Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. No copyright infringement is intended, but Aiden and the plot are ours. ©2021

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**Please see important AN at the bottom.

Chapter 30: This Might Actually Work

Edward

"I like you; I've liked you as more than a friend since after we kissed."

"I want to date, or be in a relationship, or whatever thirty-year-olds are calling it now."

I can't tell you how many times that has looped in my head.

I racked my brain trying to tell her how I felt, and it turns out, she already liked me.

Obviously, I hoped she did, but to know, to hear the words come out of her mouth was exciting, relieving and… and… honestly, I don't even know how to describe everything I felt right now.

She liked me.

And wait for it… she wanted to be in a relationship… with me.

"Yes." I pumped my fist and hit the wood headboard. "Ow, shit." I shook my hand.

That hurt, but it didn't even matter because Bella li-

She likes you; we get it.

Isn't this great?

Yep. Fantastic. All that pain and suffering you took me through was totally worth it.

You just couldn't say yes. You had to add all the extra stuff.

But it's true, it took a long, long time to get here. Extremely long.

You know yo-

Painfully long.

You could just be happy with me.

Whoo-hoo, yay, somebody get the fireworks. I could just do cartwheels. Is that better?

No, it wasn't. Your sarcasm was unnecessary.

Sorry, okay. I am happy. It's just you've become as repetitive as a cricket chirp. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that. Do you see what time it is?

I glanced at the black clock on the wooden nightstand, 12 a.m.

Okay, maybe you have a point.

All day, man, all day. I hate to say it, I really do, but after hearing literally nothing but those two things for so long, it loses its magic just a little.

Well excuse me, I'll just keep my happiness to myself from here on out.

Don't be dramatic. Not now, okay? I let you have your moment to revel and be giddy, but we have some planning to do. Grab your pen and pad and let's get started.

I stayed up for another two hours thinking about everything Bella said and putting a plan together, so there would be no more room for doubt about how I felt about her and where I wanted our relationship to go.

STB

"Huh." Lawson crossed his arms. "That sounds nice, like you put some thought into it."

"Yeah, I had some time to think about it." I tapped my finger against the arm of the chair.

I. I? I think you mean we? I helped you put this whole thing together.

Right, because I should tell him that the voice in my head helped me. That doesn't sound crazy at all.

You know, it would be nice to be acknowledged now and then. That's all I'm saying.

Oh, you want to be acknowledged, okay. I acknowledge you told me not to tell Bella anything.

Wow, I knew you'd bring that up.

It's the truth.

So, the one, singular time I told you not to say something cancels out all the other times I told you to tell her? Not to mention I gave some great advice earlier.

Yeah, pretty much.

Man, there is no pleasing you, is there?

I'll answer that after we've finished all of this, it depends on how everything turns out.

You're unbelievable, and I don't mean that in a good way.

"Chaps?" Lawson raised one eyebrow. "You really need those?"

"Not necessarily." I scratched my forehead. "But it'll…" I paused, searching for the right word. "She'll… get it."

And make me look ridiculous, but it'll be worth it.

He blinked at me.

"But that's not all I would need." I cleared my throat. "I'm thinking a hat too, maybe… and I would need a designated space, maybe some lights, candles, a tablecloth, decorations, music and… I think that's it."

He leaned back in his chair and tilted his head.

The longer he stared at me, the more nervous I became, and I started bouncing my leg. "I get that this seems left field and it may be too much, but-"

"No, of course not. I was just thinking. I'll help." Lawson smiled.

"Really?" I released the breath I'd been holding. "Thanks, I really appreciate it."

"Don't sweat it." He shook his head. "When do you need everything ready?"

"This evening."

He widened his eyes. "This evening?"

I nodded my head.

"You sure aren't wasting anytime."

I scoffed. "Actually, I have. That's why the sooner I do this, the better."

"Okay." He rubbed his chin. "The usually morning schedule will have to change a bit, maybe two, three hours, or so. I think the mess hall would work best. Levi and Colton are tied up for a little while, but if you and some of your friends could help with the tables and benches, we could get it done quicker."

"I'll help, and I'll ask my friends."

"Great." He inhaled. "As for decorating, I'll have to talk to Bailey, she's good with that kind of stuff."

"Okay, I-"

The office door squeaked open. "Honey?" Bailey walked in, looking down at a clipboard. "Are you ready to get started? We have a long day ahead of us. They should be done with breakfast soon and we have to get the tents, first aid kits, and-" She looked up and saw me. "Oh, good morning." She smiled.

"Morning." I waved.

"Is everything okay?" She glanced at Lawson before she looked back at me. "Did you need something?"

"Everything is fine, and I could use some help with something if you don't mind." I said.

"Um, okay." She closed the door behind her, set the clipboard on the desk and leaned against it. "What do you need?"

I exhaled and quickly told her what I wanted to do.

"That's so romantic." She grinned widely.

"Oh, uh thanks?" I smiled.

"I would love to help you. When are you planning on doing this?" Bailey asked.

"This evening." Lawson said.

Her mouth slightly fell open. "Okay." She turned to Lawson. "We've got some work to do then."

"My friends and I will help." I hoped. I still had to ask.

"Great." She turned back to me and picked up the clipboard and a pen off of the desk. "So what area are we going to use?"

"I was thinking about the mess hall." Lawson said.

"I agree." Bailey said as she wrote something down. "As for decorating, I have some stuff in storage that'll work perfectly and I'll ask Dakota to handle music."

"Thank you so much." I said as I stood. "I couldn't have done this without you guys."

"Hold on a second." Bailey put her hands on her hips. "There is potentially one hiccup in this plan."

"What?" I frowned.

"This is supposed to be a surprise, right?"

"Yeah." I nodded my head.

"Well, since most of us will be helping, that will cancel shooting sports this morning for you guys. I won't have Aiden and Renata, and maybe if Dakota finishes up quick enough with the music, she might be able to distract Bella with the activity that's scheduled for them."

"I…" I trailed off and plopped back down in the chair. "I didn't think about that."

I could help here, but since I won't be acknowledged…

Now who's being unbelievable?

I learned from the best.

"I'll figure something out." I said.

"Alright." She hugged the clipboard to her.

I stood again and headed for the door.

"Hey." Bailey said.

I turned around. "Yeah?"

She opened and closed her mouth a few times before she shook her head. "Never mind."

"What is it?"

"I'm curious."

"Okay."

"Why the chaps?"

"I asked the same thing." Lawson looked up at Bailey.

Because she offhandedly told him that he would look good in them.

Not saying that out loud.

"It's an…" I rubbed the back of my neck. "Inside joke, I guess."

"Oh." She frowned. "Okay."

Yeah, I didn't really answer the question.

"Thanks again." I said before I walked out and headed for the mess hall.

Once I was inside, I scanned the room. Everyone except Aiden and Bella were at the table. I went to my seat beside Renata and kissed her cheek.

"Why are you still talking about this?" Angela frowned.

"Yeah, you need to get over it already." Alice said.

Demetri jerked back. "Get over it? It just happened yesterday."

"And I apologized yesterday." Avery rolled his eyes.

"After you laughed." Demetri blinked at him.

"You squealed and then ran away. Of course, he laughed." Ben said.

"Ben." Demetri looked at him and shook his head.

"What?" Ben shrugged. "I'm not lying."

Angela laughed. "You didn't mention that part."

"Because uh…" Demetri squinted his eyes. "It wasn't pertinent to the story?"

"I think it is." Ivey snickered.

"That's the only reason I laughed. It was unexpected, and I didn't know it was you until I saw you run past me." Avery said.

That made everyone laugh, myself included.

I didn't know Demetri could run that fast… or scream that high.

"For the last time that horse was not well." Demetri crossed his arms and pursed his lips.

"You're not well." Emmett guffawed.

"There was nothing wrong with that horse." Jasper said.

"I wish I could have recorded it." Jacob said.

Demetri sighed and shook his head. "I'm just a joke to you guys."

While this was funny, I needed to ask for their help before Bella got here.

I cleared my throat. "Guys."

"Edward, you're better than this. Don't feed into their foolishness." Demetri looked at me.

"I need to ask you all for a favor."

"Oh, good." He leaned back. "But it depends. I might not be in the proper head space to help after all the humiliation and shame I've been subjected to. I may need some space."

"You poor thing. How will you go on?" Rosalie chuckled.

"Right." He turned to her. "I'm the victim here, and that horse… ugh." His whole body shivered before he picked up his cup and took a sip of coffee.

We all stared at him.

"What?" His eyes flickered over our faces.

Jasper turned to me. "What do you need, Edward?"

"I'm do-"

"Hold on." Emmett held up his hand. "The question to ask is do we benefit from this favor. What do we get out of this?"

I blew out a breath. "The joy of knowing you helped your only brother and friend."

Emmett sucked his teeth. "No, just no." He shook his head. "That doesn't do anything for me."

"Stop it." Rosalie slapped his chest. "Of course, we'll help you."

"Um, I like how you volunteered my services, not knowing what the favor is and ignoring my need to take some personal time away from you all." Emmett said.

"Demetri." Angela said. "Do you really expect us to take you serious? A horse has reduced you to this."

"For the last time, something was wrong with that horse, and my so-called friends ar-"

"Guys." I cut Demetri off. "I need to ask you this before Bella gets here."

"Oh." Alice raised her eyebrows. "This favor is about Bella?"

"Yes." I blew out a breath. "I'm putting together a surprise… thing for Bella."

"A surprise?" Renata looked up at me with wide eyes. "Can I tell Den?"

I shook my head. "No yet, Jellybean."

"When can I tell him?" She frowned.

"A little later."

"Okay." She smiled.

I looked back at everyone. "So, I'm going to…"

For the third time, I explained my idea. I even told them I would wear a more western inspired outfit, but I didn't mention the chaps because, well, Emmett.

"Aww." Angela placed her hand on her chest.

"She's going to love that." Alice said.

"That's so thoughtful." Ivey said.

"And sweet." Rosalie said.

"It is." Demetri turned to Avery. "I hope you were taking notes."

"Of course, dear." Avery said dryly.

"I already talked to Lawson and Bailey. They agreed to help, but we need a few extra hands. We're going to do it in here, so the tables will need to be moved along the walls. That's where you guys would come in, hopefully." I looked at Emmett, Jasper, Jacob, Demetri, Avery and Ben.

"I guess I could help." Emmett rolled his eyes. "I am a kind person, after all."

"Thank you for your generosity." I said sarcastically.

"My pleasure." He smiled.

"Count me in." Jasper said.

"Yeah, me too." Jacob said.

"I'm in." Ben said.

"Sounds easy enough." Avery said.

"Cool, after we finish that Bail—"

"Wait." Alice looked at Demetri. "What about you? Aren't you going to help them?"

"Me?" He pointed to himself. "Lift these heavy tables? I don't think so." He snorted. "What else you got?" He blinked at me.

"Bailey is going to decorate, and Dakota is working on the music." I chuckled.

"I'll help decorate." Demetri said.

"So, what do you need us to do?" Rosalie gestured to Alice, Angela, and Ivey.

"Actu-"

Renata tapped my arm. "Do I get to do something Daddy?"

"Yes, you and Den get to help decorate too." I kissed the top of Renata's head.

Renata smiled and clapped.

I just needed to figure out what the girls could do to keep Bella distracted.

"There is one more thing." I shoved my hands in my pockets. "Someone needs to occupy Bella while we're doing all of this."

"Why don't you do it?" Ivey asked.

"Because it's my plan, I wouldn't feel right not doing anything." I said.

"But it wouldn't be as suspicious if it's the four of you." Angela said.

"Yeah." Demetri nodded. "The four of you are always doing something together, well besides Bella's birthday." He wiggled his eyebrows at me.

"Bella's birthday?" Jasper turned to Alice. "I thought you said she didn't want to do anything?"

Alice opened her mouth to respond.

I cut her off. "How about you all keep her busy with the sapphire mining?" I waved my finger at them. "You all were going to do that today, anyway, and then it won't look suspicious."

"Makes sense." Rosalie nodded.

"Okay, great. If you don't mind." I looked at Alice and Rosalie. "Will you let Bailey know what the plan is? She's waiting at the office." They both shook her heads. I put my palms together like I was praying. "And please don't do anything weird or let anything slip. Just act normal, like it's any other day."

"Okay, geez, relax. We're not stupid, we know how to keep a secret." Demetri rolled his eyes. "But, more importantly, do we get to dress up too?"

I rubbed the back of my neck. "Well, um, no."

Demetri folded his arms across his chest. "What do you mean, um, no?"

"I wanted to make it special for just the two of us."

"You're serious? We can't come for real?" Demetri frowned. "I wanted to get dressed up. I already had an outfit in mind."

"I'm sorry-"

"Hold up, Ed." Emmett finished chewing. "You want us to help, but we can't even come?"

"C'mon Em, you know what I'm trying to do here." I held my palms up in surrender.

"Think about it, dude. If you were trying to woo Rosalie for the first time, would you want all of us around?" Ben arched one eyebrow and smirked.

Emmett stared off at nothing and then chuckled. "Yeah, yeah, I guess you're right."

I exhaled. "Thanks guys, I really appreciate it."

Demetri huffed. "This sucks."

"Demetri, you'll live." Alice rolled her eyes. "Now that it's settled, what do you have in mind for Bella to wear?"

"Whatever she has on." I frowned.

"You don't think she'd want to dress up?" She blinked at me.

"No."

Alice gave me a pointed look.

"Yes?"

"Yes." She slowly nodded her head. "I'll handle that."

"Can I dress up too?" Renata asked.

Rosalie reached across the table to Renata. "How about Emmett and I take you and Aiden to go night bowling?" Thankfully Rosalie intervened before I had to tell Renata no.

She pumped her fist in the air. "Yes!"

"Okay." I clapped my hands once. "That's everything. If all goes as planned and everyone acts normal, it should go smoothl-"

"Good morning Bella." Demetri said loudly. "How are you?"

"Good morning?" Her eyebrows were furrowed. "Why are you so loud?" Bella said as she and Aiden sat down across from me, grabbed a plate and put bacon, eggs, toast and hash browns on it for Aiden.

"Loud?" He scoffed. "I'm not loud." He cleared his throat and scratched his head.

She turned to me and raised her eyebrows.

I shrugged my shoulders and picked up the empty coffee cup in front of me.

"Okay." Bella eyed Demetri. "What were you guys talking about?" She asked as she set the plate down in front of Aiden.

"Talking? Why would you think we were talking?" Demetri asked.

"Because I saw you…" Bella intoned.

"Of course, we were talking. That's what we normally do." Alice made a face at him.

"So, what were we talking about then?" Demetri pursed his lips at Alice.

"We were talking about Demetri." Angela said quickly.

"Yeah, he didn't tell us the whole story. The reason Avery laughed was because Demetri ran away from the horse while screaming." Rosalie said.

"What?" Bella laughed, looking at him.

"That's it." Demetri stood up. "I don't have to deal with this. I'm going to my cabin; no one disturb me." He flounced toward the door, paused, and turned around. "Avery?" He put his hands on his hips.

"Huh?" He looked up, mid bite.

"I'm literally making a dramatic exit and you're not behind me." He rolled his eyes, but before he walked out, he winked at me.

He wasn't subtle, but at least he was trying.

Avery stared at where Demetri was just standing. "Am I really supposed to follow him?"

"I think so." Ivey said.

We watched as Avery took three more-fork full of eggs, stood and followed Demetri.

"Is he okay?" Bella asked.

"He's fine." Rosalie waved her hand. "You know how dramatic Demetri can be."

"Right." Bella clicked her tongue and looked down at Aiden, who was talking to Renata. "Eat your food Buddy, Bailey will be here soon."

"Uh, she won't be able to get them today." I said.

"Why? Is she okay?"

"Yeah, she's fine, it's just she's… busy."

"Busy?"

You got to do better than that.

"Yeah, something came up, and she had to take care of it, but the kids can hang out with me and the guys."

"Oh." Bella frowned. "I thought you all were doing shooting sports this morning."

"That's not happening today either." Rosalie said.

"Why?" Bella frowned.

"Why?" I repeated.

I couldn't think of anything to say.

And it shows.

"Yes." Bella nodded.

"That… is a fair question and Emmett will tell you." I pointed to Emmett.

Bella looked at Emmett.

"Yep." He nodded. "I have an answer for you, um, it's because of the…" He swallowed. "Weather." It sounded like a question and squinted his eyes.

"The weather?" Ben looked at Jasper.

"Yes, it's exactly that." Alice said through clenched teeth, while also trying to smile.

"Yeah, it's the weather." Jacob nodded. "Lawson said it was too windy today. We'll do the shooting sports tomorrow." I could hear Emmett and Jasper snicker.

"Okay." Bella drug out the word and looked at me, raising her eyebrows.

I shook my head.

"Well, maybe we could all play disc golf or-"

Rosalie stood up. "You know what? I forgot to tell Bailey something. I think I'll head over to the lodge."

"I thought she was busy." Bella said.

"Did I say Bailey? I meant Dakota." Rosalie chuckled nervously.

Yep, that was subtle.

Alice stuck a piece of bacon in her mouth. "I'm right behind you."

"You're not even finished with your breakfast yet." Bella said.

Alice rubbed her stomach. "I'm stuffed. I ate a lot before you got here."

"Oh, okay." Bella grabbed a piece of toast and stood up. "I'll walk with you all."

"You can't." Alice shouted.

"Why not?" Bella's eyebrows knitted together.

"Um, because, well… you haven't eaten yet." Alice said.

"This is enough for me." Bella waved the piece of toast.

"No, it not." Angela shook her head. "You need energy for what we're about to do."

"You're acting like we're about to climb Mount Rushmore or something." Bella smirked.

"No, but you still need to eat. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Angela nodded curtly.

"Yeah, whatever." Bella plopped back down and spooned mixed fruit on her plate.

"Come over once you're done." Alice said as she backed away towards the door.

Rosalie cleared her throat. "Ivey and Angela, you coming?"

Both Angela and Ivey kissed Ben and Jacob on the cheek and met Alice and Rosalie at the door.

"See you in a little bit, B." Rosalie waved as they all walked out of the door.

Bella stared at the door after they were out of sight. "Is it me or were they acting strange?"

"Well, it wasn't normal." I chuckled.

"Right." She sipped her orange juice. "So, what are you all going to do with the kids?"

"Daddy said we're gonna help with your surprise." Renata grinned at Bella.

"Surprise?" Bella looked at me. "What surprise?"

Jacob put his index finger to his lips behind Bella's back for the kids.

"Oh, the surprise…" I scratched my head, trying to think of something.

I knew it would be hard for Aiden and Renata not to slip up.

"Bailey mentioned the kids doing some art projects with paint today." Jasper said.

"Yeah, that's right." Ben spooned sugar into his coffee. "They're gonna make something special for you. C'mon now Bella, it wouldn't be a surprise if we told you." He grinned.

"So, you'll just have to wait." I teased.

"I can't wait." Bella smiled.

Bella added more food to her plate, while we all had light conversation about any and everything that didn't have to do with her surprise.

"Hey, you still going mining with the girls?" Emmett looked at Bella.

"Oh, they're probably waiting on me." She handed Ben his phone back from looking at the pictures he and Angela had taken.

Bella squeezed my arm, kissed both the kids, and scurried out the door.

Jasper ran his hand through his hair. "Talk about a close call."

We all shook our heads.

"Sorry Daddy." Renata pouted.

"It's okay, Honey." I smiled.

"You gotta remember, Ren, it's a secret." Aiden said.

"They shoulda told me it was a secret, Daddy said surprise."

"A surprise is a secret, Squirt." Emmett chuckled.

"Okay, got it." Renata motioned to locking her mouth and throwing away the key and we all mimicked her.

We're not going to get through this day without someone slipping.

I told them to act normal, like it was any other day.

What's the opposite of normal?

Abnormal.

That's what they were, cause that definitely was not normal.

STB

All was quiet, except for Emmett and Jacob's lips smacking at the other end of the table.

I've never understood how they can eat so much.

Rather than watch them scarf down food any longer, I went over my list.

Talk to Lawson. Check.

Get everyone on board to help. Check.

Get the mess hall set up. Currently in progress.

Don't make Bella suspicious. Failed. There's no coming back from that.

As Bella walked out of the front door, Lawson and Dylan came through the back door so we could get started with the mess hall.

"Good morning, gentlemen." Lawson and Dylan waved.

"Morning." Everyone replied.

"I'm a bit off schedule because we helped Bailey look for the lights you'll need, so we haven't eaten just yet." Lawson looked down at his watch. "We'll get started in about twenty minutes."

I nodded. "Sounds good."

They disappeared through the kitchen door, but moments later, they came back with their plates and sat down with us.

I still wasn't sure the girls could keep Bella occupied while we got everything prepared. I had fallen short with ideas, so I needed all the help I could get.

I leaned forward and sat my hand on the table. "Lawson, do you think the sapphire mining will keep Bella busy long enough?"

Dylan shook his head and swallowed. "We got it covered. Once they're done with the mining, they'll go mountain biking with Levi."

"Colton is setting up the Great Room now for lunch, while they're with Dakota." Lawson said.

"I thought Dakota was working on the music." I said.

Dylan nodded. "She finished not too long ago."

Emmett pushed his plate away. "Looks like everything is taken care of, little bro, no need to worry."

"That's right, you're in good hands." Lawson smiled.

Maybe, just maybe, this plan would go off without a hitch.

Bella

Today started off really well.

For starters, I actually felt rested when I got up, which was a little suspicious because I have a six-year-old, but we've been going since we've been here, and all the activities could've worn Aiden out.

Which I guess should have alerted me it wouldn't be a typical day.

When Aiden and I finally made it to breakfast is when things progressively got different.

First, they didn't want to tell me what they were talking about, not that I don't think they weren't talking about Demetri running away from a horse. That was very plausible and funny, but it clearly wasn't the only thing they were talking about.

Then, because Bailey was busy, not only would the kids not be sticking with their itinerary, neither would the guys, because of the weather.

And to add the cherry on top, Alice and Rosalie were acting crazier than normal, even for them.

Then breakfast was just odd, but I figured it would be better to just go with it. I knew something was going on, but I would act oblivious.

Now we're here sifting through gravel for sapphires, and everyone is moving at a snail's pace, including Dakota.

When I found out this was one of the activities, I was excited about it. It was something I'd always wanted to try, but now, not so much. Alice has examined every rock in her bucket like she can't tell the difference between it and a sapphire.

Rosalie has dumped her wash screen down in the water too many times to count, without looking to see if she had sapphire in her bucket, and Ivey and Angela keep washing and rewashing the sapphire they found, complaining they're not clean enough.

And I thought they acted odd at breakfast.

"Dakota, I think I have enough sapphire in my bowl." I held up my bowl.

Angela walked around to my side of the table and looked into my bowl. "You only have pink and purple. You have to find some blue and green, they're so pretty."

Ivey held up her tweezers. "Don't forget the yellow, orange, and brown."

I narrowed my eyes. "I don't have to have those colors. I have enough." I pulled my phone out of my pocket. "Plus, we should be wrapping up in about five minutes."

Dakota brought another bucket for me to pick through. "Actually, we have another forty-five minutes to go."

"Get to pick'n girly." Rosalie smirked.

Did I wake up in the twilight zone or what? I groaned. What the hell is going on with everyone today?

Edward

We were all sitting on the floor leaning against the wall for a water break and the kids were busy with their painting project at a table in the corner. We'd probably have been done sooner if Bailey didn't have to run to the store to replace some bulbs that weren't working on some of the strings of lights.

"I never paid attention until now, but those tables are made of real wood." Ben said.

"And were very heavy." Jacob said.

"I have splinters." Jasper said.

Coincidentally, Demetri had just walked back into the mess hall, after all the heavy lifting was done.

"Nice progress, gentlemen." Demetri scanned the room and smiled.

"You so owe us." Emmett pointed at me.

"My back hurts." Avery said.

"Sorry." I shrugged.

"Stop complaining." Demetri leaned against the bar.

"That's easy for you to say. You literally haven't lifted a finger." Ben said.

"These hands were not made to do such strenuous things." Demetri held his hands out.

"All right Sweetheart, I'll let 'em know." Lawson said as he ended his call.

"Bailey will be back over with the rest of the lights shortly." He took a sip of water. "Once we're done with that, Bailey and Dakota will take over decorating."

"Sounds like I came back just in time." Demetri smirked.

Ben scoffed and shook his head.

I ignored Demetri's comment and looked at Lawson. "Anyway, how is operation distract Bella going?"

Lawson smiled. "Bailey said Dakota told her Bella is about ready to spit bullets because they've been doing that this whole time."

I looked at the clock on the wall. "That's over two hours."

He chuckled. "I know."

We all laughed.

Bella was excited about the sapphire mining when she saw it on the itinerary, but I'm sure she's tired of it now.

"Then after lunch, Levi's gonna take over with the mountain biking."

"I hope not for two hours." Jacob laughed.

"Nah, we're almost done here once Mom gets back with the lights. Plus, Colton's almost done with lunch." Dylan rubbed his palms together. "Colton made one of his specialties, grilled onions and skirt steak tacos."

"Bailey and Dakota will be working in here," Lawson waved his hand around the room, "while you all are eating in the Great Room."

Lawson's phone rang, and he held up his index finger, gesturing for me to wait.

"Hey, Honey." Lawson crossed one leg over the other. "All right, I'll come meet you." He motioned to get up from the floor. "Okay, will do." Then he ended the call.

"Edward, do you mind helping Levi pull the rest of the decorations from storage while Dylan and I meet Bailey out back with the lights and groceries?" Lawson asked.

"Sure. Where is the storage?"

"Once you go outta here, you'll make a right and stay on the path like you're going to the barn. Walk past the barn and you'll see the storage behind it. Levi should already be there with the door up." Lawson explained.

I nodded once at Lawson, then looked at Emmett. "Keep an eye on the kids, will ya?"

He gave me a thumbs up before I headed towards the door.

I quickly walked along the path.

"Edward."

I turned; it was Colton.

"I was told you would need these." He raised a brow as he held out a pair of dark brown leather chaps and a hat.

"Thanks." I grabbed them.

"No problem… I hope you enjoy them."

"Uh, yeah. Okay."

"Yep." He put his hands in his pockets.

I nodded my head. "Alright, see ya." I went to take a step.

"So, you're the guy?"

"What guy?" I frowned.

"When Bella and I talked, she said things were complicated with someone."

He really asked her out?

What a douche.

"Which meant I was stepping on toes."

"Yeah." I faced him. "You were."

"Well, I could apologize for that."

I waited.

"But shameless, really?" He squinted his eyes. "You don't think that was an exaggeration?"

Was that supposed to be the apology?

I shook my head. "Not in the slightest."

He rolled his eyes but smiled. "Doesn't matter now, though."

I chewed on the inside of my cheek to hide my smirk.

Yeah, it didn't matter.

"Good luck with tonight, I hope it works out for you."

"Really?" I raised a singular eyebrow.

"It's possible there's a small part of me that…" He trailed off and shrugged his shoulders.

"Right." I took a step back.

"Oh, come on. I was just kidding, kinda." He held up his index finger and thumb with a small amount of space between them. "It's the best I can give you."

I nodded. "Thanks for the pants." I changed direction and headed to my cabin instead.

"Hey." Colton yelled. "I helped set up. That has to count for something, right?"

I kept walking. "Not at all."

STB

After I helped Levi bring the decorations to the mess hall and helped with hanging the lights, we all had some light snacks before we headed out for some disc golfing.

Lawson told us they had everything else covered.

We played several rounds on the 9-hole course before we headed to the Great Room for lunch. The kids didn't really want to stop playing, so I had to promise them we'd play again before we left the ranch.

Eventually, the girls piled in and sat down. Bella sat between Aiden and me.

"It doesn't matter, Bella. There was no reason for what you did." Alice said.

"Yeah, that was kinda childish, B." Rosalie said.

"What happened?" Emmett asked.

Bella waved her hand dismissively. "Oh, nothing." She leaned over to kiss Aiden on the cheek.

"It wasn't anything major, but it was kinda funny though." Angela chuckled.

"Spill." Demetri smirked.

Alice sat on the edge of the chair. "Okay, so Dakota was giving the history on sapphires, which was quite fascinating, and Bella here," she pointed at Bella. "Out of nowhere, Bella threw a sapphire at the back of my head."

I snickered, and tried to hide it, but when Demetri snorted a laugh, all bets were off.

Everyone at the table laughed, including Alice.

Jasper rubbed and kissed Alice's head after he stopped laughing.

Bella held her stomach from laughing so hard. "Wait a minute, she's not telling the full story."

"How did it go from picking gems to you throwing them?" Jasper chuckled.

"Well, it was bad enough Dakota gave history on every sapphire color there—which was seven colors. Your girlfriend, my dear sister," Bella sighed. "Had the unmitigated gall to ask a question. But to make matters worse, she kept asking questions."

"What was wrong with that?" Ben asked.

"What was wrong with?" Bella rolled her eyes. "We were only supposed to be there for one hour." Bella held up her index finger. "But it turned into almost three hours."

"Mommy, I thought it wasn't nice to hit." Aiden said.

Bella cupped his cheek. "It's not, Sweetheart. I was upset, and wasn't thinking straight."

"That's right, Aiden. Don't do what your mother did." Alice smirked.

"I won't Auntie Ali." Aiden said.

"Good." Alice smiled. "At least one of you knows better."

Bella shook her head. "I just don't get it. What's going on with everyone today? You've all been acting crazier than normal."

"What do you mean?" I sighed and tried to act nonchalant.

"What do you mean 'what do I mean?'" She snorted. "Your activity was canceled due to the weather—when it's beautiful outside—and so was the kids' because all of sudden Bailey was busy, and now we're eating here instead of where we've been eating."

I saw sets of nervous eyes on Bella and me.

"Huh?" I frowned. "I guess you're right."

Dude, nonchalant, not stupid.

"Are you really saying you haven't noticed how odd things have been today?" Bella leaned forward and placed her hands on the table.

Levi interrupted just in time. "Here's some salsa and chips. Your food will be out soon."

"Thanks." Emmett said.

Levi left as quickly as he came. Every dug in and the conversation ended, so I thought.

Bella scooted closer to me. "Well? She whispered.

"What?" I whispered back.

She tilted her head to the side. "Everyone is acting weird."

"Maybe." I shrugged. "But no more than usual. We're all a little weird."

"Yeah, but that's n-" She cut herself off and shook her head. "Never mind." She stuck a chip in her mouth.

I know you're supposed to distract her, but I don't think you're supposed to annoy her.

What else was I supposed to say?

Anything but that. Your friends aren't as weird as you're trying to make them seem. However, none of them have been discreet, not a single one, which means you're going to have to work harder so she doesn't get any more suspicious than she already is.

I groaned and pulled on my hair in frustration.

Moments later, Bailey and Dakota brought out skirt steak tacos, and cilantro lime rice with Tex-Mex salad, followed by Colton and Dylan with other condiments.

We sat around for another thirty minutes after we finished lunch talking about nothing at all, until Lawson got my attention discreetly, giving a thumbs up and a nod that everything was ready.

I think I exhaled for the first time today.

Yeah, I know that's a bit exaggerated, but you get my point.

Eventually, Levi let the group know he was ready, and we stood up and followed him to where the bikes and safety gear were and hit the trails.

I mentally went over the checklist in my head.

The mess hall was ready. Check.

Bella's distracted. Check… I think.

Bella

The view was breathtaking. The clouds hung low over the snow-hooded mountains encased in a ring of snow and wildflowers in the grassy spots along the creek. I enjoyed the sound of nature around me as the birds hooted and the small wildlife pattered through the underbrush.

Edward and I were last ones in the group, except for Dylan behind us. Renata and Aiden were riding in front of us. There was a comfortable silence outside of when one of the kids pointed out a woodpecker or a hummingbird.

After a while Levi stopped so everyone could take a water break. Some of us sat on the grass and others leaned against trees, sipping water.

Dylan looked at his watch. "Is everyone okay? Do you want to keep riding or are you ready to go back?"

I leaned against a tree behind Edward when I noticed Dylan and Levi looked at Edward, as if they waited for his response.

No one else in the group responded, either.

Edward looked at his watch as well. "Yeah, I'm ready to go back."

Dylan clapped his hands once. "Alright then, let's head back."

See? Odd.

Why did it seem like he only asked Edward?

The group mounted their bikes without another word.

Edward waited for me to mount my bike while Levi and the kids followed behind the group. "Hey, Edward, what was that about?"

Suddenly, he was interested in his handlebars, and he wouldn't look at me. "What was what about?"

"Why did it look like Dylan asked you if you we should go back?"

"Nah, I think you're mistaken, he asked the group." He raked his hands through his hair. "I might've been the only one to speak up, but he didn't ask me directly."

He still hadn't made eye contact with me yet.

I stared at him. "You're kidding, right? What's going on with everyone today? Including you?"

Edward cleared his throat and finally looked at me. "I don't know what you're talking about. I think everyone is acting normal." He jerked his chin. "We need to catch up, they're leaving us."

I chuckled and nodded. "Okay, yeah."

He watched me mount my bike, and we caught up to the group. The ride back went faster since no one stopped to take scenery pictures like they did when we were starting.

We all parked our bikes in the bike racks and returned the safety gear to the storage beside the racks.

Today had been an unusually long and strange day. So, I'd eat at the mess hall, and then head to my cabin for the night.

Everyone just stood around sharing the pictures they'd just took.

"All right guys, I think Aiden and I are gonna head to the mess hall, eat, and call it a night. I'm tired."

Everyone abruptly stopped talking, and their gaze darted to Edward.

Edward looked at Alice and she stepped forward and grabbed my arm. "I'm sure you feel kinda grimy from riding the bikes. Why don't you go shower and get changed first, then go eat?"

"No." I shook my head. "I think we'll go eat first."

Edward groaned and rubbed his face.

Demetri stepped to the side opposite of Alice. "C'mon we're on vacation, no going to bed early; hang out with a little longer, please." He gave the puppy dog eyes.

"I'll hang out later tomo-"

I was cut off when Alice yanked my arm. "Come on, let's get you freshened up first."

"Do you really have to be this rough?"

"Consider it pay back from earlier." She smirked.

Alice was bossier than normal, so I took a few steps with her before I halted. "What about Aiden?"

"Rosalie and Emmett are taking the kids bowling tonight." Alice said.

"Is that so?" I looked back at Rosalie and Emmett, and they waved.

"At least let me tell Aiden bye."

"Aiden, tell your mother bye." Alice sighed.

"Bye Mommy, see ya later." He laughed and waved.

I looked at everyone as they all looked like the cat that ate the carney, except for Edward.

He had a look of relief on his face while Aiden and Renata whispered in each other's ears.

"See, everything is covered. Now let's go before I have to get one of the guys to carry you back." Alice smirked and pulled my arm again.

I rolled my eyes. "You don't have to be so pushy; I'm coming."

As we got closer to my cabin, Alice loosened her grip.

Once I unlocked my cabin door, Alice lightly pushed me towards the bathroom. She walked around me and turned the shower on. I noticed my make-up was out on the small vanity and a not so casual bra and panty set laid across the counter.

"Get in." Alice said.

I held my hand up. "Just a second." I looked between the vanity and counter. "A, you were in my stuff." I pointed to the counter. "And B, you had to pick those."

She pointed to the counter. "I only picked what you packed." She gave me a pointed look.

Fair.

"And yes, I was in your stuff, but I'm your sister, so it's fine. Now get in the shower."

"Tell me what's going on first." I crossed my arms.

She blew out a breath. "A surprise."

"What kind of surprise?"

"One you'll like."

"Give me a hint."

"That was a hint."

"Give me a better one."

"Then you'll get in the shower?"

"Yeah, sure." I waved my hand.

"Fine." She rolled her eyes. "It's in the mess hall."

"Tha-"

"Don't be in there too long, you don't want it foggy in here when you do your make-up." She smiled and slammed the door behind her.

I sucked my teeth. "That was a shitty hint."

"Shower. Now." She slapped her hand against the door.

"Shower now." I mocked and stuck my tongue out.

I threw my hair up in a bun and got in.

As the warm water hit me, it all made sense now: the panicked looked that came across Edward's face when I tried to go to the mess hall, and the odd behavior from everyone else.

He had planned a surprise for me.

The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I bathed a little quicker than I usually do, turned the water off, grabbed a towel, wrapped it around myself, and stepped out.

"Alice." I called out as I stepped out of the bathroom.

"What you're wearing is on your bed." It sounded like she was in the living room.

I headed to my bedroom and saw a beige and white striped shirt, jeans, and my brown boots.

After I got dressed, applied my make-up, I looked at myself in the floor-length mirror in the corner of the room. I tucked in my shirt and add a few pieces of jewelry to complete the look.

Not bad, very western chic.

I slid my boots on and walked out of the room just as quickly as I entered. "Okay, I'm ready."

"I think you're still missing something."

"What's that?" I asked as I walked into the living room.

"This." Alice smiled as she waved a wide brown hat.

I held my hand out to take it.

"No." She held it against her chest. "Let me do it."

I bent down so she could reach my head.

"There." She stepped back. "Now you're ready."

"Alright, let's go." I headed for the door.

"Wait." Alice grabbed my arm.

"Alice." I groaned. "Come on."

"You look great." She centered my necklace. "But before you leave, while we have a few seconds alone, I just wanted to say something from sister to sister." She paused and put her hands on my arm, smiling softly. "I was right." She sighed. "And I hope you never forget that. Now you can go."

I scoffed. "You wouldn't let me."

"Sure won't." She sang as I shook my head and walked out of the door.

Yeah, she was right, but I'd never tell her that.

As I quickly approached, yes, I walked faster than usual. Can you blame me?

As I got closer, I could make out white string lights on the outside of the mess hall and I heard music softly playing.

I walked up the few steps and opened the door. I didn't see Edward, but what I saw almost floored me.

I gasped. They had totally transformed the mess hall. Soft lights, candles and flowers were everywhere. They had pushed the tables to the side with tea candles and flower pedals.

Then there was a table with an antique bench for two, in the middle of the room with a white vintage tablecloth on it with more tea candles with beautiful fresh spring flowers, and a small chandler that hung over the table.

Stainless steel domes covered the food on the table, and there were chocolate-covered strawberries and chilled wine.

I was speechless. The room was so gorgeous I didn't know where to look next.

The song that was playing when I first walked in finished and a familiar song started, Somebody Like You by Keith Urban.

There's a new wind blowin' like I've never known.

I'm breathin' deeper than I've ever done.

And it sure feels good.

Now I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you.

An' I'm lettin' go of all my lonely yesterdays.

I've forgiven myself for the mistakes I've made.

Now there's just one thing.

The only thing I wanna do, mm-hmm.

I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you.

This was one of my favorite country songs, so I started swayed my hips to the music but then I heard footsteps, so I spun around.

It was Edward… in chaps.

Edward

I looked at myself one last time in the mirror. "I look ridiculous."

This wouldn't have been my first choice, but you've looked worse before.

That was very backhanded.

"Well, I'll be." Emmett drawled.

"Why are you talking like that?" I frowned.

"I can't help it, man. It's the hat. It's doing something to me."

"Then take it off, you don't need it."

He shook his head. "No siree Bob."

"Okay." I guffawed and adjusted the belt of the chaps.

They weren't all that comfortable and were very, very warm.

"Stop squirming, you look fine."

"You think so?" I scrunched my nose.

"I mean there's no doubt I would look better in this get-up." He waved his hand in my direction. "But yeah."

"Thanks, I think."

"No problem." He slapped my shoulder. "Bella's already inside. Are you ready to make your grand entrance?"

"Yeah." I went to run my fingers through my hair, but the hat on my head stopped that.

"Well giddy up partner." He held the cabin door open for me.

"Hey, um, I just want to say thank you for helping me today."

"No problem bro, now go get your girl." Emmett said before he walked towards his cabin where the Rosalie and the kids waited, and I walked a short distance to the mess hall.

I was a bit edgy, hoping Bella liked it. I took a peek at the mess hall before I went back to my cabin earlier, and I was speechless. They out-did themselves.

I scurried up the steps and opened the door, but watched Bella as she moved to one of her favorite country songs. One would have thought I purposely picked this song to walk in on. The words were so fitting.

I'm wanna love somebody, love somebody like you.

I'm ready to love somebody, love somebody like you.

And I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you, yeah.

She looked good… moving from side to side… in those jeans…

Once I obliged her long enough, I finally walked in. Bella turned around quickly. Her eyes traveled up and down my body, but settled on the chaps.

She stared… with her mouth gaped open.

Doubt about looking ridiculous went out the window.

Bella shook her head as if she snapped out of her haze. A blush creeped across her cheeks, as she smiled.

I closed the small space between us and reached for her hand. "Bella, you look stunning."

Bella squeezed my hand. "Thank you." She smiled. "You look so amazing."

"Thank you."

"Wow." Bella said as she walked towards the table in the middle of the room, while she continued to hold my hand. "Edward, this is beautiful."

"I wanted to do something special for you."

"You did." She nodded. "Alice told me you had a surprise for me, but I didn't think it would look this nice."

I chucked, because well… neither did I. "I'm glad you like it." I lead her towards the table, pulled the bench out and gestured for her to sit down, then I sat next to her.

"I love it." She smiled at me.

I grinned as I filled our glasses with wine.

"Bella, I have some things I'd like to talk to you about, but if you don't mind, I'd like us to eat first."

We enjoyed our cowboy steak, scalloped potatoes, with salad, as we had light conversation and soft music played in the background.

"So." Bella said after she took a sip of wine. "What did you want to talk about?" She removed her hat and turned her body towards me.

"We're just gonna jump right into, okay." I turned to her.

"Yeah, considering it's us, I think it would be good to switch things up." She chuckled.

"Right." I exhaled.

I knew there were things I needed and wanted to tell her, but now in this moment I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous.

"Well." I looked up at the ceiling. "For starters, you didn't let me get a word in last time we talked, very annoying by the way." I smirked at her.

"Really?" She blinked. "You're going to start the conversation like that?"

"I thought you should know." I shrugged.

"Ugh." She scrunched up her nose. "You're such a-"

"Okay, okay." I scooted closer to her. "I was just kidding, well not really. You didn't let me get a word in, but that's not the point. I owe you an apology for walking away and making you think I was brushing you off. I would never want you to think or feel like that because of me. I could never not want to be around you. I was just in my head."

"Why were you in your head?"

"Because I didn't know how to tell the girl I liked that I wanted more than friendship… and another guy was flirting with her."

She bit on her bottom lip and nodded. "Good thing she wasn't interested in that other guy then, huh?"

I tilted my head from side to side. "That's nice to know."

"I like to help where I can." She said and scooted closer to me. "But you know what?"

"What?"

"Since we're telling things we think the other should know, I want you to know I accept your apology, but it's possible…" She reached for my hand. "That I also owe you an apology for not letting you speak."

"Is that right?"

"Mmm." She nodded.

"Well, I accept your apology too and continuing in the spirit of telling each other things, there is something else I need to tell you."

"Tell me." She rubbed my hand with her thumb.

Truthfully, there were so many things I wanted to say, so much that I felt like all my thoughts were jumbled and incomplete. I hoped she would understand what I meant, even if my words didn't come out right.

"I didn't think I would ever meet someone who I would want to date. Honestly, for a while I wasn't sure if I ever would date, yet when I imagined myself ten or twenty years from now, I didn't see myself alone. I figured it would just happen when, or if the time was right, which is contradicting considering I never actually put effort or energy into putting myself out there."

She scoffed. "I know what you mean. Dating someone, putting myself out there again was the last thing on my mind."

"But then one day my kid kicked someone else's kid." I grinned.

"Oh my god." She chuckled. "That seems like such a long time ago."

"Yeah." I snorted. "It does, but because of that I met an amazing person who become a big part of my life."

Bella tilted her head to the side and chewed on the corner of her lip.

Since it seemed like I was on a roll, so I kept going.

"You saw me at some really low points in my life, and you were there for me. You listened to me, you encouraged me, you challenged me, and made me think. You were, are, truly my friend, and I not only value the friendship we've built, I enjoyed and had fun doing it."

Her eyes were bright and glossy as she lightly pressed her palm against my cheek. "Me too."

"You told me you knew you liked me after we kissed, and I thought that's when I knew too, but the more I think about it, the more I know that's not right. That's just when it could no longer be avoided or denied. But we've spent so much time together it's hard to pinpoint one moment exactly. It could've been that day after the fire station, when you stood with me, or when you wanted to know something as trivial as what my least favorite place was, or when you got me that journal for Christmas. All of those moments led to this, not just the kiss."

For a few moments, her eyes flickered over my face.

"I have a couple moments of my own." Bella grinned, and her eyes were soft. "Like when you got me the certificate for pottery class or more recently when you held Aiden's hand on the plane, it was after we kissed, but that just solidified my feelings."

I didn't do that to score cool points with her and I knew she knew that. No matter if she saw me or not, I would've done it, anyway. Actually, I assumed I would do it again on the plane ride home.

"Yep." I blew out. "That was pretty smooth, wasn't it?" I looked off into the distance.

"Mmm." She hummed. "Very." Sarcasm was heavy in her tone.

"I'm kidding." I looked at her.

She chuckled and nodded. "I know."

With a serious face, I closed the small amount of space between us. "Bella."

"Yeah," she said softly.

"I thought about what you said, about being sure and communicating, about telling you the important stuff." I paused to collect my thoughts. "There was a time in my life where I was so focused on following a plan that I forgot to be present, to enjoy life and because of that, my last relationship suffered." I cleared my throat. "Don't get me wrong, there were other issues there as well, but I know the mistakes I made."

Gianna told me months ago she thought we shouldn't have gotten married. At the time, I disagreed with that. It felt like she was saying I was a mistake, that what we had was a mistake. I couldn't say that because if we didn't get married, we wouldn't have Renata, and she is the best thing that happened between us.

I didn't get it at the time, but in retrospect, she was right. Our relationship was easy, maybe too easy. Not that easy was a bad thing, but it wasn't a positive thing for us. There was something missing in our relationship, and we didn't really work for anything with each other. I mean, I didn't until it was too late, when the damage had already been done.

"And I don't want to make them with you. I want us to always be us. I want us all to take Egg Roll on walks in the freezing cold. I want to do new things with you, and I want to know all the things that make you tick; like incorrectly folded sheets." I chuckled. "I want to know about everything that makes you, you."

"I want you to tell me everything, what makes you happy, sad, angry, frustrated, scared, embarrassed. I want to know it all." I exhaled. "And I want you to know all that about me, too. I want to tell you everything, my feelings, what I'm thinking, even when I'm overthinking. No matter how big or small, I want you to know everything. And that's something I…" I trailed off.

"You what?" Bella leaned in closer to me.

I chuckled. "I remembered something my dad said." I sighed in satisfaction. "He said sometimes the best things in life, the things we don't know we want or need, aren't the things we can plan." I smiled. "At the time, I didn't really get it, but I think I know what he meant now." I tucked a piece of stray hair behind her ear. "I couldn't plan this… us… you. I wouldn't want to."

She squeezed my hand and smiled, the one that lights up the room when it reaches her eyes.

"And that's scary for me, but I don't care. I want this anyway. That's how I know I'm sure." I lifted her soft, petite hand and kissed it.

"Edward." She whispered my name. "I want it too. You… us…"

I don't know how long we stared at each other, but each passing second brought us closer, and closer until I felt her breath ghost over my face.

This time, it wasn't a question of who was moving toward the other. We were doing it together.

I was lost in the warmth of her brown eyes; they were like magnets that pulled me in.

My veins drummed and my heart thumped wildly.

I'd never ached for a kiss like this, ever.

My fingers tingled with the need to touch her.

She pushed the hat off my head and ran her finger through my hair.

"Bella." I groaned softly, low in my throat.

Chills raced up my skin from her touch.

I cupped her face with both hands and dragged her to me.

I brushed her lips with mine, and her breath hitched.

I paused just to breathe her in… to inhale her perfume, shampoo and the extra scent that's just… her.

I've wanted and imagined this for months. Nothing else existed in the world but this moment… this kiss.

She parted her lips.

My Adam's apple bobbed, and I licked my lips.

I slightly titled my head and pressed my lips to hers.

Her lips were tender and soft, like silk against mine, and they tasted like the sweet red wine we drank.

The kiss was slow and gentle, but deep with emotion. Her fingers curled tighter in my hair; heat washed over in waves. Everything about her was hypnotic. My whole body tingled with her small frame against mine, and the taste of her nearly silenced all of my senses.

I couldn't get close enough. I placed my hand at the nape of her neck and pulled her closer. She wrapped her arms around my neck and lightly brushed her tongue against mine.

There was no battle to win. It was a closeness, sharing one breath, one sensation… a timeless, passionate moment.

Her lips were like black holes that pulled me in until all gravity was lost under her touch. I didn't want the kiss to end, but we needed a breather. I slightly pulled back from her, and met her gaze, then watched as her eyes slowly flickered from my eyes down to my lips, then back up again.

"Beautiful." I murmured against her swollen lips.

I was breathless, intoxicated by this connection between us. There were no more words that needed to be spoken now. I just wanted to bask in this moment, wishing I could bottle it up and keep it forever.

Finally, you finally kissed her…

A/N: This marks Complete for Part 1 of our story. We're going to take a much-needed break before we begin the sequel, however, we won't post until the story is completely written and edited.

We want to THANK all of you… our readers that reviewed and our readers that didn't leave a review, our followers, and favorites. We can't tell you how many times we laughed or were encouraged by the awesome reviews you left. We enjoyed reading your theories and some of your personal experiences you shared via PM that touched close to home with what some of the characters went through.

Words are powerful, sometimes I don't think we understand just how powerful they are. It means a lot to authors when you take the time to read our stories and leave encouraging reviews, including reviews of constructive critique that will help us to grow as writers.

Once again… THANK YOU!

So… Edward and Bella finally kissed…there's no more hiding or running away…they shared with each other how they feel. What are your thoughts? What do you think is next for E & B, along with some of the other characters?

See you soon!