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This is not beta'd so all mistakes are mine.
Thursday Night...August 2, 2012
"Okay, Bella, I'm only going to say this once," Tia said as we left my room for dinner. "If you don't say yes to that man, I'm moving to Seattle."
Laughing, I pressed the down button for the elevator and said, "He really is a good guy."
"And hot," Tia said, fanning herself. "How you've only managed to jump that man once, is beyond me."
The elevator arrived then and after motioning her to step inside, I said, "That type of situation just never presented itself again. Although, by the things he's said, it might once I go home. That is if I say yes."
"Say yes! And then call me with the details." Tia said, grinning.
I shook my head, hoping she was kidding. I didn't tell anyone the details about the first time and I wasn't going to do it with the second, if there was one.
The elevator made it to the lobby before either one of us could say anything else on the matter. Once we were seated in the hotel restaurant, our conversation turned toward our next leg of the trip and continued on that same wave when we returned to my room, to go over the pictures from earlier.
After choosing the six we would use, I bid Tia a good night and took a quick shower to wash the day away. Once finished, I pulled up the email Jasper had sent and sat back to read…
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about who owes whom on the subject of Maria. We'll keep going around and around if we don't, but we are in agreement about her being gone and staying that way.
She deserves no more of our thought or time. With that being said, we'll just move right along.
Thank you for not saying no. I was worried when I dropped all that on you that it would be a strong possibility. I do still want you to take the time to think, but I want to reiterate that if the answer is no, I will still be here. I don't think you could get rid of me at this point because like you, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Now that I pulled my head from ass, I can see what I missed for too many weeks. You and the twins make everything better, you guys make me better and I won't ever take that for granted.
As for stepping up while you are gone, you never have to thank me for that. It's me, who should be thanking you because you did it for me more times than I want to think about. So, thank you.
Okay, moving on to the getting to know each other portion. That sounds so abrupt, but I never know the proper way to move from one subject matter to the next, so it will have to suffice. :D
Your trip sounds amazing. I've never really been anywhere either, so I'll have to live vicariously through you until you come home and we can start taking trips with the twins. We'll have to keep the places you go in mind when we plan vacations, maybe even follow the list.
It does sound exhausting though. Remember to take care of yourself and sleep when you can and don't forget to eat. We can't have you coming home sick.
Thank Tia for her advice, and I'm glad you like her. I've worked with people I couldn't stand before and it does affect your enjoyment of the job.
I'm sure the twins will love whatever you send. I'll make sure to read each postcard to them, so they know you're thinking about them. I know they miss you.
Again, I'm getting that feeling of abruptness, but it can't be helped.
Is it wrong that I want to find Renee and beat the shit out of her? My mama would be rolling in her grave with me just having the thought, but then again she'd might not since she'd feel the same way.
I don't think you'd have been any different if she'd stayed though. You would have still had Charlie and he did a damn fine job raising you. That wouldn't have changed even if Renee was there.
To me it's not wrong to say you never missed her. She doesn't deserve it and she's the one that missed out because she doesn't get to see or take credit for the beautiful and caring woman you've become. It's her loss and hopefully she lives with that regret.
And for the record I don't like cherry popsicles either.
I'm hoping that little tidbit brings a smile to your face as we leave her in the past. Like Maria, Renee doesn't deserve our time or thoughts any longer.
Now, on to your question to me. And yes I'm very okay with you asking me things. This getting to know each other goes both ways, so ask anything.
No one has ever asked me what you did though. Most people when they learn my parents are gone, offer condolences and want to know what happened, but that's it. They don't care to go beyond that and it does bother me, even if I can't tell them much about my dad.
I was only five when he died and have no personal memories of him. The only things I know are from what Peter and my mom have told me. The main thing was that he loved us. He made sure he was home for dinner every night and every weekend was spent enjoying his family. Mom told me that many Sundays were spent in the car, just driving until he found some hole in the wall restaurant for us to try. She told me how he would spend hours on a Saturday building a fort in the living room, only to have either me or Peter pull it down by accident. She said he never got mad and would always just laugh and immediately fix it. There were so many more stories of playing catch with Peter, kicking a soccer ball around in the yard, and drawing on the driveway with chalk. Sometimes, in the middle of a new story, I would forget he was gone and we were just waiting for him to get home from work. It was always hard when I would remember.
I wish I had more time with him, time that allowed me to have my own memories.
I'm thankful everyday though that I at least had that time with mom. She was the best and would have loved you and the twins. She would have also kicked my ass for even just looking at Maria.
She was a sweetheart, but tough as nails too. I guess she had to be raising two boys. After dad died she could have given up, but she never let us see how much his death affected her. She went out, got a job, and became both parents. She made sure we knew the difference between right and wrong, that we were respectful, and that we understood the need to work hard for whatever we wanted. Because according to her, you didn't deserve anything you didn't earn yourself.
She was always smiling, even after a long day. And she always made sure she had time for us. She was at every baseball practice, game, school program, and anything else we had going on in our lives. She loved movies, books, music, and cooking. And was always looking for something new to try.
When she was diagnosed, she was the one that comforted me, Peter, and Charlotte. She was the one that told us she would fight her disease with everything she had. A few months later, when the doctors said there was nothing else they could do, she didn't let the news get her down. She lived each day like it was her last, and when that last day finally came, she went out of this world with a smile on her face.
There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't miss her. I wish I could hear her voice or her laugh one more time. And I really wish that I hadn't forgotten to ask for her chocolate chip cookie recipe, because god they were good.
And that is my parents. They were happy and loving and taken way too soon.
Okay, now I guess we can move on to the question and the end of the email.
Why did you become a photographer? How did you get into it and what is it about the trade that makes you love it?
Alright, I think that is it for now. I will talk to you soon.
I sat back in my chair, wiping the tears from my face and needing a moment before I could answer back.
After a couple of deep breaths, I leaned forward and hit reply. Thirty minutes later, I was hitting send. Once it went through, I shut down my computer and stood, moving over to the mini bar and grabbing a bottle of water.
With it in hand, I walked out onto the balcony of my room and took in the gorgeous view of the beach below me. As I watched a few couples amble along slowly I thought about Jasper's email and once again had tears slipping down my cheeks.
I'd had no doubt he'd loved his parents, but seeing the way he talked about them was eye opening. He didn't just love them, he also adored and respected them completely. Even if they were gone.
Knowing that about him, made me want to think on his question so much more. And that's what I did until I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. I didn't come to a definite decision, but I was closer than I was before.
The next morning, Tia and I were up and on the road early, having a long day ahead of us. We had a two hour drive to the airport, followed by a 7 hour flight, not including a two hour layover, before another two hour drive. There were airports closer to where we were staying both here in Hawaii and in Arizona, but they only provided overnight flights and it would throw off the schedule too much.
The drive to the Hilo airport was spent enjoying the sunshine and the warm breeze that blew through the windows. We made small talk and sang along to the radio and before I knew it we were pulling into the rental car parking lot.
Check-in and security didn't take up much of our hour and a half wait, so we stopped off at the airport restaurant for a cup of coffee and a small snack.
Once finished, we grabbed another coffee to go and made our way to the gate, settling in until we needed to board.
An hour and 45 minutes later we were landing in Honolulu. I'd heard horror stories about layovers, but I wasn't too bummed about ours since it gave us plenty of time to grab lunch and we didn't have to rush to make our flight.
After a burger and fries had been put away by both of us, we were once again waiting for our flight. Ten minutes before we were supposed to start boarding, the flight status changed from On Time to Delayed 10 minutes. However, that ten minutes came and went along with twenty more before an airline attendant announced that due to a mechanical problem it would be at least another hour before we left.
Tia didn't like the sound of a mechanical problem and as soon as the attendant was finished speaking, she's was out of her seat and standing at the desk. They spoke for a few minutes before she came back and sat down.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Something broke on the door and it won't close properly. They're waiting on the piece to arrive to fix it and then we should be on our way." She said and I nodded as I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful it wasn't something with the engine because I would be a nervous wreck all the way to Arizona.
We sat in silence for a few minutes before Tia hopped up. "I think I'm going to check out the shops, want to join me?"
"Actually, I think I'll try to get a few phone calls in while I have time." I said.
"Alright, will you watch my bag?"
"Of course," I said, sliding her bag in between my feet.
She smiled in thanks before walking off. I watched her disappear before pulling out my phone and scrolling through my contacts, stopping on dad's number.
It's the first chance I've had to call, since I left and I'm disappointed when after four rings it goes to voicemail. Thinking he's probably out on a call, I left a message letting him know I'm okay and that I'd try and call him again soon.
I pulled up Esme's name next and found it odd when that she also didn't answer. The worry didn't set in until Rose's phone also went to voicemail as well as the studio going to her voicemail. But I was close to a full blown panic attack when calls to Carlisle, Emmett, and Jasper also went unanswered.
As a last resort I jerked my laptop from my bag and powered it up, knowing that if I don't get Jasper on Skype, the Seattle police department would be getting a phone call.
I impatiently tapped my foot waiting for everything to boot up and my worry dropped a little when I saw Jasper was online, but it wasn't enough to keep me from hitting call with video.
It rang twice and then I let out the air I'd been holding when it finally connected.
As soon as his face appeared I blurted out, "Is everything okay?"
He stared at me for a few seconds before he dropped down into the chair beside him. "Yeah," he answered. "Why?"
"Nobody is answering their phones. I tried dad, Esme, you, and the others. I was worried." I said, my voice rising in pitch with each word.
He actually had the gall to laugh and all I wanted to do was reach through the computer and hit him.
"It's not funny." I said. "I've got an ocean and thousands of miles between us. I thought something was wrong."
Whatever he heard or saw through the screen, sobered him up quickly and he said, "I'm sorry, Bella. We didn't mean to scare you. Everything is fine, I promise."
"Where is everyone then and where are the twins?" I asked.
"Your dad, I don't know. Rose and Esme went to the movies though, since the studio was slow. He said before he trailed off and laughed again. "The twins, well they...are with Carlisle and Emmett, who for some reason got the bright idea to take them and Andrew to Chuck E. Cheese. They probably can't hear their phones over the noise."
"Seriously?" I asked. "What made them want to do that?"
"I have no clue and readily declined when they asked if I wanted to go. It works though, since I needed to run some errands."
"Smart man," I said. "But why didn't you answer your phone?"
"Because I was in the shower." he answered, and that's when I noticed he was sitting there shirtless.
Involuntarily...well maybe not involuntarily, my eyes moved down to his chest and didn't move until he cleared his throat and said with amusement, "My eyes are a little higher up, Bella."
I snapped back up to his face and felt my cheeks heat with a blush. I hoped he wouldn't be able to tell, but knew he had when he let out a chuckle.
"Shut up," I said, fighting a smile.
He held up his hands in surrender and then leaned forward, propping his arms on the desk.
"Are you at the airport?" He asked after a moment.
"Yeah, are flight was delayed. Hopefully, for only about an hour but maybe longer."
I almost told him the truth, but then a moment of thought had me saying, "I don't know. We were backing away from the gate and then the whole cabin filled with smoke and the oxygen masks dropped."
"Fuck, are you serious?" he said loudly.
"Shh," I said, glancing around and whispering an 'I'm sorry' to the lady a few seats down.
"Sorry, but damn Bella. I think you and Tia need to catch another flight, even if they fix whatever it is."
Laughing, I said, "I think we'll be fine. Especially when that isn't really what happened."
"It was just something on the door that broke. We weren't even on the plane yet, when they realized it." I said.
"That's not funny, Bella."
"Yes, and neither was me being worried about you guys, but you still laughed."
"Okay," he said with a roll of his eyes. "We're even, but don't ever joke about something like that again, please. Especially, when you're about to get on a plane."
"I won't as long as you answer your phone next time."
"Deal," he said, smiling.
"Oh my god, Bella look what I had to buy." Tia said, interrupting us as she dropped down in the seat beside me. "Hey, Jasper."
"Tia," Jasper said with a nod. "I'll let you go, Bella."
"Wait," Tia said. "You need to see too. They were so cute and I couldn't help myself after seeing the twins."
From the shopping bag in her hand, she pulled out the most adorable outfits I'd ever seen. For Kinsley there was a two piece red bathing suit with big white flowers on it, two flowered ankle bands, a lei, and a grass skirt. And for Aiden there was a pair of board shorts that matched Kinsley's bathing suit, a lei, and grass leg bands.
"I love them," I said as I took Aiden's outfit and showed it to Jasper.
"Will they fit?" Tia asked.
After checking the sizes, I nodded. "They will. I'll make sure to take pictures and send them to you too."
"I was hoping you'd say that," Tia said before slipping them back in the bag and sitting it on top of my carry-on.
"Thank you," I said.
She smiled and then pushed herself back to her feet. "I'm going to check and see how much longer." She said, motioning over to the desk.
"Kay," I said before turning my attention back to Jasper. "I guess I should go."
"Yeah," he said. "I should too. I still need to get those errands done before Carlisle brings the twins home."
"Alright, I'll Skype tomorrow night." I said. "Tell the twins I love them and give them a kiss. Also, if you talk to Esme or when you see Carlisle, will you let them know that I just wanted to say hi?"
"I will." He said before he asked. "Can you do something for me?"
"Depends on what it is." I answered, grinning.
"Will you text me when you get to where you're going, so I know you're safe?" he asked and just the plea I heard in his voice had me agreeing.
"I will, promise." I said.
I smiled and then said goodbye, hanging up after he did the same.
As I was waiting for my laptop to shut back down, Tia came back over.
"Well?" I asked.
"They're fixing it now, so it shouldn't be much longer."
"That's good," I said as I put my laptop up. "Thank you again for the outfits."
"You're welcome." she said. "I love shopping for little ones."
"Have you ever thought about having your own?" I asked, hoping it wasn't a touchy subject.
"I have," she said. "However, with my job it just wouldn't work. I travel way too much, but maybe one day though."
I didn't really know how to respond to that, but thankfully I didn't have to as the gate attendant chose that moment to start boarding.
Tia and I silently gathered up our things and got in line. We were in our seats pretty quickly and then we were on our way.
Almost six hours later we were touching down in Arizona. As we walked toward baggage claim I pulled out my phone, seeing I had missed calls from everyone.
Chuckling, I bypassed the messages for a moment and did what I promised Jasper I would do.
I'm here, safe and sound. I typed out, hitting send when I finished.
Five minutes later, his reply came through…
Glad to hear and thank you for letting me know.
You're welcome. Have a good night. I sent back
With a smile at his last text, I moved onto the messages. I had to laugh when I heard the many apologies waiting for me, especially Emmett's and Carlisle's because theirs sounded like they were completely exhausted.
I knew the feeling as the day was slowly getting to me. As Tia and I waited for our bags, I couldn't wait until we were at the hotel and I could fall into bed. But then I had to smile, when I realized that talking to Jasper had helped make it not as bad of a day as it could have been.
Hope you enjoyed it.
A few people asked about canon and Renee living in Arizona and if Bella would run into her. I thought about it, but then decided no she won't. I always have Renee coming back at some point in my stories when she leaves, so I decided that this one I would go a different way. Plus, it wouldn't matter as Bella would never have anything to do with her even if she did. So, there will be no Renee.
Up next: Rest of Arizona and onto Louisiana.