Disclaimer: Bella, Jasper, Edward and all things that exist in the Twilight universe belong to Stephenie Meyer. She's just nice enough to let us play with them!
It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart,
Without saying a word you can light up the dark,
Try as I may I could never explain,
What I hear when you don't say a thing,
The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me,
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall,
You say it best,
When you say nothing at all.
-When You Say Nothing At All, Alison Krauss
"Bella!" Edward yells as I hear the front door slam. I roll my eyes because he knows where I am. I'm where I always am, but no... he has to yell my name as soon as he walks through the door. "Bella?" He's only been yelling my name as soon as he walks through the door for the past seven years. It's not like I won't be sitting in my office, typing on my laptop. I'm trying to finish the last chapter of my latest book, so I'm more than a little annoyed with him for his interruption. "Bella! Ow! Shit!"
I hear him stumble and finally decide to give in. There's no telling what he tripped over. I rise from my chair, grabbing my coffee mug as I stroll out of the room. "What?"
He's standing with one hand gripping the back of the couch and one hand gripping his left foot. He's doing a sort-of dance that makes me giggle despite my annoyance with him. "Fuck, that hurts!"
"What'd you trip over?"
"I think it was Nessa's building blocks. Why were they right by the door?" It's his turn to be annoyed with me.
It's understandable, really. Edward and I agreed four years ago that I would be a stay at home wife. Granted, I don't just stay at home. I stay at home and write. My writing has yielded us quite a bit of money, in fact. My first story, remarkably made the best-seller list, and stayed there for fifteen weeks. Something to be proud of, I'd say. However, writing isn't all I do. I made a promise to take care of the house, too. Edward does his share when he comes home from work, but most of it lies with me. Obviously, I didn't hold up on my end of the bargain today.
"Sorry, I was preoccupied. Last chapter, ya know."
"Oh yeah? Damn, angel, you didn't tell me–shit! We don't have time! We gotta go!"
"Go? Oh my God! Edward! What time is it?"
"We have just over an hour before our flight takes off. Sorry, I didn't get home sooner. I–"
"Shit, Edward! I haven't even picked up the girls!" Girls. Plural. Edward and I have been quite busy the past couple of years.
Our first born, Nessa Renee Cullen, named appropriately for the waitress on our first date, and my mother because we became engaged at her wedding to Phil, came into our lives on a gusty New Year's Eve, two years ago. Her face was splashed on the front page of many papers, because she was the "New Years Baby!". The waitress, Vanessa, or Nessie, came to visit her in the hospital after seeing the three of us in the paper. She's been a regular in our lives ever since.
Our second, amazingly enough, was born just under a year later–on Christmas Eve. No joke, either. As soon as the doctor cleared me for sex again, Edward got busy. And poof, there's Mae, or more formally–Esmeralda Angelie, named for Esme, Angela, and Rosalie. All three women swear up and down that she was named solely after herself.
Speaking of Mae... tomorrow is her birthday. Her first birthday. Christmas Eve. It's also the first Christmas in three years I'll be going back to Forks.
My father came to Jacksonville for the first two Christmas' after Edward and I were married, but ever after, he's found some excuse not to come. His reasons range from hating to fly to covering for the boys on the force with family. Well, I'm not letting him get out of it this year. We're going to him. With his two grand-baby-girls. It's not the first time he's seen either one of them, but I'm excited at the prospect of seeing him with them on Christmas.
We're not the only four going, either. Angela and Ben and their brood–Lauren, Elizabeth, and Benjamin Jr., will be going, along with Esme and Carlisle. Also, for the first time in twenty years... Renee will be returning to Forks. She wouldn't miss it for the world, in fact. All of her baby girls on a plane together, sitting around the tree together, sipping hot-cocoa in front of the fire together... yeah, she's going. Phil wouldn't be able to make it, unfortunately, which I know she's sad about, and so am I, but it's a busy time for him. He opened a new restaurant six months ago after retiring from baseball due to injury, and it's still too new for him to just up and leave it. He wouldn't take no for an answer about Renee coming though, he knew how much she wanted to spend it with her girls.
Charlie doesn't know, we're all surprising him. We're not, like, invading his house or anything. Esme was in constant contact with Jasper for the longest time, well, still is, but in particular about her property just outside of Forks. Apparently they put their heads together, and the whole house is finished. Along with a garden, gazebo, and six car garage. Really. Six car garage. Who the hell needs a six car garage?
"It's okay. Mom's got them all packed up and ready... but, they're all already there, angel... We gotta haul if we're gonna make it on time."
Thank God for Esme. "Okay, well, I packed everything up last night... it's all in the bedroom, but... Edward! I can't go like this." I motion with my finger toward my clothing. Sweats, sweats and more sweats. Comfort clothes. Writing clothes. Raggy clothes. Clothes I refuse to wear on a plane with my entire family there, ready to tease me. "I need a shower, too. I–"
"No time, Bella. Change real quick and I'll put the bags in the car, but there's no time for a shower. You can get one when we're there." He's already in motion, striding past me toward the bedroom.
I reach out my hand and grasp his arm. "Hey." He stops and looks at me, still somewhat annoyed with me because of the obstruction in front of the door. "I'm really sorry. Time got away from me and–"
"Oh, angel," he breathes, pulling me into his arms. "I swear I'm not mad at you. Mad at myself is more like it. I wanted to be out of the office a lot earlier. I didn't want us to have to rush."
I plant my face firmly in his chest and breathe in deeply. Edward's smell has always been calming to me. I mumble, "You were a little mad at me."
He chuckles. "Okay, maybe a little."
I squeeze my arms around him. "I'm really sorry."
"It's okay," he whispers, "I know you've been working hard to try and get the book finished before we leave."
"Hey," he says, pulling back from me and tipping my face up with his finger, "don't. Not today. Don't beat yourself up about shit today. It's a happy day, yeah?"
I smile, thinking of the look on Charlie's face when we arrive. "A very happy day."
Edward grins back at me, his stupid, get-anything-I-want grin. "That's right."
I rise up on my tip-toes for a kiss. He obliges me by meeting me halfway, and before we know it, we're making out like teenagers in our hallway. Not the hallway in the condo, but in our semi-new house. Well, it was brand-new, but we've lived in it for a few years now, and that's just how it looks–lived in. So, I call it our semi-new house, and Edward laughs at me. He had it built specifically for us when we decided to start trying for babies. We both decided that as nice as our condo was, and as much as we enjoyed living there... it wasn't a place to raise children. So, we bought some land–close to Esme and Carlisle, but far enough away that we don't feel smothered by their presence–and put a call in to Jasper. He had plans drawn up before we knew it, and the house was built as fast as it was thought of. It's amazing how money talks...
Our house phone starts blaring its annoying ringing just as Edward's cell phone starts blaring Angela's signature ring tone. We pull apart, roll our eyes at each other, and haul ass to the bedroom.
Edward answers his phone on the way, only to say, "Yeah! We're on our way!" before ending the call and hefting our bags into his arms. I hastily grab a sweater and a pair of jeans, throw them on, and just like that–we're rushing out the door, barreling down the highway toward the airport. Our hands still find each other though. They stay firmly clasped together the whole way.
I raise my fist to knock, but for some reason, I find this silly. There's six people and five babies behind me, and I know they're all waiting for me to knock. But I grew up in this house, it feels weird to knock. So, I take a deep breath and reach up above the door for the extra key.
It's not there. What the hell!
Charlie has left an extra key above that door since I was twelve years old. It hasn't ever not been above that door, even when I had my very own key to his house. I furrow my eyebrows and turn a sheepish grin back toward everyone.
"Oh, for goodness sake, Bella," Renee snips, and steps next to me. She raises her hand and knocks. She didn't hesitate, so why the hell did I? So weird...
Really, I don't know why Charlie hasn't already opened the door. His little truck is parked off to the side of the house, and his police cruiser is in its spot right there in the driveway, so I know he's home. Still, he hasn't answered, which is so unlike Charlie, since three strange cars have just pulled up in front of his house and a brood of twelve are standing outside his door.
The door opens, and a woman is standing behind it. Her face mirrors mine, I'm sure. Smiling to shock. It's Sue Clearwater. Leah and Seth's mother. What the hell is she doing here?
The last time Leah mentioned Sue on the phone, she was doing better. Four years ago, her husband passed away from a heart-attack while he was out hunting. Jake and Seth were with him, and they got him to the hospital as soon as they could, but... it wasn't soon enough. Sue went through a really bad time of it after, they'd been married for twenty-two years, and together for another five before that. From kids, those two.
So, for Sue to be answering my father's door, well, it's a bit of a shock. "Sue?"
She clears her throat. "Bella, how nice to see you."
I always liked Sue Clearwater. She was always the fun mom, the one that let Leah and I and Alice do pretty much whatever we wanted–within reason. However, she's never, and I repeat, never, been inside of my father's house. To my knowledge, at least. Harry, her late husband always did the dropping off or picking up. "Um... hi?"
"Sue? Baby? Who is it?" Charlie's voice drifts through the door to me.
Wait. What? Baby? What the–
"Baby?" I ask, tilting my head to the side. "Baby." I take in the blush adorning Sue's cheeks. "Baby... huh."
"Sue? Did you–oh shit." I watch as Charlie's face turns bright red. I don't recall ever seeing his blush quite that deep before, in fact.
There's no noise around me though, so I'm apparently not the only one in shock at this development. There's light shuffling, like someone adjusting their weight, but other than that... just dead silence. No one is brave enough to ask, apparently. That includes myself, absolutely.
No one, apparently, except my eldest daughter, who spouts off with, "Thupwithe!" at seeing her grandfather. Esme and I have been working with her for two weeks straight. Showing her pictures of Charlie, and coaxing her to greet him by screaming "surprise." Which she just did. In her own, two-year-old-with-a-lisp way.
I hear chuckling now, and then Renee says, "Surprise, indeed." That so wasn't necessary, Mom, thanks. The insinuation in her tone is almost too much. I'm fairly certain if I were to turn my head and look at her, she'd be waggling her eyebrows in that disturbing way she has. "Well, well, Charlie. Aren't you going to introduce everyone to Sue?"
Charlie clears his throat. "Uh–well, um..." Sue elbows him–right in his Vitamin R drinking gut. "Ow! Shit!"
"Thit!" squeals Nessa.
"Well, uh," Edward begins, and then reaches a hand around me–the hand not holding Mae's baby carrier–toward Sue, "I'm Edward, Charlie's son-in-law. Sue, is it?"
She quickly shakes his hand. "Excuse me, yes, I'm so sorry... I don't know where my manners have gone. Yes, I'm Sue Clearwater. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Oh, I'd say your manners went forgotten about the time Charlie's secret did," Esme says, snickering. "I'm Esme Cullen, Edward's mother. And this is my husband, Carlisle, our daughter, Angela, her husband, Ben, and their cutie-pies, Lauren, Beth, and BJ."
Sue reaches her hand forward to shake hands with each person as they're introduced. Then steps back and looks shyly toward my mother. Quietly, she says, "Hello, Renee."
My mom's having none of that though. She reaches both hands forward and pulls Sue in for a tight hug. "I think we're past shaking hands, don't you?"
Sue seems more at ease after Mom says that, but she's still unsure about me. I cock an eyebrow at her before turning toward my dad. "Were you planning on telling your only daughter about this, or is this the only way I would've found out?"
"Bella," Edward admonishes me.
"I mean... how long has this been going on? Leah didn't say anything to me!"
"Well, now hold on there, Bells–"
"Don't try to use that fatherly tone on me, Dad! I have kids of my own now. I'm immune."
"Yeah, right. You try selling that bull anywhere else? Because I'm not buying."
Charlie sighs. "Okay, you got me. Sue and I... we been seeing each other for a couple years."
"A couple years?"
"Bella, dear, perhaps we could continue this inside?" Esme asks, breaking through Charlie's and my little bubble. "The children are getting chilled..."
That breaks whatever trance I've been in. Mention the children and I kick into overdrive. "Oh shi-shoot! Can we come in, Dad?"
"Yeah, yeah, of course, all y'all get your frozen behinds in this house!"
We all begin our shuffling–picking up diaper bags, picking up baby carriers... rearranging children on our hips and make our way into Charlie's house. He steps back from the door, still blushing, but I notice his hand reaches for Sue's next to him.
Now, I know, I know, that one person at least–my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my shrink brother-in-law, or my husband–is going to pull me off to the side and ask me why I'm acting like a child. I'm placing my bets on Edward, but Ben is close behind. I know I just acted like a child, but... I can't help it. My father now has this... whole other life that I knew nothing about and aren't a part of. My feelings are a little hurt, and I'm feeling rather childlike because of that. I realize that I'm now a wife and a mother of two, a successful author, and a grown ass woman, but... this is my daddy.
"Bella? Can I talk to you? In private?" Ah, Edward wins the race, though judging by the look on Ben's face, and the way his mouth is poised to speak, I'd say Edward didn't win by much.
"Actually, Edward, would it be alright if Bells and I talked in private for a moment first?" Charlie asks quietly.
"That's a good idea!" Renee interjects. "And Sue can come meet the kiddos..."
Now, very few times in my life can I remember Renee making that face at me. The pursed lips, the raised eyebrow, the hard as nails eyes... the 'I'm your mother and you will do as I say' look. She's making it right now though, and seeing as I want my children to obey me when I make it... I know I can't refuse this request. So, I nod my head and pass Nessa off to Edward before turning and following my father to the kitchen.
"Bells–" Charlie begins, and my arms automatically cross across my chest. "Why are you acting like this? You didn't even act like such a child when you were a child..."
I scoff, "Why can't you pick up a phone and warn somebody?"
Charlie shakes his head. "You know damn well I could say the same thing. You think I'm not the least bit shocked about all these people in my house? Showing up unannounced on my doorstep? Hell, Bells–"
"Well, we wouldn't have had to show up like this if you'd actually show up for Christmas with your real family!"
Charlie doesn't say anything at first, and we can both hear the murmuring of everyone in the living room. I feel like complete shit because of what I said, but honestly, it's how I feel.
"Well, then, you probably won't like the fact that Sue isn't going anywhere. I'm planning to ask her to marry me."
My jaw drops. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, Bells." Charlie sighs, shaking his head. "You know, all my life has revolved around you, kid. You got your own life now. A husband who loves you. Beautiful kids who adore you. Friends who'll be there through thick and thin. And, above all, a family who is there whenever you need it. It's time for me to find a place for myself, Bells. I don't exactly fit in your new life."
My jaw still hasn't closed, and that's okay, because it would have just dropped back open at my father's admission. Tears form in my eyes as my nose starts to burn along with my throat. Does he really feel that way?
"Dad–" I start, but am forced to stop because of the thickness in my throat. I wipe the tears away that have fallen and focus on the sad, blushing man in front of me. I've never seen my father look so defeated, and I feel so fucking guilty for being the cause. I force the tears back and clear my throat–he needs to hear me.
"Look, Dad... I hear what you are saying. Loud and clear, okay? But... well, shit, I think you've been operating under some serious misassumptions. No one, ever, ever, will replace you in my life. Ever. I will always, always, need my... daddy."
Charlie pitches forward and pulls me into a hug, and we both cry into each other. "Bells, I didn't mean–"
"No. Don't you dare! I'm gonna march my ass back in that room and apologize to everyone in there–especially Sue. I'm so damn sorry, Dad..."
"Did you really think that? That anyone could ever replace you? That you don't fit?"
"At first, no... but, the last couple times I've been down there... Shit, Bells, you live a life now that I could never have provided for you–"
"Did I ever complain?"
"No, but you were never a complainer."
"Because I didn't have anything to complain about."
"No. Nuh uh. Don't argue with me on it. It's true."
"Alright, but only 'cause I hate arguing with you."
I nod against his chest and we pull away from one another, both still wiping tears. Charlie spins around and pulls two tissues out of the box on top of the microwave before turning back and handing me one. We blow together and laugh after, and then Charlie pulls me back for another hug.
"Love you, Bells."
"Love you, too."
"So, don't really want to sound like a jerk, but..." He pulls away, smiling the smile I grew up with. "I really hope you all don't plan on staying here. I love you, Bells, but, I don't love you that much."
I laugh and shake my head. "No worries, Dad, we're staying at Esme's. Did you...?"
"Dunno. I'd have to ask Sue."
"Well? You better get on that. Renee's got dreams of hot chocolate and fires and her grand-baby-girls. No offense, but your fireplace isn't big enough, and well, my vision... sort of includes you in front of the fire with us."
Charlie raises an eyebrow at me. "Guess you better get on kissing Sue's ass for forgiveness then, huh?"
I grin at him and roll my eyes. "Dad–"
"Yeah, I am still your dad. So... roll those eyes one more time, young lady, and I'll roll your little head."
He pushes me through the door and all the way to the living room, where I proceed to kiss Sue's ass and apologize profusely to everyone else for acting like such a child. Sue agrees, quite happily, to spend a night or two at the Cullen's home, and she and Charlie race upstairs to pack some clothes.
That night, every single one of us–including Jake and Leah, and Seth and his girlfriend, Claire–sit around the Cullen's fireplace. It's amazing.
The next day is full of cooking. There's too many damn women in the kitchen. So many women, in fact, that Angela and I decide to offer up our babysitting services–sitting for our own children–just to stay out of the way. It will be even worse tomorrow–Christmas day. Today, however, all the cooking is for Mae's first birthday. I know I should be in there, cooking with the rest of them–I'd done all the cooking for Nessa's first–but the grandmother's all kicked me out. They said it was their duty as grandparents, and since I hadn't allowed them to do it for Nessa, they were commandeering Mae's. I let them. Sometimes it's easier to just... not argue.
In the end, there was entirely too much food made, but we made a pretty good size dent in it. That night we welcomed another guest in the house–Tanya. She couldn't fly out with the rest of us, she'd been the one to volunteer to keep everything under control for one more day at Cul de Sac, so today is when she arrived, and just in time for Mae's birthday cake.
This Christmas might be a little difficult for her, though she swears it won't be. I've only asked her about a million times if she's alright with everything and, more importantly, everyone who'll be attending the dinner tomorrow, and she swears she is. The everyone I'm referring to being the Whitlock's and McCarty's.
Tanya and Jasper didn't last, and that's okay, though sad at the same time. I haven't lost contact with him, either, just like Esme and the rest of the Cullen's, and Rose is still one of my nearest and dearest. When Rose found out the Cullen's, namely myself and my kids, would be invading Forks for Christmas, she gently proposed that we spend it all together. She said her mother's house has felt empty at every holiday since Peter passed, and maybe being in a house full of craziness would be perfect for her mother.
Of course that means one more woman in the kitchen tomorrow, but whatever.
Jasper would be attending with his new girlfriend, Lucy, to Christmas dinner. Apparently they met at a concert and the two really hit it off. I was completely fine with that, but I wasn't entirely sure Tanya was ready for that. She hadn't dated since Jasper, and their break-up wasn't very clean.
He wanted her to quit her job and move to Washington to be with him... to marry him. They dated for two years before he asked, and he said he didn't know she would protest quite as much, or, well, at all, to the idea. He thought she felt marriage was in their future as well, and she did. She didn't want to quit her job and move to Washington, though, and Jasper couldn't just pick up his father's company and go. He'd built it up quite nicely. But, Tanya had worked her way to where she was in the business world, and I could also understand why she didn't want to leave her job. In the end, they went their separate ways.
Until tomorrow, that is.
Tanya joins me that night, along with Angela, Esme, my mom, and Sue, around the fire. The kids were already down for the night–unless and until they woke up dirty or hungry–and the guys were somewhere else... doing whatever guys did together. We sip hot chocolate and laugh about the day until we can't keep our eyes open any longer. After showing Tanya to her room, I slip into my own.
My husband is shirtless and sleeping. I somehow find the energy to wake him up and exhaust him and myself further. We fall asleep panting and sweating and naked against one another, with smiles on both of our faces.
"Oh, Esme! It's been too long," Charlotte gushes as she embraces my mother-in-law in a tight hug. Her eyes don't look as empty as they did at Peter's funeral, but I know she isn't healing as fast as she would like everyone to think she is. She scans the room before setting her gaze on me, flickering to Nessa in my arms and back to my eyes. "Bella, come here, sugar."
I smile as I hurry forward and wrap her up in my own arms. I whisper, "It's so good to see you. You have no idea."
She sniffles as she squeezes me even tighter and then pulls away. She smiles a big, bright, genuine smile at me as she wipes her eyes and holds her hands out in front of her. "Now, hush up, darlin'. And let me see this beautiful little baby girl!"
Rose and Emmett are next with the hugs before I scoop up their baby girl, Lillian and squeeze. I hear a sharp inhale behind me as I'm holding the beautiful daughter of Rose and whip my head around to look at Tanya. She looks almost petrified, but her smile is genuine. She's happy to see the Whitlock's but afraid of how they'll receive her.
Rose solves the problem by stepping forward and pulling her in to a tight hug. I'm almost positive she whispers something in Tanya's ear before she pulls back because the two regard each other closely before smiling and moving on to the next person in line for hugs. Emmett grabs Lillian from me and kisses me on the cheek before scampering off after Rose.
It's then I see Jasper come in with who I assume is his new girlfriend, Lucy. It's my turn to inhale sharply–she's so similar to me in looks it's almost ridiculous. Great, can't wait to see what Edward says.
"Bell, this is my Lucy," he tells me in a quiet, pleading voice. I furrow my brow as I look from him to her, and no, I didn't make a mistake–she's like my sister from another mother. "Lucy, this is one of my best friends, Bella."
"Thought you said Bell," she says, teasingly, smiling hugely at me. "Just kidding, Bella, swear. He's told me so much about you, but he swore he'd wring my neck if I tried to call you by his nickname for you."
She's got a slight twang to her voice, and there's nothing malicious or underhanded about her words or her tone, at all. She does resemble me, but looking closely at her, I see the differences. She's shorter–more Alice's height. She's skinnier–more Alice's weight. She's obviously Southern–more Jasper's sound. The hair color and eyes are mine, but she's not me, and I know at once why Jasper was pleading in his introduction–because though she may look like me a bit, she isn't, and this isn't some depraved substitute for me. Which, sadly, is the first thing that popped into my head.
"Sorry! Sorry! Lucy? It's so nice to meet you," I tell her, smiling as I grab her hand and pull her into a hug. "You take care of him, okay?" I whisper into her ear.
She nods against me and pulls back, smiling. Her eyes drift to the right; I know she's found Tanya when they widen slightly. "You're Tanya?"
Tanya clears her throat and nods, biting her lip gently. She smiles at Lucy, though, and tells her, "Yes, and you're Lucy?"
"Sure am, hun. Can I just...?" Lucy doesn't finish what she's saying, just races forward and pulls Tanya into a hug before racing out of the room with her.
I turn to Jasper and raise an eyebrow. "Do I want to know?"
"No, probably not," he responds, chuckling. Two steps forward and he's hugging me hello. "Good to see ya, Bell."
Footsteps enter the room and we both turn to watch as Edward approaches, eyebrow raised. I grin at him and he shoots me a wink.
"Do I even want to know why your new girlfriend looks so much like my wife, Whitlock?"
"Yeah, Merry Christmas to you, too, asshole."
The two leave the room together after doing their private bromance hug that I just roll my eyes at every time I see. I stand in the still quiet of the hallway and for just a second, a vicious flash of pain rips through me as I think of Alice.
I've heard nothing from her in years, nor do I have any reason to believe that I will, ever again. It hurts, because she was such a huge part of my life growing up and into my college years. And while I realize that her intentions toward me were not always in my or her best interest, or genuine in any way... she was still a friend to me when I needed one for so long and so many times in my life.
I miss her, not always, but times like this especially. I'm almost positive Charlie misses her, as well, but he wouldn't ever voice that to me. She was like a second daughter to him. I realize that she won't ever attend a Christmas with me again, most likely, nor will she ever see my girls, or know them.
I'm ripped from my thoughts by a gentle slap on my foot. I look down and stare into two beautiful green eyes. I can't help but smile as I bend down and gather Mae in my arms. The sadness I felt only a moment ago is gone because with my baby girl in my arms, it's impossible to be sad. Even more so as she giggles quietly when I tickle her and coo my love for her. I look up and see Edward in the doorway to the living room, holding Nessa and smiling at the two of us. I walk forward to him and, as a family, we join everyone else.
My life is complete.
Where do I start?
How about all of you that didn't give up – thank you so much!
All of you that alerted/favorited/reviewed – I don't even have words... I've been incredibly lucky with the readers of this silly little story. You've all put up with crazy delays, ridiculous Bella, sappy Edward, and annoying Jasper. And those that put up with what I did to Alice? You're my favorite!
Beausoir – you, lady, have been through so much with me, and I want to thank you for every moment you helped inspire, and every kick you gave my ass. I couldn't ask for anything more from a friend, and I hope you know I love you.
Les16 – there aren't words for you, at all. You're a special person, the kind of special person that we don't meet enough in life, and I wish that everyone had one like you. I know I'm certainly lucky. (she's also the whole reason this epi was finished, so if you, yes, you, reader, don't go over and read The Path We Choose, and my newest guilty obsession, The Greatest Gift, you'll be doing her a great injustice.)
For the best friend that won't ever know this is written... Julie, I love you, and I hope that one day we find our way back into each others' lives. Know that I'll never forget you, and I hope your life treats you well.
Lastly, for my husband, Layton. He's put up with more from me than any man ever should have to. And he still loves me. He's my inspiration in everything I do, and I will love him, with all of my heart, forever and ever.
The alt. Ending – Jasper/Bella ending, is, as promised to be posted directly after I post this. So, as you read this, it will already be up. Anyone who is interest, scroll on over to my profile, and click on the outtakes for TG. It'll be chapter 2. There's a few more outtakes to come for this story, but I don't have a time frame as to when they will post. I am sorry for that.
Also, I'm going to do one more read through on the first chapter of my new story, shine, before posting it, most likely, today also. It would tickle me pink if you all would give it a try. :)
Thank you all so much...