Needing To Let Go

Happy Birthday Isabella Swan

A/N: Here is the next chapter, and hope you enjoy it. I hope you all are enjoying it, and I don't have a lot to say other than thank you all for reading, reviewing, and supporting me in every single way. Your alerts and reviews help me continue to tell this story.

So without further ado, here is chapter 20 of Needing to Let Go.

Previously on Needing to Let Go

Carlisle wasn't exactly furious at us, but he wasn't all too pleased either. Edward didn't bother to argue and took my hand and hurried out of his room and down the stairs to his car. He hollered out an apology as he led me to his car parked right outside the front door.

"Where are we going?"

"Just wait and see Bella, you're going to be pleasantly surprised." Edward said with a smile. I just sighed and decided to go with it.

Bella POV:

The date Edward took me on was actually pretty good, considering what all happened. Some would categorize the date as a disaster, and it was, but the date itself was still good in my book. It started off when I had Edward stop by my house on the way to the movie theater. Emmett and Jasper were both home, and apparently saw Edward's car out front. They obviously decided to embarrass the crap out of me by coming out to the front porch and invited Edward in to 'have a little chat' while I went up to my room to get what I needed.

I have to hand it to Edward, having my two older brothers trying to intimidate him; he managed to remain calm the entire time. Granted, I couldn't hear what was going through his head the entire time, but lord knows that Emmett was trying to be the threatening and protective older brother, while Jasper was the one who kept Emmett in line, while still showing he wasn't fully on Edward's side.

I finally came down with my favorite little stuffed animal Edward was able to win me at the local festival that was back before thanksgiving. It was a small panda bear on a keychain, and I wanted it in my purse for good luck. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I saw Emmett and Edward both sitting on the couch in front of the television yelling and hollering at the TV, with Jasper sitting in a recliner looking both amused and annoyed at how fast Emmett dropped his intimidation act.

"So how long did Emmett's whole 'intimidating older brother' act last him this time?" I asked Jasper as I let out a long exasperated sigh.

"About as long as it always does, first mention of football, Emmett caves and starts on and on. Turns out your boyfriend over there likes football as much as Emmett does."

"No one loves football like Emmett does. Think I can break up the budding bromance over there?" I asked as I pointed to the two guys sitting staring a hole into the television. Jasper just shrugged and said, "Good luck" and let out a long sigh as well.

Between Jasper and Emmett, and the fact that they were legally my guardians, I was more afraid of, and more prone to listen to, Jasper. Emmett, he had his moments, but they weren't nearly as scary as Jasper when he caught wind of me not doing my daily farm chores.

I tapped Edward on the shoulder and whispered that we were going to be late for the movies. Edward's response was a slight nod, and while not breaking eye contact with the TV said that we were gonna go, just as soon as what's-his-name Manning made his last pass for the quarter. I wanted to object, but when I saw on the screen that there was less than two minutes left of the quarter I decided I would wait.

Well, after all the commercials, and timeouts each team were having, it was easily ten minutes later. I huffed and looked at my phone for the time.

Just great, the movie already started.

"Wow, what an awesome first half!" Edward said as he high fived Emmett then stood up to get me and go off to the movies. He was met with me giving him a death glare and I wasn't at all in a 'flirty' mood at the moment. Edward quickly checked his watch and saw that all his bonding with my brother caused us to miss the movie.

"Bella, I'm so sorry, we can still go to the movies, is there another movie you want to see?" I let out a sigh. I should be madder at him, but that damned crooked grin of his made what anger I had against him instantly wash away. I shrugged my shoulders and agreed we could go see what else was playing if we wanted to. Once we got to the movie theater we saw that both movies were sold out for the night.

Oh one of the perks of living in a small town with a movie theater that just has two projectors.

Both Edward and I silently cursed at our turn of events, and I managed to keep my annoyance towards Edward under control rather well.

He kept apologizing to me how sorry he was that he let himself get swept up in the football game with Emmett. I'm not sure why I wasn't more mad at him over missing the movie. I guess it was the fact that it was just a movie, it wasn't like we had plans that were made months in advance or anything. I just shrugged it off and brought up the idea of going to Delilah's for a late dinner. I'm not quite sure how many times Edward tried apologizing, but I think I lost count after like ten times.

We sat down at a table next to the window. I saw Emily bouncing around from table to table with no other waitress or waiter around. I thought about it a minute to try and figure out who should've been working tonight, then I remembered that it was me who was supposed to work tonight along with Emily, she offered to cover for me tonight. I sighed and immediately started feeling guilty.

"Everything okay Bella? Are you still angry with me about earlier?" Edward asked. I could sense that he was worried that I had been lying when I told him over and over that I wasn't angry at him making us miss the movie. I shrugged it off and told him I was just thinking about something, and that I really was fine with missing the movie.

"Maybe after we eat, we could go for a walk around the park, that is, if it doesn't get any colder than it already has already." I said as I fiddled with my straw wrapper. That was one of the few reasons I kinda didn't like having my birthday in the middle of winter. Thankfully, this winter there hadn't been much snow, yet, but the temperature could be a little bit warmer in my opinion.

Finally when Emily was able to get to our table she didn't seem tired, stressed out or panicked. She was beaming with a bright smile. It was like being completely swamped, and no additional help even fazed her. Edward had decided to order a classic hamburger with a side of French fires. I just got a side salad and an order of chicken nuggets. I asked her if it had been busy the whole shift and Emily shook her head no. Apparently it was a slow day, which was until everyone decided to come in to eat all at once.

After about ten minutes our food was ready and Emily quickly brought it out to us. Emily even brought a bottle of ketchup for Edward's fries. As quickly as she came Emily was off to go check on her other customers.

Edward and I made small talk while we ate our food. He was really having a hard time getting the ketchup to come out of the funneled nozzle and onto his fries. I often told Maude that she needed to order actual bottles of ketchup, and just one big container of ketchup to fill up those bright red plastic containers with a funneled spout. I tried to get Edward to let me help, but being a typical 'macho man' that he attempted to be he tried to assure me that he had it all under control.

"Edward, its ok to let someone else help you from time to time. Let me help you with that." I offered as I tried to reach over and take the bottle from him, but he jerked away.

"No, really Bella, I have it under control. No need to –" Just as I hand the tip of the bottle within my grasps I heard a loud squish along with the bottle making a 'farting' noise. I let out a long surprised gasp. I quickly closed my eyes, hoping what I was feeling on my powder pink tank top wasn't what I thought it was. I took a deep breath and slowly opened my eyes and slowly let myself look down at my shirt to check out the damage.

Yep. My entire shirt was covered in ketchup. I tried to tell Edward that there was a certain way that he would have to squeeze the bottle to get the ketchup out, but he found it out all on his own.

Too bad he had to figure it out all over my tank top.

"Bella, oh my god, are you ok? I am so, so, sorry! I didn't mean to do that, I swear!" I shrugged it off, and quickly ran to the restroom to try and clean off as much of the ketchup as possible. Thankfully I remembered what my mom taught me and ran some cold water from the sink and grabbed a bunch of paper towels and folded them under my shirt where the growing ketchup stain was. I took another paper towel and wet it with the cool water and started scrubbing like my life depended on it.

"Oh my god, it looks like you were shot! What did Edward do?" I jerked my head around and saw Emily standing by the door to the ladies' restroom. I sighed and explained what happened, which caused her to start laughing uncontrollably. I didn't think it was all that funny personally, but I didn't care because I was so happy that the trick mom taught me was doing the trick. Well, the stain was still there, but it wasn't as noticeable as it was before.

"It's not funny Em; this was one of the shirts my mom got me before the accident. I know it's just a shirt, but it's one of the few things that actually survived that darn storm back after Halloween." I said as I started to tear up a bit.

Why was I crying, and over a stupid shirt to boot? I mean, it was just a stupid shirt, but something inside of me made this shirt out to be the most important thing in the world at that exact moment.

"Yeesh, sorry Bells, um, if that jacket doesn't button up, you can borrow mine I brought to work with me. Kaleb is gonna pick me up from work when I'm done." I sighed and quickly apologized to Emily, and made sure to mention that I agreed, that it was just a shirt.

After another set of paper towels I assessed the damage. There was still a faint stain of red on my pink shirt, but it wasn't anything that my jacket couldn't cover up. I buttoned up my jacket a few buttons and headed back out to the table after wiping my eyes a bit. I apologized to Emily again before leaving the bathroom, and I couldn't help but hug her when she said, "All is forgiven Bells, no need to worry I get it."

When I got back to the table Edward's cheek a nice shade of crimson, and eye contact was all out the window right now. I tried my best to make eye contact, but that was no use. I did however get him to say something, and I told him that I wasn't mad at him, and that it would all wash out.

"Bella, you must hate me, first I make us miss the movies, and now I get a whole bottle of ketchup on you. I understand if you just want to go home and never talk to me ever again." His eyes were dark, and stormy. I sighed and got up and quickly sat down next to him, and forced him to look at me. I made sure I had his full undivided attention.

"Now listen, yes, I was a bit angry when we missed the movies, but this? Edward, this wasn't your fault, those bottles are cheap and older than you or me I think. I know it was an accident, and I'm not mad at you, now stop blaming yourself and let's finishing eating." I said. Then I surprised even myself when I quickly gave him a kiss smack dab on the lips and got up and sat back down in my seat and started eating my food again. I glanced over at him, and saw that the storm behind his eyes lifted and he greedily started eating his food again, minus the ketchup.

Once we both finished our food, we pitched in on the tip, and Edward went up Maude, who was sitting behind the register, and paid for our dinner.

"I should charge ya for that ketchup you wasted squirting all over Isabella here, but imma give you a free pass this time. But don't think I'm not watching you city boy." I groaned a bit at Maude's attempt at threatening. She was really a sweet lady, but for some reason she thought that if she acted like a crotchety old lady then people would take her seriously. I rolled my eyes and pushed Edward out of the diner for both his and Maude's sake.

Immediately our warm bodies started to adjust to the shivering cold air. I was starting to silently curse myself for not wearing more than just a flimsy tank top and a denim jean jacket. Edward must've read my mind, well that or he heard my teeth starting to chatter a bit, and because he gave me his thick jacket he had on. It was only 9:30, and it felt like it was below zero.

Edward pulled out his smartphone and checked the temperature.

Ok, this is getting weird, it's like he can read my mind or something just as crazy.

"Jesus, it's nearly 10 degrees! So much for a night walk through the park." Edward said as he and I hurried to the warmth of his Volvo. I cheered when I saw that the car was already started. He had managed to get one of those remote starters for his car, which was good because when we got in the car was nice and toasty I didn't want to get out.

After the long car ride back to my house I sighed and leaned over to kiss him, and he met me half way. I just smiled and kissed him. Kissing him felt right, it felt amazing and the way I was feeling was foreign to me, but I didn't care I liked this feeling.

"Spend Christmas with me." I stopped dead in my tracks.

Holy crap Bella, what did you just say?

I couldn't believe that I had said those words. It wasn't that I didn't want him to visit, but it was one of those moments where your mouth gets ahead of your brain and you just spit it out without thinking.

I took Edward by surprise too I guess, because he just sat there looking at me, but not like I had three heads and was breathing fire. No, he was looking at me with love, compassion, and the utter most pleasure.

"I mean, you can if you want to. I mean, I'm sure you probably have other plans, and you have your whole family coming in for Christmas, or you're going out of town for Christmas. I shouldn't have said anything. God, I'm babbling like a complete idi – " I didn't get to finish my sentence, because I was ambushed by a set of incredibly soft lips crashing onto mine silencing me.

Thank god, I was starting to sound a complete idiot!

Before I had time to enjoy the spontaneous, but most welcome kiss, Edward pulled away giving me a stupid crooked grin.

"Thank you…"

Oh god, Bella, you are an idiot. That's all you can say after that? It's a wonder Edward even likes you!

"You're very welcome Bella." Edward said with a chuckle. This caused my cheeks to redden a bit, and not from the heat of the car. "Yes, I have plans for Christmas, but I was about to ask you the exact same thing. I was going to invite your whole family, your aunt and uncle included, to my house for Christmas." Edward said as he sat back and gauged my facial expressions for any type of response. How did he know my aunt and uncle were coming down for Christmas?

Probably just a lucky guess, because remember Bella, 'Christmas is a time for family'.

"I don't know…let me talk to Jasper and Emmett about it. Is that ok?"

Edward took me by surprise again and gave me a quick, but passionate, kiss square on the lips and smiled.

"So I take it, that you're ok with that?" I asked as I started to get ready to get out of the car.

Edward stopped me and quickly got out of the car and ran quickly to my side and opened the door for me. He took me by the hand and walked me to the front door.

I've got to remind myself to thank his mom for raising such a gentleman.

When we got to the front porch, we had this unspoken conversation as our bodies inched closer and closer to one another. Except for the porch light right next to the front door we were in complete darkness. Before I knew it our lips collided and I had to weave my hand through his luscious bronze hair and latch on for dear life. It felt like if I didn't hold onto something I would just fall. I about melted when I felt both of Edward's hands caress both cheeks. I could've stood here forever in this position, but someone had other plans. We were yanked from our fervent stupor by the porch light flipping on and off.

Oh how I could kill Jasper and Emmett right now.

I groaned as Edward and I were forced to untangle ourselves from one another. The more I thought about it though, the more I suspected that it was Jasper. Emmett would've done something a lot more overt and mean. Jasper had the decency to just let us know that they could see us, and that it was time to bring what we were doing to a close.

Edward gave me one last kiss and with a raspy whisper he said into my ear, "Happy Birthday Isabella Swan." Ok I decided right here and now that only Edward could get away with using my full name. I was about to offer his jacket back to him, but he told me to keep it before I could even get my sentence out.

AS Edward made his way down the steps and back to his car I couldn't help but bring the collar of his jacket up to my nose and inhaled deeply. I sighed as I took in the aroma of his cologne. Once I was sure Edward made it back down the driveway safely I turned around and trudged in and up to my room.

I flopped back onto my bed and sighed with a stupid grin on my face.

Most girls would say that this whole date was horrible, especially on their birthday, but not me. I still had the most amazing day, and that was all thanks to one person.

Edward Cullen.

A/N: So what did you think? I apologize that it took me so long to update. It was nothing you all did, it was all me. It was so hard for me to write the beginning of this chapter. I wanted to make sure that I got everything right.

I think this chapter is one of my better ones, but I will let you all be the judge. ;)

If you haven't already please take a look at my other story, Paralyzed. I go back and forth between stories (updating wise) and I don't start the next chapter of the other story until I finish the chapter of the one I'm working on. It's easier for me.

Also, after both stories have been written, then the real fun begins, because that is when me and Arrowhead1996 start working together on our collaboration fanfic. And I can tell you that it will be awesome! It's going to be completely opposite of what I've already written, which is so fun to be able to do! I will say that the story will be called, "Luppiter Gratia Sanitatis" which translate from Latin to (May the Grace of Jupiter Be the Cure). Soon, I will put the summary in both of my stories. When the times right so don't worry.

Until the next chapter, happy reading! 7

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