♥ Firstly, I’d like to thank you all so very much for your patience! You’re all really THE BEST! I won’t bore you with the technicalities, but we had some major server issues, but we’re back now. Missed you!
You’ll notice that all the images that were uploaded to the site in the ‘News’ section are gone. We had to delete them all, and we’re starting fresh. I’ll add news shortly to push those posts down and off the front page so you won’t see those unattractive-looking posts anymore.
I hope you’ve all had an amazing week, and thank you again!
Bob the Builder, Can we fix it? Bob the Builder Yes, we can! Scoop, Muck and Dizzy and Roley too Lofty and Wendy join the crew . . .
“What are you singing?” My eyes widened as if I could see him, even though I was a good twenty feet away from him in the kitchen.
“Well, Edward, you must have spent your childhood reading and gardening and being the stuck up guy that you are—and you must have loved it, but I did not. I spent my childhood with cows and playing with little pigs. And I’m reminiscing that,” Emmett said, in the typical bobbing his head back and forth way. What was worse, he had said this out loud, and now everybody, including Bella, who was standing at the stove (making Parmesan for Nessie), started laughing.
You did gardening?! Ha! Jasper taunted me.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh your southern ass off. The same one a horse kicked and dislocated when you were what . . . fourteen?” If he had been in the room, I would have grimaced. But that shut him up, so the comment obviously met its purpose.
“WHAT?! You fractured your ass?! Is that even possible?!” Emmett shouted and started guffawing.
What is this? Embarrassing-trivia-about-everyone-that-I-really-don’t-care-about-but-listen-to-anyway-because-they-are-fun day? Rosalie thought, tinkering with something in the garage. Nicknames were not her forte.
Keep ‘em coming, keep ‘em coming. Alice smiled slyly to herself.
“What are you smiling at?” I gave the stink eye, that I was pretty sure I had picked up somewhere along the way from Charlie, or Bella. “And Emmett, childhood was eighty years ago. It’s not my fault that you still have the brain matter of a six year old.”
“Very true,” I heard Renesmee’s voice chime from the garage as she drove up and parked her car. “Whatever we’re talking about.”
Why did we ever have kids? Carlisle shook his head at the clan of clowns that he and Esme had raised.
Bella greeted Renesmee with a hug. “Hey honey! How was school? Did they treat you okay?”
Today had officially been Renesmee’s first day of school. We had all decided that she was old enough to look pass as a freshman and could start school now. Up until now, her rapid growth had prevented us from sending her to school: it was just too risky. We couldn’t have people showing up at our door saying that our daughter looked nearly a year older each day.
But four years of home schooling had worn her out. We had all anticipated the arrival of the day when Nessie would finally put her foot down and ask to be sent to a ‘normal’ school, but it had still been debated by us.
After tens of hundreds of votes and precautions and bribing (by us) and even crying (mostly by Nessie), Bella and I had come to a decision: we would send Nessie to school for a ‘trial’ period, and would gauge how she did with people and the general atmosphere. Nessie was over the moon. I swear I had never heard that many ‘I love you, daddy’s!’ come out of her mouth in a day.
“Aside from the stares and the prom date parade, it was good.” Nessie hugged Bella back and then approached me.
“Hello honey.” I hugged and kissed her forehead, wishing she would never outgrow this stage. “What prom-date parade?”
Bella gave me a raised eyebrow, and all the other ladies rolled their eyes.
Here we go again, Rosalie thought.
Nessie would never date if Edward had his way, Esme smirked.
The men, however, sat up straighter. Thank God—at least somebody thought of keeping Nessie away from hormone crazed sex machines. Not to mention, Jacob would rip any guy who looked at Nessie apart. That was like an added bonus for me: an all time bodyguard.
“Oh come on, Dad!” Nessie rolled her eyes. “I just started school. They wanted to ask me to prom.”
“Don’t look at me like that! As if I’m ever going to let you go on a date with these boys.” I raised an eyebrow.
“Nessie, why don’t you go and change? I’ll get you something to eat. I’ve got chocolate chip cake, by the way,” Bella interrupted before we could duel any further, which was a bad sign for me.
“Oh yay! I’ll be right back.” Nessie grinned. “Where’s Jacob, by the way?”
“He’s gone over to Forks,” Bella told her. “He had to work out the perimeter with Sam. Plus he was running out of clothes. Wonder how that happened.”
Oh, I knew how that happened all right. It seemed Rosalie had still not gotten over her aversion to the dog smell. And that added to the fact that Jacob never missed an opportunity to annoy her had led to Jacob’s clothes being “inexplicably” set on fire. (We all knew who had done that—a certain blonde who was smirking right now as the events of the night came back to her—and who had helped—a certain dark-haired pixie who had grown immensely tired of a wolf’s fashion sense.) That in turn had led to Rosalie’s shampoo being replaced by a similar smelling hair dye (I may or may not have helped with that) that colored her hair a fiery orange. I was honestly baffled as to how her vampire senses had missed that. Maybe I was a genius.
“You,” Bella pointed a stern finger at me, “improve your manners. She’s almost fifteen, Edward.”
“Physically. Mentally, she’s still four.”
“No, she’s not. And you know it. Lay off the gun for a while, Edward.”
“She’s my baby girl. I’m not going to let her go off into the night with someone who doesn’t want anything else but to get into her pants.”
You know I can hear you, Dad, Nessie said to my thoughts. And that was gross. Ew.
“You know her, Edward. Plus, she’s dating Jacob. He’s a good guy.” Bella put the Parmesan on the plate and I moved away a little. Repulsive.
“A guy nonetheless, with guy parts that work,” I warned her in moderate terms.
Daddy! Gross! Ewww! And cue the gagging by Nessie.
Edward, I did not need that visual. Alice shook her head.
How do you know whether Jacob’s guy parts work? Emmett, obviously, went to dirty part.
“Please don’t tell me you’ve heard . . . that.” Bella shook her head and shuddered a little, but I not say anything as Nessie had come downstairs, still looking a little disgusted.
Even though Jacob had fervently promised me that he and Nessie would not have sex without our consent and until she was old enough, I had noticed him slyly ogling her a little more each day. On more than one occasion I had caught him thinking about kissing her, but Bella had stopped me from ripping him apart, saying that he could not have helped his thoughts, and reminding me that I had not been any better than him.
Of course I hadn’t. I might be a vampire, but I’m a guy.
But that’s my daughter.
But I guess that’s a field where every male is a hypocrite: they spend their prime thinking about women, but cannot bear it when other males do the same for their daughters.
“Oh my God! Aunt Alice, look! Tanya looks wonderful!” Nessie’s hyper, too-teenager-ish voice interrupted my thoughts, and I looked over to see her beaming into her laptop, which was open on the kitchen counter.
Alice wasted no time in joining Nessie, and soon both of them were saying, ‘ahh!’ and ‘ooh!’ about something on the screen. Bella and the other female populace of house huddled around the little gadget and started commenting on the color and style of a dress. I politely blocked them out of my mind, for the simple reason that I could not tell stilettos from wedges. However, their very verbal conversation could not be ignored.
“This looks amazing on her.” (Bella)
“She should make this her display pic.” (Nessie)
“Look at the color! Just wonderful.” (Esme)
“Oh my God! Look at Kate’s comment . . . this is Versace! Why didn’t I see this?” (Alice, obviously)
“I am going to like this.” (Rosalie)
“Emmett, what are you doing sending her that many smileys and thumbs ups?” (Rosalie)
Wait, what? I thought they were looking at an email.
“What are you looking at?” I asked, coming around to see what the commotion was.
“Tanya posted a picture of her on Facebook. We’re talking about that,” Nessie explained.
Five incredulous faces turned to look at me.
“What?” I asked.
“Are you saying you don’t know what Facebook is?” Alice mouthed each word slowly, as if somehow trying to grasp how in the world would somebody not know about this Facebook.
I shook my head, and raised an eyebrow, challenging them. “Is it important?”
“Edward, honey, I love you, but sometimes your lack of knowledge about the contemporary world is near paralyzing.” Bella held my face, coaxing me to look into her eyes to make me see that she was not joking.
“Oh my God, Dad . . . you really have no idea what Facebook is . . .” Nessie nodded slowly, only understanding now.
Suddenly the display on the screen moved, and everybody turned to see what had engendered that. I looked over Bella’s shoulder to see a white screen, with a blue masthead saying ‘Facebook’. But that was not what had caught everyone’s attention. It was a message on the screen.
Emmett Cullen updated his status:
Like if you think Edward Cullen just reached new heights of stupidity by not knowing what Facebook is.
Below, I saw a small toolbar saying:
Jasper Hale and Carlisle Cullen like this.
The ladies around me laughed, and Nessie clicked a small thumbs up option next to the comment.
Almost immediately, the information on the toolbar changed.
You, Jasper and Carlisle like this.
In the next moment, there was another notification on the screen.
Jacob Black likes this.
“What is this?” I widened my eyes, exasperated that they would debate my intelligence on the internet.
“How can you not know what Facebook is? This is like The thing right now. I am three hundred and sixty seven years old, Edward, and I am on Facebook.” Carlisle joined us at the kitchen table, laughing at me both mentally and physically.
“Well, I didn’t know. And it’s just a social networking site it seems. Why is it so necessary?”
“Dad, come here.” Nessie clutched my arm and made me sit next to her. “I am going to sign you up on Facebook.”
By that time I saw there were already three more notifications on Nessie’s screen.
Tanya Denali and Carmen Denali like Emmett Cullen’s status.
Eleazar commented on Emmett Cullen’s status:
“Welcome to the Stone Age . . . ”
In the living room, said Cullen guffawed, “Epic!”
Emmett Cullen likes Eleazar’s comment . “Welcome to the Stone Age . . . :D”
“Stop it!” I frowned.
Every one laughed and dispersed almost immediately, while Nessie started teaching me the ropes of said ‘networking website.’
“Okay, name . . . email . . . password . . . What do I do for age? I can’t exactly put in hundred and eleven.” I grineed.
“Just put in the age you’re pretending to be, Dad,” Nessie rolled her eyes.
“Okay . . . oh! What the . . . what is this?” I frowned as a page requesting my likes and dislikes came up.
“This is to find people with similar likes, or maybe recommend pages to people. You put in your job interests, where you went to school—”
“I went to twenty-five high schools! Which one do I put in?”
Nessie chuckled a little. “Your most recent.”
I did as she had, and a list popped up showing many faces from Forks High School. Almost instantly, a friend request from Jessica Stanley appeared in the window.
“Wow . . . this is . . . wait.” I clicked on the link to her profile. “She married Mike. Huh, no surprise there. God, she was a—”
“Dad, I don’t want to know the who, what, how of your high school . . . can you move on?”
“Yeah, darling, okay . . . Oh! Family . . . I want to add them! What do I do?” I asked.
“Just proceed to the profile and click the Add Friend button.” I did as she had said and clicked the button on Emmett’s profile.
“No you just have to wait for him to accept it.”
“Apparently not.” I said as a notification popped up saying Emmett had accepted my friend request. “Okay, now what do I do?”
“Well, you can send friend requests to everyone we know, and you can probably start by changing your relationship status to In A Relationship With Bella Swan-Cullen.”
“But we’re married.”
“But people don’t know that.”
“Oh.” I went on to Bella’s profile and saw the button. “Why do I have to send her a friend request? It should be a Relationship Request right?”
“No, Dad, you can friend her and then you can change your relationship status.”
“Okay. Wait, why is your mother friends with Mike Newton?” I glued my eyes to the screen at his display picture. “What the . . . is he on steroids or something? And he liked every picture of your mom! Manwh—”
“Edward! It would have been rude not to accept his request,” Bella explained, appearing from the kitchen. She was now standing beside me.
“Well, look at him! He—”
“Dad! Can we please just . . . move on?” Nessie looked flustered, and her thoughts clearly showed that.
“Okay . . . yeah . . . what is this?” I saw an interesting icon and clicked just as Nessie started to say. “No, Dad, don’t!”
“Criminal Case? Huh. . . this looks interesting. . . you can solve cases on this thing? Huh . . . Oh, level up! Yeah!”
“Don’t worry, Nessie. . . he’s a goner,” Bella laughed. I heard the scrape of the chair as Nessie got up and left, mentally rolling her eyes.
Two Days Later
“You!” Emmett barged into my room at the main house as I was huddled around the computer. “I am going to break every single bone in your body!”
He stomped to where I was and towered over me.
“What did I do?” My Eyes widened.
He didn’t answer, and before I could even estimate his thoughts he had pulled the plug from the computer’s power supply.
“Why did you do that?! What the hell!!! I had an entire level sitting on it! You—”
“Stop it, all right? Stop everything! Go back to the Stone age! You’ve gone crazy! Do you how many Criminal Case requests you’ve sent me in the last two days? Zillions! Probably literally zillions! I hate you! My wall is full of requests and posts: ‘Edward Cullen won a bronze medal,’ ‘Edward Cullen got this,’ ‘Edward Cullen got that’. I don’t care. I don’t freaking care what Edward Cullen did, just keep it off of my news feed.”
And with that, he stormed off.
Finally, somebody did it. Carlisle thought.
I thought I heard a collective sigh of relief leave the entire family.
Hello lovelies! I got bored and made you these Valentine’s Day cards of some of your favorite Twilight actors! I’ll probably go back in and add more once I get a chance! Enjoy, and don’t forget to give one to your favorite Twi-loving pal or love interest!
“There we go,” Alice chimed as she placed the glittery star on top of the Christmas tree. “It’s perfect!” Her voice was melodic and laced with pride. Her and Esme decorated the Christmas tree in the living room together this year, and the finished product looked like something you’d see on TV or in a magazine.
The synthetic tree was white and spotted with red and black bows and glittery snowflake ornaments. Iridescent red garland swirled around its fluffy white branches perfectly, and a big white star sat at the very top finishing it all off.
Alice ran around to the back of the tree to where the plug was and picked up the dangling chord. “Now, let’s see my masterpiece all lit up.”
Edward, donning an all black suit, glided his hand across the small of my back and gazed at the tree, its white lights twinkling robustly, illuminating the room full of white and red flowers.
I leaned into Edward and lightly rested my head on his shoulder then patted my glittery red dress to flatten out any folds or wrinkles. All the females in attendance wore the same dress, and all the men wore the same all-black suit as Edward.
This year wasn’t like any other Christmas; this year the presents under the tree were wedding gifts. Edward almost couldn’t grasp that it was already time to give his beautiful little daughter away to a man.
Not just to any man, though.
To Jacob; a werewolf.
It was Renesmee’s decision to marry on Christmas day, and Jacob didn’t mind. He didn’t care where – or on which date – he married his angel; all he knew was that he was head-over-heels, unalterably in love with her. And Renesmee’s love for Jacob was just as profound.
I see a lot of myself in my beautiful angel – like when her cheeks flush a rosy-red whenever Jacob is near her. As a human, when I could blush, my cheeks always pooled up with blood whenever I looked at Edward. Renesmee’s love for Jacob is entirely unconditional, too, like my love for Edward. She accepts that Jacob is different, that he is supposed to be our mortal enemy. And he accepts all of her differences, too. It’s a beautiful thing, and I wouldn’t want my daughter, my life, to spend the rest of her days with anyone other than Jacob.
The over-sized front foyer of our home was lined with red velvet chairs, friends and family parked in their assigned seats patiently awaiting the beautiful bride. We were so grateful that everyone from the Amazon, Denali, Egyptian, and Irish Coven’s were able to attend; Renesmee has taken a strong liking to so many of them. She loves surrounding herself with those she can relate to . . . vampires.
Human girls tend to give Renesmee dirty looks, or tug their boyfriends away from her direction when she’s around. She’s more beautiful than anyone I’ve ever seen, but sometimes it hinders her. Sometimes it does upset her, and although she’s never known a normal life – a life filled with sleepovers, school dances and a family who isn’t harboring a dark secret from the world – we know she wonders what it would have been like to be born into a normal, human family. It’s only harmless curiosity, of course – she wouldn’t trade her life for the world. Well, maybe the part where her father can read her mind.
“It’s time,” Alice said, her eyes flickering between Edward and I, gauging our reactions. “Places everybody!” She drifted over to Jacob and straightened up his shirt and slicked down a piece of out-of-place hair. “Goodness, you smell awful,” she scoffed as she plucked a piece of lint from his shoulder and flicked it away.
Jake rolled his eyes. “Not now Alice,” he groaned. “I’m too nervous to banter about how you reek and I smell incredible.”
He was nervous, too. A vampire’s hearing is incredibly sensitive and I could hear as he gulped hard and sipped in short, anxious breaths. His heart thump thump thumped wildly. His face was flushed and his eyes were twice their normal size. Excitement mixed with nervousness. I vaguely remember feeling the same way before heading down the aisle to marry Edward.
Alice smiled. “It’s all right Jake. You’re both here for the same reason: because you love each other.”
Jake cleared his throat. “What if I don’t say the right thing? What if I drop the ring . . . or if she changes her mind?” he whispered, his voice shaky.
I had to step in, I had to help my best friend. “Jake, believe me, my daughter loves you more than her own life. She is here with all of her family and friends because she’s so proud of who you are and how you make her feel. She loves you. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask Edward.” I nodded in Edward’s direction. “He can kind of get inside of her head.”
Edward narrowed his eyes and practically choked out what he had to say. “She loves you more than”—he paused, his jaw set, his lips a straight line—”more than anyone. You’re all she thinks about. Surely you know this.”
Jake nodded and the ghost of a smile appeared on his face.”Thanks, guys.” He paused and mirrored Edward’s pained expression. “I love you all. I really do.” It was hard for him to get the words out, but we knew he meant it. Even Edward. They would always have a hard time admitting it, but they admired each other, respected one another. After all, if it weren’t for Edward, Jacob wouldn’t have Renesmee.
“There’s my sun,” I said, then playfully punched his shoulder. But he wasn’t my own personal sun anymore, he was Nessie’s sun now and forever.
In a blur, Edward ran up to the top of the staircase to be by his daughter’s side, to walk her down the aisle before handing her off to Jake.
And with that, Carlisle took his seat at the piano and glided his fingers gracefully across the keys, tickling the most beautiful melody. Everyone’s eyes were on the large winding staircase, waiting for the first glimpse of the beautiful bride.
When Renesmee appeared, the room bubbled over with gasps; even all the beautiful female vampires held their hands to their chests in awe of her beauty. I grabbed Charlie’s hand and squeezed hard. If tears could fall, there would have been a pool of them on my lap.
My angel was so beautiful that she almost didn’t seem real.
For the first time since Jacob proposed to Renesmee – with a beautiful 1930′s vintage art deco engagement ring – I could see that Edward was finally ready to give her away to be loved and protected by Jacob Black. He was ready for Renesmee Cullen to officially become Renesmee Carlie Cullen-Black. I couldn’t read Edward’s mind, but I’d gotten pretty good at reading his face, and in that moment, I knew he was so proud of his beautiful little girl.
The minister began his piece and then the vows began. Jacob went first. His hands shook as he peered down at the paper with his vows scrawled across it. Then, to my surprise, he crumpled up the paper and tossed it aside.
“Truth is,” he began, “there’s no way anyone could sum up what it means to be standing across from you, about to officially intertwine my life with yours. I tried to jot down what you mean to me, but every beautiful word that came to mind was still feeble in my attempts at explaining how much you mean to me, Renesmee. Instead, I will promise you this: For as long as we both live, you will be protected, loved, admired, respected, and come hell or high water, I will always be by your side. For the first time in my life something came easy to me: loving you. For the first time in my life, I’m so proud of who I am, because who I am, is yours.”
Happy tears spilled out of Renesmee’s eyes and her beaming smile stretched across her face so angelically. I had never seen her smile so big before. She cleared her throat then nervously began her vows.
“Jacob, where there has been cold, you have brought warmth; where my life was dark, you have brought light. Where there has been worry, you brought peace; when there has been danger, you supplied protection. If the world is a storm, then you are my sun. Jacob Black, I pledge before this assembled company to be your wife from this day forward. Let us merge our two lives into one. And let us always honor and love each other—forever.”
The rings were exchanged and my best friend and my daughter were officially pronounced husband and wife. Jacob lifted Renesmee off her feet during their kiss and spun her around. Their smiles were radiant, their faces filled with warmth and contentment.
“Their love is a beautiful thing,” Edward said in my ear. “Two entirely separate worlds bound together by one thing: unconditional love.”
He laced his fingers with mine then used his other hand to brush a piece of hair out of my eye. I trembled as he wrapped the long piece of hair behind my ear. Edward had a way of making me feel euphoric from a simple look or a gentle touch. I was an addict and he was my drug.
I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed the tip of Edward’s nose. “Their love reminds me of a certain human and a certain vampire who fell irrevocably in love with each other despite their odds.”
Edward’s eyes went grave as he thought back to the fragile human who fell dangerously in love with him. The girl whose blood was his own personal brand of heroin. The girl who, despite the danger he posed, wasn’t afraid of the golden-eyed vampire. “That is very different,” he muttered, his voice flat. “Jacob doesn’t thirst for Renesmee’s blood.”
It still pained Edward when he thought hack to how easily he could have ended my life, how badly he wanted to taste my sweet-smelling blood. In one swift movement he put his arm around me and pulled me into his chest. “I love you, Bella. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, Edward.” And with that, a bouquet of flowers went soaring over our heads and into Charlie’s hands. Sue was standing next to him, her smile wide and her eyes lit up with happiness.
I don’t ask Edward much about what goes on in Charlie’s thoughts, but I do know he hopes Sue will accept him for what he’s become, and that one day – like Renesmee and Jacob – they can create a love with no conditions. He knows he would have to say goodbye to her eventually—because she’s human, and humans don’t live forever, of course—so he’s hesitant about getting too close. But Charlie would still rather love and lose than never love at all. We’re the same that way.
After the beautiful reception, Jacob and Renesmee were off to their honeymoon. They both agreed to go to Ireland. Neither of them are big on lounging on beaches, so instead they rented a cabin and are going to spend their time touring Ireland, taking day cruises and cozying up by the fire.
Before they took off, Renesmee and Jacob hugged, kissed, and thanked everyone for coming. The most special ‘thank you’ of all went to Edward. Renesmee ran up to him and jumped in his arms like she would when she was a little girl. “Thank you so much for the most beautiful wedding in the world, Daddy.” She kissed him on the cheek. “I love you so much. And please know that nothing has changed; I’ll always be your little girl.”
Edward squeezed her back and kissed her on the forehead. “I love you so much, sweetheart. And I know you’ll always be my little girl; I’ll never doubt that.”
Jacob stepped forward and cleared his throat. “Thank you so much for everything, Edward and Bella. Thank you for the over-the-top wedding, but most importantly, thank you for bringing Renesmee into the world.”
“Keep her safe, Jacob,” Edward said with a nod. “Always keep her safe.”
“You know I will.”
Edward grinned, that perfect half-grin that I loved so much. “So, how does it feel to be my son in law, Jake?” he joked.
Jake rolled his eyes and laughed. “That’s it, I’m outta here.”
And off they went, away in Jake’s 1986 red Volkswagen Rabbit, the words ‘Just Married’ painted across the back window in bright yellow.
“Merry Christmas!” they both yelled out the window as they drove away.
“Merry Christmas!” we all yelled back, and it sounded melodic.
Most Christmases come and go in a blur and are forgotten by the next morning. Most Christmases lose their true meaning, are overshadowed by the want to give and receive the perfect gifts. But this Christmas would be cherished and remembered forever. It wouldn’t get tossed aside, outdated our returned like a tangible gift. This year was the year that my own personal sun and my miracle gave their lives to each other as a present. It was the year that we all got to watch on as they vowed to live every day loving and cherishing one another.
This year we all received the best gift of all; the unity of my sun and my miracle.
He wasn’t some beautiful statue. He was my husband.
And the people around — the ‘humming statues’ — were my family.
“Where’s Renesmee?” I demanded.
Edward’s face showed relief. “She’s gone with Jake for now. You got angry, love. We understand. I just want to take you down to our home, to calm you before you see Jake or Renesmee again.” He spoke to me like I were a child.
“My mom . . . s-she’s gone,” I whispered. It wasn’t a question, I was simply facing the reality that triggered my anger.
Charlie wrapped his arms around me, though I couldn’t feel him. “It was raining heavily, Bells. She . . . ” He paused, sucked in a deep breath and closed his eyes tightly before continuing. “She spun out and slammed into oncoming traffic. She didn’t have a pulse by the time they’d reached the hospital. I’m so sorry, Bella.”
My first loss.
I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t feel the pain in my heart. I felt frozen, angry, confused.
The worst part was that I had an eternity to be aware of her void. If there was someplace she would go, where her soul would be, I wouldn’t ever be able to join her.
For the very first time since I had been turned, I understood Edward’s reluctance to make me one of them, a vampire. But human or immortal, this would hurt . . . just differently. With time, the pain would subside. Just like it does for humans.
At least I’d hoped.
In many ways, I was still new to this world; the world I’d begged Edward to make me a part of. There was so much that I hadn’t yet experienced as a vampire. I still wasn’t even used to using that word: vampire.
In the meantime, I had to find my daughter. I scared Renesmee and could still picture the expression on her face when I almost attacked Jacob. Her big round eyes pleading with me, her lips curled down in obvious disappointment, her body pressed tightly into Jake’s out of fear.
I pulled myself from Charlie’s grip and looked at the apologetic faces surrounding me. I felt calm.
“Please, Jasper. I want to feel this. I’m okay now, I promise,” I assured him.
Jasper nodded and stopped altering my mood, but I remained composed. He admitted he had a hard time using his special power on me this time, though. “I’ve never had to focus so hard to use my gift to calm anyone before,” he admitted, pulling his eyebrows together in suspicion.
“Have you ever had to try to calm a vampire who just lost the most important human left in her life?” I asked.
Jasper lifted his chin slightly. “Point taken.”
It was true. I had lost all sense of who I was. Anger flourished throughout my entire body; anger that nothing could control. I didn’t know how to process the information because I was used to my body doing it for me, when I was human. When something hurts a human so deeply, they feel it in their heart, their stomach, their soul.
My mind briefly flickered to the vague memory of Edward walking away, leaving me in the forest behind Charlie’s house in Forks. I could still remember the pain I’d felt as a human when he left, though I could no longer feel it. I remember feeling as though a huge gaping hole had been punched through my chest, however, my body is now frozen, forbidden to remember the physical pain.
Vampires process mental pain differently.
The human instincts we retain tell us that we should be crying, we should be feeling pain in our chest, our hearts, but the reality is that we feel nothing physically.
Our mind, on the other hand, spirals out of control.
When I knew Renee was gone, my granite body filled with energy, strength. My throat began to burn wildly, even though I had just fed. My focus was not on hunting; the burning in my throat was simply telling me to drink more blood to make myself more powerful, to gain control over the situation, somehow.
Vampires are narcissistic in ways. We know we’re strong, and we’re used to deciding if someone lives, or dies. So when death happens to someone we love, and we have no control over their fate, we’ll go looking for control in other ways. Unfortunately, Jacob was almost my ‘other way.’
But regardless of any mental anguish, I have enough logic to know it’s not right. It’s not our place to play God. I had no other choice but to accept that I had zero control and that no amount of physical power, blood or anger would bring her back.
Renee was gone.
I had to be the best mother I could be in the meantime. I had to set the best example for Renesmee that I could.
I excused myself and laced my fingers with Edward’s. We walked at a faster-than-human pace down to our home. I felt embarrassed by my reaction to the news of Renee’s death, though I knew my family was not judging me.
“We’ll be here if you need us Bella,” Esme called after me, her tone so tender, comforting.
I glanced back and met Esme’s warm golden eyes. “Thank you,” I mouthed.
Just before we reached our home, I heard Charlie mumble, “I should call Phil back. We need to work out the funeral arrangements.”
This was so real. I couldn’t escape it, couldn’t deny it. I had to simply face it.
When we got to our home, I rested my head against Edward’s chest, right where his heart would be if he were human. I didn’t say a word, but I let him into my head. The first thought I showed him was that I loved him.
After that, I showed him that I would be okay and that I didn’t want him to worry. I remembered what Edward told me before he left me, when he thought he and his family were too dangerous for me after Jasper almost lost control. He said he wouldn’t forget me, but his kind — now my kind — are easily distracted. I hoped this was true.
I told myself that after Ren Mom’s funeral I would add the finishing touches to the novel I was writing; the novel of my life as a human. I was having a difficult time writing the ending, but it would be the perfect distraction.
Edward didn’t have to say much to alleviate the mental pain. His sweet breath brushing gently across my face as he whispered, “I love you Bella Cullen” put me in a light, almost trace-like state. His rich, buttery golden eyes were deep pools of sympathy and he wanted to make it all better, make it go away.
When I hurt, Edward hurts. And when Edward hurts, I, too, hurt.
I didn’t want to hurt Edward.
“After the funeral, I’m going to finish my book. I’m excited to let you read it,” I whispered, lifting my face just slightly from his chest.
He ran his long pale fingers through my hair. “I’m excited to see how human Bella managed to spend her life married the worlds most dangerous predator.”
I laughed, a light laugh. “I know you never would have hurt me. I felt safest with you when I was human. I was never afraid, never.”
“I know,” Edward began, bemused by the thought. “I often questioned your sanity, love.” I didn’t have to lift my head off his chest to know he was grinning, that perfect crooked grin.
I heard two different heartbeats in the distance and shot up off our bed; one thudded healthily, forcefully. The other fluttered faster, like a bird flapping its wings, readying for takeoff.
“Renesmee!” I shouted as I ran up the stairs in what would have been a blur to the feeble human eye. Edward was right behind me.
I rounded the corner and there was my beautiful angel standing there, looking at me with her beautiful big brown eyes. Jacob was right beside her, his arm wrapped around her shoulder protectively.
“I’m so sorry I scared you, angel,” I told Renesmee, wrapping my arms around her and pulling her toward my chest.
She hugged me back and I sensed she was comfortable, not afraid. “I feel bad for you, Mommy,” she began, choosing her words carefully. “I would hurt so badly if you ever died. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I love you so much.”
I had no words.
Renesmee wasn’t upset about the fact that I’d scared her. She hurt, but it was for me. She felt my pain. I always knew I had a beautiful, loving daughter, but in that moment I realized just how deeply she felt for others. Her compassion made me so proud.
Jake looked down at the floor then sucked in a deep breath and I knew he was about to say something. “I’m really sorry about your loss, Bella,” he mumbled awkwardly. “If you need me for anything, you know where I reside.”
I smiled. “Thanks, Jake.”
Esme clasped her hands together and half smiled. “Well Jacob, I made you some shepherds pie. You must be getting hungry. It’s in the kitchen when you’re ready.”
Esme was always on top of things and Jake loved her to death for it. In a flash, Jake was off in the kitchen wolfing down the disgusting human food that I had once enjoyed.
Renesmee stayed by my side, her head resting against my torso. “I love you sweetheart,” I whispered softly to her before I gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head.
“I love you too mommy.”
March 24th 2011
Renee’s funeral was tough.
It’s difficult to artuculate the feelings that run rampant when you’re laying your mother to rest. She looked beautiful in her casket, though.
For now, I don’t want to elaborate too much on Renee’s absence. I want to think of the fun times we had together. Most are vague, but as I type this, I have the T-shirt memory quilt — that my Mom gave me as a graduation present — wrapped around me. Her scent still lingers on the quilt and it’s so very comforting.
After my mother’s funeral, I finally put an ending to the novel I had been writing. One of the advantages to being an immortal? We don’t sleep, so side–projects, like writing books, can be done while my Nudger is asleep.
It was the middle of the night, around 3am., when I called Edward into my library. “Would you like to read the book I just finished writing?” The words sounded bizarre leaving my mouth.
I wrote a book.
I had been so consumed with reading books that I had never thought of writing my own book. I jumped right into writing the book of my life as a human so fast that I didn’t ever actually think about what I was doing. I can’t deny it; being able to say you’ve completed a novel feels rewarding.
Edward came over to me and placed one tender kiss on the hollow of my throat. “I would love to,” he whispered in my ear.
Naturally I melted, or at least it felt like I did.
“Here.” I shifted my laptop towards Edward. “I’m sure there are some grammatical mishaps in there, just ignore those,” I said, biting my lower lip as I began to feel a little bit nervous about Edward reading my story.
He half laughed, but it didn’t touch his eyes. He was focused on the computer now; devouring the words, drinking them in. I left the library to let him read in private. Smiling, I realized this would be the first time Edward would get to see the thoughts I had about him when we first met. He could never read my mind—unless I let him—so this would be his chance to get inside, to know everything.
Here’s an excerpt of the ending of the book for you to read, too:
“I’d never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in place of someone I love, seems like a good way to go. I can’t bring myself to regret my decision to stay human; they were the most amazing human years any mortal could have possibly lived. And I’m so grateful I got to live them with Edward.”
Edward waits with me everyday beside my hospital bed in the Cullen house here in Alaska as I prepare to leave this world, to take my final breath and cease to exist.
It tears me up inside. I can’t deny that I worry about what he will do once I’m gone, though he promised me he would remain part of this world; to be a father to Renesmee—now known as Renesmee Black.
I am 87 years old. Though having Carlisle around has been a big help, I can’t fight what I am.
There’s not a lot you can do once cancer decides to unleash its fury and take over your feeble human body. I’ve chosen to go without treatment and succumb to the inevitable: death.
I have no way of letting Edward into my head to see just how much I love him and how thankful I am that he has loved me back all of these years. He still tells me I’m ‘the most beautiful woman who has, or ever will, exist.’
I just laugh.
My hair is grayed and my face is sallow. My skin has deep lines in the spots around my mouth and eyes that crease when I laugh. I love those lines, though. They’re memories; memories of every time Edward & I laughed together.
Emmett stepped quietly into my room and tip-toed to the side of my bed. “Bella,” he whispered. “Please don’t go. Please. I love you so much, more than you’ll ever know. You’re the most fearless, bad–ass sister in the world. We can turn you. I’ll do it myself.”
Edward’s lips pulled over his teeth and a low hiss escaped. “Emmett, let her go in peace. She deserves a soul. This isn’t the life for her.” His voice had no emotion, just emptiness.
Emmett grabbed my hand gently, careful not to move the intravenous tubes, and softly kissed it. “I have to say goodbye now then. I can’t watch as you slip away. I might be a monster, a predator, but this. . .this is too much. I love you, sister. I’ll miss you so much. Goodbye, Bella.”
“I love you too, Emmett,” I croaked with an attempted smile as he turned and slipped back out the door, looking as young and handsome as the day we’d met.
Rosalie, Jasper, Esme, Carlisle, Alice, Renesmee and Jake came into my room moments later. In all my years, I had never seen their beautiful, statuesque faces contorted in such a way. So sad. All of them.
“You’d think someone was dying or something,” I joked, to lighten the mood, or try to.
It might have been a little inappropriate.
“Bella, please,” Edward plead as his chest heaved up and down. The pain was swelling through his body and I felt guilty for making light of the situation.
“I’m sorry. I really am. I just don’t want to see you all so unhappy.”
“Oh, Bella!” Alice sighed as she danced toward my bed and cupped her hand over mine. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I love you so much and a day won’t go by where I don’t think of you.”
“I love you too, Alice.”
Tears began to well up in my eyes, again. I had spent a lot of time crying lately; mostly with Edward, as we reminisced about all the fun times we had spent together. I lived a surreal life, and I had Edward and his family to thank for that.
Over the years, Rosalie and I had become close. We weren’t close in the same way Alice and I had been, it was a different kind of close. We didn’t go shopping together often, but we talked a lot. We recommended books to each other, and Rose even taught me a lot about cars. But the hostility had completely evaporated, thankfully.
Rosalie’s goodbye was quick. She pulled it off like a band-aid. I expected her to. “Goodbye, Bella. I love you.” She hesitated, then leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “And for the record, yes, I’ve always been jealous of you. You’re fearless and you went against all the odds. Rest in peace, sister. I will never forget you.”
I smiled through the weakness that I felt taking me down. “I love you, Rose.”
It had been decided that Jasper, Carlise and Esme would remain in the room for my passing. No one was certain, exactly, how Edward would react, but regardless, he would need them there. Renesmee and Jake wanted to be in the room, too.
Esme would be the voice of reason, the motherly support. Jasper would help keep Edward calm should he lose control of himself. Carlisle would be there to pronounce me dead.
I felt myself slowly slipping, my aged body losing the battle. Edward sat there, taking in the pain from everyone’s thoughts on top of his own, his body shaking as anger and hurt coursed through him. He held my hand so lightly and placed a soft kiss on my forehead every-so-often and whispered, “I love you, beautiful” into my ear. His icy breath made me shiver, but in a good way.
I drank in Edward’s beauty one last time and squeezed his cold hand to tell him it was time for me to go. He shook and, for the first time since I had known him, he looked weak, his will to live disappearing more as I neared my last breath.
He looked drained.
“I love you so much,” I whispered and a single tear escaped my eye. “Every time you see a star shoot across the dark sky, think of me.” I looked around the room weakly, my eyesight slipping. “Renesmee,” I whispered, “my beautiful angel, I love you. I love you all so very much. I’ll be watching over you all. Promise. Jake, please take good care of my little girl. And never forget that I love you so much.”
Edward inhaled a deep breath and muttered a sound I’d never heard from him before. He was crying, without tears. “I love you my beautiful lamb. I love you, I love you, I—”
September 13th 2065
Bella’s final breath came in a wild gasp that shredded my lifeless heartstrings apart, turned my stone-hard body to complete and utter weakness. Her heart came to a halt and I had to fight with everything I had in me to let her go, to keep myself from turning her and making her mine forever.
But I could not be selfish. My Bella deserves so much more than this. I am, after all, Edward Cullen: a vile, masochistic monster. She was my perfect angel. My delicate, breakable lamb.
I spend every night at Bella’s grave. Not a single night has gone by where I haven’t sat with her, from twilight until dawn, and talked about Renesmee, Jake and our family. I can feel her with me still; not physically, but I know she hears me.
I have considered having myself destroyed on so many different occasions, when her absence becomes too unbearable, then I look at Renesmee’s big brown eyes and I remember the promise I made to Bella. Though it’s been tough, I plan to adhere to that promise.
My life has lost all purpose. It is back to being like a moonless night: very dark. So very dark. I will continue existing here on Earth, but all happiness has slipped through my fingers, and I know I will never, ever know a purpose for existing again. Bella was my life.
It’s twilight again. It’s time for me to head to Forks and visit Bella’s grave. This is the only light in my night now. Bella asked to be buried in Forks; she wanted to be laid to rest in the place that brought us to each other.
I have so much to tell her. Tonight would have been her birthday, and I wrote a book for her, as a present. A book of how our lives would have been if Bella had become one of us, immortal. I called it, From Twilight to Breaking Dawn. Those are the hours I spend with her each night, so I thought it would be a suitable title.
I plan to read the book to her, a little bit each night.
I’m off to go be with my love now.
I heard the door to my library open up and Edward was by my side within seconds. He didn’t say a word, just wrapped his arms around my body and held me. He held me so tight, his cheek pressed against mine, his chest pressed into me so hard, like he was trying to escape inside my body.
“Are you okay?” I asked, somewhat shocked by the impact my book had on him.
“I couldn’t have done it. You were right. You were right all along. I’m selfish for turning you, yes, but Bella . . . I need you. You thrust the reality of how we could have ended up in my face, and I realized I was crazy to have considered letting you leave this world eventually. I—”
“Edward!” I interrupted, “I didn’t write the book to prove a point. I just wanted to close that chapter, close off the ‘what-ifs’ of my human life.”
He pulled his body just slightly away from mine so he could look me in the eyes. “I know the book wasn’t about proving a point, but reading that was so difficult, painful. I couldn’t imagine actually going through that. I simply couldn’t. I love you more than I ever thought I was capable of loving. You are my life, Bella.”
My eyes circled the contours of his sculpted jaw, then made their way back up to his beautiful golden eyes. “You’re my life, Edward. You always will be.”
Edward lifted me off my feet and swirled me around in the air, his eyes wide and buttery, so full of life. “I can hear Jacob’s thoughts right now and he wants to propose to Renesmee, but I’m having a hard time being angry now that I have been reminded of how lucky I am to have you here with me, forever.”
My jaw dropped. “What? Propose?”
Writers note: Thank you all so very much for supporting Bella’s Diary all these years. This is the very last entry, but I might do a bonus entry or two at some point down the road! You’ll never understand how much it means that so many of you have taken the time from your busy lives to read my ideas of how ‘life’ could end up for Edward and Bella after Breaking Dawn. Again, thank you all so very much. With love,
Autumn (formerly known as Krystal prior to legally changing my name in October 2013).
P.S. I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ You can read a preview and purchase it here. Thank you again!
The snow floated down from the sky in soft, sparkly sheets as a blizzard rolled through New Hampshire on Christmas Eve. It was enough snow to close down the long back road to our house.
Edward and I figured it’d be the perfect time to take Renesmee to town so we could look at all the Christmas lights glittering atop the rows of homes filled with snowed–in humans.
No one would be out in the blizzard; they’d surely all be snuggled in front of their roaring fires, or tucked under thick blankets drinking hot chocolate. Humans are so easily chilled–a memory and feeling that is incredibly vague to me now.
Each of us bundled up with mittens, scarves, plush winter jackets, toques and boots, then headed through the forest, running until we reached the edge of town. We slowed to a human pace and shoved our mittens in our pockets and tensed up, pretending to be affected by the frigid weather. I’d become an expert–almost–at acting human.
Renesmee was still able to feel the cold, so she didn’t have to work as hard to blend in. Her beauty, though… I knew it made people wonder. Now that she looked like a mature sixteen year old, it was even harder to keep humans from wondering about her. Wondering about her inhuman beauty, grace and elegance. She was more beautiful than Rosalie, more dazzling than any immortal.
We reached the corner of the first street of brilliantly lit up houses. Each home was very different in structure and design, but also varied in decorative taste. The first house was a tall modern stone home with green and red spotlights in the garden shining on the pale gray stones. There was a huge blow–up Santa on the snow blanketed front lawn and a snowman–that was probably made by small children– right beside it.
As we walked on we saw small homes, large homes, modern houses and vintage–style houses, each decorated uniquely and so beautifully. It was clear that some homeowners were in competition with each other, trying to outshine their neighbors with enough lights to nearly blind a humans feeble eyes.
Renesmee’s smile beamed as we passed each house, but there was still a slight vacancy in her eyes. She missed Jake. He was in La Push visiting with his family, but he promised Nessie he’d be back late Christmas Eve night, or very early Christmas morning. It was storming heavily, though, and I couldn’t read my Nudger’s mind like Edward could, but I knew she was suppressing a great deal of worry.
Edward gracefully removed his gloved hand from his pocket and latched it around Renesmee’s knitted mitten then looked down at her with a soft, comforting smile. He could read her mind, of course, so he was trying to soothe her, take her mind away from the worries that had been slowly drowning out her beautiful smile.
“Jake will be back in no time, Renesmee,” Edward assured her.
Renesmee looked up at Edward through her long snow-covered eyelashes. “I hope he makes it back for Christmas. If it’s snowing too heavily they’ll cancel his flight and–”
“We will make sure you and Jake are together for Christmas,” Edward interrupted, in a matter–of–fact tone, his liquid butterscotch eyes glancing from house to house.
I darted to Renesmee’s other side and intertwined my mitten–covered hand with hers. One of the worst imaginable feelings was seeing my little Nudger upset, worried. I wanted to fix everything and return the brilliant smile to her lips, but I couldn’t guarantee that Jacob would indeed make it back home in time for Christmas.
“Thanks, Dad. I hope he makes it,” Renesmee said somberly. She was still looking at the glittery houses, but she wasn’t seeing them; her mind was elsewhere.
“Lets go back home and help Esme bake cookies and pie,” I suggested, faking a smile in an attempt to lift the mood. “When Jake gets back he’ll be starving. Airplane food isn’t exactly, well . . . food.”
When we arrived back home the aroma of chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie greeted us as it wafted out from the kitchen. I smelled the cooking well before we were home, but the scents were a lot more intense once inside the house.
I didn’t mind the smell of most human food, but the thought of the tasteless grub actually entering my body repulsed me. Renesmee liked certain foods, but nothing satiated her hunger like blood. Not even close.
“Welcome back,” Esme greeted from the kitchen. “How were the lights?” She poked her head around the corner and a warm Motherly smile sprang across her face.
“We had fun, Grandma,” Renesmee answered without tone. “Jake didn’t call did he?” She asked before kicking her boots off.
Esme darted back into the kitchen. “No he didn’t call yet, but I’m sure he wi–”
And the phone rang.
“Hello?” Esme answered.
Renesmee ran into the kitchen before she’d got her coat or hat off, her expression calm now. Relived.
“Yes Jake, she’s right here.” Esme handed the phone to Renesmee.
“Jake!” Nessie yelled his name. “Where are you?”
Renesmee’s shoulders slumped forward as Jake told her he was stuck at the airport, her head hanging low as her curls fell in front of her face. We could all hear Jake perfectly on the phone, and of course Edward was enduring the pain of having to hear Nessie’s upset thoughts.
Edward’s lips were in a straight line, his eyebrows pulled together, one slightly higher than the other. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, but I knew being away from Jacob on Christmas would be hard for Renesmee. He’d been with her for every Christmas since she was born.
It was also hard hearing the pain in Jake’s voice on the other end of the line. Whatever disappointment Renesmee was feeling from being apart from Jacob, he felt much, much more. He imprinted on Nessie, after all. Being away from her was complete torture for him.
“Can I have the phone Renesmee, please?” Edward asked holding his long pale hand out.
She lifted her head slightly. “Why? He’s stuck. He can’t make it back for Christmas no matter what you say to him.”
“I believe I made my daughter a promise,” Edward answered, a barely visible grin making its way across his lips.
Renesmee lifted her head higher and met Edward’s eyes. He still had his hand out, waiting for her to hand him the phone.
“My dad wants you for a minute, Jake.”
Renesmee handed the phone over to Edward and on the other end I heard, “Oh jeez, what’s he wanna yell at me for now.”
“I don’t want to yell at you for anything, Jacob. I was just wondering if you could get back to your home in La Push?”
Phone conversations aren’t private in a house full of vampires. Jake sounded as clear as he would if he were on speaker phone.
“Yeah, I can get Leah to come get me. It’s not storming too bad here, but I want to get on a flight as soon as the conditions clear up so I’m not going back. I’m jus’ gonna wait it out here.”
“Get Leah to take you back home, Jake.”
Jake snorted. “Why would I do that?”
“Well, if you don’t mind, the Cullens would love to come to La Push and spend Christmas with a family member who won’t be able to make it home in time.”
Renesmee’s head shot up and her mouth swung open. Esme stopped stirring the batter in the bowl she was hovering over. I felt my own jaw drop a little, too. I don’t think any of us saw that coming.
Jake didn’t say anything for a few seconds, but when he spoke I could hear the lump in his throat, the happiness he was trying to swallow, the tears of joy he was trying to fight back.
“You–you’d all come to La Push just for me?” Jake asked.
“Of course!” Renesmee squeaked with excitement, a happy glow returning to her face.
Edward was smiling widely now. It was impossible to see Renesmee smile without mirroring her.
“Well, you do have to invite us, but yes, of course we will all come to La Push. I think Renesmee misses you,” Edward answered.
“There’s not much room in the ol’ house, but we can find space for everyone somehow,” Jake said, his voice gaining momentum with each word he spoke. “Don’t worry about that now–just come! Come!”
“Well, we still own our house in Forks, Jake. If your family would like, we could set up there, due to the space constraints.”
“Yes! As long as I get to be with my family. Just come already, would ya. I’m gonna go call Leah to come pick me up. Can I talk to Renesmee quickly before I go?”
Edward nodded. “Sure thing. I’m glad you’ll be able to spend Christmas with both of your families now. Here’s Renesmee.”
“Hey wait!” Jake shouted as Edward was about to hand the phone to Renesmee.
“I just wanted to say thanks. I owe you.”
Edward laughed, a roaring laugh. “Yes, yes you do Jake.”
And he handed the receiver to Nessie.
“Jake! I’m so happy we’ll be together on Christmas. I’m going to go pack everything now.”
Jake’s light laugh on the other end was almost contagious, so sunny. “I’m so happy Ness’. I can’t wait to see you in the morning.”
Renesmee’s face went serious now. “Me too. I miss you so much it’s painful.”
“I know the feeling, Ness’. Trust me.”
“I love you, Jake. See you soon.”
I heard a deep sign on Jake’s end. “I love you too, Nessie. See yah soon.”
Renesmee hung up the phone and instantaneously moved from the kitchen to her room to pack her overnight bag. Edward and I followed shortly after, packing clothing and gifts.
The upstairs hallways of our house was a blur as Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie, Carlisle, Esme and Charlie moved in and out of their bedrooms packing their overnight bags.
Another advantage of our superhuman hearing abilities was that we didn’t have to explain much. Everyone in the house had heard the phone conversation. Thankfully –aside from a few non–threatening hisses from Rosalie–everyone was more than happy to bring Christmas to Jacob.
Alice, always ahead of the game, packed decorations in her bag so that we could make the house in Forks feel ‘festive.’
Esme packed the mounds of food she already had baked, as well as all the ingredients she’d need to make more food for the rest of the pack. She tossed the batter that she was mixing in the trash. We needed to get going if we wanted to make it to Jake in time.
Once everyone was packed up and ready to go, we were off in a blur, running in pairs of twos to Forks so that we could all be together, as a family.
December 25th, 2010
Our run was uneventful. We took turns hunting on the way to Forks, drinking in as much of the sweet, hard–to–resist blood that we could.
Once we arrived in Forks, the familiar smells hit me like a ton of bricks. The memories tied to the scents of that tiny, wet town were beautiful and irreplaceable. Though some memories were painfully vague, others were perfectly clear. I held on to those clear memories; they were incredibly sacred to me.
“Wow,” Charlie started. “It’s been a while since we’ve been this way.” He looked around, taking in all the familiar surroundings and breathing in all the familiar scents.
Charlie had lived in Forks the longest. He had a bond with the little town that no one else could ever understand. His expression rearranged itself a multitude of times as the familiar scenery brought back various vague memories. He struggled, like all of us, to remember his human life.
When we got to the large white Cullen house, I was hit with another wave of memories. The beginning of my ‘life’ began there. The Cullens stood still for a few quick moments, too, just taking in the memories.
When we moved inside, we were hit by the smell of must, mildew and other various stale scents.
Rosalie promptly went around the house opening windows, airing the place out.
Alice didn’t waste anytime getting the decorations up, while Emmett and Jasper went to rip up a new Christmas tree from the ground.
Esme got started on her baking; the pack would devour every crumb, too.
Edward, Renesmee and I got the gifts arranged around the tree and helped Alice out with decorating.
Charlie went out to shovel the long driveway so that Jake could get his car up it.
Carlisle hung the stockings, turned on the home stereo system, and lit various tall candles throughout the house. Christmas carols hummed in every room as we all worked to get the house ‘Christmas-ready.’
It wasn’t long before the house felt as though we’d never left. In under an hour, the entire house was decorated–inside and out–and the kitchen was filled with almost every food you could imagine.
“I’m going to go call Jake and tell him to come with the family now,” Renesmee sang as she walked to pick up the phone.
“I just aired the place out,” Rosalie joked.
“Ha–ha, Auntie Rose. Very funny,” Renesmee said with a giggle.
Edward walked over to my side and wrapped his arm around my waist. “Merry Christmas my love,” he whispered in my ear. I froze, my lashes fluttering from the thrill that shook through me each time Edward whispered in my ear. His soft, velvet voice was euphoric.
“Merry Christmas,” I said back, then turned and stood on my toes to kiss his smooth lips. I wasn’t shy about it, either. I wrapped one hand around the back of Edward’s head and the other on the small of his back then pressed him into me, devouring him. Kissing him like it was the last time I would ever see him.
“I love you, Mrs. Cullen,” Edward said through a smile.
“I love you too Mr. Cullen,” I breathed as I brushed my nose softly against his then pulled back, noticing that almost everyone in the room was frozen, watching us.
Emmett clapped and laughed, a roaring laugh. “Save some for later, you two.”
Renesmee came running into the living room with her beautiful brilliant smile wider than ever, her curls swinging from side–to–side. “Jake and the pack are on their way!”
“Good,” Esme said. “I just got finished with all the food.”
The pack arrived shortly after. Renesmee answered the door and was swept off her feet by Jacob. He carried her through the front foyer and into the living room where everyone was gathered. He placed her gently back down on the ground then wrapped his arms around her.
“I missed you soooo much Ness’,” Jake groaned.
Renesmee latched her arms around Jake’s neck. “I missed you too. I was worried I wouldn’t get to see you for Christmas.”
“Well, we’re together now.” Jake spoke proudly. “Merry Christmas, Ness’.”
“Merry Christmas Jake!”
Renesmee got on her tiptoes and kissed Jacob on the cheek. “I want to give you your present now,” she said.
Jake’s eyes lit up. “Thanks for reminding me! I’m gonna go grab yours. I’ll be right back.”
Jake was back in a flash with a bouquet of roses in one hand, and a gift in the other.
“The flowers were a gift to Sue from someone. She didn’t want them, so I though I’d bring ‘em for you, ” Jake admitted as he held the bouquet out to Renesmee. “And here’s your gift. I hope you like it.”
Renesmee laughed as she took the flowers, and gift, from Jake’s hands. “The flowers are beautiful,” Renesmee said as she placed them on the ground. “Lets open our gifts at the same time. Here’s yours.” She pushed the wrapped-up box on the floor toward Jake with her toe and he picked it up.
They opened their gifts together with permanent smiles on their faces.
Jake’s gift to Renesmee was unique. It was a silver engraved photo bracelet. The bracelet had a photo of him and Renesmee engraved on the face of it with snowflakes dancing around them. [You can see an example of Jake's gift to Renesmee here].
Renesmee’s gift to Jacob was a key.
“Uh, thanks Ness’. I’ve always wanted a key,” Jake said, sarcasm dominating his tone.
Renesmee laughed and tossed her head back. “No, silly! It’s a key to a 2010 VW Rabbit. It’s red.” She paused and analyzed Jake’s expression: his eyes were huge, his jaw dropped. He was stiff, like a statue. “I know you built your car, and I think it’s great. But I know it probably won’t make it much longer . . . you admitted it yourself, Jake.”
“You bought me a car?!”
“Well, Mom and Dad kinda helped . . . but yes. Sorry it’s not here; it’s in the garage in New Hampshire.”
Jake wrapped his fingers around the key. “Ness’, this is too much. I – I got you a bracelet and you got me a car?”
“It’s not about the cost, Jake. It’s about the thought. I love my bracelet more than anything. We live in the middle of nowhere in new Hampshire–and I know there’s an abundance of cars at our house already, but I wanted you to have something that was yours. And only yours.”
Jacob shook his head. “I– I really don’t know how to thank you.”
“How about a kiss?”
And did they ever kiss.
I glanced away and steered Edward into a different room as soon as Jake lifted Nessie’s legs to his waist so she was straddling him. I couldn’t, however, do anything about the thoughts Edward could hear swirling around in their heads.
A low hiss escaped Edward’s lips, but his control was a lot better than it had been in the past. No broken banisters this time.
When we entered the living room, everyone else was exchanging gifts. We had all promised each other we wouldn’t buy extravagant gifts this year because that’s the easy way out. Money can buy almost anything, so a new car or a luxurious vacation was easy. Too easy. But to pick out something solely based on thought alone; that’s hard.
Esme knitted everyone sweaters that looked liked something you would buy in an expensive clothing boutique. I asked her to teach me how to knit and she promised me a lesson for the next day.
The pack got everyone books.
“You guys don’t sleep and stuff, so we thought books we’re a good way to help pass the time,” Embry said as we all tore though the wrapping paper, revealing various novels we’d never read.
Quil nodded in agreement with Embry. “Yeah, and we got you all newly-released books; assumed you’d already read all the older ones.”
After everyone exchanged their gifts and said their ‘thank yous,’ Edward handed me a medium–sized box with silver wrapping paper.
“And now for your gift Mrs. Cullen,” Edward said in that smooth, creamy voice.
I tore off the wrapping paper to find a box of ice skates. Ice skates? I thought to myself, glad that Edward couldn’t read my mind.
I looked up to say ‘thank you,’ but Edward began talking before I could say anything.
“Your present is actually back home in New Hampshire. I couldn’t bring it here. But when we get back, we are going to spend the day on the ice rink I made you.” He shifted his gaze to my lips, then back up to my eyes, and continued. “I framed the rink with flower petals, and strung lights through the trees. I picked out your favorite music to play while we’re skating, too. And the rink has a special message for you written across it, my love.”
I loved when Edward couldn’t use money–or at least not a lot of money–for my gifts. Those were always the most special; the ones I would remember forever.
“This is perfect! I love it,” I told him, wrapping my arms around him. “What you did for Renesmee, coming here to Forks, was the best present I could ever receive. And now I have my own ice rink?”
Edward smiled softly. “I’d give you the world if I were powerful enough.”
I knew Edward meant it. I thought I felt my cold body become warm; love had a weird way of making me feel things physically that were unexplainable, impossible.
“Your turn,” I said as I handed Edward his gift. “Jake has to be in the room when you open it, though.”
“You’ll see,” I said then turned and yelled Jake’s name. “Jake! Can you come in here?!”
“Sure, sure Bella,” he answered as he sauntered into the room, his arm around the small of Nessie’s back.
“The gift I got Edward is kinda for both of you.”
Jake and Edward looked at each other, confused. Then they both looked at me… still confused.
Edward began to tear off the wrapping paper. He ripped it off at a slower than human pace, obviously hesitant about the suspicious joint gift.
After the paper was off, Edward tore open the box and tossed aside the tissue paper the gift was hiding under. His expression was still confused, but even more-so now.
He lifted up the pamphlet, opened it then pulled out two tickets and a welcome letter.
“What’s it say?” Jake prodded.
Edward began to read the words. “Welcome to Alaska Adventure Cabins where you will experience the best Alaska has to offer. We will ensure your stay is a pleasant one….” He tapered off.
“You’re sending Edward and me to Alaska?” Jacob scoffed.
I bit my lip and looked down. “I wanted you two to have a guys adventure. Spend some time alone. You might not be the best of friends, but this will be a good thing. It’s booked for mid-January. It’ll give me some time to finish up my book, too, without distractions.” Edward was a huge distraction; a distraction I loved, though.
“I–thank you, Bella,” Edward said, still somewhat taken aback. “I’m sure it will be quite the adventure, right Jake?”
Jake rolled his eyes. “Oh, ya. An adventure all right.”
“This will be fun for you guys,” Renesmee interjected.
“Mhm,” Jake grumbled.
Edward came and planted a gracious kiss on my forehead. “Thank you, love. I didn’t see this coming, but if it’s what you’d like, I’m sure it will be . . . interesting.”
You don’t have to go you know,” I assured Edward. “I just thought it’d be good for you to have a getaway, to bond a little more before what Jake and Renesmee have turns into something much more serious.”
Edward parted his lips. “Thank you.”
“Ya, thanks Bella. It’s the thought, right?” Jake confirmed, looking at Nessie for an answer.
“If you’re going to love me, you’re going to have to love my dad too, Jake,” Renesmee said.
“Then I’ll just have to love your dad,” Jake answered with a big grin, sweeping Renesmee off her feet and tossing her over his shoulder as he tickled her. Their laughs and screams tapered off slightly as they made their way up the stairs.
Edward and I joined the rest of the family around the Christmas tree. I went and sat down beside Charlie. He handed me a gift from him. It was a beautiful sterling silver cubic zirconia vintage bracelet.
“It was your grandmothers,” he said. “Thought you might like it.”
“Wow! I love this, Dad. It’s beautiful,” I said, careful not to slip up and call him Charlie. “Can you put it on for me?”
And he clasped the beautiful bracelet onto my wrist.
The night went perfectly. We laughed, reminisced, cheered the pack on as they had eating and chugging contests. Everything was perfect and I was so thankful to have the most perfect, selfless husband by my side the entire time. Edward brought Christmas to Jacob. He brought us all together as a family. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Emmett now refers to Edward as ‘Edward Claus.’
Before I go, I should let you know that when we returned to New Hampshire, I got my ice rink. Written across the beautiful clear ice was: “Merry Christmas Bella: My life. My Love. My World. My Everything.”
We ice skated under the twinkling lights as soft music played, flower petals whirled around us and snow floated down from the dark sky. Everything was perfect. More than perfect.
EDIT: I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ (This is not the Willow series I’ve been working on, rather it’s a small side project. The first book in the Willow series will be up in the early portion of this year, 2013). For now, I’m so excited for you to check out the novella I’ve written:
You can read a preview and purchase ‘My Darrling’ HERE. I can’t thank you all enough for your endless support, and I promise to run contests to give back as soon as my books get off the ground!
For those of you who’d like to follow the progress of my Willow series, please ‘LIKE’ it on Facebook here. You can also read a tiny preview if you click ‘info’.
Feel free to come hang out at my personal blog here, where I post songs, pictures and will soon be giving more previews from ‘Willow.’ Thank you all so much for reading and for the support and encouragement you’ve all given. You have no idea how important your encouragement and kind words has been.
I ran one finger from Edward’s shoulder all the way down to his hand then opened my fingers and laced them together with his. His liquid-gold eyes trickled from my gaze, down to my lips, then he grinned and delicately brought his mouth to mine and whispered, “No. I love you, Bella. But I don’t think that it’s a good idea for Jacob and Renesmee to visit Isle Esme alone.”
His lips moved so fast it looked like they were trembling. His sweet, addictive breath brushed softly against my face and I had to blink hard to come back to reality. Edward would always have a way of dazzling me; turning my granite-like, immortal body to liquid. Somehow.
I wanted to offer Jacob and Renesmee the chance to visit Isle Esme, to have some alone time. It felt like anytime they tried to be alone, someone was always watching them, listening in on them or reading their minds. Jake spent so much time patrolling and traveling back to La Push to see his family that I wondered if he ever got the chance to just relax. Have fun.
I bit my lip, noticing again how different that gesture felt as a vampire. It felt like biting down on porcelain. As a human it felt spongy and warm. Delicate. “I love you too, Edward . . . ” I hesitated, looked down, trying to find the right words. “But, I don’t have to agree with you. I think they deserve some alone time. And we both know Jacob would never let anything happen to Renesmee. Plus, let’s not forget that Charlie allowed me go to Isle Esme alone with you.”
“Yes, but you were my wife,” he reminded me with a brilliant smile before bringing his lips to the top of my head to steal a kiss. “And let’s also not forget that after I took you to Isle Esme alone, not only did you get pregnant with my half-vampire, half-human child, but you became what you are now. You died, essentially, Bella.”
He had a point. “Fair enough. But it will happen sometime . . . if they get married I mean. We can’t stop them from honeymooning.”
“If Renesmee decides to take Jacob’s hand in marriage then she will be all his. They will belong to each other and can do as they please, of course.”
I left it at that. I knew I had to stop worrying about everyone else again; it only got me worked up. I did feel bad about Renesmee and Jacob’s lack of privacy, but they got to be alone whenever Jake took Renesmee hunting far enough out of range to keep their thoughts from Edward. That would have to suffice, for now.
“We’ll talk about this again another time,” I started. “Right now I want to go for our Thanksgiving hunt.”
Edward’s eyes were still liquid gold, but I didn’t have to look at mine to know they were pure black. My throat blazed violently, endlessly. The bears are hibernating now, so Emmett is adjusting to a primarily elk diet again – which makes him more thirsty at first. Edward went hunting with him just two days ago but I was out buying turkeys with Alice and Rosalie.
On Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter we buy as many turkeys as we can then we deliver them to homeless shelters and soup kitchens, along with fresh vegetables and anything else you’d need to create a filling holiday dinner. Esme bakes desserts, too, and even though Jacob picks at them continually, there’s still tons to deliver.
I know it’s not in our nature, not what we are, to help humans the way we do, but we go against our nature in many ways. We all do; humans included. Although I don’t have a fraction of the compassion I did as a human, I still feel. I feel something. It’s different, but it’s there, like a voice reminding me that I used to be one of them. I used to be fragile and weak.
Edward leaned his torso back, away from me, then his eyes widened and he smiled, a half smile that met his eyes, illuminating them. “I have something to give you before we go for our Thanksgiving hunt, my love.”
I raised an eyebrow. “You do know people don’t exchange gifts for Thanksgiving, right?”
“Ah, you’re right, people don’t. Last time I checked, though, I didn’t need oxygen to survive – nor did I have a beating heart,” he joked, pulling me into his chest with one arm.
“I didn’t get you anything,” I mumbled feebly into the fabric of his sweater, still nestled into his chest.
“Bella, I didn’t want you to. To be honest,” he continued, a low laugh escaping his smooth lips, “it’s just a coincidence that I got this for you on Thanksgiving. It has nothing to do with the holiday. Can’t a husband buy his beautiful wife gifts from time-to-time?”
I shrugged. “Of course,” I answered thoughtfully. “You just caught me off guard is all.”
Edward nodded then ran to his piano room and back in a flash. When he returned, he had a white box with iridescent, almost glittery writing on top. I could see every groove in the box, every tiny detail. I knew it was jewelry; the box, of course, gave it away. “It’s really nothing big,” Edward began. “Just something that reminded me of you.”
I had to make an effort to think straight; Edward’s face was the most beautiful when he was happy, which seemed to be when he was making me happy. His impossibly perfect, godlike exterior radiated an illuminating, captivating beauty that nothing could compete with. Immortals, we’re inhumanly beautiful, but Edward was still more. Still beyond words. And now that I had super-human vision, I could see him even more clearly. I still wasn’t used to it. I would never get used to it.
“Thank you,” I said, and my voice cracked just a little. Edward placed the box in the palm of my hand. I wrapped my pale fingers around it. Then with my other hand I lifted up the sparkly lid. Inside was one of the most unattractive necklaces I’d ever seen. I made an effort to keep my face expressionless. It was a long double chained gold necklace donning an ivory, gold-edged feather. A feather. That part of my human life wasn’t so vague. In fact, I suddenly remembered it perfectly:
“Why am I covered in feathers?” I asked, confused.
He exhaled impatiently. “I bit a pillow. Or two. . . . ”
I let out a big breath that I had unknowingly been holding in and a soft laugh escaped out with it. “Isle Esme. Our honeymoon . . . you, I mean we, were covered in feathers. So much happened right after that; I had almost forgotten.”
“I’d rather forget the bruising part,” Edward mumbled under his breath as he looked down to the floor then peeked up at me through his eyelashes. “But the necklace, it will always remind me of how far we’ve come . . . and it will always remind me of the night we made our beautiful daughter. I would suggest, however, that we keep the meaning of the feather a secret from the family.”
I laughed and nodded in agreeance then unclasped the chain so that I could fasten it around my neck. Sure, it isn’t the most beautiful piece of jewelry I’ve seen, but it came from Edward. It’s important in life to love what’s meaningful and not just what’s beautiful, and to see the beauty that lies beneath the surface. Next to my wedding ring, the feather is my favorite piece of jewelry; my favorite possession even. It’s a little piece of history, a piece of my human life, tied around my neck. It will always remind me of how much I trust Edward, and how much Edward loves me. We took the greatest risk of all that night; I risked death – even though to me, it wasn’t a risk. I trusted Edward with everything I had in me. Every fiber of my being.
Walking toward the oversize, dark oak-framed hallway mirror, I caught Edward flicker his eyes at me in the reflection. His face gleamed. He looked awestruck. It reminded me of the look I imagine myself having when Edward dazzled me. I loved seeing him look at me the same way, though sometimes I still felt inadequate – or like I was dreaming the perfect dream.
I was afraid terrified, that one day I’d wake up in my bed at Charlie’s house in Forks and toss my pillow over my head to muffle the sound of rain sloshing against my window. I was afraid that somehow, this world – the world I was now eternally part of – was all going to vanish, disappear. I knew some of the Cullen’s viewed immortality as a curse, but I wouldn’t trade being eternally tied to Edward and Renesmee in for anything.
I let the feather necklace dangle over my off-white cashmere sweater and smiled – a forced smile – at my reflection. My transformation, my inhuman exterior, would be something I’d always struggle to get entirely used to. After I glanced at my eyes and noticed how dark they had gotten, my throat began to blaze wildly, reminding me to satiate my growing, rampant thirst. “I love it,” I said through the same forced smile that hadn’t left my face yet. “The meaning will be our little secret. Always. Now, we have to hunt, though.” I tucked the necklace into my sweater, to keep it safe while I hunted. I felt myself lower into an almost-crouch, my fingers spreading out like claws. My instincts were kicking in. I had to hunt. . . .
Edward locked his jaw, realizing how severe my thirst had become. “Take my hand, love. Let’s go.” With that, we were off. We walked at a human pace into the backyard then as soon as we hit the edge of the forest, I ran faster than I knew I could. Faster than I had ever moved as a vampire.
After our Thanksgiving hunt – an exceptionally large elk for me and a mountain lion for Edward – I was able to extinguish the thought of ripping apart a healthy, plump human and draining their warm, sweet-scented blood into my throat.
Feeling more alive, I went upstairs to my little library and continued writing my story. The story of my life – my human life – from start to finish. I’m had fun putting my own conclusion to how my human life finished. I got to be in control through the pages of my book. I got to be the author of my own life. I’d never really know what my life would have been like as Bella Swan: a clumsy, plain girl who moved to Forks Washington and fell in love with the most lethal predator on Earth, married him, had his baby, but never became an immortal. But I had a few guesses.
The pages of my diary are getting eaten up as I continue to prattle on to you all. Soon, the pages will diminish, dwindle away, and my diary will be full. I plan to put it away; someplace where no one can find it. Not even a vampire will be able to sniff it out. I want to look back at it in a hundred years and devour the pages, relive every moment I had as a newborn, until now. This is the diary of the most challenging time in my life; adjusting to becoming a mother, a wife, and a vampire.
It snowed a lot here in New Hampshire, and Renesmee loves the snow; winter is her favorite season. Right now her and Jake are outside packing blocks together for an igloo, and Esme is making hot chocolate with marshmallows and cinnamon on top for when they come in. Alice is unraveling three boxes of Christmas lights that she plans to string around the house tonight.
Carlisle and Esme suggested that Edward and I go to the Christmas tree farm just outside of town and cut down a tree with Renesmee. We needed one more tree for the front foyer. Apparently one tree wasn’t enough in the Cullen household. We all went together – every single Cullen, plus Charlie and Jake – to rip up cut down the tree for the main TV room. Jake took Ness to help him cut down the tree for his house in the back and they decorated it together, of course.
As soon as Nessie comes in and finishes her hot chocolate, the three of us are going to cut down a tree.
I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. If you see any pale-faced, red or black-eyed, inhumanly beautiful people walking through your town at night, keep a distance. The nomadic vampires can get viciously thirsty around the holidays, when everyone is a little more plump, their blood a little more sweet.
♥This entry is dedicated to one of the biggest Bellasdiary.com supporters for her Birthday, Angie! I hope you had an amazing day, and thank you for continually making me laugh on Twitter & being the virtual Bella’s Diary bodyguard! XO
♥EDIT: I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ You can read a preview and purchase it HERE. Thank you all so much!
I tapped my pen to the pad of paper on my desk at a slower – but stronger – than human pace. My eyes focused on the lines, each one so clear, so vibrant. The acidic smell of ink from the pen poured into my nostrils, flooding them with solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants… and whatever else ink was made from. Chemicals.
I wanted to write a book. Not a book that would go on to be published; just a book. A fictional story with fictional characters who I controlled. I didn’t know what I wanted the book to be about, exactly. I also didn’t know where to begin. I just knew I wanted to write. The only problem was that as soon as I sat down to attempt writing – either on my laptop, or in a basic paper-filled notebook – my mind went blank.
I could hear Rosalie and Alice bickering downstairs about which color they thought looked best on Renesmee. Alice liked her in dark purples, royal blues and blacks, while Rosalie preferred her in whites and pastels. I mentally agreed with Alice then switched my concentration to the footsteps gliding up the stairs, to Edward.
He opened the door to my library, slowly, and the bright light from the setting sun – that was piercing through the window – illuminated his already angelic grin and creamy, buttery golden eyes. Naturally I felt slightly weakened, hypnotized by Edward’s god-like appearance.”Bad time?” he asked, his eyebrows furrowing together in concern once he saw the obvious look of concentration mixed with frustration plastered on my face.
I relaxed my shoulders and let out a breath of air I didn’t realize I had been holding in. “No. I – I just can’t think of anything significant to write, you know? I don’t know where to start, and every time I get an idea it just seems so boring, so blah.”
Edward walked over to me and placed his hand on my back, rubbing it in short, delicate circles. That was something about Edward that would never change, no matter how much I did; he would always treat me like a fragile human. I didn’t mind, though. I knew it was because – no matter how strong I had become – Edward would always see me as his lamb.
“You do have an eternity to come up with something, love,” he joked.
“That’s it! I’ve got it!” I half yelled, ignoring the joke, relieved and surprised by the simplicity of my idea. “I know what I want to write about! I think the problem was that my life has been so full of magical impossibilities and mythical creatures that it was making everything else seem so boring.”
“Vampires have that effect…” Edward said matter-of-factly.
“But what if my life as a human didn’t have to end? What if they were just chapters of a book that needed to be written still. Pages that could put the pieces of my ‘human life’ puzzle together. What if I had moved to Forks with Charlie, and you were a boy – a normal boy – who fell in love with me, a normal girl?”
Edward’s lips pulled down and I could tell he was contemplating a thought. “Bella, you aren’t beginning to regret–”
“No, Edward. I don’t regret what I am at all,” I interrupted. “I wouldn’t… I couldn’t exist without you. This isn’t about regret. This is about having the chance to live out my human life, in a sense. To close the book, end it for good. I want to conclude it the way you initially wanted; for me to get old and live a long, happy life – then die.”
“So everything will be the same, essentially, only we will all be humans?” Edward pried.
I took a second to think about it, and remembered that if Edward had been human, things naturally wouldn’t have progressed so fast. We wouldn’t have been married, had Renesmee and Edward wouldn’t have left in order to protect me, leaving me to turn to Jacob. I wouldn’t have found myself turning to Jake to help with the impossible pain that Edward’s void caused.
My thoughts ran rampant as it occurred to me that without Edward being what he truly was, a vampire, our lives would simply be another love story; a somewhat boring story of two humans falling for each other. Besides, I never wanted to know what it would be like if Edward were human; I would always love him entirely for who – not what – he was: unconditionally & irrevocably.
“No,” I finally answered, picking my pen back up off the desk. “No, that wont work. Things would’ve been too different if you weren’t dangerous, masochistic. I’m going to simply continue my story as a human from after Renesmee’s birth. In my book, the change – making me immortal – wont happen.” I pressed my pen to the pad of paper and started writing down ideas, vague memories of my human life popping up in my mind as I struggled to cut through the thick fog surrounding those memories.
“Bella,” Edward began in an almost whisper. “My family and I aren’t going to be the reason for your eventual death in your book, are we?”
I laughed and dropped my pen to the desk. “Of course not,” I answered pushing myself up from the chair and wrapping my arms around Edward. “I’m going to live a long and healthy life with you. I’ll figure it all out as I write. I’m not giving any more away. You can read it when it’s done.”
“I’m excited to read it,” Edward whispered. The sweet smell of his breath danced across my face and into my nose then he pressed his stone hard body into mine, his hands on my back pulling me toward him gently. I, too, pulled his body to mine then kissed his neck, allowing my lips to linger for the greater portion of a minute.
“I’m excited to write it,” I finally responded before I planted a kiss of his cheek.
I could hear Alice, Rosalie, Jake and Emmett arguing debating about something new downstairs.
“She should be Tinkerbell,” Alice chimed.
Jake voiced his opinion on the ‘Tinkerbell’ idea. “Ew, no! Worst costume idea ever, Alice.”
“Want her to dress up as a mutt so you can have matching costumes?” Alice retorted, and I could visualize her folding her arms across her chest.
Rosalie laughed at Alice’s ‘mutt’ joke then put her two cents in. “Renesmee would be a gorgeous ballerina. Don’t you agree Emmett?”
“No, I think she should be something cooler. Something freaky, like The Exorcist. It’s Halloween, c’mon.” I could visualize Emmett’s contemptuous smirk, somehow, even though I couldn’t see him.
“If you think my perfect little niece is dressing up like some possessed girl whose head spins in circles then you have another thing coming,” Alice said, not hint of lightheartedness in her tone.
Edward and I laughed, then laced out hands together and made our way down the stairs to mediate. “How about we ask Renesmee what she wants to be, then we don’t have to argue over it?” I said, interrupting Emmett before he could get an argument out supporting his ‘Exorcist’ idea. “Besides, she matures so quickly that at this point she might not even want to dress up. Either way, she can make up her own mind.”
“Not dress up? Are you kidding me Bella? Even when Renesmee is three hundred years old we’re going to be having the same debate. You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween – not if you’re a Cullen, or a Hale,” Alice said darting her eyes to Rosalie.
I half laughed, remembering I still had to get a costume for the huge Halloween extravaganza Alice was throwing at our house on Halloween night. She had already bought bags and boxes full of decorations; everything from life-sized coffins to zombies with motion sensors that moved when you came close. She planned to outdo herself from last year, so I knew we were in for it.
“Trust me,” Edward began, “there’s no getting out of it with Alice around. She will, without-a-doubt, guilt trip Renesmee into picking out a costume regardless.”
“For the record, I’m just in the kitchen baking pumpkin muffins with Esme and I can hear everything you’ve all been saying,” Renesmee yelled out from up the hall. “And Emmett… no. Just, no. Rosalie, ballerinas aren’t my thing. Too much pink. And Alice, Tinkerbell… seriously? I’m going as a bull wrangler.”
Everyone froze like statues. A Bull wrangler? Everyone had the ‘did I hear her right?’ look on their faces.
Within seconds Renesmee and Esme burst into laughter then Ness poked her head around the corner – flour on her face and a glob of batter on her nose – and yelled, “Just kidding! Did you really think I would go as a bull wrangler?”
I noticed Alice’s shoulders drop in relief as everyone laughed. Edward was one step ahead, of course, with his mind reading abilities, but he still got a kick out of all of our expressions.
“She gets her sense of humor from me, obviously,” Emmett said, proud of his nieces quick wit.
Rosalie flicked his shoulder. “It doesn’t work that way with vampires, who aren’t actually related, Emmett.”
“Yeah, no kidding. She still got it from me though. She picked it up listening to me and my amazing witticisms.”
Rosalie rolled her eyes then went off into the kitchen, Jake following close behind. Edward followed after Jake, and Alice and I followed after Edward. Emmett went outside, probably bored from debating. Jake went straight over to Renesmee, his face lighting up, beaming, and he gently wiped the batter and flour off her face then kissed her nose. “What’chya making pumpkin muffins for Ness?” he asked.
“For you, silly. And the rest of the pack,” she answered, motioning toward Alice. “Alice invited everyone for the Halloween party she’s throwing. Actually, she more or less called and told them they had flights booked. We’re going to need a lot of food.”
In one swift movement, Renesmee dipped her finger in the bowl of batter and swiped it across Jake’s cheek, an innocent grin creeping up one side of her face.
“That’s it,” Jake laughed, sweeping Renesmee right off her feet and carrying her to the sofa over his shoulder. “You’re in for it.” He placed her down softly then straddled her, tickling her to the point where she was screaming and laughing uncontrollably at the same time. His tickles turned to kisses eventually and I was somewhat shocked by Jacob’s conspicuous display of affection. Normally he’d be worried about Edward tearing down some part of the house, or tearing his head off.
It was clear to everyone that Renesmee was in love with Jake, though. I had never seen her light up that way. Her face somehow glowed beyond it’s normal luminescent beauty and her grin was wider that I’d thought possible. I looked at Edward, to make sure he wasn’t about to pounce. Though his fists were rolled into tight balls, his face was steady, expressionless.
“You okay?” I asked.
“His thoughts are pure,” Edward hissed under his breath. “Actually, Renesmee is becoming more impatient than Jake. She thinks about him in ways that–” And he was off, down the stairs to our home in a blur before he could finish his sentence.
I loved Edward’s protective side. But I loved that he was learning to control himself even more. Real strength comes from the ability to resist what your mind and body are telling you to do. Real strength is using your own judgment, fighting your instincts. Especially when your instincts tell you to rip someones head off.
I watched Jake and Nessie for a few seconds longer before going downstairs to make sure that – well… that we still had a downstairs. I didn’t hear too much banging, so I figured everything would still be in tact. Everyone else scattered around the house awkwardly, wanting to give Jake and Renesmee some privacy. I tried to pretend I was cleaning up the kitchen to remain discreet.
“I want to dress up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid,” Renesmee told Jake. “Will you go as prince Eric? I was thinking it would be cool to sorta do a couples costume.”
“If I get to be your prince, then I’m game,” Jacob answered, obviously not caring what he had to be, as long as he got to be with Ness’ on Halloween.
“Perfect. I’ll get started on our costumes tonight then.” Renesmee reached up and wrapped her arms around Jake’s neck and pulled his face to hers. They didn’t kiss, they just stared at each other for an awkward amount of time. Their eyes were locked on each-others, their noses gently brushing together. They both smiled so lightly is was almost undetectable. I knew my daughter, and I knew she wanted to tell Jake something, but she was afraid. She broke her stare and pulled his face down then kissed his forehead and hopped up from the couch. “I’m going to see if Alice will run me into town to grab some fabric for the costumes.”
“Alright Ness,” Jake said, somewhat confused by Renesmee’s sudden change in mood. “Do you need help with it at all?”
“Nono, Alice will know exactly what to get. Besides, it’d be nice to have some girl talk with her. You know… talk about things guys are completely disinterested in.”
Jake laughed.”Okay, I’ll see you when you get back then.”
In a blur I was down the stairs and by Edward’s side, surprised that nothing had been smashed, crushed or beheaded. “I think Renesmee loves Jake,” I blurted out. “I mean, I’m almost certain she wants to tell him she loves him. That she is in love–”
“She does,” Edward said flatly, cutting me off so he didn’t have to hear it anymore.
I bit my lip in an attempt to hide my excitement. This was harder for Edward. He didn’t get as many years with his little girl as most fathers would. She grew up so fast, too fast. Edward didn’t really get the chance to be the only man she looked up to for very long. She already looks and acts like a nearly full-grown teen. She’s not his little girl anymore.
I put my arm around Edward’s back and rested my head on his shoulder. “In my book, I’ll have the chance to write out her entire life. I was thinking, maybe you could help me write that part. You can’t control what happens in real life, but you can in my book. If there’s something you don’t like, we can change it in my story.”
“No, Bella. I don’t want to change anything. I’m sorry I’m being so selfish. I have an eternity with my daughter and no other parents have that. Sure, she grew up quickly, but you can’t buy time and I have forever with her.” He sucked in a deep breath before continuing. “And Jake, I truly wouldn’t want her with anyone other than him. It’s not Jake I’m frustrated with, it’s how fast Renesmee is slipping away, growing up. The thing about time is that you can’t buy it, and you can’t control it, either. I just wish I would have had more time to really father her before she grew up and fell in love. At the same time, I wouldn’t trade her immortality for anything. That’s why I’m selfish.”
I laughed. “You aren’t selfish. You’re honest. Even normal human parents think these things, but they don’t say anything. I know because I watched Charlie struggle with losing me – in a sense- to you. He didn’t bother me about it, but I could tell he felt a void. He wished he had more time with ‘little Bella.’”
“Yeah, I know. I read his mind. He wasn’t particularly fond of me for quite some time,” he said, dropping his head down guiltily. “I think Jake will take great care of my daughter. I know he will. I’m sorry for being such a child when it comes to my child.” He laughed, and my favorite crooked grin crept upon his face.
“Don’t apologize, Edward. I know what will make you feel better,” I said as I let him in my mind. When you live in a house full of vampires with exceptional hearing abilities, you have to be careful what you say. I was thinking about going deep into the woods to hunt together, then building the biggest bed of colorful leaves to lay down on with Edward. I thought about pressing my lips over every inch of Edward’s stone-like body and… you get the point.
“You’re right,” he said, his eyes wide after reading my thoughts. “Lets go, my love.” He scooped me up into his arms and we were out the door and on our way into the woods.
These moments – in Edward’s arms, so free, so in love – are the moments I ‘live’ for, I thought to myself. Though I was going to write the story of my life as a human, to close the book, to – in a way -allow myself the best of both worlds, I knew I belonged in Edward’s world, right there in his arms. Always.
Edit: Looking for something new to read? I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ (This is not the Willow series I’ve been working on, rather it’s a small side project. The first book in the Willow series will be up in the early portion of this year). For now, I’m so excited for you to check out the novella I’ve written:
You can read a preview and purchase ‘My Darrling’ HERE. I can’t thank you all enough for your endless support, and I promise to run contests to give back as soon as my books get off the ground!
For those of you who’d like to follow the progress of my Willow series, please ‘LIKE’ it on Facebook here. You can also read a tiny preview if you click ‘info’.
Feel free to stop by my personal blog here, where I post songs, pictures and will soon be giving more previews from ‘Willow.’ Thank you all so much for reading and for the support and encouragement you’ve all given. You have no idea how important your encouragement and kind words has been.
“Jeeze, it looks like a funeral home in here,” Jacob repeated for the second time, thinking Rosalie and Alice hadn’t heard him the first.
“We heard you the first time, mongrel,” Rosalie hissed in a forced half-joking tone. “We just didn’t care to acknowledge-”
“-Acknowledge that it’s not a funeral home and that Bella isn’t exactly one to enjoy celebrations, Blondie?”Jacob interrupted with a fresh dose of sarcasm.
Alice danced over to Jacob, a smug grin creeping up the right side of her lips. “Did you wake up on the wrong side of the doggy house this morning Jake?” Without giving him a chance to retort, she handed him a string of decorative indoor lights and he simply shrugged, his eyes darting toward the kitchen. Esme was cooking him his favorite: A towerous mountain of mashed potatoes with a pool of gravy, corn on the cob and steak.
“Guys, I’m right here,” I said, half laughing. “If you’re going to argue over the details on my non-surprise birthday party… well, just don’t argue over the details of my non-surprise party, okay? Or at least argue when I’m not sitting in the same room.” I glanced back down at my laptop and continued reading my online book, ‘Villette’ by Charlotte Brontë, when a football slammed into the back of my head.
“Happy birthday, kiddo,” Emmett yelled from the front foyer.
“Uh, thanks.” I forced the words out, then placed my laptop on the floor, grabbed the football and slammed it back towards Emmett with so much force that the ball deflated when it collided with Emmett’s granite body. “A simple high-five would have sufficed, Emmett.” I sat back down and continued reading my book.
“I taught you well,” he said with a proud, borderline cocky smile.
This year for my birthday I somehow managed to have Edward convince everyone, even Alice, to keep things a non-surprise. Alice complied, hesitantly – but complied nonetheless – under one condition.
“Okay fine,” she agreed. “But, only under one condition.” I bit my lip in anticipation for this ‘condition’ and noticed Edward grin; he already heard Alice’s thoughts, of course.
Alice’s golden eyes locked on mine. Even her stare exuded grace and charm. “I still get to throw you a party and buy whatever I want for you. And, everyone has to agree to be in attendance for the bash I’m going to throw. It won’t be a surprise, heck I’ll decorate right in front of you. But, the party needs to happen. It is you birthday, Bella.”
I already knew there would be no way out of this anyway, so I agreed and spared Alice the argument…and eye rolling. “Okay, deal. Just don’t keep anything from me. That includes any weird visions, Alice.”
“Perfect!” she chimed. “Now that the decision has been made, I can see that it will be a great night.”
I’ve never liked surprises. I have always preferred planned events. Though I have endured my share of non-planned events. Speaking of Renesmee, she just had her birthday, too. We celebrated it in La Push. Her idea, we just complied. Edward listened in on her thoughts and saw a recurring theme: Bonfires, the beach, Jake, his family and her family—all together. We didn’t mention anything to Renesmee, we just woke her up—well, Jake woke her up—and headed off to La Push.
Alice and Esme went there earlier to get everything set up, so when we arrived, it was basically just everything Edward heard in her thoughts brought to life. Minus the thing…err… fantasy he heard about Jacob. Edward does his best to stay out of Jake and Renesmee’s heads now. Thoughts of Jake’s warm 108.9 °F shirtless torso doesn’t exactly appeal to him.
After Jacob kissed Renesmee that night—the night that lead Edward to break the banister—Jake and Edward talked, and Edward admitted that he understood that Renesmee wanted to be kissed, but he asked that they take things slow from now on. Basically he told Jake to be a gentleman and to forget about the idea of sex, until marriage.
Edward is old-fashioned, and he’s hell-bent on his daughter being raised the same way. But I also know things might not go the way he wants. If Renesmee chooses to be with Jacob, she will. I made up my mind with Edward, and if he hadn’t been a vampire, a predator—and didn’t make me feel like I was some kind of villain trying to steal his virtue—I would have consummated our relationship. I didn’t need a wedding to determine how much I loved Edward. I didn’t need to wear a white dress to sayI love you, and I didn’t need to say I do to articulate how much I trusted Edward…even when he didn’t trust himself. I knew he was the only one for me, and I was the only one for him.
Jake agreed, though. He told Edward that he preferred to wait until marriage anyway, should they ever get married. Right now, that’s not an issue. They’ve only kissed, and from time-to-time we catch them holding hands. Edward knows—thanks to his mind-prying abilities—that Renesmee is undoubtedly attracted to Jacob. She nestled into him the entire night of her birthday by the campfire, and her thoughts ran rampant. Surprisingly, Nessie’s thoughts were more impure than Jake’s. Edward didn’t know whether to be happy, or worried.
When Jake pulled Renesmee aside, alone, it was definitely worry that took over Edward’s face; his lips pulled tightly together, his body eerily still. His eyes followed the two as they ran off into the woods together, Renesmee scooped up into Jake’s arms. I could see Edward trying with all his power to refrain from following them, but there was a blur, then he was gone. I followed, trying to keep discreet so that the others didn’t think of us as psycho, over-protective parents.
When we got down to the shore we saw Renesmee still in Jake’s arms and the words, “Happy Birthday Renesmee. I Luv You,” spelled out with sticks on the sand that were lit on fire. Beside a tree in the distance I noticed a gasoline can and a small pack of matches. But what really caught my attention was how happy my Nudger was. How beautiful the two of them looked together, almost glowing under the half moon. Their smiles were luminescent, their laughs genuine. It reminded me of Edward and I. It was as though nothing else in the entire world mattered but that they were there, together. Then, Renesmee turned and kissed Jacob. I turned toward Edward, almost instinctively. He was grinding his teeth together, and crouched low, but he maintained his composure.
We didn’t interrupt their moment and kept hidden behind a tree, watching for a couple of minutes as they laughed together and flirted. When I looked back up at Edward I wasn’t expecting to see a smile, but he was grinning even wider than I was. “Their thoughts are pure,” he whispered, not looking at me, unable to take his eyes away from Nessie and Jake. I laughed, wondering if he noticed how perfect they looked together.
“They look so happy,” I said softly under my breath. “They remind me of us…in the beginning when everything was so forbidden, so wrong, but so right all at the same time, you know?”
Edward finally lifted his gaze away from Renesmee and Jacob and looked at me, his stare so delicate now. “They do look happy. I guess I understand things from Charlie’s perspective a little better now, too. At least I haven’t armed Renesmee with pepper spray.” His lips curled up into a quick grin.
We went back to the fire together, walking at a human pace, our hands woven together tightly. We joked about all the times Edward came through my window to watch me sleep, and how weird that would’ve been if Charlie had ever caught him. We laughed about broken headboards and feathers. I even got Edward to crack a small smile over the fact that his former mortal enemy imprinted on his daughter.
When we got back to the campfire everyone was listening to Billy play the guitar while Sue hummed along and Charlie watched her, trying not to seem overly obvious. When she caught him looking, he’d dart his eyes back down at the fire. I think the thing about love is that it’s always shy. Even when we mature, gain knowledge and life experience throughout our existence—human, or immortal—we still react to love the same way: like shy, uncertain, afraid, lost children. I can see that Charlie wants to open up and let someone in, but he’s still struggling. In time, I think he will at least try. In time.
For my non-surprise party, Alice decided that everyone should come to our home in New Hampshire. She likes to have a lot of space to decorate. Oddly, Rosalie seemed almost as excited about decorating as Alice. She picked the colors for the flower arrangements and even pulled me aside right before the party to give me a necklace to wear for the night. “I think this would look nice on you,” she began, holding out a gorgeous blue sapphire diamond necklace. “You can wear it if you want. It was mine from when I was…alive.” After all this time, it was obvious that Rosalie still struggled with what she was, and more-so with what she wasn’t. Human.
I took the beautiful necklace in my hand, holding it gently like an egg, examining its beauty. “Rosalie, this is…” I couldn’t find the words to describe it, so I just shook my head and took in one deep breath. “Wow, thank you for letting me wear this. Really, this means a lot, Rose.”
“Well, Edward has always liked you in blue. He’s right. It’s your color.”
I smiled, but not an obvious smile. I could tell that Rosalie was struggling with each and every word. She was trying, though. “Thanks, Rosalie. I’m definitely going to wear it. It will go perfectly with my dress.”
Before Rosalie had the chance to respond, Seth and Embry came flying into the bedroom, Seth screaming and laughing at the same time. Embry was giving Seth a wedgie that looked excessively painful. “Stop it! St—ouch! Owww! Stop!” Seth’s voice roared through the house and the rest of the guys came thudding up the stairs to get in on the action.
I shot Rosalie a look that said ‘thank you’ before heading back downstairs—away from the wedgie war—and she smiled back lightly. When I got downstairs, I asked Alice to help me get dressed and gave Edward a kiss before heading back up to the huge washroom—that was actually more like a lounge area with a giant shower on one side and a claw-foot tub on the other.
My simple black dress adorned with cream lace was laying over the white leather bench. I didn’t let Alice pick it out entirely. I helped this time. I really wanted something simple. Something more me. We added a pair of black flats and then Alice ran the curling iron through my hair quickly and dabbed some sticky gloss on my lips. I rubbed it off when she wasn’t looking.
Before we headed downstairs I asked Alice to fasten the sapphire necklace around my neck for me. “Isn’t this Rosalie’s necklace?” she probed.
“Yeah, she kinda lent it to me for the night.”
Alice dangled the necklace around my neck and closed the clasp. “This is her favorite necklace in the world,” Alice began, shaking her head slightly. “I asked to borrow this thing over a hundred times and she always says no. Her father bought it for her, so I know it’s quite special.”
I swallowed hard. “Wow. I had no idea. Now I’m kinda nervous wearing it. I mean, what if I break it or something?”
Alice’s eyes narrowed into slits. “You won’t. Now lets get down stairs and get this party started.”
It’s great having a sister who can see the future. I glanced at myself quickly in the mirror and then followed after Alice, who had already flitted to the bottom of the stairs and into Jasper’s arms. “Come on Bella,” she hummed.
Edward was standing at the bottom of the stairs talking to Charlie, whose eyes were glued to the back of Sue’s head. Sue was standing about ten feet away talking to Carlisle. Charlie didn’t notice when Edward stepped away and came toward me. In fact, it looked like he even kept talking to himself for a few seconds before he noticed Eward had left.
Edward’s eyes lit up like burning liquid gold and a smile melted across his smooth, angelic face. “I can’t believe I get to spend an eternity with you. You’re so incredibly beautiful, Bella. Perfect.” He pulled his face away from mine so he could get a good look at me, then continued. “You captivate me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Happy birthday, love.” He rested his lips gently on my forehead and lifted me off my feet to swirl me around in a circle.
The house looked beautiful. I asked Alice not to go overboard, and aside from the flowers—which did indeed make the living room look a little like a funeral home—everything looked perfect. Alice later admitted that she had asked Rosalie to call in the order of flowers, then without thinking, she later called in the exact same order, assuming Rosalie had forgotten to do it. Needless to say, there wasn’t a shortage of flowers in our home.
The blown-up baby picture of me that was projected onto the huge white wall in the front foyer was kinda creepy, but I just stayed away from that area to avoid it. Alice had good intentions. The rest of the decorations were beautiful. The lights, the flowers, the gold-colored balloons, the gold carpet outside that lead to the front door covered in white flower petals…I could go on. It was all so perfect.
I asked…no, I begged, everyone to skip the gifts this year. Presents are somewhat pointless to me—I really do have everything I want and need. However, I did promise Alice that as long as she didn’t make anything to do with the party a surprise, that she could get any gift she wanted to. She had asked if it was okay to keep just the present a surprise, and of course, I agreed. Somehow, saying ‘no’ to Alice when it came to shopping felt like taking candy from a child.
We all gathered around the piano, the wolves and their family sipping champagne through crystal flutes and scarfing down hors d’oeuvres, while Edward filled the room with the most beautiful melodies. His long fingers danced scrupulously across the keys. Renesmee stood right next to him and watched intently. She was learning to play and admitted that she wanted to be as good as Edward some day.
Alice and Jasper glided gracefully into the room and Alice hesitantly interrupted Edward’s beautiful song. “Okay Bella, it’s time for your present. Everyone come into the front foyer please. Sorry Edward, but it’s time.”
Oh great, she’s making me look at that awful baby picture of myself again, I thought, not letting it show through my expression. Edward got up from the piano and placed his hand on the small of my back as we all filed into the over-sized foyer.
Alice had some sort of remote in her hand, and when I looked up at the wall, the baby picture was gone. The screen was pure white, aside from the word ‘PAUSE’ in black in the bottom right corner.
“Is everyone here now?” Alice asked, counting heads to make sure. Once she realized everyone was there she grabbed Edward and then tugged us to the very front. “I felt it was unfair for me to go out and buy you gifts that I know you’re not going to use anyway, Bella. So I got everyone together, and instead of a stupid car or diamond earrings, we made you this.” Alice clicked a button on the remote and the white wall was now filled with a video. First Alice, then Jasper, then Rosalie, then Emmett…and it kept going and going. Even my mother, Renee, was in the video, despite the fact that she wasn’t able to make it to the actual party.
One by one, everyone popped up on the screen to give me their own uniquely special birthday wish. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for even a second. Piano music was playing softly in the background of the video—one of Edward’s songs.
I thought the video was over after everyone had wished me a ‘happy birthday,’ then the screen faded out, and back in with a beautifully edited video montage of everything from me as a baby, to wedding footage of Edward and I that I didn’t even know existed. It also included footage from holidays, Renesmee as a baby and so much more. The most beautiful song played throughout the video and I knew that if I were a human, with human emotions and the ability to produce tears, I would have been bawling my eyes out.
When the video ended a message came up that read: “Happy Birthday Bella. We all love you so much. More than you know.” I felt my mouth swing open and my mind went searching for the right words to express how much the video meant to me.
“I really wish I could let you all into my mind right now because no words can explain how beautiful that was.” I took a second to roughly gather my thoughts, then continued. “Thank you all so much for that…and for not making it a car, or a house or something crazy. This video is the most perfect present I could have ever gotten. I really don’t even have the words—”
“We’re glad you liked it,” Jasper interrupted, noticing I was struggling. “Happy birthday, Bella.”
I went around and gave everyone a quick half-hug and thanked them all individually. The party kicked into full gear when Alice initiated a game of twister. It was interesting to see werewolves and vampires all bent around each other like that, not wanting to tear each other to shreds. Charlie and Sue were bent strategically in an interesting position that I’d rather never think about again…ever…in my life.
After the party was over and everyone from La Push started to pass out, Edward and I went to our home for some privacy. We didn’t bother flicking the lights on—we could see each other perfectly in the dark, of course. Edward kissed me slowly and delicately from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes and then placed me down on the bed—which we keep in our bedroom for obvious purposes.
I opened my eyes and looked up at… the stars? “Holy crow,” I blurted out once I noticed that our ceiling was now a slab of thick, perfectly clear glass. “What the…where did the ceiling go?” I asked, standing to my feet to examine the beautiful starlit sky.
“Well, I haven’t given you everything yet,” Edward began in a soft voice. “I’ve given you my love, my heart, my soul, my life and my name. But I haven’t given you the stars, the sky and the moon yet, Bella. Happy birthday.”
And there, right under the stars, the sky and the moon, Edward traced his finger over the curves of my body and kissed the hollow of my neck, then my jaw, then my lips, so delicately. Then in one swift motion he lifted me up in the air and placed me on top of him, wrapping my legs around his waist.
Right there, under the stars, the sky and the moon, we made love.
EDIT: Looking for a new love story to read? I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ (This is not the Willow series I’ve been working on, rather it’s a small side project. The first book in the Willow series will be up in the early portion of this year). For now, I’m so excited for you to check out the novella I’ve written:
You can read a preview and purchase ‘My Darrling’ HERE. I can’t thank you all enough for your endless support, and I promise to run contests to give back as soon as my books get off the ground!
For those of you who’d like to follow the progress of my Willow series, please ‘LIKE’ it on Facebook here. You can also read a tiny preview if you click ‘info’.
Feel free to stop by my personal blog here, where I post songs, pictures and will soon be giving more previews from ‘Willow.’ Thank you all so much for reading and for the support and encouragement you’ve all given. You have no idea how important your encouragement and kind words has been.
One of our very sweet readers made this video specifically for bellasdiary.com and I love love love it! jewelryjunky worked very hard on this fan video and I adore it. I get sooo excited when readers send in bellasdiary.com art in any form. Thank you so much for this – you did an amazing job! XO