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. Bella's side of this is Everything I Needed, and it was just posted. 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 Wanted
I left my office, my personal effects in a few boxes sitting in the trunk of my SUV. I had two more days in Chicago tying up all the loose ends and then we'd be on the road. I had debated between shipping my car and driving with the kids, but when we had everything arranged, I just decided to drive overnight and let them sleep through it. It would beat racing around the airport while being worried about my car being damaged in transit.
I walked in the door to see Tanya and Rosalie in another screaming match, but I didn't have the time for Rosalie's latest round of the blame game. I loved my daughter but she was exhausting when she got on the warpath. And with only two days left before the last semblances of her life were packed away for the eight hundred mile move to Manhattan, she was in overdrive.
"Edward, wait," Tanya called out and I stopped my retreat on the third step, "the movers called about ten minutes ago, they'll be here any minute so don't hibernate up in your office."
"Thanks, Tanya," I told her, glad that there was civility between us.
Tanya and I had grown up together, but we didn't start dating until our senior year of high school. We both went to college in Chicago so that the distance wouldn't kill our relationship and everything was great, but a few months into our junior year Tanya found out she was pregnant with Rosalie. We both busted our asses that year and she held out until three hours after her last final before her water broke and we became parents.
My mom helped out with watching Rosalie while we were finishing our last year, and by the time we graduated we'd become really good at managing our time between work, our daughter and each other.
We both started working for big companies, and it was all a dream; until it started to crumble around us. It started when Tanya's parents died. We had just had Jasper and dealing with all the estate issues and our busy lives chipped away at the time we spent being us.
Then my father left my mom for a much younger woman, a move that devastated my mom, even though his new relationship was over before the divorce was final. We'd just finished the remodel of what had been Tanya's parents' house and were living there, so my mom came to stay with us for a while, which stretched into the last three years of her life before she passed away from cancer. A heart attack took my father within the year.
At that point we knew that we had to try harder or we would drift apart completely, which was how we had Alice. Now with an infant, a six year old, and a twelve year old, plus two jobs and endless other commitments, we fell into a routine just to get us through the days, which was how we ended up settling for comfortable. We were too burnt out to strive for more.
For a year and a half we were closer to roommates than husband and wife, but it was still Tanya who came to me and started the discussion. We filed for legal separation, and I moved into the guest room. With the kids and our schedules, we felt it was easier to do it that way, especially with how often Tanya traveled as a buyer for her company.
Rosalie had fought us on it even then, but as the year of separation passed and we both felt the relief at not having to feel guilty that our feelings had changed, we knew we were making the right decision.
It took a while with all of the court dates because of the custody hearings, but our amicable attitude and agreement once again made things a little smoother. We shared legal custody, but I had sole physical custody of the kids. Our house had been a problem at first, but when my company offered me a promotion to move to New York, I jumped at the chance. The court allowed it as long as Tanya got her afforded visitation with the kids, which she gladly agreed could happen during their school breaks or over the summer.
The divorce was finalized and my sister-in-law, Esme, had found us the perfect house in Manhattan and then spent her considerable talent perfecting it. She even told me that it might be possible for us to employ the same nanny as most of the kids were in school all day so it would only be the afternoon where the poor woman would be wrangling five kids.
With the way the past six months had gone, my pragmatic side had me wondering when the spell would break and things would fall to shit, but I was holding out hope that it would continue on for a little while longer.
I directed the movers around the house, showing them what to load up and then watching as they loaded our life onto their truck. Jasper came up to me just as the movers left, tugging on my hand to get my attention.
"Dad, where are they taking all of our stuff?"
Kneeling down in front of him, I explained our move to him again. "They're going to drive it to Aunt Esme and Uncle Carlisle in New York and then she's going to unpack it so that when we get to our new home your room will be all ready for you."
"Will you be home with us all the time now that we're moving to live closer to Uncle Carlisle and Aunt Esme?" Jasper asked and Rosalie just scoffed from where she and Tanya were listening from the kitchen.
"No, buddy, but the lady that watches Charlotte and Tia will watch you guys too, so you'll be with your cousins all the time, and I'll still be home for dinner, just like I am now."
Jasper thought about it for a minute before running off to play in his bedroom, giving me a chance to make the calls that would sever my ties to Chicago for good.
All of us were running around the next day, doing last minute things for our move, but I was glad that Tanya had taken off the day that we were leaving. While she took the kids for a day in the city, I slept most of the day to prepare for the twelve hour drive that I would be facing.
I woke up to Alice bouncing on the bed next to me. "Daddy, dinner's aalllll ready!"
"Okay, Sweetheart." I yawned before getting out of bed. I threw on the jeans and t-shirt I had sitting out and brought my final bag downstairs.
The five of us sat down for dinner and the kids were a little somber, the reality that their mom wouldn't be living with them anymore setting in.
With a hug for Tanya, we said goodbye to each other and then I went to pack the rest of our things while the kids said goodbye to their mother.
Rosalie was the first to blow past me, climbing into the back seat and putting in her earbuds. I picked up Jasper and carried him to the car as Tanya did the same with Alice.
"Miss you, Mommy." Alice started to cry, but Tanya quickly kissed away her tears.
"It's okay, sweetie. We'll still talk on the phone and have our special video calls, and I'll see you soon to go on vacation, okay? Mommy loves you so much, honey."
"Love you this big, Mommy." Alice held her arms wide and Tanya laughed through her own tears.
Buckling Jasper into the front seat, I walked around the car and caught Tanya's hand before she could retreat back to the house. "Take care of yourself."
"You too, Edward, drive carefully." I pulled Tanya in for another hug and then let her get safely back into the house before driving off.
My plan seemed to work as Alice was asleep before we had made it out of Chicago, and Jasper was asleep by nine o'clock. Tanya had done a good job of tiring them out, but my eldest was sulking in the backseat.
"Rosalie, do you want to talk?" I asked when she finally took out her earbuds, seeing as we were going to be in this car for a while.
"Not really, you've ruined my life. I don't understand why you and mom are doing this," she whined and I tried to push past the attitude and remember the little girl that asked me to sing her to sleep.
"Rosalie, you know how it was when you used to spend all your time with Julie and she annoyed you with all of her complaining about how Doug was ignoring her, so you started to only hang out with her at school?"
"Well that's a little bit how your mom and I are. We're best friends, but we got to the point where being more than that didn't work out for us. I still love your mom, just not the way I used to, and that isn't fair to either of us, so we decided to just be friends before we started fighting and getting to the point where we couldn't put you guys first."
"How is moving us away from everything we know, including mom, putting us first. Mom dumped you, didn't she? And you're running away," she accused and I lost it.
"Rosalie Lillian Cullen, don't forget who you're talking to. And my job needed me to move to New York, so it made it easier with your uncle living out there. New York is a great town and once you get older you'll be happy that we moved there."
"Whatever, just make sure the nanny knows that she's not in charge of me," Rose muttered, but I caught it.
"The nanny will be in charge of you. This is a new city and you're too young to be running around. You'll have a driver just like your cousins and you will not take out your anger at us on the woman watching you, whether she is the lady that's been watching your cousins the last few years or not."
Rosalie put back in her earbuds, ending the conversation and she was asleep by the time we left Toledo. I had the music on at a level just high enough to keep me focused, but thankfully I didn't feel tired.
The drive was long when the kids weren't awake to chat with me, but as the sun began to rise we crossed Jersey before taking the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan. Everyone started to perk up as we entered the tunnel, and we drove straight to the house, hoping to beat Esme, but not surprised to see that we hadn't.
"There are my beautiful nieces. And Jasper look at how big you've gotten," Esme cried out as she hugged my kids before pulling me close. "You look good, Edward, and the house is almost completely put together. I didn't touch your things because I figured you'd want to organize yourself, but the common areas and the kids things are all taken care of."
Looking around as we walked inside, I could tell how hard she had worked. "Thank you, Esme, this is perfect."
"You're welcome, now, do you want to get them all settled first. Carlisle is going to have Bella bring the kids here around one or one-thirty, so that gives you a few hours to do whatever you want to."
Knowing I needed to get things set for the kids, Esme and I unloaded my car and put the bags and few boxes in the appropriate rooms. Rosalie was left to unpack her things in her room while I took Alice down to her room, hoping that she'd play while I unpacked her. We could hear Jasper and Esme above us, which was a distraction in and of itself for Alice.
It took a while, but everything was put away and soon Esme was making us soup and sandwiches for an early lunch. There wasn't much in the fridge, but that was something I was sure that I would remedy soon enough.
Carlisle walked in after lunch, gathering the kids before coming over to give me a hug. "Welcome to Manhattan, brother."
"Thanks," I told him. "Where are my nieces?"
"Bella was bringing them to the park, I was going to call her and tell her to bring them here. Is that okay?"
"Yeah, I might as well get it over with. No use in putting it off."
"Oh, Edward, let me show you her room. You can go explore the basement after that," Esme urged as we climbed into the elevator, leaving Carlisle to watch the kids as they went back up to the kids' floor.
The fourth floor had been set up with a very specific person in mind, I could tell as soon as I saw some of the touches in the room. The top floor had two little terraces and plenty of windows to let in light. I was sure that Bella would love what Esme had done for her.
After expressing my pleasure at all the hard work her and her team had done, I headed straight down to the basement, which housed my home office, gym, and my own private little den. I needed a man's floor after not having a space for myself in the house I shared with Tanya.
I started organizing the books on my bookshelves until an annoyed sounding Rosalie called down to me. "Dad, Uncle Carlisle said to get up here."
Knowing that I was likely being called up to meet Bella, I pulled out the contract information I'd had my lawyer draw up. I had taken care of all the paperwork to hire a nanny, so I left everything she would need down there until I got to talk to her for a while.
I ran up the stairs and entered the living room just as Carlisle opened the front door to let in Bella and the girls. My nieces ran in, all hugs and smiles, but as I looked up from them to see their caregiver, I froze.
Bella Swan was the exact opposite of everything I'd ever had or thought to wish for, but I was fucked because now that I'd seen her, I wanted her bad.
Carlisle introduced her as Isabella before telling me that everyone called her Bella, but hoping to keep a modicum of professionalism, I referred to her by her full first name. And then she called me 'Sir.'
Fuck did that sound good.
I asked her about her choice of career, because I didn't need someone who wasn't sure she wanted to continue to be a nanny coming in and then quitting. My children had been uprooted and I wouldn't allow any more disruptions in their lives.
Bella seemed sincere in her desire to keep her current day job so she could pursue her dream, but when I decided to ask about how she was with younger children I stepped in a heaping pile of shit.
It broke my heart to see her eyes water at the mention of her little sister and how an entire half of her family had been taken away from her at such a young age. After bumbling my way through an apology, we talked a little more before we moved upstairs to introduce her to my younger kids.
Rosalie was wearing on my patience with her rude behavior, but both Jasper and Alice opened up to Bella, who managed to engage both of them on their interests. Those few minutes proved that Bella would be a perfect fit with my kids, so as they turned back to their activities, I invited her to come into my office with me so we could discuss her contract.
Most of the details were similar to those of her arrangement with Carlisle and Esme and I told her that I understood that she'd be running errands with Alice, simply asking that she not bring her anywhere inappropriate.
The biggest shock was when I mentioned her moving in, and it was then that I realized that Esme hadn't mentioned that part of the arrangement.