, and I knew it was time. I reached into the picnic basket and took out the box of chocolate covered strawberries, two champagne flutes and a bottle of her favorite champagne.

She sat up and reached for the berries, but I caught her hand and gave her a quick head shake. She cocked her head and waited as I turned towards her and took her other hand as well. I looked down at our joined hands and took a deep breath.

“I used to feel like my life was perpetually on hold, like there was a future out there for me, but I just couldn’t see it, but everything changed when I met you. Even that first night, when we were just talking about a weekend, I could see so much more.”

“Edward.” Her voice was a sigh on the breeze.

“Isabella Swan, you are more than I could ever have imagined. You make me feel alive, and when I’m with you anything seems possible. I am blessed to have you in my life. I love you, so much. I’m sorry that you had to wait for this, it’s always been yours. Please, accept my grandmother’s ring and say you’ll marry me?”

My heart pounded in my chest as I reached into my pocket, pulling out Grammy’s ring. Bella’s eyes filled with tears as she clapped one hand over her mouth with a small gasp. Tears slipped down her cheeks as she stared at the ring between my thumb and forefinger like she was in a trance.

“Say yes!” the woman behind us called, and we all laughed.

.

Squeezing her fingers, I whispered, “Please.”

She nodded vigorously and threw her arms around me. She giggled as she sniffed and buried her face in my neck.

“Yes! Oh my God! Yes!”

The tension in my body drained away with her words and I grinned at the woman behind us, nodding my head. She squealed and clapped, making Bella snort and laugh. I sat back and cupped her face, wiping her tears with my thumbs.

“I love you,” I whispered, kissing her forehead.

“I love you, too,” she sighed, leaning against me.

I chuckled, taking her left hand in mine. “Do you want the ring, baby?”

“Shit! Yes!”

I slipped the Claddagh off her finger and replaced it with the engagement ring. It fit perfectly. We both stared at her hand as she tilted her hand side to side to see the light play off the diamond.

It was good sized ring, a little on the larger end, but it wasn’t one of those gigantic monstrosities that some celebrities wore. It was a platinum Art Deco style ring, with a 2.5 carat round diamond surrounded by six small sapphires on each side and three smaller diamonds on each shank.

“Oh my God!” She couldn’t take her eyes off of it.

“You keep saying that,” I laughed.

“It’s totally appropriate. Jesus, Edward, no wonder it was so obvious to your family I didn’t have this!” She ran her finger around the center stone and giggled. “It’s gorgeous. I love it! It’s… Perfect!”

She clutched her hand to her chest, and I felt my heart swell. I knew that it was more than she would have chosen for herself, but looking at it on her finger only strengthened my belief in what I’d told her. The ring was hers. It had always been hers. It had just taken a bit of fate and luck for us to find each other.

“Champagne?” I asked, reaching for the bottle I’d set out earlier.

“Yes, please,” she giggled. “I thought it was a little extravagant when you pulled it out of the basket, but, clearly, I wasn’t in on your plans.”

“Clearly,” I laughed and poured us each a glass.

“Are we really meeting your family later?” she asked as she opened the box of strawberries.

“Alice will kill me if we don’t.”

“Okay, then.” She sat up on her knees and held her glass up as if to toast.

“Okay, what?”

“Okay, I won’t call them now,” she laughed and glanced at my glass with a nod. “A toast, to finding each other.”

I felt the corner of my mouth lift in a smile. “To finding each other,” I agreed, looking into her eyes, “And to never letting go.”

“Never,” she whispered before raising her glass to her lips. She held my eyes, sipping champagne, then grinned at me.

Noise near the stage drew our attention as the actors began returning to the stage. Bella looked at me, then up at the stage wistfully. I laughed and gave her a quick kiss before scooting behind her so she could sit between my legs. She pulled my arms around her and twined our fingers together. She sighed and pulled my arms tighter around her, leaning against my chest.

“You okay?”

She turned her head towards me and brought a hand up to my face. “Never better.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” she chuckled and shook her head at me before turning back to the stage.

I settled my chin on her shoulder and smiled to myself. My thumb stroked over my grandmother’s ring on her finger, and I knew she was exactly right.

After all was said and done, I’d never been better.

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

A/N:

So, it’s officially official – they’re engaged! Just wait until Esme sees the ring on her finger! LOL
Speaking of the ring, here’s a picture

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you all are having a great holiday season!

I’ve been crazy sick and busy, but I did start reading this WIP over the last two weeks…
Royal Duty by LiveInDakota – (WIP 11ch so far) I’ve been reading a couple of other royal fics, and this is the reverse – with Bella as the royal. It’s pretty cute. The last chapter left me biting my nails…I need an update! LOL
Summary: Life as a princess isn’t a fairytale like they would lead you to believe. Sometimes decisions are made you don’t like. Sometimes you don’t have a choice at all. Barely out of school, it seems Bella’s future has already been decided, with a marriage she doesn’t want and a nation she doesn’t know how to rule, but not everything is at it seems, and Edward Masen is no exception. E/B

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