Words to Die By ~ Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

July 17, 2017 – Found Treasures

Edward was holding his breath, waiting for Bella to answer his life altering question. She hadn’t moved a muscle or even blinked an eye, and she just stared at him with a shocked expression upon her face. His mind raced with the thought that she was going to deny him,  he knew that he would never find anyone like her. His heart belonged to her until its last beat. Then he felt her squeeze his hand.

“Yes,” she whispered as her voice cracked with the flood of emotions and the tears of joy that were flowing.

Edward jumped to his feet. “Yes?”

“Oh My God Edward, yes.”

Edward wrapped his arms around her, picked her up, and twirled her around the terrace. “I am luckiest, son of a bitch in the world.”

Bella groaned out, the pain from her injured ribs pulsated through her. 

Edward sat her down immediately, waving his hands around her ribcage frantically. “Shit, I forgot, my love,” he cried.

She wrapped her arm around her side as she tried to catch her breath. The pain was still excruciating, though she was able to deal with it. “I am better,” she moaned.

“NO, YOU ARE NOT!” Edward yelled, beating himself up for hurting her.  

“I can deal with the pain,” she began. “I just wish Rose was here to give me a shot.”

“I can do that,” Edward declared.

Bella raised an eyebrow to him. “Really?”

“Yeah. Rose gave all of us emergency first aid training, encase someone is injured, and she wasn’t around,” Edward explained, then leaned down and placed a sweet kiss on her lips. “I’ll go get her bag.”

Bella gently sat down on the chaise and leaned back. A few minutes later, Edward was back and began drawing out the morphine into the syringe. He opened an alcohol wipe, cleaning Bella’s skin before he carefully inserted the needle and pushed in the medicine. Once he had finished, he put the syringe in a special box so that Rose could dispose of it later, then he placed bandaid on the spot and kissed it. 

“Thank you,” she said with a smile.

“I would do anything for you, my love,” he proclaimed. 

Bella moved over and patted her hand beside her. Edward eased down and put his arm over her shoulder. She sighed and laid her head on the crook of his neck, allowing the morphine to do its job. Before long, the sharp pain was gone, leaving only the slight discomfort that she could deal with. “Edward, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” he replied.

Bella turned so she could see his face. “Why do you have to be married to be the head of the family?”

Edward thought for a moment. He didn’t have the honor of talking with his father in person to gain all the knowledge that he would need. He only had his father’s journals and now his grandfather’s, thanks to Bella. He remembered that in several entries, that his father had written that his marriage to Esme centered him, and caused him to become more level-headed. “I am not sure, but my father wrote that my mother made him a better man, and more capable leader. As you know, the men and women of our organization are not just members, but family, it is my responsibility as the head of the family to look out for all of them,” Edward said, then took her hand into his. “I need you to be my confidant, my conscious, the mother to our children, and the protector of my heart. I need you to tell me when I am being an asshole and need to calm down to evaluate the situation.”

Bella brought his hand up to her chest and placed it over her heart. “My heart is yours to protect as well, and I vow always to be what you need until my last breath. I do promise not only to look out for you and our children but also everyone who is part of the Cullen family.”

“Spoken like a true mafia wife, “Edward said. “But I can’t invoke the chain until I am married.”

Bella hadn’t thought of that when she agreed to marry him, though it did make sense. “So, are we going to get married as soon as we return?” She asked as her mind raced with all that she would need to do before the ceremony.

“I thought we could get married here,” Edward advised.

“Here? In Italy?” Bella asked. 

“I would like to if we could. If we married back in Chicago, I worry that someone in the clerk’s office would be on the take,” Edward said.

Bella thought for a moment, and she hadn’t thought of that. Maybe that is how Aro found out that she was asking about the Cullen name. “Edward, I think you are right. I went to the clerk’s office to ask about the Cullen family, and the girl there said there was no record of that name. She looked surprised when I asked. Damn, I didn’t even think that she might be the one that told Aro.”

“Shit, you are probably right. Do you remember her name?” Edward questioned. 

Bella thought for a moment. “Tonya, I think. She was the Clerk of the Records Department in Chicago. A little taller than me, with red hair, and a horrible boob job.”

Edward laughed. “How do you know she had a boob job?”

“Because they were two different sizes,” Bella said, placing her hands under her breasts. “I am so fucking happy that I have a nice set.”

Edward reached out, stroked her breast, as he rubbed his thumb over her nipple, causing it to become hard. “I think they are perfect, and I am one lucky bastard to be able to worship them for the rest of my life.”

Bella was about to take off her shirt when she heard the front door open and Emmett’s loud voice. “Edward, can we keep our engagement to ourselves for just a little while?”

“Why?” Edward wondered.

“I want to be able to celebrate just the two of us, and I know once Rose finds out, she will be full-on wedding planning,” Bella explained.

“You are so right. Alright, we will keep it between us, but we will research whether or not  it is possible for us to get married here. Okay?”

Leaning up, she placed her hands on his cheeks. “I love you, Edward Cullen, and I can’t wait to marry you.” She put her lips onto his, to show him just how much she loved him. Just as his tongue began to stroke hers, Rose whistled.

“Stop checking each other’s tonsils,” Rose groaned.

Edward continued to kiss Bella, but lifted his middle finger and flipped her off. He broke away and smiled at Bella. “I love you,” he whispered then turned towards the group who was gawking at them. “Haven’t you ever seen two people kissing before?”

“Yeah, but it looked like you were both turning blue from the lack of air,” Jasper joked.

“Fuck you,” Edward growled.

“Oh Bella, you should have come with us,” Rose gushed. “The shoes, bags, dresses.”

“Yeah, my poor credit card is crying,” Emmett grumbled.

“Ed, there is also an Armani shop and Bvlgari,” Jasper disclosed with a smile.

Edward’s eyes sparkled. He did love Armani and Bvlgari. “Bella and I will go tomorrow after we finish up at the house.”

“Finish up?” Emmett asked.

“Yeah, we hired a contractor to come in and bring the house back to its glory,” Edward advised.

“We?” It is your house, Edward, not hers,” Alice growled as she glared at Bella.

“Alice,” Edward said with a voice that was cold and deadly. “You will respect her as you do me.”

Alice looked at Edward. “How the fuck can you trust her? You know nothing about her. Hell, she could be working for Aro for all we know.”

Bella jumped to her feet. “I am no fucking spy, bitch. I love Edward, and he loves me. So you need to get off your high horse and accept me because I’m not going anywhere.”

Alice wanted to slap the bitch, but she knew Edward would go nuts. She decided she needed to walk away, but she would keep her eye on Bella. She was going to trip up, and once she did, she would take her out. No one hurts her family. Alice huffed and walked back through the villa and out the door.

“I will talk to her, Edward,” Jasper said. He didn’t know what was wrong with Alice, but if she didn’t start treating Bella right, Edward was going to do something drastic. 

“One more time, Jasper,” Edward hissed.

“Yes, Boss, I understand.”

“Did you find anything else today?” Emmett asked, hoping to break the tension in the room. 

“We found another journal from grandfather. It has a lot of information,” Edward explained.

“Cool,” Emmett chimed.

“Bella and I have a dinner reservation, so we are going to go get ready,” Edward explained.

“Bella, do you need another shot,” Rose asked.

“No, Edward had to give one earlier,” Bella explained and pointed towards the bag.

“Well, I am glad he remembered how to do it. I will leave a syringe in your room so he can give it to you when you return home,” Rose said.

“Thanks, Rose. I do sleep better with the shot, though I will be glad when these damn ribs heal,” Bella groaned. 

Rose turned to Emmett and smiled. “How about we go back to our room, and I will model what I purchased.”

Emmett licked his lips. “I know just which package I want to see.”

Rose giggled and wrapped her arm around Emmett. They walked out the door, whispering and laughing. 

As Rose and Emmett left, Edward grasped Bella’s hand and took her into their bedroom. 

“It is a little early, but I thought we could go looking at a few shops before our reservation,” Edward explained.

“I love that idea. I’m going to go get ready,” Bella instructed then place a kiss on his lips.

“You go ahead. I’m going to read a little bit more because I don’t need a lot of time to get ready,” Edward explained.

Bella went into the bathroom, while Edward sat down in one of the chairs and began reading more of his grandfather’s journal. Like his father’s journals, there were locations all over Lake Como where he had stored his rainy day fund. Even though all the rival families had come into an agreement not to destroy another family completely, he didn’t want to chance discovery just yet. One of the locations stood out, a jewelry shop. He wondered what was stored there. Taking out his phone he saw that it wasn’t too far from the restaurant, so he decided they would go find out. As he was closing the journal, Bella walked back in, only wearing a tiny thong and a pair of sky-high heels. 

“FUCK ME!” Edward groaned.

“I will when we get back,” Bella said over her shoulder. 

Edward got up and went to her. “I am going to be hard all night, knowing what you have under that dress.”

She laughed out loud. “Well, we both will be in pain then.”

Edward shook his head at the comment. “Fine, I am going to get ready. I found a shop I want to go to before dinner.”

Bella opened the closet and pulled out the little black dress that she had packed for the trip. It was short with a low neckline. It was classic with a little bit of naughty. Edward was going to love it and hate it, which made her smile. 

She had just finished putting on her earrings when Edward walked out of the bathroom dressed in a black Armani suit, black silk tie, and Aubercy Diamond dress shoes. He looked like he had just stepped off the runway. “FUCK ME!!” Bella moaned, rubbing her legs together to get some friction.

Edward gave her one his crooked smile and winked. “When we get back from dinner, I promise that you will become hoarse from screaming my name.”

Bella’s mouth gaped open. He was a very dangerous man, and she was counting the lucky stars that he was hers. 

He offered his arm to her, and once she wrapped her arm around it, they walked out of the villa and to the car that was parked in front. Once they got into the back, Ben went around to the driver’s door and started towards their first destination. 

Ben stopped as close as he could since the shop was down a narrow alley. Edward took Bella’s hand as they walked down the cobblestone street towards Gioielleria Lopez Jewelers. He had informed Bella that his grandfather had written about the shop in his journal. The shop was halfway down the alley, surrounded by other shops that looked like time had stood still for at least a century. They arrived at the door, which was a massive oak door that looked like it had been the original. Edward turned the brass knob pushing the heavy door open, as he did the bell chimed. It was a small shop with dark wood showcases with aged tinted glass. Inside of them were black velvet jewelry holders with sparkling jewels draped over them. Behind one of the cases was an elderly man, who looked like he had to be at least a hundred years old.

“Ciao,” the old man said with a warm smile.

“Ciao,” Edward answered. He had a code sentence he had to recite to gain entrance to the safe. Caius had specified which location needed what code. Edward only hoped the man still remembered, because it would not make any sense. “La mia umberalla è bagnata dal sole.” My umbrella is wet from the sun.

“Signore Cullenello, Benvenuto,” he greeted. “Mi chiamo, Stefano Lopez.” Staring at the young man before him he could see Caius Cullenello in his features. He had kept the box safe for all these years knowing that one day someone would come in and give the secret code. It felt like only yesterday when the well known Caius Cullenello had walked into his shop, though it had not been the first time. Caius was a regular customer spending large amounts of money on jewelry for his lovely wife. On this rainy day in May, Caius walked in and asked if they could speak privately. Stefano took him to his office in the back and offered him a glass of whiskey. Once the small talk was over, Caius got down to business. He requested that Stefano house a safe box for him and not to allow anyone to know of its existence until a special phrase was uttered. He of course agreed and was awarded enough money that he would never have to worry about selling another piece of jewelry again in his life. Over the years he wondered what Caius was up to since he had left Italy for the United States, but he had never heard anything out of him or any of his family, until today. Holding up a finger, he rushed into the back, retrieved the box, and then handed it to the young man. Stefano went over to the front door, locked it, flipped the sign to Closed, and went into the back to give the couple privacy.

“Grazie,” Edward said then looked over at Bella. “Let’s see what grandfather left us.”

Bella wanted to say something about the “us” but she knew she just needed to get used to all this. Edward had made it plain that all that he had was now hers as well. He opened the large box and inside were multiple velvet jewelry boxes, some large and some small.

Edward smiled as he saw what the box held. From the photographs of his grandmother that Angela had managed to save, he knew that his grandfather had given her lots of jewels and since he hadn’t found any in the house or in the locations that his father had hidden items, he wondered where they might be. Taking out all the boxes, he placed them on the glass case. The first box he opened contained a long pearl necklace and matching earrings. The next was a large sapphire and diamond necklace, which had to be at least three carats. Box after box of exquisite jewelry was unveiled from the depths of the safe box. Edward waited to open the box with the family crest on it last. Bella was still looking at all the other pieces and wasn’t paying any attention to him. He opened the box and inside, nestled upon the royal blue velvet,  was a stunning diamond and sapphire ring. It was flawless. Taking it out of the box he inspected it and when he looked on the inside of the band where he saw the Cullenello crest. His heart knew that this was the ring that would reside on Bella’s finger forever. 

He turned towards Bella, taking her hand into his, and dropped down onto one knee. “You have already agreed to be my wife and I want to give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.” He slipped the ring on her delicate finger and it fit like it had been made just for her. 

Bella’s eyes filled with tears. Edward stood and she brought her hand up so she could look at the ring. It was everything a woman could want in an engagement ring. It was perfect, just like the man who was now her fiancé. She couldn’t wait for them to start their lives together. 

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