So all good things must come to an end is what they say, and we hope you all have liked this and think it is good. Thank you to the great group of ladies mentioned in the first chapter who have helped us as always.
Our next story will start in July and is called Parallel Parenting. Check out our Facebook group to see a banner for it. The summary is: Parenting can be a hard job to tackle, but it can be harder when you are parallel parenting between twins. Whatever will these two do with the girls they love corrupting their lives?
Without further ado, here is the end ...
SIS Chapter 13 - Epilogue
Bella POV - Five Years after the last chapter
I still feel nervous about my choice to get a cochlear implant for my left ear. However, here I am waiting to see if and how it's going to work.
My eyes land on Edward and his eyes are on me. Like always he is here for me. He mouths he loves me, before his attention is directed to Sophia and Charlie. It was all three of them that helped me make this choice.
It was only a year after Edward asked me to marry him that we were married. I remember that day so well.
"I really should have known that you would have done something completely off the wall for your wedding," Mama T says making me just grin at her.
It's been just over a year that she and my father have been married. I had called her Mrs. B. all my life, but after they married, I started calling her Momma T, and it stuck. A few weeks after they returned from their honeymoon, Alice started calling my dad, Daddy C. Both my dad and her mom seemed to enjoy their new names.
"Not every one of my family could get time off to come, so having my wedding at the station means no one has to miss it," I tell her completely happy with my choice of venue.
"I know, honey, all I am saying is that you have a spark, a little something special inside of you." Mama T says as she fixes my hair.
"You, my dear, are a very special girl, and I hope that Edward and you have a happy life together."
"I have a strong feeling that we will," I tell her and she hugs me to her just as Alice walks in with Rose.
"Everything is ready," Alice says with a small sob. Rose rolls her eyes and hands her a tissue. "I'm sorry, it's just that being pregnant seems to make me cry," she adds.
"That's because you're having a boy," Mama T says in a matter-of-fact voice.
"Mom, I am only ten weeks; no one knows what the gender is yet!"
"Yes, you may only be ten weeks, but I am telling you, that I know. I told you a long time ago, boys make you emotional and girls steal your beauty."
I tilt my head looking at her questionably.
"Bella, you have seen the photos from when I was carrying this one," she carries on with a nod toward Alice. "Not pretty, at all. Anyway, when carrying a girl, she steals your beauty, and boys make you cranky and cry."
"That makes sense; men learn early how to make us girls cry." Rose says with a grin.
I shake my head at them. "Well, Edward doesn't make me cry, and I guess I need to get my dad so we can get this show on the road."
We all walk out and meet the guys who are waiting on us. "Baby, you look amazing," my dad says as he looks me over. "My mom would love what you've done with her wedding dress."
Edward talked about us using his mother's and bio-father's wedding set. I knew it was significant to him that his father—despite having been gone for so long—was a part of our day, because he's still important in Edward's life. When he showed me the wedding set, I knew that my engagement ring was a part of that, too.
After much thought, I knew a new wedding dress wouldn't do, that it had to be something old – something that had meaning. As my father had kept his mother's wedding dress, I decided that I would wear it. After asking my father first, I took it to a dressmaker who changed it up a bit, so that it would fit me better. My grandmother was a tall woman standing at almost six-feet when she married my grandfather. So it needed to be shortened, and we changed it up to make it mine, but still kept the integrity of an old-fashioned dress.
I watched as Emmett walks Rose down the aisle, followed by Jasper and a still crying Alice.
~"I am so proud of you"~ my dad signs. ~"I want you to know, that even with you getting married and becoming Edward's wife, doesn't change the fact that you are my daughter. I am still here for you, whenever you need to talk, vent, or just want some time with your old dad. Nothing will change that; it doesn't matter when, or where, I will always be here for you."
I nod at him, and then hug him closely to me.
He pulls back and wipes my tears. "Now, I suppose I should get you down to Edward before he starts having kittens."
I chuckle but nod again. I know I need and want to be with Edward, too.
When I reach Edward, he kisses me then moves down helping me remove my shoes, knowing I will better hear with the help of the vibrations.
I am yet again stunned when the reverend, who's performing the service, not only speaks out loud, but in sign language as well. I can't tell you how seeing someone, talking to me in sign language makes me feel. I know other people in the deaf community feel the same when they are spoken to in their own language.
The music starts and with both having my shoes off, and my implant in, I am able to sing along with everyone else.
Edward signs to me as he speaks his vows; he even adds in a few words here and there, that I know are just for me.
After the service is over and photos are taken, we move to a nearby restaurant. The on-duty crew managed to get the first course eaten before they had to leave on a call. They were able to return in time for our first dance.
"Bella, Edward, if you two can come with us, we have a surprise for you," Seth says. Everything in his body language is telling me to be careful; he's up to something. I look at Edward who seems to be just as curious and cautious as I am. We follow him out and he tells us to stand in the station yard.
I jump when the lights and sirens go on, and watch open-mouthed as all of our engines flash their lights at us, that go from the words Bigs, to Bitsy, to Cullen. Edward and I are so busy watching, we don't notice what else the guys are doing. It isn't until we have thousands of bubbles surrounding us, that we see about twenty bubble machines surrounding us. Edward pulls me to him picking me up as he kisses me.
"I always wanted to kiss you in the rain, but I guess bubbles will have to do!"
I chuckle but nod at him in agreement.
"Hop on," Seth says from our spare fire engine that has been covered with streamers, and a big sign that says 'Just Married Mr. & Mrs. 'Big and Bitsy' Cullen'.
Edward picks me up again at the waist and places me on the sidebar and then jumps on putting one arm around me. We wave as Seth drives off.
Edward and I went on our honeymoon; it was great spending time away in the sun with him. We spent some time sightseeing, but mainly we were too busy wrapped in each other's arms.
The first few years passed quickly, and just as Edward thought, Emmett moved in across from us as soon as a house became available. Alice and Jasper then had their little son, Joseph. He was a whopping eight pounds at birth, and though small in my arms, looked huge when Alice held him. Next to follow in the baby-making business were Rose and Emmett, with their daughter a year later. Harmony was born screaming in the middle of the night, and Alice and I delivered her.
Not long after Harmony was born, I discovered I was pregnant, but before I could tell Edward the news, we received another unexpected surprise. It was late one night; I was just about to go home when someone arrived at the station stopping me as I was going out the door.
"I need to go," I smile as Edward kisses me.
"Come on, tomorrow is our two-year anniversary; you should just spend the night here with me."
I chuckle lightly into his kiss. "But two years ago, we spent that night apart," I remind him.
"I remember, and I hated it."
"I know, me, too."
"So stay," he almost whines.
"I can't," I tell him, knowing I had things to do for his surprise.
Edward pouts before kissing me again.
"I love you and I will see you tomorrow," I say walking backward waving at him. His face changes and he steps forward, but not in time for me to stop and I walk right into someone.
I spin around seeing it's a woman, who must be around my age, and in her arms is a small baby.
"Oh my God, I am so sorry," I tell her as I look her and the baby over. "Are you and the baby okay?" I ask, worried I had hurt them.
"Here" she stutters handing me the baby. I take him more because she has shoved him in my arms, than wanting to hold him.
"I have to go," the woman says and starts to walk away.
"Miss," Edward says, looking from me to the woman.
"I can do this, right? They said I could drop him off; this is a Safe Haven, isn't it? He's only forty-eight-hours old, so I can do this without getting into trouble, right?"
Edward nods at her, and steps forward with his hands up. "Can you at least tell me your name? Have you been looked over? The baby, has he been looked over?"
"Yes, I'm fine, he's fine, but …" she trails off. "I can't do this. I like to party. I can't look after myself; there is no way I can look after him. Then you have to add in his possible problem …"
"Problem?" I ask, finding my voice.
"He may be deaf; they need to do more tests. You can deal with that, right? I saw you on TV a few times; you can do this. I want you to look after him. It's all in my letter, in the diaper bag."
I look to the ground seeing the bag. As I look back up, I can barely see the woman as she runs away.
I look down at the baby in my arms feeling somewhat sad for him.
"Bitsy, let's get him inside," Edward says picking up the bag.
We walk all the way back up to the common room.
"I win! I told you he would win this time," Seth fist pumps.
"Bella?" my dad says jumping up. His eyes aren't on me, but on the small bundle in my arms.
"Who is that?" he asks as the rest of the crew seems to realize that there is a baby in my arms.
Edward takes my father through what happened with the woman. When he is finished, we call the police as we are required to do. "I take it you're planning to stay here now?" Edward asks and I nod at him.
"I would like to be here if she comes back. Besides, as the Seattle Fire Department Medical Training Officer, I am supposed to be called if this happens at this station. I am in charge of keeping him until a DSHS worker can step in."
Edward nods his head and we both simply look at the small baby. His eyes open and he looks at me. He starts to root and I look up to Edward. "I think he's hungry," I say. Edward is already looking through the bag. He finds bottles, and goes off to heat one in the kitchen area. He brings the bottle back; in the meantime, I have changed his diaper, and have him settled in my arms. I am just about to feed him when the station's alarm bells go off. I frown looking at the baby who didn't even flinch or startle at the alarm. Later in the evening, the alarm is even louder; loud enough to wake anyone who is asleep.
"She may be right about his being deaf," I say out loud in the now empty room.
When he falls back asleep, I lay him in my bed, and lie next to him reading the letter.
This is the baby I gave birth to on Saturday. He weighed eight pounds and three ounces. He is twenty-two inches long. His Apgar scores were good, and they said he is healthy. I don't want to be a mom, but I couldn't go through with an abortion. I'm not sure if this makes me a bad person or not, but I want this boy to have a good life and a solid future, so I hope that says something for my character. I picked you and your husband to be his parents, because I have read and seen the many things you have both done in the community. I have been watching you, Mrs. Cullen, and reading about you since the fire that you were trapped in. Someone I know very well was there, too, and you saved them. I would like it, if possible, for you and your husband to look after the baby, but I will understand if you can't; after all we are the same age. He doesn't have a name. Please, even if you don't keep him as yours, give him a strong one, even if that's the only thing you do. Thank you, Isabella Cullen; I know you'll be a great mother.
I look at the baby, and the strongest name I know is Charles, like my father. "How about we call you Charlie?" I whisper as I look at him. I can't help but smile, and shake my head. "Yeah, you look like a Charlie."
Baby Charlie spent two days and nights with us at the station. It is not normal protocol, but Edward and I had been certified as emergency foster-care parents a few years back, so the Washington State DSHS worker left him in our care. By the time two days has passed, I was taken by him.
"Do you think …" I trail off just looking down at the ground.
"Do you want to try and see if we can continue to keep him, as full-time foster parents instead of temporary?" I ask Edward.
"I would like to be more. I read the letter and I am game," Edward just smiles.
"It may be hard to get approved to adopt him as ours; you have a dangerous job, and I am legally deaf," I say.
"You also have an implant, and they cannot hold your disability against you, unless they can prove it would impede on your ability to be a parent. My job is dangerous, but there are plenty of firefighters who are fathers, Bitsy."
I nod at him. "Yes, you are right, but there is the fact that I am also pregnant." I didn't mean for it to come out like that, but Edward just looks at me.
"Really? Are you serious—you're pregnant?"
I nod at him, with a shy smile.
"Fucking, yes!" he fist pumps. "Bitsy, I love you so much," he hisses before kissing me. "We'll try but if you get too upset or something doesn't wo—"
I place my hand over his mouth stopping his comments, knowing he is going to be overprotective of me now that he knows we're having a baby. "I know and I agree," I tell him before uncovering his mouth.
"Nine to five! No more fire-rescue trainings until you've had the baby. I mean it, Bitsy; no more strenuous trainings, and no more rescue-squad work for now."
Again I nod, knowing this would be something he would demand.
Being able to adopt Charlie was not as hard as both Edward and I had thought it would be. Not only did the letter Becky wrote help, but we also had help from one of the top DSHS workers as well. Turns out, our not so friendly—now our friend—press guy James' mother had been a supervisor at DSHS for years.
James had made a very long and detailed, documentary about the fire crew; more precisely me. His documentary had given me a lot of coverage on television. It also helped us obtain funding for the entire Seattle Fire Department. The money was used to update our fire equipment. We were able to update so much technology that we now have about twelve fire crew members, in the entire city, who have some sort of hearing impairment.
When James found out about our little bundle that had been dropped off, he called in his mom to help us. When he learned we planned to try and adopt, he set out to help us any way he could. With the information in the letter, he was able to track down Becky, the biological mother. She was sure she did not want the child, and she wanted us to have him. I'm not sure how he pulled it off, but she agreed to a private adoption. Edward and I became baby Charlie's legal parents when he was six months old. It was shortly thereafter we found out that he was in fact completely deaf. Three months later our daughter Sophia was born.
This was the turning point that helped me decide to get my other implant. I never really hated that I was deaf growing up – mainly because of my dad. He had taught me and made me see that I did hear, just in my own way. He took me to a computer guy who linked up strobe lights with songs. It was amazing to see the light dance to the vibrations I felt. But there was not really anything anyone could give me that would help me hear Charlie and Sophia. Not always being able to hear their small giggles or cries made me look into getting the second implant. When it became the option for Charlie to get implants so he could hear, my choice was clear. I had to do it, to help show him that in a world that's so keen to show perfection, he is and will be just as perfect as everyone else.
"Bella," Kate says looking right at me. I frown a little looking around.
My face heats up a little as it comes to me that I must have slipped away in my thoughts of the past. "Are you ready for this?"
I nod at her and stand up. I walk in behind Kate and Edward and the kids are right behind me.
I sit in my seat and take out my right implant and hand it to Kate. She smiles at me passing me the new one for my left. For the first time, I slip it into place and Kate checks it for the correct connection. Kate sits back in her seat, and turns to look at me. "I am going to turn it on now," she signs and mouths, so I nod. She reaches over and adjusts the earpiece, turning it on with a nod of her head and with a click of her finger, she switches it on. "Now, if your family can make some noises, for us, we can test this," she says with a smile.
"Let's tell mommy we love her," Edward's voice says clearly.
"Love, Mommy," Sophia says while Charlie mainly grunts.
I try hard to hold back my sob. "It sounds as clear as my right one." I am able to say without bawling.
"Really?" Kate questions and I nod at her, while looking at Edward, who takes the cue and starts to talk again.
"Should we sing a song for Mommy?" Edward asks the kids with his head tilted toward me. They both giggle as Edward launches into singing Five Little Ducks. It is only when they get to duck number three that I am able to calm my emotions and join in.
At the end, we wave our hands at the side of our heads waving them as it is the sign for clapping.
"Well done," Kate says to the kids, and her eyes come back to me. "Are you ready to put your right implant back on and see what stereo sounds like?"
I nod and she hands me my right implant. I put it in place, and close my eyes feeling nervous. This is the biggest test of all. I smile at Edward and click it on. Edward gives me a big smile, and winks. "Well, Bitsy, how does it sound?"
That's all it takes for the tears I've been holding back to come rushing out. "That sounds really good," I tell everyone with a sob.
Charlie makes his way to me, and holds his hands open so I pick him up. My eyes go to the small scars on both sides of his head; he had his own implants put in this past week. He's still getting used to hearing sounds but I know he'll get there. His eyes go to my new implant and back to my eyes; he smiles a little and then hugs me.
"Ma-ma," he stutters. I gasp and cry more. This is the first attempt he has made to say anything. Up until today most of the sounds he has made have been grunts, shrieks, or babbling.
My eyes move to Edward who looks just as happy as I am. His eyes flash to me, and he winks again, mouthing 'I love you'. I know we still have some hurdles to get over, but I also know we will always do it together.
Another Five years later ... Edward's point of view.
I look at the building, and the new equipment on which we are about to get trained. Starting in two weeks, we will be working solely with this new set up, so today's training is crucial for all of us.
"So tell me, Bitsy, does this equipment really work like the books' say that it does?" I ask looking towards Bella, who is geared up for training too, but this time, more as a teacher than as a student.
"It does, and I can't wait until you use it full time. This will help you all stay safer, and will make saving lives much easier." I shake my head smiling.
Bella has been excited about the new equipment for almost six months now. Aro had asked her to go along with him, to see and find out more about it. When she got back, I knew she had enjoyed her time training on it. When she came back from the month-long training, she had been very impressed by it. She said it will be great once the bugs, she and those she was training with, were ironed out.
Just last month the equipment was finished and field tested for a week by the same training team. As Bella was top of the class, our station was chosen to be the first to receive and use it in an actual full-fledged operational way. Because of this, we also will be the ones broadcasting it to the public as well as to other stations. Today is our trial run; we've all read up on how to use it, studied the operational system, and learned in theory how it works.
I get geared up, in a full, new turnout outfit. There are special parts to the suit that not only protect us externally, but there are also censors on the inside that monitor our health. The gear will then automatically send the information to our Chief, which will in turn alert them of our heart rate, respiration, and body temperature. This will help us determine when a crew member needs to leave a situation, before they become distressed. The data last month alone showed that the system could have saved the lives and stopped the endangerment of over three-hundred firefighters who either died, or were victims of heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Supposedly, the new gear will not only prevent these conditions from happening, but alert the proper chain of command if a member is in distress.
"This is your new helmet," Bella says handing it to me with a smile. You do need to put this in your ear first."
I look at the small device and it reminds me of her cochlear implant earpiece. I put it in my ear, and then place the helmet on my head.
Bella walks away from me as I slip on the new gloves which are part of my new turnouts.
"Captain Cullen, can you hear me?" I hear plain as day inside my helmet. I look at Bella hearing her voice loud and clear almost as if she's in my head talking. "Just talk, it will pick up what you say."
"I can hear you," I say frowning since I don't have a radio in my hand.
"This is the new part I told you about. Your helmet has a small microphone, and the earpiece is the transmitter," Bella says and I chuckle.
"Okay. Captain, if you press your ring finger and thumb together twice in a tap motion, you can talk to all the suited-up crew."
I do what she says. "Okay, now what?"
"You're locked into the earpiece of each and every crew member. Now, when you do this, if you hear a beeping sound," Bella stops and I hear the beep, it goes on for a few second then stops. "That means someone is trying to reach you privately, you need to tap your ring finger and thumb together again twice, and it will take you only to them. Tap again and it brings you back to the entire crew." I nod, knowing there are times, when someone has to say something that may not be for everyone to hear.
"Now for the helmet; put down your shield and look at me." I again do what I am told, but then again, looking at her is one of my favorite pastimes.
I feel myself gasp because through my visor, she changes. She is there, but she somehow appears to be something more as if she were lit up by some cool black lights. It's almost like something Geordi La Forge of Star Trek the Next Generation would have seen without his special glasses. Bella no longer looks like herself; I know her, but she's covered in colors and glowing. In fact, the area around her is in color, too, but different.
"I am going to light this fire just to show you the difference, okay?"
I nod, and watch her strike a fire.
"It's almost pretty like this," I tell her. She nods at me, and I am struck by how it seems I can see her breathing. She extinguishes the fire, and smiles at me.
"I know it's amazing, just wait until you get into the building; we should do it once without fire, and then go back in again with fire."
I agree with a nod, and walk in behind her.
I walk around the building with her, taking in all the differences with and without the special visor. I already know where the dummies are planted as I helped Bella place them, but seeing the building like this is an eye opener. When I walk into the room, and look at the desk, there's a red patch telling me that's where someone is sitting.
"Would we still see them if there was a fire?" I ask Bella.
"Yes, but it's a little different with the dummies. Even the life-like ones we use during accident trainings will show up differently. The visor helps pick up several things the dummies don't really have, such as heart rate, and even blood flow. With the dummies, they look like deceased bodies." I nod at her, going around the room, each time I see where the person is straight away.
Bella sets a small fire near one of the dummies. This time I see the person is still there, but the red of the fire is different; it's almost a purplish red. She puts out the fire, and I take the helmet off feeling a little dizzy.
"You okay?" Bella asks and I nod at her.
"That is amazing, but it will take a little getting used to."
"I know, but the abilities it will give us in a fire will make search and rescues much more effective and safe."
Bella takes me through the tech information that is attached to the equipment. When we're done, we sit down and have lunch. We're just wrapping up, when the rest of the crew from Station House Twenty-six arrive.
It takes the better part of the next two weeks for all of the crew to get used to the equipment. However, we are all pumped to make the documentary that will show it in action, and share this new technology with the world. It takes six weeks of filming to demonstrate how useful it is in various scenarios, and once the documentary is filmed, a press conference is arranged to show it off.
The crew and I stand at the side of the stage as Aro walks on.
"Just a little over ten years ago, I stood on this same stage and told people that we were starting 'The Swan's Guidance Program'. The program took off from the start, making a huge difference to all of the fire houses in the Seattle Fire Department. Many new, large donations started to help fund new equipment, and devices which allowed us to hire many people with disabilities. Over the years, the introduction of new and exciting equipment has not only helped even the playing field with other advanced stations, but it has saved many lives. All of this was started so that wonderful and brave people, like the foundation's namesake, could one day be a firefighter without limitations due to a disability. It took us ten years to help develop the new gear, but I think with the help of the NFPA, we have developed something that will make our foundation's namesake proud to have her name attached to it." He stops and looks at Bella, who's nodding at him.
"I believe that not only should this equipment be used in Bella's honor but also in the honor of every deaf and blind person. We have the new equipment due to being aware of not only the needs of people in our community who are deaf and blind, both the needs we all have. These advancements in the equipment will make a difference. This is not the first equipment that has come about because of the deaf community. Many things in our everyday lives were invented to help people, due to disabilities. People such as Alexander Graham Bell, whose education was largely received through numerous experiments in sound and the furthering of his father's work on Visible Speech for the deaf. The telephone was serendipitously invented because he was trying to help his mother, who was almost fully deaf, and later in life his wife, who lost her hearing at the age of five from Scarlet Fever. Much like the way Bell designed and invented things, we have wonderful scientists who work tirelessly to help us maintain the utmost of safety in today's world. As a society, I think it's time we become inclusive of everyone, and view them as an equal. This new equipment, designed by the NPFA which listened to the recommendations of the foundation becomes one step closer in evening the playing field."
Aro's speech continues as he takes everyone through the new equipment and how it works. We are given the green flag to gear up and show off its appearance, and afterwards the documentary plays on the big screen for all to see. The crowd is clapping at the end, and Aro opens the floor to questions of a panel of technical staff on hand to answer them.
"Does this mean more deaf people can apply to be a part of the Seattle Fire Department's crews?" James asks. He always asks things in this manner, which we now know is his way of getting the full facts, and not letting friendship, or who he knows get in the way of things that are important to the whole story.
"Anyone—hearing impaired or not—can and always has been able to work for the SFD, but each firefighter still has to pass the required training and required courses." Aro answers and I can't stop my eyes from going to Bella. I know she's still young, she's only thirty-one, but she is getting older. I know she will not likely continue to fight to be more than she is within the department, knowing she could if she wanted to. She is already out with us a lot, being on the rescue squad side of things, as well as serving as the medical trainer. Sometimes I hate it, knowing the things she has seen, but other times I am happy because she brings something special to us all when we are out on calls. I am glad though that she won't be rushing into unknown burning buildings, because I am selfish and don't want to lose my beautiful wife and mother of my children. Besides, I know she is happy. She receives every weekend off, so no longer spends them all here as to not be lonely. She is always home with our children, and prefers that to being at the department. There are still the odd nights when she stays the night during the week, and leaves our kids with Tanya, Rose and Emmett, or Alice, but every parent needs a break. There have been times when Alice has come and stayed with Jasper, and Bella has stayed home, with all the kids too.
The documentary as well as the equipment demonstration goes well with everyone loving the new equipment. Over the next three months, the new equipment is slowly brought in and the old equipment is discontinued, throughout most of the fire houses in the United States.
I smile at Bella as we wait with Emmett, Rose, Alice, and Jasper for our food. We're having a rare adult's only night out, while my mom and dad look after all the kids.
"I saw the three of you on TV again," Emmett says with a smile "What is that, the fifth time?" he asks of no one in particular.
"That wasn't about us, it was about the new gear," Bella tells him flatly
Emmett shrugs. "Yeah, but we have new gear and they never show it off." Emmett takes a few minutes to sigh. "Why does everyone love the firefighters but hates the cops?"
"I love you," Rose tells him, making him smile.
"Me, too," Bella says along with Alice.
"I don't mean you guys, I mean the public," Emmett says.
"Well, cops arrest people, and people may think some laws are silly. Then there are some officers who are—for a lack of a better term—complete assholes, who give decent officers like you a bad name," I tell him.
"You have shoddy firefighters, too, yet no one goes on about them?" Emmett counters.
"True, but our bad guys can't do much damage because they are always surrounded by the others. Your bad officers can arrest, hurt, or even kill people, and that is the biggest difference," I remind him softly.
In a way Emmett is right, the cops do get a lot of harassment, and not all of them are deserving of it. Yes, there are bad cops, but again there are shitty people in all kinds of different jobs. But yet the cops are the only ones—well, beside the government—who seem to get the shit end of the stick.
Emmett sighs. "Anyway, we have some new gear, too; all of us are now on full-time video. We've been wearing cameras for what seems like forever, but now it has new software. There is no way or means for an officer to turn it off, and it records everything, including the officer's pulse. With the new software though, it means that when we stop someone on the street, their face is processed to see if they have an arrest warrant out, and the same goes for passing cars, or pedestrians."
"So if you happen to walk past a child, and she/he has been reported missing, you will pick up on it because you have access to an instant knowledge base?" Bella asks.
Emmett grins at Bella nodding at her. "Yeah, it can do that, too. They said it would take a few minutes when you're talking to someone, but if we as you said, are just passing them, then it can take a few hours. We are hoping that over time we will be able to speed the process up, but for now it will at least give us a timeline. Also, when we are out in the field, there will be people watching the live feed, that's being transmitted. This has created a lot of jobs, and these people are not officers, but they're trained to know if we are following protocol or not. They have to write up any and all incidents they see, and those reports go directly to Internal Affairs."
We spend some more time chatting about the new gear, that both the firehouse and police stations has, before we all share a minivan cab home.
As soon as Bella and I are inside our home, I start to remove her clothes as we walk to our room.
Another thirteen years later. Charlie Cullen POV
I look up at Station House Twenty-six, feeling nervous but excited at the same time. Today is very special to my family. Today is my first day as a full-fledged fireman; I am a Probee and I can't wait.
This is the job I have wanted to do ever since I can remember. I think it helped that my grandfather, Charlie, was the chief of this station for a large part of my childhood. My mother also works here, as does my father, Uncle Jasper and Aunt Alice. Just three years ago, Grandpa became the District Chief of the State of Washington, replacing Aro, who is like another uncle to me. My father was quickly promoted to the position of Fire Chief. My Uncle Jasper is no longer at this station. Five years ago, he was badly hurt in an accident and had to take a desk job. He now works with my grandfather, and is one of the Seattle Fire Department's Inspectors. His job is as important as any other firefighter; he determines how a fire started. Aunt Alice is still working as a dispatch operator in the emergency technology center.
I think the biggest reason I decided I wanted to be a firefighter was because of my mom. Being a child with a hearing impairment was hard, but my mom made it so much easier for me, as well as my whole family, but she knew how difficult it is firsthand. Seeing her—even with her own impairment— never let it hold her back. She never expected anyone to give or make things easier for her, just because she was deaf. She made sure everything she attained was on her own merit, and still works to this day.
I know that she dreamed of becoming a full fire crew member, but even with technology on our side, she never took that last step. She says she didn't mind it as when technology was changing, my sister and I were still young, and she wanted to be there for us. She told both of us that she enjoyed what she did at the station, and still got to see us every night getting to tuck us in, read us stories, and that was her new dream. In a selfish way I am glad—not just because Sophia and I got to see her so much—but because she and I always shared something special. I am close to my dad, and sister, but my mom and me, there's just something that is a little bit more. She's my hero, and she's the one person I've always said I wanted to be like.
I jump and spin around to see my dad looking at me.
"You need to go inside now and get checked in."
"Yeah, Dad, I mean Chief," I stutter making him chuckle.
"Stop scaring the new crewman, Bigs," my mom says slapping his arm as she passes him. "Charlie, he's right, you need to walk through that door."
I nod at her and start to follow them as they turn to go back in. I'm not sure why I am nervous, I know every guy, and girl who works here. They've all been a part of my family all my life, or since they came here to Station Twenty-six.
I let out a breath and hurry to catch up to them, but I hear a car screeching to a halt.
"Wait!" I smile as my little sister yells and jumps out of the car. She runs toward us, and I catch her in a hug and swing her around.
"Shouldn't you be getting ready for class?" Mom asks, as she looks at her watch seeing that it's a little after eight. Sophia's college is a twenty minute drive away, but she'll now have to drive in the morning traffic.
"Yeah, I told Papa I was going to be a little late, that I had to be here to take a photo of CJ." Sophia has always called me CJ, because I'm named after my wonderful grandfathers, Charles—Charlie—Carlisle, so I am their junior in her eyes.
Mom and dad share a look, shaking their heads. Sophia, who's a complete geek, is so smart it's crazy. She is studying to become a doctor, much to Grandpa Carlisle's delight. She even gets to learn from him, as he is a professor now, and three days a week, she is in his classroom, learning the other side of the 'family' business.
Sophia snaps some photos and then looks at me. "Be safe, okay?" I smile hugging her to me.
"I will. I've got Mom and Dad watching after me."
"Dinner, Friday?" she asks looking at Mom and Dad.
"Yep, I finish at seven Friday morning and this is my weekend off," Dad says.
Sophia smiles and hugs them. "Bye," she yells running back to her car.
"Drive safely," Mom yells after her. From the corner of my eye, I see her switching on the GPS on Sophia's car from her phone. I shake my head knowing Mom will be glued to her phone until Sophia's car is showing parked at college.
When we get into the station, I put away the street clothes that I brought, and join the rest of the crew in the break room. Just before I can sit down, the alarm bell sounds, and my eyes flash to my dad.
"You ready for this, Son?"
"Yes!" I smile and he grins as we run, gear up and leave.
"Be safe," Mom calls to us all as we leave the station.
A/N: We hope you all enjoyed reading a bit into their future. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed. We write our stories for you, and we are grateful that you enjoy them the way you do. Thank you all so much for taking this journey with us. Catch us on Facebook in the group TeamAllTwilight & AndTAT Fan Fiction.