Chapter 21 – Packing on Up and Moving on Out – EPOV
Bella ended up signing with Twicon records the next week. We immediately started looking for places in California. We were excited to be moving closer to home. Emmett and Rose decided to move as well. They were currently in Seattle with everything but since Rose had the twins she was staying at home with them and Emmett easily transferred his job.
Alice, on the other hand, was finding it difficult to just pack up and leave. She was in the middle of a huge designer deal and Jasper had just proposed so they were unsure as to what was happening with them.
"Hey Bella come and look at this!"
"What now Edward? You know it is hard enough for me to move around let alone going up and down the stairs every time you find a new place for me to look at with you."
I chuckled and pulled her into my lap, "You're only three months along dear."
She kissed me, "I know. I just like giving you a hard time."
"Okay so what about this one? It has six bedrooms, four and a half baths, a complete basement along with living room, family room, dining room and a gourmet kitchen."
"Wow – how much?"
"Bella would you not worry about price please? We can afford anything. I mean it even has an unfinished room above the garage."
"Good location and school system?"
"Only the best – you know that."
"Put it on the list for us to see then."
"Done – I called the realtor and we are scheduled to see this one and three other similar properties in two weeks."
"Okay. I am going to go back to packing things up. The moving truck comes at the end of the week and we need to have everything that is not a necessity ready to go."
I pulled her back towards me and kissed her lips, "You got it Love."
"I'm going to call Angela really quick to see how she is doing."
"Her mom make any improvements at all yesterday?"
"None. It doesn't look good Babe."
I nodded, "I know Love. But we'll just keep praying that she pulls out of this."
I shut down my laptop and went upstairs to do some packing while Bella made the call. Turns out Angela's mother had taken a turn for the worse and they didn't expect her to make it through the next day.
"Please call me if you need anything Ang. Okay?"
She listened for a minute. She had curled up next to me on the bed.
"No problem. Have Jacob bring him by. We can watch him for you."
She shut her phone and looked up at me, "Jacob should be here soon."
I nodded and pressed my lips to her forehead. It wasn't long after that I had little William in my arms. Jacob looked completely exhausted.
"How you holding up Jake?"
"Been better Edward. We really appreciate you looking after William for us."
"Anything – you know that."
"Well I'd better get back. I told Angela I wouldn't be gone long."
"Hang in there Jake. Call if you need anything."
"By Edward, thanks again."
I cradled William gently as I walked upstairs and put him in the makeshift bassinet we had put together. I flicked on the baby monitor and went back to packing.
It was only a few hours later that Bella got the phone call we didn't want.
"It's okay Jake. I'll be there as soon as I can. Hang in there."
She shut her phone and looked up at me with tears in her eyes. I gathered her in my arms as she quietly cried on my shoulder.
"She was such a good person Edward. I'm sorry you didn't get to know her for very long."
"How is Angela doing?"
"She's about to break down. Jake says she needs me right now."
"You just go. I will bring the kids in a little while."
"I love you so much."
"I love you too Bella."
I watched her run out of the house in a fury. She texted me a few hours later and told me it was okay to bring Emily and William to the hospital.
The next few days were spent making arrangements and going to the funeral. It was small but very intimate. Angela was a wreck. Her and Jake were crashing at our place for now. It was nice because it gave Jake and I a chance to work on some things about their apartment.
"I just don't think we have anything holding us here anymore. Maybe we should move to California with you guys? What do you think?"
"Well I know with Angela being Bella's manager it would be the best thing if they lived in the same state. What about your job?"
"I can find another one. In fact I would like to start coaching and I miss the sunshine and heat."
"Well then it is settled. Don't worry about finding a place right now though, okay? We have a moving truck coming day after tomorrow and we can get some of your things packed up for that. Then you guys can just move into here for the next week before we fly out to check out houses."
"Wow, really? You guys would do all that for us?"
"You know we would. Why don't we take the kids and get started? I think Bella and Ang are asleep in the master bedroom anyway."
"Edward you are such a good friend."
I smiled and patted his shoulder, "What can I say Jake? It's just what friends do."
Two weeks later we were all moved in to our new house in Stinson Beach. We changed some of our priorities when Jake and Angela decided to move with us, so we opted for the ten bedroom, seven bath, three story beauty. There were two complete master bedrooms on opposite ends of the house and it was just perfect for us.
Bella was growing quickly now that she was four months pregnant. We were still unsure about the sex but Bella said it was going to be another girl – honestly I couldn't care less. I was happy that I was there for her for everything this time around.
"Are you ready for tomorrow?"
"I'm not sure. I just want to play my best – this is a big deal and all. I know Alec has a lot of faith in me, but this is another big step for my career."
"Don't worry Bella. The investors will love you. Alec has only told them the good things and that's all there is to tell anyway."
She wrapped her arms around me, "I love you Edward."
The next morning we were al off to Bella's audition of sorts. She had her contract and had been recording tracks for an album but she needed sponsors and since she was new to the business they all wanted to hear her perform before they put their money behind her. It was a very important day for her.
"Bella – good you're here. Okay they are all in there waiting for you. You just be yourself and everything will be fine."
I laughed at Alec. He was seriously sweating bullets.
"It's okay Alec. I've got this. I'm playing Invisible."
"All right, well you ready then?"
Bella patted her guitar that was on her hip, "Sure am."
I walked in next to her, holding her hand. There were only ten men and women all dressed in business attire. Bella quickly introduced herself, letting me hold her guitar as she made her way around the room. She was polite and friendly and even made two laugh.
"Well the song I'm sharing with you today is very near and dear to my heart. I wrote it back when I was in high school but never sang it until three years later. It was the night that Edward was introduced back into my life."
She turned and winked at me as she closed her eyes and began playing. She hit the nail on the head with this song. She played it with so much passion and meaning in her voice. She eventually turned towards me and sang the last verse looking straight into my eyes.
I just wanna show you she don't even know you
Baby let me love you, let me want you
You just see right through me
But if you only knew me
We could be a beautiful miracle, unbelievable
Instead of just invisible
She can't see the way your eyes
Light up when you smile...
She blinked then wiped away a tear quickly as she set her guitar down next to her. She smiled at me, then to Alec as the first person began talking.
"Bella that was simply incredible. You wrote that?"
She nodded, "At the time Edward and I were only friends. I wanted him to see me for who I was – more than a friend – but he didn't get the hint."
"So then how did you two end up together?"
"Now that I can tell you," I said firmly.
Everyone turned to look at me, interested.
"In high school, needless to say, I was an idiot. I had the perfect person in front of me the entire time and I never truly respected her. I used her and then threw her away when I got new friends. Those friends destroyed my relationship with my best friend and family and I did nothing to stop them. Everything came to a breaking point the night of our high school graduation. Bella was already in Vermont and I was miserable. I let her walk out of my life and did nothing to stop her. I ended up in the hospital and it took two years of rehab and physical therapy to get my life back together. Another year later I enrolled at Dartmouth, hoping to get her back – to prove how much I loved her all along."
Bella cut me off, "I performed that song for the first time that night and he was there. I ended up in the hospital after a panic attack and he never left my side. We have been together ever since."
"Wow. So you both have been through quite a bit together."
"Together and apart," Bella murmured.
"Well I love everything about you Bella. The fact that you write all your own music is inspiring and the fact that you sing it with so much conviction is even better. You are exactly the kind of artist I want to sponsor."
I watched Bella's mouth drop open, along with Alec's.
"You're serious? You're going to take a risk on someone who is married, has a six year old daughter and is four months pregnant?"
Everyone just nodded.
"You're going to take the music world by storm Bella and I am personally excited to be apart of it."
"Thank you all so much! This means the world to me and so much more."
It all went uphill from there. Bella started playing in clubs and premiering at some of the "it" parties. When she was a week from her due date, Alec called and informed her that her album, which had just been released, was already number one.
"I just can't believe this Edward. I mean is all this really happening?"
I wrapped my arms around her, "Do you know how much I love you?"
She only nodded as I wiped the tears from her cheeks. I pressed my lips to hers. We fell asleep holding one another that night. I woke up in a cold sweat the next morning, however. I got out of bed and went downstairs into the kitchen. Jacob was already there.
"You okay man?"
I shook my head, "Bad dream."
"Want to talk about it?"
"Just worried about Bella. She is overdue by a week and I know she is miserable."
He clapped his hand on my shoulder, "Don't worry Edward. That little one will make its appearance sooner or later."
I chuckled but froze when I heard the blood-curdling scream that came from upstairs. I bolted up the stairs and into the master bedroom.
"Edward, hurry. The baby is coming."
I grabbed our already packed bags and helped her down the stairs. She was groaning and moaning and squeezing onto my arms with everything she had. Jacob was at the bottom of the steps with Ang.
"Anything we can do?"
"Just take care of Emily and meet us at the hospital as soon as you can."
Bella grabbed onto Angela, "Call Alec for me. I was supposed to do a phone interview this afternoon."
"Don't worry about it Bella. I'll take care of it. You go have that baby."
Bella nodded and reached out for me. I scooped her up into my arms and carried her to the car. I let her lay down in the back seat. I was at the hospital within ten minutes and Bella had our baby girl only twenty minutes after that.
"She's so beautiful Bella."
"Name her Edward."
I looked down at my daughter and only one name came to mind.
"It's perfect," Bella breathed.
Emily came bouncing in with Angela about an hour later.
I handed Lena to Bella and picked up Emily, "Hey there Peanut. You're a big sister now."
She smiled and looked down at her sleeping baby sister, "She's pretty."
"Her name is Lena," Bella said smiling.
Emily stared at her little sister for a while before turning to me.
"Does this mean I am not your little peanut anymore daddy?"
I shook my head, "Absolutely not. You'll always be my peanut."
She smiled and I set her on the bed at Bella's feet. Bella handed Lean to Angela as my phone vibrated in my pocket.
I smiled at I looked at the caller ID.
"Oh my gosh! I can't believe it Edward. She is precious. Jasper and I are on the next flight out. We should be there by tomorrow. Have you told mom and dad yet?"
"I sent them the same picture message I sent you and everyone else."
"Okay. Well I will see everyone soon. Love you big brother."
"Love you too Al."
I flipped through my text messages. Everyone was on their way here. We were going to need a bigger room.
Within the next few hours everyone had made it in to see Bella. Alec couldn't have been happier and he held Lena for a while before having to leave. Emmett and Rosalie were the first family to get there.
"You did good you two!" Emmett said rocking Lena back and forth. "She's the spitting image of you Bella."
My parents were the next ones there and Esme gushed over her new granddaughter. That night I slept beside Bella. Jacob and Angela had taken Emily home along with our family members. A squealing Alice awaked us the next morning.
"She's so precious! You two sure know how to make 'em."
I sat up and rubbed my eyes, "Nice to see you too there sis."
She rolled her eyes, "Oh you know I didn't just fly all the way from New York because you needed me Edward. I am here to see my niece."
Bella sat up next to me as the nurse came in, "Well you are almost ready to be discharged there Mrs. Cullen. Let's see how you're doing here."
She pressed down on Bella's stomach and nodded her head. She left then and we left the hospital an hour later. We pulled into our driveway and I let Bella out with Alice and Jasper first. I parked the car and grabbed the car seat with our sleeping bundle of joy.
The next few months were nothing but hectic. Lena was growing quickly and Bella was gearing up for her first tour. I had become a background guitar player for her since we practiced together anyway. Angela continued to manage and Jacob had taken a hand at being Bella's personal assistant. We were all fitting nicely in our world of music and our three children just fit in right along with us.
Our lives were complete and Bella and I had never been more in love.
*** Ten Years Later BPOV ***
"Emily if you do not hurry up, so help me!"
"Relax mom. I won't let you be late tonight."
She bounced down the stairs in a beautiful, form-fitting, black dress.
"I see Aunt Alice kept her promise about the dress."
She twirled around, "I know isn't it beautiful."
I nodded, "You look beautiful Emily. Now where are your brothers and sisters? And for Christ sakes where is your father?"
She laughed, "I think he is getting the boys ready and Lena was right behind me."
"Here I am mom!"
Lena tromped down the steps in her dress slacks, frilly top and converse sneakers. I had to roll my eyes – she was the spitting image of me when I was her age.
"Love the sneakers Lena," Emily sneered.
Lean just rolled her eyes and flew into my arms, "You look stunning Mommy!"
"Thank you Baby."
"I must agree Love. You do look simply radiant."
I blushed and my heart sped up as Edward came down the stairs, our seven-year-old twins in his arms. Even after more than ten years of marriage, he sure knew how to take my breath away. I pressed my lips to his, then to our boys Aden and Gabriel.
"Well don't you two look dashing?"
They both giggled as Edward set them down. Angela and Jacob came from in the kitchen. William was the spitting image of Jacob now and so was their nine-year-old, Rachel.
We all piled into the limousine and made our way to the awards show. I had a good chance of being named artist of the decade and I was beyond ecstatic. We were greeted by lots of press as we made our way down the red carpet.
My name was being shouted in every direction as the cameras flashed. Edward wrapped his arms around my waist and whispered in my ear, "Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to keep my hands to myself right now?"
I blushed and turned to face him, "Welcome to the struggles that I face every second of every day."
He growled and pressed his lips to mine, "I love you."
"As I love you."
We continued to make our way inside as our family followed us. We were seated just as the awards program started. I was up for several awards tonight but the last one was the one that meant the most to me.
The night dragged on and soon I was taken backstage to prepare for my performance. I was debuting a new single tonight and was nervous as all get out. It symbolized everything that my life was like now and how much family meant to me.
I took a deep breath as I walked on stage. I took my place on the stool that was placed for me and held my guitar closely. The curtains were still closed in front of me as I tried to steady my breathing. Edward came up behind me and kissed my temple.
"You're going to be perfect."
I kissed him quickly as I heard them announce me. The crowd was deafening as the curtains opened.
(Song and Lyrics by Taylor Swift – Mary's Song Oh My My My)
She said, I was seven and you were nine
I looked at you like the stars that shined
In the sky, the pretty lights
And our daddies used to joke about the two of us
Growing up and falling in love and our mamas smiled
And rolled their eyes and said oh my my my
Take me back to the house in the backyard tree
Said you'd beat me up, you were bigger than me
You never did, you never did
Take me back when our world was one block wide
I dared you to kiss me and ran when you tried
Just two kids, you and I...
Oh my my my my
Well, I was sixteen when suddenly
I wasn't that little girl you used to see
But your eyes still shined like pretty lights
And our daddies used to joke about the two of us
They never believed we'd really fall in love
And our mamas smiled and rolled their eyes
And said oh my my my...
Take me back to the creek beds we turned up
Two A.M. riding in your truck and all I need is you next to me
Take me back to the time we had our very first fight
The slamming of doors instead of kissing goodnight
You stayed outside till the morning light
Oh my my my my
A few years had gone and come around
We were sitting at our favorite spot in town
And you looked at me, got down on one knee
Take me back to the time when we walked down the aisle
Our whole town came and our mamas cried
You said I do and I did too
Take me home where we met so many years before
We'll rock our babies on that very front porch
After all this time, you and I
I'll be eighty-seven; you'll be eighty-nine
I'll still look at you like the stars that shine
In the sky, oh my my my...
As the song ended Edward pulled me into his arms and kissed me. I had never heard the crowd so loud before. The curtain closed in front of me and Edward still hadn't released my lips. When we finally pulled apart he leaned his forehead against mine and whispered I love you, over and over.
We made our way backstage with the band and Alec was waiting.
"Smooth move there Edward."
He shrugged, "Sorry I couldn't hold it in anymore."
"Great song Bella. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house."
I smiled, "We should get back to our seats." I was nervous to say the least as the announcers made their way to the stage for the final award.
"And now the moment you've all been waiting for. The final award of the night – artist of the decade. Over the years many greats have won this award and tonight's list of nominees is no exception."
I started breathing heavy. Edward grabbed my hand and Angela grabbed my other. I listened as they named off the nominees, including myself and many other very talented artists. I started to shake.
"And the artist of the decade award goes to…"
"Bella! You've been nominated for artist of the decade!" Angela screamed.
"No way! But I've been an artist for a decade!"
"I know. You are the youngest nominee in the history of this award."
"Gee thanks Ang. Now I feel my chanced dwindling."
She slapped my arm, "Are you kidding me? You had sold more albums than the other five nominees combined! Every new single and album you release goes straight to number one. You have the largest fan base anyone has ever seen!"
I rolled my eyes and continued playing the piano. I had to get my new song perfect.
"Would you stop and listen to me for a moment please?"
"They want you to perform at the awards this year too."
She nodded and smiled at me.
"Wow. That was unexpected."
She sat down next to me, "No matter what happens Bella. You will always have your music."
I glanced at Ang as she whispered those exact words again to me. I closed my eyes and waited.
"… Bella Cullen!"
I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding as Edward wrapped his arms around me.
"I know you would get it Love."
I wiped away the tears as I stood. My four children clung to me in the aisle as I made my way up. I stood behind the microphone and sighed.
"This is beyond words, completely unexpected. I want to thank my friends and family for all their love and support, my manager Angela for never giving up on me, my kids for inspiring me every single day, my band for giving me new ideas and putting up with my crap, Alec for letting me live my dream, everyone at Twicon for letting me do things my way, and most importantly the love of my life, my husband Edward. Without you baby, none of this would have ever happened. I love you. Thank you all so much."
As I put my children to bed that night Edward came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me.
"Do you know how proud of you I am?"
I sighed and nodded. We walked to our bedroom and held one another close.
"I love you so much Bella. You have made all my dreams come true."
I kissed him and wrapped my arms around his neck, "You have no idea."