DC: I don't own it
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The wind blew and ruffled Edward's hair. He stood alone in the back yard at the memorial in the center of the garden. The fountain had been Bella's idea. Her sister loved the sound of the fountains at the Cullen mansion. Since Edward was in no position to deny her anything, he had one built. He looked at the stone face of his brother and felt the same sadness. Since learning that his brother had been murdered Edward felt a new hatred towards his father. That's why they felt it fitting for a stone carving of the only woman he ever loved to be safe in his arms forever. Edward wished he could do more but he was out of ideas. He had done his best to do things as his brother would have wished but the realization came down that he was only trying to fill the void that the new knowledge had brought him.
But peace filled his heart again when he heard the chime of laughter around him. He turned and smiled. The mansion he called home seemed to glitter in the sunlight. Through the broad windows he could see Bella on the third floor through the lacy curtains folding clothes and putting them neatly away. He could see Carlisle on the first floor stealing a kiss from Esme as she fixed Anna's hair. Behind him he could hear mischievous giggles and pretended to ignore them.
Edward laughed as two bodies crashed into him, one on his shoulders and the other around his leg. He bent down and picked up the little boy and held him while the other held onto the top of his head.
"Dad how long are you going to stay?" the blonde in his arms asked.
"How long do you want me to stay?" Edward asked.
"Until the moon turns purple!" The boy on his head chirped. Edward laughed and looked up.
"Well that will be a very long time."
The boy in his arms beamed up at him and he kissed his forehead. The twins laughed and Edward joined them. They were delightful boys, even if they did get into more than their fair share of trouble. Then again, Edward reasoned, his second born had been way too calm and quiet. The boys merely used up her share. All the same, life was definitely more interesting when Carlisle the eighteenth (who would rather be called Charlie) and Jasper learned how to walk and talk.
Blonde and slight, both boys reminded Edward of his adopted brother. Being named after his uncle seemed to bring something into Jasper when he was born. Their birth had been difficult on their mother but she survived (even though Edward was so afraid she wouldn't). However Edward and his bride decided that they were definitely the last of their children. The past eight years had been all the more delightful, even if it did mean awkward conferences with teachers and scrubbing hand prints off of walls.
Jasper jumped off of Edward's shoulders and landed less than gracefully on the cement. Charlie laughed at him and his brother replied with a scowl.
"I'm sure your mother said something about getting homework done," Edward reminded them.
"Aw dad!" they both whined.
"I'll be up to check your work in a few hours," he said as he put them down. "Get going now," he added patting them both on the backs. They boys ran off, pushing each other to gain a lead in what had now become a race to their room.
Edward laughed and gasped when he felt two small hands on his eyes. "Guess who."
"My fair maiden?" he murmured, taking the hands and twirling them so Bella was in front of him. She smiled at him and threaded her fingers through his.
"I saw you watching me," she sighed tilting her head and smiling slightly.
"I was indeed watching you," Edward replied, pulling his hands free and curling them around her waist. "I quite enjoyed what I saw."
"Where are the kids?" Bella asked, slipping her arms around his neck.
"Well, the boys are heading up to do homework, Alice is resting and Andi is in her room reading as usual."
"So tell me," Bella whispered reaching up to kiss his cheek, "does my lord have time to play?"
"Anything my lady requests," Edward whispered before he kissed her.
Carlisle didn't know when he had first decided that he was going to change Esme. Nor did he know what she was going to say when he brought it up. After all asking one to change their species isn't exactly an easy subject. He was actually pretty sure that if Bella had a choice she probably would have opted to stay human. But she was dying and Edward had no idea that his blood would actually change her permanently.
It had been the most difficult discussion they had ever had but in the end Esme agreed. After becoming a vampire, Carlisle wasted no time in marrying her and putting his baby in her. That was the best part. Esme legally adopted Anna as her own child and Carrie became a distant fuzzy memory to all three of them. They had moved into the massive three story mansion with his brother when Bella went through her pregnancy with the twins and had difficulties. It wasn't that big of a move. They all practically lived together anyway.
Their life was perfect. Anna had grown into a beautiful young woman. She was so beautiful it broke Carlisle's heart. She and Alice were chattering away in the corner of the living room (too quiet for him to hear which bothered him). Growing up together brought Anna and Alice so close they were like sisters. There wasn't anything they didn't tell each other. The girls were sitting on the love seat with their legs tucked under them and their hands moving at the speed of light as they talked. He watched Anna toss some of her golden hair over her shoulder. She wore a powder blue sweater with her college logo on it that reminded Carlisle that his eldest daughter was grown and going. Alice had grown into a beautiful young woman as well. She looked so much like her mother. Her light brown hair was pulled back from her face and her dark eyes sparkled.
Carlisle smiled as his lap was occupied by a chestnut haired boy. His son, Cody, snuggled up and looked up at him.
"Hi dad," he said.
"Hey sport," Carlisle said ruffling his hair. Esme walked in with Bella. The two vampire women observed the room quickly and instantly assessed who was missing and the appropriate punishments for being tardy.
"Charlie where is your brother?" Bella asked.
"Here mom," Jasper said walking in. "Andi keeps trying to scare me!"
"Do not. Dweeb."
"Andrea be nice to your brother," Bella scolded.
"He keeps going in my room!" Andi defended angrily folding her arms.
"Mom I only go into her room because I'm afraid for her safety," Jasper said, straitening up and trying to look like Edward does when he works. Charlie was at his side in an instant to back him up. Bella had to admit she loved the loyalty.
"And why is that?"
"Because there are demons in her room and as her brother it is my duty to keep my sister safe from harm."
"He's right," Charlie added, "they are attracted to her satanic music and they try to darken her soul!"
"Oh boys," Bella sighed, "stay out of your sisters room and Andrea..."
"I let you get away with ignoring your first name you don't get both."
"Listen to your mother," Edward said, reading the paper.
"Thank you dear," Bella grumbled. She ushered the boys to the sofa and Andi sat on the floor leaning against the wall. She folded her arms and grumbled.
Edward stood up and took the center of the room. He looked grimly at the bright faces of his family. "I have updates on the war with Caius."
Bella instinctively put her arm around her boys and pulled them closer. A year ago Caius started war again. The war seemed to be dragging on and on. Edward didn't have to serve as he didn't have an heir. The war was predicted to be over soon but there was little progress. The family listened intently as he updated them on what had been taken and what they had lost.
"I got a letter from Sam yesterday," Alice said happily, "he said they should be pulling out soon and taking the palace."
Edward looked at his daughter. She pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on them. He saw her soldier in her mind. They were sitting on the porch swing together the day before he left. He finished and everyone left to their activities. Anna and Alice were talking about going for a walk. They got up to leave but Edward stopped his eldest.
"Alice can I have a moment with you?" he asked.
"Sure," Alice said with a shrug. Edward put his arm around her and led her down the hall. Bella was walking with her and she began to feel nervous. Both of her parents were involved this time. She turned into Edward's study. Edward walked over and sat on the edge of his desk.
"Alice, this came for you today."
Alice looked at him questioningly as she took the envelope and a package. Bella watched as she opened it. She pulled the letter out and unfolded it.
"Dear Miss Cullen, it is with a heavy heart we report the death of Samuel Young. Private Young died bravely in battle and as his primary contact you have received his possessions."
Alice shakily tore the paper back and ripped open the box. Inside was a small wallet insert filled with pictures and the golden locket she had given to him just before he left with his picture in it. Alice dropped the box and the letter and shook her head.
"No, no this isn't...he can't...daddy..."
Alice shook her head and turned to run but Bella was there. She trapped her daughter in her arms and Alice clung to her. "Mom...mom it can't be real...tell me there was some kind of mistake!"
"I'm so sorry baby," Bella murmured hugging her tighter. Edward came up and put a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"I just need to be alone for a little while," Alice said rubbing her eyes. She left and Bella heard her footsteps go up the stairs. Bella turned to look back at her husband. Edward had sunk into his chair and was rubbing his forehead with one hand.
"This was so different when it was your sister. I cared about her but watching her cry didn't break me down like this does."
Edward's phone rang and he sighed. He picked it up and answered it as he was obligated to do. Bella turned and walked out, leaving him to his business. She found Esme in the kitchen making dinner. She looked up as Bella came in.
"Sam died," Bella said quietly. Esme put her hand to her mouth in shock.
"Alice is up in her room right now. Edward's dealing with business. Sam had no family so I'm sure that's what he's dealing with."
"Alice and Anna will probably talk it out,"
Just then Edward came in looking caught between angry and sad. He hugged Bella from behind and kissed the back of her head.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Business, I have to go," Edward said.
"Your daughter just found out that her boyfriend is dead," Bella said coolly turning to face him, "aren't you going to go up and comfort her instead?"
"She wanted to be left alone," Edward reminded her, "besides what could I possibly say to make her feel better?"
"What indeed," Bella asked smoothly before walking out. Edward gave Esme a pleading look and she held up her hands. With a sigh Edward followed his wife into the living room where she began unnecessary cleaning.
"Okay are you going to tell me what I've done wrong or are we going to play the guessing game?"
Bella straitened the throw pillows and picked up some of the toys that had been left on the floor. Edward sighed and took them from her. He grabbed her shoulders and forced her to look at him.
"Bella. Answer me."
"You'll be late."
Edward glared at her. When she wanted to be, Bella Cullen was the most stubborn woman in the world. Edward quickly debated if he had the energy to argue with her or if he should just leave.
"I'll call you later," he sighed.
"Of course you will," Bella grumbled, pulling away from him and turning to leave.
"Okay now what was that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing at all Lord Cullen now go, your king awaits."
Edward winced at the frosty edge to his wife's tone. But he wasn't in the mood to deal with her. He didn't fully understand what she was upset about and was ready to blame her mood on the recent news of Sam's death. After all the boy had been like a son to her, having been friends with Alice since childhood and a constant at their home. He was in so many of the pictures around the house it was hard to believe he wasn't actually theirs.
But he knew it wasn't that. He knew it was something he did that was making her so angry. He also knew that if he stood waiting long enough she would burst. Sure enough after she finished straitening the pictures on the mantle and organizing everything she was about to burst.
Three, two, one, Edward mentally counted.
"I am tired of sharing you with him, okay."
Edward couldn't help but smirk at just how predictable she was sometimes.
"You think this is funny?!"
"No, I think you're adorable when you get riled up. Bella, love, what am I supposed to do? I promised to serve Aro until he is done with me."
"I packed up the family and moved out here for you," Bella reminded him, "we left the suburbs because of your job so that we could see you more. So that the twins could know their father. But you spend so much time with the king and congress that it's more or less the same."
"Would you rather I be executed? The bottom line is that I had no choice but to accept the position my father left. It's only a stroke of luck that Aro didn't ship me off to war! Bella you seem to forget that I murdered my father! According to the law I should be dead or rotting in prison and we wouldn't have the boys at all! I mean what can I say to make it better? The situation sucks but what's done is done! You can't hate me for it!"
"I don't hate you," Bella said quietly, "I'm just tired of being the little housewife that you have to make time to see."
"Bella please be fair."
"And you'd rather be the little widow raising four kids? If so Bella then let me know and I'll just march right up to Aro and tell him to stuff it up his ass!"
"You're such an asshole Edward," Bella snapped, trying not to cry. She threw the pillow she had been holding at him and left the room. Edward threw the pillow onto the sofa and left the opposite way, grumbling.
"You're distracted," Aro said airily as the congress took a break.
"Bella and I had a fight," Edward sighed folding his arms.
"May I ask what about?"
"Work. She thinks I spend too much time away from the family."
"The life of a politician is never easy," Aro sighed. Edward wanted to say something sarcastic back but thought better of it. "Tell her that quite simply it's your job."
"She knows that. It's just we had different plans when Alice was born and things changed."
"What are you saying exactly?" Aro asked, sensing a different meaning.
Edward shifted and thought. What was he saying? He would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy his work. He usually did. The debates were always exciting and it gave him a sense of satisfaction knowing that he was making a difference. If not for his presence in congress the laws protecting fatal abuse to humans wouldn't have been put forth and half humans such as his eldest child would be nonexistent.
But he had missed the birth of his sons. He had actually missed the first two days of their lives because of his work. He had missed Alice's graduation from high school and almost all of Andi's violin concerts (before she dropped the instrument completely). When Bella moved the family into the city they had high hopes for change. But all it meant was he came home more often. When it came down to it the move only gave them a few more moments together.
He still loved her with his whole heart, but he didn't know if she did.
"Mom? What's wrong?" Alice asked. Bella was laying on her bed, curled up and miserable. She looked up at her eldest and held her arms up. Alice came over and snuggled up with her.
"Your father and I had a fight," Bella said, "I miss him."
"You guys fight a lot lately," Alice mumbled. She nuzzled against her mom's chest, finding the usual comfort. Bella felt the tears and smoothed her daughter's hair.
"Parents fight," she said, "but we still love each other."
Or at least she hoped they did. She was still so crazy about her vampire but she didn't know if he felt the same. She shook the thought from her head and kissed Alice lightly on the forehead.
"Do you want to talk?"
Alice shook her head no. Bella continued to stroke her hair gently and offer a shoulder to cry on. Alice sobbed off and on and mumbled nonsense occasionally.
"Mommy I don't know what to do," she sobbed finally.
"Just cry it out baby," Bella murmured gently, "just promise me that you won't do anything rash."
"I never really understood why Aunt Alice killed herself," Alice admitted sitting up. She rubbed her eyes and sniffed. "Even if Uncle Jasper died."
"Well it was a different time back then," Bella said sitting up as well.
"Back when you were human?"
"Yes. I was your father's slave. Literally."
"I never knew that," Alice said, sounding interested. Bella nodded. She leaned against the headboard of her bed and Alice cuddled up with her. Bella put her arm around her eldest and Alice played with her fingers.
"Alice and I were probably about sixteen or seventeen. When your father bought me he was an arrogant spoiled brat. He used to go out of his way to make me mad so that I would get flustered and yell at him. He used to tease me mercilessly. But then his father got involved and things started changing. Edward softened and we became friends. He had feelings for me and I returned them but I was so stubborn. I didn't want to admit that I was falling for a vampire."
Bella laughed at the memory of telling Edward she would never love him.
"My sister had been falling in love with Jasper, her master. They were so in love. When his father found out he lashed out and ended up blinding Alice. But she and Jasper were still in love and he went off to war."
"Where he died."
"Yes," Bella said sadly, "we learned later that your grandfather had killed him because he wanted to run away with my sister. By that time I was pregnant with you. Alice made sure that I was well cared for and killed herself in Jasper's room. We had lost everyone but each other by that point, we had seen our father killed by human hunters, our mother had died only recently. She lost her sight and then the man she loved. I think she knew that sometime soon Edward and I would have to leave because if his father learned about you..."
"Did grandfather ever learn about me?" Alice asked. Bella nodded.
"He did," Bella said resting her chin on Alice's head, "and he promptly tried to kill you and it was the scariest moment of my life."
"I remember that," Alice said quietly, "it's kind of fuzzy but I remember being in a lot of pain and daddy was angry."
"Gotta love vampire memories," Bella laughed. "Do you remember when you were born?"
"I remember remembering. But I know that's when you died and became a vampire."
"We weren't ready to be parents," Bella sighed, "sometimes I still think we're not."
Alice laughed and shrugged, "well so far so good. I mean I'm practically perfect and the boys are adorable. Andi is kinda iffy."
Bella laughed at that. "I don't know what I did to make that girl so mad at me but I'm sure I'll figure it out someday."
"Ah she's just a teenager who is mad at the world."
"Neither of you get me and my siblings are freaks," Andi said as she appeared in the doorway.
"I don't get you because you never talk!" Bella cried defensively.
"By the way who was in my room?"
"I was sweeping the cobwebs out earlier," Bella admitted, "you live in such a hole!"
"Well if you'd let me live in the dorms you wouldn't have to worry about it!"
"No, Andrea, you lost your dorm privileges when you were caught doing some sort of ritual and you set fire to your curtains."
There was a pause. "My name is Andi, mom."
"Your name is Renee Andrea Cullen. Not Andi."
"You're ruining my life!" Andi groaned before stomping off.
"God help me Alice your sister is scary!"
Alice laughed and hugged her mom tight. "Don't worry mommy I'll protect you."
"And they all lived happily ever after," Bella concluded. She kissed each of the blonde heads and hugged her boys tight against her side. "I love you two."
"Love you too mom," they chorused. Bella got up and Jasper crawled out of his brother's bed and into his own. Bella pulled Charlie's blankets up to his chin and kissed his forehead.
"Goodnight baby," she whispered smoothing his hair.
"Night mom," Charlie said around a yawn. Bella smoothed his hair and went to Jasper. He reached up and hugged her before letting her pull the blankets up.
"Goodnight honey," Bella murmured as she smoothed his hair and kissed his forehead.
"Is dad home yet?" Jasper asked groggily.
"Not yet baby."
"Okay," he sighed. Bella kissed him on the forehead again and walked out, flipping the lights off as she went.
She walked down the hall. She peeked into Andi's room and saw her teenager sleeping. She silently walked over and put a book mark between the pages of the book she was reading and put it on the small table by the bed. She covered her and left a kiss on her forehead. She left quietly and continued down the hall. She heard Carlisle and Esme talking in their room and she heard Cody's soft snores. In the last room she poked her head in to find Alice asleep tucked under her covers. She was clutching an old stuffed bear that Sam had won for her at a carnival and there were tissues everywhere.
Bella jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She whirled around and saw Edward.
"She asleep?" he asked.
Bella nodded. She closed the door silently and looked at her husband. She nodded her head, indicating for them to move before beginning the inevitable argument.
"I didn't expect you," she said when they reached the security of the first floor.
"I'm sorry Bella. For anything I've done to upset you."
Bella sighed and sat on the sofa. "Remember when Alice was a baby and you spent every available moment you could with her?"
"I remember," Edward said, sitting beside her. "I also remember how hard it was to be away from her when I first took my father's place and how hard it still is even now. Bella do you think I want to miss my children grow up? I mean the twins hardly know me! But Bella I have no choice. I have to serve the king."
"Edward I don't know how long I can keep doing this," Bella said finally. "I can't keep telling our boys that you'll be home late. I can't keep hoping that I'm the only woman you love."
Edward was in shock. He looked at her with his mouth hanging open quite unable to find something to say. He reached over and touched Bella's cheek, making her look at him. "So that's what this is about?" he asked quietly with a small smile, "you think that there is someone else?"
"For as little as I see you sometimes there could be."
"Bella you are completely absurd," he whispered before kissing her. He pushed onto her and she leaned back against the cushions. It had been too long since they had spent time together like this. He touched her neck as he kissed her and his hand slipped down further. Bella wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tight against her.
"I miss you so much."
"I miss you too," he whispered against her cheek as he hugged her tight. "Bella I love you more now than I ever have."
"I think I'm pregnant again," Bella murmured. Edward smiled and kissed her forehead.
"If you are that's wonderful, if not we have four beautiful children."
"I don't want to have another baby that you'll miss," Bella said, slipping from under him. She sat up and Edward shifted. "I don't have the energy to have another baby alone. Carlisle and Esme have their own children to take care of, and I still have the twins to think about."
Edward pulled her close and rubbed her arm gently to try and soothe her. "We'll figure something out," he promised, "I love you Bella. I love our children and I miss them very much."
Bella rested her head on his shoulder. She was too tired to press the issue. She just wanted to enjoy his company for the night.
It was raining. Alice was sitting in the living room hugging her knees. It was family night. The one night that Edward was promised off each week. They sat around playing Uno. So far she was the only one (besides Andi) that was unenthusiastically playing. Her turn came and she put down a red seven. She managed a weak smile when Edward threw down a plus four that was intended for Bella but she had her own plus four to match, forcing Carlisle to draw eight. He grumbled as he did so while the kids and Edward laughed.
Thunder clapped and the little kids screamed. The game came to an end at that moment as the littles were huddled up with their parents. Edward started to tell a story as he lap was occupied by his sons. Anna put her arm around Alice and gave her a squeeze.
"Are you okay pumpkin?" Edward asked. Alice shook her head no but mentally told Edward to continue with his story because it was making her feel a little better. She tried to concentrate on the tale of the brave knight and the beautiful princess but she was distracted. She kept thinking of Sam and how he may have died. She buried her face in her knees and tried not to cry.
"Then, as the knight drew closer to the princess, the doors burst open and the evil wizard came into the room with a booming laugh!"
Just then the door did open and the boys screamed. The thunder clapped and they heard footsteps. Edward tensed and everyone looked up. The lights flickered with another clap of thunder and lightning and they saw someone. His hair was long and deep black. His face was young but scarred and he wore a torn uniform.
"Sam!" Alice cried. She jumped up and ran to her soldier. She jumped into his arms and he was happy to receive her. He held her tight and spun her around. Alice wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. One hand threaded into his long dark hair and kept him in place. When they broke the kiss so she could breathe he cupped her cheeks and brushed her tears away with his thumbs.
"I thought you were dead!"
"Nah," he laughed softly, "I promised you I'd come home and when have I ever broken my promises?"
"Never," Alice admitted in a breathy voice. She looked up at him and he smiled. "I thought you had though. You're not allowed to scare me like that."
"I'm sorry," he said brushing more of her tears away. He hugged her and rocked gently. Alice sobbed against his wet chest and smiled.
Bella looked like she was about to cry she was so happy. Edward had to keep the twins from running up and hugging Sam and ruining their sister's happy reunion.
"I think your dad wants to kill me now."
Alice laughed and nodded.
"Well you know the rules," Edward said with a smile, "nobody hurts my baby girl and gets away with it."
"I'm sorry sir," he said with a smile. Edward stood and gave the younger vampire a hug.
"I'm so happy you're safe," Edward said quietly.
Can I ask her?
"Please do," Edward answered.
Sam turned to Alice and took her hands. "Alice I love you and I told myself that if I made it back to you I'd ask you this."
"Okay," Alice whispered. Sam knelt down and looked up at her.
"Alice Caroline Cullen, will you marry me?"
"I can't believe you had to ask!" Alice sobbed practically falling into his arms. She hugged him tight around the neck and he kissed her temple. "Yes, a thousand times over."
Edward smiled and felt two arms around his middle and smiled. He put his arm around Bella and hugged her close. The boys were jumping around demanding all the war stories from their soon to be brother-in-law. Carlisle looked over at Edward and smiled with Esme in his arms. Anna was hugging her cousin and accepting the request to be her maid of honor.
"I can't believe I'm going to have to watch her get married," Edward murmured so only Bella could hear, "I kinda hoped she never would."
"Oh Edward," Bella sighed.
Edward smiled and kissed her forehead. He would have to watch his daughter get married. He had to admit to himself, as he watched Sam and Alice play with the twins and Cody, at least his baby girl picked a good one. The happiness in the air was infectious. He looked over at Bella and met her eyes. She was as happy as she could be. She hugged him tight and he knew that everything was going to be okay. They would have their problems along the way but in the end they loved each other. The daughter he had killed for was alive and well and in the arms of the man she loved. The children he adored were gathered around congratulating the couple. Best of all his beautiful wife was by his side.
There she would stay.
He turned and whispered softly in her ear, "I love you kitten."
I am so sad that this story is over but really satisfied with it. I really wanted to give Alice the happy ending her aunt didn't get. I also really prefer Bella and Edward to have a few problems in their marriage because they felt a little too perfect in the books. I like it when they have problems but are still very in love with each other.
So anyway thanks for reading! I have a few new ideas for some stories but I'm going to try to take a break and focus on school and whatnot. Though I have been urged to keep writing as a therapeutic escape. To which I replied...okie! I kinda like writing if nobody has noticed :p We'll see what happens. But as always thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed. Thanks especially to those that have been with me since the first chapter and with other stories as well. I know my stories can get a little weird sometimes. I have an idea that is really out there and I don't know if I should attempt it.