As always hugs and thanks to Mariahjile, Marly 582, SparklyMeg, Iklepixie, Everydaybella, and Cruiz Fanfiction.

Chapter 24


I smile. "You were right." I nod back to the car. " Do you need a hand?"

He shakes his head. "Nah, go on in. I'll grab our things."

"Okay," I murmur. "I'll go help your mom."

As I turn and follow Esme into the house, he touches my wrist. "Bella?" He steps forward, kissing me soundly, leaving me breathless and wanting more. "I'm really glad you're here."


Emmett arrives that evening — a surprise for the whole family. He'd called his mother from the airport, advising he wouldn't be home. It's hours later, after we've been plied with food and drink from Edward's parents, when Emmett strolls through the front door, bringing his girlfriend, Rosalie, with him. They make a picture-perfect couple — Emmett with his broad build, curly brown hair, and large brown eyes, and Rosalie with her Hollywood pin-up curves, long blonde hair, and blazing blue eyes.

For the sake of my self-confidence, I don't stand next to either of them for too long.

It's been a long day for us travellers, and with a busy day ahead tomorrow, we make our apologies and head to bed. Carlisle — Edward's father, who I met earlier — and Esme shush us, telling us they're just happy we made it.

I follow Edward up to the second floor, saying goodnight to Emmett and Rosalie as they stop at what I assume is his room.

If I had any doubt about which room was Edward's, it's gone the second I step inside. It's clearly his and hasn't changed much since he moved out. Trophies from some school sport line two shelves on one of the walls. There's a desk in the corner and a few posters, now curling at the corners. Even after all these years, it still suits him.

As I take in the room, I notice both our suitcases at the bottom of the bed.

"What?" He turns and links his fingers with mine, gently pulling me inside. He has a smile on his face that melts my insides.

"What… um… Are we both sleeping in here?"

He nods his head. "Where else would we sleep?"

I blush. "I mean… Your parents are okay with us sleeping in here? Together?"

He frowns. "Why wouldn't they be?"

I shake my head. "Let's just say, if you come home with me, you'll be good friends with our spare room."

"Oh. That's okay." He shrugs. "Some parents are different. I get that." He kicks his door closed behind us and pulls me into his arms. "Are you okay with this? I just assumed you would be."

I grin and wrap my arms around him. "Alone? With you? Edward, this is definitely something I'm okay with." My heart takes off in my chest as I get lost in his touch.

"Good," he murmurs, his lips against mine. "'Cause I've got this one fantasy with you, and…" He trails his hands down my body, grabbing my ass and pulling me flush against him.

The house, his parents —everything — fall away, and all I can focus on is the feel of his hands on me.


He leans down, tugging my earlobe with his teeth. "And… my childhood bed." His voice is hoarse, and as he pulls me against him again, I can feel exactly what this conversation is doing to him. Heat fires deep in my stomach, and all I want is him.

"You…" I clear my throat. "You do?"

"Mmm-hmm… There's just something about you… and my old bed… where, technically, we shouldn't be..." His lips find mine again, and he begins walking backwards toward the bed. I follow willingly, wanting to hear more about said fantasy. His legs hit the mattress, and he falls back, taking me with him.

I squeal, giggling as Edward wraps his arms around me. "Ssshhh, otherwise my parents will change their minds."

I giggle more. "I can't help it."

He chuckles, pushing the hair from my face. "I love when you smile this much."

"It's you," I say, kissing him softly. "You make me smile like this."

"I love that, too."


The following day, Edward's family descends on us.

I meet aunts whose names I can't remember, and uncles who stare for that little bit too long. Younger cousins play in the backyard, leaving the door open and causing the wind to sweep through the house, their laughter becoming infectious.

Outside, it's cold but the atmosphere is incredibly warm. It's loud, it's hectic, and I absolutely love it.

It's mid-afternoon by the time we sit around a large table and tell each other what we're thankful for. I listen to stories of love, friendships, and family, and for a second, I panic about what I can say.

Then I look to my right and the man sitting next to me.

And I know exactly what I'm thankful for.


The family stays a few hours before heading home. Edward, Carlisle, and Emmett move to the family room, while Rosalie and I help Esme clear up.

"Esme, you should go sit. We've got this." I glance at Rose, who nods in agreement.

"You cooked for us all. The least we can do is clean up."

She scoffs. "Nonsense, girls. You're guests. If my boys had any manners, they would be in here washing up while we relaxed."

Rose laughs. "Let's hold them to that next year. No food unless they promise to do the clearing."

Esme chuckles and moves to stand next to her. She takes the plate from her and begins drying it. "You and Emmett have discussed next year?" She tries to be sly, but the beaming smile on her face betrays her.

Rose looks down, suddenly focused on the dishes in her hand. "Well… yeah. I mean, Emmett's a great guy. I would be stupid not to have him in my future." She passes me the plate with a nervous smile on her face. It makes me feel slightly better that I'm not the only one plagued by insecurities.

Esme glances between us and puts her plate on the countertop. "It means a lot to me and Carlisle that you both came here today. And I know my boys appreciate it." She looks between us. "We're a close family, and as soon as they each mentioned you, I knew I wanted to meet you both. You're more than I ever could have hoped for my boys. They may not live with me anymore, but I can hear it in their voices whenever we speak on the phone They're happy." She smiles. "And tonight, I saw it for myself in the matching goofy grins they wore whenever they looked at you both."

A few moments of silence fall over us as I process Esme's words, before laughter from the front room filters through.

Esme takes the cloth from my hand and then the one from Rosalie's. "Let's leave these for now. You're only here for one more night. The dishes can definitely wait."

She smiles and takes my hand, ushering us both into the front room, where the men are arguing over which channel to watch. From what I can make out, Carlisle is winning, fighting a still-enthusiastic Emmett, whereas Edward seems to have surrendered. He turns as we enter and pats the seat next to him. I go willingly, closing my eyes as he briefly kisses my forehead. I avoiding looking at his mother, aware that I'd be met with a pointed glance and her own knowing smile.

That night, I watch Edward with his family, feeling more at home than I have in a long time.


Thank you for reading xoxo

Next week the update will be slightly earlier and will be on Friday as I have fandom BFF coming to visit for 2 weeks on Saturday! She lives in FL and I'm in Scotland so VERY excited about it!

After update next Friday there will be a short break in updates but I'll be back on the 17th

Fic Rec: Good Deal by m7707 - Bella Swan hates Rosalie Hale. Her idea of revenge? Sleeping with the Ice Queen's boyfriend, Edward Cullen. AH, very OOC, very rated M.