Last chapter! Enjoy as Carlisle and Esme reveal what they had to talk about in private in the previous chapter!
Home, Love and Family
Bella didn't know for how long she had been in the bathroom. Luxury was something she extremely rarely experienced, and what she considered luxury was ordinary boring to everyone else, so taking a shower in one of the Cullen bathrooms was a royal event to her.
She giggled every time she realized how ridiculous she sounded, but it was in company with a dull pain in her heart. She wasn't a part of this and it would be a miracle if she somehow would in her future.
If she lived that long, that is.
Someone knocked lightly on the door. "Bella?"
Bella winced in surprise at the sound of the unknown female voice. "Yes?" she squeaked.
She heard a rumbling chuckle. "I think you scared her, Rose."
"Stop it, Emmett," the other voice sighed, and Bella instantly knew they were Edward's brother and his girlfriend. "Bella?" she repeated. "Are you all right?"
Bella opened the door and was met by a girl with long, wavy pale blonde hair and violet-blue eyes. She was gorgeous and probably was a model, but she seemed nice and she smiled warmly at Bella. Emmett, who stood behind her, was very tall and very muscular with dark, slightly curly hair. He would've looked pretty frightening if it wasn't for the goofy grin on his face. He reminded her of a big and living teddy bear. "I'm all right."
Emmett's grin grew. "You've been in there for five hours now," he said. "Dad told us to make sure you hadn't hit your head and drowned or something."
Bella blinked, shocked. "Five hours?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, I must've lost track of time," Bella apologized, afraid that they maybe were angry with her.
Emmett let out a booming laughter. "You don't have to worry. C'mon now, everyone's downstairs waiting for you."
"Everyone?" Bella questioned nervously, twisting her hands.
He laughed again and then picked her up, carrying her like a toddler. "You look pretty, by the way," he complimented her while he began to walk down the stairs.
"Thank you," Bella blushed. In her own opinion, she thought she looked mediocre in Esme's blue blouse and jeans in a darker shade.
"You don't seem to know your own attraction, Bella," Rose pointed out, shaking her head. "You are pretty, beautiful even, but you have to believe in yourself. Self-confidence is a big part of one's personal charm, as long as you don't overdo it."
"That's easy for you to say. You're stunning. You're a model, aren't you?" Bella said accusingly.
Rose's laughter sounded like tinkling bells. "Actually I'm not. I'm a mechanic."
Bella raised her eyebrows. "A mechanic?" she repeated as if she'd never heard the word before.
"Don't look so surprised," Rose giggled. "I did have modeling career before, but I quit. Cars are my big passion and it's much more fun to work with cars than to walk back and forth on a catwalk or posing for pictures. I love fashion and shopping, though."
"I told her she could pose in front of a car, but she didn't want to," Emmett told Bella.
Rose snorted. "You didn't exactly say 'pose in front of a car'. Your exact words were 'Babe, why don't you combine modeling and cars and let someone take pictures of you when you're washing the car?'. Then you wanted the pictures yourself."
Emmett chuckled. "Well, I'd love to see you do that."
Bella smiled when they walked into the kitchen. Except for Edward, Carlisle and Esme, there were two more people standing around the kitchen table. She assumed they were Alice and Jasper. "Thanks again for the clothes, Esme."
Esme smiled. "You're more than welcome, my dear."
As soon as Emmett placed Bella's feet back on the floor, the petite girl with black hair, short and spiky, and pixie-like features skipped over to Bella and gave her a warm, big hug. "Hi, Bella!" she greeted enthusiastically and pecked her cheek.
"Hi, Alice. Hi, Jasper," Bella said, smiling shyly at the lean boy with golden honey blond hair who remained on his spot beside Carlisle. He smiled back and helloed.
Alice seemed delighted with the fact that Bella already knew her name. She clapped her hands together. "Oh, Bella! You must come with me and Rose on a shopping spree!"
"Alice, not yet," Carlisle warned. "Let me talk to her first."
Bella sought Edward's eyes. She found them and she saw nothing but excitement and expectation in them. What did this mean? What were they planning to do?
"Come here, Bella," Carlisle asked with the same light in his eyes as his son. "There's something we'd like to show you. You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but we'd be very happy if you'll accept it."
"Overjoyed," Alice interjected eagerly with her silvery bell-like voice. She couldn't stand still; instead she bounced up and down where she stood like an excited three-year-old.
"Come on, Bella." Carlisle held out his hand.
Bella slowly walked up to him, questioningly looking into his kind eyes. The color was a mixture of blue and green, sort of reminding her of the tropical water surrounding a coral reef.
"Look at the table," he instructed.
She suppressed a hysteric giggle – he wanted her to look at the table. She did. At first she didn't understand what the papers meant, but then she saw her name written on it together with Carlisle's and Esme's beautiful signatures. Her eyes widened, her lips parted and she let out a sudden exhalation she didn't know she had held inside.
"We want to adopt you, Bella," Esme explained softly and tenderly caressed her cheek.
Bella didn't know what to say. The only thing she could do was to stare at the papers in front of her. Her mind was completely blank.
She was silent for such a long time that worry appeared in Carlisle's eyes. He recognized the look of shock on her face and was about to press his hand against her forehead, when she finally opened her mouth.
"Yes," she croaked hoarsely. "I accept it."
Relief immediately replaced the worry Carlisle felt. He smiled together with his family and put an arm around his wife's shoulders. Alice howled with joy, jumping around, causing laughter to break loose from Jasper, Rose and Emmett. Edward smiled from ear to ear, his emerald green eyes dancing with happiness.
Tears filled Bella's eyes. This was her new family.
Edward saw her cry and wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace. "This is your home now," he mumbled against her hair
Bella clung to him as if her life depended on it. She absorbed the heat of his body, clutching at his back and pressing herself to him.
Time seemed to stand still when Edward gently gripped Bella's chin, tilted her head up and then pressed his lips against hers. When he withdrew slightly to look into Bella's chocolate brown eyes, his own eyes told her he was going to give her the love she missed.
"I love you," he murmured softly.
"You know, Edward," Emmett smirked, "if you get together with Bella now, that means it's incest."
Rose smacked his arm and rolled her eyes. "They're not related by blood, so it's not incest."
"I don't care," Edward said, resting his cheek on the top of Bella's head. "I love her."
"I love you too," Bella whispered, only loud enough for Edward to hear, and he smiled.
"Bella! We must get you new clothes right now!" Alice said, tugging at her sleeve.
"Get lost, Alice," Edward muttered. "Don't interrupt my hugging time with my Bella."
Alice immediately let go. "That was so cute!" she squealed.
Jasper grabbed her arm and dragged her away. "C'mon, let's leave the love-birds alone," he smirked. They were followed by the rest of the Cullen family, leaving Edward and Bella alone in the kitchen.
"Why do you love me, Edward?" Bella whispered. "When you can have anyone you want, why do you choose me?"
"You're the only one I want. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you for the first time. You have something the other girls don't."
"What is that then?"
He pressed his forehead to hers. "Natural beauty," he answered. "A goal, a dream and something real to live for."
Bella lightly touched his face. "And you're giving me another reason to keep going and not give up," she said sincerely. "Thank you, Edward."
"You don't have to thank me. I'll do it as many times as I have to," he smiled with twinkling eyes.
"Just promise me one thing," Bella said.
"Don't spend more money than you need on me, or else I'm going to feel guilty."
He furrowed his eyebrows. "Why would that make you feel guilty?"
"Because I can never give you something back to show my appreciation. It's not enough."
"Your presence is more than enough," Edward promised. "In fact, we should shower you with gifts to show our appreciation."
Bella blushed with embarrassment and joy.
There wasn't much left to say between the two of them for now. They already knew what they felt for each other. It was something they couldn't deny even if someone would press a gun against their temples and threaten to shoot them if they didn't lie and said that they didn't love the other one.
They just couldn't. It was against the laws of love.
I had to come up with Carlisle's eye color since we don't know that.
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