Sunday, September 8, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 34 - Outtake & Pics

Chapter 34 – Outtake
Bella POV
Hey, B. Can you swing by the house after work? Ali has a late class today, and I need to talk to you. ~J
I read Jasper’s text again, still without an idea of what he could want, and then quickly typed out a reply.
Yeah, sure. I’ll get off at 5, so 5:15 or so work? Umm, nothing’s wrong with Edward, right? ~B
Setting my phone down, I went back to typing up the report I was in the middle of. When my phone dinged again to alert me to a new message, I saved the finished report, fired it off to Sarah, the manager for that particular account, and then looked at Jasper’s reply.
No, Bella, not at all. Sorry. Didn’t mean to worry you. ;) Just after 5 is perfect. Thanks, darlin’. ~J

All morning, I wondered about what Jasper wanted. When I called Edward at lunch, I decided to ask.
“Hey, beautiful,” he sighed, and I heard a solid thump, as if he’d sat down hard in his chair.
Laughing softly, I asked, “Long morning?”
“Damn, you don’t even know the fucking half of it,” he grumbled. “Jasper’s head’s been in the clouds all day, and because of it, I got covered in sludge and slime and all kinds of nasty shit I don’t even wanna think about.”
I groaned, shaking my head and wondering if that had anything to do with why he wanted to see me. “Poor thing,” I commiserated. “What happened?”
“We were working with the local PD to raid a house where a federal witness was suspected to be holed up, and the asshole – Jasper, I mean, not the witness – forgot to check a closet in the kitchen. Said he figured it was just a pantry or some shit. It was, but the fucking thing was empty, if you don’t count the witness’s girlfriend, who was hiding in there with a bucket of sewage or compost or something. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out.”
Unable to help myself, I laughed out loud, imagining Edward covered head to toe in garbage.
“Bella!” He huffed before giving in to his own chuckle. “Seriously, it was nasty. She threw it all over me. Thank fuck I had a change of clothes and a towel in the truck, ’cause there was no way I was driving anywhere covered in that shit. As it was, it needs a good cleaning, ’cause even though I got most of it off before going anywhere, I still stunk and still had the stuff on my shoes and everything. Fucker’s gonna take care of it this afternoon if I have to march him down there myself.”
I giggled and then mused aloud, “Wonder if that has anything to do with the text he sent me this morning.”
“Text? What’d it say?”
I read him the message from Jasper and said, “He sent it first thing this morning, though, so it would’ve been before the...incident.
Edward hummed a noncommittal sound. “Dunno, baby. Guess you’ll find out. Want me to meet you there?”
I shrugged, even though he couldn’t see me. “Nah, I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably just wants to ask what to get Alice for her birthday.”
April tenth was coming up in a few weeks, the birthday we would celebrate since moving to Seattle. Edward was being all secretive with plans, but if I had to guess, we were going to catch the Ed Sheeran concert. When I first heard he was coming to town, I made a big deal about wanting to go see him, but Edward had said he would look into getting tickets, and I never heard anything more from him about it. Alice had said I should just trust him, so I was.
“Maybe,” he said. “Okay, baby. I gotta run and meet with Al about a prisoner transport we’re needed for next week. I’ll see you when you get home, okay?”
Even though we’d been living together six months already, it still gave me a thrill to know home meant the same place for both of us. I said, “See you then. Love you.”
“Love you too, beautiful.”
We hung up and I pocketed my phone in my slacks before leaving the office for the cafeteria.
It still felt...odd going into the house I’d shared with Alice for a year that she now shared with Jasper. The first time I’d come over after moving out, I’d knocked and waited for one of them to come to the door. Jasper had looked at me like I was being silly and said next time, just to come on in. Of course, the first time I’d done that, I’d walked in on the two of them in a position none of us were comfortable with me seeing, so from then on, I’d made a point to knock and then call out before actually walking inside. Seeing Jasper’s naked ass once as he leaned over my sister was more than enough.
Knocking, I opened the door and called out, waiting for Jasper’s all-clear.
“Come in, darlin’,” he called from just inside the house.
When I stepped inside, I saw him sitting on the couch, elbows on his knees. He looked up and smiled, although he looked almost sick to his stomach.
Setting my bag down on the chair, I sat down beside him on the couch and turned to face him, raising an eyebrow. “Spill it, garbage man.”
He barked a laugh, shaking his head. “He told you about this morning, huh?”
I nodded. “Yes indeed. I figured whatever had you distracted this morning is why I’m here, so...”
With a huff, he scrubbed a hand over his face, raking his fingers through his hair before digging into his pocket. When he opened his hand, there was a small black box.
Gasping, I covered my mouth with my hand and felt my eyes widen so much that I was afraid my eyebrows might’ve disappeared into my hairline. When he didn’t say anything, I couldn’t resist teasing him. “Jazzy, is this your way of asking me to marry you?”
Jasper smirked and shook his head, using his thumb to pop up the lid, showing off the beautiful diamond ring inside.
I reached over and took it from him, pulling the ring out so I could see it better. The four princess-cut diamonds formed the center of the ring. Another princess-cut diamond sat on either side of the middle, and along the sides of the white gold band were three round diamonds, as well. It was beautiful, and it was just Alice’s style. As chic as she liked to dress, she liked her jewelry understated, not ostentatious.
“It’s perfect, Jasper,” I said, putting it back in the box and handing it back to him. “She’ll love it.”
“You think so?” He fiddled with the box, turning it over and over in his hands nervously. “I know she doesn’t want anything huge, but you don’t think this is too small? I mean, they’re great quality, and I know she likes the princess-cut, but—”
“No buts,” I told him, shaking my head. “It’s just the right thing for her.”
He blew out a breath, nodding. “I know it’s not traditional. I mean, you aren’t her father. But you’re her only family—if your dad were around, I’d ask him, but he’s not. So I thought...”
I chuckled. “You don’t need my permission, or blessing, or whatever you were looking for, to ask my sister to marry you, Jasper. She’s a grown woman with a mind of her own. But I will say that I would be honored to call you my brother.”
He pulled me into a fierce hug. “Thanks, Bella. That means a lot.”
Jasper hadn’t talked much about his family, other than to say they’d had a falling out years before and he didn’t speak to them now. I knew he had both a younger sister and brother, and I knew sometimes it weighed on him. If I could help fill that role more formally than I already did, I was glad to do it.
“When are you gonna ask her?” I asked once he’d released me and sat back to stick the ring back in his jeans pocket.
“Birthday, if I can wait that long.” Smiling wryly, he said, “Of course, I’m not sure I should wait, given what happened this morning at work. If something like that happens again, Edward’ll kill me.”
Giggling, I nodded. “Yeah, maybe not.” I winked and then stood. “Speaking of, I think I’m gonna head home. I think I’ll suggest to him that he needs another shower...and then I’ll tell him I’m gonna join him. That’ll make it better.”
Jasper laughed, standing to walk me to the door. “That it will, B.” He smiled, holding the door open for me so I could step outside. “Thanks for coming over and reassuring me.”
I shrugged, smiling. “No problem. Just go with your heart, Jas. That’s all she wants.”
He was quiet as I climbed into the car, and then he shut the door once I’d pulled back onto the street.
As I drove home to Edward, I thought about our future. Did I want to marry him? Absolutely. Was it something I wanted right that moment? Not particularly, although I’d never say no if he asked. But I’d been through so many changes in the last couple of years that I was enjoying just...being. What we had was good. I loved him, he loved me, and we were happy. That was enough for now.
Edward POV
“She’s too far,” I said, starting to get up from the bench.
“Edward, baby, she’s right there,” Bella argued with a laugh, but rolled her eyes. When I glared her way, she simply raised her hands in surrender. “Fine, fine. I’m getting a hot dog. Want one?”
“Yeah, sure,” I muttered, not really listening, because my eyes were on blond curls that seemed to be too far, but Ladybug was an independent little thing at just under two years old.
The park was pretty packed. It was a rare sunny Sunday, so it seemed the whole city was out enjoying it. Apparently, my sister could still get me to do whatever she wanted. And she’d wanted a weekend with Emmett. Alone. My parents couldn’t take Emma that weekend, so it had fallen on Bella and me. We’d had her since Friday night, and I was worn the fuck out. I used to be able to party all night and still function, but this was different. Hanging with an almost two-year-old made me a multi-tasking bastard and, obviously, an over-protective uncle.
Bella snickered at me, got up, and dropped a kiss to the top of my head. “You’re so cute. Just go get her, Edward. The vein in your forehead looks like it’ll pop any second.”
Gazing up at her, I sighed. “I’m that bad, huh?” I asked, smiling when she chuckled at me.
We’d been living together just about nine months, and I could totally tell when she was placating me. She did it all the fucking time. I knew I drove her crazy and that we weren’t perfect, but it had been the best nine fucking months of my life.
“You wanna keep her safe. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll be right back.” She spun around, dodging a few little kids playing on the playground.
Unable to take it any longer, I got up from the bench and walked closer to Emma. She’d been playing in the sandbox, but had found the big statues fascinating and had wandered over. She still had the cutest chunky legs, big bright blue eyes, and a giggle that I lived to bring out of her. Standing there in a little blue and green sundress that Bella had dressed her in, she was barefoot.
“Hey, Ladybug, what’cha doin’?” I asked, kneeling beside her. “And where’s your shoes?”
She ignored my question, pointing to the statue. “Big fwog, Unca Eddurd,” she stated firmly.
“Shoes, Ems...where’d ya leave ’em?” I chuckled, shaking my head when she pointed to the sandbox. “Gotcha,” I growled, snagging her up dramatically so she squealed into a laugh. “Say bye to the frog, Ladybug.”
“Bye, bye, fwoggie!” she yelled with a laugh, giggling again when I held her upside down in order for her to grab her shoes out of the sand.
I set her back down on the bench, brushing off sand and kneeling to put her sandals back on, but I looked up when Bella sat beside us. She broke off a piece of hot dog and offered it to Emma, who took it instantly like a big baby bird – mouth open, hums of happiness, and grabby hands.
And fuck, if it didn’t all fall over me at once. I wanted that, but I wanted something more, something of my own, something that was a perfect blend of me and Bella. A fantasy of two brunettes in my life ran through my mind like the wind, and despite how tiring taking care of Emma had been the past few days, I wanted it so badly that my chest hurt.
“Here, baby,” Bella offered the extra hot dog to me once Emma’s shoes were back on. “You okay? You’re pale as a sheet. Did she scare you again by running off?”
“Hmm? No,” I answered softly, watching as she shared another bite with Ladybug. Looking between them, I finally looked to Bella. “I want this. This,” I whispered, gesturing around us and between the three of us stupidly, like that would make sense. “Everything. Do you? I mean...have you...”
Bella thankfully took pity on me, smiling sweetly and cupping my face. “Relax, Edward. Yes, I’ve thought about those things, and yes, I want them. I wanted them the first time I saw you talk to Ladybug on the computer the day she was born. I knew I loved you with an insanity right then.”
Nodding, I didn’t say anything, but I leaned forward and kissed her once. Taking the hot dog Bella had bought me, I ate it in large bites in order to stuff down what I was feeling. It was almost overwhelming. But I smiled when Ladybug sat up and wiped away the ketchup from my face.
Bella giggled, which made Emma giggle, and I was done for. We cleaned her up and got ready to leave, and then I scooped Ladybug up and set her on my shoulders, reaching for Bella’s hand as we walked out to the parking lot. Once Emma was secure in her car seat, I turned to find Bella standing right behind me.
“Hey,” she whispered, placing her hands on either side of my face. “You’re really good at this, and if it’s something you want, we can talk about it. Don’t let it freak you out. It’s okay to want it.”
I sagged in relief, because I knew there was a step in between that still needed to be approached before we even discussed a family of our own, but I looked at her gratefully.
“I wanna talk about it,” I stated, sweeping my lips across hers. “I wanna talk about everything with you.”
She smiled so sweetly that it almost hurt to watch, but she kissed me back. “We will. But first, Miss Ladybug here needs to go back to her parents so that we can do really naughty things back at home without having to worry. You’ve spoiled her, and now you can spoil me.”
Grinning, I leaned in and kissed her neck. “Oh, and I will. I’ll do my best.”
She giggled, pushing back a little. “You always do, Edward.”
A/N: This is it, guys. We hope you enjoyed the look into their not-too-distant future. It was a big thing, a huge step, for Edward to voice what he wants, that next step, wanting more with her...for him to listen and stay calm when his own thoughts were freaking him out. That simply proves how far he’s come. And at that point, you know where their future is heading. You can go away from here imagining the proposal, wedding, and babies in the perfect way that fits these characters. :)
Thank you one last time for all the kind words and the love you’ve given this fic. We love the way you all embraced these characters, even when they were acting like...well, jackasses. ;) We’re so humbled and feel so overwhelmed sometimes by the support.
This is the end for Marshalward – no, there will be no sequel, sorry. ;) – but we’re sure that, if the plot bunnies bite, we’ll be back. And regardless of whether or not we do another co-fic, we’ll each find SOMETHING to write about separately! :) Much love and mooches... – Deb & Jen :)


LittleBella13 said...

Awesome chapter! When it comes to this story though I am very greedy and need MORE PLEASE!!!!

Evelyne-raconte said...

AWWW Thank you for this great journey with Marshalward and Witnessella. I have loved it a lot. You are very talented and it's a pleasure to read your fictions.

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