Always a Bridesmaid
Chapter 11: Spaceman
I woke to the feel of a hand gently caressing my hip and a soft kiss on my neck. “Mmm,” I murmured, snuggling back into Edward’s body. “Did you just get home?”
“No,” he whispered, giving my neck a little bite. “You slept through that.”
“I did?” I still wasn’t fully awake. “Is it morning?” *
“No sleepy. I had to go to the bathroom, you must have woken up when I got back in bed.”
“Hm. Okay.” I reached down and took his hand off my hip, pulling it up so he was holding me tightly around my chest. “Don’t let me sleep in. Big plans tomorrow.”
“Sure thing, B.”
“No, really,” I managed before I drifted off again.
We frequently had these middle of the night conversations because of his crazy work hours. It was also common for me to wake up when I felt Edward’s mouth somewhere on my body – my shoulder, my breast, my thigh. He liked to surprise me; I didn’t complain. In fact, I’d shocked the hell out of him a couple of times in his sleep as well. When you worked opposite schedules, you had to get creative in finding ways to spend time together.
We made it through our first summer with only a few minor fights. Edward had done a great job of keeping his word since the debacle of Jake’s wedding weekend. He did his best to call or text when he was going to be late. Sometimes he couldn’t, if he was in the middle of a procedure or something, and I understood that, but he made sure that got in touch as soon as he was able.
We had decided that we needed to make an effort to spend more time together during the day. We compared our schedules and tried to find at least one full day each month that we could free up. I had to be creative about using my time off and he had to trade his shifts to make it work, but we did it.
We traded off planning our monthly outings. On our last day-date, Edward had taken me to Woodinville for a day of wine tasting. What I had planned for today was closer to home, and though it seemed touristy, it was full of Edward’s favorites.
The next time I woke up, Edward was groaning in my ear and reaching over me, batting at my alarm clock, which I realized was buzzing, loudly.
“Fuck, I hate your alarm clock,” he mumbled.
“Not everyone can wake to the sound of a pin dropping.”
“I thought we had plans. Big plans,” he teased, ignoring my comment about his ability to wake up without the aide of loud noises.
“We do,” I groaned and closed my eyes. “Go shower. Wake me when you’re done.”
“You take longer to get ready!” he said, incredulously.
“I have shit to do to get us ready for the day!”
“Maybe,” I said, stretching out the word, teasing him.
“So full of shit, Swan,” he laughed, tickling me. He eventually carried me to the bathroom and we ended up in the shower together. It was much better than arguing over who should shower first.
A little while later, we sipped coffee as we walked through Pike Place Market. We took our time, moving slowly from vendor to vendor, smelling herbs and looking at fresh vegetables. It was really kind of adorable. He didn’t cook very much, but he loved to wander the market and people watch. He bought some freshly toasted almonds to snack on and we walked down to Waterfront Park.
We didn’t talk very much; just enjoyed the sights and our time together. Our fingers were twined together, and Edward’s thumb gently rubbed my wrist whenever we took a moment to stand still. We wound up standing near the water, looking out at Bainbridge Island. Edward stood beside me and I leaned my head against his shoulder. We listened to the sounds of the water lapping on the seawall and breathed in the salty air. It was damp, but not raining, though the sky looked like it could open up at any moment.
“You’re still not going to tell me what else we’re doing today?” Edward said quietly.
“We’re going to lunch and then we’re going somewhere else…then maybe one more place,” I told him, like it explained everything.
“You’re so mean to me. I let you choose the wineries we went to last month!” he laughed.
I turned to face him and shook my head, grinning. “If you really need to know, I’ll tell you. I just thought you’d like the surprise. You like all of the places; I promise.”
“Well then, let’s see how well you know me. Bring it on,” he huffed, sounding like a petulant child; his pout only lasted a few seconds before he smiled. I stretched up on my toes and he leaned down to meet my lips, kissing me sweetly. He stepped closer, pressing himself against me. “Mmmm, maybe we should just go home.”
I was tempted to agree, but sex was actually something we weren’t missing out on. Despite our different schedules, we managed to take advantage of every opportunity to do that. It was the rest of it that we missed out on. We didn’t get to spend much time together outside of bed, especially outside of the condo. It wasn’t that I felt like he was hiding me and we needed to flaunt our relationship with the rest of Seattle, it was that I wanted to do things with him; see things together and talk about them. I wanted all of him, and most days the damn hospital had more of him than I did.
“I…but…no,” I stuttered, surprising both of us. “I want to do this today – with you.”
“Hey,” he pushed some hair out of my face and cupped my cheek, “I was teasing. I’d love to do whatever you have planned.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I just…” I paused and sighed, looking at him sadly, “sometimes I hate how little we get to see of each other in the daylight, you know?”
“I know, Bella. I wish there was more time in the day. More time for us.”
I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. “So let’s make the most of it.”
“I’m at your mercy,” he smirked.
Oh hell, now I wanted to forget it and go home. I shook my head, clearing my mind of dirty images.
“All right, let’s go.” I took his hand and started to walk back to the car so we could drive to lunch. We didn’t have far to go, but most of our day involved walking, so I wanted to park a little closer to the restaurant. It was close to Cornish Arts College, so parking was a little tricky, but luckily we found a spot around the corner. We stepped out of the car and Edward was grinning.
“I know where we’re going!” he said in a sing-song voice.
“Oh really?” I chuckled.
“Yes,” he laughed and leaned over to give me a quick kiss as he put his arm around my lower back. “I love 13 Coins. I haven’t been here since I moved to Carolina, though.” His eyes danced with excitement.
I bounced on the balls of my feet a little, his energy making me a little giddy. “I’ve been here a couple of times with Rose and Em.”
“You have?” He seemed surprised.
“Yeah,” I laughed, as we walked into the restaurant. “What do you think we did the whole time you were gone? Sit around and talk about how much we all missed you?”
He was still laughing about my sarcasm when we were shown to a table.
I found myself trying not to smile as we looked over the menu. We had spent a lot of time together over the last few months, and he’d made a joke about seeing how well I knew him, but I wondered how well Edward knew me. Even if Emmett hadn’t told me what Edward’s favorite dish was, I would have known with just one glance at the choices.
“What are you thinking?” He was looking over his menu, smiling at me.
“Right.” He raised his eyebrows, teasing.
“Whatever,” I sighed. “You’ll think it’s dumb.”
He made a motion with his hand as if to say, tell me more.
I rolled my eyes. “Fine, I was thinking that I know exactly what you’re going to order. I just wondered if you knew what I would get.” I shrugged. “See, it was dumb.”
“Hey, I might not have been studying you for as long as you studied me, but I am pretty observant.”
“Study? Is that the polite way to say stalking, these days?”
He laughed. “You never stalked me.”
“No,” I snorted. “I just had an obsessive unhealthy crush on you for over ten years.”
“Well, that obsessive crush eventually brought us together.” He smirked at me.
“That sounds like the premise of a bad Lifetime movie.”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Bella,” he chuckled. “Seriously, I bet I could guess what you were going to order.”
“Oh yeah? Go for it.”
“What do I get if I’m right?”
“It’s a surprise,” I whispered, trying to sound sexy.
He shook his head, laughing. “Whatever. Okay, I think you would order…” he paused, looking at the menu for a second, “Eggs Benedict.”
I nodded, impressed. “Which one, crab or smoked salmon?”
He looked stumped for just a second, then grinned. “The one I don’t order.”
“Oh, you’re good.”
He reached across the table and took my hand, lifting it to his lips for a kiss, and then he winked. “Told you I was observant.”
We had a great lunch, sharing our eggs Benedict as we talked and laughed. This was what I craved most in our relationship and I was soaking it up. Our monthly date-days were getting me through the rough patches; the times when we went days without really talking and the nights I spent alone. When we were together for hours like this, uninterrupted, I knew we were good together – that if we could make it through his residency, we’d have even more time with each other. I wasn’t dumb enough to think that when Edward was finally done with his residency that he was going to suddenly work nine to five, but anything would be better than what we had now.
After lunch, I drove us to Westlake Center Mall for the next part of our day. Edward rolled his eyes at me, making no move to get out of the car.
“Shopping? I hate shopping.”
“I just need to get something,” I lied. “I swear it will be quick, but I need you to help me choose.”
He huffed a little but got out of the car and followed me into Macy’s. I couldn’t help but smile and had to fake cough so I could cover my mouth to hide it before regaining my composure. I led him through the store, teasing him by taking the route through the lingerie section. He was confused when we didn’t stop, and I wound our way to the metro station.
He stopped in his tracks, and our arms stretched between us as I took two steps before realizing what had happened. I turned to see him grinning from ear to ear.
“You tricked me!” he laughed.
I smiled back at him. “I did, didn’t I?”
Between Edward and Emmett, someone was always playing some kind of joke on me. I tended to be a little on the gullible side, so I was easy to fool. I was quite pleased with myself for being able to surprise him.
He pulled on my hand, bringing me back towards him for a gentle kiss. “We’re taking the metro?”
I nodded and smiled.
“Are we going to…you know?”
My smile got even larger. “EMP?” I asked, referring to the Experience Music Project in the City Center, it was basically the West Coast’s own version of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. It also housed the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and they had an exhibit that Edward had been dying to see. “Nah. I thought we’d go to the Space Needle.”
“You are so full of shit!” he laughed. “You’re taking me to the Battlestar Galacita exhibit! I love
you so fucking much for this.”
He pulled me close, this time for a full on lip locking, tongues tangling, moan inducing kiss. I heard someone make a disgusted noise as they walked past us and someone else snickered. It was over in a few seconds, and Edward was grinning at me, his eyes dancing with excitement, like they had before lunch.
“You are such a nerd,” I laughed, shaking my head. “Let’s go!”
He grabbed my hand and took the lead, walking much faster than he’d been when he thought we were shopping. He paid for our tickets before I could stop him, and we took the first train. It was only a two minute trip to cover the mile between the mall and the City Center, but parking down there was a nightmare, so it was worth the ride.
When we got off the train, Edward quickly headed us across the City Center to the entrance of EMP. I pulled our tickets out of my purse, having printed them from the internet, and Edward handed them to the attendant. I saw him hesitate, considering whether or not to rent the headphones for the audio tour, but he shook his head slightly, as if talking to himself, and started walking again. The guitars and Hendrix memorabilia that he normally took his time appreciating did nothing for him. He was a man on a mission, taking us directly to the third floor. We didn’t stop moving until we reached the entrance to the exhibit.
Edward gazed at the sign for a second, then grinned at me, waggling his eyebrows. “You ready?”
“Baby, I’ve never been more ready,” I deadpanned. “The question is, are Starbuck and Apollo ready for you?” I snorted and he gave me a dirty look. It only lasted a second though, nothing could dampen his excitement.
“Shut up,” he laughed. “You’ve just exhausted your Battlestar Galactica trivia and we haven’t even walked inside.”
“This is very true. I’m glad you know I’m only here for you; and the original Starbuck.”
“What the fuck?”
“I did my research. Dirk Benedict was hot. He still is, in that hot older man kind of way.”
“Oh, lord. Come on,” he laughed, shaking his head as he led me into the first room of the exhibit.
We made our way through the displays, Edward telling me about the differences between the original show in the 1970’s and the 2003 version. When we got to the section that held three life sized space ships, he froze, looking up in awe.
“Holy shit,” he said reverently.
I couldn’t resist anymore and burst out laughing. His sci-fi love was so adorable. “You are so cute with this!”
“You are so getting laid for this.”
I clapped my hands. “Ha! Then my evil plan worked!”
He smirked back at me, throwing his arm around my neck to give me a quick kiss on my head. “Come here; let me show you these ships.”
By the time we were finished, I was on geek overload. Edward knew that I was tired and that I’d made the day all about him, so he led us to one of my favorite restaurants nearby for a snack. We sat at the bar in Genki Sushi for some steamed edamame and spicy tuna rolls. I sipped a beer and sighed, glancing over at Edward as he popped a piece of sushi in his mouth.
“Thanks, I needed this.”
He finished chewing and laughed. “Food? Or an escape from all the science nerds?”
“Both.” I grinned. “Should we go home or go up in the needle since we’re here?”
“Was it part of the plan?” he teased.
“The plan was to see how tired we were.”
“That was a good plan.” He sipped his beer and narrowed his eyes as if he was really thinking about his decision. “I think we should go up.”
I grinned. That’s what I was hoping for. We didn’t get a lot of time together, and I wanted to do as much as we could on our date. We finished our beers and walked over to the Space Needle, getting our tickets and taking the elevator up to the top. It was cloudy, but the rain had passed. The view was still gorgeous.
We stood side by side looking out over the city and Puget Sound, feeling the wind whip around us. I got cold after a little while and I squeezed between Edward and the rail. He chuckled, putting his arms around me and his chin on my shoulder with sigh.
“You planned an awesome day, Belly. Thank you.”
I smiled even though he couldn’t see me. “You’re welcome. We’ll be too busy next month with Em and Rose’s wedding.”
“Wow. I keep forgetting that’s right around the corner.”
“That’s because Alice doesn’t text you about the details ten times a day.”
“And thank God for that,” he laughed, squeezing me.
We were quiet again for a few minutes, taking in the view together. Eventually, he whispered in my ear, breaking the silence.
“Are you okay with them getting married?”
Turning to face him, I stayed in the circle of his arms. “Of course,” I answered, confused by his question.
“No,” he sighed, “I mean, do you feel…rushed? I don’t want you to feel weird.” He shook his head. “Never mind, I don’t know what I’m saying.”
I put my fingers on his lips. “I know what you mean. I don’t feel rushed. I think I finally feel like I can see it in my future, so I’m not quite so jealous of them anymore. How’s that for fucked up?”
“Not fucked up at all. I feel the same way. I’ve been to all of these weddings that made me feel like I was doing something wrong, or that my life was missing something because I wasn’t getting married too. Now, it’s like I can enjoy it and there’s no pressure.”
“Right? I used to feel like such a loser when I sent my RSVPs. I never had a ‘plus one.’ Seriously though, these weddings are like the pre-cursor to feeling your biological clock start ticking.”
“Your biological clock is ticking? I can honestly say that makes me really excited.”
“Excited? Or horny?” I laughed but didn’t wait for an answer before I clarified, “It’s not really ticking. My clock, I mean, not quite yet.”
He smiled and nodded but was thoughtful for a few seconds, his eyes becoming serious. “Soon though?”
I gazed back at him, surprised at the turn the conversation had taken. I’d thought about our future, I’d day dreamed about it for years, but I had never imagined us talking about it like this. It wasn’t really a yes or no question for me.
I slightly raised my eyebrow in uncertainty. “Soon enough?”
He threw back his head laughing. “Soon enough is…great.” Nodding, he sighed and put his forehead against mine. “I know it’s fast, but I know what I want. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. It’s just… I mean, I can’t ask you to start a family with me and expect you to do it alone, but I don’t want to wait three years until residency is over.” He grinned. “So…yeah, soon enough.”
I stood there blinking at him for a second as his words sunk in. Rising up on my tiptoes, I wound my arms around his neck and kissed him. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
He pulled me into his arms and held me for a few seconds before I turned around to look back out over the city.
“Soon enough,” I whispered to myself. “Soon enough.”
There’s not much for me to say after that. 🙂 Soon, kids. Soon.
Thanks for reading! Glad you’re all still with me!
OH – and a little funny that Seastarr08 reminded me of after the Starbuck jokes – look at this – Starbuck and Starbuck in Starbucks. LMAO
Links: If you’re into them….