I know it has been a while since I've posted, but I have been writing around the whirlwind that has been my life this fall. Things are coming to a head, and with that I will have more time to write and complete some things, but this little one has been sitting in my tbr file for a while and I've now got enough banked on both sides to feel comfortable to at least start posting.
This story is a first for me, in that I'm posting two separate POV's as separate stories. Edward's side of this is Everything I Wanted, and it will be posted soon after this goes up. You will get one chapter a week of each if I can stick to the plan, with Need posting in the middle of the week (because I can't always guarantee Wednesday) and Want posting on the weekend. There will be some overlap, but not more than necessary as they will follow the pair more when they're apart, especially in the beginning.
This is my Thanksgiving present to all of you who have stuck with me, and to everyone who doesn't celebrate, just know that you make the journey so fulfilling with your support. I've gotten an influx of new followers thanks to rec on TwiFanficionRecs and TwiFic Central, so here's a whole new ride. Older Edward, younger Bella, but both of them have a lot to learn.
As always thanks to Mizzdee for her beta skills and support, you're my best friend and I love you. ACullenWannabe, my fic sis, has started to post again, so if you haven't read her stories, RUN to check them out.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Everything I Needed
I jogged down the street after coming out of the subway, hoping that I wouldn't be late. Esme had to get over to the property on 38th Street, so I would be watching the girls until Carlisle got home from the hospital.
It was hard to believe that I would finally be done with school in a few weeks and I was starting to get worried about what that would mean for my job as Carlisle and Esme's nanny. Their two girls, Charlotte and Tia, were both dreams to take care of, but now that I had my degree I wasn't sure what would change. I would happily continue on as their nanny, because it would give me a place to live and an okay income, but with the city being as expensive as it is, I might need to take a second job during the mornings.
I put those thoughts aside the moment I walked past Sam and entered the lobby of the building that housed the closest thing I had to family in New York.
Esme and Carlisle Cullen had found me by sheer coincidence one day two years ago as Esme and I both searched for fabric at a great textile place in Midtown. She was looking for upholstery fabric for a chair and I needed a few yards for a new dress, but it was our conversation as we waited at the cutting table that led to me meeting her family.
Though I hadn't been with an agency, my odd menagerie of skills and way with children won over both Esme and Carlisle, so after some background checks and a signed contract, I was moving out of the tiny room I was renting in the tenement-style house in Brooklyn and into my dream apartment in Little Italy. Esme owned three floors in the building, which included both her design studio, office, and my apartment, so my rent was technically part of my income in addition to the salary I earned for watching the girls about twenty to twenty-five hours a week.
For the past two years I'd managed to fit my school schedule around the girls, and now I was about to embark on a whole new world of possibilities.
Esme was encouraging me to use my newfound free time to write, seeing as it was why I had gone to school to earn a double major in creative writing and history, but I wasn't sure I was financially secure enough to do that.
The elevator door opened and I stepped in, pressing the button for the apartment several times in hopes that it would speed up the trip. The ride was short, and soon I was in the small foyer outside their condo, trying to dig out my keys. Finally finding them, I opened the door and immediately heard the girls' laughter.
"Sorry I'm late, Esme, my history professor took forever to hand back our last paper," I told her as she kissed the girls goodbye and waved me off.
"Don't worry about it; I was still taking care of some things here, so I wouldn't have been ready to leave until I tied up those loose ends. Carlisle won't be home for dinner, so you girls are on your own tonight. I'll see you tomorrow, Bella."
With Esme gone, I settled Charlotte and Tia at their arts and crafts table and let them draw while I looked for something to make for dinner. Noticing the jar of sauce I'd made last week was still there, as well as some mozzarella, I decided on English muffin pizza and then pulled out my history notes. I only had one final exam, as two of my history teachers assigned final papers and both of my English classes had writing assignments, which I'd already handed in. My exam was tomorrow morning, and then I would have three weeks off before my graduation ceremony.
When the girls got bored of drawing, I put on Finding Nemo and let them veg out and enjoy their favorite movie while I sat on the other end of the couch with my notebook. By the time the movie was over, I was feeling prepared for my test and the girls were feeling chatty.
We made the pizza as Charlotte talked about how excited she was for her cousins to be moving and it was then that I realized why Esme was working so hard on this newest project, it was obviously for her brother-in-law and his family. Between Tia and Charlotte, I found out that they had three cousins and they would be arriving the day before my graduation.
I smiled at their adorable enthusiasm and after the dinner dishes were washed we moved into the living room for a few rounds of go fish before another Disney movie went into the blu-ray player. Tia was asleep halfway through, so I carried her to bed before I sat down with Charlotte to watch the end of the movie.
"Bella," Charlotte said, obviously ignoring the singing animals on the screen at the moment, "I hope Uncle Eddie likes you, because then we'd get to see Rose and Jasper and Alice almost every day."
Her statement confused me, because I didn't know why her uncle would have to like me for her to see her cousins. Charlotte started to fall asleep soon after, so I tucked her in and then returned to the living room to watch a little TV until Carlisle came home.
"Bella," Carlisle's voice called to me as he shook my shoulder, "thanks for staying late, you can take the guest room if you'd like, otherwise just text me so I know you made it home safe."
"I promise to text you," I yawned as I said goodnight and then collected my things, making my way out to the subway station a few blocks down.
The train arrived soon after I got to the platform, so I got home fairly quickly, sending Carlisle a text as I headed up to my apartment so that I could get some sleep before my exam in the morning.
The three weeks between my exam and my graduation ceremony were hectic. Esme had approached me last week to explain that she wanted me to meet with her brother-in-law about possibly becoming a full-time nanny for his three kids. I would still watch the girls, only Jared, their driver, would pick up all the kids and drive them to Edward's house and I would wrangle the children there. I had to admit that I was excited by the prospect of having the two incomes, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up too high until I met the family.
Angela and Ben, two of my best friends from college, were all excited about our upcoming graduation. They were two years younger than me, a product of my cross-country move after getting my culinary degree, but from the moment that she and I met in our first gen-ed class, we became inseparable. The three of us were going out to dinner with their parents after the ceremony, which meant that the Cullens were taking me out to breakfast before the ceremony.
I'd been surprised that Carlisle and Esme were going to the ceremony considering that their family was arriving the day before, but Esme was insistent that they would not miss this important milestone in my life.
The day before my graduation, Carlisle called me while I was playing with the girls at the park, asking me to make a detour on the way home.
"Bella, Edward and the kids are at their new house and he said that he'd like to interview you today, if possible. The kids are only in town for a few days before they go on vacation with their mother, so it would be better to have you speak to him when you can also meet the children."
"Sure, Carlisle, let me just hop on the subway and we'll be there in about a half hour. I just need you to text me the exact address."
"Will do, Bella. See you in a while."
Gathering up our things, I walked with the girls to West 86th Street so we could get on the subway. Two trains and a short walk later, I was stopping in front of a gorgeous looking white brick brownstone. The three of us walked up the stairs and over to the side before ringing the doorbell to be let in. Carlisle opened the door, smiling as the girls babbled about the fun they'd had in the park until they saw their cousins and uncle, letting out shrieks as they ran towards their extended family.
Edward Cullen's jade eyes stared at me in the most disarming manner; his look was somewhere between annoyed and amused, and beside him stood a beautiful blonde teenager that would have killed me with her eyes if she were able to. His hair color was a shade lighter than Esme's warm brown hair, but his build and bone structure was the proof that he was Carlisle's brother. Carlisle noticed my frozen movements and brought me further into the living room and began the introductions.
"Bella, this is my brother, Edward Cullen. Edward this is Isabella Swan, but we all call her Bella."
"Isabella." His voice was professional, but cold and it had me reverting to my southern roots as I responded by calling him sir.
"Well, why don't I bring all the kids upstairs to Esme to show them their rooms while you two talk for a bit," Carlisle said before leading the kids over to the stairs.
"So," Mr. Cullen began, "you've worked for my brother for the last two years. Is being a nanny a long-term goal for you?"
Trying to hold in my annoyance, I responded honestly. "I have a lot of passions in life. I graduated from culinary school before I moved to New York, and tomorrow I graduate with a bachelor's degree in both creative writing and history. I've always loved writing, but it is a difficult industry, so having a steady job while I work on possibly being published someday is something I need. Working for Carlisle and Esme was great because I could schedule classes for the mornings and weekends and go to school during the summer, which allowed me to get my degree and support myself at the same time.
"Now that I'm graduating I will have more free time, and having another family to work for would make everything a lot easier. I can continue to work for Carlisle and Esme, in addition to working for you, and I will still have my evenings and free-time to write."
"My nieces are thirteen and eight, so I know that you'll be able to handle my nine year-old son, but do you have any experience with younger children?" Mr. Cullen asked and I took a deep breath.
"I helped my mom and step-father with my sister while I was in high school. So I was there with her from one day old until three and a half," I told him.
"You almost sound like you lost contact with your mother and her family after that," he commented and I felt the tears well up in my eyes as I answered quickly.
"They were killed in a car accident a week after I graduated high school. That was when I moved to Seattle to go to the Art Institute to study Culinary Arts like my mom had wanted. But I knew by the time I graduated that I wasn't cut out to be in a kitchen with all of the chauvinism and long hours for little pay. So I got into school in New York and moved here. It's been a long road, but I'm happy with where I am, and if I'm a good fit with you and your kids, I'd love to work for you."
"Isabella, I'm…I didn't mean to bring up what is obviously an emotional subject for you," Mr. Cullen said, finally showing a crack in his veneer. "Esme has told me how you're always cooking and playing with the girls, and Carlisle has told me about all of your certifications in case something happens. If they trust you with my nieces, I'm sure I can trust you with my brood, so how about we go upstairs and see how they respond to you."
"Can I ask a question before we go upstairs?" It was something that had been bugging me since I learned how old his children were, and I really needed to know.
"If your oldest daughter is fifteen, I'm not sure I understand why you would want a full-time nanny."
"Rosalie isn't responsible enough to look after her siblings. She's been a bit rebellious since she turned thirteen and the divorce has only made things worse. Plus, this is a new place for them and I'm going to be working a lot as I settle into my new position, so I don't want to have to worry about what's happening at my house. I need to know that my kids are safe and are following my rules when I'm not here. It's why Carlisle and Esme's driver will also be coming here to take Rosalie and Jasper to school. If you need the driver for anything specific, you can call and put it on the account." I could tell from how worn out he looked that she had definitely been the source of the few visible grey hairs and plenty of sleepless nights for him recently.
"That's understandable, it's a tough city for adults to learn, but they'll adapt to it. Speaking of that, how do you feel about public transportation? I'm asking because while we do use the car service with Charlotte and Tia at times, we usually just take the subway."
"How would you handle three to five kids on the subway?" Mr. Cullen asked.
"With Alice only being three, I'd use a stroller, there are times in the city when it's easier to have the option to strap them in, especially if we're walking around or playing at the park. She can sit in it when she gets tired and relax the whole way home. The others are old enough to walk without issues; they would just have to stay close and hold hands. But I wouldn't take them on public transportation unless I knew you were okay with it, and if I'm planning something specific, I could always give enough warning so that Jared could drive us."
"If you can keep them in check and they are okay on the train then it's okay with me." Mr. Cullen smiled as he gestured for us to take the elevator. "They're probably up on the third floor, so we should introduce you to the kids."
The ride was short, and the idea of having the elevator in the house was really neat, and it would help when trying to get three kids and their things down to the main level. We exited the elevator and the sounds of the kids playing in the main room of the floor instantly had me smiling. Tia saw me and dragged me over to where her cousins were playing and I quickly joined in. Looking at them now, Alice and Jasper were both the spitting image of their father, except for Jasper's brown eyes. Alice seemed a little shy, but when we started talking about going to see the turtles at the castle in the park, her face lit up as she told me about all of her princess toys.
Jasper was sitting off to the side of the room with a book on dinosaurs and I knew a quick way to get his attention.
"Hey Jasper, if you like dinosaurs, we'll have to go see the big exhibit they have at the American Museum of Natural History. They have a bunch of cool exhibits with animals and fish, and they have a planetarium there too."
His whole face lit up as he looked between his father and me. "Can we, Dad?"
"Sure, that sounds like a lot of fun, maybe Isabella can take you one day," he offered and I looked back up to see him watching us intently.
"Great, that means you're sticking us with her," Rosalie groaned, but Edward was already reprimanding her.
"We've discussed this, young lady, and there better be a significant shift in your attitude, because she will be your new nanny as soon as you get back from your trip. Isabella," Edward turned to me, "I think we should head down to my office so we can talk a little more."
Taking the stairs this time, we headed all the way to the basement, which was the only floor that didn't have elevator service.
"Okay, my younger two engaged you, which is more than they've done since the divorce proceedings began, and Rosalie had the anticipated reaction, but she will warm up to you in time. You seem capable of watching over a group that large, and I think with you already working for Carlisle it will be an easy fit. So here is what I'm offering. I need someone here in the mornings to get the kids off to school. As I said, Jared will drive them to school, so you won't have to worry about getting them further than the front door. Alice will be with you during the day and then after school the kids will be dropped off and you'll have all five of them until Esme or Carlisle get the girls and then I come home.
"Now, I realize that you'll need to do things during the day when you have Alice, and I respect that, I simply ask that you remember that you have to put her first and keep her from places that a child shouldn't be. Your nights and weekends will be your own unless I ask you to work extra, and if I do there will be compensation for that. All of this is covered in the contract I had drawn up in case this interview worked out, so you can read it over and if you feel the need to adjust anything, let me know."
"I will, but could you do me a favor and give me a list of the childrens' allergies and any medical conditions, oh and I'd like a set of your house rules, that way I know what I should be enforcing and what is okay for them to do," I asked and he smirked at me. This was definitely a far cry from the man I met upstairs an hour ago.
"Those are in there with the contract. And there's one more thing, and this is important, I'd like you moved in before the kids get back from their visit with their mother in three weeks."