I think I have shed more tears of joy today than in the rest of my entire life. I have been passed from one set of arms to another, then another. I have been kissed and hugged and seen tears of joy on the faces of my friends and family.
I have had my perfect wedding.
The reception was held in a large marquee set up in the adjoining field and we all ate and drank and laughed and shook our heads in amazement that this day ever came.
So many hurdles and bumps along the way.
So much we learned and accepted, so much more to learn as we grow together.
A dream daughter, so precious and beautiful.
Her curls bob and shake as she dances with Jacob, then Jasper, until everyone has had their legs grasped and her little face looking up to theirs "Dance." she demands.
Edward pulls me onto the dancefloor and swirls us around like a ballroom dancing pro.
I guess it is all in the leading.
I think about his vows and wonder, is it truly possible that our love will grow and increase over time? It doesn't seem possible, that human hearts can expand that much.
We finally leave and run back to the cottage and shut the door as everyone drives back to wherever they are staying the night.
Nobody is staying here with us, Edward informs me. Not even our daughter.
I am happy with that, it means we can..make all the noise we want to..well, I know it's usually me, but I want to be free and uninhibited and having the whole cottage to ourselves ensures this.
Edward peels my pink dress from my body and hangs it up from the curtain rail.
I touch it and smile. The perfect wedding dress.
The perfect shoes rest on the floor below the dress.
The perfect bra and panties are lost somewhere, tossed away by a hand with long, slim, clever fingers.
I lay on the bed and watch him undress himself.
I like watching Edward go from elegant and stylish to naked.
Naked is my favorite look on him.
I remember suddenly its time to take my Pill and reach into the washbag beside the bed.
Edward walks over and takes the circular container from my hand.
"I think it's time these went" he says, and my heart starts to sing.
He is giving me a baby? A honeymoon baby?
"Edward" I cry out in emotion, covering my eyes as the tears start.
He sits beside me, the sound of the toilet flushing the pills away.
"I want, what you want. I want another pregnancy. I want another baby. I want to be an expectant father. I want to wake in the night and feel my child kick from inside the only woman I have ever loved. I want to watch your belly swell and grow and house our little baby. I have no preference for a boy or a girl. I just want a healthy baby I made with you."
He kisses my mouth as I blubber and choke on my tears.
He sits with has back against the headboard and pulls me so I straddle his legs and he enters me as I sit facing him, our bodies close, our eyes gazing into each others, our lips meeting and parting again when the need for air wins over the need to connect as closely as we can.
Edward rocks us, his hands palming all over my back, bringing me closer to him, and he makes me want to stay like this forever.
How can one man be so perfect? We fit together like puzzle pieces, we are meant to be like this, always connected, always together.
Why did we ever fight it?
I start to feel myself tense and tighten and Edward strokes my face with his hand.
"Yes, baby, yes, just go with it, just come with me." and we explode together.
Edward keeps rocking us and he places a hand on my stomach.
"Hello, little baby. Your sister is going to lead you a merry dance but she will love you, and we already love you."
"Edward, there cannot be a baby in there yet. I have to get the hormones out of my system first."
"Never bet against Alice" he mock warns me.
"She told me, she and Jasper are conceiving tonight, and we are too. I can't argue with her."
The rest of the night, Edward wakes me regularly to have 'backup sex' to ensure the conception takes place.
I just hope we only fertilize the one egg.
Finally he lets me sleep and its noon by the time we wake up.
Edward's lips are on my neck as I open my eyes, holding an arm up to keep the sunshine out of them.
"What time is it?" I ask.
"Time to make sure we have a little baby in there" he says in his sexy velvet voice.
"Edward, I fear there may be a dozen in there already."
"What's one more then?"
He is inside me before I come up with a logical answer.
"A baker's dozen?" I answer finally. and he chuckles at me.
"I refuse to have more than fourteen children, Bella, no matter how much you beg and plead with me."
"Fourteen's good." I answer.
I hope the universe is ignoring this sill talk as four would be my limit, I think.
We spend the whole week making sure conception has occurred, wandering around the countryside, making love under the stars and even the full sun, as Edward assures me nobody will come this way and see us as we roll around in the meadow we were married in. Its warm enough at midday to be naked outside, so I relax and let my sexy husband have his way.
I hope we don't squash any butterflies or have a bee bite us somewhere telling.
Then, the last day dawns and we have to leave and go back to real life and our daughter. "Edward, where are we going on our family get away?"
"Forks. I know you want to live there. We are going to see the land I inherited and see if you like it enough to build our cottage there. Don't forget, it can be as pretty and sweet and old fashioned as you want, but our fourteen children all need bedrooms and bathrooms."
"I downgraded to four children" I tell him and he grins.
"Four it is. I like four. I was worried if we had fourteen, I would forget their names."
"What are we naming this one, then?" I ask as I touch my supposedly pregnant belly.
"How about Petal for a girl seeing she was conceived amongst the petals?" he says.
"And a boy?" I ask.
"You can choose a boys name. I will name the girls and you the boys."
"Hmm, Brad Pitt Cullen or Johnny Depp Cullen? How do I decide?"
"Okay, I will name the boys as well as the girls" he amends his earlier answer.
"Kellan" he suggests.
"Kellan Cullen. Very funny."
"Oh I like that. Alistair Cullen. Nice."
"Brady, Brandon, Conrad, Carter,Dane, Declan, Darius,Edan..no, scrap that."
"Brandon Cullen. Brady Cullen. Brandon Edward Cullen. Done."
"So, Petal Isabella Cullen or Brandon Edward Cullen? Are you sure?"
"Yep. You can explain to our daughter why she has that name."
"I shall tell her, it is because she is beautiful like a flower."
"Or the flowers we crushed to conceive her."
"What names have Alice and Jasper reserved. We can't pinch any of Alice's names ."
"She didn't care to share so first in, first choice."
"Well, we will have to wait and see who conceives fiirst."
"We did, she would have been up all night with screaming babies all this week. We win."
I laughed with glee when the smiley face appeared on the pregnancy testing stick.
"Oh just wait. Alice is going to kill us!"
"Positive?" asks Bella, her eyes tightly closed.
"Positive, love. A honeymoon baby."
Just as I had laughingly guessed, Alice and Jasper had a bad week while we were busy conceiving and she doesn't think their one attempt will have been a success.
"You planned that, Edward. Leaving us with two restless brats. You knew we would be too tired to compete."
"Sorry, sis. Maybe next month."
As it turned out, they were cleverer than we thought and Alice bounced through our door three days later with her own smiley face stick.
"So, Edward, never bet against me. I told you so."
"Well done, you two. All that hard work paid off."
So, who ever would have thought having three pregnant women in the one town was a good idea? They fought over names, baby clothes, nursery decorations, cribs, diapers, cloth or disposable?
Jasper, Emmett and I were ready for a testosterone top up as the bellies grew and the feet ached and the midnight ice cream and pickles runs materialized.
I loved it. I loved every single second of every single day. Bella grew at a much faster rate than Alice, so that was discussed and theorized and googled. The first scan revealed why.
Twins. Two little jellybean babies with two little heartbeats.
"Edward, what are we going to do?" panicked my love.
"We can cope. The cottage will be finished in another month, we will be home, living near my mom, she will be ready and willing to take on nanny duties. Or you could have a housekeeper. And a fulltime nanny. And whatever else you want."
"We have to build guest quarters onto our cottage." she pleaded.
"The housekeeper and the nanny. They need their own rooms."
"I am glad you are seeing things my way, my love. Two babies plus one jealous toddler, you will need help."
Alice's scan revealed a single fetus but with her history of JJ's premature entry into the world, I don't think she would have handled a twin pregnancy,
Rose gave birth to a ten pound boy and got the other two worked up and impatient to have their own babies soon.
We visited every day and passed around Emmett's clone child and I for one , was relieved it was a boy, because Emmett would not make a very attractive woman.
"Dane Emmett" he was named and I saw Alice's face drop a little. She was being secretive about her names, but I had a feeling Dane was high on the boys list.
The move back to Forks was bittersweet, but it was a new beginning and my new teaching role at my old high school excited me. I wanted to walk down those halls again. I may not have gotten the girl at high school, but I sure have her now. Don't give up, lads. Never give up. It can happen.
My father delivered our son, Brandon Edward, seven pounds, followed by our second daughter, Marie Isabella, nicknamed Petal, six pounds four ounces. Bella chickened out in the last minute and refused to give her a name she may hate, so we used the conventional official name and the pretty but rare nickname and agreed, if she wanted, she could change it to Petal officially when she was a teenager.
Alice produced her daughter, Alicia Jasmine, three days later. Just as she had predicted. Full term, eight pounds one ounce.
The grandparents were ecstatic and buzzed around with little pink and blue gifts and I was glad when we got home into our new cottage and it was just us.
Brandon and Petal seemed to calm each other when they were laid together in the one crib so during the day, Bella left them like that. The nanny earned her keep and the housekeeper was always ready to 'hold a little'un', being a mother of five and grandmother of two. She adored the twins and we somehow survived the early days and nights, in a blur of feedings and changings and trying to make sure Gabriella got enough attention.
She was not thrilled at the two new interlopers.
"Not like" she would scream and arch her back when I would lift her to see her siblings.
"Well, they like you and you will have to learn to accept them, Missy, because they are here to stay."
She warmed a little once they became more active and she loved her role as big sister by the time they began to walk. She wasn't above pushing them over if they took her toys and she would hold her hands over her eyes, when Bella caught her, as if she thought if she couldn't see Bella, Bella couldn't see her either.
She would hand out cookies to them, and smile at her mother, and once she was praised, she would snatch them back and stuff them in her own mouth, leaving two crying babies for her mom to comfort.
Life was just so full and intense, it was a relief to drop into our bed at night and just hold on to one another and congratulate ourselves on surviving another day.
"Can I downgrade to three?" asked my exhausted wife, I had to agree. I think our plate is full.
Rose had three sons in quick succession, Damien and Max followed Dane, and Alice and Jasper stopped at two, cowards that they are. They were all back in Forks by this time so our days were all centered around the children and our nights were centered around us, as a couple. Bella was very strict about bedtime meaning bedtime and the nanny was only allowed to check on them and settle them down again, no drinks or stories or excuses. Sickness was the only acceptable change to their routine.
I loved my job. I loved watching the preteens change and grow and become young adults. I loved the ones who were eager to learn and I despaired at the ones who thought school was a jail and a punishment, something to escape as soon as possible. I tried to make their classes as challenging and interesting as possible and not the same boring stuff we were forced to learn. I wanted them to think, solve, explore, come up with solutions unique to themselves.
Some made the grade, some fell by the wayside, but that is the way it is. You can't teach someone who refuses to learn.
Going home each afternoon was a joy. My cheering squad would all cry "Daddy" and race to see who could grab me around the knees first. My Bella would just sit and smile and remind me,
"Hey, Edward, eleven to go, get used to it!"
We sponsored eleven children in the poorest countries to make up the shortfall, and it did feel good knowing we had our fourteen children, in one way or another. Their photos were displayed along side the three we were raising. Seven boys, seven girls. Our three knew all their names and ages and on their birthdays, we always had a cake here at home, and hoped our money was changing their lives. I insisted they all be educated as long as possible in the countries they lived in, as to me, education is the key to changing a person's world and these kids needed hope.
Bella only worked part time from home, her career seemed to fade into something she didn't care a lot about once the house was filled with children, and she was happy with just being a mom. She thought she may get a 'proper' job once all three started school, but our second son Masen put a halt to those plans by announcing he was on the way the very day Bella took the twins for their first day at school. She was a little teary at leaving them but by the time she got home, Alice had to open the door and stand out of her way as she rushed to the bathroom and lost her breakfast.
"No, Alice' she screamed when Alice, ever prepared and all knowing, handed her a stick to pee on.
"No, Edward and I need some time to be us again. We just got the three monsters into school."
I came home that night, after my sister tipped me off, and handed Bella a bunch of pink rosebuds with white babysbreath and hugged her tightly.
"Looks like we were wrong, love. Fifteen after all."
I kissed the top of her head and she dissolved into tears and hugged me back.
"We can do fifteen, right?"
"Of course we can" I assured her.
She actually enjoyed that pregnancy the most of all of them and the baby was a serene, happy little soul from the start and Alice and Rose both changed their minds, and by Christmas, Rose had a baby girl,Emma, to dress in pink and Alice had a new baby boy,Joel, fullterm and perfect.
Baby days were back!
We enjoyed our last minute babies and in time, they grew and went to school and we had the time to ourselves that we had craved.
They grow so fast, and you can never get those days back.
Our tenth wedding anniversary was like a big milestone and our twentieth simply confirmed what I always knew.
Bella and I were always meant to be together.
xxxxSee, more fluff...something to rest your brains while you try and puzzle out the truth in Bella Swan FBI Babysitter chapter 4...I will be back after this weekend, (Friday here today)..to see who works that one