Well, here it is. I'd like to thank the Academy, The Hollywood Foreign Press, The Screen Actors Guild...
Oops wrong occassion.
No, seriously, thank you to my Harpies on my FB group and all the new friends that I have made in this fandom. We can be dysfunctional but we have each other's back when needed. Thank you to Debbie and Ana at Cheatward's Spot on FB (go check them out) for pimping me out. It's much appreciated.
Don't forget to go nominate your faves (even if that's not me) over at the Twific Fandom Awards blog. Nomination period ends Saturday so get on that. I'd link you but this site doesn't allow that. *rolls eyes*
Also a thank you to traceybuie. I know this story didn't go as you would have liked but you were very respectful in your opinion and you still kept reading and reviewing. I appreciate that very much.
Anyway, here we go.
"Lily! Get your cute little butt down here!" Bella called upstairs to her sleepy and, right now, uncooperative, daughter.
She heard heavy trudging bangs on the stairs and surmised that Lily had finally decided to grace her with her presence.
"I don't know why I have to go to this stupid party anyway. It is Saturday, Mom, Saturday! And I am up at the crack of dawn!" Lily complained.
Bella rolled her eyes at her precocious and dramatic thirteen year old.
"It's 9am." Bella contradicted. "And that stupid party is for Michael."
"Michael is stupid. All he cares about are girls and sports."
Bella really couldn't argue that point.
"Your brother is not stupid. He just has an… active social life." She finally said.
Michael had joined their family three years ago when he was fourteen. He had been brought in after a concerned citizen had noticed him coughing up blood on the street - where he had been living for three months. His mother, a drug addict, had kicked him out and he had had nowhere to go.
Rose had treated him and informed Bella and Edward about his situation, knowing they had been planning on adopting another child. Bella had taken one look at the brave teenager and had taken him home that very night. His mother had given him up willingly.
It hadn't been all rainbows from that point on either. It had been a struggle. Michael was at times defiant and moody but beneath that defensive barrier was a heart of gold. He had dark brown hair and piercing green eyes and was popular- like Lily said- with the girls. Apparently they thought that mysterious brooding type was hot.
He was now making decent grades and was playing baseball and basketball. Bella was very proud of her eldest child.
Lily was in the seventh grade, a straight A student and took jazz and ballet. She was a bundle of energy, except for the mornings. Like Bella, Lily was not a morning person. Edward and Michael, however, were. Lily had straight honey blond hair down her back, the curliness had gone away after her first self inflicted haircut when she was three.
Worst words in the parent's dictionary: "Mommy, I am playing Beauty Shop! Aren't I pretty?"
Bella laughed lightly to herself.
She heard the front door open and close.
"Mom?" Michael yelled.
Bella rolled her eyes. Did she mention he was loud and boisterous?
"In the kitchen."
"Ooh! Pancakes!" He bounded over to the table and sat down, messing up Lily's hair as he did.
"Mom!" Lily protested.
Michael smirked at her.
"Michael." Bella warned. "Stop messing up her hair. You know she is as bad as Dad about her hair and I need to get out of here soon."
Lily stuck out her tongue at Michael.
"Lily Grace…" Bella said.
Lily pressed her lips together and huffed, crossing her arms and pouting.
"Good Morning Cullen family." Edward said, walking into the kitchen and grabbing a cup and pouring coffee before giving Bella a kiss. She returned it fiercely. She had missed him as he had stayed at the hospital last night. After almost twelve years of marriage, they still acted like teens at the prom. He deepened the kiss, making her moan.
"Gross! I am trying to eat here." Michael complained.
"Ick! Cooties." Lily grumbled.
Edward pulled back from Bella with a grin and turned to his daughter.
"That's right Lily Bug. Boys have cooties and they stink. Remember that always. Please." He pleaded.
Bella laughed. Edward made no secret of the fact he was terrified that Lily was growing up.
"What? I know how boys think. If I didn't remember all I have to do is look at Michael and I am reminded of it… daily." He muttered to her.
"Hey, I am the one that found his Playboys. Imagine that conversation. I also have to wash his sheets. I win. " She stressed to him.
"You win." He agreed quickly.
"Look at them." She murmured.
They were both laughing at something, one dark head, one blond, positioned close together as they plotted. They were good kids, really, she and Edward couldn't complain, but when they got along and got together… watch out.
"Hey now, none of that." Edward said, seeing what she was focusing on.
"What?" Lily asked, the picture of innocence.
"Don't 'what' me. You two are planning something and we have company coming today, including Grandma and Grandpa Swan. I don't want any buckets of water falling on anyone's head. Do I make myself clear?" Edward said.
Hmmm… forceful, disciplinary Edward. Very hot.
"Yes, Dad." Michael sighed but still exchanged a sly glance with Lily.
Bella gave up.
"We have to leave for the airport in half an hour, so go brush your teeth and Michael, brush that nappy head. It looks like you just woke up."
"Girls dig the messy look which works for me." He shrugged.
"Michael, brush, now." Bella pointed towards the stairs.
Michael rolled his eyes and got up.
"I will roll those eyes out of your head if you keep it up." She shouted good naturedly after him.
"She's a brain surgeon. I've seen her do it." Edward added.
Lily sighed dramatically.
"What are we going to do with him?" She asked her parents.
Now it was Bella's turn to roll her eyes.
"Get upstairs and finish getting ready." Edward told her.
"In thirty minutes, Dad? Get real."
"Try." He emphasized.
Finally the kitchen was free of children.
Edward pulled Bella in his arms.
"Do you ever get up in the mornings and think, 'Did I really want children?'"
Bella smiled. She knew he was joking. He loved this as much, if not more than she did.
"Only when they are being little cockblockers." She told him.
He laughed out loud.
"There are no little cockblockers around right now." He said suggestively.
"Load in the washer is about to hit the spin cycle."
His eye's darkened and he practically dragged her to the laundry room.
What a perfect way to start the day.
Hours later, long after their guests had left, Bella headed to Lily's room for their nightly ritual. No matter how old she had gotten this is one thing they never failed to do, even if Bella was working late. This was their bonding time. Michael never wanted to do it, but then again, he was older when they adopted him.
"Hey, Lily Bug. You ready?"
Bella padded over to Lily and got into her full size bed beside her.
"What do you want to talk about tonight?" She asked her.
"I want to hear my favorite story." Lily decided.
Bella fought her tears back.
Because Lily's favorite story was Bella's as well. It was the best story in the history of the world…
"You want to hear it again? Really?" Bella asked.
"Yes, Mommy, tell me the story of when you and Daddy chose me to be yours forever."