Author's Note: I am sorry for the delay of the final chapter. I have been recovering from pneumonia and have been sleeping a lot. Winter needs to return. I'm done with being cold and sick!
Anyway, thank you all for sticking with the story. This actually started off as a dream and turned into the story. Sometimes happy, sometimes we all wanted to bitch slap Edward (right? or Esme!). Thank you for all of your comments and sticking with the story. i am sorry I didn't get to replay to everyone but I do appreciate the time and effort you have put into reading the story as well as leaving the notes. I enjoy reading them.
Here it is.
PS-Drop me a note and let me know what you think of the Bella and Edward's life.
Four after the wedding- Edward's POV
Edward was flabbergasted. He wasn't sure what to do or say. He had never been in a situation like his current state. He sighed as he looked down. "Where should I begin? I don't know. Even as I look at her sleeping in the hospital bed, I really stop and wonder how the hell I got here. I keep thinking that I am unworthy of this life." He paused and grinned as he watched his wife in the bed. Her eyes closed tightly. She looked tired. Edward sighed as he continued. "I knew I loved her from the moment I saw her. More than five years ago when I played at that little whole in the wall bar. I couldn't tell you what anyone else looked like, but when I looked up, I saw her there. She had wide, uninterested eyes. She looked nervous. As I played song after song, I hoped she wouldn't leave or her date wouldn't show up. When I actually spoke to her, I knew I loved her and I wanted to be with her.
"We began to date shortly after and I was never so happy in my entire life. We dated for a little while before we broke up, for reasons I'm not proud of and even all these years later, I just can't find forgiveness for myself. Of course she said 'what's in the past is in the past,' but I will never be able to forgive myself." Edward paused to reflect on the months he spent away from Bella rejecting her and Charlotte. Guilt still ate at him every day.
"Once we were back together I couldn't imagine loving her more than I did. After all, at the time she gave me Charlotte. Again, I thought there is no way in the world I could love this woman any more, then came our wedding day. Never in my entire life did I ever plan on falling in love let alone be marrying someone, but I did."
Edward's face lit up as he closed his eyes and remembered his wedding day. "I waited in the park for what seemed like eternity for the wedding to begin. It was a simple wedding with only our family and closest friends. We were going to exchange simple vows in front of the ones we loved the most. After all was said in done with the brief ceremony, Bella would be my wife and in return I'd be the luckiest son of a bitch alive. Once I saw her, my heart melted. To say she looked beautiful would be an insult. She was more gorgeous than I ever remembered."
A quiet laugh exited his mouth. "As I stood by the giant weeping willow tree in the warm autumn morning, I smiled as I heard the whispers of people walking by.
"That is him, I'm telling you," one woman told her friend.
"Really Sarah, why the hell would Edward Masen be here let alone getting married?"
"He is living near the city somewhere. I heard it on the radio."
"Okay when we get back home you are totally cut off from your People and Ok! Magazines, understand?"
"Fine, choose whatever you want to, but telling you, that is Edward Masen getting married and he's right over there." The woman continued to explain.
"Whatever, we're going to miss our train, let's go." Her friend said practically dragging her away.
He shook his head at the memory and continued. "At that point, I was still got the occasional stare and questioning looks from people, sometimes the requests for autographs and pictures. Acting was fun while it lasted but it was a chapter of my life I said goodbye to. Winning the Oscar was now only a blur of amazement, but that man wasn't who I was anymore. That was the life I left behind.
"My new life was filled with my soon to be wife and my daughter. I still wanted to try and make up for the time I had lost because of my selfish ways, but Bella wouldn't hear of it. She always said it was long over and done with and there was nothing more to make up for. If she hadn't truly forgiven me, we would never have gotten married." He paused as he remembered a conversation he had on his wedding day.
"Are you ready?" Jane asked interrupting my thoughts.
Calmly, I looked up at her. She looked more like my dad than I remembered. I smiled and said, "Of course I am."
"Are you scared?"
"There were things that caused fear and concern. I worried about the world in which my daughter lived and would grow up in. I fear that one day, by no fault of our own, Bella and I would be separated by illness, accident or just plain old age. There were plenty of things that instilled fear in me, but marriage?" Edward looked at his sister and shook his head. "Absolutely not. I have never been so confident of anything in my entire life."
Edward opened his eyes and continued. "Jane nodded as she squeezed my hand and stepped aside. Before I knew it, I saw her. As she approached my eyes flooded with tears. Emotion over took me as I started at the most generous, loving giving thoughtless, gorgeous person I believed to ever grace the planet. This perfect specimen of a person had chosen to be with me forever.
"When she got close enough to me, she mouthed, "I love you." She had no tears in her eyes and remained perfectly calm. Her lips shone with a smile that was so bright that I thought it could be seen from the heavens. I envied her because I was sure I looked like a baby standing there.
"I remember every detail of the ceremony. We both had written our own vows and there were from our hearts. They were sincere and honest. Before I knew it, the ceremony was over and I kissed my then new wife. She was now and forever a Swan. I wanted to scoop her off the ground and hold her, but Charlotte had another idea. She tugged on my leg and didn't want to let go," he paused chuckling at the memory of his daughter being so young. She was only five now but the memory of her as a tittering toddler seemed so long ago. "Once we were sitting in our limo she called me her husband and I melted. I prayed that I wasn't dreaming. I prayed not to be pinched and not be brought back to reality. To my utter shock, that was my reality. I was a married man, married to the woman of my dreams. I had everything I needed in my life. There was nothing else I needed to make me a happy man."
"The reception was beautiful. Esme had worked hard to get the interior done. She did an incredible job with it. I still don't understand how we managed to get all of that work done in such a short amount of time. Bella's family, my family, our family worked long hours on the labor of love that is the restaurant. I couldn't believe it was completed in the short amount of time. Anyway, more friends had filled the restaurant. Before we had joined our family and friends inside, I hesitated in the limo. I gave her my grandmother's diamond tennis bracelet. She cried. I liked helping her to put it on her small wrist. She smiled, thanked me and kissed me.
"As we entered the room, we took our first dance as husband and wife. I held her close ignoring the rest of the room as Van Morrison's "These Are the Days" filled the area. That was one of those songs you had heard a million and one times but it took one time of listening to it on the radio days prior to the wedding for a light to go on. At the end of the song Bella looked at me and told me that we found our song. I couldn't have agreed more."
He paused again as he pictured his wife's smiling face on their wedding day. It was unbelievable that evening was over four years ago. It had seemed as if it were only yesterday. "Too soon our night had ended. After saying goodbye to Charlotte, which was harder than it sounds, I whisked her back to her hotel suit. I arranged to travel to the places she wanted to go. I had all ready been all over the world and nothing ever appealed to me like she did. I think if she wanted to go to Antarctic I would have packed the bags and jackets and sent us on our way. She still had no idea that our two week honeymoon would include places she wanted to go to but yet had never been to like Greece and Italy. We managed to make a few pit stops on the way back in Paris and London.
"Once back home we fell into the routine of married life easily. She began her work at Boston magazine, again. I stayed home and watched Charlotte grow strong and healthy. She was so smart and so creative. I painted with her and knew that I would have an artist on my hands. I also continued to write and compose music. Life was good.
"Esme ended up getting her treatments as she promised Bella. She also became kinder and warmer. Therapy worked well for her. She and my mother became great friends. They traveled together to new places. I think Esme found the best girlfriend she had never had in my mom. Carlisle was happy that the woman he married came back to him."
"Carlisle," Edward said as he took a breath. "Carlisle was much more than just a father –in-law to me. Sometimes I almost felt he was my surrogate father. I think he truly thought of me as a son too. He took up fishing and would go with me and Jacob. Who would have known that Jacob Black was the only one of my buddies that enjoyed fishing? Who would have thought we would have bonded over mornings out on the water? Bella and I certainly were both shocked to see that relationship evolve!
"My mother called me one day and told me she met a man. I froze. I didn't expect or want her to be alone for the rest of her life, she deserved to be happy, but the news still shocked my soul. I told her that I was happy for her, which I was, but it still stung. I still missed my dad. She and Phil are still happy together and he is a great guy, he just isn't Charlie Swan."
Edward took a breath and wiped the tears from his eyes with his free hand. He then laughed. "Jacob, wow, Jacob. If Emmett and Jasper were like brothers to me, Jacob was my best friend. He and Emily married in a big wedding held at the Park Plaza. He was definitely around more and enjoyed spending time with his niece. Emily quickly fell into the role of aunt to Charlotte. As she grew older, they would take her on trips out for ice cream and to the museum. They have her right now. She spent the night sleeping over and I think they are at the aquarium now. Charlotte loves the big sea turtles. Anyway, they enjoy their time with her, even after their son Embry was born, followed a few years later by their daughter Rachel. Jacob always made the time for Charlotte. He had cut back his hours at his job and stopped traveling once he and Emily were married. Emily was currently pregnant with their third, another boy, who would be named for Jacob's father, William."
Edward was proud as he continued. "My sister and her husband were also becoming parents. After a lengthy process, they were on their way to Russia to adopt a brother and sister who were two and six months. I am excited for my sister. She never thought she would be a mother and her dream is coming true, twice. Mom was just excited about having another toddler and infant to call her grandchildren. Jane and Marcus are due to land in Boston and stay for a few days before they continue home.
"Alice and Jasper had their son, Peter a little while after the wedding. Everyone in the family fell in love with him immediately. When he turned one, Alice and Jasper began to argue. She wanted one more child, Jasper flat out said no and that three were enough. In true Whitlock predictability, Alice got what she wanted. She was currently pregnant with their fourth, another little girl. God help Jasper and Peter.
"Emmett and Rose welcomed their son just after Peter was born. Caleb was born a few days early but healthy none the less. Emmett and Rosalie were thrilled and scared of his arrival. They both called Bella and I all times of the day and night with questions or just freaking out. I thought it was funny. Two years later they decided to try again for one more child. Bree agreed to be their surrogate. This would be the last pregnancy she helped a couple with. She wanted to give her body a rest and wait to have her own children. Six months after they began Bree did in fact get pregnant, with twins. Emmett and Rose were surprised. They now have another little boy, Quinn and a little girl, Ashley. They ended up moving closer to us. You can actually see their house through Charlotte's bedroom window. Caleb loves playing with Charlotte. He actually cried when she went on the school bus for the first time and he couldn't go with her. Of course I don't know if that was because he really missed his big cousin or if it was because he wanted to ride the bus."
Edward took a short breath and formulated his thoughts before talking. "Things between Bella and I remained good, perfect even. As she was finishing up her time with Boston magazine, she began to think about publishing her own magazine geared towards working mothers. The articles would be about everything from the guilt of a working mother, to exercise and health to even sex and make up advice. Bella was making a name for herself and I for one could not have been more proud of her.
"I continued to oversee the restaurant with Jasper and Emmett. We were all busy with our own families, but we took turns and over saw how the place was being run. The restaurant and bar were extremely popular.
"Soon I sold one of my songs to use in a movie. The same movie wanted me to score it too. The following year I won a Grammy and my second and third Oscars. Someone even found our wedding proposal on You Tube and asked if they could buy the song. I told them no way in hell. That was my wife's song and it only belonged to her. A few weeks later the music people for the band Train called me and asked again for the song. I was adamant that it was Bella's song and not for sale. Bella over heard the conversation and actually encouraged me to sell it. She said she wanted others to share it. She knew no matter who sang the song because it would always be hers. The following year it earned Bella and me another Grammy, which I gave to her on stage at the award show. She was the inspiration and the whole reason I wrote the song in the first place. The award was hers and she deserved it. The award sat on her desk at work as a constant reminder of how much I loved her. Even though the song was over played on the radio now, I couldn't stop but smile whenever I heard it."
Inhaling deeply, Edward continued. "We decided right around Grammy time we would try for another baby. We were able to get pregnant almost immediately. As soon as we found out about the pregnancy, Bella lost the baby. She was heartbroken and devastated. She cried for days. She said she felt like she failed us. She was afraid she would resent Charlotte as had Esme had done to her after her loss. I told her she hadn't ignored Charlotte yet. If anything, she cuddled with her more, even sleeping with her one night. Also, I explained that the baby was simply wasn't met to be. Maybe the child would have been sick, or something would have happened to her in delivery. I promised her as soon as she was up to it, we would try again.
"Once she was filling like her old self, her plans for the magazine really began to come together. She found a publishing house in New York City. She also found office space and we bought our first apartment there. Like everything else in New York, it was a small four bedroom but it overlooked Central Park. She shuttled back and forth working at both magazines for a bit." Edward remained silent as he gathered is thoughts.
"I felt at the time like I was a single parent. Bella really threw herself into her work. At one point I felt like I was losing it. I didn't have time to write and things at the restaurant and bar were bad. We had three waitress quit in the same week because of the manager, who we fired. The bar tender was just unreliable and we were stuck. I never felt so lucky to have my family than I did at that point. Alice and Rose took turns watching Charlotte while Emmet, Jasper and I tried to fix the mess at our business. When they didn't have her, Carlisle and Esme took her or she spent time with Emily. The guys and I worked every night, even serving as waiters and bus boys some nights. Jacob even stepped in and acted as the bartender. I thought that this was ridiculous. I was working harder than I ever had before, wasn't seeing my daughter and missing my wife. Something had to change.
"When her time at Boston magazine had finally ended, after being extended three times, I kidnapped her and Charlotte and took them to Disneyland. It wasn't my idea of a dream vacation, but we had to reconnect as a family. We missed each other. For four days we did just that, we reconnected. We had a blast. Bella became guilt stricken when she realized how much time she had missed with Charlotte and I. I kissed her and told her not to worry about it. We were all together now and things would get better for us.
"Bella kind of slowed down after Disney. We were together more and still couldn't get pregnant, so I thought. Short of trying fertility drugs we couldn't make a baby. It stressed and saddened us. We knew we could always adopt, but we wanted one more of our own. It just didn't look like it was going to happen for us."
A full fledged smile danced into Edward's lips. "Four months after Disney, Bella called me early from New York. She was excited and in tears. She was pregnant again. She said she wasn't feeling right and walked over to Duane Read and bought a test. When that read positive, she went back and bought three more. She told me to check my cell phone for the pictures. I saw the four tests lined up with positive signs. She giggled as she told me they were all positive. I had tears in my eyes as I was excited. She had to get to a meeting so I let her go and promised I'd talk to her again soon.
" I thought about how this blessing was exactly what we needed. After Bella lost the first baby, she threw herself into her work. Three days after Disney, Bella told me that she had one other miscarriage before we left. I felt hurt that she didn't confide in me. She didn't let me hold her hand or kiss her. She went through it alone. I wasn't even able to morn this child with her until after I knew of its existence. At that point we had begun to struggle a little bit with our emotions. We still loved each other, but after losing the second baby, Bella didn't know how to talk or speak to me. She felt again like a failure. She said she felt she worked too much, but she didn't want to give up her dream. After talking to her day after day after day, I tried to reassure her that it would happen for us. We would make another baby, one who was meant to be with us. Lo and behold, it looked like we were finally getting our child. At least I hoped.
"Finally, I peeled myself out of bed and went to see what my daughter was doing. She was sitting in her bed reading a story to her doll. I asked her if she wanted to take a trip to surprise mommy. She jumped out of bed, threw her arms around me and said yes.
"We packed the things we would need for a few days and I called Jasper to let him now I was taking off. He understood and told me he'd see me in a few days. Charlotte and I stopped at Bella's favorite cupcake place on Charles Street in Boston before we set off for New York."
The memory of their arrival to the apartment made Edward beam. "We made it to the apartment in just over three and a half hours. Bella had no idea we were going to surprise her and I couldn't wait to see her expression. Knowing that she wouldn't be home until at least six, Charlotte we should make Bella an Italian dinner. We walked down hand in hand to the Whole Foods. We shopped quickly to gather the ingredients that we would need for Bella's surprise dinner. Charlotte skipped back while happy and excited. She couldn't wait to help me mix the ground meats for the meatballs. I thought meatballs and eggplant parmesan were too much but Charlotte insisted and I couldn't say no to her. Since the day I met her, I could never say no to her. She had me wrapped around her little fingers, very tightly.
"After getting over the initial shock of seeing us, Bella had the biggest smile on her face. She was so happy to us. She lifted Charlotte and scooped her up in arms and held her close to her. She snuggled with our daughter and allowed her to sit on her lap and eat dinner. We decided we weren't going to tell Charlotte about the baby until at least the second semester. Bella would have less of a chance of miscarriage then. We wouldn't tell anyone until she began to gain weight and show.
"A few weeks later at an appointment with her doctor, we found out that Bella was almost twelve weeks along. She was almost into her second semester. It seemed we were getting our baby. Even as she gained weight, she beamed. She glowed, she was so happy."
Shrugging Edward continued his story. "Bella began spending longer weeks in New York as she didn't want to do so much traveling. I didn't want to be away from her and I knew Charlotte missed her mom as much as her mom missed her. I began to look at restaurant space in the city. Since my writing was put on hold, I wanted to do something else while Bella worked. Three months after my purchase, I opened B2 in Times Square. It was an instant success.
We both decided that we would take a rest from city life and have the baby back at home in Massachusetts. We both are taking at least six months off, probably more to spend time with the baby. It was amazing watching Bella's stomach expand. She glowed. She has the happiest I had ever seen her. She was also the most beautiful I had ever seen her. She beamed. She was simply amazing being pregnant. I immediately felt bad for missing out on the experience with Charlotte. No matter how many times I said it, I would always feel guilt about the time I missed with Bella when she was pregnant the first time around. She assured me things worked out and not to be too hard on myself."
Edward looked down in his arms. The child wasn't even a half a day old and was all ready curled up and nestled safely in his father's chest. He placed a soft kiss on top of the newborn's head and held him tighter. "And that's where you come into the picture little man. After nine and half hours, you were born early this morning. You are so beautiful, so precocious. You just don't know how much we wanted you here buddy. Even though mommy had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and a fairly short labor, I was worried about her. I had never seen her in labor before. It pained me to see her in so much agony. I had never seen her in physical pain before. She said you were well worth it and although I agree with her, I hated seeing mommy like that." Edward stopped as he placed another sweet kiss on the infant's head. He stared at him for minutes before a soft, tired voice interrupted them.
"Are you still talking to him?" Bella asked as she tiredly opened her eyes. She rolled her head and spied Edward sitting in the chair next to her holding onto their baby and cradling him carefully warmly in his arms.
Edward nodded as he smiled. "Hey, I didn't know you were awake. By the way, yes. I was just telling him a story. I think he liked it. He fell asleep in my arms again."
"I think you just wore him out. You're a talker, that's' where Charlotte gets it from. He's barely six hours old and I bet you have told him the same story twice all ready, haven't you?"
Edward stood up with their son in his arms and sat on the bed next to his wife. He kissed her cheek and looked at her. "Baby, it's our story. He's going to hear it a lot more as he grows up."
"The poor kid, what have we done to him and Charlotte?" Bella smiled at her attempt to make a joke.
"I think it's a pretty good story. It has a happy ending. Oh, he's waking up," Edward observed as the infant flailed his arms and made his tiny hands into fists. He looked as if he might cry but he held it in.
"He's probably hungry. He only feed for a little bit after he was born and then he fell asleep. Let me see him," Bella smiled as she sat up. She reached over to her shoulder and unsnapped her sleeve. The fabric fell and she relieved her breast. She smiled as she took her son from Edward's hand and gently placed him next to her breasts. He quickly sucked. She laughed as she watched Edward looking in amazement. "Yep, he's a boob man, just like his dad." She stared at him. He looked tired and she was certain he hadn't slept since the delivery. "I love you."
Edward placed his hand on his wife's face and kissed her on her cheek near her ear. "I love you too. Thank you."
"For what?" She asked smiling.
"For giving me everything in life that I am thankful for." He laughed softly as his eyes filled with tears. "Bella, we have two babies! We have a little girl and now a little boy. They are both healthy. You're healthy and I'm healthy. Life is good. No life is great. There is no one else in the universe I would want to share this with."
Bella leaned over and kissed her husband. "That's a good thing because I would never want to share this experience with anyone else either." She stared at his tired form before encouraging, "You should get some sleep."
Edward raised his hand to push back Bella's long hair. He looked on the nightstand and found an elastic and made a pony tail for her as he shook his head. "I'm fine; you're the one who did all the work. I'll rest later."
Just shaking her head, Bella shook her head. "I don't know, you were the one who was freaking out. I was going to ask if you could get the epidural. If I wasn't busy with squeezing this little guy out I might have laughed at you."
"Honey, you were in so much pain and I didn't like watching you like that."
Bella shrugged. "It's part of it all. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
Edward raised his eyebrow. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"I don't know," she paused as she watched her son feed. She stroked his cheek with her finger. "I love being pregnant and I love the after part and watching them grow. I love being a mom. Edward, we are both at great points of our lives right now. We are so fortunate that we can afford to take a prolong period of time off to spend time with each other and our children." She looked into her husband's eyes and bit her lip before continuing. "I don't know if it was hard for me to get pregnant because of the birth control medication I was on before or if it was just nature running it's course, but I don't want to go back on it again. I know I struggled and miscarried, but I don't care. When he's older, I want to see what happens. I want to try for at least one more."
Edward stared at his wife without knowing what to say at first. He repositioned himself so he was sitting next to her again. He then began to laugh. "You aren't even out of the hospital yet and you are talking about having another baby?" He paused and watched Bella shake her head yes. "I have no argument. It sounds like a pretty perfect plan to me, but we have to do one thing first."
Laughing, Edward reached down and held his son's hand in his fingers. "We have to name this little guy."
"I told you, I thought we agreed on Joseph Jordan."
Edward shook his head adamantly. "We are not naming our son after your favorite New Kids on the Block members."
"And why not?" Bella asked seriously.
"If he were a girl would you let me name her Pamela Gena?"
"I'm not overly crazy with the names, why are they important to you?"
Edward laughed as he placed his free arm around his wife. "Pamela Anderson and Gena Lee Nolan from Baywatch."
"Wow, I married you and I never knew you watched that crap. This changes everything between us. I might be seeing a lawyer when I get out of here," Bella joked. Edward quickly placed his hands on their infant's ears.
"Language mommy, language. Plus Baywatch was a great quality show."
"If you were a fourteen year old boy, but fine, I get your point." She paused before she looked at her son again. He had fallen asleep again. She handed him to Edward as she snapped her night gown back up. "Why talked about a few names before. What was the one we really liked? Do you remember?"
"No, oh, it was Sam. Samuel."
"Right, Samuel Carlisle."
Bella leaned into her husband and smiled. "You really want him to be named after my dad?"
"Why not? Charlotte's named after my dad. It seems only fair. It also seems only fair we have two more kids so the grandmas don't get too jealous." Edward told her as he kissed her head. "We could always reverse the names too. Carlisle Samuel."
Bella looked up at her husband and smiled. "I think I like that more. If you are sure then."
Looking at the sleeping baby in Edward's arms, Bella couldn't help but smile. "Welcome to our family little Carlisle Samuel."
Edward looked at his wife as she continued to talk to their son. She went on and on. He didn't really hear what she was saying. He watched her as one thought replayed in his mind. He thought everyday she became more and more breathe taking. Even though he didn't know it was possible, he loved her more and more as the days rolled by. After five years of being together he couldn't believe she still loved him. As silence finally filled the room and he closed his eyes to finally sleep, he smiled. For Edward Swan, life was perfect.