A/N... Hi this is our new story co-written by Lost Twi Sisters and Opal Aline.. We hope that you enjoy it.
As always Stephenie Meyer owns all characters.
I stood in line to see Santa, as my sister Bella sat on the bench waiting for me.
I really didn't believe in Santa, but at this moment I needed a miracle and maybe just maybe this fake Santa could help me get there.
It was nearly my turn as I watched Bella cough, I knew she was getting sick again.
She get's sick a lot.
We live here or there, at various shelters or sometimes we sleep in doorways. Since our parents died, we haven't lived in a real house or had a real Christmas.
Bella takes the best care of me, she'll do odd jobs and get us enough money to eat. Sometimes she helps get me clothes.
I needed to do something nice for her, so I decided to go see the jolly fat man, I know he's not fat. I can tell its a pillow, but at this moment I don't care.
"Hey kid, it's your turn," the elf said to me.
I walked slowly up to the man on the chair.
He didn't look old like most Santa's, but I guess he'll have to do.
"Merry Christmas, little boy. What can Santa get you this year? Have you been a good boy?"
"Yeah, I've been good. I don't want anything for Christmas for me. You see that girl over on that bench," I pointed over to where Bella was sitting.
He looked over there, and nodded.
"I want my sister to have a nice place to live, she works hard to take care of me and I want her to have a nice Christmas. She get's sick a lot and I worry about her. Do you think you can make that happen?"
"You know I'm not the real Santa, right?" he laughed.
"Yeah, I know that. But I was hoping that you could maybe put in a good word with the real one, Bella's the best. She takes care of me, the best she can since our parents died. I just want us to have a home and then we won't be so cold anymore."
"You're homeless?" he asked and there was real concern in his voice.
"Home is where the heart is - Bella is my home."
I know I really didn't answer the question, but I can't tell a stranger that I'm homeless.
"How often does she get sick?" fake Santa asked.
"Always with a cough?"
"Yeah," I said. "Can I go now? There are other kids waiting who actually believe in you."
"You should try and get her to see a doctor, that cough sounds bad - could be bronchitis," fake Santa said.
Like that would be possible, as I got up from his lap.
"Okay, I'll do that."
"I'm here every weekend - just so you know," he said with a genuine smile
"Okay," I said as I took the candy cane the elf handed me.
I'll give it to Bella, maybe it will make her throat feel better.
I walked back over to her.
"Hey Bell, ready?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said as she coughed again.
I wrapped my arm around her waist and we walked from the mall.
"Where are we staying tonight? It's too cold for you outside."
"I'm not sure. Did you tell Santa what you wanted?" she asked.
"Yeah, I did. I asked him for a home for you."
She smiled down at me.
Bella walked us to the shelter and she started to cough as we walked in.
She talked to the woman who ran it and they were full.
I knew what that meant, we'd be sleeping on the street.
The woman gave Bella two bag lunches and some water bottles, at least we would have something to eat.
Even though Bella would only eat half of the sandwich and save the other half for me for tomorrow.
We walked downtown to where other people like us stayed, Bella already put her heavy coat on, but I could still feel her shivering.
"Hey baby," some man called to Bella but she kept walking with her head down.
I hated when men would approach her, she always kept walking sometimes they gave up but other times they followed.
Unfortunately this was one of the times where they followed.
"You wanna earn some extra cash, baby?"
Bella kept walking, not saying a word.
When I was a bit younger, I didn't think it was a bad thing until one time I saw some lady with a guy by the tracks and I had questions for Bella.
She told me straight about how people think since we live on the street that we aren't worth much, but Bella told me that we have value and one day things would be better for us.
I believe her and I will make sure that she gets her happy ever after. She deserves it, she's taken such good care of me since I was six, I'm eleven now.
We used to have a house with a warm bed, and I had toys. Bella had nice dresses and clothes and books, which were her favorites.
But after our parents were killed in a train accident, she's taken care of me, even when we lost the house.
She could've put me with the state people, but she wouldn't do that.
So we've been on the street since then.
The man following us grabbed her and pulled her to him.
I could see Bella's body tense as soon as he touched her. I yelled for help but there was no one around to hear.
Bella struggled and I could see her bring her knee up and she got him square in the balls.
"Run!" She yelled at me, pulling from the man's grasp as he doubled in pain.
We ran along way and no one was behind us.
She stopped and sat on a bench as she began coughing.
I was afraid she was going to pass out.
I got in my backpack and pulled out the water bottle from earlier and I handed it to her.
"Bella, here drink this," I said thrusting the bottle into her hand.
She took a small sip of the water and handed it back.
"I'm okay," she said her voice hoarse.
"You're not okay, Bell. I need to get you help," I said my voice sounding panicky to my own ears.
I didn't know what I could do, I'm eleven.
"I'll be fine like always, Anthony. Let's find somewhere to sleep for the night."
We walked along the dark streets and I prayed for a miracle to happen and that I would find her a home, with someone to take care of her and me.
We walked to the old abandoned train station and we huddled together in a corner under our sleeping bags that I pulled out of our back pack.
I made sure that Bella put her gloves on and her extra socks.
Even with the extra layers on her, I could still feel her shivering.
Bella recited the poem 'Twas the night before Christmas' as we laid there in the dark.
Christmas was in a couple weeks, not that it was a big deal to us, but I intended to go see fake Santa again.
He seemed really nice.
His eyes seemed to show kindness, like really care when he looked over at Bella, but still I couldn't trust him.
Bella fell asleep as she talked to me and I listened to her breathing, it was labored. I could tell she was really sick this time.
The week went on and we moved from various places, we never slept in the same place twice.
I was able to panhandle enough money to get us some hot chocolate and some food.
I told Bella that I helped some old lady carry her groceries inside, Bella was so sick that she didn't question me.
As we were walking up town, Bella sat against an alley wall and rested her head against her knees.
I think it was Saturday, I wasn't sure but I knew I had to go find fake Santa.
I tried to wake her up, but she wouldn't wake up.
I started to panic.
"Bella, Bell.. wake up, please."
I felt the side of her neck and she had a pulse.
"Bella," I said as I shook her.
I knew I had to find help.
I decided to leave her there.
I wrapped my sleeping bag around her, and I hoped that I could find fake Santa.
He'd know what to do.
I ran as fast as I could to the entrance of the mall.
Several people stared at me as I ran passed them.
I ran to the Santa's house and waited in line, thankfully there weren't many people there.
I hoped it was the right fake Santa.
It was finally my turn and the elf told me to go on.
I sat down and looked into his eyes.
"Fake Santa, my sister she won't wake up. She's really sick, I can't wake her up, pl..ease help her," I cried.
"Did you try and wake her?"
"Yes, I shook her and yelled at her. I felt her pulse and she's alive. Her breathing is very small."
I couldn't help the sobs that came from me.
The elf next to him laughed and fake Santa gave her a look.
"Where is she?" fake Santa asked.
"In the alley, I couldn't wake her."
"Get the next guy from his break, I'm leaving now," the fake Santa yelled at his elf.
"You can't there's children waiting," the elf said.
"Yes, I can. I'm a doctor first and foremost and someone needs my help. Get him out here, now," he said as he stood up and walked off the platform.
I followed him.
I watched as he pulled off his Santa suit and tossed it aside.
"What is your name?" he asked me.
"Anthony," I said.
"Anthony, nice to meet you I'm Edward," he said as we left the mall.
"How did she wind up in an alley?" Edward asked as he jogged beside me.
"We...we were getting a bite to eat and just happened to be near the alley," I told him.
"I wasn't born yesterday, Anthony - I can tell by your pallor you don't eat regularly. I really am a doctor."
"We were getting food...and then...we were going to check the shelter for space."
"So you are in fact homeless," Edward said.
"That doesn't make us less than you," I told him angrily.
"I didn't say it did. Just trying to figure out your background - it will help me treat her."
"Oh okay. Sorry, I'm just worried - she's all I have."
When we got to the alley Bella was just where I left her.
Edward knelt at Bella's side - he felt her head, and her pulse and put his ear to her chest, he said he was listening to her lungs.
"I think it's pneumonia," he said. "I would like to take you both to my place so I can treat her."
"Why your place? Why not a hospital?"
"If I check her in there I'll have to report her as homeless and then child protective services will be called. Bringing you both to my house is the only way I can help her and keep you together."
"You have everything at your house to treat her?" I asked.
"Almost. I know a nurse that owes me a favor. She's working tonight I'll give her a call tell her to drop a few things at my house."
"Okay," I told him. I know Bella wouldn't be happy about me trusting a stranger but I have to do something I can't let her lay here and die.
"What will your wife think?" I asked.
"No wife," he said picking Bella up easily.
"A girlfriend then?" I asked.
"Are you gay?"I asked looking at him.
"No, definitely not gay," Edward said as we got to the parking lot.
"Why don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Just haven't found the right girl."
"Bella could be the right girl."
"Ummm, well, I haven't even met her yet, but she must be pretty cool to have such a great brother."
"Yeah, she's the best. You'll love her."
Edward laid her gently in the backseat of his car when we reached it and told me to take shotgun as he pulled his cell out.
"Hey, it's Edward. I'm calling in that favor. I need a couple bags of saline and needles and if you could bring them to my house that would be great," Edward said into his phone.
"I realize it's risky but you do owe me big time so yeah I'm calling it in. Yeah as soon as possible would be good. Thanks, Alice, you're the best."
Edward pocketed his phone and started the car.
"Who was that?"
"A friend. She's a nurse, I helped her boyfriend out of a sticky situation so she owes me a favor."
Edward drove through town toward a side of town I had only heard about...the rich side of town.
Bella deserved to live somewhere like this.
He pulled up in front of a big two story house, and I could tell it was beautiful inside.
We pulled into the garage and I held open the door between the house and garage as Edward picked Bella up and walked inside.
He walked in and I followed him as we walked through a nice big kitchen and down a hallway.
Edward flipped the light switch with his elbow and laid Bella on a large bed. It made me happy to see her on a bed.
She looked so pale against the dark blue sheets.
I really hoped Edward could make her well.
I looked around the room and I could see us living here with Edward.
He seems like a lonely guy that lives in a really big house.
Bella would like it here, he has a lot of books and the kitchen is huge.
I really missed Bella's cooking. She was the best cook ever.
Our mom couldn't cook anything, so Bella did all the cooking.
I really miss that and I miss living in a house and sleeping in a warm bed.
"Okay, I need to take some of these clothes off her, want to help me?" Edward asked me.
"Um.. sure," I mumbled.
We removed her coat, boots and one of the shirts she was wearing.
"I'll be right back," Edward said as he walked from the room.
I touched her forehead and she felt really warm.
I couldn't wait until she was better and could see how wonderful Edward is.
Yeah, I have my hopes up that she'll fall madly in love with him and we'll never have to leave here.
Bella deserves a happy ending and this could be it.
Edward came back a few minutes later with a black bag and a few washcloths.
He opened his bag and pulled out a stethoscope and listened to her heart and lungs.
"She's really struggling to breathe - definitely sounds like pneumonia."
"Is she going to be okay? Can you help her?" I asked.
"I can and she should be feeling better in a week or so, biggest thing she needs is to be warm and eat regularly - her body can't fight this without proper nutrition."
The doorbell rang suddenly and Edward left to answer it.
I could hear him talking to someone, but couldn't make out what was being said.
He came right back holding a bag filled with clear fluid and a small case.
"What's all that?" I asked.
"This is saline," he said holding up the bag with the clear liquid. "It's important she stays hydrated."
I watched as he took a pair of latex gloves from his bag and then felt along Bella's arm and then pulled a needle with a tube on it from the case.
I was amazed when he got the needle in her arm without even waking her - Bella hated needles.
He hooked the tube to the bag of fluid and then stood up, removed the picture that is over the bed and hung the bag of fluid on the nail in the wall.
He adjusted a little dial that's on the tube and I can see the liquid start moving out of the bag and down the tube.
I watched as he moved some hair off her face, he looked as if he really cared about her.
"Are you hungry, Anthony? We could order some pizza."
"What about, Bella?"
"Right now she just needs rest, when she wakes up, we'll get her something to eat."
"I could eat," I told him. I don't really want him knowing I feel like I could eat a whole pizza myself.
"Well, let's go and order us a pizza," he said as he led me from the room.
I followed him out to the kitchen, man Bella would love this, and I just stand looking around while he ordered the pizza.
"So what do you like to do, Anthony?" he asked me.
"I like to draw, and sometimes play games," I said quietly.
"Like board games, or video games?"
"Both. I haven't had a chance to play many video games living on the street, but I did play when we lived at home."
"I have a system if you want to play anytime, just make yourself at home."
"Yeah, feel free to use anything anytime," he said.
"Why are you being so nice? What do you want out of all of this?" I asked defensively.
"Not a thing. Just to help - just like I helped at the mall with the Santa thing. It makes me happy helping people, is that so hard to believe?" he asked.
"Yes. I'm sorry, but living out there on the streets. You tend not to trust easily. I don't want Bella to be hurt. She's all I have. I trust you, Edward. There was something about you and that's why I came to you when I couldn't wake her up."
"I'm glad you came to me. She probably would've gotten a lot worse out on the street. But now she'll get better faster with our help."
The doorbell rang and he went to answer it.
He came back carrying three boxes and a two liter of soda.
It smelled really good.
Edward sat the boxes down and grabbed some plates and glasses.
"Help yourself," he said as he handed me a plate.
I felt bad since Bella wasn't eating.
"It okay to eat Anthony, I think your sister would want you to eat."
"But.. she's hungry too. She always sacrifices herself so that I can eat enough," I said as tears gathered in my eyes.
"I know but she can't eat right now, I promise we'll save her some," he said with a smile.
"You promise?" I asked.
"Yes, I promise."
With that, I picked up several pieces of pizza and Edward did too.
We ate quietly.
It tasted so good. I couldn't help but eat about four pieces and two glasses of soda.
Edward ate just as much as I did.
He was a really cool guy, not many people would invite a homeless kid and their sister into their home.
He doesn't know us from anyone, we could kill him in his sleep or take all of his money.
Not that we would, but he's really a wonderful person and I think he'll be perfect for Bella.
After we finished eating, I helped Edward put stuff away and then we checked on Bella.
"Can I put my sleeping bag in here? I don't want her left alone."
"You can sleep in the other extra room, I'll stay here in the chair and keep an eye on her," he said.
"Umm, I guess I could...for a bit."
He showed me to the other room and I climbed into the bed.
"Anthony, I promise if she wakes up. I'll come and get you. Okay?"
"Okay," I say.
I snuggled into the blankets and it felt nice to sleep in a bed.
"Edward," I said softly as he was by the door.
"Thank you for everything."
"You're welcome," he said as he walked out the door.
I thanked God for meeting him that day at the mall.