Chapter 10 - epilogue - Happy New Year
"Carlie, would you please put your shoes on, we're going to be late for Mommy and Daddy's premier."
"No shoes, Daddy."
Damn it. Where was Maggie? I need her no-nonsense nannyness. "Baby where did you put your shoes?"
"No shoes, Daddy." She stood in front of me with her arms spread wide and shrugging her shoulders. She gave me a pouty look flashing her mother's doe eyes at me. Damn it. My little angel was a little devil, she had me twisted around her little finger and she knew it.
"Carlie! Yer shoes are under the bed, just where you put them. Now don't be taking advantage of yer father's good nature and put them on or we'll be late for the party. Ya want to go to your mammy's and daddy's party now don't ya?"
"Well then, get those shoes on in a snip and a snap. Edward, why don't ya go and check on yer beautiful wife and I'll take care of the little banshee for ya."
"Thank God for an Irish nanny, that's all I can say."
Maggie laughed as I got up off the floor and smoothed down my dress pants before heading off to find Bella.
I walked into our room to change my tie, "Bella, baby I need to change my tie since Carlie wiped peanut butter on this one. Little devil. Maggie is getting her ready then we should be right to go..." I looked up and saw her on the other side of the room putting on her earrings. She was a vision of loveliness in a deep blue silk dress with just a hint of sparkle around the bust-line. God she was gorgeous.
I walked over to her and knelt down beside her chair, "Love, you are a vision. I love this colour on you." I started kissing down her neck. I couldn't resist her. It'd been like this for the past four years.
We haven't been apart a single day since that Christmas when we met again on the plane. Our families were shocked and tried to 'talk sense' into us, but we were solid. We checked into a hotel in downtown Seattle and visited each of our families on Christmas Day. We laid down the law that we understood that they had issues but that Isabella and I were going to be married as soon as possible. They could either get on board or get off the train, as my darling girl told them.
Thankfully they did get on board and we were married two months later with all our families present. The Church was divided, her family on one side glaring at the other side of the Church which was my family who were all glaring back. Our out-of-town friends watched with amusement as our two families competed over speeches and gifts for the bride and groom. I thought we'd have to get security involved when they almost turned the bouquet and garter toss into a blood sport.
We were already two months pregnant when we got married. I am quite certain we conceived our very first night on Christmas Eve because the following September our little angel was born. I was terrified and overprotective throughout the whole pregnancy worried about Bella's health the whole nine months. But with some excellent medical care, daily support from her full-time physiotherapist Felix and a planned caesarian, my beautiful Isabella gave me our daughter.
Our families competitiveness reached new heights when it came to our daughter.
Naming her of course became hugely problematic as each family laid claim to any name we came up with, so in the end we combined Carlisle's and Charlie's names for her first name and gave her Bella's mother's name for her middle name.
Carlie Renee Swan Cullen became the Switzerland between our warring families being the only subject on which they all agreed. Having a shared granddaughter meant they all had to play nice with each other if they were going to be a part of her life. She was their little angel and the little devil knew it. She was a good girl really and loved all her grandparents, uncles and aunts.
Nibbling on Bella's ear lobe, I groaned with want, "You are so gorgeous my love."
"So are you baby but you need to stop what you are doing or we are never going to get there on time."
"Who cares? It's not like they can start without either of us no mind both of us."
"C'mon, the sooner we go the sooner you can get in amongst all those adoring women."
"Don't tease me. You know just as many of them want your autograph as want mine."
We were heading to the Los Angeles Premier of the second film of the Sacrifice series. Bella was delighted when I was cast in the lead for the series, since as she said in every interview we had on the project that I had been the inspiration for the character in the first place. Thankfully Bella had negotiated in her contract that she would write the screen adaptations of her novels for the films which meant we worked on the project together from beginning to end.
'Love's Sacrifice' the first film had broken all box office records and we were able to organise our promotional duties so that we were always together the premiers and interview circuit.
Bella and I had caused quite a stir when our marriage became common knowledge. Her being in a wheelchair attracted some fairly cruel attention although our PR teams managed to turn that around. We were inclined to downplay the whole wheelchair thing but the PR team showed us we could do a lot of good with our situation so Bella and I became fundraisers and spokespeople for the Wheelchair Foundation. The Foundation raises money to provide a wheelchair for any child, teen or adult who needs one but can't afford it. We both donated a percentage of our income from the the success of the first Sacrifice films to go to the Foundation. We also received incredible support from the public during Bella's pregnancy.
Thanks to the addition of the ever patient Maggie in our lives, Carlie has travelled with us through all our filming and promotional commitments but after tonight we were taking a break and heading home to Seattle.
We agreed that when we wanted more children that we would adopt. I was so grateful for our daughter, but I couldn't bear for Bella to go through that again. We were on an adoption waiting list now that Carlie was three year's old we knew the time was right. Jacob's and Paul's family were testament to how wonderful an adopted family could be and we were very excited to add to our family.
Two months ago we had received word that a young boy was in need of a family. We had spent the past few weeks visiting and getting to know him as the paperwork was all finalised. He was a lovely, if a little shy, two year old boy named Marcus. Carlie loved him already and he was very sweet with her. Yesterday the adoption paperwork was finalised and tonight we were picking him up, he was ours and we were taking him home to visit our families in Seattle.
When we arrived at the Premier, Carlie sat in Bella's lap in her chair with me pushing them both along the red carpet. Normally Carlie wasn't involved in this public part of our lives but she begged to come and since this was our last commitment for the film until the DVD release we agreed. Maggie was close by so if Carlie became overwhelmed we had an escape plan all ready for her but no such problems with our little show-pony.
Carlie was definitely my daughter, she smiled and waved to everyone. She even came with me when I walked over to the barrier to sign autographs. She was very sweet having her photo taken with me and the children from the cancer clinic who were in a special designated area. I was very proud of my little girl.
Once we'd walked the red carpet and mingled in the pre screening drinks area we snuck out of the rear exit while everyone else went into the cinema. I hated watching myself on the big screen especially in front of a crowd.
We headed straight to pick up Marcus and then we went to the airport. The children were very excited about the plane for the first hour and then slept the rest of the way. Bella and I took the opportunity to change into less formal clothes and then tried to catch some sleep as well.
When we landed in Seattle I placed Carlie on Bella's lap in her wheelchair and then picked up Marcus to carry him off the plane.
The doors opened and once again just as they had four years ago, our families who had been waiting for us on separate sides of the arrivals gate rushed together towards us to meet the new Swan Cullen.
I leaned down to Isabella and whispered in her ear, "Happy New Year my Isabella."
She looked up at me and beamed a happy smile, "Happy New Year my Edward."
A/N: Don't own either Twilight or An Affair to Remember but love them both.
Well there you have it. Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a Happy New Year filled with friends, frivolity and fanfiction!
The Wheelchair Foundation, a division of Global Health and Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation, has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one.