Unbeta'd. Just a little something that came to me on my walk this morning.
Bella opened her eyes, the tinkling sounds of laughter, cartoons in the background, and pans banging as they're removed from the cabinet lulling her out of sleep.
She blinked, clearing the leftover cobwebs of blissful dreams, and turned to see the love of her life still sleeping peacefully. She took in the gentle rise and fall of his chest, the soft snores emanating from his partially opened mouth, and all the features - sloping nose, full lips, long eyelashes over what she knew were the most gorgeous eyes she had ever seen - and couldn't help the whoosh of warmth that filled her chest. How she had ever gotten so lucky, so blessed she'd never know.
She snuggled against his side, and his arm slipped instinctively around her. He didn't wake, just pulled her close, much as he'd done for nearly three decades.
She listened to the signs of life downstairs, the sounds of their legacy readying things for the holiday breakfast and eventual family feast. She still couldn't believe she had all four kids and their families under one room.
She didn't have to see to know Alice had been the first one awake and downstairs. She was sure Rose and Peter had followed shortly after, and without a doubt, Jake, the party animal and baby of the bunch, would stumble in after someone had been in to wake him no fewer than three times.
She couldn't help but smile as the memories washed over her like a gentle lapping ocean tide.
Her fairy tale courtship and marriage to Edward.
The several blissful years that followed as they learned each other in the most intimate and necessary ways.
Alice's birth and the three years where she ruled their world.
The twins - Rose and Peter - and relearning how to care for infants both different from each other and so, so different from Alice.
The trying years of having three small children in a too small house with a husbad who traveled all the time.
Jake's surprise arrival seven years later and all the emotions that went with being unsure how they would afford another child or how her body would handle carrying another baby.
The high school years for the older three... and then fro Jake. She thought the girls had been difficult – high maintenance and needy - but Jak,e in his youngest child, attention grabbing ways proved vigilance and rules were not only nice to have but essential.
College graduations, jobs, weddings, and now grandbabies – six with one on the way.
It hadn't always been easy or fun, but the one thing that had remained constant, only bending and growing to accommodate their life and all its seasons, was Edward. Her rock. Her best friend. The love of her life.
She listened to the gentle thrumming of his heart, one of the many sign of all the good in her life, and realized beyond a shadow of a doubt how blessed and thankful she truly was.
"What are you thinking so hard about?" Edward asked, his voice low and raspy, thick with sleep.
She smiled. How he could tell she was thinking she had no idea, but perhaps being married and sleeping with the same person every night did that to a person.
He shifted, and she moved just enough so he could roll to face her. With their faces barely inches apart, she saw the bright lights in his eyes and the slow easy smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
"It's pretty perfect, huh?"
Bella grinned. "It certainly is." What she didn't say was how the best part of every day was waking up in his arms and falling asleep in the same way. It was cheesy; she knew it, but it was the truth.
But like always, words weren't necessary, because when his lips brushed tenderly across hers, they said the very same things.
I'd be lost without you.
I love you.
I'm grateful for you – in every way.
I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for this fandom and the dear, dear friends I have made. What a gift.