AN: This was a future take of The Little Pink House I wrote for the Stand Up for Katalina compilation. It can be read as a stand-alone story or if you are a reader of The Little Pink House then as a story about what might become of our hero and heroine.
Thank you to SunflowerFran3759 for fixing this thing!
Most of this really happened. Please enjoy!
The ferry was rocking at a furious pace; at least it was in Bella's mind. Both she and Annie groaned and clutched her stomachs as they continued to flip and flop with each movement. Next to them, Edward and Matt were happily munching on Goldfish crackers enjoying the ride.
They were sitting on a bench looking out over the waves that just kept rolling and taunting Bella and her poor stomach. She had been on boats before, her father made her spend long weekends on them when she was young. The boat that Charlie and Harry Clearwater used reeked of dead fish, but for some reason those boating trips she could stomach; but this one on a large ferry was a whole other story. And it seemed that Annie appeared to be faring as well as her mother.
"Don't you love the sea air as it fills your nose? I can already feel the sand between my toes!" Edward was bouncing up and down excitedly on the bench. Bella noticed that every time Matt would touch the bench, Edward would quickly swipe it with a sanitizing cloth. "I wonder if they are serving clam chowder or hot dogs in the galley yet."
Bella's belly flopped. Annie made a disgusting burping noise.
"Ish...Ish, Dada!" Matt held his hand out for more Goldfish. Normally, this would make Bella grin ear to ear. They were finally a true family. Instead, the smile turned to a grimace. She was going to die from sea sickness.
"Sure thing, little man!" Edward said joyfully. He was ecstatic to be sharing his favorite vacation spot with Bella and the kids. Nantucket was one of his favorite places in the world. "I can't believe with all the time you lived on the East Coast, you never went over to the island."
"Chincoteague Island was closer," Bella was able to push out without spewing.
Annie laid her head in her mother's lap. "There are ponies that live there, Prince. Mommy, my belly hurts!"
"Oh baby, not much longer," Bella lied, stroking her daughter's long locks. That was a lie. They just got on the damn boat a half an hour ago.
"Ish, Da da!" Matt demanded.
"That's enough fish, Matty. Edward don't you dare give him anymore crackers." Bella thought Matt looked a little green around the gills.
"He's fine. The sea air makes men, young and old have healthy appetites! He'll be..."
Before the rest of his words could exit Edward's mouth, Matt turned white, then green and threw up all over Edward's pristine tan pants. "It's okay, Matt! Come on, big boy, don't cry! It will be fine. You are so brave!"
Matt threw up again. This time it was on Edward's loafers.
The smell of Matt's noxious vomit immediately flooded Annie's nose, making her gag. She sat up in a daze and with one final gag, vomited into Bella's lap. Bella then immediately threw up into the napkin she had been clutching tightly into her hand, making it a chain reaction of sorts. Edward started to clean them up with the wet naps he had brought along and tried to put on his best doctor face. This was difficult; because it was heartbreaking to see the family he loved feeling so ill.
Their fellow passengers scurried away from them like rats. Edward wanted to condemn them, but he had to agree that it was pretty gross.
After getting them all back to the car, he quickly helped change the children's clothing and got them settled into their seats with a movie on the portable DVD player. The little ones were asleep within minutes.
In the front seat, Edward wrapped comforting arms around Bella, as her head drifted down onto his shoulder.
Bella whispered, "I'm sorry about all the mess."
"It's no big thing, my queen. That's why it's great that you have a doctor permanently in the house. I'm an expert on vomit." Edward rubbed her shoulder affectionately.
"It's good to know that you're good for something," she said with a smile. Bella's stomach started to clench again. "Are we almost there?"
"We'll be there soon, sweetheart." He kissed the top of her head.
They still had an hour and fifteen minutes.
Rain. They said it was going to end early, but the weatherman was obviously having a moment of delusion when he was reporting the weather for the islands. Actually, he had been correct about Martha's Vineyard. No such luck with Nantucket.
Edward decided a fantastic dinner was in order to cheer everyone up. Carlisle was a known foodie and took his children to expensive restaurants with linen napkins and crystal stemware at a young age. By the time they were ten, young Edward and Alice had developed a taste for Brie and delicacies such as lamb and veal. Emmett, well, he would eat anything at that age as long as if it was dead.
Carlisle was of the opinion that once he introduced the children to this type of cuisine, it would open up a world of opportunities. Edward held the same philosophy. He just wasn't banking on their extreme resistance to new things.
"There aren't any French fries on this thing." Annie waved her menu in the air.
Edward gave her a calm smile. "Sweet Annie, this restaurant doesn't have French fries."
Annie scowled. She had no idea why her Prince would drag her to this place. It wasn't a restaurant. Restaurants gave out coloring books and crayons. They also gave you juice in colorful plastic cups with a straw. Annie didn't care if Edward thought this was the type of place a princess would eat at. A real princess ate French fries and drank from a straw. She knew this as a fact, because she was the expert.
"Do they have macaroni and cheese?" Annie demanded to know. Matt happily looked up from coloring the paper his mommy dug out of the bottom of her purse. The crayon was broken, but perfect for making squiggles.
"No, Annie," Edward said with a sigh. His patience was waning. He quickly glanced at the menu. "Did you see that they have pasta with gorgonzola? That's a cheese."
"Stinky feet cheese!" Annie exclaimed loudly. Several patrons glanced over and openly sneered.
Bella started to giggle. The waiter looked over at Annie and Matt then made a disgusted face. It occurred to Bella that while they were acting like one of those horrible families you see in the movies, there was no reason to make mean faces at the children. Make them at her and Edward instead. It wasn't the kids' fault they were dragged there.
"I apologize, sir, these children have been raised in a barn. We are just trying to familiarize them with the public before we have to cram them back into their cages."
"Bella!" Edward exclaimed.
Bella took his hand. "I love that you wanted to share this with us. I really, really do. My problem is that there are a whole lot of people making horrible faces at my...no... our kids. It's making everything tense and uncomfortable. Let's practice the fancy foods at home and it probably wouldn't hurt to brush up on those pesky table manners."
They both cringed as the watched Matt stick his pointer finger up his nose.
Twenty minutes later the group was seated happily at a nearby restaurant. Matt and Annie were cramming fish and chips in their mouths. The other diners didn't mind happy laughter, because their laughter was just as boisterous. Bella was playing footsie with Edward under the table. He was a happy man and he had to admit those French fries were damn good.
The rain was coming down in buckets again. The first day of the rain they just drove around and bought supplies from the overpriced, but delicious organic store. They needed a new plan for this day, because sadly for all of them it once again wasn't the best day for the beach. Annie, however, had other ideas.
"We'll be getting wet anyway," she pleaded.
Edward looked up from the newspaper he was reading on the couch. "It's too wet out there, kiddo. We'll go into town."
Bella had just finished cleaning up the mess from the breakfast that Edward made them. They made a pretty good team. She took a sip of coffee waiting to see how Edward would handle Hurricane Annie. Sometimes Bella liked to make mental bets whether he would use bribery or beg Bella to discipline her.
Edward continued, "How about the aquarium?"
"How about we go to the aquarium tomorrow? I want to use my boogie board." Annie wasn't budging an inch.
Matt looked up from his Matchbox Cars, sighed and went back to stacking them on top of each other. When they toppled over he laughed.
"Annie, honey, we aren't going to the beach," Edward said as he began reading the paper again. "Let's go to the Whaling Museum. You'll love it!"
"Please," Annie begged.
"No," Edward stated simply.
Bella was so proud of Edward at the moment. He was showing no weakness. If you showed the children any weakness they would trample you. Bella really wanted to kiss him. Keeping the children in line was a huge turn on.
"My prince...I love you, so much. I just really wanted to see the ocean." Annie shuffled over to Edward with a sad pout on her face. She pushed herself onto Edward's lap and wrapped her arms around his neck.
Edward gave her a sweet smile. "Well..."
Bella's eyes narrowed at the flip flopper. "We are going to town today, Ann, end of story."
"Mommy," Annie whined. She was under the common five year old impression that whining will actually get you what you want.
"Annie, keep up the whining and you can find a place in the bedroom upstairs and think about the way you talk to your mother."
"I was talking to Edward!" Annie yelled as she scurried off Edward's lap.
"Oh my sweet, yet defiant eldest child, you are always talking to your mother. Even if I am in a completely different room, my ears will hear you and I will tell your cute five year old bottom what to do." Bella gave the angry child a wink. "We are going to the Whaling Museum. That's my final word on the subject."
"I don't know what that defi thing means..." Annie began.
"Defiant," Bella said helpfully.
"I don't like that word!" Annie stomped her foot so hard that Matt's cars fell over again. He giggled.
"It's not a favorite of mine either, but what can you do?" Bella continued to smile making Annie angrier.
"Fine, I am getting my rain coat and we will see those stinky whales!" Annie stomped loudly out of the room.
Edward watched the little girl exit the room in a huff. "What the he...heck just happened?"
"We are going to the Whaling Museum."
"How did you get her do that?" Edward asked in amazement. "It usually takes her a meltdown first, before she bends to your will."
Bella gave him a hug and moved over to pick up a squirming Matt in her arms. "It's called luck and it appears to be on my side."
Bella was rethinking her luck, as she stood with Matt under an umbrella outside of the Whaling Museum. Edward hadn't warned her that there was a gigantic whale skeleton inside. Annie thought it was brilliant. Matt screamed, which led her to her current and very wet position outside.
Matt jumped into a puddle splashing her. Bella just sighed. If only her life was funny, it would be a prime time sitcom.
The sun was finally in the sky and the mood of the family had brightened considerably. That was until Bella saw the cliff they had to shimmy down. It was a somewhat sharp incline down onto the beach that was being lapped by aggressive waves. It was beautiful, rugged and completely untamed. The bluish green waves that were tinged with white foam tore into the sand. The light shimmering on the ground made it sparkle like sequins. Bella decided it looked like a dangerous, watery death trap.
"I thought we were going to the calm beach?" Bella asked, her eyes narrowing.
Edward grinned. "Babe, this was the beach my family always swam at! There are no people here to bother us."
He wiggled his eyebrows at her.
"Edward, though I admire your amorous ways, please remember the children."
"What's amorous?" Annie asked.
"Umm...well..." Bella tried to explain.
Edward started to hop down the cliff. "It's when Prince Edward gives your Mommy long kisses."
"Eww." Annie went into Edward's arms to be lowered down.
Bella started to lower the large tote bag and umbrella to him, when he looked up at her and asked, "Do we really need all that stuff?"
"Lover boy, kids are involved. We need it all!"
This wasn't completely the truth. Sure it was filled with sunscreen, towels, snacks, and sand toys. Bella had also added organic bug spray, five bottles of water, two boogie boards, a blanket to sit on and coloring books, though she did forget crayons. It felt like it weighed five tons. Edward almost fell flat on his face into the sand when he grabbed it.
"Umph," escaped Edward's lips as he stumbled backwards with the bag.
Bella and Matt slid down the incline. "Edward, I don't think this beach is the safest place for two little children. Those waves are rough."
"I will be there. I can keep them safe." He started jogging in place, ready to get in the water. Bella started to leisurely set up the umbrella. "Take off your top, Bella! I want to see that little polka dotted bikini."
Bella slowly removed her shirt to reveal...a plain, black bathing suit.
"Where's the bikini?" Edward sputtered.
"I told Mommy the one you got her was prettier," Annie stated as she and Matt dug holes in the sand. She shook her small head sadly. "She never listens to me."
Bella grabbed a water bottle and laughed. "I housed two babies in this stomach and you wanted me to wear that tiny bit of floss in front of people? Are you nuts?"
Edward opened his arms and twirled around. "There isn't anyone else here."
"Be good and you can have a private showing of it tonight."
"Really? Can I do that thing; you know the one, with the scarves?" Edward was getting flushed with the idea of it. Bella had been hesitant.
Annie looked up. "What scarves? Can I play?"
"No, Annie," Bella said to her too curious child. Then she turned to Edward with a smile. "Yes, Edward."
At that moment, he was a happy, happy man at the visions of the evening, Bella in the bikini and what he was planning to do with those scarves. He was a happy man indeed.
But...thirty minutes later the family still refused to enter the water with him. He dove in to show them it was safe, but still they all refused. It took twenty additional minutes for Edward to convince the nervous Bella, Annie and Matt to at least put their toes into the cool waves.
"See this isn't too bad!" Edward said trying to be positive.
Annie was frowning at the waves breaking onto the shore as she held onto Edward with a death grip. "It's too rough. Let's go back to the calm beach."
Matt was holding tightly to Bella and Edward's hands. "No. No. No."
"No calm beach, Matt?" Edward asked.
"I think he means no waves, Edward. Good try, though." Bella grimaced as cold water hit her ankles.
Edward slowly guided their human chain into the waves. It was up to Matt's knees. The water made the children giggle. They started having fun kicking the sea foam and feeling the wet sand in their toes. Edward was finally feeling positive about his decision to take them to his favorite beach.
That was until a huge and unexpected wave crashed into the family. Edward and Bella landed on their butts and both children got a mouthful of salt water and sand. To say there were tears was an understatement.
"Make this better, Edward," A wet and cranky Bella demanded, as she tried to wipe sand out of Matt and Annie's mouths.
"Who wants ice cream?" He asked in desperation.
Thankfully, for Edward, ice cream does make everything better.
Bella and Edward cuddled on a lounge chair on the deck, as the sun finally disappeared into the horizon. Their bodies were lit by the glow of the paper lanterns. The children were fast asleep snuggled into their blankets. This was a bit surprising to Bella, because it was usually a struggle for Annie and Matt to go to sleep. It must have been the sea air and their busy day playing in the waves that made them so sleepy. The morning was spent on one of the quieter beaches, where shells were collected. Bella and Matt dug holes, while Edward helped Annie learn how to navigate her beloved boogie board.
"Today ranks as one of the best," Edward remarked. He nuzzled into Bella's neck peppering it with soft kisses. "I am sorry you and Matt have to live in the stable."
Edward and Annie built a sand castle. It was a sand castle built for two.
"That's fine. Matty and I love horses. We are perfectly happy to live among them. It serves me right to be banished from Princess Annie's kingdom for having the gall to make her come out of the water to put on more sunscreen." Bella laughed at the memory of Annie making a large scale sand castle decorated with shells and a little further down a misshaped pile of sand and sticks to make a residence for her mother and brother. Bella wrapped her arms around Edward pulling him closer.
"I didn't like her calling you the wicked witch. You are far too lovely and kind. I, however, wouldn't mind if you wanted to be a little wicked right now." Edward's one hand slipped under her shirt and began caressing the fabric of her bra.
"Behave! Annie and Matt's room is right up there." The children's bedroom window was open and Bella could imagine Annie's big brown eyes taking in the debauchery down below. "I should get up anyway and get packed up. The last thing we want to do is have to rush to the boat tomorrow."
Edward pulled her tighter to him, kissing her ear. "Don't you dare move mi 'lady! We have plenty of time to pack up in the morning. I want to enjoy my girl before we have to go back to the mainland and head to the airport."
"Darn work ruins everything, even vacations. Do you have a boob job scheduled when we get back?" Bella inquired. Her words turned to a snort, as Edward tweaked her nipples cheekily.
"Nope, I just have the run of the mill nose adjustment." He grabbed a blanket from behind and tossed it over them. "Look what I found!"
"You are a sneaky one, Edward Cullen." Bella grinned at him, as she snuck a hand down his pants.
He gave a gasp as she stroked and mumbled into her mouth. "I learned it from you, Isabella Cullen."
The couple snuggled close. Kissing and caressing, their quiet sighs and moans filled the starlit sky. Their slowly moving bodies were now only partially clad by the soft blanket, which was illuminated by the full moon above.
Bella and Edward were ending their vacation with their own personal fireworks.