A/N: Ever wonder what Edward wrote in his original love note? Well, you’re about to find out about that cheesy goodness. Thank you to Midnight Cougar for her help in polishing my words to love note status. xx
Song inspiration for this chapter: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” Bachman-Turner Overdrive
(Playlist for this story can be found on my YouTube channel, if you search for “ghostreader24”)
Disclaimer: Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond own the adorable little mouse whose needs inspired this very adult version of their story. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m here having fun.
“What’s next?” I wonder, looking around Bella’s bedroom from where I’m sitting in the rocking chair by the window. I’m waiting for her next instructions after returning from loading her chest of drawers into the back of her truck.
The closet is empty, and the walls are bare. I’ve carried boxes and boxes filled with books and trinkets downstairs to the living room where they wait. The curtains remain, but the window is open, and they sway with the light breeze, which feels wonderful.
She’s stripped her bed of all its coverings, and they’re loaded in my car, washed and ready for the bed at our apartment, which is a thought that never fails to bring a smile to my face. It’s taken a few weeks for this day to arrive—Bella’s official moving day, but I couldn’t be happier.
Her father wasn’t surprised when she told him she was planning to move in with me, and I think he’s been grateful for her help with getting their home ready to put on the market. While I haven’t seen her as often as I would like, I understand she’s been busy cleaning, packing, and sorting their home’s contents when she isn’t at work.
The Chief gave her the green light to take anything except for his recliner, television, and fishing gear. I helped relocate those items to his home with Sue near La Push as they officially tied the knot recently. I wasn’t able to attend the small ceremony with Bella due to work, but from what I’ve heard, married life is softening some of his edges. I haven’t seen it myself personally, but that’s what Bella says. Now, it’s time to help close this chapter for her, as we’re starting a new one together.
My eyes wander over her naked legs, lingering along the cutoff shorts she’s wearing that sit low on her hips and a T-shirt that’s tied, exposing her midriff. Even though we’re both hot and sweaty, I’m wondering if it isn’t time for another break, maybe a horizontal one… on her bed, when her voice pulls me from my thoughts.
“Would it be okay if we brought my desk and chair?” Bella asks.
I shrug. “We can bring anything you want.”
“Where would we put it?”
“The living room would probably be best. I doubt there’s space for it in the bedroom.”
“All right. It’s empty and ready to load along with my mirror and the rocking chair.”
I nod, knowing she’s planning to put both of those items in our bedroom. “You got it.” I grab the rocker and walk toward the doorway.
I pause, waiting for her next request.
“Look what I found.” She grins, holding up a small slip of paper that I recognize as my original love note I gave her over almost a year and a half ago.
She opens it, reading my cheesy words out loud as she walks toward me. “Who knew such a Big-hearted, Enticing, Lively, and Lovable Angel works only steps away? Me.”
I can feel my face flush with warmth as she lifts on her toes to kiss my lips.
“What a sap,” I say, chuckling nervously when she pulls away.
“No, it’s incredibly sweet, and I think it’s worked out for both of us.”
“Today is a great day.” I kiss her lips once more.
“Okay, we need to get back to work, but I wanted to show you that I kept it and plan to keep it with my others.” I watch as she carefully places it in a final box for the room with some of her other desk items. “Oh, and don’t forget my lamps. They may need to go in the car or my cab since they’re breakable.”
“Not a chance.” I wink from the doorway and return to loading her larger items in her truck.
With limited space in all the rooms of our apartment, Bella is turning into an expert at using every square foot. My bedroom is undergoing quite the transformation, which she says is necessary for merging her things with mine.
After realizing our clothes wouldn’t all fit in the tiny bedroom closet, she’s creating an open closet at the other end of our bedroom from one wall to the other. Her chest of drawers is part of the plan with the new hanging storage I installed for her recently.
Angela offered us three bookcases that were going unused in their garage, and this morning, we moved those first. After securing them to the wall, they have a new home behind the headboard of our bed, waiting for Bella’s books to arrive. I doubt they will do much to muffle the noises from next door, but we’ll see if a greater buffer helps. I also added sturdy risers to our bed for something I’m excited about—Bella’s Christmas decorations we’re storing underneath.
After multiple trips up and down the stairs, I have the large pieces secured in the back of her truck, as well as boxes and some odd-shaped items filling the cab. I return inside to find Bella standing in the middle of the kitchen and staring at the table and chairs.
“Hey, I think we’re ready to make a trip and unload. Your truck is ready and my car is packed.” I slide my hands around her waist and into the front pockets of her shorts, pulling her against my body.
“Okay. What do you think about this table?”
“I love this table.” With her hair in a ponytail, my lips seek her neck instantly.
She continues, but tilts her head, giving me greater access. “It’s bigger than yours, plus it has four chairs, instead of only two.”
“And we know it will hold you,” I say near her ear, then toy with the lobe between my teeth.
“Edward…” Her head falls back against my shoulder and eyes close. “Oh… you… you’re distracting.”
I remove my hands from her pockets when she turns in my arms, lacing her hands behind my neck while mine brush over the exposed skin at her waist.
“You’re not listening to me,” she complains, but her protest loses steam when her lips press openmouthed kisses along my neck.
My kitchen and dining areas have next to nothing in them, but that’s about to change, as pots, pans, utensils, and small appliances are packed into the stacked boxes along one of the kitchen walls of this home, waiting to be moved. I don’t think she’s leaving anything in this room.
When Bella began going through the empty kitchen drawers and cabinets of my apartment, she marveled when she found what was deemed my minimalistic “Noah’s Ark” style. She held up pairs of things like silverware, plates, and glasses. As I told her, I only needed one of everything, but it was my mother who helped me move into the apartment at the time and had other opinions, adding more than necessary.
“I heard you.” I groan at the feel of her lips on my neck as my thumbs brush along the edge of her T-shirt, tickling her ribs and causing her to squirm. “How…” Her lips make concentrating nearly impossible. “How about we move it and bring the other back? Since mine is smaller, it will make the space look bigger in here.”
She pauses her assault with a beaming smile at my solution. “This—this is why I love you.”
“Well, no, not only this.”
While the look on her face is innocent, the graze of her hand over the fly of my jeans is absolutely not.
“We’ll get to that later. Promise.” I kiss her lips once more. “The table and chairs will have to go on the next trip. Are you ready?”
“Yes, I only need to grab my shoes and purse.”
After locking her house, we drive separately to our apartment and fill our arms with odds and ends, climbing the stairs with our first of many loads. I beam with pride when Bella slips her key into the lock of the front door and jiggles it slightly in the way I showed her, opening the door on the first try this time.
We work together, emptying both vehicles quickly, and I secure my smaller kitchen table and chairs in the back of her truck for completing the switch on our next trip. I’m checking the straps when her phone vibrates with a call.
“Unknown caller,” she says, looking at me and debating on whether or not to take the call.
I nod toward her hand. “Answer it.”
“Yeah? I normally let the unknowns go straight to voicemail.”
“We’ve got time. See who it is. Maybe it’s important.” I shrug, opening a water bottle and guzzling a large mouthful.
“Hello.” Her voice is hesitant and her brows furrow as she listens to the caller. “This is Bella.”
I lean against her truck, using the hem of my T-shirt to wipe my brow, and wait patiently while the concern on her face eases with recognition.
“Oh, yes. Hi, how are you?” A small smile tugs at the corners of her lips, and her eyes shift to mine. “I’m doing great.”
I wink at her words because there’s no doubt my smile reflects hers. We are doing great. While she’s been stressed for the past weeks, today is the culmination of hard work and moving in the direction of something we both want.
A bird flies overhead, catching her attention while she listens, and even though the caller can’t see her, she’s nodding her head, then confirms whatever information is being said. “Yes, I am.”
I fiddle with the cap on the water bottle, watching her closely.
“He did?” Her eyes lock with mine, and she pushes the stray hairs that have escaped her ponytail behind her ear. “No. That’s…”
She’s quiet, listening to the caller until her lips part with a gasp. “Wow. Um… can I think about it?”
From my side of her conversation, it sounds like it could be a job offer, and if it is, I couldn’t be happier for her. I wonder if it’s the hospital or the high school.
“Okay. Thanks. I’ll talk with you soon. Bye.” She ends the call and looks as if she’s about to burst with happiness.
I tilt my water bottle in her direction. “By the look on your face, I would guess that was good news.”
Bella pockets her phone, and her smile widens. “It’s-It’s a job. At the Post Office. Full-time.”
“I didn’t know you submitted an application.”
She shakes her head. “I didn’t, but I probably should have contacted them, letting them know I was looking for one. James is retiring, and he recommended me. I guess because I worked as a temp previously, I was still in their applicants’ pool.”
“Is it a delivery route?”
“No, I would be a clerk—primarily counter customer service and other mail handling responsibilities. Everything I’ve done in the past. I’d have health insurance, paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave. I know James has accrued something like five weeks of vacation over the years.” She switches gears, working through the considerations out loud. “I-I’d have to be at work early. I remember he and Vicky talked about being there before six in the morning some days, but I would finish around three in the afternoon.”
I know she’s hell-bent on finding a job, but I worry she’s leaning toward taking this one because it’s her only option right now, which wouldn’t necessarily make it the right choice. “Is this something you would consider doing?”
“Hell, yeah, I would. I certainly didn’t need my degree for an entry-level job like this one, but there’s the possibility I could be promoted. The clerk jobs are always difficult to get because most people stay in them for decades since the benefits are great.”
“But your degree could be needed later,” I conclude.
“Right, it would qualify me for other jobs.” She’s quiet for a moment. “Holy shit. Edward—I can’t believe this. It’s such a relief.”
I’m sorting through my thoughts when I realize our proximity while working could be another pro. “You’d also be close to the station.”
“I would, but if you’re working nights and I’m working days, we’ll never see each other.” Her shoulders slump with resignation at the thought.
“I don’t always work nights. I can talk with Jasper about scheduling too. He’s flexible, but the tradeoff would probably be overnights for weekends. I’m not sure how you feel about that or if it would be any better.”
“It will help that we’re living together.”
“It will, but, Bella, I’ll always have to work some overnights, weekends, and holidays no matter how many years I’m at the station. That’s just a part of my job.”
“I know and accept that.” She nibbles nervously on the nail of one of her thumbs, thinking over the offer before speaking again. “I can’t deny I need the money, and without any other offers on the table, I don’t think I can wait for something else.”
I know she feels pressure to take this job with Jess planning to return in a few weeks, but it doesn’t mean she can’t take another one if something better comes along down the road.
“Do you get along with everyone there?” I ask.
“Yeah, that was Felix on the phone. He’s been the Forks’ postmaster for over fifteen years and a great guy. I know if I had any issue, he would listen.”
“Sounds like Jasper. When would they want you to start?”
“James is planning to retire at the end of April. So, probably around that time frame. I need to ask some specifics, but I figured I should think through those and the offer before I call Felix back. I also wanted to run it by you and see what you thought.”
A warmth that has nothing to do with the physical demands of her move, rushes through me, knowing she wants to hear my thoughts before moving forward.
“Bella.” I tug on the belt loops of her shorts until she’s pressed against me, cradle her face in my hands, and seize her lips until she’s breathless. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She smiles as her ragged breathing fans out over my face. “Do you think I should take it?”
I nod, lacing our fingers together and pulling her behind me until we reach the driver’s side of her truck. “I’m leaning toward saying yes.”
I open her door, waiting for her to get inside. “Let’s get back to moving your stuff. We probably only have a couple of trips left using both of our vehicles, then we can get everything unpacked and settled.”
“Okay, but don’t forget, we need groceries too,” she says after taking her place behind the wheel, slamming her door closed, and starting her truck.
“We’ll do that tomorrow. We can order pizza and pick it up on our last trip later this evening.”
“Good, because I’m working up an appetite.”
I’m a little nervous at bringing up my other plans for tomorrow, but it feels like the right time to share it with Bella. “I… uh… also want to take you somewhere tomorrow before my shift.”
“Okay, Mr. Tight Lips. I won’t press for more, but let’s get going. I’ll meet you back at the house, but soon all of my stuff will be home.” She grins, knowing what that kind of talk does to me.
I lean inside the cab through the window frame, kissing her once more. “I’ll be right behind you.”
“One of my favorite positions.” Bella wiggles her eyebrows with her naughty playfulness that I love, and puts her truck into gear.
With a mischievous smile, she departs before I have a chance to respond, stoking the fire that’s always smoldering between us with only a few taunting words.
God, I love her.
If you give a postal worker a love note, she’ll wonder about the identity of the author when it’s delivered by an unintended mail carrier.
After a visit from a sexy firefighter, the mystery surrounding the note will add to her curiosity, but it won’t be solved any time soon, when she has no choice and accepts another job far from home.
Her secret admirer will hold on to hope for their paths to cross again, and when they do, he will find that being near her again is better than he ever anticipated.
Visiting her during his breaks and getting to know each other will be the best parts of their days, until one day she unknowingly makes his favorite childhood cookies, giving him the sign he needs to move forward.
She’ll hold back nothing as she tempts and teases him when they’re alone, testing his resolve, until a few adorable photos of him with a friend’s new baby causes an unexpected shift in her world.
As they grow closer, they’ll understand that the intimacy between lovers isn’t only about a physical connection, but the everyday interactions through the simplest moments and sharing of new experiences.
Through private conversations, their relationship deepens with the reveal of a variety of secrets, and with a new confidence, the truth of their adoration for one another is undeniable.
After another wonderful evening together filled with fun and flirting, she’ll realize that she’s never been loved like this before, and for as much as he wants to be everything she needs, she wants to be that for him too.
With constant reminders that every day together is precious, she’ll consider their future options, and after the first step of moving in together, everything will start falling into place.