I awoke to the sound of Bella retching in the bathroom. She was having an awful time with the morning sickness. I got up and went into the bathroom to see her wiping her face with a wet towel before adding toothpaste to her toothbrush. Even with her hair mussed and wearing my oversized t-shirt she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever laid my eyes on. The past 5 years had flown by and Bella had finished Med school on schedule and her residency was grueling. She was hardly home and when she was she was too tired to do anything but sleep. She had warned him in no uncertain details what her residency would be like but nothing had prepared him for the reality of her working 14 hour days or 48 hours shifts causing her to sleep in the on call room. Sometime days would go by without us actually seeing one another awake.
Carlisle had to reign me in once when I was angry about her cancelling dinner for the fourth time in a row. I yelled at her and hung up the phone in her face. Minutes later Carlisle was beating at the door with a six pack of beer and his we need to talk face. He explained the nature of residency as only another doctor could and let me know that there was nothing she could do about her scheduling and I wasn't making it any easier on her. She didn't pick her schedule or her hours it was the nature of the medical beast to prepare future doctors in the best way possible for the life they had is front of them. Bella needed to concentrate she could no longer rely on her perfect memory to pass test for her as medical conditions and symptoms could vary from person to person. Her memory would serve her well but the hands on experience was vital to her career.
He also pointed out that Bella knew I was upset about her hours and that was causing her to stress out as well. In short he told me to pull my head out of my ass and wait it out. It was hard on all three of us as Christian missed his mother but we had persevered and was a stronger unit because of it.
After completing her residency Bella decided to open a family practice of Pediatrics, gynecology, and general medicine. Alice had even invested in the clinic as a silent partner and was also on staff as she had received her nursing license. The clinic even boasted a small emergency room which was ran mainly by experienced nurses, and headed by Alice. The clinic was successful and Bella was now working nine to five hours.
It was a surprise to both of us when Bella had a routine check up and was informed by her colleague that she was indeed pregnant. We had agreed to start the following year but apparently mother nature had other plans and Bella was now 4 months along. Her small baby bump was starting to poke out and she had that pregnancy glow about her.
I walked to the sink and kissed the back of her neck. "Good morning love are you okay."
She smiled a weak smile at me in the mirror and nodded before turning in my arms and kissing me good morning.
I gently picked her up and sat her on the counter and held her in a hug until our bubble was burst by our energetic 6 year old that knew he was going camping with his "uncles" Felix and Walter today. They were giving us some much needed private time as Bella and I were going to Hot Springs for the weekend to relax a little. We would be heading out as soon as the guys picked up Chris.
"Mom! Dad!" the little devil yelled with a hint of annoyance in his voice. Bella giggled in my neck before sliding off of the counter to go and greet her son.
I followed behind her after brushing my teeth to find the two of them snuggled in the bed, Bella peppering him face with kisses. He was pretending to be annoyed but was secretly loving every moment of the loving she was putting on him.
My heart constricted every time I saw the two of them together. She looked over his head and caught my gaze and smiled that smile that always made me weak in the knees.
"How about I go make us some pancakes while you wait on Felix and Walter, Bud?" I ruffled his unruly hair and he ducked playfully.
As I mixed up the batter Alice came in the kitchen. She and Jasper were staying with us for a few weeks while renovations were being done on their home.
She was holding Jace their 15 month old little boy in her arms. He was a beautiful mix of his parents. He had Alice's dark hair and vivid blue eyes but Jaspers nose and facial features. He was a very striking little boy. Jasper was currently on duty having joined the Memphis Fire Department. Jasper just wasn't cut out for college and struggled to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. It was Bella that suggested he give the fire department a shot and he loved his career although Alice worried about him.
"Morning Ally, hey little man." I greeted them and poured a handful of cheerios on his high chair. And was rewarded with a big grin from the toddler.
"What time are you guys heading out today?" Alice asked as she sat at the table.
"As soon as Felix and Walt get here which should be any minute now." I answered as I flipped the cakes on the griddle. Christian had wondered in the kitchen with his mom and sat at the table as I placed a stack of pancakes in front of him.
I heard Knocking at the front door and Bella went to answer it. I was expecting the guys but instead it was Emmett, which surprised me. Emmett had struggle a few years back with Rosalie's newfound independence. It has caused him to retreat from the group and it had taken a group intervention and a near fist fight with the big guy before would confide in them the root of his problem. Emmett was illiterate and had never completed any level of high school. I was shocked and wondered how in the world he passed his driver's license test. Come to find out he didn't, he had identification not a license. Riley at the hub declined to give them the new hire test as he knew he was giving them the jobs and he needed help badly when he hired them. It was a stroke of good luck for Emmett. It is why Emmett was never late and rarely called in. He knew he couldn't afford to lose his job because he would not find another one in which paid him as well as the hub without having to read some sort of document.
He felt as though Rosalie was out growing him and would leave him behind. She had a successful business venture which had grown over the years to the point that she had a catalogue that went out and a wedding dress line as well. After a few years Bella had helped her write up a business plan securing her a business grant and Rosalie had opened a small boutique located in East Memphis in a prime shopping location. Alice had gifted her with decoration of the store and it had a new age funky vibe that garnered the attention of younger hip shoppers. She worked the store herself and had two younger women that worked part time for her. She had even learned to make purses and jewelry making her store. The boutique was open from 10-6 and closed on Sundays so she was always home at night had one day that she didn't work at all.
Everything came to a head when Rosalie approached him about purchasing a house or buying their current home from Bella. They had a massive argument when Emmett refused to finance a loan. Just weeks before Rosalie had purchased a new Dodge Charger as her Malibu was starting to die on her. She put over half the cost of the car down because she had no established credit and a large down payment was the only way for her to get into the new vehicle. Her car payment was next to nothing and it gave her the established credit she needed.
The next day Emmett decided to talk it out and popped up at the store to see Rosalie talking to an attractive man that he took as flirting and went ballistic in the store scaring several patrons and damaging some of her inventory. He was gone before the police showed up and Rosalie refused to press charges. Come to find out the guy was the UPS man picking up Rosalie's internet orders.
It was then that the group got involved as Rosalie had come home shaken to her core. She was sobbing so hard that Esme assumed something horrible had happened and had called us all immediately.
Felix, Milton, Carlisle, Jasper and myself decided we needed to have a intervention of sorts. Just before he arrived at the house Judge had arrived and I narrowed my eyes at Felix accusingly. We had decided not to involve he and Milton as neither had exactly warmed to Emmett and would be unforgiving about the violent nature he had displayed in Rosalie's store.
"Edward calm down Judge understands where Emmett is better than any of us, just bear with me okay." Felix reassured the group.
Well to make a long story short the scene was ugly and ended with Walter and Judge having to take the big guy down and talking sense into him. Emmet had flew off the handle in a violent rage and I will never forget Judge having Emmett in a choke hold as Walter held his thrashing legs.
Judge was talking in Emmett's ear and whatever he said must've hit home because the large man begin to cry inconsolably. After a few minutes they let him up and he and Judge went into the back room and had a long heart to heart.
I was never privy to the conversation and Felix wouldn't tell me what was Judge's story stating that is was his to tell, but since then he and Emmett were busom buddies. Emmett had found his person. He started reading lessons at the church and therapy with Reverend Webber and was facing his insecurities like a man. Rosalie had forgiven him eventually but it had taken her a long time to get there.
After a year had passed he began night courses for getting your GED, he had taken the test a few weeks ago and was waiting for the results.
"Hey guys I uhhh passed my test and they are having a sort of graduation ceremony in two weeks and I wanted all of you to come." Bella squealed and jumped up to hug him followed by Alice. Jace was laughing and clapping having no idea why the adults were acting so silly but it seemed like fun.
"Hey man congratulations. I'm proud of you." I gave him a man hug and plated him some pancakes.
Just then Walter and Felix walked in and sat at the table I rolled my eyes at the two large men knowing they had more than likely already had breakfast but that wouldn't stop them from eating as if they were starving refugees.
"You ready little man." Walter asked Christian who nodded his head vigorously as he scooped more syrup laden pancakes in his mouth.
Felix looked over at me and raised an eyebrow in an unspoken question. I shook my head in response. He simply nodded his head in acceptance and picked Jace up out of his high chair to play with the little guy. Bella saw the exchange and smiled at me sympathetically. She didn't agree with my decision but she would support me.
Edward Masen senior had been captured by the authorities about 7 months after my wedding to Bella. He had in fact been in attendance that day but slipped out before I could confirm it was him. He was in the states trying to retrieve a hard drive that had the banking information downloaded to it. Before he could flee again he was caught. A few days ago he had contacted me from the prison requesting to see me. I had mulled over the decision and discussed it in depth with Bella and Felix for hours unsure of what to do.
It boiled down to this. He abandoned my mother and left her to the vultures. He left us without a second thought to save his own skin and he may regret it maybe not but I didn't care my relationship with him was over. I buried him when I buried my mother and I had nothing to say to him. He was a coward and a greedy bastard, he proved that by coming back for the money he had stolen knowing he was on the FBI wanted list.
Bella seems to think that one day I will want some type of closure or that I will regret not forgiving him. What she doesn't understand is I don't need closure from him. He doesn't validate who I am. I became a better man despite of him not because of him and that is all the closure I need.
I looked over at Walter thumb wrestling with Christian and Felix airplaning Jace in the air, Emmett eating a mountain of pancakes, Alice and Bella were giggling over something or the other by the sink and knew I would never need anything else. This was my family now and I couldn't be happier.
AN I am sorry this took so long but I have been dealing with RL first someone stole my laptop and my original Epi was lost as well as 5 chapters of From the Stars. I didn't buy this new one until three weeks later. Then I had to deal with family drama and take custody of a month old baby from a relative that is unable to care for him so yeah its been hectic. I hope this does the story justice and answers all the questions everyone has.