(A/N): Hey everyone! It's me again :D HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I can't believe it's been a whole year since our Living Royal journey first began :)
For those of you who are not on my Facebook group, I had told them that I would write a very long future-take instead of an entire sequel and they agreed so, here it is! I really hope you like it because I really put my heart and soul into this. No pressure, though :D
Also, Thanks to my amazing Beta RandomatGedz! Love ya!
Anyone who ever says that being in the public eye is a piece of cake is lying through their teeth! I'll admit that there are a lot of amazing perks to being a royal, but sometimes the hardships outweigh anything else.
But I guess I am luckier than most.
I have a loving husband who happens to be handsome as hell.
I have an adorable four year old son, and another little one on the way.
It all comes at a cost, though.
A year after Andrew was born; I found out that I was pregnant again. Edward and I were both over the moon that Andrew would have a little brother or sister.
Our happiness didn't last long, though. When I was just three months pregnant, I miscarried. Edward was devastated, but, of course, being the martyr that he is, he tried to hide it from me as much as he could, so he could help me through it.
In the end, we both helped each other. It was a slow process, but we managed as best we could under the circumstances. At first I found it hard to even get out of bed in the mornings, let alone attend social functions that required my presence.
Edward tried to draw me out of my cocoon as much as he could. He took me to the meadow, with, much more security this time, and to my favourite restaurants. He even disguised himself and bought me a wig and sunglasses so we could go to the movies.
That was the day I broke down.
I'd had too much fun with Edward that at the end of the day I felt guilty, like I was betraying my baby by trying to move on.
When we got back home, I broke down in tears. Edward held me in his arms through it all, even helped me get dressed for bed, while I was still crying, and held me close all night.
After that day, I made a resolute effort to get better, for Edward and Andrew's sakes. They needed me and I needed to get better for myself as well.
But the healing process really began the day I found out I was pregnant again.
Edward and I were fanatics when it came to documenting everything in Andrew's life.
His first words, first steps, first everything.
But isn't that what all proud parents do?
Esme told me that it wears off a little bit after the first baby, but I'm having a hard time believing her. I've seen all the scrapbooks she made of Emmett's baby photos.
"Mama! Look what I drawed!" Andrew ran into the sitting room where I was reading while lounging on the sofa one afternoon.
"Show me, sweetheart." I smiled at him as he handed me the drawing paper. He climbed on the couch next to me and laid his head on my stomach, which had become a little? bump. He said he could hear the baby when he did that. Both Edward and I thought it was freaking adorable.
"It's so beautiful, baby!" I stroked his hair. "Did daddy help you with it?"
"Nope," Edward announced as he walked into the room. "He did it all by himself. He's going to be an artist some day, I tell you." Andrew giggled and Edward grinned.
I glanced at the drawing paper again. Andrew had drawn our house, or mansion as I liked to call it since it seemed more fitting to the size of it, with Edward and me standing in the yard, as stick figures of course.
"It's beautiful, baby." I praised her son and kissed his forehead affectionately. "But where are you?"
"I'm inside watching toons!" Andrew giggled.
Edward and I chuckled. Andrew was so adorable.
Edward walked over and sat at the other end of the sofa, moving my feet so that they lay on his lap. He started massaging them.
"Dad called a minute ago. He's coming over with Mum in a couple of hours." Edward said. We'd invited Edward's parents for dinner so the news did not come as a surprise to me.
What came out of his mouth next however, was.
"They said they're bringing a guest with them." He went on.
"A guest? Who is it?" I asked, curious as to who my in-laws decided to invite to a private family dinner.
Edward shrugged, "They didn't say. They just asked that we make room for another person at the tale."
"Well, that won't be a problem," I rolled my eyes. "Our dinning room table seats a hundred, if not more people."
In the middle of our conversation, I noticed that Andrew had fallen asleep against my tummy.
"I'll carry him to his room." I announced as I got off the couch.
"You'll do no such thing." Edward got up quickly and carried Andrew gently laying his head against his shoulder.
"Edward," I whined quietly, not wanting to wake Andrew up. "You haven't let me carry him since we found out I was pregnant."
"With good reason," He argued. "You're not supposed to carry anything heavy, sweetheart, you know that."
"But by the time I give birth he'll be too heavy for me to carry either way. I just feel like I'm missing out on something." I admitted glumly.
Edward assessed me for a second before giving in and transferring our sleeping son into my arms slowly.
"Alright," He conceded. "But I'm walking right next to you all the way and you have to tell me the second he gets too heavy."
"Okay," I agreed happily.
We walked up to Andrew's room and I put him in bed gently, kissed his cheek, turned on the baby monitor and followed Edward outside.
We know that Andrew's too old for a baby monitor but living in a huge house as we do, we needed to take the necessary precautions against anything happening to him. We wouldn't be able to hear him otherwise.
Carlisle and Esme arrived at six o'clock sharp that evening.
They greeted us warmly and asked where Andrew was since he usually greeted them by jumping into their arms as soon as they stepped foot in the house.
"He woke up from his nap a few minutes ago and now he's playing in his room." I answered.
"We'll go up to see him then, in a minute." Esme smiled. "We hope you don't mind that we've brought someone along. She's been staying at the Palace for a visit for the past week and we didn't want to go out and leave her all alone."
"It's all right, there's no problem." Edward assured them.
"Well, then let me call her in." Carlisle said. He stepped outside for a minute and a second later someone stepped inside our house.
A very familiar redhead that I'd hoped I'd never have to see again.
Edward and I froze where we stood, unable to believe our eyes.
"Darlings!" Tanya screeched. Well, maybe she didn't screech, but I despised the woman so whatever came out of her mouth was screeching to me. "I'm so glad to finally see you again."
She walked into the house and had the audacity to hug me. I wanted to kick the woman out so bad, but sadly causing a scene was not an option at the moment.
"Tanya," Edward muttered as she moved on to hug him as well. He escaped her clutches a second before I was about to rip her off of him.
"It's been a long time since we've last seen you." He went on.
I was not ready to have meaningless chit chat with her just yet.
"Oh, you know, I've been travelling for quite some time. I've only been back in England for a week. Your parents were kind enough to invite me over." She flipped her hair back.
"Let's move to the living room, shall we?" I finally spoke.
Edward held my hand squeezing it reassuringly as we led the rest of the party towards the other room.
We settled in the living room, Edward sat next to me on the love seat while Esme and Carlisle took the opposite sofa. Tanya sat on a chair that was situated right next to Edward.
That shouldn't have bothered me so much, but it did. I wanted that woman no where near my husband.
"So, tell me Bella. How is our new grandbaby treating you?" Esme beamed right away.
"He's treating me just fine, better than it was with Andrew even." I answered.
"I know that this time it's going to be a little girl, she's so obedient already." Edward chuckled as he put his arm around me, pulling me close. I laid my hand on his thigh possessively.
Yes, I was intentionally giving Tanya a 'back off, he's mine' sign ahead of time.
Maybe I was over-reacting just a little bit. I blame it on my unstable hormones.
"Oh, yes. I'm so sorry I couldn't be here for Andrew's christening. I was in Brussels at the time." Tanya butted in. As if we weren't thankful that she wasn't there.
"It's quite alright, believe me." I replied, smiling tightly.
Sensing the electricity in the air, Edward changed the subject.
"Mother, father, what would you like to drink? It'll be a few minutes until dinner's ready."
Both Carlisle and Esme asked for white wine.
"Tanya?" Edward asked, grudgingly.
"Oh, I'll have the same, of course." She answered, as though it was inconceivable for her to order something other than what the king and queen had asked for.
'Suck-Up!' I wanted to yell.
Edward got up to fetch the drinks.
"I still don't understand why you both refuse to hire a maid or a nanny, at least." Carlisle spoke up as soon as Edward was out of the room.
"Carlisle," Esme spoke warningly. "We've been over this. It's their life and they get to do whatever they want with it."
"No, Esme, it's alright." I spoke up. At another time, I might've let Esme defend me and leave it at that, but I wasn't the same Bella anymore. "We won't hire a maid or a nanny because we simply don't need either one." I spoke as I looked Carlisle in the eye. "Edward and I both manage just fine on our own around the house and we simply don't want some stranger raising our children for us."
"Hm, I wonder if your opinion will change as soon as the little one is here." Carlisle insisted.
"Carlisle, please." Esme admonished the King. "Let Edward and Bella do whatever makes them more comfortable."
All through this entire exchange Tanya sat quietly smirking, making my blood boil. God, how I longed to wipe the smirk off that bitch's face.
"Excuse me, Bella. Could you point me towards the bathroom, please?" Tanya asked, very politely. Still smirking.
"It's down the hall, second door to your left." I answered gritting her teeth.
"Thank you." Tanya got up and headed in the direction that I had described.
A minute later, I decided to go and get Andrew so he could visit with his grandparents. On my way to the staircase that lead to the second floor, I passed by the guest bathroom and found it empty.
Where was Tanya?
Come to think of it, it was taking Edward too long to get those drinks.
What the hell?
I briskly walked to the kitchen and low and behold, I find Tanya standing way too close to Edward with her hand on his arm, apparently attempting to flirt with him.
By the look of disgust on my husband's face it's clear that her efforts were not appreciated.
I cleared my throat.
Edward's head snapped in my direction and he immediately stepped back.
"Tanya, you're here? I was starting to think you had diarrhea, you were in the bathroom for so long." I said.
Tanya's face flushed in anger, although she tried to hide it by smiling sweetly.
"Oh, I was just reminiscing with Edward about some of the amazing time we spent together, before he met you that is." She replied.
"Is that what you call the one sided monologue that was happening here, Tanya?" Edward said sarcastically.
Tanya glanced disbelievingly at Edward and then stomped her foot like the teenager she is and left the kitchen in a huff.
"I didn't know she was going to come here, baby. I swear." Edward said as soon as Tanya was out of earshot.
"I know, don't worry. I just needed to say what I said or else I would've resorted to physical combat." I replied angrily. "That woman needs to back off!"
"I know, that's why as soon as I can I'm going to have a talk with my parents about bringing her over." Edward walked closer and kissed my temple. "Now, I want you to relax. Stress isn't good for the baby."
I took a deep breath, "I'm going to get Andrew. Hopefully he'll throw up on her." I groused as I walked out of the kitchen. My husband's laughter followed me upstairs.
The rest of the evening passed relatively well, except for Tanya's annoying presence. Andrew entertained his grandparents of stories about the friends he made in his nursery class, and Edward and I told them about the ultrasound we had of the baby the week before.
All the while Tanya sat quietly in her chair, openly glaring at me as Edward held my hand or palmed my growing abdomen.
After dinner, Edward asked Carlisle to go out to the garden and get some fresh air, leaving us women alone together.
I knew it was just a ruse so that Edward could tell his father about Tanya. Maybe Carlisle can do something to put an end to her bullshit.
I talked with Esme about school and how I was doing with my studies, all the while keeping an eye on the men outside through the glass doors.
They both finally came in a few minutes later. Edward half smiled as he sat down again next to me, while Carlisle simply looked contemplative.
By the time our guests left for the evening I was going out of my mind with curiosity.
Edward filled me in as we collected the dirty dishes taking them to the kitchen.
"He said there is nothing much he can do except outright ostracizing her and that would make it pretty clear to everyone why she is being ostracized." Edward explained.
"Damn it," I muttered, disappointed.
Edward came up behind me as I stood facing the sink and pulled me back into his arms, "Don't worry about it, okay? We'll simply avoid attending any function she's accepted an invitation to."
"So we're doomed to arrange our lives around Tanya's schedule? No, Edward, I won't let her do this to us. We'll just go on as we always do and we'll just deal with it as it comes along. I'm not letting her disrupt our lives."
Edward kissed my temple," I love it when you're so sensible." He teased me.
"I'll show you sensible," I mumbled and then I splashed water from the sink at him.
He yelped in surprise, but as soon as he recovered he did the exact same thing to me.
Andrew, hearing all the ruckus, ran into the kitchen. He started giggling and jumping up and down as he watched his parents having fun.
Edward carried him so he could reach the sink and he started splashing water at us two until all three of us were soaked through.
In the end, what started out as a pretty stressful day, ended up being a memorable one, thanks to my husband and little baby.
Weeks passed by normally as Edward and I got nearer to our graduation. It felt surreal that we were both just about to be done with our university education. I personally couldn't wait. I usually liked to be all cavalier about how easy it was to study and raise children simultaneously but the honest truth was that most of the time I was exhausted. More than once Edward and I discussed going back on our decision to not hire a nanny, but in the end we always decided not to have any one else raise our children for us, even though we could use the help, I just didn't relish the thought of leaving Andrew alone with a complete stranger.
That decision came to an end the day we received a phone call from my doctor saying that he needed to see us as soon as possible. He refused to tell us why exactly, only that it was about a couple of tests they'd had run on me a week ago.
We rushed Andrew to the Palace so that Esme could keep an eye on him and then rushed back out to the doctor's office.
By the time we reached the building where the office was located we'd become really anxious, but Dr Adams greeted us with his usual calm demeanor.
"So what is this about? Is something wrong with Bella or the baby?" Edward asked as soon as we sat down on the chairs facing Dr Adams' desk.
"We are not entirely sure yet." Dr Adams answered.
Edward immediately reached for my hand.
"What does that mean?" I whispered.
"It means that we need to run more tests in order to be sure that our initial assessment is correct."
"What is your initial assessment?" Edward asked, his voice rose slightly in anger at Dr Adam's deliberate ambiguity.
"According to the x-ray we took last week," Dr Adams began. "It appears that the umbilical cord has wrapped itself around the baby's neck."
I gasped in utter horror. Edward moved to my side quickly and wrapped his arms around me trying to calm me down.
"What can we do?" He asked seriously.
"You both don't need to worry. This kind of thing happens frequently and can be easily monitored during the birth. We just need to inform the parents in case any complications should arise." He explained.
"What are the chances that complications will arise?" Edward asked. I was incapable of speech at that point.
"Slim to none." He answered immediately. "We just need you to be aware of everything that is happening that is all. I assure you that there is no need to worry. I have preformed deliveries with similar cases many times before."
My breathing returned to normal again, finally. Edward was still perched on the arm of my chair, running his hand soothingly up and down my back.
Dr Adams explained a few more things to us about what would be done during the birth. He said that we could still have a normal birth, like we'd planned and that there was no need for a c-section and that they'd keep the baby hooked up to a fetal heart monitor that would warn them immediately if the baby goes into distress.
After we had all the information we needed, Edward and I walked out of the office and got into our car. As soon as my door was closed I let the floodgates open and started sobbing.
"Hey, hey. Please don't cry sweetheart." Edward pulled me almost into his lap trying to calm me down. "You heard the doctor; it's all going to be just fine. They just need to be a bit more careful with our little one that's all."
"I can't lose another baby, Edward." I blurted out. "I just can't! I won't make it this time."
"Bella, look at me." Edward implored, tipping my face up to meet his. "We are not going to lose this baby, do you hear me? We're going to go through the normal birth as we planned, Andrew will have a brother or sister and everything will be just fine, okay?"
I could only nod through my tears.
"Good, then let's go pick up Andrew and head on home alright?"
I nodded again.
When Andrew saw us he sensed that something was wrong and kept asking why mommy was sad. Edward told him that I was just worried about the baby, that's all.
Andrew came up to me and hugged my tummy, as he called it.
"Da baby is fine. It told me." He announced.
A smile lit my face for the first time since Dr Adams called us this morning.
While I was busy being entertained by Andrew, Esme took Edward aside and worriedly asked him what happened. He told her he'd call and explain later, he just needed to take his family home now.
When we were finally settled at home, Andrew watching some cartoons and Edward and I snuggled together on the couch, Edward suggested that he could call my professors and ask for an extension on my exams.
I adamantly refused.
"Everyone will think I'm getting special treatment because I'm your wife."
"Hey, you're getting special treatment because you have a special condition," He said palming my belly.
"And because I'm your wife," I insisted. Edward rolled his eyes in exasperation just like he always did when I was being too stubborn.
"Either way, you'll need some rest. I don't want you to be even more stressed than you are now by worrying about exams. I'm sure that when your professors know what's going on they'll agree to give you some leeway."
"You mean when the Royal family decides to donate a new building for the library." I clarified.
"Bella," Edward said, exasperated.
"Okay, Okay, sorry." I back paddled. "I just don't want to extend my exam time either way, I've already done most of the studying needed in case something came up, so please don't worry that I'm stressing too much, alright?"I put my hand over his where it lay against my stomach.
"As long as you promise me that if it gets too much, you'll tell me right away." Edward insisted.
I kissed his cheek for being such a considerate husband.
A few weeks passed by and our final exams were done. Graduation day was here, at last. Edward and I proudly received our diplomas as our families cheered us on from their seats. Esme had Andrew seated on her lap, he started clapping as soon as he saw us on stage, except he was probably doing it because everyone else was.
Esme had wanted to plan a full out party in celebration of the momentous event since we wouldn't let them plan a baby shower this time around, she had Alice's full support, of course, but Edward and I insisted that we wanted a simple family gathering, much to their disappointment.
We ended up at the palace, along with Alice, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett, who had ended his military service by then, at the Palace along with our parents.
I laid Andrew down for his nap in the room that was made up for him at the Palace and made sure I turned on the baby monitor just in case.
They spent the rest of the night in the recreation room playing pool, chatting and having a great time.
When it was time to go home, I was about ready to collapse into bed and fall asleep right away, which is exactly what I did. The last thing I felt before drifting off to sleep was Edward kissing my temple and whispering goodnight after taking off my shoes and covering me with the blanket.
A few days later I was having a quiet breakfast with my husband and son when I felt a tight banding around my stomach. I gasped in surprise and a little bit of pain.
"Bella? What is it?" Edward asked, worried.
"Um, I'm not sure. I just feel funny." I replied.
"Do you think it's time?"
"I don't know…maybe we should call the doctor first." I suggested.
Edward immediately ran for the phone and dialed the doctor's number. He described to him what I was feeling and the doctor suggested that I should come to the hospital even though my water hadn't broken yet so that they can monitor the baby early on.
We called Esme so she could come to the hospital as well to watch Andrew, because we wanted him to be there with us. Carlisle asked to be updated with my progress since he couldn't come because he was in an important meeting with several parliament members.
As soon as we reached the hospital I was rolled into the designated VIP room that was reserved for the royal family; the same room where I gave birth to Andrew. The nurses immediately attached the monitors that would keep an eye on the babies' heartbeat.
Six hours later, our baby came into the world.
Our little girl.
Princess Sophie Cullen.
As exhausted as I was afterwards, I resisted sleep and asked Edward to have Esme bring Andrew in. I wanted him to meet his little sister right away.
Edward reluctantly left our side and went out to get them.
"Mummieeeeee!" Andrew yelled as he ran in ahead of Esme and tried to climb up onto the bed.
Edward carried him up and put him down carefully next to me.
"You have to be careful, baby." I told him quietly. "We don't want to scare your sister."
Edward beamed at us as he stood next to the bed. I reached out and held his hand, wanting to have physical contact with him at all times.
"Is dat her?" Andrew asked, glancing curiously down at his sister who was snuggled in my arms.
"Yes," Edward confirmed. "You're now officially a big brother."
Andrew glanced at his sister again, looking contemplative.
"When can I play with her?" He asked suddenly.
Edward chuckled, "Not for a while yet. She's still too small."
Andrew's face fell in disappointment.
At that point, Esme couldn't hold herself back any longer. She came closer and peeked at the newborn Princess.
"Oh, she's so beautiful," Esme breathed. "She has you hair Bella."
It was true; we could tell from the wisp of hair on our little baby's head that she did have my hair.
"And she has her eyes too." Edward declared proudly. "She's like a mini Bella." He grinned staring down adoringly at both of us.
The doctor decided that we should spend the night at the hospital and they'd let us go the next morning.
Carlisle came a few hours later as soon as his meeting was over. He was beyond happy that he finally had a granddaughter to spoil. I always found it curious to watch Carlisle with Andrew and now with Sophie. Whenever he was in close vicinity to them, the cold, indifferent man that I was accustomed to disappeared and a doting, loving grandfather appeared in his place.
It made me wonder why he bothered putting up the façade that he used for the public with the rest of his family.
I was beginning to lose hope that I'd ever find out.
We were going to send Andrew back with Esme and Carlisle so he could spend the night in a normal bed but he refused to leave us and every time we attempted to pry him away from the room he would start a tantrum so in the end we just let him stay and he snuggled in bed next to me until he fell asleep.
Edward had them bring I another bed for him, which he pushed closer until it was right next to ours. We slept peacefully the entire night, only interrupted once by Sophie's cry for food.
I woke up the next morning to Andrew snuggled between me and Edward with Edward's arm slung over both of us and Sophie sleeping peacefully in the hospital crib next to our beds.
I slithered slowly out of bed and checked on Sophie before making my way to the bathroom for a couple of human minutes.
When I cam back, Edward was awake and sitting up in bed with his hands behind his head waiting for me. I quickly walked to his side of the bed, got in and snuggled next to him.
"Good morning, baby." He greeted me with a kiss. "How do you feel?"
"Great, sore, happy, tired as hell," I listed my conflicting emotions. "But most of all, I'm glad we're going home with our healthy little baby girl."
Edward smiled and kissed my forehead. "Me too."
"You know, if someone had told me, five years ago, that I'd meet the love of my life, marry him and have two gorgeous babies; I would've said they were insane. But God, I'm glad I was wrong."
Edward chuckled, "So am I, believe me, so am I."
I was being rolled down the hospital hallway in a wheelchair by my husband with my daughter in my arms and my son walking next to us, ready to face the hoards of press and regular people waiting outside the hospital doors to get the first glimpse of their new princess when someone bumped into us.
It was another woman in a wheel chair, and she had a newborn baby in her arms as well. She was pretty, with long dark hair and eyes.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Your Highness," She started apologizing glancing nervously up at Edward, but I cut her off.
"It's alright, I was an accident, please don't apologize." I smiled trying to reassure her that everything was fine.
The encounter would've been a regular run-in, if it weren't for the voice that interrupted us all of a sudden.
"Bella?" A familiar voice called out.
I looked up to the person whom we'd ignored so far during the whole encounter, the person pushing the woman's chair. Her husband?
I gasped as I realized who it was.
Jacob Black hadn't changed much in the past five years, he still looked the exact same as I had last seen him.
"I suppose I should say Your Highness now." He spoke again finally.
"It's fine, Jacob." I muttered, really not knowing how to handle the situation. We hadn't exactly parted on good terms and I was still bitter about all the viscous rumors he had spread about me.
I could feel the tension rolling off of Edward behind me. I was too scared to look up and see what his reaction to seeing Jacob again was.
Andrew was standing quietly next to us, too shy of the strangers to do or say anything, for which I was thankful.
"I'm glad I ran into you Bella. I never got a chance to apologize to you, to both of you." He said, looking hesitantly at Edward.
"Apology not accepted." Edward hissed.
"Edward!" I admonished him quietly.
"What, Bella? You want to forgive him for slandering you in front of the entire country?"
Before I could reply the woman in the wheelchair spoke.
"Listen, please, I know that what my husband did was horrible," She said, confirming my earlier suspicion that they were indeed married. "But you have no idea how much he regrets it."
"It's alright; it was a long time ago." I said, wanting to end the argument right away.
"Bella," Edward began but I cut him off.
"Edward, please. I'm tired and we still have to go through the press outside." I practically begged him.
He sighed in resignation.
"Good luck with that," Jacob spoke. "There's a lot of them out there, they're practically blocking the whole entrance. They've been here all night, since before Lucas was born twelve hours ago." He said, referring to their son.
"Jacob, don't scare them." His wife reprimanded him.
"I'm sure they're used to it by now, Leah." Jake replied.
"Well, we really have to go now, if you'll excuse us." Edward said, impatiently. "It was nice meeting you, Mrs Black." He only spoke to Leah.
"Same here, Your Highnesses." Leah said. "And congratulations on giving birth."
"Same to you." I said back, as Edward started rolling me away from them.
Before he got away, though the most amazing thing happened, baby Lucas who had woken up a little while ago and was fussing in his mother's arm reached out at the same time Sophie's hands were swinging around and their little hands touched and held for a few seconds.
All four of us gasped in surprise at the scene.
As soon as Edward recovered though, he pushed as forward away from the Blacks as fast as he could.
"Forgive him all you like Bella," Edward muttered. "But my daughter is going nowhere near that…dog's son!"
"Edward, they're just babies." I attempted to calm my husband down.
Edward only mumbled something incoherent under his breath. It was probably better that I didn't hear whatever he said.
"Mummy, who was dat man?" Andrew asked curiously as he walked next to Edward.
"Just an old friend, sweetheart." I answered simply.
We headed down to the lobby of the hospital where Esme and Carlisle were waiting for us, and then we all stepped outside together to face the press. We were required, as was protocol whenever a royal was born, to stay and chat with the press and give them their first glimpse of the baby. We had done the same when Andrew was born.
Edward kept it as brief as possible since he was worried that I would be too tired, which was true; I was completely wiped out and by the time we got home, I only had time to feed and change Sophie, and take a quick shower before I collapsed onto the bed.
The next morning we were bombarded with the usual congratulatory phone calls, messages and gifts flown in from all over the world.
Then it was time for the whole family to visit, and by the whole family I mean Carlisle, Esme, Charlie, Renee, Emmett, Rosalie as well as Jasper and Alice.
It was Emmett who barged into the house the next morning in his usual exuberant style, followed by the rest of the family.
"Where's my niece?" He bellowed.
"Good morning to you too, little brother." Edward teased him as he lounged next to me on the living room sofa.
Emmett bounded over to where we were sitting and anxiously looked down at the baby in my arms.
I giggled softly so as not to wake her.
"Hey Em, do you want to carry her?" I offered.
"Can I?" Emmett asked, looking like a kid on Christmas.
"Sure," I grinned as I gently transferred Sophie into his arms.
Emmett looked so different with a baby in his arms, gentler and way more teddy bear-ish. He and Rosalie have just gotten engaged earlier this year and were already talking about having children as soon as they get married.
"Oh, Bella, she's so beautiful." Rosalie cooed as she stepped closer to Emmett to get a closer look at her soon-to-be niece.
"Oh! Lemme see her!" Alice joined in on the circle now forming around my daughter. "Bella, when can I start dressing her?"
"Never." Edward and I answered in the same breath, causing everyone else to laugh and Alice to pout.
"Come on, Ali." Jasper spoke. "At least wait until the girl can walk before you give her a makeover." He joked.
"Okay," Alice conceded. "I'm giving you two years and then she's all mine."
Alice and Jasper had married last year and immediately started trying for a baby, but they haven't been successful so far. My heart constricted every time I thought about it; Alice would make such a great mother.
We joked back and forth for a while as Sophie was passed back and forth between two sets of grandparents.
Chaos really erupted when Andrew woke up and demanded his own share of the attention being given to his sister.
"Andy, my man!" Emmett high fived his nephew as it was their usual greeting.
"Hey, Uncle Em! Whadya bring me?" Andrew asked impatiently.
"Andrew, sweetie, that's not polite." I reproached him.
"It's okay, Bells. I bought little Andy man here a brand new Wii." Emmett announced. "Now, I can really kick your butt in boxing."
Andrew yelled happily.
It was useless trying to tell Emmett not to buy Andrew a gift every time he came over. This family had a propensity to pamper its young and let it not be known that I didn't want my kids to have everything they wanted.
The first few months after Sophie's birth were great. She was such a quiet baby, that we were able to start having a full night's sleep again a week after her birth. Andrew adored his baby sister; it was honestly the cutest thing I've ever seen. One time I woke up when it was time to feed Sophie to find Andrew standing next to her crib, when I was asking him what he was doing he said that he was protecting her from the boogie man because that's what big brothers do.
God help us when it was time for my little baby to start dating. With Edward and Andrew around she'd be lucky if any boy got ten feet away from her.
But that's another story.
Twelve Years Later
"Muuuuum, Daaaad!" Sophie, my now twelve year old daughter, yelled as she walked into our bedroom. "Andrew's trying to sneak out again."
I glanced wearily at Edward, silently telling him that he should handle this one. He nodded silently, got out of bed where we were both cuddling a moment ago, and headed to Andrew's room to give him another much needed lecture about following the rules.
"Come here, sweetie." I motioned for Sophie to join me on the bed. When she did I pulled her closer to my side and she leaned her head against my shoulder.
"What did Dad and I tell you about tattling? We know that you have your brother's best interests in mind, sweetheart, but you can't tattle on him every time he does something wrong." I explained.
"But how will you know then that he did something wrong?" She asked.
"Don't worry, baby. Your dad and I have special parental radar. We can just sense every time you, or your brother, do anything we wouldn't exactly approve of." I smiled.
"Really?" Sophie asked, skeptical.
"Yes, why do you think your dad and I are still awake until now?" I grinned as my daughter giggled.
Edward soon came back with a chastised Andrew walking glumly next to him. It still surprised me how tall Andrew had become, he was getting pretty close to his father's six feet, three inches. Edward climbed into bed next to us while Andrew stood quietly at the foot of the bed.
"Andrew? What did you want to say to your mum?" Edward prompted him when he stayed quiet for a few seconds.
"I'm sorry for trying to sneak out. I just wanted to see Carrie before I have to go to summer school tomorrow." He explained.
I couldn't believe how fast time had passed. My son's already trying to sneak out to meet his girlfriend.
"You can still see her tomorrow morning, you know." Edward said.
"Yes, but we were kind of hoping to…spendthenighttogether." Andrew explained in a rush his whole face turning red in the process.
"Come again?" I asked.
"Alright," Sophie got up and headed for the door. "I think this is my cue to leave." She said before going back to her room.
My smart girl.
"Andrew…" Edward started but our son cut him off.
"Dad, please don't. I know what you're going to say; that it's too soon and that I should wait, but I love her and she loves me and there's no reason why we should wait."
"Actually, I was going to say make sure you stay safe." Edward grinned.
I playfully punched Edward in the chest.
"Dad," Andrew groaned in embarrassment. "It's bad enough that I'm saying all this with mum in the room."
"Hey! What's wrong with me being in the room? I'm your mother." I protested.
"Yes, well, that's kind of the point." Andrew replied.
I looked to Edward and we had one of our silent communicative moments as we came to a mutual decision.
We both looked back at Andrew as Edward said, "Be back at three, or I'm sending Felix after you."
Andrew's face brightened immediately and he wasted no time dashing out the door.
"Thank you!" He called out behind him.
I turned to Edward after we heard our son's screeching tires leaving our driveway.
"I can't believe he's sixteen already. I feel so old." I leaned my head against his shoulder and he kissed my forehead.
"We're only 35."
"I still feel old."
"Well, you don't look old. I'm still just as turned on by you now as I was when we were eighteen." Edward confessed.
"You're not doing so bad yourself." I teased back.
"So, are we going to let our son one up us in the sex department or what?" He wiggled his eyebrows as he leaned over me.
"Aside from how wrong that statement is," I replied with a grin. "I'm all for it."
Edward laughed as he bent his head to mine and kissed me.
Ten Years after That
"Bella, baby, you have to stop crying. You don't want Sophie to see you like that, do you?" Edward tried to calm me down as he held me in his arms.
"I can't help it. My little girl is getting married." I said between sobs.
We were currently in one of the rooms of the Palace getting ready for our daughter, Sophie's wedding, while she was getting ready in the room next door.
"I know, sweetheart, but if you cry, she will and then the makeup artist will have to redo her entire makeup and she'll be late for her own wedding." Edward, ever the rational thinker, said.
"Okay, okay. I'm all done now," I sniffled. "I was just trying to get the water works out of the way so I won't cry at the wedding in front of the billions of people who will be watching."
"Good idea, sweetheart." Edward smiled softly, wiping away the last few tears that slipped down my cheeks.
"I'm going to miss her." I sighed.
"We can still see her whenever we want, but I know what you mean. She's no tour little girl anymore, she's starting her own family." Edward said, starting to look glum himself.
Not wanting to put a damper on the festive occasion, I tried to lighten up the mood.
"Do you think she'll make us grandparents any time soon?" I joked.
"God, I hope not. I'm too young and sexy to be a grandfather." Edward said.
I laughed out loud until we were interrupted by our son coming into the room.
"Are we ready?" He asked.
Andrew looked so handsome in his formal suit. He was the spitting image of Edward at his age, it made my heart ache.
"Yes, we are." Edward replied. "How is Scott doing?" He asked referring to our soon-to-be son-in-law.
Andrew grinned, "He's nervous as hell, but really excited. I have to say, FeFe could've done worse." Andrew admitted, using his nickname for his sister.
It had taken Andrew quite some time to warm up to Scott after accidently walking in on him making out with Sophie three years ago. Sophie had brought Scott home for Christmas break that year after they met in one of her classes at University. Both Andrew and Sophie had followed their parents and went to Saint Andrews as well.
The difference is that Andrew already had a girlfriend then. He and Carrie had stuck together and she had followed him to Saint Andrews as well. Despite being in a relationship, Andrew somehow got it into his head that his sister should remain celibate until marriage, which was completely fine by Edward as well. They both drove Sophie crazy, with her brother running interference whenever a boy came within a kilometer of his sister at college and Edward holding up the fort here.
In the end she resorted to dating Scott behind our backs, which I still blame both my son and husband for. They dated in secret for about five months before she decided she'd had enough of dating in secret and brought Scott home for Christmas.
Chaos had erupted, of course, when Andrew and Edward found out, but thankfully Andrew had calm down with a little help from Carrie and I had convinced Edward that his daughter was a grown up and he can't continue to treat her like a little kid.
Scott slowly but surely wound his way into the family. He was charming and kind and he treated Sophie like a Queen. Who could ask for more in a son-in-law? His parents are great people as well. His father owned an up and coming Import/Export company and his mother was an interior designer; needless to say she bonded very well with Esme.
"So, let's go check on the bride, shall we?" Edward extended his arm and I looped mine through his as we walked after Andrew towards Sophie's room.
We walked in and were greeted by the beautiful sight of my daughter in her wedding dress. She looked absolutely stunning.
"Oh, sweetie. You look gorgeous." I exclaimed.
"Mum, have you been crying?" Sophie asked immediately.
"No," I forced the word out of my clogged throat.
"Please don't mum, I'll be back from the honeymoon before you know it." Sophie tried to comfort me.
"I know, sweetheart, don't mind me."
"You look beautiful sweetheart." Edward cut in right then. He gave her a hug and kissed her cheek.
"Thank you, daddy." Sophie beamed. She looked so happy.
Alice and Carrie walked in announcing that it was time to leave for the church.
"King Edward! Queen Isabella!"
The crown went crazy as soon as we stepped outside the palace gates. You might be wondering why they were calling Edward and I king and queen.
Carlisle had decided to "retire" a couple of years ago, and had handed the throne to Edward. So now Edward was King and I was Queen, it was still incredibly surreal and I did need Esme's help on more than once occasion but I was adjusting and so was Edward.
Andrew waved to the crowds. His charming personality made him one of the most popular royals in Europe and the world, for that matter. He never complained about the press following him and always took time to answer questions or even talk to regular people on the street.
We continued smiling and waving as we got into the cars taking us to Westminster Abby. The rest of the family were already there waiting for us.
We arrived a few minutes later and I walked in with Andrew first and took our seats, greeting our guests along the way. I waved to Scott who was standing nervously at the altar. He waved back and smiled crookedly; he actually reminded me of Edward whenever he did that.
Beside us sat Esme and Carlisle as well as Rosalie and Emmett and their six year old daughter, Emma, and four year old son, Christopher. Jasper and Alice sat behind us with their two year old son, Alexander.
Then it was time for the bridesmaids, Carrie and Sophie's best friend, Haley.
And then it was Edward and Sophie's turn. We all stood up as they entered the Abbey and walked slowly until Edward gave her hand to Scott and walked back to his seat next to mine.
"She looks just look you on our wedding day, you know?" Edward whispered.
"Oh, come on. I did not look half as pretty." I exclaimed.
"Yes, you did." He smiled lovingly at me and I could feel the tears prick my eyes again.
He reached over and held my hand tightly in his and we both turned our attention back to the wedding.
As we watched our daughter embark on her new life, I thought back over ours, with all its heartbreak and happiness and tears and smiles and laughs.
And I know that I have no regrets because I have really lived.
(A/N): The names 'Scott' and 'Haley' were inspired by one of my all time favorite TV shows, One Tree Hill.
Thank so much for all the amazing responses to the epilogue! I was literally blown away! And I won't mind being blown away again, though :D
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