"Are you sure that's everything?" Jasper asked, loading another box into his car.
"I think so, but I'm going to look around just in case," I replied, heading back into the house. I took my time moving from now empty room to almost empty room, verifying I did in fact, have everything. I touched the empty fireplace mantle, knowing my pictures were in just as good as place.
I heard voices outside but no clear words until Alice was at my side. "It's not too late to back out, you know. Everyone would understand."
I turned to her and smiled. "I wouldn't dream of it."
"Well, then, let's go." She took my hand in hers and we met back up with everyone out front. "Its official, Bella's out. Time to move Ben and Angela in!" She clapped her hands causing Charlie, my niece, to laugh with abandon and clap along with her.
"Is pizza okay with everyone?" Edward asked, phone to his ear. We all agreed and Angela offered to run to the store for beer.
"Here," she said handing me Charlie, "Can you keep an eye on her while I go?"
"I'd love to." I sat on the lawn to watch the men parade in and out with the heavy things. I pretended to bite her little hands, watching her face light up in glee. Charlotte Renee Swan, named for our dad, Charles and our mom, Renee, made it into the world as the first baby on the first of January. Ben and Angela won a year's supply of diapers for it. She's the light of all our lives and makes me reconsider my thoughts on having a child. Okay, not really. Edward and I have no desire to reproduce. Yet another reason we fit so well together.
Once the pizza got here, we all took a break to eat and play with Charlie. "Is this weird for you?" Edward asked, handing me another slice.
"A little bit," I said, "But I love this decision."
"What do you love about it?" he asked cheekily.
"I love that I'm giving Ben the opportunity to own a house. A place for him and Angela to expand their family if they choose. With the three bedrooms, they can easily add another baby to the mix."
I smiled proudly at Ben. He'd really turned things around for himself in the past year. He was running Paul's shop these days, allowing Paul's wife, Rebecca to stay at home with their kids. Angela's blog had even taken off. Once she changed the theme of her posts to motherhood challenges, she got more people to read it. I had decided to let them rent to own my house. They were thriving and I was great to see.
"Hey, Bella. We're ready to move some of your old furniture around. Are you sure you don't mind us buying it from you?" Angela asked.
"I'm positive, Angela. Are you sure there wasn't more you wanted?" I offered looking at the pile of things headed to Craigs List and Goodwill.
"There are some things, Ben and I just can't buy from you." She shuddered and pointed at my bed.
"I understand," I laughed.
We spent the next few hours getting their house set up and each taking turns playing with Charlie. All of us were exhausted when we were done. Luckily, there wasn't anything other than a few pieces of furniture to move to Edward's. Since Edward had his house more than set up, already, we chose to use my office furniture and a few end tables.
I handed my keys over to Ben, hugged Ang and Charlotte and got in my car. Jasper, Alice and Edward had already left for Edward's house.
When I got there, they'd placed the desks and tables and were mostly done putting my boxes in his garage. He and I would take our time to put things where we wanted them in the house. We thanked Alice and Jasper for their help. I was going to owe them four lasagnas, and waved from the front porch as they pulled away.
"Ready?" Edward asked, turning to me.
"Ready," I said.
He took my hand and pulled me into the foyer, closed the door behind him and put his hands around my waist. "Welcome home," he whispered into my ear.
A/N: Thanks for coming on this journey with me. It's always a pleasure to respond to your reviews. I can't thank any of you enough for reading my words-