Well, here it is – the big finale. *Sniff* I'm sorry, I was kind of attached…oh well, finishing this one means I can get started on the next one!
Let me know what you think please!
"Okay, Jasper, go out for the long one," Emmett said, drawing back his arm. The poor defenseless football didn't stand a chance. Before he could throw it, he squeezed a little too hard and it crumbled into dust.
"Dang, that was the last one," Jasper yelled from nearly half a mile away.
Emmett's shoulders slumped…and suddenly a wicked gleam lit his eyes. "Hey Bella, c'mere."
I was sitting with Esme, Alice, and Rosalie on the porch, watching the game of catch. Carlisle and Edward were doing something inside – I'd finally convinced him I would be fine alone for a few minutes.
"What's up, Emmett?" I asked cheerfully, hopping over the railing and going over. I figured he wanted to send me to town for a few new footballs since it was sunny out.
The next thing I knew, I was tucked against his massive chest, legs dangling off the ground, like a…like a…
"Emmett!" I howled.
"Don't worry," he winked down at me. "Catch Jasper!"
I found myself flying through the air. Before I could freak out, I landed safely in Jasper's stone arms. "No worries, Bella, we won't hurt you."
"Are you insane?" Edward stormed out of the house, followed closely by Carlisle. "You could have dropped her!"
Jasper lowered me to my feet while Emmett looked sheepish. "We were just having fun, bro," he said, looking over at me guiltily. "Right, Bella?"
I shot Edward a look that said back off. "If I need you to rescue me, I'll ask for it," I told him sternly. "Emmett and Jasper would never hurt me."
"Tell him, little sis!" Emmett crowed. In the next instant he scooped me back up and the game resumed.
I caught Edward's eye, hoping he knew I wasn't mad at him – and hoping he wasn't mad at me. But even though he still looked a little anxious, he mouthed, I'm sorry.
I saw Alice whisper something in his ear, and he smiled.
After the game of footbella, I was laughing so hard Emmett had to drag me up to the porch. Jasper had this big goofy grin on his face – probably a result of all the happy emotions.
I collapsed into Edward's lap as Emmett and Jasper fell over on the porch, still laughing.
I smiled at their antics, thinking of all the good things that had come out of what had seemed to be a tragedy. In the three months since I'd come home, I'd started realizing how much better our lives were because of it.
Edward wasn't as protective, allowing me to be myself and go places without him freaking out. I think he finally realized that no matter what, there were some things he couldn't protect me from, and that he was smothering me trying to anyway.
Jacob had finally gotten over me, it seemed – he'd finally imprinted on a sweet girl named Aubrey. She was all he talked about these days. And that helped his and Edward's relationship out a lot, they were actually pretty close to being friends now.
Mom had been forced to actually grow up and parent me for a change – and while I definitely regretted having been such a horrible witch, it had been a learning experience for her.
I wrote to Lindsay and talked to her on the phone every once in a while; physical therapy was going great. She forgave me freely, and her letters were a reminder of a lesson I would never forget.
And best of all Charlie had accepted Edward – the two had even had some 'male bonding time' as Charlie had called it. He hadn't even fussed about the new wedding date, just a month away. That was a huge load off my shoulders.
"What are you thinking, love?" he murmured in my ear.
"Lots of things," I smiled. I'd tell him soon, but not here, and not now.
Emmett winked at me, and I sincerely hoped they didn't plan on making a habit out of their new game. It had been fun but it was a little nerve-wracking, as both of them could get into it and forget I was not indestructible.
That was another relationship that had evolved – the one I had forged with my siblings. Rose and I would never be as close as I was to Alice, but we were well on the way to being good friends. And Jasper wasn't as afraid to be around me – we'd been working on his control.
As for Emmett…well, he might be goofy, but when it came down to it, there was no better big brother to be found.
And on my dresser, a two-foot-tall bear with milk chocolate fur and a blue ribbon holds the place of honor.