Chapter 29

"Stop fidgeting, Bella. You look amazing." Alice says for what must be the tenth time this evening.

"I know. I'm just nervous." I'm not normally one to dress up, and tonight is no different, but I can't wait to see him.

Edward wanted to be able to pick me up but things came up, and his mom needed his help. Instead, the girls and I will meet him at his parents' home. We did get a hotel near their home though. His parents insisted that we stay at the house with them, but we talked it over, and we decided to get a room. If anything happened and any one of us didn't feel comfortable then we would have a place to stay. If we decided to stay with the Cullen's then we would just use the room to get ready for the evening.

"Okay girls, I believe we are ready. What do you say we pack up and get on our way?" I ask, looking once more in the mirror.

The drive over is quiet and calm. I think we are all a bit nervous. We are walking into an upscale party where we only know one person. Nerves are bound to be a bit high. As we near the house, my hands begin to sweat and my heart starts to race. I know tonight is a turning point. You only meet a man's family once, and I need to make a great impression. It also means that in three days, Edward has to leave again. I refuse to think of that tonight though. No, tonight will be happy thoughts.

Before I know it, we are pulling up to the most amazing home I have ever seen. It is a mix of stone and wood with so many lines and curves. There are lights in the yard and music coming from the house. As the car reaches the front of the house our doors are opened, and there is a gentleman helping us out. He also advised Rose that he will take care of the car for us.

This is it, it's now or never. I take a deep breath and release it, praying my nervous energy will be dispelled with it. I link hands with my friends as we make our way to the front door. Before we reach it, it is opened, and there are yet more assistants to help with our coats and take our names. At the sound of my name, the man assisting me smiles.

"Welcome, Miss Swan. I ask that you wait here for just a moment. I have special instructions to follow when you arrive."

Before I get a chance to respond, the man is gone. Rose and Alice look at me with wonder. I shrug and inform them I have no clue. We chat quietly for a moment before I hear a sharp intake of breath behind me. I turn slowly and am instantly met with Edward's gaze. His mouth is open, his eyes full of emotion.

The sound of my breath matches his as I take in the sight of the man before me. The room goes quiet, and it's only him and I. He is dressed in a dark suit, and he can't take his eyes away from mine.

He steps closer. Time is moving slowly. Closer he moves till his lips touch mine. "Love, you look amazing. The color of that dress on your skin…wow." His lips meet mine once more.

My spell is broken when I hear soft chuckles behind me.

"I'm sorry. How rude of me. Hello, girls," he says to Rose and Alice, his eyes never leaving mine.

I know I'm being rude, but no matter how hard I try, I can't stop looking at him. I've seen him look at me many ways and this, well this is different. There is something deeper there. I know he loves me, but I don't think I ever realized the extent of this man's love before now.

"Edward, dear there you are."

I watch as he smiles and looks away.

"Mom, I want you meet Isabella," he says softly as he turns to face his mother.

I smile at the woman before me. Edward looks so much like her. Her smile is warm, and her eyes as kind as his.

She walks to me, embracing me firm but gently. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you dear."

"You as well, Mrs. Cullen, you have a lovely home."

"Thank you, but please, call me Esme."

Edward introduces the girls to his mom, and she tells us that she needs to run for a moment but to make ourselves at home. Edward gives us a quick tour and gives several introductions as we move amongst the guest. I finally met Jasper and Emmett. Jasper apologized over and over again. I think I was able to convince him it was okay and no one was at fault. He and Alice seemed to hit it off quite well and were talking in the corner. Emmett, well, he is just what I expected. He told all three of us girls how amazingly stunning we looked and offered fashion advice. Hell, he even told Rosalie that if he wasn't addicted to the pole (his words, not mine) he'd be all over her. They were off somewhere laughing and talking.

Edward and I were sitting quietly sipping Champagne when his mom began to make her way to us on the arm of a man who could only be Edwards's father. We stood as they approached, and my heart fluttered just looking at them. The love and passion they felt for one another radiated around them. After introductions were made, I knew what I needed to do.

"Esme, would you be free for a moment, I would love to talk to you about something."