|A Cold, White Christmas
Author: EdwardsBloodType PM
Two years have passed since Edward left Bella in the woods. She has gone off to college, but returns home to Forks for Christmas break. Christmas will be miserable again this year, or will it?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 14 - Words: 44,610 - Reviews: 765 - Favs: 944 - Follows: 298 - Updated: 12-16-08 - Published: 12-01-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4689896
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A short drive later, we turned into an upscale neighborhood with tremendous wooded properties, and then into a long stone driveway. The brick faced home was massive, with two smaller structures on either side; a garage and a guest house, I assumed. Esme met us at the door graciously welcoming us in.
Edward gave me a tour of the mini mansion, pointing out the various rooms including Alice and Jasper's, though they no longer lived there. This home was so different than the white mansion beside the river in Forks. This was brand new, the smell of fresh paint almost lingering in the air. The walls were calming tones of neutral tans and taupes and all of the furniture was so new it looked as if right of a showroom.
Though I knew full well that the Cullens relocated every five or six years and they had done so for almost a century, looking at this filled me with a twinge of anger. How dare they move on without me? How could they just have gone up and resumed their lives as if I had never been in it? It was irrational, and quite self centered yes, but I couldn't shake the feeling.
When I asked Edward about his room, he led me down a narrow staircase to a door at the kitchen and then outside to the guest house. There was a huge fireplace in the center of the room and fifteen foot ceilings above us, framed by large windows and skylights that let streaming beams of light dance across the pale wood floor. The guest house was almost twice the size of Charlie's house.
The place was scarcely furnished, with only a rich brown suede couch and a flat screen television in the living room, and a small dining room table off to the side. Edward's piano was angled toward the corner of the large living room, its shiny black finish dusty and clearly untouched. The smaller of the two bedrooms was completely empty. I peeked in Edward's bedroom and marveled at the cherry wood furniture and king sized bed covered in pale blue linens. It looked as if the room had been staged, the bed never slept in, the drawers in the furniture never opened. A picture of us taken at the prom sat in a silver frame on the nightstand. In the corner of the room an acoustic guitar leaned against the wall.
Edward came up from behind suddenly startling me as his arms encircled my waist. It was so strange to know that this is where he lived now, so different from his home in Forks, so foreign. It was as if I suddenly knew nothing about him, as if the last week had been erased and I had never even known him before. Two years worth of his life had gone by, and I was not a physical part of it. It frightened and saddened me terribly, and an overwhelming sense of emotion came over me.
"Something wrong, love?" He whispered into my ear.
"I just...sort of feel like I hardly know you now...in this life you have made here. You are a different person in so many ways." I wiped a tear from my face.
"Bella, I am different in some ways, yes. But so are you. We all have to change and grow or we would die of boredom, I suppose. Just because I live somewhere different, doesn't mean that who I am is different. You went away to college, you lived on your own. You have become stronger, more mature, more independent, but inside you are still my clumsy stubborn girl." He touched his fingertips softly to my cheek. His words were slightly comforting if not true.
"You're right, I guess." I admitted quietly.
"Just know that all the while I was living here," he motioned toward the room, "you were always here." His long fingers touched his heart.
I crushed my face into his chest and sobbed quietly, not immediately knowing why I was so irrationally upset. He stroked my back, kissing my forehead. I felt so badly for this meltdown, because I couldn't even put it into words why I felt so sad.
Then it hit me. Suddenly the thoughts that once brought me to my knees in the woods so long ago, the emptiness of his voice, and the blank expression of his detached gaze caught hold of me and refused to let go. Despite all of the happiness that was felt and promises that had been made over the last eight days, my mind would not allow me to focus on anything else, as if it were closing a protective shell over me. The fear that he would leave again was incapacitating. I knew I would not be able to bear it, and it would be the end for me if I had to say good bye once again.
"I need some air," I gasped through tears, breaking free from his hold and headed out the door into the garden that would grow thick with roses come spring. My arms wrapped around my body tightly as if to hold my ribs together. Sitting down on the icy cold wrought iron bench, I grew disgusted with myself and my ridiculous reactions. I despised the feeling of falling apart, of being a weak...human.
He followed me out, but stood off to the side leaning against the house, wanting to give me space, and trying to figure out why I was suddenly so distraught. I drew in a deep breath and it hurt terribly, making my lungs feel like they could burst into a million pieces. I felt my hands shaking and a wave of nausea wash over me. The deep breaths I took slowly made the nausea dissipate, but the tears continued to stream down, salty and warm. My throat felt as if had closed shut leaving only a pinhole to let the air in and out. I was having a panic attack. It was not the first time, though. I used to have them all the time after Edward left, and this was my body's way of remembering the trauma.
He approached slowly and sat down next to me touching my knee lightly. He was silent for some time before he quietly asked, "Are you having second thoughts about... us?"
I shot my head up at him looking into his sad butterscotch eyes.
"Oh, Edward no! Never! Just the opposite. I need to know right now, if you are. If you are absolutely certain about us. I have these memories of when you left me in the woods and the numbness that never went away. You know, a few weeks after you left I went back onto the trail and screamed for you. I just screamed and screamed your name and prayed you could hear me or sense that I was calling you. But you didn't come back and..." I shook my head trying to chase away the images. Edward sighed next to me and brought his hand to his mouth.
"Edward, I feel so... pathetic right now, but I am not strong enough to have my heart broken again, I can't bear it if you ..."
"If I leave again?" He whispered. The expression on his face grew from saddened to angry. He shook his head and through gritted teeth said, " Look at what I have done to you. I took away your faith in me, your trust. You are so damaged, so scared right now. I loathe myself for this Bella, I shouldn't be allowed back into your life for this..." His voice trailed off as if he couldn't bear to say anymore. I could feel his pain, see it plainly on his face, the torment and the anguish that he was enduring. I knew it well, as I had been through it myself.
Reaching out, Edward turned my face toward his as his fingertips grazed over my dampened cheek.
"I will never, ever leave you Bella, I promise you that. Even if it should become dangerous for me to be with you I will not go, do you understand? I will never hurt you again, never. You are my life, my whole life, and there is nothing that will change that." His reassuring words eased the doubt, but it was when I looked in his eyes, I saw the tiniest formation of a tear. Bringing my finger to the moisture, I drew a line on the shadow under his eye and wiped the tear on the tip of his nose. His fingers trailed along my cheekbones, as mine cupped under his chin. Silently we touched each other's faces, meshing our fingers in our tears shed out of love.
Edward carried me back into the guest house and placed me on the bed, lying down next to me. His hands came up to my face and wiped the last of the tears away as he tenderly kissed my lips. His eyes met mine and he whispered, "I love you, Bella, so so much." I simply nodded my head in agreement, kissing him back with all the love I had in me.
Edward's shoes thumped as they hit the floor, and mine did the same as I pushed them off one by one, disturbing the silence in the room. His arms embraced my shaking body and held me tightly against his chest comforting and easing my fears. The need, the desire to be with him was unimaginable. It was like a magnet was pulling on me to be near him, to have him inside of me.
Once our clothes were stripped off, Edward lay next to me naked, our bodies tangled in a web of hot and cold. His lips met mine and they moved together, parting and closing like the flow of the tide. As he entered me, our fingers intertwined and our eyes never closed or left sight of one another's gaze. We were silent except for the occasional whispered, "I love you."
We made love that afternoon, really made love. Every one of Edward's movements in me was like a security blanket. Each of his gentle caresses and sweet kisses giving me the solidarity that I so desperately needed. He touched my face and we twined our fingers together while never gazing away from one another's eyes. Our bodies fit together like the last two puzzle pieces that had been lost from the rest of the picture and finally were found to complete it. This love making was not for pleasure or joy, it was what connected us, what bound us together.
After that day, doubt for Edward's love for me and fear that he would leave again never crossed my mind, the anguish of the past fading into the deepest darkest crevice of my memories, almost as if it never happened at all...almost. The pain, the emptiness, the longing...it was a part of who I was, the person I had become. I was stronger because he left me. I appreciated him more now that he was back in my life. I thought the whole time that I was such a weak person because I handled his leaving so badly, but Edward disagreed. He said I handled it so much better than he did, that at least I moved forward with my life unlike him, who remained stagnant in his pain.
We stayed with the Cullen's overnight, so that Edward could pack the rest of his clothes and say goodbye. He was saying good bye to his family, but also farewell to his old life and the sadness that came with being alone for so long. He had finally found the key to his happiness.
Back in Forks, Charlie surprisingly did not hit the roof when I told him I would be taking a semester off to go travel first class through Europe. He agreed with Edward about touring the continent being a better education than any class, but the subtle looks Edward and Charlie exchanged somehow made me think there was a silent agreement between them. Only later, would I find out the meaning behind it. Charlie said good bye to me, slightly tearful and hugged me as if he thought it might be the last time we would hug. He looked older to me, as if somehow he had aged and I was just noticing it.
The day before were were scheduled to leave for London, I packed whatever clothes and lingerie I had, including the mound of frilly dresses Alice had thoughtfully purchased for our trip, and Edward gave me the day free from him to go wrap up lose ends. I headed over to Jacob's, with dread and a very heavy heart.
When the week had passed over New Year's and he did not speak to me personally Jacob had harassed Charlie until Charlie gave into his questions about my whereabouts. At first, he said he was furious that I would let Edward just waltz his way back in my life again, but Charlie had tried to convince him that Edward truly loved me and that he had not seen me this happy in years.
Despite this, Jacob tried to persuade me to stay, with an indescribable look of pain behind his eyes. I told him that he needed to let me go. In every sense of the word, really let me go. When he told me he loved me, I returned the sentiment, telling him that he was one of the very best parts of my life and that I would never forget his friendship and the laughter he had given me. But also that I was desperately in love with Edward and always had been. Saying that to him hurt both of us, but Jacob needed to hear it out loud for him to really comprehend. When he leaned down to hug me, he lifted my chin up and I knew then that he was going to kiss me. Wriggling out of his hold, I said goodbye and ran toward my car leaving him standing in the misty rain. I reversed out of his driveway and down the street as fast as I could manage before I could watch him cry over me. I had reassured myself that I had never led him on, that I was always honest about my romantic feelings, or lack of, for him. But I did not erase the guilt I felt for having him hurting because of me.
Edward had his new car order transferred to London where it was waiting for us when we arrived a week later. We planned to drive when we could, or fly or take the train when we couldn't. We figured that we would spend about a month in each country; England, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Greece. It was important to time our traveling destinations correctly, because Edward couldn't go more than ten days without hunting, (and that was pushing it to the limit ) so we had to be sure we were located near some type of wilderness for him.
We did our best to accommodate both of our needs, being far enough from civilization to hunt animals, but close enough for me to eat real food. We would check into elite upscale hotels right after he had hunted, and then a few days later travel into the country where we would rent little cottages.
Once when our timing had been off Edward became desperately thirsty, his eyes black onyx. He found flock of sheep grazing on a countryside and came home humiliated that he had to hunt something so mangy as a sheep. I comforted him by letting him playfully attack me. I giggled at his subdued snarls and squealed as he pounced on me, which all led to amazing sex, of course.
His thirst was increased by our constant sexual activity. Our desire for each other was something I thought I would never get tired of. Edward showed huge amounts of restraint when it came to sex. He destroyed many headboards and several pieces of my lingerie holding back during our love making. He had to do nothing but look at me a certain way, and we were suddenly wrapping up or food to go or running out of a museum and rushing to the car before we would explode.
We did not go a day without making love, often engaging in sex several times a day, only pausing when I had my period, but even then we found other ways to satisfy our appetites. When it was sunny outside, we usually spent the day in bed, lying naked with each other. There were other times, where our accommodations were so out of the way, that no human was even remotely nearby. We would lay a blanket on the grass and Edward's skin would glitter brilliantly as we caressed each other under the warm sun.
Those were my favorite days. It wasn't the beautiful sights, the fascinating history or the amazing culture that held my interest. It was the closeness that ensued between us, a bond that could not be tampered with or broken. We learned everything there was to know about one another, keeping no secrets, desires or feelings hidden. It was amazing to be so emotionally raw and honest.
Edward shared what vague memories he had of his childhood and I recalled the fresher ones of mine. He listened, fascinated by my every word, just happy to feel like he was even more connected to me. I felt the same. He also shared his fascinating history of the events that occurred over the last ninety years: The Great Depression, World war II, meeting Elvis Presley and the Beatles, Jasper and Alice's Hippie days, and of course the nineteen eighties. Apparently Emmett went through a gold chain wearing, Camaro driving, freestyle music listening phase, whereas Rosalie wore her hair big and teased, with a lace glove on one hand. The stories he told were hysterical, sweet and sometimes heart breaking.
When we did go sightseeing, I never went anywhere without my camera, taking thousands of shots of landscapes, tourist sights and pictures of Edward and I together. Once every few weeks, we loaded them onto his laptop and sent them to our families. Edward bought a thick album in one of the shops and we had several of our favorite pictures printed out.
While in Italy, eleven weeks into our trip, Edward planned an afternoon picnic for us. It was warm and overcast and we lay our blanket in a gorgeous meadow, that was reminiscent of the one in Forks. I ate Italian bread dipped in olive oil with bits of asiago cheese and we chatted as Edward brought chunks of bread to his mouth, pretended to chew and then tossed the bread into the grass. It was something he did so he could feel more human and so I didn't always feel so lonely eating by myself. The practice was really funny at first, but I got used to it after a while, and only noticed when flocks of birds attacked the little piles food.
Edward played the guitar for me singing beautifully, of course. He made up these ridiculous songs and had me laughing at his off the wall sense of humor which, was more evident every day. It seemed the happier he was, the sillier his songs became.
We rolled over onto our bellies, propped ourselves on our elbows and Edward pulled out the photo album filled with some of the pictures of our trip. As I flipped through the pictures, we spoke of what our favorite part of the location was and our least favorite. We usually agreed that our favorite part was the sex, and our least favorite was the few days we did not have sex. On the last page, was a picture of Edward smiling on a beach in Greece sitting cross legged in the sand. Around him he had drawn a heart in the sand with a stick. We spent every moment together so I wondered why I didn't notice when the picture was taken.
I turned the next page to a picture of the same sand heart with writing in it that read:
Will you marry me?
I turned to Edward who was holding out a sparling gold ring in his palm which he later explained was his mother's. As he slipped it on my finger, without a doubt or question in my mind I responded, "Yes, absolutely yes! There is nothing that would make me happier."
His smile was the biggest that I had ever seen, and I knew that the idea of us being married gave Edward immeasurable joy. I could not imagine a world where Edward didn't exist in my life. I was not about to let him go because of my warped visions of marriage thanks to the influences that I was brought up around. However, seeing how his family, Esme and Carlisle, Alice and Jasper, and Emmet and Rosalie interacted in their marriages was all I needed to convince me.
Edward dried my tears as he explained Charlie had given him his blessing before we left which made sense as to why he was so emotional when we said our goodbyes. He was letting go of his little girl. I was so filled with joy and love for Edward it was impossible to think that there was a part of me that had ever been sad.
I wore my rings proudly. Both of them connecting me to two different families, the Cullens which I had grown to love and the Masens, whose legacy was limited to the small bits of memories Edward was able to recall.
Three days after his proposal we were walking along the countryside picking wildflowers when we ran into the end of a wedding ceremony. The couple had just finished taking pictures with family and were piling into cars. The priest who officiated the wedding nodded at us smiling and spoke something in Italian that I did not understand. Edward approached him and conversed with the priest in perfect, fluent Italian.
"The priest wants to know if we are here to get married....Do you want to get married... right now?" Edward asked me with hopeful eyes. I looked at him and before I could say no, realized there was no reason I could even think of not doing it at that very moment. It was as if it was meant to be. I was wearing a white eyelet sun dress, Edward was in a white button down shirt and gray pants, and I was holding a bouquet of flowers. Taking my little camera out of my purse, I smiled and said yes, knowing that this tiny ceremony was so much better than the grand extravaganza that Alice would insist on. This was just for us, and it was perfect.
Edward pulled a few flowers from my bouquet and tucked them into my hair. We stood on the edge of the cliff, just Edward, myself, the priest and a guest from the other wedding who stayed behind and kindly agreed to snap pictures for us. We had no wedding rings, so I took off both of my tiny hoop earrings and used them as makeshift wedding bands. Along with the traditional vows that the priest said in very broken English, Edward and I said our own impromptu vows through joyful tears.
It was the most romantic wedding I could have ever imagined. Later that afternoon, we went into town and bought real wedding bands, his plain gold and mine gold with tiny diamonds in a row. Inscribed on the insides of each of the rings were the words I'm the lucky one.
We had the pictures developed and the one that was our favorite, printed up and made into postcards. We signed the backs,
From Tuscany with love, Edward and Isabella Cullen
We mailed one out to each one of our friends and family with the exception of Jacob. When I noticed one addressed to Tanya and her family in Denali I felt ashamed when I smiled, a bit too satisfied.
Charlie, Renee and of course the Cullens, we phoned immediately after the wedding. I called Jacob a few days after, but he had already heard the news from Charlie. It was a difficult conversation to say the least, but in the end Jacob was happy that I was happy.
Alice insisted that she throw us a reception when we returned home and neither Edward or I could argue because we could hear the disappointment of missing our wedding in her voice. Besides, we learned that she had already seen the wedding in advance and booked a restaurant for us to have the party in.
From that day forward, Edward and would exchange glances at each other, knowing that what we shared was much, much more than love. It was bigger and grander than either of us. It was absolutely extraordinary.
Whenever we were in crowded places, Edward would blindside me when I least expected it, by dropping to one knee and proposing. He would hold out this enormous fake diamond ring and profess his love for me, each time different and unique, and more over the top than the next. Crowds of people would stop and cheer when I said yes, some even snapping pictures. Most of the time I would roll my eyes and yell out, "We're already married!" but few people spoke English, so it was pointless. It happened so often that I stopped becoming embarrassed and just let him do it finding the sweetness and humor in his creativity. Once, just to change it up a bit, as he held out the silly ring, I screamed "No, No!" and ran off leaving him to drop his head in his hands and pretend to cry, with the onlookers devastated. We joked that we would join an improv actors group when we returned home.
While in Ireland, Edward received an urgent call from Carlisle. He had heard through a friend, that the Volturi's residence had been completely destroyed. There had been a terrible explosion of some sort, burning everything within the confines of the lair, including all of the vampires in it. The exits were bolted shut and somehow, they were not able to escape even from the tower. Carlisle's friend would not explain how he was informed of this event, but just that it was a well planned assassination leaving no survivors. This was both good and bad, considering they were the only 'police' that the vampires had. Obviously, the Volturi had more enemies than they anticipated. We didn't really know how to feel about it, but I knew from the conversation with Carlisle that it gave Edward one more excuse not to change me.
As long as our trip was, the time truly sped by. Edward said we could stay longer, but I really missed Charlie and the Cullens, and I knew he did as well. School would be starting soon, and I could not put that off again. We returned home at the end of July, having been gone a total of seven months. We attended Angela and Ben's wedding where she whispered to me in the quiet of the reception gardens that she was eight weeks pregnant.
A few weeks later, we had our own wedding reception with our closest family and friends in attendance Alice Cullen style. Jacob arrived late and left early leaving Billy behind to make excuses for him. Alice did a beautiful job with the arrangements, and Edward and I danced under the stars as our friends and families watched in awe. It was a beautiful night, and for the first time, I saw in Charlie's gaze that he trusted Edward to take care of his little girl and was happy for us. Renee and Phil actually made the trip as well and I could tell my mother was happy for me, if not the tiniest bit envious of my accomplishments and my good fortune in finding love with Edward.
Edward and I had moved into the doll house, as it came to be known, and I finished school three semesters later with Edward by my side in many of my classes. On the evening of my graduation, we had a small party with family in our yard and my father beamed at how proud he was.
Upon graduation, I quickly realized that a degree in English Literature qualified me to do very little in the real world. My options were high school English teacher and not much else. I knew Edward preferred if I didn't work at all, but I found the days of just hanging around the house and having sex leaving me feeling like I needed a bit more to stimulate the mind.
We drove to Forks once or twice a month to see Charlie and then straight to Portland to see the Cullens. While in Forks, Edward and I made a point of visiting our meadow whatever the weather. Our times there had become infinitely special, as we knew this was the place where we first fell in love.
Jacob and Edward eventually became friends, just giving up the fight after I forced them together on so many occasions. They discovered the only thing they had in common was me, but it was enough to keep them playing video games and talking cars while we were all together. It was hard for Jacob to trust Edward, considering he knew he was a vampire. I told him the truth years ago, knowing that it wasn't my secret to tell, but I never expected the Cullens to return to my life. Edward understood why I had to tell him, considering I was planning to be one of them. Besides, Jacob already knew in some ways. After all, he was the one who explained about the Cold Ones in the first place.
Jacob eventually fell in love with Leah Clearwater's cousin Emily. She was a beautiful girl, and we were ecstatic for them both. They had their first baby, less than a year after they married and we visited them often. Seeing Edward interact with their baby was painful to watch, knowing that he would never have a child of his own. We had many conversations about it, but it always came down to the fact that I didn't want to bear a child that wasn't his, and he didn't care either way as long as I was happy. So we looked into adoption.
During one of our visits with Charlie, I came across my old diaries of when I had first moved from Arizona. I read through them, laughing at how stubborn and ungirlie I was. I let Edward read them, and he was grateful that I let him into something so personal to me, giving him another piece of my heart. He said it was much better than being able to read my mind.
He suggested I put the diaries into the computer as a memoir, and I did just that. When it was finished a few months after, I let the Cullens read it and every one of them urged I get it published under a pen name. The only thing I couldn't decide on was an appropriate title. 'Forks' sounded like a recipe book, 'Vampire Kiss' was way to trite, and 'The Lion and The Lamb ' seemed like an appropriate title for an animal hunting book. Then one evening while walking through the park, Edward was inspired by the ending of the day, and he suddenly blurted out, "Twilight." And so it we found our perfect title. After a lot of research and plenty of rejections, a publishing house picked it up and asked for two more books.
It was of course, a biography of my life, but it was marketed as fiction because who in their right mind would believe that vampires were real? I had intended for all of the names to be changed, but everyone insisted that I keep them-they all wanted their fifteen minutes of fame. We expected that it would be of interest to the young adult set, selling maybe a hundred copies if we were lucky. It's not like I was interested in the fame or money, because the last thing I wanted was to be the center of attention. The only reason I agreed to having it published I the first place was because our story was so beautiful and unique, I wanted to share it.
To our surprise, the book turned out to be an international phenomenon, selling millions of copies and launching an avalanche of book tours and television interviews. We hired an actress to take the role of me, the author, and she did all the press and interviews, while I happily sat back and watched from the shadows. She did a remarkable job, and we paid her handsomely.
Edward began writing his own version of how we met, and it was alarmingly insightful. He really did live up to his creepy stalker title. I saw through his eyes how much he deeply loved me as well as how much restraint it took to not kill me. It was confusing and terrifying but at the same time I was so glad he wrote it because it was a piece of us. It has yet to be published.
It took a great deal of strength to write the sequel, New Moon, knowing I would have to rehash the painful memories of that terrible time in my life. Edward literally and figuratively held my hand through it, and I knew it caused him great pain to read what his leaving had done to me. It was again, a memoir, only I realized that it got really boring after Edward left me in the woods. Just Jacob and I hanging out in his garage for six months was not interesting subject matter. Edward threw out suggestions and we wrote the book together, using Jacob's Quileute legends as inspiration. With the addition of werewolves and bad vampires, and of course the Volturi who were no longer a threat to any of us, the book was good, really good. Much more interesting than the real events that happened.
There were things that were from my real life that I added into the books. Edward had given me a locket for Christmas inscribed with' Plu que ma propre vie' which became Renesmee's in the fourth book. The motorcycles in New Moon were real, but not my idea, as they were actually Embry and Quil's and they were the ones in the emergency room. My wolf charm bracelet from Jacob was also real, as was Edward's diamond addition to it but his heart charm was added years later. Jasper bought Alice a yellow Porsche for Christmas, which was my inspiration for the car in Italy. Our little blue Victorian was the basis behind the stone cottage in Breaking Dawn. And Jacob's daughter was my inspiration for Renesmee.
The third book became even more fun as we wrote totally fictional adventures, again adding Jacob as a main character. Jacob and the La Push boys were beyond thrilled at there masculine werewolf roles that mirrored their heritage. Jacob loved the fact that fictional Bella professes her love for him, forced as it was. As much as he protested, Edward was eventually OK with the Bella falling in love with Jacob story line because he knew he won in the end, literally. He said he went along with it for "the good of creative literature."
To our surprise, we were eventually offered a movie deal. I only agreed to it because I was dying to see how it interpreted on screen. I signed a contract stipulating that the vampires were not to have fangs, and the story was supposed to stick to the events in the book. Edward came home one afternoon and angrily threw a magazine on the counter.
"Look at this, Bella, look!"
On the cover of the magazine were the actors that were cast to play us in the film. I laughed at the irony when I saw Robert Pattinson was chosen to play Edward Cullen. I thought he was a perfect choice.
Edward pouted for a week.
I hated to say good bye to fictional Edward and Bella, so I wrote one more book which turned out to be the most controversial and the most fantastic of all of them. I had every intention of giving fictional Bella and Edward a very happy ending, of course.
After I wrote Fictional Bella and Edward's wedding and honeymoon, with Edward's descriptions of Esme's Island, Edward asked me sadly if their wedding was what I had always wanted as opposed to our private cliff side ceremony.
I said, "Never, but their honeymoon was a very nice idea."
He made arrangements for us to go to Isle Esme when I came down with a terrible case of the flu. After two weeks of throwing up, I finally went to the doctor at Edward's insistence and found I did not have the flu.
I was pregnant.
We immediately called Carlisle, packed our bags and drove to Portland. We moved into Edward's now fully furnished guest house where Carlisle could keep a close watch on the pregnancy, as none of us knew what to expect. I overheard him tell Edward he should prepare me because the chances were very likely that I would miscarry, my body rejecting the fetus. However, to our shock and elation, the pregnancy went as normal as one should go. I had an amniocentesis and a slew of blood work revealing that everything was completely normal and that the baby was, to all of our surprise, completely human. Well, human with benefits.
Since this had never happened before that any of them knew of, Carlisle and Edward did tremendous amounts of research, and devised many theories. But the one that seemed to make the most sense, as unbelievable as it was, was the cryogenics theory. Carlisle thought that since Edward was a young verile teenager when he was changed, his body temperature literally froze the healthy sperm within him. When he was with me, the only possibility was that my body temperature and friction thawed it out and thus, pregnancy occurred.
Hearing this fantastic theory, Emmett said, "Talk about hot sex," which then became the running joke of the family.
The baby grew slightly bigger and faster than it should have, and my due date kept changing. Seven months into the pregnancy, my water broke and three hours later, I delivered a healthy baby boy in our living room. We named him Masen.
He was absolutely gorgeous, a little clone of Edward with the same bronze hair and Edwards piercing green eyes from before he was changed. Masen was the sweetest baby, slept and ate like any typical baby should. Edward was a doting father. He changed diapers, read all the baby books and I never had to wake for three AM feedings, because Edward never slept.
What we did not expect was how gifted Masen would be. He spoke his first word at five months, walked at six months and was reading by the time he was one. He was an incredible swimmer, able to hold his breath underwater for several minutes at a time. One afternoon, I came out into the living room to hear Masen, not Edward, playing the piano. "Mama's ludd-aboy," he called it. Edward had taught him once while he sat on his lap, and Masen performed it exactly as Edward had.
He was also a typical toddler, causing mischief and mayhem as toddlers often do. His favorite practice was to open up the kitchen cabinets and empty all the Tupperware on to the floor and then put it all back in perfect size order. He would make us laugh when he clomped around the house wearing Edward's big shoes. He was the absolute joy of our lives.
Inspired by my own life, I completed the fourth book adding fictional Bella's remarkable pregnancy and the terrible, but exciting events that followed, including Bella's change into a vampire. I wanted Edward to be the one who saved everyone in the end, but it was Edward's idea to make fictional Bella the heroine of the story. He said it was time I was the one doing the saving.
The subject of my 'changing' had been put on hold temporarily. Since we were under the impression that Masen would live and die as any human, I could not bear to outlive him if I was a vampire. We thought that if I did go through with it, then when Masen was old enough we would tell him the truth and let him make the decision to be changed as well. If not, then when Masen and I died naturally, Edward would go as well. It was not something that I cared to think about, but I understood as I could not go on without him either. We finally came to the agreement that he would change me before I turned 24.
We eventually moved out of the guest house into a home a few minutes from The Cullen's. It had a huge garage for all the cars Edward collected and a swimming pool in the back for Masen. The house was grander than I would have liked, as I still preferred the simpler things. The only request I had made was for a wraparound porch with a swing, as sitting on the swing with Edward were some of my favorite times at the other house. It was as close to Anne of Green Gables as it got.
Renee came to visit often, adoring Masen but always muttering that she was too young to be a grandmother. She looked around at my family and at the home we had made and said, " Bella sweetheart, you lead a charmed life." Those words could not have been more true.
When Masen was a little over one year old, we discovered his most amazing and precious gift. The three of us were walking home from the park, Masen in the middle of us holding each of our hands. He was in his "why" phase and Edward was patiently answering all of his questions. I was thinking about how I didn't feel like making chicken for dinner and that I would order take out sushi instead. Masen looked toward Edward and said, "Mama wants sooo-sheee."
I looked at Edward amazed and said, "He just heard my thoughts." I pictured a ball in my head. Masen said, "Let's play wif the ball!"
Edward wanted to try as well, but nothing happened. We figured out that if Masen was holding both mine and Edward's hands, he could hear just me.
We kept it our secret for a while, playing with it and sharing our thoughts privately. It was only a few weeks later when Masen was "listening" to me, that Edward casually, out of habit, reached for my free hand. I instantly heard Edward's voice in my head as did Masen. "Daddy loves Mama!" he squealed. We discovered that when the three of us held hands in a circle, we could hear eachother's minds. I was able to see into Edward's head, as he was into mine. Masen's gift was actually his gift to us.
With my 24th birthday steadily approaching, we set the date for the "change' and made arrangements for Masen's care. It terrified me to leave him for such an indefinite amount of time, but no one thought it would be a good idea to have a wild newborn vampire around a human child. I started having second thoughts, but I realized that there really was no other way for me to stay with Edward. As I wrote in the book, I refused to be looked at as his mother when I was an aging fifty and he was still perfect at seventeen.
The morning that it was supposed to happen, Alice came to the house screaming and banging on the door in a fury. She threw a box of pregnancy tests at me and explained that she had a vision.
Seven months later, we had a beautiful healthy baby girl with chocolate brown curls and green eyes like Masen's. She looked just like me, but with Edward's eyes. We named her Meadow.
Christmas morning just after Meadow was born, Masen woke me up eager for me to open my gifts. He and Edward had made me an adorable jewelry box covered in glitter and feathers and elbow macaroni. Inside was an antique locket, inscribed in French with a picture of the four of us on one side. It was one of my most treasured possessions, and I never took it off.
After Masen opened his gifts and we got ready to go to Carlisle and Esme's, we waited on the front porch swing for Charlie and Sue to arrive. We leaned our heads together and held hands as I silently told them how much I loved them and how happy they all made me.
Christmastime was purely magical now. Everything I had ever wanted and everything I never knew I wanted was mine. I had more love than I could imagine, and that was all that mattered.
I whispered to Edward, "You have given me more than I could have ever dreamed."
His response was, "So did you. Merry Christmas, Love."
From the outside as a passerby in the street, we were just a picture perfect family. And we were perfect.
Perfect with a few secrets. I was never the kind of person who believed in fairy tales, especially not one where I got to have the happy ending. I chuckled at the thought of Edward as my Prince Charming, knowing Edward was so, so much more than that.
I guess in the end, the clumsy plain girl who moved to a far away land and met the 'man' of her dreams really is the story of the fair maiden and her knight in shining armor who ultimately live happily ever after.
And it is our story.
Thank you to every one who read this story, my first attempt at writing anything. I left it open for you to decide whether Bella becomes a vampire or not. Ideally, I think, that by the time she was 25 years old, Edward would have changed her.