A/N: The chapter everyone has (hopefully) been reviewing for. Thanks, you guys.

Sorry that it's mostly for plot advancement…

Chapter 41- New England Summer


Make no mistake, I was happy about my placement, excited to go to Seattle, and thankful that Esme and Carlisle were willing to take care of Abra, but it just felt too easy. And I couldn't help but feel a little guilty accepting such a gift from Edward's family. I know that they would say that they are my family too, but I'd been alone for so long, it was hard to accept what felt like charity, hard to make myself believe that I deserved it.

In a week or so, Edward would go back to Boston for summer semester, and a week after that, I would start my summer job, as an intern at a hospital in Vermont. Esme often volunteered there, and was able to drive me, just another favor for me to feel guilty about. I was looking forward to staying with the Cullens, though, and spending time with Abra. She was growing up so quickly; I could hardly believe it.

I was sitting in the dining room, holding a book, but not really reading, just thinking. I looked up from my book when someone entered with squeal.


"Esme hinted that I should take a look at your hand- you and Edward are engaged aren't you!" She managed to get a long string of words out without a breath even between that immediately preceded and succeeded the exclamation.

"Alice, calm down." I smiled. "And yes. We're engaged. He asked me last night."

She took a deep breath, and sat down next to me on the couch. She took my left hand, and began examining my ring. "Tell me all about it."

I obliged, and spent the next fifteen minutes, detailing our night out, and how he had asked. She was momentarily angry at my not immediately accepting him, but understood as I explained my reasons, and how I had accepted him later in the night.

I finished my story with a smile, and she grinned at me. We spent a few minutes chatting about various topics (Jasper, college, summertime, etc.) until Esme called us in for dinner. Alice went into the dining room, and I went upstairs to wake Abra up from her afternoon nap.

Dinner was relatively quiet, as Carlisle's reaction to our being engaged was much less explosive that Alice's. Abra was still slightly drowsy from her nap, and didn't notice when Esme fed her some squash- which she supposedly 'didn't like'.

The next few days were uneventful; Edward and I spent a lot of time together and with Abra, as he would be leaving for the beginning of the summer term at Harvard. I was happy and appreciative that he was making such an effort to graduate sooner, but I would miss him while he stayed in Boston all summer. We played the piano, learning duets, or each playing one hand's part in a piece. We went on long walks by ourselves, and shorter walks with Abra around the area, and crossed the street to go visit the horses kept by Edward's neighbors. One night, Edward woke me up around midnight, and took me outside to see the stars. We lay down on a blanket on the lawn and just looked. I had forgotten, living in Boston, how many stars were in the sky. We worked on Abra's Spanish, reading to her, and speaking to her mostly in Spanish. It was the most carefree summer I'd had in years, despite being only a week long.

At the end of the week, I helped Edward pack a bag of what he wanted to bring back down to Boston- he had left most of his stuff there. Given a choice, Abra stayed home with Esme, and Alice and I drove down to Boston to get him settled in. On our way back downstairs, when we had finished (the elevator had stopped working again), Alice suggested that we stop at my former room to introduce ourselves to anyone who was staying there. I was unable to convince her that it was a bad idea, and so we did.

Alice knocked and I stood behind her, blushing. A girl with red, curly hair opened the door. "Hello?"

Alice grinned. "Hi!"

The girl looked askance at us. "Who are you?"

Alice began to answer, "I'm A-" but was cut off.

"Actually, what I meant to say was 'why are two random people at my door bothering me?'" She said, in a rude tone.

"Well," Alice replied. "This was Bella's" she motioned to me "former dorm room, and we just wanted to look around and say hi!"

A woman inside, probably the girl's mother, having heard what we said, called out to her daughter, "Victoria, just let them look around!" The girl rolled her eyes, and motioned us inside.

She showed us around the room, while her the woman unpacked. It was halfway decorated with posters of a boy band I didn't recognize. She pointed things out, interspersing her observations with rude little comments on how the previous resident had left stains in the carpet and colored marks on the walls.

We excused ourselves after a few minutes, and as I was leaving, I turned around in the doorway. "You try and keep stains out of the carpet and crayon marks off the walls when you've got a toddler, and tell me how it goes." With that I shut the door, but not before I heard the woman begin to reprimand her daughter, and walked quickly down the hallway to catch up with Alice. She high-fived me, and we continued down the stairs to the lobby, and then out to where her car was parked.

We stopped to visit Angela, who was very happy to see us, for a few minutes, and then continued on our way up back to New Hampshire.

We arrived around eight in the evening, as the sky was beginning to darken. The air was mild, and a breeze blew through the trees that lined the road. Alice went inside, but I sat on the steps for a while, looking up at the sky, thinking about how much I would miss Edward, and how much I already did. I couldn't wait until he graduated, too.

A/N: Short, but hopefully a little bit worth it. Review please. Thanks.