AN: Hello there again.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking this journey with me again. The reviews have been lovely and have made me so very happy!
A big thank you to mauigirl60, she fixed my words and made them flow so nicely.
Oh…as usual the real life antics of 'Annie' and 'Matt' are in this chapter. I'm already frightened about what their teenage years.
Bella was napping on the couch while Edward was playing chase with Matt outside. Annie was at school. The house was blissfully quiet and serene. The couch they'd picked out for the living room was fantastically comfy. Bella was having sweet dreams of meadows filled with of poppies, her hair blowing in the light breeze.
That was until she started getting attacked by bees. She ran and tripped around the meadow, waving her arms around as she was being stung on the face.
"Stop it! Please stop!" she screamed. The bees were laughing at her. Those stinging bastards!
That's when she woke up with a jolt, seeing a penny moving toward her face. It hit her in the middle of her forehead. Jane was laughing hysterically.
"Get thee gone, demon woman!" Bella sat up and pointed to the doorway.
"You have to admit flailing Bella is hilarious, hooker." Jane giggled evilly.
Bella lobbed the penny back at Jane's head. It hit her on the chin. "How does that feel?"
"I like the pain, baby!" Jane giggled and pulled out her keys.
"Tell that to your woman." Bella tried to lie back down on the couch. "Also, tell her she can suck it!"
Jane and Rose had moved into the little pink house and promptly repainted it blue. Bella was still angry.
"Let's pick Annie up from school and take her clothes shopping. Summer's coming and your monsters need shorts."
"I want to sleep!"
"Sleep when you're dead, old-timer. I need a sexy frock for a party Rosie's taking me to." Jane wiggled her eyebrows. "I have dirty ideas about sneaking around in the woods."
"Leave me and my kid out of it," Bella said with a giant yawn.
Jane wrinkled her nose. "No. I can't deal with Matt wearing his sister's floral shorts hand-me-downs again this year. You should be ashamed."
Bella thought Matt had looked adorable in his sister's old ballerina footie pajamas. He would do pirouette for her and his floppy hair would fly in the air. It was the cutest thing ever.
"He doesn't care at this age!"
Jane groaned. "Mommy dearest, those kids of yours are already odd ducks. They're part Alec."
Unfortunately, they were part Volturi. Bella was more inclined to believe it was nurture and not nature that would determine their future destinies.
"You heard about him, right?" Bella played with the tassels of her throw blanket. "Alec?"
"My Chicken Little brother?" Jane patted Bella's hand. "He called and waxed poetic about how his two hours in the big house made him find Jesus."
Bella immediately thought Jane was joking. "He was saving his own hide."
"Indeed, Al became like a little song bird. He sang so sweetly to get out of trouble and take out Papa," Jane stated and grimaced. "Supposedly, he did all this to be a better man."
Bella's brain shouted, Bullshit!
Instead she said, "I guess we'll see."
"I guess we will," Jane agreed. Both women's faces were grim.
They heard barking and Edward yelling from outside. Bella couldn't help smiling. She grabbed Jane's hand. "Let's go save him."
"What is DS up to?" Jane loved that horribly behaved dog.
Bella pulled her friend toward the door. When they headed into the grass, Bella pointed to the hilarious scene before her. "Much mischief!"
Edward was chasing DS thorough the yard, holding her leash. She was zigzagging and weaving and he couldn't catch up. In fact, Edward was tripping over his own feet and barely catching himself before he landed face first into the ground. The puppy was quick and she had grown to be a big girl. Matt was jumping up and down, clapping for the dog.
"I told him not to let her off the leash," Bella commented, with her arms crossed and a smug look on her face. "Does that man ever listen? Oh, no! DS gives him a look with those big, brown eyes and he melts. That dog doesn't respect him in the least. I'm the alpha around here."
"Why do I find it shocking that you're the leader of the pack? More like court jester." Jane grabbed her phone out of her pocket. "May I film this?"
"I would be disappointed if you didn't, you wacky wombat."
Jane almost dropped her phone at that one. "Where the hell did you get wacky wombat?"
Bella scrunched up her face. "I thought it was whimsical and unexpect..."
"Bella! Aren't you going to help me?" Edward yelled.
She held up her hand to have him hold on. "You really didn't like it? It isn't like yours have been winners lately. Jane, when you're in a happy relationship, all cool nicknames go flittering out of your head."
Jane really was getting soft now that she was happy, at least according to Bella. Everyone else would disagree but, in all truthfulness, Bella did know Jane best.
"You know nothing about nickname skills, Swan Dive!" Jane exclaimed.
Bella shrugged. "I know that calling me Swan Dive was just poorly executed and lazy."
"Take it back!" Jane tried to pin Bella's arm behind her back. "Say I'm God's gift to snarky names!"
"Bella!" Edward called out as his face hit the dirt. He looked up and had a dirt beard. "Could you please help me?"
Bella and Jane looked up from their lame wrestling match.
Matt had been pointing to them and shouting, "Mama win! Mama win!"
"What, Edward?" Bella asked. She had forgotten about the dog tag going on in front of them. "Matty wants Mama to win."
"Princess Strawberry Jam needs to go inside!" he yelled.
Annie and Edward had changed that poor animal's name yet again. Bella just shook her head and whistled.
DS came running over with her tail wagging. Bella gave her a pat on the head. "Come on, DS. Mommy's going shopping with Janie."
"Aren't you glad I sent you that mutt?" Jane said with a grin.
"She did save me from a monster," Bella admitted. "Then again, DS chewed up my favorite shoes."
"The red sneakers with the pink polka dots?"
"Yes," Bella agreed. "I loved them."
"They were hideous," Jane stated. "Good riddance to ugly footwear."
"Matt come, Mama?" The little boy ran over and grabbed Bella's leg.
Bella swooped him up. "We're going to be buying clothes, little buddy. No toy stores today."
Matt kissed Bella's nose. "Please, Mama? Toys?"
Matt gave her another kiss. "Mama? Toys, please?"
You had to give the kid some credit that he was that persistent.
"Mama? I like toys!"
He grabbed Bella's cheeks with his little hands. Matt squeezed and made a face like a monster. "Please, Mama, toys!"
"Down, Mama!" Matt ran over to Edward. "Dada, up!"
Edward grinned. He was finally Matt's favorite again. "What is this all about?"
"Mama, no toys!" Matt cuddled up to Edward.
Edward would take what he could get.
He smiled, holding Matt, while he watched Bella and Jane laughing as they walked into the house. DS followed happily.
This was how Edward always dreamed what his family would look like. In actuality, it was even better.
Bella and Annie brought home bags of summer clothing and pizza.
Annie wasn't a happy camper and stomped to her bedroom. She was complaining loudly to her dolls.
"What's wrong with Princess Annie?" Edward asked.
"She was having a lovely time until we picked up the pizza." Bella pulled out the plates and took them to the kitchen table.
Edward chuckled. That was vintage Annie. "Let me guess...she wanted Chinese. Did you remind her she picked last time?"
"Of course," Bella said, getting the drinks. "She'll get over it in a minute. I got her a white pizza, so she'll be happy once she gets over the vast injustice of not getting her way."
"Kids these days," Edward said, with a chuckle. He took Annie's backpack over to the table. "Does she have any homework?"
"Does she ever? She's in kindergarten so that would be a negative."
"I had homework when I was in kindergarten," Edward announced, opening the pink pony covered bag.
"That's a bunch of bull, Cullen." Bella rolled her eyes. "Let me see...you also waded through ten miles of deep snow to get to the old one-room schoolhouse?"
Edward smirked. "I did. We also had to hunt and forage for our food. I could only catch frogs. I bet you couldn't even imagine the indigestion I had when I studied animal husbandry at the ripe old age of seven."
"You are such a nut!" Bella laughed.
Edward pulled out a note from Annie's teacher, which wasn't an unusual occurrence. Her teacher was always keeping the parents notified of their children's progress. This one was different, though, than the usual letters of young Annie excelling in her various studies. Edward tried not to laugh as he read it. He finished reading it and handed Bella the note. "I think you need to check this one out."
Bella scanned the paper in front of her. Taking a deep breath, she calmly called up the stairs. "Annie, please come down here!"
Edward followed with his hands deep in his pockets. "You have to admit it's funny."
"Yup, hilarious! I think we need to put it in the scrapbook and show how proud we are of her this day." Actually, Bella wanted to laugh, but was trying to remain the responsible parent.
Annie stomped down the stairs. "Is this about the pizza? I'm not hungry, Mother!"
Six going on sixteen. Yes, indeed.
"Actually, pumpkin, I was wondering about how your poem at school went today." Bella crossed her arms. "You read it to the class today, right?"
Annie's eyes suddenly got very, very big. "Yes. It was about kittens."
Bella gave a small smile. "That's right. Can you recite it to Prince Daddy?"
Annie looked visibly nervous. "Okay. I love kittens. Pink kittens. Fluffy kittens. Cute kittens. Furry kittens. I like kittens."
"Isn't that lovely, Edward?"
Edward took Bella's hand. He hoped if she squeezed it hard enough, he wouldn't start laughing. "It's the bee's knees."
"Bees don't have knees!" Annie exclaimed, forgetting that she was about to get in trouble. These adults said the craziest things! "They do have stingers. They die when they sting you! Did you know that?"
"I did!" Edward exclaimed. "Bee's knees is an expression."
"Oh." Annie was still confused.
Bella groaned. "Back to the poem, please! Annie, darling, you didn't say kittens at any point today when you read it to your classmates."
"You replaced the word kittens with poop." Bella squeezed Edward's hand. Hard. She could tell he was about to crack. "Please, could you tell me why in the world you would do that?"
"It was funny!" Annie gave a huge grin. "Everyone laughed!"
"Did your teacher laugh?" Bella glared at Edward who was biting his lip and starting to shake.
"No, Mommy. She really is a stick in the mud," Annie stated. "She didn't laugh at all! Poop is funny!"
Edward lost it. He started cracking up.
"No potty humor at school, Ann!" Bella scolded and elbowed Edward in the stomach.
"Hey, Annie? What do you get when the poop crossed the road?" Edward asked, his eyes full of mischief.
Bella put her hands in front of his mouth. "Not appropriate!"
Annie giggled. "Could it be...?"
Edward pulled his hand away and he yelled with Annie, "Poop!"
"That is juvenile, Edward!" Bella complained.
"You love it!" He kissed her.
She did love it when he kissed her. But, the joke? Not so much.
Matt bounced in singing, "Tigger! Tigger! Tigger!"
Annie, still on a high from being saved by her prince, said, "Sing poop, Matt!"
"Poo?" Matt asked, as he stopped. He looked at his family in confusion. "Oh...poo!"
He stuck his hand into his diaper and pulled out a handful of the stuff. "Yuck, Mama!"
How Bella wished that kid would start using the damned potty!
"Don't put your hands down your pants!" she cried.
The phone rang, Edward was about to run and get it, but Bella pulled him back.
"You made jokes about poop. You can clean the kid!"
He whined, "But, honey..."
"Clean it, Edward!" Bella marched over to the phone.
Before she could even say hello, Esme happily shouted into the phone. "Alice is getting married! Don't tell her I told you, because she's planning on calling you tomorrow."
"What?" Bella was surprised, but excited.
"He asked her on the ranch!" Esme said with glee. "The wedding will be there!"
Bella couldn't help grinning and mentally made a packing list. It looked like they were headed to the Lone Star state.