This is it…all done and dusted.
I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think.
With much love to you all, and even more to ButterflyBetty…thank you for being such a fab Beta and more to me. xx
Trust ~ the final Chapter.
I could not believe that the gallery was showing some of my work. A mixture of my photographs, paintings and drawings all lined the walls.
Kate had seen them at my photography studio in the shop next to Edwards. I finished a Photography class and started my studio up with great success.
New Memories was my baby. I specialised in portraits, and in particular baby portraits.
Kate had convinced me to show my work in an exhibition at her gallery and I was so surprised that so many pieces had been sold.
In the centre of the gallery, stood the one and only sculpture I was showing. It was from a cast I had taken of Rose's baby belly. Carlee was now 3 such a sweet little girl. Rose was pregnant again, now 5 months along but so happy at the thought of having another baby girl.
Emmett and Rose had built their home on land near to the main house. Just along from the house he built for Alice & Jasper. A year or so later he also built a home for Edward and me, we moved in a few weeks ago, and although I was sad to move out from Carlisle & Esme's home I knew it was time.
The fact the house was only a few minuets walk away from our parents was fantastic. We still spent so much time together.
None of us had moved any distance away at all. We were all so close and it worked for us.
Charlie and Maggie were now married and still lived in the cottage in the grounds. Carlisle & Charlie fished together and had lawn moving races on the sit on lawn mowers, much to Alec the gardener's amusements.
Looking at the photographs and paintings was like a journey through my life, the bad bits before the Cullen's, the good bits, the great bits, the scary bits…every thing they had helped me through.
My therapy for dealing with the aftermath of Renee had been to paint and draw. It helped me process everything, get it out of my system and move away from it. It gave me courage to look at life with new eyes.
A few pieces were not for sale, but Kate had encouraged me to show them as part of the exhibition.
The oil painting of the meadow I used to dream about, using threads from the tatty clothes I wore when I first met the Cullen's worked into the paint to give texture to the flowers.
The picture I painted of the bath with rose petals from the morning after we made love for the first time.
The black and white photo of the soles of Carlee's feet on the day she was born.
The oil painting of Edward sitting on his bike facing away from me, looking down at his wedding ring.
The painting I did of our parent's hands holding ours at out wedding and one of our hands with the garland binding us together.
A piece showing a young fragile girl being carried in the arms of a strong wolf, I laughed remembering how Sam blushed when I told him that was my memory of him carrying me out of the woods. His wife smiled and called him a hero. This was a gift for them.
The final piece was a collection of black and white photographs of everyone I loved with the lines of my poem underneath.
"Life is not always easy.
Make time to walk in the park,
Take the risk of making new friends,
Show them the real you.
Let people nurture and protect you,
Learn to trust,
Allow them love you,
Love them in return.
Family are not always born into.
Find it in your heart to forgive,
Take a chance on life…
Live, laugh and love.
We have come so far together…I could not have faced the things life had thrown at me with out them beside me.
"A penny for your thoughts Pretty Girl?"
I looked back at my husbands face…my Husband and sighed.
I loved him more than ever.
Smiling up at him before biting down on my lip, the mere sight of him awakening desires that never failed to respond to his slightest encouragement.
"I was just thinking how much we have been through."
"I owe you everything Edward."
"I was thinking how I owe you everything; my life is all it is because of you my Love."
His arms snuggled me close and I wanted nothing more than to go home and fall into his desires with him.
"You look so beautiful tonight, there is something different?" I looked at him. I did have a secret, but not one I ready to tell him yet.
"There she is…our clever Bella Cullen!"
I turned to see my whole family walking towards me. Blushing… my face found its way onto Edward's chest as I hid in embarrassment. They all laughed at me, knowing how easy it still was to make me blush.
We walked round the exhibition together, talking about the memories that each piece stirred in us.
I had offers of work resulting from work that had been viewed or sold here. But I knew none of that mattered at this moment.
The exhibition finished, we all moved to the hotel to have a later supper, except Carlee, who went at home with one of Maggie's daughters.
Rose handed me a glass, I looked at it as she smiled. "It is fizzy grape juice, if I can't drink then neither should you!" she laughed. I took it and enjoyed a slow drink while watching my family choose their meals from the menu.
I was truly blessed, beyond my wildest dreams.
Carlisle and Charlie both stood up together. I was delighted at how close they had become, they taught each other and the rest of us so much between them.
We all stopped talking and turned to listen to their speech.
"I am so lucky that I have the family I have today, the family that looked after my Bells, when I was unable to. I am truly thankful that not only did they save my daughter, but that they brought me a whole new family to love as well as my amazing wife." He lifted Maggie's hand and kissed it gently.
"It has brought me a brother." He turned and gave Carlisle's shoulder a manly bump of the fist.
"A sister…" he smiled and nodded his head at Esme, smiled back at him before blowing him a kiss.
"And more son's, daughter's and grand daughters than I could ever have hoped for…but it gave me a second chance at life, and it would have been no life at all without my daughter Bella."
Edward leaned over and wiped my tears away.
Carlisle gave Charlie a one armed hug before starting his speech.
"Charlie, thank you for Bella, she brought us so much when she joined our family. She added so much to each and every one of our lives, made us all better people."
They all nodded and smiled at me, did they not understand how much I owed them?
Carlisle spoke for a little while longer and my tears continued to fall down my face.
When it was my turn, Edward squeezed me gently, his arm around me, wrapping me in his love.
I kissed him softly before standing up. His arm now slipped down and held my hand.
"I have so much of my heart on display in the exhibition tonight. But my heart is made so full by the love you have all given me."
I looked at Charlie… he knew I had no bad feelings anymore about my life with him before I met my new family. "I was so lost, I was so alone, and I wished so many times for my family to love me. You gave me all I needed and more, you loved me, you comforted me and healed me, before giving back my dad as well."
I took a deep breath.
"I have told you before how much you all mean to me, but I will never stop telling you how much I love you all." Rose handed me a tissue, I was struggling to get this out but I needed to.
"Rose…you saw me, you held out the hand of friendship and waited till I reached back and held onto you for dear life.
Emmett, you kept me safe, you taught me to be physically stronger and kept me from harm. Jasper…you taught me how to regain control of my emotions and fear, stopping it from crippling me.
Alice, you made me feel beautiful about myself, seeing who you told me I was and not the wretched, broken girl I felt."
The silence around me was all consuming.
"Maggie, you taught my father to love, to be loved, gave me the place to learn how much I could care for others through feeding them and nurturing them. Charlie, you did your best, and when you were given a second chance you did even than that. I love you, and you know I am so happy to have you as my Dad now.
Mama…Daddy you made me see how easy it was to love the people who loved me in return…I am the wife I am now because of you both…you let me be a little girl I never was and supported me into the woman I am, thank you…I love you all so much."
I turned to Edward and smiled, my tears now streaming down my face.
"Don't cry my beautiful girl."
He had tears in his eyes, his hand on my cheek, gently caressing me.
It was time.
"Everything, you gave me everything. You were my first love, my first kiss…everything. You held me, you loved me, you healed me, you were…
The day we married, I thought it can not get any better than this, but I was wrong, each day you look at me like I am your bride, walking towards you dressed like a princess, even if I am just in my pyjamas.
I want you to know I look at you the same way.
You are my rescuing Prince, who held me steady when the path we walked was rocky.
Your arms around me every step of the way…
You showed me how to trust someone, laid yourself bare to me, in so many ways. And saw me, the real me, the scared and fragile me. You helped me show you the other parts of me. The loving, the empowered, and the artistic me…you made me your equal."
I leaned down and kissed his lips, tasting his tears on his mouth. I stood back up and took his hand, placing it on my chest.
"You are my heart. You are my Love. You are the one who gave me my life to live."
I moved his hand down and placed it on my slightly hardened tummy.
He looked at me, his eyes asking me a silent question.
"You gave me the life that is living inside me. You are an amazing husband, my best friend, my lover and my secret keeper. I have one more to share with you now. You will be the best Daddy to your baby."
For a few seconds no one spoke, watching the exchange between us. Edward leaned over and kissed my tummy before standing up and kissing my lips.
"We are so blessed. You love me, you are giving me a child, and you are my everything my beautiful Girl."
His lips met mine again. I heard my family cheer and cry and all start talking about the news we had just shared with them.
When you've never been loved, or trusted anyone would care for you, why would you let anyone close?
Because you need to let them in to love you, and to love them back in return…