Sunday, August 19, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 172 - Edward

~oOo~

Seattle... Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 11:24 A.M.

"You're so spoiling her, Edward," I heard from the doorway of the kitchen. "You let her do anything."

I grinned and finished pouring Cookie's food in her bowl, all the while the little monster was climbing up the leg of my jeans. As the kitten reached my pocket and started digging around in there, I chuckled. "It feels like being mugged by the world's smallest criminal."

Bella laughed and plucked her off me, setting her and the bowl down onto the floor, where we were quickly forgotten. "Kiss me, Sarge," she ordered. "The girls should be here any minute."

"How long will you be gone?" I asked, drinking in the sight before me – tight jeans, a form-fitting sweater, just a hint of cleavage. "Mmm, you look delicious..." I rasped, licking my lips and setting her on the counter so that I could step between her legs.

"So do you," she giggled, trailing one finger down the middle of my bare chest, only to tease the top of my jeans. "Maybe I should stay home..."

Panic rose to the surface, but I did my best to cover it. As much as I would love taking her right there on the kitchen counter...again, I needed my beautiful girl out of the house. Today was a big day. Huge.

"You'll disappoint them," I murmured, leaning in to distract her by kissing the side of her neck.

Fingernails grazed lightly down my back from my shoulder blades to the edge of my jeans, making my eyes roll back into my head. Fuck, she was good.

"They'll live," she chuckled.

I pulled back to look at her, smirking at the shameless dark look in her eyes. "Just go, love." I laughed, but inside, I was hitting a second level of panic. "I'll make it up to you when you get home. I promise."

"Oh yeah, how?" she mumbled as she pressed her lips to mine.

"Now Isabella, you know I can't divulge all my secrets," I crooned, nipping at her bottom lip.

Fuck, the pout. Tilted head, sexy-as-hell look from underneath long eyelashes, and that tasty bottom lip – they were my undoing most times. But she wouldn't win this time because I really, really needed her out of the house.

I sighed but smiled at her. "It won't work. Just go."

And holy shit, thank God for Alice, who burst in the front door. "Bella, are you ready?"

"Yes!" My girl laughed, kissing me one more time before slinking gracefully to the kitchen floor. "Love you. And I'm holding you to that promise, Sarge."

"Yes, ma'am. Love you, too." I chuckled, but as soon as the girls were out the front door and the car had pulled out, my elbows hit the kitchen counter. "Shit, that was close," I groaned, fisting my hair as my forehead met the tile with a dull thunk.

My phone rang in my pocket, and I pulled it out to see that it was Jasper. "Hey, they're gone," I answered without any preamble.

"Good, we're on it. Meet you back at your house in an hour."

"Got it," I sighed, ending the call and heading to the bedroom to grab a shirt. I had a shit-ton of things to do in that one hour.

~oooOOOooo~

"Ah, Mr. Masen," the woman at the shelter greeted me. "He's all ready for you. I'll just go in the back and get him."

"Thank you," I told her, smiling at the same time that I ran a hand through my hair.

She came right back with a little ball of black fur in her arms. It was hard to tell which end was which until big dark eyes looked up at me as she handed him over.

"Hey there, little guy," I whispered, taking him from her as the woman got all my paperwork ready. A flash of pink shot out, giving my nose a lick. You gotta love puppy breath. I chuckled, rubbing his head and giving my attention to the woman behind the counter.

"He's ready to go...bathed, treated for fleas, and his first round of shots. But you'll need to get him back here when it's time to fix him," she instructed, laughing when I flinched at the last thing. "He won't feel a thing, I promise." She chuckled at my still-pained look.

After a few more instructions, several papers signed, and my credit card swiped, I loaded the little guy into my car, thankful I'd thought ahead enough to bring the pet carrier. Now was not the time for accidents – I would be cutting it close to Bella's return home as it was. Plus, my Volvo was only a few months old.

"I don't know what she's going to name you, little one, but let's go home, yeah?" I asked and was rewarded with a little tilt to his head and his little pink tongue peaking out as he panted.

~oooOOOooo~

"You're all set, Sarge," Emmett said, poking his head into the library. "Although, I think the cat is plotting his demise already."

I huffed a laugh, glanced up at the clock, and ran a hand through my hair.

"Damn, Ed, you're sweating like a whore in church." Jasper laughed, slapping my shoulder. "Relax...this is fucking perfect. There's no way that Bells won't say anything but yes."

All three of our phones alerted to texts, and my head snapped up.

"They're on their way," Jasper warned.

"Which means we're outta here," Emmett said with a laugh. "You'll do fine, man. Don't sweat it. Let the collar say it all."

"That was brilliant, by the way," Jasper called out before the front door slammed.

I huffed a nervous laugh, shook my head, and decided to play something, anything in order to relax. Movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention, and I looked over to see Cookie and the new puppy rolling in a wrestling match. She pinned him, only to squeal when puppy teeth latched onto her back leg.

The fact that they were both in the library with me couldn't have been more perfect, especially when I heard the car full of women in the driveway. The opening of the front door caused my shaky hands to make a discordant sound, but I started over. It also caused the no-holds-barred battle on the floor to come to a standstill.

"Hey, babe," Bella said, but her breath caught.

I couldn't help but chuckle when she knelt down in front of the little guy. He was definitely happier to see her than he'd been with me all damn day. Not that I could blame him one bit.

"Edward, what did you do?" she asked, scooping the little guy up.

"I promised you a surprise," I told her, waiting for it because she was already fumbling with his collar. I'd made sure that it was big enough that she could see it because it wouldn't stay on the little guy once she'd named him.

I knew when it finally sank in because big, watery brown eyes gazed up at me as she turned the collar to face me, like she was asking if it was real.

In scrolling script, the heart shaped tag was engraved with, "Will you marry us?"

Sinking to one knee in front of her, I opened the little black velvet box that had been weighing heavily in my pocket for weeks, asking simply, "Well, will you?"

~oOo~

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