The Path We Choose

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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chapter 17


Edward Cullen loves me!

Edward. Cullen. Loves. Me!

Holy shit!

I couldn't stop the happy dancing going on inside my stomach as I walked into the kitchen to get the food that Edward ordered for us earlier.

Mmmm…Chinese, my favorite! I thought to myself as I gathered the containers and plates and put them on a tray to carry into the dining area where Edward had set up the blankets.

The man, I swear. Men from all over should phone him to take lessons on how to seduce your woman because he knows what the hell he is doing. On second thought, I think I'll keep him to myself. No sharing at all!

I heard him as he turned the iPod back on and got situated on the blankets. When I walked into the loft earlier and noticed what he had done, I didn't think it could get any better than that. Of course, Edward proved me wrong not even fifteen minutes later when he told me he loved me…and followed that up with the most incredible experience of my life.

It was more than just sex…way, way more. It was everything.

My mind hasn't really even had time to go through everything that has happened since I walked in my door, but the one thing I did know was I loved Edward with my entire being and nothing else was as important as that.

I gave him a shy smile as I approached the blankets and took in the entire scene. He had it set up perfectly, the white lights were giving off a soft glow and the music playing in the background was perfect. The most perfect thing of course was my Edward sitting there waiting for me!

I handed him the tray and told him to stay right there which earned me a snort and a raised eyebrow as I turned and went back to the kitchen to grab a few bottles of water as well as the wine Edward got to go with dinner and some glasses.

We sat down to eat, and while he poured the wine, I plated the food and then dug the hell in. I was starving! Between the long day and then the sex, I felt like I hadn't eaten in days.

"Angel, you really shouldn't go all day without eating," Edward prodded me as I was putting a forkful of beef and broccoli in my mouth.

I rolled my eyes at him and finished chewing before I answered, "I know Edward, but it was a long, hectic day before I got on the plane and then once Seth and I landed, all I wanted to do was come back here and call you to let you know I was home."

He looked at me with his sexy smirk and asked, "Did you like your surprise? I just wanted to do something nice for you and let you know how much I missed you baby."

God, could he be any more perfect…I mean really?

I put my plate down and leaned over before giving him a quick kiss on the lips and told him, "Sweetheart it was perfect, just like you." Then I sat back down to continue eating.

"Um…Bella, are you, ah…well are you ok with what just happened?" he asked me gently as he put his chopsticks down.

Showoff, I can't eat with those damn things to save my life!

I finished eating before I answered him and then stood up to take our plates into the kitchen before coming back and crawled into his lap. I grabbed one of his hands and played with his fingers for a moment, getting my thoughts together before I spoke.

"You're not disappointed are you?" I asked him quietly, knowing if he was I would be shattered.

He wrapped his arms tightly around me and kissed my temple before he tipped my chin up with his finger so he could look at me, "God, no angel. Why the hell would you ask me that?" he asked me angrily.

"Well, why would you think I wouldn't be ok with what we just did?" I retorted back to him.

He took a deep breath before answering me as he lifted me up so that I was facing him with my legs wrapped around him, "Bella, I love you. So very much. We just hadn't talked about any of this yet, moving our relationship to being more physical I mean, and I just want to make sure you don't regret it at all."

I took his face in my hands before I kissed him gently on the forehead and rested my own there as I looked at him, "Baby, I don't regret it at all. It was the single most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life. I love you so much Edward and I am so… so… so happy," I finished as I kissed his lips over and over again.

"For me too sweet girl. I never could have imagined it would feel so incredible to make love to you. I mean, I've thought about it, of course I have, but, well, I just didn't…" he stuttered adorably.

Edward flustered is definitely not something one sees everyday!

I giggled lightly, "I understand what you are trying to say Edward, its ok."

He sighed as he looked at me, his eyes crinkling since he was smiling, "Thank you Beautiful, for not making me feel like a damn fool."

He took another breath and his forehead creased as he looked intently at me before he told me, "Ok, let's get this over with as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Shit…ok…" he took a few deep breaths before he continued gently, "Baby, um, I didn't use protection, did you realize that?"

Fuck…I didn't and now well, shit, I guess it's as good a time as any to get this conversation out of the way for good.

I sat back a little on Edward's legs, adjusting so we would both be more comfortable before I looked at him and plunged ahead, "Edward, I've been on the pill since I was in high school…irregular periods. Um, damn…I'm not even sure I can have kids Edward. I've never tried, obviously, but my doctor isn't sure if I can or not. I've only had sex with two people before you, one was my high school boyfriend Will and the other was a guy I dated for awhile in college named Ian. There hasn't ever been anyone else," I finished as I looked down, embarrassed somewhat at my utter lack of experience. I didn't want to see the look on his face.

"Bella, look at me," Edward said quietly but forcefully.

He waited, not moving a muscle until I lifted my head and looked at him. The eyes shining back at me were so full of love and acceptance they took my breath away.

He grabbed my hands and held them in his as he pressed them over his chest before he spoke, "Let me take what you just said one at a time, okay?”

I only nodded my head, as I wondered where he was going with everything I told him.

"First," he began, "I'm sorry about not asking about protection before, honestly it wasn't even close to being on my mind at the time since all I could focus on was being inside of you."

Yes, my breath caught in my throat at that admission…

"I am glad to know about the birth control pills, though. I have to say the thought of making love to you while wearing a condom is not anywhere near as appealing as feeling you without one. I'm going to skip the middle part of what you said for a moment, okay, and come back to it in a minute," he said while he raised his eyebrow and waited for an answer.

I was not sure what to make of that but I nodded my head in assent anyway.

He squeezed my hands and kissed my forehead before going on, "I would be a fucking liar angel, if I said I was unhappy with the fact that you've only been with 2 people and one of those was from high school. I wish I could say the same thing baby, but I can't. Obviously you know about the twin's mom and then there was my college girlfriend Caitlin. Um…well, there were a few random girls in college, and then once the twins were born a few of the dates I went on ended up with me having sex. Bella, I'm clean. I've been tested, we have to be to work at the shelter, and I'm so sorry. If I had known you would come into my life, I never would have been with anyone once the twins were born and, fuck…if you want, if it makes you feel better, I'll wear a condom from now on. Shit, I don't want to, but I will, for you, I will. You believe me don't you? I mean about the women I've been with, it's not like I was sleeping around or anything," he finished worriedly.

Ok, well, none of that was really unexpected. I actually figured it would have been much, much worse than that.

I chuckled at his anxiety a bit before I answered honestly, "Edward, hush. Of course I believe you, and truthfully, I assumed it would be worse. It's not even bad at all baby so stop worrying. But, you're not seeing anyone else are you; I mean we haven't talked about any of that. I mean…fuck…I've never had to do this before." Now it was my turn to sound like an idiot.

He rightfully laughed at me, and laughed even harder when I tried to glare at him, "You're such a kitten even though you think you are a tiger baby. But, seriously, of course there's no one else… silly Bella. I've waited my whole fucking life for you angel, I would never want anyone but you. I love you Bella, and only you…always only you," he whispered softly as he kissed me deeply, letting his tongue tangle with mine before he caressed my tongue with his.

After a few minutes of heaven, he stopped before he looked at me again to finish up our conversation. "Bella, can you tell me exactly what you meant about not being sure if you can have a baby, please?"

Damn…I really didn't want to have to do this until I had more time to think about it but there's no going back now.

"Um…well, a few years ago, I guess when I was about 20; during a yearly exam my doctor diagnosed me with endometriosis. My periods at the time were really painful, like debilitating so, and she decided to run some tests. Apparently there is quite a lot of scar tissue built up and the chances of me conceiving are not great. Ah, my mom had it also, her's was pretty bad and mine is worse than her's. Like I said Edward, I've never tried to get pregnant or anything, I'm just not positive I can. I'm so sorry, I understand if you don't want to be with me now, I mean, well…" I sobbed as tears started to flow from my eyes.

God damn if saying that didn't shatter my heart into a thousand pieces.

"Beautiful," Edward sighed as he wiped the tears from my face with his fingers before he kissed the end of my nose. "Listen to me for a minute, okay? First, we'll talk to Tanya, if you want, about this. She is a fabulous doctor and she might have a different opinion. Are you still in a lot of pain when it is that time?"

He hissed when I nodded my head.

"Fuck, ok. Well I am sure we can figure something out to help you. The thought of you in pain kills me baby. I'm a doctor for Christ sake; I'll talk to Tanya about that, too. Now, most importantly; Bella, I love you sweetheart and you make me so happy. You are it for me Baby; there could never be anyone else. You are my future and you, Maddie and Masen are my family now. That's all I need and if after talking to Tanya we find out that you can't have a baby, its okay. We don't need to figure out any of that right now anyway, let's just enjoy what we have for the time being and we'll cross that bridge when the time is right. Deal?" he asked sweetly.

I threw my arms around his neck and pulled myself close to him, settling myself right over top of his growing erection.

"Mmmm, sweet girl, I love the way you feel against me," he growled to me as I felt him kiss and suck on the side of my neck and behind my ear.

I ran my fingers through his hair, pushing down against him, and I felt his hands as they slipped inside of his shirt that I was wearing and covered my breasts, my nipples responded immediately to his touch.

I moaned softly as he continued rubbing my nipples and kissing my neck and collar bones, grinding on him even harder. I could feel his cock as it pressed against my thigh and it was so hard.

Edward began to unbutton my shirt, kissing me as more and more skin was exposed until he pushed it off my shoulders and then he pressed his mouth on my breasts, circling each nipple with his wet tongue. I reached down in between our bodies and rubbed his hard cock through his boxers, feeling the wetness from the tip of him leaking through the material.

I pulled him out of them, gripping him firmly in my hand, my thumb sliding across his tip before moving my hand up and down, feeling him as he grew so incredibly hard in my hand.

"Mmm Edward, baby, you're so hard," I moaned as I kissed along his jaw and neck, tasting how delicious he was.

"For you my Bella, only for you my love," he answered in between licking my nipples.

I felt Edwards's fingers as they made their way down over my stomach and skimmed over my soaked panties, rubbing my aching pussy up and down.

"So wet angel, you're always so wet for me. Do you want me again Bella, hmmm?" he groaned in his lust filled voice.

"God yes Edward, please…ah please," I begged as his fingers slipped inside my panties and into my soaked pussy.

Edward's other hand was in my hair, he pulled it lightly to tip my head back as he licked up my throat and to the side of my neck as I began to move up and down on him, getting so close to coming, and then he panted in my ear, "That's it baby…come for me…for me Bella…Jesus you look so fucking good over me like this…come now sweet girl," he demanded as I felt myself fall apart on him, coming so hard I saw stars.

Somehow in my lust induced haze I managed to get Edward's boxers down his legs and I vaguely heard the tearing of cloth as I felt him grab my hips and lift me up so that I could take him inside of me. I felt him fill me up inch by exquisite inch until our hips were pressed firmly against each others.

I pressed my forehead against his; just breathing him in while I looked into his clear green eyes and all I saw was never-ending love for me shining out of them. I hoped he saw the same in mine for I would never, ever love anyone else ever again. I had never loved anyone before him and since I wanted to be his forever, I would never have that chance.

Our climaxes seemed to come from far away, building slowly with every thrust from him and every clench of my pussy from me.

He pressed his mouth against mine, not kissing me but just resting his lips against mine, his tongue licking my lips, as he breathed, "Bella, I'm so close baby…god, yes…you feel fucking incredible."

I sunk one hand in his damp hair and with the other moved the hair that had fallen over his eyes back and pulled him close to me, "Edward…oh…you are so hard inside of me…fuck…" I cried.

Our pace increased, my stomach tightened in expectation, as he hissed, his jaw tensed, "I'm ready, Bella…get here baby…with me, please, come with me…."

I felt him reach down between us and flick my clit with his finger before he pressed his thumb against it and I screamed, "Edward, oh my god…yes…baby, yes…I'm coming…Edward…"

"Bella, yes, baby, that's it…scream my name when you come….mine, you're mine angel…"

I came apart, coming harder than I had ever done before and I felt him come inside of me "Yours Edward, only yours," I gasped at him.

We sat that way until our breathing returned to normal and then he kissed me on my cheeks and whispered, "I love you so much, Bella, you have no idea how happy I am."

I sighed before I told him, "I love you, too Edward, more than words can explain."

After a few more moments, he shifted, and I whimpered at the emptiness I felt as he pulled out of me. Edward scooted me still farther back and then off his lap when he held his hand out to me and said, "Come on sweet girl, I'm too fucking old to sleep on the floor," he chuckled as he picked me up and swung me over his shoulder to carry me to my room.

Edward threw me on the bed, following behind me and immediately pulled me back to him, wrapping his arms possessively around me before he whispered in my ear, "Sleep well my Bella. Thank you for loving me, beautiful; I couldn't imagine my life with anyone but you now." Then he kissed my shoulder and buried his nose in my hair.

"I love you Edward, there's no one else I could love more than you baby," I whispered to him before I drifted off to sleep, in the arms of the man I would love forever.


"Again, Bella, I need you now baby, please…" I heard Edward moan to me sometime in the early hours of the morning.

I felt him enter me from behind as I said, "God yes Edward, take me baby…oh now, please…" my orgasm coming hard and fast, his following immediately after.

It could have taken minutes or hours, I didn't even know.

"Sleep angel," he murmured to me. "I've got you now and I'm never letting go…"


I woke to the feeling of warm lips and tongue along my shoulder blades and strong fingers rubbed circles across my naked stomach.

Waking up with Edward wrapped completely around me…there isn't anything better than this.

"Baby, are you awake?" he asked softly as I felt him press his nose into my hair. The man seriously loves my hair, but I can't say that I mind in the least!

I shifted a little, pressing back into him, feeling him behind me, hard already. "Mmmm…" was all I got out.

He squeezed me a bit, and I felt him smile against my shoulder, "I love waking up next to you Bella, I never expected this to feel this way. I love you angel," he whispered as he peppered my shoulder and neck with soft, warm kisses.

I rolled over, looking into the green eyes that I hoped I would see every day of my forever and pressed my lips against his chest, right above the heart that was the life force of the most perfect man ever. "I love you, too, Edward. I don't think I can stop saying it baby, hope you don't mind," I mumbled as I kissed and licked his chest some more.

When I moved I felt something cool against my neck and the top of my chest. I let out the girliest squeal ever, it would've even put Maddie to shame, when I saw the platinum heart dangling from a silver chain. I sat up and looked at Edward, tears falling from my eyes.

He took the heart and held it in his fingers and said softly, "The inscription reads 'a ma vie de couer entier' which roughly translated means 'You have my whole heart for my whole life'.

My tears were falling much faster by this point and my breath was coming in huge, gulping breaths as I looked at him.

My god, he is so incredible…and so…mine!

I threw myself at him scattering kisses over his gorgeous face, "Oh, Edward, thank you, thank you so much baby. It's absolutely stunning and I love it! I love you so much! When did you put this on me, and how come you did it when I was asleep?" I pouted at him.

I watched his eyes narrow at me when he noticed the pout, hell yes I am going to use it when I can, "Don't pout at me beautiful, its way too early in the fucking morning for that, please? I put it on you last night while you were sleeping. You looked so peaceful as you slept; I wanted it to be a surprise. Do you really like it?" he asked sheepishly.

"Edward, sweetheart it's amazing. Truly. Thank you so much, I've never been given anything so special in my life," I told him sweetly as I leaned forward to kiss his lips softly.

And Christ all mighty, the thing was spectacular. A platinum heart with the inscription on one side and diamonds littering the other…I'm never taking it off.

"I just wanted to give you something special my love, and my heart, well I wouldn't want anyone but you to have it. Will you keep it for me Bella?" he asked me sincerely.

I couldn't help the sigh that escaped from my lips, "Of course I will Edward, and I'll keep it always baby."

He bent forward and pushed me down, hovering above me and looked at me with his bright green eyes that were full of lust, and love and joy, "Mmmm, sweet girl, you look fucking spectacular wearing nothing by my pendant. Maybe I should never let you get dressed and keep you here forever. What do you think about that my Bella?" he asked as he licked and nibbled across my collar bones.

I was about to answer, when my stomach made its presence known. Damn….

He bent down farther and gave my tummy a quick lick and a kiss before telling it, "Fuck, ok, I hear you. Time for food baby, let's get up and get moving," Edward laughed at me as he rolled out of bed.

The man's ass is seriously delicious looking…mouthwatering as a matter of fact.

He smirked at me and waggled his eyebrows before he asked, "See something you like beautiful?"

I rolled my eyes at him before I answered, "Yep, your ass looks delicious; I might have to take a bite out of it later!"

He groaned as he pulled on his shirt, "Damn it Bella, you can't say shit like that to me when I know you need to eat. Now get the hell up and put some fucking clothes on before I say forget food and eat you instead!"


I fixed us some bacon, eggs and hash browns while Edward willingly picked up the mess from last night. I asked him to leave the lights up, they looked fantastic…plus it would give me something to look at when he was gone. He got the blankets and pillows put up and moved the table back in its proper place.

We ate at the island in the kitchen, quietly in our own thoughts but always touching. He ate with his leg pressed close to mine; I ate with my hand on his thigh. The closeness was nice and the intimacy of eating together without having to say a word was even better. I watched the clock count the minutes down, I knew he would be leaving soon and as much as I wanted to beg him to stay with me I knew he needed to get home to Maddie and Masen.

While I cleaned up the dishes from breakfast, Edward jumped in the shower and changed into the clean clothes he had brought over. I smirked and raised my eyebrow at him as he grabbed a bag out of the guest room. He just grinned at me and shrugged his shoulders adorably.

Too fucking cute!

When he got done in the shower and walked out of my bedroom smelling all clean with wet hair, may I say that Edward Cullen is the hottest man on the fucking planet?

He slung his bag over his shoulder and grabbed the things he brought over for my surprise dinner last night and held his free hand out to me without saying a word. I walked with him to the elevator. I had been dreading this moment since we went to bed last night.


He set the bags down by the doors and took both of my hands in his, bringing them up to his lips and brushed his lips across my knuckles.

He took a deep breath and said, "Bella, I don't want to go, you know that, but I need to go home and check on the kids."

"Edward, stop it. Don't apologize for having to be a parent. Of course you need to go. Why don't you go home and spend some time with the WonderTwins and let me unpack since someone kept me busy all night," I paused when he interrupted and said, "You complaining baby?"

"Not hardly old man!" I giggled when he growled at me. "As I was saying before I was interrupted, after you spend some time with the kids at home, why don't you bring them back over here and I'll make some dinner and we can watch a movie together. You need to bring my baby back home anyway." I had to laugh since he started nodding his head as soon as the words bring them back left my mouth.

"You're a genius beautiful! How the hell did I get so lucky? Not only does my girl have looks, but a brain too!" he teased me.

He was so cute when he tried to be funny. "Ha, Ha, Edward. Do you need me to help you get everything down to your car?" I asked him as he picked the bags back up again.

"Nah, I got it. You can give me a kiss though, since I have to go all day without one," he not so playfully told me.

Yeah, I'm not liking the idea of being away from him either.

"I can definitely do that," I quietly told him as I stepped up close to him and stood on my tip toes. He bent down to meet me and when your mouths met, I felt it all through my body. The electric pulses that were purely Edward and I were all around us.

We finally pulled apart, neither one wanting to break the connection, but it was time for him to go.

He bent down to kiss my forehead as I reached up to touch my necklace, and whispered, "I love you so much Bella. Last night was the best night of my life angel."

"For me too Edward; I love you so much," I told him right back.

He pressed the button to open the doors and as he stepped in he softly told me, "I'll see you soon beautiful, ok?"

I nodded my head and kissed my fingers and lifted them in his direction as the doors shut to take him down stairs.

Jesus, I hoped the rest of the day goes by quick!

I unpacked just like I told Edward I would and sent Rose a text letting her know I had lots of things to tell her when I talked to her the next day on Skype so she needed to be ready for me to spill. She would be so happy for me, especially in light of the many conversations we had while I was in California. One night, after two bottles of wine had been drunk between us, I told her I loved Edward. I had known it for awhile of course, but telling Rose made it more real than just keeping it to myself.

Rose, in typical Rose fashion, let me know in no uncertain terms that if Edward hurt me in any way, well, the twins would be minus a father. I remember telling her that I didn't think she had anything to worry about and it turns out I was so right!

He loves me!

I'll have to talk to Jasper, too. Oh my, J…I have no doubt he will be as happy for me as his sister, maybe even more so. He really does like Edward and is looking forward to spending more time with him soon. I hope they become friends. They would be really good for one another.

I took a shower myself after I finished unpacking, and I noticed for the first time how sore some of my muscles were. Mmmm, I really didn't mind that pain at all.

God, last night and this morning was incredible. The emotions I felt as Edward was making love to me were almost more than I could bear. And this morning…what the hell was that? The way he just took me, the way he needed me so much, was as intense as anything I'd ever felt before.

Not that I minded, not in the least, and to be quite frank, it was fucking hot as hell to be woken up that way. I will definitely be hoping for that to happen again!

Edward sent me a text while I was in the shower to let me know that he and the kids would be over about 6:30, and they were bringing Rufus with them, much to the entire Cullen family's displeasure apparently. I felt a little bad about that to be honest. I know Maddie and Masen love the little guy a ton, and from what Edward told me, his mother had developed quite the attachment to Rufus as well. I do miss him though, so I can't wait to see him.

I talked to Seth and invited him over since he didn't have a date planned yet. When Edward mentioned in his email wanting the kids to meet Seth, I couldn't help but agree so tonight's the night for that introduction. This is the easiest one to get out of the way. I am scared shitless to meet Edward's family. What if they don't like me or think I am good enough for him or the kids? I would be devastated if that happened.

Seth and I walked to the market to get what I need to make dinner. Since the kids were going to be here, I decided on homemade chicken strips and French fries with corn on the cob and Edward's oatmeal raisin cookies. Damn baby… I felt that pout all the way in California!

I had Seth set up the DVD player and air up the air mattress for the twins to crash on while we watched the movie. I was so excited to see both of them and couldn't wait to give them the presents I brought back from California for them. They were going to flip out…and I couldn't wait.

Of course, I was more than a little anxious to see Edward as well. Only a few hours away from him and my body ached to be close to his again. Things seemed to be moving forward like a freight train, but I couldn't find it in me to want to slow down. Everything just felt so incredibly….right and I couldn't force myself to want to try.

As it got closer to dinner time, I opened the front door so they didn't have to knock to come in. I'd have to tell Edward to keep his key. Butterflies…the thought of being at the stage where I was giving him a key to my apartment made me positively giddy!

Seth was really excited and a little anxious to meet Maddie and Masen which I thought was fucking hilarious, but endearing at the same time. He really just wanted me to be happy, that was all that mattered to him. I heard Rufus barking in the elevator as it came up and before I knew it four human and four animal legs came barreling into the loft without even stopping to wonder why the door was already open.

In an instant the kitchen was full of laughing, barking and squealing. It was music to my ears!

"Bella!" "Jelly Bean!" "Woof, woof!" was all I heard.

I squatted down and felt warm kisses all over my face, I'm hoping they were from Maddie and Masen but I'm pretty sure Rufus was mixed in there as well.

When I sat back and looked at the kids, my eyes welled with tears. I missed them so much when I was gone and I loved them both so much, more than I could have ever imagined. Maddie and Masen weren't mine biologically, but that didn't mean that I didn't love them like they were.

I hugged them each tightly and told them "I missed you two so much! Thank you for taking such good care of Rufus for me while I was away!"

I felt Edward stand behind me as I stood up, my body relaxing instantly by his presence ,"Hey baby," he said softly as he kissed my cheek quickly.

Uhh, the man totally makes me melt when he looks at me that way.

I sighed and shook my head a little, trying to focus and narrowed my eyes at him when I saw the smirk on his gorgeous face, "Shut it Kit Kat," I told him sarcastically, but kissed him anyway. I couldn't help it.

"You love me and you know it," he told me playfully as he swatted my ass when I turned back to the kids.

"That I do, baby," I huffed as I rolled my eyes at him. Damn cocky bastard!

"Bella! Bella!" my little wild things hollered at me. "We missed you," they both told me at the same time.

I bent down to kiss them each on the tip of the nose, "I missed you guys too. Are you hungry? Dinner is almost ready if you want to come help me get it finished," I said to each of them holding my hands out to them.

As soon as I felt each of them take my hand, my heart literally felt like it would explode. I looked at Edward and the look on his face about did me in. 'I love you' he mouthed to me as I blew him a kiss, getting ready to eat dinner…with my family.

Masen noticed Seth for the first time when he heard Edward laughing with him. He pulled me to a stop and looked from Seth to Edward to me.

"Um, Bella, who's that?" Masen asked as he scowled at Seth. Uh oh…

Masen crossed his arms and waited for me to answer, "What's wrong Mase face?"

"I thought you were daddy's girlfriend, hows come he's here?" he adorably asked me.

I laughed a tiny bit, God the boy is killing me he is damned cute. "Masen, sweetie. Your daddy is my boyfriend. Do you remember me telling you about my best friend and that he gave me Rufus?" I stopped to make sure he was following me. When he nodded at me I went on.

"That," I said as I pointed to Seth, "is my best friend Seth. He has heard me talk all about you and Maddie and he begged me to be able to come meet you. He's even going to watch the movie with us, is that okay with you?"

He nodded his head at me before he pulled on my hand so I would bend down and he whispered not so softly, "He's big Bella. Like huger than Uncle Emmett! Is he nice?"

Seth chuckled and Edward rolled his eyes at his son then grinned at me, "He's the best Masen, I promise. He's my bestest friend besides for you and Maddie." I grabbed his hand and Maddie's and pulled them over to where Seth and Edward were standing, watching me with amused looks on their faces.


"Seth Clearwater, I would like to introduce you to my two best friends, Maddie and Masen Cullen. Guys, this is my other best friend, Seth." I giggled as I finished my proper introductions.

My big goof of a best friend bent over and ruffled each of their hair and said, "What's up munchkins? Did you guys take good care of my buddy Rufus while we were gone?"

Maddie looked at him with a confused look on her face and asked him, "Did you go with Bella when she was gone?"

"Sure did, someone has to keep the girl out of trouble. That's my job, you know, helping make sure Bella is safe," he looked at me and winked. I so could have kissed him right then, helping get that out in the open. "Ok, squirts, let's grab some grub," he laughed as he grabbed the screaming duo under each of his arms and took them to the island.

Edward took my hand in his and pressed it to his lips before he said, "One down beautiful, my family and the rest of yours is next."

If he only knew…

Dinner was…loud. With Seth and the kids laughing and making strange faces and sounds every five seconds. I was so glad to see the kids warm up to Seth; it would make him being around them so much easier. I went to my room to get the presents for Maddie and Masen. I wanted to give them before we started the movie, besides I couldn't wait.

"Hey you two," I said loudly over the noise at the island. All four of them looked at me, the twins with excited looks on their faces, the other two like they were in trouble for…something. The two of them are going to keep my on my toes, that's for damn sure.

I narrowed my eyes at Seth and Edward who were looking entirely to cozy together before I said, "The little kids, not the big ones," as Maddie and Masen scrambled over to where I was sitting on the couch.

Edward walked over and sat beside me, Seth stood behind us. "Okay you two, here are presents for each of you for doing such a good job of watching Rufus while I was gone." I handed them each their gifts waiting expectantly for them to get them open.

I squeezed Edward's hand in mine as I watched Maddie and Masen, letting out a huge breath once I heard the squeals from each of them.

"Oh my gosh, Bella! This…how did you…is this really for me?" Masen quietly asked me as he ran his fingers over the jersey with one hand and held on tightly to the baseball with the other.

"Yes, sweetie, it is really for you. Do you like it?" I asked, pretty damn sure of the answer, but I wanted to make sure.

He just nodded, his big green eyes full of happy tears. "Daddy look what Bella gave me! I can't wait to show Uncle Em!" Masen excitedly told to Edward.

"Daddy, look at mine!" Maddie cried from beside Masen. She rushed over to me and threw her arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek before she said, "Thank you Bella! This is the bestest present anyone has ever given me."

"Bella…" I heard Edward say softly beside me.

I looked at him and his eyes were so focused on me I swear he could see straight through to my soul.

"Hey munchkins, come show me what cool things Shortcake got for you," Seth told them as they hurried over to him, talking a mile a minute.

"Angel, you are so fucking amazing. What you did for them…I have no words…I…I just love you so damn much," he whispered to me. "How did you manage that?" Edward asked as he looked toward the twins talking Seth's ear off.

"Well, I had an appearance to make at the Anaheim Angel's game and they were playing the Yankees. I had Jasper contact Derek Jeter and ask if I could meet him and when I did, I asked him to sign a jersey and ball for Masen. I remembered Mase telling me during one of talks before bed that Derek was his favorite baseball player and I wanted to get him something special."

"Derek, huh?" Edward glared at me.

I couldn't help but laugh at him, "Knock it off old man. Derek Jeter has nothing on you Kit Kat!"

"He'd better not. Now, how did you manage Maddie's?" he asked, seemingly placated by my answer.

"Well, you saw when I was on Jay Leno, right?" I asked him and when he smiled and nodded, I went on. "Did you happen to notice that Miley Cyrus was on after me?"

"No Bella. Once you were finished, why the hell would I keep watching?" Edward asked, sounding surprised I even contemplated it.

"Ok, Edward, geesh. I was just asking. Anyway, I waited until she was done taping her segment and asked if she wouldn't mind signing a CD, shirt and a poster for Maddie," I finished as I shrugged my shoulders because I didn't really think it was a big deal. I mean I knew the kids would like what I gave them, but it was nothing to get it.

"Baby, you are amazing, and we are all so lucky you love us. What would we do without you, huh?" he asked as he kissed me on my lips, and cheeks before moving to my neck.

"Mmmm, I hope you never want to find out baby. I'm not planning on ever giving you that chance," I moaned to him, his kisses lighting my whole body on fire.

A throat cleared from beside us and we broke apart, and I looked at Seth who had a shit eating grin on his face.

"Can we get this show on the road already? I'm ready to watch me some singing squirrels and I know Eddie is dying for his oatmeal cookies. You two can kissy face later, isn't that right munchkins?” he asked Maddie and Masen who were rolling on the floor laughing at my goofy assed best friend.

"You made me cookies Bella?" Edward asked, sounding just like his son, as his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Oh, for Heaven's sake Edward; yes, I made your cookies you big baby. Let's get dessert and watch the movie, come on," I said sternly as I pulled him off the sofa.

"I love you sweet girl, thank you," Edward told me as we walked to the kitchen.

My family and I, eating cookies and drinking milk…I couldn't imagine anything any better.


The rest of the week passed in a frenzy of meetings and appearances for me. Patients and working at the clinic for Edward. His parents were out of town for the next two weeks so he and the kids spent most of their time with Seth and I at the loft. The kids adored Seth and he got a huge kick out of playing with them. He played the Wii, took them to the park, and even out to eat pizza one night so Edward and I could be by ourselves. He even came with me to watch Masen's T-ball game on Thursday night and it was hard to tell who was more excited when Masen was up to bat and got a hit, Edward or Seth.

They were both fucking hilarious as the jumped up and down like the boy just won the World Series. Of course they were both ogled by every female within the vicinity. I just ignored them all, knowing that Edward was completely mine and Seth, well; he was just oblivious to all of it.

I called Edward Friday afternoon in absolute hysterics. I knew I freaked him the hell out when I heard Tanya asking in the back ground what was the matter and it didn't help that Seth was on my end telling me to calm the fuck down. Seth pulled the phone from me and I heard him getting directions to Edward's office and that we would see him in fifteen minutes.

"Bell, calm down babe; talk to Edward and Jasper before you get yourself all worked up. It'll be okay, you'll see," Seth told me as I quieted down in the back seat, staring out the window just wanting to see Edward.

When we pulled up in front of the building, Edward was pacing out front, his hair a wild mess from running his hands through it over and over again. His eyes were frantic as I fled the car as soon as it was stopped and jumped into his waiting arms.

His arms were wrapped tightly around me, protecting me, even though he didn't know from what as he anxiously asked, "Bella, angel, what is it?"

I was crying, and couldn't answer him as he simply held me on the sidewalk, "Shh…baby, it's ok…I've got you now sweet girl…shh, whatever it is, I'll be here."

I could only nod my head as I tried to calm down, and felt him as he picked me up and held me bridal style as he walked me back in the building.

"Seth, what the hell man?" I heard Edward angrily ask him. I knew he wasn't mad at Seth; he was just worried about me.

Seth sighed deeply, breathing out his nose and I could tell he was trying to get his temper under control. "Come on, Edward; let's go up to your office. We need to talk man. Do you have a speakerphone in there?"

I felt Edward's arms tense before he answered warily, "Yes, but why…"

Seth cut him off before he could finish, "We need to call Jasper and Rose. They are going to have a shit fit."

I heard Tanya ask Edward if I was okay as we walked in his office and I felt him lift his shoulders in response. I still hadn't said a word, I just absorbed being in Edward's arms.

"Bella, can I get you anything?" she sweetly asked me.

I raised my head and gave her a small smile; she was so beautiful and nice. I was very thankful that Edward had someone like her for all this time. "A bottle of water would be great Tanya, thank you," I said softly.

"You got it sweetie, Edward do you or your other friend need anything?" she asked.

"Seth? Do you want anything?" Edward inquired.

Seth's eyes about bugged out of his head and I couldn't stop the small giggle that escaped as I watched him take Tanya in. She was definitely extremely beautiful and Seth does have a thing for blondes.

"Umm…well…I…" he stuttered stupidly.

"Tanya, bring the big oaf a Coke, please," I chuckled.

Seth grunted at me from across the room, "Shut the fuck up Shortcake, it's not funny," he said as Tanya left the room. "Who the hell is that?" he asked no one in particular.

"That my tongue tied BFF is Edwards BFF Tanya." I laughed lightly, still not letting go of Edward.

He whistled and said, "Daaammmnnn. Ed, no offense dude, but she is fucking hot."

I heard Edward grunt before he said, "Yes, Seth, she is. And if you hurt her, I will cut your balls off and shove them down your throat, I don't care if you are bigger than me."

At that, I did laugh out loud, I couldn't help it. I was not jealous of Edward's reaction to Seth in the least; in fact it made me love him even more, if that was even possible at this point.

"Point taken my friend, no need to threaten the junk, Edward," Seth said, sounding somewhat shocked at Edward's reaction…and even a little afraid of him.

"I'm just saying man. Besides Bella, my sister Alice and my mother, I love Tanya more than anyone else in the world. She's fantastic. I'll introduce you to her if you want," Edward trailed off before bursting out in laughter at Seth's nodding head.

"Sure thing man, no problem. Are you ok baby?" He turned his attention to me and asked.

I curled into him even more before I said, "Not really Edward, I need to talk to you and Jasper, please?"

"Seth, are we ready yet," I heard Edward ask as Tanya walked in and handed me my water.

"Thanks Tanya," I told her.

She smiled at me, "No problem, do you need anything else?"

I shook my head as I took a sip of water and heard her say, "I'll leave you guys alone now, just let me know if I can get you anything."

I reached out and grabbed her hand. I don't know why, really, I am not a person that usually initiates contact with anyone, but I didn't want her to leave. "Tanya, it's ok. Please stay, maybe you can help figure something out."

She squeezed my hand as she sat down beside Edward and me and said, "Sure Bella."

I looked at Edward who was looking at us holding hands then leaned down and kissed my temple, "I love you beautiful, we're all here for you."

I heard Seth dial the phone and then Jasper's furious voice as soon as Seth said, "J, we've got a huge problem man."

"Seth, what the hell is going on and where the hell is Bella? I've been trying her cell phone for the last 30 fucking minutes!"

Yep, Jasper is pissed. The man hardly ever uses the word fuck unless he's mad and right now he is pissed as hell.

"Jasper, give me some fucking credit would you? Shortcake's right here. She needed Edward so we're at his office on the speakerphone," Seth said on a sigh as he looked at me. "This is some fucked up shit, J, I'm not kidding you."

"Bell, honey, are you ok?" Jasper asked gently as I felt Edward's arms tighten around me and Tanya grip my hand tighter.

I couldn't help the sob that escaped as I answered, "J, I can't…you have to…I…please no," I cried as Edward pressed his lips against my temple.

"Shh, Bella, it'll be ok baby, I promise," he told me.

"Seth, Jasper, one of you better tell me what the hell is going on right fucking now; what the hell happened at that damn meeting to make Bella act like a frightened child!" he roared at the both of them.

I listened as Seth told Edward what happened at the meeting at Volturi's I just left. When I arrived at the modeling office, Angela met me and said that Aro and Jane needed to see me for a minute. I had asked her if she knew what it was about and all she could tell me was it had to do with the Benefit Gala coming up next weekend.

Edward had already agreed to go with me as my date. It would be our official 'coming out'. There would be a ton of photographers and paparazzi there and our pictures were sure to be spread from one side of the country to the other when all was said and done. We had also agreed to tell his parents about us and our relationship as well as the particulars of who I was the following day. I would officially be meeting his parents, brother and sister at Sunday dinner. I was nervous but excited beyond belief at the prospect of meeting them, knowing they all had to be wonderful based on Edward.

I listened as Seth went over my meeting with Aro and Jane for Edward and Jasper. Aro and Jane wanted me to attend the Gala with a man named Paul Carrington. He is a former pro football player who is also under contract with Volturi and models for Twilight like me. Apparently, they thought that attending the Gala together would be good publicity for everyone concerned. However, they seemed to forget that 1.) I don't give a shit about publicity and 2.) I have a man who I am madly in love with who was going to be my date.

When I told them that I already had arranged my own date, thank you very much, they demanded to know who it was with. I refused to mention Edward by name so I gave a vague description of him and our relationship. They adamantly refused to let me attend with anyone other than Paul unless I told them Edward's name. When I did, you could see the wheels turning and then Jane, the bitch from hell, told me they would happily let me attend with Edward, if I agreed to extend my contract another 6 months.

I heard Jasper and Rose, who had joined in the conversation going ballistic.

"That fucking bitch, what the hell is her damn problem," Rosalie sneered.

"Bella, it'll be okay honey, I'll figure out something. I promise you. Your contract will be up in 6 months. There is no way in hell I am letting you do this one minute longer than fucking necessary," came Jasper's reply which was even scarier than Rose's because he was eerily calm.

It is not a good thing when Jasper acts that way, not at all.

"Jasper," Edward said as eerily calm as Jasper. This is really not good now. "Bella is not going to that fucking Gala with some man if she doesn't want to, I don't give a shit what those two fuckers say." He squeezed me again, so hard it was almost painful and I could feel the tension rolling off him in waves.

"Edward, I hear where you're coming from man, I really do. I hate that they are pulling this with Shortcake more than you, I promise. I gave Bella my word when she signed that fucking contract 5 years ago that when it was over, she could have her life back. She has given up way more than any person should have a right to expect and I'll be damned if anything gets in the way of her happiness again. No. Fucking. Way!" Jasper ground out.

My poor J, I sometimes I forget how hard the last five years have been on all of us, not just me. When you love someone, it's hard watching them be unhappy like I have done to my best friends. It doesn't matter the reasons why or that I failed everyone, they should have never been made to suffer because of me.

I started crying again, "Jasper, brother, I'm so sorry. If I have to go to the Gala without Edward, I will. I can't even believe I've been so selfish this whole time, it's just one night. Call Aro and Jane back and tell them I'll go with Paul. I'm so sorry. I love you and Rose and Seth so much, none of this has been fair to any of you, and it's been my entire fault," I sobbed as Seth came over and took me from Edward, carrying me like a child to the loveseat across from Edward and Tanya.

I heard Jasper and Rose start to say something before Seth took over, "J, Lele, hang on a second," he told them as I looked at Edward and Tanya. She was holding his hand tightly in hers and they both had the same worried looks on their faces.

Seth put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close to him, just like he has done my entire life. He tipped my chin up with his finger and I couldn't help but cry more when I saw the tears on his face…the tears that were there because of me. "Isabella Marie Swan, don't you ever, fucking ever let me hear you say that anything that has happened the last five years or even before that has been your fault. You know god damned good and well that is not true," he told me passionately.

"But Seth, it is…I've…" I tried to get out but he stopped me before I could say anything else.

"Stop right there Bell, I mean it. You were forced into this life by having to do something you hated, to help someone you loved. You didn't have a choice and as much as Jasper, Rose and I, hell mom too, tried to find another way, there wasn't. You did what you had to do and we all loved you enough to be beside you every step of the way since. None of us regret, not for one fucking moment, being here for you. You would have done the same for any of the three of us without thinking twice about it. Shit, Bell, you have done it for us, on more than one occasion," he finished as he wiped the tears off my face and I did the same to his.

I heard sniffles coming from the phone and listened as Jasper and Rose both said, "Bell, we love you baby girl, so fucking much!" Jasper continued, "Bella, I second every damn thing that our big brother just said. I'm just sorry that Lele and I aren't there with you right now to help you with this."

"Bell, we'll figure out something, you know we always do. There is no way Jane the heifer is getting away with this shit, no way in hell," Rose huffed.

I had to smile at my Rosalie; no one messes with her family…ever.

"Um Bella," Tanya began quietly. "I think I might have an idea if you want to hear it."

I snapped my head in her direction, "Of course, Tanya. Please. That's why I wanted you to stay, you know."

"Hey, Bella, who is that?" I heard Rose ask me.

Edward answered for me when I looked at him and told her, "Hey Rose, it's Edward. Tanya is my best friend and she works as a doctor here in our office. Bella asked her to stay."

"Hey Edward," I heard Rose say. "Tanya, I hope you have a great idea girl, because I sure as shit don't have a clue!"

Tanya giggled, and said "Rose, let me tell you all my idea. Well, it's not really an idea but more of a suggestion. Why don't you ask Ali to look over her contract and see what she can come up with? Maybe there is some loophole or clause or something that Bella can use to get her way in this."

"Tan, that's a great idea; I don't know why I didn't think of that!" I heard Edward exclaim.

"Bell, who is this Ali person? We can't have just anyone looking at your contract you know," Jasper said protectiveness thick in his voice.

I rolled my eyes so that everyone in the room could see me, and at their soft giggle I told Jasper, "J, Ali is Edward's sister Alice and she is a lawyer here in the city."

"A damn good one, too, she helped Edward get the kids with next to no recourse from Lauren. She's as fierce as they come, Jasper," Tanya said while Edward nodded his head.

Hmmm, I will definitely be finding out more about what Tanya said about Lauren and Edward.

"Edward, do you think she would be willing to help us out with this," Jasper questioned.

Edward nodded his head before Jasper even finished, "Let's call her and find out, we'll put her on three way. I am sure she will be happy to help, this is right up her alley, Jasper. And Tanya is right; Alice is as tenacious as she can be. If there is a way to get Bella out of this mess, she'll find it."

Seth got up and went to the phone, setting up the three way call and dialing Alice. "Hey brother of mine," I heard a tinkling voice say.

I couldn't help but snicker when Alice's voice filled the room. I immediately pictured little faeries and wood sprites when I heard it. I've seen pictures of her and she is a stunning woman, petite with shiny black hair and the prettiest gray blue eyes you've ever seen.

"Ali, I need your help," Edward said without explanation and she answered just as succinctly when she said, "Anything Edward, you know that."

Edward smiled at the instant willingness of Alice to help before he filled her in on what had happened and why we needed her help.

"Bella," I heard her say.

I gripped Edward's hand tightly into mine, hoping she wouldn't be upset with me for dragging him into this mess.

"Yes, Alice?" I squeaked out.

She laughed at that before she said," Don't worry sweetie, you'll be on my gorgeous brother's arm at that Gala don't you worry about it. You leave everything to me, ok?"

"I don't doubt that at all Alice. Thank you so much for your help. Is there anything I can do to repay you?" I asked honestly willing to do anything to show my appreciation.

She chuckled at me and then asked in the sweetest possible voice, "Anything Bella, really?"

"Watch yourself baby, she is a lawyer you know. Better watch what you are agreeing to," Edward joked playfully.

"You shush it Edward, this is between me and your girl. Now, Bella, did you mean anything?" Alice shrewdly asked me.

Thinking nothing of it, I answered, "Yes Alice, of course I did. Now what do you want?"

"I'm taking you shopping for your dress. You, me and Tanya will go. We'll have a girl's day and have lunch and shop until we find the perfect dress for you to wear. Deal?" she asked, trying to sound completely innocent but sounding anything but.

Edward couldn't help the rumble of laughter that came from his chest. I looked around the room and Tanya's shoulders were shaking because she was trying to keep from laughing just as hard; even Seth looked at me in amusement. Jasper and Rose weren't any better and they were all the way in fucking California.

Shit…Alice Cullen 1 Bella Swan 0

I need to be on my toes with her that is for damn sure.

"Deal, Alice," I sighed in defeat.

"Damn, Alice, I need you to give me some pointers on getting one over on Shortcake," Jasper laughed like the traitor he is!

"Anytime Jasper, you just let me know where and when and I'll be happy to give you some pointers," Alice flirted outrageously with J. Hmmm, they would be a perfect match for one another.

Edward must have had the same idea because I watched as his face morphed into one of deep concentration and then the biggest smile graced his perfect face.

I poked Edward in the ribs with my elbow and raised my eyebrows at him and whispered in his ear so no one else could hear, "I know right? They'd be perfect for each other!"

I giggled at the surprised look on Edward's face, like I couldn't tell what he was thinking…please! He moved his head close to mine and said softly, "Miss Swan, are you trying to set up my sister with your best friend?"

When I motioned yes, he continued saying, "You're a genius baby, and I think they would be great together."

"Yes, this is I know sweetheart, but you can keep calling me a genius all you want," I laughed at Edward as he pulled me closer to him.

"See, sweet girl, I told you we would figure something out. Alice and Jasper will find a way for you and me to go together next weekend," Edward said as he kissed my cheek and temple a few times.

Speaking of, I heard Alice and Jasper talking animatedly to one another on the phone, exchanging cell numbers and email addresses. Seth and Tanya looked pretty cozy as well.

We finished up the meeting and I told Tanya I would see her on Sunday. I was really looking forward to spending more time with her and meeting Alice…finally. All that would leave me was meeting Edward's parents and his brother Emmett.

I apologized to Edward for scaring him the way I did, by rushing over here and freaking out. Of course he told me it was fine and he was just glad I went to him for help instead of trying to figure it out on my own. All I could think about when I was done talking with Aro and Jane was getting to Edward, nothing else mattered.

Saturday was spent out and about in New York City with Edward, Maddie and Masen. The latter of which was still wearing his New York Yankees jersey. Apparently, he has barely taken it off since last weekend and puts it back on as soon as humanly possible.

Too cute for words, I'm telling you.

Edward and the twins spent the night at the loft on Saturday night. We had so much fun. We blew the air mattress up again and made a huge tent in the living room for us to watch movies and sleep under. Maddie and Masen were convinced that Edward and I were the two coolest people on the planet…a fact which neither one of us felt the need to dispute.

Seth was on a date with…Tanya. No big surprise there, really, and I hoped things work out for them. It would be fantastic if they did.

After I fixed my overnight guests breakfast, I sent them home with leftovers and kisses so I could get ready for my day with Alice and Tanya. I had asked Tanya to come to the loft first and we would go together to meet up with Alice. I was nervous, but was really looking forward to meeting Alice and getting to know both her and Tanya better. The only thing missing was Rose; I wished she was here so bad!

I teased Tanya about her date with Seth on our way to the café and she told me what to expect from Alice. I got more nervous the more Tanya talked until I finally said, "Shit, Tanya. Are you trying to make me a nervous wreck before I even meet the woman?"

She laughed at me as she put her arm through mine as we approached the café and she said very seriously, "Bella, Alice will love you, don't worry. She'll love you for making Edward the happiest any of us have ever seen and happier than we ever imagined he could be. You don't have to ever do anything else except that Bella, because that is everything. Alice adores Edward, he is her hero and the fact that you have brought him back to life…well…she'll feel like she owes you, not the other way around."

Before I could respond, I was being hugged by the strongest pair of arms I'd ever felt and then I looked into the face of Alice Cullen. Damn, she's stunning!

"Bella, it is so good to finally meet you in person. Between Edward, the twins and Jasper, I feel like I know you already!" she squealed to me.

"Jasper, huh?" I smirked at her.

Yes, I totally called this one! Even though I know Edward will claim it as his!

Foolish old man…no way I'm giving up credit for this.

"Um, well…I mean we've …" she tried to answer but couldn't because the poor thing looked like she was about to faint.

"Alice, I'm teasing. I think it's great and next to Edward and Seth, there is no man in this world better than Jasper," I told her truthfully.

She giggled adorably before she blushed and said, "Well, we've talked on the phone quite a few times and exchanged some emails, that's about it. I mean it's only been two days Bella, but, he is one sexy ass man, I'll give you that."

At that, the three of us laughed and went to sit at our table. Alice filled me in on some of the discussions she and Jasper had already had regarding my contract. She was going to call Aro and Jane in the morning and get the ball rolling so we'd just have to wait and see what happened.

She did indeed, thank me profusely for the changes in Edward and told me over and over again how happy she was for the two of us. She and Tanya got a huge kick out of anticipating Emmett's reaction when I met him the next week at dinner. Alice bet he would faint, Tanya bet he would grab the camcorder and camera to take pictures as proof I was in his house within five minutes. I laughed at them both, telling them that Edward had already started to try to prepare me for Emmett Cullen.

The lunch was great and the company was even better. I loved Alice and could easily see us close friends in no time. I already loved Tanya, even before I officially met her on Friday. Edward had talked about her so much and she had already been so supportive of Edward and me, I couldn't help but love her.

Dress shopping was quite the experience but after a few hours of trying on dress after dress we found the perfect one for me and for Tanya who was accompanying Seth…thank goodness!

Alice found the most gorgeous deep blue halter topped dress that gathered at the waist and then fell straight down to the floor. The neckline was perfect to show off my necklace, which I hadn't taken off since Edward had given it to me, and it wouldn't be coming off anytime soon either.

"Bella, did Edward give you that necklace?" Alice quietly asked as I stood in front of the mirror after I had put the dress on.

I couldn't help the smile that overtook my face just thinking about when he had given it to me. I reached up and held it between my fingers before I picked up and pressed my lips to it, a habit I had gotten into throughout the week. Whenever I found myself thinking about or missing Edward, I would touch the pendant and kiss it. It just made me feel better for some reason.

"Yes, he did Alice, why do you ask?" I wondered.

"Oh, no reason, but you should see your face when you subconsciously touch it. I could tell immediately it was from my brother, there isn't any question as to how much you love him when you can see it so plainly on your face…and his. I just want you to know how happy I am for both of you to have found each other," Alice said with so much feeling I couldn't help but give her a huge hug.

We finished shopping and I headed home, with promises to get together again soon. Alice was going to come to the loft to help me get ready on Saturday night and then she was going to spend the night with the twins so Edward and I could have the rest of the night to ourselves before waking on Sunday to meet the rest of his family.

The family that I sincerely hoped would be mine one day.

1 comment:

  1. Just a little side note... I love how long your chapters are. I can really sink my teeth into the story chapter by chapter, Just Sayin'
    I was wondering when volturi was gonna start throwing messes in her path. AND I just knew that Ali was gonna end up being the heroine by finding a way around things. I honestly thought it would be her making sure they could not try any shenanigans with her present contract... and I am soo so curious as to why they always refer to her all but being forced into the contract in the first place... I know there is a story there too.
    I am sure Edward was thrilled that she ran to him above anyone* And how everyone ralled around her. Seth was so so sweeet with Bella... great chapter!