"Mrs. Dwyer, it's nice to finally meet you," The blonde twig of a girl smiled sticking her hand out.
I looked at her and realized she had to have been fresh out of college. She was wearing jeans and a flowery blouse.
"I know I'm here because Frankie has been giving you a hard time, but I can see why," I informed her.
Frankie's class had a family tree project and she kind of maybe flipped out about it. She was ten so I blamed her pre-teen angst. Edward said that wasn't even real. We had been living in New York for the past four years. My prodigy husband was offered a job playing for the symphony, which he took and I worked for a marketing firm as a brand manager.
The girls only ever knew Forks and had issues adjusting to the great city of Manhattan. Frankie was hostile where my Adeleine was timid.
Adeleine Grace Cullen, who was now six, didn't like the city. Very much her father's daughter with her bright green eyes and shy personality. She clung to me anywhere we went and still did. Well, now a days she has trouble due to the fact Edward knocked me up again. Where Frankie was my clone with the same face and hair, my baby girl had snow-white blonde hair with corkscrew curls.
Looking at Addie every day, I couldn't get over how much she didn't look like us. To fuck with Edward I would shrug and just say the milkman. Earning a grumble from him, again the man was hot while pouty.
"I'm not doing it, Bella. It's a stupid project," Frankie grumbled standing from the couch.
Edward looked up from where he was helping Addie on the floor.
"You better not stomp away, I can't move and you know it," I warned.
"You should be on my side!"
"Frankie, tone," Edward warned getting up.
"You're not my dad, Edward. He's dead, remember?"
"Daddy," Addie said with a frown.
The kid hated when anyone yelled at her daddy. Frankie had these outbursts from time to time so we were all kind of used to them.
"Nevermind this is stupid. You're all so…uhhhh," she huffed running out of the living room.
"That went well," I shrugged reaching out for my baby, who looked upset from Frankie's hostility.
Edward picked up the assignment from where Franks threw it. He skimmed over it, while I let my fingers brush through Addie's blonde curls. She sagged against me putting her hand on my small baby bump, where her sister rested.
"She can still do the assignment," he said looking up from the paper. "This seems to be a very politically correct family tree project. It has spaces for parternership and extended families."
"That's not the issue and you know it," I sung at him.
I wrapped my arms around Addie giving her a squeeze. "Let's get ready for bed baby cakes."
"Can we do braids?" Ad asked.
"Sure thing," I kissed her head. "And you just let her go for now," I pointed at Edward.
"I wasn't," he protested.
"You were and you always do, we need her to come to us when these things happen. It gives her the upper hand if we always go to her," I said matter-of-factly, standing before taking Addie's hand.
A half an hour later I was sitting on my bed with Adeleine sitting between my legs as I brushed her hair.
"Mommy, why does Frankie hate me," she asked quietly.
"She doesn't hate you Ad, she just is being a jerk," I sighed.
"Daddy says not to call people that," Addie informed me.
"Well kiddo when someone's being a jerk they just are," I shrugged starting her braid.
Addie turned her head giving me a confused look. I gave her a sloppy kiss on the lips making a smacking noise, which earned me a giggle.
"How about only Mommy can call people jerks?" I suggested.
"You're a grown up so I guess that's okay," she concluded.
"Right on," I smiled.
Edward snickered coming into the room going to his drawer to grab his sweats. He shook his head at me before going into our bathroom. I blew him a kiss. Yeah he heard me and Ads conversation.
Addie tapped on my knees as I finished her hair and after we were done I let her cuddle into bed with me as I watched reruns of House. Edward came out of the bathroom freshly showered and clothed in sweat pants and a t-shirt. Addie cuddled in between us her head lying on Edward's chest. She rubbed her eyes letting out a yawn.
"Can I go to work with you in the morning, Daddy?" she asked sleepily.
"We'll see, Adeleine," he smiled, tugging on her braid.
"I want to play the big piano like you," she said closing her eyes.
Not discussing it further because my child was clearly nodding off to la la land Edward kissed her head before trying to pull me closer to them. We watched some more TV. This right here what we were doing was what I loved most about my life. They calmed me and though one person was missing because she was choosing to be angsty, I wouldn't trade any of this.
I felt her nudge her way into our bed, being silent. I shot Edward a knowing look when Frankie laid her head on my chest, resting her small hand on my stomach.
His return gaze told me I was right before he went back to the television.
"Hello," I whispered to her.
"I'm sorry," she sniffled I felt her tears through my shirt.
"Don't apologize," I murmured kissing her head.
Her hair was still wet from her shower. Another reminder she was getting older and more independent.
"I love you like crazy, kid and you need to start realizing that," I said lifting her chin so her eyes met mine.
"It hurts not remembering mom and dad," she confessed.
"I know, I miss them too and if I could Franks I would have told them to stay home that night," I sighed squeezing her to me.
We would get like this sometimes. It was ridiculous, but I still had sessions with Dr. Garrett via Skype. I didn't trust anyone else to handle my kind of crazy. Apparently, neither did Edward because he did the same thing. Dr. G said it was normal for Frankie to behave like she did. She saw Addie and now with the new baby, she felt disconnected from us, but he told me never to make a difference between any of them. Like I would, though. Edward even treated her as a princess and he was just the brother-in-law.
"So I have to do that stupid project?"
"I'm going to talk to the teacher," was all I said.
"She's really happy, Bells… like it makes me sick, happy."
"And you are your sister's sister," Edward said dryly shutting of the TV.
"Oh shush, husband," I swatted at him making sure I didn't wake my sleeping angel. "Is she kind of dumb?" I asked Frankie.
"She's blonde," Frankie shrugged in my arms.
"Well so are Addie, Rose, Jasper and Pops, we don't stereotype them," I pointed out.
"You know what I mean," she said rolling her eyes.
For ten this kid was too smart for her own good. I was rubbing off on her.
"Miss Mallory what my wife is trying to say is that it seems you have neglected to read Frankie's file."
"Excuse me?" Bimbo Mcgee asked.
"I'm Mrs. Cullen," I enunciated shooting my thumb into Edward chest. "He is Mr. Cullen. We are Frankie's guardians, not her parents. I'm her sister and you have caused unnecessary arguments in our household."
"Bella," Edward soothed grabbing my hand.
"No, seriously, we're the ones that have to deal with the whole you're not my mom or dad tirades, not you. I'm the one that has to lay with her when she cries sometimes a night for not belonging. My six year old has to deal with being resented for having parents… Do you get where I'm going with this Miss Mallory?"
"I…I wasn't aware…"
"I don't understand why? Her paperwork is pretty clear of what her family life is like. When we moved here from Washington this school was pretty adamant about us filling out detailed paperwork. Now for all that time we obviously wasted could you tell me why I did so. I'm curious to know."
"Bella," Edward tried again.
"I'm sorry…" she stammered.
I huffed because her being a moron was already done. Not only did Frankie have to be reminded that her parents were dead, but I was reminded all over again I didn't have Mom around.
I didn't get to share my wedding with her, sure, I had Esme and Sue fussing over me but it wasn't the same. She wasn't there to meet Addie for the first time; this baby wouldn't have the opportunity either.
I wiped the angry tears from my eyes. Fucking hormones.
"Go out in the hall, love," Edward whispered in my ear before kissing my temple.
He helped me out of the obnoxious kid desk my stomach almost couldn't fit into. Once I finally stood Edward touched the baby bump he was absolutely obsessed with and nodded for me to leave. Frankie was sitting outside in the hall in a little plastic chair. Her head snapped up, eyes meeting mine.
"Did she kick you out?" she sighed.
"No," I grumbled sitting down next to her.
"Are you crying?" she asked as her eyes widened.
She stood from her chair standing to move in between my legs. She grabbed my face in her small hands inspecting me.
"Was she a bitch to you?"
"Ugh… don't let Edward hear that word come out of your mouth, he'd kick my ass," I groaned shaking my head.
"He wouldn't do that he loves you," she said matter-of-factly.
"How old are you again?"
"Ten," she grinned.
I brushed her long brown hair over her shoulder. Sadly, she was already like my carbon copy. Her looks and personality spoke for themselves. I wondered if mom were living if Frankie would have still been like this.
"Why were you crying?"
"The baby made me do it."
"The baby does that a lot," she said poking my stomach with a laugh. "Where is Edward?"
"You're so full of questions," I said poking her back.
"She's going to make him stupid," Frankie said.
At that moment, Edward came out of the classroom. Did I mention he was always the favorite parent of parent-teacher conferences?
"You're not crying, so that's a good thing," Frankie said causing me to glare at her.
Edward leaned down and let her climb on his back like she was a freaking monkey or something. Some might think it was ridiculous to have a ten year old hanging off you like that, but she was still small, hell Addie was almost as big as her. I'm pretty sure my Adeleine was going to take after the Cullen's with their supermodel height. God knew Emmett's boys were built like linebackers and they were only four.
"So what's the deal? You work your panty dropping charm?" I inquired.
He gave me look telling me to behave with Frankie in the car. "Miss Mallory came to an agreement that Frankie will do the assignment, but she doesn't have to do the presentation."
I turned to look back at her, "Sound good?"
"I don't have a choice, right?" she said looking at Edward through the mirror.
"Not really," he replied. "I will help you with your project."
"Which in Edward speak means he'll do it for you," I announced.
"That isn't what that means," he defended.
"That is exactly what that means," I laughed.
We stopped at the babysitters on the way home to pick up Addie. She ran to me as soon as she saw me, wrapping her arms around me or at least as much as she could around me. Edward's brow furrowed as he watched us from the car. I knew he was worried about her when she acted like this.
"What's the matter, baby cakes?" I asked her.
"I missed you, Mommy," she mumbled against my stomach.
"Was she good for you?" I questioned Bree.
"She cried a little when you guys left, but that only lasted for ten minutes," she smiled sadly.
I tipped Addie's chin up her green eyes were on the verge of tears.
"Why did you cry, toots?"
"I thought you left me for good," she whispered looking up at me.
"I'll never leave you, Adeleine and neither will Daddy, understand me?"
"But Frankie's mommy and daddy left," she argued. "She told me and she said Uncle Em's daddy left him too."
Frankie would talk to Emmett on the phone a lot when I would call home to harass him or Rose. They kind of shared that loss of growing up without a parent. Addie knew Frankie was my sister and not hers she understood it. We never really got into specifics just that Nana Renee and Grandpa Phil were in heaven. Apparently, I owed Dr. Garrett a call on how to handle this.
"When did she tell you this?"
"Last night, before Daddy read me my princess story," she said. "She told me you can leave."
"Well I'm not, so get that out of your head," I said squeezing her close.
Yeah I probably shouldn't promise something like that, but I couldn't take seeing her this sad.
"Have a nice night, Bella," Bree smiled.
"I wish, see you tomorrow."
I helped Addie into her booster seat glaring at Frankie.
"Hey, since you like to talk so much, we're going to have a talk when we get home," I said enthusiastically causing Franks to cringe at my tone.
"I'll tell her Alice, see you soon," Edward said into his phone before hitting end. "Everything okay?" he asked nodding to Addie.
"Just peachy," I said, he got code.
Peachy meant we had to talk. Parent talk without the kiddies around.
"You were talking to Alice?"
"I was," he said with a smile.
That smile made me swoon I just had to touch his face. So I did, stroking is jaw line.
"She wanted to know if we're coming home for Thanksgiving."
"Well the answer is obvious."
"I know, I think she's nervous because this will be Liam's first Cullen family holiday."
Jasper and Alice were able to have a baby via surrogate. Liam was a freaking cutie and part of the reason I was knocked up again. I saw that cute baby and wanted another cute baby for myself since mine was big. Edward of course agreed and here we were ready for baby number two.
Alice was great with him though they had a nanny to help out, but she was a natural. Liam like Addie had snow-white blonde hair. Cullen hair and his father's blue eyes. I didn't think I'd ever seen Jasper happier than the day Liam was born. He called Edward asking questions here or there, which I thought was ridiculous because he seemed to know what to do with two-year-old Frankie. Fatherhood was something that they bonded over. Emmett did the same thing when Riley and Henry were born. Edward was so wise and sagely when it came to diaper knowledge.
Being around the twins though taught me that I was grateful we had girls. Frankie held her own with them, but Addie was also scared shitless of just being in their presence for five minutes. Rose told me they exhausted her, but she wouldn't trade them for anything.
"I think he'll be fine the rest of them have survived," I shrugged.
Edward pulled away from the curb, picking up my hand as he drove the New York streets to our loft. Addie and Frankie were silent. Addie pouting and Frankie doomed for her punishment. Oh, kids.
When we got home, Addie was glued to my side not leaving me once. I sat on the couch talking to Charlie and she just sat as best as she could on my lap.
"How are the girls?" Dad asked.
"Oh, you know driving me bonkers," I replied squeezing Addie.
"Payback," he chuckled.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah."
"How are you feeling? Edward taking care of you?"
"Dad he treats me like the freaking Queen of England, the baby's starting to kick harder and I'm pretty sure she's obsessed with my bladder."
"Only a couple more months left."
"Thank God, I just want to meet her."
"We all do," he chuckled.
"How's Sue?" I asked making a kissy noise, causing Addie to giggle.
"Are you two still in newlywed bliss and what not?"
"Bells," he groaned.
"Just asking," I said innocently.
That's when I heard yelling and Edward's calm voice responding to the yeller.
"Dad, I got to go, Frankie is being difficult," I sighed.
"Okay, love you, kid."
"Love you too, Dad. See you in a couple weeks."
I hung up and leaned back on the couch with Addie in my arms. She huddled closer to me, we listened to Frankie have a one sided argument. From what I gathered, she told him what I wanted to talk to her about and he just genuinely wanted to know what would possess her to say shit like that to our child.
Frankie was defensive as he talked to her. Out of the two of us, Edward was more of the disciplinarian than I was. I had a laid-back approach to parenting, but I didn't stand for any bullshit. Edward was calming though when he reprimanded either one of the girls.
"You're grounded for a week and no iPod," I heard him say making his way downstairs.
"Whatever, Edward," she yelled.
He came in and sat next to me allowing Addie to climb onto his lap. He kissed her head, humming contently.
"That went well," I said dryly.
He ignored me, "Adeleine, your mother and I aren't going anywhere so I don't want you to worry," he murmured kissing her cheek. "Do you understand me?"
She nodded against his neck.
Sometimes there would be yelling and other times there would be hugs and kisses. Kids were unpredictable and I would be lying if I said I didn't love it. I loved Frankie for her brutal honesty and I loved Addie for her innocence. In my gut, I knew I would love this baby for being a spitfire because the way she kicked I knew she was going to be a force. When everything was all said and done I loved my life with Edward and the girls.
A/N: That's all I wrote… I want to say thanks to my beta Dolphin62598 for her help. I want to thank all of you reading for your kind words and opinions. This is truly my favorite story to have written and I'm grateful for those who have chosen to stick with it and not flounce. Now I will be trying to finish up Unconventional and Bella Cullen's Reminiscent Ten Year Reunion. I have an idea for two more stories, but am going to wait until I get the other two done. Writing three stories at once took a lot out of me… Again thanks and love ya all!