So this is it. For real this time. I mean it.
Like I said, this is just extra fluff that poured out of me so I figured I would post it. I hope you like it.
I have a couple future stories in the works, so put me on alert if you are interested.
Thank you so much. For reading. Reviewing. Sticking with me and these crazy kids.
"Here is the plan," I whispered conspiratorially with the chief. "We break into the gun cabinet and we will casually be cleaning them when this little shit gets here."
Charlie laughed, shaking his head at me.
"Edward, it is Christmas. Can't you give the kid a break?" he asked.
"No." In the weeks since Nessie's little escapade (something I was actively pretending never happened) Bryan had been around much more then I would have liked. I managed to avoid him being as his presences didn't help my denial, but my wife had taken the time to get to know the asshole.
Apparently he was quite impressive.
"He is articulate, funny, and quirky enough for our equally odd daughter. Their dynamic reminds me a bit of Alice and Jasper. Ness is all energy and dramatics, while Bryan was down to earth, laid back," Bella told me over the phone several weeks ago. I was in New York, doing album release stuff and Nessie had taken my absence as an opportunity to invite her boyfriend to dinner nightly.
According to Bella, Bryan was poor, his mom worked all the time, and he really had no one to answer to, yet he was very motivated. He worked in a small surf shop, was taking a slew of AP classes, and was planning on getting his pre-rec's out of the way at the local community college before transferring to a bigger university, reminding me further of Jasper. Ideally, he wanted to write novels, but he questioned the practicality of this and was thinking of studying journalist. He read a lot, loved the classics, and his favorite band was Vampire Sunrise.
Bella found him damn remarkable. I was not so easily swayed.
"And you wonder why I hated you so much," the chief said, still chuckling at me. I would not have been so smug if I had been forced to wear such a terrifying holiday sweater.
"I completely understand why you hated me," I replied, glaring into the unnecessary fire that crackled merrily across the room. "And you never caught me and Bella doing anything like what Nessie was doing."
"Except you were doing way more then she was doing. You knocked up my little girl! It doesn't get much worse then that," he said, clapping me on the shoulder good-naturedly.
Sometimes I was still amazed that we could banter like this. We had come a long fucking way.
"God, Chief, don't even joke about that!" I said, running my hands through my hair and he was still fucking laughing at me.
"Edward, this kid is going to have a much rougher go of it then you did. You only had to deal with me. He is going to have to deal with you and Emmett and Jasper. And me too, if it wouldn't be complete overkill."
Bryan's mom was a nurse and had to work Christmas Day, so he would be joining my family for the festivities. I didn't like it, but I was fucking out voted by all the goddamn woman folk so he was invited despite my protests.
"Not even the guns would be overkill," I muttered.
"From what Bella says, he seems like a decent guy. A little star struck by you, perhaps, but besides that decent."
I just glared and didn't respond. This little weasel had done an excellent job of winning the affection of my wife. But Bella was far too trusting and I would remain suspicious.
"You know, I walked in on much worse with Alice and Jasper. They were younger too. And it was in the car I bought Alice for her sweet sixteen. She had it for a week before defiling it. Terrible experience all around." He shuttered, causing his mustache to twitch. "Realizing your little girl isn't so little anymore really sucks."
"That is does," I said, nodding in agreement.
"What are we talking about?" Emmett said, flopping down on the couch across from Charlie and I.
"Nessie's fucking boyfriend," I mumbled with such misery that both the Chief and my brother were laughing loudly at me.
"No man is ever touching Chloe," Emmett said with conviction.
"Yeah, whatever," I dismissed.
"That is what we all say," said Charlie.
"Ah, the pleasure of raising boys," said my dad, joining the conversation smoothly. "Though the stress of having them announce that they are going to have a baby is the same, I assure you."
"Come on Dad," Emmett said. "You have to admit you were a little bit proud of Eddie over here. You know you were doing a mental 'atta boy.'"
Carlisle just grinned, shaking his head and remaining silent.
"That is my youngest daughter you are talking about," Charlie said, the cop voice on.
Emmett's face fell and we all laughed.
"Regardless of gender," Carlisle continued. "They all grow up way too fast."
I turned my attention to my younger children, sighing heavily when I realized that they were not born yesterday, no matter what it felt like to me.
We sat back, watching the little kids play with a plethora of new toys under the Christmas tree while the women folk (and Jasper's puss ass) labored in the kitchen. Cheesy Christmas music that I would never willingly admit to loving played. It was pretty fucking perfect.
Alice, Rosalie, and Nessie all joined us, with similar pouts on their faces.
"They kicked us out," Nessie explained, sitting on the arm of the couch near me. "Apparently I burn things."
"And I don't use enough butter," said Alice, plopping down next to her dad and crossing her arms over her chest.
"And I have no culinary vision," said Rosalie, sitting on my brother's lap.
The doorbell rang and all eyes snapped to Nessie and a collective 'oooooooo' went up from the crowd.
"Please, please, please you guys," she said, leaping from the couch and clutching her hands together as she made her way to the door. "Please be nice to my boyfriend. It has to be really stressful, meeting all you lunatics at once. So please, behave, for me. For once."
Everyone did their various scouts honor things, except Emmett and me. I would make no such promises.
Nessie smiled at us, took a deep breath, and opened the door as we all craned our necks to look on.
"Hi!" she said with her typical exuberance.
"Hello there," he said, smiling down at her and pulling her into a one armed hug. "Merry Christmas Vanessa."
She whispered something in his ear that caused him to chuckle and she put her hand through his arm, leading him to the family.
"Bryan, this is my Gramps, but you can call him the Chief and my Aunt Alice. They are on the Swan side of the family." They nodded and waved as Nessie went around the room. "My Aunt Rosalie and her husband Emmett. Cullen's, of course." Bryan's eyes got huge and I remembered that this kid was a fan.
"Hello," Bryan said, nodding back at each of them. "Nice to meet you all."
"My dad, Edward, of course."
"That is Mr. Cullen to you boy-o," I said, giving him my most menacing glare. The effect was somewhat ruined as everyone laughed at me.
"Don't mind him," Rosalie said. "He is just constipated."
What a charming woman.
"Right, of course sir," Bryan said, ignoring her from across the room. "Good to see you sir."
"Edward, you are being nice I am sure," Bella said, breezing into the room with the rest of the family in tow. Bryan looked a bit freaked out, but he was handling himself well enough.
Bummer, I wanted him to crash and burn.
"Hello Bryan," Bella said, fucking hugging the fucker. "Merry Christmas."
"Hello Bella," he replied, way to familiar for my liking. "It is good to see you again."
"Bryan," Nessie said, continuing the introductions. "That is my Uncle Jasper, he is married to Aunt Alice and is Rosalie's cousin. That is my Mimi, Esme and my Popi, Carlisle Cullen. And my Grams, Kathleen."
"Wow, its an honor to meet you folks," the boy said, shaking the hands of my parents who were fucking gushing over him.
"And the kids. Chloe and Matty, Rose and Em's twins. Margo and Harrison, they belong to Alice and Jasper. And that is everyone. Phew."
"Now recite it all back to us," Rosalie joke from her position on Emmett's lap. Everyone laughed but then Bryan did the undoable.
He fucking repeated back everyone's name, causing my whole fucking family to beam.
"Ness has told me so much about you," he said, putting his arm around my daughters little shoulders, "that I feel like I know you already. Thank you so much for inviting me. Oh, and here is some homemade sweet bread my mom send with me."
By the end of the meal, everyone was pretty equally in love with Bryan. I alone stayed strong.
"I don't know what to wear," Edward whined in frustration, scowling into our closet. He had just exited the shower and had a towel wrapped around his hips. Little water droplets clung to the skin of his back and his hair was already a mess.
"Who are you and what have you done with my husband?" I joked as I continued to entertain fantasies of him coming back to bed.
Alas, that wouldn't be happening. Today we had important things to see to.
I was propped up on one elbow, still naked from the morning's activities, watching him as he freaked out.
"This is not a time for joking Isabella. This is serious! I want to leave a good impression," he snapped, turning to glare at me.
"You are really nervous, aren't you?" I asked, a bit amazed, as I recognized the look of panic in his eyes.
"Bella, I am a motherfucking rockstar. I don't get nervous, especially over shit like this," he said, flashing me his cocky bastard smile.
It had stopped working on me long ago.
I sighed, not wanting to get out of bed. It was rare that Edward and I had a morning to ourselves. Today, we had agreed to both speak at Career Day for Masen's class. We dropped the kids off at school and Charlie with Esme, before returning to a quite home.
For a moment we didn't know what do to with ourselves, but we quickly found a solution to fill our free time.
We didn't need to be at the school for another hour and Edward was working his way into full on freak out mode. Keeping a sheet wrapped around my body, I made my way over to the closet to assist my adorably distressed husband.
"You just need to dress like it is a regular day. That is the whole point," I said, kissing the area in between his shoulder blades, pleased when he shivered.
"That won't do. I look like a deadbeat," he muttered.
"Edward, you usually wear jeans and t-shirt. That will be fine." I wrapped my arms around his waist and tried not to giggle at him.
He just shook his head, not even communicating with worlds anymore.
At that moment, my phone buzzed on the beside table. I walked back, grabbing it and giggling as I read the text.
"It is Alice," I said, shaking my head at my sister's bizarre abilities. "She said she picked out your outfit days ago and you need to listen better. It is hanging to the far right."
45 minutes later, we were walking through the familiar halls of the elementary school, rounding the corner to Ms. Scot's classroom. Edward kept fiddling with his sleeves on the button up Alice had him in.
It was damn cute.
I had seen this man rock out for thousands, appear on TV live for millions, give interview after interview with a cocky confidence, and take on many a paparazzi, yet something about talking to a room full of seven year olds had him freaking out.
I held his hand hoping to bring him a little calm.
"I just don't want to embarrass Masen. I want him to be proud. And I don't want do mess any of them up or anything," he muttered in my ear.
"Masen is already proud. And you are great with kids and they will love you and you won't be messing them up. You have done a pretty great job at the parent thing so far," I replied quickly before walked into the classroom.
"Edward! Bella!" Ms. Scot said, rising form her desk in front of the empty classroom. "Thank you so much for coming in today. The kids are really looking forward to this. I know you are both busy and it is just wonderful that you are able to join us today."
"We are thrilled to be here," I assured her.
"Excellent. You will both go right after they get back in from recess. Just talk a little bit about what you do, what a typical day looks like, what it takes to get where you are. And then we will have some time for questions."
Edward and I nodded in understanding. Masen ran at us when the kids filled back in, smiling up at us as we hugged him. The class settled and Masen gave us the sweetest, most adorable intro, flushing with pride in us.
It made me want to cry a little, I felt so loved.
I talked for about, about Ugly Duckling and Swan and the recording process, keeping it very brief. Edward talked about being a musician, focusing on telling the kids to do what they love, that passion is everything, and that anything worth doing in life is going to be hard. It was a little public service announcementy, but it was perfect anyway and the kids hung on his every word.
We answered some questions about what it was like to be on a stage and if guitar was hard and the famous people we knew. Edward signed some autographs, handed out some Vampire Sunrise memorabilia, and we hugged our son goodbye.
It felt so normal. Though the subject may have been slightly out of the ordinary, we like all the other doctor, lawyer, businessmen, whatever parents that had talked to their kids today. It was everything I had every wanted for my family. We gave our kids stability and despite our demanding careers, they were our priority.
We made our way back to Duck House and I felt quite satisfied with life in general.
I can so totally not believe you are not there with your man right now!" Alice declared, nibbling on some celery and staring avidly at the television. "I mean really. Look at all the fabulous famous people." She jabbed her vegetable in my general direction and then back at the TV.
"I have been a zillion times Alice, I hate shit like that. Everyone looks at me," I explained, again, throwing a piece of popcorn at her stupid head.
"Everyone looks at you on stage. You don't seem to mind that anymore," she said, kicking me in the shins playfully. I retaliated by yanking the blanket we were sharing on her couch away from her. Things degenerated after that and we wrestled for blanket dominance before we settled back into sharing the thing.
Yes, we acted as if we were 12.
"Bella, stop distracting me from the television. The red carpet is obviously the best part of the whole show." I rolled my eyes at my sister, knowing from experience that this was not the case. The rest of the show might be boring, but at least there was no fear of falling down or looking like an awkward idiot amongst the fabulous and famous.
"I could care less about all these pretentious asshats. There are exactly two people I care about seeing and they have not arrived yet."
"What about Dad and Kathleen?"
"Fine. Four people."
"And Rosalie, and Emmett. Oh, and Seth, Bree, Sam, Emily," Alice said, listing names off on her fingers and looking superior.
"Point taken you annoying little pixie," I conceded.
It was Grammy night. The biggest night in music. All of my peers and collogues had gathered together to honor the best in the brightest in the music industry. Vampire Sunrise was nominated for several awards, including Album of the Year. Yet I was curled up on Alice's couch.
I was very proud though quite pleased at the same time that I had managed to get out of the torture.
"THERE THEY ARE! THERE THEY ARE! KIDSSSSSSSSSSS, JASSSPERRRRR, THEY ARE ON TV!" Alice said, leaping to her feet, beckoning for the rest of the brood.
Jasper trudged in, Harrison and Charlie on either hip, Margo and Chloe being dragged along, holding on to Jasper's legs while Matty and Masen circled them, screaming. Everyone pilled on the couch, chatting excitedly.
"HEY!" Alice boomed again, commanding the attention of the room. "SHUT THY MOUTHS! THE BAND IS ARRIVING,"
All of them went together in the same vehicle, deciding that there was safety in numbers. Of the eight of them, the only ones really comfortable with all the press and attention and schmoozing were Rose, Em, and Seth.
Well, and Edward's date for the evening. But her desire to be in the spotlight was the reason that I was not forced to attend so I really couldn't complain.
Sam and Emily exited the car first, followed by Em and Rose and Seth and Bree. They waved and the announcer talked about the ladies dresses, but it wasn't until the next person elegantly stepped out of the limo did everyone get really excited.
He was such a reluctant celebrity, my rockstar.
He flashed his cocky grin that somehow managed to be both confidant and humble.
It was also part grimace at the screaming fans and the flashing bulbs. He gave a brief wave before turning back to the limo, extending his hand, helping the beautiful young lady out of the car.
Vanessa looked so stunning, it made my chest cave in a little bit and a tear or two leak from the corners of my eyes. She, like her father, was clothed in an Alice Whitlock original. Her long gown was a soft lavender sweetheart neckline that was cinched at the waist with a pewter sash. The dress was encrusted with thousands of shimmering gems that sparkled in the sun. Her hair was pulled into a soft updo that was reminiscent of flappers and prohibition. Edward wore a perfectly cut black suit. I smiled when I saw the sneakers on his feet.
"Well, I have truly outdone myself," Alice said, sounding ecstatic. "They both look amazing Bella."
"They really do look great, don't they?" I said, watching Nessie tuck her hand into her dad's arm as they moved to join the rest of the band, getting away from the newest arrivals.
"Does it make you wish you were there?" Alice asked, still looking smug.
"God no," I laughed, shivering at the thought. I truly hated award shows. "Plus then Nessie wouldn't have gotten to go. Look at how happy she is!"
We continued to watch as the other artists were interviewed until finally it was Vampire Sunrise's turn.
"So you are up for album of the year and best rock album. Congratulation!" said the vaguely family, blond interviewer. "How does it feel?"
"We are honored to be here Ryan," replied a surprisingly suave Sam as the interviewer stuck his mic out to the band. "It is thrilling to have so many fans who are really in it for the music."
They answered a few more questions while Edward remained silent, looking bored. Nessie, on the other hand, was shaking with excitement and appeared to be looking everywhere at once.
"So Edward," the interviewer said, displeased with the lack of enthusiasm from the front man. "Who is this young lady with you tonight? Not your usual date, am I right?"
I giggled at Edward's barely controlled eyeroll.
"This is my daughter Vanessa," Edward said, flashing a grin at Ness who beamed. "The missus is at home with the rest of the brood tonight."
"Mom! That is you!" giggled Masen, bouncing on my lap. I kissed his temple and hugged him close.
"You look ravishing Vanessa. Can I ask who you are wearing this evening?"
"Alice Whitlock, of course!" Nessie said good naturedly. Alice squealed on the couch beside me and Jasper chuckled at his wife's enthusiasm.
"That is you Mommy!" yelled Margo.
"Of course, of course," the interviewer said, nodding. "Now tell me, how does it feel to be here at the Grammy's with your rockstar dad?"
"It is pretty cool I suppose," Nessie said, shrugging and playing it cool. "It sorta strange though, seeing my Dad here among his esteemed collogues and peers. He may be a rockstar to you but he is really just my dad. He is kinda a big dork."
Lord, she was charming. Both Edward and everyone else in the vicinity was beaming at her, drawn to the ball of positive energy that was my daughter.
She would do great things.
"So what did you do to convince your mom to stay home and miss all this?" this Ryan fellow asked.
Edward snorted before looking right at the camera and smiling that smile reserved just for me. I couldn't help but grin back, even though I felt bad for the millions of woman watching this whose panties had probably just melted at the sight.
"Oh it was easy, believe me Ryan." Nessie even winked at the guy. "I am lucky both my parents are so willing to let me experience everything life has to offer."
That was a good, noncommittal, politically correct answer and I was proud. My girl was such a pro.
My husband, however, was not.
"That is code for her mother hates these things and would rather be torn apart by wild dogs then sit through the coming hours of pointless torture," Edward mumbled, being ridiculous.
I groaned, Alice laughed.
"He really doesn't believe in schmoozing with the industry, huh?" Jasper commented, also looking entertained.
"Nope. He is lucky that it adds to his rebel, bad boy image. Though sometimes I really don't know how he succeeded. It is a miracle." I sighed dramatically as Alice complained loudly at Edward running his hands thru his hair.
Nessie defused the situation with her charm and humor before they moved along, eventually taking their seats for the main event.
I am so fucking bored. Did you see the interview?
My phone buzzed in my lap moments after the show itself started.
Yup. Your daughter is a real charmer. Where she got it from, I will never know.
I replied, already bored with the event on television, but not wanting to miss a glimpse of Edward anyway.
I am offended. You know I am fucking charming. I got you didn't I?
I giggled and bit my lip before replying.
That you did. Talk about a miracle. I miss you.
It was embarrassing. But I did. I always missed him when he wasn't with me.
Then you should have come with me woman. Our daughter is enjoying all the attention a little too much.
She looks so pretty. As do you. They just showed you on TV! You don't look happy.
They had flashed to Edward briefly during applause. He looked on the verge of sleep and was barely managing to bring his palms together. Nessie on his right seemed to make up for it and was smiling widely.
Bella. Manly and tough. And I am not. I am bored. We are not even going to win. Real music never wins.
I frowned at my phone and the children, bored after the initial excitement of seeing their dads/uncles on television, departed. Jasper pulled out a book, laying with his head on Alice's lap while she alone remained focused on the screen.
Oh my rockstar, the industry is a sad place. But I am so proud of what you have done despite that.
I glanced at the television, listening with half and ear as several artists signed with Swan won and preformed. They showed Charlie and Kathleen smiling in their seats, totally in their element.
I love you.
God, the feeling was mutual.
Ditto homes. And fuck the Grammys and fuck the industry. When you get home I will show you who the real winner is.
The camera flashed to Edward again who was smirking and shuffling around in his seat, casually readjusting his pants. I blushed at the sight.
And then the shocking happened. Vampire Sunrise won Best Rock Album.
And then Song of the Year for 'Paint My Room'.
And then finally Album of the Year.
By the last time they crossed the stage, they had turned from shocked from giddy to downright emotional. Edward said very few words, letting Sam and Seth and Em do most of the talking. But what he did say had me just about bursting with pride.
"Uh… I want to thank my family, my sunshine/producer/wife/best friend. And I want to thank everyone who bought or listened too or enjoyed the record. Thank you for proving that something real can succeed. Thank you for supporting the truth."
As it turned out, the Grammy's were a really good night.
"God, I am so tired. Our family is exhausting." Bella flopped face down next to me, still clothed, on our bed.
"I can't believe that our daughter is as old as we were when she was born," I said, dropping my face to my hands, equally as dazed as my wife.
Nessie had turned 18 today and we celebrated in archetypal over the top Cullen fashion. Alice had coordinated the party in our back yard. I suppose it was your typical gourmet catered, start studded 18th birthday party complete with huge cake, DJ, dance floor.
It was ridiculous but Nessie loved it and everyone seemed to have a really good time.
After all the teens departed, Ness had gone over to Charlie's to watch a movie in his home theater in the basement with Colin, Amanda, and Bryan. The little kids were sleeping soundly.
Bella and I were alone for the first time in what felt like weeks. Life had been crazy since the New Year. I had been playing shows in the area and Bella was busy with some new band and getting our summer tour planned.
But we were sure as hell alone now.
"I know Edward, I know," she said, rolling over, wrapping her arms around my waist, burrowing into my side as I immediately moved my arm to cradle her head. "I don't feel like it has been 18 years. I don't feel that old. It went by too fast, especially since we got married."
"She is going to college soon," I said, somewhat miserably. Ness had gotten into Berklee, of course and come next August, she would be moving to Boston. It was a bizarre feeling, being so proud and so sad at the time.
"She is so old. We are so old."
I laughed at Bella, pulling her into my lap and settling back against the headboard. "We are not old. If you think we are old now, what are you going to be saying when we turn 40?"
"I don't even want to think about it," she replied, laying her head on my shoulder, looking up at me with those big brown eyes that were no less appealing to me since the day I met her when I was younger then my daughter.
"I know of a few good ways to keep you from thinking about anything," I whispered in her ear, voice dipping low as I caressed her denim clad hips.
Her breathing picked up and her arms tightened around me, her warm lips finding that spot on my neck that turned me all mushy. My fingers slipped underneath the waistband of her jeans hoisting her up so she ended up straddling me.
Her hands traced my shoulders, up my neck and into my hair, pulling my mouth to hers.
I kept my lips hovering above hers and she huffed in frustration. "You sure you aren't to tired?" I asked, unbuttoning her pants and fingertips tracing her stomach before latching onto the hem of shirt, slowly pulling the navy blouse over her head.
"Stop teasing me Edward," she said, doing some of her own teasing as she ground her hot through our clothes center into my already throbbing dick.
Every time. Every fucking time she set me on fire, even after all of these years.
"Like I could ever sleep after you got me all hot and bothered," she whispered, pulling my t-shirt over my head in return. "Come on old man, show me what you got."
I gazed at her fondly for a moment before pushing myself off the headboard, propelling us forward. Bella landed on her back, squeaking in surprise as I pinned her to the mattress with my hips.
I kissed her hungrily and she received my tongue with relish, moaning around me, attempting to pull me closer. Her hands insistently tugged on my shoulders, hips arching off the bed to met me as she struggled to take control.
That simply would not do. As per her request, I would be showing her what I got.
I loved kissing Bella. I could just go on kissing Bella for the rest of my fucking life. But it was very distracting and her hands were making all my resolve crumble and I fought the urge to strip and pound into as quickly as possible. I had some big goals for this love making and it would not happen with her fucking hands all up on me.
I continued to kiss her, suddenly incredibly irritated that there were so many layers separating us.
"Get me naked, Edward."
My name on her lips always made me shiver.
She was a demanding little thing, my Bella.
I quickly obliged her, almost falling out of bed in my haste to do as she instructed, shucking my clothes while I was at it.
Pink today. I liked pink. Pink would do just fine.
But then, without my consent mind you, she shimmied right out the delicate undergarments, wrapping her legs around my hips as she once again attempted to bring us together as she locked her ankles behind my back.
I assaulted her nipples, pleased when she began making those helpless little mewling noises that always made me basically lose my shit. I capture her wrists, manacling them in one hand and pinning them above her head.
She smirked up at me, rolling her hips against me again in a silent challenge.
"Edward!" She gasped my name as I slowly slid a finger in her dripping wet just for me love cup (she was so weird and I picked up on some of her more bizarre lingo over the years) my thumb finding her clit.
Hips bucking in my hand as she stove for more contact, I stared down at the love of my life, face aglow in passion. She was the most glorious thing I had ever seen. Bella's mahogany hair was fanned out around her head in a wavy halo. Her blush tinted her pale, smooth skin all the way down to her chest. Her fingernails dug into my hand as she fought to maintain eye contact with me, but as I continued my menstruations, her half lidded eyes rolled back in her head slightly.
It made me feel a bit like a idiotic 17 year old all over again, bumbling around, struggling not to come embarrassingly quickly.
She wailed out my name. I released her hands as she arched off the bed, giving in to the insistent urge to touch her body.
And then her tiny little hands were trailing down my chest, over the ridges of my stomach, finding my cock and rubbing the moisture that was leaking out of me over my tip before grasping my length.
I dropped my forehead to hers, groaning at her touch.
"Goddamn Isabella. Fuck you are so wet. And so fucking good at that!" I added as she her hand moved in a toe curling rhythm.
"Edward, please," she pleaded, hips coming off the bed as she struggled to get closer.
I fucking loved it when she begged. Her voice went right to my dick.
Done teasing us both with the preliminary, I thrust into her abruptly, causing us both to cry out in exultation. I was a frequent worshiper at the temple of my goddess, and each time was as perfect as the last. The boundaries between her and I blended until she and I were solidly an us, connected on every imaginable level.
One hand in my hair and the other wrapped around my rib cage, Bella rolled her hips as we set a pace the bordered on desperate.
Maybe it was because we had seen so little of each other in the last few weeks or because Nessie was 18 or because this summer would bring about yet another tour. Fuck, I don't know. But for whatever the reason, our coupling was particularly needy tonight.
Pounding into her slick, tight folds, again and again, I reveled in the knowledge that she was mine. That only I knew that the back of her knees got sweaty when she was turned on or that she preferred to come with me. Only I knew about her ridiculous phrases she used to talk dirty and just how she liked me to touch her.
She was mine. My forever. My family. My love.
And I hers.
On the verge of going completely crazy with pleasure, Bella tilted her hips up as she dug her nails into each of my cheeks, pulling my in impossibly deeper.
I panted as my grip tightened on her hips. "Fuuuuuck, Bellaaaaa," I groaned out before my brain was far too dizzy to actually form coherent words so I just kissed her again, swallowing her moans as her shoulders began to shake.
"Edward! Oh God, I love you," she moaned as she writhed beneath me.
I was also the only to know that Bella's shoulders started to shake when she was on the verge exploding around my dick.
And then she did, screaming out my name and squeezing me with all four of her limbs. The tightening and contracting of her sent me over the edge as well.
I saw stars.
Hands in the hair again, Bella pulled my face to hers, kissing me soundly as we both continued to shutter. Finally, needing some air, I collapsed forward, my face finding comfort in Bella's neck.
"Oy vay," I said after a few minutes, causing her to giggle.
"You still got it Mr. Cullen," she sighed, combing her fingers through the hair at my temples. I closed my eyes, completely content and relax in my wife's lovely embrace.
"Ditto, Mrs. Cullen."
I feel asleep with my head on Bella's shoulder, her arms wrapped around me, legs intertwined beneath the comforter.
This would always be the same. Bella and I would always find home and comfort and pleasure together like this. Even as our kids grew up and our careers demanded our time and our family was generally big and loud and interfering, we would always have this, each other.
"Did Sandy dress in such skimpy clothes in the move?" I muttered during the intermission through my grin.
"Yeah, where are all the cardigans? In the movie, Sandy wore so many cardigans." I hated agreeing with my daughter's boyfriend, but I couldn't help but nod at his very accurate statement. "Also, Danny Zuko needs to keep his hands to himself."
Bryan needed to take his own advice, but I let it go.
"Oh be quite both of you," Bella giggled, playfully smacking me in the arm. "You know she is brilliant."
Damn right. My girl could sing. She was the lead in the school's rendition of Grease this year and she fucking rocked. It was opening night and the large auditorium was packed. Nessie had succeeded in making every boy in the audience fall in love with her and every girl want to be her.
Because she was awesome.
"Come one kids," Bella said, plucking Charlie off my lap as she rose. "Let's go get some snacks." Masen happily bopped on after his mother, skipping and smiling and talking about the show enthusiastically as Bella nodded.
My wife had left me alone with the enemy.
Though Bryan had been around a whole fucking lot in the last few months. Charlie and Masen loved him because he would spend hours playing with them. Bella loved him and enjoyed talking books with him. Nessie was obviously crazy about him (my mind shied away from the word love).
Rose and Alice and Esme and Kathleen all fawned over him. Even the guys liked him.
My family had basically taken him in.
But I remained distant. He was stealing my little girl and I didn't like it at all. But what could I do? I was thoroughly out voted.
"So…" Bryan said, awkwardly leaning forward in his seat and rubbing his hands together. He was always looking for opportunities like this to bond with me. "Ness says you are leaving on tour next month. Are you stoked?"
This kid was an idiot, bring up the one thing I most definitely didn't want to talk about. It was a short tour, only 22 shows. I would be home in late July, just in time to be with my family in the month before Nessie left for school. Bella and the little kids would join me as soon as school was out. Originally, Ness was going to come too but that was before the eager boy next to me popped into our lives.
"I am not looking forward to leaving my family," I said, crossing my arms over my chest, glaring straight ahead.
"Right, yeah that has to suck. But speaking as a fan, your record doesn't do you justice."
I turned to look at him, raising an eyebrow at his statement, and going on a minor power trip when he went pale and started stuttering. Sometimes, the whole badass rocker dude persona I had going on really came in handy. Of course those closest to me knew it was all bullshit and that I was goo inside, but I liked being intimidating on occasion.
"Uh… what I meant was… Your CD's are great, awesome. Really, really excellent. But seeing Vampire Sunrise live… it is just a whole new level of awesome. Your performances are just… so intense and great and awesome. Really awesome."
I smiled despite myself, knowing what he meant even with the sloppy way in which it was said.
"I agree Bryan. I love being on the stage, I just wish performing didn't involve leaving. And Nessie isn't coming this year," I grumbled.
I understood why Ness didn't want to come. It was her last summer at home, she had her boyfriend and her friends, and her life here. I still didn't like the fact that she would be staying with the Whitlock's this summer
"Sorry about that," he said, paling again, looking everywhere but at me. "It sounds like a blast, from what Nessie has told me."
And then I had an idea. A glorious, crazy idea. Maybe everyone could get just what they wanted this summer.
But then Bella came back and Masen handed me a big cookie smiling at me with frosting all over his mouth. Charlie ended up back on my lap and Bella grabbed my hand as the house lights dimmed and the music mounted.
Ness danced, sang, and pranced around the stage. For the next hour, my daughter commanded the attention of the entire auditorium. All the while I plotted to get Nessie on tour.
"I don't want Vanessa to stay here all alone this summer," I said without preamble, sitting down across from Bella as she typed furiously at her office computer in the Duck House.
"Edward… I am not happy about it either," she said, eyes never straying from the screen. "But we have talked about this. And she won't be alone. She is staying with Jasper and Alice."
"I have an idea."
"Oh God." Still, she didn't look at me.
"It is a good one," I huffed.
"Alright," she said, pulling away from her computer and relocating, leaning against her desk as she stood in front of me. Bella from this angle (and most angles actually) was very distracting. "What is this in genius plan?"
"Bring who?" she asked, scooting back on the desk so her legs dangled, swaying enticingly in from of me.
"Bring Bryan on tour?" The skepticism was apparent in her voice so I went into wheeling and dealing mode.
"Hear me out ok," I said, standing in front of her running my hands up her skirt clad thighs. "The reason Ness isn't coming is because she wants to spend the summer with her boyfriend. So we bring her boyfriend on tour. No problem."
"Plus he is a huge fan. This would be like a dream come true for him," I pressed on, pulling her forward across the desk so she was closer to my body.
"That is true. I still don't—"
"We could give him a job! I know he is paying for her own college so he could be like a roadie in training. Plus it would be a cool reference for him. He can bunk with the crew too."
"Edward, don't you think that is weird?"
"There is nothing wrong with a little weirdness. Come on Bella, it is the only way we will all be together this summer. I thought you liked the kid. He is at the house all the time," I said, leaning forward and making sure that all of her was pressed against me.
"I still don't know—"
"Just say you will think about it sunshine," I whispered in her ear, grazing her lobe with my teeth. I grinned when she shuttered a little and weaved her fingers into my hair.
"I will think about it."
It was time for me to leave. Again. It was touring season and I was leaving my family. Again. I knew it was just for a couple weeks until school got out, but it still fucking sucked.
I really hated saying goodbye.
Though I was a lot less bitchy about the whole situation.
I mean they would be joining me soon. All of them. And an ecstatic Bryan, but I was trying not to think about that.
"Dude," I said to Ness as we gathered for said goodbye by the front door of our house. "The next time I see you, you are going to be a high school graduate!"
"I KNOW!" she yelled, grabbing my arm and hopping alone next to me. "I am so excited to be done with high school yet at the same time I feel so old."
I snorted at her, rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Everyone was feeling old these days,
"You are soooo old Nessie! I can't believe you are all done with school. You are like a grown up!" Masen giggled, bouncing along next to his sister.
"Shut it pip squeak. You know you are going to miss me when I leave," she replied, causing Masen to stop abruptly.
"I don't want you to leave," he said, looking up at Nessie with big, sad eyes.
"I know kid. I am going to miss you too," she slung an arm around his shoulders. "But we have all summer to just hang out. Ok?"
"Ok," he replied, smiling lopsidedly.
"Car's here," Bella, materializing out of nowhere with Charlie on her hip, whispered in my ear. I grimaced at the thought, feeling as shitty as always when my presence was required somewhere other then here, with my family.
"Bye Pops," Nessie said, giving me a hug and kissing my cheek. "Catch you on the flip side."
"Love you Vanessa."
Next I picked up Charlie, kissing her cheeks and hugging her tightly. I turned to Masen last because he always got the most upset about my departures.
"Hey buddy," I said, getting down on a knee so I was eye level with him. He was looking at his shuffling feet so I tilted his face up. "I am going to miss you."
Tears pooled in his eyes and I felt like shit, I pulled him into a hug. He launched himself at me, locking his arms around my neck. I stood and walked a small distance from the rest of the family, giving the little guy some privacy.
"I don't want you to go," he sobbed into my shoulder.
"I know Mase, I don't want to go either. But I have too. It is just for a couple of weeks and you are going to stay busy with the end of school and your friends and your cousins," I said, patting his shaking back.
"I guess," he sniffed.
"The next three weeks are going to go really quick. I will be back for Nessie's graduation and then we are all going out on the road."
"I like the road." Masen pulled back excitedly, smiling at me as I whipped the tears from his cheeks.
"I know. We are going to have a fun summer. Do you remember what I told you the last time I left?"
"That it's not goodbye it's I'll see you later?"
"That's right buddy," I laughed. "What else?"
"That I have to watch out for Nessie and Mommy and Charlie for you while you are gone because I am your little man," he said proudly.
"Yup. I love you Masen," I said, hugging him again as we walked back over to the rest of the family. I enjoyed a group hug with my kids before finally turning to my wife.
"Oh sunshine," I said, pulling her into my chest. "What am I going to do for the next three weeks?"
"Probably completely fall apart," she replied, wrapping her arms around my waist and smiling sadly up at me.
"No tears, Isabella." I kissed her forehead and buried my face in her hair.
"I know. I feel ridiculous. I love you."
"I love you too. I am going to miss you so much." I kissed her with probably too much tongue until Nessie sighed dramatically and Masen giggled and the waiting car honked and it was time to go.
I walked to the door, giving the people most important to me a final wave. "Bye bye my loving family, I will miss you tons!"
"See you soon!" Masen said.
"Melt some faces!" Nessie said.
"Soon faces Daddy!" Charlie said.
"I love you rockstar!" Bella said.
T-minus 21 days until I saw them again. I couldn't fucking wait.
"Where the hell is my wife? ISABELLA CULLEN. WILL MRS. ISABELLA CULLEN REPORT TO THE STAGE." I turned around abruptly to glance at the stage that was set up across the pool in my father's backyard.
I suppose after elementary school, huge graduation blow outs at the Chief's became a tradition. Kathleen had pulled out all the stops to celebrate the end of high school for her only for her only child and my oldest child.
There was food and dancing and cake and a freaking dunk tank. Thanks to our family's musical connections, the entertainment was topnotch as well. Several Swan artists, Vampire Sunrise, and a couple high school garage bands had all agree to play through out the evening.
Vampire Sunrise was two songs into their set and already Edward was being difficult.
"Look Em, I have embarrassed my daughter. Lighten up Ness, there are very are going to be very few of these opportunities for parental mortification before you go to Boston." His amplified voice boomed and the crowd of teens laughed.
Edward's eyes met mine and we exchanged bittersweet smiles.
Our baby had graduated from high school today. I was so damn proud of her, tears had been leaking from my eyes since I woke up this morning. They were so persistent that I had a hard time seeing Nessie walk across stage to accept her diploma. I managed though, as we all went a little crazy in the stands.
Nessie shocked her principal by hugging the stunned man after he handed of the leather contained certificate. She looked so pretty, smiling in the same burgundy robe Alice and Emmett and Rosalie and Jasper all donned almost two decades ago.
It had been another experience Edward and I missed out on, but it was well worth it because it meant we got Nessie.
She wore the locket that Edward gave her for her second birthday and at least a million pictures had been taken by various over eager photographers, myself included.
And now she was blushing at the base of the stage as she scowled up at her father.
"Bella," Rosalie said with a smirk. She elbowed me in the shoulder and I stumbled forward slightly. "You are being summoned."
When Vampire Sunrise took the stage, there was a freaking stampede of teenagers who rushed forward to be close to the rockstars in their midst. I, like the rest of the parents, had stayed by the buffet and tried to look impartial to the celebrities not very far away.
"Yes, Rosalie, get her up here. No use being shy! Come on sunshine, you are embarrassing your daughter!"
"Go on," Rose laughed, nudging my arm again. "I will keep an eye on the little ones."
I had no choice but to comply with his demands.
I meandered through the crowd, working my way to the stage, blushing all the while and focusing on not tripping.
My heart rate accelerated, its pounding beating between my ears. Adrenaline coursed through my system and I felt on the verge of passing out.
After of all these years of performing, one would think I would have out grown my ridiculous stage fright. But be it 60 high school graduates or 60 million on a worldwide broadcast, the nerves were always the same.
I felt like someone had viscously sucked out all my inner organs and replaced then with a plethora of butterflies.
And then everything was fine. My equilibrium was restored. Those fucking annoying butterflies were replaced with rainbows and sunshine and a familiar electricity that was both comforting and arousing at the same time.
Edward crouched as I approached, offering me a hand up. The very instant we made eye contact and he flashed me the crooked smile reserved just for me, all was right with my world.
"There you are," he said softly, pulling me onto the stage and slinging an arm around my shoulders as Seth handed me a banjo.
"Ladies, gentleman, esteemed high school graduates." The crowd in front of the stage went wild, cheering and hugging each other and jumping and fist bumping. I stifled a sigh when I saw the group of Nessie's girlfriends shooting lustful glances at my husband.
And in the very center of the crowd was my daughter, arms crossed over her chest as she attempted to look cool and aloof, as if she wasn't thrilled that her parents were doing this for her. A small version of the Edward smile played around her mouth and there was a twinkle in her eye, so I knew she was lovin' it.
"Now that my lovely wife has joined us—" Edward paused to allow for cheers that had a typical male timber. Well male besides the obscenely loud cat calls from Alice and Rosalie. Jasper even let out a yeehaw. "We are going to slow it down with a little ditty I wrote, oh about 18 years ago when the charming Vanessa was still in diapers. So this one is dedicated to all the graduates and us parents who feel like the diapers stage was yesterday."
Edward looked to me then, nodding for me to take the lead on the intro. He didn't need to say the song title, we all knew.
I plucked the first few notes, closing my eyes and sways slightly as I let the music infiltrate every crevasse of my being. No more thinking, only feeling. Seth joined in on the harmony and Sam introduced the understated bass line as Emmett cam in on a pair of bongs.
Everyone went acoustic for Nessie's lullaby.
Edward's voice softly joined the sweet, familiar melody and my eyes snapped open, searching out his green orbs that immediately locked onto mine. He slowly built the first verse that talked about how much he loved me and how young we were. By the last line he was really wailing into the mic, brows creased, head bent, looking so sexy in his passion.
I sang in response the next verse that expressed Edward lament that I had to find out alone. His eyes never left mine until the chorus.
Looking directly at our daughter below us, we sang about how all the fear dissipated the moment we heard her first wail. We sang about how we didn't understand family until we held her. We sang about how much we loved her, how we longed to see her grow. How we wanted to give her everything and knew we would because there had never being anyone who loved anything as much as we loved her.
We sang about how she had my eyes and his smile.
There were a lot of mother and daughter weeping by the end. And a lot of fathers and sons trying to hide their moist eyes.
I was not really sure when I started crying but I was and so was Ness. As the emotional crowd applauded, Edward and I knelt on the stage, having an awkward group hug with our little graduate.
"We love you Ness," I whispered, kissing her cheek. "Congratulations."
"We're really proud of you kid," Edward said, quite choked up himself.
"Thanks guys," Vanessa replied, squeezing us back tightly. "That was so beautiful. Now play something that freaking rocks! This is a party, you know!"
So we did. It was her special day and all.
As thrilled as I was that my entire family (and my eldest's boyfriend) was on tour with me this summer, on occasion it was quite awkward.
Performing with Bella was the most divine form of foreplay.
On a standard night, Bella would do around four songs with us, sometimes coming out again for the encore. She would join us when we slowed things down (on of the guys always introduced her in a way that pissed me off, usually mentioning how hot she was) and stayed until after we speed it up again.
By the time we finished up "Kiss Me Like You Mean It", a pretty little ditty that just dripped sex, I really thought I was going to lose it. Bella danced around me, gyrating, scorching me with her gaze. Tonight, Bella was feisty. She licked her lips and flipped her hair over her shoulder.
Her eyes never left mine and they held promises that were setting me on fucking fire.
The crowd loved our chemistry and shows with Bella were always the most popular. Sometimes I felt a little weird, letting people in on something so personal, but when Bella was looking at me I didn't think about anyone else.
But then the song ended and Bella glanced at the crowd, blushing and bowing slightly before walking backwards off the stage. I knew she was about to disappear from sight, leaving me to finish the show, and I wasn't ready for that yet.
Pulling my guitar off my shoulders, I basically sprinted after my wife. I caught up with her, just as she was getting backstage. She squeaked in surprise as I turned her around by pulling on her wrist. I slammed her into a nearby wall, on hand around the throat as the other held my guitar away from our bodies.
I crushed my lips to hers, thrilled that she responded so quickly. Her hands dug into my hips, pulling me closer even as I ground my hips into hers.
"Oh my God, I am going to puke."
I pulled away from my beloved at the sound of my daughter's voice. Bella blinked up at me, a little stunned by the intensity of a kiss that lasted less then 7 seconds.
"Hello Vanessa, didn't see you there." Ness was glaring at me with her arms crossed while Bryan stood next to her, mouth agape.
"That was hot," Bryan whispered into Nessie's ear to my deep mortification. She punched him in the shoulder as I heard the band start the next song without me. There was a long intro, so I was doing ok on time.
"We are totally even for the couch incident," Nessie yelled, continuing to glare at us.
I looked down at Bella to see that she was furiously blushing, right down to her lovely breasts, no doubt.
But I couldn't think about that now. Thinking about Bella was what got me into all this embarrassment in the first place.
Bella made me do inappropriate things.
Then she kissed my jaw and shoved me back towards the stage, whooping loudly as I staggered back to finish the set.
"It was disgusting," Nessie said the next morning at breakfast, brandishing a piece of fruit off the end of her fork.
"Do we really have to go into this?" I groaned into my coffee as Bella placed a reassuring hand on my thigh. Charlie, sensing my distress, crawled from Bella's lap into mine. I kissed her cheeks as she happily stole my toast.
"Nessie," Emmett laughed from across the table. "I bet it was pretty PG compared to some of the shit I have witnessed."
"EMMETT!" yelled Rosalie, whacking my brother in the arm and gesturing towards the end of the table where Masen, Matt, and Chloe were giggling over their pancakes. "There are little ears present."
"Sorry Babe," Emmett said quickly before plowing on with his mission to embarrass Bella and me further. "But I think we should all just take a moment to remember the time when we caught Bella and Eddie up to no good in that supply closet."
"Shut up Emmett!" Bella, Rose, Nessie, and I all yelled at once.
"Also, you and Rosalie are so much worse then us," Bella pointed out.
"MOM! What is wrong with you people? You are old. I am your daughter. That is so gross," Nessie replied.
"Can we please change the subject?" I said tersely.
"I think it is kinda nice." All heads snapped to Bryan who was staring down at his meal with a faint blush.
Having him around was really not as big of a deal as I thought it would be. He was a hard worker and fit in well with our family. A little too well if you asked me, but his presence meant that Nessie was there too.
"How?" Nessie demanded, looking at her boyfriend as if she had never seen him before.
I wondered what would happen when Nessie went to college at the end of August.
"Well, they love each other," he said quietly. "It is just nice, to have parents that love each other."
Bella and I glanced at each other, smiling slightly. Nessie's face softened and she kissed his temple before changing the subject. I didn't even flinch at the contact. It felt good that despite our less then conventional family life, a little of the love was rubbing off on someone who didn't have a whole lot of it in their lives.
We were an undeniably wacky bunch with a complicated past. We argued and joked and talked loudly. Rosalie was scary, Alice could see the future, Jasper was constantly expounding historical facts, and Emmett was perpetually 12. I was a mopey rockstar and Bella, the sanest of the bunch, was still pretty quirky.
We loved hard.
Our kids were best friends, a perfect blending of our wackiness. We were constantly in the press and we had sold millions of records and Vampire Sunrise was a household name.
Somehow, Bella and I had managed to take all that love and all that crazy and create a life that surpassed all my dreams. It was perfect even in all its imperfections. I never imagined that I could have this much happy.
But we did.
Growing up, I was always well aware that I was missing something.
Other kids would talk about their lives with their parents so casually, like having a mom and a dad who loved each other was no big deal.
Even as a little kid, I remember thinking that it was a very big deal.
I have retained more memories from my youth then most, I think because the present was so different then my life until I was ten. I loved both my parents and they loved me equally as fiercely, but I remember sensing sadness when they looked at me too.
My mom didn't like to talk to about my dad, and my dad seemed to live to hear me talk about my life with my mom. Neither could give me a straight answer as to why they couldn't even manage to be in the same room.
Aunt Alice gave me some straight answers, so did Aunt Rosalie. And in my ten-year-old little brain, I had visions of something out of a fairy tale. I imagined my parents as lovers, separated by an evil darkness. The way the other adults in my life talked, it seemed to me that it was only a matter of time until Mom and Dad found their way back to each other.
And I suppose we were all right.
My childhood was a less traditional then those of most of my friends from school. My dad was Edward Cullen, rockstar heartthrob. My mom was Isabella Swan, darling of the recording industry. Despite their busy careers, they made time for me. And not only made time, but loved the time we spent together.
Instead of dropping me off at daycare or hiring a nanny, I spent my time with Mimi and Popi Cullen. Carlisle read with me. Esme and I would sit in her garden or she would show me the inner workings of interior design. At the Chief's, I played with Colin my best friend/uncle. Kathleen taught us a thousand games.
Alice dressed me up. Jasper enthralled me with his tales of heroes and villains. Rosalie taught me how to change the oil in a car and Emmett let me bang away on his drums.
My mom often said I was raised by one crazy village.
And then there was the music. Always music. I loved the music almost as much as I loved my parents.
Then everything changed when I watched them get married on the stage in the mountains at the age of ten. My mom married my dad and I had a real family. We were the three amigos.
Their love was so apparent that I didn't get why it took so long for them to be together. I still don't, if I am being honest.
I was so happy. It was just the three of us. Life was perfect. And then Masen was born, and that was weird at first because I was used to being the only child, the center of attention, the only cute one. But then little baby Masen fell asleep in my arms the day he came home form the hospital and I fell in love with the little guy. The same happened with Charlie, four years later.
My heart ached as my limited time with them ticked by. I dreaded the coming goodbye. But it couldn't have been any worse then the one I had braved a few days ago.
My parents really loved each other. So much that it was disgusting at times. But because I grew up seeing that love, I knew that I would never settle.
Lots of boys liked me. And I liked some of them too. They were nice to look at and entertaining on occasion, but I didn't have much interest because I didn't look at them like my mom looked at my dad.
Until I met Bryan. He was different and after 2 months, part of me wanted to call off all my college plans to go to Boston and just stay with him forever.
He didn't like that much. So we were doing the whole long distance thing and I was looking at the whole situation as a test. If Bryan and I had what my parents had, then we would make it, even if it was hard.
I stared up at the red brick building that would be my home for the next few months, feeling so many different things. Excitement first, nerves at doing something totally new. I was thrilled do be on my own and already missing my boyfriend and my family. Beside me, Dad tugged on his hair and Mom bit her lip.
I wondered who was more nervous about moving in today, the parentals or me.
"So this is it, huh?" Pops said, looking up at the building from the city sidewalk and pulling me out of my head.
"Yup," I said, confirming this with the registration paper work I was given at orientation. We shouldered my duffels and picked up my boxes before following my fellow freshmen and their parents into the building.
I shared a smile with Mom when we got into the elevator. Dad was trying to conceal his famous face, at my request, by hiding behind a pair of sunglasses, a hood pulled over his signature messy hair. Already he was receiving skeptical looks from the other people in the elevator.
I didn't want everyone to know about my dad yet. I wanted them to know me first. But I couldn't hurt him by asking him not to move me in, so I would have to just deal.
We burst through the door to my room and were greeted by a very tall girl with very big hair sitting on one of the lofted beds.
"Hi! I'm Camille. Vanessa, right?" she asked, extending a hand after gracefully sliding off the bed.
Goddamn, she was tall.
"Yeah, Nessie," I corrected. "Nice to meet you."
"Ditto. Holy shit." And she saw my Dad. This was exactly why I chose to go to school so far away. I had to do something for just me. I had to accomplish something that wasn't overshadowed by my parents.
"Yes," I said, trying to not be annoyed. "That is Edward Cullen. Yes he is my dad. And yes, he is happily married."
Camille rushed to shake my parents hands before excusing herself to let me "get all settled in". I was thankful that she was giving me some privacy to unpack and say goodbye to my parents. The fact that she wasn't loitering around my dad gave me hope that we could actually be friends.
"It is kinda small, isn't it?" Dad said. He reached out his arms and was able to touch both beds at the same time.
"You are so cup half full, Edward," Mom said, poking her head in the empty closet. "I like it. It is cozy."
"It is just so… dorm-ish," Dad replied, making a face.
"Stop being a snob, you spoiled, spoiled rockstar." My mom smirked at her husband, wacking him in the shoulder playfully. I knew I had to intervene or they would banter back and forth forever.
"It is perfect!" I said, letting the full wattage of my smile light up my face. Because it was just what I pictured and wanted and best of all it was mine.
Mom smiled at me, putting an arm around my shoulders as we watched Dad putter around, grumbling and frowning and brooding in typical Edward Cullen fashion.
He was really handling the move a whole lot better then I thought.
After a few more minutes, it was finally time to say goodbye.
"I suppose it is time for us to go," my mom said, turning to me slowly. "Dragging out the goodbye only makes things more difficult."
"I know Mom. I am going to miss you," I hugged her tightly, hoping that she didn't cry because once she got going I would get going to.
"Oh Vanessa. We are so proud of you. Call us if you need anything. Remember we are just a plane ride away." All this was said through sobs and it was amazing that I understood her at all. But her message was loud and clear and shit, there were the tears.
She finally released me and we both turned to look at Dad who was staring thoughtfully out the window.
"I guess it is actually pretty cool," my dad said finally, apparently getting the mope out of his system. "I always wondered what it would be like to actually go to college. That is one thing neither your mom or I really experienced. I am really glad you get to Nessie. I am kinda jealous."
I smiled through my tears as my heart did funny things in my chest.
"It is pretty cool," I said quietly as my dad pulled me into his arms.
"I hope you realize this means I am going to be calling you all the time to get the little details," he said as he hugged me.
It didn't sound so bad to me so I just nodded.
"Like, I wonder what dining hall food is like."
Mom and I both laughed at this, his humor going a long was to help us get a handle on our tears.
"We love you Ness," he said, pulling my mom over into a group embrace. She nodded enthusiastically along with his words. "And we are so fucking proud. We are going to miss you like crazy, but your life is going to be pretty damn good."
With Dad's arms around Mom's shaking shoulders, they let me to get on with my new life. I watched them exit through my window and thought about my parent's words. I wondered if what felt like the beginning for me felt like the end to them.
And my dad was totally right. My life was going to be pretty damn great.
Thank you and goodnight.