I don't have a whole lot to say about this before I post. Everything else can wait until the end. But you should know BohemianBuffalo kicks ass
"Would you stop that? Honestly, there's no reason for you to behave like a barbarian." Bella scolded from the porch. She shook her head at the lack of effect her statement had, her hands on her hips. "Oh, when your father gets out here—"
"What am I going to do, love?" Edward pushed her hair gently to the side and kissed her neck.
"Do something, would you? You're so much better at making him listen." She sighed, leaning back into him.
He looked up at the child in the front yard and smirked. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he walked them both backwards to the swing on the porch. Edward let himself fall into the swing, keeping Bella in his lap. "He's doing perfectly fine. I see nothing wrong with a boy wanting to run around and play."
"But—" she began to protest.
"No. Trust me on this. It's perfectly natural for him to be doing that." He swung her legs over to lie across his lap, letting her cuddle into his chest.
"But I worked so hard on her hair," Bella grumbled.
He laughed, a deep, low sound that soothed her. "They're five. I don't think they care much about their hair right now. Besides, didn't you tell me that when you were seventeen you were running around barefoot like that?"
She huffed, knowing he was right. "How was work today?" she asked, changing the subject as her finger traced random lines and swirls on his arm.
"Same as it is every day, of course. Today I went and cleaned a pond, and let me say some people have no respect for nature and those that clean nature." He rolled his eyes.
She smiled gently at him. "You don't have to do this. It's been seven years. Isn't that enough community service?"
He scowled, his features darkening. "After all the pain I've caused and all I've done to innocent people for my own selfish greed, I'll never be guilt free. I need to do the work to give myself a tiny fraction of relief."
She leaned back into him, listening to his heartbeat. Closing her eyes, Bella let the steady rhythm sooth her. "Have you checked in on your parents? I would, but I really don't think they like me much."
"They love you. Honestly, they do. They just didn't think they'd find me with a wife and two kids when they returned to the castle. But I haven't checked on them. I came here as soon as I got home. Should I go do that now?" She nodded and he kissed the top her head. Gently, he slid her off his lap and walked back into the house.
Staring out into the yard, Bella thought about all that got her where she was then.
After accepting Edward's proposal, she realized he had never asked her parents. When she turned to look at them, however, she knew they couldn't refuse. The man had just saved their daughter from scandal and helped her get away from her kidnapper, so they thought. How could they refuse him her hand in marriage?
Within a year, they were happily married and a year later, the twins came along. Anthony Carlisle and Carlie Esme Cullen came into their world five years ago, charming everybody that met them. The society column, shocked at the return of Edward Cullen and unable to leave him alone, was fascinated with the pair of toddlers and took every opportunity they could get to snap a picture of them. Bella was ecstatic to see the twins had her husband's hair, and he was happy his son received Bella's eyes, while his daughter possessed his own.
"With eyes like yours, boys would be all over her. With my eyes, I have a little less of a hoard to fight off when she gets older," Edward had joked.
A month ago, Esme and Carlisle had finally returned to America after nearly a decade travelling throughout Europe and Asia. They picked up a paper, pleased to read about their son's charity work, donations, and family. They quickly sent word to him of where they had been and explained they wanted to come visit their son's family. Three days earlier, the pair had finally reunited with their only child.
"Mama, mama. Make Tony stop pulling on my hair!" the little girl squealed, running up the stairs into her mother's embrace.
"I was just playin'," the boy mumbled shyly, watching the ground while trying to hide the branch behind his back.
"Anthony, stop messing with your sister's hair. How would you like it if she pulled on your hair?" Bella admonished, looking at her daughter. "And you need to stand up for yourself. No matter what your teachers tell you, you should never let yourself be controlled easily."
"Yes, mama." Carlie nodded, grinning at her mother before skipping off.
"Mama, where's daddy?" Anthony asked, brown eyes meeting brown eyes.
"He went to go check on grandma and grandpa. How about you go join him?" She smiled encouragingly at her son as he ran inside to find his father.
Bella had never wanted to marry and have kids young. She'd always wanted to see the world and meet more people than she could count. She wanted to forget about balls and the perfect dress. And she didn't ever want to marry a man she didn't love.
But sitting there, watching her son run back into the yard to chase her daughter, and her husband come sit next to her with his parents following behind him, she couldn't bring herself to regret a thing that had happened in her past.
When she agreed to marry Edward, she realized that she didn't even know if she loved him. This man she had only known for a few weeks, and she had feared he would kill her for the first few days of their acquaintance. She wasn't sure if she was doing the right thing, but she had to try. Fortunately, he had done something to help her before she backed out of the wedding.
"Bella?" Edward whispered, knocking gently on the door. In twenty-two hours they would be getting married and Alice had already passionately expressed the fact that they could not see each other until she walked down the aisle.
Bella opened the door a sliver, knowing it would be improper for her to see him this late at night no matter how far away their wedding was. "What are you doing here, Edward?" she muttered harshly, her eyes frantically searching the hall for any other late night wanderers.
"I know, I'm sorry. But I knew you'd start getting nervous around now, and Alice won't let you out of your room until the wedding, so I thought I'd bring you these." He offered the bag as quietly as he could.
Bella quickly examined the bag, noticing all the Hershey's chocolate bars Alice had forbid her from having until after the wedding, fearing she wouldn't be able to fit into her dress. What Alice forgot was that they were Bella's comfort food in times of stress.
Bella blinked at him, touched by the thought as a new feeling rushed through her. "I love you," she breathed in disbelief.
Edward grinned, the significance of the room not lost on him. "I love you, too. See you soon." He kissed her forehead and scurried down the hall, leaving her standing in the doorway watching after him.
"What has you so deep in thought?" he asked, kissing her temple and pulling her into his lap again. With the new room, his parents sat next to them, smiling at their affection.
"Nothing of any importance." She shrugged, grinning at him. "But, I think Tony might want to play with you."
He flashed his signature crooked grin at her, standing up with her in his arms and gently setting her back in the chair.
"I love you," he told her, capturing her lips quickly with his own.
"I love you, too." She sighed in contentment as he pulled away. His eyes twinkled in satisfaction before running off to where his children were playing tag.
Bella watched the three, running and screaming and shrieking, and couldn't help but chuckle in delight.
I definitely made the right choice.
So, where do I begin? I've broken 500 reviews with this and have broken tons of my own records all thanks to you guys. So, I'll start by saying thank you. A million times over.
I also mentioned a realistic alternate ending a few times. However, after writing this, I was kind of happy with it and while I have started the ending, I'm not posting it now. If a few people want it, I'll post it over in the outtakes. If a lot of you want it, I'll post it as soon as it's done. Otherwise, it'll only be read by my beta and I.
Then there's my playlist. I've got quite a long playlist I originall was going to use to name each chapter. But, this story is not 40 chapters and I lost track of what I had used and what I hadn't. If any of you want the soundtrack, I'll PM or put that in outtakes.
And I think I'm done, otherwise. I'll update Dismantle Repair hopefully twice before I leave for vacation on the thirty first, but definitely at least once before I leave. My next story will be up when I've written most of it so nobody has to deal with long delays between writing. And don't forget to vote for DR and this story if you love them. Links to the awards are on my profile.
I seriously love you all hard! And if you've never review before, please review now. I love hearing from all of you.