The lovely beachcomberlc makes this shit look good, and she claimed I left this chapter as a cliffy. I don't think so though LOL.

I don't own Twilight. I do have a new bed and some kickass maple syrup fudge though.


Chapter 16

The cool winter nights are beginning to give way to sunshine and spring rain showers as February turns to March. Each day, Bella spends more and more time with her daughter, much to the discontent of Rosalie, who skulks around the house glaring at everyone who is supportive of Bella, which is basically everyone now.

Since the first day that Bella held her daughter, everything has gone very smoothly for the most part. The family has been gracious in letting her come and go as she pleases in the main house, and slowly but surely, Bella is getting the hang of being a mother. The bathing, changing, crying, smiling and napping are now becoming a part of Bella's daily routine. However, no one has broached the topic of the baby moving down to the cottage or Bella moving into the main house yet, but it's something that is currently rolling around in Bella's mind.

"Penny for your thoughts," Edward says as he creeps up behind Bella who is currently sitting outside the cottage, while Elizabeth is asleep for the evening at the main house.

"You would have scared me if it wasn't for this superhero type hearing I now have," Bella smiles as Edward takes a seat in the chair beside her, both of them looking up at the house. "I was thinking about moving."

"As in… moving to Portland, Paraguay or Paris, or as in moving to the main house?" Edward questions, anxiously. He figured this day would come soon enough, but he's really hoping Bella is thinking about the latter rather than choosing to leave them. He understands that she is bonding wonderfully with her daughter, but he is not ready for her to go, especially considering he hasn't told her about his burgeoning feelings for her and Beth.

"I don't think I'm ready to live on my own, but I think I'm ready to live with Beth full time. Do you think I'm prepared for that?" Bella questions, her focus on Edward as she watches his every move. In the past few weeks, she's noticed that he has been a little different, and not in a bad way. If anything, his passionate concern for both her and Beth is endearing to her and she finds him even more attractive than she did previously.

"I think that perhaps we should have a trial run. Did you want to stay in the cottage or the main house?"

"Well, I hate that I have been a burden on your life and you've been stuck babysitting me for the past few months-"

"Did I ever say I disliked having you around? No. So don't go thinking that. I rather enjoy having you in my life and house," Edward interrupts, determined to set Bella straight because the last thing she has been is a burden.

"I think I'd prefer to have Beth live in the cottage with us, if you'll have us, that is. Plus, I think it would be good for Rosalie to have some separation. I truly appreciate everything she's done for Beth, but I'm tired of her giving me the evil eye whenever I spend time with my child."

Edward breathes out a small sigh of relief because he truly hoped that Bella would want to continue to live in the cottage with him. He knows that convincing the family will take a bit of time, but if they take their time with the move and make it a gradual change, he thinks everyone will adjust easily. Well, he certainly hopes Rosalie will adjust easily that is, but he's fully expecting her wrath.

*~HOS~*

Needless to say, when Edward and Bella talk to the family the next morning about having Beth over for a sleepover that night, with the plan to be to have her move down there permanently, Rosalie is the only person to object.

"I don't think Bella is ready for this," Rosalie states firmly as Edward watches as Jasper rolls his eyes. "Sure, you think that the last few weeks have been great because Bella hasn't hurt Beth, but what happens when they are alone?"

"We won't be alone," Bella counters. "Edward will be with us. Do you trust him to make sure we're safe? Because I do." Edward feels buoyed by Bella's comment, but Rosalie simply scoffs.

The family continues to discuss the situation and everyone, with the exception of Rosalie, is in full agreement. Alice eagerly bounces down to the cottage and begins formulating plans for redecorating the spare bedroom into a nursery, while Bella and Edward fetch Beth from her crib and prepare her morning bottle. Rosalie watches them intently from the living room before grabbing Emmett and forcing him out for a hunt with her. When they have left, Esme is quick to defend her pseudo-daughter.

"She's just having a rough time of it, right now. I promise things will get better," Esme advises as she watches Edward feed Beth in the rocking chair in the bedroom, while Bella picks out a cute spring dress for her to wear. "She's never fully come to grips with the fact that she can't have a child. I think she thought this was her one chance and that you would leave without Beth."

"Why would she think that?" Bella asks, as she sets a pink dress on the edge of the crib and begins looking for tights in a dresser drawer.

"On the first night, you said you didn't want her," Esme replies as Edward shoots his mother figure the evil eye.

They had discussed not letting it slip to Bella that they had heard her admit that she didn't want the child initially, but clearly Esme had forgotten. Bella looked at her incredulously and then darted her eyes to Edward, assuming he had told her secret. "Darn it. Edward didn't tell us. Super vampire hearing, remember? We can hear through the walls. Surely you've adjusted to that by now, right?"

Bella nodded her head softly as the realization hits her. What she told Edward in confidence was never truly in confidence because they could all hear her. Bella offers Edward a small smile, hoping he understands that she is grateful he never revealed her secret; she did that all on her own.

"I went through some tough times while I was pregnant, and discovered that the father didn't want the baby; nor did he want me. Needless to say, I thought about all the options including giving her away for adoption. Now though… I'm glad things happened the way they have. I love Beth and I think I'm adjusting to motherhood well, considering the circumstances," Bella admits to Esme, who is smiling brightly at her. Esme approaches and offers Bella a gentle hug.

"You are doing better than well, Bella. Don't doubt your abilities, okay?"

"Okay," Bella replies as Edward lifts Beth up to burp her, and she offers him a very loud burp followed by a big smile. "That's my girl-burping in his face like a champ."

~*HOS*~

Later that night, Bella and Edward have settled in the cottage for the evening. With some direction from Esme, they have bathed her, played with her and even put little Beth to bed for the night after giving her a bottle. With Alice directing him, Jasper carried her bed down from the main house and put it in the spare bedroom. Of course, Rosalie wanted no part of helping, and made Emmett follow suit, even though he thinks she is being ridiculous.

"So, Alice told me she is going to order a new crib for here, and keep the other at the main house in case they need to babysit in the future," Edward tells Bella after they close the door behind them. Bella suggested they use a baby monitor, but Edward reminded her that with their super hearing, they will hear if Beth rolls around even just a little, so they opt to go without one.

"She's going to go overboard, isn't she?"

"Of course she will; she's Alice," Edward laughs as they fall onto the couch beside each other and Edward drapes his arm over Bella's shoulder. It just happens; he didn't plan it, but the fact that she doesn't move away energizes him. Bella sighs and curls into his side as they listen to the rain fall outside, the house silent otherwise.

"So, other than hunting down bad guys and killing them for sport," Bella jokes as Edward groans, "what do you do for fun?"

"First of all, I don't kill them for sport. Secondly, I think it all depends on what your idea of fun is." Edward watches as Bella absentmindedly twirls strands of her long, chestnut hair between her fingers.

"Okay, so I know you like to read, listen to classical music and brood. What about the rest of the family, what do they do to pass the time since we can't sleep?" Bella asks, as Edward clears his throat and offers her a small smile.

"They are all different. Jasper is a history buff and loves anything to do with the civil war, whereas Alice is obsessed with shopping and fashion, which you've noticed. Carlisle, when he's not at the hospital, is usually delving into our history and Esme loves redecorating and designing." Bella notices that Edward doesn't mention Rosalie and Emmett, and when she questions him, he knows that if he could, he would blush. "They spend most of their time…how do I say this tactfully… being intimate?"

"They spend all their time having sex?" Bella asks incredulously before she slaps her hand over her mouth to silence herself, remembering that there is a baby sleeping in the other room. "Doesn't that get boring?"

"Not for vampires, no. When you've found your mate, there's nothing you want more, other than blood, than to spend all your time fornicating," Edward explains as Bella's eyes grow wide.

"So, Emmett and Rosalie are mates, and they spend all their time fucking?" Edward nods his head as Bella turns to look at him. "So if Alice and Jasper, and then Esme and Carlisle, are all mates do they spend all their time having sex too?"

"And now you know why I live down here by myself. I can only handle them in small doses when they are like that, which is often."

"So why don't you have a mate yet?" Bella questions as Edward shrugs his shoulders casually. "I mean, you are a good-looking guy, you're very nice and polite, and you're unexpectedly awesome with Beth. Other than the whole vampire thing, how come you haven't been scooped up?"

"I just haven't been."

"Aren't there others like us… women vampires… you have been interested in?"

"Not really. We have friends up in Alaska and one of them, Tanya, showed an interest once, but I didn't return her affection. We're just better off as friends, you know?" Bella nods, understanding full well. "I think I might be changing my mind about finding a mate though."

"Tanya?" Bella asks as Edward shakes his head.

"You."