Five years later
The blaring alarm clock jerked my mind out of peaceful sleep and I rolled over, into Edward's chest. He groaned and shifted under the sheets, his naked body brushing mine. We always slept nude nowadays. It just felt better that way.
"Bella, get the kids up." He yawned.
"No, I did it last time. You go." I pushed him.
He grumbled into a pillow. After a few silent minutes, I realized that he really wasn't getting up. I huffed and blinked my eyes awake. I nearly fell onto the floor, still tired from being up most of the night.
I grabbed my soft, silk robe from the bed post and tucked it around my body.
It was going to be a hot day. The month of June had been unseasonably stuffy here in Chicago, but it rained last night so I hoped it cooled off a little.
Today, the entire family was going to the wedding of one of Edward's cousins, John. The entire family. There would be a lot of Italian people crammed onto the luscious back lawn of the country club, and of course there was going to be drama. I could feel it in my bones.
But before I could even begin to think about the wedding, I had to get the kids up, which was a chore in itself.
I walked up the stairs to the third floor and knocked on the first door.
"Come in," Roman's voice said loud and clear.
I peeked my head in. "Just coming to see if you were awake."
"Of course." His ten-year old self stood in front of the mirror, and he fixed his tie. His shoes were shined and his shirt was neatly pressed.
He looked more like Edward every day. I could always count on him to be the most prepared of all my children. His grades were exceptional, his room was always pristine, his goals were always set, and it scared me sometimes how smart he was. He retained facts and could spit them out during any conversation. On top of all that, Roman was likable. His smile was blinding and he had a draw to him that made people just feel relaxed. I couldn't explain it.
Esme warned me that Edward was the same way, so I should watch out as Roman got older.
"Do I look okay?" He turned around and tried to fix his hair. It was just as unruly as Edward's as well, but with my dark coloring.
"You look so handsome. Just like your father."
"Really?" His green eyes shined. "I think so too."
I laughed at his youthful energy. "Why don't you go downstairs and help Katy Nana with breakfast?"
"Okay, Mom. I will in a little bit." He went over to his bed, preparing to make it up.
Everything in his room had to be just right, not a book or pencil out of place. It worried me out motivated Roman was at some times. I felt like he was growing up way too fast. But Edward encouraged his independence. I just hoped that Roman would just take a little time to be a kid. He was only ten, after all.
I shut the door and left him to his morning routine before crossing the hall to Sophia's room. It was painted in light pastel colors of nothing in particular, but the walls were covered in posters. She was sprawled out in bed, her hair falling out of the ponytail she slept in.
I shook her body. "Sophia, it's time to get up."
"Sophia, we have to get to the wedding on time."
"But I don't wanna go," her sweet voice whined. "Please don't make me go."
"But we bought you that cute blue dress and your new shoes. Don't you want to wear them?"
She sighed dramatically, "I suppose."
Sophia was the little drama queen of the family, quite the actress. She enjoyed being the center of attention, but we made sure she wasn't spoiled. That was the one thing I couldn't tolerate. She realized that value of handwork and made rather good grades like her brother. Sophia enjoyed dressing up and shopping and dancing, nothing like me at her age, but she had a sense of humor that knocked me on my ass sometimes. The things her vivid mind came up with could only come from her.
"I'll be back in ten minutes. Be up and have your teeth brushed," I warned.
"Okay!" She pulled the covers over her face.
Next on my list was Santino. He was a six year old tornado of destruction. Like me, he was uncoordinated and clumsy, which did not bode well for his adventurous spirit. He would get into everything and we had to watch him like hawks.
His room was a mess, clothes everywhere, and I tripped over three toy cars on my way to his bed. He was going to be cleaning this place up when we got home. I didn't realize how bad it was.
Santino looked nothing like my other children, nor did he look like Edward or me. He had dirty blonde hair that lightened in the sun and his eyes were clear blue. He was Carlilse's clone down to the bone structure and attitude. They even walked similarly. Of course, those two were best beds and Carlisle encouraged Santino's mischievous ways. He thought it was cute. I begged to differ. I was always worried about him.
He climbed a tall tree in the back yard last week and fell, so his arm was currently in a cast. He thought that meant he didn't have to attend the wedding, but I assured him that wasn't the case.
"Santino, wake up!" I had to be forceful with him or he would sleep the whole day. I ripped the covers from his body.
He rolled away from me and pretended not to hear me.
"I'll send your dad in here," I threatened him.
"Okay, okay." He dragged himself to the bathroom.
I went to his closet and picked out his small custom Armani suit. I laid it on his bed. "I'll be back to help you after I get everyone else ready, sweetheart."
I continued down the hall where my next little girl was sleeping peacefully.
Milania was four and the sweetest child I could have hoped for. She never fussed and rarely cried, even as a baby. She would cling to me like her life depended on it and had us all wrapped around her tiny fingers.
She looked like a cherub in bed with her small mouth opened and eyelids flickering, dreaming of ponies or candy or rainbows. I'm sure that's what she dreamed about because that's all she talked about. Her hair was a soft color like Edward's but a lot curlier, like mine.
"Baby, it's time to get up." I kissed her cheek.
"Mama?" Her hands grabbed for me. I lifted her out of bed and placed her on my hip. "We can go to the wedding today?"
"Yes, and you can wear your princess dress."
"Okay." She yawned. It took her longer to wake up than the rest of them, so I carried her around with me.
"You can help me wake up the boys," I whispered to her.
She nodded her head in the crook of my neck.
Giovanni and Dante, my other set of twins and my youngest, had just turned two. Like Roman and Sophia, they were connected in a way that I would never understand. It was strange because they fought like they hated each other, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. We tried to separate them; they refused to be far away from each other. They even slept in the same bed.
"Boys, time to get up." I turned on the lights in their large room. It was filled with all kinds of toys and areas to play. They liked to roll around on the floor so they needed space.
"Mrs. Bella, I can handle the twins." Carmela appeared out of nowhere and rushed towards the crib. "You go get ready."
"Are you sure? I don't mind feeding and changing them first."
"No, no. It's fine. I can do it all."
"Thank you." I hugged her and rushed out of the room. We were already running late.
On my way down the stairs, I heard Edward trying to rip Santino out of bed, and they were fighting loudly. I didn't even want to deal with that. I grabbed Milania's dress from her room. She could get ready with me.
"Are you up, baby?" I asked, setting her on the bed.
"I'm hungry, Mommy."
"You can have your yogurt after you get dressed." That probably wasn't the best of ideas, but it would take longer for us to get ready if she ate first.
I took my shower last night, so that I didn't even have to worry about it this morning. I chose a bright yellow dress out of the closet and a pair of bright red pumps that would match the then red belt of the outfit.
"That's pretty, Mommy."
"Thank you, Milania."
"I want to wear shoes like yours." She crawled over the blankets and pillows until she reached the footboard.
"You would break your poor ankles. You can't wear these yet."
"When can I?"
"When you're older."
"That's your answer for everything." She looked at me disapprovingly.
"You have more growing to do," I said simply.
"I hate early mornings." Edward came into the room, his hair disheveled and his face red.
"You don't have to get them up for school. This is what I go through every day," I said, zipping up my dress.
"Papa!" Milania shouted, holding up her arms.
"Bambina, you look wide eyed and beautiful this morning." He scooped her off of the bed.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and they lost themselves in their own little world. It warmed my heart so much to see Edward this way. He reserved his warm and fuzzy side for the kids, but no one would know that from his exterior.
They chatted on the bed in rapid Italian and Milania made sure to fill her father in on her dreams. Edward seemed genuinely interested. He kept her distracted while I did her hair and slipped on her dress. It was quick and easy work, which was unusual for her.
An hour later, we were all downstairs; Edward, myself, and our six kids.
Alice and Jasper were still childless, by choice. They just weren't ready, as they told us every time we hounded them for details. Alec and Jane were, likewise, childless. Although, I thought they were in the process. They were very secretive about things, though, so we didn't really know what was going on there.
"Mama, why can't I be the flower girl?" Milania asked, slowly and delicately bring a spoon full of yogurt to her mouth.
"Because you were already a flower girl last year, remember?" Edward said to her.
"And you said I did a good job."
"You did, sweetheart, but they just didn't want the same one," I explained.
She seemed to understand, going back to her breakfast.
I continued to slowly feed Giovani and Dante small pieces of fruit. They were still in their precious little pajamas since they weren't going to the wedding.
"Santino, leave Francis alone," I shouted at my son, who was poking our dog on the floor.
"He doesn't do anything anymore. Make him play with me," he whined.
Francis huffed, his fat cheeks puffing up with air.
"He's a million years old. It's only a matter of days before he drops dead," Edward said unemotionally, typing on his phone.
I hit him in the arm for being so insensitive.
"What's wrong with Fanny?" Sophia asked.
"Nothing, sweetheart. He's just sleepy. Leave him alone, Santino."
"Fine. I'll go play with Bosco." He pouted and walked away from the table, his toast only half finished.
"Do you have the wedding gifts?" I asked Edward as we packed up the kids into the car. It was a giant production to go anywhere nowadays. Diaper bags and car seats and bottles. We needed to start getting ready at least half an hour early to do anything.
"Yup." He patted the front pocket of his navy blue suit.
I stood back to look at him just a second. He was leaning over to buckle in Milania and as smooth as ever. I swear the Cullen men didn't seem to age. Edward was still the same man he was ten years ago, just a little wiser and more calm. His body was rock solid. His hair was still lustrous and his voice still sent tingles all over my skin.
I don't know how he did it because some days I wanted to just rip my hair out, but he was always my steady rock. No matter what the situation, he had a solution and plan to execute.
"Stop staring at my ass." Edward shut the door of the car with the ends of his lips pulled up slightly.
"I wasn't," I said too quickly.
He took my hand and pulled me towards him. "Mrs. Cullen, you're a terrible liar."
"I can't help it. You're so damn sexy." I blushed.
"You're still hot over me?"
His head bent down until his lips met mine. Our hands started to roam and I trailed my nails over his hard chest and pulled at his shirt, hoping that I didn't mess it up too badly.
A throat cleared and I broke away from Edward to see Roman glaring at us, his window rolled down.
"What?" Edward said rather harshly.
"I don't want to rush anybody, but we're already ten minutes late."
"Later," I promised my husband with a final soft kiss and ran around to my side of the car.
We were off and racing towards the country club. I kept the kids from killing each other in the back on our way. Roman and Santino were especially feisty today. Those two were just total opposites in every way, and it proved to be quite challenging having them in close vicinities. They didn't get along too well, but Carlisle said that Edward and Emmett were the same growing up.
We pulled up to the venue and a valet took Edward's keys.
"You're going to behave yourself?" Edward asked Santino, fixing his tie.
"Yes, Dad." He rolled his eyes.
"I mean it. If you do anything to fuck this up, I'll send you to military school."
"Edward, don't say things like that," I whispered to him.
"Well, it's true." He looked sternly at Santino. If that boy messed up, there would be hell to pay.
Edward had a parenting style that I could only describe as... strange. I thought that as time went on, he would become more accustomed to having kids, but he never really did. On his good days, he could be the most loving and caring father in the world. But on his bad days, the kids knew to stay away. Edward, of course, loved all of our children, but he was incredibly strict and talked to the kids as if they were adults. I had to rein him in on multiple occasions when I felt he went a little too far.
Santino stayed near me as we walked into the country club. Roman and Sophia immediately found some family friends from school and went off to speak with them. The whole wedding was outside so there were tents set up around the lawn and soft lanterns that hung delicately in the sky.
It was cocktail hour and people were milling around the grass, dressed in their finest clothes. This wedding was kind of a big deal and with Edward being the head of the family, he paid for everything. I didn't know his cousin too well, but I had met her a few times and she seemed kind of shocked that Edward was willing to fund her entire wedding, but he assured her it wasn't a big deal. He did it for a lot of family members.
Alice, of course, was in charge of designing the day and making sure the bride felt special.
"Fucking finally!" I heard Rosalie's voice as we entered one of the tents with a bar.
I don't think I would ever get she or Edward to keep their language in check around the children.
"Hi, sweetheart." Rose stole Milania from my arms and swung her around. They both giggled and smiled at each other.
"You look so pretty," Milania told her.
"So do you. I love your dress."
"Mama, just bought it for me. She says I look like a princess."
"Of course you do."
"Mama, I'm going to go see Grandma." Milania squirmed out of Rose's arms.
"Okay, but don't get your dress dirty."
I saw Carlisle and Esme nearly beam until their cheeks burst as Milania ran towards them from across the tent. I knew they would occupy her for the rest of the night.
"Santino, go find your Uncle Jasper. He has a present for you," Rosalie said, ruffling up his hair.
"Really? What is it?"
"I can't tell you. That's why it's called a present."
Santino took off and disappeared into the crowd of people.
Now that the kids were all taken care of Rose let loose. She turned on me with her hands on her hips. "I've been waiting her for over an hour. What the hell took you guys so long?"
"We have kids. It takes a long time to do anything."
"Don't lecture me." Her still perfectly beautiful face scrunched up in anger. "I have kids too, but I can still be on time. I had no one to talk to since Alice is running around with her head cut off."
She and Emmett had two kids now. Both adopted, but they couldn't be happier. I just don't think it was in Rosalie's cards to get pregnant. It took her a long time to handle that fact, but she was okay with it now.
"Does it always have to be about you?" Edward sighed, taking a sip of some amber liquid, which miraculously appeared in his hand. He also brought one for me, which I took without question.
"I like talking about myself, so shoot me," she replied.
"If you weren't married to my brother, I would. Believe me."
"Okay, okay." I broke them up. "Rose, let's go sit down."
I squinted my eyes at Edward as we walked away. Those two still hated each other. If either of them had the maturity to let their decade-long feud go, it was Edward, but he wasn't doing a very good job at the moment. He promised me he would at least try. That was all I could ask for.
It felt nice to just sit back and talk to Rosalie without children around. I always kept tabs on them under the tent, but relaxed a little.
"This wedding is going to be shit," she complained to me, picking up a cloth napkin and inspecting it.
"Why are you always so negative?"
"Someone has to be." She shrugged.
"You've only gotten worse with age." I took a sip of my drink.
After another half an hour, we were joined by Jasper and Emmett. Alice was busy with the bride inside, so I doubted I would be seeing her tonight. Alec and Jane weren't even attending the wedding because they were on one of their romantic getaways. They would take off without warning and wouldn't return sometimes for a month.
I looked around the tents and saw a lot of our family; aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, and nephews. I loved it when we Cullens were together like this.
Of course, there always had to be something to get us off track.
I spotted two men in suits and sunglasses on the other side of the lawn. They looked incredibly out of place.
I sighed to myself, taking a large sip of my drink.
"What is it?" Edward whispered.
"Probably nothing." I didn't want to draw any attention to something that might just be my paranoia.
I didn't expect Edward to give up his life in the mob completely, but he had to take it slow. He had kids now and I needed him around for a couple more decades. But to give Edward credit, he had been dealing in more... legitimate areas of business in the past few years.
"Who the hell is that?" Jasper craned his neck trying to take a look at the two men I had spotted seconds before. They looked rather hostile and obviously not here for the wedding.
Edward did not seem pleased and I felt his body stiffen. I rubbed my hand across his back, letting him know to calm down. He knew there was trouble ahead, but I prayed he wouldn't do anything too drastic.
"Remember that there are kids around." I whispered to him.
He would never do anything if our children were in jeopardy. At some point, we would tell them what their father did, but they knew he wasn't just another ordinary man. We never hid our life from them, but did everything we could to protect them.
"I'll just be a second." Edward kissed my temple and then got up from the seat, fixing his navy blue suit jacket. Emmett and Jasper both followed him across the lawn.
"Where's Daddy going?" Milania ran over to me. "I want to show him something."
"He'll be back soon." I smoothed out the hair falling into her face.
"Is everything okay?" She asked, her voice so sweet and innocent.
"Come on, let's get ready for the wedding," Rose said, getting up and taking her hand.
I quickly found the rest of my kids and got to our assigned seats right up front. I needed them close; although, Santino protested about having to sit next to me instead of his grandparents, but he quieted down when he saw the unwavering look on my face. I left a seat on the end of our row open for Edward.
The wedding area was beautiful. Decorated all in white with ribbons and bright green flowers.
"Where's Dad?" Roman asked while we got situated.
"He's busy, sweetheart."
Roman's face told me that he wanted to ask more questions, but he didn't.
Edward returned just as the ceremony was beginning. The bride looked beautiful in her white dress and she walked down the aisle with her father on her arm.
As we sat down, I looked Edward over. He was trying to hide his hands from me.
"What happened?" I whispered to him during the ceremony.
"Nothing. Pay attention."
"Edward, don't lie to me." I unfolded his hands so that I could see them. His knuckles were raw and bloodied. The skin was peeling away and he tried to pull away.
"Don't make a big deal out of this."
I mumbled to myself and picked up my purse, pulling out a disinfecting wipe, "You're lucky I didn't bring my needle and thread. I would stitch your fucking knuckles up right here."
Edward pulled his hands away and slung his arm behind my chair, pulling me close. "Stop obsessing over things you can't change."
"I don't know. Whatever has you pissed," he whispered into my ear. "Just think happy things. We're at a wedding, with our family. Do you remember our wedding?"
"Stop trying to distract me. I'm still mad."
He held a firm grasp onto my shoulder. "Do you remember our wedding?"
I sighed, "Yes. Of course."
"Tell me what you remember?"
"You were nervous as hell," I laughed quietly.
"I was not."
"You might not have looked it, but I could tell. I know you too well."
"You certainly do, Mrs. Cullen." He kissed the side of my head.
The first time I laid eyes on Edward, I was eighteen years old. That was so long ago, but our love only grew stronger. I couldn't see him not being in my life. It just didn't make any sense to me. I could never conceive that thought. We had been through so much together and I would always love him.
Of course, all those years together weren't easy. Hell no. With six kids, and I was sure there would be at least one more before it was all said and done, it was hard.
There were times that I wanted to kill Edward, chop him up, and then bury him in the backyard. We sometimes fought like we hated each other, but that was us. That was Edward and Bella. Stubborn. Aggressive. Loud. Sometimes unreasonable. But always in love.
And that's how it would always be.
HOLY ENDING BATMAN
I know it's been months, but with the end of school and everything going on I just didn't have time to write. Sorry to keep everyone hanging.
So, we have come to the end. The very end. At first, I was going to have two more epis, but it just didn't work out how I planned. I wanted to stretch it out for you guys, but it was a failed attempt. I tried.
Bella and Edward's love story is complete.
Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck through the series from chapter 1 of TWBB. Can you even remember that far back. It's been about two years now. Can't believe you guys stayed with me that long. All the reviews and favorites and debates and kind words, thank you for it all. I write for passionate readers. I hope you all feel satisfied from the ending.
From the bottom of my heart, thanks to Jeny who is the best beta out there. She's absolutely amazing and this story wouldn't be around without her.
I also have a new story, which just stated. Go check out "The Affair" if you want something else to read.
I will be hitting the complete button now...