"Hey guys!" I said as Sam and I walked outside.
"Hey Sis." Paul said as I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Hey Bella!" everyone else replied except for Seth and Emily who were talking. I tossed Sam the keys and ran over to Seth. I jumped on his back and let out a laugh.
"Hey you." I smiled and kissed his cheek. "Hey Emily." I smiled.
She gave us a grin, said hello and made her way back to Paul.
"So you riding with me today?" I questioned as he walked us to the cars.
"If you want me to." He smiled.
"Of course I do!" I said happily.
"So where are we going exactly Bella?" Kim asked.
"Well, we are going to meet some new people…well new to you, not to me."
Everyone gave a little chuckle. "We can trade stories when we get there. Let's hit the road!" I said and kicked Seth lightly like I was on a horse.
Seth let out a chuckle but shook his head. "What are we going to do with you Bells…?"
"Walk me to the car. Duh Seth." I joked and kissed him as he let me down.
Within minutes we were on the road and driving to see Bex. I was really excited. I couldn't wait to see their new house and how Bex would like it. I was also excited for everyone to meet this great family. They were truly amazing and a part of my life no one really knew about.
As I sang along to the radio, I noticed Sam stealing glances at me.
"What?" I questioned with a smile.
"Nothing." He smirked.
"Oh no. You don't get to play that game. I had to deal with playing this game of 'admit the truth' all morning, it's your turn bud." I said pointedly.
He rolled his eyes and looked at me. "I was just thinking about you. Is that so bad?"
I narrowed my eyes at him. "It depends. What exactly were you thinking?"
He rolled his eyes and let out a sigh as I waited patiently.
"Hey, payback is a bitch." I said flatly. He gave me another quick glance and finally admitted what was on his mind.
"I was just thinking about how beautiful you looked today and that you have a really good singing voice. I never knew you could sing."
I let out a laugh. "That's because I don't have a good voice. Maybe you were hearing Seth or Kim and Jared back there, but it definitely wasn't me. And as for the compliment, thank you." I smiled.
"You're welcome, but it's your voice I heard, Not the backseat mutts."
"And human!" Kim added. Sam and I both let out a laugh and then turned back to each other.
"Well thank you. Again." I said, knowing I wouldn't win this conversation. Sam nodded and turned back to the road.
A few minutes later we were practically there and I was bouncing with excitement.
"So are you going to tell us about these people?" Seth questioned with a little bit of edge in his voice.
I turned my body and looked at him. "Are you jealous? You sound jealous." I said.
"No." Seth said quickly.
"Seth, your jealous!" I said with a small laugh. "Don't be jealous Seth. They are just some people I know. Don't worry, no one will replace you. Ever." I said seriously.
Sam cleared his throat and I rolled my eyes. "Or you Romeo." I said.
Everyone in the car laughed and just as we pulled up the address I unbuckled the seatbelt and ran out of the car.
Bex, who was playing in the front yard with her dolls looked up and ran for me.
"Belly!" she squealed.
"Bex!" I yelled and picked her up. After twirling her around in the air she hugged me tight.
"I missed you." She whispered.
"I missed you too."
"Bella!" Lila said.
"Hey Lila, Carter." I said. Bex tapped me on the shoulder and then pointed to the people behind me.
"Oh!" I said with a laugh. I turned around and began to introduce the guys.
"Lila, Carter, Bex. These are the guys. Guys, this is Lila, her husband Carter, and their kid Bex."
They all shook hands and met with out a problem.
"Hi." Bex said shyly to Seth.
"Hey Bex. Im Seth." He said and shook her tiny hand. I looked between them and then suddenly got it. Sam could tell what I was thinking and decided to help my situation.
"Well guys, how about you help these people get started. Seth, you want to take Bex for a while?"
"Sure." He said as nonchalantly as possible. Bex opened her arms for him and he immediately reached for her. As everyone got to work, Sam wrapped his arms around me and waited for me to say something. When I didn't, he took the initiative.
"You ok?" he questioned.
"Yeah." I said with a confused breath. "I don't know whether to be happy or strangely protective."
"Of Seth or Bex?" he asked.
For a moment, I didn't know. "Both." I concluded.
Sam kissed my cheek and entwined our hands. "They are both in good hands. Don't let it get to you ok?"
I nodded and a few seconds later we got to work.
By the end of the night, mostly everything was done. We all sat down in their family room and just talked. Bex laid in my lap, playing with the buttons on my shirt and listening to the conversation.
"So how did you all meet?" Carter asked referring to me and the pack.
"Long story or short?" I questioned with a laugh.
"Short." "Long." Were all the responses; I let out a laugh and picked my own version.
"Ok, well it all started when I found out Paul was my brother. I ended up finding a note in my mom's closet saying that we were actually related. So since I was still in touch with Jake, here, I told him that I would be coming out and trying this whole family relationship thing. It actually wasn't so bad. We got along more than I thought we would. We immediately hit it off and I stayed with Paul." I smiled at the thought.
"I ended up becoming best friends with Seth and just spending time with all these guys here." I said rolling my eyes. They all laughed and waited for me to continue.
"Later on, I applied to colleges and got accepted to UCLA and Columbia. So I left for college and then you know that story." I said referring to meeting Bex and then Carter and Lila.
They nodded and I continued. "Well I ended up getting a jobs back in Forks and then reunited with these muscle men…and girls." I laughed.
Everyone laughed, but I knew the pack felt a little awkward. I left out all the parts of their change and the exclusion, and how everyone took everything. There was just too much drama to explain.
"So how did you two meet?" Lila asked referring to Sam and me.
I bit my lip and looked at Sam. How would I really explain that?
"Well, Bella and I actually met the day that she was leaving for college. I think it was a love at first sight thing, but she might argue differently." He smirked. I tried my hardest to hide my blush, but with everyone's laughter, I knew I didn't get away with it.
"Then, we met up about 6 years later when she was teaching a class that Collin and Brady took. From then on we hit it off and here we are." He smiled cheekily.
I nodded to him as a silent thank you. "So Bella, was it love at first sight?" Lila questioned teasingly.
"That's for me to know and everyone else…not to." I laughed.
"So, how did you all meet?" Paul asked, pointing at Bex, Lila, Carter and me.
"Um…well…" I said biting my lip.
"Well, I don't really know how it started from Bella's point of view but I would be happy to tell mine." Lila replied.
I nodded and felt my heart start to pound.
"Well Carter and I had a hard time getting pregnant so we were looking at adoption. We found Bella here, with little Bex, and we just immediately loved her. She was such a kind sweet little girl and we just knew she would be a great part of our family." Lila smiled over at Bex.
Bex smiled but continued to cuddle into me. I felt a tad awkward sharing this story. For some reason, it just didn't occur to me that this story would be brought up.
"So we filed for adoption to Bex and she became ours. Both Carter and I knew how close she became with Bella since she was living with her for a while, so we both decided that it was important for Bella to continually visit Bex. It was like we were adopting two girls for the price of one. It was a true gift." She smiled.
"Plus, Bella's company was always appreciated since Bex was like the energizer bunny when she was real little." Carter supplied. Everyone let out a little laugh and I gave Bex a little tickle.
"So Bella, what's your side?" Seth asked.
I swallowed and looked at all the guys. I didn't like the feeling of being put on the spot, but I knew Seth didn't mean it. I think he was just trying to get to know Bex's life a little more since she was his imprint.
"Well, I guess it all started when I was living with Phil in the summer. Phil had to go to the hospital for a baseball injury and while I was waiting for him outside his room, I found Bex. She was being treated for some minor cuts and bruises while being in foster care. So I just immediately talked with some people and convinced them to let me take her home. She stayed with me for a while and we had an instant bond. Bex had this amazing smile and had a ton of ambition and passion."
I bit my lip and looked at Carter and Lila. I didn't really know if they wanted me to tell everyone this. They both just nodded at me, waiting for my story to continue. I looked down at Bex and found her fighting sleep.
Running a hand through her hair, I watched as her eyes fluttered closed.
"Towards the end of the summer, I put in an application to try and adopt her, but the system said it was unlikely they would accept my request. I was young, I didn't have much of a family structure and even though Phil made a lot of money, it just wouldn't be good enough, especially because he moved around a lot."
"So, I had to let her go." I swallowed hard, trying to push away that moment. "I learned that they found a better home for her, with a stable family."
"Of course, before I could let Bex go, I checked out the family and made sure she was in good hands, which she was." I smiled.
"And then I let Bex go. And she's been living happily ever after since."
"With your company too Bella." Carter added. I smiled and nodded.
I carried Bex up to her new room and tucked her in bed.
"Thank you Bella, I know that must have been hard on you."
"It's fine." I said watching Bex sleep. "It was for the best and I'm glad she's such in good hands."
We walked back downstairs and said our goodbyes. When Sam began driving us home, he grabbed my hand and kissed it. I smiled up at him and then turned back to the window.
I wasn't exactly sad, but that moment where Bex left me, it tore part of my heart. I lost a piece of myself whether I would like to admit it or not.
We all said our goodbye as we dropped everyone off and went back to our normal routine.
"Thanks for coming guys." I said with a smile.
"Anytime Bella, they seem like really cool people."
"Yea, they are." I smiled.
Seth came up to me and gave me a hug. "Bella…i…"
"It's ok Seth. I figured it out pretty fast. I'm not mad, and I know you won't hurt her, but for my own reassurance, if you hurt her, there will be hell to pay."
He let out a little laugh and brought me into a hug. "I know, I would never."
"Good, now get out of here." I laughed and walked over to Sam.
Sam brought his arm around my shoulder and tugged our bodies close.
"You ok?" he asked as we walked inside his house.
I looked all around and then stared up at him.
"I am now." I whispered and then brought his lips down to mine.