"Thanks for everything." I half-forced a warm smile as we exchanged our goodbyes with our host family of the previous several months.
"I'm sorry about the, you know… trouble." Kate apologized sincerely.
"No worries. I'm afraid we were over staying our welcome anyways." Esme grimaced as she followed behind the rest of our family in displaying our appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Denali clan who had showed up to see us off. Carmen, Eleazar, and Kate were all still present, Irina had left quickly, but Tanya stayed clear.
"Nonetheless," Carmen pointed out, "she shouldn't have banished you like that. It was rude."
We did our best to shrug off the events of the evening indifferently, but some animosity and remorse was still present in our carefully filtered façades as we finished our hasty goodbyes and departed for the vehicles.
Transporting Mira was a slight obstacle, but it was easily overcome when we realized just how prepared Alice really was. She had thought of everything, including a baby seat for the car. Edward carried Mira in his arms, wrapped tightly in a pink blanket, as we traveled quickly to the garage where our cavalcade of vehicles were stored.
The only additional space that hadn't been taken over by the expanse of baby clothes and toys that Alice had spent a small fortune on was in Esme and Carlisle's vehicle. I knew that Mira would be well looked after with Esme, and it was only a four - which, translated to Cullen speeds turned to a two - hour drive, but I still couldn't help but feel a pang of compunction as I held my breath and kissed her tiny nose once more. I couldn't possibly imagine how I had ever planned to leave her.
As we sped off down the snow laced roads, Edward explained to me what our next place of residence looked like. It was, in every applicable sense of the word, an island. A mansion-sized building that hardly resembled the cottage title it had been given on its own personal, small Island. The garage was located a half of a mile away on the mainland and instead of a garage on the island, there was a dock. Though it was an inconvenience to be so far away from hunting grounds, the original purpose of the location was because it was clear of people who could accidentally stumble upon it. Now, with Mira in the family, living far away from human blood was a pointless thought, but on such short notice, this would do for now. Just until Mira was older.
I was not surprised, when I saw the boat, that all of our possessions fit onto it easily. It was a very large boat, built for speed and nothing else. Jasper looked much more elated than he should be to be behind the wheel of a machine more powerful than Alice's prized vehicle which we had just forcibly removed her from. Needless to say, Alice was less than thrilled on leaving her beautiful car on a different body of land than where she was going and she felt the need to give it a rather unorthodox farewell. Even as we unloaded the boat and moved everything into the house, she was still grumbling about how unfair it was for her to have to leave her car behind.
The house was, as expected, immaculately breathtaking. Though uninhabited for decades, there wasn't a speck of dust present, somehow. In moments, Esme had floated around the house removing the sheets covering the furniture and replacing light bulbs and batteries in all of the random household appliances. It had been decided that Mira's crib would be situated in Edward and I's bedroom. I argued a little bit, but with Edward's convincing, I soon agreed that there was nothing that I could do to hurt Mira and that she would be perfectly safe in our bedroom.
Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper unloaded the game consoles first while Alice assisted Esme in the library and Kitchen. Carlisle helped Edward and I put the plethora of baby toys and cribs and changing stations around the house before showing us to Edward's bedroom, which Edward immediately corrected him with a stern "Our room, you mean.."
We spent the remainder of the evening unpacking his CD's and caring for Mira off and on. Esme swept her away to feed her and change her at precise intervals which I suspected were overabundant, but I never stopped her. It was clear that Mira's presence in the family had brought her more joy than any of us had thought possible. Still in the schedule we had held in Denali, at about midnight, after Edward had successfully rocked Mirabelle to sleep, we retired back to the room.
I crawled up on the satin sheets of the bed and curled my feet beneath me as I watched Edward handling our daughter. He gently unwrapped the blanket from her sleeping body and laid her in the crib. He began turning back to face me, but stopped short and returned his stare to Mira. A small, crooked smile curled his lips as he surveyed her, and suddenly, he sucked in a deep breath and held it as he leaned forward to press his lips briefly to Mira's forehead. She stirred a little at the sudden cold, but the motion was so slight that she fell immediately back into her deep sleep. I realized as he turned back to me that I was mirroring his smile.
He slid comfortably onto the bed beside me and found my hand without breaking our gaze. We sat together for countless minutes, perfectly content with each other's company.
Our motionless was broken by a sudden, decisive movement from him as he leaned forward to place his lips on my jaw line just below my ear. "I love you, Isabella." He whispered.
I caught his head before he was able to resume his previous position and I let my fingers coil through his bronze locks.
"I love you too." I replied as I pressed my marble lips to his.
"Mmmm," he moaned as he leaned forward, moving me from my sitting position so that my back was pressed against the bed. My anticipation caused me to become conscious of the fact that we had had a very limited amount of intimacy over the last few months, and his hand roaming up my thigh was very welcomed.
"You know, Mrs. Cullen," He winked as he left a line of kisses across my collarbone, "it has been too long."
"I agree," I keened as he pressed his lips to mine softly, at first, and then with growing hunger and longing. I returned his gestures tenfold as his hand crept beneath my back to press me to him even more securely.
Nothing could be more perfect. Jacob was a part of my past. He had no part in my future. Mira held no reminders for me of Jacob, instead, all I saw in her was life and possibilities. Her future was cloudy, but she would have one - that was for sure. Edward was thrilled to be a father and I had never seen his eyes so alight as when he was holding his… our daughter. I was his for eternity and nothing could sever that bond, that I was certain of. Everything was blissfully perfect, just as it should have been. Sure, it wouldn't remain that way. There were sure to be problems that the future would hold for both of us, for Mira, and for the rest of the family, but we had proven our capability to overcome those obstacles together, and I had no doubt that we would continue to do so.
Edwards teeth grazing my neck startled me back from my reverie and I let out another low moan.
"Shhh," he reprimanded mischievously, "Baby's sleeping."
T H E E N D
I can't believe that in all this time, I forgot to add the last chapter.
I feel like a moron.. all this time thinking I had posted it.
no. I'm stupid. I apologize. It took this long for someone to be honest and tell me that the ending sucked for me to go back and realize that this wasn't in fact the ending.
now it is, though.