First I just wanna apologize for all the confusion I caused with this chapter. Like I said before in the AN I posted, I felt really bad about what I was posting and decided to take down. But all is well now! Here is the FULL chapter I promise!Thanks to those who have reviewed, added the story to their alerts/favorites, or simply just read the story. You all are awesome!
Again, thanks -XcarlieX- for letting me use the nick name Madi-Bear. You rock girl!
You guys go check out her stories when you get a chance!

DISCLAIMER: I own the Twilight magazine that the people from US put out, and a few other nifty Twilight things. Unfortunately I am not Stephanie Meyer so there for I do not own Edward, Bella, or anything else along those lines.

Bella's POV

Once Esme and I had all of the food placed on the table in the dining room everyone came in and took their seats. I was sitting next to Edward, with Madison in her high chair between us. She was the star of the table talking to everyone and basically drooling over the food.

"Now that we're all seated, let's all go around the table and say what we are thankful for this year." Carlisle smiled looking around at everyone.

He went first stating that the thing he was most thankful for was his and his family's health. I was shocked and deeply touched when he added that he was thankful for Madison and I.

That was the first time anyone has ever said anything like that too me.
I felt the tears sting my eyes and I had a smile on my face as I listened to everyone else state what they were thankful for.

I couldn't help but think of my father and how much I missed him. I knew that if he were here he would love Madison and would have been there for me when I needed him most.

"What I'm most thankful for..." Edward said breaking me from my thoughts. "I am thankful of course for my family, their health and happiness. I am thankful for the diner and how well it's doing. But, most of all, I am thankful for Bella." He smiled looking over at me.

I looked back at him with wide eyes shocked, I wasn't really expecting that.

"I'm thankful that she found Forks, even though I wish it were under better circumstances I am happy she's here. You're amazing Bella, one of the strongest and smartest people I have ever met in my life. I admire you because you didn't give up when times were tough and you took care of Madison no matter what happened. She's lucky to have you and I hope one day when she's older, she knows just how lucky she is." He finished and all I could do was sit there and stare at him. My eyes were full of tears that I was trying to keep from falling. I would forever be thankful for the Cullen's and this angel staring back at me. If it wasn't for Edward, Madison and I would probably still be living out of my car and motel rooms. I would never be able to re pay him and that made me feel horrible.

Taking a deep breath I got up going over to Edward wrapping my arms around his neck feeling a few tears fall. I buried my face in the crook of his neck inhaling his delicious scent.

"Thank you so much." I whispered as he wrapped his arms around me "For everything."

"You never have to thank me for anything Bella." He whispered back smoothing out my hair.

I could have swore I felt him place a soft kiss on my temple.

We broke the hug and I stood back up wiping my face when I realized everyone else was sitting there watching us.

"You guys, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to have that mini break down." I apologized blushing.

"Don't even think about apologizing Bella. I don't wanna have to kick your butt." Emmett piped up causing all of us to laugh.

"What he means is, you have no reason to apologize. We all care about you, and are all thankful you and your beautiful daughter are here." Esme smiled.

I smiled back nodding as I took my seat.

"Maaaa!" Madison squealed reaching her hands out to me.

"Well, Madison has spoke up on what she's thankful for." Jasper chuckled.

We all laughed and I leaned over kissing her forehead brushing her hair back.

She lost the bow a long time ago when Edward got tired of putting it back in her hair.

Taking a deep breath I looked around at everyone before I spoke.

"Ok, I guess it's my turn...I am thankful for my baby, Madison, of course. She's my world, I would be lost without her...I am also thankful for all of you and everything you have done for me and Madison. I will never be able to re pay you guys for all that you've done. I know you say I don't have too but we all know I'm stubborn." I chuckled before looking over to Edward. "I mostly thankful for you Edward. You've done so much for me in such little time. I know I am not suppose to say 'thank you' but I am. So just hush it." I mocked glared.

He and everyone else laughed.

"So yes, thank you. For everything you have done for Madison and I."

Smiling, he nodded. "You are more than welcome."

I smiled staring into his eyes.

Yes, I had feelings for Edward. No, I am not sure if he returned those feelings. But, as long as I always had his friendship I would never complain.

He's one of the most important people in my life now and I will forever be thankful for God sending him into my life.

"Let's eat!" Emmett's loud voice boomed breaking us from at gaze.

We smiled at each other once more before turning back towards everyone else.

The rest of dinner went amazing. The food was incredible, we all talked and laughed.

Madison had a ball getting mashed potatoes and gravy all over her face and Edward gave her, her first taste of Turkey after mashing it up for her.

She loved it and of course he fed her more.

As dinner went on, the more I missed my dad and wished he were there. I always got really emotional around the holidays and missed him more than ever.

Finally after an hour of eating, talking, and joking around we all finished and took a small break before having dessert.

"Mom, Bella, that was a freaking awesome dinner." Emmett complimented patting his stomach.

"It really was delicious." Alice smiled standing up from her seat.

Esme and I smiled thanking them.

"I'm gonna get her a bottle and lay her down for a nap." I said standing up when I seen Madison yawning.

"It's been a busy day for her." Rosalie smiled. "The men can clear the table for once."

I chuckled nodding and walked into the kitchen grabbing her a bottle out juice out of fridge since she had milk with her dinner, and walked into the living room placing her on the mat Esme and Carlisle had bought for her.
Once she was asleep I decided to step out side for a couple of minutes to have some time to myself and gather my thoughts.

- - -

Edward's POV

"Have you seen Bella?" I asked walking into the living room.

When I finished helping clear the table I went to use the restroom and when I came back out I couldn't find Bella.

"I think she went outside." Rosalie answered from her spot on the couch next to Emmett.

I nodded and turned heading towards the front door.

"They're great. I wish you could have been here to meet them. I don't know where Madi or I would be right now if it wasn't for them, especially Edward." I heard Bella say as I stepped outside.
I looked around seeing her standing at the other end of the porch.

Quietly I closed the door behind me and stood there to make sure she wasn't going to say anything else.

At dinner earlier I told her, and my family that I was thankful for her and Madison. I had been wanting to tell her those things for a while now and I was so happy I finally got the chance.
After I finished speaking Bella had tears in her eyes and came over to hug me....Greatest feeling in the world. Having her in my arms was like nothing I had ever felt. When she thanked me and I replied back, I placed a kiss on the side of her head whether she felt it or not I'm not sure. But, I felt the same shock I always get when our skin touches only on my lips and it felt incredible. I could only imagine how it would feel it we ever kissed.

Don't get ahead of yourself.

There was so much I wanted to tell Bella. So many feelings I felt for her that I wanted to share but wasn't sure how too, or if I should.
Hearing her sniffle broke me from my thoughts and I seen her arm come up wiping her face. I decided to walk over to make sure she was okay.


She gasped turning around quickly.
"Edward. Did Madison wake up?" She asked trying to dry her face.

I shook my head. "No, no. She's fine. I just came to check on you. Are you okay?"

"Oh, yea. I'm fine. I'm just a little emotional today." She laughed nervously.

"Come over here and we'll sit down." I said motioning for her to follow me to the porch swing.

"Do you wanna talk about it?" I asked looking over at her.

It broke my heart to see her upset. I really did not like when she cried. I would have to make sure that I did everything in my power to make sure she doesn't do it a lot.

"Ummm." She stammered biting her lip. "I just miss my dad. I always get like this around the holidays. This year is especially hard because I have Madison, and then being around you guys. You make feel like apart of your family when you don't even mean too. It means a lot to me."

"You are apart of this family Bella. I know we haven't known each other very long but we all see you as family. You and Madi-Bear, you mean a lot to us...To me."

My feelings for Bella grew more each day and I wished I could work up the nerve to tell her. To let her know that I wanted to take care of her and Madison in a way that no one had before.

"I just wish he were here to see her." She whispered looking down at her hands.

"He can see her." I said reaching for one of her hands, taking it in mine. "I'm sure he is so proud of you Bella. You've done such an amazing job raising Madison so far."

Bella nodded looking over at me. "I would like to believe that." She smiled. "Thank you Edward, again."

"I am going to pretend I didn't hear that." I chuckled.

She stuck her tongue out at me, and then looked down at our hands.

I was always finding a reason to touch Bella. Even if it was just brushing passed. I lived to feel the spark that jolted through my body whenever we touched.

"Hey Bella?" I said after a couple of minutes.


"Can I ask you...How your father died?"
"You don't have too." I said shaking my head. "I..."
"No." She cut me off. "It's ok. I have actually never really talked about when he passed away with anyone. My mom and I aren't really close, James never asked, and I've never really had any real friends to talk too..."

"I'm always here you know that right? When ever you need to talk about anything, all you have to do is tell me."
I wanted to make sure Bella knew I was here for her no matter what, and that I always would be.

She smiled nodding. "I'm beginning to realize that. And although I don't know how much help I'd be, if you ever need someone to talk to I'm here."

I smiled standing up and pulling her up with me. "Come on, let's go for a walk. They won't mind watching Madison."

Bella nodded and we walked hand and hand off the porch and started down the drive.

I was preparing myself to hear the story about her father dying because I knew it was going to be hard for her to talk about. Especially since she had not spoke about it before and it's been four years.

I had a feeling she'd be telling me a lot about her life on this walk because she looked nervous, like she was trying work everything out in her head.

This walk may change things for the both of us.

I thought squeezing Bella's hand smiling down at her

- - -

Bella's POV

I was kind of afraid to talk about my father's death because I had never spoke of it before with someone.

When he died that was pretty much the last straw for Renee and I. She and Charlie divorced when I was 10. She enjoyed partying and staying out late while Charlie was the one who took care of me the best he could. They fought all the time about the way she was but when she started cheating and not coming home for days at a time was what really ended their marriage.

I felt like I could tell Edward about this and he would listen. I knew it would be good to talk about it and I also knew that Edward was the perfect person for that.

"Charlie, my dad, was killed four years ago working the late shift. He was a cop and responded to a call. He was one of the first to show up to the house and when he got there, before he even got to the door he was shot 4 times." I bit my lip wondering if I could continue. "Another officer came to house to tell me what had happened. I thought he was lying, I refused to believe it."

I closed my eyes taking a deep breath trying to keep myself calm.

Feeling Edward's thumb rubbing small circles around my hand I looked up to see him staring back at me, sadness in his eyes. I was thankful he didn't say anything, letting me take my time.

"I guess I should tell you the story about my parents before I go on to tell you anything about Charlie's death..."

I went on to tell him about my mother's ridiculous ways, how Charlie took care of me, Renee's late nights, the fights, and their divorce.

"I already didn't have the greatest relationship with her because of what she did to Charlie and was never there for me but what she did after he was dead is what did it for me."

I would never forgive her for what she did no matter what she did to try an get me too. I could feel tears filling my eyes. I didn't even care if they fell it felt good to talk about this.

"She showed up to his funeral drunk with the guy she cheated on him with. She walked in about thirty minutes into it, screaming about how awful Charlie had been to her....That..." I stopped short feeling a sob rise in my chest.

At this point we had stopped walking and I was staring down at my feet.

"Bella..." Edward whispered.

"I'm okay. I just need a minute."

After taking a couple of deep breaths I brought my hand up wiping the tears that had fallen.

"She said he deserved to die, Edward. That he was an awful husband and father, when it was her that was the horrible wife and mother. SHE came to MY father's funeral disrespecting him."

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. The tears were flowing freely at that point, I didn't even bother to wipe them.

Edward pulled me into his arms hugging me close to him.

I wrapped my arms around his waist burying my head in his chest.

It felt so good to be in someone's arms, to know someone care even just a little bit.

We stood like that for about ten minutes Edward ran his hand up and down my back, whispering that it was okay and I would never have to see or hear from her again if I didn't want too.

"You don't have to continue if you don't want too Bella. I would understand." He said.

I shook my head against his chest. "I want too. It hurts, but it's nice at the same time. Getting it all out."

He nodded and this time I definitely felt him kiss the top of my head.

That alone made me feel a million times better. He really had no idea the affect he had on me.

"How about we start heading back towards the house? It's getting colder." Edward suggested pulling me back just enough to see my face. He brought his hands up to my face wiping my tears.

"I know I already told you this but I'm going too tell you again. You are one of the strongest people I have ever met. You haven't even finished telling me everything and I already admire you even more than I did before just knowing what you went through."

I could have kissed him at that exact moment. If my face wasn't covered in tears and I wasn't freezing.

"You're pretty amazing too ya know?" I replied quietly.

He chuckled taking my hand again, turning us back towards the house.

"You haven't seen nothing yet."

Shew, that was hard to write and I'm not even finished!(The rest of Bella's pasted will be told next chapter)
Edward and Bella are getting closer! Yay!!! :)
What do you guys think so far about Bella's pasted? The rest will come out next chapter. What happened with James, how Renee reacted when she found out Bella was pregnant, all that good stuff.I have so many ideas with this story and I'm just getting started!
And I just want to warn you now, things will get steamy and very sexy a little later on in this story. It won't be for a couple of more chapters..quite a lot actually, well anyway yea, I'll let you know when the lovely lemons are being posted so you can skip over them.

Ok I am done rambling now. Have a great weekend everyone and a fun & safe 4th of July!

A Better Life now has it's own thread on the Twilighted forum! Don't forget to stop by and hang out! As I said in the AN above I will be posting teasers, pictures, etc there FIRST. If that it what you guys want. If not I will just post them on my Live Journal for who ever to read whenever. I really have no idea if you guys check that stuff out or not, hell you probably don't even read these but yea. For those of you who do the link for Twilighted is below this.

Http:// www (dot) twilighted (dot) net/forum/viewtopic (dot) php?f=44&t=5022

Or you can go to my profile and click the link that is on there. :)

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