The last chapter was how I envisioned the story ending. This is more a futuretake and there's some info in here about the other characters and events that took place during the story.
A few years down the road…
Be…our… guest. Be our guest. Put our service to the test.
"Hold on a minute, Ang." Bella pressed the pause button and cringed when she saw her daughter's eyes widen and mouth begin to open. "Shhh, sweetie. I'll put it back on in one minute when I'm done talking to Aunt Angie."
The little girl blinked her green eyes, full of unshed tears, sniffled, and nodded her head. "Okay, mommy," she whined.
"How's she doing?" Ang asked through the phone.
"Alright, I think she's mostly confused about her party."
"Well, she knows today is her actual birthday and doesn't realize the party isn't until this weekend. I think she thinks we canceled it."
"Let me talk to her."
Bella handed the phone over to little Anna who mumbled "Hi" and listened attentively to whatever Angie was saying in an attempt to soothe the girl. Bella became concerned when a huge smile filled Anna's face. She took the phone back and instructed the little girl to sit back down. After hitting the play button, Bella walked back into her kitchen. The same kitchen where her and her grandmother had baked cookies when she was a child; the same kitchen where she and Edward had their first real fight; the same kitchen where she accidentally poured breastmilk into Edward's morning coffee when Anna was six weeks old. He still didn't know about that.
"What did you tell her?" Bella said through clenched teeth, worrying about what promise was just made.
"Relax, I told her that we'd see her in a few days for her birthday party."
"Oh. That's it?"
"Well, not exactly."
"What else, exactly, did you tell her?" Teeth clenched again. Bella loved her friend but knew the answer was going to be something she didn't like.
"I told her that if she was a good girl, I'd make sure that Benji brought his friend Brady to the party."
Bella groaned. "Why would you do that? You're only going to make her little crush on Brady worse."
"It's cute! It's also payback for indulging Beth and her love of that McCarty boy who lives next door. That better end soon, before she's a teenager, or she won't be allowed to hang out at Aunt Bella's house anymore."
"Hey, I had nothing to do with that. Edward thinks that McCarty kid might have a thing for Beth. This is all his meddling." Bella laughed as she filled a pot with water and placed it atop the stove to boil.
"Well, consider the Brady thing Edward's payback then. I do love how he and Ben are so protective of their daughters."
"Ang, do you remember what Ben told Edward the day we found out Anna was a girl?"
"Oh my god, yes," she cleared her throat and began speaking in a deep-voiced imitation of her husband, "Eddie boy, when you have a son you only have to worry about one penis. But when you have a daughter, you have to worry about all the penises on Earth. Welcome to my world."
The two women broke into fits of giggles.
"I don't think he's had a good night's sleep since," Bella cackled and then jumped when fingers tickled her sides. "Ang, I need to get going. Edward just got home from work and I need to warn him about your weekend plans."
She finished up her call and pushed Edward's roaming hands away. After placing a kiss on his lips, she turned back to the stove and poured the macaroni into the water.
"Mac and cheese? What's the occasion?" He teased.
"Hush. It's been a long day. Anna is finally starting to feel better and when I asked if she felt up to eating, this is what she asked for. As long as something gets in her tummy tonight, that's all that matters to me." Bella moved to the refrigerator after setting the timer for the macaroni. "Would you mind grilling something up for the two of us? I feel like I can barely move."
"Sure, I'll just throw some burgers on and those veggie kabobs, if you want?"
"Yes, I want." Bella stated.
"What else do you want?" He smirked, gently tugging her ponytail. She allowed herself to be pulled backwards into his arms and laid the back of her head against his chest as his fingers crept underneath her shirt.
"Cocky bastard," Bella joked, "if you think you're getting laid tonight, you are sadly mistaken. I haven't slept since your clone woke up with his fever at midnight. Thank goodness I took the summer off." His fingers smoothed the hem of her shirt down. Bella sighed when Edward moved his hands to her shoulders and gently massaged them.
"How is the little terror?"
"Much better now. Whatever it is that they have, it doesn't last long. He's already had his dinner and is in bed, though. Mmmm, don't stop."
"That's just what I like to hear from my woman."
"Oh my god, you're in a good mood for someone who didn't get much sleep either. What's going on?"
"I'll tell you after we eat. Let me get the grill going and check on my angel."
Bella watched as Edward practically glided onto the deck to heat the grill then came back into the house and made a beeline for the family room. She mixed the ingredients into the macaroni and watched as it transformed from white to orange. It was tempting to throw in some broccoli and pretend that it was a somewhat healthy meal she was about to serve her now-four-year-old but figured the green stuff would be pushed to the side. And Bella didn't have the heart or the energy to enforce her rule of trying everything on your plate.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Bella was nearly knocked over by the little girl as she ran into the kitchen. "Daddy said I could eat wif the bowl on the coffee taber since I have sickies."
"Oh, he said that, did he?"
"Yup. And because it's my birfday. Happy Birfday to me, happy birfday to me, happy birfday Daddy's pretty princess, happy birfday to me!" Anna shrieked.
"Seems fine to me," Edward spoke from the doorway as Anna carried her bowl of macaroni into the family room.
"Really, Edward? Then why are you letting her eat in front of the television. It's not like she hasn't watched Beauty and the Beast fifty times already."
"Sit," he admonished. "Our dinner is almost ready. You can watch her from your seat in here and make sure she's not doing anything wrong like flinging pasta at the television."
"Wouldn't be the first time," Bella grumbled but acquiesced and sat down. While Edward flipped burgers outside, Bella made a list of last-minute items needed for the best Belle party a four-year-old could ask for. Actually, it wasn't going to be that great. Although, Esme had found a woman to come dressed as Belle for an hour and indulge the children. She and Carlisle enjoyed spoiling their only two grandchildren. So much did they enjoy it, that they were frequently mentioning how nice it would be to have a third. Though, that was usually directed at Alice and her husband, Marcus, who'd only been married six months. Jasper, well, Bella was glad he was out of the picture. She'd never cared for how he treated Alice, especially after it was revealed that he'd rescinded his marriage proposal after Alice's miscarriage. Bella shook off those memories. They'd all made it through that difficult time and the family was stronger as a result.
"What's on your mind, babe?" Edward asked quietly as he placed a plate in front of her. He kissed her cheek before sitting down. Bella was glad that he still did that – gave sweet little kisses and touched her, innocently and not-so-innocently, as much as possible.
"Just thinking about your sister; how glad I am that she's finally with the right guy."
"Me too. Can't believe J was such a dick. Not that I was ever a big fan, but I thought he was at least a decent person."
"Appearances can be deceiving. I certainly never thought my mom would cheat on my dad. And definitely not with someone closer to my age than to hers." Bella rolled her eyes at that. Renee was living down in Florida with her thirty-nine year old husband. She'd visited after Anna was born, but didn't bother when little Charlie arrived two years later. Bella figured it had something to do with their name selection. In fact, Bella knew that must be true because Renee refused to use his name and called him Little C.
"Did she call Anna to wish her a happy birthday?" Edward's voice broke into Bella's thoughts.
"Yes. I kept it brief. And Anna, she was so funny after they hung up. I asked what MiMi Renee said to her and she goes 'Somefing about moons and stars and wishes and a Pegashus and I don't know what else. Mommy, your mommy is ricidulus.' I laughed for ten minutes."
"Well, she has your mother pegged. I have some interesting news to share. Actually, I'm excited that I know something before you do for a change." He looked smug which both annoyed Bella and endeared him further to her.
"Ohhh, tell me now." Bella tapped her foot impatiently.
"It appears that your father," he started laughing, "your father has a date this Saturday night."
"What? With who?"
"I can't remember her name, but it's the woman who replaced your mom on that Town Beautification project. Janie something?"
"NO! Renee will have a fit if she finds out. She's fifteen years older than Janie. This is the best news!" Bella laughed until she heard the sound of a bowl being plopped into the sick.
"All done, sweetie?"
"Yup. I have dessert?" Anna begged. "Pleeeeeease?"
"Not tonight, let's see how happy your tummy is to have the macaroni and cheese in there before we feed it anything else." Anna stormed off and plopped back onto the couch. Bella could hear her quiet whimpers and was secretly glad that it didn't blow up into a full tantrum.
"So, how does my dad dating again equal such a good mood for you?"
"Are you kidding me? This is better than all of the practical jokes we played on her as kids combined." Edward pushed away from the table and put his dishes in the sink. "If you just want to put yours in the sink when you're done, I'll take care of it later."
"Our daughter's birthday always reminds me of the day you morphed into superwoman. Besides, I was a grumpy ass this morning when I asked you if you could get the kids to quiet down."
"I wasn't sure if you even remembered saying that. And I was thinking how much I wish they'd be quiet, too. But definitely could've done without it sounding as though it was my fault. Apology accepted. Where are you going?" She motioned for him to stop walking away.
"Anna is passed out on the couch. So I'm going to do bedtime with her and check in on Charlie. Figure maybe we can just go up to bed and watch a little TV but I'm going to hop in the shower first. You coming?"
Bella giggled before blurting out, "That's what she said!"
Edward playfully smacked her ass as she stood up with her dishes. "I'm glad I married you."
"Damn right, you are. And the feeling's mutual."
A/N This was unbeta'd so I apologize for any mistakes. They're ALL mine. And those I beta for are welcome to point out any and all errors. And make fun of me. Happy Birthday, again, to IWant2Sparkle.