Things I own: my sanity (though, that's debatable at times), not enough time to write and incredible friends and family!
Things I don't: Twilight, Edward and Bella (Damn. It.)
Before we get to it, I want to do my author's note up here. Pictures from this chapter will be on my tumblr and blog. We will be wrapping up the story, tying up some loose ends. (What happened to Paul? Rosalie? All of our favorite characters and not so favorite characters?) We also want to know about our couple. Did they get their HEA? Honeymoon?
Anyhow, I want to thank a few people. First off, thank you to Chandrakanta for creating the banner for the story. It was awesome and totally captured the feel I had for it. Also, thank you to Kelly (ladykt on TWCS) for making sure that the dates were always right on TWCS. Finally, thank you to all of my supporters, which there are so many, but you know who you are, when I struggled with this story and with the harsh criticisms that Bella received. Thank you, all of you, for your support and encouragement. I truly appreciate it, more than you can possibly ever understand.
And now the…
December 31st, 2014
"Alice?" I knocked on her bathroom door in the hotel room. I heard her retching. "Ali? Are you okay?"
"Ugh, I don't need this today," she moaned.
"I'm coming in," I said, opening the door. She was kneeling on the floor with a towel covering her dress. Her hair was tossed over her shoulder and she looked as white as her wedding gown. "Ali? What's going on?"
"Oh, nothing. Just growing a human," she said, flushing the toilet.
"Excuse me! Did you just say you're growing a human?" I squeaked.
"Yep. Our little bundle of joy was conceived on your wedding night," she blanched, leaning against the door and giving me a smile. "I cannot stop throwing up."
"Do you have anything you can take? Oh, and congratulations," I laughed nervously, looking at my best friend. "You're pregnant!'
"Yeah," she said wistfully, pressing her hands to her belly. "I forgot to bring my birth control pills on our trip and junior was conceived. I'm happy but would really like to not puke my brains out on my flipping wedding day." She teetered to her bag and found a prescription bottle. "I can take these but I'll be sleepy most of the day."
"Lesser of the two evils, Ali. Puking or nodding off," I said, handing her a water bottle.
"Good point," Alice said, downing her medication and wiping down her face. "Sorry that I kind of booked it out of there. I didn't want to puke up on my dress. Is the photographer mad?"
"Riley? No," I snickered. "He was more worried than anything." Alice nodded and walked unsteadily out of the bathroom. "Do you want me to get to the makeup artist?"
"Do I look bad?" she asked, rushing to a mirror and checking her hair. "Do I have puke in my hair? On my dress?!"
"No, you're beautiful, Alice. I was just curious," I said, guiding her away from the mirror, rubbing her back.
"Okay. I'm just a mess. This is not going according to plan with the baby," Alice sighed, picking up her bouquet that was placed on the bed. "Jasper and I wanted to wait until we had a house and had been married for at least a year."
"Some things don't go according to plan, Ali," I said. "Case in point…" I wriggled my left hand, which earned me a giggle and a hug. I led her out of the hotel room and back down to the lobby of the Trump Tower where we were having a bridesmaid and bride photo shoot prior to the church ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral. Back in the lobby, Riley was snapping photos of Jessie, Jasper's normal sister, Layla, and Angela. When he saw us return, he smiled and directed us to stand in front of the massive Christmas tree in the lobby. While Riley was taking pictures of Alice with the other bridesmaids, I slipped out my cell phone and texted my husband.
I've got news ~ Mrs. C.
Is it about my sister? ~ E
That would be affirmative, hubby ~ Mrs. C.
Then, I think I know. Jasper spilled the beans ~ E
Well, crap. I wanted to tell you first. Can you believe it? Your sister got pregnant on our wedding night! *snorts* ~ Mrs. C.
I'm happy for them. I can't wait to be an uncle! ~ E
Liar…you can't wait to be a daddy ~ Mrs. C.
This is true…are you telling me something? *flutters eyelashes* ~ E
Sorry, no baby growing my womb. Not yet…In case you forgot, I got my shot just after we got back from Vegas ~ Mrs. C.
Go off the shot, Bells. Please? ~ E
"Bella! We need you!" Riley shouted.
Edward, I'm not blowing you off, but I have to go. We'll talk about this, face to face, later. Okay? ~ Mrs. C.
Okay. :-( ~ E
No, frowny face, Edward. I'm needed for photos. I love you more than you know ~ Mrs. C.
I love you, too, pretty girl. See you in an hour or so ~ E
I put my phone back into my purse and darted to the tree. Riley took some more photos with the bridesmaids and then some with Carlisle and Esme before we all got onto the huge party bus to drive us to the cathedral. Inside, Riley walked around, taking more photos of the church and the flowers that adorned the altar. Alice was in the bride's room, trying not to throw up. Esme had some saltines and ginger ale, encouraging her daughter to eat, nibble at the food.
The priest came and checked on us before shuffling to the front of the church, preparing for the ceremony. The wedding coordinator, Jenn, got us all lined up. Edward slid next to me, wearing the same tuxedo he wore for our wedding. "Fancy meeting you here, Mrs. Cullen," he quipped, offering me his arm.
"You dork," I giggled. "Hmmmm, good memories from this tuxedo."
"Great memories," he purred, nuzzling my hair with his nose.
"EDWARD ANTHONY! STOP CANOODLING YOUR WIFE!" Alice hissed.
"Shouldn't you be wearing red, you she-devil?" Edward teased. Alice rolled her eyes, giving him the bird. "She's my wife. I can canoodle her all I want." He kissed my hair and squeezed my ass.
"Behave, counselor," I snickered. "We're in a church."
"Okay, okay," he said, looping my arm through his. He glanced at me, smiling softly. "You look gorgeous, Bells. So sexy."
"Thank you," I blushed. "And thank you for agreeing to get married in Vegas. This," I gestured to the craziness that was Alice's wedding, "would have given me heart palpitations."
"You and me both. I'm not the groom and I'm having heart palpitations. I think it's the evil glares from Jasper's side of the family. They're possessed," he said as we walked closer to the entrance. I bit back a laugh, leaning my head against his shoulder. He kissed my forehead, giving me his perfect crooked smirk.
Grasping my bouquet, we walked down the long aisle to the sounds of Pachelbel's Canon in D. Reaching the front of the cathedral, Edward and I bent reverently before taking our spots on either side of the altar. Jasper stepped in front of Edward, shaking his hand before giving me a nervous smile. Like a dork, I gave him a thumbs up. Jasper chuckled and the organ changed from the canon to Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach. His eyes cut to the entrance of the cathedral and Alice was being led down the aisle by a very regal and handsome Carlisle. They got to the front of the cathedral, bowing and walking up the steps to the altar. The music concluded and the priest began the service.
An hour later, Alice and Jasper were married in the eyes of God and their families. The priest gleefully pronounced them husband and wife and they kissed each other exuberantly. Jasper, very subtly, ran his hand along Alice's still flat abdomen and winked at us. We all knew their secret and from the disdainful gasp from Jasper's mother, so did she. The joyful sounds of Schubert's Wedding March began and we walked down the aisle in our processional.
We finished with our photos at the church and finally had an opportunity to take a breather. Alice and Jasper were enjoying some quiet time Alice's room while the rest of the wedding party hung out in the hospitality suite at the Trump Tower. Edward walked over with two glasses of champagne, sitting next to me on the couch. "I thought you were joking about Jasper's mother and his family. I had seen their ire but hearing them talk? Everything is wrong," he said, shooting a glance at the slew of upset Whitlocks huddled in the corner. "Jasper's mother and brother are awful."
"I can only imagine what they're saying about your sister," I spat. "I'm tempted to give her a piece of my mind or kick her ass with the pointy end of my stilettos." I kicked up my black heels, ready to toss it at her head.
"That's if my mom doesn't do it first," Edward snorted. "The only normal one is Jessie."
"She's sweet and adorable. I like her. She's a female version of Jasper," I smirked, kicking off my shoes and propping up my feet on Edward's lap. He chuckled, massaging me feet and I moaned.
"No sex sounds in public, Mrs. Cullen," he joked, tickling my foot.
"It feels so good," I said, poking him the stomach. "You try standing in those for an hour. See how great your feet feel!"
"I don't think so. My feet are barking in these tuxedo shoes. They have zero support," he scoffed. I giggled, maneuvering so I could cuddle in his arms, my favorite place to be. "Hmmmm, I love this."
"Me, too. But, Alice's wedding is cutting into our Naked Saturday thing," I giggled.
"Love, it's Wednesday," Edward sighed, kissing behind my ear.
"Oh, great. That means we can go sans clothing on Saturday. Excellent," I beamed, wiggling my fingers.
"Bells, you are amazing. I love you," he said, wrapping his arm around my waist and placing his hand on my belly. We sat there, just enjoying each other until Edward sighed.
"Talk to me, Edward," I said, lacing my fingers with his and kissing his wedding band.
"I'm kind of jealous of Alice and Jasper," he replied. "I'm excited and happy for them, but jealous because I wanted us to be pregnant first."
"Alice said that the baby is against all of her plans," I said, turning to look at my husband. "I told her that not everything goes as planned." Edward and I shared a secretive smile, knowing our unplanned nuptials in Vegas was the best thing that ever happened to us. "She's happy about being pregnant but she's panicking since she's not prepared for it."
"That's Alice," Edward smirked. "Bells, I meant what I said on the phone. Can you go off the shot?"
"I've got six weeks before my next appointment. When I go in, I'll discuss other options of birth control," I said.
"Why do we need it?" he asked. "Do you want to get pregnant?"
"Edward, I do, but I have to get my body back on cycle. Getting the shot essentially stopped me from ovulating. I have to get used to having a monthly period. Besides, when the doctor first started me on the Depo shot, she said it could take up to a year or more for a women's cycle to return to normal," I explained. "Let me talk with my doctor and then we'll discuss our options once I know all of the details, okay?"
"But, you won't get another shot?" Edward clarified.
"I won't get another shot, but I will talk to her about what the next course of action should be if we want to try for having a baby," I said.
Edward's smile was so beautiful. He hugged me close, kissing me sweetly. "Thank you, baby," he said as he leaned against my forehead. "I love you so much, Mrs. Cullen."
"As I love you, counselor," I purred, snuggling further into his arms.
The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch. That is until Esme completely lost it at the end of the night, but we didn't blame her. We were all in the lobby of the hotel, waiting for Alice and Jasper to come down the stairs for their final send off before their honeymoon. Barb was talking, very loudly about how awful everything was at the wedding, from the food, to the accommodations, to the decorations, to the music...
When she started talking smack about Alice, Esme went ape shit. "You bitch!" Esme hissed, glaring at Barb. "How dare you call my daughter a whore!"
"If the shoe fits," Barb said, shrugging nonchalantly. "She trapped my son in this marriage because she couldn't keep her legs closed."
Esme stomped over to Barb and smacked her across the face. "I've put up with your shit for long enough. You've insulted my husband, my children, my family. You've been disrespectful of everything we've done for you to try and make your stay in Chicago pleasant."
"Now, see here, Esme," John, Jasper's father bellowed. "You've done nothing but made things difficult in regards to this wedding. Having it in the middle of the week, in the dead of winter? Your daughter is a brat, a self-entitled snot."
Esme went to smack him and Edward pulled her back. "Mom, I don't want to bail you out of jail or represent you," he said calmly. Esme huffed, walking over to me and glaring at the Whitlocks. "Mr. Whitlock, Mrs. Whitlock, you are entitled to your opinions, but your behavior is bordering on slander and harassment. We are well within our rights to prosecute you for your hateful words. And let me assure you, we will win."
"What attorney would take that case?" Barb scoffed.
"Me," Seth said, crossing his arms. "My boss," he put his arm around Edward, "has me on retainer, representing his family."
"You have a choice," Edward said coldly, his asshole attorney demeanor frosting over his body. "Either you apologize to my family, who has paid for your airplane tickets, your hotel rooms, babysitters for your grandchildren and your entire trip or you will be served with papers, delineating each and every transgression that has happened here. Your fortune will be gone and you will have nothing. Do you understand me?"
"You are such a liar," Barb scoffed. "You can't do anything to us."
"I can and I will," Edward snapped. "Does anyone have this on video?" Barb and John paled, looking at each other furtively. One of my co-workers, Elyssa, waved her phone. Edward smirked at her.
"Jesus, Mother, can't you keep your mouth shut?" Josie, Jasper's middle sister spat. "You're never happy. I'm so sorry for their behavior, Edward, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. I'm grateful for everything you've done and so are most of us. I'm excited that I'm going to be an auntie."
Barb gaped at Edward, who was still glaring at them. John was thinking, trying to decide if he should challenge my husband or apologize. John looked at his daughters and saw how much Jessie and Josie were embarrassed of their behavior. He also realized that the same thing could happen to them. "You're right."
"John!" screeched Barb.
"Oh, shut up, Barb! We've been…awful."
"Save it," Edward said. "Apologize to my parents. Apologize to my sister. Then, we won't have a problem." He turned on his heel and wrapped his arm around my waist. He sighed heavily, kissing my temple.
"That was hot, counselor," I purred.
"Really?" he asked.
"Oh, yeah. I think that when we get upstairs, you need to be all lawyerly and sexy, commanding me what to do," I smiled. "My panties are drenched at the show of power."
"Fuck," he moaned, nuzzling his nose along the column of my neck. "We do need to practice."
"Practice making a baby and tonight, you're the criminal and I'm your attorney, love," he growled.
"Frisk me, counselor. I dare you," I giggled.
"Edward, what is the deal with the blindfold? I mean, really," I grumbled. We'd been married for over eight months and we were finally going on our honeymoon. But my husband was being all secretive. He wouldn't let me know where we were going. All I knew was that I needed a passport and a months-worth of clothing.
"I'm trying to keep our honeymoon locale a secret for as long as I can, Bella," he said.
"I just know that once we get to the airport, I'm going to run into a person or a wall or a post and end up breaking something and our honeymoon would be ruined," I said, laying on the guilt trip.
"Ugh, I tried," he said, removing the blindfold from my eyes. I blinked, trying to get my eyes to focus. "You would have found out when we got to the airport anyway."
"Are you going to tell me?" I asked.
"Nope," he snorted. "You're just going to have to wait, Mrs. Cullen."
I stuck my tongue out at him and watched as we drove closer to O'Hare International Airport. Edward chuckled, shuffling through his carryon. We arrived at the international terminal, parked in front of the Air France sign. "No way," I said, my eyes widening.
"I remember everything you say, Bella," Edward said as he signed for the limo. "I said, on the top of that replica of the Eiffel Tower, that I would take you to Paris on our honeymoon. In addition to Paris, we're also going to Lyon, Avignon and the French Rivera, staying in Cannes."
"I can't believe this," I breathed. "Edward, this is my dream come true! Well, besides marrying you."
"Thanks, Bells," he chuckled, rolling our luggage to the sky cap.
"Edward, you know I love you, but going to France…Paris!" I gasped, clutching my chest.
"Well, Paris is our last stop. We're flying into Cannes for two weeks on a beach. Then, we're taking the bullet train up to Avignon for a few days, then Lyon for another day or two and the last week and a half will be spent in Paris," he said, handing me a tour book for France. I squealed, jumping into his arms and kissing every inch of his face. He laughed, guiding me to the check in, which we breezed through. Once in the terminal, I purchased two more books at a bookstore on Paris, specifically. I started reading them, anxious to see all of the places that I'd only ever seen on television and in the movies. Edward had to drag me onto the plane since I was so engrossed in my books that I didn't hear our flight being called.
I spent the entire flight pouring over the books. Edward crashed next to me since he had been working some insane hours due to his extended vacation, our honeymoon. I looked at him, smiling at him and feeling my heart flutter. Even now, he made me giddy and I couldn't believe that he was mine and I was his.
The transition from being a couple to being married was nonexistent. We had been living together for over four years and been intimate for a year. We were insatiable for each other and as often as we could, we made love. Edward was determined to be a daddy. Unfortunately, with all of the naked fun time we had, we still were not with child. My doctor said it would take time. So, I stopped getting the shot and taking any sort of birth control. It was weird. I'd been on birth control since I was fifteen. It felt oddly liberating to not have to take a pill every day or get a shot every three months. It also meant that my periods were all sorts of fucked up. I never knew when I was going to have my period and when I did, it was painful and I was a bitch.
I think Edward made sure he worked late the nights where I was a hormonal banshee. I didn't blame him. I was awful.
Now, Alice, once she got over the stress of her wedding, calmed down about her little one. They were expecting a little girl. Jasper wanted to carry on the 'J' tradition but Alice wanted nothing to do with it, especially since after she heard what Barb had to say about her on her wedding day. We shielded Alice from the showdown at the Trump Tower Lobby, but when she did find out, she all but told her mother-in-law that the grandbaby growing in her stomach would never know Barb unless she got her over herself. It's been quiet on the Whitlock front. They did apologize for their behavior at the wedding but I think Barb harbors some ill will towards Alice and hasn't spoken to her about the baby. Alice and Jasper haven't decided on a name, but Brooklyn, Marisa, and Tessa are all contenders. The middle name will be either Isabella or Marie since I was the godmother of my new niece. Edward was the godfather.
Emmett and Angela are still together and taking things slowly. They had been dating for nearly a year and had yet to make love. Shockingly enough, Emmett was okay with it. With as awful as Angela's life had been, she needed someone to show her that they weren't going to run away. Don't I know that feeling? However, her brothers were placed in her uncle's care. It was combined decision with the social worker, the boys, Angela and their uncle. Angela was barely keeping her head above water and their uncle was willing to take them in. Emmett was her rock when she came home from dropping them off at their uncle's home. He stayed with her as she cried, telling her that he loved her. Angela and Emmett had been inseparable since, but were treating their physical relationship carefully since Angela wasn't sure if she was cut out to be a mother.
We landed in Cannes nearly eight hours after we took off. My excitement from finding out where we were going was waning. I had spent the entire flight reading and now I was ready to crash. Edward was bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Once we got through customs, we got into the waiting limo from the five-star hotel, Intercontinental Carlton, we were staying at for the next two weeks on the coast. Checking in, we were led to our luxurious suite and given the opportunity to relax. It was mid-day. I wanted to do so much, but my exhaustion was hindering that. Edward guided me to the bed, removing all of my clothes and encouraged me to take a nap. He did the same, slipping into the bed with me. I fell asleep immediately, cuddled in Edward's warm embrace.
When I woke up, it was twilight and I could feel Edward's lips caressing every inch of my body. I cracked open my eyes, seeing him kissing my bare chest, pulling my nipple into his mouth. "Horny, counselor?"
"I've had the most gorgeous naked women in my arms for three hours. Of course I'm horny," he purred, flicking his tongue on my breast. His hand ghosted down my body and he cupped my sex. "So are you…"
"Your tongue is doing wicked things to my breasts, Edward," I whispered. He smiled, kissing down my body. He spread my legs and then his tongue was doing wicked things to my pussy. "Oh, fuck!" He stayed down there, tasting me, kissing me and loving my pussy until I had several powerful orgasms. Once I was pile of Bella goo, he crawled up my body and slid inside of my folds, caressing my sweaty hair from my face. Leaning down, he kissed me as he swiveled his hips, feeling me from the inside. "Edward…"
"I know, love. We can never get close enough," he murmured, pulling one of my legs higher over his hip. "God, you're so tight, baby. I love making love to you." He stared at me, caressing my face and holding me close. His body was thrusting, moving deep inside. Sweat was beading on his forehead and the sounds of our bodies coming together was the only music in the room, save for our labored breathing.
"Oh, baby," I breathed. "I'm going to come again. Please come with me."
"Always," he panted, kissing my lips softly as he continued his steady and deep rhythm of our love making. Out of seemingly nowhere, my climax zipped through me. My hands scratched down his back as the feelings of pleasure pulsed through my body. Edward was grunting, moaning right along with me as he filled me with his release. With two more deep thrusts, he kissed me, his tongue sliding through my lips and claiming my mouth. He held me close, playfully nipping at my lips until he slipped out of my body. We stayed snuggled together until our stomachs growled. Getting up, we showered together before going to one of the many restaurants nearby.
As we ate, Edward and I devised a plan for our two weeks in Cannes. Most of it was going to be spent on the beach or in the pool. We'd travel to nearby Nice and other towns along the Cote d'Azur, but for the most part, we were going to be the typical honeymooners; sit by the pool, make love late into the night and just enjoy each other. And that's what we did. However, my libido was on high alert all throughout our time in France.
Edward…speaking French…wet panties for his horny wife.
I wish I could speak French. Six years of Spanish is great for me as a teacher, but can't really help me in France. Dang it.
After our two weeks in Cannes and a killer tan, for both of us, we began our travels north to Avignon and Lyon. They were just pit stops along our journey up to Paris. Edward wanted to explore the French countryside, visit a vineyard and see the famous lavender fields of Avignon. We also made love in the famous lavender fields of Avignon.
Lyon was a bit more of a night passing through. We ate a French bistro, listening to an accordion player and enjoying the laid-back French feel. I loved it. I loved being here with my Edward who had made all of this happen. "Thank you, Edward," I murmured, threading my fingers with his. "This has been the most incredible honeymoon."
"We still have the piece de la résistance," he quipped. "Paris!"
"Hmmm, there are so many things I want to do in Paris," I beamed. "Obviously, I want to go on the observation deck of the real Eiffel Tower."
"Maybe I'll reenact your proposal," he snickered.
"I'll always say yes, counselor," I said, kissing his cheek.
"What else do you want to do?" Edward asked, pulling me into his lap.
"A river boat tour of the Seine, L'Arc de Triomphe, the palace at Versaille, Musée d'Orsay, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge…"
"That's a lot to fit in eight days, Mrs. Cullen. I still want to ravage you each night," he growled, nuzzling my neck.
"You're insatiable, Edward," I said, giving him a sly grin.
"For you, yes," he replied. "I love you, Bella. I love being with you. I missed you while I was working my ass off the past three months. I'm making up for lost time."
"I missed you, too, but I knew the reason why you were pulling those insane hours. It was because you were planning this," I said, gesturing to the bistro. "It was because you were taking off a month to enjoy our honeymoon."
"I wish I had more time with you, Bells. I knew my workload would increase exponentially when I accepted the promotion, but I feel like a horrible husband," he sighed, twisting his ring.
"Edward Anthony Cullen, you listen to me," I said, forcing his eyes to mine. "You are not a horrible husband. You are an outstanding attorney, attentive and adoring husband and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know that when I need you, you'll be there just as I'll be there for you. I love you. I will always love you. I trust you and I'm so fucking proud of you." I crashed my lips against his, sliding my tongue into his mouth.
His hands fisted my shirt and pulled me impossibly closer to his body. We kissed each other desperately until we both needed to breathe. "Bells? We need to get out of here because I need you. I have to fuck you." I nodded dumbly since all logical thought escaped my mind. He tossed some euros on the table, dragging me back to our hotel. That night, our love making was animalistic and domineering. Edward was in control and he showed me as much as he could. I never knew that blind folds and restraints could be so erotic. My orgasms were powerful, coating us each time with my very abundant release. It was so bad that we ended up sleeping on the pull out couch.
The mattress was soaked.
In the afternoon on the following day, we arrived at the train station in Paris. My heart stammered in my chest as we rode in a taxi to the George V Hotel in the heart of downtown Paris. I snapped photo after photo of unique architecture, signs for the metro and a ton of the Eiffel Tower, from a distance. Edward was smiling, letting me have my silly touristy moment, but his eyes were twinkling with love and affection for me, for us. Checking into the hotel, we dumped our luggage and decided to go exploring. While we wandered around the streets close to our hotel, we shopped for our families and for souvenirs to remember our honeymoon. I got a few things for Alice and Jasper's baby, including our christening gift, which was a gorgeous locket in the shape of a heart.
Our days flew by. They were filled with excursions about the city, trying to jam pack as much as we could before we flew back home. On our final night in Paris, Edward dressed up in a suit and I wore my wedding dress. We took a cab to the Eiffel Tower, riding up to the observation deck. He pointed out all of the spots we visited from our perch atop the iconic French tower. He spoke to me in French, vowing his undying devotion and we swayed to the music in our hearts. As we were kissing, relishing our final night in the city of love and lights, Edward's cell phone rang.
"Hello?" he answered. "Hold on, let me put her on speaker, Mom." He pressed a button and we huddled together to hear Esme.
"I know that tonight is your last night in France," she gushed. "I wouldn't have called unless it was really important, but we've got some amazing news!"
"What, Esme?" I asked.
"Alice had her baby!" she squealed. "She is tiny since she's a couple weeks early, but healthy and perfect!"
"What's our niece's name?" Edward asked.
"Brooklyn Marie Whitlock," Esme said. "She's got a head of black hair and gray eyes, but the doctors think they'll turn blue. I've sent you an email with a few pictures, but I had to tell you!"
"Is Alice okay?" I questioned.
"She's fine. Tired, but so happy. When you guys get back, you have to see her," Esme breathed.
"That's wonderful news, Esme," I smiled, snuggling into my husband's arms. "Give Alice, Jasper and Brooklyn our love."
"I will! Love to you both," Esme sang before she hung up the phone.
"Wow, my baby sister is a mother," Edward mused. "I'm…wow…"
"I know," I said, kissing his jaw. "I'm so thrilled for them. Alice is going to be an amazing mom and Jasper, once he gets over the shock of being a dad, will be great, too." My husband arched a brow. "He can barely tolerate freshmen. They are almost fully functional. Well, as functional as high schoolers can be. They can talk, go to the bathroom and have somewhat normal conversations. Brooklyn's main purpose in life is to feed, sleep, shit and repeat."
Edward laughed, holding me close. "Bella, I never know what you're going to say and I love that about you," he said.
"Good. It keeps you on your toes," I said, pressing my ear to his chest and listening to his heartbeat.
"Does Alice's news make you horny?" Edward asked.
"Yep. Let's enjoy our final night in Paris, naked and hopefully, making a baby," I said, tugging on his hand to the elevator.
"You are the most beautiful girl in the whole world. Yes, you are…yes," I cooed to my niece and goddaughter, Brooklyn. She giggled, waving her hands excitedly as I bounced her gently in my arms. We were celebrating Thanksgiving at Alice and Jasper's new home near Carlisle and Esme's in Glenview. Edward, unfortunately, was called away to the Cook County Jail just as we were getting ready to go. He didn't say what it was about, but he left with Seth while I took the Volvo to Alice's house.
"Do you know when my bonehead brother is coming?" Alice asked as she checked on the turkey.
"Nope. However, he looked incredibly worried when he left with Seth. I hope everything is alright," I said, putting Brooklyn into her bouncy chair.
"Obviously, it isn't since he has to go to the jail on Thanksgiving," Alice sighed. "He better be here for dinner, though." We walked into the family room, bringing some snacks and appetizers. It was the first family gathering since Brooklyn's birth. Alice had a packed house. In addition to all of the Cullen's, my parents were also in town, along with John, Jasper's father. He had since divorced Barb, who was on a spiritual journey in Tibet or something. Jessie and her boyfriend, Riley, were also in attendance along with Josie and her fiancé, Brandon. Layla was also with us, since Seth was bringing Edward from the jail.
"Oh! You'll never believe who I ran into," Esme said as she sipped from her wine glass. "Guess who got out for good behavior?"
"Smurfette?" I squeaked.
"Who's Smurfette?" Angela asked, clearly confused.
"Rosalie. She was Emmett's ex-girlfriend who got sent to jail for credit card fraud, embezzlement and sexual harassment," Alice snorted derisively. "She got out?"
"Yep. She's working at the grocery store as a bagger," Esme said. "She tried to talk to me, but I wouldn't even acknowledge her. Hell, I paid cash for all of my groceries since I didn't trust her with my credit card, even though she was only bagging my groceries."
"I'm shocked that she's allowed to handle money," I retorted. "I know that she's reformed or whatever, but still…"
"I wonder if her hair is still blue?" Emmett mused.
"Nope. It's mousy brown and she looks bedraggled, a far cry from the woman you dated," Esme said, smirking.
The door opened and I heard Edward's voice, along with Seth's. I shot up and walked to the foyer. "Edward!" I said, running into his arms.
"Pretty girl," he breathed, burying his nose in my hair. He clung to me and murmured his love.
"Damn, Eddie, this job is crazy. Going to work on a holiday?" Emmett asked.
"It was necessary. If you excuse me, I need to speak to Bella for a moment," he said, guiding me into the living room. He sat down and pulled me into his lap. "I'm sorry about leaving so abruptly, but as the representative for the Martins, I had to go on their behalf. Something happened with Paul."
"Oh. Is he okay?" I asked. I may not have forgiven him for what he did to all of those girls or to me, but I didn't want him hurt.
"No, pretty girl," he said. "He was never cut out for prison life. He was a target for the more hardened criminals and when they discovered what he had done, he was beat up quite frequently. Anyhow, he…he couldn't take it. He was never able to make bail and he was injured extensively, causing permanent damage in his junk."
"He was castrated?" I grimaced.
"The man was a eunuch," Edward blanched. "Anyhow, it fucked up his head and the guards found him this morning. He hung himself with his bed sheets. Paul's dead."
I blinked a few times. I expected to feel something but I was unfazed by the information that Edward shared with me. I was more concerned about the Martins and their grandson, Ethan. "What's going to happen now?"
"Since we don't have a defendant, the cases are going to be dropped. Seth and I are going to try and get some of Paul's benefits distributed to the women he hurt and the Martins, but for all intents and purposes, it's over," he frowned. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine but I feel so badly for everyone that Paul hurt, for the Martins," I said, toying with his buttons on his shirt.
"He hurt you, too," Edward whispered, brushing his fingers along my cheek.
"I just hope that he found peace or is dancing with the devil himself," I said, wrapping my arms around Edward's neck. "I love you, Edward."
"As I love you, pretty girl," he murmured. We stayed in the living room, giving each other comfort until Alice called for me to help with dinner. I kissed my husband and told him to drink a few beers to take the edge off. Alice was breast feeding Brooklyn while I moved in her kitchen like a whirling dervish. Esme tried to help but she was blitzed and my mother could burn a pan of water. Angela did step in to help, for that I was grateful. Some of the smells of the food were causing my stomach to churn. We managed to get the food on the table and seated.
"Last year, our Thanksgiving was a little different," Carlisle chuckled.
"Gotta keep it interesting, Dad," Edward snickered, kissing my hand.
"Well, now that we're all together, I'd like everyone to say what they are most grateful for this year," Carlisle beamed. "We're just going to go around the table. Esme, you're first."
I didn't pay attention to everyone as they spoke. I was too nervous. I had been harboring a secret for the past couple of days. I wanted to kiss Carlisle for doing the gratefulness thing because I could finally tell Edward. I reached into my pocket and clutched the tiny piece of paper, smiling wistfully.
"Bella? You're next, sweetheart," Renee said, sipping from her wine glass.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I blushed. "Um, well, I'm grateful for ultrasound technicians."
"Bells, that is the weirdest thing you've ever said," Emmett snickered.
"On Monday, I met a really nice one. She, um, printed out our first baby picture," I said, handing Edward the grainy photo of our eight week old fetus. "You're going to be a daddy."
"What?" Edward asked, his green eyes widening behind his glasses.
"Meet our baby," I whispered. "I'm pregnant."
"Oh my God," Edward breathed, looking at me and then back at the photo. "A baby? Eight weeks? When did you…?"
"It was Jasper's coffee and the smell of your cologne that gave me a hint that something was wrong," I said, threading my fingers with his and placing his hand over my belly. "I bought a pregnancy test and it registered pregnant even before I was done peeing. I made an appointment with my doctor on Monday and this is our first baby photo."
Edward shot up and gathered me in his arms. He was crying, his tears falling onto my shoulder. "Bella, my Bella…I love you so much," he said, kissing my face. He beamed before falling to his knees to talk to my stomach. "Baby, it's Daddy…I'm so grateful for you and for mommy! I love you both with all of my heart."
"Elijah Carlisle Cullen! Nyssa Renee Cullen! Get your skinny little butts down here!" I called to my two little cherubs. "We're going to be late! You know how Aunt Alice hates when we're late."
"Blame, Dad," Elijah snickered, coming down. "We were working on your anniversary present."
"Yeah, Mom," Nyssa said, running to my side and hugging me tightly.
"What's this anniversary present?" I asked, kissing my daughter's head. Nyssa and Elijah were our two twin terrors. When I went in for my ultrasound prior to my announcement, Nyssa was hiding behind Elijah's fat head. When we went in for our next ultrasound, I was shocked when the doctor said there were two heartbeats. I thought my kid was some sort of mutant. Edward was passed out on the floor.
"Don't say one word," Edward warned as he walked down the stairs. Sigh…Even at forty, he was sexy as fuck and we still went at it like fucking bunny rabbits. Ten years of marriage have not dwindled our insatiable need for each other.
"We weren't going to," Elijah said, giving his father knuckles. "But, we have to go, Mom. We don't want to be late."
"Smart ass," I chuckled, ruffling Elijah's hair. Our son was a spitting image of my husband and Nyssa was my mini-me. However, Nyssa had Edward's brains and calm demeanor. Elijah was like me, a snarky, pain in the ass. But, I loved both of my children.
We loaded up in our Volvo SUV and drove to Alice's. Her home was the only place that could host all of our crazy family. Granted, most of that crazy family was hers. She and Jasper didn't have children, they had a litter. They were married for ten years, as long as Edward and me, and had six kids, with two more on the way. We nicknamed Jasper 'Captain Spermanator' because his jizz was quite potent. I struggled with Elijah and Nyssa. I could not imagine having eight kids. Edward and I were trying for one more, but were content with the two children we did have.
"Oh, Mom, can I stay over with Brooklyn tonight?" Nyssa asked. "I have a bag packed and everything."
"You realize that Aunt Alice will want to get up at the crack of dawn to go shopping," I said. "She lives for Black Friday sales."
"It's cool. I need to get you guys something," Nyssa smirked.
"Sure, baby. Do you want me to pick you up tomorrow after dinner?" I asked.
"I'll call you. Maybe I'll stay until Saturday, if Aunt Alice will let me," Nyssa replied. I nodded and reached across the console to hold my husband's hand. I heard a scuffle in the backseat and Elijah barked in pain.
"Dang, Nyss, you've got some sharp elbows," Elijah grumbled, rubbing his side.
"Hands to yourselves," I chided. "Or elbows, for that matter."
"Mom, can I hang out with Uncle Em? He got tickets for the Blackhawks for tomorrow and asked if I wanted to go," Elijah wheedled. My poor son was the only boy of the family. Well, only boy over the age of five. Alice had three boys, but they were five, three and two.
"Do you have a bag packed, too?" I snickered, looking at my husband. He was grinning smugly.
"Uh, yeah," Elijah replied.
"That's fine," I said, arching a brow at my son. "Catch a puck for me, okay?" Elijah gave a fist pump as we were pulling into Alice and Jasper's driveway. They scrambled out and ran up to the front door. "You pawned off our children to your sister, who is pregnant with twins, and your brother. Why?"
"Because I wanted to celebrate our anniversary without little ears listening to everything we do," Edward smirked. "It's our tenth anniversary and ideally I would have liked to take you back to France, but a weekend at home is the best I can do, pretty girl."
"That's sweet, counselor," I said, kissing his hand.
"I know that this year hasn't been easy for you and I want to spoil my beautiful, sexy and busy wife," he said, leaning across to brush his lips with mine.
I nodded and we got out of the car. This year hadn't been easy for me. I made a career change. I was still a teacher, but now, I taught college students. I was a professor at Northwestern University, teaching modern classics and introduction to Shakespeare. I got my master's degree in literature. I was hired by the university based off my grades and penchant for teaching. I was also taking classes, working toward my doctorate. I'm hoping to be Dr. Isabella Cullen before the year 2030. However, I was also teaching an introductory class to writing and the students were worse than my high school students. I had one boy accuse me of sexual harassment, which I fought and won. Seth was my attorney. The boy was thrown out of school because I was the second teacher he wrongly accused. It brought back memories of Paul and what he did to all of those girls. I hated that I was painted in that light and I almost quit, but Edward talked me down and the university believed me when I said that I was innocent.
Now, Edward was doing phenomenal things with the firm. He was still a partner and working civil cases. He also talked Marcus and Eleazar into offering a partnership to Seth, who head up the pro-bono portion of the firm. It was good press to help people less fortunate. The firm was one of the most sought after law firms in the country and was featured in numerous magazines for their work. My husband was the face and the shining star of Denali, Volturi, Cullen, Clearwater and Associates.
Dinner was amazing, thanks to the help of all of the women in the family. Angela, Emmett's now wife, took lead on the turkey and it was delicious. They got married shortly after our second anniversary on Valentine's Day. Angela was still very conservative but has loosened up slightly. They had one child, a daughter, named Valerie, after Angela's mother. Angela realized that she wasn't a bad mother but the situation with her brothers was what caused them to act out. They weren't trying for another baby, but weren't actively stopping it either. Angela was a year younger than Edward and it didn't seem likely that they would have anymore, but if they did, it would be a blessing.
After dinner, Edward dragged me out of the house. Emmett waggled his brows and said something inappropriate for little ears. Angela smacked him and gave him what for. I just laughed as Edward pushed me toward the car. Driving back to our house, he parked the car and helped me out of the SUV. Taking my hands, he led me into the kitchen.
"Do you trust me, Mrs. Cullen?" Edward asked.
"Of course, I do," I smiled. He gave me another smug little grin before taking his tie and wrapping it around my eyes. "Oooh, are we playing tonight?"
"Maybe," he breathed in my ear. He pressed a soft kiss behind my ear and shifted so he was in front of me. "Come with me, pretty girl." He took my hands and led me up the stairs. Once at our destination, he removed my coat and shuffled around before cupping my face with his hands. He untied his tie, removing it. I blinked my eyes open, staring at his handsome face. "Ten years ago today, we exchanged our vows, becoming husband and wife. Today, I want to renew those vows because I want you to know that I will not go anywhere."
"I know, Edward," I whispered.
"But, first, look around," he murmured, stepping out of the doorway. I walked into our bedroom. It had been transformed. It reminded me of our honeymoon, with everything French and provincial decorating our walls, the bed and the furniture. "Esme ordered everything for our new room. I wanted to relive our honeymoon. Because, you have to admit, our honeymoon was fucking awesome."
"It was awesome," I breathed. "I want to go back."
"And we will," Edward said, giving me a folder. It described a two week vacation to France and England for the four of us while I was on my summer vacation. "It won't be as sex-filled, but it will be just as magical because we can share it with our children."
"Edward," I said, wrapping my arms around his neck. "I love you! Thank you!"
"I'm not done yet, pretty girl," he chuckled. Edward reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box. He got down on one knee, smiling at me. "Twenty years ago, I met a girl. We were friends by default. She had befriended my sister and they became close. As I got to know her, my feelings changed and I wanted more than just friendship, but I was afraid. I didn't want to lose her as a friend, so I kept my true feelings hidden. I was her best friend, her confidante and roommate for four years. I kept my feelings hidden. Always hidden. It wasn't until she had her heart broken that I saw my chance. But my friend was afraid. We fell into an arrangement. An arrangement that changed our lives. For the better, yeah?"
"I think so," I sniffled.
"I know so," he chuckled. "It was while we had that arrangement that I realized that I was in love with the girl and that I wanted it all with her. Granted, things didn't go as planned and it took us awhile to finally get over our fears, but when we did, it was beyond anything I ever dreamed of. I loved her. She loved me. We loved each other."
"We still love each other," I whispered, getting on my knees to get closer to my husband.
"And we always will," he whispered back. "Our relationship developed and changed until I got down on one knee in Las Vegas, asking for her hand in marriage. My pretty girl said yes. Within forty-eight hours of her saying yes, we were married and now we have a new arrangement, which sadly doesn't include naked Saturdays anymore, but I'm okay with that because we have Elijah and Nyssa."
"They would not appreciate naked Saturdays like we would, baby," I giggled.
"Nope." Edward winked at me, opening up the box. "Isabella Cullen, you are and always have been my best friend. Our relationship has been an incredible journey of joy, love and amazing things. You have given me everything that I ever wanted…a wonderful marriage, two beautiful children, a home, and as weird as it sounds, the SUV. The only thing that's missing is a dog and the iconic American family would be complete."
"No dogs," I snorted. "Nyssa's allergic."
"Right. I knew there was a reason," he smirked. "Bells, I love you with everything that I am and everything I will be. Will you marry me again?"
"My answer will always be yes, Edward. I love you so much!" I said, throwing my arms around his neck. We fell onto the floor of our bedroom, laughing. He held me close as he slipped my new ring, a diamond anniversary band with four stones, onto my right ring finger. "It's beautiful, baby."
"Each stone represents one of us," he said. "But, what we have means more to me than any ring. I married my best friend and I'm reaping all of the benefits."
"How about we enjoy those benefits, counselor?" I purred.
And we did…for the rest of our lives.