1

*CRASH*

"Bella!" Michael screamed, and I winced as I stood in front of the kitchen sink.

"I've got this one," Peter said before pushing himself away from the stove and walking out of the room. With a shake of my head, I dropped the spatula into the water and moved over to the stove, taking over the bacon that was frying.

Ten days had passed since Michael, Tyler, and I arrived in San Francisco with Peter, and this was at least the seventh crash they'd caused. The first was a vase that Peter had bought for Siobhan on their honeymoon. While he said it was no big deal, I knew it had gotten to him. His house just wasn't child friendly, and the boys were . . . well . . . boys. They were rowdy and tended to be reckless. And they were bored out of their minds.

Hell, so was I. I wanted Carlisle, I needed him, and he was still stuck in Forks, trying to pack up the house, trying to find his way to us. But one thing or another had kept him there. First, it was a problem with the company he'd hired to come help him pack rest of the house. The office manager insisted that Carlisle had called and canceled their contract, which he hadn't. We both agreed that Gabriel Varner had been behind that, but since the company had already booked another family, they couldn't make a new deal, which mean Carlisle, Marcus, and Garrett were on their own.

Also, 'someone' had been making it a habit to call the house non-stop, and when Carlisle unplugged the house phone, the same 'someone' started coming around in the middle of the night. They broke windows, spray painted the words 'whore' and 'slut' on the house, scratched curse words into their cars, which just added more work to Carlisle's heavy workload, and made it impossible for him to sell the place.

After Gabriel Varner's attack on Peter, the district attorney decided that there was enough evidence to actually charge him with attempted rape, assault on both me and Peter, and harassment, but he'd disappeared, vanished in the middle of the night, and that alone didn't make me sleep any easier.

"I love those boys, but they're driving me insane." Peter laughed as he walked into the kitchen and reached for the fork in my hand. "Bella?"

I shook my head and looked over at him. "I'm sorry, what?"

"You okay, sweetheart?" he asked, slowly.

"Fine," I insisted for the eighteen time in the last ten days. "What'd they break this time?"

"A lamp in the den," he said.

I grimaced. "Sorry."

"Don't be. It's not your fault. I told them if they'd sit nicely and watch cartoons while we finished breakfast that we'd go to the beach. That seemed to work."

"Usually does," I murmured, turning back to the sink and placing my hands on the counter.

"You really miss my son, don't you?" Peter asked.

I frowned as I turned back to him and nodded. "I know it's silly. It's only been ten days, but . . . I just . . ."

"You miss him," he said. "It's not silly. Why don't you go upstairs, take a hot bath, and when you're done, we can go to the beach?"

"I can't leave you to feed the boys on your own," I fretted.

"You can, and you will," he insisted. "Believe it or not, I have fed children before, Bella."

"I didn't mean it like that," I told him. "They aren't your responsibility; they're mine."

Peter narrowed his eyes at me, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. He looked just like Carlisle did when he gave me that very expression. "I am ordering you to go upstairs and take a bath."

"Oh, you're ordering me, huh?" I laughed when he nodded. "Fine, whatever. You've been warned."

"Yeah, yeah; whatever," he scoffed, waving me off.

With a sigh, I headed upstairs to my bedroom, or the guest room I'd been sleeping in for the last ten days. Peter lived in one of those fancy, humongous houses that Carlisle had first taken me to look at. Ten days inside a place like that had just reconfirmed my position that I wasn't made for a life in a house like this, but it was better than a cramped hotel room. At least, that's what I was telling myself.

I walked into the large, luxurious bathroom and started the water in the large, claw-foot tub that was bigger than any bathtub I'd ever seen. As the tub filled with water, I walked back into the bedroom and stripped off the shorts and T-shirt I'd put on that morning, wrapped my hair up in a messy bun, grabbed my cell phone, and walked back into the bathroom. I placed my phone on the ledge over the tub. I didn't go anywhere without my phone, always afraid that I'd miss a call from Carlisle. The few minutes we got to talk were barely keeping me going, and I didn't want to miss any if I didn't have to.

Slipping into the hot water, I sighed and leaned back, closing my eyes and trying to relax. My muscles felt tense and sore, though I hadn't really done anything in days. Peter and I had taken the boys to the beach house the day after we arrived in San Francisco, and they'd fallen in love with it. The next day, Peter insisted on taking us to the zoo, where he bought them a ridiculous amount of junk food and toys, but I understood why he felt the need to spoil them. By pushing Carlisle away, he'd lost out on so much time with the boys. This was his way of trying to make up for it. But he couldn't. All he could do now was start fresh and be the grandfather they deserved.

Other than a couple trips to a mall and grocery store, we'd stayed at the house, which was why the boys were going nuts. This wasn't their home, either.

My phone rang, pulling me out of my thoughts. Drying my hand on the small hand towel handing above the tub, I picked up my phone, smiling when I saw Carlisle's name on my screen. I slid my finger across the talk button and brought the phone up to my ear. "Hello, lover."

"Hey, beautiful," he crooned, the silkiness in his voice had my insides turning to goo. "What are you doing?"

"Taking a bath," I purred, knowing the visual of me naked would set him off, and when I heard him groan, I laughed. "What are you doing?"

This time when he groaned, it wasn't out of pleasure. "Oh, you know . . . the usual."

"How much more do you have to do?" I whined.

"Not much," he replied, vaguely. "The boys behaving?"

I snorted. "No. They broke a lamp this morning."

"Jesus Christ, they're a little two-man wrecking crew," he swore.

"They're not comfortable here. They need to get settled in the beach house," I told him.

"I know." There was something in his voice that had me on edge, but before I could ask him if everything was okay, he said, "Isabella, I've gotta go. I'll talk you later."

"Okay, bye." The words barely left my mouth when he hung up. Muttering under my breath, I placed my phone back on the ledge and leaned back in the tub. "Guess I was done talking."

I stayed into the bath until the water turned cold. Standing up, I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my body before climbing out of the tub. I reached for my phone, but it slipped from my hand and fell into the water.

"Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," I cursed as I pulled it out and attempted to dry it off on my towel. I rushed into the room and quickly got dressed. Then, I nearly ran downstairs and into the kitchen. The boys were standing on a couple chairs in front of the sink, washing dishes while Peter stood behind them. "Rice! I need some rice!"

"I don't . . ." Peter trailed off as he turned and walked over to the pantry. "Here we go."

I ripped it out of his hand and dug a Ziploc bag from the drawer next to the stove. Dumping the rice into the bag, I added my phone and laid it on the counter.

"What happened?" Pater asked.

"I dropped my stupid phone into the tub," I whimpered.

"Why did you have it in the bathroom with you?" Peter pressed.

I shifted my eyes up to his. "In case Carlisle called."

His lips curved upward.

"Don't," I threatened.

"I'm not doing anything," he snickered, reaching over and picking up the bag of rice. "How long do you leave it in here?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I don't know. Just heard that's what you're supposed to do."

"Oh, I see," he said, nodded. He placed the bag of rice back on the counter and looked over at Michael and Tyler. "Okay, who is ready to go to the beach?"

"Me!" the boys cheered, leaping off the chairs they were standing on. I automatically flinched, expecting at least one of them to fall or hit their heads on the counter. But they didn't. They moved their chairs back to the table and turned to face me.

"Are you ready, Bella?" Michael asked.

"Sure," I lied, because I didn't really want to go to the beach, but they needed to get out of the house. "Let me just run upstairs and grab a book."

"No!" Tyler exclaimed, grabbing my hand and attempting to pull me out of the kitchen.

"Why can't I get a book?" I asked, laughing when he pursed his lips together and grunted.

"Um, because . . ." He shot a quick glance to Peter.

"Because it's illegal," Peter blurted out.

I raised an eyebrow. "It's illegal to take a book to the beach?"

"Yes?" Though he made it sound like a question. "I mean, of course it's not, but it should be. It's too nice to spend the day reading."

"But I like to read, and since I can't swim, I won't have anything else to do."

"You can't swim?" Peter, Michael, and Tyler all asked.

I rolled my eyes. "No. My father was terrified of water, so I never learned."

"Well, then we should teach you," Peter said, placing his hands on the boys' backs and ushering them out of the kitchen.

With a shake of my head, I followed. They were acting strange — well, stranger than normal, but I decided it wasn't worth arguing with them about. The four of us climbed into Peter's car, and headed toward the beach.

I expected us to head to the beach house, or one of the public beaches, but Peter pulled up on the interstate and headed toward Sasha's diner. I didn't think much about it, though. They were family, and I knew Edward and Jasper were staying at the bungalow. If they were home and not doing anything, I could always hang out with them while the boys and Peter swam. Then, I wouldn't constantly be thinking about Carlisle.

Who was I kidding? Carlisle was all I thought about.

When we parked in the small lot just up the trail from the diner, I was surprised that there were a half dozen cars parked there, too. It was barely ten in the morning, and only a Tuesday. Nonetheless, the four of us climbed out and when I started toward the diner, Michael and Tyler slipped their hands into mine. I looked down at them, finding them looking up at me with big smiles. Peter rushed down the pathway ahead of us, saying something about making sure everything was ready. I didn't understand what he meant until the boys and I walked through the last of the brush.

"What the . . ." I trailed off as I looked around.

A large canopy had been set up and at least a hundred candles had been lit. There were hundreds of blue and yellow roses, an ivory pathway between the dozen chairs that had been scattered on either side of the aisle. Emmett, Rose, Alice, and Esme were standing on one side, while Edward, Jasper, Garrett, Kate, Marcus, and Sasha stood on the other side. However, it was the two people standing at the end of the aisle that had my attention. Eleazar was standing just behind Carlisle, who had a huge smile on his face.

"Sorry, we're late," Peter mumbled as he rushed over and stood next to Marcus.

"You got her here. That's all that matters," Carlisle said. He reached his hand out to me. "Come to me, Isabella."

"Come on, Bella!" Tyler urged, pulling on my hand. "We have to hurry."

"We do?" I asked, shifting my attention down to him.

He nodded. "Because today you become my mommy. That's what Dad said."

I looked over at Carlisle and smiled. "He did?"

Carlisle's cheeks turned pink, causing everyone to laugh, but then he nodded.

"See!" Tyler exclaimed, and pulled on my hand again.

"Yeah," I whispered as I struggled to keep my tears from falling. I tightened my grip on Michael and Tyler's hands as we walked down the aisle to where their father was waiting for me. They nudged me forward before releasing my hand. I automatically reached for Carlisle, whose fingers found mine. "You're supposed to be in Forks."

"No," he murmured. "I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."

"Carlisle," I whimpered.

"I didn't want you to stress over the wedding. If you want, we can have a huge ceremony with hundreds of people that we don't know, but this — this, Isabella, is our family. Mine and yours. And I don't want to go another day without being your husband."

"So, we're getting married right now?" I asked.

He smiled and nodded. "If you'll still have me."

I threw my arms around him and pressed my lips against his, causing everyone to laugh.

"I guess that means she does," Emmett laughed.

Feeling my cheeks warm with my blush, I took a step back and nodded. "I do."

"Ah, not yet, my dear," Eleazar snickered. He looked from me to Carlisle. "Are we ready to begin?"

Carlisle said, "Yes," so Eleazar looked over at me.

"Yes," I murmured.

Eleazar's smile grew as he cleared his throat, and said, "Love is a gift, one to be cherished and nurtured. Today, we've gathered to witness the union between Carlisle and Isabella." Eleazar paused. "Who gives this woman to be married?"

"I do," Peter said, and when I looked over at him, he added, "It's an honor to be your father."

"Thank you," I whimpered, softly.

Peter simply tilted his head toward me. Eleazar turned and faced Carlisle. "Carlisle, do you take Isabella to be your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, in life as well as in death, good times and bad, until death do you part."

"I do," he vowed with so much sincerity that I struggled to keep my tears from falling. "I so do."

Eleazar laughed and turned toward me. "Isabella, do you —"

"I do," I blurted out, causing everyone to snicker. "I mean . . . I do. I want life and death with you, sickness and health, and the good days and the bad days. I want forever with you, Carlisle."

"I'll take that as a yes," Eleazar mumbled under his breath before he turned to Carlisle. "The rings."

"Oh, yes, of course," he said and dug the two wedding rings my mother had left me out of his pocket and placed them in Eleazar's hand. When he looked at me, he smiled. "This way, they're always close to us."

"Thank you," I whispered.

"You're welcome," he said, winking at me.

Eleazar, once again, cleared his throat and pulled our attention to him. "These rings, like the love you share, are unbroken and never ending. Take these rings and place them on your left ring finger."

Carlisle reached for my ring first. He twisted his fingers around my hand as he lifted it up between us and slide the gold ring down my finger so that it rested against the engagement ring he'd given me just up the beach.

Knowing it was my turn, I picked up the ring from Eleazar's hand and wrapped my fingers around Carlisle's hand. Then, keeping my eyes locked on my lovers, I placed the ring on his left ring finger, sliding it down to the base.

"Boys," Carlisle murmured, causing me to look down at Michael and Tyler. They nodded as Michael reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, black velvet box.

"This is for you," Michael whispered, and then added, "Mom."

I bit my lip as I knelt down in front of the boys and took the box. "What is it?"

"Open it and found out, silly," Tyler laughed, shifting so that he had his arm wrapped around my shoulder. He leaned up and pressed his lips against my ear. "It's a necklace."

"Ty," Carlisle laughed, sliding his hand onto Michael's shoulder.

"Sorry," he said, but he didn't sound very apologetic.

My fingers shook as I pried the lid to the box up. Nestled inside the soft velvet was a gold necklace with a heart-shaped pennant with two small stones inside. One was an emerald, and the other was a sapphire, both of which were the boys' birthstones.

"Do you like it, Mommy?" Tyler asked.

I nodded, causing my tears to dislodge and fall down my face. "It's beautiful. Will you two help me put it on?"

They murmured their agreement and Carlisle helped them remove the necklace from the box before handing it to Michael. It took a couple of minutes but the boys managed to work the clasp. I wrapped my arms around both of them and kissed their cheeks. "I love you."

"We love you, too," they said together.

I stood up and reached for Carlisle's hands. He immediately took them and brought them up to his lips, and I heard Alice, Rose, Kate, Esme, and Sasha sigh.

"Well," Eleazar said, looking from Carlisle to me, "it's my honor, and my privilege, to pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."

Carlisle brought his hands up to my face, stroking my cheeks as he leaned forward. "I love you, Isabella."

"I love you, too."

The words had barely left my mouth when his lips were on mine. In that moment, with him kissing me, the boys next us, and our family surrounding us, everything was perfect.

That Carlisle . . . he makes me swoon, but it's those boys who get me the most! Yes, this is the exciting sequel to The Babysitter.